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"A simplified way to think of extent versus area is to imagine a slice of swiss cheese. Extent would be a measure of the edges of the slice of cheese and all of the space inside it. Area would be the measure of where there is cheese only, not including the holes. That is why if you compare extent and area in the same time period, extent is always bigger." -- National Snow and Ice Data Center FAQ

Read more... )
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All went well, and overall life is good. Today in class, we had to do one of those getting-to-know-you thingys, and where it asked what my long-term goal was, I wrote: Save the world and make a living too.

Really, that's what it boils down to.

I think that the first half of the semester will be fine, and I think that the second half of the semester will be stressful -- because now we're doing Mental Health and that's my shtick, and next is pediatrics, where I have to memorize a bunch of stuff (vital signs for each age group, and the dreaded lab result ranges) and memorization is difficult with this swiss cheese brain of mine. We shall see; I'm very willful.

Schedule-wise, I'll be working at the jail clinic on Saturday, Sunday, and Mondays, and going to class on Tuesday and Wednesdays from 0900 to 1200, with odd simulation labs and Leadership Seminars on Thursdays, and a twelve hour clinical at the psych ward on Fridays.

I'm going to be spending Tues, Wed, and Thur at my grandson's school, from 1300-1600, helping in class and helping out after school with a homework club and maybe teaching some flute.

Anyway, so far, so good.
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One of the first things that I plan to do after getting the property is drilling the well. I always imagined that the well would come up from the basement, but that's actually against code. The well has to be set back at least 25'/8m from the home and 50'/15m from the septic system.

(Also, drainage fields can't be more than eight feet deep or so, because the weight of the soil above compresses the field too much. So no drains in the basement, unless I want to pump sewage up to the drainage field or engineer some kind of roof over the drainage field. Which I could do, and it would work, but be pre' expensive. Something to think about: how important would it be to have water/drain in basement? If we have to house a family there, it might be important.)

There's an article detailing different ways to drill a well, with links to diy kit for drilling your own well here and for a system to hand pump water from a deep well (otherwise, you need an electric pump)

All in all, it looks to cost about $2000 if we put in a 100'/30m well ourselves compared to $7000-$10,000 if we hire a company to do it. An advantage to doing it ourselves is having bought the experience and know-how of putting in a well. Of course, we could cock it up and waste our money.

One other thing to mention here is that we will also be separating our sewage into gray water and septic field waste, with gray water going out to the garden/orchards. I'm not sure how I want to do gray water harvest in the winter months. Cistern? How much water do we use, if we discount toilets? Hmm.
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I start the second half of nursing school in seven days. I'll be working at the jail clinic on Sat, Sun, and Mon, and going to class and clincals Tues-Fri. It'll be a trip.

This week's menues:

Today (Tues) -- Polish Sausage fried with potatoes, onions, and cabbage.

Wednesday -- Homemade chicken and dumplings with apple pie

Thursday -- Indian chickpeas with soslu, quinoa, and naan

Friday -- Beans and ham hocks with cornbread

Saturday -- Breakfast for supper

Sunday -- one-dish rice, hamburger, and veggies

Monday -- crock pot pork roast with potatoes and veggies
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screen shot from original page

New page is here

Provide feedback here

I haven't put in my feedback yet. Need to think on it to provide something that sounds like more than just raving.
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You have ever been a herald of woe. Troubles follow you like crows, and ever the oftener the worse. I will not deceive you: when I heard that Shadowfax had come back riderless, I rejoiced at the return of the horse, but still more at the lack of the rider; and when Eomer brought the tidings that you had gone at last to your long home, I did not mourn. But news from afar is seldom sooth. Here you come again! And with you come evils worse than before, as might be expected. Why should I welcome you, Gandalf Stormcrow?

Being a climate scientist right now really sucks. Most people have heard about the questionnaire sent to the US Environmental Protection Agency, but I can't imagine anywhere that climate scientists are having a good time right now.

Neil T, on Neven's Sea Ice Forum says it well -- Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season Reply #1330 on: December 12, 2016, 02:49:17

"Guys, before I came here, in fact before there was a "here" to come to, I spent a lot of time at RealClimate and I got a feel for what the climate scientists are trying to do with their assessments.

In short the statements above seem to lead us to believe that the scientists are deliberately misleading us for some reason. After all it's blindingly obvious that it's not going to be the latter half of the 21st century before the ice goes.

