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Monthly Archives: December 2010

Hand-me-down technology

Bought on eBay: $24.99 I love old technology. Sometimes old technology is better than new technology. It sure is cheaper. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been making some improvements in my telephone situation. I did not rush out and buy the newest telephone toys. Instead, I defined my needs, did some research, […]

On being warm

The low temperature here last night was 11.3 degrees F. To those who live in northern latitudes, this may not be a big deal. But, here in the South, it is a very big deal. It’s also dangerously cold for any warm-blooded creature. Ken Ilgunas’ recent post on how he stays warm while living in […]

Why all this Arctic air?

The dark blue area can expect cold weather through Dec. 19. Graph by NOAA Climate Prediction Center Newspapers used to do a pretty good job of covering the weather. Today’s lazy, downsized local newspapers don’t bother much anymore. Even with the Internet today, you have to search long and hard to find out what might […]

A check from Blue Cross??

In the mailbox today I found an envelope from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. In red letters across the front were “Open Immediately.” This was terrifying. My health insurance is the biggest item in my monthly budget, even though I have one of those high-deductibule policies. I, like most people, am accustomed only […]

Managing your heat pump

The low temperature last night was 14 degrees F. When it’s that cold, I obsess about how to keep the house decently warm as frugally as possible. I also obsess about wear and tear on my heat pump. Heat pumps are an efficient source of heat — except when it’s very cold. Heat pumps don’t […]

Guess who's coming back…

Ken in Durham Ken Ilgunas will soon return to Acorn Abbey. He’ll arrive on Dec. 17 or 18 and remain all through the next semester at Duke. He doesn’t have any classes next semester. He only has to write his thesis, and Acorn Abbey is a nice, quiet place for writing. We’ll also have some […]

Fixed-position cell phone service

The Telular SX5T fixed wireless terminal Because I’m a communications nerd, and because of the problems that go with being well wired when you live in the sticks, the communications devices I use are not typical. Though I could get an ordinary land-line telephone easily enough, I’m too far from the central office to get […]

First snow of the season

We’re having the first snow of the season, and it’s only Dec. 4. Amazing! A winter weather advisory is in effect until Sunday morning. The photo was taken from my front porch.

Chickens and grass

Every morning when I let the chickens out, they head straight for the grass and start grazing. I had never really thought of chickens as pasture-loving grazing animals — they’re scratchers. But they love to graze. I tried to do some research on chickens and grass to try to understand how they can digest grass […]