Friday, June 29, 2012

GUIville

http://gemstudioguide.blogspot.com/

I made a new blog. It's about my current/recent experiences attempting to lean the "html" known as "href" in GEMstudio where I program my interface designs to bring them to life. 

It's been interesting times...


Monday, June 25, 2012

Visiting Oakdale/ Sarah


My step-sister Sarah came down from Arkansas with her husband Thomas and my niece Adeline. Adeline is 6 months old now. I’m usually not that good with babies –I don’t really know how to relate to them. But with this baby I felt right at home and actually enjoyed spending time with her. 
 
There were some awkward moments between us though. Adeline looks a lot like Thomas –who is tall and goofy. But she also makes these faces that remind me of Len from Toastmasters. Len is a Sagittarian in its vice –a little too brutally honest and mentally focused w/out much sympathy or compassion. But he also has random bursts of energy and can be downright jovial from time to time. This is how Adeline is. She is quiet and will look you right in the eye, but she gets this puzzled/ inquisitive look on her face like she’s judging you and can’t figure you out. Then she gets bored and looks off in another direction. Then when you try to amuse her with something she lights up and laughs. It’s like watching a baby Len.
It’s interesting to see Adeline do these things because she is also a Sagittarian. I worry she may become too mentally focused, but being raised in the south I imagine she’ll end up going more the Taylor Swift route and find herself bordering Aries tendencies more –at least that’s my hope. It is weird to see a baby more mentally focused –the way her eyebrows furrow when she looks at things instead of reacting with just pure emotion at everything. Sometimes she’ll be focused and intent on figuring something out, the next she’ll be distracted and won’t care about what’s going on around her. Baby genius.
Meanwhile I was concerned Sarah and I would have trouble re-relating to each other since we hadn’t been in the same room for about 6 months since last I visited in December. Nope. We picked up right where we left off and were chattering away. That’s the great thing about unconditional love –you connect with someone instantly as if they were an extended part of yourself you were away from for a little while but then picked up and out back- like a missing puzzle piece that falls right into place where it had been before. It’s like no time has passed at all and they’re exactly where you left them.
One of the things Sarah and I talked about was housing prices. She said that in Arkansas things are a lot less expensive. A two story house out by a lake was worth $100,000. Sarah pays around $700 a month for rent in her house –I pay $1000 a month for rent in my apartment. Arkansas sounds nice…
Emily also made an appearance. I was worried she and mom would get into some sort of an argument, but they didn’t say much to each other at all. Em slept in pretty late both days. She did get to spend time with Sarah though. Our grandma also came by to visit. I went and got a slice of chocolate pie from the kitchen and gma kept asking me of it was carrot cake. She needs a hearing aid but she doesn’t want to go get one. So for 5 minutes she kept asking if it was a chocolate carrot cake and I kept trying to tell her there was no carrot involved (had there been I wouldn’t have been eating it). So we sat on the couch together eating pie and checking in with what we were both up to.
Meanwhile my step-dad Dean was going in and out of the hospital where his cousin was in a coma. His 50 year old cousin had a heart attack and had fallen slumped over on the floor. The way she had fallen made her head fall over her neck and cut off her air way so her brain had been deprived of oxygen for about 8 hours. He was with his family waiting to see if she would wake up.
So most of the weekend was spent sitting on the floor watching TV and visiting with Sarah, Adeline, and grandma. I was also given a special project to paint a wooden horse that was faded black and had no eyes/ features for my grandpa. I don’t have much paint left from my college days because I decided water color sucked and acrylic was too high- maintenance. So I grabbed what acrylic I had and some paint brushes I didn’t care about and sat in front of the wooden horse. The only color I had a lot of was metallic gold so I decided to make the horse a carousel-like style. It took me 2 days to paint two coats of gold over the horse. Then my final couple hours at mom’s were spent painting on the details –eyes/nose/reins/saddle… complete with glitter!
I told Sarah and my Dean I was going to head out at 3pm. It sucked coming to Oakdale at 3pm on Friday because what should be an hour and a half drive turns into 3 hours worth of traffic. I decided that for Sunday I just wanted to get home, catch up on emails, detox and relax. Unfortunately –as usual- mom wanted me to stay until 6pm. That would mean I would get home just in time to collapse into bed and wait for morning to go straight to work. I opted out of that option and when I got home mom was thoroughly displeased with me. To make matters worse 15 minutes before I left Dean’s cousin awoke from her coma so he drove straight to the hospital to see her so I didn’t get to say goodbye to him when Em and I took off at 3.
I wish Oakdale was closer. Or teleportation was possible. One of the two.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Age, Race, Gender, Religion, Political Affiliation, Nationality…


