Sent straight back to Topaz

This is unsettling, at the very least.

Topaz War Relocation Center covered 31 square miles and housed about 9000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans during WWII. An interesting tidbit from Wikipedia about the name:

Topaz was originally known as the Central Utah Relocation Center, but this name was abandoned when administrators realized that the acronym was naturally pronounced “Curse.” The camp was then briefly named for the closest settlement, until nearby Mormon residents (with their own heritage of forced relocation) demanded that their town name not be associated with a “prison for the innocent.” The final name, Topaz, came from a mountain which overlooks the camp from 9 miles (14.5 km) away.

The 442nd RCT of the 100th Battalion was a military unit made up entirely of Japanese-Americans and became the most highly decorated combat unit in the history of the U.S. Army. Many of the boys in the unit returned from the war and were sent straight back to Topaz.

From War of Relocation:

Care Bear Stare

Horribly Photoshopped, found from the internet Care Bear Stare

Note, this isn’t me. That isn’t my mustache. It’s someone else’s body, found on teh intarwebs. It’s a fake mustache.

In reality, this is in response to someone who said to me:

Hehehe I’m sorry please don’t, er, whimper. Here, let’s go find a care bear okay? Would you like that? A big fluffy bear and a nice ice cream so the figure skater doesn’t have to cry. 😀 (okay okay I might be aSLIGHTLY sarcastic individual….;)

An appropriately mature response, I’m sure you’re sure.

Worst Product Ever Made in the Existence of Mankind

Fanny Pack Hat

This is quite possibly the worst thing ever made in the history of man, ever. I mean, a fanny pack for your head?!!!! As someone said on Twitter, “Man, I hate hipsters.”

(Never mind the fact that it was probably me who said that on Twitter. But the point is the same.)

By the way, the fanny pack was invented in 1962 by Melba Stone, according to my txt message from ChaCha. And a coworker of mine is starting a website called “Gold Fanny Pack“, and apparently I contribute to that. Jené is currently also in the process of contact the Cap Sac people to see if she can get some custom hats made. Sickening.

I guess I should link to the website, for those of you interested in betraying mankind with your fashion sense. Cap-Sac.com, or follow at twitter Capsac

NOT back at the Ebbtide

Well, apparently I spoke too soon. Right as I agreed to work on the Ebbtide again, but who do I get a call from? The Seattle Times.


So instead of the Ebbtide, which is an opportunity that I’m seriously going to be missing out on, I’m working temporarily for the region’s biggest daily newspaper. The job is for about two months long, but it’s a foot in the door for sure.

Basically what I’m doing is repackaging some of their stories for contest submissions such as the Pulitzer. For instance, what I’m working on right now is a series called “Miracle Machines” that ran for three issues last November. I have to take all of the text and all of the images and graphics and re-format them to fit into tabloid and letter size packages, which is no small feat considering that it’s all originally broadside size.

It’s pretty cool. I have my own desk, my own Seattletimes.com email address, my own phone, etc. I’m right there in the midst of all of the Features designers, which is a great perspective to see what goes on at a big paper like the Times.

It’s too bad that I can’t do both, but as it is I’m already stretching my time way thin. I already have a regular job, so taking on two other part-time jobs alongside all of my other responsibilities would be the death of me.

Back at the Ebbtide

There have been two different Design Directors at the Ebbtide since I left that position two years ago. I never thought that I’d do it again, but apparently I’ve been tagged to do just that.

Unfortunately Bill, the DD starting this year, has scheduling issues that prevent him from getting the publication done on deadline. It’s too bad. It’s a great experience for anyone looking to get into editorial design.

But his loss is my gain. I get a second chance to re-design the paper, and this time I’m gonna make the most of it. When I designed it the last time, my prime directive was to make it into a literary and arts magazine in tabloid format. That’s exactly what I designed.

But when it came time for writing, our entire staff wanted a news newspaper; a directive that my design did not fit at all. Instead of re-designing again, like I should have, I tried to shoe-horn everything into my design.

Bad idea.

But now I get a chance to do it right, the way I should have to begin with.

Because I’m not “officially” hired as the DD of the Ebbtide, I can’t implement a wholesale re-design for the last paper of Fall Quarter. What if someone else gets hired *instead* of me? A redesign of one paper would suck, and it does the campus and the readers no good.

So what I’m doing is using this opportunity to bridge the gap. I’m not changing the masthead. I’m sticking, mostly, with the same headlines. The body copy will stay the same. Some other visual aspects will stay the same.

But 90% of what I’m doing now will be carried over to the new design. The standing heads. The formatting. Mostly the visual cues and hierarchy will be changed into my new design.

