Saturday, December 22, 2012

Wake up, people!

Just because there wasn't a cataclysm yesterday doesn't mean this isn't TEOTWAWKI.  The thing about "the end of the world as we know it" is that sometimes the changes accumulate slowly enough that we don't realize it.  Try to think back how your life was 13 years ago.  Imagine you had climbed into a bunker on December 31, 1999 and came out today.  Would this be a world you recognize at all?

If you don't see the apocalypse, maybe that's because you're one of the zombies....

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How Obamacare Can Reduce Unemployment

Okay, follow closely.  Let's say you have some work that needs done that requires 120 person-hours a week.  Originally you might have hired 2 people to work 60 hours a week.  Then after overtime became an issue, you hired another person and cut everyone back to 40 hours a week.  Then came benefits for full time employees, so you went to 4 people working 30 hours a week.  Now with Obamacare, you would have to provide health insurance for people working 30 hours a week, so you go to 6 people working 20 hours a week.

Of course, this only works in jobs where there is a ready supply of new employees.  Those industries that can't hire readily just have to adjust to what they can afford, and those are the ones that publicly announce layoffs.  The hiring from Obamacare is more in low-skill service work, which goes relatively unnoticed.  Of course, there is no more money being paid to employees, so it's not really helping the economy, but it makes Obama look good.

So, the trend I expect to be reported over the coming months is a mild drop in the unemployment rate with a sharp increase in the underemployment rate, i.e., people who want to work full time but only have part time jobs.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Biofuel for $1.50 a gallon

This is what I'm talking about!

Cool Planet Energy Systems First Company to Develop Carbon Negative Fuel at Projected Cost of Less Than $1.50 Per Gallon

It is produced from woody plant materials, so it doesn't compete with food.  Biochar is a byproduct of the process, which can be used as a soil amendment.  That's what makes it carbon negative.

It has been tested on an unmodified car with a blend of 5% of the new fuel and 95% regular gasoline with no measurable differences.

And, by the way, no government subsidies are needed....

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Treasure Trove of Survival Information

Okay, I know the whole theory is kind of hokey, and if it's not, it's a bit late now, but with over 14 GB of PDF files, this looks like a bountiful source of information:

Pole Shift Survival Information

I haven't had a chance to really go through it, I suspect there is a major overlap with some other source(s).  Glancing over the directory structure there seems to be a good variety of information, and looking at a couple of the PDFs they look detailed enough to be useful.

The Importance of Scenarios

"Scott G" wrote an excellent guest post on on "Mental Preparedness".  I highly recommend that everyone read it.

I would like to quote one paragraph from the article on the importance of scenarios, as I have had a commentater on this blog who seemed to think one scenario was sufficient:
"In the police academy, I was taught to prepare myself ahead of time by playing the “What If” game. Any good cop plays this game every chance he gets. He thinks up a possible scenario that could go wrong then comes up with some specific solutions. He comes up with as many scenarios as he can imagine along with the proper reaction, then goes over them time and time and time again."
This is why I will highlight as many different possible future scenarios as I can think of.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A New Threat: Ransomware

The New York Times posted an article by Nicole Perlroth recently entitled,  "For PC Virus Victims, Pay or Else". This new threat locks up your computer, frequently masquerading as a law-efforcement agency, and demands you pay a fine.  The preferred method is a prepaid debit card, so it is untraceable and irrevocable.

Tips for Chicken Eggs at Home

Colorado State University has a useful page on "Home-Produced Chicken Eggs," written by M. Bunning and J. Avens.  It covers the basics without going into too much detail.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Captain Dave's Survival Guide

I recently came across a very interesting e-book entitled "Captain Dave's Survival Guide".  What amazes me is that he has the whole thing for available for free on his website.  I have only read a few pages so far, but it easily looks as good as the ones I see advertised everywhere for $20-$40.  Of course, he apparently doesn't spend the money advertising, so I wanted to let people know.

