tract-homes

4

Faces of Meth

Each of these innocuous looking homes has been declared unfit for habitation.  They are on State of Oregon’s list of known, former drug labs. None of them appears to have a single sinister board in their frame, which is all the more frightening.  Maybe these are the before photos.

Oregon publishes a register of these houses on the internet.  It even encourages citizens to receive email update to the list is added to. The promotion is kind of odd.  It’s kind of like the opposite of a National Register listing.  It is a register of shame.

Landmarking a building can be a catalyst for development and community action.  Maybe the list of drug labs could be used the same way.  With the right marketing and incentives could a negative listing become a positive for communities?

3

Lewis Baltz, Three Photographs from the Series “Park City”, (1980)

 While Lewis Baltz is perhaps best known for his New Industrial Parks near Irvine, California series, Park City might be a better candidate as the magnum opus of the artist’s early work. Not merely representative of the stylistic and conceptual framework of the photographic movement he helped to define, Park City is the single most exhaustive and far-reaching visual criticism of 1970s-era American real estate development: the series is thus the New Topographics document par excellence. The series’ 102 plates (Baltz defines the Series as “a sequential work of 102 elements”) first take the viewer through overall site views that set up a jarring contrast between the mountains (already carved up for the ski area) and the freshly built condominiums and houses that soon will take over the landscape.

Westbrook by Swift Homes by William Bird
Via Flickr:
a spacious contemporary design home with three large well placed bedrooms, kitchen-dining area, huge living room,master bath and powder room. One of 80 Swift distinctive designs and styles available Swift - World’s largest manufacturer of PREcision CUT homes

youtu.be
prairie dog kill

ACTION ALERT:

The LAST large intact prairie dog colony in the Castle Rock area was mercilessly gassed to death this past week. The culprit was John Waggoner with Lowe Enterprises. This colony covered approximately 2000 beautiful prairie land acres and is soon going to be converted into a tract home development and two golf courses.

John Waggoner was contacted approximately a month ago and asked to relocate these prairie dogs. He was calloused but stated that he was interested in meeting with us in the next couple of months to discuss that possibility. Waggoner knew folks were concerned and willing to help with a relocation of these prairie dogs but he chose to kill them anyway. He also stated that he had no plans of building until, at the earliest, the end of 2016. So why did he kill them instead of finding a non lethal alternative?

They killed them as covertly as they could. They started from the back end of the land, did not post signage (although it appears as if they were using fumitoxin) and did not flag the burrows. They used unmarked cars and didn’t hit the section by the public road until yesterday (their last day in the killing fields) when someone spotted them and alerted us.

This development, which has named itself “Canyons South LLC” still does not have permitting to go forward with their development plans. It is imperative that we all work on stopping them from creating a tract home nightmare.

Please contact John Waggoner and let him know how evil his decision was and let’s show him that this will not go unnoticed and that he made a grave mistake. WildLands Defense plans to take action against the developer and we need your help to ensure this happens:

John Waggoner
Lowe Enterprises
303-850-2401

email:
johnwaggoner@loweenterprises.com

Mailing address:
1401 17th Street, Suite 460
Denver, CO 80202

We will be posting more throughout the week on this development so please keep updated by frequenting our page.

The following video is from yesterday at the kill site:
https://youtu.be/IcgcgvzwHgc

Keystone species: Which are the most important functional genes in an ecosystem?

Microbial ecosystems such as biological wastewater treatment plants and the human gastrointestinal tract are home to a vast diversity of bacterial species. Scientists of the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) and the Life Science Research Unit (LSRU) of the University of…
Source:Keystone species: Which are the most important functional genes in an ecosystem?

Keystone species: Which are the most important functional genes in an ecosystem?

Microbial ecosystems such as biological wastewater treatment plants and the human gastrointestinal tract are home to a vast diversity of bacterial species. Scientists of the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) and the Life Science Research Unit (LSRU) of…
Source: Keystone species: Which are the most important functional genes in an ecosystem?

