One more time… with feeling!

5 Mar

Okay… I don’t know if it’s just the new year arriving… but RenaissanceRonin has just had both the best week AND the best month since I started writing the blog!

Perhaps I got help from President Obama and his Stimulus Bill, mass hysteria, or even a sudden burst of “Green Envy!…” Whatever it was, I’m glad to see it.

It’s odd, too. I’d been thinking I might STOP writing the blog altogether. In the beginning, I started the blog to share information as we built our new home. After all, it’s not every day that you see somebody stack Shipping Containers up in the yard, and then move into them!

prefab1Ain’ t this a beaut’? I hope ours turns out as nice!

I’d hoped to stimulate some conversations about affordable and innovative home design and “thinking out of the box” to find new ways to accomplish things a lot of us take for granted.

And try as I might, I can’t seem to get that started. It takes a long time to write some of these posts, and that time taken out of my day, adds up. Blogs are about more than just “numbers of readers…”  In the 8 months and change since we’ve started, we’ve seen about 20,000 of you pass through. But I’ll point out that blogs, especially “niche blogs” that speak to a small (very specialized) audience, are all about “growth.” And the best way to measure that, is by seeing how your readers use what you’ve written. The best indicator of that, is the reactions in the comment sections of your posts.

Although I’ve written over 110 posts now… each one compelling, enthralling, interesting, and informative (I know… stop rolling your eyes!) 🙂 , the comments section for most of these posts are as empty as a graveyard after dark…

And that is really, really discouraging. It’s a tough thing to talk about in my house, when we’re doing the bills at the end of the month, and I have to justify that $55 to pay for “blogging bandwidth…” Sometimes… that $55 just isn’t there to spend… And the cable company won’t take “Muppet Money…” Damn!


It sounds trivial to you, I’m sure… but if you’ve really read my posts, you know where we are coming from and where we’re trying to get to… Things are tight, and something’s gonna have to give, soon…

My point remains the same;

America is buying so much merchandise from other countries (like China and Japan) and selling so little product back to them that shipping containers are actually becoming an environmental hazard. Apparently it is cheaper to manufacture new ones on the opposite side of the ocean than transport the empty ones back to where they originated from.


In port cities and areas around inland freight transit terminals hundreds of thousands of empty containers are piling up. The stacks, dozens of containers high, loom over the landscape . There are even residential neighborhoods in some of their shadows where the sun sets an hour earlier than in the surrounding areas.


But people (labeled “environmental entrepreneurs” by some) are finding new uses for those boxes sitting in our shipping yards… and we’re talking about modular housing.


Really, folks… some of the designs aren’t bad at all, as long as you don’t know “it’s a gigantic Corten Steel box” to begin with. THAT realization seems to be the primary problem… the stigma attached to “a new life from an old box” that was originally designed to be used to haul freight all over G_d’s creation…


The irony here shouldn’t be lost on anyone. As a country whose economy is falling faster than a bad facelift, America’s manufacturing base is moving off-shore and the only thing most working Americans have to show for it, besides a bunch of Chinese crap from Wal-Mart and a debt load that is skyrocketing faster than the Space Shuttle, is stacks and stacks of empty cargo containers littering their landscape, and blocking out the sun.

I know of places where the Container Mountains literally block out the sun and turn previously healthy lawns into muddy brown pits of despair. We’re talking enough containers to house most of the South’s Homeless, with containers left over, for a few Yankees! 🙂

The average American family is spending themselves into poverty but the good news is that they’ll have a place to live when they run out of credit and their houses are repossessed.

I just hope that we get our own house built, before that happens to us…

So, I suppose we owe China a big “THANK YOU!” for leaving their empty boxes here!

And whatever we decide to do… “to blog or not to blog…” (it’s going to come down to what we can afford to continue doing) I just want to thank you guys and gals for stopping in to see what we’re trying to accomplish here in “Shipping Container Hell…” um…er… coastal Mississippi!

And, here’s where Ronin takes a slow step or two… I’m too poor to be proud, right about now, and I hate asking, but… If the blog is important to you, I encourage you consider helping us with some of the costs involved. If that sounds like something you’d like to do, just  hit that PAYPAL button up top, on the right…

We’d be grateful for your support!

Stay tuned!

The Renaissance Ronin

8 Responses to “One more time… with feeling!”

  1. Bill Cash March 6, 2009 at 5:37 pm #

    I just stopped by your blog and thought I would say hello. I like your site design. Looking forward to reading more down the road.

    • renaissanceronin March 6, 2009 at 6:46 pm #

      Hi Bill;

      Thanks for stopping by. Although… Unless you’re implying that I’m deeply in debt and need a lifeboat… you might be spammin’ me…

      (I checked your URL.)

      And Ronin don’t like spammers… so I’ll be keepin an eye on you! 😉

  2. thegreenestdollar March 25, 2009 at 4:17 pm #


    Please oh please, you can’t stop blogging about shipping containers!

    1. You’re one of the very few bloggers out there who actually say what they’re thinking. I love it. You’re awesome.

    2. Your website is a gem for people who are thinking about building a shipping container home, myself included.

    I’m sending you money. I’m sending some now. Don’t stop blogging.

    • renaissanceronin March 25, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

      Thank you, Heather…

      We’re trying to figure out how to make ends meet. I don’t want to give up the blog, I honestly don’t. It’s just that paying the medical bills, the utility bills, and feeding the tribe are more important.

      I feel like “Renaissance Ronin” actually makes a difference. I think we can do great things, and help a lot of people. And in the tough times that we’re facing, that’s important.

      If I can figure out a way to make it… RR is here to stay.

      Thanks so much for your support and kind words. It’s of vital importance to us…


  3. Chris March 26, 2009 at 11:17 am #

    I just donated to you, so you better keep your wonderful blog runnin’. 😀

    (although I’m afraid I can’t afford to foot the whole $55 myself, I’m just a poor student!)

    But here’s a bit of moral support. Keep up the good work!

    (And perhaps research ways to get cheaper Internet? Cut the cable package perhaps? Who needs TV anyway… Or leech the neighbor’s unsecure wireless network…)

    • renaissanceronin March 26, 2009 at 3:47 pm #

      Hi Chris,

      I’m indebted to you! Thank you for helping out!

      I love writing this blog, it’s a blog that can make a difference, in times where the only help we seem to be getting from elsewhere just makes the hole deeper. We’ll do ANYTHING we can to help anyone we can. And evidently, our viewers are the same way! We feel very blessed by that!

      BTW: We have the “cheapest” cable tv/internet package available. My wife is basically bedridden, to cut out the TV would really hurt her. Imagine staring at the walls all day, not being able to get out of the room… Oy Vey… And, we don’t have a “land line” so dial up is out of the question. We’ve done everything we possibly can, to cut costs. And we’re still looking for corners to cut. The assistance we are getting from our viewers is a Godsend!

      Thank you so much!


  4. surfnavy June 18, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    I’m thinking about designing a container home, but wondering about the reality behind the width of the container being adequate, or the ability to cut floor to ceiling windows in container. I just got here to your blog and I’m looking forward to good info.

    • renaissanceronin June 18, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

      Hi There,

      Remember that containers can be “joined” to form wider rooms. It’s done all the time. Your ISBU based home doesn’t have to be 8 or 8.5 feet WIDE.

      And floor to ceiling windows aren’t a problem. They’re called sliding glass doors (and commercial storefront glass)! 🙂

      I urge you to think about how you USE space, and let that define the spaces for you. You’d be surprised how comfortable you can be in what some would deem “tight quarters.”


Comments are closed.