reepicheep's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
reepicheep
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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by reepicheep »

@George the original one, @jacob, yeah. Oregon. @Bankai, I own a small one. It runs 100% of the time. It's probably helping, but not enough.

Longer answer to this question than you wanted. When I lived in Germany with the service I received a stipend specifically for utilities. The less of it I used on utilities, the more of it I got to keep, so I was heckin' frugal and I almost never turned on the heat. The climate there was similar to here and it was cold and miserable during the winter. Years later, I realize that doing that probably was impacting my mental health more than I realized.

It's currently getting down to low 30's in the night here and snow threatening for some time. I have the thermostat set to somewhere between 59 and 65 at night, depending on how cold it really is, and somewhere between 65 and 68 during the day. I've been making up the heat lack at night with an electric blanket.

When I leave during the day and don't need to heat it I'll crack a window and turn on the vent van. If I can do that for long enough and it's warm enough out it seems to dry up the condensation that has accumulated. The challenge seems to be when I leave for a few days -- I'm not sure what's going on in my absence, but condensation appears to be a real problem under the sink cabinets and that's not clearing up. The heat isn't on, the window is open, and the vent fan is on. I'm considering putting moisture absorbent material under the kitchen and bathroom sink.

As far as mold, it's a real problem here and many of the buildings have major issues. I keep an eye out for it and clean regularly, but I'm not sure what's going on in the heat vents and places I can't see or reach that are behind the walls and I'm concerned about that.

I think the other benefits of a tiny house will be different heat source -- wood stove -- which (according to residents with wood stoves here) produces a dry heat/enough heat to keep the mold better at bay, and less shitty windows, which leak heat like a sieve. I've got that bubble-wrap shiny silver stuff on one window and need to get another one in the sleeping area covered, at least.

jacob
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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by jacob »

We used bubble wrap (standard packaging type) in the winter on some windows. Alu-foil in the summer. Worked really well. Very important not to leave an air gap! A possible way to fix the under-counter condensation might be to drill holes (like 1.5-2" big) towards a non-visible direction. IIRC, we had holes in the kitchen counter towards the back of the couch... also heat ducts ran partially under our sink counter. Is it possible to extend the ducting? Alternatively, get some small 12V fans to create circulation underneath. Marine and computer cooling fans run on 12V. Don't set anything on fire---fuses are friends. [Box-type] fans are generally a fire hazard.

We experimented with moisture absorbent materials (the kind that recharge in the oven). Didn't do much good.

Could also be your technique? Key is to first dump the cold inside humid air fast (all windows and doors open + fans on full) replacing it with cold less humid outside air. Then close up and turn the heater up to decrease the relative humidity. In any case it's a constant battle ... probably why the always-open-window policy was a thing for those who didn't want to bother.

George the original one
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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by George the original one »

reepicheep wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:26 am
I think the other benefits of a tiny house will be different heat source -- wood stove -- which (according to residents with wood stoves here) produces a dry heat/enough heat to keep the mold better at bay, and less shitty windows, which leak heat like a sieve.
Yup. Our house is largish and switch between electric heat and woodstove, so we don't get mold growing despite 62F indoor ambient, but the spores are everywhere!

Jin+Guice
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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by Jin+Guice »

Hey reep:

Thanks for that poly blog link, it's very interesting. Do you have any experience with master gardener programs? I was considering taking one, but maybe the permaculture one is better.

I'm also interested in building a tiny house so I'm interested to hear how it goes for you. Do you have any prior construction experience?

reepicheep
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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by reepicheep »

@Jin_Guice, you might also check out polyamory weekly, which does a podcast. They did an interview with an organization I volunteer with and did a Q&A from our community members (including yours truly!) a couple of weeks ago.

My understanding of MG programs is that they're pretty heavy on conventional ag. Pesticides, etc. the PDC program is not. I've taken two different PDC programs now, one through my university and one held on site at this community this previous semester. I've learned a lot from both; the content didn't differ much but I got to do a lot more hands-on work here. I would look for a program that gives you some experiential components. Any PDC program that runs for 12 contiguous days, instead of stretched out (the way both of mine have been) is probably going to be pretty stressful and your information retention might not be as good.

The second half of the PDC is set-aside for designing a site. Some programs might give you a site to design, others will ask or allow you to design your own. You may want to have a location in mind going in. My first one I did a front and back yard for a building on campus; my second I did the property of a friend of my girlfriend's. Very different challenges, both. Second one was about 10 acres of design on a 40 acre property that's actively ranching, farming, and engaged in agroforestry, 1st one was 1000 square feet of bare lawn. More like landscaping.

