Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hyperbolic Rant Series: Simple is overrated

Everybody just wants to “keep it simple.” Everyone says “Let's just do a simple design.” All designers think “simple” is always the best answer. It is usually assumed that among all solutions, the “simple” and “minimal” one is the best. Simple is a buzzword. Simple is a trend. Simple is a pretentious, elitist clique.

I am coming out and saying it right now—I hate simple. Simple is boring. Simple is a default. Simple kills ideas. If the simplicity bandwagon continues to pick up followers, every publication, website, graphic, product, piece of furniture, and article of clothing in the world will look exactly the same. Have you noticed that most graphic designers all like the same stuff? Ever noticed how the majority of creative types use and espouse the same brands of fashion, furniture, products, cars, music and clothing? Chances are all those German brands and designer items were designed by the same small group, which, coincidentally, espouses absolute simplicity for everything. It’s especially apparent at large conventions for designers, like AIGA events. I never feel so homogeneous as I do at a large gathering of graphic designers. Ever seen “THX 1138”? That's where we’re headed. Most of us already have the hair.

I knew we were pointed down a dead end when I saw the horrendous failure of industrial design and technology that was the Porche-designed LaCie Hard Drive (not to mention the Neil Poulton hard drive) There are only so many ways you can design a rectangle. Reductionist thinking is a finite path. When will the path come to a dead end?

Now, I’m not saying that “simple” is never the answer. It just might be the answer. But put a little thought into it! Consider all the options! Simplicity is not the only beauty. Let the revolution start today!

I'll stop now before they come barging through the door and take away my designer’s membership card (which has a very simple design, BTW.)

Oh, what's that?

Why yes, I am writing this post on my minimalistic MacBookPro, with an attached simple aluminum-case Apple Cinema Display, on top of a simple plywood-slab table with simple straight cylinder unfinished metal legs, which stands on the simple concrete floor, in my office with minimal white walls, while listening to minimalistic electronic ambient music. Just a disclaimer.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

For Shame

I was just reading that blog post I made four months ago wherein I resolved to start writing more often.
I should have known at the time that that would guarantee that the postings would come to a screeching halt. Actually, there were quite a few after that fateful “Piglet Boots” post, but then...
I have no excuses. But I've heard that a lot of people are starting to have blogs these days, and I figured I'd better be on the cutting edge of technology and keep this thing up, so I can be known as one of the first to have a blog.

Who needs the apocalypse when you've got football?

Last Monday, when the stock market had its near 800 point drop, and my bank, Washington Mutual, failed (the largest bank failure in the history of the USA—Woo Hoo™indeed!), I was pretty sure the world was coming to an end in the next two weeks. My brother came over to our house on Monday night to talk to us about preparing for a major possible future event, and getting our food storage stocked up. I thought briefly about buying a gun to fend off the starving , rabid hoodlums that would inevitably come to my window and try to steal my dry-pack oats. People are losing their retirements. It's bedlam!

That is why I get so wrapped up in college football. It's just fun! Mascots, national rankings, going to the stadium every other Saturday, screaming until you can't talk anymore; I much prefer all of these things to listening to the economic news and watching Sarah Palin call Barack Obama a terrorist's best friend. There are some things that you just shouldn't try to deal with or solve. It is much better to go to a large sporting event, surrounded by 64,000 people and listen to BYU's marching band play "Fire" by Jimmy Hendrix. (What the? Hendrix?)

Anyway, there is a simple answer. Don't buy a 7,500 sq foot home when you make $30,000 a year. You are going to be part of the problem when you forclose and the national economy fails. And to the banks, don't wonder what went wrong when all those thousands of unqualified people you gave loans to can't pay you back. Its YOUR fault! Woo Hoo!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Harry Potter: How Old is Too Old?

So, just a question... at what age is it inappropriate to love the Harry Potter Series? Is it age 30?
Or if you are in the act of reading "The Half-Blood Prince" when you turn 35, do you instantly become a creep? Are kids and teenagers the only ones allowed to love the Harry Potter books?
I'm just asking; it’s not that I love Harry Potter or anything. I mean, the books are fun to read, and I'm totally looking forward to the next movie and everything, and I think Severus Snape is the coolest character in any non-kids’ story I've read in the last 10 years (number of non-kids’ stories I've read besides Harry Potter in the last 10 years = possible to count on one hand), but I'm totally NOT a Potter Freak™ or anything.
Does it mean you're a Potter Freak if you have watched all the movies at least once in the last 3 months? What if you like watching the movies at night, listening to the books on your iPod during your commute, and reading the books in any spare minute you have? I would imagine that someone who did all those things, AND was also over age 30 could be considered a freak; glad I've never done that.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Turkeypants Rant Series: Scatting = Verbal Littering

Have you ever found yourself listening to the radio at night (in Salt Lake City), flipping through the radio stations while driving home, when you hear some cool jazz music? So you leave it playing, because it's not commercials, and besides, you feel obligated to listen to jazz because you think it might be sophisticated? After a few songs, and a little education on what Miles Davis sounds like, all of a sudden your ears are accosted with the ridiculous sound of nonsensical shrill babbling.

