Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Cars Are Better Than Women

Now, not all of the following are entirely true, but most are at least pretty accurate.  


Why Cars Are Better Than Women...
- Cars will start no matter what time of day it is
- Cars don't have to have a shower every morning
- Cars are always ready; you don't have to wait on them
- Cars cost less
- Cars rarely stop working
- Cars don't mind if you stay in the garage all day and work on them
- Cars are always in the mood to have fun
- Cars don't complain about how loud the music is
- You can live with cars a lot longer than women
- Cars don't get tired of traveling
- You can always make cars look new again
- Cars can carry more stuff than women
- Cars don't buy new tires everyday like women buy

Monday, October 24, 2005

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

I really can't stay - Baby, it's cold outside
I've got to go away - Baby, it's cold out there
This evening has been - Been hoping that you'd drop in
So very nice - I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice

My mother will start to worry - Beautiful what you're hurry
And father will be pacing the floor - Listen to that fireplace roar
So really I'd better scurry - Beautiful, please don't hurry
Well, maybe just a half a drink more - Put some records on while I pour

And the neighbors might think - Baby it's bad out there
Say, what's in this drink? - No cabs to be had out there
I wish I knew how - Your eyes are like starlight now
To break the spell - I'll take your hat, your hair looks swell

I ought to say no, no, no sir - Mind if I move in closer?
At least I'm gonna say that I tried - What's the sense of hurtin' my pride?
I really can't stay - Baby don't hold out
Baby but it's cold outside

I simply must go - but Baby it's cold outside
The answer is no - but Baby, it's cold outside
The welcome has been - How lucky that you dropped in
So nice and warm - Look out that window, at the storm

My sister will be suspicious - Gosh, your lips look delicious
My brother will be there at the door - Waves upon a tropical shore
My maiden aunt's mind is vicious - Gosh, your lips are delicious
Well maybe just a cigarette more - Oh, never such a blizzard before

I've got to go home - Baby, you'll freeze out there
Say, lend me your coat - It's up to your knees out there
You've really been grand - I thrill when you touch my hand
But don't you see - How can you do this thing to me

There's bound to be talk tomorrow - Think of my lifelong sorrow
At least there will be plenty implied - If you caught pneumonia and died
I really can't stay - Get over that hold out
Baby but it's cold out side

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Corporations

Ya know what really gets on my nerves?  At this day in age, the year 2005, whiny liberals still see corporations as the enemy.  Huge, faceless, evil entities that are only there to rape and pillage whatever they can get away with.  

But being a corporation, or even being in business, does not have any logical and reasonable connection with being evil.  

Let me tell you something.  Why do you thing business are *in* business?  It’s not to be nice to you and donate to their favorite cause.  Businesses are in business to make money.  To turn a profit.  To bring in revenue.  Whether it’s a huge company like IBM or General Motors or GE, or a small, local business like Mug’s, or the Great Harvest Bread Company, if they cannot make money doing what they do, they will do something else.  This is the purpose of business.

Those who rail against Corporate America are really just hiding their fear and hatred of Capitalism.  

Green Building


Green building.  It’s the new catch phrase in the construction and development industries.  But what is this being Green all about?  And where is it actually being done?  And furthermore, why is it not being practiced everywhere?  

The concept of green building and sustainable design has been around since the early 1970s.  It started when the energy crisis forced oil prices through the roof and some folks started looking for alternative sources of energy to power their homes.  At first it was solar water heaters, geodesic dome houses, and houses built into the sides of hills.  These early concepts only went over well with a very small minority of the population.  For most, the additional cost and headache of these ideas outweighed the benefits gained.  Then energy prices stabilized and people didn’t care so much anymore.  

Things stayed that way for quite some time until the 1990s when the U.S. Green Building Council started to assemble the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.  From 1994 to 1998, attempts to formulate a standard were first based on the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), but were then moved under direct control of the USGBC.  The two most important decisions of the USGBC members developing LEED was that green buildings should be marked-driven and that the building owners would be the ultimate judge of the program’s success.  Basically, this means that green buildings would have to distinguish themselves in the market by having higher resale value than comparable buildings.  

The LEED program is structured to that owners, architects, and constructors can follow certain design and construction principles to end up with a building that is certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.  It is also designed to be a standard measuring tool for owners, builders, and consumers to gauge how Green a particular building is.  The levels of the program – Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Certified – directly correspond to the number of Points that are obtained in the building’s construction.  LEED is currently in version 2.1, with version 2.2 slated to be unveiled early next year.  

The concept of Green Building is based on sustainability.  Sustainability is the concept of providing for the best for people and the environment both now and in the indefinite future.  In the words of the 1987 Brundtland Report, sustainability is, "Meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs."  These days that involves making appropriate use of land, using resources efficiently, enhancing human health and productivity, protect agricultural and cultural resources, and making a building nice to live or work in.  This is accomplished in many ways, including better site selection, energy efficient equipment, and high-performance insulation.  

There are currently many more buildings being built green than at any time in the past.  This is due, at least in part, to the LEED program’s added publicity from government and institutional projects.  LEED registered and certified projects represent a diverse cross-section of the industry, but government entities make up the majority of the buildings.  There are currently 2,164 LEED registered projects and 285 LEED certified projects.  Of those, 25% are owned by for-profit corporations, 24% are owned by local government, 22% are owned by state & federal government, and 19% are owned by nonprofit organizations.  

The federal government, many state governments, and large institutions, such as universities and health care facilities, are currently the most established proponents of green building.  This is likely the result of the combined need to own the highest performance building that can be built, and having the capital to build it.  The additional costs commonly associated with making a building green, however, are normally far outweighed by the benefits.  In a report to California's Sustainable Building Task Force dated October 2003 and based on LEED buildings in the State of California, it was found that an upfront investment of 2% in green building design results in average life cycle savings of 20% of the total construction costs.  But that 2% upfront cost can and apparently is tough to sell to a building owner or developer that is only interested in the cost per square foot of the finished building.  But to put this increased cost in perspective, the average annualized costs for employees amount to $200 per square foot, compared to $20 for bricks and mortar costs, and $2 for energy costs.

The majority of green building is currently occurring being done on the East and West coasts, while Texas and Pennsylvania are also high on the list.  However, along the Front Range of Colorado there are several good examples of green building.  Fossil Creek High School in Fort Collins, and the North Boulder Recreation Center in Boulder are both LEED certified buildings that were finished recently.  

Green building has likely not been embraced by the general design and building population because of the added upfront costs mentioned above.  There is also the added complexity in the design of the building and in the administration of the project if a LEED rating is being sought.  It is also new and unfamiliar territory, not only for the construction team, but for building owners as well.  Just by being alien, this outstanding concept pushes some away.  

All in all, the LEED program and sustainable design practices look to be the way of the future, and it would be wise to get to know them now.