On the ground in Italy


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So some initial random thoughts/concepts.

  1. You can tell driving into a European city why various groups settled where they did in the US – the landscape looks virtually the same.
  2. More churches in a block of Milan downtown than in all of Greenwood Indiana (ok that isn’t true but it feels like that as you drive in).
  3. Why is it regardless of hotel chain, they always advertise where you are as one of their premier locations?
  4. I love the tall thin can’s of diet coke zero – very cool!

I never sleep on the plane flying to Europe (and can’t wake up on the way back) so I am little tired, but on the ground again in Europe. It is my second consecutive

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start of June in Europe and I think roughly the 6th or 7th time I’ve been overseas during the Indy 500.

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An Architecture Home Companion (AHHC)


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The Screaming Eagle Volume 12, Issue 256

Monday morning as Monday’s often do revealed the devastation of Sunday afternoon. In this particular Monday view of the world we find ourselves looking at a gap between the sluice gates and the side of the dam holding back the mighty Yellow River. Yes the children of Lake Architectless have made fun of our mighty river for the past 20 years. “How do you make a Yellow river” one child will ask the other “Four cans of pop” the other child will answer. But once again our fair city will be threatened by the spring thaw that will swell the Yellow River to overflowing and will flood our fair city. Our dam is no more.

Sheriff Brownlee is investigating the explosion that rocked our fair city this Sunday past. While there are a number of clues he is considering, the most glaring is that the group apparently in their rush to escape misspelled the name of the very planet they are/were trying to protect. That and they released one of the most polluted lakes in Indiana into the ecology of the rest of the downstream. Water flowing from Lake Architectless will eventually wander to the mighty Ohio and Mississippi rivers until it reaches the Gulf of Mexico. This reporter followed that flow once on a vacation trip on the Southern Belle Paddle Wheeler when she was still running. It remains the vacation our family still talks about all the time. (author’s note, while the article was pulled from the Screaming Eagle I just have to say that in fact that family only talked about that freaking New Orleans vacation. A couple of years later I dated their eldest daughter and spent hours at their house. I watched the New Orleans trip slides nearly 200 times and was only at their house a total of 12 times).

Sheriff Brownlee promises a swift investigation with the intent of bringing the people who soiled our fair town to justice.

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The Screaming Eagle Volume 12, Issue 255

Lake Architectless, waterless

Sunday afternoon the dam that protects the city from the water of Lake Architectless, which since the great battery acid problem is more protection than we had planned for in the past, was blown up. Actually blown up is probably the wrong term for this horrifying event. Somewhere just after 2 pm the dam was attacked by what appears to be Eco Terrorists in a horrifying explosion that destroyed the sluice gates and concrete retaining walls. The water contained behind the dam flowed towards town like a giant wall of destruction. Horace Means, whose farm is just on the outskirts of town said that the wall of water carried away his favorite cow Bessie and washed out his entire north corn field.

Sheriff Brownlee and his deputy reviewed the site from a distance, there was a considerable amount of water still flowing out of the destroyed sluice gate and they were not able to get close. They did however see the mark of the Eco Terrorist group Gaia on the remaining concrete wall with the slogan “free the waters of mother earth.” Sheriff Brownlee felt that the slogan was in fact a distraction, “no Eco Terrorist group in their right mind would release polluted waters into the flood plains. They like to destroy buildings and dams that are causing damage to the environment, no one’s that are holding back pollution.”

By 4:20 pm the entire city was flooded. Residents flocked to city center to see what could be seen. The town council called an emergency meeting, the 21st of this year for this evening. The Screaming Eagle was also heavily impacted as the warehouse containing the majority of our newsprint was flooded, resulting in this single page edition of the paper.

 

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The damn, dam

Earthen dam’s were all the rage in Indiana when the Lake was built. Or the river was stopped by the dam creating the lake, not sure that Lakes are created, I suspect is more that they are manufactured. In the case of Lake Architectless there was a dam, earthen that stretched about 250 yards and stood roughly 35 feet tall. At one end of the dam there was a sluice or overflow gate, with another overflow setup in the other corner of the dam. The second overflow was simply a concrete flood plain that was roughly set at 33 feet, or two feet below the rest of the dam in case the sluice gate couldn’t handle the volume of water.

Sometime around 2 pm on Sunday afternoon after church when everyone was relaxing or driving over to Fort Wayne for a family outing as we had, an Eco terrorist group blew up the sluice gate, releasing all the water from Lake Architectless. We knew right away, or at least the sheriff knew that in fact it was an Eco terrorist group, as that type of organization protested environmental damage by buildings and seldom blew things up that cause more ecological damage after the explosion than before.

