Saturday, October 30, 2010

Anglophile Approximation / Department of Transportation Humor

Three days ago I was accused of being an anglophile1 at work. I use the word accused because of the tone and connotation that was used. I am satisfied by the assessment.

My homepage is BBC world news, Brit Pop/Rock3 is often emanating from my office, and I think I did mention that the new DB9's5 subtle changes enhance an already elegant style.

Outside of the cultural interest what I think is more fitting and telling is the ethos of approaching everyday tasks. I enjoy the approach that is somewhat inflexible in nature to conform to a tradition that is steeped in the correct or optimal way of doing something. The degrees of inflexibility forces one to adapt and more important take the time to think about approach.

Understanding that the larger incremental extra time to properly brew a cup of tea6, make a cocktail, and to maintain a degree of chivalry7 and demure might only a peripheral difference.

While these last details may be noticed by few, if anyone at all, it is the process that is important. It is the unwavering attention to detail and to craft. It is the focus that yields the benefit.

I was thinking about the Village Green Preservation Society8 late last night, or early morning depending on how you look at it. The general theme is about mssing the village green in an English countryside and all the simple people and things we used to know. Sherlock Holmes english speaking vernacular, vaudeville, and strawberry jam to name a few. It's about the details that we would miss and so quickly overlook when we start accepting more and receive less.

location: 5th avenue across from Saks10

1 Anglophile2 n. One who admires England, its people, and its culture
2 Ironically the word is french in origin and was first seen in Revue des Deux Mondes in 1867
3 Usual suspects of beatles, rollings stones, stone roses4, and the like
Glastonbury 2011? please, would be epic...
5 subtle, clean, distinctive and it even has four seats!
6 the detail is all in the brew temperature. I really want this:
7 I've always tried to maintain a degree of manners and sophistication. I think it makes a difference and I enjoy it as well. Handwritten thank you cards are so much better than an email, and it is an apporpriate excuse to maintain a well stocked stationary set, a pen, and an oversized desk
9 perfectly sweet and not included on the album.
10 I thought about getting a car so I could think about parking there

Monday, October 25, 2010


Today, as you are undoubtedly aware, is the 610th anniversary of Geoffrey Chaucer's death. Let us take this time to commemorate the fact that you probably Cliffs Notes-ed "The Canterbury Tales" in high school.

Chaucer is best remembered as the drunk, poor, slovenly character played by Paul Bettany in 2001's A Knight's Tale. In reality, however, he was a bureaucratic, well-kempt drunk who was given a gallon of wine per day by King Edward III for doing something apparently awesome in 13741,2

So consider that in the United Kingdom, "Where's Waldo" is known as "Where's Wally" and as it turns out, Bert (of Sesame Street fame) finally came out on Twitter3.

2Lost in Translation: 1 Imperial Gallon = 1.2 US Gallons

Why I need an Industrial Warehouse

It has come to my attention, and in quick agreement with Jordan as well, that we probably (absolutely) need an industrial sized warehouse with no less than 20 foot ceilings and 5,000 square feet of above grade space 1,2.

Over the past 128 hours I have compiled a detailed list in a Moleskine notebook of all the tasks I want to complete by the end of the calendar year, my birthday, and the end of the fiscal year5. Many of these projects I can complete in my bedroom, some in my parents yard, but there is a large chunk that probably dictate the need for an industrial warehouse. Also I want to have an office in an industrial warehouse.

In my mind this warehouse is already setup in appropriate (probably the only appropriate) manner as an office. Consisting of:

1. Ceiling height of at least 20 feet
2. One of those large switches that turns on every light in the building at once, with that really awesome noise as the lights cascade across
3. Two large desks in the center (facing each other(Jordan’s and my personal desk))
4. A manual operating elevator would be nice but not necessary
5. Uniformed night watchman with a basset hound (probably asleep nearly all the time (and with that big flashlight)
6. A generator
7. BBC America (HD preferred)
8. Vintage turntable and tube speakers
9. Green accountants lamp
10. Jim Jarmusch riding in circles on a bicycle

I think I can really get a lot done in this environment.

1 When I originally wrote this post, this was the only sentence, the concept and the necessity seemed self explanatory. It was later brought to attention that this is in fact not the case.
2 I’ve also decided to start employing detailed foot notes3 in the steps of David Foster Wallace4.
3 Meta-Meta blogs are probably the wave of the future
5 Fiscal Year ending March 31st. Really only listed so I can have a list of three as I quite rightfully so give a fuck about the oxford comma

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Exponential Art...

My desire to create art, my artistic ability, and my availability of time do not line up. My desire is extremely high, my ideas are extremely conceptual, my ability is lacking, and I don’t always have the time available or I become distracted and switch to a different project before completion.

