Rock on Design

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Twenty, Twenty, Twenty-Four Hours to go

In the past I’ve commented on television and more specifically reality TV but today I want to mention a recent television obsession of mine. The Fox show – 24.

I know that this is the 5th season of this show, but I am a relative latecomer to the series. I have had friends who rave about it, but have only had a fleeting interest until late. (Most likely cause Monday’s have historically been a busy night for me.) So this year I thought I would give the show a whirl and see what all the fuss was about. (If you want an accurate description check out Wikipedia right here.)

So last night I watched the episode that aired and I was impressed by the way they built a solid action packed episode. In fact last week they had an entire hour that really didn’t accomplish anything (except set up this week) and I was still drawn back for more. In a world of reality TV drama and cookie cutter sitcoms I really appreciate a show that takes the time to build multiple story arcs that continue to intertwine on a weekly basis.

So, while you all might not agree with me I can solidly state that I can give 24 a thumbs up. (Due to graphic content I cannot determine if this show would be right for you. Thank you and have a nice day.)

(Heading lyrics – I wanna be sedated, by The Ramones)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

And now for Something Completely Different

I thought I would shake things up by using a video quote instead of lyrics this time cause I am in completely unfamiliar territory with this blog entry. Yes, I have ventured into the somewhat crazy realm of dating.

I know what your thinking, how could an extremely good looking professional Graphic Designer, Auctioneer, part-time Rockstar and all around good guy find the area of dating unfamiliar? Well, lets just say that it has been a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG time since my last relationship. I am excited wiht this new experience but we are just taking it one day at a time, so don’t hold your breath (I could still screw this one up.)

Well I guess that is all for now, all the best to you, my online chums!

(Heading quote – Monty Python’s Flying Circus)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Dreamed a Dream of Time Gone By

I didn’t write about this last week when it happened but I thought I would lend my thoughts today. A week ago Tuesday I was fortunate enough to celebrate my mother’s birthday in a very memorable way. My sister and I took her out for a evening of fine dining and a brilliant broadway show (well technically an “Off-Broadway” show – by like 5,000 miles.) We went to see a masterful piece of musical theater, Les Misérables.

10 or 11 years ago was first introduced to Les Mis while playing in concert band in high school. The entire ensemble was given a wonderful medely of songs from a hit musical I had never heard of. I will always remember the opening 2nd trumpet line was a note held for 16 measures (it took a fair amount of breath control to last that long.)

In later years my brother and sister were in marching band and played the music for their summer routine. I can still remember how the music really moved me as they marched down the street.

So it was almost a life-long goal to see the actual musical performed on stage. In late December I heard it was coming to St. Paul for a final engagement. So I purchased tickets for what could turn out to be my last chance to see this masterpiece. (I wasn’t going to take a chance that Les Mis would be like Cher and do 3 farewell tours.)

In conclusion, it was an experience I won’t soon forget, I may even start going to more theater since I has such a wonderful experience this time.

(Heading Lyrics – I Dreamed a Dream from Les Misérables)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Or am I Just Wasting my Time?

Productivity enhancers have been a subject of great excitement on a friend’s blog so I thought I would throw my hat into the ring.

Recently I purchased a Gibson SG Faded Special electric guitar. It took some time to finally put in the order, especially since I first wrote about this in August. After making my purchase I began searching for knobs and pick-gaurds that would really set my guitar apart. During that search I came upon the site "" Part of the site was a great little game. Take a look, my top score was 150,366. (of course in the game after that high score I only got 210 points.) - (the game in question is the 4th on the page. Have fun!

(Heading lyrics – Wasting Time by Blink 182)

Friday, February 03, 2006

I Believe in Yesterday: Recap 5

The final chapter in the month long recap! (5 in a row - WOOT)

January Recap Part 5
Our conference ran from January 19-21, (while we worked on projects LONG before that.) However, the final part of our story involves a much-needed day of rest. On Sunday after working 5 long days in Florida, and so many before that, we got to hang out on the beach. It was wonderful to swim in the ocean and sit by the beach and drink beers with all the people that you had just spent a week working with. And even though we were sick of each other, we were able to overcome that feeling for one amazing 80-degree day on the beach.

Sure there was drama and it was probably the closest I have ever been to quitting, but that is all swept under the rug when you can take a nap on a beach chair with the sun high in the sky and the ocean sounds soothing you to sleep… not to mention a cold beer concealed from the beach patrol.

Well there you go, a recap of my month of January. I do hope that I will not reach the point where I have to do recaps every month.

Thanks for reading, catch ya later,

(Heading lyrics – Yesterday by the Beatles)

I Believe in Yesterday: Recap 4

Here we go again… I just might accomplish my feet to provide both of my readers with a full weeks worth of blog entries.

January Recap Part 4
So far I have covered the Auction convention, excessive hours, and NASCAR. Today I will tackle the drama filled topic of MANAGEMENT.

At one time in my graphic design career I desired to become an Art Director and head up a team of professionals in the business of graphic design. I even played with the idea of owning a design firm and managing all the team. After my conference experience I decided that management sucks.

