January 2009 article up

January 25, 2009 at 11:25 pm | In FOCUS_Magazine, victoria, writing | 2 Comments

It’s almost the end of the month – my March article is due in a few days and I realized I hadn’t yet posted my (published) January 2009 Focus Magazine article. So, here it is: Building bridges and start-up muscle in Victoria (PDF on Scribd.com).

I heart this one – it’s about design (constraints and affordances), our island habitat, building bridges, and using technology to stay connected …and to connect. It’s very much inspired by Ben Casnocha‘s article, Start-Up Town, about Boulder, CO (“…quiet little hippie city of Boulder, Colorado, has become a serious technology hub. Here’s how.”) Casnocha wrote a (the?) book on leading a start-up life.

As always, see this page for the complete roster of my Focus Magazine articles about Victoria.

The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

January 25, 2009 at 2:31 am | In links | Comments Off on The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)
  • Florida points to an article that smacks down cities (it claims that historically they’ve been “death traps”) and asks for reader feedback. I left a long comment. (PS: this one is going to generate its own blog post on my blog, in response to rebuttals by someone who lives in Victoria.)

    tags: cities, richard_florida, industrial_revolution, urbanism, comments

  • City of Victoria has a couple of parks master plan workshops coming up this month, January 09 (tomorrow & on 1/24) to figure out how to manage continuation and replacement of current “urban forest.” (See city website for “Urban Forest Master Plan”.)

    [Note that the statistics given in this article apply to the City of Victoria (which is downtown core and core neighbourhoods, ~80K pop.), NOT the Greater Victoria area nor the CRD (Capital Regional District), which is 13 municipalities. CRD/ Greater Victoria municipal politics is screwy – we badly need amalgamation of the core municipalities (Victoria, Oak Bay, Saanich, Esquimalt, View Royal).]

    tags: urban_forest, victoria, parks

  • Discussion of Montreal’s Canadian Centre for Architecture’s publication “Actions: What You Can Do With The City” (Mirko Zardini and Giovanna Borasi): 98 examples of “techniques, events, ideas and strategies aimed at making cities more sustainable, humane, efficient, livable and, not least, fun.” I was especially intrigued by what Hume describes as “Actions”‘ subtext, *waste* – see article.
    “Our whole economy has become a waste economy,” writes Zardini quoting Hannah Arendt, “in which things must be almost as quickly devoured and discarded as they have appeared in the world, if the process itself is not to come to a sudden catastrophic end.”

    tags: thestar, christopher_hume, waste, cities, urbanism

  • Umair Haque’s Jan.7/09 piece, self-explanatory title. Lots of great ideas – and something about the reference to “symmetrical competition” made me think of Greg Lynn’s rejection of symmetry in architecture (to maximize resources) and also of how waste is a major 21st c. trope.
    Where do new rules come from? Here are five questions every decision maker should kick off 2009 by asking – and five results summarizing some of the new rules we’ve learned over the last year at the Lab.

    tags: umair_haque, harvard_business, analysis, economics, symmetry

    “Whether you’re talking about money, goods or even space, these days “waste” has become a bit of a dirty word. Monday, consumers are looking for positive ways to avoid it. They’re beautifying unused or neglected public spaces with guerilla gardening; they’re sharing their pantry’s overstock and garden surplus by food swapping, and they’re taking advantage of bountiful harvests found on public and private property with voluntary harvesting. With waste top of mind, the latest waste elimination challenge focuses on the garden.

    tags: ceos_for_cities, land_use, land_sharing, waste

  • Portal page to Greg Lynn’s TED talk.

    tags: greg_lynn, ted_conference, architecture, calculus, video, symmetry

  • Questioning symmetry:
    Greg Lynn talks about the mathematical roots of architecture — and how calculus and digital tools allow modern designers to move beyond the traditional building forms. A glorious church in Queens (and a titanium tea set) illustrate his theory.

    Greg Lynn is the head of Greg Lynn FORM, an architecture firm known for its boundary-breaking, biomorphic shapes and its embrace of digital tools for design and fabrication.

