Some mornings, I need some motivation.

This morning, I ddn’t really need any.

It’s cool and dry outside, I woke up on time and rested….and….I’m grateful.

I have so much to be grateful for….and not only because things are rolling smoothly.

I see what I look for….and I look for opportunity to be grateful.

Grateful doesn’t mean “complacent”, though.

This motivational video touches on that.

Waking up “good” on a good morning with some good motivational input….is good.

Good for me.

Good morning…..indeed.

Off grid in Taos

People sure do live in a lot of different ways, don’t they?

Here’s a profile of a bunch of folks living on the cheap out in the desert.

I could live in a cardboard box if the rain wasn’t too bad.

Give me some poly and a couple of 2×4’s and I could build a castle.

I like where I’m at a little bit better, though.

I like having some juice at my house.

Off grid is cool….but I like having some juice.

Dan Phillips….builder

This guy is both an environmental and creative new hero…..and, he’s really funny.

In my book, smart and funny is the best combination.

Who else have you seen out there that is doing what this guy is doing (building with recycled materials at the commercial level….for rental and resale) and who is so good at explaining it all?

And, by “explaining it all”, I mean that he covers a lot of ground in this talk….explaining consumerism and the forces behind the housing decisions we make….and the waste that accompanies most of those decisions.

This is a great Ted talk…..and a short 18 minutes.

making a living, making a life

If you had a choice between making a lot of money cranking out houses in the traditional manner and selling them at a high profit….or, like Dan Phillips, featured in this video, use recycled materials and a lot of skill and imagination to make houses that are both attractive and creative…but not make a big profit…..ummmmmm…..which would you choose?

I guess that we all have the choice….but, we don’t all have the skills this guy has.

Maybe “traditional” is so common because it doesn’t take the kind of imagination and time that this type of building takes?

Maybe status quo is an easier row to hoe?

Another great Kirsten Dirksen video… of the really cool ones this time.

It’s inspiring to see these.

Here’s the description from YouTube:

Transforming wine corks and bottle caps into flooring, cow bones into countertops, frame samples into ceilings and old deck boards into doors, Dan Phillips believes a second life is possible building refuse.

His company, Phoenix Commotion, turns trash into homes, employs “unskilled” workers and creates shelter for low-income families, but it’s not a non-profit. Instead, Phillips is trying to show that there are many good reasons to reuse construction waste (estimated as high as 10-15% of the materials that go into a building) and provide a whimsical alternative to mobile homes or other affordable housing.

With no formal training in architecture or construction, Phillips is a self-taught carpenter, plumber and electrician, but he has no problem complying with local building codes. “Every building code has a provision that alternative materials and strategies are allowable provided you fulfill the intent of the code. The only thing codes do is protect the public health and safety. So if there is nothing dangerous about it I can do whatever I want.”

He estimates his home are 75 to 85 percent salvaged material. He employs 5 minimum-wage workers, but also requires the home’s eventual owner (usually single mothers) to work on their future shelter. Since founding Phoenix Commotion with his wife 20 years ago, Phillips and his ever-rotating crews have built dozens of homes in Huntsville, Texas for low-income families and artists.

We visited his plumbed-and-wired treehouse home built in a bois d’arc tree (part of an artist’s compound with a 350-square-foot rental cottage and separate studio space), his “bone house” (made from donations from the “bone yards” of local ranchers) and his latest project, a home shaped like a cowboy boot.

Norwegian Philosopher’s Hut

If you’re going to fall down a “rabbit hole”, Kirsten Dirksen’s videos are a good hole to fall down.

Here’s one about a hut in Norway that the philosopher Wittgenstein used….to philosophize in.

Here’s the YouTube description:

Over 100 years ago, philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein went to the fjords of Norway to escape the scholarly world of Cambridge. His former teacher Bertrand Russell wrote, “I said it would be lonely, and he said he prostituted his mind talking to intelligent people.”

Not content with simply moving to the isolation of rural Norway- at the end of the Sognefjord (the deepest and second longest fjord)- Wittgenstein built his hut across the lake and halfway up a mountain from the nearest town (Skjolden). Measuring just 7 by 8 meters, the small cabin dubbed “Little Austria” (his native country) became his home on and off throughout his life (his longest stay here was 13 months).

Today all that remains of his hut are its stone foundation and a very faint hikers trail up the mountain, though some Norwegians are trying to change this. Artists Marianne Bredesen, Sebastian Makonnen Kjølaas and Siri Hjorth (in collaborations with the Wittgenstein Society in Skjolden and funded by Public Art Norway) threw an all-expenses-paid vacation to bring fellow Oslo residents to the ruin. Inspired by Wittgenstein’s argument that “philosophical problems arise when language goes on holiday”, they are calling their art holiday “Wittgenstein on Vacation”. For part one, they entertained their guests with a weekend of lectures, meals and a Wittgenstein interpretation at the site of his cabin. We captured some of the show on our own journey to this disappearing piece of history.

Thanks again for a great video, Kirsten!

different celebrity

The really interesting people are the people who fly under the radar.

It’s not the Kardashians who are going to make a good mark on the world.

It’s the men and women doing stuff like this….growing and making and living simply.

At least, that’s my opinion.

(You know what they say about opinions, right?)

We should celebrate these folks….but they wouldn’t be able to be so low-key if we paid any intense attention to them, so, maybe, that wouldn’t be so good.

Maybe it’s best to just let them be.

I appreciate getting a chance to know some of these cool people.

It’s a good thing to know that people are scraping by….by growing stuff.

It’s a good way to live.

Jason Momoa and Carhartt….

I don’t know much about Jason Momoa.

I’ll watch the new movie, that Justice League one that he’s in.

I will watch Aquaman when it comes out.

I’m a sucker for a “comic book movie”.

But….I really didn’t know much about Jason Momoa.

I knew about Carhartt.

What a great commercial this is!

Makes me like them both (Momoa and Carhartt) more than I did before I saw it.

Whoever did this….thanks!

Good film, good work.