Glenn's Underground Cabin Update

Started by glenn kangiser, January 30, 2005, 10:24:03 PM

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glenn kangiser

I heard through the grapevine that J's wife may have had their fourth child last night and the midwife was 75 miles away..... he may have had to deliver it.... now maybe he can get on with his project....hope all went well.... [noidea'
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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glenn kangiser

We are a pretty do it yourself area here.....
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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glenn kangiser

Busy start to the week.  We hosted members of this group,

http://humphrey.ucdavis.edu/program.shtml

http://humphrey.ucdavis.edu/fellows.shtml

Our Friends stayed with us from Monday evening until around noon today.

Myo -from Myanmar.... medical doctor - retired to care for his dad and run rice business as well as teaching rice and EM technology to me and the rest of the world.... so much more to say - Myo gave me over half a gig of pix and educational materials as well as admitted he wanted to jump off of the Bush Hog when I took him down to my spring.... :)
http://humphrey.ucdavis.edu/Kyaw.html

Abdoul from Burkina Faso... super great guy ... is sending me info on industrial composting after I mentioned Mariposa having such trouble with their composting facility.
http://humphrey.ucdavis.edu/Sereme.html


Ekram... from Bangladesh.... told us of his work in the bio below and agreed as all of them and I did - the people of the world just want to get along.  Most Problems are generated at the top, the quest for power and greed....and yet we can't say all bad -- it was a government program that got them here. 
http://humphrey.ucdavis.edu/Ullah.html


This was a very great honor for us to host these world professionals, and in person they are the greatest most down to earth people you would ever meet.

They talked to the others and the entire group showed up for the tour of the underground complex today.  Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Uganda, Botswana, Argentina, Viet Nam, Mexico, Burkina Faso, Myanmar.  Between here, the hike, and the resource center where we met them, we all became just like one big happy family.



A couple listed were missing but many others showed up including the ones who work to help get them to Yosemite- a guess - maybe 35 people were here. 

So many others and and some of their families - hard to list them all, but they are now like family to us.  I will try to work more names and pix into the continuing parts of this thread.  It wasn't like they were top professionals of the world.  It was like they are all personal friends and family.  All are invited to come and stay any time they can or need to.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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John Raabe

Looks like a great project Glenn
Good-looking group photo too!
None of us are as smart as all of us.

ScottA

#18 looks cold. He's the only one with no coat. Poor kid. Wish i coulda been there. Looks like fun.


glenn kangiser

Thanks, John and Scott.

It would be great if both of you were here, but next best - many of our guests will be checking us out on Countryplans.

I have to say it was the best time we have had in a long time.  Due to weather and them having a slow study week at Davis, unlike normal times,  the people who work with them (Number 18's dad and several others) called Friday and wanted to know if we could put this together for Monday.

We were not real ready but they needed hosts and called to ask if we could take guests.  Of course we said we would do it..... it was too great an opportunity to pass up....guest from all around the world.

I made some repairs on the underground cabin, cleaned the house, baked a mock apple (zucchini) crisp and saffron rice on Monday, as Sassy had to go to a conference and got back Monday afternoon.  The guests arrived at around 5:30 or so I think and we had a potluck dinner at the resource center.



Here is a shot of Sassy, Myo and Ekram as Sassy is getting grilled egg and cheese sandwiches together for us for breakfast. There were a few left that I put in my backpack and some people were extremely happy to have them at lunch.  Josie from Argentina really liked it as she was not fond of Peanut Butter and Jelly.  She was Fernando's daughter and was very smart  - (around 12 I think) ....we talked politics a bit hiking the trail... :) Sorry - the pix is a bit fuzzy.

Today she thanked me for giving her a very easy class day... the Underground Complex visit was her field trip and she got credit for it.



"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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glenn kangiser

Family and Community - Countryplans is part of our Community so here is Fernando's letter... :)

A small video with his wife and daughter (Josephina, prefers to be called Josie - both great names) as soon as I have time to load it -


QuoteHi Glenn:
We have just arrived home. Thank you so much for your email and for all you did in these two days.
We lived so many wonderful moments with you all that I feel as if I spent much more time with you.
It was amazing to be at your home. Everyone of us (wife and children) enjoyed it and, I think, we learned many useful lessons.
Thank you so much
Have a wonderful time, and please send my regards to your family and community.


Fernando and family

"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

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glenn kangiser

Back to the project on the U house for a minute.....

