Episode-1141- Listener Calls for 6-3-13 — 30 Comments

    • Thanks for the link good info. Settled some issues we have thought about. Agree 100% I don’t want any one to know I have a safe. Building a false wall or a door bookcase works for me. Would love to have a floor safe but that is proving to be even more difficult. I would so love a show on safe types where to put them hide them and what not.

    • i’m watching this right now. i’m glad at the end of the into he said ‘welcome to weapons education’ because when i looked at the account i thought it was ‘weapon seduction’, which i was totally into… lol

  1. 900 gallon system should not have a problem with heat with the way Jack intend on set it up. I see a problem in the winter if he choose Tilapia. unless he add some type of solar heating system. The type of Tilapia Jack is allow to keep in Texas die at 55F. Actual I’m doing Tilapia with a system in my garage. Really wish I had gone with Blue gil. They are the only native fish that will handle all the cold and heat that your going to run into with an Aquaponics system of that size. As long as you can keep the water from total freezing Blue Gil will be fine. You still might want to add some solar heat in the winter to keep the bacteria cycle going but the fish can handle the temp. They just take a longer time to grow out to plate size.

  2. A few thoughts on your Aquaponics video link. @Madmax478 has great points on Bluegill. You can get Blue Tilapia free if you catch them from places like Lake Conroe where they have escaped to. Mozambiques need no permit like Blues & Niles, but M.s do die off at 55 – thus are non-invasive but require annual restocking (you can overwinter breeders in a large indoor aquarium). Texas govt. names/phones/emails for Nile/Blue Tilapia permitting are on my site at Regarding system design, you generally want to pump the least amount water the shortest vertical distance and the shortest horizontal distance to minimize load on the pump – every half inch counts! You’ll have to buy a big pump to handle the head pressure of not only the height of the system but also the weight of the water in the horizontal uphill run (distance)? of the pipes, which is very sizable in your setup since you plan on burying pipes. If you pump the water vertically immediately out of the lowest tank to a 1/2″ greater height than the highest element’s water level (you mentioned a 55 gal drum w/ siphon on a stand) and then let water gravity feed from the low tank position down a slanted pipe to the high drum you won’t be pushing the weight of nearly as much water. (If you position the system elements butted up against each other in a circle or rectangle you can really reduce horizontal pipe distance between elements.) Hope that made sense, it would be easy to draw. My suggestion on your current layout won’t be as pretty as you would have a high pipe straight up out of the low tank and a long pipe needing support going back to the cistern area, but a smaller cheaper pump uses less electricity in a grid-down scenario (and less work means longer MTBF pump lifespan). Speaking of off-grid, I know you know that two is one and one is none. What’s your backup electricity plan? Solar+battery? Gas generator? Not that 800 gallons of dead fish and yuck-water won’t make great fertilizer for your garden, but that’s not your end goal (and I would hate to be the guy sucking the end of the siphon hose). Also, consider more shallow grow beds to grow your own fish/duck/goose food like duckweed & oat sprouts instead of or in addition to reeds. You can do them stacked in 10′ long vinyl gutters with pvc plumbing in the gutter caps and cascade the flow down a few levels of gutter (works great for sprouts). You can also grow floating aquatic weeds in your sump tank if you’re doing a flood and drain system, just screen the water exit & clean screen as needed.

  3. Jack, when are you going to be back from Montana?

  4. the trust adviser word you wanted: fiduciary

    😉 loved the show. thanks!

  5. As to the chem lawm run off question:

    Jack you are mostly spot on but here’s a way to take of the water and clean it up. Fungi are natures cleaner. So the best bet is to create a wood chip filter. I would try to figure out the best way for the amount of run off. But creating a pit I can’t remember the permaculture term but fill it with wood chips and slow the water down in that spot or maybe a chain of spots so if the run off is too great you still can slow the water down. Fungi will grow in the wood chips and break down anything in the water and help if not completely filter the water. It will also catch and clean oil from the road. Check Banes’ Permaculture hand book where he talks about doing this very method in a suburban environment.

  6. Thanks for doing a piece on the importance of Trivium education in this show. I’ve been a long admirer of John Taylor Gatto’s work in highlighting the shortcomings of our schooling system.

