ShopTalk Sunday: Instrumentation of Tomatoes

Today as a public service, we’re going to install a green thumb on each reader with enough patience to learn the fine art of reading and thinking about what they’ve read, a bit.

Study Materials First

Before launching into my latest Industrial Arts need to be Rediscovered diatribe, we should first review today’s syllabus in summary form.  In this manner, I can out-talk any politician alive and purport to know something.  A claim none of them can make.

Olympia Beer Had it Right

Let’s start with watering plants.  If you didn’t grow up in the Pacific Northwest, you likely missed the Olympia Beer commercials that keyed off the saying “It’s the water – and a lot more.” Probably just as well.  Commercials showing young opposite sex couples enjoying life have all but disappeared.

As luck would have it, “It’s the Water” applies to gardening in general, and hydroponics and elevated bed gardening in particular.

If you didn’t come from the factory with the “green thumb” option, like, oh, reader NM Mike, for example, you may not realize that in Ure’s world, everything really necessary can be reduced to formulistic terms.

Like the Triangle of Fire (fuel, oxygen, ignition source) Gardening, too has its list of Necessities.  Water, good Soil, Light, and Temperature are what we’re talking about. Soil and Fertilizer is another lecture.

The Essence of Troubleshooting

Gardening is no different than any other endeavor that we upright apes take on.  Whether you are flying an aircraft, repairing a complex ham radio unit, re-tiling a kitchen, there is always a Flow Chart that – if followed – will lead you unerringly to the happy outcome desired. Success.

When it doesn’t?  It’s not the fault of the “system.”  It’s that people want everything in life to be like the pabulum in the highchair:  Served up whenever we whine for it.

But the fact is, there are many levels to such simplifications and it’s in learning how many levels, and to what degree of detail that we sort out the technically competent adult from the useless, woke, do-nothing bullshitters.  You can’t hold onto The Top with shortcuts or missing skills.  Life is – paraphrasing Einstein’s quote – not all that hard, but it’s also not all that simple.

Water is a perfect illustration.

Before we get into amounts of water (that really drives the greening of your thumb) we need to begin at the elemental level.  What properties of Water determine its “inspiration of Life?”

pH is a good starting point.  With a pH down around 1 or 2, you could be pouring a powerful acid onto your plants.  Not good…they die when abused in this manner.  Similarly, water diluted lye which has a very high (alkaline) pH, let’s say 9.5 on the acid-alkaline pH scale at a sample dilution in water, will also kill your plants.

Elaine and I used to get into discussions about alkaline water every time we flew our old plane down to the El Paso area and over the Salt Flat VORTAC (SFL).  Elaine instructed me that it’s not really salt but more like alkali materials left from (scant) rainwater in the region.  See it?  People with green thumbs automatically know there’s plant water and there’s chemical water.  the overlap is in the ideal middle (pH 5.5 to about 7.2) region.  This will vary a bit depending on what you plan to grow. 6.5 is a good one.

Since we’re doing tomatoes here, the American Horticultural Association says our Beefsteak toms ought to grow best with 6.0 to 6.8 water. Assuming you remembered perfectly fresh distilled water is 7.0, we can generalize that “vegetables like their water slightly on the acidic side.”

They also like their soil about the same, but I didn’t put soil development on the workflow this morning because we don’t have all day for another (longish) lecture.

Water Instruments

You can buy a reasonable water-pH and light testing meter on Amazon for next to nothing.  A couple of cheap get-by meters will cost about $18 bucks each.  Try these. they will get you a basic read of soil moisture.

With tomatoes – before I got back into “instrumenting the problem and the answer will become clear” mindset, turns out I had been habitually under-watering.  Which leads to?  Small tomatoes!

The next item on my list is a rain barrel catchment system for roof runoff and in our case the collection of air conditioner condensate (which is water), too.

