Get away from me! EIGHT is definitely enough!

21 Feb


I’ve shown you how you can build 4 small homes into one 48′ Shipping Container.

(Um… last week, in fact.)

I’ve shown you several times how to assemble them, to form a small home for your family.

But, what if I showed you how to assemble (3) 48′ High Cube ISBUs to form a home big enough for a pair of adults, and 6 children?

Crazy huh? Not even. Keep reading.

This is the story of a young pair of “Corten Crazies” in Chicago…

… who decided that they’d had enough of gangs, lies, and politicians. They wanted to live in a land where their kids could grow up like kids, and not in a land filled with narcotics, and predators, and problems.

And did I mention that they had kids? According to them: “We have more kids than brains…” They had a LOT of kids. 6 of them.

In fact, the family joke is that “if you look at Mom cross-eyed…  she’ll pop out another kid.” So…

… she finally decided that unlike that old American sit-com… “Eight was definitely ENOUGH”…

SOOOO… after she threatened to give her husband a vasectomy “with a screwdriver and a hammer“… he raced off  “to take care of his business…

It seems Dad left the doctor’s office with a limp and a band-aid, and some new resolve. Alt least he told ME it was resolve.

After meeting his wife, I’m betting it was FEAR that she didn’t still have “that screwdriver and hammer” handy…

And then, for some strange reason, they called me.

It seems that a family friend (somebody I’d served with in some Banana Republic or other) told them;

“He’s the guy to call, because he’s smart, he’s tough, he  knows how to build strong shelters…  and he’s Jewish.”

Now, there’s about a million jokes there that I ain’t gonna touch, and a few stereotypes that have long needed to be shattered, but suffice to say, I met with them anyway.

And almost immediately, I wanted to figure out who the guy was who referred me, and then drive over to his house and beat the daylights out of him. 😉

We talked about EVERYTHING… Gawd, it went on for hours… How much house, how much land you’d need to realistically take care of your family. At the end of the conversation, they had a rough idea “how much dirt” to buy.

They called a Realtor who specialized in land transactions, and they started looking for a place to call home.

By the time the Realtor found them a hunk of land, they’d sold their house, and traded in their luxury cars (a Lexus and an MBZ)  for an SUV and a Pick-Up Truck. And they bought the “big” stuff… A Chevy Suburban and a Dodge Ram 4 door. They were ready.

They bit the bullet and wrote the big check, and in return, they ended up with 150 acres of prime farmland, with two good wells, and a few old barns.

They called me up again, and told me where they were moving to.  I started looking at maps and surveys.

They leased an RV, loaded it up with “trail mix and Skittles” and then pointed it  west, just like the pioneer families of old.

And when they got where they were heading (according to the GPS)… they parked that RV in the barn. Next to that  RV, they pitched two tents. One labeled “Boys”, and one labeled “Girls.”  Why in the barn? Well, two roofs are better than one…

I kept after them to give me a number, so I could figure out a realistic budget. By the time they’d paid for the land, paid up a year’s lease on the cars and RV, and gotten some fences put in, so they could start doing the “Green Acres” thing…

They had $85,000.00 left to build with, in cash.

I traveled out there to talk to them. While the kids were tormenting each other with;

“I’m not touching you… I’m not touching youuuuuu…”

I realized that I could identify with this family, and these parents. I’d grown up in the same kind of  family.

That settled it. It  was decided that no matter what, each child would have their own room.

That way, the parents could secure… um… lock… um… er… send them to their own rooms, thus breaking the tribe down into smaller (conquerable) groups, “should the natives become restless”.

We argued, cursed, talked, begged, pleaded, and then… cursed some more (usually at each other), but we finally hammered out a plan.

Actually, it ended like this;

“ENOUGH ALREADY! You’re driving me CRAZY! THIS is the plan I’M building. Either say YES, or I’m just going to leave, and let your damned children kill you!”

The Mom picked up her hammer and screwdriver, and brandished them like a scythe and a longsword. The Dad? Well, I suppose the emotion was just too much for him… He  just looked at his wife… turned pale, and then cried…

I wanted to join him… remember, we only had a little bit over $85,000 in cash to build it.

And after it was finished… in 68 days, to be exact… we actually had money left over.

Note that I could have built it cheaper, if only someone “possessing something that resembled reason” had let me build the bathroom next to the kitchen, “but Noooooooo….

She “wanted what she wanted…” and that was that. She did everything but “say it and count to three…”

And that floorplan you’re looking at is the result.

