Newsclipping of the Day :: Plastic Bags are OUT


Funny this article doesn't mention these:

our beloved ED Supermarche bag, purchased for less than a euro, in that French village next to Villebrumier with a name i can't remember.

our not-so-beloved as yet Trader Joe's bag purchased at the store in Columbus for a dollar.

It really isn't hard for us to bring our OWN bags to the store when we shop. Even if we are buying a ton of groceries, we have 10 or 12 now, and we love not having the extra useless crap enter our nest. The feathering process has brought a renewed and acute awareness of all things packaging, and how ANNOYING and inconvenient it is to deal with the mountains of detritus that are the side effect of do-it-yourself cabinets from Ikea, ordered-online appliances, ordered-online building materials... the list goes on and on.

Going to the market, and KNOWING we can avoid a tiny little bit of that, is gratifying, in some kind of pathetically tiny way.

Heck, if we were in France or Columbus, and forgot our bag, we could just buy another for a dollar. Not so with the Athens Kroger, however.

San Francisco is the perfect place to test this. Look out plastic bag manufacturers! Your days are numbered! I'm sure San Franciscans will have no problem doing what the French do, bien sur.

Now, if we could just do something with the mountains of incessantly arriving junk mail.


Just in Time for Your Birthday, Mom!

Looks like next year we will all be able to buy MGs again in the United States, thanks to the Chinese. My mom had one of these in the early 70s for a brief period (before the canary GREMLIN! Oh geez, that's another post! What was that thing's name?), and now she could preorder a brand-spanking new one, just in time for the big seven-five! Find out more here.

It is just a bit sexist that the Chinese are having a fun time with the

"Modern Gentleman"

thing, doncha think? Hey Confucious, you might wanna rethink that and come up with some companion ideas that, er, reach out to the other sex too. Don't leave all the ladies of the world out in the cold! Hmmmm... how about:

Mabel Golightly

Modern Girl

Mucha Girlie (!)


Mod Geisha

Mooveover Gasguzzzlers

Mile Galore

Mia Groovey

Motor Girl

Meretricious Gokart

Mommy's Goingouttonight

Just In Time to Be of No Use to Me

I sincerely hope this happens for those of you in the ATL. And I hope that light rail beltline in the planning works really happens too. I can't believe Atlanta is finally getting serious about public transport, just in time for my departure! I do, however, have to point out that Atlanta HAD a fine streetcar system that was incredibly more complex than just a line running up Peachtree, a mere 60 years ago. But big oil, big automakers, and big tire makers systematically bought and scraped that system in Atlanta, and dozens of American cities. The beauty of "privatization." If Atlanta still had its old trolley system, what a better place the city would be in now. There are so many places where the tracks are even still visible, in the middle of roads. Along McClendon in Candler Park, the Olmstead Parks along Ponce de Leon, even in many downtown locations (amazing that 60 years of asphalt have not covered these over).

I'm dying to know what the redo of the Decatur Square Marta Station is looking like. Has anyone seen it? Do any of you have pictures?


Eichler Mod

Here is a really cool collection of Eichler mod California houses, if any of you are into it. These (for the most part) are DREAM houses for me. I'd love to have one, with tons of glass, an open-to-the-sky atrium in the middle, and lots of giant, desertey/tropical plants. If you click on each picture, each takes you to another page with lots more pictures of each dreamy, mod unit. Our old house in Atlanta had this kind of spirit, even though it wasn't nearly as deluxe or exuberant as any of these.


Rosewood Slab

This gorgeous slab of East Indian Rosewood was saved by someone in Florida after all the hurricanes year before last. We bought it to mill into a new, wide, window stool for the kitchen. Now, I have to do this, then install the pebble stone backsplash, and we'll be all done with the kitchen.

In other news, I sprained my back last weekend, and have had some pain from that. Yesterday at work was unbearable sitting in my desk chair. Today I went to an acupunture doctor here, and I'm feeling much better. I didn't go to work at all, and it was nice to remain horizontal for most of the day, and to take 3 hot steaming baths so far.

Off for a fourth now.


Lovin Luckovich

My Dear Hillary,

I've been disappointed at your recent reluctance to own up to a poor decision to support our fake war in Iraq. When John Edwards did so recently, it made him look like a hero... who has a brain and a heart and who knows how to be a human being who can admit mistakes. Looking like a robot who can't own up to anything is something we've all had enough of. I wish you were less concerned about appearing weak on defense. Are you yet another Chicken Hawk who's only concerned with how things look?

I'm mostly concerned about your comments this week in response to General Peter Pace's remarks about homosexuality being immoral. The fact that you say "i'll let others decide," makes you unfit for my vote. I'm very disappointed and chagrined that you will neither stand up for gay people in general, nor for our embattled gay service men and women specifically. If you can't take a stand and stand up for some of us in America, then i will not stand up for you and give you my support. "I'll let others decide" certainly doesn't demonstrate that you have the leadership qualities that we need. You owe every single American an apology for this gaffe my dear.

John Edwards clearly says that he does not support gay marriage, so i'd never support him. Where do you stand? Will you take a stand, or is it too much of a hot potato for you?

