Child-Like Focus

November 22, 2018

Channel Your Inner Child


Adults can easily get caught in the trap of Distraction.

But the above article by Ambika Puniani Reid, editor of Professional Roofing and NRCA’s vice president of communications and production, proves that a little focused distraction can reap great benefits.

After a couple months of discomfort and tightness when I stand up from a seated position, located just above my left knee, on the outside of my leg, my doctor and I finally figured it out: Iliotibial Band Syndrome (I.T.B.S.).

Cause: Overuse Injury. It can stem from weakness in your abs, glutes, or hip muscles.

Treatment: Because it is chronic and not a sudden injury, heat applied to area where tightness occurs and just above the knee, to relax the fascia and surrounding muscles, for 15 mins every hour, keeping the leg elevated, and compression.

Recovery: See below for ITBS Recovery Regiment (my suggested workout, based on my own research – this will vary based on the intensity of the injury and your doctor’s orders)

The Myths: ITBS is a mystery in itself, not much information is out there and much of the information is contradictory. However, Fairclough identified that the source of the problem is not the actual ITB but something underneath (unidentified according to my very limited research). Also, the “ITB” is actually either a hybrid tendon & ligament (I’m calling it a “tendament”) or it is made of a grouping of fascia (I found sources that sighted both). This is important because if it is a tendament, then rolling or stretching it is not a good idea. Rolling is for muscles. Stretching the ITB is ineffective and can actually worsen tightness near the knee or at the hip.

Basic Recovery Concepts:
-Stretch hip muscles, thigh muscles, and hamstrings often (these muscles include the large gluteal muscle group and the tensor fasciae latae [both in the hips]. If these muscles tighten up, they will pull on the IT band, making it seem like it is tight).
-Strengthening: Paying special attention to weak glutes (and glute meds, in particular), calves and hamstrings.
-Warm up muscles with light activity before stretching.
-Cool down after strengthening with more light stretching.

ITBS Recovery Regiment
-Warm Up (5-10m)
-Active Leg Stretch (lying down, raising leg with stretch band, and stretching to either side as well as vertical, while moving foot forward and back) (30s each direction, each leg) x3
-“Indian Style” Stretch (seated, also incorporate butterfly movent) (1m)
-Child’s Pose (30s)
-Foam Roll Calves (1m, together)
-Foam Roll Quads (1m, together)
-LaCross Ball: x2
-TFL Roll Out (1m, each)
-Hip Flexor (1m, each)
-Piriformis (1m, each)
-Chair Stretch (1m, each) x2
-Pretzel, a.k.a. Figure 4 (30s, each) x2
-Child’s Pose (30s)
Each of Below, 3 Rounds:
-Hip Abductors (15)
-Side Planks (1m)
-Dead Lifts (15)
-Hamstring Curls (10)
-Eccentric Calf Raises (3-5)
-Plank (1m)
-Crunches (20)

Labels & Reason

June 6, 2017

nasa space station flight over venice

Recent global activities are causing many of us to think more about what views we may have had previously regarding the conversation of Earth’s ever-changing climate.  I’m more interested in the facts than the rhetoric.  Reason seems to be a side that I would much rather be on when the History Books write themselves.  A mere label (“climate change” or “global warming”) does not entail the reasoning we should be seeking.  In fact, it is a little limiting and a grand gesture of insult to the Human Race – we’re more progressive than that, don’t you agree?

I don’t agree with the pullout of the Paris Climate Accord.  As mere earthlings, we need to be mindful stewards of the place in which we live.  It’s more than just a nod to “climate change” or “global warming” – it’s just using reason.  Some questions that have everything to do with being mindful and not labeling-in-order-to-isolate:

How frequently do you use your car – should you use it less?  And, what would it take to use it less?  Why does that matter?

When you shower, do keep a bucket nearby to capture water that might be used more sensibly – like watering your plants in lieu of using gallons of irrigation piping?

If you’re clearing land that was once a park or greenspace, in order to provide the necessary economic progress for a plighted area, should you replace some of that greenspace with the same?  Would you?

When did we start recording historical data as it relates to the Earth’s climate and its cycles?  Does that alone disprove “climate change” or “global warming”?  Does it matter if it does disprove those labels?


