Sunday, November 23, 2008

Phase 92

As both of you by now know, RCVman (who has now shifted into the use of the third person singular to describe actions currently operating in the present tense), is in build mode. This would be Phase 92, memory serving accurately, of additions to the structure known affectionately (by some) as The Cabin in The Woods.

Because of our aggressive RCV shooting schedule the past two spring and summers, I was gone most of the time that favors outdoor construction. Not to wimp out, we (my 30 year old hand tools and I) set out to build a new storage and dismantle the community blight known not-so-affectionately as The General Store. First it was a shed to keep materials dry and store "important" stuff. It then morphed into a shop, then into a gym (complete with CompuTrainer), and then back to a all purpose storage unit. If you needed a place to stash something out of sight and out of mind for a couple of years, The General Store was that place. Except, of course, that the roof leaked, partially, in my defense, due to the fact that in the great storm of 1992 an 80 ft. fire tree crashed onto it.

So RCVman decided that he needed a a new space to house all the crap that he just didn't have the guts to toss, recycle, burn, barter, bury or bequeath. A guy like RCVman can assimilate a lot of this type of stuff over 25 years.

So Phase 92 is officially underway. The idea being addition by subtraction. Build a new clean and efficient space, and tear down the damp, ugly and old (before it falls down). RCVman looks at this labor as community service as the more recent of the denizens of the forest will no longer have to look at the handiwork of a builder who has always thought that 40 pound felt looks kinda cool as siding.

Problems immediately arose. There are are already too many roof lines, Billy calls it the house of seven gables. So the architect (RCVman) struggled with the new design, for about a day, before the plan slowly became clear, like a ship coming out of a fog bank. Shed roof (with ONE skylight) and add a matching dormer to the main entry, double French doors, and a long row of windows along the South facing front. Thusly solving the design issue.* Additionally, if the project starts to grown in momentum and interest, like the bedroom/media room Phase 91 project, the space can easily become a new kitchen or studio. In the meantime, it will house (in a orderly, efficient and dry manner) all my junk. (Inventory to follow for you Craig's List fanatics).

There is the building update. As I was perusing books and reference materials last night to solve the entry way/roof line challenge, I came across this in the seminal A Pattern Language by Alexander, Ishikawa and Silverstein. It immediately caught my attention as something that is both important and timely.

"More than 90% of the people walking in an ordinary neighborhood are unhealthy, judged by simple biological criteria. This ill health cannot be cured by hospitals or medicine."

They go on to say (p 252) that hospitals suck, are enormously expensive, to centralized, WAY to inconvenient and that they tend to create sickness rather than treat it. Whoa. More, they say that by contrast, in traditional Chinese medicine, people pay the doctor only when they are healthy. When people are sick the doctor is obliged to help and treat them without payment. The doctors thus have incentive to keep people well. Call me socialist, but I like this idea.

So in searching for a building idea, RCVman came across yet another bridge (ponte nuovo). As the authors conclude, exercise, games, sports, dancing are all the cures for what ails 90% of us. For without a healthy body to store your wisdom, acumen and love, you might as well leave them all out in a leaky falling-down shed.

Phase 92 will be the best yet.

* maybe

1 comment:

ej said...

Nice! In the neighborhood, I was looking at some of the unhealthy choices people were making at Safeway this weekend. Geez, we were amazed they made it to the checkout counter. Are you talking about your construction project to avoid talking about the Huskies? If you want to check out the Somali pirates I have it at my big law blog at soon to be and