Vention Bartell

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since May 23, 2011
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Recent posts by Vention Bartell

Awesome podcast!
The challenges of managing people are fatiguing and the stakes are high. They pulled out the foreman chair for me several times in my diesel mechanic career and sure I'll sit in the chair for a while, covering for vacations and such but I've always found it very tiring and laborious. One of the disadvantages of being an introvert. Those who can manage people toward a goal have some serious talent and I can only salute them and say "well done" since I find it so difficult myself. And if you can attract leaders along the way that's almost miraculous. I won't bore anyone with excessive praise though.
There was some hesitancy when Paul was going to share the Pig Bucket story but clearly some stories bear repeating, and a lot people probably never heard it before. It really shows why everything is labelled at basecamp. Well done. Then there's Jennifer's chainsaw incident and the darker disasters that were mentioned by Ron and Jennifer (but weren't shared in detail). I'm just as happy not hearing it today but it's probably important to hear if you're going to be a WWooFer or a host. This subset of Paul's podcasts would be hugely helpful for anyone having anything to do with WWoof or the boot camp.
And as far as that couple who did a bunch of mud slinging a couple years ago. Their story was in such huge conflict with everything else that's shared about the place that I didn't take it seriously. There's always going to be a troublemaker so I didn't let that get in my way of spending some time there, and if my health allows it I plan to return this year as well.
Wow, I have to say I'm impressed with those who experienced the click. Paul is slowly attracting a group of truly amazing people. I had to laugh at myself a bit when during these three podcasts I started feeling a bit left out. Paul was saying he was making these podcasts for perhaps 12 people and I was like "gee, lol, what about me?". Silly way to feel though. These podcasts are an amazing resource and I'm going to listen and maintain my patreon support even if I'm not 100% the target audience.
Up till 2 years ago I had listened to every podcast but I got a bit distracted by this cancer problem I'm working on. Anyway I'm back to being pain free now so I'm catching up.
I rarely post here. Too busy working on my cancer problem. But I'll chime in on this one.
The huge energy and carbon emissions numbers that show up in these scaremongering articles are usually done with a calculation of the hashing power of the network, how much energy it takes, and then they figure it as if it all came from the nasty high Sulphur coal fired power plants of China. In reality though, supply and demand has caused bitcoin mining operations to move to where the electricity is inexpensive. Examples are the massively over built dams in China where their grid can only transport half the power. Mining operations moved there to buy that unused power and everyone is happy. The state makes more money since it can sell the power and the mining operations get a cheap power source that they can use to out compete their competitors. Same goes with the geothermal power of iceland, and the massively difficult and dangerous methane that comes from oil rigs. Generally they just blast the gas into the sky and light it on fire. It's wasted. Now though bitcoin mining operations have moved in, purchased that gas for pennies on the dollar, run it through generators and run their mining operations with it. It's pretty rare for large mining operations to compete directly with population centers and pay those high prices. They're always looking for bargains and they're always ready to move.

All that power goes to provide tremendous hashing power to the network. That makes it so ultra secure that it's pretty much impossible to attack. Any group or entity that somehow collects enough hashing power to harm the network would find it vastly more profitable to join the network and rake in the profits.

What attracted me to bitcoin was it's resistance to government seizure. There are situations where, through no fault of your own, you can find yourself under financial attack. Examples if you have an illegal invasive species on your property you could start getting fines. Or if you have a stream on your property and some kind of contamination occurs. Government has been known to start dumping 1000 dollar a day fines on you until you're financially obliterated. If you have bitcoin however, you have something to fall back on in such an emergency. I was a precious metals guy until I got clued in on bitcoin.

Another positive aspect of bitcoin is it's ability to give people an alternative when their local government currency is over printed and inflated into insanity. With bitcoin they can preserve some of their savings by moving outside of the local economic system. And as bitcoin gains adoption it very gradually decreases a government's ability to print unlimited currency and then wage all these giant international wars, such as Vietnam and that mess we've got going in the middle east right now. I drove down the highway of death in Irag as a young man. It was one of the most horrific experiences of my life. It was all paid for with printed money. When governments have to get the tax payers to pay for these giant wars, they'd have to charge a hefty tax bill. That would cause push back and make these wars less common. With less ability to create money out of nothing, we should have fewer of these problems.

