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October 2010 Archive

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J. Dempsey  <webmaster> Rev. 7/98, 3/99, 5/2k, 6/2k, Friday, 04/06/01 16:43:25 GMT


I've heard you mention using ground flax-seed in different things, and a few other seeds that was ground up. And now you've got me wondering.....

Do you-guys(Sheri&you) buy it already ground or are you doing the grinding/milling yourselves?

danial - Thursday, 09/30/10 23:16:36 EDT

Ground Flax Seed:
Sheri bought the stuff preground. We keep it stored in a vacuum seal container and in the freezer. Many folks recommend grinding your own in a blender due to oxidation issues. Same with nuts when you want to use them as a flour such as in dressings or drinks.
- guru - Friday, 10/01/10 08:38:47 EDT

Amen on the solar cell efficiency.But how about building efficiency .What standards are all those tracts of desert houses being built to.Here in the Canadian maritimes its totally voluntary whether a building is highly engineered or not.Meanwhile we continue to rebuild a reactor in the vain hope of getting cheap electricity from it.At present 15% of the new calendria tubes failed testing. Repolishing the ends to a higher standard fixed the failures .Any one want to bet on whether they will redo the others to the higher standard? Here too it will be a political decision as the provincial sueing for the cost overruns,replacement power etc.
- wayne@nb - Friday, 10/01/10 09:43:58 EDT


My wife is wanting to start-up doing some of our own grain-processing of corn meal, seeds-of-something and coffee. Something she wants us to do during the winter-months that gets us out from in-front of the T.V. at nights.
She's wanting a hand-cranked grain mill to do this the old-school way, but I know who's she has in mind to do all the grinding work.

Just wondering if that's what you-guys were doing....
danial - Friday, 10/01/10 11:52:41 EDT

Efficiency - Materials Science to the Resque: In the 70's after the big "oil embargo" (it was actually a ploy by oil companies more than the cartels to raise prices) there was a huge push for increasing home construction standards to 6" wall and 12" of ceiling insulation. Energy cost savings paid back the investment in 10 years or less. Yet today "manufactured" homes have walls 1" thinner than the code for stick built construction and roofs have less than 3" of insulation. They call this "cheap affordable housing". Yes, it lets the poor (now the average college educated worker) buy a home but then they pay and pay and pay in utility bills. .

Improvements in fuel efficiency in automobiles is the only reason there is enough supply for the constantly increasing number of miles driven. Improved home efficiency can avoid the need for new power plants and benefit the whole economy.

Solar cell efficiency is a combination of materials science and ingenuity. Ingenuity has has brought the cost of solar panels down to where it is profitable to install them in most places. But materials "science" is largely trail and error. Make a material, test the material, make another sample test another sample. To find that ellusive super conductor that is manufactureable and affordable, to find tat solar cell material that absorbs more than 5% of the energy falling on it takes thousands and thousands of experiments and then manufacturing methods must be developed and all this costs billions of dollars. But the return is priceless. These costs are so high that only big government has the resources to fund such research. It is research that must be done but it is an area where funds have been cut over and over.

The key to solar cell technology is probably closely related to super conductors so both are very important areas to fund. In the 80's Ronald Reagan killed the Texas Super Collider due to stupidity (both his and the supporters of the project). The supporters kept telling Reagan (a fundamentalist Christian) that they would find the origins of the Universe. . . But Reagan KNEW the origins of the Universe. IF they told him it would result in magnets so powerful we could stop Russian tanks or Divert missiles with them he would have been all gung-ho and pushed for more money. .

The fact is magnet science was greatly advanced and is profiting us today BUT the folks doing the research tell me they were literally on the edge of fantastic breakthroughs just at the time funding was cut. The improvements that were made have brought us all kinds of new more efficient devices. But the money spent on much of that research has been thrown away. When funding for things like this ends the shop doors are closed, the researcher fired or assigned other jobs, the information developed largely lost.

Materials science is what is going to save the day in the energy game, NOT building new nuclear plants (now an old primitive technology with serious unsolved problems)
- guru - Friday, 10/01/10 11:54:52 EDT

"Hand" Grinding:
Different grains are milled different ways. Did you know that most "stone ground" grain, packaged with the picture of a quaint water powered mill is ground in a factory like environment no different than any modern flour mill? The stone grinding unit has actual stones that must be resharpened every so often. They run on a horizontal shaft and are in a metal enclosure. When closed up you cannot tell them form any of the other equipment.

Hand crank grinders are usually for large kernels or beans. Coffee, corn and so on. Smaller grains are ground in different equipment and oats are rolled between polished steel rollers.

