Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Flip Flop: Back to Qumana

After months of using Live Writer, I am back to Qumana. Simple, lightweight, does the job.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dwell: One more thing on the new site...

Did we mention that the layout doesn't work in Firefox or MSIE 7?




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Dear Dwell: A blog needs a feed

Just found that Dwell magazine has a blog.

Dwell's "blog" has no feed

Ooops! A pseudo-blog. No feed.

Dwell: Get with the program.

UPDATE: Apparently it does! There is an RSS graphic at the bottom. But that's not the feed link. Oh no!

You have to click the image to go to a page that has the page that has the RSS feed in it.

No. The feed is part of the blog. It MUST appear on the same page as the blog. Making it hard to find defeats the point of the process.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hey! Do we have a Pledge Week to remember for you!

David Parmet pointed me to these Pledge Week extravaganzas.

My fave:

Surviving members of every 50s doo-wop band fight to the death with clubs — shirtless and totally coked-up — in massive Thunderdome-like arena

Merlin Mann is a god. One of the minor deities, but a deity nonetheless.

Some additions:

  1. Celtic Women v. The Three Tenors in a massive glass-breaking, heavy metal tribute to Metallica!
  2. Civil War outtakes -- "Dear Ma,... General Grant has given the soldiers with one leg the afternoon off from ditch digging, god bless him..." (David Parmet)
  3. Ken Burns vs the Celtic Woman in a nude mud wrestling match.. with fire!!! (David Parmet)
  4. Cirque du Soleil performing with live wolverines
  5. Ken Burns and Bill Moyers fighting for the right to interview what's left of Nixon


Bacon! I smell Bacon!

Sorry to quote a hideous dog treat commercial from eons ago, but this post at the Core 77 Design Blog reminded me of it.

An alarm clock that reminded me of my halcyon days, when carcinogens and fat mattered less to me.

It also reminded me of a passage from Neal Stephenson's Zodiac describing the all-black breakfast. My copy of this hilarious book is in a bin in the basement, so I can't quote it directly.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

This Pine Cone is Empty

This Pine Cone is Empty

Originally uploaded by spierzchala.

A shot inspired by Gosiak's Pássaros set.

Glaring Moon

Glaring Moon

Originally uploaded by spierzchala.

This is a garden ornament that was at the mini golf centre where we had Cameron's birthday party.

WGBH: Are you listening?

Dave Sifry launched a few great ideas that will be studiously ignored by PBS execs because they know better. [here]

I have said this many times in the past [here, here, and here]: asking me for money while showing "Lord of the flies dance to 60s motown classics sung by Celtic women" is not helping your cause.

Micropayments texted in by SMS, that's brilliant. It might show PBS what their viewers what they TRULY watch.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

What's an architect?

I am fascinated by architecture and design. I have no idea how an architect does what an architect does. I can truly say that I have not knowingly met an architect in person.

How lame is that?

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Metropolis Magazine: WHERE ARE YOU?

I hear the February 2007 issue is great.

I'm a subscriber.

Where's my copy?

UPDATE:  They are sending out a replacement copy. Yay!

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Of course data security is (NOT) important in the US

James Governor of RedMonk covers the serious fine Nationwide just got in the UK. [HERE and original post HERE]

This post immediately left me with the feeling (and it's an oogie feeling) that the country in which I reside is completely borked when it comes to data security.

Private companies would get slammed by leaking private information in every country, except the US.

And if a financial institution compromised or lost personal information, they would face real fines, except in the US.

These must be gross generalizations. So prove me wrong.

Monday, February 12, 2007

One toke over the line, oh Buddha...

After suffering with some negative reactions to my medications this weekend, I decided to do some research. It took a little longer than I expected because the information is gloriously hard to find, and I was drooling like an ether fiend in a wolverine pen.

It turns out that Bupropion inhibits the effectiveness of Paroxetine and magnifies the effectiveness of Trileptal. Of course the drug interaction studies are buried right next to Hoffa, and only a few of us lunatics actually blend this mindful cocktail to produce enhanced states of sanity.

So, off I go, down the path of medication adjustment once again.

Maybe if I fly off to Switzerland and check into one of those very private clinics I can get all of my bodily fluids flushed. Have my body completely dried out...look like Reagan on a bad day...then have them added back in the proper order, and the proper amounts. Then maybe the madness will end.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Addictions on Glossy Paper

Magazine Addictions

For some, it's ether; others, mescaline.

For me, it's modern design and architecture magazines on glossy paper.

Feel the silky smoothness -- empty the mind -- buy -- it's what everyone -- strange rumors.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Cursing the Days Lost

My wife doesn't understand my fascination with Hunter Thompson. There are only a select few who do.

What most people don't understand is that living with manic bipolar is living with Hunter inside your head every day. Raging. Screaming. Shooting at the peacocks while the sun rises. Spraying my optic nerve with a rogue fire extinguisher. Delivering calla lilies to soothe me when he has stepped over the line, laughing at me, with me, simultaneously.

That screaming vitality that HST lived every single day is bottled inside me, caged, rattling the bars, threatening to call a 450-pound Maori solicitor to beat some logic into my skull, from the inside out. The highly-attuned vision. Echoing sounds of madness. Inability to pay attention to the droning emptiness of my work life.

Some would call this a nightmare. Some days I do. Most days, I rock back on my heels, scratch my chin, grin, and smile. I know that the world around me is always in his sights, ranting, providing a constant commentary, arms waving manically, Chivas spilling on my synapses, another typewriter brutally blasted in the snow.

Hunter is the model of what rages inside me. The echo of a life restrained, held in check. Cursing the days lost.

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Japanese Racism: Some further thoughts

I've been sitting on these thoughts for a while now. It takes a while to walk out to the end of the pier and stare into a sensitive issue that is likely to provoke a very strong reaction from so many people.

On February 3, Joi Ito published a snippet that opened some people's eyes to racism in Japan. [here]

My in-laws are more than familiar with this. In the early 1970s, they spent a year and a half living in Japan while my father-in-law covered the World's Fair for the Globe and Mail.

My brother-in-law was born in Japan. But before they allowed my mother-in-law into the delivery room, they made her sign a form stating that the child that was about to be born would never claim to be Japanese and would never seek any of the benefits of Japanese citizenship.

From Joi's article, things haven't improved much in 40 years.
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Thursday, February 8, 2007

Fear and Loathing in Cameos

I finally watched the movie version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas yesterday. Not bad, considering that the movie has been out for 9 years.

One of the things that I want to raise with the folks who have spotted the OBVIOUS HST cameo, is that he makes two. Not only does he show up in the club/acid scene, but he is riding shotgun (and likely holding one) in the desert rat scene.

Guess most people aren't baked enough to spot him yet.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


Going to Chicago for a client meeting tomorrow. Use Skype to reach me, or show up at Topolobampo tonight around 20:00 (8:00PM) CST.

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Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Ye who are to be baffled...

This Moleskine hack is perhaps the best I have seen. [here]

Ninth Wave Designs has taken a Moleskine and turned it into an ancient alchemical tome. Cruise the Flickr stream to see all the fantastic designs.

Monday, February 5, 2007

I Never Liked You Anyway

I Never Liked You Anyway

Winter Vegetables

Winter Vegetables

Quantum Interference at 27h GMT

Quantum Interference at 27h GMT

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LUST: Phaidon Design Classics

I ANYONE wanted to buy me something that would make me worship the ground they walk on, the Phaidon Design Classics would be the thing.

This is a series of three volumes that contain 999 of the modern design classics. It's one of those things that you have around, you pick up, and you go "wow".

But at between $75 - $100, it's pretty darn low on the priority list right now.

Flickr: Really officer! When I got home, this is what I found!

It's as though the museum exploded from the ground, and the house was too close to avoid its gruesome, and humorous, fate.

Picture by: baobee

Friday, February 2, 2007

First Real Snow of 2007

It's February 2, 2007.

And it's finally flippin' snowing.

Here's the proof.

First Real Snow of 2007 Goes POW!

The Gimp: Twiddling the Knobs

I'm the first to tell you that I know nothing about using a tool as powerful as The Gimp. I get Layers, but after that, there is a realm of madness that I have not yet reached.

I have learned a cool trick tonight. It's building on a trick I learned a couple of weeks ago. It uses layers and the overlay method. Lifehacker pointed me to digital Photography School, and I learned the overlay Gaussian Blur method. I know use this a lot.

But once I figured out layers, I figured that I could really start stacking them up. As a result of my fiddling, I stumbled onto a really cool way to make those pictures leap at you.

Let's start with a picture of the USB hub that sits next to me.

Hub of Fun -- Original

Sort of lame, with a distinct yellow hue.

Ok, create a duplicate layer. Then, INVERT the duplicate layer. You end up with something like this.


This, in and of itself, is pretty damn cool. But, there's another layer under there. The original picture. So, what happens when you set the inverted layer to overlay mode?

Hub of Fun Goes POW!

Now, you may think there isn't much difference between this and the original. So let's put them side-by-side.

Hub of Fun -- OriginalHub of Fun Goes POW!

Pow! Instant Contrast! Things like the cable in the background, the cable in the foreground, and the front edge of the hub suddenly leap out at you.

Now, the true photogs out there are likely yawning. "Yeah, so what?", they say. "I could of done that in 30 seconds."

But hey, it's new to me.