The Fresh Pot

I’m down in Portland, Oregon at the moment, down on Hawthorne at a coffee shop called The Fresh Pot. One of the things I love about Portland is that they really “get” chai. It’s nice to go into a coffeehouse and be able to choose from multiple varieties of chai, in case you’re looking for a sweeter chai, or a spicier chai, et cetera. I’ve had the Dragonfly chai before and thoroughly enjoyed it, but I opted for the Pixie chai this time (these are brands of chai, by the by), which is a sweeter chai. I’m pretty happy with it, it’s good both on first sip and also as it rolls on the tongue… you can definitely taste TEA within it, rather than being overpowered by the spices. Another thing I like is that everyone is really friendly and mellow. Walking down the street, people are genuinely smiling and polite to each other, and everyone seems to be relaxed and enjoying the day. It’s a good thing. If you contrast this with, say, Hanover, where everyone is walking like they’re on a mission, avoiding eye contact with others at all costs, with a cell phone glued to one ear, the difference is palpable.

I’m due to upgrade my WordPress installation to 2.1, but I’ve paused briefly before doing so to consider exactly what I want to be doing with the site, and possibly redesign it so that there is a coherent theme for all aspects of the site (blogs, main site, gallery), and how exactly I’m going to do that. I still want to keep my personal blogging distinct from what I put up on Critical Games, but I would like a more unified “this is all one site” sense from it. It feels like I’m asking a lot, but I already have a few ideas on how to do this. Part of it comes down to reassessing the layout of the page. Every day, fewer and fewer computers run a square or square-ish ratio, with a trend towards a 16:9 (or similar) wide screen ratio. The most obvious at-a-glance example is Apple, where every single product they offer now is a wide screen (MacBook, MacBookPro, iMac, the Cinema displays), but they are by no means alone in this. So, if our viewing space is stretching in width rather than in length, why not design a layout that suits a wider screen? This isn’t a radical new idea, either, as is indicated by the promulgation of wider, 3-column sites. I’ll aim not to bore you with site mucking details, just giving a heads up that if you come here and the site looks different, don’t be surprised. I’ll be doing my mucking about on a test site local to my computer, so in theory nothing will break in the process. (Hah, how novel!)