A common hand milling setup was the "Quern". This is a pair of millstones, the top one turned by hand. This was done with a pole that fit in an offset hole in the stone and pivoted in a socket above (at ceiling height). In the movies they are often shown with the pole horizontal, the end with a 90 degree hook to fit the stone. In either case you could put your full body weight behind moving the stone which probably weighed 200 to 300 pounds.

Did you know that the most common injury to millers was getting mashed under a millstone when moving them to dress the surface? With all those open belts and gears it was the dead weight that got them.

If you want to learn about REAL Horsepower and how little we humans produce, try powering any hand powered machinery for a length of time.
- guru - Friday, 10/01/10 14:18:59 EDT

Follow-Up on Viking Day at Calvert Marine Museum: I didn't fire up the forge (adverse winds, and next to the boat shop) but Drey was able to use my set-up for some work in his "spear-carrier's helm."
Viking Day Event:
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Friday, 10/01/10 15:33:28 EDT

Viking Day: That was a nice article on the event and the Longship Company, Bruce. Wish I lived in the area so I could participate.
- Rich - Friday, 10/01/10 18:51:28 EDT

"Viking" the verb?: Bruce can you shed some light on this?
The Viking Day article was useing the word viking as a verb as well as a noun.
Could I get your definition on the word "Viking" befor I go look it up?
nice artical BTW
- merl - Saturday, 10/02/10 00:45:36 EDT

Human horsepower.

Oh I bet I find out real fast what a sissy-arm I've got as soon as I get the Jacobs chuck into the Champion post-drill!

Is there any such thing as miniture horsepower???
danial - Saturday, 10/02/10 00:47:28 EDT

Viking is a verb: No, really! In old Norse, the noun form is Vikingr, or "one who goes viking." The root word "vik" can refer to fjords, creeks, inlets, and so on. The suffix "ing" means "one from." So, "viking" seems to mean "one from the fjords." Old Norse being what it is, however, it is sort of a gerund, or a noun that acts like a verb, especially when applied to the act of going to visit another creek or fjord with a bit of looting and pillaging in mind.
Alan-L - Saturday, 10/02/10 10:51:04 EDT

Language: In modern and not so modern parlance "to go Viking" is mostly the looting, pillaging and wenching. . . (not particularly in that order) anywhere your ship or boat could take you.

Its no different than, a forge, the forge, to forge, forging, a forging, forging ahead, forgery. . .

This is probably the one area other languages may do a better job of not using the the same word as both noun, verb and adjective. But then I failed English and have gotten no farther in my Spanish other than being able to order water and ask for no rice (no arrozz. .) at a Mexican restaurant. On the other hand, the last time I tried to order in Spanish in a Mexican resturant the short dark fellow that looked Hispanic looked at me quizzically and said with a Southern accent, "Sorry man, I don't speak Spanish. . ."
- guru - Saturday, 10/02/10 11:44:36 EDT

I have (had) two hand crank drill presses. One a medium size and the other a small (but they made them smaller). Drilling small holes is almost effortless. But at 1/2" you start to feel the effort and above that you really know you are working. The heat in the steel when you are done is an indication of the energy expended.

It is said that a human can produce 1/2HP in a short burst and 1/10 HP over an extended time. That is why the only human powered aircraft have been ALMOST a glider with huge wingspan and it required an athlete in excellent condition and trim to operate for a brief time.

Household appliances like washer and driers usually run about 1/3 HP motors and small machines 1/2. At three and 5 times an athletic human's capacity they do an immense amount of work for little cost.

That is why a treadle hammer, a very handy machine for heavy controlled blows when working alone, is NOT a replacement for even a very small power hammer.

Small electric motors replace a LOT of manpower, child labor and slave labor. .
- guru - Saturday, 10/02/10 15:31:16 EDT

"Go Viking!": So, when Bruce signs off from a post saying "Go Viking..."
What he is really telling us in a very subtle and anarchistic way, is to "go viking" as in "go out and cause mayhem in some historically accurate and creative manner"
Well good, I'm glad we have that worked out. (sly grin...)
And now it's time to get my two young Vikings off to bed.
'Night gentlemen.
- merl - Saturday, 10/02/10 21:46:32 EDT

Going Viking: Ah; but note when I use the term I use it in the lower case to designate the verb; the upper case is used for the designated folks who do the job. As we tell folks, Viking is a job description, not a racial designation. ;-) (Fred the Plumber plumbs, and it's a lead pipe cinch; or at least it used to be.)

