Week 99 (Annex Masonry to the 6th (!) Course)

It’s Thanksgiving Day weekend in the US, and so you might think that the 4th course relates to our progress through dinner, but this posting is strictly about the continued progress of our construction project.  Due to poor weather and the Thanksgiving Day holiday, we only got a few days of work done, but enough to bring the Annex masonry up to the 4th course.  Here’s an idea of just how muddy things got during the past two weeks of mostly rain:


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Week 98 (Annex masonry begins)

Last week we lost a good deal of construction time due to the remnants of Hurricane Ida.  This week the storms were more local in nature, but just as harmful to our construction schedule, costing us a good three of our five working days.  But that means we did manage to get two workdays in, and that was enough to begin bringing up the walls of the Annex.  The story begins with a new set of storey poles (or, more precisely, the poles recycled from the construction of the main building, placed in new locations):


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Who (or what) killed rock and roll?

Like the old man in Bring Out Your Dead scene in Monty Python’s Holy Grail, rock and roll continues to protest that it’s not dead yet.  But the number of ingrates willing to club it on the head, toss it on the cart, and wheel it out of town is mind-boggling.  There are so many villains to this story, but I’m going to focus on those that appear in two story lines from last week.

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Freedoms promised in 1976 may finally be realized

A posting on the  WIRED magazine property Epicenter has some pretty exciting news about the Copyright Act of 1976, including the fact that a good-sized catalog of music will revert to the control of artists from the control of record labels.  Unfortunately, the title of the article frames the story as terrible news instead of the good news that it is.  Bands like the Eagles are lining up to take advantage of this part of the copyright bargain coming to pass.  Hopefully they will get what they were promised 35 years ago.  If I were paying a mortgage on a house for 35 years, I would expect that with my final payment, the house would finally accrue to me when the mortgage expired, but the history of the US government and copyright (at least in the past 100 years) has been to consistently change the bargain at the last minute so that those of us who are due rights promised to us in the future never actually see that future arrive.

Will this time be different?  I hope so, because I’d like to see what happens when the artists, not the labels, can act as stewards of the artists’s works.  I think we’ve suffered the monopoly control of the labels for far too long, with far too little good to show for it.

McKinsey says Creative Commons matters

Joi Ito had a major article published by McKinsey & Co in their journal What Matters.  The article is titled Creative Commons: Enabling the next level of innovation and the punchline is pretty powerful:

TCP/IP and the Web are successful because they are based on open standards shepherded by nonprofit organizations that allow input from a wide variety of stakeholders. Similarly, Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization with thousands of volunteers in over 80 countries working to develop standards for content sharing and helping organizations to adopt these standards. Having 100 Internets or 100 World Wide Webs governed by incompatible standards would suffocate the network effects that we enjoy on our one interoperable Web. Having a single set of copyright licenses and a single metadata format is key to creating the network effect of interoperability at the collaboration level.

In the early days, those of us who were proponents of TCP/IP had to argue with regulators, lawyers, and technologists who, for a variety of reasons, did not support the standard. Creative Commons still has critics who do not yet understand the benefits of the network effects and collaboration that it enables. Like each new layer of the Internet stack, Creative Commons will soon become, in hindsight, an obviously necessary ingredient for collaboration, enabling yet-to-be-imagined innovations that will have a dramatically positive effect on business, society, and the environment.

So if you are licensing creative content, get with the program and find the Creative Commons license that maximizes the functional, interoperable, useful value of your creativity.

Week 97 (Rain, More Annex Conduits, and More Rain)

The prospects for this week looked especially good for construction until Hurricane IDA decided to head north, and with her four days of mostly constant rain.  Fortunately we made some progress on Monday, and by Thursday we received our inspection for the electrical conduits in the Annex.  And a lot of conduits there are:


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Week 96 (Drying In, Part 2)

This week we hit a milestone that’s significant enough to have a tradition associated with it: we fully dried in the Music Room and Booth roofs!  Earlier this week, word came in from our general contractor:

Congatulations to us all !

Our HVAC team yesterday finally shoe-horned 40 gallons of duct work into a 5 gallon bucket.  Today our carpenters completed the roof framing.

We are now deserving of the ancient German tradition that is huge up north and doggedly hangs on in the south ………. We now have an evergreen branch nailed to the peak of our main roof !  This signifies being dried-in (semi-permanent roof protection from the elements).


It’s taken us quite a while to get to this point, but now we are cooking with gas !

Rather excitedly,


So I went in search of documentation of this tradition, and here is what I found.

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