It was 10 am, Saturday morning. Several hundred people (mostly looking like climber types) stumbled around Horseshoe Canyon Ranch like zombies. They looked exhausted, dehydrated, and (if you looked closely enough) their hands were torn up and extremely filthy. Some seemed excited by this fact, some appeared sickened as if they just lived off power bars for a few days straight. All of them made their way towards their tents, falling into a deep sleep despite the rising sun and the heat building up. Several could be seen sprawled out on crashpads and picnic tables, some in the bed of a pickup truck and others on the reclined seats of their cars.

For those of you who not in the know, this scenery is common following Twenty-Four Hours of Horseshoe Hell, an annual climbing competition near Jasper, Arkansas, often simply called Horseshoe Hell. Around 250 climbers gather from across the country to climb for twenty four hours straight through the night. The rules are fairly simple, you and your partner receive a certain amount of points for every route that you lead cleanly. If you fall, you must be lowered and start the route again. More points are awarded for more difficult routes, as well as traditionally protected routes versus their similarly rated sport routes. For each new route your team attempts you must place quickdraws as you climb. At the top of each route are a pre-set pair of carabineers to make lowering and removing your gear much faster and safer. Additional points are given to every team whose members each complete at least one route per hour. There are different skill categories in which to compete, providing for climbers of all levels.

Training and strategy are imperative aids in this competition. Many teams' aspirations are to only climb the minimal one route per hour, some are to win their category, and some are to achieve their own personal goals. Upper Limits had many staff and members competing and volunteering this year, making it refreshing to bump into them at 5am. Some team's training involved climbing every 5.10 at the gym in one day, mine was to simply climb as many different routes as I could at both St. Louis gyms. Some practiced night climbing at the gym, some came to HCR to practice climbing harder routes at nighttime. Anything to prepare for climbing fifty or sixty pitches in a night. Most climbers had some idea of which routes they'd like to climb first, ideally getting to sending the harder routes while still fresh.

At 10am Friday morning, after roll call of the teams, the shotgun (and many other guns) fired, signaling the start of the day. Everyone hustled out from in front of the Trading Post up to the canyon walls, some picking up gear at the camp sites, some having stowed it at the cliff base. We grabbed our gear bags at the camp and jogged across the footbridge and up the low hills to the North 40 crag. Several 10a's, an 8, and a 9+. Our plan was minimize travel time and knock these out of the way, but we were forced elsewhere when a line formed behind Ace in the Hole. Throughout the day we made quick work of a variety of 8's, 9's, and 10's, accepting any amount of beta that others would contribute. For most competitors, the North 40 offered more than enough routes to stay within for the whole day, other teams were forced to cross the valley in search of more routes or shorter waits.

Periodically volunteers, competition administration, and promoters would wander past, offering tips, checking on well being, and supplying energy bars and snacks. Every hour, on the hour, the canyon would be filled with primal yelling from wall to wall. Towards sunset the exhaustion began to set in for many, strategies being thrown out the window, resorting to the one route per hour minimum. Headlights began illuminating the cliff base. At 10pm every climber had to check in at a station, submitting their halfway done score card. Cold brewed coffee became available now, and it became common to see climbers napping while waiting.

Panic would ensue when a team member's one hour window began to close, begging to cut in line. Luckily we only had one such instance, and were able to return the favor later in the night. Arguing between teammates became more common. Our routes per hour dropped, as well as their difficulty, 5's, 6's and 7's became what we looked for. Unfortunately that seemed to be what everyone was looking for and the wait for some of these routes was 45 minutes or more. The 4am check in came and passed, providing the administration a chance to see if we were still functioning, mentally. This was one of the low spots for our team, as the following 5.7 was one of the more difficult climbs for the whole day. Somehow we persevered, aided by 5 Hour Energy drinks, coffee, and banana-peanut butter sandwiches.

It seemed the end was within comprehension now as the edges of daylight began pouring through the tree leaves. Competitors looked excited to be climbing and a new energy was with some. At 8 am I realized I needed 6 more pitches to reach 60, so I and my reluctant partner quickly moved through two 9's before camping out at a nearby 6 to get our one route for the 9-10am window. Once we completed this we headed back down to turn in our scorecards. All in all we combined for 101 pitches and 11,240 points, nothing compared to the 260 pitches (a supposed local) or 56,900 points (Team Petzl) that other teams put up, but we were content. Festivities marked the rest of our stay; awards ceremony, spaghetti dinner, pancake breakfast, arm wrestling and slacklining. We left with our swag bags and tender fingers, always happy for the chance to climb.



Logo work done for Vanderbilt University, Model UN


Apple Hand

Every time I see an apple logo I see this:
I just made this earlier, but if you've seen it before let me know.


