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Building the Pink House

The Pink House house is made of rammed earth, and heated by geothermal energy – through in-floor water pipes. The floor is concrete, which is the best conductor for in-floor. The heating is supplemented by a Tempcast masonry stove, the latter the greenest cheapest way to heat a house, its radiant heat used in pre-electricity Europe. For the first year, we only used the masonry stove, and it kept us warm, despite the 12 foot walls, and massive central hall.

The cost savings of geo-thermal were substantially less than advertised.

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Goodness, HBO’s Sharp Objects is Mondo Depressing

August 16, 2018
I like Amy Adams the lead in Sharp Objects, the current piece by Gone Girl author, Gillian Flynn.  And I enjoyed Gone Girl, mostly because revenge.  But honestly, really?  What is going on here, other than endless parades of flashbacks, nightmares, insults from the worst mother ever to walk the planet, a lotta drinking, very very weird sexual encounters, and some admittedly shocking displays of cutting? There is a reason they tell you in writing school ...
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The Rub of Rough Sex

August 12, 2018
Basically I think sex has jumped the shark. People are turning off – not guys and not porn of course – but in the super-culture, where only consumer choice leads. Amazon has started hiding erotica, the pieties of Hearth and Home, the W Network, Hallmark, Lifetime and so on, dominate television. Grubby, gritty, dark drama is losing its fascination. Of course, in the further regions of the left, where that provincial and dizzyingly narrow-minded community is ...
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Forests: Manage them or Watch Them Burn

August 9, 2018
Yesterday, driving my step-son Amos to the ferry, we drove into what I consider the most astonishing vista on Salt Spring, which is Bruce Ridge, a sheer treed mountain that peaks at around 2350 feet. I haven’t made it to the top yet, but I climb its switchbacks as often as I can. It is breathtaking in every sense of the word, high, lonely, wild, exhausting. I carry one of those sound-barrier-breaking alarms because of ...
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The Adventure of Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs

August 8, 2018
For the past nine months, I’ve been coming off drugs I took for 25 years to moderate a mild case of CFS/Fibromyalgia. I was prescribed relatively tiny doses of an old-fashioned anti-depressant to improve the quality of my sleep. “A homeopathic dose,” said my GP. If I was stressy, I took more, if not, I took less. It worked. I didn’t fall entirely out of the stream of life as do most people with CFS. ...
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Amazon, Apple, Twitter and Facebook are all heading for Trust-busting, Roosevelt-style

August 6, 2018
Enjoy the giants, because in ten years they will be gone. Amazon, Apple, Google, Twitter are all heading for the chopping block of democracy. And free speech is the accelerant. They are too big; they are too dominant. They are worse than the robber barons who were ruined by Theodore Roosevelt, an earlier Trumpkin.  I don’t need to cite the figures showing that they are virtually the only publishers now, the rest just feed into their maw. ...
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Fame is the Mask that Eats Your Face

August 5, 2018
I have watched the new documentary, Robin Williams, Come Inside My Mind on HBO 2 ½ times now. It is a luminous piece of work that peels back the many layers of William’s tragic clown persona. Fame is the mask that eats your face a friend reminded me recently. Williams started as a serious-minded preppie who went to elite single-sex schools bent on turning out the leaders of tomorrow. But touched by genius and seduced by ...
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This the soundtrack of my childhood

July 21, 2018
Press play https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ef-4Bv5Ng0w
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Who needs Italy?

July 20, 2018
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The difficult questions of epigenetics

July 20, 2018
A couple years ago, The New Yorker published a long piece by Siddhartha Mukherjee, who famously wrote The Emperor of All Maladies, about The Gene, his new book, which I have ordered.  Mukherjee is a meticulous writer, so there will be a substantial amount of plowing through the history of the genome, twin studies and various and many other digressions before he gets to the eternal point, which is nature or nurture?  I plan to do ...
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Burnt Norton (1 of Four Quartets) TS Eliot

May 7, 2018
In order to arrive there, To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not, You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy. In order to arrive at what you do not know You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance. In order to possess what you do not possess You must go by the way of dispossession. In order to arrive at what you are not You must go through ...
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