Episode-1496- Listener Calls for 1-9-15 — 51 Comments

    • The junk bond funding of Shale oil and gas is quite substantial. I think many are underestimating how bad this can get. They have started to lay off in the oil patch in Alberta, and that is tar sands, which does not need as high an oil price as shale. I think this one could spread to other sectors of the economy. I’ve listened to an episode of Chris Martenson’s peak prosperity where this is addressed.

      • Another good article to read follows,

        Gail is an actuary by trade, a person who measure risk for insurance companies. This article is long but explains many of the possible risks she sees coming from the low oil prices. At the end of the article she sees religion as a possible way to overcome this, but there I disagree. I think that a strong community of modern survivalist, transition community, permaculturists, whatever you want to be called, is the best way to overcome whatever happens.
        Also it was recently announced that Baker Hughes and Halliburton will be merging sinse they feel unable to handle this oil price drop alone. REALLY, they are multi billion $ corps that are afraid.

  1. So anybody else use the android TSP app? I just noticed that when the download fails the notification says Alex Jones lol. I thought that was pretty funny.

  2. Personally, I think I’ve learned more about prepping, solar, electrical and batteries from Steven Harris than just about anyone else I’ve read or followed over the past ten years. I bet he’s saved me $1,000s in dumb mistakes.

    I think he acts and speaks like any other sharp engineer I’ve dealt with professionally. Nice to know he’s also a standup guy and man enough to say “I’m sorry” when he unintentionally hurts someones feelings. If I had to pick someone to hunker down with when the SHTF, he’d be on my short list.

  3. Jack,

    I really like the idea of Jacks Rant’s as a side video/podcast segment. An example, besides your own, is Rick’s Rants on totallyADD (dot) com. Rick is a the comedian from the Red Green show that used to be on the Canadian broadcasts. His Rant’s are hilarious but they also have a message that he’s trying to get across.

    Thank you for your insights and knowledge.


  4. This is only the second time, I got teary eyed from listening to the survival podcast. First was the 500th or 1000th episode and that guy had cancer and setup the presents for his kids for when he passed. That was tough Steve and I don’t think you should take it so hard.

    You know what Steve. My family and I lost power for 28 hours a few weeks ago because of wind storm around here. We did the candle and wood stove thing at night and woke up in the morning and there was no power still. I got the generator out and couldn’t get the damn thing started. I ended up powering my fridge and freezers on an inverter that I hooked to my truck. I did figure out the generator, needed the plug cleaned 🙁 Got the plug cleaned and since it was Christmas time plugged in the tree and lights to light the family room up off the generator.

    I appreciate what Steve has taught me and I just shrug off tone. It might be because I’m an engineer and he just has a dry humor same as I do. I’m looking to learn. I think people need to relax a bit with how a message is delivered and take apart the message to see if it has value. I’d rather have someone that knows his stuff tell me my idea is dumb, then waste time trying to appease my emotions. What is awesome about Steve is he might tell you your idea is dumb, but at least he explains why. To me that is the difference.

  5. For Steve Harris –
    We love you for who you are. Oh Yeah, you can sometimes come off as arrogant, but you are human and believe me I am a very nice woman, but sometimes I come off a little witchy “with a b” just ask my husband. No one is perfect, but man, you are one smart person when it comes to electricity. You will be receiving an email shortly from my husband and I because we are building a house and need a generator, but no matter how many times I listen to your generator show – it doesn’t work for my brain, watts, amps, Oyes, Veys – just forget about it. Inspite of everything, I want you to give me the guidance I need to get it right. Today, you were a class act

      • Steven,
        Thank you for what you did! Humility does not come easy to any of us but only those who are willing to became a better person use this gift.
        My hat goes off to you for that! Happy New Year from Cookie and I! Hope to see you here in TX at one of Jack’s workshop or else…

  6. I’ll bet I’m not the only one who thinks that Steven Harris’ apology was a bit over the top. To me, it even smacks a bit of a marketing gimmick (his remorse seemed to be near the level of someone sorry for committing a heinous crime against humanity.)

