Tiny House Life

We’ve been in the tiny house on a trailer since the end of August, and so far things are going quite well.  We have enough space for the two of us, Missy (our cat), and the occasional visit from Maggie, the neighbor’s dog.  Maggie comes over to sleep on the bed.

There are a couple of things that are a little irritating from time to time.  One is that, because Ray built the house so tightly, the air gets stale pretty quickly.  We solve that by opening a couple of windows.  The fan on the air conditioner helps, and we have small fans in the loft space and in the area where the bed is.

The second irritation is the chickens. I should be more specific; the irritation is the noise made by the roosters.  We have four, and once one starts crowing, the others chime in. They start before light and keep going — not constantly, but much of the time — until dusk or a bit later. Three of those roosters are going to be dinner in the not-too-distant future.  The one rooster we are going to keep is one that escaped from the chicken yard and has become free range.  He was being picked on by the other roosters.  I call him Harvey.


Harvey has been joined in his free-range life by one of the hens.

At night, Harvey roosts on the roof of the nest box, and the hen roosts in the chicken house with the rest of the birds.  In the morning, the two of them hop up on the fence and  jump out.  The two of them have been very good at bug and weed control.

I wonder from time to time why the other chickens don’t follow.

It’s been very comfortable living here.  I will keep you posted on how it is going, now that I have been able to get back on the blog.

Until next time, be well.



New car


Here I am with my new car, a 2014 Ford Escape. This is the first Ford I’ve owned.  It was time for the Subaru to be replaced; we just weren’t as happy with it as we were with the Subaru we had before we went to Ecuador.  The continuously variable transmission in this one had some problems, so I decided it was time to trade it in.  And, as Ray said, it needed new tires anyway.  One of the issues for me was having a local dealer to take it to for service, and the nearest Subaru dealers are about 100 miles away.  The Ford dealer, on the other hand, is on the way to town from the house site.  Eric, the salesman, and Sharon, in the business office, did a great job in getting me a good deal on this car.  My favorite feature is the back-up camera.

We are going to be able to move into the homemade house trailer this weekend.  it isn’t completely finished, but we have water, power, and propane for the cook top.  We still have some purchases to make, but it is going smoothly.

All the hens are laying eggs now — the last two started today.  I went out to collect eggs from the nest and I found four, instead of the two we have been getting every day.  We’ll be giving many of them away.

Check out Ray’s latest video update on the tiny house project, Tiny House 11, on his You Tube channel, American Devolution. www.this-old-mans-house.blogspot.com


The work continues

The work on the tiny house on a trailer is going well.  Almost all the insulation is in the walls — I have become the insulation cutter in the family.  For some reason, the fiberglass doesn’t make me itch, and it is good that I can help.  I have limited skills, having had no experience, but I have learned to use the pneumatic brad nailer.  I don’t think Ray trusts me with a larger nailer, which is fine with me.

This is a video Ray and I did yesterday on the cost of building a tiny house.

There has been some good news.  First of all, our friends from Oregon found some land they like.  Their offer was accepted, and now all the fun begins.  They will soon be returning west to fetch their things — after a massive purge, I suspect. Second, I wrote the last rent check for this apartment today.  Third, we got the three-burner gas cooktop for the tiny house today.

THIS JUST IN: Dr. Ben Carson declared that  he is running for the Republican nomination for President for the 2016 election.

Take care of yourselves.






Yes, I wrote a blog post

Ray told you that I would be taking over this blog, and I decided it was about time I lived up to my promise.

We have decided that we are tired of paying rent and living in the middle of town.  Yes, it is a small town but we live near two pubs and a movie theater.  Going out to the house site is a 16 mile round trip, and it gets to be a bit much once in a while.  We decided we were going to find a way to live out there, even though the house isn’t ready for occupancy.  After considering putting a travel trailer on the place, we started to build a tiny house on a utility trailer.  You may have seen such buildings on television or on the internet. The good thing is that because it is on wheels, we don’t have to involve the building department in the process.  We did have to license the trailer and follow Department of Transportation guidelines.  The tiny house will never move; when we are done with it, we will recycle the materials we used to build it.  And we will have a utility trailer to use for other purposes.  Ray’s been busy building it for a couple of months now, and soon we will be able to move out there.  It does mean that a lot of our stuff has to be put away in some sort of storage, but that’s fine.   Some videos of the project are available on Ray’s YouTube site, American Devolution.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPQg4BbvF1huLxoPSzNJ8vg

We got a little behind on the tiny house project because some friends of ours from Oregon showed up.  They’ve been on the road for about three months, looking for a place to retire.  We helped them look at houses and property for about a week, but had to get back to work on our projects.  They are staying at the house site; the septic, well, internet, and electricity are all installed, so they have everything they need.  They seem to like this area, so they are looking at properties in the area, including nearby states.

