Monthly Archives: April 2007

Mighty Belka Revised!

Yes, a revision !  Hopefully this will please Mason now, as well as myself…just follow the links and you’ll see!

Here’s a pic of basic HTML I wrote all by myself, just for evidence.

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Mighty Belka!

It’s alive! Check out my stab at my very own page.  I learned basic HTML for a high school class back in ’97, but I forgot mucho in the past 10 years…mainly actually getting my content to connect to my domain was the most frustrating.  Cyberduck looks like a lovely product, but there are still a few stone-age PC users out there (though this won’t be for long, hopefully), and the website made it look like it was Mac-only.  I turned to good ol’ Microsoft’s FTP, though I know there must be an easier, better  way. It got rather annoying having to move my html file from my hard drive (windows explorer for me) over to the FTP each time I revised it (it looked like changes were instantaneous in class last Monday).  Anyway, my splash is up, Amen.  I couldn’t get access to the portfoliocenter.net page, but I’m not going to waste time on something I don’t intend to use.  So, to repeat my sentiments, Amen.

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The “Nineties” Yankee Candle

As I was scanning the radio in the car today, I heard some clip from 99x talking about Yankee Candle’s new Nineties Candle.  Something about Eddie Vedder on the label, with the smell of patchouli and sweat when you burn it.  Of course, it was a joke, though I checked out  Yankee Candle just to make sure.  For the first few seconds of that clip, though, I was excited and thought -wow- Yankee Candle is getting brave and creative – a nineties candle!  What a way to reach a new market!
Well, Yankee Candle still could act on this and break out of the “mom” market, but I don’t see that happening.  Ben & Jerry’s they are not.  They could, however, produce these things under a different label, if they want their sales to continue once the baby boomers are all retired to nursing homes that don’t permit candles or open flames.

Really, it seems like this perfectly useless candle could be a success.  It could really smell like sweat or even nothing at all, and people would still buy it.  My mom has a cabinet full of Yankee Candles that she hasn’t burned…but there’s something about just having a cabinet full of Ocean Breeze or Fresh Baked Cookies that satisfies her…she can take new ones out for each season and set them on the counter, aflame or not.

So, what we have are novelty gifts…and I think people my age love cool novelty gifts with cool packaging (it’s all about YOU anyway).  I read Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind, and he gives the stats on how much money people spend on candles each year.  It’s amazing.  He should have followed up to see how many are actually used.  What an incredibly profitable useless market.

So Yankee Candle, make a Nineties Candle.  And then go further, cuz you can and it will make you money.  Make a Grunge Candle – cover it in flannel and whatever else you identify with that.  Remember when Swing Night was at the Masquerade on Sundays? (98, 99?)  Make a gin or whatever booze smelling candle with a classy touch.  Not your scene?  There’s plenty of music genres, movie cults, fashion mishaps, etc to exploit.

When I was enjoying my youth in the 90s, everything 80s was cool for a while – and thus everyone bought 80s t shirts, old vinyls, and whatever else they could get their hands on.  Enough time has passed where the 90s can be cool again…market it dammit, or I’m gonna make those candles after I finish my 100 logos.

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Bush in Motion

Here’s the CNN clip of jammin’ Bush on Malaria Awareness Day.

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Bush goes Tribal

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So after viewing those adorable dance shots of Yeltsin yesterday, I came across some footage of our own president making some moves during Malaria Awareness Day.  While Yeltsin made me wanna say “awwww, how funny,” the footage of Bush had an opposite effect.  It made me annoyed and ashamed – this is our president? 

So what was it that set Bush apart during his tribal jamming?  His monkey-like expressions, my predisposition against current politics, his somewhat mocking behavior of another culture, or the fact that he is leader of my country?  Well, I would pity any country that had a leader with those facial expressions!  Still, to have such a polar opposite reaction to two world leaders acting silly in public was a bit interesting to me.  Was Yelstin expresssing himselfwith child-like innocence (or humanly drunk), while Bush wanted attempt to look like he cared about a cause?  What do you think?

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Check him out, in motion

You only need to watch about 15 seconds of this to see the fun-luvin side of Yeltsin.

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Here’s to you, Grandpa Yeltsin

boris2.jpgMany people this week have asked me how my household felt about the recent death of Mr. Yeltsin.  First of all, let me inform you that we Americans have been pronouncing his name wrong for 2 decades now…it’s “Bahr-eese” Yeltsin, with stress on the second part, not Boris, like Moris the cat.

And next time you need a subject for your inspirational “you can do it!” speaches – Mr. Yeltsin was missing his index and thumb on one hand, yet was still a top volleyball player in college.

My husband and is family have a very high regard for Yeltsin, though there are many Russians that weren’t so happy with him.  The hub (we’ll call him Pig from here on) and his family profited greatly with his reforms, despite the rough transition.  Yes, Pig did loose thousands of dollars in the ’98 economic collapse, but his family was able to start a very successful business during this era once they took their own initiation to do things and not wait for the government to bring them wealth.

