As my declaration of need for an audio office evoked such a lively discussion in our “comments” section on Facebook, I determined a trek to the Apple Store was warranted. I have conducted audio experiments in side-by-side comparisons of Bose, Dr. Dre Beats, and Apple standard issue headphones. Dr. Bose won in a landslide. Noise cancelling will be deferred for now, but sound quality will not, I'm going for the other Doctor of headphones.
As the Memorial weekend brought luxurious weather, it seemed fitting that a paddle on our local chain of lakes should preface a trip to the Uptown Apple Store.
“I need to get a hat.” Great, Hoigaards, our local, family-owned outdoor store is on the way.
“I was thinking of the haberdashery.”
I seriously doubt they sell bucket hats at the local haberdashery.
It’s a Henry vs Humphrey style debate that plays out regularly in our house.
He says, “I need shorts”. I say, “Great REI is having a sale. “ He says, “I was thinking Banana Republic”
We go for cocktails. I say, “Hand me a long neck Bud Light with a vodka shot in the neck.” He says, “Hendricks, straight, on the rocks”.
He is “shaken, not stirred” while I am known to belt my favorite rendition of “Jose Cuervo” while getting dressed for the night. (Truth be told, I favor Don Julio Reposado but that doesn’t rhyme as well)
It’s Pad & Quill in a nutshell. We hold our love of natural beauty and skilled craftsmanship in a 24 year relational weave of yin and yang, black and white, “little bit country/little bit rock and roll” tapestry and somehow by God’s grace it all works out.
It’s like how our product line compliments and works together. The
“Mom, I need help writing my turtle essay”. “Mom, why don’t you write about me in your blog posts, I have good stories.” “Mom, I need…blah, blah, blah, money, money, money.” “Mom here are the 12 of the next 18 nights you will be preoccupied with attending my year-end concerts.” “Mrs. PQ , I need you to re write the copy on our Etsy Store page.”
I need a pair of headphones. Not just the ubiquitous, white knobs that accompany every iPhone, iPad and iAnything Apple, but rather a large, glaringly red, pair of Dr. Dre’s Beats. Apple, would you please accelerate your purchase of said company so I can become an in-office product tester. Of course, Bose “noise cancelling” headphones would also do the trick, but I fear the house would burn down in a world muted to that degree.
Rob Walker, @notrobwalker, Yahoo’s resident tech guru makes the case for me better then I could myself. I’m going to paste the link here, but, you ADD folks who came here to buy your dad a Journeyman wallet or Aria for iPad Air should complete your purchase first. Then follow the link, or you’ll end up forgetting and then resorting to gifting another sleeve of “barely-range ready" golf balls you found end capped at the Stuffmart Fueling Station enroute to brunch.
It’s not that I don’t love my family, and it’s not that I’m not more then happy to address their various needs and concerns, it’s just that every so often I need to bring work home with me, and writing blogs in
Last year I wrote a Mother’s Day post replete with not so subtle hints for gifts I may or may not be coveting for my outdoor adventures. The kids gave me a plant; lovely, but not quite handy as a means of propelling oneself down a scenic river way. If they want to “go green” this year, may I suggest trees? Specifically, 11 laminates of butternut, basswood, black willow and alder...eh hem.
They don’t read my blogs, so this year I might resort to more drastic measures. Believe me, I am not beyond blackmail. Thankfully, I hold particular sway this year over our best gift giver in our family, next to Mr. PQ of course. The youngest kid will survey your gift suggestions, perhaps a month in advance, he will then set a budget, work the appropriate hours, accounting for taxes and savings and then walk to Target to procure a gift for you. He is such a sweetheart it really gives me pause as I print out “Harley Holmes Mom taught me on Career Day” stickers. While Mr. Gift Giver is a total mom’s boy at home, out in public, I am persona non grata. He handed me a list of what I could and could not say for Career Day last week.
- Use only your first name. There are not enough Holmes in the school for adequate cover.
- Do not say you have a student at Metro Middle School
- You can say you have kids, but you can’t say you have sons
- Don’t worry about having kids in your class, if you can’t get into what you really want, they put you in the sessions that don’t have enough kids.
- I might, might end up in your room (see item above), act like you don’t know me.
