30 September 2007

[design] My Mad Skills

973. Hanging out my shingle in the side bar.

I know there's a place for me out there. I'm hungry to work–someone out there is hungry for someone who is hungry. I am that hungry person.

Go here and peruse, if you are the sort. I am the sort who is available.

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[liff] The Fair Weather Fan

972. I'll admit it, I'm a fair weather fan.

Actually, I've never been much of a sport fan to begin with. I've always found televised sports a crashing bore, while I do like baseball–when we can get to the park and watch. Now, that's a good time. I keep hoping Portland can land big league ball because, hey it would be kind of cool to be able to catch MLB live (though the day it comes to town, as it must, because Portland b-ball fans never give up, it will no doubt be too damn' expensive. Anyway.)

I'm removed enough from sports that when the local offerings suck, you won't find me anywhere near 'em. During the Drexler years, when the Trail Blazers were the greatest also-rans the sport ever saw, I was there for every game I could get, and I still think that Clyde the Glide never getting a championship ring is a great injustice. Moreover, even though the 'Zers never got out of the Finals alive, they were great players and gentlemen...you ever think Duck or Mercy, Mercy would have been caught anywhere near the chronic or dogfights? Never in a million years, my friends.

But, that's another digression. As I said, I'm a fair weather fan. I'm not saying this because I'm necessarily proud of it, but I'm not ashamed.

I look at it this way. Pro Sports, like any business, is selling me a profit. Unlike most businesses, they sell me a team of personalities and an organzination that generates emotions and events. You can't hold it, you can't put it on the shelf, you can't put it back in the box and take it out again when you want to play with it. If you have it, though you know it; when it's good, it's very good, and when it stinks, well...

My thoughts turned this way when I read that that OSU snatched defeat from the jaws of a UCLA victory (UCLA! They could have kicked UC ass!) and read the various mea culpas generated by Riley and the gang. And I'd realized that, even though during the last two seasons, when OSU Football was appointment radio with me, I'd not listened to a single game.

There's the sort that will stick with a team through thick and thin...and especially through thin. I honor you and admire you; it takes severe dedication to be that masochistic. When a team screws up repeatedly and makes the same mistakes over and over...this must be what keeps blood pressure med makers in profits.

But it's not a life for me, alas. I have enough heartache in my life. So, if a local team won't take its own act seriously, why should I? Laters, folks.

On the flip side, though, you've got to realize that your fair weather fans (and I'm not the only one, I'm sure) are your best friends really. if you're doing everything right, even if you're not winning, we'll be back. I stuck tight to the Blazers during all those heartbreaking NBA Finals because...well, hell, I liked them. They were good fellows, playing the best they knew how. Regrettably, the NBA era they played in was the time where the season amounted to which team was going to lose to the Bulls in the finals that year. That was hardly the fault of Clyde and his team. They were quality stuff, and it showed.

I think you'll find that if you have a quality product, then everyone including your fair weather fans will come to take some. And that's how you know you're winning the hometown fans.

Give me some quality players and a team and organization that will win my heart and I'll be back–whether or not you'll be taking the championship (though that would be the best, and no mistake).

No disrespect meant toward faithful fans, but you'll always have them. Get people like me on board, though, and you know you're succeeding.

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[design] Local Designer interviews Quark Supremo

971. On the heels of this groundbreaking article from our own Pariah Burke comes this futher interview with Raymond Schiavone, the CEO of Quark, Inc, commenting (and not) on recent revelations from the erstwhile electronic layout king and its flagship, QuarkXPress.

It's interesting what he says–as well as what he doesn't say.

The latter part is a self-interview, where Pariah poses questions to himself. This is a vehicle for delivering some really great insights and should answer a good many questions many might have about his own approach.

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29 September 2007

[bloggage] More Contribute Futzing

970. This is a good news/bad news thing.

Good news: the Spa Fon Project has borne fruit. I can now edit posts.

Bad News: The re-edited post is re-inserted back at the top of the post stack, so the last few posts are now all out of order.

Will see what happens to this one.

Spa Fon? Squa Tront!

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28 September 2007

[pdx_transit] TriMet TV

968. We have, for our approval, the debut–kind of a preface, actually–of something called TriMet TV, which is apparently TriMet's entry into video podcasting.

I enjoyed the first epi, but I do wish they didn't try so hard to be witty and funny. It kind of showed.

But I am a fan of TriMet, so I'm givin' it a big-time chance. I also love pods and vods, so there it is.

Spa fon?

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[design] Famously Graphic

967. A couple of postings locally caught my eye–but then, that's what effective graphic design is supposed to do.

A lot of us who love music love it partially because of album cover art (Gerry Rafferty's City to City is still amongst my most personal favorites). When the act is particularly iconic, sometimes genre-shifting work manages to wrap one of the act's discs. Here, at mental_floss's online presence, is 23 album covers that represented paradigm shifts, according to the author (Chris Smith). We all have our opinions; Record Store Geek (whose posting here recommended the list) has his ideas of what should have made the cut. Art is subjective that way.

