Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Today Steve is constructing an Entry Arbor to display at the Sunset Magazine Celebration Weekend in San Jose the weekend of June 4-5.  It was designed by Architect Steve Hinderberger.  We worked with Steve Hinderberger on a delightful kitchen remodel in Oakland and got along so well, we decided to stay in touch and help each other promote our associated services.

Steve H. will be "manning the booth" this weekend, and will have a display rack of literature for On The Beam Remodeling.   Business cards, photo postcards and magazines featuring our company will be available.  If you're down in San Jose, don't miss it.

Here are details of the event:  It's called "Celebration Weekend", takes place at Sunset Mag Headquarters, 80 Willow Road, Menlo Park, and tickets cost $16.  There are sections to the event, and our display will be at the Home And Garden Exhibit.  You can find more information at www.sunset.com; click on "Events".  It looks like it'll be a lot of fun.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I have been teaching as well as running On The Beam Remodeling with Steve for the past year.  Here are my students with me (center) from the spring class 2011 of VESL for GETS:  Vocational English as a Second Language for the Green Energy Training Service.  As an experienced ESL teacher and remodeling expert, I am in the privileged position of preparing this group for certification as Building Performance Professionals in our community.  As a group we are working to provide employment, improve our fellow citizens' English skills, and make the world more energy efficient.

The organizations involved include Richmond Build through the City of Richmond, Rising Sun Corporation, a private building performance business, and English Center of Oakland.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Why Are They Fighting With Us?

In 1972 I took an elective class at UCSB (because I needed one to graduate) called "Islam Sects and Movements".    Professor Wadi taught us a brief history of Islam, from which emerged the split between the Sunnis and the Shi'ites.  We studied the Whirling Dervishes and the Sufis, forms of mystic Islam, which were much more fascinating than the bickering that went on between the two major divisions.

Why am I telling you this?  Much of what I learned in the class has stayed with me over the years and has helped me to put in a certain historical perspective the events leading up to 9/11 and continuing today.  Since this is my Blog, I want to use it to share it with my readers because perspective is empowering.

What is the difference between Sunni and Shi'ite Islam?  Two major sticking points:
  1. One sect believes that Mohammad the Prophet had no descendents.  The other sect believes he had a niece, Fatima, from whom descended a line of relatives.
  2. One sect believes that Allah, Creator of the Universe, is unknowable and cannot be given attributes or described.  The other sect endows Allah with certain attributes that are part of its religious dogma.  
It doesn't seem that these disagreements would give rise to a bloody reign of terror in the 1000's A.D., but in fact they did.  Perhaps they were just an excuse for a grab for power, which is often the source of conflict.

Next Blog will describe the bloody reign of terror in Islamic lands.  Stay tuned.