Monday, February 24, 2014

The Price of Progress



Post-Script: Now that the kitchen looks more like a kitchen than a construction site, we're wondering why we waited all these years. Well, money was one reason. But there's also inertia, knowing the inconvenience involved in the transition but allowing it's severity to become over-inflated in our imaginations. It's actually been fun living in our temporary quarters and cooking like we're on the road. It'll mean that much more when we get back to normalcy in our new kitchen.

Humans, we're funny creatures, so sophisticated in our own minds yet very much like any other creature that takes a liking to nest-building. We like our nests cozy and comfortable, we do. We talk a big talk, but it's the simple things that count.

Typecast via Olivetti Underwood 21, photo via Fujifilm X10.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Rich Man, Poor Man



Post-Script: There's a price to be paid for keeping a business open-minded and inviting to all social classes, which is that you'll have to, on occasion, deal with conflicts and messes. But such is life. The price to be paid in not being open and inviting is to miss out on life altogether. There's a lesson here for our political leaders, hidden just under the surface at places like Winning Coffee, where rich men, poor men, beggar men and thieves congregate.

Typecast via Olympia SM9, photo via Fujifilm X10.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Continual Mystery



Post-Script: I understand and respect the history of the indigenous American peoples, but also suffer from the delusion that I'm also, somehow, an indigenous person, my family having settled into the New World sometime in the 17th century. When does the statute of limitations on empire-building, power-hungry European dominance expire? Never, perhaps.

Years ago, I drove out toward Cabezon Peak and captured a nice image onto black & white film in my Bronica 645-format camera, a print of which is hanging in my living room, one of the nicest silver gelatin prints I've ever made. I'm hoping to get out there again soon, when the winter weather dries up and the dirt roads are more passable.

Speaking of Cabezon Peak, here's a Bureau of Land Management article about it, while here's the BLM's Flickr set of photos of the area. I hope to make more of my own images of the area this year.

Typecast via Olivetti Underwood 21, photos via Fujifilm X10.

Bonus Image: DSCF1072a

Saturday, February 08, 2014

What is It?



Here's the original paper holder:


Here's the original clipboard holder:


And here's how the clipboard holder works to hold a journal book in place for transcription onto typewriter:


Post-Script: I also had a weighted antique pen holder on my desk. But by placing my favorite pen on the What is It? gizmo, I am able to combine three items into one. I'm only really doing this because our house is small and cramped and we aint' getting a bigger one anytime soon.

Typecast via Olympia SM9, photos via Fujifilm X10.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Watch Fetish?



Post-Script: Conceptually, I'm attracted to the idea of a watch that doesn't appear to be moving. No sweeping second hand, or continuously incrementing numbers. The single hand moves at about 1/12 the rate of a normal watch's minute hand, such that there's no apparent motion. You can't even tell it's running except to wait a few minutes. It's calming, really, like time standing still, a slower, less frenetic pace than what we normally experience in our hectic lives.

I'm fortunate that single-handed watches are rather rare, else I'd have a real problem on my hands (or wrist). As it is, most of the others I've seen are half a grand or more, too rich for my blood. So I will have to be content with my several watches, and pretend I don't have a watch fetish. It's still okay to pretend, right?

Here's Watch Design's webpage of single-handed watches, if you're interested.

In the piece, I mentioned having three watches. The third one I acquired last autumn. It's the bottom-of-the-line Casio, black plastic digital, about $15 or thereabouts. The back story to this watch is that I needed a watch to wear at work but, being as I work in a clean-room, wearing a so-called "bunny suit," anything other than plastic would get corroded (or worse) due to perspiration. Though I prefer analog, I knew a digital would fit the need better. I wanted the simplest I could find, no world time or extra timers or functions. Only two recessed buttons, and all the information is visible on one screen. Battery powered, it'll last about seven years, then I could throw it away and no great loss.

Photo taken at my favorite table at the Daily Grind, using the Fujifilm X10. Watch photography is a specialty that I'm simply not the best at. Typecast via Olympia SM9 and flatbed scanner. Incidentally, though I really like the mechanics and feel of this Olympia, I'm finding that I don't take to elite font at all, preferring the larger pica instead. So were I to pare down my collection further, the elites would all go and the pica machines would stay.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

End of the Line?



Post-Script: Going back through my archive of Harman Direct Positive prints, it seems I just didn't do enough work with this medium, despite my enthusiasm, to be able to say that I'm genuinely satisfied. And so it's a sad ending to a very promising field in photographic technology, one that promised the convenience expected of the modern digital era in a process simple enough to manage by the likes of me, yet one that delivered the goods in terms of image quality and physical tangibility. The worst part of it is all those people out there who never knew the joys of working in this medium, and who might have done so if properly encouraged. It really is a sad day, creatively.

Atonement must be made, a wake of sorts must be conducted. I would suggest we all get out there with whatever traditional creative tool or process it is that we use, whether it be manual typewriter, film camera or something more obscure, and have at it, invite the Muse in for a spell, and be lost in the joy of pure creativity.

Top image via 150mm binocular lens on Graflex Speed Graphic camera using Harman Direct Positive Paper, typecast via Olivetti Lettera 22 and flatbed scanner.