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Linky-linky [Some of everything, part 2]

Click 1
A quirky bit about my computer illustrated the subject of a post in Miss Conduct's blog yesterday. I hadn't noticed the eight choices of gray/grey until resetting the background to minimize the possibility of embarrassment when we used my computer as the back-up for the slides in the Ig Nobel prize ceremony. No, I haven't a clue as to why they're all there. Something in my settings, no doubt.

Click 2
My friend Alice Sanvito has started a massage blog, Ask The Massage Therapist. I was pleased to find useful information about massage I can do to help relieve some of the achy bits associated with the bone in my foot that broke a dozen years ago. The blog is for both beginning and advanced massage therapists as well as folks who receive massage. Alice has been a massage therapist for 17 years, and continues to study and advance her knowledge. She studied Russian massage techniques...in Russia...and Cirque du Soleil hired her on the last time they performed in St. Louis. She knows her stuff and writes beautifully, too. Highly recommended.

Click 3 & 4 and/or 5
Typographer extraordinaire, good friend, and nice guy John D. Berry also has a blog, Easily Amused. John Boardley over at ilovetypography.com had a quick bit of fun with Photoshop in response to John's pre-election riff about the possibility being chosen Barack Obama's Minister of Typography. Scroll down for it, reading the other interesting stuff along the way, or pop over to Libertango's journal just to see the poster.

Last click du jour
I Love Typography pointed me at some beautiful letterpress cards made and sold by Typoretum in the UK. I was quickly reminded for the second time yesterday that I must immediately raise my impulse purchase resistance levels if I am to have a hope of maintaining the financial progress of the past several months through the shopping season ahead. In particular, I had two packs of these gorgeous red and gold notecards in an online shopping basket, ready to buy them to send to clients. It's a business expense, right? The dollar's doing better against the pound, right? They're gorgeous, and certainly worth the $3.50 or so each that they'd cost by the time I paid for shipping and PayPal's exchange fees.

And none of that meant I should buy them. I have perfectly suitable cards that I can send to clients already in inventory. Just because I wouldn't have to pay income or self-employment tax on the cards didn't mean it made financial sense to buy them. Better that I send that $35-40 to creditors to pay down debt, presuming I can scrape it up in the first place.

So it goes. I removed the cards from the shopping cart, and cheered the fact that I had done so. I'm pleased to share their beauty with you electronically instead. It will come across best if you've seen genuine letterpress work before, which many on my friends list have.

(I don't believe this needs to be said, but just in case, this is emphatically not a plea or hint for someone to get the cards for me. This is a celebration of their beauty and the fact that I had the good sense to resist temptation and pass them by. If they were to show up in my mailbox as a result of this post, that would make me less able to share similar experiences in the future. Thank you.)


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 14th, 2008 03:22 am (UTC)
I'm impressed with your sense of discipline - but your discipline level has always been at supernova level. (Mine stands roughly at the light cast by that grubby white candle you keep in your kitchen in the second drawer down, at the back, the one you figure you'll need when the power goes out, until you remember that you didn't remember to throw a pack of matches in with the candle.)

Typography...I am a stolid lover of san-serif in almost everything, (Arial Regular, 10 point is san-seriffic!) although I do confess to occasionally liking Bodoni Italic.
Nov. 14th, 2008 04:16 am (UTC)
If my discipline level were anywhere near where you put it, I wouldn't have to be digging myself out of this financial hell. Really.

Loved the grubby candle analogy. It's spot on, right down to the matches.

While I tend to be a serif sort of gal, humanist sans serif fonts like Myriad Pro have found their way into my heart and appear to have taken up permanent residence.

Nov. 15th, 2008 06:50 am (UTC)
It's odd: I don't like san-serif headlines in newspapers, I almost prefer them in magazines, and I write everything in them myself. In fact, I'm annoyed at my laptop's WordPerfect program right now; I'd set it up to default all new documents to Arial 10 pt., which it happily did for some time. Then something glitched a week ago, and for the life of me, I can't get it to do that anymore. It keeps coming up in (ptui, at least for my purposes) Times New Roman 12 pt. Do Not Want.
Nov. 14th, 2008 04:25 am (UTC)
I always have prefered helvetica.
Nov. 15th, 2008 06:52 am (UTC)
Helvetica was the very first font I ever heard of, back when I was learning how to typeset (a skill I no longer have, if I ever really did.)
Nov. 14th, 2008 11:44 pm (UTC)
I'm a bit afraid of fire so I have windup flashlights instead of candles and matches.
Nov. 15th, 2008 06:55 am (UTC)
We have a few mag light flashlights around the place, from big X-files model to a couple of teeny-weeny ones. Unfortunately, I'm far more likely to find those matches, than I am to find one of the flashlights with working batteries.
Nov. 14th, 2008 03:41 am (UTC)
I strongly recommend starting a purchase list with a rule that you never buy anything online unless it's been on the purchase list for 24 hours.

There are lots of ways to do this, wiki, bookmarks, pen and paper, etc. The key is being utterly disciplined in:

1) Putting things on the list.
2) Not purchasing anything unless it's been there for 24 hours (or whatever time you pick).
3) Review the list on a weekly or monthly basis and be astounded at all the stuff you no longer think is important enough to buy.

