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Showing posts from March, 2009

I am Dreaming of a Real Kitchen - A Pure Kitchen

The worst thing about being a renter locked out of the housing market in San Francisco was that I had no control over my own "home". I couldn't garden, I couldn't have pets, and I certainly couldn't remodel a kitchen. Now, I'm able to have all of this in BaltiMORE.

Studioroom just launched a new version of Pure Kitchen.com. It's like porn for people like me.

Brooklyn, NY based Pure Kitchen specializes in modern, eco friendly kitchens. Unlike traditional construction, Pure Kitchen products use NO formaldehyde or other harmful agents. Did you know that you can get cabinet panels made entirely out of wheat? They utilize local fabricators, so if your in the North East that means your helping the local economy simply by remodeling your home.

When I finally buy my place, and am able to create the kitchen I've always been dreaming of, it will be a Pure Kitchen.

The Salad Lover's Dilema (1 calorie = 57 petro-calories)

What's not to love about a good, fresh salad? I love eating my veggies in all forms, but there's nothing like a crunchy, tangy, sweetly dressed salad - which must occupy my lunch and dinner table on a regular basis. Until last week, I used to love the spring mix salad so conveniently available at every super market, until I read Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma. I was amazed to learn that for every one calorie in spring mix lettuce, it takes fifty seven calories worth of "energy" to get it to my plate. That's right, for every ONE calorie of lettuce you eat, it took FIFTY SEVEN petro-calories just to get it in your front door. A typical spring mix salad serving has about 250 calories, but costs a whopping 14,250 calories of fuel (in gas, transportation, refrigeration, and automation).

This is exactly the problem that Veggie Trader (my newest site) is trying to address, sustainability.

It seems like a no-brainer to me, a foodie. Lettuce is lettuce and…

Dear Sellers - A House is a HOME (Not just an investment)

I am the elusive first time home buyer. I have perfect credit and a cash downpayment, and I am NOT buying...

There are a lot of lovely properties offered for sale all over Baltimore. Yesterday I went to a couple open houses in north Baltimore's Lake Walker neighborhood. I wish I could buy one right now, but they are all too expensive. The agent I spoke to at one house on Highwood street spoke about the new 1st time home buyer tax credit, $8,000.00. It would seem that sellers all of a sudden think their house went UP in value by $8k!!!

The problem with all real estate is that people are expecting a lot of something for nothing, just like the stock market. Too many people are treating homes as if they are equities, something which is just going to be traded around, profiting mainly on the transaction.

As far as I can tell, about %98 of the homes you go and look at need at least, AT LEAST, $20,000 worth of maintenance and repair work. I've also seen properties that need over $200,0…

Usability - Do You Believe in the Users?

Human beings are at the very core of User Experience Design. In my line of work (designing websites and software) there is an almost constant conflict between engineers & designers. The tech industry is constantly trying to streamline the way it operates, trading programming efficiency directly for User Experience.

I think everybody in tech is already aware of this imbalance and I was amused to see Google offering some user centered design lectures at their upcoming developer's conference. Here's a funny description of one session;

DoYouBelieveintheUsers?
Too many programmers have forgotten about the lost art of customer service. All software has users, though most developers have forgotten how to respect them, trust them, or “sell” their software to them in an exciting (but honest!) manner. This talk will focus on anecdotes and strategies for keeping software design uncomplicated, making software fast, and putting usability above programming convenience. We’ll also focus on …