Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

Charlie says, "Merry Christmas!"

This is Charlie, potentially the best dog in the whole world. Several times a day we tell him that he's a good boy, and he does, in fact, earn the praise. Charlie is almost 5 months old, and weighs about 8 lbs.
He has a lackadaisical attitude about walking and eating. He drags his feet when we start a walk, but hauls ass on the return home. While most dogs wolf down their chow instantly as it is placed in front of them, Charlie has never finished a meal in one sitting. It generally takes him several sitdowns over 3-6 hours to finish a plate of food. We have tried different foods and even "toppings" like Nutrical, yogurt and salmon oil.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Will Work for Corporate Approval

The following is from a Craigslist Ad for employment:

We have a relaxed and informal culture that encourages
individuality and innovation. You will be motivated, enterprising and enthusiastic. Company
culture is such that you need to be able to “check your ego at the door”, be a self starter, and
possess a sense of humility. You will work well under commercial pressure and thrive on being
given challenges and responsibility. You will communicate clearly and be confident and persuasive.
You will have a high level of integrity and understand the need of complete confidentiality.

Uh, this is a human being we're talking about here, right?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Old Testament Government

I have a hard time understanding why anyone could think government is a good thing. I think government is just a different kind of belief, a religion.
Religionists come in all stripes. Some are lukewarm on the concept. Some are Fire-and-Brimstone, Old Testament(or Koran), Wrath-of-God Believers. Even Atheists are a variant of Religionism. How can you be against something you don't believe in? If this is possible, then why don't we have Anti-Bigfooters and Anti-Nessies? Agnostic is a term that offends me. I prefer Non-believer. I try not to have any beliefs, but I'll listen to anyone, time permitting. I keep a frame-of-mind that says, "Well, maybe."
I've called myself an Anarchist, but I've never felt comfortable with the term. I'm more a Non-Archist. I'm not against Government. I think everyone should be able to hold any belief they want, as long as they hold it to themselves. If you use threat of force to "convince" others to accept or obey your beliefs, you cross a line between thought and action. And have you ever noticed that when two people argue, the louder one is usually wrong?

Get to the point, UC. OK, OK, OK.

Most people, when asked, will tell you they believe in government. It's just that, well, it's not working out. So the first thing most believers of government will advocate is More Laws. Or stick to the Constitution(Old Testament). Or tax the rich. Problem #1 is that all laws have unintended consequences that are usually worse than the problem they intended to solve. Problem #2 is that most laws are "positive"--they force you to do something you'd rather not. That pisses people off a lot more than a "negative" law that just expects you to refrain from doing something.
The Constitution was a clever attempt to reconcile people's belief in government with the glaring problem of its atrocities. The big problem with the Constitution is that all the "thou shalt nots" are directed, not to people, but to a concept--the concept of government. Since only a person can be punished, government can do pretty much whatever it wants. Pay no attention to that government behind the curtain.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

How to Argue

Let's dissect an argument. How about Guns?

  • Guns are necessary to self-defense
  • Our right to pack heat is acknowledged in the Constitution
  • Hunting rifles are a sacred tradition
  • Shooting guns is a popular sport
  • Guns are used to commit crime
  • Negligent discharges cause loss of life
  • Guns have only one purpose--destruction
  • Only police and military need guns
  • Sensible gun laws
  • Gun registration
OK, which side won the argument? The Con side, of course. The reason the Cons won is because the Pros are lousy at arguing. Let's use a reductio ad absurdum to demonstrate how principles make argument easier.

  • Do anything as long as you harm no one
  • Go anywhere, buy anything
  • Population is controlled, and secure
  • Homogenous society. Deviants not allowed
  • IRS, DMV, CIA, Police, FBI, NSA, Assessor, Legislature, etc...
  • Sensible Laws
The usual argument for freedom is that it provides the highest prosperity possible. That is a horseshit argument, a bribe to persuade people to choose freedom. L. Neil Smith said it best--people that have to be talked into freedom don't deserve it. Freedom may or may not be the road to prosperity. It's just a road to one thing--freedom.
The horrible truth is that most people are more comfortable with slavery. People don't like their neighbors ingesting wierd substances, performing atypical sexual acts, possessing scary things, and thinking different thoughts.
How much freedom do you want?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fargin' War

If you think we will be withdrawing from Afghanistan completely in 2011, put down that crack pipe.
RS Janes                    

RS Janes wrote a wonderful short article. To read more, click here. He says the real reason that Obama is sending more troops is that Pakistan and Iran are unstable and an occupied Afghanistan is the perfect place to keep an eye on things.
Clicking on these cartoons will make them bigger. Maybe.