Why Shale Oil Works in the Short Run

Matt Badiali wrote a useful article, "Don't Believe This Shale Oil Argument... It'll Cost You", on The Growth Stock Wire.  Much of it is hyper-optimistic about the prospects of shale oil, but towards the middle there is a very useful analysis:
The Eagle Ford is one of the largest shale oil fields in the country. According to one company operating there, it costs $5.5 million to drill an oil well in the Eagle Ford.  
The wells have an estimated ultimate recovery of about 438,000 barrels of oil. Let's assume the company will get $85 per barrel (slightly below today's price) and that it costs $15 per barrel to move it. That means the company earns $70 per barrel in profit.
In short, the well pays for itself after 78,571 barrels... in about six months of production. After that, it becomes like an annuity. It's a risk-free profit. At $85 per barrel, it works out to a return of 4.6-to-1 on the money.
 Now, the numbers he doesn't crunch is that 78,000 is 18% of 438,000, so if production is linear the well would run dry in 33 months.  So yeah, shale oil is quite profitable, for now, but that doesn't say a lot for it's long term prospects.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Coming Soon: Gun Insurance

Eric Peters wrote a very interesting article on how they will incrementally make guns impossible to own for all but the richest among us: "Here's How It Will Be Done" (on his website).

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Ascent Of Humanity

I'm so glad to see I'm not alone...

The Ascent Of Humanity by Charles Eisenstein (this is essentially the full text online).

I just discovered this book, due to the fact that he is the keynote speaker at the 2013 PASA Conference. After I finish reading it, I will be posting a review on the Long Ascent.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Playing Upslope

I just came across the story of what looks to be a great new toy, Slotto.  It is a set of interlocking pieces, like Legos or Lincoln logs.  What makes Slotto different is that while Legos are more like bricks, Slotto is more like plywood -- in fact it is made from medium-density fiberboard -- so it takes fewer pieces to build larger structures.

Right now Bed, Bath, & Beyond sells it under the name "TreeHaus Wooden Slotted Blocks".

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Different Spin

The IEA published an annual report recently that projects that the United States will overtake Saudi Arabia by 2020 in production of oil and become a net exporter by 2030.  There has been a lot of commentary on this, one side saying that this disproves peak oil and we can continue merrily along, the other saying these projections are wishful thinking.  I can foresee a quite probable scenario where the US surpasses Saudi Arabia as the latter's oil wells start pumping out water on the steep edge of the decline, and the US becomes a net exporter of oil because the dollar is no longer the reserve currency for the world and we need to sell oil for hard currency and can't afford to use the oil ourselves.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Beautiful Simplicity in A Bird's Nest

Nature Shows How Weaverbirds Create Beautiful Tiny Homes on The Flying Tortoise blog has a lot of beautiful pictures.

Why I Voted For Ron Paul

"Every nation gets the government it deserves."  -- Joseph-Marie, comte de Maistre

If you voted for Barrack Obama because you love the guy, congratulations.
If you voted for Mitt Romney because you love the guy, I'm so sorry.
If you voted for either because you thought they were so much better than the other choice, I understand.

If you voted for either because they were the lesser evil, you suck.
If you didn't vote at all, you really suck.

I didn't waste my vote.  I voted for someone I actually thought could do the job.

As long as we keep meekly approving the crappy choices they give us, they will keep giving us crappier choices.

Americans deserve four more years of this government.  Maybe then they'll finally wake up and take some real action.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

From A Dream

A bird dove through the air.
She hit the water and broke her neck.
As she floated there
The men thought she was food for the fishes.
The fishes thought she was food for the men.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Looking Sandy in the Eye

It was kind of amusing and a little frustrating watching the weather radar around sunset last night.  There was this big beautiful clear patch just a few miles from me, but it didn't seem to be getting any closer.  When I zoomed out, I saw that the rain was moving in a circle around the clear patch.  So I guess that was Sandy's eye.

Overall here in western Pennsylvania we've had less damage than a severe thunderstorm, just a very long period of rain.  Heck, only one trash can got knocked down.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What if...

... the government wants all guns registered not because they want to control all the guns, but because they are looking to conscript people who are already competent with guns?

