Saturday, February 14, 2015

Recap of last week's posts: 2/14/15

Breakdown by category

                           this week      last week
videos and movies       5                 7
how to                        12                 6
sugar observation        0                  7
energy                         3                  1
politics                         8                 6
misc                             5                  2
space                           3                2
markets                       2               2
Seinfeld                       1               1
Basic Concepts           2                1
PHD                           3                3

The biggest change was in the number of how tos.   I'm feeling a little time pressure here.  No need for that though, it is only an exercise.

Off-Grid Living Experience - Day 1: No Electricity, Water or Gas

LDS Prepper

I've watched three videos now in this series.  There may be several more, and I will tend to them after writing this.  This video is the first, and then you can watch the rest if you are interested.


I did watch the rest, and here's the video summarizing his findings.


Some notes on the video before I forget about them:

  1. He used far more electricity than I thought was possible.  He was talking about 7 kwh per day.  That is a lot.
  2. He used an inverter that was far smaller than I would have thought he needed, yet he seemed to get away with that.
  3. Gasoline can keep for up to two years with stabilizer.  Interesting to know.
  4. He had a video on how to convert to natural gas.  Try to remember to watch it.
  5. He used more water for his garden than what I'd thought he would.

Let's grow some stuff

Starting off with a video on strawberries.

I'm going to troll through some videos and add links to them, if interesting enough.

Tomatoes.  If I can get yields like that ( 50-80 lbs per plant ), I may be able to sell some.

Now, for Growing Grapes.  The site that produces this should also get mentioned:  GrowOrganic Peaceful Valley .  There's enough here for a full education, so I'll stop here.

This post will go in the off-the-grid food subseries.

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If the GOP wants to win in 2016, they can

And the Democrats can't stop it.  It was written about recently, too.  What they could do is to get Michigan to opt out of the voting, and have the legislature select the electors to the electoral college.  Since Michigan is a blue state, that would move the electoral vote towards the GOP.  If Michigan isn't enough, you could also do Florida, Ohio and Nevada.  These are controlled by the GOP.

All of this would be quite legal.  There's nothing in the Constitution that says that the President is elected by popular vote.  It's done by the state legislatures and they have provided for this by having the people in the respective states vote for President.  The state legislatures can change this if they wish.

The Democrats will howl, but they cheat anyway.  The downside is that this may turn against the GOP in future years.

The day so far

As for my chores, I haven't even begun.  Well, none of them are high priority anyway.

I've been on the web for most of the day.

I ordered some tarps for my quadrangle concept posted just now.  That's a big step.  The next step is to buy the plastic covering and then the cattle panels.   The cattle panels will have to come last because they are so big.

I could do the plastic now, but I am going to wait.

The rest of the materials list can be purchased at the same time the cattle panels are purchased.  No big rush on this yet.

Rise and shine

Drop your pencils and grab your socks, or is it grab your pencils and drop your socks?  Oh, you know what I mean.

Lazy butt me just now getting up to scratch out a post for this here blog.

Today is supposed to be for some chores that can't get done any other day.  Now that I've remembered that, I can move on with other stuff that may make me forget.

As for all that lazy time, I was using it for thinking about my homestead.  Perhaps I can use it to make an income.  That is one of my concerns with going out there.  It must generate some type of income if I were to go earlier than my retirement age.

There's plenty of land to work, so there's the potential.  It would require some investments though.  I don't like investments, so the costs are going to have to be kept way, way down.

What I'm getting at is farming for sufficient food for sales.  For that, I will need water collection far beyond my most immediate needs.  I figure I can build a quonset hut quadrangle that would be over 1000 sq feet in coverage.  That means the quadrangle must be set up for water collection, and the quonsets must be greenhouses.  Could the entire area do both chores?   Possibly, but that runs into extra expense.

I was figuring maybe setting it up so that the chickens could have the inner sanctum, and the veggies could have the greenhouses.  There'd have to be some way to get some light into the area, though.  I haven't figured that one out yet.  I'd like to cover the quadrangle area with a cheap tarp that will capture the water when it rains.

I could set up the canopy inside the quadrangle as discussed before.It could be extended in size so as to cover most of the area inside.