Apparently, there are many business leaders in the United States of America that are on the same wavelength of progress and action.  Even company CEO’s here in the US are speaking up for what is right (Elon Musk, CEO of Exon Mobil, Governors of numerous States and Mayors of Cities, including Peduto of Pittsburgh, PA).

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. -JFK

In the U.S.A., there are numerous cities experiencing “sunny day flooding”.  Miami, Boston, Norfolk, Ft. Lauderdale, & Tybee Island, GA. to name a few.  The current “Master Plan of Miami-Dade County” could be considered the ideal prototype for other cities attempting to cope with environmental needs.


The “Master Plan” is NOT funded by the Federal Government.  It was initiated by the County Government.  Funds are obtained by increasing local fees.  They are utilizing funds to raise street levels, install special back pumps, replace floating – and eventually all – septic tanks with sewer pipes, and elevate sea walls.  This is a 20-year plan already started at a cost projected to be $400 million.  The sunny day flooding (floods when the tide come in) exist now:

  • Ft. Lauderdale is currently utilizing giant vacuum trucks and vertical rulers on the sides of roads that have low spots so drivers can judge if the water is too deep.
  • Tybee Island, GA. has only one road from the mainland to the island.  At high tide, the road currently disappears.  So far, there is no plan in place.
  • Boston, Chesapeake Bay Region, including Norfolk, are dealing with this same high tide problem with mediocre plans in place.

My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.  –JFK

Moving forward, thinking about the future:  Las Vegas.  The tremendous amount of energy needed for this city – for lights, air conditioning, pools & irrigation – and  Las Vegas is the first and only city in the U.S.A. that is completely run on renewable energy.  Quite the ironic response to stewardship.

Earth & Sun & Moon
In the morning we will wake up and take to the air
Look back at the planet – I’m glued to my chair
Southern half is burning as we climb through the cky
Sea birds softly falling, smoke way up high
There’s the contours of the mountains, the deserts and plains
And a hurricane is blowing, and it turns once again
Now there’s oil spills in the water where Columbus once sailed
And there’s history and mystery and it’s rolling away
I wish you could see this great mystery
Earth and sun and moon, human tribe, thin blue line
Earth and sun and moon will survive
Sediment is flowing from river to sea
Now where are the mighty nations, no lines to be seen
An axe upon the broken ground the sigh of the trees
And it’s floating in the ether, it brings me to my knees
Too messed up to care
Anyone got a wing and a prayer
In the blink of an eye
Thank you and goodnight
Earth and sun and moon, human tribe, one thin blue line
Earth and sun and moon will survive, will survive, we will survive
-Midnight Oil, 1993

Antarctica- The antarctic ice shelf has a massive crack.  It has grown 11 miles in the last 6 days.  Only 8 miles remain until the crack cuts all the way across the shelf.  When this happens, it will produce an iceberg the size of the state of Delaware.  The problem with this is that the shelf that breaks off will allow glaciers to feed into the oceans more quickly, thus, increasing the sea level.  Building Resiliency is real.  Sea levels are rising – and even if it is a pattern that we don’t have record of ever happening before – knowing that won’t stop the seas from rising; planning takes time, money, and backing.

Australia – Due to warming of the oceans (Science indicates the warming – whether it’s due to “global warming” or “climate change” is irrelevant because we have to address it either way), 50% of the Great Barrier Reef is now dead.  At this time, it cannot survive the higher water temperatures causing a domino effect with the sea life.  In response to this problem, scientists in Hawaii are “farming” coral in higher water temperatures and trying to grow them faster than they normally grow.  The hope is the new coral can be transplanted to the warmer waters of Australia to renew the reef.

Germany – Currently, 85% of Germany’s energy is produced by Wind Turbines.  -Renewable Energy decreasing the carbon footprint.

United Arab Emirates(UAE)- A country that is literally in the middle of a desert!  Their main problem…WATER!!   Since about 2005, UAE has developed a Master Plan for water conservation, solar energy, nuclear energy, and desalinization.  The Master Plan included government ads for water conservation including FREE water saving toilets and showerheads.  Desalinization plants, since about 2005, have provided water for irrigation, drinking water, sewage water, etc.

Sidenote:  Why can’t the State of Florida utilize desalinization?  San Diego is a good example of responding with desalinization and wind turbines for renewable energy.

