Monday, August 24, 2015

Gettin' stuff done

It's Monday.  Ug.  Actually, it's a good day though.  We're getting a lot of stuff done.  Emma and I were just working on the tile in the bathroom.  My goal is to get that done today.  It's been a year since the wall leaked and made a big ol' mess in the livingroom.  A contractor friend of ours came over and fixed the drainage line and installed a new tub and I've been working on the tile since then.  It's been a learning experience.

a craftsperson at work

Of course, in order to get some good work done, you need a good breakfast.  We had some apple rice pancakes.  I really need to get some better lighting and a better camera to show the deliciousness.  They're essentially just potato pancakes, except with rice instead of shredded potato.  They were tasty.

Emma didn't sit and work with me all morning though.  She was playing with her playdough for a little while.  Two packs for $0.99 each.  That's a lot of good times for $2.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Topics that Earn

I'm a little overwhelmed right now.  The internet is an insane kind of place after all, with all the informations and all the people blogging and chatting and instagramming each other all over the place.  It's insane.

So, how do you decide what to write about?  There is an immeasurable quantity of topics to research and discuss.  I enjoy researching and am pretty good at it.  I'm currently in the process of rebuilding a research tool that I was using to research things just for my own information and I think it may prove useful for researching for other people, but what topics should I be researching?  How should I monetize my efforts?  Here is a short list of some of the topics that I am interested in.

  • Money/Banking - high demand / low competion / high bid values
  • Inspirational Quotes - high demand / low competition / website
  • Moringa - low demand / high competition
  • Goji - low demand / high competition
  • Small Business - high demand / high competition
  • Internet - low demand / high competition
  • Health/Fitness - high demand / low competition

I believe that if I am writing about topics that I am interested in, then I will be building an internal pool of information and experience related to that subject which can grow and be more relevant over time.

Additionally, I believe that there is a demand for someone who knows and shares information about the internet in general, although I haven't found any kind of keyword market information which would substantiate that claim.  It reminds me of an old Emo Philllips joke about how his brain thinks it's the most important part of his body, but it would think that because it's the part that does the thinking.  Silly joke.  Anyway. 

Time to wake up the baby, then finish tiling the bathroom and get out to the park or something so she doesn't grow up to be a cave dwelling knuckle-dragger, like some of these people who are afraid to have any actual thoughts between their ears.

Some additional notes:
  • Why don't small sites consider visual ergonomics?
  • What tools are there for considering search demand vs. supply?


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Agricultural Engineering

So, I was researching outlets for working and discovered that there is actually a category of engineer known as the agricultural engineer.  They work in a variety of different capacities and are generally involved in:

  • aquaculture
  • farming
  • forestry
  • biofuels
  • resource conservation
  • livestock
  • sustainability
And it hits me, I'm interested in all those things.  It reminds me of how my father worked for most of his life as a lighting engineer without recognizing that he was.  There are very few colleges issuing degrees in this field, but it does exist and people work in these fields, designing and implementing systems and testing and developing innovations.  It's very exciting stuff.

Apparently agricultural engineers (AE's) are involved in developing and maintaining sustainable agricultural systems.  Technology is constantly advancing and it's exciting to see all the new methods and techniques that are being employed to increase productivity while reducing expenditures, waste and environmental impacts.

Licensing etc.

Membership in ASABE (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers) costs $150 for regular members my age and $25 for students.  PEI membership costs $30.  FE exam costs $225.  PE exam costs $?.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Freelance Writing

When I wrote my first search engine, I didn't know it would start me down this path of insanity and tea.

I enjoy writing.  The ability to compose a string of meaningful linguistic structures intended to convey meaning and thought is a privelege which I have never taken for granted.

It's not what I love though.  I love compost.  I love worms and figuring out how to feed chemicals to the rhizosphere.  I love dirt on my hands and delicious and beautiful food on my table.  I love my family.  I love travelling.  I love making and building things.  I don't like staring at a computer monitor under any circumstances.  Still, if it's possible to pay the bills by banging my brain against a computer monitor, then so be it.

So, if you're just getting started in writing, then you may want to start with general writing, blogs etc., but in order to maximize your wages, you will probably want to market your special skills.  Whatever it is that makes you special.  I am currently looking into translating, since it tends to pay more and engineering kinds of writing since I have some engineering experience.


Saturday, August 15, 2015






Peer to Peer Employment Phenomenon

Right around the beginning of the century, a new way of sharing information began brewing on the internet.  A company, called Napster, began connecting people who wanted to share music.  Napster, and other similar software systems were eventually declared illegal and shut down, yet the concept of building a digital space where users could interact and share directly remained alive and is becoming more and more popular.

The term 'peer-to-peer' or P2P refers to the type of connections which people or devices form in this system.  Peers, or individuals, connect to each other rather then connecting with some external entity.  Specifically, peer to peer types of employment/provider systems connect people who provide services with other people who require those services. 

  • Lyft - Connects people who can provide rides with people who need a 'lyft'.
  • Wonolo - Connects people looking for a little work with people who need to some work done.
  • Peers - Peers is an information source for P2P systems.
  • Sidecar - Similar to Lyft, Sidecar also has a system for delivery of packages.
There are also systems for delivering meals prepared at local restaurants, helping people move and even doing someone's weekly shopping.  It's an exciting marketplace where companies are forming and changing to meet the needs of the people. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

More microgreens stuff

Just learning more about what's going on in the microgreens industry.  Doing some research.

Some Questions to answer

  • What is our potential capacity and what is the potential value (x time to harvest)(currently ~ 32#/mo. @ $1.85/oz. ~ $3k)
  • What are the local restaurants with chefs who produce plates valued over $12 (What are their names, styles, examples of descriptions)
  • Other possible products

Sunday, August 9, 2015

microgreens business

I have been growing micro-greens / specialty greens for several years.  Built trays, tried different plants, etc.  Some steps to starting a business.

  • Growing
Foliar applications of water should be sterile.  Low likelihood of fertilizer application, still agreed that ferts should be applied to soil mix before seeding.  Root feeding by seep to reduce splatter/spray.  Bottle fed.  Drip fed.  1/4" spacing for most seeds.

  • Packaging
  • Harvesting
  • Marketing
  • Fix Truck
  • Register Business
  • Track Expenses
  • Make list of products
  • List of production timelines
  • List of sources/costs
  • Taxes
  • Bank Accounts
 Some possible micros:
  • Red Orach
  • Purple Passion
  • Red Amaranth
  • Red Beet Greens
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Mustard
  • Radish
  • Sunflower
  • Wheatgrass
  • Clover
  • Alfalfa
  • Celery
  • Cilantro
  • Cress
  • Kale
  • Parsley
  • Sorrel
  • Red Mustard
  • Red Cabbage
  • Purple Kalrahbi
  • Shiso
 Some possible babys:
  • Arugula
  • Beets
  • Mustard
  • Mizuna
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Tatsoi
  • Bok Choi
  • Buckwheat
  • onion
  • wasabi
  • thyme 
  • rosemary
  • snow peas
  • chervil
  • green horseradish
  • daikon radish

Seed Sources:

 Other Considerations:
  • Food-Grade Paint
  • Log of Lot #'s, dates, harvests, sanitation
  • CFIA Inspection

  •  regular salad
  •  asian mix
  •  spicy