Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Lowdown on Chipped Keys, Copying a chipped key for less than $20

Cars are getting harder and harder to break into. This can be seen as a good thing or a bad thing depending on your situation. For instance: I have the best commercial van on the market, a Chevy Express, and it requires a chipped key. I can cut a key exactly the same as my key, and it will turn on the lights, radio, open the doors...Everything but start the car! DOH!

Here's the lowdown on MOST transponder keys: You don't program the key, you program the vehicle! You can go to your dealer and they will charge you $200 to copy the current transponder, home depot will do it for around $100, OR you can simply teach your vehicle to recognize both!

Step 1: Get a transponder key that will fit your vehicle. The B111-PT fits my Chevy Express.

Step 2: Take your key blank to a key cutting station/locksmith/etc and have them cut the blank

Step 3: Take the old key and turn the ignition to ON for 5 seconds.

Step 4: Turn the ignition to OFF and within the next 5 seconds, replace with new key and turn to the ON position for another 5 seconds.

Step 5: Turn the ignition back to OFF and remove the key.

The vehicle should now be programmed to the new key! If it doesn't work, repeat steps 3-5.

If you DON'T have a Chevy, you can still find a key that will work using the

Ilco key cross reference database


How to program your car by

MAXMADE Charging Your Phone and Jumpstarting Your Car

Merry Christmas Everybody!

It's totally not about the gifts, but it is a tradition to go over to my sisters house for Christmas and she usually picks some pretty useful gifts! My mom (You can call her Grand) got a MAXMADE 11,000 mAh charger for her tablet and phone, but what makes this unit awesome is the jumper cable attachment that will allow it to put out up to 400 amps of power to start your car when the battery is low.

She can plug her Tablet and Phone in at the same time using the 2 amp and 1 amp usb ports.
I used it to charge my Syma X13 Mini Quadcopter and it worked great! I could take it out to the park and be charging six batteries, AT THE SAME TIME with the Maxmade while another one is being used in the copter to extend your flying time out in the field! 5 minutes per flight x 7 batteries + 6 minutes to cool down between discharging and charging / 30 minutes per charge = CONSTANT FLYING TIME!!! Fly until YOU want to go in. Way better than most one battery setups that can be flown for 5 minutes, cooled down for another 5 and have to be charged for 30. Thats like 14% flying time vs 100% flying time.

Depending on what charger you use it can take from 6-12 hours to charge but it can recharge my favorite Galaxy Note 2 several times before being completely drained. It even comes with a leather zip-up pack to protect the unit and all the cables in one neat unit that can slide under your seat!

Happy Charging!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Spartan Supper in The Cooking Game!

I have been wanting to develop a course to teach kids to cook using Spartan Supper, but I quickly found out that kids don't want to learn if they think it is a chore. It's like homework, It seems like something that you have to do in order to get on to the next day. This is counter productive and kids get hooked on the pink slime used as a filler in non organic meat products. This got to be such a big deal that Mcdonalds stopped using it to avoid a public boycott. Education for the win!

Health Points and Gold:

So how do you make cooking fun? Make it a game. Eating healthy, nutrient dense food is cheaper than buying the equivalent easy and fast foods to get your nutrients. So eating healthy not only gives you health points, but it also gets you more gold! Leaving you more cash at the end of the year for whatever bonus things you want to do or buy.

Bonus Level:

In the two months since switching over to a nutrient dense diet from Spartan Supper, I have saved over $200 on groceries. If I keep this up all year, that's $1200 in savings that I can spend on me. Want acupuncture and massage every month until next year? Why not! Want to fly to New York for a shopping trip? No problem, Hire a guy to follow me around for a month and give me foot rubs while I work? Done! It's MY money, I worked long and hard to earn it, and damnit I am not just going to throw it away on unnecessary food because I'm too lazy to use one app to eat healthy!


This list will change as I revise them to make more sense. If you have suggestions on a rule that should be added or changed let me know in the comments below and I will address it!

To calculate your health points: For the next two months, enter everything that enters your mouth into a recipe on the DIY-Soylent website. It will give you a percentage complete based on your nutritional profile. Average out the percentage complete for 60 days and this is your Health points. (Add them all up and divide by 60)

For example, if you wanted to Start with a score of 100, you could use Spartan Supper to generate your menu for 60 days. It will assemble 100% nutritionally complete minimalist menus to save you time and money while maxing out your health points.

