30 May 2007

[pdx] R.I.P. The Tootsie Roll Cop

821 Anyone with a passing familiarity with Portland history needs to be aware of Bob Svilar. He was a Portland cop who had a sweet approach to handling people and situations.

Tootsie Rolls, to be exact. During the heady days of the mid 20th Century he was known as the Tootsie Roll Cop, and became known city-wide (gaining a reputation that exists to this day) for handing out Tootsie Rolls to anyone who asked for or looked like they needed one outside of the iconic Yaw's burger joint over in Hollywood (clicky the link for a page full of text and piccys, including Office Bob himself handing out TRs on the corner).

Yaw's was an essential part of Portland pop history, therefore, so was Officer Svilar (I'll admit, I don't know what rank in the PPD he eventually attained). We've heard stories, anecdotal (but most likely true) that he even gave TRs to suspects as they were being arrested; he even distributed them on-duty, it's said.

Yesterday, Margie the Maven at The Big O reported that the Tootsie Roll Cop has shuffled off this mortal coil (read it before it goes into the 14-day lockbox). This is especially poignant in as much as Margie tells us he was quite excited about the upcoming opening of Mark Lindsay's Rock & Roll Cafe over in Hollywood, which is going to feature the old Yaw's menu (one thing about the 50's-they never go out of style, do they?).

Sadly, there will be no Tootsie Roll Cop-retired or otherwise-handing out TRs to cruisers. But those were the days, weren't they?

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29 May 2007

[hk2007] Hell's Kitchen: The Series Racks 'em Up

821 The news is out, and the cast is set for Hell's Kitchen 2007. Here are this series' victims contestants:

The Blues:
  • Aaron (48); retirement home chef; Palos Verdes CA
  • Brad (25); sous chef; Scottsdale AZ
  • Eddie (28); short-order cook; Miami Beach FL
  • Rock (30); excutive chef; Spotsylvania VA
  • Vinnie (29); night club chef; Milltown, NJ
The Reds:
  • Bonnie (26); nanny & personal chef from LA
  • Jen (26); pastry chef; Hazelton PA
  • Joanna (22); chef's assistant; Detroit MI
  • Julia (28); short-order cook; Atlanta GA
  • Melissa (29); line cook; New York NY
  • Tiffany (27); kitchen manager; Scottsdale AZ.
Some observations:

  1. Blue Team/Red Team, boys team/girls team...again. I'm hoping they don't hype it as another "battle of the sexes", because it was lame last time around, and the men's team depopulated itself at the rate of one per show. It'll probably be lame this time around as well.
  2. Two contestants from Scottsdale AZ. No comment here, but isn't that interesting?
  3. More professional cooking types.
  4. Some of the contestants remind us of gimmicks from last season' there's an old fellow (who made a bit of it in his interviews), sous chefs, personal chefs, assistants. We should expect the same sort of character-driven stuff as last time.
  5. We hear the set's architecture is changed somewhat, but just how isn't yet clear.
  6. Joanna couldn't telegraph her intention to be this season's conniving Sarah-type if she'd hit you over the head with it (see the video).
  7. One of the chefs is from Spotsylvania. No insights here; I just wanted to be able to use Spotsylvania at least once in a sentence in this post.
They really are an interesting bunch; hie thee hence to the Hell's Kitchen website to view some excerpts from the first show and a lengthy Gordon Ramsay-driven preview (click on the link to "Videos". it shouldn't be too hard to find).

Maybe I'm too hard on them for going the boys-against-girls route yet again. Looks like it might be good. I just hate stereotypes tho'...

Oh...yes. The prize will seem similar...an executive chef position at a Vegas area casino's restaurant. We begin to detect a pattern.

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[design] Adobe InDesign CS3, Reviewed, by YT

819 Live now on Designorati.

Short form: Sam-bob gives it a thumbs-up.

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28 May 2007

[liff] One Reason We Miss the '80's

818 "Electric Blue", from the 1987 album Man of Colours by the Australian band Icehouse:

Yes, he had an '80s-licious mullet. The keyboard player played a keytar. The drummer looks strangely androgynous. The song is fun and catchy, and Iva Davies really, really knows how to play to the camera.

And that was one hawt chyx0r.

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26 May 2007

[liff] Upside/Downside: iTunes Store

817 Today, the iTunes online marketplace:
Upside: You can find Chilliwack.

Downside: You can't find Icehouse.
This has been another edition of Upside/Downside.

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25 May 2007

[tech] We Stride Proudly Into The Newfangled Modern-Age

816 Oh, I say, hail and well met ladies and fellows: me and my The Goodwife™ have been rather indulging ourselves the last couple of days, for we have finally acquired the newfangled technology of the DSL.

