Thursday, January 30, 2014


Well, after a few days of pondering (agonizing) over how I should go about the business of describing Cindy's and my Project Happy Life thing, I've decided to drop it.  I'll write about things as they come up, and you'll get the idea.  To that end, I'll tell you a little bit about what I'm currently working on.

First: Lanikai
My friend Kat has asked me to help design a stage for her children's elementary school in Hawaii.  Coincidentally, she lives just a hop and a skip from where Cindy's mother was living before she moved into a nursing home.  And when we're out there for a visit, we always stay with our friend, Annie, just a short walk away from where the school happens to be.  It's also a short walk away from Kailua and Lanikai beaches - a couple of the most beautiful beaches in the world, if you're into that sort of thing.  

I've been toiling away on a handful of design ideas for their stage for the past couple of months, and yesterday, they chose the winner.  I call it the 40' dais design.  I made the model in Sketchup and geo-located it on a google map.  I had fun googling and employing a method for calculating the heights of the buildings and the tree by measuring their shadows and the shadow of a (hopefully regulation height) tennis net pole from the same map image/day.

I like the idea that the kids can drape themselves on the steps surrounding the stage during recess and such.  It's going to be constructed around this gorgeous banyan tree that towers over the school yard.

Anyway, we're going to have to chose a spot to add an ADA compliant ramp up to the stage, and I've got to get started sorting out where the removable railings will go and what our options for lighting positions might be.  I've also been doing LOTS of thinking about how best to construct this thing.  I was advocating for cement, since that would be low maintenance and simple to build.  But the school seems confident that they can handle the upkeep of the stage if it is done in wood, and it will have a nicer, more organic feel.

This hippie is all for organic.

So, we'll see what we can do.  I'm thinking of concrete footings with an aluminum framed structure built off of that, and then the whole thing could be "skinned" with wood, making the structure easier to keep nice in the face of termites, sea air, rain, and the constant drumming of little feet.  Or maybe the parent/contractors will have a better idea.

For a little Summer dreaming in these swirling, polar vortex days, here's a picture from the beach in Lanikai.

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