“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Shipping Container Architecture

The first time I saw a shipping container home was on the side of a hill in a rural part of Costa Rica. It started as a rather shabby discarded 40 foot Hibox shipping container and over a matter of weeks evolved into a pleasant small home. It is a fascinating study in adaptive reuse.

Here is another example:


  1. heh, my wife has shown me all this stuff. She wants some shipping containers out on the farm, under the trees. I always wanted to build a home out there, but looks like I might not get it done. If she'll settle out on some containers, maybe that's the way to go :)

    They are always for sale down here at the port, and they deliver too.

  2. great idea..

    the front couple are for normal living...

    the back few could be buried with escape tunnels...

    I just love that movie Tremors..

    LOVED that basement

  3. A guy that is doing the appraisal for me on my donated park land has a couple of bomb shelter containers under his house.
    Quite comfy down there.

  4. Some containers can be marketed in a "scratch and dent" sale. (see the video)

    A nice little business would be to build, pack with complete home furnishings (customer selections from online catalog of options)and ship an instant home. I noticed that IKEA was associated with apartments on the barge video.

    Houses can be configured in any combination of 40x8 modules.

  5. Placed correctly and painted camo a bit, a container would make a comfy duck blind or deer assassination station, too. Just slide open the glass doors, and step out onto the porch.

  6. Speaking of assignations, I just saw the latest "It's Good to have a Ring" commercial where Jimmy Johnson walks through security carrying a machete, waved through by TSA agent when he sees the ring. I didn't catch all of it except the last scene of a chubby kid stripped down to his skivvies under restraint by two security guards and a pair of growling German shepherds about to rip his face off. No ring.

    It's not available yet but I did find some interesting stuff on Area 51.

    I'm guessing most of him's in Idaho.

  7. Two weeks after being rescued from a collapsed mine, A non-English speaking Chilean man is seen on whirled-wide television singing Elvis songs is perfect English.

    It is thought that the miner and his companions survived for two months underground in pre-positioned survival pods fashioned from shipping containers.

    In related news, the wife and mistress of the last trapped Chilean miner are still waiting for their loved one to resurface.

  8. ...he's frozen in his fantasy of reuniting with his HOT chiquita on the side.

  9. Quirk said...

    "What does it mean? Mom and apple pie, bushwa and bloviating. Like most of the GOP leadership, Pence offers us pablum but no specifics (other than extend all the tax cuts and leave business alone).

    A year ago, I thought Mike Pence was one of the good guys in D.C. A fiscal conservative who could get things done if the group he led within the GOP caucus ever attained real power. It's amazing how your opinion of these guys can drop the more you get to know them.

    Yeah, conversely, EB patrons would grow in stature in your mind if you could only know their every secret.

  10. I like DeMint, myself.
    Also confident he will not run for POTUS.

    I'd take Rubio and Pawlenty as having a good chance of winning and doing a decent job.

    Also, hopefully, reverse the downward slide of Pub wrt "latinos."

  11. RUBIO:
    I know America's great, not because I read about it in a book, but because I've seen it with my eyes.
    I've been raised in a community of exiles, of people who lost their country, of people who know what it's like to live somewhere else.
    By the way, a community that I am proud to be a part of. A community -- (cheers and applause) A community of men and women that were once my age, and when they were they had dreams like we have now, and yet they lost all those things through an accident of history. No matter where I go or what title I may achieve, I will always be the son of exiles.

    He grew up largely in a society where what you were going to be when you grew up was decided for you. This is like almost every other place in the world.

    Think about what that means.
    That means that before you are even born, how far you're going to get to go in life is decided for you by who your parents are or are not. He was fortunate enough to make it here to America where he was never able to capture his own dreams of his own youth.

    Instead, he made it the mission of his life to ensure that his children would have every opportunity he did not, that every door that was closed for him would be open for them, that the day would never come for them that came for him:

    The day when he realized that his own dreams would not be possible, and so now life was about opening the pathways for his children.
    This story I know well, and it verifies to me the greatness of our country.
    Because tonight, with your vote, you have elected his son to the United States Senate.

  12. RUBIO at CPAC:

    There's never been a nation like the United States, ever.
    It begins with the principles of our founding documents, principles that recognize that our rights come from God, not from our government.

    Principles that recognize that because all of us are equal in the eyes of our Creator, all life is sacred, at every stage of life.

    These principles embody a commitment to individual liberty which has made us the freest people in history. There's nothing like America in all the world. And even today with the problems that we face, who would you rather be, which country would you trade places with? Just remember and ask yourself, when was the last time that you heard news accounts about a boatload of American refugees arriving on the shores of another country?
    Leaders at the highest levels of our government are undertaking a deliberate and systematic effort to redefine our government, our economy, and our country.

    Now, people, as I said, all across America figured this out over a year ago. They didn't wait for their senator or for their congressman to do something about it. They did it themselves. They have taken matters into their own hands, from tea parties, to the election in Massachusetts, we are witnessing the single greatest political push-back in American history.

