A follow-up to the Buy Indie Day post

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 | Screed!, Shameless Consumerism | 5 Comments

I found out about this from several online acquaintances today. It’s called the 350 Project and it seems like a pretty good idea to me. The idea is that you spend $50 each month at a local business.

It’s pretty easy to drop $50/month at a grocery store. And think how many times a year you’re going to get your hair done and your oil changed. Now how about that coffee you pick up every day? It wouldn’t really change much in your life if you spent that at a locally owned business rather than a chain. And while 3/50 is easy to remember, feel free to increase either of those two numbers (especially the last one). Every little bit helps.

I’ll hop off my soapbox now, but please do think about supporting your local businesses and helping keep brick and mortar stores in business. Keeping the money and jobs in your neighborhood is good for everyone. (Ok. It’s not quite as good for Amazon, but I think they’ll manage.)

Buy Indie Day

Friday, May 1st, 2009 | Shameless Consumerism | 4 Comments

May 1 is Buy Indie Day, which makes it an excellent opportunity to visit your local independent bookstore.

Yes, I know you can get things cheaper at Amazon or buy your books, music, movies and coffee at your nearest chain store. But indies offer things neither of those places do. They host author visits and local events, their profits stay within the local community, they’re far more likely to work with other local businesses to support local events and causes. And really, I’ve never found the service at any chain store to come anywhere close to the kind of service I can get at my local bookstore. The people who work there are serious readers and they’re eager to share their love of books with their customers.

One of my fondest memories of Schwartz Books involves a bookseller stashing away a book for me. I had purchased a book on Charles Rennie Mackintosh and he and I chatted briefly about Mack’s work. A couple months later, I stopped in the bookstore on a day that seller was working. A book of Mackintosh’s architectural papers had come into the store and he put the last copy aside for me in case I was interested. My visits to the store didn’t coincide with his schedule for several weeks, but he held onto the book. I’m glad he did. It was a fun surprise and a really interesting read.

So go visit your local indie today. Say hi to the booksellers. Ask them to recommend a book they love. I’m sure you’ll get plenty of interesting suggestions and you’ll go home with a book you’ll really enjoy.

Milwaukee area folks, check out Boswell Books, Next Chapter, The Little Read Book, Woodland Pattern or Mystery One (if I’ve missed anyone, feel free to leave a comment). For those of you in other areas, Indie Now’s got a list of local sellers near you.

A post not about swine flu

Thursday, April 30th, 2009 | Kitty! | 1 Comment

No, really. This entry is pandemic-free.

But it is about kitties. There — doesn’t that make you feel better already?

First up is a video from the best weather forecast ever. I think I’d be far more likely to believe a weatherman holding a cat than I would one who isn’t. Or maybe it’s just that I’m far less likely to actually be listening to the weatherman holding the cat, and therefore won’t know that what’s he’s forecast is incorrect. (And I’m not just saying that because this particular weather forecast is in German.)

And second, a BBC story on what must be the best library ever. Man, I wish my library had a cat who’d come to visit. I’d be there even more often than I am now. Ooh, better yet — a cat for the downtown library. How awesome would it be to climb into the lighthouse in the children’s library and find a cat curled up inside? (Gonna need to keep a close eye on the door to the rare books room, though. That’s probably not the best place for a cat.)

And quit popping your gum

Thursday, April 30th, 2009 | Life in Czeltistan | 3 Comments

Our HR director was running around the office today, putting up instructional posters about covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and putting out antiseptic gel containers. (Regarding the posters: I find it immensely sad that adults need to be told this.)

I was tempted to follow behind her, putting up my own posters to remind people to chew with their mouths shut, but I somehow don’t think it’d go over well.

Hey, someone made a card for me

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 | You Call This News? | 1 Comment

Thanks, someecards!

Somewhat related: Keep calm, m’kay. A whole bunch of us lived through 1976. No reason to think we can’t make it through this again.

