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  1. 1. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook: A useful guide for sharing a residence among two or more people. Authored by the current and former residents of Bubbaland, Palo Alto, California. This document may be found in HTML Format at: http://fmrfreek.best.vwh.net/misc/bubbaland/handbook/official/ This document may be found in MS-Word Format at: http://fmrfreek.best.vwh.net/misc/bubbaland/handbook/official/bubbaland_co-op_handbook.doc Contact: bubbaland_house@yahoo.com 1
  2. 2. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook Copyright (c) Christopher M. Balz and Lisa Craig. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License". The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook Last revised July 8, 2010. - Authored by the current and former residents of Bubbaland. Introduction..........................................................................................................................4 Bubbaland Statement of Purpose.........................................................................................4 Priorities .............................................................................................................................4 Guidelines............................................................................................................................5 Major Rules.........................................................................................................................7 Respect for Person and Property..................................................................................7 Centrality of the Bubbaland Handbook.......................................................................7 The Lease Agreement..................................................................................................8 House Dinners..............................................................................................................8 Decision-Making Process............................................................................................9 Dirty Dishes and Cookware.........................................................................................9 Chores........................................................................................................................10 Quiet Hours................................................................................................................10 Rent............................................................................................................................11 Safety.........................................................................................................................11 Laundry......................................................................................................................12 Sunroom ....................................................................................................................12 Kitchen Use................................................................................................................13 Bathroom Use............................................................................................................13 Security......................................................................................................................13 Parking.......................................................................................................................14 Personal Hygiene.......................................................................................................14 Attire..........................................................................................................................14 New Residents...........................................................................................................14 Guests.........................................................................................................................14 The Home Office Occupant(s)...................................................................................15 There Is No House Manager......................................................................................15 Meat...........................................................................................................................15 Using the Last of Something......................................................................................15 Seasonal House Improvement Projects ....................................................................15 Floor Care..................................................................................................................16 Allowed Entry Into A Resident’s Room....................................................................16 Subletting One’s Room..............................................................................................16 Moving Out of the House .........................................................................................17 Moving Out Of A Room............................................................................................17 2
  3. 3. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook Posting (Walls/Boards)..............................................................................................18 Fussy Notes................................................................................................................18 Television/Video Rules..............................................................................................18 Parties and Patio Use.................................................................................................18 Toxic Materials..........................................................................................................19 Smoking.....................................................................................................................19 Drugs (Including Alcohol).........................................................................................19 Utilities.......................................................................................................................19 Animal Companions (Formerly Known As “Pets”)..................................................20 Eviction......................................................................................................................20 Minor Rules: “Better Bubba Living”.................................................................................21 Chore Definitions...............................................................................................................26 Utility Chores.............................................................................................................26 House Bills.................................................................................................................26 Weekday Dishes.........................................................................................................27 Compost.....................................................................................................................27 Curb Recycling..........................................................................................................28 Odd Recycling...........................................................................................................28 Vacuum and Clean Floors..........................................................................................28 House Shopper...........................................................................................................29 Toilet Paper Shopper..................................................................................................29 House Laundry...........................................................................................................29 Refrigerator Interior and Contents.............................................................................29 Maintain Bubbaland Handbook.................................................................................30 Handyperson .............................................................................................................30 Clean Big Bathroom..................................................................................................32 Clean Small Bathroom...............................................................................................32 Clean Kitchen.............................................................................................................32 Garden Manager.........................................................................................................33 Bring In Mail..............................................................................................................33 Old Mail.....................................................................................................................34 Maintain Calendar......................................................................................................34 Clean Entryway..........................................................................................................34 Bubbaland Wish List..................................................................................................34 Important Tips...................................................................................................................35 Finding a New Housemate.........................................................................................35 Cleaning and Keeping Clean.....................................................................................36 Painting......................................................................................................................36 Making Good Use of Time Spent on Chores.............................................................37 Organic And Bulk Food.............................................................................................37 Harvesting from the Garden.......................................................................................37 GNU Free Documentation License...................................................................................39 How to use this License for your documents.....................................................................47 3
