End of a long day, after a long and busy weekend, after a long and busy week and what happens?

I rush to put out a cover letter and resume to Crispin Porter + Bogusky in hopes of… well, ANYTHING and I think I’m all cheeky and funny but in the cover letter I call them PCB. Not CPB. PCB.

PCBs, more uncommonly known as polychlorinated biphenyls, were banned in 1979 by the U.S. congress due to their toxicity and potential as carcinogens. Smooth, idiot.

“Hey, I realize you don’t know me from the next guy, but you should hire me because I’m witty, creative, unique and quite honestly, have the attention span of a gnat. I’d LOVE to meet with you to show you how truly great I am even though I can’t piece together correctly the 3 consecutive letters of your agency name. Call me dyslexic, call me stupid, just call me… Please?”

Dear Crispin Porter + Bogusky, I’m sorry. If you DO end up calling me, I will try and pry my freakin’ foot out of my mouth before answering the phone.

Palm+forehead=d’oh!

The lesson here: SLOW DOWN & PROOF READ!!

Papers imprison, thoughts sentenced to cold dark night, winter without spring.

It’s me.

I am my own worst client. As a creative, I am plagued with a constant stream of ideas, inspiration, images and layouts that, at the best of times, are difficult to get down on ‘paper’ before the next thought crowds it out or another way of treating the original idea makes me stop and rethink things even before I’ve really gotten to the meat of it.

It’s frustrating when I find sites like LogoFaves and Creattica that are jam-packed full of awesome and I can’t even decide on a font face, let alone an iconographic logo treatment…  And what about a website for myself? Do I go WordPress or html? If I go WP, do I buy a theme from Themeforest or Press75 or would that be considered cheating? Do I spend the time modifying a free one or try and build my own?

Just the other day a friend/client of mine asked me for my business card as he had someone who wanted some creative and marketing work done for them and wanted to recommend me (for which I am humbled and very grateful). Embarrassed, I had to laugh and tell him I don’t have any.

“But you have a website I can send him to, right,” he asked.

“Yeah… no, not really. Not at all…”

He was incredulous.

“The thing is, I spend all of my spare time working on other jobs, for other clients, that I honestly haven’t had the time to dedicate to creating my own brand,” I said.

And this is the crux of it for me – with my 9-5 plus working evenings and weekends for side projects, the spare moments I do have left are spent with my kids and scraping the bottom of the creative barrel to smack around my own look and feel.

I know I’m not alone in this turmoil, so if you’ve faced a similar demon please share what you did or didn’t do to help clarify things for you. Where did you draw inspiration from? What was your “Aha!” moment?

With any luck I will be able to continue to pull in referral business despite a gaping void for a portfolio and online presence (save for this blog, a meagre LinkedIn account, and my twittersphere) until I can finally decide on some basic stuff like Prussian Blue or Van Dyke Brown for the mountains

There you go.

Glutton for techno-punishment? Host your domain on GoDaddy.com OR launch the BB web browser.

I can’t stand the BlackBerry web browser.

I have a Bold for work and earlier this week almost tossed it into traffic because of it’s painfully shitty web browser.

Why in the name of Bruce would I need to go to the BlackBerry search page just to get to the Google search page?! And the f*cking zoom/pan/click process is criminally frustrating.

The help files tell you to simply ‘change the Home Page Address Field’ – easier said than done when you can’t edit the Home Page Address Field.

Sorry, BB, you’ve got a lock on mobile business tools but for the love of my Keurig, do SOMETHING about your browser!

If you’re looking for a great way to drive up your blood pressure and need another fist-sized hole in your wall do one of two things:

  1. Sign up for a web-hosting account with GoDaddy;
  2. Launch the web browser on your Bold and find out when the 1:47 train from Union arrives at Oakville.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

#BrowserFAIL.

"Dude! It's like looking in a mirror!"

This TED Talk scares the shit out of me. Especially Venter’s breakdown of the process where he says, “…transforming that cell into a new bacterial species.”.

I’m not religious by any stretch of the imagination, but my beliefs aside, I can’t say that I agree with the path this research has taken. It’s one thing to research and develop a way to cure alzheimer’s, cancer, malaria, or any number of other diseases, but it’s another thing ENTIRELY when you go past ‘playing’ God to actually playing with His toolset to create a new form of life from scratch. Yet lo and behold, with 15 years of pondering and tinkering, we’ve got ourselves a computer-program-created recipe for life, with it’s own URL.

Seriously? With it’s own URL? Written into the genetic code?

No, really, seriously? Isn’t that like etching your name on the knife that made God bleed?

I realize that this post may ruffle some feathers, but my God, if your feathers weren’t ruffled by the arrogance and forced humility shown in this talk, then I’m glad it was me who finally did (it is called Expect Sparks after all).

“This is the first self-replicating species that we’ve had on the planet who’s parent is a computer.”

I beg your pardon? How in the hell could anyone, particularly scientists, expect to anticipate how this new species will change or evolve? Granted, this is an extremist point of view and I’m certain that this new bacterial strain will be quarantined and kept under lock and key in a tiny agar dish, but… what if?

Maybe not so far-fetched after all?

Didn’t anyone see the movie “The Andromeda Strain“? Didn’t any of these guys read Stephen King’s “The Stand” or play “Resident Evil“? Sure, these are FICTIONAL stories and describe the absolute worst case scenarios, but keep in mind, Gene Roddenberry invented the flip-front cell phone in the 1960’s (“Beam me up, Scotty,”) … and let’s not overlook all the well-intentioned chemical discovery side-effects of the past like Agent Orange –

A defoliant used to thin jungles in Vietnam, based on the originally developed chemical growth hormone meant to adapt soybeans to a short growing season. Source: Wikipedia

Looking at this paradigm (develop a way to feed more people quickly with a chemical that kills and mutilates people more effectively than anything ever invented), it’s not that hard to think: What if?.

