Friday, December 23, 2011

California Safe House

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A Very Special Home
This geodesic dome home with 4,000 square feet of interior space on a 1600 sq. ft. footprint, is built on a design originated by R. Buckminster Fuller, long known as America's greatest designer-architect.  It is the most efficient, safe and strongest design for dealing with earthquakes, windstorms and fires. All heating, cooling, cooking, light and water costs total $60 a month due to the efficiency, use of sunlight and our well and septic system.  

It is 100% electric with heating and cooling by heat pump because Lake County is served by the largest geothermal electric power producing facility in North America.  This is the only 100% reliable electric power supply in the nation.  It is operated by Lake County residents.  They will never shut themselves off in a national emergency.  The steam well system in Iceland is larger, but sits on a tectonic plate that can rupture.  We are firmly on the North American plate, the part that will move least when "the big one" happens as expected.

Nonetheless, we have a preliminary plan for a sun-tracking array of solar panels with 50% higher output than stationery panels and a payback of ten years, half that of commercial installations, if you need complete independence.  The system will employ a solar water heater to reduce our electric demand by 30%.  We will install the solar water heater whether or not we build the solar system.

During our final inspection Chief County Building Inspector said, "This will be the last house standing in the county if we have a big earthquake." It is made entirely of triangles with patented metal joints that greatly increase strength over such homes without steel joints.  It is a Timberline product. They own the patent on the steel joint system which gives them a superior product.

Major Calamity?

As California and America are collapsing it is important to have a safe place for your family.  If you are in the Bay Area you know well of social decay.  How about a place within driving distance, secure with reliable power, water and food? And, close enough that you could run your business by Internet with occasional visits to the city.

The schools are excellent and within one mile all served by buses, but what kid can't walk a mile in 20 minutes?  It's great exercise.  

Lake County, California is a secure place.  It is within 100 miles of the Bay Area, but a Shan-gri-la powered by geothermal steam wells, The Geysers.   It has robust agriculture, two growing seasons, abundant fish and game and a developing antarchy movement seeking self sufficiency with some success.

Clear Lake is the oldest lake in North America.  It is at an altitude of 1300 feet and ringed by ancient volcanoes with peaks at 3400 feet.   It collects an over-abundance of water every year and our wells are among the best in the nation.  
The ways in are so steep the railroad never came to Lake County.  There are only four roads into Lake County.  It is easily defended.

Lake County has the clearest air in North America.  It is its own weather cell naturally insulated from air pollution or fallout from the Bay Area. It is like living in your own bubble and enjoys rare air phenomena like striated clouds.  Experimental military aircraft fly over on their way to the Pacific where they can go supersonic without bothering people or inciting professional victims.

The county is easily defended by National Guard and local civil defense groups with plans and equipment to control access in the event of violence in the Bay Area.

Clear Lake is shallow, warm and calm.  California Fish and Game has netted and released two Largemouth Bass exceeding the world record. The lake is the scene of many fishing competitions with sponsored cash and equipment prizes.  We will see a new world record bass headline come from Lake County.  The lake is a dream for water sport enthusiasts as it is eight miles wide and 28 miles long and often dead calm, but has wind for sailing much of the time.  It is very photogenic.

All heating, cooling and lighting is electric and the bills average $60 per month year round.  A solar water heater will reduce that 30%.  Domes are naturally efficient compared to rectangular homes as the air flow is unrestricted inside. The design gains heat in the winter.  Change in sun angle and ventilation reduce the effect in summer.  The home is built into a hill to use the 50 Fahrenheit degree Earth temperature to advantage in summer and winter.  We are frequently visited by wild turkeys and deer.

In this design the top cupola and fan permit air control, eliminating hot air in summer while drawing cool air from the first level which is set into the earth on a hill. In winter’s low sun angle the cupola gains heat which can then be blown to the lower levels with the fan.  The home includes such amenities as an eight jet Jacuzzi tub.

The foundation includes 90 cubic yards,  152 tons, of reinforced concrete with "rebar" on nine inch centers for double normal reinforced strength. "It could cap a volcano," according to the Chief Building Inspector of Lake County.
Unique Sustainability
This property has a well with a 20 gallon per minute capacity as it is located at the foot of the Scott Valley acquifer.  20 gallons per minute is more than ten times the requirement for a residence and enough water to support a vineyard or truck farm on the 1.3 acre lot on which it stands and the five acres adjoining, which are available.

