Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ava vs. Johnny

Who's a bigger rebel - Ava or Johnny?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Graphic Design 101

Here's a little glimpse into the creation process of a recent job at work. I find this sort of stuff infinately interesting, so maybe you will find it atleast partially amusing.

I made a holiday email for a Microsoft client last week. Here are the indivual images that I used.

Combine all of these together, add some type, a couple color gradients, and paint on some snowflakes, and you get this:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Les Rhythmes Digitales

Dig this jam. I think I saw my friend Ben dressed up as robot in there, too!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Canadian Fish Finder

OK, there is no faking this shot. That shit is real!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Water Pipe Excitement

Earlier this week Kathleen noticed that the washing machine was not working. I deduced that the pipes were frozen, thus restricting water flow to the appliance. So on Wednesday, I was working from home and decided to put a space heater in the laundry room to thaw the pipes. Well, it worked. They thawed and proceeded to fill the wall with water, which pooled up to about an inch or so of standing water, which then spread into half of the garage!

Thankfully I was home! I wet vac'd the water out and had to scrap up a lot of it because it was freezing. I then proceeded to tear the wall open and found the busted pipe. A couple of trips to the hardware store later, I had the new pipe soldered in place and we even did a couple loads of laundry. :)


I learned a new word today... "bokeh".

Here's the Wikipedia definition:

In photography, bokeh is the blur,or the aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image, or "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light."
The term comes from the Japanese word boke (暈け or ボケ), which means "blur" or "haze", or boke-aji (ボケ味), the "blur quality". The Japanese term boke is also used in the sense of a mental haze or senility.

The English spelling bokeh was popularized in 1997 in Photo Techniques magazine, when Mike Johnston, the editor at the time, commissioned three papers on the topic for the March/April 1997 issue; he altered the spelling to suggest the correct pronunciation to English speakers, saying "it is properly pronounced with bo as in bone and ke as in Kenneth, with equal stress on either syllable". Bokeh replaced the previous spelling boke that had been in use at least since 1996, when Merklinger had also suggested "or Bokeh if you prefer."

The term bokeh has appeared in photography books at least since 1998. It is sometimes pronounced /ˈboʊkə/ (boke-uh).

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mud Room Update

All I do is eat, sleep, go to work, and then work on this mud room. OK, sometimes I go running or watch a movie. But this project feels like it has consumed me. We are making good progress, tho! The exterior is pretty much entirely finished. Just a couple little spots to touch up w/ paint, and a little reworking of the rain gutter downspout. I gotta say, it is really exciting coming home to my new back door. And it feels so luxurious when it's raining and we need to get the laundry. It used to be that we would just dash from the house to the garage and back and try not to get too wet.

Next step is the electrical. Oh boy!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Virtual Workspace

Making a funny video is hard.

This is the lesson I learned (again) last month. We had a client that wanted us to make a YouTube video that would highlight all the key points of their software, but be funny enough to be viral. Oh, and they barely had any budget.

So I ended up basically writing the entire script, doing the shooting, editing, some directing, and even some acting. People - I AM NOT A COMEDY WRITER! This stuff is fun, but difficult. And a big challenge is that comedy can be so subjective. I mean, think about how many sitcoms there are on TV, and how many of them do you actually think are funny? And those shows have huge budgets, with teams of professional writers, actors, directors, etc...

All that being said, it was still a fun project and it was refreshing to get away from my desk and strut down the halls at work wearing my new wig!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sorry I'm Late - Stop motion

This is a fantastic stop motion animation. Take a look at the "making of" on their web site. I would love to do something on this scale!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Breaking Blocks

We had some old paving blocks that we didn't know what to do with, so instead of giving them to someone who could use them, we decided to destroy them... with our fists!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Another Microsoft Project

Here's something I made recently at work. It compares some Microsoft software to IBM software. The more you save, the more excited the little people get. It is a follow-up to a previous online tool we built for them. It was pretty fun creating these little people and animating their resonses. It's amazing that I get paid to do this kind of stuff!

A little shortcut: After you've hit the "Show me the money" button, you can just use Cntrl+Shift+1...,2,3,4,5 to see the different reactions.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

People Under the Stairs + Japan = This Video

This combines two of my recent fav's. Latest favorite rap group and latest favorite vacation. (And latest favorite form of inefficient transportation.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Luv Birds

Kathleen just emailed me this picture of a little drawing I did a while back. I think it was something I drew inside someone's card or something... Anyways it's a bird portrait of us, and when I saw it today, I laughed my ass off.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Breezeway Update

Been busy working on the breezeway. We've had quite a cast of free laborers coming thru, too. My bro (Adam), my Dad, Greg, Kathleen's Dad, and even Kathleen was out there shooting the big nail gun!