    Who says great architecture must be proportional and symmetrical? Not Greg Lynn. He and his firm, Greg Lynn FORM, have been pushing the edges of building design, by stripping away the traditional dictates of line and proportion and looking into the heart of what a building needs to be.

    tags: exchange_morning_post, greg_lynn, ted_conference, architecture, calculus, video, symmetry

  • Fascinating project:
    Running the Numbers looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. My hope is that images representing these quantities might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone, such as we find daily in articles and books. Statistics can feel abstract and anesthetizing, making it difficult to connect with and make meaning of 3.6 million SUV sales in one year, for example, or 2.3 million Americans in prison, or 32,000 breast augmentation surgeries in the U.S. every month.

    This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs. Employing themes such as the near versus the far, and the one versus the many, I hope to raise some questions about the roles and responsibililties of the individual in a society that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming.

    ~chris jordan, Seattle, 2008

    tags: photography, visualization, statistics, consumerism, culture, environment, chris_jordan, art_projects

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Closed routine or open innovation?

January 22, 2009 at 3:16 pm | In green, innovation, silo_think, victoria | 5 Comments

While there’s much to be said for routine and regular habits, there are other times that require smashing the status quo.

I went to City Hall this morning, expecting to participate in a workshop/ presentation by city staff on the implications of BC’s Bill 27 on revenue earned by the city through DCCs (Development Cost Charges). DCCs are levied on developers to pay for infrastructure maintenance and upgrades, and Bill 27 allows municipalities to waive DCCs under certain conditions, specifically for projects that are “green” or socially relevant (affordable housing, for example). Bill 27 sets out to reward municipalities financially (with additional funding for infrastructure) if they achieve green or social goals.

Since council was running overtime because of lengthier-than-expected discussion of prior agenda items, the 11:00 a.m. workshop was delayed and delayed, …until I finally left shortly after noon because it seemed that all the key personnel that should be involved had somehow disappeared after calling an “in camera” meeting. I did come away with a ~60-page consultants’ report, “Development Cost Charges: Implications of Bill 27; Discussion Paper,” by Urban Systems (a Richmond BC firm). Skimming through their report, I gathered that the bottom line – which must have been derived at least in part from interviewing city staff – was: no impact, negligible impact, unimportant impact, do nothing, do the same old thing you were doing already.

I’d be understating if I said that I find those conclusions disappointing. I had an opportunity to leaf through the report with two friends who also came for the workshop (but left, as I did). As one of them put it, the report confirms the present modus operandus of staff, rooted in traditional approaches. For example, it might be the case that traditionally a city – any city – plans for X-amount of waste-water infrastructure based on projected population growth, and that it then budgets DCC revenue to meet those growth expectations. In that scenario, any reduction of DCCs is negative.

We could say that in the current climate (literally) of having to think differently and more flexibly, that’s the wrong approach. We could instead say that we need to meet a certain infrastructure target (determined on the basis of best environmental practices in waste-water management, on-site sewage treatment, and so forth – all of which, combined, actually take a load off the existing infrastructure, versus adding to it, even with additional population growth factored in), and then ask: “How do we best get there?” By waiving DCCs for those developments? Sure, and some of that is already in the existing laws. But additionally you want to create incentives for developers to go that route – so perhaps you have to create tax structures that pave your path to said goal.

The reason this is so crucial at this point is because British Columbia’s Bill 27 (followed up by Bill 44, “Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act”) is designed to reward those municipalities that achieve green targets by giving them more infrastructure funds, which in turn give cities the resources to enhance livability.

In other words, the province has created a state where municipalities can compete for infrastructure funding, receiving more if they show that they’re more green and socially responsible. While some municipalities might take this new incentive and run, run, run with it, Victoria is standing at the starting gate wondering what all the fuss is about. I almost get the impression we’re deciding to sit this one out.

It’s easy enough to understand the attitude, I suppose. After yesterday’s UDI luncheon and my “d’oh!” insight into the reactive nature of codes – building codes, but also all the codes related to infrastructure, too – I’m not surprised at how difficult it is to get an innovative spirit into any of this. As one of my friends put it, if you want to allow composting toilets, for example, you will generate many many many pages of changes to The Code, because at each micro-stage of implementation, there’s some kind of repercussion that has to be dealt with on yet another page of the Code Book.

