Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Today starts a pseudo-New Year’s resolution: SPeCks merchandising. I am attempting to make one (1) item a week until I fill up my CafePress store of the same name (here).

As you may, or may not, know, I have already put up some items for sell (3 shirts of the same “scene” and a wall clock). Today, I took the first step to this resolution and put up a mug (the small mug). Later this week, I will attempt to finalize the cover to the wall calendar.

Next week: Light Switch Cover. And January on the calendar (and Feb. if I get off my ass). Oh, and page 4 of Issue 3 this weekend (again… laziness aside).

Friday, December 16, 2005

ADDY Avatars

So, I entered the local ADDY’s for the 3rd time (as my own designer) today. This round is for my new logo. Hopefully it will get somewhere… It costs 95-clams to slap a piece into that show (non-member rate) and that, for me, is costly. And becoming a member isn’t exactly on the cheap either. Luckily, I don’t churn out work often enough to throw at award shows. I s’pose that’s another issue altogether…

I really must apologize about the lack of SPeCks. Not much to say other than I just need to do ’em. Not having the calendar ready kinda bums me out too. Was really hoping to spring a couple of those on family/friends for Christmas. Unless I whip out 12 months’ worth of art tonight, that’s not happening.

Elsewhere: After reading Mark Boulton’s Journal (quite a bit lately, actually) I was “introduced” to Gravatars. So spiffy, I now have one of my own!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


No SPeCks. Sorry… maybe Thursday?

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Next Wednesday. Hopefully.

Before December. Hopefully.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Scurry on for more.

SPeCks has started to chew at my mind quite a bit lately. Most notably: the CafePress store. Turns out someone purchased a t-shirt. Very neat. I wish I could justify the expense of "owning" a premium shop, but right now, I am just sticking with the basic store. Of course, that means, only one version of one item for now (aka: one mug option, one clock option, one cap option, etc). Ultimately, when I fill up the store and actually generate more than $5 a month, I will move to the premium side.

In other, related news, I have begun work on testing my options for an animated version of SPeCks — done as a .GIF animation. The first test opened this post. I have an above average amount of excitement into this path for SPeCks. However, I want to continue to populate the non-animated version of the comic. Currently, it is faster to produce and I want to grow and mature the SPeCks universe more before trying to take on (in a full-time capacity) something of an animated series. For now, I see the "animated series" as little one offs, or one-liners, starring our little web-crawling friends.

I am working on producing a 2006 calendar for SPeCks that will be available on the CafePress store, but a lot of stuff has me tired in the evenings, so I can't really promise anything. Baby steps… or a crawl, rather.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


One thing that I have always enjoyed, and have mentioned in previous posts, is working with animated GIFs. There are no better examples than the warehouse animations created by and for IconFactory's homepage. How interesting...

I took a deeper plunge into this medium of art (and sequential art, for that matter) with the creation of the FFXI mini episode. To be clear, and for all the asshats out there, every aspect of that animated GIF was either recreated and/or completely created by myself - the background was derived from an animated avatar "created" by someone else, I merely used it as the template for my animation.

Recently, I have also been involved with making animated web banners again. So there are some new techniques for frame-by-frame animation that I am discovering and/or learning. I use Adobe ImageReady for the animating and Adobe Photoshop for the "layout" of the animations. When I can figure out a good method of posting tutorials in this blog, I will do so.

I have ideas on converting SPeCks into an animated comic using GIFs as the method of delivery. In order for that to happen, I suppose I should really hunker down and come up with a plan to have SPeCks "episodes" come out on a consistent basis.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Value Add

Many companies have one thing in common, that being the need for customer retention. They are constantly asking themselves how to hold on to the customer base they currently have. Brand loyalty is a powerful thing and can be rather harsh if lost. And it is very easy to lose it. Oh really?

Take JiffyLube for example. I will never take any vehicle I own to that business again. Nor will any of my friends or family. The sordid story of deception and bad practice, that when involving a thousand-plus pound people projectile, is long and boring to recount.

Anywho, here in Austin, TX, we have this awesome sandwich shop called Schlotzsky's Deli. They have rye and pastrami, so I guess that makes them a deli. You can buy their peppers. I have been "dining" there for some time. It isn't so much fast-food as it is food, fast. Love the Original. Adore the Smoked Turkey. Never tried their pizzas... I digress. Customer retention.

What does a deli do to keep customers guessing and always coming back for more? Offer pizza? That just seemed weird. Flavored breads? Been done, but a nice approach. How about one thing that, in my many, many years of eating sandwiches, that all delis should have, yet Schlotzsky's seemed to lack? Pickles. Go into any other delicatessen-style eatery and you get pickles with your meal. Sometime during the course of your consumption, a cured cucumber is conspicuous. However, Schlotzsky's, while showcasing one here and there in their artwork, has never offered their customer a pickle with their meal.

Bring in the pickles! I only noticed this recently, and am not too sure when they started doing it, but now you get an individually wrapped pickle spear with your meal. Way to go, Schlotzsky's! It's the little things that mean so much, and those little things add value to your customer base and keep them coming back for more.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


It has been some time. Why? I have a daughter. All of 16 weeks. So cute.

But wait, there’s more!Anyway… I haven't posted in quite some time (duh) and don't really feel motivated to keep up with this blog even now (again, baby girl). However, some good news on my end — the site is moving to a new server, hosted by MediaTemple (mt). YAY! I will move everything over to the new server this weekend and will likely be without email for about 24-48 hours as the info updates across the world that I “live” somewhere else. This, of course, means this blog will move there as well, likely built and maintained using MovableType. If I can swing it, that is. Regardless of all that, I am not going to guarantee a more active posting schedule.

On the job front: Ya, I am still not working as a full-time designer anywhere. And, frankly, I fear I won't be for some time (again, crap). But I am not too worried about it. I got some freelance gigs here and there that pay absolutely nothing and there's always going back to being a waiter where I wanted to beat myself senseless with stale bread. To quote my lovely wife, "…makes me want to pull my eyeballs out with silly putty." Who knows, maybe the right job for me is around the corner and I just haven't walked down far enough on the block to see it yet.

Elsewhere: I have a CafePress store for SPeCks. It is completely non-lucrative and as it is only a basic shop, only has 2 types of items (a clock and 3 styles of women's shirts). I guess I could take the time to make more, but I would rather look for a job and keep up with the house when I get the chance right now. I am going to make a mug next, then perhaps a cap to wear to your favorite sporting event. Blah!

Also elsewhere: Despite all the above, I am actually having a good time with my “time off” and look forward to a couple more days of being “free”. I have started really teaching myself InDesign in ernest and just got informed that I received a 4 out of 5 on my Photoshop assessment test with AQUENT (a creative talent agency). I got only a 3 out of 5 on my Quark assessment and am severely bummed about that as I had all but the last 1/3 of a page complete (out of a 4 page newsletter) with only a few (at least in my opinion) errors regarding the use of style sheets. Quark’s style sheets suck major ass. InDesign has better ones, but I don’t know them that well as I only picked up InDesign back in July.

