@jcburns July 18, 2018 at 4:05 pm

When you have a summer place up between Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, Dan Egan’s remarkable reporting is the perfect thing to borrow from the local library and read. From alewives to zebra mussels to algae to the Chicago Sanitary Canal, this book manages to explore all the issues involving these vital bodies of water.
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@jcburns May 14, 2018 at 12:35 am

Not an NBC diner.

@jcburns May 8, 2018 at 2:52 pm

Handpainted sign niceness in Sallisaw, Oklahoma.

Powerful hardware.

Sunday, April 8th, 2018

I think one of the reasons I’ve been spending my creative energy (or what passes for it) lately on creating detailed, 3D views of thirty-five-year-old electronic design is that it always had a certain beauty and conveyed functional power.

Do modern user interfaces on our screens do the same? Mmmm…maybe not. And yet, buried within a dense, complex nest of menus and buttons, the pure utility of modern digital technology leaves all the old tech in the dust. It’s not even close.

In order to get one more layer into my late-70s/early 80s compositions, I had to patch and drag equipment from multiple control rooms together and then go through a laborious series of alignments and checks to make sure they were doing the right thing—that their analog signals were playing nice, in synchronization with the other dozen or so analog signals.

At two in the morning, this was a bit hit-or-miss.

But at two in the morning, the warm glow of those buttons and the chrome-y call of those fader bars sure made you want to do more with what you had.

gvg300

Grass Valley Group 300 switcher, ©2018, John Christopher Burns

@jcburns March 26, 2018 at 5:46 pm

NTSC waveform. Um-hm.

Sohio.

Monday, March 19th, 2018

If you grew up in the state of Ohio, or if you wandered through the midwest generally, you may remember Sohio.

A gas station chain, part of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil empire, a brand that became extinct in the 1980s when BP America bought Standard Oil of Ohio and absorbed them out of existence.

©2018, John Christopher Burns

I liked Sohio stations in the late 1960s because they seemed (in the definition of the time) unmistakably modern, with clean lines and a bright red white and blue color scheme. In the cold Ohio winters, radio commercials with jarring proto-electronic music reminded drivers to fill up with Boron to prevent “fuel-line freeze-up”. (Kind of a 1960s automotive “heartbreak of psoriasis.”)

©2018, John Christopher Burns

That’s why, when I had some spare time, I tried to recreate one completely in a 3D modeling/rendering program, from what I discovered was very limited online reference material.

Now the frames I’ve created—very much idealized and “in my mind’s eye”— have become part of what comes up in internetland when you search for ‘Sohio.’ And as long as you give me credit I have no problem with you linking to or talking about these images (which also show up on Flickr and Instagram.)

©2018, John Christopher Burns

@jcburns March 18, 2018 at 7:18 am

Sure sign of the end of a trip: pictures are back from Fotomat!

@jcburns March 17, 2018 at 11:42 am

Post-travel data wrangling can be very satisfying, especially if the end result is a bunch of perfectly geolocated pictures and financial transactions. It’s an investment in my hazy-minded future.