if you were building your own house

190 views
Skip to first unread message

C J Silverio

unread,
Dec 14, 1993, 4:35:47 PM12/14/93
to
---
ce...@netcom.com (C J Silverio) writes:
|If you were going to build your own house, what would
|you do?

Nobody will read this. But WTF, I've written it. I will
POST, and the bandwidth used will fill the teeny gaps between
alt.binaries.erotica.blondes posts. Followups to
alt.housing.pipe-dreams. Killfile me now.

I've been thinking about livable homes recently. I've been
thinking about how unlivable the standard US mass-produced
tract-ish house is. Specifically, I've been thinking about
how unlivable the house I rent is. Architects have clearly
given cheap fast construction a higher priority than usability.
They must die. Or worse: be forced to live in one of their
horrible creations.

Some questions:

What does a house exist for?
What do I do in my house?
What external considerations put restrictions on the design?

Some ideas:

Materials:
Exterior: stone, slate. Fire resistant things. Earthquake
resistant. In tones that integrate with the Calif. landscape.
Interior: wood, stone, real plaster.
Wood floors. (If they're stone, they should be heated for
energy efficiency in winter.)
Built to last: my grandchildren should be able to live there.

Design considerations:
Energy efficiency. Passive solar. Integrated with
landscape/trees to stay cool in summer & warm in winter.
High ceilings.
Lots of natural light.
Clear travel routes through house.
It doesn't have to be big. It just has to be carefully
put together.

Spaces that must exist:
Workspaces for me & Lance.
Music room.
Living room/hang-out space for visitors. Should be large &
open: the default space from which rooms are sliced.
An actual comfy bathroom, with a tub sized for two.
Library space, with built-in shelves.
Bedroom with fuckloads of closet spaces.
Extra bedroom.
If (child) { AddToHouse(anotherBedroom) }.
Kitchen: gas stove, breakfast eating space, work space
for two simultaneous cooks. Counter space for appliances.
Racks to hang pots & pans. Energy-efficient fridge.
NO FORMICA.
Greenhouse. Or at least greenhouse windows in the kitchen,
for herbs, etc.
Garage for two cars & two motorcycles & the odd bicycle.
Workspace in garage.

Fripperies:
Some fast computer networky thing in the walls,
outlets in all rooms. Suitable for Mac plug-n-play.
Electrical wiring DONE RIGHT for once. Properly grounded
outlets everywhere.
NO intercoms. NO computer control of everything. NO
stereo in the walls.
Hot tub.
Tiled patio-thingie outside.

I'll never have money to do this, not even if GM succeeds
beyond my wildest dreams.

---
c j silverio
I apologize for the "if (child)" crack.
I have been nerding too much recently.

Chuck Werner

unread,
Dec 14, 1993, 6:21:08 PM12/14/93
to
C J Silverio (ce...@netcom.com) wrote:
: If you were going to build your own house, what would
: you do? Design it yourself (with an architect's aid)?
: Borrow a classic design? What would you put in it?

Design it yourself...

A big kitchen with lots of elbow room
Inside, separate laundry
An attic and a basement
Formal dining room and entry way
Greenhouse(in cold climate)
Pool(big)
I like brick exteriors with winding driveways
etc.

--
The Raspberry "Interior Designs R Us" Wizard
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot farther with a
smile and a gun. -- Al Capone
Some days you eat the bear, and some days the bear eats you. -- Anon
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Marc Moorcroft

unread,
Dec 15, 1993, 1:14:29 AM12/15/93
to
In article <ceejCI1...@netcom.com>, C J Silverio <ce...@netcom.com> wrote:
>---

>If you were going to build your own house, what would
>you do?

If corrugated cardboard were waterproof, and fireproof.. but it's not.

Somewhere on a blasted heath, but no more than a quarter of an hour's
walk away from an all-night variety.

Just imagine: The second day in the dream apartment you've sought for
over a year, and then...

"We just let the blueprints into our sight for a second!"

...you're going to build your own house.

What will you do? What WILL you do?

Evolve or Perish

unread,
Dec 15, 1993, 6:21:00 AM12/15/93
to
I'd build my own.

Necessities:

Skylights, fireplace, large kitchen with a island, gas stove (duh), more
cabinet space than I need, lots of windows (more expensive to heat and
cool, but what the hell).

Large areas that don't serve a specific purpose - CJ's "hanging out room,"
I suppose. Workroom, small bedroom with attached bath. I want a bathtub I
can do laps in. Dammit. (I've lived in apartments too long.) Clear glass
shower doors, closet space *in* the bath for linens.

No formica. No sofas. No dogs. No wallpaper. No formal dining room.

Lots of wood on the inside, built in bookshelves *everywhere*, minimal
furniture, maximal floor sprawlage (I keep going back and forth on wood
floors - they're gorgeous, but you don't want to lie down on them).

Preferably in Texas.

You're all invited.

b r e t t

Snakes of Medusa

unread,
Dec 15, 1993, 8:35:57 AM12/15/93
to
In article <ceejCI1...@netcom.com>, C J Silverio <ce...@netcom.com> wrote:
>I've been thinking about livable homes recently. I've been
>thinking about how unlivable the standard US mass-produced
>tract-ish house is.

It's the same in the UK. The particular problem we have here is that
it's cold enough to kill old people, but not cold enough that it's
clear to even the dumbest person that it's stupid to build uninsulated
houses. Thus there are *still* people building houses with no cavity
walls, no loft insulation, and no double glazing. (I know this as I
looked at a few when trying to find a place to buy.)

>What does a house exist for?

I think it was Corbusier who said that a house is a machine for living
in.

>What do I do in my house?

Given that you live in California, I think I'd rather not speculate.

>What external considerations put restrictions on the design?

Mainly planning permission. That's the real pig; in England, it's
practically impossible to get planning permission for any kind of
"interesting" house design. Badly-designed postmodern crap can be
build wherever you like, but if you want (say) a wedge of solar glass,
you're out of luck.

It's not just housing. The UK has practically no buildings to compare
with the beauty of (say) the modern buildings of Paris; no Pompidou
centre, no opera house... People like Prince Charles whine on about
"monstrous carbuncles", and praise buildings which their ancestors
whined about in exactly the same way. (Chazzer likes St Paul's
Cathedral, for example, which was originally whined about a great deal
when it was built, and described as being like a giant pimple on the
face of London.)

>Materials:
> Exterior: stone, slate. Fire resistant things. Earthquake
> resistant. In tones that integrate with the Calif. landscape.

Cavity walls with foam insulation.

> Interior: wood, stone, real plaster.
> Wood floors. (If they're stone, they should be heated for
> energy efficiency in winter.)

Underfloor heating, I reckon. After all, heat rises, so it was bloody
obvious even to the Romans how to heat a house.

>Design considerations:
> Energy efficiency. Passive solar. Integrated with
> landscape/trees to stay cool in summer & warm in winter.

There's a guy in England who has built his house underground. (Bill
Gates is doing the same, I gather.) Once you go down 10cm, the
temperature is pretty much constant all year round. And windows in
the ceiling let in light all day.

> Clear travel routes through house.

Drive-thru? Surely not, but you never can tell with Americans...

> Music room.

Acoustically insulated. Like listening rooms at hi-fi shops.

> Kitchen: gas stove, breakfast eating space, work space
> for two simultaneous cooks. Counter space for appliances.
> Racks to hang pots & pans. Energy-efficient fridge.
> NO FORMICA.

Plenty of ventilation.

> Some fast computer networky thing in the walls,
> outlets in all rooms. Suitable for Mac plug-n-play.

With a small computer room where all the boxes can go. So the actual
bit you use is just a screen and keyboard, or even a Newton A4 pad,
connected to the real crunch which is hidden away out of sight.

> Electrical wiring DONE RIGHT for once. Properly grounded
> outlets everywhere.

Earth leakage circuit breakers instead of a fusebox.

> NO intercoms. NO computer control of everything. NO
> stereo in the walls.

Speakers in the living room connected through to the music room,
though.

> Hot tub.

Well, like I said, I'd rather not speculate.

