Well, the Memorial Day weekend is over and I did manage to get in a little yard work and about 40 miles of road cycling. I know it doesn't sound like much but then you should know that I'm recovering from a collision with one of those famous New England granite curbs. I didn't hurt my bike but I now have raspberries and newly formed scabs everywhere.

What I did accomplish this weekend, however, was a review of the last 12 issues of this magazine. The reason being, I was looking for some recurring issues that maybe we could discuss in the future. However, after several hours of browsing, I came to the conclusion that there don't seem to be any real outstanding issues to discuss-everything seems to be clicking along on all cylinders. Is that really possible?

But when did Portland cement plaster, 7/8- and 3/4-inch three coat, one coat or two coat, synthetic, barrier and drainage EIFS, etc., all become just plain "stucco"? Whatever happened to product differentiation? I had a judge make that ruling recently (i.e. "They're all the same"), of course he also ruled that windows are not part of the building envelope. But then he doesn't live where we live, now does he?

Most people don't. As an example, on one of last season's "This Old House," host Kevin O'Connor mentioned a "new stucco" system three times and a "new insulated stucco system" once; turned out it was a residential drainage EIFS. The only way for me to determine that was to watch the credits. How is one to tell what to ask for on their new home, office building and so forth? Are they all the same? I don't think so.

I did notice that my drainage system,Kroll, et al. US Patent Number 5,363,621, got some coverage. I also noted a small tiff started up over when the first drainage EIFS came about. All I know is that my secretary and I put together my first drainage system sample in the early '90s-it's at home in my basement now. It was patented and didn't really come into vogue until after August 1995. The system has now gone through numerous improving iterations. However, the issue is still the same-if you want water to come out this end of the pipe you have to make sure it goes in the other end. I'm talking proper flashing and/or component interfacing here.

Forgive me but while we're on the subject of patents, I see that the "Method and Apparatus for Moisture Detection in Exterior Sheathing of Residential and Commercial Buildings,"Kroll, et al. US Patent Number 6,377,181, has been taken to new technological heights by a company called OmniSense. Good for them. The very first detector was installed in a new home in Oregon that was clad with a new residential drainage system. The marketing goal was to prove that a drainage system actually worked, however the detector started recording moisture intrusion almost immediately. It was thought that there was something wrong with the data recorder but as it turned out, the kick-out flashing and the weather barrier were installed wrong. The moral of the story is that the modern moisture detector actually works.

In today's world, it's not very difficult to do anything right, it's just very difficult to get it done right and that's just my opinion.