The reason you want to do this catchment work is that if you get really serious about your gardening, the right pH of everything is the goal.  Have you seen the Matanuska, Alaska watermelons that will be along shortly? The “Matanuska magic” is basically three things:  Damn good soil, natural perfect veggie pH water, and almost 24-hours of sun per day in summer. (Alaska is the land of the midnight sun, right?)

Water in a big barrel is easy to mess with.  You can dump in a little vinegar to make too alkaline water a lot more acidic.  We use 45% vinegar, but it doesn’t take much. Mix and measure!

Also, you can really ramp up your water with a couple of aquarium air stones, not shown in this view and a good 200-gallon sized air pump. Highly oxygenated water (which we use in hydroponics) is also damn good in the raised bed planters because it makes it harder to overwater.  (All that boat time left me gun shy about too much water, no telling where that came from…)  [Got this done Sat.]

We will propose you get a good 4-in-1 or 5-in-1 meter if you are even remotely interested in hydroponics.  One like this is what we have. Because this kind of meter can help you figure out how much TDS – total dissolved solids – are in your water, its salt content, and closely related is EC (electrical conductivity.)

Since running around measuring things has been a big part of my life I’m also a huge fan of accurate calibration of instruments before use.  Pop the $12 bucks for some calibrated solutions (try these).  And don’t do it in a coffee cup.  Go ahead and man-up for some real lab-looking beakers, which we use to drink scotch out of when not measuring water quality. They will set you back $16 bucks but look better on the bar than those sleazy shot glasses on closeout.  They also help you not overserve your spongy friends. (Save the good stuff for yourselves, right?)

Temp Measurement Notes

Now let’s go measure something, starting with the ambient, outside, well-ventilated, in shade, temperature.

Close enough to 79.36148 degrees (OK, call it 80, I was pulling your leg, lol).

Now we go into the greenhouse and look at an identical (large, easy to read cheap) thermometer which is lounging in the shade of tomato alley.

I know, right?

Y0u’re going to say “How do you keep greenhouse heat gain to just 4-0degrees in Texas, huh?”

Remember our recent conversation about how white shade cloth is more efficient than black shade cloth?  Well, it helps.

If you have heat – and even with the a/c we have heat, Lordy, do we have heat!  Go bookmark this site Best Vegetables to Grow in the Heat – Homestead Gardens, Inc.  And a simple Google search will return all kinds of hot weather, cold weather, and in-between ideas.

Now, About that Watering

If you have a greenhouse, you’re going to have microclimates.  Take this view, which is from the sunny side (first sun of the day) side of the greenhouse:

Needs water now.

Meanwhile, the side which is last to get lit (*never me, I assure you) is showing a lot more moisture, even though they were watered the same amount at the same time…

Calibration Dangers

Can growing veggies really be so easy?  Pretty much BUT when you use a cheapy two-prong meter, you need to understand how electricity and how “electrical bridges” work.

OK, you can skip the Wheatstone Bridge design part of today’s lecture, that’s available here if you really want to go that deep…

But the gist of the danger would be spoken like this:

If the soil is too dry when you measure pH the reading will be wrong.  Same if it’s too wet.  So, aim for the middle range of moisture and then you may have a fighting chance of getting a useful reading on soil pH from a cheap meter…

Y0ur Eyes are Instruments, Too

There are only so many instruments needed for gardening.  The typical Old School farmer can take a handful of soil, run it around in his (or her) hands for a few minutes, look up at the sky and around at the terrain… Then pronounce the most profound insights into how much clay, how much sand, how much mulch, and so forth is at work.

Today, with just a pair of eyeballs you can get partly there.  Just put your hands on a tomato like this one:

See the bottom?  Looks to me like tomato end rot.  To find the answer, put in “rotten tomato bottoms…”  (Which admittedly sounds a little gross.)

A few articles into your description you will hit pay dirt.  You’ll find that it’s blossom end rot and then you can find great You Tube content, like this discussion to work your problem.

We don’t have a “huge” problem with blossom end rot, but remember this can also be part of why peppers and tomatoes aren’t “going as large” like they should.

