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Writing a new Constitution… based on Corten Steel… :)

23 Feb

RR Update:

The Founding of “Corten Country”…

As many of you know I’ve spent the last several weeks traveling – not only inspecting several on-going ISBU projects but looking “hither and yon” for the “right location” to plant a piling…

No, I’m not talking about the beginnings of “The Corten Klein Nation”… yet. 😉

While the production of my own CORTEN CASTLE is eminent…

What I’m talking about is something far greater… the formation of a company dedicated to the pursuit of ISBU Construction on an EPIC level.

Nope, I’m not talking about Vic and those rascals in Woodlands, TX… although I aspire to assist in the production of buildings as EPIC as the EPIC Creative Co-op Studios! 🙂

We’ve looked at sites scattered throughout the United States and I think we’ve found a home for this new “Group of Corten Commandos“. Several more weeks of “Frontier Work” will confirm our suspicions! 🙂

Where is this revolutionary new group of CORTEN Commando’s gonna regroup?

I’ll give you a hint… it’s snowing here and there are wild deer in the yard.

As the economy and inflation remind us that we need to start thinking about the futures of our families, this new group of innovators will serve as a beacon, to provide solutions in several areas:

Corporate Worker Housing

Educational Housing

Residential – Single Family and Multi-Family

Commercial and Industrial Buildings

“Triple C’s” – Corten Commerce Centers (And yep, it’s trademarked and copyrighted!)

… as well as participating in the construction of Corten based COMMUNITIES.

In the next few days, we’re going to start discussing how an entity like this is formed – and we’re going to start building bridges.

Stay tuned.

  Image Credit – Vic @ EPIC Creative Co-op, Woodlands, TX

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EPIC ISBU Studio Fire!

28 Jan

I received an email from Vic Cherubini over at The Epic Creative Co-op today.

While I’m in the field, traveling from ISBU site to ISBU site (and even preparing a very exciting new facility that will be dedicated to ISBU construction!)…

The ISBU based studio that they built (with the benefit of our consulting) suffered a fire due to a recent plasma cutter accident.

Vic says:

The cause of the fire was from a hole we had cut in one of the metal containers to run an AC line to the roof four days earlier. While using the plasma cutter, the cellulose in the wall had caught fire. The guys put out the fire, and removed the cellulose thinking they got all of it that had been on fire. Unfortunately, there must have been some embers left in the wall/ceiling. It took 4 days for these embers to get hot enough to turn into a blaze.

The fire took about 2 hours to put out, and most of the trucks and emergency equipment left the area, but one truck and inspector stayed behind. And it was a good thing they did, because they soon spotted smoke coming from the attic area beyond the area they had been working in. Back came the trucks and this time they really took down large sections of the interior ceiling and walls.  This is known as a “rekindle”, and when that happens the fireman take no prisoners.  Needless to say, the place is a mess…

For those interested in knowing how a container building did in a fire, only one word is necessary – EXCELLENT!

The only damage sustained by the 11 containers used in our building were from smoke, and the heat from of the fire burned some of the paint off one of the walls. The part of the building that sustained the most damage was the studio which with constructed using traditional building materials.”

For more information on this incredible ISBU Building (and the fire that tried to eat it…) look HERE.

Happy, Happy… 2010! Now shut up, and pass the Plasma Cutter!

1 Jan

Greetings, Corten Campers!

Happy Freakin’ New Year!

Hey, at the very least, I can say that it’s been pretty exciting here at Renaissance Ronin over the last year!  In looking back at the blog post statistics, I have to tell you that I was surprised at the posts that actually made it into the Top Ten.

As we move into 2010, I can’t wait to see what is yet to come! Corten Container Homes are springing up across the land! I can almost hear it now;

ISBU Homes in Indianapolis!

“Metal Mini-Mansions” in Madison!

Corten Communities clustering in Columbus!

Shipping Container Suburbia’s in Shreveport!

Okay, so I wasn’t completely shocked at the posts on the top of the pile, because the truth is that some of those posts represent what I think was my best work! (I know, I know… I have really low standards!  Man, you guys are tough!)  😉

And in 2010, the best is yet to come! I have some tricks up my sleeve…

Muwahahahah!