Is it true what your detractors say, that you are so incredibly calculating that you'll stand up for none of us, really, when the chips are down?


Be sure to leave your own message of support for Hillary here. I'm so done with her and the race has barely begun.


Another Newsclipping for Today :: Thank Goodness for Seymour Hersh

I've been reading every single one of Sy Hersh's investigative pieces in the New Yorker since 9/11, but the one referred to here can only be described as explosive. It was in the New Yorker 2 weeks ago. Well, only no media sources seem to have even noticed... save Amy Goodman and a few others (and me..!) who are tuned in to this man and his story for the past 6 years. Here are some quotes that I find particularly explosive:

"...a special planning group has been established in the offices of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, charged with creating a contingency bombing plan for Iran that can be implemented, upon orders from the President, within twenty-four hours..."

"...many of our present Middle Eastern problems can be indirectly traced back to the Anglo-American ur-moment in the Middle East, the successful CIA-British-intelligence plot in 1953 to oust Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh (who had nationalized the Iranian oil industry) and install the young Shah in power."

"In this country, it's a no-brainer that the Iranians have no right whatsoever to put their people, overtly or covertly, into neighboring Iraq, a country which, back in the 1980s, invaded Iran and fought a bitter eight-year war with it, resulting in perhaps a million casualties; but it's just normal behavior for the Pentagon to have traveled halfway across the planet to dominate the Iraqi military, garrison Iraq with a string of vast permanent bases, build the largest embassy on the planet in Baghdad's Green Zone, and send special-operations teams (and undoubtedly CIA teams as well) across the Iranian border, or to insert them in Iran to do "reconnaissance" or even to foment unrest among its minorities. This is the definition of an imperial worldview."

"Hersh claims that, with the help of Saudi National Security Adviser Prince Bandar bin Sultan (buddy to the Bushes and Dick Cheney's close comrade-in-arms), the people running the black-ops programs out of Cheney's office have managed to run circles around any possibility of Congressional oversight, leaving the institution completely "in the dark," which is undoubtedly exactly where Congress wanted to be for the last six years. Is this still true? The non-reaction to the Hersh piece isn't exactly encouraging."

"...the Bush administration seems to be repeating the worst mistakes of the Reagan administration and of the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan, which led inexorably to the greatest acts of blowback in our history."

This is all so Iran-Contra on steroids it makes me sick. Read the article, it is chock full of links to other articles and support material.

Newsclipping of the Day :: My Project in the News Again

I know you are all (all 2 of you) on pins and needles waiting to find out what happened with the Ohio Statehouse gift shop brouhaha. Our plan for new exhibits--and to relocate the existing gift shop--was unanimously approved and adopted by the board. You can read all about it here, complete with a tiny version of one of my sketches, and here. Now it's on to the next phase!


Newsclipping of the Day :: My Project in the News

Apparently, our plans have ruffled some feathers. I have no comment until after tomorrow. Click on the title of this post to see yesterday's article in its native format. Text is cut and pasted below.

Statehouse exhibit plans squeeze gift shop
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Alan Johnson

Lee Anne Fullen, assistant manager, talks with a customer in the Statehouse Museum Gift Shop. The shop may move to a smaller, higher-traffic location in the Statehouse.
Enriching the experience of visiting the historical Statehouse could make the building’s gift shop a little poorer.

Or, depending on your point of view, it could trigger a booming business in state seal lapel pins, miniature cannons, Statehouse mugs and Ohio quarter thimbles.

On Tuesday, the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board will unveil an ambitious project to upgrade historical exhibits and revamp educational programs in the 146-year-old Statehouse. Private donors have given about $1 million to help pay for the work.

Electronic media, including video and interactive presentations, will replace many of the existing static exhibits, most of which are viewed behind glass. The updated, high-tech approach is being applied in museums nationwide. Planners think it will increase the Statehouse’s appeal to visitors.

About 61,000 people took guided tours in 2006, down 8,000 from the year before. An additional 25,000 attended special events at the Statehouse, which underwent a $121 million renovation that was completed in 1996.

Part of the new plan calls for moving the Statehouse Museum Gift Shop, now located in the middle of the lower level in an area known as the crypt, to a spot in the lower level of the adjacent Senate Building. The shop is operated by the Capitol Square board.

The shop’s current space will be used for new exhibits.

However, the move entails a significant reduction in the gift shop’s retail and storage space. That, coupled with the cost of the move to a less central location, prompted Becky Wildman, the shop manager and a state employee, to send an urgent e-mail to some customers.

"It is my belief that the proposed plan would adversely affect sales by limiting our exposure and downsizing our space," Wildman wrote.

She suggested that the downsizing would require focusing more on souvenir and children’s merchandise, most of which is imported, and mean a shift away from "Ohio products which are our claim to fame."

Wildman declined to comment on her e-mail.

Gregg Dodd, spokesman for the Capitol Square board, said Wildman now thinks it was "inappropriate" to send the e-mail before the board discussion of the move. That will come Tuesday morning.

The state hired Hilferty Museum Planning and Design, one of the top design firms in the nation, to develop a master plan.