Completely elsewhere altogether: I am going to Carnaval next year. Wearing a skin suit and a dance thong. Two women are behind this and my wife is the ring leader posing as a showgirl on my arm at the celebration. What I won’t do for that woman…

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Checking In

This is Terry's wife, Missy. Since his blog has had a lack of activity after the arrival of our bundle of joy, I thought I would pop on and let you know that everything is OK. Terry has not vanished off the face of the earth, or anything else. He is busy with me and our beautiful daughter as well as looking for a job.

Friday, June 24, 2005


It has been quite some time since I have done anything for this blog. However, you can rest assured that I won’t try to cram almost a month’s worth of blogging onto you in one post.

So, why then…Babies. They are numerous and all around us. Now one lives in my house. Quite honestly, everything is taking a backseat to our beautiful new daughter, including this blog. Sorry folks, but this just isn’t a priority for me. Not that it ever really was, but it certainly isn’t now. I have only been back at work for this past week (since the 21st). Remember the foot? Here’s the rest of her:

Precious! I love them both so much and all my attention seems to be completely dominated right now by them. I’m cool with it. Hello, Serif Paige! The Canon Optura 50 has been working overtime to get video and imagery of our June Bug. When she does neat things, and I have time, I will post them. I am sure I am leaving a lot of stuff out, but like I said, I am not that into posting right now about anything. Be thankful you got this much out of me.

I struck up a conversation with WaveOrigin to host my website (and this blog), so it is just a matter of me getting off me arse to set that up. Don’t hold your breath.

Elsewhere: I thought this was a joke at first, but I am pretty convinced it is real. I am so setting up my training regimen for this, right now. I give you the World RPS Championships!

Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Edited the template for expandable posts. The old way applied it to all posts, regardless of a need for it or not. This new method I am playing with is a bit more cumbersome, but it will have to do for now.

Quick teaser for you on this post: Canon Optura 50, Nursery, Mini Cooper Craziness.

Read on...
First up: the new digital camcorder we got last weekend. The Canon Optura 50 looked to be the best for our needs/desires when we visited Fry’s. My highest priority was compatibility with my home computer — an Apple iMac. 100% go there. Now it was just about all the features.

I had done some pretty extensive research on the Elura 70 and was pretty pleased with other Canon DVCs offered. When it came time to buy, however, we found ourselves browsing other brands (likely due to Fry's not finding the Elura 70 anywhere). Sony was a big runner up, mostly due to its competitive pricing with Canon's similarly ranged DVCs. Big beef was the lack of MiniDV (opting for the MiniDVD on HandyCam models) or, if it did support MiniDV, it was bottom loading. There were some other features I felt were lacking on the Sonys when compared to the Canons. The plus for Sony was it's steadiness (reduction of a shaky picture) and its zoom and focus. Of course, then we went up a price notch and Canon just obliterated anything Sony had to offer. I suppose I could consider the Optura as the first of my many tumblings into bankruptcy with regard to our new family addition and in that regard, I didn’t want to skimp on the memories.

In the coming week(s), I will try to formulate a more in-depth review of the camcorder as well as show how its 2.2 megapixel photo capabilities perform.

The nursery is all but done. We have only to wait on delivery of the crib now. The walls are painted and decorated. The major items are in place, or await better placement. The window treatment is a dream. The room is completely different and looks better than any other in the house. My wife and I are most proud of the fact that we didn’t buy a pre-packaged theme for the nursery, and instead fabricated the look and feel completely on our own. It has a very “in the park” feel to it, with butterflies and flowers sparingly placed about the room. We have some frogs here and there (4 total in various formats) to lend a bit of atmosphere and give it the soothing impression that a creek bed is nearby. I have decided not to paint a mural on the wall of a pond scene, but rather, I am considering making a painting/illustration which will be framed and hung on the wall. No way I am having a one-of-a-kind painted over in the future, hehe.

It is now our daughter’s room, whether she is here yet or not. It is so very nice to just sit in there.

Elsewhere: The Mini Cooper is a kewl little car. Despite it being ridiculously over-priced and phenomenally altered overall, it still looks fun and… well, it still looks fun. There isn’t a lot by way of advertising for this little car, but when you see it, it is usually quite dramatic. Often funny, never boring, any campaign for the Mini Cooper is sure to entertain.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

New Trick

Just doing some testing real quick on this new trick (ok, new to me) called expandable post summaries. Let's see how it works, shall we? >>>

I will make a more legitimate post in a moment regarding how I recently bought a new Canon Optura 50 and we did some impressive finishing work on the nursery. The week has just been blowing by, leaving us with only 12 days before my bundle of joy arrives at our doorstep. Yes, I am holding out for the 12 days. If the little nipper comes any earlier, well… I don’t know what to do.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Green Music

I have a pretty good music collection. It is humble, only 2gigs worth. In the past, if I had a Quicktime .MOV of a video that I liked, I could drag the video over the iTunes icon in my dock and it would include the audio portion in my playlist. Was very neat.>>>

As you know, I recently upgraded to Tiger. Apparently, I hadn’t turned on iTunes since that upgrade. Upon activating iTunes, it required an update to 4.8, which doesn’t require Tiger, but I suppose it didn’t know it needed the update prior to Tiger. So, update. Many of my songs come with artwork. Artwork appears in the lower left of iTunes. These are generally album covers and the like. It got to ‘Satisfaction’ by DJ Benny Benassi. Curious… there is a video icon next to the song. Just a quick double click, and, HOLY GREAT GOOGLY-MOOGLY!!! The video started playing in the lower left where the artwork is supposed to be. Image below:

How ef-fing kewl is that?!

Earlier that weekend: The nursery is painted. Excellent! In one day, no less. Yesterday, we pulled all the shtuff out of the room and slapped the paint on the walls. The green looks magnificent! The hamper we got (office shower) is a dead match of the green on the walls. Kinda freaky. But it is painted and now we have but to move everything in that she will need. We also received the travel system/stroller from my office shower and that is just awesome. Now we can take the little bugger home after she is born!

Even earlier: My wife is now officially out of school! With her MBA in hand, we only have a mound of education loans slapping us in the face. No more teachers, no more books, no more semester bills that induce acute coronaries. I’m so very proud of her!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


I am blessed with a magnificent work machine to practice my trade. Dual 2GHz G5 Mac with 1GB of RAM running X.3. And a monitor (older model) that humbles the TV I have in the bedroom. This machine can, literally, do it all. Apple doesn’t stop putting out stuff for it to play with, either. Particularly, Quicktime 7.

