31 August 2011

[web_design] Presumably He Has A Significant Greeking Constituency*

2680.Jim Greenfield, hopeful Oregon 1st Congressional District Republican candidate to succeed David Wu, still, at this date, has significant lorem ipsum (or, placeholder text) issues with his significantly-uninspired website, http://greenfieldforcongress.com

I've detailed his problems here. They still exist as enumerated thereon. I suppose it's possible that the candidate's site is a prank. If it isn't, I'm asking myself - as a voter, now, and this speaks to branding as I've said before - does he really care all that much?

If you want a look at a site about someone who actually cares about getting elected, check out Brad Avakian's. Not a ton of song'n'dance, no fireworks, just effective layout and sensible design and communication. And no placeholder text.

Just sayin'.

* "Greeking" is also designer-speak for random placeholder text, as in the old saw it's all Greek to me, and awkwardly-written designer-political jokes.

[teh_funnay] And Syntax Will Tumble For Ya, Too

2679.Who knew grammar was so wanton:

Well, actually, based on most of the speaking and writing I've latterly seen, we could be wanton a bit more of it.

And, of course, I absolutely love the type-on-thick-paper look. Makes love to the eyes. So to speak.

(via Google+ User Jhoanna Canlas at this link hyar)

28 August 2011

[teh_funnay] Internet Communication - You're Doing It Wrong

2678.Just figures, just when we're all having fun with it, some killjoy comes along:
This pair of websites was created in response to the deterioration of interesting words and catchphrases. They are not intended to solve a problem, but to participate in the natural development of the English language. We intend for you to link them in AIM conversations, IRC channels, message boards, Twitter, and any another forms of textual communication, whenever someone abuses a word.
Those websites are stopsay.in and dontru.in. They take a lot on themselves. Myself, I'm torn. Some good points are made (you mean people are actually getting themselves tattoed with the Weighted Companion Cube?), but those who even indirectly attempt to influence the evolution of communication seem devoted to a Sisyphean task with about as much chance of success.

Well, I wish them luck anyway. For the win, of course.

[teh_funnay] Exit Renumbering - You're Doing It Wrong

2677.From the tumblr account of Amy Vernon:

I guess it decided to get its maiden name back.

[sf] Reexamine Harlequin, Said The Ticktockman

2676.One of the most famous short stories out there, and one of the most reprinted, is Harlan Ellison's "Repent Harlequin, Said The Ticktockman", a short story first published in Galaxy Science Fiction in 1965. A satirical rock-and-roll meditation on regimentation and control and conformity, it seems to use nonlinear story structure to make a statement that tight control is … bad? Good? Simply is? Plants a seed of chaos? Depends on your point of view.

The conventional wisdom seems to hold that this is a sort of screed against the stifling of society by excessive control, and it's valid to look at it that way, however, this essay which reinterprets it in the terms of the concepts of equality, unity, and the way it subverts its own message to make a deeper point about individuality


Just read it. I'll read this again and approach the story again with fresh eyes, which is a liberation.

[pdx] Happy First Year, Dave And Heather

2675.Many cool couples have wedding anniversaries in August. My wife and I are one.

Dave (DaveKnowsPortland) and Heather (Mile73) are another. This member of an insufferably-happily-married couple wishes that pair have many more. 

26 August 2011

[art] To Cross The Gap, One Must Build One's Own Bridge

This is part of the advice I don't usually follow. It makes so damn much sense though, of course.

Pete Michaud shares a clip of Ira Glass talking to television creatives about how they need to stick to it and provides a bit of insight. A pulled quote that stood out to me is this:
Everybody goes through that. For you to go through it—if you’re going through it right now, if you’re just getting out of that phase, or if you’re just starting off and you’re entering into that phase—you’ve got to know that’s totally normal. The most important possible thing you could do is do a lot of work. Do a huge volume of work. Put yourself on a deadline, so that every week or every month you know you’re going to finish one story. Whatever it’s going to be…
All of us who aspire to the title of artist know this intuitively. Some of us follow it better than others. The logic that just working makes such fundamental sense, though. The logic is sound. You know your tools by using them. You know your capabilities by using them, too; you evolve your capabilities by practice.