But, in fact, it might just need a scientist and especially a climate scientist, to fail to see that.

Over and over again, during the debates, Gavin Schmidt has been seen to say that these annual variations must be ignored if we are to see the larger picture. And he's right, the larger picture is 100 to 1,000 years.

So what they do is bury the annual variations in decadal averages and then bury them again in multi decadal averages. Truth be told, if you take the 30 year running mean, we're pretty much on target. When you look at the 2000's averaged out. Even the 2010's, when the decade is done, will be averaged with the previous two decades to create the 30 year running mean.

The problem with this methodology, which is used by all climate scientists when they report to the IPCC, is that it fails to anticipate, or even detect, step changes when they happen. In fact it's designed to do exactly that, remove them.

The major problem with that approach is that what is happening to the Arctic is massively driven by annual variations and those variations are getting larger as every decade goes by. By the time that the 2010's annual variations are released from the 1990's, it will already be blindingly obvious to everyone that they are out of touch. Also the model will mitigate to tone down even those effects.

In reality the 30 year running mean has been a wonderful ruler for measuring future change over the last 5 decades. It' was extremely useful in the denialist rantings in the aftermath of the 97/98 nino and the return to the norm which happened there. It forced the denialists to take out the 97/98 as a baseline and then their entire assertions fell apart.

So, I think, when railing at the "Scientists" for not predicting what we are seeing now, I respectfully submit that their models and their projections are specifically designed to ignore it. Because, so far, by ignoring it, they have been more right than wrong.

Honestly I feel that an ice free arctic in 2022 will force them to reassess that. Because the possible forcings created by the black swan event are enough to overwhelm the 30 year running mean and to continue with it would be foolish. They would need to create a new baseline and then run a parallel comparison and draw conclusions that way.

Getting scientists to throw away long held and very good baselines will take an extreme act. The same extreme act we see evolving before us in an unprecedentedly warm winter with unprecedentedly low ice volume and extent.

What I'm saying is "Don't allude motives to the Climate scientists just because they are not monitoring the same thing you are". Because, in the end, these people have been in the firing line for a long time and the vast majority of them are both honorable and extremely thick skinned. But, believe me, they have feelings too."

And this follow-up -- Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season « Reply #1339 on: December 12, 2016, 12:24:36 PM »
Ninebelowzero December 12, 2016, 09:42:52 AM

Whatever the scientific approach scientists, regardless of whoever is paying for the research, should stop talking to politicians in terms of 'mitigating' change and just tell them what we need to stop doing however politically painful it is.

For reference to how well that works, have a look in the RealClimate posts around the time of the Copenhagen climate summit. To paraphrase the scientists, they told the politicians what their certainty meant, how it worked and what should be done.

The politicians looked at the figures and said, paraphrased

"Come back and tell us when you are 100% certain but you'll have to have EVIDENCE mind. then you can tell us what we need to do!".

Can you imagine how they felt? They had, in some cases, spent years on this, some intruding heavily into their family lives to do so.

Essentially the politicians said "When the roof falls in tell us what to do". Of course the answer is "Put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye".

Many of those scientists involved in Copenhagen refused, ever, to have anything to do with a climate summit again.

well said

Dec. 12th, 2016 11:52 am
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From the Arctic Ice Blog:

"No one can predict the future, especially when data about the present is so fragmented and incomplete. But we have one data point that cannot be denied nor overlooked: the planet is very old and has been relatively stable for billions of years, in spite of some extraordinary shocks. I believe the engineering jargon for this condition is "robust". The surface configuration and conditions may change over time, but there do seem to be mechanisms that tend to push it back into equilibrium. Runaway excursions don't seem to happen, but there do seem to be long range cycles, and we seem to have initiated the latest, and it may be severe.

The safest bet to make is that we have messed with the climate, and there is a possibility that our agriculture will be affected as a result, and along with it our industry and population distribution. The tertiary effects will be conflict, civil strife, economic distress, famine, waves of refugees, perhaps war. We may already be seeing the first of these changes manifesting themselves. The changes have been slow up to now, but they will probably speed up in the near future, and become more severe. How severe yet remains to be seen, and the time scale is not clear.

All we know is that the situation is not necessarily catastrophic. Even if it can't be reversed, or even stopped, perhaps it can be mitigated, and it stands to reason that the sooner we start the better." -- Elisee Reclus

I believe that the trick will be surviving those tertiary effects.
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A couple of days ago, I posted about designing an off grid system, and [personal profile] johnpalmer mentioned low-energy clothes washing.

