31 July 2014

availing myself of the amenities

good rain around 7 o'clock, so i walked to the atl bot gdn 8:30 or so --- i had the place mostly to my self --- then a damp walk back home through the park --- all among the great luxuries of living where i do


mikey called to tell me that the jcniris house has been sold, paid and delivered --- that was the last house iris built, in 1991, the ninth in 40+ years out of twice that many that they actually lived in since they married a week before pearl harbor in 1941 --- a fine piece of late-twentieth-century vernacular architecture and a great instance of her use of pattern books to get what she wanted --- ugly wart of a house, if you ask me, but everything they wanted: front and center is the garage, its automatic door opener an awesome luxury in their declining years --- tiny little front porch; metal, six-panel door with a very small opening obscured by a leaded panel of stained glass (that i made for them when they moved in) --- too few, too small windows, which didn't matter to iris since, having grown up with kerosene lamps, she would always have the electric lights blazing anyway, even in the middle of the day --- a "sun porch" at the rear that got virtually no sun --- they both died there, which was good since dying-at-home had come to be their main goal in the last few years --- i hope we did right by them with that at least

29 July 2014

midsummer nights

a very fine evening at the garden in spite of there being too many chirren running around

28 July 2014

project status

finished the paper for the historic roads conference --- still have to pull together a powerpoint, but that'll be easy --- a revised and expanded edition will be a fine addition to tomitronics --- more anon

dog days

sirius is always visible, even in the middle of the city, except when it isn't which means it's the dog days, which are usually miserable:

the Sea boiled, the Wine turned sour, Dogs grew mad, and all other creatures became languid; causing to man, among other diseases, burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies.

not this year where we are starting our second round of not-polar-vortex but cooler than normal weather --- low 60s at night will feel fine
dog is kinda lazy sometimes, like me, but today . . . first, he started limping along on three legs, which he does sometime for no apparent reason than liking to hop, this time he stopped and stood there with one foot off the ground, like he does when he's got something caught between his toes --- chewing gum, e.g. --- but nothing, and we walked on --- then coming back, he just flat out laid down, twice, which he never does --- it was only 89, 40% humidity, and we've walked when it was a lot hotter and more humid --- whatever, we stopped and rested --- he will like the new weather, although he might like it more if i left him home once in a while when i gotta walk

27 July 2014

euphorbia tirucalli

yesterday, in a successful attempt to avoid finishing a project that should have been done a month ago, i remodeled my view by chopping down the pencil cactus --- it was a great plant but was looking very scraggly after several prunings to keep it in bounds --- there was a giant one in the desert conservatory at a.b.g., which they removed a few months ago --- i have a cutting and i also have another one on the balcony

i kinda like the new look

26 July 2014

how stupid can people be?

this stupid: "rolling coal"

let the urban dictionary explain

and there was one sitting on juniper street this morning, albeit without the "prius repellent" bumper sticker --- did have an in-god-we-trust tag


bus tours can be excruciating, with the all-day grey-line's tour of manhattan with my mother (her idea for the first and only time she ever went to nyc) still giving me nightmares --- today's tour of the belt line wasn't particularly excruciating but it was disappointing, with a sweet tour guide whose narration was dreadfully inaccurate in its details, historical and contemporary ---
at one time or another, i've walked the belt line from i-85 on the north to boulevard on the south, so the most interesting thing was the parade of neighborhoods that we passed through, giving you a feel for the entire city, including huge parts of it that most of us barely know exist --- you can also sense what a huge benefit the belt line will be, not only to the long-neglected neighborhoods it traverses but to the entire city, if it ever gets completed

the proposed park at bellwood quarry would be half again as big as piedmont park, with the quarry pit used as a reservoir for the city --- at 250 feet deep it would hold a month's supply

24 July 2014

just depressing

one of only two houses left downtown, this one on ellis street dated to the early 1880s and the other in near ruins on peachtree street --- and it's been wasted to create another surface parking lot

this has not been a good year for atlanner: the braves stolen, WRAS ruined, the useless demolition of this and other historic buildings including i.m. pei's first commission and the oldest african-american church in the city (for another damn football stadium to replace twenty-year-old one they will soon tear down), the proposed move of the cyclorama to buck-fukn-head from its location in grant park for nearly a century and miles from its civil war context, sale and probable demolition of the civic center, sale and god knows what of underground . . .