Small World: One of my old National Association of Rocketry ("We're the NAR, not the NRA.") friends was deeply involved in the Daedalus Project, a man-powered flight from Crete to Greece. He noted that everyone knows the son, Icarus, who failed, but the old man, a good engineer, stayed the course, maintained altitude, and (in the myth) made it to the mainland. Their 20th century version used a highly trained cyclist for the motive power. Light, strong, and lots of endurance!
Bruce Blackistone - Sunday, 10/03/10 20:05:56 EDT

Vikings: Bruce, didn't You [for a short time] end Your posts with the phrase:

It takes a hoard to raze a villiage

or something to that effect ?
- Dave Boyer - Sunday, 10/03/10 21:48:34 EDT

HA! "It takes a hord to ""raze" a villiage"
Now THAT is funny

Bruce didn't they make a public TV special about that venture?
I think of that flight and the human energy it must have taken every time I make the pull up a long hill near me.
- merl - Sunday, 10/03/10 22:18:59 EDT

I used to have a bumper sticker that said "It takes a Viking to Raze a Village" courtesy of "Screaming Viking Mead"

Current one is "Weird Load" with yellow and black stripes; but it's getting tired. I had hoped to have gotten a new one at Bubonicon but didn't find a good one.

Thomas P - Monday, 10/04/10 14:10:31 EDT

I picked up a 450 LB+ anvil for $375 today ...... more detail what it arrives at the shop....
- mpmetal - Monday, 10/04/10 21:49:13 EDT

Go Viking... think "go HIKING".. it's a verb. Now if you will excuse me I have runes to cast.
- Nippulini - Tuesday, 10/05/10 09:03:52 EDT

Shouldn't they be *forged*?

Thomas P - Tuesday, 10/05/10 13:29:43 EDT

Weird load bumper sticker: Thomas, I found you one!
Alan-L - Tuesday, 10/05/10 17:21:38 EDT

It Takes a Viking...: muddy the water! ;-) I think I used the signoff once or twice, but it certainly is memorable. We have the bumper sticker (thanks also to Screaming Viking Mead, sadly no longer in business from what we can tell) on the trailer for our little 20' faering boat that we use for our ship's boat. Since it does a lot of dry-land sailing and display gigs, it does get around; much to everyone's amusement.

This weekend is Patuxent River Appreciation Day (PRAD) at the museum. We will have the ship manned, but just for dockside interpretation.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 10/05/10 21:29:59 EDT

Bummer!: Link and URL were vertical and labels were not aligned (a fault of this laptop)! I guessed wrong.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 10/05/10 21:39:52 EDT

maybe he has some aspersions to cast...
perhaps some bread...
- merl - Tuesday, 10/05/10 23:42:25 EDT

Thanks Alan; but I was thinking it's time for a change.

I guess I could finally use the "If AT&T is not the Evil Empire, Why do they use the Deathstar for their logo?" as I no longer work for Bell Labs.

Thomas P - Wednesday, 10/06/10 16:12:52 EDT

floor mandrels: I just returned from a weekend in Oklahoma where I picked up two floor mandrels from They are having them cast plus swage blocks, all reasonably priced. The mandrels are a 12" D at the base and are 3' tall; shipping weight is 78 pounds. One of the mandrels will go to a friend.

I phoned Salt Fork president, Gerald Franklin, and he arranged for the mandrels to be placed at a business in Oklahoma City where I could easily ID myself and pick them up.
- Frank Turley - Wednesday, 10/06/10 20:09:20 EDT

Bell & AT&T: Thomas, I thought they seperated decades ago? (geez has it been that long since I worked there?!?)
Or were you just afraid you would loose your parking space...
- merl - Thursday, 10/07/10 11:06:20 EDT

Yes they separated but all our work was for AT&T and you do not bite the hand that feeds you!

Thomas P - Thursday, 10/07/10 11:59:17 EDT

I still have the parts available to make up about seven more of my Poor Boy Propane Forges. After that I will not manufacture them. If anyone wanted to make their own for eBay sale, so much the better. I'd rather be doing other things.
Ken Scharabok - Friday, 10/08/10 13:52:47 EDT

25LBS POWER HAMMER FOR SALE!!!!!!: my name is jake gearhart i am from northeast iowa. i have a 25lbs murray power hammer for sale. u can contact me @ (563)920-8592.
- jake g - Friday, 10/08/10 15:20:46 EDT

Ken, if they fetch a high price and are in a real demand, let me know.
- Nippulini - Friday, 10/08/10 15:35:50 EDT

Nip: I haven't kept records but I suspect I have sold over 200 of them over eBay averaging $200 each. Cost is mostly for off-the-shelf hardware.
Ken Scharabok - Friday, 10/08/10 15:54:13 EDT


Sorry, I misunderstood. Have you checked out the selection at Lots of interesting things there. I'm partial to the one that says "I'd turn back if I were you."
Alan-L - Friday, 10/08/10 16:42:41 EDT

..Or maybe "Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car."
Alan-L - Friday, 10/08/10 16:44:23 EDT

