Archive for the ‘Table Of Contents’ Category

The full issue can be purchased at this link:

https://tinyurl.com/y7cnnrqt

The feature of this issue is about the Community Zen Center we are trying to fund in Hawkins Texas. This is an effort to provide a center for the community to learn about positive change issues like Gardening, Renewable Energy, Art creation and communal networking through events like shared meals & movie and game nights.

The center has a dedicated fundraiser page and blog here:
https://freehelpinghands.wordpress.com/2017/12/06/hawkins-tx-community-center-fundraiser/

360 Images Can be seen here:

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I’m living near Honolulu for awhile so I’m writing about some of my highlights.

I arrived late in the night and went straight to bed. The birds and cool ocean breeze wake me up at 5:30 every morning so I get up and start stretching. I eventually work my way outside to a lava stone pad over looking the ocean waves as the sun rises. After a round of yoga, meditation and weights we go for a walk or jog. Playground equipment down the street provides hand stand and pull up bars and hopefully some soccer practice.

I’m wishing I would have brought the drone along to get some aerial shots but here is what I got to share….  enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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So far the wind is keeping the volcano ash, glass and gas toxins from circulating around Honolulu is large quantities. It was raining was I arrived and I am very cautious of the toxin content in the rain however. It is only a matter of time before I get enough exposure to confirm or deny any danger. Stay tuned…..

 

 

 

After morning workouts were complete we went to the Kaimuki district for lunch and shopping. I found a near perfect salad at the Big City Diner with a view of these wonderful murals. The neighborhood Goodwill had just what I was looking for. I picked up a $8 Pilate ball, $12 work boots, a $3 bamboo yoga beach mat and $3 ankle weights.

For the afternoon we went to the KKC (Community College) Succulent Gardens and Farmers market. And then completed the evening at a blow hole cove where you can do some dangerous undertow cliff diving.

 

 

 

 

Day 2 (WED 6/6/18)
Time to go get a bicycle. Found a few options on craigslist to go inspect.

First chance I get, I am going to go jog up this step incline crater called KoKo Head.

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Completed the days workout and then studied maps of the area until it was time to go for a ride. We drove to Waikiki for a walk and got an Acai fruit bowl and pineapple-banana smoothie for lunch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Waikiki, we had to go on a scout near the KCC park again. I explored a Community Center and found some weight machines to use while Vanessa and the Producer did their thing. I used the free time to do more research on places to play darts and poker. I got some good replies and began planning everything. There are weekly dart tourney’s on Fridays at Y’s Sports Bar and poker at a few home games. I also got a reply confirming a 730p appointment to buy a decent $80 bike for $20.

After answering a few questions, I was given the location for a poker game that was ready to start and I headed over to play. The game was in a private condo of a high rise so I had Vanessa hang around until I gave her a safety call. Upon entering the condo I was greeted by a very friendly and beautiful Hawaiian gal. She explained the rules as she showed me around. The first room had a buffet bar setup, the second room had the NBA finals on a big screen with a full table of card players. A third room was setup for another table game and then there was a nice clean bathroom and a balcony (Lanai) connected to it.

First time players get a free $50 and you get another $100 if you bring a new player with you. You also can make another $1-200 on bonus hands. The cards were very favorable to me this day. I had a run of high pocket pairs with medium size pots. I played very conservative the first hour as I studied my opponents. One newer player with deep pockets decided to call my pre-flop $35 raise and then call another $130 raise to chase a flush while I was pushing with a top pair over the board. This $350 hand would be the only large hand I would lose. Shortly after, I hit quad 7s for $120 pot but when my opponent folded I assumed the $100 bonus would be dead and I mucked the cards. I then discovered that I would get the $100 regardless if I showed my cards. After 2 hours, Vanessa was ready to go to a Jazz Club for the evening and I cashed out with $103 profit.

 

 

 

We went to a fancy Jazz Club for the nights entertainment. The Blue Room was $23 to enter with a $10 min. purchase for a 60 minute set. The theme for the evening was Amy Whinehouse, which I have never really listened to. I enjoyed the experience but unfortunately my stomach as not right when we arrived and the music was not settling. The club had too many speakers and they were way too loud to enjoy the music. I prefer a calm soothing acoustic jazz experience in a small scratchy joint like the Zoo Bar in Lincoln Nebraska. My current situation was only made more irritable by the herd of cattle stampeding shoulder to shoulder in this Waikiki district. The human over population found in such a metropolis just makes physically ill regardless.

 

At the end of the night we went to pickup the bicycle. I assumed there would be a few repairs needed since the bike was only $20. The owner was a bit shady about needing a new tube unfortunately. This will be a difficult challenge for me tomorrow as I need to take the wheels off the bike with no tools and then I have to walk the wheels to a bike shop to get new tubes installed.

 

 

 

 

Day 3 (Thursday, 6/7)

I had to cut my workout short on this morning because we needed to leave by 9:15. We went to midtown for Vanessa’s first appointment. I meditated from the top of a tall building over looking the mountain valley. As I came down from my meditation I noticed a massive tree claiming nearly half the block next to me.

 

 

 

I hiked over and discovered this ancient Kapok tree covered in human waste. This tree has survived longer than most any other on the island and here it is being disrespected by people too self centered to keep the space manicured. It made me cry a little as I looked around for something to hold all the rubbage as I picked it up. After 30 minutes I filled a plastic tote with the help of 2 lizzards. I was tempted to dump it in the middle of the street to make a point but choose to set it on the corner for people to notice as they waited at the light. Hopefully a few of the 1000+ driving by were inspired to make a change. There is little to no reason for us to support packaged products in this day and age where everything is in such abundance that lightly used items are available in second hand markets. And what packaged items we do need to buy so badly, need to be responsibly biodegradable or mass recycled.

Islands especially, have no where to bury this trash so they burn it and recover a very small percentage for energy production. A much larger upcycle is present with the recycling process instead.

 

 

Our next few stops were at film & job site sets. It is always interesting to experience construction and film mixed together while in progress.

 

 

 

We then drove this long bridge road through a safe section of the volcano to go enjoy a few hours on Kailua Beach and pickup some things at the areas shops.

 

 

Day 4, Friday 6/8

My goal is to start working out shortly after day break each morning and have breakfast completed by 8am. I want to jog to the beach or other parks and start writing before the mid day heat. In the middle of each day I want to drive or bike around exploring and then play poker until I make $200. Te sooner I hit my $200 goal, the sooner I can get back to enjoying the outdoors.

Here is a image of my workout area in the back yard over looking the ocean.

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After my workout I took a skateboard over to the beach and completed the first 2 pages of the 2017 Helping Hands Comic. (Long over due I know!)

Skater Tim

 

This would be my first day to go explore on my own so I needed to get the bicycle tuned up. I was worried that the tire tubes would need replaced because the hand pump was not working. After I was done writing I took the bike over to a service station to use their compressor. Everything worked out great. Both tires ended up being good so I was able to start riding around. I lubed everything, picked up a new lock and some lights and started biking to the beach.

 

I enjoyed the Pan Pacific Festival and sunset at Waikiki before ending that at a blind draw dart tournament.

 

 

 

 

 

The tournament was very challenging because it was very crammed together plus it was handicapped against me and the throw lines were too far back. I struggled between the appearance of cheating as I stood in front of the line but at the actual correct throwing distance. My opponents knew why I was doing it but yet they honored the incorrect distance and just the psychology of the situation really lowered my accuracy. I compensated just well enough to win the tournament with a friendly lady who enjoyed her drinks while staying calm when the games were a bit hairy.

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Day 5 Saturday,  6/9

Today was a King’s birthday so there was a parade from the Palace to Waikiki. We enjoyed the parade and a larger farmers market and then walked around a nice art district.

 

 

We also found a Banyon tree that the locals use as a playground. Several people were taking turns swinging from the vines so we joined in.

 

 

 

When I was exploring yesterday, I found a great secluded park where people openly accepted pets and the clothing optional custom so I took Vanessa to hangout there until it was time to go to the evening dart tournament.

 

 

Day 6 Sunday 6/10

Spiritual Sunday is a good reminder to doing something extra spiritual. We used the day to explore some temples. On the way to our first destination fate steered us towards a nice hiking trail at the peak of the valley we entered. It was surrounded by a  Pacific Pine forest. I hiked until the elevation surpassed the Pines climate and it opened up to more of a brush vegetation. The path was constantly muddy because I was so high that I was in the rain clouds. I reached the summit and got a wonderful view of all of Honolulu on one side and the mountains valleys on the other.

 

 

We then spent a few hours eating our picnic lunch, reading and drawing at the Japanese Garden on the UH campus.

 

 

We closed the night with sunset at Bellows AF Base Beach and then watched the Han Solo Star Wars movie at the theater by our house.