I have to start doing the prep work for another semester of online teaching for Missouri State University.  Classes start in less than a month, and I have been lax in getting started.

Until next time,


People Are Still Reading This Blog, So ……….

I guess it is early onset Alzheimer’s but about a year and a half ago I seemed to walk away from this blog. I remember starting it when we returned from South America to separate our experiences geographically but I don’t remember why I went back to the old blog – .

I was changing computers because we have a new fiber optic internet service at the house site and I noticed this old blog was still kicking around and people where still reading it. I hate to leave it abandon because there is some good stuff on there so Barb has decided to take it over. I will be curious to see what she has to say.

The Velocity of Money

Hey Mike; Thanks for the comment, I thought maybe you guys had split the scene. Looking forward to your input.

Hi Pat; The problem with leaving the country is that when you come back it’s worse than when you left. That subject would make a really good post. Thanks for your comments.

There something wrong when a redneck like me can figure out what’s coming in the economy. I can see it as see if it were playing out right in front of me. Maybe that’s because it is. You know the old saying, common sense will take a long way in this world. The alarming thing to me is that I can see why they’re doing what they do, if I were stupid I’d do the same thing.

I know in the last post I said, the next post would be about hyperinflation, I’ll get there but I need to go over one more fundamental to try and straighten out the misconception about the velocity of money. Fortysomething years ago I remember a tutorial in a micro economics’ class about the velocity of money. At that time the definition was, the speed at which the money flows to new goods and services. I also remember writing off that theory as a determinant in the calculation of the consumer price index as just so much hogwash. The concept itself is left to be defined by the user and by the circumstances of the use. Way too complicated for me and the calculation only works in history not in the future, only when a set of circumstances are already know. The reason I bring this up is because there’s a lot of mention of the velocity of money to defend the Federal Reserve’s position on “operation twist”, the program of injecting 85 billion dollars a month into bad mortgages and Federal debt. Remember this when we start talking about hyperinflation. Back when I learned about it the calculation was for a unit of money over a period of time, the results being a number that represented the speed that money transformed to gross domestic product over time, that is still the classic definition of the velocity of money. In recent articles people who should know better are using something I don’t recognize as the velocity of money, GDP over money supply, which they say is a low number that indicates hoarding of money by manufacturing and the banking industry and it indicates that there is no forward movement in inflation. That my friends is total hogwash, if they’re going to mutate calculations they should take the money supply and divide it by GDP which will yield an indication of the rate of inflation. All this explanation when it would’ve been easier to say the calculation for the velocity of money is total fiction, has no bearing on anything and should be totally ignored. It’s like the theory of relativity, who cares, no one understands it anyway. The problem is they actually use this number in the computation of the inflation rate, which intentionally lowers publicly accepted rates of inflation.

Hyperinflation is a condition in the economy when the rate of growth of the money supply is higher than the rate of growth in the gross domestic product. The gross domestic product is the sum of all new manufacturing and services produced in this country and money supply is the amount of money the Federal Reserve prints out of thin air and injects into the market, currently by buying bad debt produced by the banks and Federal debt in the form of bonds and Treasury’s. A good example of hyperinflation is the price of renewable energy. The wind and the sun have been producing energy since the beginning of time but with the advent of petroleum refining and the great amount of power advancing technology required, wind and sun technology lost out to cheap and abundant petroleum, in other words it wasn’t cost effective. The price of petroleum rose, as a simple supply and demand issue – demand higher than supply( price inflation ).The Federal government decided spending billions of dollars in energy production, in the form of renewables, was a great idea. Any idiot could have told them it cost $4.84 a kilowatt using wind or solar as opposed to 5 cents for petroleum or water. So they raised the money supply to produce energy but the production of energy from renewables has remained inconsequential over the last four years. So an increase in the money supply to produce energy and a very slow growth rate in the production of energy equals hyperinflation in the cost of renewable energy, so high in fact that the government has made sure that sun and wind energy will never be used as a significant source of anything other than wasting tax payer money in subsidies still to this day. Same deal as bio-fuel, same deal as with the overall economy. It’s there in plain sight and no one sees it, I guess there’s some validity to hiding things in plain sight. According to the published numbers in 2010 the gross domestic product was $14,000,000,000,000, two years later at the end of 2012 the gross domestic product was $15,000,000,000,000, that’s roughly an increase in GDP of a little less than 4% per year. The money supply in 2010 was two trillion dollars, today it’s $10,000,000,000,000, I’m not telling you the percentage of the increase its so ridiculously high, you figured out. Remember when the increase in money supply is greater than the increase in the GDP, that’s hyperinflation. I’ve given you the numbers you figured out.

