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Old 05-30-2008, 10:07 PM
 
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I think I need to watch that X-Files episode too

I'm practicing "guerrilla crunchiness" in my deed-restricted community. Right now I'm trying to figure out how to make sure the several pounds of horse manure I plan to obtain (from a friend's farm, for my garden) won't get...noticed....reported... ....no way am I going to let that full-sun backyard in a zone with two growing seasons remain manicured lawn. Of course there are no specific restrictions in the covenants/bylaws against this, but they've already come after me on things that were much more of a stretch.
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:21 PM
 
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In the x-files episode I think the first couple got squished because they painted the trim the wrong color? Or maybe it was the mailbox? I just remember thinking there's no way these covenants could be that crazy. Oh well! I'm going to continue assuming that mud monsters don't eat non-compliant home owners.

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Old 05-30-2008, 11:09 PM
 
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I just remember thinking there's no way these covenants could be that crazy.
Oh yes, yes they can
I have many horror stories, but the latest is of my friend's experience. She lives in an older community with HOA. She pays some horrible fee into it for "maintenance" although the community looks trashed. She recently got cited $100 for not pressure-washing her siding (it was a sprinkling of humidity mold, nothing more) while meanwhile, the house across the street from her is charred and literally half-burned down and has been for months. Maybe over a year.

Here in FL we have recent, actual cases (can google) of wars between HOAs and counties over watering restrictions - with the poor homeowner in the middle. The HOA cites the homeowner for not watering the supposed-to-be-emerald-grass and the county levies fines for not following the water restriction in drought -- and never the twain shall meet...

Anyway, more in keeping with the thread, I just dug out my "Back to Basics" big yellow book from childhood and am off to do some happy reading...
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Old 05-31-2008, 01:30 AM
 
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In the x-files episode I think the first couple got squished because they painted the trim the wrong color? Or maybe it was the mailbox? I just remember thinking there's no way these covenants could be that crazy. Oh well! I'm going to continue assuming that mud monsters don't eat non-compliant home owners.
I'm pretty sure it was burnt-out lightbulbs in the street lamps ....

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Old 05-31-2008, 10:06 AM
 
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I didn't get through the whole thread, so if these were mentioned before, forgive me. www.pathtofreedom.com and www.sharonastyk.com The first site shows what you can do on suburban acreage and do a search on the second site for her booklist.
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Old 05-31-2008, 11:44 AM
 
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Double-second both of those sites, jennlyn. I Sharon Astyk.
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Old 05-31-2008, 11:57 AM
 
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I just looked up the "Back to Basics" book and it IS available on Amazon used, cheapest was $35.

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Old 05-31-2008, 02:46 PM
 
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I didn't get through the whole thread, so if these were mentioned before, forgive me. www.pathtofreedom.com and www.sharonastyk.com The first site shows what you can do on suburban acreage and do a search on the second site for her booklist.
I : Path To Freedom!

They are such an inspiration

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Old 05-31-2008, 11:13 PM
 
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Seriously though DH is an attorney and he predicts that states will pass legislation disallowing the banning of energy-saving practices such as clotheslines.
Neighborhoods forbid clotheslines? OMG. I guess I'm extra happy to have moved into a blue collar neighborhood.
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Old 06-01-2008, 12:44 AM
 
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Neighborhoods forbid clotheslines? OMG. I guess I'm extra happy to have moved into a blue collar neighborhood.
Not only that, but in MIL's HOA she is not allowed to run the dishwasher/washer/dryer before 8am or after 10pm.
She has to help pay for the above unit's balcony replacement, all trees must be 10ft & under, and any lost keys to community property (pool, clubhouse) costs upward of $100. There's more. HOA's are, in my view, crazy OCD busybody organizations bent on collecting lots of money while paying out very little.

Of course, that's only my opinion.

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Old 06-01-2008, 02:29 AM
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Oh, and with regards to lifespan, the estimate of 40 to 50 is not correct. What lifespans do is total all the range of ages (from one day old to 110 y.o) in a population and divide by the number of people. Therefore, societies where there is a LOT of infant mortality, lifespan is artificially lowered. From what I've read, if a child lived to be older than 3 or 4 y.o. (during the majority of history) then that child had a good chance of living well into their 60s, 70, 80s, etc. The most vulnerable time in a child's life was actually when they were weaned, since they now had to fully sustain themselves without any back-up help from momma's milk.
40-50 in overestimating.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_ex..._human_history
and there is a reason infant mortality is included in life expectancy calculations.
Even removing the infant mortality component, 60-80 seems a bit high to my non-anthropological mind. But I would love to hear your actual resources.
Wikipedia is hardly an absolute authority but it does serve as a good jumping off point.
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Old 06-01-2008, 11:04 AM
 
