Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Everything I read about "self-sufficiency" or "self-reliance" or "sustainable" seems to revolve around food. How to grow it, cook it, preserve it. All good stuff. A fair amount of folks talk about electricity/lighting/heating and off-grid solutions.

Nobody talks about water.

Water just seems to be ubiquitous, but it just seems that way. Turn off your water at the curb and your electric at the pole and you will find that you miss water a whole bunch more than electric. I learned some hard lessons last year during the epic drought we endured.

There is an economic component here as well. The annual water expense for our household is about $2,000 per year (and we have a septic system so this does not include sewage treatment costs). Not a staggering sum by any means, but I always like to look at my expense in 10 year increments.

$20,000 smackers for water service over the next 10 years. $60,000 over my expected life time (if I should live as long as my father. (Look, I ditched our cable TV service for a number of reasons... but the fact that it was $12,000 every 10 years did not help the cable company's cause in my household.)

After doing an examination of our household consumption, it turns out that we have old toilets that are 3.5 gallons+ per flush - over 50% of our water use is for flushing toilets! Ordering 1.3 gallon per flush toilets for the 2 main bathrooms was a no brainer - $550 for 2, self-installed, brought down water consumption 30%+. With a little attention to detail in other water use activities I expect to cut our usage nearly in half.

Now for that other half.

Even cut in half we use an awful lot of water. The same stuff that falls (most of the time) for free from the sky. (We do have a well. The water smells of sulphur. The animals don't seem to mind, but the well is electric and won't last forever so the less I use it the less likely I am to burn it out.) So I bought 3, 330 gallon water tanks, and a 375 livestock tank and rigged them to collect water from the livestock barn. (I figured 1,300 gallons would be enough for the livestock and vegetable garden (not the field veggies, just the raised beds: 8, 8'x4' and 3, 30'X4').

For all but high summer, this will probably end our dependence on the well. I can go 10 days to 2 weeks without rain (and we do have a pond that is wet most of the year but did dry up in the drought) and still have enough for all of the livestock (4 horses, 2 of them draft size; 8 head of smaller sized cattle (Dexter Bull with 3 dairy cows and their offspring), 5 pigs, and 10 goats) and give me enough to give the vegetable beds .75 inches of water per week (I think. I don't really know how much the livestock might drink in extreme heat but I had no shortage during the rainy winter. Of course, I did not need to water my garden in the winter). In order to ensure enough water in case of drought I will need to double or even triple this system at the barn. Alternatively, I could rig up a grey water collection system for watering the gardens but I don't think that that would be economic in our climate. These tanks and a couple of gutters are just too cheap.

The house is a different story.

Collecting enough water would require a really big cistern/tank or a radical reduction in usage. Even solving for that I would need some kind of pump for water pressure. Tanks can collect rain water downhill from the collection point (our roof), but then that water has to get back up to the kitchen and bathrooms.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

California Gasoline Consumption

I don't have a great deal of confidence in the IEA, EIA, or OPEC for accuracy. I think they are kind of close, but not spot on. I do have a great deal of confidence in net taxable gallon data from California. I also think that California is a pretty good proxy for the U.S., considering that it is 1/8 of the U.S. population.

Here is what California says about Peak Oil in the U.S.

An 8.2% decline in Gasoline usage/supplies over 6 years is not the kind of rate of change that will drop a country to its knees. This kind of decline pales in comparison to Spain, or (gag) Greece, where the year over year declines have been in the 5% to 10% and total decline is on the order of 30+%.

But that's history. What are the odds that the U.S. will see that kind of rate of change in consumption (supply) decline? Pretty high, actually. Crude & Condensate, the stuff that can actually be refined into gasoline and diesel, production has been essentially flat (it is reported to have grown .2% per year or so. Maybe. Maybe not. As I mentioned above, the data collection methods are far from perfect). What happens to the U.S. when World Crude & Condensate production actually declines?

That depends on a number of inputs - particularly from Solar & Wind - but my back of the napkin personal sense of it all says that the rate of the decline in gasoline consumption in the U.S. is likely to accelerate at some point in the relatively near future. When that comes to pass, demand from the private sector is going to go down like a rock in a pond irrespective of how many new Armored Personnel Carriers our peace loving Feds buy our local police forces (ostensibly to stimulate the economy).