As to the designing, I'd get a qualified structural engineer to help me
do it myself. A friend of the family is a builder, and his opinion of
architects is that they produce buildings which often look good but are
completely unlivable. I tend to agree, having lived in a building designed
by Sir Denis Lazden (he who was responsible for the National Theatre).


mathew
--
/X-Attribution:/h:j -- just say no to SuperCite GOD IS MY MODERATOR
Will betray country for food
Somebody reset talk.bizarre --assuming nothing read.

Message has been deleted

Gary Heston

unread,
Dec 15, 1993, 1:39:25 PM12/15/93
to
In article <ceejCI1...@netcom.com> ce...@netcom.com (C J Silverio) writes:

>If you were going to build your own house, what would
>you do?

[ ... ]


>If you were going to build your own house, what would

>you do? Design it yourself (with an architect's aid)?
>Borrow a classic design? What would you put in it?

First, I'd make sure it was situated on at least 100 acres, so I'd
have plenty of elbow room.

Then, I'd want a nice limestone hill to dig into, that had a good
strategic command of the surrounding area.

And some mining equipment to dig it into the hill.


--
Gary Heston SCI Systems, Inc. ga...@sci34hub.sci.com site admin
The Chairman of the Board and the CFO speak for SCI. I'm neither.
"Quit while you're ahead. All the best gamblers do." Baltasar Gracian

Blair P. Houghton

unread,
Dec 15, 1993, 6:20:18 PM12/15/93
to
In article <15DEC199...@summa.tamu.edu> bts...@summa.tamu.edu (Evolve or Perish) writes:
>
>No sofas.

The French are consummate idiots.

First that whole, uncomfortable "Louis N" period, and now
they're pissing on the planet's future by vetoing GATT in
the EC because they want gross points in "Home Alez III."

"Cultural integrity" my Mike Milken action-figure. They're
greedy, whining, snail-sucking perverts who don't even have
the cojones to deal up-front like men. We ought to end-run
on them and sell them lock, stock, and Provence to South
Africa for some cracked quartz and Winnie Mandela's pile of
old turbans. I hope Mickey Mouse takes a big crap right on
the Champs Elysees on his way to EuroDisney tomorrow.

And their language is nothing more than euphemism-laden
babytalk.

--Blair
"'Au revoir' my ass."

Blair P. Houghton

unread,
Dec 15, 1993, 6:20:29 PM12/15/93
to
In article <2en66f$7...@reznor.larc.nasa.gov> klu...@grissom.larc.nasa.gov (Scott Dorsey) writes:
>I'm losing my mind trying to find a mason that
>can build a real fireplace. They all want to put in a cheap stovepipe
>and brick around it. I do not want a metal insert, I want a real
>fireplace.

You're expecting maybe Santa Claus will show up?

There are two options, here:

1. Bag it. The stovepipe version is incredibly safe,
incredibly easy and cheap to get cleaned, and less likely
to encourage squirrel nesting. It's also much less expensive
and more amenable to interesting exterior designs. The
ones built in modern (tile-roofed) Phoenician homes are
surrounded by wood, styrofoam, chicken wire, and textured
stucco. If this was not already the cliche' style it would
have been necessary to order it special, and I would have.

2. Buy a "tip-up" and have it shipped to you. These are
built off-site, usually by large developers who want to
install fifty houses in six months. They pour the foundation
and tip the fireplace and chimney up off a truck into a
slot. In order to maintain structural integrity during the
tipping, they build the chimney extra strong, sometimes
with rebar. These things do not crack or crumble. This is
how older (asphalt-shingled) Phoenician houses were built.
You might not even be able to find these, any more.

Well, three:

3. Keep looking, but expect then to pay as much for the
chimbley as you would have for the kitchen had you just
bagged it. Also expect whopping chimney-sweep bills:
it takes them ten times as long to do large, square,
masonry flues as it does to run a round, properly
calibred brush down a steel tube.

>Then again, I still have a 1948 vintage fusebox in my
>house (and it's going soon... it's the next project after
>getting the gas installed).

I want gas soooooo fucking bad. The neighborhood doesn't
even have a feedpipe. It'd cost me fifty grand just so
I can saute' mushrooms and prawns properly. Fuck, fuck,
fuck.

>> NO intercoms. NO computer control of everything. NO
>> stereo in the walls.
>

>Amen, brother.

Bugger that. I want Echelon(TM)-upgradable wiring.
Lights that follow me around the house. Automatic
adjustment of stereophonic balance and surround delay.
A tub with a timer. Automatic air-duct flow control.
And a magnetohydrodynamic water fountain by the pool.

>> Hot tub.
>
>This is something that Hallie keeps adding to my list. I don't know
>who is going to keep it clean.

Microbes. Designer bacteria. Our infinitesimal friends.
Hint: bathe before tubbing.

Hot tubs are mandatory. There is no more suitable place to
conduct foot massages.

>>I'll never have money to do this, not even if GM succeeds
>>beyond my wildest dreams.
>

>You're right. You can get closer if you do all the work yourself, though,
>and start by modifying an existing structure.

I can see her now: "Lance, get the crowbar; we're taking
out the coal-hole today..." Some structures start from
a greater disadvantage...

--Blair
"Mesquite-broiled."

drunk in the snow with a gun

unread,
Dec 15, 1993, 7:34:23 PM12/15/93
to
In article <ceejCI1...@netcom.com>, C J Silverio <ce...@netcom.com> wrote:
>---

>If you were going to build your own house, what would
>you do?

if i was going to build my own house, i would
build a magnificent stucco spanish-style mansion
with large airy rooms and open doorways and tile
floors.

but i wouldn't build my own house. what i want
to do is buy a '30s vintage bungalow, or possibly
an old farmhouse. i want a studio in the attic
under the eaves, with sloping ceilings and old,
warm-sounding wood everywhere. i want big ornate
moldings and an elegant stair rail and REAL
RADIATORS although they don't have to work; i
just want them as cat perches. i want a bathroom
all in black and white tile, and a big porch with
a swing, and bookshelves built into the walls in
unexpected places. i want front steps, and huge
old trees, elms and oaks and maples, that dwarf
the house.

if i end up with the bungalow, i want to live in
a quaint old neighborhood full of houses just
like mine. if i get the farmhouse, i want to
live on several acres, far enough back that i
can't see the road.

i expect i will have one or the other of these
in the next five years or so. of course, i'll
probably be renting, but WTF.

m

smaller dreams of better things
--
"INside I'm CRAWLING with TENDERMINTS but OUTside all HOO-RAW!" - Pogo

Patrick Tufts

unread,
Dec 15, 1993, 7:31:10 PM12/15/93
to
klu...@grissom.larc.nasa.gov (Scott Dorsey) writes:
[....]

>> Built to last: my grandchildren should be able to live there.

>Impossible. You can't get good slow-growth lumber any longer, even if
>you could afford it. All the slow-growth forests that could be chopped
>down, have been. You can thank the lumber industry a hundred years ago
>for this problem. When I had to replace a beam in my attic due to water
>damage, I had to go with oak since the only pine I could get was shoddy
>junk, even the douglas fir.

I don't know about support beams, but it is possible to buy century
(or two)-old floorboards. There's an entire industry of people who
strip out old houses (probably for nouveau wealthy idiots who want w/w
carpeting instead of wooden floors) and then sell the boards to folks
who want that genuine historically correct restoration (where they're
undoing the work of the wankers who gutted the house 40 years ago).

--Pat "lovely saltbox with w/w shag, sliding glass doors ..."

Andrew Solberg

unread,
Dec 15, 1993, 8:46:11 AM12/15/93
to
In article <ceejCI1...@netcom.com> ce...@netcom.com (C J Silverio) writes:
>---
>ce...@netcom.com (C J Silverio) writes:
>|If you were going to build your own house, what would
>|you do?
>
>I've been thinking about livable homes recently. I've been
>thinking about how unlivable the standard US mass-produced
>tract-ish house is. Specifically, I've been thinking about
>how unlivable the house I rent is. Architects have clearly
>given cheap fast construction a higher priority than usability.
>They must die. Or worse: be forced to live in one of their
>horrible creations.

Or worse yet: be lured into the crawlspace with promises of a really
good French amber, and be studded up, despite protests, behind several
ply of sheetrock.

>
>Some questions:
>
>What does a house exist for?
>What do I do in my house?
>What external considerations put restrictions on the design?