And why 23? Always the rule of fives with these people fnord. Anyway.

In another posting, re:PDX reveals how graphic parody can bring light to a dark subject. The morphing of Nestlé Crunch into "Nastilie Credit Crunch" (A new forclosure in every bite) is a darkly humorous take on the particularly harrowing evolution our domestic economy seems to be going though right now. It works particularly because it touches all the stylistic bases: color, type, general style; if the reference wasn't so clear, it would be a pastiche.

Graphic Design that clicks is just like that. Instantly unforgettable, powerfully communicative, and eloquent of the unseen but realized grammar of visual communication.

Spa Fon?

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27 September 2007

[bloggage] 467 Visitors to Go...

969. ...to get to the magic 30K.

Just markin' history here.

Spa fon?

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[design] Judging a Book by its...uh, Outside Stuff

966. Book designers try to get you to judge a book by its cover, contravening that old saw.

The Portland Mercury, bless its heart, pointed me at an online exhibition from the AIGA (an organziaton I'd happily join, if I could so afford) and illustrated their Blogtown art with a particularly clever one for the cover of Nicholas Maes's Dead Man's Float, which illustrates the impression of the title by showing an abstract silhouette of a man's body floating on what is presumably the text of the opening of the novel.

Mark this one down as one I wish I had thought of.

The link to the AIGA archive is here; click on "Annual 28" in the upper right then "01 Book Design" on that page to get a look at the brilliance there pertaining.

BTW, if anyone out there needs a book cover designed...I'm available.

FWIW: the blog Judging A Book By Its Cover does exactly that...and takes no prisoners. Good for a LOL.

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24 September 2007

[bloggage] That Indian at 300 pixels and 100 pixels

965. Here's a second attempt at the indian, at 300 pixels wide

This next demo will be some lorem ipsum text to demonstrate how MarsEdit deals with floating images left and right.

indian100.gifLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec posuere, dui in sagittis sollicitudin, lorem sem elementum magna, nec mattis lacus libero imperdiet lorem. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos hymenaeos. Curabitur nisl nunc, vulputate cursus, suscipit sit amet, iaculis vel, mauris. Suspendisse potenti. Integer diam. Maecenas metus. Nam eget tortor. Curabitur interdum felis quis nisl. Curabitur blandit feugiat ante. Ut sagittis feugiat erat. Maecenas bibendum urna quis elit. Nulla nisi justo, feugiat at, condimentum eu, lacinia id, magna. Sed vel nulla. Fusce convallis, sapien eget tincidunt venenatis, elit risus auctor nibh, indian100.gifsit amet porta diam leo ac orci. Sed commodo, diam a condimentum pretium, dui erat hendrerit enim, vitae consequat enim quam ut dui. Nam lacus ipsum, pellentesque eu, tempor vitae, ullamcorper a, orci. Quisque pulvinar euismod dolor. Suspendisse imperdiet elit. Aliquam ac erat. Morbi laoreet.

Neat. Nifty. Like this.

[bloggage] Posting pictures. And Now, the Indian

964. This is a picture I just tried uploading from my desktop machine via Bleezer.

Clearly, I will have to resize pictures.

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[pdx] There Was an Earthquake Last Night?

963. Way back when...the "Spring Break Quake"...I felt it. It woke me up. I thought, at first, that it was our upstairs numbskull neighbors were playing woofers way too overdriven. Within a few minutes I was on the computer, doing IRC with everyone else who had felt it.

We've had various and sundry earthquakes since then. I haven't felt a one. Not even last night's. I'm starting to wonder were my head is. My sweet backside is usually in a chair during those hours...you'd thought I would have felt it...

Since I'm testing out Bleezer, here's a picture insert. Once again...the cat


23 September 2007

[or_politik] Let Steve Speak

962. Regardless of how I feel about our Senatorial candidates this time around, and even though I support Merkley, I think we (as an electorate) and Steve Novick (in particular) are getting the short end of the stick.

Since I follow local politics a bit closer than the average bear (but not so closely that I'd go off an start a %100 political blog) I have noticed rather a dearth on actual reporting on what Steve is doing, thinking and saying. When he does try something to garner publicity, look what happens.

Recently, it is a secret to nobody, he released a Pirate-themed news release on International Talk Like A Pirate day. He's been mostly ridiculed for that; the Astoria Daily Tidings as already dealt him out of the race.

I think that ITLP Day is kind of tired, myself, FWIW...but I appreciated the humor involved.

These days, when you think about political campaigns, you tend to hear things like "electability", "face appeal", "center", "fringe", and all sorts of terms that make it easy not to think. You have to carry around a translation book these days to parse what everyone's trying to say and have to carry around Diogenes' lamp in order to see your way through all the influencing. When The Media™ take it upon themselves to try to start choosing the candidate for you, then they aren't doing anyone any favors, and they are in fact contributing to the cynicism about them that both sides (both the good guys as well as the opposition) share.