The Athens-based Hilferty’s project list is eye-popping, including the Lewis and Clark Visitors Center in St. Louis, the Chicago Historical Society, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the College Football Hall of Fame, the Kentucky Derby Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian.

Dodd said change is difficult, but the gift shop’s new location will be in a high-traffic area where visitors enter and exit the new museum.

"Our main focus should be on education," Dodd said, so the Statehouse can be "a special place for all Ohioans for generations to come."


Newsclipping of the Day :: Support the Troops? No, Support the Contractors!

Here is the first story I've seen on the latest installment of media circusesqueness surrounding the Walter Reed debacle, that actually says something. The CNN Headline Newsification of absolutely everything drives me nuts sometimes... i've heard the SAME three sentence sound byte on this story 29 times for like a week now (thanks NPR gee you're great). Until now. Thank goodness there are a couple of journalists still left that will dig behind the ubiquitous sound bytes. Seems that Clinton/Gore's "Reinventing Government" great idea--and it's complete hijacking and hostile take over by Bush and his insidious, endless roster of cronies--may be the culprit.

I can't imagine being a health care professional, just waiting for "Reinventing Government" efficiency experts with clipboards and stopwatches and MBAs to downsize my job away. I can't imagine working for the CDC or the National Park Service or the Department of Education, counting the hours, wondering when the other shoe will drop, when some "corporation" will be formed to completely nullify sane, sensible human services. The same sort of giving-everything-to-private-sector-fake-corporations is what is destroying our military and making us incapable and inept in the area of defeating teenagers with bombs and guns in the desert also, methinks. It's just a way to achieve Norquist's goal of 'drownding our government in the bathtub' while insulating the fake companies from responsibility as they collect the gargantuan windfalls.

I remember a little thing called common sense. I guess it is just not compatible with greed. Neither, apparently, is the health and well being of the men and women who've lost arms and legs and eyes while waging fake wars fought with hidden means over issues they--and we the public--have no right to know about. Why are we allowing our government to be "reinvented" by people who want to kill it? Would you drop your kids off at Jeffrey Dahmer Country Day School? it's just about that simple. People die and suffer--in quite large numbers--for the cause of "Reinventing Government."

In our name. With our tax dollars.

I just don't understand why most people aren't catching on to this?

Let's do a quick word-play visualization exercise, everyone:

U.S. GOVERNMENT, circa 1975: laws, policy, professional self reliance, publicly-placed competitive bids, contracts and oversight, purchase orders and checks, banks

U.S. GOVERNMENT, circa 2007: hidden agendas, beliefs, self aggrandizement and fake skills, secret awards, funnels, suitcases of cash

Play this game with me. What then/now comparisons can you see in how our government is being destroyed?


Cruelty Clipping of the Day :: Uggh I'm Speechless

Any of you old enough to have loved Flipper, watch with caution. I still feel sick after watching this. How can people be so incredibly cruel? Nothing makes me want to boycott all things Japanese more. And it gives me more than a flicker of desire to go vegetarian. So many vegetarians eat fish, eggs, and cheese in addition to a herbivorous diet, because they think it is more humane than contributing to what cows, sheep, chickens, pigs, etc. have been subjected to by our Wonderful World of Agribusiness. Oh this makes me sick. Geez I could go on a jag on this theme of cruelty clippings. Remember, those capable of doing such cruel things to animals are the ones that lead us all in the horrible, atrocious things humans do to one another. Oh well, I'm sure Ann Coulter would just call me a big Peta Fag right about now.

Time to Roll some Dough!

How exciting. Quelle pierres belles...


Been Gone for a Sec

See that? That's snow. I thought we were through with that. Ugggh. It was nice and breezy today, not too cold (had the top back yesterday), and now... suddenly... snow.

I had a little emergency design job at work in the past coupla weeks, and then a trip to Vegas last week. Which was all good. Only, in Vegas, all the food is HUGE. I fasted for the last 24 hours, just to try and return to some semblance of equilibrium, and am now looking forward to the roast chicken, rice salad, and green beans we are about to prepare (my first non-liquid meal since yesterday's lunch). I wish I could make myself fast for more than 24 hours, but it seems to be beyond me. Well, maybe if i can make myself do it again very soon, i can work my way up to a 3 or 4 day stint of no solid foods. I read this book called The Detox Diet but i think i need to expand my horizons beyond that. Anybody have any suggestions re: detoxification and fasting?

Looks like i'll be working on a really cool outdoor exhibit in the desert for several weeks, with a really great Tuscon architecture firm, line & space. What a cool name. And they seem like very cool, accomplished people.

In other news, our marble counters have arrived and will be installed Monday morning. After that, all that is left is the backsplash. I'll post some pics after the install, and all of our choices for backsplash. Instead of the options narrowing down over the past few weeks, they seem to have mushroomed. I'm now leaning toward a nicely patterned carrara marble tile composed of polished 2x2 and 2x6 tiles, while Steven is still just totally in love with the whole stacked pebble thing. We'll compare all our samples after Monday's install. Ciao.
Fight the H8 in Your State