Episode-1534- Listener Calls for 3-13-15 — 85 Comments

  1. It’s great to hear the interest in cast iron.

    In 2013 I restored a couple skillets which were in rough shape (covered in a few millimeters of grime, grease, and rust) and they turned out great. First I scraped off the grease with an old screwdriver, then I used a wire brush in a drill, and baked off the remaining goop in the oven (with the self cleaning cycle).

    I didn’t think to try it, but I like Keith’s sand idea!

  2. So yeah, I totally forgot to mention the second major reason we went away from raising pigs on pasture: They destroy it! If you intend to run cattle in those areas at anytime I would suggest either restricting pigs from the area or placing a ring in their noses (gasp!) to keep them from rooting. If not, they’ll dig holes you can break a leg in (or an axle) in no time flat – even with very frequent moves. Since cattle will someday be my main enterprise, I guard my grasslands very carefully. But beyond that, the forest keeps them 15-20 degrees cooler and as such the weight gains are much better in the summer. Sorry for the long audio reply today guys!

    • Isn’t the rooting partly a breed thing? I know I’ve raised AGH and they did VERY little rooting in the paddock in question until the rest of the forage in the given space was mostly gone.

      Granted they are a pretty slow breed [and small overall] and other low-rooters might all be similarly slow/small, but slow food does have its own market if one can tap into it.

      • It can be breed specific yes, but all breeds root. Some more, some less, but they all root – it is what God designed them to do. I’ve never had AGH (or Large Blacks) and supposedly they graze better/root less. But that isn’t the reason I’ve not had those breeds, it’s all about production dynamics. Yes, slow food does have a market and I’m tapped into it. But “slow food” doesn’t mean “slow production”, and that is why I avoid AGH and LB.

        I’m all for those breeds, they are really cool! But I like them for homesteading, not for a full time business. I don’t think they work well, at least not for me. To each his own. This article might help you understand that a bit more.

        • That makes a lot of sense, thanks for the article link Darby.

          In my own regard, I’m envisioning a microbusiness, a decently paying hobby rather than a primary occupation so to speak, where I Silvopasture a few [no more than a dozen or so, certainly fewer to start] sows with their litters and their boar behind a very small herd of cows, their calves and their bull; marketing weaners, roasters and pastured pork to a local market that’s interested in other beyond organic products I’d like to be offering.

    • When the caller started with the pastured pig question, my brain went ‘wuh? pigs don’t like being out in the hot sun!’.. which seems so obvious.. where does an animal do best? What does it prefer to eat?

      So ‘duh’ that its rarely practiced.. (if you drop a cob of corn in the middle of a green pasture.. the cows aren’t going to eat it).

      Do the pigs prefer to be IN the woods, or along the edges? (I assume the forage, with the exception of acorns or other nuts is better at the edge)

      • My pigs don’t seam to mind at all being in pasture as long as they have a nice water hole to waller in.

        I keep the water hole stocked throughout hot days, for now with the garden hose with the plan being to supply that with my ram pump from the creek this year.

        All of this is temporary of course, I am using the pigs to rejuvenate my pasture land (formerly mono cropped land) by running them in small cattle panel pens and moving them everyday along a contour line.

        see video..

        As far as your corn cob comment… yeah, you drop a corn cob in a green pasture and cows will eat it faster than you can say candy bar in my salad at a weight watchers meeting!

      • Yes pigs prefer woods, more accurately savannah. One problem we have is when people hear pasture they expect it to mean a wide open field without a tree in sight.

        What most pork producers mean is something that looks like this,

        Or this,

        Or this,

        Most places where people are doing it where there are not existing woods producers are planting thousands of trees and providing portable shade for the pigs until the trees come up. This is true of pastured poultry and grass fed beef as well.

        The old days of pasture meaning absolutely empty field full of Kentucky fescue are on the way to the death bed where they belong.

        • Oh and note none of the pigs are pink! Pink pigs can’t handle sun, what most growers put on pasture can as long as they can get out of it when they want to.

      • yeah I was thinking ‘prairie’ in my head..

        @BarnGeek –
        always good to learn just how wrong I can be! 😉

        I’m assuming that’s fresh corn? In my head I’m thinking dried corn kernels..

        need to get out of my head more often..

        cute pigs!

  3. Regarding drunk driving… I am a volunteer chaplain at the county jail. I meet a lot of men who are in jail for drunk driving and drug abuse…. not just possession, but abusing drugs to the point where they must be arrested to protect themselves and the public.

    I agree with Jack that the law is being used to destroy lives. While some of these guys are grateful to be kept from hurting others, the aftermath of that arrest is devastating to their lives.

    Imagine what would happen if you are arrested for drunk driving and you don’t have the money for bail. It means you don’t show up for work the next day. If you plead innocent, you are going to be sitting in jail for a long time. Meanwhile your job goes bye-bye. Your wife is sick of you and goes home to mother with the kids. The rent is due. Your car is repossessed, and your goldfish dies all because you can’t get out of jail.

    I met a woman who slept in her car. She was arrested because she was in possession of pills for which she had no prescription. Yes. She was abusing these pills. She was sentenced to rehab, and I visited her. She was a secretary in an office, but she was thrown in with prostitutes, drug molls, and heroine addicts. The women there took one look at her and said, “What are you doing in here?”

    Indeed. What was she doing in there?

    It was not this way when I was young. As long as you hadn’t hit anything or run your car up on the mayor’s lawn, then the police would help you get home or at least point you to a phone booth where you could call someone to pick you up.

    Now they take your first-born child. There must be a middle ground. An increase in the severity of the law is not preventing anything. The current punishment is severe enough to keep anyone who cares in check. Those for whom this punishment is insufficient will not be deterred by any punishment short of road-side execution… and probably not even then.

    This is called alcoholism.

    It is difficult to explain this insanity but I’ve seen it enough to know it exists. When it gets that bad, there are very few options except to stop drinking or using ever, ever, ever. One day at a time.

    Alex Shrugged

    • Alex,
      You hit the nail on the head. When I was abusing alcohol nothing would stop me from getting behind the wheel. I got a d.u.i. when I was 19, lost my license, a chance at a mechanics apprenticeship and had to leave my job and find new work. I ended up riding my bike to get to that job. One of my first stops when I got my license back was the beer and wine store. I continued to drive drunk for 10 years. By the grace of god I never killed anybody, including my young children. I was insane. On September 27, 2010 I stopped drinking. Haven’t had a drop since. The new lease on life I have now has led me to permaculture, and through permaculture I can build the life for my family that I could not dream of 10 years ago. This podcast has been a big player in the transformation of a lost and addicted 20 something to a man that people trust and look up to. It’s a wild ride.

  4. Regarding the idea of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) I always issue a warning. If you don’t have a good background in mainstream religion, mysticism of any kind (including Christian mysticism) can mislead you. Superstars can play around with this stuff and if they get in trouble someone is there to pull them out. Most of us don’t have that safety net so we must be more careful.