There is space for a 1/4 acre pond that could raise fish to supply a family if they were were fed and managed.  We receive sufficient rain runoff to fill the pond every year and can easily maintain it with well water. Evaporation can be greatly reduced with floating plastic "Lily pad" circles made with "Hoola Hoops," that do not interfere with fish culture.

We have an adjacent five acre parcel available for development.  With this in cultivation the property could easily be a producing vegetable, fruit farm or vineyard.  It was a walnut orchard many years ago.
Given its natural security there is a developing antarky movement in Lake County to make it possible for the people to thrive regardless what happens in California or America.  With the prevailing winds coming from the Pacific Ocean rainfall is dependable.  
High Security
In addition to the natural security of the open, visible position this home is within one mile of the county Sheriff's main office and a Sheriff's car passes by Route 29 every hour.  We are within an easy half-mile walk to a shopping center with the largest drug and supermarkets in the county plus other shops and restaurants.  It is within one block of north and south Route 29 on-ramps and within six miles of the largest hospital in the area and 1.5 miles of the county seat.

A Lakeport city fire plug is on the property as we are contiguous with the town and while not in it the Lakeport Fire Department is our designated fire service.  They are 1.5 miles or three driving minutes away at the speed limit of 30 mph.

This property is contiguous with the Town of Lakeport, but is in Lake County so we cannot connect to high speed Internet from Cox Cable, but have had satellite uplinking.  The first version was not satisfactory.  We now have DSL on a telephone line, but it is only 350 mb/s and not the 3,000 mb/s we could get from Cox or a better DSL line.  We are told satellite transmission has improved and it could be a link to the world requiring only electricity of which we have the most reliable source in the nation.   Nonetheless...

We are engineering a solarpanel system that would maintain us with a panel and materials cost of about $3,000, labor extra. Anyone with technical skills should be able to put it together.  In one version the panels are actuated to track the sun for a 50% gain in performance over the stationary systems.  The cost of actuated or not will be about the same which tends to favor stationery as it is simpler and more reliable.


In addition to world-famous bass fishing and fresh water sailing, this location is ideal for walking, hiking and cycling as there are good and interesting roads very little traffic and interesting locations.  The best shopping center in the county is 1/2 mile from the home.  Access to Bureau of Land Management forest is within 1/2 mile and much  interesting wildlife is present.  Deer, hawks, crows, turkey,and vultures are seen daily.  The moon and stars virtually leap from the sky. The lake is very calming. The Milky Way and many constellations are easy to see and recognize.  A planetarium and working observatory, with public access, is a few miles away in Kelseyville.  Several small, interesting restaurants are on Main Street and by the lake 1.5 miles to the east.  There are many regular events like the September seaplane fly-in. 


Before the real estate market crash we were appraised for $615,000 (document on file), but have no idea what the current appraisal would be.  We know the Internet appraisals for all California property are very low, but we can  come to an equitable price in negotiation. 

The unfinished first level is 1,000 square feet with two 200 square foot rooms and one with more than 300 square feet, a half bath and halls and includes a 500 square foot, two car garage.
The rooms could function as two more bedrooms and a family room or two offices and a large workshop or laboratory. A shower could be installed to make a full bath at that level as we have the stall and space for it.

The last ten homes to sell in our area were 1/3rd our size and went for an average price of $184 per square foot.  None were geodesics, thus all are weak and unsafe in an earthquake, hurricane or tornado, but using their per foot sales figure values this home is worth $731,922 and we have 1.3 acres where they are all on city lots 1/9th the size of our property and we have independent water and private septic system. 

We are not anxious to sell, but it would facilitate a move we would like to make.  We feel our home is worth $500,000 in today's market and we are open to offers as we have opportunities in other locations. We would like to sell the adjacent 5.5 acres, which when divided into four lots will have a present market value of $200,000 to $400,000.  We are open to offers on that parcel in a package or separately.

