Tuesday, 26 November 2013

This is War

The battles begin once again, nature's forces descending upon us with bitter cold steel drawn naked, prepared to cut. We draw our weapons too, don goose-down armour and hack at frost with scrapers bought at Canadian Tire or makeshift from old Tim Horton's gift cards. We carry shovels like standards into battle, carve out a path through the endless forces of our enemy before they overwhelm entire.

Charging into the wind, pom-poms leveled lance-like at the elements , we press forward. Toques for helms mittens for gauntlets, and thick rubber soled shoes for purchase on home lands turned treacherous in the enemy's icy grip.

Politicians penguin-waddle in parkas and tell us we are prepared, this time. This war will not be like the last, they say. Our forces are organized. . .we will reclaim the frontiers of our streets and sidewalks with clattering monstrous beasts of our own invention that split the night with roars and beeps. I remember that you cannot trust politicians, as I slide sideways on snow-packed roadway, four wheel drive or no.

I am certain this years war, like last year's, will end. But at what cost? How many fenders bent, arms broken, and tears shed at the voidlike blackness of ten in the morning?

Vaguely, I remember a time when this was not a fight. Too young to understand the threat the enemy posed, I embraced it instead. My enemy was then my ally, providing me with ammunition against other, then more important enemies. My enemy and I clutched eachother and shrieked laughter as we slid down hillsides, danced across glistening floors of ice. My enemy could take a form very much like my own, but with a carrot nose, an old scarf, two rocks for eyes. My enemy was my friend.

Is there an opportunity for peace, after all?

Oh Hell no.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Carport Olympics

Carports: Things we don't have a lot of in Canada save for in front of hotels. Or to shelter that boat you wish you'd never bought that won't fit in the garage. Probably the biggest reason carports aren't popular up here is the obvious one: its cold  and despite all our bluster, we're wusses. Going out into an unheated garage to start up the car in the morning is bad enough, and at least when you park your car on the street you're fairly certain you can get the car off and driving thanks to midnight snowplows (barring a blizzard, in which case you're probably allowed to stay home anyway). Carports have the dual disadvantage to us northern dwellers of lacking walls to block the icy cold winds, and being vulnerable to snow that will not be happily removed for you by any civic snowplow--or any hand but your own mittened one frozen to the shovel.

So, we don't really use car ports. But then, does anyone excessively? Unsure. Haven't traveled enough. Moving on.

Regardless of the lack of applicability of the carport to my own culture, I thought I'd throw up a few pictures of some interesting examples of these under-appreciated architectural sidebars. So here goes, in no particular order:

1. The Overhang - Villa Midgard, Stockholm
 Villa Midgard by DAPstockholm in architecture  Category

Because nothing screams "its safe to park your car here" like a concrete overhang. Concrete is indestructible, right?

2. The Solar powered bike rack

This solar powered beauty can at once charge your electric car and store your bikes while taking up minimal space. I call this a pretty cool little wonder of technology. It looks fairly easy to set up too, considering what it is.

3. The Green Rooftop-port

C'mon, for a warm climated place, you gotta admit this is a pretty cool idea. My only question is how/if you can get on top of it.

4. The Hollywood Hills 

Something sort of Jetson-y about this lean-to design, circa 1972.

5. The F**k You Gravity Carport, Lithuania

The cars are actually serving an important role in keeping the house up. Making this carport an essential part of the design. Really.

6. The Camouflage Dream Carport


A great, easy to set up, portable guestroom for your car. Because putting it in this is way safer and less conspicuous than parking it on the street. And it doesn't look ridiculous. AT ALL.