Each year I work as a designer I devote less and less time to traditional ‘design’ work, like creating wireframes, aesthetic layouts or prototyping interactions. These days I spend most of my time establishing an environment for successful design to occur. For me, this shift has greatly accelerated in the past few years, partially due to specific needs at Kiva, but also, a general shift within Silicon Valley has occurred which has significantly broadened the role of ‘design’ within an organization.
My stomach has been in knots recently. The western edge of San Francisco – where I call home – has experienced two tragic accidents in the past week. A teenager was swept out to sea by a rip at Ocean Beach and a three year old boy was critically injured after being struck by a truck. The emotions and pain these two youngsters suffered haunts my thoughts each night while the pain and loss their families are enduring breaks my heart.
…we need a world full of people asking deep questions or else we’re not going to have a world to live in.” Rose Marcario (Patagonia CEO) from the Fast Company article How Patagonia's New CEO Is Increasing Profits While Trying To Save The World
Measured in web years, three years is a lifetime. Yet it’s been that long since I’ve done any serious work on my own website. Over that time significant shifts have occurred in the landscape – responsive design, retina displays and a mobile first focus have changed how websites are designed and built. Not wanting 2 Out of Three to fall too far behind the curve – and looking to scratch my developer itch (something that’s been gathering dust as of late) – I carved out some time to make the most substantial updates to the site since releasing version 2 in May 2010. While I don’t consider these updates a full redesign, there are some meaningful changes that address mobile usability, retina images and a renewed focus on my design work. Here is a full list of changes:
Every night before I put my one and a half year old son to bed we sit together and read a few books. Early in his life the book hardly mattered, but the older he’s gotten the more particular he’s become. A few favorites will always keep his attention, while others are tossed to the side after only a few turns of the page. A few he closes immediately with a terse reply of “no no”.
In the time I’ve been reading to him I’ve noticed a handful of commonalities that make a great book for kids that are around one year of age. Here’s what I look for when picking out books to buy:
The lines between work and life blur quickly for many internet professionals—myself included. Each blog post, tweet, or photo you share finds its way to a mixed audience of friends, family, colleagues, former clients and potential clients. Personally, I find this limits the subjects I discuss online—you’ll rarely see me branch out beyond the topics of design, surfing, or ginger beer. This primarily stems from a reluctance to share personal details about myself or my family on such a public, and permanent, stage.
Because of my own habits I found it fascinating to read Trent Walton express his concerns that his own fragmented sharing may actually be circling back and influencing his “real life” self.
From Daniel Jalkut excellent post on Stagnation Or Stability? He applauds the app for allowing him to do his work “frictionlessly.” How does a software developer achieve this level of performance? By first building a quality product and then working deliberately over months and years to address the minor issues that remain. Woodworking makes a […]
Talk with anybody involved with software development these days and there’s a good chance you’ll hear about minimal viable products. Over the past few years the phrase has exploded in popularity, largely due to Eric Reiss’ book The Lean Startup, where he proposes entrepreneurs leverage a continuous innovation as a means of product development. At this point the term is being tossed around everywhere—from two person start-ups working in coffee shops to large development teams building software for the major names throughout Silicon Valley.
In a post earlier this week I talked about my six month blogging hiatus. In actuality it was limited only to this website. I kept my writing skills sharp (I mean sharp in the same way the thirty-year-old knives at your parent’s house are sharp) with the occasional post on the Kiva blog. These pieces have generally focused on changes to the website, but I wanted to highlight one that detailed how we do user research at Kiva.
When I began at Kiva we had very few formal design processes in place. Being a small, underfunded non-profit it was understandable that design was never a priority, but it was also something I aimed to change from the moment I arrived. Over the two years I’ve worked at Kiva we’ve taken huge strides towards integrating design into the culture of the organization. One of the most effective tools we’ve employed has been user research. Not only has it lead to significant improvements in the quality of design we turn out, it has also been essential in getting the rest of the organization to buy into the importance—and the impact—that good design can make.
