Had to be the most beautiful day

Went up to Canada with Nancy and her friend. Stopped at the grocery, got the guac stuff and some burger meat.Chased a few house wrens away. Cleaned the cottage up while the girls made guac. Went surfing at Pleasant, watched Nan and her bud get sweet rides. Got a ticket there and almost towed but that’s fine. My fault. Back to the cottage, ate some Mabel’s pizza, made some burgers. Checked in with the neighbors. Came home to a wide open Peace Bridge, no wait, no hassle. Sky was epic with clouds and light all day. Home now and idling until Twin Peaks. Let’s hope Audrey Horne finally shows up.

Sketch

I have the app, I’ve played with it, made some icons, and I still don’t get it.

think folks who use it a lot aren’t fluent html/css coders. For me, it’s a lot easier to do the things people say Sketch shines at directly in code.

Do you use Sketch? Do you consider yourself a fluent front-end coder? I’d love to know if I’m just doing it wrong.

Mystery Meat Icons

Icons are everywhere. As the contexts within which we interpret content become more unpredictable, so does our reliance on iconography to communicate ideas and messages. The use of iconography has exploded as dissemination of information must reach a multitude of user contexts. Icons can summarize universal ideas and complex actions with a few shapes.

Icons undergo intense scrutiny. They clearly “work” or “don’t work”. If someone is confused by a message, icons are often to blame. An icon which is not understood may be assigned the undesirable label of “mystery meat”; the stuff found in the lore of public institutions tasked with filling countless sandwiches to feed cretinous populations.

What we are experiencing is the construction of a new, universal language. But instead of taking millennia to evolve, it’s happening as you read this post. Symbols that best express universal messages are hotly debated, not only regarding what index they carry (see Meggs’ History of Graphic Design), but on whether the style they carry is appropriate (google skeuomorphic design for more on this).

My question is, who has the loudest voice as this language is constructed? The answer may carry insights about who determines what, as well as how, we communicate.

The best cole slaw recipe

I only post recipes that I make up and are simple, easy, and cheap. I’m a terrible cook because I’m impulsive, lazy, and AADHD.
However, this one usually works:

  • Half a cabbage, cut up however you like it. I sliver mine with a razor sharp Global.
  • 1 TBs Sesame Oil
  • 2 TBs Rice Vinegar
  • 1 TBs Black Pepper
  • 1 Ts Salt

Mix it all up and eat it now or wait until it gets even better.

Frottage

This was one of the first techniques I learned when I began art school, back in fall ’89.

It was eye-opening. For the first time, I wasn’t responsible for every nuance that came along. The surface dictated what marks were left. Suddenly, I felt a sense of freedom from that burden of decision in art; micromanaging every line, discrediting hours of work based on unsound logic, those things were no longer mandatory.

I never recognized the role this technique played in my development as an image maker. Maybe the school I attended (SUNY Buffalo) was enamored with stuff built with frottage, or maybe it was the current “flavor of the day” in the academic art world. I never stopped using it, though.

Summer Gouaches

These have been really fun to make and gouache is just the best medium IMHO. I made a bunch of prints of them at the local shop, and after a couple of shows sold quite a few. Contact me if you want one!

Software and Experience

The longer you’ve been using an application, the less value you hold to the app developer as a user. Take Facebook. Once upon a time, it was a linear, flowing post stream. If you missed something, you missed it. Now, I have no idea where my posts go or who sees them or in what context. Facebook doesn’t give a dang about me; it’s catering to new users, trying to hook them. It doesn’t want new users to be confused. So it abandons behaviors and functionality that experienced users have become accustomed to, and absorbs whatever stuff the latest shiny hot flavor of the day social media platform might have.

It’s not just Facebook. I love Adobe products, but I feel like they’re trying harder and harder to compete with Sketch and the like. The reason Adobe software is so great is because it’s extremely powerful, and it takes a long, dedicated time to get good at. Lately though, Adobe products seem to be stripping away functionality that may seem daunting to new users, afraid that those users will head to more familiar territory.

Software should reward experienced users, not ostracize them.

The English Beat at Ironworks

Great show. Loved the sax, and seeing it live made me realize how hard it is to pull off solos like they did in the 80s. Not enough people there, which is a shame. We’re lucky they keep coming back and should support one of the most notable, iconic sounds out of that era.

TV Shows

Vikings is one of my favorite shows. Great characters.

I’ve especially liked scenes with Harbard lately. He’s an amazing, intriguing character that embodies the mythology and superstition that were rampant in that time.

My favorite line of his came during the last show, “Possession is the opposite of love”. Can’t stop thinking about how true that is. Harbard loves all the women in the village, who are lonely as their husbands are off raiding. Alyssa, one of these women, gets irate, and that’s when Harbard tells her the quote.

I also watch the entertaining “Girls” on HBO. It’s basically an NC-17 version of “Friends”. All they do is try to possess everything–the city, their lifestyles, eachother. The show portrays a sense of this amazing friendship they share, and these idyllic lives they lead, but I can’t relate. First of all, no one lives like that. Shows like “Girls” and “Friends” celebrate possession. Characters that live like that are never happy in real life. They embrace the opposite of love, as Harbard says.