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Pat Miketinac
#1 Posted : Saturday, March 27, 2010 3:41:31 AM
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I was wondering the same thing, jd. I have been more involved lately with local issues, politics, and economics. I have been helping my wife teach a class on the Constitution based on documents from the Founders, and I have been debating those with mainstream economic views as opposed to Austrian school economic theory. I hesitate to go much deeper here on these topics since MEN is more about homesteading, DIY, energy etc. My main interests here are alternative building and energy ideas, especially earth sheltered housing, as you may have guessed!

davisonh
#2 Posted : Sunday, March 28, 2010 1:20:00 AM
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Well, jd I still come in every day to check on the board and I agree the last one was 3/14 and it was spam.I am guessing with the way things are with the economy  and it being spring  many that usually post here are most likely busy,I know I am,starting in on the garden today finally,very cold but the snow's finally gone.Still a  little too frozen and wet but getting there.Hoping to go full bore with the garden next weekend we'll see.Weather's' not supposed to cooperate as usual.Hey how'd your trip go?

jd
#3 Posted : Sunday, March 28, 2010 5:52:46 PM
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Life has been whirling along, that's for sure.  The community has decided to restore an old building making it into a woodwork shop and I am part of that.  I got a deal on a new genset and battery charger and, of course, neither are plug-and-play so I am learning how to 'modify' them for my needs.  I have to get on to extending the funicular soon and this year we are building large planter boxes for a garden.  So, we have some business to get done. 

'Course, as you know, we've been away.  75 days in SE Asia.  Got out of Thailand on the first day of protest.  But, not to worry, protests over there are pretty polite - as least for a long while.  I have a 50 page diary of mindless ramblings on the trip if you want to read it.  Gibberish mostly but it is a summary of our time there. 

The economy, they say, is picking up and, much to my surprise, it is no longer in the toilet.  But it is still lingering in the bathroom feeling ill.  No one is buying new cars around here.  Not even new outboard motors.  So, I see the economy as flaccid to say the least. 

Speaking of which.........I am a bit of a moralist, a strong believer in right and wrong and I try to stand up and get counted when it needs to be done.  But I can't honestly jump onto the attack bandwagon for Tiger Woods or this so-called celebratory mechanic Jesse James.  Of course, they were naughty boys and even 'really bad' to their wives but, honestly, aren't all men programed to 'trying' with all women and aren't most women programmed to say 'NO' to all men except the one they think is most worthy?  Isn't all this just propagation of the species stuff?  Aside from the popular socialized version of morality, aren't those guys just doing what comes naturally (no pun intended) and, if we are to be critical, shouldn't it be aimed at the press and the public for peeping-Tom-ism?  Anyway, seems silly to me to make such a deal about skin-rubbing and I felt the same way about Clinton and anyone who gets caught being 'human'. 

By the way - anyone watch the Winter Olympics and see BC for the first time?  What did you think? 



StreetLegal
#4 Posted : Monday, March 29, 2010 3:55:59 PM
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Greetings,

I admit, I've become a lurker on this forum.

I've been busy rebuilding my house after having a major water leak in the crawlspace underneath.  I had to strip the house down to the floor joists, which means everything in the house was moved into a storage trailer.  When you have a house totally vacant and basically gutted, it's a good time to re-arrange the floor plan to better suit us, which I am doing.

Mostly working by myself...I'm the lead carpenter, tile man, electrician, plumber, hvac tech, and the general contractor.  

My original goal was to be finished by the time the March winds hit.  I have now bumped that deadline back to "before the rattlesnakes come out", as I am still living in a wall tent in the back yard.

When people ask me why it's taking so long, I tell them "the homeowner keeps changing his mind, my lead carpenter has an attitude and won't show up half the time, and my general contractor is being a real a**hole!

My wife is being surprisingly patient, even after two days of 50MPH winds and a coating of dirt (not dust) on everything in the tent.  Tent-life sucks.


