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    • Fri, Jun 10, 2011 - 05:40pm

      #25
      tictac1

      tictac1

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      number crunching

    One barrel of crude is 42 gallons.

    Depending on the quality of the oil and source of data, that yields anywhere between 12 to 28 gallons of gasoline.

    Price of crude now = $99.45

    So, gasoline would cost between $8.28 and $3.55 per gallon, based solely on cost of crude, if the barrel was used only for gas.  This does not take into account refining and delivery costs, of course.

    However, this doesn’t take into account the other products made from the rest of the oil, most of which are higher priced.

    Also, it seems that newer refineries are able to convert all of the crude into gasoline using advanced cracking methods.  This adds cost of course, but even if we assume that all crude is turned into gas, $100/barrel still puts us at $2.38/gallon of gas without any overhead.

    So the claim that most of the gas cost is tax seems rather unbelievable.

    • Thu, Jun 09, 2011 - 04:06pm

      #3
      tictac1

      tictac1

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      I know our plant is doing

    I know our plant is doing its own monitoring, the results are shared with public health agencies.  That’s air and soil sampling.  So far, we’ve found contamination, but nothing worth reacting to in any way.  Last I saw levels were going down.

    Ocean sampling would be very hit-and-miss, especially at this distance, and would vary greatly from point to point.

    Are you concerned about seafood?

    • Wed, Jun 01, 2011 - 07:54pm

      #7
      tictac1

      tictac1

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      Smart Growth an oxymoron

    I live in one of those “smart growth” areas, and it’s anything but.  We have known that we are drawing down our aquifer faster than it can be replenished for over 10 years.  Last year, we saw multiple wells (300-400 ft deep) go dry, the drillers said it was unlike anything they’d seen.

    And yet…

    County continues to approve permits for golf courses (STUPID use of water), vineyards, more homes, etc. while at the same time acknowledging they have no solution for the impending water shortage.  The vineyards and golf courses have the money to drill far below anyone else, and pay the higher rate to bring the water up from 1200 feet, so the impact to them is minimal.  The rural land owners, on the other hand, cannot afford $50K wells and the 10 HP motors to pump them.  Guess who loses?  This too, is in favor of the wealthy land owners, since property values will drop substantially if water becomes unreachable for residents.  Easier to buy more acreage for those golf courses.

    It’s simple math really.  If you are drawing down your aquifer, you have hit a physical limit on growth.  But the potential tax dollars blind our supervisors to this simple fact.  Of course, the same board will increase our fees for everything, and regulate the snot out of its citizenry, just not the big money interests.

    • Sun, May 01, 2011 - 12:11am

      #6
      tictac1

      tictac1

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      Currency collapse is an area

    Currency collapse is an area we’ve talked about.  I’d like to know, what happened to public utilities and their workers during Argentina’s collapse?  That might give us some clues, but I have no way to get info like that.  Perhaps we have some readers from South America?

    War is an “all bets are off” scenario, infrastructure in target areas would be shot, I expect, which might include power plants.  Of course, there’s not much need to attack the US if we collapse under the weight of our own stupidity…:(

    • Sat, Apr 30, 2011 - 11:52pm

      #5
      tictac1

      tictac1

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      well, the fuel issue is

    well, the fuel issue is certainly a big one.  Yes, we do keep fuel on site, but it’s about 2500 gallons, not enough for an entire plant worth of employees.  However, I have no doubt our management would quickly stock more fuel on site and limit it to essential personnel, based on what we’ve done in other emergencies.  Of course, how long could you do that for?  In the past, we’ve gone to “stranded plant” status, which means people live at the plant until the emergency passes.  Pays well, but no fun!

    Hmmm, economy vs. nuke plant?  Given what we’re seeing in the economy, my vote is for the nuke plant.  Being a nuke plant means both the government and public will generally support what it takes to keep this place “safe”, which means operable.

    Vulnerabilities vary from plant to plant, location to location.  In CA, the 500kv lines carrying the power are the weakest link, from a physical standpoint.

    Personally, both myself and a co-worker have looked at solar, but we’re not sold yet.  One of the primary reasons is that we can’t envision a scenario where power is cut to major areas for extended periods of time.  But we are both open to ideas, which is why we’re here!

    Having said that, I could DEFINETLY see remote areas going without repairs, and consequently without power, for long periods due to critical shortages.  The power companies would go to a “triage” method for determining who gets what.  If I lived in a cabin, I would have solar or wind power, period.

    • Sat, Apr 30, 2011 - 02:42pm

      #67
      tictac1

      tictac1

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      Can we start (or is there

    Can we start (or is there already) a forum/topic dedicated to sharing experience in this department?  I for one have learned a lot, much of it the hard way, and it would be nice to be able to share info back and forth, sort of get everybody up to the same speed, growing-wise.

    One thing I learned real quick is that the zones don’t mean as much as I thought.  Our area has lots of “micro-climates” that make the zones kind of moot.

    On starting from seed, I’ve found that a solid start makes for a fast-growing, healthy plant whereas a slow starting plant may never be productive.  I’m now doing multiple seed starts, spaced out over a couple weeks, and then selecting the best individuals to plant out.  We start 2-3 plants per plastic cup.  The blend I’ve had really good luck with is 25% native soil (soil from the bed the plant will go into), 25% sterile potting mix from the hardware store, and 50% perlite for excellent drainage.  I’ve also used 50% horse manure (well composted) and 50% perlite with great results.

    Don’t use the bagged soils with added fertilizer!  It’s getting hard to find regular potting soil, and the added fertilizers have burned many of our seed starts.