Going Viking: I had a blacksmith shop in the town of Pine Arizona for 12 years that I called the Viking Forge, due to my 100% Norwegian Heritage. I recalled my mother doing some genealogy work and making contact with a cousin in the old country. I came across his name in some old papers from her, and plugged it into Google. Lo and behold, I got an e-mail address, sent him one, and made contact. He is about the same age as me and we share a great great grandmother who immigrated to Wisconsin in 1868. Turns out he is an historian of Luster County, Norway, and has traced our family back to the early 1500's. He came over in 1970, bought a Plymouth fury for $200, put 13,500 miles on it, and sold it for $150 when he flew back home.
- Loren T - Sunday, 10/10/10 07:41:56 EDT

Viking & Plymouth Fury: The Norse always were sharp traders! ;-)
Bruce Blackistone - Monday, 10/11/10 20:30:14 EDT

Seems they did a lot of "trading" with the sharp tip of their swords and spears!
- guru - Tuesday, 10/12/10 19:19:44 EDT

Raid or Trade: It all sort of depended on what looked to be most efficient. Always wise to keep your guard up, and your defenses in order, when the Vikings came around to offer amber, fur, and slaves. Otherwise, you might find yourself classified as "trade goods."

There most interesting tactic is what we refer to as "The Bureau of External Revenue." They would show up in England in well-armed crews, stage a few raids, and for a price (in silver) they would go away; at least for a while. As I remember, over several decades they extracted about 40,000 pounds of silver from various English monarchs.

To paraphrase Kipling, once you're paying the Danegeld, you never get rid of the Dane.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 10/12/10 22:02:16 EDT

Its the "protection racket". I suspect this predates the Vikings and may be the worlds oldest form of crime. Bullies who beat up a few people and break a few things then say they will "protect" you from the problem for a fee collected every so often (monthly, weekly, daily). A little like taxes. These armed bullies then became the local Lords or "Kings". . . and the extortion really named "tax". This also gave them the wherewithall to wage war on a scale larger than the village level. Modern governments are no different. So. "Royalty" and governments, all derive from a bunch of bullies.

World history in a nut shell.
- guru - Wednesday, 10/13/10 10:08:05 EDT

vikings(Danes) in popular lit: Atli, I'm sure you are familiar with the books by Bernard Cornwell about England at the time of the Danish incursions.What is your opinion of the portrayal of the times?
- wayne@nb - Wednesday, 10/13/10 16:50:26 EDT

Cornwell, Uhtred & Co.: I enjoyed his Richard Sharpe series, but then I knew just enough about the Napoleonic Wars to enable me to enjoy it. When you read an historical novel set in your period of specialization, either it's very good, very bad, or leaves you wondering if they've studied sources that you have not studied.

His Uhtred series is somewhere in that hazy middle; enjoyable but leaving you with lingering questions. At least he doesn't have an Irish Princess finding a knife in a sack of potatoes! (An actual novel that we inflict upon our friends for the fun of it. It also contains the immortal line, as the Vikings are having their way(s) with the nuns: "Please Sir; not again.")

He does have one scene where a ship is steered through a gap with the current, without mentioning the use of oars. Trust me, without steerageway you can end up sideways, which is messy in a bridge opening! Now, he may have just forgot to mention the crew rowing like mad to help keep control; I know he does have some experience on boats, but how much under oars is another question.

It has been noticed that he has used the name of our former ship, Fyrdraca (Firedrake) in one of his books, and has used Sea Raven (Sae Hrafn) in his most recent book, twice- once for an old cranky vessel, and a second time for a coastal levy ship. He has had no contact with us (that we can determine) but I'm sure he's come across us on the web while doing research.

Then again, maybe not. :-)

I will say that his hero, or protagonist, Uhtred, is a total blockhead; faced with any array of choices he usually picks the worst; which can make for an interesting story, but an irritating person. But, then again, I have been called the Mr. Rogers of Viking reenactors by the Washington Post, so there is a penalty to be paid for being wise and nice. ;-)
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Thursday, 10/14/10 13:53:32 EDT

Nazel 2B Hammers: FOR SALE: Two (2) Nazel 2B - 3 piece hammers (separate frame, base and anvil). One (1) hammer is running with a newly rebuilt motor but is in need of repairs to better its performance. The second (2nd) hammer is complete but not running with a broken frame. Between the two 2 hammers were confident someone who has the time and ability can get one (1) good running hammer out of the two (2) and have lots of spare parts left over. We’d just as soon sell both hammers as is if a purchaser bought them fully knowing there condition and need for repairs. We can send pictures if interested. Asking price $6,995.00 rigged and loading on your truck.
B R Wallace - Thursday, 10/14/10 22:17:19 EDT

bending hardening and tempering piano wire: hi i am builting a 1/4 scale radio controlled aircraft and i am using 3/8 dia spring steel rods which came out of a car boot lid torsion bar

i need to bend the rods then harden and temper them. can some one tell me how to do it

manythanks John
- John Lochhead - Friday, 10/15/10 23:50:24 EDT

John, See our FAQs page and Junk Yard Steel.