You could say that governments would then resist bitcoin adoption, and some have. The trend seems to be greater adoption on wall street though. Banks can use crypto now. Deutsche bank is opening bitcoin services, visa and mastercard are adding bitcoin to the massive list of currencies that they offer their services on (soon you'll be able to buy things priced in bitcoin with your visa card. Billionaires and large corporations are adding it to their reserves. And of course representatives in government as buying it as well. This should decrease the danger of bitcoin being regulated into uselessness or made illegal. Those in power won't want their investment harmed so they will resist if they are told to stomp on it. The result will be less centralized power among these large nation states. Less power to cause problems for their people. Fewer weird operations such as fast and furious, and a less totalitarian society. I suspect it's going to happen slowly enough that it won't alarm anyone until it's too late.

The actual use of bitcoin is an amazing thing. The main net is moving toward larger transactions that require high security. In such situations the fees or the wait time aren't a problem. Most of the purchases I make though use the bitcoin lightning network. I'm kicking back in Mexico (working on my cancer problem) and I've bought quite a few uber rides and food deliveries from uber eats. There is a vastly greater selection of gift cards available in the states though, and they can all be purchased with Lightning. Plus Lightning uses onion routing so it's almost entirely anonymous. So that claws back some of our privacy that has been violated by the financial system and government in recent decades. If you want to buy a bushel of apples from a farmer you could pay with lightning. The transaction is instant, anonymous and the fee is way way less than a penny. Very exciting times. I hope I can push my expiration date out a few more years. I want to see how all this unfolds over the next few years. Wish me luck.
1 year ago
Amazing people here on Permies.
If it were me I'd pop the front cover off the machine and run the thing. It should be pretty easy to spot the leak.
2 years ago

Eric Hanson wrote:Vention,

You are not wrong.  There is just no way to dodge a CME, and perhaps time and effort is better spent elsewhere.


Well, at least CME events tend to be pretty slow. It takes a while for that material to travel from the sun to the earth and a direct hit is unlikely in the extreme. But if one happened to fire off at us, we should have a day or two to throw our electronics in an ammo box and bury them. I'd have time to pull the ECU's off my vehicles as well, and put them a few feet in the ground. That should be enough to protect them. For the house I'd just pull all the breakers and unplug everything I could find. After the event your old cell phones might have a sudden increase in value. Even without the cellular network or Internet, phones are still useful. I keep a ton of info in there such as repair manuals for everything I work on, As well as my personal info that I can use to access my savings and bank accounts. If I lost my wallet I could probably get by with the phone since I keep high res copies of all those documents, highly encrypted, on that phone. I've taken time to collect PDF files of a bunch of different survival re-localization related subjects but most of my books are service or parts manuals. Oh, and I have every one of Paul's podcasts on the memory stick. I consider that important prepper related into.  
I have a sacrificial am/fm radio that I'll use to stay informed up till the storm hits. One of the many overlooked items in a bugout bag is a small AM/FM radio, and keep the batteries fresh.  
After the storm is when your preps come in. I've got 14 FRS/GMRS radios that can be used for the neighborhood watch. I know where to block the road, where to place the OP and the snipers. Let's hope nothing like that is necessary.
LOL, if I had a few days warning I'd pack my tools and my preps and go weather the storm on the lab. I can't think of a better place to weather some kind of serious problem. Couldn't ask for better neighbors either. It's beautiful out there too (even the boneyard). I just spent two weeks up there, playing with their dump truck. Good times. I hope cancer lets me return. I'd love to spend a few months there.
2 years ago
I came over from the survival podcast a few years ago. I mostly lurk but this subject is sort of my turf.
I don't bother trying to prepare for huge earth shaking catastrophic dangers such as an EMP. No one can really prepare for something that devastating. I think it's a better idea to measure your preparedness by time. How long can I last if various parts of our infrastructure fail us? You see, most disasters are personal in nature. They tend to effect you and leave your neighbors untouched. Things like a job loss, a huge unexpected bill, a divorce, gaining the ire of government and having a 40 thousand dollar a day fine applied against your finances. Not many people could survive more than a few days of that before they're wiped out. This makes the conventional financial system too dangerous to invest everything into. When I learned about how vulnerable to financial confiscation we are, I stopped saving money there, increased my mortgage paydowns and started putting my surplus monthly income into bitcoin and silver. If you have bitcoin you can bury it so deep there's no way for some bored cop or customs worker to seize it. They can seize your precious metals (and they will find them) and everything in all your accounts but with bitcoin, they simply can't. And man does that make them mad! They want to be able to print our money into worthless confetti, have it easily seized and even cut businesses they don't like off from the financial system. They've attacked a lot of gun shops that way. It was mostly an obama era thing, called operation chokepoint, but it's coming back. I can't talk about that though. Too political.
We can lose access to important infrastructure even when our neighbors are unaffected. A financial disaster could cause that but a localized power outage could as well. A good prepper lives a frugal life, saves money and socks away the surplus to buy his way out of emergencies or into an early retirement. Having that savings changes your entire attitude since you're not facing instant bankruptcy if you lose your job. That makes you more relaxed and harder to shake emotionally and that makes you less likely to lose your job in the first place. It's typically people who lose their temper who quit their jobs on short notice. Same goes with food, tools, water, and other preps. If you have the means to meet your needs outside of the economic system, then however long you can live is how prepped you are.
I have quite a stack of preps I'm not really a long term Prepper. If a major disaster lasts more than a few months I'm probably a goner anyway (due to getting my cancer treatments cut off). My cancer blood test trippled during this lockdown. If that happens again I'm probably history.
But back to my main point. I'm prepped enough to last a period of time I'm comfortable with. These preps would most likely come in handy no matter what kind of disaster we have, whether it's an EMP or some less catastrophic event.

