Granola Shotgun

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oldbeyond
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Granola Shotgun

Post by oldbeyond » Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:40 pm

Perhaps this is old news to a lot of people here but this is a gem of a blog: https://granolashotgun.com/

Basically it deals with the built environment and home economics during the long descent, with a lot of focus on practical ways to adapt to current systems, both physical and legal, both by the author himself as well as by his friends and neighbours. Also, there are lots of pictures ;)

halfmoon
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Re: Granola Shotgun

Post by halfmoon » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:22 pm

Great stuff and new to me. I particularly like this: https://granolashotgun.com/2017/07/25/p ... pocalypse/

Thanks for sharing!

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SavingWithBabies
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Re: Granola Shotgun

Post by SavingWithBabies » Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:11 am

The author did an interesting presentation on four properties he bought:

https://vimeo.com/153180790

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Granola Shotgun

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:44 am

I'm also a fan. I liked this article, quite EREy.

And this one, I'll bet 7 would like it.

oldbeyond
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Re: Granola Shotgun

Post by oldbeyond » Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:26 am

And here's some Alpha Strategy for you: https://granolashotgun.com/2017/02/23/a ... nt-page-1/

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SavingWithBabies
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Re: Granola Shotgun

Post by SavingWithBabies » Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:53 pm

I'm hooked. I've been reading it off and on when I have a chance. Quite a bit to ponder. I'm enjoying this post: The Springfield Strategy. The back and forth in the comments about the public schools is great and includes a link to It’s the Schools, Stupid! (Part I) written by the owner of the house featured in the blog post. And that house is so amazing...

Another great post is The Bitter Suite which delves into why the author of the blog decided to build an insulated "shed" with few amenities although looks amazing (it documents the building of the shed too). It touches on those DIY spray foam insulation kits I've always been curious about.

I've been pondering how to cut our housing costs. It's tempting to buy in my current location. However, it scares me. The prices are too high. One of the underlying threads in the blog is about how the current state of the USA is unsustainable. That we are on/near/somewhere close to the peak and the decline is coming. I identify with this and it has supported my personal feeling that now is a bad time to buy. The author in one post (don't remember which off hand), points out the house market is back up to the prices in 2006 before the collapse. If adjusted for inflation, not 100% of the way but 80%. There is a lot to mull over and the photography is top notch too.

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Riggerjack
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Re: Granola Shotgun

Post by Riggerjack » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:02 pm

Eh. His writing is fine, and I like the photos, but the relentless beating of the "suburbs equal death" drum is monotonous.

I get it. City folks are very proud of being city folks. Fine. I like it when people live as they want to. But the embrace of one lifestyle does not require the death of all others, no matter how common.

His reoccurring theme of somehow, we need to plan our cities so future architecture students will be inspired is... Uninspiring.

In the real world, we build what we want, confined by what we can afford, and what is allowed. If you don't like it, don't build it, or rent it, and do build/rent/buy what you like.

Though I do like his "adapt, because the system will break before it bends" take on central planners.

All in all, the fantasy of building walkable cities, is just a fantasy. All cities will follow the Detroit model, or the Flint model. Their sewage, properly processed, will kill the rivers, and coasts, wiping out fisheries, while at the same time, overflowing into drinking water reservoirs. All depending on publicly maintained pumps to keep them working. Couple this to cost disease and urban budgeting, and it gets very clear that Detroit is the Seattle/San Francisco/Houston of the near future.

Sure, suburbs may die, but cities will as well. Walkable, or not.

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BRUTE
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Re: Granola Shotgun

Post by BRUTE » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:37 pm

Riggerjack wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:02 pm
it gets very clear that Detroit is the Seattle/San Francisco/Houston of the near future.

Sure, suburbs may die, but cities will as well. Walkable, or not.
more or less walkable now?

7Wannabe5
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Re: Granola Shotgun

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:52 am

@Kreigsspiel: Yup, Detroit is now like unto the open frontier of yore. Hurry, hurry, stake your claim!

@Riggerjack: I don't disagree with you on general principle, but I would note that most of the problems in Detroit and Flint are due to rapid decrease in human population, magnified by even larger decrease in capital investment. In many ways, Detroit is now less of an environmental disaster than it was 40 or 50 years ago. For instance, the river is very much cleaner than in the 70s. The lead issue in Flint was due to human engineering error, in conjunction with decaying infrastructure, not increased resource use due to population pressure. Might be more the case these-a-days that Detroit is heading in the direction of Seattle than that Seattle is heading in the direction of Detroit. Gentrification is proceeding at a fairly rapid clip. The proportion of vagrant scum to yuppie scum wandering around downtown on any given Saturday night has completely flipped in just the last 5 years or so. One Lyft driver told me that she dropped off some European tourists at an AirBnB in a still borderline sketchy neighborhood, and they were so excited to be visiting the city, that the driver felt sort of amused and concerned for their safety at the same time.

As the previously auto-industry loaded cities emptied out in recent decades, the migration from family farms and rural outposts also continued. So, the only growing areas have been the outer ring suburbs. Therefore, nature has been reasserting its reign in the city and in areas deemed too far for commute to centers of employment. There are neighborhoods within 15 minute walk of highest building in city center that now look something like scrub-countryside of some impoverished county in Georgia on a summer day, and bears, coyote, fox, eagles and wolves have all increased their range greatly since my childhood.

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SavingWithBabies
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Re: Granola Shotgun

Post by SavingWithBabies » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:24 am

@Riggerjack I don't see it the same way. The underlying theme is that we have or are going to hit peak USA and economic growth is no longer going to be the same. In that context, he is looking at what housing areas are going to be the first to fall. His argument is that suburbia is often unsustainable economically. That much of it was built on the assumption that growth would continue. But if growth stops or goes negative, the issue is suburbia requires too much infrastructure per person. The roads are no cheaper per foot nor are the sewer lines or water pipes but the lower population density that still uses shared resources (city supplied -- unlike rural) makes the budget go negative.

No doubt there will be exceptions to this. Maybe it'll never hit some coastal/wealthy areas or it will take much longer.

However, I don't know the suburbs. My background is I grew up in the city (inner Chicago) but spent my whole summers on friends of family biodynamic farms in Wisconsin. So maybe I'm missing some of it. I also don't necessarily buy the peak USA thesis but it seems worth hedging against it.

Detroit is an interesting case -- I've been watching closely from afar. It definitely feels like it is coming back from the downtown outwards. It may never be what it once was but it is far from dead. Even with all of the economic issues and political scandals, it struggles forward and is living. It seems to be hard to kill the core of a city.

@7Wannabe5 If one wanted to move to Detroit (from not far away -- I'm renting in Saline now), how would you recommend getting a feel for the different areas? I don't want to dox myself but the school system I'm connected with is near Charlevoix St and Burns Ave. The school there is K-8 so we'd still have to figure out high school. Those old huge brick 5+ bedroom houses are amazing. I see sellers of fixed up 6 bedroom mansions asking $300k though and still not selling. Did all of those get scooped up and rehabbed? With ERE goals, I don't want to spend $300k but it is amazing what it can buy.

Interestingly though, that couple linked above who were homesteading in Detroit ended up selling and moving on. Apparently, it was taking too much time away from their artistic/work focus with gardening and/or AirBnB and/or ? My wife has said the same thing has happened with the childhood friends she had in Ann Arbor that moved to Detroit -- they stayed for a while and then ended up leaving. So I am cautious. However, we're in a different spot with kids and wanting to settle down so I am still mulling it over.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Granola Shotgun

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:10 am

@SavingWithBabies:

It's all a bit of a crap shoot, but in terms of what I think is more likely to be developed sooner rather than later, I would stick to within the boundaries of Davison, Livernois, Woodward and Mt. Elliot./Conant, with a good deal of dubious even within those bounds. IMO, the west side and many of the inner ring downriver and western suburbs are going to take a lot longer. I hate to have to say this, but a serious downside is that the schools are terrible, so you would probably have to either pay for private or join some sort of home-schooling co-op.

You might also want to consider the possibility of going even more rural. I raised my kids in a very inexpensive large old historic home in the realm another 20-30 minutes further out from Saline. Upside being that the little town was so safe I could let my kids wander pretty free. Downside being commute through deer country on two lane highway. Not much ethnic diversity in rural Michigan, but more socio-economic diversity than in the suburbs. The house next to mine was practically a shack, but another two doors down was a 3 story fully restored Victorian mansion inclusive of cupola. In 1992, I couldn't even afford a decent sized apartment in Ann Arbor, but I was able to purchase a 2850 sq. ft home with features such as original leaded glass French doors for $79,900. The property tax rate is also much lower in rural areas.

I am still bouncing back and forth between city mouse/country mouse, with decided opinion that the suburbs represent a very poor, over-priced compromise rather than the best of both worlds.

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Granola Shotgun

Post by Kriegsspiel » Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:29 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:52 am
@Kreigsspiel: Yup, Detroit is now like unto the open frontier of yore. Hurry, hurry, stake your claim!
I live here now. Still not sure if I want to stake a claim :lol:

Do you include Mexicantown and Corktown in the west side inner ring? I thought they were pretty cool.

What is the other realm you speak of?

7Wannabe5
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Re: Granola Shotgun

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:22 pm

@Kreigsspiel: Yeah, I did include Mexicantown and Corktown, or at least that was my intention. They are both a mix of rough and cool. The everything is $1 thrift store where I buy most of my clothes is in Mexicantown, and sometimes a date will buy me dinner at one of the new upscale restaurants in Corktown. The other realm is Lenawee county. Have I doxed myself now? Is there some kind of squad that will show up if I did?

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