January, 2011

25 Articles

Book 4: A Story About The Magik Pencil

When I was seven (1983-ish), I wrote and illustrated (at least) four books. This is the last in a short series of four showing the fruits of my labour in what was undoubtedly the most productive year of my life (so far). A Story About The Magik Pencil This is the fourth and final book my folks saved from my childhood. My last book was a lengthy volume, and I thought maybe I’d fallen into the alluring dream-life that is the long-form author.

All Star Comics, Melbourne

Some dudes I know are opening a comic book store in Melbourne. Troy and Mitch are rad dudes, and they know a lot about comics (I went to Mitch’s house recently, and there was a life-sized Gremlin kickin’ about, as well as a giant Wall•E in the kitchen. He does that shit for fun.). Keep tabs on the boys and All Star Comics as they set up and open in the coming weeks! Better yet, drop by and say g’day: All Star Comics Level 1, 410 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, 3000, Australia This will be the type of anti-comic super store (*cough, Minotaur, cough*) that real comic fans will love.

Having a break

As mentioned in this RSS feed-only post, my wife and I are heading to Laos for a week. During this time I don’t expect to be posting anything on bartkowalski.com (but I might surprise myself, especially since we’re staying in Luang Prabang for a few days in a nice, hopefully WiFizzle-enabled, hotel). I know, I know, it’s bad news. But I have some good news too! On Sunday afternoon, the fourth in my series of childhood-penned, and absolutely awesome, books should be posted automagically.

Cover: Laos

There are three public holidays in Malaysia next week so Kelly and I are going for a week-long trip to Laos. Don’t know much about it other than it has no beaches, it’s 67% Buddhist, and the khene is the native instrument. It also has disappearing elephants. Image by herr-S

Three messages

This is what I’m talking about. A short article on The Invisible showing the attention to detail the Apple software engineers paid to the iPhone email application. It answers the seemingly simple UI question “What happens to your position in your inbox when a new email arrives?” This is serious attention to detail. It’s not something people will show off to each other on the bus, or something that you can put on an advert or trumpet on a feature list.

Book 3: The House Of Horror

When I was seven (1983-ish), I wrote and illustrated (at least) four books. This is the third in a short series of four showing the fruits of my labour in what was undoubtedly the most productive year of my life (so far). The House Of Horror Wow. Which seven year old boy isn’t a fan of ghouls and ghosts? And then the video game came along! I’m still interested in the paranormal, and aliens. I used to watch The X-Files — and not just for Gillian Anderson — so it’s natural for the seven-year-old me to pen a novella which included as many ghouls and ghosts and creepy-crawlies as possible.

Tim Tams

Generally, if you buy a pack of Tim Tams in KL, you get the Indonesian-made ones. The chocolate is less creamy, designed to better withstand the all-year-round heat and humidity; the taste is less awesome, and by less I mean very-less, and the packaging is crap. Today, I came across a real, Australian-made pack at Hock Choon, and I can report that you Aussies don’t know how good you have it in the Tim Tam department. I quote (myself): The gap in quality between the inferior Indo-Tams, and the superior Aussie Tim Tams is antidisestablishmentarianism-ly large.


Living in Melbourne my whole life (until about nine months ago) and being an avid photographer, it was inevitable I join the Melbourne Flickr group. Right, that should just about bring you up to speed. This month’s themed competition is Portraits. The themed competitions have come about only in the last six months or so, and I like the idea. Since I now live in Malaysia, I cannot participate (regularly) in the group’s long running competition, which is your best shot, taken in the past month, taken in Melbourne, and uploaded to the group.

The basics

I’ve been reading the blog of Jay Parkinson, a doctor, entrepreneur, and photographer from New York. (I’ve been following his photography for years now, although he doesn’t shoot as much as he used to, which is a shame; I guess he’s doing more important things with his time.) His view on health is about prevention rather than cure. He strongly and vocally opposes the health system in the US, stating (in my nutshell) the current system benefits the big pharmaceutical companies; not the public.