Listening to people at work sharing statistics, experiences, and generalizations:
-Teenage girls are getting bolder and starting to become a lot more rude and vagrantly disrespectful.
-Teens are cussing a lot more.
-Girls are getting a lot more aggressively drunk in bars –most guys will bow out when they’re told to leave the bar for being too rowdy but women are losing control far more than guys and have a harder time knowing their drinking limit.
-People are texting on the phones more these days while driving and most of those people are women because women are far more social than men and have a harder time putting down their cell phones than guys.
-Most of the girls who got pregnant in my high school were Mormon…
Personally I think a distinction needs to be made between Yin and Yang because it’s a lot harder to make generalizations in general if Yin and Yang aren’t taken into consideration. Some guys are more “feminine” oriented and some girls are more “masculine” oriented. Also “Age” isn’t as significant as “Maturity Level”. I know some teens that are more mature than some 40 year olds. It all has to do with who learns from their mistakes and who just keeps making new ones without thinking.  
“Social Situations” also have a lot to do with social behaviors. So when you say “teens are a lot more violent and chaotic than they used to be” –generally an individual teen will mind their own business and 2 teens will still be pretty well behaved, but when a large group of teens get together their actions become a lot more ostentatious and bold.  Call it peer pressure.
As far as women v. men when it comes to knowing their alcohol limit and avoiding inebriation –the main reason people drink to that extent or plan to drink to that extent is because they’re trying to drown out their problems instead of facing them. Alcohol becomes an escape from the stress, pain, and conflict going on at home or at work. All people who seek alcohol as the solution to their problems will run into drunkenness as a result. Male or female doesn’t really matter –although you could argue that since most men are larger physically, they can withstand a lot more alcohol than women can and therefore tend to get less drunk in general.
In general –generalizations only work when you dig deep and look at the underlying reasons why something might be occurring.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Venetian Nobility Storybook


