Oy Vay! My “child” is Illegitimate!

28 Aug

Well, at least my “brainchild” is…

As Hurricane Gustav approaches, all eyes are on the horizon. We wait to see if we’re gonna get blasted again, and it’ll give us another chance to practice “treading water.” Now, I’m not gonna wish “Gus” on someone else, I’m just wishing he doesn’t show up here. I have enough problems now…
So, instead of getting “technical” about photovoltaics, I’m going to talk about something I’m experiencing right now, as I try to build my “Shipping Container House.”

I’ve been watching the “Yahoo Groups” lately, in search of “trinkets and treasures,” things I can learn to make my building experience more endurable, as I build my family’s new home, in Southern Mississippi.

And, I’ve come to one conclusion. Shipping container are the “illegitimate stepchildren of alternative housing!”

Yes they are!

I know, I’m going at this all wrong! I should just go along with everyone else, do what everyone else does, and just fit in…

You know what? Screw that!

I recently posted a comment on one of the group forums about container homes. Now, with my track record where forums and groups are concerned, I should have known better, but I did it anyway. Because I STILL believe that information should be shared.

My comment started a flurry of “you can’t live in a container” comments, and then got subverted into a discussion on “Pole houses.”

Now, I don’t know why a “Pole” even needs a house, unless you’re talking about somebody living in Krakow or Warsaw, but… LOL!

Seriously, it was interesting to watch the exchanges, and the dynamic.

One guy told me to abandon my plans, and convert an old school bus.

I know that he meant well, but my wife would kill me. Kill me!

Another suggested that I’m rude. Moi? Yep. Me. Because I used “quotes,” in a manner that he thought offensive. I had thanked him for his “insight.” Hey, he seemed like a bright guy, with an informed opinion. It wasn’t the same as mine, but that’s okay. And I meant it, and everything.

I guess I have a lot to learn about “posting” comments. For instance, I had no idea that using quotes denotes a negative, or sarcasm. I thought it just denoted the word you were using as “important.”

See? I did it again, right there!

And, there’s this unwritten rule that you have to write to the lowest common denominator (or you WILL be explaining yourself forever, over and over again, trust me…), and cautiously word your posts so as not to irritate anyone, whether you mean to or not.

Because if you do, the thread will get hijacked into a flurry of “why’d you do that?” strings that will unravel anything you had originally set out to accomplish.

The general consensus so far is that I should throw away the containers I already have, scrap my plans for building a steel house out of them, and then find the money to go buy wood, so I can build a “real” house…

Because it appears that even though I’ve done this before (quite successfully), I don’t know what I’m doing, and I’m just headed for heartache.

People hear the word “Shipping” coupled with “Container,” and they immediately picture this:

And when you talk about using a container as a part of your construction, they see this;

What they don’t see, is this;

I suppose it’s such an extraordinary concept, that it’s hard to imagine. I mean, you’re taking a perfectly good steel box, and then making it hold people, instead of products. It’s not like you’re hanging it up in a tree, out in the woods or something, all by your “onesies.”

Um… er… never mind.

Now, I’ve taken this controversy one step futher, by suggesting that I’m wanting to use a Ceramic Insulative Coating, to offset heat and cold. It’s a perilous path, one filled with misinformation, hoaxes, and even hoopla! Let me tell you! You have to be an investigative reporter to get to the truth of some of this stuff.  And, you just have to enter into the kingdom carefully, and make sure you know what you’re doing, before you jump in. It’s kinda like traversing all those minefields, back when I was “young and immortal.”

I recently relayed information I’d received (from what looked like credible sources) to a group that is really interested in “alternative housing.”  I even had “corroboration.”

That was “Strike Number One.”

Anybody reading my posts has seen me post “retractions” when the facts are proven to be different. Nobody has time for “wild goose chases,” especially not me. So, I try to be “diligent.”

It gets harder when the subject is “wildly controversial.” Ceramic Coatings are the holy grail of “Oh… My… Gawd.” Some say they work, some say they don’t and some just spit in their general direction. The hardest part is trying to wade through all the documentation, to figure it out. I can’t begin to tell you how many “reports” I’ve seen thrown at me that are half a decade old, that make claims as to the veracity of a product.

Strike Number Two.

And, I don’t really believe that a company would keep a formula “static” for years, if it (a) didn’t work, and (b) they were under fire (legally and financially) with the threat of litigation and fraud charges looming over their heads. Nor do I think they’d continue to invest millions of dollars in operations, to sustain a product that simply didn’t work.  It just doesn’t make sense.

