Drop Shadow Kick

I know The Secret.

No, not that Secret, which I think is more of a con than a real secret. No, I’m talking about The Graphic Designer’s Secret to Fame and Fortune. What is this Secret, you ask? For years and years it’s been shrouded in mystery, kept hidden from the mere mortals who we, the Graphic Artist’s and Designers, call the Useless-If-Not-For-Their-Money “Paying Client”.

But now I set this Secret free.

This is the bestest money making secret a graphic designer has, and once you understand it’s power you too will be enabled and empowered to do the undoable. To please the unpleaseable. To make the mundane into the extraordinary.

How, you ask?

You wish to know this Secret? You want to please your boss and make his next PowerPoint presentation look so amazing that he promotes you right then and there? Well, here’s The Secret to unlocking your inner Graphic Designer. No matter what you’re designing, no matter what other artistic devices you might use and no matter what the artistic direction you’ve been given by those in charge… add a fricking drop shadow to EVERYTHING. Your client/boss/friends/family will go into joyspasms.

Drop Shadows kick ASS.

Kindle Lust

I want one.

I’m a voracious reader. I love reading and when I’m not otherwise busy I can easily read two or three books a week. I also read a lot of magazines, blogs, news sites and the like. All of which is just to explain why I’m so much in lust with the idea of having hundreds or thousands of books avaibale at my fingertips in a single, light and portable device like the Amazon Kindle. It would be so awesome for someone who is constantly traveling to have all the books they want to read for the next few months in such a portable device. And if something came out that you wanted to read you can buy it and start reading it in minutes! Want to read the latest best seller? buy it and in 2 minutes you’re reading it!


But i can’t justify owning it because of the way I would want to use it. You see, I read a lot when I travel. The problem is that I want to be able to read on airplanes during takeoff and landings… which is exactly the times that I’m not allowed to use any electronic devices! Once the plane is airborn I usually take out my Archos 605 and watch a couple of movies so reading during the flight isn’t something I normally do. But the 20 minutes before takeoff and landing when I can’t use the Archos and would love to read something…? That’s exactly when the Kindle would be most welcome, and is precisely the time the airlines refuse to allow me to use it.

But still, I want one!

Cell Phone Phever

I need a new cell phone.

Not that there’s anything wrong with my current phone. It still makes and receives calls fine, but that’s really ALL it does. And since it doesn’t do anything else it’s just not… what’s the word? Oh yeah, cool. Actually, my phone is the antithesis of cool. It’s anti-cool. If I were single, my cell phone would be one of the top three things that would frighten the ladies away and keep me single forever. The other two things being my face and whatever that sixth sense is women have that warns them when a desperate loser is approaching so they can fire up their snide remark generators and cut men down to size before they can even say hello. It’s like some crazy superpower. In fact, I believe most women should be wearing tights under their party dresses and have alter-egos called “Soul Crusher” or “The Crimson Slasher” so, when they unknowingly destroy some poor schmo who idolizes them, that guy could don tights of his own and become her arch-nemesis. That way when she punched his lights out during another one of his failed attempts to take over the world he could pretend she liked him enough to make skin-on-skin contact, which would make his stay in the super villain jail more enjoyable.

Why are you looking at me like that?

Anywaste, back to my phone issues. I’ve been holding out on getting a new phone because I’ve never been impressed with any phone enough to use it as more than a phone. I mean, honestly. In the past, cell phones with extra “features” like web browsing or email or video have sucked. No, I take that back. Saying they sucked is a harsh insult to the term “suck”. The hyped up, media- and web-enabled cell phones of old were some of the worst pieces of consumer junk ever foisted upon the general public by the uncaring wireless cartels. None of them really did what they claimed to be able to do and most of them managed to fail at the most important aspect of being a cell phone; making and receiving calls.

But then the JesusPhone was born.

I don’t think I need to pontificate about the iPhone, enough people out there already do that and better than I would, but the point I’m trying to make is that the iPhone put all the other established players to shame. It did everything people wanted their tiny, portable communications devices to do (except copy and paste) and even made decent phone calls. But, just to prove that even the mighty Apple wasn’t immune to the idiocy of corporate greed, they went and screwed everything up by signing an exclusive distribution deal with AT&T.


