31 October 2007

[bloggage] 100 Posts For The Month of Blogtober

1075. Yeah, Blogtober is a craptactularly bad word (as is craptactular, actually), but never mind that. A meme is a meme.

This month even I'm surprised at the number of posts I've come up with and things to talk about (and photos to share and general blog fun to have). It's been a big month in quite a few other ways, blogwise, too. I think I've gotten more visitors in a single month than any other single month so far, and more participation too, not to mention at least a few new linkers who are so cool my teeth are hurting now.

Since I actually seem to have developed a readership, I find I'm really starting to focus on what moves me, and that seems to attract more readers. Design is fun. Maps are fun. Portland rocks (Seattle, you'll just have to get over yourself for not getting StreetViewed by Google first. C'est la guerre, mon cher).

As a celebration of Blogtober (sorry, I can't stop using that word. Shoot me, shoot me now), I'm sharing a new fave over at YouTube. Now, we all love talking cat videos. There's a whole scad of them. I have here what I think everyone will agree is the last Talking Cat Video anyone will ever need:



I agree. Giamatti really deserved that nomination. And I'm not drinking any more merlot.

Ah, well, on to NaBloPoMo then.

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[or_politik] No On 49'ers Can't Hold Own In Debate

1074. As Brian Hines notes here. Spanked 'em and sent 'em home without breaking a sweat.

And while you're over at Hines Sight, read about why Measure 37 is bad policy and damaging to Oregon. If you're really hung up on property rights, ask yourself why people like OIA, who loudly herald "personal property rights" and the much abused "will of the voter", don't seem to give a damn when neighbors property values and livability gets killed when a big development goes in where one shouldn't go.

If they'd change their name to "Resenful Oregonians In Action To Get Ours And Keep It", that'd be closer to the truth–but it doesn't scan well.

I'm not crying for them. If they can't lie to you on the debate stage, they'll always have those risible commercials.

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[bloggage] My Page at NaBloPoMo

1073. You can has it here. Come and be my friend.

One post a day–that's all they're askin', dawgs.

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[bloggage] You Might Wonder If I'm Padding This Out To Reach 100 Posts For The Month Before Midnight

1072. And you'd be right.

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[design, branding] The Periodic Table of Brand Evolution

1071. Kolbrenner USA, branding and marketing firm, offer up an askew view of branding, in thier periodic table:

branding definitions
Built by Kolbrener, a branding company

Click on the image to visit it. It's Java-just roll over any of the symbols and the chart will tell you all about itself.

(h/t to Troy Worman)

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30 October 2007

[pdx] ZOMG, 2 Days Left To Vote On What Sam Adams Is!

1070. As of about the time of this posting, there will be a mere two days left in The ZehnKatzen Times' Don't-You-Wish-Your-Poll-Was-Hot-Like-Mine INSTANT Poll, that is to settle the question of whether or not Sam Adams is a Politician or a Beer.

We hear that Boston Brewing, the rounders, are backing off, but they do not control consensus reality–we do, through the power of our poll, which, we will remind you, can not only beat up your poll and take its lunch money but also has regular booty calls with top hot supermodels, which is way more than you. And me, for that matter. Man, I envy it that way.

At this writing, the poll stil has Sam Adams as a politician by a wide margin. The lawsuit threat may be resolved, but it is up to us to decide what we think Sam is–regardless of what he actually is!

So, vote. Elvis would vote himself if he could. Make Elvis smile...vote, one way or the other...at the top of the side bar on the right.

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[liff] Where I Would Go If I Had the Spondulix And The Time

1069. To see Chuck Close at the Art Museum.

God, I love that man's work. Brilliant.

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[pdx] Sunset From Rocky Butte

1068. We didn't have the tripod with us, but the stone parapet at Joseph Wood Hill park did fine duty:


A fine moment (about 18:30 today), captured in time.

[bloggage] New Friends

1067. In the last two days, we've gotten a couple skookum new linkers, and we've got to say that we appreciate the links: Kevin Allman, Portland writer late of NOLA and published to kudos, and Dave Knows: PDX, who shares transit nerdery.

I was kind of hoping you guys would link to me, and today I can say I got at least one of my wishes.

Linked back because that's just the kind of dude I am.

I'd also like to brag about NuShooz accepting my request to be a MySpace friend; I must say, Valerie Day is much hotter as a brunette than when she was a blonde.

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[pdx, Address_Nerd] Quietly Quirky Portland Street Signs

1066 and all that. One of the things I love about Portland is the street signs (I've never made a secret of this, of course). Portland's street grid has certain quirks that have, as a map addict and all-round Address Nerd, endeared me for life.

One is a practice to name some streets without a "Street Type". Herewith, an example:

The street blade isn't incomplete or incorrect. Historically, this street was never called "Reedway Street", despite it being an east-west traffic way (by Portland definition, a named "street"). Whoever named it probably called it "Reed Way", which concatenated over time into a single word, proably echoing "Broadway" and the similarly named "Wardway" (which is the little road that snakes down to the light at NW Nicolai Street and Saint Helens Road, in case anyone's ever wondererd, and was presumably named for the old Ward warehouse which is now Montgomery Park. Reedway, we presume, was either named in honor of Simeon Reed or the unique college that bears his name, which is close to hand).

Latterly, as these signs age, they have been replaced with more conforming signs: SW and NW Broadway are not yet signed "Broadway Av", but N and NE Broadway are increasingly being badged as "Broadway St", as is SE Reedway (and presumably NW Wardway, though we haven't been over there in a while to see.

Needless to say, we like this not. We need to keep Portland quirky.

