Tag Archives | movie

The Immersive Ugliness of Our Environments in America is Entropy Made Visible

I cannot claim to have made the title of this blog post but rather James Howard Kunstler can. He did so at the beginning of his talk at the TED conference in 2004 (I love the gems that keep getting found at the TED website).

Oddly enough I came across this video when reading a blog post about web site strategy. The parallel between building of public spaces in the “real” world, and the building of public spaces in the “virtual” world can come to a common understanding that we care about those spaces that are designed well and invite participation.

The video of his talk is worthwhile to watch (and funny in parts too).

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The Time of Your Life

Image from “A Bugs Life” by Pixar

I have been reminded this week that I am in the time of my life. A few things brought this on.

  1. My wife is away for the week and I am taking care of our 3 boys solo
  2. I am spending more time with my kids (which is great!)
  3. I am working everyday in and on my business for a bit (not as much as usual for the above reason)
  4. I am being present around  my kids and reflecting on that
  5. And boys will be boys (and how!)

I was driving with the boys from an appointment this afternoon. As is typical I was getting questions from the older two at random intervals while they were all watching a DVD (Ah yes, modern technology in cars—where was that when I was a kid. All we had was MadLibs). The movie happened to be “Bugs Life“—one of the many genius movies created @ Pixar. The questions were about “Do grasshoppers have wings?” and the like.

The movie happened to be at the end and the Randy Newman song “The Time Of Your Life” was playing in the background as I was driving home. The chorus says. “It’s the time of your life, so live it well.” The mountains were off in the distance with the sun setting. The golden hills were rolling by and it was just one of those moments when you realize “this is it!” This is the time of my life. It was really cool to be that present to it.

Even though I get lost in the moments of ‘stress’ and the rat race day-to-day, being present to my kids and their questions and comments, the scenery passing by outside, and then the song was the icing on the cake.

It is the time of your life, so live it well.

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Slow Re-Start


Well this past week was an exercise in getting back to the flow. Back to the flow of the family life—making coffee for my wife in the morning, taking kids to school, changing diapers, making bottles, getting kids to bed, watching movies with my wife. And getting back to the flow of work—turning off vacation messages on phones and email, email, email, and more email. Projects, clients, voicemails and the myriad of things that go along with running your own company all await your upon your return.

I am very glad to be back from my vacation. The vacation was great and I would like to take another break as soon  as I can. However, it is tough coming back from a vacation. Getting back on board takes time. Not the family part, I would not trade that for the world. It’s the coming back to work part. Don’t get me wrong I love what I do and it is great. However, getting coal back in the cold engine and firing up the furnace to get the train moving again is a slow process. It does take me at least one work week to get things up to speed—back on top of email, and projects too.

I took one working day to focus on one aspect. Monday was email, Tuesday was projects and their status, Wednesday was calls and appointments, Thursday was project work, and Friday was a professional development seminar.

So even though I started out the week feeling like the tortise, I ended it feeling like the hare.

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Business Matters

Tonight I attended a seminar hosted by AIGA of which I am a member. I went into this event with pretty high expectations. Usually when I do this I come away dissapointed–like the many movies I watch.

However, I was pleasantly surprised. The speaker for the evening, Errol Gerson, was knowledgeable, intelligent and fun. Errol has been teaching at the Art Center for over 30 years with a solid education in business (MBA, CPA, etc.). So, needless to say he knows design AND he knows business. He spoke to a room of about 40-50 graphic designers who are considering going into business for themselves or are already in the early stages of business, like me.

Errol covered the forms a business can take, sole proprietorship, LLC, and corporations. He spoke about the forms of insurance that are needed, what type of accounting method, accrual vs. cash, you should use, how to read profit and loss statements, how to perform a break even analysis, and the list goes on. There were some things I was aware of because of my own expereince in starting up my own design business in California, but when he covered the aspects of the financial side I was all ears. It also made me think, especially during the question and answer period, that there are organizations, like AIGA, that run these types of seminars to help educate design professionals about doing business, but there are not very many centralized resources for this type of information.

I began my business just about 19 months ago and have figured out how to get things done. How to incorporate, how to get a business licence, a loan, insurance, accountants, etc. There are a TON of things you need to do to get your business setup legitamately. I think I will cover some of those things in some posts.
It really was an invaluable evening.

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Inconvenient, I’ll say

This evening I watched the movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

I had initially hesitated watching this movie because I was warned not to. I tend to take hold of an idea and run with it. Continue Reading →

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