The chickens would have the run of the inside of the quadrangle, but what protects them from birds of prey?  The quadrangle will have to be covered, but with what?  Perhaps a chicken tractor would be best after all.  It is the smallest structure and it will protect the birds.  You can keep the area open to the sky, but you still need to capture the water, doggone it.

The cattle panels can be stacked on top of some type of vertical support so that they can be laid down horizontally.  That can open the area to the birds again without a chicken tractor.  It would require a lot of cattle panels, though.  I think 14 of them would do the job.  Two lengthwise, and 7 side by side would make about a 1000 square foot area.  A tarp could be placed on top of the panels when rain threatens, and that would collect the rainwater.

The cattle panels can be secured to the quonsets with a system of ropes that would span the open area of the quadrangle.  The panels can lie on top of the ropes and then the tarps can be placed on top of the panels.

There will be a natural sag in the middle.  This is where the rainwater can be drained into a container.

To do this all would require 28 panels for the quonsets, and the additional 14 for the quadrangle.  That's 42 cattle panels.  Nearly a thousand buckos, compadre.  I can get the tarps cheap, I think.  Come to think of all this again, maybe I don't buy greenhouse plastic at all.  Just use the open area for farming as well as for chickens.  Now, that's an idea.

Now, for the rest of the construction.  I've covered that before, but I may be changing those plans again.


A new version of the quadrangle.  It will utilize cinder blocks and forgo the use of pallets.


Costs and links:

Need 7 cattle panels  @ 19.99 each             140
Need 24   cinder blocks @ 1.50 each              36
Need 31 2x4x8' wood   @ 3.00 each               93
Need 7 4x8 plywood @ 25.00 each               175
Need 4 more for doors                                   100
Hardware nails, screws, hinges , latches etc.      50

subtotal quonset part each quonset                 594
times 4                                                        2376
quadrangle parts:
 Need  plastic sheets   @ 2400 sq ft              150
tarps                                                              100
rope                                                                20
sub total                                                         270

total for all                                                $2694

This goes into the off-the-grid construction subseries.

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Home again, 2/13/15

Today was supposed to be an unlucky day.  But I made it through the day okay.  That's not guaranteed ever, but even less so as time marches on.  Eventually, it catches up with you.

I want to take this opportunity, while I'm thinking about it, to do some needed chores tomorrow.  I know what they are, so there.  I'd better know.

Most of my free time was spent thinking about making a change to my quadrangle plans.  It seems that I can't get anything finalized.  Always wanting to change things around.

Never did figure out how to give access to the inner sanctum and to the individual quonsets at the same time.

One idea is to make a small quonset that lines up with some big ones, but perpendicular to it.  You may have to make two--- one on the inside of the ring, and one on the outside of the ring.  I'll have to do a drawing in order to visualize it.

A short pause....

Now that I've finished drawing it, I have a solution.  Make a box that connects the with doors of the two quonsets, and opens up to the quadrangle with another door.  That would mean the box has a door on each side of it.  It must be covered in order to make it secure against the coyotes.

Drat it.  It won't let me add the drawing to this post.  Okay, I've spent enough time trying, so let's get this posted and move on.

Quick Update:

I forgot to mention that I've decided I may go with pallets after all.  See what I mean?

A lesson from a wasp and a tarantula

Back when I was a college freshman, I recall reading a short essay about how a certain species of wasp could overcome a tarantula and use it to sustain its young until it finished growing.

What struck me about it was how the tarantula refused to response aggressively to the wasps aggressive probing.  The wasp needed to correctly identify the tarantula, as a certain species of tarantula was required for its purposes.  So, the tarantula allowed the wasp to "check it out" rather intimately as opposed to saving itself from the attack.  Mind you, the tarantula wasn't helpless.  It was plenty able to defend itself from the wasp, if only it would, it could live.  But it mindlessly allowed the wasp to probe every part of its body until the wasp was satisfied the tarantula was fit for consumption.  Only when the things got serious at the end, and the wasp set out to sting the tarantula did the tarantula begin to defend itself.  Ah, but too late.  The wasp stings the tarantula and immobilizes it, but doesn't kill it.  Then wasp lays its egg and the egg hatches and eats the tarantula alive while it grew to adulthood.