The “who” was in question but not the what. The what was an entire polluted lake suddenly and completely emptied. Water that emptied all over the streets of Lake Architectless, although the sinkhole made a nice lake in front of the city building/general store until the water was drained away.

The water in question of course was filled with a high content of battery acid.

 

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In the beginning

An explanation of the stories contained in An Architecture Home Companion.

I grew up in a small Indiana town. Bloomington is the home of Indiana University which causes the town to swell from its summer lethargy of 55,000 people to well over 88,000 people with the students. I grew up in that environment south of the city in a neighborhood filled with beginning professors. We went outside when it was 6 in the morning in the summer and didn’t come home until dinner time. We would go to various houses each day to get lunch. But for the most part we were outside and on our own.

You could never do that now with your children, it’s a different world. But then it was something that was common. Kids didn’t stay indoors in the summer unless they were sick. The neighborhood where I few up was under construction which made it the perfect for kids. There were half finished roads (the road dug out, but no concrete) that made great obstacle courses for our bikes. There were foundations that had been dug but never finished (which made for great forts for dirt clod fights). It was a paradise for children in a time when you could be a child.

It is those fond memories of Indiana that drove many of the stories shared in my blogs. With the note that my professional upbringing has given me an opportunity to poke fun at some of the sacred cows of my profession (in particular planning and operations) in these pages. By no means is there any intent to harm or offend anyone. I simply wanted to consider what the world would look like if things were not planned.

 

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Another shameless review


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On occasion I spend significant time traveling. Recently I found a company (Connectify) that has built a solution based on some code that MS never finished in Windows 7. It basically allows your laptop to be a wi fi hotspot and allows you to share your Internet connection.

When coupled with a broadband card – you can now set-up a device that shares that Internet connection via wifi allowing multiple devices to share your broadband card. Add an ASUS netbook to the mix and for a small amount of cash you have a smart router that you can take with you, no matter where you go!

(and by the way to activate all of this – use ActiveWords – which remains the most amazing tool I’ve used, period).

From netbook boot to running a wi-fi hotspot for all my devices in less than 3 minutes. Truly an amazing combination of tools for the mobile warrior (and with that you can also share other devices!!!)

On to bigger and better things!

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An Architecture Home Companion (AHHC)


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Summer in Lake Architectless

What do you say to the kids when they ask, mom what are we doing this summer?

Do you mumble “summer school” under your breath?

Well fret no more, the new Lake Architectless adventure camp is open for kids of all ages from 7 to 19. From camping to caving, and jumping to juggling our camp has it all. We help your children move from citified living to become true children of the pioneer.

Sessions are open now – sign up your child for a summer of freedom (for you mom!)

 

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An Architecture Home Companion (AHHC)


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Sheriff James Early Brownlee

The man who was Sheriff of Lake Architectless and for that matter the entire county most of my childhood was an interesting man. John Early Brownlee was born south of Atlanta in the state of Georgia.

Sheriff Brownlee was a large man standing nearly 6 foot 5 inches tall. He towered over most everyone except his chief deputy (who stood nearly 6 foot 8 inches tall). He had the thickest southern accent in all of Lake Architectless. He also spoke very slowly and carefully seeming to measure every single word before it left his mouth.

He came to Lake Architectless after serving as an MP in the military. He was seeking a change in the world around him and of course like all people seeking his fame and fortune. He served on the Fort Wayne police force for about five years before moving out to Lake Architectless and running for Sheriff. He was a kind man who spent hours each year in the city schools explaining the value of following the law to the children of Lake Architectless.

He married a young lady from Fort Wayne and they settled in Lake Architectless. They didn’t have any children of their own, adopting the town’s children like so many other couples in town. It was as if Lake Architectless was the place where Uncles and Aunts that weren’t related to you were made.

 

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The flashing cursor


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I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was 13 years old. In that time (Let’s just say its between 1000 and 10 years) I’ve watched that flashing cursor and before that the blank page of the typewriter most days of my life. While I have written a number of articles, poems and books I have never really made my living as a writer (as was dreamed whatever number of years ago it was). This blog (and my more technical blog on wordpress) has let me over the past 8 years reconnect with the part of me I had forgotten in the past rush to become whatever it was I was to be.

The joy of creative writing is the ability to share something with others that is unique to you. I hope those of you who’ve had time to read these lines over that time period have found at least a measure of something of value.

I suspect in the next couple of weeks i will return to publishing “An Architecture Home Companion” on this blog as I wind up that story. Somewhere around episode 100 or possibly 110 I suspect I will end that series and start a new one.

thanks to all my readers!

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