D. Logan

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since Sep 11, 2013
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D. Logan has made a point of broadening his perspective to the fullest in life. He's learned first hand a broad variety of jobs in the pursuit of knowledge. He's achieved a BA in Early Childhood Education, hiked the entire Appalachian trail in a single trip and done everything from working in a hospital to serving as a correctional officer. Each new area of life has given him a wider base of experiences to draw from when writing. He's written on many topics, crafted roleplaying games and published works of science fiction and fantasy.

In the last decade, he's focused a lot of attention on deepening his understanding of subjects such as homesteading and Permaculture. While there is always more to learn, he's come to a point where he is comfortable writing with a degree of authority on a number of topics within the scope of those subjects.
Soutwest Ohio
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Recent posts by D. Logan

Brian Stretch wrote:If you do try heating your driveway, just make sure that melted snow doesn't get under the driveway and re-freeze. That happened on our campus sidewalks. 

I'd like to have a driveway with a slight slope to it, maybe 4 degrees to either side of the center, and which had drainage to either side that fed to some other location or into a swale. I'd not like to have it just soaking in on or under the driveway itself given the problems that would cause.

Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:Seems like it's more appropriate to cover the driveway with a roof, which could double as solar panels.  Or glass, greenhouse.

A driveway is a funny thing.  You can't use it for growing much, unless it's always short and will always fit between the wheels of a car.  Maybe greens? 

My experiences with covered driveways have involved two problems. First is that if there is bad weather, it tends to come in anyway. So if there is heavy snow, the driveway is mostly covered and a spot five feet to one side is mostly clear. The second problem is more difficult to work around. That's that when there are a series of poles to either side of a narrow drive (and being honest, I don't want a large driveway that spans a car and a half on either side) people invariably find a way to ram some of the poles. At best, it is less stable and at worst it might come down on top of everything. Glass seems like it would melt things well, but also dry things or even start fires when things weren't so damp.

I'd probably not use a driveway to grow anything I plan to eat, but have seen some where they consist of two narrow strips for the tires to rest on and open ground between.

The way I picture it, the key would just be having two strips that stay clear when you fire it up and to fire it up /before/ the snow has fallen to prevent it from even being a problem to start with. Melt the snow and drain it away and there won't be anything to form sheets of ice in the first place.
2 months ago
As I spent my morning last week shoveling the driveway at work out from under half a foot of snow, I reflected on the state of things. I've not yet hit 40, but already my back reminds me that I'm not in my youth any longer. What will another 20 years mean for this sort of back-bent manual labor? Thinking back on years before struck on a memory. When I was in college, the entire campus had heated sidewalks. I shudder to think about the energy bill, but briefly thought of how nice it would be to set up a battery bank just for that purpose.

Then it struck me, why does it have to use power at all? Wouldn't it be simple enough to set up a few rocket mass heaters in a garage or in small sheds along the way? It seems to me that it would be possible, as long as there wasn't too much driveway to heater ratio. It certainly seems like it would be possible. I for one would be happy to feed a batchbox on a few heaters right before or at the start of a storm. Even if it wasn't perfect, it would have to beat shoveling the entire driveway.

So I find myself wondering if anyone has tried this yet?
2 months ago
Doing an Old-Fashioned Vinegar pie today. Regardless of pie day though.
3 months ago
Well, I'd say you two need to sit down together and talk out exactly what is at the core of her feelings. If it is only that one town specifically, then it almost certainly is family. If it is just any town, then maybe it is something else. Maybe she's worried about her mother needing someone close for example. Would a mother-in-law cabin be an option? Something where you offer a small home on your property where her mother could stay free of rent and where your wife could stop in regularly to ensure she remains safe and healthy? If it was an option, it could offer a means of compromise.
4 months ago
I don't know that we have enough information yet to give a valuable response. What changed? Somewhere between then and now changed. Was she just humoring you all along and never really felt that way or was there something that happened to make her now feel less comfortable with it? Is there something in the city that is drawing her? Also, is it all or nothing or is she willing to compromise if you know what key point the town has that is drawing her?
4 months ago

Chris Kott wrote:I actually like the idea of a composting toilet that has a separator, like a trap door, that separates you and the bathroom from previous deposits. I would have a compound flush system, whereby the trap door, when returning to the up position after being flushed, has a layer of the dry flush material dropped onto it to accept the next deposit. The next flush would drop the deposit, atop the dry flush material that separates the poop from the toilet walls and trap door surface, down into the composter along with a secondary flush that tops it off and fills the trap door area again.