The essay asks the obvious question as to why the tarantula acted so stupidly.

There may not be an answer to that one, as both creatures were probably about equally as intelligent.

But as people, we are expected to learn from experience of our lives, and also from others.  For a person or a nation to allow itself to be probed aggressively by an enemy is hard to understand.  But such things happen all the time.  Even when a nation is alert, it can still yield its secrets to an aggressive adversary.  I remember reading about such stories in a book about the KGB.  Some of its exploits affect US relations with Europe to the this very day.  To be lax in such an environment that always exists in one form or another in international statecraft, is to invite aggression.  In my opinion, we have been increasingly stupid in this way since about the time of the Nixon administration.  It's not getting better.

The conclusion should not need discussion.

Pallets or no pallets, that is the question

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This post will go in the off-the-grid construction subseries.

After some consideration, the idea of using pallets may have to go out the window.  It is going to be difficult to nail to a board and then place on a concrete block while keeping it all perfectly aligned.  Since I don't like things to get too complicated, I'll just use thicker plywood for the floor and more 2x4's for added strength.

Here's a crude drawing and a materials list.  I didn't run any cost estimates this time.  It may save some money to use tarps.  I located some on sale yesterday, and they could be cheaper than using that greenhouse plastic.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Home again, 2/12/15

Well, hello there.  You know something?  I get the feeling that I am talking to myself when I write this stuff.  It is reminiscent of the movie Castaway, where the Tom Hanks character is talking to a volleyball.

No, it isn't quite that bad.

This is something I'll have to remember, because I don't know who or what is reading this blog and why.

Anyway, I'll carry on as before.

With that, I turn to what was on my mind all day, which was setting up my homestead.  That has indeed been on my mind lately, as the time runs short on the need to make a final decision about moving out there.

Water is critical in that determination.  If you've got water, you can grow things.   If you can grow things, you can feed yourself.

So, water is on the brain today.  I think I came up with a plan that will work.  I will build a little trough that goes on each side of the quonset, and use the same plastic that is covering it in order to line the trough so that it can capture rain water as it comes off the quonset.  With a trough that can be as deep as a foot, I could store a bunch of water that could keep me going for weeks depending upon how much rain does fall.

Working the calcs:

For every 100 square feet, the potential is to capture 6.2 gallons of water per every one tenth of an inch of rain.  The surface are planned for the smallest quonset will be 128 square feet.  Run the numbers on that and get 7.94 gallons for every tenth.  Now, if the trench is 16 feet long and 1 foot deep and 1 foot wide, that computes to 16 cubic feet of water that can be captured.  With 7.48 gallons for every cubic foot, the trench of this size can capture  nearly 120 gallons of water.  With one on each side, that is 240 gallons possible.  You'd need nearly 3 inches of rain to overfill it.  That is very unlikely.  For 3 quonsets, I could conceivably collect 720 gallons of water if it waters no more than 3 inches.  It averages an inch a month out there, so on the the average I'd collect 240 gallons per month.  That's 8 gallons per day.  Four gallons for me, and four for my critters and plants.  If I needed more, I could just build out more.

I am going to add this to my off-the-grid water subseries because it is a final design on the subject of water from the quonsets.

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Johnny Cash - Big Rock Candy Mountain

There's this big hill that you have to pass by in order to get to my property.  As a joke, I call it The Big Rock Candy Mountain.  It's a place where I'm going in order to make my dreams come true.

Is it real, or just a fantasy?  We'll see.

The Republican Party is not your friend

Good article.  Saw it on Ace and link to it here.  Go read it if you have the time.

Waking up to smell the rotten eggs

Breathing deep....  Ah, isn't it lovely?

Well, time for the good old habit of viewing the news on the net.  Obama and his minions want to regulate the internet.  I suppose I may have them on my ass before it is all over.  Are they going to tell me what I can write?

Moving on, I notice that some Southern girl is a liberal who just can't take it anymore, or so she claims.  Funny how liberals try to come off as reasonable people in an unreasonable world when so many of them act like members of a herd of dumb animals.  They are read off their hymn books and say the same things.  It's amazing.  Do any of these people have the capacity to think for themselves?  If this is any indication, the answer to that question is no.  Note:  I only got through about half her piece.  I couldn't take it anymore.

The liberals must be worried about Scott Walker.  They are in swarm attack mode now.  We may learn more about Scott Walker in the coming weeks than we know about Obama after 8 years.

Obama is seeking the authorization to use force on ISIS.  What a guy.  He runs and wins on the issue of military force used in Iraq, and now wants to go use force in Iraq.  All the liberals still love the guy.  Go figure.  They must love death and destruction after all.  I'm disillusioned.

We hear about the Democrats wanting to boycott Netanyahu's speech before Congress.  I did a check and found most of them are black Congresscritters, or hard core lefties.  Ought to tell somebody something.

Well, so far, this is what I'm seeing out there.  I'll keep trolling the news and telling you about it if I find anything else that I think may be of interest.  Maybe I'll sing the Laugh-in song about the news just for kicks.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Home again, 2/11/15

I should've gotten home quicker than this, but that last one, I wasn't at all efficient.  At least it was at the end of the day when it really didn't matter except for when you get home.

Today, I got an answer to the email I sent about the snow bully device.  It sounds like it would be a long shot to be able to use it in the way I envision.  Perhaps I should save my money, huh?  I may ask some more questions, I don't know yet.

Also today:  I asked a young guy about the truth table thing.  He didn't know what one was.  My explanation of it sucked.  I should've drawn a picture.  A picture is worth a thousand words.  He said he knew some other guys at school that he could ask, and I said I would be curious to hear what they said.

You can probably google it.  I did! I did!  ( tweety bird voice )

Here's a video that explains it, but it is screwed up at the end.  It wouldn't have been the way I explained it though, because she is coming from another direction with it.  The way I learned it was from a mathematical point of view.  There were no "if-then-" constructs according to the way I learned it.  There were Boolean Operators.  It's probably not a bad explanation, but the screw up at the end makes it a bit hard to get her point.  I'm not clear after the first time through how this if-then- construct works.  In a programming language, you executed an instruction if the "if" part is true.  Otherwise, you can test another condition called the "else", and if that's true, then execute it.

I told the young fellow that it was a combination of two things taken two at a time.  Which is probably wrong, but hell. It was 40 years ago.  I'm getting it mixed up with probability and statistics.

Basically, you have a condition that is either true or false.  If you have 2 conditions to test against each other, then there are 4 combinations of results depending upon the operator.  An "exclusive or" operator works like this:  If a or b is true, then the result is true.
otherwise, it is false.  That means if both are true, or both are false, the result is false.

It looks like this, where "0" equals false, and "1" equals true.  ( the way a computer represents it )

a         b       result
0         0         0
0         1         1
1         0         1
1         1         0

The significance of the exclusive or operator is that you can do addition with it.  If you add ( in base 2) 0 and 1, you get 1, otherwise you get a zero.  When both are 1, there's a carry, which goes into the bit to the left.

Wishbone dropped in on the conversation, and he was confounded by it all.

Welcome to the wonderful world of computers!  Bwah, hah, hah!


Since this is a Seinfeld post, or a post about nothing in particular, I add that SpaceX will not attempt the landing of the first stage today.  Since the rocket has already blasted off, this has already not happened.  shucks.

Also, while reading Instapundit, I note that there's a company developing the molten-salt reactor and it is in the USA.  Well, dog my cats, ain't that the dangest thing!  I confused it with the Canadian firm that's doing something quite similar.

Update ( next morning):

SpaceX did a successful soft landing on the ocean itself.  Says it was vertical.  That one got by me.  Oh, well.

Update ( yeah, I know ) :

I should also mention that SpiderFab is making progress---see NBF link above.  A large space sail could be made using a one of these.  With some additional planning, you may even mine an asteroid with one.

"The Lid": A Jew And A Catholic Were Invited To Congress

No kidding. Really.: A Jew and a Catholic went to Congress kind of sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it is what will be played out over the next few month...


Actually, it may well be a joke, and the joke is on you.

