Episode-582- Listener Calls 1-7-11

With the Christmas special landing on a Friday and a week off between New Years and Christmas it seems like forever ago since we did a show with your calls.  Well we are back with another one today and as always you guys came in with some great questions and commentary.

Remember if you want to be featured on a show like this, just call 866-65-THINK and leave your message in two minutes or less and I will try my best to get your call on the air.

Join me today as we discuss

  • The prospects and evils of a “global currency”
  • Storing coffee are green coffee beans really the way to go
  • Using heated rocks for emergency heating while sleeping
  • Garden weeds, which to pull and which to chop and drop
  • Options for rural internet access
  • Thoughts on building a business in the face of new regulations
  • The good, bad and lessons of wikileaks
  • The importance of fire extinguishers and fire safety as a whole
  • Rocket stoves and rocket mass heaters
  • Establishing rally points and remote meeting locations during a disaster

Resources for Today’s Show

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK and you might hear yourself on the air.

28 Responses to Episode-582- Listener Calls 1-7-11

  1. Thanks Jack for you comments about wikileaks. I’m right there with you. I like this quote “Truth is treason in the empire of lies.” Made by who?? Who else Ron Paul!!!

  2. @internet access —- check for local WI-Max

    My parents live 20 miles from a city of 20K and are not on any major highways. They were looking into satellite i-net when they found a local company had installed a WI-MAX antenna on a silage tower a mile or two away. 7 trees chopped and a 3′ antenna on the roof and they had high speed! Not as exciting as when electricity was installed in the early 60’s, but a pretty big step for the backwoods.

  3. I work for a coffee roasting company in Minneapolis. You’re right Jack. Unless you have a spoiled palette like some of us at work do good, older coffee is much, much better than old, shit coffee. We have an (insane) eight week shelf life on our coffee. You can imagine the bartering I can get done with all that “expired” coffee.

  4. Refarding business purchase, I would agree and advise further to:
    Avoid debt to buy.
    Avoid commercial leases if possible.
    Avoid franchises.
    Incorporate to protect your personal assets.
    Never sign a personal guarantee for your corporation if at all possible.

  5. Jack, I’m surprised you didn’t mention getting a T1 to your new location. I have been told it’s available in most places and is around $350/month. Have you looked into this?

    If you haven’t already used satellite yourself you should give it a test drive. The latency and upload speeds are unbearable; I can’t imagine doing what you do without low latency broadband. In the meantime you should track your bandwidth usage to double check that you can stay under the daily and monthly caps.

  6. These guys are making open source farm and fabrication equipment. Their project is very interesting. The idea is to make self sufficiency even more affordable.

    http://vimeo.com/16106427

  7. Modern Survival

    @James the base T1 charge is now very affordable as you pointed out. The key is with a T1 there are two charges the “loop charge” and the service charge. The loop charge is based on distance on copper to your location. At my distance it would be far more then a multi room office, plus electricity, plus internet, plus a nice gun every other month, plus a few ounces of silver saved.

    The loop charge is the big expense for T1 in remote locations. It is now cheap anywhere other services like DSL are available. Google “Patrick Oborn” good friend and he taught me a lot of my web skills. His company founded with Adam Edwards probably single handedly changed T1 costs for all time by making every buy a jump ball for all carriers involved.

    Here is his site http://shopfort1online.com/

    He wrote the first algorithms that allowed computation of loop charges based on copper lengths and integrated that into a shopping tool so a business customer could get quotes from multiple T1 providers with a single form and about two minutes of effort.

  8. Jack –

    Please be careful what you put on Facebook. Might not want to directly link videos or podcasts. Looks like they reserve an awful lot of rights to anything you post there.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2653496/posts

    Thanks for all you do.

  9. On the storing of coffee:

    One thing I would look into in the US (particular the Southeast) is the Yaupon Holly plant.

    This plant when roasted and made into a tea contains A LOT of caffeine.

    It ALSO contains a bunch of antioxidants and tastes great!

    Lastly, because it is from the SE it does really well in crappy/sandy soil (no ferts required) and is drought-tolerant.

    Look into it!

    • I also meant to mention that I love the shoutout about permies.com!

      A great website for learning about permaculturing which is incredibly important!

  10. Hi Jack,

    Re. Episode 582: on the question of Satellite Internet: you mentioned in Arkansas you will probably be so remote that you will not get cable service, but you said you probably do have phone service, which you said you could use for dialup. If you have phone service, there’s a very good chance you also have DSL, as it is run over phone lines rather than cable lines. Of course, this would give you the big fat Internet pipe you’re used to. It might be worth contacting your phone company or ISP in the Hot Springs area.

  11. I just thought of this as well: if you have a cell phone that supports tethering, you can use the existing 3G networks for Internet access. I wouldn’t stream video, but I never exceeded the 6GB/month traffic my ISP gave me (before I cancelled my contract – cell phones are a racket in Canada). It would be a good backup connection that would allow you to do your daily posts, and a lot cheaper than satellite in any case.