Fantastic piece of software. What with the HD content and the means to play it with such clarity and marvelous splendor — on my machine at work, that is. Now, I don't know if it is the monitor, the processor, the RAM or what, but the HD content for Q7 only works on my work machine. I am now running Tiger on my home computer (8?? G4, 512MB RAM, OS X.4) and HD content run through Q7 is fragmented and horrible. My wife’s laptop (15" PowerBook, 1.5GHz PowerPC G4, 512MB RAM, OS X.3) also suffers through HD content for Q7. So what is it? The RAM? The processor speed? Do I really need a gig of RAM to view HD content for Q7? Is it the graphics card? Do I need more RAM on the graphics card to view it? Why doesn’t Apple mention that? What variable makes watching HD content on any machine, other than my über power horse at work, horrible at best?

UPDATE: Budi was kind enough to direct me to Apple’s Quicktime 7 system requirements page. So, ya… it’s my lack of processor power. Oh well…

Elsewhere: Potter heads will soon get to see the fourth installment of the series. This one looks especially dark and a bit more riveting. I think this is the Harry Potter I could get behind, though both him and Ron could use a serious haircut.

Daniel Craig seems to still be the favorite 007 for the upcoming Bond flick (Casino Royale). Personally, I think Clive Owen would lend a nicely shaken mix to the franchise.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Pickled Takos

Damn! “Where’s My Pickle?!” was/is (as of 504|5) listed on IconFactory’s homepage under Pictures, Patts & Fonts. Insane! I have always been a huge fan of IconFactory and this is a real treat to have my website listed on their site.

I have a couple other sketches for the further adventures in the quest for missing pickles, so I will see what I can do about actually creating those into desktops as well. I would also like to make icons for the series… not promising anything though. We all know how well those SPeCks icons are coming along. However, there is nothing stopping me from coming up with a couple of desktops for SPeCks. We shall see!

Elsewhere: If you guys have never heard of Deep Fried Live! then you’re definitely missing out. I discovered this fantastic series back in 2001 or so. This octopus really knows how to lend a hand… er… tentacle in the kitchen, as well as teach you some delicious recipes! My wife is unsure on octopus sushi, but she sure likes Tako!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Durable Comedy

May 1st didn’t happen for me, again. Honestly, I just signed up way too late in the game. I barely have time to do anything outside of work right now, so I am not sure why I even signed up for it in the first place. Oh well. I am only bummed that I didn’t even switch over to the new host.

This weekend was accomplished, however. We did manage to get the paint for the nursery, and should be able to finish that up by this weekend. Hopefully. The paint, Duration™ Home, is by Sherwin Williams and it is supposed to be insanely easy to clean. My only concern is how well an acrylic might adhere to it for any illustrations/murals that I might attempt to paint on the walls.

A bit ago, I finished “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. It is a very weird book. And very open ended. Apparently, the written version is adapted from the radio series and each time it is published it is just a bit different from the previous version. Still a bit interested in seeing the movie, though it looks like they chopped out all the jokes. Basically, it just isn’t funny anymore. Oh well.

Where’s My Pickle?! got accepted over at Pixelgirl Presents. Yay, me.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Jacked Music

Last night, I got some tasty grub over at Jack-In-The-Box. JitB is having a little contest going on right now. “Win Jack’s Stuff” is a peel off game where you peel of tabs to see what you have won. Upgrading to a large combo nets you 2 options. One is for “stuff”. The other is for music. The stuff is cool, but not a guarantee you will win any of it. The music is basically a free download whenever you upgrade to a large combo. However…

It’s all through Musicmatch, a music jukebox akin to iTunes. Musicmatch Jukebox 10 is only available on a PC running Microsoft Windows XP (there is a non-XP version as well, but still for Windows). So, this contest caters to Windows users only as you need the jukebox program to download your “free” song. This is just stupid. There isn’t anything more to say on it. Even if I had a PC, I wouldn’t download yet another music player just for a free song. Someone in marketing, over at JitB, should be flogged.

Elsewhere: Thanks to Mr. Zeldman for turning me onto a rather hilarious “truth in marketing” pespective, courteously provided by huh?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


I just signed up for the May 1st Reboot.

This blog will be unaffected by the reboot as it is not hosted on the server my website is. However, should everything go as I would like, I will have a new host and a new website that will also include this blog (no longer needing Blogger, I suppose). I am participating in the Reboot purely to have a personal deadline for my web hosting and new site. On April 25th, SITE|tamashii will be replaced with the Reboot Holder screen. You will also see my new logo when the site is relaunched.

I have thought about my logo for a long time. I created it back in college and though it is very nice, I always felt there was something “off” with it. That it somehow wasn’t the best representation of my name and what I do. I feel the new one does that for me.

I have no idea if I will be able to meet the May 1st deadline for the new site. We’ll see what we shall see.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Adobe & Macromedia

No doubt, many of you have already heard about the plans for Adobe to buy Macromedia. Now, this may just be me, but it looks like this is actually going to happen. I doubt companies as large as either of those two would make press releases regarding a buyout without it being pretty damned serious.

Here's a couple of links regarding the subject:
Adobe and Macromedia
Adobe to acquire Macromedia for $3.4 billion
Dominey’s point of view
Chambers' point of view

This is a lot to swallow. Initially, I think it is a good thing (for both companies). I am sure I will have more opinions on it in the coming days/weeks.

Friday, April 08, 2005


I finally posted Image #5 to my One Track Mind DSNLG. I no longer care about the ratings people give me on the images. I would, however, like there to be more dialogue about the images.

I was under the impression that a DSNLG was a “conversation” between two designers on a particular topic and it would incorporate a bit of Photoshop Tennis to aid the discussion. My conspirator, while a good designer (some fantastic images so far), however, does not feel the need to take any element from the previous image to create his “response” image. We are both talking about trains, kinda, but there is no discussion. I say one thing, he says something completely new.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Pondering Ponds

Yesterday was an impromptu visit to Babies ‘R’ Us. I really do enjoy those little trips. It can be exhausting to see the number of current trends for crib bedding sets. Most of these fall into some kind of floral theme or even just a quilt type look of colors, but there are a few that are rather clever. The poor design selection is more than made up for by watching my wife waddle down the rows of offerings. As I have mentioned before, we are looking into a pond theme for the room (subject to change). Little frogs, dragonflies, lady bugs, lily pads, light greens, leaves, etc. etc. etc.

There just isn’t really anything out there with the kind of look and feel we have in our minds. None that suits our tastes, that is. Nor our wallets.

As a designer, I would very much like to create the space my child will sleep in every night. Admittedly, not being much of an illustrator, this makes it a bit more difficult. And with baby stores not offering much by way of ‘inspiration’, it is a tad more difficult to draw something out. I am soon to pencil out a few ideas for pond scenes, but getting them onto a wall is another story. I am considering an overhead projector of sorts to accomplish the transfer. Seems simple enough. Of course, doing is not as easy as saying. Moreso, any items/designs I actually do purchase for the baby’s room will have to match whatever I create. We shall see what we shall see.

