how i spent my winter vacation
by chris vansprouts, 1997 march 28, room 101

at last, the tale can be told... usually there was enough solar power to run the computer only a few hours per day, which really slowed down software development, but i caught up on some reading and sleep, and baked lots of sourdough bread - just call me chris van sourdough!

how one shareware author stays warm

until this winter, my semi-super-insulated van had only passive solar heat, which was fine in the sw desert where every night gets pretty cold and every day is usually clear and sunny all year round... so last winter, i discovered that dreary sw Pennsylvania is not the sw desert - had to bail out mid-november and live in a normal house, and not to mention the typically miserable indoor air quality, my share of the typical heating bill was $75 per month! (so what else is new? you might ask...) well, for this winter i hacked together a little hypoallergenic heat exchanger with about $10 of fancy new aluminum stove pipe and an old 12v computer cooling fan... back in my toasty van, the propane cost (for heating & baking) was less than $75 total for the entire winter, and optimizing the heater design could half that for next winter... [it did]

final literature scores of the season

Aldous Huxley's Time Must Have a Stop (1944) totally bulldozes H Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines (1885)... HG Wells' sf short stories (eg, "The New Accelerator") and L Frank Baum's original Wizard of Oz are still excellent and going strong a century later... in other printed matter, the Noetic Sciences Review bravely carefully scientifically forges ahead into the metaphysical unknown, while the casually deep & wise Gnosis magazine has already been there and back many times, and survived easily with only slight evidence of dementia, maybe only left over from the days of underground comix, or is it all the same place anyway? hmm... what if "The Great Mystery" is completely benign, has a great sense of humor, and isn't so mysterious...

also see - eucalyptus song - how i spent my summer vacation - eco shelter - webliography