Saturday, November 28, 2009

New Wood Stove Installed

I finally got the big Earth Stove I picked up last year fixed and installed.

This wonderful stove was listed on Craigs List last year for $100. It was built in the 70's with a craftsmanship not seen in today's stoves. None of that silly anti pollution crap for this baby. She is a big plate steel monster who keeps the place warm if not full on hot through the coldest night.  There were some cracks in the corners of the door opening which were repaired with refractory cement and the chimney and stove pipe had to be changed from 6 to 8 inch.

My old stove was nice. Small with a great viewing window but the thing had to be fed every ninety minutes which really sucks when you are trying to get a good nights sleep. Plus I had to burn it as hot as I could to keep the house warm.

I traded the neighbor the old stove for his help in getting the mammoth Earth Stove into the house and set on the hearth. He also threw in a 100 pound propane tank but I have not needed propane heat. He took the small stove and put it in his 26 foot trailers where it keeps him and his dogs toasty warm.

The fire box on the Earth Stove is between three and four times bigger than the small stove plus it has a very efficient air intake damper that allows me to easily control the burn rate and stove temperature.

There is a control knob attached to a metal coil that can be set for low, medium or high. The coil expands as the stove heats up and closes the damper slowing the burn rate. As the stove cools down the coil contracts opening the damper feeding more air into the fire box.  If I want to shut off the airflow almost completely there is a metal cover that drops down over the top of the air intake.

There is an oven thermometer on the top of the stove. On the low setting the stove fluctuates between 220 to 270 degrees depending on where the damper is. Completely dampered down it hovers right around 180 degrees. The cabin is staying between 65 and 75 degrees at night on the lowest setting. Drops down to around 50 degrees when the damper is completely closed which is a great sleeping temperature. 

A full load of wood will burn between 6 and 8 hours with the stove dampered down depending on the wood. I should be able to get that number up to between 10 and 12 hours when I get the damper installed in the stove pipe next week.

The only downside to the new stove is that the door is solid so I cannot see the fire. You know I thought this would bother me but honestly the fact that I can sleep through the night more that makes up for aesthetic deficiency. If I really want to see the fire burning there is a metal mesh screen that came with the stove that can be fit over the open door hole. I have used it on a few occasions and love it but you cannot sleep with it installed.

All in all a wonderful addition for $100 and I wish I would have installed it last winter.

Employer Sponsored Health Insurance In Massive Declining

As the number of companies carrying employer sponsored health insurance declines so do the health insurance profits. Rather than actually providing an affordable product to the American public the health insurance industry is simply buying congressmen who will force Americans to purchase these unnecessary policies to support their bloated industry profits.

These numbers don't lie. More and more American companies are being force to abandon health insurance for their employees do to skyrocketing costs. Rather than fix the problem congress is rubber stamping a health insurance industry written bill that will simply mandate that all Americans buy their product.

This is not free market. The health "reform" bill currently moving through congress will force American workers to purchase private health insurance over the necessities of life such as food and shelter on the threat of imprisonment. The IRS becomes the collection agency for the insurance industry breaking our backs for health insurance profits.

Source Economic Policy Institute 

Monday, November 9, 2009

Clarification on Affordable Health Care for America Act

A helpful reader sent me a tactful email pointing out that I sounded like a crackpot and that basically it was not believable that the government would jail you for not purchasing health insurance.

To be fair the Affordable Health Care for America Act does not specifically say that you will go to jail for not buying health insurance from a private insurer.

The Affordable Health Care for America Act does levy a $750 fine against any person not purchasing health insurance from a private insurer. That $75o fine is levied and collected by the IRS. If you refuse to pay the IRS you can be fined $25,000 or serve up to five years in prison.

So yes the Affordable Health Care for America Act does not have imprisonment in the bill itself but through the clever use of the IRS as the collection agency you are bound to pay or suffer massive fines and imprisonment.

Affordable Health Care for America Act

Here is the Affordable Health Care for America Act in a nutshell.

American citizens are mandated by the federal government to purchase health insurance from private companies. If an American citizen does not purchase health insurance from a private company they will be fined and/or IMPRISONED by the federal government for non-compliance.

There is absolutely nothing in this health insurance "reform" bill to control the cost of insurance premiums...nothing. The public option in the House version is nothing more than a privately run insurance co-op contracted by the federal government.

The health insurance "reform" creates debtors prison for Americans who either cannot afford the outrageous insurance premiums or will not purchase into the corrupt health insurance system because of their beliefs or personal values.

As the American economy continues its downward slide more and more Americans will be forced to abandon their private health insurance to simply support the family. Even worse companies are starting to drop their employee insurance do to the staggering associated costs. Over the next few years insurance company profits are set to drop significantly.

What can an insurance company do to guarantee massive profits when every other sector in the economy is tanking.

You buy the elected officials and under the lie of reform force every American to purchase your product. Not only purchase your product but guarantee no competition or price controls.

Health insurance is not health care. Health insurance does not actually do anything but garner a massive percent of what you pay them for corporate profits. Health insurance is an unnecessary burden on the people of America...a burden which will now be mandated on every citizen to further insurance industry profits.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


The neighbor is taking off to spend the winter with her grandchild in Oregon so I have luckily inherited six fine fat egg laying hens.

The herd is made up of two Plymouth Rock, two Leghorns and two Red Star (Red sex-link) all are great layers and winter hardy breeds.

A couple of weeks back I started building the coop. Real simple design partly screened on the east/west sides, fully screened on the south and closed on the north. Good sun during the day and keeps out the bitter north winds. There are several roosts in the north east corner which they seem to enjoy climbing.

A two by four foot roosting box in the north west corner easily hold the girls at night giving then a nice compact area to huddle in. There is a small laying box in the corner of the roost that all the hens share. They step in box, drop the egg and move long term parenting for these ladies.

There is one foot of hardware cloth buried around the perimeter to keep the coyotes and lesser predators from burrowing under the walls. The window screens are also half inch hardware cloth which should keep out anything except bears and mountain lions. A fine structure if I do say so myself. I am still trying to pick a color.

The coop cost right around $250 to build. In addition to this there is the ongoing cost of feed and scratch.

The hens are laying between five and seven eggs daily. The eggs are spectacular with brilliant yellow yokes and the whites hold together well when cooking...not the pale runny things you pick up at the Safeway. Plus honestly the hens are fun to watch and give the dogs a nice diversion.

Now the obvious question...are the eggs worth the upfront and associated ongoing costs.

At first I doubted it thinking I could buy alot of eggs from the store at $1.99 a dozen. But then I smacked myself for looking at the situation through globalist glasses. Yes there is a cost associated with keeping chickens employed but I will always have the security of a steady protein supply that can grow itself with the simple addition of a rooster.