Yellow Sunshine

Usually I’m at the other end of the camera, so there are very few photos of me when I’m traveling.

Which is why this photo of Oliver and me in Berlin, along with Sam Stewart and Matthew Richard, taken in 2010, is such a nice thing to stumble across.

We all happened to be in Berlin the same week, and we met up at Yellow Sunshine on Weiner Straße one night for burgers and debrief.

I was reminded of that night this afternoon when I encountered Matthew behind the counter at The Kettle Black, where he’s working for the summer (and where he’s making fantastic coffee, having honed his skills, I am told, in the big city).

In Berlin with Sam, Matthew and Oliver

We were all so young then.

When in doubt, blame the Volkswagen

One of the confounding aspects of our two weeks spent in a VW camper in Europe this summer was that I struggled to keep my mobile phone charged from the camper’s electric outlets.

The design of the camper’s electrical system didn’t help: there are two power outlets behind the driver’s seat: one works while the camper is on the road, the other when it’s parked and plugged into the mains. Meaning that I had to switch back and forth at least twice a day, and, what’s more, to remember which was which.

But still, the phone would often end up dead in the middle of the day, for reasons I couldn’t explain, and I became convinced that the VW electrical system was flaky.

It never occured to me that the micro USB cable I was using to charge the phone would be at fault. But it was.

Returning home to the Reinventorium I found, sure enough, that this cable, the one that came with the phone, one worked if it was plugged in “just so,” and exactly what that meant changed every day.

Why I opted to believe that a brand new $60,000 vehicle was at fault when it was, in truth, a $2.00 cable, is beyond me.

Speaking of which: what’s up with the price of micro USB cables in retail stores? I went over to The Source in the Confederation Court Mall to buy a replacement for this faulty cable and all they could sell me was this $24.99 Blackberry-branded cable. I finally found one for “only” $14.99 up at Target. But still, when Monoprice retails these cables for $1.11 it makes the local pricing, even if you factor the acceptable cost of “I just had to walk a block instead of waiting a week,” seems like highway robbery.

For $93 I could buy 100 micro USB cables from Monoprice and just pass them out on the street as a public service. Hey, maybe I should do that.

More Hangings

The answer to the question “where to put the second wire hanging system to mount even more of my collected paper works” appeared today, on the opposite wall:

Printed Ephemera Take 2

Even More

A few more items from the Gaspereau Wayzgoose along with a few more of my own items, including, from the right to left, the piece I printed in Mainz at the Gutenberg Museum, the Moon calendar I printed in 2011 in Berlin, and the You Have An Obligation to Explain I printed in the summer of 2012. And, of course, coffee bags.

Prince Edward Island School Calendar, 2014-2015

I’ve again taken the official Prince Edward Island School Calendar and updated a set of public calendar files to make it easier for parents and others to shunt the information around their digital devices. Here you go:

(Note for those of you who already had the 2013-2014 School Calendar integrated into your digital devices: you don’t need to do anything, as those addresses haven’t changed from last year).

As a member of the School Calendar Committee for the PEI Home and School Federation I again asked to have the official calendar released as structured data by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development itself, but as yet this (still) hasn’t happened.

The one where I finally find a way to hang my collection of ephemera on the wall...

Back last year, when my friends Luisa and Olle put their Malmö apartment up for sale, they had some lovely photos taken by their real estate agent, including this one of the wall in their living room, a photo that, as it happened, featured a number of the pieces of printing I’d sent them over the years:

I closely associate such a wall-of-ephemera with Olle and Luisa, and I’ve always been jealous of their sophisticated Scandanavian hanging system that makes it possible.

I tried my hand at something similar in the old Reinvented HQ on Fitzroy Street using 3M damage free hooks and a roll of twine, but I was never satisified, neither with the tautness nor with the fact that it eventually all came tumbling down.

This summer, with a collection of my own printed ephemera growing by the month, I resolved to find a solution and, after banging away in Google with search phrases like “wire rope hanging system,” I found my way to Ikea’s Digniet curtain wire, which seemed like exactly the Scandanavian hanging system I was looking for. I ordered three sets – if I was going to solve this problem, I was going to solve it everywhere – and they arrived a few weeks ago.

Tonight I finally managed to assemble the screws and anchors (not included by Ikea), electric drill and level, and, along with a handy installation guide from a woman in California and I set to work. Thirty minutes later, this is where I’ve ended up:

Dignitet Wire at Reinventorium

The work is mostly by others, the exception being the alphabet book on the far-right, which is perhaps my favourite of all the things I’ve printed, and the Thor washing machine two spots to the left (from a letterpress engraving loaned to me by Ian Scott), which I’ve always liked. Otherwise there are a few pieces from the Gaspereau Wayzgoose, some colourful letters from Drukkerijmuseum Meppel and a few of my favourite calendar pages from the letterpress calendars I’ve collected over the years.

The Digniet curtain wire system’s instructions are a little complicated to parse, being delivered in traditional “why use words when complex illustrations will do?” Ikea fashion:

The news about the screws and anchors not being included is the only information delivered with words – in 29 languages, no less! The customer is advised “for advice on suitable screw-systems, contact your local specialised dealer,” wording that makes me perhaps thankful that they opted for the illustrations rather than the words for the rest of the story.

Once I parsed the instructions – something aided greatly by the advice from California – it all turned out to be rather ingenious and very satisfyingly taut when tightened. I’m very happy with the result.

Now, to find a place for the other two…