23 July 2014

loving some color

the first time this cattleya has rebloomed for me ---
it's getting kinda gaudy on the 13th floor

doncha know

commemorating a tragedy

everybody is all about the civil war sesquicentennial and the battle of atlanta and re-enactments and what not, with way too little reflection on why it was fought: it was a war over human slavery, about which there can be no argument, only rationalization; and what it cost the nation: 650,000 dead on both sides, which was more than were lost in all of the country's wars from the revolution through korea, including both world wars, hundreds of thousands more mangled and shell-shocked, and great swaths of the south left in ruins --- nevermind the personal tragedies repeated over and over --- john and sarah medlock, who claimed eleven slaves in 1860, had a farm near where grace methodist church is now located --- the spring they used was just down the hill and is still active, although the branch it produced is now in a culvert --- she wrote her sister of their experience when the civil war came to their doorstep:
We left home in July ‘64. We left our furniture. We took a few chairs and bedding, the best or the most of our clothes--our cattle we sold to the government except three cows and calves. We have one cow and calf is all the stock except 2 mules.  We lost our hogs and horses. We refugeed to Washington County, stayed there until November ‘65. The fighting was mostly from Peachtree Road around to Decatur. Our houses burned, our timber cut down on the home lot, our shade trees--pretty well all of our fruit trees.  There has been thousands of pounds of lead picked up on our land. People supported their family picking up lead. They got 50 cents a pound before the surrender. The bombshells is plenty, many with the load in them.
the war cost them a lot personally, including their oldest son who was wounded at malvern hill in 1862 and nearly blinded at chickamauga before being discharged and sent home, where he died in february of the medlocks' annus horribilis, 1864 ---

john and sara medlock left it to their surviving son to resurrect the old farm after the war and died there in 1882 and 1883 respectively --- they did not stay long in the family cemetery at what is now monroe drive and st. charles avenue, however, being dis-interred and moved to the decatur cemetery in 1890 when their heirs sold just seven acres of the old farm for $20,000 ---

20 July 2014

not-july weather

66 and thick fog this morning --- cloudy and cool all day --- monsoon rain in the afternoon --- not at all like july ---

but dog and i got in three or so miles

18 July 2014

the feed mill

i really don't dine out that much, especially now that i'm obsessing on the fitbit --- so back-to-back dinners out have been great --- last night at fritti in inman park with my brother and family to celebrate assorted birthdays and tonight at basils in buckhead with the susans and don for our monthly repast ---

i will only eat a crust of bread tomorrow

recommended reading

a rather unsettling take on the origins of the war to end all wars ---
. . . the protagonists of 1914 were sleepwalkers, watchful but unseeing, haunted by dreams, yet blind to the reality of the horror they were about to bring into the world.

16 July 2014


looks purty, or at least fresh

15 July 2014

routine maintenance

commenced re-painting the unit today --- les chambres nécessaires haven't been re-painted since they were new in 2002 so they are kinda ready

13 July 2014

seeing the city

a friend had a book for me and, picking it up, i was too close to my new favorite atlanner place not to go up there and walk the dog --- the quiet and the long views are purty great

view east to park place and plaza towers
view southeast to midtown and, below, northwest to kennesaw mountain and vinings --- it is a shame that the developers just could not live unless they crammed their houses right up to the cemetery, basically screwing the view for everybody --- but they certainly got to exercise their god-given right to maximize their profit on any given piece of real estate, whatever the cost to public space --- usa, usa, usa!

wasting atlanta, redux

i walked downtown yesterday to see again this old house on ellis street, two blocks east of peachtree --- scheduled to be wasted for surface parking, which is the worst of insults to one of only two houses left downtown --- as late as 1970 there were still four houses on this block alone, but they've fallen one by one --- after this, the rose house on peachtree will be the only one left, and it's in ruinous condition

also to be trashed for surface parking is this 1920s building next door, original headquarters of mack trucking, designed and built with two floors for parking! 
i hope there will be some sort of documentation on the house before it's gone, but that probably won't happen --- it's undergone some obvious alterations to the roof line, probably for a modern attic expansion, but some or all of the historic windows, some perhaps with original sash, remain in place --- differences in window casing suggests two historic building campaigns 

the old union mission will stay, but the loss of the house for surface parking just makes me ill

summer sunset

had a fine evening on the balcony watching the storms roll by

missed the full moon festivities at piedmont park 'cause we decided to go eat instead

12 July 2014

life-style adjustments

i haven't been able to get into 32" jeans since sometime last century --- but i can now --- all well and good if i can avoid being like the poor anorexic woman that walks peachtree eating packets of splenda, which i think i can manage since there are much better diet changes than artificial sweeteners

i am disappointed however: weight loss and exercise has been great for blood pressure; for cholesterol, not so much --- doc really wants me back on the statins ---

10 July 2014

enjoying the amenities

another fine, sultry evening in the garden --- we sat on the bench at the fish fountain for a long time and just watched the parade of people and the gorgeous sky --- an excellent location for imbibing an adult beverage or two