Sunday, November 11, 2012

DIY Canned Food Self-Rotating Shelf Instructions

Nicely done. A little more planning and measuring would make it perfect, but for a quick down and dirty shelf, this is great. I think you could make something like this out of a recycled pallet too.

Opportunity Costs of Government

One of the hidden costs of government is opportunity costs. That is, money spent on government can't be spent elsewhere. Money taken from you means you can't invest that money in your own future. Just as when a politician shows you a warship or a person who has benefited from taxpayer money, they can't show you the people (or won't show you) that have been unable to pursue their dreams because of the cost of government.

This site lets you calculate how much government will REALLY cost you over time.

sPreserving Freedom: Gary Johnson Interviewed on Your World with Neil Cavuto

Preserving Freedom: Gary Johnson Interviewed on Your World with Neil Cavuto

I promised my mother-in-law I'd look up this interview. It's also a good opportunity for me to link to someone else' blog.

Despite all my previous posts, and hyperlinks, I hadn't linked this way before.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Trampoline Greenhouse

There's the link to turn a trampoline into a greenhouse.
I had asked myself what you could do with a trampoline. I see them for free on Craigslist fairly often. I imagine most of them are picked up by scrappers who get $10-25 dollars for the frame. It seems an awful waste of worked metal. I hadn't really put any thought into it before, but I want to build a green house and have some old sliding glass doors and lumber that I'm going to repurpose. The plastic cover method doesn't seem workable for the extreme sunlight and wind I get in my area, but hopefully the idea inspires someone.

Why do people give them away? I imagine people moving just don't want to take them down, or the kids outgrow them, and I know pediatricians recently came out saying trampolines are unsafe for children (darn killjoys! how do you learn to be prudent without hurting yourself or watching your friends hurt themselves?) I also know that trampolines are considered an attractive nuisance by insurance companies, so perhaps there are landlords and banks giving them away when renters or homeowners vacate the premises. I think there may have been one left on my a property during my 15 years as a property manager.

In any case, maybe you can get a frame cheap or free these days, and put up a greenhouse quickly and grow some food later.

Anyone else have any good greenhouse ideas? Or if you want to do an improvised Amish greenhouse raising with me in the CA high desert, email me, and I'll help you in return. Or maybe help you up-front if you're just about ready to go. :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Knowledge is Power--Here's a site to increase yours

Stack exchange has a number of experts across different field of geeky topics like electronics, computers, photography. I haven't had time to do a lot of browsing, but I've bookmarked it and plan to spend some time perusing it.


How did we come to this?

 A friend recently asked me:
How did we come to this?

It's been a slow spiritual journey that started with questioning God's Commandment, "Though shalt not covet ..."

Just as the Serpent taught Eve to question God regarding the fruit, our society has been taught to question God's law about covetousness. We've been told that it's good to covet the possessions and wealth of those who are millionaires. Than we can covet the possessions of those who are $250,000-aires.

Once you covet another man's possessions, it's a short step to stealing them, and if he resists, then it's a short step to killing him to take those possessions. This is especially true if we can tell ourselves that we're doing it for “a good cause”. Who can't think of someone more deserving of money than “that greedy millionaire”. So, in our own pride, we've supplanted God's Law with our own judgment as to what is right. We take it upon ourselves to supplant God with Man.

All of the Commandments are tied together. For as we are made in God's image, to sin against another man is to sin against God. But as it is evil for a rich man to forgo charity, it is equally evil for us to exalt ourselves to the position of God, or deem ourselves more knowing than God, and say to the rich man, “We are going to take your money by force and distribute it as we see fit, for we are higher than God and we know better than God how to allocate that money. God made a mistake when he allowed you to have it, and we are here to fix God's mistakes”
Do you think people that have already told themselves they are smarter than God, and more fair than God, will hesitate to disobey any other commandments? To justify covetousness, is to justify theft, and to justify murder. Just as Jesus said to lust after another man's wife is adultery in your heart, and hating a man in your heart is murder, once you covet in your heart you've committed the theft. Once you convince yourself to hate the millionaire, you've justified his murder in your heart.

But at the heart of the matter is lack of faith in the principles of God's Word; an unbelief that what is written is true.

If you're not a Christian, I'll quote Yoda “Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

This fear of not having enough leads both the greedy and the covetous to sin. But neither groups' sin excuses the other.

Eventually, we end up in a society where everyone is using legal means to keep their temporal possessions or take those possessions from someone else and we lose sight of the spiritual truths as our focus is drawn to rest squarely on the physical And when we're only looking at our physical well-being, the spiritual withers and dies. Once we lose our faith in God, and put man, or government on God's throne we've lost the spiritual battle. And once that happens, everything evil is possible.

 Of course, that's a shortcut.

Monday, November 5, 2012

This is another excuse post for not writing.

Where have I been?

Here's the story.