Elsewhere, Sin City is out and playing in your local theaters. I highly recommend watching this flic. Almost a direct copy of the series (a really, really good thing), it is a really well made film. I don’t think I could justify the film with any form of review, but it is just so darned good. If you have read the graphic novels, then you will basically get a visual and auditory version — and in this case, that ain’t bad. If you haven’t read them, don’t worry, the movie is awesome on its own. Just sit back, relax and enjoy this uncompromised piece of art.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Long Time…

I am still looking at getting a new host for the site/blog. More news as that develops… which seems to be on hold right now, actually.

Speaking of things “new” related to websites — the folks at the Design Eye corner did a really bang up job for Dirk Knemeyer’s website (as seen at SXSW). Whether Mr. Knemeyer will actually adopt the new design is anyone’s guess, but I think it is spot on and he would be well served to implement it. I think what is most beneficial from the redesign, is the chance to look at how it came about. These aren't just good tips, they are great principles to consider when designing a website. Perhaps I should redesign my site, yet again. Who knows.

SPeCks has 3 pages “scripted”, though only two are penciled and none are actually built. I am thinking I will finish the scripting for the rest of Issue 3 before physically creating the pages. I have also got some great feedback on the FFXI mini-cartoon. So keep an eye out for the possibility of more of those. They will replace the existing cartoon in the Lab as they update. Not sure how I will archive those. Anyone got any ideas for what I should call this series? Post them in the Comments, please.

Ultimately, I have a lot of irons in the fire and I need to start managing them. Obviously, the one labeled “Web/Art Manager” is taking the highest priority, but I am working on keeping work at work, thereby allowing me to do more of this hobby stuff.

Until then, that’s a screen test of the Valkurm Dunes (sans palm tree).

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Showy Advertising

A show that me and my wife like to watch on occasion is Boston Legal. There are two pivotal characters in the show: Alan Shore (played by James Spader) and Denny Crane (played by William Shatner). I think James Spader is awesome in this show. Remember Steff (Spader) from "Pretty in Pink"? Ya, Shore is Steff all grown up. It’s great.

Now, Crane… Denny Crane. This guy knows how to sell himself. If you’ve watched the show, you know what I’m talking about. Every time the man walks down a court hallway and reporters are all around asking questions, his only response is his name. Denny Crane. Denny Crane. Denny Crane. Hell, he has even used it in the middle of a trial. “What’s my name?” “A little louder.” “Once more with feeling.” “Denny Crane.” Half his business is based off that name alone. Even if the guy sucked at being a trial lawyer (which he has never lost a trial case, so he does something right), at least you know his name. And forget about commercials. The guy doesn’t need any. His name is all over the news just about every case. Denny Crane. Whether he is the one saying it or not. In the courtroom, outside the courtroom, wherever, this man’s name is being played.

I think I am going to start taking up this form of advertising. Terry Tolleson. I’ll just end every sentence with it. “Welcome to Schlotzkey’s! What can I get you today?” “I'd like the #2 with jalapeño chips please. Terry Tolleson.” You know, so they know who’s name to call out when the order is ready. Terry Tolleson.

Friday, March 18, 2005

SXSW Blues

So, Monday, I got to attend SXSW. When I say “attend”, I mean, “I got to be in the same building for one portion of a very large event and didn’t get to sit in on any of the panels or see any of the cool people I wanted to see, but I did get some cool buttons to add to my bag."

Basically, I got a free iF pass. This pass is something anyone can get and lets you into the Trade Show portion of the event. For one day. Just the Trade Show. Ok… first of all, the Trade Show is not SXSW. Who gives a crap. Sure, I got a few neat buttons for my bag, and got to learn about a DV camera that was so out of my league (and industry) that I could actually feel the time slipping, but when all was said and done, it was boring and uneventful.

Ultimately, it made me wish I had just bought the tickets for the actual event and taken some vacation to actually attend the panels. I wanted to meet Cameron Moll (and the design panel I definitely wanted to see). I wanted to see Jeffrey Zeldman. I would have certainly loved to visit with Jason Santa Maria and learn about all the Easter Eggs in Virtual Stan. People I read about on a daily basis. But no, all I got was a free demo on how accessible my website was. I could have taken a picture of Al Franken as he was signing books, but there was no "film" in my digital camera. At least JSM had a camera and took some shots of SXSW peeps I so desperately want to meet.

However, despite all that, it was my first time to go and I did have a decent time. I was let down because I could only mill about the Trade Show portion, but it was nice to just be there. If only I had hung out on the Panel side to catch a glimpse of a famed designer…

Elsewhere: there is a decided lack of good, funny content to show you folks. Sorry.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Fleurons of Hope

Ok, I am not sure when, exactly, the Font Aid III Tsunami font was finalized, but it is actually done and available for purchase. Fleurons of Hope can be purchased via MyFonts or when you buy the Tsunami Edition of Building Letters.

As you might recall, I made a submission and you can see what character (and the method of producing the fleuron) my calla lily fleuron is under.

I'm not really complaining — the cause for the font is extraordinary — but I sorta thought there would be some form of selection process, or at least a bit of hierarchy on the characters assigned to the images. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case. To access my lily, you have to create the capital letter U with an accent mark – Ú …not exactly on the home row, is it. There are several fleurons that are very well done that also suffer this obscure character assignment. Which is why the assignment for the letter m (or g for that matter) kinda bothers me. Are these so much better than mine or, say, this – mathematical operator: complement – that they get the common character assignment, while our’s get some rarely used, seldom seen character on the map? And what the hell is this?!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Station Break

This post is long overdue. I must let everyone know about my personal life. My wife and I met while in high school. We have been together for almost 13 years – and married for 7. Nothing is perfect, but we learn from out mistakes. I believe that we are the closest to perfection that is possible – yet everyday somehow is even better than the last. I adore this woman. She is the only one I see. From her cute little toes, past her belly holding our child, to her loving heart – she is my soul-mate. It kills me to think that I ever hurt this woman. I take each day as a gift to show her the affection and passion that she deserves. Nothing in the world matters when I am close to her. And when we are apart, I long for simply hearing her voice. She is intelligent, caring, strong, passionate, and silly. She has to ability to handle stressful situations as well as let herself laugh to the point of tears when needed. She is an enigma with her strength and child like qualities. She is sexy and does not understand why men are drawn to her. Her smile is amazing. There is something about it that makes you want more. When she interacts with children, it is easy to see that she is going to be an amazing mother. Every morning that I awake next to her makes me feel wonderful. I want everyone to know how much I love Missy, and how happy I am.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Preposterous Patent Prosecution

So Advanced Audio Devices LLC is suing Apple Computer because the iPod infringes on their copyright, granted in July of 2003. Despite the fact that the iPod was released for mass consumption in 2002(?), AAD considers Patent No. 6,587,403 (Music jukebox) as being infringed by Apple. I could be wrong, but it doesn't look like Peter J. Keller was working for AAD when he submitted this patent. Wouldn’t that mean AAD could be sued for a similar patent? Can you patent a square? I stumbled on this news item on a Spymac thread. Good stuff.

