August 18th, 2008 by rbanks
Here’s my yearboook photo from 1960…
I have a running search on eBay for “Vintage Electronics”. This is mostly to find odds and ends that we might hack for work. Odd to have my old, red “ghetto blaster” pop up in it, though. My parents bought this for me in Malaysia, and I had it at school when I was about 12. Sweet sounds.
Shannon and I are big Steven Holl fans. At least, we love St. Ignatius Chapel in Seattle. We wanted to get married there originally, but we were neither Catholic nor students of Seattle University, where the building is located, so that was that.
MOMA in New York are planning to exhibit some of Holl’s sketches from February next year. He does these beautiful little images in watercolour, focusing a lot on shape and light. Their essence really comes across in the final product.
“‘pré’ gives a fascinating insight into the central element of holl’s design process: drawing. over the
past 30 years holl has juxtaposed form, color, shape, thought, space, and building in small sketchpads.
from little details to abstract studies his collection of drawings cover his thought processes in their entirety.”
drawings by steven holl at MoMA new york
Nothing beats using the internet for motivation. I was recently asked if someone could use one of my sketch portraits for a flyer for the band Below Jupiter. it’s a very flattering thing to have happen, and a total motivation to get back into a habit that has lapsed in the last year. So I’m trying to pick it up again. Just five minutes before bedtime.
I like the abstract effect I get from trying to avoid lifting the pen. It’s the closest thing I have to a style that I’m developing of my own. Then I enjoy scanning this stuff onto my laptop and colorizing it in different ways. Makes it a little more distinct.
This portrait of Shigeru Miyamoto is a little older. Done in watercolors, and obviously I did lift the pen for this one.
I never realize how bad I am at this little piece of grammar. I see this little squiggle in Microsoft Word all the time, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better:
I think I bought my first Billy bookcase from Ikea when I was at Brunel University, which would make it about 1990. It wasn’t until I joined Microsoft in ’95 that I really filled my apartment with them. Then I read Douglas Coupland’s Microserfs that same year. It’s a fictional account of the lives of some Microsoft employees that eerily mirrored some of the experience I was having at my new job. The mention of the Billy bookcase as a prime component of these character’s lives was the part that really freaked me out. I’ve tried to avoid them since.
Here’s a cool set of projects that in some way honor them as the Model T of the bookcase world. I particularly like the idea of tilting a bookcase to avoid the need for book ends.
Cool Hunting: Ding 3000: Pimp my Billy
“Billy Wilder takes the form of green branch growing across the Billy Bookshelf. Billy Heidenreich is a shelf with a lectern attached for displaying your most beautiful photography books, while the Stütze functions as an extra leg to tilt the bookcase at an angle so there’s no need for book ends. All the designs are beautifully made and will probably last longer than your Ikea shelving unit.”
As Shannon mentioned, we did the 26 mile London Bikeathon at the weekend. I went a bit stupid with mapping our route. Not sure that it tells you much because the outbound and return routes overlap so closely, but the ride is a really great way of seeing the city, particularly on a Sunday morning when the traffic is a little more relaxed. You follow the Thames, basically, across the middle of London, from Chelsea, to the West, through the City, around the Docklands development at Canary Warf, past some great views of the Dome and ending at a cool little park by the Thames Barrier. Then back again.
It took us four hours at a reasonable pace. It’s a family ride, so there’s no pressure, although guys in yellow jerseys do shoot past regularly, doing the more high-pressured route that combined out loop with one that headed further west to Richmond.
Four hours for an 18 month old to sit patiently. It’s quite a while. Maddie likes cycling, though, and was no problem at all, even nodding off for a while with her pink-helmeted head bobbing around in the seat behind me.
Anyway, it’s a well organized, unusual way to see London. The route’s recommended, even if you don’t manage to make the actual event next year.
I’ve finally got the new, extra-fine nib for my old-style Rotring 600 fountain pen. Seems to be flowing well, although changing nibs was a tough operation and required a bit of experiment. It wasn’t flowing properly at first and I found I had to push it in an extra milimetre to get it going consistently. Now it writes first time. Which of course it is supposed to.
Now I just have to get used to how thin the line it creates is compared to the medium point Parker pen I was using.
In case you need fountain pen advice, here’s plenty.
I’m not QUITE on this site yet. I’m just evaluating WordPress to see if I should move over from my current home page. Mostly so I can make use of my domain name. Stay tuned.