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30 July 2010

I Have Moved!!!

I recently started blogging with WordPress at So here are the important things you should know:

  • Content: I moved all WDC content from to the new blog. In essence I'm starting over without the "brand." However, I wanted the old stuff to still be searchable if need be. I'm letting this blog continue to exist mainly because there is content (images) that the new site will still access rather than me going post by post and updating each image. Thank you Blogger for being free!
  • Your Subscription: There is a good chance you'll need to subscribe again if you want to continue to follow my blog. Simply hit the RSS button on either blog and you'll be subscribed to Here is the feed URL if that makes it easier:
  • Thanks: Thank you for going on this journey with me - hopefully you will continue to find it helpful and engaging.

21 July 2010

The Office | Lessons in Organization and Productivity

I was in my bosses office today (that would be Kem Meyer) for an impromptu meeting when I came to the stunning realization that the planets were in alignment and everything felt right in the universe.


It's simple...her office was laid out in such a way that productivity was almost mandatory. It reeked of organization and I had this strange urge to bust out my laptop and knock out multiple projects simultaneously.

So I thought I'd detail the office for you so that you can replicate it where it makes sense:
  1. The chair: The stuff you need to come and go: purse, backpack and most likely coat during the winter - all ready to grab on the way out.
  2. Resource Rack: Slightly out of the way - yet handy in case you need a quick quote for a blog post or you're bored and want to do some heavy research.
  3. Long-Term Organization: Color coded calendars for each summer month - detailing what projects will launch at what time. Wooden basket below holds things that are important but NOT urgent.
  4. Reality Check: A drawing of mom by one of the kiddos - keeps you humble and connected to your family. "Keep first things first." Right?
  5. AND Conference: Our biggest event of the year. It is placed higher than most things since it is not urgent, but yet not out of reach either. Conference is in November 2010.
  6. Inspiration: On the wall are scriptures, quotes, quips and sayings to help her maintain focus, productivity, boundaries, etc.
  7. The Work Station: Laptop for portability. Extra monitor for meetings and increased productivity. Binder/notepad on the left (partially hidden) with the bulk of notes, handouts and outlines for ongoing projects.
  8. Short-Term Organization: The outline for the day - including the items that Trump all others, items to be completed Today and items that are On Deck.
  9. Beverage: One has to remain hydrated when getting so much done.
  10. Most Recent Project: As you knock out pieces of larger projects, it helps to set them on the desk just to your right in plain view. This helps reinforce the fact that you are checking things off the list and being productive. The stapler is just there because she forgot to put it back in it's designated spot.
  11. Keys: Always keep your keys in plain view - this way they're easy to grab when leaving and you won't have to search for them in the case of a fire, tornado or when warned that there is a mad man in the building screaming "Less Clutter. Less Noise!"
Obviously some of this was meant to be funny. But that wasn't my motivation for this post. You see I aspire to this level of organization. I resonate with it and it just feels right. I know that if I don't have the majority of my "stuff" in order, my productivity goes out the window. In fact there are days when I spend an hour organizing my Inbox and hand writing a to do list before ever touching Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks or a browser for that matter.

It's like that whole "dress for success" thing. Or the "everything has it's place" thing. Or could it be the "cleanliness is next to godliness" thing?

I don't know - but it works.

The next time you're sitting in your messy office feeling overwhelmed, call up this post and try to replicate the zen, fung shui bliss going on here and you might find yourself solving world peace that afternoon.

17 July 2010

Remembering Cindy

Today would have been my Mother-in-law's birthday. Cindy was taken WAY too early - especially considering the vibrant life she lived, the energy she had and the way she loved her family.

I can go months without thinking about it, but then something will trigger me and it all comes flooding back.

One of the biggest triggers for me is my daughter Rachel - who looks like, talks like and acts like Cindy the majority of the time. I consider that a good thing - it has helped me remember Cindy more often.

Here are just a few of the things that I recall about Cindy:
  1. The sweet tooth
  2. Afternoon coffee runs
  3. Drinking leftover (reheated) coffee in the mornings
  4. All her track/tennis/running outfits that matched from head to toe
  5. Weekends at the lake - pulling us behind the boat
  6. Refusing to wear a "real" life jacket
  7. Riding the original wake/surf board
  8. Never standing still
  9. Family gatherings she coordinated
  10. Nana

12 July 2010

Where Are All the Good Designers?

Apparently still in school!

I saw this today and was amazed by the level of quality and forward thinking that this guy (Andrew Kim) displayed in a recent design project called HTC 1.

I think HTC needs to look this guy up and offer him a job - or at least an internship so they can steal his designs :)

If you like a good design presentation, take some time to look through his concepts and the rationale behind some of his design choices. I'm not saying it all makes sense, but there are some pretty cool ideas - and I love his artwork/sketches.

As for the phone - I'd buy it!

