@bob in #mtg
Re: %oc3RP1vre

?

@bob in #flying
Re: %OwXsgFYg4

And.....paint the firewall.
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As with the rest of the build, the order is:
Identify the parts.
Temporarily assemble the parts to ensure you've got the details of that right, and that they do in fact go together. Can be time consuming. (Curiously, there is also a sort of order-of-solve in clekoing some of the bigger parts: start at one end and there's no way, start at the other and it pulls in nicely).
Disassemble, debur all edges, prime all mating surfaces: this is where much of the time goes.
Assemble and rivet: this is quick and very gratifying.

The firewall, however, gets a full paint job, principally to make it easier to spot any engine leaks. And I've been putting that off, so it's good now to have it done.
It's my first burst with the 2 pot topcoat I'm using, came out okay...for a firewall...and I learnt a lot.

@bob in #offgrid
Re: %uU2erYxh8

And there is another little detail:
For reasons of handling/transport/distribution/storage, even a lot of 'fresh' produce is harvested before optimum ripeness. Ideally, it then reaches the consumer at time of full ripeness. But...

@bob
Re: %uU2erYxh8

@Dominic I did a fair bit on Controlled Atmosphere (CA) stores for apples a few years back. Basically, the apple continues ripening after it is picked , but various things will slow this process, including cooling to near freezing and removing most of the surrounding oxygen. CA stores do this by scrubbingt the oxygen and replacing it with nitrogen. So I'm guessing that some simple way to reduce the oxygen in storage may have the same effect...and perhaps that was part of it when apples were stored in barrels?

Interesting to note someone recently identified a problem with refrigerating tomatoes for transport: apparently you can do this for a period okay (2- 3days?) after which the tomato slowly recovers and ripening, with production of aromatics, continues. But if you chill longer than that, there is little or no recovery, you lose the aromatics, and your tomato ceases to taste like one. Would explain tasteless imported toms.

As for washing eggs, difficult to know what to do: this time of year ours come with varied deposits of mud and chicken-shit.............)

@bob in #offgrid
Re: %uU2erYxh8

".........but basically, just avoid things that go bad quickly. I have butter, but not milk. I don't eat meat on the boat, unless I catch a fish. cheese goes a bit moldy, but that improves the flavor.
beans and rice etc store very well, potatoes, onions, cabbage, carrots (remove one leaf at a time, do not cut)......." @Dominic

Which is to say, pretty much what our grandparents did: eat fresh or simply preserved foods.

And the elephant in the room (or moose in the bar) is that the alternative...processed foods...are, broadly speaking, loaded with additives mainly to improve shelf life, but also to facilitate rapid processing/alter the product in an attempt to render it more attractive to the various senses.
And the reality is that we actually have no depth of knowledge on the full effects of many of those additives.

Eating fresh (provided you live somewhere fresh food is actually available) neatly sidesteps much of that.

@bob in #cooking-channel
Re: %J8NrGSj87

The Shortage of Raisins (a Sad Tale of Shifting Addictions)

We live simply, and are creatures of habit. Each evening we do the quiz in the paper, and are amazed all over again at our ignorance: despite 2 whole lifetimes of continuous reading, we know nothing at all about sport, and our answer to anything remotely geographical is either 'Hamilton' or 'the Carribean'. Sadly, while every few years Hamilton actually is the correct answer, so far the Carribean has been a complete dud.
Having compared the score to previous evenings, to see if the questions are trending more stupid or we are gaining in intelligence, we would then move the sudoku, where Leigh performs with blinding speed while I exhibit various forms of dyslexia.

Then it was the cryptic crossword...and out would come the chocolate.

Originally it was those Whittakers big blocks. And Whittakers is exceeding good chocolate: our tolerance gradually built to half a block each per crossword per evening, and stayed there as we expanded, until eventually we agreed this could not go on.

Whittakers then released a whole range of skinny specialty flavoured blocks, so we moved to those, limiting ourselves to just 2 (okay, maybe 4) squares each.
This could have gone well, but we then discovered we so enjoyed the range and variety that we built up the entire collection, selecting a variety of matching and contrasting flavours each evening. Then, to make matters worse, we discovered the Lindt specialty range, so now we were matching and contrasting and comparing the two ranges. And when the stack of partly eaten specialty flavours wouldn't fit between the fridge shelves any more, we agreed this couldn't go on either.

There had been some very quiet evenings when Leigh began baking the biscuits. The first ones were a bit dark round the edges, but with practice she got the colour and the proportion of chocolate drops just right. Then she discovered she could stockpile them in the freezer, and things went well until we realised we were were overlapping the batches more and more to be sure we never ran out. And we looked at each other, expanding, and agreed this had to stop too.

That was a couple of weeks ago now, and it's been leaving a wistful sense of loss in our evenings. And I don't like to see Leigh looking sad, so the other evening I got out my breakfast raisins, and we had just a few. Then we had a few more the following evening. And yesterday I went to the shops and doubled my raisin supply........

