They wear out

oven-partSo, our oven quit. It came with our house. Heather loves it. We thought about getting a new one – because, as you know, repair can often cost as much as much – or more – than buying a new whatever.

In this case, the repair costs $100 to 200 less than buying a “new” refurbished oven. We loved preventing our oven from ending up in a landfill. And Heather got to keep the oven she loves. But ouch! That part cost a massive amount!


Thank you in reverse

thnx-cardsf-posterVolume Inc. has a unique contest of sorts. If you send them a hand-made thank you card, you may be among the 100 winners to receive a poster.

I couldn’t resist that.

My poster came last week – hand-signed and numbered!

Special thanks to Alan, who told me of the contest.


Actual size

actual-sizeA dying art form… writing letters.

This back-of-record-label went between my brother and me for almost five years. We put the location and date from where and when we sent letters to each other.

I treasure that label. (Actually, he has it. I have a color photocopy.) A previous or past label may reside in one of my boxes.

We stopped the label exchange many years ago. But we still write letters to each other, though not as much as we used to. Email is much faster and easier. But way less satisfying. (Maybe I should take my fingers off the keyboard and pick up a pen. Phil Gerbyshak might agree with me.)


Bad logo of the week

corner-cleanersThis clothes cleaning establishment’s logo was so bad I had to show it to you, my friends.

This is a perfect case of “spend a little money and get a lot”. Hiring a really good designer to do a great logo might be expensive. But there are any number of mediocre designers out there who could do a much better logo for cheap.

Point being? If you have a professional-looking logo, you project an image of quality. A really poor logo like this one? Well, you do dry cleaning. Maybe poor-quality dry cleaning.

Which of these hair salons would you be willing to spend more money at – top (Cuts to Dye For) or bottom (Vida Salon)?

By the way, “of the week” in the title was just an indication that if I was willing to subject myself to regular misery, I could feature a new bad logo every week until I die – and never run out.



Cameras never do justice

iciclesSo I was working away. I looked out the window and the icicles hanging from our tree looked exactly like those skinny silver strips of foil that people hang from their Christmas trees.

My camera? It tried, but the result is about 5% of what reality was.


Danish beauty

danish-beauty(My daughter is a beauty – but she is not Danish.)

I’m referring to the Bang & Olufsen speaker in the photo (the large speaker in front of Rachel). The local Goodwill had a pair for about $45. Currently, the cheapest pair of their speakers goes for about $700.

I nipped them up. Brought them home. Heather freaked out. “They are too big!”

I took them back.

Oh well, all dreams can’t come true. Their size would have overwhelmed my office. (One of my current, and reigning, speakers is shown for scale, next to the B & O speaker and Rachel.) And they would have required some special connectors to work with my computer’s stereo – at the tune of an additional $32.




republican-fearFirst, my full disclosure: I am neither Republican nor Democrat. I feel like both parties have some things right and some things wrong.

However, one thing I do not like is how the Republicans seem to be motivating their party members these days… fear. It’s just wrong. Admittedly, the Democrats have gone to the other extreme – blindly singing while Rome burns. But there has got to be a happy middle.

Also, the Republican tendency to make Obama the devil himself is also wrong. Yes, he has made some bad choices. But please don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. (Sorry for using too many metaphors today.)


A fine line between legibility and creativity

2-google-logosGoogle runs the world. Well, not quite. But they obviously have a massive impact in the sphere of internet use.

Though their applications are very minimal in design, they use some creativity in the presentation of their logo on their landing page. But there is a spectrum of legibility and creativity – when does the creativity go to far? (The top commemorates the birthday of Napoleon Orda of Belarus. The bottom commemorates the 100th Anniversary of Django Reinhard’s Birthday.)

By the way, this post was inspired by my brother Bill. He doesn’t blog, but he is very active as an Amazon reviewer. And Google, of course, provided the logos. Thanks both.