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"The Girl in the Red Hoodie" - A book about boxing, survivalism, foraging and hunting

"The Girl in the Red Hoodie" is an unusual book and I felt I should mention it on here because the characters in the book end up living "off grid" by the end of the book, using foraging, gardening, fishing and hunting to survive. Plus books are one of the best sources of entertainment when you are living off grid.

The book starts off in January 2020 and presents an alternative history of what happens that year. No COVID. No pandemic. None of that.

Instead the main character, who works at her father's boxing gym and practices boxing, accidentally becomes a vigilante fighting against white supremacists who want to overthrow the Canadian government.

The CN Tower gets destroyed (as evidenced by the front cover of the book).


Nuclear weapons get stolen from an air force base in Alaska.

Nuclear apocalypse.

Russia invades Canada and the USA.

The main character and her family have to survive in the wilderness by foraging, fishing and hunting - which means she has to learn how to do archery too.

It is like Red Dawn meets Rocky meets Rambo meets Robin Hood.



Charles Moffat is a Canadian fantasy author, artist and archery instructor. He primarily writes heroic fantasy, epic fantasy, dark fantasy and sword & sorcery. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two sons. When he is not writing he also enjoys archery, fishing, woodworking and bow making.

Horses Off Grid: Riding Lessons and Other Issues

The following post is a sequel to my older post:

Horses - Off grid care and maintenance for Equines

In the previous post I covered such topics as:

  • Cost of buying a horse (about $2000).
  • Vet bills ($11,000+ per year on average).
  • Horse shoes and farrier costs.
  • Feeding your horse.

Basically expect to be spending $15,000 annually on your horse, and that is assuming it doesn't get sick, eat a poisonous mushroom, or get seriously injured and end up with a vet bill of $50,000+.

Basically all you need to know is that horses are super expensive and they get sick/injured regularly.

But there are other issues to consider too.


Do you even know how to ride???

If you don't even know how to ride you have no business buying a horse and trying to use it for transportation when living on your off grid ranch, farm, homestead, cabin in the woods, etc.

You really should learn how to ride first.

And you cannot just read a book, subscribe to a magazine like Horse Sport Magazine or whatever in order to learn how to ride. It doesn't work that way. You need to physically get horse riding lessons or else you shouldn't be even attempting to ride a horse.

So here's one location in Ontario to consider, but if you live in other parts of Canada then you need to research what else is near you.

Claireville Ranch located in Brampton (clairevilleranch.com) offers weekday ($35) and weekend ($40) trail rides, and breakfast rides ($85) which are more suitable for people who just want to try riding a horse and are not ready to commit to lessons. They also teach Western horse riding lessons. 8 lessons will cost between $400 to $440 to $520 depending on whether you want group lessons, semi-private lessons or private lessons. The riding lessons are 30 minutes long.

Note - Their prices might fluctuate from time to time. Last I checked trail rides at Claireville are now $50 each. I suspect the price went up due to the pandemic.

I am going to ask my friend/blogger colleague Rob Campbell if he wants to go riding there sometime. Should be good for some photography and a few blog posts.


So let's pretend you have taken the horse riding lessons, etc. You have the money to buy a horse, pay the vet bills/etc for 25 years (the average lifespan of a horse is 25 to 30 years)...

And you own land, you build a stables suitable for housing a horse (you don't want the stables to burn down either, like Sunnybrook Stables burnt down a few years ago).

Oh and insurance. You will want insurance on the stables.

And you will need a truck and a horse trailer for transporting your horse to the vet.

You have to make the lifelong commitment to being a "horse person". You can't go halfway with this. It is a lifestyle. People don't just go "I am going to buy horses!" one day and then change their mind a few months later. You have to truly commit.

It is a bit like getting married. Or getting a full body tattoo. Or amputating your arm because you didn't like it anymore. You do this and there should be no going back. (Especially if you amputate your arm. That definitely is not growing back...)

