ShopTalk: Redundant Solar, Specialty Crew Mindset

A number of Peoplenomics subscribers (and a few others) have made a personal investment in auxiliary solar systems  for their home.  Although, it makes the power industry a bit crazy:  Home solar’s contribution to the grid is an algorithmic demand management nightmare. Take our place, for example:  With an existing 3.5 kw of power from the existing arrays we can either be a) selling 3 kw into the grid, consuming 10-12 kw (and more, depending on …

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Prepping: The Basic Radio (and Antenna) Inventory

One day this week, I’ll be sending one of my sons-in-law our trusty old Tecsun PL-660  shortwave receiver.  We’ve had it a good long while and its main use around here has been listening to CoastToCoast AM with George Noory out of WOAI in San Antonio late nights. This particular SOL has done more actual prepping than anyone else in the family except my youngest daughter.  He’d just finishing up the add-on to the chicken coop for …

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Coping: Why There is No “Retirement”

I heard it again from a neighbor down the road from us:  “I don’t have any TIME now that I’m “retired.” Amen, and ain’t that the Truth, brother. Like us, this fellow likes to tinker and build…and since “pulling the plug” on scheduled work life at the end of September, the noises from his property reveal what’s going on.  Long-deferred maintenance, a couple of additions, clean-up this, reorganize that.  “As long as I’m at it, why not build …

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Coping: A New Book’s Arrival!

“Food for the mind, George – Ehor” There are books and then there are books.  The delightful gift of a book that landed Saturday from my long-time friend Ehor Mazurok was definitely in the latter category.  Published first in 1952, “Metals and How to Weld Them” is occasionally updated by the James A. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation.  Lincoln of Lincoln Welders, one of which – a modest SPT135 – was used again this weekend.  (More on …

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Coping: Raising “Urban Chickens”

One of my sons-in-law is doing a better job of becoming self-sufficient than we are!  Elaine got word Monday that he’s gotten three young chicks and they are penned in the kitchen, entertaining the whole family as they grow up. While this seems to be a fine thing on the surface – especially for the half-grown pre-teen daughter – there’s a lot more to raising chickens than meets the McMuffin. Let me run through some …

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Coping: Solving the Right Problem, Paradigm Shopping

We’ve had some fun on the Peoplenomics side of the house, kicking around the pluses – and minuses – of Going Rural. Some subscribers (like Mark) make some legit arguments against it on points like airports.  Besides, Big Cities is where the money is. But, my point is a lot of those shiny deal points are all there by accident.  This being the case, shouldn’t we be looking at changing our paradigms to fit our objectives, rather …

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Coping: The Robin Landry Film Festival

One of the highlights of our trip up to Tulsa (other than the Tom Jones concert in Monday’s column) was to learn my friend Robin Landry – besides being an investment ace, also had a serious film career in college. If you click over to YouTube here, you can see the 1972 movie 30 Dangerous Seconds starring Robert Lansing. To be sure, he didn’t have much time on-screen, only a passing few seconds around the …

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Coping: Prepping Adventure in the Bathroom

Prepping lessons from a bath remodel?  Yessir.  There’s a gaping 24-square foot hole in the Ure master bath this morning.  Elaine had a sleepless night thinking about it.  “Gives me the heebie jee-geebie’s” is her description of things.  Something about fear of insects coming into the house… As reported Thursday, a hidden water leak is the cause of this misery, but having all the tools in the world and a Lowes half an hour away …

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