The dry flush material could be any dry granular material that will compost well, probably biomass from another process, like sawdust.

I think that I will have to investigate wet-flush composting toilets or invent one if they don't yet exist, although I think perhaps if I go that far, it will be a methane digester system. I think people have comfort issues where it comes to dealing with poop, and the more conventional an experience it is, the more comfortable and convenient it will be. Also, if it's just like the porcelain thrones they're all used to, there's nothing to screw up, so the system would work with fewer potential problems. Ideally, we'd be talking either about a biodigester that yields garden-ready liquid compost, or maybe a multi-stage process that separates water and solids and treats them separately, using things like reed bed swales (conventional swales, but intensively managed to maintain moisture, and probably with a series of internal baffles that make a seemingly straight swale zig zag internally, increasing surface area and length of time in contact with reeds and other filter plants and decreasing flow rate), into woodlots for water and Black Soldier Fly larvae for solids. In my climate, where the ground can freeze solid for months in a normal winter, I would need, perhaps, a low hoop-framed grow tunnel over the swale to keep it productive into the cold season and kickstart it in the spring, but these are details that change based on the specific situation.


That got me thinking some. Two days of sketching and I think I might have an idea of how to create a mechanism that works the drop gates as well as puts a set amount of biomass down, but won't put it there it until the drop gates close again. I'll have to transfer the images into the computer and post them here when time allows.
5 months ago
I recently came across a youtube video by davidpaganbutler. It was showing off an old bucket compost toilet that had seen better days. What caught my attention was that it had a working 'flush' mechanism for dropping ash into the bucket. I could see this being used with pine duff, saw dust, lime, or other materials common to composting toilets.

One of the difficulties with non-flushing toilets is getting people to understand how to use them. I worked at a business for a couple of years where they had fancy compost toilets from a large company. Half of the people who came in either didn't bother reading the message of how to use them or didn't care. More than a few people seem caught up on the oddity of scooping something to toss in after their usage. I have no idea why that gives people trouble, but in my experience it does.

I wonder why there aren't more models like this in the modern age. It seems like having a clear 'flush' method would allow people to get accustomed to the idea much more rapidly and make an easy transition for people who are new to the concept. I wonder if anyone has seen a company making something like this or seen someone do a DIY project that recreates something similar? I sketched some ideas to myself and might one day try a project around it. If I do, seeing where others have succeeded or failed before me would be helpful.

The video is here:
6 months ago
I am a writer. I used to do a lot of ghost writing for others, but set it aside since it was pretty unfulfilling. These days I write for myself and really enjoy it. I keep an active online presence, have several books in different phases of the process, etc. The biggest problem I have is that between a 60 (randomly spaced)hour a week job and homeschooling 2 children, my writing moves at an absolute crawl. The end goal is to be able to write full-time, but unless something does stunningly well in the near future, that goal is still a ways off.
6 months ago
I'm going to go ahead and give these the coveted 10 out of 10 acorns. Here's why.

Of course they do what cards are supposed to do, so already they fulfill the most basic function as well as every other deck I've ever owned. Where they excel is that the place I do most of my card playing is when I am out camping or hiking (often with the local scout group). Invariably, the cards become a topic of discussion around the table as we play. One card or another will catch the interest of someone and they will ask about it. If the person interested is one of the youth, they are known to start working on a merit badge for the subject of the card.

They are beautiful to look at, full of little points of interest and it can be entertaining hunting down what's been hidden in the pictures. I can't think of any complaints at all. I was originally worried that they wouldn't hold up well, but so far, they are staying strong. If you're considering getting a deck, I would say go for it! I can't imagine you would regret it.

7 months ago
Just an update so people know I am still working on this between other things. The initial outlines are all done and the first draft of the document is ongoing. I'm about a third to half done and currently have 29 handwritten pages finished. I've gained a new respect for those who try to do this on the fly amid a revolution. Weaving together viewpoints and trying to integrate what you think is important without creating loopholes that will be exploited is no small task. I'm sure there are going to be a few. Figure I can run it past others and just create amendments based out of what is found.
7 months ago