Month: February 2013

Why I left Rogers

The Rogers WarningOn Friday I cancelled the last two things I had with Rogers. Home Phone and Internet.

Why did I leave Rogers? I’ve never had a significant outage, I’m mostly happy with the bandwidth speed. My phone has never given me an issue. It can really be boiled down to one reason.

Bandwidth caps aren’t keeping up Continue Reading

The Digital Comics List – February 2013

Digital ComicsIt’s been about three months since I posted my last “Digital Comics List”, and quite a few things have changed.

First up, Marvel Now has swept across the Marvel Universe, and with it a ton of really great Marvel comics.  You’ve got Bendis on All New X-Men, Hickman on Avengers, Jason Aaron on Wolverine and the X-Men, Frank Cho on Savage Wolverine, and of course Dan Slott’s Superior Spider-Man.

On top of that there’s Deathmatch, which is sort of a “What if everyone fought everyone”, pitting a bunch of superhero archetypes against each other.  The first issue was only .99, which made it really appealing. Continue Reading

Sound City and the Awesomeness of Digital Distribution

Sound CityThis weekend Char and I rented Sound City, the documentary about the legendary recording studio that gave rise to some of the best music of the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and early 00’s.  It’s an incredible directorial debut for Dave Grohl, who has already had one of the most amazing second acts in musical history.  As drummer for Nirvana, and mastermind behind the Foo Fighters, the man has built an incredible catalogue of music so far.

It’s pretty awesome that at 44 years old he adds “Director” to his list of accomplishments.

The movie is awesome, the first half of it is a chronological telling of the history of Sound City, as told by the people who were there.  You not only learn about the early years of the studio, but the creation of bands like Fleetwood Mac (which literally would not exist were it not for Sound City), and the rise of Rick Springfield.  It charts the studio’s improbable rise, inevitable fall, and rebirth after Nirvana’s Nevermind is recorded there. Continue Reading

Anatomy of a Redesign – A List Apart

A List Apart 5.0A List Apart – For people who make websites, is one of my favourite resources on the internerds for web usability stuff.  I own all of the A Book Apart books, and I’ve always loved their websites.

They just did a total redesign, and posted a great summary of the process.  I always love reading these because redesigning is a fun process to me, and it’s cool to see how other people do it.

Check out A List Apart 5.0  The little walk down memory lane is awesome, it’s cool to see the different versions of the site so far, and seeing that they went ahead and launched without fixing all of the finicky little things.

To launch on time, we have knowingly held off on finessing certain details and (like you do) decided to suppress a few niceties until after the relaunch. If you spot a quirk in the UX logic, an inconsistency in the design hierarchy, or a curious flaw in the CSS, we are probably working on it.

Nice work Mr. Zeldman and friends!

The Making of a Geek – Bid Time Return

Bid Time ReturnI had the coolest job for a 16 year old ever thanks to Gord and Brian during the Bid Time Returns era.  I started on the shop on Queens, helped open both the downtown and White Oaks Endless Adventures, moved to the Dundas street store, and went on to Heroes with Mike and Sean.

I still have awesome memories of the Queens Ave store, and I remember the day that I found out the name of the shop was actually a line from Shakespear’s Richard II (Act III, Scene 2): “O call back yesterday, bid time return.”

Brian taught me about doing shows, and I had a blast driving to Toronto with him.  We were similar in personality, and both of us could just quietly enjoy the silence.  He had an awesome old 1950’s Ford that was so great to ride in, despite the fact that we were driving into the sun both ways.  Gord taught me a lot about the business part, just through osmosis.  He taught me about ordering, inventory, and I cashed out more nights than I care to think.  I learned a ton about games, and I amassed a huge comic collection, going so far as to take my own collection to Toronto on weekends to do one-day shows in the early 90’s (when you could buy the latest issue of “Puma Blues” on a Friday in London, and turn it over for $20.00 on Sunday in Toronto).  I started doing rudimentary inventories, and kept track of my sales in a ledger.

During the down times, and after the doors closed, Gord would engage us in long conversations about society, philosophy, and he introduced me to stuff I would never have read on my own. As I got older, those conversations greatly shaped my own worldview, and coloured my own philosophies.

In 2005 I started my own online comics shop, All New Comics, with the intention of providing the same level of service that we gave every customer at Bid Time Return back in the day.  Owning my own shop was cool, but it still pales in comparison to my time in the four colour trenches of my youth.