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Showing posts from February, 2017

Keeping Abreast of Improvements in Housing Technology

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For those of you in the home construction industry around the Mid-Atlantic Area, the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center of Penn State's College of Engineering is offering the 25th in an annual series of conferences aimed at improving the quality and affordability of housing.

The 25th Annual PHRC Conference...
"provides information and updates on issues of interest to the residential construction industry. The first day of the conference, Wednesday (3/1), focuses on issues related to housing structures and their systems via breakout session in four tracks: Building Science & Technology, Construction & Management, Building Codes, and Multifamily. The second day of the conference, Thursday (3/2), provides opportunities to attend full-day workshops relating to specific areas of residential construction."
This is a nice program that offers local builders to catch up on the latest innovations and regulations while networking with folks that think a lot about the futu…

Notes from the Road (15) - A Day That Will Live in Infamy

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No, we're not talking about December 7, 1941, although we Americans will remember that one for much longer than any participants of that day in Pearl Harbor walk this earth.

I discovered another day of infamy, that the horrible Second World War brought us, one not really known by most Americans, but one that Australians will remember for just as long.

February 19, 1942. Seventy-five years ago this weekend...
"The Bombing of Darwin, also known as the Battle of Darwin, on 19 February 1942 was the largest single attack ever mounted by a foreign power on Australia. On that day, 242 Japanese aircraft, in two separate raids, attacked the town, ships in Darwin's harbour and the town's two airfields in an attempt to prevent the Allies from using them as bases to contest the invasions of Timor and Java. The town was only lightly defended and the Japanese inflicted heavy losses upon the Allied forces at little cost to themselves. The urban areas of Darwin also suffered some dama…

Notes from the Road (14) - It's Saturday night, and the Pubs in Australia are Full

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Well, we've reached the end of another long week, and you're looking forward to relaxing a bit. Looking through my Australian photos, I remembered a Saturday night in Queensland that gave me a break from the bush, and showed me how the real folks relax in the outback.

I had come a long way, and just as sun hit the horizon, I made it to the town of Blackall, Queensland.

After throwing my bag upstairs, washing my hands and face, and brushing the flies out of my teeth, I casually sauntered down to the pub to grab a bite and a bit of the local color. The food was good...I think I had fried steak, or lamb, and the fries (chips down under) were just right, crunchy and yet light. I had learned to avoid what the Australians call tomato sauce, which is what you get when you ask for ketchup. It's a tasteless, slightly sweet red soup that trickles onto your food, and improves it in no way whatsoever. I'm opening a Heinz distribution company down there someday.

As I ate, I watched…

Notes From the Road (13) - The Longest Walkabout: The Story of Ludwig Leichhardt

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One of the discoveries I made in Australia is the story of Ludwig Leichhardt, early Australian explorer, botanist, and legend. Without realizing it, I had been roughly following the path of the first of Leichhardt's three forays into the bush...the difference being, that I was riding in an air-conditioned Toyota, and he was really walking it, back in the 1840's.

I had successfully reached the way-station of Barkly Homestead in Tablelands, Northern Territory after a drive of about five hours from Camooweal, Queensland. I only remember that particular leg because it was the most lonesome stretch of the trip...there is literally no sign of humanity between the two places. I had filled up with gas at Camooweal, Queensland, which is on the border with the Northern Territory, and the signs warned me that the next stop, Barkly Homestead, was a long ways away. I went back in the store and grabbed a large bottle of water, just in case.


That drive of 267 kilometers was the most memorab…