    Regarding the Big Bang… Kabbalah discusses a beginning of the Universe called tzimtzum. It is the idea promoted by Rabbi Luria, that G-d was everywhere so He had to contract to make room for the Universe. Exactly how much He had to contract is debatable, but it must have been enough to make room for His Creation… meaning us and the world. To separate ourselves from pantheists, it is pointed out that we carry the spark of the Divine within us, but that we are separate from G-d.

    Generally speaking even mainstream Judaism was influenced by Kabbalah and continues to be influenced it and Rabbi Luria.

    For those Jewish readers out there. Have you heard of “Tikkum Olam” the repairing of the world? That was Rabbi Luria.

    Big Bang, free will, prohibition against magic, no amulets and no abracadabra! (a word from Kabbalah meaning “by my word I create it!”) … Rabbi Luria.

    If you saw that movie with Demi Moore, “The Butcher’s Wife” you will recall two old Jewish women making up charms and amulets including one made up from a dead frog. Rabbi Luria prohibited that practice though it continues with people from the old country. (G-d save us!) Even my wife gave me an amulet as a wedding gift. I refused to wear such a thing unless it was rendered useless. I am wearing it now… all these years later though I keep it hidden under my shirt. I’m embarrassed by it because it represents mystical mumbo jumo when mysticism has real value in other ways.

    (You know how it goes. You gotta wear it because it was a gift from your wife. Hope the guys don’t see it. Know what I mean?)

    You can read a book of Jewish children’s stories where kabbalists are like good wizards that show up to stop the bad witches with charms and spells. (God help us all.) Let me look up the title of that book. I actually own it…

    Stories for Children (1984) by Isaac Bashevis Singer (translator from the Yiddish)

    As I said, I use Kabbalah where it helps me and I ignore the rest where it is too complex or useless to me. For those who follow it you know that only one man returned from the orchard. He survived because he knew his limits and went only as far as he was capable of and then returned.

    Did I mention that I usually warn people off of Kabbalah? I did? Good.

    Alex Shrugged

    • Alex, don’t take this the wrong way but if you were to refuse to wear an amulet unless it was “rendered useless”, doesn’t that mean you are inferring prior to such time that it had some sort of power?

      I mean if you feel that way it is your view and I respect it but you don’t seem the type.

      Is it more that what you believe has meaning to you and so you would refuse in line of principle over belief? In other words there is no power in the thing but to wear it as though there were, would be the issue.

    • Ah… you noticed that. Very good.

      Regarding whether magic actually exists… anyone who believes that the Bible is true is forced to believe that some level of magic exists. The Bible says so. I don’t wish to give the impression that I am using magic against the Holy Ari’s prohibition. And… frankly, I think he was right in prohibiting such things.

      “A technology sufficiently advanced cannot be distinguished from magic.” — Arthur C. Clarke

      I have classified magic as “things I don’t fully understand” like women and particle physics.

      I have no idea whether an amulet has the power of magic in the same way that I don’t know if the batteries in a flashlight have charge without turning the flashlight on. If I don’t want activate a flashlight accidentally, I must assume that the batteries are fully charged and remove them.

      Frankly, in looking at the amulet, I realized that it was made incorrectly anyway. Nevertheless, if I had left it as it was, it would give the impression that I was using it as a working amulet.

      In order to make a judgement on magic a judge must know how magic is done. I’m no expert but I know how a few things are supposed to be done (whether they actually work or not.)

      For those getting a little nervous, I’m talking about foolish things like “the power of pyramids”, crystals, a horoscope, a Ouija board and not stepping on a crack. Stuff like that. These things don’t pass the scientific method, but since the Bible says that magic exists I don’t deny the existence of something simply because I haven’t seen it yet.

      BTW, Jack hasn’t seen me in person yet. Perhaps I don’t exist. 🙂

      Alex Shrugged

      • How about this one,

        “All magic has power if those who see it, believe it” ~Jack Spirko

        So the religious prohibition of magic is to me more about placing your faith in something false then placing it in God.

        In other words someone can place a hex on me and it will have no effect, I don’t believe in such things. Done.

        But if I did a hex might very well effect me, simply because I believe it does and act accordingly.

        • That seems reasonable to a point but far enough that it would cover my point as well. If one believes in hexes, one should not use them. Too dangerous.

          I’ve never seen a hex that works except one… the hex that every parent casts upon their own children…

          “May you have children that act EXACTLY LIKE YOU!”

          Works every time. 🙂

  5. Drunks will be drunks. I know a guy (a teacher of all people) that has a DWI, payed out the ass and he still drives drunk.

    Why do people drive drunk? For many reasons. But primarily, impaired judgement. Drunks never think they are impaired.

    Still, the current laws on driving and drinking are yet another way to criminalize society.

    I’ve pulled-up to a military check point, beer in hand, in a neighboring country, answered the routine questions and on we went on our merry way. The beer did not even get a second glance. If had been sloppy, I’d probably been asked to pull over for a couple of hours. We were coming back from a ranch after working all day and my uncle and I picked-up a six pack to cool off.

  6. To your point regarding beat up cast iron. Brand new Lodge 8″, 10″ & 12″ diameter Cast Iron skillets can be purchased from restaurant supply houses from $15 to $20 bucks. New Dutch Ovens for less than $50. If you are looking for used basic pieces they should be priced at least half of those prices. If not, you can’t go wrong buying new at those prices.

    • You can go very wrong, new cast iron in my view is SHIT compared to the old stuff. Again the old stuff was milled smooth.

    • Depends on the material and the process. Lodge sand-blasts their pans which produces the pebbled finish. Yes, I understand the old stuff was milled smooth. As long as a new pan is seasoned properly and kept seasoned the perform characteristics of the pan are comparable, seasoning makes new pans smooth as silk, over easy eggs and omelets slide off with ease. They take on and retain heat as well as older pans and are give comparable performance. At the end of the day it is still cast iron used as a cooking vessel transferring heat from the source to the food. Worked with newer and older pans over the years and as far as performance goes there is very little difference. For the money they perform just fine if properly taken care of and should last a lifetime or two as do the older pans.

      • @David there is NO MODERN cast iron that can hold a candle to old school milled iron. Yes there is a difference, as one who owns both, I see the difference every time I use either or.

    • Wow… all I can say. BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY BELOW, Keep reading. Milled surface vs a seasoned pan. There is NO WAY any ‘chemical’ treatment of a cast metal surface (seasoning) is going to make it as smooth as a milled surface. The milled surface is fundamentally different, well, its milled, which means a thin layer of metal was milled away and is gone forever. The milling bit leaves a very smooth surface, actually, a surface that can be measured in thousandths of an inch. The cast iron skillet is actually cast in sand. Most everything ‘cast’ in a mass manufacturing method is cast in ‘sand’. So the surface of the skillet is determined by how fine the sand is that you are using. I think the finest I ever used was 400 mesh, which, is only about 1 to 2% of sand particles. So no way a surface defined by very fine sand is going to be as smooth as a milled surface.