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@bob voted desiccated coconut adds an even more puddingy vibe :) apple juice is anoth
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@bob in #cooking-channel
Re: %J8NrGSj87

@jolyon
Initially, 'Lite' annoyed me as faddish and faux trendy mangling of the language. Latterly, I just assume these are products reduced to an insipid ghost of their former selves, by a process known only to Reader's Digest. And why would anyone buy that?

As for 'fat free': yet another 'oh just a minute, it's not so bad after all' from the diet demonisers.
But there's good news here: it's winter, I get to buy the Sunday roast, the butchers are starting to leave the fat on...albeit nervously, and listening most carefully for the avalanche of hysteria.

And...it...is...delicious!!!

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@bob in #flying
Re: %OwXsgFYg4

@Dominic generically known as clekos, origininally from Cleveland Aircraft, I think.
A cunning little spring loaded collet arrangement used for temporarily holding sheet metal together. Much used on aircraft. The earlier version (still favoured by professionals for precision work) is screwed rather than sprung. The sprung ones are much faster to use.
Different colours are different (Imperial) sizes. My build uses 3/32", 1/8" and 5/32".
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@bob voted @bob, Trial and error, basically. I like the taste of oats and I like a cr
@bob in #boats
Re: %a+q/sU/nT

Septic Tanks: A Brief Diversion

The traditional septic tank is a large concrete lined hole in the ground, flooded, with some sort of lid.
Toilet outflow, plus grey water from washing etc is piped into one side of this, entering high on the tank side.
The organic waste is processed by bacteria, the residue from this settles, forming a sludge sometimes referred to as ash.
Residual liquid leaves via a pipe high on the other side of the tank and is then spread, underground, by a 'tree' of pipes, into a soakage area.

Over a period (approx 10years in our case) the ash builds up and requires pumping out.
(Pro Tip: at the first sign that the toilet water is slow to subside, get on it: it may be the system needs pumping, in which case there's no hurry. But it may be you have a blockage, and the quicker you deal with THAT, the nicer your day will be!)
The sludge in our tank is a darkish grey, is not foul smelling, and bears no resemblance to what came down the pipes.

Our very own complex, living, micro-ecological system, right there in the garden...and long may it last.

New builds now require far more complex and expensive arrangements, with pumps and multiple tanks. I am told the pumps have limited life, and are expensive to run. And these systems don't always behave well, though I wonder how much of that may be ignorance and lack of nurturing on the part of the users.

@bob in #boats
Re: %a+q/sU/nT

Neatly and succinctly put @CustomDesigned
We coexist with an old septic tank system here, and treat it with care and respect: minimal fats, only human/vegetable organic wastes/no antibacterials. And it behaves well (in fact, the last time it was pumped, the tanker driver spoke in glowing terms!)
But there's no way I'd have that process anywhere near food systems: the biology/chemistry is complex, interactive and site specific.
While we may understand elements and broad principles, we are a very long way from having a whole picture, let alone actually controlling it.

@bob in #cooking-channel
Re: %J8NrGSj87

Thank you @kas
I shall source some of your ingredients and seed what they do.

As a boomer, I have seen many foods demonised then rehabilitated, so maintain a healthy scepticism of food fads and diets. Neither do I take much notice of WHO edicts, never having met anyone who actually ate that way: I think we know a great deal less about diet than we often pretend.
However, I do have every respect for personal choice, and for those making intelligent decisions about their diet.

Our own guiding principles are very simple: we try for moderation in quantity, and balance in ingredients without treating that as any sort of exact science.
We listen to our bodies (they talk louder as the years pass).
And since we wish the full flavour of life, food included, we buy nothing with 'Lite' written on it!

@bob voted @bob, That sounds very much like my overnight oats, except I mix everythin
@bob in #books

I was considering @Dominic and his return to robust simplicity in floating toilet arrangements...and it reminded of the Merlin in T H White's "The Once and Future King": his foreknowledge was because he was living backwards in time.

It's been a while, but I enjoyed the book very much. It's about Arthur, or the Fisher King, depending on which memory you visit. And I thought that, while it's a very old legend, it explains things that still resonate in the culture I grew up with.

@bob in #cooking-channel
Re: %J8NrGSj87

@kas
That sounds a lot more sophisticated than my effort!
How did you arrive at that particular mix?

@bob in #cooking-channel

Pudding for Breakfast:
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A while ago I moved off packet breakfasts: the principal manufacturer of breakfast foods here is registered as a charity and pays no tax, so I won't buy their products.
I'm no foodie, but I've found the above to be pretty good: it's simple, tastes great, I know what's in it, and it lasts really well right through the morning.

1/2 cup rolled oats, preferably whole grain, not the diced ones. I put some milk in with these and soak them overnight, which is supposedly beneficial. Water would be fine too.