Torsion springs of this type are very low stress. They can and often ARE made from mild steel. So see the Junk Yard Steel rules. "Piano wire" is normally SAE 1095 carbon steel. Automobile parts are rarely made from this steel. However, we have heat treating particulars on it on our FAQ page under Heat Treating.

Also be aware that mild steel, spring steel, tools steel. . all have the same modulus of elasticity. This means they all have the same "springiness". What is different is how far they will spring before yielding.

Bending this steel depends on its current hardness which may depend on the steel type. . (back to junk yard steel rules). If a soft temper it could be bent cold in a vise. If a hard temper it will need to be annealed or bent hot.

To hot bend a sharp bend you heat the metal to an orange or low yellow and bend it. 3/8" is easy if clamped in a vise. To make a cold bend or a long gradual bend annealing is best.

To anneal, heat the entire bar to non-magnetic or a little hotter (no quite an orange), then cool it very slowly. This is often done by burying the hot steel in vermiculite or quick lime. After cooling the steel should bend fairly easily.

To harden, heat the steel evenly to just above non-magnetic. Then quench in oil or water depending on the type of steel. Test a sample in oil first. If it does not harden satisfactorily then heat again and quench in warm water.

After hardening you will want to temper the piece as soon as possible. That is usually before the piece reaches room temperature after hardening. Temper temperatures range from a minimum of 350/400 F to as high as 1300 F on some steels. Normal for spring steels is a "blue" temper at about 590 to 600F. But it could be hotter depending on the steel.

It would REALLY help if you would explain what you are making or what it is supposed to do. If your parts are critical then they should be made of new material of a known alloy.

- guru - Saturday, 10/16/10 01:08:23 EDT

guru many thanks for your reply.
The spring bars in boot or trunk lids on cars are the right diameter to make the undercarrage for my plane which is a 1/4 scale radio controlled model. the diam is 3/8 and i need to make several 90 degree bends in them. I will heat the steel to make the bends but my problem is that with heating the rod it will ose its springyness and become soft. There fore i need to return the steel to the qualitys it had before i heat it. this is the reason for my query. The sttel needs to have the sprinyness and hardness that it had before the heat treatment so that it will stand up to th eodd heavy landing

cheers John
John Lochhead - Saturday, 10/16/10 03:40:54 EDT

John, Please note my comment on the "springyness" of all steel. The only thing you need to be concerened about is just how highly stressed the part is going to be and thus how far it has to spring. That said, I know aircraft parts are generally stressed as highly as possible due to weight concerns.

An important concern about hardening parts is proper tempering so they are not brittle and likely to break. Another is overall heating problems that can result in cracks. Depending on the steel, heating too hot, heating too fast, holding at temperature too long or not long enough, quenching incorrectly, not fully tempering, all can create problems.

A good rule for tempering is to oven temper the part to a minimum of 400 F prior to any other tempering, such as by color or spot tempering. This can also be done after "running colors" when a part is partially quenched and residual heat from the hot end travels up the part to temper, the temper being stopped by quenching. A good soak at a temperature that tempers the entire part to at least the maximum hardness (and minimum temper) reduces the likelihood of untempered areas.

As I mentioned earlier, this is junk yard steel of an unknown composition. How it is treated depends on testing you do.

Please see the current heat treating discussion on the guru's den for some of the issues that come up in heat treating.
- guru - Sunday, 10/17/10 09:29:15 EDT

John Lochhead: Try to bent those rods cold, You might be able to do it. The manufacturer probably didn't heat treat them after bending to the shape You have.

Don't mess with the material that is already bent, it probably won't take bending twice.
- Dave Boyer - Monday, 10/18/10 20:31:48 EDT

Incredible Shrinking Guru -65:
Today I am officially down 65 ppounds (30 kg). Loss has slowed a bit but not due to going off diet. I am still eating nutritarian (no wheat, no sugar, no oil, vegan with shrimp about once a week). The slowing weight loss may be muscle gain from our continuing exercise program.

I have increased the amount of green salad I eating and reduced the beans a little. While Sheri's naturally fortified beans are very nutritious they are proportionately high calorie to green salad. I think we have both found that the beans which we cook about once every two weeks and frozen vegetables are too easy. Just pop a bunch of both in the Microwave and dinner is ready in 5 to 10 minutes. So we rely on them more than we should.

