Archive for June, 2010

[net liff] Email Lottery Spam Goes Freudian

Posted in liff, metareferencial things, teh_funnay on June 29, 2010 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2466.

My favorite email subject line just came in a few minutes ago:

Your Email Id Has Won!


You see, that’s going to be a problem. My Email Id is always winning, and my Email Ego is more than a little bruised about it.

Well, I guess my Email Superego will mediate. Like it always does.

And so it goes.

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[pdx] The Bicycle Diaries: The TriMetanic Verses part 1

Posted in Bicycle Diaries, liff in PDX on June 29, 2010 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2465.

A composite of four days trips to and from my place of employ via bicycle and bus. Though, it must be said, that I’ve ridden buses before. This is not exactly terra incognita here.

Line 71. To Clackamas Town Center.

One thing that has changed in the few years since I’ve had to use TriMet to get anywhere is the sheer amount of info there is about when the next bus is coming. All I need to know is the stop id number and whip it up on the TriMet website, which I wish existed back in the 90s this way.

Ever hear of the TriMet Shuffle? This is a dance one sees people doing all the time. It’s a relative of the Hokey Pokey, as near as I can tell:

You put your whole body in
You take your whole body out
You put your whole body in
And you look all about
You do the TriMet shuffle
And the bus ain’t still in sight
Then you’re back on the curb

It may be some sort of earth-magic dance that is supposed to make the bus come a little sooner, but since it ain’t getting there before it gets there, it’s usually a waste of time.

On second thought, maybe it’s more like those pilot’s superstitions.

Southeast Oak. Transfer. To Line 20.

The bus has gotten downright chatty. Not only do you know what line you’re on, you know what stop you’re coming up to and what line serves it. It’s a combination of nifty, annoying, and Blade Runner for the poor man.

East Burnside. Transfer. To MAX.

It’s at this point that I realize that I  had not, in fact, shut off the flashing tail light on my bicycle, but had left it on. I’m sure I’m not the first one who had ever done that.

I found mounting the bike on the front of the bus easier than I’d thought, even though the part where you “squeeze the handle” wasn’t at first clear. But it’s up into the rack, hook over the front wheel, et voila. Though I feel like I’m performing to get credibility in the bus driver’s eyes, which is actually a little awkward.

Five Hundred Block. Northeast. One Hundred. Twenty Second.

Northbound buses on 122nd after this time are pretty quiet. There are quite a few people who get on and only go a few blocks, a distance I’d be walking (or wheeling, since I got the bike). I can’t criticize, though. We call have our reasons.

Northeast.  Hossey. Transfer to Line. Seventy Seven.

The voice of the bus is designed to be flat and uninflected, from everywhere and nowhere. It does it’s job nicely, except when announcing Halsey Street: it sounds distinctly like he’s saying Hossey. And by the way it impinges on my psyche, I know I’ll hear that voice in my head whenever I cross Hossey … eh, Halsey … for pretty much the rest of my time here on Earth.

Northeast. San Rafael. Transfer to Line. Twenty three.

I like the way most of the routes out here are twenty-something. Reminds me of the old Blue Snowflake service sector, which this area was the west side of.

At the Taco Bell at NE 122nd and San Rafael, three large-and-in-charge teenage girls get on the bus, all with music plugged into thier ears and chattering anyway. Many times between here and Shaver Street they’ll be asked to turn the music down, as the volume in the ‘phones is so loud that it can actually be heard at the front of the bus.

Heh. Kids today.

Northeast Stanton.

An attractive slim blonde lady wearing amazingly skinny jeans gets on. Though she seems a bit too poised for the mien, she does not seem out of place. Has a sort of a gentle presence.

Northeast. Shaver. Transfer to Line. Twenty Two.

The young ladies exit the bus by the Rossi Farms fields. They walk off, their whole stride an incarnation of the phrase “Whatevah, whatevah”.

The sunset is quite beautiful. I’m no stranger to watching sunsets, but it is actually pretty nice to watch one without having to keep one eye on the road. I’m enjoying this even though I’m missing the 72 Beetle very much. As I still am.

Northeast. 121st Place. And Prescott.

This is right next to Parkrose High. A young black man gets on, resplendent in modern hip-hop couture. Flashes his bus pass like a seasoned pro, sticks his wallet in his back pocket and heads straight to the back of the bus, eyes scanning everything but his fellow passengers in the front. His eyes scan without challenge and without suspicion, but they scan just because that’s what they do.

Well, after all, he’s just looking for a seat.

In front of me there’s a teen girl, probably Japanese. She’s got skinny black jeans, scarlet sneakers with black-and-gray leopard spots, an Ocean Pacific flannel top, and is endlessly scanning her iPod, eyes looking through those skinny-frame glasses that are all the rage these days. She has a septum piercing. She is something of a teen cliche in either North America or Asia.

I pull the cord just as we’re crossing I-205 on Prescott, and the bus drops me at 92nd. I have to go down the hill from here.

