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  1. My "Deprived" Childhood
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  5. Mike on "Slings and Arrows"
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  10. George Hunka's New Play

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Saturday, October 29, 2005

My "Deprived" Childhood
Donald Pittenger writes: Dear Blowhards -- A lot more than once I've read about famous people who had tough financial times in childhood, yet claimed they didn't really know their family was poor. In some ways, the same applies to me. My deprivations were material, not financial. Basically it was a matter of timing related to the onset of World War 2 and its impact on the Home Front. Curious about how it was like to be a child during the war? Read on... Setting the Scene My parents were fortunate and weathered the Depression well. My dad graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering at the worst possible time, 1933, yet was able to get hired as a chemist by a pulp/paper mill. My mother went to a two-year state teacher's college in the mid-1920s (that was all that Washington State required in those days -- they went to a 4-year program in the 30s) and already had a teaching job when the Crash occurred. I was born in Everett, Washington in the fall of 1939 followed by my sister a few days before the end of 1940. We moved to Seattle in the late spring of 1941 because my father quit Weyerhaeuser to become a testing-laboratory equipment salesman. This did not turn out well, so after a year he went to work for the Army Corps of Engineers as a contract-compliance technician. This was the spring of 1942 and the U.S. had been at war since December, 1941. Our first Seattle house was a modest rental in the West Woodland neighborhood, just east of the world-famous Ballard area (Scandinavia's gift to America -- you have to have grown up in Seattle to get this). For three months during the summer of 1942 we lived in the spiffier Montlake district, just south of the ship canal bordering the University of Washington. The duration was three months because the house's owner was now a war correspondent on assignment; his family was away for the summer months and would be returning. So we had to vacate before September. But there was a slight problem: housing was almost impossible to find. You need to understand that World War 2 was hugely disruptive -- for individuals, for families, for communities and for the economy. Among other things, there was a great deal of migration from some parts of the country to others. For example, people flocked to Washington D.C. because it was the heart and brains of the war effort. Newsman David Brinkley wrote a charming memoir of his efforts to find housing in the suddenly-packed city titled Washington Goes to War. Southern California boomed because it was home to four major aircraft makers (Douglas, Lockheed, North American and Consolidated) as well as some smaller, but still important, firms (Northrop and Ryan). Plus San Pedro and San Diego were major naval bases. Seattle was home to bomber-builder Boeing, some small shipyards, a naval air station, and also was a major cargo and troop... posted by Donald at October 29, 2005 | perma-link | (31) comments

Hot Links
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- * Chelsea Girl recalls a studly clown she once tumbled for. * Bookgasm's Rod Lott has been enjoying Joe Bob Briggs' latest, a book entitled "Profoundly Erotic: Sexy Movies that Changed History." * Steff offers some technical tips that many are sure to find helpful, and that many others are sure to enjoy reading about. * This was definitely the right angle to shoot J.Lo from. * I loved exploring the art and words of the very talented Skip Williamson. Biker artist, Playboy art director, underground comix creator -- now there's an all-American combo. * Pussy Talk treats herself to a different kind of Victorian novel. * Shame-Ridden Disgrace points out a key difference between today's sex stars and the sex stars of the '60s and '70s. * Shoe Fiend confesses that Terence Conran is her kind of stud, and that interior decor items are her kind of porn. * Give a man a digital camera, and he'll do what he can to point it at a naked woman. Give a woman a digital camera, and she'll take off her clothes and point it at herself. Not that you'll catch me complaining. * Old joke: How do you make a woman come? Answer: Who cares? But seriously: Why do women have orgasms? Other than pleasure, what purpose might they serve? * When I was five years old, I craved this power. * George Takei -- "Star Trek"'s Sulu -- comes out of the closet. * Jill maintains that there can definitely be too much of a good thing. Best, Michael... posted by Michael at October 29, 2005 | perma-link | (11) comments

