A one-minute audio linguistics lesson: how New Orleanians pronounce “Chartres.”

Brenda’s Blizzard of Snowflakes

Brenda's Blizzard of Snowflakes - 1

Dear Kay, Snowflakes snowflakes snowflakes. That’s what I’m thinking about. A couple of weeks ago, cruel, merciless Erin tweeted about crocheted snowflakes. Her Tweet sent me into an instant nostalgia spin about the crocheted snowflakes of my youth that my mom found long ago at a Christmas bazaar at Cheekwood. I have exactly one of those snowflakes left, a dumpy and misshapen one which is the fate of treasured Christmas ornaments, I...

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Mrs. Shayne’s Adventures in Geothermal, Part 6

Mrs. Shayne's Adventures in Geothermal, Part 6 - 1

Dear Kay, Before we begin, I would like everyone to fire up the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing “Hallelujah” as the soundtrack to this blog entry. Because, honey, on Tuesday, November 29, at 10:42 am CDT, I was singing the fire out of this song, right after Tim The Genius Of The Wires came upstairs and pointed at my heating vent. And nodded. “Is it . . .” I asked. “That’s geothermal. Right there.” It...

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Mrs. Shayne’s Adventures in Geothermal, Part 5

Mrs. Shayne's Adventures in Geothermal, Part 5 - 1

Dear Kay, We interrupt our ongoing coverage of Geotherm2011 to report that there were little girls in the house for the Thanksgiving weekend. They built fairy houses. They left their purple boots in the hall. They left cryptic drawings all over the place. They did things like eat dry Cheerios, dance spontaneously across the kitchen, and yell “Mom” so persuasively that every mom in the house would respond. They helped feed the...

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Mrs. Shayne’s Adventures in Geothermal, Part 4

Mrs. Shayne's Adventures in Geothermal, Part 4 - 1

Dear Kay, As the sun set yesterday afternoon, and the yard was at low tide, I realized that I’ve had it all wrong. This geothermal project isn’t about HVAC; it’s art. It all becomes tolerable when you think of it as an expression of some primordial artistic impulse. I think Andy Goldsworthy got his start in HVAC. In my attempt to capture the many maws of this experience–the holes, the vents, the ducts, my slack jaw as it...

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Mrs. Shayne’s Adventures in Geothermal, Part 3

Mrs. Shayne's Adventures in Geothermal, Part 3 - 1

Dear Kay, Yesterday it got so loud that I fell asleep. Between the (very nice) guy drilling holes in the foundation for the tankless water heater vents, to the final death throes of Hole Number Five, I was like one of those babies who falls asleep beside the vacuum cleaner. New and fascinating equipment continues to show up. The guys operating it are uniformly cheerful and unconcerned about anything going wrong. Either they’re heavily...

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MRS. SHAYNE’S ADVENTURES IN GEOTHERMAL, PART 2

MRS. SHAYNE'S ADVENTURES IN GEOTHERMAL, PART 2 - 1

DEAR KAY, I CAN’T REALLY EXPRESS TO YOU HOW LOUD THINGS ARE AT MY HOUSE RIGHT NOW. YESTERDAY MORNING THIS THING SHOWED UP IN MY YARD: AND IT HAS BEEN DRILLING 300′ HOLES IN THE GROUND FOR EIGHT HOURS YESTERDAY AND PROBABLY ANOTHER FOUR HOURS TODAY. THEY JUST STARTED HOLE NUMBER FOUR, OF FIVE. THIS IS ABOUT TEN FEET OUTSIDE MY OFFICE WINDOW. IT’S LIKE A QUARRY. OR THE WORLD’S HUGEST ROOT CANAL. I FEEL LIKE MY HOUSE IS...

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