All too often I’ll run into another hiker and the following conversation ensues:
“How many nights are you staying out?”
“None… I hope. We’re on a day hike.”
“Then why are you carrying so large a pack?
Allow me to unpack my answer… an answer that addresses situations well beyond wilderness travel. An answer that extends into my settled, civilized life as well. Why, at home, are Cindi and I prepared for a major natural or…Continue
Added by Rick Dubrow on November 3, 2016 at 11:51am — No Comments
Injuries usually happen upon descent. So it was on Sunday, 9/4/16 at the 4,420 foot level of Mt. Pilchuck. Five of us, all co-workers at A-1 Builders and Adaptations Design Studio, on a company dayhike, heard someone screaming in pain from above; close by. In moments we reached Patricia, a fit 59 year old Peruvian child…Continue
On January 15th, 2016 I went back to work for A-1 Builders after an interim period of 10 years of lucrative employment in the oil industry.
I turned my back on the oil industry for a number of reasons, but ultimately it was for my health, both physical and mental. But my journey goes deeper than being just about me; my journey sheds light upon our culture’s ‘jobs versus the environment’ debate; upon this region’s challenge to manage the explosive nature of oil by rail;…
Added by Rick Dubrow on June 29, 2016 at 9:24am — No Comments
I’ve spent my adult life reducing my ecological footprint, struggling with possible next steps because they are, frankly, enormous. Giving up air travel, for instance. Visiting my aged parents in Florida and accessing the wilderness in the southwest are particularly appealing. [I can, and do, purchase carbon offsets for such travel – though offsets are an admitted distant second to actually hanging up my wings […Continue
Added by Rick Dubrow on June 2, 2016 at 12:00pm — No Comments
No, not for you! Nor your kid. I’m talking about your house.
When was the last time someone knowledgeable was in your crawlspace or attic? What… you don’t hang out there and know its current condition? C’mon now…
That’s my point… for the same reason that annual wellness exams are recommended for you, someone experienced should periodically study your home’s health and well-being.
How often? One obvious time is when you’re about to…Continue
Added by Rick Dubrow on January 14, 2016 at 5:04pm — No Comments
Feelin’ pretty cozy? Chances are you’re reading this blog post while inside conditioned space whose air temperature is being controlled by you or some other human. We typically move around from conditioned space to conditioned space: our car, home or place of work. We’ll go outside and travel through unconditioned space in order to gain access to our next managed, conditioned cocoon. Comfort zone to comfort zone, minimizing discomfort while in transition.
Comfort drives so…Continue
Added by Rick Dubrow on December 23, 2015 at 1:43pm — No Comments
If all goes well I must relinquish the throne here in about three months. That’s the optimistic time frame when A-1 Builders will morph into a worker-owned cooperative (WOC). I use the phrase ‘must relinquish the throne’ rather lightly given that I’m bringing it upon myself; this shift in power is voluntary. Instead of Presidential decisions, they will be made by 6 hopeful owners, myself included, each of whom has worked here at least 5 years, each person bearing one vote, 6…Continue
Added by Rick Dubrow on November 27, 2015 at 1:10pm — No Comments
It’s here for you; built for you… hoping to help you get on your bike more and more. And with…Continue
Added by Rick Dubrow on September 23, 2015 at 4:49pm — No Comments
This builder doesn’t build house boats. No, the typical home we work on simply doesn’t float. Not a big deal, unless predictions come to pass that waters may rise.
Data is already in hand confirming the truth of these predictions. Daily we learn more and more about the perfect storm, brought to you by the science of climate change. Water is expected to rise by such-and-such an amount by so-and-so a date, and, for those of us with eyes open, we’re observing…Continue
Added by Rick Dubrow on August 6, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments
I’ve heard this term ‘happy chapter’ used to refer to so many a documentary or news report that, although terribly depressing, ends on a happy note. So, for example, a piece about global warming might end with a description of what’s being done about it. ‘There’s work being done’, implies the happy chapter; ‘others are on top of it. Not to worry all that much.’