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Dark Ages

Today at 1:25 P.M. I officially entered the Dark Ages.  No, it has nothing to do with lack of electricity.  I installed blackout cellular blinds in my bedroom to help ease my migraines.  The nice thing about them is they also are insulating too, so they will be useful at night when it is cold out as well as days when it is hot.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pop Quiz

1. Who are food stamps really meant to help?

  a.) The poor
  b.) Farmers
  c.) Multinational food corporations

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


It's the one-year anniversary for my other blog, The Long Ascent.  To commemorate, I posted a special (long) post on The Death of Tyranny.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Giving 1000%

I can literally give 1000%.  But that is very much dependent on how I set my levels.  By giving 100% on a daily basis, I mean taking what I can do over a decade and dividing by 3653.  So when I give 1000% one day, that means I may only be able to give 50% for the next 18 days.

There are a couple of points about this perspective.  I choose a decade because that is long enough to even out things like broken legs or pneumonia without changing too much because of aging.  (This won't be true for the first or last decade of life, of course.)  More importantly, if you define 100% as the maximum you can do in a day, then you will either be constantly falling short or you will eventually wear yourself out.  Most critically, if you live that close to the edge, if anything happens, your life will fall apart.  With my definition, you have some reserves for emergencies that demand it and are mentally prepared to recuperate afterward.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Just Learn

This is my response to "Go to trade school, young man" by Patrice Lewis on World Net Daily:

In my not so humble opinion, everyone who is capable needs to get some form of post-secondary education.  The United States has one of the best systems of adult education in the world.  Of course, that is partially due to overburdening children's schooling with noneducational requirements.  The real question is what form that education should take.

If you truly want to do something which requires a college degree, by all means, go to college.  If you truly want to work in a trade, go to trade school.  If you don't know what you want, try out different things before committing.  For example, if you think you might want to work in house construction, try volunteering for Habitat for Humanity.  And don't be afraid to try new things, even things you don't like.  I hate doing my own taxes, but I took the H&R Block introductory tax course so I could do them better, and I found to my surprise that doing other people's taxes was enjoyable.

Even when you have a career, don't stop learning.  The brain is like a muscle, the more you use it, the better it works.  Studies have shown decreased rates of senility in people who keep their minds active.  You can take courses which further your career, or find something for an interest you have or a hobby you enjoy.

If money is an issue, consider taking one class at a time while you're working.  It may take longer to get your degree but not necessarily to get your degree paid off.  You also aren't taking such a big risk if you decide you don't like the field you've chosen or can't find a job in it.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


A famous food critic walks into a certain restaurant.  The waiter takes his order and takes it back to the chef and tells him who it is for.  The chef nervously prepares his meal and the waiter promptly takes it out to him.  The waiter asks how his meal is.  The critic replies, "This would make great dog food."  When the waiter goes back to the kitchen, the chef asks what the critic said.  The waiter replies, "He said, 'Great'".

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Joy of Wood

Sixbears in the Woods has a great daily blog.  Every day is an interesting read, but his past two posts really get at the joy of wood and fires.

New Post: Prepaid Arbitration

Assuming that I set up the scheduling correctly and Blogger doesn't glitch, there should be a new post on The Long Ascent: Prepaid Arbitration.  Since it's been so long since I've posted there regularly, I thought people might like to know.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Veggie Porn

"10 Naughtiest Vegetables on Earth" by Julian London on

Diet Tip: Leftovers First

Here's a simple little trick that has helped me lose weight: if you make more servings than people who are going to eat them right away, put away the leftovers before serving. That way I'm not tempted to just finish it off so I don't have to put anything away.  If I am truly hungry, I can pull one out and eat it, but I rarely do.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Things To Think About

Dave Pollard revealed some really deep thoughts in his post, "The Ten Hardest Questions" on his blog, "How to Save the World".

Kitchen Tip: Nuke Your Sponge

This is actually two tips in one.  If you use a sponge to wash your dishes, when it stops looking, feeling, or smelling clean, stick it in the microwave for two minutes.  This will sterilize it and make it like new again.  (Sorry I can't remember where I picked up this tip.)  Also, when the sponge gets too ragged for dishes, I use it to clean up around the kitchen.  After I nuke that sponge, I go ahead and wipe out the microwave; nuking the sponge helps loosen everything that splattered or overflowed.  (That tip comes from my mother.)

