Second Bowl


by Tobias on May 16, 2010

Third Bowl: BisquePhotograph by Jon Singer.

I grew up working with clay. I remember the first thing I ever made as a young child: a thumb bowl.  I am sure my mother still has it somewhere. I kept working with mud in various forms from thumb bowls in grade school to bust sculptures in college. Somewhere in between, about 20 years ago, I tried my hand at throwing bowls. I was not very good at it.  My parents have the only mildly successful piece I ever made; an eight inch wide, five inch tall planter. It is a planter because I breached the bottom of the pot making a nice hole for water to seep out . Not the intended result, but makes for a fine planter…I can only assume this is the case since it has never actually had a plant in it.

This all changed very recently. With Jon Singer as my sensei (先生), I was able to throw three bowls.

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Night Garden

In the middle of the night I brought my point’n’shoot out into the garden and took some pictures. I purposely left the flash on and used it to my advantage.  For example, I put the lens into the nose of a flower and let the flash’s light come in through the petals.

There seemed to be a fair amount of garden spiders out mostly hanging around the porch light so they can snag some yummy moths.  There is conveniently a bamboo “bush” right under it making droplets of dew for the morning to come.

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Indonesian Embasy: My First Day Playing Gamelan

Jon Singer taking me to the Indonesian Embassy for the first time.

I have probably done my last gamelan performance for the time being in the DC area.  It was what felt like an impromptu lesson/performance at the embassy for a day when many embassies in DC were having open houses.  It was great fun.  Of course, I played an instrument I had never played before…once…and during a performance.

That is just how gamelan seems to roll.

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Me & Micah having a drink

Me (left) pretending to be crazy & Micah (right) pretending to be tough. (We both laughed at the pic, but we were each crazy and tough in our own ways.)

Yesterday I was informed that my brother’s ashes were scattered at sea.

This was the end of a phone conversation with my father regarding other non-related topics, so it came as a bit of a surprise even though I knew it would be coming soon.  The family couldn’t bare the emotional scarification of being there for the event, so we allowed the kind people at The Neptune Society to take charge and spread his ashes at sea out on the Pacific Coast.

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I will be performing with the Indonesian Embassy Gamelan today at the Walters Art Museum.

Javanese Gamelan Performance

April 25, 2010
Time: 01:00 PM – 02:00 PM

Continuing our ongoing celebration of the arts of Asia, the Central Javanese Gamelan Ensemble of the Indonesian Embassy in Washington, D.C., (an ensemble of nearly twenty musicians led by Pak Muryanto on kendhang drums) will present a casual concert of classical Javanese gamelan music.

Price: Free
Location: Sculpture Court


Tastee Diner in the Winter

Tastee Diner: Open all hours and all weathers.

Tastee Diner
118 Washington Blvd S
Laurel, MD 20707
(301) 953-7567

[map] [web] [yelp] [my pics]

I don’t feel like I’ve arrived in Laurel, MD until I have a hot cup of coffee filled by someone at Tastee Diner who thinks my name is “Honey“.

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54 37th Ave
San Mateo, CA 94403
(650) 358-0298
[Yelp] [Map] [Flickr]

I have not had better sushi, I have only had different sushi.

I have a dedicated Flickr set for Yuzu.  Check it out here (and I hope to update it every time I attend.).

They know what they are doing.  When I need to be perked up there are two words that can change my mood in a heartbeat:

1) “Yuzu” & 2) “Omakase”

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Grace Garden
1690 Annapolis Road
Odenton, MD 21113-1061
(410) 672-3581
[website] [map] [yelp]

Sichuan Triple Treasure

Sichuan Triple Treasure

I was very excited to have my friends take me to this wonderful place.  The married team that runs it are enthusiastic about their food and energetic to, when the climate is quiet, discuss their menu in detail with you.

I had so many wonderful dishes that it is hard to pin point all of them…except one.

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Hunan Taste
718 N. Rolling Rd.
Catonsville, MD 21228
[map] [more info online] [on Yelp]

Mao's Braised Pork

We arrived late and were stunned that the selection of food was as high as the quality of the food. Before we even saw the menu, we were delighted; the tea was a light and tasty jasmine. From there, three of us ordered enough for five.

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Post image for User Interaction Distortion

User Interaction Distortion

by Tobias on April 20, 2010

In a previous article, I equated using a physical keyboard in tandem with the touchscreen interface of the iPad as a User Interaction Distortion.

Sine Wave

Let us say that User Interaction is like a waveform.  A nice smooth waveform is a sine wave (pictured left).  Smooth changes from all positions.  A good user interaction should be smooth and flow from all points to the next no matter how basic or advanced they are.

Distortion in the audio world is when the signal becomes altered and more “harsh” from it’s intended sound.  More jagged edges, more randomness, and less commonality between states.

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