To recap 2009, here’s a look at what happened here;

In 2009 RenaissanceRonin (thru the WordPress servers alone) had visitors from 197 countries, over 61,000 New Visitors in America alone (acquired by recording “unique” IP addresses) and 135,628 Pageviews as I type this.

Currently, Renaissance Ronin has over 20,000 RSS Feed subscribers.

Renaissance Ronin is “syndicated” (meaning that other people run my blog posts on their sites as well), and my posts appear on many other blogs and websites as well. Those view numbers ran conservatively over 400,000 pageviews.

That means that over a half million times, I made people reach for the Tylenol Extra Strength! Man, Mom would be so proud! 😉

I want to wish each and every one of you a Happy New Year, one filled with prosperity, and love, and joy! Thank you again for all your support and it’s my hope that you will continue to read Renaissance Ronin!!

Happy New Year!!!!

Here, in a nutshell, are the top 10 posts of 2009:

10. I ain’t the Energizer Bunny…

“As we build our new “Shipping Container Casa” we’re taking a hard look at ways to cut our power consumption.

You see, we’re planning on using photovoltaic systems to make power the house will run on. And since  we’re gonna be responsible for that power, we need to start looking at ways to manage it.

This is NOT our house, but it’s a nice one, huh?

Now, a while back, I wrote a post about ways you can actually save energy. But, now that we’re starting to get serious about this house, it’s time to get serious about our power consumption. And we’re not the only ones, I’m sure. With heating and electricity costs soaring, and the economy teetering on the edge of disaster, it makes sense to muster a few troops, and start looking at ways to make energy-saving efforts around the house.”…

Container House - Main Floor

9. Look! It’s a “recycled house,” Martha! I think they used GARBAGE!

“Welcome to ALTERNATIVE HOUSING 101.6 and a half…:

Okay, I think I have it all figured out. (Kings “X”!)

The goal is to build housing, El Rapido!

And, it has to be “semi-conventional,” and provide all the usual amenities.

Now, I’ll warn you in advance that this is going to be a long “post,” because I’m going to discuss the house I‘m building out of “aircraft hangar parts, and shipping containers,” specifically.

It’s my hope that by the end of this post, you’ll start to be able to picture exactly what we’re about to do.

Now obviously, you’re going to have to use your “mind’s eye,” so use your “nice” crayons, okay? We have enough obstacles as it is! LOL!”…

8. The Many Faces of a Shipping Container – “Recording Studio in a Box”

“When last we met, I told you all about “living in a box, underground.”

This time, I’m gonna tell you the story of a life “recording underground” (well, nearly… It IS Australia, after all… It’s “under ground…” from here!), in a box we call an ISBU, to MAKE a living!!

(I know, I know… stop groaning!) :-)

As my family slowly builds our new home out of Shipping Containers and other recycled materials, some guys are making a living, by turning the same boxes into businesses.

Pay attention folks! Thanks to the President, there’s about eleventy-gazillion dollars in Stimulus money out there floating around waiting for people to grab it.  And, this falls into about three categories I can think of off the top of my head; New (small) business, “Green” application, recycling materials… and I bet there’s more!  I wanna be one of those guys!

“Ronin like money. Money goooood!”

You should wanna be one of those guys, too!”…

7. “Mi Casa Es Su Container!!!” It is too! Honest!

I get all kinds of email. Some of it is interesting, some of it is inflammatory, and some of it is downright entertaining…

“People get really emotional when you start talking about houses. They start to draw mental pictures, and depending on their “special talents,” some of those pictures can start really interesting dialogs.

As I read my email each day, I get to reflect on those images. Hey, some are really nice, “Mental Monets,” that sooth my soul. But some of them are “Industrial nightmares, right out of Freddy Kruger movies…” Brrrr!…

6. Drumroll please! Welcome the $8,000 Shipping Container Home!!!

While out scouring the web for porn… um… er… news, I came across this little gem…

“It seems that the idea of using Shipping Containers as housing is picking up steam!

Rather than recap an already good journalistic piece, I’ll just butt in from time to time, okay? Hot off the AP Wire:

CORRALES, New Mexico (AP) – It was a side trip through a destitute, ramshackle neighborhood in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, that detoured Brian McCarthy from building houses in Albuquerque to an idea to offer the very poor a chance to own a home.