Edited to correct spelling

StreetLegal is new and improved, now with 18% more sarcasm!

davisonh
#5 Posted : Tuesday, March 30, 2010 2:20:46 AM
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Ohhh,street,that sux man,I hear ya.Reminds me of the time of the 2 weeks w/o a bathroom of any sort,had to do the same down to the floor joists. And ya,I am guilty of changing my mind about every ten minutes( theres ALWAYS a better way of doing this,lol!)Just remember 3/4 plywood....3/4 plywood ..3/4 plywood(least for the bathroom floor anyways.) DA(dumb*ss)here put down 1/2 inch till my father gets me on the phone..Oh no..you need 3/4 plywood!grrrrrrrr..Anyways,looks good now though I still don't think it was worth all the arguing,just glad I did it before any kids came along.JD,a new generator! Wow ya go to Thailand and come back with a generator,I always knew that country did things to folks,lol.(showing my American ignorance)The woodworking shops' a great start,you know it'll end up the 'male meetinghouse' eventually,make sure the fridge is big enough for at least 3 cases...hmm..maybe a keg and a few bottles of hooch.

Well as far as Tiger and such go,most of us down here know that the best place for these types no matter how much they may own,money or otherwise,is basically where the most important part of the average house's plumbing is connected to,the septic tank.Sad aspect of all this is that these scandals are made to cover up real news such as colony collapse disorder,the lovely state of the economy and how we're all being s*****d six ways to Sunday down here in the States.Sure you don't want to emigrate to Thailand jd,the livings' cheaper there and the food ain't too bad.The ones with any brains know that it's all meant to cover up real news and  to make it hard to find real news.It makes me yawn ,it gets so boring hearing about who's s******ing who..there are better things to do than to watch drivel such as that.Hey,now us men have an EXCUSE jd,lol.Yea...an addiction,thats it...that'll stand up in court,lol.Ya right,wake up..It is silly jd,sad thing 90% of americans know it's silly,it's that pathetic 10 % who are on a power trip of some sort..and you ask why I live where I live..should be a no-brainer.

 

davisonh
#6 Posted : Tuesday, March 30, 2010 2:25:04 AM
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I will say this in a separate post because I think it's worth it.I was extremely impressed with the Olympics and where you live jd...and to think you live some 30 miles from there.That was some serious luge run..it's sad what happened.That was the first winter games I have watched in 20 years or so and I was impressed.I made it a point to watch it too.Beautiful area indeed,you picked an awesome place to live dude,really!

jd
#7 Posted : Tuesday, March 30, 2010 8:23:13 PM
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Street!  Long time.  Nothing like house repairs, especially when you crawl underneath, eh?  You have my sympathies.  So does your wife!  Rattlesnake time!!?? 

PM, you are quite right: these topics should really be mostly about the homesteading experience but, of course, even homesteaders have other interests.  I think it is OK to go off on a rant now and then - just expect a robust rebuttal and then carry on homesteadin'.  . 

DH - good to hear from you.  Yes, I got a new diesel genset but it's 'Merican.  It's a Martin Diesel Genset which cobbles together a Yanmar and Marathon head.  Made in Ohio.  Thailand didn't do it to me, Ebay did.  Which reminds me: Sal and I were in SE Asia for 2 and half months teaching English to a poor school run by a friend of mine.  If you want the diaries from those two months, just ask.  I'll send them.  But there's warning - this is a 51 page epistle of nonsense and gibberish.  You have to be pretty bored to get through it.  Trust me.  I am jdavidcox@hughes.net.

I am kinda curious why so many 'Mericans seem upset at Obama's health care plan, tho........?  We have one in Canada.  Have had it for forty plus years and it's not bad.  NOT great but not bad.  I can go to the doctor even tho the outcome is so bloody institutionlized and by-the-book you have to wonder why they are in the business (it is the medical industry that sucks, not the payment for it by government, in my opinion).  It's free to go see these 'bored' professionals if you want.  It's relatively prompt - a bit slow to get anything major done - but acceptable.  Our nurses are horrible - almost all of them with bad attitudes and an "I shouldn't have to get my hands dirty" attitude but the younger ones are good and even the old shrews get some work done.  Basically, I'd give Canada's health care system a passing grade - especially if you have been in an accident - then they really come through.  Have a lingering complaint and you will continue to have it because no one cares enough to put out the extra effort.  If you really need medical attention, it almost behooves you to break your arm and get admitted through the emergency intake.  Much quicker. 

Want great medical care?  Go to Thailand.  OMIGAWD!  They are great!  Fast, efficient, modern, caring and all the nurses are beautiful!  Sal got ill and we went to the Chiang Mai Ram hospital.  Best service I have ever seen.  Truly amazing. 

