Simple Solar Heating for RVs

Having lived full-time in an RV for several years now, my "green" side tends to run wild at times yielding some interesting results. With the economy just totally sucking the way it does, and so many people ending up living in campers "not by choice", some of these quirky projects from my past may be invaluable. This will be the first of a series of posts where I share some of these projects.

For those of you living in a location that receives cold winters, this project might prove invaluable. It saved me hundreds of dollars in heating costs while living in central New Hampshire, and only cost less than $50 to set up!

Firstly, here's an animated gif that demonstrates simple passive solar heating. With just a basic understanding of how this works, you'll probably find yourself coming up with some pretty cool ideas on how to harness the power of the sun. Keep in mind that the amount of heat generated when sunlight hits black collector plates is substantial - up to 800 or even 1200 BTUs per square foot! That easily translated to air temperatures of 50 to 100 degrees warmer coming out of the heater than the air that goes in.

I tried various ideas, from what I called a "solar curtain" hung in my kitchen window to various simple window collectors made from old cardboard boxes spray painted black. They certainly worked, and worked well, but I knew I could do better. Plus, all the projects I had been trying would just recycle the stale indoor air. You see, I smoke cigarettes and absolutely refuse to "smoke outside" in the middle of a New Hampshire winter. I wanted a way to pipe in heated fresh air from outside.

The solution was to set up some solar collectors on the outside of my camper, one on each south-facing window. To ensure the temperature of the air coming in to the camper was good and hot, I used 12V computer fans (hooked into my RV's 12V system of course) to blow the air in through the window when a thermostat registers high enough temperatures.

The "collector plates" were simply thin sheets of wood, painted black and taped to the side of my camper. I used 1x2 lumber to create a simple frame for securing the clear plastic (.7 mil). The cold outside air entered through the bottom of the collector and heated up against the black collector plates. The heated air naturally rose to the top of the collector, where it was then blown inside by a computer fan.

Outside air temperatures were around 30 degrees on the day I took these photos. By 3:30pm, the temperatures inside the collector were over 110 degrees and the temperature of the air blowing into the camper was about 87 degrees.

Kitchen window collector
Fan is not in operation (note plastic flap)

Bedroom window collector
Fan in operation

Thermostat in operation
At 80* and above, the thermostat
sends 12V power to the fans
Air temperatures in operation
Numbers top to bottom:
temp of air blowing in, temp inside
the collector and humidity

A cheap programmable thermostat, set to the "cool" mode, monitored the air temperature inside the collector. When the temp was above my setting of 80 degrees, it sent power, as though it were turning on the AC, to the computer fans. When the air inside the collector cooled down, either because the sun was beginning to set or it had gone behind clouds, the thermostat stopped sending power and the fans shut off.

Like I said, this system saved me hundreds of dollars in heating costs over the course of that one winter, and the total cost to set it up was less than $50. There were problems with the system, of course: on windy nights, cold air would often sneak through creating drafts. Overall, though, this system was a huge success.

Watch for my post about a makeshift "sun room" made from plastic and electrical conduit that ended up saving me over a thousand dollars AND provided fresh greens all winter!


Those Damn Web Bots...Again and Again...

Thought I'd put a little bit up on the progress of the web bot predictions and how things have come to play out since the last update I posted, Latest Updates from Web Bots and Assange's Plan B. In that post I noted firstly the imminent "dam" near-disaster, related to it "nearly collapsing" or "scooting off its base", and being caught in the nick of time by "sharp eyes". As we know, just days later, 4,500 people were evacuated as water began seeping under the large dirt levy that held back the massive flood waters. Not quite a dam, per say, but it might as well have been.

Moving forward, I hadn't actually posted anything about the update Clif posted on January 4th about [logical frank] and the [testing] of [the Irish] [face]. In this update, stressing was done about the importance of the temporal marker nature of the "wild colleen" meme and the appearance of the "logical Frank" meme, along with the little red book. On this "logical Frank", Clif writes:

the [logical Frank] would have a [direct] and [leading] role relative to the [great global awakening] a2bka (also to be known as) from the point of view of the ThePowersThatWere, the 'great revolution'...It is the [great global awakening] that will define the underlying emotional 'tone' of this year, 2011. From our work, the data seems to be forecasting 2011 as a year of some significance, that is to say, a year of recognized, and fundamental, change.

He goes on to write that the linguistics specifically point to the period as being seen, from a future perspective looking back, as "monumental", though through our eyes as it unfolds as "epic".

The real key to all of this becomes "the Irish" being somehow "tested". Specifically, the "face" of "the Irish". This should take shape as we approach summer and be apparent around midsummer and heading out toward this fall, but I think we might get a serious taste of this in the next few weeks as things continue unfolding in this "global revolution" already well underway. For those of you living under a rock - yes, UNDERWAY. UNDERWAY, UNDERWAY, and UNDERWAY.

Of course, this started with protests in Tunisia on January 6th and 7th that led to the total revolt and ousting of government by the 14th.

Clif goes on to state that a woman will be the center of this "Irish face". Go figure. As I looked over the current US Saturn return, I picked up on a possible woman (signified by Venus with Neptune conjuncting the US natal Moon) being at the center of some controversy, and thus coming into the spotlight, occurring toward the end of March. I can't help but think this may be the time period where the final "wild Colleen" herself, acting as the "face" of "the Irish", comes into the spotlight. I mean, honestly, with astrology we see markers...get a general idea of things...and the general idea is that some form of political dissent will be brought forth over human rights issues, and these are tied inextricably with the "melting pot" and personal freedom loving natures of that US natal Moon. This is a unique marker in the progress of the US Saturn return and seems to point to a significant shifting on what we Americans think about over the next 7 to 14 years. If I'm right, the first signs of this would show up around February 14th in what could become called the "Valentine's Day Protests", as the Sun, Mercury and Mars transit this point.

This Saturn return is about a national face lift here in the US, but it has significant international ramifications as it's painfully clear that the spirit of the US is no longer confined to our tiny quadrant of the world. The "American Dream" has spread throughout the world and, in a very real sense, the fate of the world is directly tied to challenges we face in the US. Will we all come together in a great global protest against un-American ideals, or will we, the American's, take a back seat and let the rest of the world achieve what we once upon a time achieved, letting our own domestic situation degrade into what they face today? I suppose we'll find out soon.


Mike Ruppert Says We're In It

Here we go - Mike Ruppert is now telling us that we're in it - that this is, in fact, the beginning of the systemic collapse he's been calling for. One thing that comes to mind is the "mokers", as in "run amok", that the web bots have been pointing to...it certainly fits considering so many people are actually burning themselves alive in protest.

YouTube Link


The 8th US Saturn Return - Part 3

As we found in the study of previous Saturn returns (The 8th US Saturn Return - Part 1 and Part 2), every 28-30 years, the US is challenged by the transit Saturn over the US natal position. During each past occurance, problems with the structure of government were pushed into the public spotlight and the future course of the nation was decided by a single generation. The US was, in a sense, challenged to "grow up" and take on greater responsibilities through drastic reform in government structures. Often, there was also a cosmic call for humility.