2 dessert spoons each of sunflower and pumpkin seeds sprinkled on. I dice them, but chewing works fine too. Undiced/unchewed the pumpkin seeds depart the same as they arrived...

A sprinkling of raisins, for me just enough to cover the seeds. Dried cranberries are good too: it's a taste and texture thing.

A layer of yoghurt. I make my own with EasiYo hardware, but mix up my own powdered milk and seed it either with Leigh's yoghurt, or a small De Winkel yoghurt bought for the purpose. I've tried running the same culture through several generations, but find it loses it's taste/potency. Many yoghurts are a mix of cultures, and I would guess I'm not managing to keep them all alive with my simple 42' system.

Bon appetit........

@bob in #flying
Re: %OwXsgFYg4

Here ya go then, @nanomonkey
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And it's riveted together...14,000 blind rivets, or thereabouts...that's one of the fun bits...)

@bob in #boats
Re: %a+q/sU/nT

BTW...suggest you write a use-by date on that bucket: after approx 3 years, they go from being very durable to very brittle..........(

@bob in #boats
Re: %a+q/sU/nT

"..........One of the things that most assists with solving 3rd world problems, is simplicity..........."

You're singing to the choir on that one. And don't limit it to 3rd world problems, either: in high maintenance industries, reliability and durability of equipment becomes very important. And there is huge correlation between simplicity and durability. So much so that, if it's getting complicated, we step back and start again. Then when we think we've got it, we check to see what we can remove.

And one of our plant electricians came up with a name for this: tractor technology. That is, technology like an old style tractor: you start it up and it's not too flash, but it goes and goes and goes.....

@bob in #flying
Re: %OwXsgFYg4

That's the plan @jolyon !
I love being in the air, and I love being down low: years ago, I used to have flying dreams where I lifted myself from the ground and quietly drifted across the landscape...it was very real, right down to the detail of how I got off the ground...

The 701 is virtually the same aircraft, main visual difference is the wing line dips down over the fuse. And the LE slats: these give the 701 a slight STOL edge over the Savannah, but they are draggy, and if you push them too hard, they quit very suddenly. Quite a few 701s have been bent on hard landings...

@bob in #flying
Re: %79br9rCIc

"..........that thing two rocks on a rope hunting weapon.........."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolas
We made them from 3/8 steel nuts and flex (string isn't strong enough) and practiced on lamp-posts, rather than each other, it being incredibly painful round the legs.
The weights accelerate with great force as they wind around the victim/lamp-post............

@bob in #flying
Re: %79br9rCIc

Some local history: 38,000ft in 1968 with a wooden glider:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/wairarapa/67071162/dougs-gliding-on-in-the-record-books

@bob in #flying
Re: %OwXsgFYg4

This is an early version (VG) belonging to the man in the pic above. It has been all over NZ, paddocks, hilltops, shingle beds in rivers, beaches and 13000ft over the central range.
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ICP, the Italian manufacturers then produced the XL, where they reworked the front fuselage to give more cockpit space etc. They then produced the S, with the rear fuselage rounded.
Here are some:
http://www.centreulmlesnoyers.com/actus-photos_4808785.html

@bob in #flying
Re: %OwXsgFYg4

Thank you @jolyon it's a very well designed and complete CNC kit, accompanied by an almost laughably bad manual. But, somehow, thousands have been built, and the owners seem to love them. It's a mature STOL design derived from the Zenith 701, but with vortex generators replacing the original slats for less drag and a softer stall.

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Edging back into the workshop, now spring is coming, after a long break. Time to get the fuselage off the bench and complete the combing & upper cockpit.
Then it'll be time to erect the temporary paint bay. Promises to be exciting, this is the first job I've done any real spray work. So I'll be setting this up carefully to simplify the work as much as I can: I'm going to 'rotisseri' the fuse and wings. And lots of light is a huge benefit, apparently.

It's a Svannah S. Or will be...........
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And the last pic shows us taking delivery of another one for a friend down the road...

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@bob in #offgrid
Re: %0scIP3quH

This device is clearly optimised for air.
In water you would use a log type screw to shed weed and debris and avoid damage.
screw.jpg

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@bob
Re: %fjFXNH+bE

I suggest the acronym AS (Artificial Stupidity) for AI that isn't.
I believe it is important to name things for what they are, that there is power in that (thank you, Orwell).

While this stuff is funny, it stops being that when it is blithely used to deal to sentient beings.
And there is a growing pattern of government bodies using perverse models to do that.

So we have, in the UK, people on sickness benefits, too ill to attend required interviews, having their sickness benefit pulled for not attending interviews. Or dying of cancer but required to attend job interviews.
And we have Dunedin hospital, where general surgeons are getting just 2 days a month in theatre due to lack of hospital resources, now eligible for only reduced resources because they are not meeting targets.

