Our Front Courtyard

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We built a little court yard on the front of our house. The backyard has a concrete patio and looks out upon a pond. We love sitting there and watching the geese and ducks, but certain times of the day the sun is too strong. We have small trees as this is a new neighborhood. So having a place on the opposite side of the house is a nice option for us.

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Small Homes and Cottages

http://www.housedecoratingidea.com/10-small-house-plans-under-1000-sq-feet-ideas.html/small-cottage-plans

Recently I’ve been looking at small home and cottage designs. My focus has been on 1,000 to 1,200 SF designs.  I’m thinking of how we live now, and with what we could be content. These designs are smaller than my wife and I would like to live most probably, but they may be a way to look at the future, both for us and for many other people.

Here are some ideas from Kerala Home Plans.

My view is that having too much stuff is starting to be wasteful of our resources as a people and individually. Why do we need so much? We don’t actually use most of it. With new flat screen TV’s, WiFi networks, and smaller computer devises, we need less and less space. Also, our family sizes are getting smaller, so we need fewer rooms.

I look at these houses as being a good idea for a builder. They might make sense as a business, creating differentiation from the big builders.

Can people be content with less?

Recently I’ve been looking at small home and cottage designs. My focus has been on 1,000 to 1,200 SF designs.  I’m thinking of how we live now, and with what we could be content. These designs are smaller than my wife and I would like to live most probably, but they may be a way to look at the future, both for us and for many other people.

Here are some ideas from Kerala Home Plans.

Also, Ross Chapin Design has some great ideas. Here is that site.

My view is that having too much stuff is starting to be wasteful of our resources as a people and individually. Why do we need so much? We don’t actually use most of it. With new flat screen TV’s, WiFi networks, and smaller computer devises, we need less and less space. Also, our family sizes are getting smaller, so we need fewer rooms.

I look at these houses as being a good idea for a builder. They might make sense as a business, creating differentiation from the big builders.

Can people be content with less?

VW Transporters – (VW Buses)

A great post about VW transporters. Lots of photos. I wanted one of these when I was younger. I had three different VW bugs, but never a VW Bus (transporter I guess it is called). A good post by Digitaldtour. Recommended.

digitaldtour

Last Saturday morning saw a major departure from my usual weekend routine. On this particular morning, I found myself heading south down the 605 freeway towards Long Beach, to check out the VW type II transporter show titled “The 2012 O.C.T.O Show”. The event was hosted by the Orange County Transporter Organization, staged in the parking lot at Long Beach Veterans Memorial Stadium, as a vehicle display and swap meet. For anyone with an interest in Volkswagen type II transporters (produced from 1949 through 1967), these are the ideal type of event to attend. Then imagine finding yourself surrounded by a parking lot full of nothing but vintage type II  buses; with each new row encountered, there existed the possibility of coming face to face with an even more amazing bus than the last…

VW type II transporters _Purple & white bus / nose to tail, front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporters  _ Lime green and white bus side view_The 2012 O.C.T.O show_June 9, 2012

And in the middle of it all was the events featured “Barn-Door display”, as seen below

VW type II transporter _Barndoor display _red & black lowered bus, 3/4 front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporters _Barndoor display _hubcap reflection_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter _Barndoor display _red & black lowered bus, 3/4 side view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporters _Barndoor display _a trio of buses, 3/4 front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

No…

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Storytelling

A few nights ago the News Hour on PBS had a story about a storyteller. Here is someone who has spent his life simply telling stories as a way of life. I can’t imagine how he earned enough to live. I do know that part of his storytelling was writing. He has a book out now. So perhaps that is telling.

But my thoughts go to the idea that storytelling is at least as valuable as the concept of craft in writing. If I polish my craft and become a writer of words and sentences that don’t convey any meaning into a persons life, then I’ve accomplished nothing.

It’s true that craft is important, but having the ability to convey a story is at least half of the equation.

So, I need to start thinking more about what stories matter and how to tell them properly, so that the reader or listener is taken in and gets comfortable being told the events of the story.

The Digital Future

I’ve been reading this morning about ‘the cloud’ and the future of computing. Those sort of stories have been part of the computer industry for decades. I remember expressing my awe with regard to technology like the CD/R and the DVD. I remember telling my wife about the hugh amount of data that could be stored on each disk etc. The Library of Congress was used as a comparison many a time.

But for all of that, I never envisioned the world as it has become. A computer world full of video and streaming entertainment. That wasn’t where my head was at in those days when I was creating databases for static text and numeric data. The concept of using video was undoubtedly described, but I wasn’t hearing or seeing that in my mind’s eye. All I could see was more of what I was doing at the time. My limited vision was pronounced in retrospect.
It’s doubtful then that I have a grasp on the way of the future now. I see what the digital universe has become and read and watch the commentary about where we are going, but do I truly understand it. Probably not. Nevertheless, I will take a stab at expressing my understanding and vision.
There seems to be a number of ways to advance the digital life. There are macro and micro solutions. The cloud for example is a macro development. It will affect us all, and is a background to everything. Stuff like Apple’s assistant and voice commands are of a micro sort. They are a one person at a time change in how we work. That doesn’t mean that the change wrought is minor. On the contrary, voice commands may in some way push us into a new interface that relies far less upon a keyboard or tapping out commands on a touch surface. Potentially some combination of touch and vocalization may develop and prevail.
And what sorts of devices will all this vocalization be addressing? Will they almost disappear? Do the devises need to be with us? What about something like a bluetooth headset and a rolled up or folded up screen for visualization when needed. That is when the voice in your ear, or head, isn’t giving you enough information to satisfy your need. Not a tablet – rather something about as thick as heavy cardboard and not much different in weight. How big do you want it to be – your choice. The processing power needn’t be in your hand, only the tools to access it.
A bigger question for the future is how we manage our relationships to these new devises and the world of never to be erased data that will exist. The sins of your past will never be erased. The scores you post in school will be there for future employers. Privacy will not be what we’ve known in generations past. Even now that’s true. In the future society will need to define better ways to handle knowing perhaps too much about everyone.