Saturday, December 19, 2009

Formula to Happiness


Over the years I have learned the formula to achieving happiness. However just as in math knowing the formula is only half the battle. It's an entirely different story when you actually have to apply the formula to actually solving the real world problem (equation). I should know, seeing as how I always struggled in math class. The majority of the time I was able to completely understand how the formula worked, however I would always miss a step along the way. I wouldn't carry the negative sign, or I would go to fast and make careless mistakes which led to me coming up with the incorrect answer.

In my pursuit for happiness I often face the same problems with receiving the correct answer, which in this case is happiness. In other words, by me "claiming" to have the formula to happiness does not in any way mean that I am ALWAYS happy.


I firmly believe that ALL people regardless of race, color, religion, or nationality have a personal set of morals and ethics in which they set for themselves as a standard "code of conduct". For many people religion, culture, family, and other outside forces influence this moral code of standards. In many cases it is almost sub consciously imbedded into their system. Meaning that for the majority of people it takes a lot of soul searching before we are able to realize what ours is. This is the first obstacle in being able to find the answer in the equation of our own happiness. Up until the point where we are able to learn this moral and ethical code of conduct it remains the "x" in our formula.


A lot of our lives are spent trying to figure this out. I call this soul searching process "escapes." What I mean by this is that we all find aspects of our lives that if we escape them it will equal happiness. Let me use a personal example as to what I mean by this. In the beginning of my mission for the LDS church in Brazil I went through some very difficult and frustrating times. I was in a foreign country without any family or friends. I didn't speak or comprehend the native language and I was 19 years old. So in the beginning I remember thinking, well once I know the language this will be easy and I will be happy. Once I learned the language I only became aware of more issues, and obstacles. So then I began to search for a new escape. I continued down this path until finally it dawned on me that none of those things bring happiness. In fact the absence of obstacles, stress, and tribulation does not equal happiness. Alot of times that is our first mistake. We see all of these stresses in our life, and we begin to think, if only I was able to rid myself of these stresses I would find myself FREE of stress thus resulting in happiness. This is a very destructive path, mainly because the only way anyone can experience growth and edification is through overcoming trials and obstacles in their lives, but that in itself can and should be reserved for it's own post.


Once we are able to comprehend that escaping what is bringing stress into our lives like, the lack of money, lack of friends, lack of family, lack of a job, etc... will bring about happiness. We are finally able to make some progress through this formula. We are then able to understand that only ONE person is in charge of our happiness. In fact only ONE "thing" is in charge of our happiness. We are the only ones who decide weather or not we are going to be happy. Regardless of circumstance happiness can be achieved. This does not mean to say that the pursuit to happiness is as easy for everyone, however "easy" or "hard" in itself is a relative term and is highly based on personal perception.

The only true way to find happiness is by living up to your own personal moral and ethical code of conduct inwhich we have all set for ourselves. Everyone's morals and ethics differ, so there is no RIGHT answer. However when you you don't meet your own expectations then you don't love yourself. If you don't love yourself you also are unable to comprehend or allow others to love you. Love is important because love is what brings about happiness. However when I use the word love I mean love in it's purest form. The love I speak of is synonymous with the word charity. So the best definition I can find is in the bible which says:
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in ainiquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth
1 Corinthians 13

*I find it important to note, that in the Brazilian Bible they interpreted the word charity as the word love. Which is more proof as to how perhaps love and charity are really the same word, but their definitions have become lost in time by man.


Please note that at the time of writing this post I am only 29 years old, and in my meager 29 years of pursuing happiness this is what I have learned and began applying to my daily life. I always find when I am unhappy it is almost ALWAYS in direct relation to how well I am doing in meeting my own personal moral and ethical code of conduct. So by going through the necessary steps to repair my own relationship with myself through forgiveness I am able to once again be on the pathway to happiness once again. So please feel free to add your own beliefs that you have learned along your travails of life.


5 Simple Rules for Happiness

Thursday, December 17, 2009

80 Percenter

I've always thought of myself as an 80 percenter. I like to throw myself passionately into a sport or activity until I reach about an 80 percent proficiency level. To go beyond that requires an obsession and degree of specialization that doesn't appeal to me.
Yvon Chouinard, Let My People Go Surfing, Founder and owner, Patagonia, Inc.

Related Article: A while back I wrote an article that talks about this philosophy. I wish I would of read this quote back then, it fits in perfectly to what I was attempting to say.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Still Fighting

Sunday I was driving home from church and I was listening to Ben Folds Five and this song came on and it seemed to perfectly tell the story of my life and where I am right now, and my sentiments.
Good morning, son.
I am a bird
Wearing a brown polyester shirt
You want a coke?
Maybe some fries?
The roast beef combo's only $9.95
It's okay, you don't have to pay
I've got all the change
Everybody knows
It hurts to grow up
And everybody does
It's so weird to be back here
Let me tell you what
The years go on and
We're still fighting it, we're still fighting it
And you're so much like me
I'm sorry
Good morning, son
In twenty years from now
Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers COKES
And I can tell you 'bout today
And how I picked you up and everything changed
It was pain
Sunny days and rain
I knew you'd feel the same things
Everybody knows
It sucks to grow up
And everybody does

You'll try and try and one day you'll fly
Away from me
Good morning, son
I am a bird

And you're so much like me
I'm sorry

I edited it a bit, but included the song below for your listening pleasures.

As the years go along in my life I learn more and more about my faults, and how life is such a beautiful struggle and a constant battle between myself. Then I look into my children's eyes and their innocence, purity, and love radiates from within their young souls. I begin to think about the conversations we will have in the future when the innocence slowly wears thin, and the world begins to bring it's awful woes. When the storm clouds of reality begin to flood their life, and the bitterness that accountability will bring. The greatest advice ANYONE can give is that, "Everybody knows it hurts to grow up, but everybody does. The years go on and we're still fighting it."

Then I think about the conversations I wish I could have with my father at this episode of life. What advice and wisdom would he be able to give me over a coke and some fries? How much did his life change when he picked me up? Perhaps he would give the same advice as Ben Folds...

