Saturday, September 13, 2014

Recap of last weeks posts 9/7 to 9/13/14

The highlights of the week?

This is somehow not reassuring.

A recent post made the hit parade...
The water filter posts seemed to do well.  Work on that lately, or all of it taken together has not been all that encouraging.

All signs are pointing to the excrement hitting the air recirculating device, but that isn't interesting.  Maybe a fairy tale would work better at getting pageviews?

Another graph that may illustrate the phenomenon

One picture is worth a thousand words.

If that last post didn't say something, maybe this one will.  From the Coyote Blog, I find this one which shows the economic center of gravity shifting East since the sixties.  This reversed nearly a thousand year trend.  What?!?  A thousand years?!  Yep, a thousand years.

You may want to consider this in your future plans.  Maybe you should learn Chinese?

Afternoon's research project

Yes, it does seem that I disappear sometimes.  It took several hours to put together the data into a form in which a Visual Basic program I wrote way back when could read it.  Also, it turned out to be in reverse order, drat it, so I have to apologize for that.  I don't want to reverse the data by hand, and I forgot how to do it with this program.  It is, after all, a 20 year old program.

The research project was to determine if the Fed Funds rate really has been in a downtrend since 1980's.  The result is no surprise, or shouldn't be.  Of course the Fed Funds rate has been in a downtrend since the 80's.  Perhaps if it could be rendered into a graph, it may strike home somewhere.  This is a really oddball looking chart.

As you can see, the chart covers 60 years of the Fed Funds rates.  Unfortunately, the chart may be harder to read than I would like.  Since it is in reverse order, the most recent years are on the LEFT.  As you can see, the chart is going upwards from left to right to about data point 34, which corresponds to bada-bing bada-boom, 1980.  It then declines all the rest of the way to 1954.

Note if you will, the really flat spot on the left hand side.  That's where we are now.  The Fed Fund rates have Flatlined for six years and counting.

In the medical profession, when you've got a flat line, you've got a corpse.  Just sayin'.

There's nowhere to go but up.  Unfortunately, that may not be good news.

School Teacher's Tiny House On Wheels with a Passive Solar Foyer (small home)

Another one of these videos that I'm watching.

It is amazing how efficient these things can be in terms of energy and space.  It is a Tumbleweed home, so it isn't exactly what I have in mind, though.

Living in a Van: Which Van to Choose?

This is one of the videos that are linked to the Tumbleweed Video in this post here.

He mentioned several of the concerns that I've already looked into.  Actually, he may prefer the van I've got already!  But, I don't like the idea of not being able to stand up in a van.  Like him, I don't want the expensive tall vans.  The van I looked at yesterday is a bit of a compromise.  I can't quite stand up in it, but I can almost do it.  Perhaps a way could be found to compensate for that so that I won't have a problem.

He also mentioned some folks who do conversions.  It may be possible to do a conversion myself, but that would entail an expense that I may not want to deal with.

Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

This is one that was talked about on the energy pages several years ago.  What happened to it?  It turns out that there's a company that is making these things.  It's called Oorja, which is based in Fremont California.  They have a blog here.

The product page yields some interesting items that may be a fit for what I'm trying to do.  There's one called the Model 3 Material Handling fuel cell, which has an output of maximum output of 1.5 kw.  Looks like its job is to recharge batteries.  It may require about 1 liter per hour of methanol to keep it running.  Now, that may be achievable with the system that I'm considering setting up.  In short, the system involves growing algae and pyrolysis of it in order to make methanol.  The methanol will be used as an energy source, and its products recycled back into the system in order to close the water and carbon loops.

Prices aren't discussed.  Hopefully, it is affordable.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Magic Bus- A cargo van conversion.wmv

Gives me some ideas!  The van is a lot like mine.

This is too "rich" for me.  I'd be more interested in a something a bit more spartan.


I spent a part of yesterday evening checking out a van that I am considering as a trade in for my current van.

Why get rid of my current van?  High miles---nearly 300k.  This one has less than half that.  The downside is that requires a considerable expenditure of money.  I'm being very, very careful about money.

