Brian Rodgers

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since Jan 15, 2012
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homestead wood heat woodworking
Retired, electromagnetically oriented hippie. I live with my wife Nell on 200 acre land trust. I've lived a life of crazy projects out here in the mountains. We're living in our second self-built home. When I was younger my favorite projects were salvaging vehicles to keep our fleet of junkers running with parts from different types of vehicles. Learned bio-diesel, got a diesel car built a processor and ran it on restaurant grease for ten years. Built an axial-flux wind turbine with the help of the Dans from Other-Power. Currently we're in our third year of earth-sheltered greenhouse aquaponics, raising Brook trout.
northeastern New Mexico
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Recent posts by Brian Rodgers

Thanks for posting Christopher. It looks like you are in good hands there at the Labs. This is going to be a great learning experience for you. I got to say "brrr, it looks cold outside!"
I'm envious of the new path you are taking, lol. Good luck.

Travis Johnson wrote:
The next strategy is to never change the oil. There really is not any need too. Upon every start up, I always check the fluids so they are always topped off with fresh oil when they start getting low, and I change the filters. The filter change is where the impurities get taken out.
People have scoffed and said this is stupid, but is it? I run my cars and trucks for 250,000 miles! That is 84 oil changes I saved, over 105 gallons of oil, and $1700 in oil change costs...PER VEHICLE. Now total that up by the number of machines I have. Again, the railroad turned me on to this, and it really makes sense fiscally and envionmentally speaking. Changing oil is one of those things from a by gone era when engines were inferior and made out of inferior metals. Today it just is not needed.

Great idea, thanks. One question I have is I had always thought that removing the filter would drain the oil. Is this not the case?
6 days ago
Good Morning!

Nell and I went out yesterday. The Jeep has a block heater whereas the Jetta does not. I've looked into block heaters for the VW diesel, but at this point they are a little too pricey for our budget at this moment. That's okay the Jeep has nice snow tires and a block heater. Nell and I had the most wonderful afternoon in town.:-D
The Jeep has the block heater built into the engine block.
The vw-block-heater has a little different block heater setup.
On the bright side this looks much easier to install than the freeze plug installation the Jeep has.
We did order a new starter for the VW Jetta as one of the issues in the cold mornings is the starter turns for a few seconds then spins free.
That is a classic problem with old cars and starters and often happens because oil gets down in the starter and on the shaft where the pinion gear fails to stay engaged with the engine flywheel because oil and grease  get sticky in cold weather. Sometimes I am able to clean the starter and it works again. However as I get older I need to limit the time I'm working under cars, so I won't take the chance it is repairable.

Let's see, what else is happening here on the rancho? Oh right the weather for one more bit this morning:

Weather-Sapello-NM-87745-12-29-18  Yeah baby it's brisk outside!
Nell decided she wanted to get up early this morning and be with me, bless her heart. I love this woman. The surgery to her right foot is a complete success! Her toes touch the ground when she walks for the first time since 2007, she says. This is cool, now I can ask her questions while I'm writing. That is wonderful. Anyways, we both have exercises we need to do, some are the same. She has shoulder pain and I have hip pain from the impingement from spinal stenosis. We both need to work our lats. Here is a quick  search result for exercise with bands top-5-resistance-bands-lat-exercises-for-a-wide-back
I've let all the exercise routines I used while I thought I only had scoliosis go, in favor of getting outside and performing much needed chores. Now it looks like those chores are aggravating my spine. That's okay I can change, I want to be healthy, especially after coming off this yeast fungal overgrowth disease which I believe in part is called  SIBO.

One of the issues I am coping with now is how all the medical professionals missed the severity of the spinal stenosis. Personally, I missed it myself because I thought the pain was coming from whatever caused all the other pain that had me down for the count.  Thank the universe for Doctor Lilly Bletcher who with her brilliant analysis of the blood and genetic tests,   has confirmed the cause of one disease which ruled out the cause of the structural back issue.  Now I can move forward with knowledge and treatment of both.  I'm still upset the western medicine providers didn't pay enough attention to the results of the MRI.  

MRI-results page one

MRI-results page two

Again, tremendous thanks go out to Dr. Lilly for requesting a copy of this MRI and posting it back to me.              
I have an appointment with my primary care doctor on my birthday, the 11th of January. At that time I will emphasize the critical nature of this report and request physical therapy specifically related to this new information. On January 1st, 2019,  I'll switch over from the blessed Medicaid to Medicare. I'm a bit apprehensive about this change, hopefully it'll be a smooth transition and Medicaid will be my secondary insurance.

I have spent a good deal of time in  research and physical work to begin the transition of as much of this property as possible to sustainable ecosystems through permacultural.  With the effects of time and climate, I believe this is the best chance to keep alive and  preserve this beautiful land we are so lucky to live on.  The process is long reaching but the results are in perpituity. I like that word.  
It is going to take much more physical work than I can safely do. I am looking into  large and small equipment that will be able to replace the stress on the back because there is no perpituity in that skeletal structure.  Nell and I are looking into ways to find assistance in this like grants or programs such as go fund me.  If anyone has experience with these, please share your knowledge and opinions with us.