@bob

Putting aside (with great difficulty) the comic possibilities of Australians testing the Irish in English...here we have the model mistaken for the reality:
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/aug/08/computer-says-no-irish-vet-fails-oral-english-test-needed-to-stay-in-australia

@bob in #new-zealand
Re: %Sa/L7Mqkj

I really enjoyed that!
I think one of the special gifts is to let another see through your eyes...thank you...)

@bob in #cooking-channel
Re: %KJ4LLS3G8

@Howard Klein
Sorry, I don't know anything about that.
This was a sourdough addition to an existing baking plant. I did the automation for temp/humidity control for the proving room, the conveyor system out of there and marshaling of flats to deliver to the oven (which is Italian and huge, has it's own auto loading mechanism, and later tried to leave for the basement by melting the underfloor material, but that's another story). I also did the refrigeration for the various cooling/chilling/freezing rooms after that.
I wasn't involved in any detail of the baking, just an observer: they got a couple of French bread gurus over from the States to help commission it, which was a blast, we all got to be bread tasters.
For a while they were shipping container loads of the stuff from NZ to Oz.

I know the proving was low temp and also a lot of effort went into getting humidity right, so as to neither dry/skin the dough, nor to make it wet/sticky. And minimal airflow...you could hold a lighted match up.

I know the yeast culture came from SF (don't ask), but that it will be altered in time by the different environment here...so that everywhere you cook bread the process is different.

I know that the flour varies all the time due to season and location etc, so the bulk supply comes with a test sheet and the recipes are adjusted accordingly.

I know that mass production high volume/speed methods have killed bread, and that you get a very fine grained homogenous result that way, whereas slow sourdough has a more open 'coarse' texture.

And, since I later did the silos and flour transport, I know you move bulk flour by blowing it down pipes...and that the silos have a biblically-named attachment called a smiter...which does just that!

@bob in #cooking-channel
Re: %KJ4LLS3G8

I did the controls on a sourdough setup a while back.
The proving, or rising of the dough for that is done very slowly, the proving room is almost a temp and humidity controlled inhibitor.
I was told that the slower proving is a big part of what develops the flavour.
I learnt a lot of other things too.
I like processes...)

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@bob voted This is really fun. I don't know if Colorado would be as interesting to yo
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Re: %Sa/L7Mqkj

Do it! We want to see..............)

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Re: %Sa/L7Mqkj

Re Cabbage Tree: A Curious Story:

Someone, at some time, on the SW coast of England, took it into their head to promote the region as 'The English Riviera'. Or perhaps it was 'The Riviera of the North': the details are mercifully lost in time.

For those who have not actually tried a traditional English coastal holiday, a visit to the excellent Guardian newspaper reader's annual 'Underwhelming Holiday Photos' gives a good idea of what an astonishingly optimistic idea this actually was.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/gallery/2017/jul/26/your-underwhelming-summer-holiday-photos

Nevertheless, they pushed ahead, stiff upper lips & all that, and in due course went looking for a suitable palm to give things that Mediterraneanish feel (not that palms grow much in the Mediterranean, but anyone expecting to sun themselves on the SW coast clearly wouldn't know THAT).
And they named the region Torbay, the town of Torquay being there...somewhere.

The various palms they tried did a summer or two, then refused to cooperate.
So they went looking for anything palmish...you know, if you squinch your eyes up...that would hang in there.
And, finally, they happened on the hardy antipodean Cabbage Tree.
But since 'Cabbage Tree' somehow just didn't work with 'Riviera', they renamed it 'Torbay Palm'.

They line that coast now, those Torbay Palms.

I wonder if they dream of home???

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@bob in #offgrid
Re: %Ol7D4M1Yc

continued.............

Bits & pieces:

The tanks require some form of vent. For mine I set in 90deg rainwater pipe corners.
These or any vent require:
1.Mesh to exclude insects. I started with screen door metal mesh, but this rusted out fairly quickly, so I moved to screen door glass mesh (both from Mitre 10). This is lasting better, but something is trying to peck holes in it. I'm keeping my eye out for a small quantity of stainless mesh.

  1. Some sort of light trap: it is important to keep the tank completely dark to avoid growing algae etc. I lined my vents with black malthoid, which I had on hand at the time.
    I fitted 2 vents per tank, with the aim of promoting evaporative cooling in the summer. However, in this windy area I also collect dust and pollens that way, and will be reducing the vent size when next up the ladder.

(Small problem with editor here when trying to type numbered lists).

Planting round the tanks provides some shelter from the summer sun, and so reduces seasonal warming of the water.

Some means of checking water level is required. I considered a few ideas, but settled on the simple tanktop gauge which has a line down into the tank with a float on the end, now readily available.

And an overflow system may be required: mine is a half-hearted alkathene effort to carry overflow away from the the tanks and a neighbour's farm gate adjacent. Works in light rain...

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@bob
Re: %OaA+9xWTs

@nanomonkey......it's Gareth???

