Photos and Words of Patrick Calder

I live in Washington, DC with 1 cat named Pixel, 6 cameras, 3 computers, 158 movies, 286 books, and 1 bowling pin. I own the Design Foundry and pretend to be a graphic designer by day.

Facts of Life / July 20, 2006 / Comment on this

Three things you should never buy the cheap brand of:
1. Peanut Butter – Store brand is just a greasy, tasteless, slimey, grainy mess. Sure, there’s no peanuts in the name brand stuff. But who fucking cares? You’re not buying peanut butter for it’s natural wholesomeness.
2. Shoes – Sketchers makes really cool looking shoes, and boots, and sneakers. And they’re cheap! But they’re also crap, IMO. The soles start wearing down in less than a week. The padding collapses in a month. And the body tears away from the sole. Good boots should stick with you for longer than 6 months. I also used to buy the cheap TeVa knock-offs from Walmart and Kmart once a year. They would last me 1 good season before the straps decayed and the soles split down the middle. Then I got stuck in an overpriced department store that only had the real thing, so I plopped down $60 for a fucking pair of sandals. And they lasted me 7 years, before the smell and street-grime build-up got to be too much. Really… never fuck with your feet or your throat, because they will both wear out the entire rest of your body damn quick, and make you suffer.
3. Toilet Paper – It probably ought to go without saying… but do you really wanna be rubbing something the consistency of construction paper across your backside on a regular basis?
This has been a recording. We hope you enjoyed your life lessons for today, and now return you to your regularly schedule porn and circuses.

Blogroll / July 19, 2006 / Comment on this

I don’t have a blogroll on this journal, and can’t foresee ever adding one. The concept does go back to “friends” pages on the earliest personal websites. But I can’t remember the last time I ever went looking for random people to go visit. I get more than enough referrals to new people directly. And if there’s someone really says or does something worthy of mention, I’ll eventually end up linking to it anyway.
Doesn’t stop me from the occasional pang of guilt for not pimping my friends and sources, though. Most of my random visitors to this site come from blogrolls and profile pages.
Here’s a list: the pages and sites I check once a day, usually to relax at the end of the day. The list is in a constant state of flux, with sites being added and removed on any whim. some people stop writing. Some people stop being interesting. There used to be more academics and professionals on the list, but they have a tendency to either abandon their blogs or switch to lighter topics (ie. Joi Ito and Lawrence Lessig).

Katie West

Boobies! No… um… sorry. Really. She’s an incredible model, with a real fire in her head.

Washington, DC Livejournal Community

Every stupid question you could ever have about Washington DC, answered over and over and over and…

The Cranky Professor

Found him while looking for bloggers in my home town. Stuck around for the occasional update on life in East Bumpafuck, and more than an occasional post that reminds me of all I learned in my Art History courses.

Merrideth Y

She’s just really cool. She’s every wild, bohemian, dramatic friend you ever had who went to the big city to live their dream life of performing and living and… and, unlike all your friends, she seems to be successful at it.

Max Barry

Author of several really good books. Seems to be one of the few authors who really maintains a blog just for the joy of occasional communication instead of promoting an agenda.

Laurenn Mccubbin

Okay… I sooooooo have a fan-crush on her. Really cool. Really smart. Really talented. And really cute — with tattoos! She always seems to be doing amazing work, with cool people, in interesting places. I’m still upset, two years later, at having missed her when she was at SPXpo.

Jason Kottke

Yes. The uber-blogger. Everybody knows kottke, and everybody reads kottke. I would say the quality has gone down in recent years, especially when he “went pro” and practically stopped posting (ironic?). He occasionally slips and falls behind everyone else for a few weeks. But he has enough remaindered links that still interest me. And he’s the only one posting about design that I regularly read.

Warren Ellis

Trying to find a definition I wrote of him a few years ago, but it’s gone *poof*. He seems to fancy himself a vocal observer of popular and sub-popular culture. But he’s more like an agent provocateur for some deviant society. Damn good writer, though, when he doesn’t try too hard.

Rain Polsky

See Merideth Y (above), with a little less adrenalin.

Rion Nakaya

Just … good photographs. Originally based in NYC, but now living in Paris.

