Category: rants

Pinterest iOS bookmarklet workaround

Pinterest iOS bookmarklet workaround

Ages ago, I was annoyed by how irritatingly hard it was to pin images to Pinterest on my iPhone. I was essentially pissed that iOS 8 extensions didn’t yet exist. I hacked together my own bookmark link that was a combo of Marco Arment’s Instapaper bookmarklet-adding instructions of yore (something like this), plus whatever code the native “Pin It” bookmarklet generated.

The URL code for my mobile bookmarklet is:

javascript:void((function(d)%7Be=d.createElement('script');e.setAttribute('type','text/javascript');e.setAttribute('charset','UTF-8');e.setAttribute('src','//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinmarklet.js?r='+Math.random()*99999999);d.body.appendChild(e);%7D(document)));

This code works better than most native “Pin It” buttons on most retailer websites, in my experience. It lets you pick any image on the page instead of forcing just one. I never did bother trying to figure out how to strip stupid retailer default text, but my hope/expectation was that retailers would get less shitty about this over time with increased Pinterest fluency. Ha ha.

I’m only posting this now because I’ve found that so far, Pinterest’s new iOS 8 extension is a bunch of janky bullshit. Here’s hoping that changes soon, but blogging it out there just in case! Let’s all cross our extra 6 Plus long fingers that Pinterest cleans things up before you actually wind up getting frustrated enough to implement this solution. :)

Apparently, I care a lot about swag

Apparently, I care a lot about swag

Tina Roth Eisenberg (aka SwissMiss) recently asked her readership about swag, on Twitter and her blog.

I was surprised by the strength and length of my opinions on the subject in the comments. I think it’s due to the fact that, while I’m a hippie about our earth and a minimalist design snob in theory about possessions, I’m a complete sucker for free stuff. So rather than rail against swag as wasteful, I think companies can strive to make it awesome in all the right ways:

Useful or solves a problem.

The only swag I’ve ever enjoyed is stuff that’s well made and useful even if you wouldn’t think to buy it. I’ve seen several customized Field Notes notebooks; those are amazing. Expos like Penny Arcade often have people giving away enormous sturdy reusable bags for people to cart around their swag in—I like that model of being helpful and solving a problem. I’ve also received custom etched pint glasses that bore the logo of a fictional pub in the game I was working on; that was cool. I much prefer a glass I can pour beer into over a poster or a stuffed animal.

Be careful, though—most of us have an excess of cheap free water bottles and mugs and commuter coffee cups and such. I feel like you’ve got to make sure your useful product is actually better made than the industry average if you want people to appreciate it and use it—which of course you should, because why else are you creating it? So no cheap BPA-laden leaky water bottles. Make it count with quality materials and an attractive base design.

Fancy pens never lose.

Everyone needs a pen, right? I mean, at some point in life. Pharmaceutical companies make the BEST free pens, with gimmicky weird tricks when you click them or twist them, etc. They always have playful design even if the playful element is pointless—and they’re usually well-made pens, sometimes in metal and usually refillable. I had a student in Mexico City who was a psychiatrist specializing in ADHD; he used to save up pens for me from ADHD drug makers because they so delighted me. Little tricks like if you clicked them the colored dots exposed under the brushed aluminum would change from gray (sad?) to yellow and orange (happy?) and such. It was delightful to have a toy embedded in a pen. (Doesn’t hurt that it was a really nice well-made pen with good heft, a metal body, and smooth ink flow.)

Legal services/conferences follow closely behind in Pen Swag Awards—my favorite pens to this date are ones from ten years ago when my law student roommate snagged me Lexis Nexus pens with integrated tape flags, and even this one pen that has a light in the nib for taking notes in a darkened room during a presentation. (Annoying to your neighbors, perhaps, but I’m still a sucker for a gimmicky pen.) They’re again well crafted, ergonomic, and they usually pack some kind of extra-useful feature beyond that of a standard pen. Can’t lose being useful.

Quality materials that show good taste.

I also love swag made from lovely materials—a Korean video game conference yielded a pen made of bent wood veneer. So cool. I’ve gotten swag made of glass or wood or even concrete once or twice; interesting high-quality materials set you apart.

And of course, a decent sense of aesthetics matters. This is more subjective to define, but I usually see decent overlap between people who choose natural materials and people who have an excellent product design aesthetic. And natural materials can sometimes even elevate mundane items, IMO.

Make it a true gift with minimal branding.

I also think it’s thoughtful and respectful when your swag’s branding is minimal. It’s more “generous” and less “transparent and borderline desperate marketing attempt.” I think more kindly of a company if they just made me something cool but didn’t force their company name down my throat in the process, you know? It also allows for a longer tail.

For example, a business card holder is nice conference swag, but it’s more likely to be used at OTHER conferences if it doesn’t say ADOBE in huge letters on the back. A small mark in the corner is more in keeping with the theoretically generous gesture of giving someone a free little gift, if you ask me.

One exception is when the overall look is custom, even though the branding is minimal—XOXOFest gave out awesome hot pink Field Notes notebooks; when I see someone else writing in one of those I basically know we share the Secret Code of XOXO. (Full disclosure; I was not an official attendee but I was in town visiting with folks who attended. They gave me pity notebooks, I suppose, haha.) Recognizable traits like that are OK if you pulled off good taste and subtlety in the actual brand name being stamped somewhere.

Everyone hates pointless cheap tchochkes.

Stuff like buttons, patches, glasses, keychains, and cheap plastic cups or tchotchkes are what I think it’s best to avoid. Those are all ugly and disposable feeling; they just seem like an utter waste. You’re better off doing nothing than spending money on crap.

No paper products.

Any paper products (fliers, brochures etc.) are an even graver utter no-no. It’s like you missed the memo about what swag is supposed to be, and it’s purely harmful to the environment without the redeeming “fun” factor of swag as a gift-like object.

My only exception to this was in Tokyo, advertisers often gave out packs of toilet paper with ads printed on the outside, because many public toilets there don’t have paper available. I never actually wound up using it, but I respected that idea and count this as more “useful/problem-solving” than “paper product” in my mind.

Don’t overspend

I’ve never actually been to the kind of event that gives away crazy spendy swag like free iPads or headphones or battery cases, but I see a bunch of mixed/disappointed reactions from people on the receiving end of higher-end swag. It feels wasteful; the gesture of having spent $200 per person on bulk Microsoft Surface pricing is crazy. People start thinking, “Couldn’t they have just lowered the ticket price, or let me at least pick my specs, or donated this to charity, or ___?” It’s such a personal thing, choosing what tech we spend hundreds of dollars on. When someone else makes that call for you (and engraves it to diminish potential resale value, heh) it just feels, I don’t know, like that generosity is misplaced and telegraphs poor judgment.

