Episode-847- Listener Calls for Friday 2-24-12 — 43 Comments

  1. I think the second caller is talking about keyhole plowing. I cant real explain it (I actually just found out about it two days ago on Paul Wheatons podcast from a few months ago). But it’s mainly used in Australia, it hasn’t really caught on in America yet.

    • @ellis ryan, I don’t think so. Could be but it doesn’t sound like it. BTW what you are talking about is “key line plowing”.

  2. For wells colrox bleach (Colrox is better than name brand from what we have been told)will clean and kill coliform bacteria. It may take more than one cleaning. It can be anybody’s guess as to how it can get in there and and can be a pain to figure out. very important to have your well tested every year and any time you have well work done. All pipes and equipment should be wiped down with bleach then have your water tested shortly afterwards to make sure it is clean. If you have to shock your well don’t forget the shower heads ice maker dish washer and hose bibs out at the barn. It’s important to clean out the entire system.

    We had a problem and now test every 3 months for a year just to make sure it’s ok. After 2 cleaning treatments it is looking to be good to go. Letting vegetation grow up around the well head may have helped. If this next test is not good after 3 good ones then dang it might end up being that the electrical lines are to close to the well casing and causing problems (cracks). Hope not big $$$ to fix.

    Also before I ever drilled another well I would use a well witcher. Crazy but dad swears by them. Our first well not much water and went deep second one the witcher pointed out and we ended up with 90+ gals per min and not that deep. Cost less than $75 and saved thousands.

    • no offense meant to the poster, but i would like to post the following information in counterpoint to his anecdotal experience. there are people who allege to be able to ‘douse’ or ‘divine’ water, gold, graves, all kinds of things. none has stood up to the test of a controlled experiment. this is a remnant of our days of superstition.

      again, respectfully disagreeing:

        • No offense taken I don’t care if it was whooie all I know is we drilled where the whitcher said and got lots of water drilled vs where the others guys said & got squat. Maybe had we drilled where they proposed for the second shot it would have come in just as good. The person we used had only missed twice in 30yrs. Pure dumb luck works for me.

          I don’t know which one of our senses are kicked in when we hold divining rods but they do move even when blind folded and ear plugs are in. Shoot I have had pieces of paper with what I was to find written on it put in an envelope blind folded and ear plugs taken to unfamiliar area and let loose the rods moved and found what I was suppose to. Do I think it is magic no superstition no spirits no santa clause no it’s just a sense or a way of reading the energy around us mirror neurons? subliminal messages? Magnetic waves? who knows we just don’t have the knowledge that makes it common yet. It is fun to contemplate.

  3. You hit the nail on the head at the end of the show Jack about learning skills.
    There are plenty of resources available to learn, but the best way to learn is by doing. I have just recently come across a website, . One of the posts on the forum is BushCLASS USA, in which they have numerous video instructions on various bushcrafting and outdoor skills. There are various levels in which you can get a certification (Basic, intermediate, etc) All you have to do is post a video or photo of you completing each skill and once you complete them you will recieve a certification from them. I have just started it and find it very informative and fun at the same time.
    Once again, a great show Jack. Keep up the good work!

  4. Pingback:Support Freedom and Liberty: Spend $2 Bills | The Claiming Liberty Blog

  5. The point is not that Iraq didn’t actually have WMDs, although that’s a good enough point.

    The point is don’t ever listen to people who want to start a war based on speculation.

  6. Regarding the septic system question and the perc problem, we purchased 45 acres in Culpeper County, VA that didn’t perc. The prior owner installed what is called an “alternative septic system.” It has nothing to do with wetlands, and I gather that the cost for a 3 bedroom home is around $10-15K.

    Basically, think of it as a type of aquarium filter that is outside of the tank, and used in salt water aquariums. The one we have is called a recirculating sand filter. Basically, it is 20×20 foot (guess) raised mound, after it does its thing (passing the stuff repeated over a media to break down everything), it’s dumped as water runoff to our drainage creek. Virginia law (and maybe federal law) epressly permit this type of system, at least where the soil doesn’t perc.

    Two downsides: (1) requires electricity; and (2) Virginia law (and maybe federal law) requires a service contract with an alternative septic servicer. The latter is a quarterly inspection that may require the addition of chemicals. We’ve owned the property for 2 years and have only used the plumbing on the weekends. Our cost for the quarterly inspections are less than $500 per year. No idea of the cost if used heavily, but that would basically be the cost of added chemicals, etc. Oh, and on other drawback, in a TSHTF scenario, I’ve no idea how long it would last, assuming we have power. (Of course if we had no power we’d have no water.) Assuming power, I suspect it would continue to function, but the runoff may eventually be less than optimal.

