Mama Red Riding Hood
Taken on Museum Hill in Santa Fe where I get to spend another Thanksgiving. Now you know where I get my eyes.
Thanks to Ivo for linking me to this film shot from a streetcar traveling down Market Street in 1905, before the earthquake and fire of 1906 destroyed the city. Remarkable footage of turn of the century lifestyles in California and the transition of transportation modes, from horse and buggy to the earliest automobiles. Interesting to see how well the street traffic worked despite what seems to me like chaos. There were couple of moments that made me yell at people to get out of the way. Look out for that car, fine fellow! You foolish, foolish, fine fellow.
Here is the Western Addition neighborhood and the same stretch of Market in 1906 after the earthquake struck. Almost complete devastation. Though the Ferry Building at the end of the street still stands!
It spooks me a bit to know the Bay Area is still filled with many of the same wood frame structures and potential for seismic activity. Of course, they are earthquake veterans here. My former home, Salt Lake City, sits on a fault just as dangerous but hasn’t experienced a single major quake since it was settled. I hope folks are prepared. Fortunately, being prepared for emergencies is a Mormon strong suit — nearly every one I know back home has emergency food and water thanks to a long tradition of preparedness admonition from Church leaders.
Thanks to the Prelinger Archives for preserving these films.
This is the second time in a year that I've taken in this cat without ID. The first time I sent her off with a collar that said "please tag me or someone else will". She disappeared for a few weeks but then returned last week to hang around in the parking lot behind our building, missing my collar, looking quite scrawny and wanting food.
Perhaps she has a home but is always taking her collar off. Will hang on to her for another week for the owner. If no one claims her it's off to the vet for a checkup and spaying. Then perhaps she can live with me and lounge on the new Tirup chair anytime she likes.
It’s been a giddy few days of April here at FontShop. Amid answering customer emails and designing type specimens, we’ve been tinkering with our newest invention: FontStruct, an online application that makes it simple for anyone (even you) to create a font. How? FontStructions are built with “bricks” — like legos or the wooden stacking blocks we know from our youth. Yes, even children can make a font with FontStruct. Of course, you won’t spit out the next Garamond or Helvetica with this tool, but with the bricks supplied (squares, round corners, diagonals, circles, stars and other novelties) there are millions of modular typeface possibilities. Below are a few of my first FontStructions. They didn't require much time or a lick of talent. Go play!
Varsity — An athletic slab for jerseys, letterman jackets, giant hillside letters, ball caps, or launching your own line of A&F knockoff merchandise.
Leaflet — A tender little geometric thing, inspired in equal parts by nature and the Bauhaus.
Pebble — AKA ladybug AKA basica.
I'm working wirelessly outdoors by the famous Sun Valley skating rink, adjacent to the 1936 lodge. A lovely young lady from Mozambique brings me G&Ts on the hour. (It is the resort’s tradition to hire workers from around the globe — their nametag indicates their home country.)
The sounds of a competent jazz trio emanate from the bar. Glasses and tableware tinkle from Gretchen’s, the restaurant that shares this terrace. Marilee and Izzy each served tables there many years ago. I guess their nametags read: “The Nation of Utah”.
I think I'll have a Bailey's now ... hey, there’s Nancy Kerrigan. She’s wandering the grounds with her family — her child and parents, I think. Maybe she's in the ice show tonight. Perhaps I’ll stick around, and with any luck they won’t kick me out and I can watch the spectacular — complete with retired athletes, cheesy arena rock, and spangled fluorescent skating attire — from here.
This may be my twentieth year in Sun Valley. It has been a yearly family tradition since Ma and Pa discovered the perfect summers here shortly after I was born. We stay in the Villagers, a condominium development built in the early ’70s. Streams and trails weave through the modern wood frame 4-plexes, each small enough to remain quaint. The tiny town of Sun Valley, with its human-sized Alpine architecture, is adorable. Though the resort is nestled within the towering, magestic Sawtooth mountains, a 1-speed touring bike is all you need to visit the swimming pools, swan ponds, shops, and cafés. But the Sun Valley Lodge is the original landmark of the resort.
This year’s entourage (three families, seven kids) all left earlier today. My flight doesn’t leave until tomorrow. So I’ve planted myself here at the Lodge, engorging myself of its facilities that I was too shy to use before. Sure, we’ve bowled in the vintage basement alley and swam in the lovely, warm, circular pool; but tonight, as I sip drinks, suck bytes, and gaze at the skaters, I feel like a genuine Lodge guest. A film star or famous musician. Thanks, aviators.
The manager, an older white-mustached gentleman in a fine suit, just sauntered by my table and asked if I was getting a sufficient wi-fi signal. Yes, my good man, yes I am.
Will Wright — creator of my favorite computer game, SimCity — and Brian Eno — collaborator with my favorite artist, David Byrne — talk about randomness and rule-based generation in the worlds of music and gaming. Either of these artists would be interesting on their own. Together, they are magical.
The site that hosts this video, FORA.tv, is everything YouTube is not: intelligent, elegant, informative, with quality, downloadable video rather than low-res web-locked crap.
In college, I “borrowed” a big yellow book from the Daily Utah Chronicle, where I worked as a typesetter. It was substantial — thick and heavy (nearly six pounds), but with narrow proportions that made it easy to hold. Hours which should have been spent studying, working, or partying were spent with my head buried in this book filled with thousands of samples of digital typefaces. I was fascinated by both the contents and the sheer curiosity of the concept: an exhaustive catalog of an esoteric craft. I decided I loved type.
“FontBook” was the best thing of its kind, but it wasn’t perfect. I began to find flaws. Penciled notes filled the margins, most dealing with the “see also” cross references, which were very handy, but scarce. Over the next few years I would write to the publisher about the errors. They were both fan letters and letters of complaint: I love it. But do this. Do that. This year is wrong. That designer credit is missing.
Jump ahead to 2004. After more criticism (this time in blog form), FontShop finally grew tired of my whining and hired me. Lucky punk.
This means I was around to help make all those picky edits myself. Weighing in at 7 pounds and 1,760 pages, the fourth edition of FontBook — completed a long eight years after the last — is still the work of editors Truong, Siebert, and Spiekermann, but includes something like 6,000 additional bits of information from me and my partner-in-font-geekery, Yves Peters.
The first copies of the new FontBook arrived from the German press on Wednesday. Pardon my gloating, but I am damn proud.