This Old House

Our 1940s house is a character in our lives.

Failure is Inevitable

The engineering mindset is a disciplined approach to testing for failure.

Applied Minds

The process of engineering requires a disciplined approach to problem-solving: modeling solutions, testing them, improving upon them or dismissing them.

Engineering Mindset

The approach in an engineered house is to first ask, “What do you do?” and then to design a house that enables you to do those things comfortably and well.

Your Engineered House

The title of this collection is from a book I read in youth, a book whose ideas have taken root over decades and are just now coming into flower.

User Experience

2015-10-08 17:42:53-0400 – Updated: 2016-10-28 13:29:24-0400 My Engineered House: User Experience My multi-year involvement with another project has finally drawn to a close. Now I have the luxury of being able to turn my full attention to the next big commitment: building a house. The idea was planted in our heads a couple of years ago but it’s only just begun to take hold in our hearts. We’ve lived in


“Settle down.” I’m frequently told. The more I seek calm in my life the more dissatisfied and restless I become. I dream of being elsewhere. Everything is mildly interesting but nothing is passionately interesting. In the last five years especially, I’ve found it difficult to muster internal motivation for new projects. I’m clearly in a maintenance phase. House, garden, blogs, relationships, studying Japanese–my involvement with all of them is a


Contain yourself.


To retreat for a moment from the prospect of dealing with the failed garden house project, we turned our attention to some little things we could finish up in the kitchen.


Now we can live a normal life!

New Year, New Kitchen

Sometimes you don’t know how far you’ve come until you look back where you’ve been.

In Love with Our Silver Servant

I knew this relationship was too good to last.

I Could Make That!

I was raised to do it myself–and it never occurs to me that I could get someone else to do it for me.

A Place for Everything

So close and yet still so far.

Just Venting

One of those jobs that gets more complicated as it goes on.

Now We’re Cooking

Cool things about the new oven. It has a “bread proof” mode for ensuring yeast breads have the perfect temperature to rise in. And, for those who don’t want to mix religion with cookery, it comes with a sabbath mode. I think I would have preferred a “Black Sabbath” mode–an oven with a built-in mpg player which would belt out “Iron Man” or “Bark at the Moon” when the oven timer went off.