Jackson and “Jacked Up.”

28 May

Okay, so I took a few days off…

It’s been “pretty difficult” around here lately (in fact, on a one to ten, it’s been an “eight”). The “Mommy” is slowly recovering (“Mommy” recently had a stroke), and Joshua, astutely sensing a momentary change in the balance of power, has taken the opportunity to wage a full frontal assault, and try to make the “Daddy” crazy…um… er… crazier. This is a pretty simple task lately, as Daddy has had his hands full… Oy Vey, have I had my hands full…

Beyond that, due to difficulties beyond my control my appearance at a “meeting of the mind” (singular) in Jackson, was accomplished “by notarized document/statement, read aloud by some unfortunate lackey who will have to bear the scars of having my words rattle around in their brain until the cows come home.”

I say “mind,” because after participating in several of these “Jacksonian jousts,” I’m convinced that there is only one sane person in “Jackson Authority,” and they just pass the brain around, at random.

I’m told that my statement was either well received, or thrown in a well (I’m not sure which), as the phone line that connected us was garbled.

It was just basically the same old “Ronin Rant.”

Get off your dead asses, and do your jobs! Families need homes. YOU need constituents.  The STATE needs to generate tax dollars HONESTLY! Families without homes don’t pay property taxes, and they sure don’t vote in your favor, come election day! We’ll remember that you didn’t give a damn, and then… we won’t either. I promise. Capish?”

For those of you keeping track, this was just another gyration, as the politicians in Jackson strive to drag this whole set of events out as long as possible, so that the people they are answering to either (a) drop dead from exhaustion, or (b) become so senile that they forget why they’re so pissed off.

The issue is whether or not to actually “release” the grant parcels to the families that qualified for them, MONTHS ago. I suspect that the truth of the matter is that they’re still trying to figure out how to make more money off the “re-urbanization” program. This program isn’t costing Mississippi a dime, folks. Not one penny! You see, the Fed has compensated Mississippi for the “land” that is being parceled out, but like most politicians, when the miscreants in Jackson smell money, they do just about everything they can to figure out how they can get their grubby little paws on more of it.

I’d remind them that “there isn’t anything honorable or even remotely responsible in standing between families that need homes, and the property that will make it possible.”

It’s ridiculous really. They complain that their tax bases are dying slowly on the vine and that people are leaving Mississippi for “greener pastures.” Then, they actually demonstrate WHY people are leaving, yet they fail to recognize it. Talk about “being detached and living in a fantasy.”

Attention, self-serving politicians; We will not forget, or go away. (In fact, some of us CAN’T, or we would have… as we’re really sick and tired of your greediness and irresponsibility.) Do your jobs, serve your constituents “honorably and responsibly,” or come next election, I promise you that you’ll be looking for work. (Good luck with that, by the way… as you idiots also killed off most of the jobs!) People like me are going to hold you accountable for your lack of action, and we’ll be more than happy to remind voters what miserable bastards you were, when we actually needed you to do your jobs, for once. I’m taking careful notes, and keeping a list of names. And, I have no problem being one of those who help fan the winds of change.

For example: The Internet is a powerful stick, and I’ll make sure that I beat you on the head with it, for all to see. Think about it for a minute, huh? I’m an “ex-military father/husband, with a dying wife and a baby child, who lost our (completely paid for) home to a greedy insurance company (who bought and paid for) a bunch of greedy politicians who just didn’t give a crap about anything but THEIR own power-mongering, “foreign-soil” junkets (and I’m not talking about ALABAMA), and excessive lifestyles.”

You really don’t want that, do you? Let me assure you… You REALLY don’t want that. I can spell “RECALL.” And, I know what it means, too.

That said, let’s talk about something more pleasant, huh?

Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out how to get a home built, using containers as the primary structure. Unless you’re living under a rock, you already know that.

And as my own build is hopelessly mired in “red tape,” I’m currently involved in helping other families build their ISBU homes Some surprising developments have given me hope that soon, despite the procrastination of Jackson’s “finest,” we’ll be building our own “Corten Castle” soon. It may NOT be in Mississippi, but it’s going to get built.