It's amazing how slow this project is going. All these little cuts and measurements and considerations and trips back and forth to the hardware store. Right now, we have the roof framed in and this weekend I hope to get the plywood up top and start shingling.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

That Health Care Issue

New Rule: You can't complain about health care reform if you're not willing to reform your own health. Unlike most liberals, I'm glad all those teabaggers marched on Washington last week. Because judging from the photos, it's the first exercise they've gotten in years. Not counting, of course, all the Rascal scooters there, most of which aren't even for the disabled. They're just Americans who turned 60 and said, "Screw it, I'm done walking." These people are furious at the high cost of health care, so they blame illegals, who don't even get health care. News flash, Glenn Beck fans: the reason health care is so expensive is because you're all so unhealthy.
Yes, it was fun this week to watch the teabaggers complain how the media underestimated the size of their march, "How can you say there were only 60,000 of us? We filled the entire mall!" Yes, because you're fat. One whale fills the tank at Sea World, that doesn't make it a crowd.
President Obama has identified all the problems with the health care system, but there's one tiny issue he refuses to tackle, and that's our actual health.
And since Americans can only be prodded into doing something with money, we need to tax crappy foods that make us sick like we do with cigarettes, and alcohol -- and alcohol actually serves a useful function in society in that it enables unattractive people to get laid, which is more than you can say for Skittles.
I'm not saying tax all soda, but certainly any single serving of soda larger than a baby is not unreasonable. If you don't know whether you burp it or it burps you, that's too big. We need to make taking care of ourselves an issue of patriotism. If you were someone who condemned Bush for not asking Americans to sacrifice for the war on terror, the same must be said for Obama and health care.
President Arugula is not gonna tell Americans they're fat and lazy. No sin tax on food on Obama's watch. And at a time when it's important to set new standards for personal responsibility, he appointed a surgeon general, who is, I'm sorry, kind of fat. Certainly too heavy to be a surgeon general, it's a role model thing. It would be like appointing a Secretary of the Treasury who didn't pay his taxes. He did?
And get this: Surgeon General Benjamin had previously been a nutritional advisor to Burger King. The only advice a "health expert" should give Burger King is to stop selling food. The "nutritional advisor" job was described as, "promoting balanced diets and active lifestyle choices" -- and who better to do that than the folks who hand you meat and corn syrup through a car window? When you have a surgeon general who comes from Burger King, it's a message to lobbyists, and that message is, "Have it your way."

- Bill Maher


I don't usually like making political posts, but I just thought that was too funny not to share.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

We bought this mirror from Ikea. Look at the instructions that came with it. Can you make any sense of these? I'm thinking it has something to do with "what to do when you find a geoduck in your mailbox".

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Award-Winning Design

It's about time I won a freakin' award for something. The Web Marketing Association gave me,, ...Metia, an award for this project we did for the Microsoft SQL Business Value Calculator. Now, I've never heard of this organization, so I don't really know how prestigous this is, but it's always nice to get recognition from wherever you can. AND, it will still look nice on the old resume!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Breezeway Progress

This weekend, I pressure washed the building site of our future breezeway to make way for a little additional concrete slab. We were not able to pour, however, due to unruly rain. But since I had the washer for a full four hours, I was able to wash the whole back patio and deck. Look at that before and after of the deck... it's like new!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Go Go Microsoft!

This is supposed to be a slow time of the year for us at work. They always plan on being slow due to our client's budgets and fiscal years and so forth. That, coupled with the down turn in the economy, should be gauranteeing me with stress-free summer days coming in late and leaving early and taking lots of vacation time (I'm trying to take a week off for a bike tour). But noooooo. Microsoft is moving full steam ahead and just craming new projects (and money) down our throats. Good ol' Microsoft - keeping me very employed.

Here's two new sites that we just build for them. My job is creating the interactive main graphics for the home pages.

Streets and Trips and MapPoint

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Mudroom Begins

Or is it a covered breezway? Whatever, it is, we are both very excited to be breaking ground on this project as it has been something that we have wanted to do pretty much since we moved in. We have the detached garage which is where the laundry room is and we keep our shoes out there, too, since we don't wear shoes in the house and it really gets to be a pain in the ass schlepping shoes back and forth.

