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Polymathmatics In The New Year

December 28, 2017

IMG_0648We live our lives by measureables. We should not: we can never measure up: I was disappointed that I cannot crack the top articles list on one website http://www.mbird.com/2017/12/pot-kettle-black-keeping-the-mocking-score-in-2017/, and am inordinately thrilled I am continually one of another’s “Favorite Podcast List” https://www.wpkn.org/podcasts/#Top_10

Children through school, wife working more than full time, house in steady state, as is the office building, the measureables most often rotate about my architectural office. There is never enough money. But it’s more than that.

There are those who say Karma, or Justice or even Fairness should govern outcomes: I do not see that. I see effort that does what can be done, but often, most often, there is always a “better” outcome that I fail to obtain. The greatest football player, probably ever, Jerry Rice, was asked what his “Most Memorable Play” was in his All-Pro Career: He responded that it was any one of the many plays he cannot forget where he failed: Where he let his teammates down. I get that.

In this way, measurables almost always fail: Performance is by nature always inadequate to potential. Perception almost never registers to reality in our lives. Someone is always better than you. Someone is always worse than you. If any triumph or failure proves anything it’s that basing any conclusions around stats ultimately fails to measure much of anything.

But by any measurable this year, 2017, was a year of numbers.

First, the firm I created is 30 years old. https://savedbydesign.wordpress.com/2017/11/01/30-years-ago-today/

I co-authored a book, my 8th, published this year. https://www.amazon.com/Home-Called-New-England-Celebration/dp/1493018469/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498702375&sr=8-1&keywords=a+home+called+new+england
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I served my first year as one of the 6 elected lay person “Mission Council” members of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. https://www.episcopalct.org/about/Governance/Executive-Council/#About

At the Spring Equinox, 9 months ago, I spent 100 hours and our insurance paid nearly $60,000 to find out one vein had a faulty layer of tissue at its middle and I had high blood pressure. https://savedbydesign.wordpress.com/2017/04/11/thrombus/

That meant I lost a meal a day: down to one, maybe 1,500 calories (down 500-1,000 given I killed other things I ate).

I work out 90 minutes a day, not 45-60 as I had -burning 200 calories more a day.

I work out 7 days a week, up from 5-6 before burning perhaps 1,000 more calories a week.

So Far, I lost 25% of myself, after a decade where I had gained 2/3 of 1/3 of myself that I had lost 10 years ago – I have 1/10 left to go.https://savedbydesign.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/one-meal-a-day/

So far, my form is close to its decade old minimum, though the weight is still a stone-plus higher, as the extra workout has the reduced dimensional presence is heavier with muscle…

Because I did those things and take 3 blood pressure regulating pills a day I went from 165/80 BP, and 60 heartbeats a minutes at the hospital, to 118-133/60-70 BP AND 47-51 heart beat. Oh, and I test those things now.

A month later I became one of 3,000 designated “Fellow”‘s in the AIA. Now I just have to pay for it.http://commonedge.org/confessions-of-a-new-aia-fellow-or-getting-the-f/
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16 hours after that event in Florida I gave a full-on presentation before 400 involving God & Architecture in NYC https://vimeo.com/219180597

Before that, I had become a staff contributor to Mockingbird: a truly terrific site that grapples with making Faith part of life: http://www.mbird.com/2017/02/pray-for-voldemort/

My sister died, without will, without any connection to anyone I knew. We buried her, who had been him, who probably ended her own life. https://savedbydesign.wordpress.com/2017/10/06/passing/ http://www.mbird.com/2017/10/when-death-happens-to-the-unknown-next-of-kin/
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I was put on the faculty of “Building Beauty” a Masters program in Sorrento, Italy. https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/9ddfa7f2-54bd-459d-bf61-b867c066c59f http://commonedge.org/christopher-alexanders-new-architecture-program-offers-an-alternative-to-style-and-orthodoxy/

My Blog, Saved By Design had over 15,000 separate visitors, viewing almost 25,000 pieces, on one day approaching 1,000 visits. All records.. https://savedbydesign.wordpress.com

A thing I did and wrote about became two exhibits – one being honored as one of 11 “curated” exhibits out of the over 200 presented https://savedbydesign.wordpress.com/2016/09/18/38-year-trip/
http://www.duodickinson.com/NewTimeTravel.html
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I finished a house that was started a decade ago, http://commonedge.org/architecture-and-the-illusive-maddening-and-thrilling-quest-for-beauty/ and finally built the field houses designed back then,10 years ago, too. https://m.facebook.com/Strong-Center-at-The-Surf-Club-140064006055072/

I started a series in the Hartford Courant called “House Hell”.Htfd Holy Holes

I got fired as “Design Czar” at the New Haven Independant because somehow the fact I had not lived in New Haven for 38 years, and write for the New Haven Register, fully known, became a deal breaker. http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/category/duo_dickinson_design_czar

I was invited to crit at Yale after a decade: I have no idea why, but there is a new Dean.IMG_2316

As said, my office has, this year, gotten through 30 years I celebrated by re-creating the website as a swap for services with a graphic artist – I am helping with her house: http://www.duodickinson.com she created the site.
DDA 30 years hi res
The practice has ridden through through 4 recessions, including the entire last decade. There are, continually, about 50 projects a year in the office, 20 new each year: but these years there are smaller projects, fewer paying projects, and more cost in getting the commissions. But there are 5-6 employees, the usual, down from 7-8 in boom times. But never a layoff. 1,000 met payrolls, never missed. No increase in my credit line debt. And I still own my own building.

But the biggest revelations are two simple truths based on 30 years of reality:

I have grossed $10,000,000 in fees over these 30 years.

I have donated $1,000,000 of hard costs for pro bono work for not for profits.

Is that good or inadequate? I guess it just is.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Gordon thurber/merit builders permalink
    December 30, 2017 2:56 pm

    Great and thoughtful as always Duo.
    Thank you!

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