Feeling hopeful for the new year and hoping you are as well.
Brian and Nell.
1 month ago
That's really nice Travis. A couple friends and I are talking about going in together to get a grapple trailer rig for logs. I however wanted something which had a bucket to do the work I want to do in my Permaculture plan.
I had proposed a mini-excavator...
I'll need to show my buddies this rig as well. I don't see right away where the bucket and dump trailer are.
Thanks for posting.
1 month ago
Great idea and quite inspiring. Seems like I missed the first few days, nevertheless my plan is to make a dairy free soda bread. I'm supposed to stay away from wheat too, so I'm thinking I'll use All purpose rice flour instead. This will be a fine self-challenge. Thanks for the ideas good Permies folk.
What do you think about this recipe?
I began my search here:
P.S. Another one of lifes little kickers: Why does gluten look so damn appetizing when you can't digest it?  
1 month ago
Thank you for your comments everyone.
My friend was a nurse and working in a lab when he discovered the correlation between the health (fighting fungal yeast growths in humans) and a product he heard about for weed control. I know weird, right?
I'll have to talk to him again about how I would ingest it. Currently I'm taking several good bacteria supplements to correct a severe imbalance.   Sure I'm still a little sketchy on the health part of this.
I'll for certain ask my healer before adding anything to my meds, plus your opinions mean a lot to me. I had the same thoughts about the extreme levels of processing done in the super secretive corn syrup industry. In the Wiki article it suggests it isn't gluten like wheat contains. It sounds more like a chemical reaction to whatever they do to make corn syrup.
One of the heavy duty supplements I'm now taking is oregano oil capsules, that is pretty extreme and I can tell something is happening in my stomach when I take it once a day.
The reason this is in the plants section is I was concerned about putting a herbicide of this nature on gardens?

1 month ago
A friend told me about corn gluten meal in relationship to some health issues I'm having with yeast and fungal overgrowth in my gut.   He also said to research it, good advice always.
Wiki Corn_gluten_meal  "In 1985, Dr. Nick Christians of Iowa State University discovered that CGM displayed pre-emergent herbicidal effects during a series of turf grass experiments."
I'm curious what you think?
1 month ago

This brightened my day. I hope it's good for you as well.
2 months ago
Fascinating project. For reference, I don' know much about hugelkulture on hillsides, other than what I just read here. I was apprehensive while reading of your first attempts to keep leaves and organic matter on that extreme slope. My apprehension I believe came from worrying that the hillside would continue to slide. Beautiful dog by the way. I liked the way over the years you addressed issues you observed during the first years, but somehow I kept coming back to the cute dog down below that mass of organic material and clay. Then I came to Tyler's link to  JACK SPIRKO's discussion of combining Hughelkulture and swales. Naively I had no notion why I worried until he described what happens when the watershed above saturates  the organic matter. Jack emphasizes that scale is important, but math needs to be done to determine how much water might present to the hugel bed.  
Here is a link to the Youtube portion of that link

I hope this is helpful and not lecturing.
2 months ago
   I grew up in New Jersey. I used to use that as an excuse for why I was so green when it came to anything ranch related. I came to New Mexico after my parents retired and moved out here in 1971. Yes, a bit of a culture shock. All the guys my age already knew how to do all sorts of chores for survival. Back then for the locals hunting was how meat got on the table. One thing I had in common with the other 18 year olds, was partying. That used up a decade or so of my younger years. I did learn some important lessons about surviving in the country from my new friends. Irrigating the pasture was one of my favorite things to do.
  My brother who was 9 years older used to ride roughshod over me with demands that every trip to town required a load both directions. Bring firewood in, sell it, use the money to buy supplies for the way back, sheesh, hehe. I'm sure I was a handful every time,  but I learned the importance of making every trip count.  Looking back like this, I feel old, with thoughts like: We had a phone, albeit a party line shared with our neighbor. I think we were two short rings. UPS didn't exist, the mail box was our only connection to the rest of the world. Dad always hated television and I kept that philosophy alive until the Internet which was what my carreer became after three decades. I installed our solar powered WIFi tower on top of our highest mountain and connected the ranch to high speed Internet some fifteen years ago. We created a makeshift fire department, which enabled us to get into some great salvage places over in Los Alamos. We collected some pretty unique items and I began to augment my jewelry making income with up-cycling parts from vehicles to fix other vehicles as the auto-parts store was 15 miles away and parts cost money. I got pretty good at finding heater fans and motors from cars in our junkyard to fit in the vehicles, whatever we had with plates  on it.  I discovered a way to repair a broken taillight using a hole-saw and any taillight  lens using a soldering guns to weld it in place. The point was to not need to go to town and buy more stuff.  
That's part of how we learned to live in the country.
2 months ago