About Me

My photo
I want to use this space to share all the great things I discover about life through the Gaze of Bicyclist, Parent, Spiritual advisor.. ect. ;)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

rw 24

So if you're keeping track, the theme of this blog falls under randomness or eco-building architecture.  Here is one;
Every year I participate in Riverwest 24.  It is a 24 hour bike race in a Milwaukee Wisconsin neighborhood.  It has been going on for four years and it grows every year.  I have an amazing time every year.   Words can't describe the experience so I'm not going to try much.  Here is all four years in order.  These group photos are taken at the end of the race every year.  The first year was so small, yet still so powerful.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rammed Earth

Rammed Earth Solar Homes Inc   Check this company.  I really like the information made available on this website.  I'm really digging this technique.
These are all rammed earth images found at the site linked above.
I am planning on going to this companies workshop in oct.  Home to see you there.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Trek light gear giveaway

National Hammock Day Epic Giveaway!

Trek Life

My favorite light weight hammock from Trek Light Gear is giving away hammocks.   Go to the link to find out how!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

nuts indoor climbing



check this site out!

truly amazing

 The urban ton was the dream of a young St. Paul couple to grow one ton of edible food in a Calender year.
I have had the pleasure of meeting them a couple times.  I visited their home on a winter day.  The organization and layout of the small plot was truly inspiring.  The chicken coop was top notch.
urban ton

The goal of this project is to grow one ton of edible food in one year.,  in Minnesota.   This would normally not be a huge deal if this was a rural farm, but it is a small lot located in the middle of a St. Paul neighborhood.  I don't know the dims of the yard, but you will likely find the information on their blog.  URBAN TON
urban ton

They are up to 1500 pounds this year!  I'd be surprised if my garden had 12. :)
Here is there list for the year so far.
  " We thought it would be nice to give a breakdown of the top producers in 2010 that led to over 1500 pounds of food from our little urban lot.  In total we grew 75 different types of edible crops with over 150 different varieties.  So without further adieu here is the top 20 list:

  1.      438 lb  -  Tomatoes        
  2.      171 lb  -  Eggs               
  3.        96 lb  -  Cucumber        
  4.        76 lb  -  Chard               
  5.        71 lb  -  Zucchini          
  6.        53 lb  -  Beets
  7.        52 lb  -  Potatoes
  7.        52 lb  -  Lettuce 
  9.        40 lb  -  Kale 
  10.      39 lb  -  Collards                                                Damn!
  11.      38 lb  -  Watermelon 
  12.      33 lb  -  Horseradish 
  13.      33 lb  -  Garlic 
  14.      26 lb  -  Green Beans 
  15.      25 lb  -  Peppers 
  16.      19 lb  -  Carrots 
  17.      18 lb  -  Spring Onions 
  18.      15 lb  -  Basil 
  19.      14 lb  -  Spinach 
  20.      14 lb  -  Sorrel 



Build it solar

Here is another cool site.
$1000 solar water system

There are links inside as well

wonderful home

I love the look of this house it is modern without reaching.

"A project 30 years in the making, this tiny off-grid retreat on a coastal island in Maine is almost entirely self-sufficient. Designed and built by Alex Porter for her father, the project features a shed roof and is wrapped in a distinctive blue-grey corrugated skin. Dwell recently profiled the home, which is the only solar-powered retreat on the isolated island – its sustainable power source actually makes life a lot more leisurely, as the family does not need to schlep in fuel to run a noisy generator. They didn’t give anything up, as they have all the conveniences of a regular home — but with a view you don’t get in an everyday residence."
quoted from Inhabitat

The more I look at these photos, the more I love this house. Love.   
-The  low ceiling and small footprint all encourage simple living.  It looks like the shower is outside.  This design is fantastic.  I am definitely going to incorporate this element into my new home one way or another.  I will have to come up with with a way to have a wall and/or ceiling system that opens and closes.


Alexscottporterdesign.com   I am so taken by this simple, effective, and aesthetically pleasing design, I'm going to contact the architect and tell her so.

