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Troubled Times, Inc.
Annual Report, 2000

During 2000, Troubled Times, Inc. established a laboratory to refine the synergy between worm beds, hydroponics and aquaponics in the context of indoor family food production. Recipes using earthworms as the protein base were developed by a visiting chef as early trials and published on the web. Short wave radio classes were published on the web, with the goal of developing a network experienced in using short wave packet relay as an Internet replacement. Two UNIX servers were assembled in anticipation of funding for a T1 line. The 4 minute video produced by the corporation was made available to the public, free to associations. As a result, a 30 minute TV documentary on the geological and folklore evidence of prior and possible pole shifts was produced by a private group from Tarzania, CA is ready to be released for Public Access TV consumption, pointing the public to the corporation. A brochure summarizing the Troubled Times web site content was drafted as a product that could be mailed out as a response to inquiries from individuals without Internet access. The Troubled Times seed team was supported by dedicated seed gardens. A potential project list was developed and reviewed, with several new projects staffed by volunteers and funded by the Board. These include the Community Garden, Clothing, and On-Foot projects.


Projects the corporation is supporting can be categorized into media projects, administrative projects, short wave network, demonstrations, prototype development and educational projects. Projects which saw progress during 2000 include:

Short Wave Communication
Short Wave communication uses radio waves propagated in the Earth's atmosphere, and is independent of any infrastructure like ISPs, servers, satellites, telephone lines or fiber needed for the operation of the Internet. In times of crisis like after the upcoming Pole Shift, Short Wave Communication can be used for global voice communication as well as a primitive Internet replacement using Packet Radio communication. Short Wave communication skills must be acquired before the Pole Shift through Ham Radio courses and licensing, including Morse Code which is required for operating privileges on the HF bands required for international communication. Troubled Times Members are encouraged to acquire such skills and licenses for pre-Pole Shift practicing and acquisition of the necessary equipment. The project will test and advise upon equipment needed for Packet Radio communication, test the various Packet Radio protocols and agree on a common standard for post-Pole Shift communication, arrange IRC Chats, communications tests, and establish the necessary Short Wave communication between the project members before the Pole Shift. Web based self-study classes and practice sessions have been developed to assist novices during their Ham training.
UNIX Servers
In anticipation of funding to support a T1 line, twin UNIX servers were assembled by Ernie Watkins in the Silicon Valley. The servers will be run under Red Hat, with an Apache web server, maintained by a UNIX professional in the Netherlands, Jurian. It is anticipated that these servers will at a minimum deliver Internet audio and video, support chats and meetings among team members, and host web-based radio shows.
Public Access TV Documentary
Where not a corporation sponsored activity, Nancy Lieder hosted the film crew and was interveiwed for the video. The video is being produced in Tarzana by private individuals, who paid travel and all development costs. The corporation's 4 minute video, provided free to associations, is featured, pointing the public to the corporation as a nonprofit resource. In anticipation of increased interest, an 800 line and PO box for public correspondence was secured.
Brochure Development
To provide the Troubled Times web site content to those without access to the Internet, a brochure was drafted by Shirley Short and is under review at the close of 2000. The brochure points introduces simple steps the average man can take to assist themselves, such as eating bugs and weeds, creating shelter from rammed earth or straw, boiling and distilling water to produce pure drinking water, and relying on herbal medicine in a pinch. The brochure points to books that can be purchased and emphasizes self-help.
Seed Team Support
This project supports the Troubled Times Seed TEAM volunteers by paying postage on the mailing of seed and purchasing seed. During 2000, over an acre of dedicated seed gardens were maintained in Wisconsin with assistance from several individuals including the seed team hubs. The project has a dedicated contributor in John Kelso. Active Seed Team hubs include Roger Thuma and Toni Simpson.
Worm Beds
Worm beds were constructed by Ron Darby, using a design now published on the corporation's web site. The design allows rows of water-proof worm beds to be pulled out for maintenace such as composting or watering, with drains in each bed in the row connected to collect the liquid fertilizer that is a byproduct of composting earthworms.

The first row of beds were completed by early summer, and stocked with red wrigglers and a few local nightcrawlers.

Worm Recipes
Earthworms, available worldwide, are 82% protein.

Shuichi Inoue, a visiting chef from Osaka, Japan, purged and cleaned earthworms and incorporated the protein in various trial recipes. The techniques for cleaning and the resulting recipes and reactions of volunteers sampling the food were published on the corporation's web site.

