Vol au Vent.

Friday, April 7th, 2017

The wind, the wind, it’s still blowing. I guess this is the usual blusteriness of spring, but for me, it’s just the capper for a week of severe weather. Intense wind, rain, and hail that threatens to bring nature down upon this house always unnerves me because nature has already been brought down upon this house a couple of times over the decades.

So, enough already THIS year.

Maybe it’s a set of stresses that are wrapped up around living life under an administration clearly unqualified and very possbly a danger to the people I care about (which would include my fellow Americans and denizens of our fragile world.)

Maybe it’s just that my to-do list seems to be growing in a way that indicates distraction and unwillingness to buckle down.

I mean, taxes, auto tags, making sure Dad’s TV tunes in the Masters…everything.

Big stack of old Sonys.

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

One of my…hobbies? recreations? has been painstakingly recreating some of the old WTCG/WTBS graphics I worked on in razor-sharp vector-based high definition. Yes, recreating for recreation.

Why? I’m charmed by the seventies/eighties typography, so bold, round, and distinctive. The colors are anything but subtle. And I remember the hours I took back then just to get things straight…lined up…in front of a television camera that wasn’t optimized for that.

Birthday numerology.

Friday, April 11th, 2014

It’s a lovely spring afternoon in Positively Atlanta Georgia, and Sammy has just baked brownies and has a wonderful bison meatloaf ready to go—signs not of a change in the weather but of an April birthday, mine.

This marks my turning 57 years old, and if you’re fast with math you’ll compute that my birth year is ALSO 1957. There ought to be a term for that confluence, but as far as I know, there isn’t.

And today, as an ancient HyperCard stack reports, also marks 8888 days of marriage with and to the wonderful Sammy. (Well, it will switch to 8889 days late this afternoon, but close enough.) More than one person has said “you should buy a lottery ticket,” but I’m not really sure what numbers I could possibly play. I think 8s are fortunate in Asian culture, but I’m not more than 0.02% Asian, and of course this probably has just about as much significance as our truck license plate (which has two or three 8s in it as well.) I’m happy our bank balance has enough numbers (8s and others) in it to represent options and a lack of wolves at our door.

I am in a good and peaceful place this particular April 11th, happy to have family, friends beyond number, and affordable health care. Life is good on a bunch of levels. I hope it is for you as well.

We opened a window.

Saturday, September 14th, 2013


One of the nicest things about Atlanta in the early fall is that you get a few beautiful days with low humidity, and that’s what today is, happy to say. Our old house gets a little cooped up from a summer of fending off heat and humidity, so it’s a treat to be able to open the front door, the porch room door, a window or two inside, and let the fresh air circulate through.

Sammy peered into my office and said “you didn’t open your window in there?” Well, it’s an old window that has a lock on it and there were a pile of cobwebs and other moo-gray (that’s the phonetic version of a Sammy Spanish term for, well, schmutz) and the windows were filthy and…

Y’know, as usual, I’m glad she spoke up. A little key-fumbling, sash-rattling, window-cleaner-spwooshing, de-cobwebbing, and my early afternoon has the warm breezes from the back yard coursing through my sometimes way-too-closed-up and dusty office.

Ahhhh. MUCH better. Enjoy your Saturday.

Choosing words and pictures.

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Hello from a nearly end of the summer in Atlanta, a place I am indeed generally positive about.

It’s been one of those days where I’ve had to chase around mysterious problems with our shared webserver, which sits in a rack in Chicago, and is tended to by me and an employee of the hosting company who is based in South Africa. They’re good people, although sometimes I think their business instincts are as rumpled around the edges as mine are.

At any rate, Positively Atlanta Georgia has been around, mostly as a WordPress-based weblog, since the last century, and I have been distracted a great deal of this year with web design work I’ve done for other folks and of course television design and, well, it’s been a good year for interesting design projects.

I’m distracted as well by the myriad ways people tweet and chat and toss pictures at each other online in small, less-than-bite-sized chunks.