2 years ago
Excellent work Evan. Tipped your bitcoin address.
6 years ago

Curtis Budka wrote:There's is a thread for both of the points I'm going to make, but I want to answer Warren's questions.
The Electric tractor:
The charge port is under the hinged cover on the back between the ROPS and the 3pt hitch. I had searched the shop for a cord with a plug that is compatible with the input plug, but couldn't find one.

Millennium Falcon dump truck:
Llast I heard, it has water in the fuel system and the electrical system is shot. I don't think anyone bother to look at it very much, at least while I was there.

Hi Curtis
I looked for the thread dealing with your tractor but couldn't locate it, just one that talks about electric tractors in General. Anyway do you think this adapter would do the trick? The Tractor plug is a 20 amp but a conventional wall socket is 15 amp, if you're just keeping it plugged in to maintain the batteries though, that shouldn't be a problem (unless it pops a breaker). The charger may have a high and low setting. If so just set it to low and you should be fine.
If the socket in the tractor is male, this adapter should work. Then just plug your extension cord into the adapter then plug the adapter into the tractor. If you think it will fit I'd be happy to send you one by way of Amazon. I'll need the mailing address though.

Hey Paul
I sympathize on the tape. That stuff is surprisingly spendy. It would be sad to see someone wasting a whole roll just to make a joke.

And feel free to delete this message if I'm cluttering things up with this off topic post. Just PM me the mailing address if the adapter will fit and I'll get it coming.


PS, I'd be happy to come out for a day or three to give the truck a bit of love. I'll provide the labor and the know-how if Paul is in a position to buy the parts. The soonest I could come out though is early spring since I've already burned up all my vacation for the year. Till then all I can provide is technical support.
7 years ago
Had an awesome visit, thanks Evan! You guys have an amazing place up there. Feel free to move or delete this post if it's in the wrong place. I'm a noob around here.

