Last night was somewhat electric, despite the lack of electricity. My wife and I kept saying how lucky, how fortunate, we were that we were not stuck in the subway or some elevator (both of which we were on earlier in the day) in Manhattan during the massive wave of blackouts here. We spent a few hours in the park, had a very early dinner lit by the remainder of the day’s rays, sat outside and talked with the newly friendly neighbors around here, and then lit a hurricane lamp to read by. I found my old Sony shortwave radio, and we listened to the news for a while, before going to sleep. Sitting outside was beautiful, the air was not moist, and it was beautiful to hear few airplanes in the sky. The sound of the stars rang strong. I don’t wish non-electricity on anyone, but yesterday evening was fine.
What can I say? Between my daughter having a cold, and me working until the bones fall out of my fingertips, that’s it. I’m working on a redesign of Deckchairs and other MANOVERBOARD sites . . .
When we were on vacation last week, there were two almost-teenage boys playing within earshot of us much of the days at the lakefront. Both were packing the immensely heavy new Harry Potter book, which looked to be about 15 pounds (in weight). (I wonder if J.K. Rowling is hoping to make her thin-wristed fans heavyweight champions.)
But more interestingly, the two boys played all day long in the guises of the book’s characters — taking on the roles of H.P. et. al. — and they talked incessantly about the plots, ploys, and plans within the tale. I tried to recall what book captured me and my friends’ imaginations at that age, back in 1979 and 1980. And the only thing I could think of was No One Here Gets Out Alive, the romantic tale of Jim Morrison’s life and death, and I realize now why Gen X is so screwed and screwy.
There comes a time in every person’s life when they want to send people to a website but hate typing in long, long, addresses, like http://www.superlongaddressthatiscumbersometotype.com/about/101010.html or something like that. I learned today of a few serious, but simple services (these are usually the best kind on the Web (e.g. Google) that will convert that monster into a tiny little Web address. General information on these URL generators can be found here but the one that seems most useful and smart is TinyURL a free service. It’s good for making affiliate links, such as those posted here at Deckchairs to books, music, and videos sold at Amazon.com, unknowable and making the Web, a little more, well discrete.
Theoretically, TinyURL is essentially an address masking service, allowing users to (permanently, because the new URL sticks around forever) hide the links they really want to post. I’m not sure I yet fully understand the potential implications for spammers and other Interschmucks with such a service but there are many legal and ethical rationales for NOT wanting to employ TinyURL. Here’s how to contact me with your thoughts.
Seth Godin, writer of the provocative (in a business sense as a compared to Michel Houellebecq’s new novel called Platform which is creating a huge stir in the small media) Purple Cow, has asked in his weblog today, “what should Google do next.” As a small-time follower of Mr. Godin and Google, here is my emailed response to him:
Just moments after my daughter, who is fascinated with navels, tried to lift up my shirt in the middle of the street to see my not-fundamentally good-looking bellybutton, we came across a blanket of freebies that were “looking for a good home.” One of the gifts was American Beauty, upon whose cover features the supposed navel of Mena Suvarti.
As a designer and builder of websites, I see so few sites that actually a.) reference useful information for those who make and build sites and b.) are beautifully designed. In fact, it happens probably every few months that I stumble on a site that is nice and makes nice at the same time. Here is one that I recently stumbled on — The Daily Flight.
There are a few others, including, Coudal Partners.
Speaking of inspiration, one of my new favorite artists is now at The Site at MANOVERBOARD — Tricia Keightley, whose paintings will knock your socks off and then back on again.
Boy, was I away for a few days. Coming back to the Brooklyn sweats from the sunny, cool, fully gorgeous Adirondacks is enough to make one plotz. We went to Lapland Lake for a few days of rest and restoration and it was wonderful to smell the trees, to see sunlight, walk in sandy lakes, and read without interruption. No cell phones, no television, not even a radio was flipped for 125 hours.
I had the chance to read a number of books and I’ll write more about these soon, along with other things. Sorry for the (imaginary) white spaces below.