Shhhhhhhhhh….don’t tell the Neighbors!

Hah!

This dude bought this converted schoolbus from a high school shop class….who were selling their conversion project to help fund their art and outdoor programs.

Then he busted a move and bumped it up into his friend’s backyard.

Crazy Boulder, CO.

How about that?

So….he did it on the downlow but I will bet that his neighbors know that he’s there.

It’s hard to hide a 40 foot bus.

Someone’s going to notice, right?

Jenny says, “I’m bored with all these bus and van videos. You aren’t ever going to do that…..”

Welllllllll….watch me, my love….just you watch me.

If this guy can covertly plant a bus into his friend’s backyard….just imagine what a sneaky Norwegian can do.

Just….you…..wait.

 

This is another great video from Dylan Magaster.

Growing Wild in a Bus

This is a really nice bus conversion.

I know how hard it is to just go to town sometimes with our little guys….so I have a lot of respect for these guys moving around all the time with their young boys.

Check out the big TV.

That’s kind of cool….and not something you’d see all the time in a crunchy granola mobile.

Man…this is a really nice conversion.

If you had a home that was this nice….even one without any wheels or a motor on the front porch….you’d feel like you were living in something pretty nice.

If you had a place to return to…and a big enough area to park your bus when you weren’t roaming around….I think that would be just PERFECT!

(Ken Kesey! Where’d you park FURTHER when you weren’t tripping around with all your tripping? Forward! Forward!)

This guys advice? “Just start”.

If you want to do something….just start.

OK.

Maybe I’ll do just that.

 

Young Woman Builds Beautiful Recycled Tiny House For US$19,000

It’s not always about the money spent.

You can have a nice garden tub and a granite countertop…..stainless appliances….other fancy touches….and spend a bunch of money….and….not end up with anything with any real sense of personal style or artistic accomplishment.

Or….you can start with a good basic sense of design and end up with something pretty darn nice….and not spend a whole lot of money doing it.

That’s what floats my boat!

I love seeing somebody take something basic and turn it into something good.

There’s a lot more to recycling than putting your glass and cans out at the curbside.

This is a nice thing this woman has made.

Good for you!

John Prine was a Mailman

John Prine was a mailman.

He was a mailman when he stepped on stage for an open mic night way back when and sang three of his songs…”Hello in There”, “Paradise”, and “Sam Stone”.

Now, if you’re going to make a break and move from being a mailman to….eventually ….not being a mailman, it’s good to have a ladder to climb up out of the “mailman hole” that’s as good as those three classic songs.

Cream rises…eventually, even if the milk is sloshing around in a pail as dirty as the mail business.

When the club owner offered him a job after that first ever public performance, John Prine went home and wrote what would become his first album…because he didn’t have enough material to sing for the 40 minutes the club owner had told him that he’d need to do at his new gig.

Things are really hitting the fan at my job right now.

I’m a mailman.

Just like John Prine was.

I like that word “was”.

I’m a mailman right now.

Anyway, things are really hitting the fan at work. It’s rough to keep up with the volume. It’s tough times in the mail business. It’s unpleasant.

But, if it makes me feel any better, everybody….UPS….FedEx…that guy on the corner with the old box van who drives around with somebody’s packages all day….all of them are having a crunch time now.

Being in the delivery business at Christmas time doesn’t do much to expand your sense of Holiday Cheer.

But that’s a digression.

This isn’t about me….it’s about John Prine….the ex-mailman.

After that club job, he quit being a mailman.

His talent freed him.

I like that word….”freed”.

Creativity isn’t limited to a gilded studio or perfect conditions.

He wrote his songs out on the mail route.

He wasn’t defined by his job.

He just kept rolling.

Awwwwwwww…..what the heck?

I lied.

This is about me. Everything’s about me. Every single thing….even how acting like it’s about something or someone else is just a thing I do to make myself look like I’m not such a self-absorbed a-hole.

Maybe it’s not that bad….but….it really is all about me….when you get down to brass tacks.

I wouldn’t be hurt by or even care what other people did or thought if I wasn’t my favorite topic.

That’s a secret though….it would make me look pretty bad if the word got out that I must think that I’m the hub of the universe.

I can’t afford to look worse.

I guess that what I’m thinking about with John Prine is how fascinated I am by the people who figure out a way to save themselves.

I love to hear about the escape artists…the people who somehow, through talent or circumstance or bravery or maybe a combination of all of those qualities, “get away” from the thing that they think makes them less than what they could be….or…the thing that they don’t know is keeping them from….something even better.

John Prine was a mailman.

I’m a whiner….and, a mailman.

How do you jump?

And….I lied…again.

I care a lot about the people around me…I love them like crazy.

They’re the only thing that keeps me distracted from my poisonous self-absorption.

Forget creativity….the ones you love are the fuel that drives the train.

Gadddds, though….”escape”?

That sounds pretty darn good.

 

 

Lianne LaHavas NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

I’ve gotten to where I don’t really trust music anymore.

There’s too much Autotune…too much Protools…too many “apps” to believe anything that I hear.

There’s too much correction.

There’s too much “fixing it in the mix”.

I don’t know what “what” is anymore.

That’s why these Tiny Desk Concerts are so great.

Here’s one from an artist named Lianne LaHavas that really shows what music can be created by real musicians in an unadorned setting.

Listen to how much three talented people can do!

Here’s a link to the other Tiny Desk Concerts.

It’s a safe bet that you can trust what you hear.

These days….that’s refreshing.

I’M MARY POPPINS, Y’ALL!!