Monday, July 18, 2011

being amazing

from a special place
Cool in the bathed waters of tranquility, I found my voice and I am in love with thee. Eternal memory, wandering blissfully on intentions directed without aggression on a path taken with little less than a suggestion. Did I mention, that geocentric shapes line the souls of the imagined, beings from a place where there is reserved a place seated. Take flight with gold wings that hold then let go to a place that is foretold. In the memories of children, grandparents its fleeting like the beating hearts of wings in minds that line the hopes of dreams and I burst at the seams with the laughter of the potential and the frozen moment that is passed writing this thoughts at last one more time in this space where they will take place in a new mind once again who reads the meaning the runs parallel to the space in between the lines. Discovering once more the more you store the story in your core the more and more the story that you hold stores.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Constructed with straw bales around existing 11-ft boulder. Photo by RJ Pennell.
Stylistically akin to California’s historic missions, the Dunham-Kidwell straw-bale residence is built around a large boulder. The boulder’s thermal mass and its surrounding moat in the home’s great room cool and humidify the air in summer and passively heat it in winter. Above the boulder is a central tower with an oversized fan that draws air up and out in summer and re-circulates warm air in the winter months.
found at this sustainable architect site.  here

how to build a strawbale home

Well,  I've got a lot of carpentry experience and I know a lot of people who know a lot about straw-bale homes, but I have never worked on one before.  After a bit of research I found a great little site that I'm going to share here.  strawbale.com  He's got lots of photos and that polished look offering a free 7-day e-course.  He's got the formula for success down.
after digging around a bit I found this great home tour vid.  Check it out.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wishery (a Pogo cover by Alvin Pingol)

Wishery (Disney Remix)

Hello, Pogo is the man. Check him out. pogomix.net

More on eco-housing possibilities

I've been thinking a lot about the possibilities that may be available.  The purchasing of land from a friend and living in a micro community has exploded my imagination.  This being because it has become suddenly more tangible and realistic to live off the grid and sustainable.

Some of the set-backs in the past where location and/or proximity to family and/or resources.
The location of the proposed site is well,

except for one significant detail.  Without telling you the exact location of the proposed site, you would be able to derive the approximate location by researching the highest population of lymes disease  harboring dear-ticks on the planet.  It is true that many individual who live in this area have, or have had lymes.  It is a mysteries ailment that if not treated promply can remain in the body for good.

I mean,  look how damn small these things are.  And they sneak on your body and crawl around on you and you might not even feel it.   

So,,   other than that minor detail...   its looking good.

Here is a house.  I didn't draw it.  I like that shape, and the fact that it is three stories.

Here is the site that is on one of the tabs on my computer right now, https://deltechomes.com/green_research.php

It has some good rough, floor plans such as this one,

Here is a picture that remains burned in my mind.
This is  Moshav (co-operative village) farm at Nahalal, Israel
Its clearly Large.  I don't know much about it, other that that it is huge for a co-op village.   
Current Loose plans of our are that our micro village would be four three to four families at the most.  But of course who knows for sure?

Researching housing, eco-village concepts, and other alternative energy sources, with a renewed vigor has been fun.  I will bring the fruits of my coming discoveries and interests here.

life is a poetic dream

I apologize for my absence.  It has been a busy few days.  My cousin Margaret  came here from Kentucky and our families combined for a camp trip.

I wrote a poem today.
As it brushes wistfully with deliberate chance through the follicles of the trees, the living air finds a brief opportunity to dance in my lungs and my blood sings and my feet leap.

That's what happens when I forget my head-phones on the way to work.  My mind wanders, I check FB one or twice, and seeing no inspiring words, I add my own.     That's not entirely true.  I checked it about three times looking for inspriration, and after the third time, my mother-n-law, Mary posted this;

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
— Wendell Berry

In which I responded;  
A symphonic arrangement of words that paints as a quilt the serene restlessness of a radiant spirit.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A tribute to my life partner

love you.

development of an intentional community

What are the first things you think of when you hear the words; intentional community?  Likely you think of the early seventeens and communes where the people all live in teepees and sing songs all day.

Well certainly we have those images and the lessons of our parents as guidance.  In some instances those communities worked and in many they did not.

I want to take a look at the reasons why those communities did, or did not work.  This may be a running theme as I have new reason to be interested in this subject.

Living communally in and intentional community is an idea that I've had burning softly in me for a long time.  The coal is occasionally blown on by visits to friends houses in similar surroundings or catching wind of successful communities.  A friend of mine recently alluded to me that there may be some land available to us for such developments.  >>more on that later.