I'm sorry, but this line of thought gives me amusing images of a bunch of
housing contractors sitting around the jobsite, scratching their crotches
and asking Zen-like questions. "Like, man, is my house not an extension
of MYSELF?"

>
>Some ideas:
>
>Materials:
> Exterior: stone, slate. Fire resistant things. Earthquake
> resistant. In tones that integrate with the Calif. landscape.
> Interior: wood, stone, real plaster.
> Wood floors. (If they're stone, they should be heated for
> energy efficiency in winter.)
> Built to last: my grandchildren should be able to live there.

You'll need to pour the love into the construction of this baby. Wood
houses are notoriously shortlived unless they are well put-together. The
old wooden mansions you hear about which have never been restored are
wonders of construction. Use sanded and treated cherry for the floors,
or something similar, if you want it to last.

>
>Design considerations:
> Energy efficiency. Passive solar. Integrated with
> landscape/trees to stay cool in summer & warm in winter.
> High ceilings.
> Lots of natural light.
> Clear travel routes through house.
> It doesn't have to be big. It just has to be carefully
> put together.

Abandon the classical put-floors-on-top-of-other-floors idea. I'd concentrate
on finding lines of sunlight and putting large windows into them. Of course,
we need to know how temperate the clime is; this idea isn't pragmatic if
you're in the arctic zone where you *need* some stacking to stay warm.

>
>Spaces that must exist:
> Workspaces for me & Lance.
> Music room.
> Living room/hang-out space for visitors. Should be large &
> open: the default space from which rooms are sliced.

Well, I guess we know where the next BOB is.......

> An actual comfy bathroom, with a tub sized for two.
> Library space, with built-in shelves.
> Bedroom with fuckloads of closet spaces.
> Extra bedroom.

> 10 If (child) { AddToHouse(anotherBedroom) }.
20 Goto 10

Hey, I'm kidding, okay?

> Kitchen: gas stove, breakfast eating space, work space
> for two simultaneous cooks. Counter space for appliances.
> Racks to hang pots & pans. Energy-efficient fridge.
> NO FORMICA.
> Greenhouse. Or at least greenhouse windows in the kitchen,
> for herbs, etc.
> Garage for two cars & two motorcycles & the odd bicycle.
> Workspace in garage.

Use a drive-up loft ramp; park cycles upstairs, cars down. Conserves heat.

>
>Fripperies:
> Some fast computer networky thing in the walls,
> outlets in all rooms. Suitable for Mac plug-n-play.
> Electrical wiring DONE RIGHT for once. Properly grounded
> outlets everywhere.

Do it yourself, then. I've yet to find an electric man who does his job
exactly right.

> NO intercoms. NO computer control of everything. NO
> stereo in the walls.
> Hot tub.
> Tiled patio-thingie outside.

DEFINITE BOB site.

>
>I'll never have money to do this, not even if GM succeeds
>beyond my wildest dreams.

Aw, hell......

I'll spot ya.

--
HWRNMNBSOL
"Sex between a man and a woman can be a wonderful thing if one
is between the right man and the right woman." - Woody Allen

kate

unread,
Dec 15, 1993, 8:43:00 PM12/15/93
to
C J Silverio wrote:
>---
>If you were going to build your own house, what would
>you do?
>
A yurt. Decent computer, newsfeed, espresso machine. Rugs
and mats. Horses or camels picketed outside.

I want a planet of disseminated and invisible technology.
I want to cohabit with the cold weather rather than fight it.
Hardwood floors. Feh.


..................................................................
Kate McDonnell, infographiste c_m...@pavo.concordia.ca
"A female is, shortly put, a she, or, put more at length, a woman-
or-girl-or-cow-or-hen-or-the-like." - Fowler's English Usage

Sean Barrett

unread,
Dec 16, 1993, 2:49:47 AM12/16/93
to
People who don't want to be in the t.b. coffeehouse, press 'n'.

cj writes about her dream house. Or more likely her ideal
practical house.

My father was an architecht. When we decided to have a
second, summer home, he designed it himself. In theory, then,
he designed it to be practical, and to be what he wanted,
for himself if not the family.

Materials:
Exterior: Wood or apparently wood.
Interior: Wood, plaster.
Floors: Wall to wall carpet, probably over wood.
Stairs are bare wood. Hallways, bathrooms,
and kitchen/dining are some kind of tile.

Hopefully it'll last. Have to see if I inherit it.

Design considerations:
Energy efficiency: Passive solar. Most of south side
of house is entirely glass (sliding glass
doors; top floor features 45 degree windows
above them. In summertime trees cover pretty
well, although I believe at least one tree is
closer than legal. Also used a wood stove as
secondary heating source. "Inverted" design
puts bedrooms lowest, keeping them cooler in
summer, but usually have to fall back on per-room
electric heat in winter.

High ceilings: Reasonable headroom everywhere, especially
stairways. Top "floor" is 1.5 stories or more.

Lighting: Glass house, as mentioned. Main bedrooms feature
indirect lighting via recessed bank of lights.

Clear travel routes: split-level design means there's only
one way to get anywhere. Have to use stairs a
lot though. Not sure whether it's any beefit;
I never minded it as a youth.

Areas:
Decks: Both bottom-floor bedrooms have separate square
decks, no railings, 2'-5' off the ground. Fine
for hanging out on, but I hate the West Virginia
insects.

buzzard

Kevin W. McAuley

unread,
Dec 16, 1993, 2:40:03 AM12/16/93
to
In article <1993Dec15....@jarvis.csri.toronto.edu>,

my ideal house would be built underground or , if i wanted a view,
which i don't, i build it into the side if a mountain or a hill.

chevyn
[ sounds good. ]
mc auley


--

'You know when you put a stick in the water and it looks like it's bent
but it's not? <pause> That's why I don't take baths.' --- Steven Wright

A.D. Williams

unread,
Dec 15, 1993, 1:24:48 PM12/15/93
to
In article <ceejCI1...@netcom.com> ce...@netcom.com (C J Silverio) writes:
>---
>ce...@netcom.com (C J Silverio) writes:
>|If you were going to build your own house, what would
>|you do?

I have been looking at houses recently, and found a pretty OK one that
I would consider purchasing if nothing else comes up. This house is in
the Park Avenue area of Rochester, NY, in the cultural district. Culture
doesn't mean a cheese factory, but the house is within walking distance
of a bunch of way qool museums, nature freak food stores, a bus station,
a mall (not TOO close), a bunch of universities, and best of all, Java
Joe's coffee house with open mike on Tuesday nights. The location can't
be beat, but let's talk about the house.

The house is a Victorian style house, which means that it was built in
the 20's, has lots of space going up, but not much of wide. Walking
around gives me a feeling of being squeezed into a spaghetti thin
strand of human, and there is a lot of room in the attic and the
basement, and the rooms are fairly decent sized for the city.

What made this house really good is the charm and character oozing
out from everywhere. The floor is maple, the walls are plaster (no
drywall), and the wood staircase are all original wood from when it
was built. The house has been remodeled so many times it looks pretty
weird with the room layout, but in the same time it's a welcome
change from my cookie cutter apartment, with everything all arranged
in some logical but boring way. This house has a lot of odd closets
and cabinets that must have had some other purpose in a different time.

However, the house isn't nooky or cranny enough, so I am placing this
house as a default house. If I don't see anything better, the place
would be a very acceptable purchase.

This house is a multi family unit, meaning it was cut into two, with
the ground level floor being a studio apartment and the upstairs a
two bedroom apartment. The studio apartment is absolutely beautiful,
while the upstairs is a bit cheesy. The upstairs is rented to tenants,
so it's not too bad if they like it that way. Eventually I might
remodel it between tenants.

Multi-family houses are not always well executed. Single family homes
are usually much more nicer and tasteful than multi family homes. In
most cases the multi family homes are done very cheaply and only the
portion where the owner lives is the decor updated, or in some cases,
not at all.

I saw two multi family houses before this one, and they were awful.
One was owned by a old woman, who thought that her strech lime green
pants (true!) were the hottest thing since her Elvis figurines on her
fireplace mantle (true again!). THe wallpaper was the most hideous
she could find. It was brown with a portrait of George Washington
facing left, and Abraham Lincolin facing right. A wallful of dead
presidents is very patriotic, but it doesn't even match the faux
blue marble motif vinyl covering on the floor. Grody! She remodeled
her kitchen recently, but she had no taste. The kitchen shouted
"SEARS! SEARS! 60% OFF SELECTED SEARS REMODELING CABNETRY!"

