Hold on tight, to your dreams!

12 Oct

Today, I’m going to take a day off, and spend some time with my son…

Joshua turns TWO today!


Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday, you Jew!…

You look like a monkey…

um… er…

Your mom says it’s your dad’s fault! 🙂

Man, where did the time go?

So, consider yourself lucky! Rather than go on a “politics fueled” rant, I’ll address another nefarious “email jewel”…

Every day, every single day, every single stinkin day…

I get this question;

“If using ISBU’s to build a house is such a good idea, why isn’t everyone doing it?”

Okay, maybe not EVERY single day…

But here’s my answer;

“Because there are people out there who want you to think it’s harder than it really is. People like building contractors, Planning and Zoning Nazis, Lending Institutions, and Home Insurance Companies…”

Let’s examine this, okay?

Using a container as a starting point cuts down on labor. And… where do contractors make most of their profit? On those “hammer-swinging monkeys!” How do I know this? Not only did I used to be “the boss”, I also used to be a “hammer swinging monkey.” In fact, depending on the day, I still am.

Planning and Zoning guys don’t like ’em much either. Know why? Because they’d have to learn something new. Sure, some P&Z guys crave a new challenge, but those guys are few and far between.

Lending Institutions aren’t fond of your ISBU dream, either. It’s partially due to the fact that ISBUs are considered a “new” marketplace, and nobody knows how it’ll do. Mortgages are all about profit. Traditional banks often don’t understand the concept of “cost savings over time”, and so are sometimes reluctant to make loans for green building projects.

Nobody betting the farm, likes a crap-shoot. And bankers are notorious for being tight-fisted.

Traditional banks with a branch office on every corner are wasting resources and wasting people’s money. In my view, banks are supposed to be redefining financial services as the grease that will help drive positive environmental and social change in America.

But nobody listens to me… I don’t know why? 🙂

And let’s not forget “insurance companies.”

That scourge of the earth… “may they sink into a tar pit and end their days as a wall ornament in some future museum…”

… insurance companies are still on the fence. You see, when you’re doing something “different,” nobody knows how it’ll perform, over the long haul. And that presents “liabilities.” Insurance companies hate two things more than anything in the whole world…

Paying off claims…


Their stockholders don’t like them much either. Again, it’s all about profits. Insurance companies are in business for the profit, not to take care of your family.

Anyone who says otherwise is either extremely naive, or lying to you.

(Now, before you bust a blood vessel, I really do know and respect “insurance agents” who REALLY give a damn about their clients. And, I’ll add that my respect has to be “earned”. But, like P&Z Nazi’s seeking an education, the “respected” insurance guys seem to be in the minority.)

So, let’s just cut thru the Bullsh@t, okay?

Building a sustainable house isn’t as complex as some would have you think!


You may have to build it out of your own pocket. If so… you’re not the first, and you won’t be the last.

Save your dough, and build slow.

The cool thing about using containers is that you’re weathered in.

Do you have to build a McMansion?

Hell no! My point is that you build what you need, not what some trendy TV ad tells you you have to have.

We’re not all lemmings! We’re not all sheep! We’re not all IDIOTS!

We have brains, and ambition, and passion for our families! Why shouldn’t we focus those talents on giving our families the best possible environment to grow up in?

I mean, I can’t control the weather or what corporate suits pump into the air, no matter how hard I try! I can’t control toxic spills, or pollution across the planet. I tried it… all I got was High Blood Pressure…

But, I can control the environment I create in my own house, and the amount of electricity I need. I can control how my water gets heated. I can control how my house lives WITH the earth, and not in spite of it.

I don’t have to live “on the block.” I don’t have to live in a suburb. I can live in the boonies, if I want. I ain’t skeeered!

And I don’t have to wait for the future! I can do it NOW.

All I need is a goal. And, a big heart to drive it…

And theme music… You gotta have some theme music!  Go ahead! Bust out! You know you want to!

Now that you’re in a hummin’ kinda mood, let’s examine the possibilities.

You could be like this guy;

thai1It’s a Thailand shipping container house! But, it could be ANYWHERE!

thai2Looking Good!

thai3I like the roof!

thai4And remember, it’s expandable. Why? Because it’s based on CONTAINERS.

