“When Changing A Light Bulb JustIsn’t Enough” An “Off The Shelf” Review

“When Changing A Light Bulb Just Isn’t Enough”                      An “Off The Shelf” Review


book cover photo

The Bulb – There is more to home maintenance than changing light bulbs.

So the secondary title for this book is “150 WAYS TO SLASH YOUR HOUSEHOLD BILLS & SAVE ENERGY, TOO”

This is for those who are able bodied and wish to do more things themselves to improve the living conditions around their home and take measures to save money and energy. Many of these little things make small or insignificant immediate changes that add up to savings over time.


This BOOK – Produced by ‘Popular Mechanics” this is a small format reference book for home owners to prepare for and be able to improve and do practical upgrades to systems and details around the home.

It is organized into 6 chapters, and after the ‘green’ intro, starts with heating, water and power resource conservation, ranges through interior, exterior and home improvements. There is a chapter on car care and it finishes with computers and phone home electronics.

Lots of practical advice in the format of quick fix tips, what tool to use and how.

Most importantly, there are “Safe And Sound” and “”Tips of The Trade” box format articles inserted at the appropriate places to aid you in safe and practical completion of your projects.

The format is user friendly with the look and feel of the ‘Popular Mechanics’ magazine.

Distinct areas of the house are looked at and upgrades or maintenance discussed with a general tone of green savings. Usually there are weekend projects described. They usually include instructions, costs and materials lists if relevant.

As well as the previously mentioned boxed articles there are occasional “Know Your Stuff” articles on specific technical or information points.

This is then usually followed by an illustration depicting recommended future upgrades ( called ‘Future Investment”) before the next article is introduced.

So if you are the kind of person who likes to or needs to improve it yourself then you’ll appreciate this little book. Even if you never actually do the work yourself it provides you with the information and background knowledge to deal with the professionals.


Sterling ISBN 978-1-58816-748-4, Hearst Books (div of Sterling Publishing) http://www.sterlingpublishing.com





Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post

“EXTREME ARCITECTURE” – An “Off The Shelf” Review

“EXTREME ARCITECTURE” – An “Off The Shelf”  Review

book cover photo


Building for Challenging Environments

by Ruth Slavid
ISBN-13: 978- 1-85669-609-8

Challenging environments:
The problems, and the thinking with design and technology applied to solutions, creatively and with imagination.
Hot and cold, both arid and humid.
High altitude, latitude and attitude, on land, on water, on ice.
In the ground, under water, in the clouds,
Arctic, antarctic, in space,on the moon and Mars.

To many this is a coffee table book and the photography is of that quality.
But it is much more.
This shows some of the leading edge of design, technology and engineering.
Articles range through built and tested environmental prototypes,
from special project construction and design, to future planning and pioneering concepts.

Some subject titles:
Concordia Station (Antarctica)
Spaceport America
Galactic Suite
Moon Base Two
Lunar Hotel
Mars Cruiser One


Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post

“GET YOUR HOUSE RIGHT” An ‘Off The Shelf” Review

“GET YOUR HOUSE RIGHT” An  ‘Off The Shelf” Review

book photo

“GET YOUR HOUSE RIGHT”            Architectural Elements to Use and Avoid

with Richard Sammons & Leon Krier

Forword by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales

ISBN 978-1-4027-3628-5

This is a clear “do” & “avoid” (don’t do) discourse with sets of illustrative sketches  that show the pitfalls and errors in the selection, use and placement of architectural elements.
This is an excellent discussion and usefull reference for homeowners, real estate and building professionals alike.

The “orders” of architectural design are introduced and discussed in a very clear and direct manner.
This material will empower the uniniated to make intelegent choices and not be fooled or unduly swayed by “lipstick and mascara” dressings and details

The language of architecture is revealed and demistified..
Some houses have “curb appeal”, some you don’t like and some feel ‘off’.
This book tells you why.


Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post