Archive for the ‘Bløg’ Category

Announcing a New Architecture Firm

Dear friends,

I am happy to announce that beginning next week (April 9th) I will be joining with de Jesus Architects as a Principal Architect and partner.

de Jesus Architects was founded in 2008 by Conrad de Jesus, AIA, LEED AP, and has earned a reputation of providing unmatched quality with a nimble and flexible business approach that has helped a wide variety of clients complete outstanding projects in the midst of a rapidly changing economic climate.

Together, Conrad and I have over three decades of combined architectural experience and will continue to provide a full range of architectural services including: Program Development, Feasibility Studies, As-Built Drawings, Design and Entitlement services, Construction Documentation, Contract Administration, Green Design, ADA Accessibility Compliance reviews, and 3d visualization. We can assist you through traditional, design/build, and integrated (IPD) project delivery.

As a principal architect I will be able to provide you with more personalized service tailored to your specific needs and challenges; regardless of the size of your project, your budget or your schedule.

Conrad and I are excited to enhance the service offerings of de Jesus Architects and build a twenty-first century architecture firm utilizing the latest in technology and cutting edge business practices. In addition to traditional compensation methods we offer a variety of payment and client/architect partnership options.

As we finalize the details of the partnership the firm will continue working under the same name. I look forward to working with you in this new role.


Tim Alatorre
Architect, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Where did Tim go?

For the last week and a half I have been on a Social Media fast.  If you’ve visited my Facebook page at all in the last week you would have been greeted with a page without the Facebook wall, no status updates, only a handful of profile pictures and very basic information.  I deleted all of my pictures and notes from the last 6 years I’ve been using Facebook and I just stopped short of deleting my profile entirely.  If you went to my Foursquare account you wouldn’t have seen any check-ins.  If you follow me on Twitter you would have noticed an absence of tweets or retweets.  Why did I leave and why am I coming back?



Top Ten Lessons Learned From Bachelorhood

UPDATE: 06/12/11 with some new insights from the last 4 months.

I’ve never lived alone. I’ve always had a family, roommate, or missionary companion.  As such I’ve also enjoyed certain perks and luxuries. For example:  silverware, dishes, and company on Sunday mornings.  During the years I was married my ex and I accumulated all the essentials. We had every kitchen gadget imaginable and our refrigerator and pantry were well stocked.   When we divorced I wanted to simplify my life and so I let her have everything.  I took my clothes, a towel, our spare bed, my keyboard, guitar, and all my electronics.  My thinking at the time was that I wanted everything I owned to fit in my truck.

For the first time in my thirty years on this planet I’m living on my own and can finally relate with some of the odd things my friend Peter has done for years.

The following are my top ten bachelor tips and tricks.


Why the Architecture Profession Must Die

Venezia 2004, via Wikipedia

My phone begins to ring, I lean over to see who’s calling, it’s my business partner calling from New York.  It must be two o’clock in the morning for her.  I hop out of bed, grab my phone and laptop and walk out onto the terrace overlooking the canals of Venice in Northern Italy.

Her excited voice comes over the line, “I can’t sleep, I have a great idea on how to improve the natural lighting scheme in the lobby and atrium!”

From my laptop I remotely connect to her computer and I watch as she goes over the design with me.  We conference in our third partner in California and by 9am local time the design solution has been agreed upon.  We forward our markups to the production team in India and by the end of the day we all receive an email saying the design renderings and animations are ready for final review.

For the last eight weeks the three of us have been able to dedicate all of our time to this design competition, it has been the highlight of our careers.  For the last two months I have been living in Italy, enjoying the weather and gaining inspiration from the works of Carlo Scarpa scattered throughout the city.

If we win the competition we will be busy for the next two years in the production and construction of this building.  If we don’t win we’re going to all move to Ecuador for the next year and volunteer our time with Architecture for Humanity.

This is the future of architecture. The framework for a distributed global project team isn’t new.  Technologies like remote desktop software and high-speed internet connections allow project teams to work anywhere in the world.

What may be new to some is the idea that the Architect doesn’t need a mountain of paying clients to support themselves.  How can my project team devote two months to work only on a design competition and then turn around and expect to continue to work for free for the next year?  Did we just finish a string of highly profitable projects that have padded our bank accounts?  Maybe, but we didn’t need the work.  Did we win the lottery?  No.


Happy Fourth of July


An open letter to my friends to discuss some unpleasant news…

Dear Friends,

In this age of hyper-connectivity it’s much easier to shout out the good news on Twitter and Facebook than the bad. Sometimes in life we might actually physically mail something to our friends, a wedding and birth announcement, or maybe an invitation to a graduation. Unfortunately there really isn’t a good way to announce what I am about to say:

Crystal and I have been separated for quite some time and our divorce will be final later this year.

I had hoped to tell all of you individually or at most that you would learn about it on your own, but I’ve realized that both of those options are unrealistic. Neither Crystal nor I have made any public announcements but I feel it’s only fair to you that you find out sooner than later. I’m sorry you had to find out this way. Trust me, I wish the situation were different, but I really want to save you from making any more potentially embarrassing and awkward comments online. 🙂

Besides this one mention I won’t be talking any more about this and it’s not something I wish to discuss publicly.  Please don’t comment on Facebook about this and don’t like the link to this post! I realize that now that I’ve said this one of you will! 🙂 Private messages, emails, and gift baskets are always welcome.

