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Where the #@$%& Did THAT Come from?

This Ductopus Is Not A Result Of Good HVAC System Design.

This ductopus is not a result of good HVAC system design.I haven’t done a LetsBlogOff post in a while, but when I saw the topic for today’s blogoff, I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist, so here goes.

I haven’t done a LetsBlogOff post in a while, but when I saw the topic for today’s blogoff, I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist, so here goes.

Where do I get my ideas? Well, the first place to look is the enormous gulf between the right way to build, renovate, or improve a building and the way things are actually done. Take the photo at left, for example. That ductopus is not the result of a proper HVAC design. It’s just not. If it actually moves the proper amount of air through each duct in the system and keeps the house comfortable and does it efficiently, it’d be a miracle.

A lot of my articles in the Energy Vanguard blog come from the photos I’ve taken over the years of monstrosities like that ductopus. Sometimes when I don’t have an idea yet and want to write an article, I’ll just go through my What kind of crazy maniac electrician would do this?photos and find one or a collection that I can put a few words to and send it out. Other times, I’ll go to a house and snap a photo that I know immediately will appear in an article very soon. The post on the disconnected water heater flue was one like that.

I also get ideas from things I see on Twitter or LinkedIn or the news. The two I wrote about measuring infiltration rates and what a Blower Door really does came about from something I saw on Twitter and then further discussion of the topic on LinkedIn. Sometimes my ideas come from an event, like Building Science Summer Camp (and stinkin’ or not, I’m going this year!).

Fear also motivates my writing. And if you’ve read the blog long enough, you probably know I’m talking about peak oil when I say that. In fact, my first LetsBlogOff post, The Optimism of Pessimism in the Age of Peak Oil, was on the topic of peak oil.

Mainly, though, my ideas come from the voices in my head. Them, and aliens.

My ideas come from aliens.



Alien photo by gray_um from, used under a Creative Commons license.

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. All I have to say about the
    All I have to say about the first photo is “Release the Kraken!”. Last photo is you and Chris, right?

  2. That ductopus kinda reminds
    That ductopus kinda reminds me of the ghost from a horror movie. I’m not sure which one, but it’s CREEPY.

  3. This post is great. Typing
    This post is great. Typing up building surveys for my boss we come across some bizarre things but this is by far the furthest out there.  
    I agree with John and Hollie… it’s pretty 80’sfx looking.

  4. John Poole, you made me look
    John Poole, you made me look up “Kraken”. For anyone else who’s curious, it’s very “Clash of the Titans”.

  5. Ahahahahahaha – ductopus!
    Ahahahahahaha – ductopus! Glad to know I’m not the only one who makes up words. Or listens to aliens. 
    Also – and don’t take this the wrong way – I’m not sure if you’re ever invited to the MS Ranch while you have a camera on you… ; )

  6. John: Like
    John: Like Elaine (the 4th commenter here, who was sitting right next to me when she commented), I had to look up Kraken. And no, it’s not me and Chris, but man, do I want a costume like that! 
    Hollie: Yes, it’s creepy, but it’s not nearly as scary as a sharktopus
    Bridget: Tell your boss I’d love to see his furthest out photos. If he’s OK with it, I might even use some here in the blog, giving him full credit of course. 
    Elaine: I never saw Clash of the Titans
    Madame Sunday: I have to admit I didn’t make up the word ‘ductopus.’ I wish I had, but the aliens, I believe, deserve credit for that one. 
    And you know that now I really want to see what’s hiding at the ModernSauce Ranch, right? What if I promise not to put any film in my camera? Will you invite me then?

  7. Ok fine. You can come to the
    Ok fine. You can come to the kitchen-warming party next month but you are DEFINITELY not allowed film then either! ; ) 
    How do you people not know about the Kraken???!!!!

  8. I will. 

    I will. 
    Never saw Clash of the Titans? Wow. You have to see the 80’s one. It’s hilarious.

  9. Madame Sunday
    Madame Sunday: Woo hoo! If I can’t bring film, though, is it OK to bring the Kraken? 
    Bridget: Oh, OK, I’ll put it in my Netflix queue.  
    Dan: Isn’t it amazing how, once you start blogging, every little thing becomes fodder for a future post!

  10. I love the comments on this
    I love the comments on this post! Awesomesauce.

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