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Monday, December 31, 2012


According to the pregnant teenage daughter, I'll be babysitting tonight...

It was either, babysit, or go out & have a grand ole' time with my friends at the local "New Years Eve Bonfire" we hold each year in my buddies backyard.

But, because the little diaper dumper was sitting on my lap while she told me her dilemma;  "If you don't watch him then I'll have to & I won't be able to party with my friends!!!", I agreed....

Oh well. It won't be the first time. I think I did this last new years eve as well. And I know it won't be the last time either...

The kids smarter than most who will be at that party anyways & I've a bunch of animated movies on the PC I've been saving up for him to watch, so such is my fate. 
Cartoons & dirty diapers. Ice Age & Hot Steamers. The Lorax & Some Clorox. Horton Hears A Who & Holy Murphy, Lewis & Clark, What The Hell Did You Eat Kid?

Happy 2013 everyone!. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Moonshine Making 101

So then...this is where recent...research...has led me.

A couple of years ago, sometime, I downloaded a PDF book about moonshining at home called, "Making Pure Corn Whiskey- A Professional Guide For Amateur Distillers"

It took me a long time to get around to reading this book because, like most all of my PDF's, it just sat there in a forgotten folder, until something last summer past, sparked my interest anew.

But once I started this read, I couldn't stop. It was just, soooooo informative. And it had page after page about, Scotch. About the history of Scotch, Saint Patrick (a Scotsman, not Irish), how the American moonshiners came into action, etc, etc...& I had to read the whole thing through, cover to cover.

But, most importantly, it shows you how to build your own distillery, using electric water heaters!

A "MUST READ" according to me & Winny! (Don't ask. I don't know!)

HOWEVER, I got to thinking; "electric water heaters?"

So I did some more looking around, almost ALL of this past week in fact, and the video above has made this process, even, more simpler.


Friday, December 28, 2012



In all my live long years, I've never wanted for "ANYTHING" more, than to, live like this!

This man. My, brother. My,... hero,... (you'll have to excuse me, I'm crying some right now) was living the life which I only strive to achieve, but cannot, for the lack of 50 linear feet of schedule 60 1/2" copper tubing...

And I say that he "was" living it, because he's long gone. He's taken his own life because the damn "gubbermett" took away his dreams & were about to take away his freedom too...

ALL of this time I've spent at home here since returning from Riversdale, I've been researching, various, uhm, alternative methods (?) for, dividing up (?) my time, so to speak. And I've found some really, interesting (?) uhm, alternatives...

But you just MUST check out Popcorns "Last Likker Run". Above is video 1 of 10. YouTube will lead you to the rest...

This man was a national hero.. and now he's, gone...

And, my brother, Mike, has a bottle of Scotch for me as an X-mas gift.
Oh Brother...Where Art Thou?!?!

Monday, December 24, 2012


Even though the girlfriend is gone again, I have gained control of the camera/phone with the photos in it.
So here they are,... Photos from Harolds "Solar Water Heating & Battery Bank Setup"!

2-volt batteries in place!
The first thing that I would like to mention is, Harolds battery bank is finally all together. That is, it is all in place upon equal shelving & spacing so to provide appropriate distances for connecting all of these cells together.

If you recall the previous pictures of this battery bank, they were all misaligned. Since then, we removed all of the upper rows that were set up in place & rearranged the cells so that the terminals would all be plumb & level with the cells above & below.

It was a lot of work & somewhat time consuming, but we took our time & set them all up to make the final connections easier when he's finally ready to do so.

Rear step & entrance surround to support the solar panel.

During some of my down time while awaiting materials, we constructed this small shed like structure at his back entry way so that we would have a flat roof for putting up his vacuum tube solar water heating panel. For now, it's only two walls & a flat roof that is almost exactly the same size as the frame-work for the solar panel, but I can imagine it being closed in, some day.

Interior shot of the shed structure.

In this photo above, you can see where I've run the stainless steel flex tubing down the inside of the wall. None of the connections are permanent yet & all of the flex tubing going into & out of the solar water heating panel will need to be insulated so I've just roughed those into place for the time being.

