The Real Life Survival Guide Podcast: Episode 1, The Westville Project

I’ve been driving my friends and family nuts over the past few months, ranting constantly about choice paralysis and the need for human curation in a world of limitless options. (Apple Music came out yesterday, and its curated playlists are amazing.)

At the same time, our house is in a weird state of limbo due to an inability to decide which project comes first.

Our House

I’ve decided to take action!

I’m going to look for solutions by asking for ideas from trusted friends an acquaintances.

And we begin at home.

Last spring I invited my friend, author and architect Duo Dickinson to drop by for a tour, in the hopes of devision a manageable “master plan” for repairs and improvements. If you care to listen in, the podcast is below, followed by a series of notes and photos.

[Note: This podcast contains swear words. Beause it’s a podcast.]

Notes & Photos – Episode 1


The Podcast begins with an allusion to the use of large landscaping equipment on the rather small lawns that make up our block. This is unexpected, as our neighbors all seem really nice, and one would assume environmentally friendly based on the number who drive hybrids.

The thing is, lawnmowers and leaf blowers are decidedly not environmentally friendly. As quoted in this article, “…the types of air pollutants emitted when using a gasoline-powered leaf blower for half an hour are equivalent to those emitted from 440 miles of automobile travel at 30mph average speed”.”

I talked the old RLSG radio shows, and of the aforementioned “choice paralysis“, and how it can effect everything from choosing a movie on Netflix to deciding on home improvements.


The house is a “symmetrical, neoclassical, colonial revival house from…1939″.

The colonial revival period was created by Boston architect Royal Barry Wills.

Duo loves the mitered corners…

McKinley Project 2

…and says the porch over the front entrance is done-for…

The Front Porch is Broken


The next step will be to print out copies of the plans and rough out some ideas before we put things in motion.

In the mean time, please feel free to add your thoughts and ideas in the comments!