Stuart Hughes

A BBC reporter, famous for losing his leg while reporting the Iraqi war. Has become an advocate against landmines and an impressive athlete — handicapped or no. He still jumps on a BBC plane anytime something explodes, and files reports through his blog as often as he does through the BBC.

Bruce Sterling

One of the current generation of writers, who has practically define speculative fiction. Pop culture and design guru.


Professional bloggers staying half a step ahead of the Washington Post. Not particularly exciting, but at least they’re truly local, without resorting to all-politics, all-the-time.


Same as DCist, but based out of NYC.


The Mecca of group blogs. Consistently voted the best at everything in the world. They may not be as much fun as they once were, but they’re no less prolific. And unlike most successful blogs, they have no compulsion against wearing their heart on their sleeve, and pushing their own agendas to the illogical extreme.

Brian Wood

Graphic Designer turned Indi Comic God. Was dubious when he decided he wanted to write, and not particularly impressed with his first few efforts. But he’s really finding his stride now, and producing some great work, like DMZ and Supermarket.

Eye Level

A blog from the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and* American Art Museum. Written in a very personal and low-key tone.

Brandon Scott

Pretty pictures. Great illustrator.

Jean Snow

Design junkie living in Japan and telling us all about it.

Marie Javins

Haven’t really been reading her stuff for long enough to know the whole story. But she seems to be constantly on the move, through half the world and back, and writing and selling and…

Nata Village

A blog from an AIDS clinic in a small African village. ‘Nuff said.

Ze Frank’s The Show

I was more impressed when I first started watching this, but it’s still funny. Used to be more topical and insightful, but who’s to complain about free TV. If it gets too meta and self-congratulatory, I can just stop watching.

1 photo at a time. Dramatic. Dark. Abstract. Japanese.

Guy Kawasaki

Professional rainmaker and speaker, and Apple guru. Just started reading this one, because he seems to be linking to some useful business and organizational resources.

*Jeff Gates–the “Managing Editor” of Eye Level–sent me an email pointing out that although they share a building, the blog only covers the American Art Museum.

“Hacker” Definitions / July 14, 2004 / Comment on this

Because even if someone manages to get one or two of them right, they seldom get them all:
Hacker n. 1. Originally used in the 1970’s to refer to someone who was such a good programmer they could write code without referring to reference materials. This was a much bigger feat back then, when you consider they were essentially working with a text editor. 2. In the eighties, it became anyone who could gain access, through physical or social means, to a computer system they had no permission to be on. They were usually not destructive, and were simply “counting coup*”. 3. By the 1990’s, the term came to refer to any person doing something not legal with a computer, but for the most part it dropped the social engineering aspect and relies primarily on computer knowledge and use of software.
Phreaker (a.k.a Phone Phreak) – n. 1. Someone who through use of technology such as a tone-generator or social engineering manages to obtain free telephone service, usually through public pay phones.
Crackern. 1. Someone who is primarily known for breaking the copy protection on software.
Script Kiddien. 1. A person with little or no programming knowledge or skill, who uses tools constructed by someone else to launch destructive or disabling attacks on computers over the Internet.

*Counting Coupv. 1. Associated with American Indian Plains culture. A ritual stick is used by a warrior to touch (not kill or maim) an armed enemy. transfers highest honor and status to touch an enemy who has weapons while you are only armed with a ritual stick.

Definition: Boondocks / July 1, 2004 / Comment on this

Slang term to define a rural area.
Derived from the Tagalog word bundok, meaning mountain.
Became part of American vocabulary during the Philippine-American War. Mountainous terrain offered refuge and strategic advantages to Filipinos fighting for their country’s independence, and patrolling the boondocks became a common task for the U.S. military as it sought to eliminate resistance to U.S. rule. The boondocks were a contested terrain. They were bases of resistance. In American usage the word means hinterland, back country, or a remote and underdeveloped area.