Friday, October 28, 2005

My Sudoku Tips
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- Are you a Sudoku addict? I am. Which is really something, considering that I have no brain whatsoever for puzzle-solving. Still, I manage to have a very good time solving easy -- and even moderate -- Sudoku puzzles. What a lovely state of mind I spend my Sudoku-solving minutes and hours in: engaged yet anxiety-free ... Blissed-out yet bearing-down ... And what a satisfying sense of accomplishment solving a Sudoku puzzle delivers. Ahhhh ... I wonder what brain scans will one day reveal about the brains of Sudoku addicts. Assuming there are a few visitors who might be interested in what a very low-end Sudoku freak has to say, I'm going to volunteer some tips about how to get started. 1) If you've stared at a few Sudoku puzzles and have given up in confusion, don't despair. There are four or five strategies -- OK, call them tricks -- that will get you through all the easy ones. Don't even bother trying to solve a Sudoku until you find out what these tricks are. 2) Most of the Sudoku books I've looked at offer a ton of good puzzles, but few of them offer much in the way of useful guidance. This book does. It's British -- which means that it has the virtues of being well-organized and cheerily-written. Best of all, it lays out the main Sudoku-solving strategies clearly and succinctly, and then it drills you in them. Make your way through this book and you'll be a confident and forward-looking Sudoku-solving beast. 3) As far as replenishing your supply of puzzles goes: If you're feeling cheap, or you'd rather use the web than buy a book, try this site. The puzzles are numerous, they're free, and they print out at an ideal size. Best, and heading back for a refreshing hour -- or two -- of Sudoku-solving, Michael... posted by Michael at October 28, 2005 | perma-link | (9) comments

Mac [Magazine]
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- Arriving in my mailbox yesterday was this gorgeous set of nonsense brackets: So nonsense brackets have now made it onto the cover of not just any magazine, but of MacHome -- surely one of the squarest of all publications known to mankind. Hmmm. Maybe that's a sign that nonsense brackets are on their way out. But I suppose it's just as likely to be a sign that they're now firmly established as a standard part of our visual lexicon. I love MacHome, by the way: tips and advice for the interested dumdum ... Best, Michael... posted by Michael at October 28, 2005 | perma-link | (4) comments

Mike on "Slings and Arrows"
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- Many thanks to Mike Hill, who emailed me to to give a thumbs-up to "Slings and Arrows," a six-part Canadian production on Sundance. The series is set at a theater festival, features a lot of actor-hysteria, and is still in rotation. (Do a search on the Sundance website to find upcoming showtimes.) Being a huge fan of high-pitched, behind-the-scenes comedy-dramas, I'll certainly be setting my DVR. Best, Michael... posted by Michael at October 28, 2005 | perma-link | (0) comments

The Depression in Color
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- If you're like me, the images you carry in your brain of the Great Depression are in black and white. So the Library of Congress' new show comes as a real eye-opener: a collection of color photos of that faraway era. The Library's website includes a terrific online exhibition. It's amazing how much more immediate color can make a photograph, let alone an era, isn't it? Best, Michael... posted by Michael at October 28, 2005 | perma-link | (6) comments

Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- * How trustworthy is Wikipedia? The Guardian asks experts to evaluate some of the encyclopedia's entries, and most of the verdicts aren't good. * Speaking of wikis, here's an amazing one that was apparently the first wiki ever to be put on the web. Not surprisingly, it's very Christopher Alexander-besotted. * I get the feeling that Colleen didn't enjoy "Elizabethtown" ... * Thanks to Stephen Bodio for pointing out the blog of Larissa, a young actress in search of work and fame in NYC. I loved this snapshot of a typical actor-day. Larissa has also been enjoying the HBO series "Rome." Nice passage: In a cast of excellent actors, Kenneth Cranhamís Pompey is so masterfully embodied that even in a scene lacking violence, nudity, or good-looking people insulting each other, I was totally riveted. Cranham looks as W.H. Auden might have looked had a giant thumb descended on his head and squooshed it just a little, displaced body matter filling out a few, but not all of the wrinkles. Beat that, professional TV critics. * OuterLife wonders about the whole blog-commenting thing. Time to visit and let him know what you think. * Chloe Sevigne is afraid she's become a little too '90s. * You can sign an online petition urging the University of Virginia to respect its traditional architecture. And please do let them know how you feel. * Here's the School of Visual Art's graduate art-crit blog. Find out what tomorrow's artists are mulling over today, then leave a comment urging these hot young talents to post more visuals. * Steve Sailer wonders why sports commentators are so determined to ignore the obvious. (Steve provides an update here.) * EverNote looks like a nifty way for Windows-users to maintain their heaps of stray mind-bits: notes, links, lists, and scraps. Gotta love the price too. Haven't tried EverNote myself, smug and happy Mac-user that I am ... * Fred confesses to a fascination with the legendary Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl. (I wrote about Leni -- who was certainly one of the most controversial figures in film history -- here.) * He's a man obsessed -- but what a fun topic to be obsessed by. Erik Holland marshalls a lot of evidence to argue that the gayness of fashion designers is the explanation why many fashion models are so skinny. I suspect that Eric had a lot of fun collecting the materials that he displays on this NSFW page too. * Dig this ultra-cool use of Google Maps. Some doubleclicking will enable you to find out how far distances are. I just learned that my morning walk to work covers 2.89 miles. * This is certainly the most unusual vantage point I've ever examined a house's interior from ... Best, Michael... posted by Michael at October 28, 2005 | perma-link | (20) comments

