125 REM John ( - no homepage - 2000-12-27 07:04:05

Hi, I have been thinking of building a straw house for some time. I just need the land and I am working on that. A close friend of mine built a 5000 sq. ft. home in Arizona . He had a misshap, I thought I would share with you.

His tractor bent the water pipe going into the house. He got out the tourch and started the repair. After about 20 minutes, he got it changed out. Later that day his wife noticed the smell of smoke, and sure enough it was comming out of the roof.

They called the fire department who got lost on the way but finally showed up. They cut a hole in the side of the house and pulled out the bales which were smouldering. As soon as the bales were exposed to the air they caught on fire.

The fire chief was so impressed the house wasn't burn't to the the ground, he said he would recommend straw bale to anyone. A normal house would have been burned to the ground . The damage was contained to the small area where the tourch had set it off.

For more info. on fire resistance click on buy books above, thanks, Robert.

ENERGY........(For More Info. on Electricity Deregulation click HERE.)

On Thursday of this week, the single greatest public policy mistake in California history the deregulation of electricity will become one of its greatest scandals, as Governor Gray Davis appears poised to capitulate to the state's three utility companies and order a massive multi-billion dollar ratepayer bailout.

Don't be fooled by the seeming modesty of the amount. The utility companies' greed-laden threats of bankruptcy over the holidays, coupled with a Wall Street ultimatum of a 20% increase, were intended to give Governor Davis political cover for a 10% increase.

But make no mistake about it: the amount, to be announced on Thursday by the Governor's Public Utilities Commission after a two week kangaroo-court style investigation, is just the first installment.

You don't have to be an economist to understand the formula: rates will rise slowly, but repeatedly, over the next five to ten years until residential and small business ratepayers pay around $10 billion to the utilities to cover the unexpected costs of the failure of the deregulation law they ram-rodded through the Legislature in 1996.

In the beginning, to allow consumers to become adjusted to their new debt, the increases will be relatively small like the teaser rates on a home mortgage. Thereafter, your utility bill will become a second mortgage, as you are forced to pay interest on a balance that might even grow, depending upon how greedy the utilities and other energy companies continue to be.