This is the material we ran out of & are awaiting to be delivered to the store where he purchased most all of the water heating kit. When completed, two of these lines will be running from the panel above, down the interior wall of this shed & then through his crawlspace into the laundry room area where his solar storage tank, solar work station & electric water heater & water softener are located.

Interior view of radiant floor heating manifolds, etc...

The two photos above & below show the new solar water storage tank mostly all plumbed in and the solar work station partially hooked up.

When Harold picked up the 66 foot long roll of the stainless steel flex tubing, we were told that they had another 5 rolls in stock. Unfortunately, when we ran out several days later, the place was sold out by that time or the owner had used it all on another job. So now, we wait...  

Because Harold will eventually be powering everything in his home, including the home itself, using 100% solar energies, he's decided to remove his old clothes dryer all together. I've set the 220 volt power (breakers off, of coarse)  into an old junction box I found in his storage shed & just attached it to the wall of the laundry room (as seen below) temporarily until we decide what to do with it.

The one wall where the solar work station is located will be used for tool storage, so he might decide to split the breakers & use the existing power line for individual 110 volt receptacles or even keep it 220 for large tools, whatever.

Solar Work Station & expansion tank.

So...that's where we left off.

It's now Christmas eve day & I'm just gonna ride out the time relaxing & doing absolutely, nothing...

Until after the new year that is. Then, I'll head back up there, finish the install & all of the testing & get him hooked up & running. For the solar water heating & radiant floor heating that is.

Merry Christmas everybody!

Sunday, December 23, 2012


This Blog is up & running for another year!

While I was away, my Google account expired all for the want of $10.00 to keep it active. I wasn't able to make that payment until I returned home though.

However, just before I left Harold's home in Riversdale, I was able to take a few pictures of the work we completed there so far.
Unfortunately, we ran out of the stainless steel flex-tubing needed to connect the panel into the solar storage tank & solar work station & that order couldn't be made in time before the "End of the World" &/or X-mas, so I had to leave there for home & will need to make one more trip up there after the new year.
The thing is though, my girlfriend has every phone we own in her purse right now & is away in Lindsay & then going to meet up with her kin afterwards. So I won't be able to upload those photos until she returns this way, later, some time.

Well, I hope everyone enjoyed the Apocalypse. It was a quite, uneventful end of the world for me. For the most part, I just sat here finishing a book I was reading while away & then I watched an old movie on the tube before falling asleep.

I was kinda glad we didn't get slammed by the planet Niburu or have any super solar storm activity that wiped out all of the electronic devices on this planet either, because that would have really spoiled the end of the movie I was watching.

But, at the same time, it's a shame for all of those earthlings who put all of their time, effort & money into moving under ground for the, "Big Ending". I hope they didn't put time activated locks on their doors or that their cell phones get reception down there at least, if they did. If they don't have cell phone activity down there, we should locate their bunkers & set up big screen TVs in front of their peep-holes & loop color versions of atomic & nuclear blasts going off for about an hour or so & then switch over to something like, a Justin Bieber concert for a little while.
By the time they figure out what's really happening, everyone can be waiting up top for them with cooler's full of beers & cheer the brave survivors back to planet earth. It could be a really great party. And, who knows, maybe Boy Wonder, Justin, himself, would be there too!

But enough of that nonsense.

I'm here. The Blog is good for at least one more year & I will be getting back to the acreage so that I can, finally, get started with what I had originally intended, beginning a "Permaculture Food Forest" in the middle of the woods!

If not, I'll be changing the name of this Blog to something like, "100 Acres of Canadian Wilderness & Avoiding It Completely" or "100 Acres of Canadian Wilderness That I Forgot Where It Is Any More"!

Yeah. My life has been all over the place these past few months before the Apocalypse. Crap. Ever since this Spring really. But not after I'm all done in Riversdale.

