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."