mooretrees journal

Where are you and where are you going?
theanimal
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by theanimal »

Yes! The idea is coming to life. How cool.

I use flickr for pictures here. I think some other people use imgur. See: viewtopic.php?t=7320

Now you have no excuse ;)

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

ImageIMG_0046 by /url], on Flickr


With seats (and a small boy):

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2iDJA97]Image
IMG_0043 by , on Flickr

Without seats and small boy sweeping:

ImageIMG_0051 by , on Flickr

Lots of progress, and lots and lots more to do. Glad to have this project to focus on now with work and the world so crazy with corona virus. Today I've been stripping the seats, separating the metal and seats. We're trying to salvage what we can from the bus and use the scrap metal to pay for the dump run(s). Floor is down to the bare metal and it isn't too bad looking from a rust perspective. DH might start sanding some of the rust today, but it's nap time now.

Up ahead are getting close to 1600 rivets out of the walls and ceiling. DH is thinking of using some air tool to make x-marks in each one and then tap them out? Might have to try a few different methods of removal. Once those are out we'll be able to see what the rust situation is all over the bus. Hopefully it won't be too bad.

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Alice_AU
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by Alice_AU »

It is so incredibly cool to see someone turning a dream into reality! A very material, bright yellow, mix of metal, paint and leather reality. Congratulations @mooretrees!

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

@Alicu_AU thanks!!

During this crazy time we're still plugging away on the skoolie. DH has ground out most of the exposed rust on the floor. His new air chisel worked like a charm removing the rivets for one ceiling panel quickly and easily. I've sort of figured out my role during this project. I'm the money maker, child tender and general contractor of sorts. For all that DH knows what he's doing, planning is not his strength. So, at dinner most nights we talk about what's next and I ask questions and, sometimes, guide him to do things more efficiently. Now, this makes it seem like I know what he's doing. I don't really, but I listen to him and ask questions and remind him of things he said previously. It's a collaboration of sorts.

Today I planted peas and worked on my deer fence. Last fall we built up one of our large raised beds, did a sort of hugelculture to it and I planted a lot of fall/winter plants. The deer decimated it and I mostly forgot about what was left. We have a good amount of kale and tatsoi that survived and are starting to get bigger. I panic ordered way too many seeds today; onions, tomatoes, winter squash and beans. Our last frost date is May 17th, so I still have to wait to start my cucumbers and cabbages. This crisis might actually make me a much better gardener.

I can't work from home and I am dreading returning to work after my weekend. It has been really stressful to be at work. Usually I prefer working the weekend as there are fewer people and no bosses. But we are short of PPE and while I usually have no hesitations helping draw people in the ER, I am worried about personal safety. I'll do my best and bring a change of clothes to leave there so I don't accidentally bring home any microbes/viruses.

For the most part, our lives haven't changed significantly. DH has the bus and he never really mingled with people while doing the stay at home parent thing. I'm still working and we've a fridge/pantry that is really packed. Hope that all stays the same in the coming weeks.

classical_Liberal
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

mooretrees wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 11:11 pm
It has been really stressful to be at work.
I'm an anxious person to begin with, so this COVID-19 ordeal has knocked it up a notch. I just got done working six of seven overnight 12's and was exhausted with a heavier than normal patient load. The director came to the morning unit meeting and asked if anyone had concerns about how we were handling everything. It was silent for about 10 seconds, so of course, I jumped in and expressed my concerns (ie what everyone was thinking). Bad Idea! I ended up in her office for a half hour after work. :lol: Nursing leadership is not used to people questioning them. Anyway, the good news is that I got a better understanding of everything from the top view down, so I do feel more comfortable in my day-to-day. Also, several of my coworkers thanked me for being vocal. The bad news is that I'm on probably on her s**t-list now and I know how bad they expect it to get.

Anyway, after that I lost my cell phone in the parking lot (it was freezing rain & I was vigorously scrapping my windows when it must have fallen from my coat pocket). I couldn't find my neighbor who I carpool with (it's a big hospital), so I assumed she had left since I had been gone so long. Once I finally found my phone I saw she had been calling, her hubby had to come pick her up because she thought I had gotten put in isolation due to COVID because someone told her I had to leave with the director. :lol:. So I felt like crap for messing up her life too. Needless to say, I didn't sleep well today, anxious as hell.

Anyway, thanks for reading my story. :D Only a fellow healthcare worker understands this work anxiety surrounding COVID. It helps to know I'm not alone in these feelings.