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Most HOA wont let you have a clothes line or a Garden :

My area the weeds in the yard cant be 6 inches high...so when the dandelion flowers pop out the day after you mow...you get a happy little letter telling you to take care of them or you get a fine :

Only less then a week till I'm in my little country home and the zoning people can bite me :
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Old 06-01-2008, 06:22 PM
 
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40-50 in overestimating.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_ex..._human_history
and there is a reason infant mortality is included in life expectancy calculations.
Even removing the infant mortality component, 60-80 seems a bit high to my non-anthropological mind. But I would love to hear your actual resources.
Wikipedia is hardly an absolute authority but it does serve as a good jumping off point.
It is in the last 2 sentences of the first paragraph on wikipedia. I don't have any direct sources at hand right now, just what I learned while getting my degree in Anthropology. I can try to look some up, but I don't think there's one place for that info, so it may take me some time.

Mind you, I'm not talking about life expectancy in cities or other urban areas, or agriculturalists. Until very very recently, cities were cesspools that only expanded through immigration. I'm not debating that infant mortality is not important, it is. But one has to remember that until recently, and amongst pretty much all other animals, the death rate for the young is incredibly high. Simple colds & flus can turn deadly on infants very quickly. Nowadays we have antibiotics plus other medical support to help infants through this.

Also, agriculturalists, even to this day, suffer from poor nutrition. There's a reason that people were much shorter 100 years ago compared to today. If you look at hunter & gatherer info, a good amount of the people who survived early childhood had a good chance to live to be quite old. And they were also pretty tall, like us nowadays.

If you look at the wikipedia chart, they explicitly state that they include infant mortality. It's statistics and math that skew life expectancy lower. Like a curve in a class, those doing poorly bring the curve down a lot. Even if the majority of the class got 75% on a test or better (say 2/3 of the class) the other 1/3 who completely flunked it would cause the curve to settle on a much lower mean than exists in reality. Am I making any sense? lol

Oh, and that's why 'farming' families have so many babies. It's not so they have more hands on the farm, but because only 2 or 3 of the 10 might survive into adulthood. So having 10 surviving siblings was an anomaly. It's only with modern medicine that this has become possible.

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Old 06-01-2008, 06:45 PM
 
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Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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Old 06-02-2008, 12:18 AM
 
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I just picked up the book from the library today. I have found myself looking at my neighborhood differently. that's no longer a neighborhood swimming pool.. .it's an emergency water supply!
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:32 AM
 
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I read the Long Emergency about 2 years ago. It really opened my eyes to peak oil. I just got World Made By Hand today, and I can't wait to read it.
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:09 AM
 
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I have not read the book but have heard predictions of continually rising gas prices, and a prediction of $9 - $10 gallon gas within 10 years. It's kind of shocking, but I think it's worth thinking about how our lifestyles will absolutely change. We live a modest but comfortable life right now.

The things I see changing for us, on a household level:

-- Next vehicle will likely be a hybrid or some sort of more fuel efficient vehicle. Not sure what will be out by the next time we purchase a vehicle.

-- We'll not do any flight travel vacations. We don't do any flying travel right now, but we'd scrap our plans for air travel vacations. I am kind of hoping to do something like a NYC weekend when our kids are older, but that kind of thing will not be affordable.

-- If our kids go to college or universit, they will likely go to a school that is close to home and not across the country. Same with their first jobs and getting married, etc. It will be too expensive to do cross country visits, and yes they can move,but we'll have to use technology to stay in touch -- web chats instead of personal visits. Maybe that would work out just fine.

--Less shopping, maybe biking to the grocery store -- it's close enough. There would be less road traffic to worry about. Public transport is not convenient for where we live, but there is shopping, parks, etc. nearby so that's nice.

--If food prices go up a ton, we may do more gardening. We may get more lean with our food, but I'm not sure exactly how we would do that. We may all become thinner and healthier.
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Old 06-02-2008, 02:57 AM
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I just picked up the book from the library today. I have found myself looking at my neighborhood differently. that's no longer a neighborhood swimming pool.. .it's an emergency water supply!
even with all the chlorine in it??

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:04 AM
 
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even with all the chlorine in it??

Thats what I was thinking!
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:40 AM
 
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I'm just starting World Made By Hand as well.
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:41 AM
 
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that's no longer a neighborhood swimming pool.. .it's an emergency water supply!
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even with all the chlorine in it??
I assume you're thinking chlorine is an issue if you'll be drinking it? Chlorine dissipates from pool water into the air pretty quickly. That is why it keeps needing to be added. If a swimming pool had been sitting dormant and wasn't completely disgustingly mucky yet (it would get that way pretty fast when the chlorine was gone) AND if I had a good water purification system, AND if I was out of better options, I would consider it. Water is essential to human life, and I imagine I'd choose drinking pool water over death by dehydration, if it came to that.

