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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Phones and things



Now that my lovely wife and I are back home, I canceled Verizon service for my iphone. The phone had been given to me so I didn't require a contract. It was really handy while traveling, but we don't need it. That's one less bill to pay. Verizon provided good service, but the price was higher than I liked.

We went back to our 4 year old, $10 Tracfone. It's all the mobile phone we need right now. My 7 year old granddaughter was amazed that we share instead of having personal phones. It really wasn't all that long ago when a phone was something mounted on the wall in one's home. Times have changed.

The cell phone bill is gone. I'm totally off-grid so the electric bill is gone. The veggie van has a good supply of free fuel. I'm feeling rich. I don't have any money, but I'm still feeling rich.

Being totally off-grid now, I'm a bit more aware of my power usage. Topping off the batteries is no longer as simple as tripling a switch and pulling power from the grid. For years now I've been buying green coffee and roasting it myself. A friend gave me an electric roaster and I fell in love with fresh roasted coffee. I buy green beans in bulk so the price is right. My current coffee roaster is fading -doesn't put out the same heat as it once did. It also demands a lot of amperage, so that draws down the batteries. We drink a lot of coffee so the roaster is used a lot.

My lovely wife and I are trying to simplify our lives so the roaster had to go. Of course, we don't want to give up fresh roasted coffee. Good thing we don't have to. Our cast iron Dutch oven does a fair job as a coffee roaster. Once warmed up on the woodstove, the green beans are dumped into it. Occasional stirring with a big spoon helps them roast evenly. There's a bit of art to getting the temperature just right, but it's not rocket science. The coffee is every bit as good as it was in the commercial roaster.

Life is full of little adventures and experiments.

-Sixbears

15 comments:

  1. I've seriously considered making our own toilet paper. Those little squares are awful hard to duplicate....

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    1. Old growth softwoods have longer fibers and make for softer paper. Make sure to use plenty of chlorine dioxide.

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  2. SixBears I have read that the old fashioned popcorn poppers with the crank work great for roasting coffee. You might look for one out yard salelling or estate sales. I bet it would work on your kitchen stove.

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    1. My dad owns one so I got to try it on coffee. Works fine. Turning the crank keeps the coffee from burning.

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  3. Need to start using green coffee and roasting and grinding my own! Gotta have that coffee!

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  4. Sixbears,

    You're very rich!!!! In fact richer than most :-)
    being off the grid.
    Great idea with using your dutch oven to roast your coffee beans. Any suggestions on where to purchase green coffee beans?

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    1. Dean's Beans is where I order mine from. Organic and fair trade. I buy in bulk to save on shipping costs.

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    2. Thanks Sixbears, I'll go check them out!!!

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  5. We don't own a cell phone at all, it would have come in mighty handy when this yahoo grown ass adult hit our parked car in a public library and cursed in Spanish and English about our being gringos etc. I had to hold my tongue I am Spanish and what a piece of work this asshole was grown adult woman, doesn't work at all, lives with her mom and dad who owned the car and cursed at us like we did the deed..Her insurance rates for her parents will soar and she almost got arrested for spewing shit in our faces, a cop retired took cellphone pictures and asked her to be quiet 4 times she did not..well the cops were called and she almost went to the clinker about the whole damn thing..We are okay, the bumper is being repaired, we are pissed as hell the library will be one more place to be extra vigilant about yahoos like her..We make everything ourselves pay our bills and never had much thought to cell phones, we have a new phone system our only gave to us in the house and 3 phones to boot, ironically
    I don't feel the need to be on the phone much at all, this next week our first 70 degree sunny day since oct 26, 2013 and I like to garden and weed and be outside seeing how it is usually 200 plus days of inclement weather and it affects us a lot, no Vit. D no sunshine and cranky stupid people who hit parked cars..I don't drive and to tell the truth with all the yahoos here who have no insurance, no license and underinsured I am glad I don't..My bike, public buses and walking are fine thank you very much!

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    1. One big downside to living far out in the woods is the lack of public transportation.

      As for cell phones, I can't believe how much some people pay every month. However, a cheap prepaid phone can save you some grief sometimes.

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