Did you say peanuts or mustard?



Is it me or are people talking more softly now?

I used to be able (when I was a school teacher) to identify a single voice out of a group of people (important when people ie students plot against you). That skills is gone with my older ears.

Why is that?

I know a bunch of other tricks and am still able to see what is unfolding before it happens often (with kids). but I can’t hear the extra clues that used to make me better/faster.

I miss those ears.

Started me down the path of considering what else old doesn’t work as well as it did. My back hurts virtually every morning. Doesn’t matter what I do the day before, only that my back will hurt in the morning.

My eyes aren’t as good as they used to be – a function of age I know.

Aches that used to be for one day, now last three or four.

I have to take vitamins and protein shakes just to keep the whole thing moving forward.

Youth is wasted on the young.


Five songs that changed my life



I’d like to teach the world to sing:

I was twelve – what can I say. (the actual song not the Coca Cola commercial version).

Heart of Gold

Again, 12, but this song has stayed with me my entire life. Actually this was the launching of my Neil Young fan club. I’ve got just about everything Neil has written/published/sung over the years. I fluctuate my favorite between this song and the next song on the list. I played this song for my wife when I realized she was “the one.”

Old Man

12, Neil Young, this one touches me. I sing this one in the car when I hear it.

Sound of Silence

This was one the first really hard song our choir sang and I love it to this day. It is one of the most haunting songs I know.

Number five is a compilation song – anything else by Neil Young, a couple of songs by James Taylor that stick in my mind but you could also put a number of songs by Simon and Garfunkel in there. I also love anything by Bruce Hornsby and the Range, the Blues Travelers and of course classical stuff fits nicely here as well.

My fifth favorite song is more of a mood song than anything else.

thanks for listening!


To be



I am

I was

In the little quiet

I still am


huge wide word


that fills the page,

and the next page

and the page beyond that

with confusion


and but

is all that echoes

bouncing off the walls in a hollow room

and we do not question

seems funny



huge but still somehow less than what we were.

We are,

we were


can you shape that word into a tiny hole?

push it

like water under pressure

more than the container

bursting forth to quell fires

can you shape that word into a tiny hole?

or will the pressure kill you


no pressure


no pressure.


An Architectural Home Companion still my favorite all time blog series…



If you are interested you can find old copies of AHHC out on this blog in the archive and on my wordpress blog (above) also in the archive.

So yesterday the wife and I did date night (its one of my favorite nights – we just get to be ourselves rather than mom and dad). We went to the movie Knight and Day. It was as Barb put it “a good summer romp.” Not the greatest movie ever but certainly a movie that you could enjoy for a couple of hours.

My next great goal in life?

Five places I have never been but would like to go:

  1. Seoul South Korea
  2. Anywhere in New Zealand
  3. South Africa
  4. Anywhere in Africa (other than SA)
  5. Santiago Chile (or for that matter Peru)

The question is always when will I go!


Listen can you hear it?



I got sunburned a little yesterday which rarely happens for me. I have been inside most of the summer and was only outside for a 1/2 day Friday but that was enough.

  • Why is it that some people are willing to talk about money, and other people are not?
  • When does someone become mature?
  • Teaching a child to drive is a lot harder than you would think.
  • Why is it that highway construction often seems to be at the busiest time of the summer for travel?

Anyway long trip back home now. Sometimes I think it is 10 times harder to drive someplace for meetings than it is to actually fly there. Yes there is the stress of getting to the airport, but in reality it is actually easier to fly than drive. Kudo’s to the airlines (and in particular United, my favorite) for making that the case.


Wind in your face, sand in your eyes, the beach



In High School I was introduced to the fantastic novels of Jean Sheppard who wrote about life in Northern Indiana. “Wanda Hickey’s Night of Golden Memories,” the story of a prom date in a steel mill town is my personal favorite. There are a couple of movies (Summer Story and A Christmas Story) that are also from the same series and again based on life in Gary Indiana in the 1930s and 1940s.

