Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Don't Waste Wood

Monday afternoon I was taking a walk and passed an old roundhouse that has been used as a pottery factory for past seventy years. The pottery factory is in the process of closing and the historic roundhouse is being converted into a strip mall.

Apparently they emptied the warehouse portion of the building because there were between 20 and 30 wooden shelves lined up by the big commercial dumpster. Being the happy dumpster driver that I am, I wandered over to look at the shelves.

I was shocked. The shelving units were 8 foot long by 2 foot wide and about 7 foot tall. They were constructed entirely out of TRUE 1 x 12's. Each of the shelves had 12 1x12's 8 foot long and 4 1x12's 7 foot long...and there were over 20 shelving units. I planned on going by Tuesday and asking them if I could break the shelves down and take the lumber.

Giddy I was when I got home. I was already planning what to do with all that free incredible lumber.

Anyway I drove by Tuesday at lunch and was deeply saddened to see an giant industrial wood chipper and a massive pile of chips. No shelves seen...they shredded all that lumber. They don't even make lumber like that anymore. I was very sad.

There is still some light in this story. There is a large deck running along the back of the building it consists of roughly 60 2x6x8 and 20 2x6x12 foot long pressure treated boards with probably 20 2x12x10 foot other words a barn. I will swing by first thing in the morning and see if they will let me salvage it.

Don't Waste Wood

Off-Grid carpentry and construction is much easier with a rechargeable tool kit. I have been using the same Ryobi Rechargeable Tool Kit for the past 7 seasons. I have gone through many saw blades and added several batteries over the years but the tools themselves are just as strong and stable as when I bought them. If you are building off-grid a rechargeable tool kit is a must have item.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Common Sense Automaker Bailout

This automaker retooling proposal is based on the currently allocated $25 billion bailout already promised to the American automotive industry.

Give the big three automakers $3 billion each for retooling American plants to produce efficient electric cars priced under $15,000. With an additional $1 billion awarded to the first automaker producing the new vehicle. No outsourcing all work and parts done at American plants creating new jobs.

The remaining $15 billion will be used to give a $15,000 coupon to anyone wanting to buy a new electric car or small truck. This will afford the people economical small vehicles. If you want a nicer electric car go to the bank and borrow for the rest of the money. The car coupon is your down payment.

$15 billion is enough for 1,000,000 car coupons. The coupons can only be used on American made electric cars or trucks. Weighted treatment goes to lower income individuals in urban and rural areas. Small cars will alleviate the problems caused by shrinking mass transportation systems and heavy pollution caused by auto exhaust. The coupons will be awarded over the course of 4 years from the beginning of production. Coupons must be redeemed within 2 month or are forfeit.

This method will guarantee that our tax dollars are not sent to upgrade plants in Brazil and Mexico. Everyone wins, we greatly reduce our dependence on foreign oil, replace old gas guzzling monsters with clean electric cars, create possibly millions of new clean industry jobs and jump to the technological front of the alternative energy industry wave.

Compared to the massive banking bailout this modest proposal will actually work towards an economic rebound by creating good middle class jobs and off industry opportunities.

GM had a great electric car in the 90's. It was killed off by oil and car lobbies. This is a documentary that explains what happened...Who Killed The Electric Car?

Monday, December 1, 2008


"Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."

With one month away from moving in full time I thought I would run a few pictures of my cabin at Bear Ridge. Normally I would be hesitant to post these pictures until I am there but a good friend is staying at the cabin this month to break the place in for me.

Looking up the hill towards the cabin. Bedroom on the right with bathroom and kitchen on the left. Living room in the middle.

Looking out the living room. Big rainstorm this summer note the bucket catching water from the leaking roof.

Here is the kitchen. The cabinets will be replaced in February with self built ones that are more friendly to 5 gallon buckets. Note that there is no sink. I use the big utility sink in the bathroom.

Older picture of the wood stove with the bedroom tucked in behind it. Stays nice and toasty warm.

This is the new sunroom still not completely finished. The green house will extend out from the sliding glass doors and run along the rest of the house.

"All endeavor calls for the ability to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan, endure the last hours toil. The fight to the finish spirit is the one... characteristic we must posses if we are to face the future as finishers."

"I have learned, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."