Did I forget to mention, forget to mention Memphis?
Happy Cog Philadelphia
Our letterhead isn’t finished. Our aging website doesn’t provide a clue. Ordinarily an announcement like this one would wait until a site redesign was complete, new business cards were slipped into wallets, and expertly prepared press materials had been carefully seeded in the fields of journalism and the lonely rooms of the blogosphere. But for reasons which will become apparent soon, we can’t wait to relate the news that Happy Cog™ is expanding.
In addition to its original New York flavor, Happy Cog now also comes in a delicious new Philadelphia blend, under the leadership of Happy Cog Philadelphia president Greg Hoy. Both offices provide high-level design and user experience consulting services. They share a vision. They share methods. They even share team members (some Cog personnel divide their time between New York and Philly).
More detailed and more meaningful announcements—not to mention an expanded and redesigned site—will come soon. Meanwhile, welcome, Jason, Rob, Daniel, Heather, Jon, Mark, and Robert Roberts-Jolly.
Rose 4:30 am. Wife and Kid in car service 5:30 am—off to airport, then Michigan. The Kid, not yet two, gets airplanes. On Fire Island, during a vacation which ended weeks ago but seems to have taken place in a separate century, she flew a toy airplane “to Jamaica” for several afternoons running. Not only that, she pointed out the real airplanes and helicopters occasionally flying over the island, and distinguished correctly between the two types of airborne vehicle.
Before this same vacation was halfway over, a mini-tornado touched down in nearby Queens, New York, initiating a week of hard rain. To find out if we needed to evacuate the island, we turned on the beach cottage’s small TV and watched the local news broadcasts, which were only slightly less operatic than The Sopranos. Panting TV journalists interrupted their Katrina-like reportage of the weather event to hype airline terror threats that turned out to be pranks or mistakes. When the TV showed three airplanes in a row as part of its “terror in the skies” coverage, The Kid pointed, clapped, and cried, “Airplane! Airplane!”
And when The Wife was called to her ancestral home last week, The Kid, not yet two, understood that Mommy was taking an airplane to give Grandma an all-better kiss.
Now they are both flying to the ancestral home to see Grandma. As I write this, they must be nearing their landing place. But I am not with them. I go to Seattle.
My grandfather, for whom I was named, died in a plane crash when my mother was eleven. The incident colored every moment of her life. I grew up afraid of flying in consequence—convinced I would die like my namesake. I don’t know when I stopped being afraid. I do a lot of flying, and my main worry, when traveling solo, is to be sure I’ve packed a book I love. (When traveling with The Kid, my anxieties revolve around liquids, snacks, diapers, and naps.)
I do a lot of flying, but not nearly as much as I could. I could speak in a different place every week if I said yes. These days I am careful about yes. Not because I fear, but because I love.
If Net Neutrality didn’t do enough to get you squirming HR5319 AKA Deleting Online Predators Act AKA DOPA should serve as proof that Congress should no longer be allowed to vote on any laws governing the internet. In case you missed the news, DOPA basically will require all public schools and libraries to block access to social networking sites and chat rooms.
AppZapper for Mac OS X lets you confidently try new apps while knowing you can uninstall them easily. Drag one or more unwanted apps onto AppZapper and watch as it finds all the extra files and lets you delete them with a single click.
The guys behind collegehumor.com sell to Barry Diller’s InterActiveCorp.
[tags]design, business, inspiration, fashion, color, AIGA, salaries, links, digg, netscape, blue flavor, bbc, douglas coupland, 9/11, 911, writers, book tour, publishing, memoirs, mac os x, macosx, software, net neutrality, online predator, london, new york, nyc[/tags]
An Event Apart Seattle
Join Kelly Goto, Erin Kissane, Jason Santa Maria, Eric Meyer and me for a jam-packed day of design and code on glorious Puget Sound.
The Time and Place
Monday 18 September 2006, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Bell Harbor International Conference Center
2211 Alaskan Way, Pier 66, Seattle, WA 98121 (Map)
Beautifully situated at Pier 66 on the downtown Seattle waterfront, Bell Harbor provides stunning views of the city and across Elliott Bay to Mt Rainier, plus easy walking proximity to the shops and restaurants of world-famous Pike Street Market.
Standing in the presence of these yellowing pages is like glimpsing the face of God, for they are the foundation of American democracy, and their core idea underlies all human rights struggles, liberation movements, and emergent democracies around the world.
The version in Thomas Jefferson’s own hand is fascinating not only because it’s in Thomas Jefferson’s own hand, but also because it contains passages that would have ended slavery at the birth of the American nation. But those passages had to be deleted before the Declaration could be signed by representatives of states where slavery was practiced.
Put another way, the client bought a document intended to liberate all humanity, but demanded changes that kept part of humanity in chains. It would take another 100 years and hundreds of thousands of deaths before slavery ended, and the tragic legacy of African enslavement plagues the U.S. to this day. (At The New York Times: a slide show of Freedom Rider portraits, a work in progress by my friend Eric Etheridge.)
