Category Archives: Off-Topic

Plenty of Time to Reconsider

What I don’t get is that he had plenty of time to reconsider his choice while putting those things on.  Seriously – in the hour he probably spent getting pretty for the day, he probably spent at least one hundred and twenty seconds putting on those boots.  And I’m guessing they don’t slip on like flip flops, either.
But really:  Chewbacca from the shin down is a great look, as is Audrey Hepburn from the nose up.

Journey to Hong Kong

Check out my latest online gallery of photos from my trip to Hong Kong.

And Happy New Year!

International

So I’m in Hong Kong right now on holiday with my family…surprise!  I’ll be back on the 27th and will have new posts shortly thereafter.  I’m taking lots of pictures that I’ll post here and on my Flickr page, and I picked up Oasis’ new album (with plans to get more:  CDs are cheaper here than they are in the US).

See y’all soon!

Morning Coffee at K1-430

Starbucks this is not.

Starbucks this is not.

In the basement of Northwestern University’s Kresge Hall, tucked away between foreign language classrooms and pottery workshops lies what seems like an afterthought of a space.  Too big to be a storage closet; too small a space in which to hold a class, this room sits, likely overlooked on any other day.

Wide windows dominate one wall, allowing the morning light, softened by the haze of winter’s overcast, to wash over the room.  Hung upon the remaining four walls are paintings, sketches, scribbled poems, leaves from around campus.  Chairs scattered around the perimeter of the room are occupied by students, working, talking, laughing.

Those who didn’t arrive in time to grab a seat spread out happily on the floor.  A table set off to the side hosts a man vigorously working at his computer.  And in the back corner of this room, this unusual room lit by the sun, heated by those in it, a folding table.  On the table:  a plug-in water heater, a French press, and a plastic tray of store-bought cookies.

I was told that I could acquire a cup of coffee at this establishment, cryptically named “K1-430.”  “It’ll be a couple of minutes before the next batch is ready, but you can pay now if you want,” the man, the de facto barista, said to me.  I handed him a bow:  one of those twisted deals that’s meant to sit atop a birthday gift.  Appropriately, it’s Northwestern purple.  “Go ahead and have a seat, the coffee will be up in a couple of minutes.”  “All right, great, thanks,” I reply excessively, on the way to an open seat, a yellow chair the seventies would love to have back, placed right next to the door.

When the coffee is ready, I return to the “counter,” to be greeted by a cup too big for an espresso shot, but too small for much else.  Then again, I’ve always thought a Starbucks “tall” was too much coffee.   The coffee is thick and rich, with a few flakes of ground beans floating around the rim.  For some reason, this cup of coffee was particularly satisfying; it needed no cream or sugar:  no bitter aftertaste from which to hide.

As I sat in that chair, enjoying my coffee, others came and went, paying for their cup with whatever they had to offer.  Some gave leaves, some brought poetry, others demonstrated yoga poses.  And everybody received a tiny, ground laden cup of nonetheless delicious coffee.

This strange café was brought to you by a group of students taking Installation Art class at Northwestern and ran from November 21st until today, December 2nd, excluding Thanksgiving break.  This is all too short, if you asked me.  After all, why would you go to Starbucks for a $3 or more cup of mediocre brew when you could go to the basement of Kresge and trade a yoga pose you so happen to know for a cup brewed with love?  Love.

And all it costs is whatever you have to offer.

I’m Still Alive!

I thought it would be a good idea to check in from beautiful (and rainy) Vancouver.  I’ll be back this week, with a review of the retro and amazing Grado SR-225 headphones I picked up here.  

Only a month and a day more until The Glass Passenger

Now THIS Should Exist

Mygazines.com offers scans of print magazines for free.  Enjoy it while it lasts.

Mygazines.com offers scans of print magazines for free. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Remember that Obama mash-up video that I posted a few days ago?  Things like that video (and this blog) are evidence that some people just have too much time on their hands; and do non-productive (if not hilarious) things with that time.

Introducing Mygazines.com – one of the most ingenious products to ever result from free time.  Mygazines is like an online lending library specifically designed for magazines.  Their quick and unique interface makes it easy to flip through the pages of major publications – Rolling Stone, Blender, and even (hell yes) the Ikea Catalog to name a few.

There aren’t too many small magazines, like JPG, one of my favorite photography magazines, but all of the major players are there.  That being said, the magazine industry is up in arms about the service.  I wouldn’t expect to last that long, but for now it’s a great service. But these magazines are scanned and uploaded by users, who, ideally, bought a copy of the magazines for themselves.  What’s the difference between this site and, say, a local library, which has copies of magazines (and books and movies and music) available for free?  Ethically?  Not much in my opinion.  Financially?  A hell of a lot:  Mygazines has web advertisements; libraries have government funding.

Enjoy it while it lasts!

Via Lifehacker and The Inquirer.

Fewer Posts from Wednesday On

I’m going to the lovely city of Vancouver on Wednesday for a couple of weeks, meaning I won’t be posting as much content.  But I’ll try and keep up and let you know how Vansterdam is doing (gorgeous as always, I assume)