In the past 60 days:
If you have consumed High Fructose Corn Syrup (in most sweet & cheap things like soda) subtract 10 points
If you used tobacco or alcohol subtract 30 points each
If you have used hard drugs (Meth, Crack, Pharmaceuticals, Molly, etc) in the last five years, subtract 50 points

For every 5 minutes of exercise/high aerobic activity in your day, add one health point
Aerobic activity helps activate your lymphatic system which helps detoxify your body. Taking fully deep breaths also helps your lymph nodes function. You want to get dizzy? Breathe in and out fully for 30 breaths. This will alkalize your blood and make you dizzy, but don't do it very often or you will lose health points. You are better off exercising because it will also release endorphins which will make you happy!

Remember, don't make it a chore or it wont be fun. Try incorporating more activity into your day. Take the stairs over the elevator and learn more about free running because it makes getting around so much more fun. At that point the world becomes your playground.

“But I have to work! I don't have time for that!”
So dance! It is an incredible emotionally expressive workout that almost everyone finds attractive in a partner. It will make your life more loving. You can dance with a cold heart, but you won't be having very much fun.


OH MY GOODNESS PEOPLE! I was babysitting for a few friends kids and when it came time to make food, not one of them knew how to cook pasta (Isn't spaghetti and meatballs one of the staple foods to teach your kids?), Really they didn't know anything about food for that matter. What you eat is a direct correlation to your chronic health. If you eat crap, you are going to live a crap life. If you eat fit, you will live a fit life.

Your food is your fuel, your body derives it's energy from what you put down your throat. Whole ingredients are chewed. This breaks the food down and creates more surface area while mixing in enzymes in your saliva that begin the digestion process before your food even hits your stomach. Remember how your mother told you to chew your food? This is what she was talking about.

Chewing makes your food more available to be absorbed. Unchewed food remains in chunks in your stomach and doesn't break down completely. So even though you ate, because you didn't chew well, its like you ate half.

How much food do you waste because you don't chew? What nutrients are you getting from the food you do chew?

A Big mac? Or sweet potatoes with onions and green beans? With the same calories: One is high in saturated fats and hydrogenated oils while the other is high in Fiber, Omegas 3 & 6, Vitamin A, B1, B5, B6, Potassium, Phosphorus, Manganese, Magnesium, and MORE!

So how do you teach your kids to cook when you don't know what foods add up to complete nutrition?
If you guessed Spartan Supper: You are RIGHT! Spartan Supper will generate a nutritionally complete set of ingredients that YOU have to find a way to combine and make delicious food.

Think of it as a game where, if you win you get to live a long happy healthy life looking absolutely beautiful from the day you are born until the rest of forever!

What is the catch? You can't stop playing this game. In fact, you are playing right now but you don't know your score. Every time you eat food with added sugar, you lose health points. Every time you eat foods with hydrogenated oils, you lose health points. Every time you eat sausage, you lose health points. It seems fine until you are 50 years into the game and you are running out of health points fast.

Spartan Supper makes minimalist diets. This means a minimal ingredient lists of nutrient dense foods. The benefit to this is being able to add other foods to reach your ideal Calorie count.

There are so many different flavors available to put together in different ways that taste A-MAZING! For instance there is this fruit called Durian that smells like stinky feet and tastes like sweet creamy goodness. Add a goat cheese feta and toss over sweet buttery infant spinach (Start with a few tablespoons of spinach seeds in a wide mouth mason jar with a sprouting lid, allow to grow until it looks like little spinach grass) top with Himalayan Sea Salt and enjoy. It's like a party of flavor in your mouth and all of your taste buds are invited!

Seriously, don't be afraid to try different foods together and chew them well. The flavors will completely transform in your mouth. So sit down and try to take note of the gastronomic journey you are about to embark on for the next 50 chews.

Spartan Supper is trying to raise funds for a front end developer to make the app faster and more user friendly. You would be AWESOME if you could do your part to make apps like this more available to the community. Please follow them on Twitter and share links to their page to help!

Happy Munching!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The best rc helicopter under $20 has to be the Syma S107

I can totally see why drones are so popular these days.