Maybe I just know a bunch of ingrates, but I think everyone would agree that it seems like the money could have been put to better use. So if you offer something pricey, make it also a problem-solver—like Tina’s commenter Daniel who said his company gives out mobile battery packs because people are always stressing about battery life at conferences. THAT is the right idea!

My second piece for Medium

My second piece for Medium

Wow, I haven’t written anything here since my last Medium post. I sense a new trend!

Not really. I almost wrote a thing about One Star App Review Gate (kill me for saying that; I mean the stupid -gate suffix ironically, in case it wasn’t clear). But then I didn’t. So here’s my latest Medium post, about New Year’s Resolutions! A phrase which I’m not sure should be title case like that! Oh well! Happy new year! Or, if you prefer, Happy New Year!

When I empty the Roomba, I will finally remember to disassemble it over the counter instead of the trash can, even though I know that will make an annoying mess on the counter, because that one tiny fucking piece always falls out and then I have to root through the trash with my bare fucking hands like an animal. Or maybe I’ll just by a new Roomba, because WHO DESIGNED THAT PIECE.

A Roomba.
My other resolution is to start using unironic header images for my Medium posts.

Epic spam comment template (?)

Epic spam comment template (?)

I just got this as a single spam comment on one of my less-used sites. My jaw kinda dropped. I thought someone out there might find it as interesting, disturbing, amusing, and/or useful—perhaps if you develop anti-spam products, you’ve just been handed a useful template to add to your filtering system. Anyway, enjoy! <3 VA

 

{
{I have|I’ve} been {surfing|browsing} online more
than {three|3|2|4} hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
{It’s|It is} pretty worth enough for me. {In my opinion|Personally|In my view},
all {webmasters|site owners|website owners|web owners} and bloggers made good content as you did, the
{internet|net|web} will be {much more|a lot more} useful than ever before.|
I {couldn’t|could not} {resist|refrain from} commenting.
{Very well|Perfectly|Well|Exceptionally well} written!|
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read this post and if I could I {want to|wish to|desire to} suggest you {few|some}
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{Perhaps|Maybe} you {could|can} write next articles referring to this article.

I {want to|wish to|desire to} read {more|even more}
things about it!|
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{It’s|It is} {lovely|pretty|beautiful} {worth|value|price} {enough|sufficient} for me.

{In my opinion|Personally|In my view}, if all {webmasters|site owners|website owners|web owners} and bloggers made {just right|good|excellent} {content|content material} as {you did|you probably did}, the {internet|net|web} {will be|shall be|might be|will probably
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{now|at this time} me also commenting {here|at this place}.|
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Wow, this {article|post|piece of writing|paragraph}
is {nice|pleasant|good|fastidious}, my {sister|younger sister} is analyzing {such|these|these kinds of} things, {so|thus|therefore} I am going to {tell|inform|let
know|convey} her.|
{Saved as a favorite|bookmarked!!}, {I really like|I like|I
love} {your blog|your site|your web site|your website}!|
Way cool! Some {very|extremely} valid points!
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a great} {blog|website|web site|site}. I stumbledupon it ;) {I will|I am going to|I’m going to|I may} {come back|return|revisit} {once again|yet again} {since I|since i
have} {bookmarked|book marked|book-marked|saved as a favorite} it.
Money and freedom {is the best|is the greatest} way to change,
may you be rich and continue to {help|guide} {other people|others}.|
Woah! I’m really {loving|enjoying|digging} the template/theme of this {site|website|blog}.
It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s {very
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between {superb usability|user friendliness|usability} and {visual appearance|visual appeal|appearance}.
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job with this. {In addition|Additionally|Also}, the
blog loads {very|extremely|super} {fast|quick} for me on
{Safari|Internet explorer|Chrome|Opera|Firefox}.
{Superb|Exceptional|Outstanding|Excellent} Blog!|
These are {really|actually|in fact|truly|genuinely}
{great|enormous|impressive|wonderful|fantastic} ideas in {regarding|concerning|about|on the topic of} blogging.
You have touched some {nice|pleasant|good|fastidious} {points|factors|things} here.
Any way keep up wrinting.|
{I love|I really like|I enjoy|I like|Everyone loves} what
you guys {are|are usually|tend to be} up too. {This sort
of|This type of|Such|This kind of} clever work and {exposure|coverage|reporting}!

Keep up the {superb|terrific|very good|great|good|awesome|fantastic|excellent|amazing|wonderful} works guys I’ve {incorporated||added|included} you guys to {|my|our||my personal|my
own} blogroll.|
{Howdy|Hi there|Hey there|Hi|Hello|Hey}! Someone in my {Myspace|Facebook} group shared this {site|website}
with us so I came to {give it a look|look it over|take a
look|check it out}. I’m definitely {enjoying|loving} the information.
I’m {book-marking|bookmarking} and will be tweeting this to my followers!
{Terrific|Wonderful|Great|Fantastic|Outstanding|Exceptional|Superb|Excellent} blog and {wonderful|terrific|brilliant|amazing|great|excellent|fantastic|outstanding|superb} {style and design|design and style|design}.|
{I love|I really like|I enjoy|I like|Everyone loves} what you
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{incorporated|added|included} you guys to {|my|our|my personal|my own} blogroll.|
{Howdy|Hi there|Hey there|Hi|Hello|Hey} would
you mind {stating|sharing} which blog platform you’re {working with|using}?
I’m {looking|planning|going} to start my
own blog {in the near future|soon} but I’m having a {tough|difficult|hard} time
{making a decision|selecting|choosing|deciding} between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
The reason I ask is because your {design and style|design|layout} seems different then most
blogs and I’m looking for something {completely unique|unique}.
P.S {My apologies|Apologies|Sorry} for {getting|being} off-topic
but I had to ask!|
{Howdy|Hi there|Hi|Hey there|Hello|Hey} would you
mind letting me know which {webhost|hosting company|web host} you’re {utilizing|working with|using}?
I’ve loaded your blog in 3 {completely different|different} {internet browsers|web browsers|browsers} and I must say this blog loads a lot {quicker|faster} then
most. Can you {suggest|recommend} a good {internet hosting|web hosting|hosting} provider at
a {honest|reasonable|fair} price? {Thanks a lot|Kudos|Cheers|Thank you|Many thanks|Thanks}, I appreciate it!|
{I love|I really like|I like|Everyone loves} it {when people|when individuals|when folks|whenever people} {come together|get together} and share {opinions|thoughts|views|ideas}.
Great {blog|website|site}, {keep it up|continue the good work|stick with it}!|
Thank you for the {auspicious|good} writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.