So it occurred to me in a stroke of madness that I should be focusing less on creating art, and focus on creating devices that make art for me. Yes. Now let me preface this with a few things:

1) I do not like automated or computer generated art
2) I don’t like robot art (art made by robots and art with robots as the subject (…for the most part, I saw Bender in this sketch that I liked))
3) I enjoy art that can be tailored to an individual somehow or is based on a set of constraints or determining factors that influence the outcome. Ephemeral, singular, and serendipitous
4) I want art that is in a series or some sort of progression
5) I very much enjoy color field art (Morris Louis, Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland)

fig 1. Morris Louis

So I’ve devised in my mind and on no more than three pages of a three and a half inch by a five and a half inch Moleskine notebook a rudimentary schematic of how I will do this. I will need nearly all of the following materials:

1) A large amount of Copic markers across the color chart (
2) Eighteen inch by twenty four inch paper, no more than 80 gsm
3) Lattice structure to hold markers
4) Wine (Bordeaux (Haut Medoc))
5) Time

So as you, the illustrious reader (…quite the appositive), have surely guessed I will be arranging the markers to be held in the lattice structure as individual pixels that will be pressed down upon 200 sheets of paper. Leaving the markers to bleed over time (I am thinking one month) the ink will continue to draw down into the depths and begin to blend together. Some colors will penetrate deeper, some will blend and some will not, and after a month I will have a progression of prints (a large amount that I will no doubt send to anyone interested) Yes.

But first I need to do some test and some trials. For the first trial I tried some pointillism work with five sheets bundled together and being manually held to the paper for only thirty seconds. I bundled the paper with this set of fun clips that were purchased at Blick Art Materials at around one forty today. They were more effective than fun. When I first started I was very deliberate with the color choice of each dot and spent too long thinking about the difference in color of lilac and pale lilac. Below are the results from the top sheet to the bottom (…Blackberry Bold 9800 1.8x zoom (flash?(I know…horrible picture quality as the real deal is really vibrant(I have a camera but lost the charger)))

So I was able to clearly get to four sheets with only mild color appearing on the fifth sheet. I like the overall aesthetic and particularly the comparison of sheet 2 with sheet 4. With ink traveling to sheet four without any problem at 30 seconds I am interested now to find out how far it will travel after one minute, ten minutes, and one hundred and forty seven minutes.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Optimal Consumer Paper Towel Pricing Strategy

Yesterday I spilled a glass of Bordeaux when I was making an overly dramatic hand gesture as I was conceptualization plans for an unrelated project on an unrelated topic; which by all accounts may take up the next 8 blog post. The time this took place is irrelevant. After cleaning up the spill with the paper towels we had on hand I left the apartment to CVS to pick up more cleaning supplies to support the frequency of drinks I am spilling in my apartment.

The rows of different brands of paper towels of varying ply and prices were neatly arranged in the 23rd street CVS with the premium bounty resting top shelf. To give consumers some guidance on value CVS provided a price per sheet for each roll. This is not an optimal way to judge the value of paper towels. I don’t really care what the price per sheet is, but rather the price per spill. What I want to know is how many spills on average this roll can support. So I purchased the premium Bounty two ply at 1.4 cents per sheet and the cheapest CVS generic brand at .9 cents per sheet, with Bounty costing 55% more for a single role.

I then needed to define a standard unit of measure for spill. To my knowledge “spill” has yet to be accurately defined by Science and is not included on either the New York State Physics or Chemistry reference tables. Taking a survey of the half consumed wine, martini, collins, gin & tonic glasses, and martini glasses scattered across my bedroom I was able to deduce the following:
• My water glasses on average had 8 fluid ounces remaining, high potential for spills due to the high center of gravity and my propensity for clumsiness
• My gin and tonic glasses had approximately 1 oz remaining (melted ice cubes)
• My martini glasses were bone dry
• Wine glasses typically contained less than an oz; strong clustering of stemware appeared on my nightstand dangerously close to my ivory bed linens

Taking a weighted average cost of cleanup (WACC for short) I am defining a spill as 6.5 ounces. I then poured three separate Spill units on the floor; one for Bounty, one for the cheap CVS brand, and one as the control.

The Bounty paper towel was easily able to absorb the entire spill. Unverified hypothesis believe that Bounty could absorb 1.2 Spills per sheet. The CVS brand required a second sheet to fully absorb a spill. The full spill remained in the control group.

Doing some quick math I was able to determine that Bounty was the clear winner at 1.2 cents per spill and the CVS brand at over 1.9 cents per spill. fin.