October 26, 2006

Tacoma Halloween Party

Filed under: rock,tacoma — sparkrobot @ 10:25 pm

Halloween Party There’s a Halloween Party sponsored by Tacoma’s Flat Track Roller Derby team The Dockyard Derby Dames this Saturday at Taboo at 100 S. 9th Ave in downtown Tacoma. Expect to see live music from Splendid Vengance (their spelling, not mine) and Seattle’s Boss Martians will headline the show. This is a costume party and will feature a kissing booth, arm wrestling (think you can take one of these girls?) and what is referred to on the flyer as “dance mayhem”. The flyer was created by el Resident of Jerk Mountain, who’s also been snapping tons of photos of the DDD and Seattle’s Rat City Rollergirls lately.

While I know absolutely nothing about Splendid Vengance (who self-proclaim to be “the greatest rock band in the galaxy!!”), I guarantee The Boss Martians are going to bring it. Are you?

Lay Down Quark, This Won’t Hurt a Bit.

Filed under: design — sparkrobot @ 9:36 pm

Dear Quark, You had a good run—I’ll admit it. Shining star of print design for ages. All through the 90s, graphic designers everywhere sang your tune. In the height of your glory, unshakable laughter followed the mere mention of competitor products. Pagemaker? What a joke!

Let’s fast forward. InDesign arrived on the scene. You ignored her. Effectively regarded her as the young and homely sibling of failed past adventures in page layout application design. Seemingly unimpressed, you made the decision to arrive at the OS X party late—and less than fashionably so.

A couple of updates and a logo debacle later, equipped with some new features and paired with meager attempts at becoming a WYSIWYG web design application, you deliver the news today that you will now will come “complete with features for sound, movies, and animation”. Essentially, indicating you will be the de-facto, go-to application for creating swf output with “…no need to learn a new authoring environment”. Stating further that “interactivity and animation flow naturally from your existing QuarkXPress design skills.”.

Um. Excuse me? What the hell Quark? Frankly, your snake oil laced announcement will only assist in furthering the misconception that anyone that has basic desktop publishing skills can now create interactive Flash work. Not at all unlike Dio and the rest of Black Sabbath rising from ashes to create a new, improved interpretation of Heaven and Hell, you imply print designers everywhere can now produce interactive work without bothering to spend even a few minutes learning the chops that legions of Flash designers and developers spend years learning.

Best of luck to you Quark, but it could be time to get into a different, more profitable oil business. You’re kind of embarrassing yourself. Maybe it would be best to just lay down and die.

Link to the Quark Interactive Designer release.

October 15, 2006

The One Ten Lounge in Port Orchard

Filed under: design,Internet, eh? — sparkrobot @ 3:55 pm

One Ten Lounge LogoI helped some friends of mine put together a simple website for their newly-opened, retro-themed Martini bar in Port Orchard. Located at 110 Harrison in Port Orchard, the One Ten Lounge opened earlier this year to serve specialty cocktails in a comfortable, laid-back atmosphere. I visited the place a while back on a Friday evening and a diverse crowd packed the place. Dionne created a logo and some printed materials for the lounge, and this was set as the aesthetic used to design and build the website. If find yourself out in Port Orchard and looking for a place to relax, check it out. Link to http://www.onetenlounge.com/

Nerdy stuff: WordPress was used as the cms for the site, Justin Simoni’s excellent Dada mail for the newsletter and Todd Dominey’s SlidshowPro and SlideshowPro Director for the photo galleries. All open source software that makes publishing websites so much easier than it was even just a few years ago.

Delete all Gmail

Filed under: design,Internet, eh? — sparkrobot @ 9:01 am

For about the last year and a half or so, I’ve been using Google’s Gmail to collect and manage all my email online. I made the jump when I added a larger, faster hard drive to my Powerbook. Rather than continue using Apple Mail and downloading via pop3, I decided to move everything online and manage my email with the web interface and make multiple accounts easier to manage online.

I first noticed earlier this week a welcomed design tweak to Gmail. Previously, if i wanted to delete everything marked as spam, several steps were required to do so, and it was only possible to remove one “page” of spam at a time. Not so hot if you get hundreds of spam items per day and the intention is to keep an email inbox lean.