His answer lies in a humble steel shipping container 40 feet long, 8 feet wide and 8½ feet tall.

See, it ain’t just moi!”…

5. Doctor, Doctor! All this “Wind Power” is making me sick!

“Those of you that have been faithfully following along (and shame on you if you haven’t!) know that my family is building a home in Southern Mississippi, out of junk, rubbish, flotsam, jetsam, and even some old garbage. Yes, we are!

At least, that’s what the neighbors are saying…

The reality is that my family is one of those that got caught between the “fine lines of insurance litigation,” and we have to find our own way through the “we don’t have a house anymore” maze, seemingly without any real assistance, after Hurricane Katrina ate our old house!

So, we’re building an “alternative” home. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s an “extra” one, or that there will be punk rock music screaming out of it at all hours while Ronin and scantily clad girls gyrate on the front lawn”…

4. While my IQ gently creeps…

“And now, for something completely different;

While we struggle and toil, down that garbage strewn path that will lead us to “Container Home Ownership,” my brain is starting to hurt!

Now, according to my wife, that’s not surprising, since I’m operating at a “diminished capacity” anyway.

Well, I suppose that’s true, I have lost a few IQ points, since I got married… In fact, it may have happened while we were dating… Hmmmm… :)

As this goes to post, I’m writing  “An Idiot’s guide to Geothermal Activity.’” It’s heady stuff, and I’m operating at a deficit, so you’re gonna get what you get, huh?  As I struggle through a “Do It Yourself” Geothermal Heating and Cooling series, try this one on”…

3. “The Stimulus” has stimulated my brain…

You know… it’s funny…

“All things really do come back around!

When I was a kid, my parents (“Gawd fearin’, man-killin’, shoot–em-up and eat the entrails”)  US Marines, had us convinced that the world was going to come to an end in our lifetimes.

So, while most kids grew up on Bambi movies and trips to the Ice Cream Shop (does anybody remember “Foster’s Freeze?”) we grew up on “Bambi Burgers” and instead of settling down in front of the TV every Sunday night to watch Walt Disney”…

2. Like it or not – Shipping Container Homes are coming to a lot near you!

“My family is building a home using shipping containers as structure. When I started this project, I thought I’d just throw up a picture from time to time, interspersed with whatever rant I was currently on, to demonstrate “what a nut-case that idiot “Ronin” is.” But”…

And the number one post for 2009 was (fanfare please!);

1. I’d like a Number 3, extras Won-Tons and hold the sulphur!

“Where we live, here in Mississippi, it seems that as the heat of summer comes on, the reports of odors, respiratory complaints and corrosion are surfacing.  Now you’d think that was normal, because this part of the woods is filled with crusty, cantankerous old b@st@rds that have been alive since the Civil War. Just ask ‘em… boy, will you get an earful! :)

But, it’s not the “cranks” this time. It’s Ma and Pa Normal (okay… okay… “nearly-normal”), in their newly rebuilt Bayou Bunkers!…”

Well, there you have it, Boys and Girls!

An entire year of psychosis, neurosis, and even nostalgia… wrapped up in one page.  Hundreds of posts, scores of rants, and even a pretty picture or two!  🙂

And there’s more to come! You see, I got this”Crazy Med’s”  medication refill, that guarantees…. we.ll… um… never mind! 🙂

C’mon, admit it… Where else would you see Captain America, Walt Disney, Paul McCartney, and Charles Manson all woven skillfully into the same post? Hmmm?

I look forward to meeting you here (man, some of you should at least dress up a little bit  before you park yourself in front of that computer! Brrrrrr!) as we share good times, hard times, and CONTAINER HOME BUILDING!

HAVE A GREAT NEW YEAR!

Stay tuned!

As my family recycles, reclaims, and even BEGS for building materials (sometimes “on my knees”) I write this blog, because like many other families in America and beyond right now…  my family’s SURVIVAL is at stake.

I’m asking you to get involved.