And cities with constrained budgets will (justifiably) point out that they don’t have the resources – people and money – to look into all those changes.

So what’s the answer? The only thing I can think of is to crowdsource and open-source government. Imagine, if you will, if you put something like the building code or the codes around waste-water management online, like a wiki, and got people to run with it. There are experts – builders, plumbers, etc. – everywhere who, because of years of experience of working in the field, have micro-solutions to just about every problem, if you allow their disparate bits of expertise to aggregate. There are immigrants from countries where green building practices or green infrastructure solutions are further along than here, who could contribute. There is a huge pool of ideas and intelligence out there, distributed across the population. We need to tap into that.

But at present, city governments work from the premise of absence: no money, no staff, no resources. Meanwhile, there’s an abundance right outside the door, but it’s not captured or allowed in. And so we keep doing the same old things in the same old way, budgeting for the same old approaches, disregarding the slow-moving train wreck that our economy and city is shaping up to be.

“Timber!” or “Timber?”

January 21, 2009 at 4:50 pm | In affordable_housing, architecture, canada, housing, land_use, victoria | 2 Comments

After attending today’s Urban Development Institute Luncheon on “The Story Behind the Six Storey Mid-rise Initiative” (with speaker Trudy Rotgans, Manager, Building and Safety Policy Branch in the BC Government), I have some additional thoughts on the topic (first broached from another angle here). As billed, the presentation’s topic was this:

You heard about it first back in September of 2008 when Housing and Social Development Minister, Rich Coleman, announced the province would increase the limit on wood-frame construction from four to six storeys by the beginning of this year. Since then, a detailed and intensive round of consultations and studies were undertaken looking at everything from seismic testing and wood shrinkage to fire fighting capacity. Also tied to this initiative is the government’s focus on finding ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Minister Coleman asserts six storey wood-frame buildings allow us to reap “the environmental benefits of density while preserving the character of [our] communities.”

Come find out where the conversation started, what questions and answers popped up along the way, and whether or not six-storey wood-frame has been both safe and successful in any area comparable to Victoria.

First, I found it useful to see the frame (as it were) for building codes. Their roots lie in disasters – London’s Great Fire, or incidents involving New York City’s firefighters or earthquakes up and down the Pacific Rim of Fire.

Seeing that frame made me think about how building codes are reactive creatures, and how once they’re in place, they stay in place. This happens even if they outlive their usefulness because there’s no apparent reason to shift them. Fires and earthquakes are never “outlived,” of course, which means that the only good reason for a code to outlive its usefulness is if building technology shifts in a significant way. But then it’s a major effort to do the shifting because fires and earthquakes obviously don’t change their nature.

For some silly reason, I had always thought about codes as something proactive (not reactive), as something that pushes us or builders toward better quality. Their reactive quality had escaped me. So, ok, reality check: codes are not proactive, generally. They are essentially reactive creatures. That was the first part that made me go “hmm.”

For if it’s the case that the code is reactive, there have to be equally compelling reasons to shift it. This moves the heavy lifting into the court of the proponents who want to revamp the code to allow for changes, in this case to allow six-story wood construction.

Readers in other countries where more-than-four-story wood construction is already a given, bear with me. It’s a whole new frontier here.

Speaker Trudy Rotgans correctly noted that, given some of the hoarier aspects of our building code, some assumptions about the code are “worth challenging.”  And indeed they were when Rich Coleman (Minister for Housing, BC) approved the amendment for wood construction on January 9, 2009 (effective April 6, 2009).

As she delivered her presentation, questions regarding the government’s motivation to change the code arose almost immediately, and Rotgans answered that certainly, the Canadian Wood Council (an industry goup) has been working on these revisions for several years. There’s nothing wrong, in my view, with admitting that BC’s forest industry could benefit from the leveling of a playing field that currently favors one material over another (concrete and steel over wood) for mid-rise construction, or for the government to look for ways to help one our key industries.