 

At the end of week one, I have made $103 at poker and $35 at darts. I’ve spent $20 on food, $40 on supplies (Bicycle) and $11 on a movie.

 

WEEK 2 –

Day 7 Monday, 6/11

I was falling behind on my writing goals so I did a quick workout and then spent the first half of the day writing. Around 2p I headed to the beach and then over to poker for most of the day.

 

On the way home I took a road that follows the coast around Diamond Head crater. It was a very enjoyable path with amazing mega mansions. It is hard to believe that nearly 40% of them are vacant. You can even explore several lots where the original structures have been demolished. The expensive landscaping features are just left behind to give you the feeling that you are wondering around a park of some kind.

There is only one elevated climb for about a half mile and the rest of the way you can relax. Near the highest point you will see this lighthouse and a few grand entry’s like I have shown above.

Day 8, Tuesday, June 12 

Leg day workout! I shifted in to high gear soon after waking up. I skipped my morning yoga routine and went straight to the bike. By 7:30 I was biking 2.5 miles towards one of the highest peaks on Oahu called Koko crater. It was used as a military missile defense bunker at the top and it has a rail system that was established to haul supplies and soldiers up and down. It has been opened to the public to use as a training trail. Over 1,048 rail tie steps assist you on a climb to the peak. (images below from Google Images)

 

Once I reached the top I did a 15 minute meditation and 15 minutes of yoga while being surrounded by a group of college girls from Brasil. A few other yogi’s were also practicing near me and (IG) @YogiNja81 took this amazing picture of me below. The silhouette of a Brasilian gals hair blowing in the wind towards me while meditating makes a great picture.

For the evening, Vanessa and I went on a lovely wind down hike. We were joined by a lovely rainbow near us at the top of the Wa’Ahila Ridge.

 

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Day 9, Wednesday June 13

What a great way to spend my 21st anniversary of what I call “my second life”. On June 13th, 1997 I should have been killed when hit by a car while riding my motorcycle but higher powers spared me to continue inspiring others towards positive change.

After focusing on an upper body workout to start the morning, I committed 4 hours to complete some more writing goals before hitting the beach.

We finished the day with a light tower hike. It is about a mile long trail with a gradual incline that provides lovely cliff views.

 

Day 10, Thursday June 14

After stretching I began searching for a plane ticket back to Texas. I used the morning to get some more writing done and then went to the beach for awhile. The next 2 days we made reservations at a camp site on the northern shore so a few hours today were spent packing for our weekend adventure.

The drive around the north shore is much more enjoyable because there are far fewer buildings and people. The roadside however, has a large amount of abandoned vehicles.

 

The north shore is also home to several shopping centers where groups of ran down food trucks provide the locals a way to generate income. There are several within minutes of our campground. We loaded up on food just before checking in to our cabin.

The Lanei campground contained about 20 cabins and another 20 tent spots with several outdoor fresh water showers spread in between. There were two private bath houses with plumbing which help validate the $65 nightly fee.

Our #10 cabin probably had the best location out of all of them. Check out these pictures!

As the sunlight faded we enjoyed a walk on the beach and then settled in for the night. The cabin beside us had 3 ladies in their 30s and a mid aged man who enjoyed their alcohol under the stars. It was a bit breezy for me but we sat outside and watched the stars for a bit before going in to play a Hawaiian language card game. The sound of the waves and the cool breeze was so comforting that we were sleepy within minutes of starting a movie.

Day 11, Friday June 15

At times the wind and waves would wake us up. The view was so amazing that we could not help stepping out on the porch for a few deep breathes and late hour meditation.

As the sun rose, here was the morning view out the door.

The day was spent relaxing and doing yoga on the beach, swimming and laying around reading and writing. We went over to a food truck court and had some wonderful Thai food for dinner. The evening was a perfect repeat of Thursday night.

Day 12, Saturday June 16

More walks on the beach followed by short workouts and a little reading before packing up. On the way back to Honolulu we drove the rest of the way up the North Shore to the H2 expressway exit. We stopped at a farm fresh cafe and got an amazing veggie pizza and smoothie. I pulled over at a few beach areas along the way. One spot had some cliff jumpers surrounded by coral pool snorkelers. We also walked around Haleiwa waiting for time to catch up to us. I was going to a big $3500 dart tournament for the evening and Vanessa had fun night planned with the ladies.

 

I arrived at the tournament site 2 hours early to allow me time to play 10 games on a Dartslive rating card. It was a requirement to have this in order to play the event. The boards were unable to pair my card rating with the handicap software though so I still ended up borrowing the top rated card available from the event organizer.

I was fortunate to get paired up with a solid player. Paohoeo was a 5 foot, 120 lb. local from the Wahiawa area. He has lived here over 50 years and has watched the sport of darts evolve around him. The top pro rating on the Dartslive rating scale is 18. Pao (Peter) was a 5 and that basically means he hits what he is aiming at 1 out of the three darts.

I’m a 16-17 so we took both our ratings combined as a team and in comparison, all of the other teams had total’s below ours with the exception of one team. This would require us to give all the other teams a head start most of the tournament. The head start makes it very difficult for pro’s to win. Dartslive software also has created a shadow around the fair start procedure. Top competitions use a cork/diddle to choose the player who starts first in a tie-breaker game but this tournament allowed the computer to choose.

We won our first 3 matches with the help of a lucky finish. We escaped a very close game 3 where we played cricket with only points. A standard cricket game hits 3 marks on the 20 through 15 zone and the bullseye and the winner is the first to do that. The winner may be ahead in points if needed. In this game both teams closed the 20 & 19 zones. I closed the 18 and our opponent closed the 17. Our opponents remained slightly ahead of us on points and went most of the game without closing the 18. It was so close that I told Pao to never throw at the 17 because the Dartslive software stops the game at round 25 and it was likely going to come down to points. Our opponents gained a 100 point lead and threw at the 18 four darts in the final 3 rounds giving us the advantage. My very last throw of the game in round 25 required me to score over 100 to win. Two tripple 18’s equals 108 points and I was very fortunate to do just that to allow us to win the match.

We had a great run to the final 8 on the winners side before meeting Hawaii’s top ranked pro, Philman Reyes. The winner of this match would have a smooth path to the $1900 final. We split the first 2 games. Pao hit a perfect finish to win the first game of 701. Philman out shot me in the cricket game 2. We were awarded the start in game 3 and began with the advantage. I held my average and the lead down to the final rounds before having a twist of bad luck. I made a poor decision and slightly over corrected my final throw which allowed Reyes to take the win. My $550 for first started slipping away into the night.

We won our next match on the down side of the bracket and I began studying the other remaining 6 teams. The losers bracket format was only 501 games. All the other teams had low averages and I knew we would be giving up a large head start and I would need to throw near perfect to make it up. The next match had a player evenly matched with my skill level but he had a 43 point head start and won the start. We both rarely missed and took turns winning the first 2 games. He got the start in game 3 and his partner out scored mine just enough that I never got a shot to win. We both missed 1 dart in round 3 and he finished the game on 116.

It was a fun night with many new friends but I’m left with the bitter finish and lack of a Philman rematch to make up for my quarter final failure.

 

Day 13, Sunday June 17

We were so worn out that we took the day to relax and watch movies. We did take a nice sunset walk. It was a perfect cloud formation and the beams of light were amazing.

Day 14, Monday June 18

I twisted a muscle wrong during my workout so I spent most of the day writing and taking it easy. At the end of the day we went and hiked Kuliouou Ridge. You drive up the neighborhood and park on the street at the top of the valley and enter the trail there.

I could have taken better pictures but I was focused on doing a trail video for the YouTube channel vBlog.  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF934F9293E21137B

 

Day 15, Tuesday June 19
Spent the morning updating my WILL and organized videos on the youtube channel. Finally added the 360 videos from last week and promoted them on the Facebook group. Spent the afternoon writing some more.

Day 16, Wednesday June 20

Still recovering from some back pain. Went for a walk to the park and spent the morning writing. After a challenging poker day last week I convinced myself to avoid Monday’s game and go into today with a better attitude and larger bankrole. I was still feeling the disappointment from letting 1st place at Darts on Saturday slip away from me but I convinced myself to stay positive. I’m glad I went because I had a good run of cards and took down an extra $350 in pots. Every once in awhile you get that Ace-Jack TX Hold’em hand where the board runs mixed 8,9,10 and you get 2 callers chasing into a massive pot. The Queen turns to keep the flush alive while making our straight with the Ace as a river bonus. I put it all in to force out the flush draw and one caller with 10-Jack stayed in expecting a chop at worst. My night would be made if a non flush King showed up for the river and that was exactly what we were delt!!!  🙂

I left shortly after knowing a win like that would rarely come back in the same night. After getting home I was able to get a few more hours of writing done thanks to the rush from that success.

