Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Fatalem Amor

Walking through the darkness
Drawn to her presence
Moonlight casting about
My heart begins to pound
Full of fear and loathing
All the while knowing
I can not turn away
Or run the other way
Once again she will drink
Blood is our only link
I must beg her tonight
In the pale orbs light
To end my misery
Her cursed usury


Thursday, August 7, 2014

New back door

When we moved into this house the back door was one of the things that needed assistance. Finally, after almost four years I'm finally getting around to doing something about it. Please note I'm no longer a good woodworker though I do seem to be a bit handy when I need to be. Here's the way it looked. Since it didn't seal very well there had always been a tendency for the hallway, and our bedroom, to be cool during the winter. Sometimes the door would get covered with frost on the inside. If a door is getting covered with frost that means there are heavy energy losses there. I'm not exactly flush with cash so I made a new door from scratch.

Here's the rough opening with the door removed.

So that I could have something reasonable to attach to in the doorway I added a set of 1 x 4's. It functions in this case a bit like a door jamb.

Here's the top end with the 1 x 4's.

I made this frame for the door itself a couple of days ago. The 2 x 4's are recycled from another site. I used half lap joints at the corners. Unfortunately for me I don't have the means any more to make finger joints which would have been better.

Here's the doors framework filled with the styrofoam insulation fitted inside. I think this material is about an R-6 and I left the vapor seal intact on purpose.

A few hours later here it is ready for use. I still have some tweaking to do so that it will seal even better and operate more smoothly. It needs a coat of paint too.

Later I have plans to add a window in this door near the top. That's for later on though. I'll be double glazing it so that it will the most energy efficient it can be.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


    This year I am mostly growing flowers. There was some odd black cracks on the top of the tomatoes last year and it affected all three varieties. I figure it was something to do with the extensive herbicide use here. Last year I got some tomatoes for the first time. Round Up I think is bad stuff and I would never use it knowing now what I know. This year I'm growing mostly flowers as a result.

    In this section is where we'll be growing tomatoes again next year. I'm going to try bell peppers again also. 

    As you can see the blue wisteria is coming along well. Eventually it's supposed to reach a height of about eight feet and produce blue flowers. That can take up to ten years though. So are some of the morning glories. To the left is where the chamomile grew last year and I still have some of the dried flowers collected for tea.

This is the back garden. The Cosmos are coming in really well. They really add a bit of beauty to the place. Normally they attract a lot of bees but this year I'm not seeing any. I think some that live nearby had backyard hives so they could produce their own honey. It would make me very sad if CCD happened.

    Right now I'm looking at various drip irrigation systems for next year. There are a couple of them I really like so far. Water is going to be an even more serious issue in the future.

Sunday, July 27, 2014


   Before my gaze in silent repose lies fair Liguria. Her faded dress arrayed about her cold body. The ashen skin, closed eyes, and thin lips of her visage are all apparent to me. Drawn closer toward her the attraction is unmistakable. Yet, in my revulsion, I wish to flee. I cannot.
   Leaning in closer, my breath whisks her cheek. Her eyes flutter open and the darkened pools focus upon my own. Cold though it is, I must have her touch now. She smiles at me as fangs appear to my view. I allow her grasping arms to wrap around me and pull me closer.
   After only a moment the pain is over from her quick nip. My life is drawn into hers. We join together into our joyous union. The blood coursing between us.

    I wrote this out a few days ago. The idea just hit me and I'm not sure where it came from. At the same time I don't have a complete story.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


    Yesterday I started to insulate some of the skirting with this R-9.8 foam board I have. It's meant to be used as an exterior sheathing. Presently the north and south ends are complete. Our bedroom is at the north end and our kitchen is at the south end. The skirting has these vent holes along the surface. It sounds like a good idea because any gas build up would get pushed out from underneath. When I've been underneath to repair plumbing, etc. I noticed a lot of air flow. 
    I've thought a lot about that and realized that's where some of my winter heater costs have gone. Basically the heater has been trying to heat that space also inadvertently. If you have a large temperature differential on two sides of a surface the temperatures will seek to equalize and you end up with a heat transference from inside to outside. It also makes the floor feel colder. Anyway, as a result, the furnace ends up working more.
    Interestingly enough I went into the kitchen a couple of times and floor felt cooler to the bottom of my feet. The kitchen is in the south end of the house and there's a roadway the house edges up to. Apparently a bunch of the heat build up in the pavement was making it's way to the underside of my house.


