Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Economy, Green Energy, and The Micro Home by Walt Barrett

The Barrett Family Mansion in 1933.
I kept this early micro home, and completely refurbished it as a reminder.
It has been upgraded to what my parents always dreamed it would be.
It serves as a reminder as to what can be accomplished in only one life time. I am now very concerned about my children and grand children's future.

We have been receiving a lot of encouragement lately in the form feedback from our readers. I would like to thank everyone for taking the time out to comment back to me. We have a lot of things scheduled for the micro home project in the coming year. We will build a mass producible, continuous composting toilet from mostly recycled plastic and hope to make it a commercial success. We have already developed a successful department in our eBay store selling Light Emitting diode Light bulbs.

These things are going to change the world as they save over 90% of the average lighting bill. Now if we can get the rest of our appliances to do that we'll be in great shape. LED bulbs are more expensive to buy initially, but will operate for at least 50,000 hours and pay for themselves rapidly. We are using a great deal of the profits from our business to develop new energy saving products for our many customers. It's good for them, and it's good for us. We hope in our own small way to make things better for the people of our country.

Now am going to make some comments that may make some of you very unhappy with me, but I have really paid my dues to our county and this is how I feel about the state of things. You may want to stop reading right now. If you are wondering about my politics, I am a very independent voter. This time I felt compelled to vote for Obama.

All businesses and people have an obligation to try and make our country a better place. Personally, I am disgusted at the amount of greed that we are currently seeing here! I am approaching age 76, but I am hoping to stick around long enough to do some little thing to help change this country for the better. Some mornings I receive some pretty heart breaking letters from people that have been on the receiving end of the giant raw deal that many of our fellow citizens have been subjected to lately. The hardest working people seem to be the ones whom are suffering the most in this country.

As a product of the great depression myself, I can tell you that it's no fun to be so poor that you are just praying every day that your hard working Dad will come home from a day labor job with enough money to buy some food and pay the mortgage. It's up to us that have the means to try and make things better. People need to have some kind of productive work, a decent place to live, and food to put on the table. We have the money and the technology to do it. We don't need welfare, we need opportunity. We cannot depend on our government to do it. What we don't have is the proper leadership. Maybe it's time we started taking care of things at home instead of squandering our money all over the world in the name of freedom and security! Those are scare tactics. What about our own citizens that are suffering here? The fact is that we have the power to vaporize a whole mountain range full of terrorists, and get our boys the hell out of there. We should not be wasting money in countries where even the dirt is worn out, they hate us, and all they do is raise and sell drugs that kill our kids, and we don't even destroy their drug crops. Where is the logic in that? You know, it's pretty hard for an enemy to wage a war on us if we show them that the reward for those countries is what it's like to live without food, water, electricity, sewerage treatment, hospitals and all the other trappings of civilization, and then we don't go in their and rebuild their stinking country as a reward for killing our people.

As a veteran of the Korean War myself, I have come to believe that congress could really give a rat's ass about the poor and the veterans in this country. They need to get real! Around here, the VA hospital is a joke where homeless Vets that sleep under bridges stand in line for hours to try and get a bit of relief from a host of ailments that they now suffer from because of what they have seen or done or have been subjected too. Let's tell it how it really is. It's an insult to me for some draft dodging politician or right wing draft dodging loud mouthed, bigoted, radio and TV commentator to stand up and declare us all hero's. What the hell would either of them know about it. Medals don't hack it anyway. Being able to make a living does it much better for me!

I am really upset about the way things are going, and I hope that anyone who feels the same way as I do will put pressure on their politicians at all levels to get their act together and start living in the real world. It's time we started running government at all levels more like a business, and start taking care of our own people for a change! We all have the power to change things if we go after the people that are lying to us, and lining their own pockets, and screwing us over in general. We need to do away with all political contributions. They are just a legal and corrupting form of bribery.

How much longer are people going to put up with this crap! Meddling all over the world is what got us into this mess. Look what happened in Russia, They went broke trying to run the world. When will people ever learn that you have to take care of business at home first.

I intend to spend the rest of my life, in my own way, trying to make things better for all of us. Let's not let these self serving white collar criminals take our great country away from us!

And by the way,

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Monday, December 08, 2008

The Micro Home, Fuel Prices, and Spin Off Products by Walt Barrett


Well it's been a while since I have had time to write as this is our very busy season. I just want to make a few very important points. At the risk of repeating myself for the tenth time, please do not be fooled by the lower fuel prices again. This is just more of the same old bull that happens when we start to cut down on consumption, and come up with new ways to save energy. How many times are the Americans going to take the bait! Please just pretend we are running out of fuel any minute now, and you will be much better off! Besides, whose against saving money?