Next exhibit:

This picture shows something I love to find–this sign, which can be found at the corner of SE 97th Ave and Harold St (how about that? I man, what are the odds?) shows signs made in the Portland style but the format does not conform. The blade on 97th should read SE 97th AV, not SE 97TH AVE (the unsuperscripted ordinal just kind of jumps out at you, and the street type should be AV not AVE) and the Harold blades street type (ST) should be much, much smaller than it is.

As information design, Portland street blades are spare but very efficient and above all, uniform. Something like this is a happy find–it's a little like finding that postage stamp with the upside-down biplane that was so famous

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[liff] Freely Writing-Or Writing For Free?

1065. As someone who's trying to find a living as a professional creative, I think it's a fair question to ask: are the various campaigns by content providers for "citizen journalists" or "community voices" a way to get content for free–content that those providers used to have to pay a professional to provide?

Would you, dear reader, want to work in such a field? How do you think you'd fare if you knew you'd have to compete with people who are willing to literally work for nothing?

This is how decent professional creative occupations get undermined and devalued in the eyes of the public.

Kevin Allman speaks sooth here and here. The big dark-side takeaway for me comes from this quote Kevin's provided us:

“In two days, we can have 50 or 100 people work an hour a day and do the work it used to take a reporter two months to do,” said Marc Cooper, 56, who is OTB’s editorial director and teaches journalism at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School.

With all that free content coming in, why bother paying a professional who's been trained to write and report effectively? Point taken, point taken indeed. Or, as Kevin retorts (and we can say no better):

Back in the hoary old days, "traditional newsroom protocol" included a paycheck.

Graphic designers deal with this centrifugal pressure too. We call our initiative NO!SPEC, which is our virtual leafleting about how logo and design contests tend to really amount to a whole bunch of designers working for nothing.

One might wonder what an underemployed designer is doing talking such smack about people who might potentially employ him. I don't think I'm goring any oxes here–what I am sayng is that any profession that has sophisticated training as an entry requirement ought also to provide concomitant reward. If you train as a designer or writer or professional content creator, it's only fair that what awaits us on the other end of that training is the real potential for prosperity in our chose field.

For information on the NO!SPEC initiative, go ahead and clicky upon the pritty button thingee.

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[logo_design] PDX Logo History-Seen On The Streets

1064. Well-known names have updated around town, over the last couple of decades or so. But legacies do remain.

This picture is of the big TriMet logo that's still mounted on the south end of the bus barns–that big building at the northeast corner of SE 17th Ave and Holgate Blvd. If you ever see a bus with the words "CENTER GARAGE" on it, this is where they're going:

The story the logo tells is pretty basic. It was redesigned a couple years back; the logo was effectively and successfully simplfied, and the arrowheads were removed, reflecting the observation that bus riders don't necessarily have downtown Portland as thier origin or destination.

This next photo is of an old logo I particularly love:

This is on the side of a workshop across the street from PGE's main base, which just so happens to be just north of TriMet's headquarters on SE 17th Avenue. This logo is just plain cool (and I used this photo as the reference for creating my own Adobe Illustrator version (illustrated here and seen for the first time in this post).

I also very much enjoy PGE's current logo, which I feel pays a certain thematic homage to this old logo, which, in my view, is as close to pefection as it needs to be.

Keep an eye on your surroundings. Learn not just to look, but to see, and you'll sometimes be surprised what will come at you.

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29 October 2007

[pdx] The Progress of the Poll-Sam Adams: By A Vast Margin, Still A Politico

1063. The ZehnKatzen Times's Instant Online Gazonga Poll That Can Beat Up Your Poll, Sam Adams, Politican or Beer?, is still amazing people with its ability to wreak pure, unforgving consensus reality. At this point in time, Sam Adams is, far and away, still a politician.

A future poll will determine which kind of politico he'll be, of course. While I'm willing to poll here, I believe the city and county still has that one in hand, so no worries.

Vote! Remember, if you don't, you'll make Elvis cry. And you don't want Elvis to cry.

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[pdx_transit] Streetcars: The Future's Looking Rather Familiar

1062.

Emboldened by the success of the downtown streetcar line, city leaders want to expand service into a network that would crisscross the city. -Dylan Rivera, Oregonian writer

We read with a certain distilled sense of irony the article in The Big O today about the buzz to extend the Portland Streetcar into a citywide network, but we're far from cynical about it–as a matter of fact, we couldn't be more pleased and excited. As anyone who's familiar with Portland history–and Portland transit history in particular–knows, before Portland was known for transit, Portland was known for streetcars.

So, it's kind of sardonically funny that one of the next big possible innovations in metro transit technology is something that was quite widespread less than 100 years ago, even though its encouraging and quite exciting.

As far as we're concerned, it's fun riding the train. We didn't get to ride the train at all growing up; we grew up in Silverton and Salem. Trains carried frieght, and you waited at "RRXINGs" in your car whilst the train held you up. The first experience of riding a train we had–other than the one at the Zoo or at Pixieland, when it existed down by Lincoln City–was the MAX, and that was when it ran from downtown to Gresham only (and we were touched even then by the irony of the exuberant rediscovery of urban rail in a city where urban rail once ruled–but, again, this didn't prevent us from enjoying what is truly a neat trip. Rail still rules).

Returning to the present, we are additionally sardonically amused my the following passage:

About 140 miles of the city's busiest streets show potential for new streetcar routes, said Patrick Sweeney, project manager for the Portland Office of Transportation. Those streets have dense enough housing, employment and shopping -- and are zoned for more.

We at The Zehnkatzen Times and our Editorial Department (which at the moment consists of me, an old map, and a bottle full of coool, puuure Bull Run water) are nothing if not civic-minded, and we reached back into our archives and believe we've found a great starting point.