It’s a good opportunity to get some actual clip sheets this time for my portfolio.

Sorry Bill. But it’s my turn again.

Email and I

My dad just got email. Wow.

I’ve been using email since about 8th Grade when I needed an email address to download something to one of my school’s ancient System 7 Macintoshes. My friend Shane Toven and I hunted down the best way for a student to get an email address for free, and unheard of prospect at the time, and I managed to discover Hotmail.

Ah yes, Hotmail.

I’m talking about Hotmail pre-Microsoft. It was fast, it was cool, and most importantly, it was free.

I distinctly remember the day that Microsoft bought it out, because there was an IMMEDIATE slowdown of the system. It almost automatically started sucking the day that the Evil Empire sucked it up.

So I switched to Yahoo! Mail, and I’ve kept that account all the way up until I bought my own domain. I still use that account for registering for crap that I know I’m gonna get junk mail for. Yahoo! has been reliable for nigh on 10 years now, with hardly a complaint.

So my dad just got email.

For me email is just another form of communication that I rely upon every day, but for my dad it is a new and novel enterprise that will take some getting used to. I feel that I can communicate certain things much more clearly via email than I could in person or over the phone, communicate things more fluently and with a greater sense of purpose.

My dad will now have to learn how to type on a keyboard, most likely chicken-peck style. (The most valuable class I ever took in college was my keyboarding class…)

It’ll take a while for my dad to get used to the medium, but for now I’ll just have to be patient. I feel a bit like Darth Vader, When I left you, I was but a learner; now I am the Master.”


I’ve been using Twitter a bit lately, but I’m still debating on whether or not it is worth the effort. It’s almost more of something that you do for yourself than it is to keep others informed of what you’re doing.

It’s like your saying to yourself, “What I am doing right now is worth my time, or else I wouldn’t bother telling anybody else about it.” A sort of self-affirmation, if you will. If for that reason alone I use it a little, but the jury is still out on how long I’ll keep it up.

But it’s one of those things that is really quite pointless unless you have others checking in on what you’re doing.

Apple, the iPhone, culture and style. Bring it on!

As the impending iPhone release looms over the world, it’s good to reflect upon Apple’s place in the world. Specifically, I’m speaking about their impact upon style and culture.

Can we imagine a world without iPods? That world existed, it can be confirmed. People had mp3 players previous to the iPod. But did anybody care? Not really. Was the mp3 player the stylistic commodity that it is today? Hardly. They were big, they were ugly. Then came along the sleek, and ever increasingly smaller iPod, and the whole world now owns mp3 players.

The iPod made the market, and it made the market cool.

Think about Apple’s website. Did you know that Apple was the first company to allow you to order your own customized computer from their website? Can you imagine a world where you couldn’t order exactly what you wanted from a computer maker’s site?

Their advertising campaigns are on a whole ‘nother level. Do you remember the last Microsoft ad campaign?

Neither do I.

But I can easily recall Apple ads. Remember when the original iMac came out? How about the “Think Different” campaign? My roomate, who uses a PC, has his own iPod dance in mockery of the highly graphic and memorable iPod commercials. Needless do we need to remind you about the ubiquitous Mac vs PC commercials.

So that brings us to the iPhone.

And you’re dang right I want to get one.

But I’m a Mac nerd to begin with. How about my friend Nathan who absolutely hates Macs?

“Man, I hate Macs, but that iPhone looks sweet.”

The dumb thing hasn’t even come out yet, and people are already proclaiming it the greatest phone ever. Can we imagine a world without iPhones? That world exists, it can be confirmed. But it’s hard to imagine that world come July/August.

So what does all of this mean? It’s all about culture and style. Apple has it. Microsoft doesn’t. Plain und Simple. The funny thing is, is that it has always been that way. Steve Jobs mentioned it a long time ago:

Steve Jobs Interview

It’s only now that the entire playing field of the world of computers has leveled out that people are starting to notice or care.

The needs of most computer users haven’t changed much in the past 5 or so years. Processor speeds have leveled out. Graphics needs, outside of extreme gamers, has leveled out. People just don’t need that much more performance to be happy.

What they need now is style and culture. And living in this culture-less era, this cesspool of regurgitated ideas and half-baked schemes, I for one thank Apple for at least having the nerve to do something different. You might not like Apple for whatever valid reason you may have, but you’ve got to respect them for at least trying.


Holy cow, Batman! This site opens up so many legal problems, I can’t even begin to imagine the possibilities. Want to check out a newspaper’s website without having to register?

Bugmenot lists totally valid logins to use at your leisure. You can even submit your own login, should you be foolish enough.

If a pay site, like OED.com finds out, they totally ban it, but other sites apparently don’t care.