I remember some months ago when Novick entered the race, and I recall the feeling of disappointment–then as well as now–that The News™ wasn't really paying any attention to him. Wasn't it remarkable per se that someone had the courage to stand up and say "I'll do it" then?

Merkley's my candidate for a variety of reasons, not least because I was mad impressed with the job he did in the Lege last session as well as the fact that he's my Rep and that he's smarter than the proverbial whip.

But if Novick has something to say, I want to hear it. I also want The News™ to treat him as though he was actually running, which he has been (and they have not). I've seen the main points of his platform, and I agree with him on much much more than I disagree with him on.

So please, The News™, give him his due–tell me what he's doing with a little more respect. I can't speak for none other but myself (as your average, unarmed American) but unless you do, you're not being unfair just to him, but to all of us. I may not be Einstein, but I'm smart enough to choose my own candidates. Don't choose them for me.

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[liff] Another Thing You Didn't Think Had an Expiry

961. This one happens to be the National Do Not Call List. There's a five-year expiry on your registry–if you have one.

In order to see if you should re-up, go to this page and feed 'em your phone number and email address, and they'll tell you if you need to...if you're into this kind of thing, of course.

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[test] This is a test of Mars Edit

960. Just messin' around....
Might post a piccy, Whooo nose?

And now, one from the local box..


Now, let's add some Technorati Tags.

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21 September 2007

[design] It's Interview Day!

959. One of the resumes I've sent out lately has resulted in an interview.

Today. In about 5 and a half hours. Sleep? Who has time?

Because, you see, what's worth going for is worth going for. Got my stuff ready to go, though.

I'll not say who just yet.

Spa fon?

Update: edited 0916 to remove a greengrocer's apostrophe. Typographer's honor demands that I mention this.

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20 September 2007

[pdx_transit] We'd Suggest SE 92nd Ave to either Division or Holgate

958. From TriMet: SE Powell Blvd at I-205 is going to be completely closed overnight on Monday 24 Sep and Tuesday 25 Sep.

Get the details here.

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[media] iTunes Competition? Not Again!

957. I think someone's figured out that the quickest way to generate buzz is that you think you're going to be some sort of competition for iPod (in which case, I fell for it too. However!).

Tipped off by this post by b!X at Furious NADS!, I read the NYT article attached to the link. What I think the core of it is is this (emphasis mine);

NBC first contracted with Amazon to offer its programs for sale to downloading devices like MP3 players. Now it is establishing its own downloading service, which NBC executives say they expect to become a viable competitor to iTunes.

“With the creation of this new service, we are acknowledging that now, more than ever, viewers want to be in control of how, when and where they consume their favorite entertainment,” said Vivi Zigler, the executive vice president of NBC Digital Entertainment. “Not only does this feature give them more control, but it also gives them a higher quality video experience.”

The idea of a free download with an expiration date is risible in the extreme, and I laugh upon it. How having a show you can't skip though the commercials gives one more control is a mystery. Higher quality video experience? My iPod's screen is nice, but it's not that big...actually, even most crappy video content looks good on it.

But why even mention being a competitor to iTunes when they offer a limited range of content with an expiry date? They aren't really even the same thing. However, saying they feel they have a viable competitor to iTunes will get people talking about it. Maybe they're working on the "any publicity is good publicity" model.

Something tells me the should have just stuck it out with Apple, and kept selling things though iTunes. How this is going to put them ahead is anybody's guess.

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[design] The Pagemaker Files

956. A few entries ago, I mentioned how, just for fun, I was exhuming an old training text, had downloaded Adobe Pagemaker 7 (still available for purchase, believe it or not) and proceeded to do three of the projects therein.

I wasn't looking necessarily to learn something, though I did. I did them because I was rembering how much fun and adventure I had learning them. if I had any doubt that I wanted to do graphic design, it was banished by that; it's incredibly empowering to be able to create layouts "just like the pros". I suppose, but for a regular gig, I am one.

As layouters will recall, before DTP War II, and before QuarkXPress was the king of the hill, the electronic layout titan was Aldus PageMaker, a thing that results when Adobe (who developed PostScript) meets Aldus (who knew that they could combine PostScript and Apple's Macintosh and PS printer hardware and do magic). PageMaker didn't just dominate the market; as the first arguably "professional" electronic layout application, it defined and created the field of electronic layout (or as some call it, DTP).

As a program that does, at this point, what the biggies do but kind of in miniature, graphic arts programs typically start out with something like it and move you on to QuarkXPress and InDesign. With its comparatively-limited feature and ability set, it was an ideal starter.

On this go arournd, I did the following things:

1. Restaurant Menu

The restaurant menu (clicky to embiggen), taught the beginner the basics of styles and why you should use them. The beginner, perhaps coming from a program like MSWord (which can be used for layout–I've seen examples–but it's like using housepainting brushes to do a miniature), has developed certain habits that need to be superseded. By concentrating on layout via styles, this is done.

