Westbrook Metro

I've got another thing to be excited about. (I use "excited" in a way only I could use it.) I went to a meeting today about making changes to the schedule of the bus (#4) that I ride every day. I got to talk to some cool bus-supporting, bus-riding people, and of course give some input. And I came out of it with a job that needs doing: I need to convince Westbrook city councilors to spend just a little more money on the Metro than they do already. I hear that convincing people to spend is not always easy. . . perfect! Sounds like fun.

Metro Website


Cars and Erin McKeown

Last night I watched Cars (the Disney movie) and went to an Erin McKeown show at Space Gallery. I need to talk about both. Erin, I have to say, is awesome! She has a amazing voice, she's a great guitar player, she has stage presence, a sense of humor and a great band! I love her lyrics and her music. And seeing her at a small (but full) place like the Space is perfect. It was just an awesome show!
But yeah, Cars. . . I was surprised by the movie a bit. For being a movie completely about cars, it managed to be pretty successful at slamming "life in the fast lane." There was this whole part where it talked about the demise of towns on Route 66 after the building of the new interstate. It talked about the joy of travel and not just getting to your destination. To me it seemed to kind of be making a plug for "the new urbanism" while at the same time letting me see the "New Deal" in a whole new light.
Oh yeah, the movie was entertaining too.




That's right. . . humanism. Toph informed me awhile ago that I was probably a humanist. He sent me this link:
I have to say I basically agree with most of it. One thing that annoys me though: the site capitalizes "humanism." Enough said. It is a creed, and that annoys me, even if I agree with it. I have yet to read the Wikipedia article on it.


It was around 0 degrees when I left my house this morning. Thats the kind of temp that makes your nostrils freeze closed. The bus was warm though. . . and the Sappi Mill was in rare form!


New Book!

I am still in the introduction of this book: Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream, and already I am excited. I am going to be reading this book on my bus ride to and from work everyday, and so reading it straight through is not the goal. I am hoping to digest the whole thing at a casual, thoughtful, pace.
I have already been given two new acronyms that will be fun to use. One, I know I have heard before, but had forgotten about. That is NIMBY, not in my back-yard. And the new one is BANANA, build absolutely nothing near anything! I like that second one because it is clearly not being reasonable, and yet I totally understand it.
I just finished a paragraph that prompted me to get out the laptop and type. The final sentence of the paragraph was, "A higher standard of living has somehow failed to result in a better quality of life." Now in a lot of ways this sounds sort of like a hippyish, back to the earth way of thinking, and it just may be so. I find though that it is so clearly stated that it's a little bit scary. I am resisting the urge to talk about "how people should live," and I will just say this: We all have too much shit to keep track of and think about.


I think I want to work on a new term. The first version is "Sociophysical Conservative." Basically it would mean that the physical structure of older cities is better for society.

So what is the opposite of ego-centric? It would be "ego-_____." That's the format I want to see it in anyway.

Books that I think are cool:
Cradle to Cradle, I read it this summer. Great!
Suburban Nation..., Just started it. Essential.
The Regional City, read part of it last Spring, and just ordered it on-line. Very interesting.


Purging Physical Things

My thing for this month is cleaning out my room. Not that it is dirty. I am doing the kind of cleaning the only precedes moving, which I figure I will be doing within the next six months. Last week I determined that I was finally satisfied that my things in the garage can stay in the garage. I don't need them now, and I will need them later. Stay in the garage they will do. Today I am looking through the many rolls of paper that are the evidence that I attended architecture school. Tons of plans, diagrams, sections elevations etc, and most of it I can get rid of.
Here is what struck me while re-examining all this stuff though. Almost every project left me feeling unfulfilled at the end. There are very few (if any) projects at school the I really felt I had completed at the end. Most of them had loose ends, and many had gaping holes that I wished to fill. That leaves me wondering, if I never felt I had enough time to finish. . . if I always wanted to do more, was I being held back? Was I getting too involved in details and missing the whole point of the exercises? I can't help wondering from time to time what education does for people. How many people feel they don't quite fit with the program of learning? How many people never get a chance because they don't believe in or understand the system? I have been lucky in that my only "issue" with "the system" is that it never seems to probe issues enough. That doesn't inhibit my ability to do work. It just leaves me unsatisfied.


Our Driveway Christmas Eve, 2006

Years ago we did these in our driveway. . . luminaries I believe is the spelling. My sister thought we should do it again this year! My mom had all the supplies ready, and we spent a good part of Christmas Eve setting them up. It was completely worth it, as I hope you agree. I figure we'll keep doing now, and maybe for other holidays too. Enjoy!

Planning Board Ward 3, Westbrook, Maine

Hello everyone. I put this page here to allow people in Westbrook to post comments about Planning Board matters.
-Please realize that there is a good chance that I will have to disclose any comments made here to the Planning Board at the next meeting.

At this time I am not sure what to use this for, but I figured it would be a good idea to have this here for later use. It would allow people to leave comments that others could read publicly.

Holiday Aftermath

As all of my frequent readers must know, it has been a long time since I have posted anything at all. For this I apologize and will make up for it with an onslaught of information. Let's see. . . all kinds of stuff. . .

I got new shoes! I had always wanted golf shoes. . . but the spikes are not very "indoorish." When I saw these I fell in love, except they were too much. (money that is) I shortly discovered the magic of a really big sale. . . they're mine now

Updates to thesis stuff
I have been meaning to try to put my Sketchup thesis model on Google Warehouse for awhile. . . well it's done now! I also got a video of a walk-through of the model on to YouTube.
If you're interested in my thesis in general go HERE.

I'm on the Westbrook Planning Board!

This isn't an elected position, but one appointed by the Mayor. I am the representative for Ward Three. So far I have been to three meetings and I still have a lot to learn. I am never sure which issues are going to cause controversy, and which will take no time at all. as a result I often feel that I have prepared for the wrong things. Anyway, I have made a blog page for people to leave comments about the planning board, but I don't have any intention of using is yet. I'm also on the Westbrook website. . . a true celebrity.

This year we did Luminaries on Christmas Eve. I was very happy with how they came out. . . here are some pictures.

Some other Picture from this Fall:

Portland Shots

Again, I just want to apologize for how this entry is all business. I like to ramble too sometimes, but not this time I guess. Just two more things:

This girl's video of a Smiths song is really cool, and all the backdrops are in portland.

Lastly, I finally put a simple sort of resume on here. . . so I can refer people to it at some point in the future.