Okay, so you don’t like that one…

This guy had a problem. He had workers, but no place for them to  live…

Give you any ideas? Huh? Well? 🙂

Okay, I draw the line here;

Welcome to the “Betty Boop – if you build this around MY house I’ll blow it up! I will! Just try me! I’m warmin up my grenade throwin arm… I’m gonna! I swear I will…”

It’s the attack of the Pink Polka Dot ISBU Home!

conhouse_container1_revWhat were they THINKING?

Look, we all know that Shipping Container buildings have been murdering the time slots on Cable TV lately.  You have to admit that they’re popular as all get out!  But somebody has to say;


This is just wacky! I mean, ISBU builders have it hard enough already. This guy had to go and throw the “OMG! Nightmare HOUSE” into the neighborhood, to get the unruly masses all stirred up again!

Okay, so it’s a nice “concept”, stacking two containers on top of each other like that. It does demonstrate the versatility of ISBUs.  But, he cheated. He used containers specifically manufactured as housing modules, instead of getting his hands dirty, recycling these wonderful blank canvases that we’ve all come to know and love!


Nope! You DON’T get any furniture, Smarty-Pants! Why? Well… because you blew your budget on those stupid Polka Dots! You get “chalk.” But… it does make the house more spacious this way! 🙂

I’ll be first person to admit that Shipping Containers are becoming a great choice for prefab construction. It’s because of their structural stability and the ability to provide a quick frame for a building. Plus, they’re EVERYWHERE.  You don’t NEED to buy “specially configured boxes.” Just pick up a phone, and call your local shipping port!  I’m using what most people would consider a “blight on the landscape” and turning it into a housing solution. And, Architects and Designers are doing the same thing that I’m doing. The main difference between ME, and THEM, is that I’m doing it on a budget that would make them laugh, cry, and then… have seizures.

conhouse_container4_revThis is just wrong… 😉

This “system” is called “ConHouse”. Probably because it was a prison experiment gone terribly wrong…

Okay, not really. But it’s just not “sustainable”. Sure it’s recyclable, adaptable, modular, and supposedly affordable. But, they didn’t do anything new, or even innovative. The design (what we can see of it) doesn’t encourage energy efficiency, or  environmental responsibility, or anything else, for that matter.   They just tried to capitalize on the popularity of  “the shipping container movement”, while attempting to offer a few “tweeks” to maintain some proprietary difference. It’s a marketing exercise!  The reality is that they simply ordered boxes from a factory.

Probably in China.

That’s a “Ronin No-No”!

conhouse_container6Is the layout good? Well, you be the judge. I’d have done it differently. In fact, I HAVE.

This house isn’t doing anyone any favors. It’s just causing a stir. And, I think the message it’s sending is more negative  than positive. Can you imagine living in that house? Man… around here, you’d get your butt kicked in your driveway, every time you got home from work!

Your wife wouldn’t meet you on the lawn, she’d just fling the door open fast, so you could dart inside, to avoid the rocks and bottles! 🙂


I never thought I’d say this about an ISBU project, but YUCK!

And, rather than leave things on a sour note, here’s a project that just begs to be twisted over and over again, to give you that “island feel…”

It’s the “HARDY Island Beach House!”

Doesn’t look too tough, does it? I bet you could do it!

The guys who designed it say that the design proposal features (7) 20 foot containers.


It has a really nice great room facing the ocean, a pair of lofts for the rugrats, and a cool master bedroom facing the back of the property.


Out on the master bedroom deck is a cool oasis, you get a hot tub,  standing on a big box… It’s a great big concrete piling with a fireplace built into it at the ground level so that (a) your kids can make “S’mores”, and (b) so that some tub water can be heated naturally by firewood. Throw in a circulating pump, and you’ve got “heaven in a “spa box!” …”

Talk about casual living at it’s best!

Makes you think, huh?

And, I meant what I said about that stinky “Polka Dot Palace”…

Stay tuned.

The Renaissance RoninDon’t you do it! I mean it! I’m serious! 🙂