Monday, December 24, 2007

Back In The Day

The other day I found this great treasure on YouTube. My brothers and I used to watch this show ALL the time on Nickelodeon back in the day. I wish they still had shows like this on Nickelodeon. Anyways there are actually three of these videos and I don't feel like posting all three. so if you want just click on the link below and then you should be able to find the other two and be able to watch the entire episode.


Leave a comment if you also were a fan of You Can't Do That On Television.

Santa Clause Is Coming To Town

Merry Christmas, to all you Christmas celebrating people out there. We are making preparations for Santa to come into town in the wee hours of the night tonight. Hannah is getting excited. We are leaving tomorrow to head out to the outer limits of Texas to the land far far away they call Buna.

We've watched a few movies the last little while that are worth recommending:

The Waitress: This movie is great for moms, and any parents. It was a very clever movie with a great feel good story.

Well now I can't remember all of the other movies I was going to talk about. The only other movies I can remember, I have either already told you about or they weren't any good, for instance:

Bratz: Could of been a made for TV movie, on the Disney Channel or something.

Hot Rod: A great movie that I already recommended to everyone. Heather hadn't seen it so we rented it.

The movie I rented and can't wait to watch is Helvetica, only Heather isn't so excited about watching it, but I plan on watching it tonight for sure. I also am planning on watching Bourne Ultimatum, and Harry Potter at some point during the week.

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

In The Wee Hours

Around 4:00 am a small voice began to filter its way through my mind awakening me from my slumber. There was a lot of chatter going on, you could almost call it a conversation. Only one little girl was invovled. I was unable to make out most of what was being discussed, either that or my memory is failing me. What I was able to understand was,

"OH NO!"

"Hold on I'll get Daddy"

then a much louder voice yelled out, "DAAADDDY!"

This call repeated four or five times until I rolled myself out of bed and walked quietly towards the small voice. I opened the doorway to see the cutest little blue eyed girl standing up in her bed and as I walked through the door she looked up at me and said, "Oh, there''s Daddy."

"It's dark."

"The dark is gonna get me."

I then tried to tell her the "dark" was not going to get her, but she insisted that it was going to get her and her little friends (her toys.) So I asked her if she wanted to come lay down with daddy so I could protect her. She shook her head yes, and began to scan her bed for who else she wanted to save. So she grabbed Frosty the snow man (a present from Grandma Karren.) her blanket and her pillow in a princess pillowcase.

she remained quiet but very much awake for another hour or so in bed laying on-top of me or directly beside me. At one point there was a rumbling noise in the bed, then I felt two small hands grab me by my face and jerk my head to the left until I opened my eyes to see two big blue eyes staring back at me and the small voice said, "I farted."

Then she rolled over and tugged at her mom, and said, "Hey Mom, I farted."

At some point she fell back asleep and none of us woke up again until 8:00 am, where I had to jump out of bed and rush to get ready for work, so I could battle my way through a day of coming up with mind numbingly creative logos for a Dentist.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Career Designs by Andrea

Friday I finished up the last few tweaks and took another website live. both of you reading are prolly thinking, "who cares," Which is a very valid thought, who does care. Well besides me, I guess the client cares. Other than that the only real reason I am posting about it, besides the fact I think I did a mighty fine job is because this is the first site I finished designing that isn't for a dentist.


Thursday, December 13, 2007


A week or so ago Heather got Colleen Bontrager, one of her friends from church to take a few pictures of Hannah at the park. We had no clue how this was going to go. A month or so ago we tried taking pictures in the same outfit at JCPennies, but Hannah freaked out, and it didn't work out at all. I have to admit that I was doubting these pictures were going to work. I have taken my fair share of pictures of Hannah. I am ALWAYS trying to get her to pose for pictures, and it never works out. So I just have to take them in the flow, and if I try to be quick and catch the cute faces, or the cute actions.

