Sunday, December 20, 2009

Old is new again

Well, the "old" setback of not being able to sink the posts into the ground because we have excavated down to solid rock,  has also defeated the "new" solution. The "new" solution was to drive Re-bar down into the rock (it is "soft" rock) then pour concrete around the posts and re-bar thus giving the post a good strong footing. Well, a few days ago I tried to drive some re-bar into the rock to no avail. Not even a hint of progress.. So onto the next approach.. 

Now I am going to try to dig out a trench out of the rock, using a pick and my own labor. Depending on a few factors, this trench will either be for the posts themselves, else for concrete wall to sit in front of (downhill/inside) the posts to prevent any downhill movement. Then I will be running cedars from the uphill "wall" to the downhill so as to further prevent any chance of movement. I am fairly certain that this is overkill, but though I plan one day to take my own life, having a few tons of soil come suddenly crashing in on me is not the way I plan on undertaking that endeavor. 

Regardless, I can see no other way to resume progress on the site now that the equipment is locked away for the season while the owner heads to Cancun.. And to think that there are some who question my wanting to do virtually all of this myself when I cannot rely upon others to meet any sort of deadline.. 

In the meantime I have been working out the details of my plan, catching up on movies (odd for me) reading economic books, and buying christmas presents using the rewards I receive from various frugal/reward sites. The $20 in Amazon cards went a lot further than one might think.. and a delayed present from another site will be 26 weeks of the Economist for Rancher Bob, which has the benefit of my getting to read them when he is through with each issue. 

Yes money is tight now, but there are still ways to make the most of things using the various rewards. To be honest, I have not even touched the best reward program yet (Harris polls) nor have I counted the cash from Pinecone Research. 

I've also come around to the decision to forego a refrigerator completely in favor of an ice box. I realized that over the past year I have been living with this small RV fridge, and using it mostly for the freezer section at that. Moreover the use I have for the fridge has been for leftovers, which in my case get eaten right away, and for condiments. With that in mind, I calculated that I can use a well insulated container for these items, making the ice (for now) with the freezer unit which I intend to keep. This will mean firing up a generator* once or twice a day to keep the temp cold and to make sure that I am making ice for the icebox, but that seems a small price to pay for the energy savings from not having an appliance that I really have little use for.  I hope to get to the point of being able to do without the freezer as well, perhaps by building one of the solar ice makers** that have been designed, and perhaps by canning more of the foods I would normally freeze. Then too in the winter when the temps drop into the teens, there ought to be no problem creating ice for the icebox, and to add to the freezer to keep it cold enough without needing to fire up the generator. 

*Compressors and other motors require too high an initial draw to safely operate on a small solar/wind/battery system so a generator stands in to take the draw and at the same time recharge the batteries. 


We are expecting rains starting Tuesday, lasting for three days, so that will once again prevent any on site work from getting done, but it feels like I am making progress by getting some of the plans worked out in better detail to deal with the new/old hurdles. 

That is the news from the backwoods of hell.. where the children are absent, the men overworked, and the women are welcome. :) 

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