Once again, Jim smacks one outa the park

Big shout out to Jim, my brother(in-law, who really takes care of me and my family by helping with this sort of thing, and man, I couldn’t have done it without you).


As seen recently, the doghouse without sheathing:



Now sheathed with a window installed. And check out the front area below, where the newly arriving front door (this will get its own post next week or something) will fit, and those WINDOWS that ARE installed.


Jim raises the fist of power at 4 completely installed windows.

And then, with the cringe sensor in the back of my head, I feel him going, “ah fuck man, god damn, that’s crooked man, and you need to a quarter this way toward the street,” but, being exceptionally kind and cool headed in the face of my cavalier installs, Jim, actually says nothing, just takes up his tools and bangs in the next window perfectly, so much so that it kind of pulls my crooked one into place.


11 Windows installed today. Next up, window trim. Mmmm,mmm boy!

Seriously, thank you Jim, and Sharon, who fearlessly helped these two moody boys install windows all day plus forced gatoraide and lunch and so on.

Oh, and a word of caution, I mean, dang, workin’ on the roof with a circ saw-no-guard-on-it, wearing canvas chucks, that’d be downright treacherous if I wasn’t SO HIGH already. Don’t attempt riding a motorcycle, operate power drills and saws and fool around on ladders if you are on drugs. This combination is a sure recipe for pain. See below.

Somehow during this process today, no idea how, I managed to loose I dunno 22% of my right index fingernail. Jim was like, “Sal, man, you’re bleeding all over everything. and I’m like, “huh?” The crunched up segment of nail pulled right out of the nailbed when I yanked on it. Some paper towel and duck tape and boom, I’m back to pounding hammer nails instead of finger nails. Pretty fun. I thought those of you who remember my Whiskey Row Marathon experience with the loss of both big toenails, well, I just thought you curious, thoughtful folk might enjoy a peek at my poor finger. Owee:



Thank you everyone. I may have a 4 mm spot on my liver, but I feel ok, except completely wasted tired and chemo-ed and all that cancer stuff that’s so sensational it requires the application of many percocet to manage effectively. Anyhow, the point is, I can’t believe it, after thinking about this stuff for 30 years or so, I’m finally, with a lotta help from a lotta friends and a lotta complete strangers, i’m finally privileged to build a house for my wife and me and our kid. Besides, I got nothing better to do, really, and I feel so lucky to still be alive and able to take part in this thing. Thank you, all of you for without you, this wouldn’t be possible.

Some Progress, a photo essay


can you just take one more step back, then I can get you all in the picture. Is that trash can somehow symbolic, cancerman, care to comment? CM: Just sawdust in there, scraps and like that. Nothing to be concerned about.


Jim, check out your outriggers, man, wow! and thank you; I been frightened of those things for weeks.


We keep them on the roof to like, uh, dry out, you know, and then, well, they kind of become sort of like sawdust and then, you know. That yellow trash can. Got it?


Yes, that is a body rolled up in a tarp.


the Doghouse. 1st dibs goes to LlllLaughter. :-)


Big tiny awaits windows and door


Cannot wait to hang out on that porch with a guitar and my old chair and so on.


IMG_1674 There she is. Dang.


View of upstairs loft, scrap ply in place to protect beautiful pine floor that Josh built. Big thank you, Josh!

In the Doghouse with merely a flesh wound.

Hi Everyone,

Thank you all for helping me. Every time I install a component in the tiny house, I’m touched by the feeling of awe by just how many people were involved in the manufacture, financing and shipping to put this piece of house in my hands and helped me understand how to get the part in place. This includes all of you. Thank you!

We’re making progress. The dormer is almost finished:


My brotherinlaw, Jim, he’s helped me enormously in figuring out how to deal with this particular piece of the building. We are almost done sheathing this part, and then it’s on to roofing and and and and and.

There have been many other people who have helped a great deal on this job, and in particular, I’d like to give a shout out to Joe and Rick (on the right):


Joe, construction man extraordinaire, gave me many, many tips, one of which may have saved me a broken arm. And he simplified the construction of the roof so that things went much faster. Truly, a skillful, clever dude!