But even under less stringent circumstances, water is good for more than drinking. Washing dishes, clothes, and bodies, for a few things. Flushing toilets, if you're still using a water toilet (I highly recommend a sawdust toilet if water gets scarce). Irrigation. As I said, the chemicals will most likely dissipate fairly quickly.

Yes, chlorine is not great for human consumption or skin exposure. But most Americans get it in their municipal water anyway, and a significant number of Americans use it in their laundry at least occasionally.

Before I made our sawdust toilet, I used swimming pool water for emergency flushing when the power went out and our well pump was rendered unusable.

Granted, I'm making assumptions here about what was meant in the quoted threads, but my point is, there are lots of important uses for water besides drinking.

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:49 AM
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If you look at the wikipedia chart, they explicitly state that they include infant mortality. It's statistics and math that skew life expectancy lower. Like a curve in a class, those doing poorly bring the curve down a lot. Even if the majority of the class got 75% on a test or better (say 2/3 of the class) the other 1/3 who completely flunked it would cause the curve to settle on a much lower mean than exists in reality. Am I making any sense? lol
Everything you say makes sense, and I don't really disagree with most of it. Except for antibiotics for a common cold, and if you look at infant mortality, it doesn't have much to do with cold or flu, the latter influenza is rare in infants. Reduction in infant mortality has everything to do with prenatal care, nutrition, and the banned V word which I won't mention, except to say that the things that used to kill, don't do so much here in the US b/c of that. Hence why Bill and Melinda are spending billions to try to reduce infant mortality in other countries. And the answer is not flu vaccine.

I think the difference of opinion is in the definition of miserable or mean existence. This is all just opinion, but IMO life pre-1900 was not buccolic, i.e. kill a cow now and then, and catch up on local gossip in the interim.

It's all perspective. If only 30% of your offspring make it to adulthood, that would make a pretty horriblle 20 years for me. Every couple of years burying a child? Even if you lived in Versailles, it would be depressing. But to live instead in a hut or tent, no indoor plumbing, no electricity, no library. Plenty of moms on MDC complain of cloth diapers being too much work. Washing cloth diapers by hand when 70% that you're washing for will die? I don't know if Europeans ever did EC.

Re: the hunter/ gatherer being tall IMO has a significant genetic component, i.e. there are definite hunter tribes in Africa that tend to be tall. Plenty of other hunter/ gatherer communities are known for their shortness: coastal Italian, Corsican, Okinawan, Alaskan, Northern Scandinavian, etc.

Which brings us back to the Long Emergency, and why I think it's important to have a desired commodity,... and my vote is for knowledge or expertise.
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:32 PM
 
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Washing cloth diapers by hand when 70% that you're washing for will die? I don't know if Europeans ever did EC.
Not EC as such, but "swaddling cloths" were essentially diaper and clothing all in one for infants. And they didn't get changed as frequently as we do today! Also, they're easier to wash/dry since there is no "bulk" to the fabric itself... the bulk came from the layering.

I agree that definitions make a big difference in terms of "what is comfortable". And so much of that is culturally conditioned and/or what people are used to or expect simply because it's "the way it's always been". There are early adopters and late adopters for all technology... and people tend to want to "trade up". It's the generations and groups that (for one reason or another) are forced to "trade back" that feel they've lost something crucial for comfortable living.

If we become the first generation in the long emergency scenario, many of us will feel un-comfortable. Our children will probably also feel un-comfortable due to the transitional stresses passed along from adults as well as the changing environment. Their children will probably be more or less ok with the situation... bikes, composting toilets, local/limited diet options, barter for services, a more specific or localized educational system, etc. It's only the one or two transitional generations who really feel the pain... our grandchildren will most likely be cofortable within what they consider "normal life" and find the stories told by their elders about as believable as our own "when I was a kid we walked uphill through the snow ten miles to school" jokes.

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Old 06-02-2008, 02:06 PM
 
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If we become the first generation in the long emergency scenario, many of us will feel un-comfortable. Our children will probably also feel un-comfortable due to the transitional stresses passed along from adults as well as the changing environment.
Is anyone else trying to ease their children and/or their family into a transitional mindset, to ease the stress of what you anticipate?

