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Sunday, March 29, 2009

10 Things To Do With Empty Spam Cans

or what else are you gonna do with all those empty cans???

1. Fill with melted wax and insert a wick to make a candle
2. Use as a mold for soap (you can even color the soap to look like Spam)
3. Make a salt cellar, just fill with salt and place it on your table, stove or counter top
4. Make it into a spam musubi mold (aka spam sushi mold) Spam Musubi Sushi Rice Press
5. Fill with sand, rocks or lead and use as a door stop
6. Use it to hold leftover fat from frying bacon (or Spam), place on the back of your stove
7. Fill it with left over change from your pockets
8. Fill with potpourri
9. Popsicle mold, pour in fruit juice (or Kool-aid), cover with plastic wrap, poke in one or two Popsicle sticks, freeze overnight
10. Make a rain chain, take several cans, drill centered holes in the bottom of each can, string on a chain with open side facing up, attach this to your rain gutter in place of the downspout, or use in a water feature

Happy April Fools Day!

To read all of my messages on Off-Grid.net, click here:
http://www.off-grid.net/section/wretha/

Wretha

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour

Here is my response to Earth Hour, by the way, what happened to Earth DAY??? Is it too much for the masses now? I guess an hour is better than nuttin...



To read all of my messages on Off-Grid.net, click here:
http://www.off-grid.net/section/wretha/

To read all of my messages on Earth Power News, click here:
http://www.earthpowernews.com/

Wretha

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Looking For Inexpensive Security Electronics?

Hey everyone, I'm not ashamed to admit that I have been checking out different ways to earn a few dollars with this blog without it becoming obnoxious for you, I found this wholesale company several years ago (they aren't newbies, they have been around for a while, at least 5 years on line), this company sells mainly electronics stuff.

Right now one of my favorite gadgets that they carry is an IR (Night Vision) high definition mobile video/audio recorder, full color, it can record down to 0 lux, it uses a SD memory card, up to 2GB, it has no internal memory so you will need to get a SD memory card but those are cheap enough to get, or maybe you have some laying around now. You can record your local wildlife, see what animal is getting into your trash or garden, you can catch who has been raiding your fridge in the middle of the night... :) You can spy on your neighbors (just don't do anything illegal!), use your imagination, there are hundreds of things you can record, day or night.

This company also carries many other security related items, all types of cameras, IR night vision, motion detection, button hole sized (tiny), corded and cordless... and they have many more electronics at super great prices.

I know that some of you will groan because this company is in China, but in all honesty most electronics ARE made in China, like it or not, even the gadgets that say they are made in the USA, where do you think they get the components? Yes, in China, so let's take advantage of the low prices and get these electronics while the gettin' is good! Who knows when things might get sticky between our 2 countries and bargains like these will vanish...

Another of my favorites is an all in one, touchscreen MP4 player with camera (stills and video), it has 8 GB of memory so you'll be able to take lots of pix and videos. You can watch movies & videos and listen to your favorite MP3s and more. Right now this is less than $60.00 (+ shipping). Get one for yourself, get one for your teenager who is going off to college, why spend hundreds of dollars on something that might get lost or stolen while they are at school? Get one for your sweetie without breaking the bank. This is highly rated on the site.

You will save hundreds of dollars buying from this company, check them out, order a few items, save yourself some $$$s and help support this site at the same time. They have an affiliate program so you can earn some money too (it's free to join), that is what I am doing here, this way you can get the same great deals that I get. They also have a drop shipping program (I believe that's free to join as well), so you can create your own store, sell on eBay or Amazon, you set your own prices and make even more money. I'm not ready to do the dropshipping thing yet, I used to do that, so for now, take advantage of the super low prices available directly from the company. You can also buy in quantity (you save more money that way), and you can resell the electronics to your friends, family, at flea markets and such, the prices are low enough to be able to make a nice profit.

They don't rape you on shipping either, the MP4 player above costs about $11.00 to ship to my location in west Texas, they ship airmail, UPS, FedEx, and DHL, with tracking, you choose which carrier you want to use!

