The project was a full website rebuild with new e-commerce functionality, all within a responsive design. It took a great deal of time and effort, but the client was ultimately very happy with the finished product. In the process, I was able to sharpen my front-end development skills and learned a lot about handwriting instruction frameworks. There is still a standard that seems to be ubiquitous mainly because it was marketed effectively by the creator. Appy Therapy is, to my untrained eye, a far superior framework that is fighting an uphill battle against an established brand. I hope and believe that my work on this project will expose more children and instructors to an easier way to learn and teach handwriting.
Each autumn, my friend Carl notes and ranks the pumpkin beer he drinks. He invited me to join him this year and so it was that an otherwise quiet Saturday night was spent ingesting an alarming amount of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and alcohol.
Eleven different beers comprised the rogues gallery, and each was carefully graded from 0 to 5 on appearance, nose, tastiness, finish, and what we called “Platonic Pumpkin.” To infuse the proceedings a whiff of scientific method, my wife agreed to pour these drinks in another room and prevent names, reputations and label art from biasing our ratings.
Given the high degree of subjectivity and sheer quantity of beer, our marks revealed a surprising amount of consistency with three distinct groups emerging.
Clear worst of the bunch was the Sam Adams Pumpkin Batch, an odious concoction with soapy overtones and a cumulative score of 11 from a possible 50. The Blue Point Pumpkin Ale (18), Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat (18), and surprisingly the Dogfish Head Punkin Ale (19) rounded out the losers.
The divisive Southern Tier Pumpkin (23) was denounced by me but championed by Carl, ending up in limbo. The only non-ale tasted was the Redhook Out of Your Gourd Pumpkin Porter (24), a disappointing effort with trace amounts of pumpkin flavor. Neither the New Belgium Pumpkick (25), Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale (26), or Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale (27) made much of an impression.
Two beers stood out from the rest: Schlafly’s Pumpkin Ale (31) and our winner, Alewerks Pumpkin Ale with 35 out of 50. These finely balanced beers struck the best balance between expression and restraint, offering full pumpkin flavor but remaining drinkable.
I thank Carl for including me in this exercise, but I have vowed never to drink a pumpkin beer again. The cloying aromatics and dreadful puns are simply too much for one sitting, and the time has come to cut the gourd.
Word is that REI updated its logo. Unfortunately, it’s awkward and ugly.
While the company was attempting to reference a vintage version of their logo, this represents a step backward of another kind. A hodgepodge of angles, rounded edges and line thicknesses means that none of it works.
My approach would have been to clean up the “R” and leave it at that. If the inclusion of “co-op” were a requirement (which I’m sure it was), I might have tried something like this instead:
This morning, I got to bask in the warm glow of my long-past high school soccer career.
Back in the late ’90s, I was a goalkeeper for the Singapore American School, and captained the side during in my junior and senior years, which were also the first two years at the school for Coach Zitur. He recently selected his Dream XI, covering the 18 years he’s managed the team. It’s an honor to be the goalkeeper for this side, and reminds me of the fine players and men who were my teammates: Chris Carroll, Tim Lonergan, Yosuke Yamamoto, Jeremy Chang, Ben Regan, Drew Calvert, Kevin Scott, and Collin White.
Not included, but fondly remembered is Jason Peck, a solid fullback and good friend who recently passed away.
One of my favorite books as kid was Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader. Packed with trivia that I would regurgitate ad nauseum to any family member that would listen, one of my favorite pages dealt with predictions of the future that turned out to be amazingly dumb.
Still, I can’t resist the temptation to imagine our future world and make a few predictions of my own. Here are some of which I remain particularly convinced. If they don’t come to pass, I hope that they will at least be amusing.
- My friend, Scott, also believes that “2035, smart cars will be ubiquitous the way smart phones are in 2015. There will be fewer traffic deaths, especially those linked to drunk driving, better traffic flow, and less parking issues. I think we’ll just share smart cars by participating in a something like a ride share – for $500/month a car will pick you up wherever you want and drop you off wherever you say, on demand. You won’t own your car, but we’ll all have so much more time, space, and safety. Smart cars are a smart bet for the future.”
- I believe this also, and will add that by 2050, cars will run on some sort of rail or wire system with centralized power, rather than each car needing to convey its own energy source.
- By 2040, I believe that insects will make up more than 25% of human protein consumption, supplanting factory farming of cows, chickens, and pigs.
- By 2040, I believe that the United States Government will offer financial incentives for smaller families in order to slow or reverse population growth. By 2060, family sizes may be legally constricted.
- By 2050, humans will be earnestly engaged in extraterrestrial resource harvesting. This includes bringing these resources back to earth for refinement, and also establishing working colonies on other planets.
- By 2030, the concept of private life will be radically different. Facial recognition software and connections between publicly available data will allow anyone to quickly and easily summon large amounts of information on anyone they happen to see. There will also by a significant market for products that help obfuscate a person’s identity and corrupt their publicly available personal data.
The future will be frighteningly fast-paced. While governments will continue to improve protection of their citizens from physical violence, they will be increasingly powerless to prevent financial and psychological criminality.