Status: Finding A Work / Play Balance

2015 might the busiest year I have ever experienced. Between work and family sometimes it’s hard to find a balance. This isn’t a top 3 things you can do to be more successful, this is just a reflection and a long overdue blog post for my own place in the web universe.

find-your-balanceHere’s what I have done for work:

  • Created Multiple Websites at an Amazing Studio, WDS
  • Created A New App For CRI: Equip
  • Created My First Plugin: Mega Ad
  • Created My Next Plugin: Donate Engine
  • Created A Game App For Kids: Kinder 1-2-3

Here’s what I have done for the Family:

  • Set Aside Time Only For Them
  • Played More With My Son
  • Emergencies Can Usually Wait And Did
  • Refocus Every Morning On What Matters, My Family
  • Take Walks With The Family Everyday
  • Tell Them I Love Them Everyday
  • Prove My Love With Action Not Just Talk

At the end of the day, you can’t take money with you. Although, a Porsche Carrera is far better than a skateboard. Nonetheless, all that’s left when we all inevitably shuffle of this mortal coil are the memories we build with our co-workers and especially the love we cultivate with our families.

The key to having good balance starts by recognizing you need balance – we all do. I hope you find that balance.

Give Your All


I was doing some animation research and came across a Walt Disney quote. The quote took place when Mr. Disney was admonishing an employee on the virtues of giving one’s all. It really awakened me to what I always thought to be true, yet never really able to utter in so many words. When you work, your duty is to surpass expectations and do things the right way. Amen.

Use Grunt with WP


GruntBeen using Grunt and it is great. If you are a late adopter like I was what are you waiting for? Jump in and give it a shot. Here’s a pretty neat tut:

Via Tutsplus:

Grunt is a JavaScript task runner installed via NPM that runs on your server. To use the information in this tutorial, you will need command-line access to a server. For the sake of brevity, I refer you to this tutorial for getting Grunt up and running and ready for use.


Amazing Retro Terminal

Check out this way neat terminal emulator…

Via Github

cool-retro-term is a terminal emulator which mimics the look and feel of the old cathode tube screens. It has been designed to be eye-candy, customizable, and reasonably lightweight.

It uses the Konsole engine which is powerful and mature.

This terminal emulator requires Qt 5.2 or higher to run.


Grids Matter on WDS Blog

Wrote a blog post regarding grids and their historical value on WDS’s blog. There are designers that use grids and some that don’t. I use grids as well as Golden Section to layout pages and design interesting user experiences. This isn’t to say that a designer couldn’t be successful not using grids. Just a blog post communicating my appreciation for grids. Enjoy.

Via WebDevStudios Blog

For ages, grids have hung prose on pages to the benefit of humanity and to its curse at times. The topic of grids is lost to some, especially in a world that moves so fast. Designers have to, at times, initiate the creative process on a computer without even so much as a sketch. On the other hand, grids are held as the construct of beauty by many. Yet, we as designers must know the limits of our craft before limits can be broken the right way.

…This is not a post to dictate to others that using a grid is the only way to success. Because, it is not. Rather, this is a post to cultivate an appreciation for grid-driven design, while taking from the natural world. Even if you don’t leverage grids, there is a historic and mysterious value.

Keep reading…

Shellshock Fix for Mac


Recently there was a security flaw discovered in bash. It’s called “Shellshock”. I colleague circulated how to fix so I am posting it. This is for folks on a Mac. If you are unsure if you are vulnerable to begin with follow these steps:

1. Open Terminal

2. Paste this and hit return: env x='() { :;}; echo vulnerable’ bash -c ‘echo hello’

3. If your terminal says vulnerable then need to follow the next steps. Paste each line in order one after each other:

mkdir bash-fix
cd bash-fix
curl | tar zxf –
cd bash-92/bash-3.2
curl | patch -p0
curl | patch -p0
cd ..
sudo cp /bin/bash /bin/bash.old
sudo cp /bin/sh /bin/sh.old
build/Release/bash –version # GNU bash, version 3.2.53(1)-release
build/Release/sh –version # GNU bash, version 3.2.53(1)-release
sudo cp build/Release/bash /bin
sudo cp build/Release/sh /bin

(H/T: @bradparbs)

Apple: We Don’t Read Your Emails

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 10.40.23 PM

Google’s mission is to track us, market us, store our info, and then pretend they do no evil by monetizing it all. I am not sure I buy it, but Tim Cook talks privacy they way most people think privacy now works – it’s kind of a back hand to Google.

