John Weiland

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since Aug 26, 2014
RRV of da Nort
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Recent posts by John Weiland

Mike Barkley wrote:.... You give them some bat houses to help control mosquitoes.

....or watch dumbstruck, forlorn, and helpless, like one watching a disappearing plane from a deserted island, as the last of the barn swallows wing south....while a new and eager hatch of mosquitoes are buffing up their probosci.... :-(
2 days ago

Deb Stephens wrote:
....or maybe just an ordinary Luddite....

....when your Nokia 2126 draws gasps of horror from students and ooohs and aaahs from your peers.....the latter cuz they'd then have an *excuse* for not having GPS or the latest exercise app....    [At this point, it may be appreciating in value and I may pair it with the old dusty rotary phone as a "2-fer Vintage collectible" deal on E-Bay....... ]
2 days ago
I didn't want to start a separate thread for this entry and hand't seen any mentioned of air-fryers in a search of the forum so this seems like the most appropriate place. 

Air fryers seem all the rage right now and we tried a rather cheap offering that has a pull-out died rather quickly, but we liked the concept of a countertop item that could faux-fry certain items.  It was a bit pricey, but I decided to go even more elaborate and got the Cuisinart countertop oven that does air-frying, convection baking, etc. and draws a peak 1800W.  We have now found that we are just using our standard electric range oven compartment for storage!  The countertop oven does most things that the larger oven can do but uses less power, takes less time, and we are only cooking for two anyway.  I haven't put it through all functions and tests and this is in no way an endorsement of this brand, it simply is the one we settled on hoping it will last for many years.

There are some unexpected benefits with the drying function that have proven useful in a humid climate.  Our garden peaks in August and September and that is the time many of the tree fruits are ready as well.  When trying to dry fruits and veggies with a solar-based dryer, there still is the problem of the items taking up moisture at night if I have not recovered them in a timely fashion.  The countertop air-dryer comes to the rescue:  Place the items in the basket and turn temp to the lowest setting (warm) and finish the drying in 20 - 30 min.  This has also proven very useful for finishing half-cooked items that come out of the solar oven, usually due to unexpected cloud cover or just getting to the time of year when the sun angle is too low.  So overall, the countertop oven is getting much use....more than expected.....and complements other countertop items in the kitchen very nicely.   I don't know if other's have had good or bad experiences with these, but if it lasts, it seems to have many uses in one unit and is preferred over cranking up the large electric coils in the oven.
3 days ago
I think using meditation/mindfulness has been touched on before, but this link kind of brings together that concept in terms of dealing with unhealthy habits or urges:

3 days ago

Michael Sohocki wrote:
All of these solutions cost money of course. And we're back to the circumstance discussion.

Given our structure of our society and background of our culture, the circumstance thing will be hard to contend with.

It's a bit comparing apples to oranges, but the general historical understanding of the indigenous population around the Red River Valley of the North was that......they didn't live in the valley!  [The "valley" as it is known is really the old lakebed of glacial Lake Agassiz....the Red River winds its way from the Minnesota-South Dakota border to Lake Winnipeg in Canada and then to Hudson Bay.]  The fertility of that lake bed is the reason for it being farmed, but that required a great deal of manual draining of the land from its swampy nature.  The swampy nature made it less desirable as a place to live for the indigenous tribes of the region, but a great place for hunting and gathering.  The woodlands just to the east provided the best areas for sheltering and living out the summers and winters.

The bitter point being.....there are just some areas that are not so hospitable for living *IF* you enjoy operating your own home economy/ecology as much as possible as well as enjoying your natural setting.  From observation, however, there are those that would be fine with a hermetically-enclosed existence in your region, with probably the need for outside inputs to make it happen.  I guess if I were in your same region and situation, I would exploit the sun as much as possible with solar electricity.....sounds like "passive solar heating" of your home is not a concern, but rather the other way around.  Water and food production would be a challenge for sure, ..... not sure how I would approach that, but would again look to animal life and past lifestyles of the indigenous in that area to see what worked and what didn't.
6 days ago

Michael Sohocki wrote:

The point of my topic is that the solutions to a lot of the damage we cause as a species are readily available, by now well researched, and doable.

What frustrates me is that we live in a culture where the solutions exist, are reachable, and would benefit every species--including our own--if we would only do them--collectively. But we don't.

(my bold text added) that is Shepard's question as well.  With all of the evidence of the destruction ..... and some pretty darn good solutions as well....before us, why would we, as a species, willingly choose an almost suicidal path?  Although I haven't given the issue a great deal of thought, it could be (and without references nearby, almost assuredly has been) argued that the increasingly "amniotic" surroundings in which Homo sapiens finds itself at the behest of it's own hand is indeed species preparation for the "pod" existence that may, as a transitory stage, allow its survival after the planet is gone.  But it does seem sad that an actual visceral feeling of affection and attachment to the big blue marble has ebbed to such a low point,.....again at our own hand.  I find Shepard's arguments about maturity and socio-psychological "pruning" of vision and drive by society(s) to be quite compelling and certainly worth noting when pondering this issue.  As his book is an admittedly armchair attempt to trace the roots of the vision that culminated in the present technocracies, it nevertheless paints a long and winding road dating back to the dawn of agriculture.  As such, any modifying or reversal of the inertia moving this train forward will take time, wisdom, and a love that will not be around to see the fruits of its labors.

