Year in Review – LOAA | My Favorite Posts

Bob Borson —  December 30, 2010 — 8 Comments

These are posts that I have written that I am really proud of – ones that I will admit that I have gone back and reread for my own amusement or pleasure many times. Despite the fact that I love them, they haven’t been crowd favorites for one reason or another – something that I am only now realizing coming to terms with. Most of the things I have prepared or written for this site were done for my own benefit – probably one of the major reasons why someone would actually put in the effort of having a blog – for their own benefit.

I have compiled some of my favorite posts from the last year and provided a small explanation of why they are special to me. My reasons for liking these particular posts enough to include them here is quite varied – although for the most part I like just about every single post on my site for one reason or another. The reason these particular posts were included is that there was something unique about them.

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Who wants to be relevant?

This was the post that got it all started, my very first one. I attempted to explain why I was starting my blog in the first place and you can sense how clumsy this post is at times. Whenever I find a new blog that I like, I will go back and read the very first few post regardless of how old they are. It is always interesting to see what the first topic was and how the blog has evolved from that first post.

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Men and Urinals … Time for one of them to change

This was the first post where I let my humor come to the front. Up until this point, I had primarily played the role of ‘architect’ and that I was providing a service. In short, I wanted people to read my posts and think I was smart, an illusion I have finally let go of. This post was written one Sunday after I had gone to the movies with my family. All the things I mention in this post were observed as I went through the process of using the facilities myself and I thought (as I looked down at the wet floor around the urinal I was using) – “I need to write a post on this … “. So I did, and I think it’s funny, one of my funniest posts actually. I talk a little about architecture but mostly it’s about going to the bathroom. Yes, this was when I decided to do some potty humor.

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How much did you say this was going to cost?

This was the first post I wrote that someone else wanted to run on their site. WHAT?!? I couldn’t believe that something that I did was getting noticed and that someone else thought it was good enough to put on their own site. While I am still flattered by that gesture, as it happens this is not all that uncommon. But I didn’t know that at the time. Despite deflating that balloon, this is a good post where I explain the major rules of modern architecture in a way that is accessible and easy to understand. I also managed to squeeze a few jokes in – something that would become far more commonplace in future posts.

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My Secret life as a ‘Hooker-Architect’

This post is one of my favorites – I just love how clever I am! Because of this post, I made a lot of new architectural friends, people who had gone through the same process of education and working that I had and as a result, this post resonated with them. This is also one of the very first posts where I write the post as a script – meaning I wrote it literally as a dialog between individuals. I have really enjoyed writing posts in this style and I have caught myself trying to figure out ways to include this type of writing in many of my posts. It allows me to set the scene a little bit more and I can’t help that feel that the reader feels more engaged with the post as a result.

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Ignorance really is bliss

This post is special to me because it is the first post that my wife Michelle wrote for my site – and I don’t think she was all that excited about doing it either. It was about this time that I had enough daily readers that the amount of email I was receiving was increasing exponentially. One request that I was getting over and over was what did my wife think about being married to an architect? I posed this question – and the opportunity to write this particular post to my wife – and she obliged me with writing a wonderful article. I was also pleasantly surprised at how many people felt a connection with her and the scenario she describes. As it stands, this post was one of the most heavily re-tweeted posts written – a measuring stick I use now to gauge the real-time connection the article has with readers. Now if I could only get her to guest write more often…

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Sshh! … I have a new girlfriend

As it turns out, some of the best posts I have written happened during a stretch in early July – starting with this one. This was the second post that I wrote where I the entire post is a script. This was also the post that I decided to start creating all my own graphics for the site myself wherever possible. People who draw will recognize my obvious lack of drawing ability but for everyone else, my sketches appear to be good enough. I like the flowers that I drew and I like what I perceive as clever dialog between me and “the Internet”. Anytime the Internet calls you a pimp – that’s some clever writing my friend. For some reason, writing about my love affair with my blog seemed like a good idea but you’ll have to be the judge of that. For me, this post simply makes me grin and chuckle – and I’ll take that over a post about vapor barriers any day.

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Dominion and Empathy

This post was completely unplanned, unscheduled, and unanticipated. This is one of the few posts that I have written where I literally spent no time thinking about it at all – and I received about 100 private emails from people telling me how much they appreciated this post. Why even yesterday I was talking with my mother-in-law and she told me that she read this post in her office and it made her cry … if I let it, this post will make me cry as well. I love this post because it is me in a rare unfiltered moment. Despite my desire to always be amusing this is not a funny post … but I think you’ll find it worth the 5 minutes it takes to read it for yourself.