In 2009, UAE made a huge investment in Nuclear Power.  By 2020, they plan to have 25% of their electricity as nuclear.  Their goal was to utilize nuclear and solar power for electricity to decrease fossil fuel energy.

Industry Responding Reasonably:


Olan Musk and his solar shingles is a fantastic idea.  The cost is not absurd and has an infinity guarantee.  Replaced free if the shingle quits working or if damaged by hail or wind.

Solar Flowers.   This is unbelievable.  It looks like a rectangular box.  It contains an arm that extends and opens like a fan in a daisy-like fashion with solar panels.  If it starts to rain in automatically folds up back into the rectangular box.  ONE of these will produce enough electricity for a medium size house each day.


If you are leader of a business or government, kindly consider the following petition – your signature does not threat your security, but lends itself to the global community of people trying to take care of the ground beneath our feet:

Business Paris Petition

A Physician’s Take on Design

Maybe MGH is old and needs an expansion or a replacement hospital?
Hard to believe this physician is experiencing the whole picture, the entire dynamic, or the emphasis on Evidence-Based Design in new high-performance buildings.
But nonetheless, it is a voice that should be heard.  We always conduct Post-Occupancy interviews with staff and physicians of our designed renovations and new facilities – a preface to any Evidence-Based Design approach.  We also participate in dynamic and full mock-ups, another way to actively listen and implement criticism of both the positive and the negative.
In many ways, this physician’s written contribution to change in healthcare design is positive but his true signature below his work will be his continued efforts to emphatically critique his designed environment.  The best way to achieve that long-stroke signature is to participate more on committees, in journals, and dynamic mock-ups.
Leadership doesn’t stop with writing an article or two.  Those that are best at it, always ask the right questions at the wrong time, which enevitably leads to the right “place”.

wp historic homes districts

In reading the article penned by Orlando Sentinel Staff Writer, Steven Lemongello, “Winter Park Locked in Battle of Historic Proportions“, from Monday’s newspaper, the lines in the sand seem to be overlapping and inconsistent with the values previously demonstrated by the City. It is concerning that the sense-of-place could be undermined by several factions.


….and the list goes on. All are merely labels that perhaps describe an aesthetic or some salient elements that attract our eye but in some ways may also go beyond aesthetics, defining the place in which we live.

What is “historic”? The definition is difficult to pinpoint since the building itself is usually made of several archetypes, not just one mode. So, for a moment, let’s throw aside the notion of a “style”: modern, contemporary, etc. What makes a building historic? Is it the aesthetic and material qualities of the architecture or is it the era in which it was constructed? Could “historic” mean that the building and site are (or were at one time) the quintessential sense-of-place identity that we so long-for today? -I believe that to be true.


Homeowners who reside in what the City declares as an historic building have a certain responsibility: to preserve and at times restore. There is also a responsibility for homeseekers, homebuilders, and architects: seek, build, and design with a sense-of-place. If we design and build by tearing down and building new without a look backwards, we risk the sacrifice of our past, but more importantly the power of place.

power of place

They like being surrounded by history, but they just don’t personally want small closets and bathrooms….They want to live in a modern house, surrounded by historic ambience….Anybody who thinks about it for more than 10 seconds will understand that it’s not sustainable. At some point, the scale tips. It would no longer be an historic community; it would be no different from a gated community.

Hopefully, for the sake of cities as a whole, not just Winter Park, we’re not just thinking about homeseeking, homebuilding, and architecture “for more than 10 seconds”, as the above excerpt from the Orlando Sentinel article expounds. Although Ms. Owens suggests that the fabric of the community would drastically change if historic buildings were bulldozed, I don’t know that would necessarily lead to a gated community. Furthermore, I don’t know that the negative context of “gated communities” Ms. Owens established in her comparison is an appropriate analogy. “Historic” homes reside in gated communities alongside those of mass production; an unfortunate ignorance of the sense-of-place.


What if a structure was considered historic, but it is inefficient and possibly unsafe to live in? The responsibility to restore the building with newer technologies is a tough assignment, but it’s one that should be considered in order to preserve the fabric of the community. This responsibility extends to new-builds (regardless of the mode in which they are designed): review and research the existing structures in the neighborhood and design to be sewed into the existing fabric. This does not imply a literal adoption of materials and aesthetic features but rather the “sense” of the place in which they reside. The all-encompassing sense of place has hierarchy over instituting a few details in a structure that classify it as historical.