"I'll be back"

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


We were, finally, able to locate most of the fittings required to get this system somewhat put together. While sitting here one morning, Harold provided the phone # for the hardware store in Gorrie where we had originally purchased the PEX tubing, from the receipt for that product. I called them, described the parts needed over the phone & arranged for a delivery later that same day. As well, we ordered a few sticks of wood (2x4 @ 10' x 6 of & 3 sheets of 3/8" plywood) to erect a type of combination, solar panel platform-back door shelter area so we can install the panel up above the rear entrance where it will be well away from anything that may damage it at ground level and, assist with shielding the entry way beneath from the weather.

The "Solar Work Station" hanging on the wall.
 We still don't have any of the stainless steel flex-tubing which goes into the solar storage tank from the solar water heating panel & then from the tank into the solar work station & then back to the panel again, or the proper reducer fittings required for those hook-ups, or the 12-volt pumps needed for pumping the radiant floor heating fluids through the two zones. Hopefully, when we do purchase the 2 pumps & order the flex-tubing from Bervie Supply, they'll be able to supply all of those fittings as well. They have been good to deal with, so far, but carry very little in the way of any of these extra parts which make up the system as a whole.

1/2" PEX plumbing up through floor in new location.
 The photos above show where we had left off before receiving the ordered shipment of supplies from Gorrie Home Hardware. Harolds old digital camera needs an new rechargeable battery, so I was only able to snap off one pic at a time before having to recharge it in order to take another. I don't think this old camera has another recharge left in it though. I have since installed & mounted both manifolds & roughed in most all of the PEX.

During a day of down time, Harold & I took apart his battery bank & reinstalled them so that they would line up better for the buss bars that will tie them all together. Removing each one of the 300+ pound batteries, rebuilding the support shelving & then reinstalling each battery so that they would all line up properly, was a huge undertaking, to say the least, but there are now 9 of the 12, 2-volt batteries installed, instead of only the 8 he had sitting there for the longest while. I have the shelving cut & ready for the next, top row of the 3 remaining batteries & the entire battery bank will be in place before long. Or, at least, before I head back home to Fenelon Falls.

My good buddy, Bob, from http://offgridbob.blogspot.ca/ commented in my last post about my having some "availability to these parts", so, I thought, "I'm gonna look up his location on Google Maps" And, man oh man, am I ever glad we do not have to shopping for these fittings from his location!

Check out his website here - http://offgridbob.blogspot.ca/

Monday, December 10, 2012


Nothing has gone as I had hoped or planned.

When I last left Harolds place, I was going to take some, "me time", and do absolutely nothing but, sit on my arse up at the acreage.

Up there, I could; keep a fire going, drink cup after cup of coffee, read my books, scout out deer & throw sticks for Stanley, all day long. And it would have given me an opportunity to prep my camp for winter too. But none of this came to be...

From the moment my ride arrived up here, I was expected to work. In fact, it was the reason & motive behind my ride arriving a couple of days ahead of schedule. Luc, who had orchestrated the entire, "Let's go get him now" operation, was expecting me to help him install new insulation in his home. But, after days & days of removing old insulation from this place, I just couldn't manage the----energy required(?)----to do so. I needed a break from that stuff!

And it came. With a visit from my daughter, Dana, and her friend, Grant!

Dana & Grant, arrived on the Friday & stayed right through until early Monday afternoon. I never even got out of my PJ's the entire time. And, it felt good. I love spending time with her!

But...I had other commitments too. And none of those got completed on schedule either!

Now....I'm back up in Riversdale again & as it would have to happen, I've brought a cough & a cold up here with me.

With all of the PEX tubing installed, it's time to connect everything together & erect the solar panel for heating up the fluids required to provide heat to this system, and we're having a "Hell-of-a-time" finding all of the proper fittings to do so!

There is an old digital camera here (the girlfriend had confiscated my phone/camera because hers no longer works) but it needs to be recharged, or needs new batteries, or something, so I will attempt to get some photos ASAP once I figure it out & after we locate all of the fittings required to get this all put together.

Harold & I did head into Kincardine yesterday to look again in the Canadian Tire there, but we had pretty well bought them out of any parts we needed, a couple of days prior. But it wasn't a complete wasted trip. I did stop into a drug store there & pick up some vitamin C & a package of Sinutab.