Father's Day Weekend


Went to Oakdale last Friday. Left work around 3pm. Got stuck in traffic for 3 and a half hours. Normally I’d be home at 5:30pm … got there at 6:30pm. Then as soon as I walked in the door my mom asked me if I wanted to go to Round Table Pizza to check out this Paranormal Investigator group that was going to be there. It started at 7pm. I was going to opt out but she mentioned that my adopted friend-sister Chelsie would be there. So I said I’d go because I missed her. Then mom told me I would be driving. I was like, “What?! I just got done driving for the past 3.5 hours.” “I’ve been working all day and I just took some Vicodin so you’ll be driving”, she replied. I thought great, she’s been “working all day” sitting on her butt in a tanning salon while I’ve been working AND driving. Now she’s hopped up on pain pills. Wonderfuls.
So then we get in the car and she starts guilt tripping me. I’m on the verge of telling her to shut up, which wouldn’t end well but I really don’t feel like being guilt tripped after I’m already in the car driving. I’ve accepted my fate –appreciate what I’m doing. “I’ve driven you around hundreds of times…” Shut Up!!!
So we get there… and there’s a small group in a backroom sitting in a semicircle of tables and chairs. I jokingly asked Dean if he wanted to come before we left and he said he didn’t feel like hanging out with a bunch of housewives talking about ghosts. So I spotted Chelsie and her mom Michelle and hopped a squat next to them. Ordered some cheese pizza and 2 little apple juice boxes. I wish they’d have normal sized cans of apple juice so I could feel less like a kid ordering a healthier drink.
I plowed through the too little cartons of apple juice pretty quick. It was hot out. There were 2 main ghost investigators at the “Oakdale Paranormal Society” or OPS as I shall refer to them. One of the women called over to Chelsie to listen to some EVPs on the computer that they caught at their investigations. It was funny watching Chelsie’s expression. Meanwhile Michelle was talking about her ex-husband and her 9 year old daughter Hailey. They have a weird arrangement. Hailey’s dad gets her Thursday-Saturday. He makes her wake up extra early so he can go out of his way to drive her to school. Now he has a new girlfriend who keeps bothering Hailey and asking her why she doesn’t want to be friends. Hailey is a pretty strait forward, practical girl for her age. If she honestly doesn’t like someone she won’t exactly go out of her way to pretend like she does.
Hailey’s been having some pretty severe health issues and has gone to the hospital several times while over at her father’s house. One of the times the doctors told Hailey she needed fruit and fluids because she had gotten dehydrated. Her dad ignored the doctor and gave her spaghetti. She got sick and threw up and had to be taken back to the hospital. Her dad sounds kind of like an ass to me.
So Michelle was getting calls from Hailey while we were at the meeting. She was hiding in her room avoiding her dad’s girlfriend wishing she could come home. It sucks when you see parents putting their own issues on a level of importance higher than their children. I’ve been there. The kid should be the top priority. Then mom looked at me during this and said, “It’s just like your dad used to do with you, always manipulating and lying…” I glared at her. Dad didn’t do anything like that to me. That would be mom. Irony abounds.
Then the meeting officially began. The 2 head women asked everyone to go around the room and state their name and what paranormal experiences they’ve had. That ended up taking the entire meeting. Some people decided to share their whole life story more or less. Michelle was the first one to speak. She said she honestly hadn’t experienced that much but all of her kids had. She said after her mother passed away she was at her house and her 4 year old daughter came up to her. Michelle told her daughter to clean her room and she looked up at her mom and said, “I don’t need to grandma already cleaned it for me”. Michelle said she was shocked because her daughter had never met her grandma and had never been told about her.
Then it was Chelsie’s turn and I was especially interested to hear her because she had never told me about any experiences she had had. Chelsie said that when she was 7 she was downstairs in the living room and was about to go upstairs. She looked up and at the top of the stairs was someone she thought was her mom. She said there was a big glowing light around her mom and she had to cover her eyes because it was so bright. Then she looked and her mom wasn’t there. She asked her mom later how she was glowing and her mom said that that wasn’t her. They figure it was Michelle’s mom who had recently passed away at the time.
