When printed books first became popular, thanks to Gutenberg’s press, you saw this great expansion of eloquence and experimentation. All of which came out of the fact that here was a technology that encouraged people to read deeply, with great concentration and focus. And as we move to the new technology of the screen … it has a very different effect, an almost opposite effect, and you will see a retreat from the sophistication and eloquence that characterized the printed page.

Nicholas Carr in The Atlantic, quoted in the story How E-Books Will Change Reading And Writing : NPR (via obsoletethebook)

The Los Angeles Convention Center.  While I was there to learn about technology, I was most impressed with the enormous and stirring naturalization ceremony underway.  It was a keen reminder of how desirable our nation remains, despite its challenges.  It also brought to mind the experience of my forbears over a century ago.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.


Henceforward every action will be re-echoed by many unforeseen interests on all sides; it will produce a chain of immediate events- confused reverberations in a closed space. The effect of effects, which were formerly imperceptible or negligible in relation to the length of a human life and to the radius of action of any human power, are now felt almost instantly at any distance; they return immediately to their causes, and only die away in the unpredictable. The expectations of the predictor are always disappointed, and that in a matter of months or a very few years.

Paul Valéry, 1931 (via)

The design process is based on a constant interplay of feelings and reason. The feelings, preferences, longings, and desires that emerge and demand to be given a form must be controlled by critical powers of reasoning, but it is our feelings that tell us whether abstract considerations really ring true. To a large degree, designing is based on understanding and establishing systems of order. Yet I believe that the essential substance of the architecture we seek proceeds from feeling and insight. Precious moments of intuition result from patient work. With the sudden emergence of an inner image, a new line in a drawing, the whole design changes and is newly formulated within a fraction of a second.

Peter Zumthor, Thinking Architecture

Yosemite Annual Migration 2010 & Airstream Maiden Voyage

Maiden Voyage
Maiden Voyage, 2010.

This year’s annual migration to Yosemite was an eventful one, as the maiden voyage of our “new” vintage Airstream was not without complication. Thanks to Robert of All American Mobile RV Repair in Fresno for saving the day–and for the reminder of what a small world we live in. As it turns out, he got his start working for the very dealership in Washington State that sold our Airstream back in the 1970’s. There’s a good chance this wasn’t the first time he’d seen it!

We had a wonderful time visiting with old friends and taking family bike rides in the valley (the only way to go during holiday gridlock, yes gridlock). There was even time for some fly casting on the Merced and some exquisite (34 year old, single cask) single malt from a private label in Scotland.