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Charles Reed

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since Mar 24, 2019
Terlingua, TX
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Recent posts by Charles Reed

If you want to get away, far away from the city, and still have DSL or fiber optic to the home, Come on out to South Brewster County, Texas. You can find places here that are 150 (or more) miles from the nearest Walmart and that have DSL and/or fiber optic running through the property and available to be installed to the home. It runs about $100/month for service. I've opted out of paying for a connection like that and instead use the VERY weak to non-existent cell signal with a plan that is nearly free. I don't have much data allowance but it works for me. When I want to download large files, I visit one of several WiFi hotspots.

Now if I decided to live on a floating permaculture island, hanging out mostly in international waters then I'd be in a situation of most likely very expensive and slow internet or just doing without except for when taking a boat into port and hanging out at a WiFi hotspot.
3 months ago
Since at least part of the people in the world have limited bandwidth internet connections I propose it would be nice if all the features of the site were optimized to work on all browsers (including lynx) and in other than default browser configurations, i.e. without loading any images or JavaScript. One example of where the site breaks when not loading images is with Apples. When images are not loaded one only sees a number that unless one is trying to find out where to view how many apples they have they may not know (or remember) what that number is for. Also with the current design of the site, not loading images results in some of the menus being white text on a white background.
Please elaborate on how yellow jackets and other wasps a great garden allies.

I provide water for the bees even though I have no hives yet. In doing so, I'm also providing water for the yellow jackets and other wasps. I have allowed the wasps to build numerous nests around the outside of the house under the large shade structure. I'm starting to think I may need to turn at least a portion of those wasps into chicken feed since the wasps got way too many of my mulberries and now are eating on a high percentage of my Texas Persimmons. It's not like they eat the entire fruit either but they eat part of numerous fruits. I'll still eat the fruit after they have had a bite or three but the quantity of fruit I'm able to harvest is not even yet enough to provide as much as I'd like to eat on a daily basis much less enough to start to think about putting any away for use later.

So, yellow jackets, "what have you done for me lately?"
3 months ago
The data allowance from my service provider is so low that I rarely load images, browse without JavaScript as much as possible. I've also configured my browser to not download embedded fonts. The web has gotten so incredibly bloated since it's inception. If I could have 3 superpowers, at the top of the list would be the super power to force at least web developers to have to read out loud every single byte of every page they ever browse regardless if it is a site they are developing or just a site they are visiting for entertainment. This would include not just the html, css, javascript, but also a hexadecimal representation of every image, icon, pdf, audio, video and any other bit of data that constitutes a web experience. I may exempt them from reading of things such as operating system updates or desktop executable programs. If that didn't lead to the web becoming less bloated, I'd use my superpower to require them to read it all in binary. Of course since the reading would be required to be done out loud it may annoy their spouse or children or others. In case of any annoyance, they would be required to either cease their browsing session, seclude themselves so as to not annoy others, or transcribe with paper and pencil every byte that would have been read out loud.

<loosing his balance and falling off of soapbox>
Oh, yeah embedded videos......
......well I do my best to never even be aware of the existence of embedded videos by configuring my browser to never load them. I still have work to do on that because occasionally some slip by. This is the case even when I am at a WiFi hotspot with unlimited high speed internet access.
YouTube has a special place in my /etc/hosts file so it doesn't waste my bandwidth.
As for videos that are an integral part of the initial post, I almost never watch them. If there is a video I think I really need to watch, it gets bookmarked into a folder to stuff to watch when I get to a WiFi hotspot.
More often than not I find that videos are a waste of time to watch due to the fact that the necessary data could have much more efficiently been conveyed through a plain text document possibly with a few images. There are rare occasions that a video may equal or exceed the efficiency of conveying an idea accomplished by a text document with images. Numerous videos are very poorly made and they are filled with uhms and other filler words, they don't get right to the point. If you are making a video to tell me a recipe for insect repellent...DON'T!! and for the love of all that is holy, don't make that video promising a non-toxic insect repellent recipe and take 18 minutes discussing DEET and how bad it is!! JUST type up a text file with the ingredients and any mixing instructions and be done with it! If you want to make a video of how to paint a mountain scene then that may be something that would be more difficult for someone to learn by reading a text file with or without pictures so a video may be appropriate. In most cases, if you want to make a high quality worthwhile video, you need to invest quite a lot of time into it. In most cases, you should start with writing a script and then proofreading that script and then rehearsing and then doing as many takes as necessary to get it right, doing any necessary editing.
I'm thinking about trying this out and additionally using it to compost humanure.  I figure that this type of composting may work better in the desert provided evaporation from the composting vessel is minimal. As it is, kitchen scraps dry up too quickly and I don't seem to have sufficient quantity to get a large pile going. In experimenting with this, I'd also want to learn to do my own testing to assure safety of the finished product. I'm guessing a microscope would be used to look for pathogenic organisms. If trials work well, it might even make sense to install a "normal" flush toilet that would transport human nutrients directly into the composting vessel. I'm guessing that it would be likely that this setup would still use water amounts in excess of the amount needed for composting and in excess of the amount of water needed for watering/fertilizing plants. If so, this may put me back to the idea of using a non-funnel based urine diversion setup.
I did notice that the dung beetles don't seem to wake up and get to work until about 2-3 hours after sunrise so one might do well to cover with soil any dung beetle food deposited after their quitting time and before their day starts. This may assist in keeping it moist enough for the dung beetles as well as keeping flies from getting to it.
3 months ago
I agree that some amount of urine going into the feces is no problem and in fact desirable from a composting standpoint. What I believe has been discussed on this forum is the need to keep the urine pathogen free so it can be used safely for fertilizing.