As the old joke goes, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, Practice, Practice!" There's a truth there.

I can draw. I am afraid of messing up. I, like many aspiring artists, won't be happy if I can't come out with what I want to have on the first go. It's a tough obstacle to get round.

[type] 1927: When The Pen Tool Actually Had Ink In It

2673.Gene Gable, in one of his usually-excellent columns for CreativePro.com, lets us look and leaf through his copy of the 1927 edition of the Speedball Textbook (to use a latter-day title).

… this seems a good general ethic, even if you don't use the pen.

The Speedball pen grew out of a letterer's frustration with the tools at had. The original Speedball nibs, produced by the Hunt Pen Company in 1915, had reservoirs built in and were reputedly named for the swiftness their design brought to the enterprise.

Everyone who's ever even flirted with type either has held a copy of this book in their hands or still has a copy. I, come to that, have a copy of the 20th Edition of the Speedball Textbook on my shelf. Good memories obtain.

Learn some nice handwriting, peoples, however you can do it. 

25 August 2011

[OR_liff] The Death Of Print, Bend Bulletin Edition

2672.The company who owns The Bulletin of Bend (usually referred to as The Bend Bulletin, though the masthead is simply The Bulletin) has hit a financial snag and declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, meaning they're going to try to reorganize and move forward.

They apparently bet on continued growth and profits that didn't actually happen. Sounds like a sign of the times to us.

[web_design] Jim Greenfield, OR-1 Candidate, Is Very Proud of His Lorem Ipsum

2671.Via T.A.Barnhart on Google+, I find this bit of silliness courtesy of a member of one of the silliest groups of people in Oregon … Republican Congressional also-rans. In this case, it's one of the flock of candidates vying for the seat that was vacated by 8-term Congressman David Wu.

As of today, at this time, this is Mr Greenfield's website (http://www.greenfieldforcongress.com/)

It's really kind of template-y, nothing bad but nothing especially good or creative. The antique phone is a good touch. We're using different phones now, but it's an artistic point, I suppose, though I expected a little more from a candidate who's running "an active special primary race". It's got to be more active than his website is right now. But - what! Lower left and lower right there … there's some interesting text down there.

We all want to know what any candidate of any stripe has done, and Mr Greenfield has done us a solid by telling us. Looking at the third item on that list really impressed me. I'm not disposed to vote Republiclan, but anyone who successfully esqesed dolorliquam congue fermenumn impresses me. That's no mean achievement! But that next-to-last one is a deal-breaker for me … I don't think it's good for America to promote adipsicing allquetulla. That, to me, is a lifestyle choice, and people shouldn't be discouraged from making it, but don't think my taxes should support it!

Of course, you can say whatever your experience is, your achievements can be the proof in the pudding. In this case, Mr. Greenfield's greatest achievements were using three paragraphs of lorem ipsum text and a stock filler photo of two attractive women. As a trained graphic designer, I myself am a great advocate of lorem ipsum text, so at least, even if Greenfield is a Republican, there's one thing we all can agree with.

Although I will say this about me: I've used more at one go than he did, so in that case, I'm moar qualified to be a US Congressman than he is. I also know more dialects of lorem ipsum than he does, so if you want a man who speaks the true gibberish of the people, then I am that man.

Seriously, however,  I'm sure than Jim Greenfield is more serious about his run than this website suggests it is. At least I hope he is. This speaks not only to effective web design (the template-y design of the site and the failure to do something about something so fundamental as filler text in the template suggests a design process that's at best, sloppy, and probably non-existent in reality) but speaks to branding.

Everytime a candidate speaks they're expanding their brand, what they stand for. And, aside from some standard old-wine-in-new-skin (and the skin ain't even that new, actually) about free markets and the national budget, there isn't much of anything compelling to recommend him over, say, someone who has an actual chance of winning the special election.

Although it would have been more impressive if he'd just put up a simple "coming soon" page with a donation link. Or, failing that, not letting this bowser go live at all. Or maybe not letting his web designer knock off early and go home.