Thanks for looking. Check out the "store" on the right side of the blog, I put up a few items that I thought might be of interest to you survival minded folks. :)

Already have one of these gadgets? Let me know what you think.




To read all of my messages on Off-Grid.net, click here:
http://www.off-grid.net/section/wretha/

To read all of my messages on Earth Power News, click here:
http://www.earthpowernews.com/

Wretha

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Finally, A Ryobi 12 Volt Cigarette Charger For 18 Volt Batteries

I just heard about a Ryobi 18 Volt In-Vehicle Charger, this is perfect for the off gridders who use deep cycle, 12 volt batteries. You can get this at Home Depot for about $30.00.

http://www.ryobitools.com/catalog/accessories/batteries_chargers/P130#

http://www.ryobitools.com/product_manual/file_url/231/P130_598_eng.pdf

Home Depot link

We use Ryobi 18 volt drills and power tools, it's always been a problem to try to charge them using an inverter. It takes forever, I have heard that it's not good for the charger and battery (I don't know this for a fact, but I have heard it), that's not to mention the inefficency of going from DC to AC then back to DC. This should be a major leap forward, this is something I have always thought should be available, and now it is.

Thanks Seth for alerting me to this.


To read all of my messages on Off-Grid.net, click here:
http://www.off-grid.net/section/wretha/

To read all of my messages on Earth Power News, click here:
http://www.earthpowernews.com/

Wretha

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Top Ten List Of Things

Here is a top 10 list of things that are important to me about living off grid. This isn't the be all-end all of lists, just a few things to think about. :)

1. Choose your food carefully. It's all too easy to stock up on foods as if you are going to be camping out. Camping foods are easy to keep and generally don't require refrigeration. Dried/dehydrated foods, canned foods and such. Just make sure it's foods you are going to actually eat, what fun is it if you have cases and cases of foods that you will get tired of eating? I still have a couple of cases of various beans that I brought out with me when I first moved off grid, I admit that I got in that camping out mindset when I was stocking up on foods to bring out here. Well, honestly one can eat only so many cans of beans, baked beans, pinto beans, ranch style beans before you don't ever want to see another bean again! Be sure you get a variety of foods so your diet will not get boring.




Read the rest of the story here:
http://www.earthpowernews.com/lifestyle/top-ten-list-things



To read all of my messages on Off-Grid.net, click here:
http://www.off-grid.net/section/wretha/

To read all of my messages on Earth Power News, click here:
http://www.earthpowernews.com/

Wretha

Thanks for visiting, Please leave all comments on the Off-Grid site or the EarthPower site instead of here, thanks!
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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Uncle dot Gov Is Watching Me

I had a bit of a surprise today, I was looking at my tracker and lo and behold, I see that I had a visit from a .gov site. I do get those every now and again, but this one was special, this one is the US Department of Energy. I don't know why they would be interested in my site, I hope it's a good thing, maybe they want to know how we are saving so much energy... or maybe they wonder why we aren't using any of their energy...

It's almost a scary thought to have such a big entity looking at my little blog, I wonder what they wanted?

It doesn't show HOW they found my site, no search engine, no referrer, no keywords. I can see that they have a fast connection, but it seems they need to upgrade their computers, who still uses 800x600 resolution, they are also using an older version of IE, and Windows XP (though personally I prefer XP over Vista).

Has anyone else had a visit from the Dept of Energy on their blogs or website? If you, the person who came from the DOE, are reading this, would you mind commenting and let me know what brought you here? Perhaps it's a disgruntled government employee looking to learn how to get and live off grid. :)


To read all of my messages on Off-Grid.net, click here:
http://www.off-grid.net/section/wretha/

To read all of my messages on Earth Power News, click here:
http://www.earthpowernews.com/

Wretha

Thanks for visiting!
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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Feedjit Update - Still No Response

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St Patrick's day and still no response from Feedjit, they still haven't posted my comments on their blog, I don't know if this link will work for anyone, but give it a try, this shows my "pending comment", you can read what I wrote to them. Let me know if this works or not, thanks! :0

http://feedjit.com/blog/2009/feedjit-is-now-on-twitter/#comment-1328

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To read all of my messages on Off-Grid.net, click here:
http://www.off-grid.net/section/wretha/

To read all of my messages on Earth Power News, click here:
http://www.earthpowernews.com/

Wretha

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Privacy and Feedjit, Rant and Request (UPDATED)

I like blogging, I read and follow many blogs, I don't always agree with what all of these other blogs have to say, but that is OK, we all have our own opinions and it's perfectly wonderful that we are all able to freely write what we want to.

