Dry wall class, two new pekes , update on the fan/mister setup

June 29, 2015

Mom and I did the Home depot drywall repair class Saturday morning. It was very informative about basic repairs and the tools for cracks and small holes. Saw a demonstration of a neat patching tape, how to spray on texture as well as when to patch and when to replace a section of drywall. I have tried the cheapest and easiest form of repair first and some times that attitude has “bit me in the butt” occasionally wasting money. The guy giving the class was great about giving info for repair when to use KillZ primer and why to use it. Added some old school ways of fixing holes using masking tape and some tips on how to caulk stuff properly. Overall I was pleased with the class.

I saw a couple of older pekes at the canyon county shelter so Mom and I went and  look at them. The peke’s owner had died and the shelter wanted both dogs to go to a new home together and waived the adoption fee for both animals for Mom because she is a “senior” and she took both animals.  The new dogs had a blast exploring the backyard and while younger peke “Tucker” wanted to play chase the chickens, he stopped quickly after being told “NO!” and called a “bad dog” one time. Tucker also wants to play chase the cat and can jump up on the furniture so Smokey the Cat is very displeased as her previous safe areas are no longer dog dog proof.  I’m sure we will have to re-enforce the lesson a few times but I was a bit surprised how quickly he stop chasing the chickens.  Smokey the Cat is hanging out in the basement and coming upstairs when the new pekes are sleeping or out doors.  The new dogs seem to be settling in well though I think the pekes are a bit out of sorts,  from losing their owner, going  the dog pound, to a shopping center and then to our home.   Mom and I tend to have schedules and as smart as these dogs seem to be, I’m sure they will adapt and settle in within a week. I brushed out the small peke “Tucker” and cut out a few mats of hair and did the same for “Diana the peke”,  Mom brushed out “Buddy” the older peke and he was so calm he went to sleep!

Lessons learned  on running the “Arctic Cove” fan/mister setup in 100 + temps  so far… The 18 volt Lithium/ion battery will run both the water pump and fan on low for about 2 hours. Water usage for the mister pump in a bucket is approx. 1 gallon per hour.  I want to add another 18 volt battery as soon as I can afford it. The 18 volt lithium battery is about $45.00 via Home depot or Amazon.  Using just the fan and a hose water hook up (no pump) I get about 6 hours worth of fan power. With temps hit a 100+ having misters/ fans and off grid power have been a huge help keeping the pekes and chickens cooler.  Mom’s chickens seem to prefer the freestanding mister along with the 12 volt clip on fan powered by a 12 volt battery jumper pak for cars. I used and old Black & Decker power pak with the 12 volt fan and recharge via the grid at night.

The 14 watt solar panel takes a bit of practice setting it up correctly to get the Maximum of sunlight.  I think the panel puts out a good voltage but a person might do better charging a small battery power pak first via the solar panel and then use the battery pak to charge a tablet, laptop or smart phone. A couple of ways to charge your gadgets faster and or reduce power use is dim your screen as much as possible and turn on airplane mode.  I set up my car battery jumper power pak to be charged by a couple of  5 watt solar panels.  The jumper power pak is just a bit on the low side for voltage. If the small solar panels will charge the battery pak, great! If not I still have time to plug the pak into the grid and charge it up.   So far so good,  as we have heat warnings via the weatherman but no warnings about brown outs or rolling blackouts.  A forecast of 100 + days for over 3 weeks in early July is a bit unusual.

I wilted a bit this weekend doing yard work though I did get many cooling/energy  tests done. Today I got the back yard raked up of all doggie poo and little green apples and moved stuff back in place after the chickens free ranged. I got the front yard watered, cleaned out some grape vines and trimmed back some of the volunteer elm tree branches.  Weather is a bit odd as the timing seems to be off just a bit. The last couple of years the snow pack has been a bit low but spring rains have been a bit high.  Th god I learned about mulching as my soil is retaining moisture even in 100 + temps.  Mom added straw to the last of the garden beds and with all the wood mulch I added this year the soil is retaining a lot of moisture.

I repaired a couple of hoses and we have a professional plumber coming on the 1st to clear the sink clog and hopefully do a few other jobs cheap because I already bought all the parts. I have $200.00 dedicated for the plumbing work and Mom can add another $ 50.00 to try and get all jobs done.  Clearing the kitchen sink clog is the first priority and then installing the new bathroom faucet with new shut off valves and new hoses. Last but not least is fixing the washer drain installed correctly!  I think we can get at least two of the three jobs done for a couple hundred bucks. I’m just not aware how well having parts already on hand will cut down on the plumber’s costs and billing.

Economically speaking we have projected defaults in the EU (Greece), Eurasia (Ukraine) USA (Puerto Rico) and in Asia China’s stock market is melting down and Japan market is in “Dead man walking”phase.  You can not eliminate risk when you invest. If you stuff paper dollars in your mattress you risk the paper currency changing, you might be robbed, heck your house may burned down. Risk might be mitigated/hedged or transferred to another party but it can not be eliminated.

I always find a bit odd that Dave Ramsey always is big on getting life insurance but hates gold and silver as monetary insurance in a collapse.  In 1964, 2 dimes bought you a gallon of gas. In 2015 2, 1964 dimes will still buy you a gallon of gas. If the dimes are traded for dollars at a local pawn shop. So is gas more expensive or did the dollar lose value compared to silver?  I think Ramsey is great for help folks getting out of debt and he has many great ideas, but I think he has a blind spot about silver and gold as insurance for something of tangible value with no counter party risk.  I think getting out of debt with the Ramsey method is the way to go. You are allowed to disagree with people and make your own path.  How I prepped may not be how you have prepped. Each person/family has different requirements and goals.