Keep the fight alive, and never give up... Endure to the end.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

Every night for almost a month I would read "Where the Wild Things Are" to Hannah before she went to bed. The entire time I was reading she would be busy playing with toys on her bed. I never thought she was paying attention, until one day I was in the middle of the book and she stopped playing and stood up on her bed and began reciting word for word the book from that point on. She knew what to say by what picture was on the page. It amazed me.

I haven't read the book to her in over a month, and the other night she went and grabbed it off of the book shelf and told me she wanted to read the book all by herself. I thought to myself there is no way she still has this book memorized.

Sure enough she has the entire book still memorized. So the next night I decided I wanted to make sure I got a record of this so when it came time for story time I grabbed Heather and asked her to come in a record the moment.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Over a Bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup

Just got an email from Heather that related this story:

Just now, over a bowl of chicken noodle soup, Hannah says to me, "I really wish I could have a baby in my tummy." (random yes) So I said to her, "Well, one day FAR off in the future when YOU are a mommy, you can have a baby in your tummy too."

So she gets this excited, puzzled, intrigued look on her face and says, "Wait... So I can have a baby in MY tummy?" and I said, "Yup that's right. Only mommies and girls can have babies in their tummy...daddies and boys can't."

So she looks at me with a DUH look on her face and goes, "Yeah, they just watch."

Which reminds me I REALLY need to start writing down more of what she says on a daily basis cause it is so hilarious, but sadly my mind is unable to hold onto it for much longer than a day.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ruh Roh!

Can you tell what I tried to carve in our pumpkin this year? I wasn't too happy with it, I was hoping it would turn out better. Hopefully I can do better next year.

Here's a picture of our pumkin in the light along with Hannah and her new pajamas. This was the first year I cleaned the pumpkin out all by myself and carved it. I let Hannah help me poke some holes as I outlined the stencil. She was a wonderful helper as always.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Your Problem Solved!

On the 14th day of October the world was blessed (or cursed) with the presence of one Shane Michael Guymon. If by any chance you were having trouble figuring out what to buy a humble young boy from The Oak for such an occasion as spending 29 years on this old soil we like to call Earth then leave your worries behind. I have managed to put together a list of great gift ideas for such an occasion.

Guarana (It's gotta be Antarctica)
Word T-shirt (Extra Large)
ISO50 Arbor T-shirt (Brown X-Large)
Palm Pre™ (I do have sprint)
iPod Touch (Thanks Matt, Ethan, & Mark!!!)
iPod Nano (in red)
Fogo De Chao Gift Card
Air Jordan's XI, Air Jordan IV, Air Jordan V
Night at the Movies
– A day with Mommy Guymon (or weekend)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Are You Color Blind?

(The numeral "74" should be clearly visible to viewers with normal color vision. Viewers who are color blind may read it as "21", or may not see numbers at all.)

Hi, my name is Shane and I'm colored blind. I've known this for a number of years now, and have even openly discussed it with some people. I've noticed that a lot of people don't really understand what being color blind REALLY means. There are also a lot of people who are color blind and don't even realize it.

How do you know if you are color blind?

Well it definitely doesn't mean that you see the world as if you were watching a black & white TV. Usually what it means is that you are most likely male.
"About 5–8 percent of males, but less than 1 percent of females, are color blind in some way or another, whether it be one color, a color combination, or another mutation."
The most common form of color blindness is a color blindness to red and green. This doesn't mean that you are unable to see the color red, nor does it mean that you are unable to see the color green. However it does mean you are limited to the amount of tones of red and green you are able to see. It also means when red and green are on top of one another it is difficult to view a contrast between the two. There are three different degrees of this type of color blindness. I fit in the category of Deuteranopia:
"Deuteranopia (1% of males):Lacking the medium-wavelength cones, those affected are again unable to distinguish between colors in the green-yellow-red section of the spectrum. Their neutral point is at a slightly longer wavelength, 498 nm. The deuteranope suffers the same hue discrimination problems as the protanope, but without the abnormal dimming. The names red, orange, yellow, and green really mean very little to him aside from being different names that every one else around him seems to be able to agree on. Similarly, violet, lavender, purple, and blue, seem to be too many names to use logically for hues that all look alike to him. This is one of the rarer forms of colorblindness making up about 1% of the male population, also known as Daltonism after John Dalton. (Dalton's diagnosis was confirmed as deuteranopia in 1995, some 150 years after his death, by DNA analysis of his preserved eyeball.) Deuteranopic unilateral dichromats report that with only their deuteranopic eye open, they see wavelengths below the neutral point as blue and those above it as yellow."
Take a test to see if you are colorblind.

Why All This Color Blind Talk?

Well recently I saw a tweet with a link to this website, Which reminded me of my own colorblindness. So then after googling a couple resources I was wondering how many other people do I know that are also colorblind.

I remember in the 90's (I'm not sure what year exactly) these pictures like the one above became really popular. They were selling books, and framed posters all over the mall and in several different stores. I would go to the dentist and one would be hanging on the wall. Everywhere I went I was always surrounded by them. I always felt weird because I was one of the only people I knew who couldn't see anything but spots. Everyone else was seeing pictures pop out at them when they would stare at these millions of circles. As for me I never saw a thing. It wasn't until several years later when I was out of high school that I realized that those pictures were used for color blind tests. So the reason why I could never see any of the pictures was because I am colorblind.

For more info about color blindness check Wickipedia.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


When Heather and I found out she was pregnant we made a trip to the mall and stumbled into a Finish Line. We both came across this amazing outfit and immediately purchased it. We both knew it was going to be a boy from the very beginning.

Yesterday we realized that our once little boy who LOVES to eat and won't stop growing will probably fit into it.

(click on the photo to go to my Flickr account and view ALL of the photos we took)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

For Sale

living with a Graphic Designer can be a bit tough at times. As many of you have heard we're moving. So as we are cleaning out the apartment we have stumbled upon a few things that we feel deserve a new home (at a small price). So Heather sent me an email yesterday that said;
I want to make a sign and hang it up by the mail box so I can hopefully sell this stuff before we move.

