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indoor project week, SCARY ARCTIC BLAST!

we saw extremely low temps for central texas this past week. down into the teens!  it was a good time to knock a few projects off the long term list. 

we had some leftover FLOR scraps.  after a great deal of hair pulling and bad languages spewing from my mouth (broken drill bits etc) I managed to screw through each one of those 1/8 inch steel treads.  the carpeted stairs are FAN-TASTIC.  no longer do our feet make THUNG-THUNG-THUNG sounds as we use the stairs, and the cold steel is now insulated from bare feet.  the long term objective of introducing some softer surfaces should help resolve some of the sound travel issues.

kat's biggest complaint about this house has always been the small closet space.  this is now resolved for the kid's rooms.  each child now has a large portable cabinet with shiny stainless steel doors.  we also managed to get rid of the baby crib and little man has made the transition to the bottom bunk.  I took a picture of the daughter's room while it was being transformed/cleaned up.  it was an obvious inidcator that she is growing up when she said "don't post that picture to the blog!"  it has been respectfully omitted.

g-plan teak side table

HEY!  look what we found!  OK, so we bought this fabulous G-Plan solid teak credenza few years ago.  for the past two years it has been burried under baby clothes; clothes now relocated to the cabinet in the boys room.  I am excited to once again see the surface of my favorite piece of furniture in our collection. 

 kat and I often have differing ideas of organization and cleaning up.  for me, a jumbled up wad of wires would be cleaned up if they were chucked away in a drawer or cabinet, out of sight.  for kat, they would be completely acceptable on top of a cabinet or counter top as long as they were unknotted and neatlysorted and organized.  maybe I am more of a minimalist, she is much more of an organizer. I do not really care to have my underwear folded before it goes into the drawer, it seems to perform the same either way, kat cringes when she looks at my side of the closet, the shoe pile!  however, when clutter seems to be out of control, I start to freak out.  my solution is most often to get rid of the excess stuff, kat's solution usually involves the container store.  the neatly folded and stacked baby clothes on top of the G-plan cabinet have not bothered kat as much as they have me.  this week, our problem was solved with her more storage method.   

HOO-RAY for the additional closet space and a happy ending. 

friday evening was just about as much "ARCTIC BLAST!" as we could take.  we jumped up and went to happy hour at a nearby tex-mex joint, el arroyo; the ditch.  it was a last minute idea and we arrived 10 minutes before happy hour ended.  we sat in the patio space (somewhat enclosed for winter) and enjoyed margaritas, ice and all.  another happy ending.

el arroyo happy hour

all this arctic blast talk seems to have caused a rise in global warming skeptics.  I've noticed people of reasonable intelligence scoffing at the idea of climate change.  the comments often seem to involve partisan politics.  I'm not a very political person, don't really care for/trust politicians myself.  but I have observed that climate opinions have become muddled up with red/blue politics.  it seems that if one side says "up", the other side is obligated to scream "down", as a matter to be argumenative. 

yet I believe most people of average intelligence have the common sense to not spend a great deal of time in their garage with their car running and the door closed...  that is usually considered to be suicide!  somehow the same exhaust when released into the earth's atmosphere is supposed to just float on out to space?  we can all see the population growth, the sprawl, the expanding use of energy, more cars on the road than ever.... where does the pollution go? 

I don't claim to be a climate expert.  I also don't claim to be a marine biologist, but I suspect I could pour a few ounces of beer into my koi pond with no real harm to my fish.  and maybe I could pour a whole beer.  but, I suspect that if I got into the habbit of dumping beer into their water every  day, in increasing amounts, I would eventually find the tipping point.  the water would eventually become unhospitable to support fish life.  yet, some refuse to accept that we could have any effect in our own very thin layer of atmosphere. 

what would it take to convince some people that it is possible and that we should change our energy production/consumption and management?  the clean water act was spawned from when the cuyahoga river caught fire!  do we need such undeniable proof?  can we afford to let our atmosphere be jumbled up in partisan politics?  I mean, WHAT IF the scientists are right?  and all the people who laugh at global warming on cold days are really against Al Gore  because they see climate as a political issue and something they are obligated to dismiss.  I have to wonder if that Inconvenient Truth movie would not have been more widely accepted if Mr. Gore could have kept his face/name/politics out of it.  I watched the movie, and even I thought it lost steam once he started talking about his presidential campaign.  can't we keep facts and science out of the partisan politics that seem to have taken a firm grip on the country.

I was prompted to write about this subject after I read a headline from USA Today this morning; Report: 2009 was a warm year in USA

I feel the need to visit Glacier National Park before Grinnell Glacier is completely gone (estimated to happen in 2030).  maybe I should fill my 13 MPG truck up on biodiesel for the trip.


Okay I have been reading you for about 2 years now. I became intersted 'round about the time you set the gnome on the ridge.I live in Massachusetts, in early 1800's house, we have our own set of issues with. Our vacation home is a 1940's bungalow on a lake in Maine.

Anyway. I agree with you 100% about the global warming stuff. I am not convinced that a lot of the global warming stuff isn't cyclical, but I do know we have an impact and what is the harm in trying to live more judiciously and prudently?

Amanda Bennett
Stow, MA

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