Discovering styles were a cosmic moment for me. I didn't think of areas of text in terms of just font and font size anymore–there was so much more you could do with it now. And by selecting the proper "next style" and style to base it on, you can watch your publication fall together like when Will Smith solved the Rubik's Cube in this video here:

Man, that fellow's mad smart. Anyway!

The exercise also educated the begineer on making simple graphics (the screened-back "Union-jack-oid" oval behind the establishment name was made with lines, constrained lines, an oval, and a mask). The result was powerful, at least to me.

2. Center Market Catalog

Clicky to embiggen. Again, a whole lot of things were taught in this one, including graphic insertion and embedding, master page use (the gold stripe across the top and the page footer were on master pages), and text wrapping (text runaround for you Quarksters).

it was also a test of just sheer ability to follow instructions. The instructions for building this document were quite long and involved; to my utter surprise, I found myself making some of the same mistakes I did when doing it originally, such as skipping a crucial step in setting a point size or leading on a style. As before I was able to go back and retrace the steps and get it done. Maybe I remember it fondly because I have an inordinate love of cheese and bread, or maybe because all the colors are warm and happy as is the type, or maybe the sheer fun in manipulating all the little control handles on the text wrap boundary. But it was satisfying to work through and satisfying to view the final result–a happy 2-page spread about cheese and bread.

3. Good Choices Newsletter

Of the three, this one was more concerned with picking up where someone else left off and delivery to a service bureau than the others were.

The beginning started with a template that contained the masthead and the grayish checks. Along the way, stories were placed, the Story Editor was employed to copyfit and to apply styles, several illustrations were added, and at the end, the student is shown how to collect files (including fonts) for delivery to a service bureau.

That last one isn't any thing any more, but time was one had to copy off fonts, file by file, for the service bureau. Font info is linked in, of course; not including the font meant the service provider had to, hopefully, have it, and if they did its metrics would be just slightly different perhaps and the text would reflow (one of the steps had the student actually altering font tracking, so the chance of any service provider having what you had would effectively be nil), ruining the layout (and costing the designer extra as that time is money to the printer–money the designer gets charged). These days, packaging (or, in Quarkese, collecting for output) groups the fonts together with everything else linked into the file (since Finagle's Law applies, of course, this is something layout artists still check).

Output in a Modern World

The question of outputting files from an older app like PM is a valid one. On the Mac, PM runs in Classic environment, which spawns a virtual OS 9.2 machine to run over the real OS X one; as I found out with QuarkXPress 5, putting out files can have its own set of challenges.

Two of the files were output as PostScript file and run through Acrobat 8 Professional to come up with the final PDFs. The Center Market Catalog's PS file acted funny in Acrotbat, however.

The thing I found out is that Adobe inDesign CS3 can convert PageMaker 7 files! It's true, but some work is required after the conversion (IDCS3 has different ideas about kerning and leading and files need to be relinked), but it can be done. Even the text-wrap boundaries are preserved.

And something else, too; looking at the layout in IDCS3 vice PM7 provides no better indication of how far display engine technology has come. In the past, layout programs displayed bitmapped thumbnails of the graphic so you'd know you were inserting the right graphic (one of my QuarkXPress lessons involved putting in a textual graphic and then printing it out repeatedly and moving and scaling it until it was just the right size. Mur-der!). Drop shadows rendered with perfect gradient, sharp, non-jaggedy edges on type...it's lovely.

I'd never want to go back.

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19 September 2007

[liff] In Which We Find We Live in Al's House

955. When we acquired the Station our realtor had said that the house had a bit of a history, and its original owner was a successful and renowned Portland newspaper photographer.

Yesterday, we figured out who that was, thanks to a bit of "junk" ('scuse the expression in this case) mail. As it turns out, the original owner of our humble abode was a man named Al Monner.

Who?, you might ask. We did.

This fellow is Al Monner.

What kind of photos did he take? Photos like these here, which documented Portland through the middle third of the 20th Century.

And if nothing else, we also find that it was his photo on the cover of the Oregon Journal in a 1968 issue that was responsible for the naming of Cathedral Park.

My studio was, once, this man's office. So I shall in future approach my work here with some reverence, which I think should be most appropriate.

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[pdx_politik] Be Careful Whose Water You Carry

954. I hesitate to be encouraged by recent events; government by character asassination in America has a proven history of success, and people en masse seem to have an entirely too apt ability to buy what they've been sold around here lately.

But it's hard not to be cheered just a little noting that two recently-attempted public displays of such have fallen flat as the absolutely tone-deaf attempts that they were. There is a possiblilty that we, as a group, are getting less credulous–a possiblilty–and that is reason for optimism. They remain notable for who was willing to advance the slur.

The first one happened with the "Merkley Voted for the War" meme, which Steve Novick regrettably signed on to. The overarching truth of the situation is that the political culture of this day (remember, the country is being run by bullies) means that one is pretty much forced to adopt some stance on the Iraq conflict in order to survive as a politician. In the specific Merkley's vote in support of HR 2 was apparently inspired by a sincere desire to show support for the troops, rather than approval of the Iraq war. It seems beyond unfair to hold someone accountable for a Hobsonian choice that they were required to make. That's the political culture today; the Colbert joke question "George W. Bush–great President, or greatest President" is rooted in a sad reality we all had better start to recognize. Regardless of Novick's personal feelings on our current foreign policy, he should have known better than that, because to this unenlightened prole, it sure looked like he was willing to hitch his star to a dishonorable talking point.

