Sunday, April 26, 2015

Beekeeping videos from LDSPrepper, plus other sources

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More useful videos from LDS Prepper.

A couple links to videos on beekeeping.  Watched one, but the other will have to wait.

He recommends a book, but I haven't bought it. Perhaps I will, but there may be more than one way to skin a cat.  I figured maybe I'd raise the type of crops that bees like, so I consulted this website.   There was a mention of farmers markets and I managed to locate a site on chron dot com that lists them in the Houston area.



Saturday, April 25, 2015

Some stuff is out of reach

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This post goes into the Power and Electricity subseries of the off-the-grid main series of posts.

One thing I really like about wind energy is that it can be potentially a lot of power from a little device.  Let's say one is rated at a maximum of 400 watts.  If it can do that for an entire day, that's .4 kwh x 24 hr = 9.6 kwh of power.  Not bad for such a little device.  It can beat the pants off of solar.

The downside of wind has been noted in an earlier post.  It has moving parts that can fail.  It has to be mounted in a high place, which requires some skills which may cost some money to obtain, or obtained the hard way by doing yourself.  Sometimes the equipment isn't up to par in terms of quality.

What would I do with the wind?  What is so enticing about it, after all?  I figured that I can make water with all that power.  I could recycle my grey water.  I could use a dehumidifier to pull it out of the atmosphere.  If the wind really does blow hard enough out there, my water worries could be a thing of the past.

You have to look at it both angles and decide whether of not this is worth it.  It may not be, for there may be an easier way to get water.

Another consideration is the cost.  Looks like something over a thousand for the parts for a system that could produce 1 kwh per day of electricity in a 13 mph wind.  That just may be feasible out there.

It's hard to make a judgment without the practical experience behind it.  If only my solar system worked out there, then I might at least have some idea of what can be done.


Squaring things away here at da House

Now I can't call this place "da House" even though it is an apartment.  You gotta call it something, and this is the most polite term I could think of at the present.

I'm going to sign a new lease, probably next week.  I'll be here at least until the end of March next year.

As for all the equipment I bought, I'm putting it all away until the next time.

That 300 dollar chair that broke was replaced.  Actually, they sent me a new frame.  I had to slip off the cushions on the broken frame and put it on the replacement frame.  Now it sits in the bedroom like new.  Only thing is this:  after having the first one fail, can I trust this one?  I think not.  The metal looks too thin for a bigger person such as myself.  It may work for a person that weighs in at less than 200 lbs.  Preferably even less.  I'd say this thing is more suitable for a woman than a big man.

Moving on to the rest of my stuff, I cleaned up my circular saw and put it away.  Amazing how much crud got on it and in it.  Hopefully, it won't cause a premature failure.

Checked the batteries on my scooter.  I figured it was 12 amp/hrs and so it is.  That's 2 times 12 amp/hrs giving 24 amp/hrs.  That's pretty decent in terms of power.  It's almost as good as the battery I've already got.  Combine them and you've got 60 amp/hrs.  Since you don't want to discharge at greater than 50%, this gives 30 amp/hrs of useful power.  That 30 times 12 volts giving 360 watt/hrs.

It's something to get you started, but it will have to grow a little once I get things rounded out and in shape out there.

Just about ready to resume the old lifestyle, but continue to prepare for the new.  The time is not yet, but I'm getting there.


Shower gizmo

The entire time out there, I did not try this gizmo that I intended to use to take a shower at "da Ranch".  Since there is no running water, there has to be a way to get water on you so that you clean yourself off.  It is especially important out there because it can get so dirty.

I tried the Ivation Battery-Powered Handheld Portable Shower at home before I headed out.  The problem is that it puts out about as much water as your shower head at home, but there's not that much water available.

So, what's the solution?  I may try this sometime:  Buy an aquarium pump, and pump the water -that runs out the shower head into the collection area, in my case, a metal tub- back up into the bucket from whence it came.  It will, in effect, recirculate the water over and over again as long as you are comfortable with the quality of the water coming out.  If you want to rinse off, put the gizmo into another bucket of clean water.  My goal is to be able to get fully clean by using only about 3 gallons of water per shower.


My reaction to Bill Ayers

This link came to me via Instapundit, whose reaction that seems to dwell on the anti-American aspect of the guy's rants.  My reaction is somewhat different, in that this guy is being touted as having some sort of special knowledge and understanding, yet he is an ignoramus.

One of the left-wing's favorite fairy tales--- that we are running out of resources, is nothing but pure nonsense.

And here we are 4% of the world’s population, 4.5% of the world’s population, consuming vast amounts of natural resources, consuming vast amounts of finished goods, and no politician will say that the empire is declining and that the game is over. [emphasis added]

We cannot consume vast amounts of natural resources.  The reason is plain old physics and chemistry, which this clown doesn't seem to understand.  Let me go over this with the thought challenged amongst you.  If you stay with me, maybe you will learn something.