$189,900 :: 4252 ANTHONY Drive, Sterling Heights MI, 48310

$189,900 :: 4252 ANTHONY Drive, Sterling Heights MI, 48310

3 beds, 2 full baths
Home size: 1,596 sq ft
Lot Size: 7,840 sq ft
Added: 07/27/15, Last Updated: 07/27/15
Property Type: Residential
MLS Number: 215079531
Community: Sterling Heights
Tract: MIRACLE HOMES
Status: Active

Move in ready.. Clean and updated..Wood floors and granite in Kitchen.. Open floor plan. Beautiful waines coating, freshly painted & Newer windows. Carpet basement and it will be…

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$189,900 :: 4252 ANTHONY Drive, Sterling Heights MI, 48310

$189,900 :: 4252 ANTHONY Drive, Sterling Heights MI, 48310

3 beds, 2 full baths
Home size: 1,596 sq ft
Lot Size: 7,840 sq ft
Added: 07/27/15, Last Updated: 07/27/15
Property Type: Residential
MLS Number: 215079531
Community: Sterling Heights
Tract: MIRACLE HOMES
Status: Active

Move in ready.. Clean and updated..Wood floors and granite in Kitchen.. Open floor plan. Beautiful waines coating, freshly painted & Newer windows. Carpet basement and it will be…

View On WordPress

“The recent vintage of most California houses doesn’t make them particularly promising settings for ghost stories. But Todd Hido, a photographer just starting to make his presence known in the Bay Area, manages to elicit the shivers associated with haunted houses in his large color photographs. In a series he calls "House Hunting,” Hido has photographed the insides of empty, tract-style homes and the outsides of similar houses whose glowing windowpanes signal their habitation. (“Hunting” evokes “haunting,” of course, and it further connotes the predatory trespass of the photographer’s gaze.) Seldom has suburbia looked spookier or more forlorn.

The houses in Hido’s outdoor shots seem to glow in the dark. While the bright light that shines through the windows gives some indication that these structures are lived in, one can also sense their gloomy desolation. Isolated in the frame, almost like portrait subjects, the houses exist in a still twilight that can leave a viewer wondering whether someone is home watching television or absent owners are trying to ward off prowlers. Hido, lurking with his camera across the street, comes off as a benign but creepy surveillance aficionado, a private eye of domestic disarray.“ -Artforum magazine, May 1998. by _roomonfire http://ift.tt/1OBlsTU

$52,900 :: 21836 NORMANDY, Eastpointe MI, 48021

$52,900 :: 21836 NORMANDY, Eastpointe MI, 48021

4 beds, 2 full bathsHome size: 1,100 sq ftLot Size: 5,662 sq ftAdded: 07/26/15, Last Updated: 07/26/15Property Type: 1 ½ Story, Residential MLS Number: 31254718Community: Eastpointe (50026)Tract: KOPPINS HALFWAY HOMES #02Status: Active Perfect starter home or rental on a quiet street, completely remodeled, hardwood fl livingroom, and 2 bdrs, pergo ea-tin kitchen w/appliances, newer windows (5…

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Of Grass and Lawns

As I was mowing the acres of lawn and horse pasture recently, a seemingly never ending process this time of year, it occurred to me that the lawn couldn’t possibly be something with all that long a history. How recent a thing could the lawnmower be? What did people do before that? Why is the closely cropped yard such a status symbol in modern western society, probably worldwide at this point? We’ll examine this admittedly boring subject briefly today.

The first thing I discovered in my limited research was that the lawnmower is indeed a relatively recent invention, 1830 to be exact. And it took decades longer to refine the thing from its cast-iron weight and inefficiency into something usable and affordable by the average family. The lawn as we know it today probably didn’t become ubiquitous until still many more decades later, with post-WWII Levittown, NY serving as the template for the tracts of cookie cutter homes that now constitute suburban America. So it’s really only in the past 60-70 years that the lawn as a modern day fixture, controlled in height and unwieldiness by neighborhood associations or peer pressure, has become a thing.