Likewise, Rick, another expert builder, provided me with many small pieces of advice which added up to huge savings in time, effort and frustration. It’s really, been such a relief to have these two guys, who really know what they’re doing, to like, just be able to call and ask about something and get a good answer.

Also, one day, Howard dropped by to monkey around a bit, which helped a ton to keep my spirits up on a tough chaotic day when I was dragging:


Current health update- it’s merely a flesh wound, sir!


Thanks everyone! I’m a go tend mah leaig.

Serious progress on the tiny house!

Thank you all for helping with money, hammering, planning and most of all just saying, “Hey, that’s kinda cool.” Feels good to hear that. Anyhow, without you, this house would not have been possible, and Sharon and I hope you know how grateful we feel towards all of you, which is bunches and bunches.

Here’s me on the roof celebrating the installation of the front wall of the dormer.

in the doghouse!

My brother in law, Jim, his expertise made this progress today really take off. This is the last big structural piece of framing that’s going in. I hope to complete this dormer tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

Then when the metal roofing which should be here any day now, that can be installed, windows, exterior trim and siding AND poof, the outside of the building is complete!


Again, keep watching, and goodness, this is fun!


My old pal Stillclock connected me with my new pal, Michael, master electrician, who drove down from freaking Michigan to wire our house.

Here he is doing his thing-



People continue to amaze me with their kindness and generosity.

Thank you, everyone, for without you, this wouldn’t have been possible.

Two Rare Birds

Hey there, everyone. Thank YOU all! You’re the best! And with your help, our house is becoming a reality. Thank you so much, your generosity gives Canceman, Sharon and Sophia a ton more security and frees up money so that maybe, maybe, maybe, we’ll be able to pay our own med bills without having to ask mom again this year, which at 54 years old, well, Cancerman sez, “you sure we really need that weed, percocet and chemo? Sheeeeeeit! We do, don’t we? I do anyway.” Tangent over. Thank YOU everyone! You’re helping me shelter these two and your willingness to do so touches me deeply. Thank you.


The day after the trailer came.

After a week of work, moving the trailer, rounding up materials and organizing them, leveling the trailer and installing the nailer around the perimeter, insulation and subfloor-

IMG_1520 IMG_1527

At the end of the day today, this fourth wall was completed, tacked into place, and the whole building trued, plumb, straight n square. Some serious planning from Mark, Mike, and Josh made this fitment come together as close to perfect as I’ve ever seen any structure go up. Well done, all!


IMG_1528 IMG_1395

Jasper, 9, this year, he demanded his own pair of readers to suit his need to examine the plan measurements closely (tiny print).



Tomorrow, securing the walls in place, in square in all relevant planes, and nailing down them Simpson strong ties, I been trying to make friends with them all week. Yikes. But. I got a plan!

Sheath that front wall, and get rolling on the loft, that’s the plan for tomorrow. Salute us, for we are about to rock!

A Wall

Thank you everyone!

Today, a wall went up. These kids constructed the wall and then fit it into place.


Somebody asked me, a few months ago, “Are you sure you want to have a bunch of high school kids build your house?” implying perhaps that the kids wouldn’t be up to the job. And I said, “Hmm, maybe, you don’t know _these_ kids.” Ta-da!

Thanks everyone, especially our student volunteers. You people are the best!

Tiny House Building has Begun

Thank you, everyone, without you, this wouldn’t have been possible.

The trailer came 2 weeks ago.

We had to move it once to get to the build site. This proved somewhat tricky since the driveway was a little steep. But with Jim and Tracy and Todd and a nice passerby guy helping, we got the thing in and back out of storage and to the build site.

Yesterday I took the day off. And the build started without me. Just as I planned, since I thought I’d surely be dead by now. But somehow, I’m still alive! Anyhow, After Sunday’s work moving the trailer and lining up several last minute details and shopping trips at Home Depot (who gave us a _pro_ deal, thank you, Home Depot!), and tool gathering and whole bunch of other stuff, I was too beat to show up for opening day yesterday. Physically, it was the right call, but mentally, I think it was tough on me and the team. They spent the day sorting and moving lumber and other materials and prepping the trailer. The team did a great job getting the build started. I spent the day in bed.

Today, I finally made it to the build site almost an hour late. Tomorrow, I must be early. I don’t know how that will be possible. I started eating a cycle of chemo today. No idea what chemo will be like this time when I’m working at something involving labor for the first time in more than 2 years, since I’ve been sick. I hope that I can still walk at the end of the week.

The storage pod came. Interesting device to get it off the back of the truck into place-


Wish us luck. It’s really happening. Photos soon. Many were shot today, but none by me.

We installed insulation-



And at the end of the day, we had the deck nailed down over the fluff, ready to start building UP^.


Thank you, everyone, without you, this wouldn’t have been possible.


Hi Everyone,

Thank you all for helping me along. Dina, thank you for pointing out the fact that I ought to update about the tiny house project.

First of all, Indiegogo transferred your donations to my bank account. Thank you all. I am humbled and astonished by your generosity. You raised about 22 thousand bucks. I bought the trailer from Tumbleweed sometime during the weeks that followed the payout and have placed the remaining funds by way of savings account.

I am now in contact with Tumbleweed to establish a delivery date and delivery address. A friend has offered her driveway as a temporary parking spot and initial foundation construction location. I hope to take delivery of the trailer and put the subfloor, insulation and foundation framing in place during the last week of May and first week of June.

Mark (THANK YOU, Mark!) is acting as construction crew foreman for the house raising party we have planned for the framing, exterior walls, roofing, windows and doors. This work party is planned for the week of June 8th.

We plan to purchase new materials for portion of the build outlined above (this will probably eat up most of the remaining funds). Beyond these materials, we will be considering only items that add conspicuous delicious outrageous beauty, value and convenience to the house. Thusly, we do not yet know what we will need beyond this small plan, only that these needs will be minimal and will be met by inexpensive elegant solutions.

Here’s an example of something like that, a painting we bought from STL painter, Scott Smith, specifically for the tiny house. The painting is about the size of a paperback book:



Thank you, everyone! You guys are awesome! Please do continue to read on for further updates.


Health- I am deep in the chemo hole. Today the sun seems directly overhead, a nice change. Blood marker seems normal as of last reading, no further testing planned until next month. Everything hurts and everything seems to take way too much time and energy. Welcome to my world. :-) I’m going to go play fetch with the dog now. Bye!

Never Too Rich

You can never be too rich or too thin, right? That’s what they say, I think.

unFitness For Life (tm), The Body By Cancer Program

unFitness For Life ™, The Body By Cancer Program

Just imagine, you do no exercise. Zero minutes per day. In the photo above, which I shot two days ago, I’ve done not a single crunch or chin-up or sit-up or other focussed exercise in over a decade. Simplest weight loss plan ever. ANYONE can follow this program! You too can have six pack abs.

All you gotta do is catch cancer, take chemo and not have access to weed.

Weed is expensive, it sucks having to ask friends to commit crimes for me, dealers tend to be somewhat sketchy, cops tend to bust you for smoking weed, moms are afraid of you, and it’s not a panacea since well, as long as you’re using it to eat, hitting that bong 24/7 that is, you’re gonna be HIGH 24/7, and that makes doing stuff like driving, talking rationally, reading, etc… pretty much impossible. (On the other hand, Bevis and Butthead becomes awesomely entertaining, so there is that.) And weed fucks with messes up your sleep patterns and memory and cognitive function. Stoned all the time, yep, it’z living the dream, in dreamland.

I’m down from my normal 155 to 139 at last weigh in. That’s 5 months of losses in a row. At about 90 pounds, I think I can pretty much count on dying from some organ failure or other, so at this rate of loss, I’ve got about a year, assuming cancer or chemo doesn’t kill me first.

You can never be too skinny or too rich, right?