Which, with two kids and three adults seems kinda crazy. But I thought I'd check it out. (goes to youtube)

I'd heard [personal profile] elissaann mention having something like this. Watching the video, I'm intrigued! I probably do one to two loads of laundry a day, mostly kids clothes. Even if it took an hour to do, I think that the savings would be well worth it!

I dunno, what do you think? Much less water, much less electricity, much less soap. More effort, but doable.

Simply Good Stuff review of Wonder Wash says "Does It Really Work? Yes it does. Our own testing has been quite impressive, but several other independent parties also agree. The loads come out exactly as clean as they do with a conventional washing machine, but it takes a whole lot less time. You won't be able to wash as many items at once, but your results will be great each and every time. It doesn't look like it would be able to wash clothing, but once you use it, the fresh and clean laundry will be proof enough."

And then there's drying the clothes. The Nina Soft Spin costs under $200 and spins the laundry almost dry. After spinning, you hang the clothes up to finish the process. Again, from Simply Good Stuff: "100 times more energy efficient that traditional dryers, this large capacity, portable version will pull water out of clothing in three minutes or less. It doesn't blow hot air at your laundry, or use a bunch of electricity. Instead, the drum spins at 1800 RPM's to pull moisture out via centripetal force. This gentle action is incredibly efficient, but way less harmful to your clothing."

This sounds amazing! I am intrigued.
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GARN wood heating system, : "The GARN Wood Heating System (WHS) is a wood boiler that combines full heat storage with a patented wood-gasifier combustion design in a single piece of equipment. This unique combination of technologies means wood burns so hot and efficient that a GARN squeezes virtually all available heat out of each cord of wood while eliminating smoke and creosote. When you purchase a GARN, you’ll own the highest-efficiency, lowest-emissions wood boiler available."

Radiant Heat Under Wood Floors - Use Hydronic Radiant Heat: "The tubing rests on aluminum that is strapped to the subfloor. Aluminum is an excellent conductor of heat. You don't have to have a large thermal mass to use radiant heat. Actually, a smaller thermal mass is much quicker to respond to your heating needs, and a wood floor that is heated with an hydronic aluminum subfloor heats more efficiently." (also works great with laminate or tile floor, but the tile takes longer to heat)
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"Quick and easy: U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, Chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology—and climate change denier—has a one-question survey on his website about congressional priorities for the year. Please select Other and write in "climate change mitigation" or "fight climate change," something like that. Do it and then COPY AND PASTE in a new status (don't share or it will only be viewable by my friends) and share the hell out of this post."
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I am beginning to seriously look at an off-grid power generating system for the homestead. Reading at HomePower, I find the helpful suggestion:
Off-grid load analysis is more complicated, and involves measuring or estimating each load. The method can also be used to estimate electricity usage for on-grid homes in the design stage or for backup systems (for sizing battery banks and inverters). It’s also very useful to use this method if you’re on grid, to find out where you are using all that energy. Then you can develop strategies to reduce your energy usage, which is typically the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly use of your dollars.

A spreadsheet is the easiest way to gather the necessary information. For each specific load in your home, you’ll need either its wattage and daily hours of use or its daily kWh use.

Measure each load’s power, since rated or sticker wattage may not accurately reflect actual appliance consumption. When in doubt, round up. Measuring 120 VAC loads is easy with meters such as the Kill A Watt, Brand Electronics Digital Power Meter, or Watts Up?. Any 240 VAC loads will be harder to measure, and you may end up relying on rated wattage or estimates.

Soooo, what do we use for power? Um.

Blower motor for furnace/wood stove
refrigeration and freezer
electronics, tv, radio
microwave, coffee pot, toaster (maybe not use these at all)
washer and dryer

Am I missing anything? This is just for the house, not for any outbuildings.
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Neven Curlin, who writes the Arctic Sea Ice Blog is taking a sabbatical.
"I'm really going to take a break from blogging, as I have been struggling with an Arctic burn-out since 2012. On the one hand it's caused by everything that has been and still is going on in the Arctic. The learning curve, the excitement, but most of all the depression that comes with watching this steamroller just plough forward, is taking its toll." Neven, full post here

One thing that Neven left us with is the Sea Ice Forum. I'm going to start posting some quotes from there, because it helps me organize it in my head. I'll put it under a cut for the folks who aren't into watching this disaster; there are so many disasters going on right now. I'll tag these posts with "asif".