Days turn into weeks. Weeks turn into months. Months turn into years. I’ve neglected this blog for nearly six months, with only a single post in 2013. Luckily in that time my writing skills have not completely atrophied. But, I’m afraid if I hold out any longer I just may lose the “mediocre” skill which once lead a teacher to declare: “if I could get past the spelling mistakes, you might have something here.” Writing is an exercise I both enjoy and a skill I value as being essential in today’s world, where ideas travel to all corners of the globe as quickly as the internet connection that carries them.
And while you, the loyal reader of this blog, probably couldn’t care less, I’m making a promise: One new post a week—for the rest year. That’s 26 blog posts between now and December 31. I won’t guarantee you’ll find anything particularly insightful—you may even come away dumber after reading one or two of ‘em—but every once in awhile I may turn out a gem, and when that happens you’ll want to be there. So stay tuned, subscribe to the RSS feed (side note: Feedly has been an excellent replacement for the now defunct Google Reader) or follow me on Twitter. Talk to you next week.
At Kiva we’ve been watching our mobile traffic grow year over year to the point where our most recent numbers show us 9% of visitors are viewing our site on a smartphone. Seeing this trend, our development team has been itching to improve the mobile experience on Kiva for a long time, and with our […]
2012 may well be remembered as the year we woke up to the threat hackers pose to our online identities. One of the year’s most read stories was Mat Honan’s horrifying account of having his online identity stolen and the subsequent loss of data that resulted because a hacker wanted to take his Twitter account on a mischievous joy ride. After reading about the attack I spent a couple hours to safeguard my own accounts in order to minimize the chance such an attack could happen to me. With the new year upon us, now is the perfect time to take your own precautions.
The most frightening aspect of the attack Honan suffered was that his passwords were never compromised. The hackers gained access to his Twitter, Gmail, Amazon, and Apple accounts through social engineering—essentially they exploited system vulnerabilities and tricked customer service agents into resetting passwords in order to take control of his accounts. Not once did they actually figure out one of his passwords.
I don’t entirely agree with the defense of skeuomorphic design offered by this former Apple designer, but I love his comparison of UI design to a restaurant. Both experiences are the sum of many parts including tangible factors such as aesthetics and function. Yet both contain more abstract layers that work together to create ambiance–a memorable experience.
Sometime around 2006 I discovered the blog of Aaron James Draplin and I’m a better designer for it. Draplin creates timeless designs and provides memorable commentary from his studio in Portland, OR. He’s had a hand in designing many of the products I love from the branding for Coal Headwear, to the creation of Field Notes, and even t-shirts for Patagonia.
Whether you’re a designer or just breathing air on this little blue planet, do yourself a favor: watch this man speak. His ramblings are worth the price of admission, which is free – ‘aint the internet great? So take the time and learn something. I’m a better man today because of the shit that comes out of his mouth.
It’s a very serious thing to kill an animal. People should take it very seriously, they shouldn’t be expecting to eat meat seven days a week, two meals a day.”
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”
I think it is unnatural to think that there is such a thing as a blue-sky, white-clouded happy childhood for anybody. Childhood is a very, very tricky business of surviving it. Because if one thing goes wrong or anything goes wrong, and usually something goes wrong, then you are compromised as a human being. You’re going to trip over that for a good part of your life.”
My design expertise lies in the digital realm, creating experiences that unfold as web sites, iPhone apps, or video games, so it’s rare that I see my work in a tangible format like print. But in the past few months we’ve had the opportunity at Kiva to release a few high profile print advertisements that appeared in Variety Magazine, USA Today, as well as one of our own mailers. These pieces not only increased Kiva’s exposure outside the digital medium, but they’ve also helped establish one of our core design principals: story telling.
Kudos to the Wikimedia foundation for focusing on the development of a new editor for Wikipedia. During my time at Wikia I stressed the need for a simple editing experience in order to diversify its users and increase contributions. Wikipedia has become the central repository for information in the digital age but it suffers from a small and insular user base among its editors. Today, most contributions to Wikipedia come from white middle-aged males with a college degree, living in a developed country and with a strong technical understanding. This skews both the type of articles that appear on Wikipedia and the perspective which they are written from. The challenge they face is how to expand the demographics of those writing and editing entries. They need to attract more people in developing countries, more woman, and users who are less technically savvy in order to become a true digital encyclopedia representing the the world’s collective knowledge.
