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Gordon Meyer
Home automation and instructional design expert.
Interests: conjuring, sociology, technology as applied to everyday life.
Recent Activity
The latest version of Microsoft Word is displaying a shockingly poor “what’s new” message at first launch. I worked closely with the user documentation folks at Microsoft when they were first implementing Apple Help, and they were smart and careful... Continue reading
Posted 3 hours ago at Gordon Meyer
Once you have your COVID-19 vaccination card from the CDC (and you do have one, right?) some people are recommending that you take a photo of it, so you have a copy on your iPhone. That’s not a bad idea,... Continue reading
Posted 3 hours ago at Gordon Meyer
This is a very unusual book for me. It’s the re-telling of ancient Japanese folk tales using sequential art, and it’s published in the traditional Japanese manner so it’s read “back to front” and “right to left,” compared to other... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Gordon Meyer
It’s intimidating to write about this book for two reasons: Firstly, after reading a book subtitled “Secrets of the Perfect Turn of Phrase,” you might have a high expectation for my recap. If the book was so damned good, why... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2021 at Gordon Meyer
This slim, pocket-sized volume by Neil Gaiman and Gene Wolfe is sixteenth in the Little Walks for Sightseers series, published by American Fantasy Press of Woodstock, Illinois. I have the third printing, which features a cover by the legendary Gahan... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2021 at Gordon Meyer
This book is subtitled “Connecting to the Fae in the Modern World.” And let’s get one thing out of the way now—to get any enjoyment from this charming book by Tara Sanchez you have to be inclined to agree with... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2021 at Gordon Meyer
Dumbasté -- the moron in me recognizes the moron in you. Alabama fails to reverse ban on school yoga as conservatives say they fear rise in Hinduism Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2021 at Gordon Meyer
I open my post office box and on top of the week’s mail is a peach-colored notification slip. For most people, “Oh! I have a package to pick up!” would be a joyful surprise. But those people don’t live in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2021 at Gordon Meyer
This book is part of “The Last Interview and Other Conversations.” The book series that collates interviews with iconic and influential public figures. (It’s worth checking out the impressive list of other titles.) The interviews have a transcript-like feel to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2021 at Gordon Meyer
My latest publication... Ten shocking true stories of neighborhood murders in a compact, handmade booklet. Explore the dark side of Wicker Park and Bucktown (Chicago) history with this latest addition to the Bizarre Fact File series. $2 postpaid. Order online... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2021 at Gordon Meyer
If you’re unfamiliar with Charles Fort, then this book by Jim Steinmeyer might not be for you. However, if like me, Fort is one of the “patron saints” in your pantheon, this is a must-read. I was introduced to Fort... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2021 at Gordon Meyer
Bravo to IKEA for this audiobook version of their iconic catalog. It is perfectly executed, and such a clever idea. It's things like this that make me wish I was still updating Usable Help, as this deserves to be widely... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2021 at Gordon Meyer
Last summer, during landscaping work, we created and then buried a “time capsule” in our backyard. It includes some tchotchkes and surprises, but also some pandemic-related “new normal” artifacts. (Such as Trump’s ridiculous national postcard.) Hopefully, when it’s dug up... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2021 at Gordon Meyer
This is a fun middle schoolers book that focuses on a haunted house and how its mysteries are resolved by a group a seventh grade kids. The intended audience is young, but Lindsay Currie does an admirable job of creating... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2021 at Gordon Meyer
I wish I could remember who told me about this book; I’d like to thank them. The book is hard to describe because a cursory description — an ethnographic narrative about the similarities of cross-culture shamanism and DNA structures —... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2021 at Gordon Meyer
Thanks to Readly and Apple News+, I read many magazines on my iPad, and sometimes I want to save an article for future reference. To accomplish this, I capture a screenshot of each of the article’s pages. However, this clutters... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2021 at Gordon Meyer
My earliest memory of “Ellery Queen” is the eponymous Mystery Magazine in my father’s lunchbox. He was a civilian Air Force employee, and he’d spend his breaks reading the short stories (when he wasn’t reading Popular Science or Popular Mechanics).... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2021 at Gordon Meyer
(Or, why I’m not a poet) There once was a stream With no water, just zines (Tiny books and art made from dreams) There’s Corinne and Liz Drinking coffee (with lids) Sharing grins and drumming up biz It’s how I... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2021 at Gordon Meyer
A quick word of caution. Although I’m a fan of eero (starting before Amazon bought them), if you’re a HomeKit user, there is an obvious oversight in their software of which you should be aware. Replacing an old eero device... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2021 at Gordon Meyer
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
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
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
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 #LoveYourLocals #ThingsNotGenerallyKnown Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2020 at Gordon Meyer
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