Toastmaster rice cooker/steamer $5
Black cast iron skillet $5
Norelco electric shaver $10 (plug in model, not chargeable)
Box of infant through size 4-5 girl shoes (7 pair) $12
Suade King size comforter with king size pillow shams (tan color) $10
Glass crystal drink pitcher $10
Misc. dinnerware set (incomplete) $5

If you are interested in seeing any of these items please contact Heather or Shane @ 257-1868 or

She said she wanted me to just print her email out here at work because we don't have a printer at home. However being a Graphic Designer I can not physically allow myself to do that. So I asked her to take pictures of all the items she wanted to sell and email them to me. She didn't feel like participating in my madness & in turn released a deep sigh (in an email). So I told her when I got home I'd take the pictures on my own. Today I combined my pictures with the info she sent in the email and this is what you end up with.


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

First Month

I can't believe we are already one month into Connor's life. I think we are all finally starting to get to know one another. He has grown to LOVE his mother, and almost always wants to be near her. Heather has finally figured out the secret to getting him to sleep pretty much through the night (we hope). Hannah is really enjoying her role as "Big Sister" and I think I am finally getting back to some sort of a routine. To bad it is all going to start over come October when I turn another year older, move into our first house, a new ward, and a new side of town.

We made a trip to San Antonio last weekend and Connor decided to take a nap on his Uncle Ethan while we all hung out in the family room watching some cheesy Life Time movie with my mom.

Cannon Ball!

Hannah has gotten a bit more brave in the last month. She now enjoys jumping into the pool and yelling "CANNON BAAAALLL!"

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New House

So for all of those who don't follow me on Twitter or Facebook, earlier this month Heather decided she wanted to start looking for a house. I was a bit reluctant because of what happened the last time we decided to check it out. Initially we were pre approved for far more then we wanted to spend, we also got a really good percentage rate of 5.6%. Another great selling point was the fact that right now the government has a First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit. So Heather decided to initially look at houses on her own especially since she is home during the day and I'm at work. Then once she found some she really liked she would have me go back and check them out later. So her first day out she found a house she fell in love with, she looked at a couple more the next day, but none of them stood out to her as much as the one from the first day.

So we went out and looked at the house together (on Friday Aug. 21st), and I also loved the house, so we decided to make an offer, and a couple hours later they accepted it!

We had the house inspected today, and the Inspector said the house is in terrific shape! The foundation is good, the air conditioner is 6 years old & in good shape, the water heater is 3 years old & also in good shape, and the roof is less than a year old. We took the opportunity to take some photos of the house to show it off!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

11 Random Facts About Michael Guymon

Eleven years ago today my Mom, my brother Ethan, and I gathered around my Mom's bed to say a prayer before we left for school. When the prayer was over the phone rang, and my Mom answered to hear that my father had rejected the machine that was helping him breath and had suffered a heart attack but they were able to revive him and asked that she come to the hospital. My mom hung up the phone and gave us the news, and asked if we wanted to go with her or go ahead and go to school. I had made up my mind a few weeks earlier that I wanted to have only memories of my father awake and alive. So I chose to go to school and Ethan chose to go with my mom.

My last memory of my father was right after I got back from a trip to Utah to visit my brother. While I was gone, my dad began having more trouble breathing on his own and had to return to the hospital. When I arrived he was awake and in good spirits, I stood beside his bed staring at him laying in an uncomfortable bed in a crowded room with nothing but a small white curtain to provide him with some privacy. His face was covered with a plastic oxygen mask, to which I said something to the sound of, "I'm surprised they were able to get one of those masks custom made to fit over your BIG nose."

And we all stood around and laughed. Shortly after that we had to leave, and my father told me not to worry about him, and that he would be fine. He said he was feeling better, and doing better. He gave me a hug to which if I concentrate I can still feel to this day, and told me that he loved me and took hold of my hand and stared me in my eye and told me how happy he was to see me, and how happy he was that I came to visit him. The very next day he took a turn for the worse and had to be forced into a coma and placed on a machine which breathed for him.

By the time I got to my second class of the day, which was Art class, I walked through the door and placed my back pack down on my desk and pulled my chair out and was about to sit down when a lady came over to me and said I needed to go with her. We walked back through the door to the bright sunlight and when the door shut on the other side stood John Durnford (who was my bishop at the time) who started out by saying, "Shane, I'm sorry but..." and I knew exactly what had happened. Before I left for school my mother told me she would call and let me know if anything else happened....

In memory of that day here are 11 Random Facts & Memories About My Father, Michael Guymon

1.) My father tried hard to stop drinking caffeine, but he had difficulty giving up Cherry Coke, which he drank in the form of a fountain drink in a black Texaco cup on a daily basis. He began referring to Cherry Coke as "Cherry Water", because throughout his campaign to stop drinking caffeine he also tried his hardest to rally the rest of us to join him. So when he saw me drinking a coke, or worse yet a Mountain Dew, he would give me a hard time. I would then ask, "What are you drinking?" and he would say, "Oh this... This is just cherry water."

2.) My dad was obsessed about us leaving lights on in the house. He was constantly circling the house turning off lights we left on and he would say, "If I had a nickel for every light you guys left on..."

3.) Almost every night you could find my dad roaming the house in his underwear and a flash light making his way to the air conditioner to make sure it was set to 80 degrees. Anytime it wasn't we would ALL have to hear about it the following morning. If you happened to be sleeping on the couch while he was on his way he would lean over and shine the flash light directly in your face asking, "Who is that... Oh it's you Shane!"

4.) My dad was VERY cold natured one of the reasons he chose to hang his hat in south Texas. So year round he would wear a jacket, cowboy boots, and a cowboy hat.

5.) He refused to turn on the air conditioner in the car because he firmly believed that the air conditioner didn't function until the car was moving at a speed of 60 mph or higher. Boy was that fun when the entire family (8) piled into our Ford van for a trip in the middle of the Texas summer.

6.) Similar to Batman my dad wore what we all referred to as his "Utility Belt" which held just about anything and everything a normal person would NEVER need. Some of the items were a pocket knife, glasses, pens, keys, and who knows what else.

7.) Despite Michael Jordan's greatness next to his brother Jimmy, Jerry West remained the greatest player to ever throw a leather ball through a round metal rim.

