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Shipping containers possess an excellent basic design that are ideal for
-holding almost anything for long periods of time

The big plus about shipping containers: most people won’t bat an eye when you purchase one, because they have an almost endless number of uses (I have turned my own storage container, for example, into a gift shop).

The question isn’t “should I buy a shipping container?” but “how big should your shipping container be?” That answer depends on the size of your CHOSEN LOCATION, and how far down you’re willing to dig.

You’ll probably want a new converted steel container, one that is 10 ft long, four feet wide, and insulated. If you need a different size, or other modifications, such as fitting out a “storage cabin,” the work can be easily carried out for you. (Email me later)

You will need:
-high quality, high security sliding shackle “block” padlocks
-5 mm steel padlock shrouds with 15 mm drilled hasps
-security shutters (hard to break in, and out)
-a large sturdy shovel

Also: You may not think you need electrics now, but trust me, when you get bored with the normal routine – IT'S ALWAYS FUN to plug something in, and see where the adventure takes you. Most containers should include a minimum of 13 amp sockets and strip lights.

I would also STRONGLY suggest sound-proofing. Get some fitted custom-designed louvered vents for air in-let and out-let. That helps reduce noise, insulating the “box."

As for burying the container, I have written elsewhere (many times, in fact) about how to bury sheds, dog houses and the like. With a large shipping container THOUGH, you must act as though you are building your own in-ground pool. Mark off the outline of the “pool” with stakes and string. Call ahead for underground utilities to be marked so you won’t dig or trench through a buried cable or line. On the “big day,” you will dig at a slant, creating a “deep end” effect. This will make it easier to slide the container in. Then you will aim to over-dig the sides of the container by approximate two feet than your outline marked on the ground. This provides working room for sliding shutters. Once you’ve slid the container into the ground, fill around with dirt, with the exception of a “vent” or crawl space above. That’s the way in.

And for you (only), the way out.

Remember, when you dig a hole this large, there’s a chance the ground near it may settle, damaging other buildings. I strongly suggest digging such a hole on a large, vacant property, perhaps a 100 yards or so off Highway 280 in Daly City, California. I can suggest locations that have worked for me.

Go to your local copy center and create an invitation for an awards ceremony, called "EXCELLENCE IN MEDIA 2005." Have them done using only high-quality papers and materials, to ensure that everything will look its best. Have them printed on parchment paper, measuring exactly 11 inches by 7 inches, for a neat appearance. Have the invitation text printed on the bottom portion of the card. Any quotes or verses you might want to include can be printed on the top portion. Most important: the name of the person invited must be in the LARGEST TYPE. State clearly that he or she is going to receive an award for outstanding achievement in media.

Mail the invitation to:
Norm Ornstein
Larry Gelbart
David Sirota
David Corn
Richard Bradley
Jim Lampley
Cable Neuhaus
Harry Shearer
Walter Shapiro
Paul Feig
Adam McKay
Chris Meserole

And wait to see who shows up. Even if you get only three or four in the container, that's all you need for a few months of idle pleasure.

See you later!