  12. You don’t need a cell phone for 3G. I found this:

    Proxicast’s LAN-Cell 2 3G Cellular Router

    http://www.proxicast.com/landing/satellite-alternative.htm

    I can’t vouch for it as I’ve never used it, but it’s an option you might want to look into if you have cell service where your new home is.
    Also, I’m not trying to provide free advertising – maybe there are other companies that offer something like this, perhaps this option is even available from your ISP, so look around. But yeah, point being if you have phone (landline) or cell service, you may have many more choices than just satellite.
    I think about the fact that it’s predicted within the next year or so, half of all devices on the Internet will be mobile devices, and the infrastructure is being modified to handle this kind of traffic. I’m even thinking about how this impacts web-page design – both how I design/upload content and how the end-user is interfacing with that content.
    Okay, I’m tangenting really bad. Don’t mean to pound you with messages or spam you, just trying to help.

  13. Modern Survival

    @Mike,

    Having spent a good part of my life in telecom I know of course that DSL runs on phone lines, the issue is distance from the CO (central office) or last fiber served remote POP (point of presence). DSL on copper has distance limitations. 1.5 Mbps ADSL which is really the bottom end of consumer DSL has a distance limit on copper of 18,000 feet, which is about 3.4 miles.

    On a happy note I was looking at ATT for a phone line and according to them I can get DSL but I have my doubts, the way they have my address listed makes me doubt they really understand where I am located.

    One can hope though and it will be awesome if it is true but knowing the lay of the land as I do it simply doesn’t make any logical sense. 18000 feet on copper is a hard limit to DSL technology, unless they ran fiber to the junction at the bottom of my mountain there is no way, even if they did I can’t imagine it not being more they 18,000 feet from that POP if the copper is run over the route I believe it is run on.

    In any event it will be a comical day I am sure when the ATT tech tries to find my house even with my assistance. There have been people who wanted to prove they were smart and dug up my Hot Springs address. Problem is when you get to that place on a map, you are staring at a big community mail box, miles from where I actually live. I think ATT is saying my mail box can get DSL, but if I am wrong I will be very happy about the whole thing.

  14. Modern Survival

    @Mike on the 3G it would come with the same limitations of the ATT 3G Wireless Stick I have for my lap top. The issue is signal strength up there, it is pretty good but not something I can rely on to run my business or upload audio files.

    Lots of things that work so perfectly in a flat area don’t work so perfectly in the mountains.

    • Jack,

      Talk to any of the HAM operators on the forum. Most any HAM operator should be able to, or know someone who can, help you design a higher gain external antenna to attach to your 3G usb dongle. It should be fairly inexpensive and at least a viable backup. As a bonus, you could attach a cellphone to it, and get much better reception, in case of emergency.

  15. I am also a Ham radio operator. Your idea of a CB radio for emergency communications is not bad (failing to get Ham equipment first, of course) but I would recommend that rather getting your typical (AM) CB, spend a few more bux and get a Single-sideband (SSB)/AM radio and you will increase your range greatly and also be able to talk around interference if necessary. As mentioned elsewhere about the Net connections, a properly tuned antenna is also EXTREMELY helpful.

  16. Probably not a good idea to use heated rocks in your bed or tent these days. People used to use this method before the advent of the highly flammable (or at least meltable) nylon fabric that’s everywhere today. Pulling a pan of hot rocks under the blankets with you at night may melt right through your synthetic mattress top, polar fleece blanket, or, if you’re outdoors, your nylon sleeping bag and tent. This one’s too risky for me.

  17. Modern Survival

    @Brian M.

    A caution to consider yes, a reason not to, in my opinion not at all. First a rock has to be damn hot to do this, second I give people enough credit to figure out such things. Lastly one would wrap the rocks in something like a towel, most of which are still made from cotton.

    • I hope you’re right, but sleeping bags can melt in the dryer. Make sure that towel is wrapped tight and maybe tied on so that you don’t accidentally kick it off while you’re sleeping.

  18. Jack,
    Sorry for ringing in so late. I’m way behind on everything right now and just got to listen to this podcast today.

    On wikileaks, holy cow. You hit that right on target. I haven’t said a lot on the forum or even elsewhere because feelings are so heated, but what you said expressed my opinion exactly. Had I written that for you it wouldn’t have been closer to my thoughts.

    Thanks Jack.

  19. Just listening to your comments about global currency. I don’t disagree in general, but I have to nitpick with one detail – why we have the Queen’s likeness on our currency in Canada (and other commonwealth countries). England and the Queen have no real influence over Canadian policy and the Queen’s position as our sovereign is ceremonial only. We retain the ceremony and tradition from our colonial past because we value the inheritance from Britain that we have as a commonwealth country. Canada and other commonwealth countries would become republics faster than you could blink if any of these things happened:
    – The Queen ever tried to exert real influence.
    – The Queen had a successor who was not respected.
    – The Commonwealth stopped being a politically advantageous “club” to be a member of.

