Save the fun

So again I couldn't sleep well, because I have some plans today and somehow I was waiting, that the night is over... but okay. During the night I was watching some videos on Youtube and there are multiple channels, that provide some insights in the mobile life of people aside the normal social grid. Sometimes with interviews, sometimes just showing, sometimes pimping and repair stuff and so on, sometimes self made "I want to share something".

It's a mix between very poor people with bad life situations or background reasons and also people, who could afford even a house and more, but have decided by their own to live a simplified life in a mobile home, save a lot of money, work just partly and use the rest of the year for themself and their interests and to have fun.

So sometimes it's a sad and sometimes a funny content mix, depending on the view and also personal choices and targets of these people.

But anyway, that's the other side of the story, instead I wanted to mention, that I tested something. In one of the videos, a guy showed his small, old camper and what he has done insight during the years and improved. He also showed, how he showers and it's the camping style, so just a plastic bottle with some holes in the lid. Result: a portable shower (head).

Sure, everybody has used that or similar concepts during camping holidays in the youth or maybe solar showers outside and there were also ready made lids with holes in children magazines for some summer fun or to water the plants.

Nothing special, but I thought "Ah, let's do that, some fun stuff aside, why not". So I drilled some holes into the lids of two juice bottles, cleaned them inside and used them today in the morning.

It is working. In one of the bottles I drilled a small hole on the side too, so that air can pour in, without manual pressure for a continuous water flow and the other bottle needs just some gentle, tiny pressure. The sad thing is, that the water jets coming out have the same quality than my "expensive" handheld shower head.

So, children stuff in the morning.

But it works so well, that I also thought about the energy situation today. Sure, at the moment we have gas (old building here, so you need it for hot water and also for heating), but they prices are raising and the future is somehow unclear at the moment with all of the political games.

Heating the flat is no topic, our winters in the town are decent nowadays, so just take a sweater and so on and you are good. But a (short/quick) warm or hot shower on a daily level is important. There are three options normally:

1) You have a gas water heater somewhere in the flat, that heats the water on fly. So if you turn on the water, it started to flow through pipes and then in the wall and needs a few seconds until it reaches the water tap. If you turn it off, the rest of the warm water stays in the pipes and cool down. So it's a quick process, but you always loosing some heat and gas during this process for "nothing", even for small amount of hot water.

2) You have a boiler and water is continuously heated, so that you always have a specific amount of hot water. I'm not a friend of them, because they are big, need also a lot of energy and sometimes they are muggy inside after many years (don't drink). Sure, some of them have timers, so the water is just heated at specific time frames and so on. But it's like an oven, that is always on or running in the morning - independent if you really use it or not. And you have the same troubles with loosing energy inside the wall pipes.

3) Or you have some electrical devices (often in old buildings, hotels or bungalows) and heat the water on fly. Most of the time they are below the sink, small low pressure ones. Not sure, what to think about them, my experiences with them are not good (weak).

Today I used my Chinese water heater and used half of it for some morning breakfast stuff and the rest for the bottle shower. It's a quick and efficient process, it just takes two minutes for a full cup and I used it for two different things. And you don't use the boiling water for a quick shower, so I filled the two bottles half with cold water (out of the tap) and filled the rest with hot water = result: very warm water. And it was enough and is also efficient.

If you think about: let's consider the 3D printer too here - you can use for example three big 1.5 liter juice bottles and connect and mount them in the shower. There is one lid to fill them up and one lid, connected to a small hose with a printed or used valve. You fill up all bottles with (cold) water, but just to three quarters. Use the water heater and fill up the rest with hot water. This means you have 4.5 liter of warm water after one~two minutes without loosing too much energy. This is the short time between turning on the heater and eat a piece of chocolate and search already for the T-shirt. With small holes in the last lid you have a nice shower head and even with low pressure enough spray effect.

And why three bottles and not one big tank? Because you can switch and maybe just use one of them with warm water for a tiny task. This also reduces the heating time. One third of water just takes 30 seconds in the water heater, so you have more flexibility.

By the way, if you fill up the water heater again directly afterwards , you can also use the rest of the energy (hot metal inside) to have some additional warm water for a small drink or to clean the dishes from breakfast.

Sure, I'm happy, that I don't have to live that way and can afford the prices for gas (at the moment), but if there would be a real gas shortage or hard import stop in Europe and prices are growing more and the industry goes down, I would have a quick solution for that, without loosing to much lifestyle - as long as there is at least some electricity.

Because there is one sad thing today and also for the upcoming generation in my family: just to work hard and save some money and have fun then... it's not working anymore.

Life is getting (more) expensive every month and I don't think, that this will change in the next years. So if you can save some money at the moment, it's now eaten by price increases at the same time. Taxes, energy, food, rental fees or house purchases. Also earning money, while it's sleeping on your bank account... this time is gone.

I also think, that the "rich & easy" time of living in Europe is finally gone after decades. China, India and other "poor" countries from the past and their cheap productions, which provided us good times, have and are changing a lot. They are learning, that it's better to be independent and produce for their own, growing people, also because of (stupid and ineffective) sanctions and even Russia - aside of whatever future - will be careful, to re-create too close relationships with Europe. Also America has low interest in Europe, aside of necessary strategic relations and to secure their own economy and import routes.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think they all forced now (and discover), that they have to create their own stability, partnerships, economy and also stuff like own computer chip productions and so on... maybe with some weak or funny attempts at the moment... but they will improve fast. In local discussion boards people are laughing about low performance laptops made in Russia ("haha, back to 90s") or self made chip technology by China ("they have the size of grandmothers pan") at the moment, but I think, that this is just the beginning and will change fast.

It's the same with the silent Chinese rover on Mars or their new Space station aside of the ISS. Just tiny news, next to local stuff, in our newspapers, but in reality: look, whats going on and their speed of development.

Somehow, we are still very self-satisfied in Europe, maybe too spoiled by the last decades and still have this leader feeling. But the bottle time starts soon and I'm prepared.

Nah, just kidding. Fun stuff. Okay... well, at the moment.

Edit: Why not build the water heater into the bottle system, isolate it too and so on? Because this would be too fancy and cool. The idea was to have a low level, trashy system, but yes, if you want, you can develop it... there are a lot of optional possibilities. But in reality it's nonsense. Just buy a electric water heater for the sink/shower and that's it.

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Last update of this page: 08.09.2022

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