Derek Brewer

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since Jan 31, 2011
Hatfield, PA
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Recent posts by Derek Brewer

Where is the vapor barrier in that roof structure? improper placement of that in cathedral ceilings is often a cause of moisture and rot. Might want to confirm that before re-insulating.
Great pics and nice place! What's the outside look like?

Dale Hodgins wrote:Derek, that is not an electric car and it has nothing to do with electric cars.



Yes, I know... as I said, it's a gas vehicle... However it's much simpler and more elegant than most electric/hybrid vehicles, as well as more financially accessible to people. It is an alternative that, I think, people should consider if they are looking at this area.

What is better, a hybrid with toxic batteries that need to be frequently replaced and very large embodied energy inputs, or a gas vehicle that gets better mileage than most hybrids, with a lot less total embodied energy and less recycling issues, but that uses fossil fuels? I'm honestly not sure, but I believe it is worth thinking about. If you could run the Elio on BioDiesel, I think it would be a simpler answer, but that's not an option that I'm aware of yet.
2 years ago
I'm eagerly awaiting the Elio - https://www.eliomotors.com/
A gas vehicle that gets 84MPG using largely off the shelf components. The formfactor should make it much easier to navigate and park in a city, too. Now, granted, this is not a hauler or anything, but it would be a great commuter vehicle.
2 years ago
This sounds a lot like the series: It's not easy being green. I'd highly recommend you watch season one and consider the amount of work and expense you're about to undertake. It's a fantastic adventure, to be sure, but definitely consider all the angles.
I'm in a stone farmhouse originally built in 1850 on 14 acres. Thankfully our house was largely renovated, but we still struggle with some things (like heat!). It's going to be at least a year before we get our permaculture designs complete. We're also constantly playing the balance game of home repairs and new "stuff", like garden beds. The best advice I can give is to look at the list of what needs to be done to the place, and think if you can reasonably do (or pay for) the work in the time-frame you are looking at. I also wouldn't count on the place turning any kind of profit for at least 5 years. Sure it's possible, but plan for the worst case to be sure you don't lose your home.
2 years ago
Great idea! I picked up two so I can gift one at some point.
Good luck with the KickStarter.
2 years ago
Work songs and shanties go back as far as humankind does. They really make work go by quickly, but it feels a bit odd to just burst out into song in this day and age... Might have to work on fixing that!
It's much easier to find shanties than old farming songs, though.

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2008/09/23/the-10-manliest-sea-shanties/
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/
http://brethrencoast.com/Sea_Shanties.html
http://www.folkways.si.edu/classic-railroad-songs-from-folkways/american-folk/music/album/smithsonian

2 years ago
cob

Jan White wrote:Like someone said above, "no one wants your 45 year old wife."


Respectfully, my aunt was raped at 50 in an elevator, and she is not what you would consider a "looker". My mother also works with a lot of elderly (65-70+ year old) patients who have this happen in nursing homes and other care facilities. It may not be in the majority of situations, but it absolutely does happen.
2 years ago

Theresa Whited wrote:
I will have a gun safe, I will take a conceal and carry class, I will learn my gun inside and out and shoot regularly to stay familiar and everything else we have spoken of.
...
It was my neighbor who said "get a shotgun" and she is a mature, kind person. I'm not sure why this is so controversial or why anyone would be negative. The topic isn't about gun control or ownership it is simply your advice on how to protect your homestead. I'm a little shocked that there are such intense feelings about this. No one has much to say about surveillance? or is that a different topic?



A few thoughts.
  • Surveillance is a deterrent, not a defense. This means that it will deter some folks, and it won't affect others. Surveillance won't do anything for a coyote, for example. It is just a passive system that will record what the coyote does to your chickens.
  • Defense in depth is a good idea. This means that you discourage as much as possible with lights, gravel, fences, surveillance systems, sharp thorny plants, etc.. However, as I stated before, this isn't going to stop a truely motivated person or creature.
  • What are you protecting? What are you protecting it from? If you are protecting your livestock from a predator, a rifle is probably the best bet. If you are protecting yourself, a pistol on your person is the best bet.
  • A gun safe is a good idea, however it means you have to get to your gun safe and open it before you can use your weapon. This won't work for home invasions, sudden predator attacks, etc. In my opinion, your defense weapon is safest if it is on your person all the time. The only time it should go into a safe is when you're going to sleep for the night. In that instance, if should be a quick access safe next to your bed. This goes double if you have kids in the house, as they will try to open a shiny safe.
  • I echo what others have said, though: If you are not willing to use a gun to defend yourself or your livestock, then don't get one. You have to be willing to use it for it to be of any value. Otherwise it will be a liability.
  • I think the reason this came across as controversial, excluding the fact that it is about guns, is because you started the thread with a list of questionable negatives about gun ownership. For example "I grew up in the city and even owning a gun is dangerous." Now I am not passing a value judgement or anything, just trying to indicate that this may be where some of the negativity came from. In my experience, growing up in the city, a gun would make you safer, but that is my personal take.


  • I hope the above helps. Good luck in your deliberations and thank you for considering it as seriously as you are.

    2 years ago
    I'm almost embarrassed to post this here because its so simple...
    We had a need for a wood rack near the house and I found a really simple way to do it courtesy of Instructables.



    Materials
  • Three CMUs
  • Two Landscape Timbers
  • Two 2x4x8's cut in half


  • It took all of 15 minutes to set up (I had to move it a bit), and will hold about a solid facecord of wood.
    3 years ago
    I've butted heads with my mom for years. She got a lot more radically conservative when my dad passed away. Now she's not long for this world either (screw cancer, seriously).
    We've made a lot of progress in our dynamic over the last few years by just letting things be. When she brings up a controversial subject, I just make no comment, or a minor one and try to move on to something else. After me leading the charge for nearly a year, she started to pick up on it and is now doing the same. I'm very happy to say that the relationship is well on the mend.
    Focusing on differences only drives the wedge deeper. Be happy that you still have them together and that they love you, life's too short for anything else. Find the commonalities, like preserving and growing food, and build on that.
    3 years ago