Thursday, October 18, 2007
(totally tongue in cheek--sent by a friend):
The United States Postal Service created a new 43-cent first-class stamp with a picture of President George W. Bush.
However, it may be recalled soon because there was only ONE major problem: The stamp was not sticking to envelopes, which enraged the President, who demanded a full investigation.
After a month of testing, a special Presidential Commission presented the following conclusions:
1) The stamp is in perfect order.
2) There is nothing wrong with the adhesive.
3) People are spitting on the wrong side.
I’ve been making lemonade and I don’t mean the kind you drink, but the kind that’s advocated by the old saying “If life gives you lemons, . . . . Let me back up to say that Fritz and I had been out of town for a day and a half. Wednesday afternoon I gave the second and last part of my Symposium on the operas of Mozart at Greenfield Community College. It went very well and everyone there now seems to be on board with the idea that I’ll be an annual presenter. That’s just fine with me. The drive out and back on a bright New England day was filled with beautiful autumn foliage colors and Fritz went with me for this installment, so we were together for the afternoon drive out and back.
Except, back wasn’t here to New Hampshire but to Boston/Cambridge because I’d gotten an invitation on Tuesday to sit in with the brand new Committee for Design in the Performing Arts at the Boston Society of Architects this morning at 8am. The purpose was to give review the development of theater spaces throughout history. Fritz came along as he had designed a very good theater some years ago for Westtown Academy, a Quaker school near Westchester, PA. So we begged a room for the night at Fritz’s sister’s place in Cambridge and wound up at the meeting to find a number of men and women with whom I already had connections of one sort or another. The session was most enjoyable, business cards were flying back and forth when it was all over and who knows what if anything may come of it.
So, we got back here to discover that while we were away there had been a small crisis over the septic system. The excavator had struck ledge where the septic tank itself was supposed to go. I’ll be able to post a picture tomorrow morning, but the problem was that the tank, which is huge, had to sit on the ledge several feet higher than would be ideal. Code issues apparently aren’t a difficulty but easily could be. Since we weren’t around, some decisions had been made for us, and as a reinforced, cast concrete structure weighting a ton or more isn’t an easy thing to move after it’s been put in place and its inflow and outflow pipes attached, I had to do some quick thinking.
The way things have been resolved, the tank will remain where it is, with about five inches of earth on top of it and the land sloping down from the ledge on which it stands. Its sides will be bermed up and its exposed concrete face will be sheathed with some of the many tons of rock that was blasted out of the hillside late last spring. With a rock retaining wall coming forward at a 45 degree angle each side, a small “grotto” will be formed that can act as the centerpiece of a nice bit of planting.
We’re allowed to do anything we want on top of the earth-covered tank as long as access to the two lids through which it will need to be pumped out every so often isn’t compromised. This tank stands about twenty feet in front of our bedroom windows and it occurred to me that it would be the perfect pedestal for some wonderful sculptural piece that would be the focal point within a raised flower bed. The only thing we have to do immediately is get the stone facing put on ASAP because if any part of a septic tank is visible, a certificate of occupancy will not be issued when the time comes. So, I think we’ve got this one licked. I also think we won’t allow ourselves to be off the property for more than a couple of hours at any time until the house is actually 100% finished.
Every couple of months I go though the latest Dolce & Gabbana ads to see what the boys are up to now. Here’s a sampling of some recent work, and lovely work it is.