Also, do I really need to get rid of my van?  Even with the high miles, it's running good.  Lower miles, like on the other, do not guarantee anything.  They can break down too.  Tough decision.

I could rig the van as living quarters in and of itself.  That's the idea.

This will go into the off-the-grid series.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Don't fight the Fed ( reposted at nobody's request because I damn well felt like it )


I was thinking about this today.  Everything that is happening has happened before.  There's nothing new under the sun.  The Fed does what it does.  It is amoral.  It doesn't care that what it's doing is right or wrong.  And get this:  it is working.  Yes, it is working.  The Fed is managing things and it is working.  Unfortunately, although the Fed is "working", the markets are not being allowed to work.  Even though this is true, and it isn't moral, you still can't fight the Fed.  If you fight the Fed, you lose.  You just need to know what side the Fed is on at the moment, and don't be on the wrong side of it.  Right now, it isn't on the side of the angels, if you catch my drift.  But the Fed can get the "right religion" at any time.  Then you can flip with the Fed.  It isn't moral and it isn't fair, but there it is.

The original post follows immediately....

That's one of the cardinal rules of trading.  It appears to me that the Fed is manipulating the markets now, so any trade that goes against that is violating the rule.

One of those trades is to go long on precious metals, like gold.  Gold took another beating yesterday.

But, nothing has convinced me though that the fundamentals have changed.  There's no effort to reign in the money printing.  All the Fed is doing is managing perceptions.  However, that's enough to move the markets.  So, if you are on the wrong side of that, you can get burned.

Sometimes, you have to take a little pain in order to get some gain.  In this case, if the management of perceptions fail at any point, the bull market will return with a vengeance.  So far, the Fed's perception manipulation is working.  Gold is taking a beating.  How much longer, well, who knows?

The day that changed everything, but didn't

That's what they all said about 9-11-2001.  Here it is, 13 years later, and what is different?

We went to war.  We quit the war.  We want to start the war again because of ISIS.  Does any of it make sense?

If they were like me, they'd figure out the problem and solve it.  What's the problem?  The wrong kind of people are getting in.  If they can't get into the country, they can't hurt anybody.

Why are they being let in?  Ask the geniuses that are running everything.

It is easy to stop terrorism in this country.  Just enforce the borders.  But they won't do that.  Why not?  For the love of money.  Everything evil can be traced to the love of money.  If they would just forget about their money for a moment, they could start solving this problem.  But they won't, and the problem will continue.

It's guaranteed.

Electrolysis of urea

****pdf***   pdf can be purchased at the link on the left

Question is how much would it cost for the electrodes?  Would they have to be expensive platinum type electrodes?

Urea would be safer than ammonia and probably more economical to ship because it is in dry form.

"Rush Revere" and the First Patriots

Don't get me wrong.  Rush Limbaugh is not THE problem.  But Rush Limbaugh is A problem.


Look at the title of that book and look again at the last line of the Declaration of Independence:

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.[emphasis added]
Now, here's Rush portraying himself to be "Rush Revere", but when did he pledge his very life and his considerable fortune to the cause of American Liberty?  When???????????????????????????????????????

Holy Terminator, Batman!

Robot fighting machines coming soon!

Tumbleweed Tiny House Co.: This Video can Help You Build Your Dream Home

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Goes into the off-the-grid series:

From my mailbox:


Be sure to check out the video link below.  It will include links to a series of videos that are quite interesting to watch on such topics as van conversions, do it yourself washer/dryer and more...


Tumbleweed Trailers.  Build a house on one of these.

From: Tumbleweed Tiny House Company <>;
To:   moi;
Subject: This Video can Help You Build Your Dream Home
Sent: Tue, Sep 9, 2014 8:56:37 PM

Our Construction DVD is now 40% off!
You pay $35.95 till the end of the week.
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DVD SALE. One Week Only  - Save 40% 

Hi Tiny Housers,
Steve Weissmann here, President of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company.
I'm excited to announce that our informative how-to Tiny House Construction Video is on sale this week only (Sale ends Wednesday 9/17). Our goal is to answer all your questions and provide you with a list of materials as our tiny house experts teach you how to construct your own Tumbleweed tiny home, all on one DVD!
I know the transition to tiny can be daunting. When I first downsized to a 400 square foot home
10 years ago, I had to get rid of most of possessions. Back then resources like this didn't exist.

