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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thanksgiving Deals, Choosing the Right Wood Stove

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

ISSN 2161-5543

In This Issue:

1.        How to choose the right wood stove

2.       Get your college kid a job with Apple

3.       Thanksgiving for less

4.       More Middle Class Mayhem + a New Tax on Christmas Trees

The modern Banking system manufactures money out of nothing.
The process is perhaps the most astounding piece of sleight of
hand that was ever invented. Banks can in fact inflate, mint
and unmint the modern ledger-entry currency."

-- Major L. L. B. Angus
Source: Billions for the Bankers, Debt for the People

Enjoying Thanksgiving

“Over the river, and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go,” used to be our family song when growing up…except we drove a car from Cleveland to Detroit to visit our extended family.

We always enjoyed the traditional favorites along with some ethnic German and Polish dishes that were all home made by family members.  Plenty of good homemade pies and other desserts too.

During the American Revolution there were eight different days of Thanksgiving appointed by the Continental Congress as days of gratefulness for victorious battles won by the ‘rebels’ in the war.  The first move to set aside a national holiday came in 1789, when Pres. Washington designated the 26th of November as the day.

Pres. Lincoln, in 1862, called on the nation to give thanks for victories in battle during the Civil War.  Most school kids are taught we, like the Pilgrims, have a day of thanks to celebrate a good harvest.  Seems like battle victory was more often the reason to celebrate.

Sarah Hale, editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book lobbied Lincoln and state governors to make it a permanent national holiday and by 1864, Lincoln signed it into law.  In 1939, Pres. Roosevelt made a proclamation changing the celebration date to the third Thursday, which continued through 1941.

It may now sound quaint that the Pilgrims, who fought many hardships in settling the new land, were grateful for the bare necessities of life and that later Colonists who braved a revolution to establish a land of freedom for themselves and their children were always grateful to God for the gifts they had received.

Today, it’s rough going for many of our fellow Americans and hopefully, you’ll do something this season to help them too…and remember the military families who are away from home during troubled times.

Streak-proof windshield wipers by cleaning them with a cloth dampened in white vinegar.

PM’s Compendium of Useful Resources

Can you afford to give thanks this year? The American Farm Bureau Federation is predicting the average 10 person turkey dinner will cost 13 percent more than it did last year. Expect to shell out at least $50 bucks for the average 10 person turkey dinner. That's the highest price for the holiday meal on record. Find the best turkeys and prices here:

Thanksgiving for Less
It's really hard to find ways to save on your Thanksgiving menu because it doesn't get a whole lot cheaper than a turkey dinner! Still, there are some ways that you can save, even if you are cooking for a large crowd.

Send Thanksgiving evites free

Send pretty, personalized invitations to holiday guests free at:

Start a new dinner tradition by having your guests write expressions of thanks and place them in a pretty basket to be read aloud during your dinner feast.

Does your college kid need a job?

Apple At-Home Advisor (various college locations) - Apple
"Here's your opportunity to do work that is important. Join us at Apple. We'll train you to troubleshoot, provide you with an iMac so you can work from home, and pay you better than most student jobs out there. And we'll take you seriously - become an At-Home Advisor, and you could be on your way to a career at Apple."

According to an Environment News Service article from January 3, 2011... 295,000 people died in 2010 as a result of natural disasters.

And according to a national survey conducted by Qorvis Communications' iQ Research and Consulting Practice, and HOPE Coalition America (the emergency preparedness and response division of Operation HOPE and partner with FEMA), more than three-quarters of respondents said that they were ill-prepared for a major disaster.

Just in the basics department, only 47% said they had a 3-day supply of water stocked up

How to Choose the Right Woodstove

From MOTHER EARTH NEWS, by John Gulland

Have you considered heating with wood? In many parts of North America, firewood is cheap and plentiful, so wood heat could potentially save you money. Not only does a woodstove give you a reliable source of heat even when the power goes out, it’s also a green option, because wood is a renewable resource when harvested sustainably.

Deciding which woodstove to buy can be tough, however, even if you’ve been heating with wood for years and are simply looking for a replacement stove. You’ll find a huge range of options in sizes, shapes, materials and technologies. Also, there are few recognized woodstove experts and no reliable ratings that use consistent criteria to fairly judge all the options. So how do you choose the best woodstove for you?

One good strategy is to start by finding a dealer you like, and then selecting from that store’s stock. Look for a dealer who has been in the business for a number of years, heats his or her home with wood, and has burning models in the showroom. Keep in mind that only people who burn wood regularly can give you reliable advice about woodstoves.

You should also review some common features of woodstoves and consider how they will affect you during your day-to-day use of the stove. Here are a few of the factors to consider.

stove. In any case, you’ll want to be aware of its particular characteristics before buying one.

Materials. Most woodstoves are made from either welded steel or cast iron, and with today’s stoves, there’s no difference between the two in performance or durability. The choice is strictly one of personal preference.

