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You’re killing America!

25 Nov

Obama keeps talking about “fixing what ails America,” by building alternative power projects.

To seemingly prove it…

On April 11, 2009 DOE announced a whopping $38.5 Billion dollars in loan guarantees to “encourages the development of new energy technologies and is an important step in paving the way for clean energy projects.” All a start-up company has to do is fill out reams of paperwork and submit it along with their justification of why they need the money and their $75,000 non-refundable application fee.


Let me repeat that last part: “… and their $75,000 non-refundable application fee.”

These projects include solar, wind, hydro, ethanol, and even algae fueled remedies. And, there are a lot of them out there. Some of them even make sense, but…

At the NSF (National Science Foundation) bio-energy research projects are being declined and disqualified right and left,  by Government-backed reviewers who throw crap on the progress, by using “verbal vinegar”  like this:

“To base the proposal on the theory that there will be a variety of low-value feed stocks available is, in the opinion of this reviewer and many other industry observers, a faulty premise. Biomass is cheap right now because no one wants it.

However, as demand increases, it will become more expensive. Further the laws of supply and demand mean that replacing a significant amount of gasoline with biofuels would drastically lower the demand for gas. This would, in turn, cause the price of gas to plunge, making biofuels less competitive.”

Bull! I could use that very same argument to reject the use of margarine, or ammunition, or even car tires. The same argument could be made to reject solar and wind energy research — or any alternative energy, for that matter — by trying to make the case that an overwhelming  public adoption of solar power or wind energy products would cause the price of coal to plunge… well… because that might make solar and wind energy less competitive!

Would too! I know it’s true, because I’ve even heard politicians say it!

And we all know that politicians NEVER lie. 😉

“Margarine is baaaad! We Must Stop This!”… before it makes COWS obsolete.

And heaven knows, the increase in American Horse Breeding may adversely impact the price of cars! It must be stopped! I don’t know about you, but I’m gonna start shooting horses, before civilization as we know it comes to an end…


Oh wait, the American Government already does that. It’s cheaper to manage “wild horse assets roaming the plains” in America, if you kill them first…

You think I’m kidding? I’m not. Say goodbye to the Majestic Wild Mustang, kids… They only place you’re gonna see them regularly is on Disney Cartoons. BLM actually kills wild horses, rather than provide for them. Don’t even get me started…

So why do reviewers say things like I just quoted?

Because they are paid to DISQUALIFY projects. First, that $75,000 dollar application fee is non-refundable, remember? Second, that way, those jug-headed politicians in Washington DC can claim that they’ve put help in the pipe, even if NOBODY can possibly qualify for it.

Oh, I almost forgot; It takes 15 months to find out that you’ve been cheated out of your $75 grand…

… if the half-wits in the “processing department” at the DOE can get the process streamlined down to 15 months, as “promised”.


Here’s what independent reviewers with credentials in their field, said about that bio-energy project request;

Reviewer #A: “This is a well thought out proposal supported by a well qualified team.”

Reviewer#B: “This is a well written proposal with good technical foundation to carry out the project. Project team collectively has good qualification and sound experience to advance the scientific work in a professional manner.”

Reviewer #C: “The proposed plan is sound and improved results are likely with further research.”


Stop buying margarine! Stop riding horses!  Stop building windmills! Stop shooting your firearms! Stop buying car tires! You’re killing America! You whiny un-patriotic, self-serving, greedy, capitalistic bastards! 🙂

Stay Tuned.

The Renaissance RoninOkay, you all know what’s going on with my family, so I’m not going  to beat you up with that…

If this blog has helped you, educated you, amused you, or even just made you shake your head and wonder why I’m not locked up in some room clad with rubber tiles…

Please know that this site has required a great deal of money, time and effort to develop & maintain. If it’s been useful to you at all, and you can afford to…  you can help my family and support this site by making a small donation by hitting that Paypal button up there on the right. Paypal is the BEST “secure” way to donate to any cause… like ours. This will help keep us alive while we try to remedy our own situation, and empower me to carry on writing, maintaining, providing countless hours of hard work, and including any updates or topics that you might suggest.