8.) My first job was my dad paying me 2 cents a minute to tickle his head. It is looking like I might have to do that to finally get someone other than my Mom to tickle my back or head (thanks to Heather deceiving).

9.) Often times I had to make my dad a bowl of ice cream. The problem was my dad was very picky about his ice cream, and sometimes it would take me 3 or four times to get it right. He loved Bluebell chocolate ice cream covered in a lake of Hershey's chocolate syrup. However the ice cream had to be somewhat melted as well. So I would scoop the ice cream out, then pour chocolate syrup over it and carry it over to him to find out if I had enough chocolate syrup or not, and to see if the ice cream was melted enough.

10.) He had a recurring nightmare that he once shared with us, that he would be playing basketball and standing at the free throw line in the middle of a game with tons of fans in the crowd. He would throw the ball as hard as he could towards the basket and it would barely reach the dotted line in the middle of the paint.

11.) My dad was a very quiet guy. He mostly kept to himself. For example, when we would eat out as a family as soon as he was finished with his food he would head straight to the car to wait for us. Even at home, whenever we ate together as a family as soon as he was finished with his food, he would head straight back to his room, regardless if it was just the family, or if company was over eating with us. If we went to a wedding reception or other get together you could always find my dad sitting all alone in the corner out of site.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Two Weeks: Grizzly Bear

Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear from Gabe Askew on Vimeo.

Beautiful music, and an amazing video. What is more amazing is the fact that this isn't even the actual video.
"This is a fan video I've been working on for a few months now. Not to be confused with the official music video which is really cool. Hope you like it."

Here's the actual music video for a comparison.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

A Few Movies I'm Looking Forward to Hitting My Local Theaters

Alice In Wonderland

Because I LOVE Tim Burton's vision on movies, I've always been a fan of the original Disney cartoon, and beyond that it flat out looks DOPE!

District 9

I'm a sucker for Sci-Fi alien movies, I'm sorry I just am...


Ever since I saw "Johnny Be Good" and "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" I've been a fan of Robert Downey Jr. I'm also a sucker for detective movies, and it's Sherlock Holmes.

The Book of Eli

I do my best to watch any movie Denzel Washington is in, so you combine that with my obsession with movies about the future, and well you got a giddy little boy inside of Shane that is dieing for this to hit the big screen.

Where the Wild Things Are

About a month before I found out that they were even making a movie, Heather bought Hannah this book, and for about a month straight without fail Hannah asked me to read that book to her before she went to bed. While reading the book Hannah would sit on her bed and play with toys and it always seems like I was reading it to myself. Until one night randomly she started just blurting out word for word what was written on the page as I was reading. She had pretty much memorized the entire book word for word (let that be a lesson, even when you think kids aren't paying any attention THEY ARE). I just started cracking up. This movie hits theaters right around my 29th birthday, so I told Hannah me and her would go see this on the BIG screen for my birthday, and she is super excited, as am I.

Despicable Me

I just like animated movies.

The Goods: Live Hard. Sell Hard.

Jeremy Piven is a pretty funny dude, plus the every time I see the trailer I just start cracking up throughout the entire thing.

Inglourious Basterds

I'm not a HUGE fan of Quentin Tarantino (the only movies I've liked of his are: Kill Bill 1 & 2, Jackie Brown, Sin City, & Grindhouse), but I am a HUGE fan of Brad Pitt, and do my best to see any movie he is in. Based off of the trailer, this movie looks funny, quirky, bloody, & AWESOME!

Tron Legacy

It's Disney, about the future, & animated.


Because I like Natalie Portman, Tobey Maguire, & Jake Gyllenhaal.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Stop following directions and start designing

"Of course it is totally understandable to take the ideas of those that pay our bills as gospel. But we should also be reminded that those same people hired us for our expertise. If they just wanted someone to follow orders, they’d probably have hired someone else."

Read the entire article.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Monday, August 03, 2009

Hannah Can Swim

Hannah finally got brave enough to swim around in the pool with a flotation device, which was REALLY exciting for us, because I really want her to learn how to swim with as much time as we spend in the pool during the summer.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Connor Michael Guymon

Connor Michael Guymon was born at 12:09pm weighing in at 8 pounds and 1 ounce and measuring 20 inches. He has a full head of hair no chin and what seems to be the first appearances of the Guymon nose.

Click here to view ALL of the photos

Here's the story:

Heather emailed me at work around 4:45pm on Tuesday July 28th letting me know that she talked to her doctor who set her up to be induced at 6:00am on Wed July 29th. Just as I was finishing up my projects for the day and sending out an email informing everyone that I wouldn't be there tomorrow. I got a phone call from Heather telling me she would really like to go eat at Chili's one last time as a family of a one child household. Ten to fifteen minutes later at 6:00pm I get a phone call where Heather said, "Change of plans, my water just broke I need you home NOW!"

So off I went, I got there and Lyndsee Bates was nice enough to take Hannah for the night, and the majority of the next day. So I had enough time to grab a few things and throw them in a bag and give Hannah a few hugs goodbye.

Then off Heather and I went to the hospital, we got there at like 7:00pm. They ran a check to make sure that her water did REALLY break, after the test came back positive, they began hooking Heather up to everything and getting her prepped and ready to have a baby. She was already having small contractions regularly and was already dilated to 3 and a half centimeters. So the doctor chose to just let her go and see how everything developed.

The first plan of action was to make a decision about putting Heather on petocin to speed up the contraction & labor process or not. That was supposed to be done at 11:00, but actually didn't happen until an hour or so later. They didn't end up putting her on petocin until 4:00am when although her contractions were getting worse she wasn't really progressing as far as being dilated or any closer to being able to actually push.

So we sat and waited and waited and waited... Lucky for us Heather's BFF Heidi Fling made the courageous voyage from San Antonio to help entertain Heather.

They started the petocin at a very slow drip, and so nothing really progressed although her contractions got closer and closer together and more intense. Heather said they were at a 5 on the pain scale, but she never appeared to be in pain, only said it was uncomfortable. So she asked for an epidural, but that wasn't until almost 10:30am on July 29th. Which was over 16 hours of labor. Heather was super happy and content with her epidural, and everything was much more calm and relaxing then. About an hour later Heather started saying she was feeling some pressure during each contraction, and thought maybe Connor was finally starting to move down. So she told the nurse, who didn't ever actually check her in anyway, but rather said, "Well let me know when it is a lot of pressure."