I have opined (though not at length) about our reliance of a 56K dialup connection. My rather adorable spouse has figured out how to shuffle the bones about, though, and we've been connected for the last two days through Qwest.

And we've been overindulging. Like losing sleep going around and experiencing all the things that I've been putting off for an awful long time. And I'm not saying that we're cutting edge or anything like that; yes, we know that it's been available for a few years now and I might be looking a little like the country bumpkin cousin for enthusing so.

But what the hell? Having DSL connectivity is fun. Not losing your connection through retraining for having the temerity of downloading more than one graphic at a time is farging liberating.


24 May 2007

[design] ImageReady-Gone But Not Forgotten

814 The application Adobe ImageReady never got any respect. It was kind of like Photoshop's kid brother who was always being pushed around.

But it was a cool application in its way. It was stripped down in comparison with Photoshop, but what it did–prepare graphics for webbing and animating GIFs–it did very well. With the release of CS3, ImageReady has been shuffled off to Alphabet Heaven, its animation capabilities folded into PSCS3, but there is a little old reminder of ImageReady, sort of an in memoriam...

In PSCS2, the "Save for Web" dialog proclaimed "Powered by ImageReady", and had the ImageReady CS2 icon on. The icon looked like this:

In PSCS3, the "Save for Web" menu item has become the "Save for Web and Devices", speaking to Adobe's apparent commitment to provide tools to design for the mobile web as well as the desktop web. When you bring up the interface, which looks more or less like the PSCS2 "Save for Web" interface, and take a close look at the title bar, here's what you'll see (click to embiggen)

There it is, just to the left of the window title. So very un-CS3.

ImageReady. Gone...but not forgotten.

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22 May 2007

[design] Rorohiko Never Sleeps: Text Stitch

814 I haven't had the chance to check this one out yet, but Kris at Rorohiko just let me know about another groovy scripted plugin that will save InDesignistas a step on threading text frames: Lightning Brain Text Stitch.

From what I've seen it certainly looks try-worthy.

To visit Rorohiko, clicky.

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[hk2007] "The Man Who Made Gordon Ramsay Necessary"

813 In happy anticipation of the writing to follow, I inaugurate a new label for Hell's Kitchen 2007 posts. It is now more than a mere distraction; it is the distraction.

In this particular posting's part, though, we note in passing an article about Marco Pierre White, the British chef who was, as far as we know, the first modern celebrity Bad Boy Chef, the mentor of Gordon Ramsay.

It's said that Chef White was harsh. He was brilliant as well; He was making Michelin stars back in 1995, before anyone had ever heard of El Ram. Legend has it that, when he was coming up, someone drove El Ram to tears. Marco Pierre White was that man.

He is also, we learn, the man who will now helm the original (British) version of Hell's Kitchen.

Read all about him at Salon (subscription or "Site Pass" may be required) here.

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20 May 2007

[distractions] Hell's Kitchen 2007: It's On, You People!

812 This Just In.

Attention all you Gordon Ramsay freaks (of which me and my The Wife™ are two): the third series of Hell's Kitchen premieres Monday, 4 June 2007, on FOX (see, that network's good for something!).

Be there...or be...well, somewhere else.

Here's the FOX page for it. We don't know who the chefs are going to be yet, though our regular faves Sous-chefs Scott and Mary Ann and Jean-Philippe, The Inscrutable Belgian, are going to be along for the ride again.

Update 2007-05-21: We have learned sad news via the HK Message Fora: Rachel Brown, the "biker chick" personal chef from Texas whose personal affection for yet-to-be-Season-Two-Champion Heather West was played up rather much by the production, has died. Reports DallasVoice.com:

Rachel Brown, the Oak Cliff-based personal chef who became a national celebrity last summer following her appearance on the Fox reality show “Hell’s Kitchen,” was found dead in her family home in Bedford on May 9, according to her sister, Dr. Mary Brown.

There's no word yet on how or why, but the impression I get is that it was completely unexpected. She was merely 41 years old as of 5 May.

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17 May 2007

[design] FreeHand To Sail Into Sunset

810 Well, it's official: Macromedia (now Adobe) FreeHand MX is set, like MacArthur said, not to die, but to slowly fade away.

Details here and here.

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16 May 2007

[type, misc] As Week As...

809 Here's why you don't call it good when Spell Check gives you a thumbs up:

Either they mean "as well as", or they want to say this publications is "as weak as" the rest of them. Hard to say which.

Proof read, proof read, proof read...