Via Tim Cook, Apple:

Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.

Keep reading…

Cool Off Canvas Menu CSS


Came across some Codrops awesomeness. Just what I needed for a client navigation. Maybe this will help you too!

Via Codrops

Today we’d like to share a couple of styles and effects for off-canvas menus. The off-canvas sidebar is widely used and we have already created some effect inspiration before. Like with everything, style evolves and today we want to show a new set of modern effects for your inspiration. Different layouts and synced transitions of the menu and the page can make everything look more interesting and we can make use of the available space for side-menus and controls. SVG allows us to play with organic shapes and add some unexpected and stylish moves to a design.

Keep reading…

Sidebar Got You Sad?

Clean it up with this snippet. Sometimes you need a sidebar to just behave like a sidebar and span the page from top to bottom even if nothing is in the content area. Yes, really. Try this snippet. If doesn’t work or is outdated you didn’t get it here:

Give it a whirl!

WP Excerpt Alternative

Sometimes you need quick solutions for different WP needs. I am sure you have library full of reusable and codex quality snippets. Came across this which came through in a pinch.

If you have a layout that is dependent on copy behaving within a certain word count this can help. Whether it’s the post title, the post content, or the post excerpt, this excerpt can even if just temporarily.

TiVo, Why Helvetica Light?


PBS’s Daniel Tiger

TiVo has been a great addition to my family’s entertainment center for about 2 years now. Especially being able to record the all important Daniel Tiger episodes for my 2 year old. Yet, just recently TiVo rolled out “improvements” that make the menu very hard to read from normal distances.

First of all, typography is 95% of a design. So when you make 95% of your design hard to read the experience is a lesser one.

There’s a big problem when a company the size of TiVo ships an update with a font so thin you would think they were selling Calvin Klein cologne. But alas, no fru fru smell here just Dad (that’s me) trying to squint my way into a good UX.

Typography is part of design that we can always improve upon. And I am not trying to sound like a design snob or anything of the sort. I am keenly aware that being an artist is a journey. I consider good typography art on top of good UI.


My eyes, they burn.

It feels like TiVo was going for the flat look and that’s cool, but when users with large screens are paces away from the screen it’s simply not legible, ironically neither is the highlighted media.

Can you read the highlighted TV episode? Yeah, neither can I. My wife can’t read it either and my child doesn’t really care about the finer point of typography principles. So that’s 66% percent of the users in our house.

I’m sure there’s some way to fix this. Uga muga!

Storefront Usability

gemA business is like a jewel with many different facets or sides. Each side is part of the business. There are small sides like HR and very large sides like executive strategy. Yet, it is one jewel. I have a point so just bare with me.

As a designer and illustrator I am constantly making hardware purchases either for SSDs or supplies. One morning I had to run errands and decided to pick some ‘puter hardware at BestBuy. I was way too early and the store was closed  and I came across one tiny facet of BestBuy’s business that made it easier for me to purchase from them.


Best Buy Store Hours Sign is Easy to Read.

OK, where are my binoculars.

OK, where are my binoculars. My eyes hurt.

I am used to usually having to park and get out to check store hours, but BestBuy has an almost poster sized hours of business sign between their doors. You might say no big deal, why is that even a blog post.

It’s a big deal because businesses need to close the loop on the process for customers both online and offline. That is to say, they ran tests to know that if a person has interest to read store hours, the propensity for purchase is high so make the font bigger to make it easier for them to swipe the card.

One might say just use your mobile device or google it, which is completely valid. However, you have to remember facets of the jewel. What works online can’t work when a user doesn’t have access to a mobile device (because local regulations while driving) or maybe the customer wasn’t planning a purchase and is an impulse buyer.

Making things easier to use is at times hard online and offline. Businesses have so much to do from ops to marketing, tax burdens, and everywhere in between. Sometimes the path from hard to easy is just that little bit. It’s like a sign on the door telling me when your open so I can go in and swipe my card for goods without having to speed walk the parking lot. It’s really that simple. A business is like a gem with many sides with even the smallest facet, things like a sign, play a big role.

So when you want to “engage” customers, take off your label and remove your misconceptions. Take the time and really think what would help users online and an offline customer that woke up way too early, but really really needs to make a purchase anyway kind of customer. Thanks for looking out BB.