All posts by Andrew

Radiohead Price: Whatever You Want

I just ordered Radiohead’s new album, In Rainbows, for about $5. You can only pay in Pounds Sterling, but the price is entirely up to the buyer (so you can choose to pay £0.00 if you so desire). The business model relies on consumers paying for something they can get for free, where I think any motivation to pay nothing is actually driven by inconvenience rather than perceived value. I tend to leave pretty good tips at restaurants, so I have no trouble conceptualizing spending a little extra simply so that someone gets paid a little extra. I do think that the difficulty of making micropayments by typing in credit card numbers and similarly complicated transactions is holding back a lot commerce. I’m always optimistic that things will be more efficient in the future, but check out my third point in my 2003 post on a similar topic.
its up to you

Secret Apartment in a Mall

I’m really fascinated by this story of an artist who set up an apartment in some sort of utility area in a shopping mall parking garage: “Starting in 2003 I committed to the idea of creating a luxury apartment in the mall. Over the course of the years to come I systematically coordinated the movement of the core elements that start to define a home.”

Getting Married

I got married on September 2d at the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Getting married is a great experience – entirely positive except for the cost – yet well worth the expense. The ceremony was absolutely beautiful and I was happy to share the moment with lots of family and friends. Most of all, I’m happy to have Karen as my wife! Thanks Karen – I love you!
Weddings are typically followed by honeymoons – and mine was not an exception. We went to Barcelona and nearby Sitges to enjoy the fact that we had just been married and had saved up vacation days all year. I had been to Barcelona before, but it’s much different as a honeymooner with a job than as a traveling student. This time I actually went inside the Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlló. It was a fantastic trip.
Thanks to all who came to the wedding – and to old friends and family who couldn’t make it for being there in spirit – we’ll catch up another time.

Morrissey Cram Session

I like Morrissey, but I wouldn’t really call myself a Morrissey fan. After being invited to a Morrissey show, I decided that I should study-up so I’d know more of the songs. This involved borrowing approximately six Morrissey albums and listening only to Morrissey for several days. This made me (in order) depressed, apathetic, aloof, and finally… somewhat anti-patriotic. These emotions were conjured by the music itself, whereas the fact of my listening to the music (typically in the car at high volume levels) also made me feel somewhat embarrassed. I’m pulling out of the Home Depot parking lot with the windows down blasting “the heart feels free”, and I’m free not to make eye contact with the driver of the massive pick-up truck next to me. On the other hand, each morning I pass a construction site which features two trucks labeled “Morrissey Electric”, so his name is not totally foreign to the construction trade.
Of course, I now realize that I should have invested my efforts in listening to the latest Morrissey album over and over, because taking one or two passes at six Morrissey albums wasn’t really an effective way to “study”. In the end, Morrissey lost his voice and canceled the show – so I’m back to Bright Eyes and The National.

Road Rage

In my last post I mentioned that driving was a big change for me. Since high school, I haven’t had any kind of regular access to a car. I went off to college knowing that I didn’t want to pay for a car, and later realized I didn’t even want to drive one. I didn’t want to support an addiction to foreign oil, pollute the heavens, compromise my safety, or look for parking. I found that I much preferred living in close proximity to the things I needed, and I still want to support a sprawl-free world.
The automobile basically represents a whole lists of ethical negatives for me, while offering but a few practical positives (primarily convenience and loud, rocking, music). I was a non-driver for ten years, and a devoted non-driver for the past two years, which is evidenced by my doubling my commuting time and trekked through blazing sun, thunderstorms, blizzards, and sub-zero temperatures to get to work every day. Finally, I moved (not far) on the same day that my company moved (very far by walking standards) to create a nearly impossible drive-free commute. So I gave in.
What’s next for me? TerraPass? Carpooling? Toyota Prius? Time will tell.

I Got Engaged

On the scale of things, getting engaged is significant news. I’ve been together with my fiancée for almost five years now, and it’s time for a legal union. Getting married is really evidence of a life-long commitment. I think that commitment itself was made a long time ago, but now we’ll make it official.
We’ve been planning our wedding for a couple months now, and it should be fun. I’m learning all about the wedding business, which capitalizes on the once-in-a-lifetime mentality of engaged couples. I have that mentality too, which is unfortunate for my savings account.
Over the last half-year I’ve done two other things of significance, although these occupy a distant second and third place to getting married: (1) I bought real property, and (2) I started driving. I’ll hopefully post more about these soon.

NE Snowboard

After over five years in New England, I finally hit the frigid slopes this weekend. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on skis, and since I was renting anyway, I thought I’d try boarding instead. I’ve actually gone boarding one other time, but it’s been over ten years and, well, it wasn’t like riding a bicycle.
The interesting thing about today’s snowboard lesson was the instructor, Chickie Rosenberg, a sixty-seven year old grandmother who has written two snowboard books and is “sponsored by Burton”. She has lots of news clippings on her website.

Champagne Chair Contest

Every year, DWR has a contest to design a tiny chair using only the cork, wire, and foil of a champagne bottle. I really like this idea – I even have a poster of the first year’s entries. There aren’t a lot of creative store-sponsored contests these days, and this one has simple rules, simple supplies, and great looking results.
This year, DWR is letting the public vote for the best designs. It’s unfortunate that you can’t vote without signing up for their mailing list. My least favorite entries are the ones that try to mimic real-life chairs, using standard or famous designs. Unfourtunately, that’s what we have to vote on this week, but I’m looking forward to the winners in the following weeks.