Tag Archives | Work

iSad – Steve Jobs

There is nothing I can say that someone, somewhere will say much more eloquently and succinctly about the life and times of Steven Paul Jobs.

Love him or hate him, the man was simply a genius.

I think everyone who knew of him and his health knew the end was coming. Particularly after his recent resignation from running Apple.

However, is still leaves me sad that he is gone.

The news of his passing acted like a wakeup call to me.

I’ve had my head buried in the sand for quite some time. Suffice it to say that I’ve not been very motivated, as if in a long state of burn-out, slump, or “creative block” and its been going on for a while.

This news woke me up.

It’s time to Think Different and get back in gear.

So thank you to Steve Jobs for his contribution to the advancement of technology and for helping people take notice of the importance and impact of design. Thanks for making great products I use everyday like the MacBookPro I am typing this on, and for the Apple IIe I used 29 years ago.

Thank you for your inspiration.

Thank you for your creativity.

Thank you for your contribution.

Thank you for “one more thing…

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Where have I been?

I have been busy on many projects recently. What is great is I am ready to share them and the new things I’ve learned with Thesis and WordPress. My two most recent projects made me push my personal envelope of what I thought was possible within the WordPress/Thesis environment. Not that I’ve ever had any doubts, rather just plain figuring out “how the h*ll are you going to do this?“—and then doing it. So much fun.

Over the next few weeks I am going to share the projects, their scope, the questions presented, and their solutions. Not every project will go into minute detail, but I will give you enough info to maybe help you figure out how to do your own solutions to your own WordPress/Thesis challenges. I’ve noticed in the time that I’ve been using Thesis there are more and more people trying it out, and trying to do-it-yourself, which is great. I have found that its not a perfect fit for everyone but if you’re like me the fit is great and learning never ends. So stay tuned to see the projects.

Also, I’ll let the cat out of the bag and now state that I have a new website design for berchman.com coming soon (design is done and now in CSS) along with a custom portfolio solution rolled right into WordPress/Thesis. There is a fair amount of setup and labor in this process (basing things off an open-source solution), but I think the end result is clean and attractive. Thinking about doing a detailed tutorial and maybe releasing everything into the open. We’ll see what my time looks like. I’ve had very little time to write tutorials, or anything for that matter. But believe me there is lots to share and I’m hoping time will cooperate with me.

That’s it for now. Summer is here and I hope yours is going well.

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Time to Reflect. You’re soaking in it.

Madge. "You're soaking in it"

In today’s information overloaded, fast paced, digital lifestyle there can be little opportunity to pause and reflect. The mindset of “just have to keep up” can dominate one’s thinking if your are not careful. Every once and a while I get present to the fact that I spend too little time “reflecting” on things be they family, work, and life in general.

I’m soaking in it.

Like the image above, (I am showing my age and if you know ‘Madge’ you are too), sometimes you may find yourself “soaking in it” and not knowing what is going on, or the benefits of what you are in the middle of doing. Being a married, father of  3 boys, self employed business owner/pixel pusher can impose virtual blinders that, if I let it, will limit what I know, see, and what is possible.

So why am I rambling on about this? Recently I became aware of just how much I am soaking in it. My ‘inner Madge‘ woke up and reminded me of what was going on. And sharing this with others might remind them to stop, look around, and take stock.

I set some measurable goals at the end of 2009. These were goals I mentally planned on completing by the end of  the first quarter of 2010. Well guess what? Today is the start of the second quarter of 2010. And those three goals? Not met. I went through piles of paperwork over the weekend and found them written down. I got them out of my head not just as ideas and things to do, but completely out of my head. I was soaking in it so completely that I lost track of these goals.

What are, or were, the goals?

  • Publish new WordPress/Thesis tutorials based on recently completed projects
  • Design, develop, and publish a visual overhaul to berchman.com
  • Release a free Thesis portfolio theme

I had planned on these three things to be completed yesterday.

So what’s the lesson in all this?

Two things:

  1. Use your systems. These three goals were never put into project tracking systems I use and broken down into smaller, manageable tasks (basic productivity, duh). I am remedying that THIS quarter.
  2. Reflect more often. I failed to check in with myself on personal projects. All things in the client and family world are moving along quite well. I dropped the ball on myself.

Reflection time is over. I will now return to my regularly scheduled program.

Get back to work.

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My first post to posterous

Testing this posting out. Seeing what other services it “automatically” posts to by default. May take some tweaking to get this working how I like.

Posted via email from berchman’s posterous


UPDATE: I have noticed that when I email to the default posterous.com address for my account posts show up here automatically. I will be MUCH more prudent about posting via posterous in the future.

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A Website Realignment: Day 0

Here is the beginning of what I hope to be a great series of posts. This series will chronicle—in as much detail as I can provide without driving myself or you crazy—the process of reinventing my brand and transforming this website in form and function.

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Three Thesis Sites in One Week

thesis-WordPress

It has been a busy publishing week for me. I have had 3 websites go “live” this week that are based on WordPress and Thesis. Two of these website involved comprehensive design and the other involved functionality customizations. The point of this post is to share some recent work to show that all Thesis sites do not look totally the same. The best part is that I learned many new things about WordPress and Thesis in the process—some of which I will share soon.

Coming up next after this post will be a serious undertaking that I will chronicle on this website—the redesign of berchman.com on WordPress and Thesis. I will post the whole process from start to finish as a complete “under-the-hood” look at how it all gets done. So stay tuned. The posts on the redesign of berchman.com will start next week. Continue Reading →

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Paying the price. One way or another.

time-is-money

Today I was reflecting upon a common occurrence among people that I talk to with regard to their website(s).

The people I talk to either want a new website or they have one and want to update/add/delete a design or function of the site. These conversations either happen through email or in person and become a dialogue of  back-and-forth brain picking. They ask how they can do “X, Y, and Z” and I then ask questions relating to strategy, objectives, and outcomes. These are great conversations, and I love having them to figure out what it is people are doing, and how I can help them out. Continue Reading →

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Why Thesis is like the chocolate in a Peanut M&M

mmsYellowPeanut

I was having a discussion yesterday about the specifics of what I do for a living. I typically give very generic answers as I think most people don’t really care they are just trying to create polite conversation. However this time the person I was speaking with was genuinely curious and was digging deeper with more questions.

Explaining the intricate details of web design and web development to the laymen can be an interesting exercise. Anytime I try to explain something I know intimately, I have the best success using metaphors. Continue Reading →

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WordPress/Thesis Tutorial: Custom ‘Coming Soon’ Page

WordPress-Thesis Image

One of my frustrations when developing WordPress websites (separate from Thesis) is trying to have a “coming soon/under construction/under development” page so that the public gets the message that things are coming while I and the client can work away in the background. Why would you need this? Well in most cases you have a domain name purchased and parked somewhere. Many times you get a lovely, unsightly, generic ‘coming soon’ page that looks very unprofessional.

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Thesis Tutorial: Sidebars However You Like Them

thesis-binary

One of the things I learned from creating multiple custom page templates within the Thesis framework was how to create and modify sidebars. WordPress and Thesis provide you with a simple an effective way for implementing sidebars on your website with the use of simple syntax, options, and widgets. Continue Reading →

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