If Apple had had the gonads to simply sell the iPhone, unlocked and available for any network to use, then nearly everyone and their mother would have one by now. As it is, they chose to partner with a single wireless provider, albeit the one with the largest customer base in the U.S., which automatically means those without AT&T service can’t use the JesusPhone to make a call. And in case you aren’t getting my little hints, I’m not on AT&T. I don’t want to be on AT&T. In fact, I might even go so far as to say I hate AT&T.

And I suspect the feeling is mutual.

So, for me, the iPhone isn’t an option as a replacement for my aging, crappy JudasPhone which means I need to look elsewhere for a new phone. Being the Geek that I am, I did a ton of research last year and came to the conclusion that the right phone for me would be the then forthcoming Blackberry Bold which according to rumors would be available soon to the dreaded AT&T but then loosed upon the rest of the carriers by the beginning of 2009. When the Bold was released the reviews were fantastic, people declared it to be on par with the iPhone, and my lust for it grew ever more profound. I waited patiently for it’s imminent release on my carrier of choice, checking all the cell phone sites at least once a week for updates and through all this I was assured that the Bold was coming soon. For three months now I’ve been patiently waiting to discover the release date of the Bold for Verizon and now, finally, I have a somewhat reliable date from a mostly reliable source. And that date is, “Sometime in May. Maybe even June.”

Oh cruel fate, how I do loathe you.

Mr. Mom

Today I am the Manny.

I’m taking care of The Mighty Baby and The Awesome Dog while HoBiscuit goes to work and brings home the bacon. Because I love her so very, very much, I’m even going to prepare dinner for her and have it hot and ready to serve as soon as she walks through the front door.

FYI, I’m making pork chops, corn and spicy potatoes.

In other news that won’t get my ass kicked to Timbuktu, HoBiscuit and I finally bought a TV for the living room. It’s the Samsung LN55A950 and it rocks. Great picture, blackest blacks and almost no judder or pixelation. I couldn’t be happier.

But it gets better.

We also got a home theater PC (HTPC) and hooked it up to the Samsung. I’m still setting it up, but so far it is pretty cool and I’m thrilled to be able to surf the web and do “light” work on a supersized 55″ screen. The only real drawback is that The Mighty Baby screams and cries every time I try to use the HTPC because SHE wants to play with the keyboard! She is soooo going to be the little Geekette when she gets a little older.

And I couldn’t be more proud.

Erble Grworf? Guhnah!

I’m actually deliriously sleepy.

After a nice 18 hour day of work the day after arriving in Greece I’ve now been working 36 hours straight so far “todays” with no end in sight. I’m tired beyond belief and am actually amazed that I’m coherent/stupid enough to write this during my brief 15 minute break instead of collapsing in a corner and power napping. I’ve gotten to wondering if long blinks can count as sleeping.

On the bright side, my overtime compensation is gonna rock!

Tiny Link

Tiny Art Director.

I’ve been reading this blog for a while and it is just awesome. It’s like my own personal nightmare brought to hilarious life. I bet that once The Mighty Baby can speak in full sentences she’ll be giving her daddy “helpful” direction when he’s doing graphic design for his clients. “No daddy! That logo is too blue! It needs more pink. MORE PINK! And a butterfly. A princess butterfly. Do it! Do it NOW!”

Lord help me.

Forget It Geek…

It’s Chinatown.

Word to the wise. If you desperately need to lay down in a quiet place because you firmly believe you’ll kill someone if you don’t stop the exceedingly painful sleep deprivation headache you have, don’t even think about trying to lay down in your hotel room if it’s anywhere near San Francisco’s Chinatown. Especially during Chinese New Year. OMG, I hate fireworks.

Happy New Year, now STFU!

Filthy Hobbitses!

Small… but fierce!

I’ve been following this developing scientific story for a while and it’s making my Geek brain spasm with joy thinking that there might have once been a group of living creatures on the planet that were really and truly elves/hobbits/pixies/etc. So, when will we find the fossilized remains of giants?

Oh man, I’ve got to dig our my 20-sided die!

Old and Busted Gives Way to New Hotness

It’s official.

