Episode-1519- Listener Calls for 2-13-15 — 15 Comments

  1. Couple notes:
    Some states (like here in Iowa of all places) do offer e0 gas. It’s listed as just unleaded. Super unleaded is what e10. I do think that sometimes refineries use ethanol to adjust the octane, so even regular unleaded will have some ethanol, but I’m not 100% on that.

    On the wood burning, Jack is 100% right. Another GREAT resource for new wood burners that helped me out A LOT is

  2. Reference exploding batteries: 1980’s — 1990’s worked for a major package delivery company as a truck maint. mechanic. Had many vehicles towed into shop with bulged battery boxes and disjointed step well covers with ripped apart batteries inside. Lots of times those batteries were as dry as a popcorn fart.

    1990’s working self employed as a auto repairman. Connected a battery charger to a low charged battery in a vehicle. Pos., to Pos., Neg., to Neg., bent down to turn charger to low charge setting heard a loud boom and pieces of battery scattered in every direction.

    Don’t know about others but when I was in Vietnam if you heard a loud boom and crap was scattered all over the place we called that an EXPLOSION.

    Those batteries I mentioned earlier may not have exploded but something did.

  3. Jack,

    You touched on something I wish more people, particularly those concerned about environmentally “green” solutions understood in your discussion on alternative energy and looking for an economic return.

    As a general rule, if a technology, process, action, etc. does NOT have a good ROI, it IS NOT a “green” approach. I.e. the distinction between “economically sound” and “environmentally sound” is, with only one important caveat, a false one. If your hybrid car costs you more in upfront cost and a battery replacement in 5 years than a similarly sized conventional car + 20% more gas, you should NOT assume you’re doing the environmentally optimal thing by buying the hybrid.

    To understand this someone need only consider how you describe money, you say “money is energy”, I have some minor quibbles with this statement but they’re not important, what your description conveys very accurately is that we use money to figure out how to prioritize and optimize our use of scarce resources, energy, human labor, raw materials, time, space, etc. When the “dirty” solution is, in fact, economically favorable to the “green-approved” solution, it suggests that the “green” alternative actually consumes more resources than the “dirty” norm and is, in fact, the LESS economically AND environmentally sound choice.

    Now the important caveat to this is what economist call externalities, which are basically where some of the cost associated with an activity are not paid by the responsible parties but by hapless 3rd parties, which leads to artificially low prices which fool people into doing things that are not optimal but appear to be so, at least economically. Coal mining is a terrific example of this, coal is a very cheap source of energy, or at least it appears so, because many of the costs associated with it’s use (destruction of land, poisoned rivers, mercury laced seafood, etc.) are not paid for by the producers or consumers of coal. You’ll find thousands of state-apologists pointing to externalities as justification for state regulation and/or control of our lives, in reality the state is far and away THE source of externalities… what is the government at it’s core if not a means by which the elite get everyone else to pay for their lifestyle… but I digress. To get back on topic, in absence of glaringly obvious externalities, doing what makes sense economically probably IS doing what makes sense from an environmental point of view… if any of your listeners feel guilty about driving around a smoke belching, oil burning 1970’s pickup truck instead of a modern hybrid because that’s what they can afford… they shouldn’t. Stretching a another ten thousand miles out of that old truck is almost certainly better for the environment than building another shiny new $30k hybrid. Markets work in more ways than any of us realize.

    • Thanks for the comment, you just might, and you might not quibble less about my definition for money if you used the full one.

      “Money is nothing but a symbol for energy”

      It is a representation for energy, it in and of itself is really nothing.

  4. Re: the exploding battery….this event happened LIVE on the TSPN Zello channel and was heard by at least 8 or more people, myself included. It certainly sounded like a small “explosion” to me and much clean-up was required and described by the person it happened to. The person to whom it happened DOES have some pictures, which I have asked him to forward to Steven, with additional details of the charging configuration…this was NOT someones imagination. Just because something is unlikely does not mean it is impossible or should be dismissed as imaginary…

  5. Hi Jack,

    What would it take to persuade you to do a live show? What technical/financial challenges get in the way? Does the live format make it not worth it? No demand for it?


  6. On the wood burning question… Having lived in CO and burned all sorts of spruce and pine, and now living in CT and burning all sorts of hardwood and cedar and locust, the biggest cause of creosote is prolonged cold fires (caused by wood that hasn’t seasoned properly or fires that smolder), and the sap in conifers exacerbates the problem.

    Have your chimney checked either after the burning season or before it (I recommend after) to check for build up. To avoid build up, burn the stove as hot as you can for an hour or two each 24 hours. I’ve only had to scrub my chimney once in 15 years, and I burn about 3 cord a year.

    • I burn almost 80% softwood (Black Spruce), have for about sixteen years. Properly seasoned, no issues. Maybe a cup of creosote every two years. My pipe is about 8′ inside and 4′ outside, straight up. Regency mid size stove, 80,000 but
      Prince Edward Island

  7. Steve-
    Do any of the herbicides/pesticides/suicides used on grain make their way through the fermentation/distillation/filtration process into vodka/ethanol?

  8. One of the nicknames for MD is “The People’s Republic of Maryland”.
    If you are looking to own a gun and/or homeschool, Virginia is a better bet.

    • Right on! I visited England 15 years ago and even they referred to my home state as the “People’s Republik of Maryland”! I was born there and lived most of my life there until I joined the Free State Project 8 years ago this month. I can get a 6 figure job in MD tomorrow but you can’t pay me enough to move back there. I even dread and avoid visiting family. The whole area is expensive as heck. My life is so much better in New Hampshire. Maryland consistently ranks at the bottom of state rankings (crime, taxes, health, happiness, well-being, cost of living, education, etc.) New Hampshire consistently ranks at the top.

      Maryland is almost as bad as NY or CA in gun control. Maryland also has an income and sales tax as well as a property tax, even if the property is only expensive because of congestion and building restrictions.

      Virginia is out, too. I used to work there (35 mile 2 hour commute). The northern part of the state has been infected by the Military-Industrial- Corpratist- Government mindset. The entire DC Metro area is a monoculture that serves the federal power center. It is a fake culture that has no culture of its own. Even West Virginia and parts of Pennsylvania are now considered DC suburbs.

      Chris- Liberty Forum is March 5-8. Why don’t you stop by and check out the state? I recommend, at the very least, looking up local news in areas under consideration to see how they respond to things and the reaction.

      Good luck!