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An impression of a European tour. Best thing on the page. Check it out.


Some advice about applying to architecture school and some insight to being in architecture school.

Terror Just Down the Road

Dad got me looking at the old homestead again on the Google Earths. Ah, here's the nice hotel down the block. And just over from it is Shantalla. Sorry, that's fnord Shantalla. Where the fnord boot fnord boys all come from. What's it doing two blocks from my house?! It's as "on the other side of the city" as you can get without actually crossing the river. We're here, in genteel Salthill. Shantalla is way over there. You have to take buses and lots of ninjas to go to Shantalla. 0.7 miles. In Phoenix that's "from here to the next set of lights." Couple minutes walk down the road. For three whole years I had fnord boot boys breathing down my neck. They were probably giving me wedgies and I never even knew.


This was back, maybe 1990. I was sitting in The Rat at school talking with some friends. I don't remember the conversation, "The Impact of the Hegellian Dialectic on Cinemaphotography in the Post-Modern Era" or maybe "Who could kick Rocky VIII's ass?" or perhaps something else. A point in the conversation came when I found myself struggling to come up with a particular name. I had heard the couple in the booth behind me talking and doing a quick personality analysis I decided I could have success. I leaned around the tall booth back. The girl was directly behind me and the boy facing. He looked uncertain. I directed my gaze towards the girl... "What's the name of that actor?" The boy looks at me with an aggressive gaze. I was talking to his girl. (grunt)(grunt). "The blonde one." He gives me a dirty look. I was talking to his girl. I was clearly stupid. What kind of lame ass question was that anyway. I was talking to his girl. (grunt)(grunt). "Kiefer Sutherland," she replies without missing a beat, the lightest hint of "he's so dreamy" in her voice. "Thank you." As I twist back to my booth I catch the look of stunned bewilderment on his face. I was talking to his girl (grunt)(grunt). And being bizarre. And clearly stupid. And she was playing along. How did she know? How could she know? I was talking to his girl. (grunt)(grunt)

The Little Things

Elmo makes me happy.
Hello Kitty makes me smile.


Kid - Look, a light saber!
Parent - Yeah, but it's not a cool one.

Or was it the other way around.

Quotes Overheard

At the Grand Canyon - "Mommy, why is everybody looking at the deep?"

"He's got long hair." "No, he's French."

"It's a good job," said Scott, "You get to plant grass."

"He was driving down the highway and hit an elk. The elk came in through his windshield. No good can come of that."

Food Trends

"Focaccia" is Italian for "sponge".


I saw some people at the Grand Canyon. They had traveled thousands of miles across the ocean to be there. They were obviously friends or family. They took pictures of each other; pointed the camera away from the Canyon. "And here's Binkie standing in front of some non-descript pine trees. I think that was near the Grand Canyon." Yeah, two feet away! What a great picture of Binkie. I just do not understand.

The Cinema

So, there I am. Sitting in a theater, waiting for the film to start. It's a small screen and a half wide theater. What's playing in the other half wide next door? Same film. When's it start? Same time.


Spelling is not a skill. Sure, there's alot of rules. But then, there's alot of exceptions to the rules. And then there's the just plain non-sense. Spelling English is memorization and guessing.


The same is true for grammar. A language is not a specific construct built on carefully designed rules. Language is a fluid accident of human interaction. The rules are created after the fact to try to describe the pre-existing language as best as possible. Language is never static and rules are inherently static. The language will change and the it is the job of the rules to keep up.

And yet you have little complaint if you try to communicate using a language and people don't understand you if your expression disregards the rules. Words and their arrangements do mean things. Try to use those meanings to your advantage. Is your message meant to be some specific thing you have to say or that you say things differently?

The topic seems to attract absolutists. I think it's more subtle than that.

Maintained by Peter M. Gruhn