If I’ve helped you, informed you, educated you, or just entertained you with the hundreds of posts we written… please consider donating a few bucks to the blog, to help us survive and rebuild OUR home. Every dollar counts, and  every penny gets carefully spent. There’s a Paypal button right up there at the top of the page. It’s easy, it’s SAFE, and it’s SECURE. Every family deserves a home, and ours is no different. Our family needs a home. Our situation is dire. I’m not going to waste bandwidth plastering pictures up of my wife in her sickbed… or my 2 year old little boy who orbits it. I’ve written about the circumstances here, already. If you can spare “a donation to the cause”, we’d appreciate it.

Okay, ONE picture… Santa came!

We want THIS YEAR to be the year that we heal, and become a family again, living safely, warmly, and productively.

We want that for each and every one of your families, too!  And working together, I know that we can accomplish that. Thanks!

While my IQ gently creeps…

27 Jul

And now, for something completely different;

While we struggle and toil, down that garbage strewn path that will lead us to “Container Home Ownership,” my brain is starting to hurt!

Now, according to my wife, that’s not surprising, since I’m operating at “diminished capacity” anyway.

Well, I suppose that’s true, I have lost a few IQ points, since I got married… In fact, it may have happened while we were dating… Hmmmm> 🙂

As this goes to post, I’m writing  “An Idiot’s guide to Geothermal ‘Activity.'” It’s heady stuff, and I’m operating at a deficit, so you’re gonna get what you get, huh?  As I struggle through a “Do It Yourself” Geothermal Heating and Cooling series, try this one on…

Handwritten Beatles lyrics to be auctioned off in U.S.

beatles

PHOENIX (AP): The original, handwritten lyrics of The Beatles’ melancholy rock song “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” are going on the auction block Monday.

The lyrics, written by George Harrison on a single white sheet of paper in barely legible chicken scratch, are expected to fetch between $500,000 and $800,000 (euro384,970 and euro615,950) at the Barrett-Jackson Rock on the Block Memorabilia Auction in suburban Scottsdale, Arizona.

George_HarrisonRest in Peace, Buddy. Gawd knows we miss you…

Britain-based entertainment auction house Cooper Owen, which is partnering with Scottsdale-based auctioneer Barrett-Jackson, is auctioning off the lyrics for a private collector and calls the sheet of paper “the most significant Beatles’ lyric manuscript known to exist.”

“It’s just a really significant and rare piece of memorabilia,” said Neil Roberts, auction manager at Cooper Owen. “It shows the work in progress, the message, and the thoughts behind one of the band members.” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” came out in 1968 on The White Album.

The lyrics, which are said to reveal the strains within the band at the time, include lines like, “I don’t know how someone controlled you,” and “They bought and sold you.”

But the sheet of paper up for bid also includes some lyrics that did not make it into the song that was on The White Album, including, “I look from the wings at the play you are staging,” and “As I’m sitting here doing nothing but aging, still my guitar gently weeps.”

“These lyrics actually show the work in progress,” Roberts said. “It shows how he (Harrison) changed certain lines. It shows it on the day he wrote that song and played it with his fellow Beatles.”

Also on the paper is a line at the bottom of the page that Harrison wrote in apparent frustration over the troubled atmosphere in the recording studio. It reads, “The band leader said he ain’t playin’ no more.” Roberts said that line is most revealing. “It shows his feelings for how the band was going and almost the breakdown of communication,” he said. “He kind of realized it was coming to end.”

Also up for bid at the Barrett-Jackson auction are dozens of celebrity items, including a pair of gloves Madonna wore during a concert, a book report written by Britney Spears, Cat Stevens’ arrest card and Ella Fitzgerald’s old credit card.

Lyrics: “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”

I look at you all see the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
I look at the floor and I see it need sweeping
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don’t know why nobody told you
how to unfold you love
I don’t know how someone controlled you
they bought and sold you

I look at the world and I notice it’s turning
While my guitar gently weeps
With every mistake we must surely be learning
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don’t know how you were diverted
you were perverted too
I don’t know how you were inverted
no one alerted you

I look at you all see the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
I look at you all
Still my guitar gently weeps

Oh, oh, oh
oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
oh oh, oh oh, oh oh
Yeah yeah yeah yeah
yeah yeah yeah yeah

Wouldn’t you just love to have this hanging on your wall?

I know I would.

Stay tuned.