The boy looks cute as hell helping out in the bus! Please keep posting pictures as it progresses!!

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

Oh geez, that sucked! I've been thinking about you, wondering how you were doing with this. You are definitely not alone with these feelings, I'm actually trying not to talk too much about the particular stuff that really scares me with my friends/family. I am dreading the day when our blood supply gets really low and a GI bleed comes in. And, still, we have all of the normal stuff to do on top of all of this!

I will keep posting pictures!

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

Earlier today with metal interior skin off but old crappy insulation still stuffed into the ceiling:

ImageIMG_0072 by , on Flickr


Insulation out and it's not a bad photo, it's decades of Montana dust coming out of the 'steel'work.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2iGaD5V]Image
IMG_0076 by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/187380966@N03/], on Flickr

Progress to date includes removing all of the flooring, the first steps to dealing with rust, removing the ceiling metal and insulation. I have no idea if we're on 'track' but it seems like things are moving at a good pace. The hardest part is keeping out son out of the bus, it's too full of gross rusty dust and bad insulation. We have to clean the floor before we put the rust neutralizer on, so that will be nice for his sake.

Even if we have some delays in getting building materials, we have chores around the house and with existing bus supplies so we should be good for the near future. I've found some renewed energy to deal with our back yard in case we need to plant a big veggie garden very soon. Plus, when you need to occupy a child you get really creative with games. One I invented today was 'pick up poop.' Working on fine motor skills and sanitation at the same time! What could go wrong with a small child picking up poop with a small hand tool? :lol:

RoamingFrancis
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Oh, man! That looks like such a fun project. I've always dreamed of buying a bus :)

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

@RoamingFrancis, someday you'll get the chance!

Heard from work today that we need to drop about 20% of our payroll due to much lower work. I might be one of the few really excited about this. I'm not worried about money, though this might help keep us off from getting on the consumer tread wheel again. Looks likely that I'll move from four tens, to four eights. I'd rather just drop a day entirely, but getting off so early will feel great. Plus, more progress should happen on the bus!

I'm repeating myself, but I'm so grateful that we have already been working on lowering our expenses and combating consumerism before this pandemic started. We don't have student loans or car payments (anymore) and while the mortgage is still too high (25% instead of a more ERE 10% of our budget), it isn't hamstringing us. However, if we didn't have this mortgage this pandemic situation would be even easier to ride out. But, sometimes in a weird way it is nice to have external realities force my habits to help me change ingrained habits. While I feel less and less like a normal consumer, I'm still a work in progress.

I picked up Being The Change. I probably didn't need to read it, as if one really commits to ERE one should live a very low energy lifestyle. However, I really have gotten a lot of it. The most helpful part of the book is the non-judgmental attitude that the author supports. I've felt a lot of guilt, despair, confusion and helplessness over the years because of climate change, the destruction of the earth by humans and so on. I've also felt for quite some time that I was totally part of the problem. I've shoved that feeling away for a many reasons (@AxelHurst feel free to call me out like I did to you!). Starting down the ERE path has helped me feel more like some minuscule part of the solution. I'm currently brainstorming a lot of big and small changes that will help reduce my negative impact on the earth. I'll write a complete list when I have one to share.

The skoolie build has slowed down. DH is cutting out the rusted parts of the floor, primarily around the wheel wells. He's using metal from the chairs we removed to replace the sections that are too rusted out to save. But welding is not his strength. And, I guess he is having to weld some different thickness of metals together and some parts are curved too. He's always said he was more of a grinder than a welder. I guess that makes sense to some folks. Once he gets those areas replaced we'll be able to treat the metal with a rust converter, primer and paint it. I might take pictures and post them as maybe people are still interested in this project.

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

Okay, had a little bit of time with my son still napping. Here are close ups of the welding around the wheel wells.

Here is one wheel well ready to have new metal welded to it:

ImageIMG_0088 by , on Flickr

You can see the back wheels through the open section of the floor.

Here is another part of that same wheel well with a patch on it, pretty DH isn't really happy with this patch and will do more work on it. There's a small patch of water showing that we need to do some patching on the roof pretty soon as water is coming in from a few places.
ImageIMG_0089 by , on Flickr

ImageIMG_0087 by , on Flickr


Since I don't know how to weld I think he's doing great. But, I'm sure that he will improve on each wheel well (four total) and make strides on his welding.