I've built a couple of houses with Habitat for Humanity -- not start to finish, but pieces. I built some garden beds and a case for a solar hot-water heater a few years ago. Have installed my own shelves, that sort of thing. Nothing on this scale. Next week I am going to three sisters to meet someone who runs a tiny house building company and does co-op/workshop builds. Chances are that I'll participate in a co-op build and buy the shell from them, haul it out to Eugene, and spend the summer finishing it out. I don't trust myself to frame and roof a building. I'm no MMM.

I'm also looking into voc rehab for the possibility of apprenticing as a carpenter. Not sure what the timeline on that would be. I want the house before I have the skills for it, but if I had the shell I could go slow with the inside.

@jacob,

Spent the afternoon rigging up the bubble wrap stuff on the second bedroom window and dig a jury-rigged job on the door before I ran out of tape. I think the more fitted version (two layers of cardboard, three layers of bubble wrap silver stuff) is fitted tighter to the window, but I left it so I could still open that window behind the bubble wrap. Pretty happy with how that turned out. Door needs work.

The other window is a giant partial box-velcro-monstrosity with denim slabs of insulation on the inside from a freshly box.

When you say drill holes, you're not suggesting that I drill them through the exterior wall? Just open up the cabinets on the inside?

I've got several of them cracked open and that seems to be helping. The windows were absolutely dripping with condensation this morning, though. Hazards of making chicken stock in a crock-pot overnight.

Photos:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/bUprW4mktpkWyZjaA

jacob
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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by jacob »

reepicheep wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:35 pm
When you say drill holes, you're not suggesting that I drill them through the exterior wall? Just open up the cabinets on the inside?
No new holes in the exterior walls!! Put the holes in the cabinets in inconspicuous places like the side or the toe kick.

FWIW, depending on the local wildlife situation, we'd often run the slow cooker and bread maker on a table outside.

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Bankai
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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by Bankai »

reepicheep wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:26 am
I own a small one. It runs 100% of the time. It's probably helping, but not enough.
How much water does it pull a day? Ours is mid-sized and able to pull up to 10l per day. When we first switched it on, the humidity in our flat was 95%. After a day, it went down to mid-60s. Since then we have it on for a few hours each day to keep it in the 60-65 range which feels comfortable; it occasionally goes up to 70s when cooking or drying clothes. The change for us is from spending 15 minutes a day wiping off water from all windows (sometimes 5-10x a day) to emptying tank 1-2x a day which takes few seconds. I estimate it will pay for itself within 1-2 months in saved time.

reepicheep
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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by reepicheep »

Ok, so leaving the cabinets that seem particularly prone to moisture accumulation cracked a little bit seems to have solved some of the problem. I might still drill holes...but I'm trying not to put holes in things so I can sell this in as close to new condition as possible. It's one reason I haven't cut a hole in the roof to pipe a cub stove flue pipe through.

I also bought a larger dehumidifer, because in the process of investigating the answers to @Bankai's questions, I realized that this model is for 110 square feet and the RV is almost twice that. I'm not sure I'll be able to run both of them and the space heater without tripping the breaker, but I think I could give away the little one to someone else here and feel fine about that, if the larger one did a better job.

@Jacob, there's a bear, bobcat, and deer on the property. I could cook during the day if I were around to watch my stuff, and there's also other communal kitchen spaces I could go to, so that's something I'll have to think about if I find myself using the crock pot regularly. I don't *have* to cook-- there's communal food 4-5 nights a week that I can buy for ~$7/meal, which isn't bad (especially since I can eat once a day and be happy), but that doesn't include meat and sometimes I want something else.

reepicheep
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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by reepicheep »

This Week on As The Quinoa Boils

Meetup Agenda Item: How does the community feel about wif-fi free sanctuary spaces?

Background: EMF is super dangerous and is fucking with our sleep. More info to be emailed to campus after this meeting.

Community position: Most people agree that they would like wi-fi free spaces...except that they really want to also be able to use wi-fi in the classrooms, the lodge, and in their homes, which is exactly where all of the wi-fi already is. One proposal is to make the outdoor kitchen and meadow wi-fi free, but everyone who lives in the meadow (except for the person bringing the proposal) really wants to keep their wi-fi. Community cannot afford to build wired infrastructure and, indeed, let the wire infrastructure go a few years ago because wi-fi was cheaper than battling the maintenance of underground wiring.

