Here in California we’ve just received our first rain since last winter after another brutal round of massive forest fires. Our Mediterranean style climate cycles from a long dry hot period to a few short cool wet winter months. October is our most fire prone time of year. It’s hot, the earth is bone dry, … Continue reading Afterburn
A series of home infrastructure projects have finally concluded after many months and I’m looking back at what worked, what didn’t, and how various compromises were made. As usual there was an initial ideal that was put through the meat grinder of external reality. In the end I learned a few things and slowly came … Continue reading Sewer, Gas, and Electric
Blogsplaining. Is that a thing? I think it is. It’s a close cousin to Rebecca Solnit’s mansplaining. Blogsplaining is the use of logic to solve an obvious problem, but without acknowledging the cultural imperatives that make the solution impossible to implement. In other words, blogsplaining is the thankless task of solving a problem no one wants … Continue reading Blogsplaining Good Urbanism
From my perspective the Big Picture stretching out into the future is one of recurring overlapping structural challenges of all kinds. As an individual I have zero control over any of it. But I have a compelling interest in finding effective ways of navigating through whatever may come. I’m sometimes described as a doomer, but … Continue reading Little Picture
There are some serious forest fires burning all across California at the moment and the smoke from distant counties has turned the air here in San Francisco into an autumnal barbecue flavored mist. Bits of white flaky ash are drifting down from the sky like cherry blossoms. Last year around this time there were similar … Continue reading Big Picture
Last month I wrote about how insurance companies are getting ahead of the curve by preemptively dropping coverage and/or significantly raising the cost of policies for properties believed to be at increased risk. Less than four weeks later forest fires ripped through Sonoma and Napa counties and destroyed 7,000 structures – most of them single family … Continue reading What Happens After Half Your Town Burns Down?
I’m tired of people trying to sugarcoat things in the name of cooperative constructive engagement. Meetings, conventions, more meetings, public charrettes, more meetings, another conference, more meetings… Welcome stakeholders! We value your input! I’m not a patient person. I want to go out in to the world and actually get things done. But that’s not … Continue reading The Bitter Suite