Day 17, Thursday June 21

Today I finally finished the 2017 edition of the Helping Hands Comic. Issue #13 is now available on Amazon. A sneak peek is also available here on the blog for our supporters.

I spent the day with Vanessa as she did her tasks. The bike tire was flat this morning so we stopped at a shop and invested another $17 for a new tube install. We ate a great salad and smoothie at a Vegan Peace Cafe and then went to a lovely hidden beach cove near the Ko Olina resorts. I about injured myself on the slippery reef rocks trying to lay down with a Tortoise. TAKE YOUR TIME & STAY LOW ON REEF ROCKS. The lava rocks especially have jagged Knife edges every few inches that will end your life quickly.

For dinner we went to a Sushi cafe where the items go around you on a conveyor belt. We spent the evening with another one of Vanessa’s amazing friends. They all have such interesting successful lives. Today’s friend was a Laker Girl alumni.

Day 18, Friday June 22

I try to start most days with a new exploration during a bike or jog after a brief lifting or yoga session. Today I went to a new beach called Kawaikui. It was one of the best yet. You start at a nice park with plumbing and showers and stone picnic tables and then you can walk about a mile along the beach behind nice mansions.

I did a bench workout and then jogged the beach. Along the way I found the best nomad shelter yet. This person found a great clump of tree’s to hide a large tent and several coolers. Most people would not have noticed the entrance. I found several nice teal rocks, coral and petrified walnuts. I also found 2 perfectly weathered limbs to use as walking sticks. One section lies behind a church that had organ music and a wedding service in progress. The best discovery was a black sand section. A black sand beach with very few reef rocks or large chunks of coral is very rare on Oahu.

Once I returned to the house I checked the latest youtube blogs that I like to follow.
Hall of Fame Poker Player, Daniel Negreanu has a great blog going during the WSOP. Today he posted a heart felt message about wanting to help more charitable causes after a big multi-million dollar win so we wrote him the following message. We have been on a mission to get more supporters of his caliber so it would be great to be on his friends list.

*CHARITY POST – So sorry to hear about that horrible beat today Daniel. That was the definition of sick…. to be near top stack with the best hand & suck a big stack all in just to be crushed on a 2 outter. I’m about to play a PLO cash game in Honolulu today and hope to avoid such a hit. I even feel bad when I’m on the winning end of a huge suck out.
I PLAY FOR CHARITY also. I have set up a national network where our supporters share stories about causes in need and then I direct the resources as they become available. You can read about our Charity at: wordpress.com/FreeHelpingHands and message me for more info. We have currently raised about $6k of $50k needed to purchase a community center property east of Dallas and that is our main cause this month.
I follow your path more than most because we share a lot of interests like soccer and Vegas life and healthy veggie eating/living etc. My life is basically the low budget grinder yogi version of yours. Hope to talk more with you about your Charity/Philanthropy goals soon.  Blessings.

I spent the afternoon starting comic issue #14. I’m way behind my writing goals at this point with only 3 days remaining on the island. I really hoped to have the next edition of “Life’s Little Secrets” ready by Sunday.

After the morning routine, I went to a beach further east of the house. This beach had the best stretch of soft black sand that I have experienced on Oahu.

After Vanessa was done working I took her back to walk the black sand beach at sunset before going to a dart tourney.

For the evening tourney my partner was a quite shy Japanese woman named Nao. She was calm and confident in her ability and only asked me what to aim at when our Cricket games were close. We only lost one game on our way to a first place finish.

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Day 19, Saturday June 23

We went to a flea market and did some urban hiking along the city marina.

I don’t write about food very often but I can’t close out this blog without talking about how many great health food options there are on Oahu. There are very few sources for junky fast food which allows for an abundance of these health cafes. On the days we were out for meals, we  would get veggie sandwiches, gourmet pizzas or fruit filled Acai bowls and smoothies.

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We closed out the night with a romantic gourmet pizza under the stars on the marina and then went to the new Jurassic Park movie.

 

Day 20, Sunday June 24

On Sundays we try to focus on doing something spiritual. My final full day on the island would be spent driving the east coast up to the north shore to go to the Buddhist temple with the highest praise. The Byodu-In temple is a shrine to the god of balance and equality. We had an amazing day of meditation. Check out these images.

There are more videos on my Instagram and Facebook. Including some 360 images. Enjoy.

We ended the night with a walk along Waimanalo beach.

 

Day 21, Monday June 25

Time to pack and go enjoy one last beach day. Heading to the airport at 7. I hope you enjoyed this photo journal adventure. Our last night was spent on a ocean cliff the locals call China Wall. It is a perfect spot to tan and jump into some deep waves.

 

I arrived home to some plants in need…

 

 

HHN is currently raising $50k to solve poverty problems in East Texas by establishing an educational Center for the Arts via https://www.gofundme.com/HawkinsIC

 

The Giving Pledge is the leading source of current information on large scale Philanthropy. https://givingpledge.org/

This Blog is our record of small details regarding the Billionaires efforts and interests as well as those of others not listed on the Giving Pledge.

 

The Helping Hands Network is often alerted to Causes in need and we use this master list to help match the Causes with the contacts listed below that can provide the help needed! 

 

 

 

Bill & Melinda Gates @BillGates — $28 BILLION

To the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. To improve poverty. In developing countries, we focus on improving people’s health and wellbeing, helping individuals lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, we seek to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—can access the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life.

*PLEASE share/post – #HHN is improving #poverty in East #Texas by raising $50k to establish an educational Center for the Arts via https://www.gofundme.com/HawkinsIC #Help #HelpingHands

 

Warren Buffett Warren@BerkshireHathaway.com — $27.5 BILLION+
To the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Susan Thompson Buffett FoundationSherwood FoundationHoward G. Buffett Foundation and NoVo Foundation.

*PLEASE share/post – #HHN is improving #poverty in East #Texas by raising $50k to establish an educational Center for the Arts via https://www.gofundme.com/HawkinsIC #Help – the #HelpingHands founder is a #Berkshire Stock holder

 

Jeff Bezos @JeffBazos —  $??

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2017/06/15/jeff-bezos-amazon-philanthropy/102896058/

 

Actress Jami Gertz and her husband Antony Ressler — $10,569,002

To the Ressler Gertz Foundation. Grants from the foundation include $1.7 million to the LA County Museum of Art, $400k to Cedar Sinai Medical Center.

 

Musician Herb Alpert –$9,104,829

To the Herb Alpert Foundation, which focuses on the arts, compassion, and well being.

 

Actor Mel Gibson — $6,853,020

To the A.P. Reilly Foundation, which he started to support Holy Family Church.

 

Director, Producer, Writer, George Lucas — $4,250,000 

To Lucas Film Foundation then granted to The George Lucas Educational Foundation with a mission to inspire and empower young people to become responsible citizens, compassionate leaders, and to live their dream.

 

Writer Nora Roberts — $3,000,000

To the Nora Roberts Foundation, which support literacy. Additional areas of focus are: children’s programs, arts organizations, and humanitarian efforts, with local organizations being its priority.

 

NFL Player Ndamukong Suh — $2,600,000

$2 million to the Nebraska University athletic department and another $600,000 to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Engineering to endow a scholarship. It is the largest single gift ever from a former football player.

*PLEASE share/post – #HHN is improving #poverty in East #Texas by establishing an educational Center for the Arts via https://www.gofundme.com/HawkinsIC #Help – the #HelpingHands founder is a Husker Athletic alumni

 

MLB Player Lance Berkman and his wife Cara — $2,412,245

To The Lord’s Fund, a foundation they established.  Grants include $400k to Josiah Venture, a Christian youth movement in Eastern Europe, and $113k to Children’s Cup, a Christian organization focusing on “forgotten children” in Swaziland, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, and efforts are also underway in Vietnam and the Philippines.. Most of their giving is to Christian-based organizations.

Actress Meryl Streep and her husband Donald Gummer — $2,000,000

To Silver Mountain Foundation for the Arts, a foundation they established.  Grants include $100k each to Oxfam America and Partners in Health; $1,225,000 to Vassar College. Total grantmaking for the year was more than $2.1 million.

Television Producer Marcia Carsey and her husband John Carsey — $1,870,000

To Carsey Family Foundation they established. Grants include $250k to Media Matters for America, $100k to Institute for America’s Future, $50k to Progressive Talent Initiative.

Simpsons’ Co-Creator Sam Simon — $1,800,000

To The Sam Simon Foundation to “save the lives of dogs to enrich the lives of people.”  The Foundation manages a number of programs including a mobile veterinary unit, dogs for veterans, and dogs for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld — $1,766,000

To the Seinfeld Family Foundation that supports education, children’s services, health associations, and Jewish organizations; funding also for the arts.

