New Career Alert

23 05 2007

I have just accepted the position of Interaction Designer at Mitchell International. Mitchell is a medium sized software company that caters to the automobile industry- especially in the insurance claim fields. I will be working with some really bright guys on a successful User Experience team. I am excited to get in there and start learning!

HP basketball courtI will miss my work at Hewlett Packard- and most importantly- my coworkers. But, it’s time for me to find a new direction and find a comfy home at a company that values my work as much as I feel I deserve. I start my new job on June 11th.

By the way- this is indeed the reason why I have not posted in a long time. It was exhausting trying to build my portfolio, move my blog (from blogger), hone my interviewing skills (or lack there of), keep my day job, and stay thoughtful and insightful enough to write at the same time. Hopefully, I will be able to find more time to post.


Ipod- fixed?

23 03 2007

My ipod was dead for several days. It had a sad face on the screen and all of my attempts to charge, use, connect, restore, or even reboot into disk mode were failures. Apple’s support site told me that it was in need of service repair, and since I don’t have any warranty services or whatever, it would cost a pretty penny to fix.

My Dad tried to pry it open with his keys, figuring “hey, if it’s broken, we might as well open it up and have a look.” He was likewise unsuccessful.

Then, all of a sudden, while trying to wrestle it open, it turned on and it was running in normal mode! It’s working now, but I don’t trust it… we’ll see what happens in the next couple of weeks.

If my ipod really ends up failing on me, I was be completely music-less in my travels, since my car stereo was ripped off about 6 months ago…

Barbecue Grills and Affirmations

23 03 2007

Went to Sears today to pick up a barbecue that Lauren bought.

The pick-up process was really painless and easy for me. I walked in and pressed a big area on the kiosk touch screen that says “Pick-Up Merchandise”. I was then instructed to scan my receipt under the scanner, and after it beeped, the screen told me that it was on it’s way out and that I could check on the progress on the screen above. That screen had a sort of first-in first-out list of people waiting. and the ETA.

Then, as I was waiting for my grill to come rolling out from behind the double doors, an elderly man came up to the kiosk and attempted to pick-up his stuff as well. Only, he had more difficulty. I’m not sure what went wrong, but when I started paying attention to it, it was telling him that there was nothing waiting for him on that receipt at this time. He was confused and starting to panic because he thought his merchandise was gone just like that.

What had happened was he had already scanned the receipt and his name was already on the “waiting” screen above. He was done, but didn’t catch on. So, when he tried again, there was nothing left of his on that receipt that he could pick-up.

It got me wondering about the differences in people regarding the usability of systems. No matter how easy a system appears to me, it may be completely beguiling to somebody else- due to cultural or generational differences.

As I was thinking that, he approached me and began complaining about computers these days and all the shit he’s seen in his life- a classic romanticist of analog and directly manipulative objects like rotor phones. When I told him that I work for the cause to improve the ease-of-use of technology, he smiled and looked at me like I was some kind of hero. I was kinda funny- cute, in a way. But it was also flattering to step back and affirm to yourself that people really do feel passionate about their feelings of inadequacy- their sense of not being welcome- to computers. I felt important for a couple minutes as I explained what I do, and then my barbecue burst through the doors and I was on my way.

I drove away thinking that old people aren’t so bad after all. But then, as I got back on the freeway to head home, I got stuck behind an old woman driving 25 on the on-ramp. That’s no lie.

What skill would you like to improve?

16 03 2007

I saw this question asked on somebody else’s blog, and I immediately got a rush of excitement. I thought it was a great question because it shows what your short term and long terms goals are (or how they are affected), and it also gives the answerer an opportunity to reflect on their self-image and organize their scattered thoughts into ones that are progressive. We should all do this from time to time.

