segunda-feira, 24 de agosto de 2009

Remodeling a house and vertical gardens

It’s going to be a year since I moved out form my mother’s home in search of my independency. For the last year, me and João, rented a house near Lisbon, and we’re a week away from moving to our new home, after 4 long months of remodeling.
Thing to consider when remodeling a house:

When you ask for a budget to a contractor, spend some time thinking about all de details you want to see in your house. Small details are easy to forget like light bowls, fake ceilings (don’t know how you call it), electricity spots, bathroom tiles, wardrobes and all the doors and drawers, baseboards, and so on.
Check your pipes and your electric supply system, to see if they need to be replaced.

Good isolation is a great step for energy saving, so choose some good windows. It may cost a little bit more at first, but you’ll safe in air conditioning, heating machines and dehumidifier (one great problem me and João faced last Winter in our current home). Your wallet as well the environment will thank you.

For me, choosing tiles to the bathrooms and toilets was the most difficult thing. I have a visualization problem. If you suffer the same, ask someone you trust with good taste for help, and don´t see everything in the store. Check out a dozen of showcases and pick the one you like. Don’t check out everything!!! (I’m serious!!!!)

A good way to save some money in decoration is to recycle furniture. Go to your grammas house, or to the house in the country side where no one goes, pick a piece of furniture and paint it. That way, not only you’ll spend very little money, but you’ll have something unique, and you’ll be able to join the old fashion with the contemporary.

Choose your kitchen well and according to the space you have. Those modern kitchens with the islands in the middle are fabulous, but if your kitchen has 12 square meters, you’ll probably won’t be able to put an island in the middle. Don’t waste time on kitchens that are not right for your home.

If your house has little space for plants, and you want to have you own apartment garden, choose a vertical one. Here are some tips from Garden Girl TV.

Well, got to go pack some boxes.

quinta-feira, 6 de agosto de 2009

Save the Human!!

Here I am again, writing some boring stuff for you guys! Just kidding!

For the last few hours, Twitter and Facebook have been down, right at the moment I wanted to share something with the world, about my rage against my almost remodeled house who tends to threat to end after I leave my current one. By being without these two web sites, I started to think about how the world would be without Internet, or better, what would happen to human race if all modern communication systems, by some strange phenomenon, would suddenly go down, with all the satellites and stuff in between.

On the negative side, my friends, I believe Chaos would be the answer. Stock markets would crush, worsening the crisis to standards we may not be able to deal with for a long time; companies would close down, world security would be at risk; people would run into the supermarkets grabbing everything they could as well as robbing everything in everywhere; starvation would take place because the lack of natural resources in populated areas, some would think aliens attacked us, others that a natural phenomenon would end the world, money may start to be worth nothing, or worth so much that would be impracticable, and so on… I would really have to reflect about this for some time before I can be close to imagine the real impact it may have. All I know is that it would represent such a change, that most of us would have a hard time adapting to it, and it would significantly reduce human population.

On the bright side, I believe this change would symbolize, in time, a return to the Nature. Ancient people like the Egyptian, and current nomad civilization like the Tibetans and african tribes, understand the balance of Nature and respected it above all, worshipping gods that symbolized water, land, sun, life…. As a matter of fact, the few nomad tribes that still exist, understand this. They know that altering this balance would be catastrophic, so they live in such a communion with Nature and with its cycle, understanding it is so much greater than them, that they would not even think about threatening it.

Human kind, somehow lost this respect along the way, as we “evolved”, and grew bigger than ourselves, to an unconsciousness state, where we went blind to the consequences of our obsession with control, creation and manipulation. We seem numb to life, running against the natural law of Nature, that is the survival of the strongest. What does it take for us to realize that everything has a cycle? Are we so cynical that we think we are stronger than Nature?.... We are Nature! Are we so irrational and illogical that we don’t understand that life will go on with or without us? Are we really so naturally self-destructive that we can’t see we're building walls instead of bridges?

Change will eventually come, and it’s starting to show in our life time. We need to rediscover our role in the ecosystem, because if we don’t have one, Nature will find a way to wipe us out of the face of this planet, and I truly believe that with our “biggest brain of the animal kingdom”, we will come to our senses and turn this route we are taking upside down.

Let’s protect the Human Race for a change (so we can truly protect everything else)!!