At the micro level all of the above does not matter even a little bit for average young Americans from average families living in flyover land. The system, as presently constructed, does not work for them. Yea, some kid that can throw a ball 100 mph, or sing on American Idol, or run the 40 in 4.3 seconds might do very, very well... but for the 99.99% of young kids the college/corporate job life plan is a suicide mission.

I was having breakfast at a hotel restaurant recently. There was some kind of corporate event/retreat going on at the hotel and I noticed a bunch of the twenty somethings to early thirty somethings running about bright eyed and bushy tailed. I wanted to stand on a soap box and share with them an observation I made to my desk partner at Bear Stearns when I was in my early 30's:

"Hey, Sam. Look around the floor (hundreds of guys staring intently at bytes on a screen with a phone in their ear). Where are all the guys that were sitting in these seats 10 years ago? How come nobody here has grey hair?"

I didn't see very many 40 somethings at this corporate shindig. Absolutely no 50 somethings. I wonder how many of the those young corporate servants noticed anything Logan's Run-like about their circumstances.

I wanted to stand up at my table and say "Hey kids! This corporation is going to put you out to pasture around age 40! Unlike your parents you will not get a gold watch, a pension, or even a  thank you. You will get whatever you saved in your 401k (which might cover your lifetime toilet paper bill) and 6 months of severance. You will have given up family, children, your health, and your youth. You will be scrambling to figure out what went wrong for the final 25 years of your work life, and you will be broke."

Of course there is a certain elite that gets all kinds of goodies from the corporate lifestyle. And that's the hook. That's what brings them in - and leads them to their doom.

I felt particularly badly for the young women. The men in that group will, for the most part, find wives and have children. The women in that group will, for the most part, not have children or become single parents of an only child. Hey, "Lien In"!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Response to comments from "A Simple Life is not so Simple"

I have been up to my ears with my "Simple Life" of late and the blogging has been a bit light.

I did have time to read the comments on that post - simply excellent. Thank you, guys. I did invite a number of Left leaning people to comment but they did not. In fact, they never do.

One comment from Coal Guy is the thing that unnerves me about the entire problem:

In any case, the oppression that would be necessary to stop fossil fuel use would make Orwell blush. I'll take the climate disaster, thank you.

For my part I am disinclined to empower our government to do any such thing - especially since China and India will simply take up the slack. I still think that the Climate Change theory is more likely than not to be the case, but I think it will be what Stu Staniford called a "panic and repent" outcome at some time in the future.

And still I can find no one on the Left to discuss or debate the inconsistencies within their positions.

North Dakota TIght Oil by the numbers

Given the media's reporting on the increase in domestic Oil production for the U.S. I thought I would point out that the stock market does not think much of "Tight Oil/Shale Oil". The Oil Service Index, NYSE - OIH, has gone essentially nowhere during this dramatic increase in production and absolute BOOM in rigs and wells. ("Servicers" provide all of the actual drilling and pipe equipment for the "Producers/Exploration & Production" companies. The E&P companies are really engineering investment banks.)

The economics of Tight Oil production in the U.S. don't look so hot to me upon examination. Please feel to check my math.

South Dakota Oil production averaged 660,000 bpd in 2012. The average price for WTI in 2012 was approximately $85. That's $20.5 billion dollars worth of Oil per year - about half the annual revenue of G.E.

I estimate 60,000 people working directly or indirectly for the Oil industry (a yearly population increase of 12,000 for the past 3+ years and 24,000 workers living in "temp housing" not counted) in North Dakota. When I say "indirectly" I am not including government services or healthcare. It is almost certain that an additional 20,000 police, road crews, utility, nurses, etc... personnel were required to support the efforts of those 60,000 oil industry workers.

Revenue per industry worker = $341,000 if my estimates are correct.

Sounds pretty good, right? Especially compared to G.E.'s revenue per employee of $133,000.

I don't think so. In fact, I don't think the project is terribly attractive at these prices, and that would explain the end of growth in rig count. 100% of the N.D. workers are U.S. based, as opposed to G.E.'s 44%. Infrastructure spending by the N.D. oil industry is off the charts. Truck drivers are earning well into 6 figures. Entire towns are going up over night.

A conventional oil field yielding production of 660k bpd would need no more than 3000 and perhaps less than 1000 workers to service production.

