Crispy, juicy and tender

The power of chicken sandwiches compel me. I tried McDonald’s version of the gold standard of the Chick-fil-A sandwich. They got really close. Everything from the foil lined package to the simple topping of pickles… It’s a good fried chicken sandwich, in a pinch — especially on Sundays. But the chicken was a little rubbery and weird and the flavor was just a’ight. All a good reminder that one should avoid all fried chicken sandwiches from a drive-thru unless you are really, really, really lazy.

A fast food chicken sandwich

In other news, I walked around Spring Grove because it is spring and I like to have visual reminders of this fact.

tulips about to bloom

Spring ahead

Every year the time shifts there is the discussion that we should stop it.

Richard Nixon instituted year-round daylight saving time in 1974 as America was in the midst of an energy crisis. It was very unpopular and repealed a year later. I figure it would meet the same reaction today. It’s just the first week is so. very. annoying.

Unrelated, here’s a view of the Radisson hotel in Covington Kentucky from the vantage of the Taco Bell parking lot where I was having a Chili Cheese burrito:

Radisson hotel and restaurant in Covington, Kentucky

ICON Music Center

We’re getting two new music venues in Cincinnati this year.

This, the ICON Music Center, is managed by a conglomerate of the orchestra. It’s not totally done, but it will probably look best from a drone.

Across the river in Newport is another one built by PromoWest. It’s almost finished too. It’s been a political clusterfuck and who knows how it will shake down, but hopefully it bodes well for music and entertainment for our community. I’m crossing my fingers.

ICON Music Center

Paper samples

The days continue largely stacked but also uneventful. Little data to scrape outside of my morning workout with Larry. A couple of meetings and a glorious end to the week.

The most significant thing though? Is that if you’re reading this through an RSS reader, that means I maybe did something right with redirects and my new site is online! Oh, there’s a few bits of polish that still need to be done. I figure it will never really be complete, but at least it’s started to take root out there in the real world.

So you can get lost in all new ways! Or wander down colorful paths, or boring ones, or simply just look at me holding things.

A rainy stroll after taxes

I’ve finally gotten okay at tax preparation. It only took 49 years.

My system is simple. When I get paid, a third goes into an account I can’t touch. That money gets sent to the IRS quarterly.

I hook my credit card and banking accounts to an online service which I review at the end of each month, correcting categorization and labeling. Whenever I spend money related to the act of doing business I also save a digital copy of the receipt in a folder, in the cloud.

As tax day approaches I pull everything together in a spreadsheet and clump expenses based on self employment categories. My tax preparer is patient with me as we work through it all over the course of an hour. She’s great.

A corner building in a neighborhood reflected in the rain soaked street

A chat with Phil

I took exactly one photo today. It was during a chat with Phil Armstrong and I caught him mid-blink. I can’t post that, but it doesn’t diminish the bright spot of the day. So here’s a photo of when he and Ashley wandered through the alleys during a photo walk back in 2016.

Phil’s one of those folks that are really good at a many things. I first met him through his photography, then his painting, and learned about the woodworking he’s taken up recently through social posts.

We got deep in the weeds… Talking about process and organization of photos, barely scratching the surface of that tangle of wires. We discussed publishing platforms, the arc of careers, and how photography and memory intertwine.

Phil takes daily photos too, but he actually posts them diligently.

I should take a page out of his book.

I’m so very looking forward to the not-so-distant future where we can all wander down the alleys and end up bending elbows and continue these conversations.

Ball stamps

These are not favorite stamps from the Post Office, but they are neato in one regard: Each stamp has a clear varnish that represents the texture of each ball. Pretty nifty.

Errands and Spring Cleaning

Started the day picking up groceries over in Newport because I find they are the most consistent getting everything on the list and because that particular Kroger has pickup tucked away on the side of the building. It’s just more chill. This also provides a nice drive through downtown and across the river.

Today was a glorious spring day. After the food was put away I opened all windows and went to town.

I took down my Christmas tree and addressed all the messes I made all around the building. The lounge was filled with wrapping paper and supplies from the holiday. I had moved boxes of nostalgia out of the basement to document for this site. Bags and boxes in the shared kitchen. Crap everywhere. I put everything in its right place and collapsed at the end f the day with an immense sense of satisfaction.

The Cheese Monkeys

I was reminded of this first book by Chip Kidd while putting this new site together and realizing I should read more — not just reference guides, but actual novels.

This title crossed my path again while visiting the solid Creative Mornings blog. This particular post was about powerful email signatures. This is a delicate topic… I am of the mindset that the most minimal of signatures is the best. Image attachments are the worst offenses, but any content that detracts from the core message should be reserved for your social media bio or personal website. There, I said it.

But I still thought this bit from the aforementioned post resonated:

For Aimee D., reading The Cheese Monkeys, a novel by Chip Kidd, changed everything. She randomly found it at a book sale while in high school more than 20 years ago, a serendipitous discovery. “It inspired me to become a graphic designer, and the quote below speaks volumes to me as a designer. I never change my signature.”

Here’s the quote from The Cheese Monkeys that Aimee includes in her never-changing email signature:

“Kiddies, Graphic Design, if you wield it effectively, is Power. Power to transmit ideas that change everything. Power that can destroy an entire race or save a nation from despair.”

Chip Kidd

It’s heavy to think about that last line in context, but it’s also a reminder that design has the potential to inspire good change.

The end of Wandavision

I’m on the fence if this Marvel television series will get filed into “favorites” but it certainly was entertaining during a moment in time when movie theaters were off the table and (most) everyone hunkered inside waiting for a vaccine.

Also worth disclosing: I’m wondering what really stands the test of time as a favorite. I don’t have an answer to that yet, but I keep revisiting the question.

I can attest to this, Jessica Hahn makes any scene a favorite.

Potbelly

At OSU in 1992 I drew a daily comic strip for the school paper, The Lantern. It was called Potbelly. I drew the strips at triple the size to pack in detail and used a lot of white out. I loved doing it, but my jokes were laaaaaaame.

The character was a dog with an oversized belly. He didn’t speak but held up signs instead. My inspiration was Bloom County and Calvin and Hobbes. Eventually I got distracted and took the summer off, coming back and renaming the strip Bedlam and adding human characters. It still didn’t get funny.

But Potbelly stuck around and holds a dear place in memory. Eventually I’ll capture a slew of them and capture as a Project.