Two Days

Saturday, 25 April 2009

The last cou­ple of days have been great. Good weather af­ter a seem­ingly end­less win­ter does that, I guess. Friday I got to work from home for the ma­jor­ity of the day since we were shoot­ing a video for the Solid Waste District about the proper ways to dis­pose of la­tex paint. The night be­fore, my new neigh­bor needed to bor­row some elec­tric­ity and ended up giv­ing me a whole bunch of an­cient paint to use for the PSA. The la­bels on the cans are pretty cool:

Ancient Paint Cans with Cool Labels

The shoot went well and I ended up hav­ing to bust ass back to work in or­der to give a pre­sen­ta­tion to a bunch of folks about us­ing our Content Management System. Slept with the heat off and the win­dow open for the first time in seven months.

This morn­ing Abraham woke us up at 6:30 and af­ter he’d had a bit to drink we watched the sun­rise and learned about out­side. He loves touch­ing trees and look­ing at how huge they are. He doesn’t like grass; it is too prickly.

I spent most of the day shirt­less in the back­yard. I tore up a cou­ple of peach trees us­ing my bare hands:

Peach Trees I uprooted with my bare hands.

I also cleaned out the shed, turned the soil over my tiny gar­den, and got every­thing planted. The all-toma­toes-all-the-time patch last sum­mer has been re­duced to two plants. The rest of the space is oc­cu­pied by a bell pep­per, basil, chives, oregano and cilantro.

My garden

I had beans & rice for din­ner on the porch, and af­ter the lit­tle guy goes down for the night, I’m go­ing to eat some choco­late-peanut-but­ter ice cream on the porch.

My porch still needs a rail-mounted beer-bot­tle opener. Speaking of that, here’s a list of other things that I need to do around the house (in no par­tic­u­lar or­der):

  • Remodel Kitchen
  • Till & re­sow back­yard
  • Dig up one more peach tree and re­place it with some­thing that will provide shade
  • Replace rot­ten sid­ing
  • New gut­ters
  • Paint the ex­te­rior of the house
  • Finish bath­room
  • Get cov­ers on roof & chim­ney & get the flash­ing checked out.
  • Fix base­ment plumb­ing
  • Get a cover for the AC & get it hooked back up to the fur­nace.
  • Get new screen doors
  • Refinish front door
  • Bring wiring up to code
  • New win­dows
  • Doors re­hung

Blue Arrow Records

Monday, 13 April 2009

I fi­nally made it to Blue Arrow Records on Saturday, and picked up two Bowie al­bums that I’ve been hap­haz­ardly hunt­ing for: David Live at the Tower in Philadelphia and Aladdin Sane.

While I was in the store I de­ter­mined that Pete Gulyas doesn’t see his job so much as shop­keeper but as a cu­ra­tor. This isn’t the place to go if you like dig­ging through hun­dreds of records look­ing for one gem hid­den among them. The chaff has be pre-win­nowed at Blue Arrow, and every piece of vinyl you pick up will be a gem with its own par­tic­u­lar lus­tre.

Apart from spin­ning records, there’s a few spin­ning racks of pulp nov­els, some in­die-Cleveland cloth­ing, cool jew­elry and sundry other items, none of which are merely gar­nish. There’s a lit­tle stage with some turnta­bles spin­ning store stock and I was glad to see that I made a good turntable pur­chase when I no­ticed that Blue Arrow uses an Audio-Technica. I even got a line on some places to hunt for speak­ers lo­cally, and Pete said he hopes to broaden his stock of­fer­ings to in­clude speak­ers, et cetera once Blue Arrow is a bit more es­tab­lished.

I for­got to ask him if he’s go­ing to hunt for rare vinyl for peo­ple or stock stuff that might be slow to sell, like the 180g Neptune al­bum I’m cur­rently lis­ten­ing to, but I’m plan­ning to lay more of my hard earned cash down on Waterloo at the 2nd Annual Record Store Day next Saturday. The two-hun­dred yards of Waterloo that holds the Beachland, Music Saves and Blue Arrow Records is like a gi­ant candy store for mu­sic junkies.

You can read and see a bit more about Blue Arrow Records here:

USNDPC Video

Saturday, 4 April 2009

I took part in my first crowd-sourced vi­ral video cam­paign [even though I think those words aren’t be­ing used in the cor­rect way] for the U.S. National Design Policy Council. The video is be­low, but you can fol­low the rab­bit-hole of more in­for­ma­tion by go­ing here.

The ques­tions par­tic­i­pants were asked to an­swer were:

  1. What role does de­sign play in US eco­nomic com­pet­i­tive­ness?
  2. What role does de­sign play in the US de­mo­c­ra­tic gov­er­nance?
  3. In what speci­fic ways, would a na­tional de­sign pol­icy fur­ther en­able de­sign to play those roles?
  4. What would you pledge to do to help de­sign play that role?

Junior Boys, Max Tundra, The Sleeps

Thursday, 2 April 2009

The Sleeps

Junior Boys kicked off their American tour the other night at The Grog Shop in Cleveland Heights. This is the sec­ond time I’ve seen them and they put on a great show. That night was of­fi­cially the first time that any­one in the States had a chance to buy their new al­bum Begone Dull Care, since it hasn’t been re­leased yet. Of course it has been leaked on the Internet, and Jeremy Greenspan joked about that fact while en­cour­ag­ing us to go buy the CD. He also talked about how much he likes Cleveland and re­counted his first time vis­it­ing, when he was 12 or so, on a ‘Jew Camp’ field trip. He thought he was go­ing to go to an ex­otic place like the Motherland, New Jersey or Florida. Basically the dude was hi­lar­i­ous.

I took some video of a cou­ple of their new songs. Here’s Hazel from Begone Dull Care:

Here’s Work from the same al­bum:

Here’s a song off of So This is Goodbye called Double Shadow:

The night started off with the lo­cal band The Sleeps. They were pretty good, and had an in­ter­est­ing stage pres­ence us­ing lots of black­light. They were hand­ing out tons of free copies of their demo. I think they were a bit off that night, as the songs weren’t as tight as they sound on the demo. Here’s a video of their song No More:

Max Tundra was the mid­dle band, but the dude didn’t do much for me. One cool song was when he asked us if we re­mem­bered old rave mu­sic (I’m as­sum­ing most of the young crowd didn’t) and then dropped an old school boodoop-badoop-boodoop-badoop-bop-boop beat down and im­pro­vised on top of it us­ing weird hand­held in­stru­ments. It was the slight­est bit Clinical, if you get my drift. Must be some­thing in the wa­ter over in Britain.

One very strange thing about this show was the fact that all of the bands and a vast ma­jor­ity of the crowd was made up of short to very short dudes. It was al­most as if there was one of those signs that said “You have to be un­der this height to watch the show.”