This weekend’s take aways:

  • Measure: manage for numerical consistency will get you replicable results.
  • Monitor: see on a daily or three times weekly basis if you’re doing the right things.
  • Moisture: A lot of us tend on raised and elevated beds to NOT water sufficiently.  That’s something a meter will tell you easily.  Keep the meter in the green.
  • Movies: Look for solutions to any specific plant issues on YouTube.
  • Extension Service Sites: Great places for advice of what grows best in your area.
  • Fertilize but don’t over-do it:  Every 2-3 weeks with some top-dressing – with high calcium and phosphorous.

We will be doing three things today that will up our garden enjoyment.

  1. We pick up some varieties of hot weather tomatoes.  Beefsteaks will tend to be stunted in a 100F setting (and won’t set good fruit at those temps).  Floridade and Heatwave II are going in the hydroponics.
  2. The air stones go in the rain barrel today.
  3. We will pick a few bell peppers.  Here…

More water and more calcium for these guys, too.

Hell of a Prepping Week!

if it could go wrong this was the week it did go wrong.  Much driven by weather.

38.57 inches semi-officially in Tyler, TX but here in the hills it was north of 45-inches.  Yeah – we beat Seattle’s annual rate in less than half a year.  That left the power off for 24-hours.  And with about 5+ inches, we were back to playing septic system roulette.  “Turd floating weather” as one of our delivery drivers calls it.

After a bit more than 24-hours on emergency (solar and genset power) I got highly motivated to work on the recently down music studio computer.  Worked on it for about 10-hours in all and there was no way to resurrect it – so that led to a day of backing up music off one SSD and onto another computer.

Which hadn’t been run for a while. So, when it launched (or was that lunched?) the Win10 update made the USB sports puke in a curious way – the spacebar on no keyboard I tried would work – and I tried four including wired and wireless.  We will pick up there as light shows up today.

It goes without saying that everything on the comms side failed this week: Three internet connections and a landline.  ViaSat was down (heavy precip) while Starlink was down (geo storms this week). And the HDSL phone lashup was down when the equipment cabinet down the street washed out a line card and power supply.  Think I mentioned the tech was blonde and named “Stormy”.  Yeah, it was an unreal week to “be retired to the good life” on the farm, huh.  It wasn’t over, though.  There was computer work unfinished…

Of course, crawling around on the floor, I worked up a powerful thirst…so I headed to the kitchen.  There Elaine informed me “Water’s off…

A call to the water district “Hi Mr. Ure…are you calling about our geyser on county road 441?”

Fortunately, with power an even rainwater, we can distill drinkable, so no worries there.  Still, damn inconvenient to kill water heater power in both buildings and melt ice to water down the ETOH at 4 PM.  Some rituals are immovable around here.

Preheating the steam oven to toss in a loaf of French bread to go with BBQ port ribds that I’d been slow cooking all day, Alexa pops on and tells me “The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch…”

That was at 4:35 PM.  By 4:55, we were being pummeled by 1/2 inch to 3/4-inch hail plus more torrential rain. Almost 3-inches of rain in an hour.

Fortunately, I ordered a BOXIO Toilet MAX+ Starter Kit, portable camping toilet, composting toilet 15.7″ x 11.8″ x 11.0″, Made in Germany from Amazon which will be here today. Assembling that little gem will allow a slower tempo of play of septic roulette.

There isn’t a single prepping suggestion in all this. It would be more like a 3-day weekend seminar to cover it all.  But the good news?

Through it all, we didn’t miss a meal, we had no financial losses, no food damage, we never had to “h0ld it”, we didn’t miss drinks, and we still got music.

Challenging?  Yeah. But like our liveaboard sailboat of 24-years ago, you build (and equip) a house so that you can “weather” all sorts of system failures and hold the course.

An all-day pot roast is in order today – Here’s to Victory Over Circumstances.

Say, does Bayliner or Boston Whaler make a lawnmower? Emerging market here in Texas if they do.

