The focus of this blog is construction-related topics. The purpose is discussion, so please feel free to comment! See Specific thoughts for thoughts from the daily life of a specifier.

22 May 2018

The CSI College of Fellows on Facebook

The CSI College of Fellows has two Facebook pages. One, at, is the official page, where announcements from the College are posted. It focuses on College of Fellows announcements and activities. Formal reports of the passing of Fellows are posted here, as is information about new Fellows, the Celebration of Fellows, and College of Fellows history.

The other page, at, is more casual. This one is a group page, with membership restricted to CSI Fellows. It's a place for Fellows to talk with other Fellows about what they're doing. Members (again, restricted to Fellows) automatically are notified about new posts. For the last several months, we have been playing a game of "Who, when, and where?" A picture of Fellows from a past event is posted, and visitors are invited to guess who's in the picture, when it was taken, and where it was taken.

Anyone can visit either page, and anyone can comment, though comments from non-members may be moderated. Watch both of these pages for news about the College of Fellows, and when you have a few spare minutes, see if you can answer the "Who, when, and where?" questions. For a start, who is in this picture? When was it taken, and what are they doing? Post your answers on Facebook, at

14 May 2018

Head to head

It's been thirty-three years since I took my first job as a specifier. This glorious career came to an early end a few months ago when I left my last office, where I had worked for twenty-two years. Add to that the years I worked in "real" architecture after graduating from architecture school in 1975, and it's been a long road.

My last firm regularly announced milestone anniversaries, and, beginning with the tenth anniversary, each honoree was given the opportunity to say a few words. At my tenth and fifteenth anniversaries, I took a project manual to the lectern, opened it, and intoned, "And now for an interpretive reading of a specification section." The next time you speak, try it; it's always good for a laugh.

For my twentieth anniversary, I couldn't help but think back on my career. I decided I should compare myself to another writer, and, for reasons I can't explain, I chose Tom Clancy. That might sound crazy, but we're both prolific writers, and there is a resemblance…