To steal from someone and not feel bad, you either have to be a sociopath or view the act differently. One way is to remove “Someone” from the equation. You’re not stealing from a person. Big companies do a lot to help people view them as less than human. I heard a speech by Noam Chomsky who said that corporations are like super humans. They cannot be hurt like a human can and they never die. They are not susceptible to scrutiny or accountability. This makes them more profitable. If companies want to enjoy these benefits to some degree they have to live with what else comes with being not human. You miss out on compassion, forgiveness, camaraderie, empathy, trust all kinds of shit.
Never before has the death of someone I’d never met filled me with such sadness. Steve Jobs was the creative force behind the products I delight in using on a daily basis and the visionary that gave birth to the industry I’ve made a living in for the past fifteen years. So when it came time to express my feelings of loss I turned to my iPhone and found comfort in the fact that I was not alone. Millions of people turned to tools that would not have been possible without his passion, drive, and creativity. He truly was a man who saw things differently and succeeded in pushing the human race forward.
Identifying a user’s primary interaction with your website is essential to understanding where to focus a development team’s limited resources. At Google, the search box and corresponding results are so important that the company tests every interaction no matter how minor. During my time at Wikia I continually advocated for the company to focus similar attention on the Rich Text Editor (and source mode) which is used to write, edit, and add images to every article in every wiki. So I’m excited to see that my redesign of the editor has finally made it’s way out of development and onto the site. While this was the last project I worked on at Wikia I always felt it would make the largest impact on the user base.
Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.”
Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.”
Zoran Lucić is a graphic designer from Bosnia and Herzegovina who created a stunning series of soccer posters titled “Sucker For Soccer“. Each illustration oozes with personality as it captures great players from the past to the present. Together, they form a magnificent visual history of the stars that have played the beautiful game. With wildly varied artistic styles, the collection reinforces different eras and styles that have influenced the game of football (soccer in America) throughout the years. Below are a few of my favorites:
It’s been a little over two months since I started working at Kiva. In that time I’ve polished a number of small elements around the site but nothing felt substantial enough to brag about. Yesterday, that changed with the launch of Kiva’s invite challenge – a major portion of which was designed by yours truly. The promotion allows Kiva users to invite friends to make a free $25 loan on the site. Response to the free trials have been huge – with over 8,000 invites handed out in under 30 hours (demand was so great that Kiva doubled the initial allocation of 4,000 trials).
You become empowered every time you put one of these things together that supports your life. Your water system, your electricity, you build your house.”
Every person whose heart is moved by love and compassion, who deeply and sincerely acts for the benefit of others without concern for fame, profit, social position, or recognition expresses the activity of Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara).”
We found that turning up at the bank wearing a suit whilst pointing at a series of useless numbers on a spreadsheet is the best way to get a business loan.” James Watt, founder of BrewDog from an interview on the blog Signal vs. Noise
Dana Tanamachi creates chalk drawings. Her work is charming and the lettering she creates is beautiful and intricate, all accomplished without aids such as stencils or a projector. For me the most appealing aspect of her drawings is the fleeting nature of working with chalk – meaning her creations won’t be with us for long, they won’t be preserved for centuries like an oil painting would. But none the less Tanamachi approaches her chalk pieces with just as much care and dedication all the while knowing that her hard work will fade away sooner than later.
Last week I began a daily commute to the Mission to work as Senior Visual and Interaction Designer at Kiva.org. A little over five years ago I learned about Kiva, a micro lending website, and have been using the site ever since. The website allows a person – usually based in the developed world – to lend money to an entrepreneur in the developing world. Kiva’s mission always struck me as the embodiment of the egalitarian promise the Internet’s creators always envisioned. So when an opportunity to join the company as their first full time designer came up, I jumped at the chance.
