Super Snark Sailboat

Super Snark Sailboat - Aft port view
Super Snark Sailboat - Aft port view

I just bought this sailboat, an 11′ Super Snark. I’ve wanted to learn to sail for a few years—this seemed like the perfect sailboat with which to start. It is purportedly unsinkable and very stable. The ABS clad EPS foam hull certainly seems very durable and indeed, could not possibly sink even if completely swamped.

Continue reading Super Snark Sailboat

Computers

Dan got a new MacBook Pro today. Aaron got an iPhone. Started me thinking about the computers I’ve used or owned over the years.

Prehistory

Coleco Pong – Dad had one at the little house he lived in after my parents divorced. I was maybe 8…or 9 or 10, which would be sometime 1977 – 1979.

Commodore Pet – at Heinz Semder’s import office in Brooklyn. I only really sat in front of it.

Borroughs 68000 – I took a Pascal programming course at Franklin & Marshall when I was in seventh grade. We used terminals (Honeywell or Teledyne?), but I have no idea what the OS was. Once they toured us through the Burroughs 68000 mainframe room. What a cool memory. A roomful of well organized blue refrigerator shapes. Whisking tape machines…and those massive, multiple-platter hard disk machines that were about the size of a dishwasher. Capacity? I don’t know. Each student had a chance to make a punched card—probably with our name.

Mattel Intellivision – Shared it with my step-dad for years.

Commodore Vic-20 – Dad bought this and I started learning BASIC programming. Cool sound chip, simple as it was. 1/4 audio tape storage.

Commodore 64 – My first computer. Awesome sound chip, SID. Programmed in BASIC, Logo, Pascal, broke things in 6510 assembly language. Massive external 5-1/4 floppy drive. Used GEOS for a short time before it finally fried…something in the power supply must have shorted, because when I opened it up, paths on the circuit board were warped and wavy. Melted!

Atari 1200XL – My friend Rick got this for Christmas. Best thing I did on it was write a program to make random geometric shapes. We thought they results would make great OP t-shirts.

Apple Macintosh SE – Borrowed from Casey Dixon, who would later become my wife.Apple Quadra 605 – The first computer I bought on my own.

Apple Quadra 630 - Second computer I bought.

iMac – This was Casey’s.

Apple PowerMac 8200AV

Apple iBook – Casey’s first generation iBook I think.

iMac G4 17″

Apple Powerbook G4 – One of many laptops I used at Ritter. Other machines I used there include Quadra 950 with Daystar accelerator, PowerMac 7200, PowerMac 9500, G3, G4.

Apple Powerbook G4 – 15″ Casey’s last school computer.

Apple iBook xxxx – I’m not sure which one Casey has right now.

Dell Latitude 810 – My Develisys laptop. Ah,…Microsoft Windows. Words cannot express…

iMac 24″ Intel Core Duo – No longer my current machine.

Remnants of the Reading & Columbia Railroad

Reading & Columbia Railroad

I often wonder about the possibility of combining my varied interests to create something more meaningful, more lasting, than any one avocation ever has the chance to produce. Last night while looking at my partial schematic of the former Reading & Columbia Railroad that runs through Lititz I thought the text labels on the diagram might be more understandable if I rotated them 90 degrees. This felt like the first time I thought about the railroad as a designer, not simply a rail fan. Within a short time I transformed my barely serviceable sketch into an a more lucid and artful interpretation of the subject at hand. I don’t expect that a “map” like this could matter much to anyone else, but I feel compelled to pursue the idea a bit further, and to eventually take it into the letterpress shop.

Stay tuned.

Fallen Peony

peony.gif

Here’s a small linoleum cut that I just finished. This peony will illustrate a collaborative letterpress piece I am doing with J C Groff. In the final piece the peony will print white on a medium toned paper. The body, typeset by Jim, is excerpted from a letter he sent to me. One hundred fifty finished prints will be submitted to the APA. I’ll try to remember to post the finished piece. And yes, I did notice that it has been exactly six months since I last posted to the site. Ouch.

Wood Engraving #2

ppis_engraving.jpg

This is actual size. I find that I really like the small working scale and the focus. The hands tend to cramp, though. I think this one shows a bit more control than the first attempt. Better tonal variation. Squishy letterforms. But overall worth trying again.

Wood Engraving

Trout.jpg

This was my first attempt at wood engraving, done sometime last year. It is not a good drawing. It was a technical exercise, the results of which were promising enough to permit me further study in the medium. In retrospect, I wish the modeling—the rendering of light and dark—was much more extreme. This image is very flat. Still, it has some qualities I like.

I have executed a few more wood engravings since this trout: they will be posted ‘in the fullness of time’, as my boss would say, apparently quoting Paul Rand.

Trichrome

Trichrome

Trichrome is a simple interactive diversion that I made back in 1996, when using HTML frames was still really cool (I thought). While neither a game nor a tool, Trichrome could be useful to a few, entertaining to others, and numbingly dull to the rest. This is an excercise in basic HTML. It requires only a frames-capable browser and a delight in color. There are at least 17,550 possible variations. Instructions should not be necessary.

Special Note, 02/10/05—Color frames are adjustable! Click and drag the frame border between colors in order to change the amount (relative surface area) of color. Thanks to Douglas Campbell for indicating to me that this is a cool feature that is not at all obvious.

Start Trichrome

Quonset lust

LRI_Quonset_466.jpg

I just discovered this most interesting industrial compound. These buildings comprise Landisville Railroad, Inc. (LRI), a recently defunct railroad car building and repair shop just west of Landisville, Pennsylvania. LRI is represents the end of a short spur of track that branches off the Amtrak mainline at Salunga/Landisville.

I have always liked metal quonset huts for their rugged, no-nonsense construction and sheer visual appeal. The unpaved lot on which these are situated just intensifies the feeling. Notice the traditional 6-pane windows placed as different angles—chords of the circular surface they breach. Also interesting is the scalloped metal awning over the nearest window and over the window of the building in the center background. Sweet. There are several quonsets on this compound, which I am afraid will soon be lost to progress. If I could paint…

I will try to post more shots of this location when time permits.