LeLc update + musings…

The LeLc (Living Energy Learning Center) is progressing nicely and a bit ahead of schedule.  I’ve been fortunate to have several helpers lately and WinSol in general is really improving.  We have out marque entrance posts now (pics later?) and as soon as we get a dry spell we’ll be putting up the first layer of roof covering on the geodome.  The ‘space’ inside the 36′ dome is amazing.  I DO remember that from 40+ years ago when I had a small dome in Trinity County.  There’s something magical about spherical spaces as opposed to our normal square rooms.  Like I told an architect friend once ‘nature doesn’t design anything square’ .

I can’t wait

  • to get the grand piano in there and return to my pianist musings
  • to start the experiental lessons – some are assembling already
  • to give the green light for advertising and lecturing about the LeLc
  • build bridges to the mainstream

Stay tuned

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I enjoy watching weather on commercial TV.  I never hear about violence, war, etc… the only big downsides are the commercials… But it is ‘observation’ in its purest forms.

The latest weather trend seems to be trying to predict the coming ‘el nino’  with infrared Pacific ocean pic comparisons between 1997 and 2015 – we should be in for one heck of a wet winter – maybe.

Again, June 2015 has been the warmest on record… since 1850 recorded history.  1850!!??  you gotta be kidding me!!  that’s a mere 165 years of record keeping.  Within a climate window of millions of years?  And we are putting all our eggs in this basket of predictions for climate change.  We know nothing.

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Last week a friend invited me to attend an all-day conference on Trans-humanism and Singularity in Oakland.  What a waste of my day.  I always like to attend something weird and different each year – and this fit the bill.  Dr. Brian Haney (UCDavis) one of the world’s foremost authorities on transhumanism, had a great presentation.  Turns out the singularity will not be happening by computers getting smarter than us – but by us adapting technology into our biosystem and brain to transcend our ‘humanism’ – so hopefully we will be in control of all this?  Somehow I am skeptical of this view – i still think that something more along the lines of the movie ‘ex-machina’ is awaiting us.

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On a BIG note, I am making a life-changing move in a couple months.  I will be a full-time member of an eco-village in Oregon.  I’ve been serving on their Board of Directors for over 6 months now, and I look forward to actually enjoying community living, rather than getting into the nuts + bolts of helping run it.  maybe!?

 

most difficult ‘green’ decision

Cold food storage has been my sustainability nemesis for over two decades.  It is the most difficult element of self-reliant living. Just ask other people who have really done it for more than 5 years.

I would have been better changing my habits away from our food supply chain and focused on more gardens and having dug a very deep root cellar with a big back hoe before I built (under) WinSol3.

051027_box

So… from trying a small ‘bar’ refrigerator, to ice blocks and snow in deeply insulated coolers, to outsourcing it to the supermarket freezers (yuk!), to thermoelectric cooler… to finally a ‘real’ freezer (albeit a small one), I now have to change my whole food storage routine!

But help is on the way.  A couple helpers (from helpx) who are spending weeks in WinSol’s learning center, were going through ice bottles in less than one day.  There had to be a better way.

So we went into the root cellar, dug down another three feet and buried a cooler in the hole.  This hole was special:  It was surrounded by poured concrete (thermal mass) and polystyrene insulation.  Then the double 2″ styrofoam on top, inside AND outside the cooler, sealed the deal.  (pun intended).  The frozen water bottles should now last 5-8 days and even more once the root cellar is completed.

The Learning Center root cellar is about 3 feet underground located under the main geodesic dome.  It is also the source of the fine clay that will be used for the dome’s 1200sqft. earthen floor.

root-cellar-2-preppers101blog

Food Storage Basics

Between your grandmother’s canning + fermentation, drying food (solar dehydrator – another upcoming blog) is probably the best way to store food.  But there are so many ‘niceties’ in our mainstream food supply that need cold storage:  eggs, cheese, condiments (majo++),  And then if you’re an omnivore you’ll need to store fish, meats, sausages, etc.

cold_storage chart_002

From working on a project in Indonesia, I do remember cheese needs to be stored at 41F or less.  I can achieve that with a combination of earthen tubes, thermal mass + troop (clay-in-clay) pots.  When WinSol3’s root cellar is completed, insulated and sealed off – it will have a maximum temp of around 45F and the cheese will be inside the troop pots along with eggs, etc.

Kitchen makeover

I think with global weirding (aka climate change), our constant drought cycles, higher morning temps and changing eating habits – that it is LONG OVERDUE to do a complete MAKEOVER of the kitchen and dining habits of westerners.  Heck, even the venerable NYTimes just featured an article on this…  click here…

Everything is connected – it’s a system.  Starting with keeping healthy by eating good and ‘life is too short for lousy food and drink’ (thanks Engelbert!) we need to re-examine it all.  From the farm to our mouths.

My personal best practice on this makeover is in conjunction with my newfound ‘lazy’ everything approach.  How about lazy eating…having food drop right into your mouth… see the next blog (under construction)…