Instead of the, "One-a-Day" recommended on the package of vitamin C, I pounded back about half a dozen of them, right away. And it has helped!

And then, to top it all off, we got snow & freezing rain all night. We may not even be able to get out of here this morning to find what we need!

More to come!

Or...wait a minute...will there be?!?!

I just about forgot all about the (cough..sniffle..choke..wipe my nostrils) end of the world. That's only about (sneeze..cough..fart..wipe my, oh, never mind, I'll get that later) 231.75 hours away now. Better find those fittings soon I suppose!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


It's taken me forever & a day (or two), but I've finally finished with, "The Fastening of the Pex", to the underside of Harold's floor.

PEX tubing in cavity between moldy floor joists & above main support beam.
We purchased plastic plumbing clamps designed for 1/2" copper tubing & I fastened the PEX to the underside of the floor sheathing at, about, every 30" - 36", depending upon my reach while working on my back below here.

Plastic clamps & 1" hex head screws with red Robertson access.
In total, we required about 100 of these plastic clamps. At first, in theory, I figured I would just fill one section of my pouch with the clamps, another with the screws & then another section with all of the PEX crimps & connections & then just drag the pouch around with me under there while making all of the connections. That was until I actually did climb back in the hole...

While pushing my pouch ahead of me, the side bags holding all of the screws, first tipped & dumped a bunch of screws all over the place. After so many fell out, without my noticing right away, this allowed room in that side of the bag to begin collecting the dirt, stones & dust that cover the ground down here. The pouch didn't pick up a lot of extra material. Just enough to make it a damn mess when sticking your fingers inside.

But... this than gave me a better idea! I then gathered up all of the fallen screws, placed them onto a chunk of old aspenite (OSB) board I had left close by the entrance inside the crawlspace area, grabbed my trusty screw gun & started to pre-fasten all of the screws into the plastic clamps, which worked out great. If I would have even attempted to attach the clamp to the PEX & then drill in the screws, while working on my back with only inches to maneuver, this would have taken even more "forever + days" & I would still be down there.

Crimp tool for PEX connections & my trusty cordless drill.

First connection 1/2 installed!
  With a bunch (about 102) of the clamps pre-screwed & filling up one pocket, I then filled the other pocket of my jacket with PEX connectors (couplers & crimps) & set out on my "mission of completion".

It took me a couple of days to get here, but here I am, all done!

Almost ready to fasten to the floor sheathing.

Fastening the 1/2" plastic clamps.

One of the loops through the floor joists.
 The PEX is all installed down below. We still have to do the water test, tomorrow. And I still need to fasten the special insulation sheathing which will prevent the heat from escaping into the open crawlspace, but now, this part is completed!

Harold is going to pick up a few more specialty PEX connectors required for doing the pressure test & the specialty insulation sheathing (a large roll of bubbled tin foil rated at R-5 or something) tomorrow, Thursday.

Once the pressure test is completed & (hopefully) there are no leakages detected, I will drill down through the laundry area floor & run the PEX up into this room for connecting into the solar water storage tank. I don't have to connect to this tank, just yet, but I do have to get it up this far.

And then, on Friday, I'm back off to home to deal with my abandonment issue dog, Stanley & since I've missed ALL of the gun hunt this year, I'm heading right up to the acreage with my bow, where I will sit for 7 days & 6 nights, or however freekin' long it takes, and schnarf myself a deer, which will make for some good, "on the spot" schnarffin' as well as some "later on" schnarffin' from my freezer, too!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Today is Tuesday, the 6th of November. I've been back at Harold's since Saturday past & am just today able to get back in that crawlspace area. Pulling that PEX tubing through, on my own, is about the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I must be crazy!

Brand new roll of Pex tubing.

1000 linear feet cost $320.00 before taxes.

Paced off for measuring.

Fed into crawlspace.

Loose coils in the distance.

Tape to mark certain measurements.

As seen from the opening.