This is a spoiler.

If you haven’t watched the movie yet….this is a spoiler.

It’s a good scene from Guardians of the Galaxy 2….and it’s a spoiler.

So….SUE ME!!

I watched this movie three times.

The first two times, I was so tired that I fell asleep in the middle section….and woke up for the end each time.

I thought that the end was kind of cool….but….what happens in the middle is important, too.

I shouldn’t skip the middle part of this movie.

I miss important things.

This morning, I watched the middle part for the first time….and it was really good.

That’s a superlative….”really good”.

Why can I fall asleep in the middle of these great movies?

Am I that tired?

I need to RALLY!!

I NEED TO YELL OUT, “I’M MARY POPPINS, Y’ALL!!”

I need to yell out….slap my face….stay awake.

Wake up, Mary Poppins!

Wake up!

 

the “beautiful” exemption…

“Code” is there for a reason.

Things should be safe….and, I suppose, what everybody expects.

We don’t live in a world that values surprises.

We maintain the status quo.

But….wouldn’t it be nice if sometimes we could figure out a “beautiful” exemption?

What if we could just leave people alone occasionally?

What if we could just mind our own business?

What if getting permit fees wasn’t important….and concern wasn’t driven by financial gain?

Would inspectors give a rat’s a** if it didn’t mean a loss of revenue if we didn’t follow their rules?

They don’t care that much about anyone else.

Awwwww….they aren’t the devil.

They’re just doing their jobs.

But, having said that, I do wish that people could be good human beings and work hard at….working with people instead of trying to shut down creativity that doesn’t make sense to an uncreative bureaucracy.

I hope that this woman can work it out with “the man”.

I like her space.

Incredible Mini Earthship Style Cabin – Tiny Off Grid House with Solar Power

Nice video from a YouTube channel called Exploring Alternatives.

Here’s the YouTube description:

In this video, we tour a mini earth ship style cabin at the Terra Perma community (http://terraperma.ca/en) to learn how the building is designed to produce heat, water, and power; all while being 100% off-grid.

The interior design of the tiny house is not only functional, but incredibly beautiful as well: It features relief cob sculptures on the interior walls, a dazzling recycled bottle wall, and floor to ceiling south facing windows.

The tiny home away from home was built using over 200 recycled tires that were filled with earth and stacked in a semi circle to create the main wall of the cabin. This wall was then covered (backfilled) with a mound of earth to create a thermal mass that will store energy from the sun and help keep the home at a stable temperature year-round.

To mitigate temperature fluctuations, there is a wood stove and radiant in-floor heating for cold months, and when it’s warm out, there’s a low-tech air conditioning system that cools indoor air by circulating it through a pipe that is buried under the mound of earth at the back of the house, and bringing it back into the house at a cooler temperature.

The metal roof is built on an angle to optimize rainwater collection (their rainwater ducts had not yet been installed when we were there), and the overhang at the front provides shade to the structure during the summer to avoid overheating.

To power the in-floor heating system, the air pump, the lights, and the electrical outlets, there is a 1000 Watt solar power system installed behind the cabin.

You’ll notice that there is no toilet or shower inside the earthship. To keep things simple they built an outhouse toilet, and a communal shower block for all of the eco-lodges (kind of like what you’d find at a campground).

Terrasol is one of several miniature green building structures at Terra Perma that are rented to the public as vacation rentals. They’re also a great way for people to experience living in different types of sustainable, hand built structures to see what living off grid is like. In addition to the earthship, they have a mini cob and straw bale house, 2 yurts, a tiny house, and a mini cordwood cabin.

Terra Perma has property lots for sale for anyone who wishes to live in the permaculture community, and they also have cooperative business opportunities for eco-entrepreneurs.

Mat and I met Elan from Terra Perma during the tiny house festival in Lantier, Quebec in July 2016 and adjusted our filming schedule to stop by and check out the super cool buildings he was helping to put up in Harrington, Quebec, Canada. We camped in our van at Terra Perma for 2 nights and had fun exploring their mini sustainable buildings, swimming in their private lake, and tasting their homemade maple syrup!

To learn more about the Terra Perma project and their eco-lodge rentals, check out their website here: http://terraperma.ca/en

Seeing creativity in videos like these feels so ….empowering and inspiring.

We can choose to live anywhere, really.

Why not choose someplace beautiful and interesting?

Another Snow…

I was working at a local radio station called WSKY in Asheville when another snow went down….back in 1993.

The morning of the blizzard, I hiked into the station to do the morning shift for the first time….subbing for the regular morning guy who wouldn’t be able to make it in if the weather turned bad.

Hiking in at 5 in the morning, the snow was already up to my calves….and I spent the next two days on the air by myself after getting the station on the air at 6.

The snow we had this weekend was heavier than expected, but it was nothing like the snow we had in 1993.

I spent the night at the Haywood Park Hotel that shared the building that the radio station was located in.

We had power and were warm at the hotel, but other folks in town weren’t that fortunate.

I had a paper cup full of lasagna that they’d fed the hotel guests when I was finally able to get off the air after a 12 hour shift when the power at the transmitter went down ….and another paper cup full of expensive bonbons from the choclatier that had a shop in the building.

Bonbons lose their appeal after you’ve eaten ten of them.

I felt lucky to be able to scrape together something to eat.

What an introduction to doing the morning shift!

Two days later, my friend John hiked in and I got to take a rest from trying to figure out what to talk about.

Being on the radio all day by yourself is harder than I imagined it would be.

That was a crazy snow…back in 1993.