Look advanced to {far|more} added agreeable from you!

{By the way|However}, how {can|could} we communicate?|
{Howdy|Hi there|Hey there|Hello|Hey} just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
The {text|words} in your {content|post|article} seem to be running off the screen in {Ie|Internet explorer|Chrome|Firefox|Safari|Opera}.
I’m not sure if this is a {format|formatting} issue or something to do with {web browser|internet browser|browser}
compatibility but I {thought|figured} I’d post to let you know.
The {style and design|design and style|layout|design}
look great though! Hope you get the {problem|issue} {solved|resolved|fixed} soon.
{Kudos|Cheers|Many thanks|Thanks}|
This is a topic {that is|that’s|which is} {close to|near to} my heart…
{Cheers|Many thanks|Best wishes|Take care|Thank you}! {Where|Exactly where} are your contact details
though?|
It’s very {easy|simple|trouble-free|straightforward|effortless} to find out any {topic|matter} on {net|web} as compared to
{books|textbooks}, as I found this {article|post|piece
of writing|paragraph} at this {website|web site|site|web page}.|
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I’ve got some {creative ideas|recommendations|suggestions|ideas} for your blog you might
be interested in hearing. Either way, great {site|website|blog} and I look forward to seeing it {develop|improve|expand|grow} over time.|
{Hola|Hey there|Hi|Hello|Greetings}! I’ve been {following|reading}
your {site|web site|website|weblog|blog} for {a long time|a while|some time} now
and finally got the {bravery|courage} to go ahead and give you a shout out from
{New Caney|Kingwood|Huffman|Porter|Houston|Dallas|Austin|Lubbock|Humble|Atascocita} {Tx|Texas}!
Just wanted to {tell you|mention|say} keep up the {fantastic|excellent|great|good} {job|work}!|
Greetings from {Idaho|Carolina|Ohio|Colorado|Florida|Los angeles|California}!

I’m {bored to tears|bored to death|bored} at work so I decided to {check out|browse} your {site|website|blog} on my iphone during lunch break.
I {enjoy|really like|love} the {knowledge|info|information} you {present|provide} here and can’t wait
to take a look when I get home. I’m {shocked|amazed|surprised} at how {quick|fast}
your blog loaded on my {mobile|cell phone|phone}
.. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. {Anyhow|Anyways}, {awesome|amazing|very good|superb|good|wonderful|fantastic|excellent|great} {site|blog}!|
Its {like you|such as you} {read|learn} my {mind|thoughts}!
You {seem|appear} {to understand|to know|to grasp} {so much|a lot} {approximately|about} this, {like you|such as you} wrote the {book|e-book|guide|ebook|e book} in it or something.
{I think|I feel|I believe} {that you|that you simply|that you just} {could|can} do with
{some|a few} {%|p.c.|percent} to {force|pressure|drive|power} the message {house|home} {a bit|a little bit}, {however|but} {other than|instead of} that, {this
is|that is} {great|wonderful|fantastic|magnificent|excellent} blog.
{A great|An excellent|A fantastic} read. {I’ll|I will} {definitely|certainly} be
back.|
I visited {multiple|many|several|various} {websites|sites|web sites|web pages|blogs} {but|except|however} the audio {quality|feature}
for audio songs {current|present|existing} at
this {website|web site|site|web page} is {really|actually|in fact|truly|genuinely} {marvelous|wonderful|excellent|fabulous|superb}.|
{Howdy|Hi there|Hi|Hello}, i read your blog {occasionally|from time to time} and i own a similar
one and i was just {wondering|curious} if you get a
lot of spam {comments|responses|feedback|remarks}?
If so how do you {prevent|reduce|stop|protect against} it, any plugin
or anything you can {advise|suggest|recommend}? I
get so much lately it’s driving me {mad|insane|crazy} so any {assistance|help|support} is very much appreciated.|
Greetings! {Very helpful|Very useful} advice {within
this|in this particular} {article|post}! {It is the|It’s
the} little changes {that make|which will make|that produce|that
will make} {the biggest|the largest|the greatest|the most important|the most significant}
changes. {Thanks a lot|Thanks|Many thanks} for sharing!|
{I really|I truly|I seriously|I absolutely} love {your blog|your site|your website}..
{Very nice|Excellent|Pleasant|Great} colors
&amp; theme. Did you {create|develop|make|build} {this website|this site|this web site|this
amazing site} yourself? Please reply back as I’m {looking to|trying to|planning
to|wanting to|hoping to|attempting to} create {my own|my very own|my own personal}
{blog|website|site} and {would like to|want to|would love to} {know|learn|find out} where you got this from or {what the|exactly what the|just what the} theme {is called|is named}.
{Thanks|Many thanks|Thank you|Cheers|Appreciate it|Kudos}!|
{Hi there|Hello there|Howdy}! This {post|article|blog
post} {couldn’t|could not} be written {any better|much better}!
{Reading through|Looking at|Going through|Looking through} this {post|article} reminds me
of my previous roommate! He {always|constantly|continually}
kept {talking about|preaching about} this. {I will|I’ll|I am going to|I most certainly will} {forward|send} {this article|this information|this post} to him.
{Pretty sure|Fairly certain} {he will|he’ll|he’s going to} {have
a good|have a very good|have a great} read. {Thank you for|Thanks for|Many thanks for|I appreciate you for} sharing!|
{Wow|Whoa|Incredible|Amazing}! This blog looks {exactly|just} like
my old one! It’s on a {completely|entirely|totally} different {topic|subject} but it has pretty much the same {layout|page layout} and design.
{Excellent|Wonderful|Great|Outstanding|Superb} choice of colors!|
{There is|There’s} {definately|certainly} {a lot to|a great deal to} {know about|learn about|find out about} this {subject|topic|issue}.
{I like|I love|I really like} {all the|all of the} points
{you made|you’ve made|you have made}.|
{You made|You’ve made|You have made} some {decent|good|really
good} points there. I {looked|checked} {on the internet|on the web|on
the net} {for more info|for more information|to find out more|to
learn more|for additional information} about the issue and found {most individuals|most people} will go along with your views on {this
website|this site|this web site}.|
{Hi|Hello|Hi there|What’s up}, I {log on to|check|read} your
{new stuff|blogs|blog} {regularly|like every week|daily|on a regular basis}.
Your {story-telling|writing|humoristic} style is {awesome|witty},
keep {doing what you’re doing|up the good work|it up}!|
I {simply|just} {could not|couldn’t} {leave|depart|go away} your
{site|web site|website} {prior to|before} suggesting that
I {really|extremely|actually} {enjoyed|loved} {the standard|the usual}
{information|info} {a person|an individual} {supply|provide} {for your|on your|in your|to your} {visitors|guests}?
Is {going to|gonna} be {back|again} {frequently|regularly|incessantly|steadily|ceaselessly|often|continuously} {in
order to|to} {check up on|check out|inspect|investigate cross-check} new posts|
{I wanted|I needed|I want to|I need to} to thank you
for this {great|excellent|fantastic|wonderful|good|very good} read!!
I {definitely|certainly|absolutely} {enjoyed|loved}
every {little bit of|bit of} it. {I have|I’ve got|I have got} you {bookmarked|book
marked|book-marked|saved as a favorite} {to check out|to look at}
new {stuff you|things you} post…|
{Hi|Hello|Hi there|What’s up}, just wanted to {mention|say|tell you}, I {enjoyed|liked|loved} this {article|post|blog post}.
It was {inspiring|funny|practical|helpful}.