The current Saturn return is likely no different, and the fate of the US again hangs in the balance. Today, we are in the midst of what may become known as the worst depression in US history, with prolonged and record levels of unemployment, blatant fraud and corruption running rampant throughout the highest levels of our economy, and sweeping policy changes, such as health care, being made (and possibly undone) in a mere matter of months. The US is entrenched in what has been dubbed a "global war on terrorism" at the same time as the nation has become intensely divided amongst itself over a veritable laundry list of political, social and economic issues. We are bombarded daily with headlines that scream at us the extreme importance of making the right choices today, and the dire consequences that await our nation if we don't.

In the conclusion to this extended three part posting, I will take a closer look into the current Saturn return. I'll begin by first analyzing the global and generational forces, namely those of Pluto, Neptune and Uranus, that give us clues to the forms of challenge the US currently faces. This will establish a sort of framework that was put forward during the initial transit of the Saturn return on December 3, 2010. I will then take a look at the more "personal" aspects of this return, taking into account other planetary transits, and the various aspects to the US natal chart, at the subsequent transit points of the Saturn return. This should give us the detail we need to "flesh out" the framework established.

In January of 2008, Pluto began it's 18 year long transit through the sign of Capricorn, which will culminate in 2022 with the first Pluto return to be experienced by the US. This sign placement has, as it did last between 1762 and 1777, turned the global focus toward revolutionary transformations in both government and "big business". The flavor of this transit has an organizational quality, lending to the structural, Saturnian nature of Capricorn, where new organizations are brought forth from individual desires for transformation.

December 3, 2010
December 3, 2010
Currently, Pluto is transiting the US natal 1st house, placing its influence on matters of personality. In fact, the nature of 1st house transits on the US chart could be said to define the "face" of the nation, both domestically and internationally. The 1st house acts as a dividing line between "self" and "other", represented in the opposing 1st and 7th houses. Activation of the 1st house by any planetary transits tend to focus a spotlight on this dividing line. In 2000, when Pluto entered the 1st house in Jupiter ruled Sagittarius, issues of personal freedoms and of philosophical or ideological conflicts, all Sagittarian issues, were dragged into this spotlight. The US quickly found itself at war with opposing ideologies all over the world through the expansive "War on Terror". Since entering Capricorn, however, this "expansive" nature of the war has been under constant public attack. A more conservative, Saturnian desire to define and restrict the line between "self" and "other" has taken the spotlight. Focus has turned toward the individual's place in the world, and toward the governmental structures that directly represent him. In a sense, the John Q. Public is being compelled to literally transform the "face" of the nation into a more accurate representation of himself.

Looking to Neptune, and the role it plays in defining the "American Dream" (see Part 2 for more on this), we find it conjunct the US natal Moon placement in Aquarius and the 3rd house. The US natal Moon here has often been thought to represent the "melting pot" mentality of the public, the high ideal of "equal rights", as well as the "Don't Tread on Me" attitude that the US has always held in high regard. Neptune in this place, however, is said to create a fog that causes confusion, and potentially delusion, surrounding the functioning of a natal planet. Neptune first moved into Aquarius in 1998 while in the US natal 2nd house, and it transited into the 3rd house, making its current conjunction with the US natal Moon, back in the early summer of 2008. This was just as the presidential election campaigns were reaching their fever-pitch. Neptune's transit here had led to a sense of confused devotional fanatiscism surrounding the campaigns, especially that of Obama who was heralded on more than one occassion as a messiah and was subsequently awarded a Nobel Peace Prize before he had even completed a year in office. Obvious, too, was the effect it has had on the campaigning of Sarah Palin and the continued frenzied support of Ron Paul.

As Neptune transits the rebellious sign of Aquarius and the 3rd house of mind, a push for more open and high-minded ways of thinking has, in fact, become important to the individual. The American Dream today is to actively stand up and fight for the highest ideals, including personal freedoms and the rights of man himself, rather than to stand by while a greedy and powerful elite strip these freedoms away. This placement of Neptune in the early 3rd house, however, is also a harbinger of lost direction and mistranslations. Neptune confounds the sense of logic while in the 3rd house, causing rational decision making to become difficult. With Aquarius considered the sign of the masses, this confusion becomes most apparant when looking at large groups of people.

A more intuitive approach to thinking is required under this placement, as Neptune is capable of revealing hidden truths while in this house. It can be expected, however, that neither will the books balance nor the truth be spoken with any sort of elloquence. Poetry, art and music become more effective means of communicating with this placement, and deep meditation or occultic research will prove fruitful. Public speeches and the figures of accounting will suffer. George W. Bush, with his natal Neptune placement in the 3rd house, shows us how difficult it can be to say what you mean under this influence with his countless blunders ("Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.").

Uranus, the planet of revolution itself, also is seen transiting late in the 3rd house, near the cusp of Pisces and Aries. It was last in Pisces during the Saturn return of the 1920s, which manifested as a sort of "drunken revolution". Since it entered Pisces in early 2003, it has called for a return to a conservative balance in all things, and to avoid the decadence of extremes that forever challenge planetary placements in Pisces. Just as it did then, it shows we are in a time of fiscal extremism where the money supply has been increased beyond all reason. The threat of the wrong decisions with this placement are clear, as 7 years after the Saturn return of 1922 and 1923, with Uranus transiting early in Aries, the US found itself experiencing the Great Depression.

So our framework is established, as Pluto tells of a time where the symbolic face of the nation is being transformed through radical adjustment of governmental structure and big business, and Neptune of a time where the American Dream itself has become an irrational, confused frenzy of devotional fanatiscism, personal freedoms and high ideals. Uranus tells us that the time of Piscean extremes and the "too much is never enough" mentality are nearing an end, that we may be about to experience an Aries induced financial hangover.

December 3, 2010
December 3, 2010
As we look to some of the aspects of these generational influences, we do find a spectacular opposition from Pluto to the natal US Jupiter and Venus conjunction at the first transit of this Saturn return. These planets, often considered the Greater and Lesser Benefics, respectively, play an integral role in international relations by their placement in the 7th house. Specifically, these planets lend a pleasantness to international affairs, and help ensure the US is held in high regard by our closest allies. With Pluto making an opposition to them, however, the very nature of these alliances is being pushed to transform, and the "self versus other" paradigm is again brought to mind.

The 7th house, however, defines all close relationships, both "good" ones and "bad". This opposition, then, also marks relations with US enemies. The placement of Jupiter conjunct with Venus has given the US an appearance of almost mystical strength to such "enemies" throughout much of American history, but this opposition is highlighting every weakness of the US on the world stage.

