Tuesday 30 August 2011

Yes it's in Foreign,

Without subtitles too. The title translates as "open your eyes".
There's a little story in there too.

Saturday 27 August 2011

Houses I Liked

This photo's not tagged with a location, (the camera I bought before my travels has a gps chip, and about a million settings, it would take a year or three to learn them all. The gps eats battery life, so as the camera doesn't recharge off a car's power socket, I kept turning the feature on and off). However, I'm moderately confident it's in Senoia, Georgia.  I like a lot about this little house, the pastel colours, the wrap-around porch, the combination of curved and straight lines, the fancy detail-work, the white picket-fence, the surrounding greenery, even the brick paving.

I'll bet that tree out front was a fraction of today's size when the house was built.

This one I can be sure about, it's got a sign out front, Senoia Historical Society's H.Q. and museum. Again, like the colours, the busy roof-lines, the porch, the history. I'd guess the original house might well be the one in the middle, the porch house being built on at the front of the first as the original owner became more affluent. Just a guess, we didn't stop.

Love this. A very simple box construction, enlivened by a pillared porch with ornate detailing. Micro-house, but pretty in pink.

This one's not in Senoia, I think it might be Tomball, Texas, more modern, not a patch on the fancy ones above, but...

RDG's sister's place, a house built to look, externally, somewhat like a barn, but internally, an interesting mix of levels, full and half-height spaces. Vertiginous bookshelves. Top marks: I like it.

This one's a modern house, but incorporating a lot of those features I like, porches, decks, changes in roofline, levels, surrounded by greenery (RDG planned the landscaping, it's her professional qualification, Landscape Architect, clever woman!)
The house is built on sloping land, so there's a big basement below, Ha, yours truly looks at it, thinks "pottery, workshop!", the garage has space above. It's for sale, Newnan, Georgia.
And no. I can't afford it.

My aspirations might be better confined to a crumbling trailer-home in the woods.

So. All of the above are houses I like for varying reasons. Many are older houses, with history and stories attached, Porches are a factor. In the various parts of the country that I visited, a major factor for much of the year is heat. More modern houses seem to have very little thought given to passive energy efficiency, they rely on powered air-con totally.
But the earlier builders didn't have access to whole-house refrigeration, and so they designed their houses to take advantage of shade. Simply by building porches, in the sides facing the most of the day's sun, you can keep walls and windows in shadow, and dramatically reduce solar gain.
Energy efficiency matters as much in hot climates as it does in cold ones, and without getting into global warming and renewable resource preaching, it makes sense to build passive energy efficiency in, because both cooling and heating cost you money.  Yes, I appeal not to your sense of not despoiling the planet, because, let's face it, the reality is that most people don't really care, but we all would prefer to keep our money from being given to sheikhs so they can buy Ferraris, because they have the oil and we need it to keep our houses cool. Okay. That argument didn't work, but its 1:30 in the morning and my brain's slowing.
let it just be said, I have an interest in zero-energy-input building, passive houses, and my travels have led me to thinking a lot on the subject.
We humans are capable of building houses which require little or no electricity or fuel to stay warm or cool, at very little difference in cost from less efficient buildings.
Somehow, our current construction methods fall far short of what might be deemed desirable.

A story in the news, just before I left, was about deaths in the Houston area, related to the heat. It was said of at least two victims "They died because their air-conditioning units had been stolen". And the news report went on to say how poorer people couldn't afford the running costs. Which led me to thinking just how recent air-con really is, especially for the less well-off, and yet, Texas, the south, was colonised and thrived, long before refrigeration.
Maybe they died of heat back then too, of course some did, but at least they had the sense to build porches out, to shadow the walls of their homes, and designed their houses to allow passive cooling. Which seems not to be the norm now.
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Snappy Dressing, in Newnan, Georgia.

I should maybe mention that Newnan is one of the many locations used in the Zombie series "The Walking Dead" I like to think Newnan has a better dressed class of Zombie. If they dress from this store, it gives a whole new look to zombiedom, the "Zombie Pimp Look".
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Friday 26 August 2011

Get Your Shit Together!

You can get all kinds of shit in Lueckemeyer's Store, in Independence, Texas.



All this shit comes from the Big Cock Ranch, (a division of Disparity Ranch) in Lexington, Texas
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"Signing the Clipboard on Iwo-Jima"


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Dog Bakery Part II

I recently posted pics related to the Dog Bakery, Hmmm, hot dog...

And she said this:"red dirt girl said...

Boys........geesh! What wired your brains to be so literal?? Any self-respecting bubble town inhabitant knows you buy gourmet treats for your beloved pets at a dog bakery .... palmeras anyone? peanut butter dog biscuits???"

I rest my case.

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Rusty Truck Post No.2

I love old things. Things with a history, things with a patina, things which saw out other eras, which existed through times I can only read about. Like old cars and trucks.I can't tell you anything much about this car, I don't know the make, or the year, I'd guess 1920s. It's currently being rebuilt in hot-rod form. Hot-rods are a fun kind of activity, and a great outlet for mechanical creativity, but they're not really my thing. I appreciate the work, but I think I'd prefer it less brash and caricatured.

This one reminds me of the sixties, the Munsters, the Monkees, Beach-Boys, a whole era of cruising music, drag strips, greased lightning....

Another one, awaiting the re-animator.

They're in a little place in Texas where the wind blows hot, the feed-store closed down thirty years ago, and the train don't stop no more.

Even the wind-pump's seen better days.
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Sunday 21 August 2011

The Car I Wanted When I Was 14

Seen yesterday, a prime example of the minimalist look. Steel seats... The original spec, as delivered, I think, had only a driver's seat, the others were extras. No radio, no heater, no roof...
It's a Mini Moke.  It had its origins as an ultra-lightweight, air-portable, parachute-droppable vehicle for the army. All the running gear is direct from the mini. That was part of its downfall too. Alec Issigonis' original mini, released in 1959, had ten inch wheels. The moke, on ten inch wheels and mini suspension, just didn't have enough ground clearance to hack it in the army.
Mind you, four squaddies could lift it up and reposition it easy enough.

In 1964, Austin/Morris, based on the enthusiasm of onlookers, whilst the prototypes were in road-trials, decided to release it as a civilian model. It was popular as a kind of micro-jeep, and swinging London loved it.
More success was found in hotter climes though, and production moved to australia, where it got bigger wheels, more powerful engine, and 'roo bars.
You'll see them in the caribbean, as beach cars, hire cars, in Sri Lanka, apparently, but relatively few remain in England. This one's a recently finished rebuild.
The colour's not to my taste, otherwise, I can't help smiling when I see one.
Note the grab handles for passengers!

(Moke: archaic name for a donkey.)
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Gourmet Dog Bakery?

I'll have a hot-dog, please, with onions and mustard.
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Friday 19 August 2011

Rusty Old Truck Post No1

I love old cars and trucks, just as I love old houses. This truck we found by the roadside in a quiet little bit of old Texas. Sam Houston's old house is about half a mile away, Texas' fight for independence started near here, on the banks of the Brazos river, About a mile to the east is the tiny town of Independence, Tx.
I explained to the Red Dirt Girl that the truck probably just needed air in the tyres, gas in the tank, juice in the battery, and a bit of coaxing.

I liked the house too, with another old truck hiding under greenery at the side. I bet that house was full of neat stuff!

Offer a few dollars, borrow a trailer.....
Maybe a weekend or two, and a couple of cans of paint from Home Depot.

See? Amazing what you can do in a weekend with a bit of elbow grease and fifty cups of tea.
Next one we do has to be red, she says. XXXX!
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I like this twice too.