Also, Local Architecture Critic Running Amok


So in non-Momma news: our local alternate weekly has an Eyesore Of The Week column, one of those things you’re supposed to read for the vicious joy of watching some slumlord get called out on, like, how there’s been a garbage bin stuck through the front door for over three years now and it’s been on fire since November and nobody does anything about it. Oh, they excuse the column as a public service, shaming absentee owners into cleaning up their properties, but if they could be shamed they wouldn’t be absentee-owner slumlords.

Anyway, the paper hired a real proper experienced architectural critic, which has had weird effects, such as now sometimes what makes it the Eyesore of the Week is just that “the community college built it and it was 1973 and these things just happened like that back then and everybody involved is sorry”. And now the last one I read went on about a house where the major sins are — and I’m not deliberately exaggerating — that the aluminum siding pieces are too tall, and the upstairs window is horizontally divided rather than vertically.

And the critic didn’t content himself with the picture of the Eyesore, but called out some rendering software to show what the house would look like if the siding were replaced with narrower wooden siding and the upstairs window vertically divided. I guess it looks different and I’ll trust the architecture critic that it looks better, since that guy’s the critic and I just read the alternate weekly, but what I really noticed was that in the computer-generated image the neighboring houses are completely different. It suggests the problem is only a bit of detailing on the house, and that it instead ought to be in a different neighborhood, one with houses that take much less rendering time. This may be true, but I don’t see how it’s anything that the owner can do anything about.

Little Bits of Gratitude


When I got to thinking the other day about stuff to be grateful for, most of my thoughts came back to me not singing. I don’t want to suggest that you should stop being grateful I’m not singing for you. It’s just there are plenty of other things to think about with gratitude. Some of them are obvious; for example, if you’ve got a roof over your head, that’s something to be grateful for. There should be a bit of sub-gratitude reserved for the walls which hold the roof up above your head, since if the roof is just resting on the ground you’re probably doing a lot of crouching and that’s not good for your knees, if they’re very much like mine. I don’t want to complain about that, and you can be grateful for that too.