One of our dearest posessions is a 1940 promotional folder for the Portland Traction Company's trolley, streetcar, and bus network. Though I can't find the reference right now, I believe someone of the ilk of Kim MacColl pointed out how Portland's early growth was along streetcar lines–then, as now, prime real estate. In 1940, PTC's network of streetcars, electric trolleys, and motor coaches looked like this:

The yellow solid lines and green dotted lines are the trolley net–those routes that had lines above the street with which the rolling stock drew motive power via a pantograph. Withal, we don't think that's a bad place to start.

I offer this up for the public good, though if the proper authority would deign my considerable research worth paying for, we can deal. Contact information can be found on the sidebar, up near the top there.

In all, the map folder is an incredibly dear thing. Then as now, we weren't afraid to beat our chests about our innovative transit; we called it then The World's Finest Trolley System, and we exhorted both residents as well as visitors to use our system to see the town. Festooned with photos of possible destinations as the Saint Johns Bridge, the "Theater District" (SW Broadway when she was our own Great White Way) and the quaintly-referred-to-as "Jewish Synagogue" (we are so far unaware of other faiths with synagogues), it's a piece of period style and flair, and we love this map.

Regrettably it's too big for us to scan, but let us share one more bit of it, the Portland Traction Company's glimpse of life in the Rose City in 1940:

Can you imagine that one of those little kids climbing on the bus in the picture in the lower left is Ramona Quimby? We sure can.

We've always wanted to compile a more complete library of Portland Transit ephemera, schedules and maps and such, but, sadly, those are most impossible to find it seems (we accept donations though. We could put together a most skookum display...)

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[pdx] Best. Bookstore. Cat. Evar.-Fup (1988-2007)

1060. Aw, heck. Fup's no longer with us.

I'm going to have to tell The Wife™. She's gonna bawl if I tell her and kill me if I don't.

Requies-Cat in catnip, kitty.

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28 October 2007

[pdx] The Poll So Far: Sam Adams Might Actually Be A Politician

1059. With five more days left in the polling, it seems that we are coming to the consensus agreement that Sam Adams is a politician, not a beer, by quite a margin...but the vote isn't over yet!

Remember, this is your chance to help us determine, by poll fiat, just what Sam Adams is. Our consensus reality rules, so no matter what that silly old reality says, Sam will be one or the other–either a beer, or a politico.

So belly up to the bar and vote, people–remember, Elvis himself fought and died for your right to vote. And we wouldn't want to disappoint Elvis, would we?

No, I didn't think so.

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[logo_design] Holiday Inn, The Great Sign-First Edition

1058. The subject of the Holiday Inn identity re-rollout made me research and look for even more examples of The Great Sign, that gaudy, flashy, colorful, beauiful early roadside attraction that signified the glory days of the classic Holiday Inn chain. My Googling, as mentioned, took me careering about the Intermets to a webside called Birmingham Rewound–and that's the one in Alabama we're talking about here.

There, I found an example of The Great Sign that was so beautifully done I had to get it to post here, so I asked the proprietor, and he assented. Here is a really interesting example of a very early-almost a proto-Holiday Inn Great Sign:

Grateful acknowledgement to Russell Wells/Birmingham Rewound
and Dixie Neon Company Archives; used with permssion.

Something that should jump right out at you (aside from the ZOMG $6 for a double rate!!!) is the word HOTEL in big bright letters slung under the backslanting script of the words "Holiday Inn". My correspondent's (Russell Wells, webmonster at Birmingham Rewound) guess is that this was likely seen only in the chain's early expansion, and that this particular unit was perhaps one of the first 10 in the then-Memphis-based chain–this was certainly the first time I've ever seen it, and makes the photo itself historically significant.

Recall how Holiday Inns, with thier high standards of cleanliness and decorum, stood to provide the family with a dependable, safe alternative to the seedy "motor hotels"-the "motels" of the '50s. Even today, the world hotel carries a class and cach├ęt that the word motel can't still quite handle. It makes sense to brand them "hotel"s.

The current state of the building, known latterly as the "Hiway Host Motel", can be seen in Google Maps if you follow this link; here's the link to the page at Birmingham Rewound, again, which has more views and commentary.

A glimpse of American commercial history in the shade of a roadside motel that's seen better days. And so it goes.

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27 October 2007

[logo_design] Checking Out The Old, Checking In The New

1057. Jeff Andrews at his blog, Adventures In Blogging!, today clued us into the immenent redesign rollout for the Holiday Inn hotel constellation. It got my attention, sure enough.

The familiar back-slanted script, with its uniquely recurved majuscule "H", has graced America's highways since the 1950's. It became the standard for the clean, respectable roadside family motel. The days of what they called "The Great Sign" are long past, but the traditional look of the identity has been important enough to the company that it retained every possible reference–the charming backslanted designed script, and the old star at the top of the Great Sign survived to the present day in highly stylized form, most notably in the Holiday Inn Express brand.

Just like other notable redesigns of recent memory we can only spectulate why Holiday Inn decided it was time to ashbin the kit and kaboodle. We don't think it too far out of school, however, to guess that it was felt the old look was a little too dated. The script look of the typography, it must be remembered, has come through history seemingly unchanged since the company's founding (as far as we can determine)–that's nearly sixty years now. In some eyes it has undoubtedly gone from retro Americana to simply quaint and a bit out of place.

As Jeff seems to point out in linking to this article at UnderConsideration's Brand New, there is significant regret at the company's redesign, at least amongst people who care about such things (designers, naturlich). As people who actively think about such things they reflect on a surface level what a lot of people think subliminally, so those observations are important. The nub of the gist is that in disposing of a traditional look you also risk breaking the essential link to certain points in the company's reputation–clean, dependable service, good repute, high standards, and reasonable rates–that have been a company's hallmark and are tied inextricably to it. Many people who are designers today vacationed with thier families in Holiday Inns as children. You can't beat mindshare like that.

