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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Shipping Container Homes, College for the price of a phone plan, Hay Bale Gardens

Bruce’s Poor Man Survival Bulletin

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

For Independent Minded People!

ISSN 2161-5543

In This Issue:

1.       College for the price of a phone plan

2.      Convert a shipping container into a house

3.      Amazingly cool hacks

4.      Hay bale gardens

5.      Why I don’t like (most) children-Parting Thought

“We cannot expect the Americans to jump from capitalism to Communism, but
we can assist their elected leaders in giving Americans small doses of
socialism until they suddenly awake to find they have Communism.”

Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev

The average student loan debt for a graduate is $25,000...yet most can’t find work!

The ongoing recession has many laid-off and underemployed workers considering getting another degree or new training in another field. But the continually increasing cost of tuition, combined with financial responsibilities in an already strained economic climate, has many wondering if they can afford to make the investment. Even first-time college students may be reconsidering whether it really is worth it to take out such a high debt load when faced with such bleak job prospects upon graduation.

Online education has become an option for many of these students, offering the flexibility to continue working. But many online programs cost as much, if not more, than many private colleges and universities. At least one college promises the best of both worlds: the convenience of online education without the hefty price tag of a four-year degree. Now we’ll get into the StraighterLine Review.

$99 a Month

StraighterLine offers online courses for college credit for an enrollment fee of $99 per month. Each course that you sign up for then costs $39. Over a typical six-month semester term, tuition is lower than at most other colleges or universities. However, students who in enroll in courses with Straighter Line have the option to accelerate their learning by taking the courses on their own time line. Students can, therefore, take as many classes as they like and complete them as quickly as they.

If you have fewer classes to take, there are other payment options, including longer-term college courses for $399, or an entire freshman-year curriculum for $999

Get rid of slugs in your garden by sprinkling with fresh chopped garlic around the areas that find slugs.

PM’s Compendium of Useful Resources

Did You Know?

- You can cut dead wood for free on some public lands, and although the BLM often charges $10 per cord, you can sell some types of firewood for up to $300 per cord.

Smarter People Finder

Penetrate the invisible web, the vast repository of content not easily accessible to the every day user, to find people at:

If you do not have a Kindle reader, it costs nothing to get the software for viewing these books on your computer. You can do that here:

Amazingly cool hacks, mods and projects…lots of how to.  Be sure to visit the section on non-automotive uses for Bondo (most guys will know this wonder substance) at:

These guys will also pay you to submit your own projects. Sign up to get their newsletter.

How to Convert Shipping Containers Into a House

Another low-cost, even off-grid housing project…
Building a home with shipping containers, also known as cargotecture, is an affordable, eco-friendly and novel approach to home building. Shipping containers are widely used to ship almost every product imaginable around the world. New and used shipping containers can be purchased for between $750 and $2000 from
brokers and builders online and shipped right to your lot. Transforming your shipping container into living space is easier than ever before with entire architectural design firms and builders dedicated to the art of cargotecture.

Read more:
How to Convert Shipping Containers Into a House |   Or watch a short video from HDTV here:


Got a fax machine or printer or ice cream maker gathering dust? Rent them out for a few extra bucks!
Share Some Sugar joins other sites enabling folks to earn extra cash by renting out everything from driveway parking space to unused bedrooms.


Working at home can reduce the miles you put on your car (doh!), and some insurance companies reduce their rates accordingly. (Good on ye, boys.) State Farm, for example, offers reduced rates for low-mileage drivers. For more, see this ABC 7 / San Francisco story here.

Hay Bale Gardens
If the cost of construction supplies won't leave much room in your budget for important gardening supplies like seeds and plants, consider using a hay bale garden instead.  Read the related Gardening on a Dime article too.

Treat cuts with water, not hydrogen peroxide which can damage healthy tissue.  Rinse with water first, then clean the surrounding area with mild soap.

The Nanny State Updates…

Even Higher Power Costs Coming Soon - for everyone

Those burdensome regulations Washington is so fond of will force many coal plants to shut down by 2018...the changes being mandated to meet new environmental standards will prove too expensive for coal plants which produce up to 54,000 MW of additional power to shut their doors.  Industry experts hope 20,000 MW of natural gas facilities will start operating this year, with another 28,000 for 2013...the problem is, those industries face more regulation too and of course, ultimately, it will cost consumers more.

Hitting the US Self Destruct Button

For the entire year of 2011, our trade deficit with China hit a grand total of about 295.5 billion dollars. In 2011, our trade deficit with China was more than 49,000 times larger than it was back in 1985.

That was the largest trade deficit that one country has had with another country in the history of the world.

The Parting Thought – Throw ‘em overboard!

I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t enjoy children anymore.  When I was a road warrior in the late 80s and 90s, I flew somewhere every week.  My fellow business passengers would moan each time a family with kids got on board.  We knew it would not be a peaceful flight.

Last March my wife and I tried to celebrate our wedding anniversary at a nice restaurant about 8pm on a Sunday night.  The evening was ruined due to a screaming tot in the next booth.  The darn kid should have been in bed, not out in public at that hour.  Isn’t this why they have Chuck E Cheese restaurants?

A friend of mine managed a busy thrift store and he shared horror stories of mom’s who let their kids run ragged throughout the store, smashing the toy section and bothering other customers.  He had to call the police on one occasion when a mother refused to control her children and refused to leave the store when asked to by the manager.

Between heightened, kid-startling TSA security, and a growing screaming baby-phobia amongst passengers, parents are in the crosshairs. If kids are more revved up and anxious by the time they get on a flight, childless passengers are less tolerant and more ticked-off. In 2010, a mom claimed her son was assaulted by a passenger because he wouldn't stop kicking the seat in front of him. In 2011, a Virgin Atlantic flight attendant stuck a 1-year old in an overhead storage compartment as a bizarre joke that other passengers found hysterical. The parents weren't laughing.

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but when I was a kid, “all my mother had to do was give us the LOOK and we knew to behave.”  Not so today.  Fewer parents seem able or willing to control their little monsters; perhaps it’s all of those sugary drinks they feed them?

“Until the next revolution”, the Poor Man

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MinimalistGroup said...

Sure agree with your thoughts about kids today and I think many Americans will be forced to live in shipping containers, dumpsters, under a tree and more as not much changed between Bush and Obama.

Serge said...

With the rising costs of housing materials these days, it isn't a surprise at all on how more and more people now opt to use shipping containers for their home.