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    • Tue, May 27, 2014 - 03:45pm

      #5
      Sirocco

      Sirocco

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      Defense continued

    … a little bit more…

    Some city/county Building Depts have a fire inspector on staff. This person will be an expert on structural fires, not wild fires, but they should be able to help you identify fire resistant designs, building materials, as well as other steps you can take, to protect  your structures.

    8) Firewise is an excellent program. If your community is doing it, get involved. If your community isn't doing it, suggest that they do.

     

    9) Be proactive. Keep your eyes and ears open for potential fire danger. Deal with issues as early on as possible, because once a fire is ripping, it is way harder to get it stopped.

    Good luck, Sirocco

    • Tue, May 27, 2014 - 03:31pm

      #4
      Sirocco

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      Wild fire defense

    In my younger days, I did a few years of wildfire fire fighting. Some lessons I learned include:

    1) If the wind is blowing, there is nothing anyone can do – get out fast. The harder the wind blows, the faster you need to evacuate.

    2) The gov't will go to great lengths to save structures, but there is only such much fire protection resources to go around. In reality, protecting your house is up to you and your community.

    3) You truly need to take protective measures well before a fire event. Once the flames start roaring, it is too late to take effective action other than evacuation.

    Some things I would suggest:

    1) Get involved or at least communicate with your local fire fighting folks (ie rural volunteer fire fighters, city fire fighters, Forest Service/BLM/National Park/state dept of natural resources, etc). They will know about the local conditions and have good information as to the best way to protect your property and home.

    2) Create and maintain a defensible space around your home/structures. There is a lot of good info out there about what this means, but essentially you want to remove most/all fuel for a fire, and keep clear, a space around your home. Do this as if your life depends on it.

    3) Assuming you do have local (and maybe federal) fire protection services,  make sure your access point (ie driveway) is clear and accessible by emergency vehicles. Also make sure that your address is clearly visible from the point where your driveway exits the city/county/state road.

    4) If you live in a rural area with few neighbors and lots of trees, work on thinning your trees to reduce the fuel load and help keep the standing trees healthy.

    5) If you live in a relatively less rural area (higher density of homes), be sure to work with your neighbors and the community to get everyone around you to take wild fire and wild fire protection seriously. You can have excellent fire protection measures at your house, but if you neighbors do not, your risk goes way up. 

    6) Prepare an evacuation plan ahead of time, know your escape routes, practice your plan regularly.

    7) Some building designs and materials are more fire resistant than others. Where possible, rework your structures to incorporate fire resistant design and materials. Your local fire protection folks can help you get information on this.

    • Thu, Oct 24, 2013 - 08:46pm

      #3
      Sirocco

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      Cross pollination

    If any of your close neighbors have (or can be talked into planting) compatible varieties of apples and/or pear trees, then you might not need to grow your own pollinator trees. Barring that, in some cases you can graft a "pollinator branch" onto your tree, so that one tree grows several varieties (of apples for example) that serve as cross-pollinators. 

    • Thu, Oct 24, 2013 - 08:39pm

      #2
      Sirocco

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      Grafting and espalier

    I have a little experience with both grafting and espaliering. My first note is that some trees take to those "treatments" and some don't. Best to ask your plant nursery expert to help you select species and varieties that will do well with those treatments.

    Grafting isn't hard, with a little practice (and the right trees), you should be able to graft successfully. When done correctly, a grafted branch should be nearly as strong as the original plant would have been. I think that grafting is a good skill to have, and suggest that you give it a try so that you build that skill. There are good books on the topic, and you can probably find good instructions online as well.

    Picking the right trees is even more important with espalier. You want to select species/varieties that naturally have a lateral-growing habit (vs an upright/columnar habit). You will need a "structure" to tie the lateral branches to to train them to grow horizontally, and the espaliers-in-training will need a fair amount of attention to get them to grow correctly and keep them that way. Again there are good instructions in various books and most likely online as well. 

    I've always found deciduous trees to be pretty forgiving – my advice is to go ahead and try your hand at grafting and espalier. Don't be shy. You will learn a lot as you go; and the absolute worst thing that can happen is that you kill the tree and have to replant and start over – which isn't the end of the world. Equally possible is that you are completely successful, find that you can expand your fruit production for a much reduced cost, and end up having a marketable skill. Good luck and have fun! 

    • Tue, Sep 17, 2013 - 05:00pm

      #17
      Sirocco

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      What is wrong with humans?