      Now… milling a skillet is not rocket science, and it does not need rocket science precision. Even the most basic and inexpensive vertical milling machine will do a nice job. Here is one at harbor freight for $1800.

      This is a business opportunity, buy new and inexpensive cast iron skillets and mill the surface and re-season them. Then the new milled surface will be protected and you should have an iron skillet that will perform just like the old ones that Jack loves.

      If anyone wants to do this and put them on amazon, I can reduce that learning curve for you (the amazon part). Its called Amazon FBA. Plus I’m sure Jack would promote them – with a MSB discount and then there is ebay and other market places for distribution. I’d highly suggest a video of before and after showing the difference. (cooking)

      From a metallurgical point of view I see no reason why a cheap iron skillet from China can’t be milled and perform as good as an old fashioned milled USA made skillet.

      Being an energy person, I will tell you that, if you want to use the least amount of fuel for cooking, like if you have stored gasoline that you use for your car, your generator and for cooking fuel in a duel fuel Coleman stove, then you want the THINNEST and lightest frying pan.(or if you are cooking off of stored propane and you only have so many bottles). That will transfer the heat to the food quicker and cook with the lowest energy, because you don’t have to heat up all of that iron. Of course, the heat won’t be as even etc…but in this case the purpose is to just cook the meal and not make it a chefs presentation.

      If you have plenty of fuel, use the cast iron skillet.

      If you don’t have a lot of fuel, use a thin cheap skillet, or a back packing skillet.

      If you want to start a business, then mill a skillet.


      • That’s a fantastic idea!

        One of the best things you can do for personal liberty is start your own business…

        If somebody does this I will buy one..

        I would but I am too busy with barns.

      • @Steven,

        I don’t see a business opportunity in milling new cast iron. It is a very specialized thing.

        Paul Wheaton wrote this article about the entire thing,

        Likely the most intensive look into the subject. Note what he said happened when he tried to sand a new skillet smooth.

        “Time passed and I thought “Why not take the Lodge cast iron skillet with the rough surface and grind it down myself?” I bought a bunch of sandpaper designed for use with metal and figured 20 minutes with my different power sanders and some elbow grease should make it right as rain! Three hours later I had burned through way too much sandpaper and the results were so-so. It was a messy, icky experience that left me numb and wobbly with a ringing in my ears for a few days. The skillet worked okay for a few weeks and then cracked. ”

        Paul also states, “I think a person could buy a new cast iron skillet, follow all of the advice on this page and if used twice a day for six months it would probably be just as good as an old skillet.”

        I would change one word there, to “it would probably be ALMOST as good as an old skillet”. And I concur it would take about 360 PROPER uses, most being frustrated at poor performance to get what you want.

        The reason I don’t see a business opportunity though is math. Too much labor, added to too much base cost, add to double shipping costs to produce something that won’t be quite as good as something that already exists in abundance.

        If you wanted a real business that would make money, you would take Paul’s article, add your own flair and do a 3-4 hour series of professional videos on how to rehab old stuff, how to cook with and clean it for optimal performance, do the best you can with new stuff, etc.

        See the issue is a cast iron pan properly cared for or even abused and rehabbed doesn’t follow modern industrial practices, it just doesn’t wear out, unless you physically break it, it still works or easily can be made to work.

        Translation, in every “antique mall” in the country there are dozens of these things sitting around, most in pretty good shape. Most need perhaps a day of of cleaning and seasoning to be cooking the next day just as good as they did 50 years ago.

        So how can I buy a Lodge skillet for say 24.95, plus shipping. Put a man hour into it (with expensive and proper equipment) to receive it, mill it, repackage it and set it up to ship and sell it with a second incurred shipping charge and make money?

        With enough volume I might make money at say 40 dollars a pop!

        But anyone whom is an educated enough customer knows that there is an antique mall with the real deal in it, or an ebay seller one click away that will sell me the real deal for 20-30 dollars.

        • I run a custom metal shop and I think you’re both kind of right. There is potentially a business opportunity, but it would have to be built on volume. A Vertical Mill from Harbor Freight wouldn’t do it, because it wouldn’t be able to mill it out efficiently enough or handle the volume. And sandpaper and a power sander definitely wouldn’t do it, but it is a funny thought. But there are used CNC mills available if you’re willing to pay cash and wait for an opportunity. But, that would require you to learn how to do CNC programming, buy a program like AutoCAD, and a post processor program that can work with the machine you just bought. Not impossible, but it adds to the startup cost.
          Then, you’d have to get your hands on a bunch of cast iron skillets that are all identical so that your ONE program works for every skillet at a wholesale price, you CANNOT be buying these things retail and pay for shipping one at a time and make it work. You may burn through a couple before you get it right. If after all expenses you make let’s say $30 per cast iron skillet, there’s a good chance after everything’s all said and done that you’re looking at least 1,000 skillets before you’re breaking even on your startup cost.
          There’s also a good chance that you spent all your money on a CNC Mill, AutoCAD, and a 20′ container filled with new Chinese cast iron skillets, tools, parts etc. and you find there’s nowhere near enough demand in your market to ever sell what you’ve got.

        • But current skillets are not cast to be milled, read Paul’s article! His cracked when he did it!

          Just found this in another comment, you want modern milled cast here is the real cost. Now I’d either by that or an antique, but not some hacked up Lodge.

        • It strikes me that buying the new stuff and attempting to sand it down would be the wrong way to go about this.

          If I were going to pursue this endeavor, I’d want to do the casting in-house and cut out the middleman. Besides that, the new stuff is usually made a lot thinner than what most of us are interested in isn’t it?

        • There is a company doing it, a #10 pan is about 180 dollars, I wish them the best but I wouldn’t invest into them. Just sayin.

          They do have somethings that make what they do unique but he price point is hard to swallow when I can buy a 100 year old Griswold that is as good today as it was 100 years ago.

        • @Modern Survival – I don’t know of anyone that mills cast iron, so there’s probably a reason for it. But I don’t know it as I work with Steel and Aluminum, not cast iron. It sounds like it’s a QC issue with the casting itself that’s making it more brittle than it was in the past. You might be able to work around this by adjusting the spindle rate, the size of the tool, and the speed at which you move the tool on the mill, but that’s likely to cause an increase in labor and a decrease in productivity. Or you might be able to find a higher quality cast iron somewhere that can be milled.

          @Lukkas – that’s what the company Jack provided a link to is already doing. My guess is, that niche has already been filled, and isn’t big enough for multiple companies anyway.

          Either way, I won’t be branching off into the modern cast iron skillet business. So you can take that for what it’s worth.

        • I am surprised Jack.