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Concrete Floors

Whether or not you realize it, I try to make this site personal in an effort to connect with people and show that in addition to being an architect – I am a real person with the same problems and challenges of so many others. Because of this, I have chosen to feature my house in several posts – warts and all. This post is special to me because it forced me to tell everyone that I couldn’t do something right, something that is difficult for me to do. In my magical world, every decision I make is correct and the results of all my actions is beneficial … things that are far from true in my real world. Because things don’t always go right, the way you choose to deal with them it is a measure of who you are as a person. This post shows intent, process, failure, humor, and ultimately resiliency and that’s why I like this particular post.

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What’s in a name?

This post is so self-indulgent that it makes me laugh. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s funny as well as being correct but it doesn’t have any value to it whatsoever. Except to amuse me – which it did. Occasionally I will write a post that seemingly writes itself. I sit down and just start typing and see what comes out. This was one of those posts – not a single edit or revision.

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Modern House Challenge Part 2

As I have explained in earlier posts throughout the year, I don’t write about my own work too often simply because I don’t have my own architectural practice and I want to try and separate out my personal opinions from those of my employers. As a result, people will request to see things that I have actually done. For the purpose of the Modern House Challenge Part 2 post, I included a project that I designed for a high school friend of mine. Despite it being a project done in my firm, everything about it is mine and as such, I felt that it was okay to present it in detail. This post shows plans, elevations, 3d rendering and a short animated video walk-through of the project – all of which I am proud of.

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How to Shoot a Rubber Band

This post was my white whale for months – I wanted to write it but I just couldn’t figure out how to convey what was in my head into an actual post. I did drawing after drawing but as I mentioned earlier, I’m no artist and the hands I was drawing looked more like monkey feet. In the end, I made certain concessions and pushed forward. There are things about this post that identify more about what I need to learn rather than a demonstration on how to do things right (I’m talking about the post – not the rubber band shooting … of that, I am a MASTER). It was this post that made me really think hard about asking Santa for a Flip video device – something that was delivered into my stocking just a few days ago. That means more videos in the future – that can’t be a bad thing right?

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This make my face hurt

This post was surprisingly popular and I wouldn’t be surprised if given some time it would move up with more respectable posts. I am including it here because it marks the first time I have written something negative about someone else’s work. If you are a regular reader, you have probably noticed that I don’t call specific people or projects out for being one particular way or another. This isn’t on accident – I am typically troubled when someone in my position (owner and writer of this blog) uses their position to criticize the aesthetics of someone else. Not that I don’t want people to express their feelings, but the one way dialog just seems distasteful to me – like spitting on someone when you are on the roof and they are on the sidewalk where they don’t have the opportunity to do something about it. Well, I threw all that out the window and let this house have it. Sorry you nasty ass house, but you had it coming.

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That brings 2010 to a close as far as posts go – I’ll be back in the new year with some more information regarding this blog. If you were ever curious about who actually reads this crap, that’s what I’m going to talk about next. I have already been told that I shouldn’t do that but I’m not going to listen to that person.

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  • Andrew

    Thanks for a year of outstanding posts Bob – I’m looking forward to hunkering down this weekend and reviewing some new and old favorites. Cheers and happy new year!

  • http://twitter.com/Alexandrafunfit Alexandra Williams

    I think it would be hard to choose favorites, as they are are so supreme. But I think your honesty and sense of humor are what make them ALL consistently readable. I love your blog. PS Make Michelle write more often. Not sure how you’ll “make” her, but good luck.

    • Anonymous

      I can’t “make” my wife do anything … and that’s why I love her

  • Richard

    Like Greg Swedberg, I have limited time and generally don’t read blogs. This is however the first blog that actually speaks from the creative side and the reality of what those of us in the design industry actually go through on a day to day basis. The humour, the family stories, and the clients from hell, you’ve got it all. Keep up the good work Bob. You have done a fantastic job….It’s been one heck of a successful experiment in new media for you.

    • Anonymous

      Richard,

      Thanks for the kind words – had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started. Still trying to figure out is I love it or love to hate it. Either way, it has made a significant impact in my year and I hope that positive trend continues into 2011.

      Cheers!

    • Anonymous

      Richard,

      Thanks for the kind words – had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started. Still trying to figure out is I love it or love to hate it. Either way, it has made a significant impact in my year and I hope that positive trend continues into 2011.

      Cheers!

  • Greg Swedberg

    Thank you for compiling this list. As a product of lack of time and interest, I do not read blogs, generally. I only recently found your blog, and have made it the ONLY blog I make a point to read. So, finding your greatest hits from this past year will be a fun scavenger hunt when I have some down time. I’m not really sure when THAT’ll be.

    -cheers

    • Anonymous

      Greg,

      I am glad that I made THE cut (but I can point to some others that would probably replace me as your one and only). I appreciate you taking the time to comment, hopefully you will find the time to chime in more often in 2011.

      Have a Happy New Year!