    Well, that is depressing…

    Joyce, your post about a possible catastrophic airborne radiation release as TEPCO tries to remove fuel rods in November, made me do some research. I found a couple of web sitse with similar content to the one (http://www.fairwinds.com) you recommend and read up on the situation a bit. What a mess!

    (Warning: mini-rant to follow) It seems like the human race in general is both homicidal and suicidal. We are very busy killing each other, any animal that moves, and the planet. Logic says that we are part of a natural system, can't live without the natural system, and yet humans are destroying that system as fast as we can. The only logical outcome of human actions is the extinction of all or almost all life on Earth; we certainly will not survive ourselves (without massive and lasting changes).  

    Why do we put image before substance? Why is winning absolutely everything and morality irrelevent? Why is greed good and integrity/ethics only for losers?

    Why do the 90% (or 99%) allow the 10% (or 1%) to rule us, ruin us, abuse us, kill us?

    What is wrong with us??!! (That is a serious question)

     

    • Mon, Sep 16, 2013 - 08:55pm

      #14
      Sirocco

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      Bug out bags, old age, and TEPCO

    First a question regarding the Fukishima nuclear problem – isn't the primary release of radiation via the leaking contaminated water? Is there a credible threat of significant airborne radiation? I live in the northwest, should I be worried about airborne radiation?

    Regarding bug out bags, I currently live in a suburban setting in an area where high winds and fire mix to create some truly horrific wild and residential fires. I also currently live less than 1/2 mile from a major railway where I am sure that hazardous materials are routinely transported. My family keeps a bug out bag, just in case – but the chances of us ever needing to use it are, by our calculations, pretty darn slim. However, we agree that we'd rather make the investment in a bug out bag, than need one and not have it. In general, we have about 2-3 days worth of spare clothes, tolietries, dried and freeze dried food, some cash, and some pet supplies (we have 2 dogs that are our  family). Meds and IDs would have to be grabbed as we exit the house. Our bug out scenarios all include loading dogs and stuff into one of our vehicles, driving a safe distance, and either staying with friends or getting a motel room until we can get back into our neighborhood. Rather obviously, our BUG OUT scenarios are all constructed around short term and rather localized events.

    Events that happen on a longer time horizon or effect a wider geographic scale, might require a different strategy. My long term strategy, as mentioned by multiple other people above, is to move to a location where it is possible to become as self- and community -reliant and sustainable as possible. In my view, while any number of natural or human-made disasters could certainly happen at any time, most of us are already facing the effects of declining incomes, resource and energy shortages, and completely incompetent government. (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/employment-gap-between-rich-poor-widest-record-072956259.html).

    I am pretty darn sure that as the years roll by, most of us will see our incomes and job opportunities continue to shrink year by year, constantly pay more for fuel and electricity, scrape to pay for food that continues to be priced out of reach, and suffer from "leaders" who refuse to cooperate or address real issues. It is my opinion that the descent into bone-crushing poverty for the majority of us will probably be slow, but it will be unstoppable. That is the "disaster" that I am preparing for – and no bug out bag or BUG OUT strategy will help with that. My family and I like to eat, so we have purchased and are preparing to move to a place with enough land and rain to grow a large garden, we will be planting our orchard next year, we are building an energy efficient home with solar PV, and we have a woodstove and plenty of firewood so that we can always stay warm. I guess, to sum it up, our plan is to "bug in" – be prepared for poverty (or whatever might come), but at a minimum be able to stay warm, dry, fed, and contribute constructively to our community. And hopefully, we will have a lot of fun in the meantime.

    • Tue, Aug 27, 2013 - 05:02pm

      #3
      Sirocco

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      Trailers

    paranoid, you might check out the book "Dirt-Cheap Survival Retreat" by M. D. Creekmore. It is short (82 pages) and easy to read, and covers exactly what you are asking about. It was an inspiration to me.

    • Thu, Mar 21, 2013 - 09:35pm

      #37
      Sirocco

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      Assumptions

    Wow Aaron… Something about me certainly seems to get you riled up. Which puzzles me, since you don’t know anything about me; other than I have stated an opinion that I believe “hate speech” exists and that I am a lesbian.

    So what’s got you so riled up? It can’t be my opinion on hate speech, as ½ a dozen other people offered the same opinion and you aren’t jumping all over them. That only leaves the fact that I’m gay. You know nothing about me personally, thus I believe that you have an issue with me merely because I’m a lesbian.

