Monday, October 31, 2005
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Choose from among dozens of room scenes to envision products in room settings.
Point & click to change floor, ceilings, walls, and cabinetry colors to best fit your new room design: Design a Room
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Sugar Time is an audiobook comprised of three related short stories: "Sugar Time," "Flight Test," and "Return to Neander." It's a time travel adventure featuring a full cast, music and sound effects. Maxwell Sweet along with two professors have been conducting secret experiments in an old Victorian mansion outside Galveston, Texas. However, the two professors have vanished and Maxwell Sweet has fallen ill. Now, it's up to Sweet's tough-as-nails niece to find out what happened to the project - a working time machine...
Sugar Time is available from Project Pulp , and it will be available at the Hadrosaur Productions table at TusCon the weekend of November 18.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Table of Contents
Searching for the Right Location
Finding a House Plan
Choosing a Builder
3. The Building Process (Diary excerpts)
Siting it (setbacks, etc.)
Scraping, footers, foundation, slab, walls, framing, roof
4. The Building Begins
Punch list (for the builder)
6. Making Choices
7. Remodelling Your New Home
You can buy Building a Cool House for Hot Times without Scorching the Pockebook from: Amazon.com: Books: Building a Cool House for Hot Times Without Scorching the Pocketbook
Thursday, October 27, 2005
WTNT31 KNHC 271138
TROPICAL STORM BETA INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 2A
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
8 AM EDT THU OCT 27 2005
...BETA MOVING SLOWLY NORTHWESTWARD OVER THE SOUTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN
SEA...VERY HEAVY RAINFALL EXPECTED IN PORTIONS OF CENTRAL
(Thanks again, LGD)
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Monday, October 24, 2005
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Friday, October 21, 2005
Thursday, October 20, 2005
The Wednesday evening forecast said that Wilma might not even come near us, though the Weather Forecast track hadn't changed yet; the late night forecast said that Wilma had slowed down and was now a category 4, but it was back on the track headed for Florida. The noon forecast had it wobbling and still slow and showing a clear patch that wasn't the eye, and the weathermen had no idea what that meant. Of the 45 computer models, eight were headed for central Florida, while the majority were crossing southern Florida (Naples hasn't been hit by a hurricane since Donna in 1960, btw). One sphagetti strand is still looping back across the Yucatan and heading back into the Caribbean and possibly into Cuba. They are expecting it to become a 5 again, but it will exit Florida as a !. VIPER, VORTEX, and all the other cutting edge programs are disagreeing right now. In the past, sometimes VIPER was right and the Weather Service wasn't and vice versa. It's still too early to tell, but schools are cancelling classes; some games have been rescheduled from Friday night to tonight, and people are stocking up and evacuating.
A friend (thanks, LGD!) sent me a storm track blog with pictures and graphs; it's really neat, and here's the link: StormTrack - When God decides to flush the toilet, you need answers
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
I came across a septic sytem, Hoot Aerobic Treatment Unit. The ad says that the product eliminates the mound and increases lot density. You get: low maintenance, mound reduction, sub-surface drip, water recycle, requires less space, easy installation, environmentally friendly, lowers floor height, reduces set-back, larger homes on smaller lots.
Anyone know anything about this system? I wonder if it requires more frequent pumping out.
Monday, October 17, 2005
Wilma is scheduled to become a hurricane in the Gulf about Wednesday. It's too early to tell where it's going to make landfall. The cone of uncertainty is big.
The latest update (computer models) shows Wilma going north (it's going south now) and curving towards the east coast of Florida later in the week.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Friday, October 14, 2005
My favorite sci-fi movie is Andromeda Strain. Runners-up include Star Wars, Aliens, Serenity, ... My choice for coolest character is Ellen Ripley; first runner-up is Newt. And I'm still gnashing my teeth because we didn't get to see Newt grow up to be a really cool heroine!
Here's a link to a Serenity review: Serenity - Uncle Orson Reviews Everything
Here's another book with money-saving advice:
Blueprint Affordable: How to Build a Beautiful House without Breaking the Bank
Author Michelle Kodis includes an amazing list of helpful information, guidelines, and tips to follow throughout the planning and building process such as: keep a simple floor plan; opt for off-the-shelf stock sizes, which cost less than their customized counterparts; choose locally available materials; study your building site's climate and weather patterns, and focus on an architectural plan that shields the home from the elements; omit a basement where possible-you'll save thousands on excavation costs; do your own research and purchase your own lighting fixtures, paint, carpet, and appliances instead of hiring an outside consultant to do so.
Budget-mindedness and beauty don't live on opposite sides of the architectural block, as the ten houses in Blueprint Affordable strikingly demonstrate. As exceptional as they are in their design, these houses all share one key attribute: from the very beginning, before their owners' dreams were transformed into exciting realities, everything from the floor plan to building materials and finishes was driven by limited financial resources.