    You can get huge bags of perlite at hydroponics outlets for pretty cheap.  Those are the stores that cater to “indoor gardening”, which is apparently pretty common here in CA.  The guys at the one I go to are actually very helpful.

    The other thing to do is test your water for pH and disolved solids.  Our well water is pH 8.5 and 350 ppm, making it less than ideal for some plants.  I’ve started using collected rainwater (pH 6, 30 ppm) and RO water (pH 7, 30 ppm) for young plants, and it has helped.  As the plant grows, it can handle higher ppm’s.

    Last thing- I found that plants can handle too LITLLE fertilizer far better than too MUCH.  I go 1/4 strength on most of the fertilizers, if I use them at all, I try to build the soil instead.  Burnt plants don’t recover nearly as well as deficient plants.

    • Thu, Apr 21, 2011 - 05:57pm

      #53
      tictac1

      tictac1

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      Thanks!  I just read an

    Thanks!  I just read an interview where the “Contrary Farmer” illustrates how debt capitalism has destroyed farming in general, and lowered the quality of our food.  That guy rocks!  Now I’ve got two books to buy…:)

    • Wed, Apr 20, 2011 - 10:29pm

      #50
      tictac1

      tictac1

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      Wow, lots of good stuff

    Wow, lots of good stuff here, I need to re-read this thread a few times.

    I’ve been working about 1/2 acre for a few years, and I’ve gone from being a “brown thumb” to a “moderately green though somewhat chlorotic” thumb.  Knowing farming in general is one thing, but you’ve got to know your specific area too, which I found out the hard way.  All the stores here sell plants that do well in coastal areas, whereas what grows well here is olives, grapes, lavender, etc.  Forget lettuce or spinach!

    Right now, I’m working with gravity-fed irrigation from rainwater collection tanks, greenhouse growing, and a bit of experimentation with raising Tilapia.  So yep, part welder, part machinist, part plumber, part chemist, all sweaty…:)

    As for what happens when the oil gets too expensive to use for farming, look to Cuba.  Cuba had to completely re-vamp their farming techniques when their oil supplies were cut.  I’d like to see the movie referenced here-

    http://www.foodmagazine.org.uk/articles/cubas_food_production_revolution/

    Maybe someone could compile a list of the must-have books for us noobs?  I know there’s good stuff out there on using greenhouses to extend seasons and how to market locally.

    • Wed, Apr 20, 2011 - 07:23pm

      #2
      tictac1

      tictac1

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      I’ve never been taxed on

    I’ve never been taxed on gold or silver coins, certainly not at 28%.

    Moving money around in under $10K increments (8K-9K) sounds like a good idea, but it has been used as de facto evidence of fraud/tax evasion.  I’ll have to dig up the cases if you want specifics.

    However, I can’t imagine anyone looking that closely unless you gave them a reason to.

    Take a look here-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structuring

    • Tue, Apr 19, 2011 - 08:29pm

      #10
      tictac1

      tictac1

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      Answers (hopefully)- 1)

    Answers (hopefully)- 

    1) Bite training typically focuses on four “targets”- upper arms, upper thighs.  Various sports target other areas, but those are the four that you will see the most. 

    Why not hands?  Hands move quickly, we don’t want the dog to “hunt” for his favorite target, we want the dog to take the grip that is available to him.  Also, teaching a dog to bite your hands presents serious protective equipment concerns, hands break rather easily. 

    Why not other areas?  Mostly, liability.  K9’s are considered “less than lethal”, which is why PDs can deploy them in a wide variety of situations. 

    All that said, working dogs develop their own preferred targets.  It is not uncommon to see dogs that will grip what they can get, and then transfer to their “sweet spot” when the opportunity presents itself. 

    All patrol/protection dogs should go through muzzle training as the last step in their prep work; correctly done, this ensures the dog will charge in and “hit” the bad guy, not just run up and start looking for a grip. 

    2) You can mix and match all you like, but remember these rules for protection dogs- Never male/male or female/female, always mixed sex and not dog aggressive.  Dogs worthy of personal protection are inherently dominant.  Also, remember you will have to train two dogs at the same time if they will ever deployed at the same time.  I have done a little of this work, but it presents serious safety issues for both the dogs and the decoy. 

    3) Unfortunately, the Dogo falls into the same rare category as the Presa and Dogue de Bordeaux.  Not enough dogs to select from.  Thus, if you are set on the breed, you may find it is impossible to find a candidate. 

    4) Generally, spayed/neutered dogs do not make usually make good protection candidates.  However, they can still be trained and worked, just not usually at the same capacity.  

    On time commitments- 

    This is huge, and I should have addressed it in the main post.  You should NOT purchase a dog if you do not like dogs, or do not have the time to train!  Typically, my obedience classes last an hour (one on one) and they are once per week.  Bite work usually takes 3x a week, but the sessions are very short, probably no longer than 15 minutes totally spread over an hour. 

    I am not a believer in boarding a dog for training.  I do not do this type of work because the results are second-rate.  A dog is not a machine, you can’t program it and give it to someone new, there needs to be a working relationship. 

    An experienced trainer or handler can teach a pup the basic obedience commands, using food as a motivator, in about 5-10 minutes a day over a few weeks or months.  Most people do not know how to effectively train, though, so 90% of what I do is ACTUALLY training people to become dog handlers, and dispelling dog training myths.  Ineffective handling wastes time, creates bad habits, and can ruin some softer dogs.   

    Dog training is a life-long commitment if you value performance, just like firearms training, or any other skill set.  If you don’t use it, you will lose it!

Viewing 10 posts - 101 through 110 (of 115 total)