As I stated in a previous post, freedom of speach and political opinion feels very choked lately, whereas anything was see-able, do-able and possible during Yeltson’s 90s, the “Wild Times” as Pig refers to in conversation about his crazy teenage years.

Yeltsin was contradictory – good and bad, sober and drunk, peaceful yet willing to war.  These attribute make him, to me, a real leader of Russia.  It seems there has been a habit of worshipping or hating a leader, they are either good or bad with no gray area in between.  Being a god or satan is not being human.  Humans are complex, they do good things, they do stupid things, and they make mistakes.  Lenin had god-like status, Putin is getting there, while Stalin was the devil himself.  Yelstin was a just a human, and that makes him real. 

To sum it up, Pig never had a grandfather, so in his mind Yeltsin became this paternal figure.  Kindly smile, caring attitude, but can also drink one too many and end up on the floor. 

Here’s a salut to you, grandpa Yelstin!

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Zooming and Amatuer Video

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I work for a small department in a large corporation, and lately have been noticing that the mentality of the company contains many of the details Seth Grodin uses to describe companies that are slow to change and take risks.  I’ve been here 2 years now, though the past 4 months since life at PC began have made me part-time.  With that said, I can say this is a very conservative company with very little zoomwidth.  Zooming is scary.  This is a company that’s been around for an incredibly long time, is subdivided into many smaller companies, and thrives on its conservative image.  It is slow to embrace change, as I said, and I wonder about its future.  It will still be ok, but not as strong as it could be.

With that said, it took me by surprise today while look at their internal website to see an article about their new “edgy” advertisement technique.  Here is the opening paragraph:

 “In an age when many consumers simply fast-forward through commercials, it takes an unconventional ad campaign to get people talking. The edgier and funnier, the better. ”

That sounds like Seth’s thinking, not the dinosaur logic of my company.  So, this campaign was basically an amateur video competition for the web….and people loved it, according to the article.  It improved sales for the smaller division’s product and got consumers actively – very actively – involved.  Check it out for yourself, Duckbill Mask Videos.  I’m proud of the zooming done at work today.

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Commitment Issues=Creative Life Choices

Our Thursday speaker, PC alum John Givens , had a few comments that stood out to me during his documentary…first of all, and not too importantly, he noted that he was applying to art school (if I have this wrong, correct me, I mean no harm!).  As someone who already went through that (at least an undergrad in art), I wondered why he was choosing this path now…I went that way, and started ending up in jobs that took me further and further away from  the arts…so I ended up at PC to get me back on track (not so much in “art”, but “creating”).  I wondered what part of PC did not fill his creating needs, or did he just want to pursue a specialized field in the fine arts?  Did design jobs let him down, burn him out?  My work in the fine arts introduced me to the Art Business World – infinitely shallow and uncreative.  Are we two trains passing in opposite directions?  Or, did PC and jobs in the design field open up more creative ambitions, while supplying him with the financial backing to pursue art school?  Yeah, I should’ve just asked him, he was sitting right next to me.  I know, gotta shed that you-are-worthless, lower-than-dirt, don’t-you dare raise-your-head-to-anyone thinking that swept over me post-1st quarter critique and get on with it.  Maybe I’ll send out an email yet.

In addition to those ideas above, I loved the scenario in his documentary where he tried to describe what he is, or maybe has been, or is doing now.  That is why I am here!  That’s why I came to PC, where I could get into a little of everything – design, photo, illustration, computer whatever – even learning the construction of jacobs ladders.  I don’t want to pigeon myself as just one thing, that’s for bankers to do! 

I might be able to handle marriage, but I can’t commit to an occupation!  I mean, spending the rest of you life doing just one thing?!?!  You tend to spend more of the day at work than with a spouse anyway, spice it up a bit!  I have commitment issues, and I came to PC to change them from being an issue, to creative life choices.  Yes, ADD in the work world, and I am happy about it!

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Why Seth is a Wise Man

mit.jpgI just finished listening to the TED video with Seth Godin.  He of course has many great points, but I have to say, he completely won me over with his mockery of the Arby’s oven mitt.  I noticed that was filmed in 2003, and I remember having loathsome conversations with my coworkers in 2004 after someone brought Arby’s for lunch.  Even the cups had that swarmy little glove on it.  We took the napkins and with sharpies, added our own additions to them.  As much as I new somewhere there was a lonely heart in that glove, I couldn’t love him (maybe the Tom Arnold voice had something to with it – though I thought it was just a random obnoxious guy at the time).   I never even linked the oven mitt idea with Arby’s trying to show it didn’t serve “fried” roast beef sandwiches as I just saw some web site mentioning (we’ll forget the fries and other sides).  I just thought the people took an unimaginative approach to ripping off the Hamburger Helper guy.  Now he had charisma!  Anyway, Seth, you’ve won me over, as long as you’re still anti-Oven Mitt guy.  It’s been a few years now and I think he’s been retired to the drawer, thankfully…and actually I had forgot all about him until Seth’s recent mention -their “Different Is Good” campaign from the 90s still sticks with me.  Fans of the Oven Mitt – don’t take offense, you helped make Arby’s get their $80 million worth….just voicing an opinion to the world through my window in WordPress….

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