When you talk to people who are "horse people" you quickly realize that their horses are a bit like their babies. It is similar to someone who is a cat owner or a dog owner, but more than that. Most cat and dog owners don't spend $11,000 per year just on vet bills. They don't build a huge stables / house just for their cats and dogs. Cat and dog owners don't spend an hour every day mucking out the stables and cleaning their pet's feet. A horse owner has gone over the edge and is in love with their horses so they're willing to muck out the stables every day, even when they're sick or injured, and to clean their horse shoes every day. (This is why a lot of horse owners keep their horses at a stables that rents out space and services. They aren't living off grid with their horses.)

It is a truly serious commitment. You don't just buy horses because "I am going to use them for riding around off grid on my homestead in the woods." You need to be truly and utterly committed to the task of owning and caring for an animal that depends on you to live.

What if you get sick or injured and you forget to go feed your horse because you live alone in a cabin in the woods? Or if you forget to give your horse water. If your horse goes 48 hours without water it will get colic and possibly die. Five days without water and your horse will die of dehydration.

If you're not serious about being a horse owner then you shouldn't bother being one.

Go get a four-wheeler instead if you want something that is low maintenance that can get you around on your off grid property. Leave the horses to the horse people who are seriously in love with these majestic animals.

How Did Las Vegas Become Solar Efficient?

By Ika

In 2017 Las Vegas decided that all facilities and buildings will 100% run on renewable energy. So Las Vegas is on its way to becoming one of the biggest cities in the US that is using solar energy in high percentage. Las Vegas is the city that never sleeps - literally.

Hotels, casinos, and all neon signs make it famous. They never turn off their lights. In addition, all the various devices, machines, and mechanisms in elevators, pools, and other architectural elements use a lot of energy. Poker tables, slot machines, big flashy screens, and lights on various stages for performers, the list goes on. On the other hand, if you want to be a frugal and energy-efficient person, you can always just play Pokemon Go on your smart device and not lose a cent. Online services are a great addition to becoming environmentally conscious. But, of course, other users want to have that brick-and-mortar face-to-face casino experience, which is why engineers and architects are always on the lookout for the most efficient energy source, one being solar.

1kw of electric energy made with solar panels on the roof in Las Vegas generates 1 570 kWh per year. The average price of a solar system in Las Vegas is 2.66$ per watt. Every solar panel user in America can claim 26% of the solar system costs as a deduction on tax liability.

Solar Panels for Las Vegas Personal and Business Buildings

Nine and a half years is the estimated time to return the investment in the solar system in Las Vegas, and it shows through utility bill savings. In Las Vegas are numerous businesses that work with solar panels. An average family home that is 2500 square feet uses about 12 815 kWh per year. It leads to the 8.17kW amount of power that the house needs. A House of this size needs 27 solar panels of 300 watts. Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) agreed with the biggest casinos in Las Vegas. Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts, and Sands Corp can stop using NV Energy. These big Las Vegas businesses use vast amounts of electric energy per year. They are looking for retrieving energy in solar or wind. Wynn Resorts already announced they would use solar arrays to use solar energy as the leading power supplier and turn to it 100% at some point.

Las Vegas – One of the Leaders in the Solar Industry

Solar power from NV energy price is about 48% of megawatt. They can store about 100 megawatts. So NV Energy is a very affordable solution for businesses in Las Vegas.

According to reports, Las Vegas is in the top 10 lists of biggest solar energy suppliers in the US. In addition, Las Vegas is in the top 10 according to annual reports made by Environment America Research and Policy Center. Las Vegas is seventh place in solar energy supply per capita and tenth place in total supply based on the entire city amount.

If you are interested in turning your home or business center into an efficient solar place, that is an intelligent step. In the long term, using solar energy is one of the smartest moves that you can make. It is suitable for the environment, and it is cost-effective.

Off the Grid Internet via Smart Cars

By Ika. Edited by CM.

Cars are getting smarter and more connected. When you are living off the grid, but want access to the internet having a smarter car which is connected to the internet - and has good processing power - might be a more viable solution than having to drive into town every time you want to use the wifi at the local Starbucks or cafe.

