Seven in Seven

Where are we going? Life, the timeless, mysterious gift, is still evolving. What wonders, or terrors, does evolution hold in store for us in the next ten thousand years? In a million? In six million? Perhaps the answer lies in this old house in this old and misty valley…
—-Control Voice, The Outer Limits, The Sixth Finger

Oblique Strategy: Use Fewer Notes

I am not a fan of internet memes, challenges, viral videos, cat images, or Rick Ashtley.

However, when I was invited to do the “Seven ‘Days, Seven Black and White Photos” on Facebook, I decided to do the thing.

Because I wanted to.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

What I learned this week, November 23, 2012

My dream is to some day write something that shows up on this list:

The 40 most gruesome deaths in literature

Blood Meridian is my “favorite” – if that’s the right word.

The fates of The Kid and Judge Holden are irrevocably intertwined. Although Holden slaughters The Kid (by now The Man) in an outhouse, we’re spared the repugnant details. We’re not spared the reactions of those that spy the hideous scene. The Man’s death was not a quick, nor was it a pretty affair.


This man is my hero.

When I watch that video, it’s amazing how many of the things that make Dallas livable are a direct product of this guy’s work.

One thing I thought interesting is that, as an example of what Dallas has that is bad – he showed a photo of the High Five interchange. What he didn’t know/mention is that underneath that giant monstrosity is a really nice bicycle trail. When they built the High Five, they thought seriously about providing alternative transport and added a way to cross both 635 and 75 – two of the frustrating barriers to alternative transport in our area.

It’s also a pretty darn impressive route to ride – along a little urban creek with almost a billion dollars worth of five layers of roadway stretching upwards hundreds of feet overhead.

The problem was that the cities on either side didn’t provide the support to build access to the High Five trail for years after it was built. Now it’s connected, but not as well as it should be.


20 Small Things In Life That Are Absolutely Delightful


IT’S TIME TO REFLECT WELL ON DALLAS:

A CALL TO ACTION

Over the past 14 months, as this issue became known and stories about the damage Museum Tower is doing to its neighbors have appeared locally and nationally, many of you have asked us what you can do to encourage a positive resolution. If you live in the city of Dallas, I would ask you to make your Dallas city council representative aware of your opinion, whether by letter, email, or telephone. If you live outside of the city and care about Dallas’ cultural institutions voicing your support and opinion to our elected officials is also welcome. The leadership of Museum Tower needs to recognize their responsibility to our community, and your council representatives can play an important role in resolving this matter.

I’d like to reaffirm that we at the Nasher are advocates for the development of the Arts District and support the goal of Museum Tower to add residencies to this neighborhood. Ray Nasher has given our community an incredible gift by building an unparalleled museum in the heart of the Dallas Arts District and making his extraordinary collection accessible to all. The Nasher is an invaluable educational, cultural and economic resource for the people of Dallas and visitors from around the world and we need your support and your voices to ensure its future contributions to the region.

With thanks, as ever, for your interest and support,|
Sincerely,
Jeremy Strick
Director
Nasher Sculpture Center

If you would like to share your thoughts please contact support@nashersculpturecenter.org

The deadly solar rays burning down from the Museum Tower onto the Klyde Warren Park. The tower builders say this is not a problem, but take my word for it, it was nasty.

This bright shadow on the wall of the Nasher sculpture garden is not cast by the sun, but by the reflection off the Museum Tower.


Why are fountain pen sales rising?

Why? Because they are cool, that’s why.

You might expect that email and the ballpoint pen had killed the fountain pen. But sales are rising, so is the fountain pen a curious example of an old-fashioned object surviving the winds of change?

For many people, fountain pens bring back memories of school days full of inky fingers, smudged exercise books and piles of pink blotting paper.

But for others, a fat Montblanc or a silver-plated Parker is a treasured item. Prominently displayed, they are associated with long, sinuous lines of cursive script.

…..

Sharon Hughes, a buyer for John Lewis, says people relish returning to solid, traditional objects to make sense of a difficult and complex world.

