Hank Fletcher

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since Oct 11, 2016
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Recent posts by Hank Fletcher

in my case I don't mind not making the money from biking simply because I know more than likely when I die anything I have will end up going to to gov't, no one to leave it to.  I'm ot going to give the gov't anything.  If I don't have it I can't leave it to them.
5 months ago
End of the month marks 9 years since I last had a car registered in my name.  I'm single and live by myself.  The shortest errand I can run in 5.5 miles, each way, to go to the library so I can get online.  Most of the time a grocery run in 28-30 miles round trip.  I ride year round here in hilly New Hampshire.  It's totally doable.  You need to get in shape so you don't think much about the mileage anymore.  Last year I rode a small paltry 8200 miles.  That's down from 10,000 the year before and 16,000 the year before that.  The prior two years to that(2014/2015) were each over 20,000 miles.  When you don't care how many miles you ride you don't really care about much of anything else either, you just ride.  If it takes 30 miles to get groceries, so be it, it 30 extra miles for the year.  That was my thought process several years back.  I would take off and ride to the sea coast(200 miles round trip) for the heck of it and not think a thing about.  Now if I don't have a reason for going some place...I don't.

The key secret to going car free go car free.  Don't give yourself any method of going back.  Make it so you have to do it or else.

For me the big savings started with the car and has continued ever since.  Each of the past two years I have spent less than $4000, all expenses included.  MY average since the start of 2010 has been around $5600/year.

Right now I'm looking at taking several things together into one and cutting back even more.  I stumbled into the crazy idea of sprouting, now up to urine sprouting.  This got me to take a look back here on the forums again.  I saw Paul's age old article about cutting his heating bill by 87%.  I also saw the idea about show us your bike(a couple weeks back).  Both of those got me to a totally new idea I'm trying to form up in my mind right now while waiting for the weather to warm up a bit.  I have been trying to cutting the heating bill out entirely but had never figured out the sweetest method yet.  Thanks to Paul and the show us your bike posts it got into thinking about a hammock trailer for bike touring.  That led to the idea of taking the hammock trailer inside, been sleeping on a hammock for a dozen years now at home, and shrinking down the amount of room I'm heating even further, currently only heat 32 sq ft, err roughly 224 cubic ft.  Next winter the target is 100% off the heating bill, body heat or stray electronic(laptop/light) heat only, nothing else, no doggie pads , heated keyboards/mouse heaters allowed.  Paul has shown he has forgotten one major concept in the whole reducing the heat expense scenario.

It all started by doing one thing, giving up the car.  I've ridden over 100,000 miles since the start of 2011, plus another 2-3,000 in 2010.  Get out there and do it.  Let the mind go nutso and come up with all kinds of ideas on how to do it.  I even rode 501 miles, on the open road, with my leg in a cast...if an amputee can ride a bike, dang it...so can I.

You just have to make it happen.  Don't give yourself a way of backing out or you will.
5 months ago
Several ideas I've had that have passed through my head and I was wandering if anyone has tried them or did them and what your results have been.

1. Instead of using toilet paper/paper towel for the base/top layer instead use cotton cloth, something like part of an old tshirt that you don't wear anymore.  It would be reusable significantly longer than a paper towel or toilet paper.

2. Taking the plastic 'knitting' sheeting, aka the tops for shoot jars, and using that as a tray.  Sew/knit them up into a tray position, a full sheet for the base and then cut another sheet to make the four sides.  It has the natural drainage that you would need and combine that with anything, toilet paper/paper towel/cotton cloth you would have a capture method for holding dirt for microgreens.  They would be small enough to make them quite easily transportable and they could be hooked together and with a little ingenuity could provide for a angled, irrigated setup so you didn't have to manually water.

3. During the germination process, initial watering(I don't think I would want to do it after they have started to sprout) use urine as the water source.  I would think before the seed opens you wouldn't be able to hurt the seed any with urine, but once the sprout starts to emerge it would be another story altogether.
6 months ago
One more rather interesting question.  What seeds can you harvest from the fruit/veggie and replant immediate versus what do you have to let freeze before they will germinate?
6 months ago
Thanks for info.  I'm definitely knew the idea of sprouting/microgreening...just in the past few days I stumbled into the idea and have been researching it.  I know I have several more questions on ideas I have come up with, some really crazy ideas and others just perplexing questions.

I always thought things like carrot tops weren't edible hence why I have been questioning what could be eaten as sprouts.

I take it if the 'top' isn't edible the green isn't edible either.  I'm getting into even crazier thoughts here that don't grow fast, like it would take the better part of a summer to get the sprout, like an apple seed or any kind of fruit tree, edible or not as a sprout?

I know it would depend on the type of sprout in question, but what are the lower limitations on temperature.  Living in my house, I'm single so it's setup for me not anyone else, is not your normal house.  I live in a super insulated(R60 in the walls, no windows, R30 in floor and ceiling(lack of ceiling height or it would be R60)).  Other than a couple of days during the winter I don't have the heat turned on unless I'm home.  When I leave home in the morning the heat is turned off.  When I get home in the evening the 32 square foot room , the only heated room in the house, is typically around 40-45 degrees on the floor.  It gives me a chance to turn on the heat and heat the room up while I change clothes from just having biked home(I don't own a car).  I've been high and dry all daylong while out riding and I prefer to stay that way when I get home so with the house being cold I can change clothes and still be dry.  It does exactly what I want it to do so I stick with it...if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  The only trouble is if I were to try to grow sprouts I would have to figure out a whole new way of doing things...or does the temperature only control the speed of the growing process?  I have heard thus far 65-70 degrees but can you get away with at 50 degrees?  I have already thought(this morning) about using a heating pad under the container, thanks to the www.richsoil.com/heat video I watched last night...I'm not sure if that would be enough to keep it warm enough or not.

