About Rob

I was born in Chicago, grew up in Saint Paul, and live in Minneapolis. I have at one time or another lived in Santa Fe, northern New Jersey, Salt Lake City, and Portland, Oregon.

In recent years, I have helped small companies with their business systems, process management, and operations. I have also, among other things, been a typographer, a tutor and substitute teacher for middle-school, a singer/songwriter, and a repair technician for Macintosh portable computers. I was also a customer service representative back when people still used telephones and glossy four-color catalogs made of paper and staples to buy things.

I was a poetry blogger during the Noughts. Consequently, for several years I had Very Strong Opinions about, for example, Flarf and the comments section at Silliman’s blog. For reasons I can no longer quite remember, I blogged under a pseudonym, and published some poems under that name, as well as appearing in an anthology devoted to the then-new Hay(na)ku form. I’ve also had a few poems appear here and there (mostly there) under my own name.

Speaking of names, I am not related to Captain Beefheart but I love his music, especially Trout Mask Replica (of course) and Doc at the Radar Station. (And I have a soft spot for Mirror Man, which was one of the first LPs I bought during high school, along with Beatles Rarities, XTC’s Skylarking, Suzanne Vega’s first album, Sting’s Dream of the Blue Turtles, and Coltrane’s Live at Birdland.)

I own about three thousand books and I’ve even managed to read some of them. (Speaking of which, I would definitely not blame you if your reaction to learning that I’ve read Gravity’s Rainbow eight times (so far) was to back away with an expression of mild horror. You have three thousand books, and you’re reading that thing again? Really?)

I use only Macintosh portables, but I’ve been underwhelmed by recent iterations of the MacBook Pro, so I’m sticking with my late-2011 13″ model. The first things I install on every new Mac are Quicksilver, 1Password, and Cocktail. These are followed quickly by Scrivener, Bear, and Day One.

Zebra Sarasas are virtually the only pens I use (they are vastly superior to, say, Pilot G2s) — but I prefer General’s Cedar Pointes or Blackwings over either. But often I’ll use any ballpoint lying around, because life’s too short. I still use paper notebooks and journals. (You probably should, too. Not only do they lack intrusive ads, but they don’t require batteries. And I promise you you’ll think better, you’ll own all your own content, and they pose an almost insurmountable challenge to online hackers.)

Editing & Proofreading, Translation, Typography & Information Design, Process Design, Project Management