Monthly Archives: August 2011

Moved

I haven’t written anything for a while. I’ve used the “I’ve been too busy at work” excuse before so I’m not going to bother to repeat myself. Apart from the downpours and the possibly strained muscles in my torso and left arm, moving was a success on Sunday and I’m proud to be one of the newest residents of Amsterdam-Noord. The idea of sharing a flat with roommates has never bothered my mind and I’m pleased I didn’t go down the “forever alone [when it comes to accommodation]” thinking route. I was in and out of the house on Sunday with getting things done, so I didn’t get to properly introduce myself to Shaun and Robyn until Monday evening. I won’t turn this into some kind of diary entry with comments such as “OMG me and Robyn have the same camera model” but they’re good eggs; that’s what matters. The matter of what I do for a living came up, as it does, and there’s always that moment of actually explaining what it is the company I work for actually does. While I’m by no means ashamed of where I work, there are unfortunately some people on this planet who are disgusted, even offended, by certain practices – even if they have nothing to do with it personally. I work as a designer for a fetish wholesale business operating from Duivendrecht, Amsterdam; a magical and colourful job it is, with output that can be summed up in the words of Matt of Kink Engineering fame:

Not safe for work, unless your work is awesome.

Explaining where I work is always best explained with the catalogue we produce. It’s interesting to judge people’s reactions: more people are curious and intrigued by the content than disgusted but, then again, this is the Netherlands.

Back to LA-born graphic designer Robyn and I’ve noticed I don’t use paragraphs very effectively, if at all. The company she’s currently interning for has – for the last few years – designed a series of “design and architecture […] yearbooks”. I must say: I knew Germany was at the forefront of such industries but there are a lot of submissions from German students. Germany and the United Kingdom. One entry I’m taking interest in is that of the “pictorial communication language” Picol – I wonder just how complex the art of designing universally- or near-universally-recognisable pictograms is; I assume it takes a hell of a lot of research. Robyn’s off on holiday for the next few weeks to Italy before returning briefly to Amsterdam and then flying back to the United States, which is disappointing to say the least.

My other roommate at the moment is Dundee-born Scottish sweatheart Shaun, who’s finishing an internship with an architectural firm this week. I haven’t really talked to him much; I feel more comfortable conversing with women than men—het homoheid, natuurlijk. On the day both Shaun and Robyn move out, a young Spaniard will be arriving; people moving in and people moving out gradually all this week but I work 09:00–17:30 so I’m not exactly in the house much during the day.

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Localisation

I’m really quite busy with work at work; I haven’t had much free time these days. Here goes with a small rant about Google Chrome. This is a strings rant: it’s hardly worth mentioning it’s such an insignificance. I turned this Chrome feature off a while ago because I was at a stage where I felt I could read whatever the Internet threw at me, but I needed to turn it back on again today—automatic page translation. It’s not call ‘automatic page translation’ in the preferences; the description of the checkbox reads:

“offer to translate pages that aren’t in a language that I read”

The way this sentence is worded implies that I only speak English or, more generally, I only speak the primary language my system is set to.† I don’t; I speak English and Dutch—the former significantly more confidently than the latter, but I’m getting there … slowly. I’d suggest the line be changed to something like:

“offer to translate pages in languages other than English”

There; works perfectly well and it doesn’t hurt my gigantic ego. Small things like this get on my tits, but I don’t think they would if I didn’t think they mattered.

†: If my primary system language wasn’t English, I wouldn’t be reading a checkbox description in English, would I? Disregard the striked text.

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