The family over at mylittlehomestead have been video blogging their projects for some time now, and I was enchanted upon discovery a few years ago with two of their rocket mass heaters. Now the’ve built more, refining the design each time. Here’s a playlist of rocket mass heater videos from their site. 

What? Oh, what’s a rocket mass heater? Well, a rocket heater uses a special design to extract maximum heat with minimum exhaust from burning wood. It burns so much hotter than regular wood stoves that very few particles ever make it up the chimney and out into the air. A rocket mass heater feeds lots of heat into some massive object so that it radiates slowly into a space over time. The exhaust pipe runs through the mass, shedding heat, so that very little heat makes it to the outdoors. Super efficient!


Hey, look what I found! At some point in the LiveJournal era, I had my astrological chart done and then entered it on my birthday in LJ. Or tried to. The world of computers only scales back to 1970 and I was born in 69.

Name: Stacy Dew
February 3 1969
12:26 PM Time Zone is 6 Hrs. Includes daylight time if applicable.
Yazoo City, MS

Rising Sign is in 06 Degrees Gemini

Extremely active by nature, you like to get around, meet people and do different things. Very restless, you just can’t seem to stay put. You need to be involved in several projects at once in order to keep your mind stimulated. You like to read books and to write letters and to talk — constantly. Seemingly ageless, you will always appear to be much younger than you really are. Very adaptable and inquisitive, you are always open to new ideas and experiences. A “jack-of-all-trades”, you are lively and versatile. Because of the high nervous tension that you always seem to have, athletic activity would be a good way for you to burn off energy. But be careful of a tendency to experience things only superficially — try to dig in and absorb things at a deeper level.

Sun is in 14 Degrees Aquarius.

You get bored with the status quo and are generally open to new things and ideas. An individualist and a free spirit, your friends are quite important to you as long as they do not try to tie you down by making too many emotional demands on you. Your thoughts are offbeat and you’re a bit eccentric, but not always very changeable. As a matter of fact, you can be quite stubborn at times. Very fair-minded when dealing with large groups or broad issues, you are not always emotionally sensitive to the needs of individuals. Extremely objective, with good powers of observation, you would be qualified to study technical and complicated subjects, like science, computers or maybe even astrology.

Moon is in 28 Degrees Leo.

You always want to be proud of yourself and will never do anything that will make yourself look bad. You need the respect and admiration of others and enjoy attracting attention to yourself. Everything you do tends to be self-emphasized and self-exaggerated. Very stubborn, willful and independent yourself, be sure to allow others who are close to you the similar right to “be themselves.” Your need for love, affection and reassurance, and your tendency toward vanity, allow you to have your head easily turned by flattery. The more insecure you are, the more you tend to be a showoff. You love games and sports as a matter of fact, you would usually rather play than work. Be careful of a tendency to be snobbish and uppity — it does not become you.

Mercury is in 03 Degrees Aquarius.

You tend to be very opinionated — you have strongly felt notions about things and are quite vocal about expressing and defending them. Yet you are also an original thinker — you enjoy shocking others with your offbeat, original thoughts. You appreciate and need mental and intellectual stimulation. Your judgment is usually fair and impartial — you can be a good critic because you can remain objective and unemotional about most things.

Venus is in 01 Degrees Aries.

You are a very affectionate person but you hate to be tied down. You are more than willing to be the aggressor in initiating new relationships. Indeed, once you have set your sights on someone, you tend to pursue him or her ardently and passionately. But you do demand your own way in a relationship. Try to give in to your partner’s needs and desires once in a while.

Mars is in 19 Degrees Scorpio.

Your likes and dislikes are strong and intense, never casual or superficial. You are known for your persistence and willful obsession. Once you have decided on a course of action, you are unstoppable. Your emotional actions tend to be extreme, although you try to keep them muted. You are not quick to anger, you do slow burns. And you tend to release your anger as sarcasm or irony. Beware of your tendency to hold grudges and to be vengeful. When you do fight, or release your internal tensions, you do so body and soul — you become totally passionate and your outbursts are awesome to behold.

