October 6, 20111 Comment

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..."

February 1, 20112 Comments

Helvetica in HD on Vimeo

Whether you love it or hate it (Helvetica that is) you can appreciate the quality of this animation.

Posted via email from berchman's posterous

April 1, 20101 Comment

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.

March 23, 20105 Comments

Your vacation is over, get back-to-work.

Illustration of congenial monster carrying briefcase going "back to work"

You always experience feelings when you return to work after being away for a week. Whether anxiety, dread, excitement, clarity, fatigue, surprise, etc. you are feeling something. Typically I feel anxious and the feeling of overwhelm can be gigantic--but not this time. I feel different than usual in a way that I have yet to fully understand. It's not anxiety, it's a calm. What I do know is that something is different and I need to get back to work.

You always have a good vacation when you actually vacate. This means not working over vacation. No checking email. No replying to text messages and voicemails. I took this to heart for the first time in a long while.

I spent a week away from routine, a week away from ruts.

  • I stayed offline
  • I ignored my cellphone (except non-work)
  • I slept
  • I ate and drank well
  • I hiked
  • I went sledding
  • I built a snowman
  • I spent time with my wife
  • I went skiing with my kids
  • I had a snowball fight with them too
  • I cooked
  • I read and listened to audio books
  • I watched the beginning of "March Madness"

Now I'll be honest. I did have my moments during the week where I was in a psychological slump, but I would attribute that to my brain unwinding from the routine. On the day of my actual return back home I drove the whole way. Gave me time to listen to an audiobook called Rework that caused me to reconsider many things that I have been brooding over for quite some time.

  • I can't make every web idea I have come to life
  • It's OK to stop working at 5 o'clock
  • People will not die if I don't get a task done right away
  • Things can wait
  • Everything is not very important
  • Worrying solves nothing
  • There is enough time to get it done, but I need to prioritize
  • Turn off distractions (yes that means you Twitter, Facebook, iPhone)
  • Rest and time away from working is essential
  • Be grateful

I'm happy to say that I am more relaxed returning  to work this week, and for that fact alone I am extremely grateful. Needless to say I am changing a few things.

February 4, 20104 Comments

Make Lemonade from the Lemons

I knew about this video a while back when it was in production. I had read about it somewhere in an RSS feed, or was it Twitter?, or Facebook?, or LinkedIn?... anyhow I did know that this video was being created. Day before yesterday Seth Godin brought it to back to my attention. I took some time to watch the entire video and was really struck by these people who were handed the "pink slip" and in turn made something come of it. Each person has their own story, and you have the power to write the ending.

Watch this. If anything it will get you thinking.

January 20, 20102 Comments

Taking time to update

I've been remiss in updating the blog. This is for various sorted reasons. Suffice it to say that I am back. Here is a video to help catch up.


November 30, 20091 Comment

A Website Realignment: Day 105: Content and Its Function

This next phase of the overall Re-Alignment of Berchman.com as I stated in my first post for this project is to "define purpose, guiding principles, and desired outcomes" with this website. Read more

October 30, 200922 Comments

How Long Does Making My WordPress Website Take?

I hear this question quite often from clients and thought I would answer it as best I could. If you are in the market to hire someone to build your website, or if you are a designer/developer perhaps this explanation will help.

I've decided to use the power of video to convey my answer. I find this format to be more efficient in terms of getting my point across. I have more improvements to come for my future use of video. So, if you can be patient, the quality of videos will improve in the future with the coming rollout of the 'realigned' berchman.com.


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October 20, 200912 Comments

Thesis 1.6 Out of Beta

DIYThemes has unleashed the final version of Thesis 1.6. While the beta has been out for weeks I never downloaded it from a combination of busyness and being prudent. How many times have you been burned for being an early adopter? For me too many, so in the words of Yoda, "Patient you must be." Read more

October 8, 200916 Comments

A Website Realignment: Day 56: Branding Berchman

This post is the first in what may be many video posts (ie., vlog posts). I am exploring new content formats so this may appear to be a bit 'raw' and unrehearsed, but it is real. I'm not reading a script (although you do see me look off and pause—I'm looking at a whiteboard with notes).

So, how does this fit into the "Website Realignment" you may ask? Well at this stage I am assessing content and its function and role in the website:

  • What types of content do I use?
  • What content formats don't I use?
  • Are certain types of content suited to a specific format? (Tutorials are always text?)
  • Should I have more than one type of content?
  • Am I making this not simple?

So here it is. The first video post. I plan on these becoming higher quality the more I do them. Would definitely welcome your comments on using this format in the comment form below.