Contact:  Adrian Vance 707-263-6739 or

Clear Lake

Clear Lake is a natural mirror reflecting a calm that only a million years of being there can bring.   In a universe where nothing is forever, this body of water comes as close to being special as anything you will ever see.


The dome is made of triangles, the strongest design form with all joints and intersections made of patented steel connectors for much greater strength that that from wood and nails, screws or glues.  The pattern is one of alternating pentagrams and hexagrams forming the dome.

Covering For Strength

The skeleton is covered with pre-cut construction plywood on both outside and in for incredible strength.  

Animal Life

We have occasional deer and have not seen any mountain lions on our property, but they have been seen in the neighborhood.  None have ever attacked people or pets.  Should one be seen it is recommended that you should stand tall, spread your arms to look as large as possible and yell at them.  They will leave as they know intuitively that any injury is a death sentence to them as they have very primitive infection defenses.

We have several flocks of wild turkeys that pass through our property frequently.  They eat many pounds of insects and where we are in the county you can take them if you have a hunting license and a shotgun.  We have had rabbits, but they come and go as the predators get them regularly.


The dome is built with 2" by 6" lumber using patented steel joiners that add great strength.  All lumber is precision cut in a factory to insure it will go together perfectly and not require highly skilled labor to produce a perfect product.

The Fan

The ceiling fan moves heated air down to the living levels in the winter and blows hot air out in the summer.  Two of the five sets of windows in the cupola can be opened.  The opening mechanisms are hand operated, easy to use and reliable

Our Fireplug

A Lakeport city fire plug is on the property as we are contiguous with the town, but in the county.  This reduces fire insurance cost substantially and increases our safety as well.  The fire station is one mile to the east.

The Foundation

The foundation includes 90 cubic yards of fine concrete with networks of reinforcing rod, "rebar," on eight inch centers where 18 inches are normal.  This is a foundation designed to withstand a major earthquake.

Route 29

This entrance to the Route 29, freeway with few cars as it goes nowhere anyone wants to go, is within one block of the home.  From this point the largest hospital in the county is five minutes away at 60 mph to the north.

From The Orchard

View from the adjacent, available six acre old walnut orchard that could be planted with fruits and vegetables producing two crops per year.  Plenty of water is available from an existing 20 gallon per minute well.

The Great Room

Geodesic domes have a "great room" that decorators find challenging, but then the result is all that more impressive.  We have our TV set on the wall just to the right of stairwell on the left and a couch on the carpet line at the wood flooring line.  Many other solutions are possible, but in any case the feeling of the room is expansive.

In The Dome

During construction you can see the kind of strength built into the home that made the WWII British Mosquito bomber one of the strongest military aircraft of all time and an all wood construction!

This remarkable system is here revitalized as the interior covering panels are plywood, specially cut to replace weak drywall thus increasing the strength of this structure greatly.  We have the great strength of a Mosquito bomber!

The Chief Building Inspector of Lake County approved the home saying, "This will be the last house standing in Lake County if we ever have ' The Big One' (earthquake)."

In The Orchard

Part of the five plus acre parcel contiguous with the property.  It now has old walnut trees, a few of which have burled. Such trees can be very valuable.

Our Jacuzzi

An American Standard "Cadet Elite 60" x 56" x 19 3/4", 1.5 hp, eight jet personal spa is built-in to the upstairs full bath which also includes a full stall shower.  The room is fully tiled.

Mount Konocti

Mount Konocti is a million year-old volcano still on the USGS "Active" list.  It is known to be hollow and includes part of the lake with a communication channel to the lake. There is a story of a cave explorer who apparently died in the mountain and his body was later found in the lake.

Welcome to Lakeport

Entering Lakeport, California off Highway 29 onto 11th Street will show you a sign advertising local facilities and attractions.  To wit:

All civic and commercial locations are within one mile and the largest shopping center is one block east of this sign.

House On A Hill

From the Northwest corner of the property we can see that the home is set in the hill with the back half of the first level in the earth to enjoy the 50 Fahrenheit degree temperature we can use as a heat or cooling source depending on the season.  Route 29 is visible in the distance, mid-frame just below the tree line.