I was feeling pretty depressed until I saw the house where the owner
had a tiny shred of good taste (ie, one that I share).

Why multi family houses? It works out great tax-wise, and the best
thing of all is that for a $625 montly mortage, I can charge $475
to rent the upstairs, and the resulting $150 is cheaper than my
current crummy apartment. Wow!

The important thing, I think, is that houses are really something to
have a sense of belonging to. The house should reflect your lifestyle,
and the quality of the house should be to your standards. Buying a house
is pretty much trying to find one that's as close as possible to how you
want to live, but bulding one can be a chance to design everything
in the way you like it. Going through many houses with many types
of architecture really gives you a feel of what you want and don't want.

Of course, you do tend to build a huge list of what you don't want,
but that's OK as well.

Derrick

tb bob villa
--
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Derrick Williams Rochester Institute of Technology | Insert snappy -
- adw...@ultb.isc.rit.edu Computer Science | quotation here -
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Marc Moorcroft

unread,
Dec 16, 1993, 5:51:38 AM12/16/93
to
In article <2en3rt$9...@news.mantis.co.uk>,

Snakes of Medusa <mat...@mantis.co.uk> wrote:
>In article <ceejCI1...@netcom.com>, C J Silverio <ce...@netcom.com> wrote:
>> Some fast computer networky thing in the walls,
>> outlets in all rooms. Suitable for Mac plug-n-play.
>
>With a small computer room where all the boxes can go. So the actual
>bit you use is just a screen and keyboard, or even a Newton A4 pad,
>connected to the real crunch which is hidden away out of sight.

I'm beginning to think it may be impossible, but high-speed wireless
would be one step towards the dream system. If the real mips/gigs have
to be bulky and blocky and have those DAMN cooling fans in them, at
least let me curl up with the interface in bed or on the desk or in the
kitchen or wherever. By the time a high-speed low-power
touch-sensitive high-impact washable solar or ambient AC charging
foldable colour display pad is something I can afford, I think it may
have the wherewithal to make a noisy space heater in a closet somewhere
unnecessary. But I'm not making any bets.

I called the above "the" dream system, because while it is much on my
mind, I'm not sure it's *my* dream. I'm uncomfortably uncertain that I
didn't let someone dream it for me. I think of the newspad in 2001,
and how dull and useless it seems now in my memory. Will the
information appliance of the future be used for anything more pointful
than what amounts to television?

On the other hand. I can imagine reading a stirring novel in
wire-sharp black and white with vivid colour illustrations, and wanting
to thumb back and forth through it, and just *seething* with
irritation. I don't *want* to stroke the page in various directions,
or tap on a scroll bar. Scroll bars have always pissed me off - why
the hell do people use them? I don't want to *describe*, in words *or*
gestures, what I want to do. I want to *do* it.

Which brings me, courtesy of a discussion of trends in integrated
circuit densities (how may transistors in a pentium? a super sparc? how
many in a 6502? how much chip space is 64k of dram, at the densities
16meg SIMMs use?) to my choice for the information technology of the
future: smart paper. It *knows* you're scribbling equations on it,
and an unclosed parenthesis or an ambiguous index variable stands out
at a curious, questioning angle. If your chain of reasoning gets to
be too much and it follows numbly without understanding, be patient, or
lay a few of them together, they can team up and make enough sense of
it to make themselves useful. A notepad is formidably clever, but
woefully ignorant, and gets taken apart as fast as it becomes informed,
regressing to a stack, a sheaf, back to the womb, a mere sheet.

High on a bookcase, mystic and massive, discursive and discomfiting,
learned and wise, the grimoire knows there is much yet to discover, and
confers with books on either side, whispering to those on other
shelves, feeding the currents of cross-reference and cataloging flowing
through the library..

The information technology of the future will be powerful and
convenient, a compliant instrument at our fingertips. It will be
far better informed and wiser than we are, and if you believe that...

Paul Vader

unread,
Dec 16, 1993, 10:06:39 AM12/16/93
to
sma...@turing.toronto.edu (Marc Moorcroft) writes:
>I'm beginning to think it may be impossible, but high-speed wireless
>would be one step towards the dream system. If the real mips/gigs have
>far better informed and wiser than we are, and if you believe that...
Think spread spectrum. Drop a note to Arlan or Telxon, and they'll set you
up with a nice system for about 5 grand. If you only have a couple stations,
the bandwidth is MORE than adequate. One of my real life projects is setting
up a wireless network in our half million square foot warehouse. I can walk
around anywhere in the place with an 8 ounce handheld terminal, and log into
either mainframes or our Unix server. 30 or so other people can be doing the
same, and end up with about 9600bps each, or more if not too many people are
trying to transmit at once. It works much like ethernet.

No Nubus or PCMCIA radio cards yet, but they're supposed to be delivering the
latter Real Soon Now. *

--
* PV I have no comment.

Message has been deleted
Message has been deleted
Message has been deleted

Gary Heston

unread,
Dec 16, 1993, 12:25:34 PM12/16/93
to
In article <2en66f$7...@reznor.larc.nasa.gov> klu...@grissom.larc.nasa.gov (Scott Dorsey) writes:
>In article <ceejCI1...@netcom.com> ce...@netcom.com (C J Silverio) writes:

>> NO FORMICA.

>Have you looked at the Dupont stuff. I want to say Cor-Ten.... it's
>rather soft, but pleasant to work on, and hard to damage. [ ... ]

Corian. Cultured marble (marble powder mixed with resin. Looks nice,
easy to work with, costs almost as much as real marble.

Go with granite; about the same price as Corian, will not get damaged
stained, or worn out, and you don't have to look for a pastry board.

>I really want is one of the 25,000 BTU 8" gas rings that they use in
>Chinese restaurants, but I don't have the space in the existing kitchen.

Don't forget to vent it.

>>I'll never have money to do this, not even if GM succeeds
>>beyond my wildest dreams.

>You're right. You can get closer if you do all the work yourself, though,


>and start by modifying an existing structure.

It would also help if she'd get out of California, and go someplace
with lower costs and fewer regulations.

Weihnachtsfrosch

unread,
Dec 16, 1993, 12:41:46 PM12/16/93
to
In article <2eq1l6$6...@reznor.larc.nasa.gov>,
Scott Dorsey <klu...@grissom.larc.nasa.gov> wrote:

>Just more crap to produce more EMI to cause more problems with cheap unshielded
>consumer electronics.


While in general I support the principle that any electronic communications
device within reach of a wall socket should be plugged into it, I'd like to
interrupt this rant to point out that *if* you have to do this kind of thing,
CDMA is obviously the smart way to do it.

Low coherence, low spectral density, low susceptibility to interference from
other devices, low potential for interfering with other devices.

If I say any more, they'll have to kill all of me. You'd be amazed at what
is still classified information.

This Radio Geek Minute has been brought to you by the Society of Frustrated
Non-hams. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled Bob Vila wannabes.

jkc

Weihnachtsfrosch

unread,
Dec 16, 1993, 12:58:20 PM12/16/93
to
In article <ceejCI1...@netcom.com>, C J Silverio <ce...@netcom.com> wrote:

>I've been thinking about livable homes recently. I've been
>thinking about how unlivable the standard US mass-produced
>tract-ish house is. Specifically, I've been thinking about
>how unlivable the house I rent is. Architects have clearly
>given cheap fast construction a higher priority than usability.
>They must die. Or worse: be forced to live in one of their
>horrible creations.

required reading for non-believers in modern architecture:

_Form_Follows_Fiasco_. available, I'm sure, in any reasonably
stocked university or large public library. Author's name escapes
me at the moment.

friendly advice: read this book, master the concepts, and then keep
the whole thing to yourself. This is not the kind of book that makes
for light-hearted banter with architecture buffs.

jkc (whose wife the architectural historian does not concur)

Weihnachtsfrosch

unread,
Dec 16, 1993, 1:17:00 PM12/16/93
to
In article <2epu90$5...@reznor.larc.nasa.gov>,
Scott Dorsey <klu...@grissom.larc.nasa.gov> wrote:

>With modern sheetrock, they could punch right through it. You should
>see what houses are like in Florida. We're talking 1/4" sheetrock walls.
>That's quarter-inch. Not one-inch plaster or half-inch sheetrock. We
>are talking about studs that are only an inch wide, and roofs that are
>asphalt tile laid over particle board. Not plywood, which is cheesy
>enough, but particle board.