Read more... )
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What's happening in the Arctic right now will effect the future of all humans -- as in, if we're going to make it out of this century alive.

Here are the Cliff Notes to the new study Arctic Resilience Report. There is a very good graphic on page 80, Fig 3.3.
Read more... )
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We had a guest for Thanksgiving, a neighbor from down the street. I'd filled one of my rice rings with roasted brussel spouts with pomegranate. "Wow," Dave said, "these are the best damned brussel sprouts I've ever tasted." "He took another bite, "I've never liked brussel sprouts, but these are good."

I took a bite myself, "Yep, they turned out pre' good."

Dave tipped his chin at the table. "How'd you learn to cook like this?"

"Well, it wasn't from my mother." I waved my fork. "She used to always kick us out of the kitchen when she was cooking."

Across the table, my son Sam snorted.

"Oh," I said, sheepish, "do I do that?"

Sam rolled his eyes at me. "You did that to me three times just today."

feast prep

Nov. 23rd, 2016 01:00 pm
ljgeoff: (Default)
We'll have a for-us traditional feast:

Roast Turkey and gravy

chestnut stuffing

mashed white potatoes and baked sweet potatoes

whole cranberry sauce and also the jelly stuff that comes in the can

dinner rolls

deviled eggs

2 savory rice rings1, one with buttered rutabaga and one with

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Pomegranate and Hazelnuts -- except I'm using walnuts because hazelnuts? really?

ambrosia -type fruit salad2

broccoli raisin salad (except mine is very plain, with no onion or bacon)

and pies -- blueberry crumb, pumpkin, and either a small cheesecake or apple pie.

There will be our household of 3 adults and 2 children, and Sam, Kayla, and their daughter Torrin, and Stoner Dave from down the street -- a total of 6 adults and 3 children.

1) with a hand grinder, grind up a 1.5 lbs of white mushrooms, 2 green bell peppers and 1 red, and two medium white onions. Prepare rice, with 3 cups long grain rice. While rice is cooking, saute ground veg with 1.5 sticks of butter or margarine. When rice is done, let it cool a bit, and then mix veg well with rice.; salt and pepper to taste (best if you make it a little on the salty side) Butter 2 ring molds and fill with rice mix, pressing gently. If doing the day before, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bake in a water bath (cover rings with foil) at 350 for 1 hr; I place ring in something like a cast iron skilled and fill the skillet with water. Fill rings with your favorite vegetable.

2) The crazy people I live with don't like coconut or nuts in anything. I'm throwing this one together with a couple cans of peaches, some canned pineapple, pears, and some canned sour cherries. And mini-marshmallows.
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-- Burning Earth Radio, November 2016 youtube

"There's three cyclone activity areas in the arctic; you have one off the north coast of Iceland, one strong one off the north coast of Norway, and another one up here at the north pole. There's a lot of strong winds associated with these cyclones.

We have a lot of wind activity at the surface associated with these cyclones. We can see why we're getting these winds -- we have all of this warm water coming up in the gulf stream coming up and pooling in the arctic. We have extremely warm waters here, hot spots up to 9.9C warmer than normal and very large warm pools 1.1C-2C above average. And what it's doing is bringing a lot of warm air with it, up into the arctic.

What's happening is that these low pressure areas are pulling cold air down off the arctic. Now you have the cold air pulled off the Greenland ice sheet, drained off Siberia...You can see this going back to the temperature map, you have the cold air extending into the southern latitudes here, and warm air extending very high into the arctic.

With a lot of these strong winds, you're going to get a lot of breaking up of the sea ice. You can see that a lot of this air is carrying a lot of moisture. What this is doing is that this is creating a lot of strange rain events in the arctic... We can see that there's this jet of precipitable water in the air that's coming up over Europe and getting pulled into the arctic, bringing rain.

With these high winds, these storms, we have a lot of wave action. For example, 4.5 meter waves off these Russian arctic islands, 9.9 meter waves off the coast of Norway, 3.9 meters near the north pole -- these are very big waves.

These waves are causing a lot of problems for the sea ice in the arctic. We have the warm water, a lot of wave activity -- the sea ice just doesn't have a chance. Looking at the sea ice graph, we can see is that the sea ice isn't doing too well this year. The sea ice is basically crashing, running into this brick wall of cyclone activity and warm air that's being pulled up into the arctic.