Keep on posting!|
I {{leave|drop|{write|create}} a {comment|leave a response}|drop a {comment|leave a response}|{comment|leave a response}}
{each time|when|whenever} I {appreciate|like|especially enjoy} a {post|article} on a {site|{blog|website}|site|website} or {I have|if I have} something to {add|contribute|valuable to contribute} {to the discussion|to the conversation}.
{It is|Usually it is|Usually it’s|It’s} {a result of|triggered by|caused by} the
{passion|fire|sincerness} {communicated|displayed} in the {post|article} I {read|looked
at|browsed}. And {on|after} this {post|article} Virginia in
Seattle. I {{was|was actually} moved|{was|was actually} excited} enough to {drop|{leave|drop|{write|create}}|post} a
{thought|{comment|{comment|leave a response}a response}} {:-P|:)|;)|;-)|:-)} I {do have|actually do
have} {{some|a few} questions|a couple of questions|2
questions} for you {if you {don’t|do not|usually do not|tend not to} mind|if it’s {allright|okay}}.
{Is it|Could it be} {just|only|simply} me or {do|does it {seem|appear|give the
impression|look|look as if|look like} like} {some|a
few} of {the|these} {comments|responses|remarks} {look|appear|come across} {like they are|as if they are|like} {coming from|written by|left by} brain dead {people|visitors|folks|individuals}?
:-P And, if you are {posting|writing} {on|at} {other|additional} {sites|social sites|online sites|online social sites|places},
{I’d|I would} like to {follow|keep up with} {you|{anything|everything} {new|fresh} you have to
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or linkedin profile}?|
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iPhone 5s and accessories

iPhone 5s and accessories

I got my iPhone 5s, and I LOVE it. (Space Gray, 32 GB, ordered via AT&T because the Apple Store hated me at preorder o’clock.) 1AT&T did a good job with all this; surprisingly, much better than Apple. 2 I was debating getting a larger hard drive, because I love having a massive music library on there and never having to think about space management when I shoot HD video or what have you. But after some research we decided to stick with AT&T as our carrier, and as such, we’re grandfathered into an unlimited data plan. So I decided I can rely more on streaming services. 3

As soon as I knew I had a phone en route, I went ahead ordered the yellow leather case and an extra two-meter Lightning cable from Apple. 4 I forgot to pay for fancy shipping (as I usually do when a slower but free option is available), so I just recently got this package. I’m glad I have them, but I have seriously mixed feelings about this case.

Just as I feared, the headphone jack takes you back to iPhone 1 days when nothing fits in because the hole is too deep. (Har har; go make the That’s What She Said joke and come back when you’re done.) I do still have some headphoney accessories designed to work with my original iPhone, but the vast majority are now defunct because they’re much more cheaply manufactured than Apple’s cables. 5

The headphone stuff is annoying on its own, but gets worse when coupled with Lightning cable aperture issues. Because that hole is also too small. I’m mostly OK with only buying Lightning cables that have a smallish aperture from now on. But how, HOW could apple design their Lightning adapter at 30-pin width, and then make a case that doesn’t accommodate said adapter? Argh! Because the leather case is incredibly difficult to remove (and who wants to constantly have to remove a case anyway), this is very irritating to me given our plethora of 30-pin items. I’m going to have to find some janky-ass third-party Lightning adaptor with a small enough girth (shut up) to work with them, or suck it up and spend a lot on new Lightning cables. 6 And as my Internet Pal Keith pointed out, the opening is too small for even non-30-pin choices. I’ve long thought Amazon Basics cables were WAY too bulky, but this still sucks:


Anyway, aperture frustrations aside, here are some not particularly well sorted hardware and accessory musings:

  • I hate how the bottom headphone holes are asymmetrical to make room for the headphone jack. Yes, I realize I’m insane. But it’s ugly, you know? And that much more obvious with the leather case.
  • The whole jack on the bottom thing takes a while to get used to, coming from a 4S! I don’t have strong feelings about this, but I certainly haven’t adjusted yet.
  • So does the TouchID sensor. I mostly remember to use it now, but gosh do I wish it worked from a sleep state.
  • I keep running into circumstances that still require me to enter my full AppleID password. Bummer! I thought I’d be freer of that. It feels like I still have to enter my AppleID password like 50% of the time. I need a less-mobile-keyboard-annoying password, I guess.
  • I’m sad to report that I don’t see a huge difference in the allegedly warm amber flash. I need to try it out on more humans instead of just cats, though.
  • Burst mode is FANTASTIC. But don’t you dare import into iPhoto before you remembered to clear a burst! I wish there were an iPhoto prompt about this. Maybe in Mavericks, but I doubt it.
  • Again, I know I’m insane, but it irks me that the inside of the camera aperture is black plastic, whereas the Lightning and headphone jack openings are just that crappy same-color yellow plasticky sealant. It’s inconsistent looking and less cleanly applied and yes I already said I know I’m insane. Look, you knew what you were getting into reading this. It doesn’t look “Apple,” OK?
  • The yellow leather case is a much greener yellow than anticipated. It looks positively chartreuse compared to my more goldenrod-colored lamps in my office. Looks greener than the yellow 5c too, though I haven’t compared in person.
  • The leather feels lovely and seems to hold up well to dirt/scuffing despite not being all that shiny or glossy a finish.
  • The top button is *significantly* harder to depress, but I’m hoping this softens up over time. The volume buttons are fine. The NY Times Symphony Scandal switch still feels easy enough for me to access, though Grant was annoyed by it being harder for him to get at. I’m not bothered.
  • I really, really like how the entire face is completely naked in this case.
  • I tried a Titan screen protector and I want to set it on fire.
  • Apparently Apple didn’t really plan ahead with the 5s dock. Read the comments about how it obscures the Home Button and how the jack doesn’t work for calls.
  • Despite all this kvetching, I really do like the leather case and plan to keep it. I just wish it felt better planned.

