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Tag: building

Review: Ken Follett’s “The Pillars of the Earth”

This is one of the strangest and most disappointing books I’ve ever read. Reaching back to 12th-century Britain, The Pillars of the Earth vividly describes the architecture, landscapes, and challenges faced by denizens of the Middle Ages. Sadly, this potentially great project is brought low by Ken Follett’s shockingly poor writing. Follett combines the deep [...]

Quotes 3-23-2016

“She walked along the southern side aisle, dragging her hand along the wall, feeling the rough texture of the stones, running her fingernails over the shallow grooves made by the stonemason’s toothed chisel. Here in the aisles, under the windows, the wall was decorated with blind arcading, like a row of filled-in arches. The arcading [...]

Quotes 3-22-2016

“The most expensive part of a building is the mistakes.” ––The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett, loc. 9609   “Being a monk was the strangest and most perverted way of life imaginable. Monks spent half their lives putting themselves through pain and discomfort that they could easily avoid, and the other half muttering [...]

Quotes 3-14-2016

“As he walked past the ruins, the prospect of building a new cathedral suddenly seemed daunting: all that stone, all that timber, all those craftsmen, all those years. He would have to control it all, make sure there was a steady supply of materials, monitor the quality of timber and stone, hire and fire men, [...]

Quotes 3-3-2016

“The walls of a cathedral had to be not just good, but perfect. This was because the cathedral was for God, and also because the building was so big that the slightest lean in the walls, the merest variation from the absolutely true and level, could weaken the structure fatally. Tom’s resentment turned to fascination. [...]

Quotes 12-24-2015

“We are the fat. You and I are the fat in the fire. We haven’t got the chance of a snowball in hell.” ––Ulysses, by James Joyce, pg. 132   “Today’s belief in ineluctable certainty is the true innovation-killer of our age. In this environment, the best an audacious manager can do is to develop [...]

Journal #49: Rocky Road

Anyone who has visited the Raymers knows the gravel road that spans the two acres between the main road and our house. The road is in generally poor condition, with grass growing in a strip down the center and a number of sizable potholes that hold standing water in the wet season. We’ve been wanting [...]

Quotes 9-17-2015

“We mustn’t forget old people with their rotten bodies, old people who are so close to death, something that young people don’t want to think about (so it is to retirement homes that they entrust the care of accompanying their parents to the threshold, with no fuss or bother). And where’s the joy in these [...]

Journal #45: Defying the Drought, Pt. 1

California’s recent drought has been scary. Even in Northern California, where the water situation is considerably better than down south, people are realizing that the future of California’s water situation will look much different than its past. Though many improvements will be large, publicly-funded infrastructure projects, individuals can also take action to lessen the effects [...]

Quotes 5-29-2015

“The White Sky took form and fury. The cloud bloomed and evoluted like cream in coffee, spreading and paling, though from place to place one could see fresh bursts as rocks hurled out in earlier collisions found distant targets and touched off smaller chain reactions of their own. In places it took on a cellular [...]