Nothing gets "used up".   The only thing that happens is that the chemical bonds change.  Every atom that makes up a resource, whatever it may be,  is virtually indestructible.  You don't change atoms, you change its chemical bonds, which consist of electron bonds between the fundamental elements that make up the compound in question.  That is to say, when you burn gasoline in your car, you change it from a liquid chemical ( gasoline ) to primarily water and carbon dioxide.  You don't use anything but the breaking of the chemical bonds in the gasoline that unleash energy that can power your auto.  The waste products are water and carbon dioxide.

They say that carbon dioxide itself is harmful, but there is so little of it in the atmosphere that it cannot possibly hurt anything, and besides, it is input to plants that make food for us to eat.  Nothing is lost.  No harm is done.  Yet these ignoramuses claim that there is harm.  The climate is changing because of this carbon we put into the atmosphere.  What nonsense.

The fact of the matter is that they don't know what the hell they are talking about, or they are lying their butts off.  In either case, their lying or their incompetence causes more harm than the harms that they are alleging that are happening.

The fault in our educational and information disseminating infrastructure is that this kind of nonsense gets treated as if it were truth, but the truth will not and is not tested.  Hence young people are deceived.

The real problem is an entirely different one than this fool suggests.  This fellow has no business influencing the young and it is to our discredit that he is allowed to do so.

You should demand the truth.  You should not accept information without it being testable for truth and accuracy.  This is resisted by these people, either because they are frauds and know it, or they are so imbued with some sense of belief that they cannot bear the thought of being wrong.  Either way, they should not be trusted, and it is to our very great discredit that so many people do.


A song for every occasion

I betcha I can think up a song for every occasion.  I did it while at "da Ranch" with the backing up song.  However, when I recorded it on video, I found out that my singing left much to be desired.  I won't be putting up that video.

Anyway, my van is filthy, and it is raining today.  So, I got this idea to go out there with a wash brush and clean it while it was raining.  It sort of worked good on the hood, but the rain wasn't coming down hard enough.  Sure enough, the rain shower was ending as a patch of blue sky appeared to the west.

It was then that I thought up the song Let it Rain, by  Eric Clapton


Still more beekeeping videos

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This post will go into the Food Subseries of the off-the-grid main series of posts.


This little crash course of Youtube videos continues with the technique of making your beehives more abundant with bees.

Beekeeping - How to make lots more Bees - Using the Rose Hive Method Part 3

Obviously a three part series that I didn't watch but the third part.  The impression I get is that I'd better read a book.  I don't know if these videos really explain things in enough detail.

More detail?   Perhaps back to the beginning?   What do you need to get started?





Friday, April 24, 2015

Beekeeping videos

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This post will go into the food subseries of the off-the-grid series of posts.

Since I will need money for awhile, I figure that honey could be a good cash crop.  The best part of this is that the bees do most of the work!  I like that idea a whole lot.

As for markets for my products, there is always a market for sweets.  If that doesn't work, I can eat the honey myself.

As for the videos, this first one is from a narrator that I've seen before, and have already embedded here in one of my posts, I'm sure.  The name of the Youtube channel is GrowOrganic Peaceful Valley.  The video looks to be quite professional.  As for me, I'm just getting started, so I'm likely to make some mistakes.  Whatever I produce will certainly not look this good.


This looks like it has 3 videos in the playlist:  Here's the link for all 3.


Back to the job on Monday

Made the call maybe an hour ago.  Asked for and got my old job back.  So that routine will renew beginning on Monday.

As for now, I will be writing about other things beside "da Ranch".

The pressure might be off, but I will still be preparing to make the move.  The original idea was to hang on to my job and move out there when I retire.  That wasn't a bad plan, but as things being what they are, and me being the way I am, I wanted to do something right now.

It's going to have to wait.  It's simply too costly to make a lot of trips out there, and now I've made five.

No doubt, I'll keep making trips, but they have to come less frequently.

I learned a few things with these trips, but they were disappointments in some ways.  One disappointment is that I simply can't do as much as I would like.  Just getting too old for that.

Hopefully, I can keep myself together for another 2 1/2 years.  By then, I ought to be truly ready.


Researching beekeeping

Very early stages of research.  While I was out at "da Ranch", I could have sworn that I saw a bee swarm.  It is conceivable because there were so many flowering plants at that time.  Quite possibly a free range honeybee can produce honey with what is already available, thus the idea.

While I'm thinking of it, I realize that teaching myself everything is the hard way.  Perhaps the simplest thing is to befriend a beekeeper who knows this stuff already.  I think the opportunity is there to raise a lot of bees.  I don't think there's any competition.

By the way, do you know the term for a person who teaches himself things?  Such a person is an autodidact.  Sounds like a disease, doesn't it?  Is autodidacting contagious?  If it were, it might be a good thing.  Here's somebody learning the ropes:




This one will go into the food subseries of the off-the-grid series of posts.

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