Stimulate Me!

Washington D.C. seems to be obsessed with the idea of stimulating the economy. On the surface, this seems like a noble idea – our economy is in the tank right now, and the sooner we get it moving in the right direction, the better. Unfortunately, looking to Washington to fix our economy is rather like asking some thug that smashed your car window and stole your CDs to repair the car and give it a nice detailing. And putting Congress in charge of writing a bill to allocate funds for economic stimulus is not too different from putting the foxes in charge of the hen house and expecting the hens to thrive and egg production to rise.

Um…no. Don’t think so. Continue reading Stimulate Me!

Project Momentum.

There are two things I hate regarding the realities of business. I hate having to stop work on a project before it’s complete. But I hate having to return to a “cold” project after being away from it for a period of time that’s long enough to make me forget everything about it.

I’ve been working on a video game project lately. It’s not rocket science, but like all projects that require coding, you get into a thousand different decisions and judgment calls that force you to have to go back and remember what you did, why you did it, and rethink your choices.

In a way, it’s more difficult to come back to a project and work on it again (even if you comment your code religiously). It’s kind of like how they say it’s more difficult to relocate down the street than it is to move across the country. Familiarity breeds contempt. Something like that.

I crack open the source code, and I have to spend an hour or so, reviewing what I did – and why I did it. And of course, if I’m adding something, odds are, I’m going to have to either hope I was prescient enough to write code that can be easily adaptable, or code that was designed for expansion.

In a way, it’s kind of an out-of-body (out-of-mind?) experience, akin to the concept used by SciFi writers, where the protagonist is thrown into an alternate universe, where things are almost the same as the way they are back home. But not quite.

No big point here, fans of reason. No solutions offered. No revelations revealed. Just observations. And a wish that it wasn’t so bloody hard for me to go back and edit old code. Sigh…

TyperActive.

I love typography. Always have. From a very early age, I’ve been fascinated with letterforms. When I was in elementary school, I used to rubber-band two pencils together to create a crude way to draw Blackletter (a.k.a. “Old English”) lettering on posters. While other kids decorated their textbook’s book covers with drawings of muscle cars, military tanks or alien spacecraft, I decorated mine with words in a variety of typefaces. Blackletter, calligraphy, Cooper Black, Bodoni, Futura – you name it, and I experimented with it. As I grew into a career as a freelance artist, I discovered that typefaces could provide a subtext (no pun intended) to ad copy and headlines. The face I chose to design something had the power to communicate meaning, context, and even tell people how to think about the words on the printed page, before they’d even read them.

Waaaaay cool. Continue reading TyperActive.

Sauce for the Goose.

For the last eight years, I’ve suffered along with the rest of my fellow Conservatives, having to put up with much of Hollywood, the mainstream press, cartoonists, and just about everybody on the left who had access to a microphone, make George Bush out to be some kind of drooling moron, one step above a “developmentally disabled” charity case. The left has righteously proclaimed that they are not biased, and had no axe to grind regarding Bush & Co., and that it was all in the twisted imagination of Conservatives, that they were out to “get” Bush. What excesses they DO cop to, they claim were “all in good fun,” and they point to the fact that they also skewered Clinton (admittedly an easy target) during his Presidency. (My personal fave was the crack about Hillary forbidding the installation of a walk-in humidor in the Clinton Presidential Library.) They also protest (too much, if you ask me) regarding their treatment of Obama, claiming that they have not turned a blind eye to him, his past, and his mistakes, and asserting that they are not so enthralled with The Chosen One, that they refuse to be as critical of him as they have been of W.

Time to show yer cards, boys. Continue reading Sauce for the Goose.

Got MLK?

Today our country celebrates/commemorates/observes the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Coincidentally, it’s the last day of the Bush Administration, and the Eve of the ObamaNation. (Ahem.) The Chosen One has been busy in the last two weeks, with his faithful media lapdogs casting him as a combination of the second comings of Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, and Jesus Christ. Pretty big boots to step into, if you ask me, but the media assures us that he’s up to the task. We’ve been treated to breathless stories of how Obama has but four years to “fix” global warming or we’re all doomed, and how the Messiah is going to undo eight years of the “evils” of the Republicans.

I find it interesting that everything Obama has done so far, has been of a symbolic nature. Continue reading Got MLK?