A lot of the air in the arctic this November is 20C warmer than average. Don't be fooled that 1C or 2C average warming doesn't make a difference.

These cyclones in the arctic -- we're only going to see more of this as the Earth warms. Eventually, this whole warm anomaly is going to connect across the arctic basin, and we'll see a lot of these storms raging around the arctic."
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This morning, at 0630 or so, there was a knock on the door. Mike got up and answered, and I could hear a woman talking, trying to be quiet but clearly upset. I'd just fallen back to sleep from being woken up by Zary, and I was groggy. (Mike must have not gone back to sleep, he was up so fast; he's asleep now.)

When I made my way down, a woman was on Mike's phone, and she saw me and handed the phone to me, "Can you give him directions? I'm not sure where I am."


We talked for just a bit, and when he said that it'd take him about 20 minutes to walk over, I said, "Well, I've got a car. How 'bout I just drop her off?"

There was a pause. "That would be wonderful," he muttered.

While we drove the few minutes to her uncle's house, the woman told me that she was twenty-seven and had just got out of jail. The Ingham county jail is located in Mason, and is about 15 miles from my house. She (I never got her name) had got out yesterday in the early morning and been walking since then. She had no money and everything that she now owns is on her back and in a gallon plastic ziplock that she was clutching to her chest.

She'd had a place with a boyfriend but he'd moved to Texas while she was in jail, and everything she ever owned is gone. She has an adopted mother with whom she doesn't get along. She doesn't have any friends who can give her any help.

I asked her why she came to our house? She just shrugged. "I thought someone I knew lived there."

Yesterday I was at the YMCA pool with my buddy Chris. We alternated sitting in the hot tub and swimming in the lap pool until a group of little kids came in, a big birthday party, mostly girls around six years old or so. Then Chris wanted to go play in the sprinklers of the kiddie pool (he's developmentally and physically disabled) and so I sat on the edge, watching Chris and watching the kids. They were all so beautiful, the kids and their parents too, so much that it made my heart ache. Every once in a while, one of them would come close and watch Chris with wide eyes, look at the tube coming from his belly and at his strange face. I'd nod and smile at them, try to reassure them that it was all going to be okay and not worry about this guy. They'd look at me dubiously and go back to playing.

I'm an atheist, but I believe in people. I believe in a grace that we share.

As I was sitting down to write this, the oldest of the kids up the block came and asked if they could all come down for breakfast and now they're watching cartoons over their cereal, Trentyn and Zary, too, so six boys munching cereal and commenting on Bernard Bear (goes to youtube).

It feels very homey. I think that I'll spend the rest of my life with a household of boys.

I've got the number of the uncle that the woman called, and I'm trying to decide if I want to reach out to her, throw her a line. It's a lot of work, and I'm getting ready to go back to nursing school. But it makes me feel good to lessen the misery of folk, when I can.

As I wrote that, I thought that I should make the offer, if anyone is feeling like they have room to help some folk -- the kids up the block need boots and winter gear. There're two boys and a girl, (there were three boys, but the youngest is living with his paternal grandmother now, which is probably a good thing) from about ages 11,10, and 7. I don't know about the cousin who's staying with them, he looks to be about five. And the woman who knocked on our door this morning, well, she needs a phone. Maybe I can see about giving her one of our old flip phones and putting it on our bill; it'll only be $10/mo or so.

And, hell, I'll put this out there too: If you have a desktop system that you are done with, send it my way and I'll hook up the kids up the street.
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I have always heard voices. Not from the outside, not hallucinations, but voices that come from somewhere in my head. It never pays to go looking for them. I have to wait for them to appear. Sometimes a voice that I'm waiting for never shows up at all, or it might emerge from some deep place and not be at all what I was expecting.

About a month ago, I went to go hear retired Rear Admiral Dr. David Titley speak about climate change and security concerns. As he was speaking, a couple of book ideas came to me. I've been thinking a lot about one of the ideas, a military fiction/spy novel. I've written a couple hundred words, but they were, um, crap.

I stopped thinking about it and let it rest in the back of my head. Sometimes when I do that, the idea never does develop. Last night, I was walking the dog and a voice whispered to me: My mother tells me that I was born on the night of a supermoon. Maybe that's why I lead a life of deception.

I thought to myself that it was too lyrical a beginning for a spy novel. *shrug* Oh, well! Onward.


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