thingsido

A conglomerate of things I've been up to, dreamed up, or have created.


Why a blog? Because I'd like to share with you.

I learned to build Quinzhees when I was young and just love how easy, fun, and warm they are. I have had backwoods winter camping up North on my mind for awhile now (the appeal of no need to carry in a tent, no need to filter water, prospect of refrigeration :) ), so in an attempt to coax my girlfriend into joining me we decided to do a test run in the backyard. With a thermometer in there it turned out to be 55 degrees F with body heat :)

Here’s how to build a quinzhee, give it a try!

1) In the morning, make some snow angels to see how big to make the base. Then map out 2 boots around the outside for the thickness of the walls

2) Pile up snow in a pile to the desired height including space for ~6 inches thick for the ceiling. Optionally pile up snow for an entrance (longer, smaller, and windier the entrance the more hot air will be trapped in but the harder to tunnel)

3) Insert sticks to mark the optimal width for the walls to mark when to stop hollowing

4) Wait :) the sun will melt the snow and it will refreeze to harden the walls (a process called sintering)

5) Hollow it out. Make sure to dig up before digging straight forward. If you only dig directly forward the weight if the large amount of snow above will cause it to collapse

(Optionally) Make a dip in the entrance tunnel to trap cold air, make snow beds and a center trench between them to also trap cold air.

Empower yourself (get educated for free)

Liberate yourself from feeling dependent on money and teachers to gain knowledge  

a lot of people don’t fully realize the power we have in today’s world to easily get a full-formed education without money.  In part, I’ve learned to play music, to fix my home (plumbing, electrical, whatever), biology, upper-division math, and fluency in Spanish from the internet.  And I’ve only scratched the surface. 

If it’s knowledge you’re looking for (and not a piece of paper signed by a University), there are ample resources in our world for free-education, that are sometimes an even higher quality than what you receive in a University classroom

These resources can stand alone as independent study or can be used to supplement classes you are currently enrolled in:

                          http://thingsido.tumblr.com/pop-ed  

My brother gave me a call and asked if I might want multiple small rectangular pieces of glass.  I thought for awhile and remembered I had wanted a way to keep crickets in my room to sing at night.

Heck yes.

Built this aquarium with the pieces of glass, aquarium silicon, and pieces of gorilla tape to protect from sharp edges

The terrarium has various types of beetles mites, some pill bugs, microorganisms from the worm bin, and worms (no monoculturing).  Together they provide endless entertainment (I spend ~20 min lost watching their busy lives each day).  During the day, the crickets will talk back and forth to you as you’re chillin, reading a book. 

People from throughout the co-op flock to my room to listen to the crickets’ soothing songs at night

megan and charlie

—grinch

Helped my friend Megan record a Christmas EP for her family. Super fun  

We rigged her loop pedal to work as a sound board to record through an XLR right into her Mac

        Check out the full album at
 http://soundcloud.com/megan-mccrumb !!

Nap-time

Reposed in a hammock is undeniably the best place for a mid-day rest.  Hang it on one of the hooks when not in use and it takes up virtually no space.  Spread it out and this Venezuelan beauty holds up to 400lbs.  Also perfect for overnight guests.

Heck-rocking in a hammock has actually been shown to provide a more relaxing sleep and increase the ability to make new memories. Awwww

Primary: http://www.cell.com/current-biology/retrieve/pii/S0960982211005392  

Pop-science: http://www.kansasfirstnews.com/webmd/sleepdisorders/story/Hammocks-Help-You-Sleep/_hN-CH4wFUa0U4gB2URG4A.cspx

I’ll never pay for a haircut again
My brother and I have a set of razors we started using to cut one another’s hair 2 years ago after a 2.5 hour haircut at a stylist school resulted in only .5 inches being gingerly snipped of.  Now my brother cuts my hair everytime and I couldn’t be happier.  Free haircut, whenever I want, and exactly how I want it.  Best part is, you only get better at anything by doing, and so the haircut gets better each time. (mohawk optional)  

I’ll never pay for a haircut again

My brother and I have a set of razors we started using to cut one another’s hair 2 years ago after a 2.5 hour haircut at a stylist school resulted in only .5 inches being gingerly snipped of.  Now my brother cuts my hair everytime and I couldn’t be happier.  Free haircut, whenever I want, and exactly how I want it.  Best part is, you only get better at anything by doing, and so the haircut gets better each time. (mohawk optional)  

My brother and I took my first guitar, a Squire Telecaster, which I’ve had for almost 10 years and re-equip it with a mystery pick-up.

Re-wired and re-grounded the whole guitar and came out which a much more smooth, gruff tone than the excised twangy lipstick pick-up 

A comic my room-mate and I wrote on worm care

A comic my room-mate and I wrote on worm care

Worm bin!  Vermicomposting is amazing because it allows you to compost within your house without the smells and at a much higher rate of decomposition.


It’s still just blows me away that I can take the core of my apple or the nub of my romaine bushel and give it to my eager wormies and they can transform it into fertilizer and more soil to grow more apples and more lettuce. Whoa.


The whole bin is set at an angle, with a strong wooden support (because dirt is heavy) so that when I water the bin with distilled water, it collects through a screen in the front in a paint tray under the frame.


The orangish liquid that filters through into the tray is a fantastic, super-nitrogenous fertilizer.

More info?   www.wikihow.com/Make-Your-Own-Worm-Compost-System

                        www.wikihow.com/Make-Worm-Castings-Tea

This esteemed addition to my room sprouted from the simple observation:
that in every room I’ve ever been in, there is this un-utilized, couch shaped space where the ground meets the wall.

The facts that I hate moving large heavy furniture when I move and that my roommate and I seeked a more leisurely seating arrangement for more people combined with this observation, and the Ground Couch (c) was born.


We couldn’t be happier with our dynamic (bed, recliner for one, 4 people watching a movie), useful, lightweight, and right-out comfy revolution in furniture.