Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July 10  a severe storm went through. The power was off for 21 hours. My neighbor ran a cord from his generator across the street and we plugged in my refrigerator and computer and router.

When the power went off it flickered for a while and  partially fried my A/C; once I manage to get it turned on it works, but last night I had to turn off the power strip to turn it off. So tomorrow will have a new one installed.

I've thought about having a generator installed over the years but never got around to it.

Definitely want to look into solar to work with Gary's generator.

Friday, July 12, 2013


Last year I decided that if I made it through one of the inevitable tropical depressions without losing power that I would do something about make the investment for a generator.
But as you can see, there is a recognizable difference with this generator, it's propane powered.
Gasoline has its advantages, it's cheap readily available and I've usually got some on hand for my boat.
Big disadvantage is: it goes off...that's right, it doesn't work after a certain length of a few months of sitting in the Florida heat.
So, that being said, there is a real advantage to propane in that it never goes off, the refilling station is even closer than the nearest gas station and it will sit happily and safely in that large gray tank for years...until it's finally ready.
I got the tank on Craigs list. Oh yeah, before I forget to tell you...check the expiry date on the collar of the tank! They won't fill them for you if they have expired.
In any case, got the tank roped it fast to the boat do not want a tank coming off the trailer...and took it to the filling station. Roughly speaking, about three days worth of electrical power in there.

Another really good feature is that you can use this tank for several purposes...the connector easily comes off and the tank can be used to fire the bar-b-que or even the lawn mower...well yes, I even have a propane powered lawn mower. It also refills the little tank for the antique stove inside.
The whole idea, is not to be 'off the grid' entirely. No, it's more like being able to survive with a reasonable degree of comfort with the grid no longer functional. Here, it's almost a yearly occurrence, that a tropical storm will cut the power. Usually only for a few hours but occasionally for days at a time. That's when the generator and its non-degradable fuel source comes in handy.
Oddly enough, it's Claudia, in Ohio, who has had need for this more than me! Poor girl is at the end of the repair line, so that every power outage from trees knocking down power lines she's always the last back up and running.
But there is an even better solution and when she gets here we're going to work on it. "Solar" First for hot water. How obvious can you get? You can burn yourself from water in a hose that's been left out in the sun. So first thing is a solar hot water heater. But photovoltaic(PV) is on the agenda as well. The house is situated on a north south axis so PV collectors would be just perfect on the porch and house roof.
The big draw card for Claudia...spreadsheets and data collection to the bone this that along with a weather station it's all recordable, collectable and therefore comparable.
In a word. "Shareable"
I'm building a pc from parts from parts for the first time. I not sure but I think it most likely will be re-purposed into a 'server'. That's right, a year or two from now and you might be able to look all this up on line real time and just see for yourself what a 'soft survivalist' can do.
Wish us luck!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Claudia's 'flow of thought' soup

One of the luxuries of being soft survivalists is that you just don't have to be all too strict with yourself . Making soup for example. A hard ass survivalist would only accept stuff you grew yourself or foraged as a proper soup for lunch.
No such problem here. I borrowed a thought from Claudia and last night set about having 'flow of thought' vegetable soup for lunch today. The thought was...well...what do I have in the cupboard that I could start with. Answer, a packet of dried red beans.
How hard can this be, to think a little ahead? So I soaked the beans over night in the crock pot then set about finding whatever vegetables I could lay my hands on in the morning. Sure enough I found plenty. Malabar Spinach, Japanese Eggplant, Sweet Potato vine tips, Star beans, Snake beans and then a carrot from the fridge.
Dumped the whole roughly chopped mess, oh yeah, onion and bay leaf too, into the crock pot and set out on my mornings fishing expedition.
I have never made it before, I'll probably never make it exactly the same ever again. But my 'flow of thought' vegetable soup was a much appreciated welcome home.

Had two bowls of this goodness before I was done.

Didn't catch a lot of fish but I'm once again being happily stalked by my spirit animal.

Nice to see them looking out for me.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Making some progress.

My first step toward moving will be getting all of my finances (and the paperwork involved with them) sorted out, consolidated, and tracked. This will be quite a task as I am years behind in my paperwork. The goal is to get everything online and tracked and cross-referenced in spreadsheets.

The weather here has been awful; rain for a week and predicted for all next week.
I had been working on getting more healthy, but I am not going to walk during thunderstorms.  Will continue doing light weight lifting. Started with two pound dumbbells, will move up to three pounds. Well, I had to start somewhere.