Archive for ‘misc’ category

My New Ride


A month ago I made one of the best purchases I’ve made in a long time. I bought a kick scooter. Not one of those aluminum things with rollerblade wheels where the handle is so short you have to hunch over—but a scooter built for adults.

After a fair amount of research I found the KickPed, which is a custom model designed by NYCEWheels. It’s not cheap, but it’s built for the streets of New York and is supposedly maintenance free. The wheels are wide, solid rubber, the birch footboard is trimmed skinny to avoid hitting it with your kicking foot. The handlebars are fixed height (they come in two sizes) and the whole thing folds by pulling up the spring-loaded metal sleeve at the bottom, exposing a single hinge. A strap goes around the back fender and can be held over your shoulder.

Now I may not be riding on the streets of New York, but the streets here in Salem, Mass. have a fair amount of brick and old cobblestone. The KickPed can handle it all with ease. It’s a tank.

I use it to make the short trip from the house to the office, but the primary reason this was a successful purchase is that I can scoot with my son to school along a bike path (until it starts snowing). Me scooting at full blast happens to be the same speed as him biking. For now, the synergy is palpable.

Oh, and I’m not being paid to post this little review, but rather posting for the benefit of future kick scooter researchers. And yes I likely look absurd riding it.

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A Few Sites I’ve Been Enjoying Lately

“… is a collaborative weblog for illustrators, artists, cartoonists, and anyone who likes to draw. Visit us daily for a dose of links and creative inspiration.” Inspiring, indeed — and updated often.
Brand New
Fascinating re-branding commentary. I’m still sobbing over the terrible DQ update.
Like It Matters
Brian Oberkirch on all things social media. Smart dude.
Flip Flop Flying
Entertaining and often hilarious weblog of pixel artist Craig Robinson.
John Allsopp’s weblog covering the world of microformats. See also his newly published book on the same subject. More on this later.
Animated GIFs group on Virb
Both Mr. Sims and Mr. Marcotte warned me that I’d get lost in here and kiss the day goodbye. They were right. The ultimate in lo-fi, mashup, “video” goodness.

Chunky Icons Shirt Winner

Admittedly, I loved _all_ the guesses as to the meaning behind the five icons that grace the front of the newly printed Chunky Icons T-Shirt. But we have to choose one. And so, it’s my privilege to crown Cliff as the the winner of a free shirt. His entry #comment4 was as follows:

Modern hieroglyphics which translate roughly to:

‘Silence your cellphone, Dude, or ship out, OK?’

Cliff’s translation can also be a lesson to us all. Congrats!

I’ll also take this opportunity to mention that the shirts are flying off the shelves, and a re-order has already been placed for a second run. If you’ve ordered within the past week, bear with me for a possible slight delay on a few sizes.


I’m looking to the collective knowledge of my esteemed readers for some advice. Where might one go for high-quality, reasonably-priced, screen-printed stickers? You know, if say, one wanted to promote a web site or two out in the non-virtual world. Any tips would be much appreciated.

The Sound of Elephant

I caught an interesting movie last night on HBO: Gus Van Sant’s “Elephant“. It’s a compelling film, and terribly disturbing, almost mirroring inspired by the high school shootings in Columbine.

What struck me most about the movie was the sound. Lots of ambient room sound — no ADR. It made a world of difference, with the camera often following the untrained actors around a Portland, Oregon high school. You could hear the dialogue just as it would sound if you were actually in the room. It’s as if you’re there, observing things as they happen. The result comes off like one long take of a film.

There’s a sound category for film awards, and instead of explosions and Foley artistry — “Elephant” should win for its sound recording being such a large part of the experience.

The Penny

Earlier today, I purchased a one-gallon jug of spring water from a local convenience store. The total came to $1.29. I handed over $1.30, then silently waited for my single penny to be returned. It never came. Apparently the clerk was unaware of the optional “courtesy thank you” that a customer can say that means “keep the change”. I didn’t give the “courtesy thank you” on this particular visit, and it took me a minute to realize that I wasn’t getting my penny back. And that was OK. I turned and walked out with my jug of water that I had just paid $1.30 for.


Office Space (but not the hilarious movie)

I’ve recently begun hunting for office space here in downtown Salem. I need an excuse to get out of the house each day, as well as a little more space to spread out and get work done. Currently, I’m working out of a converted walk-in closet. Yes, you’ve read that correctly. It does have a window.

I thought I’d poll the audience here — what do you look for in office space? What are the pros and cons? Finding something small and affordable enough seems difficult, but not impossible. And having dedicated work space outside the house seems to be of growing importance to me (and perhaps many of you).

I know I have to worry about an internet connection, utilities, etc. But it’s the less obvious details that I’m afraid I’ll overlook. Feel free to share your workspace experiences, whether you work at a home office, or dedicated space.

Mystery Photo Contest Thing

What’s in the photo, below? Every few days, I’ll be gradually increasing the resolution, making it a little easier to try and figure out just what it is.

The first person to correctly guess won’t win truckloads of cash, a new car, a new dining room set or a pair of jet skis. But they will win the following:

I’m a bit limited as to what I can give away around here, but this is all just for fun anyway. And here is the mystery photo…

what is it?

Good luck.

Update: Believe it or not, this photo was guessed in the first comment. Either tirin is a genius, or I clearly didn’t make this hard enough. Regardless, this concludes this (short) contest.