A Challenge. A Real Challenge.

Sorry I’ve been a bit distant of late…I’ve been working (feverishly) on wrapping up the crafting of a business plan for the Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge. It’s a yearly contest to find – and fund – a number of worthy entrepreneurs’ ideas. I have one (www.guitarfurniture.com) that’s in the running. The winners will be announced in late March.

This is a big honkin’ deal, people…the winners will receive a check for $75,000. (!) If my idea is selected, it means that I could, in one fell swoop (or one swell foop) get enough funding to launch our products, and not have to go out and get a loan or shill for angel funding. That’s HUGE. So I hope you’ll forgive me if I’ve been a little lax in posting to the ol’ blogs.

The contest deadline is Monday at 5PM, so bear with me, please.

Reliving life through my daughter’s eyes.

Being a dad is the coolest thing I’ve ever gotten to do. Cooler than playing drums with a big band. Cooler than meeting the President. Cooler than getting published. Cooler than winning some big award for design. I’d trade every experience I’ve ever had, if that’s what it would take to keep being my daughter’s father. It’s that big of a deal. Continue reading Reliving life through my daughter’s eyes.

GreenWatch: When Theory Trumps Reality.

Before we get started, let me state for the record, that I am not a scientist (nor do I play one on TV). I am, however, a thinker (with apologies to Glenn Beck), and I have been trained almost since birth (thanks, Dad!) to think things through. I don’t like to take things at face value, and I prefer to question conventional wisdom.

That’s why I believe that all this talk about “global warming” and “climate change” is complete and utter bull.

(I’d use a much more explicit word, but this is a family blog.)

The problem I see here is that the green crowd have combined a rush to judgement, bad intel, skewed data, hidden agendas, and a sense of hysteria into a perfect storm. If these nutjobs only hurt themselves, it would all be simply amusing. Unfortunately, they are not content to play Chicken Little to the world. No, they’re doing their best to screw up everything they can, all in the name of an imaginary problem over which we’d have no control, even if we DID cause it.

I don’t want to get too far into this nonsense, but if you were to take AlGore’s premise at face value, and have the USA sign onto the ludicrous Kyoto Protocol, by their own admissions,  we would only change our global climate something like 2/10ths of one percent. That means we’d be just as well off doing nothing, for those of you keeping score.

Here’s a prime example of the kind of twisted thinking that will kill us all: Continue reading GreenWatch: When Theory Trumps Reality.

Read All About It.

I hear that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, like many other once-proud newspapers, is up for sale. Even worse, if it’s not sold inside of 60 days, it will cease to exist in print (but might continue in a greatly scaled-back online form).

Sad. Very sad.

I was thinking the other day about how the newspaper biz has changed since I was a kid, throwing a paper route in Shreveport, Louisiana. It’s changed a lot – and not for the better. Of course, you could argue, and many do, that the Internet killed the Newspaper, just like it’s kill(ing) CDs and will soon kill DVDs. But if you’ve ever tried to get all your information from the web, you’ve probably seen that there’s something that you lose, when you ditch paper. So, I’m not convinced the problem with newspapers lies at the feet of the World Wide Web alone. No, I think it’s something(s) much deeper, and will, in fact, cause the destruction of an entire industry in no less significant a way than what happened to the dinosaurs. Continue reading Read All About It.

Blago goes Ballistic.

Overlooked in the brouhaha over Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is what his imminent defrocking will do to the Gun Rights vs. Gun Control debate.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that G-Rod and his cronies in the Illinois legislature have been at the forefront of those that are trying their best to legislate private ownership of guns out of existence. Illinois boasts a disproportionately large number of firearms manufacturers.Despite the fact that most voters in Illinois are pro-gun, G-Rod and his pals have consistently voted against any and all bills that would make it possible for citizens in the state to own guns for their own protection. Even worse, G-Rod has been positively rabid, trying to pass laws that would effectively make it impossible for gun manufacturers to operate legally within the state. For instance, they’ve tried to pass laws that would forbid the manufacture, transportation, and sale of high-capacity magazines for handguns. Pull that off, and you put every Illinois manufacturer at an impossible to overcome disadvantage in comparison to their non-Illinois based competitors. Continue reading Blago goes Ballistic.