09 July 2010

My HTC Evo 4G Review (Finally)

Sorry this took so long. I've had the new phone for over a month now and have had friends email me asking for the review. But with everything going on and the Fourth of July weekend, I'm just now in a good place to let it rip. So here it goes...

Sprint Service
My wife and I have been with almost every carrier there is. Sprint is as good or better than most. We pay around $120.00 total for two smart phones and unlimited everything (Except for voice. We share 1500 minutes and never come close). I do have to pay an extra $10.00/month for 4G which I can use if we travel to cities that have it...

I have held HTC phones in the past which were small, light, had little screens and felt very cheap (Touch Diamond, Touch Pro, etc.) but HTC has definitely taken a turn in quality. The Evo is big, heavy and solid (which all appeal to me). I want something that has a nice large screen (since it takes such large pictures and 720p video) and something that feels well built. The Snapdragon processor is stinking fast - no lag time like I was used to on the Palm Pre. My only irritation is the screen - still sub par compared to the iPhone and requires protection with a BodyGuardz shield. However, I have been putting these on every device I purchase so I would probably even put one on the iPhone...

Amazing pictures - large, good color and lots of options to choose from. Quick operation with no "sit and wait" like I had on the Palm Pre. Easy picture management and easy share functionality with a menu of over 14 options.

720p. HD video on a phone. Wow. But let's be honest - what phone is going to take crystal clear HD video? As for the quality I call it amazing for a phone - but definitely requires good lighting and moderate movement. For an interview in broad daylight you might have a hard time telling it was from a phone. But a soccer game at night and you're out of luck my friend. Again, good features, quick operation. The phone came set up to use Qik for all the video stuff but I haven't got it to work yet. Probably user error - just haven't really messed with it yet. Also - haven't tested out the video conferencing.

Android 2.1 OS
I'll admit I was a bit leery of switching to a Droid phone. I really like the stuff Google puts out, but had a hard time believing they could put out an amazing OS for a phone - something Microsoft still hasn't perfected. But I'm pleasantly surprised at the level of complexity, the simple UI and the available options (Apps typically available at the same time as they are for the iPhone). The other cool thing is that most newer Android phones will be upgraded to Froyo (Android OS 2.2) in the next few months. I've already read some articles on the speed and increased functionality with Froyo (including flash support) and I'm stoked.

HTC Sense
Basically - when you buy a phone (like a computer) the company that built it likes to put a few finishing touches on it - typically small software programs and UI upgrades that they feel will be helpful. In this case, HTC has built what is called HTC Sense - a UI that sits on top of the stock Android OS and makes it easier for the user to access content and use the phone. For those that love to tweak their OS and flash it every week or so - probably not necessary - but for the average user this is a nice touch and makes the phone that much more simple and straightforward. You basically get seven screens that you can edit to death. Add shortcuts, small widgets or full screen widgets. Mix and match - make it yours. You also have a nice shortcut that shows you all seven screens at one time for easy access.

Battery Life
I'm not going to lie - big smart phones require daily charging. However, I haven't seen a huge difference from my Palm Pre and on days when I use the phone on an "as needed" basis I can almost get 2 days of use out of one charge.

Cutting Edge Stuff
The Evo is revolutionary for reasons that I probably won't even take advantage of:
  • 4G: I don't live in an area that has 4G so I have no idea what it can do. Looking forward to a trip to Chicago so I can test it out though...
  • Wireless Hotspot: In a 4G zone the Evo can provide Internet access to up to 8 devices. Again - not in a 4G area and don't want to pay the price to access this functionality.
All together an amazing phone. I'm glad I bought it and can't wait to see what Froyo does to the speed and functionality.

06 July 2010

Who Invented the Internet Again?

Most of us can remember Al Gore saying:

I took the initiative to create the Internet...
If you don't remember it, or think that for some reason I'm making it up go here.

I don't know how many of us knew for sure that Al Gore didn't have a hand in it. But we certainly had a good laugh when the story broke that the Internet was really a tool created by the military. This tool grew to become a platform on which networks, businesses and people could build and interact. But no one person could really take credit for it.

So it was with great interest that I read the following article: The 10 Founding Fathers of the Web on

I love the twist the writer takes in not attributing the "invention" of it to a person or people, but instead the creation of ideas that greatly enhanced the use of the Internet.

Read it for yourself, but here are some highlights:
  • Tim Berners-Lee: Created the World Wide Web (not the Internet). The use of web servers and HTML in the first browser. Currently works with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to oversee web standards and future of the web.
  • Rasmus Lerdorf, Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski: The development of PHP - the open source programming language that allows for dynamic web content.
  • Brendan Eich: Creator of javascript and currently the CTO at Mozilla.
  • John Resig: Creator of jQuery - a javascript library that has opened up the power of javascript to countless designers with little programming knowledge.