More definitions / May 15, 2004 / Comment on this

Brought to you by the need to understand what Warren Ellis is talking about. You know when your parents told you about “baaaaaaad men”? That’s Warren Ellis.
British slang for a woman or girl, but it is always disparaging and offensive and signals the user as lower class and unrefined. It’s also now rather dated.
The word is Arabic for a daughter, specifically one who has yet to bear a child. It was in common use as a slang term during the first and second World Wars among British and Allied servicemen stationed in Egypt and neighbouring countries.
(1) The act of sucking or licking ejaculate (or other substances mixed with ejaculate) out of the orifice in which they were deposited. Most commonly used to refer to sucking out semen after anal sex, but technically sucking the semen out of your girlfriend’s pussy is also felching
(2) Noun, referring to the substance ingested during the act of felching–generally a mixture of semen and other bodliy fluids (feces, sweat, vaginal fluid, etc.)

Definitions / April 3, 2004 / Comment on this

In what may become a ongoing thing, here are a few definitions that most people don’t know, and I’ve been unable to find online:
White Hots: Apparently a Central New York phenomenon. A type of hot dog, originally produced by Zweigles, in Rochester, NY. When uncooked, they are all white, apparently due to a lack of any nitrates or food coloring in the production process. This supposedly makes them healthier. They have a distinctive taste, which tends to make them a personal preference; not for everyone.
Shit-Kickers: Heavy duty work boots, usually military issue. Black leather with thick soles. Popular in punk rock and redneck circles.

Lincolns 2nd Innaugural / February 13, 2003 / Comment on this

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

— Abraham Lincoln, Second Innaugural Address

Book Recommendation / August 30, 2002 / Comment on this

I’ve got recommended reading for all of you. I was thinking of the Christensen’s in particular, since I’ve had relevant conversations with many of you. But I suppose it is pretty universally applicable:
Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web by David Weinberger
There is no computer jargon. There will be no articles on the profitability of a web site. And it won’t tell you how to do your banking online.
Read it because it will tell you how the Web affects real people, like you.
The web is not a business. Before there was any money-makers online, there were over 12,000,000 people accessing it on a regular basis in this country alone.
Maybe, just maybe, the newspapers and TV have been missing part of the story.

A product / August 17, 2002 / Comment on this

a product

The Radioactive Boy Scout / April 20, 2002 / Comment on this

The Radioactive Boy Scout

The last of the Magic Fingers men / April 11, 2002 / Comment on this

The last of the Magic Fingers men

Merriam-Webster online is our / November 17, 2001 / Comment on this

Merriam-Webster online is our friend.

I refuse to be / October 15, 2001 / Comment on this

I refuse to be so trendy as to have a list of blogs I like running down the side of this page. It’s none of you’re damn business what I read. Unless I feel the need to subject you to it of course.
However, as I’ve shown before, I am not above mentioning blogs that I find particularly interesting. This girl (gerl) Is one of the better writers I’ve found. Very eloquent, outspoken, intelligent, and damn cute. (Remind you of anyone else we know?)

The very first woman / August 22, 2001 / Comment on this

The very first woman to run for the presidency of the United States was Victoria Claflin Woodhull in 1872. She ran on a platform of free love, women’s suffrage, short skirts, legalized prostitution and the right of women to orgasm. She was arrested and jailed on obscenity charges the day before the election. She lost the election to Ulysses S. Grant.

my apartment, washington, dc / March 1, 1999 / Comment on this

“The Touch of the Master’s Hand”
by Myra Brooks Welch
T’was battered and scarred and the auctioneer,
Thought it scarcely worth his while.
To waste much time on the old violin,
but held it up with a smile.
“What am I bid, good folks ” he cried,
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?”
“A dollar then, Two! Only two? two dollars,
and who’ll make it three?”
“Three dollars, once Three dollars twice,
going for three, But no.
From the room far back,
a grey haired man, came forward and picked up the bow.
Then wiping the dust from the old violin,
and tightening the loose strings.
He played a melody pure and sweet,
as a caroling angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer,
with a voice that was quite low,
Said: “What am I bid for the old violin?”
and held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?
two thousand! and who’ll make it three?
Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
and going and gone” said he.
The people cheered but some of them cried,
we do not quite understand,
What changed it’s worth?, Swift came the reply,
“The Touch of the Masters Hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune,
and battered and scarred with sin.
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
much like the old violin.
A “mess of pottage a glass of wine,
a game ”
And he travels on.
He is “going”
and almost gone.
“But the Master comes and the foolish crowd,
never can quite understand.
The worth of a soul and the changes that wrought,
by “The Touch of the Master’s Hand.”