Mission to Olympus Mons

Idea: to use JP Aerospace's ideas to reach the Martian surface using an airship.  Olympus Mons is an extinct volcano on Mars.

This may not be new, by the way.  It's getting a big late in the workday cycle, so I don't have time nor the inclination to look it up.  I do know that I checked out the capability of airships to survive at Martian reentry velocities.  This capability may already exist with the materials available now.  The big problem is putting together a big airship out there millions of miles from Earth.  You'd have to assemble either on the surface, or in space itself.  It would have to be done by machine, as sending humans out there doesn't exist at this time.

Anyway, there's been a lot of posts on JP's page lately.  He's experimenting with rocket motors.  He wouldn't need this on the way down, but the way back up, he'll need to reach orbital velocity.  If that can be accomplished, you'd have a cheap transportation mode from the Mars surface and back.

I was figuring Olympus Mons because of the thinner atmosphere.  It would be 12% of the surface pressure, so that would make a thin atmosphere even thinner.  Presumably, that could help with the airships.  Or maybe not.  The thing about this mountain is the sheer size of the thing.  It nearly would cover France, it is so large in area.  It is flat enough to land on it, I presume.  So, you could establish a Dark Sky station near the surface of this thing, and then another ship that could travel around near the surface.   Same model as with Earth, but modified somewhat for the different operational conditions.

Given that Mars has an atmosphere that is already as thin as what would be at the Dark Sky Stations envisioned for Earth, this step may be unnecessary.  But being up that high and on firm ground may offer some advantages.

There'd have to be some reconnaissance missions to determine a suitable landing site.  It would be a major undertaking, no question about it.

A tentative rainfall capture plan

If the snow bully can work like I want, I can line the trench out with concrete blocks mortared together and topped around with more bricks.  This will give a shallow pool that will hold about 120 gallons of water.  The rain running off from the quonsets and canopy would be diverted to it.  It would be a project that is doable in a reasonable amount of time, and would cost maybe a hundred bucks.  The bricks are available for about a buck and a quarter and it would take a bunch of them, and probably a couple trips with the van.  I'd have to buy in El Paso and bring them to da Ranch.

The pool's top will be about  7 inches above the ground, so the quonsets are going to have to be higher than this, so that the water can drain down.  I also have a plan for this.  It uses the pallets too, but also uses concrete blocks and two by fours inserted between them with the pallets placed on top.  This will be more expensive, but it will stand higher and give a wind break for the canopy.


This is much too complex.  I'll go mickey mouse and just nail together 4 2x4x8's together to make the shallow pool.  Line it with a tarp, and put something heavy on it to hold it down.  Pump the water out when the rain stops.

This will now go into the off-the-grid water subseries.

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Oil as a weapon in a proxy war that could have global repercussions

How Russia Plans To Retaliate For The Saudi-Driven Collapse In Oil

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Home again, 2/10/15

Never left home today, so the title is wrong.  But I usually write something about this time, so I'll write something now.

Most of my afternoon was spent reading the latter part of the novel Huck Finn.  What struck me is that by banning the novel, it does two things.  It keeps people from getting upset about the n-word, but even more than that, the contents would be upsetting to most people in a couple of ways.  One way would be the biting commentary.  It isn't all about race.  It is also about the rather base way people can behave.

It isn't just the "bad" people.  The "good" people are too gullible.  Nobody gets by easy in this novel, no matter how you read it.  That's probably why it is banned.  Nobody wants realism these days.

Changing the subject a bit, I sent in an email about the snow bully.  I am hopeful that this can be used to move dirt out on "da Ranch".  It could be a real handy tool for that purpose, and the cost isn't too unreasonable.

You might be amazed at how much water can be captured and stored temporarily in a shallow trench.  I could divert the water from the roof of the quonsets and the canopy into one of these trenches, and then pump it out for use later.   It doesn't have to be perfectly clean water in order for me to use it.  This solution could be real handy and cheap.

Huckleberry Finn: Why the lynching bee failed

Some remarkable and probably quite accurate commentary on human nature.

People looking for better behavior ought to consult this chapter and reflect upon what it really means, for it is probably the truth about people.

