Cathedral - acheive proper R value

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  #1  
Old 10-06-01, 06:30 PM
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I have an attic area similar to the second picture at http://doityourself.com/attic/insatticrafters.htm - the gabled wall attic.

Currently there is only insulation in one of the flat parts on the side of the house. The other flat and the cathedral portions are not insulated.

Essentially I figure on the flat parts of the roof I need to install about 4 soffit vents per side - or a soffit plug for each section between rafters and then put a baffle in each section to create adequate air flow, cut ventilation holes in the middle "knee wall??" to keep the air flowing and then put baffles all the way up the cathedral ceiling portion to the ridge vent at the top.

Now comes the insulation, I live in the north suburbs of Chicago and from what I can tell the recommendation for attics is about R-49. In the flat part I think all I need to do is staple the insulation in-between the rafters. When it comes to the cathedral part is when I really run into trouble. The "rafter joists??" - the wood connected to the actual roof is only 3 1/2" wide. When I went to look at insulation, R-30 is already 10" thick and I still need to add another R-19. When I looked at what would fit on the 3 1/2" "joists" I would only get R-13 and that is without baffles.

Additionally 1/3 to 1/2 of the attic is finished but there is the 3 1/2" gap between the drywall portion of the room and the "roof" - I'm planning on blowing some insulation in but I will only get an R-13 rating.

The insulation I was looking at is paper-backed/faced - planning on using that as the vapor barrier (facing down).

Questions:

How do I insulate the cathedral part correctly to achieve the best insulation?

In insulating the flat part do I need to lay down something to hold the insulation up so I does not actually rest on the ceiling?

Would the paper-backed insulation create a sufficient vapor barrier or do I need something additional - or should I just use something different and go with the non-paper backed insulation?

When I blow insulation into the 3 gap do I need to put a vapor barrier on the down side if so how would you recommend getting it in the gap so it does not rest on the dry wall or does it matter?

How big of a difference does an R-49 to R-30 to R-13 make?

In this case would anything really be better than nothing?

Thanks!!!

 
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  #2  
Old 10-07-01, 07:54 AM
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R value

Learn more about insulation and R values at http://www.owenscorning.com. Hopefully, rbisys will be along shortly to add his expertise.
 
  #3  
Old 10-07-01, 11:06 AM
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Here's a link to a good JLC article on insulating a cathedral ceiling-
http://www.jlconline.com/jlc/archive...ing/index.html
 
  #4  
Old 10-08-01, 02:58 PM
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Excellent article - I k\like the build down methods great idea!!!

Thanks.
 
  #5  
Old 10-09-01, 06:56 PM
rbisys
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Greetins Sasmus,

Thank you twelvepeople, sucked me in on this one, didn't you.

Where to begin.

The unfinished part is not hard to deal with, it's the finished part that is a bear. First off, forget "R" values. Even DOE can't justify those "R" values in the installed condition. They just follow the manufacturers recommendations. That's a ploy to get you to buy unnecessary insulation. According to installed condition tests by independent labs, you're lucky to get half of what is claimed by the manufacturer.

The cathedral rafters are conducting large quanities of heat winter and summer. Particularly in the summer.
You want to provide for space for ridge vent flow and isolate the rafter with an insulated surface from the room.
This will involve using radiant battiers (RB) to get the maximum results without causing additional problems.

Install one sheet RB between the rafters about 1" from the botttom of the rafter. Butt the ends and seal at top and bottom. Install a second sheet on the bottom surface of the rafters. Install 7/8" steel furring strips on 24" c/c across the rafters. Install drywall and finish. You have a reflective (97% eff.) airspace between the dry wall and the Rb on the rafter and an airspace between the that RB and the second Rb between the rafters. If your wondering if this will work, consider, only 3 reflective airspaces are use to protect liquid nitrigon. Also, the government tested one layer of RB and found it to be about 30% more efficient than a "R" 19 batt. You couldn't stuff enough bulk insulation in an atttic to equal that.

Now on the other exposed areas, such as short walls you can install two layers also, just DON'T put the RB over the studs on the outside surface of the studs. Put both layers in between.