 

 

  1.  I went to bed, forgetting it was preorder night, and woke up with a start and scared my pal Jean who was kind enough to host me while I was in Portland pretending to be at XOXOfest. Jean sympathised and calmed me down after Apple said it hated me, and she helped me figure out what were reasonable choices to make (i.e. don’t go get in a line in the cold, dummy; just order it online via AT&T and wait a COUPLE days. You’ll hardly be the only one. Jean is so smart. And it’s amazingly helpful to have  a buddy in that frenzied moment!)

    So that’s how that all went. Let’s see how this works, embedding tweets in footnotes.

  2. The order went through, their site functioned as intended at midnight (unlike Apple’s confusingly punitive error, heh) and the phone got to me WAY sooner than their original estimate of mid-October. (I received it the Monday after the preorder.) Of COURSE I only articulate this thought after I receive the damn thing, but I must say, we should really be thankful of all the logistics-level workers who pitch in every time around, from China right on through to US warehouses and delivery services. It must be such an absolute pain in the ass clusterf*ck every damn year. I hope people get overtime pay AND a free iPhone for their hustle.
  3. Especially since I spent that extra hundred bucks on AppleCare(+?) this time around instead, as it now covers accidental shatterings. I considered getting gold, but it mattered more to me that my phone get here sooner, especially since I always planned to slap a case on it anyhow. (I’m a menace so the AppleCare and the case are just non-negotiables for me.) And I’ve missed having a black screen surround.
  4. I like the extra length for awkward coffee shop outlets; very glad you can get that first-party now. Was this also available for Apple brand 30-pin cables and I just never noticed?
  5. Apple brand cables always last me a good couple years, even if they look like this at the end. Seriously, part of why I’m so whiny about all this noise is that the multiple ten-dollar solutions I’m going to buy to make this new case work are going to crap out after about a month of light-to-medium usage. Happens every time. And I haven’t found a single “high-end” third-party provider to solve this. Yet I keep thinking it’s worthwhile to order cheap-ass Hong Kongian cables on Amazon; go figure.
  6. In browsing Amazon options, I see many comments noting that third-party Lightning cables don’t work with iOS 7 which seems bonkers but what do I know. So shop carefully.
My Apple announcement annoyances

My Apple announcement annoyances

Last week was the Apple announcement about iPhones, as we all know. I lazily covered the coverage with a couple Internet pals here and here, in case you feel like watching a lot of awkward banter and dead air. :) One week after the Apple shebang, here’s where I’m at:

I don’t give a crap about the 5c. I get that the strategy is theoretically interesting to many, but I just don’t care how it affects Apple’s business. I take a pretty narrow view on Apple stuff; I care about how it affects me directly. I want the newest fastest thing whenever it’s upgrade time, and my 4S has been frightfully slow lately so there’s no way I’d go up only one processor tier when I have the option of going up two tiers.

Edited: I had originally posited here that the 5c was potentially pricier than it seemed because the back couldn’t be swapped out easily like its predecessors, so you had to factor in the cost of going through Apple’s expensive repair path if you scratched up the camera lense as I am prone to doing. However, Friendly Internet Helpers have since pointed out that this easy back panel swap-out actually hasn’t been around since the 4S. My bad. (It IS possible with a 5; it’s just a pain in the ass.)

-I will be getting a 5s the second I can hop online and pre-order one. After much deliberation, House Roberts is sticking with overpriced AT&T as our carrier, but we will drop text messaging from our plan after the comp period I wheedled them into is over. I looked into switching to T-Mobile but I’m just not convinced the coverage is sufficient. 1 I’m still debating 32GB or 64GB, because I love having a massive music and podcast library and I mistrust streaming and cloud services, but realistically I haven’t been all that pinched for space on my 32GB 4S (or its 32GB 3GS predecessor), and on the one hand what’s a hundred bucks for two years of hard drive freedom but on the other hand why not save it. I’m also deliberating gold or black, because I dig the gold in theory (and amusement), but I can’t ignore the dings on my white 4S nor John Siracusa’s sage point that a white surround means the screen white will never be as brilliant seeming as when it’s next to a black surround. (Feel free to weigh in on either of these minor remaining decisions if you think you can sway me; Decision Time looms!) It’s a little bit of a bummer that the pre-order time is during the XOXOfest party. I’m not invited, but I still plan to be in Portland networking and hanging out with friends, so I hope everyone considers it socially acceptable for an entire bar/room full of people to stop mid-sentence and fire up the Apple Store app, haha.

-I only really care about the new camera. I mean, I’m pleased by the fingerprint stuff, and 64-bit seems just snappy to me for development down the road, but I don’t really care about that stuff. No, what I’m stoked about is the camera. The warmer flash color, the burst mode, and the increased stabilization are all going to be AMAZING for my business, in which I often take random shots of clients for their online dating profiles. I do work with a professional photographer sometimes, but some clients are too cheap or busy to schedule a photography add-on with her, and besides I snap pics of friend-clients all the time for free. (I’m no pro, but I know what you need to look great in an online dating context. Subscribe to my newsletter if you wish to also have this knowledge.) I also just snap casual vanity pics of myself, my husband, my cat, and whatever I find pretty (or ugly) for social media purposes, especially with the advent of The Cover Image. 2 (Oh, but I don’t care about slow-motion video, although go nuts if that’s your thing.)

