Month: March 2009

Way better than a strip club

I finally made time for my quarterly haircut yesterday and have come to a realization – guys, spend the extra few bucks for the full-court-press when you’re taking care of your locks. $21 (before tip) bought me a haircut, shampoo, a hot towel steam, scalp and facial massage, and an actual (albeit brief) neck and shoulder massage at Sports Clips. She even trimmed and neatened my ludicrously bushy beard.

Totally refreshing and well worth the duckets; I just can’t figure out why it took me so long to figure out what most women seem to understand from the jump: being pampered from time to time is a really, really good thing.

Latest woodworking project

Between family, work, tooling around in the garage, and birthday celebrations (mine, my mom,  a couple buddies, and my nephew – all in a four day window, if you can wrap your mind around that one), I just haven’t had the time to post. My bad.

Right now I’m working on two posts that started out as hmm, this is pretty interesting, but have somehow evolved into pieces far more Atlas Shrugged than Elements of Style in regard to length. Given one deals with abortion and the other genocide, I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised with the expansion. In any case, they’re both in work and I hope to have at least a portion of each ready for you soon, so please stay tuned. 

Until then, I invite you to enjoy my latest carpentry project. About 3.5 feet tip to tip, it was a birthday gift for my nephew and easily one of the most fun projects, both to design and build, I’ve had in a quite some time. Hook ’em…

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Another weekend introduction

Or, more music you might not know but should…

I started out with the intention of writing this post about the Interactive segment of South by Southwest but little monkey that I am, became distracted by something bright and shiny (in this case, a tune that surfaced while listening to my iPod). I’ll get back to writing that one soon, but for now I’ve another weekend introduction, albeit one I’m offering a tad early.

The band is callled Silversun Pickups and they have a sound that will absolutely blow you away. Reminiscent of the Smashing Pumpkins, these guys are one of the coolest bands I’ve heard in a long, long time. FYI, if you like the song below I recommend picking up the album – digital or otherwise – the whole thing is just as good.

(One caveat – Not sure how I’m feeling about the video but don’t hold that against them – just put on some headphones, turn ’em up to 11, and close your eyes…)

Thoughts about the NBA

basketballFact: I can’t stand basketball. In fact, the pleasure I feel watching a fast-paced, really important basketball  game ranks somewhere slightly below cleaning up baby vomit. And, as I’ve had to do that a few times recently, I can say with certainty I’m absolutely not using hyperbole with that statement.

It’s a mystery.

Which is why it might seem strange that I suggest you read an article – a fairly long article, I might add/warn – that is solely about the NBA, what’s happening now, and where it’s headed. Written by a cat named Bill Simmons, this article kept me reading, interested, and engaged. And, when all was said and done, it left me shaking my head in wonder.

I had no idea…

“Clearly, we wouldn’t put this budding debacle on par with the Gulf War, the collapse of American car companies, the real estate quagmire, the implosion of Wall Street, the decline of the American dollar, the shaky footing of previously untouchable media institutions (newspapers, magazines, TV networks, movie studios and publishing companies), or even Vegas and the porn industry caving financially.”

Photo by StuSeeger

Random Image Project: 3-9-09

This is the first installment of a project using imagery, constraint, and more than a little tenacity.
gull

Look on the third row of the bookshelf in my study and you’ll find a novel I’ve purchased easily dozens of times. No kidding. Dozens. For years it would be my answer to birthdays, stockings, or those odd and wonderful moments over a cocktail when I realized a friend and I had been talking about a thought or idea that was now just about singing from between the pages.

I first discovered it while on leave from boot camp and have loved it, literally, from the very first sentence:

There was a Master come unto the earth, born in the holy land of Indiana, raised in the mystical hills east of Fort Wayne.

It makes me smile just seeing it on the screen.   

The book is called Illusions and it’s written by a gent named Richard Bach. That’s the same Richard Bach who wrote Jonathan Livingston Seagull, by the bye, and if you haven’t read that one before I’m telling you with no hesitation you’ve done yourself a great disservice. One of my happiest Half Price Books moments was finding an old, beat-up, 1st edition copy of Jonathan a few years ago. Bliss.

I’ve a dear friend who does something similar even now, albeit with a different book. And while his gift, Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz, is about a man’s exploration and discovery of Christianity and mine is, well, decidedly not, the two books have far more in common than you’d think. 

So, my challenge to you: pick one of the three books above and read it in the next month. They’re all fairly light reads, so not a huge investment. Once you’ve done so, come back here and tell me what you thought. With any luck we’ll both learn something new and have a good time doing so.

Photo by i5prof

The random image project

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A “butterfly on the summer’s breath” is just a tad too pretty to describe Stone and Sea, but it’s fairly clear topics and style are pretty loose at this blog. And that’s okay. For me, the point is to stretch and have fun writing.

In fact a good buddy and I talk fairly often about how to do just that and not long ago he had a great idea. A challenge, really, but one that might help accomplish both points mentioned above. The first post of the series should arrive shortly, but for those of you who like to get into the meat and potatoes of things the challenge is this: grab an interesting image from Flickr, somehow incorporate it into a post, write that post using a set of  constraints, and do it all in such a way you’re not bored to tears.

Why constraints, you ask? Quite a few reasons, actually. Reasons that range from best practices to mimicking business reality. But, perhaps more importantly, constraints can actually free us to produce much more creative work. Check out thisthis, and this to see what I mean.

Anyway, hope you’re going to enjoy, and keep your eyes open tomorrow.

photo by Silvio Tanaka