They want subways

At various times during the construction of a new tune, I play a little home version of the David Letterman segment “Is this anything?” and the time has certainly come for “They Want Subways.” It is, much like the Toronto Transit System, a work in progress, but as I haven’t shared any music with you in some time, I thought I’d give you a preview.

Boys! Raise Giant Mushrooms In Your Cellar!

Capital ideas

Back in my agency days I had a client whose in-house design team was responsible for laying down the law regarding their online brand standards. It is of course right that they should take ownership of their brand. One of their laws, however, was that all headlines on their website should be in title case. Allow me to explain why this is a bad idea.

Sensory evaluation of wines wrap

Today I wrap another wine course, and assuming all goes well with next week’s exam I will be 3/8ths of the way to earning my Wine Specialist certification. Here’s a glimpse at the impressive selection of not-entirely-reasonably-priced wines we tasted in our final class.

Data Rescue 3

Catastrophes and catalysts

If you learn one thing from this article it should be back up your data – all of it, frequently and redundantly. Or maybe, if you find life kind of boring, and you have lots of spare time on your hands, don’t. Be like Inspector Clouseau, waiting for your man Kato to jump you when you get home, just to keep yourself sharp.

Do the Gainsbourg

I’m a bit of a classicist and hard to please, and my preference for drinks being simple and straightforward often leaves me at a loss when selecting from a nearly limitless array of increasingly complex beverages. I have only created a couple of original cocktails myself, and the most recent is, I think, my most successful. It’s called the Gainsbourg.

Petrichor as wine note

I first heard the word petrichor in the recent Doctor Who episode The Doctor’s Wife and assumed it was an invention of the author Neil Gaiman. As it turns out it is a favourite word of his, but its origins can be traced back to two Australian botanists who coined the term in an article for the journal Nature in 1964.

QR Codes follow-up (haters continue to hate)

A while back I wrote a post about QR codes. It’s not a pet topic of mine, but I do have one on my business card. I have one on a self-inking rubber stamp. And of course there’s one on this site, if you happen to want to continue reading this on your iPhone. But are they worth loving or hating – or even arguing about? (Spoiler: no).

One music book to rule them all

I love music books. If I could play a tenth of the music in all the music books I have lying around I’d be some kind of piano hero. I had a piano tuner ask if I was a teacher. Nope. I just like the books. There’s a part of my brain that thinks that owning a book is like knowing a thing. That part of my brain is wrong.

Wine course wrap: Forget everything I said about France

Imagine a bunch of aspiring wine geeks sitting around a table at Betty’s saying sternly and indignantly to each other “That was absolutely not a typical California Chardonnay” and you have a pretty clear picture of the aftermath of the Wines 1 final exam last night.

Drink in summer

When you find yourself mixing the same old cocktails all the time, sometimes it helps to add a semi-random element to your decision-making. For me, that element is often the contents of our weekly organic bin, which for the past few weeks has included a small package of organic blueberries.