We’ll talk more about that later.

Anyway, I’ve been asked a series of questions lately, that I found so intriguing, I’m going to post them here, and see if I can get a few of you to comment. And, to be accurate, lately the most interesting inquiries aren’t so much “questions,” as “ponderings,” about the combination of structures, essentially combining different types of alternative construction together, to form “habitats.” I’m frankly enjoying this, because it means that some of you guys and gals are truly thinking out of the box, while trying to use one.

Here’s what I’m talking about.

Lately, I’ve been quietly working on a new ISBU project in New Mexico. The family involved isn’t building “in crisis,” or anything like that. They’re actually dedicating their own funds to this build, “simply to prove it can be done.” The home will be a vacation retreat, but it’s large enough that they could live there full time, if they choose to, later on. If I had to categorize it, I’d call it a “bug-out” build. It’s a place to run to, if things get stupid, or you just need to get out of town. I can completely relate to this mindset.

They’re using (3) 40′ HQ ISBUs to build a 24’x40′ box. It’s multi-level, with one ISBU level on what is essentially an elevated and insulated slab, that will hold all the mechanical and service elements of the home. The kitchen, dining room, bathroom, and mechanical room for the A/C and Hot water Heater is in the boxes. Also included in this level are the garage (2 car) and a small workshop. This entire level will be “earth-bermed,” in a manner that will make it similar to the “earthships” popular in the area. A greenhouse will occupy most of the south facing exterior.

Try as I might, the people building just aren’t interested in solar anything, including hot water, geothermal A/C or photovoltaics. Whaaa?

Okay, so there’s ONE solar panel, and it’s mounted on a pump system on a water tank.

Wait, it gets better! You know WHY they aren’t interested in using a bucket full of those “green” elements? It’s because they have their own “fast running” creek/stream/river, that never dries up or freezes over, and the guy building the home is an electrical engineer who has developed a hydroelectric turbine that will fit into a pipe. Big deal, right? Wrong. HUGE damned deal!!!

It’s only a 12” pipe!

And, this little beauty of a turbine will produce enough power to run just about anything he wants to plug in, forever. And to prove it, he’s gonna make it the SOLE source of power, for his home.

(The singular solar panel is used to power a pump that will help him move water to another parcel for irrigation of a “survival” garden. It was pre-existing.)

His “power-pipe system” runs out of the river, and then back into it.

A singular power source from water pressure. Talk about “guts!” If I tried to do that, I’d wake up dead in the morning, with my wife laughing over my carcass! 🙂

So, As I learn more about this little gem of a powerplant, I’ll fill you in, too! Suffice to say, I want one! I can picture this placed between cisterns filled by a well (which is operated by solar power). I have a few really big pieces of culvert pipe that are just begging to be used in a “power by water” experiment. If you filled a rather large primary tank, and then used an outlet pipe to fill a secondary one (and placed one of these little powerplants in that outlet pipe between them…) you’d get hydroelectric power from the water pressure that flowed thru it…

I’m not sure it’d work, because you’d have to keep that first tank filled to get enough pressure (in a constant flow), but I can see it in my head. However, my wife reminds me that “I see a lot of things in my head, most of them unrepeatable, unprintable, or felonious.” 🙂

Okay, I admit it. I get all caught up in this “grant property polka” currently going on in Jackson, and I want to go “postal.” Deal with it. 🙂

Here’s where his build is REALLY different. He’s gonna build his bedrooms and common areas into a dome built ON TOP of the containers. The dome will be 24′ feet in diameter and about 20′ high. It will be built entirely of SIP’s (Structural Insulated Panels) and glass. A winding “freeform” staircase will allow access from level to level, with an ”open overlap loft” plan that will allow you to stand on the main level and look up, to see the top of the dome.