Hold on. Are you talking about 1" *finished* studs? 1x4s?

And keep in mind that a solid roof is not necessarily standard equipment
on the American house. In my neighborhood in Seattle, the houses with
solid rooves (usually flat composition rooves) are the tenement dwellings.
The aesthetically desirable homes have simply cedar shakes laid over slats.

And most of the homes I've seen, even the well-built ones, have 3/8"
sheetrock, not 1/2". For one thing, half-inch sheetrock is *heavy*.
Ever carried a couple of half-inch panels on your back?

I don't mean to come to the defense of cheesy builders here. In some markets
(here in Northern Virginia, for example) it's *impossible* to buy a well-
built home. In some markets (Seattle, for example) you can buy good houses,
but you have to *pay* for them. In some markets (Indiana), most of the houses
are pretty good.

I have some friends who live in a $300,000 house out in Herndon in which
the *floor joists* aren't even nailed in.

jkc


Weihnachtsfrosch

unread,
Dec 16, 1993, 1:26:26 PM12/16/93
to
In article <2ep3cj$p...@cs.umb.edu>,

Kevin W. McAuley <stu...@eris.cs.umb.edu> wrote:

>my ideal house would be built underground or , if i wanted a view,
>which i don't, i build it into the side if a mountain or a hill.

These are somewhat popular in Indiana. About a mile from where my parents
live up there, there's a guy who built the house above ground level, then
buried it.

He's a fool in other ways too.

Then there's Bill Gates, who bought and ravaged a couple of acres of prime
Seattle Eastside lakefront to build an underground house.

Draw your own conclusions.

jkc


Phil Stone

unread,
Dec 16, 1993, 1:47:00 PM12/16/93
to
Is this a bizarre thread? No. Is schmoozing about one of life's
basic concerns, with some of the most intelligent people on the net
[except for that killfile hit in there...Chebbin, was that you?]
a valid use of t.b bandwidth? Answer: Mu.

Karen and I just closed on a house yesterday, so I feel obliged to
add my blather to this nesting discussion. What we bought in no
way resembles the fine dreams spun here, but I think it's going to
work - we have a basic ranch house with enough room for us, the
two kids, and my disabled mom - who will move in after the New Year.

I never liked ranches, until I thought about wheelchairs. Now, I
am very happy to have a one-story house.

We have a garage. This is my first requirement in a house, as my
motorcycle needs a bedroom every bit as much as I do.

But we have a VIEW. A deck with a VIEW. A breakfast bar with a
VIEW. I can contemplate the slow flush of green creeping over the
thirty-mile-distant hills of Napa, and watch turgid oil tankers
violate the narrow waters of the Carquinez Strait. I shall have to
put much energy into maintaining the slow-motion landslide to which
this house (like most Californian hill dwellings) is glued, but I'm
confident that I can improve the drainage enough to prevent any
sudden changes of address.

Crockett, USA, is out of the main light-pollution belt of the Bay
Area (it's also out of the main sequence of history, but let's not
get into that just now), so I intend to spend many nights on the
back deck staring into deep space through decent optics.

We move in on New Year's Eve. Rather, we will spend Dec. 31st ripping
out the cursed wall-to-wall carpeting. Pray for our hidden hardwood.


Phil (three bedrooms, eighty million acres)

Message has been deleted
Message has been deleted

Mark-Jason Dominus

unread,
Dec 16, 1993, 2:35:57 PM12/16/93
to

In article <ceejCI1...@netcom.com> ce...@netcom.com (C J Silverio) writes:
> I've seen two answers to this question. Lance's
> brother Tony found a Frank Lloyd Wright design which

My Great Uncle Robert lived in a Wright house for a while. It had no
electric wall outlets; they marred the simplicity of the design. The
ceilings were ten feet high and the walls were nine feet high; at the
top of each wall was a one-foot gap. When people fucked at one end of
the house you could hear them at the other end.

Now they live on Connecticut Avenue. Much more sensible.

Le Corbusier had the right idea: A house is a machine, not a work of art.
Architects shouldn't be artists; they should be industrial designers.
--

--
If you never did, / you should. / These things are fun / and fun is good.
Mark-Jason Dominus m...@central.cis.upenn.edu

Gerald Oskoboiny

unread,
Dec 16, 1993, 3:38:10 PM12/16/93
to
ce...@netcom.com (C J Silverio) writes:

>If you were going to build your own house, what would
>you do?

Funny you should ask. Last night, I went to bed around 2:00 am, but I
didn't fall asleep until after 6:00, mainly because I was thinking
about my Dream Home.

Ok, so it's not really a house, but I was going to post about it
anyway, and this seems like a good occasion.

What I want, is a loft-type thing, preferably located in the middle of
everything, like downtown Toronto or something. I'll buy it totally
unfinished, hopefully with a bare cement floor and walls. I would
move in immediately and probably spend a couple years fixing it up.

I don't know what's considered a "loft": what I have in mind is
something with a sizable open area (~2000 square feet?) with a 20
foot ceiling plus a raised area for some largish bedrooms. Below the
bedrooms could be the kitchen, eating facilities and storage space.

Everything will be black. Painting the walls black seems a little
severe, maybe I could use some of that cheesey fibre-wall stuff if
it's not too expensive. With the right lighting, the blackness would
be really qool.

One of the first things I would buy is a nice snooker table. A bed
isn't important. A LOUD stereo would turn the 2000 square feet area
into a wicked party place.

I figured out a way to protect the pool table from being sat-upon by
party-goers: I would make a plywood cover for it with about a million
nails sticking up around the edges. I suppose that could be a bit
nasty if a fight broke out nearby and someone decided to use the table
as a weapon. Messy blood everywhere. But the table would be safe.

I want to be able to control everything in my house through spoken
commands. (Sorry, CJ et al.) I want to be able to say "computer,
I'm roasting" and have it turn the heat down.

I want to control every appliance in the house from anywhere in the
house. I will put microphones everywhere, then for each command the
computer decides which mike has the best signal, then parses and
executes the command.

I want feedback from the computer to be either spoken or superimposed
on one of the TV screens as text or graphics. The computer has to have
net.access, and I want to be able to call up any document available on
Internet.

``How does Webster's define `verisimilitude' ?''

``Show me the current satellite photo of North America.''

``Does the Boulder public library have Madonna's _Sex_?''
(Yes, 9 copies, 2 checked out, 1 missing... Markian?)

``What's the weather going to be like tomorrow in Montreal?''

``I would like to read Alice in Wonderland.''

You get the drill.

I will also be able to control everything through a touch-tone phone
call or e-mail. All household devices will be finger(1)-able. I want
50 million people to know the last time my toilet was flushed. I want
to be able to program my VCR from South Africa.

Ack. Stop me before I gnee again.

I won't even start about the twisting stairway/slide or the trapeze.

Gerald

C J Silverio

unread,
Dec 16, 1993, 2:59:34 PM12/16/93
to
---

ga...@sci34hub.sci.com (Gary Heston) writes:
|In article <2en66f$7...@reznor.larc.nasa.gov> klu...@grissom.larc.nasa.gov (Scott Dorsey) writes:
|>In article <ceejCI1...@netcom.com> ce...@netcom.com (C J Silverio) writes:
|>>I'll never have money to do this, not even if GM succeeds
|>>beyond my wildest dreams.
|>You're right. You can get closer if you do all the work yourself, though,
|>and start by modifying an existing structure.
|It would also help if she'd get out of California, and go someplace
|with lower costs and fewer regulations.

And less employment... though that may not matter if GM
succeeds beyond my wildest dreams. If it succeeds normally,
I'll still have to work. Or one of us will. If it fails,
no-op.

I hate the Silicon Valley. Every time we visit Lance's
brother in Nevada City (in CA, in the Sierra foothills, gold
country), I drool in envy over more than just the house.