“They are an old-fashioned thing but people like the personal touch. It is nice for things to be handwritten and not having everything via email,” she says.

According to Eva Pauli, from German manufacturer Lamy, the digitisation of everyday life has led to a change in writing by hand.

“Writing is becoming more and more exclusive and personal. This will probably be the reason that some people speak of a comeback of the fountain pen,” she says.

Sheaffer Pens

Sheaffer Pens


Portland’s cargo bike love and expertise spreads to Texas


What I learned this week, August 31, 2012


A great idea for a bike – take a look and decide if this is a worth project on kickstarter.

The Viaje Bicycle: Engineered for Adventure


How to seperate an egg yolk


The days before photoshop.

I remember well the one with the pickle.

Early 1900s Postcards Show Off Primitive ‘Photoshopping’ Skills 


Why I Still Write With A Fountain Pen in This Age of Computers



Allways Carry A Camera & Trust The Force!


I remember Heathkits from my youth. Back then, electronics were not disposable items and you could build your own appliance or gadget after countless hours of painstaking work for only about twice what a new one would cost. They were very high quality, though, in a day when quality still existed and mattered.

The detailed instructions, the carefully labeled parts (especially the myriad resistors) and, especially, the smell of rosin-core solder heated and the sight of the wisp of burnt flux smoke rising from the pool of liquid lead.

A friend of mine across the street even made an entire color television. It burnt out one day while we were watching football (there was always the danger you would make a mistake – I view that as a feature, not a bug).

I still use a Heathkit audio amp I built in 1982. It sounds better than anything made today.

For Sale: Vintage Heathkits


30 Shocking and Unexpected Google Street View Photos

Fake

You all know (or should know) that I have a weakness for and love of fountain pens. I am primarily a “user” rather than a “collector” – but still appreciate an aged and well-done writing instrument, as long as it has a nib.

I was looking at Amazon.com for some stuff and, off in the corner, I saw an ad that caught my eye. Usually I ignore web ads, but this one seemed aimed right at me.

It looked like The Parker Pen company, the venerable company that over the years has produced such legendary and wonderful fountain pens such as the Vacumatic and the Parker “51” has come up with a new pen – maybe some sort of advanced nib, or a revolutionary filling system. I was stoked.

So I clicked through the ad to the Parker Ingenuity, one of their “5th ink technology” pens. Something didn’t quite look right. So I did some digging and research and it didn’t take long for me to figure it out.

This wasn’t a fountain pen at all. It’s like a felt pen, with a metal hood stamped around it to make it look like a fountain pen.The actual writing surface is replaced with a new refill. It even has non-functional ribs to look like the ridges on a fountain pen feed. A typical model costs a little bit under two hundred dollars. It is obviously aimed at people that want to look like they carry a fountain pen – they want the cachet – but that don’t want inky fingers.

I know that you are going to get ink on your hands or worse when you carry a fountain pen. A pen with a nib is considered a “controlled leak” and I’ve learned to wipe off the pen and clean the inside of the cap when a pen has been lugged around where it can get a shock and shake ink out into the cap. Flying is a real problem – the reduced air pressure can cause a pen to spew ink (I carry an empty pen, an airtight case, and extra cartridges).

So I fully understand someone that wants to carry, for example, a rollerball – sometimes I think of it myself – though I say no… it seems unclean somehow. What bugs me is that they make it look like a fountain pen. A triangle with a slit in it is not a nib – a good nib is a wonderful piece of design, engineering, and manufacture. It is a delicate mechanism of steel, gold, and iridium designed to deliver a carefully controlled stream of ink in a smooth flow to a piece of paper.

A felt pen is useful and deserving of its existence – but don’t try to hide it behind a stamped piece of sheetmetal.

Oh, one other point – I am not a fan of pens that have metal sections – the part right in back of the nib, the place where your fingers grip. I don’t like the feel of cold chrome. Warm plastic, rubber, or ebonite is a better writing grip.

Now that I’ve ranted a bit… if anyone actually wanted to buy me one of those… well, that would be different.

It would be a gift.