a book about fonts

fonts collage

“just my type” by simon garfield (2010) is a fun, entertaining survey of the most popular fonts of our time

ever wondered what font candidate obama used in his winning campaign in 2008? / maybe not, but it’s gotham \ in 2010, the tea party & sarah palin used the same font <perhaps hoping for a similar outcome> but to less success / gill sans is one of my favorite fonts \  it made its first appearance in 1928 and was created by eric gill who disturbingly had a sordid private life / i have not paid attention to ikea in a long while and so i did not know that in 2009, they changed their font from futura to verdana \ a decision based upon being able to use the same font for the print catalogue & the website / but apparently people noticed the switch and some were not happy about it \ oh no! the verdana Os do not resemble the swedish meatballs!

some of the most interesting processes of font design are those that transpired in transportation <subways * airports * highways> / frutiger for the roissy airport <which is now paris charles de gaulle> \ johnston sans for the london underground / transport in european highways \ ubiquitous helvetica in the new york subways / interstate or highway gothic <in upper &  lower case for better readability> in u.s. highways / though both transport & interstate are being replaced by newer fonts such as clearview to improve legibility in driving conditions <new york city will change its capital letter road signs to mixed-cased clearview & will take until 2018 to complete>

passions certainly do rise in the font & typeface world / indeed a nation can be created based on its font citizens \ which is what the guardian did on april fool’s day in 1977

san serriffe collage

about the nation of san serriffe | http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/San_Serriffe

travel guide | http://wikitravel.org/en/San_Serriffe

more about fonts <in video>

“helvetica” gary hustwit 2007  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJfUpQMAxec

“typeface” kartemquin films 2009 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93ZKA2GcJmc


i heard about this book on npr

my 2014 yinzer car~

my yinzer car1

thanks to my two favorite people, i will now be driving not just any new car but what they have christened my Yinzer Car~ yeah! / pittsburgh winters are not the most pleasant for driving-averse people like me \ but with a Yinzer Car~ <all-wheel drive | steelers*penguins*pirates*hunting decals are standard> i know i’ll be alright through sleet & snow!

side note:  a nice friendly female salesperson sold me the car at shadyside honda / i paid more than if i had purchased from the monroeville dealer but the snideness & condescencion of the men there was offensive enough – so i took my business elsewhere \ they were quite busy and not lacking in customers so i knew that it would be unlikely that i could negotiate / they could have parried me in a nice way \ but it seemed like kneejerk reaction to them to brush off & talk down to a female customer / it was very easy to walk out


mileage:  690 one month later, 1001 on 2/10


my most listened to | 2013

favorites music4

favorite covers
nirvana | where did you sleep last night <lead belly> oh me <the meat puppets>
no doubt | it’s my life <talk talk>
michael stipe & coldplay | in the sun <joseph arthur>

favorite acoustic versions
ellie goulding | lights <live at the cherrytree house>
the church | under the milky way <mtv unplugged 1990>
mumford & sons | winter winds <bookshop sessions>

simply favorites
the smiths | there is a light that never goes out * bigmouth strikes again
radiohead | reckoner <live from the basement> * codex * lotus flower * there there * paranoid android
the cure | lovesong * closedown * wendy time *  from the edge of the deep green sea
kraftwerk & coldplay | computerliebe  & talk
& pandora radio

christmas eve 2013

xmas eve 2013 - posterize

candlelight service at the first unitarian church of pittsburgh & a visit with rowing friends at the southside’s double wide grill <same folks who brought us the pittsburgh icon beehive coffeehouse, established pre-starbucks in the early 90s>

merry christmas, happy holidays

xmas blog pic - red

the christmas season fills my favorite young people with much excitement & joyful anticipation / they savor and enjoy it the best \ it is one of the rare times that they adamantly just want to stay home /to them, decorating for christmas, the tree & stockings are a must \ i have happily relinquished the chore to them / it is also this time of year that we are once again graced with the goofiness of barney from their baby days <it has become their tradition to watch barney christmas while posing santas & snowmen all over the house> \ i watch as they make their memories of this happy season / indeed my own fondest childhood memories are of pasko in the philippines \ the same excited anticipation for presents, for goodies that only appear during this time of year <apples, grapes & chestnuts imported from our neighbors, china & taiwan> and for traditions <simbang gabi, parol, belen, pagmamano>

and so in this season of goodwill and good tidings, whatever it means to you and how ever you celebrate it <or not>  i hope that you are savoring and enjoying this universal happy chill out time \ merry christmas  happy holidays / and may you have {happy > sad} days, net positive in 2014!

businessweek’s 2013 jealousy list

busweek jealousy title

kudos to businessweek for coming up with their first annual jealousy list, a compilation of journalistic pieces in 2013 that the businessweek staff would have killed to write but more benignly have just turned them green with envy & resentment / a great way to call out <interesting * thought-provoking * amusing pieces> that the rest of us missed \ and very gallant & gracious of the businessweek staff

check it out:


my favorites:

  • npr’s “Planet Money Makes A T-shirt” via multi-media traces the creation of a planet money t-shirt from the cotton used in making yarn to the factory where workers & machines spin the yarn to make the t-shirt to the transport of the t-shirt from low-wage factories overseas to the u.s. / an engaging exposition of the economics of production \ what’s cool about this project was that it was funded via kickstarter <and currently selling the t-shirt for $30>
  • it would be shortsighted for mcdonalds not to hear out jeb boniakowski’s vision for a mcworld at new york’s times square <i and my favorite young persons LOVE times square!> in the long titled the awl article “We Must Build An Enormous McWorld In Times Square, A Xanadu Representing A McDonald’s From Every Nation”
  • atul gawande’s new yorker article “Big Med” extols the efficiency of the cheesecake factory and what the health care industry can learn from retail chains \ long an advocate of standardization of practices in hospitals, gawande brings a colorful flavor to this issue by observing the efficient process of the kitchens of the cheesecake factory

goal | to be a bisweptual rower

millvale boathouse tank1

during winter, rowing practice involves keeping fit by erging and refining our technique by simulating some of the on-the-water experience in the “tank” / three rivers rowing in pittsburgh is the only national rowing club that operates two boathouses, one is at washington’s landing and the other in millvale \ the tank is in the millvale boathouse

after being in a bit of lull, i am back in the swing of things! \ nothing like learning something new to get me motivated again / the new thing is learning to row starboard, that’s rowing the left oar \ i learned and rowed port in the past two years by default <due to an injured left rotator cuff> / but i think it would be good to be ambidextrous <or bisweptual> since i plan to learn to scull in the spring \ and just being skilled in both would help the coach in filling lineups

coach reviewed feathering when we got to the tank / to feather is to turn the blade  parallel to the water \ it was a great way to learn starboard / i am right handed so feathering comes easily when i row port \ with starboard, i have to feather with my weaker left hand / and as coach reminded us, the proper way to feather is to use the fingers with no help from the thumb \ it seemed impossible at first <as a drill, we feathered four times in one stroke> but when we did continuous rowing, it was very doable though it was clear that i needed to strengthen my hand / great practice today and i’m happy to be back rowing!