On Support

September 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

After the last surgery, My left arm wasn’t working very well. I could’t hold it out straight in front of my torso. turns out that during the surgery THEY had LAID ME ON my left shoulder. Five hours in that contorted position gave me  pain that persisted and pinched a nerve as well. I wasn’t well supported. I was sent to rehab to help me work through it.

They wanted me to go to rehab. I Said “No”, “no” “no”!, to quote Amy Winehouse. I can understand her position. Going requires admitting there’s something that needs rehab. My arm did need help, and the past six weeks of rehab: PT, OT and speech have helped. PT is as most know, physical therapy. In many respects it means literally getting in shape. getting your body to do as you expect. OT is occupational therapy — not just getting back to work, but getting your socks and shoes on too. (try doing this with your left hand and you’ll see how hard it can be if your other parts aren’t cooperating, It’s getting up off the ground– such as after you’ve dropped your chocolate and gone after it. It learning strategies for making do with less coordination, strength, etc. Speech therapy is, yes, something invaluable for, say, stroke victims. That wasn’t me. I’m pleased to say have not experienced that kind of  difficulty.

Grab bars don’t help much if you don’t grab them.

Through all of this, I’ve been lucky to have few symptoms or emotional shocks, so I haven’t thought I needed much support. THis was eithe foolishness or arrogance — likely both. And I am lucky enough that my support knows more than I do. A lot more. Her name is Annie. Sometimes I think she knows more than the doctors. She was the first to tell me what kind of tumor I had. the doctors thought I had a flamingo fungus. Seriously!


everybody has a big but. Each of these therapies has an assessment stage and I found some surprises there.

The Tumor Support Group. Part of my arrogance was a disdain for this group. But the benefit of this group of 25 cancer survivors (we’re survivors not victims) cam into shape focus just after a careless nurse (male) told me my cancer was not curable. THere came the shock many cancer patients feel the moment they learn of their condition. My shock was delayed due to circumstance and ignorance. But it was a big hit then and this group helped me realize that this was manageable. Iwasn’t dying tomorrow. Infact many cancer patients live for years. And not just live but survive: to thrive especially under adverse or unusual circumstances. Live big!

Part of


Philadelphia Shows People eat Better when Good Food is Available

September 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Surprise, surprise!

The coolest thing about this story, beyond the basic notion that people eat better when better eats are in hand is that study was done while helping people who need help. The City subsidized vegetables through food stamps and measured the results!

Now they have evidence by which to make decisions about nutrition improvements! Amazing notion: we can make better decisions with better information.

The second cool thing is that just having a neighbor supermarket does not improve nutition!

Take a look:


Economist Thinks Business Can Learn From Art

March 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

I know that sounds like an Onion headline, but a recent Economist magazine blog post, the art of management, makes some interesting assertions in the service of rhetoric:

  • Artists routinely deride businesspeople as money-obsessed bores
  • Businesspeople assume that artists are a bunch of pretentious wastrels

The truth of either is perhaps not the point. The key take-away of the article for me is that there is a tremendous gap in understanding of the creative process and its potential. There are a few folks that seem to be trying to close that gap. « Read the rest of this entry »

Our Most Imaginative Art Form

March 8, 2011 § 2 Comments

Math is fun. Really. But how does geometry figure in a blog about sustainability? First though, fun? Really? I think so, but I’m kind of a geek. The figure at left is reproduced from a charming yet brief volume titled “A Mathematician’s Lament: How School Cheats Us Out of Our most Fascinating and Imaginative Art Form”. Now, the artists in the crowd may bristle a bit at author Paul Lockhart’s claim. But hear him out:

If there’s anything like a unifying principle in mathematics, it’s this: simple is beautiful. Mathematicians enjoy thinking about the simplest possible things and the simplest possible things are imaginary.

For example, if I’m in mood to think about shapes–and I often am–I might imagine a triangle inside a rectangular box. I wonder how much of the box the triangle takes up—two thirds maybe? « Read the rest of this entry »

Green Buildings Worth 13% More

November 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

Research on Green Buildings is growing. A recent and apparently comprehensive study by a Dutch researcher identifies a number of benefit, for owners and developers, of green building. This is borne out in my own experience. We have been working with a real estate investment trust to assess their portfolio for potential LEED EB certification. They have said that non-green buildings are headed for rapid obsolescence. This research was reported in Environmental Building News under the title Non-Green Office Buildings Sacrifice 8% in Rent Revenues. The direct link is at Sustainable Property Research.

Issues with admin changes in LEED

November 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

Interesting post from Real Life LEED about LEED’s energy reporting requirements that highlights the less than rigorous process for updating LEED policies and guides.

My biggest complaint with the LEED … is how … administrative changes are handled. Changes to supporting documents … “seem to occur randomly and there’s no system to easily see changes as they occur or to determine what requirements are in place when a project is registered.”

LEED is the Worst, Part IV: its Authorities Aren’t

November 12, 2010 § 3 Comments

Winston Churchill“…democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried…” 1 ~ Winston Churchill

Change a few words and the Prime Minister’s commentary on democracy could easily be applied to LEED. The USGBC’s system is barely ten years old, yet it has been has been remarkably successful in transforming the public’s view of architecture and the market for architectural goods.

But on the way to greatness the good folks at USGBC decided to anoint a massive cadre of eager but largely inexperienced green building enthusiasts as masters of the craft. And they did it in a way that, in my view, fundamentally misleads building owners.

« Read the rest of this entry »