Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My name in print

Having my name show up in print publications is nothing new, but it's typically been in byline form. I've never shown up in a newspaper or magazine as a quoted source. Until now.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Oh, Alex, why?

What an unpleasant way to be greeted by MSN this afternoon:

Monday, November 12, 2007

Al Gore on "30 Rock"

No, I'm not one of those "Draft Gore" people who wants to see Al Gore run for president in 2008. I don't intend this post to try to sway any of you on green issues or issues of politics - even though I do think it shows that Gore isn't the stiff, pompous, self-important person that a lot of people make him out to be. I just think this is hard-core funny and want you all to see it. I would love to embed it in my blog, but I can't find a code to do so because of Universal copyright issues. It's on Huffington Post now, but go quick because who knows how long it will last.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

It never ends

I'm back. Saturday night, I dragged my tired self across the threshold of my front door and collapsed, finally home from a week of Greenbuild madness - fantastic, exhausting, chaotic madness. I was ready for the weekend - it would be a weekend of couch-sitting, TV-watching, Internet-playing, and most of all, sleeping.

But it wasn't. The chaos of Chicago gave way to the frustrations of everyday life. And I'm pleased to say I took them as they came, rolled with the punches, and have earned the right to post this somewhat whiny post.

It's really just two things that made the weekend mildly stressful, but they sucked. The first was that my cell phone - my relatively new, fun, trendy, expensive Chocolate from Verizon - broke. Last April was the first time in my life that I had allowed myself to splurge a little on a phone and venture beyond the cheapest one I could find. And the screen went out not seven months later. So I trekked into the cold dark Saturday night into downtown Washington, which is surprisingly dead on a weekend night. (Downtown is the area around the Capitol, the K Street lobbyist offices, etc. etc. - the surrounding neighborhoods are where all the weekend action is.) I got to Verizon just before it closed and plunked down $150 for a new phone - the cheapest I could get, since I was not eligible for the two-year contract renewal phone discount. Ugh.

Then today, a problem that I had noticed festering for a while but had not done anything about came to a head. For about two weeks, whenever I would shower, I would notice a little water pooled up around the base of the toilet. At first I thought that I was just not closing my shower curtain enough and water was splashing out, but soon it became clear there was a little leakage in the plumbing. But by then it was time to go to Chicago, so I figured I'd deal with it when I got back. In the meantime, the problem got a lot worse. When I flushed the toilet, water would bubble up from the bathtub drain, and when I tried to plunge that water back down, it would dribble out from the base of the toilet. I called a plumber, and by the time he came, it was pretty gross. He pulled my toilet up and cleaned out the pipes with a 100-foot snaking machine, which was pretty awesome to see.

Turns out, the blockage was coming from a wad of those disposable wet wipe things. The plumber told me that even though they say they are disposable, you are best not to flush them. I have used those things in the past, but not since I moved here, so I know they must have come from the neighbors upstairs. A little consolation knowing that I wasn't the culprit. But let me offer you the wisdom of experience: If you've never had your neighbors' poop floating in your bathtub, consider yourself lucky.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Blogging in Chicago

Well, tomorrow morning, it begins: a week of what will certainly be chaos, stress, exhaustion and nonstop awesomeness in Chicago, site of the 2007 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo.

Greenbuild is our annual conference where our members, the media, people in the building and design industry, government officials, and pretty much anyone else converges on a different city (this year, Chicago) to learn about the latest and greatest in the green building industry. This year, we are expecting more than 20,000 people.

My duties will include staffing the press room, helping the crew filming Discovery Channel's Eco-Town reality show find interviews and stuff, and blogging. That's right, I am one of two people who will be blogging about the happenings at Greenbuild on our Greenbuild365 site. The blog is here. (Don't laugh at the picture.) My focus is on residential- and consumer-related stuff, so, you know, enjoy that. :)

And I'm sure there will be lots of other stuff for me to blog about here when I get back Friday. Wish me luck!