I Was the Foreman On a Jury in Chicago! Here’s What Happened.

juror-stickerI was summoned for jury duty and, like most people, I didn’t want to go. The idea of sitting on a jury actually did interest me, but the biggest problem was that there’s no way of knowing how long a trial will last. You legally can’t get fired for having to serve on a jury, but I’m a freelancer—so that doesn’t help me at all. If I’m not home, I’m not working, and no one will care why.

But it ended up being a great experience, and now that it’s over I can talk all about the case. First, I’ll talk about the whole process (in Chicago, at least), for anyone interested. Feel free to skip down if you’ve already served, or are only interested in this specific case: Skip to The Trial Begins
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Tommy Gun’s Treadmill Desk (component breakdown with prices) [updated 1 year later]

tommy-gun-treadmill-desk


Hate reading? Watch the video! (More info here, though.)

 

This is my treadmill desk! As of this writing, I have been using this for five months. This is not a new idea (I’ve wanted to do this ever since I saw this video five years ago), but I haven’t seen anyone use these particular parts. If you’re interested in “building” one, this page will give you Amazon links, prices, and advice (though I’m certainly no expert). Prices are what I paid on Amazon; they may have changed since then. Links will open in new tabs.
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How to remap your TypeMatrix (or other) keyboard keys with autohotkey

I just got a couple of the new TypeMatrix keyboards. I’m friends with the owners, and years ago I made their promo video:

The new version is great, but some of the keys have been switched around, and I’m very picky. Luckily, autohotkey allows you to remap keys very easily (I always have a script running anyway). AHK can do tons of amazing things, but for our purposes we’re just going to do some simple remapping. The basics are:

  • Download and install AHK
  • Create a new text file (with notepad or whatever), and add the code below. Save it with the extension “.ahk”
  • Double-click on the .ahk file you just saved, to launch it

It may seem confusing at first, because AHK is not a program you launch. You simply install it, and then launch each script individually. You can also create .exe files so you don’t need AHK installed, but I prefer to keep them .ahk so I can keep editing them at any time easily (I change my mind a lot).
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The Beckoning of Lovely (10/10/10) – Review

On October 10th, 2010 I attended “The Beckoning of Lovely”:

The Beckoning of Lovely is an expanding film project involving hundreds of strangers from around the world. Amy Krouse Rosenthal initiated the project last fall by filming a spontaneous public gathering on 8/08/08 at “The Bean” in Millennium Park. The event was a beautiful testament to the power of community, cooperation, and hope amongst strangers in the name of all things lovely. The project has since evolved into the making of a full-length feature film.

What exactly the event would entail remained vague, but my girlfriend wanted to go, and it sounded like it could be cool. I watched the 08/08/08 video, and it seemed like it could be something akin to the mp3 experiment (except with more art, and no mp3). Here’s the 08/08/08 video:
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New cellphone

At Pitchfork I found a cool lost cellphone, but instead of keeping it we were able to track down the guy and give it back. I liked it so much that I bought the same model on ebay. Yesterday it came, AND SOMEONE STOLE IT from my doorstep. All I found was an empty, ripped-open box. Awesome. Just further proof that there’s no such thing as karma.

The Lakeshore Theater

The city of Chicago is full of bars, clubs, theaters, and other interesting ways to spend your time and money. A few months ago, I paid a stranger from craigslist $70 for this:

lakeshore-theater-flexpass

If you can’t tell, that’s a badly photocopied piece of paper wrapped up in Scotch tape. Seventy. Dollars. He told me they’re worth $100 though, so I got a good deal, right? Let me start at the beginning.
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How is a Corvus like an escritoire?

My relatives were visiting this week, so I took the train out to the suburbs to see them. The next day they drove me back to Chicago, and during the car ride my aunt and uncle were discussing the difference between gregarious and loquacious.

I wish I could hang out with them all the time.