Is it a good thing? I’m not so sure. Obviously mowing is a giant pain in the ass, though the orange Skag riding mower I use is actually rather fun when opened up to top cruising speed, but what about all the chemicals we use on those hectares of grass nation or worldwide? In this region especially, all that excess nitrogen and phosphorus runs off into the Chesapeake Bay, playing havoc with all that seafood y'all love so much. And then there are these two little tidbits I found on Wikipedia:

- Lawn maintenance may use inorganic fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, which can harm the environment. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has estimated nearly 70,000,000 pounds (32,000,000 kg) of active pesticide ingredients are used on suburban lawns each year in the United States. It has also been estimated that more herbicides are applied per acre of lawn than are used by most farmers to grow crops.
- It has been estimated that nearly 17 million gallons of gasoline are spilled each summer while re-fueling garden and lawn-care equipment in the United States; approximately 50% more than that spilled during the Exxon Valdez incident.

It’s pretty eye-opening the level to which we destroy the environment in service to the aesthetic beauty of the lawn, something which before the industrial age and suburbia in particular was available only to the upper crustiest of upper crusters, hiring hordes of grunt laborers with scythes to keep their tennis courts or garden areas neatly trimmed. It’s become a huge industry, all this lawn care business, with no end in sight, and little public outcry. As long as our yards are as nice as our neighbors’, it’s all good.

As a contrarian (and a guy that has better things to do than sit on the Skag for hours per week), I’d posit that maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to rethink all this. Would the world come crashing down if more of our nice neat patches of green were given to unkempt wildness? Would the universe explode if our monoculture lawns gave way to a tropical looking morass of unknown plant life, none requiring fertilization nor pesticides? I’m serious here. Why must every nook and cranny of green, every highway median strip, every roadside gulley-way, every last bit of non-concrete or asphalt space, be given to grass?

And I’d imagine that all this intensely manicured and fertilized and pesticided grass probably doesn’t exchange as much carbon dioxide for oxygen as it should, as unkempt wilderness could and once did. We could even get science involved and come up with a diverse and eco-friendly selection of plant species that are extra good at this exchange, and maybe look decent doing it. I bet the almost extinct honeybees would like it too. It just strikes me as ridiculous that we invest so much time, money, effort, etc. into maintaining all this acreage of generally one species of grass, at the expense of so much.

Other countries aren’t as lawn crazed as we are. And even here, in areas stricken by drought or other environmental or economic concerns, lawns have given way somewhat to gardens or other uses. Imagine that! Food, right out there for the eating rather than useless grass.

Of course, there will always be appropriate places for carefully maintained swaths of grass. Baseball parks, the remaining few football fields that don’t use artificial turf (a whole other rant-worthy topic), parks, golf courses (though I have issues with the ubiquity of those too), other sport and recreation facilities, even plain old lawns to a degree. I just don’t think we need quite as much lawn and grass as we currently have.

I don’t see it changing right away though, barring environmental cataclysm, which may come sooner than we think. We’re in love with our freshly mowed yards, and it’s easy to appreciate the rolling beauty inherent in this aesthetic. The price we’re already paying may be simply too high though. It may not be sustainable, and almost certainly serves little purpose beyond the aesthetic beauty we’ve been trained to appreciate.

But mainly I just hate mowing the stuff, every few days, week after week, all summer long. It never stops. Even the few remaining horses here can’t keep up with it, making it necessary to dodge ‘em as I mow their acre or two. I say let it grow. The bigger it gets, the more carbon dioxide it absorbs, the less need there is to throw chemicals on it. This is one of those all too rare situations in which doing less could actually help!

So stop mowing your lawn, unless legally bound to do so. Mother Nature will love you for it, the petrochemical conglomerates despise you, which is always a plus. Except the baseball fields. Do whatever it takes to keep those perfect, always.

