Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Spoon, Home Screen Icons & Bunz Flea

Weekly Update 2017-13: The talent and awesomeness of Spoon, wondering how to arrange my phone's home screen icons, and trading up a storm at the Bunz Flea.

Music: Spoon
I honestly can't believe I haven't blogged about one of my all-time favourite bands, going on ten years of fandom around this point. Straight outta Austin comes this rock band with a lovely range of sub-sounds within the wide genre, and led by frontman Britt Daniel (who also once sang for a since-deceased supergroup called the Divine Fits - RIP). They have a new album out and with each passing listen, I grow more fond of it. Think, pop music that has enough of an edge not to be a guilty pleasure and makes you feel cool when you belt out the lyrics. Listen:

If you love them as much as me, you can catch them at Massey Hall in July with Cherry Glazerr. How nice!

I've been hard at work on my Chai Mitzvah studies, especially thinking about what Passover means to me. I also enrolled in classes for Chanting Torah, so that I can sing as I read and really do the prayers justice. It's basically the next step in learning Hebrew, which is awesome!

I also went for a run yesterday since the weather was so lovely out. Unfortunately I realized that my running headphones are busted on one side (big surprise - this is always what happens to my headphones) so I'll have to get a new pair.

On a whim, I submitted my personal freelance business card design to a design show celebrating the analog process of exchanging business cards. This is definitely something that appeals to my sensibilities and love of analog processes (even if googling someone is technically easier to do). Business cards are such a fun way to express creativity and provide a nicely structured (and deliciously limited) format for self expression. I only heard about this event on the final submission day, and submitted in a slight panic, but I was accepted!

So feel free to come out on the opening night: Thursday April 6 from 7:00-11:00pm, and see all the wonderful cards! It's even promoted on BlogTO :)

This week, I'm going to take my bike in for a spring tune-up (yay!), drop off my business cards for the show next week, finish the research on Passover for my Chai Mitzvah, play a dodgeball game (finally one early enough that I don't have to miss drumming), book a bonfire for my birthday, and create a Spotify Family account so my five closest friends and I can all save a little money on music.

Random Thought:
You may be familiar (in theory or more likely in practice) with the areas of your smartphone that are easier to reach than others. This is actually a theory that was first researched by Steven Hoober, who came up with a sort of hotspot system to display the best way to use screen real estate when designing apps for the best usability. In other words: don't place highly-used items or touchpoints in areas of the screen that are hard to reach.

Image courtesy of Luke Wroblewski

I was looking at the setup of my friend's iPhone home screen the other day, wondering how much thought he'd put into the placement of all his app icons. It seems that from user to user, I haven't been able to find much consistency in app icon placement beyond that of the dock at the bottom. Of course, I could test out a bunch of different arrangements for myself, but I feel like there is so much data of iPhone users already that if only Apple would scrape that data to find the best placements, life would be so much easier. Yes, I know this is such a seemingly arbitrary thing, but it's really the design of the little things in life that make it joyful. And who doesn't want more joy?

Inspiration: Bunz Flea
It's no secret that I have an unending love for Bunz Trading Zone. They host some organized events from time to time, just to further ease the process of getting rid of your old crap in favour of lovely new (if gently used) things. The Bunz Flea is one of those events, held at the Gladstone every so often. Artistic and craft vendors come to set up booths of their lovely handmade things, and will even post about items they'd like to trade for ahead of time so that you can be the owner of these items in exchange for your own random crap! So it's just like Bunz, but all centralized to one location and with cute artisanal items. And a bar.

To my extreme joy, a man who makes lovely handmade earrings and pendants was in search of NES games in exchange for his wares. I had been having some emotional trouble in parting with my extra copy of M.C. Kids due to its rarity and general special-ness to my heart, but as soon as I met him I knew he would be the right person to trade it to. He told me about how his mother at home in Newfoundland keeps his NES console so that when he goes to visit in the summer, he can relive his childhood much like my (somewhat shorter) pilgrimmage to Richmond Hill to do the same.

And so, Gavin and I made the trade. He gave me some lovely handmade earrings in exchange.

I also traded a beer for a lovely vintage ombre plant pot, a bag of loose tea leaves for a vintage letterman sweater, a pair of Apple Earbuds for two excellent enamel pins, and some tokens for a “Nasty Woman” patch. Because everyone has to know.

I would recommend the next instalment of this event to everyone! I don't know the exact date but you can find out more and stay tuned by checking out the Facebook event page.

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