Top Gun Maverick

After the credits rolled and we convened outside the theater, I revealed a moment that felt like a poster from the 80’s had come to life.

My friend said, ”THE WHOLE MOVIE WAS LIKE THAT!”

And it was. It really was.

Everyone agreed, why can’t more movies be like this?

a fraction of humanity

I bought these bird stamps and a nice font from Alex Tomlinson. It’s a digital typeface but you can only get the download code through physical mail.

I’m reminded of how good real mail can be. I know it’s something I ordered, but it was packed with care and has some humanity inscribed.

Some days a fraction of humanity is helpful.

Now I’m going to write a thank you note to the person who just dropped off homemade strawberry muffins to welcome us to the neighborhood.

The muffins? They were awesome.

🍓

Windows goes to 11

I keep a Windows machine around for testing and Powerpoint. The latter only has features on the PC version, like customizing default fonts in a file. That might not seem like a big deal, but it prevents lots of bad things from happening.

I don’t have to fire up the machine often, so each time all these notifications slide in and warn of outdated software. After doing my business I went ahead and clicked on the updates and a bit later was running Windows 11.

The new centered taskbar and removal of the start menu feels very Mac-like. Other than that, there’s an overall sophistication to the UI at a cursory glance—it feels polished and zippy (which macOS could use).

Even the Edge browser is nice. It feels like Chrome, but with a different person looking over your shoulder.

And the icons are nice.

The settings pane of the Microsoft Edge browser

Piroshky Piroshky

Seattle’s Piroshky Piroshky has been on the road celebrating their 30th anniversary with pop-ups across the country. 

I remember enjoying their hand pies on a trip to the Pacific Northwest that sadly isn’t captured in this journal, but there is a big mess of photos on Exposure.

Walked 20 minutes to grab a box and 20 minutes back.

I feel a rhubarb turnover is deserved.

A selection of hand pies that include savory and sweet options including: rhubarb, apricot, chocolate cream hazelnut, cheddar garlic, beef and cheese and chicken curry
A selection of sweet and savory hand pies

Fern on board

Robert was heading back from a European holiday and needed someone to check on the pups.

I took this as an opportunity to grab the big fern from Northside I’ve managed to keep alive for some years but hadn’t moved over to the new place.

Mom had me take this fern one winter as it hogged up too much space. So I’d care for it through the cold months and bring it back to her porch each summer.

In other news, Robert’s vegetable garden is looking really good. (I’m hoping to score some tomatoes and peppers.)

Four raised beds of a vegetable garden
Robert’s vegetable garden
A man with a beard smiles by a fern on a porch
Update: Fern successfully placed on porch. 🤞

Hoping the hydraulic cement holds

New skill: Prevent water gushing from a hole in a basement wall during a rainstorm. Thanks to YouTube, I think it worked…

The patch held up over the next rain, but new leaks have cropped up on another wall. The joys of whack-a-mole home ownership!

The weather was supposed to be much worse with hail and high winds today, but it fizzled out and we were spared anything major.

Closed out the evening watching the last episode of the season for SNL where Kate McKinnon, Andy Bryant, Pete Davidson and Kyle Mooney bid adieu. A solid run by all, but shaking things up seems prudent.

Tears for Fears with Garbage

Whenever attending a concert at Riverbend I’m reminded of a first job, working concessions a few years after the venue opened. I was on food prep behind a grill. It was hot, somewhat grueling and also? Pretty darn exciting. Live music was echoing all around. I wished I could’ve worked the registers but you had to be 18 because of beer sales—also? They got tips!

One of the cushier jobs was parking attendant, where you could spend most of the day reading books and work on your tan.

Regardless of position, the best part was getting cut early so you could watch whatever band was playing from the lawn.

I did some research to see if maybe I worked a Tears for Fears show back in the day, but alas, both those loops through Cincy brought them to the Timberwolf stage at Kings Island.

This was their first show on the tour and their first time performing since 2019. They sounded great, mixing old and new songs with a tight backing band. (And I would fathom a few pre-recorded tracks.)

Garbaged opened the whole affair up and also put on a solid show, with a few new covers mixed in to lighten things up.

An outdoor show feels solid in these moments. Hope a few more shows end up on the calendar.

(No clue how the phone image got doubled above, but I wish accidents like that happened more often.)

Shirley Manson of the band Garbage is at the microphone for an outdoor concert. Her hair is bright pink and she's wearing bright green spandex pants
Garbage

CODA

I watched CODA last night—the first Oscar for Best Picture awarded to a streaming service that spent oodles of money at Sundance to get distribution rights.

I would have given the award to Dune because it was something special, but CODA was an extra good coming of age movie—it just felt like it was filmed for the Lifetime channel.

I lost track of how many times I got teary eyed.

This is a movie about family and challenges, but it’s also about music, and having a hard teacher that believes in you. It also has a few powerful hooks. When the credits rolled, all I could think about were the teachers that pushed me (against my will sometimes) to become better.

  • Mr. Kick with his passion for music and enforcing the physicality and mental focus required to vocalize.
  • Ms. McKenney coerced us to write better, edit wiser and tell stories.
  • Ms. Bird taught math and somehow made it engaging, but it was her love of technology that really stoked the fire. She taught me how to use a computer as a design tool.
  • Frau Hatfield championed understanding different cultures and expanding our worldview. She developed one of the first study abroad programs at our high school. That semester in Germany changed how I viewed, well, everything. (The bread alone was worth the trip.)
  • Paul Nini laid out the principles of design and kept humanity at the core of it at OSU.
  • Shirley Olsen was unwavering when it came to the nuance and power of typography.
  • Robert Abbott taught me how to build context and reason into interfaces.

I look back on this list and realize, there are lots more folks that have taught me things since the days of school and my first job. But there’s also this realization that I need to seek out new opportunities to expand, learn new things and push myself outside of comfort.

Moments that feel alright (Updated with audio)

I’m on the front porch.

Just closed a book and the breeze is ebbing and flowing.

The rose bush is in bloom.

I prune dead leaves off a small fern and release them to the wind.

The temperature, perfect.

Birds are having conversations.

A Slack notification on my wrist.

That can be dealt with later.

The sound of cars whoosh by on the main road.

A rotary saw off in the distance for a brief moment.

Some hammering.

Mental note made of moments that feel alright.

Audio from the moment

The App Icon Book

This book was an unexpected surprise. I had seen the Kickstarter for this history of iOS icons and filed it away and promptly forgotten about it. If I don’t set a reminder for something, it simply disappears.

Luckily Andrew was on top of things and picked up an extra copy. When he showed it to me we went through every single page. A lot of “I remember that one!” and general marveling at how well the whole book is presented and organized by era, theme, designer and even color.

Every once in a while there are profiles of designers and discussion of how icons are created and how they’ve evolved.

An awesome snapshot in time and great addition to the library.

Spread from a book with an interview of three designers from The Icon Factory
Artist spotlight of The Icon Factory
An image with an iPhone split down the middle. The left side is the original iPhone and Home Screen, the right side is a modern iPhone with the notch and no home button
A book spread with icons for music apps
Various music apps