Manners 101

Friday, April 24th, 2009 | Screed! | 5 Comments

My goodness, but this country needs a refresher course in eating in public. Why is it that the concept of “put food in mouth, close mouth, then chew” is so difficult for so many? Did that many people not have mothers or grandmothers?

Makes me crazy.

Ok. I’m done now.

Might as well throw in a Geritol chaser, too

Monday, April 20th, 2009 | Again with the hockey, Life in Czeltistan | 10 Comments

Went to get a beer at the Admirals game on Saturday. The bartender carded me. She looked over my ID, and as she handed it back to me, she told me, “You’re four years younger than my daddy.”

::blank stare::

::stunned attempts to calculate if bartender is actually old enough to serve me::

Ooh. Tempting. Oh, wait. No, it’s not.

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 | Life in Czeltistan | 12 Comments

I got a Flickr mail today from someone over at GQ, asking if they could use my Lafitte’s photos for a new online guide to New Orleans they’re creating.

Ok. With you so far, GQ photo person.

And then the email said, “Generally, we would never ask for something for nothing. However, at this time we are only able to give credit.”

Whoa. Back the truck up. First of all, if you generally don’t ask for something for nothing, then let’s stick with that policy. If you’re going to be in the habit of doing that, though, then maybe skip that sentence. Secondly, you’re a major, for-profit publication. I think you can spare a few bucks for a stock photo budget. To tell me my images are worthy of publication, but only if they’re free, is a bit on the insulting side. If you were a non-profit group, it would be an entirely different story. But to pretend Conde Nast doesn’t have a little money to offer for such things is, well “Condescending*.” I heartily decline your offer.

(*Many thanks to Tony & Sam for letting me pinch that term. It fits the bill quite nicely.)


Saturday, April 11th, 2009 | Design-y Bits | 2 Comments

Adorable little robots, wandering through NYC. (Fun, until someone freaks out and calls the bomb squad.)

I would love to come across one of these little guys. I’d help them on their way. More likely, I’d follow them to make sure they got there safely.

Scenes from a Saturday afternoon

Saturday, April 11th, 2009 | Life in Czeltistan | 3 Comments

I: I took a little walk along the lake at Big Bay Park today, looking for sea glass. Decided to take a break from my hunt and stack a couple rocks. I wasn’t paying much attention to what was going on around me — when I started, I was the only person down there — but after I finished my second stack, I looked up to see two small children staring at me as if I had multiple heads. Guess they’d never seen anyone stack rocks before.

It’s only weird until you’ve tried it, kids. Then it’s an addictive little challenge.

II: I was walking through the craft supplies aisle at Winkie’s. A few feet down the row was a man, staring intently at one of the shelves. As I approach him, out of the blue he asks me, “Do you think you could use fabric dye for eggs?” It takes me a second to figure out what he’s asking. I look at him, look at the dye, look at him and reply, “Um, well, you could, but I’m not sure you’d actually want to eat them.” (For the record, I have no idea whether or not fabric dye is in any way toxic or if enough of it would make it through the shell to matter. But damn, man, if Winkie’s is out of dye, try Walgreens. They’ve got tons.)

III: Boswell Books is open!! Hooray! I didn’t realize they were, but almost did a little happy dance in the middle of Downer Ave when I saw the book carts outside the door. It’s kind of Schwartz Books Light in there right now, but it’s up and running and I think that’s a fine start.

I was thinking earlier in the day how it’d been almost a month since I’d been in Schwartz. Pretty sure that’s the longest I’ve gone without a visit and it was a bit depressing. Finding Boswell completely made my day.

Nanobots 1, Surgery 0

Thursday, April 9th, 2009 | Life in Czeltistan | 3 Comments

Finished occupational therapy yesterday. Saw the doc today. He came in holding my new x-rays, and said, “You’re very good at making bone.”

What’s the proper reply to that? Thanks? I’ve had lots of practice? (I’m a Cylon?)

He showed me my x-rays, making sure to point out the new bone growth. Pointed out one remaining crack, but said that’d fill in soon, too. He also said, “In a few years, you probably won’t even remember which elbow you broke.” (Uh, yes, I will. I think the snapping sound is one I’ll remember awhile.) Put me through a couple range-of-motion exercises and then told me (in a very nice way, of course) to go away and quit coming to visit so often. I’m completely ok with that prescription.

