Mark Tudor

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since Oct 04, 2012
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Recent posts by Mark Tudor

Initial plan was to be back home by then, as I'll be on-call for work starting that Friday and visiting folks watching my dog plan to fly home around then too. I can see about changing the dates to stay a couple days longer, but I'm not sure if the others can also change their flights. I'm certainly willing to try though, if I can fly back on 10/8 instead that would be great to meet more people!
10 hours ago
Does the pipe coming out of the side of the tank, high up on the side facing the door, have an interior pipe that feeds down towards the bottom, or is that not where the water is coming out? I would think the outlet would be lower so when you are at say 20% capacity, you can still get water out via gravity feed. Or does this require the pump to draw water out, in addition to putting it under pressure?

Do you have colder winters, where freezing is an issue? I'm considering a tank like this (or more than 1 in series) for storing water, either from rainfall or by filling from a well, so that if there is a power outage I'll still have access to water. I've read/seen folks that partially bury the tanks to use ground heat to prevent freezing, and was thinking a tank could be mostly buried within an earth berm under a PAHS system where insulation above could (in theory) prevent any freezing.
10 hours ago
I think one of the greatest tools for fighting stereotypes/prejudice is exposure to different groups. I grew up in a city with a decent racial mix, and one of my best friends was black (me being white) so looking back I don't recall having any particular prejudices. My first house was at the edge of a pretty bad neighborhood that I would walk around without issue, perhaps being 6'6" and 250 played a part there heh!

While I grew up with mom in the north, my dad bounced between family in the south and deep south, and when I went to visit his family I'd live how they lived, up in the "hollow", carrying a 20 gauge shotgun at age 8 in case there was a snake or wild dogs when you walked over the ridge from one house to the other. I joke with people about how one of the houses in particular reminded me of Deliverance (when they drop off the cars, and the dueling banjo song happens), but I thought the place was nice- hand built cabin, wood stove heating, and a little pond in the front. Of course we were sitting on the front porch shooting beer cans out in the yard to see if this "city boy" knew what iron sites were (yup!), and they had an outhouse around back versus indoor plumbing.

My mom's family was all in the north country, mostly hog farming, and the summers/vacations that I wasn't down south I was out on the farm. When I got spoiled on TV and toys it could be boring to go without, but I was always an animal fan and liked getting my hands dirty. Now when I pass a (non industrial) farm and smell the manure, it makes me smile while those with me gag, and I think it smells great.

When I later moved as an adult a bit south, it became very apparent that the locals were very prejudiced- white and black alike, if there was a problem in that city everyone knew the cause was "those other people". Even had people at work come close to saying (they used more PC wording) "I know you're racist against black folk, because you're white after all". Eventually got sick of all the racism and moved out west.

When I go to watch standup comedy, there's a lot of jokes based off stereotypes. You get redneck jokes about being cheap and all that, and I recall how my dad's family made due with what they had to survive. He would shoot pigeons off the phone lines with a sling shot so they literally could add meat to soup for dinner when he was a kid. I didn't have that level of food issues but I recall sleeping on a couch on the front porch a few times when I visited because they had just enough space for themselves and not much more. It was normal, maybe because I was a kid and it was family so I didn't have the prejudices built up from listening to the "city tribe" putting down the "country tribe".

But the more various "tribes" I've been a part of, the less I'm willing to put up with the "us versus them" mentality that's becoming the norm at least in the USA. It's a great tool to distract people from real issues, and what better way to solve all your problems, than by blaming them all on somebody else?
20 hours ago
I will be visiting my property near Spokane during the first week of October, to see if any of the seeds I planted survived the deerpocalypse that exists in that county. I doubt I'll need more than a day or two for chores there, and planned to explore for the rest of the week, like Tuesday-Thursday.

Could I stop by the labs and camp there for a couple days, and offer an extra set of hands where needed? So long as it stays above 30, my bag and tent will keep me warm, but I'd be up for buying a night or two in any available space with a RMH as well!

Also if anyone already there is up for some group cooking I can pick up any missing ingredients on the way in, as I'd really like to learn any recipes you have for putting what you grow to use. Cooking isn't my weakest link, it's a missing link!

For example, all the meals (every one) I had for the week at the Cob Cottage Company during their work party were incredible, but being treant-sized I was usually moving heavy things or chopping and hauling wood on the mountain, and missed out on how the meals were prepared. Kiko Denzer stopped by and made an amazing pumpkin/squash soup that we had for several days, adding new fresh ingredients to stretch it out. Not knowing how to cook with fresh veggies is a bit deflating as you plan ideas for a food forest...
21 hours ago
Living in a very overpriced 1200'sq home in southern California, where the high temp finally got below 90 this last weekend (the average for the last 30 days, day and night combined, was over 80 every day), and the house has no insulation and none can be added without lots of holes in the ceiling to blow in minimal insulation, I totally feel ya! Without a window AC unit in the house turned on at noon and kept running until 8-9pm, my dog would probably be dead by now. It's usually 10 degrees warmer inside than outside due to all the sun baking the vaulted ceilings.

I had several days where the bedroom was still too hot to sleep, so I pulled a mattress into the living room and slept there so the AC could keep my midwestern-raised blood from boiling off in my sleep. I wish I had found the house before the cheapo house flipper did, so I could have filled the walls and ceilings with blown in insulation before the drywall was put up. I would have also planted a couple fast growing fruit trees along the south wall to shade that surface a bit, and grow some food. Instead I have a nearly worthless shed there, but my 7 fruit trees in other spots are growing in their heavily mulched spaces now. I'm tempted to remove the shed and espalier something there, but with less than 5 years to retire and move I'm not going overboard.

Sadly a lot of options are removed with the packed in, cookie cutter neighborhoods where house orientation is based on maximizing housing units per block. There was a nice development where California state law will require new construction to include solar panels, which is a nice step forward.
21 hours ago
How about this setup, rotation of chickens after you finish harvesting a section, they clean up and it's all enclosed:

3 days ago
I think the answer depends on the root stock of the trees, and how you will prune or manage them, if at all. Some species will grow a lot larger than others depending on root stock. Do you plan to have companion plantings around each fruit tree, and use that tree as the anchor for various shrubs and ground covers?
2 weeks ago
I'm also curious about this setup, as the parcel I purchased is almost entirely ponderosa pine and lodgepole pine currently, and I've planted black locust and osage orange from seed to hopefully get those species growing, if the deer will leave them alone a little. The goal is to retire in about 5 years and start building on the site, and hopefully have an osage orange hedgerow tall enough to keep the deer out and allow planting fruit and nut trees/bushes within for my use.

I'm curious if I should start by planting nitrogen fixing ground covers or something else first, to try to improve the soil as it is not very good from my limited inspection.
2 weeks ago
My understanding is that there is an initial load when the pump starts up, which is much higher than the normal operating load. It tends to last 1 second or less, but if your system isn't built to account for it there may be issues and you could damage your equipment.
2 weeks ago
I'm also a fan of the solar dehydrator, hopefully it provides another option for preserving harvests when you have too much to eat/can at once? Being in the endlessly sunny SoCal area I think it's something I could build to try before I retire. Getting in-season foods when the prices are low, and drying them to eat later seems like an option. I just wonder how much Home Depot will get from me in the process...
2 weeks ago