I am trying to gather info on day rates for rigs in ND and other infrastructure expenses (if anybody has anything please let me know)... but my personal financial sense tells me that that expense is going to be several times greater than the labor expense, and never mind the environmental and water costs.

So what's up with the media? I am not sure. Every one of these stories/articles are bought and paid for by some very interested party, and my bet is that it is a politically driven.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

"A Simple Life" is not so Simple

After buying the Farm, and being a city boy, I was in need of ideas and inspiration. I searched out blogs of other folks doing something like this to see what they were up to.

Most of those people have closed up shop and are no longer blogging. I suspect that they have found that the "back to the land"/"simple living" was not so simple. Mortgages, property taxes, car payments, health insurance... with the proceeds from a small family farm? NAFC.

Buying a farm is one thing. Stocking a farm is something else altogether. Fencing, tractors (or horse drawn equipment), and other equipment - like money - does not grow on trees. Most of the people I read about were disillusioned, middle class, college educated white kids ("DMCEWKs") with student debt and no grounding in reality. Starting a family farm with no firm commitment to "family", student debt, no social connections in the community, and a suburban childhood background is a recipe for a very short adventure in "simple living".

Here is a link to a fellow that seems more committed than most - and who, more importantly, has the right idea: NO OVERHEAD. While I have observed a near 100% failure rate with the DMCEWK's in their "simple living" quest, I have also observed a near 100% success rate in the Amish community near us (oh, they lose 15% to 20% of their young to the outside world, but those that stay seem to stick pretty well). I think this is do to the fact that the Amish people do not have insurance payments, car payments, a cable bill, an electric bill, a telephone bill, do not pay FICA taxes (the SCOTUS decided in their favor and they do not have to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes and do not collect benefits and divorce is unheard of. Hmmm... no health insurance, no social safety net... how do their life expectancy/homelessness rates compare to other other truncates in the population? Spectacularly. Gee... I wonder what would happen if The People could opt out of these "programs"?)

Got that? The fellow at the "Living a Simple Life" link above is living in a cabin without electric or running water. He heats with a wood stove. Good for him. Now, his wife has left him, he sees his son every other weekend... it won't be long before he is back living in a garden apartment and working in a cubicle and commuting to work - that is, unless he is some kind of hero/mountain man/lunatic. I am rooting for one of the latter. Or not. Living alone in a cabin just does not strike me as all that appealing.

The DMCEWKs that fled the "simple life" with their tail between their legs were all enlightened save the planet/nuke the whales/pro-choice/Prius driving/ vegetarian Lefties (Come on, no self respecting/nose picking/gun toting/meat eating/bible thumping Rightie would be caught dead in the "simple life"). People whose entire life is one big "Cause". So what happened? Simple economics happened. Sexual selection happened (well, personal economic and sexual selection are pretty much 2 sides of the same coin). How does the Left propose to order community given their success in devaluing the family unit?

I wonder how much attention the Left has given to the impacts of Sexual Selection on Carbon emissions. Other than me, the only person that ever brought this up anywhere that I am aware of was Nate Hagens in an excellent lecture he gave that can easily be found on the web. I was thrilled to hear that I was not the only lunatic to make this association.

So let me make another politically incorrect observation: I assert that Consumerism is driven by sexual selection, and; Consumerism is what is driving carbon emissions and climate change. How does the Left/the Environmentalists (and the Climate Change folks have won me over) propose to counter that?

The Left is ascendent in American politics . They might want to consider ending their castigation of the Right (they are as dead as fried chicken. Why does the Left continue with their propaganda?) and show the rest of us how they intend to address Climate Change given their Keynesian/Social Safety Net/Redistribute the Wealth mindset.

I am truly ALL EARS.

Because, frankly, the track record of the Left's elite is not so hot. Look at Bill Clinton and Al Gore: Darlings of the Left and formerly fire breathing in their suspicions of the profit motive, neither of these guys made a dime in their lives before the presidency/vice presidency - yet each has racked up 9 figure fortunes and personally pump into the atmosphere hundreds of times the Carbon that a nose picker like me does. Do I really have to go after Hollywood's enlightened morons and their private jets or New York's Liberal establishment and their debt enslavement machine? I'd rather not.  I am sending this to a number of Left Leaning individuals in the hope that they will explain to me how "we" are going to end CO2 emissions before we all starve or bake to death.

