The raccoon ceiling, now to be known as the squirrel ceiling, has been removed, almost. It was filled with mix of rotting black walnuts, old insulation, and straw bedding which the squirrel must have squirreled away. The squirrel did sort of jump down and towards my DS32, but luckily I was near the door, so my terror felt was minimal. Unfortunately, taking down the first ceiling layer revealed the fact that the conservatory is actually an addition in front of an original addition, so there is another layer to be removed after I investigate whether the joists in between have any structural use whatsoever. There is no access to this tiny "attic" from the main attic, so maybe I will find some treasure hidden there. According to "A Pattern Language"- Pattern 204: Secret Place
Unfortunately, it seems that there is now an active firebug targeting vacant buildings in the city. So, I added a couple more warning signs and a corner full of flowering plants on the front porch to my defensive perimeter. Basically, there are 3 forces at work which together constitute the timer I have running against me on this project; the criminal element, the code enforcement element, and the natural elements. Obviously, I could choose to make use of more money to power and speed up my own forces. Instead, I seem more inclined towards at least two potentially infinite regresses; self-reliance and quality. I reference the following from "ERE" :Make a place in the house, perhaps only a few feet square, which is kept locked and secret; a place which is virtually impossible to discover- until you have been shown where it is; a place where the archives of the house, or other more potent secrets, might be kept.
Of course, even with materials there can be an almost infinite regress, because, for instance, is lumber purchased in familiar forms a "product" or a "material." I observe on other journal that some individuals have the knowledge/skill/muscle/vigor necessary to hew lumber to familiar form making use of only simple tools. In "Retrosuburbia", trees that are removed from property are rendered into boards towards building house through use of a portable sawmill. I strongly believe that my estimate of my knowledge/skills as inadequate to any of these endeavors is accurate. However, that leaves open the general question of which of the tasks that run the gamut from being my own general contractor, renovation architect, electrician... down to seriously poor excuse for a general laborer, I will choose to take on. There is a level on which I would enjoy going as Primitive Technology as possible on this project, but my current skills just are not up for it given reality of the three elements in force against me at the boundaries of space and time.When buying products, you're paying for time, materials, and knowledge. You probably have plenty of time (you read this far), materials (especially when bought in bulk) are shockingly inexpensive, and often the knowledge required to do a job is overestimated.
Then, there is also the question of quality or even philosophy made manifest applied to process. For instance, Pattern 104: Site Repair, which states:
I think this must also apply to doing renovations in rundown neighborhoods and decaying cities rather than the opposite, so I give myself a Gold Star for fulfillment of this pattern! Since there are around 100 patterns in this book combining human psychology with building standards that are somewhat relevant to my project, and I also purchased access to archives of Fine Homebuilding, this could be another potential for infinite regress. For instance, I absolutely agree with the patterns that suggest that a window seat in front of windows that open wide at a level that a person can easily reach down and touch something growing in the garden would be quite wonderful. Why should I not have such in my home?Buildings must always be built on those parts of the land which are in the worst condition, not the best.