Friday, June 15, 2012

More Tiny House stuff

All kinds of stuff regarding Tiny Houses on YouTube.  Here's a sampling:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tiny houses

I saw this video on Yahoo's main page today and had to watch it, even though its kinda a puff piece on a wholesome family "making it work" and all that, because the Tiny House Phenomenon (no not this tiny house :)) is actually a thing and I've been interested in it for the last couple of years:

Indeed, there's something very romantic about the idea of just shedding all of but the most essentially material goods and living a simpler existence.  But enough Thoreau/Emerson/Trancendentalist jibber jabber.  Consider the economic, environmental, and health-oriented bonuses a person or family would accrue if you could, like the family in the video, live such a life.

Sure, you'd have to throw down for open land and, say, $15,000 for the structure (not including labor costs, if any, I'd assume) -- the family in the video says the house cost them $13,000.  Not to mention if you opted to go with solar panels.  And you'd probably have to spend some money on some tiny house-designed furniture and that sort of thing.

But on the flip side, aside from any payments for the land and more mortgage payments.  Drastically low utility bills (especially if you opted for solar panels).  Drastically low homeowner's insurance.  Huge savings for simply not buying things for which you have room in your Tiny House (clothing, various household items, toys if you have kids, books, big TV's, shit you currently have stacked in closets that you never use). 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Life without cable TV, update #1

Or, more accurately, life without satellite TeeVee, which I canceled exactly two weeks ago today.  Here are the expenditures during that time period for our TeeVee programming:

**  Five $1.99 episodes of Community on iTunes
**  1/2 of a Netflix subscription (approx $9.00)

Everything else we watched we watched over the airwaves (network TeeVee, local news), already paid for (episodes of Mad Men and the Killing on iTunes), borrowed an HBO Go password (Game of Thrones, Girls), or streamed for free online (South Park, Community, Euro 2012 games). 

Getting off of pay-for-it TeeVee is among the best decisions we've made in a long time.

Speed mile, belt loop, and Krugman

I heartily apologize for the three or four of you out there who actually read this little blog of mine for not posting in a week.  No good explanation, really, just kinda slipped my mind.  That being said, with a week having passed without a post, I have several things I'd like to write about or at least mention :)

First, I finished Paul Krugman's book End This Depression Now!, which is not a necessarily a book about psychology, although considering that it was actually about the economy, psychology obviously plays a not-to-small part.  Highly informative and written in a manner so even a macroeconomic neophyte such as myself could understand.  Sufficient to say, when it comes to the economy, we're doing it wrong.

Oh, and did you know that the European Football Championship started last Friday.  Oh my, how I love large international soccer tournaments :)  Obviously, the soccer itself is fantastic but it also reminds me of the HillcrestBlogger Honeymoon/World Cup trip to Germany in 2006 (with a side trip to Prague).  It took a total of about .3 hours after the start of the tournament to make the executive decision that the entire HillcrestBlogger family will be going to the European Championship in 2016, to be held in France.  Already I'm envisioning a 3-week sojourn, starting in London, then Chunnelling to Paris, then up to Copenhagen, before spending several days traveling around the French countryside before finishing the trip in Northern Italy.  But don't hold me to that itinerary, since it is bound to be tweaked over the next four years ;)

As for my week's worth of fitness, I signed up for the Firecracker Fast 5K, ran a mile "sprint" in 10:09, and gained (or lost?) another belt loop!  I also started Gretchen Reynolds' book The First 20 Minutes, which I heard about on Terri Gross's show on NPR and is really an eye opener.  Apparently, I need to incorporate some high intensity interval training, which I have since started to do, in order to really get this body de-flabbed.  In any event, I will recommend that book to anyone who wants to separate the wheat from the chaff regarding what they need to do to become fit. 

Last, I am also going to sell one of our cars (the 13-year old one) this week.  The HillcrestBlog family is going back to being a one-car affair, which we did to great effect prior to our first child.  It is the responsible choice from a environmental, economic, and life-style standpoint.  I'm very excited about it.  I'll be using a combination of public transportation, biking, and walking to get to and from work, which is only about 2.5 miles from my house.  And, with our kids' daycare within very easy walking distance, this is an arrangement we are approaching as a permanent change.  I'm sure I'll be posting about this in much more detail later so I'll not get into the weeds on it today.