          I think you are not thinking of the right demographic as a target market. These hand crafted fine cast iron skillets should have a price point closer to $199 each.

          Also, they should be milled from much better cast iron stock than anything lodge makes. Perhaps a cast iron foundry right here in the US could cast these like..

          This one.

          Oh and while you are on the phone with them you could ask if they would be willing to not only cast the pans but mill them as well.

          Then all you have to do is sell them, no milling.

          Market research would need to be done of course, but I don’t think you should discourage people from giving it a shot.

          All it takes is a few hours on the phone and in front of a spreadsheet. That is certainly worth the risk. I wouldn’t advise anyone to skip the market research, and I don’t think Steve was either.

        • All of that MIGHT matter if I could not jump on eBay and buy all the bad ass old antique cast iron skillets and other stuff I want for 20-30 bucks.

          Why in the world would I spend 199 on a skillet that is no better in RESULTS than one that has already proven itself for over 100 years?

          Because it is an octagon and gives me a way to pour stuff out of it? I have never had a problem pouring stuff out of my many antique skillets.

          Unless they can really reach beyond 200 dollar skillets they have no future in the market. It is just not marketably viable as it currently sits. There isn’t a sufficient market for it. Honestly of course I hope they prove me wrong, I love to see anyone succeed but I won’t invest in something I would not buy.

        • USCPrepper,

          What kind of metal shop do you run, where you don’t know of anyone who mills cast iron?

          Nobody bores engine blocks in your area?

        • I’m sure I could find someone. It’s just not my industry. It’s not the industry of anyone that I do business with, or anyone I know.
          As I stated before, I believe it can be done, and it’s probably a problem that can be fixed in QC or by changing the technique when milling.
          All metals have grades, you’re not going to want to use D2 steel for an application that cold rolled would work and vice versa.
          If you want to work with cast iron, I would recommend knowing what makes for good quality cast iron. Also, basics like what spindle rate, what speed and how much stepover you are doing when milling is essential when writing the program. It may take a while to get it, and you may break a few tools and skillets in the mean time, but if you can make it work… more power to you.
          The rest is just a matter of marketing and work ethic.

        • @Barn Geek – to answer your question of what type of metal shop do I run, it’s a custom designer and manufacturer of metal, wood, and plastic retail displays. So, if you go to a mall or a store and a product is being showcased on something other than a shelf the store provided. Wood and Plastic is done in a different location nearby, because sawdust and sparks don’t play well together. Everything’s done locally in the US.
          I know this isn’t what the comments are for, so I tried to be vague. Jack, if you feel this violates the rules, it’s fine with me if you delete this post.

        • @Jack.

          Anything cast can be milled, its a question of thickness and how much you can shave off, its all a function of your talent. Paul was grinding,which creates much different stress patterns than milling. Milling is precision.

          I agree with what you are saying about the $200 skillets, but like you said, SHUT UP AND DO IT. They’ve done it. I read their site. They have their own foundry and their own milling process. A small foundry for pouring cast iron is not trivial. I have several books on setting up small cupolas, and it not hard, but has a great many details in it. Note: Cupolas are for melting and pouring iron. Its a fascinating process and was one of the hearts of the industrial revolution.

          So those 100 year old skillets on ebay might not be available forever and to everyone, and everyone might not want to go hunting for one, but this company you ref’ed people to are doing it and maybe the 8 sided pan does make it easier to pour, at least they know if they spend $200 they’ve done it only once for the rest of their entire prep life, and they’ll have it forever. Sounds like a good company to support…maybe, even a good company to have on as a guest to talk about the history and state of the art when it comes to cast iron cooking pans. I’m sure you could make it into an awesome show.

          So my advice to the people is, if you can afford a $200 life time skillet, buy it form these people. Support them. If you think its crazy, then buy a milling machine and go into the business of being in competition with them. There is room for multiple players.

          The problem with the $200 skillet people is their business model, they’ve taken an approach to using ‘distributors’ and resellers which I think is wrong, that’s a 1980’s business model and I think they should be going direct to customer. Just let me buy the damn thing off of your website and ship it to me. Let me buy it on ebay, let me buy it on amazon, let me buy it directly except don’t make me buy it from these piddly little shops only in Oregon. wake the FUK up, its year 2015 already. DIRECT TO CONSUMER or use the company bigger than walmart, its called Amazon.

          Jack… I think there is a good show here for TSP, maybe you can approach them and get a good history and interview. I think the subject of the history of cast iron and the modern equivalents should be put to bed and you are the man to do it.

          Remember what I said before. If you only have so much butane or propane for cooking, you want to be using a THIN !!! Skillet. Cheap and thin. Teflon based. $10 walmart type of skillet. Or a good camping / back packing skillet. It takes a lot of energy to heat up a cast iron skillet and if you only want to cook a meal quickly with little fuel then the thinner the better. yes cast iron will ‘distribute’ the heat better, but in a prep situation it might be about the most meals you can get out of the fuel you have and not the ‘quality’ of the meals.

          Also, for the conspiracy nuts out there, Teflon is one of the most inert substances every made. Its incredibly stable. If it flakes off and you eat it, you’ll poop it out and there will be no chemicals absorbed by your body. It’d be like eating sand.

          A compound chemical molecule rarely has the same attributes as the atoms that make it up. Mercury is the exception. Mercury salts can be poisonous. Other salts,no. Look at Sodium Chloride (NaCl). It has NEITHER the properties of sodium or chloride associated with it. Both of which on their own would be very serious or deadly to a human body, but as a compound molecule, its something our body must have to survive.


        • Sorry man making a 200 dollar cast skillet today when there are million of pre 1950 ones out there for 25 bucks is like making something “just as good as water” and trying to sell it for 20 dollars a gallon. Even if it is just as good, even if the people making are awesome and even if their price is fair to their cost of operations, it is not a valid product.

          They got as far as they did with Kickstarter, that is great, I wish them the best but something tells me the high tide line was already reached!

          It is just a business principle thing.

        • Oh and the problem with Teflon to me isn’t health, it is a piece of shit of a product. It is like buying paper plates, fine for the purpose if you know what it is, but it is a disposable product. It works for a short time then is useless. They make thin cast iron including old thin cast.

          The best THIN item that is lighter than cast is good old carbon steel. Once seasoned it won’t rust and nothing sticks to it.

        • Oh and Steven what are you talking about with a few distys in Oregon, you can buy direct and they have dozens of retailers. I hope for said retailers though they have a solid program for inventory returns.

        • Just before you whip your credit card if you want a lid on that #12 skillet the package will set you back 270 dollars.

          I can outfit with 6 quality pans of every thing you will EVER need TWO kitchens with turn of the century antiques for about 300 bucks.

          Can this thing float? Sure.

          Is it likely at the current price and limited selection, nope. If these guys went on Shark Tank it would be an eye opener.

        • It’s simple marketing Jack.

          Yes, you can buy some great cast iron pans for cheap on ebay or a flea market etc. But, they are not marketed very well, and for John Q public, that makes them basically invisible.

          Otherwise, nobody would buy the cheap lodge stuff.

          And, if people did know about the low cost antique stuff on ebay…. There wouldn’t be anymore low cost antique stuff on ebay. People would buy it all fairly quickly.

          Simple supply and demand.

          As far as the price point goes, that is part of the marketing. People who would buy this are looking for high quality, and a bit of status that comes with owning and cooking on such a fine product.

          They are paying for the conversation they will have with their neighbor, brother in law, or whomever.

          There are countless products that have been produced and sold on this very successful marketing strategy.

        • Well man you go see them an invest in them then. I am telling you this is a money sink on its way down.

        • @jack.

          I did go and click the links on their ‘distributors’ and could not easily find their damn product on their ‘distributors’ in 5 minutes so I gave up. If its not available on their main site or amazon, like you said, they are a money sink. Screw them.

          To be on the positive side. THEY DID DO IT. They made foundry, a metal machining process and have a quality item (hopefully) at a quality price. It might be too high of a price but like you’d say. THEY DID IT. They did accomplish the final product. If they are getting sales at that price then great. The market will decide if they sink or swim. At this price, I’m betting sink.

          You are so correct, It would be great to see them on shark tank. That is really a dose of reality that separates the men from the boys.

          PS FYI.. I’ve never had one Teflon pan flake off on me. I always use a plastic spatula on them, not a metal one, and never have had one of them fail. Not even the cheap ones. I can clean it up with a paper towel and a little water, that’s it.

      • One thing I would point out- Steven- is that while a very thin pan conserves dedicated cooking fuel, IMHO there’s no better way to cook meals during the cooler months than in cast iron on a wood stove of some sort.

        I’m also a pretty big fan of outdoor cast-iron cooking during the warmer months.

        • Quite a while, depending on the size of the pan and the ambient temperature around it. Definitely long enough to cycle through less heat intensive operations. [ As a quick example off the top of my head, eggs and then pancakes, or throw the veggies in with a steak after it’s been sizzling a while without the flames.]

  7. Darby, you are the man!! Thank you so much for the great answer. I proposed to Jack the idea of me asking a series of 3-4 questions for you regarding a pork operation over a span of 4 weeks. However, you hit on nearly every question I have. I will be contacting you this spring to do an initial consultation. I can clearly see that the guidance and experience you offer is worth whatever you charge. Yes, I was planning on using forest for my primary graze but now I will shift to nearly all forest and I will need to find another animal for the pasture. Again, thank you for such an incredible answer and thank you for sharing so much info with the TSP crowd!

  8. I recently bought a 5-piece Lodge cast iron set on sale from Amazon. It was around $60. I was getting ready to buy a new teflon pan but decided to get that set instead. But Im glad this call came in about the seasoning. I was getting ready to do the same myself.
    But now that I know older cast iron is better than the newer stuff, Ill be checking yard sales and antique shops for older stuff. Then cleaning them up. Thanks Jack.

  9. Jack I think my question was lacking in specifics about podcasting.
    I was looking for techniques (microphone usage, editing …) or methodology to be a better podcaster, to learn from your mistakes, so I can go out and make my own mistakes.

    The many hours as I have devoted to recording and editing the three episodes I have completed, I do not consider the few minutes it took to seek advice from a successful podcaster to be a waste if that minuscule time spent increases the quality of my podcast.

    I do not plan on releasing the podcast into the wild until I have ten complete episodes giving myself a buffer in case I get behind in production.

    I anticipate the podcast lasting approx. 25 episodes and releasing it every Saturday(?). Possible release date in May, with my current timeline of finishing an episode a week.

    Like I said in my question I am using this free podcast to drive sales of my book Scouts Out @ (following your advice of giving away things for free to build social capital)

    Thank you for the kind words about my voice being of good enough quality for podcasting, listening to my own voice for hours while editing the episodes has made me question that.

    • Well my respect for you went down a couple of notches with that reply.

      You have no idea how many hours I have spent on the project so far or the money and emotion I have invested already. The only thing that may stop me from completing it is death.

      I am not a computer guy, I have taught myself everything about podcasting so far and looking for some short cuts or hints was not a waste. I had to come up with questions, anticipated problems and expand my knowledge base just to call you, thus getting a sales pitch down if I ever had to tell someone about my podcast.

      I thought you were a better man than you have shown here. It takes almost nothing to be kind, even less to not reply at all.

      Jack are now Officially Correct this has crossed the line and is now a waste of my time and yours.

      • Oh I see your respect went down because you asked me a question and I provided an honest answer vs. the mental mutual masturbation you were looking for. I guess that makes sense if you are looking for mental masturbation vs. the truth, but sorry I deal in truth not mental masturbation.

        What did you really expect me to say, oh go fuck with this and fuck with that, and only this mic is good enough, and edit out static?

        Yes I am wasting my time, and you are wasting yours but in entirely different ways. My time is being wasted speaking the truth and yours is being wasted making excuses.

    • @Aaron –
      As you say, you’ve invested a lot in this.. and are now EMOTIONALLY very invested.

      So please, take a step back and look at the advice NON-emotionally.. I think you’ll see its good advice.

      Fear of the unknown (doing something new) leads to procrastination.. And rather than just saying to ourselves (and others) ‘I’m afraid to do x..’ we come up with more ‘acceptable ways’ of avoiding it..

      ‘I need more information..’, ‘I need more practice..’, ‘I need more equipment..’, ‘I need a buffer..’

      Forget it. Burn the ships.

      If I were going to state this in another way, you’re a guy who’s COMMITTED to running a marathon.. you’ve done some running, read up on marathons, bought a new pair of shorts.. and now you’re asking Jack, ‘your a marathon runner, what are the PERFECT SHOES to wear when running a marathon..’ which he responded ‘for the love of God! would you just get to the starting line and start the run!’

      always IMHO.. but seriously.. you’re ready.. start running.

    • @Aaron

      I’ve never made a podcast but I listen to them allllll day every day, at least 10 hours a day, I work on machinery and have combined ear defenders and headphones.

      I have never stopped listening to a podcast that was interesting because of the quality, the voice of the caster or microphone they used.

      I will quickly turn something off when person speaking is less engaged in the subject than I am.

      Go and listen to the first 15 episodes of TSP, it sounds like a guy in his car talking into a hands free kit, but you forget about that after about 30 seconds because somehow you know he cares.

      As you’ve posted, you’ve committed a lot to your book and getting your podcast off the ground, trust in that and just talk about it, it will come through.

      I think podcasts are completely different from radio. Radio is like having a car salesman ask you about you’re family to prime you for a close, podcasts are like meeting a guy in a bar who just happens to be interested in exactly the same stuff as you.

      Common!! Call in 2 weeks to tell Jack the first 15 episodes of your podcast are up and invite all of us to listen to it. I bet he’ll play it.

      Microphone, editing, sound quality……its all arranging your desk before you REALLY get down to work. Have a bit of faith in yourself.

    • Well… I spend a lot of my time in doing prep work instead of the actual work. That has some value but I recognize that some of that is avoidance behavior. I don’t want to get down to the REAL work. The solution is to get down to the real work.

      The best is often the enemy of the good.

      Alex Shrugged

    • Arron, Quit your bitching, SHUT UP and put a tampon in it and START DOING IT! Jack is right, you’re fuking it up by trying to manage every single little detail, I bet you are even editing out your breaths aren’t you? If you stumble on a word you are take it out and redoing it aren’t you. There is VERY LITTLE to NO editing in a real podcast. You just shut up and you do it and you put it out there. If you stumble on a word then you just say the word again and keep moving on just like you would in a real conversation with a person.

      If you are looking for an excuse to spend money on a microphone then go to amazon and get this set up. Its all you need.

      Although you’ll find out that even a $30 headset from walmart (like a Labtec) will be plenty of quality for your podcast, especially since a podcast is at 32K bit rate (mono of course). I personally use a sennheiser headset most of the time. It costs about $60.

      Use Audacity as your free sound editor. Always record 10 seconds of silence at the start of your podcast. Use that 10 seconds and use the noise removal feature (there are you tube videos explaining this) then use the compressor feature to compress the audio and then use the normalization feature to pop it all back. Then you will have even audio levels and it will make your audio sound great. Jack has one freeware program that does all of this for him but since you’ve probably pissed him off and you are ungrateful, you wont get it. Again, look to you tube for instructions in audacity on how to clean up your audio. Use what I told you here for your key words.

      Well I’ve spent WAY too much time typing this out for you, especially since I’d bet 10 to 1 that you’ll NEVER make podcast #1 because you’re too stuck up and fussy about the details that you’ll never get a podcast finished because it will never meet your high and false standards.

      So as a person that has done a lot of audio I’ll tell you the same thing that Jack has said. You’re fuking around way to much, DO IT. Get podcast #1 done and put it out there then get off your ass and do #2 then #3 etc.. and don’t try to ‘bank’ 10 weeks of podcasts. If you miss a week, you miss a week. If people email you asking where this weeks podcast is, then you know you have a good audience following you. If you don’t hear shit about missing a week, then you know you’re audience is shit or you’re doing a shit job.

      …and if you think putting a podcast out there will help promote your books, you’re wrong, because your audience is zero right now. It takes time to build and audience and your book better mention your podcast in it and your podcast better mention your book and you have better be on more places than just smash words, you have to be on all of the outlets. Don’t bother doing any of this until you have a dedicated webpage for your podcast, and you have it mentioned in all of your books and then all of your books are on all of the book sites, smash words, itunes, kindle, nook etc….

      Getting traffic is a very long marathon, its not a sprint, nor a walk. Of course you need a facebook page for your books, a face book page for the podcast, you need a twitter feed for both and you MUST have a signup for your email list. Then you need to post to your FB pages as often as possible and you need to email your people about once a week to let them know what is new and what is coming up. The email list will be one of the most powerful things that you develop. Use aweber (dot) com or getresponse (dot) com. If I put more than 2 links in this posting, then Jack has to approve it….so just type them in.

      Well…. like I said before, I’ve spent way to much time telling you this because I don’t think you’ll do it, but maybe it will help someone else out there thinking of doing the same thing and they’ll know not to make the same mistakes you are using, plus, I type at around 100 words per minute so it did not take that long to write this.

      I won’t tell you good luck, I’ll tell you to get the fuk off your ass and do it.

      All my Best

      • You guys are hilarious. I love it. Although it seems Aaron doesn’t, which is unfortunate but some people just don’t respond to the same stimulus methods. I work with a group called and have had many of the “students” say they don’t like being yelled at…. “And you signed up because….the girls in the photos look hot?!” Regardless, some temper the approach so the student gets something out of it. I wouldn’t but that is me. Ain’t nothin’ to it but to do it. Shit your pants, jump in and swim. I could go on all day with these but hopefully Aaron will “show us” and put out the project asap. Good luck!

        • I think for someone to be ok with being yelled at and treated like a maggot, they either have to have absolutely zero self worth or 100% pure self worth confidence and self control.

          I’m at about 75%, too much self worth to be ok with it but not enough to be ok with it from the other way, so people who try to use aggression to manipulate me get corrected pretty quick. In my view yelling is pointless counterproductive bullshit and a waste of oxygen and calories, but maybe that’s why I get shit done on jobsites and my coworkers don’t hate me.

          Just a thought. The yelling I’m thinking of is probably different than your yelling and definitely different than what Jack is saying, which is just the truth.

          (And before you call me a teacup, I grew up being screamed at. It’s not that I can’t handle it, it’s why the fuck would I?)

        • I think it depends.

          You go to the military, you should expect it. You should also understand it. Initial training in all branches of service is about getting people who never gave a fuck about just about anything to be willing to be so procedural as to roll socks to six inches and accept that 5.9 or 6.1 is wrong.

          To the outsider this seems dumb, but I want the guy who passes inspection working on my rifle and packing my shoot. People die when procedures and orders are not followed in the military.

          Some figure but yea if you are a clerk or a cook or a mechanic that isn’t the case. Well it is and it is again.

          Clerks file paperwork, the wrong filing could prevent a vet someday from getting life saving care. Cooks cook food in the field for thousands, one mistake could make a brigade sick and cost lives. Mechanics work on vehicles that cross deserts, what is an inconvenience on I95 is death in battle or even potentially real world exercises.

          Next every solider may be called on to be a rifleman some day.

          So there is a purpose to this type of thing in the military. It is also highly concentrated to schools, like basic, PLDC, etc. It is NOT a day to day thing, it is for training and for when called for.

          It is also not screaming and treating people like garbage. In the military if I get in your shit it is because you are my solider and that means you are my responsibility and I am to keep your ass alive and everyone in our group alive as well. So yes I will dig into your shit over how clean your canteen is or a thread in your ammo pouch because your back on the block stupid ass could end up dead over it some day or worse your buddy could.

          Now something like GoRuck, well people are wanting a taste of the above, so since they signed up for it, they should not be surprised when they get it.

        • Regarding Jack’s remarks on the value of yelling and military discipline, I am reminded of my father, of blessed memory, a Marine. He taught us as children how to stand at attention, parade rest and to follow orders. I was a terror as a teenager but I came to understand my father when I grew older and we came to an understanding later in life. Much of what I am today is because of my father’s grave concern over my lazy backside.

          I did not raise my sons with military discipline. Nevertheless, I was all over them at times. Once I was at a prayer service with my boys and when they would act up, I’d correct them. My buddy (a college professor with no children) suggested I ease up on them because they were good boys.

          I whispered, “The reason they are ‘good boys’ is because I’m on top of them all the time!”

          So… I don’t think I was as tough as my father was but I raised my children to lead and they do. They don’t wait for someone to tell them to do something. They just do it.

          When I look in the mirror I see my father and when I speak I hear his voice.

  10. We buy a lot of cast iron at thrift stores. Our frst test is how smooth is it inside. If the surface is glass smooth and undamaged overall, it’s probably better than anything new. I keep a list of sizes I want on my phone, and like Jack mentioned am discriminating in what I buy.

    Here are some interesting articles on the science of cast iron and seasoning. She recommends flax seed oil. It works well.

    There is a new company called Finex making cast iron in Portland, OR. I’d love to have some, but it is spendy.

  11. on DWIs (and laws in general) –

    Coincidentally I had to appear for jury duty on Monday, for a DWI case. The charge? The driver blew over the legal limit, no erratic driving, no one injured etc.

    I, and 59 other people, were chosen from the jury pool to go through the jury selection process (a first for me)… OMFG.

    For the first time I was exposed to the OTHER SIDE of a law.. the cost of its enforcement. To give the individual charged a ‘fair trial’ for a victimless crime, involved: a judge, two lawyers, a court reporter, a bailiff, twelve jurors and two alternate jurors FOR A WEEK (judges statement).. as well as the 46 other POTENTIAL jurors who were questioned for a FULL DAY.

    In addition, two police officers (at taxpayer expense) will appear as witnesses for the prosecution.

    I’m ignoring the larger court apparatus.. as it would exist even if this case did not.

    Among the potential jurors were 3 MDs, 5 engineers, and 9 programmers, and I was the LEAST formally educated person in the pool.

    So.. what was the cost to society for trying this ‘crime’?

    138 man days (minimum) x $227/day median income (this county) = $31,326.

    This is a VERY conservative estimate, as the professionals in the group are earning far more than the median income.

    According to the DMV, there were over 200k DWI charges filed last year.. so, math, if they went to trial:
    $6.3 BILLION

    Oh, and if you’re under 21.. the ‘limit’ is 0.01%

    What’s the point?
    EVERY law costs a SOCIETY a shit ton of wealth to prosecute.

    Crap load of laws = bankrupt society

    • When we create a society where nothing can go wrong, then when something does go wrong, it cannot be the fault of the state (or the law). It must be some individual’s fault… a counter-revolutionary… an outlaw of society. There is no government error. We are building the New Soviet Man!

      Oh… did I say that out loud? 🙂

      The state refuses to face the social problems that we’ve had since the Dawn of Man.

      I’m actually OK with some of the punishment but it lacks flexibility. In the past we were too lax in forgiving drunk drivers as just guys getting a little too jolly and blowing off some steam. But in the past we handled it ourselves without government intervention. We had churches and, frankly, women’s groups who would carry on about such things and kept the transgressions to a minimum.

      Well… we all decided that religious groups whining about the sins of man was annoying so we sidelined those guys and what did we get? Instead of punishment in the afterlife, and a nagging wife, we get punishment at the point of a gun.

      And the police are scrutinized so closely that if they let one guy go and he runs his car into a bus-load of nuns, we don’t just blame the drunk who did the crime, we blame the police officer for the failure to perform a road-side execution.

      I had a buddy who was a city police officer back in the 70s. In those days the mayor would tell the police to pick up the drunks off the street. They would do a major sweep twice a year. My buddy thought he was doing a social service and he was. Those drunks were dying, and the police would stop the cycle, sober them up, feed them, get them medical care and a decent place to sleep for 30 days. A few would take that opportunity to stop drinking and return to a productive life. The rest would go back out onto the streets until the next sweep.

      The ACLU made the police stop doing that. So my buddy sat by and watched men die in the street… all to preserve their right to die in the streets but they had no free will. King Alcohol had taken that long ago. (They do the same to the insane, BTW. They emptied the nuthouses back then, promising to provide community mental health centers. Can you name one?)

      The Constitution is not a suicide pack, yet we are committing social suicide on the installment plan.

      We have had warnings in the past about this when George F. Gilder wrote “Sexual Suicide” (now updated and released as “Men and Marriage”). It’s a complex subject but it boils down to men trying to prove they are men with no real way to do that nowadays except to act up and he mentions bars and drinking as the first major activities toward that end. (That was in the 1970’s. It’s worse now.)

      Just so you know.

  12. So… solutions to alcoholism?

    No sweeping ones but for the individual, I suggest reading the book “Alcoholics Anonymous”. It’s $4.99 for the Kindle edition at Let me check my local library… yes. They have 12 copies available. You can buy the paperback from a local AA meeting for less than 10 bucks.

    The book Alcoholics Anonymous was written in the 1930’s after World War One. It’s language is a little archaic, but the people who have been saved by this “chip of a book” refuse to change it. When you have something that’s working, you don’t “fix” it. When that thing is saving your life, you certainly don’t fix it.

    The book begins with a fellow with a bright future. His name is Bill. He is a man with obvious charisma. When he returns from the War to End All Wars he struggles to get work, and manages to convince investors to go in with him on a little known company called “Westinghouse” BEFORE they came out with this new-fangled type of radio… the superhetrodyne receiver. How did Bill find out? He went drinking in bars with a few of the engineers. Fat checks rolled in for Bill. The sky was the limit. Then the Stock Market Crash sent people jumping from the windows of high finance. Bill wouldn’t jump. Tomorrow would be better and he drank to that.

    Things didn’t get better. He’d put together deals and then drank, destroying the deals. He had to stop drinking entirely. In a small hospital, Bill’s brother-in-law wangled a bed for rehab. The doctor said the diagnosis was grave. Bill would either be driven by insanity to kill himself or have his brain destroyed. (I’ve met such men.) Bill tried to stay sober on that fearful warning, but while in Akron, Ohio, putting together yet another stock deal, he sat in the lobby of his hotel trying to decide if he should go to his room or go to the bar. He called the local minister and asked if he knew of any drunks in town that he might help. Yes. The minister knew a doozy! That was when Bill met Dr. Bob, a local physician and town drunk.

    Bill laid out a program of action that was to save Dr. Bob’s life. In turn, they saved a lawyer’s life. (Hey. You gotta start somewhere.) And within a few years they had saved 100 men and women. They decided to write a book, explaining the 12-Step program that saved their lives. That book was Alcoholics Anonymous. The title of the book became the name of the organization. They have saved well over a million lives since then.

    The book was meant to be a mail-order sobriety program. If you are out there and you don’t want to go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting then get the book and read it. Work the steps. Write to someone on the program. They will answer your questions.

    Write to Box 459, Grand Central Station, NY, NY. That is the General Services address for Alcoholics Anonymous. They can put you in touch with someone in your area. You can order literature from them at low cost. You can also Google “Alcoholics Anonymous” and find a copy of the book online.

    To find an AA group in your area, go to and enter your zip code. They will direct you to an AA group in your area.

    There is also a podcast I can recommend: The Recovered Podcast. The language is a little rough at times but no worse than the Survival Podcast. You can find it at…

    Save your life… or not. It’s up to you.

  13. Wasn’t there a drunk on the old Andy Griffith show who would voluntarily walk to the police station to be locked up in jail for the night? LOL

    • Yes. Otis.

      Fine example of the local police using common sense, and Deputy Barney Fife representing the problem of mindlessly strict law enforcement. No one says that the law isn’t the law, but the law is a blunt instrument that should be used with care. Passing off the responsibility to a judge is creating a bottleneck in the system. A lot of trouble could be saved if the police officer would be allowed to use common sense and we should understand that there will always be officers who lack sense (common or otherwise) and must be carefully supervised.

      The value of Barney Fife was that he provided a model for officers of how NOT to act.

      BTW, I knew a guy who would drive by the police station when drunk. He didn’t want to cause them all the trouble of catching him. I’m not sure they appreciated it, but by all accounts they were kind to him.

      I also knew a man with a baby face that said “arrest me” whenever he did something wrong. He would drink once a year and when he did, he was always caught by the police and thrown in jail where I met him in my chaplain work. He realized that even though he drank only once a year, the consequences were so severe to his life that he could never drink again. The realization of that also showed on his face. He was amazed and confused, but certain that this was the truth.

  14. I started recording a podcast a few weeks ago.

    I was actually listening to the Wealthsteading podcast when I heard John Pugliano reveal Jack’s advice about starting a podcast. “Just Do It.”

    So I started.

    I started a podcast to help men who are addicted to internet pornography. I can use my mistakes in life to help others.

    Right now, I have about 13 episodes up. The quality is crap. I get that. I record on a mobile recorder and a lav mike on my way to work. I edit some, but very little. When listening to my most recording last night, I realize I speak like President Obama. Lots of “uhhhs”. I try to edit out the most egregious of the pauses, but let most of the them fly. Right now, I’m just trying to build momentum.

    My initial goal was to upload 10 episodes. Boom. Accomplished that goal. Next goal is to get 25 episodes uploaded. On the way. At episode 25, my goal is to start reaching out for people to do interviews.

    Along the way, my quality and my speaking should improve.

    Also, if you want technical advice, you can always listen to “The Audacity To Podcast” which is a great free resource.

    Not sure if Freedom from internet porn is going to bring me fame & fortune, but if I can bring value to mens’ lives and thus improve their roles as husbands, fathers, etc, then maybe I can use that to carve my own niche in the world.

    Don’t wait. Start now.

    • Great and you will get better you are doing exactly what I did!

      I would record in the AM, publish at work and listen to my own show on the way home.

      Listen to shows before about 70 and you will hear a lot of “rights”

      Like “so we should all be doing this right”.

      Why my experience was presenting to groups. What sounds stupid on a radio show makes sense to see if people are engaged on a stage in front of 100 people. That is just one thing I corrected by critiquing myself WHILE producing.

      Read some of the 1 and 2 star reviews on iTunes, especially from 2008-2009.

      To put in simple terms. You become a great football player by playing the game and watching game tapes to see what you did wrong, not celebrate what you did right.

  15. The many uses of tires!

    Disclaimer, I am 24 and extremely fit. Part of the reason we use tires on our farm is the actual physical resistance they provide as a workout tool.

    1. Storage: Always add a pinch of Bt (we use mosquito bits) to control mosquito spawning in unfilled tires

    2. Potato Tires : Dont use giant truck tires past the second level. Add 3 blocks of wood between tire 2 and 3 to provide drainage (for us in the PNW). Leave potatoes in first tire at harvest, ours usually regrow next year.

    3. Retaining walls: Tires fill fairly easily with small gravel (relative to dirt)

    4. Greenhouse North Wall/Thermal Mass: Gravel makes good thermal mass. Tires are black and strong enough to hold in gravel.

    5. Staircases: Tires fill extremely easily with concrete, usually already have water in them, and make a nice bouncy step if done right. Plus if you have steps you have slope, tires are round and love to roll downhill!

    6. Hot Crop Planters: Our tomatoes, peppers, etc. explode from the extra heat a tire planter provides

    7. Bonus! Tire Tread Shingles: Some tires we get have the sidewalls cut out so that the scrapper could easily remove the wheel. These we cut in half to make 2 absurdly heavy but invincible shingles.

    8. Double Bonus!! Big Giant Heavy Tires: Our local crossfit gym pays us to workout on the farm. Favotite exercise? Flip end over end giant tires up hill. Once to top of hill, beat tire with sledge hammer.

  16. I have an idea for using spare tires. I just saw this on homesteadsurvival dot com a couple days ago so it was good timing.

    I could see these being sold online, at farmer’s markets, at small art boutiques in town, etc. Probably not a huge demand and it might take a while to get rid of all the tire sculptures if you used all 70 tires to make 35 sculptures, but I think they look cool and you might be able to paint them with crazy designs and make them look even cooler.

  17. Regarding Earthships made of tires and packing them with dirt. I know about how difficult it is to pack dirt since I was a soils inspector for earthwork construction in my 20s. What I don’t understand is why people don’t use a cement/soil slurry mix to pack the tires. (There is a reason they call concrete “mud” when it is wet.) You pour this mixture of wet dirt and cement into the tires. Some of it will slop out but if it is not too wet it should set up quickly and be tough enough to pass any compaction test and pliable enough to be dug out with a backhoe or some machine, but not a shovel.

    I’ve not done the calculation in terms of materials cost vs labor cost but it must be easier than hand-packing soil into tires.

    Just wondering. I’ve never tried it. Maybe I should. I don’t have a tire but I have some concrete. It might be worth it to mix it with dirt and water just to see what would happen.

    FYI, there is a difference between cement and concrete.

    • I think the concern would be air left in the tires?

      Perhaps a top weight on the center, pushing the wet slurry into the side walls. Allow set up time, then remove weight? If the tires were on a dead level surface that should indeed work.

      Cost may be an issue though as you stated. Not sure really.

    • If you stack several tires, the pressure of the slurry mix should push out the air.

      Failing that, on a single tire (or the top tire), if one is quick, one could use a vibrating wand to force out the air as the slurry goes in. I’ve seen this done on a TV show when they were reinforcing a foundation. The previous contractor had actually built an addition to the house directly on the dirt so the guys on the show were trying to place a new foundation underneath the structure in place. Rough work. To get the fit right they flowed the concrete in and vibrated it to remove the voids.

      As you point out, you don’t want voids.

  18. I grew-up in a 4 generation family structure dating back to great-grand-parents. I never knew I was Gen X until I went to college. Generation names are just another label to divide and conquer.

  19. Oh judge! Your damn laws! The good people don’t need them, and the bad people don’t obey them. -Ammon Hennacy