April ’08 issue

Business Journal 4-08 Cover

A little sneak peak at the cover for the latest issue of The Business Journal. It should be available later this week in the Erath/Hood County area.

On a side note, the colors aren’t quite right on the shot above. I think I forgot to convert it from CMYK to RGB before uploading it to Flickr.

Links 3-31-08

A very cool ad campaign for Star Wars on SpikeTV.

This looks very interesting.
I love seeing churches come together.

Adobe launches Photoshop Express online.
I haven’t tried it yet, but the idea of a  stripped-down, but free version of Photoshop online is interesting. Just remember, it does not make you a designer.

Twitter saving lives.
Told you it wasn’t useless.

Field Notes launched their new website.
Very nice. And you might notice my name under the “Reviews” section.

Dirty hippies

I was born in 1980. Up to this point I’ve considered myself to be young.

During class, yesterday, a kid mentioned fanny packs. I said, “Yeah, will just pretend it’s 1985 again and all wear fanny packs.”

One of the girls suddenly perked up and began speaking in that mile-a-minute voice only eleven-year-olds have. “Oh my gosh, you were alive in the 80’s. Were you one of those hippies? Did you have long hair and love trees?”

I’m pretty sure she’s off by a couple of decades, but it still makes me feel old.

Quick Notes 3-30-08

  • After last week and this weekend, I’m tired. Hopefully I’ll get some rest this week.
  • In between getting rest, I’m also hoping to get completely caught up before the next big project hits.
  • The latest issue of The Business Journal comes out next week.
  • Pastoring at a small church is exhilarating, frustrating and challenging all at the same time.
  • I’m strongly considering changing my current client roster. A few small tweaks would alleviate a lot of stress and allow me to focus on new ideas.
  • A big part of my focus in the future will be ideas I own a part of instead of straight client work.
  • Tomorrow is picture posting day. I’ve got three different shoots that will go online.
  • Worship today was amazing. Great job Josh, Shana and the whole crew.
  • Lots of good writing coming up this week.
  • I’m shocked at the number of people searching for the Burger King Steakhouse Burger. The review I wrote yesterday is one of the first things to pop up. Probably not what Burger King would like out there.
  • If you aren’t using Twitter, you’re missing out on something great. You can follow my Twitter feed here.

The Burger King Loaded Steakhouse Burger review

Do not, and I repeat do not, under any circumstances purchase a Loaded Steakhouse Burger from Burger King.

What does it taste like?

It tastes like a baked potato went out for a night on the town. He danced and drank all evening and stumbled home in the wee hours of the morning. With blood-shot eyes, he entered his apartment. His roommate, the steak burger, met him at the door. The sweaty baked potato promptly threw up all over him. Then a Burger King employee bound them together in a wrapper and put them on the menu.

I’m not kidding.

Not a good cheater

I stayed with my parents Thursday night while I had to be in that area for business. Cody and Amanda came over and they proceeded to teach me how to play 42.

I quickly picked up the game and figured out the best way to cheat. After all, I couldn’t let my brother beat me.

Unfortunately I didn’t count on my Mom’s complete lack of ability to cheat.

During one hand I lined up my dominoes and arranged them. Lots of high fives. But no double five. Hmmm.

“So Mom, are you going to be 55 this year?” I asked.

Her eyes widened. “No I’m not going to be 55!” she exclaimed.

“Are you sure?” I asked glancing meaningfully at her dominoes. “Have you checked?”

At this point Cody cracked up, knowing exactly what I was trying to do.

“No,” she said again, “Not going to be 55.”

“Fine,” I said, giving up.

Two hands later I drew a lot of zeros. But no double blank. Again. If we had the double blank we could win that hand. Suddenly it was my turn to bid.

I looked her in the eye. “I bid zero.” I said with emphasis.

“So you pass?” she asked.

Cody started to laugh again.

“No, I don’t pass, I bid zero,” I repeated.

“So you pass,” she said again, still trying to teach me the terminology of the game.

“You’re no good at cheating are you?” I asked.

With great power comes great responsibility

And now a post for aspiring designers.

One simple lesson you need to learn:
Photoshop does not make you a designer.

Buying Photoshop will not make you a designer.

Learning to do a drop shadow in Photoshop will not make you a designer.

Photoshop is a powerful tool to enable design, not design itself. You want to be a designer? Learn design.

Subscribe to design magazines. Read every design website you can find. Last resort, take some classes. Do whatever is needed to learn the fundamentals of design. Then learn Photoshop.

You can always tell when someone doesn’t know good design but knows how to use Photoshop. It’s like when you’re watching a movie and the special effects happen and you say, “Hey, look at the special effects.” Same thing here. You see the ad and say, “Hey, look at the Photoshop.”

The art of Photoshop is making it look like you didn’t use Photoshop.

