A home made bike generator

Bicycle Powered Generator

Pretty cool.  It would be even cooler if there was a design that would let you pedal while working.  Power the batteries that run the notebook while I use it.

9/13/08: I just read this page again and this would be so cool.  No household should be without one!

Ordered Punch! Architectural Series 4000 Version 10

I’ll be downloading for a few more hours, 3 about 700 mb files.  I hope it’s worth the $200 and it is a bit irritating to have to pay another $6.99 for the user manual AND $10.95 for shipping.

The Amazon reviews definitely indicate that it’s NOT a program professionals want to use.

But I didn’t find anything better and hope it will do the job for my purposes.  Since I don’t need plans for the building department (unless I get the permit in 2007) I’m hopeful.

Update 9/14/08:

I’ve had some serious problems with their marketing/support and really can’t recommend them.  But I also don’t have other software to recommend.

Strawbuilt off the the grid monastery in New Mexico

The Monastery of Christ in the Desert has some interesting pages on construction with straw bales at the off the grid monastery in the Chama Canyon wilderness in northwestern New Mexico.


They have a guest house and two dependent monasteries in Mexico: La Soledad, near San Miguel de Allende, and St. Mary and All the Saints, in Xalapa.  I’d love to stay for a month or two in Mexico.  But as always, no dogs are allowed.

Building with vigas

Have yet to figure out how you keep them in place, but here’s a nice page with pics:

The Utility Building

“This page describes the process of constructing our utility building. It will house the batteries for our solar / wind power system. It is also serving as the prototype for the processes, materials, and techniques we think we will be using to build the house.”

The rest of the site, very cool!


They’re off the grid up in the high desert, but South.  Don’t I wish I had 40 acres.

Update 9/13/08:

The links don’t work anymore.  Have to search on a slow day …