Rob Teeter

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since Jun 11, 2017
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Recent posts by Rob Teeter

I believe the "reaction ferries" were powered by the river current pushing against the keel and the static line going from shore to shore, not by the wind.

The Chinese used sails on their wheelbarrows to help transport goods to market.
1 year ago
There are many valid reasons to grow sunflowers. I am not convinced that sunflower oil production for biodiesel purposes has a favorable ROI. Retail sale of the oil only nets $1365 per acre on average on the low end. In addition, equipment and infrastructure is needed to plant, harvest, dry, process and store the seed and oil that most small operators do not have. Yes it is possible to burn the stalks. I would rather manage a pollarded tree crop such as willow or alder that would provide substantially more btu's/ hr.
According to this site:

Average yields of oil per acre of sunflowers is 35 to 80 gallons of oil per acre. One gallon of sunflower oil on Amazon is just shy of $40. Rudolf Diesel designed his first engine to run on peanut oil, but this concept never gained traction as a true cost savings. If your home uses 600 gal of oil per year (conservative estimate), you would have to plant over 17 acres of sunflowers just to keep your house warm. I imagine most farm businesses use quite a bit more than that.
Webasto makes diesel boiler hydronic systems for marine applications. Their model ts17 puts out 17k btu's for less than $2500.
1 year ago

charlotte anthony wrote:i am wanting to reply to this thread and not just to this post.  thank you all for some great things to consider.  i am right now working in the city of eugene on a property where we will build both temporary and permament housing.  a great idea you might be interested in where homeless folk help build their own temporary sturcture, participate in other ways to earn money which will be created on site, as well as be involved in building a permanent structure.   i am interested in very inexpensive specific ways of permanent construction.  are there other treads on permies that have ways of building, meaning the actual building materials that would work for nonskilled labor.

many thanks.

You should look into aircrete as a low cost way for non-builders to create permanent structures. It can be cast in forms as in slipforming, or made into blocks and mortared like bricks. YouTube has many instructional videos with details.
1 year ago
The folks at are using a different method to capture fresh water via condensation.
In their design, salt water (or any other non-potable water source) is used to saturate strips of cardboard or other lattice at the opening of the greenhouse. The greenhouse opening is facing the prevalent wind direction such that the wind blowing through the wet cardboard/lattice carries high humidity air into the greenhouse which is then warmed by the greenhouse glazing. The resulting warm humid air is pumped to a sealed radiator that has a cold air or fluid circulating inside. The freshwater condensate collects on the radiator and is collected below.
I don't know if this design is helpful in your context, but it may give you additional options.
1 year ago

Using strips of tanned rabbit hides to make warm layers really appeals to me. Rabbits are relatively easy to raise and breed. Making good use of the rabbit hide is a no brainer.
1 year ago
Wow! I love this idea Paul. There are so many avenues of thought here, which I believe was partly your intent. I am convinced that locally grown food/biomass will become the norm in the near future, given the global supply chain implosion. I am encouraged by the work being done to re-establish kelp beds in Australia that are helping to restore wild fish and invertibrate stocks. I recently read of farmers in northern Mexico that are growing Prickly Pear,  Agave and Mesquite in a row cropping systems in conjunction with rotational grazing animals. The Agave leaves are harvested and fermented, the ferment is used to make Tequila and the resulting biomass is then used as fodder for their livestock, reducing their need for expensive hay equipment and storage. After 10 to 15 years the main Agave cores are harvested and crushed to obtain Agave Syrup. Prickly Pear is harvested for food (nopales), Tuna fruits and red dye, and for input to biodegesters for methane production. These systems do not require irrigation as dryfarm principles are used in production.
There are many more examples globally, of efforts like these that could easily become a database of best practices by region, climate or zone.
Now if we could just come up with a solution to the 3 million feral pigs running around Texas.
1 year ago
I am planning to build a 12 x16 cabin using aircrete on an off-grid property in Nevada. Aircrete is made by mixing soap bubbles (like shaving cream consistency) into Portland cement with between 4 to 5 gallons of water per batch. This inflates the cement from 1cu ft to 6cu ft. My current estimated cost for the shell is a little over $5k. I chose this material because I can make it myself with a 55 gallon barrel and a 1/2" drill with a mortar mixing paddle, air compressor and a small water pump and some 5 gallon buckets. With aircrete you can make your walls as thick as you want, and it has insulative properties once cured so that extra insulation for the walls is not needed. My cabin will have 12" wall thickness, using a slipform method of wall construction. You can also make blocks of any size and mortar them together, but that takes longer. Aircrete resists fire, water, and insects. If you make a dome shaped house it will resist tornados and hurricanes. I am retired and living on a fixed income, and my ability to obtain a mortgage is slim to none.
1 year ago

paul wheaton wrote:I was just reading in another thread about how important it is to get rid of somebody who is an asshole....

When we talk about community, I do think it is important to recognize who is making community life sucky...

Frankly, I completely embrace living large and expecting that 90% or more of the population would consider me an asshole.  The idea of living my life under the yoke of "do as I say or I will call you an asshole" is preposterous to me.

This such a great discussion. "I think" that I can disagree with someone without calling them an asshole. There is a difference between disagreement on a particular point(s)and actively working to undermine or destroy the community. Even tribal communities developed processes to ostracize and/or banish troublemakers. For myself I can say that I am here because I like the fact that I don't have to wade through pages of bullshit bickering in order to get to the good stuff. As a side note Paul, I doubt very seriously that SuperGirl has ever cut, hauled, split and stacked a cord of wood. My biggest reason for wanting a RMH has nothing to do with efficiency.