Ridin’ Around in the Breeze

Well, it’s all right, ridin’ around in the breeze.
Yeah, it’s all right, if you live the life you please.
— George Harrison

For the third day in a row, Ron and I worked on my breezeblock inventory. This time, we were in our own neighborhood. In an hour and a half, we covered all the east-west streets in an area six blocks wide and maybe a mile long. We found 52 properties with breezeblocks and one with shadow blocks. That brings our total to 139, with about 75 percent of the inventory complete.

Here’s a wall of tightly stacked snowflake blocks, protected by a ferocious guard dog:

Snowflake-pattern breezeblocks, magic light, dramatic shadows, and a Chihuahua in the window — what’s not to love?

I was really excited about these Pompeian (sic) blocks. (I was less excited about the manufacturer’s spelling.)

Pompeian breezeblocks in a wall
Pompeian blocks cast interesting shadows on the wall behind them.
Breezeblocks casting a shadow on a concrete wall
Two styles for the price of one: Pompeian shadow next to hidden circles.

We also spotted some double-Ys:

Double-Y breezeblocks in a concrete wall
This is one of the more creative uses I’ve seen for the double-Y pattern.

Some newer walls featured styles I haven’t encountered in any of my research. This one looks like what you’d get if you crossed the arcs in a hidden-circle block and then flattened it out:

Breezeblocks in a concrete wall
I don’t know what this style is called, but it seems to be a latter-day design. I like this installation.
Breezeblocks in a concrete wall
Notice how the same pattern can look very different depending on the installation.

The pattern in the top image is another latter-day design. It looks like arch or cathedral, except it’s missing the diagonal reinforcements.

We got a late start today because of work commitments, but we’re hoping to go out earlier tomorrow and finish our inventory. Once that’s done, I can start designing my map. I’m really excited about this project. If it looks half as good on paper as it does in my mind, it’s going to be one of the coolest projects I’ve ever done.


Dr. Kavanaugh

NOTE: This is part of the new novel I am writing. I am posting it here as a diversion for readers who may be living under shelter-in-place policies while the world waits for the coronavirus pandemic to pass. For an explanation of this project, please click here.

Dr. Kavanaugh
Aug. 20, 2018 ~ Coldwater Public School, Coldwater, N.M.

Morgan watched quietly from the bleachers as Dr. Scherer got up to welcome everybody to Coldwater Public Schools. The annual districtwide assembly and back-to-school pep rally was a longstanding tradition. Morgan had never been fond of it — as often as not, she’d have a headache that day, and all the stomping and clapping and cheering made it worse — but she didn’t normally dread it the way she had this year’s. Even if Dr. Scherer was nice enough not to mention Morgan by name, he was sure to mention her father, and everybody would turn to stare at her. People always stared at her when someone mentioned Daddy’s name, and she never knew how to respond. It made her uncomfortable. Today would be worse, because they’d probably be watching to see how she was going to react to Daddy’s replacement.

She could have come up to the school this summer to meet her father’s successor, but as a fourth-grader, she didn’t expect to have much trek with the woman, and she couldn’t think of a good reason to pay her a visit. If Morgan had just gotten a new job because somebody died, she didn’t think she’d like it very much if that person’s daughter showed up at her office for no apparent reason. It would feel too much like being judged. Morgan had decided to spare herself and the new principal that awkwardness. Today, she wondered whether that had been a mistake. Meeting ahead of time might have made today a little less weird. Continue reading Dr. Kavanaugh