Write when you get rich,

author avatar
George Ure
Amazon Author Page: UrbanSurvival Bio:

55 thoughts on “ShopTalk Sunday: Instrumentation of Tomatoes”

  1. Yo G,

    How unfortunate to be suffering from a crypto hangover..The PooPooInU, aka SHIBinu – a dodgey shitcoin. You gotz plenty of water so PooPooinU shouldnt be too big a problem..Floaterz!
    Might wanna consider a small bx of PooPooinU disposable bags. They hook into and under the combat toilet seat, wet wipes required, as they work best in hostile fire situations.
    On the bright side, at least Youse 2 have things moving – imagine Ure diet being so restricted as to have basically just protien – just like Lewis & Clarke expedition – suffered horribly from constipation brought about by diet of 98% lean Game meat.
    Dr Rushs’ Thunderclappers were only way to move Ure scheisse along..can You imagine the explosive force/sounds/oders emanating from creek/riverside/behind a tree, when one of those toxic bombs went off in someones lower intestines…
    The Recipe !
    * Mercurous Chloride Pills
    Compound Colocynth Extract – 8 GM
    Mild Mercurous Chloride – 6 GM
    Julap Resin – in fine powder – 2 GM
    Gamboge – in very fine powder – 1.5 GM
    Diluted Alcohol – a sufficient amount
    Too make 100 pills

    Avg. Dose 2 Pills

    Dont forget Ure neighborly manners and provide warning to Ure fellow refugees prior to “letting loose” behind the tree…”Fires in The Hole !”

    Just Say NO to Constipation.

  2. we have a large greenhouse, 9 chickens, aquaponics, outside garden beds, and well water at a constant 76 degrees and 8.2 p.h.. last fall we amended our onion bed with copious amounts of oyster shells and the top 3 inches of soil from our chicken coop. we have never had ‘maters like this, despite the weather, they are going bonkers. we cannot keep the greenhouse cool enough in the summer so it goes idle with fish and a large duckweed tank. fall and winter, the greenhouse rocks and we have switched to hybrid pumpkinseed bream instead of tilapia for the heated water issue. i hope this helps and never give up…
    final vid from “school of aquaponics”.

    • It was reported that a couple pulled up a safe with an estimated $100K in cash while ‘magnet fishing’ in NYCP? There seems to be no safe place anywhere. ;-)

      • I use to take the kids to the park..years ago a convoy taking a payrole to a calvary port was robbed of fifty thousand dollars in 20 dollar gold pieces.. the rescuers fought them and chased them to an area that is now a state park..
        when I was little I heard the story from one if the rescuers that searched for it his whole life..then the brother inlaws brother inlaw found a rifle and a Saber from the battle. had it displayed on his wall..since the park was close by..I would take the kids there swimming and I would walk around with a metal detector..

    • Never underestimate the powers of Chicken Coop Poop! It was responsible for Ure’s Hot Hawaiian Peppers ancestors.

  3. Related site on Dihydrogen Monoxide:

    “Dihydrogen Monoxide Conspiracy
    Current allegations suggest that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may be conspiring to cover up the whole DHMO issue. Attempts by DHMO researchers to elicit comment from the EPA regarding the possible cover-up were either ignored or dodged, leading researchers to infer the alleged cover-up. Incredibly, the EPA then attempted to divert attention from the real issue onto talk of the aesthetics and layout of the EAC’s DMRD web site!

    EPA Refuses to Confirm or Deny Cover-up
    In spite of a direct query for information, the EPA refused to deny the existence of a cover-up. The researcher, who reported to us under conditions of anonymity, sent correspondence asking if the EPA knows more about Dihydrogen Monoxide than it is telling us.
    Point Blank Questions Ignored
    The researcher went on to ask, point blank, “Are you asking me to participate in some sort of cover-up?” And, “Do you deny that the EPA is purposely keeping quiet on the issue of Dihydrogen Monoxide?” For whatever reason, the EPA would not say, offering no comment on the questions at all.”