Thirty minutes later the nurse and the doctor came into the room to check to see if Heather was any farther dialated, and when the doctor lifted up the blanket Connor's head was sticking out already. The doctor said, "Whoa you are having a baby, DON'T MOVE, BREATH, LAUGH, TALK, or ANYTHING!" He ran out of the room pulled in his tools and everything sat down, and Connor immediately fell out, and Heidi was nice enough to cut the chord for us, and off he went to the sidelines to get measured, and cleaned. I began snapping photos and enjoying the moment, and thanking heavenly Father for blessing us with a beautiful healthy baby boy!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

IQ font = Awesome

"When a car inspires a font to a group of designers, the result, as you can see above, is necessarily surprising.
Check out the website
Download the font

Monday, July 06, 2009

4th of July

We made the hop, skip, & jump on down to San Antonio to meet up with Mom (Grandma), Mark, Maile, Marissa, Michaela, Matt, & Ethan for some good ol' family FUN time! I made sure to remember our camera and even better I actually captured some great memories.

Other than Ethan grilling up some killer steaks, making a trip to Walmart, and a bargain hunting trip to Big Lots with Mark it was just good ol family time spent indoors. We did try to make a trip to the park but the girls only lasted about 20 minutes. After 5 minutes they were asking to leave saying, "It's hot & we've been here for FOREVER!"


Friday, June 12, 2009

Good, Great, Greatest

Lately I've been thinking a lot about what goes into being good, great, or greatest at something. So I came up with a few ideas. The tricky part with this is how the words, "good", "great", & "greatest" are very relative in their definition. What I mean by that is, the definition of all of these will vary dependent on the person and their given experience with whatever they are applying the word to. You also have to apply the element of opposition, you can only know sweet by also knowing bitter, but then your degree of what you consider sweet will vary dependent on the amount of sweetness you have experienced. So yeah, this is a pretty complicated subject as you can see, but let's just take this little journey, and feel free to chime in with your comments and we will see if we can come up with something memorable in the end.


To be good at something I feel that you first need to learn the fundamental aspects of that something. As an example let's use basketball, although this can be applied to almost anything. So to be a good basketball player first you must learn the fundamentals of the game. Once you have a solid comprehension of the fundamentals I feel you are well on your way to being good. The next step is to actually practice, and by practicing you slowly begin to make progress. The more you practice the better you become.


To be considered GREAT, I feel you need to not only have a solid foundation of the fundamental aspects that govern whatever you are striving to be great at, but you also need to have an added degree of focus. This focus involves a higher degree of practice. You also must begin to find people who are already great or even greatest and begin to emulate them. I remember as a kid I began trying to play like my favorite basketball players, as well as my older brother. I would see him (or them) do different moves and then start practicing them. Gatorade didn't chose to use "I Wanna Be Like Mike" as their marketing campaign for no reason you know? Thats also why people wear "WWJD" wristbands as well. Trying to emulate Jesus is never a bad thing.

Even applying this to web design, I am always looking at the people who I feel are great or even greatest and then I try to emulate them not as people, but as designers.


I think to get to the greatest category it comes down to your level of commitment, focus, and most importantly the details. The majority of guys you see in professional sports or the Olympics eat, sleep, and drink their sport. Just look at how hard Michael Phelps trains for example:
"Bowman actually started training Michael Phelps when the Phelps was still 11 years old. He pushed Phelps to swim at least 50 miles each week. According to him, kids at that age, is able to increase the size of their hearts and lungs in ways that no longer possible later on. The larger the heart and lungs, the bigger the aerobic engine. Phelps has been training almost 5 hours a day and 7 days a week without any rest day. Bowman admitted that he has trained the star to the extent that Phelps has little time or energy left at the end of the day for anything except to eat, sleep or occasionally watch the television. Phelps has to swim on his birthdays and Christmas too. He probably has missed some of the things he should have enjoyed at his age, but he has probably gained much than what he has missed. By the way, Bowman was a college swimmer before he became coach and he has a degree in child psychology. That helps, I guess.
The thing to be worried about when you are looking to be in the greatest category to me, is you really need to think about your priorities in life. In all reality the only things I want to be greatest in are being a father, & a husband. When you chose something like a vocation to be greatest in, you really are sacrificing a lot of other aspects of your life in order to become greatest. Most insanely successful individuals go through countless divorces, and have poor relationships with their children and family. It's all due to the amount of focus and commitment you have to have to reach the level of greatest.

If your vocation, sport, or hobby is that important to you, then I suppose it is all worth it. To me I would much rather be considered the GREATEST dad, or the GREATEST husband. So to do so, I believe I have to stay focused on what it is that makes a person the greatest dad, or husband.


That is why I am more than happy with simply being great at designing websites, or basketball for that matter (if I can even be considered great that is). I am not saying that ALL people who are in this greatest category don't have great relationships with their families. I'm also just not confident that you can truly be greatest at more than one thing. Perhaps this only applies to me, and my capacities.

I do feel like in regards to web design I am at that stage where I am constantly trying to analyze what makes other web designers great. I have also changed the way I look at the world in general. When I go to the grocery store I am constantly looking at package designs, posters, and displays for different aesthetic aspects, and how effective they are. When I drive down the road I pay close attention to each and every billboard, as I sit in the mall while Hannah is playing I sit and stare at the Dillards logo and get irritated by the poor kerning of the letters. When I watch TV I pay very close attention to most commercials and the little details involved such as the fonts used, colors, music, camera angles, cinematography, and more. Similar things happen to me when I watch a movie, even my basketball watching experience has changed since I now over analyze the graphics on the screen. How they display the score and other statistics throughout the game. I flip through magazines not only to read the articles, but also to enjoy the layout and graphical elements of the magazine in general. I try to figure out what type of grid was used in the design of the magazine. There are countless other ways that my attempts to become a better designer has changed the entire way I see and interact with the world. Like I said, that to me is the only way to become great at it.

