November 13, 2012
August 06, 2012
One of the first casualties, it seems to me, is the obsolete sugar cube. (Actually, maybe regular white sugar in general.) Not only is sugar rarely pressed and dried into shapes these days, I'm guessing that the use of white sugar as a drink sweetener is in decline. I'm not talking about high-fructose corn syrup either! I mean something like a larger grain, slightly caramel-coloured raw sugar. I think I still see both raw and white available in most cafes but sugar cubes are ancient.
And you just don't order a 'coffee' anymore. You need to order a type of coffee which would be one of several recipes with fancy names. Warm comforting beverages that are made by someone with some sort of certified training to produce - a diploma stating that a particular person is qualified to create designs in thick dairy froth.
A waitress patrolling the tables with a pot of brewed filter coffee topping up people's drinks (for free) is becoming a bit of a relic. The idea that you can order a coffee at the beginning of the meal, with continual top-ups, is fading away. It's being replaced with the suggestion that you could have a coffee and dessert afterwards - relegated to a post-meal experience.
I'm not of the opinion that these changes are better or worse, but I could be slightly nostalgic since cafes and restaurants now feel very different in a reasonably short period of time.
April 29, 2012
Following the source of this bubble storm, it turns out it was this guy who collects bubble guns. I ended up having a chat with him about his hobby. He has several battery powered toys that create constant streams of bubbles. Some of his guns have been modified to accept another battery (or two?) for a higher rate of 'firing'. He really was filling up this reasonably large amphitheater with bubbles. Apparently it only works that well if the wind is 'right' and if he is firing with the wind.At first I thought it was a pretty weird hobby, but the more I think about it the awesomer it is. It was actually quite a sight to see that many bubbles, it did inspire me to do a bit of drawing and quite a few kids at the bottom started to go nuts when they realized that they were in the middle of this bubble storm.
April 08, 2012
So I was sketching a scene in the local cemetery. After my drawing, I noticed a headstone with something unusual. It was for a sailor who died at sea by the name of Viking Lander. Immediately, I thought of the Viking Mars mission from the 1970's. It had a Viking Orbiter and a Viking Lander!
When I first saw this I thought it was an odd name... and he couldn't have been named after the the space probe by sci-fi nerd parents. He lived and died long before humans had put anything in space.
The original Viking Lander accidentally drowned at sea. According to Wikipedia, Earth lost contact with the Mars Viking Lander because of a... "Human error during software update caused the lander's antenna to go down, terminating communication." That makes both deaths sudden accidents. The obvious differences are that the remains are over 60 years apart on two different planets.
February 08, 2012
In the final two minutes of the game, he was looking for a place to sit and there was an empty stool right at the front. He sat down with what could have been his third glass and was facing away from the screen. With such a tight final quarter, all eyes were on the game but everyone seemed distracted by this guy who wasn't watching the game but seemed to be just watching us! In his defence, he had no idea what he was doing and probably couldn't really see anyone anyway. Still, even though there are no written rules about this type of thing, what he was doing is surely bad etiquette. It should be required that if he was to sit there, he must be required to at least pretend to watch the game!
(My rough artwork for this one is available to see on my other blog!)
January 16, 2012
So my friend said that he was attending an art show opening. It reminded me of this guy I saw while grocery shopping a few days ago.
While following the tidal stream of shopper traffic up and down the aisles, there was a stationary object that the carts and bodies had to flow around. It was another shopper looking at a wall of products. What made him unusual was that he was the only one not moving, he didn't have a cart or basket and wasn't holding anything to buy. He wasn't even surveying the nutritional value of the competing brands. He really just seemed to be viewing the whole side of the aisle's shelves at once... as if he was viewing a large painting in an art gallery.
It occurred to me that he might have some kind of handicap (or maybe just taking a break from a really horrible wife) but still, the whole situation seemed very Warholian to me.