Category Archive: culture

  1. A Blackwatch Christmas

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    Here’s another video from Nathan Poppe about local music made in Norman. I’ve been watching this video take shape every couple days when Nathan would show me what he changed, and I’m so excited that it’s finally out in the wild. Check out the video, and get the whole Fowler VW/Blackwatch Christmas album for free here.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Oklahoma iPhone Backgrounds

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    I’ve been working on another project recently (as in since last night) for Jake Sloan. Hopefully I’ll post some of the progress on here soon if we go this direction. It may involve using the Oklahoma flag re-illustration I did last year for an awesome local music project. No more details yet, but here are some somewhat associated iPhone backgrounds for your digital enjoyment. Colors are pulled from the Oklahoma flag. I have the blue on white on my phone right now. Click each image for the full size and resolution to download and they should fit quite nicely into your iPhone.

    If you want, try making your own Oklahoma flag background and adding your own ideas. Remember to save at 180ppi and make sure to let me see! Either post a comment with a link or e-mail me and maybe I’ll post it on here.

  5. MLK

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    In honor of MLK day, I dug through my old blog archives. I made this iPhone background a little more than one year ago on my old blog. Put it on your iPhone for the day to remember this great leader.

    I made this early in the Obam-era, so I put CHANGE in the slider space. But it’s not just a hyperpolitically charged buzzword. It’s a reminder every time you unlock the phone to engage, change and improve the world around you.



  6. Embracing Oklahoma


    Instead of whining about how Oklahoma can be boring sometimes, I try to find the good in it. One of the bittersweet parts of our glorious state, is our flag. It’s a very interesting shield design, but is so poorly executed, and poorly represented online, that I think it may be time for a refresh.




    I’ve also been working on a couple shirt concepts lately. I have a long weekend in Edmond, so hopefully I can screen print a few shirts while I’m home. Drew the wolf a while ago for a block print that was never cut, so I figured I’d try him on a shirt. Tweeted the Oklahoma flag design tonight on this shirt and got two people wanting it, so I think I’ll try to make a few extras if I have time.


  7. 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.

  8. 100% of Teens Want iPods – 0% Want Zunes

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    I am a wholehearted Apple fanboy and Zune hater, but I never expected numbers like this. I thought there were at least a few teens out there who hate Macs and hipsters and fun, and things like that. But 100% iPod!? That’s a pretty incredible market share.

    News doesn’t get much worse than this for the Zunes and Sansas of the world: a whopping 0% of surveyed teens planned on buying their devices, with 100% wanting an iPod in the coming year. [Gizmodo]

    Apple probably won’t be able to totally control the mp3 market much longer, as the iPod reaches a saturation point in the US, but apparently they’re still overwhelmingly in top of mind for teens. Who has a Sansa? Seriously?

    Hit the Giz link for more info and links to the Piper Jaffray survey.

    [Via Gizmodo]

  9. Loose Change to Loosen Chains

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    The OSU chapter of the International Justice Mission is hosting a fundraiser on library lawn Tuesday, April 21. A member of the IJM crew will be chained up on the lawn until they reach $1000 in donations. This is to symbolize the international slave trafficking problem.

    • 600,000 to 800,000 men, women and children are trafficked across international borders each year.
    • 12.3 million people are in some form of forced labor, including sexual slavery, at any given time.
    • It takes approximately $1,000 to free a slave from bondage. That is how much we are trying to raise.

    “Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” -Isaiah 1:17

    I am so excited about this group because the more I read about sex and slave trafficking, even just from seeing the movie, Taken, the more disgusted I am with how evil our world is and how little I do personally to change it. Hopefully, this demonstration will raise awareness on our campus and inspire people to do what they can, even if it’s just designing a poster or buying a bracelet to help the cause on April 21.


  10. Inspired by Atheism

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    Inspired by my atheist business law professor’s critical thinking segment, I’ve made some wallpapers to remind myself what my faith really stands for – as well as what it doesn’t stand for.

    Christianity is not necessarily: nationalism, charity, republicans, war, hate, and hypocrisy.

    Christianity can be admirable: community, generosity, otherworldly, peaceful, loving, and truthful.

    I’m inspired by my professor’s unbelief to make certain what I believe and why I believe it. Asking questions. Wondering why? Pushing boundaries – not just to be rebellious, but to really be certain – to test my faith.

    I watched the Satan Debate on Nightline tonight from Mars Hill church in Seattle. Really short, cut down version, of an obviously lengthy debate. I’m wanting to watch the debate in its entirety online. Seemed like Mark Driscoll didn’t get much time to elaborate on anything, and was left with a simple evangelistic message when they cut down the footage. Also, some people seemed misrepresented when ABC cut it down to a 30-minute program. Watch clips here:

    Nightline Face Off: Does Satan Exist?

    So here are the wallpapers. Same message – different methods. The swoopy one is thanks to the design by Bartelme Design. I’m working on making my own version with my tablet and some photoshop effects, but for now, I borrowed the lines. Also on this one, if you look closely in the bottom right corner, you can see a 12% opacity, classic Sunday school image of Christ. Cuz that’s what it’s all about anyway.

    The second design with the gray gradient, I made using scans of some badges I ripped from an old thrift store U.S. issue Air Force jacket. I was reading Don Miller’s Searching For God Knows What and got very frustrated with the nationalist ideals and war imagery that the modern church has gotten so caught up in. Essentially, I ripped the logo off a pretty cool jacket. I’m going to try to make a series of this poster with a different symbolic pic on the left lined to an attribute (or disattribute) of the Church.

    [EDIT] Added the 2nd one in the series – the gun.

    It’s a daily reminder to me when I see it on my computer, if my screen is ever uncluttered enough, and I hope it affects my daily life as much as the Gospel should.

    1920 x 1200

    1920 x 1200

    [EDIT] recently added 1920 x 1200

  11. CHANGE Your Background

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    In honor of one of my heroes, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I’ve changed my iPhone background to this new theme. In respect for him and the new President, Barack Obama, the unlock slider function reads “Change”. I can’t take credit for the idea, but I can say I redesigned the wallpaper with a different picture and a slider block that actually fits now.

    King may have had his own personal struggles and little-known character flaws, but his message of pacifism and non-violent resistance has spoken to people for decades after his tragic assassination. I hope to read his autobiography this year to try to better understand his fervor for God and peace.

    All the best and blessings to the new President, Barack Obama and every member of our American government. May they act justly, and with honesty and character. Let’s hope Obama’s hope is real.

    “The nation cannot prosper when it favors only the prosperous.”
    -Barack Obama.


  12. Social Classes in Helvetica

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    Can’t sleep. Enjoy.

    Working on a new portfolio site, but having trouble with a theme. I’ve built like 10 simple ideas, but none of them stick enough to update it.
    Need to get something solid up if I’m going to apply for internships soon, so I need to figure out what theme really defines me. Sounds like a personal problem.
    Put up a “coming soon” page, but it’s not forwarding from my main site for some reason… 

    *Ok, I fixed the forwarding issue & redid the whole theme cuz it’s 6:30ish a.m. and I’m still awake because I drank coffee at Biddy’s at 10. Foolish. But I got something cool done, so there’s always the classic Sunday afternoon nap to make up for it. You can look at the first link, but this is the one you’re supposed to see there.