  4. 4. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook Introduction The purpose of the Bubbaland Co-op Handbook (referred to as the "Handbook") is to enable fun and good living at Bubbaland by giving context and meaning to each resident's role. The cumulative experience of some thirty years of Bubbaland living has resulted in the content herein. Originally established in this particular format by senior residents of Bubbaland in 2003, a consensus of residents modifies this handbook as the need arises. We encourage a spirited, polite dialogue on the issues set out in the Handbook. On the other hand, if in reading this Handbook you find that you don’t find our approach to living a very attractive option for yourself, or believe that you couldn’t live with one or more of the items set out here, we respectfully encourage you to consider other housing options. In other words, living at Bubbaland is not for everyone, including of course many great and good people. This document sets out as much as possible that is relevant to living at Bubbaland that is not already covered by the rental agreement with the landlord. Living co- operatively is something most people are not familiar with, and so the length of this handbook may be surprising to the reader. But in fact, the handbook is as short as possible. To provide a decent basis from which to share a house co-operatively is not a small task. While there are of necessity many “don’t”’s in this Handbook, of course, it is the “do”’s, though less in number, that are more important.  Bubbaland Statement of Purpose Bubbaland's purpose is to provide a living situation where residents and guests can have fun and live well, with minimum effort. The residents and guests go about this with respect to the Priorities, Guidelines, and within the Rules, as enumerated here in this document, and as agreed to in writing by each resident in the Resident Agreement and each guest in the Guest Agreement. The content of this handbook has been written down (with a few new modifications) long after its actual organic development over the course of Bubbaland’s 30-some year history as a shared house. While acknowledging the fact that Bubbaland is a part of its surrounding culture, Bubbaland completely avoids any ideological or religious affiliation whatsoever, including any listed “Priorities” that may be construed as such. Priorities  People  Respect for each individual resident (be polite) and their particular beliefs or belief system.  Integrity in the house finances and in the houses' dealings with the landlord and any other parties.  Respect for the existing decision-making processes in the house. • This centers on the Bubbaland Handbook. Next to the first two items in this section, it is our foremost tool for ensuring a decent living situation 4
  5. 5. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook for ourselves. It cannot cover every conceivable situation or question, so when such situation or questions arise, we adjust the Handbook accordingly via a full consensus of all current residents.  Property  Respect for the physical house and house property itself.  Respect for common areas.  Connection Beyond Bubbaland's Borders  We will work to the best of our abilities to minimize our use of physical resources via sharing, reuse, recycling, composting, and choosing organic foods and supplies.  We will work to the best of our abilities to have a positive impact on our surrounding physical and social environment. Guidelines i) Regularly scheduled dinners, prepared by residents and in-residence guests on a rotating schedule, are a place for meaningful dialogue regarding any significant issues that may affect sharing the house and common food. Polite (and only polite) discussion of substantive issues is encouraged at dinner, even when various residents may disagree widely. ii) Listening to others is encouraged at Bubbaland, so that interruption may be reduced or eliminated. Interruption, of any kind, is rude and not respectful of the individual. iii) All residents and in-residence guests are encouraged but not required to attend all scheduled house dinners. iv) Dinners are a gift of the person who makes the meal, and should be received as such with only positively intentioned critique. v) Special diets will be accommodated to the extent possible only if the dietary preferences of individual in question have been made absolutely clear in written form before the individual has moved into the house. vi) The residents of Bubbaland seek to reduce their use of resources through two approaches: 1. Sharing resources. 1. This means sharing a house, common spaces around or in the house, sharing food where possible, cleaning chores and supplies, maintenance chores, cookbooks and other reference material, furniture, compost, worm bins, greywater, storage space, major appliances, tools, a garden, optional sharing of telephone lines when necessary, and the potential for increased sharing (cars (car co-ops), computers, books, clothing, tools). Residents maintain their own room, its contents, and their arrangement completely at their own private discretion. 2. Wise use of resources. 1. This means for example: 1. When possible, drying one's cloths on the clothesline instead of using the dryer. 2. Using a bicycle when practical. 3. Choosing compact fluorescent light bulbs where possible over incandescent bulbs. 5
  6. 6. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook 4. Using cloth shopping bags instead of paper ones. 5. Buying products that have no or a minimum amount of packaging. 6. When possible, using greywater for irrigation purposes instead of freshwater. vii) The residents of Bubbaland always seek to re-use resources where possible instead of recycling or throwing them away. viii) Bubbaland strongly encourages and supports composting of all compostable items, on site if possible (see below). Alternative humus-producing methods such as vermiculture are also encouraged. 1. Taking compost scraps to the Stanford Community Farm or a backyard compost pile is recommended. 2. In the past, making a compost heap in the front yard has drawn enforcement action from the city (on citizen complaint) to force clean up and provided habitat for rats and mice. Compost could be implemented in a rodent-proof fashion on site and inside an appropriate fence next to the car parking area next to the bamboo. ix) Each resident or someone acting on their behalf shall perform two or more regular house chores, at a minimum average total commitment of ½ hour per week of residence. Such chores may be house shopper, handyperson, house finances, bathroom cleaner, and etcetera. See the "Chore Definitions" section for detail on this. x) As distinguished from the regular house chores above, there are generic chores that are done by everyone always, such as cleaning up after oneself. See the "Rules" section for detail on this. xi) Bubbaland does not discriminate according to the personal habits, preferences, tastes, and morals of residents. The only discrimination applied to a resident regarding that individual’s standing as a resident of Bubbaland is according to the job that the individual does in complying with the letter and spirit of this Handbook, and according to absolutely nothing else whatsoever. xii) There will be one or two people elected by the landlord who will handle communication with the landlord. This is per the landlord's specific instruction, and these people are usually the one or two residents who have lived at the house for the longest period of time. Requests for references, requests for refunds of deposits, and the giving of notice of a resident’s departure from the house shall be made to these senior residents. xiii) There is one garden manager, and the job of garden manager is a regular house job. The garden manager makes all final decisions regarding the garden, but must adhere to the standards for organic gardening and farming set out by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) organization (http://ww.ccof.org). Rules General Introduction: These rules exist and are defined because various aspects of life at Bubbaland do not change simply because new residents have moved into the house. If change is desired on the part of residents (new or old), this handbook defines the appropriate way to go about making change. Purpose of Rules 6
  7. 7. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook i) In the view of the authors of this Handbook, it is a good idea to call certain items "rules", because these are items that are not open to individual interpretation outside of the context of formal group evaluation by the residents of the house. ii) All rules in this Handbook can only be created or changed by a consensus of the residents of Bubbaland. Failing that consensus, any contested point remains as it is defined in this Handbook. The reason that a complete consensus is required is that many rules have evolved organically over a long period of time and are quite good rules. New residents often do not understand the reasoning behind the rules, and so must convince everyone if they want to change a rule or rules. iii) The residents of Bubbaland commit to working to attain a situation where full consensus is a workable process for Bubbaland, and will implement that process when that time comes. Major Rules Respect for Person and Property 1) Verbal and physical abuse of residents (as defined in this Handbook), of any kind, will not be tolerated and constitute grounds for immediate expulsion from the house. Screaming or cussing at other residents in a negative fashion, or physically pushing, pulling, or hitting other residents in a hostile manner or physically harming other residents in any way, is strictly not allowed and will result in the offender’s eligibility for immediate expulsion (eviction) from the house. This is the gravest rule and exists to ensure the safety of all residents and the continuation of Bubbaland itself. 2) Stealing from other residents is grounds for immediate eviction. 3) Entry into the rooms of other residents (except as described below under “Allowed Entry Into A Resident’s Room”) without permission is grounds for immediate eviction. Centrality of the Bubbaland Handbook 4) The Bubbaland Handbook forms the baseline reference for how we share the house. It serves as the main reference point to help resolve any disputes. 5) Any prospective resident who wishes to make a final decision on whether or not to move into Bubbaland must receive a copy of the Bubbaland Handbook and review it thoroughly before moving in. 6) A copy of the Bubbaland Handbook must be kept in the Bubba Files box. All residents must have access to the Bubbaland Handbook, either through an up-to-date printed copy, the common copy in the Bubba Files box, or over the Web. a) No resident should be expected to access the Bubbaland Handbook on the Web if they are not computer-literate. b) The most senior member of the house is expected to make copies of the Bubbaland Handbook available. 7