Sad, because Novick is admirable in so very many ways.

Similarly, if we give Bob Ball the benefit of the doubt (and I suspect that some may indeed not) that he was airing a concern that he was sincerely worried about in matters of propriety between Sam Adams and Beau Breedlove, we find ourselves wondering why he would carry forward such a rumor. Rumors like that are pointy and poisonous things, as Ball himself has discovered; that blowback has turned out to be a bee-yotch. You'd best check them out thoroughly if you can, and if you can't, it'd be better left alone.

The hoped-for Goldschmidt effect didn't happen, because the facts showed that it was an adult just helping some young person come to terms in a positive way with who he was (and this blog and this author are not scared of gays, if one hasn't figured out by now). Moreover, we are significantly cheered that the public discussion on this has centered on the creditiblity of the people and issues involved rather than the inherent gayness of the situation. It doesn't matter that Sam is gay (and indeed hasn't for quite a long time now); it matters even less that Ball is gay. What matters is that Ball seems, to this unenlightened prole, to have gone after Sam Adams on a seek and destroy mission that backfired–as it should have.

When I was but a neat thing, one of life's lessons Mama impressed upon me was how evil forwarding rumors is. Even if you're right, spreading rumors marks the spreader as much as the spreaded; people will always suspect you afterwards.

Bombs always throw shrapnel. Best that you not drop them.

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18 September 2007

[pdx, liff] Whither The Hudson Brothers?

953. Why, Tabloid Baby asks, are the Hudson Brothers hot again?

Good question. We here at this humble, little-read blog, had no idea we were part of the beginning of a wave. But we'll take it.

Anyway, it's a very good question. For me, Tabloid Baby sums it up:

The Hudson Brothers were a rare act that won praise as legitimate rock musicians, comedy entertainers and teen idols. They're also among the few with a Top 10 legacy to refuse to cash in on the nostalgia market. While every Seventies star, from Barry Williams to the Bay City Rollers, has made more than one money-grubbing comeback attempt in the past thirty years, each Hudson has carried on with successful second acts-- Mark as a top music producer and writer, Bill as a film and music producer, Brett as a television and film writer and producer.

Hells, yeah! And I happen to be one of Mark Hudson's close, personal MySpace friends, along with about 1000 others.

The shows are fondly rememberd by myself. They were one of the first things I remember being on the television-box, and I though it was pretty cool that, in an age where nothing cool ever came out of Oregon, something cool came out of Oregon.

I regret to say that I maybe didn't support the boys as much as I ought to have...but back then I didn't have any money to spend on records. C'est la guerre. With them becoming more popular, maybe I'll have that chance.

Tabloid Baby also has some exclusive "reunion-y" photos here. We should all age so well. Also linked-to by TB: This nifty little Hudson Brothers page at Sunshineday.com .

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[pdx_politik] Actually, I Do Have a Couple of Problems With Sam Adams

952. Thank God for Lars Larson! Now that the Mouth of the Month has teamed up with the WW to show us just what Sam's made of. We Portlanders have long needed a Sam Adams airing session, so it's nice to know that, at long last, it's on!

I have two things about Sam that have always, well...bothered me:

  1. A few years back, when I needed to layout an Issue of the Sierra Club's local Columbia Group newsletter, the Columbia Overlook, we wanted a head shot of Sam to illustrate the issue's endorsement of him. A few emails to his staff were never answered or even acknowledged.
  2. A long time ago, before I changed to New Blogger (and accidentally trashed my blogroll in the act) I linked to Sam. He never linked back.

Ahh, that feels so much better. Sam, you can gain absolution by linking here. It's a bit late for a headshot for the Overlook now, but that's life in the publishing world.

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[pdx] Jesus Christ Made Portland Under Bliss

950. Remembering downtown street names is the mark of a true local, or an import gone happily native. Remembering the sequence of downtown street names is the mark of the truly enlightened, IMO, regardless of whether you're originally from here, there, or anywhere.

The luckier cities have mnemonic sequences. Seattle is (as many who read blogs might already know) singularly blessed: the whimsy of Jesus Christ Made Seattle Under Pressure (or Protest, as some prefer) enable the quick sequential rememberance of 12 central city streets, going north from Pioneer Square and Yesler Way; J for Jefferson and James, C for Columbia and Cherry, M for Marion and Madison, S for Spring and Seneca, U for University and Union, and P for Pike and Pine. Simple.

Were it only that easy for Portland, alas. The definition of "downtown" might vary a little bit depending on who you talk to; to me, downtown Portland Oregon has always been defined by the Willamette River, and West Burnside St, with the Stadium Freeway rounding off the west side of the tract.