J's wife had another daughter... the midwife's assistant showed up in time to help out and everything went fine.   He will be getting back to the project soon I think.  The water went right through the rock arched culvert so drainage for the road was fine.

Now on to the trip before the underground complex visit.

I wanted to point out that many of our visitors had never seen snow before.  This was the first chance for some of them to get out in it and get really cold like number 18 above.  The trail we usually hike had a lot of snow all of the way from the road and some of our guests just had tennis shoes so we continued up the road to the Mirror Lake hike... a lot flatter than the Vernal Falls trail.  Still, walking off of the road, Josie managed to get it over the top of her tall boots.  We brought along extra jackets , food and water and all made it through the hike alive.  :)



Neither Seeng nor Myo had been in the snow before.  I got a lot of time to spend walking with Seeng as we watched the children of some of the others and made sure they did not get too close to the edge,  and slip and fall in the ice cold river.  David in the center back - father of #18, is one of the main coordinators putting these trips together.

Seeng is the Head of Agricultural marketing for the government of Botswana.  It was great having her in the car group I drove to Yosemite and on the hike to Mirror Lake and spend time talking.  They grow many of the same crops as we grow in the San Joaquin Valley...Cabbage, Butternut squash, etc.  There were no ego trips with any of their group.  

On the contrary just plain nice people I think of like family.  Possibly because to prove they were good enough to get into the Fellowship program they had to be the hardest working of all of the applicants.  Seeng told Sassy that the application and testing to get into the program was a real challenge.

http://humphrey.ucdavis.edu/Manne.html



When I drove up with my contribution to the potluck dinner, Fernando was the first to greet me and introduce himself and soon I got to meet his family.  The neat thing about  the Mock Apple Crisp is that there is not an apple in it.  His daughter Josie, told her mom that the apple pie was great.

Her mom ate some, agreed and then one of the ladies there told her, I have a secret -no apples in it... it was Zucchini.  She had to tell me it was great and she didn't even like zucchini and said she had to have the recipe.  I and one of the others got her a copy of the recipe the next morning.

http://humphrey.ucdavis.edu/Monti.html



Fernando came up for college first and then his wife and family followed in about 3 months.

I am rather bad with names when a large group shows, so I have to say, sorry to those I didn't get.  I got into a bit of a discussion of US home quality with Fernando's wife.  She was amazed at the materials used and the noise in their apartment they rent.  

She said in Argentina, only the poor build with wood.  Not meant to be derogatory, but just a different outlook on differing building processes between our countries and wondering why we do things like we do.  Most homes there are built with bricks and other more permanent construction.  

I explained to her how our government prescribed building codes and permit processes are not written so much for quality as for taxation and sales of materials that can be taxed and tracked for taxation as well as sales of large corporation produced materials.   The codes are not meant for longevity of the home itself.  

Just think of what we could do if we were not locked to a plan, did not have an inspector leering over our shoulder to make sure we do not deviate from it or add something to the project that they did not get a chance to tax.  A minimum standard of safety is good but usually that is a given.  One of the government officials here in our town stated that in reality the permit system was not about safety... it was about taxation.

They are a minimum standard of construction which most mass housing builders build to to maximize profits and sell relatively low cost materials at very high prices.  I explained how most of our shopping centers and housing projects in the cities are designed to last for 30 to 40 years after which time they many times become slums as the areas reach the end and beyond the length of their planned life.

Now, since the burst of the housing bubble, we have seen the prices drop to about half of the previous price and builders are still building some at the new lower price and staying in business.  Still, the cost of building is beyond the reach of the middle class and for the most part they are not buying.  

The above statements are not based on fact, but rather are based on my biased opinions on how our system works..... [waiting]     :)



Click the pix below for a short video of the arrival of our guests at the underground complex.


"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

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glenn kangiser

I just received an e-mail from Myo sending us pictures and a nice note....

This is our breakfast at the cabin taken by Ekram on Myo's camera.



and a portion of his note....

QuoteThank you very much for your email and glad to hear from you. I've just saved my photos into my computer and sent some of your photos back to you. I hope you will like them.

I just learned the country plan web site and your forum. It is very interesting website for house building. I will keep in touch with you.

Thank you very very much for your hospitality during stay in your home. I don't know how to express my words more than thank you! I would also like to invite you all to visit Myanmar next winter season as I'll be back home in June 2011.

Kind regards,

Myo
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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glenn kangiser

Here is a shot Myo sent me today of Myo, Abdoul and I with Bridalveil falls in the background.  El Capitan is to the left, Half Dome in the center and Cathedral rocks on the right.  This is a view straight up the valley - known as the tunnel view.

"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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glenn kangiser

Tehut asked what that was...... Clay sand and straw, I said ....

She said, "Just like back home in Ethiopia."  Had to get her on video. 

They come here to learn high tech - I go to their countries on the net to find low tech, but they are quickly moving up and in many areas surpassing us.... :)

Part of a changing world economy. 


Click the pix below for a short video of Tehut approving the methods.  :)




Tehut, being the adventurous girl that she was, ventured off the road several times and spent quite a lot of time sitting in the snow.... if only my camera had been ready.... [waiting]


As the cabin filled up with guests it got rather busy but again, our local friends helped take our visiting guests around and show them the various parts of the cabin as I tried to show things to as many guests as I could get to.  The time is always so short when we just start getting to know our new friends.



Click the picture below for a short video of the inside scene. 




Hopefully they will get to come back in the spring and see the wildflowers before they leave, and.... I just found out I may have a job near Davis before June .....IF it gets done on schedule.....  [ouch]

If that works out I will try to meet them up there. :)
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Ernest T. Bass

Amazing scenery you have there, Glenn! You sure are generous with your time for all those visitors. You must give tours of your place in your sleep! :) I'm always envious of all those people getting to see your cool buildings in person...

Our family's homestead adventure blog; sharing the goodness and fun!

glenn kangiser

Thanks, Andrew.  Hope you are enjoying it.  To me it is an investment in travel and international friendship at home.  I get culture (imagine that ....me with culture [ouch]).  

Here are a few more scenery and people pix if you like that sort of thing.

Yosemite Falls on the left as we drive in.





Ana , Myo and Abdoul at the parking lot when we arrived where many of our guests got their first introduction to snow.




Don't think I got Ana's Bio here yet ... http://humphrey.ucdavis.edu/Rodriguez.html

Ana has been to many of the places I used to fly to and visit in Mexico.  You don't find people who know where Batopilas is every day. :)


Tehut just after she got up out of the snow..... that stuff is slippery....



Tehut's bio...  http://humphrey.ucdavis.edu/Sidelil.html


I watched Tehut and some of the girls getting pictures of the falls behind them.  She mentioned that the falls looked so small, so I showed them how to shoot on telephoto to bring the background up close to the subject.  I'm by no means a pro but know a couple things about pix... left over from my days of aerial photos as a bit of a small commercial business....only certain things you can do with a commercial pilots license and remain legal without more approvals.

Here is a shot of Yosemite falls brought up a bit closer.




Last for this set - a pix of some of the group at Mirror Lake.



Ha Vo is on the right end of the fence.  He has a real cool job working to improve the interaction with the environment in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam.  

http://humphrey.ucdavis.edu/Vo.html

More information on the Humphreys Fellowship and other Bio's are available at the UC Davis site.  http://humphrey.ucdavis.edu/default.shtml

We get the benefit of all having good to excellent English skills - no translator needed and immersive accelerated learning of other cultures and countries by hosting them in our homes.  All of this happens in a three day period.  Our guests as well as us generally feel as if we have been friends forever, and I think it will continue to endure for that long.

I have to admit that the first night they arrived I laid awake in bed thinking about our guests different countries until 4:30 AM..... the ol' mind just would not shut up.  The voices in my head were overpowering..... just kidding there .....I'm OK.... [waiting]

Very funny - the first night Myo, Abdoul and Ekram arrived I threw a few chunks of wood on the Franklin fireplace fire - we had it open enjoying the flames and talking.

Our friends said something quietly and all got up and went to their bags.

We don't care what their beliefs are - we just try to help all of them get to enjoy their trip. Away from home in a foreign land, it has to be rough.  We want to provide part of that family they may be missing at home.....

As they were going through their bags, I thought - hmm  Maybe they are all Muslim and this is time for a prayer..... [noidea'

Well - I missed that one..... [waiting]

They all returned with gifts for us.  [ouch]

It was totally unexpected.  We never expect anything in return except that they enjoy their visit, share their culture and conversation with us and, hopefully return to their homes knowing they have more friends here.

We told them we viewed it as a privilege for us to have the opportunity to make friends all over the world.  There is no other way we could possibly have this opportunity.  As Myo said, there are not words to express our feelings about this.  They are our extended family.  :)
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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glenn kangiser

I keep forgetting.....

Josie from Argentina who thanked me for the easy school day, her mother and Luis, a civil engineer who traveled with the group and analyzed structure and methods used at the Underground House....

Smart as a whip, that girl is, and I totally enjoyed the time I got to spend with her in deep political and, nature of the area discussions... :)




Click the pix below to see what Josie thought of the crazy place.  (Carol from Uganda asked what made me do it - I told her I was crazy.... ) :)

Carol's bio if I didn't do it already - too much for me to read     She is in charge of checking for pests in Uganda... hope I am not on her list....http://humphrey.ucdavis.edu/Murekezi.html

"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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glenn kangiser

#1914
I always like to get a short statement from our guests on how they liked the crazy place.  

I caught them before breakfast on the final day.  :)

Click the picture for a short statement from Ekram, Myo and Abdoul, and of course you know me.... I never shut up.....  [waiting]






My job in Vacaville scheduled for March, is now pretty well confirmed so hopefully we can arrange a visit in Davis as well as get them to return in the spring.  Never enough time to spend with our new friends, but we will enjoy whatever time we get and stay in touch via the net. :)

I hope our friends will feel free to share this topic with their friends in their home countries.  A link to the start of their visit if they want to share.  I know they are busy with their studies - hope this helps.  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.msg126982#msg126982
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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PEG688

 
If I knew who to send this to in DC I am sure you'd get that ambassadorship!  [cool] Nice job Glenn and Kathy!


When in doubt , build it stout with something you know about .

glenn kangiser

Thanks, PEG.

I really feel like we are the ones who are privileged with these great down to earth people honoring us with their visits.  :)

Myo is currently teaching me about EM - Effective Microorganisms - technology via email and educational materials he shared with me before the end of their visit.  More info here... http://www.emrojapan.com/about-em/about-em.html

It is a technology little known in the US that has the potential to clean up much pollution as well as increase yields of organic crops.

We are also seriously considering taking Myo up on his generous offer to visit his rice farm in Myanmar (Burma) and see his giant steam engine running his mill.  Looking into flight info for next winter during his off season so he will have time to take us around.


We hope to be able to go there and see Myo's rice mill





run by his 18" (piston) steam engine






powered by his locomotive boiler using waste rice hulls - a byproduct of the rice industry. :)







My dad fired the boiler on my grandfather's sawmill but it was nowhere near as big as this beauty and it was about  75 years ago.  [ouch]

Thanks to Myo for giving me his pictures to share.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Ernest T. Bass

 :o Wow... That monstrosity scares me...

My mom has been into EMs for years. We give them to all of our animals, we drink em, clean with em... We even sell homemade EM soap: http://home-n-stead.com/soaps/index.html Good little buggies!

Our family's homestead adventure blog; sharing the goodness and fun!

glenn kangiser

#1918
Andrew, I have been interested in steam engines for years.  A properly minded boiler can be quite safe, however a bad mistake on a boiler that size could clear the property of all structures and people for a very wide distance. [scared]

Water expands approximately 1700 times going from liquid to gas (steam) so 1000 gallons of boiling water under pressure converts instantly to 1,700,000 gallons of scalding steam.  If the water is all released from pressure by a rupture all of it will immediately convert to steam.  Usually an accident is only caused by extremely bad practices.  Safety pressure relief valves are built into or attached to the boiler.    Boilers are usually tested at specified intervals with a pressure test while not under fire....    [ouch]

Found this in an old Google Book....

Quote
Handy Rule for Estimating the Horse power of a Single cylinder Engine Square the diameter and divide by 2 This is correct whenever the product of the mean effective pressure and the piston speed of 42,017 or say 21,000 viz when MEP 30 and 5 700 when MEP 35 and S ibO when MEP 38.2 and S 550 and when MEP 42 and S 500 These conditions correspond to those of ordinary practice with both Corliss engines and shaft governor high speed engines

I am pretty sure that is a simple single expansion steam engine.

Using that simple formula from the quote above, 18x18=324 / 2 = 162 Horsepower  ........ Nice  :)



That is great that you are already using EM's.

I am sure Myo is going to be interested in finding that out.  He is a big promoter of their use and uses them himself on their farm.

Here is a message from Myo regarding EM's



QuoteHi Glenn and Kathy,

It is amazing to see our photos in your forum site. Thank you for your quick posting. I love to see them.