This isn’t such a bad idea. He gets a stable base to build on, lots of room for his “hard stuff” (plumbing, electromechanical requirements, etc…) and really bright and airy creative spaces for his comfort zones.

What other ways can you think of to combine different type of alternative homes together, to form a “super” alternative home?

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4 Responses to “Jackson and “Jacked Up.””

  1. North Carolina home builders May 28, 2009 at 9:38 am #

    That power pipe system sounds very interesting, I ‘d like to put in one of those too.

    • renaissanceronin May 28, 2009 at 10:43 am #

      Hi Mike,

      I’m trying to talk him into letting me be a “beta-test” site. I’ve seen the unit, and I’ve seen the data so far. It works.

      Having seen it personally, I can’t imagine why nobody ever thought if it before. It’s simple, it uses basic hydro-physics, and it’s easy to deploy and maintain. It’s so lightweight, that you can carry it around in your arms. (Well, I can… If you can’t… just eat some “Wheaties.”) 🙂

      Because they’re all “hand-built” at this stage, they’d be kinda expensive, but easily worth the money. But once production starts, they’ll drop in price dramatically. I’m told that every single part is “off the shelf,” the inventor is just aligning them in a “new” way. And, I’m betting with the right testing, he will get them qualified for “alternative power” grants and subsidies.

      He’s getting an output of several kilowatts, with almost no trouble…

      Plus, the whole mechanism is essentially a sealed unit. All you have to do is keep debris out of the “intake.” The “outtake” (or “exhausted water”) goes right beck in the river with no pollution, no real temperature gain, no harm to the environment.

      I’ll keep you posted.

  2. Charlie June 12, 2009 at 1:14 am #

    I too am interested in this hydro-generator system. The specific flow requirements will determine the amount of energy output, but in a two ‘cistern’ system as you state the possibility is there. I have had such an idea for many years.
    It would have the upper holding trough, slough or cystern that would be large and a natural placement for local runoff.
    The lower cystern could be a swimming pool type receiver for the output of the generation ‘tube.’ The flow from top to bottom could be increase in force by elevation/grading to higher differences depending on site considerations. The replacement of the water from the bottom cystern to the upper would be accomplished by solar and/or wind (preferred because the windmill would be simple mechanical pump/mill to move water strictly for the upper basin and irrigation if necessary.
    This idea was intended to stablize sporatic alternative energy sources so that energy creation and demand could be available when wind and solar are not sufficient, kind of like a battery for solar panels without the high cost/technological investments. Only drawback is the amount of land available for use, permitting, availability of water resources to fill said basins and extensive grading and lining the basins for long life and proper seal against leakage.
    Coupled with a modest, energy-conservative home design it could be energy source, recreation, cooling and heating, waste and source water treatment and great for the landscaping too.
    This earthship addition is a great idea as well. I live in Florida and with building codes ever-increasing infringement on the poorman’s access to housing, it will be hard to change minds that are small and closed much less motivated by tax revenue and assessed value.
    We are getting our first earthship type home here in Manatee county area. See earthshipflorida.com for more information. I hadn’t thought of combining the two concepts until I just read Ronin’s rant above. I sure hope that you get your boots back from those Jackson Axxholes after sticking them up there.
    I wish you well on your journey toward a sensible home soon!
    Please post or forward information about that hydro-generator, I’d like to know more and if they are buildable off the shelf.
    Thnxz
    Charlie G.

    • renaissanceronin June 12, 2009 at 3:50 am #

      Hi Charlie,

      We’re on the same page. I figured that you could use a lift system to move the water that passes through the pipes. In my case the water would be moved by solar panels and an electric pump, as we don’t get reliable wind to run a windmill off of (unless I sat out there and talked to it for hours on end as my wife still claims I’m full of hot air!)

      That first staging tank would define the flow pressure, so that’s the math that I need to do, to make it work.

      The point is that you don’t need a river, or a creek, or even the tide, to make power using water.

      As I learn more about the system, I’ll let everybody know (inventor permission permitting, of course).

      Stay tuned!

      Ronin

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