Oh, if you all haven't recycled your Multnomah County Voter's Pamphlet yet, this example is on page M-39.


[logo_design] Sitemeter's New Logo

808 Dig, if you will, the piccy to the right. This is part of the new identity for a utility that many of us use in its pay incarnation, and most of us use in its free incarnation.

Sitemeter has always been a ripping good tool. If you want to have some idea of what people are coming to read, see, or do at your blog or website, just drop a few lines of javascript and bingo, you got it.

The new logo is static, replacing that rotating Lucite™ cube that is so very familiar. I must say, it's an improvement. There's a certain line of logic that animated GIFs are bells and whistles for thier own sake, and most of the time I've found this to be true. The old cube was cute and tricksy; the new logo, with its comparative restraint, seems more mature and polished.

The mission of Sitemeter is expressed very well by the small bars going away from the type on the right, and unity is maintained by letting the graphic invade the space under the minuscule "r" ever-so-slightly. And the currently-somewhat-faddish device of varying a point of style in the type (in this case the color) to create interest and dynamic tension is used well, with the word "meter" forming a distinct yet unified bridge between the concept of "site" and the thing used to measure it.

It's a new design that works.

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[design] Rorohiko LFL-Reviewed at QVI

807 As promised, I've reviewed LB LikeFindsLike, and the Review is up on Quark Vs InDesign, where it can be read.

Short version–cool plugin. Get it. You might not need it now but you might need it sometime. And it's free.

Oh, and it works for either CS2 or CS3, so no children left behind on this one.

(Not everying Rorohiko does is free–they have to pay the bills. But what you'll find there will get you looking around, and if this is the sort of stuff they do for free, just imagine what value you'll get for crossing thier palms with silver...yes, I am a fan)

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15 May 2007

[design, tech] Photoshop CS3 Easter Egg Recipe

806 Got a CS3 Easter Egg for you; it's a tribute to the late Bruce Fraser (beloved GD tribal elder) and the Electric Kitty.

Here's the recipe:

Assembling the recipe:
  1. Open the Designorati and Photoshop News articles. Set them aside for reference.
  2. Fire up Adobe Photoshop CS3
  3. After PSCS3 is running, get the "ALT-Splash" screen (containing the development code name, Adobe Red Pill, by (on your Mac) holding down the ALT and CMD Keys whilst clicking Menu Bar>Photoshop>About Photoshop...
  4. Take a screenshot (either Shift-CMD-3 or Shift-CMD-4).
  5. Load the Screenshot into PSCS3 (which should still be open).
  6. Fiddle with the input white point and black point as described in the articles. Shifting the input black point all the way right will show you a memorial tribute piccy of Bruce Fraser by the red pill; shifting the input white point all the way to the left will show you the kitty's pawprints in the black area where the credits are.
  7. Smile.
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12 May 2007

[tech] Oh, Goody, Another Format

805 So, this'll paint me as a naïf, I'm sure, or at least a curmudgeon a little advanced for his age, but I just got a whiff of the punditgasm (and don't that paint a word picture) over the introduction of Microsoft®™© Silverlight®™©.

Mama always said "When they say they're rebooting the web, it's time to worry."

Well, she didn't. Not really. Maybe your mama. Anyway.

The upside is that the plugin seems to work with Firefox 2.0 and Mac OS X (and I can uninstall it if it munges things up). I loaded it up (while reading the FAQ which is just loaded with whalesong-and-joss-stick verbiage), restarted the Fox and loaded up the Silverlight page...and got an honkin' huge embedded movie in a webpage.

Wow. Nobody's ever thought of that one before. Good one!

Microsoft: Just when you thought it was safe to go on the 'web, we reinvented it...as far as you're concerned.

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[net_life] Me Spam Pretty Someday

804 One of the most nigh-impenetrable bits of phrasing in the English language since "All Your Base" came in yet another e-mail beg to buy pirated software today.

Roget's, revise your standard thesaurus entry for "OEM" to include the following:

OEM software means no CD/DVD, no packing case, no booklets and no overhead cost!
So OEM is synonym for lowest price.

Buy directly from the manufacturer, pay for software ONLY and save 75-90%!
Well. That's cleared that up, then.

Although I do insist that my pirated software come on a CD/DVD. For a $159 copy of Autocad 2007, I don't think that's so much to ask.

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10 May 2007

[design] Rorohiko Does it Again^2

803 I've written about Rorohiko, Ltd before. They come up with way cool additions that just make using InDesign more fun and interesting; they have a free plug-in, for example, that does Sudoku puzzles for Indy. Sweet.

