new, important + wise

3 January 2014

0103141000bw

Welcome to 2014. How did you spend your first day back at work? Before you read any further, scroll to the bottom, click the video link and read this while listening to the music.

Ok, where were we…

I spent the first day back (yesterday) doing a few new things, doing a few important things and came across some words of wisdom. Resolutions don’t impress me, but I am one for quietly deciding to do things for the better. In addition, we must always take time for people and for things that are important.

new things

I love sketching and drawing by hand, but architects must adopt 3D and BIM workflows too (did I say that out loud?). I’ve been doing this for the past few years, but I’m finally learning several of the smart or parametric features of Vectorworks 2014 for analytic purposes. Yesterday I built a digital terrain model (I created my own topography from a USGS map). This won’t impress my architect friends, but I’m working to analyze renovation versus new construction options. If you’re not an architect, this sheds some light into our process. Monitoring the solar exposure during multiple times of year is part of an architect’s process. Today I’ll connect data from the model into a worksheet along with preliminary cost estimate information.

1319 Site Option 02-28 July 700 AM

1319 Site Option 02-28 July 400 PM

My hometown is small, but it has a developing downtown. I love to see new businesses come in and feel it’s important to shop or eat at the local establishments when possible. When you are a small business, you cheer for others who are the same. Yesterday my wife and I visited a new bakery (patisserie) and bought a few treats to have after our dinner. Not only was it a nice space with a nice menu, the baked goods were fantastic.

smores tart

I’ve used a paper appointment book and address book for 20 years now. Last year I moved to a Google Calendar to sync with my phone. This year I’m using a separate Google Calendar (linked) to record my time for my timesheets and I’m moving all of my address book contacts to my phone. That spot on my desk is now clear.

Screenshot 2014-01-03 10.26.47

I bought a new computer (sorry Neal, it’s not a Mac). I don’t like to spend money, but I don’t like it when I can’t do what I need to do on a computer with not enough oomph to run today’s memory hog graphic software. It was delivered yesterday.

important things

My wife did not have to work yesterday, but she felt it important to participate at a unique math event in our son’s school. That’s always important. Moreover, I was able to go to lunch with her yesterday at another local restaurant (across the street from the bakery) downtown. Being with her is always important. Beyond that I had breakfast with my son–as I have every day for eleven years—but Amy got to be there too. That’s important.

I contacted several clients and gave them an update to what I was doing on their project and requested we set a meeting date next week to discuss our work. Contacting them before they contact us is important.

I set two meetings for next week. I don’t like to have meetings the first week back, but keeping in touch with clients and colleagues is important.

Today I am wearing charcoal, not black. Knowing the distinction is important.

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wisdom

Recently I came across two sets of sayings that struck my interest

Steve Mouzon via Twitter :: “Greed is a symptom of the fear of loss. Generosity is a symptom of the joy of abundance.”

John Cage: (at least attributed to him – perhaps not all his) excerpts from – “Some Rules For Students And Teachers.” Click the link for more on the story and the remaining rules.

  • Rule Four – Consider everything an experiment.
  • Rule Five – Be self-disciplined – this means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.
  • Rule Six – Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail, there’s only make.
  • Rule Nine – Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It’s lighter than you think.

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8 Responses to “new, important + wise”


  1. Great inspiring post to start off the new year. Thanks Lee! (the music is longer than your post so it will carry over to my other work for today)


  2. That is great advice! “Contacting them before they contact us is important” .
    Happy New Year! Cheers to another year of informative & inspiring posts!

  3. mgerwing Says:

    Nice blog, nice work as well. Looks like I have a similar practice – smaller town, small office.

    • leecalisti Says:

      Thanks. I think the topic of working in a smaller city/town etc. is a fascinating topic to explore. So many architects work is large cities, but half or more of America does not live in a large city. They need good design too. BTW I like the pet peeve section of your blog.


  4. May 2014 continue to bring you the wisdom your writing continues to bring us…

    The accompanying music is appreciated, and along with your words, brings to mind this thought:

    Every piece of architecture is exemplary when its occupants & viewers experience peace, in part because of the works’ presence in their actualities.


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