    The plus is that it takes up far less land than a traditional septic field. So, if you find a few acres that doesn’t perc, an alternative septic may be option. It may also be an option to avoid turning the balance of you property into a septic field.

    Jack, if your interested, I can check to see if our servicer or the original installer would come on the show. I’m not optimistic, however. They’re nice folks but seem to be relatively busy and without any desire regarding prepping.


  7. One additional thought,

    I’d personally avoid anything that could be deemed to be creating a wetland. Once you’ve done that, the federal government (EPA?) can control your use of the wetlands.


  8. GREAT SHOW!! I’m going to start spending my collection of $2 bills, been listening since October and there is still SO MUCH INFORMATION my head hurts…. But, I have started the Paleo diet, dug up my first Hugelkultur bed, Have a 30day supply of food, A .30-06 savage, Winchester .12 ga semi-auto.. still trying to keep in mind the marathon mantra…

  9. I have been using eggs as pots for a while. I find its easier for me to hit the egg on the side near the small end on a flat surface. Then use my thumb to pull the top off. It isn’t always a smooth break across the top but its a lot faster.
    On the chainsaw topic I run several pro model Stihls that I treat like they are my children and won’t let anyone else use. When people ask me for a saw I let them borrow one of my Echo chainsaws. So far the echoes have been just as reliable as the stihls (even with novices using them) but cost half as much.

  10. Re: Rokon –
    I looked at them back in 2002. I even went to a local dealer and test drove one. Your assessment is spot on, neat toy, not worth the money. I really wanted it but I just could not justify (then) $5000 for a 7hp motor. The drive chains, components, frame tubing, are all garden implement quality. It just feels like about $800 to me. Not knocking the product or the company, just that there are a whole lot better options for the money.

    I looked in the used market but people still wanted way too much money.

    Re: Iraqi WMD –
    I was on the ground in Iraq durring Desert Storm in 91 with the 1st AD and someone gaseed us. We had German Fox detection vehicles in our area and I took the radio call myself declaring chemical agents had been detected and ordering us in to chemical protective gear (MOPP 4 / Buttoned up M113).

    I don’t know what Hussain had in ’93 or any other time but I am here to tell you that some chuckle head dropped chemicals in ’91.

  11. On the chainsaws, if you have a nice one and want to buy a cheap poulon from Walmart as a back up fine. If this is your first or only saw, suck it up and buy a quality one. I am about ready to set my four year old wild thing on fire and laugh maniacally. Then again maybe my sons bike could use a motor!?! It seems like the companies chains don’t last long and don’t sharpen well. The tensioner loosens way too easy and I’m afraid that if I really tork it I’ll snap something. I just replaced the pull cord, 550 worked well in a pinch. Now the thing runs normal for about three minutes and dies constantly after that. I learned my lesson, luckily a very good friend has a nice stihl and is willing to come help for a few drinks.

  12. The Kindle makes a mediocre survival library because it depends on the grid for its storage. The internal storage is NOT expandable. A Barnes Nook Simple Touch is expandable and also cheap.

    • @Christopher de Vidal, not really. The normal black and white kindles can hold thousands of books on the internal memory.

      • 2GB worth. Any more and it uses their web servers for storage. I have around 60GB so I’m planning on getting a Nook.

    • I have to partly agree with Christopher here. I love my Kindle and use it a great deal.

      On a political/reliability note, it is worth noting that Amazon does retain some DRM-like control over at least the purchased Kindle content.
      (You can’t make this stuff up… How likely to affect you? Not likely, but still it rankles a bit. Corporatist dorks.)

      More practically, drawbacks include:
      -limited expansion (yes, Jack, it does hold a lot regardless… more than I need at one time)
      -lack of support for ePub format (the most common non-DRM format)
      -(related) mildly-to-moderately cumbersome to transfer free library books
      -physical fragility. It’s very durable indeed (I put it in a cargo pocket), but not so much so as a shelf of books.

      Fernando Aguirre (FerFAL) writes well on the value of paper books in his “Surviving the Economic Collapse”.

      On the bright side:
      -it’s extremely compact and fairly low-power
      -great form-factor (I have the 2nd or 3rd gen 3G black-and-white)
      -you practically read a *ton* more because you can take a lot with you, download more on the fly (2 hour delay? Start reading that book you wanted). Get the newspaper without getting the newspaper. Buy a DRM-free ePub on gardening and read it during lunch break. This device is a huge boost for self-improvement/self-education, even if it isn’t a 10-year “survival archive”.

