Archive for the ‘Phoenix’ Category

The last temporary visit of the local library yielded some useful videos on how to prepare for Humanity’s waterloo.

There were two decent videos on how to build an enviromental house.  From what I have seen so far, the community of people preparing for civilization’s curtains tend to be a conservative bunch.  One place where the preppers and the far left overlaps is Extreme Pro-Green Building. After all, surviving on your own is the goal of both groups. And I tend to like it when extremes meet.

Back to point of this post, the library had two decent videos on how to build green, a lot of the techniques might be good to know once the giant wire spider stops giving us it’s venom. They were a good start for me on how to approach the learning construction task. I really have trouble with hammers.

Building with awareness the construction of a hybrid home is a good overview of the considersations one might consider.

Building Green Hosted by Kevin Contreras goes into much more detail.  With four discs he walks through multiple aspects of building green during all stages on construction.

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These wonderful shots of abandoned buildings in Detroit got me thinking. While Detroit died the Sun-belt bloomed. Maybe it is our time in Phoenix?

Some idiots who count money for a living think my town is the unhappiest place to be in America.  Well, frak them.

Maybe I am just being defensive.   When National Geographic depicted their version of the end they gave Phoenix central billing.  

Phoenix gets a rough rap.  (Everyone brings up the water issue.  Me, I hope the tropics move north.)

When I manage to put my own baggage aside I can admit that the largest piece of concrete in the SouthWest might have problems when the grid fails and things go to shit-fan fast. Our greatest advantage is that everyone expects us to fail.  The rats will run out of the sinking ship fast, and therefore hopefully the idiots will consider us collateral damage and leave us alone.  This is fine by me.

AZ-SouthSide has got more than one might thing going for it at the end of the rat race. To name a few: Ancient canals, plump cactus, stockpiles of guns at Apache Junction, multiple stripmalls, along with good places to hide and wait near the drying remains of Roosevelt lake.   Plus no tsunamis, major earthquakes, floods, 0r tornadoes.

I am looking forward to the weekend.  I had to work last Saturday, which made the last two weeks go long.  I have not been able to do many experiments in the last couple of weeks, so I spent more time doing internet research.    This weekend’s plans include the following:

  • Turn Brittlebush leaves into medicine.   A couple of weekends ago I went for a hike and saw the desert has a ton of brittlebush right now.   I gathered some leaves and have dried them out, so now I think I am supposed to mash them up or something.  While doing research I learned the sap from brittlebush can be used as incense and/or gum, which I think is pretty cool, so next time out I might see how much sap I can gather.

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Brittlebush in AZ Desert Botanical Garden

  • Build a solar still, which will involve digging a wide hole.  One is supposed to dig in a place that would have water in the soil, but as I am doing this in my backyard, I am going to supplement the water still but putting in weeds and sucking the water out of the plants. 
  • Use shadow of stick to figure out which way is west.
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    • Prep for the no grid water for the weekend experiment.
    • Gather water bottles.
    • Gather pine needles for composting toilet.
    • Begin gathering some Creosote Bush stems.  According to Survivorman, one can burn the stems in a fire and the smoke can be used to clean (or rather disinfect) oneself.  The plant makes its own chemicals that make animals and insects not want to eat it, and these same chemicals can be used to disinfect oneself if you don’t have any water.  It is also one of the few desert plants that can be used for toilet paper in a pinch (bad pun intended).     One a side note, the plant is a virtual medicine cabinet for many other uses as well.   Maybe make some tea out of it?  Creosote is so good at repelling harmful stuff, I wonder if it would work on Zombies?

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    Creosote in AZ Desert Botanical Garden

    Thank you Phil Freedom for putting the following in the Conspire Community Calendar.

    With our well known Achilles Heel, lack of water, Phoenix gets a bad rap when people are discussing post-Apocalyptic hang-out spots.  But, Phoenix has got a lot going for it.

    First, you are not likely freeze to death. Here in the desert we forgot how a constant cold blast makes it hard to live.  When we are all riding motorcycles around in our underwear, the constant sun will be a blessing.

    Second, a betting man might say the most likely Great Cataclysm is global warming.  It is also the most likely to be the slowest, even slower than an Al Gore lecture. California and the East Coast are screwed. The problem will be too much water.  I hate to get all Lex Luthor but I wouldn’t mind if California falls into the ocean. Personally, I hope the tropics move north and we have beach volley-ball all the way to Tucson.

    This leads us to the third reason, the water issue. Hopefully, this won’t be the problem, see second reason. Yet if it is, I don’t think it will be as bad as people make. This city was founded on canals, and supported 20,000 people. Now, if the 4 million that are currently here, stay alive and here, then we are fucked.

    Fourth, people with real skills will be hanging out on 5th street. We got people who can fix bikes, makes clothes and grow plants here. And three skills are better than none.

    Kevin Patterson

    Water

    Posted: December 29, 2010 in Phoenix, water
    Tags: ,

    It is raining today in Phoenix. There is snow if Flagstaff. To see how much water I could grasp I have placed a small cooler (measurements later) at the largest spill off my roof. I wonder how long it will take to fill, I placed it outside after a long but soft rain at 3:12.

    I am not sure what I am going to do with this data once I compile it.

    Update: I was able to fill a large trash can within 30 minutes from rain run-off.     How long could I survive on one large trash can of water?  Obviously I could have collected much more water from one rain storm that I could have stored.  How would one build a water storage unit in a post-apolcyptic world?  How long could one store water safely?

    Goal this weekend is too build a walter filter, collect some water from the desert, clean it, drink it, and see if I get sick.

    I am going to use the World Wildlife Foundation’s instructions on how to build a water filter, because it was the best one I could find in terms of clarity, and the most post-apocalyptic scenario descrption. Most sites I found for water purification are using modern toys that won’t neccesarilly be availible after the camping stores and hardware stores get raided.

    I will need containers to hold the water, charchoal from a fire, a large gathering of small peebles and clean sand.

    It does not rain much in the desert. Water in Phoenix is a not-so-secret achilles hell. I stood in the rain and wondered how much I could have gathered at the last moment.  I know some people build roofs that gather the water and then they collect it.  I wonder how much I could gather in a pinch.  I suppose I should have measured the amount and then forecasted how long that would have lasted.

    To do:

    Next rain, fill the pots, to see how much I could gather in a pinch, and know how to filter the water.  Apparently sand matters.  But what constitutes sand?    Where could one gather it if not by the beach? And I will need to get my hands on some Alum, where they hell do I get that?