Actress Barbra Streisand — $1,555,500

To the Barbra Streisand Foundation.  Grants are distributed to a variety of charities and causes including the Barbra Streisand Women’s Cardiovascular Research and Education Program at Cedars Sinai, City Year, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, respectively.

Actor Matthew McConaughey — $1,537,292

To the Just Keep Livin’ Foundation that he established. Grants distributed include $88,000 to Communities in School Los Angeles West and $38,000 Communities in School Central Texas.

Writers Dean and Gerda Koontz — $1,500,000

To the Dean and Gerda Koontz Foundation. Grants include $750,000 to Canine Companions for Independence and $500,000 to Saint Michael’s Abbey in Silverado, CA.

Model Gisele Bundchen — $1,500,000

To the Red Cross for Haiti Relief.

Writer Isabel Allende — $1,017,247

To the Isabel Allende Foundation to support charities that empower and protect women.  Founded in honor of her daughter, Paula Frias who passed away at 28. Grants include $500,000 to Oritel, which provides human services for low income families and $30,500 to the Global Fund for Women.

Actor Alec Baldwin — $1,005,131

To the Alec Baldwin Foundation. Grants include $50,000 to the NY Philharmonic, $42,500 to Waterkeeper Alliance, and $250,000 to the Carol M Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Actress Sandra Bullock — $1,000,000

To Doctors Without Borders for Haiti Relief following the devastating earthquake.

NFL Player Eli Manning and his wife Abby — $1,000,000

To the University of Mississippi’s Ole Miss Opportunity Scholarship, which allows prospective students with an adjusted gross family income at or below $30,000 to attend the University of Mississippi.

Actress Will and Jada Smith — $900,000

To the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation.  Grants included $126,000 to the Lupus Foundation, $200,000 to the Baltimore School for the Arts, and $52,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Playboy Founder Hugh Hefner — $900,000

To Trust for Public Land to save the iconic Hollywood sign from being plowed under in order to make room for four luxury homes.

NBA Player Carmelo Anthony — $837,200

To Carmelo Anthony Foundation. Grants include $500,000 to Syracuse University and $302,000 to The Living Classroom Foundation.

Cyclist and seven-time winner of the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong — $700,648

To The LiveStrong Foundation, which he founded to improve the lives of people with cancer.

Writers Jonathan and Faye Kellerman — $627,700

To Jonathan and Faye Kellerman Foundation. Grants include $175,000 for Children’s Hospital of LA, $150,000 to USC/Kellerman Endowment, $25,000 to Boston Institute of Music.

MLB Player Mariano Rivera — $627,500

To the Mariano Rivera Foundation. Grants distributed included $150,000 to the Church of God Prophecy and $50,000 to the Brooklyn Tabernacle.

Singer/Songwriter Taylor Swift — $625,000

$500k to Hands on Nashville the Community Foundation of Middle Tennesee for Nashville’s flood relief efforts (Nashville Rising);  $25,000 to the Wyomissing, PA school district for educational $100,000 check to rebuild Kids Kingdom, a playground in Hendersonville, Tennesee where she attended high school.

Daniel and Cara Whitney (Larry the Cable Guy) — $550,020

To Git-R-Done Foundation. Grants include $500,000 to the Child Advocacy Center and $525,000 to the Madonna Foundation.

Artist Jasper Johns — $500,000

To Low Road Foundation he established.  Grants distributed include $50,000 to the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.

Golfer Davis Love — $424,379

To the Davis Love III Foundation, which he established.  Grants distributed include $479,000 to the St. Presbyterian Church, $100,000 to Frederica Academy, $75,000 to Special Olympics, and $75,000 to Boys and Girls Club of Southeast GA.

Actress Victoria Principal — $342,665

To Victoria Principal Foundation. Grants distributed include $25,000 to Greenpeace Fund, $125,000 to Natural Resource Defense Council, $100,000 to Oceana.

 

We are always looking to buy/sell/trade rare things. Our main focus is on…

We have a blog post for each focus to provide enthusiasts a chance to sign up and receive email alerts when the posts are updated with new inventory.

 

Here is our current GI Joe trade inventory and shopping list updated 2/13/18

PARTS NEEDED
82′ MOBAT

Small Turret Gun

 

’83 APC
(1) Wheel

 

’84 Moccasin

L & R Gun, Left Cover, Propeller, Fins

 

84′ HOVERCRAFT WHALE

2 Fin Complete Assembly (2) – Rocket Launcher w/ peg bar (1) – Upper Windshield – Sled release Button

Driver CUTTER – Cutter Card
’84 SKY HAWK

Canopy

 

’85 Swampfire

Propellers, (1) pontoon

 

’85 MORAY – Hatch Missiles (2) ; Hatch covers (1 Left side) ; Side Mounted Missiles (1) ; Turret Gun (1) Rear Guns (4) ; Depth Charges (2) ; Rear left floor panel ; 1 Seat, Muffler ; 1 engine covers ; Windshields (1 left 1 right) ; Left and Right Laser Canons WITH TABS

 

’85 SNOW CAT

Missile Launcher – Missiles – Ski Torpedoes w/ Ski (1)

 

’85 AWE STRIKER

Engine

 

’85 Ferret

(2) Front Machine Gun, (2) Rear hatch cover, (4) side missiles

 

’85 Tactical Platform

Radar dish (w/ good connecting slot), Hoist Rope/Hook, hoist wench/handle

 

’86 STUN

Left Engine Cover, Rear Gun, Flags (2)

 

’86 Serpentor Chariot

Front Shield

 

’86 HYDRO SLED

Front Clip

 

’86 CONQUEST X-30

Front R & L wing, Rear Upper R & L Tails, Canopy

 

’87 WOLF

Right Ski, 2 Snow Torpedoes

 

’87 Dreadnok Cycle

Left Shield

 

’89 DESTRO RAZORBACK

Missile Arms, Missiles (8), Dome Top, Dome Gun 

 

TIM’s FIGURE NEED LIST

Priority Figures

’82 Scarlett, Cobra Officer, Short Fuze, Snake Eyes, Steeler, Cobra Commander

’83 Bludd, Airborne, Doc,, Gung-Ho, Torpedo,TripWire, Grand Slam, Grunt, Destro, Viper Pilot

’84 Cutter (WHALE), Cobra Commander, Baroness, Zartan, Storm Shadow

’85 Lampreys (Moray), Tollbooth (Bridge Layer), Flint, Buzzer, Ripper, Torch, Xamot, Shipwreck, Snake Eyes & wolf

’86 Viper, Mainframe, The Fridge, Roadblock

’88 Destro, Road Pig, Blizzard, Storm Shadow, Duke

 

Figures

’84 Blowtorch, Firefly, Recondo, Ripcord, Roadblock, Scrap Iron, Clutch, Copperhead, Wild Weasel

’85 Crimson Guard, Quick Kick, FootLoose, Snow Serpent, Barbecue

’86 Mindbender, Strato Viper, Sci-Fi, Leatherneck, Lifeline, Falcon, Jinx

’87 Raptor, Big Boa, Tunnel Rat

’88 Spearhead, Shockwave, TF SkyStriker (Tiger Rat Pilot)

’89 Muskrat, Recoil, Alley Viper, Night Viper
Figure Extras Needed:

Need any accessories for the figures listed above

’88 Super Trooper Shield

 

MISC WANT LIST

’82 MMS, JUMP

Surveillance Port

ASP

Dusty’s Coyote Sandstorm

Check Point, Bunker

’83 HQ Command

’86 Outpost Defender

 

 

VEHICLE WANT LIST

Cobra

’83 FANG

’84 Swamp Skier & Zartan, Rattler, Stinger

’85 Flight Pod, Black Snake, C.A.T., S.M.S.

’86 Night Raven, Dreadnok Air Assault, Ground Assault, Swamp Fire

’88 FANG 2

Joe

’83 Dragonfly, Polar Bear, Sky Striker, Twin Gun, Wolverine

’84 SHARC, VAMP 2

’85 Armadillo, MBT Mauler Tank, Silver Mirage

’86 Devil Fish, Triple T, L.A.W.

’88 Desert Fox, Warthog, Paw, Rat, Night Striker

’89 Night Boomer, Ray, Scrambler

’90 Sky Raven

TRADE INVENTORY

Figures:

’82 CLUTCH – new O ring, left knee & right elbow are looser, paint is thin, left thumb busted.

’82 ZAP – Great paint & joints with busted hands.

’82 Rock n Roll – Waist and legs with near mint joints. Pocket paint is thinning.

’87 Cobra Commander v3 (in Armor) – w/ Pistol, Shoulders are loose, crotch damage

’87 Techno-Viper

’88 Night Force Psyche Out

’88 Hit n Run – left foot hole/heel cracked

’89 Stalker, HEAT Viper,

’89 Deep Six – Complete w/ Card – PENDING

’90 Metal head, Rapid Fire, RANGE Viper, Law & Order, Decimator (Hammer Head Driver)

’90 Major Storm (General Assault Driver)

’91 Grunt

’93 Admiral Keel Haul – excellent condition

’93 Bazooka – w/ rifle

’93 Dr. Mindbender – w/ 4 guns

’94 Metal Head – Complete

 

 

Vehicles:

’82 VAMP – no rear gun

’83 F.A.N.G. – Complete but has busted blade mount

’85 Bomb Disposal

’85 MORAY – $115 OBO Complete w/ Comic Book, Poster & Lamprey Driver (no card). Will sell YOUR CHOICE either GEN 1 TAB version or GEN 2. ONLY Missing Light lens.

’85 MORAY – $75 OBO Near complete. Missing Exhaust, 1 seat, 1 missile, 2 charges, upper gun & left side canon.

’86 HAVOC – Good tabs. Missing over head swivels and cockpit.

’86 STUN – Left Cockpit is cracked. Has seats and guns.

’86 L.C.V. Recon Sled

’86 Dreadnok Thunder Machine – no Role cage

’87 Coastal Defender

’87 BRV Road Toad

’87 Buzz Boar

’87 WOLF – tracks, front ski, 3 missiles, missile hatch, decals

’87 Sea Ray – Cockpit shell w/ engine cover (tab busted on shield)

’87 Battle Force 2000 Collection – $140 Complete (Will split it up)

’87 Battle Force 2000 PARTS – Eliminator, MARAUDER, Sky Sweeper, VINDICATOR

’87 Maggot – No cannon

’88 Imp – body w/ 1 track

’89 Arctic Blast – has heat damage but has 1 good wheel, 2 side guns, 2 missiles & seat belt.

’89 Marauder Lynx – tow Chain end busted, Canon has chew marks

’90 Cobra Rage – Complete

 

Vehicle Accessories:

’84 WHALE – Turret, 1 Depth Charge

’86 Recon Sled front wheel, rear machine gun, front right gun & windshield

’87 Dreadnok Skiff – Missiles & Guns

’88 Adder Missiles – 1 near mint, 1 with broken tabs

’88 Skystorm – 5 missiles

’89 MudFighter – 8 bombs

UNKNOWN – New 1988 Decal pack, 1988 stick on tattoos pack,

 

Literature:

I have most of the 1984-89 printed items.

 

FIGURE EXTRAS FOR SALE

’82 Series 1 Helmet w/ faded paint. Looks Olive Brown/Green, Stalker waist & legs,

’83 Ace pack

’85 Footloose Pack

’85 Crankcase Rifle (no bipod)

’86 Zandar Rifle

’86 Mindbender Pack w/ hose

’86 Fridge legs & crotch

’87 Chuckles Holster

’87 Croc master Leash

’87 Cobra Cmnd gun

’87 CrazyLegs File Card

’87 BF Kockdown Helmet

’87 BF Maverick Gun

’88 Super Trooper Armor

’88 Spearhead (2) swords

’88 Dusty Pack

’88 Tiger Force Lifeline parts COMPLETE  3/4 of full Card, mask, hose, case, pack, pistol

’88 Storm Shadow File card

’88 Hydro Viper Knife & gun

’88 Voltar Back & Gun

’89 Stalker Rifle

’89 Rock & Roll Complete gun pack

’89 Backblast launcher w/ 4 missiles (pack stand is busted)

’89 Alley Viper Pack w/ hook

’89 Storm Shadow v2 3/4 of Full Card

’90 Overlord helmet & 2 claws

’90 FreeFall File Card & Pack

’92 Star Brigade Missile Launchers – 3 Launchers 23 missiles

’93 SciFi Helmet

 

The cold weather is allowing me extra time in the studio and it feels great to get caught up on the HHN publishing.

2016 was so full of excitement that issue #12 will include 2 extra pages! It will be published tomorrow, Thursday January 18, 2018. Here is a sneak peak. I hope it continues to inspire everyone to support the Helping Hands Network and all the causes we sponsor.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Full Issue in Kindle Format available here:  https://tinyurl.com/ybqmgdmp

1

3

4

 

We have been focusing on fundraising so fiercely the past 3 years that we let the graphic comic novel books get behind schedule. During the holiday break and the cold weather we have been working hard to get caught up. The 2015 issue will be ready very soon. Here is a sneak peek at what is coming.

For those who prefer the Kindle format version, here is the link to purchase all our books via Amazon.    https://tinyurl.com/ybqmgdmp

 

V4p1

V4p3

BUILDING & REMODELING  101

by Tim Frentz

Stirling Solar System

I specialize in sustainable tiny home design and enjoy consulting projects of all sizes. This is a helpful guide for home building or remodeling of any size project. It will give you the pros and cons of the choices you have to make along the way so you can make the most informed decision possible.

If you have received a free copy of this guide, please consider making a small donation to our non-profit Helping Hands Network by emailing tfrentz@hotmail.com for payment options.

This guide is also very helpful for those that are relying on a general contractor to treat them fairly and make the best quality decisions possible on their behalf within the agreed contract pricing. I recommend you retain your general contracting rights and contract each stage of the project on your own. It is a difference in paying approximately a 33% mark up on every single process. In the end, it is the difference between paying closer to $66,000 instead of $100,000.

Most of the time, these decisions are made because of increased pressure on the home owners by the lender. In most cases, lenders will have some qualifications that need to be met before approving the loan. This just means that you need to find a construction friend that can sign-off as a general contractor on your behalf. The main qualification hurdle on a whole home build loan is that you contract a professional framer. Beyond that, most of the other processes are more lightly regulated by the lender.

I strongly urge you to save up your cash and only build a little at a time as you have enough funds without financing from a high interest rate lender. By doing this you limit the chains that prevent you from living freely out of debt.

This guide is written in the order of a new construction process from the planning to finishing stages.

Prices change often and vary by region so I do not list them in this guide. You will need to look up current pricing for your area as needed.

 

RESOURCE PLANNING

The more cash and credit you have available, the easier it will be to achieve your goals. However, do not feel that a project is beyond reach due to a lack of available finances. I have completed some amazing projects with resources acquired through barter, thrift, salvage, auction and even scrap yard hunting.

Once you have completed your first wave of resource planning through all discounted methods, it is time to begin looking for the products and services that you will need to pay more for. Keep watching for deals from the first phase of resources but get your plan B in order.

I will give examples as this guide goes over each section of the process. Price estimates are based on a 2000 sq. ft.; 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath home.

 

 

DESIGN DRAFTS

After you have a resource list organized, you are ready to place them in a blueprint of your project. After you have a blueprint, you will know how many items or how much material you need. If this is a complete structure build or remodel, you will need to obtain the property or a trailer to put it on.

 

INSPECT & OBTAIN PROPERTY

You can now pick a location that may have some of the natural resources you need in your design plans. It is best to obtain free property from family or homestead an unclaimed territory for new building but if you must resort to buying, try to avoid a realtor at all costs and contact private sellers. If you have trade skills, you can use them to build a friendship with the owner of a property you have your eye on. Do enough projects with them and you will likely get a nice discount.

While reviewing land, look closely. Are there any trees in the way of building equipment? Are the trees in the right location for shade? Are there any food baring plants and trees? Are there enough lumber trees to burn for heat on cool nights?

If there is a natural spring or running stream you can have drinking water and the ability to connect a hydro turbine for electricity. If there is a hill, you will be able to form a swell wall to catch rain in a pond and gravity drop your plumbing to avoid city or county utilities. Do you know what the outdoor burning rules are so you can minimize your non recyclable waste?

What is the ground content? Take a shovel and dig 2 feet down if you can because the content of the ground determines your options and how expensive the foundation and power will be.

 

GROUND BREAKING & FOUNDATION  

*Assuming this is not a mobile or trailer project

A solid foundation pad is a must. If you cut corners on setting your foundation, the rest of the house will fail long before you are gone. If you build on top of soft dirt or sand your house will settle and potentially brake windows, doors, walls, tile and much more and you will end up removing and replacing everything you planned so hard to save money on.

Hopefully the property has some form of long lasting material to base the foundation. Ideally you want a hard wood forest on site so you can hue the logs, tar them and build on top of those that have a long shelf life. This land will most likely have enough soft spots that geothermal tubes can be placed 30 feet into the ground to provide heat and cooling.

If the ground is hard, you will only need to pay for a leveling service. Make sure they clear a path or driveway also while doing the pad. Chances are that a soft area for geothermal will not be available and drilling would be too expensive so other renewable energy solutions will need to be considered.

 

Building into the side of a hill and doing an earth roof will increase your homes climate comfort while minimizing the need for heating and cooling so hopefully your land has plenty of free “earth” to use. Building into a slope on one side of your home will also protect your family from tornado type storms.