The modern technology world is evolving every second. In-car internet has been standard for almost a decade. Integration of the Internet was a groundbreaking moment that was the main priority in the car industry from 2010. and fast-forward to 2021. web browsers are becoming standard in the car industry. In 1970, Ericsson invented in-car phones, from simple dialing and calling to the landline, and cars evolved to have modern technology. Now, almost every new car has an infotainment center that provides you with car diagnostics, music, and videos. But, if you are still looking for something more, built-in web browsers are the thing you're probably in search of during your commutes.
Web Browsing While in the Traffic Jam

According to NHTSA high number of 660,000 drivers are using cell phones in the car at some point in the day. In addition, 36% of drivers use smartphones while waiting at the stop sign, red light, or in a traffic jam. To prevent that, car manufacturers are developing web browsers that are built-in cars. According to Tesla, their in-dash touchscreen browser was the first of that kind as a part of standard equipment. In addition, Tesla has a 17-inch touchscreen tablet that has replaced the classic central console.

Statistics show that people are using web search all day. In the morning, drivers search finance and news site, and later through day entertainment sites. Light reading, games, applications, and social media are visited in the afternoon, especially if you drive something like a Tesla car with such a big screen that it's hard not to use it.

If you are plan to make it a habit, too, you have to have in mind that some of the older car models, especially Tesla cars, may not have enough power to run a bit more demanding website. For example, some people have conducted experiments by playing online games like World of Warcraft in the 2013 Tesla Model S, where they found out that its processing internals is not strong enough to run a more demanding online game like that. However, they did hop into a newer 2021 Model 3 afterwards, and there the game worked without any hiccups.
Development of the Internet in Vehicles

At the beginning of adding innovative technology to the cars, IoV consists of sensors and smart terminals. IoV (Internet of Vehicles) created a network of intelligent devices from vehicles and other elements in the environment. Based on that, SIoV got developed - SIoV stands for Social Internet of Vehicles. SUV represents all innovative elements that enable car guidance in real-time. In addition to that, adding web browsers as a standard part of the car equipment is a logical follow-up. Tesla developed a web browser for cars based on Chromium. Chromium is Google's open-source web browser that takes on the popular Google Chrome. Google Chrome is one of the most popular desktop and mobile applications.
Volvo has a web search based on HTML 5, and their web search doesn't allow open animated pictures, videos, or music but provides search information. We will see in what direction Volvo will develop its web search. Some high-class cars will have upgraded internet options soon to stay on track with modern technological evolution. We are sure that the car industry will make web browsers a standard part of car equipment in years to come.

Quitting my day job on October 31st 2024

On October 31st 2024 I am going to quit my day job. It will be a Thursday.

Why will I be quitting my day job?

Well, if all goes well with book sales as an author (see amazon.com/author/moffat) then I will have reached the point where I will no longer need to work at my regular job and can focus instead on my writing career.

How did I manage to calculate this?

Well... My book sales have been doing really well during the past 3 years. They keep tripling (or more) in volume (and profits) every year. So much so that by 2025 I will be making more money off my book sales than I will be off of my regular job. Way more money.

Being able to live in a cabin in the woods (or an off grid house) is the dream of many writers, as is the dream of becoming a professional full time writer. And my dream is slowly becoming a reality.

I only need to keep on writing, keep getting book sales, keep getting 4/5 star reviews for another...

1,179 days.

That isn't that long to wait really. I will be 45 years old by then.

The thing about book sales is that it is all about residual income. Regardless of whether you go the traditional publishing route (where they pay you a lump sum advance and then residuals) or if you self-publish (where you get all of the profit, but it comes more slowly in the form of larger residuals), the result is roughly the same: Continuing profits over a longer time period.

In fact there is an argument these days that self-publishing is actually more profitable for the writer because their books never get pulled off the shelves and disappear, whereas that can happen to older authors who will see their books discontinued due to lack of sales.

So the book selling market is naturally shifting towards more self-publishing and authors realizing that maybe traditional publishing isn't all it is cracked up to be. Works great for brand name authors like Stephen King and George R. R. Martin, but for authors who want to be able to support themselves financially it makes more sense to just focus on self-publishing and then only get a literary agent to push books that the author thinks could be a bestseller.

