February, 2011

17 Articles


A couple of weeks ago Kelly and I took a week-long trip to Laos. Why Laos? Well, we’d never been before, and it seemed to be a place which avoided the touristy aspect of travelling in Asia. Also, Kelly’s cousin-in-law is from Laos, and her cooking is feckin’ awesome! I won’t bore you (and me) with an exhaustive description; instead, I’ll try a brief summary in point form. You can skip to the photo gallery now, but the photos will make more sense if you read the text first.

KL Storms

One of the things I’ll miss the most when I return to Oz will be the storms. I know, I know, I still have at least another 12 months in KL. As far as storms are concerned, I’ve only 12 months left. The storms here are legendary, if not for their full-on-ness™, for their frequency (more or less every day), and regularity (between 2–6pm most days). Like clockwork. Some samples: It’s getting towards the end of the rainy season, but locals tell us the weather’s been a bit off the usual wet and dry season the last couple of years.

On the hand

Recently, our good friend Milia[1. Aka Xystros the Cypriat.] casually told Kelly and I that we were “on the hand”. So casually did she say this in fact, that she continued to talk about other things as if nothing out of the ordinary had been said. However, I cannot let a new phrase slide, especially when it sounds like it’s a bad thing (on the hand = under the thumb?) MIlia explained: throughout life, you only meet a small number of couples who are the real deal.

Feeding your clients salmon

Zeldman lays it out: I’ve trained my cats to think they’re in charge, and to think they exact a tribute of two breakfasts from me each morning. Initially I feed them each half a small can of salmon. The white cat finishes first, and scratches at the cabinets for more. As if in response, I feed them each a half can of whitefish, exactly as I always intended to. They finish with gusto, convinced that they’ve won. I am so in client services.

Webstock 2011

I’ve been kicking back in Wellington New Zealand this past week. Why? Webstock, a web design and development conference. Instead of writing the obligatory summary of the week in a boring, chronological manner, I’m doing it as an infographic, or an infotextual. The whole article will be its own kind of ‘scale’ where each paragraph will describe something less rad than the one before it. Basically, a scale of radness. McCandless eat your heart out. The Y-axis (up/down) will be the axis of scale, but you should know, it goes from 1st paragraph = awesome!!, to 2nd-last paragraph = pretty good.

A call to all men

I believe when at a public urinal, all men should pee loudly. Why? Peeing loudly helps me (and others I’m sure) overcome the uncanny, subconscious, and uncontrollable anxiety that my pee obviously feels when it refuses to come out when other men are standing next to me. I think it’s the silence. You and I are in the public bathroom at the same time, and we’re there for the same reason. No need to be embarrassed about noise. If pee refusal does not affect you, then others peeing loudly will have no ill-effect, but for those that suffer, it seems to be a great help.

The worst kind of user?

In another experience with a “bad” website design (by my standards) I struggled to find the “Contact” information for a company – I looked for something big, something in the footer, something on the right hand side, all in frustration. It only took my “non-web” friend a glance to spot that the Contact link was actually near the top left of the page – the last place I would expect to look for that information. This is an excerpt from a blog post by a young lass named Anthea Whittle, whom I had the pleasure to meet, chat to, and be wowed by[1.

The Information

If television produced the global village, the Internet produces the global psyche: everyone keyed in like a neuron, so that to the eyes of a watching Martian we are really part of a single planetary brain. Interesting read:The Information, How the Internet gets inside us.