After eight years of the leadership and policies of an administration that I believe will be remembered as the worst in American history, we the people have sweeping new leadership in Washington… for a little while, at least. I don’t know if this new administration will actually deliver on the messages of hope and change that they have been continually bombarding us with over the last two years, but what I do know is that if this change in leadership had not taken place, then the America that the world has known for the last 200 years would have died. The outgoing administration has so vilified America in the eyes of the rest of the world that I dare to say that this new administration cannot possibly cause more harm without resorting to filming Americans soldiers cooking and devouring foreign toddlers as the President looks on and smiles.

And even then I’d hedge my bets.

To say that I’m optimistic about the next four years of President Obama’s administration would be a little misleading. But only because optimistic is too weak a word. Now, while it’s true that I would have been happy with nearly ANYONE who promised to alter, change or reverse as much of President Bush’s policies as possible, I must say that I was behind Barack Obama from the moment he gave his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. It was obvious then that he would be a great political force to contend with, and I dearly hoped he would run in 2008.

And then Hillary threw her hat in the ring.

Not in my wildest dreams did I think a young, political neophyte African-American could come even close to winning once Hillary joined the race. She is a Clinton after all and voting for her would net TWO presidents for the price of one, but still I held out hope that Barack Obama might be her pick for VP when she got the nomination. Then the momentum started to build behind Obama and it became a two person race between the old and busted leadership and the new hotness that America could become. And then, against all odds it wasn’t Obama who was fighting to be Hillary’s VP, but Hillary who was trying to garner a spot in Barack’s administration. Talk about surprise endings! All of which brings us to today. For the first time in eight years there is a president in office who I believe can do what we the people need him to do. And what do I believe we the people need most right now?


I hope that President Obama will lead us through these dark times the same way he led his presidential campaign, doing what was necessary in an open and inclusive way without anger, without fear, without hatred. Leading us with humility, strength, intelligence and understanding while forgoing the divisiveness and heavy-handed fear mongering of the previous administration. I pray that President Obama will continue to lead all of us through his example; taking the high road of intelligent discourse without blindly attacking when provoked. Use his humility where those before him used smug righteousness.

Show the world our compassion instead of our judgment.

I also hope he makes use of thorough, comprehensive study so that he fully understands the problems we face before he makes the hard, long-term policy decisions that may take years to come to fruition but will certainly be better than a quick and hasty fix that is meant to show involvement but solve nothing. Will he solve every ill that has arisen in the past 8 years? Can he fix Wall Street, the housing crisis, health care, the banks, our economy, our reputation and all the other things that are failing or threatening to fail?

I don’t know. But for the first time in 8 years, I have hope.

I’ve got a lot of my faith in the democratic process and the American way of life riding on President Obama’s shoulders, and so do a whole lot of other people in America. That’s a whole lot for anyone to bear, let alone a young and newly appointed President who is also the first African-American man to ever lead this country. But I believe Barack Obama can, and will, prove to the world that America can survive. That we did not all join the dark side and drink the cool-aid of hate, fear and isolationism. We the people, with the right leadership, can repair the damage that has been done by those who came before. If the incoming administration truly believes its own message and follows through with its promise of hope and change, then America will once again become the world’s brightest beacon of freedom, equality and opportunity. I’m not saying our new president will be the answer to every one of our problems because it will take all of us working together for many years to right this ship and make a better future for this country. One person, no matter how charismatic or talented he, or she, might be, will never be enough by themselves to bring about the changes we now know we need. But one person can lead us out from our yesterdays of dark despair and into the light of the bright future we have nearly lost hope of reaching. We need a leader with vision, fortitude, solid morals and intelligence and it is my firm belief that President Obama is such a man.

And now tomorrow doesn’t seem so scary to me anymore.


If you’re an aspiring robber, stay away from 7-11.

I went to a 7-11 today for the first time in years and saw something that simultaneously made me smile and cringe. I’m not sure if this holds true for every 7-11, but at this particular store in downtown San Diego, there were height stickers on the doors so that the cameras could be used to estimate the actual height of everyone who enters or leaves the store. In fact, as I was leaving, I did the height-check thing and passed my hand over the top of my head to get my measurement. Nope, I didn’t grow since the last time I checked, but I did get a real kick out of the looks on the cashier’s faces when I did it. On a similar note, no matter how hungry you think you are, don’t eat 7-11 sausages. Seriously. Just trust me on this.

Anyone know where I can get a gallon of Kaopectate and a stomach pump?