Sunday, May 31, 2009

Presidio Spire by Andy Goldsworthy

This spire showed up last year on the Presidio with no explanation. Now there is an explanation: The Spire was made by Goldsworthy from trees felled from the 300 acre Presidio forest. (Trees planted by the army between 1886 and 1900 are being replaced 3 acres at a time to create an unevenly aged forest that will be easier to maintain)

" new young trees grow up to meet the sculpture, it will disappear into the forest."

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The International Language of Hucksterism

This MINI advertisement is for Dutch consumption. It seems that American English is the international language of hucksterism.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Harry Allen Branch Table

Steal this idea, but make the top opaque.
Or pay $500 retail.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

You're Breaking Up

He thought this would be a good time for them to break up. He was going to make a decision as to what was good for the both of them. As if he knew best. Of course he didn't know best. What he meant to think was "This is a good time for me to break up with you". Whether it was a good time for her was beside the point. He thought they should end now, and all it would take is for him to say "I think we should break up".

Starting a break up is easy. Then it gets harder until all ties are cut. Then it gets better. That takes weeks. Weeks of mental discomfort. Weeks of physical dislocation. For it was he who was breaking up with her, and therefore it was he who must leave. He who must find a place to live.

They had no children, or really even close lives. Their friends were all hers. Their finances were separate. He worked night shift and she worked days. They saw each other on weekends.

So how did the end begin?
She was a naturally unhappy person. In the beginning this didn't bother him. Balancing the unhappieness, she was intelligent and they liked the same movies.

He had seen examples of her irrational anger. In the beginning he just laughed inside and walked away. As the years past it took him longer to recover from her rage. After eight years it was taking him 3 weeks to bounce back. Since she raged every 3 weeks his life was never happy.

He sent her the last paragraph in an email. Breaking up by email? Not really he thought. I'm just sending her something I wrote. What do you think of this? Does it ring true? Could you check the spelling?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Gruber Assist Electric Bicycle Motor

This is clever! Install the geared bottom bracket and then slide the electric motor down the seat tube. The batteries fit in the seat bag. Instant stealth electric bike!

Thanks DV!CE

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Cottage Living and Beyond

I've never lived in a cottage before. With the smallness comes storage problems. My bed (but not the mattress) was delivered on Thursday and it takes up a lot of space. I see what I have to do. I have to find storage for all the odds and ends: work tools , gadgets, and supplies. My books take up a lot of space (I understand why someone would buy a Kindle, but I'm sticking with dead trees) and my books need a home. The First part of the solution is to buy a wardrobe for all the wearables now squeezed into the closet. The second part is to either put a door on my 'carport', which will then enclose a useful 100sqft, or put a locking storage box in there.

I've signed a contract to rent the cottage for 1 year. The commute to my job in Fremont is wearing on me. Our union contract is being renegotiated in August, and I'm tempted to accept even a modest buy-out offer. Then what? I'd like to work for the city of San Francisco. They pay well and the benefits are very good. If that doesn't happen then I'll consider moving to the UK. by then I'll have my US citizenship to fall back on, and I'm eligible for a British work permit. I don't know much about living/working conditions in the UK, but I have some idea that there are good paying manufacturing jobs in cities like Birmingham in the north of England. I could spend the rest of my life exploring the UK and holidaying in Europe!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Natali Del Conte Ruins 'Buzz Out Loud'

Buzz Out Load from CNET was my favourite daily consumer-technology podcast. Hosted by the smart and quick CNET staffers Tom Merritt, Rafe Needleman, Brian Cooley and Molly Wood. They had chemistry! Four quick thinkers in one room: What a treasure!

(Now here comes the hate)
But when you replace the marvelous Molly Wood with the sloth Natali Del Conte, then the chemistry becomes poisonous, and the show dissolves into limp conversation. It's like putting ketchup on sushi. It's like putting a speed governor on a Ferrari. NDC interjects at the wrong time. Her comments disrupt the flow of the programme. She is nervous and she has much to be nervous about. I don't mind her voice. I don't mind her putty face. It's her insistence on being treated as equal to the others that I object to. She's not up to snuff. She's no match for the others. She should just read the introduction to each discussion topic, then shutup until called upon again.
(End of hate)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Interpretation of the Wegner Wishbone Chair

From the 2009 Milan Furniture Fair.
This chair is clearly inspired by the Wishbone chair, but without the rope seat and without the complex bend rear legs/arm support. I like the result.

Thanks twentytwentyone
More 2009 Milan photos here

Sunday, May 03, 2009

My Cottage

Last month I moved from our apartment in the Inner Sunset neighbourhood to a small cottage on the west side of Golden Gate Heights. I was heart broken to leave my partner of ten years, but that was her choice and not mine, and we are on good terms.

The cottage is small. A studio cottage. It sits at the front of the property. The main house is far back up a steep hill. From my back yard I can just see the top of that roof behind an enormous tree on the hillside. From the front windows I have a view of the Pacific, Sunset, Golden Gate and Marin Headlands. I can see the breakers on the beach. It's pretty nice really. My rent is a modest amount.

The streets on Golden Gate Heights are narrow and set out like a box of snakes: They go for a few blocks then terminate at sharp angles so as to climb the hills. The street outside is paved and footpathed, but the few cars that pass by must pull to the side if a car approaches from the other direction. Across the street, the roadway is supported by a tall retaining wall with steps down to the next street below it.

My little cottage is refurbished and clean. Most everything is new and quite nice: Hardwood floors. Tiled kitchen and bathroom floors.

There's a Mini Cooper size parking spot downstairs, and some storage space that I share with the owner who lives in the main house. There are 4 generations of family living in that house on the weekend. A 95 year old lives there with a housekeeper, and her family (all woman) stay with her on the weekend.

The houses on GGH are close, but do not touch. Street parking is easy, and parking permits are not required. It's very quiet.

Furnishing the cottage has been fun. It's fun to spend money! But having to buy many items at short notice means having to make compromises. And in the case of my bed, it means having to wait a month for delivery. I've been sleeping on an air bed. Very uncomfortable. So I bought a futon at IKEA for $150 and slept well last night.

Soon my two children will join me. Cats Che and Jawa. Che is too special to me. Jawa is a strong little boy, and I might let him go outside.

Categories:San Francisco

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Emeryville IKEA Annoys

IKEA is a fine place to shop if you're looking for bargains and you shop carefully avoiding the laminated woods and cheap plastic items. Some people even shop there to buy items they can repurpose into something creative and unique.

Yes, IKEA is a fine place to shop. But me complaint about Ikea in Emeryville is the inclined plane along which you must push your shopping cart from the store exit to the parking lot. Their shopping carts have all castor wheels, and pushing them along the inclined path is best accomplished in a slightly sideways crab-like motion. If someone is coming the other way then you must straighten-up and risk losing control.