But by lessening some of the code’s more reactive measures, the government hasn’t simultaneously built into the revamped code anything proactive in my naive sense of the term: there’s nothing in there, from what I could gather from today’s presentation, to ensure quality. When (in my May 13, 2008 entry) I linked to E3 Kaden + Klingbeil’s Berlin project (7 storey wood construction, video here), I was thinking of quality wood construction.

No builder here would get any benefit – time, money – from building like they do in Berlin. It’s more likely that the usual techniques – relatively slight wood-framing, plywood sheathing, fibreglass between the studs, and drywall to finish the interior – will be used. And if that’s the case, then you have to wonder whether it’s worth it.

It won’t necessarily be cheaper to build in wood with quality craftsmanship and attention to the building’s durability, its sound-proofing and fire-proofing aspects. (The Berlin building is certainly durable, it must be as good as sound-proof, and it doesn’t look like fire could do much damage. It has LEED or environmental advantages, but I wonder whether the financial bottom line was that much better than an equally good concrete building’s.)

Yet a desired cost-advantage was what had some of us wishing for the mid-rise initiative. We have a housing crisis, and many of us hoped that it would prompt builders to take advantage of savings to construct more housing at a lower cost, whether rental housing or condos.

So that brings us back to code: the architects and builders I spoke to after the lunch were skeptical. As one of them put it, “who’s going to go first?” Who will build – using the North American West’s notorious (imo) fast-food equivalent of suburban house construction techniques to build 6-story condos or apartments? Which insurer of home buyers will back it? Which builders’ organization will?

I’m usually relentlessly optimistic, but today’s presentation didn’t convince me. By simply taking away some of the reactive aspects of the code, the framers of the new amendments didn’t put anything proactive in place. It’s left to the builders themselves to re-invent the wheel, and it’s going to be an expensive wheel (so there goes the affordable housing hope) if they go the quality route.

I think most builders want to build quality. The diehard cynics who think everyone is on the make 24/7 will disagree, arguing that builders are waiting for a chance to throw up crap. That’s untrue. From what I sensed in today’s crowd – and it was a sold-out event – there was a real measure of disappointment that these building code amendments don’t really show a way forward.

Notes: Grist-ly.

January 19, 2009 at 11:49 pm | In notes | 1 Comment

I checked into my blog’s admin pages last night to post my Sunday Diigo links. I’m aware that I last blogged – about “mystery” of all things – on January 12, which happened to be my mother’s birthday.

I don’t especially like thinking about my deceased parents. They were bonkers, frankly. January 12 would have been my mother’s 93rd birthday, and my father’s birthday next month would be his 100th. Imagine, my own kids are just 17 and 14. It’s a generational stretch, sort of like a skipping over something, but am I ahead, behind, or the something skipped in this rondo?

I was born late, unplanned, unexpectedly: my mother had successfully fledged the first two of her six daughters and was looking forward to settling into a normal middle age, with just “a few” younger girls still at home. Then I came along, number seven. Sometimes she told me that it wasn’t her choice to have that many kids, that she would have stopped at three – leaving me where?

It’s strange to think that “back then” birth control was accessible after a fashion, but that it was culturally inaccessible to my mother. My wish for her was always that she should have had access to choice, even at my expense. That would have been fair, but life plays differently.

I am so grateful that a woman’s right to choose is now accepted in most civilized countries, and that safe, reliable birth control is available.

Over the last few days I’ve read Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit. Aside from being bowled over by Tharp’s energy, I’m impressed by (and not a little jealous of) the moral support she received from her mother, who seems to have been relentless in pushing, affirming, and then once again re-affirming her child.

Is all that cheerleading idiocy? (Where does that question even come from?) One tries to be supportive of one’s children, naturally. But for me, it’s hard to stop feeling the knife edge of criticism (self-criticism, too). My mother despaired of other people’s“plans,” which she could criticize at twenty paces.  She wanted to inoculate me against plans (and dreams), just as you’d expect a woman with very little control over her life to do. She told me: never, never aim too high since you will only be disappointed. Or, if she was feeling punchy: life is like a chicken coop ladder – full of shit from top to bottom.

The trick (there’s always a trick, no?) is perhaps to know that there are many interesting things even on chicken coop ladders: funny feathers, bits of undigested matter that provide …clues, foreign particles for variety… The chickens would say, it’s all grist to us, and peck away regardless.