I'm guessing that the biggest problem you have with the section that is finished is the angle part of the ceiling.
If there is not TOO MUCH work involved, the best way is to remove the drywall in this section and treat it like the cathedral, as above. I had one custopmer who cut RB panels and slipped them up the sloped section from the attice side. You will still have to install one layer inside over the dray wall and furr out, as above, to get maximum results.

For more info on RB enter in your search engine, "radiant barriers" or "reflactive insulations".

If you have ?'s contact me at XXXXXXXXXXXX
For ridge vents try, http://www.cor-a-vent.com Be sure to check their soffit recommendations.

Thank you for considering my opinion.
 

Last edited by twelvepole; 04-03-03 at 01:52 PM.
  #6  
Old 11-27-01, 02:28 PM
builditmyself
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my idea? good or bad I will see

Well, thank you for the pointer to the web page. I have a walk up attic with a 12' high pitch, 2x12 rafters 16"O.C. I am going to put the r30 with the relective foam board and strapping 16 O.C. Yes, this is going to be a bedroom and Im sure you are all saying "way to hot in the summer" I live in MA. I am going to put 2 10" flex tubes across the peak, with 4 openings, there will be a fan in each tube. these tubes will then run down do the first floor (out of 2 floors and an attic) where they will pull the warm air from the attic in the winter, and reverse them and pull the cooler air from down on the first floor in the summer. comments are welcomed. I have never heard of this, but it should be intresting to say the least lol.
 
  #7  
Old 11-27-01, 08:17 PM
rbisys
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Greetings, Buiditmyself

If you can prove by a test from an independent, government approved lab (NAVLAP) that in the installed condition of summer/winter conditions you can get "R" 30 out of your fiberglass, I'll pay for your job.

Second, your passing air over a cancer causing material. You will be blowing these particles directly into your home.

When you have the fiberglass and drywall in contact with the foil on the foam board, you will negate the foils effectiveness. Just one layer of radiant barrier is more effective than the fiberglass.

Thank you for considering my opinion.
 
  #8  
Old 11-28-01, 05:16 AM
builditmyself
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thanks

Thank you for your opinion.
I dont know what part of the country you live in, and I have looked around and can not find the RB at any of the local stores that provide to to-it-yourselfers. I am doing this myself and have no contractor doing this for me. I have talked to some people in this area of MA and they agree that the r30(no kf) then the rigid relfective foam over that and taped will do the job. Then add to that the air space provided by the strapping between the foam and the sheetrock will work just fine. cancer materials being blown around the house? Yes this may happen if I leave the walls and roof exposed. but seeing that they will be finished, this will not be a problem. if you feel that it is, then all insulation should be taken out of all houses and pulled off the market. Of course, I would like to see an independent study or gov. approved study that shows this to be an issue.

thank you
 
  #9  
Old 11-28-01, 05:07 PM
rbisys
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Greetings,

Thank you for your reply.

A warning label is required by the government on fiberglass products about the cancer potential. Some experts state that fiber glass is more dangerous than asbestoes. Considering how fiber glass is handled and the high exposure rated from items such as ceiling tiles, it's a wonder there are not more problems than what now exists. You can find web sites outling the problems and attorneys that specialize in this problem. Obviously the fiberglass manufacturers do not advertize this problem.Most fiber glass products are also coated with cancer causing chemicals that form the plastic coating on the fibers. The government does not require a label warning, but, the chemicals are listed as carcenogenic. Besides this you can add the serious mold/mildew problem that some doctors believe is a major cause of asthma in children and the deaths to infants and the elderly that do not have a strong enough immune system to fight . Many insurance companies are refusing to pay on mlod/mildew infested homes, many of which are insulated with fiber glass.

And yes, there has been a steady complaint against these companies, but they are very big and powerful.

The Rb is a 20# kraft paper with foil laminated to both sides and it is very easy to install them. All that is required is an air or heavy duty electric stapler. One sheet is stapled inbetween the rafters about 1" from the bottom and the second sheet is installed like a vapor barrier. 7/8" steel furring strips are attached across the rafters. Drywall is attached and finished. Installing this way isolates the rafter effect fro the room. Cost of the material is $.34 / sf for two layers. This method is not only more efficient, it also is easier and costs less.

