Month: February 2004

High Fidelity

What’s interesting about watching High Fidelity is that the screenplay uses so much of the writing of the book that I really want to read the book now, and think I will. This is one great movie. John Cusack is in rare (and typical) form and Jack Black made me laugh (anyway). We like the teen movie Say Anything as well and it’s almost like this is the Cusack sequel.

Director: Stephen Frears
Cast: John Cusack, Jack Black, Iben Hjejle, Tod Louiso, Tim Robbins

High Fidelity Web Site
High Fidelity at Amazon

Gary Sharp at SF MOMA

Gary SharpDuring one of my bigger life transitions in the late ’70s I was moving out of the art world and eventually into the world of computers. I was living in Eugene, Oregon in a rather “hermitic” existence. I had a daily routine that included walking a loop: library, health food store, book store, home. The book store was called “Koobdooga” which, until recently I did not know was A Good Book spelled backwards.

Because I’d stop in often and browse around (they had a nice selection of new age magazines, and the like) and once in a while buy a book (I was just starting to read seriously) I got to know the manager, Gary Sharp.

We became and remained friends for a few years and then Gary, who was working on a Masters in Library Science got a job on the Oregon coast as an assistant librarian (he is now the director of that library) at about the same time that I moved to Connecticut to start a computer lab at a school for dyslexic students.

For a number of years we just exchanged holiday cards and an occasional email. Then, I was going out to San Francisco for a conference and Gary said he’d come down and meet me there.

Since that meeting we’ve met up in San Francisco numerous times and Gary has been back here to our house in Connecticut for summer visits where we eat plenty of corn, kayak on the lake, and compare digital gadgets. Gary is one of my oldest and closest friends. Amazing how just a bit of effort can keep good friendships alive over time.

The Viagra Prank

I get my share of Viagra-related spam. Here’s a funny story about a guy who decided to have some fun with it. Reading this really made me laugh. Check out his answers on the various “medical forms,” they’re amazing. And, keep reading beyond the first page; read each “chapter” as it gets better and better as you read on.

The Viagra Prank

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm GladwellMalcolm Gladwell writes for the New Yorker and is one of their brightest, young rising stars. His latest article is called Big and Bad and is on the false sense of saftey driving an S.U.V. gives people. It’s an amazing article.

Each time he publishes a new article he puts it up on his web site which has both html and pdf versions of all of his past writing for the New Yorker.

He’s also written a wonderful book called The Tipping Point which is about how ideas spread; sort of a cultural history of viral marketing. Fascinating.

Crane on Wheels

Crane

While in San Francisco I noticed a crane working next to our hotel. It was lifting steel up to a building 2 blocks away. The crane and hanging girders had to clear a tall building and the crane driver was operating blind with a radio and two spotters on nearby buildings. It was amazing and I ended up standing there for a few hours watching. Felt like a kid watching trucks, which, in fact I was.

Crane

The most amazing thing was that this entire crane collapsed down into something the size of a large truck (well, it was riding on a large truck) and then, without much fanfare it drove away.

Coppola Building

Walking south from the center of North Beach in San Francisco on Columbus Ave. toward the Transamerica Building one passes by an old, copper-clad building with a restaurant in the ground floor. This building is the headquarters of American Zoetrope, Francis Ford Coppola’s studio.

Coppola Building

His daughter, Sofia Coppola wrote and directed Lost in Translation, which Zoetrope released. IMHO Lost in Translation is one of the better movies relased in the past ten years.

Coppola Building

Old Pottery/Mixed Media

In the old days, a long time ago (1970-1980) I was a potter and made a living selling wares and teaching ceramics. Most of the photos of my work are in slide form and I have not gotten around to scanning them. Here are a few that I have.

Container, Cork, Perlon, side viewThis is a small stoneware “jug” that had a “temoku” glaze on it and was then fired in a wood-fired kiln with salt tossed in (salt fired). At the time I was doing this work I was also getting seriously into rock climbing and I loved all the perlon rope and knots and such. So, I experimented with combining old and new.

Container, Cork, Perlon, top viewThis is a top view of a similar piece, different way of securing the cork. The knot on the underside of the lug slides so that the loop on top loosens and tightens to hold the cork in.

Container, Goretex, PerlonThis piece was raku fired: quickly at low temperature. Being the outdoor type I was eating a lot of dried fruit at the time and had built a fruit dryer to make my own. This new material came out called Gortex and so, I bought a piece and put it on a pot, with some fruit inside, thinking that the way it dealt with water would allow the fruit to dry without spoiling (water vapor would go out, but no air would come in). It didn’t’ quite work that way but I liked the colors. This piece also uses a slider knot to tighten and loosen the perlon cord.

Dean on Kerry

Dean says that Democrats are making a grave mistake if they nominate John Kerry.

We’re not going to win this election if in October George Bush turns to the Democratic candidate and says: ‘You were with me on the war; you were with me on No Child Left Behind; you were with me on tax cuts. Why don’t you just support me?

I have to say, I can’t disagree with Dean on this point. I’m not a great fan of Kerry’s but I’m even less of a fan of Bush.