Thursday, October 27, 2005

More on Digital Movie Theaters
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- It's been talked about for years, and now it looks like ... Well, like it's going to be talked about for a few more years. Movie studios want movie theaters to convert from film-based projection to digital-based projection. From the studios' point of view, computer projection has many advantages. Distributing films would become far cheaper and easier. A physical print of a film weighs about 175 pounds and has to be shipped from the lab to a movie theater. Moving a digital file from one hard drive to another hard drive is much more easily and inexpensively accomplished. And storing films on computers would enable studios and theaters to respond more effectively to market developments. If a film tanks, it could be pulled instantly. A surprise hit could be moved onto multiple screens with a few mouse clicks. Hard drives are now up to the task ... Digital projectors are better than they once were ... But digital theaters are still few and far between. Why? The answer is a question: Who's going to pay to convert the movie theaters? A traditional film projector costs around $20,000. Converting a movie theater to digital projection costs around $100,000. Why should movie theaters volunteer to make investments that will mainly benefit the studios? The Wall Street Journal's Sarah McBride reports that discussions between studios and theater chains continue, and continue, and continue continuing. Her article -- not online, as far as I can tell -- is full of interesting tidbits. One movie-chain source maintains that the conversion to digital won't occur until prices come much further down -- which he says will take another three years. Improvements in digital projection technology are another hangup. At the moment, hard-drive-based theater projectors can manage 2000 horizontal lines. But machines capable of projecting 4000 lines are soon to go on sale. Why should theater owners be expected to invest in a technology that's guaranteed to go obsolete? But my favorite details from McBride's piece are a couple that remind me of what it's like being a day-to-day computer user: While traditional movie projectors can last for decades, the computers that store and distribute digital movies will probably last no longer than three years. A traditional movie projector typically needs around $1000 worth of maintenance per year. Digital projectors? McBride writes that they're "likely to bring maintenance costs of several thousand dollars per year because, like computers, they may develop glitches that require an expert to fix." As far as I can tell, what McBride means is that the local multiplex will soon be supporting its own IT department. What McBride doesn't mention -- and what few articles about converting movies to digital seldom mention -- is the question of visual quality. I've searched out theaters that are equipped to project movies digitally, and I've watched a half dozen movies in them. It's a strange experience. Movies projected digitally are bright, and blemish-free. Yet they feel ... odd. Digital projection... posted by Michael at October 27, 2005 | perma-link | (17) comments

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Confessions of a Book Review Junkie
Donald Pittenger writes: Dear Blowhards -- I love reading book reviews. I read them every day in The New York Times back in the days when I bought it at the news stand or subscribed to it. I grind my teeth in mild frustration on Mondays -- that's the day The Wall Street Journal doesn't print a book review. And I look forward to Fridays when their Weekend section has one long review along with a couple shorties. When my monthly copy of Commentary arrives in the mail I agonize over which to read first, the book reviews or Terry Teachout's music article. And if they display the whole thing and not a teaser snippet, I read reviews on the Weekly Standard's Web page. Furthermore, I feel guilty that I don't always buy and read the Claremont Review of Books more often. But it's a quarterly that I don't often see on news stands and I sometimes forget about it. Worse, I now must confess the shameful fact that (shhh) I read book reviews as a substitute for reading the books themselves. If you strip away the cultural/scholarly mystique, book reviews are, well, just reviews like one finds in Consumer Reports or car magazines. Read the review and save $34.95 ($26.49 at if the book gets panned by a reviewer you trust. Even a favorable review might not be enough to get me to buy the book. If it's a one-idea book and the review conveys that single idea, I'm not normally motivated to buy the book to find out how the author dresses it up. What's more, I use book reviews simply to keep up with intellectual trends, though I find the Internet increasingly useful for that purpose -- actually, I rely a lot more on the Web than reviews nowadays. Another confession: I still buy a lot more books than I ought to. Without researching my Visa statements, I'll guess that I spend about $225-275 a month on books. That's way too much. Is there such a thing as Bookbuyers Anonymous? Later, Donald... posted by Donald at October 26, 2005 | perma-link | (24) comments