I am also constantly looking at web galleries, and almost stalking each and every web designer I feel are some of the best in the world. I visit their blogs on almost a daily basis. I subscribe to different design related magazines and do my best to read them from cover to cover.

I just hope I never allow myself to focus more on design, or basketball than I do my daughter, soon to arrive son, and wife. I think back to my youth, and how I did similar things in regards to basketball. My junior year I began shooting at least 100 three pointers a day, as well as 50 free throws. If I would of known what I know now, I probably would of gone the extreme route of Michael Phelps, because at that time in my life basketball and being successful was almost everything to me. At least I told myself that, I didn't have the focus and work ethic to quite back it up. I think many times people want to be great so bad, but don't want to actually put in the work necessary to obtain it. Mostly because they see someone that is already at that level, and don't pay close enough attention to see what that person actually did to get to that point. They just see their fame, money, & talent and covet it.

What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Growing Up

Heather took Hannah to get her picture taken. I decided to go back into the archive to see the change from last year to this year. My little girl is getting all growed up on me...

It's just sad as a parent you have to just sit back and slowly watch the innocence and purity of a child slowly get stripped away as they get pulled away into the beautiful struggle that is life and our pursuit to find happiness.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Celebrating Four Years of Life!

Back on Saturday May 23rd we had a swim party for Hannah. I made a website to send out as our invite, which I thought was a good idea. It was a way I could flex my design muscles at the world, and also what I felt was a conveniently simple way to both spread the word and allow people to have a constant reference to go refer to. We placed a "wish list" on their with links to the actual product or examples for the many times we get asked, "What does Hannah want for her birthday?" We also placed a very simple contact form to allow us to get a head count so we knew how much cake and drinks to supply.

The website didn't seem to help with ANY of these things. Perhaps we sent it out too early, and maybe we should of shot out a second email blast as the date got closer, but then we didn't want to seem like we were BEGGING people to come. Some people showed up that didn't email (which we were still VERY happy you came!). Others emailed and didn't show up. Everyone still asked the inevitable question, "What does Hannah want?" Oh well it was alot of fun to design, and I mainly did it for myself anyways.

The party was a HUGE success, not everyone showed up that we had hoped would be there (Grand Dad, Nana, Jacob, Caleb, Matt (Heather's brother), Kari, Mark, Maile, Marrissa, & Michaela, Emily, Seth, & Asher) but everyone that did show up seemed to have a good time, and Hannah had a blast. We appreciated ALL of the presents, and the wonderful conversations and company. Hannah is still talking about her party!

So I know it's late, but I finally got around to uploading ALL of the photos from the party so click on over to check them all out!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


There are plenty of other blogs and sources critiquing the functionality and efficacy of Bing, so what truly brings us all here today is the sad, awful, unforgivable mutilation that has been done to these four poor letters of the Latin alphabet.

Friday, May 29, 2009


As a Typekit user, you’ll have access to our library of high-quality fonts. Just add a line of JavaScript to your markup, tell us what fonts you want to use, and then craft your pages the way you always have. Except now you’ll be able to use real fonts. This really is going to change web design.
Now this sounds VERY promising, something I am VERY excited about!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Don't Chase Money

"Don't go after clients because of the money. Be sure the client fits your culture. Angelo says, (of David&Goliath) "We look at our client partners as an integral part of the brand. They're as much a part of our place as anyone here."
words by: Julie Prendiville Roux in an article published in the Communication Arts Interactive Annual 15

I don't think anyones primary goal in business or in life should be money. When you REALLY think about it, everyones primary goal in life is to be happy, so why not make that your primary goal in business as well. If you are thinking, "money will make me happy." Well that is a sad and slippery slope to be on, because you will never make enough money for that to REALLY happen.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Which is the fastest browser?

The tables and charts on these pages are compiled from thousands of Peacekeeper results from users all around the world. The figures are updated as new results come in. The table below shows how the five major browsers score in Peacekeeper. For each browser we show you the results from the current release and the latest beta build. Most people will be better off using the stable release but there are always people, like us, who have to have the latest of everything.
Yet another reason why not to use Internet Explorer. Make the switch to a better, faster, & more efficient browser today! Don't be fooled by merely upgrading to Internet Explorer 8, because Internet Explorer isn't keeping up with the rest of the browsers out there, so although IE8 may be somewhat better than IE6 or IE7, it still flat out SUCKS when compared to the competition.

If you are using a PC I would suggest switching to Google Chrome or Firefox. If you are using a Mac, just stick with Safari, although I seriously doubt anyone using a mac is actually using Internet Explorer for anything but testing. If you haven't upgraded to Safari 4, you might want to check it out though.

Friday, May 08, 2009


Perhaps you have either seen me write this on my Facebook status, or you might follow me on twitter. Either way I've been getting a lot of people interested in this whole FUNday and what it is all about. You see back when I was in highschool I always remembered Fridays being this special day, you had TGIF on television when you got home from school, often times in elementary school Fridays were reserved for watching a movie, and you also got to look forward to a fun filled weekend in which Friday was the day to kick start it all off. Since graduating from school Fridays slowley become just another day. So when I moved here to Austin, I decided to make Fridays special again. It all started with me just casually greeting my friends at Practice Cafe with a "Happy FUNday" as aposed to the usual "Good Morning."

That slowly has evolved into me finding new ways to set Friday apart from the rest of the days and make them FUN. My favorite color is red, so I started wearing red sox, and a red shirt to help set the mood, with only a few exceptions I have also worn a pair of red shoes to work as well. I'm also a huge fan of fountain drinks, so I usually will try to run by the gas station and pick up a cold refreshing cup of goodness on my way to work. While at work I always try to stay focused on making it a FUNday. Many times that means listening to some FUN songs while I work, doing something different for lunch, or tuning into Layer Tennis when it is going on.

So I would love to invite each of you to also join the movement. This doesn't mean to adopt my same exact practices, but instead just find the little things you can do to help boost your mood and set the day apart. For me it's the color red and a fountain drink, most likely for you it is something else.

Happy FUNday!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Summer Fun in the Sun!