The screenshots above were current as of the writing of this missive. It may have changed by the time you look at it. At least I damn skippy hope it did.

[net_liff] How Fast Twitter Spread The East Coast Quake News

2670.Google+ User Matt Morain posted this fascinating animated GIF (direct link to post) illustrating the Twitter traffic for the first thirty seconds after the East Coast Quake of Tuesday.

Yeah, I know it's proves something somehow maybe, but it's damned interesting. Five … ten years ago … we weren't this well-connected.

Yeah we're livin in, in a modern world.

[pdx] Portland's Public Art Doesn't Like You

2669.... And it has issues:

Another funnay from Mike Vogel, who's been busy as a … well, beaver … with the creative stuff lately.

[logo] JCPenney Loses Capital Letters, Gains New Attitude

2668.Back in February, JCPenney changed its logo but managed to maintain its identity.

Actually, before that, there's an interesting legend I once heard about JCPenney, and it has to do with its founder, James Cash Penney. It was told to me once that the immediate predecessor and progenitor to JCPenney, a small intermountain West chain called The Golden Rule stores, was so called because J.C. was a modest sort and thought it crass to name stores after himself, and wasn't named for him until after he left the scene.

I have since learned that the aphorism every legend has its foot in the truth doesn't necessarily apply here. Further reading shows that after J.C. bought his partners out and consolidated the growing chain under his leadership, in 1913, while he was still alive, he reformed the company under his own name. But it's an interesting legend that points out the power of a brand perception. After all, you expect a fair and square deal out of stores called The Golden Rule; and any mercantile operating under the name of its founder has got to have some fairly high standards or else that puts the good name of a man's family in bad repute.

Growing up in the last quarter of the 20th Century, I very dimly remember the Penney's logotype, over every door of every building, an interesting, designed thing. In 1971, however, the Penney's logo (now called JCPenney, no spaces), in the wake of the founder's death earlier in the year, became a Helvetica thing, usually knocked out of a square, thusly:

This is a logo with so little design, so little art to it, that it shouldn't work … but, oddly enough, it did. Sometimes, not much design is needed, or the realization of this is actually all the design that's called for. It fit in with the trend toward using Helvetica just about everywhere, which is a good or bad thing, depending on how one views it. After all, nobody really needed to know what JCPenney did or what it offered or the percieved values it espoused … value-priced but solid quality home stuff (clothes, tools, appliances, electronics (I once, when I was a but a kid, saved up to buy a stereo from Penney's) for the emerging urban and suburban home culture.

This logo, I felt, held up well, on the edge of being timeless. Being dated is in the eyes of the beholder (unless everyone seems to think so, at which point it becomes a verity) and to me, the simple and direct Helvetica and efficient kerning throughout stood the test of time.

The JCPenney company did, apparently not agree with this assessment, and commissioned a design competition some time back to come up with a new vision for this logo. And here's what they chose:

The design competition was won by Luke Langhus, a 3rd-year design student at University of Cincinnati, who achieved a bit of a stroke of brilliance in the design by shrinking the box to enclose the first three initials, giving the company the option of breaking the box out as an interestingly-rendered symbol of its own. The type remains Helvetica, a little bolder but not much, forming an obvious resonance with the old mark. It feels like something old yet new that respects something that was working quite well for them.

We do note in passing that this was the result of a design competition using students, and given our position on spec work are somewhat discomfited by that. However, the competition did produce a strong result and a good logo that respects design principles, unlike when The Gap tried it. There's a fine line, we suppose, between minimal design and design that resembles MSWord Word-Art, and Langhus's design, by cleverness, never came close to crossing it.

