Saturday, February 28, 2009

Don't Be A Sucker

From a very concise little article about astrology: Five thoughts: 1) Distances. As anyone who has taken introductory physics should know, the force of gravity goes with the inverse square of the distance... ie., the further a body is from you, the less it will affect you. Remember how far away Earth is from the Sun, Moon, and planets (hint: MILLIONS of miles). Though the person who delivered you at birth may be much less massive than any celestial body, they are much closer and would certainly affect you more than the positions of the planets. 2) Other influences. For argument’s sake, let’s say that there is some unknown force that far-away celestial bodies do exert. The laws of physics have yet to be completely understood, so I’ll concede that it may be possible that there is something that works independently of distance and might influence the lives of people. But if that force is not distance dependent, why aren’t stars, galaxies, quasars, or black holes included in astrological forecasts? 3) Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The three outermost planets were only discovered within the past three centuries. How does that work with the claim that astrologers make about the accuracy of their art for previous times? 4) Precession of the Earth. Due to the slight wobbling of the Earth’s axis, the current position of objects in the zodiac circle are no longer consistent with the tenets of astrology set up thousands of years ago. Your "sun sign" is actually currently shifted over by one (i.e., a Leo is really a Cancer). 5) Build me a house of ham. If you’ve thought about the human reproductive process, you know that a baby spends about 9 months gestating in the mother’s womb before it is born. Why, then, does your birth time matter? Shouldn’t it really be the time of conception that would affect who the baby is to become? Or is it that the muscular lining of the mother protects the fetus from all external forces? In that case, shouldn’t a ham enclosure do the trick? The full article is found at

Friday, February 27, 2009

Saw "Slumdog Millionaire." It was fantastic! I highly recommend it to all. #oscars

Thursday, February 26, 2009

All this snow does not bode well for my ability to get to work tomorrow. Hmm...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tired, very sore, and both depressed and upset (though not for any reason I can discern). Just clinical depression probably.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Did a great shoot with Anne today, followed by a trip to Birch Bay & Semiahmoo beaches with Karrin & Moxxie. Making cobbler now. Yum!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Stressed, tired. I need this week to be over. I need a weekend, for my sanity. At least there are Karrin & the pooch! <3

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Read "A Small Paper, A Big Dream and a Bigger Crash" at

A small paper, a big dream and a bigger crash.