The Renaissance Ronin

Bye Bye Mikey…

28 Jun

Okay…tjones

After watching an almost endless loop of “Thriller” video clips, I’m wondering what everyone else is thinking.

I for one, am sad to anyone die before their time. But, I suspect that Michael Jackson had been courting his death for a long time, prior to this.

His family tried to get him into rehab for drug abuse. Morphine always catches up to you, no matter how many times you look over your shoulder at it, as you “run away…”

The prosecutors in California tried to put him into prison, for being “not normal,” to put it politely.

And from watching the spectacle that was Michael’s life… Michael didn’t exactly live on this planet, huh?

fitzsimmons

His music… well, that tried to put him a step above everyone else, and many would say that he succeeded.

Like many people my age, I grew up listening to Jackson amaze us with his talent, as he slowly slipped away from us…  as his eccentricities and ailments made him more and more reclusive. In a way, he was my generation’s Howard Hughes.

broelman

Regardless of how you feel about him as a person, he was a musical genius. And, that’s the way I want to try and remember him. To remember him as  “Wacko Jacko,” or a deviant, or someone I couldn’t trust around my kids… well… that’d just make me sick. And, there’s already enough sickness in the world. So, I’m just gonna get caught up in the “where was I when?” memories that all those video marathons are helping me relive. It’s just easier.

chappatte

Hey, if nothing else, watching your relatives and creditors try to destroy each other as they try to loot your estate should prove interesting…

I just hope that somebody steps up, to look after your kids. They’re the “innocents” that I wanna see protected from the media hurricane that is about to engulf them.

It makes you think, doesn’t it?

“What if I was to drop dead tomorrow? Who’d take care of the kids?”

Man… what a tragedy…

The Renaissance RoninAddendum: June 29th, 2009 – Michael Jackson is STILL dead. And he took that loud-mouthed Billy Mays with him!

A while back, Billy Mays ran his mouth about how “he was more famous than the King of Pop.”
Just goes to show you… You should never mess with “The Gloved One.”Or, he might give you the finger…
Well, Mikey, at least you did SOMETHING right…

The Many Faces of a Shipping Container – “Recording Studio in a Box”

13 Mar

Greetings Campers!

When last we met, I told you all about “living in a box, underground.”

This time, I’m gonna tell you the story of a life “recording underground” (well, nearly… It IS Australia, after all… It’s “under ground…” from here!), in a box we call an ISBU, to MAKE a living!!

(I know, I know… stop groaning!) 🙂

As my family slowly builds our new home out of Shipping Containers and other recycled materials, some guys are making a living, by turning the same boxes into businesses.

Pay attention folks! Thanks to the President, there’s about eleventy-gazillion dollars in Stimulus money out there floating around waiting for people to grab it.  And, this falls into about three categories I can think of off the top of my head; New (small) business, “Green” application, recycling materials… and I bet there’s more!  I wanna be one of those guys!

“Ronin like money. Money goooood!”

You should wanna be one of those guys, too!

So, in the spirit of “Stimulus,” or at least “stimulation,”  I’m gonna introduce you to one of those guys, right now!

Built and operated by an Aussie named Mark “Sparky” Paltridge, the “Spark1 Studios” is more than just a place to record music. Sparky has a history, folks… he has over 15 years performing and recording in the industry, and it seems that Sparky has an unparalleled passion for song arrangement, music production and attention to detail.

spark1studio

This incredible facility was constructed by converting two ex shipping containers to a state-of-the-art, cutting edge modern recording studio. Spark1 Studios is designed for ideal acoustics, comfort and portability.

Now, I’m not sure that they actually pick the studio up and move it, but…

floorplanfloorplanb

Now, when I first learned about Sparky, I had to do a double-take, because the guy who turned me on to him misspelled his name, and I thought he was one of the founding members of “The Partridge Family.” But, after checking with Shirley Jones, I finally figured out who he really was!

(Good thing, too. I’m not sure that being a member of David Cassidy’s clan would have been too good a reference! Especially musically! )😉

Sparky says that: “Recording music on the Sunshine Coast grants you an International standard in recording in an idyllic environment”

At least, that’s what his marketing says! And I tend to believe it!