That essence that the books capture and share remains a critical reason why I write this blog and books today. Sharing even one minute of who and what you are with someone is amazing. I think back to my own childhood and the slice of life moments that changed me as a person. Sitting in a boat early in the morning with both my father and grandfather fishing. Those were simply amazing times for me. We didn’t often catch enough fish to eat, but we had a lot of fun trying.

The first time I kissed my wife was simply life changing. The moment I met her everything else just seemed to float away. I’ve told her a million times it doesn’t matter I go in the world, it isn’t real until she see’s it.

Becoming a dad was an abrupt transition for me (my wife already had a daughter from a previous marriage) but i treasure that person and that relationship.

The birth of the Bean and later “da boys” remains with the day of my wedding the most tremendous days of my life.

With the Wind in your face – face your journey and never look back!


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Building out a solution



I’ve been toying with the idea of redoing my home network.

  • Its got some sections that have issues, not sure why they have issues but there are issues.
  • I have a couple of powerline Ethernet segments that don’t seem to be performing at a good level
  • wi-fi remains inconsistent

i have to find some way to solve the various bandwidth needs in the house without moving or rewiring everything (although moving and pre-wiring is appealing).

There has to be an easy way to have wi-fi everywhere without having to buy range extenders and antennas that go in every room. If I have to have a device in 1/2 the rooms of my house it defeats the value of wi-fi.


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On a summer Wednesday



Heading up north tomorrow, one day business one day family.

Then heading up north again in July, but that one is all family.

I am amazed that my book around the blog series “An Architecture Home Companion” is selling as well as it is. Thank you to everyone who has downloaded it for their PC (using the Kindle Reader) or their Kindle from the Amazon store. Perhaps I should write down some of the old Fred and Ed stories and post those as well for the Kindle.

I’ve crossed the 1000 blog threshold with nearly 500 blogs on wordpress and another 550+ here on spaces. I am also blogging about the IASA Board of Education on the IASAHome.org page if you are curious as to what we are doing as far as building an education program for Architects.

Last thing, wish list kind of item. I saw the new PN-60 GPS from Delorme, what an amazing device if you are into GPS’s. I love using topo maps when walking – so its a great addition when it ships in July.

Now if I can only solve the SSE issue (socialist sync engine) life would be complete.

I suspect however the SSE issue will plague me and others for a lot longer than this summer.


Just one step to the left




I am over the rain. Please stop.

I have a dear friend in Columbus Ohio, 120 miles or so to the east of Indianapolis. No Rain. Indianapolis? Rain three out of the last four days. My lawn is now a marsh. I see alligators moving in next week when it becomes an old marsh (swamp).

So rain, please stop.

The office environment…

  • Do you listen to music?
  • What about a speaker phone?
  • What is the perfect office environment?

For me its a large screen (I hate straining to see my monitor). The Sony Dash flashing information for me all day long and of course my squeezebox jamming to Sirius the 80’s.

Light is important and my wife helps there. She got the new Phillips light bulbs that are energy efficient and light up the room very nicely. Plus they last 3 times longer so you don’t have to change them as often.

All I need now is a beer tap!


review – Olympus Stylus Tough



So for those who know me well I am a gadget freak.

I am also a huge digital camera fan. My progression there has been going on for a long time (more than 14 years).

I stated with the apple quicktake 100, and then the next version (I think it was the 150).

I’ve had a number of different camera’s over the years. From Sony to Canon I think I’ve played with them all (with of course apologies to the pinball wizard on that line).

What are the three things that limit digital cameras (and for that matter camera’s in general)

  1. fragility
  2. water
  3. quality

With the new Stylus Tough series Olympus has blown those problems, away.

  1. 14 mega pixels gets you to the quality level that you need for any family shots.
  2. SDHC support means you can have up to 32 gigs of SD card storage for your device
  3. 720 p HD video support means good video
  4. waterproof to 32 feet
  5. Panoramic pictures built in
  6. You can drop this device 6 feet and it won’t care
  7. did I mention waterproof?

Good quality pictures, easy to use camera. Decent digital zoom all are additional features that make this camera a great addition to your bag.

Worst feature – you can’t use the camera while you are charging the battery which is a bit of a pain.

All in all this is a great camera to carry with you!