    Never has the political class or the mainstream media that covers them been more out of touch with the American people than they are today. 2010 is not just a choice between Republicans and Democrats, it's not just a choice between liberals and conservatives.
    2010 is a referendum on the very identity of our nation.

  13. Rubio would also make up for our public discoure deficit caused by Obama wrt the use of the word "creator."

  14. 46. Josh @ BC:

    ps – whassup with zombie next door – no new posts since the election, is he/she/it OK?

    Anybody know who/what he's refering to?

  15. Elvis was at the Clearwater River Casino not long ago and really packed them in. He has not lost his touch.

    Elvis is u·biq·ui·tous


  16. ‘Neuter That Regime’: Sen. Graham Stuns Audience With Iran Attack Scenario World

    "Sink their navy, destroy their air force and deliver a decisive blow to the Revolutionary Guard."Read More »


    Start a campaign to remove Graham due to mental impairment.
    (real reason: get rid of an all-around disgusting, destructive, A-Hole)

  17. Does our resident chimney have any updates on extra long rattlers?

  18. (I heard 15 words worth of Late Nite last nite, Bob, so all hope is not yet lost)

    Ian Pundick, I believe.

  19. Moochelle, Our Belle.

    Might have a great career as a linebacker in 3 years.

  20. There a rattler lives in that chimney. I heard him go rattle rattle rattle when I walked over near it.

  21. Ribs and Fries for Moochele.

    Tofu Are Us.

  22. He's practicing your death rattle for you.

  23. Only the best death rattle will do.

  24. Who let her go out in that skirt?

  25. Air Canada security alerted the CBSA during the 12-hour flight about a passenger who "was observed at the beginning of the flight to be an elderly Caucasian male who appeared to have young-looking hands," the agency statement said.

    "During the flight, the subject attended the washroom and emerged an Asian male that appeared to be in his early 20s."

    Canadian Border Services had the man don his disguise for this photograph after he arrived in

    A search of the man's baggage turned up a "disguise kit" consisting of a silicone head and neck mask of an elderly white male, a brown leather cap, glasses and a brown sweater, the CBSA said.

    Masks with similar facial features can be found for sale on the internet, priced between $700 and $1300.

    Read more:

  26. How much did they pay you for the plaster cast, Bob?

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. She has immaculate taste, Stella.
    She chooses for herself.

    Her husband is our immaculate deception.

  29. Is a new style, all the rage, called the shipping container skirt.

  30. I just watched the video.

    The subject of the floor safe needs some editorial work.

    Maybe I'm being too cynical.

  31. That is a marketing nightmare. I mean if you can't be secure in your steel shipping container... and if you live in a shipping container what do you put in the safe, under the sink?

  32. The guy in the film has a Toyota Landcruiser, probably 1998. The standard transmission on that model for Central America comes with a very impressive winch which is driven by the transmission.

    The idea of the winch is in the event you get stuck in mud deeper than your wheels, you go to plan B, find a tree and winch yourself out.

    The cable is remarkably long and the gearing so low, he could have pulled that container to the toy without working up a sweat.

  33. The car weighs about 7,000 lbs, but just in case they have a hook on the back so you can tie up behind to keep it on the ground.

  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

  35. Steel security - as long as all four walls are up.

    Not recommended for the claustrophobic.

    In point of fact, I like the concept. I've seen other versions - with high tech customized interior design that actually possessed aesthetic quality for the discerning interior decorator.

    The exterior could use some work from what was presented in the basics only version of the video.

    Portability, isolated dwelling unit (many if not most condominiums are smaller - 500 sq ft), cost, time (although another glitch with CR as the destination), and spatial/resource/utility efficiency - all positives.

    Not well articulated in the video.

    Thank you very much.....

  36. Obviously, he's not a salesman. Calling attention to a negative like rampant crime in the country is obviously amaterish. You're right, the guy needs marketing help, it appears it put everything together in his back yard. Let him sell a few dozen of those babies and I would think his pitch would be a bit more polished.

  37. Obviously, I need some editing help.

  38. Think what Quirk the Marketeer could have done with that.

    We'd all of us be living in shipping containers, by now.

    The Palace
    The Castle
    The Royal Estate
    The King's Rest

    just some of the names Quirk might use for different models in his approach.

  39. By the way Quirk, I don't want to be part of this year's Bosco Awards. Don't take this wrong, but I'm still ticked at the way you took off after Allen, a guy I like, and who was here long before you. I thought your treatment - mistreatment - of him atrocious, and I feel I'd be kinda be seen as supportive of that if I took part in this year's Boscos. Besides all my posts are equally bad. So, kindly, just deal me out this time around. Thanks.

  40. Oh, and I hope no one does or says anything that might tend to dissuade Allen or Trish, who I miss, and I know others do too, from coming back.

  41. You can always go Berg

    Company has a plant in Plummer, Idaho. At first I thought it was a Native American enterprise, but I guess it isn't. Has a home in Spokane, too. They make fuel bladders and a whole host of other products too.

  42. Why would someone try to sell an unfinished product in the first place?

  43. I almost bought one of their fuel bladders, then thought I really don't have any secure place to put it right now, so didn't. Was thinking apocalypse but not logically.