Yes, there’s a compelling motivation for me, or any author or news reporter, to leave you upbeat. …Continue
Added by Rick Dubrow on July 7, 2015 at 11:32am — No Comments
Some of our favorite readerboard quotations are submitted by our friends and neighbors, and one of these recent gems suggests that ‘one must break down before you can break through’. This adage surely rings true as it relates to making lifestyle changes seemingly necessary as our environment deteriorates. Human nature appears to require pain in order to spark change. And the greater the urgency for change, or the more immense the needed change, the more intense must…Continue
Added by Rick Dubrow on June 5, 2015 at 1:54pm — No Comments
When I was born in 1951 new homes averaged about 300 square feet per person. Compare this to about 900 square feet per person in 2003… a tripling in size in just 50 years. With this super-sizing comes the inherent fact that our homes generate more pollution and global warming gases than our cars! Our homes demand more energy consumption (12.2 barrels per person per year) than the food we eat (10 barrels per year) and the cars we drive (9 barrels per year).
Added by Rick Dubrow on May 4, 2015 at 5:04pm — No Comments
I’m 64 years old now. Beyond 60, the youth of old age. Approaching retirement; defining retirement; exploring succession planning.
What will A-1 Builders and Adaptations Design Studio look like during, and after, Cindi and I extract ourselves from the helm. Will this extraction be slow or sudden? Will we reduce our hours along a descending, straight line, or along a series of steps leading from fulltime to zero? Great questions, ones we’re discussing daily. But this…Continue
Added by Rick Dubrow on April 3, 2015 at 11:37am — No Comments
Dust permeates our indoor environment. It’s everywhere, some of it natural – dead skin, soil, pollen, dust mites. Some of it unnatural - chemicals, pesticides, rubber, herbicides - all these and more comprise the dust inside our homes and places of work.
What many people don't know is that toxic chemicals are brought inside all the time, simply by wearing your shoes indoors, or from your pets coming in after romping around the yard. We…Continue
Added by Rick Dubrow on March 16, 2015 at 10:38am — No Comments
All too often it can prove edgy to speak your mind. I get that. Your values surface to the tip of your tongue but you hold tight for fear that you’ll expose a part of yourself at odds with your co-workers; at odds with your spouse, church or employer.
“Do I dare speak up?”
How do you decide?
The answer requires a slight detour. Let’s focus on an unintended consequence of our military-industrial complex: the steady loss of…Continue
Added by Rick Dubrow on February 12, 2015 at 11:14am — No Comments
Hundreds of times a day you and I swim around our respective fish bowl interacting with the bait of our consumer society. Advertisements are everywhere we turn.
“Bite on this, won’t you?”
We’re shown the seductive characteristics of a product – the bait – but we’re not shown the underlying, hidden hook.
What do I mean by that? What hook?
Let’s open our eyes wider and explore the consequences…Continue
Added by Rick Dubrow on January 30, 2015 at 10:19am — No Comments
"It’s time to articulate the core assumptions and beliefs that empower THE HAMMER. Before I hammer them out, though, let’s get something straight: thousands of words, if not books, would be necessary to describe how I’ve arrived at these conclusions. This is a blog, however, and not a book. So brevity will prevail… for now. Want to [...] Read More…Continue
Added by Rick Dubrow on January 7, 2015 at 1:11pm — No Comments
"Over 20 years ago I anchored a radio program on KGMI AM-790 — “On The Level” – about housing and remodeling. My weekly, one-hour show lasted for about 4-1/2 years. Every single Saturday morning at 9 am, November ’91 through late ’94. The show did wonders for getting A-1 Builders on the map, given that [...] Read More…Continue
Added by Rick Dubrow on January 7, 2015 at 1:00pm — No Comments
"I tried, damn it! When my efforts to prevent coal trains from passing through Bellingham failed, the wind in my sails went still. My activism went… inactive. Although we secured twice the necessary signatures to get it on the ballot, our very own progressive Bellingham City Council crushed Coal Free Bellingham’s ‘Community Bill of Rights’, [...]…Continue
Added by Rick Dubrow on January 7, 2015 at 12:57pm — No Comments