And… No anatomical impossibilities, huh? I’m not as young as I used to be…

Sailing the Prairie and planking the palace…

15 Nov

Come and listen to a story ’bout a man named Jed…

Lately, I’ve been writing about a village that’s being created out of separate ISBU segments, transformed into modules specific to fulfilling a defined task.

Apparently, it boggles the minds of some of my readers, that anyone would address the concept of actually having to walk from one space to another, to accomplish a task.

Where in the world would we get such a crazy idea?

Are we nuts?

Did we grow up raised by wolves?

Are we (gasp!) Democrats?

(Sorry, just threw that last one in for “sport…”) 🙂

You’d think we were hankering for a return to the Stone Age, but we’re not. Okay, maybe just a little bit… “Bubba’s hunting Brontosauruses…” Can you imagine what a funny reality TV show THAT would be?  Makes me laugh just thinkin’ about it! 🙂

Where was I? Oh yeah…

Remember…  not all that far back in our Nations great history, brave families braved the planet, by doing exactly what we’re suggesting.

They sailed the plains and prairies in Conestoga Wagons, and then got out their handy dandy “Ronco Chop-a-matics“…

By the way… they even had “bio-fuel” back then… ‘cept… they actually ATE the corn… 🙂

And they built log homes out of sweat, blood, and a lot of profanity, let me tell you!


How do I know this? Well, I’ve actually participated in the building of a log home or two, and lemme tell you… the language around those sites can make a sailor blush!

“Puritans” my butt! I bet that they swore like “Bikers at a buttkicking contest!” They did too! YOU try living like they did… 🙂

Where I live… If you get on Highway 49 headed North, from Gulfport, Mississippi and head toward Hattiesburg and Jackson (the State Capital), you can still see some of these “homespun” structures housing families, to this very day. Keep driving up into the heart of Tennessee, and you’ll find them used as “monuments.”

And… a large majority of those cabins turned out to be “two-roomers.”

Take this plan, for instance;

2roomerSome of them still have old highway billboards being used as roofing material. I kid you not!

And hey! If you look closely… you can even see the origins of “housing terminology” that we still use today…

Words like “breezeway” for instance… It came from the term “dog trot.” It was the place where the DOG trotted between the houses two structures. In the Deep South,  the term “dog trot” is still used, to this very day.

When those “Son and Daughters of the South…  and all parts in between” needed more space, they just built another “pen.”

Hey, don’t blame me… that’s what they called them!

Separate buildings were necessary… It’s because you can’t really expand an “interlocking log” cabin, because you need the corners to hold it up.

So, we’re changing the name of our project, from “the Ewok Village on Acid” to “The Demented Dog Trots of Dixie.”

Just thought that you should know…

Stay tuned.

The Renaissance RoninOkay, you all know what’s going on with my family, so I’m not going to beat you up with that…

If this blog has helped you, educated you, amused you, or even just made you shake your head and wonder why I’m not locked up in some room clad with rubber tiles…

Please know that this site has required a great deal of money, time and effort to develop & maintain. If it’s been useful to you at all, and you can afford to… You can help my family and support this site by making a small donation by hitting that Paypal button up there on the right.

Paypal is the VERY BEST “secure” way to donate to any cause… like ours.

This will help keep us alive while we try to remedy our own situation, and empower me to carry on writing, maintaining, providing countless hours of hard work, and including any updates or topics that you might suggest.

And… No anatomical impossibilities, huh? I’m not as young as I used to be…

Relax, Ma! It’s Just Poop!

30 Jun

From the “Now I’ve seen EVERYTHING” files:

I was out looking for cool stuff to dazzle you with.

I mean, here at “RR,” we’re all about living off-grid and being self-sufficient. After all, we’re building homes out of Shipping Containers (ISBUs), recycling garbage to use as building materials, and re-using anything we can find, to keep the costs down. It’s about living comfortably, but responsibly. We heat our water using the sun. We power our homes with photovoltaic panels, and even hot air! 🙂

And, there’s no shortage of hot air around here! Why? Well, because I’m the resident “guru” of… um…er… never mind!

