Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Odds and ends from work

Having really beefed up my reading volume in the past few months, I find myself starting to spot things about the imaging industry that give me pause.  Some things are so obvious – more digital printing in niche industries means less inventory of printed material, printing on demand is the norm, direct to press or plate systems are expanding.  In the down economy there is a sense that the heyday of printed documents for the construction industry has seen its day – there will never again be the sort of printing runs of full size construction documents that we saw in the final quarter of the twentieth century.  But what forms of visual communications will expand in the coming years?
The signage industry is expecting flat screen electronics to crop up everywhere from elevators to malls.  In an uncharacteristic turn the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association welcomed vendors of those devices at their annual Trade Exposition in Las Vegas this year, and there was a definite air of “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” in their presence.
I am really interested in the future of Internet providers of specialty graphics – the No Bricks And Mortar crowd that have become such consumer pleasers in the recent  years.  Even with the digital tools at my disposal I have ordered customer printed novelties (Christmas ornaments, family calendars) through these sites.  Reading Printing Impressions today I learned that Shutterfly – social expression and personal publishing site – acquired WMSG, a digital direct marketing provider with strong data, printing and marketing analytics (located in Dallas) to expand their commercial printing business.  I wonder how that will work for them. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Facebook Website for the Mother Ship


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Burning Question: Why Do Ebooks Cost So Much?

This explains a lot -- also seems to indicate that once the frint end load is covered costs should start to come down . . .

Burning Question: Why Do Ebooks Cost So Much?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Michael's Song

It always makes me cry but it makes me feel like he is here with me.  I like to crank it up real loud!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tubular bind off for ribbing (or anything)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Getting in the water

All the wet, white bodies moving in various modes through the water-therapy warm pool. The noon Adult Swim crowd is significantly geriatric, some approaching the water with walkers, canes, protective footwear. Oddly very few women are wearing anything to protect their hair, but many of the men favor the skin tight racing swim caps to keep their wispy hair intact. One man’s wasting body is almost painful to look at – his scapula bones wrenching away from his torso when he strokes slowly in the water creating sharp wings above his back. But he strokes on, on his belly and then his back, covering about twenty yards, stopping to stand, and turning to reverse direction, never touching the wall, never apparently walking on the pool floor. Other men and women are swimming in the lap lanes, powerfully or weakly, racking up point for stamina and exercise. Many women are walking or doing calisthenics at the edge of the pool, squatting out reps of ten – rest – ten, standing push-ups against the wall, intermittently walking laps forward and backward on the lane lines. The men who are exercising in the water keep their distance, avoiding the women walkers who sometimes pair off to visit while they walk, wearing their glasses and earrings, making social time out of the process. Many of the flaccid white bodies strolling in and out of the locker rooms are almost sexless, with drooping breasts, flattened buttocks, hanging upper arms that tell of too much weight (current or former), or muscles long gone, or the atrophying lack of use that arthritis brings. But they are all here, basking in the soothing water, fighting the effects of gravity, relaxing tensions that are so much a part of everyday that they go unnoticed until they are gone.

AT 1:01 on Mondays and Wednesdays in the summer the swim camp arrives, signaled by the first energetic eight year old boys to spill out of the locker room, boys who wore their suits so they wouldn’t have to waste time changing in the locker room, boys who wanted to get every minute out of the pool that they are allotted.. They don’t bother to walk in from the zero entry area that the seniors and young children favor – they jump in or, if they are tentative, walk down the steps into the “deep” end of the lap pool. Pretty soon the pool is teeming with six to twelve year olds, with goggles and wet pony tails, tagging each other, sneaking in a “cannon ball” behind the guards’ backs, making no pretense of actually swimming, but clearly able to swim if required. No more need for lane markers except to protect the area where the area where squealing wet bodies are shooting off the slide. Open Swim is just that – open to all comers and energizing in it’s craziness.

Weekend Adult Swim hours still have the complement of water walkers and aqua exercising people of a certain age, but with the added attraction of real lap swimmers, young adults in tank suits and Speedos, and thirty-somethings knocking out ten laps as part of the workout regimen before soaking in the hot tub. There is always a sprinkling of fifty-somethings who are rehabbing a new knee or hip joint, winding up physical therapy for a surgical repair, or just acknowledging that the exercise in the water is the exercise that doesn’t hurt the next day – the secret that the seniors have been keeping during the weekday hours.

Elizabeth Zimmerman's Sewn Bind Off


Using a tapestry needle with an extremely long tail of yarn, pull the needle through two front loops as if to purl, then back through the first stitch as if to knit. Drop the first stitch off. Repeat to the end.

Variations (working in the round on a circular needle)

Pull the yarn tail through two front loops as if to purl, then back through the first stitch as if to knit. Move the first stitch to the right-hand needle, making it the last stitch of the round. Follow traditional method as above.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Welcome to Holland

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel It's like this . . .

When you are going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas of Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several house later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there yo must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would have never met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around . . . and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills . . . and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts. But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy . . . and they 're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away . . . because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

But . . . if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things . . . about Holland.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Letter to Sara

Dear Sara,

I really don't have any brilliant message to impart, but I wanted to touch base and see how you are doing. It meant a lot to me to see you at the wake, but of course there was very little chatting for me there. I can't believe that the funeral was a week ago -- it still feels like five minutes ago to me.

You know, I have so much admiration for women who can do what you do -- spend your talent and energy with patients who mostly don't get better. I mean, I know that they get better for a while, but some of them don't and with patients like Mike I know that you knew from the beginning that he had something that people can't live with for very long. He had such a good year, though, that it must be horribly painful to see that end. I know that it is for me . . . but I wouldn't have given up what we had for that year for anything.

Anyhow, back to you -- thank you for letting yourself befriend Duff (and me). It made the whole process of fighting to have that year so much more human, and the treatments so much more bearable. I know that you don't have to do that, and that most patients don't get to bond up with one person because you just can't let yourself be that open and still do what you do. All I know is that it was a wonderful gift to us, and I am grateful (but sorry for the pain that it caused you). Saying goodbye to you was the beginning of Duff letting go, and I know that you knew that. I just hope that you also know how much genuine affection he had for you. That was his gift in life -- to be able to share himself with so many people that he cared for, and you were certainly one of them.

So thanks again. I am not going anywhere, and I will try to stay in touch but if that doesn't work I just wanted you to know what a difference you made in our liives and how if you don't do anyting else nice this year you can still know that you make the world a bette place just by being yourself. I know that you will soar through school and not be delivering chemo therapy forever. Be happy and stay smiling. I am sending you a picture of himself.

Stay in touch if you want! We are getting a little more normal every day, but things will be different now. Like I tell my kids, though, different isn't better or worse -- it is just different and you make of it what you want.