[OR_liff] 18 Days In Jail And He's A Freakin' Jean Valjean

2667.Welcome, my friends , to the story that never ends: Crime and Punishment, Bill Sizemore Edition.
After eighteen days of a sentence that he was released early on (that at least one report I've read said he probably shouldn't have been) due to good behavior, Ol' Bill was going all Victor Hugo on the conditions in Jail:
"I think it borders on cruel and unusual punishment," he said. "I was there 18 days and rarely ate the meals," he added. "I just ate Snickers bars out of the vending machines - to the best of my ability - and ate things other than what was on the trays because it was just too disgusting to me."
Thank God for the blueberry danishes in the machine, or it would have been total hell, I suppose. But credit KATU for going for the prize - since jail was such a hardship, will he turn his Energizer Bunny of Justice on the court system?
The meals costs taxpayers about $1.15 each and Sizemore suggested maybe they should spend more. But when we pointed out the irony in a tax activist wanting taxpayers to fork over more money for jail food, he changed his tune. He then said maybe they should just add fruit and other healthier choices.
One short jail sentence and it's Les Miz all of a sudden. 
KATU, thank you for the spot-on question.
Bill, thank you for just being you. Shine on, you crazy diamond.

[bloggage] Coming Home To The Blogger Interface (For Now, Anyway)

2666.As surprising as it seem, I'm not using ScribeFire or any browser extension to post this message. I'm using Blogger's web interface to do this.

I've used a handful of off-line blogging tools for a while, liking the word-processor-like functionality and such. First was Adobe Contribute, which was very good for a while, but just irritates me anymore. It takes too long to load posts. I can't depend on if it works this time, it'll work next time. I've tried Qumana, and used ScribeFire for a very long time. I even tried using the Flock browser (you remember the Flock browser, don't you?).

Each time I used each of the alternatives I was looking for something that the Blogger interface did not provide. Functionality, user experience, looks, ease of locating things I've wanted to have and use. And, so, I've not used the Blogger interface for a very long time.

But now I'm back, at least for now. You know how it was, when you were a kid, and that member of the opposite sex you particularly liked to torment because (boys are icky/girls are gross) and never got tired of making them suffer? And then you take a look at them one day after you age into double-digits and … hey, baby, you're looking good!

It's kind of that way now. Blogger's web interface has really grown and matures. It puts everything I need at hand and it's easy and has become very intuitive. Everything has became very easy, really, including and especially image uploading and formatting.

So for now, I'll be webbing in to post these missives. Because it's a good thing, and Blogger's like VISA … everywhere I want to be.

[liff] Possibly The Best Obituary Ever Written

2665.The farewell of one Dandelion B. Treecraft of Spokane Washington – local arborist, gadfly generally, and said to be ousted from more than one City Council meeting.

We should all leave 'em laughing.

Here it is at the Spokesman-Review, and here's another source if that one ever goeth.

23 August 2011

[type] Grizzly Bear: A Font That's An Art Supply

2664.Caught this in the great news stream today: HOW magazine's blog shows off the font Grizzly Bear, by Alex Sheldon. This is a font designed for quick and visually-delightful titling, and is unique because you can take different glyphs and layer them for different effects.

This is a pretty playful and delightful thing. Read all about it at HOW's design blog here: http://blog.howdesign.com/typography/tuesday-type-treat-11/

[logo] A Subtle Change In The Mighty KPOJ's Logo

2663.Caught a small change in the logo of my fav radio station very recently.

Logo changes can be tricky sometimes. You want to roll them out carefully. Ever since she signed on in 2003, The Mighty POJ has brought some pretty nifty program to a city that pretty much ate it right up. Making history as the first Air America affiliate, its programming became a template for other progressive talk stations to follow: local content in the morning, Ed Schultz and Randi Rhodes in the afternoon, Mike Malloy in the evenings. At the same time, it was making local history by demolishing Lars Larson in the afternoons and selling advertising like mad.

The logo's tagline said it all: Portland's Progressive Talk Station. But, loading up the POJ's homepage to listen live (as I usually do), I found it had changed just a s'kosh:

It now simply reads Portland's Talk. 

The change leaves me a little baffled, to be honest. The lineup seems as progressive as ever. I enjoy Carl Wolfson, and the syndicated content isn't changing at all.

Whatever it's supposed to mean, it's pretty much the only talk station in Portland worth listening to, as far as I'm concerned, Portland's Talk is an accurate if bold statement. Rolling out a tagline change like, that, though … I think it's reasonable to say it's left me scratching my head.

And so it goes.

NB: Once again I have to adjust the entry-numbering. If I do find out where the missing eleven postings went, I'll let you all know.