    Another subject for Urinalysis: Yesterday a member questioned ham comms in grid down as maybe not wise, revealing location, supplies etc. I can see, in a really terrible situation one would not broadcast any signals. Discuss.

    • You can’t be radiolocated if you listen only.
      99% of the value is knowing where and when
      to be listening.

      So, keep radio silence — unless compelled.
      (Actually, you CAN be detected in receive
      only mose, except you ain’t important
      enough to roll out them high-falutin’
      counter-intel teams and gear.)
      That krappe is for the REALLY Bad Guys.

      • WmoRR, Hank, Mike and a bunch of us who are hams may be the only ones to remember the earliest of superheterodyne radios.
        In these, the antenna was connected directly to the mixer tube into which the heterodyne oscillator signal was stuffed. While a useable intermediate frequency came out, could be amplified an easily detected, some of the local mixer signal went out the antenna. This even showed up in once of Clive Cussler’s last books – in the Issac Bell series. In the book, leaky signals resulted in a German U-boat to hear a passenger ship and figure its location.
        In WWII, radios added one – and sometimes two – RF Amplifier stages ahead off the first mixer. This prevented leakage out the antenna (mostly).
        A few radio manufacturers got really out there in shielding the whole RF amplifier and mixer compartment. National and Hammarlund, to name two, went to great lengths to enclose anything that might radiate.
        It was never perfectly silent, though. And as a result, a lot of radio operators were told to set up antenna and radio positions up to 1/2 mile from camp. Let’s them be the can line, so to speak.

      • I have triangulated people on their phones using my cell phone LOL.. just seek out the signal..
        the kids shocked me last night around the fire.. they got more camera’s.. I said how many do you need.. I have a shit ton of camera’s all over the yard then the one thing I love is the monitored alarm system.. I have a thing about fire.. so a system that automatically calls the fire department.. and lets the authorities know.. we have fire blankets fire hoods fire extinquishers .. .. love the camera system.. and still have some that haven’t even been put up yet.. the grandkids have a system on their place to.. what is funny is the place they live in is suppose to be haunted.. on their cameras.. they get the same day the person that is supposedly haunting the place.. they get on the day the person died.. an image of a glowing object that looks quite human walking towards the garden… every year.. so is it some glitch or is it real.. who knows.. I believe in spirits walking the earth..

    • Great site! They even have a link to Sandia Labs which has done serious investigations of DHMO, and the rather surprising lack of it west of the “dry line”.

      LOL! Apparently 86% of the American population believe that dihydrogen monoxide(hydric acid) needs to be banned!

      • Don’t forget its an intoxicating drug.. maybe they should list it in the controlled substances..
        Symptoms of accidental dihydrogen monoxide overdose include intoxication Some drunken aggression
        trouble driving coherently ,some arousal and excitment, excessive sweating or urination, a bloated feeling, nausea, or vomiting, electrolyte imbalance, and hyponatremia (dangerously low sodium levels, which can lead to heart, liver, and kidney failure).

    • As part of my prepping for TEOTWAWKI I have surrounded the volcano ranch with a moat of Dihydrogen Monoxide some 2500 miles wide and 13,000 ft deep… inhabited by some large creatures with large teeth!

  4. Wow George, with all that rain, do you own a bug zapper cause I bet there will be lots of skitters around.
    just bought the bell & howell Monster Zapper for our garage.
    Bell + Howell MONSTER ZAPPER 2,800-Volt, 20-watts – Attracts and Kills Houseflies – Overview
    Around 20 miles from here they got 6 inches rain in 2 hours, a tornado and hail. I got an inch rain so good for the garlic.

    • make a hanging OVA trap… I make them all the time.. got one I am sending to G to put up with the swampy air there right now.. the mosquitoes are going to be hell on anyone walking in the field.. LOL
      I sent G a photo of it before its painted.. the grand kids have all won science fair awards over it..simple easy to make .. the hardest part is drinking the pop in the bottle.. ( I am not a pop drinker)

      • Find one in someone’s trash or intercept them recycling the bottles. Worst case, just dump the stuff on the ground or use it to clean your toilet.

