CSINext Blog

The CSINext Blog

What’s for Lunch?

After several heavy and deep-thinking blogs, I needed to do something light. I realized, the other day driving back from a client meeting “Hey this is Tuesday, and I forgot to do a blog”. Still recovering from the lost month of the computers plus travel and before I knew it, Wednesday came to a close. However, just a couple of days ago I headed out of the office for a client meeting. I went to the meeting with a couple of my co-workers and on the way back we realized it was close to lunch. I noted that I saw this little café and we should go there. I’m the first to admit, I enjoy food. 

Continue reading

It takes two

A couple of weeks ago, I expressed the details of a ‘hefty ransom’. After rebuilding the servers, workstations, traveling to Alaska and meeting my deadlines on 2 projects. I can only say I’m so glad that September is over. This week CONSTRUCT is kicking off. This is the first year in several years that I will miss. However, we are trying a new bold experiment, to host a Town Hall from the CSI both at CONSTRUCT, Thursday at 1:00pm EDT.

Continue reading

A Hefty Ransom

Two Friday’s ago, was a good day. Or at least it started that way. I had wrapped up a half day planning session for a new district office building. The location of work I do, I am usually out of cell range. This was no exception. When I drove into cell range, a LOT of messages started to come through via text and email. Sifting through them was a bit of a challenge. Now for the meat of the blog, this message is going to turn into a public service. We all know the rules when it comes to the internet, but we have become creatures of habit and forget some of the basics. Our office got hit by ransomware. This is probably the same you have heard on the news about cities, institutions, banks, etc. getting all of their files encrypted and then having to pay or reconstruct from back up. 

Continue reading

The Break

I woke up today and realized it is September. My absence started out as a Coffee Break. Then a Mini Break. Followed by the Summer Break. Well, Fall is around the corner, it is time to get away from the Break and start Blogging again. I haven’t been idle; I was just changing some of my priorities and I don’t know why I let the Blog fall to the wayside.

Continue reading

Trusted Advisor

I’ve always had a self-made nick name, “Master of the Obvious”. It is a running joke in my family, in fact my daughter got a hold of my iPhone several years back and had Siri change my phone to address me that way. I was talking with Mike Young, FCSI from the Denver Chapter and current CSINext President. The other day our conversation started on Institute Awards for CSINext and other individuals. And he used a term… One that I’ve heard him use several times at the SouthWest Region conference and even during CSINext Board Meetings.

Continue reading


Who remembers why and when you joined CSI? A little bit of a rhetorical question. However, for most of us, it was a decision that continues to impact our professional carrier. I’m a stone throw away from being a member for 20 years. I remember my first meeting and the impact it had on that young kid (young at the age of 34). After I joined, I remember being surround by such wisdom. I would sit quietly, absorbing everything around me.

Continue reading
Recent comment in this post
Wow! We're really spread out! As far as the why and the when, I joined CSI for the magazine back in 1989, in a classification call... Read More
Wednesday, 08 May 2019 18:29

Traveling Shoes

This is one of those observational blogs. It doesn’t have much to do with architecture. I went out on a limb at the first of the year. I ordered my first pair of shoes online. I’ve had a pair of L.L. Bean loafers for about 8 years. They were very comfortable, yet I know the style and size I wanted. I would need for a replacement pair and ordering online was a safe bet.

Continue reading


I mentioned a few weeks ago about coffee. I’m in the camp that it is ‘The Nectar of the Gods’. I really enjoy the smell. Then there is the flavor of a good coffee. I’m not all about how strong it is, but really looking for a smooth taste. I do enjoy a good shot of expresso every once in a while. Basically, for all those who are coffee drinkers, it is about the experience.

Continue reading
Recent Comments
Cynthia Belisle, FCSI, CDT, RA, SCIP
These are awesome on the road! https://www.monsterenergy.com/us/en/products/java-monster... Read More
Tuesday, 16 April 2019 13:27
Daniel Hargreaves, FCSI, CDT, AIA
I've seen those... I was wondering if they were any good. I have another road trip in 2 weeks, I just may have to check them out.... Read More
Wednesday, 17 April 2019 00:42

Remote Access

I was thinking the other day about the convenience of Remote Access. If I rewind to when I started my Architectural Journey in 1983, at the young age of 19, remote access was a foreign concept. If there was a project deadline and the hours were winding down to get the project done, you started early and stayed late. Sound familiar, just like studio in college. This began my addiction to coffee, at its peak, I was a two pot a day drinker. Then in 2006, I stopped cold turkey, but another story for another time. But let’s pull back the curtain and get back to Remote Access.

Continue reading

Measure the Ruler

The project started on February 9th. I’m close to the 75% mark of completion. You may be asking, what’s the project. I’m doing a major renovation upstairs in my house. If you noted in past blogs, I do the work myself. I do have my Dad, Son-in-Law and Daughter’s helping me. But for the most part, I fly solo. This goes back to one of the things I find delight in, just read last week’s blog. 

