Category Archives: Work

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.

High tension job


And I thought my morning commute sucked.

Try to remember showing up on your first day of work, and your boss starts to explain what you will be doing that day. He probably didn’t say anything about a riding on the outside of a helicopter, remembering to discharge your static electricity (or else), or crab walking on high tension power lines 200 feet above ground.

The Time Is Nigh!

I have a Architectural Registration Exam scheduled for Friday the 27th. I decided to take General Structures. I would consider it to be one of the harder tests, from my point of view.

Studying is a bit of a chore when the only thing you want to do when you get home from work is spend time with your family. But I had to schedule it. I have to start taking tests. I am subject to the rolling clock, which means i have to retake tests if I haven’t passed all of them within five years. Plus they are updating the test format to ARE 4.0. The newer tests are multiple choice / fill in the blank / vignettes all mixed together whereas the current tests are either multiple choice OR vignettes.

I just need to buckle down, schedule and study. I may fail a couple, but I can’t pass them if I don’t take them.

Note to self: STUDY

book binding

photo by vlasta2 (terms)

So I am almost a licensed Architect. I am so close. School’s done, I’ve finished the Intern Development Program, my records have been transferred to NCARB and I have even passed one test.

This means I have eight more Architectural Registration Exams to take and pass within the next 4 years. It’s not a terribly difficult task, it’s just daunting.

I have been cruising through some archiflash cards while commuting lately, but no hardcore committal studying. I think I will go ahead and register for my next test. Nothing seems to motivate more than a deadline and money on the table.

Oh, and whats the deal with all this motivation I am feeling lately?

Download, convert & sync videos to your iPod – without touching your computer


I think the title says it all, but in case you hate titles and skip right to the meat of these posts; this write-up is going to walk you through getting videos from the internets automatically (for those without a DVR that lets you keep your vids), convert them to an ipod compatible file (automatically), then add the new video files to iTunes (again automatically) to sync with your ipod the next time you plug it in.

Once you have this set up and running, the only thing you have to do is plug in your ipod and it will sync your new videos. It’s like the “set it and forget it” for ipod videos.

Continue reading

Hackberry, not Blackberry, using Gmail & any cel phone


So I was helping a friend at work try and set up his new cel phone to send emails and I got to thinking about how losers (like me) that don’t have fancy pda phones can get important email pushed to them.

The key is that most cel phones on major networks have a built in capability to receive emails, so everyone who has a phone has a mobile email address (i think). Take my provider, Cingular, for example; you can send a short text message to anyone on the cingular network by entering their phone number i.e.

The way I have it working is that Gmail forwards email to my phone’s email address. But I don’t want gmail to send every email I get to my phone, so I set up an email filter in Gmail.


Under the ‘create a filter’ section of Gmail, type a word in the ‘Has the words’ section. Make it something relevant, but somewhat uncommon, so you don’t gut accidental forwards to your phone.


Click on ‘Next Step’ and check the box next to ‘Forward it to:’ and type in your phones email address.


Now all you have to do is tell anyone you want to be able to email you in important situations to include that word in their subject or email body. Tada! Somewhat instant round-a-bout gmail mobile email push thing.

Great for:

  • Send quick address info
  • Brief turn by turn directions
  • A phone number
  • Bank account updates (you will need to set up your online bank account to notify you when your balance drops dangerously low)
  • Grocery lists (an ongoing obsession of mine)

A small caveat regarding this method, mobile text messages are restricted in length, so tell yer peeps to keep it short, and to remove any lengthy signatures or those pesky legal disclaimers, otherwise you will receive the entire email in a series of chopped messages.

UPDATE: For those interested in trying this out, you can try to find your phone’s email address here. It looks like each provider has multiple email setups, so i would try emailing your phone until it buzzes. Also, when trying out different email addresses for my phone, some arrived with better formatting than others. i.e. arrives in a better layout than Ymmv

Melitta Teapot

Melitta Teapot

Isn’t this the sweetest teapot you have ever seen? (and yes it is real, no CG here)

If you have ever used an appliction that does 3D renderings like 3ds Max then this teapot is pretty familiar to you. It is known as the Utah Teapot or Newell Teapot and was originally created as a benchmark to test out different rendering engines.

If you are not familiar with it, you still might have seen it if you were looking for it. The 3D version has made cameo appearances in Toy Story and Monsters, Inc.

The actual teapot used to create the original 3d model now resides in the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. I got mine off ebay, w00t!

And here is an example of the standard object built in to 3ds Max:

Newell Teapot

Setting up a grocery list

grocery list

Here’s the deal. I don’t really work close to home, the drive can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half depending. So if I need to run any errands, I like to do them before I get home. Often times grocery shopping is one of these errands, but the problem is that I am not in the habit of carrying the grocery list around, mostly because it stays in the kitchen so things can be added as they run out. I have been racking my brain, trying to think of an easy way for my wife and myself to add to a central list that can be accessed almost anywhere.

What I came up with is a Grocery List website for us. It’s basically a SQL database with a PHP front end, very simple to set up, very simple to use. There is a box to type in the quantity, a drop down to select common items and an empty box to type any items not in the drop down.

To run this setup you need a web hosting service that lets you create your own SQL databases. The setup I am using is basically a hacked up version of Todo List borrowed from

I personally barely know anything about PHP or SQL for that matter, and I am struggling to find a way to add a ‘Clear Entire List’ function. So if you are interesting in adding something like this to your own website, I can share my edited php files, but you might want to go to and give him a shout too.

If you are interested in using this script, my altered files are available for download here