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Gordon Meyer
Home automation and instructional design expert.
Interests: conjuring, sociology, technology as applied to everyday life.
Recent Activity
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When we moved into our place, the front gate had a deadlock and a locking doorknob. This combination created some usability problems: the doorknob, when locked, could be easily unlocked by reaching through the fence and turning the dial on... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2021 at Gordon Meyer
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The prolific Professor Oddfellow has resurrected (and, I suspect, updated) an ancient form of divination and personality reading that combines astrology with numerology. It’s a deep system, but clearly explained and is based on your birthdate, so the occult mathematics... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2020 at Gordon Meyer
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The Old-Fashioned: The Story of the World’s First Classic Cocktail with Recipes and Lore by Robert Simonson was a gift from a dear friend, who clearly knows me too well. Half of the book is filled with inspired and tempting... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2020 at Gordon Meyer
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Give the gift of Chicago neighborhood trivia and unusual facts with these inexpensive handmade booklets. Get 'em at Volumes Books and Quimby's, or direct at www.BizarreChicago.com #LoveYourLocals #ThingsNotGenerallyKnown Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2020 at Gordon Meyer
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It used to be a tradition for a family to gather and enjoy a good ghost story for Christmas. (See, for example, Dickens’ famous story.) This practice should be revived, and there’s a delightful Haunted Library of the best stories,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2020 at Gordon Meyer
A water leak can be one of the most expensive accidents to happen in your home. (Ask me sometime about ABT’s installation of a faulty fridge valve that caused over $20K in damage in our kitchen.) I recommend you buy... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2020 at Gordon Meyer
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This book by Ross Petras and Kathryn Petras is subtitled The 150 Most Commonly Misused Words And Their Tangled Histories. That’s a fair summary, but it could also be “Schadenfreude for Grammar Pedants.” This book discusses words that are commonly... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2020 at Gordon Meyer
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I bought this book because, based on the back cover blurbs, it seemed like it might be in the same ballpark as some of my favorite (and, alas, deceased) authors such as Hunter S. Thompson, George Carlin, and Abbie Hoffman.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2020 at Gordon Meyer
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A new Little Free Library has appeared in the neighborhood! Formerly known as "Little Free Library #76261," you can find it on the 1600 block of N. Wolcott Ave, in the Chicago Wicker Park - Bucktown neighborhood. Follow on Instagram... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2020 at Gordon Meyer
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The fun mailing list "What's In Your Bag?" provides insight into what I carry when conducting bizarre walking tours in my Chicago neighborhoods. Go ahead, peek into my man purse, I don't mind (this time): What's In My Bag? --... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2020 at Gordon Meyer
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Apple has changed the cropping tool so that, by default, it preserves the photo’s aspect ratio. This seems like a reasonable change, except when the reason you are cropping is to change a photo’s shape. In that situation, after you... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2020 at Gordon Meyer
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This stately Amsterdam house, built in 1670, was the home of six-time mayor Coenraad van Beuningen. Slipping into madness later in life, he suffered apocalyptic visions of the future and decorated the outside of his home with arcane symbols of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2020 at Gordon Meyer
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Each week, "What's in My Bag?" features one interesting person and the four favorite things in their bag. Here is my contribution to this fun list. Thanks to every one at Cool Tools for the opportunity. Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2020 at Gordon Meyer
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This book by Dennis Foley, subtitled Chicago’s Top 50 Hot Dogs and the Stories Behind Them, is a city-dweller’s delight. Foley has credibility to spare (more on this later) and the book is organized in a way that’s perfect for... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2020 at Gordon Meyer
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This book, by Steve Bryant, was delightful. I think anyone will enjoy it, but if you happen to be a magician, ghost show fan, or resident of the Midwest (or, ahem, all three) you’re in for a treat with page... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2020 at Gordon Meyer
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Oudmanhuispoort (Old Man’s House Passage) was part of an 18th Century senior citizen’s home. We learned about the place during a late-night “ghost tour” and vowed to visit the ancient market when it was open for business. Not too long... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2020 at Gordon Meyer
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The subtitle of this book by Eliza Todd is “A Coloring Book That Thinks You’re Pretty Darn Cool.” (Spoiler alert: the feeling is reciprocated.) Yes, let’s get one thing out of the way first, I’m 45-50 years older than the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2020 at Gordon Meyer
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In iOS 13 (and prior, probably) there was a Camera setting that would “remember” how you had the app configured last time you took a photo. This was very handy if there are particular filters, aspect ratios, and other tweaks... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2020 at Gordon Meyer
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We had a “date” to meet Kay and Flo for drinks the day after our joint nighttime dinner cruise of the Amsterdam canals. Gale and I arrived early and settled in at “Bar Americain” at the American Hotel. (The fact... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2020 at Gordon Meyer
"The mass of men lead lives of boring return address labels. I choose not to count myself among them." I couldn't agree more. Join the author and me in spreading a little joy with every missive: One Foot Tsunami: Fun... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2020 at Gordon Meyer
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It was only the second day of our long trip across Great Britain and Europe and here I was at Waterstones in Kensington purchasing a large-format book. Bless my wife for putting up with my impulse to buy it. (But... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2020 at Gordon Meyer
Oh! Thank you to MacSparky for blogging that a new version of The Levelator is available in the Mac App Store. This utility is a must-have for anyone producing spoken word audio. I'm glad to see it's back from the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2020 at Gordon Meyer
Today's culture seems to only value big successes. But little successes have a lot to recommend them too: The luxury of atypical success Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2020 at Gordon Meyer
Another nice summary of why you should be posting at your own domain and not a parasite like Medium: Autonomy Online: A Case For The IndieWeb — Smashing Magazine Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2020 at Gordon Meyer