George Hunka's New Play
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- The Wife and I just caught a performance of George Hunka's theater evening "In Private/In Public," and were both pretty knocked out by it. I should preface my handful of comments about the evening with a caveat. As far as the pleasures of the theater go, I'm temperamentally far more attuned to the low than the high. Burlesque, revues, vaudeville, parody and satire, campy exhibitionism, song and dance, storytelling, sex, jokes -- it's the whole scrappy, shameless, puttin'-on-a-show thing that brings out my good will. George Hunka is no vaudevillian. He's a genuine, and genuinely, serious theater artist. He works with real themes; he has ideas he wants to express; he has substantial things to say. George is interested in theater as a high-art form, and he works in the line of Ibsen, Beckett, and Pinter. Of the relatively-familiar art that I've seen in recent years, George's work reminds me most of the more sophisticated Woody Allen movies, and of Patrick Marber's "Closer" (the play that became the Julia Roberts/Natalie Portman/Mike Nichols movie). George of course has his own distinct tone and attack. So, given my low nature, I may not be the best judge of this kind of work, and I probably don't have much of interest to say about it. On the other hand, I've done a fair amount of theatergoing, and I've seen a lot of the kind of decentered, abstract, and stark thing that George does. Just by virtue of a fair amount of experience I think I'm capable of saying, Nice job! And, Snappy evening! On its surface, "In Private/In Public" is a marriage-problems-among-the-intellectuals number, done in a cryptic and occasionally sinister style. I don't mean to be flip: This is the theatrical language of modernism, one that has evolved to express a certain set of states of mind. Thematically, George's play concerns the place of art, sex, and ideas in the modern world; the violence we do to ourselves and to each other; and how these energies and proclivities find expression in both our private and our public lives. The Upper West Side characters flirt, tease, and torment each other even as the city's terrorism alerts swing from red to orange and then back again. As the geometry of what may or may not be unfolding reveals itself, the characters frame and then reframe their understanding of what they're living through. But what can ever be truly grasped? George handles his materials and his devices -- the abruptnesses, the precise imbalances, the misterioso tonal shifts -- with a lot of expertise. "In Private/In Public" is a very polished and skillful writing performance, eminently worthy of the kind of critical attention that people like Pinter and Marber get. The play's production, at Greenwich Village's ManhattanTheatreSource, was its own small, supercontrolled, and polished gem. Directed by Isaac Butler and featuring a very talented cast -- Darian Dauchan, Abe Goldfarb, Daryl Lathon, Sasha Taublieb, and Jennifer Gordon Thomas -- it was... posted by Michael at October 26, 2005 | perma-link | (2) comments

