October 30, 2008

Holiday Card Contest Update

It looks like I am having a good week. Today I found out that I won the holiday card contest for my firm. (It was the snowflake design, sorry mom.) Hopefully I get a free airline ticket out of it but in the meantime I was presented with a goblet’o M&Ms:

October 28, 2008

Anyone know any Japanese Carpenters?

Good news, I won the storybook competition! Now I just have to figure out how to build it.
Also (and more importantly), my brother is back home from Afganistan. He called me today sounding tired but good.

October 17, 2008

October 13, 2008

Christmas without The Christ

Despite my intentions to not involve myself in a creative endeavor this weekend, I decided to participate in my firm’s annual Christmas card design. The rules were:

-Be creative

-Stay to 5 by 7 proportions

-No religious imagery

They said to think about it as “the holiday seen through the eyes of the architect”. What holiday? We can’t tell you because it would offend people. Anyways, onto the cards:

The first is called “Visions of Sugarplums” and depicts children nestled snug in their beds but instead of dreaming of candy, they are dreaming of the platonic forms.

My second entry titled “Snowflake Architecture” is just a snowflake made out of the shapes of a compass, triangles, and x-acto blades.

Don’t worry, our actual Christmas card that we send out will have plenty of “religious imagery”.

October 10, 2008

Bail Back In

I heard the finest (as well as sardonic) commentary on our country’s current turmoil on the radio yesterday. So I thought I would pass it along (you can also go listen to it read by the author by clicking here).

After the Bailout by Andrei Codrescu

I was sharpening my chain saw when they called me from Washington, D.C., to ask me how to fix the economy.

This request focused my thoughts, or the lack of 'em, to such a fine point, I gave my 14-inch Echo an edge it never had. Good enough for cutting half a cord at least, to keep the wood stove going through October. I love not paying the oil company a nickel. Except for the half-gallon of gas and the chain oil, but I'm fixin' to make the thing run on plum brandy. I've got a plum tree.

Ah, where were we? The economy, yes: $700 billion is more than enough money to buy every able-bodied American a chain saw, a solar-powered generator and a stake in a communal well and windmill. Also, red dirt and plum trees. That would probably only cost about $100 billion, and you can use the other $600 billion to buy everybody their house outright.

Now everybody can own their house and be green and self-sufficient, and can go back to whatever they were doing before the world ended: watching TV. Except for me. I was sharpening my chain saw.

So I go back to it, and I see a line of refugees coming up the road to move in with me. Oh my God, it's the '70s again. All my deadbeat friends — dead and alive — are being chased out of their homes and heaven for not owing any money. They are debt-free in a world that can't exist without interest rates. The dead are especially egregious in this regard; you can't squeeze even an extra penny out of them.

Oh, no, now that they are getting closer, I don't even think it's people from the '70s: It's people ... from the future!

It's worse than I thought: These are people independent from foreign oil, carrying solar-powered chain saws, full of American ingenuity. After the bailout, they owned their own homes, they didn't pay into a corporate energy grid, and they didn't worry about food because they grew it on the roof. They didn't drive, because they didn't have any jobs to drive to, and every garage in America was the site of an invention that was so darn beneficial nobody needed anything from the store.

Without worries about money, without a job, and with extra space in the garage to grow food and invent, these people forgot about the stock market, stopped borrowing money, even forgot how to shop — in short they stopped being American. These un-Americans got their exercise raking the compost instead of circling the mall; they home-schooled their children and were never again embarrassed that their kids knew more than they did. Heck, they were in heaven, the place where the pursuit of happiness leads to when you stop pursuing it.

Such self-sufficiency made the economy grind to a halt, so the government had to do something again: They called in the Army to chase everyone out of their self-contained greenhouses.

And now they are coming up the road to my place because I'm a poet, and I live in a compound defended by polygamist haikus.

"What did you do wrong?" I asked the first of the refugees to get over the palisades.

"Nothing," he said. "We just got out of debt and stopped watching TV! So the urge to buy things on credit disappeared. So they sent in the troops. First thing they did was to put a 40-inch plasma TV in every room and fixed it just so we couldn't turn it off. Just like in Orwell, only with much sharper images. They are calling this the Second Bailout, or the Bail Back In."

"At least the Second Amendment is safe," I said. "Nobody took away your guns, and the Founding Fathers didn't say anything about TV."

And with that, my chief haiku welcomed them thus:

make yourselves at home
you won't be bailed in or out again
you're safe in Second Life

October 9, 2008

Cutting Grass (to 2.5” to be precise)

I think I have exhausted the creative center of my brain. Especially in the construction department. In the past two weeks I have created a cardboard claw (I post a picture soon), built a couple of lamps, designed and built a model for a competition (look down), all while being on a very creative project at work. The guys next door just hear my miter saw go off and they come running to see what I have built next. I think I will take a creative rest this weekend but I can never tell.

Anyway, the most recent project is a submission to a competition the Dallas Arboretum is having. It calls for designs of a storybook house (small simple pavilion like structures inspired by a fairytale). The fairy tale I took my inspiration from is called
The Bamboo Cutter’s Daughter. Hosestly, I chose it because I wanted to design a Japanese pavilion. Here is my model:

October 8, 2008

Found another one

Edit: Appearently Brian and I think too much alike sometimes. But in all fairness he posted first. In any case they are some good photos.


October 6, 2008

Light Beer

So this semester the apartment next to us is occupied by a group of great guys that go to school with Laura. They are all musically talented which means we get a free guitar, banjo, and harmonica concert pretty much anytime we open the door. Last Friday they had a party to celebrate one of their friends 21st ; which was surprisingly not as rowdy as we were expecting it to be. Even more surprising considering that the next morning they had about 50 glass bottles sitting on their/our front porch. Well, I couldn’t let all that glass go to waste so I spent Saturday making a couple of lamps out of them to give back to our neighbors.

Oh and I finally finished my wall clock that I started more than a year ago.

October 2, 2008


Sorry it’s been awhile since I have posted anything. Work has been going great with much design to do (so little time to write blog posts). This last Monday I went to go see Sam Beam (aka Iron and Wine) and Glen Hansard (aka the Swell Season) in concert. It was one of the best large concerts that I have been to. There was very little production to it, no fancy background images or fog, just great music and fun stories. Beam is one of the best lyricists I have run across and Hansard & co. really put on a fun show, effortlessly getting the audience into the music.

Here are some videos of these guys I found on YouTube (keep in mind the low quality of the videos does not do justice to the music):

The Swell Season

Iron and Wine

And here is a sketch of Beam I did at the concert. Not the best in the world but it was done standing up and I couldn't see the page I was drawing on. Kindof like the game in Cranium when you have to draw things with your eyes closed. It does highlight his awesome beard though.