Saturday, April 17, 2010

Nothing hugely significant this week at the homestead---still working on projects that will hopefully pay off in a few weeks...but nothing accomplished right now. We are planting, organizing the garden. I just finished reading "The Windup Girl" by Paolo Bacigalupi---a excellent novel on the powerless weird future we face. Working is working with no help in sight. The weather tho here has been excellent. I can't wait for the full flowering of the garden and sitting in the backyard smoking, thinking and watching it grow.

We remain in the installation phase of our hybrid home power system.......Our solar panels are up and hooked to the new larger battery system. We installed a separate one panel system to provide light/power to the kitchen independent of everything else. Our wind generator still has not been installed, nor has the gird tie converter been hooked up. These are the two major lingering elements that I cannot seem to push our installer to do.....I will try to be zen like about this delay shit but honestly it is very hard....
We completed our application with our electric provider, Xcel power, to be a "small" electric producer for the grid...communications with them is on and off again however so I do not actually know if it was received by them.

We are working the gardens...I think this may be a good year for the barter system. The lady who cuts my hair offered to trade haircuts for vegetables! She just up and offered knowing I garden....I immediately agreed since bartering to me is the ultimate commercial system between individuals. In my area of New Mexico green peppers in the supermarket are $4.00 each and tomato plants (at the supermarket) are selling for $15.00 each-- Bartering services for vegetables to her is a win-win situation.
Once we have something to barter with later in the summer I may begin asking people if they are willing to barter vegetables for other services?

The Military recently released an internal strategic study on oil supply which agrees with the commonly held peak oil projection theories pinpointing the year 2015 for trouble. Shortages, interruptions in supply, agribusiness disruptions, skyrocketing prices etc. It is amazing to me how the general public manages to be supremely unimpressed with any warnings or dangerous confirmations on the peak oil scenario. I supposed that for the unprepared there actually is little that truly can be done at this point. Facing peak oil requires a long term thinking and organization capability that few people are able to produce. I'm so glad that by the peak oil projection date we will have completed all requirements for independent homestead living and I will be retired--capable of working/maintaining full time at the homestead.

Occasionally I am lucky to have a project that covers both my survival side and my OCD Geek side within the same concept...An item I just ordered pleases the many, many sides of my rather strange personality. I just ordered a Rovio mobile web cam.
Security provided by Geeks---

The Rovio is a mobile, auto-rechargeable, video camera, microphone-speaker platform that can be remote operated via wireless systems from anywhere in the world. In other words if you have wireless at your home (as I do) you can sit in a coffee shop offering free wireless, 38 miles away (as I plan to do) and real-time drive Rovio around your house/property to check security.
Rovio comes with an interface computer program (that I am planning on loading into my daily carry Samsung netbook) that allows you to real time drive Rovio around your property, view and hear,what is happening in real time on your netbook interface.

Rovio has a three wheel, powered, steerable drive system, that is capable of transversing my entire city lot property. I would imagine that rougher, country type terrain might be a problem but actual performance varies with these remote controlled vehicles. Some excellent---some are very poor and one only knows how they will work when faced with your particular property problems. For example---Our Roomba Dirt Dog works perfectly in our house--all hardwood floors, no rugs it sweeps like a devil and works amazingly well. Others purchasers have had considerable problems with this robotic sweeper due to their personal environment. Based on the performance of our Romba, I expect no interior movement difficulties with the Rovio.
One Interesting circumstance I may need to considered once I have taken the Rovio from the theory stage to the operational stage is the outside, backyard deployment for video security.
We have two Boston Terriers who have a small doggie door in the rear Kitchen entrance. With the correct adaptation of a small ramp I may be able to operate the Rovio both inside the house and outside on the property without difficulty.....this option awaits the practical application and testing phase however.

I am so pumped about this new security addition to the homestead----it's Geek value is incredibly high along with a tremendous security value.......If i am sitting in the coffee shop and turn Rovio on to see the below picture on my netbook screen of my neighborhood----I will consider myself a genius.

The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.
Robert Frost

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