Joe Bramblett

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since Nov 09, 2014
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Recent posts by Joe Bramblett

Feidhlim Harty wrote:I'm not sure what your winters are like - do willows thrive in Texas or would you need something else?



Once they're established (and I mean if they make it to 5-6 ft tall when started from a 2 ft cutting) willows in very wet areas will do extremely well.

At a previous house, the washing machine discharged into the yard, making a swampy spot that liked to trap the lawnmower. I planted a willow cutting there, and within a year it was 7 feet tall and gave me a perfect excuse not to mow that spot.

Growing up, we always had a couple of willows on the septic tank overflow. Here at the office, there's sort of a swampy bit nearby on a drainage ditch that doesn't flow most of the year, and it's lined with them naturally.
4 years ago

chad Christopher wrote:What about a shower head attached to the bucket. Just install a hook in the ceiling to hang said bucket? I wouldnt recommend using a standard shower head, but imagination can womder here. Maybe a watering can sprinkler screwed on to the end of a pipe. There is no pressure involved, so it could be dry fitted, and be able to rotate, and no need for noxious glues.



Under $9 shipped if you have a Prime account, and it can be rolled up into a small bag when you're not using it.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VNITQS/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_1

Only thing is that the shower head likes to pop out sometimes. A small hose clamp will fix that easily though.
4 years ago

Michael Cox wrote:Will - when I did a week of survival training I took a shower on the last day, using a bag with a shower head arrangement.



Yup. I have a hook over the bathtub that I've used one of the cheap solar shower bags on when the power was out. Heat some water over the propane stove, mix with cold to get a gallon or two in the bag, and shower away. A gallon is plenty pretty much every time, but some reserve is nice in case you want to re-wash hair or shave with it too. It holds 5 gallons, which should be more than enough for 3-4 people to get clean if you're actually heating it with sunlight.
4 years ago
Sunlight just doesn't have the flavor of mesquite wood smoke. I'm not seeing several hundred dollars worth of benefit here over burning trash wood (everybody with land around here has mesquite to get rid of) in a $40 Weber.
4 years ago

allen lumley wrote:Joe Bramblett : My last 'Century' is almost 50 years behind me and everyone I know ! I'll bite, what is your definition of "Dog Polo"?! Big AL



It's that rather unpleasant time of having to bash a dog off your ankle while trying to keep the bike upright and moving so you can sprint away as soon as the mutt is detached. Frame pumps tend to be too light to get the point across to most dogs big enough to be a problem, but large U-locks are about right.
4 years ago

Jim Gardener wrote:That new inverter sounds nice, but they are too expensive to replace a working one, just for an outlet. I have a SMA Sunny Boy 6000-US that I replaced a couple of years ago. They are a real hassle to raise up to mount on a wall (very heavy).



There's a reason most of our display equipment has the guts removed. Sales reps aren't exactly the best choice for lugging heavy stuff around. Each install crew has at least one gorilla-like guy who does most of the (literal) heavy lifting like handing modules up to the crew on the roof and hanging the inverter.
4 years ago

Jim Gardener wrote:What I don't like about my system is code won't allow me to get power from my panels when power is down from the electric company, and the electric company insists I pay their nuisance minimum fee every month (about $1.85), even though they are allowed to wait a year to pay me for power I've produced and they've sold to others (at a significantly higher rate than what they pay me).



Some of the SMA inverters are now available with a single isolated outlet in addition to the regular output; when grid power goes down, that outlet can stay on as long as there's enough input from the array. It's been a big selling point for us in that a lot of customers just want to make sure they can keep a big freezer frozen or charge a cell phone in an extended power outage, without the added expense of a battery bank.

As for mixing wind and solar, the only turbine we've sold in the last two years was a used one to a guy who wanted it mainly for looks. The price of solar has dropped so much in the last few years that we can install three times as much capacity in solar as wind for the same price. Add to that, that solar has longer warranties and no moving parts to wear out, and it's a no-brainer. Wind is fun to play with, but not really economical for normal residential and small commercial electric generation.
4 years ago

Zach Muller wrote:The bigger the u- lock, the easier it is to pop. Reason being many of these are popped by using small car jacks. If the jack fits between one side of the 'u' and the pole then it can be easily popped in minutes, no matter the strength of the lock. The best I have seen are the smallest ones that can really only fit the bike frame and the pole through it, very hard to pry apart that way.



Bulldog offers a small one with a cable that I've used a lot. The bigger U-locks are more effective for playing dog polo when one latches on to your ankle.
4 years ago

Chris Knipstein wrote:You could also help get your bike back if it does get stolen by making it easy for the police to know it is yours.



http://www.bikeregistry.com/

The decal kits are $1, and are as tough as they claim. You'd pretty much have to chip the paint off where they're applied to get the labels completely off. I've had them on the insides of the chainstays and a few other spots on my Trek for 3 years now, and they're still eye-catching and legible. I put the regular decal on the seat tube where it's immediately visible to anyone just looking over the brand and model tags. The smaller, tough reflective tags go in less obvious places, but still where they'll be found by a potential buyer inspecting the bike or a cop looking for identifiers. Shining a flashlight at the bike makes the white Scotchlite stand out really well, and locations like the inside of the chainstay or bottom of the seat just scream that there's something unusual about having a reflector there, so someone seeing it will usually take a closer look. They say two tags, but each has the website listed three times, so you can cut them in to a total of six small tags to put in different locations.

No charge for the registration, and anybody who suspects a tagged bike may be lost or stolen can go to the site to look up the serial number. Since it's based on the bike's serial number, you can also check untagged bikes that may have had tags removed, and you can just buy a good pile of tags for future bikes or to give out to friends, too.
4 years ago

Cris Bessette wrote:Now, if I go out and get sweaty, then that stuff gets washed because I know people have a harder time smelling their own body odor than other's .



In the winter, I easily get a week from a pair of jeans. In the summer when it's 90-110F with 80+% humidity, everything I wear more than two hours gets washed. Just walking out to the car to get something will work up a sweat.
4 years ago