Monday, November 30, 2009

Malcolm Wells, 1926-2009

My friend Malcolm Wells died Friday, at the age of 83. A true Renaissance man, Malcolm was an architect, author, illustrator, artist and intellectual. In his own words, here is the Father of Underground Architecture:

In 1964, after 10 years spent spreading corporate asphalt on America in the name of architecture, I woke up one day to the fact that the earth's surface was made for living plants, not industrial plants. I've been an underground architect ever since.

The above photos are from Wendy Mathias's website devoted to Malcolm Wells.

Wendy Mathias has just posted a pdf file of Malcolm's self-written obituary. Click Here.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Land of the Free

 I, Underground Carpenter, have counted more than a half-century of years. I have lived, loved, laughed, worked hard and briefly touched the hem of wealth, enjoyed success and wept over bitter failure. One thing I have never in my life tasted is freedom. Living in America, the very land of the free, how can I say that? As lightly as my chains hang, they do indeed hinder my movement. To set myself on the simplest of paths requires permission from hordes and legions of people hidden behind barricades, bollards, security gates, and whole armies of protection. I don't consider these people my betters, and I certainly wouldn't want them as neighbors.
Most Americans would be aghast at the thought of abolishing government--not just replacing, but abolishing completely. However would we tax, harry and oppress, not just Americans but the entire world? I could say that government is not "efficient", that the free market would give us the highest prosperity and happiness. That would be a losing argument, and pointless. L. Neil Smith said it best--people that have to be talked into freedom don't deserve it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Latest 'Toons

These cartoons says it better than I could in ten paragraphs. Click any of these cartoons for a larger image.




Monday, November 16, 2009

Smell of Freedom

Thomas Jefferson never minded paying his Virginia DHV taxes. I'll bet you didn't know that in Jefferson's time the Virginia Department of Horsedrawn Vehicles collected a tax on every horse and carriage. He also didn't mind paying a tax on his every purchase, and at the end of the year his accountant would figure out how much money Jefferson had made, so that Tom could cheerfully pay his income tax. Then there was the property tax. Monticello was a grand house with lots of acreage, and Jefferson was delighted to pay whatever the Albemarle County Assessors Office decided his obligation was. And of course Tom felt safer in his house knowing that it met all current building codes--that is, after several plan revisions allowed wise building officials to give him permission to build his dream house. Building codes are constantly changing to give us safer homes. We now realize that the stairs Jefferson built to get to upper levels are not safe. Not wide enough. That's why the public is not allowed to see anything other than the bottom floor at Monticello.
Jefferson realized that Freedom wasn't free. Tom would stand outside, breathe in the fresh air, and think to himself, "Yep, smells like freedom to me".

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The New Director of Security Apprentice

This is Charlie. He's a little more than 3 months old. Today we started serious anti-terrorist training exercises. In three months time, with our trademark Underground Carpenter Watchdog Training, Charlie will be a crack operative.

See his fully-focused look of determination? This dog is going places.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Food Lines Everywhere

Here's your favorite underground carpenter standing at the end of a food line at the FDR Memorial in Washington DC. Sadly, they were not serving food that day.

Philly Carpenters Hall

Your friendly neighborhood Underground Carpenter made a solemn pilgrimage last week to Philadelphia, where he stood in front of the most sacred building in all carpenterdom--Carpenters Hall.
I was saddened to see that Philly is as batshit-crazy about "security" as Washington DC. You have to submit to metal-detectors and manual purse searches, and that's just to get into a sandwich shop.

Be Very Afraid

This sign acurately reflects the breezy, carefree permissiveness of Washington DC. A more succinct sign would have merely said, "No Nuthin'".

These are some of the more stylish Bollards in DC. Bollards are everywhere in Washington.

