Todd Parr

garden master
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since Oct 27, 2011
Wisconsin, zone 4
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Recent posts by Todd Parr

Pearl Sutton wrote:
I also narrate some of my "adventures" to myself to make them a little more fun to think about. "What are all these ants in this barn doing? Why are they here? Today, on Rural Living Gets Real, we figure out how to deal with a dead buzzard in the barn! (Eeewwww!)"

Pearl, I just love that :)
2 hours ago
Parts of the land I just purchased are the same.  The first thing I am going to do is take some of the downed trees and some rocks and make mini-dams to slow the water leaving the property.  My hopes are that the areas will fill in somewhat, and I can create flatter areas within the valleys and then build them up a little higher, and continue that process.  In a few years, I should be able to create some springs this way, as well as creating some areas that hold water longer and so will support more wildlife.
5 hours ago

Jane Weeks wrote:BTW, I love your "Day in the life of a pioneer" story. Maybe take up writing instead of chickens?

Thanks Jane, but I just write in that overly dramatic way because I think it's funny, even if few people agree   I live only a few minutes from a small town and have all the usual modern conveniences, but I say things to my girlfriend like "I'm heading out to take care of the livestock" when I'm going out to fill the bird feeder or "Life's hard on the frontier" if we run out of english muffins.  Those comments are usually followed by her saying "You're an idiot", which I like to tell myself she makes in jest.
5 hours ago

Mike Jay wrote:Thanks Hans, the video was good and it was fun to read through the comments that people put on there.  It seems like it would make more sense to use outside air to reduce the chances of condensation between the layers.  I also don't know why he has an outlet.  That would get at Mike P's concerns about pushing lots of air through the air gap and eliminating the static air against the film (which is where you get most of your R value).

I guess I don't see the insulation value of the blower as compared to using spacers to keep the two layers apart (and no blower).  I do see the advantage to the blower for film longevity and wind resistance.

I did see a plan to put a blower on a check valve so that once the layers are inflated, the fan turns off.  When the air leaks enough to drop the pressure, the fan kicks back on.  I wonder if there are other simple ways to create 1psi of pressure without a fan?  Simple windmill that pumps air? 

I spent a couple days reading everything I could find regarding the blower/insulation thing.  Without fail, people say it increases the R-value, and without fail, they don't give any real evidence of that.  I'm going to keep looking because now I'm curious as to whether it's just an old wives tale or if there is a reason, but it makes sense that having the layers not touching and with an air gap insulates better than if the plastic sagged and the layers touch.  As far as whether having the pump keeping the layers inflated is better than just making sure they don't touch, I haven't found anything conclusive yet.
5 days ago

Morgan Carey wrote:Here on Island of Maui on Eastern side of Island I have built a pile 4 ft by 4 ft using four 5 gallon buckets of wood chips, four green leaves and grasses, two of cow and horse manure repeated to fill. I also sprinkled about half a bucket of bio char, placed 1 dozen comfrey leaves in center, and tarpped. After 5 days pile only got to 110 degrees at hottest points. The pile had dried out considerably (I couldn't squeeze one drop.) I turned the pile adding perhaps too much moisture and now a day later the temps have dropped to 80. I am concerned that I turned my pile too soon and halted the process. Mahalo nui

It just needs to dry out a little. Turn it a couple times.
1 week ago

Devin Lavign wrote:
Cody literally can walk off into the AZ desert naked with no tools and survive for weeks and months alone. Matt I know from reputation through friends who know him as well as from seeing him on Dual Survival and Live Free or Die. He is a man who argued constantly with his partner in Dual Survival because he was able to set up a comfortable camp over and over again and wanted to stay put, while his partner wanted to always keep moving and get rescued. If not for his partner, Matt likely would have set up a palace in the wilderness and still be living there, and the show would have gotten pretty boring with him eating well and doing just fine and not wanting to be rescued.