Later

 

 

 

Pat Miketinac
#8 Posted : Wednesday, March 31, 2010 4:28:28 AM
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jd, to answer why so many of us are upset about Obama's health care plan, here are the most common complaints that I have been hearing. 1. It will be too costly and poorly run. 2. It should be a state issue, not federal. 3. Nobody should be forced to buy insurance under penalty of a fine or jail. 4. Expected  long waits for care. 5. Expected rationing of care. 6. Too socialistic. 7. Insurance should be for major issues, not routine care. 8. Loss of free market choices. 9. No citizen should be forced to pay for another citizen's or non-citizen's health care. 10. Corruption by special interests. 11. Cost controls will force providers out of business. 12. It will worsen the recession. 

John Edward Mercier
#9 Posted : Wednesday, March 31, 2010 9:33:15 AM
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Most of them are wrong... though the 'plan' isn't really that good.

If it was, it wouldn't have required such effort and outright bribery to get it passed.

 

StreetLegal
#10 Posted : Thursday, April 01, 2010 1:26:02 AM
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Yes JD, it's rattlesnake time - got up to 90 degrees here today.  But it will get down to 38 or so tonight, so I still have a few days left  

Last Christmas, I bought my lovely wife a 72" Midwest (brand) "Gentle Giant" snake tong.  Now she (or I) can safely grab a snake of any size and handle it without harming it - or us.  

Thoughtful, aren't I??  -  Forget the diamond tennis bracelet...nothing says "love" like a high-quality snake tong!



___________

StreetLegal is new and improved, now with 18% more sarcasm!

davisonh
#11 Posted : Thursday, April 01, 2010 1:42:19 AM
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Ok,I've been asked what my opinion on health insurance is and it's this.Pat summarized it well and I agree with John,it's not a very good plan but I will say this:it's a start.OK with that said,to rebut Pats statements:1.)The system is already too costly and poorly run. 2.)If it's a state issue then the population wil l be going to this state or that to get (x) amount of care or (y) type of care,including or not abortions.Would'nt be fair to all citizens and is why it's a federal issue.3.)You already are being forced whether you know it or not.How do you think hospitals recoup costs for treating people with no insurance?They distribute the costs onto others that can afford it and there is no law to saying how much  hospitals can charge.I'm sorry but $35,000 for an appendectomy for my wife was pretty ridiculous,thankfully I had insurance to cover it.4.)That depends on the hospital and how it's all set up.No one says you can't go elsewhere for care and eventually it comes down to no patient=no care=no money.5.)Insurers do that now.They basically tell doctors what they can and cannot do once you are admitted.Even ER docs have to follow basic rules set up by insurance companies as to how to treat emergency patients and within an hour of a patients' arrival at the hospital most ER nurses are on the phone to the patients insurance companies getting the go-ahead to do certain procedures.6.)Again,all in the way you look at it.Group insurance is in essence a 'socialist' setup.7.) Yes it should be and will be more so in the future depending on what plan you choose.Insurance companies now force people to stop smoking and take away insurance for addictions and such.That will be illegal.8.)No,the free market will still be there,the government is setting up an option for those that cannot afford market rate insurance.I'll still have my private insurance but my company won't have to pay up to 35% of the cost of having it.That  issue many don't know about.Many who have Cadillac plans will have to fork over more than others who have a basic 80/20 plan but thats only fair.9.)As I said before you already ARE paying for someone else's lack of insurance whether you know it or not and is the biggest reason why health care in this country is so high.Nuff said.10.)And you don't think there's any corruption now???It'll be more exposed thanks to the Freedom of Information Act.Right now the insurance business is the most corrupt business to be in now,it's almost like going to a loanshark to pay your medical bills.11.)Next to energy production,legal and finance,insurance is the most lucrative business to be in now.If an insurance company can't make it thru this then it should'nt be in business.12.)It's pretty bad now and as far as worsening,well,time decides that,we individuals have less control over that than we think.

davisonh
#12 Posted : Thursday, April 01, 2010 1:56:49 AM
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And so I'll add an addendum to this: What group do you think funded all the opposition,the commercials,the rallies and such to get you to call your congressman to vote against it?You guessed it,the insurance companies.Insurance companies and pharmeceutical companies are #2 and #1 in the  lobbyist brigade in Washington respectively.And who do you think agrees with their lobbyists opinions the most and who will be guaranteed a lofty post on the board of directors when they leave office.The Republican Party.Nuff said..it's why I take a non partisan stance on this issue.Yes the Democrats got it thru,and no,its not a good plan I agree with tahn but with close to 170 million people retiring in the next 10-20 years something has to be done to control the money flow because the way it's flowing now ain't right,its too corrupt.

jd
#13 Posted : Thursday, April 01, 2010 6:49:23 PM
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"Oh, Street! A snake tong.  You shouldn't have, you romantic devil, you!"

