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Journal #43: Second Spring

As mentioned in previous journals, I spent January-March building with Dan, Sean, and Matt. I thought I’d share a picture of the project we completed in March. We built this deck for two lovely women in Jacoby Creek. This project had special meaning for me. Our clients are getting married this month, and their ceremony [...]

Journal #42: Coping with Climate Change

When I decided to move back to Humboldt after returning from Japan in summer 2013, I was motivated by several different factors. One of the most influential was my growing trepidation about the problem of climate change, which birthed in me a desire to settle myself in a strong community and start learning about sustainable [...]

Journal #41: The Unseen Helper

There are many reasons I decided not to apply to graduate school back in 2012, but one of the most significant was that I discovered podcasting. The podcast is one of the most important technological inventions of the last decade, especially for people interested in creating and consuming spoken media. It represents the resurgence of [...]

Journal #40: Meanwhile, in the Garden…

During the last six months, my labor has been a scarce commodity in our vegetable garden. I’ve been working on the house full time, volunteering weekly at Tule Fog Farm, and using my weekends to read, write and rest my body. All this left little time for maintaining our recently expanded garden. Ma assumed the [...]

Journal #39: Finish Line

In January 2013, I was one of nearly 20,000 runners who participated in the 32nd Annual Ibusuki Nanohana Marathon in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. It was my first time running a marathon, and even though I spent months training, I had no idea if I would be able to finish. I was supposed to run with [...]

Journal #38: Almost There…

We are closing in on the final week of construction. I feel like a diving hawk, talons spread wide and about to sink into the flesh of long-sought prey. Sean and Matt have been working as diligently as any two men I’ve ever shared a job with; I’m always hustling to keep up with their [...]

Journal #37: Words Get in the Way

This week I’m struggling with a bout of the Humboldt crud, so I’m just going to post pictures of our building progress without any commentary.  After all, words just get in the way, right? If you have any questions or thoughts, please leave a comment and I’ll answer as soon as I can. Also, have [...]

Journal #36: Final Forms

In July, we tore out the concrete slab in front of the old garage to make room for the foundation on which the new house extension now stands. We poured that slab back when I was in grade school so I could have a flat surface to play basketball on. Many good memories followed, the [...]

Journal #35: Trimmed Out

Trimming is an activity in which the artful reduction of an object often constitutes a simultaneous increase in that object’s value––a shuffling off of excess matter in order to highlight what remains.  A trimmed hedge gains aesthetic appeal. A trimmed physique imbues confidence and attracts potential mates. A trimmed intellect communicates with clarity and poise. [...]

Journal #34: Merging

Before I had any experience of building, I did not grasp the degree to which modern homes are a carefully orchestrated merging of many different materials. Everyone knows at some basic level that houses are complex organizations of wood, concrete, metal, wiring, and all the rest, but those with little or no knowledge about how [...]