  8. 8. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook 7) Willful, multiply repeated neglect of the duties outlined in the Bubbaland Handbook or willful, multiply repeated resistance to the rules described in the Bubbaland Handbook will result in the offending resident’s or guest’s immediate eligibility for eviction from residency at Bubbaland. The Lease Agreement 8) The Bubbaland Handbook serves as an agreement among the residents at Bubbaland. The “lease agreement” exists as a separate document, and is an agreement between the designated senior members of the house and the owner of the house. Per the landlord’s preference, no more than three of the most senior members of the house shall be listed on the lease agreement. House Dinners 9) Outside of a valid excuse (such as economic necessity, family emergency, etc.), all residents are required to attend at least one dinner per week of residence. Dinner attendance and participation in the rotating job of preparing dinner is a part of being a resident of Bubbaland. a) Person(s) may be invited to be “Eating Associates” (E.A.s) at Bubbaland. These individuals are scheduled to participate in Bubbaland dinners but are not residents or guests-in-residence of Bubbaland. E.A.s will cook dinners just as residents and guests-in-residence do. However, E.A.s will provide, at their own expense, all ingredients for their dinners that are not basic staples (grains, spices, sauces and oils). b) Permission from the cook must be obtained for any guests to be invited to dinner. c) Notice of one whole day is recommended if a resident is not able to attend a given dinner, but the minimal notice required is to alert the cook before he or she leaves to shop for that meal. i. A resident who will not be present for a given dinner must give this notice by clearly writing “No“ followed by his or her initials on the day of the dinner on calendar. ii. If a resident is to be out of town for three or more days, that resident must give notice by drawing a long line with “No” followed by their initials on it. (a) This notice is used to calculate credit due for the house food bills as well as to keep track of how many people cooks may expect for dinner. d) The default schedule for house dinners is Monday at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday at 7:00 p.m., and Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. This dinner schedule is subject to change according to residents' needs, but only as a good-faith effort. e) The valid excuse for not attending a house dinner once per week mentioned above has a maximum duration for a given resident of four (4) months per year. f) The resident doing the calendar chore (see the “Chores” section, below) arranges the job of preparing dinner according to a rotating schedule. The cooking job occurs twice per month per resident with a six-member house. 8
  9. 9. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook (a) Leftover food from house dinners must be shared by allowing up to two servings per day for each resident, guest-in-residence, and Eating Associate (E.A.). If there are less than three servings of leftovers, the cook may claim the first two. g) If a resident who is charged with preparing a house dinner cannot do the job at the designated time, it is that resident’s responsibility to trade with another resident in order to ensure that a dinner gets prepared. It is also the responsibility of the cook if the dinner falls on a week when they are out of town (for a duration of not more than one week period) to find a replacement cook. i) If a resident will be out of town for a trip longer than one week, that resident is relieved of all responsibility for any cook jobs that that resident may be responsible for during the duration of the trip. See the section, “Dirty Dishes and Cookware”, below for important details. Decision-Making Process 10) Decisions at Bubbaland, depending on their type, are made either by a full consensus of residents or a consensus-minus-one decision by residents and guests. a) This handbook may only be changed by a full consensus of all current residents. b) A new resident or guest (whether that guest is to be in-residence (occupying a room) or just visiting for an hour) may only be accepted into the house by a full consensus of residents. i) Of course, for guests visiting for a few hours, no formal consensus process is required. But if a resident does not want a particular guest to come to the house, they break the de facto assumed consensus and the guest in question must not come to or stay in the house. c) Only certain people under certain circumstances may decide that someone is to be evicted from the house. See the ‘eviction’ section for details on this. d) Where not explicitly specified here, the default decision making process is “consensus of all residents (not guests or in-residence guests)”. Consensus means that every person in the decision-making group must agree on a given matter at hand in order to reach a binding decision on that matter. Dirty Dishes and Cookware 11) Dirty dishes and cooking utensils may not be left in the kitchen (including the sink) or dining room or common room for longer than three hours past the time taken to finish the meal they are associated with, unless they are labeled according to rules set out in the “Minor Rules: Better Bubba Living” section. 9
  10. 10. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook Chores 12) All chores assigned to a resident must be performed as they are defined in the Chore Definitions section. a) Chore assignments may only be changed by swapping chores with a consenting resident or guest or by holding a meeting of all house residents to assign chores. b) Each resident must perform at least two chores. c) Each resident must consent to having his or her name listed by that chore on a list posted on the refrigerator. d) During the absence of a resident from the house under two (2) months, that resident is responsible to make sure that his or her chores are taken care of. This may of course be accomplished by arranging for a resident who will be at Bubbaland during the period of absence to do the chores in exchange for doing their chores upon return. Of course, if there were a guest who was temporarily replacing the resident, that guest would do the chores. e) If a resident is to be absent from the house for more than two (2) months, with no guest replacement to do the chores, their chores must be formally redistributed among the remaining residents or guests. f) Chores must be done completely before they are handed over to another person. The quality of the job done must meet the satisfaction of the person to whom the chore is to be handed. 13) General Storage Rules: a) All personal stored items (including furniture) must be labeled with the owner’s names and e-mail addresses. i. If a resident would like to store items that exceed one-sixth of the total available storage space in the house, that resident or guest must obtain permission via consensus-minus-one from the residents of the house. b) Under The House Storage i. All rules from “General Storage Rules” apply here. ii. All items stored under the house must be stored in plastic tubs closed shut with a lid. a. No items, such as food, that might attract rodents or other vermin may be stored in these tubs. c) No Dumping: Common space, including hallways, must not be used to store or host any person's personal possession(s) or special events (for example, parties, receptions, and group meetings) unless consensus-minus-one permission is obtained from the group of all full residents (not including of course the person requesting permission to leave an item). Putting personal possessions or holding special events without this permission is termed “dumping”. Quiet Hours 14) Quiet hours are from 10:00 p.m. until 9:00 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. Playing musical instruments, loud conversation, radio, television/video, etcetera are allowed during the non-quiet hours as regulated in this document. 10
  11. 11. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook a) These quiet hours may be changed only through a full-consensus decision making process. b) The noise from putting away dishes is acceptable from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. c) Laundry quiet hours default to 11pm - 9am every day, unless otherwise determined by the occupants of the basement room and adjacent large bedroom. Rent 15) The rent check must be sent on the 1st weekday of every month. The rent is sent in one envelope to the landlord. Here is the procedure: a) The first person to finish making out their rent check provides the envelope, addresses the envelope to the landlord with their return address on it, writes the initials of every resident on the back of the envelope (including themselves), and puts the envelope on the refrigerator in a conspicuous place with the back of the envelope facing outwards (visible). b) Every person who has put their rent check in the envelope described above crosses their initials out on the back of the envelope. c) The last person to put their rent check in the envelope puts a stamp on the envelope, checks to make sure that all checks are inside the envelope, and is completely responsible to make sure that the envelope is mailed in a timely fashion. i) Note: If not all residents have included their rent check by the afternoon of the day that the rent must be sent, there is no obligation to wait any longer to send the envelope containing the rent checks. In this case, someone must cover for the person who has not included his or her rent check. i. The person checking to see that all checks are included must immediately notify the person who has not included his or her rent check. Safety Fire 16) Fire alarms may not be removed or disabled without first obtaining permission from the person assigned the handyperson chore, and must be re-enabled as soon as possible. 17) Fire alarms must be tested according to their manufacturer's instructions (see the Bubba files) to ensure their reliability. 18) Fire extinguishers may not be hidden behind other items. 19) When a burner or the stove is on, never leave the house without having someone else watch over the kitchen for you. 20) The sliding door between the kitchen and the laundry room (wherein a fire alarm is located) must be left open whenever no one is in the kitchen but the stove or a stove burner is on. 21) Stop the fire alarm from ringing a false alarm by waving a rag or towel near the fire alarm, or temporarily pointing a fan at it. If your cooking is causing smoke or other emissions (steam, etc.) that are triggering false fire alarms, use the house window fan 11
