Monday, April 25, 2011

The Bus Movie

A documentary film by Damon Ristau coming out this fall about VW Buses! It looks like a super fun movie, I can't wait until it comes out.

Click HERE for more information about the movie on

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Today I got to eat delicious organic sprouts that I sprouted this week. Last week I ordered Organic Alfalfa sprouts on Ebay, but hopefully I will be able to find some locally next time. I put some seed in a mason jar and filled it with water two times the height of the seed. I used just a little bit of seed because I wasn't sure how much it would yield, and the seeds have a guaranteed 80% sprout rate. I let them sit in the water over night, then rinsed and drained all the water out. I topped it with a rag and rubber band and let the sprouts hang out in my dark cupboard with the potatoes and onions for a few days. Every morning and night I rinsed them with water and drained them and shook them around so they didn't clump so much.
I figured today they are big enough to eat~ and they are tasty! For now they are stored in the fridge in what used to be a sesame tahini container, now a wonderful anything container. But I don't think they are going to last very long...

We have been eyeballing a 73 Westfalia (named Biscuit) close by that is going for very cheap. The body is in much better condition than Lenny's, with only one huge problem area~ the entire front "floorboard" is rusted through in many places. The engine and tranny is out which will give us a chance to go over everything and do it right this time. We don't want to abandon Lenny, but we know that he isn't a good candidate for a full on restoration. His frame is warped from the collision he was in, and the bondo is chipping in places with rust coming back. So we may just try to keep the working components good on him and fully restore the 73 slowly and completely and still get to have Lenny to go camping in and have fun with in the meantime.
I feel like I should put a warning on my page~ BEWARE~ VW addiction may soon follow purchase of only one VW Bus~

Friday, April 15, 2011

Solar Oven Experiment #1

A long time ago I mentioned the use of Solar Ovens~ I hope to make a heavy duty one out of wood and better materials, but for now I have one I made out of a box~

I used a Keurig Coffee Maker Box which is pretty perfect for a solar oven, but not so perfect for a Coffee pot. Purchasers of the Keurig also have to purchase small plastic and foil pods full of grounds for a single serving of crappy, old tasting coffee. For about a box of 24 pods it costs something like $7 or more, a lot more expensive than a conventional bag of beans or grounds.
Grounds and filters(most) are great for compost, and if you compost with worms~ they love it too. The Keurig takes something completely biodegradable and surrounds it in plastic to not even be recycled~ but thrown in the trash. Unless people want to take the time to cut off the foil, empty the grounds, rinse and dispose.
I highly recommend never entertaining the idea of purchasing such a worthless product, unless you have hundreds of dollars to throw away, in that case please donate to my Bus fund instead and I will make you better tasting coffee every day. Working at a coffee shop where we roast our own beans a day or so before we grind and brew it really does turn you into a coffee snob!
I used a slightly smaller box than the Keurig box inside, with more cardboard surrounding to insulate. Then I covered the flaps with heavy duty aluminum foil, shiny side out, placed my pot inside and covered it with a plastic wrap I found, securing it to the box with tacks.
The pot is a black saucepot with small handles on the sides with a lid. It is the large kind, so I will be getting a smaller one since heating up a lot of food like that at once takes longer and would be more suitable to be cooked in the desert of Arizona instead the shady yard of my house.
I cooked a veggie soup from random cans of veggies, soaked beans, pasta, tomato sauce, and spices. I made way too much to be cooked in the solar cooker completely but after about 6 hours in the sun the pasta was cooked. So I did have to finish cooking some of the liquid off on the stove.
I found out that smaller amounts work better, canned/already cooked works better because it cooks faster, water will not boil out since there is a lid keeping moisture in. I also need to get a thermometer so I can check the inside temperature so I will know in the future how long it will take to cook other things. My design worked very well though, so no problems there! It makes me happy to now have an environmentally friendly device I created from the PACKAGING of a very UNfriendly device.
What shall I try next...