Personally speaking, I'm attracted to the redesign, but then, was born an Oregon country boy–it was the 1980s before Silverton had her first Circle K Store (I swear to God). To us, a vacation was to the Oregon Coast to a rented cabin that a friend of a friend of the family was able to let us in on. The design I feel has much to speak for it–the new type is also designed, but with a much more subtle flourish (by this I mean the rounded corner on the lower left hand sides of the glyphs). The green color is appealing and desipite Holiday Inn's image as the motel for the masses, the green gradient in the logo itself speaks to a sort of sophistication. The way the "H" breaks out of the square on the right serves to add a bit of interest to it without going to extremes of excitment–which we think of as apprpriate given what we percieve the target audience to be, a group that wants to be welcomed in with a smile, not fireworks.

Just like recent redesigns, notably the Flag's stations that I've found to be a bit of an obsession, they're rolling it out to a public that must accept it, like it or not. Time will tell whether or not this will be a success but my personal idea is that it has what it takes, despite the fading into history of a beloved American culural detail.

The Great Sign

Earlier in this discourse I touched upon The Great Sign. This is an important part of Holiday Inn corporate culture, or at least was.

I've nicked the photo from Wikipedia's Holiday Inn entry to illustrate ('tis public domain, which be doublegood, yarr). Corporate attitude about identity can run the gamut from indifference to near idolatry, and Holiday Inn's Great Sign seems to have occupied iconic status within the company itself. Salon has a great article on it here, which may be read. So devoted to the look was the company that it's said that Holiday Inn's founder, Kemmons Wilson, experessed verbal displeasure with the ashbinning of the sign after he left the company he founded.

We've also just stumbled on a page on this site called "Birmingham Rewound" which shows an even more elemental version of the Great Sign–with the word "HOTEL" on it. Going for Luxury You Can Afford™, even then.

There was even one in Salem, which was the first time I'd ever been within 500 feet of a HI. Salem refugess (hey, Jeff!) may remember how it sat, the dogleg of Commercial Street SE, just south of the Public Library and just north of the Mission Street light, at the point where the street grid straightens out–Salem's Holiday Inn with its own Great Sign, even scaled down to fit into that little close-packed nabe on Fry's Hill, it still dominated the street.

But I moved into Salem in about 1976–and the Inn upgraded its look in the early '80s. Soon after, the motel quit being a Holiday Inn.

Ah, Great Sign, I scarcely knew ya.

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[pdx] Sam Adams Poll Still Open...

1056. Just as a reminder, the ZKT's Zapadoo Instant Poll, Is Sam Adams a Politician or a Beer?, Is still open!

Regardless of the outcome of the Brew-HaHa (it's becoming a real anti-Boston non-tea party) we have the power, through the power of the poll, to determine consensus reality. We have the power to decide exactly what Sam Adams is, regardless of what the real reality is!

Is that cool or what?

So get on board the train and help us decide! It's over there on the right, at the top of the sidebar!

And, just for some more blunt wisdom on the subject, regarding the Sam Adams Beer non-apology apology, the Brookston Beer Bulletin has the right of it all. Boston Brewing, here's advice better than your legal eagles are giving you...

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[bloggage] Unexpected Link Surprise

1055. In my quest for linkage, I find that sometimes some I hope link to me never do, and sometimes I get a link out of the blue from someone I'd never heard of. New links, to those of us smaller blogs, are like money in the bank, a dash of cold water on a hot day, or better yet, a bracing shot of 10 Cane Rum neat in a world of cheap vodka.

So, today, when my Technorati authority went up two points, yes, I got excited and chased down where it came from. I found it was here, a heretofore unheard of–by me, but it looks like I'm one of the few–blog by Troy Worman called orbitnow!.

It seems to stand in the class of blogs that LIz Strauss' Successful Blog–blogs that are about interesting things and meta things. Sort of like a toy box where you find neat things no matter when you look (Liz: I haven't stopped by S.B. in the last several weeks but it's not you, it's me. I'll try to hit the next open mic night, promise!).

If I read it right, I also have the right to lay on this badge:

O!, indeed! Anyway, I'll be putting a back link–because that really is the kind of person I am. The unsolicited link is cool, and I'm quite grateful for it.

Thank you, Troy Worman.

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26 October 2007

[liff] Life Around These Parts

1054. Courtesy XKCD:


Yes, you're a kitty. Yes, you are.

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[pdx_transit] Mall Construction-Sound & Vision

1053. If you've been wondering what it looks like down on the Portland Mall but haven't had the chance to get downtown (like me, and like me) then you'll be happy to know that TriMet has more info for the masses:

  1. There is a newly-updated and navigation-rethought Portland Mall Construction Gallery with a ton of in-progress pictures of what's going on down there and what they're doing and how they're doing it. Very fascinating stuff.
  2. Three new episodes of TrIMet TV, thier rider's vodcast: Episode 2 is an overview of the construction project, very general-info; Episode 3 is a couple of minutes on the recent installation of the route crossings at Pioneer Courthouse Square; Episode 3 is an info about Transit Tracker.

The most exciting episode of TriMet TV so far is Episode 3–with video of the installation of the crossings and judiciously used voxpops and sound bites from some of the construction crew–give a view of the construction process that I really can't find anywhere else. I wish it could have been just a little bit longer.

The other two episodes are really just general informationals, done to a pretty high standard: Episode 2 is an overview as said, nothing you don't already know if you've been following this, and episode 3 is a good introduction to Transit Tracker–though I would have liked to see a little more "behind the scenes" with this one, and a voxpop would have been well used here.