Facts learned during these trials were:
  1. earthworms do not purge themselves completely while drowning in water and need to be chopped and rinsed in order to remove dirt and sand.
  2. earthworms in food are best received if thoroughly chopped so their shape is not visible.
Commercial hydroponic equipment was purchased, with both a small and large unit in order to support comparison tests. The first cycle established that hydroponics in the basement lab were viable. A synergy experiment was started in the Fall of 2000, an apples-to-apples experiment comparing hydroponics using commercial nutrient solution, worm bed drainage, and fish tank water.

One hydroponic unit (left) was used to grow plants from worm drainage, and the other (right) using commercial solution. 25 gallons of dark brown worm bed drainage was collected and showed an overall TDS of 1523. A finding was that plants grew as well in this solution as the commercial solution, and that a timed release mechanism was inherent in the worm drainage as bacterial action continued to add nutrients over time. The commercial solution, however, needed to be replenished.
Aquaponics and Aquaculture
Commercial fish tank equipment was purchased, with narrow cow watering tanks used as a tank replacement due to size restrictions in the basement entry. By Fall the tanks were stocked with fry catfish. For the synergy experiment, two hydroponic flow tubes were installed in the fish tanks. A finding was that natural water plants such as watercress grew well, but that the TDS was too low to support hydroponics productively.

Grants and Gifts

The corporation received several generous gifts during 2000, notably from the Julia Dula Foundation, John Kelso, and Knowledge Systems as well as a generous anonymous contribution. Contributions for 2000 at end of year totalled $45,640.97.

Balance Sheet
as of December 31, 2000
Current Assets
Accounts Receivable0.00
Other Current Assets0.00
Total Current Assets8,753.23
Fixed Assets
Seed Gardens4,145.30
Educational Outreach2,519.02
Total Assets12,341.43
Total Fixed Assets12,341.43
Current Liabilities0.00
Total Liabilities0.00
Retained Earnings3,413.89
Net Income17,685.00
Total Equity21,099.66
Profit & Loss
January - December 2000
Ordinary Income/Expense
Sales - Video Tapes210.00
Total Income46,763.82
Gross Profit46,763.82
Administration and Web Hosting3,859.94
Program Expenses
Seed - Gardens3,088.27
Bermed Shelter1,587.30
Worm Beds2,193.31
TV Video Clip1,241.09
UNIX Servers2,496.40
Ham Radio1,056.44
Total Program Expenses15,354.11
Office and Site 3,175.39
Professional Fees384.30
Total Expenses30,141.43
Net Other Income1,660.51
Net Other Expenses597.13
Net Income17,685.77

Operating Units

The Company Corporation acts as the corporate agent in the State of Delaware, a presence required by law. The corporation registered in the State of Wisconsin, where both the corporate bank and CPA firm are located, and received a permit to operate an office in a private home as a place of business. In anticipation of increased interest in the corporation's activities and educational material, the corporation secured an 800 number and PO box to receive public correspondence.

Administrative Operations

Troubled Times, Inc. currently operates on the Internet and is staffed with volunteers. The corporation is international, with officers and staff and board members in Europe, the Mid-East, Canada, and the US. The monthly Board of Directors Meetings is held via NetMeeting or IRC on the Internet.

Directors and Officers

Directors are nominated by the membership, and elected during the annual elections held in February. Officers are likewise elected by the membership, but confirmed by the Board, at whose pleasure they serve. At mid-year, three new Board members were elected to fill vacant slots, and the President resigned due to workload. At the end of 2000, the roster of Officers was in transition, with the Board acting as President until the annual election.

President: (board)
VP: (vacant)
Admin VP:Nancy Lieder
Treasurer: Nancy Lieder
Secretary: Shirley Short
Internet Comm: Gerard Zwaan
Internal Auditor: Jan
Board: Pat Ard
Board: Brent Freemont
Board: David Friedman
Board: Nancy Lieder
Board: Geson Perry
Board: Shirley Short
Board: Roger Thuma
Board: Jurian
Board: Aron Wright
Board: Shaul Volkov
Board: Gerard Zwaan
Board: (vacant)

Appointed Positions

All staff positions are appointed by the board at this time. Appointed positions at the end of 2000 included:

Administrative VP
receives and processes administrative correspondence with Delaware and Wisconsin, the IRS, and maintains a physical place of business
Internal Audit
contributed oversight of the Treasurer’s accounting and adequacy of the vouchering system
Internet Communications
connecting Board Members during meetings via NetMeeting, IRC, Instant Messaging, and handling net splits and other emergencies



Delaware Agent

The Company Corporation
1313 N. Market Street
Wilmington, Delaware 19801-1151

Financial Agents

First National Bank
PO Box 529
Baraboo, WI 53913

Wegner LLP
PO Box 150
Baraboo, WI 53913

Contact Information

Troubled Times, Inc.
PO Box 249
Baraboo, WI 53913
(800) 485-1501