Would it be possible to to enrich a sprout?  The idea I had a day or two ago was to crush a vit-c table and put it in the water when you go to germinate.  Would that give you a vit-c enriched sprout...higher level of vit-c than you would have otherwise?

Are the seeds usable anytime or only when they haven't been roasted(peanuts/almonds/sunflowers,etc)/precooked(brown rice)?  I bought lentil and brown rice a couple of days ago and have been waiting for the warmer temps to arrive.  I bought both at Walmart.  I did make sure to buy the brown rice that wasn't marked precooked as I figured that would kill the chance the of it germinating.  Am I correct on that thought or not?

Thanks for the help.  This is definitely a new idea for me.  Last year was the first time, thanks a to friend of mine, that I have been crazy enough to even think about playing in the dirt, err gardening.  This is just taking everything to whole new level that I have had no knowledge of anything about it in the general way of thinking about it.  I have always been used to thinking you plant it and let it grow to maturity(4-12 weeks later) and then you eat.  This is a mind opening concept.
6 months ago
I'm still a bit lost on this issue.  What as a sprout/microgreen is edible...raw?  Can you eat pretty much anything raw as long as it isn't a full plant?...at least I don't think I have ever heard of anyone eating carrot tops around harvest time, but posts I have seen on here are suggesting growing and eating carrot/beet sprouts.
6 months ago
As to the depth, the concrete blocks the house sits on appears to just sit on the surface and not go underground.  Granted I haven't checked to confirm or deny that fact.  1950's  so anything is feasible.

An idea from something I read here or somewhere has me questioning another idea.

Put the mass on the ground under the floor and wrap the extra insulation around the mass so all the heat has to go up into the house.  The heater itself would sit in the house with the exhaust going down through a hole in the floor into the crawl space.  I think I have heard, I'm guessing due to the rocket naturedness of an RMH, that you can 'pipe' the heat down underneath the heater...but how far?  I would only be talking 3 foot, it that for headroom beneath the floor before you hit dirt.  Feasible or just more stupid thinking on my part.
2 years ago
All the posts are a big help.  I don't know understand why at times the human mind knows what it knows but will just not let you make sense of it yourself..so irritating.

I was going to insulate above the ceiling until I took a quick look outside the house and saw just how far down the toward the ceiling the roof vents were and then I knew I pretty much couldn't do anything unless  stick it underneath the ceiling in the room itself, just not enough room before I start covering over the roof vents.

As for the floors, in the part of the house I always use, now and before adding the dummy walls in, the floor joists show the original part of the house was built quite a long time ago, admittedly only back in the 1950s from what I can see looking back at old deeds.  The floor joists are anything and everything, nothing is 16" on center in that part of the house.  Everything from 12-24 inches, very inconsistent spacing.  Probably another bit of the problem with using a heavy weight mass for a heater.  Hence why keep looking for something that I already have, and more importantly something that is light weight.  Yeah, I know...good luck on finding that.
2 years ago
Last night while watching some of E&E's videos from their DVD series the idea hit me.

My biggest problem is probably the weight distribution of the mass.  Being a post and pier foundation it limits me a bit without going through a not so inexpensive 'upbuild' of the foundation.

In the house I current have set up a dummy room that is the only part I keep heated during the winter months.  Roughly 6x8 or maybe a slight bit bigger.  Still pretty much at or just under 50 sq ft.  I put up some 2x3's or 2x4's, don't remember which, to give me something to nail the 1/4 inch plywood to for the inner room surface covering.  With a gap between the original walls and the new walls I left a couple of inches for breathing space to keep moisture build up under control.  Otherwise between the plywood and original walls I put up 2 pieces of R-30 fiberglass rolled insulation all the way around the room.  Added in the dummy door and the room was finished.  Yeah, not to building code by a long shot but since there is hardly ever anyone in the house but me no one ever sees what I've did.  Not an issue.

If I were  to put in an RMH I would definitely be taking the room back down leaving me with plenty of plywood and R30 insulation to have to get rid of.

Last night I started seriously question why not use the insulation instead of cob for making the bench.  In the research online I still can't get a good answer that really explains the difference between mass and insulation.  I know I'm thinking the insulation may not hold the heat quite as well as the mass does and yes, no insulation is fireproof.  From what I've seen online cob doesn't have the R value of insulation by a long shot so I tend to think the difference comes from mass versus insulation.

What I'm thinking right now is to do a regular RIH, rocket insulated heater.  Everything is the same as with a normal RMH until you get to the exhaust.  From the floor up instead of using cob use the R30 insulation and then build a regular wooden bench on top.  It would significantly reduce weight and get rid of some of the insulation and plywood/2x's I currently have set up for the dummy room.

Again, what is the difference between mass and insulation and why is this a stupid idea that I have?
3 years ago