Saturday, December 26, 2009


If World Wrestling Entertainment isn't promoting in Italy, it should be; with all the high flying action over there these days.
Earlier this month, an assailant, wielding a model statue of the Milan cathedral lobbed it at the prime minister. that's one hairy looking cathedral.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

(Tool) Housing

With the housing bubble completely deflated across the country, I think it's worth taking a look at scaling back and looking at the important issues pertaining to homes and construction. We now have the technology to build super energy efficient and environmentally friendly buildings, but cost and acceptance are the biggest roadblocks.

I read an interesting article on about this designer/builder renovating an old gunsmith shop in Roxbury (village in Boston, MA). The guy was using 12 inch foam panels for insulation and was talking about heating the entire house (albeit only 750 sf) by making a batch of pancakes on the range?!

It was really cool and I totally agree with his ideology of using Passive house standard to retain heat. But then I took a look at the house and I saw was about as boring as a block of ice. I'm sure the interior looks fine, but the styling is so bleak, it makes me cold just looking at it. Plus, at 250k that's $333 per square foot, a bit excessive.

I have always been fascinated with small, inexpensive buildings/housing. I bring to the table, my inexpensive pallet house, built from common building materials. Start with common sized pallets 40"x48" and frame in with common 2x6 framing studs and plates.

Once framed, the wall structures could be filled with expanding poly foam. The foam would serve many functions:
-R-30 insulation and vapor barrier
-stiffening/rigidity - every pallet like a little SIP- (structurally insulated panel)
-sheathing/solid nailing for interior and exterior finishes

It's a very versatile system- with pallets being readily available and easily integrated with current wood frame construction practices and materials. And it's cheap

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


In the past year, I've been fooled by at least half a dozen bathroom signs and walked into the woman's room, by accident. I can't be the only one. Seems like the cool thing to do these days, is to put cryptic codes on bathroom doors in restaurants and bars to confuse patrons. Who wants to stand there looking at the bathroom signs for two minutes wondering which door to choose?

Friday, June 26, 2009

a good man

At 9:40 pm, the world lost a good man.

Jim Gilchrist, was one of the most humble, considerate, and funny people to grace our shores. I have learned so much from Jim and I admire him deeply. If fortitude could be measured on a scale, Jim would tip it. He was a kind, gentle man, with an eye on the world and a great perspective for it. >

Thursday, May 28, 2009

US Govt=GM

With the ensuing bailout of the soon to be bankrupt General Motors, I think the citizens of the USA and their representatives should have a say in how the failing auto manufacturer should be run. First, you can't be everything to everybody. What GM brands are worth saving, worth abandoning and what products work for the company? Competitive, efficient, and reliable is a good start. The Corvette, is a world class super car, why can't they translate that success into a decent lineup of cars and trucks? Let's bring some diesel models into the mix. I saw a VW commercial saying the new TDI diesel Jetta set a world record at over 58 mpg!!

I just read a good article about GM's information technology (IT) suppliers getting shafted during the bankruptcy. Go to Chevy's website and the paradox of GM comes to full circle. Great website, all the bells and whistles, too bad the company is BANKRUPT :( Maybe they should pay more attention to the competition, instead of captivating us with just another lame, Flash website.
Their only small, economical car Chevy markets is made by Doosan Daewoo, in Korea. It's not a good car at all, the Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris are similarly priced, and twice the car as the Chevy Aveo. I've rented both cars and I was nervous at over 75 with the Chevwoo. The gas mileage was mediocre at best. Take a page out of the Japan story (GM)- start building small, cool cars that will run forever and get great gas mileage.
Here's a simple GM math equasion:
good value + reliable + efficient = Profits

Monday, May 11, 2009


if it's in our minds, it's not a myth

when you slip into sleep
dreams become reality
the lines are blurred
between fake, farce and actuality

within reach
it's all possibility
we just need to learn and teach
ourselves to hope
and cope
with the waves of life
Newton never knew that what goes down must come up

the stocks are getting low
but they're guaranteed to grow
like brick oven baked pizza dough
love lasts for ever
while people come and go

float in, duck out and coast on
to the 3rd dimension
sun's setting, here comes dawn
come one, come all
don't need a reservation or phone number to make the call
your penance is your pension

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fear and loathing

Ever since 911, Americans have been told who are heroes are. Military and first responders right? Well, I don't doubt that we owe our lives to men and women in uniform, but there are everyday Americans (and people throughout the world) that go about their daily routines and hardly ever get the recognition they deserve.
I'm talking about the people that get paid to take care of those who can't take care of themselves; invalids and children.
People like certified nurses assistants (CNA's), caseworkers, and hospital orderlies are Heroes. These heroes represent some of the lowest paid professions going and they do some of the most invaluable work for humanity. These people clean up other people's shit, plain and simple. I think you are all heroes and thank you for your service.

I just read this article about the fleecing of the taxpayers at the hands of our first responders.
Police and firemen (and their screw faced unions) in Massachusetts have been robbing this state blind for long enough. Under the guise of "security" the taxpayers have been lulled into a deep sleep reminiscent of Rip Van Winkle. Everybody is tired of watching policemen "working" frivolous details, getting paid god knows what; $40-$50/hr, to sit in their car or stand around harassing hard working contractors, while they are supposed to be protecting and serving. Ditto for the firemen. Just last month, it was revealed that the "mechanics" paid to repair Boston firetrucks were firefighters that were paid in excess of $130,000 and they weren't even certified heavy mechanics. It's appalling that in our time of economic misery, we are constantly reminded of gluttons posing as Ghandi's

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Walls Have Ears

If you've never heard the saying before, it's an idiom that means: watch what you say, cause you never know who's listening. I don't think this term is very pertinent in our current situation, given the dire circumstances so many face. People are speaking their minds these days and they don't give a f#%k who hears them. And why should they? With our diarrhetic economy, who cares?