The Left championed the Climate Change issue. Good for them. They have convinced me. The Left as also championed massive social programs and safety nets that requires massive economies that burn mind boggling volumes of fossil fuels. These positions do not appear compatible to me.

And dear Left:

Please don't tell me we are going to do it by "conservation". Whatever I don't burn someone else will. Personal "Conservation" does not lower aggregate emissions, and it is the aggregate emission level that matters to the atmosphere - NOT which group or which individuals is doing the emitting.

Please also consider how your policy proposals/ideas will effect the economy's ability to fund those social programs and safety nets that the economy is already not funding (we are doing it with debt), and then explain to me how far, far lower carbon emissions are compatible with these programs. I will try and keep a straight face and I will be polite - but you will have to make sense and defend your assertions intelligently. Good luck.

So let's hear it. You have convinced me. Now what?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

"What's the Story with the Economy"? Oil! (and Keynesianism)

I was thrilled to see this article in the Washington Post.

Dear Washington Post:

I have published hundreds of articles regarding the impact on demand from declining Oil imports into the U.S. and other Western importing nations. Why not add me to the list of folks you called to explain what is going on?

(yea... I know that Oil production in the U.S. is up to 7 million barrels per day. What a blessing. Had that "tight oil" and ethanol not been there this would have been a far different story. That's the problem with forecasting - it is failure prone. That does not change the world wide picture for Crude & Condensate production - flat - and harder to produce, consuming more oil to produce it (lowering ERoEI), and requiring more "security" (military spending)).

From the article:
You can tell an inverted version of Warsh’s story through the economic models of another famous economist, John Maynard Keynes. That story holds, like Warsh’s story, that policymakers fumbled the response to the recession — but in this telling, the problem is that they didn’t do enough. The depth of the recession was so great, the effects of the financial crisis so dire, that the economy needed a huge dose of fiscal and monetary stimulus to regain all the lost ground and return to historical growth trends.
Since the stimulus that policymakers supplied wasn’t big enough, the economy hasn’t grown as fast as it could have, the Keynesian story goes. Janet Yellen, the vice chair of the Fed, gave voice to that story in a February speech. After boosting the economy in the first year after the recession, she said, fiscal policy “has actually acted to restrain the recovery. State and local governments were cutting spending and, in some cases, raising taxes for much of this period to deal with revenue shortfalls. At the federal level, policymakers have reduced purchases of goods and services, allowed stimulus-related spending to decline and have put in place further policy actions to reduce deficits.”
Got that? What we need are more local and state regulators, SWAT teams, police Armored Personnel Carriers, Drones, Fire & Rescue personnel and equipment (when was the last time you heard of a fire in your neighborhood, local school, or work place? We are pretty good at designing buildings that don't burn. That does not stop local "fire budgets" from expanding), code inspectors, et al...

Those of you that have been reading my stuff know that I have repeatedly said that as Oil prices and supplies does its thing to the Industrialized West that all of the Keynesian folks would be screaming that the problem is that we just were not Keynesian enough. That if we would have just "stimulated" more (went into further debt) we can get the economy "growing" again - and with sufficient growth to pay back all of that debt (public and private). Of course, as the past 4.5 (and 40) years bear witness to, there is not a shred of evidence to support that contention. Nada. Zip. Bupkis.

(This is not to say that an all out effort to bring wind and solar technologies to bear will not replace Oil, and do so in time to avoid economic disaster. That absolutely could happen. I simply don't know enough about the rate of growth in that input. Ray Kurzweil and Stuart Staniford are of the opinion that that will happen, or come close to happening. Happen or not, that does not change the Keynesian cluster f***.)

But the Keynesians will never stop. I suspect this is part and parcel to the Keynesians' other political belief system(s), but why is not relevant. What is relevant is that we keep track of the promises and claims so that we can make accurate comparisons to outcomes - something that this article, and coming as it does from the Washington Post is certainly surprising, touches on (lightly).

To be fair, it is not just "Oil". Oil is a stressor, and what it is "stressing" is the impossible expansion of debt that the Keynesians thought could, and would, go on forever ("world without end, Amen". Keynesians are little different than other religious belief systems - they have their own chants and prayers with roughly the same efficacy).