-I’m quite frustrated the 4S is still on the market. Wanna know why? Because I want more STUFF. I’m a huge fan of third-party accessories—car chargers, pretty docks, speakers, etc. I love when we stay in hotels that have little clock radios that we can plug our iPhones into. And for MANY years now, the 30-pin connection has been standard. When I bought my 2006 Scion xA brand new, you could get an iPod connectivity option that worked with the iPhone and as far as I know still does. I was too cheap for that, but I’d do it now… except the marketplace is not adapting to the Lightning, er, adaptor. I still see so much crap out there that’s 30-pin-only. And as long as the 4S remains the free with contract option, I don’t think designers and manufacturers are sufficiently motivated by market pressure to update. There are still people who will buy that crap, especially if it’s discounted. But I LOVE accessories, and I look forward to when the new Lightning standard is fully adopted and we can all get on board with a more diverse marketplace of compatible accessories. (They still need to kill off the iPad 2, and I expect them to do that in October so I’m annoyed that the 4S is still a little old-tech thorn in my digital side.) Maybe I’m wrong; maybe lots of awesomesauce Lightning accessories are finally going to flood the market. But I don’t think so. I think the 4S has to die its death (presumably next year) before we see a real accessory Renaissance, and well, that annoys me.

The iPhone 5c with a case.-I mistrust first-party cases. The 5c-designed case seems pretty, but I really hate the stupid ill-designed peekaboo holes placement. Irksome. The leather 5s case looks lovely, and I might pick one up, but I’m concerned that an Apple-designed case will not have a sizable enough headphone aperture for non-Apple headphones, which will be an Original iPhone type problem. (Every model since then has done away with the recessed headphone jack, but I found that, with a case on, my 3GS and 4S often couldn’t accommodate non-apple headphones. And the overpriced recessed adapters available at the time were, predictably, utter crap.) Because of the headphone aperture issue, I mistrust these cases, until I can get my actual hands on one and try it out with headphone cables that I probably will never have on hand when I’m out shopping. (I will be in Portland on Preorder Day so maybe I’ll pick one up tax free if the lines aren’t too insane and just return it if it sucks, sigh.) That one Apple iPad case with the back on it was such an overwhelming failure that I am skeptical about Apple suiting up their own equipment properly. (Don’t get me started on how there’s no first-party car charger or screen protector.) I also hated those iPhone 4 bumpers. I dunno. I don’t think cases are their strong suit.

-I’m stoked to be in the club. I’ve been an iPhone owner from the first gen, and Grant and I have traded models ever since. (I had first, I bought him 3G, I got 3GS, he got 4, I got 4S, he got 5.) Despite my long iPhone user history, I’ve never actually had the shiny new thing on the same day as everyone else. I’m pretty stoked! I’m much more of an Apple nerd and tech nerd in general than I ever was before, so it’ll be fantastic to be on the same wavelength as all the other overly picky entitled tech whiners. Wooooo!

-I’m not done whining. Now that we’ve gotten the phone we all wanted, I am desperate for a retina iPad Mini and an updated Thunderbolt display in the skinny new iMac chassis. Hurry up, Apple! 

-One final whine: 5c and 5s? Not 5C and 5S? REALLY? Steve Jobs would never I mean just

It’s not just me. Maybe hire someone to whip up a goddamn style guide. Heck, I’ll do it for free.

  1. I like GSM better than CDMA for dull I won’t go into here, so I was never considering other technologies. Ask me if you really wanna know why.
  2. Sigh. I hate cover images. I already feel stressed out by the prospect of having to come up with multiple different avatars and, you know, content. I can never come up with anything polished and cute and unique enough for multiple cover images across all the many different profiles I have, both personal and business. A sexier camera does make this task easier. Yay!
TV above the fireplace

TV above the fireplace

Ever since flat screen TVs took over the old cathode ray tube models, people have been mounting them on the wall, causing the earth’s interior design community to have a collective cow. Wall-mounting is so practical, though! It saves valuable floor and furniture space since TVs no longer have to rest atop a bulky media cabinet, eating up precious living room real estate. 1 When we toured a zillion homes before settling on this one, we saw living rooms with no TV or a wall-mounted TV, often above the fireplace, and an increasing number of finished basement dens with the “big” non-wall-mounted TV. People are changing the way they use their homes and view their TVs, and I think interior design is foolish to resist this shift. 2

We subsisted mainly on the projector in our finished den for two years, but then we sucked it up and bought a living room TV, mainly for parties and entertaining. We’re SO GLAD we did; we spend way more time on the main floor of our house now, enjoying natural light and sunsets and open windows while still being able to consume the media we love. I kind of can’t believe we waited this long; having a TV upstairs has really made us happier homeowners, and everything about our upstairs living room feels friendlier and more welcoming now. A TV also helps us figure out better furniture placement, and it just generally dictates how the room is used. And we spend more Couple Time there, since now we can play co-op games in the same space without me feeling like I have to slink down to the basement-cave. 3

After researching the right tech, size, price point, and features, we got our TV at Best Buy and paid them to mount it above our (functional, brick, wood-burning) fireplace.4 I know hanging a TV above a fireplace is a design sin to many, but it really is the only space that makes sense in our living room. I styled it in with a bunch of little knick-nacks that help hide all the cords and that blend it in a bit. We eventually hope to get hard-wired sconces flanking it, but given how pricey the rewiring and drywall is, for now we’re happy to just suck it up and use these lamps I got at a consignment shop. 5

This may sound insane, but aside from thinking ahead about how many HDMI ports we would actually need (answer: more than two, eventually) here’s my only TV purchasing regret: I actually am constantly bothered by the uneven bezel width around our LG model, and I wish we’d paid the several hundred dollars more for a similar Samsung choice that had a thin but even bezel all the way around. I realize that’s not a logically sound way to spend money, and that no one but me and Grant will ever notice or care about this, but it bugs me and next time around I think I’ll lobby him for the better industrial design aesthetic. 6

A larger shot of our TV and surrounding elements.

You can see my TV and fireplace here as they relate to the rest of the room—our front door is to the left, with only the storm door closed right now, and then a big blah but functional table/shelving unit house our DVR and consoles to the right. Beyond that is a corner window obscured by an enormous cat tree I promised not to move until Trumpy kicks the kitty bucket someday. I hate that black cabinet, but we needed something for the DVR and XBox 360, and this was $20 at our local thrift store. It’s solid, it already had a hole in the back for cords, and I don’t care if humidity or moisture from my plants screws up the already crappy finish.

Since we don’t really have a proper foyer/entry area, the spot just past the front door is where we put the mirror that used to be above the mantel. This works really well to have a sort of “check yourself” area before leaving the house. And while the TV above the fireplace isn’t perfect, I think/hope I worked it in OK. You don’t see it at all when you first walk in, because it’s behind you. Many clients don’t even notice that we have a TV until they leave, if at all.

A picture of my TV, styled in with antiques and other decorative objects.