Intro to Paul Wheaton

For anyone who is not familiar with Paul Wheaton or Permaculture, I suggest you check out "Grow wild: Paul Wheaton's at the forefront of a permaculture revolution" by Erika Fredrickson in the Missoula Independent.  Then if you like that sort of thing, head over to the forums at, where they talk about bone sauce, homesteading, and Permaculture, all the time.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Itty Bitty Multitool

This looks cool!  I think I'll be getting one of these next time I order from

"Gerber Shard Review : A Low-Cost and Effective Addition to Your EDC Kit" by Dan from

Monday, August 6, 2012

Counterfeits and Knockoffs

Dan on has an interesting rant on "YouTube’s Counterfeit Culture".  I think there is an important distinction between counterfeits, which claim to be a certain brand, and knockoffs, that only look and work like it.  If something is truly innovative in how it works or looks, the creator should protect it with a patent or a design patent.  If not, then cheap imitations are okay, as long as you know what you are getting.  Nonessential things you can afford to skimp on.  Stuff that you are relying on to survive, you want to know you have the best quality possible.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Inflation AND Deflation

People involved in the financial world are worried about deflation, people involved in the real world are worried about inflation.  Guess what?  They're both right.  The value of paper assets is way out of proportion to the value of real assets.  The way that gets correct is for paper assets to fall in price and/or the prices of real goods to rise.  The last couple times this happened the process ended when the price of gold was about equal to the price of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.  Since we're at around $1500 an ounce for gold and $12000 for the DJIA, we have a long way to go.

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Moving Story

I don't normally follow Pumpkin, Pie, Painter, but I happened to stumble across a very intense story entitled "Our Dying Dog and a Prayer" by Farmer's Wyfe.

Avoiding Reality

James M. Dakin wrote a thought-provoking article entitled "We Don’t Need No Stinking Reality."

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Not Always Right...

This is a hilarious website about bad experiences with customers: Not Always Right.  Don't worry, they have companion sites for employees, lovers, and family.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Radical Open Source

"TED Global: Radical Openness" by Marcin Jakubowski on has some really different thinking.

People and Climate Change

Some people are changing their minds about climate change.  I understand the people who are in denial about climate change; the fear can just shut down rational thinking.  I also understand people who say we are changing the climate by all the fossil fuel we're burning, but it's okay because we'll run out soon.  Not that that's necessarily true, but at least it is a reasonable position.  What I don't understand are people who admit that the climate is changing and deny that we are the cause, and that doesn't bother them! If we aren't doing it, then we are helpless victims waiting for the wrath of the gods.

Cranberry Township and the Old Stone House

The Leibowitz Society's post on maps got me thinking.  Four miles from my home is an Old Stone House.  It would be quite unremarkable these days, a modest three story home, except for the fact that it has been turned into a historical museum.  Today it is at the intersection of two small state highways.  Those highways follow the routes of two Native American trails which were major routes before the American Revolution.  Back when it was built, the Old Stone House was a major rest stop.  At times half a dozen people would sleep in each bed.  Today it is just a curiosity.

These days the major activity near here is a place called Cranberry Township.  Its claim to fame is that it is at the intersection of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Interstate 79.  As we come off Hubbert's Mesa and gasoline gets relatively more expensive, I wonder how long it will be before Cranberry Township is just another forgotten way station.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Deadly Survival Tips

Bar Stool Tax Explanation

"Bar Stool Economics: A Simple Guide to the American System of Taxation and Distribution" by Mac Slavo on is a good explanation of how the tax system works in the US.

Storm Story

I had an interesting experience yesterday.  I went to the local grocery store across town and the parking lot was almost empty.  On the door was a huge hand-written sign: CLOSED / No Power.  What was really confusing was not only that I had had no interruption in power but also that the lights were on in the store.  As it turns out, I had come when the lights had just come back on.  The power was out from a storm we had 3 hours earlier.  All the open shelves of produce were bare, and all the cases were covered.  I was able to get the bread I needed, but not the milk.  No matter how hard you try to prepare, it still is jarring seeing stores closed and shelves empty.

Why Health Care Costs So Much

"Why Your Health Care Is so Darn Expensive"… by Alex Daley on
The bottom line: because we are living so much longer.