AxelHeyst
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

Good points about Being the Change. What did you think about his point that meditation is a key part of his climate adaptation lifestyle?

I've read a few books that make the point that the guilt people like you and I feel over climate change is actually a symptom of the kind of thinking that got us all in this mess in the first place. Something something falsely thinking we're apart from nature, blah blah monotheistic worldviews and kleptocratic governments instilling fear and guilt and etc in us a method of controlling us and thus birthing the notion of controlling/dominating nature... I don't have the thread firmly in my head this evening, but I drew comfort from the idea that guilt ultimately is a non-helpful reaction. (But then, I started feeling guilt about feeling guilt... bah! Trapped!)

More of a grinder than a welder, I like that. Hey, it's cool that he's getting to practice, and if you melt enough metal, even though it doesn't look pretty, it'll hold. I have zero metal fabrication skills, it's something I'm looking forward to picking up.

Definitely stoked on the bus updates, keep em coming. :D

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

Work has slowed down to a crawl. Everyone is staying away and our volume of testing has decreased accordingly. We've been asked to drop our hours 20%. Now I work four eight hour days. It is freaking fantastic. I don't know how long my manager will be able to avoid lay offs as even with the 20% reduction, I'm sure the lab isn't generating enough money. Everyone is really happy with the shorter days and we'll see how we all feel when paycheck day rolls around. I haven't changed my 401/HSA withholding so I'm really curious how small the paycheck will be. I think it'll be totally fine as we've made reductions in spending and bills before this happened.

DH has made some progress on the fixing of the metal around the wheel wells. It is a slow job. He's gaining confidence and is halfway though. Not worth posting photos....We also borrowed a friends truck and trailer and hauled off the metal (made $7.90) and dumped the insulation and the seat cushions (spent $29).

Before the school bus we'd made a list of things we wanted to get accomplished. We really only saved the money. But this weekend DH cleaned and organized his workspace. We have a ridiculously big driveway, we can fit three cars abreast. And then we have a carport that goes back to a one and a half car garage. If we were going to stay in this house a long time we'd be tearing up at least half of the driveway. As it is, it's a great staging area and play area for our son now. But, getting that area cleaned and organized was on our list before the school bus. And now it's clean and way more functional as a tool storage and work space for DH. Looks way less trashy too.

I've been working hard on starting seeds, cleaning up the yard, planting things and generally being outside as much as possible. There is a direct correlation with my increased energy and decreased work. Part time work is so much more conducive to a happier lady. I'm a better parent and wife. It's only been a week but I hope this lasts at least a month. Full time work is just too much of a time and energy suck for me. I'll go back to full time after this pandemic runs its course. I want to have more money saved and the school bus fully funded before I reduce my hours. So, likely not going to happen until next year, but it's good to know that I don't want to grind it out with full time work. I'll happily take a longer time until full retirement if I can have a higher quality of life in the mean time. That's just me.

I'm realizing that I've not really made a lot of effort with any of my living spaces over the last few decades. Since I'm home more than normal, I'm taking care of parts of the yard that annoy me. I've organized some parts of the house that weren't working. In general, I'm living more in my home than I usually do. And as the weather improves, I've stayed outside as much as possible. I am in danger of making this house and yard more of a home, and making it hard to move into the school bus when that time comes. I'm only a little serious about that previous statement. It is interesting to like my home more than normal. I'm loving the big garden space and am grateful that we'll have the growing season here.

ertyu
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by ertyu »

Really inspirational! I don't always comment, but I read. Your bus project is awesome. Enjoy the reduced work hours and your newly organized home!

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

Here's a breakdown of our skoolie expenses to date. Purchase price still dominates the total. I've included costs associated with driving to Montana to pick it up (two nights in a motel + fuel). There are two argon categories as I'm terrible at spread sheets and that makes it easier for me. I'm still figuring out how to organize the expenses and will change things up as we start buying more supplies.

Purchase price 3200
Fuel Home 150
Trip there 162
Dump run 29
Welder parts 44.99
Safety Gear 33.99 (can't believe there was a respirator still available!)
Argon 33.84
Welder wire 44.99
Insurance 252 (for a year)
amazon tools 150.31
Argon 122.78
Total: 4223.9

We have all of the supplies needed for the rust abatement project, minus anymore argon DH needs. Once the rust is cared for, likely next couple of weeks, then we'll need to start buying insulation and sub flooring. DH wants to do rigid foam boards for the floor as they will be load bearing. I'm interested in wool insulation but am torn about it. Most skoolies have spray foam insulation which is pretty nasty and expensive. I'll be researching more about wool here soon to see if it is worth it to go that route. I want to have my cake (be warm in a cold climate) and do right by the Earth (spray foam is NOT good in that category). Thoughts about insulation from anyone are welcome.

