Category Archive: cool things

  1. The Frontier Is Everywhere

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    One of the most beautiful and encouraging videos I’ve ever seen. I come back to it often. Narrated by Carl Sagan.

    Watch it full screen. In HD. In the dark.

  2. Home Office

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    Finally got around to putting up some a couple prints and letters in my home office. Desk and chair from IKEA. Chalkboard is from a garage sale and is 90 years old. Letters are from an antique dealer in OKC. I also have an L, but you can’t see it in this picture. Sorry the photo is so crappy. Still getting used to the 360 panorama app.

  3. Proverbs 11:2

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    Pride leads to disgrace,
    but with humility comes wisdom.

    Just a passage I’ve been reading lately. Watched the Rob Bell interview last night and began questioning how much I know for sure about what I say I believe with certainty. I’d rather be unsure and admit it than act like I know something that’s impossible to know.

    Not going to comment on this video one way or the other. But I love that it made me question myself. Makes me wish there was a TED talks site for theology. No, not a GodTube, segregated version to keep people from watching atheist TED talks. Just a site with worthwhile, intelligent discussions, debates and interviews about theology. Anyone know of something like that out there?

    Skip the first 8 or 9 minutes. It’s just the people sitting in the room before the live stream started.

    1920 × 1200


  4. Timbuk2 Brand Experience


    I used 4 messenger bags throughout college. 3 of which were bought at thrift stores for less than $2 each. So when I got a real job (a post about that coming soon), I decided to invest in a good messenger. Considering I ride 2 miles to work every day with a $2000 laptop in my bag, I wouldn’t want a cheap strap to break.

    So I checked out the hipster messenger favorites, Chrome and Timbuk2. Chrome didn’t have many options and the ones I’ve seen looked bulky, so I tried out Timbuk2. They let users post product reviews (positive & negative) on the site, which was an awesome way to learn about the bag from people riding with it, not just a flowery description. Loved the custom bag maker. I chose a monochromatic look. 2 panels of lightweight black and 1 panel of reflective restaurant-booth-style vinyl. Like an Orca.

    But the most impressive part of the purchase was the personal touch they put on everything I got from them. This snippet from the confirmation e-mail was so much more entertaining than the usual confirmation receipt:

    We suggest that you actually read it and like it because this is what you are getting and the address below is where we are going to send it. If you must be That Person, we can TRY our best to make changes or cancel your order.  This is only if we have had enough coffee and our warehouse hasn’t… Remember, this is only if your order is NOT IN PRODUCTION. Once your order makes it to our production line, we can’t change it for you and if it’s custom, we can’t take it back. Not because we don’t love you; but because we already have really, really nice custom made Messenger bags from Timbuk2.  It’s part of the uniform.

    It was refreshing to get something with some personality. Made me feel better about spending $200 on a backpack. When I actually got the bag in the mail there was another surprise. It didn’t come in a bloated box like everything from Amazon. It came in a plastic shipping bag with a map on it. Not just any map. It’s a bike route map of San Francisco with all the locations you can buy Timbuk2 bags tagged. They encourage you to cut it out and reuse it for something. But the writing is brilliant. Not your average Starbucks corporate eco-friendly statement.

    Now every time I need a travel bag, I know exactly where I’ll look first. Next time I go to San Francisco, I want to go check out their office. I couldn’t care less about visiting the Jansport factory or the Nike factory. But because of the extra personality Timbuk2 gave me, I am now fascinated with their brand and want to support anything they do.

    This is powerful branding. All about knowing your audience and taking every opportunity to be genuine and personal with them. Timbuk2 has a mission and it’s not to be the biggest messenger bag company on earth. But it is to be the best. And to not destroy the earth in the process.

    I’m a fan. And the bag is awesome, too.

  5. March Is About Success!

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    Ok this month’s mix is meant to have more of a sarcastic, irreverent tone. With graduation looming a couple months away and Oklahoma’s everlasting winter the past few months, it hasn’t really been prime for a happy music mix. But with job opportunities and new projects coming up, and the first day of the year over 60 degrees, it’s time for a change. So this mix is about the idea of success and expectations, countered by just wanting to have fun and relax. It’s really just music I felt like listening to when the sun came out this week.