From the article:
First, let’s review some facts. The U.S. economy grew by 2.2 percent last year, 1.8 percent the year before, and 2.4 percent in 2010. That was not enough growth to bring down unemployment speedily, which is why — three and a half years after the recession officially ended — 12 million Americans are still looking for work.

Uh... well, those are kinda/sorta facts. U.S. economic growth of 2% would be essentially all imputations, and; "12 million people are still looking for work"? Nonsense. Sheer and utter nonsense. The only metric that matters is the civilian employment participation rate. The number of people defrauding "disability" or dealing in the black market or too fat to do either is simply impossible to suss out of the data. How many people paying FICA taxes/the total population is not.

I was thrilled to see the article cite Milton Friedman's famous quote: "everything we know in economics we teach in Econ 1, and everything else is made up.” There are simply no truer words to describe the "dark (dismal) science" of economics - I don't give a good fart how the establishment dresses up so much of this nonsense with Nobel Prizes, Doctorates (Snicker), whatever, because all of that dress up B.S. has been designed by The Establishment for the benefit of The Establishment. Not one of these people (including me) is absolutely certain of what is going on with this massive system we call the "world economy" or the "U.S. economy". We have some intelligent thoughts, we string sentences together fairly well, wear a dark suit and a white shirt, and don't drool on ourselves in public - and suddenly we think we know WTF we are talking about, despite all evidence to the contrary. Go figure.

I particularly loved this:

When you miss so regularly on your forecasts, Altig says, “it’s easy to think we have to rethink everything we think we know.” But, he adds, “You can be wrong for a very long period of time and still have the underlying structure and story about the economy correct. That’s not crazy. I guess that’s where I would be right now. It’s not like you have to throw out how you think about these things. You just have to have the same humility you always have.”
He should have added "Provided that you continue to respect us as the learned people we most certainly are, deserving of tenure or some other absurd compensation program (my view of "oncologists" comes quickly to mind) stripped from the mouths of people that actually work at something productive" and I would have been satisfied.

Economists (Oncologists/Divorce Lawyers/Women's Studies professors, Bankers, et al) add sooooooo little value and we have soooooo many of them leaching off of the rest of us that it is hard for them to see what the real problem for The People truly is: THEM.

The Corporations and their mouth pieces (economists/education professionals/politicians) moved The People around like chess pieces on a board... but with no thought for tomorrow. Now normally, The People did their own thinking about that, but the system developed systems and protocols to overcome that. To stop people from thinking and questioning for themselves and their own future and the future of their family. The public school system and the education/industrial complex (that most unholy alliance between the university system and corporations that developed in the second half of the 20th century that convinced individuals that they needed to spend $100k, and give up 4 earning years on state school undergrad degrees in play ground supervision in order to work at Walmart stocking shelves for peanuts). Feminism (the Gay Women's Movement) came along and contributed mightily by helping to destroy the family unit, leaving straight women "independent" of (read: without) husbands and children and completely dependent upon their corporate masters and their corporate pensions to provide for them in their old age (oh, wait. Those corporations, after removing women from their homes and families by promising "independence" don't provide their workers with pensions any more. Seems the corporations did not want anyone depending on them, either. Has anyone looked at the financial health of all of those post 50 corporate/independent women? I have. They are destitute.).

It would be hard to make this stuff up! Truth truly is stranger than fiction (and with friends like the Feminists and the Corporations who needs an enema?).

Wrap your mind around this little stat: Median family income in the U.S. is $50K! MEDIAN. That means that half the families out there are living on less and half on more. I spend $17k per year on health insurance! Now take out FICA taxes. Yet they (nearly) all have cell phones, and nearly half of those in the under $50k per year income group has a smoker in the household ($1750 per year for a pack a day smoker). Is it any wonder that 1 in 6 Americans cannot afford to feed themselves or their children and rely on the government for Food Stamps (SNAP)?

Think about that: The government is, in effect, subsidizing the liquor, tobacco and cell phone industries while criminalizing "under age" tobacco & alcohol use (as well as drug use and prostitution). In what f***ing universe does that make  sense? Half of American women and a third of American men are obese - and the solution to people's health is to have them subsidize the healthcare industry by forcing Americans to buy health insurance?