Eg. I am currently working on a literary fantasy which I am planning to get an agent for. The agent will get 15% of whatever the book sells for to a publisher, but it saves me the stress of having to go through the whole querying process and trying to decide which publisher to go with. By using an agent I get to relax and let them do the hard task of finding the right publisher.

Now the whole quitting my day job on October 31st 2024 idea assumes a number of things...

#1. My annual book sales continue to skyrocket at a rate of 3 times the previous year for the next 3-4 years.

#2. I don't get in some horrible accident that restricts my ability to write / come up with new stories.

#3. I don't change my mind about quitting my day job on that date.

#4. That I remember I wrote this and set it as a goal.

That's really what I am doing right now. I am setting a goal of quitting my day job so I can relax, write, buy an off grid home, and focus on the things that make me happy.

After all who would do all that if it was NOT making you a happier person?

For those other people who are looking to quit their day job and/or find a different way of supporting yourself financially, I wish you luck!

Now go browse my books and buy one! They're available in paperback/ebook and you can use the ISBN number to order from your local bookstore if you want to.


One Way To Make Money Off Grid: The Stock Market

 Let's pretend you finally found that perfect place to build an Off Grid home. You build it, you add solar and wind power, you have a garden that supplies 70% of your food needs, you have chickens which supply another 20% of your food needs (in either poultry meat or eggs), and you are fishing regularly. Maybe even hunting a few times per year for rabbits, turkeys or deer.

So you're all set for food, shelter and electricity.

You even have the internet.

But how do you make money so you can also pay for your land taxes and anything else that you might need?


Well, if it was me, I would just be offering archery lessons, horse riding lessons, and equestrian archery lessons. But not everyone is an archery instructor.

Some people have skills that can easily be bartered so they can make money on the side.

Eg. Training disobedient dogs so they stop being such a problem. A professional dog trainer typically charges $35 to $120 per hour, and it is definitely a skill you can do when living in a region where a lot of people own dogs.

And doubtlessly you have other skills that are well paying, the trick is finding the clients.

Another route, if you're willing to take the time to research things and you have money set aside, is to invest in the stock market.

This can be a very lucrative way to make money, but it often requires a sharp mind, and an eye for investment opportunities. Not everyone can do this and make large sums of cash.

If you're new to investing in the stock market I recommend starting with a platform that has low fees (or almost zero fees) for investing.

For example, TD Waterhouse charges you $9.99 per purchase - which is a ridiculous sum if you only want to invest $100 per month. It means you are paying $100, but only getting $90 worth of stocks, and you're hoping it goes up at least 10% so that you get your money back on the trade. Plus that is just the purchasing fee. They have other fees to for everything they do. Nothing is free because TD Waterhouse is an investment bank and as a bank their primary goal is to charge ridiculous bank fees and make lots of money off the fees. Thus TD Waterhouse is really only geared towards rich people with tonnes of money who can afford to be paying such a ridiculous fee just for 1 trade. Plus then there is the matter of Canada's Capital Gains Tax (on whatever profit you make from stock sales), so investing via a company like TD Waterhouse is just a really stupid idea when you consider both the fees and the taxes.

And you have to wonder what your $9.99 is going towards, because it isn't going to a person who is manually buying the stocks for you. It is all managed by a computer anyway. So why are the fees so damn high?

Meanwhile another Canadian company like Wealthsimple, which operates as an app on your cellphone, and is geared towards everyone, has zero fees per trade because they make their money in a different manner for premium services like currency conversion, an account management fee of 0.5% for balances $99,999 and less or 0.4% on balances above $100,000, and a 0.2% fee when people buy ETFs.

So really you end up spending very little on fees, and it is very affordable for average Canadians who likely have less than $10,000 to invest.

And right now, thanks to a special promotion, you can win 2 free stocks just by joining Wealthsimple.