Build the House You've Dreamt About

With the Tumbleweed Construction DVD, you can begin the process of creating your own dream home. One that will facilitate your career, hobbies, and social activities. At Tumbleweed, we want to help!
In the Tumbleweed Construction Video, we cover all the bases of tiny house construction and answer all your questions in detail, such as:
  • "How do you attach a house to a trailer?"
  • "How to secure your roof so it doesn't blow off when traveling down the road?"
  • "What building materials should you avoid using in a tiny home?"
  • "What's different in plumbing a tiny home compared to a conventional home?"
  • "What types of trailers should you avoid?"
  • "Why is framing a tiny house different from framing a conventional home?"

Meet the Experts...

With our DVD, you will soak up knowledge from some of the biggest names in tiny home carpentry, construction and design as they assist you step-by-step in building your own tiny home. Let me introduce our DVD hosts and instructors:
Click here to see video and other interesting videos!

First, we have the Fisher Family. We met Dave, Alan and Ben at a workshop and were blown away by their kindness, integrity and skilled craftsmanship. They grew up Amish in Pennsylvania and began building as kids. Today we are proud to say that they are not only official Tumbleweed Builders, but also a cherished part of the Tumbleweed family.
Next, you'll meet Art Cormier; a Tumbleweed workshop presenter and do-it-yourselfer who built his tiny home out of mostly recycled materials. We originally met Art on his tiny home Youtube channel!
And then there is Meg Stephens, Tumbleweed's in-house designer and workshop presenter. Meg is currently building a Tumbleweed Linden - one of her own designs!

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - Is It Safe To Use Compost Made From Treated Human Waste?

Thought for today: Is It Safe To Use Compost Made From Treated Human Waste?
I thought you would be interested in this story
Message: Is composting human waste a safe bet?

Is It Safe To Use Compost Made From Treated Human Waste?

Treated human waste has been used on farmland for decades, but the ick factor has not entirely faded. Some environmentalists think the treatment process may not get rid of all the harmful contaminants that could be in the waste.
This email was sent by: NPR,1111 N. Capitol St. NE Washington, DC, 20002, United States. This message was sent to to this blog as a draft post, which I have modified to protect my privacy.

Greenpowerscience sells Stirling Engines

I've posted on these that Dan Rojas has worked on.

The question is this:  can this do useful work, and how much?

The link to the sales page.

It isn't out of the question that such can be built.   Another question should be is why aren't they being built?  Why only models that can't do anything useful?

What I'd like to do is simple: Use one of these Stirling Engines to help recycle water and carbon dioxide.  It does this by the pyrolysis of algae, which is quite prolific.  The gases produced will be combustible, which can be used to run one of these Engines. It would produce electricity, water, and carbon dioxide.  The water and carbon dioxide are recycled back into the production of more algae.


The algae can clean up the water too, as a high pH water resulting from washing and cleaning is good for algal growth.  This can be the first step in reclaiming the water.  The other steps are the ones I've been working on in the water filtration lab.

Article V Convention Discussion in WaPo

Just a short observation.  The following quote asks a number of questions that appear to express the desire to limit the powers of such a convention.

Isn't that interesting?  After all, the limitation on powers is exactly what could drive such a convention.  Yet, here is an attempt to limit the powers of a governing body.  A bit of inconsistency there, I'd say:

What constitutes a legitimate state application? Does Congress have discretion as to whether it must call a convention? What vehicle does it use to call a convention? Could a convention consider any issue, or must it be limited to a specific issue? Could a “runaway” convention propose amendments outside its mandate? Could Congress choose not to propose a convention-approved amendment to the states? What role would Congress have in defining a convention, including issues such as rules of procedure and voting, number and apportionment of delegates, funding and duration, service by Members of Congress, and other questions.---Wapo

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Flat Head V8 Running Miniature Model Engine - Block is Only 7" Long!