UN Arms Treaty Scuttled

Okay, I admit, I didn't see this one coming: "Obama blamed for failure of international arms-trade treaty" on

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Nursery Square (SFG Garden Tip)

Mel Bartholomew had an excellent suggestion in his post, "How To Plan A Fall Square Foot Garden": start your fall seeds in a nursery square.  You plant 36 seeds in one square foot and transplant them when they get big enough.

New Nudism

asks the question, "What do you do when your clothes are wearing out?"  If industrial society collapses completely (not just going into a major depression), I predict people will stop wearing clothes for the sake of modesty, just for protection from the elements.  This is one area very few preppers even mention.  How many people know how to ret and scutch flax? to turn wool into a sweater?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Less Compost, More Food

"Frippery Farms" brought back an old post from 2009 on salvaging food scraps.  "Bacon and Eggs" ran with the part about making tomato powder, complete with photos.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

All That Is Needed For Evil To Triumph...

is for good men to do nothing.  Arthur Silber indirectly reminded me of this in "The Nauseating Grief of Diseased America" on his blog, Once Upon A Time...

Friday, July 20, 2012

Too Late

"It's Too Late for Solutions": A Podcast Interview with James Howard Kunstler on Chris Martenson's Peak Prosperity.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Thanks to Jenna from Cold Antler Farm for recommending this. You can read more about it here.

The Joy of Sprouting

"Important Considerations for your Food Storage", guest post by Michele O on, has a lot of good information about grains, storage, and sprouting.  One important point she left out is that it is precisely things which make for bad nutrition that make it good for storage.


There is an interesting concept in mathematics: orthogonality.  Basically, two sets of shapes are orthogonal if everywhere the intersect at right angles.  Vertical lines and horizontal lines are orthogonal, as are the set of all lines running through a point and the set of all circles that have that same point as the center.  Even latitude lines and longitude lines are orthogonal.

I think this concept applies to prepping.  What it boils down to is minimizing overlap.  Specifically, if you use scenarios to guide your prepping, try to make the scenarios as different as possible.  That way you can be better prepared for what actually does occur.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Why I Love Ramen

  1. Ramen doesn't take long to cook.
  2. Ramen is very easy to make.
  3. I don't heat up my kitchen too much.
  4. It's versatile: I can leave the noodles whole, break them in half, or crush them to bits.
  5. One package doesn't leave a lot of leftovers.
  6. It stacks well.
  7. You can use the flavor packet or not.
  8. It stores for a long time.
  9. You can cook it anywhere you can boil water.

Why Buy Local Food?

Why Grow Your Own Food?

Much Bigger Problems Than Drought Threaten Grains by Jim Rogers on

Homemade Chicken Waterers

Avian Aqua Miser definitely looks interesting.

The 2012 Urban Farm Handbook Challenge

I wish I had known about the 2012 Urban Farm Handbook Challenge back in February.  It still looks like good information.  Maybe they'll have one for 2013.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Anything You Want

It's been my observation that people can have any ONE thing they want.  The catch is they have to be willing to sacrifice everything else to get it.  Not that they necessarily have to sacrifice everything, but if two things are nonnegotiable demands, they frequently end up with neither.

Monday, July 16, 2012

God Answers All Prayers

Like Kris Watson, I've found that God answers all my prayers.  Invariably, I end up with one of four answers:

  1. Absolutely!
  2. Be patient, it will take a while.
  3. I have something better in mind.
  4. Okay, but you're not going to like it.
That last seems to be His favorite.

A Good Argument Against Peak Oil

Saying peak oil will never occur is crazy.  Even if the oil fields are refilling abiotically, we would have to be extracting it at a lower rate than they are refilling, which from what I've seen is orders of magnitude less.

Saying the peak in oil production hasn't happened yet is arguable.  Unless you're a complete sociopath, though, that should be followed by what you are doing to prepare yourself, your family, and your friends for its eventual occurance.

Saying that a peak in oil production won't matter is reasonable, if you are saying that imploding debt bubbles will drive demand for oil down faster than supply.  Famine, war, and/or plague could also very easily do the same.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Taxonomy of the Living Undead

The undead are popular these days (e.g., Zombie Zeitgeist).  I think do serve as good archetypes for a lot of people "alive" today:

Zombies: these are the unthinking masses. They eat, sleep, reproduce, watch TV, and only do enough work to pay for it all.

