Thoughts about how a Green Wizard uses Ham Radio

  • Posted on: 20 March 2019
  • By: augjohnson

Today’s new Hams are told that they should first get a 2Meter radio of some sort, hand-held or base/mobile radio, and get on the air using a local repeater to learn how to communicate. What does this mean? Does it fit with what the purpose of Ham Radio for Green Wizards who want to preserve reliable ways of communicating?

A 2 Meter radio operates in the VHF band of 144-148 Mhz (Megahertz), where the signals pretty much are line of sight communications. This is similar to FM Broadcast and TV frequencies, but at much lower powers. FM Broadcast and TV use powers of many 10's or 100's of thousands of watts whereas a hand-held radio uses no more than maybe 5 watts and a base radio 20-60 watts. A base or mobile radio has a range of maybe 5-20 miles and a hand-held radio maybe 2-5 miles.

These ranges are approximate and can vary greatly, but will serve to illustrate my point. A Repeater is a higher-powered transmitter hooked to a very good receiver and using a large antenna, usually on a tower or mountaintop, that simultaneously re-transmits (repeats) the signals it hears so as to greatly extend their range. If you can communicate with this repeater that is in an excellent location, you can communicate with anyone else who can communicate with it, even if you can't reach them directly. Since the Repeater has it's antenna in such a good location, you can usually reach it from quite a distance, maybe 20-50 miles, even using just a hand-held radio. This way you can talk to someone else also using a hand-held radio that may be 50, 100, or more miles away.

Putting the "Green" into Green Wizardry

  • Posted on: 20 March 2019
  • By: David Trammel

I haven't talked much about the "Green" side of Green Wizardry on this blog yet this year. Growing your own food is a core skill of being a Green Wizard and while not all will master it, you should at least be able to give good advice about a person's garden. Its a skill I've been working on for many years now and I'm still not even an informed amateur let alone a expert.

This year I've made a promise to try and start all of my plants, both my vegetables and my flowers from seed. I also want to continue my earlier experiments in micro greens as well as begin trying my hand at sprouts. This year I want to focus on four main vegetables, onions, carrots, peppers and tomatoes, though I will have a few odd plants, one offs that I am going to grow primarily to take pictures for the GW Book of Plants, I will also be doing an early crop of some outside lettuce, spinach and other greens, but I will focus most of my growing of those plants in my micro green experiments.

About two weeks ago I started my earliest plants, that is onions. Onions are a cool weather plant and like to be started early in the year. Last year I tried both white and red onions, but unfortunately I planted them with carrots at the same time. The carrots quickly over took the onions and shaded them too much. I had to dig the onions up and replant them into their own bed, with mixed results.

Let's look at what I've got so far.

(Lots of pictures in this post...)

Very Short Post This Week

  • Posted on: 13 March 2019
  • By: David Trammel

Sorry this week's post will be delayed until next week. I'm just getting over the flu and I still have a rough cough and trouble thinking well. I will be discussing Professor Jem Bendell and the new Deep Adaptation forum.

Also I started the Seed Sprout Demo last Sunday and they are coming up well. Mostly, lol.

The picture with this post is from Day 3. The Lettuce bowl is rocking (bottom left), with lots of sprouts, though it did get a lot of seeds. Still impressive though.

The Sunflower seeds (top left) are half and half. My older Mongolian Giants seem to be past their time. None of them have come up yet. The more recent ones I purchased last week all seem to be sprouting. Most still have their seed husks on them but they are stout stemmed sprouts. I can see why people include them in their mix of seeds.

The peas (bottom right) seem to be sprouting while the bush beans (top right) don't be doing that well. They both have white mold on the seeds indicating I've over watered them, I'm going to put all four containers under the grow lamps for a few hours tonight and mot water them, to see if they do better.

I'll post more when I feel better. In the mean time, read the first blog by August Johnson on ham radio.

Introduction to HAM Radio

  • Posted on: 13 March 2019
  • By: augjohnson

My first few posts will be cleaned up and updated versions of posts on David's first version of this site.

What is Ham Radio and how did it come to be?

Amateur (Ham) Radio came into being in the first decade of the 20th century. Wireless, the term Radio wouldn’t be used for several decades, had recently been “invented” in the latter decades of the 19th century and the airwaves or the Æther as it was known, was pretty much a free for all.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luminiferous_aether

This will be a US centered version, somewhat similar events happened in Europe and the rest of the world, although greatly hampered by much stricter government controls, even in Western Europe. These controls and restrictions have been loosened greatly in recent decades.

There was no licensing or control of who did what. Of course government and industries were trying to figure out what to do with it and how to control it for themselves. Individuals were also experimenting to see what they could do. Big conflicts between government, the military, commercial entities, and the private experimenters were rampant.