So the next time a client requests changes that make your work less beautiful, less usable, or less smart, remember that greater people than you have lost bigger battles over far more important matters.
The Declaration of Independence is on view at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue now through 5 August and admission to the Library is of course free. If you’re in New York City this summer, the exhibit is worth a look. (Plug: And if you’re in town next week for An Event Apart, the Library is just a few blocks away from the Scandinavia House venue.)
An Event Apart NYC Schedule
A detailed schedule of An Event Apart NYC has been posted at aneventapart.com and reproduced below for your convenience. Join Tantek Çelik, Ze Frank, Aaron Gustafson, Jason Santa Maria, Khoi Vinh, Eric Meyer, and Jeffrey Zeldman for two days of design and code in the heart of New York City:
Victor Borge Hall is located on Level A, one floor below ground. Enter at the front door on Park Avenue and take the elevator located at the rear of the entrance hall, across from the ground-floor Gift Shop. Wheelchair-friendly restrooms are located on Level B, accessible via the elevator.
Seating is lecture-style, in a comfortable and exquisitely designed theater space, and doors open at 8:00 am. There is no Wi-Fi at this venue, but we will provide downloadable files the night before the show for those who wish to follow along on their laptops.
An Event Apart NYC runs from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. We have a lot to cover, so the event will start promptly. Arrive early to get a good seat! Doors open at 8:00 am; for best results, plan to show up between 8:00 am and 8:30 am. Here is what you can expect over the two days of this conference:
A fast-paced, rough-and-tumble review of markup, style, and scripting on a select group of sites created and submitted by attendees.
Catering is by Restaurant Aquavit, the country’s premier Scandinavian restaurant, and includes vegetarian choices.
July 10: Gravlax Club, Grilled Scandinavian Shrimp, and Roasted Mushroom sandwiches. Salad and potato salad.
July 11: Smoked Salmon, Spice Roasted Pork Loin, and Roasted Mushroom sandwiches. Salad and pasta salad.
All Day Long
Freshly Brewed Coffee, Decaffeinated Coffee, Selection of Teas, Assorted Soft Drinks and Sparkling Water.
Afternoon Pick-Me Up
July 10: Assorted Cookies
July 11: Basket of Fruit
It’s a non-smoking event. Sorry, smokers! Still photography is permitted, but audio and video recording are forbidden, except by our official videographer, Mister Ian Corey. Sorry, recordists and videographers! As always, please be considerate when taking pictures. And speaking of pictures…
This schedule is subject to change. We’ll do our best to make the experience live up to what we’ve mentioned here, but cannot guarantee a perfect 1:1 correspondence. We thank you in advance for understanding any changes we may be forced to make due to events, people, and other stuff beyond our control.
Subscribe and keep track of all the comings and goings of An Event Apart.
[tags]an event apart, aneventapart, design, code, conference, web design, webdesign[/tags]
An Event Apart Seattle
It’s de-lightful, it’s de-lovely, it’s the city on Puget Sound. Join Eric Meyer, Jason Santa Maria, and Jeffrey Zeldman on Monday 18 September 2006 at Bell Harbor International Conference Center for An Event Apart Seattle, a concentrated, creative learning session that could change the way you approach web design. Save $50 when you register by August 18th, 2006.
Silent phone, secret phone
Two weekends ago, my office phone line and an unknown number of other phone lines in my area went dead. I was in Chicago so it didn’t bother me. By Monday night, Verizon had apparently fixed the problem, and phone service was restored for me and my neighbors.
Come the following Sabbath, Verizon rested again.
If you called my office Saturday morning, you would have gotten a busy signal. If you tried Saturday afternoon, also a busy signal. The same on Saturday night.
Things got interesting on Sunday, if you consider no change interesting.
By Monday morning, the phone line was still dead. Noon brought no sudden restoration of telephony. 2:00? A disappointment, quite frankly. As the sun sets on a New York Monday, the absence of phone service attains a mystical sheen. Call me now. Busy signal. Dial again. Busy signal. Busy, busy, busy signal.
I tried using Verizon’s website to find out how to report the problem but it was like searching the moon for goats.
So I went downstairs to the Verizon pay phone, jotted down the “repair” number listed beside its little coin slot, and dialed it on my mobile.
See, if a pay phone goes down, that’s a problem.
That pay phone repair number was honey. After a mere six minutes of voice menu negotiation, I received my prognosis from the computer voice emulator that provides Verizon’s customers with quality service.
Thus spake Verizon:
“At present there is an outage in your area. Verizon is committed to restoring your phone service by … 8:00 … P.M. … on … Wednesday … June … 14th.”
“Committed to restoring” is the sweet part.
As far as I can tell, the problem involves phone lines, so you can see why it would take one of America’s largest phone companies five days to tackle a brain teaser like that.
Fortunately I only use my telephone to run my business, contact my family, and report medical emergencies. So the next few days should be just fine.