    I have always found Mr. Harris’ information to be useful and very well-researched. If some people’s undies get in a knot over his authoritative opinionatedness, that is their problem.

    Is the TSP audience really that thin-skinned? I think not.

    • @Jim, I think you could learn a lot from Steven’s willingness to apologize here. Frankly I think you owe him one for calling his sincerity a marketing gimmick.

    • >>>@Jim, I think you could learn a lot from Steven’s willingness to apologize here. Frankly I think you owe him one for calling his sincerity a marketing gimmick.<<<

      Since it occurred to me that I really don't know the back story behind Steven Harris' apology, I apologize for the "marketing" crack.

      Still, I do not think his apology was at all necessary. He has done us quite a service by sharing his knowledge and research. If some people perceive his authoritative and confident delivery as arrogance, I still think that it's their problem.

      • @Jim, here is another lesson, if you think you need to apologize, likely you do. That applies to me, you, Steve and all men and women.

    • ‘A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.’
      Proverbs 17:10 ESV

  7. I’ve been vermacomposting since June of last year. I use two totes, with bricks in bottom of first tote. I get about two quarts every second month or so of worm juice. I had to take them in for the winter up here, so far so good

    They are not crazy about citrus however. Some climb around the top, but none have escaped yet

  8. Steve Harris
    Certainly appreciate the candidness. Keep up the excitement though! I can certainly understand people getting upset, and we probably should be nicer to each other, but I’ll certainly say this, Steve harris is NEVER boring.

  9. Thank you Jack for your rabbit answer. Just the sort of info i needed. I’ll definitely be trying out the ageing ans brining after freezing. I bet it will be great.
    By the way, we raise ducks as well and I agree about what you said in the earlier caller’s answer regarding duicks vs. rabbits.
    Rabbits take a little more work, we have them on pasture in tractors for the growing season, and in hutches for the winter. We think the added food security of food on the paw/foot is worth it in terms of diversity. Thanks for the great show, and doing that research for the answer!
    AnnMedford, Maine

  10. Steve, you are a awesome guy and I appreciate you bearing you soul. Like Jack said it take a big man to do it. Im very grateful to you and Jack for constantly answering questions that Im sure you have heard many, many times. You don’t have to, and your heart is in the right place. Ive learned more from you on energy in 4 episodes than I have in 20 years, so thank you for being an active part in this community. You are always welcome.


  11. Steven Harris,
    I sometimes listen to your segments, I sometimes fast forward them. This depends more on my mood than your subject matter. It is in-depth stuff and maybe to some you come across as arrogant or unapproachable. I haven’t ever felt that way and I enjoy the passion and knowledge that you bring to the store. Big props for acknowledging a perceived character flaw. I know I have a few that I work with daily and weekly, sometimes successfully and sometimes not. We all probably do.
    You are, quite frankly, the man. You just reinforced it today. Keep your head up.

  12. Steve Harris – I salute and thank you for the help you so willingly provident this community. It takes quite a man to bare his soul to the world in the way you did in this response. You not only teach us by sharing your technical knowledge, you now show us through action how an honorable person behaves through the application of principles such as humility and integrity.
    Thank you, Sir, for all that you give.

  13. Don’t know if this helps, but I we raise rabbits and I always put them in ziplock bags and let them set overnight in the fridge before moving them to the freezer and unless they’re going into a stew or something like that, then I go ahead and brine them.

    If you grill a rabbit and don’t brine it first, it will be very tough. Old rabbits are tough no matter what so I would do whatever I could to soften it up. Once they get about 3 months, they start packing on fat and and the meat starts toughing up. If you try adding things other than salt to the brine, like Caribbean jerk spices or something like that, then you’ll find that not much of it will actually absorb into the meat because it’s really dense and it feels like a waste of time and spices. I’m going to try a meat injector the next time I do it. Or maybe someone else has a better idea.

    Oh, if you save the heart and liver in the same bag, like I do, then don’t forget to remove them before brining because they will soak up the salt like crazy.

  14. Regarding the Steve Harris apology: I don’t know what it’s about but I have on occasion been a jackass myself and usually realize it afterwards then have to go apologize. it’s just life and makes us better people. I think Steve did piss me off about something a long time ago, but see now I can’t even remember what it was. No worries!

  15. I firstly thank Steve for answering my question on battery banks this show i always find his answers helpful and useful, i dont find him arrogant or offensive. I value all his responses i see how some might see him as such but i reckon hes a good bloke whos probably a bit fed up from time to time with repetative questions or answeing contradictory largely held energy beliefs 🙂 Keep it up Steve no apology needed i reckon you’re a top bloke 🙂

  16. Hi Jack,

    It’s amazing how the politicians and media have confused the facts regarding the Keystone pipeline. The Keystone pipeline has been delivering Canadian oil all the way to the Texas refineries in Port Arthur for a year now.
    It’s the “XL” expansion that has not been approved.
    *Note – It’s Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway that benefits from the XL expansion delay.

  17. jack is 100% correct on the dog training with crates but he missed one important point-the crate has to be sized for the puppy/dog that you are training. If you have a large breed adult dog crate and you put a puppy in that crate the puppy will pee/poop in the crate. If the crate is sized for that puppy then the puppy will only pee/poop if it absolutely cant hold it any longer. As a former German Shepherd breeder I can generally potty train a puppy in 2 days by the crate method.

    One other comment on German Shepherds-we seldom sold our puppies to first time dog owners because shepherds can be peculiar in that they are incredibly smart and protective. They make great working dogs and are best kept active physically and mentally. If you have had dogs in the past and have had success with them and you want a shepherd they are an awesome breed in my opinion but they need to be kept stimulated physically and mentally more so than many other breeds.

  18. Has Jack done a “how to survive an active shooter situtation” show? Might be a good one to do if a whole show can be done on this. Just a thought.

  19. Re: increasing fuel storage/rotation with low fuel prices. I’m sure it’s been covered before but I can’t find the source. What gas cans do you recommend for the year storage/rotation? Thank you Jack for all the valuable info you provide.

  20. While I wasn’t one of the folks who emailed Steve about his delivery, I often personally labeled it in the ways that he mentioned. I do know that if I’m offended, that the offense is being caused in my own mind by attaching to thoughts, but apparently others had those thoughts as well.

    As an electrical engineer with almost 20 years of experience, I can say that Steve’s answers are technically very well thought out and spot-on. Even with a correct answer, however, the delivery can sometimes cause people to listen only to HOW the message is delivered rather than the content of the actual message. Presumably Steve does this to help people, and delivering answers and information in a better way will allow him to reach even more people in this work that he is doing.

    So Steve – thanks for the apology. It was nice of you to offer it. I didn’t ask for it, but I accept it. For what it’s worth from some random, anonymous guy on the internet, my opinion of you has changed 180 degrees.

    PS – Don’t lose all of the snark. Just like cars run on fuel, engineers run on sarcasm!

  21. Listened to the Steve Harris apology and was dumbfounded. Unless there was a particular instance where his delivery offended someone, I am struggling with find where Mr. Harris was ever “offensive” in any answer I’ve ever heard him provide ever.

    His use of the star wars theme, making fun of propane tanks being perceived as “light sabers,” and all other related things, IMHO make his answering of questions of an extremely technical and sometimes mundane nature much more entertaining.

    Perhaps I have thicker skin than the rest. Perhaps some in the audience have never experienced a social setting where groups of friends take jabs at each other, sometimes with flagrant insults, but with all knowing its all in good fun.

    Whether the apology was warranted or not, his willingness to be empathetic to his audience clearly displays the content of his character. Mr. Harris is such a great asset to this community. I hope that those who don’t appreciate his delivery style can put their own feelings on the shelf and just focus on the mountains of free information given instead.

  22. One note, in case you or other readers didn’t know. You mentioned that the native Americans were good stewards of the land and that is true, but that may not have been true of all of their ancestors as they may have help the extinction of the American horse, camel, zebra and mammoth. I remember when I first heard that America had so many megafauna, I always wondered how much our world would have been different if they had survived.