In mid-April, I entered escrow to sell my 4 bedroom mobile home and be out in Mid-June.
I got things moved into two storage units, in anticipation of taking a 2 week trip to see a close relative who was not expected to make it through the year. We spent a great fourth of July together, and I enjoyed my time with a lot of my family for the annual gathering.
One month later, she died.
After I came back in mid-July, I reached an agreement for deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure on my commercial property, and my time gone and my property tax payment on the 4 bedroom house had basically depleted all my savings. So I started selling off a lot of my heavy possessions and projects to finance a move to a nearby rental property.
All I can say is that God was gracious and things worked out pretty well, though there were some minor hiccups. I got the rental paid for in September, and spent a month paying rent on two places for October.
I'm paying the bills by God's grace, even after hurting my back and getting sick.

I have to start the gardening over again, as I left my mulch, manure, and compost behind. The new house is in a tract, is fairly new, and the soil has been subexcavated 3' per building code, and the soil is just plain dirt.

Things are a juggle of posting on Ebay and Craigslist--selling more of my stuff. I find the sales are about equal to a $10/hour job as I don't spend any money on gas.

Wish you all liberty and grace.
Especially in light of the dependency on FEMA and other government agencies during the Sandy debacle (remind anyone of Katrina?), here's a link to free downloadable books on "prepping" or, as my scouting troop leader might have called it, "Being Prepared".

If you have a smartphone you can even download the articles to it, and charge it with a hand crank charger.

Here's a link to one at Amazon (I don't make any money on the links, just trying to save you, the reader some time)

And you can even check out Ebay.

If anyone has a handcrank charger they recommend, or one they hate, please let us know.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mental Preparedness

Good article on situational awareness, how to spot potential conflict, avoid conflict, and engage if necessary.

This is also how, I went about riding motorcycles after I was taken out on my first road bike after 3 weeks of ownership.

Quote from Gulag Archipelago

“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?... The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If...if...We didn't love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation.... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”
― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

OK, You Know I'll Get a Fatwah for Posting This

Another Something Borrowed

I claim no ownership, but it made me think.
I am also being just a bit lazy.
Go to

Assault on Small Farmers

This is a link to my FB conversation with a bunch of links to assaults on small farming operations.

For those not aware, there have been  a number of assaults on farming freedom this year. The government has decided what you can eat and drink, or at least what you CAN'T eat and drink. The USDA and FDA have been doing a good job of protecting large agricultural businesses.

There's been a big push to have farm workers get commercial licenses and prevent minors from working on farms.

The government will confiscate your money without trial if you don't make your deposits the way they want.

This is just a link to a short piece of history in Romania regarding the centralization of farms under the communists.

A link to Lew Rockwell and Polyface Farms. Basic lessons in organic farming.

And in addition to the raw milk bans, Michigan's Department of Natural Resources has banned certain types of pigs--the ones that BigAg don't use--and using armed SWAT-type raids to force farmers to kill all their pigs. Really?

Sorry this post is so disjointed. I'm so mad. If you don't have the freedom to grow and eat what you choose, you don't have the most basic freedom to live. The assaults on micro-agriculture in the last year has been insane, if not downright evil.

Other cities have banned gardens, often using code enforcement to get rid of composting bins.

So it seems the government is intent on making us dependent on large farms and food processors. Will there be a day when we get nothing but the FDA-approved equivalent of pink slime?

I've heard the arguments of "It's just farmers who sell their stuff" and "It won't be used against individuals" but who could really believe that when government agencies have such a huge and documented history of overreach?

Maybe we can all eat the FDA-approved gruel-like-substance that looks like that stuff from "The Matrix".

Friday, April 20, 2012

DIY solar hot water heater

Here's something that's pretty cool. I didn't do it, and the final version has about $500 in materials plus time, so, It's about half of some commercial units available, but it's a nice example of things you can do.

If you use less expensive materials, you could get away with spending less money, but read the article and see why he used what he did.

Bishop Jenky's Homily and Godwin's Rule

Godwin's Rule

The above links give the full text of Bishop Jenky's homily of April 14, 2012. In it, the Bishop Jenky points out certain parallel's of Obama's Administration and those of Hitler and Stalin where it comes to freedom to practice religion.

Jenky points out that all three are willing to tolerate the existence of churches, but not their interference with the state.

Go, take some time to read it.

FWIW, in the interest of disclosure, I'm not Catholic.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ok, I'm a little late for tax day

This year, I actually got my taxes done early.
I'm in the process of taking myself out of the ownership cycle in the American economy.
For those who don't know, if you get foreclosed on, the bank can issue you a 1099 for their loss, which the IRS views as income. I may end up with a very large tax bill and no real way to pay it, and what property I do own isn't worth seeing sold off. So I'm liquidating.
I spent way too much time and money on rentals, to the point it's all but bankrupted me. I am selling leftover materials, tools, car parts, and things I've collected over the years to help pay the bills. As a bonus, my place is really getting cleaned up, and I'm meeting some nice people. I'm also meeting a bunch of bargain hunters who are rude and a waste of time, but with the economy down, I know to expect it.
I was up last night considering how it's actually impossible to own any property. With property taxes due every year, Americans are little more than share croppers for the Federal Reserve. If you didn't know, all real estate is pledged as collateral to the Federal Reserve in exchange for the printing of the debt notes known as dollars.
Now your travel may be curtailed if you don't pay the IRS what they claim you owe them. So, not only can you not truly own any property, but you are chattel on it, for the federal government.
 With all the recent scandals, it should be apparent to anyone how corrupt and unconcerned many government employees are. I experienced this while working in a couple government positions. Employees were unconcerned with how they treated government property. They also knew how hard it would to be fired once they passed probation. So, the GSA, SS, and other scandals don't even phase me anymore. Hopefully they will shake some people out of their stupor.
I'm going to post this for now and provide links later.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Repurposing a Broiler Pan for Shell Sorting