Handing Out Life Vests on the Titanic

  • Posted on: 6 March 2019
  • By: David Trammel


(© 1997 Paramount Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.)

With all the new and returning members I thought I'd take this week's blog post and clarify a few things.

I know its tempting to lump John Michael Greer and his idea of Green Wizardry into the Survival/Prepper category. We both speak of a change to civilization. An end of things as they are. Of a time where the World is Harsh.

Its easy though for deniers of the changes to come, to latch onto the fringe element of that subculture to belittle and marginalize the important message that community has. That a site like Zombie Squad, with its motto of "If you can survive the zombie apocalypse, you can survive anything", are just crazed wannabees. I happen to like the people at Zombie Squad. The original chapter is out of St Louis and I know several of them. Wacko nut jobs they aren't.

(They are doing a site reboot, so if you visit, click through to the forums. A lot of good info there.)

And look at us. Wizards, Green Wizards? Isn't that worth a laugh? Pointy hats and wands maybe? Where is a flying broomstick when you need one?

Humor aside, there is nothing to laugh at what's coming towards us all.

An Introduction to "Thinking In Systems" - Part Four: The Third Input - Information

  • Posted on: 27 February 2019
  • By: David Trammel

If Matter is the physical body of the car you drive each day, and Energy the gasoline and electricity that makes it run, then Information is the driver. Each is important and all three must work in harmony to successfully get to where you want to go.

Matter moves in circles from base elements up the line of organization on the up side of its Circle, forming more and complex things. Later as age and wear takes it toll, the Matter of that car begins to deconstruct, to rust and fall apart until at one point on the down side of its Circle, its sitting in a junk yard being picked for parts before the remains are taken to the melting pot to be born again.

Energy on the other hand begins as a concentrated source, like the electricity in a battery or the gasoline in the tank, and in small parts breaks down, releasing energy to perform work. It always generates a little bit of waste heat when it works. Whether its the radiating heat off a hot engine block, to the frictional heat when you apply the brakes and the brake shoes rub on the rotors, and even the tiny bit of heat generate by friction as the air passes over the body of the car in motion. Bit by bit, Energy is turned into waste heat and its usefulness to us ends.

Information has its actions too, but before we talk about that, we must clear up a big misconception about Information.

Green Wizards Association of Auckland Meeting, March 30th

  • Posted on: 20 February 2019
  • By: Wormlamp

The inaugural meeting of the Green Wizards Association of Auckland will be held on the 30th of March 2019 at 13:00.

The venue is to be confirmed but will be near Aotea Square, 303 Queen St, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand.

Please RSVP, or send queries and comments to limitstogrowth1972[at]gmail.com or better still sign up for e-mail reminders at https://wormlamp.com/gwaa/.

We look forward to meeting you.

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Why Should I?

  • Posted on: 20 February 2019
  • By: David Trammel


(She looks a little worried, doesn't she?)

"Why should I?"

Its a question I get a lot when I discuss Green Wizardry with people, especially those who are not readers of John Michael Greer's blogs.

"Why should I learn the things you teach at Green Wizards?"

The idea that Society as we know it has an end date and that people should prepare for an eventual decline of resources and technology isn't on many people's radar. That the way we do things now isn't working and in many cases is actually making things worse. That people should learn to be more sustainable in their day to day lives and especially learn now how to grow some of their own food, NOW when they have some extra breathing room to make mistakes and learn from their experiences before it becomes really important not to make mistakes. That people need to learn now how to do with less and get more from what they do have, for when it does get tight, then they can survive and even prosper when other don't.

Sometimes though, the people you are talking to have an inkling that something isn't right with Society. Then they grasp it.

"Ok! Excited Now! Zombie Apocalypse without Zombies going to happen soon..."

Story Circle: Creating Minor Characters In A Short Story

  • Posted on: 13 February 2019
  • By: David Trammel


(from the movie "Gladiator", ©2000 Dream Works and Universal Pictures)

One of the things we haven't done yet is discuss the art and practice of storytelling.

Its an important part of Green Wizardry, the ability to teach using stories but very few people are natural story tellers. Like athletes, story telling is a skill you learn by doing. You practice and practice again, until you get better.

This first post will be about characterization.

Characterization is the art of creating people in your story.

Science fiction and fantasy, as well as the niche we most deal with here on Green Wizards, "Climate Fiction" (aka Cli-Fi) which is the stories set in a "World in Decline", all create fantastic worlds which are at once interesting and at other times sad. And yet, the most amazing world is just an empty landscape without people. Believable people that the reader cares for and wants to read more of are important to any story. Your job as the writer is to populate your world, but populate it with character that make it interesting.

More specifically to the subject of characterization, in this post we will focus not on creating the major characters in a short story, but the background ones.

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