Despite the lack of any shoulder on Prescott going to the light at Sandy, I’m not crowded by the motorists. I’ll never meet you guys in person, but mad ups to you for being excellent. It’s only really on the news when all motorists seem out to get cyclists … and if you want to argue about taxes paying for bike access, I’ve paid gas taxes many a year, bucko. Now that my car’s inoperable for the forseeable future, the way I see it, I’ll take it out in the use I get out of the road on my bike, because I still have to get to work on time.

Ever notice how TriMet drivers are taciturn even when they’re happy? I guess having to worry about the safety of so many people will take it out of you.

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[logo] The Portland Timbers Logo System – The Full Monty Debuts

Posted in branding, logo design, logo redesign on June 27, 2010 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2464.

The system has debuted.

On Friday, 25 June 2010, the Portland Timbers organization rolled out the complete logo and identity system. The whole system consists of four parts in toto, called the primary, secondary, and tertiary crests, along with the wordmark and a baseball-logo-like ligature. Credit the Timbers for the following, in order:

1. The Primary Crest. Looks almost identical to the logo debuted earlier, but with simpler lines, less fiddly stuff, and relieved of all the yellow high-lights, looks a lot less cartoony, a lot more down-to-earth. Very much an improvement over the original.

2. The Secondary Crest. Remove the words crossing the symbol and allow the circle to trim the chevrons. Of the whole system, this looks the most like the old crest

3. The Tertiary Crest. Remove all but the axe, and you get something which reminds me of the 70s era AT&T logo:

4. The Ligature. The ligature mark … a ligature being a word that describes what happens when you tie two letterforms together … combines a stylized letter “P” with the axe in a way which not only shows off the signature axe but also suggests the letters “PT”, and whose overall effect reminds me of baseball and hockey team logos:

And rounding this off is the Wordmark,  which, simply put, is the “PORTLAND TIMBERS” lifted from the primary crest and used on its own.

Whatever anyone might think of the new logo, I must admit, it’s kind of grown on me. If I can be so bold as to say that, as far as logo and identity systems go, it’s a pretty solid group of symbols, all of which hand off to each other with a nicely-done visual logic.

I know that a great many Timbers supporters are unhappy with the primary crest, and I’m not about to tell anyone else how to feel about it. However, in my view, it updates the whole thing very aptly while – and I imagine that I might not get a great deal of agreement here – pays proper homage to the image’s and the franchise’s past.

The new marks have a visual logic, a clean and modern sense of style, a sensitivity to what amounts to local tradition, and a clear link with the past (deftly done by making the axe the centerpiece of the circular design).

According to the Timbers press release, some of this was influenced by fan input. I’m guessing, based on what I’ve seen on that message board, the secondary crest was very much influenced by Timbers Army input. The primary crest is improved – there seems to be a lack of yellow highlights and some of the more “fiddly-bits” seem to be gone, and playing that down does the mark a great deal of good. Tighter and cleaner is the way to go.

I don’t know about other Timbers fans, or if they think this is that much of an improvement, but it’s a system of marks I can certainly get behind.

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[bloggage] ScribeFire Image Uploading Down, Again. Waah.

Posted in bloggage on June 25, 2010 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2463.

Well, I do complain a little. But it’s hard to run a blog that fancies itself fixated on visual issues if the uploading of pics becomes a pain.

I still adore ScribeFire, and will still use ScribeFire (remembering the debacle with Flock the last time this happened, irritating thing) but I wish the developer would get ahead of this somehow. It repeats, this “Unable to acquire authorization token” thing. Makes me cry and die inside.

I’ll have to upload pics some other way, I guess.

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[liff] The Bicycle Diaries: Reborn Of Necessity, TriMet Truths

Posted in Bicycle Diaries, liff in PDX, PDX Transit on June 25, 2010 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2462.

Tonight, I get back on the bike.

It’s a move born of necessity. Long story, won’t tell right now, a bit depressing. Trying to hone accentuating the positive as a survival skill. For someone who usually has the deck stacked agin’ ‘im, that’s not an easy thing to do. Infer what you will from the following words: economy, strained budgets, deferred car maintenance.

Yesterday night I chanced a communte on TriMet. Now, in this era of reducing service, I’ve found that TriMet is still head and shoulders above most other transit agencies (yeah, I know!). You can trust me on this; our housemate recently returned (gratefully) from his old hometown (Sacramento) ad complained quite heartily about the Sacto system, which, apparently, doesn’t even give transfers anymore … you have to pay to board every bus.

I’m near one of the magnificent TriMet crosstown routes, the 71, which describes a big inverted U across the east side of PDX, tying it together … kind of like The Dude’s rug and that room, running up the East 60s from downtown Milwaukie, connecting across the north end via Prescott Street, and making it south along 122nd, eventually ending up in the vicinity of Clackamas Town Center. And, from a point near my house, it’s a quick 20 minute ride to a point near my work. So, in this way, I’m luckier than most.

Last night’s go was a misfire; the bus was running about 5 minutes early. I watched it go past my stop just as I got across the street from it.

Tonight, we use the bike to shorten the leg part of it.