---
c j silverio
trapped computer geek

Weihnachtsfrosch

unread,
Dec 16, 1993, 5:37:10 PM12/16/93
to
In article <2eqc15$a...@reznor.larc.nasa.gov>,
Scott Dorsey <klu...@grissom.larc.nasa.gov> wrote:

>This, incidentally, is why I don't live in Florida. And my 2x4s really
>are 2" by 4". It really freaked out the guys who came to install the
>gas lines in the house.

When I used to put up steel warehouses, the panels were shipped in from Ohio
on 2"x4" unfinished oak skids. Made great firewood, but you sure as hell
couldn't have built anything with them. Where do you buy you lumber, anyway?

>This is not good. Having been through four hurricanes plus a number of
>smaller storms, I don't think I'd like to live under such a thing. Then
>again, I was utter hell on the roofers when they put mine up...

I've laid (and patched) a few asphalt rooves myself. I would never have
considered a shake roof until I got out to Bellevue and realized that
the kind of roof I really would have wanted (and would have built myself)
would have looked like hell next to the rest of the stuff in the
neighborhood.

Not that I would recommend such a thing for *your* neighborhood. In Seattle
the primary hazards are mudslides and falling trees. (There's a brief fire
risk most years around the Fourth of July.) A mudslide isn't going to hurt
your roof; your house will merrily slide down the hill, mostly intact.

If a tree takes out your roof, you fix the frame, put on another $2K shake
roof. (Actually we've had a couple of earthquakes in my time in B'vue.
Nothing to worry about in a wood frame house.)

> (sometimes as much as two inches).

You are a crazy man.

>>I have some friends who live in a $300,000 house out in Herndon in which
>>the *floor joists* aren't even nailed in.

>Are they suing the builder?

Naah. Par for the course in western Fairfax.
Besides, he's too busy rebuilding espresso machines and carburetors.

jkc

Weihnachtsfrosch

unread,
Dec 16, 1993, 5:42:24 PM12/16/93
to
In article <2eqcs7$a...@reznor.larc.nasa.gov>,
Scott Dorsey <klu...@grissom.larc.nasa.gov> wrote:

>Did I mention that I paid less for my house than the closing costs would
>have been, had the house been in the bay area?

Yes. Did I mention that my house has appreciated 100% since I bought it
seven years ago?

jkc (there's more where that came from)

Patrick Tufts

unread,
Dec 16, 1993, 4:58:34 PM12/16/93
to
I had the good fortune to see a genuine Bay Area house being built. I
was visiting relatives out in ... Danvers? Danville? ... near Walnut
Creek. Their neighborhood consisted of 1/4 or possibly even 1/8 acre
lots whose houses had fractionally smaller footprints; each surrounded
by a two foot wide swath of vibrant green grass.

I got to look at the houses that were under construction. From
thirty feet away the studs were visibly out of plumb*.

A house your grandchildren could live in? These were designed to last
for the five year long migratory yuppie nesting phase, and no more.

And the probably sold for $300,000+

--Pat

An orbitally delivered pre-fab WIDE LOAD ranch house to the first
person who follows up with "IHNJH, IJLS the studs were visibly out of
plumb".

Patrick Tufts

unread,
Dec 16, 1993, 5:14:51 PM12/16/93
to
c...@universe.digex.net (Weihnachtsfrosch) writes:
[....]

>Then there's Bill Gates, who bought and ravaged a couple of acres of prime
>Seattle Eastside lakefront to build an underground house.

Even better than that, the three lots had ~$1M homes on them at the time.

--Pat

Weihnachtsfrosch

unread,
Dec 17, 1993, 10:29:36 AM12/17/93
to
In article <zippy.7...@cs.brandeis.edu>,

Patrick Tufts <zi...@cs.brandeis.edu> wrote:
>A house your grandchildren could live in? These were designed to last
>for the five year long migratory yuppie nesting phase, and no more.

That's OK, because the MTTIH* of Northern California is down to about
that much now.

And Contra Costa is due.

jkc (was in the aerospace industry for too long)

* Mean Time To Incineratory Holocaust

Frunze Academy II The Sequel

unread,
Dec 17, 1993, 10:12:37 AM12/17/93
to
klu...@grissom.larc.nasa.gov (Scott Dorsey) writes:
>I knew something was wrong when I went looking at houses and the front
>doorknob came off in my hand.

Is it just me, or...

Matt
"Not tonight, honey, I've got a clogged drain."
Brown

AjD

unread,
Dec 17, 1993, 1:21:02 PM12/17/93
to
In article <CI2wx...@rice.edu> and...@math.rice.edu (Andrew Solberg) writes:
>In article <ceejCI1...@netcom.com> ce...@netcom.com (C J Silverio) writes:
>>Fripperies:

>> Some fast computer networky thing in the walls,
>> outlets in all rooms. Suitable for Mac plug-n-play.
>> Electrical wiring DONE RIGHT for once. Properly grounded
>> outlets everywhere.
>
>Do it yourself, then. I've yet to find an electric man who does his job
>exactly right.

Hire relatives. Quality work is guaranteed, unless somebody wants
to start a family war.

I figure i could build an entire house, excepting only excavation and
bricklaying, using the resources and expertise of my relatives.

One's a certified electrician, one's a cert. carpenter, one's a
plumber. My father's side of the family has been operating a lumber
mill for close to a century; i suppose i could reserve any good
hardwood that comes through (and it does, occasionally) for the flooring.
There are no carpet installers in the family, but who cares, right?
Occasional trips to Istanbul should help provide all the floor
coverings i'll need, since we're fantasizing anyway.

Since we're fantasizing anyway, i'd use one of the designs that
a friend has been working on in his research on passive solar use.
And site it somewhere in mid New Hampshire. On top of a mountain
or one of the larger hills. Build a wind farm.

AjD
quality living starts
north of the 40th parallel
--
a...@oit.itd.umich.edu
INSIST FOR THIS LABEL TO AVOID IMMITATION BUY FROM REPUTED DEALERS ONLY.

Gary Heston

unread,
Dec 17, 1993, 1:35:33 PM12/17/93
to
In article <2eqcs7$a...@reznor.larc.nasa.gov> klu...@grissom.larc.nasa.gov (Scott Dorsey) writes:

>In article <1993Dec16....@sci34hub.sci.com> ga...@sci34hub.sci.com (Gary Heston) writes:

>>>You're right. You can get closer if you do all the work yourself, though,
>>>and start by modifying an existing structure.

>>It would also help if she'd get out of California, and go someplace
>>with lower costs and fewer regulations.

>Did I mention that I paid less for my house than the closing costs would


>have been, had the house been in the bay area?

I think you did, right before I mentioned that my first house cost $15,000,
and the second cost $35,000. Both on lots about 56'x120'.

With natural gas heat, but no other major benefits.

(And the first one is *paid for*.)

AjD

unread,
Dec 17, 1993, 3:46:00 PM12/17/93
to
In article <gerald.7...@amisk.cs.ualberta.ca>
ger...@amisk.cs.ualberta.ca writes:
>I will also be able to control everything through a touch-tone phone
>call or e-mail. All household devices will be finger(1)-able. I want
>50 million people to know the last time my toilet was flushed. I want
>to be able to program my VCR from South Africa.

i want to hack Gerald's future home and flush
the toilet repeatedly while he is showering.

AjD
childish fun
is sometimes
the best kind

Paul Vader

unread,
Dec 17, 1993, 3:46:16 PM12/17/93
to
klu...@grissom.larc.nasa.gov (Scott Dorsey) writes:
>Just more crap to produce more EMI to cause more problems with cheap unshielded
>consumer electronics.
True, but spread has a LOT less problems like that than narrowband. At least
if it isn't frequency hopping spread, which is actually worse. Cheap technology
torturing cheap technology. *

Ben Thompson

unread,
Dec 17, 1993, 7:06:10 PM12/17/93
to
In article <1993Dec15.1...@sci34hub.sci.com>,

Gary Heston <ga...@sci34hub.sci.com> wrote:
>>If you were going to build your own house, what would
>>you do?

>Then, I'd want a nice limestone hill to dig into, that had a good
>strategic command of the surrounding area.
>
>And some mining equipment to dig it into the hill.

Then turn the mining equipment into a furnace when you
were done?