Career day went great, I followed my list to the letter, and utterly delighted when the kid came home and announced
Attention iTunes App developers, I need help, again. As I continue my Pinterest inspired assault on our disorganized home, I delved into the freezer in search of an idea for Wednesday’s supper. Having a few extra minutes, it seemed an opportune time to initiate and archeological type dig to the bottom, hoping the history of my purchases ceased somewhere in mid 2013. Having passed into the third Costco layer, I discovered a beautifully shrink wrapped pork tenderloin. As I’d already unearthed another package marked “beef for stew or other” I retired from my work and returned to the kitchen to commence thawing my discoveries in a sink of hot water. (Hint: infinitely better then microwaving). With a mid April snow falling softly by the windows, I consulted with Tyler Florence to discover a means of heating up the evening and the tenderloin.
Chimmichurri warms you up just by saying the word repeatedly, all the more so if you salsa while repeating. Some time mid-morning I went to check on the thawing status only to discover the product label attached to my pristine pink loins. “Sell by 07/02/2011”. 2011? How in the world is there something in my freezer that almost predates iPad 2? Oh the humanity, if it’s pink is it still edible? Not according to Mr. PQ, so the dogs will be dining on pork for the next several weeks and we got “other” “Other” was a delicious Irish Stew,
One of my early job requirements for Pad & Quill was to become familiar with Pinterest and like many of my technology adaptations, I began with a shudder, gave it a noble effort then abandoned it when I couldn’t recall my sign in information. Then a friend of mine announced her engagement and suddenly Pinterest was the only proper means of communication with the female side of the bridal party. So, I hunted down my sign in information and began once again perusing the form of social media that most certainly is the insurance asset should Martha Stewart find herself incarcerated again. Thanks to Pinterest, I am now convinced that baking soda and vinegar are the solution to every domestic dilemma from dust mites to indigestion.
Speaking of indigestion, Pinterest had me arranging my refrigerator in alphabetical order, with the helpful “m” admonition that any item rendered nondescript due to a colony of mold growth be discarded. Was Christmas really 4 months ago? By far my favorite letter to organize was “C” as in chocolate and cheese, the incontrovertible couple of comfort. After dispatching the indistinguishable, I discovered I had an amiable array of cheeses, including both artisan and everyday staples. Lacking an idea for dinner it seemed brilliant to melt them into a marvelous crock of mystery mac and cheese.
Since I am now leading a Pinterest life, it was only reasonable to complete the trifecta and post an Instagram of said dish to Facebook. In the process of compiling a pithy comment to accompany my post, I typed the word “artisanal” only to have one of those parallel universe-spelling encounters where you swear a word should be spelled one way but spell checker asininely insists you are wrong. My culinary sense wanted to convey the buttery goodness of hand crafted cheeses, but my aging eyes could only see “art is anal”.
We’ve had some moody menfolk in the Pad and Quill household of late, and what a span of moods it is. I’m beginning to agree with the fifteen year old who contends that men do indeed have a monthly cycle. Mr. PQ is simply thrilled to have booked reservations at both of Tyler Florence’s restaurants in the San Francisco area at the end of this month. Mr. PQ’s man crush on Tyler is so pervasive I’m beginning to wonder if I should worry. Forty years of learning have taught me to wield a paring knife reasonably well but Brian is never going to see this any time soon.
At the other end of the spectrum sits the thirteen year old who had the audacity to get sulky on our recent holiday to the beaches of Florida. Notwithstanding the fact that we had escaped a week of sub zero, snowy days, he also had 6 days away from school, days in which the most pressing decision was whether to swim in the pool or the ocean. His angst centered on his inability to craft the sand castle he wanted and his consternation that his mom could sculpt a sea turtle that passerby’s stopped to photograph. What he failed to recognize is that his mom has a lot more years of experience working with her hands and crafting things. His angst afforded me a moment to encourage him in working hard and practicing the things he enjoys, while recognizing there will always be someone who is more craftier, more able, more intuitive, more intelligent then you, and that you do well to learn from them.
When you put the word “naked” and “Mrs PQ” in a post you generally get my attention. This occurred last week when I read Kari’s latest post. Now of course, I thought this was going to be a bit more salacious and less about throwing Mr PQ under the bus. While I can handle these jabs by my lovely wife, I could not let this post go without some type of reasonable response.
Let’s start with her bedroom differentiation. Not what your thinking. Yes, it is true I do like to listen to an App with white noise as I fall asleep. I find it soothing. She stated that she would prefer to open the window a crack and listen and/or feel the outdoors, free of technology. Yeah…she likes to feel the outdoors alright. Did she mention she cracks the window when it’s 20 BELOW ZERO? I swear I’ve woken up with a layer of hardened frost on my blanket. She’s apparently trying to bring the “outdoors” into the “indoors”…in the middle of winter. I’ll take my App over these living conditions any day.