Then it was mom’s turn. She looked at me and said, “My daughters have experienced most of the things that have gone on at our house. The ghost is mostly upstairs and my other daughter Sarah told me that when Jessica left for college she would shut the door to Jessica’s room because she would occasionally hear banging on the walls in her room and it frightened her”. She said, “My girls didn’t tell me about their experiences for a long time” –then she looked straight at me-“But you’d better tell them stuff here, don’t avoid the topic”. I was like, What?! Are you kidding me? I’m here aren’t I? I was a little concerned of how I would feel in the moment talking about what I’d experienced, but actually when it was my time to talk I was a lot more open and expressive about it than I honestly thought I would be.
I told them about my main experiences, which was hard because the stupid Round Table people would keep coming in asking who had ordered the pizza with the pepperoni and anchovies. But after I spoke it was the next person’s turn. It was a 37 year old girl with black hair wearing a black shirt covered with a black net poncho. She wasn’t goth, but you could tell she wasn’t exactly a happy go lucky hippie. She actually reminded me of Sarah –very practical minded and strait forward. She said that her grandmother, her mother, her sister, and she had all had some level of intuitive ability. She didn’t say what she had experienced, but she said that she avoided ghosts and didn’t really want anything to do with them –but her sister practiced her skill and was better at reading people and situations than she was.
Then it was the next person’s turn. She was an older woman with gray hair, soft gray/blue eyes, and an artistic shirt on. She reminded me of me in some ways. Very spiritual. She said she hears voices and sees ghosts frequently and has gotten used to it by now. She says it’s occasionally annoying, but also can be helpful. She definitely had a soft –white- light- aura going on. Actually, she was the only one in the room who had it.
The next girl was in her 30s, short and stout with more of a country girl attitude. Also practical and strait forward. The country does that to people. She said that her mom had seen a dark shadow figure in her house when she was living there. But when her daughter was born the entity started to focus on the baby and was spotted standing over the crib a couple times. The couple moved from the house and a couple of months later the house mysteriously burnt down with no apparent cause the fire department could find.  She then grew up not experiencing anything paranormal. The one day her husband was got a call for a tow –since he was a tow truck driver. She never went on tows with him since the truck was messy and cramped, but this day she randomly felt like going. So she hopped in the car and went with him to tow a car that was stuck in some mud next to a building that had just burned down. The building was on the same property as the house she grew up in. It had been turned into a piano store. When the woman saw the man who owned the building she walked up to him and said that her mom had seen a shadow figure there a couple times. The man’s eyes got big and he said, “Really?! We’ve seen that thing all the time and some of my employees have actually quit because they felt so uncomfortable in there”. The fireman also found no real cause for why the building had burnt down a second time. It was freaky.
Then the two paranormal investigators spoke. They said they weren’t intuitive and had never experienced anything on their own in their own lives. They decided to investigate a mansion that was supposedly haunted –after watching Ghost Hunters they wanted to test out their theories and see if they would actually find anything. Then they experienced things and caught things on camera and audio. They still say they are not psychic or spiritual and only believe the things they capture and record as scientific proof –not mere experience alone.
The next person was a woman from Sonora who saw and experienced things regularly. She said that she is friends with the person who used to live in the house she lives in now. A couple of weeks ago she started seeing a little girl walking down her hallway outside of her room. This hadn’t been her first encounter with spirits so she tried to communicate with the little girl. Eventually the girl stood still long enough for the woman to see what she looked like. She then went to her friend and asked if she had ever seen the little girl. She gave a description of the girl to her friend and then her friend broke down and started crying. It was her mom who had passed away. Apparently her mom had died in the bed the woman sleeps in now.
The woman says that she’s encountered “bad ghosts” as well –she says that however people are when they die is exactly how they are in death. She usually yells at bad spirits and tells them to go away and they back off. She says they don’t frighten her because they’re just people.
The next 3 people were actually in a group because they were a paranormal investigative group from Modesto. They also didn’t believe in ghosts and still don’t trust their experiences because the only thing that counts is what they record on tape as tangible proof. They shared some of the things they had experienced as well.