 

Basements are an added expense but if you are in a strong storm area, you will want to consider a small shelter room that can double up as a panic room and valuables safe. But for most purposes, building into the side of a hill will provide safety rooms along that one side.

A standard leveling charge for a service where the removed layer remains on the property is around $2000. Hard rock/ore delivery plus compacting services will cost around $8000. A medium sized poured basement is around $12,000. There is no reason to pay to have your earth hauled off. There will be plenty of landscape uses for it.

*My next home will have an earth wall and roof.  J

 

FRAMING  

I strongly encourage you to consider building naturally. Commercial lumber, drywall and paint is all processed with chemicals that your body absorbs over time. Adobe, straw bale and natural wood along with other repurposed materials should be researched before using any commercial products.

 

If you must use commercial products, standard pine lumber does fine and unless you are doing mostly glass walls, you do not need any metal framing. On a earth wall, treated lumber with waterproof wrapping and prepped gravel and draining measures will be needed. The most important parts of commercial framing include having treated 2×6 base plates on a solid foundation with proper drainage, 2×8 floor laminated veneer lumber (LVL) beams, high weight baring ceiling trusses and properly supported weight baring walls.

Any external wood wall structure needs to be wrapped in waterproof sheeting. This also improves insulation values. The typical 2000 sq. ft. home will cost about $14,000 to frame with commercial products. Using natural products will reduce this cost tremendously.

Porch easements are included in framing but not deck and sun room additions. See “SURROUNDING” comments for details.

 

ROOF

There are many options for roofing and it is easy to over think and get overwhelmed in the decision.

An earth covered roof is the longest lasting with proper installation and maintenance. Treated plywood with a layer of ice and water shield covered by rubber rolled roofing is the best way to waterproof the roof.  Put a shovel scoop of gravel down before each section of the sod to keep roots from growing into the rubber and to keep the sod from eroding away in high winds. Framing needs to be done with 2×6 walls to support the extra weight but the benefits are well worth the minor increased lumber cost. The earth roof will filter out dangerous radio waves and radiation but yet allow a decent phone signal through.
Metal roofs require special tools and a lot of expensive screws, custom edge pieces, and ridge and end caps. If the pitch is not steep enough, rain will make a very annoying loud pounding noise. Extra insulation is needed to keep the noise muffled. Metal will disrupt radio waves so if you rely on cell phones you will want to consider a copula bell tower with windows to hold a range extender to improve your reception and data flow.

Asphalt shingles are inexpensive and easy to repair and maintain and do not filter radio waves as much as metal.

Wood shakes and clay tiles are expensive and pricey to maintain and repair.

Tesla has a Solar Shingle

SunFlare has a solar film wrap.

 

HEATING / COOLING

The most efficient heating/cooling system to install will cost about the same as a traditional system. The only headache is that the Sterling Engine will take some self training to repair if it ever acts up. A sterling engine uses far less energy than a natural gas furnace and electric air cooling condenser.

Here is an example of a Sterling engine on a geothermal system by Cool Energy of Boulder CO. The only change I recommend is switching to an inline on demand water heater instead of the water tank. Tanks cost the same price and have more maintenance issues and take up too much space.

Stirling Solar System

 

A Sterling engine works by using the pressure created by temperature change to move the engine pistons as needed. This means that in a geothermal system, there is no need for gas or electric power input to drive the system. It is completely powered by the change of the temperature alone. The higher the range of temperature in your area, the more energy it creates.  The city of Boulder, CO is a leader in renewable energy implementation and design and they use several SolarFlow Systems.

To read more about this technology visit…

NewEnergyDirection.com/blog/2009/06/stirling-engine-generator/ (read the comments)

CoolEnergyInc.com/video-solarflow-system/

I recommend having the HVAC unit wired to the grid as well as to the Sterling (SolarHeart) engine just in case one or the other has problems.

 

 

 

PLUMBING

There is not much to plumbing. You need a constant reliable source of fresh water like a well, stream, lake or pond; a digester for waste; and a heating source. A raised water tank or up-hill source provides the needed water pressure for showers while an in-line water heater powered by a single solar panel system with battery backup will provide all the warm water you need.

If the main water source is a pond or river, you will need a pump powered by a water wheel turbine or solar system to move the water uphill to your house unless it is channeled from a higher elevation. If that is the case, your land is in a high danger of being flooded often.

Make sure your water lines are pex tubing and that they are not installed on any external walls if you are in a region that gets below freezing.

You will want to find a good deal on a UV filtering system also. You have no idea what is in bottled or public water sources. Rain water will have the least amount of harmful chemicals but near large industrial plants even the rain water is likely to be contaminated. A UV filter system is the best way to be certain you have minimized the risk of your drinking water.

Consider an incinerating toilet by Incinolet!
https://incinolet.com/product-category/toilets/

 

ELECTRICAL

With the framing, roof and main plumbing lines done, electrical wiring can be setup. There is not much to be decided. The main choices you have to make are where you want outlets, switches, speakers, fans and such located. You will want to obtain a code book from the local utility office to help you. Make sure your fuse breaker box is not outside. It is no fun to go out in the weather to reset a breaker. Anything outdoors is also a target for vandals.

You can buy the wire at a contractor supply wholesaler or through an electrician friend and do some quick research on the codes in your area. When running wire, drill holes in the middle of the wood and tack metal plates over the holes on the interior wall side of the holes to prevent wall nails from penetrating the wiring which could result in shorts and possible fire. You need to use wire staples to hold the wire to the studs at least every 12 inches to prevent it from being punctured by wall nails.

Make sure you use the proper gauge of wire for the items being used on the circuit. You will want to review your wiring diagrams with an expert to make sure you are running them properly and then you just need to pay a licensed electrician to connect everything for the inspection.

You will want to have as many windows as possible to limit the need for electrical light but when you do need them, pick Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights to minimize the energy dependence.

Make sure you wire for renewable energy sources like solar panels, a backup battery bank and a grid tie inverter.

Run as much of the wire as possible underground to limit electric pulses surrounding you and minimize interference. This usually is limited to the main line running from a utility pole to the fuse box. Make sure your fuse box and the connection point of the main utility line is properly placed for the line coming in from the utility pole. It is a common mistake to place a fuse box and hook up in a location not serviceable. This means that thousands of dollars in running wire could be wasted if it has to be pulled and relocated. The expense can grow very large if other finish work like drywall and such would need to be torn out for a rewire.

 

IF you connect to an Electric Utility grid, make sure you demand a mechanical meter. DO NOT accept a digital SMART METER. These smart meters amplify electric pulses and radiation surrounding you in order to emit strong waves of data 100’s of feet away to allow utility vehicles to drive around and monitor energy use. They also serve as a computer hackers back door into your privacy. The signal can be hacked and skilled thieves can see the energy spikes. This information tells a thief if anyone is home and allows them to case a target easier. (See StopSmartMeters.org)

I recommend getting a pre-packaged Tesla Pack. Here are the details and videos.

Jehu Garcia (Best YouTube Videos)

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcMfCkN1juSa49DJFYltOTw

 

Solar Panel Deals:

Flexible – http://j35.us/136wFlexSolarPanl  $159/ 136w

Framed – http://j35.us/100w-100-solar  $110/100w

 

Power Pack Battery Deals: http://mailchi.mp/jag35/december-lithium-batteries

NCR18650B – $16 per 100w of power storage. Most efficient & close to the best price available. BUT SHIPPING & WIRING VARIES ON QUANTITY and the unit available.

Tesla 3kw Module: ($25 per 100w) $750 /ea. unit. Full power pack WITH A COOLING SYSTEM. No extra wiring needed to save time for near the same cost of purchasing smaller units and connecting them together.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/252144461952?rmvSB=true

Battery Management System (BMS) Deals: http://j35.us/Batrium

Battery Maintenance Chargers: http://j35.us/Elcon-5Kw-Charger

 

If you want to DIY, here are some links for materials to build a Tesla Battery Bank to hold extra power from your solar generation.
Laptop Batteries http://j35.us/Ebay-Laptop-Battery-Lot
$6 per 15 – 18650 Holders http://j35.us/18650-spacer-clips
? Copper buss bars http://j35.us/1NGpBo4
$12 per 5 Brass strips http://j35.us/Small-Brass-Strips
? Cell Fuse wire http://j35.us/1k-Ohm-resistor
$195 PowerLab 6 – http://j35.us/FMA-PowerLab-6
$20 Cell Log 8 – http://j35.us/Cell-Log8

 

DOORS AND WINDOWS

As valuable products begin moving into the home, the doors and windows need to be installed. These are very simple and you don’t need to pay a builder to do a task that a couple of friends or family can help you do. Unfortunately it is hard to find a builder who is willing to allow home owners to get in the middle of some projects like doors and windows. Most of the time owners just give in and overpay to have the ease of mind and smooth progress. Two key things to remember include, insulating the gaps and taping over the outside edges to water proof them before stone work, siding, flashing and trim begins.