We also find a sextile from Uranus in Pisces to the natal Pluto position in Capricorn and the 2nd house. In this relationship, an easy exchange of energies between the revolutionary nature of the transiting Uranus and the transformational nature of the natal Pluto is being manifest through the push we see for revolution in our monetary policy. Debt has been called front-and-center, as it becomes the biggest hurdle to American progress. The US public has found itself shackled with credit card and mortgage debts that it simply can't pay, and big business is drowning in their pools of "troubled assets". Debt relief is on the ticket and Uranus is daring us to go for the ride.

Jupiter, itself loosely conjunct with transiting Uranus, is seen in a loose opposition to the natal placement of Neptune. This is marking a time when the American Dream is itself seemingly opposed to our own philosophical ideals and direction of growth. This can also be seen manifest in the financial troubles afflicting the country. Americans have found themselves unable to save, barely making it paycheck to paycheck, when they know that's exactly what they should be doing.

With Venus and the Moon transiting the 11th house in Scorpio, we glean an important element of how the return initially manifests itself. Specifically, we see a feminine energy, likely a woman, brought into the spotlight in the international affairs of the 11th house. This relates to secrets, which is the domain of Scorpio. The Sun is also seen conjuncting the natal ascendant, a time of world attention being focused, for better or worse, on the personality of the US itself.

Interestingly, on November 29th, just 5 days before the first transit of Saturn to its exact natal degree, WikiLeaks released the first group of US diplomatic cables. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was seen frantically traveling the world trying to minimize damage to international relations leading up to the release of what was subsequently dubbed "Cablegate". Since this time, of course, the US government has been publicly pursuing various ways in which to charge Julian Assange of WikiLeaks for espionage.

Also of note is the sextile aspect of transiting Mars in Sagittarius and the 1st house to the US natal Moon. This speaks clearly of anger relating to human rights, and matches nicely to that caused by the increased security at airports nationwide during the latter half of November. This reached it's climax just before the first transit of the current Saturn return, marking it as another key event in deciphering the root challenges facing the nation.

March 22, 2011
March 22, 2011
On March 22nd, the US will experience the second, retrograde transit of Saturn over the natal point. At this time, we find the Moon again transiting the 11th house and Scorpio, bringing a woman into the spotlight on international affairs, though it appears she's in effect "distancing" herself from domestic issues, signified by a striking lack of accompanying aspects during the hours of closest conjunction.

Venus, this time, is seen conjunct the US natal Moon, along with transiting Neptune, showing some form of confusion being brought to light surrounding an issue connected with immigration or humanitarian aid. This could signify Obama, as well, with his election under this placement and the continuing debate over his official birth certificate. Also likely here is a public outburst of political dissent, organized by a woman of some prominence, over a personal rights issue.

Mars is in a strong opposition to the natal Neptune placement, and is loosely squaring its natal position in Gemini and the 7th house. This, I hate to say, is a very warlike aspect, showing outward hostilities against the US and the "American Dream". Though war is unlikely, rhetoric and posturing is to be expected with this placement, and issues relating to oil (Pisces) will be likely to make the headlines on a daily basis.

Jupiter is seen loosely opposing the natal (and transiting) Saturn placement, and squaring the US natal Sun, as the transiting Sun conjuncts with Uranus and the IC in the first degrees of Aries. This portends an especially heated time domestically, when national security is on a literal knife's edge. It's likely that we'll see a man come into the public eye at this time who is vehemently indicting the US on the world stage, through the exposure of some form of corruption in the highest levels of government or big business. This, in turn, causes public outcry. Protests and demonstrations, domestically and internationally, are very likely. Another possibility is that this man is actually being tried in the court system by the US government on charges that are contrary to the public opinion, thus sparking the protests and public outcry.

Synthesizing these aspects and placements with the framework we established earlier shows us that late March and early April will most assuredly become the pivotal point in this Saturn return. Protests, political dissent, posturing and rhetoric will be grabbing headlines. The US will be domestically, and maybe also internationally, challenged to take a conservative, face-saving approach. It will be called out to rectify political and financial excesses of the last 7 years as the confusion that has surrounded issues of individual human rights and immigration, and even delusional political divisions, will begin to be lifted. The exposure of corruption, human rights violations and what look to be "decidedly un-American practices" by government or big business, through trials or public hearings, will cause public outrage, civil unrest and protests.

With Uranus entering the first degree of Aries, and conjunct the IC, the threat of a sudden and violent uprooting of domestic life and culture in the US, through natural or unnatural disasters, and possibly a complete collapse of the financial system, is a looming threat throughout both the spring and summer. It also shows us that the only good solution to the challenges of this return are in reforms that bring us back to our roots, as represented by the IC. Truly conservative, constitutionalist or libertarian policies will be debated on the floor of Congress and in the Senate for the first time in a more than century, almost certainly with support from the majority of Americans.

August 28, 2011
August 28, 2011
On August 28th, the third and final transit of the Saturn return will likely take place without much fanfare. At this point, Neptune is in retrograde, moving back into a tight conjunction with the US natal Moon placement, and thus bringing confusion back to the masses until late spring of 2012. With the Jupiter in Taurus and the 5th house, however, a sense of optimism is possible as there appears to be a clear direction established. This placement of Jupiter shows an increase in creative innovation for the nation, and a likely time of material stability, that should also last until late spring of 2012.


The 8th US Saturn Return - Part 2

In The 8th US Saturn Return - Part 1, I reviewed the previous seven US Saturn returns and the events that coincided with them in order to illustrate the nature of Saturn returns in the US natal chart. In this, part 2, I will review some of the planetary placements during these previous returns, hopefully shedding some light on the other factors that shaped the events and gave each return it's own unique flavor of challenge.

To avoid too much analysis, and keep things more to point, we'll look specifically at the 3 outer planets beyond Saturn: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Pluto, the slowest moving of the 4, plays the largest role in each Saturn return, especially when looking at national charts, coloring the events of each return with both it's sign, on a global level, and by house placement for entire generations of Americans. The transit position of Pluto during each of the Saturn returns tells us exactly what area of life, and through what means, the US itself is being challenged to transform.

US Natal - July 4, 1776
US Natal - July 4, 1776
Neptune, also, gives us important generational markers, showing us what the "American Dream" looks like during a given time. For example, its natal placement in Virgo tells us that the original "American Dream" was that of structured work ethic and a more conservative spiritual or religious ideal. The highest ideal was a job well done. Being in the 9th house, this also gives us clues about a more joyful, freedom seeking spirit, with deep philosophical undertones, through the eyes of which the words "pursuit of happiness" make much more of an impact. As we follow Neptune's travels through the houses and signs, we can see the attitudes and values of the masses shift on a national level, giving us a barometer with which to judge the public sentiment and, for lack of a better term, cares.