If you are sure you want to go the fiberglass route, keep in mind that you will probably never pay, in savings, the difference between a "R" 19 and "R" 30. Fiber glass is only about 10% efficient and after about 4" the efficiency drops off dramatically. The inflated "R" values are used to get you to buy material you don"t need.

In any or either case, have fun.

Thank you for considering my opinion.
 

Last edited by twelvepole; 04-03-03 at 01:56 PM.
  #10  
Old 11-30-01, 07:16 AM
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rbisys:
I have been browsing these forums and have been noticing several of your postings. They are attempting to promote a product with distorted and outlandish claims.
Example: "Also, the government tested one layer of RB and found it to be about 30% more efficient than a "R" 19 batt. "
This statement is only a correct statement if it is taken in context.
What you are implying is that RB will reduce heat loss by 30%.
What the 30% refers to is that RB will reduce RADIENT heat transfer only! As we all have forgotten from high school science class is that there are three types of heat transfer. Conduction, convection and radiation. RB mostly addresses radiation and to a certain extent convection, but most certainly not conduction, which you claim uses a scandelous product to counter.

Another of your comments:
"Heat'g/ cool'g salesmen do not like RBs because they have to down size the equipmet so much. Also they usually sell insulation as part of the package and they promote the more is better ploy."

You question my motivation for being here.

I cruise forums where I have some knowlege, as a form of repayment.
I am also a client of this forum and am repaying it for help it gave me somewhere else. (My wife's washing machine will soon be working thanks to jeff1 in the appliance forum, and my vehicle problems have been solved by JoeF in automotive.)

You are doing a major disservice to the many knowlegable people that hang out here. Even when people whom are not experts in their field of advice give it a whack, their suggestions are generally sincere, and most readers are discerning enough to sort the good from the bad.

I take offense to the fact that you are misleading people with distorted and incomplete information.

You were correct in suggesting in another post that I don't have a working knowlege of RB, and that is true. Before stumbling on your promotional postings, I looked at RB as a very valuable technology, but only as a VERY SMALL part the big picture, but thank you for my renewed interest in researching it.

For any one interested in the US Gov't take on this subject, I refer you to:

http://www.eren.doe.gov/consumerinfo/refbriefs/bc7.html

A couple of quotes from their site:

"It may also be worth noting that a very glossy white paint is within10% of as good reflector of heat as most of the common radiant barriers currently available in residential construction."

"Two field tests, one in Minnesota and one in Canada, both found that a radiant barrier placed over R-19 attic floor insulation (which is less than half the DOE minimum recommendation for those climates,) found that the radiant barrier contributed to less than a 1% reduction in energy consumption for heating and cooling."
 
  #11  
Old 11-30-01, 09:16 AM
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RB

Rbisys,

thank you for your reply. I can see by your statment "I have these products available for anyone who cannot obtain them locally." Tells me you are a salesman and are selling a product. Of course your product will be better than anything else, that is why you are selling it. Now it is up to the consumer to sift through all the BS and decide which is best. I hate a salesman that puts down other products and tells people how unsafe it is to promote there own product. but that is very typical of a salesman. I have consulted people in the trade here in MA. all of thier thoughts ended me to one conclusion. your rb will not work alone, period. you need to have the R30, an insul board r10 over the rafters. then one layer of rb, seams taped. on top of that, strapping and then sheetrock. thank you for your sales pitch. I will use one layer, but it wont do me jack with out the other components, the components that you so bashed ealier are a needed part here in MA. now, where do you live again, what state? do you reflect the radiant heat? or do you insulate your house? Here in MA, we insulate against the harsh cold and radiate the inside heat that we trapped with the insulation with one layer of rb. have a nice day and enough bashing. I look to these boards for information from trades people, and people that can help me out. as I give some info also. I do not want advertisments blasted at me through a wonderful medium, this forum. If you have advise to give, give advise. If you are selling a product, sell it some where else.
 
  #12  
Old 11-30-01, 09:50 PM
rbisys
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Greetings,

Yes I have sold, designed RB systems and installed for 30 years.

But I have not sold any on the web although I let people know they are available thru me. The mark up on RB is very small and the amount I MIGHT sell would probably get me a tank of gas for the truck. Every body on here is selling something, at least I'm up front about it.

I enjoy helping people solve their problems do to the inferior products now being used.