The recent changes reduce the effort spent on this task. The new method entails a click on the “Delete all spam messages now (messages that have been in Spam more than 30 days will be automatically deleted)” at the top of the list which triggers a javascript alert that reads: “This action will affect all xx conversations in Spam. Are you sure you want to continue?” Here’s a shot of it:

Are you sure? (YES.)

Also added is an “Empty Trash now” control. What would ultimately be nicer here are to include the said controls available from the sidebar, á-la Yahoo’s approach. I’d like to be able to kill all the Spam with one click thereby reducing the time in a day that is spent concerning junk mail.

What’s the #1 feature I’d like to see added to Gmail? It’s a four letter word. IMAP. #2? Folders. I know Google is a search company, but sometimes you just want to put stuff where you want to put it.

October 13, 2006

Seriously dudes, meat’s meat.

Filed under: tacoma — sparkrobot @ 11:33 am

While not quite as poignant as a well-constructed piece from, say The Onion for example, a recent post to the Tacoma blog exit133 seems to echo the flavor of some sentiments recently noted here.

Link to Exit133.com: Carl’s Jr. Expands Into The Arts?

October 10, 2006

All the day’s news

Filed under: Internet, eh? — sparkrobot @ 10:45 am

Real newsHere’s a shot of cnn’s homepage from this morning. It’s really great, great stuff. Very informative. Sent to me by Kevin.

what real news looks like on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

October 6, 2006

Rocking the Biodiesel

Filed under: tacoma — sparkrobot @ 6:48 pm

2005 VW Beetle TDI
Err. Well. I will be rockin’ the Biodiesel… when it’s time to fill up the tank again. After toying with the idea of buying a new car for a while, I finally caved in last weekend and purchased this 2005 VW Beetle TDI (Turbo Direct Injection) last Saturday. (This photo is from my Lomo.) It was time. My full size GMC 1500 SL was 12 years old and falling apart, and though even with a smaller 4.3L Vortec V6, it wasn’t by any means fuel efficient. After looking at all the options, (hybrids, small gasoline cars and the vw diesel) I chose the diesel Beetle because of it’s fuel efficiency coupled with safety features like full on airbags and Electronic Stability Control (ESC), but the ability to run alternative fuel also played a major role, especially since there are a couple of sources to purchase the stuff—both locally (see Tacoma Biodiesel) and regionally.

It’s no secret. America is addicted to foreign oil. If this isn’t evident, you’re actually under a rock. Call me crazy, but to me, betting on biofuels seems like a more sustainable approach to this problem than trying to beat the fuck out of some people. Or—essentially—our way into oil. This isn’t about politics, so that’s all I’ll say.

So far, so good. Though I initally had to take it back to the dealer because the check engine light came on the first day I drove it around. Proved to be no big deal as there was just a vaccuum line detached. It was a simple fix, thankfully covered under warranty. I’ve driven about 250 miles on 1/2 a tank of petroleum diesel furnished by the dealer. That’s pretty amazing right to me there. I’d barely get better than that from the ginormous 22 gallon tank in the truck. When the tank’s empty, I’ll head over to APP and give the biodiesel a whirl.

The one thing I’ve discovered I don’t like about the little guy: the cupholders suck. They’re stashed down under the dash in front of the automatic transmission and it’s pretty hard to get a drink in there. Whatever. Not a hill to die on.

Volkswagens have keys that function like switchblades. Perhaps there is a biodiesel gang I can join. Me & Willie Nelson. “Watch out, we’ll cut-choo sucker.”

October 5, 2006

Iggy’s rider on The Smoking Gun

Filed under: rock — sparkrobot @ 12:31 pm

A friend of mine this morning sent me a link an Iggy and the Stooges rider  on The Smoking Gun. TSG declares  it is “the single most entertaining concert rider TSG has ever obtained”. I couldn’t agree more. If you don’t read all 18 pages, don’t miss the last page at the very least.

 Link to Lust For Laughs – October 4, 2006