Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Warning! Political Rant to Follow

I've really had it. All the drama in this National Election needs to end. We're two weeks to E-Day and the foolishness needs to end.
Please! Would the real candidates please step forward so we can choose who to vote for??

Don't even tell me we're really expected to chose between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. Even die hard, flag-waving patriots can't claim we've got a reasonable chance of not being the laughingstock of the entire world.

The debates were entertaining. Thanks for all the Foot-in-Mouth and Criminal coverage, Fox News and CNN.
Now, how about unveiling the real candidates for President?
We live in troublesome times. The health care thing is going haywire, threatening to bankrupt America. With premiums going up by 25% this year, I wonder how families are supposed to survive.
Only if you're stone broke and receive major tax credits from our government, are you able to view insurance premiums as a reasonable expense.
Then, as our Senior Citizen base expands, we find social security lagging way behind the cost of living. Not for one moment do I believe the Cost of Living hasn't gone up. Did any of our elected official received a raise? I say, cancel those raises and split the money among struggling Seniors.
Or better yet, get rid of some congressmen and their staff I don't see them doing much anyways.
Its getting down right disturbing.
The chasm between the rich and poor deepens like the Colorado River carving out the Grand Canyon.

Sometimes I wonder why more isn't said about the crazy economy, but then I realize folks are tired. Its exhausting filtering through lies and half truths. Maybe its time to jump off the gerbil wheel and flee to Mexico. I mean, a little music, a few tacos and some siesta might be what the doctor ordered.
But who trusts doctors, anyways? Mine seems to like prescribing pills, so I ditched him. He can take a hike. I need a physician that looks past pharmaceutical relief.
It's all a scam, this American dream.
I for one plan to live as simply as possible. Let the politicians earn their keep.
Sure, as soon as the real candidates step up and introduce themselves.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Big Short-A Movie Review

Hastings Book Store was going out of business, so I took advantage of their 70% off sale and bought this highly acclaimed movie.

It was fascinating, true, but funny? Yikes, maybe I've lost my sense of humor.
 Utilizing, at times, a documentary format, Hollywood proceeds to unfold the great housing bubble crisis which led to the unforgettable bail out of several Banks in 2008.
Some of us remember that crisis all too well. The NINJA housing loans to incredibly unqualified home buyers.  No income, no jobs, no assets. A credit score below 550? Wow.
At one point, we have the famous Chef Anthony Bourdain explaining how faulty bonds were combined, or bundled, to look like a good investment.

I think I learned something. If nothing else, don't get in over your head by believing a slick salesman.
I'm actually hunting property, someplace to homestead without any regulations. I've found, realtors will tell you anything you want to hear. Recently, one told me no one enforces the CCR's . Don't worry about it.
Yeah, I think. He just wants to unload a piece of junk,slope-scape no one else will touch.
So, if you want some schooling on fraud, Wall Street bankers, market crashes and reckless behavior, watch this film.
I'll watch it again, and pick up a lot more information. Once could only begin to open my eyes to the banking world that runs the world.
Buyer, beware.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

LED Light Review

Thursday past, my amazon LED lights arrived. A package of ten cost 17.99.
I proceeded in switching out my camper lights. Going solar, I'm curtaining my power draw off the house batteries where ever possible.

I had already installed two LED lights from Walmart. Rated at 50,000 hours, I had no doubt they'd last a long time. Although they cost a great deal more than amazon's- ( 2 for $14.99 plus tax, almost $16 bucks)- I decided to keep them to compare output.

Today, I finally took those two back to Walmart. The ends were flickering, an annoying situation at best.
You might ask, are you sure it was the lights and not the outlets.
Yes. I switched them into other outlets. Same story. I installed amazon's LEDs in the outlet quit by Walmart's brand. No flickering.
Problem solved. Get the 10 pack for $17.99, no tax.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Free Book this Weekend

On Saturday and Sunday, October 8th and 9th, you'll be able to get your free copy of
The Cookbook Project-Sharing Our Best. The history of this huge project is described on page 11. Who knew, that over the course of twenty years, the church cookbook would serve as the basis for large batch cooking in a dozen places, including national parks and a winter man camp.

For those of you who remember my first project, be assured this updated version has page numbers and additional stories, photos and tips. The index has been numbered, and the recipes fine tuned after thorough testing by  novices at Mount Rainier employee kitchen.
Its free, this weekend, so don't forget to download yours Saturday or Sunday at Amazon.com.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Lovin' The Panels

After bringing my house batteries down to "fair" according to the display panel above the stove, the solar panels have already restored them to "good." Now, I don't have a meter to tell me exactly what those words mean in terms of amps or watts, but I can see all systems are go.

I used two fans for an hour (one exhaust and one a circulating box style) recharged my laptop twice and kept my smart phone at full battery. I also used the water pump and electric steps frequently.
Having researched my flat screen T-V's power requirements, I believe I'll fire up a movie. The dvd player connected to it requires 7 watts, while the TV requires 60. I think I'll be fine.

One thing I've realized is that now, before the sun goes down, is the time to use power. The charge controller on the solar panels prevents the batteries from overcharging. Once they are fully charged, it holds them back. So, by using power now, I keep the panels producing.
Maybe that explanation isn't scientific enough, but it works for me.

Several women have expressed great interest in my desire to get off the grid. When they hear I am chucking my generator as well, they grin, both amazed and thrilled. No doubt they've seen electric bills skyrocket.
Then I tell them I'm reassessing my needs and simplifying my life style. If a place is so hot I need constant air-conditioning, well then its time to move.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Solar Panels Deployed

I unplugged from the grid today to test out my boondocking systems. With the frig, stove and furnace running on propane, my main electrical needs are laptop, phone, water pump, fans, t-v and sewing machine.

I'll stay unplugged until morning, and see what the house batteries reveal. Will 100 watt panels with full sunlight be able to manage my limited requirements? I'm hopeful.

I am at an advantage. I just finished my second thru hike of the Appalachian Trail. Two years ago, I was a paid Ridgerunner in Maine. Living off grid for months at a time made me appreciate electricity.
My goal is affordable sustainability.
Please join in the discussion by posting comments below.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Opinions Wanted, Skill Set Needed

Today's RV project involved testing my 200 watt crock pot with the 300/700 peak inverter. Now, I do have a great propane stove and oven, which answers the cooking need when boondocking. However, please follow my female reasoning,
I thought, what if I could simmer a soup and simultaneously warm the living area during those chilly spells?

I mean, this thing does throw off some serious heat when its cooking.
In retrospect, that should have clued me in. The longer the cord on a device, I'm told, the more power you lose due to friction. Or something like that.
Bottom line, I gave up on the inverter ever working my crock pot. In order to get a soup for supper, I cheated and plugged it into shore power.
So, is my math wrong or my reasoning? Why can't you run a 200 watt crock pot with a 300/700 watt inverter?

Now, the pure sine inverter was desperately needed to protect my laptop, phone and T-V, so I guess the $38 bucks at amazon.com was worth it. Tonight, I'm watching a movie to see how that goes.
Stay tuned. There is a 30 day guarantee with this purchase.