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Board Meeting

May 15, 2005

Session Start: Sat Feb 19 18:00 2005
(Roger) Let's call this May meeting of the Troubled Times Board of Directors to order.
(Roger) The first order of business is the minutes of the last meeting. Is there any discussion?
(Mary) None from me.
(Gerard) None from me
(Roger) Any comments Nancy?
(Nancy) None here.
(Roger) Then the minutes are considered correct and ratified.
(Roger) The next item of business is the $1000 donation. Per our bylaws, we must vote to accept this donation.
(Nancy) I MOVE we accept this donation, which has no contingencies attached to it.
(Mary) Is this from someone that has donated before? OR new ?
(Roger) Steve H. has posted his opinion concerning the donation and suggests that if the donor may suffer some hardship due to the reduction in his funds, we should not accept the donation.
(Nancy) This is a first time donor, who has been a caller on the Lou Gentile show, and feels the nonprofit and myself are doing a great service to mankind.
(Mary) Then I second the motion to accept the money.
(Roger) Any comments Gerard?
(Nancy) There was some reference to being grateful for myself being on radio shows and the like, but the letter also asks for a CD produced by the nonprofit so it is also thanks for our efforts.
(Gerard) No comments from me Roger
(Roger) I have a motion and a second to accept this donation. Please indicate your vote with either "yes" or "no"
(Mary) yes.
(Nancy) I do not have the opinion that this donor is wealthy, but it is his choice to donate to the nonprofit.
(Nancy) We all have volunteered to serve in whatever capacity we can.
(Nancy) On the other hand, we are not strapped at present, and could decline with thanks.
(Roger) Nancy, Gerard, what are your votes?
(Gerard) yes
(Nancy) Yes, because I feel he is doing what he wants to do for the effort, to do his part, and to refuse would be an insult.
(Mary) No matter Nancy, this person has donated with the express wish for the TT to use it. So we will use it for good purposes.
(Nancy) I think we should pen a very kind response to the donor, expressing our thanks, and stating how the funds would be used.
(Roger) Then the motion carries. I will draft a letter of acceptance to include with a shipment of one dozen booklets and cd sets.
(Nancy) In my opinion, this should be used toward distribution eventually of the CD and booklets.
(Gerard) Yes
(Nancy) Or efforts to make this available to the general public.
(Roger) Well, there is the extended set that Mike L. is working on...perhaps we could fund this in some way if Mike indicates a need.
(Nancy) It should be noted he only wanted a couple CD's, my suggestion that Roger include a dozen as he indicates he has a number of friends who take all this seriously.
(Roger) Did the donor wish to remain anonymous or can we recognize him in the chat log and minutes?
(Nancy) Perhaps, but the extended set that Mike is working on requires the Internet to be operational. Does it not? The original CD is focused on core survival techniques and relies on TT web pages, so the CD only is required.
(Nancy) Oh, perhaps I am wrong! Does Mike's CD's INCLUDE information from other web site? If so, then this is more extensive than I thought, and only requires the CD in the PC.
(Roger) Well I was just musing that if Mike indicated a need for something, we could consider funding it.
(Nancy) Anonymous is our rule.
(Roger) Wonderful, and thanks Sir! for the donation. It will be used wisely!
(Nancy) True, Roger. Mike is doing fabulous work lately. Not only expressed an opinion on techniques, but purchased the materials and BUILT the devices and tested them.
(Nancy) I am again including these in a What's New in TT (../thub08.htm) as this is so good.
(Roger) The next item on the agenda is Project reviews.
(Nancy) He did distillation methods, and his last was a honey, so simple and efficient and easy to assemble.
(Roger) The CD and booklet project is moving along. I have distributed 868 booklets and 199 CDs to date.
(Nancy) Now he has a crank device, using either hand crank or bike gen or water wheel, to charge a battery using a drill going backwards (the crank at the drill, the electricity coming out of the wires) as a generator.
(Nancy) I am featuring this on radio shows, they are so good.