"I know as certain as death that there ain't nothing short of the second comin' of Christ that can slow this train."  -- Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, "No Country for Old Men".

But if that train is on tracks, those tracks can be ..... might be....moved ever so slightly back towards something more coherent with our past.  And although many will say "You can't go back....", it's always seemed to me that the argument should be whether or not "back" is a choosing a better or worse outcome,.....and not derided simply because it represents something from which we've "moved on".
1 week ago

Michael Sohocki wrote:  .....since--we are such geniuses, why have we made so little progress in formulating a collective understanding of how humans ought to live? Not just me, but my entire society is out here getting our heads beat in by blazing sun, as we staunchly refuse the lesson of the scorpion. Our brightest and bravest.

I'm tired of hearing the 'too little information' argument. The ocean is so big, and my boat is so small, ya ya ya. Wilbur and Orville Wright were small. Jacques Cousteau was small. Steve Jobs was small. They each cracked open their relative worlds and yielded its tiny bits. And people flooded after them like the Pied Piper of Hamlin.

Is our revelation here less...I don't what...
interesting...than flight?

My favorite writer on the subject:     Paul Shepard

".....My question is: why does society persist in destroying its habitat? I have, at different times, believed the answer was a lack of information, faulty technique, or insensibility. Certainly intuitions of the interdependence of all life are an ancient wisdom, perhaps as old as thought itself that is occasionally rediscovered, as it has been by the science of ecology in our own society. At mid-twentieth century there was a widely shared feeling that we needed only to bring businesspeople, cab drivers, homemakers, and politicians together with the right mix of oceanographers, soils experts, or foresters in order to set things right.

In time, even with the attention of the media and a windfall of synthesizers, popularizers, gurus of ecophilosophy, and other champions of ecology, and in spite of some new laws and indications that environmentalism is taking its place as a new turtle on the political log, nothing much has changed. Either I and the other "pessimists" and "doomsayers" were wrong about the human need for other species and about the decline of the planet as a life-support system; or our species is intent on suicide; or there is something we overlooked....."
--Paul Shepard, 'Nature and Madness'

The weblink is a condensation of his thoughtful book by that same name, a writing that delves into the developmental and historical socio-psychology of what brought us to this point.
1 week ago
A quick question to those who may have more information regarding Lyme infections---the following from the Mayo Clinic website:

"Lab tests to identify antibodies to the bacteria can help confirm the diagnosis. These tests are most reliable a few weeks after an infection, after your body has had time to develop antibodies. They include:

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test. The test used most often to detect Lyme disease, ELISA detects antibodies to B. burgdorferi. But because it can sometimes provide false-positive results, it's not used as the sole basis for diagnosis. This test might not be positive during the early stage of Lyme disease, but the rash is distinctive enough to make the diagnosis without further testing in people who live in areas infested with ticks that transmit Lyme disease.
Western blot test. If the ELISA test is positive, this test is usually done to confirm the diagnosis. In this two-step approach, the Western blot detects antibodies to several proteins of B. burgdorferi."

My question is this: I understand that it takes a few weeks for the immune system to generate sufficient antibody to be useful in the Western and ELISA tests, but how long will the circulating antibodies remain in this abundant state?  Can you get tested one or more years after infection and still have sufficient antibodies present for detection of that prior infection?  Thanks!
1 week ago
Any record of how the indigenous went about their day in that climate?

"IN FOUR DAYS' riding he crossed the Pecos at Iraan Texas and rode up out of the river breaks where the pumpjacks in the Yates Field ranged against the skyline rose and dipped like mechanical birds. Like great primitive birds welded up out of iron by hearsay in a land perhaps where such birds once had been. At that time there were still indians camped on the western plains and late in the day he passed in his riding a scattered group of their wickiups propped upon that scoured and trembling waste. They were perhaps a quarter mile to the north, just huts made from poles and brush with a few goathides draped across them. The indians stood watching him. He could see that none of them spoke among themselves or commented on his riding there nor did they raise a hand in greeting or call out to him. They had no curiosity about him at all. As if they knew all that they needed to know. They stood and watched him pass and watched him vanish upon that landscape solely because he was passing. Solely because he would vanish."  --Cormac McCarthy, "All the Pretty Horses"
1 week ago
Magnus,   The little crabapples you have make a great jam/jelly after you get a few frosts to help them sweeten a bit.  Mind you the little ones like what you have shown tend not to be too sweet, but add a sweetener of your choice to the cooked pulp along with perhaps a bit of pectin and they will provide good flavor on toast or other item.  Also, if you plan on adding more apple or fruit trees to your location, the University of Manitoba has a reputable breeding and selection program for such stock for the north central provinces.  Good luck!
2 weeks ago