  12. 12. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook located by the window in the refrigerator room to exhaust the problem emissions and thereby avoid false fire alarms. 22) As mentioned elsewhere in this document, clean the lint trap on the dryer before using it, and make sure that stove burner and oven controls are in fact all the way off when they are turned off (to prevent gas leaks). Other Emergency Preparedness & First Aid 23) In the event of an emergency, such as an earthquake, immediately turn off the gas main if possible and safe to do so. It is located in front of the house outside the kitchen by the courtyard. 24) First Aid supplies are kept in the closet in the hallway by the dining room. 25) The water main shutoff is located on the High Street side of the house, underneath the steps leading to the first-floor entrance. 26) In the event of a plumbing back-flow, have the sewer roto-cleaned and use chlorine bleach in 25% concentration to disinfect all affected surfaces. See the Handyperson Chore Description. 27) A contact list with up to date emergency contact information for all residents must be maintained. For each resident, two emergency contacts must be given: at least one local contact and at least one family member. Laundry 28) A resident must leave their laundry basket or bag in the laundry room when their clothes are in the laundry or on the clothesline, so that others may put the laundry away when it is done or dry in order to make room for their own or other laundry. 29) Never leave any clothes, towels, or rags in the wash sink where the washing machine can dump its water. Clothes, towels, or rags that are left in the wash sink can easily cause the sink to overflow and flood the basement, which makes life very much less pleasant for the basement dweller and can lead to large repair bills for the basement carpet. 30) The lint screen on the dryer must be cleaned every time that a load of laundry is put into the dryer. If this is not done, a serious fire hazard is risked. 31) The dryer must not be left on unless someone is at the house. Leaving a dryer unattended is a leading cause of house fires. 32) After the lint screen is cleaned, the top of the dryer must be wiped clean of lint debris. 33) Unless someone is cooking in the kitchen, be sure to close the sliding door to the laundry room to minimize the noise in the rest of the house from the laundry machines. 34) The outdoor clothesline(s) should be used whenever possible instead of the dryer when the weather permits. Sunroom 35) Occasionally, the house might choose to rent out the Sunroom as a regular room in the house. When the Sunroom is used for this purpose, the following default rules take effect: 12
  13. 13. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook a) Window blinds on the interior windows go down by 9:30am on weekdays, and 11a.m. on weekends. This permits light to enter and view to be available in the main rooms of the house. b) The “down” position of the blinds is 3/5th of the height of the window, starting at the bottom of the window and moving up (the blinds are of an out-of-the-ordinary type and permit this). i. The window in the outside entrance may be completely covered. ii. The other members of the house agree to be very quiet during quiet hours, due to the proximity of the Sunroom to quiet areas. Kitchen Use 36) All leftover food must be labeled with the current date and identification of what the leftover food is. 37) All leftover food must be removed from cookware and stored in Tupperware or glass containers. 38) On weekends (Saturday and Sunday), it is the duty of each resident to put away dry dishes, not the person whose chore it is to put away the dishes on weekdays. 39) See the section of this document entitled, “No Dumping”, to see what is acceptable to donate to the kitchen. Bathroom Use 40) Always replace the toilet paper roll on its spindle in the bathroom if you are the user of the last of the current roll, even if it means hiking to the store to get a new roll. 41) The debris trap in the bathtub, shower, and sinks must be cleaned after each and every single use. a) Taking a piece of toilet paper and using it to clean out a debris trap is a handy way to keep your hands clean and do this dirty job. Of course, please wash hands afterwards. Security 42) While Palo Alto is a relatively safe town, and while Bubbaland itself is in a safe neighborhood, all it takes is one tragedy to make a lifetime of locking doors and leaving a security light or two on well worth it. a) Always lock the front and back doors after yourself, unless someone is directly outside the door. One exception for the back door holds for when someone is in the kitchen making dinner and expecting guests to come through that door. b) Crime prevention units of police departments commonly note that light outside of a house is a prime deterrent to break-ins, and that a dark, empty house is a more likely target of crime. At Bubbaland: i) The laundry room light (inside, by the side door) stays on at night. ii) The outside light by the front door stays on at night. c) Permission must be obtained via consensus-minus-one by anyone desiring to give a house key to people who are not current residents or current residential guests of the house 13
  14. 14. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook d) Keys may never be copied by anyone but the person responsible for the handyperson task. e) See the “Moving Out of the House” section for details on the returning of a key when a resident or residential guest moves out of the house. f) Hidden Keys: i) Well-hidden keys are allowed for periods of time less than five (5) days. ii) Keys may not be hidden outside anywhere for more than five (5) days without explicit permission via consensus-minus-one of the full residents of the house. Parking 43) There is one parking spot in the parking area available to Bubbaland residents. Residents must agree to use it by taking turns at some agreed-upon time interval. The default time interval is one month. Other parking is available along the side of the street by the house. Personal Hygiene 44) As a courtesy and safeguard, please maintain a reasonable level of personal hygiene, including one’s room. 45) As a courtesy and safeguard, please wash your hands with soap and warm or hot water after going to the bathroom. This prevents the spread of some serious diseases such as hepatitis. Attire 46) Any attire that does not carry a foul smell or hazardous substances (toxic substances, fresh manure) is acceptable at dinner and for loitering in the common areas. Other attire is not acceptable for these purposes. 47) Nudity in common areas (including hallways) is only allowed if those who might witness it agree that it is okay beforehand. 48) Please let anyone know if you are sensitive to specific scents, such as cologne, perfume, or incense. New Residents 49) A new resident may only be approved to live at Bubbaland by the full consensus of all the house residents. It is not a “consensus-minus-one” decision or any other type of decision. See the “Tips” section for the generally suggested process for finding a new housemate (resident). a) If a new resident states that he or she has dietary requirements that were not made clear during the interview process, that new resident cannot expect those dietary requirements to be recognized. However, any resident may petition the residents of the house to recognize (for house dinners) their dietary changes. Guests 50) A guest (beyond someone visiting for just a few hours) is someone invited in to the house to fill a vacant spot temporarily by a current resident or residents of the house. That current resident becomes their host. Guests are required to do all the things required of a normal full house resident, and have a voice in all house decisions as a 14
  15. 15. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook full resident would except that they are not part of the consensus required to change this document, the Bubbaland Handbook. Guests may attend meeting proceedings where the Bubbaland Handbook is changed, but they may not be a part of the decision making process around changing the Handbook other than listening to the proceedings and offering their opinion. In addition, guests are subject to different eviction rules than are residents (see below for details). The Home Office Occupant(s) 51) Unless their names are on the lease agreement with the landlord or unless they are simultaneously occupants of a bedroom at Bubbaland, the status of the occupants or occupant of any home office that is not also a bedroom at Bubbaland (for example, a home office or offices in the Sun Room) is that of guest of all members of the house, not resident of the house. Otherwise, they have the status of resident of the house. There Is No House Manager 52) Except for communication with the landlord, where by his choice only one or two members of the house should contact him, and except for eviction proceedings and the initial establishment of this Handbook, there shall be no person or persons who claim to represent or make decisions for the house or aspects of the house in any way without the consent of the house, as obtained via the established decision-making process defined herein. a) This means for example that there shall be no resident who claims to be the "manager" of the house, unless the rest of the house specifically designates this person to be the "manager". The spirit of Bubbaland is for all residents to be responsible enough to not require a manager. Meat 53) House dinners do not include meat (including fish and mollusks). a) Any kind of meat may be stored at Bubbaland. b) No red meat or pork may be cooked inside the house, but pre-cooked red meat or pork may be heated or defrosted. i) Allowable meat may be cooked at Bubbaland, using the same cookware and oven as is used for everything else. c) Meat may not be placed on the house bill or shopping list. Using the Last of Something 54) If a resident leaves two or less servings of a stocked food or cleaning item (regardless of how much existed before the resident commenced consumption of said item), that resident must add the item to the “house shopping” list. 55) If a resident uses the last of a stocked food item that was less than half used up prior to that resident’s latest commencement of consumption of that food item, that resident must replace that food item immediately. Seasonal House Improvement Projects 73) There is a major house maintenance task every season (fall, winter, spring, and summer) that will take about four hours to complete. 15