The other day when I was rearranging the knick-nacks to add in some new antiques, I realized we are like the opposite of the Islamic design principle of aniconism. We have SO MUCH flora and fauna! Let’s see, there’s a brass owl, a ceramic rabbit, a steel larch tree, a glass hedgehog, a porcelain cow, a crochet cat, a jade dragon, a brass apple bell, and a ceramic foo dog. And that’s just the ones I can obviously identify in this photo. Plus there are subtler things like the floral pattern on one of my Voluspa candles, a ceramic vase that looks like a weird seed pod, and a viney pattern to the photo frame. And behind the Kinect upon which the kitty rests, there are some glass birds and some floral cream and sugar porcelains just to make it not look weird and bare back there. We are veritably obsessed with nature at House Roberts.

I also keep thinking maybe I should blend the TV in better by painting the fireplace bricks a dark gray or black. Ever since we bought the place I’ve been uncertain what to do with the fireplace. Redoing anything with actual stone/masonry seems insanely expensive and pointless since trends cycle back around and we may end up hating something new and wanting to go back to this original 1947 brick and wood look, ya know? Plus, while I dislike the terra cotta floor tiles, they do blend in pretty subtly and I don’t mind the actual brick or the wood mantel now. I maintain Pinterest boards for both TV disguises and fireplaces, and I keep thinking about what I could do to snazz this up, but I haven’t been inspired to inject change into this particular area of our home. I think I’ll wait and see how things look once we get our lovely gray Farrow & Ball paint up on the walls before we go too crazy! My dream fireplace would be in a marble like Carrara, but not too mod and not too traditional, and probably something with a little tan or gold veining in it too to tie in with all our warm wood floors and trim. I just don’t see it being worth the expenditure when this one feels fine enough to me, and we have loads of more functional and urgent updates like windows and a deck.

Anyway, the whole reason I bothered putting these ramblings into a blog post was because Jenny of Little Green Notebook posted about how she’s putting her TV above her fireplace. The woman is a professional interior designer, with a massive blog following, so clearly she’s got hecka great taste. If she can do it, so can we! :)

  1. This presents new challenges, though, since most of the “smart” TVs out there aren’t all that smart yet, so we still have to connect one or more bulky devices to our TVs with annoying unsightly cables. At least devices like the Apple TV are small enough to be worked into a typical mantel; not so with consoles like an XBox or with most physical disk readers. I expect this to change over the next five to ten years, removing the need for any media cabinet at all eventually. But it’s a slow process and it’s expensive to adopt all the new tech.
  2. I also think a TV hung up high is subtler than one shoved in a corner looming at you. And we don’t find the viewing angle at all troublesome, ergonomically; if anything, I think it encourages better posture/neck angles, and is easier to view when lying down on a couch.
  3. I get so sick of the misguided “Kill Your TV” mantra I received as a kid; TV is so much smarter and sharper and higher quality than it ever has been. After all, we’re watching incredibly creative projects like LOST and Breaking Bad and Orphan Black and Archer, not Hoarders Who Horde or The Real Housewives of Shut Up Already. (And lest ye feel judged, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with watching that stuff, it just doesn’t speak to me at all. And I don’t really get TV as a zoning out mechanism for the most part, because I prefer to zone out in other ways. But whatever works, man! Quit whining about killing TV and go find some super high quality program that captures YOUR interests!)

    Also, we can entertain our friends better. Whether you admit it or not, cartoons and games are GREAT for calming a fussy kid, and now that we have a TV with a couple gaming consoles hooked up in our living room, we can capture the attention of babies on up to five year olds who would otherwise find it boring when we tried to interact with their parents. I assume our TV will come in handy when we have kids of our own, too. ;)

  4. This was a complicated, stupid, expensive process, fraught with insanely ineffective bureaucracy BS and numerous hidden fees. I managed to get them to knock off a couple hundred bucks for being such incredible nitwits about the whole thing, but I urge you to not do what I did. I’m not very handy or confident when it comes to big structurally dependent projects like this, but I would absolutely DIY this process if I had to do it over again. If you DO hire it out, save every single receipt and get written quotes with names and employee numbers for every single aspect of the process if you have a big box retailer do it, and tell them you want the wood-only installment but you want the team to bring masonry tools just in case, and that you’ll pay for the masonry upcharge at that time if and only if it’s truly necessary. Also, insist on waiving any kind of consultation appointments. It’s a totally unnecessary upcharge, like gold-plated USB cables.
  5. I paid more than those lamps were worth to get modern drum shades put on them at my local lamp shop, because I can just never find ready-made lamp shades that look anywhere near as nice as the hand-made ones do. I consider this expense totally worth it. If you have a lamp whose shade is irking you, I urge you to visit your local lamp store and look into this. They tried on multiple harps until they found the right one, and they adjusted everything perfectly so everything sits at just the right height, lighting up the room but not blinding anyone with an inadvertent glimpse of exposed bulb.
  6. I literally still haven’t bought a single humidifier because none of them look like this.
Designer collections at big box stores

Designer collections at big box stores

I’ve seen this new business fad in home décor and fashion over the last few years; sought-after designers like Missoni and Jonathan Adler releasing budget-friendly collections at cheaper retailers like Target and JCPenney, respectively. I’ve always kind of wondered how this worked; with some like Missoni everything sold out in mere hours, so it was impossible to see how well it stood up. But with Adler, I was able to check out some pieces at my local JCP… and I was APPALLED at the quality.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s not appalling on its own, necessarily. It’s about the same caliber as I would expect from other low-priced crap I’d buy at Penney’s. But I specifically examined his Elizabeth shower curtain, Alexa throw pillow, and Bleecker sofa. Let the whining begin! (Proto-whine; HOLY URLS BATMAN. JCP is not skilled at that part. It actually literally says “dotcom” as part of the link structure. Sigh. I’ll code it nicely, don’t worry. And also they code the sites so you can’t right click to download images on product pages, but if you just do so from their search results page, it’s this handy TIFF tool that allows you to set the exact dimensions and it scales up in fairly high resolution. Um, thanks guys! OK, on to the design stuff for real now.)

