Category Archives: A Day In The Life…


I stumbled across a fascinating website about McMansions. I always thought McMansions were simply out of place huge houses built in affordable areas – like a rando 4000+ square foot house nestled in a neighborhood of ranches – but, oh my, they are so far beyond this. Take a stroll through It’s a hilarious in-depth analysis of the design flaws of McMansions. It’s also wildly educational.

Over the past week I’ve read the entire site. As I understand it, these audacious houses built without cohesive design that suffer from cancerous extensions/additions in many sense feel like unbridled hubris. There are fitting parallels everywhere

  1. The dude who goes to the gym and never works his legs
  2. Most people who ‘play’ guitar in college
  3. Five minute wikipedia experts

But it is even more than a prideful affront (turrets, columns, fake facades) with nothing behind it.

The website comments on how many of these houses are designed from the inside out; that the smallest of room details end up dictating the external appearance of the home. Designing with a focus on the interior is great – but this website’s author suggests that to do so at the expense of the external visage of the house is a massive error. It’s like the architect (or owner?) has a really short attention span. The house is done! WAIT! I want to squeeze in an office next to the master bedroom. OH! but I like big windows! Let’s make this one 30 feet tall! CATHEDRAL CEILINGS EVERYWHERE!

Check out the site, it’s amazing. Try this post to start.


Isn’t it strange how newscasters seem to talk in acutely exaggerated tones? A normal phrase turns into a bizarre collection of accents, stresses, and pauses:

“a section of main street IS ::with eyebrows:: back open for the first time since this morning’s accident but investigators still have A LOT ::dramatic pause:: to figure out.”

This research article on speech suggests “listeners interpret higher peaks associated with a mentioned item as conveying greater informational prominence.”

So it’s a trick to insinuate urgency and distinction even when the statements are actually boring and uninteresting? I can believe that.

Unfortunately, now that I hear it – I can’t stop hearing it.



I was WAY older than I should have been when I learned that an “engineer” didn’t exclusively mean someone who drove trains for a living. Curiously, in the field of trains there’s a second synonym profession title: a conductor. There’s also dual meaning between train like a locomotive and train like to teach.

There’s gotta be some clever joke where an engineer and a conductor walk into a train car… but I’ve only had one cup of coffee today and can’t come up with anything clever enough.

Today’s Five Links

Here we go!

  1. RadioLab’s “Playing God” – A painful but fascinating look at the complexities behind triage – Length 1 hour
  2. Do your Job – A documentary on the Patriot’s 2014-15 season. I love witnessing the unseen professionalism behind a passion. This documentary did a great job at opening my eyes to the strategy and thought behind what, to the uninitiatied, looks fairly straightforward. Length 43 minutes
  3. Making a Guitar – More unseen professionalism behind a passion (From Sander) Length 1 hour
  4. Tsukamoto Isao – a guitarist with a unique raw style (from Kevin O) Length 4.5 minutes
  5. Brass band multitasker – Bizarre short video of a brass slapstick band (from Dad D) Length 3 minutes


The most frustrating thing about watching football: Advertisements.

The second most frustrating thing about watching football: When there’s a fumble and all the members of both teams confidently point their arms as if they had recovered the ball, long before the pile of bodies has been deconstructed.

Although I suppose it’s not that different from when I’m bowling and despite the pending fall of my ball into the gutter, I desperately twist and flail my body to will some miraculous alternative.

Baby books and the seven deadly sins

There does seem to be a strange correlation between Eric Carle baby books and the seven deadly sins. Let’s take a look:

The Grouchy Ladybug – Wrath

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Gluttony

“Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth – Sloth

The Greedy Python – Greed

The Tiny Seed – Pride

The Very Lonely Firefly/The Mixed-Up Chameleon – Envy

The Very Busy Spider – Lust

Actually, I think the Very Busy Spider might be about a hardworking spider that builds a beautiful web. But the other comparisons are pretty dead on.


I’ve started using Handkerchiefs. Apart from the trivial uniqueness surrounding their fairly rare “DK” letter combination*, Handkerchiefs provide a service that is vastly underappreciated.

Here’s what you need to know.

  1. Handkerchiefs are not gross – there are some simple but clever folding patterns which allow 30+ clean surfaces (62 if you’re conservative) for nose blowing while still maintaining a clean outside so that your pocket doesn’t get gross.
  2. Handkerchiefs are affordable and environmentally sound – most pocket tissues contain 10 tissues. They run about $0.50 a pack. A $5 handkerchief more than pays itself back with one full usage of 60 blows – with 0% of the trash!
  3. Handkerchiefs are SOFT – much less harsh on your nose than tissues (except maybe the lotion tissues, those things are mint)
  4. Handkerchiefs are convenient – I’ve got into the habit of keeping one in my back pocket at all times. Color me prepared.
  5. Handkerchiefs are stylish – they don’t have to be white! But let’s not confuse handkerchiefs and pocket squares. Handkerchiefs are cotton – Pocket squares are silk

*Vodka, Roadkill, Grandkids… maybe one or two others?


Order of Operation

Men are suppose to put their pants on last.

I have a problem with this because pants are the foundation of my clothing ensemble.  The advantage to putting your pants on after your shirt is that you don’t have to unbutton the pants you just buttoned to tuck in your shirt. Same with socks. If your socks go on before your pants you never encounter the embarrassing condition of a pant leg mistakenly tucked into a sock (OH THE HORROR.)

For years I have been trying to make this switch and I have been wholly unsuccessful. If I’m not completely cognizant with each morning action, I find myself rolling my eyes as I unbutton my pants so I can properly tuck in my shirt.


Shaun pointed me towards who sell Shirttail garters. YES. Shirttail garters are clever straps which clips to your shirt’s tails and elasticifies them to the tops of your socks all under the shroud of your pants legs. It keeps your shirt tucked nicely and your socks at attention throughout an active day.

And more than just that, it will force me to put my pants on last.

I ordered one to give it a shot. I’m eager to see how it all works out.