Stress, work, wabi-sabi
I have been under a greater than normal amount of stress in the past three weeks. The university that I work for is launching it’s first comprehensive campaign. The goal is $42 million. The comprehensive part means that all gifts to the university count towards this campaign. It isn’t pocket change.
My part, the source of my stress, has been to create a new website for this campaign, and getting the a new online giving system deployed.
Why has it been stressful? I have been designing the website from scratch, generally not stressful, but it is hard to design without content. The content came in the last two weeks. The way each of these pages needs to be laid out, with photos found, sized and added, combined with developing a template on the fly is a little nerve wracking.
The other side includes getting a new payment system ready for launch. This system has required me interacting and relying upon people outside of my office. This is always a good learning experience. Also, the timeline for implemenation from the vendor is seven months. We fit it into two. So it isn’t complete, not thoroughly tested and I am not comfortable with the level of training that has been provided to me and the people who operate this system day-to-day.
The last part that adding to my stress is my presentation of this website to the executive council for the campaign. The people that I have to present this website to are breathe rarified air. They move in circles that I can’t even imagine. This is intimidating. I don’t know these people, their technical savviness, so they might think “Meh”. They can ask me questions, and I don’t know that I have answers. Sure, I can make my answer sound good. But I am nervous.
I think the thing that has really made me nervous is because I am putting myself out there. This is my design, my choice in photos, my laying out of the site. It is all me. By showing this off, I am putting a part of myself out there. This is scary.
I think this why I don’t draw any more. I don’t like showing it off, there are people who are better than me, and I know it. My daughter suffers from this, and I am wondering if I have taught her this. I hope that I haven’t. I have tried to be very open with her about the fact that there are always people who are better than you in everything you do. Very rarely we are the best at something. But the things that we create are special. The things we do, should be done with our best effort. Concepts that I worry are over the head of a five year old. The things that we make are the best things that we make at that exact moment. It is a capturing of the moment. It captures how much sleep we got, what type of meal we ate last, our state of mind, our emotional state, all distilled into a tangible form.
That is why I am nervous to deploy this site. That is why I am dreading showing it off. Everyone says that is is a great site, beautiful and fresh. I see it for it’s flaws, the things that are not quite right. I guess that is the same thing that my daughter feels. She and I need to work on this. I should show her that the fear should be replaced by the pride. The flaws are part of the beauty, wabi-sabi style. I don’t know how I can work with her on this, but I need to figure it out.
Never the less, today is deployment day. Things get deployed, flaws and all.
Hey Ya and grey hairs
The other day, while washing my hands, I looked at myself in the mirror and noticed, what I think were a couple of grey hairs in my beard. I wanted to think that they are blonde. I checked my sideburns and they are light, either blonde or grey. I could have sworn they were blonde, but under this light, they look silver.
I’m sure that when I trim my beard, it will look like a blonde hair mixed with the reds, browns and blacks. My beard is weird, it has colors that aren’t present anywhere on my head. But grey isn’t one of them.
I was at the gym the other day, and in the middle if my workout, Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” came on. I remember the exact first time I heard the song. I was a senior in college working with a group of twelve people on our Graphic Design capstone class. We were creating an interactive CD with video from department events edited as best as we could. We threw a couple of songs at it to make it a little more interesting, one of which was a series of very catchy Japanese jazz songs, which every agreed were good, but not quite right. I still have the Japanese jazz songs and love them, the melodic and surprisingly bombastic Japanese woman over a drum and bass heavy jazz combo have really stuck with me, but the group didn’t agree.
They threw “Hey Ya!” in to the timeline. It was perfect. It encapsulated our senior year in college, it was up beat, exciting and new. The project, which hinged on this video, could be finished.
Fast forward to last week.
I am cranking out some heavy dead lifts and that song comes on, still peppy, and bubble gum enough to get me through my last two sets. And then it hit me.
“Hey Ya!” is ten years old.
That means I am ten years beyond college. That means that I have been working for ten years. That means that it has been five years since my daughter was born. “Hey Ya!” Is a perfect marker of time.
“Hey Ya!” is ten years old.
That means that I am not invincible with youth, that means that my midline isn’t going to stay the way it was. That means my wedding was nine years ago and I have never been as nervous (or drunk) as I was the night before. That means that I am getting old.
“Hey Ya!” is ten years old, and I am noticing grey hairs in my beard. Part of me is saddened, the other part of me is proud. There are things that would have done differently in the ten years since the song came out, but I wouldn’t trade the time for anything.
Now, what cooler than being cool?
I can’t hear ya! I say what’s, what’s cooler than being cool?
[W]hat’s cooler than being cool?
Olympic Logos and Symbols From 1924 to 2020
A great walk through the history of Olympic logos. My favorites include: Squaw Valley - Winter 1960 Games, Mexico City - Summer 1968, Calgary - Winter 1988, Salt Lake - Winter 2002.
Why does Google keep making products for nobody?
Abdel Ibrahim writing for TheTech Block regarding Google’s announcement of a contact lens that helps diabetics control their disease and Google’s product strategy:
Just look at Chromebook Pixel for example. How many people are really going to spend $1300 on a high-resolution Chromebook? Are techies going to? No so much. Are everyday consumers going to? Hell no. Why even build it? To prove that they can build a high-resolution laptop for $1300? At this point, any hardware manufacturer can do that. Just go to your local Best Buy.
Or what about Google Glass? If Glass dropped by half, or even a quarter of its current price, would consumers buy it? I’d wager that most wouldn’t because no price drop would change the awkwardness of wearing one in public.
But at least they’re trying, right? Absolutely. I’m glad they are. But it would awesome if the brilliant minds at Google worked on something everyone reading this would actually want to buy. Not something we probably won’t see for years, maybe even decades.
VIP – Very Irritating Person
As a rule on iOS, I do not have my mail alert or notify me in anyway. I think I would have torn my hair out when I was working in IT. My wife on the other hand juggles two phones, work and personal, and has alerts and notifications on the work phone, but not the personal. She is very mindful if her email and her attention and rabidly works her inbox down to inbox zero daily.
The only issue can be a student who persistently emails. In a matter of minutes, an unhappy or needy student can rattle off 6 to 10 emails, causing her phone to send me into a notification epileptic seizure.
Today, I had an idea. Turn the VIP feature from its intended purpose to the “Very Irritating Person” feature.
- In Mail.app, set the sender as a VIP by tapping on their name in the
From: field. Once in the Sender’s contact information, tap
Add to VIP.
- In Settings.app, tap
Notification Center, then
Mail, finally tap
- In the
VIP settings, set the
Alert Style to “None”, disable the
Badge App Icon, set the
Alert Sound to none and the
Vibration to none1, disable
Show in Notification Center, disable
Show on Lock Screen, and disable
Voila! “Very Irritating Person” mode is enabled. Anyone who you do not want to be notified of email from just needs to be added as a VIP, everything else should notify you as normal.
How to Knock Off a Bag
Dave Munson teaches would-be knock off artist how to clone his bag while showing off the quality, technique and craftsmanship that is put into every Saddleback bag.