With our latest project Farmanac, an iPhone app for fruits and vegetables, 2 Out of Three dove headfirst into app development. We spent days reading through Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) and mocking up navigational models and screen flows. For the initial release of Farmanac we kept the feature set and navigation simple by using a basic list view which leads to a detail screen for specific items. But we’ve got a number of features we plan on implementing in subsequent versions that will require a more complex navigational model – which probably means introducing a tab bar. Luckily for us, Petter Silfver recently shared his thoughts concerning the do’s and don’ts of tab bar design in an article titled The iPhone Tab Bar, Lessons From Reality.
…slow down, step back and appreciate those simple things that bring us so much joy–the people, the feeling, the environments and the experiences along the way.”
Myles McGuiness in an interview with Liquid Salt Mag
While the disaster that has struck Japan is heartbreaking this is a wonderful story of a surreal night that followed the earthquake. When the big one hits California look for me at Comstock Saloon. [via AmericaDrink]
Kevin Cunningham, a surfboard-shaper based in Rhode Island, has embarked on a project to create a series of boards from trash he finds washed up on the beach. Over the years the surf industry has dipped it’s toes into sustainable board design but this project is downright audacious. Drift wood and plastic will become the skin and ropes; fishing nets will act to strengthen the board; and plastics (bags and sheets) will be pressed and formed into fins. The boards will be both art and functional water craft. Initially they will be shown in galleries around the country . . . hopefully after they have been put through the paces in the ocean.
Shocking satellite photos from Japan presented by the NY Times. The use of a slider to control the before and after images is very effective. Jaw dropping damage.
Wikia Labs, a new feature introduced by Wikia last week, was one of the most exciting features I designed during my time with the company. If you’re familiar with Gmail Labs you’ll understand how it works. Users (specifically admins) on Wikia can turn features on and off – the set consists of Top Ten Lists, Gallery Exhibitions, and Article Comments. This new ability gives administrators a greater level of control over their own wiki. Additional it provides a limited environment for Wikia to launch new features and gather feedback from users. For Wikia’s devoted user base, change can often be scary and invoke a backlash from the most passionate users comfortable with infrastructure currently in place. Wikia Labs serves as a bridge to acclimate users to new tools and gather feedback to ensure the the company is delivering features that are needed and wanted by the community.
Well worth the read whether your a designer or in a position where your providing the feedback. It just might save your next project from looking like a mullet.
“John in marketing wants to be able to log in directly on the home page, but Tim in Engineering would prefer it on its own page. Can we compromise?”
No. We cannot compromise.
If you tell your barber that you like it short, but your significant other likes it long, you’re gonna get a mullet.
Yesterday the FCC proposed new rules which cripple the free and open nature of Internet. Among the many loopholes in the so called “Network Neutrality” regulations is the ability for phone and cable companies to apply fees for Internet services and/or content. For example AT&T could charge an extra two cents per megabyte to use Facebook on your iPhone. Or, Comcast could bill you an extra fifty cents a month to get videos from YouTube at a faster speed. The rules which are being touted by Barack Obama as a compromise on Network Neutrality are in fact worse than doing nothing. For the first time they explicitly approve online discrimination. The implications of this are far reaching and truly matter for anyone who uses the Internet.
If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.”
When the Knight News Challenge put out a call seeking innovative digital projects, Austin Ellis and I jumped at the opportunity, applying with a plan that would make campaign contribution data more transparent on the web. Now in its fifth year, the contest funds projects that focus on the advancement of news reporting in the digital age that fall in the categories of mobile, authenticity and sustainability. Our proposal titled “Financial Footprints” would use a browser extension to display campaign contribution information to users on relevant web pages. A short quote from our application sums up the basic premise:
We’ve seen an explosion of meta gaming on the web in the past couple of years. Ever since Foursquare brought badges into the web conscience an influx of copycats have sprung up attempting to implement gaming features of their own. These days you’ll find badges and rewards systems on many of the Internet’s most popular sites. But the model has always struck me as flawed. It’s the cart coming before the horse. What the whole equation is missing is game design.
Earlier this year the team at Wikia started down the path to redesign their product – a popular wiki hosting platform. Over the summer they brought me on the project as an interaction and visual designer. And just last month we let the redesign loose to a passionate community of select users. Our redesign effort concentrated on making the experience of using a wiki, where a community of users contribute the content, easier. It’s still too early to judge if we accomplished our goal of attracting a larger audience, helping them discover content, and engaging them as editors. However, after a couple weeks, the reactions that we are getting from users are encouraging and we’re excited to continue improving the site.
If you’ve been in San Francisco recently you’ve probably seen posters urging you to vote “No on 23” in the November 2nd election and calling it the “DIRTY ENERGY Proposition”. It peaked my curiosity and lead me to research just what Prop 23 stood for. After digging through the muddy details it became apparent that this was a blatant attack on our environment, strictly to enrich the corporate bottom line. It’s also an assault on California’s burgeoning green tech field which is leading job growth in the state.
This bit of work began as a postcard and made its way into a banner hanging from the San Francisco Ferry Building on the occasion of Wikia’s Food & Tech event. The logo was a piece of work we put together for the Healthy Recipes team at Wikia a few weeks ago. The event, which took place on Sunday October 10th, saw a handful of local chefs serving up their culinary delights and an esteemed panel discussing technology’s role in shaping the food we eat. It always puts a smile on my face to see my work placed in the context of tangible moments like these.
At 2 Out of Three designing websites is our specialty. We enjoy taking on every aspect of a project because it means we’ll have the ability to translate our creative vision from the early stages of wireframes all the way through to the last line of code. We’re extremely proud of our latest work for the niche travel experts Best of Both, where our vision extended not only to the imagery present while browsing, but also to the tools that the team at Best of Both will implement for updates.
The whole purpose of climbing something like Everest is to effect some sort of spiritual and physical gain. But if you compromise the process you’re an asshole when you start out and an asshole when you get back.”
Yvon Chouinard from the film 180 South°
A storm will blow for hours or days generating waves that will travel thousands of miles eventually breaking on some far off coast. On that journey a wave will hardly shift the position of any of the water molecules it carries. Only the energy of the wind travels, not the water around it. As a surfer I’ve been tossed every which way by waves. Depending on the force, it can slam you into the ocean bottom or calmly lap over your board. One second you’re riding on top of one, or pushing through one, and the next second that wave has broken, it’s gone.
The initial design for 2 Out of Three was over three years ago, an eternity in the web world. As new technologies and design methods appeared over the years the flaws I kept seeing on the site were magnified, even if it was only in my mind. So it felt like the right time for a redesign. What started out as a fresh coat of paint quickly snowballed into much more and in the end I found myself overhauling the entire foundation of the 2 Out of Three’s website. Now, a couple months after kicking off the project, it’s ready and I’ve got a brand spankin’ new website that I’m excited to show off and get feedback from you all.
I’m excited and proud that Armchair Revolutionary launched the Beta version of their website Armrev.org earlier this month. The project has been percolating for some time now with ambitious goals: to change the world
After six weeks of traveling through both the north and south islands of New Zealand I managed to take over 1500 pictures. And even with all those gigs of photos I still managed to miss some of the most memorable scenes I came across.
Making money isn’t hard in itself, what’s hard is to earn it doing something worth devoting one’s life to.
Miquel Moliner from The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafrón
We stumbled into Havana with a barley passible vocabulary of Spanish phrases, a copy of Lonley Planet Cuba, and two cameras. Our nebulous plan involved wandering the streets, snapping photos, and soaking in this forbidden country.
The month of April marked the return from a hiatus for the sOUNDTRACK tO mY lIFE. While there were a number of forces that conspired to keep the soundtrack out of your hands over the last six months the primary culprit was a lack of motivation.
Last week a group of ladies came stumbling into Santa Cruz wearing some of the hard work that came out of the 2 Out of Three studio. Team Sweet Tooth had just completed a 200 mile relay run from Calistoga to Santa Cruz.