That being said, Photoshop is an industry standard tool (along with InDesign, Acrobat, Quark Xpress, etc). If you’re using any program that starts with the word Microsoft to produce professional layouts…well, there’s an ancient samurai tradition of throwing yourself on a sword to restore honor to your family. You should seriously look into that one.

This episode of Design-Snobbery brought to you by Adobe.

Do you want a designer or a waiter?

I just finished a huge design project last week and I’m in the middle of another one this week. This has me thinking a lot about the art and business of design. Over the next two weeks I’ll have a few posts targeted at designers, people who want to be designers and people who want to hire designers.

Today’s is targeted squarely at people considering hiring a designer. Something very important to consider is do you want a designer or a waiter? Most want a waiter but don’t know it.

What does a waiter do? Well his primary job is to keep you happy. He takes orders and brings exactly what you want. Who cares if what you ordered is going to taste horrible, that’s what you ordered. The waiter’s job is to get you in, make you happy and get the money. That’s it.

And that’s how a lot of designers function. They take your order, fill it and get paid. I’m not going to lie and say I don’t do this sometimes. It’s what’s known as easy money. Everyone leaves the table happy. Except the designer who just lost a piece of his soul.

So how is a real designer different? First he easily recognizes bad design when a client hands over the idea. Second, he has the spine to not produce what they ask for. There’s an art to this that I’ll write about later in the week, but the gist is you say, “No, this is horrible, here’s what would work better.” Only you do it in a nice way.

If you have the piece already designed and you think you can do it yourself, all you want is a waiter; someone to take the mock-up you did in Microsoft Publisher (or worse yet, Word) and turn it into print-ready files. But if your goal is the best looking piece possible and if you’re open to the idea that the person you hire might know best, hire a designer.

So are you the type that wants a designer or a waiter?

Christian music that’s not for sissies

leemcderment.jpg

You can read about my thoughts on Christian music here. That being said, I love Lee McDerment’s new album, A Matchlight in the Dark.

Why?

Because it’s just great music. I didn’t have to check my masculinity at the door before listening. I bought it because I’ve been a fan of what’s going on at Newspring where Lee is the worship pastor. I wasn’t disappointed.

You can get it on iTunes or at CD Baby.

And if anyone can recommend more Christian music that’s not for sissies, please do so.

Outside the doors

I’ve been reminded this last week that so much of ministry happens outside the church. That’s the important part. Church is just there to bring the family together to connect. You can’t have deep relationships with people if you see them for an hour on Sunday’s. It takes an investment of time to get to know people. It truly is a family.

I’m also reminded at the same time that it’s not the church staff’s job to do all the outside ministry. I’m not saying we don’t do any, just that’s it’s not our primary responsibility. Our job is to make church work so that people can connect with each other and then minister to each other.

The hard part is getting people to see church as a place of service instead of a place to be served.  Either way we have to get people looking beyond that one hour a week we’re together.

This post pairs well with “Consumers” and a church cook-out. Mmmm…hamburgers.

My day

Drive to Fry’s. Find I’ve forgotten my wallet. Drive back home.

Later drive back to Fry’s. Make purchases. Discover I’ve lost my phone.

Backtrack all the way through Fry’s and find phone.

Lose Colton on the way out of Fry’s.

Find Colton after being paged over the intercom.

Leave Fry’s only to get lost trying a “shortcut.”

Get back on track and head home.

Make wrong turn and get lost again.

So what was the theme for the day?

Easter Sunday

Today turned out to be a really great day. We broke a Legacy attendance record and it’s fun to see that many people fill up the building. It’s also great to see a few people stepping up and serving in various areas. It feels like things are really starting to come together.

So today was huge. What will Easter 2009 look like?

“Not for resale.”

All Colton wants for his birthday is to go to Six Flags. Today we got online and bought the tickets for he and Becca to go. He was playing outside as we printed out the tickets.

Becca leaned her head out the door, “Colton, get in here!” she said in her best you’re-in-trouble voice.

She walked over and picked up the tickets. “Yes, ma’am?” he said, walking in the door. She just stared at him. He looked to me for some idea what was going on. I gave him the same stare to let him know he’d done something wrong.

She thrust the tickets towards him. “We found these,” she said, not smiling, “Can you tell me what they are?”

He nervously grabbed the paper. “I don’t know,” he said instantly.

“Read it,” she said.

He looked down at the paper in his hands. “Not for resale,” he read.

With that we started laughing and the ruse died. “The other side,” I said.

His eyes lit up. “Six Flags!”

Falling apart

Please pray for me. My jaw is doing something wrong. It hurts every time I close it all the way. And I like to eat. So it hurts a lot.

And my knees are killing me. I’ve had bad knees for many years, but photography requires a ton of crouching, bending, running, stairs… Pretty much anything that requires my knees to bend hurts so most photo shoots I’m in constant pain. I can feel them getting worse and worse. But I’m not going to the doctor, so God’s got to intervene here.

Oh and Becca’s sick too. We’re just falling apart.