"Do I know you? I know you clear through was born and raised in the South, and I've lived in the North; so I know the average all around. The average man's a coward.---from Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn

The mob had come to lynch Sherburn, but they didn't have the grit to do the job.  That's because the people who had come were just average.  There wasn't a man in the bunch.

The truth is that we are losing the country and not a real man out there to stand up and lynch the rascals responsible for this.  That's the bottom line.

Am I advocating lynching?  No.  But the way people talk are just like what Twain is pointing out.  There's nobody out there who will lead it, so they'll just talk it up, because they are just cowards themselves.  If they ever did do anything, it wouldn't be done properly, and it would most likely fail.  There's nobody who could do this who will do this.  That's the bottom line.


Been reading the rest of Huck Finn.  I came across something there that I thought I'd share.  It figures in with the observation that money corrupts, and it corrupts that which we cannot afford to have corrupted, which is the church.  Twain noted that farmer preachers were a pretty good lot.  It had to be because they weren't about money:

He was the innocentest, best old soul I ever see. But it warn't surprising; because he warn't only just a farmer, he was a preacher, too, and had a little one-horse log church down back of the plantation, which he built it himself at his own expense, for a church and schoolhouse, and never charged nothing for his preaching, and it was worth it, too. There was plenty other farmer-preachers like that, and done the same way, down South.

To clean up the church, they'll have to get away from money.

The Snow Bully

This little contraption may be useful in moving dirt, too.  I hope so.  If I can remove a lot of dirt easily, I can make a little pool to collect water when it rains.  That's the idea, anyway.

Where to buy:

"A Republic, if you can keep it"

That's the answer to the question posed to old Ben Franklin right after the Constitution was drafted.  He was asked what kind of government had they just created, and that was his answer.

We kept it for a long time, but we are definitely losing it.

What is the cause?  What it has always been, and that is the evil that is within men.  In order to check these impulses, we had developed a culture that could check such evil.  That culture is being destroyed and replaced by one that will not support the current system, and because of this, it must fall and will fall.

It happened that way with the Romans.  The Romans had their checks and balances too.  Maybe not as systematic as ours, but they had them.  They had a check against the classes: they had tribunes and laws.  What brought it all down?  Perhaps you can blame Caesar for that, and you may be right in doing so.  Highly ambitious and capable men like the Caesars won't be satisfied with the constraints imposed upon them by such impediments such as the rule of law and checks and balances.  They will break through the constraints and destroy the safeguards of the Republic.  Such was the case during the Roman Era.  Such will also be the case in America.  Indeed, it has already happening and is continuing to happen to this very day.

In order to have a balance, somebody has to be willing to supply the check.  You might say that the check is in the mail, because the opposition has mailed it in.

We will follow the Romans unless we learn from history.  The track record for that isn't too good, though. Killing off a Caesar isn't going to work now any better than it worked then.  The thing has to be nipped in the bud at an early stage.  It is like cancer that spreads.  But we are pretty far along that path already.  The prognosis is not good.  Since the culture has changed so much, one can only dream of a better day when the culture would be the bulwark of the Republic.  This culture has probably passed the point of no return.  The coup de grace may come with the Supreme Court ruling on same sex marriage.  Same sex marriage may be the straw that will break the camel's back.  It doesn't seem like much, but it may as well be a mountain.  A house divided against itself cannot stand.

If the culture isn't too far gone, it may be restored.  Once restored, the checks and balances could be strengthened.  One that I am fond of was the tradition once employed amongst the early statesmen in the late Republic.  It was the refusal to run a campaign on one's own initiative.  One had to be "called upon" in order to serve.  It wasn't formally in the law, but it should be considered as a law because it is this very thing that goes down in a culture before all the rest goes subsequently later.  It is the cancer cell that starts to metastasize.  As cancer grows within a body, so will such a cancer grow within the body politic.  Just as that cancer destroy life, so will go the Republic when ambitious men like the Caesars are no longer are restrained by the rule of law.

The drudgery of writing

It begins to seem like burnout.  Not too long ago, maybe just a couple weeks, I decided to get more content by writing whatever comes to mind.  But I can't stick with it.  Maybe it seems like too much work, I don't know.  Couldn't stick with it.

I'm censoring a lot of my thoughts. Another thought is rumbling around my cranium at the moment and that is about the "expected" decision from the Supreme Court on same-sex marriage.  It struck me that conservatives have already forgotten why Roe v Wade was bad law.  This new finding of a "right" that has never been mentioned before in the Constitution is a amazingly similar to Roe.  Yet, if the reports are right, the Court is going to do exactly what it did in 1973.  So, what have the last 40 years been about, anyway?  The Court is about as conservative as it is going to get, but they cannot overturn this?  It is so depressing that I couldn't write about it.

So it goes.

It leads me to believe that this society is like an aged person about to die.  The mind goes first before the body does.  The people at the top have lost their minds, there's no question about that in mine.  Maybe this country is just too doggone old, and has become collectively senile.

Picking up where I left off

The last post was about using a plow to remove a lot of dirt so that it can be used for collecting water.

Given my experience with digging out there at "da Ranch", I figured a labor saving device was in order.  This could be the ticket.  What I need to do is to scrape away about 4 inches of topsoil, and then build a shallow pond in the depression.  The depression will be lined with cinder blocks and reinforced concrete.  It will have to be a shallow layer of concrete, and it will take a lot of the stuff.  So, I may need another labor saving device if I am going to do this in a reasonable amount of time.  This would be a concrete mixer.  How to get it out there, though?

Rainwater will drain off the quonset huts into the shallow pond, and then be collected into a barrel or two for use around the place.

As for getting out there, I priced a plane ticket to fly out to El Paso.  It said 421 bucks for a round trip and a car.  If I went, I'd have to take a day off from work and do it over the weekend.  It would take a whirlwind of activity to do everything I need to do, so I don't know if I could do it all.

You have to make time to do these things, and you also have to spend a lot of freaking money.  Time and money is in short supply, unfortunately.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Mr. Plow

Homer couldn't have done it better himself.

Home again, 2/9/15

And mighty happy to be home, yes indeedy.

Something that I was just thinking about here.  I saw on a website where someone believes that truth tables are not being taught anymore.  Well, I don't know if that's true or not, but if it is, it is really bad news.  That's because truth tables are part of computer science 101.  It is very basic stuff for those of us who work with computers.  If you don't know truth tables, you really don't know how computers work.

What is that you say?  Well, computers are based upon logic.  Everything that takes place inside a computer involves the electrical representation of the numbers 0 and 1.  These are designated as false and true respectively.  It so happens that you can construct the entire machine around that very fact.  That's how they did it.  If you don't know that, how can you know how a computer works?  It's why it was in computer science 101, and I know, because I was a computer science major.

Now, if they don't teach this anymore to computer science majors, then they aren't teaching them anything at all.  It's like teaching auto mechanics to somebody without showing them the difference between water and gasoline.  If you don't know the difference, then how can you know how a car works?  Truth tables are to computers what gasoline is to cars.  Or to put it more exactly, the knowledge of gasoline is to cars what the knowledge of truth tables are to computers.  It's what runs the show.

So, if they aren't teaching this to computer science students, it's like teaching auto mechanics to somebody without telling them that they need gasoline to run an engine.  If you don't know that you need gasoline to run your car, you are in a bit of trouble.  Although you can certainly drive a car without knowing anything about gasoline, it might be better if you did know a little about it.  Like, don't throw gasoline on a fire, for example.

In the case of computers, you might want to remember to keep the thing plugged in.  Once it loses power, it can lose everything in its "memory".  That "memory" depends upon logic, which in turn depend upon truth tables.  Someone may ask the question, without knowing this fact, that computers should be able to retain their memory even if you turn it off.  Some of them do, sure.  But how do they do that?  It's all related to logic, electricity, and some engineering.  But without the logic, the electricity would be useless.

You have to know that in order to know how your computer works.  It's not necessary for everybody to know, but if nobody knows, you've got big problems.

John 3:20

This is a quick post, so excuse me if there is an error.

I have wondered why this blog isn't popular.  Could this be the reason?  Note:  Let me be a bit vain here.  I try to find the truth, and report it.  Nobody seems interested.  Either my interpretation is wrong, and therefore untruthful, or I am right.  If I am right, then why don't people come to the light?

