Thursday, March 26, 2009

The View From Rocky Top

Check out Mike and My Blog about where we live and the craziness involved here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Rice Model

So this is the model I have been working on for the past three weeks. This afternoon it goes to the heliodon! Wordem up. Its for a project for Lundberg Family Farms, a big organic rice grower (biggest in the world). Enjoy the pics.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Some Hope and Excitability

Reading the comments sections of Youtube videos may be a horrible way to spend time, but it has revealed what a divided population and climate we have. There is so much anger and downtalk about what is going on. Comments about illegal aliens, having "no civil rights", about Obama being unworthy and not worth our support are all over the place. It is saddening. Why not get behind these things and go forward? Well, hell, let's do it. I love this guy, he is positive, firey, well spoken and is the one guy rallying people behind what needs to happen.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Couple Weeks of Bon Iver

I know this guy is not exactly breaking news to many of you but he is pretty wonderful and worth mentioning, especially as Northern California is experiencing some of the best weather of the year (unless you are a farmer) while the rest of the country is having trouble starting anything diesel.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Wildcat Creek Mushroom Hunt!

Chanterelles are supposed to be coming out now, or apparently soon, because there were none found on this trip. Mike and I did find some other fun shroomies so if anyone knows their stuff please identify. It was a nice last day before the return to work after almost two weeks off. The park is amazing and I feel lucky to be living so close to it. We climbed along the river banks and up along the paths for park goers and found a fair bundle of different fungis. Its was pretty wet last week so they were popping up all over the show.

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Soggy Garden and Some Nice Bread

It's about three months since this photo was taken. These grasses have come and gone and their offspring are now enveloped by three and four foot been stalks with violet flowers on them. The weather has also changed. The rains that I heard so much about all fall finally came. The low sun doesn't get to the soil like it did when I first got to California and the garden path is soggy now, not hard and dusty. I haven't used the hose in at least three weeks and the graywater seems like its doing more flooding than quenching.

Pretty soon those flowers will be beans and those beans on the table. The greens are going hard and the baby cauliflower is hidden in the womb of those wonderful two foot leaves. The carrots got thinned out for the final time yesterday, and the replanting experiment worked. There will be some good work to do this weekend and the photos will be up soon.

Last night Mike and I made a couple recipes from the fine people at Mother Earth News: artisan bread and a millet and butternut squash bisque with smoked salmon. Both were from scratch and amazing, especially together. Neither of us had made bread before so that was pretty exciting. There is plenty of dough left for another couple of boule loaves and a pizza or two. Damn cheap and dang tasty. There is something amazingly satisfying about watching something transform from ingredients to dough to tasty, warm, in-ma-bellie-good bread. Go bake something, it'll make you happy!

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Sustainability versus Jesus, Round I

I spent a relatively quiet break kitten sitting, studying for the LEED NC 2.2 AP exam and pretending I was an architecture student in the early 90s. I learned two things:

1. Kittens are amazing and horrible, generally not at the same time
2. Green is trying to become God

The Berkeley Library has posted the final lecture series of the late architectural history guru Spiro Kostof. These are wonderful, quirky and incredibly informative videos of every lecture; one even gets cut off early due to a bomb threat. The overarching trend throughout history is that those who have the say get to do what they want. The beauty of the time is always directed by faith. The church had the money and the power and it did what it wanted. They had the power and the means to implement city planning changes on a scale that made the Three Gorges look easy. Pope Sixtus IV was able to completely transform Rome, straightening roads and creating vistas in a way that would have created a revolution under a king.
Now LEED, despite its many flaws and absurd bureaucracy has two huge positive aspects. It gives the designer papal authority over not only the client but also the contractor and subs to decide on materials, systems and building design in ways that were not previously possible. Any project without unlimited funding (ostensibly all projects not for the Vatican) is going to need that push to 'go green' err... i mean become more earth friendly. And the license to push is exactly what the carrot on the line, a LEED certification, can provide.

Studying thus far has been okay, the lectures have proved far more interesting than the LEED Reference manual, as has Tica's dad's copy of Curse of Lono. Luckily, I have two buddies, both Mikes who are taking it the same day. 34% pass rate, hopefully we are above the curve before things start to get funky.

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