Back in 1992 I was hired out of college (actually left college to take the offered job) to become the graphics editor at a small newspaper. It was a local paper serving an oceanside community which was half fishing-town, half wealthy summer-home resort. Several of us who had run the college paper pretty much on our own (very little guidance from the teacher) were offered jobs at this paper which promised to grow into a county-wide newspaper. Our little newspaper had previously served the tiny community for decades, but had gone out of business. It had been bought by a thirty-something woman who had a small inheritance. Her dream was to run a newspaper, but she had no knowledge whatsoever of the industry. She made herself publisher, and then hired us to make it happen. We took it seriously. Collectively, with our heads and experience put together, we had the knowhow to run a serious newspaper that could take on the longstanding paper which had a monopoly on the county's newspaper market for generations. We busted our asses. I remember many times working overnight. Sometimes I was the only one there, and would take a brief break at 2 a.m. to walk alone across the street to look at the pitch-black Pacific Ocean from the empty, dead-silent beach. Eerily beautiful. We worked to transition the paper away from fluffy small-town news and turn it into a serious newspaper that would do serious local journalism. One early clash -- and a sign of things to come -- happened when we put a story about a fatal automobile accident on the front page, albeit below the fold. The woman who owned the paper called us to a lunch meeting. "That story was a real downer," she said, "I don't think people want to see stuff like that when they get their paper in the morning." She urged us to find happy, positive stories to run in the paper. Daryll (the Editor in Chief and a good friend of mine) planted his face in his palm with an audible groan, and the rest of us just shook our heads in disbelief. Still we plugged away at it, working far more than eight hours a day because we believed in it and wanted it to happen. We were filled with passion and dedication and belief. The business decisions were abysmal, however. The owner kept throwing lunch-parties. At first it was "Hell yeah! Fancy hamburgers and fresh fish -- count me in!" But after about three of these lunches, all of us were starting to worry. We couldn't see all the figures, but we all knew the paper was only just starting out, and was not yet making a profit. She hired an experienced local businessman to make some hard business decisions in order to "turn things around." He came in, worked with us all for a few weeks to see how everything operates, and then he made recommendations on sweeping changes. He then left, and all of the recommendations were summarily ignored. Then she found new talent for the newspaper in a way that could save money: unpaid interns. A couple of local high school students were brought in to intern, being given course credits in exchange for office work. Nothing like student slave labor. One day the owner started calling us up to her office for important one-on-one talks. Word got out quickly that she was asking us all to take 50% pay cuts. Since I wasn't one of the first to be called in for the talk, I had the chance to do some quick math: I took the value of my last pay check (I was paid a flat salary) and then divided it by the number of hours I had actually worked. When it was my turn, I listened to her make her statement about the need for pay cuts, then I said, "I have something to show you." I repeated the math I had done. "This is the size of my salary... and this is how many hours I worked in the last month. Divide one into the other, and here's what we get..." Then I asked her, "Do you know what the minimum wage is in Washington State?" Yes, I was making less than minimum wage. I did not get my pay cut. Things got more and more tense. We knew very well how to run a successful newspaper, and various staff members kept urging -- sometimes begging -- the owner to make various essential changes. One day she and Daryl disappeared for the afternoon, leaving the rest of us buzzing with concern. Daryl returned that evening and told the rest of us that he had laid it all out to her, telling her all the changes that needed to be made if the paper was going to remain afloat. He urged her to let us, the people with newspaper experience, make the decisions and do what we have to do to make the paper a success. Do I even need to say that she flatly ignored all pleas, including Daryl's? To the woman who had bought the newspaper, it was just her way of living out her fantasy of owning a newspaper, and nobody else was going to tell her how to do any of it. After Daryl confronted her and she made it clear that nothing was going to change, the members of the original team started jumping ship. It was a classic, definitive example of rats leaving the sinking ship. I'm a loyalist, sometimes to the point of stupidity; I was the last one of the original group of talent to leave. I trained a few kids she hired to replace us, and then left at the very end of 1992. The paper continued to publish my comic strips for a few weeks in early 1993, but then the checks for the strips stopped showing up, so I put an end to that as well. In spring 1993 I noticed that the paper's vending machines were empty, and new issues stopped turning up. I dropped a line to one of my old friends and found out what had happened. The brilliant new team running the paper had done an April Fool's Day edition. The front page of the paper contained fictional stories about a major earthquake devastating the area. But the real damage was the back page of the paper: a fake ad for the local supermarket containing coupons with the decimal places all moved one place to the right, so instead of 50 cents off various items it offered $5 off, etc. The ensuing lawsuit shut the newspaper down. This is what happens when somebody gets more money than they have basic common sense, and don't know when to leave things to the people with the expertise and the experience. Should anybody reading this ever start your own business, I hope you'll have the acumen to hire people who know how to succeed in that business, but also the wisdom to step back and let THEM run the show.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hrm. Shouldn't "The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog" have a comma in it?
In love, emotional, exhausted, stressed out. Going to bed. I think I need a week off for my sanity, but no way is that going to happen. Ugh.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day! I love you madly and absolutely, Karrin!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I love her so much I don't even know how to properly express it for Valentine's Day. Need to come up with a creative, expressive idea! Ugh
For design geeks: branding is not a science Man, I love stuff like that.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The effects of the economy on logos -- LULZ!
Working, looking forward to shooting with Caitlin tonight and then seeing my girl!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Wow! The most AWESOME Obama soundclips ever!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Karrin's surgery got postponed for about a week. Yikes. This means we get to be together for our one-monthiversary on Friday!
Karrin goes into surgery at 8 a.m. for the same procedure I underwent a few years ago to fix the same heart defect I had. I'm so anxious...

Sweet Hardt

Dave Ward Photography posted a photo:

Sweet Hardt

Ruby Hardt is sweet like candy.

Sweet Hardt

Dave Ward Photography posted a photo:

Sweet Hardt

Ruby Hardt is sweet like candy.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Sweet Ruby Hardt

Dave Ward Photography posted a photo:

Sweet Ruby Hardt

Ruby Hardt is sweet like candy.
New photo! Sweet Ruby Hardt
When astronomers laugh online, they type "LOWELL!"

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Getting ready for a shoot at noon. But wondering, who else is going to watch the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet today?