Daniel Schmidt

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since Jun 16, 2015
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solar tiny house woodworking
Jacksonville, FL
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Recent posts by Daniel Schmidt

Necromancy is raising the dead. Most other forums tend to view bringing up threads more than X days or weeks old as a negative thing, and is considered posting to a dead thread, thread necromancy, or necro for short.

This forum is quite different, where knowledge is curated and adding useful info that is on topic to a thread of any age is welcomed. I can understand why some other places with very time sensitive topics wouldn't want people to keep reviving old threads, but it always struck me as being very curious when a thread that is filled with knowledge where someone could make a meaningful contribution would get locked simply because it sat idle for a few days, scattering information around and making it extremely difficult to find important nuggets of knowledge. Compound this with forums changing their file structure and breaking all old links, and you could spend years trying to learn something complex and be left essentially sabotaged. I clearly know this from experience and am extremely grateful for this site!
1 day ago
I showed up to the party late, but it's good that things are working out. I too have been spending years now doing elderly care and it takes unwavering physical and mental fortitude. Many people have no idea how difficult and intricate daily life can be for a caretaker.

And on that note, perhaps for forum nomenclature the word "caretaker" under the community banner would be a way for all types of caretakers to find relief and perspective, as opposed to something that has names in it pertaining to those being cared for.
1 day ago
I guess the more on topic idea that I have involves the 'floating tiny house in place aspect'. The number one aspect to me about a tiny house on wheels is that, wait for it - it's on wheels! You don't let a glacier mow it down, you move it! I realize floods are much faster than glaciers, but if you see the flooding starting, and can have a solid evacuation plan in place then you could move it way from the storm or perhaps to a lake where a few feet of water isn't going to be any more dangerous. If you get flash floods, frequent sudden flooding, or otherwise can't evacuate a tiny house quickly then  perhaps a different plan for evacuating yourself and possessions would be better. If you have a rainy season and any way to store some things away from flooding danger then that's an option. Ideally no one would build in such a dangerous place, but I realize life throws situations at people that are far from ideal.

I understand why some others aren't crazy about trying to anchor in place, as that has a host of hazards. If someone is confident they may have random flooding but won't ever get that dangerous then maybe this is an option. I'd hate to see this be used as a band-aid to hold back a raging torrent and someone end up stuck in a bad situation. Perhaps it could be used on sheds (as mentioned above) for things of lesser value you can't evacuate with and just hope for the best.

One other thing about house boats is that they are boats first. I remember reading about this a while back, and my understanding was that the Coastguard can board at any time and you cannot refuse a search. I don't think that counts on land. It might be wise to learn about the laws at different levels of government concerning boats and bodies of water if you are interested in living in a house boat.
1 week ago
Brainstorm time! My main reason of liking this isn't specifically to do with flooding, but I do have some ideas on that. The more attractive aspect to me is the lack of a permanent trailer. I'm not particularly crazy about the idea of buying a trailer to build tiny houses on that will be moved into position and sit there. This gets compounded when someone decides to get the biggest possible trailer and expand the 'tiny house' limits to be as big as possible which seems against the spirit of tiny homes; large steel beams and triple axles complete with wheels. That seems to be a waste of a trailer, and all of the resources involved in making, buying, and moving the trailer in place just to sit there with the sole purpose of avoiding building codes. I hope for that to become the exception and not the norm.

One of the things I saw when reading about some of the places that are allowing tiny houses is that they want them on foundations for tax purposes. I know that you can remove axles and mount the steel frame on a permanent foundation, but again it seems like an excessive investment for something that may never be used again. Perhaps if more communities pop up, they could just have someone local that keeps axles and tires on hand for loaning out to fit a standardized frame and not need multiple axles and wheels on each and every house.

I'm not sure about how much more expensive (both cost and investment of materials) pontoons are, but I could see the possibility of some designs that use less materials. Designs that work well with foundations. Possibly even removable pontoons. This also leads in to my idea of having some standardized sizes for tiny houses where one person builds the house, one tow company has a trailer made to fit, and another can build the foundation to a straightforward standard that doesn't need special permissions and engineering review for each house since there is a precedent with an approved design.

Of course with standards, there can easily be many that compete to say that they are the best, but in this case I think there may already be some guidelines in place. I've seen pontoon boats being towed down the road, so I imagine they must fit within some size requirements in the same manner that tiny houses on wheels do. This means there must already be some level of standard for companies making these pontoon boats and the trailers that tow them. Maybe they would need some reinforcement or an extra axle to carry the extra load of a tiny house. If there are already common sizes for these pontoon boats and trailers then these sizes could be used for tiny houses. It could possibly minimize the materials and expense involved with current tiny house trends and allow for easier placement on foundations so they can be part of their community instead of playing a game of cat and mouse with local governments.
1 week ago
I don't have any actual experience, but I have heard of others using some of the open source software available with positive results, such as GnuCash. These people used it on Linux based operating systems, but it appears to be available for Mac and Windows as well. I used a list of alternatives for desktop software here - alternativeto.net

Edit - You can click on the links in that page for different software options and find the official homepages from there. Hopefully something there is useful to you.
1 week ago
I seem to have seen the usage without the 's' when talking about a single item, such as a butcher block table or countertop. Whereas if someone was just referencing it in general they might say, "I'm thinking of going with butcher's block" obviously not saying the apostrophe aloud. Common usage may be regional and subject to influence from popular sources.