If you've defined the area you're talking about as I have, you have something of a problem. At Portland's human 20-block-to-the-mile scale, you have more than twenty cross-streets to consider:

Ankeny, Ash, Pine, Oak, Stark, Washington, Alder, Morrison, Yamhill, Taylor, Salmon, Main, Madison, Jefferson, Columbia, Clay, Market, Mill, Montgomery, Harrison, Hall, College, Jackson.

That's twenty-three (not including Lincoln, Grant, and Sheridan, which technically fall within the loop). So, the challenge is determining a meaningful, rememberable mnemonic incorporating:


One sees the problem. We can decrease the field a bit by deciding to limit our set–say, excluding the streets south of Columbia, being in general short and local streets serving the University district, but I myself have found it useful to know whether Mongtomery comes before Mill or not.

We see possiblilites in the way the sequence from Stark to Morrison forms the word SWAM (a past tense of swim, suggesting a watery motif–which would be very appropriate in the Pacific Northwet), but fitting that in to the surrounding letters seems, at our first passes, to be awkward, at best.

Back in the '80s, if memory serves correctly, none other than The Big O's Jonathan Nicholas noted the same thing, and inspired his readers to try to come up with a suitable mnemonic for the rembembery off the streets of downtown–a task which, if remembery also serves, was doomed to failure. Charming and friendly, but nothing memorable came out of it.

it would be cool indeed if we all could come up with a charming little memory device. But Portland, as in many ways, in this case proves to be unclassifiable and somewhat inscrutable.

But I think that's why a lot of us come here and never leave. It's kind of what we make out of it.

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17 September 2007

[pdx] A 1986 Tom Peterson's Commercial

UPdate, 25 May 08: I just detected that I'm getting a surge in traffic from the OLive forums due to posting and linking to this priceless bit of PDXana. Welcome and ... please, look around, comment. Links gladly reciprocated!

949. Here's a link from an anonymous benefactor in this entry.

We give you Tom Peterson, ca. 1986:

Tom Peterson's, the happy place to buy! And with a 19" Big Screen TV, how could you go wrong?

In 1986, the merger with Stereo Stupid Stores hadn't happened yet, so as far as we all were concerned, the good times were set to roll indefinitely.

But then, the 1980's were't just a different time. They were a different planet.

Good times. Good Times.

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16 September 2007

[bloggage] Another Blog; The Wife™'s Food Blog Debut

948. The Wife™, someone who said she'd never do this, has created a blog at long last.

Why? Because eventually most people will find a passion and want to share what they've found out or, at least, make themselves findable to like minds. This is the finer aspect of blogging, IMO.

Her blog, Adventures in Period Food, http;//tec-cooks.blogspot.com, concerns itself with the interesting things she's found and continues to find about cooking the the medieval style. It's authored under her SCA handle, "Teceangl" (tek-ANG-gl). The word "Period" here has a particular meaning; it's Society for Creative Anachronism-speak for the time of the Society's concern, namely, what is conventially (by us, anyway) defined as "Middle Ages", that period before the European use of gunpowder (the beginning of modern warfare)–prior to 1650.

As it occurs, a lot of "foodies", self made or otherwise, find a home in the SCA because learning about how our ancestors cooked and ate is just that interesting.

No schedule for updating; it's what she finds, when she finds it. But as my figure will attest, what she finds is usually very good.

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[bloggage] Another Blog We Like

947. Transit Sleuth. Because we like Transit, and we like sleuthin'.

(strike up "Rockford Files" Theme. K, Thnx)

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15 September 2007

[pdx] N. (Your Name Here) Blvd

946. The process over naming streets to honor personal heroes in Portland has become like living next to the State Hospital: it's a short walk to insanity.

It's encouraging to notice that I'm not the only one who things so: Incursio chimes in, as does the Café Unknown, to whose eloquence we all must bow in this case.

It must be said, tho' it be expected, that I am most decidedly not against naming civic landmarks in favor of neglected American heroes. Rosa Parks and Cesar Chavez do happen to be two of the most underrated in the American canon. And I actually was in favor of renaming Union Avenue to MLK (maybe it was the fact that it was making racists cry that did it. I love it when racists cry).

But it's gone from being a grand gesture of honor to a hard-tipped projectile for Getting Your Way™. If a group wants something bad enough, they just take it up to ramming speed and bull on through.

I do recall the wake of the MLK renaming that pretty much everyone seemed to sit back and say "hey, that could've gone a bit smoother, neh? Let's come up with some rules that'll make sure everyone gets their say, that we take it deliberately, so that when we do rename a street in Stumptown from here on out, everyone is on board with this". There was, as they say, much rejoicing.

The rules were promptly disregarded in the very next demand to rename a street. This got us NW and SW Naito Parkway (It's still NW Front Avenue after you get north past the NW 15th Avenue light, there at the Fremont Bridge, but it's just not the same somehow) as the City Council fairly embarrasingly fell all over itself in the rush to get that road renamed.