Still, I think TriMet is doing a good job with TriMet TV–and the Mall construction gallery is dead fascinating.

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25 October 2007

[pdx] The ZKT Poll–Sam Adams, Politician or Beer?

1052. And now, the first (and who knows, maybe the last ZehnKatzen Times InStAnT Poll! The question was inspired by this post at Blue Oregon, and the question is simply this:

Sam Adams–Politician or Beer?

The poll is at the very tippy top of the sidebar there on the right, so vote early and vote as often as you can. The Poll closes in one week's time, 2 November 2007, 23:59.

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[pdx, pdx_media] Sam Adams Brew-HaHa Update: They Got The Wrong Guy

1051. Consulting the the Times' Legal Department (J.D. 25 Years of Watching Perry Mason) we find there is a possible loophole in the case of The Great Sam Adams Brew-Haha. Exhibit A and Only (clicky to embiggen):


Note carefully the spelling of the name. As far as we know, the famous KEX radio host is Dave Anderson. This letter is addressed to Dave AndEson. And just who is Dave Andeson? I never heard of the guy. And the mistake was made not once'd, but twice'd! They're looking for this Andeson guy, not our Dave Anderson.

Your honor, we rest our case.

Seriously, though, as a layman, I wish Boston Brewing's legal dept would quit operating in a bubble. The boon to extend Commish Sam the right to use his own name shows yet another corporation who should have known better, didn't know better, got caught not knowing better, and then doesn't have the ability to admit a mistake.

Like I intimated, I'm not a lawyer, just an underemployed designer. However, it seems to me that if Boston Brewing just maybe would admit that this was a misguided move (couldn't they be bothered to even check that they'd spelt Dave's last name correctly?) and slowly backed away they would reduce the PR mess they're brining on themselves.

But, judging by some opinions held elsewhere, that tall ship's getting ready to sail.

Thanks for Linking:

  • Brookston Beer Bulletin, who obviously knows quality when he sees it
  • KEX 1190, Who noticed my entries and were nice enough to invite me to the link party. I was so moved I went back and discovered what my Mark & Dave cult membership number is: turns out it's 583, which means I got on board rather early. I might have to take up listening to the show again, but if Mark & Dave stop by here, as far as you're concerned, it's 4 to 7 everyday, as it always has been...and as it always will be.

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[liff, bloggage] NaBloPoMoYaHar

1050. Finally, an event I can really get behind:

NaBloPoMo

Post one post every day all November?

Yeah, I got that. I also joined the Graphic Designers/Web Designers group there. Regrettably, the founding kudo was gone before I even got there. So it goes.

Hat tip to QWOC, who first posted about it. Thanks for the heads up!

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24 October 2007

[tech] Gmail Users Can Has IMAP Naow–So What?

1049. That sound you heard over the net everywhere today was the sound of power users having a simlutaneous techgasm over the revelation that Gmail, the service pretty much everyone (including me) uses to stay connected, now offers IMAP (Internet Messaging Access Protocol).

There's so much fanfare over it that made me wonder about it–what it was and why I'd want to use it. So I went looking for information, my question: I've used POP for years now. It works just fine. Is this something I really need to care that much about?

IMAP, stripped of all the tech-jargon, is an email protocol that differs from tradtional POP mail essentially in that what you see on your home machine is what you got on line. Right now, the way my email is configured, I use POP and have Gmail trash the messages as I download them.

In an IMAP setup, the configuration of read and unread messages, folders, everything, is mirrored on my mail server. With POP, if I log in anywhere else, I see what hasn't been downloaded to my home yet. With IMAP, I see in Gmail what I have on my home machine, no matter where I log in.

But I still wondered why I would want to move over to an IMAP setup vice POP. I found a page at Columbia University that put it into perspective pretty well:

IMAP keeps the mail folders on the server, and it is compatible with Webmail and Pine. You can switch between different computers, mail programs, Webmail, and Pine, and they will all show the same mail folders and have the same messages marked as seen. If you want this flexibility, use IMAP.
POP keeps the mail folders on the PC. This has some advantages for speed and offline use, but requires that you always read mail with the same PC, which may be true if you carry a laptop around, or always read your EE Columbia mail from the office
.

So, if you're lucky enough to be reading email from multiple computers (as in that fabulous future when I finally have the MacBook Pro I so richly deserve) then IMAP would be of a benefit, but the way it looks, if you just have a desktop machine or just one computer and read all your email on that computer, then at best it really doesn't matter how you do it.

Of course, me, with my one computer, all I really care about is that my email get to me. And I get that either way.

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[pdx] A Portland Bicycling Moment

1048. In the wake of the two bicycle-automobile tragedies we've been confronted with, I was witness to a positive cosmic moment a day ago.

We were on SE Division Street pointed eastbound at SE 20th Avenue–one of the seven-points gateways to Ladd's Add, and a intersection of great possible travail.

When the light allowed cross traffic to proceed between SE Ladd Avenue and 20th, at least seven to ten bikes streamed southward out of the Addition and onto 20th.

Everyone, cars and bikes alike, shared the road with no problems, no bad attitudes, no incidents, no hurt feelings, basic traffic respect. It looked like a smooth machine working just the way it should.

While this does exactly zero to replace the two bicyclists' lives in the fabric of of the lives of the ones who knew them, it does provide hope and encouragement for the big picture, however.

I'm Sam, and I believe that bicycles have a place on Portland streets, I watch out for bicyclists when I drive–and I share the road.

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[liff] Down With Sam Adams!