BENth


Tim Pierce

unread,
Dec 18, 1993, 10:14:34 AM12/18/93
to
In article <gerald.7...@amisk.cs.ualberta.ca>,
Gerald Oskoboiny <ger...@amisk.cs.ualberta.ca> wrote:

>I want to be able to control everything in my house through spoken
>commands. (Sorry, CJ et al.) I want to be able to say "computer,
>I'm roasting" and have it turn the heat down.

I want to be able to say, "computer, I'm basting" and have it slather
me in oil.

--
____ Tim Pierce / Richard got married to a figure skater /
\ / twpi...@unix.amherst.edu / and he bought her a dishwasher and a
\/ (BITnet: TWPIERCE@AMHERST) / coffee perkulator.

joshua geller

unread,
Dec 18, 1993, 9:32:13 AM12/18/93
to

In article <2eq98i$e...@universe.digex.net> c...@universe.digex.net

> Draw your own conclusions.

well, in chebbin's case I think he is just seeking his natural level.

josh


Paul Vader

unread,
Dec 18, 1993, 11:52:26 AM12/18/93
to
twpi...@unix.amherst.edu (Tim Pierce) writes:
>I want to be able to say, "computer, I'm basting" and have it slather
>me in oil.
Boiling, preferably. *

Blair P. Houghton

unread,
Dec 18, 1993, 3:11:39 PM12/18/93
to
In article <2et5q8$g...@terminator.rs.itd.umich.edu> a...@oit.itd.umich.edu (AjD) writes:
>In article <gerald.7...@amisk.cs.ualberta.ca>
>ger...@amisk.cs.ualberta.ca writes:
>>I want 50 million people to know the last time my toilet was flushed.
>
>i want to hack Gerald's future home and flush
>the toilet repeatedly while he is showering.

Metaphors for the '90s:

"...drawing in colored chalk on the information sidewalk..."
"...parking an aging but well cared-for opinion in the information garage..."
"...flipping off an asshole who cut me off at the information on-ramp..."
"...gang-banging wit' my boardies in the information 'hood..."
"...snaking out the information drain..."
"...refinancing the information loan..."
"...catching some rays at the information beach..."
"...dumping Gore...downloading at the porcelain router...off-line posting..."

--Blair
"...would you look at the
megabits on that one..."

Message has been deleted

Tom Hopkins

unread,
Dec 18, 1993, 7:24:23 PM12/18/93
to
In article <2ev6oq$g...@amhux3.amherst.edu>, twpi...@unix.amherst.edu (Tim Pierce) writes:
> I want to be able to say, "computer, I'm basting" and have it slather
> me in oil.

But really now, isn't it far more healthy to simmer in your own juices?

-Tom Hopkins

C J Silverio

unread,
Dec 14, 1993, 1:28:56 PM12/14/93
to
---

If you were going to build your own house, what would
you do?

I've seen two answers to this question. Lance's

brother Tony found a Frank Lloyd Wright design which

had never been built in Wright's lifetime, had an
architect modify it for his location, and is building
it himself. He should be done in a couple of years,
sooner if the wine market is good. I drool whenever
I see it.

Lance's parents had a 25-year house-building project.
They built a hexagonal concrete house. Six pillars,
crooked like knees, bend in to a central shaft. The
roof is vermiculite concrete; it swoops between the
pillars. The house was designed pre-Lance: there are
only three bedrooms (one for each of Lance's older
siblings). By the time they finished, Lance had moved
out to go to college. It is a 50s artifact, impossible
to heat and unabashedly eccentric.

If you were going to build your own house, what would

you do? Design it yourself (with an architect's aid)?
Borrow a classic design? What would you put in it?

---
c j silverio

Gary Heston

unread,
Dec 18, 1993, 11:35:13 PM12/18/93
to
>ce...@netcom.com (C J Silverio) writes:

>>If you were going to build your own house, what would
>>you do?

>Everything will be black. Painting the walls black seems a little


>severe, maybe I could use some of that cheesey fibre-wall stuff if
>it's not too expensive. With the right lighting, the blackness would
>be really qool.

Get some of the spun-fiber sound absorbing material used in theatres;
that way, you can have texture from the rectangles of it mounted on
the concrete walls, and much better acoustics.

>One of the first things I would buy is a nice snooker table. A bed
>isn't important. A LOUD stereo would turn the 2000 square feet area
>into a wicked party place.

Yes, you'll need decent acoustics.

>I won't even start about the twisting stairway/slide or the trapeze.

Build a spiral staircase from plexiglass or lexan, lighted from the
center column (so the light is introduced into the end of the tread.
If you do this right, they're nearly invisible at most angles, and you
can only see the one you're standing on. Or so I've been told.

Gary Heston

unread,
Dec 19, 1993, 12:01:17 AM12/19/93
to
In article <2ethhi$1...@nwfocus.wa.com> be...@halcyon.com (Ben Thompson) writes:
>In article <1993Dec15.1...@sci34hub.sci.com>,
>Gary Heston <ga...@sci34hub.sci.com> wrote:
[ somewhere back there, cj said: ]

>>>If you were going to build your own house, what would
>>>you do?

>>Then, I'd want a nice limestone hill to dig into, that had a good
>>strategic command of the surrounding area.
>
>>And some mining equipment to dig it into the hill.

>Then turn the mining equipment into a furnace when you
>were done?

Oh, I think I'd just keep it going, and put a nice tunnel system
underneath the entire property, with maybe a few carefully plotted
exits a few miles away.

What to do with all that limestone would be a problem, though.

Peter J. Bruinsma

unread,
Dec 19, 1993, 3:24:10 PM12/19/93
to
In article <2ethhi$1...@nwfocus.wa.com>, Ben Thompson <be...@halcyon.com> wrote:
>In article <1993Dec15.1...@sci34hub.sci.com>,
>Gary Heston <ga...@sci34hub.sci.com> wrote:
>>>If you were going to build your own house, what would
>>>you do?
>
>>Then, I'd want a nice limestone hill to dig into, that had a good
>>strategic command of the surrounding area.
>>
>>And some mining equipment to dig it into the hill.
>

Subtractive architecture rules! (That includes underground designs).
My ideal cliff dwelling has ballroom size rooms and windows as high as the
walls. The windowsills should be at least 7' deep, shaped like a regular
trapezoid with the base on the inside to miximize incoming light. The
windows are shut from the inside by glass 'doors'. No need for a deck.
lots of activity is possible on the windowsills.

There should be extensive use of water, preferably from a natural source
with a flow-rate made constant. A few small canals in the floor, through
the walls, etc. will water the indoor herb gardens. Also, there will be
some massive marine aquaria, all interconnected, with one very big
cylindrical one in the main entrance hall (which should also be cylindrical).

There will be a live video of my goat grazing on top of the cliff.
(No happiness without feta).

The shower will have water coming out of the *ceiling* with a flowrate
equalling that of a small size waterfall (for rinsing, i.e.).

The library will be about twice as big as other rooms. In the middle will
be a *huge* very redundantly solid wooden table, perhaps 32' by 11' or so.
The floor will be covered with hardwood and many many oriental-style rugs.
Only two walls will have books. The other wall will have an entrance with
on both sides large aquaria as walls, and the other side a window the width
and height of the library. A table and chair will have been added by
subtraction right on the windowsill.

Lighting is provided by direct light through the windows, optically
channeled light from outside sources, and at night with uhm, what do
you call those things that hang off walls in old castles? Those.
They should have fluidic sensors (air being the liquid) that ignite
them upon my approach. OK, ok. Maybe I'll wear one of those miner's
helmets with a light on it :).

Anyway, this is my dream house. The house I will end up building is
probably more french/spanish colonialist style gutted on the inside,
with a copper roof and *lots* of glass.

Peter.

Redundancy is beauty.

andrew cooke

unread,
Dec 19, 1993, 4:19:12 PM12/19/93
to
would you really be happy living there? it sounds
beautiful, cold + lonely. could you sit in that opulence
and watch a news report from the third world?

this isn't criticism - i don't see how living on the street
would help (directly...) feed someone half way across the
world (and can't explain how astronomy helps, either) - just
curiousity....

andrew

Tom Hopkins

unread,
Dec 19, 1993, 9:35:37 PM12/19/93
to
In article <1993Dec19.0...@sci34hub.sci.com>,
ga...@sci34hub.sci.com (Gary Heston) writes:
> In article <2ethhi$1...@nwfocus.wa.com> be...@halcyon.com (Ben Thompson) writes:
> >In article <1993Dec15.1...@sci34hub.sci.com>,
> >Gary Heston <ga...@sci34hub.sci.com> wrote:
> >>And some mining equipment to dig it into the hill.
>
> >Then turn the mining equipment into a furnace when you
> >were done?
>
> Oh, I think I'd just keep it going, and put a nice tunnel system
> underneath the entire property, with maybe a few carefully plotted
> exits a few miles away.

