QZ qz thoughts
a blog from Eli the Bearded
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Painting Ads

There's a painting company in San Francisco that tapes up terribly designed, but mostly memorable, flyers on poles all over the city. I've been trying to find all of the variations.

Adverting flyer for room painting

One of the original designs, a multiple font mess evoking a ransom note in consistency.

Adverting flyer for room painting

"DEER CROSSING Tis The Season To Save Some Bucks On Interior House Painting"

Adverting flyer for room painting

"Do This" (ie, Evel Knievel stunts) instead of painting yourself.

Adverting flyer for room painting

"One less Bell to answer,
One less Egg to fry,
One less Mess to pick
Up after?"
With a Valentine's Day picture.

Adverting flyer for room painting

"Are There Little Green Men In Your Head?"

Adverting flyer for room painting

"On Your Path To Interior Appearance Inner Peace"

Adverting flyer for room painting

"Having A Wedding? A Party? An Affaire?" Another with a Valentine's stock photo

Adverting flyer for room painting

"THE RACE IS ON" with roadster versus steam locomotive

Adverting flyer for room painting

Wall of text ending with "Ricky Don't Lose The Number"

Adverting flyer for room painting


The next few are much rarer versions.

Adverting flyer for room painting

"Looking?" Looking like a personal ad, the rare clean design.

Adverting flyer for room painting

Room painting as easy as ordering a burrito. Lengua con frijoles refritos, por favor.

Adverting flyer for room painting

Spock says of getting your painting done now: "Correct, it's the logical choice captain"

Adverting flyer for room painting

"Do Something nice For your Landlord!" Because it's welll known that renters like to help landlords out.


In the 1990s, I had an Apple Mac IIci with A/UX. Most of that is a story for another day. All I have left from that system are a few 3.5" (90 mm) floppy disks, a couple of CD-ROM with programs that run on multiple systems (eg, Infocom Games), and my magneto-optical stuff.

I had done my homework researching storage systems for backups. The best sources I had said that Zip drives were "bad", CD-R was "good", and magneto-optical (MO) was "archival". Zips were the cheapest drives of those, and CD-R the most expensive. Media was another matter, I recall CD-R as being cheapest. Media capacity was another thing. My main hard dirve was just 80MB, so a 100MB Zip drive or 128MB MO disk was a huge amount of space, and a CD-R disk was nearly impossible to completely use.

More than two decades on, the longevity advice seems to have been sound. There's a gotcha, however. MO has basically disappeared as a format. Speciallized industrial use apparently exists. Even the audio version, the minidisc, never gained a lot of traction (at least in the US; Japan is another story). CD-R and CD-RW has proved to be a bit fragile, but it is also very widely available, and eventually the media got very cheap, so making multiple copies and duplicating stuff every year is reasonable.

When I was getting rid of my Mac IIci, I kept the MO drive and disks. Then I bought a computer with a SCSI card to be able to read the files. I've still got that computer (although it works poorly), the SCSI card, my MO drive, and all my MO disks. About five years ago I spun up the computer and drive and copied everything to CD-R. About two years ago, I copied those CD-Rs to back-up hard drives. One was bad. I should really spin the whole thing up again and make new copies from the MO disks, but for today, here's some photos.

MO drive, disks, PCI SCSI card

The whole shebang. MO drive, some disks, PCI SCSI card

The 128 megabyte size MO was the smallest version of MO. In the 90mm form, 128 and 230 were available at the time I was buying, and larger capacities in 5.25" (130mm). Eventually disks up to 2 gigabytes were available in 90mm. As an aside, I was quite fond of that Idemitsu logo.

MO disk closeup open

MO disk closeup open. Sector partitions are clearly visible. I used tape to hold it open for this shot, normally it springs shut.

MO end view, next to floppy

The MO disks are about twice as thick as a 3.5" floppy.

disk side by side with floppy front

Same size, and very similar to 3.5" floppy from front

Pencilled in there is a summary of the partition table. This habit of mine made finding the partitions to read the files off from Linux much easier.

disk side by side with floppy back

And from the back; note thought the cover extends over the hub

disk side by side with floppy, MO opened

Back opened to show MO hub

The MO disks are bigger (in thickness), sturdier, and fancier than 3.5" floppies. Since the disks are sectored, the system doesn't need a notch in the hub to align things.

MO drive top with nameplate

MO drive top with nameplate, Epson OMD-5000, December 1992. Pretty sure I got this late 1993 or early 1994.

This was originally in an external enclosure with a 25-pin Mac-style SCSI connector. I pulled the drive out of the enclosure for ease of use post-Mac. The disks get warm during writes, hence concerns about air flow.

MO drive side view

Boring MO drive side view

MO drive side view

MO drive side view with barcode

MO drive front view

MO drive front, same size as a typical 3.5" floppy drive, but sweet 128 megabytes! The sticker on the eject button was optional.

I got, and probably still have, a special eject tool to poke in that hole instead of the standared bent paperclip. I used the tool with other drives, eg, those Macs that used a similar hole to eject CDs. The regular button eject activates an electro-mechanical eject, like on a VCR.

MO drive rear

MO drive rear with power and SCSI connectors plus jumpers. Gotta set that SCSI ID

Relatively sealed MO drive bottom

Drive bottom preserves secrets.

32bit 5v PCI SCSI card, copyright 1999

PCI (32bit 5v) 50-pin SCSI card, copyright 1999. I probably got this in 1999 or 2000.

Other side of PCI SCSI card

SCSI card, rear

The computer I have to use this card doesn't have space inside for the MO, so I used it with the cable coming out the back. I don't keep the card in the computer, because of the cable mess.

November Third, Twenty-twenty

Night view of a lit up window with a mannequin

I saw this many times over the past month, mostly at night where it stands out from the brightly lit window.

Day view of same window with a mannequin

During the day it is easier to miss.

Closer view of the window, showing mannequin has VOTE TRUMP sign

The "VOTE TRUMP" sign is not typical of this neighborhood.

Closer still, showing mannequin with VOTE TRUMP sign is the Devil

A mannequin dressed as the devil during the run up to Halloween, well that is typical.

I Voted! sticker and San Francisco ballot voter stubs

When I voted in 2016, there were about 120 votes cast at my local polling place. (San Francisco has a lot of polling locations, so between that and people voting by mail 120 is not a bad turnout.) There were something like three votes for Trump at that location in 2016. Today I was voter #35 there, and I expect the Trump vote will be less this time.