Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What's so Good About Disaster?

Disaster is fine as long its not happening to me! I told the salesman "I don't care about county codes and I don't care about ease of egress my daughter wants a certain style of Roman curtain from Pottery Barn Teen and the widest width is 44 inches. Now do you think Pottery Barn would be selling curtains that don't fit anyone's windows? No they would be selling curtains for the sizes of windows the most people have and her windows are 6 inches too wide." Now I am practically agreeing to spend $1,600 for windows for no reason. Dave insists I cannot narrow my window size because of county egress blah blah...and besides labor only covers replacement not additional masonry.

Then Dave comes up with the brilliant idea that if I get slider windows for her bedroom I can buy 2 Roman shades. Privacy will be maintained by the wide vinyl strip going down the middle of the slider window. Makes sense Dave let's work up an estimate I says. Blah blah and we do insulation and blah we do roofs, he says on the way to his truck. Just before getting into his truck and driving off he says "Mr. Fiddlepoofer I think the county will decline the slider window they have a tendancy to only approve installation of windows that have the same style as the previous ones." Aye Chihuahua!

Another brilliant side note to windows is that I live in a "coastal community" and this means that storms can cause more damage to us than others like say, in Kansas. Grab your propeller beanie cap and put it on your head for this next brilliant rule: If my home had 4 windows and I wanted to replace 2 windows at once then that is replacing more than 25% of my windows and the county insists that I buy impact resistant glass windows. However if I replace just 25% of my windows at a time then I can use any glass window.

Everytime America experiences a disaster you get the picture of a giant screw being tightened down on the freedoms of its people to minimize risk. Everytime someone has an injury driving, like say death then you get the picture of a giant screw being tightened down on the freedoms of its people to minimize risk.  What if I want to live dangerously and have a 44" window a fat fireman cannot crawl through or non-impact rated glass? Our government authorities make it sound as if we are bungee jumping over the crocodile infested waters of the Nile if we have a doorstop that props open a door. "Oh the firecode! This hallway (made of steel, glass, and mortar) would be engulphed in flames if air was allowed to go through a doorway propped open!"

In the year 600AD a daddy in a community of Indians living in this coastal area could look up at the sky and say. "Alufna pult snapo fnu fnee klapboo-ah-ah!" Which means "I see the rim of a great hurricane approaching. Let's calmly gather our family and things and walk a few miles away from the sea. We have 5 suns to do this." (editors note: their language was not as verbose and a lot more fun to speak). Ten days later they came back to the sea, gathered the fallen palm fronds to patch the chickee hut and resupply the commode cabinet, and got on with their lives.

Disaster is good because it helps you learn lessons you didn't learn the easy way.  It is also good because, like the Six Million Dollar Man, we can rebuild 'him' to be stronger, faster, smarter.  Our forces of nature, the market economy, and simple human weakness keeps us on our toes, refines us, hardens us; that is our lot in life.  "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will spring upon you like a bandit!"  You have heard it all before- "Don't count your chickens before they are hatched!"  = Don't start making a public holiday for a president that isn't even in office yet.  "I attended the school of hard knocks." = Learning what isn't taught in school and applying it in such a way to not repeat mistakes.  "

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