Anyways, we are going to connect the two structures and improve our quality of life significantly, I think. Last weekend, I tore up a portion of the deck and even removed some of the siding and door trim. This weekend, I will pore some cement for the slab.

Use your mouse to look around this 3D model of the project.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Stick Man Art

As many of you know, I collect stick man photos. That is to say, I shoot pictures of stick man signs and stickers, etc. So I was excited to see this brilliant album cover. And yes, I do have most of the above stickmen.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Miniature Golf at Work

This is how I spent most of my day at work today. We designed and built a little par five course in the middle of our work area. The Events team used a scoring system of 1 -5 based on 3 categories: Playability, Creativity, and Use of Theme (US Landmarks). My deptartment scored an almost perfect 14.5 out of 15 possible points.

Here's our course (it's a coast to coast theme). You start out by the Hollywood sign, jump the Grand Canyon, turn the corner of cheering fans, go thru the Mount Rushmore tunnel, past the Brooklyn Bridge and in the cup at Ellis Island, but don't knock down the Statue of Liberty

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Performance: it's the name of the game

This is totally me (all except for the leg shaving). Thanks to DrB for the video.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Back From Japan

We just got back from Japan last night and I have started to go thru the 1,256 pix that we took, but it will take a while before I can finish the photo editing... plus I'm a little jet-lagged still. So, here's some random pix to tide you over until I can get them paired down and up on Flikr. We had a great time and it was an amazing experience. What a different and beautiful world it is over there...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Windows Office Trailer

I thought this trailer was pretty funny, but I'm not sure if it's just because I use a Windows machine and do work for Microsoft products, or it is truly laughable. You decide.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Do You Have What it Takes to Join the Swedish Armed Forces?

Set aside about 10 minutes and take this test. It is creapy and fascinating - reminds me of that show Lost. It might take a little bit to load up, but it's worth it. Don't feel bad if you find out you don't "have what it takes". Apparently, I'll be keeping my job as a Graphic Designer.

Friday, July 10, 2009


This is one of my favorite FenslerFilms. These are quirky, usually politically incorrect, remakes of the old GI Joe PSA's.

Many people have copied his work, but all the originals are here. It might be easier, tho, to view them on YouTube. Just search for "GI Joe Fensler".

Thursday, July 9, 2009


This is another free music site. I haven't tested it too much, but it seems to have a pretty extensive song library.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Let's Go Around Back, Where We Can't See Them

OMG, this is hilarious.

Fancy Footwork

I'm not a big soccer fan. Nor am I a big Microsoft fan. But I saw this Microsoft video that has these soccer highlights and was pretty impressed. Here you go...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Silverlight Tutorial - Image Button w/ TemplateBinding

** This post is not for my usual readers - you will be bored to tears. This post is for Silverlight Designers and Developers. **

I have been trying to figure how to make an image button in Silverlight that can use TemplateBinding to switch out the image. There seems to not be any clear instructions or tutorials out there, but I finally figured it out, so now I would like to share this extremely useful bit of information with you.

Below is a video/screencast of how to do it, but first I will just give you a brief description.
  1. Create a button
  2. Edit Template Style
  3. Put and image inside the Content Presenter
  4. In the XAML, select the Image and change it's Source to "{TemplateBinding Content}"
  5. Back on the main stage, type the image path inside of the Content field (Properties Panel)
  6. That's it (to add text, go back in the button and add a TextBox or ContentPresenter and set it's TemplateBinding to the "Tag" field and enter text there from the main stage

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Heard this old Pink Floyd song today. I haven't heard it in so long... What a great song.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Degenerative Auto-Repair Syndrome

I think I have contracted Degenerative Auto-Repair Syndrome. The older I get, the less I am able (or willing) to do on a car. I used to be able to do almost anything. No challenge was too daunting, no bolt too tight, no axle too greasy. But the last two times I've had my car up on jacks, I've actually backed out and threw in the towel.

Today, I was under the car, taking off the starter and I started thinking that I wasn't totally sure that when I got it off, if I could put the new one on. Then I started thinking about other things that I could be doing, like sitting on the couch eating my leftover meatball sandwich and watching UFC. (the sandwich is in the toaster oven as I am typing this).

And the time before this, I had the car all jacked up to replace the brake pads, I had even gone to the store and bought the pads and then something just clicked. My interest level had dropped to zero and I just stared at the brake discs for a while, lowered the car back down and drove it to the mechanic shop down the hill. And I've changed brakes many times on many cars.

Pretty soon, the only thing I'll be good for is an oil change.