Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Watch and Weep

Hundreds of billions for "education," and all we get is this.


I just finished reading John Brunner's The Sheep Look Up, so my faith in Western Civilization has been dealt a pretty serious blow. This ain't helping.

Mammals survived the calamity that wiped out the dinosaurs by being fast, small, and adaptable. You may want to think about which of those you should be emulating.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Who's got snow?

Not us! But parts of Michigan look like it is getting snow each day for the 10day forecast. I guess you can blame Ric and I. Because, of course, we are flying home for a real quick weekend to take care of a few things. I'm thinking our snow boots are packed up at Mom's house.

Things are going well with the new job. I'm still in training -- one more week (next week) and a day and I'm done with their official new agent training. I have a client coming in tomorrow afternoon to book a Mexican Riviera cruise. Yeah! I did an air/car/hotel reservation on Monday and some car reservations in Hawaii for somebody today. Other than that, I haven't been able to take any calls or walk ins before this. It is nice to finally start working again. The training is nice. I'm picking up a lot of new things that I never learned while at North Village Travel. AAA really knows how to train. I give them an A in the travel agent training department.

Remember I can book your trip -- even with me here in Arizona -- and you there in Michigan or Massachusetts or where ever you are! AAA does charge a service fee for airline tickets -- non members $50!, but members only pay $20. They do NOT charge a service fee for tours/cruises unless extensive research is needed. That is nice.

We are slowly getting things ready to move to our new housing before we fly to Michigan this weekend. Ric is working on painting a bedbox/shelving unit he made from scratch. (Great idea and design .. I"m sure we will have pictures of it next month) Most of the things are packed and moved over or waiting til the last minute to go over. Next month we plan on hitting a big thrift store in Prescott Valley and a few other places looking for some decent (and cheap) furniture. We really need a new mattress. The air mattress we are using gets too many holes in it. This last one I can't find yet. It is really frustrating to wake up after a couple hours and be on an almost flat air mattress!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

When Sharing Isn't Nice

We share a lot of things here at Arcosanti: books, videos, a pool table, and so on. We also seem to enjoy sharing our diseases. Some form of flu has been circulating around for the last week or so. Today was my turn. Last night, after (a shared) dinner in the cafe, I started feeling light-headed. Within a couple of hours, I was in full-blown flu mode with fever, chills, nausea, muscle aches, headache, the whole enchilada. I haven't left my room all day, and tomorrow isn't looking too good at this point. We'll see how it goes in the morning.

Otherwise, not much going on. We are in a holding pattern of sorts until our new place is available Friday morning.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Still Cold

We are still living with below-average temperatures, and woke up to snow this morning. It melted by lunch, but it is still a long way from warm. All or part of the day has been cloudy most of the week, which really sucks when the only heat you have is the sun. I've spent the last week fixing leaky pipes, leaky toilets, and leaky sewer lines. Some of the problems are in areas still under construction. Some problems are with "temporary" lines (like most non-profits, "temporary" at Arcosanti can cover decades) that will be improved during future construction. Some were just poorly thought out right from the start. But it's job security. At the current rate that we are crossing things off vs. the rate things are being added on, we will have to expand the Lab Building just to have a place to store the maintenance department's to-do list.

Well, we have to run down to camp and get our stuff out of the cube we were going to be moving into before we got our cool new super-scoop apartment. We can't really take any pictures until the current resident leaves for Brazil on January 26th, so be sure to check back next weekend.

Anarcho-Tyranny Rules in Michigan

One reason we selected Arizona is that the state government and courts tend to be slightly more libertarian than the rest of the country. Not perfect, by any means, and they seem to be learning some bad habits from places like California. I expect that Arizona is just "behind" the rest of the nation and will eventually catch up. And yes, despair is still a sin. In any case, two news items indicate that we made the right choice:

Michigan's Court of Appeals finds that adultery is criminal sexual conduct, even if both partners are consenting.

Michigan's Court of Appeals finds that a teacher found innocent on child porn charges must still be listed in the public sex offender registry.

Huh. Good luck with that, Michigan. You get more like California every day. The Land of Fruits and Nuts Part II. Lucky for us, the world is a big place.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Good News

Two pieces of good news this week.