You must be planning on using one of those newer gas or diesel shovels,
even though a steam shovel could dig an entire basment before the sun
goes down, especially if the whole town comes out to watch. Yes sir,
none of those newer gas or diesel powered shovels could make the
basement walls so nice and square.

> What to do with all that limestone would be a problem, though.

Hunt down all the fossilized remains you can find, and place them up on
all the walls. Then, when you kill people and hang up their bones,
neighbors coming to visit won't be quite so shocked at your hobbies.
Although, some of them might be impressed at the quality of your
specimens.

-Tom Hopkins

Peter J. Bruinsma

unread,
Dec 20, 1993, 1:37:44 AM12/20/93
to
In article <1993Dec19.2...@infodev.cam.ac.uk>,

andrew cooke <aj...@mail.ast.cam.ac.uk> wrote:
> would you really be happy living there? it sounds
> beautiful, cold + lonely. could you sit in that opulence
> and watch a news report from the third world?
>
No way to tell. Of course, I am only talking about my dream house.
We'd have to start an entirely new thread to talk about what would make
me happy (although feta cheese, tomatoes and basil would be a big part
of it :)

Anyway, I've lived in the third world, in a country where the president
bought 200 brand new big black mercedeses because he had some guests
coming over. Sometimes, I spend the monthly salary of some people on a CD.
My 2Br apartment is opulent in third world terms. I can't have a goat
in my apartment. I don't own a TV. It's how things are.
Sometimes, things are the way they are for no reason whatsoever.

About beauty.
Beautiful is what you make it. Care and craftmanship, good design and
decent taste are rare in this consumerist spoon-fed-we-make-the-best
society. Go look at Europe, on the other hand.
OK, you need a little money, but if you can afford to buy a $100k sorry
excuse for a *house* you could also build a pretty decent dwelling.



> this isn't criticism - i don't see how living on the street
> would help (directly...) feed someone half way across the
> world (and can't explain how astronomy helps, either) - just
> curiousity....
>
> andrew
>

Hey, criticism is ok. As is curiosity.

Peter.

And my new sig will be, as of today right now (for no reason whatsoever?)
+------------------------------------------------------------+
| Some things are the way they are for no reason whatsoever. |
+------------------------------------------------------------+

Blair P. Houghton

unread,
Dec 20, 1993, 3:07:27 AM12/20/93
to
In article <1993Dec19.0...@sci34hub.sci.com> ga...@sci34hub.sci.com (Gary Heston) writes:
>In article <gerald.7...@amisk.cs.ualberta.ca> ger...@amisk.cs.ualberta.ca writes:
>>maybe I could use some of that cheesey fibre-wall stuff if
>>it's not too expensive.
>
>Get some of the spun-fiber sound absorbing material used in theatres;
>that way, you can have texture from the rectangles of it mounted on
>the concrete walls, and much better acoustics.

Use cotton candy. That way, when you get the munchies,
which you no doubt will, you resinating heathen, you can
just climb the walls.

>Build a spiral staircase from plexiglass or lexan, lighted from the
>center column (so the light is introduced into the end of the tread.
>If you do this right, they're nearly invisible at most angles, and you
>can only see the one you're standing on. Or so I've been told.

This is what causes the glowing in my eyes.

Fiber optics snake around my head to enter my spine
at the fifth cervical; it itches like mad when I
drive on the highway, but the visibility I get in
fog is incredible.

--Blair
"Better X through Y."

Johnathan Vail

unread,
Dec 21, 1993, 10:26:47 AM12/21/93
to

Flying buttresses, Gargoyles and a dungeon to cry for.

and a two car garage.

L.H....@lut.ac.uk

unread,
Dec 15, 1993, 6:16:34 PM12/15/93
to
In article <2en66f$7...@reznor.larc.nasa.gov> klu...@grissom.larc.nasa.gov (Scott Dorsey) writes:
>
>Stone is fine, but real stone is a pain to lay.

We know that. We've seen 'Basic Instinct' and 'Total Recall.'

L.

John F. Woods

unread,
Dec 25, 1993, 12:22:19 PM12/25/93
to
In <ceejCI1...@netcom.com> ce...@netcom.com (C J Silverio) writes:
>If you were going to build your own house, what would
>you do?

Bury chevyn in the foundation.

John F. Woods

unread,
Dec 25, 1993, 1:10:19 PM12/25/93
to
In <2eq1l6$6...@reznor.larc.nasa.gov> klu...@grissom.larc.nasa.gov (Scott Dorsey) writes:
>In article <2epthv$9...@Mercury.mcs.com> p...@notwerk.mcs.com (Paul Vader) writes:
>>Think spread spectrum. Drop a note to Arlan or Telxon, and they'll set you
>>up with a nice system for about 5 grand. If you only have a couple stations,
>>the bandwidth is MORE than adequate. One of my real life projects is setting
>>up a wireless network in our half million square foot warehouse. I can walk

>Just more crap to produce more EMI to cause more problems with cheap unshielded
>consumer electronics.
>And yes, I _hate_ touch lamps with a passion. Even more than cheap lighting
>dimmers.

Nonsense, Scott. I *love* touch lamps. They are so satisfying when I
smite them with my 25-pound sledgehammer!

By the way, won't those 14.xMHz RFI bulbs be great when they become popular?
With a few dollars worth of DF equipment, you can determine what time your
neighbors go to bed!

L.H....@lut.ac.uk

unread,
Dec 25, 1993, 6:59:28 PM12/25/93
to

Why not? He's denser than concrete, thicker than two short planks, and below
any spiritual level I can think of.

L.

Orc

unread,
Dec 28, 1993, 8:37:11 AM12/28/93
to
In article <ceejCI1...@netcom.com>, C J Silverio <ce...@netcom.com> wrote:
>---
>If you were going to build your own house, what would
>you do?

1) 10' ceilings
2) 3' thick walls.
3) lots of windows.
4) Ethernet.
5) computer closet.

Yes, I'm a geek. The computer closet is the most sedate part of
it; I could rant for hours about the appropriate arrangement of the
kitchen and listening room, and all of the insulation for the
stereo system that I will most likely never be able to afford, or
the cabinets and wiring for the kitchen appliances that I will also
never be able to afford.

The house would, however, have a narrow-gauge railway running
through every room, so that I and my lover, after we've succeeded
in converting ourselves into perfect spheres with arms and legs,
will be able to roll aboard the 5:10 express to the computer room
so we can read the evening nooz, and then catch the 9:40 express to
the bedroom where we can enjoy attempting the perversion of the week.

And the railroad would make it so much easier to run power and
net to every room - we'd just bring in a backhoe and dig trenches
along the right-of-way for the cables. I suppose we'd have to
write off hardwood floors, though, since it's somewhat hard to dig
trenches in oak.

____
david parsons \bi/ hopefully it would drive architects to suicide.
\/

L.H....@lut.ac.uk

unread,
Dec 28, 1993, 8:55:46 PM12/28/93
to
In article <CIqz6...@pell.com> o...@pell.com (Orc) writes:
>In article <ceejCI1...@netcom.com>, C J Silverio <ce...@netcom.com> wrote:
>>---
>>If you were going to build your own house, what would
>>you do?
>
> 1) 10' ceilings
> 2) 3' thick walls.
> 3) lots of windows.
> 4) Ethernet.
> 5) computer closet.
>
I'd add a roof, electricity, plumbing and doors to that list.

L.

ooo...@hotmail.com

unread,
Jan 6, 2005, 4:40:49 PM1/6/05
to

You might check
http://www.ScienceOxygen.com/design77.html

It does not sell any house design tool there.
But it is with a collection of links about house
design so that you might start from there...

ooo...@hotmail.com

unread,
Jan 6, 2005, 4:42:51 PM1/6/05
to
Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages