Aube Thermostats: Save Money With Supplemental Wood Heat

How can you mix wood heat and electric heat to save money and increase comfort?

Like everyone else in Oregon, I have a wood stove. I have an endless supply of free wood, too, thanks to Starker Forests’ good neighbor policy (they adjoin my farm on two sides). I also have old electric baseboard heaters, installed by a previous owner.

So I have wood heat supplemented by electric heat (or maybe the other way around). How does one go about getting the most mileage out of this? Read more...

Spammers are getting clever

I’ve been seeing a new kind of spam recently: blog-comment spam. Actually, this has been around for a long time, but it has recently become much less stupid.

Before, spammers would try to leave comments on my blog that had some kind of explicit “buy our worthless junk” message, plus a link to their site. The spammers hoped to find unmoderated blogs where these comments would be approved automatically, and would stay up until the blogger noticed them and deleted them. Read more...

Tractor Trouble: Watch the Electrical System

A long time ago, someone, probably my dad, told me that “80% of all carburetion problem are really electrical.” In other words, your engine doesn’t run, and you suspect a fuel or carburetor problem, when all the time it was an ignition problem.

This happened to me over the last week, when my tractor (a Ford 640) would not start. I wasn’t the one operating it, and the issue became confused because he didn’t use the fuel shut-off, so we really did have a carburetion problem — the carburetor was flooded. Read more...

The Ideal Roof for a Chicken Coop.

I’ve been meditating on the ideal roof for a chicken coop. It ought to have the following properties:

  • Easy to install.
  • Cheap.
  • Lasts forever.
  • Strong.
  • Rainwater doesn’t cause mud in front of the house.
  • Chickens don’t roost on top.

Also, if you live in the suburbs, it should be gorgeous enough to keep your uptight neighbors from deciding that the world is ending.

Galvanized Steel Roofs for Chicken Coops

One of my "low houses" with walls just four feet tall.
One of my “low houses” with walls just four feet tall and a simple galvanized metal roof. There are no rafters. The roof is attached to the three horizontal purlins at front, middle, and back. 

Most of my houses have shed roofs made of galvanized steel roofing. The configuration is a “shed roof,” which just means that it’s higher and the front than at the back, so rainwater pours off at the back of the house where is causes less trouble. Read more...

Water Well Woes

You won’t believe how little water our well gives us — one quart a minute. That’s 440 gallons a day, which is enough if we don’t want to water the lawn with it. We have a 1500-gallon tank (these things are surprisingly affordable and lightweight black plastic affairs that a single person can roll off a trailer and into place), so we have plenty of water, until we run out. Read more...