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Another obvious musical choice today, though I considered Eric Clapton’s “Let It Grow”. Few more perfect summer tunes than this for me.

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Today in Baseball History 7/22

1906 - Without a single assist registered by his Reds teammates, Bob Ewing beats the Phillies, 10 - 3.

1910 - Bugs Raymond, talented but hard-drinking spitball pitcher, walks the winning run home in New York’s fourth straight loss to the Pirates. John McGraw suspends him for the rest of the season.

1911 - Brooklyn hurler Nap Rucker loses a no-hitter with two outs in the 9th inning when Cincinnati’s Bob Bescher comes through with a hit. Rucker wins the game, 1 - 0, outpitching Frank Smith, who gives up two hits and an unearned run. The Reds set a major-league record for nine innings by going to bat just 24 times (it will be topped in the American League and tied twice in the National League this century) and the two teams combine for just 48 at bats, to tie a major-league record set April 22, 1910.

1923 - Walter Johnson notches his 3,000th strikeout on the way to 3,508. He fans five in beating Cleveland, 3 - 1. The next pitcher to reach 3000 Ks will be Bob Gibson, in 1974.

1928 - P Red Faber of the White Sox comes up to bat in the 8th with two runners on base and the game with the Yankees tied, 4 - 4. He swings twice right-handed against righty Wilcy Moore and misses. He then switches to the left side and knocks in the winning runs with a single to center.

1939 - A Boston Bees fan, outraged when Al Lopez drops a pop foul, his second and the team’s seventh error of the game, jumps from the stands to punch the Boston catcher.

1963 - Diomedes Olivo, who will split his time between the Cardinals and Atlanta (International League), pitches a 1 - 0 no-hitter for Atlanta over Toronto. At “45 something” Olivo is likely the oldest pitcher in organized baseball history to toss a no-hitter.

1986 - The Cubs fire their ball girl, Marla Collins, when it is revealed that she posed nude for Playboy magazine. The photos will appear in the October issue and accompany shots of Marla in her Cubs uniform and one of Harry Caray pointing to a tattoo on her right thigh.

1986 - Due to a series of maneuvers by Mets’ manager Davey Johnson and the late-game ejections of Darryl Strawberry, Ray Knight, and Kevin Mitchell (the latter two as a result of a bench-clearing brawl precipitated by Knight when he decks pinch-runner Eric Davis at third base), the Mets run out of position players. The shortage of regulars leads to some interesting juggling by the New York skipper when catcher Gary Carter plays third base and a pair of relievers shift between the mound and a corner outfield position, with righty Roger McDowell playing left field when Jesse Orosco pitches to lefties and the southpaw hurler moving to right field when McDowell comes in from the outfield to face right-handed batters, with Mookie Wilson moving from corner to corner as needed.

1996 - Toronto’s Erik Hanson walks Cleveland’s Jim Thome without throwing a fourth ball. With the count 2-2 the pitch is wide and Thome jogs to first base. Umpire Mike Everitt, a fill-in from the Pacific Coast League, had incorrectly called the count 3-2 before the pitch, and Thome, who knew better, didn’t correct him. The next batter, Albert Belle, hits a three-run double for a 4 - 2 win.

2007 - Tulsa Drillers’ first base coach Mike Coolbaugh is killed instantly when struck in the head by a line drive in the top of the ninth inning at Dickey-Stephens Field in North Little Rock, home of the minor league Arkansas Travelers. The 35 year-old dad, who leaves behind a pregnant wife and two small sons, becomes the second on-the-field fatality in professional baseball history.

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All Today in Baseball History items are courtesy of either Baseball Reference or nationalpastime.com.

“Oh. I never wanted to be famous for being mean. I wanted to be famous for catching Santa Claus.”

Link to past posts, faster than the top-right icon thingie: https://disqus.com/home/forum/claudecatsplace/recent/