Exhibit A: Elizabeth reversible Greek key shower curtain, $35

Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler Elizabeth Shower Curtain, sold at JCPenney

This looks lovely, right? Classy and high-end and aaah, reversible. More things should be reversible that can be, because why the heck not. But not this, turns out. The fabric is this incredibly cheap totally sheer polyester, so the side with only a border is a completely impractical choice since the other side totally shows through even with no light source behind it. (Their web tool hid THAT nicely.) The stitching around the hems is terrible, uneven, and on a silky synthetic that frays. And the top openings for shower curtain rings aren’t grommets, they’re just cheaply cut and barely sewn buttonhole-like slits, with filaments of the polyester fabric already fraying badly on the brand-new model I unboxed to inspect. Er, sorry I didn’t fold it up as beautifully, but really, let’s just call it a service to your shoppers to warn them away from such shoddy merchandise.

The thing is, I wouldn’t even care if it were cheap quality if it were also a cheap price point. But I feel like $35 for a shower curtain that feels like it should be available for $10 at Walmart doesn’t do the Jonathan Adler brand justice, you know? A perfectionist like me looks at this, assumes he’s not all that picky about quality standards for ANYTHING he puts his name on, and dismisses the idea of buying even one of his pricey Full Brand shower curtains because I just assume it won’t meet my expectations either. Perhaps that’s snotty and unrealistic, but it’s a real account of what my Subconscious Compulsive Shopper did.

Exhibit B: Alexa Oblong Decorative Pillow, $32 original, $19.99 sale

Alexa Oblong Decorative Pillow, Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler for JCPenney

I must admit that I’m very cheap when it comes to throw pillows. I wouldn’t totally balk at the $32 price tag, but I’d be much more likely to buy it at somewhere between $10 and $20. What can I say? Blame years of Ikea shopping while broke in my 20s. But anyway. This isn’t about my weirdly cheap habits, but rather, about this pillow’s weirdly cheap construction. For you see, this is flimsy thin fabric which shows the lumpy awkward inner stuffing and label (who puts a label on the inside of a black throw pillow?) and the tape that creates the design is also cheap and poorly attached. I mean, I knew it was tape and not custom fine silk embroidery or crewel work; I get that. But the whole thing felt much less refined than the look I feel like it’s trying to create, and again, at the original price point this seemed ridiculous. At least the piping was nice enough.

This other pillow was nicer seeming, although if you inspected it too closely you saw that the machine-stitched detail around the edges of the key design didn’t always match up and revealed that the design beneath was actually just one piece of printed fabric rather than two fabrics sewn together/appliquéd, which is again the look you’re going for with this sleek elegant motif, in my opinion.

All in all, the pillows underwhelmed for the price point. Not as bad as the other items I inspected, but still nothing special up close in person. And maybe you’d argue that it doesn’t matter and it even calls itself “Decorative,” but you know what? In our household, throw pillows get used. We’re constantly piling them up as lumbar or head supports, and I don’t see that changing no matter what sofa we end up with.

Exhibit C: Blecker 80″ Sofa, $2,795 original, $1,675 sale

Bleecker 80" Sofa, Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler for JCPenney
We are indeed shopping for a new sofa (or hopefully a matching pair), but this was not a true contender. It’s way too weird and modern shaped, and even the sale price is way out of the budget for this Ikea girl. Even though I know Ikea sofas can be lame, we have our eye on some of their higher end models and anyway this was not on sale when I put my butt in it. It’s actually quite a bit cuter in person and calmer and less mod looking than I had expected, but it felt misproportioned (low to a fault) and very thin and cheap. The foam used is not high resilience at all; I don’t see it standing up to the test of time. And while I actually like the color better in person than I anticipated, the fabric feels cheaper.

It’s also a much more tonal white-on-nearly-blue than I realized, in that wide kinda mid-century tweed that cats love to claw the shit out of, and the pillows don’t match which I guess is the trend right now but I feel like if you sell pillows with a sofa, match them. These pillows are ever so slightly warmer gray, but like, not different enough to clearly contrast, like I would think they were just faded or purchased to sort of try to match but ultimately fail which is a terrible look. But I digress. The quality? Fine for a cheap sofa, perhaps even fine at the sale price point if you’re in love with the design and fabric and everything, but CERTAINLY not fine for the nearly $3k original price. You’re almost better off buying from Jonathan Adler Proper at that point, since those sofas are constructed with vastly better materials. (I know because I’ve wistfully sat on many of them.)

I don’t know. I realize I’m a huge snot, and a tester and noticer of details and tiny faults by nature, and picky by nature, and one who tends to aspire to products well out of a realistic budget. I realize I’m a conundrum of a shopper, a perfectionist who’s unwilling to pay for perfection (even though I *DO* buy all Apple tech now). But these just all felt like cheap-ass products with a luxury label and a luxury price tag, sold at a retailer whose customers are notoriously not into over-spending. I would love to hear an interview in which Jonathan Adler was asked to comment on the quality of this collection and the overall experience of launching a “budget” collection like this. As an Adler fan who’s unwilling to shell out for his main collection, and was thus SUPER STOKED for an affordable version, I feel like it cheapens and dilutes a swanky designer’s braaaaaand. And while I like to fancy myself savvier than to fall prey to brand worship, let’s be realistic: I totally do associate higher-end quality and prices with some brand I know to represent higher-end merchandise. I suspect that the amount of shopping research I do as we decorate our home would infiltrate even the most cautious, brand-disloyal of folks. (Or not. But it affects me yet I try to remain aware of it and balanced in how I make decisions.)

Quality really is hard to come by at reasonable prices. As much as I knock on Ikea, I’m liking the stuff I see in their higher-priced Stockholm collection more and more, ya know? It’s still cheap, but it’s high end cheap, where as this Adler Happy Chic collection is stuff that’s still expensive even though it’s low-end expensive, IMO. Maybe it’s just easier to brand up than down. But not always; I totally viewed L’Oréal’s attempt at a salon-caliber line of hair products as being the same cheap crap as their drugstore brand. But Ikea’s lower-end stuff has always been exceptional value overall, so maybe that’s what sways me? I’d be curious to hear other picky shoppers’ input on this if I could ever figure out how to properly re-enable blog comments, heh.

First Finder cleanup results

First Finder cleanup results

Things I learned:

1) You can just delete all those f-cking .dmg files. Cool! Thanks

2) When I take notes on a detailed phone conversation, event, or podcast recording session, I sure do need to jot down your full name and how I know you. Harry and Michelle, you barely made it through the cracks. (This is especially true when I know people through some social network, since I often think of them as their handle instead of their actual name. Yet I then put their full name in the file name of my note-taking doc. Way to go, Virginia.

3) Boy, do I ever not want your downloadable PDF about anything ever. Suck it up and make me a .mobi/.epub that syncs and clouds and whatever else if you ever want me to read your thing.

4) My cat is well documented.