In the Path of the Throngs…..

Jenny thinks that I’m kind of a reactionary…..a “Nervous Nelly”.

We’re going to try to go in the “back way” tomorrow… down a long, dirt road into the totality zone, find a place to park at the state forest with very limited spaces, and enjoy a “once in a lifetime” event with the little guys in tow.

I expect weirdness….even if weirdness doesn’t come into play on the big day.

I expect some out-of-towner to block my progress after they follow their GPS into a place where no giant motor home should ever go.

I expect to have to back up for miles on blind turn gravel.

I expect the worst of all possible worlds on the day of totality.

I expect Octogenarian Zombies when the sun ducks behind the moon.

I expect….that I should stop expecting and just go for it. You can’t plan for everything that probably won’t happen.

It’s hard to say how it will go.

This first video is in Oregon….people lined up for miles trying to get somewhere that provides a view of the sun.

I’ll bet that they can see it from the road….even if they don’t feel like they’re at a party while they’re looking at it.

The second video is in Idaho.

Good old Idaho.

It looks more mellow in Idaho.

Jenny was able to get 4 pairs of eclipse glasses….so she and I will share a pair while we try to make sure that the little guys keep their glasses on their heads.

I don’t think that I’d be paying close enough attention to the little guys if I was staring at the sun the whole event.

Man….what would it be like to be sharing the eclipse view with only a few cars and a bunch of chirping grasshoppers….wide open and almost silent….just us and Nature….and a big, blocked sun?

Is that Idaho?

I like Idaho.



Another Earthship…Tour with Deek.

You know… matter how unconventional a house is, you can get away with it if it’s as good looking as this one.

Funky and ugly doesn’t float anybody’s boat.

Here’s another earthship video….out in Taos, NM….part of the Michael Reynold’s bunch of earthships.

These are about as high-end as you can get….so it’s no surprise that they’re attractive.

And, at $225.00 a square foot, you should be able to create something pretty nice.

That doesn’t include the purchase price for the land, I imagine.

Taos is kind of expensive from what I remember.

Underground is an interesting way to go, though.

When you think that there’s the potential for rising temperatures and more expensive cooling costs in the future, having a house that’s set up to be cooled and insulated (easy to cool, easy to keep warm) by the earth is appealing.

You could probably build a super-insulated and more conventional house that would be cheaper and very energy efficient….and an earthship could be built for a lot less money, too (see yesterday’s video)….but it’s fun to see a fancy version of an “outsider” way of building.

This video was made by Deek Diedricksen.

Here’s a link to Michael Reynold’s site….

When you work at a tire store….make lemonade/earthship

Here’s a guy who was working at his Dad’s tire shop when he realized that he could build a house with tires.

That’s what you call an epiphany.

He went to a seminar put on by Mike Reynolds….and was off and running.

Watch this video….and you can see that nothing cool comes around without some hard work.

This is a hard way to build a house….but it has some strong benefits.

Warm in the winter….cool in the summer….underground is a good way to go.

My wife’s family lives in an area of the country that looks like this.

I guess that it should….it’s not that far away from New Mexico.

She’d probably go for a tire house if it would get her back to the “high and dry”.


This is another great video from Dylan Magaster.

Check out his YouTube channel.

Awwwwww, Dylan! How you meeting all these interesting people?!

It’s a pretty safe bet that a Dylan Magaster video is going to be a good one.

How’s that for a blanket recommendation?

You can’t say that about everything on YouTube.

Here’s one about a van owner up in British Columbia.

It’s a good one….realistic about the hardships of van life….and fun at the same time.

How do people find the time and the money to do all these things?

Wellllllllll…..I think that it’s probably the “acres of diamonds” concept. I wonder “how can I do this” while I’m sitting on a thing that could be sold….while I’m pondering how hard a miracle is when I have abilities that I could market….while I dream about adventure and then worry about what would happen if I got caught in eclipse traffic on the big day of totality. Worry doesn’t get me anywhere except stuck where I am.

On the other hand, worry keeps me on track to some degree.

Worry keeps a roof over our heads.


Awwwww….worry is a big black hole of suckage.

Worry doesn’t do a thing except burn a hole in my stomach.

My friend used to say, “Do something….even if it’s wrong.”

That was good advice.

How about a cabin in Idaho?

Anything is possible….even if you worry too much.



cool underground….

I was talking with my son about underground houses the other day.

I thought that if things were going to “heat up” that it might be good to have some underground coolness going on.

This is a building style called “Earthships”.

Warmed by the sun, cooled by the earth.

They use tires packed with earth to build the walls.

I guess that an Earthship isn’t really “underground” (the house usually opens to the front and is earth-bermed at the rear of the house) , but there is so much mass in the walls that you get a similar effect to building underground.

It’s a lot nicer than having a hole that you climb down to get to your house, too.

Jenny’s family lives close to a place out west where a lot of these houses are being built.

I think that these houses are in that area….probably close to Taos.

How does “unconventional” become standard?

This looks like an interesting way to build.

Here’s another nice one out in Montana…..



working it….alone

Man….I love this.

Of course, I fill my life with noise and distraction.

I’d probably do that even if I didn’t have children.

I would make my own noise.

I might be up on that mountain with a boombox given the misguided chance.

No….that’s not true.

I would relish the quiet.

This is beautiful.

All the great things you can do if your life is motivated by something other than money.

You go, fire lookout guy!

You (quietly) go!

What a property could be….permaculture in Ireland

This is what Jenny would like our property “down the road” to look like.

It sure could….with a lot of time and a lot of work.

Here’s what our property looks like now:








Greened up and planted with all sorts of stuff, our property over there could look a lot like this Irish lady’s does after 13 years of conscious effort.

That’s kid of cool to imagine something like that…..