About Me

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Hi, I'm Darryll and I live in Pullman, Washington with my wife and two kids. I'm a licensed Architect and am employed as a Project Manager at Washington State University. In addition, I have my own business doing residential designs in the greater Palouse area. I am a self-taught pianist, song-writer and singer and am involved in the music department at my local church.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Peace & Quiet?

I have to wonder if anyone ever wants peace and quiet anymore – REAL peace and quiet… I mean like no disturbances… the only-listening-to-nature-type of peace and quiet.

There was a time when we didn’t have electronic communication devices in our hands and the ability to be casually chatting with anyone who was out of ear shot.

And of course, the only thing we had to read was what we might have with us already in written form. We weren’t able to nonchalantly trade quips, one-liners or other such things of “importance” by letting our fingers dance over a keyboard with keys no larger than the bumps on Lego pieces I used to play with.

How many of us – if we sit down to read a book, or relax on our back porch, or go for a short walk in the spring-like weather – will turn off our phones? Or, do we resist the urge to jump on our notebook (assuming we can’t access the web with our phone) because we just gotta check our email?

In addition to how we won’t take the time for ourselves, how many of us subject our friends to our interruptions? It’s amazing to me to see how this aspect of our world has changed and it’s almost become socially acceptable to take a call or receive and/or send a text in almost any situation. I’ve been at dinner in a restaurant and seen four people in a booth all on their phones at the same time talking to other people. I’ve been in a movie theater and have seen people texting on and off throughout the whole show. Or – people walking along with each other, but talking to other people on the phone! – I guess they could be talking to each other… but I don’t think that’s happening…

So - maybe we should all consider taking a trip back in time and going a whole day without using our cell phones, or at least turning them off when we’re with other people. It might do us all some good to remember the art of face to face conversation.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Now I'm REALLY Back...

After 3 weeks of our FORMER provider telling us that we’d have DSL up and running “tomorrow”, we finally dumped them and are now up and running with a different, better company. It’s a ton faster and I can FINALLY get back to the internet and my Blog! Yay!

So – I have a lot of reading up to do on the blogs that I follow… I’ve got a lot of catching-up there and I also need to start writing on my blog again. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with you all.

I’ll start everything off by reminiscing about printing. I was at work and two things caught my attention. I was plotting some 42x30 drawings on an HP Laser plotter, and I had just printed out a few sets of .pdf color renderings of a large project that I'm in charge of this spring. The 42x30 drawings are chock full of construction information… plans, sections, elevations, details, schedules, notes, etc. All of this type of info is created using AutoCAD, not hand drawn (that’s an observation for another time), and as the info is sent to the plotter, it spews out these huge sheets of info at a rate of 3 or 4 every 10 minutes. Likewise, the .pdf renderings were shooting out at 2 or 3 a minute.

Like I said, the capabilities revolving around the information involved here are a discussion for another time, but as I stood there watching these documents being produced, I was suddenly
whisked back to 3rd or 4th grade when I was helping a teacher’s aide (remember those?) make some dittos for a class. I remember the purple-ish / blue-ish print that the pages all had. If you picked up the dittos when they came out of the machine too soon, they were kind of still “wet” and could smear and get all over your hands. They also very warm when you first picked them up and if it was a cold morning, it was great to hold them close to you to warm up a bit.

But – nothing compared to the smell. I remember that we would grab the new dittos and hold them up to our faces and breathe deeply. I suppose that these days we would be accused of free-basing ditto toner, and we’d all be suspended because of the zero tolerance policies. But, man, if I we’re able to get a good whiff of ditto smell today, I’d be standing once again in the office helping the aide print dittos for the upcoming class that day.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I'm Ba-aack (...kind of)

We are moved! By that I meant that we have successfully relocated from an 1800 sq. ft. home with two large storage sheds to a small cottage at a retirement center (long story – but I need to make sure you know that I am NOT old enough to live in a retirement center).

So – we’re here temporarily while we sort through all of the details about building a new home. We’re not rich – we have a disabled son, and by the time you put the money into remodeling an existing home, it pencils out, at least in our situation, to build a new home.

In the midst of all this, we have been without DSL for over 2 weeks – I won’t repeat some of the words my wife had for a certain company. And - I have been extremely busy at work and home, and have not been able to post. But – I have to take the time to tell you what I did this last weekend.

For my last birthday, my brother bought himself and me concert tickets to Elton John and Billy Joel paying in Seattle. It would take me forever to tell you how awesome it was. To summarize, it was 3½ hours long, they started out together for 6 songs, then Elton was alone for 10 or 12 songs, then Billy alone for 10 or 12 songs, then 2 final songs together and an encore of 4. When they sang together, they both played and took turns singing verses and choruses. Of course, they sang their hits – they both have so many to choose from – and it was SO incredible. The sound and the lights were great. It was an awesome opportunity to see to entertainment icons.

Part of what made the whole weekend so cool was that my daughter went with me to visit family while my brother and I went to the show, so the whole way over and back we rocked out and sang at the top of our lungs with Elton and Billy CD’s. It was some great father/daughter time as I did my part to pass on the ‘70s to my daughter.

We are still without DSL, but hope to have the situation taken care of soon, so I plan on getting with my blog. I really look forward to getting back in the swing of things as soon as possible. Until then, keep on truckin’!