I enjoy looking at lists of books on the Barnes & Noble and amazon websites--you know, the lists of other books that people bought who bought the book you're considering. Here's the list of books on the B&N webpage for Building a Cool House for Hot Times without Scorching the Pocketbook:
People who bought this book also bought:• Not So Big Solutions For Your Home Sarah Susanka • The House You Build: Making Real-World Choices to Get the Home You Want Duo Dickinson, Peter Chapman (Editor), Ken Gutmaker (Photographer) • Tuscan and Andalusian Reflections Aram Bassenian • Cottage, Cabin and Vacation Home Plans Sunset Staff (Editor), Editors of Sunset Books (Editor) • Homes Filled with Natural Light: 223 Sunny Home Plans for All Regions Home Planners, LLC, Inc. Home Planners, Inc Staff Home Planners (Editor)
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
NWF teamed up with Animal Planet to create a television series called BACKYARD HABITAT. This series was inspired by NWF's Backyard Wildlife Habitat™ program. Link: Backyard Habitat TV show on Animal Planet
Here's the link to my Backyard Habitat: Backyard Wildlife Habitat
Monday, October 10, 2005
A chronological compendium of events and practical advice , February 5, 2005
Reviewer: Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA) - See all my reviews In Building A Cool House For Hot Times Without Scorching The Pocketbook, author Joy Smith draws upon her on-site personal experience with the building process involved in constructing her own home. This slender, 61-page book reveals what she learned about the thousands of decisions that must be made in order to build within a budget as illustrated by diary excepts, photos, and more. A chronological compendium of events and practical advice from planning, to "punch list", Building A Cool House For Hot Times Without Scorching The Pocketbook will prove an invaluable read for anyone contemplating building (or remodeling) their own home.
Our house was adapted from the old Cracker house style (built for the climate). Here's an interesting article from the local paper on Cracker houses: Cracker Houses Are Reminders of Life Before Air Conditioning | theledger.com
As architect Dwight Holmes said, I am intrigued by the way that older homes in Florida responded to the environment, while the later ones seem to show no awareness of it at all."
Sunday, October 9, 2005
Saturday, October 8, 2005
Dog: If a dog barks his head off in the forest and no human hears him, is he still a bad dog?
Child's quote: We do not raise silk worms in the United States, because we get our silk from rayon. He is a larger worm and gives more silk.
Pun: It was one week before finals at the University of California at Berkeley, and everyone in my Comparative Religions class was frantic because of all the complex words and ideas we needed to know. The professor had just finished reviewing an Eastern concept he identified as Taoist, when a frazzled student protested, "But you said that was a Buddhist belief!" The professor looked up with a smirk and said, "I'm afraid not. You see that was Zen. This is Tao."
Friday, October 7, 2005
I really enjoyed Thud and am looking forward to rereading it. (I've lent it to someone who really likes it too and was tempted to take off from work to finish it.) I also read Where's My Cow?, which I suspect Pratchett wrote after inventing it for Sam Vimes to read to his son in Thud. I loved how Vimes sometimes made it home by the skin of his teeth to read it on time... I enjoyed Where's My Cow? also; it's illustrated and is more of a children's book, but grownups will like it too!
Thursday, October 6, 2005
Wednesday, October 5, 2005
Nationally, the Department of Agriculture is responsible for certifying organic foods. The USDA Organic seal can be found on foods containing at least 95% organic ingredients. Organic crops are defined as being produced without the use of conventional pesticides, fertilizers with synthetic ingredients, sewage sludge, bioengineering, or ionizing radiation. Organic animal products are produced without the use of antibiotics or growth hormones. This production method is generally acknowledged as more sustainable, and helps to enhance the environment as a whole by enriching the soil and cutting down on the harmful runoff of pesticides and fertilizers. An added benefit is keeping excess hormones and pesticides out of our bodies. The cost of organics varies due to produce seasonality (organic produce is only available when naturally ripe) and exotic nature (the harder it is to grow something organically, the higher the price). To learn more visit usda.gov. Source: The United States Department of Agriculture
To receive a certification from the Forest Stewardship Council, companies and landowners selling forest products such as timber must practice sustainable forestry management. Independent certification organizations ensure that the companies receiving FSC certification use the forest for environmental and social benefit, as well as in an economically viable manner. Around the world, there are 131 million acres of FSC certified forestland, and retailers throughout the United States carry both building supplies and paper products with FSC certification. For a list of all products and companies with FSC certification visit fscus.org. Source: Forest Stewardship Council
From The Nature Conservancy e-mail
I have stories in the following anthologies:
Magistria II: Shards of the Goddess: Magistria II (upcoming)
Magistria: Realm of the Sorcerer: MAGISTRIA: REALM OF THE SORCERER by G. W. Thomas (Book) in Books > Fiction & Literature > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Epic Fa...
Monday, October 3, 2005
I came across an article on building with concrete block in a September/October 1998 issue of Coastal Living. It's a good choice for building because it's econmical, and there is a wide range of choices on the esterior: paint, stucco, brick veneer, and almost any siding material. Inside you can paint, stucco, drywall, panel, or leave the block unfinished. (I think, though, that earlier homes were more likely to be unfinished inside; today they're usually insulated. I lived in a concrete block home with unfinished walls; the wallpaper and paint in one bedroom peeled a lot; and during a wet period, the paint on one interior wall really bubbled.) Concrete block also evens out temperature flucuations, making the house easier to heat and cool. I like it too because I believe it's safer in hurricanes.
Prevent Heat Buildup
I am going to construct a house in Florida. I'm from the northeast where winter heat loss is the main idea.... Link: prevent heat buildup - Topic Powered by Groupee Community
I got another Harmony catalog recently. I am so happy to see some colored linens in it; they're muted, but I like that look. They have clothes lines and racks too, along with cleaning products and house and garden items. The website is: www.gaiam.com