Saturday, February 02, 2013
Someone asks why I don't write that much here any more, "instead of just cut-and pasting."  Exhaustion, mostly.  80 hour weeks will do that.  But the plan was never a curated selection of Serious Texts.  I wanted something like collage, images and overlapping voices, mine among others', fine art and recipes and mountains and pictures of my cat and various friends and loved ones all jumbled up together.  Bakhtinian polyphony!

Also, like my friend JT, I've intuited, lately, that spending time writing about in-process projects takes time away from completing them. The lack of recent non-Street View pictures here doesn't mean they're not being made, just that, these days, I'm more interested in presenting finished, or mostly finished work, as opposed to blogging about the production process.

"Still to come, bide your time." (Warren Tallman)
Bookmark in used copy of 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food: Good Vibrations warranty card ("Congratulations on Your Purchase!")

Girls Send a Hello Kitty Doll Into Almost-Space, Surely Igniting a Stuffed Animal Space Race

"Ever build a model rocket? Ever play with a Hello Kitty doll? This video is both of those things, simultaneously, and the fact that a group of seventh grade girls launched Hello Kitty most of the way up to the Kármán line (the boundary between Earth and the mysteries of the universe) should encourage you to do something science-y this Saturday, like going to the zoo or digging up a public park in the name of amateur paleontology."

Emailed to me this morning by L.; Kato and Rose likely working on their rocket right now.

I watched the amazing video with the sound off.  One of the best things the interwebs has recently served up, equal parts Prometheus and mad-science and The Mouse & His Child and that old 18th-century sublime.  Plus, one very brave little traveller in the face of a much, much larger world.
Friday, February 01, 2013

HI DADdy, itz me gREy Kitteh. MuMz siCk so I HeLP heR wiTH YARn tANggLINg aND sITTIng. THiS kEYboARD iS hArd. ShE iS SLEeP nOW. BeFoRE mUM SLeeP, shE seZ, oH, if oNLy mOAr KrunchYs foR GoOd KIttEhs. No moAr KrunchYs. KiTTeH sAd, buT tHEn Haz IDEA, asK DAD. So KIttEh asK DAD: y no moAr krunchYs? Y You No lOVe KIttEh? PlZ BrInG krunchYs. BETwEen KITteh and DAD. No woRRy muM - no tELL her. MAil sLOt ok. PLEaSE bRINg SooN. KIttEh dOn't No wHEn sHe WAke Up. Kthxbai.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What I Learned From This Thoughtful 52-Word Assessment of Brad Phillips' New Exhibition @ CSA Space

1. We should work harder to address our visitors' diverse interests.

2.  No matter how straight forwardly an artist presents content, some viewers will persist in trivializing or ironizing it, thereby exempting themselves from having to think seriously about it.

3. "That's not writing, it's typing."  (Capote on Kerouac)

Image credit: Brad Phillips, Goodbye Vancouver, 2013
Amazon Missed On All 5 Key Metrics: Business Model In Jeopardy While Analysts And Investors Are Pleased

"Analysts are dead wrong to point to gross margin increases as a sign of a healthy business model, as that metric is a false indicator of potential with Amazon. Amazon is simply transferring costs below the line so that while gross margin goes up, net margin will continue to drop (case in point: in the 4th quarter net margin was cut in half as gross margin improved 330 basis points)." 

Also, echoing my own conclusions:

"The Amazon business model, while good at delivering outsized growth, is wrought with profit peril. It draws massive pricing competition in its core markets and when coupled with its move to consignment distribution through FBA, unit growth has far outpaced revenue and delivered significant ASP erosion. These factors have driven the cost of fulfillment up dramatically, and in spite of improving gross margins, had led to net income dropping substantially. Trends show that these economic impacts on the income statement cannot be overcome anytime soon, and attainability of lofty profits as forecasted by analysts is in jeopardy. Anything Amazon does to alter the business model (end Prime, separate Instant Video into a paying subscription, raise shipping costs, sell Hardware at a profit, end discounting, etc...) will lead to reduced growth, so there is no easy answer for management. In spite of the obvious risks, investors have resoundingly approved the business model evidenced by the current bubble level valuation. Due to that, I believe Amazon will continue its business practices to feed that monster, setting up a very interesting short opportunity for 2013."

ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing): The King (& all that crazy machinery)
Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tonight's soundtrack

Relevant to my interests.
Monday, January 28, 2013
"When you get older, your mind slows down and you don’t have a lot of energy, and you’ve used up a lot of your ideas.  You’ve really got to work to do it. It’s exhausting. You think sitting in a room and thinking things would be easy, but it’s not."
Sunday, January 27, 2013

"Rennie added that the world is far more competitive since he left high school and sold homes belonging to his friends’ parents. He stated that his company wouldn’t hire a high-school dropout today. The most important lesson of all, he declared, is 'learning to avoid assholes.'"

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