There will be a demand for smaller homes in the not too distant future, and I for one intend to be ready. We are getting ready to put the finishing touches to our micro home interior as soon as we have the time. I can't get over the fact that they are getting €45,000 euros for that 8x8x8 cube micro home in Europe! Ours will sell for $9,995.00 with the solar lighting system and the composting toilet. However, we cannot ship it with the gambrel roof as it is too high assembled, and we need the 48" head room, but could include that part as a pre-cut kit, or build a lower ranch type roof, but you lose all of the loft space. We are open to suggestions.
One of the most interesting aspects of building this home is that so far it has spun off two major products for us. We are already selling the LED low watt lighting systems 120 volt A/C bulbs (We can get 12 volt DC for those that need them.), and will soon be building the continuous composting toilets with the composter under the building. No emptying buckets or bags of you know what, lol. The LED products are selling heavily on our eBay store. We now have a LED bulb very close to a 100 watt incandescent bulb and it is selling heavily.
Business is great in spite of all of the recession talk. Tractors and farm equipment are in heavy demand here. Don't believe all you see and hear in the media!
Switch to our 50,000 hour rated 120 volt 3.5 watt LED Light bulbs and watch your electric bill drop like a rock! EBAY store china-depot-100 is the name of the store.
Someone asked about The insulation specs etc. for the micro home. It is best to follow your local building codes, or have your builder go by a copy you send him. Just remember that you need constant fresh air exchanges in any home or you will be living in a smelly swamp! You can get all the info you need from your building inspectors office. I like outside air intakes for your heaters and stoves etc,. and vented stoves and heaters. A CO detector goes a long way too.
Please send us your comments and suggestions!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Energy Game And Your Future Life Style by Walt Barrett

Well it's happening again. We were experiencing extremely high energy costs, and people started looking for alternative energy solutions. They have been enjoying some moderate success, even cutting down a bit on our gasoline and fuel oil consumption. Then, all of a sudden, oil prices started dropping like a rock. Part of it might have had to do with the impending Presidential elections which have now passed. Personally, I am very concerned that people are now going to go back to their same old energy wasting ways. I feel that is a huge mistake, but am powerless to stop it. Common sense tell us that we will see Eight dollar a gallon fuel prices soon enough. People say that it has to do with supply and demand. I noticed that when fuel prices go up the prices at the pump, and the fuel oil dealers go up virtually immediately, but when the price per barrel drop, Fuel prices take much longer to go down. Since no one in our government is really interested in looking after the our, the hapless consumers, interest in these matters, and only give us lip service, I suggest that we move forward on the assumption that the fuel prices are still sky high, and will soon be getting higher. Any other assumption would be reckless, and dangerous on our part.
We have to continue to find every possible avenue to save oil, including developing even less expensive, and more efficient methods for vegetable oil and biomass produced fuels. We need to develop new and inexpensive building materials, and even more energy efficient homes. Perhaps we can use more of the huge waste stream that is going into the landfills etc. People that live in extreme climates either hot or cold are not going to be able to heat or cool the large inefficient homes that they are currently living in. Personally, I like to think that I am already ahead of the curve on the home problem because we have already built a very efficient off the power grid micro home, and plan to build many more. We are running tests on new equipment we have purchased or built just to see how little solar produced electricity a micro home dweller can comfortably get by on. We have decided to focus on smaller homes and off the power grid living to beat the rising costs of energy. We have to face the fact that many of us will not be able to afford our current life styles in our expensive energy future. Also, smaller homes mean smaller tax bills. Smaller homes use less energy, less building materials, and less maintenance. We are studying sizes from 128 square feet to 800 square feet. These sizes can be mass produced dirt cheap compared to what is being built today. The first buyers will be retirees, backwoods camps, and people that already know that a smaller home may to the only way they will ever own a home because they are in a very low income bracket and can't seem to break free to the next level. We have to develop materials and systems that will save money and natural resources. We are also currently engaged in building materials research. We need some simple and inexpensive answers. Solar electric systems should be designed to pay off in about two years of saved electric bills. New light bulbs and new automatic energy saving devices already make this possible. Our micro home will come with such a system. Never pay another electric bill!
Frankly speaking, my main concern is that people are not taking the the energy situation seriously enough. I already know the sad truth that we do not yet have enough interest either locally or nation wide to enable us to set up to mass produce the homes we have developed. I'm not going to let that stop me from building prototypes though. I am using the current models as a platform to further develop solar heating and storage units, solar hot water heating, solar cooling, Solar water pumping, an efficient and odorless composting toilet, and advanced building material research, just to name a few. We have developed may of these items already. Just think about living in a compact little home that takes care of you for a change instead of you having to taking care of it. Now that's a home!
We would like to hear from you. Is anyone paying attention?