PM, I, too have some responses to what you said.  You might be surprised especially at #7.  You said: "1. It will be too costly and poorly run. 2. It should be a state issue, not federal. 3. Nobody should be forced to buy insurance under penalty of a fine or jail. 4. Expected  long waits for care. 5. Expected rationing of care. 6. Too socialistic. 7. Insurance should be for major issues, not routine care. 8. Loss of free market choices. 9. No citizen should be forced to pay for another citizen's or non-citizen's health care. 10. Corruption by special interests. 11. Cost controls will force providers out of business. 12. It will worsen the recession."

 If Canada is anything to go by, you are both right and wrong.  #1 it will NOT be more costly.  It WILL be poorly run.  #2. For the same reasons stated by Davh, it has to be Federal.  #3 We are all obliged to be insured for liability when driving.  But, I agree with you.  If, for reasons of principle, you wanted to opt out, you should be able to.  #4 Expect long waits for SOME care.  Not all. Anything that requires an expensive machine takes longer.  #5. There will be no rationing of care although there will be 'special fast tracks' for 'special people'.  In effect, there will be two systems - one for the 'folks' and one for the 'specials'.  #6. It is not too socialistic.  On a scale of 1 -100, it is a 6.  #7.  I agree 100%.  Seeing a doctor should have an affordable fee.  We have way too many 'malingerers' who use the doctor for socializing.  The insurance should be for the éxpensive-surgery/treatment' part, not the GP visits.  #8.  Trust me - you have all the choices you have now and then some.  #9. Disagree but that's a personal call.  #10.  Corruption will continue at the same level.  #11.  Nonsense.  #12. It may worsen the recession but, honestly, the seeds for the recession have already been sown and they are growing as we speak.  What do you think happens when you pump a few trillion into economy?  Inflation and devaluation.  Duh!  And that is part of this recession-cum-stagflation.  But the biggest part is that your infrastructure is failing.  You can't discount your way to prosperity - that is the way of making the pie smaller and the Walmartization of the US is part of that erosion.  Health Care programs won't help the economy but it was already bloodied and bowed.  This is just a band aid for a wounded soldier.  

 On a brighter note - kinda...........we baby boomers are 60 plus or minus.  We are quitting our day jobs.  In my case, I went out early at 55 but I have never been busier.  If I defy my family geniology and live for 25 more years, I will have to work.  What the 'heck' are old geezers going to do?  I pend all my energy now keeping house and home together.  I can't imagine working for anyone ever again.  So, what does an old workforce do?  And, as a side question, why aren't more boomers retiring to the cottage?

 

StreetLegal
#14 Posted : Friday, April 02, 2010 4:01:00 PM
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Today is set to be another hyper-windy day - yuk - spring has finally slammed New Mexico.

Yesterday, i saw some red ants working.  We've also seen mosquitoes, yellow jacket wasps, and other insects.  The rattlesnakes are next.

I gotta' go lay some tile...I'm way behind schedule.


___________

StreetLegal is new and improved, now with 18% more sarcasm!

John Edward Mercier
#15 Posted : Friday, April 02, 2010 11:59:04 PM
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Actually DH, the reason that most of the points are wrong is because of current practice and consitutional powers. Current practice provided health care for everyone, but not everyone pays. The new law may change 'health care practices' at the fringes, but actually deals with 'health care finances'.

Its aslo not a State's Right. Regardless of ones' position, it is quite clear the Framer's intent was for the federal government to control commerce amongst the States. Mostly to prevent State-level protectionism, which has been spreading.

As to the future actual mechanisms of the law, some of them have been 'spun' as to how they work... while others of them become enacted so far into the future, that they will most likely be changed.

The 'bribes' (yes that is a spin) are most noted in the opposition of many. They cost money we don't have, and do not provide what most would consider 'equal protection under the law'.

jd
#16 Posted : Saturday, April 03, 2010 6:30:01 PM
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OK, let me re-frame my question: In the early 70's there was a 'back-to-the-land movement.  Admittedly it was not fully subscribed to by the baby-boom/hippy generation but it was sympathetically received as part of the Flower Power movement overall.  Communes formed, tents were used for housing and all that.............that was, at the time, our collective attempt to be 'more natural'.  In fact, there was even  a cartoon character called Mr. Natural. 

