STREAMER

Streamer :  the name for a bird that flies through a solar plant’s concentrated sun rays, so named for the smoke plume that comes from the bird as it instantly ignites in midair. The Essence of Sunshine is not the first technology to cause mid-air death to living things that fly.  The ARC LIGHT was the predecessor to Edison’s incandescent bulb. At the end of the 19th century, many …

Which Way Does the Gate Swing?

This story ends with the owners too embarrassed to allow photographs, so there are none. I passed an older home with huge piles of dirt neatly arranged in the front yard along one side of the driveway. I’m always on the lookout for a new story, so I stopped and met the owners. They explained that the dirt would be …

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No Parachute for Late Jumpers

Homebuilding is not an activity well suited to procrastinators. Putting off important decisions about planning and building ( there are no UN-important ones ) is dangerous. To end up with a home that is right and ready you have to train yourself to think fast, and in-the-moment, but not like the guy in the following poem. This is an excerpt from the …

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Armadillo

They’re in the news, ….again. They’ve spread across the country using man-made highways. Wherever they go, disease and destruction goes, too. They’re coming for you. Here’s a few words to help you remember to be careful with… The Armadillo by Andy Bozeman – © 2015 My travels take me all along your highways and your byways. ‘Til, when I find a place …

Way Out in the Country

Way out in the country, how many people does it take to go to the bathroom? “OK. On ‘hup-two-hike’ you do a down & out towards the feed bin. Curl right and head for the pig trough. I’ll fade back, then sneak towards the out-house, where I’ll stop and use the bathroom. Then, we’ll run the play again, so you …

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Then, Now & Later

The answer is : Because we keep planning such stupidly expensive houses! The questions are : How did American homes get so expensive? How did we get in this mess? How can we get out of it? This article is about what houses were like when they were affordable, what made them so expensive, and what they should be like …

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Olympic Game

I’ve discovered a new game. It can be enjoyed by women and girls, men and boys, all races, all religions and all ages. However, in spite of the potential popularity, I don’t think there will ever be an Olympic gold medal awarded for falling-off-the-roof. Who hasn’t had to climb up there to retrieve a Frisbee or a ball stuck behind …

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Perry Scope

“Raise up……… A little more…….. Yes. Yes. That’s it!…….. Perfect! We do have a view of the river!!” I dream of the day when I’ll be able to go home to my country, river side estate after a week of hard, productive work writing columns about the misery of people who built their own homes but shouldn’t have. There I’ll be a …

Retaining Wall Song by the Rapper Girls

The Rapper Girls  Retaining Wall Song  verse  Prop it up, baby.  Prop it in the air.  Prop it up, baby.  Prop it everywhere!  chorus  Prop it up, baby.  Prop it up, baby.  Prop it up, baby.  Prop it up, baby.  repeat verse  We all possess a character flaw that can allow us to get so carried away with what we’re …

Letter from the Builder Beast

Build In Fear This is not a question and answer column, but I have to share the following letter: Dear Andy Bozeman,  I really liked your last column about the sliding cat rug, especially the part about the expanding tile. That has happened to me. I am a builder and since you seem so smart I am hoping you can …

Modern Cooking

The twentieth century has seen the greatest changes in cooking and food storage since the introduction of fire. A real flame-kissed steak is a weekend luxury in a world where food is most commonly made safe to eat by the same high energy beam the military uses to knock down enemy satellites. Storing leftovers is easier than ever as refrigerators …

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EIGHT LOBE

This home building horror story was brought to my attention by an engineer who had been asked to look at a foundation slab. He arrived at the site before the owner and took the opportunity to look over the concrete pad which would soon support a new house. The engineer checked the corners- they were all perfectly square. Next he …

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Arms Race of the Neighbors

It’s Thanksgiving. Be thankful you don’t live in this neighborhood. But, if you do, then never mind. In a rural, upscale housing development two neighbors share a passion for yard care. Bill pounces like a tiger on anything that lands in his crystal clear swimming pool. Zino fanatically  scouts his lawn for any blemish to the putting-green surface. In this …

TV DINNER CHRISTMAS

Christmas is a target for more than retail sales. It’s also a cut-off time. “We Just Have To Be In By Christmas” is the theme song for any family trying to build during late Summer and Fall. However, it’s only the cut-off time by default, because the last season, whose theme song was “We Just Have To Be In By …

Tiger And The Tile Tale

I spent several childhood years living with my parents and sister in my grandmother’s house. The floors all over the house were wood, and they were kept waxed and polished and just slippery enough so a mid-sized cat could mimic a hockey puck. My sister had a cat named Tiger. I found that if I ran through the kitchen past …