1047. No, not that Sam Adams. This Sam Adams.

Seriously, you people really think you're defining your rights to your trademark by threatening to sue some people who are parking domain names for a Portland city commissioner who's running for mayor? Are you really seriously thinking that we'll confuse the two?

Are you going to sue me becaue 1/3 of my name is precisely equal to 1/2 of your brand name?

Naturally I shant be drinking any Sam Adams from hencerforth. Of course, in a town that boasts more decent craft brewers than we have a right to, I don't know why anybody does–the fact that PBR is apparently PDX's favorite brew completely baffles me. But still!

There's a reason lawsuits have such a bad rap. Now will you please talk to your sane legal eagles and have them make you understand why this is a stupid thing to do?

Here's a tip: though I'm no lawyer, I'm pretty sure Commissioner Sam Adams is neither a service, nor a product. Just throwin' that one out there.

Update: I think I've found a loophole. Peep this here.

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[pdx, liff] Two Pictures From Today

1046. Number one: a photo of Mount Hood, taken in late afternoon, from approximately SE 134th and Division:


Number two, SE Harrison St, in Milwaukie, just east of Mike's Drive In (at Hwy 224) and just west of the railroad crossing/SE 32nd Avenue light, as the sun was leaving us today:


Was trying to find out how to make my humble, overworked ViviCam 3705 give light streaks. Looks like I was able to get a pretty good effect.

NB: We highly recommend the buffalo burgers at Mike's. Buffalo is very very tasty, and very lean–leaner than lean beef, in fact. Satisfying but doesn't weigh you down. Sustaining. Wonder where we can get buffalo...or even beefalo...

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[design, pdx_design] Ten Times Cooler Than You, Me, and Everyone You Know

1045. Weiden+Kennedy Studio.

The "baseball cards" are clever and hee-larious.

The (insert MOTAS spec here) are pretty hot, too.

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23 October 2007

[bloggage, liff] Ain't Too Proud To Beg

1044. This consideration has been in the works for a little while now, and not just because I suddenly got a bunch of hits from one particular place. I just now finally figured out how to do it.

I'll be honest with you all–the income well here is pretty dry right now, and, as I said elsewhere, pickings are kind of slim. There are things I want to do right now, but the budget has shrunk to not virtually nil, but literally nil.

What do I want?

Right now, I'm wanting at least a couple of specific things and I just don't have the money for them. They are, so far:

  1. Upgrading to QuickTime Pro, so I can play with both sound and vision. Cost for this: $29.99.
  2. A year of HOW magazine–my subscription's nearly up. Cost for this: $42.95 (I think-I'll check that out)
  3. A year's associate membership in AIGA. Cost for this: $210.00.

Down on the sidebar, just below my contact buttons, now exists a Donate via Paypal button.

Now, I'm not tax-deductible, of course. I'm not promising a big prize or anything (If I had that kind of spondulix, I wouldn't have the begging bowl out).

I do make this promise, though: anything donated through this blog will only be spent on the things in my want list, starting with the first three items above. They will be paid for in the order listed; the first thirty bucks will upgrade my QuickTime Pro, then on down the list.

I will also promise this: I will pay it forward. I don't doubt that many who may read this might be farily successful in whatever field they have succeeded in, but just needed a hand up here or there. If I can get that hand up, and it helps me, then in the future when I have gotten to the place I want to be, I will begin looking for someone who was in my place, way back when, and do it again.

At the least, I'm going to make a bit of a fool of myself; so it goes. You don't get places you want to go, sometimes, without daring something. This, for me, is pretty daring.

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[bloggage] If You Surfed Over Here From Oregon Media Insiders...

1043. ...welcome!

Actually, I'm remiss here. I've been getting some hits and surfers since I started visting and posting regularly over at O.M.I., and I appreciate the attention. Today's blog post that I made (which was promoted by the admins there–blessings upon ye) has brought over a bumper crop for me.

I try not to take my visitors for granted. I love design and I love logos, and TV graphics design has proven to be an unexpected boon as far as just interesting things to talk about.

So if you want to egg me on, leave a comment–if you want to tell me I'm full of fnord, go right ahead too. KVAL have been big sports about my poking fun at them, and in the end, there's a lot they could teach me about doing whatever it is they do.

I still plan on moving on to comment on local stations–I think I'm setting my sights on KPTV's look–but will get under way with that after a few days of palate-cleansing woolgathering, so bear with.

Once again, thanks for hitting my blog. You could have gone anywhere else; you came here. I am thankful and honored.

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[liff, wierd] Reality Has Officially Closed and Gone Out Of Business.

1042. Ecuador is demanding to be allowed to site a military base in Miami.

I don't know about anybody else, but I, for one, welcome our new Ecaudorean masters.

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(although we wonder what's the point of putting Technorati tags on something like this...)

[or_politik] One Big Reason I'm Voting "Yes" on 49 and 50

1040. Because I absolutely dispise getting lied at and weaseled to, and I want the people who have done so to cry.

The No on 49 message gets punctured here.

The No on 50 tripe gets its proper airing here.

While you're at it, if you haven't voted yet, you'll also want to visit Land Use Watch, who has also clearly seen the fnords involved.

Elsewhere locally, I noted there has been some discomfort at the nature of the funding for the Yes on 49 campaign. I can definitely relate. I get as suspicious of moneyed-up interests as anyone else. But it seems to me that if winning an election doesn't make a stupid idea genius then too much money does not necessarily (heavy notation on the operative word there) taint a good idea.

Some people may have indeed realized what the sane people do–in Oregon, effective land use planning isn't just the law–it's also a damned good idea, and monster good for business.

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[liff] NoNoWriMo

1039. I'm not writing any novels in November.

No hatin'. Just sayin'.