    While writing this note, I took a moment to Google again to check my facts and it is possible that they were not responsible, just witnesses to an environmental change that killed all of them off, so the accusation may be unjustified.

  23. In regards to Steven Harris.. He is the most intelligent person I have ever had the privilege to have meet (next to Jack). Steve introduced me to TSP (I’ve been listening since Steve’s 1st appearance).

    Steve and I used to speak every Friday afternoon and that is why I never thought any thing of his tone.. i was used to it but it was always well deserved.. to get my attention.

    I look at Steve like a balloon full of water where in Steve’s case replace the water with INFORMATION. He gets so excited to provide his information because he knows he has the solution to save you money, headaches, and your lives.

    Keep up the excellent work Steve… your words are enormously valuable!

  24. Rabbits-> John Paul Smajda ( you can find him on Face Book ) is the rabbit guy at PemaEthos. My guy for IPUG (my Wyoming pepper group) is Lawrence Struempf. he too can be found of Face book. Both are great with rabbits.

    me I am going one chicken per person in the home. that is one egg a day. The rabbits are making breakfast usage for WWOOFers. so we have eggs, sausage, and fried potato for breakfast.

    meat wise, Turkeys are the best for meat production. 8 months and 25 lbs. takes 4 lbs of feed to make one lb of turkey meat. takes 7lbs of feed to make one lb of beef.

    Then rabbits then quail for meat.

    i am going to be doing a course in Wyoming on Meat in the back yard.

    Steven Harris….some times when we are so passionate in what we do..we come off way to strong. your good man.

  25. Re: Vermiculture. It is also good for urban environments. I don’t have enough space for a real compost heap. I have a small muck-pile, but I let that compost for about a year since it is too small to truly compost. I also have a multi-layer worm bin. When I distribute the final material in the bottom bin it adds worms to my beds. I do that about once a month, as each layer fills in about a week, and there are 4 layers. I had to move it outdoors after a year, because fruit flys & gnats got in, and just filled my apt. So now it sits outside, and in the winter it mostly freezes so I can’t add anything for 3 months. But I have it covered, and the worms came back this past spring after spending the winter outdoors. I just added a lot of shredded paper & that kept them alive. They don’t like spent grain from brewing. That got so hot the worms all crawled into a ball as far from it as they could get, so I’ll never do that again! They do love coffee grounds and egg shells, which is 90% of what I put in it.

  26. Steve –
    You are a man of integrity. I don’t feel that you come across as arrogant or an ass. Your shows and segments are among my favorite parts of the show. It takes a man of incredible humility and integrity to do what you did today. The amount of knowledge you have, and your willingness to share with us, is such an incredible resource for our TSP community. I have only felt your love and appreciation for us, and I hope you feel the same back at you. You possess what too few today possess – real class. Thank you. My admiration for you has been confirmed a thousand times over.

  27. I have been Vermicomposting for a couple years now. I want to add to what jack said. The liquid the caller is collecting is not worm tea, nor should it be used, in my opinion. I have already wrote about this in my blog, I will just copy what I have already written.

    “The liquid that comes out of the bottom of the bin is called “leachate”. In a properly functioning bin you should not have any liquid coming out of the bottom. Some times it takes a while to fine tune your system. If you do have leachate collecting under your bin you should discard it as it is undigested liquid with possible unknown pathogens and phytotoxic componds in it. Please do not mistake this for “worm tea”. A few sources online say this liquid is “worm tea”, it most definitely is not. ”

    Just thought I would pass this along. There is a lot of wrong information on the internet, go figure right?

    • No worm tea is usually what you call the juice that drains out of the worm farm. You certainly could make a compost tea with worm castings that way though. Not that I have heard many people doing so though.

    • Worm tea is made by soaking worm castings in a bucket of water with some un-sulfered molasses preferably and letting to sit over night with an aerator in the bucket. The liquid that comes out of the bottom of a worm bin is called leachate and is potentially phytotoxic. In a properly functioning Vermaculture system, you should not have drainage.