In spite of suggestions to the contrary, I haven’t seen ANY legal actions against “Super Therm,” or Superior Products International, the company that produces it. I have seen lawsuits filed by SPI, to stop other companies from stealing their trademarks, formulas, or intellectual property.

So, I’m looking hard at this product line, trying to determine it’s merit, based on “current products” being tested “currently.” But I warn you… Showing me a study or a test report from 5 years ago isn’t gonna have much weight.

So, what have we learned? “Containers + Ceramic Coatings” = A virtual certainty that people will go crazy!

We’ll see how it works. Just like I’ve stated before, we’ll test it for ourselves, in a controlled environment, against other products and methods.  That way, we have no one to blame, but “us.” One way or the other, we’ll get to the bottom of this!

And once you start talking about “photovoltaics,” geothermal HVAC and radiant floor heat, and a bio-fuel generator, the house gets even more bizarre to some.

Beyond that, it’s pretty “conventional,” albeit leaning towards “environmental.” French doors, “art” staircase, decks and terraces, you know, the usual.

Now, I’m sure the group I’m currently investing some time in can handle some of these ideas, and maybe even see the merit of their application.

But, I’m definitely an “outsider,” with no real desire to be considered “in.” Groups are just too much work. I can see the merit if “you’re preaching,” or “teaching.” But to most, it’s just a gathering place that’s replaced the coffee shop, where people can share information about “What if?” and “How come?”

Strike Number Three.

And that’s it. I didn’t join a group to argue, or have my character or integrity assaulted.  If people think I’m taking time out to write these posts to gain their “attention,” they need to go out and get a life. Unfortunately, I’ve got my hands full, actually trying to build something on the ground, and not on paper, or in the ether…

So, I appears I don’t have the time to do the group justice. Because If I did, I’d stop being polite about the way they treat people, just for starters. I don’t know about where “you” grew up but accusing or even implying someone was being “dishonest” was a great way to get your ass kicked, where I grew up.

I thought perhaps I could help, or add something informative and educational to the group, as I struggle through this. I really do believe that information should be shared.  So, I could at least let them watch, and maybe learn something. But, it’s not gonna happen.

If you want to figure out what I’m doing, you’ll have to do it here. I’m not gonna talk about “pole houses,” or “schoolbus sheds,” “Rammed Earth Homes,” “Straw bale houses,” or even “Little houses.” There are plenty of other places where you can learn about those.

Some of the groups devoted to that set of topics are quite good, run by people who know what they’re talking about. And some of them are just collecting points for “opinionated jerks and @ssh@les” who like to talk about things they don’t actually do.

And, as much as I dislike the taste they left in my mouth, the “LittleHouses” group is one of the better ones. If you’re trying to build a house out of wood, this is a pretty good place to start. But whatever you do, don’t mention “Containers” or “Ceramics…” Oy Vay, such a headache I have! LOL!

But… I’m gonna talk about the “perils and pitfalls” of building a house out of “shipping containers” and other recycled bits.

And if you aren’t interested, you should just change the channel.

If we just went on, repeating the same old sins, over and over again… we’d be heathens… living on a “flat world,” a world without color TV, or ice cream, or Snickers bars. A world where we still had to actually use our hands to “reach out and touch someone…”

And now I gotta go start deleting email messages, each one trying to convince me that (a) I’m an idiot, and (b) my family will suffer for ever listening to me.

What’s that old saying? “Opinions are like ……., everybody has one.”

Remember, campers…

“Never join a group, that will have you as a member…”

Tag! You’re it!

Stay tuned…


4 Responses to “Oy Vay! My “child” is Illegitimate!”

  1. Allen Taylor August 28, 2008 at 7:34 pm #

    Nice writing. You are on my RSS reader now so I can read more from you down the road.

    Allen Taylor

  2. coatings January 12, 2010 at 7:10 am #

    I am afraid to apply epoxy floor coatings. The smell may be toxic. Does it stay for a long period at home?

    • renaissanceronin January 12, 2010 at 11:29 am #

      Hey “coatings,”

      Epoxy floor coatings aren’t without perils, but it sure beats that wood floor full of pesticides that you will remove to build that NEW flooring.

      Wear a respirator, and cover up. Plastic suit, plastic gloves, and foot coverings, if you’re really concerned.

      Sure, you’ll look like an “alien”, but you’ll be safe and you’ll amuse your kids…

      (who shouldn’t be around when you’re doing it anyway. Why subject their little lungs to the fumes?)

      Once those floor coatings have set up, you’ll be fine.


  3. Via January 23, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    You are a very smart person!

Comments are closed.