  16. 16. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook a) Time spent on a major house maintenance task over four (4) hours is distributable to the requirement for other seasons up to a maximum of eight (8) distributable hours per year. Otherwise, extra hours of work performed are not distributable. i) Thus, each resident must participate in at least two house maintenance task projects each year, regardless of extra hours worked on these tasks. b) Examples of possible house maintenance tasks include: painting common areas; cleaning out any storage areas that have become clogged with debris and articles owned by residents or former residents; improving this house handbook; washing all windows on the outside and cleaning the outside screens (they collect lots of dirt); organizing the house library; organizing bulk storage in the kitchen; renovating the lawn (for example, putting in groundcover plants that use less water); fixing the greywater system; building a fenced system in the parked car area for the containment of trash, recycling, and compost receptacles; putting in a fresh-air ventilation system for the basement room; steam cleaning any carpets; improving the finish of the hardwood floor; and upgrading the house audio-visual system. c) It may be convenient to organize major house maintenance tasks during a project weekend, so that residents may work together on a given task. Floor Care 56) Bubbaland’s floors add a very nice touch to the interior ambiance. It is important to preserve this. Thus, felt pads must be placed attached to the bottom of all objects that will rest on the floor. Residents of Bubbaland in the past have put a lot of work into the floor renovation project. Please respect their effort and make sure to put felt pads on all objects that will rest on the floor. a) This includes even plastic tubs, etc. Plastic tubs, if set on the floor, can trap hard dirt particles underneath them. Then, if they are slid across the floor, they can seriously scratch the floor. b) The floor, nevertheless, will get scratched. Allowed Entry Into A Resident’s Room 57) Permission for any resident or guest-in-residence at Bubbaland to enter into anyone else’s room is given by default unless otherwise noted by the resident(s) of the room in question. When on rare occasion entry to a resident’s room and possibly the moving of the resident’s personal items is required in order to complete a maintenance task essential to the rest of the house, that resident automatically agrees without complaint to that entry and possible moving of personal items. Subletting One’s Room 58) Subletting occurs when the resident of the house leaves the house for up to a maximum of one year but does not pass their security deposit on to the next resident of the room and does not take the cleaning deposit. However, the resident of the room must ensure that the room meets the cleaning standards set out below in the section, “Moving Out of a Room”. 16
  17. 17. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook 59) The person subletting a room is completely and absolutely responsible to make sure that the rent on the sublet room is paid in full, and is completely responsible for all other aspects of the sublet room. 60) Since the subletting person is a full resident or is a guest of the house, the housekeeping tasks assigned to the departing resident fall directly to the subletting person, except if there is an explicit reassignment of housekeeping tasks (also known as house jobs, or chores) through a house meeting. a) It is the complete responsibility of the person leaving the house to ensure that the subletting person has full knowledge of and relevant instruction regarding these housekeeping tasks. b) Subletting individuals are either full house residents or residential guests, with all the rights, responsibilities and obligations thereto appertaining. Moving Out of the House 61) Unless explicit permission is obtained via a full consensus of the residents of the house, all residents and residential guests must give their key to the resident responsible for the handyperson job. 62) A thirty- (30) day notice minimum is required; without exactly that or more the resident will be responsible for the full rent for the following month. The security deposit will be used to pay the following month’s rent if notice is not sufficient. a) The security deposit is the full amount of the rent on the room that is paid when the person moves into the room. b) The person moving in to the new room returns the security deposit to the renter. A senior house member will supervise this transfer of funds. c) The cleaning deposit is $33.33. It is contributed to the house if the cleaning of the room is not sufficient. Moving Out Of A Room 63) When resident(s) of a room in Bubbaland move out of that room, even if the move is only to another room in Bubbaland, the person(s) moving must perform the following tasks to the room being moved out of to the complete satisfaction of one of the current senior house members listed on the lease, regardless of the condition that the room was in when they moved into it: a) All possessions not belonging explicitly to the house as a whole must be removed from the room. If the individual(s) are leaving the house, no personal possessions may be left in the house without the prior consent of all of the other members of the house, even if the individual(s) would like to donate them to the house. b) All cobwebs must be removed. i) All walls must be sponge-wiped off in their entirety. ii) All stains must be scrubbed with a mildly abrasive scrubber to remove the stains if at all possible. iii) All mold/mildew (on walls, etc.) and mold/mildew stains must be removed, even if strong bleach water is required to accomplish this (wearing rubber gloves, use a soft sponge saturated with bleach water and scrub. Stain should go away within 1 hour). 17
  18. 18. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook iv) All windows must be washed, and windowpane frames and window ledges cleaned free of dirt and soil. v) All doors and woodwork must be wiped free of dirt and mold (even if bleach water is required to remove mold stains). vi) The floor, including the closet floor, must be swept. Posting (Walls/Boards) 64) Posting is to be done only on the three corkboards provided in the refrigerator room and in the kitchen. a) The emergency contact list (see the “Safety” section, above) will be posted on the kitchen corkboard. b) These boards are absolutely not a place for clutter. Do not post anything if its edges overlap the edges of another posting. Rather, ask the person or persons responsible for the previous posting if you may remove or trim their posting. If they say ‘yes’, or if a consensus-minus-one decision is reached on the part of all of the current full residents, then you may arrange the relevant postings on the corkboard such that your posting does not overlap them. c) Never tape or tack postings to walls, or write on walls. d) If you would like to put artwork on the walls, you must receive consensus-minus- one approval for doing so, prior to doing so. Artwork, since it is semi-permanent, may of course be attached to walls as appropriate. Fussy Notes 65) Written notes (including e-mail) and telephone messages from one resident to another that express any sort of admonishment or command are not allowed except in the case of overdue rent, fire safety, and physical hazards. Such non-excepted communications should instead be performed via live conversation. Television/Video Rules 66) These rules only cover a television/video monitor set(s) located in the common living room. The regulations for running a shared television/video set(s) follow: a. To avoid excessive disruption to live conversation, the television/video may not be run during any house dinner. b. The viewing of any television programs (video from a broadcast or streaming source, or routinely recorded video (such as “TiVo”)) must be approved by the residents of the house for viewing via consensus-minus- one. c. Video programming from recorded media (video, dvd, etc.) may be viewed at any time outside of the quiet hours. d. If, in the future, storage media capabilities increase tremendously in capacity from the levels of 2003, it will be necessary to revise these rules. Parties and Patio Use 67) Before scheduling a party: a) Ask housemates for permission. b) Notify neighbors. 18
  19. 19. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook c) Keep noise to a reasonable level. d) Keep windows and doors closed when noise or music is loud. Toxic Materials 68) Toxic wastes must always be disposed of properly through the Palo Alto city toxic waste disposal program. This includes all household hazardous wastes such as fluorescent lights, common batteries, certain unwanted toxic cleaning supplies, and automotive or other industrial fluids or parts. 69) The garden, lawn, and all houseplants are organically grown, as defined by the California Certified Organic Farmers rules (http://ww.ccof.org). 70) Before using or directing the use of toxic materials that will be dispersed into the environment in or around the house for whatever purpose, consent from all residents must be obtained, except on the indication of the landlord (for example, to exterminate rats). a) The rat situation at Bubbaland is not entirely in the control of the house or the owner of the house, because neighbors require the existence of rat-habitat providing plants and shrubs (such as the ivy). Sealing the house against rat intrusion is the best medicine, but they often chew their way in. b) It is the job of the handyperson to trap rats and mice with physical kill or have-a- heart traps (handyperson’s option) to the extent possible. c) Rats are dangerous at Bubbaland, because much of the wiring (being pre-building code) is not inside steel electrical conduit. Rat chewing activity can possibly strip the insulation from wires and possibly cause a short, which can lead to fire. d) The rats live in the ivy plants and in the bamboo litter. Removing the ivy would require negotiation with neighbors and the permission of the landlord. Removing the bamboo or keeping it permanently clean would be very labor-intensive. Smoking 71) Smoking is not allowed anywhere inside the house. Burning incense, however, is allowed in private rooms. Ask before burning in common spaces. Drugs (Including Alcohol) 72) Intoxication by drugs (including alcohol) is not tolerated at house functions (such as a house meeting, house dinner, or interview). a) Do not jeopardize members of the house or create an uncomfortable situation for any of them by any use or handling of drugs or alcohol. Utilities 73) The utility bill is split between each individual that lives in the entire house, meaning Bubbaland (the first floor and basement) and the residents of the upstairs apartments. Since the residents of the upstairs apartments do not access Bubbaland’s washer and dryer, they are given a credit of from $5 to $10, depending on current utility rates. 74) If a house member (resident or guest) is gone from the house for any period of time, there is no financial credit given to that house member for the utilities unused by that house member. 19