There's a company that makes these things for sale.  I was wondering if one of these can be made that can do useful work, like charging a battery that runs the electrics in a house.

And the guy who puts these together---video here:

There are others out there who dabble with these miniature engines, but not enough time to check out all of the videos.


Perhaps a Stirling Engine is the best choice, since it is an external combustion engine, and won't produce carbon monoxide, nor nitrous oxides.  Therefore, it can be placed indoors, which would allow recapture of the water molecules and carbon dioxide.  These are therefore recycled, closing both loops.

Saponins: Suprising benefits of desert plants

Peter R. Cheeke, Ph.D.

I was looking for the PH of saponins, which I knew could be found in desert plants, such as yucca.  Saponins are useful as shampoos and detergents.  Little did I know that these also have unexpected health benefits.  In root beer, no less:
Yucca and quillaja extracts are used in beverages, such as root beer and slurpies, to provide the foamy "head."...The blood cholesterol-lowering properties of dietary saponins are of particular interest in human nutrition...The binding of bile acids by saponins has other important implications. Bile acids excreted in the bile are called primary bile acids. They are metabolized by bacteria in the colon, producing secondary bile acids. Some of the secondary bile acids are promoters of colon cancer. By binding to primary bile acids, saponins reduce the formation of the secondary bile acids

All that by drinking root beer?!?  Hey, now that's an idea.

Anyway, I found nothing about PH of saponins, but did find this.  Interesting.

Growing Spirulina, General Hydroponics, Strawberry Tower and Worm Composting Bin

Lots of interesting material.  Also, this dude has some other videos that may be worth watching ( as a reminder in case I forget).

Found this video, which I had posted on previously last year.  They have their own website now and are selling kits for getting started on growing Spirulina.

Update ( a short while later ):

This will be added to the off-the-grid series.  Useful information here.  Want to remember it.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

The three ways of relating to each other

I remember reading this on Eternity Road (blog).  Let me paraphrase it:  You want something from me, and to this I can respond in one of three ways
  1. If I love you, I just give it to you out of love, or
  2. If I don't love you, or even like you, I can give it to you in trade for something else, or
  3. I can be forced into giving it to you out of fear of bodily harm or death.
Assuming this is correct, then what do you make of the liberals claiming to be champions of the little guy?

Do they give you what you want out of love for you?

I think not.  They give what they want you to have, not what you want, but what they think you need.  Incidentally, the liberals don't "give" anything.  They expropriate it from others and then give it to those from whom they want political support.  Which means it is more like number two in the list above.  As for the third possibility, we are not at that point, but some day we might be.  In that case, the liberals will probably flee.

Let's put it another way.  The liberals aren't giving anything out of love for the little guy.  They love themselves too much for that.  If it were true love for the common man, they would give up all of their worldly possessions and give it all away in service to the poor.  Nope.  They don't do that.  What they want is a trade--- they want your political support in exchange for all the free stuff.

Most folks will vote for this, too.  But it is an unthinking vote.  What good does it do you to receive something this way?  Wouldn't you rather earn what you get as opposed to having it given to you?  Besides, the "gift" is no gift at all.  It always comes with strings attached.  The left gets to do what they want as a condition of the trade for the political power that they bribe from people.  That includes destroying the very foundation of society to which the people have come to depend upon and take for granted.  Once that goes away, the people are in a desperate spot.  When that time arrives, the left will high tail it out of town, for they have done these things not because they love people, but because they are more interested in serving themselves at other's expense than in being of service to those they claim to love so much.

What makes a country and what destroys it?  Let's see what made this country.  Look at the final sentence in the Declaration of Independence:
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
You are in service to your country if you are willing to do what that sentence said.  So, this country was born and it lived.

