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:


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.”