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[media, design] KVAL Graphic Put to Rights

1038. It's time for a quick round of "Compare and Contrast". KVAL News, 16 Oct 2007:

Before: "First @ at 11"

And now, KVAL News, on or about 23 Oct 2007:

After: "First @ 11:00pm"

The change is easily seen, and definitely welcomed. Good on KVAL for fixing it (it's only fair I say that here after respectfully chiding them for the original oopsie).

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22 October 2007

[typography] "Visit" this "Blog"

1037. As noted by me on Designorati, The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks is defiitely one you should "See".

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[liff] The People You Meet In Coffee Houses

1036. Some time ago I mentioned how I was looking forward to the release of the first volume of S.M. Stirling's second Emberverse trilogy, a book entitled The Sunrise Lands. Latterly, income being what it is, there was no chance of buying a copy, we were waiting for it to come out in paperback (we like collecting paperbacks) and while I'd gotten myself on the hold list at MultCoLib, I've not moved very far up in the listings.

So it was that The Wife™ and myself were going to a place called Coffee Romance on SE Powell Blvd at 82nd Avenue–in the shopping center that contains the local Food4Less store–and found the place fairly packed.

Coffee Romance is a cool place. It's run by this Asian fellow whose name I keep forgetting and they have delicious coffee and snacks and stuff like that. They use Buckmaster Coffee (at least I think that's their brand) and have just about every flavor of syrup that exists.

Anyway, we notice that there are very few places left to sit, and somewhat suddenly this rather large, hirsute fellow with hair marginally longer than mine (and more bangs–for which I'm envious) invites us over, saying that there are two seats open across the table from him, which there are.

He's a welcoming presence. We found that we eventually started filtering into each others spaces, he and us, and he (predictably–in retrospect–named "Tiny" (seriously, if you'd seen him and we told you he called himself Tiny you'd say "well, of course he does")) happened to be reading S.M.S.'s Island In The Sea Of Time. Now, if one doesn't know, the premise begun in the novels that depend from this one is that an unexplained and inexplicable event causes the island of Nantucket, off Massachusetts, to be transported back to the year 1250BC, and how the inhabitants of Nantucket deal with having modern tools and attitudes in that year (they evolve into the center of a hegemon in the British Imperial style).

Talk eventually drifted into the Emberverse, and what it was: the flip side of the Nantucket story cycle coin–the Emberverse is the world that Nantucket left behind, one devoid of 250 years of technological advance because electricity no longer flows, internal combustion engines no longer work, anything "high-energy"–more powerful than, say, the electrical impulses that power your neurons–has been rendered suddenly inoperative.

I'm a fan of it because it takes place here–the main setting of the story (so far) has been the northern Willamette Valley. Portland becomes the center of a neofeudal tyranny, Corvallis becomes a ruthlessly-mercantile democracy, a warrior-king republic is established centered on the Eola Hills west of Salem, and greater Linn and eastern Marion Counties become the domain of a neo-Celtic "clan-ocracy" in an idealized medieval Irish style. This newest novel, The Sunrise Lands, begins as the generation who was being born or who were young children at the time of "The Change" is coming of age–most of them think of our technological times as something of legend.

I digress wildly. There will be time to write of this later. The point was, after chatting about Nantucket and the Emberverse and after I had mentioned that I was looking foward to reading TSL, Tiny mentioned that he had the book in his truck, and would I like to borrow it?

Mind you, I'd never seen this guy–interesting and affable as he was–in my life. But he's a regular at Coffee Romance, and he said that after I'd finished the book, I could leave it there and it would get back to him.

There must be something basic about our shared natures that appealed to each other on a subliminal level. It's interesting that sometimes you just know that a fellow you've never met will be a convivial sort (and, of course, that sense has its own error rate), and when that sense hits the mark, it hits it hard.

So now, thanks to Tiny, I'm reading TSL, and enjoying it muchly. If you like S.M. Stirling, and you like the Emberverse, you'll like this book, and it hints at some possible promising resolutions to the reality of the Emberverse.

And the fellow's never saw me before...and he trusts me with his book.

We love Coffee Romance, of course.

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21 October 2007

[design] If You Surfed Over Here From Jeff Fisher's Book Blog...

1035. ...Then, Welcome.

I think a word or two about why I get excited whenever Jeff Fisher drops a new book or something like this would be called for.

In an extremely indirect way, we have things in common. We're both from Salem, Oregon, so I feel that we are, in some elemental way, linked that way–kids who grow up in Salem tend to move on, at least to Portland.

Some time ago, when I was getting tired of the grind of the job I was doing to (just barely) pay the bills, I decided that I wanted to do something artistic, something creative. About that time, one of the things I saw was an article in The Oregonian, our local daily, about what he was doing and how he was getting there, and I thought that was the coolest thing pretty much ever.

So, at that point I investigated design, eventually going to and getting a degree at Portland Community College. At this point, I'm still looking for a gig, and pickings for me are pretty slender, but another thing keeping an eye on Jeff does for me is to provide a continuing inspiration to keep trying and to not give up. I also fancy that I recognize that if it weren't for people like Jeff, there would be no design world to aspire to (I remember one of my schoolmates scoffing at what he called the "designosaurs". To be unabashedly blunt, I think that attitude is the definition of stupid).

So, it's all about inspiration. Jeff was one of my first. It's my way of saying thanks for inspiring me, and when my payday finally does happen, it's my way to give thanks for showing the way.

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[font_design] Free Font from DGV–Basic Light

1034. A highly-coolly-named publishing company, Die Gestalten Verlag, has this habit they can't control-they give out free limited versions of thier fonts, which are from some of the more artistic typefounders.

