The Geek Speaks
Well, I haven't had much to say since we started this project. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that the geekwif has been speaking quite well for both of us. As you can see, she's posted some of my doodles for the yard and whatnot, and other than that I really haven't had much else to add to the blog. Not sure if I do now, but it seemed good that I should put up something, even if it was just a bit of inane chatter to fill space.
So anyway, yeah, we're pretty excited about the whole dome-home, do-it-yourself, self-sufficient off-grid living thing. Not exactly sure why, except I have this wierd thing about doing stuff that most people won't do, and avoiding doing the stuff that most people will do. Example: it seems like lots of people want a nice 4-bedroom/3-bath house in the 'burbs on 2.5 acres, in a nice development where the biggest choice in housing will be which shade of beige or white for their siding. Call me crazy, but that sounds booorrrriiinnnggg! Our first house was a fixer-upper in a not-so-great neighborhood that we bought for a song and fixed up. The neighborhood has improved over the years, too, and it is the profit from this house that will pay for the land and provide a down-payment on the construction loan. "Sweat equity" is a wonderful thing, and we intend to capitalize on it for this next house as well.
Another example: just about everybody I know drives either a minivan, SUV or truck. A small minority of them actually need such a vehicle, the rest just want one... I don't know why. Status symbol? Fitting in with the crowd? Whatever -- give me a small, fast sports car with a tight turning radius and manual transmission any day! Of course, since we're not made of money I will just have to "settle" for my 2000 Celica GT-S ;-)
After the house is built, I'm really excited to get started on some serious landscaping. I never thought I'd get pumped about moving dirt and rocks around, but the thought of building my own recirculating waterfall/stream/pond just sets me all a-quiver. And of course, before we get there, I get to build my own house! After the foundation is poured, we will have a dome-raising party. This is basically a weekend thing, where you invite all your friends and family to come help you put together the dome framework and exterior sheathing. They provide the muscle, we provide the pizza and pop (beer at the end of the day).
Even though we are general contracting the house and will certainly subcontract much of the difficult work, I am perfectly capable of doing the shell and exterior sheathing, including window and door installation, insulating the dome, interior paneling, running electrical in the walls (along with network cabling and speaker wire, of course!), and lots of other stuff. I could do the plumbing but I just don't want to (anyway the city won't let me, they require a plumber to do it), the roof, the drywall and interior framing, etc. Some of those jobs might be fun, but I simply don't have time to do it all myself and still get the house done in a reasonable amount of time.
What else to say? You may have noticed I originally wanted to have my own shooting range in our yard, but that won't work out due to zoning restrictions. I do enjoy shooting, both handgun and rifle -- I bought my first handgun last year (Beretta M92 Brigadier), and am already looking at a smaller one that will be suitable for concealed carry (Cz P-01, if you must know). Yes, I have a concealed carry permit -- I would prefer a more "unfettered" Second Amendment to the Constitution (that is, an "originalist" interpretation rather than a "living document" interpretation), but I will follow the law even if it grates on my nerves at times.
I am, of course, a computer geek -- specifically, I am a systems administrator and programmer-analyst for a rapidly growing manufacturing company in the Midwest USA. Most of our software is home grown and quite functional, even the code I didn't write myself ;-) I'm a Linux user at home, and we run some Linux at work but we are basically a Microsoft shop. I have to admit I like programming in VB.Net and C#, while my Linux programming skills are rather limited to lightweight Perl and Bash scripting. I've played around with Mono (on Linux) and used it to teach myself C# at home, but haven't really written anything useful with it.
I am also a Christian. This fact probably says more about me than anything else, though not everyone likes what it says (or what they think it says, anyway). As a Christian I know something about faith in the face of difficult circumstances, and believing in something in spite of evidence to the contrary. But quite frankly, I think that it takes more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christian. I could lay out all sorts of logical arguments about why I believe (or why you should believe) in the Christian God as opposed to some other god or no god at all, but in my experience that is a waste of time and energy. What counts is a life changed by the grace of Christ, by the miracle of spiritual rebirth -- nothing else matters. Not even a dome home. But we're still excited :-)