he’s a musical genius…

Youtube remixer… Kutiman ROCKS!

advice for zach

My nephew Zach is 12 years old. He’s a good kid - plays basketball, baseball, videogames, etc… a pretty normal 7th grader. I figured I could give him a couple of tips on surviving junior high/high school and some general advice. You know, since I’m all old and wise and stuff.

1. You will never understand girls. Accept this and move on.

2. Don’t try to be cool. Be who you are. Also, know that no matter how cool you think you look now, in twenty years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and die laughing at how dorky your clothes (and hair) are.

3. Go to college right out of high school. Don’t take a year off because it then turns into two, then three, then four. Before you know it you’re married with 3 kids and it’s taking you FOREVER to finish your degree. Even if you don’t know what you want to major in, get the basics out of the way.

4.  Step away from the videogames once in a while. Do stuff. It’s fun.

5. Try something different. Build something. Learn Photoshop. Draw. Play an instrument. Sing. Try out for the school play. Learn Spanish. Step outside your comfort zone. You might find something that sparks your interest and turns into a career.

6. Ask a girl to go out on date. I understand this is terrifying, but what’s the worst that can happen? She says no - so what. Their are a million girls to ask out - they can’t all say no, right? If you are too scared, I recommend learning to play the guitar and joining a band.

7. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself - everyone does goofy stuff sometimes.

8. Don’t be afraid to be smart. Sometimes kids don’t want to do too well in school because they think it makes them look geeky.

9. You don’t like everyone. Everyone doesn’t like you. Some people like you and some don’t. It’s no big deal.

10. Run. Play. Odds are you will never be in better shape than your next 8 years or so. Enjoy it while it lasts.

11.  Be a gentleman. Open doors for girls. Don’t gossip or spread rumors. Help people if they need it. Say please and thank you. Be nice. It goes a long way.

12. Don’t be racist - it’s dumb.

13. It’s ok to lose as long as you learn from your mistakes.

14. You will think that your Mom and Dad don’t understand anything about being a teenager. You are wrong. Hard as it may be to believe, your parents were once teenagers. Everything you’re going through, they’ve already done. Listen to their advice (especially when you’re thinking of doing something stupid).


hierarchy of band members (sorted by groupie quotient)

1. lead singer/front man

2. lead guitarist

3. rhythm guitarist

4. bassist

5. drummer

6. roadie

7. sound man

8. lighting technician

9. air guitarist

10. keyboardist

2008 annual report from everyman…

I love Nicholas Felton’s annual reports. The graphic design is impeccable and the minutiae contained within is fascinating.  A provocative, beautiful depiction of how moments accumulate into years and years into lifetimes.

dynamic headers in Wordpress

I’m creating a Wordpress theme for a client and she’s requested different header images on each page to break up the monotony of the site. Checked out Wordpress help and found that you can refer to the slug (or title) of a post using the following php code: $post->post_name

Adding this to the body tag then makes it easy to identify each page individually:

  <body id="<?php echo $post->post_name; ?>">

Sprinkle in a little CSS and voila, dynamic header images!

 #home #headerimg{background-image: url('images/homephoto.jpg');}
 #about #headerimg{background-image: url('images/aboutphoto.jpg');}
 #our-team #headerimg{background-image: url('images/ourteamphoto.jpg');}
 #sports #headerimg{background-image: url('images/sportsphoto.jpg');}

One important note - Wordpress converts two word post titles to all lower case with a dash replacing the space. So - “Our Team” becomes “our-team”, or “Contact Us” becomes “contact-us”. Other than that, it’s a piece of cake to implement.

best Christmas presents from years past…

Flintstone Building Boulders: My brother and I got these one year when we were little. They’re a set of styrofoam blocks that could be linked together like Lego. The commercial showed kids building huge fortresses with the stuff. Sadly, our home Batcave construction was halted when we discovered the blocks were the perfect size for karate practice.

Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots:  Kids nowadays are stuck with the downsized version of this classic. The old school version was actually pretty big. Technically, this was my brother Steven’s present. Also technically, my older brother and I broke it before lunch on Christmas day. I was shocked to find out that the new ones don’t make the ‘SPROINNGGG’ sound when the head pops up. Where’s the sense in that? That’s like one of the top 10 toy sounds ever and they took it out. Lame.

Nintendo NES:  To this day, one of my biggest regrets in life is that I never got the timing down on the Super Mario Brothers turtle hack that enabled you to collect coins all the way until time expired. Biggest time wasters: Legend of Zelda, Mike Tyson’s Punch-out, and Blades of Steel.

Creepy Crawlers Thingmaker: I’m amazed this ever made it to market. It’s basically an open faced hotplate that you use to bake a chemical mixture into bug shaped molds. What could possibly go wrong? A couple of problems - the molds were a little small so the mixture would get all over the place. Also, this thing got HOT! Nothing says Christmas like the lingering smell of burning plasticine compound while treating a screaming child’s third degree burns. Sigh. Good times.

on quarterbacks and teachers…

Here’s a great Malcolm Gladwell article from the New Yorker. I find that his strength as an essayist is not so much in the answers he (implicitly) suggests as in the questions he raises. After reading this article I still don’t know how to find a great quarterback or a great teacher, but he does make me think about different strategies I would try, were it my job to find them. The guy really is an engaging writer and I highly recommend Blink and The Tipping Point as well.

all I want for Christmas…

All I want for Christmas is peace on earth, goodwill towards men (and women), health and safety for my family and…

» Korg DS-10 synthesizer for Nintendo DS

» Kangol wool 504 hat black (my head gets cold)

» Geometry of Design (book - unavailable from my local library)

» an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle (BB Gun) with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time.

» A can of Who Hash

» a yo-yo (see Burgermeister Meisterburger)

» Geometry Wars - Galaxies for Nintendo DS

» Laurence Juber Popular Songs for Acoustic Guitar - Book & CD

» The Graphic Language of Neville Brody

» The End of Print - David Carson

Oh yeah, and no more war.

bruce lee + nunchuks + ping pong = awesome

This is, without question, the absolute coolest Bruce Lee, nunchuk, and ping pong related video I have ever seen.

signs of a midlife crisis…

» barbed wire tattoo on bicep
» chinese character tattoo
» earring
» convertible
» new (younger, blonder) wife
» gym membership (unused)
» exercise equipment (unused)
» highlights(hair)
» shaved head and goatee
» baseball hat (backwards)
» jewelry
» new guitar/drums/keyboard (we’re gettin’ the band back together, man!)
» expensive sunglasses