Friday, December 21, 2018

And now, a brief historic interlude. . . .

Well, over the last couple of days I've been dealing with having a wisdom tooth removed (not a recreational activity I recommend, btw), so that's rather put the squelch on boat work while I get to play the sympathy card, whining piteously, and, in general, getting out of things I normally have to do.

Still and all, not worth it.  Get your teeth cleaned, kids.

At any rate, I've spent a bit of the time surfing mindlessly and came to realize just how many new viewers this blog has acquired over the last year.  Welcome, guys, and thanks for stopping by.  I also realized that, unless you've been riding with us on this trip for a bit you might not know who we are, so I thought I'd take a moment of my recovery time to tip you off.  Let's see. . . .

We're Don and Gail Elwell (and, of course, first cat Magellan).  We're long time artists and teachers, both retired college professors, and active experimenters, creators, re-enactors, larpers, and geeks in general.  Gail, my companion for (ulp) near 35 years, is a teacher, sculptor, amazing chef, and collage artist.  You can find her work on Facebook and at her blog at life, art, water. Her most recent works are some rather amazing collages, beautifully painterly works, that I highly recommend you check out.

Emergence, collage, Gail Elwell 2018
For myself, I've been a writer and theatre geek for most of my life, have started a couple of very successful theatre companies, including the Greylight theatre of Illinois and the Grindlebone Arts Collective in Baltimore, taught at a number of institutions, and in general made a public spectacle of myself.  In recent years, I've mostly been a writer and editor, publishing a number of novels and play anthologies through Wild Shore Press (created as Grindlebone's in-house publisher).

Rather proud of this one.  Available hardcopy or Ebook here.
At any rate, as part of the work with Grindlebone Arts, we set up a thing called the "Center for Bypassed Technologies" on the Grindlebone site.  It was the confluence of our working as historic re-enactors, our love of history (and science fiction, futurism, and general oddness), and my own geeky fascination with the technologies that were bypassed because of cheap energy.  This led directly to the creation of this blog, and of the original shantyboat Floating Empire. If you're interested in the rational that started this whole thing, give a click here and see how and why we started this voyage all the way back in '14.

In the intervening years, we've built ( or re-built) three vessels, Experimented with solar power systems, electric drives, paddlewheels, composting toilets, new construction materials, brewing, food preservation, wood gasification, kerosene stoves, vertical gardening, and a host of other things, all while continuing to write and do artwork and, in general, get ourselves in trouble at every opportunity.

2019 should be a really interesting year for us.  We'll (hopefully, FINALLY) get the drive working well enough to travel in our electric cruiser Tesla's Revenge, we'll be doing more brewing, lots more elaborate cooking, and I'll have two new novels (Zarabeth's World and the sequel to my novel The Ganymeade Protocol --which people have been bugging me to do-- titled The Flood Tarot) out and a poetry compilation of the real and virtual worlds called called Virtually Poetic (I'm editing that one) featuring real world poets and poets from the Second Life virtual environment.
I've got the sequel to this coming out in 2019, so you should probably pick up a copy and catch up.
We've noticed of late a huge amount of interest in things like our diy composting toilet (with diy urine diverter) and the electric paddlewheel drive.  I promise we'll be putting up more details, designs, upgrades, updates, warnings, and ideas about those in the coming weeks--I feel like we're on a roll with that--as well as all sorts of other useful and interesting things.  I just wanted to say thanks so much for all of you who have joined us in this trip.  Your comments are always appreciated, or you can reach us at

Stay tuned,
More to come

my mouf hurtz


Lordie, the man is a wimp.

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