I am doing this and I see my friends doing it to some extent as well, whether intentionally or not. We're rationing our gas usage and talking with our kids about why. We buy used as much as possible, and talk about the repercussions of people only buying new. We strive to eat simply in season, and talk about why we aren't buying (fill in the blank out-of-season or overprocessed food shipped from faraway). We conserve water and electricity, we garden, I take it seriously if food gets wasted and we try to compost or recycle everything we can. We avoid mainstream advertising influences and shun the "gimmes" that often arise from that. And on and on.

I do have this little fear in the back of my head that I'm being too stringent (compared to some of our friends in our old town, who were unabashed consumers), but I was hoping maybe others here could relate.

We have some friends who have plenty of money and still choose to live this way and keep their kids' expectations low (or more accurately, realistic, given what we anticipate is to come). I don't want to unnecessarily deprive my kids, but I think it's better for them to already have it as part of their thinking that food, water, gas, paper products, and other resources are precious. I also want them to know that if we can't afford or choose not to buy something, we can manage without (most things, anyway). Know what I mean?

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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Old 06-02-2008, 02:47 PM
 
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I assume you're thinking chlorine is an issue if you'll be drinking it? Chlorine dissipates from pool water into the air pretty quickly. That is why it keeps needing to be added. If a swimming pool had been sitting dormant and wasn't completely disgustingly mucky yet (it would get that way pretty fast when the chlorine was gone) AND if I had a good water purification system, AND if I was out of better options, I would consider it. Water is essential to human life, and I imagine I'd choose drinking pool water over death by dehydration, if it came to that.

But even under less stringent circumstances, water is good for more than drinking. Washing dishes, clothes, and bodies, for a few things. Flushing toilets, if you're still using a water toilet (I highly recommend a sawdust toilet if water gets scarce). Irrigation. As I said, the chemicals will most likely dissipate fairly quickly.

Yes, chlorine is not great for human consumption or skin exposure. But most Americans get it in their municipal water anyway, and a significant number of Americans use it in their laundry at least occasionally.

Before I made our sawdust toilet, I used swimming pool water for emergency flushing when the power went out and our well pump was rendered unusable.

Granted, I'm making assumptions here about what was meant in the quoted threads, but my point is, there are lots of important uses for water besides drinking.
Nope, you got it exactly right! Actually, our pool is salinated, but with a make shift solar distiller it could be made potable.
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Old 06-02-2008, 03:36 PM
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... our grandchildren will most likely be cofortable within what they consider "normal life" and find the stories told by their elders about as believable as our own "when I was a kid we walked uphill through the snow ten miles to school" jokes.
as in ....." when I was a kid, there used to be disposable plates, and spoons and forks.
And people used to drive cars the size of a house!
And there used to be something called a lawn, and neighbors would compete on who had the greenest, weed free lawn.
And some places, everybody had a swimming pool."

maybe change is a little good, huh?
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Old 06-02-2008, 04:53 PM
 
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WRT infant mortality: think waterborne diarrhea illnesses. That's your big worry, not respiratory stuff. Blah blah Nestle boycott blah blah yay breastfeeding etc. I figure we all know that song here!

We're scaling down too, as pps have said, to get into a transitional mindset and all that.

Oh, about diapers and EC: a lot of non-Euro cultures do it. Not exclusively warm-climate cultures, either!
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Old 06-02-2008, 06:11 PM
 
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About the water and chlorine, yeah I was just coming on to say what Amy wrote - even if the water was gross, it would still have uses for washing, cleaning etc.

As for transitioning kids - well we just do it through the way we live our life. We are modelling and making changes to the way we live so the kids are naturally picking up new skills (gardening, energy/water conservation, living without reliance on a lot of convenience items, we cook from scratch etc), they hear me rationalising about what groceries to buy based on price, I talk to DS about the price of fuel going up and how that means that we will be cutting back on when and how we use the car (as in bundling errands together on one or two days a week instead of jumping in whenever we get the thought to). I don't talk doom and gloom to them, but I talk of the positive changes we are making and how we can still make our lives fulfilling and happy.

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Old 06-02-2008, 07:42 PM
 
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as in ....." when I was a kid, there used to be disposable plates, and spoons and forks.
And people used to drive cars the size of a house!
And there used to be something called a lawn, and neighbors would compete on who had the greenest, weed free lawn.
And some places, everybody had a swimming pool."
Yeah yeah great-gran... pull the other one, it's got bells on. Come on. Plates you throw away? How gullible do we look?

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Old 06-02-2008, 08:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post
Yeah yeah great-gran... pull the other one, it's got bells on. Come on. Plates you throw away? How gullible do we look?
...Remember toilet paper? No, it's true, we used to wipe our butts with paper that was specially made for that purpose!
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