 

EXTERNAL FEATURES

After plumbing and electrical holes are all in place through external walls, you can start installing accent features like stone or brick. I recommend at least one third of the outside be done in a durable long lasting resource.

Siding

There are so many external product options that a person can go insane trying to design and decide their ideal finish. The longest lasting, easiest to maintain and most affordable options to compliment the stone includes barn wood, hardwood logs, and steel panels. These do not need paint maintenance.

Hard wood logs need to be from a species that no pests are attracted to in your area. Do your research. Poplar is one I prefer. Cedar is the leading choice for fascia and trim because it is rot resistant.

Vinyl and standard wood siding require a lot of maintenance costs. Vinyl fades and cracks easily. Base wood siding products need excessive nailing, paint and caulk which doubles the cost. The ridge on most horizontal wood siding attracts dirt, mildew and webs.

Concrete (Hardy) board siding is durable and allows custom color finishes but has far too many disadvantages. It chips under pressure and is hard to repair. Labor costs are 3x the cost of other options because it is messy and requires special tools. It also needs trim nailed on seams and needs caulked and painted. It does not miter well for trim. It also makes a dangerous dust that gets in your eyes and lungs when being cut.

 

Soffit

For soffit, I prefer wide 1/2 inch thick wainscot planks with tongue and groove laps treated in polyurethane. Vents just attract dirt and insects so I just drill small holes for ventilation. My second choice is a vinyl paneling. Do not go with aluminum because the paint fails and the slightest of dings are permanent. Some minor dings can be reversed by placing a heat gun over the dent but it is not guaranteed. Aluminum soffit is also hard to replace.

Wood rots and cement hardy board chips so I do not recommend using them. Dirt and webs also stick to them and are much harder to power wash off.

Fascia

The wood should be treated or rot resistant and it should be covered in aluminum. An 80 ft. by 3ft role of coil costs about $100 and a bending machine can be rented for about $50/day. There is nothing complicated about doing this. After installing the metal, make sure to seal the edges with caulk and your fascia will look like new for a long time with just occasional washing. This will also keep pests out.

Window & Door External Trim

Make sure all the edges are sealed with water proof tape and have metal rain flashing installed. Now, add any wood frames you want and then use the same materials as the fascia over the frames unless you are adding some nice stone or brick highlights. This needs to be done before the stone or siding goes on.

Gutter

Controlling the flow of water near your foundation is critical. Installing gutter at the right angle will take two people but it is a simple “DIY” project. Long seamless runs of gutter are nice but they are not worth the cost of custom ordering and the hassle of installing.

Rain Catchment

Install the down spouts of the gutters to barrels so you can channel the excess water into your gardens and home plumbing system.

 


INTERIOR

Insulation

The standard r30 rated rolled insulation is great for walls but if you have a metal roof you are going to want to add some blow in insulation on top of it to drown out rain. That also means you can’t have vaulted ceilings. Insulation requires no special skills to install so save some money and get your friends to help with this too.

Walls

Drywall is heavy but with strong help it is not complicated to install. You will want to install it and then pay an expert to come in and sand the joints. You then want to make sure you paint a sealer/primer over the drywall to protects it before being painted. Again, I encourage natural products like wood or adobe instead of chemically polluted drywall.

Tile is best for bathrooms and kitchens.

Ceiling

Drywall, labor, plaster texture and paint is just as expensive as doing ceilings in a nice wood so consider it heavily.

Flooring

Remember to watch for deals. You can get great wood flooring at auctions or clearance areas of hardware stores and flooring liquidator warehouses. Installation is easy but requires a special nail gun that can be rented for about $40 a day.

Carpet does not last and it requires vacuum maintenance and stores bacteria germs and pet hair.

Tile is great but requires a special cutting saw and the grout in the joints requires a lot of time to keep clean on floors.

 

 

Trim

Borders, frames, base board, wall accents and ceiling crown molding is an art form. It is a bit challenging to get joints mitered just right and caulked for paint but you should at least try it before giving in to pay an expert.

Stone Fire Guard

A wood burning stove doubles as a room warmer in the cold months. It is one of the most used items in my home. A stone mantle or raised floor fire guard is nice accent piece to any home.

Counters

Again, I’m a strong supporter of natural wood. Marble and granite are nice but expensive and when they get damaged you have to live with it because it is too expensive to replace. I will take a nice hard wood with thick layers of durable clear coat any time.

Cabinets

There are a lot of DIY kits available. Go check some out at IKEA or a similar store where they let you use computer diagrams to layout and print blueprints. I recommend you consider auctions and area salvage stores for discounted handles and hardware before over paying at stores. Antique hardware is better crafted and cleans up nicely.

Closets

There are a lot of easy DIY kits available so don’t pay someone to put them together.

Appliances

Dish washers are a waste of space and water. The average person, washes their dishes and then still puts them in a dishwasher thinking the high heat treatment is needed to eliminate any remaining bacteria. The extra use of energy and water is just silly.

Do you really need a dryer? You can hang your clothes up to dry and save a lot of money on energy bills. It may not be as big of a deal if you are generating an abundance with your solar and wind systems but a dryer is the biggest consumer of energy in a home along with a furnace. The luxury of being able to de-wrinkle or improve odors quickly is a hard habit to break but with proper preparation, you can do this just as well without a dryer.

Make sure you check all the hardware store clearance isles and classified listings in the area before paying retail for an appliance.

 

 

Paint

Don’t skimp on paint. Get a top quality latex paint for high traffic areas. This will minimize damages and allow for stains to be cleaned easily without the need to do much touch up painting. In low traffic or raised areas, you can use a lower quality paint with a satin or flat finish to save money.

Window Treatments & Shelving

This area is unlimited with great choices. There are so many great designs that there really is no way to recommend any particulars. I do suggest that you visit tradeshows or seek out local wood workers to get ideas for custom shelves and unique wood furniture needs.

 

SURROUNDING

Decks are a great addition. Half of our time at home should be spent outside and a relaxation center like a deck or patio encourages us to get off the couch and be active. I spend most my time in tiny home living quarters of less than 800 sq. ft. One of the first things I do when I relocate is build a deck or patio to create the extra space I need for activities. My homes usually have a small sleeping area, a cooking area and an eating area that doubles as an office and entertainment room. My workout room, greenhouse, art studio, music room and any other needed space is blended into an outdoor deck or sunroom.

Decks need to have a solid foundation. If it is just a walk through area, it can be supported with basic 16×16 foundation pads on top soil but if it is an area with a framed structure and a large gathering space, it will need concrete pillars 2 feet deep.

The frame needs to be treated and/or rot resistant wood. There are a lot of options for decking. I suggest colored concrete for patio like areas and regular pine lumber elsewhere with a combination of tile or stone accents. The lumber needs water treated and stained every two years but the added cost of composite or using treated wood for the entire deck is not worth $100 of stain and 2 days of your time every two years. The lumber should be held together with weather proof screws with high torque heads. (NOT your normal Phillips bit head.) In most applications a hidden spacer bracket (Deck Lock) can be used to minimize visible screw heads.

Composite warps and fades under the elements just as fast as standard pine wood so it is not worth the extra cost.

Patios are one of my most enjoyable projects to design and implement. They set the tone for the surrounding landscape plan. A combination of rock, stone and colored/stamped concrete is amazing. Brick and block pads will eventually frustrate you as they catch dirt allowing weeds to seed and grow.

You will want any gaps to either be hairline thin or larger than a half inch wide. Gaps less than a half inch will trap dirt and sand and need continuous cleaning.

Sun Rooms have improved in design since the last time I built one so I will add more to this section after I do the next one. For now I just want to make sure you choose products that are energy star rated. There are still single pane glass options out there and they need to be avoided. You will not be please with the buildup of condensation and moisture damage and staining caused by single pane glass. You will also be dissatisfied with the noise pollution and lack of insulation for climate control.

 

KEY POINTS

I am available to stay a week at a time on any special projects you may have to help manage your contracting needs.

Here is a list of the services I provide the most:

– Framing; Roof; windows; doors; floors; trim; paint; wood ceiling; electric prep and fixture install; decks; sunrooms; renewable energy system installs; gutters; siding; soffit/fascia; closets; custom wood features; landscaping; fencing and cement patio features.

 

*Everything else, I can help sub-contract to others for you.

 

If you are using a general contractor of your own, they will add 15-20% on top of my prices. I recommend you leave the floors; trim; paint; wood ceiling; fixture installs; decks; sunrooms; renewable energy system installs; gutters; siding; soffit/fascia; closets; custom wood features; landscaping; fencing and cement patio features OFF the contract and pay your friends or family directly for these services.

