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Thursday, November 14, 2002
8:40 AM      

Today is my brother Kevin's birthday. He doesn't get to read my blog much — their internet connection at home is down. (I almost wonder how they can live like that!) — but I'll wish him a happy birthday in this space too.


I met a phtographer named Eric Uhlfelder on West Broadway this weekend. He has some beautiful photography. I think his strongest work is architectural, in settings like Paris and Venice. He also has some nice portraits. The site design is a bit small, but good. It's interesting that he leads with his black and white photos.

During the same browsing spree, I met an artist named Giovanni Scalisi, who makes very interesting pieces out of hollow-core doors. A sign reads "Please Touch." His works are part sculpture, part frescoe, part plaything. Most of the pieces have a door or window or something that opens to reveal an interesting detail.


For the jewelry project, we went shopping for photo gear yesterday. Picked up the ever-so-cool Manfrotto 3021PRO tripod. Its special trick is that you can remove the vertical center column and re-attach it horizontally, making it a breeze to mount a camera and shoot from directly over a piece.

Also took a look at lighting. I'm leaning toward the Bowens Tri-Lite, particularly because of its compact size and low heat output. Another option is the Lowell Rifa-Lite.

To do the shoot, we need light(s) a kind of diffusion tent, and maybe a couple of styles of mounts. You could spend a fortune on equipment, but I've been reading up on how to photograph jewelry [2] [3], and there are clearly some ways to get a professional result without dropping extra hundreds of dollars. Mostly, you pay for convenience — something you don't necessarily need when budget is a major factor.

Turns out there aren't a lot of photogs out there who do this kind of stuff. Now that I'm getting a handle on it, I might just hang out a shingle...

[ link | e-me ]

Tuesday, November 12, 2002
7:39 PM      

I'm down wit O.P.B...
Spent a bunch of time today reading other people's blogs. Some "Blogs of Note" and others. Thinking about what's next with this 'blog and the Beans site in general.Some of what I saw inspired me. I also got a lot of reminders that in spite of the constant (dis?)information campaign to the contrary, this country is not unanimously behind the Boy Emperor.


1)"Nearby is the Barne Glacier where we occasionally obtain 10,000 year old ice for our gin and tonics..." - Gillian Hadley


The web isn't so boring with folks like this.

She calls herself "AntiGirl" and claims the web is boring. So, she posts a pink web page that reveals little until you view source. After that, it's still a mystery. And yes, if you have to ask, it is art.


OK... I gave up for tonight. Question: if you put a border around an image and place that image inside an anchor tag (make it a link), how do you control the color of the border? Can't seem to figure out the right CSS to do that. While I'm at it, I'd love to declare once and for all that any images I place in the page have a 1-pixel dark grey border by default...

[ link | e-me ]

8:36 PM      

<a href=... style="color: #666666, visited: #666666">

... well, at least that's one answer. The image decoration takes its cue from the text color. I'd still like to find a way to specify different coloring treatment for images and text.

I know, I know... couldn't let it go!!!

[ link | e-me ]

Monday, November 11, 2002
11:59 AM      

How I spent my weekend (well, not all of it!)
FOOD: I like cooking a lot. Had some friends over this weekend, and wanted to do something different. We'd seen something interesting on "Good Eats" (definitely our favorite cooking show these days - even better than Emeril), so I decided to pull some recipes from the site, an went to town. I combined elements from a couple of recipes and The meal was a big hit. We'll have to do this more.

Also had a nice Tuscan Sangiovese called "Il Bastardo" (yes, that translates to "the Bastard.") It's a big, beefy wine that can hold its own with some flavorful food, and drinks pretty well by itself. Yet, it's $10 a bottle at our local wine shop. That's a good deal. No, it's not our very favorite, and it's not as refined as, say a really nice Chianti Classico, but sometimes you just want a simple good-drinking wine that doesn't put you out...


CLOTHES: Discovered another Italian gem this weekend. We went into Paracelso on West Broadway yesterday. It's a store unlike anything you've ever seen before. "Where do you get your clothes?" a customer asked. "Mars and the Moon" was the shop owner's response. She's a little old lady from Italy who's replaced her eyebrows with blue paint, and painted the rest of her face in a pattern that looks maybe tribal. She looks a bit mystical. You wonder if she's selling clothes or healing you. Her presence is open; she doesn't push and she doesn't pull.

Great clothes are strewn about the place — just draped over things as if a windstorm had swept through the place. It's a bit of an Easter egg hunt. But the finds are amazing. Saw a scarf that was made of two panels of sheer cloth that sandwiched fine silver threads, or maybe wires is a more appropriate word.

The prices are something special too. A customer wanted to haggle with her. She simply said "You give me the money, and I give it to the landlord... This is a good price — go and buy from Issey Miyake and you'll see."


'PUTERS: Another part of this weekend was spent reading up on XSLT. It's a powerful technology, that can render XML data as HTML and it's better than ASP in some ways, but it takes a bit of time and effort to get out of the procedural language frame of mind. Even though it's referred to as a stylesheet language, it's more like a template architecture composed of a collection of style elements and a parsing/filtering engine.

I also looked into PayPal, and liked what I saw. I'm working on a commerce site for a jewelry and fashion designer, and we were mostly set to use Yahoo! store, until we started to see how nickel-and-dime charges were starting to add up. Lots of separate/hidden charges. Plus, you're mostly stuck with their site editing interface. PayPal pretty much stays out of the way until you get to transacting currency, and they can even handle foreign exchange. Now, we're leaning toward using the PayPal shopping cart interface, and hosting with Cornerhost.

Yahoo! claims to be able to generate a lot of traffic for you, but participating in some of those programs will also cost you extra bucks per transaction... Might have to work a little harder to drive traffic to the site, but margins will be better, especially if there's low volume.


Smart New Collaboration tool from Macromedia
"Contribute is based on the same underlying software as Dreamweaver, Macromedia's market-leading Web design application, but it uses a streamlined interface similar to a Web browser. People call up a Web site in Contribute's main window and then click on a [button] next to the browser window to add or edit text, or perform other basic functions." - CNET

This looks like a really good idea. Instead of simply stripping down Dreamweaver and allowing novices to have at a web site, Contribute overlays a permission and template structure. If folks are willing to look at process, I think there's a big pay-off for many organizations, especially for intranets and multi-contributor web sites.

[ link | e-me ]

Sunday, November 10, 2002
10:10 AM      

Found this cool piece of Flash work by a guy named Ty Lettau.
(Click the pic to view.)

[ link | e-me ]

11:16 AM      
  Funny choice of words
Seems a bit odd to me... we keep comparing Hussein to Hitler, yet we're the ones preparing for a Blitzkreig.

[ link | e-me ]
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