  20. 20. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook Animal Companions (Formerly Known As “Pets”) 75) Currently, Bubbaland’s landlord allows one pet. This may be a bird, cat, or other pet acceptable to the landlord. a) An animal companion, since it is similar in social nature to a resident or guest, may be brought into the house only on unanimous approval of all of the residents. b) As with houseplants, if a resident or residents bring an animal companion into the house, that resident or those residents are responsible to take care of all needs of the animal companion while it is at Bubbaland, or find it a new home. c) The financial obligation of veterinarian care must be discussed and decided upon prior to the entry of the animal companion. i) The care of the animal companion must meet the standards of recognized veterinarian associations. d) If a resident or residents want a companion animal to leave the house: i) If every resident of the house at any point in time accepts responsibility for an animal companion, it is a (non-human) resident, and just as a human resident, remains so even though identities of the other human residents in the house may change. ii) If only a subset of all residents of the house accept responsibility for an animal companion, it is a (non-human) guest of those residents. iii) Similarly, only the same groups empowered to evict a human resident or human guest may evict an animal companion (see the section on “Eviction”). The difference is that upon the eviction of an animal companion, those responsible for the animal companion must find it a suitable new home. Eviction 76) This is not a pleasant topic, but dealing with it in a straightforward manner as is done here is in fact the best way to prevent eviction from happening and makes putting it out of mind possible. And dealing with it here and now is by far the better alternative to avoiding this issue until the time that it may possibly rear its head. a) What is “Eviction” at Bubbaland? At Bubbaland, “eviction” is one of two things: i) Being asked to leave per the requirements set out below. ii) Being formally evicted by the Bubbaland resident(s) on the lease with the landlord. This form of Bubbaland “eviction” is not different from formal eviction as defined by governmental (Municipal, State and Federal) law, because the Bubbaland resident(s) on the lease is/are the landlord(s) of those not on the lease. At Bubbaland, the owner of the house would only become involved in evicting in extreme cases. In sum, it is up to the residents to make sure that the people living at Bubbaland are the right people. b) Who may evict a resident (as distinguished from a guest): i) Eviction requires a consensus-minus-one decision of the residents and in- residence guests of the house, not including the person being considered for eviction. c) Any guest may be evicted at any time by any one of their hosts or by a consensus- minus-one decision of the residents and in-residence guests of the house, not including the host. 20
  21. 21. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook i) It has been the experience of the house in times past that taking on guests who are not ideally suited to the Bubbaland living situation often leads to the eviction of the guests. It is very tempting to bring in guests not suited to Bubbaland when such potential guests are good people who may be on the brink of homelessness. But, inviting such guests to live at Bubbaland is not recommended. 77) In the case of an eviction, there is the question of who is empowered and responsible to order the eviction. Points ‘a’ and ‘b’ below answer this question. a) “Those empowered” are, in the case of both guests and residents, the same groups and individuals defined in points ’93 b’ and ‘93 c’, above. And these groups are of course morally responsible for any of their evictions. b) “Those responsible” are, in the case of a guest, the guest’s host(s), and s/he or they are also empowered to evict their guest at any time, and may not be barred from doing so by anyone, including any group of residents. In other words, hosts are responsible to make sure that their guests do the things required of them. If a guest has multiple hosts, only one host may evict the guest even if the other hosts do not want the guest to be evicted; agreement among hosts regarding the eviction is not required. All residents and in-residence guests are responsible to make sure that they do their best to help all other residents do the things needed to avoid eviction. All residents and in-residence guests are responsible to make sure that they do their best to help all other residents refrain from doing things that will lead to eviction. Minor Rules: “Better Bubba Living” 1. Dirty Dishes and Cookware: a) They may be taken to one's room instead of being cleaned, as long as others do not immediately need the dishes in question. b) No resident shall have any given pieces of dirty, unutilized dishware and/or silverware in their room for more than 24 hours. Following this rule reduces any possible rodent vector and any potential shortage of dishes for the other residents. a. No soaking of any pot, pan, utensil, or dish is allowed in the kitchen, unless the following conditions are met: If a given pot, pan, utensil, or dish has burned-on or very hard to remove food, it may be soaked overnight but only if it bears a label indicating the name of the person responsible for the soak. i. Out of respect for the next person using the kitchen, please be sure to clean up the soaked item before 5:00 pm the next day. 1. If cleaning the item is not possible in this time frame, the item must be soaked in the room of the person responsible, or outside the house. Any such item must be returned, clean, to the kitchen within 24 hours or the other residents of the house need to be notified and they must give their express permission for a longer soak of the item. 21
  22. 22. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook c) The water or juice pitcher, when empty, must be washed and re-filled with juice or water. d) Similarly, other containers such as the butter dish or a cereal container, when empty, must be kept clean and refilled. If the container is labeled, it must be refilled with the same item. e) Never put an empty container back in the fridge or a food storage cabinet. f) Large pots and pans must be dried and put away by the person making dinner within 3 hours after dinner. Otherwise, the dish drying area becomes crowded and precariously stacked. a. The cast iron must be dried especially soon in order to avoid rust. Dry cast-iron cookware on the stove, but to avoid burns, do not hang it up until it has fully cooled. 2. Bathroom Use: a. Toilet paper is generally stored in the lower shelves of the bathroom. b. Always wipe the bathtub or shower free of loose hair after using it, so that it is clean for the next person. c. Only store very clean, unstained towels in the bathroom. d. To conserve water, a bucket may be used to collect splash water. This splash water, when enough of it has been collected to fill a two-gallon bucket, can be used to flush the toilet when it is dumped into the toilet all at once. e. To conserve water, residents who use a given bathroom may elect via consensus to not flush the toilet every time there is urine in it. f. Before a vacation period during which all members of the house may be gone, check to make sure that the toilet is flushed. g. The toilet must be flushed every time that there is more than urine in it. h. Always leave the shower curtain stretched out instead of pushed to one side so that it may dry out more quickly and thus attract less mildew formation. i. Place bottles in hanging racks instead of in the corners of the tub or shower in order to avoid mildew damage to grout. This has caused water damage in at least one adjacent closet. j. Close the bathroom door all the way when using the toilet. k. Wash hands with soap and hot water after using the toilet. This prevents diseases such as hepatitis. 3. Dumping and Common Space, Defined: a. Common space is defined as all space in and around the house that is not a resident’s room or leased office. This includes the courtyard, parking area, lawn and garden, hallway closets, bathrooms, kitchen and kitchen cupboards and shelves, and any bulletin boards. b. Permission is given by default for storage of personal effects in the bathrooms at the measure of a total of two square feet of bathroom shelf/rack/countertop space per resident. c. The thumbtack bulletin boards are a place for safety and utilitarian (maps, recycling, etc.) information. Do not post political or artistic materials or event announcements on them. 22
  23. 23. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook i. The materials on the thumbtack bulletin boards must not under any circumstances become cluttered. The person doing the job of handyperson is empowered to remove and rearrange postings in order to attain an uncluttered appearance. d. Any items dumped against these rules (for example, dumped bicycles, motorcycles, cars, and on down to lesser items such as lamps and plants) may be donated to a charity or non-profit such as Goodwill or seized by Bubbaland for its own use. i. An exception is made for the parking area that allows a vehicle owned by a resident to be parked there, as long as it moves off of the parking area under its own engine power for one day at least once every two (2) months. a. Special permission via consensus-minus-one must be obtained from the residents of the house if a vehicle is to be left in the parking area without moving out of the parking area under its own power for more than two (2) months. b. Full consensus is required to allow a vehicle to stay in the parking area without moving out of the parking area under its own power for more than 5 months. If obtained, such approval must be re-obtained every six months. c. Keeping dead vehicles in the parking area is not a way to make neighbors in Palo Alto happy. The happiness of the neighbors is important to the landlord, so therefore it is important to residents of Bubbaland. ii. An exception is made for bicycle attachments that are made to be easily attached and detached, such as bicycle trailers and headlights, and for bicycle maintenance tools that are frequently used, such as bicycle pumps and chain wax or chain oil containers. These items may be neatly stored in the courtyard common area. a. Explicitly not included in the set of such items are bicycle mechanical parts, such as inner tubes, seats, chains, forks, frames, etcetera. e. Nothing whatsoever outside of receptacles for trash and recyclables, potted plants, and vehicles with permission to park, is ever allowed in front of the fence that divides the courtyard from the parking area. i. This is per the landlord’s request. f. If you have more food or cookware items than may be stored in a very organized fashion in the Bubbaland kitchen, but would like to not store them in your own room or storage allotment, please do not store them in the kitchen. While Bubbaland greatly appreciates your kind generosity, it so happens that people who come to live at Bubbaland tend to be generous, and so if that generosity is allowed to fall in an excessive manner upon the kitchen, a real storage problem results. 4. After-Dinner Clean Up: It is the responsibility of the cook to perform each of the following tasks: a. Clean counter, stove top, and sink. 23