So there you go: I thought I’d start with grist, write about grist, and end with grist, prompted as I was by pecking (picking) at the wound of rejection. But I can’t help but put a plug in for a woman’s right to access birth control and choice.

The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

January 18, 2009 at 2:30 am | In links | Comments Off on The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Notes: Mystery

January 12, 2009 at 11:23 pm | In notes | 2 Comments

As I was on a sort of nostalgia rag (see my comments to the Freshness post, for example), I was reminded of a book by Louise Huebner (go ahead, google her), which I read when I was 14. Her book, while having an eccentric title, was about power and control, a topic of keen interest to any adolescent.

Huebner pithily critiqued people who try to give themselves airs through mysterious behavior. She basically called bullshit on this; her remarks stayed with me from that moment on.

She asked, “What has being mysterious to do with [control]?” (And if that’s not a question every teenager wants resolved, I don’t know what is. It was certainly of pressing concern to me.)

At this point, Huebner continued with pure gold, or balm: “I’ve known a lot of dull and stupid women who were mysterious. They had no control and were accomplishing nothing. They were a mystery to themselves, and this is what they projected.” (Source, p.65. Note: it’s a PDF.)

In other words, the labored effort to come across as a woman-of-mystery essentially covers up a lack of power.

(Aside: as an art historian, I can attest that entire “movements” were built around the representation of stupid, powerless women as mysterious femmes fatales. The entire Pre-Raphaelite movement springs to mind, for example. Goo-y Pre-Raphaelitism is still a favored trope of adolescents, or those stuck there. Hm, kitsch and powerlessness: perhaps a rewarding subject for another “notes” excursion?)

Today, I’m intrigued by how Huebner’s comments articulate something salient about blogging and online presence, too. Mystery (wo)men aren’t nearly as interesting as people who are open and who have actual stories to tell. They have the power, and possibly authenticity, the must-have accessory of the virtual age. (I’m still stuck in adolescence, of course, trying to figure it all out…)

And privacy? Well, at the least we have to consider that unless you’re a secret agent working for the CIA or something, mystery is no shield against an invasion of privacy. The open person’s shield of defense is his or her friends. Why? Because they know who you really are and will vouch for you.

The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

January 11, 2009 at 2:30 am | In links | Comments Off on The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)
  • A bit of a fluff piece (this is the “printable” page – FastCompany has so much annoying flash & crud on its front pages), but there’s an interesting thought about *im*permanent architecture here.
    One of Ma’s core ideas — the impermanence of architecture — has particular appeal for anyone who would be happy to see Los Angeles’ relentless sprawl bulldozed. Ma, 43, views today’s Western architecture as a descendant of the Greco-Roman tradition, which is all about building in stone and erecting things that are intended to last forever. (Which makes it all the more amusing that he’s an occasional collaborator of Koolhaas, creating mind-bending buildings, such as Beijing’s CCTV headquarters, that look as if they might fall down.) Clearly a son of modern China, he questions the West’s preservationist reflex. “Everything has a life cycle, as should buildings,” he says. “Preservation is an action in sacrifice of future possibilities. The future needs its own space.”

    tags: fast_company, architecture, los_angeles, asia

  • The title is quite misleading since only the first half of Lehrer’s article chronicles the city’s stressful effects on the brain, while the second half describes urbanism’s benefits, and that it’s a question of designing cities so that nature continues to intervene and refresh/ calm / regenerate the brain.

    Given the myriad mental problems that are exacerbated by city life, from an inability to pay attention to a lack of self-control, the question remains: Why do cities continue to grow? And why, even in the electronic age, do they endure as wellsprings of intellectual life?

    Recent research by scientists at the Santa Fe Institute used a set of complex mathematical algorithms to demonstrate that the very same urban features that trigger lapses in attention and memory — the crowded streets, the crushing density of people — also correlate with measures of innovation, as strangers interact with one another in unpredictable ways. It is the “concentration of social interactions” that is largely responsible for urban creativity, according to the scientists. The density of 18th-century London may have triggered outbreaks of disease, but it also led to intellectual breakthroughs, just as the density of Cambridge — one of the densest cities in America — contributes to its success as a creative center. One corollary of this research is that less dense urban areas, like Phoenix, may, over time, generate less innovation.