@bob in #offgrid
Re: %Ol7D4M1Yc

continued.....

With leaf/rubbish filters in place, I am now capturing most of the water and reliably straining out the larger debris without constant maintenance.

The key part now is to emulate what works for water cleaning/purification in many natural settings: settling and biological action. Both of these processes depend to a great extent on time, and we have plenty of that with a 25,000L tank, provided we can get a sort of FIFO action going. This is how you do it:

  1. Do not drop the water from the roof into the top of the tank: dust/dirt etc coming in that way will then sink very slowly to the bottom, contaminating the entire tank until the settling is complete.
    Instead, take the water to the bottom of the tank. (Or near there: if you take it entirely to the bottom, the incoming water will stir up the fine silt on the bottom of the tank.)

On my system, the water enters at the top of the tank, but falls into 10L paint bucket, which has a plastic drainpipe mounted into it's base. This pipe extends to within 600mm of the floor of the tank, with a baffle plate on the end to deflect the water away from the tank floor.

This sees the upper, settled, water in the tank undisturbed, and the new roof water delivered to the bottom of the tank, which is also where more of the biological action will be going on.

  1. Do not take water from the bottom of the tank. That's the new/dirty/cloudy stuff.
    Instead, fit an internal floating takeoff to take water from just below the water surface.

Apparently you can now buy these, in the form of a curly hose with a float on the end. Presumably these can be retro-fitted from outside (note that you'll need a special offset ladder top hook or some such to get in the tank once it is upright, otherwise the ladder you put in the hole also bisects and blocks the hole).

I made my own takeoff/s with a short length of flexible hose attached to a length of electrical conduit, and a float near the tip of this, so the conduit swings up and down in the tank with the water level.
I took the lid of a 10L paint bucket, cut a hole in the centre and threaded this onto the tip of the conduit, securing with a DIY collar. I then attached the float to the rim of this. The tip of the conduit floats approx 200mm below the water surface, and this arrangement ensures that the takeoff stays off the tank bottom in low water situations. Finally, near the tip, I bored several large holes in the conduit wall, so that flow will not be blocked by minor debris.
I was able to fit these to my 2 tanks, from outside and with water in them.
I have no pics, but can sketch this if anyone wishes.

  1. If you have more than one tank, fit them in series, with this arrangement in each tank.

Once you have the tanks initially filled and settled, and the biological activity going on at the bottom, the quality of the water coming off is consistently excellent:
I have a fine strainer on the line back to the house. I used to visit it annually, I don't think I've been in there now for 2 or 3 years, and I'm sure it will be clear and clean when I do.
And, according to Massey (as I recall), the reduction in bacteria count is huge.

@bob in #offgrid
Re: %Ol7D4M1Yc

@Gendor I haven't looked at that one.
I do have some fairly clear ideas on what makes a good self-clearing leaf/rubbish filter, I intended to go back over that towards the end of this thread

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Re: %vt6olvLlS

Yes, congratulations...may it be a happy home for you...)

@bob voted [@Alanna](@6OxffMLNyxkboLjCqv29WnMPhH8O3qFrcXCR6KrKcPI=.ed25519) and I just
@bob in #cooperative
Re: %c/lszgi48

@dinosaur sorry, that wasn't intended in any way as a comment on your work. I would be the least qualified to do that. The rant was because:

I have a personal problem with what sometimes seem to me like 'reality gaps' (as in the gap between what my own senses are telling me and what I am being assured is the case).

And as a practical extension of that, I have also learnt the hard way to be very careful what data to hand to management, since, without a clear view of the context and limitations of that data, they are apt to make naive decisions.

@bob in #cooperative
Re: %c/lszgi48

@Dominic thanks for that.
I would guess this business of building models is, for the most part, a recent development: a sort of fellow traveler to our recent preoccupation with scientific method in all things. And we proceed now as though the answer to everything must lie in making such models.
Perhaps that impulse comes from the wish for security of control, and the idea that, if we can only find the right formula, we will have that?

You illustrate very neatly the problem with this particular model: it is a "a rigorous mathematical framework for modeling interactions" which isn't rigorously modelling interactions at all. As such, it is may be a novelty, and perhaps even a stepping stone, but it is not a foundation for anything.

@bob in #cooperative
Re: %c/lszgi48

There are aspects of this area of study that leave me deeply uneasy. I would struggle to clearly say why, but:

Part of it is probably due to my own left-leaning views (wishes) for a kinder world, naive as they may be.

Part comes from the observation that, while our models of the world around us are almost always simplistic and often so crude as to be effectively useless, we sometimes treat them as though they are absolute, and even go so far as to mistake them for the reality they supposedly represent.

And part of it comes from memory of the time when these lines of thinking led to the conclusion that the right answer was a pre-emptive nuclear strike on Russia. And people in high places believed it.

@bob in #vegan-junkfood
Re: %H+k4GPlYu

Affable NZ has something of a history of giving away it's good ideas: "You like our kiwifruit? Come see how we grow them...oh and why not take a few vines home when you go???"
That may not be a fair or accurate example, but I have been in more than one plant over the years where interested visitors were being proudly shown the details of locally evolved processes.

Perhaps Sunfedfoods are preferring to keep their processes to themselves?

@bob voted # the evolution of trust :star2: an interactive guide to the game theory o
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Re: %Ol7D4M1Yc

@Dominic I think you are right. The early immigrants would have made whatever could be easily built, then got on with clearing and farming the land.
To build in stone, you need local access to quantities of workable stone, and I'm not sure NZ has that in many districts. You also need men who know how to work it, and I don't think many came here: there is little evidence of skilled artisans in the early building work.

As it happens, in a country prone to earthquakes, timber is an excellent building material: light, flexible and strong. And it lends itself wonderfully well to additions and modifications: I was 2 years in Edinburgh, and the first tool I bought there was a hammer drill, essential equipment for putting up shelves or even hanging pictures...

@bob in #offgrid
Re: %Ol7D4M1Yc

Right. Joining It Up and Making It Go.

But first:
While we made a few bits ourselves, none of the ideas or principles used originated with me.
Massey Uni in Wellington have been running roof water studies for years, complete with their own tank farm, and adjoining roofs where they throw bread to encourage the birds to crap/fall in their water.
http://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/learning/departments/centres-research/roof-water-research-centre/rwrc_home.cfm
Part way into this job, I called them and had a long conversation with Stan Abbott, who directs this.
For those interested, they have a lot of good stuff online.

and

I made a number of changes and improvements to the setup over a couple of years. So it didn't go together, from start to finish as described below. But it makes more sense to describe it that way, in it's finished form. I think...

So, first that filter box/strainer:
DSCF1250.JPG
Nicely made, copper. Roof water comes in top left, passes through perforated strainer, leaves to tank.

Three drawbacks with this design:

  1. No way of knowing how much leaves/gunk/expired wildlife is accumulated in there from the ground.
  2. Water passing through is now being strained through whatever leaves/gunk/expired wildlife has accumulated.
  3. Trip up ladder to check for and remove said leaves/gunk/expired wildlife.

Then someone came up with the leaf diverter:
index.jpg
The idea here is that the solids fall or are washed off the screen, while the water passes right through. Nice!
However, at time of building, just 2 models were available in NZ, they cost $80 each and I have 5 downpipes. So we made:
DSCF1235.JPG
DSCF1236.JPG
This is left over 90mm pipe, with a sloping screen of heavy fishing line threaded up and down through a series of holes.

Cameo appearance >>>>> And @John applied his honors maths and made the pattern for the holes, so that the screen lines are equidistant and parallel!!!<<<<<<<<

The simple pipes worked very well, I thought, but water in varying quantities comes down pipes in many ways, mostly not vertically as we like to imagine. And too often quite a lot found it's way out the front.
So, having watched precious water from a rare summer rain go everywhere but down the pipe, and having tried all manner of things to reliably direct the water down the back of the pipe (while avoiding any constriction) I added the galvanised frogmouth in the pics.

I give these 8/10: I still have to get up the ladder periodically, but it keeps itself clear, I can see what is going on from the ground, and the water all goes down the pipe.....it's on it's way!!!

More comments in errors and improvements at the end of this strand (should we ever arrive).........

@bob in #offgrid
Re: %Ol7D4M1Yc

@Dominic "..... then cut logs for a timber frames from whatever trees where growing nearby"

Interesting aside to that is that the settlers (obviously) didn't arrive with any knowledge of suitable local timbers. So, some of whatever was growing nearby worked very well, and some didn't.
While totara makes a 100 year fencepost (or house pile) in the dry, put in boggy ground it rots very fast...

I would guess the knowledge of suitable woods in Europe grew over generations of what worked and what lasted.

@bob in #offgrid
Re: %Ol7D4M1Yc

Here is the pic I tried to post earlier in this thread. It shows the same view as house/tank/clothesline, but about 9 years later (2012).
SANY0013.JPG

@bob in #offgrid
Re: %Ol7D4M1Yc

@Emile I hadn't thought about that, and it's a good question. I don't have an authoritative answer, my guess would be this:
NZ saw Western settlement late, mid 20th century onwards. And It's a very long way, by sea, from anywhere. Houses were, and still are, built of wood, with corrugated iron roofs. So you've got the roof, you've got the gutters, all you need is the tank. The original ones were made from corrugated iron, with lead soldered joints, simple and portable. An economical and pragmatic solution, using the same materials and tools as the house.
Moving on: corrugated iron tanks have a limited life, and limited size. So someone worked out that you could leave a workman onsite with rebar and sacks of cement, and a couple of weeks later you had a much bigger and more durable tank. Then eventually, as transport and roads improved, they were made in town and trucked out. They still make them in town here, and some of the farmers still prefer them, for all that they are more expensive than the polyethylene 'plastic' tanks.