New Mix:Clean, Clear, and Out of Control

The Execution of All Things_Rilo Kiley
And In Real Life He Wears Corduroy Pants_Trips and Falls
Follow Me Down (feat. Sleepy Sun)_UNKLE
Magic Spells_Crystal Castles
Take On Me (propulse Remix)_A-Ha
Everything up (zizou)_Zero 7
Goodbye, Apathy_OneRepublic
Undone(the Sweater Song)_Weezer
We're Going to be Friends_The White Stripes
Pregnant_Cold War Kids


Project Video

This has been a project I've been working on for the past 7 months in my free time, along with Tim Williams. It is a mobile cnc plotter, that takes vector based images and allows a computer controller to operate it. Besides the CNC kit of the 3 motors and control unit, all the other parts are available over the counter at hardware stores. Exhibited recently at Maker Faire Detroit at the Henry Ford Museum


new mix: La Prima Tazza

some songs put together in a Lawrence coffee shop La Prima Tazza
  1. Everlasting Light_The Black Keys
  2. Reverie_T. Nile
  3. Bearbones_Total Babe
  4. Here On My Own_King Creosote
  5. Ion Square_Bloc Party
  6. Crown on the Ground_Sleigh Bells
  7. Weapons V_Son Lux
  8. Remember_Lali Puna
  9. Telephone (lady Gaga Cover)_Poplamoose
  10. Non Photo-Blue_Pinback
  11. Ring Ring_Sleigh Bells


Sometimes I look at buildings strangely....this is why:

For a while now I've been interested in the sport of Parkour, or as it is known to some as free running. Maybe it was because of the excellent intro to Casino Royale that had Daniel Craig and Sebastien Foucan leaping over and under and around a construction zone, or maybe I have always had a strong desire to climb up anything I can find. Several summers ago, a few friends and I took a weekend day to go and 'practice' which meant running around playgrounds and exploring abandoned parking garages. Since then I've had much more architecture school, which has opened my mind to the built world and looking back now at parkour I see something that opens up our minds to what is feasably a path through a city. I think the above video sums it up amazingly and someday I hope to go to the JIYO park (and any of the BIG projects as well)


Things I Do For Fun

While normal day to day things don't require one to build, construct, or be innovative, it is something that I enjoy greatly, especially when they work out. They don't have to be monumental feats of engineering or woodworking. They don't even have to work. They won't work perfectly. But it keeps me thinking about what possibly could be built or made. So I present to you two projects I've done over the past few months.

The apartment I currently live in came furnished, and me not wanting to make too many unnecessary trips back and forth fit everything I could into my Honda Accord and that was it. I had brought books with me and wanted them to be stored properly. I also didn't want to invest in proper bookshelves as I would eventually have to move them somewhere else. I also had a box of pushpins-I think the one thing I am allowed to attach to the walls. Looking around the apartment I found several empty beer cases-the twelve pack of typically decent stuff. I looked for more rigid cardboard. I also used a Jimmy John's box and a pop tart one to mix things up. The horizontal dimension of the 12 pack are about the maximum to be used, I tried to make the Jimmy John's box horizontal, but it pulled out it's pins overnight. In the top corners of each box I put two long pins (the short ones will also pull out) angled downward to aid in supporting. Then when a new box was generated, it was simply added to the conglomerate.

Now as it is summer time here in the Northern Hemisphere, Ultimate frisbee season has started and I am participating in the Lawrence Summer League on Team 10. It is quite a bit of fun. My cleats that I usually use give me the worst blisters on my heels that I now have minor scars from. I wasn't too excited to go back to them and playing in flats is just plain out frustrating however comfortable those running shoes may be. I decided that the only way to go about this was to modify my running shoes to be comparable to cleats. I took my second pair of Asic's and began to imagine how I would go about adding traction. My though process ended with nuts, bolts, and several washers. I picked up the minimal hardware from across the street at Cottin's as well as an appropriate drill bit to put holes in the sole. The bit was marginally smaller than the bolt size to help prevent them from rattling around and potentially further damaging to the rubber. The bolts I picked out had tapered heads so that they would sit slightly more flush into the washers, and minimizing uneven surfaces for my feet. I placed 5 bolts on the front half of the sole, each with a large washer on top of the sole, and a lock washer underneath to prevent punch through. I replaced the in-soles and figured that it would be good enough. After playing one pick up game I soon realized that more padding was necessary. I found some 3/16" rubber at the re-store and cut out sections using the in-sole as a template, beveling the edges as well as notching out areas where the bolts touched it. Perfect! After 3 weeks of use I've only lost two nuts and washers on one shoe, which I plan on replacing with some sort of glue to prevent its loosening. I attribute the 5 touchdowns I caught last Sunday to the speed and comfort of these shoes.


new mix: Esteban was Eaten!