Vampires: these are the elites.  They can be very charming until the fangs come out, then they suck you dry.

Werewolves: these are the people who take what they want by force.  They need your fear.

My Way

My way is the best way.  Why? Because if someone can show me an unequivocally better way, I adopt it.  Thus my new way becomes the best way.  Of course "better" is subject to my set of values, so it might not be the best way for you.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Opening Cans and Boiling Water

This is the minimum skill set needed for cooking when a major disruption occurs.  One point of recipes like Chicken Corn Ramen is that those skills are about all that are needed.  And if you use canned chicken, you can keep all the ingredients on the shelf indefinitely.

It's Like Bringing a Nuclear Bomb to a Gun Fight

What is?  I don't know.  That just popped into my head as an example of a.) unsporting behavior, b.) being overprepared, or c.) insanity.  I'm sure I'll use it later.

What Kind of Crazy Are You?

Peak Oil Oppositional Disorder: Neurosis or Psychosis? on ClubOrlov begs the question: if you are crazy and you know it, when everyone else is crazy and doesn't know it, does that make you the sanest person around?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hard Community Service

The article "Hang 'Em High" in the Doomstead Diner got me thinking.  Our prisons are overcrowded, and there is a lot we could be doing to make things better but don't because they don't give results before the next quarterly report or election.  My thought is we should not send people to prison for nonviolent offenses.  Instead of spending a year in jail, for example, give them 2000 hours of community service.  Of course, if someone is such a habitual offender that adding more time won't matter to them, then we'll need to do something else; prison might be appropriate then.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Upside of Collapse

"Our Liberation: A Crashing Empire" by William Kotke on

Eight-Year-Old Cans Salsa

No, this isn't my kid, it's from the New Growth blog... I do like the concept, though.

Amazing Light Show

I didn't see any fireworks today, but as I was driving home tonight from celebrating Independence Day with family, I did see an amazing light show.  It was all electric blue.  What made it special was it was that the lightning was behind some clouds, so I saw the silhouettes of the clouds.  It was in the distance when I first saw it, but it lit up the entire sky when I got home.  Surprisingly, it didn't rain where I live, though the radar showed downpours a couple miles in either direction.  I'm not complaining, I was very happy with the couple inches we got last night.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Health Insurance Mandate the Legal Way

Okay, I am not a lawyer, but given what I know about the tax code, they could have done the individual mandate the following way:
  1. Impose a direct (per-capita) tax of $695 on everyone.
  2. Make everyone pay an additional 1% tax on their income.
  3. Give people who have health insurance a refundable income tax credit of $695 plus 1% of their income.
Each step is well-precedented and I believe constitutional, and by my understanding would generate the a little more income than the provisions in Obamacare.

Of course then it would have had to have been sold as a tax increase.

Planet Whizbang Updates

The Deliberate Agrarian posted a neat innovation in his June 2012 Blogazine: solar pyramids.  They serve the same purpose as Leandre Poisson’s Solar Cones® but cost a lot less.  They probably will adapt well to my Square Foot Garden.

The "garden clamp" system of underground storage he uses sounds interesting, too.  I first read about garden clamps in Mother Earth News.

I'll definitely want to get a copy of The Planet Whizbang Garden Idea Book For Gardeners when it comes out next winter.

Review: Healing Lyme Disease the Natural Way

William Hunter Duncan just posted an excellent review of the book Healing Lyme Disease the Natural Way by Wolf-Dieter Storl, along with his personal experiences with Lyme disease and thoughts on health care.

Recipe: Easy Corn for 1 or 2

Easy Way To Cook Corn in Oklahoma Transient.

Friday, June 29, 2012


I'm a prepper, he's a prepper, she's a prepper, we're all preppers, wouldn't you like to be a prepper, too?

Like Money in the Bank

Looking at the crisis in Europe, I wonder if soon the expression "like money in the bank" will reverse its meaning, becoming something that appears to have value but it really worthless.