  44. I think I would prefer the security of a shiny tin container.

  45. Browder is a famed emerging markets investor. He made a name for himself finding picks and pans in the Russian market until he was kicked out of the country for being a “threat to national security.”


    So where do you want to invest in an inflationary environment? Once the USD is diluted, you want something they can’t delute: gold.

    His first pick is Koza Gold, a gold miner in Turkey. It has a $1.5B market cap and 11.4 P/E , 26% EPS growth and no debt.

    Hermitage Capital Management

  46. Aah, gold.

    To buy or not to buy.

    I have no clue.


    (But silver seems the better choice if you've decided on a commodity trade.)

  47. US President Barack Obama has urged India and Pakistan to resolve their differences stressed the need for peace between the two nuclear armed neighbours.


    The US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who is accompanying Mr Obama on his state visit to India, has heaped praise on India's domestic-led growth and foreign exchange flexibility, calling it an example of how to build a sustainable emerging market economy.


    Without naming China and its tightly controlled yuan, Mr Geithner says key emerging economies will need to move to market-determined exchange rates and should boost internal demand through structural reforms.

    Resolve Differences

  48. I think I would prefer the security of a shiny tin container.

    I was just trying to make a sale for those folks. Stopped in there once and got shown around, seemed like nice people. Lots of hiring of local tribal members.

  49. The smart money is into platinum.

  50. And the real smart money is into the Conservation Reserve Program.

  51. The Depth & Breadth of GOP Victories
    By Michael Barone

    Let's try to put some metrics on last Tuesday's historic election. Two years ago, the popular vote for House of Representatives was 54 percent Democratic and 43 percent Republican. That may sound close, but in historic perspective it's a landslide. Democrats didn't win the House popular vote in the South, as they did from the 1870s up through 1992. But they won a larger percentage in the 36 non-Southern states than -- well, as far as I can tell, than ever before.

    This year, we don't yet know the House popular vote down to the last digit, partly because California takes five weeks these days to count all its votes (Brazil, which voted last Sunday, counted its votes in less than five hours). But the exit poll had it at 52 percent Republican and 46 percent Democratic, which is probably within a point or so of the final number.

    That's similar to 1994, and you have to go back to 1946 and 1928 to find years when Republicans did better. And the numbers those years aren't commensurate, since the then-segregated and Democratic South cast few popular votes. So you could argue that this is the best Republican showing ever.

    Nationally, Republicans narrowly missed winning Senate seats in heavily Democratic Washington and in Nevada and California, where less problematic nominees might have won. As in all wave years, they missed winning half a dozen House seats by a whisker (or a suddenly discovered bunch of ballots).

    But they made really sweeping gains in state legislatures, where candidate quality makes less difference. According to the National Conference on State Legislatures, Republicans gained about 125 seats in state senates and 550 seats in state houses -- 675 seats in total. That gives them more seats than they've won in any year since 1928.

    Republicans snatched control of about 20 legislative houses from Democrats -- and by margins that hardly any political insiders expected. Republicans needed five seats for a majority in the Pennsylvania House and won 15; they needed four seats in the Ohio House and got 13; they needed 13 in the Michigan House and got 20; they needed two in the Wisconsin Senate and four in the Wisconsin House, and gained four and 14; they needed five in the North Carolina Senate and nine in the North Carolina House and gained 11 and 15.

    All those gains are hugely significant in redistricting. When the 2010 Census results are announced next month, the 435 House seats will be reapportioned to the states, and state officials will draw new district lines in each state. Nonpartisan commissions authorized by voters this year will do the job in (Democratic) California and (Republican) Florida, but in most states it's up to legislators and governors.

  52. Qantas extended the grounding of its fleet of Airbus A380 superjumbos Monday after uncovering "slight anomalies" in some engines after a mid-air blow-out caused a major scare last week.

    Chief executive Alan Joyce said rigorous testing had found leaking oil in three of the Rolls-Royce engines, pushing back the long-haul planes' return to action by some days.

    "On three of the engines what we found is slight anomalies -- oil where oil shouldn't be on the engines," Joyce told Australian public broadcaster ABC.

    "These are new engines on new aircraft and they shouldn't have these issues at this stage, so it's given us indication of an area for us to focus into.

    "We are keeping an open mind on it but... we think it could have been a materials issue on the engine or a design issue on the engine."

    Qantas' impeccable safety record -- the Australian flag-carrier has never had a fatal jet crash in 90 years -- has come into question after two engine explosions in as many days.

    On Thursday, a Qantas Airbus A380 was forced to return to Singapore for an emergency landing after one of its four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines exploded just minutes into its flight, showering an Indonesian town with debris.

    And on Friday, a Qantas Boeing 747 -- which was carrying the A380's captain -- also had to turn back to Singapore after another model of Rolls-Royce engine also failed in mid-air.

  53. Look what I found, in a glossary of specialized meanings of Aramaic words--

    # Liviatan -Leviathan, Ur . (O:N:E: - kundalini serpent power that rises up the Column of Glory, or Avadhuti)

    Who would have thought that.