Continue reading
Recent Comments
Guest — Keith Robinson
Great article... another use for the 19.2" (488 mm) mark is a modification to stud spacing from 16" O/C which represents 4 studs (... Read More
Tuesday, 12 March 2019 14:52
Daniel Hargreaves, FCSI, CDT, AIA
Thanks Keith, and thank you for fleshing out even more detail about the 19.2" diamond.
Tuesday, 12 March 2019 16:30

Delightful Hobbies

I was listening to the radio2 weeks ago and there was a book review. I was so engrossed in the interview, I did not catch the name of the book or the author. I only know the subject, delightful. Hopefully someone out there knows what the book is and can share the title in the comments. However, it got me to thinking about the things that I find delightful. Top of the list is my family, puppies and dogs, then friends and followed by my hobbies.

Continue reading

Keep it Neutral

Last Fall CSINext had a webinar on Universal Design. The webinar wasn’t specific in how to do universal design. It was geared toward general concept. Focusing on Ramps as the main entrance, automatic dispensers and other areas. Instead of just meeting ADA or ANSI code. Take the principals of accessibility and treat them as a starting point not the final solution.

Continue reading

Clash Detection 

I had an RFI come in the other day. It was a request to change a couple dozen duct sizes on a building. The Owner, Mechanical Engineer and I were surprised. During the course of the design we ran clash detection. We felt good about the clearances for the ducts. The challenge with changing to many ducts is the impact on the system as a whole. But one step we always take is in our specifications is for the contractor to provide an above ceiling coordination drawing.

Continue reading

Year One

Just around the corner marks the one-year anniversary of The Artichoke’s Life. Besides one year, I did 37 (well, now 38) blogs. I started off with an ambitious goal. I wanted to do this blog twice a week. In the beginning, I was doing that. Then summer hit, and boy did it hit me, like a bug on the windshield of a car. OK, I probably just went too far with the visual. But that is how it felt at the time. So, I realized that I need to step back and keep it to once a week.

Continue reading


I recently went to another conference outside of CSI. Yep, they do exist. It was on Health Care Project Delivery #HCPD. It was a 2 day conference, and the first day was very well done. The better part of the morning was spent at educational round tables that doubled as Networking Opportunities. I won’t make the same mistake as I did on the DIY bench and promise a part 2 on the subject. But in a future blog I would like to visit some of the ideas presented at the conference. I took a lot of notes, so I’m sure I can pull something together. However, I did want to visit acronyms and abbreviations.

Continue reading
Recent Comments
Keith Robinson
Dan... great post on abbreviations! Reflects my own experiences and push to eliminate them from our output files. Creating explici... Read More
Tuesday, 29 January 2019 15:27
Brent Williams
Wait...what? There are outside conferences? huh?
Tuesday, 05 February 2019 03:00

DIY The Patio Bench – Part 2

This morning I was thinking about part 2 of the DIY bench. My mind loves to wander. Then I started thinking about sequels. Which lead to cliffhangers. The first one that left a buzz in my circles was Star Trek: The next Generation. The episode where Captain Picard has been transformed into a Borg. If you don’t watch Star Trek, simply put, the Borg are cybernetic people that have one simple program. They want to convert all people into Borg. But humans are the first to resist… well, that is about as far as I want to go without doing any spoilers.

Continue reading

Elves vs Snowman

A couple of weeks ago I talked about the personal time spent over the year. I also noted last week that I was going to write about Elves vs Snowmen. It has been over 5 years since I left MPI Architects in Dallas. While I was there the office had a tradition of sending out a New Year’s card in lieu of a Christmas card. There was some sound logic for this, but out of respect to my former employer, I will keep it to myself. Now let’s jump into some fun.

Continue reading


Since we have wrapped up the holiday season and are full swing into the New Year. I started to write a little light-hearted article about Elves vs Snowman. But then I came across an article about the use of color documents. Being an artist at heart, I love the use of color. For my hand drawn images, I use black and white, but on the computer, I love the color pallet. Which a is great Segway back to the color article. 

Continue reading

Happy New Year 2019

I’ve come to the conclusion that this may not be a new year but a used one. I poke fun at it, because I know without a doubt that this is a new year and there is a lot of exciting things on the horizon. I will have so much to share as time marches on, but first I want to take a quick peak at the last year. If you have been following my blog, you know I get caught in some pretty rough travel cycles. December was no different, I finally made it home on the 21st.

Continue reading

Being Thankful

When is part 2 of the bench DIY coming? It’s in the back of my mind and just around the corner. However, with most of us taking advantage of the four-day weekend, I wanted to give thanks. Before I jump into what I have to be thankful for. I wanted to share a little Thanksgiving history. If you know anything about me, I really enjoy history. There is so much we can learn from the past and look to the future. 

Continue reading
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Dennis DeLisse
Daniel--- nicely done. Thanks for the acknowledgement. Happy thanksgiving to you and your family.......love you man .............. Read More
Thursday, 22 November 2018 16:12