22 August 2011

[OR_liff] The Silverton Council Recall Rebuttal FAQ

2655.Being a Silverton expat isn't easy when I try to follow the doin's in My Little Town.

One of the reasons I never returned is because history and events tend to flow around the town. While I never wanted to be in the face of the barrel of history, being 15 miles off the beaten path, seems to be similarly stultifying.

But since something somehow have gotten a significant (well, significant enough, anyhow, to rate coverage in the Statesman-Journal) number of Silvertonians to call for the political heads of what appears to be most of the City Council (no, Stu isn't in their sights, if that's what crossed your mind). Being where and what it is, Silverton news doesn't get out much to the rest of the world, so I've wondered what's gotten everyone so het-up.

Well,  judging by an FAQ released by a group obviously against the recall campaign, there's some people mighty upset about, amongst other things, the progress of an urban renewal plan that's set to reinvent downtown Silverton, and a host of other comparatively small issues, such as $20,000 to a city employee for a startup incubator project.

The most droll response, to me, was to the question as to why $25,000 wasn't spent locally to produce a website. Well, I take that point. If you can't get a local to bid on it, what else are you going to do?

Interesting reading. It's a PDF on the Oregon2020 website, here: http://2020oregon.net/docs/norecallfaq1a.pdf

[SF] A Letter From Ray Bradbury

2654.Anything by Ray Bradbury is marvelous.

But a letter from him telling a young SF fan to follow his bliss?


19 August 2011

[pdx] Tilt-Shifted PDX, From Mike Vogel

2653.From Mike Vogel, via DaveKnows, something which I very much like - simulated tilt-shifted video of downtown Portland from various parking garages. Very lovely, not long enough.

I have nothing to add to this except I am always touched when I see how thoughtful, artistic types take to my home city and my home state. My being born in Oregon makes me think of my Native Oregonianship as a birthright (which I suppose it is, by definition), but I do tend to take it for granted betimes. The affection that emigrants bring always touches me in a way I can't quite put into words, but wonderful and delightful come close.

18 August 2011

[pdx] Big Water Main Break On SE Foster Road … But The Art Supplies Stayed Nice And Dry

2652.Submitted for your approval: a big-ass water-main break on SE Powell Blvd at Lafayette Street, as reported by KPTV:

Water main break creates big, wet mess: A water main broke just after 3 p.m. on Wednesday at SE Lafayette and Foster Road.

Lafayette and Foster is the corner on which one of the most important art supply shop is on … I've Been Framed. But was the store ever threatend? Shucks, no! As I chatted with Mark, who runs the store in the afternoons, I found how much they care - he even makes sure the storm drain out front stays clear, and that storm drain caught all the runoff from the water main break that surfaced.

It was a considerable rupture. Big hole in SE Foster, traffic down to one lane, big pool of water down Lafayette going toward 50th Avenue (right behind IBF, as regulars know), and water draining all the way down to the corner drain at SE Rhone Street (about 1 block to the east).

But inside IBF? Dry as a bone, thanks to Mark. No water from the taps, thanks to the water main break, but that's to be expected. And access? Those of you who approached the shop from the back side (which is sometimes a bit more convenient, given the store's unique location) found that the shop was open from the back door and you could get in and get to the main part of the shop via the framing department.

So … yay, Mark!

Like IBF and Portland Independent Art Stores, or you'll disappoint me. Seriously. I may cry.

15 August 2011

[comic art] Everyone's A Critic!

2651.And here's the dogpile on one Rob Liefield, who has a certain sense of style most other comic artists tend to shy away from.

Upside: He founded Image Comics.

Downside: Well, this, pretty much.

[art] To Protect, Serve, And Know Art When They See It

2650.We hear that you have to have a college degree in order to become a police officer. We kind of hope that some of that training includes photography and art classes.

12 August 2011

[design] What Do You Get If You Take Lorem Ipsum And Put A Bird On It?