Kris Coppieters is crazy smart. You and I try to "think outside the box"; with Kris, I'm not sure the box exists, or Kris has a better one and works both sides of it. I distinctly remember, on the Yahoo GD list, someone came up with an Indy problem, and I wondered aloud if Kris was already thinking of a way to solve it. Within 48 hours Kris had a prototype ready for testing.

Like I said, crazy smart.

Anyway, Kris has just given me the heads up on a new plugin that Rorohiko's developed that is sure to save people a step. "Like Finds Like" is supposed to simplify selection by automatically selecting similar objects to what you have already selected in IDCS2/3, saving a step over click-click-click (with the pawprint key held down). From my own experience, that should save some time.

The Like Finds Like beta plugin can be found here: if you havent used Rorohiko plugins before stop by and fetch the Active Page Item Runtime plugin, which allows use of the rest of the Rorohiko plugins, making it all very easy. And, it's all free.

I've downloaded it but not installed it yet; when I do, I'll report on my findings at Designorati or QuarkVsInDesign (or both). I'll keep you all posted on that.

Again, bravo, Kris!

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[design] Adobe Illustrator CS3 Is Much Kuler Now

802 Several entries back I mentioned one of the great things about Adobe Illustrator CS3 is that Kuler (or does that start with miniscule k...nevermind) is available through a panel in the new AICS3 interface.

It's true! More than that, it's pretty darn easy to use. Join me over at Designorati and find out just how easy.

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08 May 2007

[bloggage] Why On Earth Do I Blog?

801 They have called it a meme. Someone else likes to call it "Bloggy Tag". So do we.

They've posed me the following question:

Why on Earth do you blog?

And by "you", of course, she means "me".

Part One: Answer the Question

Now, taken at the basic meaning, one might well remark that Earth is the only place I can, at present blog; humanity and our bedevilling computer networks have gone nowhere else in the cosmos as yet. Then one would be quite correct in pointing out the question I've actually answered is Why do you blog on Earth?, and that I've facetiously misintepreted the comment in a rather successful attempt at cheap humor.

Actually, in that tangled web of verbiaginous verbiage veering very verbose (no, you may not call me "V"), is sort of the reason.

I fancy myself a designer but I grew up loving to write. I also grew up liking to tell people about it. In the then, of course, you could write for school, you could write a diary, you could write essays for classes (you could even write computer programs) but you couldn't write to be published. You couldn't enlighten/bore/entertain the world with your words.

Well, now you can.

I endeavor to to a lot of things with my blog. I explore what I want (including design), I publish my photeaux, I opine and explain. I get a little bit of fame every now and again. If someone likes my writing, they just might pay me for it eventually. Regardless, I love writing and I like the idea that someone, somewhere might be reading it (we're still working on that popularity thing). It all boils down to one urge, from which all others depend:

I blog because I can.

I like playing with words and putting up pictures to illustrate them and playing with fonts and experimenting with them to see which communicates the best and playing with new technology all that (and more) comes together in the form of the blog...and with Blogger you get it all for nothin! Luxury you can afford!

And I wanna be popular, so link and subscribe to me. Because I'm nothing without you.

(And I get to act out in public and it doesn't damage my fledgling repuation. So, that's a plus too!)

But I do it because I can do it.

Part Two: You're It!

When I was tagged "it" I was further charged with tagging five others. So, here are five people of whom the cut of thier jib I do indeed like:
  1. Gretchen (tune into her radio)
  2. Dan Crall, famous for being in a certain space
  3. Jeff Fisher, one of my heroes
  4. Lelo, one of my new favorites
  5. Cyclotram (an engima wrapped in a blog)
Part Three:Dancing with She What Brung Ya.

And I would be remiss if I didn't link back to the person who asked me
...who linked back to the person who asked them...and so on...and so on...

I tried embedding the bloggy tag graphic in the link but Blogger won't let me.

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07 May 2007

[oregon] The State Capitol, 2: Result Being Greater Than Sum Of Parts

800 To celebrate the eight-hundredth post, I present yet another photo of the Capitol:

This picture is much more of a panorama than my modest 3.3 MPx camera (modest, yes) could get when simply pointed. I'd like to say I was a digital imaging wizard but, no, this was the fault of Photoshop CS3.

Since CS2, Photoshop has what's called "Photomerge", in which it takes several open files and magically creates a single picture from them. I tried it, and wasn't impressed. PSCS3 Photomerge is about 1000% better than CS2's; the merging and the blending of photos is amazing to me. I can't tell where one ends now and the other begins (except for my filling in certain places with the clone stamp tool, which locations are left as an exercise for the reader.

This picture is the kind I've wanted to take for a while. I'm kind of proud of it.