"This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.  "For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.   "But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."

Am I wrong, or not?  Nobody challenges me.  I just get ignored.

The Rise and Fall of the Parties

Jay Cost, The Weekly Standard

Voters tend to toss incumbent parties out of the White House when the economy sours, and prior to that point they tend to favor the opposition for the rest of the electoral offices. These forces combined to rout the GOP in 2008. It is now the Democrats’ turn to worry about their inevitable fall from grace. Maybe they can delay it past 2016, but it is coming.
The analysis seems to indicate that voters are a pretty skeptical lot over time.  They may appear to be stupid, but the long term trends indicate otherwise.  Eventually, the bums that need to be thrown out are thrown out.

Too optimistic?  Maybe.  The analysis isn't my preference.  It's like we have no control over it at all.  It cycles whichever way it's going to cycle.

Paging Honest Abe

"Central Banks Have To Keep Fooling All Of The People All Of The Time"

Stock Buybacks Are Killing the American Economy


If business leaders hope to maintain broad public support for business, they must acknowledge that the purpose of the corporation is not to enrich the few, but to benefit the many.---Nick Hanauer

That quote sounds socialistic to me.  No, the purpose of the corporation is to make money.  Don't get me wrong, though.  I am for more regulations for corporations.  For me though, corporations tend to snuff out the little guy.  Corporations tend to do things like eliminate jobs, not create them.  Generally speaking, I am not critical of this piece, but I am suspicious of what the motivations are behind it.  If all they did was to bring the rules back to 1982, with respect to stock buybacks, I'd say that's not too bad of a thing.  It may be helpful, but I don't think that it is a panacea for all that ails us, like what this piece seems to be claiming.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Next Big Future: Full scale mach 5.5 cruising Sabre engine on track for 2019

High priority has been set for this program.  Good show, old boy.

Movement led by sheep

American Thinker, Robert Weissberg

today’s pusillanimity among conservatives occurs by omission – dogs that do not bark
Or just a bunch of limp dicks.

Cleaning up the joint

The place is a mess, so I've had to spend some time cleaning it up.  Like everything else, there's limited time, and that includes time for clean up.  It has been neglected, because other things seemed to be more important.  What changed that estimate so that I wanted to clean it up?

Well, I'd rather not say.

I've got one more thing to do, and then I will be through with this chore.

But there are other things.  So many things to do, so little time.

Energy from Thorium, was it a dream after all?

Just now, I pulled up all my posts on the subject of Thorium, and I noticed that a lot of the videos are now gone.  Why is that?  Why would such valuable information sent into the memory hole?

I suppose that they were replaced.  I should hope that they were replaced.

Frankly, I got away from the subject myself because there's little I can do about it.  Instead, I've focused on things that I think that I can do, like homesteading.

Here's an update from a few months ago.  I don't suppose things have gotten any better.  In fact, I'd say the news from the energy front have gotten worse.  Fracking won't make us energy independent.

Nuclear Power for Australia - Our Nuclear Responsibilities - Ben Heard

gordonmcdowell youtube

Comparing and contrasting one English speaking country with another with respect to carbon footprint.  One uses coal, the other uses nuclear power.  Nuclear power wins that comparison hands down.

It's All In The Game - Tommy Edwards

The following fact should be in Ripley's Believe it or Not.  The music for this song was written by Calvin Coolidge's Vice President, according to Dick Morris.  Charles G. Dawes also won a Nobel Peace Prize, but not for this song.

SpaceX will attempt a first stage landing tonight

Looks like the mission is a go as of this writing.  It will deploy a satellite that will go to the solar LaGrange point, and look out for solar storms.  Meanwhile, the first stage will make an attempted landing on the barge.

Should be interesting.  The launch is scheduled for sunset, according to the news source.


Launch has been scrubbed.  No definite word, but it may be a telemetry problem.

Cell phone boosters

Looking into this as a possibility to remain online with the same phone service.

There's a big risk that buying one of these things won't work.  What I've found is that signals are directional.  If the signal isn't pointing your way, then you are S.O.L.