Also, just because one use may be popular doesn't specifically mean it is correct. I'm all for using words in different ways to express an idea. This is how language evolves, no matter how much it irritates the experts. The point of language is to convey a message. The ones that get me are ones that seem to be picked up by mishearing something. Gallery instead of galley, or chunk instead of chuck, both of which seem to me to be used improperly more often than not. It isn't appropriating old words for new uses as much as being misheard and misused. I have terrible hearing, but I guess I'm self motivated and fortunate to have easy internet access to learn and double check what I think I know.

Out of curiosity, I checked The Butcher Block Wikipedia Page and saw what I was already thinking. For instance, "Butcher's block in modern American kitchen." and "Proper care of a butcher block" where the singular version drops the apostrophe "s".
2 weeks ago
It looks like a piece of Electro Metallic Tubing (EMT) thin wall conduit that can be found at the usual big box hardware stores and electrical supply houses. It should only cost a few bucks to by a whole new piece, and if you don't have a bender you could fill it with sand or, given the environment, fill with water and let it freeze before bending to keep it from kinking.

It looks like the way they flattened it that it was bound to happen. If you only partially flatten it, then stuffed something inside (wood, metal, perhaps urethane or tough glue like liquid nails or amazing goop) it could add strength to the area and keep the metal from kinking which would reduce the chance of it reoccurring. If shortening it a little bit is acceptable, you could probably remove an inch or two, open it up a bit, stuff something inside, and reattach. By flattening it, any side load on the handle is going to cause the top bolt to dent the metal, and it will be like a soda can - surprisingly strong when perfect and amazingly weak once dented.

Another option for the more adventurous would be to open it up or replace the pipe and then fill the ends with an aluminum or zinc alloy such as Zamak 27 using pennies. I always keep a couple pounds of pennies saved in case I ever need to pull out that tidbit of info for a crazy emergency repair.
2 weeks ago
Steam is a gaming platform as mentioned. They have been around for a number of years and have sales regularly as well as free to play games, and support Windows, Mac, and Linux. Their increased support for Linux is one of the reasons why I like their platform. They also have chat, similar to MSN, Yahoo, and AOL messengers of yore. I have friends who, like myself, don't use other forms of social media so I can only get in contact with them easily through there. I avoided it for a number of years before caving in because I couldn't contact people for weeks at a time.

They also have other software and videos for sale, as well as voice chat and other stuff they are expanding on, but I haven't used any of that yet.

Michael Cox wrote:It can get annoying at times, as I have unreliable internet access and it usually wants you to be connected to play.

You can use Steam in Offline mode to play single player games. Obviously this means online features like playing and communicating with others is disabled, but if your connection gets flaky at times and you just want to relax with a single player game then it works. The only thing to be careful about is when you do go back online it will have a discrepancy with the Steam Cloud version of your game saves versus your local version, so if you pick the wrong one it can undo anything you did offline. It can also accidentally wipe out your save and leave you with nothing. If you have an important game save, you can look up how to find the save location for a particular game and back it up regularly.
1 month ago
Being self motivated is a great start! Pretty much no one ever successfully quits when other people tell them to do so. It comes from within. I quit in August of 2006, mostly because I am cheap and smoking costs money. Humans are creatures of habit, and replacing bad habits with good, or at least nondestructive habits is a really good method. You will easily find yourself craving when any moment of boredom strikes. Something as simple as watching TV and having a commercial break can cause very many people get up and smoke, or snack, or bite their nails (I guess that could be considered a snack) or whatever it is that they do habitually. Finding things that really absorb your attention will help, and avoid things that have lots of breaks or 'hurry up and wait' structure to them.

Stay busy and keep your goal in sight. Think of the savings of not buying cigarettes, or the savings of reduced future medical bills, not smelling like smoke all of the time, or anything you can use as leverage to say no when your body wants it. The first two weeks your body will have physical withdrawal, after that it is pretty much all mental. Stay away from anyone else smoking at all costs for a while. Once you are away from it for enough time, the smell of it will gross you out; That's the point when you will have the upper hand on the situation. If you drink, you have a much higher likelihood of going back even if you manage to quit for a long time. The mixture of smoking and drinking supposedly much worse than just adding up the damage done to a person who smokes and another who drinks, so if you drink regularly you might have a much larger battle on your hands and may need a lot more help with keeping yourself occupied and away from those things. Good luck!
1 month ago
I've thought about this a bit. One thing is to simply reduce the usage of things that produce such byproducts. Unfortunately going with electric tools is just offsetting where the pollution ends up, and hoping that those places follow good protocols for managing waste. Then again, some people have a NIMBY philosophy towards that.

I've also though of using a system where I clean my rags, filter that water through a sand filter, and then either burn or 'properly' dispose of the homemade tar sand. At least getting all of that crud in to one place, such as storing it in a barrel, and reusing rags seems better than letting crud fly everywhere and tossing all of the dirty things in the trash.

Here in Jacksonville they have a hazardous waste collection day, so if we can collect waste and keep it stored safely then we have that option. Doing it that way in batches makes more sense in my mind. Using large fuel burning machines (and their regular oil change schedules) to collect small amounts of waste might actually be a net negative compared to properly incinerating it on site.

I can't wait for electric cars to be more common so I don't have to be mired in all of the nastiness involved in car repair. I guess in that case, I'm the one who aspires towards a NIMBY lifestyle.
1 month ago