But it didn't really catch on.  Maybe 3-5% gave the lifestyle a try and 2/3 of them gave up.  Now, it's 2010.  The BBs are approaching 60 when traditionally seniors retire to the cottage if they have one.  So one could be excused for expecting a bit of a 'blip' on cottage-buying amongst already sympathetic boomers who might never have lost the romantic notion of going 'back to the land'.  Especially when one factors in the newly raised Green consciousness of today.

So, where are they? 

I live in a perfect place for such urban-but-aging refugees and, tho our community is growing slowly, the new blood is all young.  No geezers.  It is young hippy-like people in their 20's making the move out.  The older people, the ones with money and retirement plans, are looking at condos on Main Street. 

I don't get it.  Aren't any of the old boomers interested in 'getting out of the hell that is the modern day city'?  Is anyone seeing a cottage real estate boom in their area?  Any new neighbours with grey hair? 

davisonh
#17 Posted : Sunday, April 04, 2010 2:07:10 AM
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My opinion on that jd is that I think boomers are finding out that even after all their years in gyms,jogging,jumping on and off airplanes,and power lunches that they  are'nt in all that great shape in their 50's-early 60's and most of them know that a cottage or house in the woods is going to take effort that they feel they wont be able to muster in the coming years.Arthritis is going to set in and a warmer clime with someone to take care of their everyday needs is going to be of more importance than walking around in the woods.They are used to others taking care of their needs,no one knows that more than I.Also,opinions change over time,what was hip back in the 70's is now considered a 'novel idea' and they are saying to the new green culture coming up :'Good luck with that'..I mean I don't see my two ex-hippy brothers raising a finger to help with my projects I have going on here,all of them are done by the carpenter,electrician,plumber,landscaper,computer technician,furnace repairman,automotive technician..in other words me,myself and I.Yes they had communes,where others shared the tasks..frankly I do not see much sharing among them anymore.I see the 'attitude' now if you know what I mean,which makes them pretty much blend in with the rest of society.I feel my x generation types are stuck between the 2 and I'm not getting any younger myself.The only person I talk with from my family is my dad,and he's a silent generation type,frankly I feel I relate to him the most of anyone in my clan..sorry jd.

Pat Miketinac
#18 Posted : Sunday, April 04, 2010 5:07:27 AM
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Wow. I guess health care IS a major homesteading issue. Anyway, I was just listing what I had heard in the media. I personally believe that everyone should pay for their own health care in a true free market, which we have not had for a very long time due to government bureaucracies for subsidies, rules, regulation and Fed monetary policy interference driving up costs. I believe that I have no right to any health care that you are forced to pay for. Charity for those who need help is ok because it is voluntary.

jd
#19 Posted : Sunday, April 04, 2010 6:41:54 PM
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Well, PM, as I said, "say your piece and keep on homesteading".  And you did.  So, back to the farm............

I am trying to put in a garden this year.  As you know, we live on rock so the 'garden' is more of a 'harden'.  We'll likely make big planter boxes (4x12) and fill ém full of dirt and try from there.  Anyone else done that?  Any tips?

Dh, you may be right.  They (the baby boomers) may be too soft to ever 'go back to the land'.  Some of my friends in the city are going to sell their house because it has stairs.  "We may not be able to climb them in a few years." Ironically, I think we all are inclined that way but they are in their 60's and just plain stupid and lazy (l can pick ém).  The stairs they are talking about are the dozen or so stairs in their split level!   

However, I have noticed that Sally and I keep building and refining our 'systems' so as to make things easier, too.  Seems we all do out here.  You come out here knowing it's hard and so you start working to make it easier.  This summer I have to extend my funicular into the sea so that I can pull the boat and the load all the way up to the house instead of only half way.  That's 70 vertical and 180 length of heavy tracks, a big converted boat trailer and the mechanics to haul it.  Getting tired of hauling stuff over the kelp-covered, boulder strewn beach. 

 

Pat Miketinac
#20 Posted : Monday, April 05, 2010 3:04:25 AM
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We use salvaged plastic drums filled with topsoil, compost and other nutrients. The tomatoes really like it because their roots like to go very deep anyway. We like it because we can garden standing up. (We are boomers, you know.) 1" drain holes are cut around the bottom perimeter with polyester filter cloth on the inside.

We used to grow silver queen corn in the field until somebody told the squirrels what it was. They started gnawing down the stalks like beavers and dragged stalk and all up the trees. I didn't think they were that strong. We have covers for the drums made from old commercial chicken pens. No corn, though.

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