December 6th, 2019

Ann Vole

Mini-geothermal

I long recognized that thermal heat storage is the best answer to making energy self-sufficiency work in the coldest parts of the world (Saskatchewan and Alaska have similar climate zones and in similar parts of each area. I am in Saskatchewan and the best ideas actually implemented happened in Alaska.) The problem is chemicals are always dangerous and expensive and water is hard to keep contained especially if there is a chance of freezing. Dirt is "dirt cheap" and most homes have dirt below them. Of course it is also expensive to move dirt around, even just in and out of a hole. This is where I have developed several ideas to get heat in and out of the soil without disturbing most of that storage soil as well as how to insulate that soil to keep the heat in and prevent ground water from leaving the heat storage soil (and getting into it) and "washing" the stored heat away. Alaska also has to deal with permafrost that most of Saskatchewan does not have to worry about (up there, you don't want to melt the permafrost as your house will sink into the very wet soil if it does melt). One guy in Toronto area drilled just 5-10 feet into the soil in a few dozen places under the house footprint and put a continuous loop of PEX radiant floor heating tubing into these holes for a relatively cheap thermal storage system below the lowest floor (which was a well-insulated wood joist floor). Making a rough guess using several unrelated mathematical methods, I figure I need about 4 to 8 feet of thermal storage soil depth for each floor of above-ground house assuming the same footprint of the storage and the heated part of the house. Of course Toronto is much milder climate than my city in Saskatchewan... but still a useful proof-of-concept. Note that this house will not be complete for a few months and then will take a year or two before we know how this Toronto house with heat storage functions.

Ann Vole

FUFB

I am tempted to make a group of people who have been unfairly booted from the Facebook platform with the long term goal of launching a class-action law suit... not for being booted but for Facebook's pathetic handling of this issue (booting the wrong people or at least not communicating with the people involved). One possible name could be "Fighting Unfair Facebook Bans/Boots" or F-U FB. Another name might be "Zucced Over". Being colorful with the language might not be the best idea but certainly would represent the sentiment of its members.

Ann Vole

Aqua-dog

I still have daily attempts by thieves to get over the extensive barriers to getting into my back yard. Heated hoses with sprinklers attached and aimed across the top of the fence and activated by motion sensitive lights would soak the intruders in this cold winter and should discourage repeat attempts and hopping the fence. I will be mounting chains inside the locked doors so if they cut the lock and push the door open, it will only open enough to reach in and unlock the second lock or try to cut the chain and lock inside the locked space (two garages and a house-attached storage shed). Alarm systems seem to not deter them from going into various buildings in the neighborhood. One guy got a few decades in jail for shooting at the police when they showed up at an alarm situation when the security company response person realized there was someone still in the building. This is half a block from my house and happened last May. Other ideas are an alarm of a realistic-sounding big dog bark and flashing red and blue lights shone along the sides of the house so the thieves think there is a cop car with the lights flashing on the other side of the house. A guy 3 houses down the block had 6 security cameras stolen last week and they needed a ladder to do it.