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Yesterday was a great day in Tucson from my point of view. What made it so great? Well, first it is the little things. I keep a pretty low bar, so it doesn’t take much. But the greatness came from the temperature being 74 degrees while driving my 2001 Miata home with the top down. This is my second convertible, if you have never owned one… well it is hard to explain. On my drive home, enjoying the wind in my hair and sun on my face I started thinking about my latest Web Browser. This is my latest switch over the past 25 years.

An Organized Family

The title requires a little understanding of Revit. I note this because the as far as I can tell the term is unique to Revit. ArchiCAD uses term Components & GDL. Vectorworks calls them Plug-In-Object (PIO). I can keep dissecting the term but for now, I wanted to focus on the software I utilize for my production. In the days of CAD we had Blocks. These were small drawings that could repeat the graphical part of a drawing over and over while holding different attributes of information. 

Having BIM Vision

Growing up, I enjoyed art. My mom was an artist and I’m blessed that she passed on the skill to me. I’ve been drafting, painting and sketching for as long as I can remember. Around the age of 13 I knew I wanted to be an Architect. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I knew it was about taking a vision and putting it to paper. I really enjoyed doing the technical drawings in 7th grade and for Christmas, I got my first drafting set. It included a small drafting board, Tee-square, 2 triangles, French curve and few pencils. I still have the French curve and probably should frame it. A few years ago, I put together my first presentation on Digital Art. 

Having Vision

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the accessible route. I included one of my favorite internet photos of the stair with a ramp added to it. Most of the time when we think about accessibility, a wheelchair is typically envisioned. While this an easy to grasp concept, the ADA is more than just the wheelchair. It accounts for all aspects of accessibility. This includes the blind, those on crutches and other limited mobility challenges.

A year, 2020

I was taking this past week off from work, projects and almost everything that used my time. However, I did set time aside for my family and video games. This has been a very relaxing week, I even stayed off the computer for the most part. My daughter and I have been tackling some classic games and discovering new ones. I wanted to reflect on a few different levels as to what has transpired over the past 365 days. There was a lot that happened besides the COVID-19 pandemic. 

a one and a two and a three

As I was thinking about Sheet Numbering, I starting strolling back through memory lane. I have some vague memories about sheet numbering from the 80’s. With CAD bringing a level of organization and limits to a file name in DOS, consistent numbering became more important at retrieval of the file. I wrote my own standards back in 1991. I adapted these as times and projects changed. Finally, in 2003, I drank the Kool-Aid and adopted to the National CAD Standards (NCS).

The Non-Ramp

Last week I outlined several ideas for up-and-coming blog post. This is the first one on Accessibility and getting myself back on track to writing the blog. Texas at the turn of the millennium opened up their Registered Accessibility program to non-government employees of TDLR. At this point the ADA and Texas Accessibly Standards were 8 & 6 years old respectively. It took me a couple of years, but in 2004, I decided to go to the Texas Accessibility Academy and get registered. 

Trusted Advisor Part II

Last year I wrote about the Trusted Advisor and the continuing affect it has had on my carrier. Take a look at the blog post from May 2019. This is a blog post to spark some interest and start the next 30 days of rolling out the CSINext Trusted Advisor Network. Or also in our inner circle, the TAN Line. Continue to watch this space for for details and hopefully we can start 2021 with a bang. Until next week, cheers!

…and now for something completely different.
In his lifetime an average person would walk as much as circumferencing the world five times.

Ideas for the next Decade

The year 2021 is just around the corner. I know there are a bunch of us that just want to wish the year 2020 away. The reality is it here and it will always be a part of history that we have survived. The sad news is there are a lot of us who did not get to see the new year. I wish to take a silent moment to remember those. 

The Update

All things COVID has change how we do things. I left off last April that our office had started a stay at home. I like to think of it as leveraging the 21st century and taking productivity to the next level. I plan to expand on the past 7 months, but for now some mini bullet point updates.

Social Distance

Easter has come and gone. While most families focus on Christmas and Thanksgiving. This has always been a special time for my family to get together. This year, we will be doing a big smoke out of ribs and steaks on the 4th of July. We are not going to pass up a time to be together. Granted, it will be warm in Tucson in July. But it is not about the weather, it is about the company. The Coronavirus has created a new normal, but family will always come first. By now everyone is aware social distancing and self-quarantine.

Practice Polite Protection

Another service announcement from your Artichoke… Social Distancing is all the rage. Well, at least almost all of us are in the middle of it. I truly believe that every person wants this ‘new normal’ to end and get back to the old normal. While the numbers continue to climb in cases and unfortunately deaths, we need to maintain some of the best actions against this pandemic known as the coronavirus or COVID-19.

Be Safe

With all of the Social Distancing. While most are following the recommendations to self-isolate for 15 days to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) there are those that this is not an option. If still are one of those who is driving to work, you may have noticed the roads are pretty empty. I’m one of the few that has not been impacted by the need to stay home. Our office is running at 50% and we are maintaining really smart practices.

The Break

I woke up today and realized it is September. My absence started out as a Coffee Break. Then a Mini Break. Followed by the Summer Break. Well, Fall is around the corner, it is time to get away from the Break and start Blogging again. I haven’t been idle; I was just changing some of my priorities and I don’t know why I let the Blog fall to the wayside.


No, my keyboard did not have melt down. It is old English meaning the day of the Anglo-Saxon goddess Fríge. But we state it today as "It's Friday!" Well, not really. But we get excited about the "Friday" if you work a typical job. I'm taking a little diversion from my blog and focusing on a random thought (get use to it, it won't be the last time). The days of the week have an interesting history. At one point the Roman calendar had 8 days a week. Which, I would be OK with if we had a 3-day weekend. But in the US, we would probably have a 6-day work week, not so good.

How much is that doggy in the window?

Most of my work in architecture is new projects, ground up construction. In my previous life, I did a fair amount of remodel work. With government work, typically I have to pull together a cost estimate during the design. There are several types of cost estimates I do. Even when contracts under way, the government wants a general idea if a change from the contractor is fair and reasonable. Last week I was working on a change order presented by the contractor which was caused by an unforeseen condition.

The Erector Set

I have worked with a lot of really good contractors. I can't finish the clients vision without the contractor. I recognize that while I design project, that the contractor is a critical part of the project team. Typically, I always start every project with the approach of partnering. The first partner in any project is the client. While you may think the last partner in a successful project is the contractor, it is still the client. It is never about how you start a project, but how it finishes.

The Dream Project

I really enjoy looking at Architecture. That is probably a good thing since I spent most of my life knee deep in it. Actually, it more like neck deep. When I get my new Architecture magazines, I look at the pictures (unlike other magazines where I read the articles). There is always something inspiring about them. I've done some projects, that I feel is really good about, I'm just not egotistical and work in creating the clients vision.

Sketching the Sketch

I started off on the drafting board during my first job in 1983. About 4 years later our office received its first CAD system called RUCAPS. It was a hybrid of CAD and todays BIM. The system was so complicated, that the office had to hire one of the programmers from Seattle just to make the $100,000 investment worthwhile. I've been working on the computer since 1984 and started on some early systems, including RUCAPS. But my real move to CAD happened in 1988 with AutoCAD.

The Artichoke Life

Shortly after I received my Architectural license, my daughter made a joke and called me an Artichoke. I know where she picked it up, but it was funny, and I still refer to it today. While being an Architect is a serious business, I always try to interject some humor throughout the day. I've been a passionate member of CSI for almost 20 years now and dedicated to CSINext since its founding in 2009. I've invited every member of the CSINext chapter to write a Blog for the website and it occurred to me that I should being the same.