    The album cover is made from ladders. You know, the ones you’re supposed to climb.


    Track list:

    Super Pipe House / Videogame Orchestra
    Giving Up The Gun / Vampire Weekend
    Lessons Learned / Matt & Kim
    Re: stacks (Tomas Barfod Remix)/ Bon Iver
    Boy Lilikoi / Jonsi
    Re: stacks (Tomas Barfod Remix)/ Bon Iver
    Your Hand In Mine / Expolosions in the Sky
    Pictures of Success / Rilo Kiley
    The Golden Age / Beck
    Billie Holiday / Miike Snow
    Orange Shirt / Discovery
    The W.A.N.D. / The Flaming Lips
    2080 / Yeasayer
    Walking On A Dream / Empire of the Sun
    The 59th Street Bridge Song / Simon & Garfunkel
  6. Blogrolling

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    Recently, my friend Michael Biddy came to me asking for some cool blogs with cool things on them to add to his RSS feed. He’s a hobbyist photographer and appreciates good design, so I sent him a list of the best of my blogroll. I think it’s up to 155 now in my reader and I manage to keep up with it pretty good. But this list is the best design blogs and a few other random ones thrown in for good measure. Enjoy. Sorry for all the text. Too many to make feature pics for each one. You’ll have to go on the descriptions and cleverness of the blog titles to judge which ones to click on.

    I’ve made my favorites a bit bigger.

    [design] Space Invaders

    [design] Dirty Mouse

    [everything] Kitsune Noir

    [art/stories] Missed Connections

    [religion/movies] The Search

    [music] OSU On

    [graffiti] Wooster Collective

    [design] Aisle One

    [design/culture] The Apache House

    [identity design] Brand New

    [beauty] Design Is Mine

    [design] Design Porn

    [architecture & furniture] Dezeen

    [package design] The Dieline

    [design portfolios] Form55

    [print design] For Print Only

    [design/electronic music] ISO50

    [package design] Lovely Package

    [interior design/furniture] Nook

    [fashion/photo] Sartorialist

    [typography] Typography Served

    [typography] We Love Typography

    [fashion/photo] Wear Palettes

    [photo] Sarah Rhoads

    [design] Wanken Blog

    [tech] Wired: Gadget Lab

    [tech business] Wired: Epicenter

    [ampersands/daily] Ampersand Ampersand

    [stories/hell] Clients From Hell

    [photo/design/daily] Destroy Every Day

    [design/lomography] Emmadimes

    [design/local] Foundry Collective

    [typography] Friends of Type

    [design/photo/local] Okie Creative

    [photo] Zach Gray

    [design] Reform Revolution

    [funny/architecture] Unhappy Hipsters

  7. Anew

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    Here it is. The first AdBrad mix of 2010. As usual, some old, some new. This month’s theme is, obviously, new. It starts out slow and a bit sad, gets kinda dancy, then hopeful, then inspiring. At least that’s the progression of emotion I went through in making it. A little detached at first, but by the end it gets you going. I almost put some Sigur Ros on there, but I figured that’d be cheating. Maybe next month. Let’s hope 2010 turns out a bit like this mix.

    Hope you enjoy.



    Download it here now.

  8. If Sigur Ros Made TextEdit

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    Why isn’t more care taken to improve the design of software interface? I hate Microsoft Word because it is cluttered, ugly and inefficient. I love Pages because it manages to handle the same task without being ugly. But when I just want to write something to remember it and it never needs to enter a print format, I use TextEdit. It’s fast, efficient, and small.

    If TextEdit is Times New Roman, Ommwriter is Helvetica Neue Ultralight.

    Ommwriter is the first software I can remember using that almost made me cry. It’s like playing Flower for PS3. A beautiful experience. I bet Sigur Ros uses this software to write their songs. I almost subconsciously wrote a haiku when I first opened the application.

