More obvious than not, it is clear that the author of this wonderfully honest blog is a graphic designer by trade and a true artist by heart. If you look closely enough, you sense the power of so-called Poster Art which is the overall cohesive factor holding this colorful site together. So where does the name alt164.com come from anyway? Back in the old computer days, hitting the keypad ALT + 164 made the ENYE character spring to life. Remember those days? Back then such mysterious key combinations were pretty exciting. The name alt164.com is thus a nostalgic title for a site deserving a cool description. Just an aside in preparation of other mysterious key combinations.
While the author Tom states in his biography that he does not consider himself a professional photographer, he has amassed quite an impressive collection. He does a good job in inserting a daily photo for each entry, and if so inclined you are also invited to comment on it. There is plenty to see in his daily photo archives, and there is a separate page with a calendar that one can click on for each day. While one may argue that these picture galleries are to be treated separately from the actual blog contents, the arrangement of pictures produces a good visual scene that balances how the author writes. He pens his many thoughts through words, he creates a design, and he captures scenes with his camera. All different angles of reality combined and put together in a simple yet powerful harmonious whole. Visual and mental as another key combination.
At the time of this review, the author claims to be reading the book “Logic and Design in Art, Science and Mathmatics (sic).” I am not sure if he is serious or if he is simply trying to impress us. Certainly this is not necessary at all because his site and its design are excellent. My guess is that the author is a combination of intellectual-scientific and moody-artistic, but I could be wrong. Just another aside in search of other key combinations.
You also might want to check out his poetry, no less than thirteen pages completely filled with dozens of inspiring and not so inspiring pieces: “smile for me,” “iron giants” and “punk rock haiku.” For this review, I randomly picked out an excerpt that I feel echoes really well the mood that gives him the strength to produce these blog entries. The poem is called “save myself, save us all” and the fragment goes like this: “…but the words jotted and blotted and surrounded, by other thoughts and tangential phrases, scribbled on these notepads that are all over, my room, for you…”
So with graphics, photography, words of wisdom and poetry, what more could one ask? Well, the author claims to be an avid music fan with a link to the latest Winamp playlists to which he has been listening. Check out his immense music collection to get a feeling for his musical preferences. However, for some reason there is very little in depth studies about music, at least not to the same level as the rest of his material. I think that this extra effort to piece in some music stuff would make the blog picture even more complete than it is.
I am very pleased when I can quickly understand a blog, see the basic theme. Even better is the nice surprise when I can discover depth in a straight-forward presentation. This blog hangs together amazingly well, makes the reader think, and it also challenges him to discover every crook and cranny of this Poster Art kind of place. Add some musical notes and this blog will really roll. In honor of this mysterious key combination for all bloggers, I award him the highest score possible. This is because he certainly deserves it. Great job.alt164