2649.What you get, my alienated, Zooey-Deschanel-glasses-wearing, espresso-swilling friends, is Hipster Ipsum:

Keffiyeh freegan Williamsburg trust fund cliche, Stumptown single-origin coffee Pitchfork tattooed messenger bag lomo scenester. Carles trust fund bicycle rights fap. Messenger bag farm-to-table PBR aesthetic butcher trust fund. Cardigan fanny pack quinoa Terry Richardson Portland, +1 farm-to-table skateboard cred tofu hoodie craft beer salvia synth Four Loko. Fixie +1 craft beer McSweeney's, bicycle rights before they sold out Marfa. Wolf sartorial iPhone, trust fund fuck Etsy master cleanse blog. Four Loko Brooklyn High Life, mustache Wes Anderson salvia 8-bit keffiyeh hoodie fuck fap viral wolf.
And that's just one paragraph. You can haves you multiples. So get on over to Hipster Ipsum if you want your greeking delivered with a bored, hipster-glasses-adorned indie tone. 

11 August 2011

[OR_liff] Dutch Bros Wants Your Freedom Fighter Fan Art!

2648.Our favorite local coffee drive-through company is holding an art contest.

A few months back witnessed the debut of Dutch Bros. Freedom Fighters, a goofy-yet-cool comic book celebrating the goodness that is Da Broze, complete with a parallel universe, four dudes and a cute princess called to quest, a Mad Cow and an even more insane Kung Fu Frog, and a Dragon who just isn't worth a damn unless he gets his morning cuppa.

Dutch Bros has just announced a fan art contest. The rules are pretty simple. Make some art - anything you can do, just make sure you include a Dutch Bros coffee cup in it. The winner gets 10 copies of the upcoming Issue 2 (I understand that Issue 1, which has gone out of print, is something of a collectors' item), with one of them signed by the creative crew, and your art published thereon. They're going to whip up about 50,000 copies of this, I understand.

Well, there you go. Simple to enter, fun to try. Something like a coloring contest for kids and ironically-slanted adults. So, why not?

Enter it here: http://www.dutchbros.com/freedomfighterscontest

[design] Quark, Inc, Acquired By Equity Capital Firm

2647.Quark Inc, the company that once stood astride the electronic layout and desktop publishing world like a legendary titan with its once-category defining application QuarkXPress is no longer an independent company.

It was acquired by equity capital firm Platinum Equity. Details of the transaction, and how much Platinum Equity paid for Quark Inc, have not been released. While Platinum has promised to remain loyal to Quark's installed base, nothing is known yet about whether or not Quark's headquarters will remain in Denver, Colorado (where Quark has been headquartered since its founding in 1981) or if its current management team will be retained.

A fuller story can be had at the website News & Tech, Quark acquired by Platinum Equity.

[design] "Was Dein T-Shirt Kann, Kannst Du Auch" - Design Activism Via Trojan T-Shirts

2646.Hardcore Rebellen - National und Frei ("Hardcore Rebels - Naitonal and Free") said the legend, within an energetic skull-crossbones-and-ink splattered design on T-shirts distributed at a recent rock festival organized by Germany's National Democratic Party which, despite its name, has more to do with anything Nazi than anything this blog would consider actually democratic.

The T-Shirts, enthusiastically snapped up by the attendees, carried a payload, however … after washing, the muscular right-wing extremist message was replaced by Was dein T-shirt kann, kannst du auch ("What your T-shirt did, you can also"), followed by the appeal Wir helfen dir, dich vom Rechtextremismus zu lösen ("We can help you escape from right-wing extremism") from an organization called Exit Detuschland, whose mission is to offer such an escape route.

The campaign, while clever, is backed by realistic expectations: they don't expect this to change any minds so much as they hope to plant a seed.

Design is great at selling things, from the tangible and commercial to this - and can have great power to spread good.

The whole story at Der Spiegel International.

[liff] Artisanal Pencil Sharpening: Actually Not From Portland!

2645."Just because something is funny or makes you laugh," says the website, "doesn't mean something isn't real."

David Rees is on a mission. That mission; to bring a craftsman's and artisan's care and skill to the sharpening of a pencil. It works like this: you send David your pencil and pay him $15. He sends it back to you, expertly hand-sharpened, and even sends you back the shavings. 