Freelancing has its advantages, one of which is the ability to travel and live in places that you wouldn’t normally have access to while working a typical office job. Currently 2 Out of Three is half way through a two month stint in Santa Cruz.
Layer Tennis has been around a few years, the premiss is simple. Two designers swap Photoshop, Flash, and Illustrator files back a forth in 15 minute intervals trying to out design and out smart each other.
Thanks to Apple’s bare bones commercials touting all the iPhone apps available at the iTunes store, my Mom just learned what an app is. More and more people are using these apps, so I thought I’d pass on a “best of” list for my favorite apps.
First thing’s first: I’m not sure how I’ve gone thirty two years without hearing of the poet Nikki Giovanni. In fact after seeing her brilliant mind at work I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never come across her writing before.
2 Out of Three is pleased to announce the launch of it’s latest project, a health care consulting website for Dr. Chris Carruthers. It’s shiny and new, the code is valid, the images are optimized, it’s ChrisCarruthersMD.com.
Logos have always fascinated me and so I get excited when I learn more about how the great ones get designed. These small symbols often made up of simple shapes or even the intersection of letters can take on a very large meaning.
The ability for the internet to directly connect people across the globe has begun a unique form of alleviating poverty called micro-lending. Leading this revolution is Kiva.org, which provides person-to-person lending in the developing world.
This months soundtrack is loaded with the usual goodness but instead of telling you about the music I’d like to take some time to tell you about what’s going on with the landscape of online music.
Being a music snob I’m always disappointed when one of the songs I’ve selected for the soundtrack to my life ends up in a commercial. It’s even worse when the commercial appears before I introduce the song to you.
Network Neutrality is one of the core concepts that make up the internet as we know it. In the last couple of years telecom companies in both the US and Canada have been lobbying to remove network neutrality from the internet.
It took longer than it should have, but we’re excited to announce the launch of our most recent creation CulturalImages.com. Cultural Images is a jewelry collection created by my Mother nearly three decades ago.
At it’s best art gets us to consider ourselfs and others within the world around us. With that in mind photography is a direct medium that can be used to hold a mirror up to the world around us.
As the snow melts in Whistler the equipment racks around town switch from storing skis & boards to mountain bikes. And like every other action sport, mountain biking has adrenaline packed movies
It’s exciting to see artist and designers break the boundaries of traditional media. These new and creative ideas do more than just entertain us they help humanity evolve. Ideas and creativity are at the center of what makes a society unique.
Looking back on the songs I compiled for the month of April I can see I was all over the place. I’m not talking about musical styles I’m talking about geographic locations. I remember hearing MGMT and Joe Dassin while home in San Mateo
The culmination of months of design, photography, and development have been assembled together and launched onto the information superhighway….and its name – Neela Bags.
I’m often asked where I find all the music for each month’s soundtrack to my life. It used to be a pretty straight forward process; I spent most of my day in a cube working on my computer and jamming away with my headphones on.
Last weekend I headed down to Grouse Mountain and did some night riding for Mel’s birthday. Grouse is located in the mountains around the city of Vancouver giving an amazing view of the skyline while you enjoying some night skiing.
Little things like icons and graphics turn a web site into a memorable browsing experience. The next time you’re looking into a new product that you might purchase take a look at the company’s web site and look at their visuals.
What’s it take to get the first track on the sOUNDTRACK tO mY lIFE? Songs usually have to make an emotional connection or just plain get me movings. Which is what happened to January’s soundtrack.
2 Out of Three recently finished a project for a new video game social network VG Views. We thought it would be fun to take you through the design process; showing you early versions of wireframes, logos and the web designs.
A dash of Manu Chao, a pinch Gabrielle & Rodrigo and top with Thievery Corporation – bake at 400 and 20 mins later you have Federico Aubele. He’s been dominating the speakers in our apt earning him two tracks on December’s sOUNDTRACK.