To gregH, I don't know about the Canada test, but the poor results sounds like the FG people were involved, or somebody didn't know what they are doing. I still contend that you do not have any RB experience and that you are a victim of the "R" scam.

When you consider the fact that FG is only about 10% effective against radiant energy and you figure the amount of summer heat radiated to the fiber glass and then look at the 30%, it is alot of additional energy that is not getting into the house. Adding addional FG to existing "R" 19 is a rip off. AND YOU KNOW IT. What you did't say is that FG is about 98% airspaces and that radiant energy travels at the speed of light and because of that, the more energy (hotter) available the more energy that passes thru FG, NOT LESS. How come a/c units go on when it's about 80 -85 degs out side and the interior temp is 78 degs? You mean FG can't protect you from a 2 -5 deg. temp difference? Does this men that even at those low temps FG is so inefficient you have to run your a/c?

The DOE web site is mickey mouse. You don't know what the DOE has been up to in regards to restricting valuable info and they're references to RBs not being usable in all situations is true, BUT they don't tell you what situations. They also say that RBs are not as efficient on up heat as down heat, BUT they do not tell you that they are still better than FG. They are using the same tactics to kill RB use as the FG and cellulose people. The government has a vested interest in maintaining the sales of low efficiency insulations. Want to be really ticked off at the govs? Figure out why.

Your comments about convection, conduction and radiation shows that you do not really understand the process or you're trying to muddy the waters.

To buitmyself,

Sorry you feel that way. The people you got your info from don't know much about RBs either, much less fiberglass. It's easier to maintain the status quo than investigate, experiment and learn. Besides, by demeaning another product they make themselves look like the professional, they're not.

If you think I'm not nice, how about the companies that sell you a product that gets about 30 - 50% less "R" value than what you paid for. How about companies that attack their workers for getting lung cancer and suing them. How about the abestoes companies that are now selling you the carcenogenic FG. How about a company that puts a disclaimer on their packages saying that their product does not cause mold to grow on their product knowing that is does grow even if it does not cause of it. Have you seen the new homes on TV that had to be torn down because of mold, or the children that have died. How about a company that says that their product does not absorb moisture (true) it suspends it ( to saturation). The moisture weight drains to the lower walls and rots out the wood. How about the increase of moisture due to condensation that INCREASES HEAT FLOW 5% for every 1% of moisture. Did you know that you have to exceed 15% moisture to induce dryrot? How about the approx. 1100 BTUs it takes to convert of water vapor to one pound moisture. Did you know that plastic is put on the walls, not to prevent moisture from the room moisture getting into the FG, but to prevent water stains and damage from the moisture that does condensate from the out side moisture.

How about the FG companies getting the US Senate to stop funding of the FTC when the FTC imposed regulations requiring that ALL insulation products be tested in the INSTALLED CONDITION, not the mickey mouse C 236 test. 1981, check it out. If that had gone thru FG would probably not be on the market today. Who do you think got this test(?) into the system?
Again, why do you think the feds adopted it, knowing the facts.

And you wonder why I'm not nice to these FG reps.

Thank you for considering my opinion.
 
  #13  
Old 12-02-01, 08:02 AM
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Smile Where to begin

rbisys:
Firstly, I want to thank you for stimulating my interest in a subject that I had long since forgotten about.
I am a licensed refrigeration and airconditioning mechanic/contractor serving commercial and light industrial accounts. I work in the heat transfer field on a practical level rather than an engineering one. I welcome an opportunity to reaquaint myself with the basics.

To quote your post:
"Your comments about convection, conduction and radiation shows that you do not really understand the process or you're trying to muddy the waters. "

RIMA, the RB industry association that you have been refering people to, is where I have been getting my muddy water. They go out of their way to explain the principals of RB technology. These are not the principals that you are using to dispense advice.
I doubt that you are a paid up member of RIMA, but if you are, I am sure they would be interested in hearing of your antics.
RIMA does a good job of making the physics understandable, and would recommend that people go there, and use that, along with other credible information to decide for themselves whether or not RB is worth the trouble.

My hope is that you will see the error of your ways and base your advice and business practices on sound principals.

Everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt and maybe you are the victim of someone else's rhetoric. It is too easy to succumb to a "belief based" theory when one chooses to ignore the facts.