The service, of course, seems absurd - and is. But it's not, apparently, a joke … David will sharpen that pencil if you send him $15 to do it. 

And you know what else?

If you don't have a pencil, he'll throw one in.

Such a deal.

The website is http://artisanalpencilsharpening.com.

07 August 2011

[OR_liff] Mark Odom Hatfield (b 1922, d 2011)

2644.It is noted in passing that one of the towering names in Oregon political history has at last fallen; Mark Hatfield, Oregon State Representative, State Senator, Secretary of State, Governor, and US Senator, has died in Bethesda Naval Hospital. This has very recently happened as of this writing.
Mark Hatfield was many amazing things. He was the last great Governor of Oregon before Tom McCall (who still hasn't had a Repubilcan of his calibre come to the fore). His name still holds the record for being the longest-serving US Senator from Oregon and, due to his seniority by the time of his retirement, the single most important Oregonian in national politics.

Most importantly to me, he represents a now-extinct beast - an Oregon Republican in the classic sense, one who didn't regard Democrats as an enemy to be defeated but rather a partner with whom to be worked with. Through Vic Atiyeh, the Oregon Republican was one who recognized that they might have a different idea of how to do things than an Oregon Democrat did, but, ultimately we had much more that bound us together as Oregonians than we had dividing us as opposing party members.

Such people would have been driven out of the party by the likes of the modern bunch.

The Oregon Republican party needs people like that today, but I doubt a latter-day Hatfield would find any purchase at today's Dorchester - a conference, ironically, Hatfield pioneered.
And, so it goes.

Correction: Hatfield didn't pioneer Dorchester … that was actually Bob Packwood. My mistake.

[bloggage] Do You Want Your Blog to Look Like Google+?

2643.Well, here's a template for you then.

06 August 2011

[bloggage] A Note In Passing About Blog Design

2642.Those of you who do come here might wonder what's up with this. Peforce, an explanation.

A couple of people I referred here couldn't make the blog load. When I surf this from the library computers, I just get a black screen. I have used the template that I used (Minima Black) for many many many years. Mount Hood was just called Hill Hood, is how long I'd been using that. 

It had occurred to me that some cruft had obviously crept into the workins. So, what the hell … saved the old header image (it is pretty sweet) and retired some gadgets that were slowing down my loading. And in Chrome, it pops right back up. Nice and swiftee.

I'm going to be experimenting with the possibilities that the Blogger Template Designer affords. I like Blogger. It makes things very easy to do and it's pretty well connected. I know this sandbox and I like playing in it. 

So I'm going to monkeying around a bit. 

Just so you all know.


[net_liff] Lamest. Phishing. Attempt. Evar.

2641.In fairness, Phishing is a pretty lame thing all around. And the trend seems to be that of a growing thing … you know, like a rash or similar … but so many people are doing it that the creativity has been spread very thin.

In that wise, here's the … current … official lamest try ever. This is a screenclip from my email.


Yep, boyz and girlz, that's it. That's all. They aren't even trying to spoof a g-mailish address anymore, at leat they remembered to call it "Google Team", but the subject and the message body don't even matchup.

Is my Gmail Account Active Yes or No ? 

You sent it to me using Gmail, genius. What'ya think?


05 August 2011

[or_liff] And The Next Great Recall-the-Politicos Battle will happen in …

2640.My old home town of Silverton.

Is there no pleasing anyone anymore? Can't really tell what the problem is here.

[Address_Nerd] About those old Seattle Street Blade Fonts …

2639.A while back, a fellow Address Nerd from up Seattle way shared with me a photo of an old street blade set. I have been out of action for a tick, so I can't remember which one of you it was … please, if you read it, let me know who you were, yes? It was either you, Luke, or you, Ben, and yes, this is a tetch embarrassing.

Anywhoozle, they shared a sign with me that looked not unlike (in style, age, and patina) this set from another's flickr stream:

 Old worn-out Seattle street sign

Of particular interest are the crossbars closing off the counters in the "e"s in the word Stevens. They have this peculiar upward slant which is decidedly nonstandard.

