In creative endeavors like architecture and painting one is continually at risk of perpetuating the banal. Banality is disappointing and avoiding it is getting more difficult. Perhaps this is a function of getting older (everyone is a poet at twenty). All of the usual excuses for not delivering excellence are so reasonable and understandable to all. Excellence is unreasonable. It is an aberration. It is freakish. It is hiding all around us. It is in small places. It is crouching in corners and scurrying into myriad cracks in our rude and hectic culture. There are many imposters: shiny stuff, new slick things and fast things as well as things with mighty advertising budgets. Excellence is usually quiet and it must be captured by stealth. Excellence is a very sharp knife. It cuts through all of the clutter that surrounds us and it makes the agents of that clutter embarrassed. Excellence is buoyant and radiant and fresh and fun. Look! I ‘ve found some right here. Hey! There’s some over there! How do you know when you have found it? Banality is noisy and shiny as well as dull and common. Excellence is quieter and it engages your imagination. It makes you happy.