Here’s the irony: if a community’s sense-of-place is essentially non-existent at the time of a new-build (no “historic” homes are present), it is an opportunity to re-align the fabric, explore textile selections, and arrive at a new quilt for future generations to sew-into (which, sounds like a sustainable attribute to me). How else did the “historic” structures get there anyway? They would have had to begin the quilt in the same way. The reason why those “historic” structures got their label: they were sought, built, and designed with a sense-of-place.

Let’s not ignore the past, and let’s not overly emphasize it either. Let’s embrace what’s been built in the past by responsibly building a future that emphasizes culture, sociology, psychology, climate – all of the things that define a place. We can achieve that together; historic home residents, new-home builds, and existing homes being renovated or expanded. It shouldn’t be about us and them, it’s only us.

Here is a review by Michael:


HERD Jan2015 home_cover

The Winter Issue of Health and Environments Research & Design Journal demonstrates wide-ranging goals, ongoing work, and editorials that complete the reverberating sound of Evidence-Based Design in the design and construction atmosphere.  The Winter Issue, in particular, is beating drums, blaring trumpets, and at times tickling the piano keys for everyone – Architects, Practitioners, Equipment Planners, and most importantly: the Patient.

I would encourage every healthcare-related professional to be engaged – you can do so by becoming a member of the EDAC Linked-In Group:

edac logo

Stephen King Revisited

November 2, 2014

For those Constant Readers: see the new project by Richard Chizmar at Stephen King Revisited


design thinking cover
What at first seemed rudimentary became apparent and thought-provoking….

A very good resource – a valuable project management tool and a good go-to resource for architects who want to present out-of-the-box and research their design intent using a mix of tried-and-true techniques, as well as progressive tactics that yield genuine responses.

ArchiTalk Radio Podcast 012: Healthcare

Check out this awesome radio broadcast hosted by my University of Miami, School of Architecture colleagues, Sebastian & Jane, having a discussion with me regarding my experience in Healthcare design & sustainability at HuntonBrady Architects, as well as my opinions about the future of Healthcare architecture. ArchiTalk Radio broadcasts Live!, every Monday.

(photography by Ben Tanner Photography)

Recycled Amusement: A Ugandan Playground of Water Bottles

Glowing Pollution Sensor Equipped Kites Replace Beijing’s Stars

ArchiTalk Radio

June 18, 2012!/latest.html!/latest.html


“I’m questioning my education
Is my education who I am now?
While you’re deciding, I’ve been finding
Looking around in the here and now.
If I’ve been taught from the beginning
Would my fears now by winning?

I’m questioning my own equation
Is my own equation relevant somehow?
The flags are waving, the news is breaking
See the man who can’t pick out his own tie
If I’ve been taught from the beginning
Would my fears now be winning?
A wild world, figuring out the answers
I’ll be in my own dance and I, I, yeah, I, I….
I’m questioning my education
Rewind and what does it show?
Could be, the truth it becomes you
I’m a seed, wondering why it grows”
Artist: Pearl Jam
Composer: Vedder

“….You can’t be neutral on a moving train,” -Pearl Jam, from the song, “Down”, written for Howard Zinn

From the first chapter, this book was more than just intriguing – entirely enlightening.  Sure, we all had to learn the chronology of the history of the United States – but not in this way.  This is the history of US!  Howard Zinn tackles an enormous, complicated, and fragmented history and spins the yarn in such a way that we can all relate, understand, and engage.  By the end of this book, you will find yourself stating, “history repeats itself; repeated.”

Some passages rang true with concerns we are focusing on today:
“The wild fraud on the railroads led to more control of railroad finances by bankers, who wanted more stability – profit by law rather than by theft.  By the 1890’s, most of the country’s railway mileage was concentrated in six huge systems.  Four of these were completely or partially controlled by the House of Morgan, and two others by the bankers Kuhn, Loeb, and Company.
“J.P. Morgan had started before the war, as the son of a banker who began selling stocks for the railroads for good commissions.  During the Civil War he bought five thousand rifles for $3.50 each from an army arsenal, and sold them to a general in the filed for $22 each.  The rifles were defective and would shoot off the thumbs of the soldiers using them.  A congressional committee noted this in the small print of an obscure report, but a federal judge upheld the deal as the fulfillment of a valid legal contract.”