This is the 4 step progression I used today to separate some mixed brass I had in the tumbler.
Some personal info--I'm allergic to walnuts and the walnut shell abrasive makes my hands itch. I've been messing around with this for a while and been pretty clueless, honestly.
I was cleaning my work space and found the broiler pan (for those who don't know, I've been an landlord/ real estate investor since the 90's). I thought that it might be re-purposed as a way to separate the brass from the abrasive. As you can see, it worked like a charm, with just a little shaking. The abrasive fell through the slats and I used a card board funnel to put it back in the tumbler.
As a bonus, the shells stood up in the grooves.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Another Shameful Thing about the Trayvon Martin Shooting

If Trayvon Martin had been in LA and shot by another young black man, you wouldn't have heard anything about it. He would have been just another young black man in the wrong neighborhood.
I don't know what happened in Florida. I wasn't there, so it seems premature to jump to conclusions. I've seen a bunch of pictures of Trayvon from when he was 10 and some of him now at 17 at 6'2" tall. I know quite a few people of various ethnicities that might be intimidated by a black man in a hoodie wearing saggy drawers (that was in the pic of him at 17).
I know the picture painted by the news. George Zimmerman shot unarmed black boy. The pictures of 10 year old Trayvon were posted, and I thought," he looks about 12, why'd someone shoot him?" Then read the article and found he was 17. That didn't really fit the picture. Things like that make me think someone is trying to lead me to a foregone conclusion.
I asked myself, "Why no pictures of Trayvon at 17?" He was, a really cute kid at 10. Why no recent pictures? Certainly with all the camera phones and technology they have to have something. Do you want me to believe he's not on FB?
I think part of this whole tragedy is all the armchair quarterbacks who "know what happened". They don't. But they've got the world tied up in nice little packages that preclude them from thinking about it. Some assume Trayvon was innocent; some assume George was justified.
For those who hadn't heard. The area was supposedly having a bit of a crime wave. Trayvon wasn't from the area. Allegedly he was suspended from school for 5 days (maybe he borrowed an aspirin--I don't assume a suspension means anything these days, but I carried a Swiss Army knife from the time I was 7, and miraculously, it never jumped out of my pocket and killed anyone on it's own volition).
If you don't think that's relevant, let me explain how it MIGHT be. If you're going to case a neighborhood, go unarmed, cover your face so you don't get spotted by security cameras, and go to a local store, buy some stuff while you're checking the place out. It's pretty much textbook scouting/scoping/casing. I'm not saying that Trayvon was or wasn't, but I haven't even seen anyone mention the possibility.
I do know, that it's not a good idea to go to neighborhoods strange to you in some areas of town. And that's a shame, too. But, it's a fact. And as I said before, I doubt any of this would be in the news if Trayvon had been killed there.
Evidently the Black Panthers have put a bounty on George--he's a mestizo, Puerto Rican, I think. I can't remember, tbh. So many people in an uproar and calling for more blood, because they know a man with the last name of Zimmerman must have killed a black boy, "Just because". Maybe he did. But, I don't know that. Neither does anyone who wasn't there. And event the witnesses have conflicting stories.
When I get right down to it, I don't even know that this event actually happened. Sure, it's on the news and it's on the internet, but what if it's all a fabrication?
And, yet, people are picking sides, getting worked up--some to a killing point, over something they don't really know much about.
That is a shame.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Intellectual Pride, Dishonesty, and Desire to Run Our Lives

I have a pretty smart family. We have many people with degrees, many who teach, including a professor. I was engaged in a conversation online with one, who mocked "conspiracy theories". This was my reply to him:
Are conspiracy theories necessarily "crazy". The theory that Alger Hiss was a communist plant was roundly mocked, though later found to be true.
There seems to be a bias amongst the intellectuals for centralized planning and an admiration of a feudal order headed by technocrats--a technocracy of "certified" and degreed individuals--that appeals to the pride of the "educated". Many in university setting hold in high regard the ability of the government to "run things", contrary to the evidence of its efficacy.
I find it strange just how unscientific a viewpoint that is coming from many who regard themselves as scientists is.

As someone who's worked for government, I couldn't help notice that our society is more geared for those with "certifications" and degrees. In many cases, you have to jump through several hoops that either put you under more government control, or force you to undergo education where a highly "pro-government" viewpoint is taught.
Seldom is the role of government questioned. In fact, I don't think I can remember a time when it was.

We are always being groomed for obedience by the government. Sometimes it's the signs we obey. Sometimes it's just the labels on our food, which remind us that we're safer because a government worker told us we are.

Most of the population just goes along with all this, claiming that anything other than blind obedience will lead to anarchy.

Just my thoughts for the day.