Okay… I know that my “sparkling wit” and my endless parading of my vast intellect keeps you entertained for about um… er… three seconds… but…

And speaking of, um… “Butts;”

Design gets very literal in this toilet made from poop!


Man, you’d think that they would have thought about using a different color. Yuck.

There’s a rule in inventing  stuff that “form should follow function.” And, it seems that Virginia Gardiner is a follower of that rule. She’s devised an energy generating toilet that is actually made from poop.

Now, I know what you’re thinking! Ewwwwww! (I know, I know… I’m thinkin it too!) 🙂

Virgina has developed a pooper that transforms human waste into a highly valued commodity… energy.

(Hey, I coulda called it something else. In fact… Nah, never mind.)

That’s right, this toilet creates energy.

No, I’m not talking about “methane…”  Keep it to yourself, smarty-pants! This is a “family show…” 🙂



Like you don’t poop, too? Ah, stop complaining! I told you not to look! What a bunch of whiners! 🙂

Anyway… Virginia calls it a “LooWatt.” And she says that it’s a low cost, mechanical commode that has a green streak running thru it.

(Note from Editors wife: “Okay, enough talking about “streaks,” this is getting gross…”)

Where was I? Oh yeah… Users of the LooWatt are urged to trade in their um… er… “recyclables” for biofuel. She says that this trade will enhance and sponsor community (urban) infrastructures that will encourage proper waste disposal, minimize water-borne illnesses, and provide a regular source of energy.

(But only if you eat your fiber regularly, huh?) 🙂

pootoilet-diagSee? Made you look TWICE! Ha! Just wanted to prove that I didn’t make it up!

Where did an idea like this come from?

Well, some would claim that Virginia has um… er…(say it with me…)  poop on the brain. But… she’s just looking for a solution to that 40% of the  population that lives without toilets. That’s right, she’s trying to help people in Mississippi.  And Alabama. Oh, and quite possibly the Ozarks! Wait… that’s not it… 🙂

According to Dwell Magazine (a mag I heartily endorse); “Virginia sought to provide a solution for the 40% of the world’s population that lives without toilets.”

It’s a toilet targeted at the third world, folks. In many developing countries the installation of sewage systems is just about impossible, and we all know that improper waste disposal spreads devastating waterborne illnesses that afflict millions. Hell, around were, we can’t go into the Gulf after it rains because all the sewers back up and then outflow into the water.

But, some of the three-eyed fish are really cool lookin! And tasty! 🙂

What in the world was she thinking? Well… It seems that this toilet is designed to solve the global sanitation crisis by creating a new infrastructure.

Finally, I’ll have proof that I’m the “King of Crap!”

The “LooWatt” composting toilet is molded from 90% horse dung.

Yep, horse poop. I’m thinking probably those Budweiser Clydesdales, or their Belgian cousins. Why? Because if this toilet is gonna solve 40% of the world’s poop problem, by making toilets outta horsecrap… you’re gonna need some BIGGGG horses to start with. I’m starting to think that this is one a those “corn ethanol” schemes. 🙂

“Look, I don’t care if you’re starving… If we don’t feed the horses, you can’t crap. Period. Just deal with it!”

“But… if I don’t eat, I can’t crap anyway! Whaaa?”

The toilet has a built-in biodegradable lining that stores excrement in a sealed, odor-free container. Once the toilet is full, the user takes the poo package to an outdoor biodigestor, which in exchange provides a free source of biofuel for cooking.