    I realize I used a lot of hyperbole and metaphors in this post. Just watch the video and download the software to get the full experience for yourself. Mac only for now.

  9. Decemburrr

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    Here’s the mix for pre- & post-Christmas December, or Decemburrr. There will be another mix for Christmas eventually. But for the other 29 days of December that are not Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can listen to this.

    My idea for the mix was imagining a cold day inside with snow outside, when you’re cold, but you don’t really want to get warm. You curl up and just stay cold. And it’s ok.

    Download here.

  10. snacks

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    I feel like on AdBrad I post pretty sporadically and usually with a somewhat lengthy description of the work or link or whatever I’m writing. Lately, I’ve been coming across some cool stuff and thinking, “I should blog that so people know about it!” But then I decide I don’t have much to say about it or it’s too basic of a thing to devote a whole post to. So, here’s a new blog. snacks. snacks is a mini, bite-sized if you will, version of AdBrad.

    I’ve been wanting to go ahead and do this for a while. When I saw my friend Tate recently started his own miniblog and I had a few extra hours at home for thanksgiving, I went ahead and got it done. Tate blogs on The Apache House design blog.

    On snacks I’ll post things I do, things I find, things I like. Basically lots of things. Design, videos, music, quotes, quick thoughts. So if you’re reading this thinking, “Geez, these posts are far too long and never really talk about anything,” then snacks is just for you. Check it out and give me feedback on what you’d like to see.  I post a lot of cool links on Twitter, so those will probably morph into posts on snacks soon. Consider it a visual stream of my obsessions of the moment.

  11. November It Well

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    My RSS reader has 113 blogs in it. Currently it has 339 unread posts because I was in Oklahoma City all day for the OKC AdClub Career Day. The brand director for Shiner was there to show off their spectacular branding. I digress. Back to the title of this post.

    Kitsune Noir is one of the few blogs I never miss a post from. He blogs about design, music, film and culture. His blog is basically a mash-up of the other 112 blogs I subscribe to. You should go check out his site. It’s a beautiful WordPress blog with a lot to offer. He also posts “Mixcasts” pretty regularly. Always great mood mixes.

    I made a November mix a couple weeks ago. It’s a lot of old and some new stuff. But, the main idea is it’s music that is suited for November. So here’s a mixcast of my own, called November It Well.

    Download it here.



    Roots – Water

  12. Stay OK 1: Coffee Shop


    This is the start of a series for me: Stay OK. These posts will be reasons why I want to or why I don’t want to stay in Oklahoma after I graduate college. I’ve got a few semi-options right now that would take me around the country:

    • Go to Chicago with my friend Britt, who is going to seminary at Wheaton.
    • Go to California with my roommate Sean, who will be trying to get a sports media internship with a college out there.
    • Go to Denver or Boulder, because I’ve wanted to go there forever.
    • Tour South America with Ted Bado, of
    • Stay in Oklahoma.

    So what possible reason could I have for sticking around Oklahoma? I’ve been asking myself that question for a few years now, as I’ve planned my escape through the above avenues. Just recently, I’ve come up with a couple reasons to stick around.

    [images from old posts got lost when I switched servers 🙁 I’ll try to get them back soon]

    A few months ago I was complaining to my dad about the lack of places in Edmond open past 10pm. It’s either IHOP, Denny’s or driving to OKC to find a cool place. Edmond is a ghost town at night. There are two colleges and more than four high schools in Edmond! Why would the town be so dead? So these kids just go to Starbucks until they close and then go home and drink? It’s disturbing to me that there isn’t a cool, open-late, coffee shop in Edmond. So I feel the responsibility to fix this problem. One of my favorite parts of college is going to Aspen Coffee in downtown Stillwater and hanging out for a few hours, just talking to people at all hours of the night. When I was in Orlando this summer, my favorite place was Stardust, a local coffee shop, open late and always full of interesting people.