    The trivium is only the language-oriented part of that approach, however. On the mathematical side there is the quadrivium: arithmetic (basic mathematics), geometry (mathematics in space), music (mathematics in time), and astronomy (mathematics in space and time). Here’s the Wikipedia entry for anyone who’s interested:

  7. One further point for consideration concerning the Trivium: It was not simple a study of language (though it was that as well). It was, in fact, a method of equipping students with the tools they needed for academic pursuit.

    You can think of each of the three divisions of the Trivium as stages: grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric. In each stage, a student appears to be learning a subject (Latin, at the time) but is really learning how to learn.

    For further reading, Dorothy Sayers’ Lost Tools of Learning:

    Do schools want independent and creative thinkers? No, schools want diligent and obedient workers (parents too, really). The idea that school kills creativity is fairly accepted among intellectually honest folks in the field; the design is intentional and the stakeholders are sincere, but they are sincerely wrong.
    See Ken Robinson’s TED talk here:

    Thanks for bringing this up and handling it in a respectful, intellectually honest way, Jack.

  8. A buddy of mine used a refrigerator box with a “door” cut in the side to conceal his gun safe in his garage. I like Jack’s cabinet idea better, but the box offers some quick and cheap concealment.

  9. With reference to Dave Ramsey, I lead his class at my church so I know what he teaches. After all debt except mortgage is paid off, he recommends 3-6 months emergency fund, then 15% of income into retirement (401K if there is a match then ROTH IRA if no match in 401 go directly to ROTH and max it out then go to 401), then kids college if applicable, then pay off your mortgage, and finally build wealth and give. You can see his baby steps here:

    He never said once you get out of debt put everything into mutual funds. Just wanted to clarify. Good show and discussions!!

    • Well that is exactly what he said and what you just said.

      Money for college goes where, 529A plan holding what, mutual funds.

      15% of your income into a 401 or IRA holding what, mutual funds.

      What does he say to do with your savings that don’t go into a 401 or IRA that are beyound your needs for your emergency fund? Mutual Funds.

      Ramsey on debt is golden, Ramsey on investing got most of his listeners totally killed in the 08-09 recession!

      Ramsey said gold was a terrible investment when it was 300 dollars and silver was a worse investment when it was 7 bucks!

      Doesn’t matter that I love the guy as a person and I do, doesn’t matter that I tell anyone in debt he is the man and I do, his investing advice it still main stream nonsense and when this economy shifts many of his followers are going to get completely slaughtered.

      You can’t change what the man says, I listened to him daily for over two years.

    • It isn’t but that isn’t “investing” it is paying off debt. Your guy is great on debt elimination and sucks at investing advice.

    • I presumed that Jack was only talking about investing, not paying down debt. At least, that was the way I took it. Even Dave doesn’t see paying down a mortgage as investing (though I think you could make the argument that it is, sort of): “You should never invest—even in real estate—with borrowed money.” Source:

      Since a mortgage is, by definition, borrowing against real estate, it doesn’t fit the Financial Peace definition of an investment. I love Dave, and have led a small group Financial Peace home class for our church (unofficially).

      As an aside, I think that the Permanent Portfolio idea fits my circumstances and willingness to risk better, though, which Dave would be categorically against at least because of the precious metal component.

  10. He also talks about buying property, which isn’t a mutual fund, and in his previous FPU class he talked about how historically gold isn’t a great investment. He looks long term, not this short term jump in and out type of investing. During Katrina did you see people running around with little bags of gold or silver trying to buy water? He uses that very example in his class. Goods and services will do more in those situations he says in his class.

    • I wish Dave would explicitly address the idea of prepping with food and water (even permaculture). May be he has, but I’ve never seen it. : )

      To be fair to the argument, people aren’t running around in that scenario looking for mutual funds, either. : D I think that prepping is a subset of investing (investing in the survival of you and those close to you). If we want to talk about historic, long-term ROI, nothing beats an apple tree (or some other perennial food source), not even gold. 😉

    • Yes he talks about “paid for real estate being a good investment” from time to time but damn quit trying to change reality. Dave’s view is buy good quality mutual funds with any investment capital with some real estate for some very very few people being the only investment exception. Again, go ahead follow his advice and I am telling LONG TERM is exactly where you will get slaughtered. Fankly saying “historically gold is a poor investment” is enough of a statment to make any person’s investment advice, TERRIBLE.