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Stealthy News Distorting
Donald Pittenger writes: Dear Blowhards -- Political blogs pig out on examples of how The Other Side distorts news reporting / presentation. We aren't a political blog 'round here (though our views seep into our postings). But we do examine the news media, and if our searchlight picks out some juicy examples of manipulation, well, why not pass them along? I'll offer up two examples. Both are from local Seattle television news shows and neither is recent. However, I wouldn't be surprised to find the same sorts of things going over the air now. The Typical Teacher When a school district was experiencing a "job action" (teachers aren't allowed to strike in these here parts, so they simply job-act) the TV reporter put one of the actors on-camera. Shown was a woman who looked to be in her mid-late 30s. She said that she was a single parent with two children, and went on to say that she was having trouble surviving on an annual salary of X thousand dollars. The casual viewer would likely feel sympathetic to this woman and draw the conclusion that all teachers in the district were grossly underpaid and that the "action" was well justified. I'm almost certain this was exactly the response the reporter was trying to elicit. So, just what was being distorted? The key item is the X-dollar annual salary. That amount happened to be pretty close to entry-level pay for schoolteachers. Entry-level teachers are likely to be around 23 years old, single, childless and able to exist on what they're paid. Fifteen years later, when they reach the age of the televised job-actor, their pay would be substantially higher than entry-level. The reporter distorted the report by showing an untypical example and not telling the viewers that the example was not typical and why it was not typical. I had no idea if the teachers had a legitimate case, and the TV news report gave me no useful information on the issue. Old Fogeys and Sweet Young Things Another time a local station was covering a partisan issue and the report showed brief interviews with a Democrat and a Republican. The Democrat was a young, attractive, energetic, articulate woman. The Republican was an old coot aged about 75 who hemmed and hawed his thoughts. The not-so-subliminal conclusion our friend the casual viewer would likely draw would be that Democrats are with-it and Republicans are old f**ts. I imagine that, if confronted regarding this, the reporter would have claimed that these were exactly the sorts of people he had to deal with or maybe what got on-air was simple happenstance. Yeah, sure. Happy viewing! Later, Donald... posted by Donald at October 25, 2005 | perma-link | (18) comments

Monday, October 24, 2005

Dreaming of a White Restaurant
Donald Pittenger writes: Dear Blowhards -- I recently drove past a McDonald's restaurant and noticed that the dominant outside paint was no longer white. Could this be a corporate image shift or just a franchisee doin' his own thing? McDonald's restaurants weren't always white; maybe eight or ten years ago (I forget) the dominant color was a sort of cream-tan. And ditto Burger King: their exteriors turned white in the same time frame as the McDonald's changeover or perhaps a little later. And the main hamburger chains aren't the only ones whose stores sport white exteriors. Here is a gallery in which all buildings aside from the McDonald's and the Jack in The Box are in Morton, Illinois: McDonald's Burger King Jack in The Box Hardee's Dairy Queen Taco Bell -- Hmm, off-white Wendy's -- Oops, it's brick! Well, Wendy's was always a little different -- square hamburger patties and all that. And Taco Bell wasn't quite white, but my dimming memory hints that their stores used to be white. But there's more! Here are pictures of stores for a couple hamburger chains that pre-dated McDonald's: White Castle White Tower The White Tower outfit seems to be defunct, but the last I heard, White Castle was still in the fray. (White Castle seems to be a New York area company. At least, that's where I remember seeing them last. We don't have any here in the Pacific Northwest, and I don't recall seeing any in California either.) So what's the deal with white exteriors? White Tower and White Castle were compelled by their names to be white. As for McDonald's, I suspect that a marketing study (or more likely, a whole wad of them) presented a case that actual and potential customers preferred white to alternatives. Doubtless there were assertions about psychological undertones or associations ("white is antiseptic"). I have no idea whether the practical matter of keeping white paint clean ever came up. Those chains not already featuring white probably aped McDonald's outright or else used that makeover as a trigger for their own marketing research. The result of such groupthink is displayed above. For whatever it's worth, I never liked the white paint jobs. The McDonald's version struck me as being a cold shade of white -- slightly harsh and off-putting. I found their previous color scheme warmer and more welcoming. Actually, I like Wendy's brick motif best of all. Come to think of it, I like their burgers best too. Later, Donald... posted by Donald at October 24, 2005 | perma-link | (24) comments