This last weekend was fantastic. Had some friends over and got to play “pseudo-daddy” with their kiddos. I am ever so ready. I almost can't wait the 97 days, but I will. The next step is to get that darn room ready for our bundle of joy. Painting (possible illustration/mural), moving furniture, adding furniture, etc. I like frogs. Dragonflies and ladybugs are likely to make an appearance. I smell the sweet scent of grass at the edge of a pond… Throughout the whole weekend, one thing made it the best. My wife singing “Ice Cream” to me on the couch.

Weebl and Bob are starting to lose it. But it’s still good… right?

Friday, February 25, 2005

Designing Oscar

About a month ago, Airbag Industries was promoting a logo contest for a local business. This spurned an incredible debate that argued the merits and ethics of design contests for commercial business. Even for events that aren’t necessarily considered commercial by nature. There was a bunch of talk on devaluing the design industry and what have you. I feel that such contests, while not wholly evil, do place a strain on our community and the industry as a whole.

And now I read about how the Oscars have an open design competition for every year’s poster design (and subsequently the look and feel of the event). Brett Davidson, a designer gone IT guy for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (which runs the Oscars), was this year’s “winner”. He beat out some “big guns” to do it, too. Congratulations! However… the Oscar’s has an open design competition for its look and feel? This brings me back to the prior topic. Are these design competitions devaluing the industry? What was the reward for having your design selected? Aren’t companies, in effect, getting to choose from a veritable buffet of design without the charge, for the process and effort that went into its creation, when having a competition of this sort? What confuses me is that this year’s competition was under a “blind submission” judging process. Yet… Davidson (being the IT guy) was “the one who had to set up [the large agencys’] fancy presentations in the conference room.” And Davidson, himself, presented his submission to the committee. So, how is that a blind submission? Perhaps I simply don’t know the AMPAS’ definition of blind submission.

Personally, I am not in favor of contests — specifically, those that are for commercial enterprises. I will not harp on those designers that participate in said contests, but I will not be participating in them. Those “big guns”, that Davidson’s design beat out, put a lot of effort and time into their submissions and were not compensated for any of it. Don’t mistake me, I am excited for Mr. Davidson winning with his submission. I actually like the look of the poster. He did a really great job. It’s the principles of a contest for design work that I find fault in.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Yep, it’s confirmed. Sometime in early June, I will have to declare bankruptcy. An armageddon of cuteness will be dropped on my household like a London air raid. That’s right folks, it’s gonna be a GIRL! Sweet Jesus…

If that wasn’t bad enough, the sono showed us some striking model-esque features. Long legs. Man… a girl that is going to be inconceivably cute… with long legs. I don’t see how I am going to survive. I will be wrapped around that girl’s finger tighter than aged leather — when I am not beating the lads off with a steal girder. All other signs point to healthy, healthy, healthy. She is gonna be a strong one.

Good news is, we are now going to be able to register more appropriately as well as do up the baby’s room now. Not that we are going gender specific, but I think I would have pushed for the planes theme more if it was a boy. Dragonflies and lady bugs are the order of the day. With little froggies.

I love her so much… both of them.

Friday, February 18, 2005


There are so many blogs out there, it can get awfully confusing as to who’s is who’s. Perhaps, like me, you have a collection of blogs bookmarked or on a feed so you can access them each day and not try to remember the addresses of each one. Regardless, what makes a particular blog stand out? And how does it stand out? Is it the content, the way it looks, or a combination of both? I would like to think that my content is enough to have the design overlooked. I am not saying my blog (or portfolio site for that matter) looks horrible, just that it isn’t as hoopty-goo as some out there (and yet, Takashi Kamada’s actual blog-style blog is as similar as all the rest).

Then my friend, Budi, comes along and brings up a possible limitation of CSS. He looked at three blogs (mine included) and made an observation that they looked very similar in design. Here’s a peek at the three sites side-by-side. Budi then tells me, “If you had told me those 3 pages are sub-pages to the same parent page, I'd say, ‘Rock on’.” Is the similarity a result of trends, or is it a result of what CSS is possibly limiting designers to create? Initially, I want to say they share a common layout based on trends.

The CSS Zen Garden showcases fresh designs using the same HTML document but with different CSS driving the layout. However… I feel that many of the designs are pretty much the same with the exception to the graphics used. So perhaps CSS is limiting how designers layout their sites. Or perhaps, the content of the design is more important than the layout?

This is why I lean towards the “trends” argument. Each one of the three sites in the picture are blogs. Or at least, I term them as blogs. Blogs can be seen as mini-newspapers with very specific themes for daily (or semi-daily) content. The content is the most important thing on these sites. Lately, content is king and without it, who cares what your site looks like. So if a newspaper makes with a new design that is dramatically different than the other papers, are you more likely to buy it to keep up with your news? I believe the answer is “no”. I know I wouldn’t want to try to sift through a new layout to find something that interests me regarding entertainment. I know the Section, the page and the area for news on weekend box office results. You change that up on me and I am not happy. So, I feel, the trends for blog design are going to be similar across the board for the majority of sites.

Monday, February 14, 2005

8 Years Stress Free

Valentine’s Day. Let’s face it gents, this is all for da ladies. This is the day that all the attached women out there get treated like goddesses on Earth (and rightfully so). Restaurants make a killing on this day — and without a reservation, dining out today is likely not an option. Chocolates are the tried and true, with truffles being that extra mile. Holland stays in business because of this holiday.

So what do you get her that makes this day memorable for her? It always has to be memorable, or top the prior ones, right? And sentimental, let’s not forget that. It must mean something! Well, about 8 years ago, I got a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card. I asked my wife to marry me on Valentine’s Day. At a dance concert. On stage. In front of an auditorium filled with people I didn't know, and that didn’t know me as anything other than one of the performers. I gave some witty prose, asked her to come up on stage, handed her some decoy flowers, got down on one knee and asked her to “be my senses for the rest of my life.” Wouldn’t you know, she fell for it! So now, as long as I show her the attention she deserves, get her a card or do something, anything at all, on this day – I win! Nothing tops a proposal.

Elsewhere, in the design community, there is a new toy available for all you illustrators (and perhaps some of you non-illustration types). WACOM has created something rather drool-worthy. At least to my artist friends. Imagine a 21-inch LCD flat-panel display. That you can draw on! The new 21" Cintiq isn’t showcased on WACOM’s site, but Gizmodo has some info on it. Raise your pen if you want one.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Kickin' Back

No design related post for today (the weekends usually will be short on this topic).