Jupiter is in 05 Degrees Libra.

You are generally good at balancing opinions and judging issues, but you tend to be indecisive when it comes to making up your own mind. You are objective and quite concerned with fair play and justice. But, when it comes to yourself, you are so aware that whatever you do might upset the apple cart that you often choose to compromise rather than do anything that might make you lonely or vulnerable. Relationships are very important to you — you learn about yourself and grow through observing yourself interacting with others. Your aesthetic tastes are refined, but expansive and expensive.

Saturn is in 20 Degrees Aries.

You are aloof, independent and standoffish. This is mainly due to your fear that others might inhibit or restrict you and, quite frankly, you feel that you can govern your life by your own standards. Be careful not to associate with those who are overly critical of you or you will withdraw so deeply into your shell that you will become very lonely. You have the ability to stand on your own two feet and to make up your own mind — albeit very carefully and cautiously. But you are known for your circumspection and therefore are respected and admired.

Uranus is in 03 Degrees Libra.

You, as well as your entire peer group, have a very free, unstable and unconventional approach to relationships and emotional commitments. You will be attracted to experiments in marriage and shared lifestyles. Personal freedom is more important to you than entangling emotional bonds. In the realm of art and aesthetics, you are attracted to the bizarre, shocking and unusual.

Neptune is in 28 Degrees Scorpio.

You, and your entire generation, are extremely interested in anything deep and mysterious. You will explore and idealize the benefits that can accrue from the study of the occult, healing and psychology. You are willing to experiment with substances like drugs in order to push your understanding of your inner being to the extreme.

Pluto is in 24 Degrees Virgo.

For your entire generation, this will be a time when profound changes in society’s attitude toward work, duty and responsibility will be initiated. Radical changes in attitudes toward personal health and general nutrition will be promulgated and gain wide acceptance and practice.

N. Node is in 01 Degrees Aries.

You’re at your most comfortable when involved in group activities outside of your immediate family circle. You delight in getting involved with others in neighborhood civic or political activities, especially if you can be a part of the leadership of the group. Your zeal and overabundant energy bring out your real creativity when you can work toward tangible results — things that will immediately benefit those around you. You have a real gift for getting the most out of charity drives and community benefits. Take time out between projects though, because you tire out easily and your effectiveness becomes greatly diminished when your energy is depleted. Also, don’t even think of trying to get involved at a peripheral level — you need a total commitment to feel personally fulfilled. Let others bake the cookies and set up the chairs — you should be the one to tell everyone what to do and when to do it!

Report provided by Astrolabe.


The front page says that one of my Six Subjects is whatever next role I’m preparing for in my employment. Currently that’s a more specialized type of technical support. A job agent is running reports for me about positions that open up fitting my keywords and other parameters, so I’ve got a good idea of who’s hiring whom, and what skills are needed.

Previous advice to the contrary, lots of these posts list a preference for Dell Certified Professionals, so one of these certifications went on the list for right after VMware VCP. My certification tracking map says that Cloud Infrastructure and Services v3 is the correct one for me. Here’s a link to the description of the certification and the exam (PDF). Here’s a link to more information about the course.

I’d already taken the v2 online version of the course when I was first hired, as it was requisite for the position. I didn’t know there was a certification for it, though, and then it was upgraded to v3, which I took also, still unaware. There’s a difference between studying to know and studying to pass an exam, for me. The first is about grasping concepts, while the second is about reciting the required terms in the right combination.

So now I’ve taken the course again, and generated some 500 notecards in the process. I’m still going through the student guide to make further notes. My pedantic memory is not what it was, and, frankly, my confidence took a huge hit when I didn’t pass VMware vSphere 6.5. It was good that I didn’t – it meant changing everything about how I study, but it increases anxiety, too.

Got 85% on the practice test. It takes 60 to pass. I’m probably going to be okay. Probably.


