Monday, July 16, 2007

assorted: 10 post-vacation musings

Yes, I'm back. Before I throw myself back into posting at my usual eyeball-burning frequency, I thought I'd take a moment to purge my queue. Ahem.

1. Vacation is good for you. More specifically, it's good for me. I made the critical error of not taking enough vacation over the last eight years as I've worked my way up the product management ladder. All that time I thought I was "paying my dues" and "being the good corporate citizen" all I was doing was exhausting myself. It's tragic and shameful.

2. The new Harry Potter movie was dark, but enjoyable. I'd rank it just behind HP3.

3. Valley Shepherd Creamery was fabulous. I encourage you to go visit this page for some shameless cheese porn. And yes, they ship. The irony of it all is that I lived in Long Valley for seven years, and the year after I leave, these guys show up. They even have a washed-rind cheese that bears a strong (phew) similarity to Taleggio.

4. 30 years after sending off to a little company in Lake Geneva for a small white box containing three paper-covered rulebooks, I finally knuckled under and bought an updated copy of. . . of. . . you know. . . those rules. Just to see what's new, of course. Not that I'm going to be, you know, actually *playing*.

5. The Library of America edition of Phillip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldrich, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and Ubik is required reading. I think it's the functional equivalent of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon - every house needs a copy.

6. My mom sent me home with two pots of European Wild Ginger (Asarum europaeum) and a yell0w-flowered sedum. What a hoot to share cuttings - this is how gardens should grow. Now I just have to figure out what I have that is "sharable". Maybe some of that fountain grass. . .

7. I had a few messages over the break about my search for a digital version of Intertype Vogue. Here is some extra information from Ed Inman from last October:

"[Vogue] was marketed in 12 different weights/widths. Nothing terribly unusual. Basically a Futura knockoff with a few distinctive characters, notably the caps G & Q and lower case j."

Here's a specimen sheet of plain Vogue. To date, I've not been able to find anyone who has considered recreating the font. Sorry.

8. During a trip to the Old Book Shop in Morristown, NJ, I picked up the latest copy of Book Source Magazine. If you are a used book hound, or if you just love to hunt down local used book stores during your travels, buy a copy. It's a small magazine, 51 pages for a dollar, with a limited circulation (5,000 copies per issue) and very high production values. I'm sure I've seen it at antiquarian book fairs, but I never actually bought a copy before. For shame.

9. Another magazine companion from the last two weeks was BBC Gardens Illustrated. Of all the garden magazines I've ever read, this one is the best. I challenge you to tell me about a better one. The only thing that brings me more garden magazine joy is the winter avalanche of seed catalogs.

10. When I was putting away my copy of Munchkin - a big hit with the kids - I stumbled across my deck of Whimsy Cards. The thought came to me: wouldn't it be fun to create a deck of cards like this for product planning meetings. Something a little less oblique than, say, Oblique Strategies.

Bonus Musing

11. Less planning, more doing.

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