The author shooting a selfie, circa 1930

After a nearly four-year hiatus (from which I did not believe I would ever return) I have taken up the pen to resume my blog. A few semesters ago I was in a class that mandated all students keep a weekly blog.  I was not too keen on this since our topics were dry and a bit redundant but it made me miss blogging.  Also since I last regularly posted I have learned a lot about content creation and internet marketing so I’ve been wanting to try out my skills on myself before offering them to others.

In previous years my blog was a collection of semi-coherent ramblings about a plethora of subjects.  My main focus now is on motivation and intentional living and how those things relate to business, design and life.  I will be updating the blog faithfully every Monday morning with a little bit of motivation for you.  This Monday motivation will be stories of people or products that inspire me and other inspirational thoughts that I come across throughout the week.  Throughout the week I’ll be posting more sporadically on design, business and very occasionally web development, these weekly posts will be more in the vein of the ramblings that I used to post so if you’re interested in what I’m up to professionally then tune in, otherwise check the blog on Mondays for a little dose of motivation.

Lastly, this website is far from finished, in fact, according to Theme Checker there are about 30 changes I have to meet WordPress guidelines.  But that is above and beyond what I can see with my own eyes.  I’ve been working on this template on and off for about six months (the bulk of it was done in May) and for a long time I used it as an excuse to not publish anything.  I realised that if I waited until perfection I would never post anything so I’m opting to begin posting on an unfinished website.

A few notes on this blog redesign:

    • Still using WordPress, I actually contemplated using Rails but that would have meant I would have to switch off Dreamhost, and I still believe that WordPress is one of the best CMSs around.
    • This template was built by me, there are still some bugs that I’ll be working out and it’s not very pretty on mobile (although it works).
    • Bootstrap is the best man, I’m also using Normalize and a wee bit of Jquery (but I can’t remember why it may just be to power Bootstrap).
    • I could not have made this template without Tania Rascia’s fantastic blog post on WordPress templates and the WordPress documentation.

 

The collaborations between Colin and myself are sometimes brilliant and sometimes less than.  Whenever we get together (about once a year) there is a strong desire to shoot something, anything, and if a good story is not something we can brainstorm we resort to wandering the streets of Princeton and nearby Sourland Mountain with a kids bike and a couple of cameras.

More than anything else one could say this was a test of our SLRs, neither John or I had ever shot anything so long or intensive on our cameras so this was a good test just to see how they would hold up over the course of an intense shoot.  I have to say I am very pleased with the outcome.

I spent about three days editing this (with a week-long venture to Rome in between).


Remember our little films look good in 720 or 1080 HD! Check it out on Youtube.

Below are some behind the scenes photos (second only to cool guys not looking at explosions are cool guys riding a little girls bike):

Everyone’s trying to get Will to quit…

 

My Latest Purchase

My Latest Purchase

In June I made a life changing decision, I decided to never again (never is a long time, but I’ll try my best) purchase music or movies on the iTunes store. I don’t have cable so I may still purchase a TV show or two just to keep up, but music and full movies are out.

Why? What is the method to my madness?

Well, it all began a few years ago when iTunes started releasing movies. It was cool and novel but tragically iTunes could just not match the glory of a DVD or Blu-Ray case, a hard disc and all the special features that went along with them. Perhaps for some, the movie is all they want, but I can’t bear to forego my making of, still gallery and director’s commentaries. So I decided I would not buy any movies with the iTunes store. (Back when they first added movies I got ‘Clue’ and ‘Rocky’ just to test it out).

However, recently I have been thinking more and more about the music component of the iTunes store. I like it, but quite frankly it’s too easy, I just sit on my computer and get music, I feel like if I want music I should walk or drive (easier then walking not as easy as sitting on the computer) down to the local music shoppe and actually buy a CD which spins in my disc drive and scratches when I drop it. I guess you could say then that my main problem with iTunes is the lack of hard media, you know, CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Ray discs. That is one of two major issues that I have.

The other issue I have is something that I had been sitting in the back of my mind for a while but I really started thinking about after reading J.J. Abrams article in the May issue of Wired. It was an amazing issue and J.J. Abrams’s article was the crown jewel of the issue. Be sure to check it out. Basically J.J. basically stated that our lives are becoming too easy, you can get all the music you want without leaving your house and experiencing something new, you don’t hear music you haven’t heard before (maybe you don’t even like), you don’t see strangers flipping through CDs, you just sit at home and stare at your download’s progress. It’s easy, and the problem with that as the old saying goes “no pain no gain”. However that’s even becoming archaic because downloading music on your computer is just the opposite it’s “no pain all gain”, which is sort of a shame because if everything in life was free and easy people would become fat hermits who lived out of there beds (we’re not too far away from that). We have no social stimulus of any kind when we buy music online.

Now, please dear reader, don’t take this hate for purchasing media from the iTunes store as hate for iTunes. In my opinion, iTunes is possibly the best program of the last ten years. I know there are a lot of haters, but I am certainly not one of them. It is really the best program to organise and listen to your music collection. And if I had to buy a song from the iTunes music store a month to keep iTunes I guarantee I would.

So in the interest of actually working up a sweat, smelling nasty smells, being stuck in traffic and occasionally getting a headache, I now purchase all my music at Borders and The Beat Goes On (which is a great place for cheep used CDs in the Kitchener/Waterloo area). It’s obviously not as easy or as convenient but I get a hard disc with album artwork and personal credits, I get fresh air and a chance to experience something I otherwise would not have.

Abrams, J.J. “The Magic of Mystery”. Wired May 2009: p76

Image: brucespringsteen.net

2017 Update: Netflix, Spotify, and half a dozen other services have drastically changed the landscape. I still hit up the Beat Goes On when I can but I have to admit I subscribe to Spotify Premium and still use my parent’s Netflix account haha. Also, Borders Books is dead.

Just a quick post to let everybody know I set up Lightbox on the blog. Basically Lightbox allows you to view full size images without ever leaving the page.

Click on one of the images below for a demo;
5:00 Poster Travis 'Big Eyes' Man comic book

Now it’s your turn, in the comments section tell me if Lightbox is awesome and I should keep it. Or lame and I should get rid of it. Or if you don’t care either way tell me anyway (I’ll listen).

You may notice that my blog is no longer what it once was, I have removed most of the irrelevant posts in favour of content that some people may actually want to read. (Bold and italics for an extra dose of emphasis). Don’t worry I’ve kept all my hard written posts on my server in hopes that some day I will have a use for them, not sure when though.

You also may have noticed that the main page of the website has undergone a big redesign, the old design was tired and worn, so I reworked it, in essence, the layout is still the same but it’s sleeker, less clunky and some other words that people only use to describe cars.

As of right now, 6:55 on October third, I have not given the blog the full redesign it deserves, however, trust me that is coming SOON. I like the way it is now even less than you do! So check back over the coming days and weeks for a nicer cleaner template with hopefully lots of fun plugins.