I've owned two of the Sun-Mar "composting" toilets and ended up going back to a Jenkins style that I later added a home-built funnel type urine diverter which worked reasonably well to keep it aerobic and reduce trips to empty the bucket.

It wouldn't work everywhere, and it fails to work at all in certain weather or seasons, but I really like my "dung beetle feeder". It took nothing to construct although one could upgrade it with a privacy screen or wall if one has neighbors. The dog uses one too, just squat down and if not immediately, the dung beetles fly in and take care of things. If they don't then a shovel and some soil takes care of things to keep it from becoming a fly nursery. I wonder how great a potential for contamination of garden veggies there might be with a dung beetle feeder.

Granted it takes a greater initial investment of time/money/materials, but the two (or more) vault true composting unit does seem the way to go. If the time/money/materials for a vault system and a bucket or roll-away system were all converted to time for ease of comparison, I suspect sooner or later the seemingly less expensive bucket/container system would overtake the cost of the vault system.

The aerated liquid idea sounds interesting but certainly not terribly simple. Potentially could make a super safe fertilizer.
4 months ago
poo ball rolling by
nutrient reuse that's it
thanks oh dung beetle
4 months ago
heal our mother earth
dung beetle feeder I got
wherever I squat
4 months ago
Today as I was growing impatient in my wait to hear back from my request for information on the 3-hole ecosan pan and western style designs, I thought I'd go about attempting to build something similar from materials I have around here at least to get a proof of concept that wouldn't be as pretty or durable but would work. The first thing I thought would be important to know is a good diameter of the number 2 hole because that diameter would dictate the necessary diameter for the funnel apparatus that would be operated by a lever to close off the number 2 chute and provide diversion for number 3 (bottom wash water). So I pulled up google with as is often the case, search terms that don't take me directly to an answer to the particular question I am pondering. Instead, I may have found something even better as in an overall better design for diverting urine reliably from solids. It relies on the CoandĒŽ effect which is the tendency of fluids to adhere to a smooth surface. Urine is transported along this surface until it is far enough out of the way of where #2 is falling and it reaches the end of the surface which is conveniently located above a gutter. The advantages of this design are it's ability to perform it's separating duty for all ages and genders without becoming clogged. I imagine there would still be the possibility of contamination of the urine with fecal matter in cases where the solids were of a more wet and/or sticky consistency since some might stick to the separating plate and later be washed off by and carried with some urine. I don't believe the potential contamination of urine is at all unique to the design. [DON"T read between the parenthesis.] (The only design I can imagine that might be capable of keeping the urine completely pure would be a complicated design involving an artificial intelligence who could accurately position the urine funnel(s) to catch every drop  even in cases where a male was standing and writing letters with his stream. Of course that would require sensors of some sort, probably cameras and somehow I don't see that going over too well with anyone, not to mention potential problems with high speed funnel movements.)
For me the main disadvantage of the NatSol design is that it appears to only be designed for sitters and wipers, and not for squatters and washers. It should be entirely doable to modify the design to accommodate both. I suppose If you and I are the ones doing the design modification we could potentially at least partially avoid the other disadvantage being the high cost of the commercial units.
4 months ago