Sunday, October 23, 2005

"44 Sonnets"
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- Of the new books I've spent quality time with this year, my favorite has been the shortest: Mike Snider's poetry collection "44 Sonnets." By my count, 44 sonnets equals about 5300 words -- I've written blog postings that were longer. But Snider does an awful lot with his words. I found "44 Sonnets" as moving and engaging as a much-clung-to novel, or as the kind of CD whose music you find yourself returning to dozens of times. Sonnets? Sonnets? Y'mean, like Shakespeare and the Romantics? Note to those who haven't yet stumbled across this fact: There's a rhyming-and-metering, traditional-forms renaissance going on in the poetry world. It's typical -- as in annoying/amusing -- that the academic poetry world isn't thrilled by this development, and that the official poetry institutions are being pissy and dismissive too. But a fact is a fact, and the scene itself is lively and welcoming one. This is an eye-opening anthology of recent poetry written in traditional forms. Eratosphere is this crowd's web hangout. And the West Chester Poetry Conference is the scene's annual in-person get-together. Interesting, isn't it, the way that a traditional-poetry-forms scene has taken shape at the same time that similar developments are occurring in architecture, in music, and in the visual arts? What with so much of our cultural life going cyber-electronic, you might not expect a renaissance in traditional forms-and-skills to be happening at the same time. In any case, you won't find the coverage these developments deserve in the conventional arts press, which remains as devoted as ever to its standard-issue mix of happenin'-media-events and the academic avant-garde. Hmmm: To simplify things for myself -- without, I hope, doing too much of an injustice to the book -- I'm going to discuss "44 Sonnets" as though it exists primarily on three levels. * As individual creations, Snider's poems are lovely: as casual as notes on postcards yet with that grand sonnet-structure thing chiming away in the background. This mingling of the informal and the formal -- of the passing and the eternal -- combined with Snider's generally rueful tone makes it hard not to be reminded of Philip Larkin. (If you haven't read Larkin, snap to. Try this collection. The audio version of it is wonderful too.) Larkin's tonal speciality was a kind of bleak bitterness that he made seem very humane. By comparison, Snider is companionable and friendly, intimate without being pushy about it. But Snider has a Larkin-esque accessibility and virtuosity, as well as a similar kind of half-muffled sense of tragic mischief. There's another thing that reading the poems reminds me of: listening to the more personal and quiet kinds of country music -- Jimmie Dale Gilmore, for instance, or Guy Clark. This is partly because Gilmore and Clark are rumpled, sad/funny artists too. But there's another reason: Snider's poetry always has a full-bodied performance charge. As lowkey as they often are, his poems have a handmade physicality and an emotional... posted by Michael at October 23, 2005 | perma-link | (20) comments

Should New Houses Be "Affordable"?
Donald Pittenger writes: Dear Blowhards -- There are many ways governments at various levels try to see to it that poor folk live in what might be deemed decent housing. Implementing the decent housing goal requires some kind of subsidy -- either a direct governmental subsidy or a mandated, indirect subsidy from the private sector. I'll make no comment regarding whether or not such subsidies represent A Good Thing: I might do that another time, maybe when Iím about to leave the country for a long vacation. But there is one kind of indirect subsidy that I totally disapprove of, and it's called "inclusionary zoning," especially where single-family houses are at issue. In a nutshell, inclusionary zoning requires new private housing developments to offer a given percentage of their units at an "affordable" price. ("Affordable" is the buzz-word used by politicians, planners and the press.) For a discussion of various kinds of inclusionary housing schemes, here is an article by two lawyers working for the real estate industry. As best I can tell, their definitions of various "inclusionary" programs are valid; their analyses might be disputed by anti-real estate parties. An example of inclusionary zoning or something much like it can be found in the large Snoqualmie Ridge development east of Seattle. I had reason to field-check it in 2001 and noticed that, tucked well away to one side, far removed from view-property locations, was a little ghetto of cheap houses. I have no problem with the fact that these houses were tucked away from the rest of the development. It doesn't bother me that these houses only had views of one other and the nearby wooded hillsides. It bothers me a lot that they exist at all. Why am I so hard-hearted? It's because there's such a thing as a used house. People who need an automobile and can't afford a new car wind up buying a used car. Why can't the same logic apply to houses? I have purchased 11 cars over the years, three of which were used. I don't like buying used cars (two of those three were troublesome), but I do it when necessary. And I've lived in five different houses in my lifetime and all of them were "used." The only newly-built housing I ever occupied was an apartment in Albany, NY back in 1970-72. And no dwelling had what I'd call a decent view (though that apartment offered a close-and-personal vista of the flight path to the Albany airport, which could be a neat thing if you dug Mohawk Airlines' BAC 111 jets). Somehow I survived this deprivation with my self-esteem intact. Actually, quite a lot of subsidized housing involves older buildings that are refurbished. And I think that the quality level of a newly refurbished house ought to been good enough for most people. Inclusionary zoning strikes me as being a below-the-belt way for governments to meet their housing goals without spending money, as they must for subsidized housing. It also raises... posted by Donald at October 23, 2005 | perma-link | (13) comments