The Magazine For Those Of Us Who Won't Just Lay Down And Die!

With ingenuity, with preparation, with creativity, with determination, with inventiveness, and with faith, we will overcome!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Funny Commercial

I saw this commercial on Facebook.  If you're not offended by taxidermy, watch it.  If you ARE offended by taxidermy, don't watch this, unless you want to, of course...

NOPE, it's just Chuck!



Monday, September 19, 2011

A Whimsical Notion, Or Poop N Paddle

Okay, so the title is a tad bizarre.  Today, or rather, this evening I am going to share a funny/serious little video that I stumbled upon.  It touches on a very serious topic, and does it in a funny way.  Our outdated, environmentally asinine method of dealing with our "leavings" needs to change, as do many aspects of our crazy society and way of life.  So here's a primer on fixing our toilet water situation.  No, I'm not talking about perfumes, nor colognes...


Ha ha!  That guy's crazy... in a good way!

There is a lady, of Swedish extraction, who wrote a book some years ago about her experiences and experiments in creating a living space and a greenhouse that used zero fuel for heating.  A totally solar-heated life and business.  This lady created what today is a common item in grocery stores across the US - mixed baby greens salad in a bag.  In the book, she went into great detail laying out ways to treat sewage and graywater in a completely organic manner.  The book is called Solviva, and the author is Anna Edey, and she was WAY ahead of her time.  Check out her site/sites at



Monday, September 12, 2011

Anno Domini


I wondered what that meant for years before finally taking the time to find out what it meant.  Seems silly now, in the age of google searches to have waited so long.  In this day and age there are so many distractions, innumerable really, keeping us from seeing the little things in life.  We are too distracted to sit down and thoroughly study a subject, and too distracted to have a decent conversation with a friend, or neighbor, or even a family member.

What went wrong?  What are we thinking?  Technology is supposed to have given us MORE time for just that sort of thing - interpersonal relationships.

In a sense, perhaps it has?  When I watch my kids with their cell phones, texting blithely away, and at a blinding speed, I think that here is a benefit from technology.  But then again... is it really a benefit?  I wonder...

Writing a letter by hand, with a pen or pencil, is something that largely NEVER transpires via my efforts. How's YOUR handwriting doing these days?  Is it, like my own, becoming almost unreadable?  I have marveled recently at the incredible lack of quality that my children's handwriting shows.  It almost looks like the writing of a third-grader issuing from the tip of the pencil wielded by my 16-year-old.

Is writing becoming a thing of the past?  So many other things that my generation, and those before me, took for granted have become almost rarities, almost freak-show items.  Brought to mind are things like splitting wood, using a chainsaw, a bow saw, raising livestock, playing boardgames, hiking in the woods, sharpening a knife or axe, fishing, hunting, trapping, farming, sitting around a campfire, reading books, and a host of other things that were NORMAL just a couple of decades ago.

My question is, are we really better off, now that we have all this technology?  Are we better off sitting in front of our "entertainment systems" than we were chasing a family dog in the yard who was trying to keep us from getting a stick from him?

Yesterday, my brother, visiting from Michigan, walked into our house from outside to see one of my kids playing "Call of Duty, Black Ops", or some such.  He is a guy who tries hard to keep from being sucked into the black hole, and not giving in to technology.  He said to the kid, "Since you like playing that sort of thing so much, perhaps you should plan on making that your actual career - becoming a real black ops soldier.  That way you could really kill people.  The thrill would be that much more!" Of course, he was being facetious, but the point is that what my kids have been doing is almost exactly the same as the way that our military managed to overcome a new soldier's natural tendency to NOT shoot at a human target - they used software to break that natural tendency down.  The thinking is that since it is not a "real" person in the computer game, it's okay to kill them, and even better to kill them with a headshot.  The military found that after becoming accustomed to killing computer simulation soldiers, it was much easier to make the leap to killing real soldiers.  The young soldier felt like he was still IN the computer game, and killed with abandon.

Hmm. Maybe we need to get back to simpler living? Maybe our kids are not BENEFITING from spending countless hours killing things on computer screens, but would be better off walking through a meadow, swimming in a pond, hiking in the mountains, doing what comes naturally?



Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Biomass Briquette Lever Press - Fuel/feed briquette maker

I've been contemplating my rabbitry, and finding the ROI is wanting.  The cost for rabbit pellets per week is around $22, which buys me a fifty pound bag of rabbit pellets.  I've got something like 12 adult rabbits, and 9 bunnies at present.  I typically give them gleanings from the garden and yard, and was for a time putting them out in a duck tractor-ish contraption daily, which gave them direct access to grazing the yard.  This cut down considerably on pellet consumption, but still, I really want to find a way to NOT spend any money on the little things, and STILL produce at a very good rate.

I thought about the possibility of making my own pellets, using the vegetation that is available here in my own land.  So I started looking for a means of producing pellets, or something of the sort.  This is what I have found so far, a briquette maker, or as I see it, a rabbit food maker, as well as some variations on this theme:

Found at

The mix of plants, and perhaps minerals, will have to be what I can come up with on my own land, or nearby.  I've located a section of field on the grounds of a nearby golf course that has a good mix of some sort of clover or vetch, Queen Anne's Lace, Chicory, and a goodly number of other species.  I will ask permission to come and mow that section, saving the clippings in a grass catcher, and then mix the clippings with water, put them in the press and form briquettes.  These will be able to be dropped over a pole, or dowel, for ease of feeding.

The other obvious use of this biomass briquette lever press is to create briquettes to burn as a fuel source, for cooking, heating, etc. I'm going to experiment with that side of things as well.  I've got to come up with a stove to burn use.  The folks who invented this press, also have invented a very good cookstove, made from local materials.  In a pinch, this would make all the difference, easing the toil involved with cooking over an open fire tremendously.

That's it for now.  Enjoy!