Some sites do have bores, but typically that would be where more than household water is required (stock watering, irrigation). Putting down a bore is a much more expensive alternative and, unless artesian, you then require pumping equipment: more gear to purchase, run and maintain. There would be questions of how far down to line a bore (NZ is a soft, geologically young country) and bores need use to keep them clear.

As a footnote to the iron tank era: I flew here to Hastings then back down the coast yesterday. And the discarded corrugated tanks are still out there, lying in rural gully.
They will eventually go back where they came...but in the roofs of most old houses are the corrugated header tanks, replaced as they sprang leaks. There's 2 in my roof here...and they'll be there until the house comes down...)

@Dominic I'll leave the stump gun for now, or we may never get water out the taps!

@bob in #offgrid
Re: %Ol7D4M1Yc

DSCF0456.JPG

Leigh, playing in the dirt...)

@bob in #offgrid
Re: %Ol7D4M1Yc

@nanomonkey you've got that right: I'm an amateur, but i have a builder friend who always gets the biggest machine he can. And I'm slowly learning to take the same approach: it's amazing how much you get done, and how fast, with a good sized machine.

It becomes fun, too: last year Leigh decided on a pond at the front of the property, I trailered in a small backhoe and we both had a go, inviting a friend round because he always wanted a go too.
We cut out the pond in no time and spent the rest of the hire period roaming the section removing stumps. A really good day!

And for more traditional (and even more exciting) stump removal techniques, I invite Dominic to describe the NZ stump gun...

@bob in #offgrid
Re: %Ol7D4M1Yc

continued... .

yep, you get to do a little applied maths shortly, John.

and, Dominic, i'd love to have access to a spring and all the possibilities there.
Folk occasionally get sick round here, though I think that's more when they run out of water and pump from the local river, late summer when it's low. Or systems that are periodically replenished from dam water.

Apparently some of the pics I posted above are large files, apologies if those aren't accessible.

I'll finish describing the system in this post, then work through the improvements.
So far, we got the tanks in place:

With my tank farm grown from 1 to 3, I chose to move them away from the house to the back corner of the section.

To get the water from downpipes to tanks, I dug 600mm trenches and laid an underground 'wet' system using 90mm pipe (smaller diameters are typically too light). The downpipes are sealed to this system, so the weight of water at the house pushes water up and into the tank tops at the other end. And since I was fascinated with pipe losses at that time, I used only 45' bends.
I would do this differently another time: I'll come back to this and other errors/improvements at the end of the thread.

Power for the pump box and control wiring, plus alkathene pipe to bring water back to the house etc went in the same trenches.

I decided to make 2 separate systems: garden, using the concrete tank with it's header; and house, using the new tanks and a new header in the house roof.
I laid a small slab and made up a pump box for the two pumps required.

next, joining it up and making it work............

@bob sent a private message
@bob in #offgrid
Re: %Ol7D4M1Yc

To be continued...

@bob in #offgrid
Re: %Ol7D4M1Yc

Hi Joey, no springs here and not well situated for a bore either. So I drink our roof water.

A good starting point for working out quantities is 125L/day/person. Obviously you can easily get by on much much less, that's a comfortable figure with modern levels of showering/laundry/toilets etc.
The concrete tank is approx 20,000L, we traditionally have long dry summers, and Leigh loves her garden.
So I added 2 x 25,000Litre tanks, putting them down the back corner of the section.
Rolling them round on their sides is easy, but getting them from there to upright, on your own, is something of a challenge.
I could have asked for local help. But once I started, I couldn't: it's one of those country blokey self-sufficiency things. Lots of quad bikes cruising by, eyes straight ahead, but you just know they're checking how the townie is doing...

scan0002.jpg

Then I moved the concrete tank to join them.
This was a really nice 'adventure':
Concrete is porous and the 'wet' weight of that tank is about 7 tonnes. I talked to all sorts of locals and they told me stories of digging under and jacking up and steel rollers and double axle trailers and nothing in the district big enough to lift it.
Then I went to a concrete place in town and they told me how these tanks were made, how to give them an internal 'lime wash' to reseal them, gave me some 2 pot stuff to seal any seepage (all these tanks have small cracks/seepage), had an in-depth discussion about the provenance of this particular tank (it has an internal central column, which is unusual and (apparently) of great interest)...and said you need Joe who drives for some local outfit.
So I called Joe and he said he'd call me back sometime. And about a week later Joe called and said he was in the district and he'd be there in 15minutes, and I'm running round disconnecting pipework and switch electrics and an overhead cable, so I didn't see Joe come in the front gate.
But here's the thing: our gate is on the corner of the section and the drive bends tightly through it and delivery trucks can't get in and to get the septic tanker in I took the gate and pintles off...and Joe, this little Maori man, just drifted in with an enormous mobile crane without even squashing the daffodils.
And he brought the chains, and the steel spreader, and hooked onto the lifting lugs, and said no guarantees, the lugs may pull out, and when we lift it the bottom may fall out.
And up it came. He sent me under to scrape the bottom with a spade: it had lifted clumps of soil, you put it down on that and you can crack the bottom. Then he lifted it over the house and put it on the lawn, moved the crane, lifted it across again, I spun it to get the pipes in the right place, and down it came.
Maybe 20 minutes all up, including blocking the crane up twice on it's outriggers.
The best $300 I ever spent.
And to this day, for reasons I can't explain, most enormously gratifying.