  24. 24. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook b. Do all dishes. c. Leave nothing in the sink and sink drain traps. d. Empty trash if full. e. Sweep floor. f. Change or shake out (outside) tablecloth. g. Put away dishes before 5:00 PM the next day. 5. Recycling: a. Glass, tin, and plastic containers to be recycled are to be collected in a container that is outside of the house. b. Any container that is to be recycled and stored temporarily inside the house must be washed out. 6. Kitchen Use: a. Always wipe the counter and stove and any surfaces that have been soiled absolutely clean after you are finished using them. b. Leave nothing whatsoever in the sink when done. c. Store food only in sealed jars or cans and always label the jars or cans appropriately, conspicuously, and legibly. d. Never store any foodstuff in any kind of bag in the cabinets. e. Put overstock in the large Tupperware container. Storage in bags has two chief drawbacks: i. They do not stack well, so when piled on top of one another, their contents cannot be easily ascertained (especially when one bag falls completely in front of another one). ii. They are easily peirceable by moths, and will become breeding grounds for moths. Once pierced enough, beetles follow, especially when cupboard doors are left open. Soon after that, an entire ecosystem can sprout up, devouring and contaminating foodstuffs. f. Only dry items on the drying rack or cloth or the pot hanging rack. g. Don’t hang wet items against hooks on the painted cabinet or wall surfaces. The water causes the paint to bubble up and rots the wood. h. Compost only vegetable matter (includes dried beans (such as coffee grounds) and flour) and eggshells, and nothing else. i. To keep meat, bones and other items out of the landfill, freeze them until a sufficient amount is attained for transport to some soil somewhere that could use them. These items are in fact compostable, but require an especially rigorous composting system for safe composting. It is not recommended to try this in an urban area and in fact is probably illegal in most urban areas. j. Close cupboard doors when finished. This reduces the chances of habitation by moths, beetles, and rodents. 7. Cleaning Jobs: Being responsible to clean a given area includes being responsible to keep the ceiling and wall surfaces and any window and door surfaces completely clean and stain-free. 8. Clothesline Use: Clothes must be removed from the clothesline after they have been on the line for 24 hours. 24
  25. 25. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook a. Tip: The energy use of clothes dryers in the U.S.A. is approximately equivalent to the amount of energy produced by nuclear reactors in the U.S.A. 9. Garden Use: Please do not walk in or harvest from the garden unless you have read the ‘Important Tips’ section in this handbook on harvesting from the garden. 10. Potted Plants: Any person bringing potted plants into the house or into the yard or courtyard or garden of the house is obligated to either keep them well watered and fed and healthy, or remove them from the house and its grounds. 11. Cast Iron Care: Use of soap should be avoided when cleaning cast iron or clay pots and pans. a. The reason for this is that soap ruins the natural “seasoning” of this cookware, which depends upon the existence of some vegetable or other oil at the slightly porous surface of the pan. b. Be sure not to let the cast iron and steel cookware rust. c. Try to avoid using steel utensils with cast iron cookware, as they can scrape the “seasoning” off. Of course, to remove tough excess deposits, use of steel may be necessary. 12. Sink & Tub Use: Be sure to use the strainers in the kitchen sink and bathtub at all times. If this is not done, the likelihood of an expensive plumbing repair bill is greatly increased. 13. Sponges: a. Squeeze out the excess water in the sponges and scrubbies when done at the sink. i. This improves sanitation by reducing the ability of certain anaerobic bacteria to thrive in the sponges. b. If there is boiling water left over in the kettle, pour it over the sponges and scrubbies in the sink to sterilize them in a healthy, non-toxic manner. 14. Push in Chairs: Push in the chairs at the dining room table (and put away other chairs when finished). The reason for doing this is that otherwise, everyone must walk several steps extra in order to get by the table since we have a narrow dining room, and it reduces the chance of tripping over a chair when it is dark. 25
  26. 26. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook Chore Definitions Utility Chores The Palo Alto Utility Bill arrives around the 10th of every month, and is due at the end of the month. It comes in Dave Mans’ name, but is paid by the utility person. 1) The bill can be paid by check and mailed in, or can be paid in person at City Hall by credit card, cash, or check. 2) The Bubbaland Utilities Spreadsheet (computer-based, Excel-format) has been designed to calculate each resident’s portion of the utilities plus the upstairs residents’ dues. 3) A copy of the bill is made for each of the upstairs residents and the total due is written at the bottom. They usually pay by check or cash, so you should note to whom the check should be made. 4) Utilities are shared with the upstairs residents, and utility credit is given to these residents as needed. House Bills Utilities, food costs, miscellaneous items, and savings account contributions are tallied for all residents (and the upstairs residents for utilities only) each month by the House Bills coordinator. The Bubbaland House Bill spreadsheet (computer-based, Excel- format) has been designed to make this job easier. Here (below) is an example: Michell May-03 Totals Drew Chris Laura e William FOOD Days Here 145.00 31 31 31 21 31 Amount Spent 443.75 75.40 27.81 0.00 42.17 298.37 Food Bill Share 443.75 94.87 94.87 94.87 64.27 94.87 Net Food Bill 19.47 67.06 94.87 22.10 -203.50 Last Food Rate Cost/Day: $3.06 Month: $1.89 UTILITIES Bubbaland Share 186.93 # of Users 5.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 Utility Cost Per 186.93 37.39 37.39 37.39 37.39 37.39 Utility Paid 186.93 186.93 felt, leg Miscellaneous covers Misc. Spent 20.00 20.00 Misc. Cost Per 20.00 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00 26
  27. 27. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook SAVINGS Savings Contrib. 25.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 Previous Balance 246.48 246.48 Purchases 0.00 Current Balance 271.48 271.48 0.00 Cost This Month 675.68 141.26 141.26 141.26 110.65 141.26 Paid This Month 650.68 75.40 47.81 0.00 229.10 298.37 Net This Month 25.00 65.86 93.45 141.26 -118.45 -157.11 Past Due 0.00 0.00 Total cost/day 23.50 4.56 4.56 4.56 5.27 4.56 0.00 Total Owed 0.00 65.86 93.45 141.26 -143.45 -157.11 1. Residents mark the number of days that they are gone from Bubbaland (at least three days at a time) on the calendar, and the total days tallied for each resident are put into the spreadsheet. 2. Totals from each person spent on food items, house dinners, miscellaneous household items, etc. are tallied and entered in appropriate sections (see table: food at top, felt and leg covers added in miscellaneous column). 3. The utility bill is divided up using another spreadsheet and the total Bubbaland utility cost is entered into the Bubbaland spreadsheet. 4. Savings account contributions are $5/month, and are also added to the total. 5. The totals for house shopper and utility bill payer are usually negative, as they are paying out more each month than their individual bill, so at the end of the month everyone pays their bill to the utility/house bills person and that person writes a check for the house shopper. Weekday Dishes 1. Empty dish drainer on mornings when there was no house dinner the night before. 2. On weekends, you are responsible for emptying it before the weekend (Friday or Saturday morning) and at the end of the weekend (Sunday night or Monday morning). 3. Rewash any dishes that are put into the drainer dirty. a. If you know whose dishes they might be, you may ask them to rewash them. 4. When putting away dishes, please put largest on the bottom, as having small dishes on the bottom or in the middle creates avalanches! This seems like common sense, but you would be amazed. 5. If the dishes are stacked haphazardly, it is your job to restack them. Compost 1. There are two compost containers located below the kitchen sink. The containers need to be emptied weekly or when filled, whichever comes first. 27