Whaaaaat? Okay, now that’s just gross. I gotta starve so a horse can eat enough to mold a pooper outta it’s poop. Then… I have to collect MY poop, and then carry it off to the marketplace, so I can barter it off for “predigested” biofuel, to cook with? Nuh-uh! I’d rather poop in a hole! 🙂

According to experts, the LooWatt has been exhibited around the world, was awarded an honorable mention from the AIGA Aspen Design Challenge, and was a finalist in the Buckminster Fuller Challenge.

loowattMe thinks they were pushing this “exhibit” stuff a bit too far. There are just some things I DON’T want to see! 🙂

Okay… so that’s why my “Bubba Box Corten Castle” design didn’t win. It wasn’t worth um… er… “poop.”

If you think this “haul your poop outta the toilet and take it downtown…”  is a good idea, well… you’re probably nuts. But, in a way (okay, you REALLY have to look for it) it makes some sense. Not MY kinda sense, but I’m not exactly the smartest person on the planet. After all, I do live in Mississippi, and I did have another kid, at 50. See? Not too bright! 🙂

The people at LooWatt would like you to know that if you’d like to help push the project along, a small donation will net you your very own “poo gem” – a dodecahedron molded from horse manure (makes a swell paperweight, gift or toy!). Yeah that’s just what I need sitting on the mantle…

“What’s this, Ronin?”

“Well, it’s a… um…er… you really don’t wanna know. But I put it up here because Joshua kept trying to put it in his mouth!”

Hey, pony up a bit more cash, and it’ll net you a lovely deer-head candle holder – just the thing to brighten dungy dingy interior spaces.

Ah man… I’m holding out for one of those  “singing fish,” made outta poo-poo. At least they sound like they’re made outta crap!

But, I’ve gotta draw this post to a close. You go off and think about what we’ve learned here… whatever that was!

Me? I’m gonna go eat some more broccoli. I’ve got some tradin to do…

“What? MY poop is worth way more than YOUR poop. Aren’t you paying attention? I’m the KING OF CRAP! I’m gonna need three bags of biofuel if you wanna trade!” 🙂

And I thought that “Carbon Trading” was crazy…

The Renaissance RoninPS. I was just kidding… about “Alabama.” Kinda. As for the rest of the stuff… You were thinking it too! Admit it! I’m not the only one who thinks like this!
Or am I? Uh-oh…
And remember, we accept donations. But NOT poop! I mean, I wouldn’t want you to get in trouble with the Post Office… 🙂

Using Popcorn As Fuel!

3 Mar

Greetings… fellow campers!

As my family builds it’s new abode, one steeped in “Corten Controversy” and “imminent catastrophe,” (if you listen to the “idiot” neighbors) we’ve been thinking about how we’re gonna power this steel-clad beast, and stay off the grid.

It’s not bad enough that we’re using Shipping Containers as structure, to build our house. Or, for that matter, that we’re using “recycled materials and garbage” to finish the house out…

We’ve even (gasp!) dared to try and establish some independence and just provide for ourselves, without the intervention of those evil British bastards that want to keep taxing our tea! 😉

Whaaa? Where did that come from? Never mind that last part… I’m just having a relapse…

We’re using Photovoltaics to make power, but we’re NOT going to use a connection to the grid. Where we live, the power company is just too difficult to deal with.


Between “bonds” to protect THEM against damages and the outrageous charges they attach to “our attachment,” we’re just gonna use batteries, and rely on ourselves. “Net Metering” is great, but not if you have to take medication to get through all the politics and paperwork…

We’re not in “Wind Country” so a wind turbine is out of the question. And, we’re not on a river, stream, or even a good flowing bay, so “tidal power” ain’t gonna happen either.

Now, my wife suggests that; “We should just use HOT AIR.” She seems to think we have it in an almost unlimited supply, to hear her go on, and on, and on… about it.

(But I still can’t figure out where she’s got it hidden. I’ve looked everywhere, and I can’t find it!) 😉

So, we’ve opted for a generator (can you say; “Army Surplus?” I knew you could…)  that we’ll use to top off an ocean of deep-cycle batteries when we can’t get enough power from the sun…

And, we want that “generated power source” to be as “green” as the rest of the house. So we’re looking at fuels to “power the power…”

Now, I’m a firm believer in “Bio-Fuel.” I’ve got some experience making it, and I never had any difficulties. It’s stable, reliable, and I love the smell of “french fries” in the morning!

I’ve even thought about ethanol. After all, if I can make my own… um… er… libations (Shhhhhhh! Don’t tell ATF!) I can make fuel, right? And that brings us to (Da-da-da-daaaaaa!) the topic of the day;



Talk about the bad idea of the century! Greed has no boundaries, and it appears… no common sense, either! What a bunch of losers…

So… It was only a matter of time…

Corn based ethanol has become the “OMG” of the decade. I’m frankly surprised that it wasn’t thought thru clearly enough, before millions of dollars were invested in a road that would ultimately (and obviously) lead to a dead end.

The idea of using a “food” as a fuel source, especially one as important globally as CORN, was one glaring “Whaaaa?”

corntoonThe prospect of spending more “fuel” to make it, that you actually achieve, was another…

This week, corn-based ethanol died, again…

Production suspensions and/or layoffs were reported by Pacific Ethanol in California, Coshocton Ethanol in Ohio, Northeast Biofuels in New York, and Nova Biosource Fuels in Illinois.

Pacific Ethanol said it would shut down production at 60 Mgy corn ethanol facilities in Burley, Idaho and Stockton, California, citing “economic conditions.”

And this is just the latest in a migration that is starting to resemble the Hebrews fleeing Egypt! Anybody who is dependent on a “Corn-fired” Ethanol plant is headed for the unemployment lines, I’m afraid! It’s the workers I feel sorry for…

The beancounters and CEOs are all doing the “monkey dance” trying to figure out how to get their grubby little hands on some “Stimulus Cash!” I wonder if they’re flying their corporate jets to Washington, and Limo’ing to Congress, with their outstretched paws waiting for “a taxpayer bailout?” I hope not.

Translation: They’re scared and they’re losing their um… er… shirts…

I could have saved them all a lot of trouble, but did they ask me? Nope! Knuckleheads! Everybody knows that the best way to get “power” out of corn, is to consume  it with chili! Add some cold beer and a football game, and you’ve got “Mississippi Mecca!” 😉

So… Stick a fork in her… she’s a goner!

I suppose that the thing we can thank corn-based ethanol for is the progress in “thinking” it created, on the road to algae-based fuels…


Good thing, too… I’d be pissed off, if they turned all my popcorn into power…

Me and “old Orville” would have to start kickin’ some butt! 😉


Stay tuned!

The Renaissance Ronin

How having “Beer-breath” can actually save the planet!

6 Feb

Now, if you’ve been following along…

You already know that my family is all about scrounging in the garbage…  um… er… recycling.

You also know that we’re building a home out of recycled Shipping Containers.


Yep those 40′ “Boxes O Blight” (this according to the neighbors, and those “experts” down at Planning and Zoning) are going to be turned into a multilevel palace where this “Grand Puhbah of Prognostication…”

(Okay… I admit it, the title is self-appointed! I even made myself a really cool “proclamation!)

… can continue telling anyone who will listen that saving the earth isn’t just for Zealots and “Eco-whackjobs!” It can actually enrich your life, save you money, and help your family.

And all that hard work gives me a headache. So, every once in a while I retreat to “daddy space,” to just contemplate my navel, and take a deep breath…

But just like recycling, nothing is actually “free…”

You know, there is nothing worse than my wife intruding into the “Man Cave” to holler at me about chores, while I’m drinking a frosty brew and watching a game! Talk about a “buzzkill!”

Finally, there’s a way to save the environment and drink a frosty brew at the same time!

From Earth2Tech: “Dude, DIY Ethanol From Beer Yeast. Totally brewtastic!…

Now there is a home ethanol kit that runs off of discarded beer yeast.

Let me repeat that for the hearing impaired…

Now there is a home ethanol kit that runs off of discarded beer yeast.


The entrepreneurs behind startup E-Fuel, who have been hawking a washer-and-dryer-sized home ethanol system called the E-Fuel 100 MicroFueler, tell me that they’ve done a deal with Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. to use the beer maker’s yeast waste as a feedstock.