So, a lot has happened while I haven’t been blogging about the waggon. As you can probably tell from the front page of my site, it got built. I’d say it’s approximately 80% complete, which is a little disheartening as it’ll soon be the 4th anniversary of Assembly Day.

Life happened.

I got laid off and started a business, which didn’t take off quickly enough, so I had to get a day job. Since I had all the materials already, some build work could still happen while the weather permitted. But I could no longer afford to build indoors, and that was a crying shame.

Then I got a divorce and it became necessary to live in the waggon before it was complete. That’s where I’m at now.

Most of the exterior is done. Still need trim and decorative elements.

Most of the interior paneling is up. Still need to finish the paneling and install electrical, floor, and trim. I’m not so keen on plumbing anymore, but may opt for it later.

I did post a little bit about the build in my Teardrops n Tiny Travel Trailers build journal. But I fizzled out there as well. Mostly I posted in Facebook in realtime. Here’s the album of photos about it.

The Way I Watch TV

  •  I don’t channel surf. I don’t “see what’s on”. Maybe that’s also channel surfing.
  • There’s no channel or network that has a whole lot of something I like.
  • I don’t let the TV play if I’m paying attention to something else. It’s getting my full attention.
  • Therefore the show had better be worthy of my full attention. If it can’t hold my attention, then nopes.
  • I don’t torrent. Because reasons.
  • Sometimes I try recommendations from the streaming services based on what I’ve added to my list. Most of the time I don’t like them.
  • Sometimes I try recommendations from friends. Most of the time I don’t like these, either and then try not to get mad at my friends. They can’t help liking something so much they’re sure I’m gonna like it, too.
  • Pretty much, I just get certain shows. 
  • I no longer mess with watching one episode per week. I wait until the whole season is finished and then binge.

Amazon Prime

  • Altered Carbon (full season) 
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (full season) 
  • The Expanse (full season) 
  • Doctor Who (pay extra to stay current, see without extra cost one season behind) 
  • The Tick
  • Travels by Narrowboat
  • Starz on Amazon HOLD
  • Outlander (one episode per week)
  • American Gods (one episode per week)
  • HBO on Amazon HOLD
  • Westworld (no idea how it drops, am one season behind)


(I think all are full season drops)

  • Stranger Things
  • Grace & Frankie
  • Black Mirror (whenever?)
  • The Umbrella Academy
  • Alias Grace
  •  Call the Midwife
  • Agents of Shield
  • Raising Dion
  • The Crown
  • Travelers
  • Glitch
  • Another Life (even though it pissed me off)


  • The Magicians (one episode per week, am a full season behind)
  • Doctor Who (one episode per week)


  • The Handmaid’s Tale (one episode per week)
  • The Orville (one episode per week)
  • Fresh Off the Boat (no idea how it drops, not caught up)


  • Killing Eve – Hulu
  • The Accident – Hulu
  • Fleabag – Amazon
  • Falling Skies – Netflix
  • Agent Carter – Netflix

Liked  But Got Tired Of

  • Breaking Bad
  • Better Call Saul
  • Moone Boy
  • Mr. Robot
  • Jane the Virgin
  • Cable Girls 
  • Mars
  • House of Cards
  • Dexter
  • The Walking Dead
  • The 100
  • Workin’ Moms
  • The First
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
  • Sex Education
  • Flight of the Conchords
  • Cheers
  • South Park
  • Absolutely Fabulous

Didn’t Like

  • The Boys
  • Killjoys
  • Defiance
  • Father Ted
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Lost in Space
  • The Good Place
  • Transparent
  • Seinfeld
  • Family Guy
  • The Simpsons

Liked But Now Canceled or Concluded

(Partial List)

  • Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
  • Jessica Jones
  • Luke Cage
  • Daredevil
  • The Defenders
  • Broadchurch and Gracepoint
  • The West Wing
  • Sherlock
  • Firefly
  • Caprica
  • Dollhouse
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Angel
  • Electric Dreams
  • Good Omens
  • Orphan Black
  • Undone
  • Sense8
  • When They See Us
  • Godless
  • The Man in the High Castle
  • Orange is the New Black
  • The End of the F***king World
  • Love Death + Robots
  • Maniac
  • Nurse Jackie
  • Happy Valley
  • The OA
  • Halt and Catch Fire
  • Wallander
  • Shetland
  • An Idiot Abroad (fast forward the Ricky Gervais bits)
  • The Vicar of Dibley
  • The Rain
  • 13 Reasons Why
  • Russian Doll
  • Tales of the City (old and new)
  • The Feed
  • Hogfather
  • Doc Martin
  • Foyle’s War
  • Legion

PS: I am learning Boldgrid tools, so I won’t tell you how long it took me to make this post. I’m praying there’s a fast way to replicate the results.

All my recent tidying up was sparked by a conversation about TV shows. I keep a list in Google Keep of what shows I follow, what I want to check out, and what sorts of things I like and dislike. But it’s on Google Keep. That’s not very shareable. On the verge of posting the list on Facebook, there was a “waitaminute” moment.

We are now at the conclusion of that moment.

Further, any potentially shareable list can go right in here.

After bedtime, it’ll be tattoo day! This one is different, not merely a touch-up or enhancement but a full-on cover-up. I’ll be destroying my very first, god-awful, wall-selected tattoo that has become blurry and carcinogenic-looking in favor of something much more dear to my heart – a traditional Sailor Jerry style US Army design. 

I’m stoked but apprehensive. This thing is going on a stretchy part of my body that already stretched. My size has been stable for a good long while and I hope to keep it that way, or even reduce it. I wonder what an eagle with a heart will become over time.

Open mind. I’ve got a great artist with a lot of experience, and as we consult, if it becomes clear that my original idea is a no-go, we can work out alternatives. Or move on to the next item on my list while design work continues. There is plenty of room for multiple right answers here.

Here’s my Facebook tattoo thread where you can see current, planned, and theorized work.

I’ve been feeling like a bit of a tidy up. It’s been bothering me that the website has been broken ever since I had to sideline the copywriting and get a day job. I’d hoped the under construction plugin I was using would bar visitors from all of my site, but my old HTML based journals and blogs were still quite available, so I essentially had to break my site.

Nearly two years later, I don’t remember what exactly I did, in order to undo it.

I still don’t know. I’ve removed the .htaccess and klooged the config file of the WordPress installation, gone through all the settings, removed a lot of plugins (to include the Under Construction one). I can get the site working, no problem. But something is still … here. I have the site config set to explicitly state the location of that installation instead of using the fields in the app. If I comment the lines of the config, it all breaks again. And it’s something site-wide because my NaNoWriMo WordPress installation is also affected. But not this one, this newer one that was installed after the breakage.


I’ve been consolidating blogs/journals. The ministry journal and my waggon build journal are imported from Blogger. Haven’t figured out what, if anything, I can do about the anonymous personal program blog, since it’s separated from all of my identity for a very good reason and needs to remain so.

Similar, but slightly different problem with my LiveJournal. I carefully compartmentalized my content for whoever was interested in whatever topic, with varying levels of privacy and trust. I don’t see how any of that can be maintained with content I import. I seem to remember there being a way to import content and automatically set it to readable by author only, which would be fine; nobody’s going back there to read my stuff as it is, surely.

Meanwhile, I’m also getting some long overdue backing up done. I host my in-laws’ art and jewelry sites, and they’ve needed backing up for a long time now. Those are initiated and underway now. I can stick those on the Google Drive and the portable hard drive for redundancy.

After putting off Google Backup and Sync, it seemed finally time to resume it and let it do its thing. Except it wouldn’t resume. After a reinstall, it’s merrily chugging away at my documents and photos. Those can go on the portable as well. I think the things already on the portable came from Google Drive to start with, but I’ll check.