Arrived at base camp around 4PM and met Evan who was our guide. He showed me the pooper with its urine diversion system which I needed to use. I was amazed to see no flies in there. None at all.
He showed me the Berm shed which serves as covered storage and an awesome visual barrier from people passing by on the road. Once finished and planted with blackberries or some other thorny plant, it could add another layer of security to the place. Zombies would have a lot of trouble getting through that, lol.
Saw the "ring of fire" were the rocket mass heater heats an oven and a cooking surface then goes into the bench to heat the seating area. Very cool!
Saw the electric tractor and was told of the difficulties it's having with powering the scoop. It might need a less aggressive, lower GPM, hydraulic pump. Then the blade would move slower but with more lifting power. Wish I lived closer and had more time to look at it. I don't remember seeing a charger plugged in. It would be a shame if the batteries drained away then froze. Maybe I just failed to see the charger.
Then we checked out the portable skid cabin with its solar heater before moving on to the hugle beds around the main house. Those beds dwarf the little 3' tall hugle bed at my house. There are a lot of things I couldn't recognize planted. I did see comfrey planted under the apple tree and that reminds me that I need to get some of that. I've got, let's see, 9 fruit trees that could use some comfrey planted as a chop and drop, under the drip line. Having grass planted under those trees is a bad idea.
I also saw some mole hills. I have no problem with them in my hugle bed but when they start to get near my 3 very young trees, I take action. Those things will kill trees of that age. Anyway I take a garden hose and nozzle and blast the dirt back down into the tunnel. When I do that a couple times, they go elsewhere.
I was amazed by the way they built a fence from native materials and the rock jack method of supporting the fence (when it's too rocky to dig a post hole) is very interesting indeed. I took notes and pictures.
Then we tossed his bike into the truck and drove up to the lab.
He showed us what I think is the second wofati. What an amazing structure! Must have taken a lot of labor and good design to put it together. It's amazingly quiet inside. Love the rocket mass heater. It's the first one I've ever seen with my own eyes. Wish I could have seen one operating but time is short. It's a shame to see such an awesome home standing empty. I imagine someone could live quite comfortably in that place, even in a Montana winter.
Then we saw the 1st Wofati, a smaller version of the empty one where two of Evan's fellow Ants were making dinner. I saw the straw bale compressor and the cob mixing station, and took some pics of the cob straw bale wall. That's too cool! Man I wish I lived closer!
Then we drove out to the TeePee and we saw the rocket mass heater there plus the electric fence protected Bee hive. Evan was talking about putting straw bales around the hive when it gets seriously cold.
Then we drove around to Evan's place. He has quite a garden. His ducks had put themselves away by the time we got there so he just filled their water and closed them in. He's going to make a Duck Wofati for them as well. He dumped the old duck water (heavily manured) to a likely spot in his garden and that got me thinking. There are many places in my half acre yard that could use a shot of that Manure water. I might just have to get some ducks. The weaker of my two grape vines (the ones I'm growing as a visual barrier between my deck and the neighbor's) could definitely use some of that brew.
We saw Even's future home that's under construction and it looks like it's going to be a nice place. I asked him how he was going to trim the wall boards and realized one of the saws from my bug out kit would be very useful there. Before we left his place Dad gave him his two 6 gallon water jugs and since we had decided not to camp, I handed over the carpet I was going to sleep on and that saw (plus the fee for the tour).
Then we saw the lemon tree site, with it's double sun scoop. That should be interesting.
On the way out I took a peek at the dump truck. It has an old style non-electronic NTC-350 Cummins engine. It's been a long time since I've worked on one of those. It's so old the manuals aren't available on the Cummins website. I've got a paper manual that's close though. I could provide technical support on getting it running but I can't get back out there till spring myself. I'd need to know the symptoms, how it failed, does it crank? (when the batteries are hooked up), that sort of thing, before I could determine a cause of failure and a possible fix.
Evan let us out the gate before it was fully dark and we took off to the hotel. It was a fun day and an awesome tour. I can't wait to see how the place develops over the next few years.
If bitcoins go nuts in value as I suspect they will, I might be able to retire early and become a wandering mechanic for Permaculture communities like this one. That would be fun.
7 years ago
Hi all! I'm a heavy diesel truck mechanic, on vacation this week and would love to swing by and get a tour. I'm perfectly willing to pay the going rate for that service. I'm driving out from Seattle so I'd like to know who I'm dealing with, exactly when to show up, and where. I've never been to a PDC but I've viewed much of this material and have listened to (and enjoyed) all the podcasts, and I've been employing some basic Permaculture methods in my half acre yard here at home. If my tour guide accepts bitcoins I can pay in advance, otherwise I can bring cash. I'll check back several times today and tomorrow for responses. Thanks!
Alright! Looks like I've got a contact and will soon arrange the time for my tour. This is going to be awesome!
7 years ago