May 4th I got home from work and noticed 1.) Hannah & Heather were outside playing 2.) There were an abundance of kids swimming in the pool. So I said, what the heck, and asked Hannah if she wanted to go see how cold the water was. So we ran over there and I thought the water was still a tad bit cold for my taste, but Hannah was loving it. So we ran inside and threw on her brand new bathing suite. So that has officially kicked off our Summer fun in the sun!

Above is actually a video I took on May 5th, which was actually our second and longer day swimming (which was also the day I actually remembered to grab my camera).

Click your way over to my Flickr page if you'd like to view more fun photos of Hannah in the pool.

Space Walking

First I thought she was doing some sort of an interpretive dance, but later she informed us that she was "space walking"


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lessons of the Heart

Oh when the wild was all covered by snow,
I forgot the colours that the grass tend to grow.
Oh the trees were all leafless,
And lifeless and black,
And I wondered if the leaves could grow back

For your heart is like a flower as it grows,
And its the rain, not just the sun that helps it bloom,
And you don't know how it feels to be alive,
Until you know how it feels to die

The lyrics of Noah and the Whale are so good, I always enjoy to constantly be reminded that life is about both the good and the bad, and that we must have the bad to know the good. The bitter to appreciate the sweet and so forth.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Beauty of Forgiveness

The beautiful thing about forgiveness is that it can be given freely to all without asking anything in return. Forgiveness does not demand an apology from an offender, it doesn't require justice to be served, nor does it require forgiveness to be reciprocated. When we forgive ourselves as well as others who may have offended us or wronged us we are able to make the first steps to becoming happy.

James E. Faust said:
“Forgiveness is freeing up and putting to better use the energy once consumed by holding grudges, harboring resentments, and nursing unhealed wounds. It is rediscovering the strengths we always had and relocating our limitless capacity to understand and accept other people and ourselves.”
"Most of us need time to work through pain and loss. We can find all manner of reasons for postponing forgiveness. One of these reasons is waiting for the wrongdoers to repent before we forgive them. Yet such a delay causes us to forfeit the peace and happiness that could be ours. The folly of rehashing long-past hurts does not bring happiness."

In order to forgive ourselves and others we must become humble, and selfless (un-selfish). One of the best tools I have learned in the forgiving process is to apologize even when you don't feel as though you need to apologize.

It is funny to me that through becoming selfless we are truly able to find ourselves. This being a difficult process by the very nature of man. I believe C. S. Lewis said it better than I when he said:
“The moment you have a self at all, there is a possibility of putting yourself first—wanting to be the centre—wanting to be God, in fact. That was the sin of Satan: and that was the sin he taught the human race. Some people think the fall of man had something to do with sex, but that is a mistake. . . . What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could ‘be like gods’—could set up on their own as if they had created themselves—be their own masters—invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come . . . the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”

I began to first comprehend this concept during my time in brazil, but it didn't truly sink in until I locked eyes for the very first time with my daughter, and it only has been magnified during the past 3 (almost 4) years of her life. Dallin H. Oaks expressed it recently in a talk he gave about "Unselfish Service" where he said;
"...the sacrifice parents make for their children. Mothers suffer pain and loss of personal priorities and comforts to bear and rear each child. Fathers adjust their lives and priorities to support a family."

I recently tweeted, "Unselfishness is the pathway to happiness." while listening to Dallin H. Oaks talk I began to connect the dots where forgiveness and unselfishness are interwoven and connected. Whereby you can not forgive yourself or another without being unselfish, likewise you can not be unselfish without forgiving yourself and others.

I believe the one single emotion we all strive for in this life is happiness. Sadly the majority of us fall into the natural trap that C.S. Lewis described as being "the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy."

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Enjoying the Sound

Lately I've been listening to Noah and the Whale both at work and in my car. Hannah is even a fan, requesting we keep the song below on constant repeat while strolling down the ave. Their music reminds me of a Wes Anderson film, which is basically me saying it's good!
"On the surface the name Noah and the Whale seems to be a mashup of biblical stories. In reality it’s an homage to Noah Baumbach’s film The Squid and the Whale. If you only listen to Noah and the Whale’s single “5 Years Time” you’ll think they were a sunny quirk-pop group. In reality their music is a tasty cake made from many ingredients, from twee to shoegaze. What’s that old expression about judging a book by something?"
here's the full story


Monday, March 30, 2009

Dr. Appointment

She was wearing a pink toy stethoscope around her neck as she looked straight at me with her blue eyes and said, "Don't call me Hannah, call me Dr. Appointment."

Friday, March 13, 2009

SXSW Interactive: Day One

Well I left work around 12:30 and had to deposit my paycheck and then headed downtown to the Austin Convention Center (ACC). It took me awhile to find a place to park, and walk to the ACC. I walked and chatted with two guys who flew in from Australia, and would of stuck around with them if it wasn't for the fact that I still needed to check in and get my badge. So there was this HUGE virtually endless line that I had to get into. Two hours later I had my badge and my bag of swag and was on my way to my very first panel (what should of been my second) "Oooh, That's Clever! (Unnatural Experiments in Web Design)" by Paul Annett of Clearleft Ltd.
Paul gave a very entertaining and inspirational presentation. He started out by showing a video he made and posted on YouTube (as seen below)

He froze paused it and showed a clip that caught a lot of peoples attention of a part in the trick where it appears that he is holding two cards in one hand (when he should be holding one). So people began to feel like they figured out the trick and knew this little secreat.

He then compared that to little secrets in design such as "the arrow" in the "FedEx" logo (in the white space created in between the "E" & "X").
His next example was how his company Clear Left threw up this landing page for an idea they had for some software called Silverback. If you resize your browser window on their site, you will notice an interesting 3-D effect with the vines. This small little detail (that most people would never noticed) caught the attention of a few web designers who twittered about it and in one day their site received over 20,000 hits and half of the people signed up to receive updates. All this happened before they even had an actual product.

He then went on to show a ton of other examples of small little hidden gems people place on their websites that when found become these little secrets that people can't help but brag about knowing and spread the word.

