August 2007 | Main | October 2007

September 30, 2007

The Langoliers did not get me

I thought the Langoliers would get me. (Stephen King.) I was supposed to clean the junk off my lbrary/art studio floor. But I did not get very far. Instead I cleaned as much as I could stand and then created a new Pysanki.
So, I'm alive to create something new. And everyhone knows that creating something new holds off evil.

Posted by carl1236 at 3:22 AM

September 29, 2007

Arcosanti near Scottsdale, Arizona

I haven't been there and will probably forget this place before I am able to venture to Arizona, but it is interesting. On September 16th the New York Times had an article describing Arcosanti and Arcology, a made up term to describe this style of eco-design/living. Cosanti is an experimental city in the Arizona desert, designed by Italian Architect Paolo Soleri. It was started in 1970 and still in construction. It was designed to redesign the 'City' and our relationship to the planet.
I don't want to be critical without first understanding the principles behind it, but I will be critical with the caveat that this is just a feeling i had...
How can you design a city without people first? This City will consist of all people who buy into the architects dream of what the city should be like. Like-minded people all in their own cultish way supporting someone's vision. And that may work for a designed culture, but how about for existing urban centers that are dying? Maybe some of the ideas can be transferred, but more likely they are filtered because they probably wouldn't let joe schmoe move in and start an adult sex toy shop, or let a messy recycling operation co-exist with the chamber orchestra. People's individual dreams and the striving to reach them really seem to fuel a thriving community. Those dreams are chaotic and extremely diverse. Not so in a utopian vision of architected lifestyle. I should really learn more about the experimental city, but this feels like to me to be just like so many other architectural/social constructions, where the design is created and then the people are found to live the vision. Seems backwards to me. I would like to see planners and architects find a community and redesign it to meet whatever the community needs and want's, to bring them closer and help them all fulfill their own dreams, no matter how chaotic and vibrant that gets. Is that possible?

Posted by carl1236 at 5:26 PM

September 27, 2007

To Kill a City - My current reading list

I live in the city and have seen some ugly things happening. Then just the other day I read an article in a newspaper which quoted Jane Jacobs. Her ideas resonated with me. I felt a connection. As the community bike shop gets uprooted and forced to move to a different community, to serve a different community, to be part of the growth and learning of a different community, I feel kind of sad.
Basically the change occurred like this:
The owner of the building defaulted on his loans and had to sell. Run.
Developers built condos in the sea of parking lots all around it and are planning more.
New Condo owners complained about our type of business in their new upscale neighborhood.
Now the good 'neighbors' are fighting the new owners because the building is planned for work-force low-income housing. They don't want that in their neighborhood.
This got me thinking that I should learn more about what kills a city, pits 'neighbor' against neighbor. So here is my new reading list:
All three Jane Jacobs books
City Politics - Private power and public policy - Dennis R. Judd and Todd Swanstrom
Seduced by Hitler - Adam LeBor and Roger Boyes
The failures of Integration - How race and class are undermining the american dream - Sheryll Cashin
Urban Injustice - how ghettos happen - David Hilfiker, MD
and a book by James Howard Kunstler.

Posted by carl1236 at 8:40 PM

September 24, 2007

A trilogy of obsession

I will be doing the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) beginning in November. 50,000 words in 30 days. Enough said. I'll blog about it here when I'm going through it, beginning November 1.

I have begun to use a cool new cataloging system online to catalog all of my books in my library. Let's see, if I catalog a book a day...over a thousand books I'm sure...I might get it done before my children have to get rid of it all when I pass away. I have a whole room full of floor-to-ceiling shelves stuffed with books, containing all kinds of things that I'm interested in. I'll share the link to my Library Catalog here as soon as I can.

I ran seven miles on Sunday. I don't feel like it's enough. Enough said on that.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:27 PM

September 20, 2007

Flash Fiction #18 - Those Hands

Those Hands

“It’s been a long time Fred. You don’t have to leave.?
Fred stopped without turning. His brother stared down at a patch of sun bleaching the table in front of him, a sharp contrast between the dark lines of his wrinkled, toughened hands.
Fred didn’t really know his brother after all these years. He turned slowly, anticipating his eyes, the bridging of impenetrable silence.
But his brother did not look up, eyes still fixed on those hands. There was a striking resemblance, every dark crease a story too hard to speak.
Fred whispered, “I’d like to stay. See you tomorrow??

Posted by carl1236 at 9:19 PM

September 3, 2007

Mandolin II

After a week of vacation I can now play the notes in the G Major Scale and Chords D, F, C, G and A. I can also tune my Mandolin since it goes out of tune every time I play it. The place I bought it from said it would hold a tune well, but the instruction video I bought said that mandolins go out of tune easily so I'll have to tune it every time I play. Either I got a crappy mandolin, or the guy at the store was just saying anything to get me to buy it. This model does sound good once it's tuned and I'm playing. Not bad for my first week! Now classes start and I'm back to work on Tuesday, so my progress might be slower over this month. But it's fun and sounds nice to my ears.

Posted by carl1236 at 4:19 PM