      Still, a Kindle’s great, I recommend them or another eReader to anyone who reads. Here are my tips:
      -the black-and-white eInk Kindles aren’t great for browsing the web but my first choice for a practical book replacement, low power, and cheaper
      -get the free Calibre software and learn to convert/transfer free books to the extent possible
      -Calibre also let’s you pull down blogs and send them to your Kindle… There are “recipes” out there for converting my local paper, Zero Hedge, even FerFAL’s blog!! You can also pay $.99/month to get commercial versions of the blogs sent to you in the Amazon store.
      -use WiFi to transfer blogs, converted ePubs, PDF (doesn’t format well), etc. for free (Amazon charges you over 3G for your own content)… Amazon might also be less inclined to delete your own content.

    • I have to agree with Christopher and David here.

      When I purchased my Nook, two big features were turning points for me, even though both brands of devices are quite good.

      First was the epub compatability, i’ve found a lot of books free in this format.

      Second, and huge in my book, the kindles (at the time, no idea if there’s something new that they’ve added) do not support micro SD cards. I have virtually unlimited offline storage with this, no reliance on network systems (a big downer with a lot of worksites for me in the past) and easy transfer of files between devices.

      Onboard storage might seem pretty damn big, until you decide some audiobooks or perhaps downloadable files (podcasts?) are good to store and listen to using your reader… then the space goes out the window. However, with my present Nook setup, i can store offline every episode of say, TSP ever done on a micro SD, and load it up when desired, instead of juggling online space with device space.

  13. Can any of the readers load ebooks straight from the computer? Emailing myself the ebook would work but sometimes I’m without internet and transferring something over from my laptop would be nice.

    • yes, most definitely. i use the program “Calibre” (which is free) to have them all organized. i plug in my Kindle to laptop via USB, then fire up Calibre, click on the title, & send to device.

      easy peasy.

    • The Barnes Nook Simple Touch can. You can put the memory stick right in your computer. I definitely prefer the Simple Touch over the Kindle for a SHTF library and I hope to publish an article soon discussing the various options.

      • Looking at some video review for the Sony Reader PRS-T1 it can read pdf’s in landscape mode. When in portrait mode text is too small and you have to zoom or increase font size loosing any pictures it may have. Think I might have to try one out.

  14. For the listener asking about KEYHOLE BEDS with watering from the bottom.
    Perhaps he is thinking of the Permaculture classic “Banana circle”? It is a donut shaped bed with an entry point (basically a keyhole). In the middle is a slow, cold, compost heap which you water (usually with grey-water or urban run off water) – adding whatever green trash is around – particularly difficult to decompose material. You never turn this ‘compost’ in the middle, you just let the water do the work. The nutrient and water in the middle filters out to the plants around.
    We have previously built these to receive grey-water and they work very well, particularly for thirsty plants. Their main application is in turning dirty water problems into banana solutions. They would be easy to Google and are probably in the Permaculture Designer’s Manual.

  15. On the Rokon’s:
    What happens when a large metropolitan city goes into panic and the roads are choked? A 2 wheeled vehicle can split lanes, when cars are grid locked. Something to consider. Sadly I live with 800,000 people in a 22 square mile city, with lots of marsh land around. A moped, might also work well, at least it has pedals that can be used if gas is suddenly not available. Any thoughts?

  16. I think the keyhole bed caller was referring to an African style raised bed that I’ve seen called a keyhole. Like the permaculture style bed, it is circular with a hole in the middle.

    However, they are 3-4 feet high and the hole in the middle becomes a compost pit. To water them you pour water into this hole which results in them being watered from the bottom as the caller mentioned.

    Here’s a link to a charity that encourages people to build these keyhole beds in Africa:

  17. Good to hear from you John from west Virginia! We love you down here in SE Georgia!

    • I was just thinking the other day that we hadn’t heard from John from West Virginia sine Jack killed him off in the Halloween Zombie episode! Good to hear from you John!

    • Yes if you “root” it into full Android tablet mode. This also gives many more options so I intend on doing this. On the minus side it also voids the warranty. Device costs $100 so not too big a risk.

  18. Here are my review after owning a Kindle.

    Kindle Advantages:
    – Stores a lot of books. 2-3gb storage available for use on board (depending on model). That is about 3000 books.
    – Low power usage. I read three to five books a week and can go over a month without charging.
    – Zero eye strain on eInk versions and very little glare.
    – Lightweight. 7.5 ounces to carry about 3000 books. “What one book would you want to keep in your BOB?” Screw that, what 3000 books do I want.
    – Recharge. It takes very little juice to recharge (.85amp charger).
    – Backwoods home publishes in Kindle format. Have it automatically delivered to you.
    – If you are an Amazon Prime member you can borrow books for free if you want to decide before buying. These aren’t permanently stored on your Kindle unless you decide to buy.