My second and last panel of the day was AWESOME! It was a panel by Alex Bogusky of Crispin Porter+Bogusky (they are the advertising firm behind such things as "The Truth" campaign, Burger King ads, Volkswagen, & Mini) called, "Plan B: Can an Ad Guy Bring Bike Sharing to America?" It was kicked off with a FREE red or blue T-shirt that were passed out right before he grabbed the mic.
So he started out by talking about his company and how they are different from other advertising companies. how many offices & employees they have, and went through different solutions they came up with for companies. He started with "The Truth" campaign and how up until that point whenever people would market or advertise to kids negatively about cigarettes they would focus on 2 things, "They are un healthy" and "Gross." After questioning their target market they started to realize taht the youth didn't care if cigarrettes can kill you, and they didn't think they were gross. So they had to had to convince these people to take a different approach without actually proving to them that their idea would REALLY work. The main theme of his presentation was, "Sticking your nose where it doesn't belong."

The meat of his panel consisted of him telling us how the idea of bringing "Bike Sharing" to the US came about, and how it was very humble beginnings, and how after just talking and throwing out ideas with different people, that lead to getting in contact with someone else who lead to another person and now they have started the program in 4-6 cities as B-Cycle.

Two of the more interesting things Alex Bogusky said came in the question & answer portion after he was done with his presentation. Someone asked where he felt marketing was headed in the future. He then candidly said, "I have no clue." He went on to say that back in the day people were telling him that in 5-10 years there would be NO MAGAZINES (something I still here today) and that VHS was going to take over, because people would much rather watch something that read it. Here we are in 2009 and although magazine subscriptions are declining, they are still very much around, with brand new magazines still popping up all the time. Anyways he then said something that was right in line with my personal philosophy not only on marketing/advertising but also life which is, "I only look 15 minutes into the future."

Because in all reality it is virtually impossible to try and predict what is going to be happening in 5-10 years. There are far too many variables involved in these types of things. I mean for all we know Global Warming is going to swallow us all up in 5 years and there won't be ANY marketing at all...

Anyways I always try to stay grounded in the present. I don't want to spend my life looking in the past at, "what could of been." Nor do I want to look too far into the future at, "what could be waiting for me in the future." But rather I would like to just enjoy TODAY (I could go on and on with this subject so I will stop now).

The other thing he said was an interesting quote,
"Be the change you want to see in the world."
So that was day one of SXSWi (south by southwest interactive). I'm looking forward to a full day tomorrow jam packed with some potentially inspiring panels as well.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Why Mormons Build Temples

"Throughout history, the Lord has commanded His people to build temples. Temples are literally houses of the Lord. They are holy places of worship where individuals make sacred promises with God."

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Comcast Goes Juno

Comcast went all Juno on us in their newest advertsing campaign, by singing parodies of a quirky little song by Kimya Dawson called "Loose Lips" (I was going to post the song here, but the last verse isn't very family friendly. They edited the song in the movie, and I really wish I could find THAT version somewhere, but click on the link and it will send you to the song if you want to hear it.) from the movie Juno and I like it. Not like it matters since we live in Time Warner land and don't have the option of having Comcast, I do enjoy watching their commercials, BUT I sure do miss The Slowskys.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Dr. Sees a Penis!

Well the doctor is saying she is able to see two testicles and a penis in this very photo above. I never saw it, but I'll take her word for it. Besides I have already had an overwhelming feeling that it was a boy the entire time.

In this picture is where you can actually see a 3-D modeling of the entire little baby!

Thursday, March 05, 2009


When I first got hired on as a designer with the wonderful team over at Practice Cafe I'm not even sure their website showed up in a "Google Search" for anything BUT a search for "Practice Cafe." Well a little short into a year of working their I was privledged to be able to take on the hefty job of redesigning their website. Well two more redesigns later and it is the beautiful site that I LOVE to inform people that I was a part of producing is now on the infinite abyss we all call the interweb (or is that just me?).

Well it quickly became a business goal to get ourselves ranked as high as possible in Google for a number of relevant searches. The main one being "Dental Marketing." So we set out a little over a year ago to improve our ranking in "Dental Marketing." So I dove in head first at researching "Search Engine Optimization" (SEO), and best practices in improving your ranking in Google. I quickly realized this was a very tricky little task. There is no solid formula or solid answer. Infact the more time went on it was almost as if, right when I got to the point where I was saying, "Hey I think I got a handle on this SEO business" I would quickly get a reality check of how much I DIDN'T know.

However with the help of a WONDERFUL team of copywriters in Angie Liddiard & Amanda Fuller, and some helpful hints and tricks from my good friend Noel Datko, we have successfully been able to implement a lot of tender love and care over the months and successfully reached page one in google in a handful of relevant and very competitive searches. In fact our visitors to our site per day has doubled if not tripled since I started working back in November of 2006.

So as you can see from the beautiful screen capture above we are currently residing in the NUMBER 5 out of 9,120,000 in a Google Search for the term "Dental Marketing."

Click the picture above for an enlarged image, or you can just go ahead and do a quick Google Search yourself right now for "Dental Marketing" and take a VERY short scroll on down to "Practice Cafe" and go ahead and click your way over to Practice Cafe to see how we are VERY capable at handling any and all of your Dental Marketing needs (ZING!)

Although I still feel like an amateur when it comes to SEO, I am also very happy and proud that all of our work over the year has REALLY paid off. So I am anxious to continue to learn, grow, and develop these skills and to continue to improve both Practice Cafe's website and the websites of all our clients. Each and every year the internet is becoming more and more important when it comes to a marketing budget, and how people want to market their company or business, and search engine optimization will continue to play a HUGE roll in the future of marketing in the world. So we are happy to be a part of this.

Keywords and Terms Practice Cafe ranks well in:

Dental Marketing: Page 1 – #5
Dental Practice Marketing: Page 1 – #10
Dental Marketing Services: Page 1 – #3
Dental Marketing Companies: Page 1 – #2
Dental Marketing for Less: Page 1 – #5
Professional Dental Marketing: Page 1 – #10
Dental Marketing Firms: Page 1 – #5
Dental Marketing Postcards: Page 1 – #5
Custom Dental Marketing: Page 1 – #2
Affordable Dental Marketing: Page 1 – #1
Dental Office Marketing Budget: Page 2 – #5
Dental Marketing Campaign: Page 2 – #1
Dental Logos: Page 2 – #7