 

HELPFUL LINKS

http://earthship.com/

Natural Building

http://geofflawton.com/

 

Patio Ideas

 

 

 

 

Here is a list of GREEN companies or Organizations to help  our readers gather information about them. Please add to this list by leaving comments.

Updated: 1/2018

Resources:

http://green.yahoo.com/

TreeHugger.com

http://newdream.org/

http://earthshare.org/

 

FOOD:

http://www.garden.org/seedswap/

http://www.homegrown.org/

http://www.almanac.com/forums/seed-swap

 

Solar:

Jehu Garcia (Best YouTube Videos)

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcMfCkN1juSa49DJFYltOTw

 

Solar Panel Deals:

Flexible – http://j35.us/136wFlexSolarPanl  $159/ 136w

Framed – http://j35.us/100w-100-solar  $110/100w

 

Power Pack Battery Deals: http://mailchi.mp/jag35/december-lithium-batteries

NCR18650B – $16 per 100w of power storage. Most efficient & close to the best price available. BUT SHIPPING & WIRING VARIES ON QUANTITY and the unit available.

Tesla 3kw Module: ($25 per 100w) $750 /ea. unit. Full power pack WITH A COOLING SYSTEM. No extra wiring needed to save time for near the same cost of purchasing smaller units and connecting them together.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/252144461952?rmvSB=true

Battery Management System (BMS) Deals: http://j35.us/Batrium

Battery Maintenance Chargers: http://j35.us/Elcon-5Kw-Charger

 

Plumbing (Composting Toilets)

Consider an incinerating toilet by Incinolet!
https://incinolet.com/product-category/toilets/

 

 

Ecoglo

photoluminescent lighting

http://www.us.ecoglo.com/emergency-lighting-products/

 

Momentum Textiles – NON PVC Fabrics!

https://www.themomgroup.com/momtex.html

PLA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polylactic_acid

 

 

Green Autos:

Electric:

Better Place Cars – http://www.betterplace.com/

 

 

NEBRASKA

building

Lincoln Green Building Group.com ~ Joyce Coppinger ; Straw Building Consulting and Green Activist. Joyce provides some of the best email updates in our circle.

Here is the link to the current newsletter from the Nebraska Materials
Exchange. www.knb.org/exchange_link.html

If you are looking for some type of material for construction, plumbing,
arts and crafts, yard or garden project, all types of purposes and uses, you
can list the items with the Nebraska Materials Exchange. They give you a
code and people who search their database can contact you directly to tell
you more about the materials they have listed, and you can negotiate with
the owner if you’re interested. You have to go to them to pick up the
materials in most cases.

It’s a great service of Keep Nebraska Beautiful. KNB is supported primarily
by grants and provides one of the first and best recycling/reuse operations
in the state.

energy

Nebraska Green Fuels Coop / NebraskaGreenFuels.com ~ Northeast Nebraska ; Franchise movement to train people how to produce their own BioDiesel and provide fuel (natural gas, electric, hydrogen, ethanol, diesel) distribution stations using gas station store fronts. Tim Frentz co-Founder (tfrentz@hotmail.com)

JPL Energy / JPL-Energy.com ~ (Joe) Omaha (Turbines and uncommon products)

Reviews :

Tim Frentz (NGFC)

“I use a hydrogen car power unit in my van and a 320w wind turbine from JPL. It is too early to provide result reviews but the sales and delivery process was excellent. the hydrogen units out perform comparable models. Joe can help consult on several other renewable solutions like thermal water heat and solar lighting.”

PRAMAC ~ Kearney (RevolutionAir Turbine)

J.D. McClary Fnd. 2008

Nebraska Energy ~ Kearney (Ed Toribo) ;

Reviews:

Tim Frentz (NGFC)

“Ed has a good personality and distributes a monthly newsletter to keep the public educated. I have not done business with him but I have attended some of his seminars and I recommend you consult with him.”

National Renewable Energy Lab ~ (Winds For Shools Program and Wind Power for America) Dan McGuire

Nebraska Power / ~ Solar Power in Grand Island ; Providing Solar Powered Well Pumps for Livestock ; John Niedfelt

Nebraska Renewable Energy Systems / NeRenew.com~ (Company is building a 501c3 division for operating seminars called Nebraska Renewable Energy Association ; A 6k sq. ft. warehouse for Algae Oil creation, bioDiesel refinery and Seed Press Machinery ; A off grid farm to display renewable solutions including a methane digester and (CSA) Community Serviced Ag based growing center with orchards, honey, meats and vegetables. Robert Byrnes Owner

Testimonials / Reviews:

Tim Frentz – (2008 volunteer and current NE Green Fuels Coop Partner)

“Byrnes is 99% business. People from his past have done things like use his contacts to underbid him on jobs or take his training and compete directly with his service offerings.  I recommend you keep relations strictly professional because he is easily offended from these past experiences. His knowledge and ability to install solutions is high. My experience with Byrnes was as a volunteer worker and partner. When I could no longer afford to work for free, Byrnes’ became rude and harsh with me. I was instructed to sever all ties. I loaned equipment to the cause and was denied access to recover my property. Items were placed in a driveway and I was not allowed to search the property for left out items. I invested in a 15% ownership of the Green Fuels Coop and have been requested to move forward as a silent partner or sell back my shares. I am left out of company correspondence and Byrnes refers to my loaned office equipment as permanently property of the Coop. Proceed with caution!

Allen Fleischman – Tekamah, NE  Solar Farm

Ho-Chunk Community Development Corp. – Winnebago Install

ANTI Green Groups:

http://kochindustriesfacts.com/ (Wichita KS)

Koch supports groups that oppose Climate Change and tries to convince their employees through company communications ($48 million contributed as of 11/2010) ; 300 separate oil spills totaling over 3 million gallons ; release more then 33 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the air annually ; hosts a retreat for the rich and powerful to discuss how to keep the distance between them and the middle class and many more sad causes against humanity.

Boycott the following brands: Quilted Northern®, Angel Soft®, Brawny®, Sparkle® , Soft ‘n Gentle®, Mardi Gras®, Vanity Fair®, and the Dixie® brand of tabletop products. The company’s leading European brands include Lotus®, Colhogar®, Delica®, Tenderly® and the Demak’Up®

http://www.kochind.com/IndustryAreas/forestry.aspx

When we find a cause in need of support, our members work together to help.

(Hawkins, Texas) THE EAST TEXAS TOWN OF HAWKINS IS ESTABLISHING A LEADING COMMUNITY PRESENCE TO DEFEAT POVERTY.

The Helping Hands Network (HHN) founder has spent 2 years building a support network in the East Texas community of Hawkins Texas. Business partners have been established; volunteers have been organized and trained; and now a community Education center is ready to be developed.

First option to purchase the community center property has been offered to HHN and they need to raise $35,000 to finance and improve it.

 

(You can visit this link on FLIKR to scroll your cursor and look around the studio space!)
https://tinyurl.com/ycxr3tdj

The location of the property is perfect for the newest HHN addition because there are several groups working together to improve the impoverished neighborhood.

The Hawkins / Holy Lake Ranch area churches work together to support one central Helping Hand Mission to provide food, shelter and household emergency items to those in need. This mission is one block from the HHN education center.

The Hawkins area Chamber of Commerce is developing a business incubator location to provide job training to help improve the poverty and homeless problems. This location is 2 blocks from the HHN site.

The City of Hawkins has developed a community park with updated features on the same street as the HHN site.

There is a partnering motel on the same street that can provide emergency shelter to those homeless during disaster relief situations.

The HHN is working with these groups by providing business skill training, survival workshops, wellness classes and other wonderful events at the community education center property. The two story complex is perfect for the program.

 

(You can pause the youtube video & drag your cursor to look around the property.)

The upper level provides office space, storage and a wellness studio where visitors have events like yoga and movie/game nights. The lower level will be developed for emergency shelter, group meals, classroom training and art studio space. A community garden is in the second year of growth on the surrounding property.

IF enough money is not raised by March 2018, the property will be sold to the public and the community center and garden program will be forced to start over so please donate if you can. Direct deposits via paypal ID (tfrentz @ hotmail) are preferred to accelerate the processing time. 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

SPONSOR AWARD DETAILS

ANY gifted amount receives 6 FREE Tech/Computer Consulting Service Calls

$100+ receives a free home repair valued up to 25% of the amount gifted AND 5% off any item listed on our eBay store per $100 gifted. Visit http://myworld.ebay.com/Frentzs 

$500+ receives a 25% discount on 6 home repair service calls & 6 free tech services.  

$1000+ receives a 25% discount on 12 home repair service calls & 12 free tech services AND a voting seat on the Education Center Board of Directors.

Visit http://myworld.ebay.com/Frentzs