First, we FINALLY got word about permanent housing here at Arcosanti. Next weekend we will be moving one door over into the new (but, still unfinished) super lightscoop. Watch the blog for mention of more pics on Flickr after we move in. The disappointing news to go along with this was they told us finally after we had spent about $150 in things to make the cube inhabitable for us. (No, nothing we can take back. Shelves and clothing rods already cut and put up and wood cut up for a "bed box")

Second, BOB SEGER is coming to Arizona in February. A radio station here was giving away tickets before they went on sale. I was SO CLOSE one night on the way home. I was caller six----the winner was caller seven. So I had to get online this morning when tickets finally went on sale to try to get two seats. I didn't do too bad, just off center section first level. It will be great to see him in concert again.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Cold and Colder

We've had a couple cold and dreary days here at Arcosanti. It has driven something home that I've always realized, but has obviously escaped the designers of this place. Passive solar is a wonderful thing, but you need some backup. Understand that most of the resident spaces do have some form of backup heat. The older spaces have wood stoves, the newer completed spaces have either propane wall furnaces or in-floor hot water heat. The dorm spaces and incomplete residences must rely on small, inefficient, and not too effective portable electric heaters. But many of the public spaces have no backup heat source whatsoever. Today as we sat in the cafe eating lunch while seeing our own breath, we all decided that this was an oversight bordering on gross stupidity. Even Arizona can have a couple cloudy days in a row.

The clouds started to blow out late in the day, so it looks like we will get some relief tomorrow, but it came to late to save us tonight. We are all burrowed in like rock squirrels for a long, cold night. I can't help but question the wisdom of this. Many of the long-time residents scoff at the newbies with comments like "At least when you're cold, you know you are alive." However, my personal comfort isn't the only consideration. First, what impression does coming to visit the "City of the Future" only to find yourself bundled up in hat, coat, and mittens trying to eat your lunch while indoors, give to those visiting Arcosanti? Second, as a member of the maintenance crew, I can tell you that the cost to the Cosanti Foundation of one burst water line is much greater than the cost of providing adequate backup heating.

But that's just me being logical surrounded by a bunch of right-brain touchy-feeling artist types.

At least the presence of some clouds gave us a good sunset. Debbie happened to be looking out the window and noticed the color in the sky and ran outside with the camera. The full set is on Flickr.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Mom Boris Update

Well, she did/may have/didn't have a stroke/seizure/blood clot/sprained ankle. She can/maybe/can't have a heart cath/stent/EEG/3D heart imaging/ace bandage. And she can/can't drive for the next six months.

There. Now you know exactly what I know.

Oh yea. She's home. That I'm almost certain of.

Ain't modern medicine grand? Almost make you nostalgic for a diagnosis of "the vapors" and a few leaches.

Lots of Beach-Front Property for Sale

It's a bit of a commute, but the price is definitely right. Titan has lakes. Lots of them. Woo hoo!! Go Cassini!!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Lotsa Photos

Blogging has been sporadic mainly because I've been kicking out photos into our Flickr account. We now have over 3,500 pictures uploaded from the very latest of our adventures at Arcosanti to the first digital pictures we took back in January of 2003.


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Outlaw High Heels!

I got this from a rather strange book that Debbie was reading by Tamar Myers titled Grape Expectations:
Sexy shoes, indeed. Don't even get me started - oops, too late. Take high heels, for instance. The make your feet hurt, so you take them off, and then, since you're already half-undressed, you take everything off, and that leads to the horizontal hootchy-kootchy, which leads to unmarried mothers, which leads to undisciplined children, which leads to crime. If you boil all that down you're left with the simple equation: high heels lead to murder. If you ask me, any shoe with a heel higher than an inch should be outlawed. Now where was I?
As I said, strange book.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Starting the New Year Right?

Twelve and a half hours into the new year, we get a phone call that Debbie's mom had been taken to the hospital with a possible stroke. We still don't know much other that if it was indeed a stroke, it was a very mild one and she seems to have spontaneously recovered from the effects already today. She is still in the hospital for now enduring the usual battery of testing combined with a complete lack of test results. We should know something by tomorrow, so we will keep you updated.

Family Resemblance

Originally uploaded by rdfrost.

Originally uploaded by rdfrost.
Both of these photos were taken on July 5, 2003. Can't tell we're related or anything...