I would simply have to see this to believe it.  I lived in AZ for quite a few years and I was very good friends with two men that were on the volunteer teams that went looking for people that got lost or stranded in the desert, and I personally don't believe anyone, anywhere, can go out into the desert and live for weeks without gear.  Most people would be in very bad shape the first day.  Plenty of the people they went looking for were found dead in days.  People coming across the border with food and water die in that heat every day, and they aren't trying to survive for weeks on end, just a few days.

Devin Lavign wrote: Why I came to the conclusion I did is simple, the human race is still here is it not? Humans existed longer in hunter gather life than in civilization. Humans are quite capable of surviving and even thriving in the wilderness. What blocks our ability to do so is simply lack of skills and knowledge. If however someone has the skills and knowledge, then it is not so difficult a task.

Humans did indeed live a hunter-gatherer lifestyle.  They did it in groups, and at a time when there were far more animals and far less people than there are now.  It is not as simple as they had the skills to do so, and we don't.  To say it is not so difficult, I would just say, why doesn't someone demonstrate how easy it is and just do it?  You may think that no one would watch a show where someone did this and did it well, but I would be fascinated by it, and I can't believe I'm the only person that would.

Devin Lavign wrote: The problem is having a true skilled and knowledgeable contestant doesn't make good TV drama. So these shows don't require the people to be of proper skill level, and likely screen out these people. Just look at some of the people who make it in these shows. Naked and Afraid, there was an episode where they had 2 teams and had them meet up. This probably saved the life of one girl and likely her partner, due to her survival strategy was to let others do everything for her. She had no survival skills really. Or in Alone, how many times do people tap out in the first day? Or within the 1st week? If you can't handle a day to a week then you should not even be on the show, but every season they have these people who are not ready to do what is needed. Worse they are moaning about how much they miss family and friends in the first week of being out there. If someone can't handle being alone for a week, how did they expect to do the show? This is the difference between TV and true survival or primitive skills. TV is looking for drama and yes weakness in contestants. They don't want the best of the best who will easily succeed. They want the emotional breakdowns, the failed survival, the mistakes and goof ups. It makes the show more exciting. But true survival by experts is not filled with this sort of thing.

I think those shows are very poor examples, because, as was discussed in the video, even the people that did the best lost massive amounts of weight during the show.  Without exception, all of them would have died if the timeline had been extended.  I understand exactly what you are saying about the mindset of the people on the show.  I was in the military for many, many years, and the people crying after a week seems very foreign to me.  That doesn't change the fact that not a single person that I have seen has gone on one of these shows and did what you say is simple:  Build a comfortable place, find lots of food and water, and thrive.
1 week ago

James Freyr wrote:I just read all about Central Asian Shepherds on wikipedia and they sound like just the kind of LGD I'll be looking for here in the not too distant future. I believe Dasha will make a fine LGD for your needs!

Thanks James.  Alabai's are said to make really good personal protection dogs as well as LGD, and Dasha will really be a pet with additional duties :)  I haven't trained a PP dog for a while, so it will be fun to do some of that work again, as well as just adding another family member.

Dasha's parents and litter mates can be seen here:  Guardian Dog
1 week ago

Chris Kott wrote:Tibetan mastiff or Caucasian mountain shepherd dog?


EDIT: Sorry, Alabai, I missed that somehow. That's the Central Asian Ovtcharka.

Yeah Chris, also called the Central Asian Shepherd, but that isn't a very apt name, because they have never really been used a shepherd dogs. There just isn't a very good translation for the word.  I don't use Ovtcharka because I don't know how to pronounce it correctly :)  I'll learn how from Katerina when I pick the dog up.  Anyway, her name is Dasha, so that's easy enough to pronounce.
1 week ago
I'm getting her from a breeder in MI that imported the parents from Russia.  They are considered to be one of the oldest dog breeds in existence.  She is just over a month old now and will be ready for me to pick her up about Mar 6th.
1 week ago
She is the puppy in the front of the picture.  Alabai from Russia
1 week ago