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This Old Crack House

From log house to farmhouse. Farmhouse to townhouse. Townhouse to apartment house. Apartment house to crack house. Crack house to our house. Our house to our home.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Modern Technology versus Primitive Know-How

When I left school we were the last class to use slide rules. Electronic calculators were not permitted in exam rooms. I took technical drawing classes with a compass and a T-square. We used creosote to preserve wood and asbestos was not a dirty word. I never touched a computer until 1987 when I was handed a "top of the line" 40MB Zenith laptop to help sell life insurance with. Without a single computer class to my name and only the instruction manual, I was soon able to comprehend DOS. My current system was acquired used in 1995 and would be considered antiquated by today's standards. It does what I need it to do and I only have one computer game which I mastered years ago.
Well, the challenge is on again. In order to master this "Blogging" thing it seems that I have to develop a better understanding of HTML in order to make my page template evolve. It may take a short while but I WILL figure it out.
This brings me to my point, is modern technology really better? Our house was made before industry took off and is stronger and more solid than anything built today. As I work on it, I am often having to revert back to a "primitive fix" as opposed to using a modern equivalent. Examples include

  • Adding lime and sand to plaster mix to get more out of it and slow the drying time.
  • Use tinted shellac over painted wood for a natural look.
  • Mix linseed oil with sawdust to make a putty that will fill holes and gaps in floor boards.
Then I get hold of some old book that tells me that what I am doing is correct or just one of several methods used.
As a result of this wondering, I won't fill in our cisterns, I have just covered them up, I might need them some day. I plan to line all seven chimneys in case natural gas gets too dear and I need to use wood. I study bizarre things like the uses for rosin and how to make your own paint. That is when I realize that I had better teach my daughter that new technology is good, but you better know how to cope when the time comes.


At 3/10/2005 8:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

in 1995 i bought a top of the line computer for cad. i spent as much time keeping it running as i did working. in 98 i decided to by cheepo because it didnt seem to pay to get the good one. the cheepos have worked great! i guess once the tech is out at least a couple of months they have time to get it right. whenever i spend big dollars on components now its the monitor, they cant screw that up.

At 4/07/2008 2:04 PM, Blogger Larry said...

Hey Gary -

Really like this post.

Just so you know, I am starting to go back through my favorite house blogs and re-read them from the very begining. This time paying more attention and taking notes.

I notices what you said about linseed oil and sawdust. How does this work when you poly the wood floors?

correus @ yahoo.com


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