I went to the web pages for City of Seattle's Streets department and found no information but did find a link to an email address. I phrased the question, and sent off; an autoreply said the functionary would be on vacation for a couple of weeks, so I bided my time and awaited reply … which eventually came.

Here, now, is the wonderfully succint answer provided by Seattle Department of Transportation  Manager of Traffic Field Operations, Paul Jackson, on 11 May 2011:

After viewing the photo you sent, our senior sign painter has concluded that these signs were manufactured many years ago and the technique at that time was to do each letter by hand without a standard font. Currently, we follow recommended, approved standards.  

You can interpret that bit of brevity your own way, but the way I see it, since the rest of the font seems so clearly visually in harmony with the general FHWA style, I think it fair to presume that the sign painters based the font on that, but threw in that beguiling slanted crossbar on the minuscule e as a personal, "Seattlized" touch. 

In short, they were freestyling.

I'm also still intrigued that, despite the assertion that they were not using a standard font, the look of the font actually seems to anticipate Clearview. It certainly resembles that, and harmonized with it, as far as I'm concerned. 

And though we may never know what the visual source of the distinctive Seattle street blade look was for sure, we can be sure that it was a little dash of creativity that made it the unique look that it was.

04 August 2011

[art] PDX's Original Art Media Store to Go Blick


It seems fitting that I should devote the first post here in rather a while (it's called ennui. Look it up) on the fundamental roll that a well-known local art supply titan is going through.
Art Media is going away, in a way. It is being absorbed by the national art supply retailer Dick Blick, who many artist know from thier awesome mail-order catalog. 
I hold in my hand a postcard from Art Media which gives a rough timeline (about the only firm-ish date on it is "early 2012" … do you suppose that's what the Mayan Long Count Calendar was predicting, after all?) and a particularly disappointing fact … the location at SE 82nd Avenue and King Road, in an area we used to call Clackamas but is increasingly being referred to as Happy Valley, will be closing for good.
That makes me sad. Some of my fondest art-supply-browsing memories are contained in that store. Sic transit gloria.

This is a good-news-bad-news, where-you-stand-depends-on-where-you-sit sort of thing. If you believe in and support local businesses, this is not a real good thing. Art Media is one of the longtime Portland greats. Started in a little store on SW 10th Avenue between Yamhill and Taylor, then, in the late 80s, moved over to its big anchor location on SW 9th and Yamhill. Opened a Beaverton store, then the one on SE 82nd, and for a while actually had one in Salem. Through many plays at art and one course through graphic design school, Art Media was my store.
If you know Blick Art Materials, though, this probably works out to be good news. Blick's selection is huge, and if Blick doesn't have it, then you don't probably need it. And Blick fans in the Portland area have had to do the mail order because the nearest Blick store is up Seattle way. And Blick has the reputation of being a good company to do business with. Mail order is keen, but having a store to go to is better.
If, like me, you prefer to use local merchants whenever you can, there are still options open, and they're going strong. They're not too big, not too small, and the people who own and run the place you might just find behind the counter, ringing up your sales, which is the way it should be.
  • One is the magnificent Muse Art and Design. They have just the charmingest, friendliest location, down on upper Hawthorne at about 45th, and they are in the progress of opening one in the Milepost 5 artists residence complex over on NE 82nd between Glisan and I-84. They seem upscale going in, but the prices are good and affordable, there's something there for just about everyone.
  • The other is the delightful I've Been Framed. They're located where Foster splits from Powell at SE 50th, and they have an art store experience that's something other than else. Very bohemian, very eclectic, thoroughly enjoyable. They have good prices on a lot of stuff and take on clearance lots from other places which sometimes gets you one-of-a-kind deals (I got a set of DaVinci gouache for about a third of full price once, and a big, official Bob Ross clear plexi palette for a steal). Great selection of graphite drawing materials and great paper and media selection. But it's the warm and friendly electic real-artist attitude which keeps us coming back again and again, and the wonderful and affable people.
So, you still have a local option if you'd rather. And they're going strong. So support them.
In the meantime, RIP Art Media: born 1974, merged 2011. It was a good run.