My brother-in-law was in ICU for over a week due to respiratory problems related to sleep apnea. He gets out today to be placed in a regular room. As he was in ICU, we would visit his room to give him confidence and let him know we were there for him. He is going to be a great uncle and is very excited about my wife's pregnancy so we talked about it a good deal. I have also been holding my wife’s belly in hopes to feel something, anything of the baby.

Yesterday, I felt three little kicks that happened like a 3-burst round from a semi-auto. Quick and light. My eyes must have grown to the size of grapefruits because my wife knew immediately that I felt them. She confirmed that they were kicks and I was as giddy as a school girl. I kept holding her belly in the ICU room in hopes to feel more and every nurse coming in would make comments of congratulations and the like. My brother-in-law and mother-in-law could tell I felt them too and were very happy to have it happen at the time it did.

With my luck, I got to feel the first kicks (outside of my wife, of course) but I will likely miss the first steps. I need to get a good digital camcorder.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Parasite Seeks Host

I have had my website hosted by Doteasy for a long time now. For all intents and purposes, it has served my needs well. I get a space to showcase my portfolio, and that’s all I really wanted in the first place. Recently, however, (or perhaps not so recently) I have discovered that I need more. More features for my web space. More control over my content. More, more, more. Unfortunately, I don’t want to pay more. Who does, really? For some time now, I have been considering a move to another host service. One that allows more features for my website while not costing exponentially more than what I am currently paying. With the way this internet thing is growing, I better make up my mind quick or face being buried in the other rabble that has been out there longer on better established servers.

Enter the choices:
mediatemple: at $7.95/mo and all those sweet amenities, that’s the front runner.
Upgraded Doteasy: also $7.95/mo but without all the (mt) goodness.

I am only going with these two options right now because it is a headache to look up companies I have never heard of before. I suppose I could probably strike up a deal with WaveOrigin (the good folks that host Scoab Interactive), but I think I would feel like I was mooching off them or something.

So, if anyone out there who happens to stumble on this page, drop me some advice if you got any.

Elsewhere: Remember Font Aid III, to which I contributed a fleuron to? Well, that font was supposed to go on sale at MyFonts.com at the Font Aid III page in late January. Ya – no font. Not sure what to do about that.

They're already here.

PS: I love my wife. Hope you get better, baby.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Tag, You’re It

Remember EPIC? Well, there is a new thing that seems to be spreading along the internet rather veraciously that could make EPIC closer to a reality. It’s called tagging. Being on Salon.com, you will have to view an advertisement if you don’t have an account. It’s hard for me to explain tagging, but essentially, you list keywords related to your hobbies and interests and these “tags” get digested by software that will then match you up to everybody else who shares those same “tags”. You know, like Amazon has that “People who bought this item also bought these items” thing.

I just joined 43Things.com — which is a site that publicly lists your goals/hopes/dreams/desires as tags and lets you see who else shares the same thinking as you. Coinencidentally, Amazon is behind 43 Things. What does that mean?

I think it means that something like EPIC could be more of an inevitable reality than we think. I agree with my colleague, Budi, when he says that Amazon could be using 43Things to bolster sales. How? If you sign up (for free) on 43Things and then post a couple “things” for yourself, Amazon could then “suggest” some products, books or whatever to you so that you might accomplish those things. Rather clever, really.

Certainly, 43Things (or tagging in general) means more than simply being a ridiculously robust and integrated advertisement. I think it does. More and more, the internet is making this world phenomenally smaller. With tagging, I believe it is going to get even smaller. The world is becoming more social. More of a community because of things like this. I don’t personally know “sonofgroucho”, but I do know he shares my goal of getting more people to read my blog.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Super Bowel

firstly - you meant to search ‘super bowl’ didn’t you? admit it. it’s ok. you’re in good company. and by ‘good’, i mean plentiful. many people misspell a simple four-letter word like ‘bowl’. the word i used to title this post, however, refers to the intestine (commonly seen as bowels). as in, the transporter of crap. this post has nothing to do with the actual game, but rather the commercials that are aired during it. the ‘05 super bowl had some real stinkers.

secondly – go to youtube to see the 2007 super bowl xli commercials that aired.


It is (was) that time of year again. Many people anticipate today with much fervor. Folks around the nation, chomping at the bit to see something spectacular. An impressive moment that will be talked about during their morning coffee to the guy from accounting. That’s right — Super Bowl commercials.

A couple of years ago (several actually), the commercials that aired during the Super Bowl could have challenged the game itself for air time. If you bought your tickets and went to the game, you actually care about the game. But for the rest of us folks, we get commercials whether we care to see the next touchdown or not. And advertisers know it. At its height, Super Bowl ads were something to see. Watching commercials didn’t seem so bad. Today… what a bunch of crap.

The FCC, or perhaps advertisers in general, have become so scared of the minority out there that the rest of us are subjected to donut ads for Dodge trucks. Sure, there is the occasional “good” ad that is either funny, witty or essentially clever, but I want commercials like Apple’s “1984”. Where are those ads? Being censored because of “Somebody Else” syndrome. PS: Read the comic there too. It’s ridiculously worth it. Unfortunately, this type of mentality has ruined it for the rest of us. The best we can hope for this year was barely a handful of ads about cars and mortgages.

However, despite the bumper crop of “ho-hums” out there, there is always the one that shines above the rest. The one that tried so hard to be different. To actually say something. The one many will likely talk about during their morning coffee to the guy from accounting. I’d like to think that one, this year, was the ad promoting Napster. Why? Because it was -the- worst ad I have ever seen. Ever. And I have seen a lot of ads. A lot. If you are going to compare your product and/or service to another’s, at least have the intelligence to compare the same type of product and/or service.

If you didn’t see the ad, good for you. Otherwise, suck it, because I am not linking to it — wherever it is. Basically, all the ad does is paste an equation type deal up on the screen to compare the cost of Apple’s iPod’s capacity to Napster’s new music service. That’s right, they compared a portable “hard drive” to a music service. Saying it would cost you $10,000 to fill up an iPod (they didn’t even bother to specify which iPod) as opposed to $15 a month to fill up any other MP3 player (Apple doesn’t like crap touching their products, I guess) using their service. How does that even compare? First, the assumption was made that every song for your iPod (the 40GB model) is the result of iTunes purchases (at 99¢). Second, they claim a service is the same as a physical product. Third, they are comparing Apples to oranges. Sorry, had to do it.

In the ad, they say you have access to a million songs at any time during your subscription and you can download as many as you want for only $15 a month, thereby never having to pay 99¢ each time you want to download a song. Oddly enough, I have over 600 songs in my digital library and I have only shelled out $13.17 to Apple for music downloads. And, yes, you can download songs and then import them into your iPod without having them originate from the iTunes Music Store. According to Napster, I must have paid over $600 for having all those songs on my iPod. It’s probably due to the fact that I actually bought CDs legitimately and transferred them to my computer and then to my iPod. Crazy!

The ad fails because it will not cost me $10k to fill up my iPod. iTunes is not my only option to acquire 10,000 songs. It also fails because the ad tries to attack the iTunes Music Store but its strongest argument is based on the iPod’s storage capacity being the reason you will pay so much. Obviously, I am not the target audience for this spot… but can one really say this was a good ad at all?

Lamest commercial ever.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Hit The Pigeon

I’ve mentioned before how I liked making web banners and it is still true. I like playing with animated .GIFs. They’re just so darn nifty. Well, back in the day, I made them with an actual purpose to sell a product and/or service. When making an advertising banner for a company, it is important to know said company’s target audience. Recently, McDonald’s has been tapping into the “hip-hop” market (to what effectiveness, I don’t know). So they are trying to be more “hip”. I guess they thought using the slang used by their audience would do that for them. Might have helped to actually research the slang first:

Holy cow! I mean... er... pigeon! Magical Trevor is back!!!

Monday, January 31, 2005


I haven't made a post in a while. Not sure really why that is, but not really important, I guess. I have stumbled upon SmokyMonkeys’ website once again. This site has some incredible artwork and also has an amazing browser based game called Triglav. The only problem with the game is that it is platform specific. I am told that is actually bad practice to write an applet with Javascript (a platform dependent code) rather than Java, but I am not a developer. Aside from not being able to experience the game, it is remarkably beautiful and, I imagine, well done. The artist’s illustration skills are just gorgeous. The colors are rich and deep. You feel like you are in the world these characters live in. This seems to be the site’s 4th version, that I have seen and while it looks clean and concise, it doesn't have the painterly feel of the previous versions. I want more.

I bought my niece a sketchbook this weekend. She says she wants to draw/make comics. I think that is great. More power to her and I, for one, will support her artistic dreams as much as possible. So, to little Emily, her first sketchbook. I hope she fills it up with anything, everything and more.

Elsewhere, quite a while back, there was this outstanding short animation (clay-mation) film, by Mark Osborne, up for the Academy-Award®. I am not sure who it was up against, but whatever won must have been ridiculously outstanding. We always want More.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

This Little Piggy…

Since September 18, my life has changed. And it is remarkable and getting remarkably better every day. In just a few short months (ok, 4.5), I have experienced a sense of new life. It has grown into something that is uncategorically surreal. I am closer to my wife for it. I am closer to myself as a result of it. I am further along my path – my family’s path – with much thanks to it. Coincidentally, it is taking shape rather eloquently.

I present to you, fine readers — The Foot.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Another Mouse In The House!

So the big level 2 sonogram was today. You know, the one that they can check the gender of your baby with… Ya, that one. Anywho… we are about 90% sure it is a little girl. YAY! I am in big trouble. No doubt about it, this girl will have anything she wants, whenever she wants it. Bankruptcy will be my new best friend.

Aside from having a gleefully giddy girl (which I am actually quite ecstatic about), we are having an incredibly healthy baby so far. The spine is just amazing. It is crazy how much focus I have on a 10" long portion of baby. I suppose I was most nervous about this particular part because it is one of the first pieces that develops in the beginning. And it just looks marvelous. Like a perfect zipper on a pair of comfortable Levi’s. The first picture we got of our beautiful baby girl was of, wait for it, her foot. It was crazy. Big ’ol left foot slapped up on the plasma screen. She is gonna be a star and she knows it’s your feet (and hands) that gets immortalized. Getting started on the footprints early, then.

My wife and I were very pleased to know that our baby is very healthy. That is all we wanted really. Boy, Girl, it didn’t really matter, just as long as there wasn’t anything crazy. I am happy to report that we are that fortunate. I would like to express how happy and emotional we are about this, but the internet is a poor excuse for a narrator.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Contest Consternation

I have been involved, in some facet or another, with design as a career for a little over 6 years now. This does not include my internships. I am speaking post-graduation with my degree. I do not consider myself an artist (in that I don’t think I have the hand skills for illustration or “general” art). I am not saying I can’t draw, just that it is not my branch of expertise. I should clarify that I also do not consider myself to have an expertise in anything... except perhaps Egyptian spiny mice farming.

Anyway, this latest brooha over at Airbag got me to thinking — What are the ethics of design? I mean, what set of rules are actually enforced in our industry? Are there any rules that warrant being set? I had a portfolio review to graduate from college, but I am not “certified” or “registered”. Does that make my work less valuable? If anyone can do it, why would a company come to me to have it done?

I have noticed two modes of thinking in the thread: 1) Spec work is bad. 2) This is just for fun. Now the (1) folks think that this is what is hurting our industry; that companies can get design work done for them for next to nothing (or less) and thereby, devalue the industry. The sentiment being, “Anyone can do it, so I see no reason to pay your company to do it. I will simply hold a “contest” and get the best design for a ridiculous fraction of the cost.” Supporters of (1) make reference to the GDC and their issues with the Vancouver Olympics Emblem Contest. There are other organizations in Canada arguing the same points on the same contest. Others simply chant the mantra that “not everyone can design”. I am on the fence as to whether speculative work is actually bad or not. In college, all my work was spec. However, if a company asks 10 design firms to give them speculative work and they will then pay a fee to the firm that created the best speculative work, I find that a little smarmy. The company is essentially getting 10x the work done for 10x times less the cost. At least in my view.

The (2) folks feel that this contest has no ill intentions, the client is not out to get a very cheap logo for his company and this is all just for fun. Greg Storey (Airbag Industries) put this contest together for a friend of his creating a start-up (LedgerPaper). Mr. Storey didn’t have time to do the logo himself and thought this would be a fun, community building activity that would result in a decent logo for his friend’s company (at least, that is my take on it). He put together a rather esteemed board of judges to vote on the winning design (Jason Santa Maria, Jim Coudal, Jon Hicks and Tom Dolan). Whomever’s design gets chosen is going to get a considerable slice of attention, even if for only 15 minutes. To the winner — an iPod Shuffle, among other nifty shtuff. I think Mr. Storey’s intention was one of getting the design community together as well as creating a rather nice logo for a start-up financial company. Though Storey isn’t judging the logo himself, one has to imagine that he might be devoting perhaps more time to this contest than had he just designed the logo himself. He is certainly devoting some time to monitoring the comments in the thread. So far – 154 comments.

Personally, I don’t think I will participate. Not that I don’t have time, so much that I am just not interested in the contest. The notoriety would be swell, but I am a man that gets a little touchy when it comes to losing to these sorts of things. I know I would think my logo was the best (all designers think this, I suppose) and it always seems to devastate me irrationally to lose the “small” contests. Example: The Millennium Youth Entertainment Center — a contest was promoted asking designers of the community to design the logo for the MYEC. While mine may not have been the best, the winning design is just horrible. This was the best the community could produce? I just can’t believe that.