I do have issues though, something I have seen more and more on blogs is a little box called Feedjit, specifically their "Live Traffic Feed". I still remember the first time I saw this widget, I was shocked and appalled, it was a slap in the face. What was it that hit me so hard? Simple, the name of my town was emblazoned right there for EVERYONE to see, not just on my browser, but for each and every person who visited that blog after that until my location rolled off the bottom of the widget.

That is a huge issue for me, I live in a very small community, and I try my best to keep my location private. And yet, there it was, listed in this box along with the last 10 or so visitors to that site, complete with their town/city names and the website where they came from. My location is there for everyone to see until enough other people visit that site and my location rolls off the bottom.

I am not blaming the bloggers who use this, it is exciting to see your visitors and where they are coming from, heck even knowing their location is cool, but it's not cool to have your visitor's locations plastered on the front page, let's make it to where you have to at least click on something to get that information.

In this companies defense, very tiny defense though, they do allow you opt out and make THAT site ignore you, but damnit, the next site you visit that uses the Feedjit widget lists your town/city/location again, and you have to tell THAT site to ignore your browser, meanwhile the damage is done. If you clean out your cookies, then all of those sites you previously told to ignore your browser will list your location again until you tell it, again, to ignore your browser. On top of all of this, they don't make it all that easy to FIND the place on the widget to tell it to ignore your browser, you have to click on "options" at the very bottom of the widget, then and only then can you tell it to ignore your browser, AFTER THE FACT that your location is listed there for the whole world to see. This is beyond annoying, it an invasion of privacy and should not be allowed.

Yes, there are many different trackers out there, they use your IP address to figure out your location, I use a tracker on my blog, the difference is most of these other trackers do not post your location on the first page, you have to click through a few pages to get to the page that lists your location, it's not so invasive.

There is a simple fix, if Feedjit would only do it, they need to make it possible to click IGNORE once and only once and have it ignore your browser on ALL OTHER sites that use the Feedjit widget. I have contacted Feedjit via email and asked them about this, I did this a month ago, I told them that I would be writing an article on privacy invasion in the near future and would be writing about their product/service, it was up to them whether I wrote about their widget being an invasion of privacy or a thoughtful widget that protected the privacy of those who don't want to see their location plastered on a website just because they visited.

As of this date, I have received no response from them.

I tell you it's like a slap in the face, I don't appreciate it, I don't expect it, at least give us the illusion of privacy, at least give us the OPTION to opt out forever, not after the fact on each and every site that uses that widget.

Many of my readers are very private people, if you have run across this yourself, and are bothered by this, here is the email address for Feedjit, send them an email to tell them what you think about their widget, now be nice, rudeness gets your nowhere but deleted :) be sure to include a request for them to enable those who wish to OPT OUT from ALL Feedjit widgets, and NOT after the fact on each and every site that uses it.

support@feedjit.com

Here is their blog, I already posted a comment letting them know what I think, so if this bothers you, go to their blog and post a comment letting them know that you want your privacy back, allow us to opt out 100% of the time. They moderate the comments, I hope they have the balls to post my comment, even if they don't, they do have to read it before they delete it, let's give them more to read and think about. Before visiting their blog, be sure to read the bottom of this message first, you might want to "change your location" before going to their blog. ;-)

http://feedjit.com/blog/

For those of you who use the Feedjit widget on your blog, well, it's your blog and you can put what you want to on it, but I'm here to tell you that I will not be quick to return to your site, and I guarantee there are lots of other people who feel the same way, why take the chance of alienating your readers?

I'm posting this on my personal blog instead of on the other sites (below) what I write for, this is completely my idea and I don't want to cause any trouble for the other sites I write for just in case Feedjit decides to get nasty with me.

