Why do you want to know my leg strength?”

Profile: Typical Florida Man

Height: 5’11”

Body Type: Reminiscent of William H Macy

Memorable quotes: “I wish I could go back to the beginning of the season; put some money on the cubbies”/// “Orangeade beats Gatorade any day of the week”///”If we win, we’re stealing the other team’s mascot”

Profession: Herbalife salesman turned baseball coach

Leg strength:<<<no data available>>>

Story: Coach Jimbo sure knows how to motivate some athletes. His success is a testament to how far you can go as a coach without knowing anything about sports. His pre game pep talks and questionable ethics have helped him take several middle school and minor league teams to the crescendo of their careers. Although having little interest in athletics and no prior experience, when the Madison county middle school soccer team needed a new coach, Jimbo responded. Remarkably, he led them to a perfect season. There was a lot of speculation regarding how he did it. Several sources saw him passing out partially unwrapped fun size snickers to the opposing team before some of their games. Some have accused him of drugging them with non-non-drowsy children’s benadryl to slow them down, but Jimbo claims that the snickers were fully sealed and un-tampered with. Regardless, he certainly made a name for himself among local middle school sports fans and soccer moms alike.

Soon afterwards, his career received a major boost when he was called in to coach the AA league Montgomery Biscuits. He had a loose understanding of the rules of baseball prior to this, but after watching Sandlot, the Rookie, and Angels in the Outfield, he got a pretty good handle on it. Of course, you can always count on Jimbo to use some unconventional coaching methods, and his stent with the Biscuits was no exception. early in the season, he began applying a rubber compound to the bottom of the players’ cleats that would supposedly make them run faster (He had also watched the movie Flubber). Analysts remain doubtful as to the possibility that this method had any effect, but Jimbo had another successful season and said he couldn’t have done it without Robin Williams.

Jimbo recently arrived in the village and is making efforts to start a new Triple-A league baseball team. However, limited internet connectivity has made communication with the commissioner difficult. He has also found it a challenge to recruit players from nearby settlements as many have cited concerns about the activity of the beasts. Jimbo remains undeterred: “We just need to go talk to James Earl Jones and ‘the beast’ will leave us alone.” Godspeed Coach Jimbo.


The MonArchs: Matthew McConaughey’s hidden talent


You know him from the Lincoln commercials, but even Matthew McConaughey’s most avid fans are mostly unaware of his interest in architecture. While most of Matt’s time these days is taken up by his film career and associated activities, he actually has a real knack for design which is made apparent by the active role he took in the composition of his $12,000,000 mansion located just outside Austin TX. This week, we go for a tour…

Front/Aerial view:


Talk about a great first impression. Just imagine pulling up to this beauty every day after work. The enclosed exterior walkways really speak to Matt’s appreciation for Romanesque architecture.

View from rear yard:


Here’s another shot from around back. I’m actually a huge fan of the turrets, and the landscaping accentuates them quite nicely. Nicely done Matt!

Let’s take a peak inside, shall we?

Living room:fire_interior

Wow. Now that’s a living room. It must have taken the trim carpenters ages to craft all of the door casings and wall trim to Matt’s exact specifications. It really makes for a breathtaking effect. And just look at that chandelier!



Now that’s an awesome kitchen. The cherry cabinets and granite tops have a very traditional and inviting look to them. It’s also well equipped with an over-sized range and dual wall ovens. Very impressive!

While we can’t all enjoy luxury at this level, Matt’s estate is a real inspiration for design enthusiasts at all levels and I hope that he continues to explore this hidden talent. You can really learn a lot about a person by taking a look inside their home! I hope you enjoyed the tour as much as I did.


The MonArchs

Introducing: The Monarchs

Most astute readers: It is our privilege to present a new series entitled “The MonArchs” where we analyze architecture in the modern age. Bricks, crown moulding, we take it from every angle (as an architect would do). As I’m sure many of you are aware and muttering to yourself as you read this, there are numerous architectural blogs, digests, and various other readings out there. Why would we need another? I can certainly sympathize with your skepticism. I frequently exceed my limit of 7 architectural periodicals a day and would be hard pressed to fit in another. My hope is that this series will pull you out of the ether full of ceramic tile samples and window treatments that have left you dreary and reestablish the fundamental connection between you and the built world.