Oh, that has happened to you, too?

It's called "scatting," and it is an integral part of jazz music. Well, jazz enthusiasts, I'll go with you through Jazzland with Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald, and even Billie Holliday, but as soon as they start with the "ba doo bee bop bwah bop de dop," in unison with the improvising brass instruments, I am stabbing myself in the eardrums in a desperate attempt to make it stop. Or simply changing the station, on the off chance that I don't have ice picks with me.

It's hard to put the ridiculousness of this type of "singing" into words; so let me just say that hearing scatting is the audio equivalent of walking along a city street and seeing litter on the sidewalk. It shouldn't be there, it's ugly, annoying, and you wish the person who put it there had a few manners, or common courtesy. The world is ugly enough (and loud enough) without us adding additional pollution to our MUSIC, for the love.

It's no coincidence that "scat" is also a word for animal feces. When they chose the word to describe this type of "singing," they knew what they were doing. Can’t we all come together to ensure that the vocals in our music are real words, and not just noise? That is a cause I believe everyone can get behind.

Let's all resolve to rid the world of all pollution, both in the form of littering, and scatting.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

If You Write it, They Will Comment

Changes are afoot on this blog. Namely, there are a lot of comments on some of the entries! I have discovered through extensive, scientific, empirical data crunching that this is directly proportional to the frequency and content of the blog entries I write. Therefore, I am resolving to keep it up. I am cleaning up the place, trying to make it a little less default, and I will try to keep the graphical headers rotating. I'm sure you will remind me if they don’t; and I thank you for your reminders.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Telephone = Nineteenth Century

I hate to talk to people on phones. I try to avoid ever having to call anyone on the phone, unless they are my wife or a friend. Talking to people on the phone is a blind, awkward, time-wasting experience that must be avoided at all costs.

I felt this way even before electronic communications such as email, instant messaging, and texting existed. Now that those technologies do exist, which allow you to contact people at your own leisure, and allow the recipients to respond at their leisure, the telephone has become an even more loathsome, antiquated means of communication. It's like a salesman character from the era of Perry Mason, barging in on your peaceful workday or weekend, demanding your instant attention, practically yelling, with a tinny, blaring voice. All in black and white— and not the good kind of black and white, either.

If you would like to get a hold of me, the best way is email. I might have said instant messaging 9 months ago, but I have since resorted to only logging in every few hours, to increase my productivity. If you do happen to catch me on iChat, chat away. You could even video chat with me. If I am online, then it must mean I'm not too busy. Or I just forgot to log off. The second best way to contact me is to text me.

The absolute worst thing a potential contact could do is to cold call me, ask me for something, and then brazenly suggest that I need to call them back. You might as well threaten my wife and family if you're going to call me when I have no idea who you are, and don't have time to talk. You actually asked me to return your call? Seriously? That is the fastest way to turn me against you and everything you stand for. I will most likely fight night and day to destroy your existence and all the enterprises in which you are involved. I know a cop, and you might just find yourself slammed up against the hood of his cop car if you try something as foolish as calling me, unprovoked and out of the blue, and saying, "Do you know any students who are interested in designing a website for free? Because it would be a good portfolio piece. Call me back as soon as you can." I can think of friends I have had killed for something FAR less offensive.

In summary, I hate telephones, I don't have any time, and no, I don't know any students that want to design a website for your startup business.

* this post may or may not contain high levels of exaggeration and/sarcasm. And if it does, I will never say how much.

Monday, April 14, 2008

UC Dwellers

Welp, it's official. We live in Utah County. Or, as it is properly called, “The UC.” We moved to Springville, because we just grew tired of convenience, abundant retail outlets and delicious dining options. The big-city life of Salt Lake County was too chaotic and metropolitan for us, so we moved to a place that has NONE of the aforementioned annoyances. Beautiful Springville, Utah.

It's actually pretty SWEET to be 10 minutes from campus, though. Having Gramby and Grampa live 2 streets away? Dudical. 

I'm going to get a scooter. Don't tell Jill.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Soon after the movie came out, but before parachutes pants were no longer cool, I drew this. I remember when the huge ghetto blasters were all that, but not the dozens of antennae.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Who should be president based on looks alone (from CNN)

Jill’s List:
1. John Edwards
2. Barack Obama
3. Mitt Romney
4. Hillary Clinton

Brent’s List
1. Barack Obama
2. Mitt Romney
3. John Edwards
4. Hillary Clinton

(the dregs / runners up)
5. Mike Huckabee
6. John McCain
7. Ron Paul
8. Fred Thompson
9. Rudy Giuliani