A new year has arrived and it seems like a good time to post some pictures from the past month. I was slacking in blog posts for the month of December so I have pictures from Whistler, Vancouver, and Christmas with the family in SF to show you.
As is usual the soundtrack to my life is a couple months behind. October’s soundtrack received allot of help from friends as family.
Last week we packed up the 2 Out of Three design studio and moved our operation north to Whistler, BC. The trip went smooth and a few days after saying goodbye to our San Francisco home we made the border crossing at the Peace Arch.
New Mexico is dry and dominated by the colors brown, red, and yellow. I learned that and a few others thing over the past five days while I was visiting my Mom in Albuquerque. My sister Yasha also joined us for a few days making a family reunion out of it.
At 2 Out of Three we are passionate about good design. And we want more of it. Good design comes from a good process. And we’re willing to let you in on our secrets so you can go out there and create more designs we’re excited to use.
Back in September when I was putting together the Soundtrack to My Life I was excited to see new songs by Manu Chao as well as new music from Beirut, Rogue Wave, and a live song by Jose Gonzalez.
Hiking is an activity I’ve been overlooking a great deal in the past few years. As a kid my father would take my sister and I for regular hikes in the East Bay hills, occasionally we would even motivate to get over to Marin and explore a coastal trail.
Delays in the monthly release for my mix cd The Soundtrack to my Life has become a regular problem. We’re actually backlogged with three months worth of soundtracks. The good news is that we’ve gone digital.
I’ve been an employee at EA for a longer period of time than I was in high school. But all good things must come to an end and today is my last day. As for me, I’ve decided there are some new challenges and growth opportunities outside my cube.
I’ve always loved skateboard graphics because of the broad spectrum of subject matter that is compressed onto a single deck. So you can imagine my delight when I got my hands on a new book on the subject by Sean Cliver titled Disposable.
Bottled water is the new Hummer. Environmentalists are focusing in on the industry, restaurants are banning it, and the biggest brands are owned by multi-national corporations. But is the industry all bad?
Warm up those CD players because the July edition of the Soundtrack to my Life has been released today. I know what you’re saying, “July’s edition? What gives?”. Production delays pushed back our release date. The good news is it’s here and it’s fantastic.
Conde Nast Traveler is having a “Live The Cover” great travel memories contest. You upload a photo and an explanation of what made that moment so unforgettable. Having done my fair share of traveling and photography over the past
Kenny has been in Montreal this summer, which gave me a good excuse for a visit. We spent most of our timing walking around the city exploring everything from the cobble stone streets of Old Montreal to the nightlife of Boulevard Saint-Laurent.
At 2 Out Of Three our desire for aesthetically pleasing and functional design extends outside our computer monitors and into the world around us. More specifically it extends into the building that surrounds us as our we recently completed a bathroom remodel.
Green Apple books, a sustainable brick and motor store with the qualities to compete with the modern online shopping experience. Without fail every time I’m in their store I overhear, the familiar sentiment, “I could spend all day in here”.
The latest edition of the soundtrack to my life has arrived. This edition spans two months and is headlined by the Ontario, Canada based band Bedouin Soundclash.
Every month I put together a mix cd consisting of the music I had been listening to over the previous 30 days. As the years and months have gone by I’ve really enjoyed looking back at bands and the songs I was listening to. Over the month of March 2007 I really enjoyed listening to […]
The first time I got a credit on a video game I could barely hold in my excitement as I ripped off the plastic wrapping, dropped the disc into my PS2, and quickly navigated to the credits screen to see my name scroll by. I still get that giddy feeling when I get my hands […]
I spent a recent weekend in Albuquerque visiting my Mom. The weekend was spent visiting with the animals on the farm, going on short walks in the high desert and even getting up over 10,000 feet on the worlds longest aerial tramway. Check out the photos I took with my new lens.
Being injured is a difficult thing, especially when your sport is nature dependent like surfing. Last weekend things warmed up in San Francisco and the surf look pretty good. Unfortunately, I’ve been nursing a bad back so I was forced to sit on the sidelines and watch. Luckily for me my highly anticipated new camera […]