I still have strength work to do and I’m not quite at 100%, but considering surgery was an option and I made do without it, I’m pretty damned pleased. Massive props to my therapist. If anyone in the Milwaukee area needs a really good OT, I know one. She doesn’t even make it seem like work.

Variations on a Theme

Friday, April 3rd, 2009 | Design-y Bits | 1 Comment

I loved the Keep Calm and Carry On poster when I first saw it (which I believe I found through I Like, as she’s always finding gems like this). Then suddenly it was everywhere. Despite the part of me that still loves it for its simplicity and sensibility, I’m a wee bit sick of seeing it these days.

However, this Flickr set of Keep Calm variants is brilliant.

Were I still writing html, I’d have this one in my cube somewhere. I’m also quite fond of these two versions.

(Via Coudal Partners)

The internet gods have been challenged

Friday, April 3rd, 2009 | Bloggity goodness | No Comments

And suddenly, I’m finding interesting things to share.

We’ll start with John Scalzi’s blog post about what makes Twitter so compelling. He’s a far better writer than I, so you’ll enjoy him telling you about it far more than if I would. Also, per his comment, “I have a suspicion that if you told most people under the age of 35 that they had choose between texting or making voice calls, voice communication would drop to next to nothing,” there are those of us over 35 who would be ok with this, too.

And, for those of you who care, here’s my contribution to the world that is Twitter. Maybe someday I’ll get around to hooking up one o’ the little blog widgets. I’m pretty lazy, though, so don’t count on it soon. :)

Not dead

Friday, April 3rd, 2009 | Life in Czeltistan | No Comments

Just don’t have any particularly interesting news and haven’t found any must-share links.

Maybe something will cross my path today. Don’t hold your breath, though. I think everyone’s out enjoying spring (or digging out from spring snowfalls).

Almost as good as new Rebus

Friday, March 27th, 2009 | You Call This News? | 4 Comments

I knew that Ian Rankin was getting up to some other projects now that he finished the John Rebus books (weep. but it was time for Rebus to move on). What I didn’t know was that the first of these new projects was a new John Constantine graphic novel. I made a little “squeeeee!” noise when I found out. Now I just have to be patient and wait for August, which is when it comes out. (WANT NOW. Gimme.)

(Thanks to Mowokeeboy for the tip.)

A Reading from the Book of Armaments

Monday, March 23rd, 2009 | You Call This News? | 7 Comments

Sometimes the newspaper is the best comedy program for the day:

Pub is closed by Monty Python grenade

Related: I want this Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch cake.

(News link via Coudal Partners. Thanks for the link love, guys. I hope this helps throw some back at you.)

Ok, now I’m hungry

Friday, March 20th, 2009 | Fun With Teh Intarweb | No Comments

Battlestar Galactica Snacks

Would eat them all.

Loved the finale, except the last few flash-forward minutes. That was a bit on the lame side.

Also, I got BINGO three times by using this. Would be dangerous as a drinking game.

Extreme Shepherding

Thursday, March 19th, 2009 | Design-y Bits | 1 Comment

It’s always fun to watch a talented shepherd and his dogs work their sheep, but these guys take it to a whole new level.

Extreme Sheep LED Art



Note to self:

Friday, March 13th, 2009 | You Call This News? | 2 Comments

Don’t fly Alitalia.

Wow. Just…wow.

(Thanks to Vidiot for the link.)


Thursday, March 12th, 2009 | Bloggity goodness | 1 Comment

After looking through the Scanwiches site, I see I need to add a couple of new spots to my list of places to eat in NYC. Man, those are some tasty looking sandwiches.

It also makes me realize once again that Milwaukee is woefully low on the number of decent delis we have available. (The best of which is still Fulbeli Deli. Damn. Now I wish I had more time for my lunch break today. Sure could go for a Venus.)

(Via Neatorama)