That was “several seasons” ago, and they’re  still living on that acreage, in the middle of Montana, growing vegetables and raising sheep and goats… and kids. Lots of kids. They’ve added one, too. (They adopted her from Russia, and she is the cutest little kid you ever saw… ‘cept, of course, Joshua.)

This is just further proof that these homes are not only possible, they’re durable and sustainable. If they weren’t, these guys would have pulled up roots and headed back to Lakeshore Drive, right?

For a long time, I’ve been saying that I was “just a guy”.  But things change. When this blog started, I got 3 emails a week, and two of them were “hate mail.”

Thanks, Mom… 😉

Now, I get 120 emails a day. A day.

A blog that started” “to chronicle a family’s recovery after a terrible storm”…

… has evolved into a lightning rod for ISBU projects globally.

If you’ve been reading the blog, you know that I’m getting called by Senators and Congressmen on a regular basis.

Why? Because even though I’m on record as not liking the way they do things, when it comes to ISBU’s;

“I’m the guy.”

I’m getting calls and emails from Industry leaders offering to collaborate or “partner up”… almost daily.

Why?  Because when it comes to experience and “hands on time” with these boxes;

“I’m the guy.”

If you’re interested in building an ISBU home, or if you’re really consider a Shipping Container home, and you  just need to talk to someone to help you chart the waters… I’m available.

“I’m the guy.”

I’ve spent the last two years proving to you guys and gals that I know exactly what I’m talking about.

And, I’m not “just a guy” anymore.

What I possess is far more valuable than money.

I have 3 decades of intimate experience with ISBUs, Sustainability and even (gasp!) Survival, “in general and in specific.” I’ve personally built “more than my score of ISBU structures“, and I’ve even established several “settlements,” in places both “domestic and foreign,” you know… hostile climes like (gasp!) Montana! 😉

Remember: You can have all the money in the world, but if you can’t harness it with the right exposure to knowledge, it’s going to be worthless – especially as the economy falters, and the dollar falls.

Am I a “Motivational Speaker?” Nope. “Tony Robbins” I’m not. But I understand how to motivate people.

Am I a “Guru, a Imam, a Priest or perhaps a Rabbi?” Nope. I’m just “a spiritual peep.”

I’m just a guy who “has paid his dues,” a guy “who has been there”,  and wants to keep you from having to “go there alone.”

And now, I’m “YOUR GUY.”

I’ve put together a team of guys who can tackle any project quickly, effectively, and on budget.  And more importantly, you know where my allegiances lie, and you know that I won’t pick your pocket.

If you have an  ISBU project, or even the beginnings of an ISBU  project…

Contact me. You won’t spent most of your time, and more importantly, your building budget “talking”, or educating a contractor on your own dime.

Alex Klein

Container Home Consultants, Inc.

aka: Ronin

Please know that this site has required a great deal of money, time and effort to develop & maintain. If it’s been useful to you at all, and you can afford to…  you can help my family and support this site by making a small donation by hitting that Paypal button up there on the right. Paypal is the BEST “secure” way to donate to any cause… especially one like ours. This will help keep us alive while we try to actually “Captain the Ship”  that will remedy our own situation, and empower us to continue writing, maintaining, and providing the countless hours of hard work that this blog demands.

2 Responses to “Get away from me! EIGHT is definitely enough!”

  1. Madrigorne February 22, 2010 at 5:49 am #

    Your Name may be Alex, but if we ever run into one another IRL – I will call you Ronin. I will be building my BOB when I can afford it – which will probably take a couple of years to save up for. In the mean time I will sharpen up my metal fabrication skills – read a book and rent a plasma cutter and see what damage I can do before I get the hang of it. It’s how I learn.

  2. clarkscottroger February 22, 2010 at 6:25 am #

    (repeated knocking sound, as in rapping knuckles on a tabletop…my preferred form of virtual applause…)

    Good to read and follow, not because of the urge to imitate, as in, “I am going to be just like Ronin…”
    (Picture working in the wilderness in wingtip shoes and maybe a suit, with the tie loosen to show ‘casusal’…)

    No, for me this blog is a good example of what certain friends refer to as ‘attraction rather promotion’. The idea that you do good, productive work on the basis of the fact that you would be doing this whether there was one persin or a thousand people watching or no one watching. Most pepole, I would dare to say, respond to this kind of behavior.

    Good to have this blog as a place where I can stop in ‘to read and relax and and soak up some positive vibes’ .

    Keep up the most excellent work.


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