    The key, then, is to find ways to mitigate the psychological damage of the metropolis while still preserving its unique benefits. Kuo, for instance, describes herself as “not a nature person,” but has learned to seek out more natural settings: The woods have become a kind of medicine. As a result, she’s better able to cope with the stresses of city life, while still enjoying its many pleasures and benefits. Because there always comes a time, as Lou Reed once sang, when a person wants to say: “I’m sick of the trees/take me to the city.”

    tags: boston_globe, neuroscience, psychology, nature, brain, jonah_lehrer, urbanization, urban_design

  • Blog post by Chris Keam about a design project called “Homes for Less,” done by students at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design and at the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Advanced Wood. The students had to create homes (compact) that could be built for under $1500. The results were on view on Granville Island (till 11/14/08).

    One thing that strikes me with these microhomes – and the ones built by the Madhousers group – is that they would be claustrophobic (literally) for some of the hardcore homeless. In that regard, the “Stop-Gap housing” proposal by Vancouver architect Henriquez seems better, insofar as his proposed modular homes could be customized to leave one side completely open to nature/ outside. This is preferred by some people, especially those who need a transition period to get back into the idea of living within 4 walls.

    tags: homelessness, affordable_housing, microhomes, ecuad, vancouver

  • This page has a great series of videos explaining some of the projects showcased in the exhibition, “Home Delivery.”

    tags: moma, prefab, housing, manufactured_housing, modular, exhibitions

  • Portal page for a number of outstanding in-progress prefab/ modular housing projects.

    tags: architecture, prefab, modular, housing, manufactured_housing

  • Reading this article, I was again reminded of Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan’s book, Dazzle Gradually, and the Gaia hypothesis. Fascinating to think that the planet is regulating itself – and if it’s a sentient organism as proposed, why wouldn’t it?
    A team of UK scientists have discovered a natural process that could delay, or even end, the threat of global warming.

    The researchers, aboard the Royal Navy’s HMS Endurance, have found that melting icebergs off the coast of Antarctica are releasing millions of tiny particles of iron into the southern Ocean, helping to create huge ‘blooms’ of algae that absorb carbon emissions. The algae then sinks to the icy depths, effectively removing CO2 from the atmosphere for hundreds of years.

    According to lead researcher, Prof. Rob Raiswell of Leeds University, “The Earth itself seems to want to save us.”

    tags: cleantechnica, polar_ice, global_warming, gaia, climate_change

  • Audio slideshow of Archigram:
    “In the early 1960s, the avant-garde architectural group – Archigram – set out to find hypothetical ways of creating alternative buildings and cities for people to live and work in.

    “Their ultra-modern visions drew inspiration from modular technology and early space capsules – as well as the natural environment.”

    tags: bbc, archigram, zaha_hadid, peter_cook, slideshow, britain, 1960s

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Notes: Gaia

January 7, 2009 at 6:42 pm | In notes | Comments Off on Notes: Gaia

Musing this morning on the article I found through one of John Geraci‘s tweets, Green Algae Bloom Process Could Stop Global Warming by Andrew Williams in Clean Technica, I wondered whether the earth is growing us up. You know, like parents grow up kids?

It seems our projects and responsibilities get bigger, same as when kids grow up and have to take on more responsibilities. I can recall when the prospect of cleaning up a major river – say, the Rhine or the Thames – was considered nearly impossible. But it’s done now.

What if Margulis and Sagan and Lovelock et al. are right, and earth is a living organism – wouldn’t it be growing us up? From “clean up the river”/”clean up your room” to “clean up the climate”/”clean up your house”?


Gaia Hypothesis

Dazzle Gradually (Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan)

Deep Hot Biosphere (Thomas Gold, Freeman Dyson foreword – not Gaia, but consider the proposition of an earth suffused by living microbes… What are they there for? Gold called our present model “surface chauvinism”: full marks for a pithy characterization!)

Ok, so maybe I’m crazy. But it beats being beaten down.

File under: whimsy.

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