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
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
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 
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...
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
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...
<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!!!
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
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
'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
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