And Uranus, the revolutionary of the chart, also gives us some key details in deciphering each of the returns; namely, its placement shows where the new systems, to replace the old and outdated ones, are rooted. The natal placement of Uranus, in the sixth house and at approximately 9 degrees Gemini, tells us that when the Constitution was signed, the revolutionary spirit of the first Americans dealt directly with a new type of or approach to work, or service, itself. A different way of thinking, about communications and the philosophies of science, was necessary to bring forth a new paradigm. The darker side of its placement, however, tells us also where dangers may lurk or what the wrong decisions to make may be. By tracking the progress of Uranus through the houses and signs, we can further pinpoint the source of the challenges faced during a Saturn return, as well as divine the new systems that may evolve from them.

December 16, 1804
December 16, 1804
The Saturn return of 1804-1805 was hallmarked firstly by Pluto's transit of Pisces, showing a certain interest in the secret affairs of the ruling class. This also highlights an attitude of heightened public awareness of the original Neptunian "American Dream" itself, which would not only be in danger of being dissolved through controlling power structures, but also would be primed for a transformation into something greater and more powerful in itself. In transiting through the 3rd house of the US chart, Pluto was emphasizing the need to transform areas dealing with communication as well as organizational structures, and the way of thinking that underlies them. Combined with Neptune's transit through Scorpio and the US natal 12th house, much of this was brought to a spiritual, though unconscious, level. The values of every day Americans had a more open, mystical or spiritually "transformational" tone. The people wanted to know the truth, by whatever means was necessary, and were willing to put in the hard work to discover it.

Uranus, transiting Libra and the 10th house, was pointing to a need for judicial reforms specifically, as well as a visible revolution in the existing political structure. This was exemplified in the ousting of the Federalist party, which had become predominately bankers and businessmen, by the much more popular "Jeffersonian Republicans". The Revolution of 1800, as it was later called, led to the major reforms during the Saturn return which were largely founded upon issues of the elitism among the Federalists as well as a push by them to stifle dissent, especially from the newspapers of the time. Darker paths for this Uranian drive would have been for a restructuring of the existing party, providing a false paradigm shift, or for the newly empowered party to take a tyrannical or monarchical approach themselves (which, in fact, almost did occur through the "witch hunt" impeachment trial of Justice Chase).

October 15, 1834
October 15, 1834
As we reach the second US Saturn return, we find Pluto in Aries, traversing the 4th house. Pluto here signifies a truly global time of struggle in forming a new beginning, if need be through extreme actions. The fear of relying on other nations became a real concern, and a drive to return to the principals of the "founding fathers" through complete reformation was at play. Of special concern would be homes and property, as well as family and traditional values, as signified through Pluto's 4th house placement. Neptune's placement in Capricorn and the 2nd house, loosely conjunct the natal Pluto placement, showed an even stronger drive to reform monetary policy to that put forward originally by the US Constitution, the literal "birth" of the nation. There was a sense of disillusionment with the economy and government finances, with the American Dream being an individual's own accumulation of wealth and property, guaranteed them as a God given right.

Uranus is seen transiting the 2nd house as well, but placed firmly in the sign of Aquarius. It showed a strong need for revolutionary reforms specifically in money and wealth of the individual, especially relating to the debts of the masses and the establishment of a humanitarian aid of sort. The failure of the US to fully restructure the financial system, instead opting to just pull government monies from the Second Bank of the United States, allowed the bank to "call in" all its loans led to the "popping" of the debt bubble. The ensuing "Panic of 1837" was followed by a severe, 5 year long depression and massive unemployment.

November 25, 1863
November 25, 1863
Moving forward to the Saturn return of 1863-1864, we see Pluto in Taurus and the 5th house, Neptune moving through the 4th house in Aries and Uranus transiting the 7th house in Gemini. Pluto's placement in the 5th house shows a lot of issues regarding gambling or speculation, and it's placement in Taurus shows issues regarding monetary systems in general and agriculture specifically. Neptune's placement in Aries gives us signs of people working toward anarchic goals as well as a blurring of the lines between religion and war. The American Dream was being "born again", in a sense, as something entirely new. From the synthesis of these factors, it's truly hard to imagine a nation going to war with itself, but that's exactly what had happened as the South gambled it's money and property to hold on to the traditions of their fathers.

Uranus placed in Gemini tells us of the needed revolutions in not only communications and new ways of thinking, but in learning to deal with opposing points of view. It took a revolution in the approach to waging battles, as well as the way of thinking by those in power, for the North to finally win the war. However, both sides had aggrandized the respective battles won and their war heroes to the point of blurring the lines between that of religion and war, making it harder to find common ground even after the war was over. The new way of "dealing" with one-another, 14 years later, still was not acceptable by many.

September 30, 1893
September 30, 1893
The Saturn return of 1893 has Pluto and Neptune conjunct on either side of the US Descendant in Gemini. This placement of Pluto shows a chronic, long-term "illness" that has built up over the years becoming an acute problem. Specifically, this illness dealt with ideas and ideologies as they related to work ethics, much of which was legacy from the Civil War period and the Reconstruction Era. Neptune here screamed of the want for scientific breakthroughs, industrial revolutions and the geniuses that rose later to prominence. Americans all wanted to be the next great inventor. However, the past 15 years had been full of Neptunian issues regarding the avoidance of monetary issues. The culmination of this resulted in the Panic of 1893, who's resolution lay in the placement of Uranus as it transited Scorpio in the 11th house.

Specifically, Uranus here foretold the need to use its political allies in a truly unusual way to regain footing. The US needed to firstly become more outspoken, and secondly to give up the resentment it had held for European countries up to this point. By preferring to stay isolationist and not tapping the resources of its allies, breaking the paradigm seen up to this time, the US quickly fell into another panic. Before the next return of Saturn, the US will have had to endure its place, finally step up on the world stage and becoming a key player in one of the most horrific and bloody wars to date.

November 8, 1922
November 8, 1922
The fifth Saturn return, in 1922 and 1923, placed Pluto in Cancer and the US natal 7th house. Here, it showed an absolute need for transformation of both home and family, as well as the security of the nation itself, through relationships to other nations. Neptune, moving through the 8th house in flamboyant Leo, warned of dramatic issues with taxes and "other people's money". At the same time, an illusory, theatrical "dreamer" mentality was given free range to run amok throughout society. The American Dream had transformed into a drunken collage consisting of art, music and just "having fun". This, at a time of prohibition, was an explosive thing. Even the Federal Reserve, set up in 1913 during the first world war, inflated the money supply by some 60% during this period. Many of these added dollars went directly into the markets, which inflated stocks to truly unprecedented levels and gave the whole nation a false sense of wealth and optimism.

Uranus at this time was moving through Pisces, showing itself as another sort of drunken revolution where too much was never enough. It called for a return to tried and true systems, and conservative attitudes, to avoid too much excess. The challenge of Pisces is always to find a balance in the middle rather than allow yourself to live in the extremes. As well, Uranus traversing the 3rd house called for a renewed sense of concentration and maturity. These struggles presented in every arena of American life, and the failure of the US government, as well as the Federal Reserve System, to renew a sense of conservative responsibility, led the country down the path of hedonistic decadence. The crash of 1929 and the start of the Great Depression occurred 7 years later.

January 10, 1952
January 10, 1952
In 1952, upon the sixth return of Saturn to its natal US placement, we find controlling and transformational Pluto has taken Neptune's place as it traverses Leo and the 8th house. Here in Leo, it sows the seeds of extreme nationalism, and placement in the 8th the seeds of secrecy. Indeed, the times were that of intense political drama and power plays. Neptune is seen making its way through Libra and the 10th house, putting its emphasis on careers made up of the illusion of justice. A sort of Neptunian dream fog had fallen over the country's public image and it was hard to tell what was really up and what was down. Neptune's American Dream was that of being in the spotlight and being important - of becoming the boss and shaking all the right hands. Idealism can run rampant with this placement of Neptune, and deception is not only easy, it's expected.

With Uranus moving through Cancer and the 7th house, we can see a great need to start going it alone when it came to public image, and to become much more "choosy" when it came to close allies and partnerships. In fact, any allies or partners of the US should have been allowed to do as they would during this time, as a large allowance for freedom was called for. This allowance for freedom was most emphasized in the domestic sphere, in order to avoid potential hysteria. As we know, however, the "Second Red Scare", McCarthyism and even "blacklists" came to the forefront during this time. From the proxy war in Korea and the first joint military exercises with NATO, to 7 years later, Vietnam, it's clear the correct path was not chosen. Covert and dishonest wars were fought, the people were lied to, and the hysteria eventually brought the people of the US to a fever-pitch of anger and resentment that nearly resulted in a revolt 14 years later.

October 22, 1981
October 22, 1981
And finally, when we look to the last US Saturn return, in 1981, we see this time Pluto in Libra and the 10th house. This signifies a time when being "top dog" is of the utmost importance in the US. Balance in relations, justice and cooperation, however, also took on a sense of urgency. The potential for power plays was high, but more likely was just outright sabotage in efforts to "level the playing field". Neptune, transiting the 1st house in Sagittarius, gave the American Dream a renewed sense of optimism about the future and a strong yearning for individual freedoms. Dreaming big became the norm, and this was to be expressed in every aspect of the American life. However, it also gave many the option of fanaticism in regards to spiritual or emotional matters, and it made it difficult to discern where the US ends and the rest of the world begins. This gave the US public a feeling of obligation to help the rest of the world, along with a lack of true sense of self.

With Uranus in Scorpio and the 12th house, there was a need to be truly focused as a nation, like the stinger of a scorpion, and to dig up the truth wherever it lies, by whatever means necessary. This was the proper resolution to the problems put forward during this return. Instead of this, however, investigations were half-hearted. The fraud and corruption was allowed to continue, leading to much larger problems down the road with politics, the markets and the economy. The corruption later uncovered throughout big business during the late 80s and early 90s should still be fresh in the minds of most of us.

In The 8th US Saturn Return - Part 3, I take a closer look at the current Saturn return, including the US natal "personal planets", which I have left out here for sake of brevity, and offer an analysis of what challenges may be in store for the US, as well as potential solutions to the problems the nation faces.

The 8th US Saturn Return - Part 1

In my last post about the US natal chart, I concerned myself specifically with the solar eclipse of January 4th. This time, I'd like to share some insights into what the US, as a nation, may be going through during this, it's 8th Saturn return.

In part 1 of this 3 part, extended post, I will first review the previous Saturn returns and the events that coincided with them so we can better understand the nature of what Saturn returns mean to the US natal chart. In The 8th US Saturn Return - Part 2, I also review some of the other planetary placements during these previous returns, specifically Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. In part 3, I will take a closer look at the current Saturn return, including the US natal "personal planets", and offer an analysis of what challenges may be in store for the US.

With the first return, which occurred over the period from December of 1804 through to September of 1805, we see circumstance similar to the one we are experiencing this time. It was a 3 part event where Saturn retrogrades over the natal Saturn placement after making the first transit, and thus makes the transit a total of 3 times over the course of less than a full year. Returns that behave this way are quite interesting as it seems to spread out the "main event", giving the native first a taste of what's to come during the initial transit, then a refresher course as Saturn transits again in retrograde, and finally a sort of "final exam" on the 3rd and final transit. Many of the returns experienced in this way see the majority of their effects during the first two transits, with the third either proving a right solution to the problems brought to surface by revealing a resolution to the issues of the day, or the third shows a sort of stalemate scenario where the issues are not resolved but instead are left to fester over the following years.

The first transit of this particular Saturn return occurred on December 16th in 1804. On November 30th, at about one degree of orb, the first wave of the Saturn return was beginning to take hold as 8 articles of impeachment were served to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase. One of these charges apparently went right to the matter at hand - he had, in 1803, publicly spoken out against the repeal of the Midnight Judges Act (the Judiciary Act of 1801). Chase, being a Federalist, had quickly found himself in a minority as Thomas Jefferson's "Democratic-Republican party" (usually known as the "Jeffersonian Republicans") took hold of the US Government, and as it turned out, the impeachment was more or less just a witch hunt to rid the Supreme Court of it's one remaining Federalist.

On March 4th, Jefferson was sworn in for his second term as President, this being 2 days before the second transit, and on March 11, just 5 days after the transit, Samuel Chase was acquitted on all charges by the Senate. This was the only impeachment ever tried against a Justice of the Supreme Court in all of US history.

The third and final hit occurred on September 6th and passed without much fanfare. These transits, as a whole, however, marked the end of the Federalist parties power and the beginning of the control by the Democratic and Republican parties that are still with us today. They also marked the first presidential election to be carried out with the newly ratified 12th Amendment, fixing many of the embarrassing issues with the electoral procedures. Another point of interest is this transit marked the beginning of the tensions with Britain that eventually led to the war of 1812.

It's said that the first Saturn return marks the point of maturity, and that's exactly what happened for the US during this first return.

The second Saturn return of the US occurred in October of 1834, during the rise of the Whig party. The US public debt went to $0 - the only time in US history. However, this was also a time of extremely high inflation and speculation in real estate, spurred by the use of debt monies issued by the Second Bank of the United States, directly leading to a debt bubble that burst, causing the Panic of 1837, along with 5 years of economic depression and record high unemployment.

Again, on November 25, 1863, Saturn made the first of a 3-part return to the US natal position. This period, of course, from roughly 1861 through 1865, was the time of the American Civil War. The first transit of this return marked the beginning of a great turning point in US history, including the infamous Gettysburg Address in November 1863. Saturn transited in retrograde on April 3rd the following year and then direct on August 19th, marking the beginning of the end for the war as first President Lincoln appointed Ulysses S. Grant as commander of the Union Armies, along with the subsequent appointment Major General Sheridan by Grant to command the Army of the Potomac. This Saturn return arguably marked the most chaotic and important periods in all of US history, deciding the literal life of the nation in a way not seen since the nation's birth.

September 30, 1893, the US experienced it's fourth Saturn return along with the Panic of 1893, the worst depression to hit the US to that date. Over 15,000 companies and 500 banks failed and unemployment rates climbed to between 17% and 19%. Homeowners began walking away from their mortgages. Eventually, the Alaskan gold rush did help to bring the economy out of the depression, but yet another panic quickly followed in 1907.

The fifth Saturn return, occurring in 3 parts on November 8, 1922, May 4, 1923 and July 29, 1923, marked the beginning of a time of economic prosperity dubbed the Roaring Twenties. The prosperity was spurred by reduced taxes, less government intrusion into private businesses and immigration reforms. However, the US Federal Reserve, established in 1913, quickly inflated the money supply by about 60% during the decade, sparking the enormous amounts of speculation in the markets and easy debt that lead to the market crash of 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression.

The return of 1952 began with Saturn going stationary only 10 seconds of arc beyond the US natal placement, marking a prolonged period of "return" transit from January 10 through February 6. Saturn then revisited the point on September 15th, completing the full return. This period marked the middle of the Korean War, considered a proxy war between western powers and the Soviet Union, as well as the first NATO military exercises and the tail-end of the height of anti-communist sentiments in the US.

The last of the previous Saturn returns occurred on October 22, 1981, and marked the middle of yet another major recession in the US, highlighted by the beginning of the Savings and Loans Crisis.

Each of these returns marked important milestones politically, economically or militarily. Each coincided with a challenge put to the US to "grow up" and take on new responsibilities while asking it to reject a system that wasn't working. When the right choices were made, the new system that manifested would endure and prove fruitful, but if the wrong choices were made, the system would fail, resulting in dire consequences being felt before the following Saturn square, approximately 7 years later, or approximately 14 years later during the Saturn opposition.

In the case of the first return, a whole new political mentality, seen through the Jeffersonian Republican party, came into power. It endured and shows signs of it's presence even today. Through the acquittal of impeachment charges by the Senate, a potentially disastrous precedent was avoided during the earliest years of the nation's life. However, we can see the seeds planted by some decisions made during this return that 7 years later sparked the war of 1812.

The third return, after a couple of smart decisions and right moves, led to the end of the American Civil War and a full reunification, ensuring the nation's survival for the many years since. Echos of this time still ring today, with President Lincoln still held as one of the most honored men to sit as president. By 7 years after the return, all southern states had been readmitted to representation in Congress, and over the 14 difficult years following the return, the Reconstruction Era steadily ground forward.

In the case of the second, fourth and fifth returns, however, the fiscal irresponsibility of the day had led to debt bubbles, market crashes, "panics" or bank runs, and economic depressions. The seventh return, also, led to a continued financial and economic turmoil due to the Savings and Loans crises, with its effects lasting for more than a decade thereafter. The sixth return proved only partially successful as new military strategies and alliances may have helped prevent nuclear war, but at the cost of calamitous wars like Vietnam 7 years later and the following half a century of tense "mutually assured destruction" mentality.

In The 8th US Saturn Return - Part 2, I take a look at some of the other planetary transits and how they affect the flavor of each of these Saturn returns. In part 3, I take a focused look at the transits of the current return and make projections of what may be in the cards as the remainder of it unfolds in the coming year.


Radar Anomaly During Mass Bird Kill in Arkansas - Electromagnetic Weather Anomalies?

Now, I've been watching things like this happen for years. Back in 2001, shortly after September 11, I happened upon a late night talk radio program called Coast to Coast AM. I had never heard anything like the program before. The host at the time, Art Bell, said there was a report from India that thousands of birds had fallen from the sky. Call-ins mentioned electromagnetic anomalies may be to blame, or possibly HAARP.

Then, back in early summer 2004, there was a strange pelican disappearance at Devils Lake, North Dakota...and just before the disappearance was reported on earthfiles, I had noticed a strange weather anomaly on the national temperature maps. A "bullseye" of extremely cold temperature readings appeared in North Dakota and slowly migrated northward into Canada.

Evidently, about 29,000 pelicans, which were in the process of nesting and raising chicks, suddenly decided to just bug out - some had been tagged with radio tracking devices for tracking migration patterns and were discovered circling the lake weeks later. Something chased them out, causing them to leave their chicks behind to die.

And today, I happened upon this article on infowars with this accompanying news video:

Video Link

A quick look through the news shows that between December 30th and January 16th, a mere 18 days, mysterious bird and fish kills, most blamed on fireworks or cold weather, and one even on "over-eating", have been reported at these locations:
  • Beebe (Arkansas) - bird kill
  • Oxford (Arkansas) - fish kill
  • LaBarre (Louisiana) - bird kill
  • Murray (Kentucky) - bird kill
  • Spruce Creek (Florida) - fish kill
  • Chesapeake Bay (Maryland) - fish kill
  • Atlantic beaches (South Carolina) - fish kill
  • Chicago (Illinios) - fish kill
  • San Fransisco (California) - bird kill
  • Hunstville (Alabama) - bird kill
  • Los Angelas (California) - bird kill
  • Venice (Italy) - bird kill
  • Margate (England) - fish kill (crabs)
  • Falkeoping (Sweden) - bird kill
  • the Coromandel beaches (New Zealand) - fish kill
  • Paranagua (Brazil) - fish kill

You have to wonder if strange radar and/or temperature anomalies occurred at some of these locations as well.

A lot of people have been pointing to the 2003 movie "The Core" since this "Aflockalypse" began, which portrayed the effects of a magnetic field collapse, including flocks of birds mysteriously flying into buildings and falling out of the sky, mass whale and dolphin beachings, as well as large, mostly unexplainable fish kills. Though I see no stories about whale and dolphin beachings yet, I'm slowly becoming convinced that something has literally snapped. The question: is it just part of a natural process or did we humans break it? Either way, we're pretty screwed.


Latest Updates from Web Bots and Assange's Plan B

Looks like the guys over at the web bot project are calling the alarms on what's going on with the weather, especially regarding the flooding in Australia. Yesterday, Clif High released a note about what they've been calling for since at least last summer - issues with dams...one, in particular, being a near failure scenario. Evidently, the data they're working with currently is literally screaming about this dam - specifically, screaming that this dam is about to be "shifted off it's base" in some way. Official water levels for the dams in that area are nearly all at 100%, and many are already spilling over. Should be interesting to see if this comes to play out. One thing's for certain, the flooding there in Australia is beyond anything ordinarily imaginable and it will likely be stretching on for days or weeks yet. Hopefully the part about this being a "near" failure is true.

Unfortunately, flooding of this magnitude wont be confined to Australia. Already, there are massive floods in various places all around the world that are causing damage and loss of life. A quick look around the news this morning shows severe flooding has been occurring in Brazil, Sri Lanka, the Philipines, and South Africa. The potential for flooding in Oregon and Washington over the next few days as well as a lot of talk about the impact of the snow melt for most of the western states this spring is also in the news - record snowfalls do usually mean record melt and runoff. This on the heels of the record flooding experienced just last month in southern California...

Meanwhile, of note is the SST anomaly map that shows the waters between Canada and Greenland still so much warmer than normal that I'm really starting to get panicky. Water temperatures between 60W and 40W, 45N up to 70N, are ranging up to 5*C above normal. Translated to Fahrenheit, that's up to 9* warmer than they should be for this time of the year. This has been going on all winter so far, with no sign of letting up. This could spell complete disaster for the Atlantic currents, which we already know are in bad shape. Also, as expected, down here in the Gulf of Mexico the water temps are generally hovering about 1*C below normal with some areas reaching down to nearly 4*C below normal. Looks like no help on that persistent trough that keeps setting up for the east coast of the US. Expect more blizzard scale nor'easters over the next few weeks. In fact, the one slamming the north east this morning has already dropped over 20 inches of snow in parts of Connecticut.

Back to the web bots, however, as another interesting and very unnerving update from Clif is pointing to some pretty violent shaking in the markets over the short term. Specifically, Clif is mentioning phrases like "basket" and "bad foods", and is saying this appears to be a "planet wide" event that will be described by mainstream media as a "boil over" situation. Also of note, he's seeing some serious issues related to precious metals and/or gold where some kind of derivative fails due to a crises. My mind, of course, races with thoughts of JP Morgan and the COMEX being fully and publicly exposed for their fraudulent activities. If that's the case, now would certainly be the time to move all your investments out of cash and paper and into gold and oil. I wish I had something to move myself!

And that brings me back to our favorite puppet, Julian Assange of Wikileaks. For the record, I'm pretty convinced at this point that he's been an unknowing, as opposed to knowing, participant in this whole grand scheme. In an interview with John Pilger for NewStatesman, Assange has reassured the world that he has "insurance" files that will be released in the event he's imprisoned or worse, sentenced to death. Evidently, Assange's lawyers are concerned about him facing the death penalty if he's extradited to the US. I'd also be more than a little concerned about the potential for "accidents" to happen - fatal car and plane crashes definitely come to mind. Of course, Assange isn't just warning TPTB about his insurance files, but also warns about hundreds of embassy cables relating to a particular "broadcasting organization" (BBC perhaps?) as well as some specifically about News Corp's Rupert Murdoch of all people.

The question is, will the mainstream media even care enough to cover more Wikileaks releases? The latest shows a certain lack of excitement on that front, as CNBC is already looking to soften the impact of the coming bank documents release. Whatever the case, they're stepping up efforts to get this stuff out soon and, my guess is, it wont be more than a week before we see the first wave of these bank documents come to light.


Tea Party and "Right Wing Extremists" Blamed for Socialist's Attempted Assassination

I figure we have about a month until Obama signs an executive order that severely restricts gun ownership and begins a major campaign against "right wing extremism". One month until outright internet censorship and the arrests of people like Alex Jones and Jesse Ventura based on charges of "hate speech" (aka "vitriolic rhetoric").


Because, last week, two stink bombs were mailed to a Maryland democrat and one to the Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

Because some nutcase, just yesterday, shot a democrat and several others in an apparent assassination attempt.

Because it's a golden opportunity.

Here's a flashback to Gary Hart, just after September 11th, 2001, referring to just such an "opportunity":

YouTube Link

And for those interested, here's the speech Hart refers to: YouTube Link. Or wait, maybe it was this one: YouTube Link. Or...maybe one of the several dozens of other times Bush 41 mentioned the NWO.

But back to the topic of the shooting...

Please don't get me wrong on this - the shooter is most certainly a nutcase.

He was obsessed with mind control. He stated that he was in the military, which the Army denies. In fact, the Army reportedly denied his application to the military due to a failed drug test. Backing this up is his reputation as a known drug user that bragged openly about his use of marijuana and his being arrest at least once for possession of paraphernalia.

The shooter, after numerous "non-sensical outbursts" in class, was suspended indefinitely from Pima Community College, pending an official letter of "mental health clearance" assuring them that he was not a threat to himself or others.

The truth of what was really going on with this kid might be a long time in coming, if ever. What we do know is that he held some extreme views, was certainly a racist, was heavily anti-government and was against the Federal Reserve. We also know, however, that he was a left-leaning, Nazi-esque socialist, citing as favorite books both "Mein Kampf" and "The Communist Manifesto", as well as apparently favoriting a YouTube video in which a boy dressed as a terrorist burns the American Flag to the song "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor". His laughter and comments about "baby bombers" directed at a poem by a classmate about abortion also paint him as quite a heartless son-of-a-bitch.

This certainly does not fit the conservative, right-winger mainstream media and officials are trying to make him out to be. In fact, there's a rumor floating already about how the kid voted for Obama. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case.

Tying this kid to the libertarian and constitutionalist Tea Party movement, gun rights activism, GOP puppet Sarah Palin or even the American Renaissance white supremacist organisation is exactly the wrong move. The fact is that Rep. Giffords has been in full support of both personal gun rights and tougher anti-immigration law. She has even been considered a bit too right-wing and conservative by her own party, which may have been the real reason she was targeted.

Whether or not this kid was an elitists' patsy to start with, and I'm sure that will be up for discussion for quite some time, that's exactly what he is being used as now. Whether planted/coached into this horrendous act or just so off his rocker that he did it of his own volition, he's in the process of becoming a full-on NWO, elitists' patsy.

After shooting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the head, he proceeded to shoot and kill a judge and a nine year old girl. At least 6 people are dead and at least 14 others have been injured. Meanwhile, the heartless machine grinds on, attempting to use this terrible event as means to paint Americans everywhere as the enemy.

As I said, I give it maybe a month until Obama has declared any and all political dissent to be a form of "hate speech"...one month before he begins his final campaign to take away our remaining freedoms and lock us up in prison as soon as we complain about it.


A Warning on the Perilous Act of Buying a Camper, or How I Learned to Trust Nothing and Got Stuck with a Rotting Tin Can

Back in 2006, I knew nothing about what to look for in a camper. At the time, I was recently out of college after a year studying for a philosophy major. Money was so tight that I was unable to qualify for another loan, so it was a no-go on continuing my education. I left school and moved in with Mom to help her sell the house she was living in (and about to lose). After a thorough house prep, I got a job doing graphic arts for a major corporation and we started putting money into "important things" - learning such things as how to make our own herbal tinctures and soap-making as well as good quality "Bug Out Bags" and miscellaneous survival gear.

After months of trying to sell and barely ever showing the house, we got a bite. It wasn't much of a bite, however, as the selling price was a mere $6k above what was still owed - we felt lucky to get that much.

So the next move, carefully planned out based on internal feelings, money supply and the prophecies, predictions and trends of the time, was to buy a camper. This would allow us to be mobile in the event of a disaster. It cost less than an apartment or house and would not only allow, but actually force us to get out and enjoy nature again. Many aspects of the full-timer lifestyle appealed to us, not the least of which was the idea that if you don't like your neighbors, you could just move your house.