Also, and this is the more important reason for not participating, I don’t feel like I have the access to the client, or the interaction, that is necessary to create a logo for that business. The few posts made by The Client or even the very brief brief on the project is not enough for me. My wife is an accountant and would know enough to fill me in on what this guy’s business is all about, but it wouldn’t be his business. It would be an interpretation by my wife of his business. I just don’t think I could contribute an effective design for his company.

I can’t say whether I think this contest is “wrong” or “right”. I can understand with both side’s views. In the end, I am likely to just step back and watch how it plays out.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Fleurons On The Pillow

Those crane machines at midways? Well, they have an enormous one at Dave & Buster’s. I mean huge. As I was there yesterday, enjoying the holiday and having lunch with my wife and her mother, I had the opportunity to witness this monstrosity of a quarter fiend. With a claw the size of a small child, there were prizes equally as large. A 2' diameter, blue, happy-faced pillow, for example. My wife asked me to get her that pillow in her most cutest of ways. And wouldn’t you know it — I did! On the first try. Her face lit up with that beautiful smile that I love. It is what I live for.

Posted my submission to Font Aid III in the Lab, finally. Can’t wait until the font is available.

There is an incredible debate happening at Airbag Industries at the moment. Very hot issue.

PS: My cell on Colorcell didn’t make it. It died this morning.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Font Aid III

At our last OB/GYN check-up, we opted to have some blood tests done to check for certain things. AFP tests. So far, our child is healthy and happy. Well, as long as my wife doesn't eat at Taco Bell again. Only 11 more days before the big sono!

Font Aid III is about up and I made a small contribution to the effort. I will post it to the Lab portion of my website by the end of the day (hopefully). When the font comes out (hopefully with my submission included), I will buy a copy to support the relief effort.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

News From The Blogosphere

LiveJournal, to me, has always come across as sort of the ignored older brother of Blogger. I am not going to attempt a discussion at which is better – each has their own offerings that make them unique and desirable to a vast number of individuals. One reason I chose Blogger over LiveJournal was the customization and control one has over the elements of your blog. Not to mention the power of Google behind your blog. Six Apart is a leader in blogging software and had I the means to implement Movable Type on my own website, I would be using that instead of Blogger’s great service. All this blah, blah, blah — Six Apart Acquires LiveJournal. What this means for existing LiveJournal users is most likely improved service and quality of their weblogging. Will it become a better method of blogging than Blogger? Personally, I don’t think so, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a good tool.

David Firth comes up with another, horrifying animated offering.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Tasty Apples

Apple announces the new Macintosh computer – the Mac mini. As well as the newest member of the iPod family – iPod shuffle. Apple seems to be really pushing the super compact market. The mini is amazingly small and is only $500. However, the monitor, keyboard and mouse are not included in that price. Still a good price for Apple, I think.

The new iPod doesn’t seem to be too competitive. Now you get only a gig for $99. I have a 40gig iPod that cost... $400? I got 40x the iPod for only 4 times the price. Also, iTunes just loads it up with 240 random songs from your Library that the iPod shuffle then shuffles through on its own. To quote a friend, however, "I sho want the iPuffle."

If you read Hanzi Smatter, than you probably already read Tian’s other blog. Well, Tian learns yet another reason why Windows is just a lame excuse for an OS.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Public Markings

Awesome - iTunes has a Top 100 songs list... sadly – many are the rank Pop that currently litters the airwaves. Music is music and only iTunes could sort it out.

I want to post an in-depth review of the new marks for Williamson County and the City of Georgetown, TX. I will work on making it as unbiased as possible while still maintaining the integrity that I believe they are some fine examples of bad design. I am also trying to figure out how many blogs, or blog-style sites, create posts that have a "Read More…" link to read the entirety of the post. Ultimately, you might have to deal with a really long post.

Half the time I think my blog is just lame. Especially when compared to those like Jason Santa Maria.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Winning Shows

Blogging has become a small part of my life and, no doubt, the lives of many others. Typically, this blog tries to be concerned with typography and design. I think that when I am “on topic”, I do a good job. When I am not, the post isn’t horrible. I could be more witty perhaps… even a little more clever. I’ll tell you how that works out for me - being clever.

Anyway, there are several awards that are given out for whatever these days and I just stumbled on another one. The 2005 Bloggies. Interesting to say the least. I live in Austin and I have yet to attend a SXSW. I know — as a designer, I should at least be trying to make the Interactive portion of the festival. That sounds all well and good, but this festival isn’t cheap. Not by a long shot. It would cost me $225 to attend this year. Sorry folks, I just don’t have that kind of money to toss around for one day, for one portion of the entire festival. Going Platinum (all panels and shows) would cost me $650 ($520 if registering before Oct. 1, 2004).

“On Topic”: type type font CMYK type web design type type.

In other news: A good laugh can be made over stinky meat and its effects on neighbors.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Happy Anniversary

January 3rd marked the 7th year anniversary for me and my wife. 2004 had its ups and downs, but we made it through another year and I couldn’t be more happy and thankful. We both got great jobs. We both dove into starting a family. We both will grow stronger with each passing year.

Copper and wool are the traditional gifts for the seventh year. Roses made of wool resting in a copper bowl was my gift to her, littered with slips of paper with the reasons I love her. I will add to the bowl a new thoughts as they comes to me.

She gave me a multi-pointed star that is copper in color and gorgeous. It holds a candle and is thus illuminated from within. Also a picture gallery for displaying up to four photos. I have it in my office now. She wrote new vows for me. I will read them every day.

I love you, Melissa.


BlogAid. ’Nuff said on that.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Ninja Dopplers

New Year’s was quiet but still very fun. Obviously, we can’t do much for celebration by way of alcohol, but we managed. My brother-in-law and his wife, along with my mother-in-law (basically my wife’s family), were our only guests for the evening and we played games to pass the time until January 1st rolled around. One such game was Ninja Burger (by Steve Jackson Games), a Christmas present.

I first saw an online application for a fictitious fast food joint named Ninja Burger quite a while back. It was a simple one-page site showcasing a JPG of the application. It was hilarious. Now it is a huge multi-page site as though it is a real franchise. Hilarious! The game is based off that website and is equally riddled with hilarity.

Today was our 17-week check-up on the new addition. We had gotten rather used to the sonograms with every visit and were so a little disappointed by not getting one this round. My wife even downed a mini can of coke to get the bugger active. So, our baby was hidden from view, like ninja. Instead, we received a doppler of the baby’s heartbeat. Holy crap! There is really something in there, growing, developing, having blood pumped through its little body. Amazing. The sound of the heartbeat was just incredible. I could listen to it all day…