    There isn’t a good place in Edmond for people to chill and hang out, and of course drink coffee. There are a lot of cool coffee shops in OKC or in the Paseo: Sauced, Coffee Slingers, Cuppies and Joe. So why is Edmond so deserted? So many rich high school kids, and poor college kids need coffee and community. So I want to fill this need.

    • Good, fair trade coffee.
    • Cool, chill place for people to form community. Open late every night.
    • Local art and design for sale – super cheap. No one buys $300 student work. We’re talking $20 paintings/prints.
    • Original screen printed shirts – all organic. Discounts if you wear one in.
    • Constant flow of good music and space for a small acoustic venue.
    • Free basic bike repairs and discounts if you ride your bike to the shop.
    • Everything recyclable or sustainable.
    • Ask UCO sculpture class (or local 2nd grade class) to sculpt our coffee mugs.
    • A place to live/do freelance design work, above or behind the shop.
    • Promoted entirely by social media and word of mouth on UCO and OC campuses – no paid advertising.

    Also, I will have the power to name coffees whatever I want. Black coffee will be named, The Vader: a bit on the dark side, but I can still sense the good in you.

    [images from old posts got lost when I switched servers 🙁 I’ll try to get them back soon]

    Even if this never happens, I’m taking this on as a marketing project. I want to brand it, plan it, design it, price it, etc. Working on a name and an identity set this week. Next, a business plan. Ideas, tips, real estate and furniture are appreciated.

  13. Back to the Drawing Board

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    This week, I picked up a few Star Wars comics from a local flea market, and yesterday, a couple Star Wars Tales comic-pilations from the Stillwater Public Library. I read half of the 1st book so far. Each story by different artists – interesting look. Apparently this set is the only set of Star Wars comics approved by Lucasfilm. Good place to start.

    So, after looking through these, I fell back in love with comic/superhero/sci-fi art. Not anime. I’m not an anime fan – unless you count Speed Racer. So I got out ye olde sketch pad and drew a few of the characters faces. I’ve never been good at faces, but it was fun trying to reproduce the characters.

    Here are a couple of sketches I did late last night of Qui-Gon Jinn and Raprice (an Imperial lieutenant). I only know Raprice’s name from the comic. Don’t feel bad if you don’t know who he is. Actually, to be realistic, you should feel bad if you knew that.

    Hit the jump for more pics of the books and a couple closer shots of the sketches.



  14. Comic Relief

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    shredder-cover-smallLately I’ve been reading a lot of blogs – or should I just say looking at a lot of them – usually not much to read at AisleOne & Form55. So I’ve been reading and reading you know all these design-related, serious things. So it was great to get a break today by reading some old TMNT comics. I was kinda into comics as a kid – my cousin and I were big superhero buffs, but mostly TV shows and video games. But I’m loving the comic art and the cheesy puns.

    So I got a couple old TMNT comics at the new comic shop in OKC over the break. Found out they’re totally unrelated as the story goes and they’re years apart, but I did manage to get the 2 coolest covers in the batch. I’ll be hitting up eBay and my local Stillwater comic shops to get the other issues from the one I started reading first – which is apparently from 1998 – a bit after the TMNT’s prime, but still interesting.

    So I recommend picking up a comic book  or 2 if your daily blog roll is getting a bit too mundane for you. It helped me get out of a funk this afternoon.

  15. Now Entering the Shadowlands

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    This could be the nerdiest post to ever reach your eyes. I just recently downloaded an MS-DOS emulator on my Mac so I can run original PC MS-DOS 8-bit games on my computer.  This sort of stemmed from my newfound obsession with pixel-art. I have not been this excited in a long time.  I just downloaded Commander Keen: Goodbye Galaxy!  THE Commander Keen! I’ve been playing at work for about 20 minutes, but I keep closing it down every time someone walks by as to avoid scolding/mockery.

    But I definitely know what I will be doing tonight.

    For those, not as familiar as I with Commander Keen jargon/lore, the opening sequence in the game as you enter the first world says “Commander Keen now enters the Shadowlands.”