Monday, April 8, 2019

40 Days of Fire and Ice - Week 5

I spent most of this week driving down to Oregon to reclaim Ernie from his fishing adventures with his dad.  This planting pot was about the only thing I managed to pack up and bring down.

Academy has shifted over to HazMat mode.  We're getting ready for graduation, and in the process, I've been reflecting on some of the experiences.  The camera doesn't capture every embarrassing moment or close call; which is probably a good thing.  Doesn't stop me from creatively alluding to the alleged incidents after the fact, though.

I brought Radar to several of the classes, because of Ernie being out of town.  He behaved pretty well - arguably better than some of the human students.

I don't know how IFSTA managed to make the HazMat curriculum boring.  Our teachers have a lot of experience, and try to put things in perspective with examples from real life (including the near-obligatory explosion videos).  But the course as currently written demands so much memorization of detail, without context or focus, that it's nearly impossible to "teach to the test" yet deliver comprehensible, practical, safe, and effective basic skills. 

Hazardous materials (HazMat) lurk all around us, with the potential to inflict tremendous damages in an unfortunate moment's inattention.

Maybe it's like traffic; the only way we cope with the daily level of risk is by getting habituated, and then tuning out as much as we are able.

These images are from last week's trip to Olympia, and returning via the Tacoma area; then this week on the Oregon trip.

Some of these multi-placard trucks are probably carrying hazardous waste for disposal.  Hopefully to proper disposal sites, with safe and appropriate disposal methods. 

Learning about all this stuff makes me really want to reduce my dependence on hazardous materials, for myself and for others. 
Thank you to all our readers who boycott or minimize our use of pesticides, toxic cleaning products, paints, batteries, and chemicals generally.  If you do need these materials for your home or work, hopefully you use appropriate storage and disposal.
If you are not sure how to dispose of materials you no longer want on your property for health or flammability reasons, here are some resources for disposal:

If you are looking for good alternatives to avoid purchasing more of this stuff in the first place, such as "edible" (food-grade) cleaning solutions, there are some handy books out there like this Cleaners You Can Eat eBook (
as well as friendly discussion on forums such as this one:

In the interests of boosting our moving fund, I should mention that the "Cleaners You Can Eat" booklet is part of the stretch goals for this Kickstarter:
and we get a kickback if you use our link.

We've also contributed a new set of digital rocket mass heater plans for one of their stretch goals.  A lot of the stuff described in Better World are projects we've helped create, or helped destruction-test, or both.  If you like Kickstarters, go check it out.

Homestead 8" RMH Plans

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