this may look like a giant megaphone but it is some sort of duct pressure device. like a dyno for hvac systems.
this was all part of the austin green builder rating system. our builder believes (as do we) that we easily have a five star home. but the rating system is a series of boxes that get checked or unchecked without regard to differing home systems and types. one example would be the volley of exchanges over the termite barrier. the inspector kept insisting that our framing was in jeopardy from being eaten by termites. we insisted that it's just not possible since we have no wood framing... all steel studs. this was really difficult to get around as there is no box to check for "no wood for termites to eat". then there was the issue with the toilets. we have dual flush toilets, BUT the brand we have is not on their list. we could have a low water use toilet that was on their list and get our five stars, but even though our toilets are using less water than those (because the smaller flush of the dual flush is HALF of every flush on the approved low flow toilet), our particular brand has not been tested. I know there were lots of last minute debating over what is "green" and what is not. our rating will likely be listed as "not yet rated" for the cool homes tour.
by the way, am I the only person who is getting sick and tired of having this green issue being picked up by everybody? it seems that every major corporation is now waving a green flag, from soap peddlers to auto makers.... c'mon. it seems everybody is either telling you how to be green or proclaiming that they are green. doing the right thing doesn't mean waving your flag and beating your chest about it. I bet many of these corporations now advertising their green status have spent more on those ad campaigns than actually being environmentally responsible. OK, let's get off the green wagon for today (see at the bottom of the page how we drive our vintage cars w/ no emissions!)
have some furniture on the roof deck (was called green roof). all the plants we have up there are growing like weeds!
occotilla bloom out front
he is also growing like a weed.
we shoveled about two tons of pea gravel and decomposed granite this past weekend. a friend came over to help so we could get a day pass to participate in a scavenger hunt/road rally hosted by the alamo drafthouse to promote the new speed racer movie.
we took the M roadster and forgot to wear SPF. we eventually put the top up and used the a/c
it's been a while since I've posted. I've been lazy as it's just easier to read about what I've been doing over at the austintreehouse.com blog
we attended a BMW meet. we were surprised to find that the meet was composed of mostly brand new bmw. nothing wrong with that, they are awesome cars. but it sort of became a "look at my rims" show. it was like a scene from the fast and the furious, not that I've seen that movie, but it was what I imagine it might be like, complete w/ hip-hop music and dancing girls. it was odd. very different from the car events we used to attend back in CA.
with a vintage car, you spend time restoring, fixing, upgrading, searching for parts etc. the meets are a social event where you walk away inspired and usually learn something.
with the new cars it's like a contest of who has spent the most $ recently. most owners fall into two categories, guys with enough $ to drop on such expensive toys, or young guys who have signed away their life to car payments often more than their house note. occasionally we get the urge to sell a few of our vintage cars and buy some fancy new toy (we don't like to finance cars) but then 2 years down the rd you realize your car is no longer new and the kids who just signed away their life now have the hot new toys. and there we'd be holding a used car that is depreciating like a brick. I guess that all comes from the lesson learned soap box.
we do like new bmws, I'm not bashing the new cars or their owners. I especially like the 335i and the new 135i. I've driven our friend's 335i and I was very impressed. we are anxiously awaiting bmw to bring over their diesel engines. that mini clubman D is supposed to get 60 mpg and quick 0-60.
we still like our 40 year old cars.
it is great fun to speed up an empty parking garage.
mother's day heffe weizen