Green Rascal Design


I love blogs 2


I learned something interesting yesterday from a friend about blogging with respect to online searchability. It seems blogs are easy to find because of their regularly changing content. Who knew! (seems like this is something my friend should have informed me of earlier!) Also, my use of keywords needs work apparently because they are all the rage when it comes to Google finding you.

Then today I got my regularly scheduled Legalzoom email, and one of the featured articles was Blogging and Intellectual Property Rights. It was very interesting, and I encourage any bloggers watching to check it out.

That's about all for today. There are too many things on the docket right now: ongoing CAD drafting work, new graphics projects and general office upkeep are all weighing heavily.
I've only been reading blogs for a short time. Less than a year has gone by since getting my Google Reader and starting this little missive. I like reading most blogs, and I have a hard time not clicking the RSS feed button, so naturally there tends to be a LOT to read after a nice weekend away from the computer.

Yes, I know I should have been working over the weekend. What can I say? It was necessary to get away. The drawings will get done either today or tomorrow.

Anyway, I was just reading 4 days worth of Ed Tseng's blog. I can't say enough good stuff about Ed and his daily motivational messages. Anyone who needs a pick-me-up should tune in.

Likewise, Steve Smolinsky's Conversation on Networking is awesome. He provides that extra little push on business days.

When I'm in the mood for something different, I check out The Geek Whisperer by David Spira. His reviews of various things that I know nothing about are not only entertaining but also enlightening.

These are in addition to the myriad of architecture and design blogs (currently there are 9 of them) that I have followed lo these many months. I can't really keep up with all of them, but I also can't bear to part with the ones I have left.

I also have a hard time deleting friends I don't really know on Facebook.

The only problem I have been pondering with respect to all of these blogs is that perhaps the architecture and design is too big a slice of the pie. Wouldn't it be better to branch out and connect with more DIFFERENT types of people. I think this idea popped into my head after reading the 2 or 3 pages of a book that one of the aforementioned architects posted a blog reply to. The author of the book said all her friends were architects! Don't get me wrong, I love hanging out with architects. It's just hard to sell yourself as an "architectural designer" when you're always hanging around other architects.

So who else should I be following?

buildin' stuff


I'm planning on building something like these shelves from the Brick House. My version is going to be somewhat less interesting, and much more utilitarian, but I'm still really excited. They're going in the kitchen, which is a huge mess right now. I'll be very happy to get some of the junk up off the floor/table/counter top and onto some real storage. It's going to be tight, and I'll have to clip off one corner of all the shelves on the west side of the room to minimize the risk of getting bruises by the door.

At the same time I'm building my network this week. I was sad that the AEC meetup scheduled for last night was postponed for 2 weeks. However, other things continue. My friend started his teaching career at Philly U this week - all because I needed a guest critic for my class's final presentations. I'm also rockin' the Power Lunch Project this week. I got all kinds of pointers and ideas for business resources today, too!

What are you building right now?

Lets build up the end of January and keep the momentum going!
I often wonder what it means to be creative. The Artists's Way talks about creativity like it is any other skill. You have to practice often to be a successful creative. But I don't have that luxury, so am I less creative now than when I was back in architecture school? I certainly feel less intelligent now since I have been out of practice, but I don't really feel less creative. Perhaps creativity is like riding a bike in that you can pick it back up easily any time.

I don't think creativity has much to do with talent. Pure imagination is really all it takes. Sure, if you MAKE things that you imagine often enough you will probably gain a lot of skill in the art of CREATION. I'm not really in the business of defining creativity, though. All I'm saying is that I have all kinds of creative ideas on how to make my own life and surroundings better, and I'm not bothered by the fact that at this time I'm not able to realize my own vision. (Well, okay I am slightly bummed out.)

Coming up with ways to teach oneself new things is a great way to be creative without actually making anything. Perhaps we do the world a disservice if we have creative ideas and don't at least write them down. However, another good question worth pondering is the possibility that what you've come up with is even NEW. If you really want to know, then you have to do all kinds of research into history and patents and trademarks. By the time all that is done I don't think I'd feel very creative anymore. This is why I don't trouble myself with the denotation of what creativity is.

Everyone has some amount of creativity within themselves. Whether one feels the need to follow their imaginations is probably the way I would determine when to call a person creative or not. Your opinion of yourself causes me to have a certain opinion of you, and if you identify yourself as a creative person in some manner then I will support your self-perception by mirroring it with my own perception that you are a creative person. So I suppose that would get into psychology and philosophy real fast.

Even though I might not have the time to paint regularly these days, I still ask for new canvases for Christmas, so I guess I'm still a creative person! I might not be very good at it, but oh well. I can design and draw a beautiful trellis, but the actual constructed result might not be quite up to par. (That's just my poor carpentry skills, and thank goodness too! I should hope nobody is judging me based on my carpentry skills.) It was still a good creative idea.

I hope I've talked creatively about creativity. Even though I might be out of practice, this was a nice way to get back into the Blogoff! If you want to read more opinions about creativity, then check out the following link:

busy busy


In case you've ever wondered what a molting chicken looks like, here is Nutmeg.
I attended the first Princeton LEEEP event last night. (I hope I got enough Es.) It was as good as the regular Princeton Regional Chamber business after business events. The only difference was that the average age of the attendees was a bit younger. And there was a lot of pop at the beverage table. Anyway, I got a copy of the schedule they put together for the year, and hopefully I'll have a chance to go to more of their events.

I did a small amount of graphic work this week, and continue to work on drawings for my mentor. I'm very glad that somebody is doing well at the moment!

Yet another Friday is upon me, and where did the time go? Oh yeah, shoveling. weeeee! And I've been reading code books a lot since the new year. Right now I'm engrossed in the International Building Code and Commentary, volume 1.

Oh, and I have a small amount of basil and mint growing on the windowsill in the kitchen, and we have mites all over them. So it's time to go spray neem oil all over and hope for the best. mmm tasty.

That's my super linky post for the week. Have a good weekend.

The Un-fluffables


Sugar and Nutmeg are so bald that I can't really call them fluffy right now. It is really sad!

Today I had a little time to go hang out with the fluffies. They haven't been outside much since the last snowfall. I keep putting seeds and scratch grains out to lure them out of their house, but they're wise to this game. The most adventurous chicken is Pepper because she is completely over her molt. Cinnamon is doing okay. Sugar is a crabby little thing. But Nutmeg, oh man, she barely even comes down from the roost. If I pick her up by the feet and set her on my lap, then she's okay with being outside. Hopefully she's eating those seeds when I'm not looking, and her feathers will start to come in soon. Then I can bring her in and help her preen like when Cinnamon was looking all cold and pathetic.

I feel like I haven't been spending enough time with the chickens. Since there are only 4 of them now it's harder for them to stay warm and active. They'll be okay, but it is always a nice pick-me-up to go see them.

Time to get back to work! Have a good evening.

Happy Friday!


Is it Friday? Oh man! It's the first Friday of the new year!

I have spent my morning thus far getting through the remainder of my RSS feed backlog. All I have left is a few businessy posts to read and two podcasts by DJ Aramis to listen to. (make sure the sound is on low unless you want a heart attack)

The snow we got this morning means the chickens refuse to come out of their house. This week Nutmeg decided to return to molting, and there are once again little brown feathers everywhere. So the only completely normal acting fluff is Pepper. Thank goodness for that! I'm glad I have at least one chicken I can pick up and hold without it being traumatic. She's still recovering from her episode of bumblefoot over the summer, so I think she likes being held because it relieves the pressure on her scab. Anywhoo, it's a quiet day out in the yard.

I had some thoughts recently about the nature of business here stemming from reading some posts in my overflowing RSS. It seems there has been a lot of introspection going on amongst my architect friends. I'm sure it's normal, but last year at this time I was completely unaware - unconnected from all these ideas. This year is starting out so differently than last!

Today I have a lot of errands to run, and there is also some drawing work to do, so I better get back to work!

Have a good weekend, and once again happy new year!

random sharing


This blog article about Potential Futures for Design Practice has been sitting open in my firefox since yesterday... BLDG BLOG featured it some days ago, and while I was attempting to cull through my backlog of reading something about it piqued my interest. This merits saving and sharing with students at some point, and I figured I'd also post a link here for anybody like myself, who has been living under a rock during the holidays. Enjoy.

Happy New Year


It's the first day back to the grind after all the holiday shenanigans. Let me tell you, I'm looking forward to some normalcy.

I'm still working on some drawings for Brian Billings. Plus, there are some competitions I want to work on now. With studying for my tests, it's already going to be a madhouse here.

We briefly talked about joining one of three professional networking groups in the area, but I'm not sure I'm all that interested since there is so much going on. Usually when considering such questions I follow my gut, but in this instance my gut doesn't know what it wants to do. Meeting once a week with the same people would be really good for developing relationships. But how can I possibly dedicate that time for the rest of the year to networking? I mean, it's very INFLEXIBLE. How do I know that in the fall my teaching schedule won't revert back to being incompatible with whatever group I join? I've already missed 2/3 of my TPLP schedule!

The chickens got through the holidays okay. Sugar is right in the middle of her molt now. We can't even pick her up because the feathers keep on falling out. Cinnamon is nearly done replacing all her feathers. She's very dusty but much warmer these days. Nutmeg seems to have stopped molting, and she continues to lay an egg every other day. Pepper gets most of my attention now because she's so cute and fluffy, and she's a very good hand warmer.

I wrote a story about our first year and change of chicken-keeping for Grid magazine. I don't know if they will like it, but it didn't hurt to write the thing. I was very embarrassed that I missed the deadline due to my mother being in town and getting my car back from the body shop finally. I was supposed to submit my story before Christmas! Sigh. It's okay. It's not like my goal in life is to be a writer. I just like to write. I don't have any delusions that somebody might actually pay me to do it.

That's all for now.
Hopefully getting back into the swing of things will be easy for us all.
Take care and see you later.