Update 8 May 2007: A much bigger (1.9 MB) Photoshop JPEG has been posted here on ORBlogs Photos. All rights reserved, naturally.

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[design] Attention Salem Area Designistas

799 If you design and want an opportunity for networking in our glorious capital city, then here's one thing you should check out.

We have nothing to add except that we like the D^3 formula. Works for us.

Salem Design Group's contact page.

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06 May 2007

[pdx_politik] How I'm Voting On Charter Reform

798 It's gonna be a no.

No matter how many ways I look at it and how many different guys' POVs I take in, I just can't convince myself it's not a power-grab by Mayor Tom.

I've had enough of political power grabs, myself. The current City Council may be a little bent, but it's not broken, and I think we should be well-enough-alone on this one.

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[liff] A Random Useless Obeservation

797 "Brian" is pretty much the Universal Name.

I am compelled to call someone Brian unless I know their name. And I'm horrible with names, so I tend to call people I know who aren't actually named Brian, Brian.

Just ask my wife, Brian.


05 May 2007

[oregon] The State Capitol

796 I grew up in Silverton and Salem, so the landscape there is very precious to me.

Here's what may seem like a very ordinary shot of the State Capitol building, taken from standing in the bike lane on Summer Street NE in Salem (natch), therefore we are looking south-southwest (remember, Salem's central street grid aligns with the river and is therefore canted about 10 degrees CW:

The Oregon State Capitol (and there is a difference, readers, between capital and capitol, your assignment is to look it up and learn it–it's self-study) is the most beautiful capitol in the United States, as far as I'm concerned...and I'm right on this one. The best thing about it is the simple lines, the basis on the classic capitol structure (rotunda topped by cupola extending into two legislative wings) but with an Oregonized take on it all that has as its end result a uniquely Oregon landmark.

I love that the dome isn't domed but a cylinder (as intimated, the proper term for a structure-topping dome is a cupola).

This is a great building.

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03 May 2007

[tech] Home Network, Enabled!

795 One of the things that I've wanted for a long time now is a home network. Both me and The Wife™ are, natually heavy computer users, between my writing and using design software and ceaseless viewing of anything on Homestar Runner and her incessant Star Wars MUD gaming and Photoshopping and both of our constant viewing of Intarweb pr0n quest and thirst for more knowledge.

When going past FreeGeek on 1 May to get my The Wife™ a connector she wanted for her monitor, we saw the most amazing thing through the window: not one or two but three graphite Power Macintoshes and an eMac sitting on the shelves. We also saw that FG was closed, in as much as it was May Day, which I shoulda knowed about (such is the cave in which I live).

So we were back the next day. The eMac was gone but the three graphite-cased Power Macs were still there (as well as a blue-n-white G3 complete with appropriate monitor). I had thought that maybe they were just cases (market share being what it is, FG doesn't traffic in Mac hardware much) but no, they were complete systems, one emphatically explaining that there was actually a G3 under the hood, and with prices like $80 and $60.

One of my other visions is to have a Mac for both of us. The G4 360 Mhz with a 40 Gig HD and FW, USB, and Ethernet was just the thing she needed for her MUDding and Photoshopping (it doesn't have to run like a racecar for her needs). Moreover, nothing against Linux (we still proudly run Ubuntu on the Linux box we do have) but after we got it home we installed OS X 10.2 and she is now running what she wants, has Photoshop 7, and we network the two without having to really know much about networking. There's a trope that Macs make things easy, and that certainly is the truth here.

Moreover we can share the internet connection. One of us dials up, the other checks email, loads web page, whatever. The performance of the line isn't really any better or worse, but one not having to wait for the other to get out of the way to go on line for email, whatever...hello marital bliss!

01 May 2007

[type_design] But It Doesn't Look All That Ugly...

793 As I said in the last missive, the name of the font Akzidenz Grotesk is fun to say. It's German, of course, meaning we don't pronounce the "z" (or zed, for our Commonwealthy friends) like the Z in "Zoo", but like the "ts" in "cents". In fact, in the German syllabary, "z" isn't said "zee", it's said "tset".

To pronounce the name, you say it "Accidents Grotesque". Which, given the plainness of the font, I find hysterical. It don't look accidental, and it's not grotesque...not in my opinion, anyway.

But I started wondering why they call it "Grotesk"...and all I could find (for now) is this (via Wikipedia):
Grotesque (generally with an upper-case G) is the style of the sans serif types of the 19th century. Capital-only faces of this style were available from 1816. The name "Grotesque" was coined by William Thorowgood, the first to produce a sans-serif type with lower case, in 1832.
Well. That's cleared up then.

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