I’m tired of talking about all the stories I heard now, there were a lot. Especially from a 70 year old woman who was there with her daughters sharing what they had experienced. Most of the people there had experienced brief encounters with loved ones who had passed away. Most of these experiences were of those they loved giving them some sort of message that they were ok or that they were looking over their living relatives now. More like guardian angels who were relatives that had passed. When I got home I told Dean he made the right decision to stay home –he really wouldn’t have liked it there.
Then I went home and crashed. Next day I hung out with Chelsie and watched a show called The Choice. Oh Joe Jonas… you are a dumb ass… It was weird. Joe and his brothers had prided themselves on publicly declaring themselves “virgins until marriage”. But here he was choosing which hot girl to date. One of the girls then came out and said she was a virgin and kept asking him what he felt about virginity. He hesitated and seemed kind of flustered so he said, “Well if that’s your decision then it’s good to wait for love”. It was weird. I got the impression he was telling her that it was fine for her to be a virgin if that’s what she wanted, but it didn’t exactly seem like he was in the same boat as her anymore. Hollywood is funny. People do so many things to gain good press. One day you’re going out of your way to publicly declare yourself a virgin then next you’re downplaying the fact that you gave up on that philosophy.
Then I went back to the house to visit with Dean for Padre’s Day. They were dismayed Emily wasn’t there. Mom told me to tell Em to come to Oakdale for Father’s Day last Monday. I did. Emily said she was going to come with me. She actually wanted me to drive her instead of taking separate cars. I take Emily’s word with a grain of salt these days –at this point she’s flakier than dandruff. Then Friday came. “Well I can’t go because Miss May is finally going to give me my bike back and I’ve been trying to get it for over a year since I lent it to her and she’s going to give it to me on Saturday and I’ve already made plans with Rob to go out to dinner with his dad tonight…” Mom kept telling me, “I love Emily unconditionally, but I really don’t like who she is right now. I wished she’d grow up and be mature like you and Sarah. Last time she was here she kept blaming me for putting her on Aderol for her ADD. I got her The Best Doctor and he told me that Aderol was the best thing for her. What did I do wrong? I was just trying to make sure she got through school…”
Then I left at 6pm midway through watching Sherlock Holmes 1 on TV. Made it home at 8pm. Crashed. Woke up at 7am to get up early to go to Target to get me dad his gifts for father’s day. I had made Dean an art picture of a motorcycle. For dad I got him Immortals, Ghost Protocol, and then gave him back 2 CDs I asked him to buy for me last Friday when we went into Target so he could pick some DVDs up. Jimmy Fallon!!!! The Doors “Reading Rainbow Song”!!!! Genuis.
Anyways, then I went on over to dad’s house and started watching Snapped on Oxygen, which at this point has become part of my Sunday ritual with my step-mom. We watch the show and then head on over to church. We convinced dad to come along this time. The sermon was focusing on men and what they struggle with and how the Bible guides them to overcome the things that hold them back. I think dad felt awkward. I felt kind of bad since I knew he probably didn’t really want to be there. He had worked on trimming hedges earlier that day and was tired and sweaty. He just wanted to chill at home. Plus he had been raised by Grandma who made him go to church every once in a while and grandpa who had been “over churched” as a child and was essentially an agnostic. Dad has never really felt comfortable with the whole church/Bible thing.
Then to make things worse, as she always does after church whether you want her to or not, Kari started pressing for questions about what we thought of the service. Usually I mention a few things that I thought were really good and then we leave it at that and change subject. Dad –not being used to this tactic- didn’t really want to talk about it because he felt awkward about it. But Kari kept pressing him for deeper feedback. Their relationship is awkward. Dad’s complacent and non-confrontational so he’ll draw back into himself. Kari is dominant and wants what she wants when she says she wants it. You can’t yell at a turtle for retreating back into its shell because you yelled at it.
Then we got back to their house. I hung out with Kitten for a while –the spazzist that he is. Then I decided to go home and then come back later for dinner. I hadn’t checked my emails since I’d left on Friday and I needed to catch up on The Daily Show and Colbert Report. I got reacquainted with the internet and then headed back over to their house.
Emily showed up around the same time. She mentioned the fact that she still hadn’t called Dean and that she was probably going to do it later. We had dinner and then dad decided he wanted to watch a stupid Disney-Sci-Fi movie called John Carter –which is based on a book that mooched off of Star Wars books after they became a big hit. I wasn’t looking forward to the movie. I gave it a 5 minute shot to impress me. It was boring. Then it got stupid. Then it got really stupid. I was frustrated. I feel like ranting about it now.