The problem is: I can sit here and rattle off about 50 skills that I want to improve- and I’m not stretching it either. Don’t believe me?
creative writing, drawing, speed reading, critical thinking, quick thinking (on my feet), inhibitions, running, keeping a healthy diet, basketball (collection of skills), designing interfaces, organizing, keeping to schedules, scoping time and projects, social skills, speaking skills, speaking in public, story telling, snowboarding, backpacking, survivor skills, beer brewing, graphic design, 3D and CAD Design, building with raw materials, fixing automobiles…

I’m half way there and I haven’t even gotten to my relationship skills, household skills, and any work-specific skills like project strategy,prototyping, or web design skills…and it only took me a minute or two.

Am I too unfocused? I mean- it’s really unrealistic for me to reach a level that I’d be happy with in just a few of these areas, let alone all of them! But, why can’t I just stick to a few things I am good at and make myself better? Why do I spread myself so thin? Am I lessening my potential for greatness??? Am I a scatter-brained, indecisive, identity-less dreamer?

Anyway, I realized the question was asking for the ONE skill most desired to improve. So, my answer is doing comical impressions of mutual friends.

Philosophy of Argument: Use this tool

5 03 2007

The next time you’re involved in an argument with a person (as opposed to a lamp or guinea pig), here’s a great weapon to keep in your arsenal: the redirect. It’s name is derived from the move in martial arts where you take an opponent’s hit and gracefully use their momentum to redirect the blow back towards them. It works well in martial arts and it works just as nicely in argumentation.

here’s an example:

Person 1: Killer whales kill people! They are dangerous and we need to rethink whether or not humans should be interacting with them as pets and performers!

Person 2: No no no, orcas are friendly, intelligent creatures. When you hear about attacks and fatalities in the news, it is usually because the orcas are just playing. They don’t mean to harm the people.

Person 1: Exactly! You are absolutely right and that’s my case in point right there. Whether killer whales have intent or not, they are still dangerous!

Person 2: hmm, I’m in your corner now. Well done.

Ok, so the last comment is figurative. But this is what person 2 would probably be thinking…

See, what you do is you take one person’s point or counterpoint, and you validate it and at the same time show how it actually supports your claim! If you are successful in this endeavor, the result is that your opponent has his/her argumentative fire minimized significantly and it forces them to teeter on the thought that you and him/her are really on the same page, but that you were just there first! I’m not saying that they won’t still have a counterpoint afterwards, but if you use this tool, the likelihood of having a great counterpoint in light of your redirect will be greatly decreased.

It’s a simple weapon to use, but it’s hard to master. You can’t use it often either. But when you see an opportunity, you attack!


16 02 2007

Sorry if I seem apathetic, but ENOUGH with the Anna Nicole reports on all the news stations! Yes, unfortunately, she lost her life. Yes, her son had died too recently. And yes, she was a celebrity that was in the news often. But why should every news program focus half of their content on speculations as to her death and anything else about her life that they can get their hands on??

To be honest, I was interested to hear that she died- because it was a shock. And I will be slightly interested to hear how exactly she died. But other than that- DROP IT. It’s boring, repetitive, negative, non-progressive, untruthful (in many cases), and honestly unimportant.

Matter of fact, don’t even watch the news. I’m with Brandon Boyd on this one- all the news does is depress you these days…and if it’s not depressing, it’s usually silly and contrived.

Go read a book. Go plant a tree. Go stomp on weeds. Go running to your local park and beat clumsy adolescent kids at some sport. Anything- just don’t watch more useless reports about a deceased celebrity that really has no effect on the world – or your world – at all.

Now distributing codyBREW

8 02 2007

My first successful batch of beer! It’s a pale ale, and it’s called…pale ale. It’s good though- it tastes like something I would buy.

Well, more exciting I guess is that I was able to create a label using an automatic seal generator and adobe photoshop. Here it is ->

No, there is no significance to the fist logo. I just thought it was appropriate for some reason. I am happy with the beer brand name though (codyBREW). Savvy?

So, now the beers sit in branded bottles in my fridge and are given to those select few who want some. Perhaps you’ll be able to place an order in the future, and I’ll have a variety of brews to provide at a competitive price, but for now just hit me up for the paley!