A friend of mine recently got a Syma S107 RC helicopter for her boyfriend. I can't put it down. Every time we go see her it's the first thing I go for and I play with it for almost as long as we are over there. It is fun, it's small, easy to fly, and it was only $20 shipped with Amazon prime! This isn't some $1,500 drone that you don't want to fly because it costs as much as your first car. If you crash this and it breaks (which I have yet to do in the entirety of my crash career with it) it's only $20 and two days for a brand new one. These things are popular enough that you can get spare or upgraded parts for almost all of it.

It plugs into a usb charger or you can charge it off your controller batteries. (Which is why you get rechargeables!) With the RAVPower 16,000 mah battery pack that I use for my phone I can charge this helicopter almost 100 times before I run out of juice and have to recharge. (there is an upgraded battery pack that has 2000mah more power and can get you an extra 10 charges) If I am near power I usually just plug in my smart wall charger and charge it off wall power for UNLIMITED FLY TIME! Just kidding! The battery would wear out after a certain number of cycles.

PRO TIP: ALWAYS WAIT 10 MINUTES between charging your batteries and using the helicopter to prolong battery life.

That is why you get spare parts or a second copter!

The following is an article on showing how to set the helicopters to Either A or B frequency so you can fly both at the same time

I have had an enormous amount of fun with this little helicopter, and if you do eventually crash it and break it (Which I have not managed to do) You can take it apart and replace the parts or use it as a spare parts copter for the next one you get.

You can strip it down to the bare bones for added flight time and a look into how simple a drone is to build! This one is two motors spinning two blades in an aluminum chassis. The blades are flexible and very impact resistant, so there is little to break and a bunch to learn.

I would easily say this is the best remote controlled toy for the money in 2015.
Do you have a sweet, sub $30 drone/copter/flying thing that we should know about? Leave a comment!

Thanks for reading and happy flying!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Delicious Nutritionally Complete Smoothie in the Vitamix with Spartan Supper

I have talked in previous posts about Spartan Supper pulling ingredients from the USDA nutritional database and creating a nutritionally complete set of foods to consume for the day. There are 1,000,000,000,000,000 possible combinations and not all of them will taste like the next big shake, but out of a quadrillion recipes you are bound to find a few you like.

I personally enjoy this nutritionally complete shake.
It costs roughly $60-70 (as of Dec 2015) for enough ingredients to meet the nutritional requirements for two people for a week. The ingredients are prepared and bagged on day one so days 2-6 are (add ingredients, add water, blend for 15 seconds and serve, then fill blender with water, add a drop of antibacterial soap, then blend again, rinse, and dry! It really is that easy.

As an added bonus, if you use wide mouth pint mason jars, you can split the shake up into three, four, six, or however many meals you want for the day and keep them in the fridge! The lids and rings that come with them will usually rust pretty quickly which I don't usually mind unless I can taste it. When I went to buy replacement lids I got these BPA FREE lids with these silicone seals for a leak proof dishwasher safe combo that works great!

The majority of my day is spent on the move. There are mornings when I negotiate not eating breakfast in order to hit the snooze button one more time. Not healthy because I am almost always hungry. Until the hunger subsides and I start running off my fats (good thing I try to only eat healthy long chained ones!) My eating schedule is erratic and I never know when I am going to have time to get something wholesome to eat.

Recently I invested in a Vitamix 7500 and I am more than happy with the results. I have a blender that I rarely use, but the vitamix is a whole different beast altogether. I use it every single day, sometimes multiple times per day. But when I tell people it's a $500 blender they look at me and laugh. "COME ON!" they say, "Why would you ever spend $500 on a blender? You can get a ninja for less than $100!"  

If the $500 price tag is sticker shock for you, consider getting a factory refurbished unit which would save you almost half of the cost (and you don't have to tell anyone...mine is!) It comes with an EIGHT YEAR WARRANTY and did I mention it's MADE IN AMERICA, BY AMERICANS (Unlike some countries where people aren't treated like people.). They are expected to last 25+ years with daily use and many see life beyond that!

Why is a Refurbished Vitamix($300) Better than Ninja($100)?

It can make the flavors of a little garlic and rosemary and basil pop in a marinara. I can whip eggs with cilantro, jalopeno, garlic, and onion in my favorite Kerrygold butter in five seconds. With a vitamix you can bring out a lot of flavor from a little spice.

Almond milk without soy lecithin! It is known that Soy lecithin affects our estrogen levels (SOURCE), but it is not known exactly how. Soy lecithin is an emulsifier (helps keep peanut butter and almond milk from separating) and it is cheap, so it is in many processed products. I put 3 parts water to 1 part whole almonds in the vitamix and make PURE Almond milk! If you dislike the almond pulp that remains after blending you can filter it through a nut milk bag and get all the chunks out!

Flours are another awesome thing you can do.
My grocery store sells barley (high in manganese, molybdenum, selenium, fiber, copper, b1, b3, chromium, phosphorus, and magnesium.), but it is whole shelled kernels so you usually have to soak them before adding them to a shake. Not with a Vitamix. You can put a pound of grains into the vitamix and turn it to high, the vitamix will pulverize the kernels into barley flour that can be measured and spooned into a shake, or kneaded into bread, barley pancakes, whatever.

Butters! I havent tried making cow milk butter, but if you put peanuts in a vitamix and turn it on you get chopped peanuts. The higher the number the finer the chop until you turn it high enough to make peanut better. Look on the side of your peanut butter jar, there is usually sugar (or worse, High Fructose Cron Syrup) some hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil (which will statistically lead to higher chances of cardiovascular problems) and even with all of these fillers and stabilizers it's still sold as a premium product!

Peanuts and a Vitamix are cheaper in the long run and WAY better for you. No hydrogenated oils, no filler. Just peanuts, or almonds, or cashews, or hazlenuts, even mix and match to suit YOUR tastes. Not some company with a bottom line's tastes, they like the way money tastes. Have you tasted money? It tastes like shit, and for good reason! One in ten bills has fecal colony forming bacteria on it. Gross.

My favorite things to make in the Vitamix are smoothies. 1 bag of smoothie ingredients that you prepped ahead of time and froze. 1 cup of hot water, milk, kefir, etc. it has to be hot to help unfreeze some of the ingredients so you don't just make a fruit and vegetable ice cream. Which reminds me.

Ice creams/frozen yogurts/sorbets etc are all a flick of the switch away in a vitamix. If you throw frozen cherries and a teaspoon/tablespoon of cacao powder into the vitamix and turn it up, you vill quickly get chocolate cherry sorbet without the added crap to make it shelf stable!

Heck if you add straight ice cubes and turn it to 10 it will make snow! Add tomatoes and salt, turn it to 10 and leave it for 5 minutes to make STEAMING HOT TOMATO SOUP!  It's nuts.

This is getting back to nutrition! Your mother should have told you, chew your vegetables completely before you swallow. Chewing is an appetite suppressant AND it breaks down your food creating more surface area for the bacteria in your gut to get in there and prepare the nutrients for absorbtion. The Vitamix creates lots of surface area and if you add some nuts at the end of the shake they will come out in bigger chunks so you can chew on them as you drink.


“THE UPLIFTER” A nutritionally complete lacto-ovo vegetarian shake with Spartan Supper

1 tsp Vanilla

4 shakes Cinnamon

2 shakes Nutmeg

0.7 g Iodized Salt

60 g Nuts, almonds

162 g Broccoli, raw

63 g Barley, hulled & milled in vitamix

500 g Bananas, raw

100 g Apples, raw, gala, with skin

56 g Spinach, raw

2.1 g nutritional yeast

14 g Nuts, walnuts, english

28 g Seeds, sunflower seed kernels, dried

536 g Yogurt, plain, whole milk, 8 grams protein per 8 ounce

200 g Egg, whole, cooked, hard-boiled

1 portion Outside time, 15 minutes, raw without sunscreen

*OPTIONAL Add a handful of Peanuts at the end for a nut benefit bonanza that satiates you as you chew!

NOTE: this isn't something you can or should slam in one sitting. Your body can only absorb so many nutrients at a time so spacing things out into several (3-6) meals is better for you.

On grocery day bust out your kitchen scale and quart/gallon freezer bags. I like this scale because it looks clean and has a stainless steel measuring bowl for measuring and mixing.
Measure out each ingredient and put it in your bags. Move the bags to the freezer when you are preparing a new ingredient so you don't start wild fermenting your smoothies on your counter while you prep! When you get to barley, you can get barley flour, or if you have a Vitamix just add the kernels and turn it up to eleven! The tamper helps circulate stuck ingredients but make sure you start with a dry container. Vitamix sells a flour/drygoods container, but unless you need to make light and fluffy flours like Caputo 00 I use the under the cabinet container that came with mine and it works just fine! I have no doubt the standard high and tight container will work equally well. If you want to go all out, THIS KIT has a Vitamix 7500, wet container, dry container, two personal containers, tamper, the baking cookbook, AND the Vitamix cookbook.

Once you have your mixes portioned out you can open the freezer once per day, grab a bag of mix and fill a mason jar with hot water. Put both into the vitamix and turn it on. How much water you add determines the consistency so find out how much you like.

I like snacking so I split my banana intake to two in the shake, three during the day. I usually eat the hard boiled eggs separate because I love them, it is barely distinguishable when you add it with everything else, there is A LOT of flavor going on.

If you are afraid of trying new ingredients, adding them to a shake like this will help you ease into it until it is second nature. My server at subway told me she was afraid of spinach in a smoothie because it is healthy.

One Banana, Spinach, Peanut and hemp seed smoothie later I had changed her mind. Booyah wholesome foods!

You made it all the way to the bottom of this passion rant about my love for Spartan Supper and my Vitamix. I would suggest you check out both because I am very happy with them.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Micronutrition with Spartan Supper: Giving your body what it needs to perform it's best.

I posted earlier about Macronutrition; the Protien, Carbohydrates, and fats that fuel your internal industries.

You CAN survive off just carbs protiens and fats, but you probably won't live very long, and if you aren't getting vitamins and minerals, you will probably get scurvy or have a stroke. Remember that old saying, “Put a rainbow of foods on your plate”? No? Maybe it was just my mom, but she had a point.

Your body needs a whole lot more than carbs, protien, and fat to run efficiently. Vitamins, and minerals, and trace elements oh my! You need:

Calcium, Chloride, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Molybdenum, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Sodium, Sulfur, Zinc, AND Vitamin A,Vitamin B6, B12, D, E, K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin Folate Pantothenic Acid, Bitoin, Choline, AND MORE!

28+ things to keep track of and intake every few days? My goodness this food thing is getting complicated! No wonder everyone has cancer! Nobody taught us to cook/eat well! This needs to change.

I started putting together foods that went well together AND were nutritionally complete, but this can take a lot of time, and you have to buy two weeks worth of the same meal for you to not have much waste. So you'd better have/get a chest freezer! I like chest freezers because hot air rises and cold air falls. When you open the freezer doors in a conventional stand up freezer, the cold air falls to your feet and room temperature air rushes into the freezer to fill the space. When you shut the door the compressor has to kick back on to remove the heat you added to the freezer when you opened the door and all the cold air fell out. With a chest freezer you have a box of cold air you reach into from the top. Some cold air may be displaced when you open the door from the top, but it cant fall out. YOU SAVE MOST OF THAT LOST COLD AIR!. I wrote a post about how you can turn a chest freezer into a chest frigerator. You can read it HERE.



I found a website called Spartan Supper. A program that will crawl the US Agriculture National Nutrient Database For Standard Reference and assemble one day's worth of food based on your needs. It also keeps the nutrients in the Goldilocks zone so you don't eat too much or too little of each nutrient!

It is currently in development so they need you to follow them on twitter, and share a link with your friends so they can launch a kickstarter to make the program more user friendly!

You should check it out and check back often to see if there are any changes!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Understanding Food

The human body is a beautiful thing, it can take a massive range of materials and process them into the energy to do work and reproduce. Be it raw sweet potatoes or McDonald's french fries, your body can use it. Of course, if you've seen the movie Super Size Me, we have seen that although we CAN survive off of fast food and coffee, it doesn't mean our bodies are performing optimally.
Macronutrion consists of carbs, protien, and fats. These are primary energy sources for your cells.

Carbs are like huge batteries supplying the electricity in your house, they get stuff done on the day to day. The longer the carbohydrate chain, the longer it takes to fully metabolize. This means you get your energy over several hours as opposed to several minutes. Longer chain carbs are called complex carbs. Shorter chain carbs are called simple carbs and sugars. If the chain is too short is has trouble absorbing into the body because not many processes need short chain carbs.

You often hear sports players talking about carb loading the night before a game so they can have more energy. This works for short, hard, bursts of energy like running a 5k, but what about a 25k?  How about a 42k?

Fats have very very long chains and are used by marathon runners over carbs to give them the sustained energy to run 26.2 miles (42km) without stopping.

Protiens are the brick and mortar that build and maintain your system. They are made up of amino acids that can be used by various processes to make different things your body needs. Since our bodies don't store amino acids that aren't being used, try to eat complete or complimentary protein sources to make sure your body has the right parts to build what it needs. It will try to make do, but what was planned to be a Monet may end up being more like a Picasso. (Brownie points if you got the joke!)

Think of a long chain carbohydrates or fats as a fast food conglomerate. In a long line of brick warehouse processing plants (the protien)
Our bodies (the company) bring in raw material in the form of food from the farmers. (Ill use corn for this example)

The first processing plant removes the husk which is sent to the second processing plant to be turned into tamale wraps, packaged, and shipped to a distributor

The first processing plant takes the stalk of the plant and sends it to a third processing plant so it can be sterilized and used to grow mushrooms or as a food source for a concentrated animal feeding operation. Which send their cows to a plant to be separated into meat for people food, bones, leather, and meat for animal foods (intestines, meat by-products, etc)

People meat is packaged and sent to a distributor, the bones are ground into bone meal and sent to a distributor, leather is sent to a leather processing plant, and animal meats are sent to dog/cat food plants

The mushroom organism (mycelium) produces two flushes (harvests) of mushrooms which are packaged and shipped to a distributor, the mycelium is a waste product and is shipped to a fourth plant

This plant takes the food waste from the restaurant and composts it with worms then it is inoculated with the mycelium to act as a nutrient communication system between plants in your garden and all of the above is packaged and sent to a distributor.

If you just had compost (free sugars), it could only be used by one, maybe two of the processing plants. However if you had the whole corn plant, it could be used by all of the processing plants resulting in very little waste, maybe once or twice a day, packaged in a neat little lump that can be used by other organisms.

Moral of the analogy?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Switching to Commercal Paper Towels

I use paper towels because 15 minutes after you leave that damp rag on the counter, the bacteria that live there double in population. After an hour their numbers are 16 times what they started at. if it has been sitting there overnight? 250 million times. All bacteria need are moisture and a food source and they can thrive. So...I switched to paper towels. it turns out, commercial is cheaper than residential paper towels. You can buy a wall mounted automatic paper towel dispenser and never have to worry about spreading the bacteria from your hands back onto the roll of paper towels, because then you spread the bacteria around next time you grab a paper towel. Counter productive.

Georgia Pacific makes some quality paper towels that won't fall apart with frustrated spill-based agitation and they make an Automatic Paper Towel Dispenser that allows you to set the length of the paper towel down to as small as a half length towel. This is perfect for preserving your paper towels. This allows you to portion the paper towel based on the spill, so you don't waste a whole towel on a half towels spill!

If you have an amazon prime account you can buy them by the roll and get free two day shipping.
OR you can order them by the case of 6 and get them for almost half off! (Unfortunately they aren't prime eligible by the case.)

What do you do with all those left over paper towels? Put them in a separate bin and mix in a blue oyster mycelium kit (after you fruit the kit!) and grow some blue oyster mushrooms on them!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Extend wifi over one mile with a High Power Outdoor CPE Access Point

When I went to college, I frequently found myself without wifi and I was using SO MUCH DATA. It wasn't funny, not even close. I needed a way to save data, so I pulled an old satellite dish out of the dumpster, bounced the wifi signal off of the dish and onto a Belkin USB WIFI adapter on a 50 foot  USB extension cable. It wasn't very rain proof, but it worked if I was in the garage or the barn, and wanted to listen to Pandora. I could pick up enough of a signal to surf the web and post to instructables from a quarter mile away!

The instructables about how I did it is HERE and it got decently popular, (over 200k views!)
People message me asking questions on building their unit. I moved around a lot, so I couldn't take my unit with me, but that is ok because I have upgraded to a smaller, much more effective model now that costs about the same price and doesn't require very much putting together. It even comes with a zip tie to attach it to your pole/branch/house/etc!

The TP-LINK High Power Outdoor CPE/Access Points (you need two to be most effective)
and  250 foot CAT5 cable or save 50 bucks and get two 100 foot cat5 cables instead so you can position the access points where you need them.

It is about a tenth of the size, and since it has a directional antenna, it can use it's transmission power to shoot the signal as for as you can see. OVER A MILE!  It shot full strength WIFI all over the yard, down to the garage/barn. Even down the street to the neighbors house! If you have a direct line of sight to the adapter, you can get wifi!

You can do it several different ways depending on how you want to go about it.

You will get the longest range if you get two (2) adapters and face them directly at each other. They have directional antennas and a signal meter directly on the unit so you can see when it is in the best spot. The unit says 5km+ range with a line of sight from one access point to the other.

The next most effective is using it as a router and shooting the signal directly at the receiving device (computer, tablet, what have you) however the range in this mode is drastically reduced, but I could pick up signal 100 yards or so through light woods.

You can also use it as an adapter to receive a wifi signal and turn it into a cat 5 signal that can be plugged into a computer, or a router at the other end so you can have wifi in another building. However this method can go from the least effective to the most effective by getting a second unit and aiming them at each other to make a high speed wireless data tunnel. The reason is that wifi routers shoot the signal in every direction so you can pick it up in all parts of your house. These routers have long range directional antennas that focus all of the energy in one very specific direction so you can shoot it much much further. In this case over a mile!

The units are weatherproof and can be powered via cat 5 cable so they can be positioned up to 300 feet away from your home router. Got an old phone or utility pole? Can you hoist a pole up above the tree line? You can get internet.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Using pallets to heat cool and feed your home better!

With a Vertical Pallet Garden!

Pallets are the grocery bags of commercial industry. They can be reused if they are taken care of, but many find their lives tragically cut short. Cast by the dumpster or on the side of the road these pallets are abundant and modular. The most popular pallet is 40 by 48 inches and is heat treated. ALWAYS check the stringers (the long 2x4 boards on the side) for a stamp that says “HT” this is a stamp by a regulating commission that says the pallet was Heat Treated, not treated with chemicals. If you are going to be eating something from it, make sure it says  HT on the side.

Did I mention that we are building a garden?
The whole idea is that the sun will hit a vertical pallet garden and not the house. Being filled with three and a half inches of soil the garden will add significant thermal mass while also reflecting the energy from the sun onto edible plants and away from my house.

The sun hitting my house has to be removed by my ac. Sun hitting the pallet garden gets absorbed by the plants or reflected and does not hit my house. So I save on my energy bill. In the winter they block the wind from stripping the heat away there. You can also put pvc or hog wire hoop houses up turning the gardens into solar heaters, and I really save on my energy bill.

On a scale of: Canceling your 30 day free amazon prime trial to doing your taxes. The build level of this project would fall in the “Babysitting a seven year old” category:

By the time a seven year old is heavy enough to operate an Arrow T50 stapler, they can build this project...with you, while you are babysitting them. But I am a kid at heart, so I get along really well with kids, you may have to adjust your scale appropriately.

And you can build it with only a few parts needed!

A pallet 
( I was given this one at a parts supply house and it is 8 feet tall!) ALWAYS: Make sure it says HT on it somewhere showing it was Heat Treated for pests instead of being chemically sprayed or fumigated, which may be marked with a CT or not be marked at all. So make sure yours says HT.

Some landscaping fabric/tyvek/used tyvek mail envelopes/deckboards from another pallet
I used a light grey instead of black because it will reflect more of the light back onto the plants as opposed to absorbing it and warming the soil up in the sun. Spinach doesn't like that, and I like spinach, so I went with the light gray. The landscaping fabric helps the roots breathe and repels weeds. But this will mean it dries out quicker so keep it watered!

( I use an old arrow T50 that I bought at a garage sale as a kid for a quarter, turns out they still make em!)

(I used an all organic soil and organic seeds so I can grow organic vegetables. The organic seeds cost maybe a dollar extra, and will yield a months worth of food. You have to be a corporate psychopath to not see the benefit in that. )

Stuff to grow
You can order all manner of seeds online, if you want to grow a little bit of everything, I would recommend the Zziggysgal 100%CERTIFIED ORGANIC NON-GMO Culinary Herb Set since it has 12 different vegetables including edible flowers to get you off to a healthy start.

Experiment with growing plants from cuttings and buds. I want to try a garden just for sweet potatoes to I can eat the greens, and see if I can harvest any potatoes at the end! (white potato greens are poisonous, sweet potato greens are delicious and nutritious!)

Also: Think about letting some of your plants go to seed so you can help the bees and get the seeds!

All right, lets build this thing:
Step 1. Wrap the side of the pallet with the most deck boards in two layers of landscaping fabric. This will be holding a lot of weight in soil, so wrap it with two layers for strength. The more deck boards there are, the more easily the dirt is supported by the landscaping fabric.

Step 2. Distribute the weight with staples! One staple can conservatively support about a pound of weight in dirt, so apply abundantly many staples distributed evenly across the surface of the fabric where there is wood underneath to support the many many pounds of dirt that will be inside the garden.

Step 3. After you have stapled your heart out and you feel like the fabric will support the dirt flip it over and fill it up! When you pick it up and water it, the soil will settle, so make sure you fill all of the spaces under the deckboards with soil.

Step 4. Cover the face with landscaping fabric and staple it down like you did on the bottom side, but not nearly as thoroughly since it won't be supporting much weight.

We made it look nicer before the plants started growing by screwing a lattice to the front. This also conveniently separates the pallet into evenly spaced planting areas in a 4x3 repeating pattern. 4+3=7 days in a week so each opening can be harvested as a days worth of vegetables or herbs!

(Once the plants get off to a healthy start the lattice can be removed and put on a new pallet garden!)

To plant your seeds while blocking weeds, use a knife to make a horizontal slice in the landscaping fabric just large enough for the plant to grow through. You can pull the bottom half out like a pocket and scoop a little bit of dirt into the space to make a shelf/pocket for the seed to grow from. I am growing 30-45 day plants so they don't need too much support by the time they get harvested.

Give it a good watering and you are off! Don't let it dry out and enjoy the benefits of a fresh, living, organic garden that blocks the sun and wind from hitting your house, saving you on your energy bill!

Wouldn't you love to live in a house surrounded by a garden? It would be quieter, more private, more beautiful, more carbon friendly, less toxic and more green!

Hakuna Matata!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Tips for Getting Better Gas Mileage

Gas is back on the rise. (The subsidies ran out, it happens every year.) So I wanted to pass on a few driving tips to help you make the most out of your precious gallons.

Accelerate at a constant moderate pace, between 1500 and 3000 rpm is your target range. Your engine is more efficient under these loads and you will get better gas mileage if you acceleration is smooth and swift. After you go above 40mph or so, the air resistance generated by the vehicle is the greatest force influencing gas mileage. Think about running through a body of water, you are working significantly more to move yourself through. Is the resistance similar to when you stick your arm out the window at 70 mph? The air is a fluid just like water, albeit much less dense.

The problem is that the molecules of air are in the space in front of your vehicle. In order for your vehicle to move forward into that space you need to get all of the air in front of the vehicle to move as far as it needs to go, to get to the sides of the vehicle before you drive through it.

So at 70mph you have to move a lot of air really really fast, and that takes a lot of gas.

Next we need to think about newtons laws

1: An object in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon
(air molecules are easier to move when they are already moving)
2: Force=Mass x Acceleration
(the force it takes to move the air is equal to its mass times its acceleration)
3: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
(When you push the air out of the way in front of you, a vacuum is created behind you as the air rushes back into the space behind your car)

When the air molecules in front of you are moving, it is easier to move them. Air has six cardinal directions that it can go. (Up, Down, Left, Right, Forward, and Backward) Everything but backward is beneficial to your gas mileage. So you have a one in two chance of getting a gas mileage benefit. (if the air is moving backwards and left, it is still pushing you back.

Think about the space behind your car after you move through the air. Because of the vacuum, air is rushing in from everywhere to fill the void. Because your vehicle is moving forward, the air rushing in rarely gets an opportunity to go backward. So when you are following behind someone, their air is rushing all around already moving pretty quickly from their car.

It takes much less energy to move the air around your car if it is already moving from their car.


That being said a safe distance to follow is two seconds at highway speeds.

Vehicles that take up more frontal/rear surface area (Vans, Box trailers, etc...) have to move more air, which means better gas mileage for the people behind them. If you drive in a chain with multiple cars you get better gas mileage. (Remember trucking convoys? They saved gas which would allow them to speed and get more dollars per hour for the same amount of fuel.)

So whenever you are out driving, get behind someone, or get someone behind you, or both! CONVOY!