Blog Party: A New Biweekly Get-together

block party!

Blog Party

We’re very excited to announce a new biweekly blogging night, Blog Party, starting Thursday, April 11th here at CIVIC SPACE! Blog Party aims to bring together local bloggers to discuss ideas, inspiration, and issues in the city and beyond, providing a time and space for writing, learning, and creating together, regardless of skill level.

Hosted by Sara and Josh, Blog Party is both an opportunity to learn and teach, and ultimately make great blogs. Blog Party works like a pot luck — you bring something you know how to do, and everyone else gets to sample it — together, we’ll learn how to blog better, faster, and smarter.

Upcoming Dates

June 6th & 20th

July 4th & 18th

August 1st, 15th, & 29th

@7pm, Civic Space – 411 Pelissier Street, Windsor

Research Update (some things I’ve been working on the last couple of days)

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts — a kind of summary of some of the things I’ve been working on. It seemed about time. I like posting as a sort of summary for myself, but maybe it’s interesting for my dearest BCL colleagues to see what I’ve been up to as well.

One of the things that has been taking up a lot of brain space has been a project I began over a year ago developing some Windsor / city-exploration specific iPhone apps. After wrestling with Objective C for way too long, I’ve moved over to HTML5 and in particular using Sencha Touch as a base. My progress has increased a lot.

I’m comfortable with HTML, CSS, PHP, but I’ve somehow avoided picking up a firm grasp of javascript. Sencha Touch is a set of js libraries, or more specifically, from their website, “Sencha Touch is a mobile JavaScript framework for developing HTML5 web apps that look and feel native.” I’m just following tutorials right now, but things are sinking in.

A project building off of something Josh started a little while back. Basically a set of questions for a list of people. I’m hoping to post the responses on here — I’ve asked for a photo and text as answers to the questions — and maybe turn it into some kind of short run publication.

Awaiting my perusal, the latest copy of Fuse!!!

And, a trusty guide already, the HTML5 cookbook.

Also, as you may have noticed, I’ve been playing around with other webfonts. We’re currently deploying Adobe Typekit, using Adelle and Museo-Slab.

And, in preparation for some work we’ll be doing for a project in Hamilton, I’m working with Gravity Forms and a tutorial for creating mad-lib style forms. Gravity Forms seems flexible, but there’s some basic stuff that I haven’t been able to get an answer for on the forums, specifically, an issue with the Reply To part of a contact form.

Basically, I’m try to get this effect. I’m thinking there’s too many blanks above, but you get the idea.

A final shot of some mad code. I type things out from tutorials by hand then try to catch my own mistakes. It’s kind of like a game, but then it’s not actually fun when you can’t find your own error.

Tomorrow, mid-week BCL work time! We’ve been meeting Fridays, taking minutes, prepping for a potentially incredibly busy year, etc., just in case there was any thought that we’d been taking it easy.

New Website is Up (but we’re working out the kinks)


It felt like it was time for an update around here. With the winter coming, it seems right to have something a little brighter.

There’s also a bunch of new features that we’re still working out, so please be patient. All of our content is on here, somewhere. Let us know if you have any particular trouble finding things.

How we use this site for research (in-part)


Over the last week or so, we’ve added a few new things to our little website here. It’s funny because there’s a lot of research that goes on in the background, in terms of things we come across and don’t blog about, ideas that we email to one another, and documenting our process and posting it alongside that of other people’s works, which at times just sort of goes into the background archive.

Speaking with Tom Lucier earlier this week made us realize the distance between our blog-based practice and what we do in real space. That is, how we continually try to use the tools available to us online to communicate and network and collect information, and then the at times lo-tech initiatives we work with on an ongoing basis. Certainly there are times when these cross, but it just got me thinking about how important it is (at least from our perspective) to continue to keep the conversation going (at least amongst ourselves) online and continue to share what we’re reading and looking at during all that time in the week that we don’t get to get together.

So, I thought I’d make a quick post on some of the things I’ve added to the site as of earlier this week. In the right-most column, just past the contact information, there are now thumbnails of our most-recent posts on our research, there’s a series of links to bookmarks from my delicious page, and then there’s the links to the starred items from my Google Reader … with those kinks worked out, we’re going to try to plug-in feeds from other BCL research fellows when available.

Sometimes it’s difficult to find the time to post more than a few times a week, but I know I’m continually trying to make myself notes and links to things that might relate to an idea I had, or a note about something I should revisit when I have more time. For me, seeing all of these things in one place is helpful and to have it alongside all of the other things we’re continuing to talk about just seemed to make sense.

The New Year

Save This City, text on ice

I just got back from out of town, I’m exhausted, having spent the last few days in northern Michigan (I forgot what it’s like to have real winter, it was nice). I pulled this out of the freezer, having nearly forgotten I had finished it, I had some difficulty freezing this one, mostly because I was trying to do so outside right when things were beginning to thaw.

I’m really looking forward to 2009—so many things to do and many more ideas to come. Posts should start up regularly again in the next day or so.

Make an Encouraging Banner

Everything is not Broken

I’ve been pointed to Learning To Love You More on a number of occasions, though it’s only recently that I’ve dug into the site a little bit more. The project was initiated by Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher in 2002 and works around the assignments that participants are supposed to complete and document and send back to be posted on the website (and sometimes included in a book, an exhibition, a screening, or a radio broadcast). The image above is from Assignment #63Make an Encouraging Banner. I think if I were to have made a banner, it might have been something like that one.

That the project does get a fair amount of participants is inspiring, but the thing I like the most are the ideas of the assignments themselves and the fact that they exist, that they were written down, thought about, and attempted. Making a list is, at the very least, a starting point of fixing something.

Changes and Upgrades

Moving things around and getting organized

After some considerable thought, I decided to move over to WordPress. Previously, the site had been running on a basic CMS system I wrote myself. My hope is that this move will enable a more stable back-end for posting, commenting, etc, and keep me from having to do any heavy maintenance in PHP.  

If you subscribed via RSS before, please adjust your reader to point to the new feed. You might notice that older comments are missing, but we’re going to work on this—the transition has been a fairly manual process, and so a bit more time-consuming than I would have liked, but I think most everything is in order now.

However, if you do stumble across anything strange, please let me know.

Ambassador Bridge Website

Y’all know i love the bridge. The damn thing is tattooed on my back. So, I google searched Ambassador Bridge, and found it’s official website!

The history section of this website is pretty interesting but i think the photo section is lacking extremely.

Everyone takes pictures of the bridge! There has to be more historical ones lying around the city as well as new ones.

If you have some, send them to with the subject “more bridge photos for your Ambassador Bridge website.”