AxelHeyst
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

I feel you on the insulation issue. I would up doing rigid foam (mostly XPS, because polyiso wasn't available in my area at the time, even though I determined polyiso was slightly less terrible).

I wanted to do rockwool (roxul I think?), but that would have completely blown my weight budget. You have much more load capacity, but still, look in to the weight as that stuff is not light. It's more appropriate for tiny homes and shipping containers.

Some people on the internet say spray foam isn't appropriate for moving vehicles as the constant vibration will grind it up over time. I'm not sure how much truth there is to it, as you said lots of people do it. But that stuff is nasty so I didn't even think about it that much.

Look in to the concept of "continuous insulation" and "thermal bridging" (you probably already have, but it's important so I didn't want to neglect mentioning it). Metal skin + metal framing = massive thermal bridging. If you only insulate in the cavities (what most people do), you've still got these perfectly designed heat fins that suck cold (or heat) in to your rig. If it's cold outside and there's enough moisture in the interior air, those cold spots are going to condense water, which is a big problem over time. If it's hot outside, it'll just be hotter inside. In my rig, some thermal bridge spots (before I put in my second layer of insulation) were literally scalding hot on the inside.

The only solution to insulate a rig well*, to my mind, is continuous insulation. Meaning, fur out a second layer of insulation on the inside of the walls and the roof so insulation covers those thermal bridges. The roof is probably the most important because that's what the sun beats down on. But skoolies have all those beautiful windows (jealous), so figuring out your approach to those is important as well. How many to blank off and insulate, thermal curtains, insulating the frames so they don't sweat, etc.

*you don't necessarily *need* to insulate a rig well. If you don't plan on hanging out in the desert (so, let's say your max temp is 80's), and if you have a wood stove and winters aren't too gnarly and you're of the hardy sort, you can get away with cavity-only insulation. But, know that if that isn't your situation, you might need to go a little nuts on the insulation.

If you try to winter in your rig, continuously occupy it, don't ventilate it much (because it's cold outside) and have a wet source of heat (propane), you'll get mold growth. Ask me how I know. :(

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

@AxelHeyst ha ha, mold is the worst! I lived in Portland for many years, it really is a rain forest so I'm familiar with mold. While we aren't planning on heating with propane, we'll likely use it for cooking and possibly refrigeration if we don't like living with just a cooler. Do you still heat with propane? How do you prevent the mold?

I'm researching wool and I'll try and get a couple of quotes from the two online retailers I've found. DH and I discussed the thermal bridges. He's aware of them. His initial thought has been to add furrowing strips to the ceiling to provide that interference. The furrowing strips (probably plywood) would screw into the metal frame, and then the interior ceiling wood would screw into the furrowing strips. That way there wouldn't be anything going from the interior through to the metal frame. We'll do more research and see if we can come up with other solutions. We might have to use some of the spray foam can insulation in the hard to reach ribs, but we'll see as it gets closer.

One lucky break with the skoolie is that the windows are all tinted. We're still figuring out window coverings, but are planning on mostly keeping them all and going for heavy duty curtains. I think we're becoming hardy folk? We're used to living with a wood stove and only heating certain areas of the house. Living with wood heat is incredible. It's warm in a way I've never felt with forced air. I'm sure the maintenance of the temp of a wood stove in a small space will have a learning curve. But totally worth it.

We have temp extremes here and we aren't planning on chasing good weather for some time, or ever. Summers can get into the 90's and winters can get to the teens. Not the most extreme, but certainly need to make sure we can be somewhat comfortable in either end of the temp range.

My coworker jokingly said we should plan on moving in the our house basement during the winter if it got too cold. It was an interesting idea.

AxelHeyst
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Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: mooretrees journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

You’ll be fine into the 90s with good ceiling insulation (so it doesn’t turn in to a solar oven) and a lot of breeze (fans, open windows) as long as it’s fairly dry. If it’s humid, that’d be tough without AC. I’m fine up to high 90s in my rig if I’ve acclimated through spring and summer. 100s is too hot to work, I’ll seek altitude.