As seen from the inside of the crawlspace.
The BIG idea!
Everything we're doing here is (experi)mental & I didn't just jump into this without knowing it was going to be difficult. I was however, hoping it wouldn't be as difficult as it's turning out to be though.

For the first run, I decided to pull the PEX through the floor joist holes shown in the lower right hand corner of the diagram above (brighter Orange color), a total of 150 to 170 linear feet & from there, feed the tubing over the main support beam (not shown in the diagram) to the other section of crawlspace where I could then feed it through the first 2 floor joists (upper right hand of diagram) so that the tubing could then be resent over the main beam back to where I have pulled it through the 6 pre-drilled floor joists, and then snake my way back & forth across the main beam & through the joists until finished.

That was at 10:30 this morning when I began. It's now 3:30 in the afternoon & all that I've managed to do is get it through the 6 joists I started with & I still have another 25 to 35 feet to pull through them!

And I've had to stop. My shoulders & neck can't even manage one more tug on the line!

To get it this far, I've had to feed it through all 6 holes, and then, place my hands close to the one side of the joist farthest from the direction to be pulled towards & then pull as much as possible in that 16" space between joists (which is actually only 14-1/2" due to O/C's).

I managed about a 4" to 5" pull each time. When you divide this into around 150' to 170' linear feet, it takes a while. Especially while laying on your back with only inches of space to work in!

One of the many manuals I've read about installing PEX radiant floor heating into floor joists, had a small chapter about crawlspaces. The author wrote something like; "A guy would need to have his sanity questioned if attempting this alone".

Well, here I am!

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Last night sometime, while I was sitting around here doing nothing at all & enjoying myself immensely while accomplishing this feat, my dog began to growl at the front door.

"Damn in-laws!" I thought to myself. And I was right...

Stanley allows them access & Billy comes in ranting & raving about the weather; "Are yur chainsaw sharpened up & running? There's gonna be free firewood everywhere!"

So I tell him my saws are all in good order, and then he goes on to question me about the saws & how I managed this, to have them all running. So I tell him. "I installed new plugs & fuel".

And then, the SHTF!

"Why isn't yur TV on?"

"Haven't ya heard?""

"It's gonna be the storm of the century!"

"Why isn't yur TV on????"

I was all, kinda, in a daze, for a second. I had seen Billy all worked up about stuff before, and I usually just let him, ease himself out of it, by making the odd acknowledgement of whatever he was saying, until he settled down some. But tonight was different. He was very excited!

So I looked up the old, "Weather Network", on the TV & the computer, and sure enough, after a few seconds of looking & searching, there it was. A hurricane, named, Sandy. And it " Might" come up our way!

Hurricane Sandy.

Billy went on about all of the preparations he was doing for his place; " firewood, chainsaws, fuel, generator, more fuel, moving vehicles away from tall trees, more chainsaws, more fuel, etc...

I went into my usual, quiet mode, making the, odd acknowledgement, of what he was saying, knowing to myself that, this action would cause him to leave, shortly, or, soon enough. And he did. And, I promised, I would look more into this, coming catastrophe.

And, I have. And now, I'm still just, sitting here, in my long underwear pajamas now, doing nothing.

I think, I'm about as prepared as I'll ever be, for whatever type of weather disaster, MIGHT make it up this far. 
The saws are in running order (but the larger saw needs a new chain) & there's fuel enough to keep the smaller saw running for half a day or longer, if need be. 
We have cabbage rolls in the freezer & canned goods in the pantry (and two cats & a dog if I run out of fresh meat).
If it gets really bad, I know for a fact that the baby has stashed some crackers down the side of my couch (they go good with fresh cat, right?)
And, as for power, I guess I will charge up my deep-cycle batteries, later, sometime, if I feel like it...

And, last but not least, the youngest MacCharles brother, Gord (Good Gord!), has a front row seat to this show down in Cuba some place, so I asked him to send me along some pics to my android-phone thing-a-ma-jig. That would be just, way too cool!

So, this all sounds like it could be fun...

Come on Hurricane Sandy.

Bring it on!

I not really eat my own cats. I just use them to hunt other cats in the neighborhood!