OregonBusiness magazine features Gone Raw in their July cover story: 10 Coolest Tech Startups You’ve Never Heard Of. Take a look and Meet some of the coolest startups running around Silicon Forest today. You’ll find us there, along with a handy drink-finding site (so useful in these hot, hot days in Portland), among others.
Monthly Archives: June 2008
Congratulations to our friends at Dolcezza Artisanal Gelato who are celebrating their grand opening of their Bethseda location this evening. If you are in Maryland, head over to 7111 Bethesda Lane, Bethesda from 6pm to 11pm. We hear there will be plenty of gelato sample and an ensuing mass gelato pandemonium. Read more in their latest newsletter or stop by their website for tasty gelato eye candy.
Brian Libby just posted an excellent writeup on the architecture of the Olympic Mills Commerce Center (our office), by Works Partnership.
(That’s our office in this photo of Brian’s … in fact, you can see both of our scooters in the window on the left!)
A series of four courtyards cut into the warehouse with skylights to bring in natural light. These double-height courtyards, encircled by second-floor catwalks, are the most pleasant and photogenic portions of the building. They’re clad in slatted wood (made of 2×6 flooring) that was re-milled from several wood grain cribs that had been part of the tower’s grain elevator.
The new Wolf Parade album, At Mount Zoomer, is great. I’ve been listening to it for a week solid.
I came to be aware that this album was coming out because of iLike on Facebook. I’ve put in the bands I like most these days, and whenever they’ve got an album coming out, or are playing near me, I see a message. It’s great. I love it.
So the day of its release, I swung by my local record shop out of curiosity… and there it was! I bought the record… sound unheard you might say. Fifteen bucks isn’t as cheap as records used to be, but extremely reasonable considering that’s what the CD costs, and CD’s are crap. I mean, they are crap! I’ve always hated them. I’m not being an elitist record snob… I just don’t know why you’d choose a CD over a record. But I’ve been using an iPod for a long time, and that really does completely make CD’s obsolete. There’s just no point. The music might possibly sound better on the CD, depending… but most people don’t know the difference.
It’s like comparing a paperback to a hardcover book. Or like the difference between looking at art on your cell phone, versus a nice big coffee table book. The album is something. It’s big, physical, and it really puts the focus on the art. As a designer, I kinda like that. CD’s are like those tiny little booklets promoting Camel cigarettes. They’re like little crappy club flyers, wrapped in plastic garbage. Records are giant and lovely, and often have other artifacts within, as does this one.
Not only that, but it includes a coupon to download the MP3’s for free! And why not? If I had any doubt about buying the record, that certainly settled it. It doesn’t really cost them anything to throw that in, but it totally sealed the deal for me. I listen to the MP3’s at work or on the go, and when I get home I can listen to the record on our nice stereo.
With a glass of wine, of course. Not beer. Beer is crap. :)
I recently acquired a copy of High Performance Web Sites by Steve Souders, published by O’Reilly. This is a quick read but a good one. In a nutshell, it provides 14 rules for making your website perform better for your visitors, primarily by making it perform faster.
The rules are all good, but two complimentary rules stand out for me, partly because I hadn’t really thought about the best-practice way to handle stylesheets and scripts. The principles are simple, but logical, and worth following.
Put stylesheets at the top. Web browser software employs progressive rendering, meaning that they’re trying to show the page as it loads from the server. If you put your CSS too far down in the HTML of your page, web browsers will delay rendering your page until they’ve seen the CSS. Since the “progress indicator” of a website is the appearance of the page itself as it loads, visitors will think your site is slower than it actually is! Put your stylesheet links in your document HEAD section. (And use the LINK tag, not the @import feature.)
Put scripts at the bottom. This one surprised me. With scripts, progressive rendering is blocked for all content below the script. This means that moving your script links to the bottom of the page will make it appear to load faster. And if you think about it, your scripts should mainly be there to enhance your page, and won’t typically even do anything until your whole page is loaded anyway! So move them to the bottom.
All in all, I enjoyed this book. Is it worth $30? Maybe not, because it’s a very quick read, and it’s quite technical. But web design can still be a confusing and still-young profession, and I really appreciate knowing the best way to do things. The above points are good examples – I’ve always put both scripts and stylesheets at the top of my pages, but not any more. A half-second difference in the time a page takes to load might seem small, but I’d prefer to make the fastest websites possible, and all it takes is a little bit more knowledge.
Short and sweet – priceless Seth Godin advice on price pressure:
Your sales force and your customers may scream that you need to lower your price…It’s not true…You need to increase your value. If people don’t want to pay, it’s because you’re not delivering enough value for the money you’re charging…You’re not selling a commodity unless you want to.
In recognition of their groundbreaking contributions to architecture, furniture design, manufacturing and photographic arts, designers Charles and Ray Eames will be honored next summer with a pane of 16 stamps designed by Derry Noyes of Washington, DC. If you’ve ever sat in a stackable molded chair, you’ve experienced their creativity. Perhaps best known for their furniture, the Eameses were husband and wife as well as design partners. Their extraordinary body of creative work — which reflected the nation’s youthful and inventive outlook after World War II — also included architecture, films and exhibits. Without abandoning tradition, Charles and Ray Eames used new materials and technology to create high-quality products that addressed everyday problems and made modern design available to the American public. (source)
Overall, the collection interesting, especially in its focus of portraying the various creative pursuits of the couple. There are some obvious choices, such as the molded plywood chair and the iconic Eames Lounge Chair, which has been in continuous production since it was created in 1956.
What’s missing? Charles and Ray are incredibly photogenic, yet there is just one photo of them (harkening to younger days). I would have loved to see their motorcycle image on a stamp – it is so darned classic.
These bentos are killer; they include three separate containers (hot or cold food) and a handy stainless steel carrier (while you can find a traditional bento box on Amazon, it’ll run $60 to $90 a pop – or $20 at our local asian market market). Bentos are handy to carry (fit well in our scooter buckets), perfectly portioned and make eating in fun!
These are no ordinary lunch boxes; people get serious about designing their bento creations! My favorite inspiration has come from a few flickr groups: Mr. Bento Porn, Vegetarian Bento and vegan bento.
Our first tentative foray was safe with cauliflower soup, salad, strawberries and brazil nuts. Once our accessories arrive, we’ll be getting more creative and tracking ours in our creations in flickr.
Our friends over at Literary Arts are putting on a special kind of Halloween celebration by playing host to one of our most beloved authors, David Sedaris. We just snagged our tickets – hope to see you there! Need a reminder of how absolutely funny Sedaris is in person? Check out his recent visit to the John Stewart Show, where he explains the inspiration for the title of his newest novel, When You are Engulfed in Flames and his Japanese style technique for quitting smoking.
After spending a pleasant afternoon with a certain father and grandfather, I was drawn to a number of Father’s Day related tidbits.
Lessons from My Father: The Outlaw by Juan F. Thompson is a touching memory of lessons learned from Hunter S. Thompson on love, freedom, alcohol and big guns.
I learned a lot from my father, topics ranging from guns and dynamite to crooked presidents and the importance of loyalty, but not by sitting on his lap. He wasn’t that kind of a father. Instead, I learned by observing him, listening to him, and reading his writing. It turns out that these are the lessons that really matter. Words can be nothing more than words. Actions have meaning. Actions matter.
More than any other, though, a few moments for Barack Obama’s remarkable Father’s Day speech.