Monthly archives: February 2011

recycling for the apocalypse: the bottle fence

My first thought when I saw this photo could be visualized in the form of a very large black exclamation point. Then, returning to the English language, I thought: well, shit, why didn’t I think of that?
The picture arrived in an e-mail from blogger Nim of Nimcraft: Geekcrafting and Ueberdorking, who said: “This is nothing new to the world, but I pounded bottles into the ground to form flowerbed-esque borders and also to line walkways.” New or not, I was impressed, and rushed off to Click Clack Gorilla in my recycling for the apocalypse superhero cape [...]

and the joke’s on me

Erm. What was that I just said about being able to smell spring in the air? Touche, weather patterns, touche.

Just Wednesday I took this picture of my tulips, heralds of spring:

And now they are covered in snow. Does anyone know anything about tulips? As my ill-timed end-of-winter layering landed me with yet another cold, will this cold spell break the spirit of my lovely dumpster-dived tulips?

soup season: the grand finale

Yesterday evening I cooked what is likely to be the last wood stove-top soup of the season. The tulip heads in the garden are over an inch tall, and though the weather has taken a decided turn for the crisp, I can smell spring in the air.
In the last couple of years I’ve gotten out of the habit of cooking a lot—laziness, plus a realization of how good I feel when I eat a lot of fresh salads and raw vegetables, plus the fact that the Beard is an amazing (and frequent) cook having staid my enthusiasm—but when I [...]

dumpster find of the week: pharaoh, pharaoh

“A Cairo teenager found a priceless statue of Pharaoh Akhenaton near a garbage bin after it was stolen from the Egyptian Museum during anti-regime protests, Egypt’s antiquities chief said Thursday,” reported an article on last week.
Dumpster find of the week indeed! (And many thanks and high fives to the reader who e-mailed me a link to the article.) Upon taking the statue home, the un-named teenager’s uncle recognized it and returned it to, according to the article, “the authorities,” by which I hope they meant “the museum.” (And Harrison Ford’s stubborn Indiana Jones voice echoes [...]

slaying dragons, colds

From my bed I watch a tiny brown bird dropping its beak again and again into the white plastic container that has filled with water, and now ice. The sky is gray, has been gray for weeks, threatening, but never delivering on the promise. One of my housemates walks past rubbing the sleep out of his eyes on the way to the bathroom wagon, and a blackbird lands heavily on the narrow end of the white bin, scaring the small brown bird into flight.
The log I’ve just dropped into the wood stove is crackling softly, and I drink [...]

recycling for the apocalypse: shower bed

Recycling for the apocalypse is something like recycling for mad scientists. It’s been called “upcycling” and it’s been called “extreme recycling,” but the punchline remains the same: reinventing items in unexpected ways otherwise destined for the trash. You’ve seen old kitchen bits turned into wood stove bits and old bike wheels turned into chandeliers. And today I present to you: the shower bed.
The house at the front of our Wagenplatz has a bathroom in it, but in my time here it has never been hooked up. Several weeks ago a few folks, tired of having to [...]

oh crap, my roof is leaking

To my horror, removing a bowl from a shelf the other day revealed stains on the light colored wood. Water stains. Oh crap. A leaky roof is one of my worst building nightmares.
But! Panicky though this discovery made me, I am already fairly certain as to the cause. You see, I never entirely finished battening down the roof onto the siding, and this corner is particularly exposed to the elements. (I know, I know. All the builders out there are shaking their heads and asking why I didn’t get this done last fall. [...]

fun facts for grammatically neurotic dumpster divers

Did you know that the word “dumpster” is technically supposed to be capitalized? Like “Kleenex,” “Styrofoam,” and “Xerox” before them, the mighty Dumpster is actually a patented product name.
I don’t bother capitalizing it here because sometimes I care more about consistency (in proofing) than in correctness and because I kind of feel like product names don’t really deserve capitals. Too bad the irritating red underline that lurks from the center of my spell checker doesn’t agree. But shhh, it hasn’t heard about the word “Dumpster” just yet.

dumpster find of the week: chocolate lovers eat your hearts out

This week’s delectable dumpster find comes from a Montreal dumpster diver with a side of hilarious. This is what Nokizaru had to say about his dumpster diving roots, and that time he turned a dumpster into his own office/fine foods distribution center…
“I’m from Brooklyn, NY and originally came to Montreal for school but dropped out and am currently studying permaculture design. I downloaded Evasion during my first year while cruising the internet for information relating to evasion, escape, and parkour. I didn’t think much about it, and it sat inside my computer for a while until I actually started [...]

this just in: news from the dumpster

Last week, a reader sent me a link to this article: ‘Theft by finding’: Woman who took potato waffles and pies thrown out by Tesco is handcuffed and charged with stealing.
If you don’t feel like reading the article, which I assume you won’t, I’ll paraphrase: A power outage led a Tesco branch in the UK to throw out a fucking ton of food. A 21-year-old woman took some of it. Police showed up at her door, handcuffed her, and hauled her off. For theft.
As you might recall from my recent post about dumpster legality, this is not [...]