But in retrospect, I should have done a lot more research on what to look for. With such a small amount of money to work with, the only options were used and mostly abused rigs, most of which were literal nightmares manifest. We checked the floors for soft spots and wouldn't buy anything with signs of water damage. We knew enough to ask about water tanks and heaters, furnaces and propane lines. And we finally found one: a 26' fifth wheel rig that seemed a wonderful investment.

Note the use of the word "seemed".

We found a campground that was like an oasis in the middle of the city, here in Florida, with trees and grass and big, roomy sites. A few months later, we hauled north to New Hampshire to spend time with my ailing grandmother. But after a total of maybe 6 months living in the rig, we discovered something shocking: the wall around the stove vent was completely rotted out. You see, we didn't know how rot occurs in these rigs. The wall may look 100% normal from both the rig's inside and out, but behind that wall-paper covering, the wood might be sopping wet, rotted out and full of termites and carpenter ants. We started running around checking everywhere and found that most of the walls in the camper were fine. We assumed it was isolated.

Then, about 8 months later, during a prolonged period of rainy, dreary New England days, a drip developed from the ceiling in the overhang, directly over the queen bed. I made my way to the roof to check things out and realized the rubber membrane showed no signs of cracking or anything. There was no pooling water, no rips or tears...no sign of why the ceiling was leaking. By the next morning, the ceiling was dripping fast and steady from a couple locations along the panel joints. I opened things up to check where the water was getting in since the roof seemed fine, not knowing what I was going to find.

And I found mold. A lot of it. I found the 2x2 framing was rotted through in spots. I found the 1/8" chip board that presses directly against the rubber membrane swelled up and sopping wet. It fell apart with the lightest touch of the finger.

From there, I proceeded to remove the entire ceiling in the overhang. The damage was extensive, showing what must have been years of water damage, rot and mold. Fungus of all colors covered the face of the chip board. The small amount of fiberglass insulation was blackened and soaked with water. As I opened up the walls, I found the same thing had happened there and was only just starting to penetrate into the interior panelling.

At this point, I got very discouraged. My mother had moved out of the camper a few months previous and I was fairly cash poor - there was no way I could afford to strip everything down and rebuild, nor could I afford to get another rig. I opted to just seal things off and sleep on the couch until my situation improved. Up went the plastic to protect both myself and the pets from the infestation of mold, to at least some extent. I made it a regular habit to spray down the walls and ceiling with a mist of bleach solution.

And I resolved to save money up to get myself another rig - a rig that I could be sure is safe from such disastrous neglect.

That was back in 2007 when I made that resolution. Of course, like most long term goals, nothing has gone to plan. In 2008, I was forced to change jobs. I began earning a bigger and much more reliable paycheck, but my savings grew slowly. My car broke down, then my truck, then my car again...then my truck again. Gas prices went through the roof and I found myself driving my 8-cyl Dodge pickup 60 miles a day. Frankly, in today's world, what money there is just doesn't like to hang around long.

By the summer of 2009, I finally had enough saved to start figuring out what the next step would be. I began vigorously researching various rigs and was disappointed by everything that was available. The better rigs cost more than I could afford and what was in my price range had all the same weaknesses I had discovered with this rig: rubber membrane roof, basically no insulation, poorly designed electrical systems, and cheap construction materials with no thought to durability.

The best solution, I decided, was to literally build my own - a "Bus Conversion", and specifically one on a "flat-nose schoolie". I drew up the plans and budget, then set out looking for my bus.

But then, that October, I got a wake up call I couldn't ignore. My gut told me to get moving in no uncertain terms. By that December, I had quit my job and moved back to Florida. I spent around $2k of my meager savings in that move, paying for gas, repairs, new tires, rent and food. It took me three months to find work, but once I did I was ok again. After 3 more months, I was back to where I was and felt comfortable.

But then another wake up call. Another push into the unknown. I found myself moving to New Mexico and spending out of my savings yet again. And the trend continued.

You see, I'm now effectively stuck with this rig. No matter what plans I make, I can't seem to get out of it. Something else always comes up. I'm back in Florida with about half of my original savings left. Meanwhile, the exterior seams have popped and the roof leaks in dozens of places. In fact, the roof is caving in now on the overhang.

So you ask yourself, what's the point? What's the moral of the story?

Due diligence and thorough research. Never take anything at face value.

If you, like so many others, are finding yourself ready to buy a used camper and become a full-timer, learn about what to look for. Learn about what might go wrong. By making a single honest mistake in the beginning of all this, I have spent years dealing with dripping ceilings and worries about mold.

What appears to be is rarely the case with these rigs, and you're probably going to be stuck with what you buy for years to come.


Revisiting the Web Bots

I like to run back about halfway through a "prediction" window to review what was said and see how things are measuring up. In this case, we're talking about the web bot predictions for Nov 2010 through to Feb 2011.

As I've already stated in a post in November, the "tipping point" seemingly did occur, manifesting itself in multiple areas. We saw the backlash against the TSA for groping and radiating our women and children, what still may have been a missile launch off the coast of California, the Wikileaks release of diplomatic cables (replete with media circus), and even the beginning of what became the latest in public Nuclear Armageddon hype with the shells fired by North Korea...A view of the DrudgeReport page this afternoon shows 7 stories talking about the fish and bird kills happening over the last few days, one of which is an infowars.com editorial that asks the question "Is Mass Bird and Fish Die Off Connected to Government Testing?". This is evidence of a very defined paradigm shift over the last month and a half, starting precisely at the beginning of the "tipping point" window predicted by the web bot.

Generally speaking, the shift that occurred has been for us sheeple to open our eyes to the things going on around us. People have been screaming all over the place about what's taking place right out in the open. Previous to the start of the predicted "tipping point", people weren't really screaming at all...at least not outwardly. The mainstream media covered horrendous stories without even asking questions (Remember the Gulf Oil Spill? The intense heatwave in Russia with hundreds to thousands of fires around Moscow?). Relatively few "mainstream" editorials dealt with the fraudsters in government and the large scale changes in the weather patterns. Now, however, it's as if that's all we care about.

Graphic provided in early summer
The web bots had predicted a very steady decline into this "release language" starting on November 14th (originally the 8th) that would continue right through to January 17th. At that point things would shift to "building-tension language" for a short while, before falling off yet another cliff. So far, through to January 4th, that's exactly what we've seen.

So far, they seem to have hit the nail on the head.

In the update posted in November on the HalfPastHuman website, however, the web bots were predicting that on January 7th we'd see a sudden and significant acceleration of the release language leading into the 17th.

A very steady stream of release type news has been flooding the mainstream as people look around and realize what's been going on right under their noses. We can safely bet that we're in for some truly stunning revelations on or around the 7th, and with the planned Wikileaks releases relating to banks coming this month, we just might have an idea of what that news will be.

Personally, I can't wait.