Not a very productive day, alas. Naun and I got some heavier plywood (19/32" aka 5/8") to build forms with, but I spent much of the morning discovering that the basic problem is the depth of the forms I'm trying to build. The stuff I've done before at Habitat has been on level ground, and a single level (for a two-story house). What I'm trying to build is on two levels, with multiple levels for the footings because of the slope of the hill. The deepest part (around the thermal mass for passive solar heating) will be about 5' tall, though most of foundation is 4' or less. 4' tall foundation stakes just aren't going to cut it for that.
I'm going to look into pre-fab insulated forms, maybe something like Quad-Lock. Doubtless it will be more expensive than wood, but seems a lot easier for what I'm trying to do. Maybe they appeal because of the similarity to Lego. I not only loved Lego as a kid, I still think it's pretty cool--best toy ever.
I also got (another) frantic phone call from Camron-Stanford House, one of the local non-profits I do tech support for. They needed to send out a press release with a photo, with the photo coming from one source and the press release with another. They're very nice people, but not the most tech-savy. So I took Naun home a bit early, stopped for a pint at Pacific Coast Brewing, then headed over to CS House. After a quick check, I determined they didn't have the right USB cable to connect the digitial camera, so we made a trip over to Berkeley and back, got the email of the press release, put it all together, and *phew* sent it out.
Pacific Coast Brewing is a great brewpub in downtown Oakland, on Washington between 9th and 10th, near the Oakland Marriott. If you're ever stuck at a conference or the like in Oakland, PCB is a great spot to duck out to for a long lunch. They just finished getting their kitchen remodeled. I hope my project doesn't take as long as it sounds like theirs did. They make great beer, and have a bunch of other great beers on tap, but don't use their site as a paradigm of great web design. If I weren't so busy with the addition, I'd probably try to figure out some kind of barter exchange of web design for beer.