Saturday, January 28, 2006

Verizon would know how many

Verizon would know how many of up keep phones on by watching our Gps-enabled Devices hit each tower below. Not Driving 500

Thursday, January 26, 2006

what is on thy mind?

My girlfriend asked me recently if it looks like we want the same things out of life. My immediate answer was, yes, we do, it's just that our schedules are a little wacky and they don't mesh so well. She teaches little tykes all day, and I deal with contractors and cad software during that time. It's what I like to contend with, and the hours fit me fine. The problem is that I don't finish up until early evening, and when I come home, I like to do a little research, write, watch a show, or read a magazine. She wants to do family-type things: elliptical machine at the gym, cook a carb-free 3 course meal, discuss the day, etc. Unfortunately, that's what I would prefer - at 11pm when she is fast asleep.

Time recently published an article about this, and I was shocked that there are specific categories of night and morning people, and that it's generally an all-or-nothing proposition.
I tried to change after college, going into work earlier, bringing a gym bag to work, stopping at the store for some vegetables, but it just didn't make me happy. I was fighting it all the time. I really only felt at home when I was teaching a class, working full time, and playing pickup hockey at midning weekdays. That is my prime, and I loved the feeling.

So, does this come down to family life vs. career life? She wants to have a routine that closely matches what she was raised with, three square meals, naps, and American Idol. I want to have a highly varied schedule that lists academic lectures, discussions, recreation, one TV show a week, design and fabrication, and a continuation of everything that was "life" in the past, before I started working. It's not exclusive of family, yet it always feels that way.

Also in the spirit of rejuvination, I really am hoping to embrace the inner nerd again. Two things have sparked this. One, is the discovery of the open source housing project, house_n, and the media lab, and the people over there that look at the industry like I do. I am no longer feeling like architecture needs to be #1 in my life. Sometimes the glossy magazines and the starchitects just make me sick. I used to have pride in finding a rare house or bus stop done by some famous designer. Like I "collected" it or something. But, I have a near-repulsive attitute toward the sigularity of these projects now. I see the effort that goes into it, and the coutless others that make it happen. These are the ones who should be rewarded, but instead it's the golden boy that drew the thumbnail. What a sham. Even worse is the desire by millions to ascend to that role. You see it in the interns and graduates in any architecture office. Dress the part, be hyper- brash, promote your design skills, and pretend you are better than the draftsmen. This is the part of architecture that I was dragged into, and I had in my starstruck eyes for most of my education years.

Well, the trigger was finishing the exams, all nine of them, and realizing that the common architect, the one who knows the stud spacings, the moment connections, the earned hour rate, the curtain wall loading, etc. is the real deal. These people are overworked, underpaid, and have aspirations to be the designers and rainmakers. But, like in any business, it's not going to happen for everyone. And now that I see this outlook, I have realized that I use very few of my skills in what I am doing. I have several computers that I know how to dual-boot, make software do most anything, and even use my ham radio licence to get GPS coordiates of where I am sometimes (this is the other thing that triggered my recent discovery). This is all quite dorky, but it's what I know, or KNEW.

So, this came off more like a venting, but as I approach the end of my internship to become a real live architect, it seems somehow like that door is closing. Or to be more appropriate, it's a long hallway with several side exits. I don't want to go through the one I am destined for, but there may be a much more rewarding way out.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The new camera is here

And I have to share this image with someone. 8 megafrickinpixels quality compressed for the internet (at original size though)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Maybe I'll just go and switch to

Ok, so shoot me. I tried it, after at least two years of hype, the monochromatic commercials, the press, the DRM debates. As I speak now, I see it on the television (go Seahawks!) as a 20 second spot, strangely enough, adjacent to a competitor's ad. The "thing" is the iPod. The "service" is iTunes. And yours truly is now a member.

It wasn't an impulse event, no, that isn't really my style. I have always been on the purist side of the fence. I say, go buy the CD, then you have it, and nobody can take it away. As long as you don't damage the original or sell it, it's yours. And you also don't have to read the news every morning to find out if you will be getting sued for what you listen to. Now I can live with a shelf that holds my compact disks. Remember what that looked like? It's very refreshing.

Well, my foray into the world of Apple was triggered by their recent contract with NBC to show the Office as a download for $1.99 the day after the original airing. This is great, I was thinking, until I saw the quality of the video. Strike one. It is also stored in a proprietary format, and as I have learned, locked into the computer that you buy it on. Strike two. This sucks, frankly. I happened to buy my first episode before heading on over to a friend's house, and I expected to be able to download it over there. Well, simply, this was not the case. I got this message, letting me know that all "media has been downloaded on this account." If they aren't going to service my account, in direct contradiction to the five computer limit that is clearly noted on the website, then what is the point of charging? Upon further research, the computers must be networked to each other. What a joke.

So, I seriously doubt that I will be using iTunes to get my television fix. And it reinforces to us consumers the thinly veiled effort to sell more physical playback units. Furthermore, there is an attempt to create the Podcast as a standard, it seems. I, for one, hope to see either some HDTV format or an open source encoding (like Xvid) to be the new way to download. Unfortunately the google video codec and the .mov encoding are the leaders right now. VERY lossy.

And now, as if I didn't already have it on my mind, right here in my football game (ironic in that Paul Allen raised the team flag before the Seahawks game - the one where they make the Super Bowl for the first time ever) I see an ad that bemoans the "boring" tasks that Intel processors have completed over the years, and their subsequent liberation in Apple computers. The task that they now whittle at? Displaying the macintosh logo in one color. Gotta get me one!
It ranks right up there with other "because we can" moves. Look at the treadmill software at the gym that makes broad assumptions about my desire to run up a hill, through the woods, or to burn exactly 274.3 calories. Obviously, this is great knowledge to have. If only I could have it texted to my phone along with the menu items that I can choose from at Panera for lunch. Bonus points for using GPS to tell me that I am waiting in the wrong line for orders. What architect is responsible for this? Are you listening Google? If so, can you hear the sarcasm in my post? No?

for(client<>coord_line, client=fatso_@_Ballys, client++)
check location.Panera
compare asagio cheese.calorie
return answer

And so on.

Anyway, the football game is once again (as it was last week) being overshadowed by the commentary on the noise of the crowd, apparently causing every mistep of the visiting Panthers. If this is a product of the angle of seating or something, as I think it may be, imagine the first contest that may be decided by the architecture of the stadium.

Over in the AFC, it is obvious that the steelers are just now escaping the curse of the three rivers concrete donut. The very same phenomenon is also evident also in the success of Seattle, Cinncinatti, St. Louis, and Philadelphia. It's this little push that comes from the removal of the embarassment of playing in one of these things. Now, the DryVit curse of the throwback baseball stadium?