As long as I am going in the right direction. . .
- guru - Monday, 10/25/10 14:49:15 EDT

wieght loss: That's excelent Guru!
I seem to be stuck at 220 lbs. and have been for several weeks now. I guess I'll have to change my diet or add some more excersize to get down to my goal of 200.
I don't fear the holiday "eating season" coming up though. I am in a certain eating habit now and I can stick to it because I don't fight it any more.
I don't crave the bad foods I gave up and I would rather go thirsty than drink a soda of any kind.
As winter decends on us and the out door activity lessens I'll have to see if I loose any more weight that could be attributed to gaining muscle from yard work and the like.
- merl - Monday, 10/25/10 17:57:27 EDT

Thanks All: I was going to ask a question, but then started reading everything and found the link to resurfacing anvils and other interesting things. Long story short, I found my answers - so thanks!

In any case, if anyone has any comments about the anvil in the link, please comment!

Also, congrats on the weight loss Guru!

Anvil for Sale
David Knapp - Monday, 10/25/10 18:25:23 EDT

Weight loss: Good work Jock.

2 times in My life I dieted and reduced My weight by about 25% [I had gained most of it back in between].

I found that the less I ate, the slower My metabolism became. Seems that the body thinks food is getting scarse and conserves.

I did not diet particularly inteligently, and ended up eating 1 fairly heavy meal per day the second time I lost weight. That second time I lost some muscle mass, and altho I could still tear phone books in half, it didn't go well like it had before, so I gave it up. I should have excercised in addition to working 50-70 hours per week and sailing Hobie cats & windsurfers.

I have gone from about 225 to about 185 give or take at the present, but I lost weight due to a mouth ulcer and through being sick several times, and have cut back on snacks to keep from gaining it right back.

Those years I was thin I was about 130-140# and a whole lot younger.

I have stage 4 cancer [for the last 6 1/2 years] and am on chemotherapy most of the time. At this point, My oncologist gets a little concerned with weight loss, but is not worried once He finds out I am intentionally not gaining it back.
- Dave Boyer - Monday, 10/25/10 23:05:24 EDT

Coal smoke?: Hi I recently made a fire pit next to my house and I was tossing in some coal that I found from a coal vein outside of town. My question is that after the initial grey smoke from starting the fire I noticed really white smoke burning down with the coals from the wood. I've never noticed this thick white smoke before and wondered if it was coming from the coal? I have never used coal before, let alone coal that I dug up straight from the ground. I thought maybe some of you could give me your 2 cents worth. Thanks
Matt H. - Tuesday, 10/26/10 00:18:22 EDT

Coal Smoke: Matt, It starts out heavy and yellow, sometimes black, as it gets hotter it turns white but then with a really hot fire it almost goes away. BUT, coal is INFINITE in variety and some will smoke excessively, some with yellow sulfur fumes ans some not hardly at all.
- guru - Tuesday, 10/26/10 00:26:37 EDT

Cancer and Diet:
Dave, you may want to read the Dr. Joel Fuhrman books on diet and the supporting work, notably the China Study.

What has been found in recent years is that cancer cells flourish on animal protein and whither on vegetable protein. This was a laboratory finding. But then in large population studies they have found that there is almost no cancer in vegetarian societies. This includes places where environmental carcinogens are just as common as elsewhere in the world.

These findings are only about 10 years old and are not mainstream.

Other findings from recent large population studies have shown that cancer, diabetes and heart disease increase proportionally with a society's increase in meat, processed grain and concentrated oil consumption (you can still eat a poor quality vegetarian diet). .

While there is no clear evidence that a vegetarian diet can cure cancer it is clear that it can prevent it. Numerous physicians are now giving diabetes and heart disease dietary counseling as an alternative to drugs or surgery. In fact Dr. Fuhrman says that the cardiac medicine community is committing medical malpractice on a grand scale. He and others have proven that both severe heart disease (people that have been recommended to have by pass surgery) and diabetes can be cured.

This is all new and not well known or understood in the medical community. Many fallacies about nutrition are still taught in every level of education. Doctors and nutritionists are still giving out old dated bad advice.

On the extreme fringe of the vegetarian and health movement is phytoplankton. It is said to be a vegetarian cure for cancer. Look it up. There is not much known or athouratative published about it but for the claimed benefits and relatively low cost it is worth trying.

- guru - Tuesday, 10/26/10 01:14:13 EDT

Anyone who tells you they can cure type I diabetes with diet; well the truth is not in them

Type II can often be prevented or cured through diet

Just saying "Diabetes" is like just saying Steel---they type of steel it is controls what it is good for.