  5. .., and next week’s Shop-Talk piece will be on how to build and install a two tier “bucket rack” for hydroponics.
    – Right ??

  6. commodes…

    After all these years working with the sick and elderly I have used a commode once or twice.. The downside is most commodes are made for .. ( women ) back in the day.. mens life expectancy wasn’t that good and men used an outdoor toilet..the women used chamber pots.. so the beside commode was designed for the rich mans wife so she could have some comfort..
    .. the wives got sick more men died young so the majority of the commodes were for the women that had outlived their men..when I was a little boy my parents had a home that didn’t have any of the luxury upgrades..
    city parks.. and their toilets.. LOL when baby sitting eight litle tots.. I would take them to the park.. but the parks toilets were always locked .. the reason.. basically was they would be used.. and we all know about those special holidays that federal workers get.. so they would lock them ..
    with little ones just being potty trained.. you cannot have a locked toilet..

    So I would take one of these and a potty chair put a zip lock bag in it.. then just toss it away in the trash you would be surprised how many other parents or grandparents noticed that and would come to ask if they could use it.. one city park worker caught me putting in the trash he said.. you can’t do that that is disgusting.. I said simple answer unlock the toilets..
    around here in the wastelands.. several of our friends have one of these.. you can get them from three hundred to a thousand.. but you have a back yard outhouse..
    If you are looking for something more useful for everyday use.. well these are what I want to install..then out to a biogas generator..
    then you get to harvest the gas from it.. in Texas with that heat down there.. phew..

    the IBC tote is really good what you don’t have is the gas bag..
    this one would work nice and give you enough gas..

    My guess is biogas is similar to wood gas or hydrogen.. it has to be cooled down.. a dairy farmer near us.. and I was talking a few years ago about a chicken hatchery and egg supplier.. he was telling me how much he had to use to keep production going.. I made some random comment on boy that has to be expensive.. so he showed me his opperation .. the cages had a cleanout slid under them that would flow into a trough and be pushed into a digester.. where he got enough gas to run the whole farm and his cars tractors etc.. anyway the dairy farmer set one up.. he sells over two billion cubic feet of gas a year to the gas company.. it is watered down and pushed through the gas pipelines and I buy it.. he makes more money off of the gas than he does off of the milk and cheese products.
    my guess is like LPG they dillute the gas with oxygen..
    The local landfill does the same thing.. pipes the gas up and condenses it into tanks for the loaders and equipment.. they even have to burn some off.. for pressure.. the bag for a home system should have pressure.. not sure what poundage would be needed but my guess is less than a lb of pressure.. then adjust the ventury on the stove to get the propper mix..
    when I make a small hydrogen cell I use a small blower to mix the proper air in with the hydrogen.. ( that is how the NAZI army did it..and sprayed water alcohol can still buy those systems race car drivers use them all the time.. ) wood gas generation uses a water bath and pressure from a blower to dillute the wood gas so it will work in a motor( I think that a petroleum hydrocarbon should be used but hey who am I just some old moron in the wastelands) simple stuff easy to understand..
    Hydrogen is to explosive so it has to have a lot of mixing before it reconstitutes into water again.. Methane and woodgas are to dense woodgas has to be filtered cooled and the proper oxygen mix to burn correctly.. I have made two wood gas units one out of a fifteen gallon oil drum and one out of plumbing parts.. I wanted to try using old disposed of semi tractor mufflers.. to see if it could be done with one of those.. the unit would be smaller.. you get a two fer if your using wood.. you get the charcoal..
    I am sure most of us here have made charcoal.. I myself used apple tree branches.. just close up the vent.. you can tell when the heat in the charcoal chamber is up to temp when you can light the fumes on fire.. wood gas..
    boy did I get off subject.. when all I was saying is get a porta toilet big enough to fit..


    that is the water injection system.. that is actually how the GEET works.. ( redacted a long comment on how geets work and produces gas)
    this guy’s opinion is wrong and right at the same time..

