Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cob Versus Earthship (Round 1)

So for those of you who follow my blogging and life activities, you would know Julie and I are trying to decide on an environmentally friendly housing situation. So far the issue has pretty much entirely revolved around Cob houses. As of late another contender has come into the running again: the Earthship! Perhaps some of my friends and readers have some insight into either of these two building methods. I'm going to make a pro/con list abut the two techniques and I would very much appreciate additions or corrections where warranted.

- Inexpensive
- Readily available materials (sand, water, straw, clay)
- Sturdy (some have been around for hundreds of years and survived multiple earthquakes)

- Takes a long time to complete
- May not be suited for a colder climate for insulation

- Uses mostly reclaimed or reused materials
- Minimal costs
- Well insulated
- Quick to build

- Seems more costly than Cob
- Some claims of tire off-gassing (most likely untrue but it turned Julie off it for awhile)
- Newer building technique and therefore possible unforeseen complications

Monday, December 13, 2010

Things Are Starting To Look Up

For those of you who keep up to date with the goings-on in my life (and the life of my immediate family), you know things kind of hit a rough spot. It culminated in our next door neighbour, who has been blaring his music on a daily occurrence - and apparently didn't like the fact we complained about this - coming over and threatening us, harassing me in the street, and even cutting our phone line. After the phone line incident we contacted the police for the umpteenth time and left it in their hands while Julie and I went on a vacation to Portland, Maine for a few days. Since our return, things have significantly improved. In the three weeks since our get-away, we have only heard him and/or his music once. This has greatly improved our overall mood while being at home to the point where we don't feel the immediate urge to move.

Speaking of moving, Julie and I have been bouncing around the idea of a more nomadic lifestyle. While we would have a permanent settlement somewhere yet to be determined, we have been contemplating purchasing an R.V.. This would be a staged process, while we would use the R.V. as a temporary home while we built a house of our own (most likely a cob house based on permacultural principles), and could also be a means of vacationing as well. It would also help us live a more minimalistic lifestyle.

In my work-life, things are - hopefully - looking up. My friend, Chris, helped me get an interview at Q1 Labs. This seems like a great place to work. The money seems really good (and not that I'm overly motivated by the money itself, but the "freedom" it can provide), the people there seem to enjoy what they do, and their attrition rate is unheard of at only 5%! I've already had one interview and was told I would be scheduled another early this week so please wish me luck!

As for my running regime, I completed my first half marathon event (The "Not the Honolulu" fun run). I think I did rather while given weather conditions were not the most conducive for speed, and the leisurely nature of the run prompted several conversations throughout the run. While it was not a timed event I estimate I completed the run in approximately two hours. The next stage in my training is a full marathon and I intend to run in the Fredericton Marathon next May.

During the run, I also saw a very large coyote (thankfully not interested in me as a meal) which actually kind of saddened me. I actually took a couple moments to watch the creature and collect my thoughts. The coyote was in an area that had formerly been a forest and was now a gravel pit slated for the construction of some unnecessary building. Seems like there are constant reminders of the slight of "civil"ized humanity against creatures of all types.

I think that about covers all the bases. I would like to wish everyone "season's greetings" and all the best for the upcoming year. I suppose I will have to make another blog stating what my New Year's Resolution is. I'm contemplating either going raw vegan or giving up alcohol (for the year or permanently; I have not decided yet if that is even going to be the resolution), or even something else altogether. I'm nearing the end of my current New Year's resolution with only a couple slips (not climbing a couple trees until after midnight; which to me institutional time is irrelevant, the new day doesn't start until the sun rises!). I should have more reflections on this also. Until next time...