This work also captures the ideal of “how far we’ve come”:
“…The conditions in the factories did not change much.  On the afternoon of March 25, 1911, a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company that began in a rag bin swept through the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors, too high for ladders to reach.  The fire chief of New York had said that his ladders could reach only to the seventh floor.  But half of New York’s 500,000 workers spent all day, perhaps twelve hours, above the seventh floor.  The laws said that factory doors had to open outward.  But at the Triangle Company the doors opened in.  The law said the doors could not be locked during working hours, but at the Triangle Company doors were usually locked so the company could keep track of the employees.  And so, trapped, the young women were burned to death at their worktables, or jammed against the locked exit door, or leaped to their deaths down the elevator shafts.”
-Thank God for the Building and Fire Codes we have today!

And some passages just hit too close to home:
“The stock market crash of 1929, which marked the beginning of the Great Depression of the United States, came directly from wild speculation which collapsed and brought the whole economy down with it.  But, as John Galbraith says in his study of the event, behind that speculation was the fact that ‘the economy was fundamentally unsound.’  He points to very unhealthy corporate and banking structures, an unsound foreign trade, much economic misinformation, and the ‘bad distribution of income’.”

If you have a moment or two and are concerned as most about your child’s education, then you will want to read these essays with regards to standardized testing:
Johnson & Wales University, “The Pitfalls of Standardized Testing”

A Rooftop Farming Prototype Could Feed 16 People

Honest Buildings

March 20, 2012

Honest Buildings Uses Social Networking to Spur Green Building – Environment – GOOD

Journalism in Sudan

March 3, 2012

Video Segment

While watching “Rock Center” there have been numerous stories worth sharing. However, this one seemed to resonate as true journalism. Little did I know that there was even more information found on Rock Center’s website….Ann Curry did a piece on this that really sheds light on the darkness: “Photography from the Nuba Mountains”.

You need to get this book and read it over the course of a few days. Here’s where you can get it: Merchants of Virtue.

Why should you read this?

The entire book is any great leader’s source for continuing knowledge about whatever practice they are concerned with. However, one chapter in this book really sticks out considering our current economic climate: “Dollar Sense”.

This chapter discusses the importance of “business literacy” and that a company’s profits are a literal measure of how much LESS supervising needs to take place. If you empower your staff to understand the business – how profitability really works – then less supervision needs to take place. This concept dovetails into another larger concept originally introduced by Toyota – the lean process.

This book is a unique economics book disguised as a book about “sustainability”. What really is addressed, though, is how a business can be great – and in turn, is sustainable.

Bill Birchard does a magnificent job of creating context. The following is an excerpt regarding how a business model can change for the better by including its employees that are considered to be on the lowest rung of the ladder:
“Stern stressed how a focus on economic profit changed the way people at most companies acted. He told a story about Sammy, a 13-year-old delivery boy in South Africa, a child worker he had met while consulting with a big nationwide health-care organization. The foot soldiers in the organization, which retrieved blood samples for hospitals, were kids who rode scooters back to the lab. One of the child couriers was Sammy.
Stern met Sammy in Soweto while giving the last of 27 training sessions to 3,000 people. Around him on the floor sat Sammy and the other delivery kids. Also attending was the chief executive. Stern asked if anyone knew why and upstart competitor was stealing the health-care organization’s market share. Stern had asked many other people in other training sessions but never received an answer.
From the crowd of kids this time, Sammy’s hand shot up.
They make round trips! Sammy announced. We just do one way.
What do you mean? asked Stern.
They fetch samples in the morning and return results in the afternoon. They do in one day what we do in two.
How long have you known this?
A year and a half.
How come you didn’t tell anyone?
Because the people in the white coats – they know I sit on the floor. They have no respect for me. They turn their faces and never say hello. I will never help them.”


November 29, 2011

“Plan B” – KC Cali’s Blog

These images are of a charcoal piece that we purchased during the “Uncharted” exhibition. We love this piece and it has since moved from this location in the dining room to a more prominent, visible location from the entry into our house (still in the dining room proper, but with better light).

You’ll notice the detail at the corner – this framing detail is a product of the creative talent that resides behind the storefront along Mills Avenue in Orlando, Florida. Please visit Great Escape Framing for your framing needs.

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