    The United States has much more influence over our domestic policy than the UK does.

  20. Modern Survival

    @NS,

    So you say but look what one of your fellow countrymen has to say over at TRTAM.com

    http://www.trtam.com/why-a-private-gold-standard-isnt-the-answer#comment-139

    –cut and paste of the above linked comment follows–

    I hope I can provide some insight into why Queen Elizabeth is still on Canadian money. The reasoning is probably the same for all the former colonies as well. Here goes…

    We’re still a colony. We’re still a monarchy. Nothing becomes law without the assent of the Crown. Canada has democratically (sort of) elected officials to represent the people to the Crown. The Crown then decides if our concerns are valid and our wishes met, or not.

    In practice, the Governor General (G.G.) rubber stamps everything that comes out of Parliament or the Senate. However, the law is such that, should the GG so decide, the GG could strike down anything proposed by Parliament or even take executive action.

    Each province also has a Lieutenant Governor General (Lt.GG) who acts in a similar capacity at the provincial or territorial level.

    The cost to support these emissaries of the Crown is about $1.35 CDN per man, woman, and child, per year.

    The citizens of Canada also have no real stake in the resources of Canada. Resources in Canada that are not privately held (notice I didn’t write privately owned) are considered Crown Assets. The real property of the Federal Gov’t, the Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are also considered Crown Assets.

    Since Canada’s money is supposed to have value based on Crown Assets and the revenue the Crown collects, the bearer of the Crown is featured on the money.

    –end cut and paste of Cdnguys comment–

    So there you go NS, that is a completely different telling of the tale and the one I find to be far more indicative of the truth in the matter.

  21. I understand that the representatives of the crown do have real power and roles to play in our system, but they know that if they tried to use their power to act against the government of Canada, we’d send them packing back to Britain (well not really, since they’re Canadians citizens appointed on the advice of Canadian government). I’m not arguing that Canada shouldn’t become a republic, I’m just arguing that we are in effect a sovereign nation. If it came down to it, we all know that England isn’t going to send troops over here to enforce their monarch’s decrees.

  22. Modern Survival

    @NS, you call such a system sovereign? Wow I think you are either to please or easy to fool. Truth be told in some ways the US is still under too much UK control for my taste.

  23. I have to agree with NS on this. Canada maintains close ties with the UK, yes, and we do keep alot of the pomp and ceremony from the early days of our nation. The Queen’s place in Canadian government is as a figurehead (its actually much the same way in the UK).

    There has been rounds and rounds of talks over the past couple decades of completely removing the monarchy from our system of government. The only reason it has not been done is that it’s never been seen as necessary.

    by the way, the queen isn’t on ALL our money. mostly just on our coinage.

  24. Well Jack, third Canadian who has to disagree with you about our sovereignty. I was going to make a joke about how if this were a democracy your opinion based on the one opinion of one Canadian would be outweighed by one opinion shared by three Canadians.
    I get it, we’ve still got ties to our “Motherland”, so that appears to make us “less sovereign”, however, but other than a word, what does it *really* mean? I don’t want to get into a pissing contest about semantics, but seriously, the Queen has about as much control over us as any of the dead presidents exert on the US (or even less – at least they penned your Constitution), and that’s really the way it is. Canadians are taught in public school that the Queen is a figurehead only, and the Governor General (the Queens representative in Canada) is also there just for procedure – so even children are well-educated in this fact. British politics have about as much influence as any other country with the exception of the US, who when certain politicians are in power they can’t wait to give our country away the USA. NAFTA made us lose more of our sovereignty than the Queen ever has.
    We (Canadians) really do enjoy a great amount of freedoms that Americans just don’t. We don’t have to submit to full body scanners for domestic flights and a kids life isn’t going to get ruined if they are stupid and get caught smoking a joint (not that I’m in any way promoting any kind of drug use, but it’s good to see that one stupid mistake won’t ruin a kids life due to mandatory sentencing and “Zero Tolerance” (unless you’re Paris Hilton)). Granted, I can’t carry my guns in public, but I own several, as do several of my friends.
    We can go back and forth all day, but in the end I think we’d have to agree to disagree on this, but just remember – I have never voted for and would refuse to serve and acquiesce to a British (or any other) monarch, and that makes me a sovereign Canadian.

  25. Steve (ramsfan27)

    Two ideas for rally point markings. I bought a bunch of little flags for marking my swale this summer (Homedepot). I think they would make a good rally point marker that wouldn’t really draw attention (looks like utility co. marked something). Add a sharpie and a simple message could be written on the flag (~4″x4″): Arrival & departure time, which route ur taking, everyone OK? A second similar marker type could be that construction ribbon tape used to mark off areas. Same use as flag, but just tie to a pole, fence, or tree. Florescent orange or yellow could be seen even at night.