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Life Arts    H4'ed 3/18/11

Living on Sunshine, Underground & Off the Grid.

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I suggest reading the article, then watching the 17 minute video, if the words inspire you enough.

Some parts got cut in the video, but you can see the 600 watts of solar panels in back, and an old windmill stand, if you pay attention.

This was an extension of the concepts I wrote about in Solar Greenhouses: Underground in the late seventies.

Had the whole country moved in this direction for real, we would be detached from Mideast oil by now, and for sure, not need nukes.

Doing this should be even easier now, given the developments in the building field, from insulation to heat pumps and more efficient lighting.

We eventually did get a small Honda generator, which we used mainly in the very low light months of January and February. Congrats to Honda, they know how to build things. Very efficient, and just one pull to start the sucker. I support them over Briggs and Stratton or Black and Decker any day. Did I mention GE?

The earth is like a thermal battery, and much of the valuable work done on earth temps was done when we were building bomb shelters. I dug a lot of that info up and put in the aforementioned book, that I intend to cut down from 400 pages to about 50 and have available soon (TAB Books made me make too long, in spite of my arguments. Unfortunately I was too dumb to argue, but fortunately they are no longer around).

That's me running around there with the burns; I guess I was about 40, as opposed to the current 63.

Noisy the cat made the day for my kids, but had a horrible demise while warming up under the hood of a Ford F250. I won't go into the details, except to say that she probably would have preferred water boarding. And I do not recommend Fords.

The greenhouse was going to grow vegetables, but they often need long sunlight hours and particular care, and so we evolved fairly quickly to indoor house plants. Hibiscus and that Hawaiian fig tree did all too well. There is such a thing as living too close to nature.

The toilet was I think from Europe and took 1.5 gallons to flush even the biggest one. I haven't seen them lately (the toilet, that is), so they obviously work too efficiently for Americans.

The water heater was hard to clean after a time, and it did give off CO, that laid me down twice. But it could be I just didn't know how to clean the thing. I'd put money on that one.

The one acre pond was A+, but the only video I had of that went to someone who won't likely give it back, long story there. I was trying to grow illegal tilapia, but, I suppose fortunately, they did not fare well. On the other hand, the pond attracted ibises, sandpipers, barn swallows, and a white heron every once in a while. Ducks and salamanders and countless other critters too. Nature will come back, if we give Her half a chance, based on my observations.

This was in Shelley, Idaho, which got the northern jet stream and had incredible and virtually infallible sunrises and sunsets. From a small hill that was built from a pond, you could sit on a swinging bench, wine in hand, and easily believe in light at the end of the tunnel, in spite of novels and philosophers to the contrary.

I miss the sunsets, but life goes on, and we do get some good ones here in Salt Lake.

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In my run for U.S. Senate against Utah's Orrin Hatch, I posted many progressive ideas and principles that I internalized over the years. I'm leaving that site up indefinitely, since it describes what I believe most members of our species truly (more...)

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Living on Sunshine, Underground & Off the Grid.

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