In Washington DC, these things are in front of every vehicular entrance. If these modern-day drawbridges are necessary, we need to start asking some serious questions.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Serious Facepalm

This is a new sign. It's a recent addition to several others on a lonely stretch of highway in Southern Nevada. The first sign is "...Veterans of WW1", then "...Veterans of WW2", on up to "...Veterans of The Persian Gulf War". Carpenter shakes his head and sighs.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rest in Peace, Ralph.

Ralph, our director of security, died today. He was in end-stage renal failure.
Best watchdog ever.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Americans, culturally, are anarchists. Few Americans realize this. Most Americans have a false understanding of the term "anarchism." However, upon examining the beliefs of your average American, you will find that most Americans:
  • do not trust leaders
  • do not trust government
  • wish to be left alone
  • value their privacy
  • think of themselves as independent from society
  • do not believe that there is a systemic solution to their problems
  • believe that others should be free to do what they choose, provided they do so in private and do not harm others
While it is undeniable that political culture in the United States often speaks to the opposite of the above list, it is also undeniable that most Americans register as neither Democrat or Republican and most Americans do not vote. Thus, despite the political culture, most Americans choose not to participate in it. This is not only due to their belief that the American political system is hopeless, but also is due to the cultural clash between the wider culture and the political culture.

The above is from a post on The Daily Paul. Click here to read more.


Ain't Freedom Somethin'?

Slaves, in general, tend to cherish their chains. In any event, those upon whom enlightenment must be pressed are almost certainly never worthy of it. Those who must be persuaded to be free do not deserve to be.

Taxes are not only a monkey wrench in the machinery of civilization--rent we're forced to pay on our own lives--but the very fuel of war itself.

All taxes are evil. When you take somebody else's property and they don't want to give it to you, there's only one word for it, no matter how many others voted to do it or what kind of funny hat or silly uniform you wear. That word is theft.

If a politician isn't perfectly comfortable with the idea of his average constituent, any man, woman, or responsible child, walking into a hardware store and paying cash--for any rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything--without producing ID or signing one scrap of paper, he isn't your friend no matter what he tells you.

When our national leaders begin hiding behind guided missiles, body armor, "pedestrian malls", bullet-proof glass, and tripod control, it's probably for a reason. If you make a career of stealing people's money and screwing with their lives, you're an idiot if you don't expect some of the more frangible among begin screwing back.

The above quotes are from Lever Action, Essays on Liberty by L. Neil Smith.

Friday, October 9, 2009

No Speeches, Just Speechless

In a surprise, Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize
Associated Press Writers

OSLO (AP) -- President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in a stunning decision designed to encourage his initiatives to reduce nuclear arms, ease tensions with the Muslim world and stress diplomacy and cooperation rather than unilateralism.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama woke up to the news a little before 6 a.m. EDT. The White House had no immediate comment on the announcement, which took the administration by surprise.
The Nobel Committee lauded the change in global mood wrought by Obama's calls for peace and cooperation but recognized initiatives that have yet to bear fruit: reducing the world stock of nuclear arms, easing American conflicts with Muslim nations and strengthening the U.S. role in combating climate change.
"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future," Jagland said.

Right. Hope and Change. Any day now.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

From My Cold, Dead Fingers

The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If we have a right to life, then we have a right to defend our lives, irrespective of all the victim disarmament laws. A right is that which requires no permission. (Thank you, Ayn Rand)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Show Me The Money

“Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone.”

Frederic Bastiat

Frederic was fond of pointing out "what is seen and what is not seen". He would have gently mentioned that you might have bought a new car with the income taxes you were forced to pay. Instead, a wedding party was bombed in Afghanistan.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

What The People Want

My recollection of history is not sharp, but (correct me if I'm wrong) weren't the founders mostly looking for freedom from governmental intrusion? I don't remember any writings about health care or bailing out banks or social security. What is it about freedom from "government services" that got their waistcoats in a twist? They only briefly mentioned the "general welfare" of the citizenry, and I don't recall their pounding the table about the "will of the people" as being the standard of wise government. Maybe the founders were wrong and we need to downplay the "Land of the Free" thing. On a sliding scale of Freedom to Slavery, what mix of liberty and bondage will make for the highest general welfare?

Monday, September 21, 2009

The War Country

Report: Troops needed to avoid Afghan failure

The situation in Afghanistan is serious and growing worse and without more boots on the ground the United States risks failure in a war it's been waging since shortly after the terror attacks of September 2001, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, says in a confidential report.

"Resources will not win this war, but under-resourcing could lose it," McChrystal wrote in a five-page Commander's Summary.

Let me see if I got this right. We can't win, but we might lose. What, exactly, is the definition of "win"? If winning means financial and political collapse for the U.S., then we might as well bring the troops home and close shop on our worldwide garrisons and occupations. And how did this AP reporter get her hands on a "confidential report"?


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tom Engelhardt Rocks!

These are a couple of extracts from Tom Engelhardt's essay, "Is America Hooked On War?":

Because the United States does not look like a militarized country, it’s hard for Americans to grasp that Washington is a war capital, that the United States is a war state, that it garrisons much of the planet, and that the norm for us is to be at war somewhere at any moment.

This wasn’t always the case. The early Republic that the most hawkish conservatives love to cite was a land whose leaders looked with suspicion on the very idea of a standing army. They would have viewed our hundreds of global garrisons, our vast network of spies, agents, Special Forces teams, surveillance operatives, interrogators, rent-a-guns, and mercenary corporations, as well as our staggering Pentagon budget and the constant future-war gaming and planning that accompanies it, with genuine horror.

Tom's essay doesn't start off interesting, but by the fourth or fifth paragraph he catches fire and keeps his coals glowing throughout the rest.


Monday, September 14, 2009

New 'Toon from Toles

I shamelessly lifted this great cartoon from my Yahoo home page. Toles nails another one!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Summing It Up

"Once upon a time, the Senate was a shining beacon of at least semi-intelligent discourse -- living, breathing,
debating proof of the success of America's experiment in democracy. It was Rome, when Rome was in its heyday.
These days it's more like Rome right before the fall of the empire -- brimming with arrogance, stupidity, influence-peddling
and near-constant partisan hackery, and overrun by self-serving clowns drunk on their own grandiose sense of importance
and always on the lookout for the next illicit sexual encounter."
--Chez Pazienza

I don't think I could improve on that. I like this Chez Pazienza. I lifted this quote off Bartcop, but his link didn't take me to the source of the quote. I think I need to search the Innertubes.

Obama: ‘Time for bickering is over'

WASHINGTON - Shaking off a summer of setbacks, President Barack Obama summoned Congress to enact sweeping health care legislation Wednesday night, declaring the ‘‘time for bickering is over'' and the moment has arrived to protect millions who have unreliable insurance or no coverage at all.

Obama said the changes he wants would cost about $900 billion over decade, ‘‘less than we have spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and less than the tax cuts for the wealthiest few Americans'' passed during the Bush administration.

Praise be. Home boy finally noticed the elephant in the room. Now if he can only focus, he might make the connection of taxes to taxpayers. Before the government can spend money on wars it has to take it away from the citizenry. But don't stop there. A standing army just begs to be used, and its use right now is to bomb wedding parties. Do you think there might be a connection between U.S. military atrocities and worldwide outrage against the U.S.? Nah, but lets save a couple of bucks anyway and shut down all the U.S. military bases in 130 or so different countries. Since Obama is the Commander-in-Chief, couldn't he close all the foreign bases and bring the troops home? Leave the world alone. Stop the killing and bullying.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Bank Comedy

This is from the August 30 Las Vegas Review Journal.

"It certainly is a horrendous market right now," said Arvind Menon, chief executive officer of Meadows Bank. "It certainly is getting harder and harder to find good borrowers to lend money to, primarily because of all the financial devastation that's going on in the market. It's very difficult to be able to make loans that we think will be able to weather the storm."

Menon is looking for borrowers who have strong liquidity, low debts in relation to assets and few contingent liabilities in the form of personal guarantees for outstanding loans.

But why would a person with lots of cash and low bills want to borrow money? The only time a shrewd person would want to borrow is if he was dead certain that prices were going up faster than the cost of the loan. In that case, why would banks want to loan?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Underground Carpenter Survey

Everyone is invited to take this quick-and-easy survey to help Carpenter better understand demographic trends.

Click Here to take survey

Friday, August 28, 2009

More Damn Questions

1. With the shocking prices that hospitals charge, why isn't there a hospital on every street corner in America? There's certainly a drug store on every corner, which follows from the profitability of drugs.
2. If there were no medical insurance available, would medical care cost as much as it does? Would fat people lose weight if they couldn't afford their cholesterol meds and angioplasty?
3. Without financing, would cars and houses cost as much as they do? If we knew the exact amount that it increased the cost of these two essential American possessions, would we tolerate government regulations and building codes?
4. Fire departments cost a lot of money. Wouldn't it be easier to build homes that don't burn? Mark Twain asked this question over a century ago.
5. Which is cheaper for the U.S. government to subsidize, oil wars or wind generators and solar panels?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Solar and Wind Power Questions

I've been reading about solar voltaic and wind generator systems. The best book so far is The Complete Idiot's Guide to Solar Power for Your Home, by Dan Ramsey. I've also been reading back issues of Home Power Magazine, which is the best place to start finding out about solar and wind power. You can get an online subscription for $10 which allows you to read all their back issues.
There are some questions I haven't found answers to yet. Solar PV panels put out direct current, so you need an inverter to change direct to alternating current. To match your power company's 60 Hz current, your inverter has to be a synchronous inverter. Does your system's voltage have to match the power company's exactly? Any solar or wind system is constantly changing, so does the inverter also constrain the voltage? If so, does the constraint "chop off" any usable power above what the inverter needs to make exactly 240 volts? And are there any compatibility problems with the wind generator and solar panels, like say the sun is shining brightly but the wind is calm, or the wind is howling at midnight?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sharpnesse in his Writing

Neither can his Mind be thought to be in Tune, whose words do jarre; nor his reason in frame, whose sentence is preposterous; nor his Elocution clear and perfect, whose utterance breaks itself into fragments and uncertainties. Negligent speech doth not onely discredit the person of the Speaker, but it discrediteth the opinion of his reason and judgement; it discrediteth the force and uniformity of the matter and substance. If it be so then in words, which fly and ‘scape censure, and where one good Phrase asks pardon for many incongruities and faults, how then shall he be thought wise whose penning is thin and shallow? How shall you look for wit from him whose leasure and head, assisted with the examination of his eyes, yeeld you no life or sharpnesse in his writing?

from Timber, or, Discoveries made upon Men and Matters, by Ben Jonson (1573?-1637)

About this, what else can we say? Read this archived issue of The Underground Grammarian, by the late Richard Mitchell, who was a professor of English. In addition to his irregularly-published Underground Grammarian, Mitchell also wrote 4 books, all gems.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Learning about Wind and Solar Power

Let's say you'd like to find out if solar panels or a wind generator would be a good thing to buy. Where do you start? From personal experience, I can tell you that the Yellow Pages is a waste of time. 9 out of 10 companies listed under "solar" are either "out of service", don't answer their phone, don't sell anything "solar", or is not sure and will have to get back to you. The tenth one is a crapshoot. So where do you go to learn about these promising power sources?
I talked to one fellow in my Yellow Pages search. He couldn't help me business-wise, but he did steer me to a place where I could learn all about solar and wind power. Home Power Magazine is a wonderful source of information and advertising. There are nuts-and-bolts articles, apples-to-apples comparisons, and even make-it-from-scratch-with-old-car-parts articles. You can buy a paper subscription or an online subscription. If you get the online sub(about $10), you can download all past issues in their archive. I recommend it. Go there now.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Underside of Underground

I like the advantages of earth-sheltered construction and I don't want to build any other way. There are some disadvantages, however, and they should be considered.
In order to take advantage of the sun's heat and to mitigate the effect of cold winter winds, all the glass should be on the south face of the building. The window overhangs should be designed so that the inside is shaded in summer and gets full sun in winter. The problem here is that the best scenery and view might not be to the south. Also, building on the north side of hilly land might not give you enough sunlight. And the constraints of efficient passive solar design definitely restricts the architectural design. The WOW factor can become BOW WOW.
Most people have programmable thermostats to control temperatures in their homes. Above-ground homes are subject to wide swings in temperature, but underground homes keep a constant temperature because of the thermal mass of the structure. That flywheel effect makes it very difficult to change the inside temperature of an underground house. So it's best to pick one temperature and stick with it summer and winter.
The biggest disadvantage of earth-sheltered construction is cost. It is THE reason why above-ground homes are still built. As a rough estimate, I'd say that underground homes cost 50% more than above-ground homes. The beefy structure is one reason, but the biggest wallet-shocking surprise comes from excavation. Moving dirt is hugely expensive.
Oh yeah, and cell phones don't work underground. I have to walk outside to use mine.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Safety and Liberty

Samuel Adams
If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

Benjamin Franklin
They that would give up essential liberty for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

P. J. O'Rourke
America wasn't founded so that we could all be better. America was founded so we could all be anything we damned well pleased.

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.

The Clinton administration launched an attack on people in Texas because those people were religious nuts with guns. Hell, this country was founded by religious nuts with guns. Who does Bill Clinton think stepped ashore on Plymouth Rock?

Whatever it is that the government does, sensible Americans would prefer that the government do it to somebody else. This is the idea behind foreign policy.

Fred Reed
"...the government is out of control. Everything is illegal and watched. It's getting so you can't shoot cats from a car window with a twelve-gauge any more. Who wants to live in that kind of world?"

H. L. Mencken
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

The government I live under has been my enemy all of my active life. When it has not been engaged in silencing me, it has been engaged in robbing me. So far as I can recall I have never had any contact with it that was not an outrage on my dignity and an attack upon my security.

Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.

Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. Is it possible to have freedom without bravery? Which is more terrifying, the risk of violence or the certainty of a loss of freedom? Who should decide how much risk is acceptable, an individual or his government? And who should decide how much loss of freedom is tolerable? At what point does Liberty turn into Tyranny?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bailout Questions

What determines whether a business is "too big to fail"? How do we, as tax-payers, judge whether or not the bailouts are working? Does anyone really know what would happen if these too-big-to-fail businesses failed? The Federal Reserve (a private bank) was created and given a monopoly over our money supply to "even out the business cycles" and prevent money shortages in banks. Why isn't anyone laughing?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Our Director of Security

This is Ralph, our Director of Security here at the Underground Carpenter Mega-Complex. He's taking a quick nap after a particularly difficult anti-terrorist training session.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Springs Preserve in Las Vegas, Nevada

This is the covered parking at the Springs Reserve in Las Vegas. Notice the solar panels. What a cool idea! Click on any of these pictures to make them bigger.
This is the support for the cover. It's tube steel (hollow and square) and it's unpainted so it's rusting beautifully.
This is one of the tube steel trellis's. Kinda' looks like a gun turret, doesn't it? I'm thinking front entry trellis for the Underground Carpenter Mega-Complex.
Here's another tube steel trellis. This one is painted. I like the look of the rusting steel, myself.
This trellis is made of I-beams, C-channel and Angle steel. I like the look of the tube steel better.
Another tube steel trellis. Carpenter reveres this look.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lost Art of Reading

So Dodd "inserted language" into the bailout bill. He said unnamed "staffers" at Treasury told him to do it. Obama feigns ignorance of the "language".
Here's a small cry in the wilderness, questions from a carpenter. Didn't all the yes-voting congresspeople and the president read the bill before signing it? And if they actually glanced at it, did they read slowly, with understanding? Did Dodd write the "inserted language", or was it written for him by those "staffers". Who are these staffers, and how much do they pull down a year?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Miles per Kilowatt

In my youth, cars were sold on style and options. Now it's all about efficiency, which is just one reason why Detroit is in huge trouble. But homes are still all about style and options. How many dormers can you afford, and how about those granite countertops?
The very first question a homebuyer should ask is, "How much will this house cost to maintain?" Building codes have made homes homogeneous and homogeneously inefficient. In the Southwest, most homes use slab and stick-frame construction. The slab and hot water tubing are uninsulated. Floors are warm in the summer and painfully cold in winter. Hot water systems use a recirculating pump because heat flies out of the pipes before it can reach your shower. And nobody seems to notice or care.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Got Them Blues.

Layoffs everywhere. Even a Sith Lord can get the blues. I lifted this great pic from the Cruel Virgin.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Saving Bad, Spending Good.

All the economists agree--saving money is bad, against God, treasonous even. We should all be spending money, even if we don't have any. Yes, maxing out your credit card is the patriotic thing to do. By burying ourselves in debt, America will become prosperous again.