Welcome to Keynesian thinking. How else does government "Stimulate" the economy but by deficit spending and subsidizing? And the Keynesian answer? To spend more. To addict people to programs and benefits that encourage them to "consume" tobacco, alcohol, tattoos, piercings, gold teeth, cell phones... hey, these items contribute to GDP, don't they? That's how GDP works, in our system. Go out tonight and have a massive heart attack and die = no benefit to GDP. Go out tonight, get sick and go to a hospital and get diagnosed with terminal cancer = $500k minimum for GDP.

That's the system, and it is not so deeply entrenched that it cannot be extirpated and ripped up by the roots, but it will require an end to the 2 Headed 1 Party system.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Homestead

I interrupt my series of incessant bitching about the various systems that have developed (and which do not serve the vast majority of The People) in favor of some of my personal responses.

I (finally) got around to putting in a wood stove to heat the house, and; I (finally) got around to putting metal roofs on the barn and house so that I can collect rainwater without poisoning myself with asphalt shingle flavored water.

Our house is small so a single, large framed wood stove is sufficient for heat. When we bought the house there was a tacky, 1970's style propane fireplace in the corner of the family room/kitchen. I figured it would be there forever if I didn't get motivated and just tear the thing out and get a look at what was behind it:

There was a false chimney on the roof; really just a wood "chase" to hide the ugly chimney pipe and increase the odds of burning the house down. Welcome to 20th century construction practices.

I tore everything out and started from scratch (I did keep the brick) and put in the wood stove:

Since the stove went in I have had no use for the central heat system. Around here, wood grows on trees and we have plenty of storms so there is no shortage of "free" wood. (There is a bit of work involved. Just one more reason I don't have much use for a gym membership.)

The problem was clearance. The stove required 22" on the sides and 20" from the back, and I was short by an inch or so... so installed a heat shield (actually I now have 2 wrapped all the way around the stove). The pipe coming out of the stove is single wall but my insurance requires triple wall chimney pipe for the passthrough. Since I wasn't really comfortable with the clearance for the triple wall pass through, and even though I bought a ceiling/roof kit, I decided to put a metal roof on, and have the metal roof panel hold the triple-wall pipe (via a roof boot rated for high temps) for extra clearance from wood and other flammables. This served another purpose - I wanted to collect rain water for household use and asphalt shingles make for unsafe drinking water, so...

Here's the roof as it is going in. In the background is the barn with its new roof. I saved a great deal of money by doing it myself (I did have a helper but I was the GC, Foreman, Laborer, and Chief Slave Driver). None of it was rocket science although my valley cuts (they are behind me in this shot) were not first rate.

I installed a few (cheap) 300 gallon tanks around the barn for livestock and garden use, and I bought a broken 3000 gallon tank from a neighbor that I need to go get and repair. As always, I will scrounge and source used, broken, discarded, etc... equipment and make it work:

Water is an important, and increasingly expensive, resource. I am determined to end my dependence on city water.

On a separate note the hog that we slaughtered and salted is out of the salt and hanging in the garage:

I will cover the meat with old pillow cases soon - before fly season gets underway.


Many of these projects got put off because of my run in with the C. Diff stomach bug. Now that I am feeling better I am able to get after it around here.

I bought some older mare draft horses from the Amish community in Ethridge, Tn.,  and rebuilt a bunch of horse drawn equipment for this year's hay season and garden work. Not sure that this is more practical than my old Ford 4000 diesel tractor, but I am enjoying them immensely... some people play golf; I drive draft horses. Here they are pulling a rebuilt hay mower. Last year I had very little use for our lawn mower - only around walk-ways - as the "Big Girls" mowed the big stuff and I scythed it in tight spots, and used all of the cuttings as animal fodder.

Video here.

It seems that everything that has worked for us here at the farm were ideas that we got from the Amish community up the road from us. I think we will heat entirely with wood (and the occasional use of a kerosene heater) and I think that we could get by without city water even if completely off grid. No, we wouldn't have luxurious hot showers and baths, but we would have enough hot water for personal hygiene, cooking, washing, and drinking. I went sort of "off grid" for a test recently when my wife and daughter were away for 2 days and it was just me and my younger son (I left the electric on for the freezers but everything else we did without electric). Piece of cake (though I am not sure that my DW would feel that way).