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comment by kleinbl00

    Cartographers are “quite meticulous, really high-precision people,” he says. Their entire professional life is spent at the magnification level of a postage stamp. To sustain this kind of concentration, Hurni suspects that they eventually “look for something to break out of their daily routine.” The satisfaction of these illustrations comes from their transgressive nature— the labor and secrecy required to conceal one of these visual puns.

So this is Seminar II. I designed the AV systems for it in 2002-2005. There were over fifty sheets. Evergreen asked for "fiber optics" for their AV plant and we said "single mode or multi-mode? What are you doing with it?" and they responded "we don't know give us both." This is the equivalent of saying "we don't know if we need a freight train or a dump truck, bill us for both."

Seminar II has, in a few places, a green roof. It used to have an entirely green roof and then budget cuts happened. One of the running jokes at the meetings was how the green roof was going to be kept tidy; this was before everyone knew that green roofs were basically "sedums eight ways" but once you've worked on a green roof project you know this. My boss, who was a loathsome man, suggested a goat. Everyone laughed. The goat became a running in-joke of meetings. My boss, who was a loathsome man, did not know it was a joke.

Project design goes through a few stages - "SD" (systems development), "DD" (design development) and "CD" (construction development). Typically you get one or two sets for SD, then a 50% DD, a 75%DD and a 100%DD, then you might get a 50%CD, a 75%CD, a 90%CD, a 100%CD and a bid set. For those counting at home, that means I had to draw fifty sheets nine times. Except at 90%CD Evergreen asked why their roof, with their marvelous gardens, didn't have any guard rails to keep the fine children of Olympia from plummeting five floors to their deaths. The architect said that guard rails weren't aesthetic. The school said that guard rails were a requirement of the Uniform Building Code. My boss, who is still by all accounts a loathsome man, asked about the goat. Everyone looked at him and said nothing. The architect argued that no part of their contract required them to adhere to the Uniform Building Code and Evergreen, being Evergreen, agreed to pay them to redesign the whole thing with guard rails. We, as subcontractors, saw none of that money. So we went to 90%CD and then went back to 50, 75, 85, 90, 95, 100, 100 again and then bid. For free.

I was not in the initial meetings. I was given "the goat" as gospel truth. I had a few conversations with my once loathsome, always loathsome boss about the goat - he wasn't sure where the goat was staying, how the goat would be brought up there, penned etc. At one point I was on a phone call with someone at the architecture firm and said "there's no goat, right?" to which I got laughter.

So at 75%CD (the first time), I added a goat to the roof.

Something you should know about architectural drawings. They use XREFs - "eXternal REFerences" - which are generally the things drawn by the architect. You put them in as a non-editable layer and draw your stuff on top. Architectural CAD requires decent file hygiene or else you're fukt. And, of course, part of development is importing the XREFs from the architect each time, looking to see what's changed, and making sure all of your design still fits. You then upload everything to a folder and everyone can pull down your shit and make sure it works. I was dependent on Electrical, for example, to make sure that I had power everywhere I needed it and Electrical was dependent on me to make sure they captured my conduit etc. So my routine became 1) Get Xrefs 2) Crack them down so they were compliant with the layers we were using 3) bring them into my drawings 4) update my drawings 5) painstakingly go back and add the goat to this one sheet using the same layers as the green roof. That way the goat was screened back and subtle and I didn't need to worry about it. Also, the goat never showed up as an AV object that needed addressing.

So. Sixteen sets of drawings, eleven of which had a goat in them. Nobody noticed.

Until the bid documents went out.

There were four AV contractors bidding on our stuff, two who were incompetent, one who was an asshole and one that didn't do stuff this big generally. The little guy called me up about two days after it went out to bid to say "tell me about the goat" and I had to say "we'll talk about that in person when my loathsome boss isn't in the next office over." I called him later and relayed the story - we laughed - and I mentioned that I hope he got the bid considering he was the only person in three years of design that had ever noticed the goat.

"Oh, it's yours?" he said.

"Uhh... yeah?" I said.

"That's weird," he said "because it's on the electrical sheets, the mechanical sheets, the lighting sheets, the fire protection sheets..."

Near as I can tell, everyone else had gotten so lazy about dealing with the architect's Xrefs that they had gotten in the habit of just stealing mine off the server. After all, mine were already cracked down. Probably saved them three days of work. And when the architect often doesn't give you what you need, you find shortcuts.

So. Although I drew one (1) goat to be on one (1) sheet out of 700, the goat ended up in the bid documents at least two dozen times.

And nobody noticed but my AV contractor, who got the job by the way. Fifteen years later they're the only ones still in business.

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kleinbl00  ·  440 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Because I'm sick and because I can I just dug into the 750MB(!) file in my server called "old career". It unzipped much faster than it did the last time I tried in 2007.

understanding that (A) I don't have AutoCAD (B) I don't have the right fonts (C) my free viewer doesn't really know what to do with lineweights (D) this should all be gray-on-white, not white-on-black, I present

The sheet

Zoomed in

Hard to ignore

As zoomed in as you can get

Pretty sure those were D-sized, which means at the half-size prints everyone was going off of my little friend was about 3/8" by 3/16" or so. 67 sheets, for the record.

kingmudsy  ·  440 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Aside from the obvious hilarity of 67 sheets having this ruminant gentleman, I'm cracking up that the goat looks like he just saw something he's going to take to his grave

goat doesn't know how he got on the roof

goat doesn't know why he's here

goat wants to unsee

goat wants to go home

goat wants to unknow

kleinbl00  ·  440 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Goat came from an era before memes, wants to go back

He was supposed to be in one of MY 67 sheets. Period. Total. Nothing but AV. And he is in one of MY 67 sheets.

I just didn't expect him to spread to other disciplines. Dozens of times.

Still tripping out over this - these days I can generate 750MB in less than a minute. Back then? seven years of civil, municipal and federal documentation fits in the recovery sector of a giveaway tradeshow jump drive. Especially considering I downloaded this all over a 10BaseT network, so it took me days. Literally smuggled it out on an Archos Jukebox.

user-inactivated  ·  440 days ago  ·  link  ·  
kleinbl00  ·  440 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I would argue, and Dawkins would argue, that a meme is the self-replicating, mutating idea rather than "links you share with friends." Yeah - All Your Base belong to us in 2000 but nobody said "it me" while linking to dancing baby on Tumblr in 2003.

user-inactivated  ·  440 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Ok then, Kilroy was there in World War 2 and the Church of the Subgenius is barely younger the ARPANET.

kleinbl00  ·  440 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You're missing my point: I mean yeah the triquetra and valknut date to 8th century Europe but somehow managed to avoid all religious or spiritual connotation so fer sure "semiotics we share" goes back a bit.

But the recontextualization-as-speech meme factory comes from imageboards and prior to 4chan, those images were things you observed, rather than things you interacted with and redefined to suit your purposes.

kingmudsy  ·  439 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Valknut is just 8th century cool s, change my mind

kleinbl00  ·  439 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My point exactly - a cat's cradle for the pencil devoid of symbolism or context.

We now live in an era where our phone keyboards have a meme search. We are Shaka and the walls have fallen.

kingmudsy  ·  440 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Holy shit, I've been to that building! Thanks for the awesome story, such a weird link to a past life :)

johan  ·  440 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I love this story! I've been spending a large part of the day cleaning up CAD linework to move into Sketchup. Really wish I'd found a goat hiding there somewhere!