On A Walk

McMahon Drive runs behind the home for 1/2 mile on a six percent grade, perfect for an exercise walk as you work going up and cruise coming back.  Do this every day, maybe twice, and you will live longer as well as make some interesting friends, including a Superior Court judge doing his yard work.  We have several active and retired business people, teachers and tradesmen. Several car collectors with very interesting cars in their garages, a physician and an accountant.

Walking Paths

Walking paths feature little nature areas are common in the town.  This one is just west of the Willow Tree center and on the way to town and the civic center.

A Pond?

A pond could be built in the foreground as this is a storm channel with a 20 inch drain pipe running under the highway behind us for runoff. We could catch the water of winter and maintain the pond in the summer with the very ample nearby well.  It could be used as an ag reserve or fish farm.  The grading could be done in a short time with no permit as less than 50 yards of earth would be moved with none removed as the basic shape is there now.

Praise The Lord

Six Turkey Vultures dry wet wings on a morning after a rain.  They are often seen flying over the highway searching for road kills.  They pull them off the road and pick the carcasses down to the bones performing a service to people as well as make interesting pictures with their antics and magnificent soaring.

Many Bird Species

One of the many varieties of birds we see on our walks is the common vulture and while they are looked down on as carrion eaters they perform a great service in keeping the roads free of  the greasy, slippery spots dead animals would become if they were to lie in place after being struck by a pickup truck.

Many Special Events

One of the many seaplanes that come to Clear Lake during the annual seaplane meeting as our lake is one of the few that can accommodate any such craft where it is often calm.

We have had a fantasy of reincarnating the Boeing China Clipper that flew 30 terrified people from San Francisco to Honolulu for yukulele competitions with Japanese spys in white suits and Panama straw hats.  It was a happier time and we could bring it all back and again make Lake County the tryst capital of California.

The Bay Area

Historically depravity is a precursor to collapse. What we see in San Francisco tell us it has become our Sodom.  How long can it be until the great forces in the universe, be they God, common sense or science drop something heavy and hot on this embarrassment of America. Imagine!  Going out without a purse!  (Click Return arrow)

Rare Skies

Said to be a very rare phenomenon this "striated cloud sky" is seen on occasion in Lake County.  Large lenticular, lens-shaped, clouds are also seen.  They have been responsible for UFO reports.  While UFO sightings are not common in this area strange military craft are seen overhead as they travel to the Pacific where they can operate supersonically without causing sonic boom damage to homes and farm animals.  

We think Area 51 craft are routed over this area as it is sparsely populated.  We saw what appeared to be large Coca Cola bottle with very stubby wings overhead one day and if it were at 80,000 to 100,000 feet it was flying at 5,800 to 7,000 miles per hour as it went through 45 degrees in three seconds in utter silence.

The Well

The well is the white pipe with black wrapping between us and the machine mowing near acre lying before the house. This well produces 20 gallons per minute, ten times that required for a residence and enough to support a local water company for the six acres contiguous with this property. 

All of this land could be tilled and produce two crops of many vegetables or fruits per year.  There is land for a quarter acre pond that would support a substantial fish culture for a large family. This well could support it for and all the land for production with drip technology.

Thanksgiving Dinner Vists

Seen through the kitchen window, it is Thanksgiving dinner on the hoof when we are visited by an itinerant troupe of wild turkeys, one of the many introduced species that inhabit much of the BLM land surrounding Lake County.  There is a hunting season for these birds and you can shoot them if you have a hunting license as this house is in the county.


There are many days when dawn and twilight are so quiet the lake becomes a mirror and you can almost feel Earth turning under you. This happens because Lake County is its' own weather cell and system.

Satellite Uplink

We had a satellite uplink, but before they were satisfactory.  The equipment is in place and we understand they are now much faster and more reliable.  We are presently on DSL and not eager to change, but in a more difficult time this could turn out to be a critically important link to the world.

The Willow Tree Shopping Center

The Willow Tree Shopping Center is within walking distance, 1/2 mile. It includes a US Post Office, Safeway supermarket with a Wells Fargo bank, a CVS pharmacy and department store,  The Mendo-Lake Credit Union bank, restaurants, pizza parlor, bookstore, cell phone store and copy center in the 24 shop locations. The UmpQua Bank is contiguous and east of the enclave.