Possible conclusion: We might sometimes put our phones on airplane mode at community meetings. Maybe. At some point. Also, can whoever is unplugging the hot-spots please stop?

Amusing side-note: I receive about a dozen emails a day from campus members. Community runs completely on the internet and email replaces about a half dozen meetings each week (there are still plenty of meetings, but there's no need to have MORE of them).

My personal take: I bought a hotspot because campus wi-fi was too unreliable for all the porn I want to watch. I'm skeptical about EMF causing problems, but haven't done any research. I turn it off at night. And I wonder about 5G, mainly because the military thinks it will interfere with GPS and if the DoD thinks some new technology is more of a problem than a help I'm apt to pay attention.

George the original one
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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by George the original one »

reepicheep wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:30 am
Community cannot afford to build wired infrastructure and, indeed, let the wire infrastructure go a few years ago because wi-fi was cheaper than battling the maintenance of underground wiring.
If they were using real wiring rather than fiber optic, then yes, the maintenance would be horrible. Shouldn't even be using wire runs between buildings due to grounding differences.

Since many cellphones can be a hotspot, too, I don't think they can truly enforce wi-fi free zones... it's just human nature to cheat on restrictions.

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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by jacob »

Haaa! This is gold. So much to be mined.

If, say for the sake of argument, not that I ever would, but if I was running an e-zine for creative writing and you submitted just that post, it would be a slam dunk. I'd even or rather especially keep the title.

It's like "The Office: The Millennials" (Version infinity: It just goes on and on.) ... or at least, I think there's potential for renewing for another season.

DutchGirl
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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by DutchGirl »

reepicheep wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:30 am
This Week on As The Quinoa Boils

Meetup Agenda Item: How does the community feel about wif-fi free sanctuary spaces?

Background: EMF is super dangerous and is fucking with our sleep. (...)

My personal take: I bought a hotspot because campus wi-fi was too unreliable for all the porn I want to watch.

See... it does mess with your sleep. Due to all the porn you're watching instead of sleeping. QED. :lol:

reepicheep
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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by reepicheep »

@George the original one, they didn't go into the background but I imagine it was probably dial-up landlines that they stopped maintaining. There is a cob structure that used to be a phone booth and has since been converted to other uses.

@Jacob...oh it goes on, and on, and on...

I can't take credit for the title. Another [s]inmate[/s]resident came up with that.

@DutchGirl, there is something to be said for the reflexive checking of the phone after waking up at 1 AM, which can't be great for my circadian rhythm. Putting it across the room does minimize that.

enigmaT120
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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by enigmaT120 »

Sorry if this reply gets posted twice....

We turn off our wifi at night and there's no cell service so no motivation to check my phone when (not if) I wake in the middle of the night. Luckily I don't need porn, nor imagination which I lack, nor even any recent good memories. Things just work.

reepicheep
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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by reepicheep »

Have been offered assistant bookkeeping job at community at 8-15 hrs a week. They want to oust current bookkeeper and put me in job quick-like. $13-$15 an hour.

She is unstable and not competent or responsive.

I have no formal training, but will probably be fine. I said maybe. Politics may be tricky. I want to know if I have to have my butt in a chair at 9 AM on Monday. If so, meh. If I can work from anywhere, we're in business. This is some of the best paid work on site and the available hours would cover my rent consistently, which cooking/cleaning for events and dances does not.

I could save more money from my pension. Ideal.

reepicheep
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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by reepicheep »

This week on As The Quinoa Boils:

My RV has been parked in a spot by the dorms. This made sense when my classmates lived in the dorms, but the program is now over and only one of them remains. I would like to move the RV to a spot in the meadow that is about a quarter of a mile from where I currently am. It's pretty far away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and there's added inconvenience for laundry and taking out the trash, but there are a couple of major pros:

1. The electric system out there is 30 amp, built for an RV. What I've got right now is basically a long underground extension cord run from the pumphouse and I trip the breaker often. I then have to walk to the pumphouse through the forest to flip the switch. The fire danger is high. Mostly the risk is to the pumphouse, but in theory the RV could also catch on fire. I live in a giant power strip.

