Sunday, April 29, 2007

Potty House Pics

We'll see how this works; I'm a bit uncertain because my blog "help" page illustrates a nice tool bar, with 5 choices on it; but when I open the thing, MY toolbar only has 2 thingies. Unnerving. One of them, however, IS the photo menu.

So - here is the THWASPCO seen from the south, as you walk to the door-

Most of the siding, and all the windows, are salvaged. The siding came from an old rural railroad station- one of the nasty chores waiting; I'm pretty sure that peeling paint is lead based. The windows came from our local middle school, when they put in thermopane.

Here it is seen from the north; on the lower side of the hill. You can see the block and rock work; and the pit doors, which I've never opened in 20 odd years. Looking up through the windows, you can also see the originally clear fiberglas roof. It's now seriously weathered; and supporting quite a lot of algae in the cracks. Not enough to worry about just yet, but it's obviously going to have to be replaced.

This is a view from inside looking out. It faces a wooded hillside, with essentially zero human traffic. Nervous folks can ask for a curtain, if necessary, but few do- it's just not likely.

The top is frame construction; the 2x4's though are actually 2" by 4" - cut with a chainsaw from oak or red elm, both very durable woods. The floor is white oak; originally cut with the chainsaw, but then milled into tongue and groove flooring, so it would seal moisture and bugs out. Cherry seats were just planed and ship-lapped, since the wood is very stable.

Hm. It looks like my attempt to get text and pics together is not entirely successful. I've tried to fix it a couple ways, without much luck; I'll try a different layout next time-


Anonymous said...

It worked! Nice potty house. What happens if some one is sick / in there for a long time and it's the middle of the winter and it's freezing? Just suck it up?

Greenpa said...

Yeah, we'll have to get into that! It does have 3 holes, so that's one possibility; the others are not hermetically sealed or anything. It's not really heated in the winter; just by the sun- so everyone has a good motive to move quickly anyway; not much lollygagging.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on now being an illustrated blog. Perhaps a diagram of the engineered aspects here would be nice. I like the ecology of the unit, but I think you would have a hard sell getting 99% of the US population to return to the outhouse experience. I'll make one for my small place, it' only me, and it's the tropics so no winter freezing my a** off. Man. I hate the cold, hate heating, hate frostbite, that whole scene. If you have only one life to live, why spend so much of it shivering?

Crunchy Chicken said...

Wow. We are both having poop oriented posts this weekend!

Your potty house looks rather spacious and light. Are those piles of magazines I see? Perhaps just in case there's a little bit of lollygagging :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pics. Very interesting design and functionality. Keep up the posts!

Anonymous said...

Greetings Little Blog Readers from the Spice!
I've read this blog, but avoided commenting on it, because it is my husband's project.
Anyway I'm responding to the comment from Anonymous about being sick or freezing. . .
I was pregnant in the winter, delivered Smidgen in Feburary. I had to troop out to the potty house on average of 10 times a day in January. It can be done, and it wasn't all that bad. In fact it kept me in better shape for labor!

Greenpa said...

Yes, Crunchy, those are magazines. There ARE times when it's quite comfy there, and lollygagging may occur. We also use the magazines as thermal mass- they're mostly National Geographics, and Science. Can't throw those out, and there's not really room for years of them in the house- so. They absorb heat during the day, give it up at night, and have interesting stuff in them to boot.

There's one theory that suggests the sea level is rising mostly because of all the old National Geographics. No one throws them away- the total tonnage is slowly sinking North America, and forcing the sea level up.

min hus said...

Ok, here's the bit that has been bothering me about this whole thing, what if everyone left our cities and towns and went to live on some land in the woods (is there even enough land to go around like that?!)? What if we all started heating with wood? Wouldn't we just be in a slightly different version of the same bad situation?

I'm not knocking your efforts; just can't help wondering.

Greenpa said...

Candice- you're right, that wouldn't work. I don't even vaguely advocate such a thing. If you look at my "about me", it even says; "not opposed to people living in cities..." I'm well aware that there are plenty of "back to the landers" who think the whole world should live that way- I'm not one of them.

The Cities we will have with us always- barring truly horrific catastrophes, like, say, a bird flu that kills 70% of those infected- boy, we really do not want that.

The point to THIS blog is that much of what we've learned here IS applicable to living in cities- where folks also MUST control themselves a little if we are all to survive. I started out here with "turn off your fridge" - which is vastly easier to do in a city than the country- and I've been doing it in the country for 30 years. The Potty House thread is because there have been requests for "the whole picture"- and because now there are people like No Impact Man trying to do low tech poop composting IN the city- much more work and more difficult than what we do. I think the THWASPCO might be a viable option in less dense suburbs- likely not in real cities. BUT- some of the principles here might be made to work in the city.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for this post! I have to admit that I skim some of the "trying to make us think" posts because I'm already there, I've already thought, and I'm trying to do something about it. We recently moved to four desert acres in the southwest and are trying to become more self sufficient. I treasure advice and ideas from someone like you who has been doing it for 30 years, I like hearing about what has worked and what hasn't. Even given that we live in very different climates, that voice of experience is invaluable.

Isle Dance said...

Okay...I'm maneuvering around and finding my way the images! I say: Sell those plans online!