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