Open House at the Auction House

I heard about a new music venue opening up in the Auction House on Merchant St in Audubon tonight, so I decided to check it out. They had a nice wine, coffee, cheese, and fruit spread out for people and a fun night of music. I must have missed John Shaughnessy’s set by a few minutes. I’d never been in the Auction House before and it’s a lot bigger than it looks from the outside. They have a great old timey vault in there that looks like something from the Price is Right, except it’s real. The sound was excellent and I’m sure it will quickly become a favorite venue for the local acoustic artists.

I stuck around for Lili Anel‘s entire set. What a voice, and her banter between songs was actually funny. There was even a Ray Naylor spotting!

I think the plan for the Auction House is an open mic night every Wednesday and then later to have booked acts on he weekends. I wish them the best of luck!

Newspapers feeling the heat from craigslist

Most people know I’m a huge craigslist fan and I’ve bought and sold a few thousand dollars worth of stuff through it. I’ve always wondered about how much it has impacted newspapers and whether they’d start to print negative stories about it to make it seem unsafe or seedy. As long as you do everything in person and use common sense (ie. cash), there’s almost no way to get ripped off. I read an interview with Craig Newmark and the CEO of craigslist on the Freakonomics blog and saw this interesting answer:

Q: How do you feel about your own media coverage? I see that Craigslist
often gets reported on as the de facto way of picking up prostitutes.

JIM: We?ve been hearing increasingly from newspaper reporters who confide that they are only allowed to write negative stories about Craigslist these days, because we?re viewed as competition by their newspaper?s business managers. And, obviously, sex sells papers, more so than stories about finding a used couch, so while we do follow our media coverage, most of our attention is devoted to direct feedback from our users.

Read the rest of the interview here.

Inland Empire (Again)

I watched Inland Empire again last night before sending it back to Netflix.? I think it’s easy to write it off as a random conglomeration of scenes, especially because David Lynch claims he didn’t use a script and filmed it as he went, but then I look at someone like Jackson Pollack who always claimed he had complete control over his art.? Who would you believe?? I think watching Lynch’s films, especially Inland Empire, requires you to let go of the traditional movie structure and enjoy it as you would an album or a painting.

Laura Dern

I love the movie.

New version of WordPress

I upgraded my wordpress installation yesterday and the primary difference is the addition of tagging posts, hense my tag cloud on the right. I’ve only been able to tag my last 30 posts or so (1100 will take me a while!) and I haven’t tagged any of the video ones due to a bug with embedded youtube videos. Still, it’s kind of neat to be able to pull up posts that don’t fit nicely into a category.

What I do

I don’t make too many work posts, but here is a quick explanation of what I do every day. I’m the Engineering manager for Garvey Corporation, a company started in 1926 by my great grandfather, Gordon Garvey. We make product handling equipment for high speed packagers in the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and consumer products industries. Mainly that means conveyors, accumulators, loaders, unloaders, inspection stations, etc. Our customers are mostly big food companies like Kraft, General Mills; goods producers like Proctor and Gamble; beverage makers like Ocean Spray; and pharmaceutical companies like Merck and Wyeth. We also do a ton of work in the wine industry for Rodney Strong, Don Sebastiani, Mondavi, etc. which was spurred on by my Dad’s work in creating a new type of buffering system to accumulate wine bottles between the filling and labeling machines. We called this new accumulator the Garvey Infinity and have sold hundreds of them since 2001.

The reason for this post is that we’ve come up with a breakthrough accumulation machine for the pharmaceutical industry that I’ve been working on for months. It’s finally finished and it turned out even better than I hoped. It applies all the lessons we learned in the beverage industry and focuses them on super tiny pharmaceutical bottles, sometimes as small as 15mm wide.

Here’s a video of the Infinity Rx accumulating and single filing 2ml 15mm vials at over 850 vials per minute. It’s for a show, so that’s why it loops back into itself.