Use this link to join and get TWO free stocks to trade 🤑 https://my.wealthsimple.com/app/public/trade-referral-signup?code=I30GVG

The way it works is you join, deposit at least $100 into your trading account, and you win the equivalent of 2 free stocks, but they give it to you in cash instead of the actual stock (which you can then use to buy either that stock or different stocks).

When I first joined they were only offering 1 free stock, but I got lucky and won 1 stock of Intel, which was priced at $69.10 at the time. So my $100 investment quickly earned me a profit of $69.10.

I then took $50 worth of that and invested in a Canadian company that makes drone delivery software (FLT / Drone Delivery Canada Corp, which is currently a $270 million company and growing...) and drones, and I suspect they (or companies like them) will someday put pizza delivery and Amazon delivery people out of business, because everything will be delivered by drones instead sometime during the next 10-20 years.

At which point the stock I purchase for relatively little could be worth a lot more. The company is already valued at $270 million, but when drone delivery becomes super popular I expect such a company will be worth billions.

And that $50 I used for the initial investment, I got it for free just for signing up.

At present I am investing $1200 during 2021 ($100 per month for the year) and my plan during 2022, assuming that I am doing well financially, is to continue to invest more by raising the amount I am investing per month to $250.

Why $250?

Because Wealthsimple allows you to deposit $250 into your trading account with zero fees and zero waiting, but only once every 3 days. This is another way they make their money. If you want to deposit more than that then there is a 3 day wait for larger deposits, or you can get it done faster by paying a $3 subscription fee so you can deposit $1000 instantly.

So the basic service is free, and you're only really paying a lot more if you're looking to invest a lot more in a hurry (which you should not be doing anyway if you're not familiar with how the stock market works).


So during 2022 my plan is to be investing $250 per month, for a total of $3000 for the year. And keep doing that during 2023, 2024, etc. I may raise the amount I invest over time, but for now this is my plan. It would nice to someday be investing $1000 per month, but this is a good plan for now.

I have also come up with some guiding principles for how I choose to invest in stocks.

#1. I am only investing in Canadian Stocks.

Why? See my "Stock Tip for Canadians" further below and you will see why the Canadian-US dollar exchange rate makes a big difference. You really don't want to invest an American stock, and then the Canadian dollar goes up in value, and your potential earnings effectively go down in value. Read the section further below and you will see what I am talking about.

#2. I am only investing in stocks for Long Term Gains.

I am fundamentally only looking at stocks with a great track record for going up in value over a 5 or 10 year period.

Eg. Look at the WELL (WELL Health Technologies Corp.) stock further below and how it went up in value 5644% during a 5 year period. Someone who bought that stock when it was only 12 cents is probably pretty pleased with themselves years later when they sell it for $7.18.

By only looking for stocks which make impressive long term gains I am admittedly limiting myself to those stocks which I think I can invest a small amount now for a big pay off later. Eg. If I had purchased $60 of WELL at 12 cents per share, that $60 investment would now be worth $3,590.

#3. I am only investing in what I call "Darling Stocks".

Darling Stocks are special in my opinion. They're very good if you want to make long term investments. Here are three examples of what I consider to be Darling Stocks.

See those nice upward curves? Now you will note that PLC (Park Lawn Corp) had a blip there at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, but you will also note that the stock quickly recovered. That tells me that this is a stock that can survive economic difficulties and keep thriving.

Likewise KL (Kirkland Lake Gold) also had a blip during the start of the Coronavirus Pandemic, but similarly recovered and I believe will continue to go up in value when the pandemic is over.

Want more Darling Stock Tips? Visit darlingstocks.blogspot.com

#4. I don't invest in any stocks I don't agree with.

I don't want my money going towards a company I don't like. Simple as that.

Eg. I don't invest in oil stocks. For several reasons. 1. Finding a "Darling" oil stock is basically impossible. Most oil stocks fluctuate so much with oil prices that they are inherently risky. 2. I just don't like them. To me oil stocks are dinosaurs.

Instead what I am looking at is a company that makes hydrogen powered trucks and buses, because that is the future. Hydrogen power is going to be big as the oil industry becomes extinct. If you think Tesla is a great stock right now, fine, but I think Tesla is just a stepping stone towards hydrogen powered cars, which can be refueled faster and have longer ranges than electric cars. So any company with a Darling curve that is making hydrogen tech is the future and a smart investment in my opinion.

#5. I don't invest in any stock I haven't researched.

You have to do the research. See what the company does. See what they make. Does their business model have a future? How did they weather the economic problems of the pandemic? How did they survive the 2007-2008 financial crisis? What are they doing right now?

Eg. Yesterday I was researching Elon Musks "Boring Company" which isn't currently available on the stock market, but I suspect that someday it will be. What makes the Boring Company interesting to me is that they can bore a 1 mile long tunnel for $10 to $15 million USD. Meanwhile other companies in the USA are doing that same thing, but it is costing between $300 million to $2.5 billion per mile in the USA just to make a 1 mile long tunnel.

The technology the Boring Company has been coming out with (automation, smarter technology, more efficient designs, etc) is making tunnel boring cheaper and more efficient means that in 20 years I suspect all of the other tunnel boring companies will be out of business and the Boring Company will likely have a monopoly.

So when that stock comes out I would be very tempted to buy it, even though it is an American stock.

#6. My eye is on the future.

Every stock market investor wishes they had a crystal ball to see the future. For myself I am looking for trends and investment opportunities based on those trends.

More people shopping online? Gotta invest in Shopify stock.

More companies needing gold for electronics. Gotta invest in Canadian gold mining companies.

More people ordering things that get delivered via drones, making delivery people obsolete. Gotta invest in companies that do that.

#7. Diversify!

Currently I never invest more than $100 on an individual company. My goal is to own stocks in many different companies, some of which will make modest gains, and others which might large (or huge!) gains. While some might actually go down in value, but overall by owning a wide variety of stocks in the Canadian economy I ultimately benefit from whenever the Canadian economy is doing well.

And since many of Canada's biggest companies are mining companies, it means I am investing heavily in gold, silver, copper and mineral mining. Fortunately there are a lot of Canadian mining operations which have very attractive Darling curves.

However I also recognize that tech stocks are the ones that are the most likely to go up 2000% to 5000% in a five year period, so buying $100 worth of stock from such a company and later selling it for $2000 to $5000 is definitely something worth doing.

Having a more diverse portfolio of stocks also means your investments can more easily survive economic hurdles whenever the economy sours or hits a speed bump. Some stocks will go up and others will go down when such things happen, but if you own a variety of everything then it won't bother you so much.

#8. I only invest money I can afford to lose.

$50 to $100 on individual companies is not a large amount. If I lose a little, but gain a lot then my investment strategy is still working. Nobody will care if I lose $25 on one stock, but I gain $500 on a different stock.

I am not making huge investments in individual companies. There is another reason why I like Wealthsimple... They recently introduced a new option to buy percentages or fractions of a stock. So for example if you want to buy $100 of Shopify (which is currently trading at $1600 per share), well, you can do so. You only get one sixteenth of a share, but it allows you to invest in bigger companies that you would otherwise not be able to buy because their stocks are so ridiculously expensive.

And I can afford to lose $100 if the Shopify stock later goes down. No biggie. But if you look at the history of Shopify, and how that company definitely has a future as more people are shopping online, well then it is probably a very safe investment.


Only buy American stocks when the Canadian dollar is at par or above parity with the US dollar. (This often happens when oil prices are really high, so if you wait for parity to happen this will be a good time to make some long term investments in American stocks.)

So for example, let's say you buy $10,000 worth of Google stock when the CDN dollar is on par with the US dollar. Then you wait 2 years, the Canadian dollar drops in value by 20%, but Google might go up in value by 20%. You sell it for 10,000 x 1.2 x 1.2 = $14,400 CDN thanks to the exchange rate.

So you just got a return of 44% for a 2 year investment in a stock that is pretty much guaranteed to go up.

However let's pretend you did the opposite... bought the stock when the CDN dollar was down in value, and sold the stock when the CDN dollar was up in value and on par.

So 10,000 x 0.8 x 1.2 = 9,600 CDN.

See the problem? Even though the stock went up in value by 20%, you still lost money because of the initial exchange rate.

And this is why Canadians should NEVER invest in American stocks unless the exchange rate is in your favour, and you should only sell that stock when the exchange rate benefits you selling for a bigger difference.

Unless of course you like losing money even when your stock goes up. You'd have to be a bit soft in the head to not be paying attention to the exchange rate. You have to be extra careful when buying any American stocks when the Canadian dollar fluctuates so easily with oil prices.

So how do you make money Off Grid by investing?

Well, there is also something called Day Trading. I am definitely not an expert on this, but it is a lucrative way to be investing in the stock market on a daily basis, wherein you buy one day, wait a day to see if it goes up dramatically, and then sell immediately. That is day trading in a nutshell. You're basically looking for stocks that are going up 10% or 20% per day - often companies that are currently in the news - and then you are effectively gambling that they will continue to go up long enough for you to make a profit, and then you sell before it drops back down again in price.

Eg. Tesla releases a new type of car, you buy their stock, the price of their stock goes up 10% in the same day, you sell the same day or the next morning and collect your profits.

Is it riskier? Absolutely. You're not so much investing in a company as you are gambling that it will go up during a 24-48 hour period. If you time it wrong you are either losing money or stock with a stock until it goes back in value.

Thus my opinion of day trading is that it is really only for people who truly know what they're doing. I will stick to my long term investments instead and companies I actually believe are the future.

Why has the Sun changed colour during the past 40 years?

Back in the 1980s and earlier, when we looked at the sun it looked distinctly yellow.


The reason the sun looks yellow to us on Earth is that our atmosphere scatters light from the sun; so the apparent color of the sun changes. This same scattering effect is why the sky looks blue in the day time instead of black, like at night.

However during the past 40 years the colour of the sun has changed, and the scattering effect isn't working any more. Our sun now appears to be white, not yellow.

Now you might wonder, wait what? What has changed???

Well a number of things have changed during the past 40 years.

#1. Our atmosphere has changed. Not a lot, but we definitely have more CO2 and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere now. The makeup of our atmosphere has thus effected the scattering of light.

#2. Our sun has changed its sunspot frequency. Our sun is continually changing and goes through an 11 year solar cycle in which sun spot frequency goes up and down, But roughly every 400 years our sun also goes through a different cycle which is longer, during which it reaches a "solar minimum" when sun spots drops to a really low number, it gives off less heat, and the sun's apparent colour also changes.

#3. The sun's electromagnetic sphere is so strong it effects the Earth's electromagnetic sphere. When the sun's electromagnetic sphere weakens it in turn effects the "solar weather" on the sun, and it effects the atmosphere, the atmospheric scattering effect, the earth's magnetic poles (you may have noticed the north pole is not in Canada any more, it is now in Russian territorial waters), and various other things. It is even theorized to effect volcanoes, earthquakes and hurricanes.

Altogether this spells disaster during the next 40 years as the sun continues to go through its solar minimum cycle. Go Google "Grand Solar Minimum" if you want to learn more about this topic.

So here is where it gets interesting...

The Grand Solar Minimums often coincides with climate change, social upheavals, and the collapse of empires. Basically the climate suddenly gets a lot colder during a period of roughly 44 years (or longer), and this leads to climate change, crop failures, food shortages, rebellions, governments being overthrown, empires being toppled, etc.

However at the same time we are also dealing with man-made climate change which is making it warmer.


Which will win?

Is man-made climate change stronger than the Grand Solar Minimum? Is man stronger than the sun? In which case maybe it will equal out and we won't notice any big differences in climate change?

Or are we looking at a very bizarre set of circumstances during the next 40+ years and we actually end up with global cooling instead of global warming?

The problem is we don't really know which of these two factors will win. It is kind of a 50/50 situation.

Which means that survivalists / preppers (and solar physicists) are looking at the climate science and going "Hmm???"

And honestly, I am not sure what will happen either.

The science of global warming and climate change is irrefutable.

But the Grand Solar Minimum is happening at the same time...

So it isn't really a done deal for either of them. We are basically looking at a "wait and see" situation where during the next 10 years we will learn which of these two things is more powerful. The sun, or man made global warming.

Wait and see.

In the meantime however I believe we should continue as if Global Warming will win, but prepare for the possibility of Rapid Global Cooling.

Either of these things could lead to massive social unrest if the situation is managed poorly.

Survivalism in Texas / How to Build a Brick Stove

 If you've been watching the news lately coming out of Texas you have conclude the following:

#1. Texans almost never see snow. The blizzard has basically paralyzed them because they don't know what to do with the stuff.

#2. Texans don't own snow tires. Hence all the car accidents.

#3. Texans are not used to heating their homes using a fireplace, wood stove, oil furnace, wood furnace, or any other means.

#4. Texans are not used to being without electricity.

#5. The electrical grid in Texas was a giant catastrophe waiting to happen because nobody was maintaining it.

#6. The coal, gas and nuclear power generators are all failing in Texas because nobody thought to winterize their systems like they do in other states.

#7. Very few people in Texas know how to build a fire that doesn't involve burning their house down.

So let's tackle that last part today.

How to Build a Brick Stove or Fireplace

#1. Find or buy some bricks. Old bricks or new. Doesn't matter.

#2. Make some mortar / cement. You can mix it in a bucket if your have to. Avoid touching the stuff with your bare skin.

#3. Based on the number of bricks you have decide on a design that makes sense and makes an efficient use of your bricks. You may need to calculate how many bricks you need for each part of the stove or chimney.

#4. Build your stove or chimney close to a window through which you can put pipes to the exterior of your home so that the smoke has somewhere to go. Alternatively you may need to renovate / build a chimney along with your fireplace.

#5. Build it!

  • Apply the mortar to one end of each brick evenly before adding it to the brick beside it.
  • Add a layer of mortar each time you finish one layer of bricks.
  • Remember that corner bricks need to have the mortar added to part of the side of the brick, not the end.
  • If building a stove remember to find something that makes a suitable door.
  • If building a fireplace then some people will want some kind of steel mesh or something similar to avoid sparks from igniting things near the fireplace.
  • You may need to build some kind of stonework or brickwork near or around the fireplace for safety reasons.

Building a stove or fireplace isn't much more complicated than building a set of Lego blocks. It isn't really that hard to build, it just takes time and effort. If you can build a brick BBQ in your backyard then you can build a fireplace or a stove in your home. The biggest difference is that you need a pipe or a chimney to get rid of the smoke.


 I found a new company in Canada that makes and sells crossbows:


I was previously only aware of Excalibur, which is now unfortunately owned by Bowtech (an American company) which bought out the smaller Canadian crossbow manufacturer a few years ago.

And while I am a big fan of Excalibur, my preference would be to buy things from Canadian companies whenever possible (especially companies owned by Canadians).

What I especially like about the CrossbowCanada models is the wood stocks on Jaguar model.

And this is an issue for me. A lot of modern crossbows are quite ugly. But the Jaguar is quite beautiful and classical. Like a beautifully carved wooden staircase.

There are certain elements of crossbow design which are utilitarian, but there are other aspects which can be quite beautiful when a company decides to put in the effort.

Eg. Imagine the crossbow stock above, but switch out the type of wood used for mahogany, black walnut or zebra wood.

Wouldn't that be beautiful?

And if the owner later decides to buy a different crossbow and sell their old crossbow, having one that is beautiful also increases the resale value - and gives the company more prestige.

Making a Horsebow using bamboo and a coat hanger

Not my video, but I did particularly enjoy watching this video because it showed all the steps needing for making a horsebow using bamboo, glue, a coat hanger and a few other things.

Definitely helps to have a sander, a band saw and various other tools too. It isn't a very heavy poundage bow, but it looks nice and shoots well.

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