Queen Bitch David Bowie
All the Kings Men Wild Beasts
Bejan Tanlines
Crave You Flight Facilities
Two Weeks of Hip Hop Dead Prez vs. Grizzly Bear
A Cause Des Garcons Yelle
Queen Bitch Seu Jorge
Help I'm Alive (acoustic) Metric
Amphetamine Everclear
A Control Group Mates of State
Weird Divide The Shins
Sick Muse Metric


Studio is done! (for now)

These are a few of the images from my senior project, done along with Tim Williams and Osama El-Tayash. We've spent the semester working on a City Center for Warsaw, Poland developing a myriad of designs across an enormous site. We've had a good run at things and I've thoroughly enjoyed working with them this semester as it was one of the best ones to date. We primarily used Rhino, Vray, Grasshopper, AutoCAD and Photoshop to create our final images. Our composite boards are under my portfolio section. Enjoy!

Interior of Architecture Museum:
Interior of Cafe looking towards plaza:
Interior of Retail Shopping:
Overall Site Perspective


Clinton Lake Photoshoot

Today I spent several hours out by Clinton Lake taking photos for my black and white photoclass. Being a little over anxious to see how they would turn out, I took some with my 2 megapixel phone camera. The clouds were in rare form today. Enjoy!

Watching Ponyo, english dubs, modeling in rhino, life doesn't get much better than this. The semester is nearing its end and I am looking forward to summertime hopefully getting to visit a few of my friends and get some things straightened out.
We're also working on finalizing our 183Canvas project by building the airbrush connection to our control. It'll only take an hour or so, but we just need to sit down and do it. Also the x-axis pulley is experiencing a large amount of slippage when it has to move slowly so we need to work on smoothing that connection out.


Camera Review: Cannon Powershot SD940 IS

This was the camera that I used for the entire trip. I purchased it two weeks before departure and destroyed it within one week of returning (thus the past tense). It was an excellent model that I would highly recommend.

It took great, photos in nearly every situation. I think that many people rarely use their snap and shoot cameras to their full potential, never switching off of the automatic settings. Get out the manual and read through it several times and you'll be surprised at the amount of technology they pack into these things. This camera's size combined with the image quality made for an incredible travelling camera. This fits behind a credit card and is about 5/8th of an inch thick. That is small. I could easily take it anywhere I was going and never felt like I was being weighted down by it at all.


I suppose this is a little late in coming, but I feel the need to sum up my past semester study abroad experience in a few paragraphs and photos (and several months after the event) is marginally difficult. But I shall try. It all started with a week in London, seeing all the big sites, a few soccer matches, and of course a trip out to Stonehenge (and the Roman Baths and Windsor Castle) all with my good friend Nick Allen (yes we were a pair of Nicks travelling together).

We stayed in hostels on either side of Hyde Park, which turned out to be a pretty neat place with huge ammounts of grass with Londoners out running, walking their dogs, or enjoying the sunny weather. We didn't go up in the London Eye, but we walked along the Thames and all over the city. We saw some cool architecture by Norman Foster, Renzo Piano, and Richard Rogers.

The soccer matches were absolutely worth the tickets, in the beautiful Wembley Stadium where we (as young architects) enjoyed the architecture as much as the game. The tour of England was one of those packaged deals, 90 pounds for a 12 hour day where they would bus you to and from these sites. It turned out to be a lot of in-bus time and not as much on site time as we would have liked. Windsor was worth spending an entire day exploring around. Stonehenge about thirty minutes to an hour is enough because they won't let you walk up closer than 30 meters. The Roman Baths were extremely disappointing in that there wasn't as much to see there.


my latest mix: Sunny D for my Honey B

In The Aeroplane Over The Sea Neutral Milk Hotel
No You Don't Islands
Henrietta The Fratellis
Match Box The Kooks
Mouthwash Kate Nash
Burning The Whitest Boy Alive
Maps Yeah Yeah Yeahs
True Affection The Blow
Red and Purple The Dodos
Is This Love? Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Is It True That Boys Don't Cry Bleech
True False/Fake Real Hercules and Love Affair
Parentheses The Blow
King Of Carrot Flowers Part 1 Neutral Milk Hotel


Our First (almost) Full Test

We have a full 2.0 working axis and are now working on finishing up the last .5 with the Z control, the basic marker on/off switch.


Welcome to My Eyes

What I hope to have here is a representation of things that I am interested in and/or have created.