I sincerely hope that Feedjit gets it, they have a good product/service, they just need to take care of this one little, no make that huge problem/issue. There are lots of people who like seeing their location listed on a site where they visit, it makes them feel important, it makes them feel like a part of that blog, but there are many many people who don't want their location announced on a blog just because they visited there. Give us the OPTION to OPT OUT, permenantly, don't force me to have to do this on each and every site that happens to use Feedjit, and worse, make me do it AFTER THE FACT.

Here is Feedjit's website, http://feedjit.com/join/

Wanna see something really scary? Go here http://feedjit.com/ and you will see your town listed (scary if you live in a small community) with the most popular sites visited from your location, if you live in a small community, chances are those blogs listed there are mostly the ones that you visited. I did this and there is a trail of many of the blogs I read, it's no one elses business which blogs I have visited unless I CHOOSE to give out that information.

Let's give Feedjit a virtual spanking for this invasion of privacy and give them the chance to rectify their mistake.

What do you think about this? Do you feel like I'm right? Do you think I'm being too soft on them? Do you think I'm blowing this out of proportion? Let me know by leaving a comment here.

You know what I would like to see? If Feedjit chooses not change their ways, someone needs to come up with an add on for FireFox and IE to block Feedjit from working, I did a search for this sort of thing, usually I'm pretty good at finding things with search engines, but I couldn't find what I wanted, I did find other sites complaining about the privacy issue, if anyone finds something that will work to block Feedjit from working, please post a link in the comments. If I find anything, I'll be sure to post an update on this matter.


UPDATE

I found a "feature" on their widget where you can change your location, I figure that's the next best thing to do until Feedjit fixes their problem, so what town to choose? I did a search for "Odd town names" on Google, I found a treasure trove of names, I chose one that means the same thing as "f*ck", so now when I visit a site that uses this widget, at the top of the widget it says "Top Intercourse Blogs" that's all I'll say about my new location, just choose a town name that represents how you feel about Feedjit and put that in the box to change your location, this way each time you visit a new site that lists your location, it will not be your real location and just maybe, if you choose an interesting enough name, it will be making a statement until you can tell the widget on that site to ignore your browser.

http://feedjit.com/changeLocation/

Let me know your creative town names you chose, LMAO

Some of the town names I found that you can enter there:

intercourse
balls
goat neck
horsegall
flea
bug
buggytown
bush patch
kill devil hills
deadmans crossing
dead horse
deadmans corner
dies
ho
ho-ho-kus
stinking
hide-a-way acres
hide (lots of fodder there)
pusey (lots of slightly misspelled fodder there too)
dirtdauber
satans kingdom

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To read all of my messages on Off-Grid.net, click here:
http://www.off-grid.net/section/wretha/

To read all of my messages on Earth Power News, click here:
http://www.earthpowernews.com/

Wretha

Thanks for visiting!
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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Soilcrete

It's been a while since I've written an update on what we are doing on the cabin, so this time I'll write about concrete, or more accurately soilcrete. What is soilcrete? It's nearly the same thing as concrete but using local materials instead of using purchased materials. We use local dirt, gravel from the creek, portland cement and of course water. This makes a strong and inexpensive concrete/soilcrete to make walls and such...



Read the rest of the story here:
http://www.off-grid.net/2009/03/09/soilcrete/




To read all of my messages on Off-Grid.net, click here:
http://www.off-grid.net/section/wretha/

To read all of my messages on Earth Power News, click here:
http://www.earthpowernews.com/

Wretha

Thanks for visiting, Please leave all comments on the Off-Grid site or the EarthPower site instead of here, thanks!
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Monday, March 2, 2009

Oops... :)

Well, it would seem that I got ahead of myself, all of my wonderful readers will have to wait a bit longer to find out the good news, sorry, but I'm sworn to secrecy for now. But believe me, it's very good news and it will be worth the wait. :)


To read all of my messages on Off-Grid.net, click here:
http://www.off-grid.net/section/wretha/

To read all of my messages on Earth Power News, click here:
http://www.earthpowernews.com/

Wretha

Thanks for visiting, Please leave all comments on the Off-Grid site or the EarthPower site instead of here, thanks!
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