Dan Fish

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since Dec 31, 2019
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dog forest garden fish fungi trees hunting books food preservation building wood heat homestead
Sierra Nevada Foothills, Zone 8b
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Recent posts by Dan Fish

Hahaha mission creep is my go to buzzword around the office! It's a very real problem is a professional sense and the reason 75% of crap doesn't get done around here. If you don't have a clear defined end state then how do you know when you get there? How do you know how much (time, effort, materials) to focus and where?

Anyways, for all that I am the worst example in my own life and on my own property. Wood shed isn't finished because now it's a water-collector and a lumber rack as well. Skirting around the house isn't done cause, "what if I use scrap lumber from the old shed...) and on and on. My garden beds this year would have been a lot better if I would have written down a plan and stuck to it. Instead of constantly coming up with "great ideas" and just let them be. On the bright side, I have done exactly that for the upcoming season and I got a line on some corrugated roofing to pick up this afternoon, hahaha.

A well developed plan is good. Changing a plan that isn't working is good. Constantly improving or expanding on a plan in progress is bad.


My mission has actually contracted somewhat. I started out rarin' to be 100% self sufficient in as short a time as possible. Then I hurt myself, became more realistic about my property, and realized how poor I was... Still working towards the goal but my mission has become "become MORE self-sufficient" as opposed to "become self-sufficient". I am actively trying to set smaller targets and one by one hammer them into dust as opposed to one big target that is hammering me. This thread has been well-timed, I just made all of these promises to myself within the last few weeks, hahaha.
5 hours ago
I have never composted fish but I buried a trout's remains near some shrubs this weekend!

But I just wanted to say I had great results when I made fish hydrosolate (spelling?) a little while ago. I blended 5 large fish carcasses into liquid (wife unhappy), added sugar and about 10 lacto-baccilius (again, spelling) pills and let it sit for a month. It was a great success. Although I am not sure about the mechanics of pulverizing 50 gallons of fish maybe you wouldn't have to? Chop finely and wait longer?

-Mr. Thread D. Railer
6 hours ago
When I lived in Fairbanks I used to know an old timer that would sun himself for 15 minutes a day any time the sun was out in the winter. For a month or so the sun is just too low on the horizon to get any rays at all but other than that, -20 degrees? Didn't matter to him. Probably helped that he had lived there since the 70s and knew enough about the trade offs...

Also one year my boss bought us all sad-lights which are supposed to emulate sunshine while you work at your bench. They sucked.
1 day ago
One of the legends I heard when I was in the army was that they boiled the same grounds so many times at Bastogne that they turned white. May have just been propaganda to excuse the poor quality of modern day army coffee. Mighty fine my ass.

So yeah, you could try that...
2 weeks ago
As the proud holder of an associates degree in computer science...

I'd say Python. It always seems to be more fun than others. We learned Java and C in school. C is cool if you are making actual things (like embedded systems) but it always ends up pissing me off eventually. In fact, I actually hate computer programing but when I get the itch to play around I choose Python. Its fun to put 124349**30821 into IDLE just to see really big numbers...
2 weeks ago
I like this method of "fake science". It is actually how I learned almost everything I know. Just ask people that seem to be good at something and take their word for it.

Benefits of this crowdsourced (right? Right???) method:

Way faster than independant research! All the info is right there (not all the info is there YET)

"Good enough" accuracy. Not thesis reference quality but like wikipedia, at least 93% accurate!

Self adjusting. If someone gives bad info, the thumbs down will expose it as such.

Good work Ben. You are on to something. Keep it up.
3 weeks ago
I have one where the cage might as well be off... It's missing 1/3 of the horizontal bars and all but one of the vertical ones are bent, broken or not in contact with the tank. I have filled it up and it seems to be fine. Someone told me that the cage is just for transportation. If that's actually true, I don't know.

The instant greenhouse idea has me thinking...
3 weeks ago

At what point, if any, does fire safety trump permaculture?

In my opinion, point zero.

But, I don't see a huge conflict of interest here. 100ft of space isn't all that hard to have while still practicing PC. In my defensible space are water collection tanks, a vegetable garden, flower beds, a tiny pond, a couple shrubs, bushes and fruit trees (not within "spreading distance"), storage sheds and the not yet operational chicken run. None of these raised the insurance inspectors hackles. Still, where I live if a "real" fire comes through there isn't going to be much anyone can do about it, defensible space or not

I sorta think that a well managed food forest is basically what you would get after a fire came through anyway. Good soil, healthy spacing and an effective succession system. Isn't that why the fire danger is so high and the forest health so low? No fire for 100 years? Just from looking at the difference between a well-developed food forest and the average (and also well-developed) tinderbox forest here in California keeps me working towards one of my own.
4 weeks ago
Personally I would like a book, or more likely a chapter or two about water. Developing springs, digging water delivery trenches or constructing flumes, small ponds and dams, creating a wetland, etc.
1 month ago
Just get a surplus E-Tool. They suck to dig a hole with but I guarantee that they suck less than all the other options. They aren't fragile. Just make sure it's the genuine article with an NSN or you will be more disappointed than necessary.
1 month ago