Based in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland of Queensland, Australia since 2004, Spark1 Studios has already become the coast’s premier recording studio for discerning musicians. If you take a hard look at his company, you’ll see that he’s been involved in several albums to date, with more on the way. Not bad for a guy hunkered down in “a little insignificant box that isn’t worth looking at twice.”

At least, that’s how the natives refer to “shipping containers.” How many guys have to demonstrate their value, before these idiots just shut the hell up? Hmmm? I mean, really…

plan

From huge, ‘in your face’ modern radio production, to capturing the ‘stripped back’, intimate acoustic performance, those “tiny little boxes” allow Spark1 Studios to cover most recording needs. Okay, so you’re not gonna record the Philharmonic there, but… you CAN record warm and lush sounds in a comfortable, creative and inspirational space at what looks like an extremely affordable price.

plan_2

With three separate recording rooms to choose from, one can track drums either with a tight, well controlled sound, or go for huge drums sounds in Studio C, utilizing mics placed in the stairwell and adjacent bathroom, as well as all the close mics around the kit.

This is no “slipshod operation, either!  Spark1 Studios has invested in the finest gear of the analog and digital realms, featuring the foremost mics, preamps, compressors, EQs & AD/DA converters available. This includes recording equipment such as Neumann, Senheisser, AKG, , DBX, Purple Audio, JLM AUDIO and RME, as well as utilizing ‘classic’ older valve gear and equipment. In other words, they have all the right stuff…

spark1studio2

Want proof?

SPARK1 Studios – Recording Studios, AUS
Studio Equipment

MicrophonesOUTBOARD GEAR
Mackie Control Universal PRO control surface and extender
JLM Audio VOC 2 compressor (LA-2A style)
Purple Audio MC-77 compressor (1176 compressor)
Chameleon Labs stereo compressor (modded by JLM)
DBX 160 X compressors (x2)
DBX 902 De essers (x2)
JLM Audio 99V 500 series mic pres (x2)
JLM Audio TG 500 series mic pre (x1)
JLM Audio TMP 8 mic pres (x8)
Quad Eight dual mic pre
Harrison 3232 dual mic pre
2 x JLM Audio PEQ 500 series (Pultec style EQ with extra freqs)
Broadcast Audio passive summing mixer (16:2)
Lexicon PCM 80 Digital Reverb
Lexicon PCM 41 Digital Delay
Roland 201 Space Echo
Alesis Microverb II
Mackie HR824 Monitors
Auratone Monitors
Fender Blues Junior valve guitar amp
RME converters ADI-8 x 3 (24 I/O)

MICS
Neumann CMV-563 with M7 capsule valve vocal mic
Neumann KM 184 stereo pair
Sennheiser 421’s x 2 (tom mics)
Audix D6 kick mic
AKG C414 mic
SM PRO MC 04 ribbon mic x 2
Shure 57’s x 2
Electrovoice RE20 dynamic mic
1 x Royer 121 ribbon mic
Fat Bottom Ends

So what have we learned? Hmmm?

ISBU’s are versatile, and worthy of most uses if you just use your gray matter, and think things through. Be it a cabin in the woods, a business by the roadside, or a hotel in the ‘burbs, these boxes can go great distances, both at sea, and on your bottom line.

Kudos Sparky!!! Today, you’re my hero… But don’t let it go to your head…

Yesterday, it was my kid… He made a poop, finally! Let me tell you, he was one cranky little monster for a while… 🙂

Next time, we’ll get back to the matter at hand…

Homebuilding with Containers:101… um… 201… um… uh-oh… I forgot where we left off! 🙂

Stay tuned!The Renaissance Ronin

I’ve been talking to Sparks lately, and here’s a bit of information that you’ll find way more palatable than “Vegemite!” (You know Aussies have to be either REALLY tough, or completely crazy, to eat that horrible stuff. Blah!)  Sparks tells me that; “I’m actually thinking of selling the first studio, (The control room/vocal booth one), and buying another high cube and redoing the same control room with sliding doors this time. I’m hoping to get around $35,000 AUS for it.” That’s “BOX ONLY,” plus “A/C, perhaps.”

(And that’s $23,059.90 USD for us Yanks!)

If you’re interested, you can contact him at:  Spark1studios@bigpond.com