lamination festival

Would be worth it just to watch all the walk-ins who misheard what was going on. “The future of lamination is now!” Lot of strobes and space-age ethereal music, people in full-body plastic suits… guy hawking a pocket laminator. I haven’t thought this joke through.

They’re not all gems, as I tell the kids. “Keep digging!” I have them mining for rare metals in the backyard. Hey, college doesn’t save for itself. So this year has started off with a bang, or more like some expensive drips and a burning smell from the car… yep, leaking skylights and a new clutch for the Accord, which is as old as Sydney so not a bad run, really, on the original clutch. We’ll be getting a new roof on the house as soon as the winter weather breaks for a bit, and now our renovation dreams are a bit deferred. Which is okay because after being a bit put-off by the initial estimates, I now have time to look into some alternative, more affordable and more eco-friendly building methods. Do yourself a favor and google “cob house” and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Cob!!! The future is cob, people! None of this expensive drywall and timber from who knows what deforested forest… instead we could all be living like Smurfs! Cob is mixture of dirt, clay and straw and is self-insulating… cuts down heating and cooling costs… talk about getting back to the earth, it’s like living in a hole in the ground!

Karen has barely acknowledged this new line of thinking of mine… and in rare moments of practicality I must admit that adding a cob addition to our classic cape cod style house (making it a Cape Cob?) might hurt the resale value… or would it?? Really? Importing all the same stainless steel appliances and granite countertops that most of America yearns for is considered a safe investment, but using centuries-old, proven and sustainable building techniques would make us the laughing stock of town? This is another one of those Thoreau moments where I’d love to be standing inside my little cob house asking, “What are you doing out there?” Instead we’ll be making some sort of costly decision over cabinet handles.

Well not just yet. I’ve got another year or so to learn how to build my own stone foundation. I know from my gardening that we have all the rocks we need just a few feet below ground. Assembling them into a solid foundation would be like the hardest jigsaw puzzle ever. The kids will love it! Mostly because they can finally stop digging.

Ah, but we’re trying to avoid the stir crazies by getting the kids into sports at the Y. Syd is continuing with swimming although very angry that she’s a guppy for the “seventh time” (I’m not sure it’s that many times… she can swim better than I can, so success in my book).  Plus she joined some sort of jogging club on the indoor track that Karen runs. She reported that “Mommy was embarrassing” because she kept talking to the whole group. Isaac on the other hand has yet to get out of the starting blocks as far as group sports. He’s taking after me in swimming so we let him try basketball this morning. He has been learning to dribble and shooting at some kiddie hoops with me over the past few weeks and was making some progress — but as soon as he sees any sort of group of kids and instructors he becomes impossible to corral. Both Karen and I couldn’t get the blue pinnie on him so he could join his three other teammates… it was the least intimidating scene you could imagine and he still would have none of it. So instead we retreated home and before long he was engrossed in My Little Pony. He’s a dreamer, this kid!

Thinking about taking our next little vacation down in D.C. and Karen told me she put a request in through our Congressman’s office to get a tour of the White House. Since when do you need to do that?? I thought you could just show up and wait in line with a big donkey hat or at least a “Try burning this one” American flag t-shirt and eventually get in. I guess they do background checks now before you can get a tour. Hopefully my recent purchase of a Theodore Dreiser book won’t ruin our family’s chances… not to mention my recent interest in cob building. “Sir, your family can proceed through those doors over there. You need to come with us.”

Speaking of the crazy world we live in, here’s an interesting bit I came across in my periodic check on Obama’s promise to close the Guantanamo detention camp:

Just like the Canadians to complain, no? And shocking to hear our government isn’t paying royalties or for the rights to use its torture music. I mean musicians have it hard enough already, and now you won’t pay them when their music can be used as a weapon?? Darkly amusing to see David Gray mentioned at the end of the article. I mean it’s one thing to make industrial/metal music and find out it’s being used in this way… a real double-whammy to be making moody pop music that the U.S. government has deemed torturous! I’m just glad the Drama Queens haven’t gotten onto the military’s radar yet.

Anyway, that’s about all from this suburban bastion of surrealism. I’m going to try to dial up a 1970s Pacino movie… you know, something that echoes my feeling about the world around us. Panic in Needle Park… that’s the ticket. Until next time,




About ericf73

A modern-day combination of Noah, Godot and Clark W. Griswold.
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