      You want the truth price the dow in ounces of gold or silver and you will get the underlying truth about the so called profit in the market.

      Long term gold and silver show the truth and right now man the truth is ugly.

      Saying Dave isn’t a good investment adviser isn’t an insult, don’t take it personally, it is just a fact. It is very typical main stream advice that every talking head on TV spouts.

      • As an aside, Jack. Are there any plans to do any followup with Craig Rowland (or some other knowledgeable person) on the Permanent Portfolio? I really liked that episode and have come into a promotion that could mean serious consideration toward my family’s investment future. I’ll probably go back and listen to that episode again, but a walk through of each element of the PP would be awesome, even if it were to explain why you did or didn’t like the way it was set up.

      • Don’t invest and if times don’t get worse and you didn’t diversify by investing in the market you better hope you can sell what ever it is that you stockpiled to pay for your retirement? Is that what you are saying? Just buy PM’s and hope that when you retire you can sell them for more than what you paid for them?

        Did you ever hear him quote this “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil”?

        Personally PM’s are so far down the list that I don’t even have them on my radar…I invest for my retirement and I invest for SHTF. In the event of a tornado a gallon of gas or 5 gallons of water will do more for me than PM’s. The average joe will look at your pre-’65 quarter and tell you that its only worth 25 cents to them.

        So I should get penny stocks? or try to time the market? ETF’s?

        If it all goes up it will take a while for PM’s to be used again because the population at large don’t know what they look like or how to verify them.

        Long term besides what I invest in Mutual Funds I invest in myself in skills and knowledge and stockpiling. That way I am covered, just like your intro says “in case times get tough or even if they don’t”.

        • Now see that is BLIND DEVOTION to a man and his ideas. Who said to not invest at all? Tomorrows show is actually about smart investing.

          Let me ask you, do you know the answer to this.

          Let’s say a manager of a mid cap stock fund is looking at a coming market crash, he knows it is coming, absolutely knows, what can he do about it?

          If you don’t know the one word answer, well, then may be you have something to learn and should not be blindly following someone with no investing track record to examine or speak of. Dave made all his money in real estate but doesn’t teach it at all, he pays it a bit of lip service. His advice is buy mutual funds all the time, keep doing it, dollar cost average and things will take care of themselves. If you want to do that, fine. But again I ask,

          Let’s say a manager of a mid cap stock fund is looking at a coming market crash, he knows it is coming, absolutely knows, what can he do about it?

          Let me give you the answer, absolutely NOTHING. He must stay in mid cap stocks. Same for an index matching fund or a growth and income fund or a capital appreciation fund. Fund managers can pick what stocks they buy but can’t change allocations. So go ahead and think pros run these funds and keep tossing in 15% of your income into them.

          PMs? I have and always have said 5-10% of your wealth.

          Bluntly Dave Ramsey has saved more people from debt then I ever will but I have saved more investment portfolios then he ever will.

          Again I like Dave but buy and hold and dollar cost average is a suckers game and man the next time around there is going to be major waling and gnashing of teeth.

  11. buying property with cash after your house is paid off as an investment.

    • That isn’t paying down your mortgage, though. I personally think both are investments, but my idea of investment is far less academic than Dave’s; to be fair, he’s made way more money than me (probably than I ever will) in investing.

      I’m just clarifying the way I understand what Dave teaches. I could be wrong. Either way, we’re still going to work the baby steps in my house (at least until 7). : )

  12. Jack,
    Thanks so much for the advice on the autumn olive. I treated with acidic fertilizer and within a few days they started to perk up. The one that had no leaves is still bare, but I think it will probably come back.

    I did do a ph test because my blueberries were failing and found that my soil is extremely alkaline. When I called Rain Tree I told them this and they didn’t say to treat with an acidic fertilizer. I just may have spoken with someone who didn’t know.

    Any way, thanks again!