I don't doubt that, somewhere along the road to N Rosa Parks Way, someone pointed at the Naito process and said "hey, you did it for them!". And, likely, someone for N Cesar Chavez Blvd noted the previous two detours and figured if they did it for them...

Now you all know why your mom always said "If I did it for you, I'd have to do it for everyone". Fair is, after all, fair, even if it leads to regular doses of crazy.

There is a question of Portland place here. Café Unknown had it very well in his post: I should refer you there. For me in this way it boils down to assuming there is no history in a name that seems generic, which is complete pants. Interstate Avenue was stitched together of a couple of streets that became the main route to Vancouver–and the Interstate Bridge–and eventually became the route of the Pacific Highway West (US 99W, later State Hwy 99W), the precursor to Interstate 5.

Let it also be said, loud and clear, that I do not have any fear of either a black or a brown planet. That the street is now named Rosa Parks Way doesn't bother me in the least. What bothers me is that someone wanted it badly enough to inveigle someone in the city government to see it thier way and ignore rules that are actually still in the books and have never been invalidated, and they seem perfectly prepared to do so once again, casually erasing another bit of shared, Portland-specific history, without getting everyone else on board with it.

Why even bother with making up a rule if we're not going to play by it? Stop the insanity, I say. Cesar Chavez deserves recognition, but surely there are other ways than stripping the name from yet another street.

I always thought it was kind of cool that Portland had a street named after itself (There is still a N. Portland Rd, but the deriviation is suprisingly unobvious–"North Portland" was the name of the undeveloped locality on the railroad line between the north margin of Saint Johns and the North Portland Harbor (south bank of the Columbia), and the road was called North Portland Road before the Great Renaming of 1933. Presumably, it was felt that "N. North Portland Rd." sounded kind of silly).

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13 September 2007

[design] Applying to Lazerquick

945. This took a bit longer than I'd thought–thier online questionnaire is pretty extensive.

Takeaway here: just because most modern layout engines do a hell of a good job of trapping, you still have to know what it is. Map that to the context: never forget your basic knowledge!

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[liff] Mark Hudson Is Now My Friend

944. Now. latterly, on my MySpace page (on which I have all of 12, yeah, count 'em boiii!, friends, I have recently been added by Mark Hudson.

Yeah, you know...the Hudson Brothers? Yeah! That guy! He's gone quite a ways since then.

The Hudson Brothers were kind of 70's Portland's answer to Paul Revere and the Raiders, in the appropriate mode: the Raiders had a costume theme act, like a lot of 50's bands did, and the Hudsons were teen-heartthrob sorts.

While I never bought any of thier albums, I did follow thier career a little bit. See, when I was growing up, it felt like nothing cool really ever did come from Oregon (at least from my POV in little ol' Silverton, which, trust me, was quite self-limiting). When I heard that a big-time Portland pop band had a Saturday morning kids show, you know I had to check it out.

Some perceptive soul was able to get a clip of the opening and a typical ending. Here, for your amusement, a bit of The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show:

It was all goofy, corny kid's fun, complete with a slew of running gags. The pint-sized TV exec at the end was one, as was Mark's trying to read his book, them being netted off-stage, and the kid trying to offer them something like that soft ice-cream sandwich, as was the "No thanks...we're trying to cut down" response. There was also one where the fellows play knights who try to decline a certain challenge until the female cast member appeared on the balcony asking "but what about for me...Lady Patricia?". They would then try, only to fail really really well. Like I said, corny kids stuff-but funny.

I can't for the life of me remember how The Bear worked in there.

I do remember Murray Langston–he went on from there to be "The Unknown Comic" on 70's cable TV for quite a long time–an act that was decidedly adult.

Good times. Good memories.

The Brothers moved on from there down different paths. Mark has had a particularly colorful life; Bill helped create Kate Hudson. What a history, neh?

So, anyway, Mark Hudson's my friend now–at least in that certain MySpace way.

Here's his page...check out what he's done for yourself. That adds up to quite an adventure.

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[design] What An Underemployed Layout Artist Does for Fun

943. Downloads a 30-day trial copy of Adobe PageMaker 7, gets out an old Against The Clock training book, and does the projects found therein.

The funniest thing was finding and re-installing ATM Light so that the type don't look all jaggedy (it's on a Macintosh, OS X 10.4.9 in Classic Environment).

Good times. Good Times.

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[design] How They Use-ter Do It

942. They say that design and production have come a looong way. And though my instructors in college did tell me a lot about the way things used to be (and even though the closest I ever came to a "mechanical" was the layout I did during high school for the yearbook) I've got to admit that it was all just concept.

In the Yahoo Graphic Design Resource Group, the esteemable Caryn Leschen shared this little gem, how the Cal State Fullerton campus pape The Daily Titan did it, back in 1970.

This stuff makes layout with MS Publisher look tolerable. And I hate MS Publisher!

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07 September 2007

[liff] How To Get a Free Doughnut on SW Broadway

941. In this case, it took walking into the lobby of The Oregonian building at 1320 SW Broadway to drop off my app packet for the editorial page designer job.