This go-round's offering: Basic Light Ltd.

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20 October 2007

[caturday] Bet as Hyperspace_kitteh

1033. Our resident superkitty got tired of waiting for Caturday:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

So he got here before us, and he's been having fun ever since. Still, he's glad to see us.

You didn't know that kittehs could shortcut through hyperspace? We did!

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[liff] Dr. Tran-Man of Action, Man of Honor

1032. Not safe for work, unless your boss and cow-orkers like dirty jokes. Consider yourself advised.


God, I love animation.

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19 October 2007

[design, video] Eames Elephants and Nicholson: A Few Good Videos

1031. I'll follow the lead of the McBru Blog on this one:

Funny as hell.

Elsewhere, via the geniuses at Die Gestalten Verlag's blog, we find that the Eames Elephant has starred in one of the cutest and neatest bits of stop-mo animation we've seen in a long time. Clicky thee hence to view A Gathering Of Elephants:

Yah, it's adorable. And relatively low-tech. In all, a most affable animation.

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[pdx] Scott Moore Loses Beard, Takes Over World

1030. As regards this blog's favorite newsie, we think this beard thing has gone to his head:

Look out, Nigel. Hide the Pulitzer; he's coming for you!

In my offense, I didn't bring my Photoshop "A" game here, but I had limited time.

And now, whether you want it or not, let's go back to 1981. To the Tune of "Bette Davis Eyes":

His hair is closely cropped

His beard he did elide

Smooth as a baby's bottom

He's got Scott Moore-ish Eyes

He'll write an item on you

You won't be able to hide

He's watching City Hall

He's got Scott Moore-ish Eyes

He'll expose you, if you grows your

Mayoral beard under your nose, yeah.

He's precocious, and he knows just what it

Takes to make a commish blush.

The City Council thinks he's a spy

He's got, Scott Moore-ish Eyes.

Okay, I think that's quite enough now. Looks like I didn't bring my parody lyrics "A" game either. Meh. Even I'm starting to cringe.

Oh! Found two more chances to get job rejections from Craigslist! Gotta dash!

Dept of Corrections Dept: For some reason which would perhaps be attributable to drug abuse had I only the chance, the original version of this post referenced "Scott Adams". Why the Dilbert creator's mind share tried to annex some of my Merc mind share, I'll never know (Sun 20 Oct 07 @ 0924)

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[liff] Typographic Things Happen

1029. In an emergency situation (72 hour notice), a couple of acquaintances left two sweet black sleek lovable kitties for us to foster for a couple of weeks.

One of them so happens to be named Zapf.

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18 October 2007

[ad_design] Another Ad Trend That Needs To Die Screaming

1028. Someone please shoot me...here it comes again:

Oh, good God, Classmates.com: yes. Yes, dear God, she married that guy. They had kids, too–what are the odds?

Will you please get over it? Bitter because you were never asked to the prom? Neither was I, but I'm not bitter. Well, I am, but not over that.

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[design] Two Book Reviews I've Recently Posted

1027. Two recent book reviews I am proud to have done:

  1. Mastering InDesign CS3 by Pariah S. Burke. Read the review here. A comprehensive, yet appraochable text grounded in the author's proven talent for creating efficient workflows that free the creatives to do more creating and less futzing with the program. Published at QuarkVsInDesign.com.
  2. Meggs: Making Graphic Design History, just released by Wiley. Read the review here. A singular book about a singular individual, combining words from colleagues and family as well as glimpses into the life and times of the graphic designs, tribal historian. Beautiful, beautiful book. Published at Designorati.com.

By way of disclaimer, I will add that I was the technical editor on Mastering InDesign. By way of self-promotion, I will say I did a damn fine job. By way of crass begging, I'll also say that I'm available for more such work.

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17 October 2007

[liff] And Now, a "Here's Your Sign" Moment

1026. As our vignette opens, ZK is filling the basket on his coffee maker in the home office/studio. The Wife™ Steps around the corner to see what he's doing:

The Wife™: You making coffee?

ZK (after a beat): No, this is performance art.

The Wife™ (after a beat, smiling broadly): Yeah, I know...here's my sign.

aaaand...scene.

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[pdx_photos] Hey! I Was Shortlisted for Schmap!

1025. I was just advised–and have consented to move forward on it–that one of my Flickrized photos has been shortlisted for the next edittion of the Portland Schmap Travel Guide. Specifically, this one:


Consdering its subject (Jim & Patty's Coffee on NE Fremont Street), it's got a lot of Portland heart and soul. So, naturally, I'm excuciatingly flattered.

Is ironic, no, that I had just gone on about Ristretto Coffee Roasters (which is in the same general area). We don't get over that way as often as we like; Jim & Patty's close a little early for our night-owl lifestyles, and that's Piedmont and this is Baja Gresham, but we need to be coming that way soon. Jim & Patty's coffee is excellent, and I'm betting Ristretto's is too.

Clearly, I need to upload more of my Portland photeaux to Flickr. Hey, I'm no Portland Ground, but I got some mojo working.

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[pdx, bloggage] I Am A Ristretto Fan

1024. I am remiss in that I didn't give a hat tip where one is due, and I've just learnt about this; a local coffee outfit (which, you ask?!?! Well, I'll tell ya), Ristretto Coffee Roasters, referred to one of my entries (this one hyar) having to do with "Just Coffee Art", which is still really rather amazing, and I still wonder why this outfit didn't spring up here in Portland (it was us who invented "Coffee Culture", suck it, Seattle!).

Now, I haven't tried Ristretto yet, but we will. Soon. We haven't been to Jim and Patty's for a while, come to think of that. We believe in coffee, and we believe even more in coffee from Portland.

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