My New Moo Mini Cards

I’ve been using this avatar for years and years now, but I never made any cards with it on them. The best time to start was five years ago. The next best time to start is now. Right? I’m about out of my old Less Than Three cards which I don’t really like giving out anymore, because I don’t do 3 as a consultancy anymore. I’m going to New Orleans for RubyConf right soon, so I figured I should pull the trigger on new cards. Here’s what they look like.

Back 1
Back 2

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Socks & Shoes

I take my shoes off at work.

I still wear my socks (I’m not that guy). I keep my shoes under my desk. If I need to leave the building or go to the bathroom, I put them back on. But I don’t put them on to go to the kitchen or H.R. or when I talk to the designers. Or when I ask my boss to go Have a Talk™ in his office about something important. Not even then.

I did this on Friday, the two week mark at the new job at the big company. Charlie’s my boss. Well, he’s a couple levels of boss above me, but he’s leading the project I’m on. So he’s my boss directly, too. He’s a pretty hip dude. His hair’s a little messy. He wears a sports coat over a tshirt. Very casual kind of uniform. Granted, he’s got days when he’s got to meet with his boss and his boss’s bosses. Those days he’s a little less casual. Understandable.

All of this is just the setup for this story.

I was telling my girlfriend Stacey about this talk I had with Charlie and how it went as well as I could’ve hoped. Or at least I was trying to tell her that story. Instead she just couldn’t get past the part where I don’t wear shoes at work and how that just does not fly at her work. She was especially flabbergasted at the idea of asking my boss to go talk about something kind of important in private while wearing socks with no shoes… with my feet propped up on his desk. To be fair, his feet were also propped up on his desk (with shoes on).

I tried to explain to her that it wasn’t a big deal, that in the software / web development / design world dress code is very relaxed at most places. It’s not unheard of or that crazy for people to have wacky hair / hair color, zero fashion sense, socks and sandals (yes, it actually happens) or to not wear shoes. She couldn’t believe me.

Perfectly timed, her friend Nicole showed up at our house. Nicole is a designer at the corporate office of a large retail chain store. Her role is similar enough to mine that Stacey and I decided it’d be a fair litmus test for how others in this area of work perceive the shoelessness.

Turns out, Nicole doesn’t wear shoes at the office either. Bang Pow.

Still, Stacey couldn’t believe it. She’s works for the same company as Nicole, but as a store manager at one of their locations. When she goes to work she dress pretty profesh. Not pant suits and lawyery, but like a hip alpha female who runs a store. She told me about one time she had one employee who tried to go shoeless. Apparently, all the other employees were thrown aback by it too. This wasn’t even during open for business customers in the store hours. It was during an employee only even. Either way, it did not fly.

Eventually, I came to a kind of clarity about it all. She’s in the business of selling stuff. I’m in the business of building stuff. Although, it’s disingenuous to frame this way, as diametric like that. What’s missing is the detail that she’s not just selling stuff. She does do that, too. But primarily she’s a store manager which is part baby sitter, part camp counselor, part therapist, part herder of cats, part salesperson, part diplomat, part arbiter.

She builds relationships.

That’s the difference between her kind of job and mine. Developing relationships are a part of my job, but they’re not the end product. Code is. Or pixels. Or whatever. Some thing is what I’m paid to produce. She’s paid to develop relationships as the product itself. Of course, this all leads to the bigger goal of selling stuff for the company, but that’s the goal of the whole company; sell stuff, make money. The company I work for is no different; sell stuff, make money. Different stuff, much larger company, same idea. It’s not exactly her primary objective. Just like it’s not mine.

So when your job is to make a thing while not being seen by the customers or the up and up bosses (or heaven forbid, the board), you can dress however you want. Shoes optional even. If your job is to build relationships with other humans (with all the hang ups and preconceived expectations about dress and appearance), then you maybe can’t dress however you want. Shoes are probably not optional.

If you work from home, pants are optional!

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Unused LA Ruby Conf Shirt Design Mock

Unused LA Ruby Conf Shirt Design Mock

LA Ruby Conf is coming real soon. A while back (at RubyConf 10 in San Francisco Burlingame) I talked with Coby Randquist about submitting a design that would be considered for the conference tshirts. I whipped on up with these ideas in my: 1) no red / ruby / gem imagery, 2) no nerd conf shirt look. I mean, I know we’re all nerds and we’re not ashamed of it. But I get tired of the same old shirts at everyone of these things. So with that in mind, I decided on grey with no images, one column of justified variable weight Helvetica (duh) run most of the length on the front of a shirt. Light grey text on dark grey shirt.

I think it would’ve be nice, but oh well. If anyone else wants to use this general design for another conference (or whatever), feel free to. I’ll even send you my Illustrator file or I could modify it to fit your needs. If your event is something that I especially like, all I ask is for a printed shirt in return.

Unused LA Ruby Conf Shirt Design Mock

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Obsession Times Voice

Human creativity does not live in a vacuum. Of shoulders and giants, right? This is the short story of one thing leading to another.

I’ve been really inspired and motivated lately (largely) because of Matt Jones’s make believe poster design that read Get Excited and Make Things in response to an old WWII poster that said “Keep Calm And Carry On.” I’ve been very productive and moving forward on a new project.

Shortly after that, John Gruber of Daring Fireball and Merlin Mann of 43 Folders did a “panel” at SXSW called “149 Surprising Ways to Turbocharge Your Blog With Credibility!“. Basically it was about how to not be a douche bag, do something great and incidentally make a little money doing it. Or there abouts.

There were several little nuggets of ‘wisdom’ that really resonated with me. But one had a great impact on me than the rest: Obsession Times Voice. Gruber seems to agree. You can listen to the full audio of the session from 43 Folders. (While you’re listening follow along with Dave Gray’s’ speaker notes in comic form.)

Obsession Times Voice. That’s been ringing in my head for a few days. I decided to make it my desktop background for constant reminder, especially as I work on my new vegan straightedge site.

They are available for free download either as a PNG or a PDF. There are two variations: dark on light and light on dark. Both colors used are Daring Fireball grays1 (hat tip). I made them very large to work with big screens. You can either crop them or just set them to center up on your desktop. I don’t suggest scaling it down.

The URLs are:

Dark on Light on Flickr and original size PNG. Or as a PDF, if that’s your thing.

Light on Dark on Flickr and original size PNG. Or as a PDF, if that’s your thing.

"Obsession Times Voice" Desktop Background - Light on Dark"Obsession Times Voice" Desktop Background - Dark on Light

  • Dark Grey RGB (74 82 90)
  • Dark Grey HEX (#4a525a)
  • Light Grey RGB (238 238 238)
  • Light Grey HEX (#eeeeee)

Return to story

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Ignacio Galvez Photography

I traveled six thousand miles to trick out a WordPress blog.

I met him on my night here. He has a little short leg weiner dog named Flo. He’s vegetarian and straightedge. The same age as me, a flight attendant, married to Patti and is an amazing photographer. His name is Ignacio Galvez.

I built him a new website. It was inspired by my old friend from Atlanta Matt Miller’s photo site, The Five Mile Grace and’s Big Picture (seriously, the best thing evar, do subscribe).

The goal was simple design, intense content. (yes, that’s Tufte). We both agreed that most photo site totally fail. Too often the focus is on the site design and not the photos. We set out to turn that table around.

I’m pretty happy with it. He is, too. Please do check it out. If you are in need of a photographer, you should really consider hiring him. He’s aces in my book. His flickr, twitter and, of course, the new and improved photo portfolio site:

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