    In your previous posts to me, you’ve mentioned marriage at least twice – I have never mentioned marriage on PP, gay or otherwise. You’ve alluded to “gays wanting special rights” twice – I have never voiced an opinion of any kind on gay rights on the PP site. You seem to be attributing to me the opinions and stances of your own stereotype of gay people in general. You have absolutely no idea where I, as an individual, stand on those two issues. Did you bother to ask me my opinion on those issues before you decided to berate me on them? No. You formed an opinion about me, my stances, my values with zero actual evidence. That is prejudice. Look it up in the dictionary if you doubt me.

    You know virtually nothing about me.  And yet you’ve ascribed certain opinions to me without evidence and you seemed to be compelled to continue to confront me, even though I voiced a desire to let this interaction go. This interaction has very little to do with me, and everything to do with you. I ask you to do some soul searching to see if you can determine why YOU have a problem with me.

    I’ve got no beef with you Aaron. I’d be happy to call this interaction a miscommunication, a start on the wrong foot, shall we say, and let it go. What do you say?

    • Tue, Mar 19, 2013 - 03:45pm

      #26
      Sirocco

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      Transitions

    FAlley, not that this will be any consolation, but – you aren't alone in your struggle to find a way to support yourself.  I've ridden the bus into town for work, and back, for the last 12 years. After the crash of 2008, the demographics of the riders changed noticeably. Before the crash the passengers used to primarily be women ages of 45 and older; but, almost overnight the route added a large number of younger folks headed into the local univeristy. At the same time, I was reading "Survival +" by Charles Hugh Smith. In the book, Mr Smith was discussing debt-serfdom, the end of paid work, and the horrible bind that the younger generation will find itself in as they follow the standard wisdom to go to (traditional) college, at great cost, to guarantee themselves a (traditional) job – except that the world is changing, and what was SOP doesn't work anymore. I looked at my fellow riders, the young ones, and I had to stop myself from calling out to them – "do you folks have any idea what you are in for?!"

    I'm angry too. I'm angry at the government and the mainstream media for lying to us and carrying on the pretense that everything is "normal." If we at least had honest information, we could make informed decisions based on valid data.

    Our world is changing. The "rules" and "truisms" and SOPs we've lived under for the last few generations is falling apart. Its time to recognize the change and work to change our expectations to match the new reality. There are no guarantees anymore for any of us. If you haven't read "Survival +", I recommend it. I found it enlightening as to our present situation.

    Here's bit of philosophy for you that has helped me – the end goal is not as important as the path you take to get there. Find out what you love, and pursue that passion all your life. Stay true to your values, but keep an open mind – there is a lot to learn. Cultivate humor and optimism. View accidents and challenges instead as opportunities. Friends and family are far more valuable than money.

    You are not a failure. You are facing hardship (debt, difficulty finding paying work, difficulty finding meaningful work) – this does not make you a failure. Not even close. The only thing that can make YOU a failure is if you give up on yourself. Don't give up on yourself. You may not get from today to tomorrow by the route you had planned, but I'm pretty sure you will get there. And when you look back, you may be very thankful for the unexpected twists and turns that your path took.   

    • Mon, Mar 18, 2013 - 09:10pm

      #22
      Sirocco

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      To reply or not to reply, that is the question…

    Aaron, based on the length and vehemence of your posts on the topic of “hate speech” and human rights, I’ve concluded that these are hot button issues for you.  I debated at length with myself about replying to your last post on this thread – but you called me out by name… I sincerely wish I could agree with you about “the number of bigots is shrinking”, but that hasn’t been my experience.

     

    I’m not clear on how you made the leap from A to B (A being my stated opinion that hate speech does exist and that the previous posts on this thread were not examples of hate speech, and B being what appears to me to be a full on diatribe against human rights activists in general and gay rights activists in particular). The logic behind that leap, within the context of the thread, eludes me.

     

    I wonder if you are aware (or care) that what you said sounded an awful lot like – the world would be a better place if those pesky homosexuals would just shut up, stay in their place, and stop whining about unfair treatment. Your statement “The number of bigots is shrinking, but the number of lobbiests, -ists, coalitions and organizations is not. They're still making demands, still asking for things in excess of what a citizen is entitled to and are conveniently making a political environment ripe with "us and them" thinking.” sounds like you are blaming the victims for the problem.

     

    I don’t know whether you hold these beliefs out of ignorance or out of intolerance, (it’s also possible that I am completely misunderstanding you) but my experience has been that  constructive communication rarely happens when emotions run hot. Instead people usually dig in and become more and more entrenched in their views. Therefore, I propose that we accept that we have vastly differing opinions, perspectives, and experiences on the topic of hate speech and human rights, and move on.   

     

    Silence equals death. With respect, Sirocco

    ps FAlley, I apologize for my part in hijacking your thread…

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