Thursday, June 24, 2010

Techno lust or bust . . . the new apple iPhone 4, or 5, or 6?

Massive lines at the Apple Store this a.m.
Safe sex? Put all your passion into technology and you can develop a healthy case of techno lust. The pictures in today's posting show a fraction of the crowds snaking along Boylston St. this morning as each techno-hungry enthusiast waited for his or her turn to buy the new iPhone4 that was released today. Most of the people in line already own iPhones but want to upgrade to the latest version with more bells and whistles.

And I am not above the addiction either. Mine isn't for iPhones yet, but it is for all products apple starting in the mid 80s with the purchase of an Apple IIe to be followed soon by a Mac II, and every few years by another. I've had desk top versions and even had one of the first laptop PowerBooks back in '93.

Kick-Ass cupcakes of Somerville got an order for 2,000 cupcakes to be distributed this morning to the patient folks (many of whom camped out all night to be first in line) in front of the apple store complements of, a company that makes protective coverings for the iPh0nes. In the picture above you can see (behind the tree) the girl in black with a box of her cupcakes. Talk about lust, one bite into a kick-ass cupcake can start its own form of addiction. I know.

But all this wonder at techno-lust aside, at the heart of all of the madness is a desire to connect. Nowadays the words "sales" and "marketing" have become turn-offs while social networking and social media are the favored expressions for building relationships with others in a friendly, personal way that builds trust. So the next time you see someone on the T with that focused beam on their hand-held electronic device, don't be harsh and judgmental. They're building connections and using the technology to do so. When my kids have been traveling, it's been so comforting to be able to "skype" them or email and know that they're OK.

And the Apple company is definitely a "people" company that connects people. They use brilliant technology to do it, but they give so much support, information, and education to their customers, that those relationships bring us back over and over again to buy new ways to reach out and touch someone.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Boston is berry, berry nice,

Out walking today, I found the return of the farmer's market in Copley Square in front of Trinity church was bursting with color and all the signs of summer. Strangely beautiful butterfly chairs along Boylston Street caught my eye alerting me to a new place, Sugar Heaven.

Moments later I couldn't resist capturing these patriotic shorts, reminding us of the next major holiday.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

When the heart of stone is a good thing

Two-inch thick Calcutta from Italy
Today's expedition took me to Stone Technologies in Woburn for an educational seminar. I learned that acid (wine, lemon juice) reacts with the calcium carbonate in marble to etch the stone—those dull spots you may not want on your Italian treasure—while the presence of magnesium makes it harder and stain resistant. Igneous stone was once molten lava that cooled over time inside the earth to become granite. Natural hot springs caused the tiny holes in Travertine marble. Stalagmite and stalactites in caves are the sources of another decorative stone and if I could find my notes, I'd tell you what the name of that stone is.
Here are a few pictures from their slab supply:

This engineered terrazzo stone above is made from recycled beer and vodka bottles, while the one below has a much less varied palette and can be back-lit for dramatic effect.

You've all heard of butcher block, but until today I had never heard of Butcher Rock which has all the properties of granite with the fun addition of a bold graphic design statement.