Archive for November, 2012

Making Days

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

1) I love that PostSecret is still going. 2) I love stories of making peoples day totally randomly. Like this:

And like this status update from a friend of mine on Facebook:

Community Advice Posters

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

I love Susan O’Malley’s posters.


Sunday, November 25th, 2012

I just heard of this digital magazine for web developer: Appliness. I shared it on Twitter. A lot of people love it. Brad Frost had a thought:

I get his point. I’m a fan of computer reading too. And it seems like if it’s free you might as well put the content as many places as you can. Bring your content to the people!

But who knows.

Maybe the content is designed in such a way that it’s really nice inside the app and it would be kind lame to just plunk it on the web without a bunch of art direction.

Maybe they have a very specific business plan and driving app downloads is a huge part of that.

Maybe there is only so many hours in the day and they haven’t gotten around to delivering on the web yet.

Maybe they have a deal with tablet manufacturers that subsidize the magazine if it’s tablet only.

Maybe they are just plain out making a mistake.

I’m not disagreeing with Brad, I’m just saying 1) It’s hard to know the whole picture as an outsider and 2) don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

Sally Bangs

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

I saw Sally bending over
She looked like a four-leaf clover

what a banger

via Scott


Monday, November 19th, 2012

Not that ya’ll need a reminder that domain registrants do shady garbage, but I dislike this kind of thing:

That domain is going to expire over two years from now. Thanks for the reminder! Cripes.

Cities in 2012

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Cities I was in for at least a day:

Palo Alto, CA (lived)
San Francisco, CA
Madison, WI (four times!)
Milwaukee, WI
Roslyn, WA
Orlando, FL
Atlanta, GA
Austin, TX
Harrisburg, PA
Minneapolis, MN
Vancouver, Canada
London, UK
Warsaw, Poland
Las Vegas, NV (twice)
Elko, NV
Idaho Falls, ID
Helena, MT
Glacier National Park, MT
Rapid City, SD
Pittsburg, PA
Syria, VA
Crivitz, WI
Denver, CO
Guerneville, CA
Monterey, CA (twice)
Dallas, TX
Tallahassee, FL
New York, NY
Baton Rogue, LA
Salt Lake City, UT
Philadelphia, PA
Honolulu, HA

Kind of awesome and kind of ridiculous. I hope to cut that in half next year and get a lot more work done.

The “I Hope They Sign Up And Never Use This” Business Model

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

I signed up for MoviePass. It works like this. You pay a monthly fee of $30 and you can see unlimited movies. No “blackout” dates or anything like that. At my location, movies are $8-$11 dollars, so if I see four movies in a month, I’m saving money. The savings go up the more movies I see. If I see less, I’m losing money. I see quite a few movies, so I figured I’d give it a shot.

How did they get every theater in the country to get on board with this? They didn’t. They send you a Discover card in the mail. You have to go physically “check in” (via a mobile app) at the theater. They say you have to be within 100 yards but I was able to check in from 2.8 miles away. You choose what movie and which showing, then buy your ticket with the Discover card. Works great.

I would think the card is somehow locked to only allow this one particular purchase. I didn’t try to buy popcorn with it or anything. I suspect it might just have a really low limit and time-lock though.

What is strange about this business model is that the people that love your service the most are your worst customers. The people that essentially forget about it are your best customers.

If someone goes and sees 10 movies in a month, MoviePass loses about $70 on that customer. They love MoviePass, but MoviePass doesn’t love them.

If someone has a really busy month and sees zero movies, MoviePass earns $30 from them. If this happens regularly, they might decide to cancel their account, in which:

After the 30 day trial period, the user will be charged a $20 cancellation fee to terminate their account

You also have to send them an email asking to cancel. But hey at least you don’t have to call.

That customer that doesn’t like you very much is your best customer.

Health clubs are the same way. They couldn’t operate if they didn’t have a large base of customers who pay monthly and never show up. If every last customer showed up, they wouldn’t have enough room to fit them in the building.

I don’t think I ever want to run a business like that. I want my best customers to be my best customers.


On November 20, 2012, they updated the cancellation policy:

If you decide to cancel MoviePass within your first month of membership, you will be charged a cancellation fee of the difference between your monthly MoviePass rate and the total dollar amount of the movies you saw. If you’re paying $30 dollars a month for MoviePass and you saw 5 movies at a cost of $10 each, you would pay a $20 cancellation fee. If your subscription fees are more then the cost of the tickets, you will be credited back the difference.

After your first month of membership, there will be a flat cancellation fee that is based on how long you have been a subscriber. The breakdown is as follows:

If account is cancelled within months 2 or 3, cancellation fees are $75
If account is cancelled within months 4, 5 or 6, cancellation fees are $60
If account is cancelled within months 7, 8 or 9, cancellation fees are $40
If account is cancelled within months 10 or 11, cancellation fees are $20

A little complex, but at least it makes sense.

Custom Uke

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

I’m getting a custom made Ukulele made from Mya-Moe. I’m in the early stages, which means picking out the style and wood. For stuff like this, I’m tempted to go with whatever the maker thinks is the absolute best thing going right now. I want the maker to be as excited about the project as they can be. If direction gets them excited, so be it. If freedom gets theme excited, even better.

I watched this video:

From which I learned:

The wood on the top is the most important. It’s what actually vibrates the most and creates tone. The wood on the back should be thick and sturdy. The wood on the sides doesn’t matter (for sound).

Koa = warm, hawaiian tone. Maple = bright, punchy (total opposite end of spectrum). Other woods lie somewhere in the middle of those.

Aesthetics is the biggest factor. Which kind of wood isn’t that big of a deal in the end.

This is decisions so far:

Serial Number: 945
Name on Inside Label: Chris Coyier
Size: Tenor
Model: Classic
Series: Cascade
Back & Side Wood: Walnut
Top Wood: Straight-Grain Redwood
Body Binding: Walnut
Fretboard Binding: Walnut
Rosette: Rope rosette
Headplate: Walnut & Maple Signature Headplate
Neck: Port Orford Cedar
Fretboard: Maple
Fretboard Face Markers: Abalone
Bridge: Maple
Tuners: Peghed brand geared tuners
Finish: Hand-rubbed oil finish
End Pin/Pickup: K&K Twin Spot pickup
Fourth String: High-G

The construction is going to start in January and can be tracked.

Just an Experiment

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

I deleted all games and all social networking apps from my phone. I was getting sick of being a phone zombie instead of awake and engaged with life. Not trying to make some big statement or anything, I’m just going to try it for at least a month and see if life feels better. It’s been 4 days or so and I like it so far.

I also removed the Twitter app from my dock. I’m still going to be on Twitter, I’m just going to open it a few times a day and see what’s going on, engage a little bit, then close it. I want the majority of my time in front of a computer to be creating.

I like these thoughts.