    Here's some energy savings updates. For those of you reading this who don't know I've made some energy efficiency upgrades to the house so I can cut my utility usage. Some of the information of what I've done is included in previous posts and I also included them in my Offsets and Savings book available through many sites including Amazon.
    I now have final numbers for the June 23 to July 22nd meter reading period 364 kWh. The previous three years for the same time period has averaged 505 kWh. We're talking a 28% reduction from what has been normal in this house. That's roughly $20 for the difference in one months usage. 

    To give more of a picture of what's going on our average electrical usage in the house in October 2011 was 442 kWh per month, the average is now 370 kWh. I'm figuring the latter number will drop to about 330 kWh and that's if I don't do anything else to save the amount of electricity that's used in this household. I'd like to get it down low enough I can replace the grid energy with solar panels and we're headed that way it's pretty obvious.

    I'm also seeing a difference in the amount of propane that's being used. August through September average has gone from 83.7 gallons last year to 72.1 gallons this year. That's a 14% reduction. On a normal basis propane is about $2 per gallon so we're talking about $23 per month.
    I'm expecting to drop a lot more. So far, there are new energy efficient windows, a water heater wrap, and insulation in the ceiling of the house. I'm figuring next year I'll be replacing the present water heater with a tankless unit which should net about another 8 gallons of propane per month.


    Hopefully you can do a few things that will save you money long term.

Friday, July 18, 2014

New windows

So far the new windows are installed. Here's the view from the porch right after he finished with the job for the day. So far I have some of the styrofoam insulation also that I was going to attach to the walls. It's looking like it will butt up well against that window trim.

 Here's what the one in my office looks like. I hadn't even taken the stickers off at this time.

They look pretty good and seem to be making a difference in how much electricity is used in the house. During a normal year the air conditioner in the kitchen had been getting used, not this year. A normal average for July has been 505 kWh, this year it's looking like 365 kWh which is a reduction of 27%.

So far the monthly propane deliveries are decreasing also.  It's more related to the water heater wrap and insulation than these new windows that were just installed. During the last half of last year we averaged about 83 gallons of propane per month. It's looking like we're now averaging about 11 gallons less, or 72 gallons per month which is a reduction of around 13.25%. It's still early and I won't see the major reductions until October.

Everything I'm seeing in the numbers is just incredible. I believe during this month is when the most of the rate increase drops off of the electric. It's been a sizable jump that gave me sticker shock and it was due to the cost of electricity being produced from natural gas. https://www.csu.org/Pages/proposed-rates-r.aspx You hear all this stuff that natural gas is cheaper. It isn't. 

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I'm taking a bit of a break from major writing for the time being. Presently I'm feeling rather worn out. I also had a bunch of extra hours at my day job. I'm needing a break to tell you the truth since I've been going at it heavily for over 2 1/2 years straight.

I've got an interesting idea I'm working out at present for a novel. No one disputes that man originally lived in north and south america about 11,000 years ago. What is proving to be a problem is the theory they walked across the Bering Straight at that time and then down an ice free corridor. The more I'm digging it's not making sense anyway. The various populations all set up residence at the same time. If they had to walk how would you get simultaneous populations? That's really not making sense to me.

The one exception is Patagonia which apparently was originally populated 15,000-20,000 years ago. When I did a little research Patagonia made sense quickly. There's a large current in the southern Pacific Ocean that's runs south by New Zealand, loops around toward Terra del Fuego, and then up the coast to Chile where the current moves west toward New Zealand again. It runs in a very large loop. Even if you didn't know how to sail you could possibly make it if you were fishing as you went. Anyway, on the west to east portion I think you would be travelling against the wind but I'll double check. 

The original residents of Patagonia did a lot of fishing and catching birds for their food. This is what you could also do from a raft. They would have been fairly ill from having nothing other than sea water though. There were people living in Australia and New Zealand all the way back to 40,000 years ago. Let's say you were on a raft, got blown off course, and couldn't find your way back home? The first place you land you find out is populated and they don't want you setting up a new home there. Time to go again.

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Well, on to more home repairs. Today I made a new box to go over the water supply for the house. The old one had fallen apart and was no longer usable. I still had one piece of the cabinet grade plywood.

Inside of the box I used multiple layers of this stuff. I'll be using a bunch of behind the skirting. It has an R-value of 9.8 per inch and a half of thickness. Inside the box I think I have five layers altogether so it's almost a solid block of insulation.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Come Together


We're having a little get together on Facebook. Stop by and check it out. We'll be having a lot of events. https://www.facebook.com/events/798582753519853/800582236653238/?notif_t=plan_mall_activity 

If you're wanting the book itself, here it is. All of the proceeds help with cancer and lupus. http://www.amazon.com/Klarissa-Dreams-Kocsis/dp/1939769973