So why doesn’t anybody talk about hyperinflation? Panic. Everybody knows that the government manipulates any kind of information that would make them look bad and with the continued trend of the dumbing down of America it’s increasingly easy to do. The politicians have a plan, how would I know? It’s in plain sight, you see it, you hear it, you pay for it every day. If you and I had no clue about economics’ and didn’t have a whisper of common sense, no morality, no business experience and were only interested in self preservation, the plan they have hatched would be the exact thing that we would do. To figure it out you have to think stupid, I mean box of rocks stupid. We’ll discuss the plan next time.



Something other than the Sunday Post

I would like to take this opportunity to address the most serious problem facing the United States today-inflation.

Not unlike building a house, building a good understanding of inflation requires a good foundation. It’s not rocket science, just good common sense.

The definition of inflation is a rise in general prices of goods and services over a period of time. When prices rise your dollar buys less, simple right? Goods and services are pretty self explanatory, food, clothing, shelter and services, street sweeping, trash collection, electricity, Internet, etc.. Since the purpose of this is to point out what impact inflation is having on you, the period of time to measure the rise in general prices of goods and services, common sense would dictate that that measurement, that period of time would be the amount of time that your household income has remained relatively constant, in other words since the last time you got a raise. Even if you have gotten a raise in the last four years, let’s say 3%, you have taken a hit in your standard of living if the inflation rate is above 3% and its way above 3%.


Since we’ve just been through the conversation about the farm bill and milk parity, let’s use the price of milk as an example of inflation. Last year the price of milk was $2.69 a gallon, today the price is around $4.00 a gallon. That is an increase of $1.31 per gallon or 48%, which is the inflation rate on a gallon of milk over the last year, simple right? If you extend the analysis of milk inflation to four years you’ll find that compared to 2009 the price of milk is about the same as it is today. Now we have stumbled onto the very thing that confuses most people and all politicians, the value of money. The dollar you have in your pocket today is not the same dollar in value that you had in your pocket four years ago. When the government calculates the inflation rate they use an index to tag the dollar at some other point in time and adjust it for inflation, tricky. That’s why you always see numbers published that say seasonally adjusted or adjusted for inflation. Here’s how complicated it can become, according to the government that dollar you had your pocket in 2009 is worth 92¢ today based on calculations using the consumer price index as a reference. The same consumer price index that no longer includes food, Petroleum Products, electricity, natural gas, LP Gas, housing costs or any of the things that had increased by substantial amounts in the last four years. It gets worse, in 1969 the United States was taken off the gold standard which backed the money that we printed, since then there has been no standard for the value of U.S. currency, other than what it can buy on the world market. You know what happen to confederate currency in the Civil War and you learned in history what has happened to other countries who print unbacked money. As long as the money is backed by a vibrant economy things go well, our economy is not doing so good and the Federal Reserve is spreading money around like there’s no tomorrow. This isn’t anything new, but it has reached its highest level ever in United States history. It’s called fiscal responsibility, which does not exist in our current political environment. As a conservative estimate I would say it would be safe to assume that the value of your dollar has decreased by 25% in the last four years. Any figures that are published by the government of the United States of America on the inflation rate or the value of money should be tempered by the decrease in the value of the dollar. You can safely assume that your Goosey is cooked. In addition to price inflation we also have a substantial amount of dollar devaluation.

I think you can see where this is going and it isn’t a happy place but it is a place where destined to go.

Next time we’ll talk about hyperinflation, since you are right in the middle of it.