1.     Why did the main bad guy get randomly handed the most super powerful weapon one can have on the planet Mars by 3 randomly random guys in cloaks within the first 3 minutes of the movie? Why???
2.     Why weren’t Bruno Mars, 30 Seconds to Mars, and alien Lady Gaga there? They seriously could have improved the movie.
3.     Then it dawned on me: OHHHHHH. The guy who plays John Carter was also that awesome guy with the magical staff of purple lightning bolts from the Wolverine movie. I consulted Emily to confirm. His name was Gambit. He was a brief, but remarkably awesome character in that movie. Now he was some dumb cocky nobody in this stupid Disney movie that was clearly a rip off of Time Machine, Star Wars, and Avatar. Lames!!!
4.     Then Emily pointed out that the tall 21 year old red-headed guy had played the kid on Spy Kids. Holy crapolios!!!! Nooooooo!!! I’m sooooo old! He’s so tall!!!
5.     Then my friend Andy tweeted me that he could beat the red-head up for me if I wanted him to. I thanked him but told him his services would not be required since it would appear that Barney the Dinosaur himself could take on this whimpy scrap of a boy-man.
6.     Then the guy who played the dad in Malcolm in the Middle showed up and punched John Carter in the face. He was instantly dubbed my favorite character.
7.     Then I asked Emily how John Carter was going to get to the future? Emily said he wasn’t going to the future he was going to Mars. How is that on a desert planet that went out of its way to note that nothing was around managed to create a more highly advanced set of technological gadgets and weapons than all of the inhabitants of the overly abundant Earth we currently live on???
8.     So then Carter was magically teleported to Mars and learned the art of gravity. He was lighter and spent a good 3 minutes awkwardly attempting to be funny by falling down over and over in his attempts to walk on Mars. I gave up all hope on the movie at this point.
9.     Then the main chick showed up –a princess who was also an “inventor”. I later realized, OHHHHHHH. She played Wolverine’s girlfriend in the movie Wolverine. So many people in this movie… and the main villain was also the villain from 300, Mona Lisa’s Smile, and was in a lot of other movies.
10.                        Then I got tired and decided to call it a day. I said peace out to the familia and left at what I thought was a good point in the movie to leave -15 minutes in.
During the movie I had also been receiving texts from mom. The conversation went thusly:
MOM: “Do you know why I haven’t been told about Em’s lumpectomoy??? I’m freaking out…I wouldn’t if someone had told me upfront”
ME (in thought): “Lumpectomy”? There’s a new word. Why didn’t Em tell her about the surgery? It’s just minor surgery. Em hasn’t even scheduled it because she’s been procrastinating. Uggghzzz… This is what happens when you don’t tell mom crap.
ME (in text): “Em told you she had that lump thing. She’s going to have it removed. It’s a basic semisurgery. Thought you knew.”
MOM: “She said the test was negative. That means no surgery!”
ME: “The lump is benign but she’s going to remove it anyway so it isn’t confused with anything bad that could possibly come later in time. It’s better to get it removed.
MOM: “That’s major surgery… I WILL be there… don’t mess with this mommy… I want dates and times!!!”
ME (in thought): Is she blaming me for not telling her? That’s funny that she thinks she’ll be there for Em’s surgery. Em would never let it happen. And it’s minor surgery. I don’t even know when it’s going to happen. Geeez…
ME (in text): “I’ll tell you when I know. Em has been procrastinating”.
MOM: “This is when Em needs to see who’s got her back, I gave birth to her and raised her, I will be there at her surgery if I have to camp!”
ME (in thought): *Picturing mom literally camped in a tent outside of the hospital waiting for Em to show up* She would totally do that.
ME (in text): “Ok”
MOM: “This is a high priority… I need to know when!”
ME (in thought): *Feeling slightly pissed and annoyed that mom keeps demanding I tell her when Emily will be getting the surgery she hasn’t scheduled or planned at this point in time*. Mom must be drunk. She’s texting like she’s drunk…
ME (in text): “SHE doesn’t even know when”.
MOM: “I will text her… luv you sweetie. Can’t wait until Em evolves to you and Sarah’s maturity.”
ME: “Luv u 2”.
EMILY (sitting beside me): *Receives a text message. Looks at text message. Groans and tosses phone to the side without responding to it*
EMILY (3 minutes later): *Checks text messages again since she’s received 2 new ones. Whispers, “Geez…” and texts something back quickly. Tosses phone to the side again*
EMILY (2 minutes later): *Answers new texts sent and tosses phone to the side again*
ME: *Decide it’s time to go. Bored of movie. Gets up and leaves*