However, soapstone stoves are a special case. The stone on the stove absorbs heat and releases it slowly, thereby evening out the normal fluctuations in woodstove output. While this has some advantages, it also tends to mean that soapstone stoves are slow to respond when heat is needed. If you’ll be running your woodstove constantly all winter, and will rarely need to start it cold, a soapstone stove may be a good fit for you — or maybe you just love the look of a soapstone

Combustion System. Some stoves use a catalyst to clean up smoky exhaust, and others use special firebox features to do the same job. The basic trade-off is that catalytic stoves can burn cleaner on average than “non-cats” and can be more efficient under some conditions, but “cats” are also more complicated to operate and their maintenance costs can be higher.

An experienced dealer of catalytic stoves once said that cats work well for technical types — the kind of people who tinker with antique sports cars. But for users with little mechanical aptitude, a non-cat may be a better choice. Non-cats normally have only one operational control, and they’re more tolerant of various firing techniques.

Heating Capacity. Selecting the right size of woodstove for the heating load is a challenge, because manufacturers’ performance specifications are not standardized and can be misleading. For example, one common measurement is the maximum heat output rating, but knowing this number is about as meaningless as knowing the top speed of a car — you should never use it. Heating capacity in dwelling square footage can also be misleading, because regional differences in climate and home construction make for a wide range of heating loads per square foot. This is where an experienced dealer can be a big help. Dealers learn how each stove behaves and know how satisfied customers have been with various models.

Final Thoughts. Here’s a three-step process to go through when determining how to choose a woodstove that’s right for you. These steps virtually guarantee your new stove will meet your needs.

1. Do some research on woodstove options and rule out the stoves with features that don’t make sense for you and your family.

2. Of those left, match the stove’s heat output and features to your needs based on your climate zone, house size and house configuration (using advice from a trusted dealer).

3. Of all the stoves that meet the first two criteria, choose the one most attractive to you.

Follow these steps, and you can’t go wrong.

Excerpted from MOTHER EARTH NEWS, the Original Guide to Living Wisely. To read more articles from MOTHER EARTH NEWS, please visit or call 800-234-3368 to subscribe. Copyright 2011 by Ogden Publications Inc.

White distilled vinegar is a popular household cleanser, effective for killing most mold, bacteria, and germs, due to its level of acidity. Cleaning with white distilled vinegar is a smart way to avoid using harsh chemicals. You'll also be glad to know that it is environmentally friendly and very economical. Don't forget to disinfect your door knobs, faucets, and appliance handles.

The Nanny State Updates…

By James Gattuso

Are regulations being produced by the Obama Administration at a significantly faster rate than under previous administrations?

Not at all, say White House officials, arguing that the growing spool of red tape from Washington is just business as usual.

"The costs are not out of line by historical standards," Cass Sunstein, the director of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, said last week.

Earlier this year, he went even further, writing in The Washington Post that "The annual cost of regulations has not increased during the Obama Administration."

This would be welcome news—if true. But by almost every measure, the Obama Administration has imposed regulations at a faster clip than its predecessors. And despite a much-hyped initiative to root out obsolete rules, regulatory costs are continuing to rise.

President Obama’s Agriculture Department today announced that it will impose a new 15-cent charge on all fresh Christmas trees—the Christmas Tree Tax—to support a new Federal program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees.

Read more:

The Parting Thought – More Middle Class Mayhem

CNNMoney tells us that growing income equality is the source of so many ills:

"The U.S. has a higher level of income inequality than Europe, as well as Canada, Australia and South Korea, according to data gathered by the World Bank.

"And while many nations have seen income inequality rise within their borders, the United States has experienced a more rapid increase in recent decades, widening the wealth gap even more.

"‘The top 1% in the U.S. really receive much more than in Western European countries,' said Branko Milanovic, an economist with the World Bank and author of The Haves and the Have-Nots.

"America ranks in the bottom third of the list of 90 countries that Milanovic compiled, which is mainly based on 2008 data of per capita income or consumption in each nation.

Even when our economy was the freest in the world, we had one of the most unequal distributions of that wealth on the planet. It was during these years that the lifespans of everyone increased, when the chances of moving from poor to rich were huge, when the per capita income was growing as never before in human history…unfortunately, opportunities to move ahead in our society have slowed down tremendously for the average person.

"'The U.S. government has done far less to address inequality in American society than any other of the rich countries,' said Frederick Solt, an assistant political science professor at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Other factors also play a role in the widening divide in America.

"Low-skilled immigrants to the U.S. increase the competition for low-wage jobs, said Lane Kenworthy, a sociology professor at the University of Arizona. This allows employers to keep a lid on wages.

"At the same time, unions are losing their strength on this side of the pond, while they've retained more of their clout in Western Europe. Experts cite the decline of U.S. unions as one cause behind falling middle-class incomes.

Ironically, Ohio’s governor backed legislation dooming collective bargaining among government unions…it failed by a wide margin in a recent vote.

Yours for “a better America”, the Poor Man

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1 comment:

MinimalistGroup said...

It's already snowed here...brrr! Looking forward to that Turkey dinner-thanks for the resources.