(Roger) Funds are holding well at nearly $700 between my postage fund and the Paypal account.
(Nancy) Now, the CD and survival booklet include the MENTION of these things, but lately, Mike has going full bore, all the steps to make this work.
(Nancy) So, this is something special that the original CD's do not include.
(Gerard) Sounds good . But more booklets then CD's, is this because there is less interest in the CD's ?
(Nancy) Sorry, I should have shut up but was not noticing that we had moved on.
(Roger) Not exactly. I was hasty in claiming "I" distributed all those booklets. This is the total from the beginning of distribution.
(Gerard) ah
(Roger) Let "I" = "we" in that statement.
(Nancy) Our stock is more than adequate for the current demand, the pace, correct?
(Roger) Truly.
(Nancy) For the present, we hold that $1,000 donation for what the future brings in challenges re CD's and all, I presume.
(Roger) The booklets are holding well, and the printing que for them (in days) is shorter than the CDs. The CD stock is actually a little bigger, but we have plenty for now.
(Roger) Any questions (end of my report)?
(Gerard) No questions from my side
(Mary) No questions here either.
(Nancy) For instance, there may be a time when distribution may be by the Internet, with streaming of data, to include more than just the CD but also new material. At present, we have no server or host that can do that, but if wanting to distribute to companies that could burn these CD's and distribute for free, such a web service might be needed.
(Nancy) No question, Rog, good job!
(Roger) The next report is concerning the Seed team/Acreage project. A couple of months back I brought the tiller to my house from the farmsite. I had a need for it locally and decided since it wasn't being used at the farm, it would be better stored closer to me.
(Roger) It needed a bath and an oil change. The gas had not been drained, though I am fairly certain it was treated for storage.
(Roger) At any rate, I had difficulty getting it started and when it finally did start, it ran for about a minute before it started clanking and quit. I didn't have a chance to turn it off when I heard the clanking before it shut itself off. Now the motor just "spins" freely when you try to start it.
(Roger) Discussion with the two small engine repair shops in town yields the suggestion that the motor is bad (busted crank shaft or something). They claim no parts available and a replace motor is prohibitively expensive.
(Nancy) I can state that the tiller was idle here in Wisconsin between being used for the gardens from one season to the next, and no such thing occurred due to being asleep for the Winter.
(Roger) I would happily dismantle the engine and verify the condition, but my time is short at the moment so this would be a longterm project.
(Nancy) Since you changed the oil, this in particular was not the cause.
(Nancy) Things break. I had to replace the motor on my '89 van because a hose broke and the water drained while I was on the road.
(Roger) I feel the engine was fatigued due to the hard work of breaking the sod here in Kansas. Setting idle surely didn't help, but I agree shouldn't have been the cause. Sometimes things just break.
(Nancy) Motors throw a rod. This could even be a faulty part from the factory, but the warranty is out.
(Nancy) If the problem was breaking sod, then it would have broken then, not later.
(Roger) The tiller is not needed at present and it isn't in the way here at my house. It can sit and be a nice project when I have some time to spare.
(Nancy) This is surely option 1. If you have the space to spare.
(Nancy) It is unfair to ask someone to house a broken machine, with no timetable for a fix, if they are tight for space, however.
(Roger) Well, we had some parts break (bolts and such) during that period of usage. We fixed those and once even had to take it to a repairman. Stan and I took care of those expenses as part of our voluntary duties.
(Nancy) But for sure, at present, this is not a press of ours, the gardens have not been productive due to weather swings lately, as both Roger and I have reported.
(Nancy) I MOVE we allow the tiller to sit until a repair option presents itself.
(Mary) I'll second Nancy's motion.
(Roger) What is the value of the tiller? Would it be more economical to continue to depreciate it or call it a loss right now?
(Nancy) We have been depreciating our assets at 10% per year, something Ron Darby started as a practice.
(Mary) If we called it a loss right now, Roger could do what he wishes with it. IF it got in the way, he could dispose of it, or fix it whatever works for him.
(Nancy) From the time we purchased it for $3,000 it has thus depreciated to $1,500.
(Roger) I have space to store it, but it will nag at me to be fixed. It might also suddenly need to be disposed if my current situation changes.
(Nancy) Roger tells me the cost of a new motor would be $600, leaving the shell worth, presumably, $900.
(Mary) Nancy, I am sure it could be written off, accounting wise, and disposed of. IT'S BROKEN.
(Nancy) BUT, the shell is only worth this because it is a working tiller. I know I must pay to have a broken monitor or stove removed, the metal in the item not even worth scrap costs.
(Nancy) Thus, without the motor, the tiller as scrap is worthless, as it is not the type of metal that pays in recycling, like copper.
(Roger) I could run an ad in the paper and see if anyone is interested in buying it to fix it. I asked the repair shops if they would buy it for parts and both said emphatically "no". They would, of course, take it off my hands for free ;-)
(Nancy) Now, it has occurred to me that a mechanic would works with motors could fix this, but rebuilding a motor also costs.
(Nancy) So, a second proposal is to scrap the motor, allowing someone there to work the motor as a hobby, for their time, to fix it in any way they can, or for private use when PRIVATE funds are spend on the tiller.
(Roger) I am not completely convinced that parts are not available. If I found the time to dismantle it and see what is broken, then I could ascertain availability of parts. This is something I would do eventually if it stays here in my yard for long.
(Nancy) I MOVE that we scrap the tiller and allow Roger to dispose of it as he sees fit.
(Mary) I like that motion better! I second it.
(Roger) Any comments Gerard?
(Gerard) No
(Nancy) Note, in my second motion (both are on the floor), this allows Roger the flexibility of storing it, or giving it to a mechanic would would haul it away but not pay for it, etc.
(Nancy) It is unfair to ask Roger to store it, when he may have to move and it is a HUGE thing, not able to be pushed easily, and if it will not run on its own, cumbersome.
(Nancy) The elephant in the garage.
(Roger) I have a motion and a second to scrap the tiller, calling it a total loss for accounting purposes, and allowing it's present caretaker (me) to dispose of it appropriately. I also have another motion and second to leave the tiller in storage until another option presents itself.
(Mary) I vote yes to the scrap vote and no to the storage motion.
(Roger) Let's see if I can make this clear. Please indicate your vote by typing "yes for scrap" or "yes for storage" or "no" if you don't agree with either motion.
(Nancy) I also vote YES to the scrap motion and NO to the storage motion.
(Roger) Your vote Gerard?
(Gerard) I vote yes for the scrap and no to the storage
(Roger) The scrap motion carries, the storage motion does not.
(Roger) Thanks folks, I will report the eventual disposition of the tiller.
(Roger) The next report is the Shortwave radio project.
(Roger) Helena's report is attached to the agenda. It looks pretty bleak. I hope the Institute will consider her suggestion.
(Mary) Helena is doing the best she can under the circumstances. Lets accept the report as stated and hope for the best.
(Gerard) I agree... Let's hope for the best
(Nancy) I agree, she will get the antenna up as she can, but at present this is NOT holding up any nonprofit project.
(Roger) Very well, we will all hope for the best.
(Nancy) She will find a way, in her new setting, or eventually. They rent, and renters move.
(Roger) The last report is the server project. I found an acquaintance who is a unix administrator and is willing to assist with setting up the server. I hope to arrange things with him soon.
(Nancy) Congratulations!
(Gerard) Sounds good yes.
(Roger) It was a bit strange, he is a student but is graduating. He was announcing to the "group" that he had been offered a full-time job on a unix administrator! I was taken aback and jumped at the chance to ask his help.
(Mary) Good, good, good.
(Gerard) Good. Indeed
(Roger) He asked me some questions about the server, it's status, our plans for it, etc. I told him it was intended to be a mirror for our website. Is this still our intent?
(Nancy) Well, Troubled Times and the nonprofit are at present at a primary and 2 mirror sites.
(Roger) What about email service? CD downloads?
(Nancy) They are the guest of MY website, but the mirror sites at Yahoo and in Slovenia are where I myself am a guest, in large part because of the TT website and the efforts of the nonprofit.
(Nancy) So we are all guests at these 2 mirror sites.
(Gerard) Right. As the server would is of our own, one can install some more services like email for example
(Nancy) It used to be that our server housed email facilities for nonprofit board and officers, and was intended for all kinds of possibilities, like housing chats or whatever, large files like video of survival means.
(Nancy) None of that came to fruition, and we do not, in fact, HAVE video of survival examples, and chat groups are all over the place.
(Nancy) At present, I'm not sure of the use! Or the need!
(Nancy) Yahoo houses chat forums for the nonprofit and TT groups.
(Roger) So should this server be a mail server and a backup site for the website?
(Nancy) We have a web presence, web hosting, for free.
(Nancy) Frankly, at present, I can think of no need not met elsewhere, but this can always CHANGE.
(Roger) I can have my associate assist in restoring the server's functionality and then report to the board. We will decide what to do with it then.
(Nancy) If we open it up to chats, then extensive moderation must be done, to prevent disruption.
(Nancy) There is a new Blog determined not to be disrupted, and the admin has his hands full and works at this aggressively.
(Nancy) Web serving is MUCH more benign.
(Nancy) Ah HAH, I just thought of a use!
(Nancy) I was just saying that our CD contents, and Mike's enhanced version, and the new stuff he has done, has NO way to be cast out to the public who might want to download and burn their own CD's for mass distribution where they are at.
(Nancy) What I am thinking is, the mail service is tight and unreliable, but places around the world want to download and burn and distribute. Could we have an FTP type of facility, a download facility?
(Nancy) Bandwidth could be slow but steady, and you would have to pay a lot to house this at a regular ISP I think.
(Roger) As a start, I will have it set up as an email and ftp server. We can link it from the TT webpage when it's ready
(Nancy) Perfect!
(Gerard) Good
(Nancy) We could, my thinking, only allows certain people to use the FTP facility, not the general public, those who are willing to mass produce, burn CD's, and distribute for free.
(Gerard) What will be the speed. Just a usual modem speed or dsl?
(Nancy) I think we will be surprised at the amount of money that might be offered for such activity, in the near future.
(Roger) The FTP would be password protected and we would only release the password by request (and verification of the person's intent).
(Nancy) Getting the source setup, with the data, is the thing that takes time and needs to be done now.
(Nancy) Perfect!
(Roger) I have enhanced DSL (I'm not sure the exact speed, but it's better than modem).
(Nancy) And getting this online, if costs are needed, might be something the new donation would approve of! In his heart, etc.
(Gerard) Each user could have it's own password also, not just one password
(Roger) I will find out and report back to the Board along with options/prices for increasing the speed if we so choose.
(Nancy) Gerard, good thinking, as if one user gets abusive, they can be cut off.
(Nancy) Abusive as in excessive use, downloading repeatedly, etc.
(Roger) I was thinking the same thing Gerard. The password would expire after a short time.
(Nancy) The data would optimally be parsed into packets so downloading, if it goes down, does not require a restart at the top, etc.
(Roger) I work with a software vendor at work that does just that. Updates are available via FTP, but only for 3 days and then you have to request a new password.
(Gerard) One can even block IP addresses from entering.
(Nancy) This has been a very productive and exciting session!
(Roger) That's the end of my report, any other questions or other comments?
(Gerard) Any idea which unix clone would be used, which linux version. Or will it be freebsd?
(Nancy) I have no other comments.
(Mary) I like the theory.
(Roger) No idea yet Gerard. We have Redhat Linux for the server, but I will discuss it with my friend. We'll use whatever the best resources we have!
(Gerard) ok
(Roger) Thanks for the productive meeting. I would entertain a motion to adjourn.
(Nancy) I MOVE we adjourn.
(Mary) I second it!
(Roger) This meeting is hereby adjourned. Thanks again and have a wonderful day (what's left).
Session Close: Sat Feb 19 20:07 2005