Regarding my “over” enjoyment of my Pebble watch, I do find my Pebble quite handy and it has some awesome watch faces. What Mrs PQ is failing to mention is her forgetful, no, inability, no just out-and-out refusal to answer her iPhone. Our entire staff and our 4 young quills all know the only way to get ahold of her is by text, as she will rarely answer a call. It’s even gotten to the point where our own children can mimic (in perfect intonation and cadence) her voice mail message. There is one sneaky way to get ahold of her by iPhone though…you time your call when she is driving in the car as she has no clue how to shut off her bluetooth handsfree setup.
I believe this post almost serves as an intervention to Kari, from the kids, husband, and employee’s. We would love if she occasionally answered
In my quest to run a marathon in every state, and dare I dream, one on each continent, I am training for the Fargo Marathon in May. While Fargo is not exactly an exotic locale, it is a flat course, and as marathons go, it’s an easier run. As technology goes, it’s perfect timing for the advent of the iWatch, or so states Mr. PQ.
At this point I offer a study in contrast. When I turn in at night, I open the bedroom window, allowing a fresh breeze and the sounds of nature to permeate the room; perfect sleeping conditions. Just as I’m drifting into a tranquil dream state, Mr. PQ will enter the bedroom, shut the window, turn on a fan and open an iPhone App that simulates nature sounds. Apparently, he needs quiet and white noise to cover the pervasive harmony of our extra-urban neighborhood. Now I grant, the occasional crack of a gunshot around 2 am can be a bit off putting, but how can you prefer a recording of corrugated tin being rattled to the sounds of an actual rainstorm? Or prefer the recycled smell of our son’s sneakers (which always seem to find themselves on the floor by my side of the bed) to the hopeful aroma of a melting winter?
Runners love their watches. Garmin, Polar, Nike and other heart rate monitoring, pace detecting devices have been available for years. Watches are as ubiquitous to runners as are sneakers and flashy nylon shorts. But they are also relatively non invasive. iMore.com and Macrumors.com offer some interesting speculation as to what the iWatch might be capable of doing in conjunction with iPhone 6. Detecting heart attacks, monitoring glucose, chastising me when I don’t run up a hill fast enough. “Drink more, run faster, your glucose is plummeting, slow down…
Latest Entry from Mrs PQ
Writing from the Pad and Quill headquarters, firmly ensconced in the frozen tundra. I’m staring out a window smudged with dog nose prints and a half-hearted attempt by a kid to form gel window clings into the words “let is sn*w” I think the mutt ate the “O” out of pure frustration that winter is trying to kill him when he goes outside.
We did get the dog park today before the latest rendition of Snowmaggedon hits. I personally love winter, primarily because I have a full circus of tricks to make it move faster then it means to move. For instance, on December 22nd we begin our journey back from the outer reaches of space, back towards our sun. Thus, that is the first day of spring. Pitchers and catchers reported for duty this week, therefore winter is officially over, a pox on your house groundhog.
The changes of spring are as imminent as a mustache appearing on the youngest boys lip. At least I think that was a woodpecker I heard this morning and that
I showed up to the PQ headquarters on the last day of 2013 with my Timbuktu bag and my Macbook conveniently slung into a repurposed, cotton bag.
“You do know we own a bag and case company?” Quipped the mostly patient Brian.
Yes, and the leather bags are shipped in these cotton bags, great for carrying my junk.
At this point Brian rolled his eyes and noted two salient facts. First, my $1300 Macbook Air probably shouldn’t be classified as junk and second, IT’S NOT EVEN ONE OF OUR BAGS. I’d grabbed one of the many sample bags we tested this summer and it was emblazoned with some software company logo. To Brian this stumble in protocol is roughly akin to wearing a New England Patriots 2012 World Champion t-shirt. (To the NFL unaffiliated, the New England Patriots lost that game to my New York Giants and all those championship shirts that bear their name are adorning little kids in destitute corners of the world; the ultimate in re-purposing.)
Once his eyeballs ceased their slot machine like spin, he painstakingly walked over to our inventory shelves and unwrapped a whiskey leather/green waxed canvas field bag and matching laptop sleeve and brought them to my desk. He then took me through the exact “opening” experience our customers enjoy, meticulously attaching the shoulder strap and subsequently draping the bag over my shoulder.
“Welcome to the Pad & Quill family.”
What a family it is and what a year it’s been. We’ve written about the months of brainstorming and designing, soul searching and rebuilding that we invested in bringing a new line of products