I feel like with a properly sized wood stove, you can be snug in just about anything, it’s just a matter of how much wood you wanna chop. Between that and well ventilating the propane based cooking you’ll be good to go with the furring strips approach, that sounds solid to me. I can be a little...overzealous when it comes to insulation.

My mold problems are gone because I moved out of north Tahoe!! :) and because I now am fastidious about ventilation, I got a more properly sized fan to vent moisture out of the rig. But mostly I just don’t spend nearly as much time in the neighborhood of 0*F as I did last winter. If I were to head back in to real cold, I would invest in a tiny wood stove.

Also, my rig is 65square feet. One person breathing in it if it’s sealed gets the RH to above 75% in minutes. You’ll have less of an issue because you have a much larger volume of air to work with.

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

I've been reading and rereading chapter five of the ERE book. Since I'm not skilled at all with strategic/systems thinking, I've been studying this chapter to figure out how to even develop a strategy. There is is so much in this chapter that I keep finding new areas to focus on with each read. This recent reread has led to me to make some progress on the creation of a web of goals. This feels good as I've struggled mightily with making a web of goals that wasn't just a slightly modified version of what Jacob wrote in the book.

I've gotten a lot out of trying to write out what a strategy is as a starting point to creating one. I realize that this might be unnecessary to many folks here, but I'm at where I'm at. So, I worked with his words and rewrote them to help me make sense and to provide direction. Strategy = a goal, reached by a series of actions determined by a set of guiding principles.

Next step is to effect map each of the goals I've brainstormed and see if they are worthy of inclusion. So far, I've decided to keep minimalism and low-energy living as goals, with the only negative side effects seeming to be other people having a hard time understanding my life. I can deal with that. Other goals to develop need to deal with: health, building a community, and decoupling from my job. P. 97 "On a meta level, a process-orientated strategy is primarily aimed at living, with goals being accomplished as side effects...." It's so interesting/satisfying to start feeling I might be putting some of this into action.

My garden has contributed to two meals today! This garden is starting to produce value is a new way. Initially, the value was in slight exercise and learning, and now it is in saving money and deliciousness of food. Beets are sprouting and peas are a couple of inches high. Spinach is on it's way to true leaves and more arugula is sprouting. My son was a bad boy and killed far too many of my basil starts. That was a sad moment. This year is my best year to date with gardening, totally a by-product of corona pandemic. I've got two heat mats and have started tomatoes, squash, basil, onions and cucumbers. I was a fairly typical consumer setting this up as I purchased one seed starting kit. I did make a seed starting tray out of an old plastic bin, just drilled a bunch of holes in it. DH build a stand to hold the grow lights out of wood lying about. I'm getting the yard ready for an influx of the starts. I'm pretty sure I'll need to give away some of the squash, as our yard isn't big enough for 18 winter squash plants!

DH had some sheet plastic from the basement remodel so I'm likely to use that as a cover when the starts get put out in the ground. Google says our last frost date is mid-May but my farmer friend says early June. If everything continues to grow well, I'll need to up pot them and then protect them if I put them out before June. Everything is a learning process and it's been fun so far. Deeply satisfying to go out and pick some kale for a meal.

classical_Liberal
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

mooretrees wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:24 pm
Strategy = a goal, reached by a series of actions determined by a set of guiding principles.
I like this. It lead to Ergodicity, as @jacob would probably put it.

I always seem to run into some form of cognitive dissonance though, when trying to form a strategy. Like, it's a huge problem for me. For awhile I think strategy "A" is exactly who I am and what I want to become. Then I get side-tracked by strategy "B", or maybe even the possibility of it, because of some new emotion or realization. Do you feel like you really know what you want? or do you use some tool to mitigate the CD in your thoughts?

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:22 am
I like this. It lead to Ergodicity, as @jacob would probably put it.

I always seem to run into some form of cognitive dissonance though, when trying to form a strategy. Like, it's a huge problem for me. For awhile I think strategy "A" is exactly who I am and what I want to become. Then I get side-tracked by strategy "B", or maybe even the possibility of it, because of some new emotion or realization. Do you feel like you really know what you want? or do you use some tool to mitigate the CD in your thoughts?
Hmm. I don't feel like I really know what I want at all. Right now I appreciate the focus that having the skoolie project has given to us. It's a relief to have a direction figured out, at least for the very near future. Right now the cognitive dissonance I'm concentrating on is old patterns of living that don't sit will with me regarding climate change. I don't really know that I've been doing this strategy thinking long enough to be of any use to you CL. :?

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