Daniel Richardson

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since Feb 10, 2018
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Recent posts by Daniel Richardson

James, you're right, I was a little unclear about duration and that is a huge factor. I guess I wanted to look at this as a progressive journey of steps where people get more prepared over time. What part of the spectrum between a 1 day outage and permanent blackout are most Permies prepared for and why? We all handle risk and preparedness in terms of probability and scope. I believe a large blackout that lasts a few months, especially in rural areas, is more probable than most consider.
1 month ago
Great feedback so far!

Sam and Lindsey, it looks like you've been pretty pro-active and have an awesome set up! It seems like a good generator(s) is almost a necessity, though Lindsey, your concerns about noise are something to consider.
I own a 2kW Yamaha generator that runs on LP. These inverter generators are pretty quiet and sip gas. I'm not sure how long it could run on a 500 gallon tank.

Timothy and Sam, it would be unfortunate to deal with a prolonged outage in the summer. Here in Colorado, food preservation would be a lot easier in the winter(set it outside).

Lindsey and James, you both make an excellent point about water. I'm in the process of building our house and want to build a couple 20k gallon cisterns(one is for heat storage) to store water. Our well is 1000' deep and that just seems too far down to get to in an emergency.  We'll be able to put in a smaller electric pump to fill the cisterns. I've been thinking of installing something like a reserve tank in the attic that can be fed by an old fashioned hand pump from the cisterns.

Tyler, that line of thought is what I'm hoping to avoid for my family and the folks on this site, but I get it. I'm pretty sure some people have been through an outage longer than a month though. It would seem like communications would be key to knowing what the heck was going on so you could make a plan. What kinds of equipment do you guys have? I'm thinking about picking up some goTennas and tinkering with them. This site has a good interactive program that allows you to see how mesh network range really matters.
1 month ago
Without going down the rabbit hole of survivalism, I wanted to discuss the topic of basic, common sense, energy independence with regards to electricity. What practical steps have some of you taken, and is it even a priority/possibility for you?

What am I talking about? How would you function if the power grid abruptly shut down. Say a week passed without power, then two and three...
How much electricity do you really NEED?
What do you need it for?
I know some of you have probably experienced this firsthand. How did day to day life happen with work continue?

Here is a disturbance report from the Department of Energy(I believe), that lists different problems that the grid has faced this year. March 5th shows an interesting "cyber event" that is fairly troubling. I read Lights Out, by Ted Koppel a couple years ago, and his concerns seemed very valid. Government estimates that 10% of the population would survive after a year without power. Pretty sobering.


1 month ago

I have issues with finding the balance between being prepared to survive - and to Be, - in a position to be able to avert and ameliorate chaos caused by the religion based and political intentional trouble and divisiveness creators, and intentional morons who have no clue of how quickly life can change from something to nothing, or to survival mode. Faith requires being in others’ lives, and wanting to succeed and survive first is another pull.



In my own struggle to find this balance, I have found that the words of Jesus cut to the heart of the matter.

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.



Now, I hope that you receive this information in the manner in which it was intended, and not as an excuse for "intentional morons" to bury their heads in the sand. It is a command to let go of the anxiety caused by the drive to just SURVIVE SURVIVE SURVIVE and grasp for something greater. We have a tendency to raise people up who have survived hard times, but the truth is that sometimes those hard times have really damaged those people.  
2 months ago
Such a beautiful place you have there, I don't expect it will take long for you to sell it.  Good luck, and I hope you find a great place to settle into that better suites you guys.
Also an engineer and don't have very much experience with trees, but here is my 2 cents!

I would think that if you could use varieties that lend themselves to espalier -controlled growth, such as against walls or fences- you could drastically reduce wind-chill and better fit the trees to your designs.  If you knew a bad storm was coming, it would make covering the tree with a concrete blanket or such very easy.  

Are you thinking fruit or nut trees or trees for aesthetics? I think the biggest trick would be finding just the right amount of help to give because trees have some capacity to adapt to their environment.    
2 months ago
You've probably seen this place before(In the attachment) if you've looked into underground building.  My understanding is that he decided to do underground largely because he was away fairly often as well.  I talked with Bob Bobserson about a similar topic a few months ago here.  Hopefully you will find this useful.
3 months ago
Nathanael, that's cool that you've had good success!  I do get that people select seeds for the environment that they live in, I guess I'm proposing using an specific environment that can be replicated anywhere indoors.  This would allow anyone in the world who is able to maintain this environment to work on progressively improving crops with others in collaboration.

I would select for traits that would be ideal for growing indoors, such as:

Short maturity time
Use least amount of energy for lighting
Waste least amount of water
Works well with automation
Best nutrition, greatest caloric yields, etc.

Surely something like this is already being done?

I've always had a fascination with the idea of trying to grow all of a person's food in a lab under very controlled and optimized conditions.  Think space station or nuclear holocaust if you need a reason.  Obviously this is not the most efficient way to go about growing food.. or is it?  In a sterile, controlled environment you could eliminate a lot of variables that harm production and tune things to actually increase desirable outcomes.  I was thinking that this would only go so far though.  

To really improve productivity, yes you need to tune the environment to the plant, but also you need to selectively breed plants to better produce in an environment.  After generations of this process I doubt that the plants could survive at all in outside conditions.  After thinking about this, I've realized that I have very little knowledge on this topic, but would like to know more.  How do seed companies go about selecting and creating seeds year after year with good yields?  I know hybridization is part of it, but that its benefits also wear off over time.  There has to be some kind of uphill struggle to breed good plants that I am unaware of.  There have to be standardized ways to measure desirable properties of plants and log them for selection.  Can anyone point me in the right direction?  Have any of you had good experiences with saving seeds even in a regular garden?
My father-in-law has been messing around with this problem for nearly 30 years and tried this 3 years ago.  He uses 2 jugs a year for a 50,000 gallon pond and it hasn't looked better.

Barley Straw Extract
3 months ago