Friday, June 15, 2012

Truth...

Having worked on various projects for our company I can honestly say that this is what I am currently going through with designing an ad for a magazine. Everything.

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/design_hell

My Position


When I started “working” at Amulet I was around 13-ish. My dad would bring me into work with him some days over the summer to save money on hiring a babysitter while I was out of school. My sister eventually came into work too. Dad would have us do simple tasks like putting module boards into their packages or assembling some of the easier board components –like the leg stands. It was boring. My sister and I would chat chit together and make jokes to keep ourselves amused. We would “work” for a couple of hours each day helping out.
Then we got older. It was around the age of 17-18 that I was allowed to start programming the flash compiler into the boards. It was equally boring. You plug the board into the computer using a USB cord and in some cases also attach a power supply cord plugged into the wall. Then you go on your computer and hit a button on an open screen that says Compile HTML. Then you do the touch screen calibration with a stylus to make sure the touch screen works. Then you make sure the color looks right and there isn’t any dust or cracks on the screen. If all is well and approved you then put a label on the board and place it in an antistatic bag followed by a bubble-wrap bag. The board is then placed in a cardboard box with separators. You put each board into its separate slot until the box is full –usually with 10 boards.
The box of boards you are initially given to program usually contains a total of 32 boards. You will receive on average 2-4 boxes a day and manage to get through about 2-3 boxes a day. I would usually listen to music while doing this.
When I was in college I would come in regularly over the summer (and occasionally while in school if there were large shipments to be made). It was boring. Some days there would be nothing to do and others there would be an endless stream of boards. Then I started taking graphic design. I was requested to try out editing marketing materials –usually resizing images for the website or updating info on data sheets using InDesign. Then around the age of 20-21 they really started entrusting me with more hands on graphic design projects – like updating brochures, making web banners, creating GUI buttons, making GUI screen demos, making special sales promotion images… Most of these projects were done in Illustrator CS3 –old school. Not the oldest school, but still old school.
Then late last year, whilst I was 23, they gave me the opportunity to do shipping –which was initially a nightmare until I got organized and now it’s pretty easy. So I was working almost full time programming boards and shipping them out on Thursdays. Then they came out with a new product. I was then asked to design a flyer for the product. It was beautifuls. Then Kim –the woman working as Marketing Coordinator found a new job and left the company. They decided to give me a run at the position. They told me to test it out for 2 months to see if it was a good fit for me and for them. 2 weeks in I had the task of 1. Creating 3 new sleeves for our 3 new products, 3 brochures to go along with that, and another flyer. Then I was asked to create a 4 page interactive user face for one of our new boards. Then an ad page for a magazine we’ll be featured in. I was also put in charge of our Constant Contact site which we use to add in new contacts of people who download our software. I was also put in charge of updating the website periodically. So now I do shipping and marketing design. We have weekly meetings with the engineer representative –Paul B., the sales team –Jim and Paul I., the sales researcher Andy, and my marketing partner in crime Alex. We’re a small company of about 12 people here in California. We have distributors throughout the world and our CEO is in the Netherlands along with other members of our company.
Anyways, it is amazing to see how our company functions as a whole and more interestingly how it dysfunctions as a whole.
My dad is the head engineer. Whenever there’s a question about a board he’s usually the first person the other 4 engineers will go to. Dad spends most of the time on the computer designing board layouts, ordering supplies to make the boards, keeping my sister on task assembling the boards and programming them, checking to see what boards are currently being ordered from us, maintaining the schedule by seeing products go out on time, and also answering calls by customers who have questions. Webber and Paul B. do most of the software compiling and answer customer calls. Brian does most of the design-to-software work using Photoshop and Illustrator.
My dad doesn’t like our salesman Jim. Jim will get calls from customers asking to make custom adjustments to their boards. They pay extra for these adjustments, but the work takes longer and less amount of product goes out. Jim will also approve of orders before he knows 1. How long it will take to assemble and program the boards 2. How many boards are in stock 3. How many other boards are currently on order… basically Jim says “yes” to everything the customers request and then “sorry” to my dad when he finds out he’s bitten off more than he can chew.
Jim doesn’t understand the board making process and the technical side of engineering so he’ll often tell customers we can do things with the boards that he doesn’t actually know can be done initially. Then my dad goes out of his way to make it work. This is the primary reason of discord between sales and engineering. But it’s interesting being in the room hearing the sales side of things too. Jim will go out to meet 1 new potential client and wind up networking his way to meeting 3 or 4. Then he’ll ask me to ship product samples out of the blue o our dime to these new potential clients –which is annoying for me in the shipping department, but also good for our company in the end.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Oligarchy


Today a coworker was talking about the Greek term used to describe a sense of responsibility towards society that nobles once had. He said that today term has been long forgotten and Greece itself is on the edge of chaos because the rich there pay no taxes and the poor are rebelling but can’t seem to get any traction. The government has no money to spend on social programs so those in need are looked after and the attitude among those in power and privilege seems to be blissful ignorance of it and a complete lack of concern.
He says that America may be heading in the same direction –slowly working its way to becoming controlled by a few rich and powerful people concerned with maintaining their wealth and power at the expense of those making low-to-no income. Reminds me of the speech I did yesterday about the Venetian Nobility. A law was passed in the U.S. saying that Money is a Freedom of Speech and therefore campaigns, advertising, and the media can be bought and paid for to host thoughts and ideas favoring the mentality of those willing to pay the price for it.
All in all I don’t really care. I know for a fact that even if it gets to that point citizens will ultimately do nothing. We are complacent and satisfied with what we have. 99% are used to not owning private jets and islands off the Galapagos. People assume they won’t ever own those things and they just accept and make do with what they have. You really want people to take action it’s going to have to get to the point where people are denied their “basic necessities”. That means beer, fast food/ snacks/ sodas, internet, TV, movies, music, and video games. The government starts interfering with any of those things they will have an angry mob that will not desist until changes are made.
I think it’s sad that not all of the wealthy people/ people in power in America care or feel responsible towards the less fortunate, but the fact is that is still a new concept for our planet. It’s been an ideal but not necessarily a reality on a grand scale since… ever. But today there are thousands of charities that raise hundreds of millions of dollars for all sorts of causes. The homeless have shelters, orphanages are better maintained, and people aren’t exactly wandering the streets looking like the half-starved, barely dressed members of our 3rd world cousins. I think as long as people manage to enjoy their lives there’s a lot they can actually manage to go without. After all, the pioneers who ventured out into this country did so in log cabins hunting food with muskets –not exactly sitting on the couch ordering from the home shopping network.