    Kindle Disadvantages:
    – Doesn’t support ePub. So what, most places to buy or get free books offer multiple formats and there are converters out there. I’ve been reading ebooks for 12 years (since Handsping Visor days) and have never used the epub format and not missed it.
    – Can’t expand memory. If I ever fill up my Kindle, I’ll buy another for $99. A hundred bucks to put 3000 books in my BOB is priceless. Besides, do you really need more than 3000 books?
    – Color Kindles (and Nooks) have crappy battery life (in comparison to eInk).

    In short, Kindle or Nook (eInk versions) differences don’t matter a whole lot (except I had a lot of ebooks in format only supported on Kindle) when compared to their utility in a SHTF situation. Even in everyday life, if you have a couple of these around it is a great source of entertainment during the long winter months on the homestead. Heck, you could probably find homeschooling books available in a format usable by Kindle or Nook also…

    • @Archer, Well that is sort of what I had in mind, in fact is it where the root of the idea is from. My view though is the 2 dollar site should be Declaration of Independence centric, a rally point for restoration of our nation, something like that. Not just a generic fun thing to screw around with. It also shouldn’t rely on a stamp on the bill. It should rely on people actually TALKING to each other during the act of commerce. Something like that. But this site does the tracking part perfectly.

  19. I would definately suggest writing something on these $2 bills. Either a catchy slogan on true freedom, true liberty, or a link that directs people to a website explaining liberty or a copy of the constitution. Maybe ronpaul2012 or

  20. As far as wells go… go deep.
    The ultimate well setup (if high sulfur) has a chemical (chlorine) injection pump followed by a couple 120 gallon retention tanks to settle out sulfur and kill some living organisms. Next, a Carbon tank to remove chlorine and other chemical runoff and volatile organic compounds. A softener to remove dissolved solids. (Most wells are very hard) Finally, an Ultra Violet light to kill viruses and bacteria that may have been missed by the chlorine. (a softener must be used before UV to be effective) A reverse osmosis is another good step before drinking it (but may require it’s own RO pump at 80 p.s.i.) (normal well systems with pressure of 50 p.s.i. (high) cutoff pressure is too low to squeeze water through most memebranes)

  21. I own a Rokon. It’s an older version from the early 70’s so it’s bright yellow and has a suicide shifter instead of an automatic tranny. As much as I don’t want to I would have to catagorize it as a toy. It is very fun and can do some things that no other vehicle can do but it has some severe limitations.
    First problem is reliability. I’ve had a lot of problems with the chains that run over the wheel sprockets. Once one is thrown it seems to predispose that chain to come off repeatedly. This isn’t a problem if you are just running around a camp but can be a problem if you are miles away. The Rokon will still work with one chain but it’s certainly a limp home situation. Mine also has a clutch similar to what a chainsaw has and it has not held up very well.
    Second, it is very slow. Mine tops out at around 35 mph. While this is fine for woods and trails, Chads idea of using it to escape a city would probably be better attempted with a regular motorcycle.
    Third, it has no suspension except the seat and low pressure tires. It is a rough ride. A day of riding this thing is going to beat you up, especially if the terrain is rough, which is where this vehicle excels.
    Fourth, (and this is a positive as well as a negative) it is light. Very nice for picking up when it tips over but I have serious reservations about how some of the implements would work at least without strapping a fair amount of weight on the bike and filling the wheels with water. And forget snow, at least without the chains.
    Where I think this vehicle would excel is as a camp run around. I would think it would be fantastic for toting a deer out of the puckerbrush or to run water up to a cabin a mile away. Things like that. I didn’t find much that would stop it barring snow or wet leaves on steep slopes. This thing in low will peel you off and keep going 🙂
    Once again, my Rokon is not the current one. They may have addressed the reliablility issues that I’ve had with mine (hell, mine has felt seals) and the current seat looks much more comfortable than the “apple” seat mine has. Failing serious improvement in reliability though I think a hundred mile ride on a Rokon would be an epic.

  22. Thanks Endpoint! That is very helpful, I thought the Rokon’s seemed to good to be true. I was talking with a local Fire Dept. Captain today, and he had said that during the last bigger earthquake here, most of the overpasses fell down, thus closing the road under it. So something small, that has offroad abillity is something I’m looking at. Grid lock is a normal event (daily) here, and then add panic to the mix, is a formula for trouble. Honda used to have a “Fat Cat” but I can’t seem to find any around. With lots of marsh land around as well, this is also a consideration.