Thomas P - Tuesday, 10/26/10 11:58:56 EDT

Re: Coal: Ok, thanks Guru.
Matt H. - Tuesday, 10/26/10 15:01:55 EDT

Cancer & diet: I have spoken with several oncologists & cancer specialists about cancer & diet, and NONE of them think it has any effect on it it, once You HAVE it.

My doctors are amazed that I am in as good a shape as I am, after as much chemotherapy as I have had. I just had an appointment at Fox Chase Cancer Center, one of the leaders in the Philly area. He suggested that I get as much excercise as I can tolerate on My "good" week.
- Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 10/26/10 20:15:24 EDT

"Raw Food Diet": A friend had a large cancerous growth at the side of his neck which he had excised about 5 years ago. I'm pretty sure he went for chemotherapy, but he did not care for it. I don't know who advised him, but he went on a "raw food diet," quit the chemo, and he drinks only certain drinks. He is doing well.
- Frank Turley - Wednesday, 10/27/10 21:09:27 EDT

Chemotherapy: Nobody "cares for it", but when You have tumors that can not be removed surgicly [without killing the patient] You choice is rather limited. At this point, I still feel it is better to be sick half the time than ded all the time.
- Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 10/27/10 21:18:53 EDT

ha!!!: better to be sick half the time then dead all the time..... good call dave!!!
- pete - Thursday, 10/28/10 06:42:20 EDT

chemo: Pardon me, if you thought I was giving advice. I was simply sharing a story about a friend's experience.
Frank Turley - Thursday, 10/28/10 09:31:59 EDT

Giv'em all hecky darn Frank...grin.
- Peace Keeper - Thursday, 10/28/10 16:10:38 EDT

Dietary Opinion:
Some facts and suppositions:

1) The vast majority of doctors know little or nothing about what to tell their patients to help themselves. They will give vague advice such as reduce your salt intake, eat less fat. . but they do not say how OR that NO SALT is the reality not just "lowing it". Dr. Fuhrman says straight out that the cardiac specialists are commiting malpractice by not giving VERY specific dietary instructions to their patients. He has proven over and over again with his own patients that most cardiac problems, even those at the point of needing quadruple bypasses can be cured by diet and they will STAY cured on the diet while they WILL BE be BACK after the surgery with the same problems, every time, if they live long enough. There is no money in it for the surgeons, no money in it for the Pharmas, no money in it for the Corporate Hospitals. Same for cancer. Doctors just plain don't know and if they do, saying so will get them fired.

2) IF in the laboratory cancer cells grow when fed animal protein (milk solids) and wither when fed vegeteble proteins AND IF large population studies have shown that vegetarian societies have very low to zero cancer rates THEN shouldn't changing to a vegetarian diet improve an individual's fight against cancer?

3) It has also been shown that the same people with low heart disease and low cancer rates who move to the West (notably North America and Europe) suddenly have the SAME rates of these diseases as the population they joined when they adopt the same diet? Shouldn't the reverse be true of all these diseases? It has been proven to be fact with type II diabetes, heart disease and obesity. So why not cancer? Many doctors on the cutting edge of nutrition believe it to be true. BUT, as Dave pointed out, once you've got it, its too late.

4) Furhman and his associates as well as other researchers claim that it takes three or four years of a high anti-oxidant Nutritarian diet for ones entire body to become fully infused with cancer fighting micro-nutrients. Most cancers treated by current means come back, often in three to five years. SO, why shouldn't a major change in diet prevent or slow the return of the cancer?

We aren't talking about taking toxic medications for life. We aren't talking about cutting off a limb. We aren't talking about any more drastic an action than stop eating meat, dairy and processed grains. NOT for some morality that the majority of people do not believe in, but for your LIFE.

We are not even talking about giving up GOOD food. Vegetarian, Vegan and Nutritarian diets can be full of VERY good, tasty, enjoyable food. In fact, some of those high anti-oxidant items are spices like cloves and cinnamon. Hot peppers are good too.

I am thoroughly enjoying the food I now eat. I am losing weight while eating as much as I want. I also have confidence in what I am eating due to the knowledge I gained from the books by Dr. Fuhrman and the sources he references.

Live long and prosper. .IVI

- guru - Thursday, 10/28/10 19:18:57 EDT

THE HYPE and NOT: The general media have it all wrong as they do on MOST subjects. Yes, red wine has antioxidants, yes chocolate has anti-oxidants and help against cancer and aging. . but the alcohol, sugar and oil (in the chocolate) reverse most of the good the small amount of antioxidants that are left do for you. However, you CAN eat the red grapes before they are turned into wine. . . And raw cocoa beans and nibs are available that are FULL of vitamins, minerals, micro nutrients and anti-oxidants. They are a tad bitter but there are many things you can add them to that are good for you and you get that chocolate taste.

