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2/14/08

What I did for Valentine's Day

...In case any of you wonder whether I'm cool or a geek.

SO, I was emailing back & forth with my friend Justin about his (veddy popular) blog when suddenly, I ended it with:
"Oops I’m going to say goodbye now because Christoph just walked into the room and said he just did his first code in Java…
'Ooh! I want to do Java!' my eyes brightened... So I’m off! This is what geeks do on Valentines Day!"
I ambled over to his computer. There was his first code in Java, a typical admin page. "Type in your name into the text field..." so I did... He then explained about Java vs. .net's code-behind...

and then I looked at the source, smiled, and swooned as he hit "submit"... : )
public void doPost(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response)
throws ServletException, IOException {

String firstName = request.getParameter("firstName").toString();

response.setContentType("text/html");
PrintWriter out = response.getWriter();
out
.println("");
out.println("");
Happy out.println(" ");
out.println(" ");

out.println("I love " + firstName);
out.println("

Happy Valentine's Day ") ;
//out.print(this.getClass());
//out.println(", using the POST method");
out.println(" ");
out.println("");
out.flush();
out.close();
}

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2/11/08

Wildlife + Suburbia. This really is a post about Smart Growth.

What is this, freakin' nostalgia week?

First I write about leetle lamps I saved, then a good friend sent in old pictures of us playing in a band (oh don't think I'm talented- I played the tambourine), then in my green building group I mooned over Finland and my time there in the '90s... think midnight sun, sauna, and lots of berry liquor. (I will overlook describing the mosquitoes the size of small animals in this post. The old growth birch forests more than made up for it.)

Now my dad just sent me a picture of a fox outside their (Crested Butte ski vacation) door, and suddenly I'm pulled into my days living in the Chelsea Hotel, often spent with Vali Meyers. She used to talk about her tamed foxes in Italy, who would follow her around, willing but wild pets who adapted to her presence.

In Virginia, I don't think twice about a fox dashing across the land, far away, across a hill. But this picture from my dad of a fox who adapted to tourists, sniffing about their kitchen door, thus raising the glorious, bad gypsy ghost of Vali, reminded me of the adaptability of wildlife, and that as ignorant suburbs further encroach upon quiet land... I am greatly aware of a shift, a change... They adapt. They adapt or die, and many are adapting to us.

I hear tales of turkey in Boston; friends recount their experiences of coyotes stalking the huntsmen here, peregrine falcons roost downtown, bald eagles and red tailed hawks swoop outside my office window, I see hordes of vultures on suburban doorsteps, otters in the freeway median... and this summer, the first real photo passed on to me (Thank you John! Love my cousins!) of a scouting camera image of a mountain lion in the neighboring county chasing deer... still rejected as myth by the public... (John, you really should pass on that photo to someone.)

Where I'm going with this is that green building is not just about efficiency, it's also about preservation of national resources through private purchase of acreage on the market now, to preserve and conserve. It's smart, slow, well-planned growth, allowing habitats to continue unmolested so that there is still a buffer between wildlife and allowing their avoidance and shying away from us, instead of overcoming a fear of, then depending on, then, frankly, preying on us.

Through smart growth planning, homes can cluster together, enhancing community interaction, while leaving the rest of the tract of land for wildlife and outdoors enjoyment.

I'm just saying that we need to value more our undeveloped land and let the animals be. Not that the copperheads or black widows care. But I do know that a fed bear is a dangerous bear, and it is our fault our careless communities are blending wilderness with completely-ignorant-to-real-life-in-the-country people. It is not an easy balance, and everyone loses.

Through conservation through private and public land purchases and deeds, we protect our national resources and treasure, our landscape, local histories, and wildlife.

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2/7/08

Modern lighting... and recycling

I am searching for lighting.

We have been fortunate to find most of our lamps in thrift stores.

But I have been thinking of the casa ti we're building... and darned it, I'm itching for a little design! So, yes, I haven't even started construction, but this girl's got lighting on the brain.

I ran across a site, that has a great selection: http://www.gnr8.biz/categories.php?cPath=1_20&page=all

What I like about their offerings is that the lighting is modern, yet not too cutesy whimsical, or too "let's just copy something retro" and that there are a lot of affordable products. Would I *would* like to see are more environmentally friendly offerings... readers, do any of you have suggestions for these manufacturers to replace the polyether that is used in so many affordable, attractive lighting designs?

Here is one I could totally see over my dining table:



Love how the part that hangs down is at an angle so that you could easily see your fellow diners instead of, like many low hanging lamps, obscuring them.

And of course, just for fun, this train of thought led me to walk around snapping pictures of our own locally recycled lamps, ALL previously owned before finding their way into our household!

Here they are!

We actually have tons more in the basement in storage... it makes you realize *how much* you can do / decorate through recycling! (Pretty much any of the furniture you see was recycled as well) In fact, doing this just made me realize... I have never bought a new lamp! ... and... Wow, I have a lot of lamps!































Oops I forgot some:

(And yes, I'm realizing... I have a

WHOLE

LOTTA

LAMPS!)




Maybe I *don't* need to go lamp shopping after all... Geez Louise!















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