It took me only ONE month using such a system to realize how much of a purchasing idiot I've been in the past. This year, I've freed up ridiculous amounts of money just using this method. Clearly we're different people, your millage may vary, etc etc etc. However, this process was SO powerful for me, I share it with my friends when the opportunity arises.
Nov. 14th, 2008 05:04 am (UTC)
Thanks. I do have an informal habit of turning away from optional purchases. I tell myself if I still want it after I've slept and I actually get around to finding the object/site again, I may allow myself to buy it then. I'm not sure whether having a formal list and noting the time would help or hinder with that. Maybe if the formal list consisted of clues rather than the actual objects....

The possible disadvantage is probably less than the very clear advantage of looking back at the list later. Earlier this year, I kept a list of pre-convention impulses during the final run-up to Boskone. It was part of my effort to avoid piling too much on and having less fun at the convention as a result of trying to do too much. The exercise was a huge success. And, yes, seeing that list of something like 14 or 17 impulse things was quite an eye-opener. I did one or two of them that took minimal effort and did help the convention, and felt little in the way of regret about the many that I didn't pursue.

If I try the purchase list idea, it will have a few exemptions to the X-hour rule. For example, when I'm working on a client layout and run out of istockphoto credits, waiting to buy them is rarely an option.

I may well use your list idea to budget for gifts -- either using specific dollar limits or the object approach. Not buying anything or allocating funds that haven't been on the list for X amount of time may help me rein in pronounced, long-standing, holiday shopping impulses.
Nov. 14th, 2008 06:15 am (UTC)
I strongly recommend starting a purchase list with a rule that you never buy anything online unless it's been on the purchase list for 24 hours.

That would make buying from woot.com rather difficult.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 14th, 2008 04:26 am (UTC)
So Grey vs Gray... one is British... the other American. I think Canadians can get away with either though I think I tend to use Grey.
Nov. 14th, 2008 04:52 am (UTC)
My temptations are more on Amazon, where I find some relief by just putting them on my wish list. That way, they're off my mind.
Nov. 14th, 2008 02:29 pm (UTC)
At some point when you're in Middleton, you should take a jaunt over to the Museum of Printing in nearby North Andover. Fascinating, and cool Linotype equipment, too.
Nov. 14th, 2008 11:50 pm (UTC)
The WashPost has one of their old Linotypes in the entrance to the main building. (The entrance area is recessed from the front of the building and the doors are to the side while the linotype is straight ahead.)
Nov. 15th, 2008 07:10 am (UTC)
I was blessed with the opportunity to visit the Museum of Printing at the end of Typecon when it was in Boston a couple of years ago, complete with a BBQ picnic out back. I look forward to a return visit -- it's great.

Wandering through the museum and seeing everything in the company of 100 and more type geeks was nirvana. "Look! Here's the one I started on!" "Wow, me, too!" "And then there was this machine." "Oh, yeah, remember what a bitch it was to...?"

After a talk upstairs, they turned us loose in The Mergenthaler Font Library. As the Museum of Printing's website explains: "When this large collection, about 300,000 drawings, arrived in North Andover, it arrived in one and a half trailer truck loads, 37 skids, 7 feet high. This collection came to the museum from Heidelberg, International through the good efforts of The Smithsonian Institution. This collection contains all of the intricate letter drawings made by The Mergenthaler Linotype Company in Brooklyn, New York. These drawings were the starting point of manufacturing matrices for Linotype machines, enabling users to set type on these machines in 800 different languages and dialects."

Several Typecon members had been the people who created those drawings. Watching them pull out, look at, and talk about their work from 40 and more years earlier was...wonderful.

We do need to have a NESFA Press outing to the museum sometime. Bunches of our people would love it.

Edited at 2008-11-15 07:10 am (UTC)
Nov. 14th, 2008 03:43 pm (UTC)
Yup, impulse purchases and instant gratification are temptations difficult to resist. One of my solutions -- most likely not possible for you -- has been to simply not get a PayPal Account, and thus never buy anything OnLine.

It's typically acute of you to recognize that spending your time (in fannish/convention contexts) can be as dangerous or harmful as spending your money, and I'm glad to see that you're improving your ability to consider (and check) these impulses. Physical, as well as financial, bankruptcy is all too easy to achieve.

I'm tempted to (but won't, seriously) suggest a version of Elmer Perdue's annual Going-On-The-Wagon month -- simply buy nothing not work-necessary or staple food for a whole month. The idea being that if you can do that for a month (and you could), there'll be some carry-over into the decisions you make during the rest of the year.

Naturally, Elmer (who Drank entirely too much for anyone, much less a diabetic) selected February for his abstinence, for the obvious reason that it's the shortest month of the year.

Nov. 15th, 2008 07:20 am (UTC)
I did your PayPal trick with eBay for years and years. I figure it saved me at least 4 digits and probably somewhere in the fives.

Last year, I finally succumbed. I visit the eBay website far less frequently now that it's so easy to get into trouble there, but I am extraordinarily grateful for the automated searches that ended up connecting me with two Twinzy Toys and a magazine with a picture of other Twinzy Toys in it.

I enjoyed your pointer to Elmer Purdue's February habit. Even the shortest month would likely be plenty for me to benefit -- the 3-week rule for settling into new habits has worked several times in my life. Well, for a few years, at least. :-)
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )


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