What does communal living mean?  Does it mean teepees and drum-circles?   It's important to look much more practically than that.  
The major benefits are the shared resources.
1. The most important ones might be the power-supply.  Fortunately, the area we may choose to develop is a mecca of people who have the expertise in alternative energy solutions.  In this area, I can offer anything except a vast technical knowledge of such technologies.
2.  The second one is a food supply that is generated by our own hands on our own land.  For the amount of time and energy my wife and I afford to our garden, we still come frighteningly far from being able to sustain ourselves.     If though, that same garden had double the people working it, say four adults.  The garden knowledge, and the time given would be exponentiated.   If I felt our garden was not only for my family, but for two other families that I am close with, I would bust ass at it.
So it could be proposed that food supply would be increased.
3.  We then have child-care.  More kids, family, and friends,  is better for the kids.  I don't need to go into details here.  Perhaps another time.
so those are the benefits that we are primarily interested in at this time.  It is far early in the developing stages. Thus far the three families that would opt to live communally; are all young family focused individuals.  
My friend really put into words what many of us feel in our hearts, but may not have realized it.  It is one thing to build a log cabin in the middle of nowhere.  Then, the possibility of isolation and disconnection from any sort of community environment is all the more likely.
The proposition is then that a select group of close friends who share many of the same ideals, become neighbors.     And I need to clear that up as well.  We would all have our own houses.  Privacy and family identity is important to all of us as well as being good stuart of the earth.  What is also important is having friends who live closer that a 15,20, or 30 minute drive away.
So we will see.  I kind of spilled the beans as to potential plans.  But if it is all possible,  then it needs to be well thought out.  Peace love and unity are great, but well functioning, comfortable survival, and healthy mental and physical stimulation for our children and ourselves is the main goal.

What a great 4th!

I'm not ready to dive back into my work, though it is already Tuesday.
We started the extended weekend with no particular plans.  We went mini-golfing, then decided to go to my parents.  They have a pool.  :)  And we haven't made it there in a long time.  It's a mini midwest paradise in the summer.

We pulled our old pop-up out of the storage shed that we kept there for the winter.  Some mice got in and did the usual damage.  We decided to rip the old carpet out and put in some fresh new stuff.  Just some indoor outdoor type.  It makes it feel a bit more cozy.

My wife and I bought this beauty a couple years ago from a friendly older couple.  They have taken such good care of this thing.  They replaced all the metal cables and mended every hole or tear that ever happened.  We got it for really cheap.  The couple was happy to see it go to such a nice young couple. :) We now treat our extended wilderness haven with the tenderness of a priced artifact.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

living in your environment

Check out the original source.  For some more pictures and even a vid.  I really like this house.  It is simple and it doesn't jut out of the landscape like a mini factory or a turn of the century rectangle that is the go-to for house design.

Here is another one.  This is a zero carbon building, developed by University of Cambridge architects as a prototype for future living, is based on a 600-year-old Medieval design that retains heat from the sun while cooling naturally in the summer.
The building materials used were environmentally friendly, such as locally-sourced timber and recycled newspaper for insulation. The house was also easy to build. The arched building is essentially one large vault spanning 65 feet (20 metres), covered on the outside with earth and plants to camouflage it and help it blend in with the rural surroundings. The natural materials mean the house can absorb fluctuations in temperature while triple-glazed windows use as much light as possible.
-Found at the Telegraph

This house is great;
This house is pretty much what its all about if you don't want to spend a lot of money, and you're really cool.  I love this house.  
What's great about this house was that it was built with simple tools and it looks cozy.  This picture reminds me of the tree-fort I've been working on this summer.

I had a lot of fun building this.  It's not quite done yet.  Something like this can always get more added on ;) I started this addition early this summer.  Most of this wood is material that I saved from building jobs and my own back-yard.

We are at my parents house this weekend.  Its good to be here in the summer.  Visiting and being forced inside is less fun.  Pool, grillin', water mellon,  beer.  They are having a lot of people next weekend so its good to spend a little time here before the storm of relatives.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

New beginning

I am coming back to this space: dreamtime dancer.  I spent my blogging energy on my bike blog mbicyclefanatics.  It had a good run and I enjoyed it very much.  The problem is, there is SO much more to life than bicycles.  However much I love them, they could not possibly be the sole of my focus.  So typically I would add beautiful or interesting things that I found in my explorations etc.
 For The Dreamtime Dancer page I want to use it as a web journal and keep track of the interesting things I come across and live through.  I would like to incorporate more actual photos from things I am involved in. And I plan to be involved in some interesting things. ;)