Seinfeld will nurse a single joke for years, amending, abridging and reworking it incrementally, to get the thing just so. “It’s similar to calligraphy or samurai,” he says. “I want to make cricket cages. You know those Japanese cricket cages? Tiny, with the doors? That’s it for me: solitude and precision, refining a tiny thing for the sake of it.” Jerry Seinfeld Intends to Die Standing Up,”

December 20, 2012 December 20, 2012 quotations by Scott No Comments

Dave BrubeckDave Brubeck died today. Not too many years ago, I saw him perform live with his quartet at Sanders Theatre. He was maybe in his mid-eighties at the time. I remember being struck by the contrast between the elderly man who shuffled onto stage and the fiery, energetic performer he became when seated at the keyboard. The crazy rhythms! And those amazing chords! I consider myself very lucky to have witnessed one of the legends of 1950s jazz in person.

(Also, this photo is one of the coolest portraits ever made.)

December 5, 2012 December 5, 2012 obituaries by Scott 2 Comments

Hardware Store Cat #1 Hardware Store Cat #2

Charles Street Supply Co., December 2.
Don’t get the wrong idea: I’m still on the fence about this Instagram stuff.

December 2, 2012 December 2, 2012 photos by Scott 3 Comments

This is a really nice piece about the amazing world of cold storage.
CABINET // The Coldscape

November 30, 2012 November 30, 2012 infrastructure by Scott 1 Comment

Several folks were kind enough to send us digital copies of the photos they took at our wedding. It’s fun to experience the occasion through so many other points of view, and it helps fill in the gaps that we would have otherwise missed.

Note to anyone doing this in the future: consider asking all your guests to take a photo of one clock! After importing all the images into Lightroom, it became clear that nobody is particularly vigilant about setting the time and date on their cameras. Computing an accurate time offset for each photographer would be a helpful strategy for organizing everything on a single timeline.

Of course, as a film shooter, I’m lucky if I can remember the dates of my own photos with any accuracy.

November 27, 2012 November 27, 2012 observations by Scott No Comments

Dear pharmacies,

You have way too many products on the shelf. It’s very confusing. Here’s how I’d fix it:

  1. Eliminate everything with phenylephrine as the active ingredient. This shit doesn’t do anything. Buying pseudoephedrine today is about as easy as getting an abortion in Mississippi, but at least it works!
  2. Don’t allow different formulations of one brand to employ different active ingredients. Imagine if Advil was sometimes made of aspirin! Somehow this is acceptable for cold medicine.
  3. Stop selling so many 3- and 4-drug combos with ambiguous differences. For those people who get all 12 listed symptoms simultaneously, maybe these are a convenience. I’d prefer to take a decongestant when I’m congested. I’ll take a cough suppressant if I have a cough. Thanks.
  4. Seriously, why does everything have acetaminophen in it? If people have pain, let them take a painkiller. Pretty soon, multi-vitamins and shampoo are going to come with 1000 mg of acetaminophen. I’d rather keep my liver.

By my estimation, these changes would leave about 5 products on the shelf. Much better.

November 26, 2012 November 26, 2012 rants by Scott 3 Comments

As national retailers plan to kick off the holiday shopping season earlier than ever with hours on Thanksgiving Day, some Massachusetts merchants are starting to question whether the state’s Colonial-era blue laws, which prohibit Thanksgiving openings, are becoming outdated. Merchants say Massachusetts blue laws are outdated with national retailers opening on Thanksgiving,”

I think it’s great that we don’t enforce laws about dancing and selling liquor on Sundays. But for small businesses, it wouldn’t be fair to let pressure from big national chain stores lead to employees giving up their holidays. Let’s keep Thanksgiving a shopping-free day in Massachusetts.

November 13, 2012 November 13, 2012 in-the-news by Scott 1 Comment

Media stand outside convention center Cables outside convention center Trucks outside convention center

The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center is a short walk from my office, so I went to check out the scene at lunch today. Exhausting as they are, one of the things I find so fascinating about American presidential elections is the way they capture such rapt international attention. I vividly remember wandering through the outdoor festival in Copley Square eight years ago, watching rows and rows of reporters from far-flung places reporting to their cameras on John Kerry’s situation.

It’s kind of like that here again. At least, the journalists are back. But in a more dismal setting–indoors, in a bland convention center in a relatively uninhabited part of town. With a candidate in whom I have no interest. But still, it’s neat to see the world looking so closely at us, even for a day.

November 5, 2012 November 5, 2012 politics by Scott No Comments