Then off he drifted, through the gate, easy, daffodils all still standing...

Somewhere in amongst all that, I literally ran inside for the camera, and got one shot.
scan0001.jpg

@bob in #offgrid
Re: %Ol7D4M1Yc

I was next going to say how, with surprisingly little simple extra gear, and a little understanding, you can get clean water year round from the same system.

But I haven't seen those pics for a while, and I'm fascinated all over again. They show a sort of pioneer triumph of utility over comfort:
First, the tank: is positioned in a corner of the house, the easier to pipe the water. In the second picture, a window is visible to the left of the tank. This is the master bedroom window, and the view from in there is..voila...concrete tank!
img511.jpg

And, second, the clothes line. In the Antipodes these are known as a Hill's clothesline. Every boomer in NZ grew up swinging on one, and they ALWAYS stuck them right in the middle of the lawn. Then, eventually...they grew tired of looking out into the gardens and seeing wet clothes and rusting iron...and in my time here I have removed, or helped remove at least 4, maybe 5 of them. Always with the monumental block of concrete on the bottom....
This particular one was an antique DIY work of art: not only was the post concrete, the boss where all the pipes joined was concrete too...

And I know this because was our old cottage in 2003. And here are the same shots in 2012:
SANY0013.JPG
HOUSE_2012_12.JPG

@bob in #offgrid

Approx 450,000 Kiwis rely on roof water. That's 10% of us, and in many parts of the world the percentage is much higher.
That's a lot of tanks, and most of them (over 50% in NZ) are poorly set up, delivering dirty water and the periodic gastric problems that go with that. Here's how that's done:
img503.jpg
img501.jpg
And here's how it works:

  1. The water flows from the gutters and is delivered to an (optional) filter box. That's the white box on the wall at the right of the second pic. Inside is a false floor full of holes, the object being to catch leaves/twigs/dead birds and rodents/that crusty stuff that accumulates in gutters etc...and prevent it getting to the tank.
  2. The water, now free of large lumps, is piped into the top of the tank.
  3. Up on top of the tank is a smaller (black alkethene) tank. This is the header tank, and will provide gravity fed water to the house.
  4. The header tank has a simple float operated mercury switch. Over here these are called a Stewart switch and it's in the little box you can see on top of the tank, activated by a simple sliding float on a chain inside the tank.
  5. When the water level is low in the header, the Stewart switch trips, and a pump (situated under the house) pumps water from the bottom of the concrete tank up into the header.

As a general guide, the oldtimers tell us, if you can get it past your nose, it's okay to drink. Oh, and if you find something large floating dead in the tank...just fish it out and pour in a bottle of bleach.

@bob sent a private message
@bob

Some really interesting comments and discussions on this site that I'd like to be part of.
So much so that, although I only just arrived, I just decided to try and limit my involvement to evenings. That way, maybe, I'll actually get something done during the day...)

@bob in #boats
Re: %Iwkkok2x8

I know what good feedback control looks like when it's working.
I also know someone who sails with some of the Kiwis...not competitive himself as a sailor, but has made major contributions in terms of laminates for the boats, this is his specialty.

I think it is quite generally felt that something odd went on in 2013, bearing in mind that the rules specifically precluded the use of feedback control.

@bob in #boats
Re: %Iwkkok2x8

I usually filter the sensor input (Process Value) in industrial situations before passing it to the PID instruction.

Although not theoretically perfect
(New Reading + (5 x Previous Filtered Reading))/6 = New Filtered Reading
run at a suitable rate, seems to work very well in practice.

Why 6, I don't know, I've tried it with bigger and smaller dilutions, but nowadays I just use 6. It works.
This is also handy for smoothing values that are periodically read via multiplexers and the like.
And it's simple and very compact, and I'm lazy!

And, again in practice, I use only PI initially. Often it's more than enough to do the job.

Yes, you're right, once the values are tuned (assuming that can be done) the result can be amazing: as demonstrated by the 'miraculous' US improvement in the 2013 America's Cup. Everything suddenly goes most wonderfully smooth..........

@bob in #new-zealand
Re: %hlzt1jf2t

Well, that's a good start:

Step 1: Define the Problem...............