There were some genuninely nice people. It was quite a positive experience, even it it was brief: the lady guard at the security station gave me a smile and the lady behind the reception counter was the model of affability.

On the way out, some other women in the lobby (who wore black t-shirts with a typographically-logo-like treatment of the word mix (each letter in its own circle) inveigled me to have a doughnut, directing me to the table gauntlet that I had to run to get back to the reception desk in the first place.

But it was all good. So was the doughnut. Had a spice-glaze on it...yum.

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06 September 2007

[design] Applying To The Big O-Going for Broke

940. Well, another application package is just about ready to do. This one is to be hand-delivered, though.

The Oregonian, I have just learnt, is recruiting for editorial layout artists. 2 positions are open. This was brought to my attention by reading the Murmurs section of the Willamette Week, which contained a pointer to this posting on Craigslist.

You just never know where you'll find a lead, that's for sure.

Drawback: the deadline for submissions is tomorrow. As in, Friday. But I have some printouts and the Amazing Portlable Website ready to go into The Big Manila, and tomorrow morning, after the trudge through the drudge, I'll be at the front door of 1320 SW Broadway (not "Broadway Ave, I don't care what some mapmakers say) and seeing how I can drop this off.

I highly suggest to people to have a portable digital design portfolio ready to go on CD-Rom when necessary. It's one of the best things I've done so far in job searching–one never knows how much chance one has, but having it ready to go improves morale markedly.

Wish us luck.

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05 September 2007

[design, type_design] Adobe's Font Folio 11 Is Coming At You!

939. For those of you who love great type, Adobe's Font Folio is here.

it's a professional tool at a professional price, but it should do a lot to spread OpenType goodness around even more, so we find it loverly indeed.

I've posted Adobe's press release here at Designorati. Also I was privileged to talk to a few members of Adobe's team about it, including one Thomas Phinney; my experience of that meeting is detailed at Designorati here.

OpenType: it's coming at ya!

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[liff] Lana Meet World

938. From now on, we'll refer to them as The Wachowskis.

While we're touching on the subject, we loved all three of the Matrix movies, and adored V for Vendetta. We await the release of Speed Racer with bated breath.

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[design] PANTONE: The Tao of Goe

937. PANTONE is coming out with a whole new way of thinking about and communicating with color–the PANTONE Goe™ System.

Read all about it at Designorati.

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04 September 2007

[or_politik] Open Memo To The Merkley Campaign

936. If you want bloggers to put your image on thier blogs, you might want to come up with a few badges.

I made one for myself by clipping an image off your page and getting out the ol' Photoshop.

Just throwin' that one out there.

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02 September 2007

[pdx] Hey, Powell's, Help A b!X Out, Neh?

935. It has come to our attention that, despite being of impeccable character and civic virtue (we wish we could say we did Portland Communique) that Powell's Books has, for some bizarre reason, not hired The One True b!X.

We also hear, by way of little bird net, that he's recently applied for one of two recently-open spots.

So, what about it, Powell's? Can you see your way clear to give a very deserving fellow a chance?

I know I carry little weight in the blog community here, but, hey, you don't know, I could become famous sometime next week. And I'm hardly of the calibre of b!X, but since I'm still looking for my graphic design gig, I feel a little of that pain.

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01 September 2007

[design] Yet Another Example of a Dream Job

934. Designing a street signage update for any middling to large Willamette Valley city.

(The link goes to Celine's ever-charming Stayton Daily Photo, which is not to say that Stayton needs a sign redesign, but if they want, I'm available. Also, as a child of Silverton, things about east Marion County just plain appeal to me)

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[design] Another Example of a Dream Job

933. Continuing with the general television bent we've aquired around here lately, it has latterly occurred to me that a dream job would be designing a TV station's logo and identity.

I'd give my right arm for this. Failing that, i would also accept money.

I have very little experience with it, guys, but any local takers?

I have Adobe Illustrator! I'm kind of half serious about this! Or maybe more than half!

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[bloggage] The Spa Fon Project

932. The status of the ongoing Contribute process is that Adobe tech support is aware of the ongoing post editing problem and is trying to run it down. I don't know what, if any progress they're making on it, but I trust, so far, that they are doing what they can about it.

This one may be a tough nut to crack. I, so far, remain convinced that it's something in the Blogger system. After all, Contribute CS3 posts with no problem. And now that I've suspended feed redirection I can open posts for editing. For some reason, the changes are not recorded, however. Contribute itself seems to be working fine, so, my line of deductive reasoning points at something on the Blogger end.

However, the problem seemed to crop up suddenly. It may resolve just so. So, to this end, I occasionally open up a extant posting and try to add the nonsense words spa fon? somewhere in it. If the ever stick, they stay. That way, we have some idea of when the problem stopped, sort of a break point.

Then this will move to phase 2: Squa Tront!

But if the phrase spa fon? starts to litter itself elsewhere about this chronicle, that's why. I'll see to it that Contribute CS3 works if it's the last thing Blogger does!

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