– How many doors do we need? –

I don’t know about you, but when I was a young lad ready to go out for an afternoon tromp around the neighborhood, I never had to choose which door to go out of. In fact, nobody really had that choice, and nobody needed that choice. If you wanted to go out for a jaunt, you used the front door. That was all you needed. Sure, the house might have had a couple of others for special use; a back door for easy access to the weber charcoal grill and a side door that only dad used to get to his workshop which seemed to absorb his entire existence outside apart from his regular job and the 10 minutes he would spend in the house after coming home from work to eat some of his wife’s casserole right out of the pan and then go change into an old O’Haligans t-shirt and jeans. Even as a child, this spurious side door seemed a bit much. Why couldn’t he just use the front or rear door, neither of which were more than 5 paces away? It was beyond my pre-adolescent mind to understand. Nevertheless, this was a period in time where you could count on seeing a MAXIMUM of 2 or maybe 3 exterior doors per house. It seems however, that, as Americans often do, we’re trending in a bit of a obtuse and indulgent direction. By that I mean… Doors. Doors upon doors. More than anyone would ever need, and I would argue, more than anyone would be able to make practical use of.
Take a look at this traditional style mcmansion I came across while heading to my cousin’s neighborhood yard tennis tournament:


Yes, you’re seeing this correctly. This house has SIX doors. And that’s just the front face. I kept my curiosity restrained and avoided gallivanting around to the back side to see the extent of this extremism. Honestly, a confrontation with a man who chooses to live in a house with 6 front doors was more than I wanted to get into on an otherwise leisurely Saturday afternoon. We can safely assume though, that this house has more than 10 doors on its exterior. If someone can explain to me why this person needs 3 doors (two of them being double doors) to his front porch, each being less than an arm-span away from each other, I’m all ears. If you ask me, the frontage would be much better used by a few rocking chairs lined up next to each other (You’ve seen cracker barrel; that’s a porch I can appreciate.) Your options don’t end there when you limit yourself to a more humane number of entryways. Potted plants, statues, lattices: You just don’t have these options with so many doors.
It may seem to be just a fluke. How many of these monstrosities could possibly be out there? Well, let me assure you, once you key in on this trait, you just can’t stop seeing it.
Here’s another extremist design featuring two double doors and one single door (that we’re aware of) leading to the front porch:


Since this is a much smaller house however, we actually have a much higher door/frontage ratio. It just gets to be too much.


Let me tell you, this ridiculous trend is not even limited to front porches. Have a look at this fellow’s garage:


By the style of the doors we can tell that this scallywag was going for some kind of late 18th century carriage-house feel. Tell me though, when has there ever been an authentic carriage house with more than 1 door? 1 is simply all you need. One door takes you in and out. Apparently, this “coachman” feels the need for 3 standard garage doors, along with a monstrous and domineering 14’ entryway on the far side. He just HAD to be able to park his dodge sprinter van in there that he uses to shuttle around his 8 children from various marriages. As for what use he makes of the 3 other doors, your guess is as good as mine. His life is pretty much over anyway.
What makes this excessive doorage all the more perplexing is that many such homes are not the product of some average Joe trying his hand at design using google sketchup where the copy/paste functionality is all too easy to use and just tends to get out of hand. No, this trend is actively being promoted and pursued by trained professionals.  A colleague of mine recently produced this mockup for one of his clients:

I tell you, it’s hard for me to fathom how one comes to this design. His clients were not impressed and he just didn’t understand it.  When he came to me for my opinion, I simply asked him: “Which door am I supposed to use?”. He couldn’t answer. My point was made.

Friends, I tell you, this is only a taste of what’s out there. I encourage everyone who is planning on building or buying a home to give some serious consideration to the number of doors you really need. Don’t let yourself be upsold. It doesn’t impress anyone to go overboard like this. It only makes you look foolish. One door was good enough for me growing up and I’d wager that it’s enough for any sane person. Please, end the madness. In conclusion, I’d like to leave you all with a video you may find helpful if you already find yourself with more access to your home than you need or want. This friendly Canadian fellow will show you just how easy it is to remove and fill in and exterior door opening: