craig howard

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since Mar 06, 2019
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Recent posts by craig howard

Put one on the north side of the house and use a tracker so it always shines light in through a north window.
I know a bit of a complicated project but doable.
There was a guy who used to come to the energy fair MREA and set up a display.
He made trackers and built "things".
He could make it so a mirror would shine sunlight on the same spot all day.
Someone paid him to have it light a sign on the side of a building,.. during the day.
1 week ago
I know you don't want to use bags.
But maybe saving them from the landfill will work for you.
I buy organic sugar from Aldis.
The bags it comes in are stronger than any freezer bag you can find.
The zip closure is very strong and they have a window in the side.
I'm not sure how many times I can reuse them, because I haven't had one break yet.

I have also found the blue diamond almond reusable zip loc bags are very strong and mylar inside,...
but the zip close will rip away from the bag if you open it in the center.
The habanero barbeque bags are orange so when I look in the freezer I can find the peppers right away.

Maybe there is a product you use that is sold in a strong resealable bag.
1 week ago
I had this problem but followed some advice I found on here.
Now I don't actually put them into the ground until June.
The borers are done laying their eggs by then.
You might try to figure out their life cycle where you live.

Start them in pots under screen/mesh to get them going early.
If you leave the catfood in the house they will drag all that heat they soaked up into the house.
More efficient if the cat is particularly fat. Adds mass.
1 month ago
I didn't see any small ones.
The skins and snakes I did see were about the same size as this one.

Not sure what those 2 were doing under the tarp but I might end up with baby snakes this year.
1 month ago
 Did you notice a sharp decrease in toads, when the snake count was high?
1 month ago
I don't usually see snakes in my yard but last year they were everywhere.
I was weeding the garden and pulled on this:

I hope they ate some mice in my garden.
I later found half a snake in the same area. Probably discovered by a stray cat.
The circle.

I'd walk around a corner and one would be sitting in the sun, then jump up and run/slither.
I picked up a tarp and there was one under it. The next day there was 2 under the same tarp.
All garder snakes.

I noticed there weren't very many toads last year.
One evening after dark I walked into the hose.
Ground level entrance.
And felt something against my foot. When I turned on the light, there was a snake trying to eat a toad. Had it by a toe.
I suppose it hopped into the house with the snake attached. I set the toad free and had a little talk with the snake.

Wondering what 2024 will bring.
1 month ago
These microprocessors are nice tools.
I built a temp logger using an arduino but it isn't wireless, it communicates through a USB cable, and doesn't store the data in or use an SD card.
I wanted to learn how to sketch/program an arduino so I chose this project.
It shows the temp in my solar heat box on the south side of the house. It gets up past 150F.
Also set up to turn a fan off/on at a set temp. To pump hot air into the house.

I use a one-wire temp sensor that is accurate to .1 degrees F.
Overkill  but they are addressable, which allows me to put several sensors on the same wires.
Not sure why I picked it because I only have one on the string, probably because it doesn't need calibrated.
Mine is set up to graph the temp in excel.

Glad you were able to figure it out. There is quite a learning curve to these. But this can be part of the fun.
They can be frustrating. But it feels great when they actually run.
1 month ago
 I've heard that not only does baking soda change the PH but as it dries it crushes the mold.
Every time it gets wet and dries, it crushes more.

I had a wall near the toilet with a light mold rainbow.
Cleaned it, painted it with bathroom mold paint and
sprayed it with BS water.
Kind of forgot about it. A year later I noticed there was no mold.

I know that would be a better test if I hadn't painted it.
1 month ago