Category Archives: Thoughts

a quickie


Lack of posts have probably made this site somewhat of a ghost town. If anyone is reading though, in October of 2007 I moved on from my previous employer, a small architecture firm in Park Ridge, Illinois to a general contractor in Chicago. I have transitioned from being an architectural project manager to being a virtual construction manager.

“A what?” you say.

A virtual construction manager I say.

My job is to oversee and coordinate the implementation of BIM (building information modeling) in our National Building Group.

BIM is a 3D digital model of a building, containing all aspects of a buildings design in real world dimensions. A good model will have all major architectural, structural & MEP systems, which we can use to assess hard and soft system clashes as well as constructability. With these systems modeled, as an example, we can tell if the architectural drawings and structural drawings are coordinated, and make sure the ductwork fits within a ceiling space.

In addition to checking spacial relationships the 3D model can be linked to construction schedules to create 3d animated visual schedules, which can assist in lean construction methods, site workflow, material orders and logistics.

Told you this blog wasn’t dead.

Not a bad phillosophy

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Lazarus Long
(Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love, 1973)

Lateral Forces…


Are you kidding me?

Most of the people I talked to and from what I read in the ARE forum say the test is mostly theoretical in its questions and content.

Maybe I missed something, but it seemed like I had a lot of questions with equations. From bending moments to shear stresses and everything in between. I felt I was pretty well prepared and still had a decent grasp on the content and context of the General Structures test, so I think I may have still done alright, but it was NOT what I had expected.

However it turns out, I have the Building Technology vignette schedule for July 20.

Just keep on truckin.

My spring has sprung

On my Focus.

Front passenger side. Cracked suspension spring; makes a loud clanging sound whenever I turn the steering wheel.

I have an uncle-in-law who is a mechanic, usually he is willing and able to provide any maintenance needed, but has recently been experiencing problems with his sciatic nerve. Not wanting to cause him any further pain or anguish I am going to do the work myself with some tips and supervision from him.

Parts list from NAPA:

  • 2 Struts: $105.98
  • 2 Springs: $117.00
  • 2 Strut Bearing Plates: $92.38


  • 2 Monroe Quick Strut Modular Assemblies: $308

The math is simple. To buy and assemble the spring and struts it would cost $315.36 plus tax while the Quick Struts would only cost $308 plus tax.

The real savings is in time and safety. By using the Quick Struts, I shouldn’t have to worry about compressing any springs or assembling the parts before installation.

So the choice is:

Struts & Springs


Quick Strut

It’s nice when life gives you these kinds of choices…

Eternal sin. Fo real?


photo by (terms) has a post about a challenge to have people commit the eternal sin and post it up on youtube.

Now, officially, I’m a Christian. Raised in a somewhat religious household. Attended a non-denominational Bible Church in Chillicothe, Illinois. Attended church weekly, sometimes by force. But I would like to think that I paid attention, learned good from bad and was lucky enough to attend a small town church with a gentle and sensible pastor with a relatively realistic view on life and religion. It is where I came to realize that religion isn’t always a hootin, hollerin glamour show. It is personal, and a choice that can not be forced on others. And that your actions will make more of an impact than your words ever will. So I like to think that I have a fairly informed view of the Christian religion.

That being said, I was unaware of an eternal sin, other than not accepting Christ as your savior…

So, intrigued with the subject, I had an interesting google talk exchange with my brother, a graduate in some ministerial capacity from Wheaton College (for whatever reason I can never remember exactly in what), who I usually default to when a religious question pops up.

He said in his life of attending church he can only recall one or two instances where the eternal sin is brought up. So rarely spoken of in church perhaps because pastors and ministers don’t want to explain to the Sunday attendees that the big sell has a caveat.

Yes God will forgive you of ALL sins no matter what. No questions asked, no matter how many times you sin, no matter what the sin is……..except for that one sin.

He pointed me towards a nice write-up by pastor John Piper from Bethlehem Baptist Church that gives a bit more of an interpretation of the unforgivable sin. It does appear to exist and for people who believe, apparently there is a line you can cross that puts you beyond repentance. Whether making a video and denying the existence of the Holy Spirit will put you over the line is probably debatable.

From John Piper’s article:

The unforgivable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an act of resistance which belittles the Holy Spirit so grievously that he withdraws for ever with his convicting power so that we are never able to repent and be forgiven.

Making the video may not cross the line, but posting it on youtube might just do the trick. Who knows…

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.


photo by c.p.storm (terms)

This is the first line of an absolutely great article titled “Unhappy Meals” from the New York Times. It covers almost all the bases about eating with regard to health and lifestyle.

The gist of the article is in the title. Eat food, not foodstuffs, not nutrient enriched chemical creations. A good rule of thumb is to imagine if your great great grandmother would recognize it as food. Keep your food intake in check, and watch the amount of meat you eat.

This article, while long, is a must read for anyone who struggles with their weight or needs a ground floor introduction on the right way to eat. Even for those who think they know what they are doing because they are following recommended dietary guidelines, this article will shed some light on who is influencing those guidelines and who is really benefiting in the end (hint: most likely not you).

So clear some time in your schedule, grab a carrot and click here to read the whole article.