    You have to have the separation and the addition.. but I will avoid getting into a long conversation on the GEET..

    things that work similarly.. the coleman camp stove the coleman lantern..
    turbo jet..Plasma propulsion system..
    The turbojet engine and the Pantone GEET fuel reactor serve different purposes and operate on distinct similar principles of production.
    OMG.. did it again.. (deleted a long post of what I believe on these priciples)

    • you would be surprised how many don’t or haven’t heard of
      HTE…HTE, also known as steam electrolysis or HTSE, is a technology that produces hydrogen from water at elevated temperatures. Unlike traditional electrolysis at room temperature, HTE operates within specific temperature ranges, typically above 650°C.
      The process involves converting water into steam using energy (usually in the form of heat) from external sources. This steam is then passed into an electrolytic system consisting of electrodes, an electrolyte, and a membrane.
      At high temperatures, the materials used in the cells become conductive, allowing electrochemical reactions to occur. The cell functions once it reaches the proper temperature and electricity is supplied.
      The steam eventually splits into hydrogen (cathode) and oxygen (anode) according to the following equations:
      and the GEET takes off.. when it was first proposed as a system to extend fuel.. a man from texas drove across the USA to sit in front of Congress to tell them that there wasn’t a fuel shortage.. in the fifties and sixties.. Texaco had a yearly contest and cars made out of iron was getting close to seven hundred miles to gallon.. the gent drove his car across the USA on ten gallons of gasoline sat in front of congress and explained it to congress.. as he left congress and headed out of the city he was arrested and his car impounded he went to prison..
      the same thing with Stan Meyers water car.. the technology is here we have had it for a few hundred years.. in the early 1800’s one of the first kitchen ranges was a water fueled stove.. using HTE .. we still see this in coleman products.. simple easy no electric current to the electrolysis..
      and it won’t be available again until the business model changes.. back in the eighteen hundreds.. they only used river or lake water no chemicals.. were used to create the gas.. the minerals in the water was enough…. Although we lack concrete evidence of high-pressure electrolysis, certain phenomena associated with ancient Egyptian structures hint at possible electrical effects generated by High Pressure Electrolysis.. without the gold pyramid cap.. it hard to say that the pyramids were a huge power production and storage system..
      wouldn’t locating the lost library of Alexandria be a huge find.. so would finding the gold library of the wife of Ivan of russia..

      • phew all I could dream about last night was HTE ..the trick is.. the anode goes into the water.. the cathode is above the water.. I will make a small one and send it to you.. the trick is.. make sure the wick is wet.. so put it in then put the water in.. and shake it to make sure the wick is wet throughout the fuel processor.. otherwise you could sit there for a half hour until the wick gets wet.. then when the heat hits the steam moving.. the movement will produce the ion exchange.. splitting the water molecule..
        simple crap that everyone knows has seen but doesn’t really understand.. or even think about.. now to find a baby food jar or a small pickle jar..

        • your gonna have to settle gor a salsa jar.. walking through the store that jar of salsa was screaming eat I got it lol

    Now that is something that I think I am going to Order..
    OTFLMAO.. seriously how many will actually get it LOL LOL LOL

  9. Thanks for this column George! I’m taking notes. After spending five years trying to grow a bean or two in a garden, I figured the money for water and other stuff was better spent elsewhere. The ground water here is at least pH 8. Plants reluctantly grow and then die unless critters get there first. When and if the monsoon rains come, weeds come out of nowhere and overwhelm anything that’s planted. At least I’ve been able to keep cactus alive in pots. I just don’t water them and let the occasional rains work their magic. Inside growing on the enclosed porch and elsewhere seems to be the best approach for now, but excess heat can happen too easily.
    Forced ventilation here may be enough to counter that, probably with a thermostatic switch.