Pictures from (my) exhibition.

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

In late November, I got an email from Flickr saying “hey, you know your lapsed Pro subscription? We’re giving you a free Pro account again through late March.” A $29.95 value!

And so they did. And to honor their marketing strategy, I made the most of the past few weeks, uploading and tagging and exploring and doing all that stuff that you’re supposed to do with a social photo-sharing service.

I felt a loyalty of some sort to the once cutting edge service. I joined up in, I dunno, 2004 sometime, posting pictures of then cutting-edge technology, or of our travels on back roads.

And then the other day it reverted to the free mode, where I only see the last 200 pics and the interface becomes decorated gaily around the edges with ads. “Come back!” says Flickr. Give us your $29.95! Ah, well, I would, but there’s Instagram and there’s 500px and there’s Google Plus and really there are way too many places for me to share pictures for my own good.

I’d been using Instagram now and again in kind of a low-energy experimental way and I had a general sense that no one was looking at the pictures I uploaded and no one certainly was clicking on the heart-shaped button that indicated they liked what I put out there. Okay, fine. I didn’t have a lot mentally invested in what I was uploading—I used it more as a vehicle to play with square-format imagery (like I did with SX-70 pictures in the old days.) And the filters—yeah, it was fun to mess my pictures up in various creative ways.

I tried (purely as a science experiment) tweeting links to Flickr and Instagram pics and sure enough, that seemed to generate some…viewership? Linkership? But still, I felt as if I was dropping pictures into some Instagram vortex, never to be seen nor admired again.




That’s because, of course, I was missing one important part of the game (hey, I never read the instructions.) Unlike on Twitter, where, if you search for any word in the text that accompanies an image you’ll get a hit, on Instagram, it’s all about the hashtags. Yeah, those things beginning with that octothorpe (#) that are quite popular with the kids these days are the ONLY thing that Instagram searches and indexes. So a photo with a clever caption (hey, I went to school to learn how to write a clever caption) was pretty much invisible in the Instagramvese. Fill that space with a cascade of #hashtags and apparently the bored people who explore page after page of images will seek and find your Apple 2-ish screenshots or your fine train pictures or your attempts to bring Sohio back from the dead or your pictures of your brother’s family cat.

Suddenly, it appeared that people worldwide were liking my work! Ah, how reassuring. Or at least it would be if I didn’t inspect more carefully and discover another, nastier part of the Instragram ecosystem: a lot of those likes were coming from bots, fictional people, or semi-fictional people who would like you to buy what they’re selling, even if it’s only advice on how to get more likes.

Eugh. Started to feel a bit like the whole somewhat greasy, somewhat distasteful Facebook ecosystem, which I’ve stayed away from like the plague it is. And I guess that’s not surprising, considering who bought those fine entrepreneurial Instagrammers and their technology.

But I’ll probably toss a few more things up onto Instagram, if only to play with their filters. (And I keep a backup of all these images so, hey, they’re just pixels tossed out there in one sense.)

Truckstop redux.

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012



Did I mention that on our recent trip to the northeast we spent the night in Breezewood, the fabled town of one thousand motels? The midnight home of truckers aplenty? The western end of an abandoned chunk of the Pennsylvania Turnpike? And once the stopping place for transcontinental buses bound for New York that might have picked up a passenger or two in Columbus, Ohio? Yeah, that one.

Is this the new one…?

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

20120325-110948.jpg

Spending a little of my time away from the hospital wandering around, and on Sunday morning I decided to wander over to one of the Best Buys—Lansing is Apple Store free. Sure enough, there was a lineup of maybe 20 folks at the door, and although that translated to a line of maybe a dozen in front of the iPad sales table, they were willing go get what they could, pretty much sight unseen…all the demo units were iPad 2s.

I guess I can see why Apple made a marketing deal with Best Buy a few years back…if this scene is being repeated in the Fort Waynes and the Springfield Ohios of the world….well, that’s a way to move quite a few of the magical tablets.