I guess if this experiment does go to shit, at least we’ll be able to decode the DNA of the bacteria and log onto it’s website to see who made it… you can’t do THAT with God’s creations.

Why get what you want when you can buy what you don't get?

GoDaddy is horrendously confusing.
I think I just secured a couple of domains, but really have no idea if I can send/receive emails to them, and why the hell would I want to add ninety-seven other things to my order? Things I don’t even understand, nor care to…
I use GoDaddy because finding and securing a domain is cheap – but for the love of Pete, Mr. Parsons, please get your sales process under control and don’t SPAM the crap out of me before I’ve even given you my money… The process is similar to leasing a new car – the sales guy throws a thousand things at you at once to try and confuse you and get you to drop a wad on top of the car, AND they do their best to make you feel like a moron so out of fear of humiliation, you just agree to whatever the hell they say and end up getting screwed.

That’s almost as bad as the over-anxious teenager at the drive-thru window that keeps asking “Is that everything?” after everything you order.

“Can I take your order?”

“Yeah, can I get a combo #1…”

“Is that everything?”

“… with fries…”

“Is that everything?”

“… and root beer to drin…”

“Is that everything?”

“I hate you.”

Jobs and Wozniak in 1975

I wish I still had my hair...

Steve Jobs used to be just some nerdy guy with funky hair.

Mark Zuckerberg? Same.

Same with Jim Sinegal (Costco), and Craig Newmark (Craigslist), and Pierre Omidyar (eBay) and so on. They all used to be just plain, regular, you-and-me-type folk, with regular lives, in regular homes, with regular shoes, and regular problems.

Then one day, after a lot of hard work, they got big.

The thing about becoming big, and one of the most important aspects of keeping yourself there, is humility. What I mean is, knowing that in your not-so-distant past, you were NOT big and didn’t sit atop a pedestal looking down upon the general populace.

It is in respect to this level of humility and grace that I comment on Mitch Joel, President of Twist Image, marketing guru, social media visionary and all-around nice guy.

I was thinking about hosting some podcasts on my company’s website and was looking to get some direction on software, hardware, pitfalls, process, etcetera, so naturally I reached out to someone who podcasts regularly and whose podcast and blogs I subscribe to: Mitch’s Six Pixels of Separation.

I shot him an email in response to one of his blog posts and much to my surprise and amazement he not only replied to my email, but did so within 24 hours and provided a link to a “How To” posting on how he does what he does.

Mitch is a much sought after public speaker, the author of a highly respected book on social media marketing, president of a very successful (and busy) marketing company, and he took the time to reply to an email from someone he doesn’t know asking for help on how he does what he does.

That’s like getting batting tips from Mark McGuire, or financial advice from Warren Buffet. The fact that Mitch took the time to respond with contextually accurate and helpful advice to what I can only imagine would have been one of hundreds, if not thousands, of emails from a total stranger working for a company that isn’t even a blip on his radar is completely flattering and professionally astounding.

Six Pixels of Separation by Mitch Joel

Smart guy. Smart book.

That says a lot about Mitch Joel.

I would highly recommend subscribing to his podcasts, his blog and most importantly, buying his book (I read it,really enjoyed it and am successfully putting into practice some of the concepts described therein).

Thanks again, Mitch.

Those of you who work in media buying, pay attention – this post might be about you.

Have you seen Jamie Oliver’s new show “Food Revolution” yet?

It’s an interesting concept: teach people how to NOT kill themselves – and their offspring – with crappy, frozen, convenient food, and instead, teach them how to start eating right. Novel idea (shaking my head).

On his website, Jamie has a pdf that speaks to a lot of issues with the food that is being served to kids in school on a daily basis, and the show really highlights how incredibly stubborn people can be when it comes to implementing change.

Dipping sauce? Oh, yeah. Big fan.

In one episode he debunks the theory that buying prepared, frozen food is faster and cheaper than making the same meal fresh. He took a box of frozen chicken strips for $8 and then bought fresh chicken and breading for under $5, made it from scratch and to the table in less time than it took to cook the frozen ones.

Here’s the real kicker: he used 6 ingredients. On the box of frozen ones it lists more than 10. He goes on to talk about preservatives (sodium phosphate) and additives (monosodium glutamate) and all the other chemicals that go into frozen food to keep it from rotting.

The underlying theme for the show is this: YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT, SO DON’T EAT SHIT.

So, I’m watching this thinking that I’m going to have to take a look at the sides of the boxes of shit in my freezer, when they break for commercial and I see an ad for pre-cut, pre-washed, ready to boil chunks of potato to help us busy-folk make mashed faster – fresh from your grocer’s freezer.

Nice work on THAT media buy, dipshit. Oh, I get the demographic workup and the target base, but how about WATCHING the program to see if your product fits the theme? Why not look at the synopsis for the program before just buying ad space based on specialty channel viewer profiles? Jamie Oliver just finished telling you how prepared food is bad for you and making it yourself is just as easy… but no, by all means, tell me more of your fantastic, time saving, pre-washed/cut/cubed/sodium-phosphate-enriched, frozen-in-a-bag staple.

Smrt.

PS – here’s a link to a wikid chicken strip recipe from Black Health Now.