Conspiracy theory, maybe you've got something there.........Roswell, Fox Mulder, Kennedy, Owens Corning ?????
 

Last edited by GregH; 12-02-01 at 09:37 AM.
  #14  
Old 12-02-01, 02:30 PM
rbisys
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Greetings,

Yes I am very familiar with RIMA.

The foil manufacturers have to interpet data per the APPROVED standards. I've covered that ground.

A manufacturer has to be very careful as to what they say and how they say it, otherwise the competition will sue them. This has been going on for years. Every time a university, state agency or any one else tries to publish the lies of the fiberglass people, they get a visit from the lawyers. As an individual who is not an engineer, scientists, etc. and who is only relating my interpetation of what I read and experience I have a better chance of exposing them. That is why I have to finish my communcations with, " thank you for considering my opinion". You don't have to because you're parroting the "official line".

The info I give comes from engineering handbook and other data released thru publications. I have to try and interpet it for the average person who only knows how to add "R" numbers, because, that is what the industry has trained them to do. As a former teacher I can assure you that it can be a challenge. Our school systems of the past 30 to 40 years have not helped a bit either. WE are a child of the parents who taught us. In this case the manufacturers. And just like real life you get good and bad parents.

I would think that if you looked into the matter further and had as much personal experience as I, in not only new construction, but also trying to correct the sins of our fathers, you would come to same conclusions, but, might explain them in a slightly different manner.

Speaking of construction, don't you find it interesting that no one has ever done a side/side comparison of actual houses. I have, and have asked government people about that. Their answer, " we don't have the money". Strange, the government has money for so many trivial items but not this.

The net result is that things are not right in "smallvlle". Belive me, if you knew as much as I do about the "conspiracy" then I think you would want to warn and teach a better way too. You must be aware of the high rate of resiptory problems in your industry, especially the residential field. I don't know where my list is now, but it's high. You can't hardly find anyone over 30 -35 years old with 10 years experience that isn't suffering. Same with electricans. This isn't a conspiracy, it's a disaster. The masks that the installers wear is a joke, if they wear one. How about the warehousemen that don't wear any protection and are exposed to the concentrated carcenogenic chemicals of these products. Think I"m kidding, visit one of the local FG warehouses and go in there. 10-15 minutes is all I can take. These guys are there all day long, with out masks, because they have to make a living. Slavery is alive and well in America. I hope you'll understand why then that I view the purchase of fiber glass in the same class as donating to middle east terroists.

The DOE, FTC, and other government agencies are not going to do anything about it because the US Senate has already put their stamp of approval on this fiasco. As I mentioned before, the FTC was shut down for 2 days in 1981 when they tried to correct the problem.

If you want to argue about the accuracy and method of interpetation and teaching, I can accept that. If you want to say that nothing is wrong about the way calculations are done or the devastating affect on the health of home owners and their children, or the waste of God only knows how much valuable resources, that I will fight to my last day here. The arguement should not be about the above, but how best to eliminate the terrorists. Remember the FG people are the same peole that brought you ASBESTOES. The want to get the court rulings over turned so they can stop paying damages. Have you ever met some one who was afflicted with this posion, I have and it's not a pretty sight. There is also movement in trying to get asbestoes back on the "approved" list. There are foreign products that contain asbestoes that are still being imported.

If you want to stick to the "letter of the law" rather than branch out and take a chance, then you will be stuck in the loop. A VICTIM.

I'll give you one more item before I put you asleep.

Do the BTU calculations according to "STAR" program. Then go into the emissivity charts in an engineering manual. Using the formula on the preceeding page figure the BTU requirements base on a 75 deg floor temp and the actual wall and ceil'g surface temps for summer/winter vs o/s temps and see what you come up with. If you need info, you know where to find me.

One other small thing. You would be surprised at what ORNL has found out regarding RBs that they are not releasing. Government contracts, you know.

Have fun, this world is only an illusion.

Thank you for considering my opinion.
 
  #15  
Old 12-03-01, 02:52 PM
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WOW!

rbisys:
I guess I can't convince you of anything.
Maybe it's my approach. Come to think of it, maybe that is why I can't seem to get a local chapter of the Flat Earth Society going.
Oh well.