I know the bailout is a way to ease the burdens on people's backs, but it seems to me that our whole economic system has gone right down the tubes. I don't know about any body else, but this doesn't feel like the capitalism I learned about in school. America has long ridiculed and bastardized communist and socialist countries across the world, look at US now.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Past, present and future...

When I moved back to Massachusetts in 2003, I remember being blown away at the cost of housing and perplexed at how a house that was worth $150,000 in 2000, was now worth $300,000, only three years later. I'm no Greenspan or Ben Bernanke, but I know the basics of economics and something didn't jive. How can the cost of housing double, while wages stay the same? Somehow (post 9-11) the price of housing skyrocketed and it didn't seem to raise any eyebrows.

The economy is center stage with bailouts, bankruptcies, corporate and political crooks running a muck in America. I've been intrigued with this whole mess, since it's inception; the banking crisis last year. I've had some good dialogue about the situation with people from all different walks of life and financial standings.

Regarding the bailout: I'm struggling to find work and the economy has hurt me. In jest, I say, where's my piece of the bailout? In all honesty, why and how does the government decide who gets bailed out?

I was reading up about what corporations are doing to keep afloat and I came upon a company called Koch Industries, a conglomerate based in Wichita, Kansas. I had never heard of Koch Industries, but I was amazed to learn that Koch is the 2nd largest private company in America (behind Cargill) with $100 billion in revenue. Koch is headed up by some of the smartest executives in the world, and reading CEO Charles Koch's perspective on the government intervention was very insightful: learning from past mistakes so we don't relive history.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Satellite crash

The crash of two satellites recently, it makes me think of the old Atari game, Asteroids.

They're going to have to start arming the satellites these days, too much space junk to ignore.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Keeping people honest

Greedy pigs

Could be a learned trait, or could be ingrained in people's psyche. Either way, to me, greed is as heinous as it gets.

Today, President Obama and VP Biden lashed out at bank CEO's, who paid themselves $18.4 billion in bonuses; just as hundreds of billions of US tax dollars are going into saving these banks. Obama called it "Shameful" and I agree. Biden said he would like to put them in "the brig". There's an old saying: "beauty is only skin deep, but ugly cuts straight to the bone". In my opinion, Greed is the culprit that's turned our world economy into a black hole.

Oversight + accountability= Keeping people honest

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gulls on a roof

I've been working diligently to find a career path that best suits my personality, strengths and background. It's taken me 12 years, but who's counting? I ask myself, if I could have any job, what would it be? I think it would be an interviewer, like Charlie Rose or Travis Smiley.

Over the past 8 years, I have come to the conclusion that one of my greatest gifts is my ability to communicate with people, one on one. I have an inane ability to connect with people. This connection comes from my love for people and a genuine intrigue into their backgrounds, stories and histories. Why?

Last summer, I saw an old friend from high school. We exchanged salutations and the regular banter: "what have you been doing, where do you live...", nothing special. While I was talking to this friend, her brother (whom I had met, but didn't know they were related) came up and asked her a question and left. I told my friend, "I didn't' know you were related, he's a really good kid". She responded, "He's adopted. He wants to make everybody happy." This friend was basically apologizing for her brother, she had no idea that I, too was adopted. It was one of those times when you talk to someone and (unbeknownst to them) their words hit you like a freight train. I was shook. I saw myself in him and him in me. It was some deep shit.

I was adopted when I was a baby, but I always knew my biological parents growing up. Psychologists say that adopted kids are always searching for the love that could have been there and ask themselves: "why did my parents give me up?". I never went through that, because I always knew where I came from. I was a ward of the state and could have bounced around foster homes through my childhood, but was lucky enough to have been taken in when I was 10 months old. I have come to embrace my unique past and realize that it has made me who I am.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Live it up!!

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

When I bought my I-Phone last summer, I synced it to my computer and I was surprised to see that on it, rest two of my favorite speeches of all time:

Martin Luther King's: "I have a dream" speech and
John F. Kennedy's inauguration speech

I hold Barack Obama in the same esteem as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy: some of the greatest Americans to grace our United States. Mr. Obama too, holds the weight of the nation on his shoulders - like those great leaders that came before. In honor of tomorrow's historic inauguration of Mr. Obama (a fellow left-handed living American), I pay homage to him and wish him the best. Barack too, like those who came before, will rise to the occasion and lead by example.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Winter thoughts from New England

Every place has it's ups and downs, and Massachusetts is no different. MOst of the things people complain about up here are the same things people complain about everywhere: weather, jobs, driving, people, whatever. I try not to get too worked up about things I can't control, cause, as my man Captain Bob once told me: don't sweat the small things and they're all small things.

I've been blessed to have great influences in my life. From the time I was little, I knew how lucky I was to be alive and I have tried not to take anything for granted. With a new wave of change racing through America, and the tumultuous period we live in, I'm optimistic that the future is going to be bright. If there's two things I've learned over the years that ring through my head on a daily basis:
everybody has a story to tell and everybody wants to be somebody

Peace isn't cheap

You have to stand up for what's right
even if it means taking up arms
sometimes there is need to fight
but only as a last resort

communication can prevent a war
it's tough when everybody wants to talk
but nobody wants to walk the walk

now is the time to listen
life isn't just a journey
it's a mission
we got two ears and only one mouth for a reason
time has come for a change of season