  28. 28. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook 2. Empty the containers into the gray “Rubbermaid” bin next to the outside recycling bins. The bin can be carried by bike trailer or car to the Stanford Community Farm, or other friendly garden, for use in the compost piles. 3. The plastic sleeve of each of the compost containers and the inside of the compost bin needs to be washed each time the bin or containers are emptied. This prevents the accumulation of foul smells. 4. The metal container should be washed once a month at least. It does not need washing each time because it does not usually come in direct contact with the food waste. Curb Recycling Please refer to the online Palo Alto Recyclopedia (http://www.city.palo- alto.ca.us/recycle/recyclopedia/index.html), which gives a list of materials that can be re- used and/or recycled to decrease the growth of our landfills. 1. Bubbaland participates in the Palo Alto curbside recycling program that allows us to recycle plastic bottles, aluminum and tin cans, glass bottles and jars, newspaper, mixed paper, and flattened cardboard. 2. A general recycling bin is located adjacent to the steps on the back porch. Members of the house use this bin to recycle all the recyclable materials mentioned above. Cardboard is flattened and stored by residents/guests for later recycling by the refrigerator. The Curb Recycler picks up this cardboard and places it by the curb when appropriate for recycling. The Curb Recycler also collects all old newspapers once per week from the dining room and recycles these. 3. It is the duty of the Curb Recycler to separate the recycled material into their appropriate bins. The bins for these items are located near the bamboo trees. 4. The curb-recycling chore requires that these bins be set out on the curbside near the bamboo trees by Monday morning before PASCO arrives to retrieve the material. Finally, the chore also requires that all bins be returned immediately to their appropriate location for the week. 5. The “Odd Recycling” person at Bubbaland also recycles other materials that are not a part of the Palo Alto Curbside Recycling program (refer to the Recyclopedia). These items need to be taken directly to the Palo Alto Recycling Center, which is a separate chore and not done by the Curb Recycler. Odd Recycling This job entails taking all recyclable materials not encompassed by Curb Recycling to either the Palo Alto Recycling Center or the Stanford Recycling Center. Currently, The Stanford Recycling Center recycles aseptic containers, which are not yet taken at the Palo Alto Recycling Center. Examples of items to haul to the Palo Alto Recycling Center include steel piping, batteries, aluminum pieces, and Styrofoam. Vacuum and Clean Floors 1. All common floors (living room, hallways, dining room, entryways) should be swept and spot-cleaned weekly or as needed. 2. Baseboards should be wiped with damp cloth to remove spills and dust. 28
  29. 29. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook House Shopper The House Shopper basically does all the shopping for staple food items and items on the shopping list. You are not technically responsible for any items not on the list, but it is a general kindness to do a general sweep of staple items before going to the store. How hardcore this rule is enforced is up to the individual, as there can be times when folks get upset about empty food containers, but the items weren’t put on the list. It is difficult to spot everything, especially if they are items you seldom come into contact with (for instance, specific types of tea or vinegar, or animal products if you are vegan). Alcohol can be included in house shopping if it is to be shared, as can specialty foods (shared by a majority of housemates; ask before buying). Meat is never assumed to be on the house shopping list. Although you are only really required to shop once or twice per week, this can be a very time consuming chore and can involve several hours a week. Toilet Paper Shopper 1. This is a distinct job because it is critical that there be toilet paper in the house at all times. 2. Toilet paper is purchased as a bulk order from a local or mail supplier (such as Country Sun, Whole Foods, etc.). 3. The Toilet Paper Shopper stocks toilet paper in both bathrooms on the designated toilet paper shelves. House Laundry 1. House laundry consists of all house linens such as tablecloths, cloth napkins, and dishtowels. 2. Laundry should be washed at a duration that both conserves energy/water and leaves the house with an ample supply of all linens. That is, use the washer and dryer efficiently by ensuring that there is always a full-load but do not leave the house without linens. 3. This duration is usually about once every two weeks. 4. During the warm summer months, it is desirable to dry the linens on the clothesline as described in the Rules section. Refrigerator Interior and Contents The House refrigerator needs to be kept in an orderly and clean state to be enjoyed by everyone and maximize efficient use of space. It is best to begin this chore with a thorough cleaning once per season (fall, winter, spring, summer). 1. Remove all refrigerator items and wiping down the surfaces with warm water. 2. Food items that are more than two weeks old should be composted according to the Bubbaland composting guidelines set out in the “Kitchen Use” section of this Handbook. 3. Any food items that are not labeled and dated (Tupperware items) should be composted immediately. 4. Return the items to the refrigerator as seems fit. 5. Questionable items should be kept on one shelf and the house should be promptly notified of their existence and the consequence (composted) of not immediately claiming these items. 29
  30. 30. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook Now that a thorough cleaning has been done, the chore of cleaning the house refrigerator becomes one of weekly maintenance. 1. On a weekly basis, make sure that food items more than two weeks old and that all unlabeled/undated items are composted. 2. Clean up spills and wipe down surfaces as needed. 3. Go through the vegetable drawer and ensure that all the vegetables are in bags and rotten veggies are composted. 4. If house members have personal food items in the refrigerator that are spoiling please notify them before composting Maintain Bubbaland Handbook 1. Make any changes to the Handbook decided upon by a full consensus of residents. a. Keep a completely up-to-date copy of the Bubbaland Handbook in the Bubba Files box. b. Keep a completely up-to-date copy of the Bubbaland Handbook on the Web in a publicly available place, and make sure that all residents have the link to the document. 2. In case a resident does not have easy access to the Web, provide that resident with a printed hardcopy of the Bubbaland Agreement. 3. Share the Bubbaland Handbook with other co-operatives. Handyperson 1. Maintain fire alarms and fire extinguishers. 2. Check and (if necessary) clean dryer vent every 2 years to avoid a fire hazard. It has never clogged, but should be checked. 3. Get information annually on fire safety. 4. Make sure that the carbon monoxide detectors in the basement are functioning. 5. Contact the landlord before spending more than $30.00 on a house repair. 6. Replace the filters on the end of the washing machine used-water dispensing hose with new filters before they become clogged. 1. Replacement filters are kept inside the square closet in a bag on a hook attached to the closet door in the laundry room. 2. These are flexible wire mesh filters made to filter enough lint out of the water discharged from the washing machine that the sewer or greywater pipes receiving the water will not become clogged with lint. 3. Ace Hardware offers a 12% discount on these filters if purchased in bulk. 4. If these filters become clogged, then the dispensing hose on the washing machine becomes pressurized and varying amounts of water are leaked out onto the floor. The more clogged the filters, the more water will be leaked onto the floor. i) A serious clogging could flood the basement. 5. Change the filters when the lint trapped by the filters has built up to the point where it is not possible to see much metal wire mesh on the filters. 7. Replace the washing machine solenoid with new when it is eight years old (washing machine hoses are good for a lifetime). 30
  31. 31. The Bubbaland Co-op Handbook 8. Notice anything amiss with the physical house and alert the landlord if it is not easily repairable. 9. Maintain an emergency-preparedness kit located outside the house. 10. The washing machine hoses were last changed in November of 2003 to nearly- forever-lasting steel-braided hoses. 1. Regular washing machine hoses (non-steel-braided) should be changed once every three years (prevents water damage to basement). Replacement hoses should be of equal length because the washer often “walks” a bit while washing heavy loads. 11. Replace the washing machine solenoid once every eight years. Find the last date of replacement on the rear of the washing machine. The solenoid keeps the water to the washing machine shut off. If it fails, the basement will be deeply flooded. 12. If the gray water system is in place, ensure the proper drainage of the washing machine’s gray water. 1. If running the gray water system, make sure that it does not clog or overflow. 13. Maintain a reliable, working flashlight, an axe by the back door, ten gallons of earthquake preparedness water, and a crowbar stored outside of the house (for earthquake preparedness). 14. Keep the area between the stairway to the second story of the house on the courtyard side and the big bedroom of Bubbaland orderly in appearance and clean. 15. Clean the refrigerator coils (at the back of the refrigerator) annually. 16. Test the heater in September, before cold weather. It is much easier to get repair specialists to fix the heater before the onset of cold weather. 17. Replace the heater filter with a new one every three (3) months. 18. Clean the filters on the back of the shower faucets and on the washing machine hoses once per year. 1. They trap particles that after about one year begin to seriously reduce the flow of water. 19. Set the thermostat schedule so that the heat goes off at night, and so that it goes off during the middle of the day if no one is usually home at that time. 20. Know where spare fuses are located (in the closet in the hallway by the big bathroom). 21. Know where the fuse boxes are located (in the hallway by the big bathroom on the wall, and on the outside of the house opposite the kitchen counter). 22. Trap and remove any rodents. 1. Use disposable rubber gloves to dispose of rats and traps inside a tied plastic bag. 2. To avoid the spread of disease, do not reuse kill traps and sterilize any live traps after use. Rats are vectors for serious diseases that may afflict humans. 23. Fix minor plumbing problems such as worn out faucet seals. 24. Turn off water to the house when necessary. Water shutoff is on the High Street side of the house, by the base of the house near the door on that side. 25. In case of sewer backflow, sterilize all affected surfaces and have the sewer roto- rooted (also described above in emergency preparedness). Sewer backflow is dangerously unsanitary. 1. The access point to the house sewer is a cement cover located at ground level outside the front door, just to the left (facing the house) of the raised brick planting bed. 31

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