The Acai berry weight loss craze was a load of BS designed to make the importer/bottler RICH selling the product at champagne prices in wine bottles like so much snake oil. . . BUT it turns out that it is full of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. It makes orange juice look like Cool-Aid in comparison. At the current price of less than a tenth the weight loss version it is a great tasting health food supplement.

The Chinese have been eating Gogi berries for centuries and they are a part of traditional Chinese medicine. Modern science has proved they too are packed with vitamins, nutriants and anti-oxidants.

The glorious thing is that in our tightly interconnected world we don't have to live in Central America to have the benefit or raw Cacao, or Brazil to have Acai or China to have Gogi. We don't have to give up fruit and fresh vegetables for the winter. .

THE REVOLUTION for vegetarians and especially Vegans is that the knowledge is now available to show them that there need not be a shortage of protein or nutrients in their diet. The proven knowledge is now available to show them that all the naysayers were wrong. For them a shift to Nutrtitarianism based on this knowledge is very easy.

The raw food people are partially right as their diet is mostly vegetarian (a few eat raw meat. . ). Part of their goal is to get away from processed foods. This is also an important part of being a Nutritarian. But many foods need to be cooked and many nutriants are released by cooking some foods.

The organic food people are also right. How food is raised DOES make a difference. But the cost is high and everyone cannot afford to eat 100% organic. But the China Study and others have shown that while the quality of food can make a difference, the overall diet makes a much larger difference. A vegetarian diet filled with anti-oxidants does much more good than trying at great expense to remove every trace of carcinogens from that diet.

Thanks to Dr. Fuhrman's food rating system we can all eat better. The knowledge is there, the truth is there, all you have to do is look for it and accept it.

That all said, we just had our evening glass of wine and Hershey's chocolate bar for desert.
- guru - Thursday, 10/28/10 20:28:09 EDT

Colon Cancer: This is the cancer I have, and there is a good way of preventing it.

Colon cancer developes from polyps, which occur due to defective chromosones. Polups do not start out cancerous, but often become cancerous after 3-5 years.

Present medical practice suggests screening for polyps beginning at age 50 for those with no family history of colon cancer. I had the symptoms of what turned out to be colon cancer when I was 43 years old, with no previous family history of colon cancer.

The most practical screening method is a colonoscopy, and if polyps are found, they can be removed and a biopsy done to determine if they have become cancerous. The worst part is the preperation, as You need to be cleaned out well before the procedure.

Take My word for it, a day of inconvenience for a colonoscopy is much better than 6 1/2 years of treatment and no cure.

- Dave Boyer - Thursday, 10/28/10 21:37:56 EDT

Camp Fenby Autumn Session, Nov. 12-14: We will be holding our autumn session of Camp Fenby on Friday through Sunday, November 12, 13, and 14.

For those who wish (or everybody, if they are up to it) there is a Longship Company afternoon voyage on the Sae Hrafn (weather permitting) scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 14, with assembly at noon at the Calvert Marine Museum.

The gas and coal forges are up and running, and we may have a session on traditional workbench construction (at least discuss techniques and designs and maybe select some of the salvaged barn beams in our barn), and the lathe is up and functioning at the Bent Nail Woodshop.

Other projects could include Merovingian javelins; welding Adrian's ring handles for his chest; stirrups by Drey, and random small knives, cooking utensils, as well as tent stakes and camp gear.

Given that the fields are clear, we can even have some black-powder shooting down-slope (if someone will volunteer as range master).

Accommodations for camping are available and we can try to clear out some space inside the barn for under-roof tenting; plus we have the old hovel site for woodland camping. Campers and vehicles that need power may tap off of the exterior outlets at the forge, and we will have some space in the woodshop, after hours, for a couple of sleeping bags on a wood floor in snug shelter.

Saturday night, being as it's beyond crab season and rather brisk, we may go to one of the local eateries, such as Morris Point, or the "fast food strip" in Leonardtown.

The Colton's Cottage will not be available this weekend, but I can provide further information on the new motel in Leonardtown (sort of pricey) and Lexington Park and Charlotte Hall have a myriad of choices. We also might be able to rent the reopened church hall, within 1/2 mile, for crash space.

There will be a $5 porta-potty fee. Since there is an informal arrangement in place, for same (it's in "storage" at Oakley), all excess money will be donated to the Longship Company which sponsors the event anyway.

For any folks not interested in craft activities, or to take a break, you may wish to walk the farm and visit the shoreline, woods, fenlands and other lovely areas. The St. Clement’s (Blackistone) Island Museum is also a short ride away.

So, if you wish to teach, or learn, please let us know what can we squeeze in.

Camp Fenby Yahoo Site
Bruce Blackistone - Sunday, 10/31/10 18:41:29 EDT

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