If you are in service to yourself, as the liberals are, and unfortunately like some others in prominent places seem to be, you will lose your country.  Limbaugh did say "we've lost the country".  He may want to look in the mirror a little more closely for the reason why this is happening.

A quick mention here about the water filtration subject

Supposedly, I closed the experiment yesterday.  But there was something that I did afterward that was related, and I didn't mention it.

Part of the cleanup involved what to do with all that dirty water?  Well, I took the best of it and put it through the humidifier.  Interesting thing happened.  The water started condensing where I had put the darned thing.

This tells me that condensation part should be relatively easy.  Maybe you don't even need to buy a dehumidifer.  Just place this thing into an enclosed place where it can stay dry, and let it humidify the air with the partially cleaned water.  This water didn't do too much damage ( or any damage ) to the humidifier, but left the water clean after it had condensed.  I put a glass next to where it was coming out.  It was clear and most likely pure water.  But it was only a fraction of the water.

I need to look into the possibility of building a glass case for this humidifier.  The humidifier will go inside and the water should condense on the inside of the case.  The water will run down the sides down to the bottom where it will collect.  That water should be clean.

I know what I can do---buy an aquarium case.  Put the humidifier into the aquarium and put a lid on it.  Water should condense inside the tank.  You can even put the aquarium inside of a refrigerator. The glass walls will be colder than the air inside.  The machine will make it a bit warmer.  Water may even condense on the outside, but perhaps one shouldn't expect too much.  No, the refrigerator idea is too radical.  Let's just place it in front of an air conditioner.

The truth is slippery alright

There's an amazing bit of pro-Democrat piece of propaganda at Forbes, which claims that Obama's economic stewardship is better than Reagan's.  Something that really sticks out like a sore thumb---why Forbes?  Wasn't Forbes supposed to be a bit conservative?  Why would they print something like this, for heaven's sake?

There has been a tendency to compare the two presidents since the election of Obama.  The left would love for Obama to be as highly esteemed as Reagan, but that doesn't seem likely for the moment.  The public certainly doesn't think so.  Reagan enjoyed good popular ratings for most of his presidency.  Obama has struggled.

There are those who are inclined to believe this stuff, though.  If your biases tend toward one side more than the other, you are more likely to have strong views that would support one or the other as being the best president.  Obviously, both sides cannot be right simultaneously.  The truth is there, but who is right and who is wrong?

Another presumption of this article implies that presidents have all that much to do with economic performance.  In fact, Reagan's approach was deregulation as opposed to more regulation that the left prefers.  That's the difference between the two approaches.  Reagan believed in unleashing the market, while Obama wants to do the opposite.  This presumption of economic stewardship is the bright red line that differentiates the fundamental differences between the two men.  Reagan was strongly anti-communist while Obama's mentor was a communist.  Reagan wanted prayer in schools, Obama declared America to no longer be a "Christian nation".  In short, Reagan's approach is still on our coins---In God We Trust"---while Obama would prefer that we all trust him instead.  It's not the president, therefore, that determines economic performance, it is the removal of interference in the form of regulations, and the reliance upon market forces instead that determines performance.  Reagan was much better, as his predecessors were moving to impose even greater regulations upon an American economy that had struggled through the previous decade.  He reversed the course and led the country forward.  With Obama, we are moving backward to the seventies model of economic stagnation.

My vote is with Reagan by far.  The Forbes article cites a bunch of statistics that are being touted as proof of Obama's superior stewardship of the economy.  You can always point to the old saying---there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.  Reagan won the Cold War.  Obama took a won war in Iraq and the war on Terror and is proceeding to lose it.  Reagan championed America.  What is Obama doing?  The great danger here is that people can be deceived.  To some, the difference between the two men are like the difference between night and day.  Yet, people looking at these statistics and this source, and conclude that Obama really is a better president.  But not two separate points of view that are as different as these two men can be right at the same time.  One or the other must be right.  Can the truth emerge from the fog of propaganda?  We'll see.