2. The nearest water source is 225 feet away. I bought a lot of hose to deal with this issue. After leaving the hose (neatly in its coiled up box) out next to he laundry spigot only to come back to find a 50 ft piece detached, connected to a spigot so firmly I had to get a wrench to dislodge it, and a flood all over the laundry room floor, I've been transporting my hose box back and forth from the spigot each time I need to fill the tank (about once a week). It's not heavy, but the box is awkward shaped and doesn't really fit in my bike cart. Annoying as shit. The water hookup at this new location is about 20 feet away. I could cover my hose in foam and leave it out there! Luxury.

So! Moving day. There are no rules about this. I sent a campus email notifying everyone that I was moving. I have the assistance of a human with a truck, I pack up everything that might break and shove a bunch of blankets and towels into the cabinets. Move everything that was underneath the RV to next to the RV, for separate transport via truck or pri or bike cart at a later time.

While killing time waiting for Truck Dude, I notice an inmate creeping around outside my RV. Dog starts barking. I stick my head out only to find someone sobbing over the fact that I'm moving and nobody told them. (Side note: flabbergasted that this person saw their email, for reasons that will become clear below).

My movement is upsetting because the RV makes noise. Fan noise and propane heater exhaust noise, namely. This person has been creeping around evaluating the level of noise emanating from my tin can. The James Taylor I play over the bluetooth is not a problem, however. Additionally, I am bringing with me a wi-fi hotspot, which is going to disrupt this human's life. They live in a small pod they built themselves -- footprint about the size of a twin mattress -- nearish to where this RV parking spot is. It's irrelevant to them that they are already living next to a wi-fi repeater, mainly because they unplug it all the time (much to the irritation of the person who is parked in his Tiny Home right next to it).

This human is departing for two months starting in one week, so despite the fact that I am fully ready to move, I offer to wait a week so this person is not disrupted by my noise and shiny silver presence and EMF emissions. They turn me down, but they want to know if I can orient the RV in a way that the propane heater exhaust, the door, and the exterior lights all face away from their house. The RV spot is not designed for the RV to be pulled in this way -- it means the truck will have to disconnect and then back out around my RV, basically through the forest. Truck Dude is not a fan of this proposal. He then runs out of time for unrelated reasons and...spoilers, my house doesn't move.

In his absence and with my move today looking increasingly unlikely, upset human and I go and clear out a bunch of blackberries and take a tree down so that the truck can theoretically back out of this new parking spot. Remains to be seen whether this is possible or not. Upset human also moves their pod house farther back into the forest.

Whilst engaging in forest clearing exercises, now less-upset human offers me two chore jobs that they will not be doing while they are not here. Chores earn credits, which takes money off our rent. Credits are earned at the rate of $5/hr (this is legal, somehow). Neither of these jobs appeals to me -- one of them is cleaning and taking care of the compost toilets, and the other is cleaning the classrooms after meetings. I politely decline. I am currently already slated to take notes for one meeting a month, and the aforementioned bookkeeping interview is tomorrow (and that job pays in cash, not credits, and as such is subject to labor laws around minimum wage -- and in fact pays better than minimum wage). Those two jobs, I feel, will be plenty of my time and energy devoted to the upkeep of the TV show and its denizens. Also, I don't want to work for $5/hr doing manual labor under most circumstances (though I do some work for cuts of grass fed beef at a farm my girlfriend is associated with and that probably works out to less than $5/hr). In general, though, down that road lies resentment.

At present, I am living in a half-packed up RV until Christmas afternoon. Hopefully I will get to move tomorrow.

---

On an unrelated note, I have grown tired of the small fortune I spend on store bought kombucha and am currently brewing my own batch. I will have about 2.5 gallons when I am done and hope to start a rotation so I don't run out. I had a scoby already because we made some this semester during a preservation class.

Now that the pump is fixed and I no longer have a puddle on the floor and have a handle on the condensation issues, I am finally beginning to feel somewhat more comfortable in this space. I look forward to my retreat farther away from the majority of the activity.

enigmaT120
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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by enigmaT120 »

Sounds mixed but good, overall, I think. There's an event at your place I might go to but I have other stuff too the same weekend so I don't know what I'll do. Around Jan. 5.

reepicheep
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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by reepicheep »

Jan 4! Dance! You should totally come!

enigmaT120
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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by enigmaT120 »

I wanna dance....
I'll say something if I intend to go, and look for you if so.

black_son_of_gray
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Re: reepicheep's journal

Post by black_son_of_gray »

My SO has had zero problems making her own kombucha using some store-bought kombucha as a starter scoby. No need to buy anything fancy (and you get to drink what you don't use). Not sure if it matters, but she tries to select a relatively unflavored one to seed the process.

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