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.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Biking to Work

I have a sweet bike route going to work and back. Big shoulders, bike lanes, and even the Burke Gilman for a little bit. I go up past St. Edwards Park, down thru Juanita where I usually stop for tea in these wet lands and watch the birds on Lake Wa, then I ride along the waterfront all the way to work.

Here's some stats for you:

In May, I rode 309 miles.
28 miles per day.
6.4 miles of that is climbing hills.
Daily elevation gain is 1,730 feet (Stevens Pass is 4,056 feet)

Here's the boardwalk (Old Market Street Trail) which runs thru Juanita Bay Park. (These are other people's photos)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Pandora Evolution

Pandora has a new offering - it's called Pandora One.

Pandora One player (desktop)

This is only available to subscribers (a whopping $36 per). What do you get? Higher audio quality, customizable skins for the web player, no advertisements, and a cool new desktop app.

There are 2 ways to listen to Pandora from your desktop. One is to use OpenPandora, which is an open source free download. The other is to download Pandora's desktop player. The advantage of these desktop players is that you can just put the icon in your Quick Launch tray and listen with one click.

I have recently switched to the new Pandora One player.

It's advatages are 1) smaller overall size, 2) bigger album art, 3) nice fade out when you nix a song, 4) a little alert that flashes in the corner of the screen when a new song starts, and 5) it does not prompt you with a "are you sure you want to exit" screen when you hit close or if you're trying to shut down by just hitting your power button.

It's drawbacks are 1) you can only see one album at a time, so if you want to go back and rate the song before last, you can't, 2) no support for Windows Messenger to show the song you're listening to.

Pandora One song alert

Open Pandora (desktop)

Pandora mini-player (web)

Pandora One full screen player - classic view (web)

Pandora One full screen player - night skin (web)

Motivated Buyer Looking for AMC Pacer

A friend sent me this ad today. A beautiful example of a charming Art Director somewhere that was able to sell this concept. I wonder if I could sell something like this to one of my Microsoft clients...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Phone Demo Jabra Dial 520

Another recent project at work. This was a really fun project because I got paid to build this phone in my 3D application. I've always thought it would be cool to do something like that. It was also refreshing to do something for a brand other than AT&T or Microsoft. Click in the lower left where it says "Get a quick demo here".

Here's a screen shot of modelling the phone.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Some Great Ads

History is written by the winners.
(so true)

Thyroid cancer is growing 6 times faster than prostate cancer. Ask your doctor to check your neck. It could save your life.

more great ads here

Monday, May 18, 2009

$2000 Cheescake

We went to a charity auction dinner on Saturday for this charity that I had donated my graphic design time to. It was a black tie event - I had to tuck my shirt in and everything. It turned out to be a very interesting evening. A LOT of MONEY was flowing in that room. They started the auctioning out with deserts. Someone at our table bought a white chocolate cake for $1000. It went nicely with our bottle of Dom. The desert that took the biggest price was the cheescake from the Cheesecake Factory at $2000.

Here is a video of a chocolate cake... not as big of a winner as some of the others... but still fun to watch how this guy works.

Grand total, they raised $261,000.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Stop Motion

I was a little bored at work yesterday, so I made a little stop motion video. This is the first time I've done this, which I find suprising. How have I gone 36 years w/o making one of these?

Monday, May 11, 2009

SQL City

Microsoft recently asked us (Metia... the place where I work) to make an online business calculator that shows you how purchasing Microsoft's SQL Server product will affect your business. They were thinking maybe we could make some fancy dials and graphs and such, but during my concepting phase, I was struck with the idea to make an actual little business that the user could affect. There would be little people moving around, interacting with eachother, server stacks appearing and disappearing, clouds moving by in the background... We had no idea if we could actually build it, but we were all excited about the idea.

I ended up pitching three concepts to the client. Fortunately, the client picked the concept that I was hoping they would and so I spent the next 88 hours meticulously animating little arms and bodies and fancy buttons and sliders. One of the developers at work hooked up all the back end, staying up till the wee hours of the morning. The final product turned out pretty nice.

I have to say, it is one my favorite projects since I started working here. Can you find me in there? :)
(play w/ the pie chart and add some more employees to the IT Dept)

Saturday, May 9, 2009


We recently rented a video called Bomb It and found it very inspiring. It showcased a number of street artists - one of them was Banksy. Then last week, we stopped at Johnny O's house and flipped thru this really cool book he had just got that day called "Wall and Peace" that featured the works of Banksy. Then two days later, I was looking something completely unrelated to street art up on Google and for some reason Banksy showed up as one of the first results.

For some reason, Banksy has been calling me...

Check out his site. I love this stuff!