If Rush Limbaugh doesn't lead with this one, and stay with it all day long on his show, shame on him.  He is supposed to be one of Reagan's greatest champions.  This piece of left-wing propaganda deserves a rather stiff rebuttal.


Why do you suppose Forbes put up this pro-Democrat propaganda?  Were they forced to by the ObamaBots?  Or has Forbes become one of those against we strive---the moneygrubbers.  They love money so much that they'll do anything, including betrayal like Judas Iscariot.  Yessiree, I'm bringing that up, for that is what may be ailing us, the rebellion against God.  Now, Limbaugh is being put to the test.  Does Limbaugh love money, or what does he love?  Who does he serve?

Update ( 4:45 pm ) :

I listened to the beginning of the show and one other time during the day.  Plus, I went to his website just now, and not a mention.

Hey, I didn't need to do that.  I bought a couple of his books back in the nineties.  He said something to the effect that liberals love money too.  So, he admits loving money.

Well, we all love money.  If you win the lottery, are you going to turn it down?  A rich uncle leaves you millions, you are going to turn that down?  Well, somebody might do that, but most would not.

The point is whether or not to love money above all things, including God.  You cannot serve two masters.

I'm suspecting that Limbaugh loves his money a little too much.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Talking Heads - Take me to the River 1980

Just filler material, I know.  I do like the song, however.

Closing the carbon loop ( repost )

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This one will be included in the off-the-grid series.


The following describes a process by which seawater will be used as an input.  There won't be seawater out in the desert, but this may be a way to process waste water.  Something to consider, anyhow.  Secondly, no ethanol will be needed on my farm/ranch.  Biodiesel may be nice.  There may be oil producing plants on the property or it may be possible to grow my own.  I want to use the fuel cell technology to make electricity and water, but I can also make biodiesel too, if I choose.

The original post follows immediately...

This is probably an incomplete thought, but so be it.  Time is limited.

As per last post, you could close the carbon loop by growing Algenol's ethanol producing algae.  Since Algenol's algae produces water, that could be used to grow a food like spirulina.  The spirulina can supply the ethanol producing algae with carbon dioxide.  How?  The harvested  spirulina  can be pyrolyzed and made into methanol and biochar.  The methanol is then reformed into hydrogen and carbon dioxide.  The hydrogen can be combined with the oxygen in the air to produce more water and electricity.  The carbon dioxide can go back into the Algenol mixture to make more ethanol.  Sunlight provides the energy to run the entire show.

Let's see:  input seawater--- outputs
  1. fresh water from two different sources
  2. ethanol
  3. biochar
  4. electricity
  5. surplus spirulina is a food source, so you've got that going for you too.
All of which are valuable and can be sold for profit.  The biochar can be a carbon sink.  There doesn't appear to be any waste.  The environment is left better than what is was before the products were produced.  What else can produce a product that improves the environment and creates a profit?


No brand name mentioned.  If it is just a dehumidifier, it works pretty much like an air conditioner.

Water filtration lab today, continued

Yes, I'm back at this again already.

No, the results aren't getting any better.  sigh.

Maybe I'll make a pic so that anyone who is interested can see what I'm doing.  As for now, I have to go do some chores.  But I'll be back.

As before, updates will be tagged on to this post.  I'll be doing this for most of the day.

Update ( 8:30 am ):

Another idea popped up.  This time, I will try using a column that stands several feet tall that will enable gravity to exert force on water and sand, forcing the water through.

For that purpose, I rigged up an old lamp that broke recently.  It has a long metal tube that I will use instead of PVC pipe.  I'll fill the tube with sand and pour the water in.  Let's see if it works better than this.

Just made a video for a summary of what I'm doing now:

Update ( approx 11 am ):

I ran the filtration test on some rather dirty water.  The results were not exactly clear water, but much improved over what went into the device.

I will have to break this down again and clean everything up so that it will be out of the way.  I figured I would do more experiments today, but this one has ended.  Not enough time.

Let's say the experiment was less than a success.  However, there is one more thing that I will try before moving on to another subject.  This project may continue next week or the week after.  Until then, signing off on the water filtration experiment.