Thank you for the love and support you have shown us both over the years. Crystal and I are taking separate paths in our lives and I realize that this may change the dynamic of the relationship I have with some of you. She and I are on relatively good terms given the circumstances and I wish her all the happiness life can offer.

Thank you for your friendship,


Paso Robles Festival of the Arts

Felipe Calderon’s Hypocrisy

With Presidente Calderon condemning Arizona why isn’t the world condemning Mexico?
Here is a clip with Calderon speaking in front of congress and then with Wolf Blitzer on CNN.
[pro-player height=”50″ type=”mp3″][/pro-player]

Here is more of the interview;

These Companies Gave Away Your Credit Card Number!


What do the following companies have in common?

1-800-flowers Expedia Intelius Shutterfly fandango Travelocity FTD Orbitz USAirways
ColumbiaHouse Hotwire
Priceline VistaPrint
Confi-Check InQ RedcastsUSA


They’ve all made $10 to $30 million by handing over your credit card information!!

In emails released by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation the companies have been receiving customer complaints for years that they were tricked into signing up for a service they didn’t want.  What really boggles my mind is that these major, trusted, companies ever, EVER, thought it was a good idea to hand over credit card and financial information to a third party advertiser! What in the world were these CEO’s thinking?

Unfortunetly, the list above is only of the companies that made over $10 million from this scheme.  Over 450 web companies have participated in these schemes.  Many for 5 years or more.  Avon, Hertz, Pizza Hut, Tier Direct, Victoria’s Secret, and Yahoo all made between $1 and $10 million by handing over your credit card information to a third party advertiser.

Trust on the internet is a difficult thing to gain and now that I know how little regard these companies have for my personal information, how can I trust them?  I have no choice but to boycott their sites.

It pains me because I have used Orbitz to plan many vacations and have purchased many movie tickets on Fandango, as recently as last weekend.  I’ve seen the pop-up ads but have never signed up for the offers, although, I have been tempted once or twice by getting a free movie ticket or discounts on my next hotel stay.  I have already closed any accounts I had with these services and I encourage you to do the same.

To learn more about how this scheme works I have linked to PDFs provided by the U.S. Senate Committee’s investigative committee.

pdf 11.16.09 Exhibits of Staff Report

pdf 11.16.09 STAFF REPORT

pdf Representative Documents Part I

pdf Representative Documents Part II

pdf Representative Documents Part III

Information Week has a good article on the deceptive advertising.  I also would encourage you to check out the official website of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation.

An Unsung Hero

2004, 60th Anniversary

60th Anniversary, 2004

Every now and again, as in this past week, the media is swamped with news covering the death of a famous or influential person. Talking heads debate the impact of the person’s life and what their legacy will be. The major networks will air specials and documentaries on their life story and replay footage of their best moments.

Today the world lost a great man. He slipped into the next world with no pomp and no flurry of media. My grandfather, my namesake, Eugene Roland Carlson, died at age 87 in the home he and my grandmother raised four children in.  The evening news will not speak of his achievements, most people never knew him, yet for me, he was one of the greatest men I have ever known.

Setting up Christmas decorations in Wrightwood.  1984

Grandpa and me setting up Christmas decorations in Wrightwood. 1984

Strong, brave, loving, softspoken, and with a twinkle in his eye, he loved life and those around him.   I never heard my grandfather say a mean thing about anyone and he was always quick to lighten the mood with a witty remark.  Even when I last saw him a couple weeks ago, frail and with barely the strength to eat, his sence of humour still shown threw.  He loved wife, his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; and they loved him.

My earliest years were spent in a stroller watching my grandpa and the rest of our family build a cabin in the mountain town of Wrightwood. These early memories may have subconsciously contributed to my desire to enter the building industry. We spent many holidays and weekends at the cabin and I always looked forward to spending the night in the attic bedroom. We would stay up late playing games and then we would climb up the retractable ladder to our fort in the attic. These times, and the many Christmas’ and other holidays we spent together were a great time to learn how to play horseshoes, start a fire, carve a turkey, and play Yatzee.

17 May 1944

May, 17th 1944

Besides building two cabins in Wrightwood, my grandpa built my grandma and his first home in Red Wing Minnesota.  Durring his career as a general contractor he helped with the moon landing mission managing the construction of some of the research facilities in the sixties and built hundreds of structures throughout Minnesota and California.

Prior to this, he served his country bravely in the Navy at the close and after World War II.   He became a Navy pilot on an aircraft carrier and did reconnaissance work throughout the Pacific theater.

What I didn’t fully realize until three years ago was just how much my grandpa loved his wife, Audrey.  When she passed away he lost a piece of himself.  The change was notable.  He loved my grandma more than anything else and their sixty-two years of marriage were a testament of that.  I don’t remember him ever telling her he was too tired to help, he never put her down, nor said negative things about her.  He was always the perfect example of how a husband should treat his wife.

My grandpa was my hero.  Through his selfless life and his persistent smile he has made me a better person.  For that I will be eternally grateful.

I love you grandpa, I can’t wait to see you again.