Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency and World Made By Hand, and I
both moved to a small town around about the same time.
Ask yourself why and we may have answers that make a lot of sense
Perhaps if you can fix old mechanics, that might especially come in
handy down the road less traveled, because it may become increasingly
Hi Edgar. Nice to catch you back.
Sorry to hear about some of that... Many are in all kinds of
interesting "predicaments" these days, including myself.
Unsure how much lurking you've been doing since, but just to say in
case you missed my mention of it and might be curious, such as even
involving yourself, but I've relatively recently become involved in
both the Permaculture and Transition movements.
Permaculture has even been mentioned here on alt.architecture a few
times over the years, based on a brief search I did.
At any rate, I think permaculture holds one of the greatest promises
so far for our species whose capacity for survival in the long run
I've begun to question and gotten more cynical about lately. :\
I have a formative page over here:
Your bike sounds sweet, especially as an alternative to the car,
which, given the oil prices lately, is looking more expensive:
We may be in for another worse repeat of 2008 this year. Keep your eye
on an oil price ceiling of about $140+ per barrel as a theoretical
mark that induces a crash.
Well, there again, we've been brainwashed into the culture of waste. But
at least *some* people are wising up, thank goodness, as is evidenced by
some of the smaller cars I'm seeing around, even in the Houston area.
Sometimes less really is more, which is the thought I have as I see so many
poeple overextended on houses, with yards devoid of even one tree or
For my part, I used to post as an interested layperson and sometimes-3D-
modler of buildings, but I started doing less and less 3D because I
increasingly got into designing and learning to make stained glass: it's
more satisfying to see something physical result from the time I spend on
it. So I no longer felt that I had much to offer the group, and my reading
of it also declined...
So you left us just like that without saying goodbye?
Well thanks a lot, Kris, just thanks a lot. ;P
Yes, I seem to vaguely recall our mutual interest in stained glass.
Looks like you got to it first... How do you like it and has it been
I know, I totally suck, LOL!!! ((I also forget birthdays...)))
Seriously, though, it was more of a slow process than a break. OTOH, like
a bad penny, I do tend to turn up again, Heh! =;-)
Thanks for asking - it's one of my favorite topics! ;)
It's been going slowly. THe largest reason is physical - arthritis, which
makes standing (ergo, also cutting and grinding) difficult; and a slight
tremor I get (due to meds :p) when trying to do things involving fine motor
control, which screws up my soldering.
Re: the former, I'll take care of that by eventually buying a glass saw
(not yet decided on ring-saw versus band-saw), especially once my parents'
house sells (they died late last year, and my sister and I get what's left,
which basically is the house). I'm also looking into a couple of other
tools that will be useful, such as something called a "bench foiler", which
basically is just a jig that centers the copper-foil tape on the edges of
your glass shapes.
On the days when I'll be soldering, I take a muscle relaxant, which helps,
but no driving or using machinery when I take that, Heh! =;-)
So, there will be a way around the main obstacle, because I'd be able to
sit while using th eglass saw, plus, the blades are essentially diamond
grit, so no grinding is required on a sawed piece, which is good :)
Re: designing, that's always my favorite part, but one more thing I'm going
to get is a software program called "Glass Eye", which also calculates the
area and cost of each piece of glass, and the other materials such as the
came, in an overall work, and then adds it all up. The purpose is to allow
one to calculate exactly what one's material costs are, so as to be better-
able to calculate a fair sale-price for the completed piece. THat will be
great, because right now, it's hard for me to figure out how I'd even price
So overall, I'm aiming to be actually selling things by Autumn 2012. ((And
nope, I don't believe that catastrophe will occur on 12-21-12; I prefer to
be totally contrarian ;) and look at it this way: the cycle repeats every
26,000 years, and as I see it, about 26,000 years ago is the high-point of
cave art, meaning, a step up in overall Human Consciousness, ergo, although
change is always unsettling, I prefer to be optimistic about the next step,
Heh! =;-) ))
ANYHOO!, talking about architecture, one of the things I've been looking
into are the hand-made structures that use things like bottle-walls to
bring in both light and color. If the bottles are sealed, I'd think they'd
also be decent insulators, but I don't know how that'd work if part of the
bottle is sticking out of the wall. I'm not sure whetehr they saw-off the
neck and then seal the open end with another botton, or how it's done, but
it'd have to be something that fit inside the open end (I would think...)
so as to reinforce the structure... I've not seen any that use 2L or
4L/gallon bottles, though, so maybe thre is a law of diminishing structural
But what I think could be interesting would be if a larger bottle was set
up so that the insert would be on the inside wall, and could be opened up
to put things inside as displays or something visually interesting. At the
very least, it'd be interesting to see the different sizes used, and maybe
someone has done so, but I've not yet found a photo of it...
Meanwhile, one thing I'm going to try out is cutting into some 2L glass
bottles (ah, the joys of cheap wine! LOL!!) so as to make a sort of
"tongue drum". I have no clue whether it'll work, but I've got bottles,
and I've got a Dremel tool and glass-cutting wheels, so what the heck! If
it works, I might have to try some wine in a gallon jug... =:-o
I'm also thinking of trying to turn them into lamps (since they have that
sort of a shape) by upening them up, sticking a modified (cut, and hit with
either glass-paint, and/or glass-mosaic) 1L glass bottle inside - the
mosaic/paint would hide the cord - then do up the bottom. There are brass
rosette-type things that are made to be used in the tops of tiffany-style
stained-glass lamps ((examples here:
but I see no reason why they couldn't be used as bottoms.
Last idea is making hanging mini-terrariums. And/or some other sort of
I still have not yet figured out how to make my dang solar light, though.
I was able to pick up just enough understanding of electronics to get sort-
of-close, tantalizingly so!, and to *know* ((despite the naysayers)) that I
can indeed use a supercapacitor instead of batteries - but I don't have
enough of an ability for it to actually figure out exactly *how* to do it.
I did learn that I need a module/integrated circuit to control the charging
of the capacitor, and I know the solar panels can be made to plug in or be
unplugged (so the lamp/thingy could be set upon a table to use as
lighting), but I've looked at app notes and circuit diagrams until my brain
melts into a glob of green gel, and have not been able to put any of it
together. At least not yet. And even if I do, then there is the problem
of making the thing - and I need to find out what my liability would be if
I actually wanted to make *and sell* the thing... So that's a whole
different ball of wax. Or waxy can of worms. Or something like that.
Well, now that I've blithered on and on - what've you been up to?
- Kris K.
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