Wednesday, November 17, 2004

The Biodiesel Revolution

Joshua Tickell is the genius behind the Veggie Van, and his story of bringing biodiesel to America is truly inspiring. This liquid energy could be the ticket to independence from foreign oil... so if you're one of those "no blood for oil" types, are you driving a gas-powered car? Hmm?

I'm getting ready to get a new car, or at least a new used car. This makes it a perfect time to look around at the options. I love hybrids, but I probably can't afford one (yet) and they still run on fossil fuels.

(A quick aside: wouldn't it be a kick, to have a hybrid/biodiesel car? I bet such a vehicle could get nearly 100 miles to the gallon. VW made a test biodiesel car, a one-cylinder super-streamlined two seater, that got 200 mpg)

My hope is that I could find a Passat, get used to the reality of filling up over in Berkeley, and then trade in my van for an about-town electric car. Then I'd really feel like I was doing my part for the environment.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Finishing touches for Marketplace Kitchen

I designed up the logo, and then Donna asked me what I would do to dress up the face of the Marketplace Kitchen. One great idea from a former employee was to include the word "kitchen" from many languages. I translated it using Google and other online translators! Over time and several iterations, I prepared this drawing:

We'd been down to TAP plastics, looking for something to soften the ceiling line. Stamped metal? Some beautiful kevlar/carbon fiber fabric (in black and gold)? We decided to try those dropped-ceiling diffuser panels. The nice folks at TAP Plastics cut them down from 48"x24" to the sizes I'd worked out.
I had them cut letters from black acrylic, and with a little bit of Krylon's new Fusion plastic paint, I made them burgundy colored. To attach the letters to the ceiling panels, I scraped the chrome plating off to get to the plastic, then glued the letters in place.

The final pieces got assembled into place on-site over the course of a couple of days (there was much on-site assembly to do. Lots of little brackets, pieces, holes to drill, things to glue... and all the while climbing up and down the ladder to get out of the way when someone had to squeeze by).

And the final image for today, here's an overview of how nice the front of the Marketplace Kitchen looks, with the new letters and using diffuser panels in an unexpected way. What is really fun, is customers are now starting to ask that their language go up, too.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Banner Ads, too!

Andrew called me with a rush request to make a banner ad.

One great thing, is that he knew I was a bit pressed for time today, and so he really let me make the determination for when it was "complete."

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Election result maps

Election result maps by Michael Gastner, Cosma Shalizi, and Mark Newman of the University of Michigan are quite fascinating. Geographically, it's easy to see that most counties voted for Bush. I like the maps, called "cartographs," which show the population in each of those areas. More people, bigger area. When you see the data represented that way, it gets harder to see Bush's "win."

Monday, November 08, 2004

I love testimonials

Nice testimonial from this client:

Dear Bob,
I'm writing to extend Freedom Cinema Festival's heartfelt appreciation for your generosity and support of our recent event. We could not have done it without you. We're very happy with our new logo and we look forward to working with you again in the future. Thank you!
Freedom Cinema Festival
Andrew Thomson
Ian Berzon
Laurie Cameron

I was moved to post this because I saw a logo today that was poorly designed and the client was way overcharged. On the issue of paying for a design, my hope is that the designer is adequately compensated, and the logo has a value related to the dollar value of the company's future sales. I know that gets fuzzy when it's a NPO or a socially responsible group, since they often are learning what their true value to the community is. Which is why I have a couple of pricing tiers.

I will NEVER gouge a client. My clients will ALWAYS get great value for the money they spend. And many of them will become lifelong allies in the effort to build Paradise here on Earth.

Bump the post

I did something very important, Saturday.


My heart wanted to get over to the Green Festival, the tradeshow for sustainability, and my mind started "shoulding" on me about it, but I just didn't have the stamina for even a trip on BART. I called my coach, and she reminded me to listen to all my intelligences. So I stayed home, and spent Saturday afternoon doing a whole bunch o' nuthin.' After that I raked leaves into the compost heap, so the grass could get some sunshine.

I've got a couple of design projects to tackle today, and I finished what could be my final exterior sign ever on Friday. It came out great! I'll get a picture of it and post it soon.

Tomorrow I tour a sustainability project in Oakland, with my coach, to see how we might promote them and take the next steps on the long road to manifesting a wholesome future.

It's past time to start a blog on that project. Still, I can only carry what I can carry. Letting go of sign fabrication opens quite a few resources for me, so perhaps I'll get started on it more powerfully.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Earth is the Best

Need a quick lift? head on over to CD Baby: THE PHENOMENAUTS: Rockets and Robots and click on the "Earth is the Best" track sample. These guys know how to have fun and how to dance in the space between silly and professional.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

It's Alright

Believe it or not, this is a day of great hope. Yes, I know, it looks like one of the worst land-raping, crony-rewarding, preemptive war-mongering rulers the world has seen is recent times is going to be leading us backwards for another four years.

But look at it from a deep historical perspective.

From the first time a bully clubbed his adversary and took his spear, through the Spanish Inquisition, Fascism, McCarthyism and even to today, where millions of votes and voters got discarded through machinations of the people in power, every where and every when the oppressors have existed, people of good conscience have learned how to stand together, how to stand up for each other, how to be stronger individuals and community.

Evil passes away, as we discover the good in ourselves and live and act from that place of deep faithfulness.

Each time we defeat evil, we become better people, and it gets more subtle, and we get to defeat it again. The US (and any reactionary citizens within its borders and its money and power-hungry corporations) is currently the biggest bully the world has every seen. And we're about to grow from the 600 pound gorilla into the 1200 pound gorilla. We artists, storytellers, fools, lovers, builders, earth-water-air-fire spirits, we organizers, community makers, believers, we're still discovering how big a job we are in for. We are faced with a task the world has never seen before: to teach the bully how to be harmonious...

From the inside.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Bush is leading

We're on our way to sanctioning the best liar for the job. Is it Nixon's revenge? Apparently more than half of the citizens of the United States enjoy being lied to, for there are millions who are casting their ballot for George W. Bush.

Maybe it's less offensive than that.

I see that the exit polls show that fighting terrorism weighs heavily on people's minds. George is a known factor in this; he's a bully and the biggest terrorist in the world today. Who's better at keeping you safe on the playground, than the biggest bully? As long as he's your friend?

We understand violence, and that's what he gives us. I had hoped we were ready to try something besides violence. I know I sure am. I see far too much violence everyday. Just across the estuary, young people lose their lives every week in acts of violence. It's a disease that has us in its grip, like nicotine for a smoker.

Well, we apparently don't want to go cold turkey and quit violence yet.

Too bad.

The Greater Possibility

Yay! The Greater Possibility is the latest blogger recruit within my sphere of influence. Be sure to keep an eye on that blog, since these are some of the most alert, engaged and yet still active in the world people that I know. Working with them, I'm reminded of the following zen master's words:

Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.
After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.
--Wu Li