We’ll note our results.

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[art] Where To Get Your Art Supplies In PDX (Updated)

Posted in art, art resources, liff in PDX on June 24, 2010 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
(Updated 0300Z 27 June 2010 with a listing for Utrecht. Thanks to Ben Lukoff for the tip!)

2461.

As an extension on the last chapter, since one of the reasons I do a blog is to share the nifty things that I do find sometimes, this being a very human thing to do, I’ve created a list of art stores that I know I’ll find what I’m looking for in PDX, and which I believe readers will have a good time simply going to. It’s on the sidebar down under “My Favorite Designers and Illustrators”, or just do a search for Where to get your art supplies in PDX and the browser should take you right there.

Right now there are five members to the list. They are listed in the order we usually look. When it comes to Muse/I’ve Been Framed, we usually go first to whichever one we’re closer to. Either one is a great experience, though I’ve Been Framed has a lot of closeouts and their prices aren’t better 100% of the time – only about 98% of the time. But they’ll give you good value for money. Anyway! On with the show (visit websites for info, call for hours. Most are open until about 6:30 pm):

  1. Muse Art + Design, 4227 SE Hawthorne Blvd, PDX, http://museartanddesign.com. Good little shop, good selection, run by artists for artists and for those who want to do art, reasonable prices, great selection of paints.  503.231.8704
  2. I’ve Been Framed,  4950 SE Foster Rd, PDX. Good selection of paints and graphite media, marvelous prices on paper, wonderful selection of good-priced papers and canvases, Good quality closeouts. You’ll never know what you’ll find here some days. 503.775.6651
  3. Art Media, two locations-downtown and Clackamas, http://artmediaonline.com. This is the grandaddy of local art supply stores. Between the two locations, they got a lot – if you can’t find it, you probably don’t need it. Best selection of art instruction books outside Powells or your nearby megachain. Online ordering available! 1.800.990.3364 x4
  4. Utrecht Art Supply, 1122 NW Everett St, PDX, http://utrechtart.com. (reviews via Google) PDXers can feel fortunate that they are in the good geographic luck to be near one of the 38 nationwide locations of this art supply company. It’s been a while since we
    personally have visited, but I recall the shopping experience there was a nice one, and it comes highly recommended by art acquaintaces. (Thanks to Ben Lukoff from Seattle for pointing this one out)
  5. Aaron Brothers Art and Framing. Two locations-Tigard and Beaverton. http://aaronbrothers.com. Plan B if you can’t get to any of the other three because it’s open like a chain store, at least until about 8pm. They really market to people looking for frames, but they have a Good selection of mass-market materials, prices about what you’d expect.
  6. Michael’s Art and Craft, http://michaels.com, various PDX locations – check the websites. If all the others have closed you can always hit Michaels. Though the market to primarily the crafty sorts, the art supplies are unexpectedly plentiful and feature brands that you’d use seriously – Grumbacher, Winsor & Newton, good selection of graphite media, worth checking out if you work on the lower-quality end too.

About the only place the quality gradient really matters is in those last two, but if you’re shopping at Aaron Brothers or Michael’s, your probably just looking for a place to get “some paint and a brush”. This is not necessarily a bad thing, just one of scale; those two stores market to the craft community as a whole, and it’s hard to be and “artist’s” store when you spread your net that wide. We find unexpected good things in those two stores, so they’re worth the stop.

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[pdx, art] Singin’ More Of The Praises Of Muse Art + Design

Posted in art, art resources, liff in PDX, pdx on June 24, 2010 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2460.

I know I’ve written about Muse Art + Design before, but every time we go in I find my happy place with regards to east side art supplies, and I just want to tell more people about it.

The east side of Portland (and regardless of what your local alt-weekly may or may not say, deep eastside PDX – and by that I mean east of I-205, is in Portland) is sadly lacking in any real artist-centered art stores. So, when we go westward in search of art supplies, we like finding places that make our art-store dollar count for something.

Muse, at 4224 SE Hawthorne Blvd, is located near the ironic end of the Hawthorne trend zone, but its prices are just as reasonable as you could want. My favorite non-Pilot Precise V5 pens, which are now the Copic Multiliners, are 7 bucks a throw (but they’re refillable and the points are replacable, just like any good Copic markers. Great selection of paint at great prices. Less elite pens and markers are priced accordingly.

The thing I like the most about Muse is that it, in its way, and like I’ve Been Framed over at Foster and Powell, is by artists, for artists, and all about artists. Each April, they have “An Artist A Day”, a fundraiser when each day of the month an artist works in the front window, producing one piece, which is then hung above the product in an impromptu gallery show and silent auction.

They even have Testors enamel paint! How many art stores stock that? I haven’t used Testors since I was ruining model rockets and polystyrene model kits as a kid.

I’ve noticed that Muse is Twitter enabled – http://twitter.com/MuseArtDesign –  and of course they have an elegantly designed web page, http://MuseArtAndDesign.com. Between them and I’ve Been Framed, you pretty much have your east side art material needs nailed down.

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