As we were planning for our Florida excursion the question of who would handle staffing came up in a meeting. The operations manager who usually would handle the assignments for all the staff informed us that he would be unable to attend the conference. This led us to an interesting question… “Who was going to be in charge of ALL the staff and workers while in Florida?” Being on the planning committee and a person that is often given the responsibility of leading a group, I volunteered for the task of Staffing manager.

(Fast forward 2 months, and 1 co-manager later.)

I found myself in Florida with my co-manager Tim. We were given the task of providing all of the conference attendees with stellar service while still keeping Registration, the store, awards, information, and backstage staffed by a skeleton crew. This was a major feet since I just named 5 areas for attention and we only had 16 people at our disposal. The process was made harder by the fact that neither Tim nor I are full time managers. That means, that we have NO authority to make decisions. (Sure we flew by the seat of our pants, but anytime we had to plan ahead was blown by the fact that we often had to run our plan past 3 different upper level managers.

I am sure many of you have heard the saying – “Fake it till you make it.” Well for 1 week I was faking it from 6am to 12am (and even longer on most days.) My conclusion… management is for managers. I am a designer… I think I will stick with designing.

(Heading lyrics – Yesterday by the Beatles)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I Believe in Yesterday: Recap 3

Editor's Note: I lost internet at work for about 32 hours, so that is why this report is a day late. I will still try to get 5 in for the week.

January Recap Part 3:
NASCAR – just saying it conjures up some rather colorful images of the sport and its fans. To be honest I was never really a big fan of the “sport.” However, as I mentioned yesterday, we held our conference in Daytona, Florida – home of the Daytona 500. So, our theme for the weekend was “Race to Success.”

One of the events and awards we had was an opportunity to get behind the wheel of an actual stock car at The Richard Petty Driving Experience. After loading the bus at 6 a.m. left for the track and after one of the worst bus drivers I have ever had the joy of riding with, we got ready to drive our own stock cars. At this point I was along to interview drivers after they finished racing. (We needed the video clips for conference the next day.) So, I was looking over some of the scripts and considering whom I would talk to, when one of the owners of our company came up to me and asked if I would like to drive as well. (You see, we had paid for an extra spot but someone didn’t show up, so they asked me if I wanted to go.) So after absolutely NO time spent thinking I immediately replied that I would LOVE to drive the car around the track at over 120 mph. The experience was a total blast. First we rode along with a professional driver at approximately 145 mph, and then we got behind the wheel to drive only 3 car lengths behind a professional driver. In retrospect riding along was actually more intense than driving, but I did get the fastest time the highest top speed of any of the drivers (122.66 mph). It was quite an experience… one I won’t soon forget.

Once that was over I took the group back to the hotel and got ready for the rest of the day’s activities. We had basically rented out the entire Daytona Speedway for the afternoon and evening. We started with a tour of the NEXTEL tower (where all the press sits right over the finish line, and followed that with a tram tour around the infield. After all this we loaded 6 busses and were shuttled down onto pit row where we had a party in the Rolex center and on Victory Lane for about 400 VIP’s. It was at this point we had our special guest speaker appear – Mr. Carl Edward (driver of the #99 Office Depot car.) After a meet and greet with the same race winners from the morning, Carl got up and took questions for about 30 mins., till we were ready to head out for the evening.

To finish off the evening we rented out the attraction Daytona USA. This little theme park was totally based on the entire racing profession. I really learned quite a bit and enjoyed some of the fun games and displays. We basically keep the party going till midnight.

At about 11:15 I got a call from the hotel and my night wasn’t done yet. I was told we needed a couple of items for the next day as we would be releasing some new products and didn’t have the right props. I sent the last group of people back to the hotel at 11:45 and jumped on the last bus for one final job for the day. (At this point you might be asking yourself, “He jumped on a bus?”) Yes, I had a personal coach bus chauffer to take me to Wal-Mart. I felt like a rockstar on tour as I jumped off the bus and went inside to find a baby stroller and some cigars.

Once inside I found the baby strollers for $60-$120. I must have looked out of place, cause a worker came up to me and asked if I needed help. I turn to her and said, “ I need the cheapest stroller you got.” After a moment of laughter she help me dig a $12 Winnie the Pooh stroller out from its hidden place 3 inches off the ground. As I stood in line to buy cigars and check out my phone rang. I had just been asked to buy some race helmets as well. So I got out of line and asked my friend on the phone where I was gonna find race helmets. She suggested I get some snowmobile helmets and we would call it good. So I started looking, when a thought hit me… “How am I gonna find Snowmobile helmets in Florida?” This was a longer story than I intended, so to cut it short. I got back on the bus with all of my prizes and headed back to the hotel with the morning sun on the horizon and the promise of more joyful work to be done.

In conclusion, I have a newfound respect and admiration for the entire sport of NASCAR. I am excited to start following this sport and routing on my favorite driver.

(Heading lyrics – Yesterday by the Beatles)