I am also glad to know that you are studying EM technology materials. At that night, I couldn't show you my compost piles and some of my pest repellent spray as they are stored in my another external hard disc. This technology was not well known among American gardeners. I think it might be due to some reasons:
1) American scientists do not believe on that technology as composting can also be done with natural process with naturally grown beneficial microbes. However, in EM case, the process is more faster in the reaction process.
2) The technology is originated in Japanese scientist, so that, the American scientist do not want to rely on this technology.

However, I can say that it is really useful for my farm and very environmentally friendly. No side effects and not harmful to human. It is just a concentrate of natural beneficial microbes. You can learn various application methods in the materials. Here is the website of the US: http://www.emrojapan.com/examples/global-cases/north-and-south-america/unitedstatesofamerica.html

I am also happy to hear that you are considering to visit Myanmar. Most of Westerners traveling to Myanmar want to visit Myanmar again. It is a kind of secret of our country why they love to get there again. If you want to know it, please try it.

Kind regards,

Myo

He also mentioned a training course in a later message...

QuoteIf you want to learn more, you can sign up for attending training workshop in Thailand. They hold one week training workshop in Saraburi province of Thailand, probably in February.

You can not only learn from presentations, but also hands-on practical works and even you can taste natural fruits and vegetable grown in that center. They grow their own food which are very delicious and unique.

Myo is very interested in sharing knowledge with others.    :)
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

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Sassy

#1919
Thanks for posting your link on the soaps - wow, you guys are way ahead of the curve!  Amazing, we just find out about EM & your family is making soaps & using it to clean everything!  I plan on ordering some of the soap.  Your family is incredible!  
http://glennkathystroglodytecabin.blogspot.com/

You will know the truth & the truth will set you free


Ernest T. Bass

It's all my mom... We've always had trouble keeping animals healthy without chemical wormers and stuff. EM's have been our solution for years now.

Cool info about steam... Y'know, when I was a little squirt I actually went through a phase of steam engine obsession. I had books on the old Stanley Steamer cars and really wanted to make a little steam engine. Too young at the time, though... ::)

Our family's homestead adventure blog; sharing the goodness and fun!

glenn kangiser

Andrew, I haven't gotten into the EM's for animal worm problems but am interested in that - can you tell us a bit more about it and other uses - or ways in which you use EM's.  I was thinking about that this morning as I was feeding the cows and am considering a few more heifer calves.

Note:  I consider anything we learn about because of the cabin and useful at the cabin homestead to be on topic so speak freely.  :)

Steamers, all of the old antique tractor books I could find in school - gas engine operation - etc.  I studied them all on my own in school - checked out the old books at the library.  Still have the 1924? McCormick Deerings -not running.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Ernest T. Bass

I'm afraid I don't know too many specifics about our EM use.. We put it in the animal waters on a regular basis. We brew the EMs using molasses, so the critters have all developed a taste for them. Besides our bar soap, we use the liquid EMs for cleaning and soaking things. We use it in place of vinegar quite a bit..

Our family's homestead adventure blog; sharing the goodness and fun!

glenn kangiser

Myo also showed me some pictures about mixing the EM's with molasses as well as my reading of some of the literature. 

He showed me a picture of chopped fish fertilizer being made and used with the EM's and said it had no bad smell.  I have 10 lessons and power point presentations from him as well as additional educational material.  Just getting through the third presentation now.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

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glenn kangiser

Going through the EM notes accompanying the power point presentation.... for chickens

Green weeds salad with EM dressing for Chicken

Ingredients:
Green weeds      10 kg
Rice Bran      1.5 kg
Commercial Feed   2.5 kg
Water           5 L
EM         50 cc
Molasses        5 cc
5 kg of green weeds such as morning glory (or any kind of green weeds) should be chopped into small pieces (1 cm x 1 cm).
2.5 kg of commercial feed and 1.5 kg of rice bran are mixed with green weeds.
50 cc of EM and 5 cc of Molasses are put into 5 L of water, and then mix well.
Pour the liquid mixture into green weed, commercial feed, and rice bran mixture.
Serve the green weeds salad with EM dressing to chicken.

For others with more interest in this or wanting to learn more - I have some info to share from Myo.  Contact me or we can start a thread.

Local supplier and info in US - not affiliated with me - just trying to share the knowledge...


http://www.teraganix.com/default.asp
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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