However if you take a few minutes out of your day and click on the photo above and check out the pictures that Colleen Bontrager took of her, you will see what a wonderful job she did. Not only her, but you will see how well Hannah did. Hannah actually posed in multiple photos. Although I seem to enjoy the ones where she wasn't posing, because I see pictures of frozen memories, so it always seems that the real Hannah only comes out in her natural habitat, which has nothing to do with a pose. I believe the photo above was my favorite of the bunch, at the same time they were ALL good, and I really appreciate her taking them for us.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Weekend

I know it's the middle of the week and all, but I actually wrote this Sunday night. So get over it...

So this weekend we decided to watch some movies. It all started off on Friday when we went and rented Super Bad. I was cracking up throughout the whole movie. I suppose it was a little too much for Heather, and she didn't really enjoy it. I'm already ready to watch the movie for a second time. Several things about the movie reminded me of when I was in high school, maybe it's because I was a dork as well, and was scared to talk to girls, I don't know. There's a lot of cussing in the movie, and a bit of crude humor, but all in all it made for some good laughs.

Saturday we decided to travel down to San Antonio, to visit my family. My sister Kelly was in town with her two kids, Trevor & Lauren (we forgot our camera, like always.) So we decided to make the trip so Hannah could play with her cousins. I'm trying my hardest to offer Hannah the life I wished I would of had. A life where you actually know your extended family. Where you actually know your aunts and uncles, and your cousins and stuff. It gets tough when everyone lives in different cities, and some in different states, even different countries. But I am trying...

So anyways while we were there, me and my two brothers, Matt & Ethan decided to watch, Hot Rod, they had both already scene it, but for me it was my first time. I think Hot Rod might of been funnier than Super Bad. I was laughing so much my stomach started to hurt, and I got a small head ache. Also it was PG-13, which made it all the laughs without the naughty language.

We got home around 8:30 Saturday night and Hannah was exhausted, so we put her to bed and me and Heather cuddled up in bed and started to watch Pirates of the Caribbean, At Worlds End. We bought the movie on the motive that we already owned the other two. So we were hoping that the writers and directors made the smart choice and just let the movie end on a good note, and give us our moneys worth. Not to mention the ending to this third installment was really the ending of the second one. I was already disappointed that they decided to all of a sudden do a "to be continued" crap in the second one, when the first one was a complete movie. I thought that was already a creative flaw from the get go. Anyways I stayed patient and kept my hopes alive that they would in the end deliver the ending I had hoped for. Instead I was GREATLY disappointed, and left wanting my 4 hours of life back. Sure it had moments where I was entertained, but the ending SUCKED!

Actually to be honest with everyone reading, and by everyone I mean both of you, if the ending to the third would of been the ending to the second, I wouldn't of been half as disappointed. Since it wasn't I have to say that both the second and third one both suck. So now I own three movies, when really I only like the first. In fact I think I need to watch the first one again tonight, so that I can feel better about wasting my life watching the other two.

Holiday Desktop Love

Currently at work I have decorated my desktop with the latest in Christmas attire. At the same time allowing me to be educated on the different variations of Santa Clause's in different parts of the world. So I think you should to. Click on the picture above to read some behind the scenes information about the making of the illustrations, and how to grab yourself one.

If nothing else click on the post and allow yourself to be entertained for a brief while on this Monday morning.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


"We get better design when we understand our medium. Yet even at this late cultural hour, many people don’t understand web design. Among them can be found some of our most distinguished business and cultural leaders, including a few who possess a profound grasp of design—except as it relates to the web."

This past year I have been able to learn quite a bit about designing web pages, this is not to say in any way that I have perfected this skill, just vastly improved. I began learning how to design websites briefly in high school in 1998. I took a Computer Arts course, which basically covered any and everything the teacher herself could get her hands on regarding art on a computer. The class first started with simple exercises in a program called PC Paint. From there she moved us to learning a basic understanding of Photoshop, and the class seemed to learn along with the teacher. So we would usually start a project, and never finish them, because the teacher would learn something new and want to share it with the class. At the end of the year we lightly touched web design, and it was all done in Word. Which I look back now and find it hilarious, because I was super excited about it, and really would talk to people as if I seriously knew how to design a website. The site I did build was like filled with scrolling and blinking text, and I thought it was so sweet...

Moving forward the real lesson on the web came in my Intro to Web class in college. This is where I learned the basics of HTML, and tables. I even learned and built a site totally in frames. However I was more sold on the idea of designing sites using tables. The reason I enjoyed tables (I think) was because of how similar it was to the grid. The grid is something that was taught to us in all of my other design classes, as far as designing anything in the print world. Seeing as how my degree was in Print Graphic Design, and not interactive. I quickly became obsessed with typography and learning to design in the Grid system.

Print is wonderful because as a designer you have complete control over every aspect of the design. You have complete control over the text, from the font, to the kerning, letter spacing, leading, and basically the entire presentation is controlled. All throughout school I continued to expand my knowledge of the web on my own. It wasn't until this year that I finally broke away from the table comfort zone of web design. Whereas now I have been fully converted to the Web Standards movement.

It wasn't until recently meaning this year that I realized one of my biggest road blocks in progressing as a web designer was that I treated the web the same way I treated Print. I designed my websites as if I was designing something that would be printed. I would design a site but only focus on the design of the actual content area, ignoring the rest of the screen. I would then build the sites so that it would look exactly as my "ai" or "psd" file. Sometimes that meant the entire site was almost completely made out of images. Which was great for me personally, but the end user I was not so friendly to. I never took in mind designing for the end user, nor did I take into consideration that not everyone had the same computer as me, nor the same browser that I had. I also didn't take into mind the different disabilities of people, and because of this none of my sites were accessible. I also never took into consideration the entire screen regardless of what resolution or screen size the end user would be viewing the site. The background was always a last minute thought and something just thrown in. Now I take the entire screen into consideration and make the website one fluid design.

This past year I have learned that designing for the web is NOTHING like designing for print, they are two totally different aspects, however they do share some basic design principles in making them successful. However when designing a website you have to think past total control of context, and think more about the end user. You have to take into consideration that a website needs to be optimized, and search engine friendly, as well as easy to navigate, which means each page will load quickly and efficiently. Every action of the site should be simple, and virtually effortless. When working with the web you have to remember that the end user has so much control and also NEEDS a lot of control so that the site will function best for them. So for that reason their are quite a few limitations to web design. At first these limitations used to discourage me, but it was really my print design mentality of needing and wanting that total control over my work.

I find designing for the web challenging in a beautiful way. I enjoy the limitations and find that the limitations are greatly out weighed by the benefits they bring the end user. Designing a site to Web Standards makes a site much more highly accessible by various users. Why would any business owner say no to more visitors? The site will also be faster, and function in a timely manner regardless of weather someone is still in the stone ages of dial up or not. It will improve search engine rankings as well, and who wouldn't want that?

It's funny because most of the benefits to the sites I have designed lately go totally undetected to the client and whoever is viewing the site. Only the people that take a look at the site under the trunk, and are able to comprehend what is happening under the trunk truly are able to appreciate it. For example, for the most part edits on the site are done in a much more timely and efficient manor. This is one of the HUGE benefits that goes unnoticed.

The web is a completely different world, for this purpose I believe that is why most great web designers primary focus is designing web pages. Some web design superstars started out as print designers and have since almost completely left the world of print and now only work with the intraweb. I think that is almost a testament to how vastly different the two mediums are. I think if you really want to grow and develop yourself as a web designer you need to focus solely on web design. I think having a background in print is definitely beneficial because a lot of the principles of design in general are a huge benefit and give you a very strong foundation, but first you have to accept the fact that it is a different world and you have to accept the fact that you can't have total control. After you are able to accept these facts you are well on your way to being teachable and ready to grow and develop as a web designer. I am just starting this process myself, however I am still unsure of weather I want to totally leave behind print, and focus on web. I really love the world of print, and I'm not sure I am ready to give up the control just yet...

For better information on the subjects spoken of today visit these sites:
If you click on only one link to better understand what I was trying to say here in my post please make it this one:
Understanding Web Design

These other links are also better written, and well worth any ones time.
Ten Reasons to use web standards
What Every Website Owner Should Know About Standards
Why Use Web Standards