Have a nice life.
 
  #16  
Old 12-11-01, 06:59 AM
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Flat earth [email protected]#$, well i think the finall chapter was closed only a short time ago... if you recall the opinions of the world was that it was flat, and if you said anything to dispute it, you were killed. Until of course, it was proved to be not flat. Perhaps the FG vs. RB is the same. I try to educate myself, rather than rely on government agencies to spoon feed me what they want me to believe. I am not a scientist. I dont even work in the insulation industry, but i have observed a few things about the whole debate. Fiberglass is a series of spun fibers that in normal use tends to become airborne and irritate my respitory system, not to mention becoming imbedded into my skin. This seems very similar to me, reminds me of an old product i used to work with called asbestos. In fact, when our industry banned asbestos from use in the products, they began to add larger concentrations of fiberglass. I believe any product which is small enough to be inhaled in high enough doses can be hazardous. Even RB, but it doesnt come in a powder or strand form, so using that would certainly be safer, imho. As i was talking with a local supplier of insulation about duct wrap, he began to tell me about the foam board, he warned that its ignition temp is so low that i should be wary of how close i put it to the heat source. He said the gas created by this was extremely toxic, and that the product tends to help feed a fire. He then further told me, that if i didnt want foam i could get some fiberglass wrap with a higher ignition point, but in a fire it would not only feed the flames but it makes even nastier toxic gas than foam. I dont know what RB would do in a fire but since its such a small amount, im guessin it wouldnt feed the fire and the by products of its ignition wouldnt be as overwhelming as 6 inch thick materials.
Just because its "been done" that way for years doesnt make it better. Dont be blind to new methods cause a guy says "he has it available". Believe me this guy isn't a "salesman". I had learned about radiant barrier in doing some research for "solar houses" and when it was time to work on a larger project, my home, i wanted to incorporate what i had learned previous. I talked with rbisys briefly about my needs, and he was quite helpful. At the end of the conversation, i was ready to buy but he said, wait, lemme send you some samples to make sure its what you want. He even pointed out where i might look elsewhere so i didnt have to deal with him, and pay shipping and all that, since we dont live near each other. He never pressed me for the order, he said, he was quite busy at the time and he would send some material for me to look at when he got the chance. Im in sales, and if i have a fish on the line, i reel it in, and anyone that claims to be a salesman that doesnt do that, isnt in sales or is supper skinny!! I like to refer to rbisys as a ZEALOT, he strongly believes in what he promotes, not for his own sake, but so we can have an opportunity to live healthier more profitable lives. Im sure there are many on this board that feel the same way. I just wrote this cause even though he was being ganged up on and refuted the arguements, people might be scared to look at this technology cause of the inherent dislike to be "sold to". We as people have been given the power to think independently. So the next time you wanna bash someones views cause you "think" your being sold to, think about that hot soup in your thermos, and wonder, how come they dont wrap this stuff in R-19?
 
  #17  
Old 12-11-01, 03:42 PM
rbisys
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Greetings, brakes

I appreciate your comments. I know that there are alot of people out there that are familiar with RBs. I wish more of them would come on line and tell ther experiences.

As for safety, RB foil is the same foil that is used to wrap food, only thinner. It's rolled by the same companies that roll food wraps. The only material that gets on a person who handles RBs is the oxide that forms when the material is rolled. It washes off easily.

I have been selling (?) and installing foils for thrity years, so if being called a zealot is the worse that comes, so be it.

You have to give some latitude to those who attack me. They live in a world of fear ( false experiences appearing real) and cannot tolerate anything that causes change in their lives. I can determine quite abit about a person from what they write and it makes me shudder (sometimes) to think about their family life, if they have one, and their bussines practices. Their biggest fear is losing income if things change. I'm 64 and have taken on ICFs as part of my product line. Change is good and fun(?).

Actually RBs where doing quite well in the 40's early 50's untill our government stepped in to help the big guys out. I have become more concerned and incensed as I learn more and more about how these products have hurt people and our enviroment. Even more so when you I think that every time I vote, the guy/gal I'm voting for probably pays homeage to the big guys and we get the scraps (if that). It has to change, we are killing ourselves, pure and simple.

Forgive, no time for spell ck.

Thank you for considering my opinion.
 
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