  10. “BOXIO Toilet MAX+ Starter Kit, portable camping toilet, composting toilet 15.7? x 11.8? x 11.0?,”
    You might want to put some pavers under it to raise it 6 or 8 inches; the Boxio looks more like a trainer than an adult version. It do look somewhat better than a hole scratched in the woods with copperheads and canebrakes loitering nearby. I don’t see a vent pipe connection; that looks like a Sunday project.
    The Nature’s Head composting toilets are available through Amazon, and have a following. They are a bit expensive for a short term installation, but if you are setting up for longer term use like in a potential shortage of water scenario (which is opposite of Ure current situation), they look very good. I believe they can be vented, which is a requirement for an indoor installation, and spare pee bottles are available.
    One thing that is on my consideration list is a heavily insulated tiny fixed off-grid, with a water tank, a spray bottle shower, wood heat, and a dry-holer toilet, for plan B considerations. A vented Nature’s Head would work for that.
    Had I to do it it over again, I probably would have laid out my house less conventionally. Start with a core tiny home layout, and add additional storage and rooms which can be closed off when necessary to reduce energy load. That was how a lot of the pioneer homes evolved, starting off as a very small cabin with a loft, which were remodeled with add-on wings.
    The mini-splits weren’t generally available when I first built. I could have put in two or three mini-splits systems for what it cost me to replace a single ten year old air handling unit last year. The unit leaked from day one. Multiple small mini-splits look better, and provide some level of redundancy.
    Insulating interior walls is a smart move. I did that with the current house, but there isn’t really any advantage to closing off rooms, with an open den-dining and kitchen floor plan, and central ducting. While my original insulation was decent, I would use even heavier insulation on a new endeavor. That has a real pay-out.
    In the bathroom, having room for a flush toilet AND a composting toilet now makes sense to me.
    My kitchen is all electric. Groan. I still don’t want propane on my property. I can theoretically cook on the woodstove without going out. A screened gazebo for summer cooking would mitigate.
    A separate detached solar equipment building also makes sense now. Multiple electrical panels with transfer switches to allow solar candidate loads such as lighting, refrigeration and comms to be fed from either the main panel or a separate source would be how I would wire it now.
    20-20 hindsight. Remodeling would end up costing more than I originally built for (sigh). A DIY tiny would be less.

    • (“You might want to put some pavers under it to raise it 6 or 8 inches; “)

      Or just roll off to the side then to boost yourself up LOL LOL
      My daughter lived in an apartment that had a low boy toilet.. that is how I had to get off of it LOL LOL LOL.. memorable experience LOL LOL

  11. So now we are to allow citizens to vote in the upcoming election if they “deem” themselves to be US citizens. Boys “deeming” themselves to be girls to go to the school girls bathroom was kid stuff.

    This 12 minute video worth a watch. Explains the wide open JB border.

    • Since the Demonrats’ goal is to push non-citizens voting, I suggest we send a half million or so absentee ballots to London, where Trump is worshiped by many. I’ll volunteer to count the returning mail-in ballots.

    • Why hasn’t someone taken this regulation to the courts to test the constitutionality of it .

      • Silly Boy.. would it make a difference.. just look what happened to Trump.. and what hasn’t happened to Jim or Hunter. Or Joe and just about every other past president… just about every law in the usa has been broken in the last three years LOL LOL.. would it make a difference..

  12. Hard to believe for a Texan, maybe, but my 16ft deep cesspool of “Layered Lava Rock” apparently drains better than your clay soil. 52 inches of rain in 24 hours during hurricane Lane was no problem.

  13. A Department of Defense spokesperson told Check Your Fact that the claim is “not true” and that “nothing happening to the Ike.” A U.S. Central Command spokesperson told Check Your Fact that they had no information on any attack from the Houthis.

    DOD official tells me this is false information — there was no hit on the Ike or any attacks in its vicinity.

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