Archive for the 'Fun' Category

Video Classifieds – What You See Is What You Get

Friday, September 21st, 2007

I recently had a really great experience doing some design / xhtml / css tweaking for a great up and coming web application – iMoondo.

iMoondo home page

This job was simply a pleasure from start to finish. Andrej Masiar was just so fun and easy to work with … one of those clients you want to stay on the phone chatting with after your done talking about work stuff. Andrej has some key characteristics that make up a great client that I’m going to keep in mind when trying to replicate that type of client. They are:

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Have You Seen Love Letters?

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

A few months ago I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Annie Potts (think Ghostbusters and Toy Story) and my friend James Taylor perform in the critically acclaimed A. R. Gurney play Love Letters in my home town of Walnut Creek, California. My super-awesome and oldest friend in the world, Selma Al-Faqih, was the director. I had never seen the play before and was completely enthralled!

This summer Annie, James, and Selma are bringing Love Letters to Washington, D.C. and I am very pleased to have done the promotional website for that performance at the Landsburgh Theatre. If you have a chance to go, I highly recommend it.

screen shot of Love Letters website

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My Life May Have Just Been Changed

Monday, March 12th, 2007

I just attended the most impactful presentation I have seen here at SxSW. It was called The 4-Hour Workweek: Secrets of Doing More with Less in a Digital World and it’s description read, “Is your team mired in the goo and muck of old-school thinking? Are your designers and developers divided on their approach and about to throw in the towel? Are you dying to move from a stale world to a more agile, innovative approach? This panel features formerly stuck experts as well as those who have helped clients get out of the muck. Success in today’s web environment means merging design and development thinking to move to a 2.0 world and beyond.”

I almost didn’t go to this today because it was the first panel of the morning, I was tired, and I couldn’t really tell from the description whether it would be interesting or now. Well, the description was misleading. The lone presenter, Tim Ferriss, was a charismatic, dynamic, power-horse of amazing advice. Honestly, right now, my mind is a bit blown. I am filled with manic energy while I frantically try to process how my entire view of running a business and living a life may very well have just been dramatically altered.

Here are my notes from this radical presentation:

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Busting Tantek’s Balls … and Receiving a Free Microformats T-Shirt

Sunday, March 11th, 2007

So if you read my first SxSW post you know that I was pretty disgusted by the How to Rawk SxSW presentation, which had on it’s panel the esteemed Tantek Celik (the creator of Microformats and the box model hack, Chief Technologist at Technorati, and general web standards celebrity).

Last night, after meeting some new friends (Trey, Dave, and Paul) I was at one of the many SxSW parties when I was informed that Tantek was upstairs. I quickly took the opportunity to go up there and bust his balls a bit. I announce to my friends that this is my intention, and my business partner particularly was a bit freaked out. Several of them urged me to reconsider. I, however, insisted that I could give Tantek a bunch of grief and let him know how much I thought the Rawk panel was lame, and yet do so charmingly, and leave the discussion with him liking me.

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SxSW Needs a User Experience Expert

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

You read yesterday about the definitively non-interactive registration process here at SxSW. As I arrived five minutes early to attend my next panel, Web App Autopsy, I was informed at the door that the panel had been moved to the third floor. I soon discovered that the only access to the third floor was through the two tiny elevators. The was a line around the interior block of the conference center for these elevators. I waited in this line for about 15 minutes. Finally getting my turn on the elevator I found myself packed in like pickles (Ellen reference … substitute sardines if you haven’t seen it) while I enjoyed a very stuffy, aromatic, and painfully slow ride down to the third floor from the second. That’s right … don’t make me explain it, because I can’t.

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Finding Design Inspiration Everywhere

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

Latest panel at SxSw: After the Brief: A Field Guide to Design Inspiration, presented by Jason Santa Maria and Rob Weychert of Happy Cog Studios. Cameron Moll was also supposed to present but he was sick. =(

The first thing Jason said that I found interesting was to look not at other web sites to find inspiration for website designs because that creates cliché, which quickly gets old. I’m not sure how much I agree or not. I do think it’s true that new ideas in web design get quickly adapted and ubiquitized (ok, I made up that word – but it should be able to be a verb, I think) – take the web 2.0 badge, for example, that “wicked worn look,” and just about anything else that’s cool … all too fast it becomes overdone and then passé. Yes, I agree that the ideal is to be among the first to come up with those ideas, rather than constantly chasing what’s hip. However, I also think that it’s important to be aware of those trends. I also think that looking at designs that really inspire you can lead you to riff off those concepts and often take them to new levels, or morph them into something else entirely.

“Design is not a thing you do. It’s a way of life.” This is a quote by Alan Fletcher, who wrote The Art of Looking Sideways. Jason says that real inspiration is about recognizing the value and the beauty of everything around you. That is absolutely true, but everything around you does include other websites. ;~)

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My First Real Celebrity Spottings – 10 Years in CSS

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

So I’m sitting here in a SxSW panel with Doug Bowman, Molly Holzschlag, Eric Meyer, and some tool from Microsoft (he just called himself a tool … I’m not just being mean.) He’s actually Chris Wilson, an IE Platform Architect. He seems nice enough, and I’m trying to get over my predetermined hatred of him based on his employment.

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Tiny Pencils and Screams – My first Experiences at SxSw

Friday, March 9th, 2007

So, I’m at SxSW … you know, THE conference for web geeks such as yours truly? I have my list of panels all picked out already and I came here with a lot of expectations about how amazing it was going to be. Well, I’m not giving up hope quite yet, but I must tell you that my first experiences here have been anywhere from frustrating to inane.

To set the stage, let’s go to the conference center to register and get our badges. The line is mammoth. I mean, it snakes back and forth around two floors of the huge conference center. We stand in it for about an hour. Occasionally people in SxSW t-shirts yell at us to move this way or that. We inch along. The woman in front of us has a big fight with her partner. He leaves, he comes back, he leaves again. A prolonged anguished phone call ensues and tears are shed.

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Busy, Busy, Busy!

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

So, you may be wondering if I’ve fallen off the face of the planet? Well … sort of. I’ve fallen into the world of Full Time Work. Yes, gone are my beloved 4-hour work days. And sometimes, I’ll admit it, I do miss them and the life of flexibility of time that they afforded me. However, despite the loss of my beloved free time, I am finding my new career role to be very challenging and rewarding, and I’m excited about all the possibilities the future holds.

South by Southwest LogoEspecially exciting is the near future … Friday, to be specific. Why? Because I am going to South By Southwest! YES!! I am so completely excited about this, my first year at this much touted conference. If you are going, please feel free to come say hello! If you would like to stalk me, I’m trying to make that easy on you by providing my itinerary in the form of a lovely Excel spreadsheet.

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FixTunes (Totally Off-Topic)

Friday, October 20th, 2006

My wonderful hubby just got me an 80gig Video iPod as an out-of-the-blue gift (what a sweetie)!

I love my music. I have a fairly big collection and I’m always on the scout for more (hop over and say hello on LastFm). My new lovely iPod has the ability to show album art but … I don’t have any album art!

After some research I discovered that album art is only imported when you purchase music on iTunes, not when you rip hundreds of CDs you’ve already purchased. What to do!?

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