So, the next time my wife decides to interrupt “Lager Time…” I’m gonna bow right up and tell her that “I’m not just laying around drinking beer… I’m just doing my part to save the planet!”


Stay tuned!

The Renaissance Ronin

Note: In “celebration” of both winter, and “frozen friends…” I give you a new header photo “Container Cabin in the Sky!” Some of you will recognize the cabin, it’s a “Stankey Monument.”

Ethanol – the next EVIL fuel…

26 Dec

Here at RenaissanceRonin, we are always on the lookout for ways to become more independent, and even save a few bucks…

After all, we’ve become known as “psychopathic nutjobs…” um… er… “disciples of DDRRR…”

No! Not that! We hardly ever drool with spittle dribbling down our chins… It stands for “Demolition, destruction, reconstruction, remodeling, and reusing…” everything from shipping containers to aircraft hangar parts.

Okay, so Josh drools, but he has an excuse… he’s teething… Sheesh!

And, we’re always on the lookout for new ways to make a buck go farther. We love wind power (here at RenaissanceRonin, my wife says that I can generate all the wind we need… usually during confrontations with our nosy neighbors…) LOL!

We’re advocates of solar energy (especially when you can aim the reflection off your solar panels into the cantankerous next door neighbors windows…) LOL!

AND… the idea of making your own bio-fuel just makes us want to bust out in song, and serenade the gawds… (with a bullhorn, at 3am, because that’s when the gawds pay the most attention! Neighbors, too… Sheesh! ) LOL!

But, I suspect that people are taking this ethanol thing just a little bit too far…

It’s official… Ethanol has become the EVIL fuel…

In Kosovo, police seized a truck loaded with 711 gallons of ethanol, which they say was intended for use in spiking drinks in the capital city of Pristina. Bar patrons have been complaining that bar owners have been adding ethanol to imported alcohols to improve their profits. The ethanol is reportedly produced in Serbia, and is presumably not de-natured.

Now, I’ve heard of “corn liquor,” in fact… some of my southern relatives are “professionals,” according to the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms… LOL! But, I think that somebody has violated the “spirit that was intended” for the use of this “revolutionary” new fuel.

Just be glad they weren’t in Japan!

In Japan, a research team at Shizuoka University has developed new techniques for conversion of bamboo to ethanol. The team has developed a means of improving the efficiency of conversion of cellulose to glucose by 2 percent to 75 percent, and expects to raise that result to 80 percent in the future. The team said that its process reduces the cost of bamboo ethanol production to $4.18 per gallon, based on the 80 percent conversion efficiency.

Okay, so it’s cool that they can use a fast growing, sustainable resources like bamboo, to make fuel. But, at $4.18 per gallon, is it really a good idea? I mean, I just drove past several gas stations, and the fuel was averaging about $1.66 a gallon… At $4 bucks a gallon… I don’t want any… LOL!

And, if the Japanese follow the example of the Kosovoians… having a nightcap will cost more than purchasing one of them small cars the Japanese are so famous for!!! LOL!

But hey, you can always pour your “after-party leftovers” in the gas tank, and get your DUI with an “environmental sake-fueled flair!” LOL!

Okay… okay… I’m going now… I gotta batch of “Bamboo Beer” brewing, and I need to taste-test it… Wouldn’t want it to “turn…” Remember campers, quality control is vital to the creation of a successful product… LOL!

Stay tuned!

The Renaissance Ronin

On a more serious note: Eartha Kitt, a sultry singer, dancer and actress who rose from South Carolina cotton fields to become an international symbol of elegance and sensuality, has died, a family spokesman said. She was 81. Kitt, who was recently treated at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, died Thursday in Connecticut of colon cancer.

Now, Ronin has poked a stick at Eartha (and it was all in fun), but she was a remarkable woman, full of talent. Even our children know who she was, after her incredible performances with the Disney bunch…

eartha-kittGoodbye Eartha, we’ll miss you! RIP…