Doing vs. Thinking

When we want to do things, we need coordination.  Our muscles must move in sync.  When they don't it's classified as a disease.

Thinking is different.  When neurons all fire in sync, that is a disease.  Each neuron needs to be able to act independently.

Living Like Kings

Here's an amusing thought I've had: take anyone receiving public assistance and offer them the chance to live like kings did 500 years ago, for as long as they like.  No electricity.  No plumbing.  Drafty castles.  I wonder how many would last a week....

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Letting Go

"What if we questioned the assumption that a decline in material wealth and energy use must lead to a decline in quality of life?"  Doug Hanvey, "Letting Go", Transition Voice, June 26, 2012

The Beginning of Knowledge

The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge; But the foolish despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 ASV).

If you don't want to do what's right, don't even bother with religion.  Just go do what you want, and accept the consequences.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Recipe: Chicken Corn Ramen

When I'm by myself I tend to eat food that is quick and easy to prepare.  The challenge is making sure it is still not too bad in terms of nutrition (as opposed to grabbing a candy bar or hopping in my car and getting some fast food).  I thought I'd share one of my newest recipes:

  • 1 packet chicken ramen noodles
  • 1 can cream corn
  • 1 cup cooked cubed chicken

  1. Prepare ramen according to directions.
  2. Drain.
  3. Add cream corn and chicken.
  4. Stir well and enjoy!

Friday, June 22, 2012

My New Toys Tools

I was looking to get a new rechargeable string trimmer, so when Home Depot had one with a free blower, I jumped at the chance to get it.  I always thought a blower was a bit of an extravagance, as I could simply use a rake, but I definitely wanted the extra battery.  I have found, though, that the blower works well for seeing what I've missed in trimming.  A rake doesn't do as good a job.  More surprising, I discovered a blower works great on a gravel driveway (as long as the wind isn't too strong) for separating the organic matter from the gravel.

From Straw to Straw

From Straw to Straw

Last year I had two straw bales here.  Over the winter the one on the right sprouted, and the barley grew on nothing but straw.

Car Camping

Sixbears brought back so many good memories with his post on a "Fall Back Position".  Of course living out of your car is only fun when you don't have to.  Ironically, I think in the post-Peak Oil age, taking a many-week-long trip around the continent will be much more valuable.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Why new energy sources can't work

Exotic energy sources like what's featured in the movie Thrive will never work, not (just) because they violate the laws of physics (after all, we don't know all of them).  The problem is that we only have one sink to get rid of waste heat, by radiating it out into space.  We can't make space colder or the planet larger, so the only way to radiate more heat is to make the planet hotter.  Not a good solution.

A Peak Oil Scenario

Something to consider: what if Peak Oil consists of gasoline at $2.50 a gallon, but all the local gas stations have gone out of business, so you have to drive 100 miles and wait in line for 4 hours to buy gas, and you can only get 10 gallons at a time?

Radical Deflation

 "Haircuts for All . . . or Free Money?" by Richard Heinberg in The End of Growth

Transforming Money

Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Community in an Age of Transition by Charles Eisenstein

The Folly of Shale Gas

"Natural Gas: Where Endless Money Went to Die" at

Explaining Social Media with Donuts

Happy Solistice!!

I hope those of you in the Northern Hemisphere are enjoying the shortest night!  For those in the Southern Hemisphere, the days will be getting longer from here.  :-)

Monday, June 18, 2012


Welcome to my new blog!!  I'm not abandoning my old blog, The Long Ascent.  I may have gotten behind in my blog with all the offline world is demanding of me, but I still have a lot of important things to discuss.  This blog is a companion, for everyday matters, a combination of keeping a journal of daily life and a true weblog of interesting things I find surfing the web.  It will be much more stream-of-consciousness with erratic but frequent posting, with no polish and only a little spit.

In addition to letting you know what I am doing, I will start recording my ideas for future posts on The Long Ascent here.  Please feel free to jump in and comment, I won't be moderating except for egregiously off-topic or repetitious spam.  (Yes, if you have something to sell that is on-topic, I welcome the chance to learn more.)

The bottom line: The Long Ascent is about the destination, Going Upslope is about the journey.