Wednesday, August 31, 2011

War on Drugs, Continued

As a follow-up to my last comic, Carl has a few words with Jesus.

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War on Drugs

Saw a commercial the other night where a dark cloud of depression is hovering over various people, even after they've already taken their antidepressants. So, basically, they were selling a booster to your antidepressant that would hopefully whisk that cloud away, provided you don't die from the possible side effects that take better than half the commercial to list.

Usually, I save these strips for "the other blog," but this one had cross-purposes. The entire "Coffee with Jesus" series can be found here.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Enough with the Porsche Spec Ads, Dave

Yeah, they ain't calling me, I know. I'm just entertaining myself. (Make it large by clicking.)

The other Porsche spec ad I made is here. They ignored that one, too. Luxury sports cars are a tough sell in this economy, I'm sure.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Saturated Street Scene - Ireland

I'll call this one "Generations," found in Dublin. (The corner of First Ave and Seville Pl if you want to go find it.) Click for the extremely large version, print it on canvas, frame it and then send me 1200 €.

The entire Saturated Street Scenes series is here.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Grocery List

On the fridge we keep a whiteboard to write down whatever needs restocking or the necessary ingredients for the evening's dinner. Family members know to put down their wants/needs as they run out of stuff. Then I take a picture of it and that's my list at the store. Much easier than typing a list on the phone. So yesterday I put these items on the list and now we are back from Sonic and everyone feels like hell.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Step Down

Listening to Obama and Hillary talking today, I think more people should employ diplomatic language when dealing with sticky situations. (Click.)

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Yellow Ribbons

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Vince Wants His Motor Back

Seen around town. Vince's boat, named the "Profishinsea," was robbed. Of it's motor. That had to have been quite the heist. "Your tip is discreet," adds the appropriate "I will break the SOB's legs" touch.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Mobile Computing

I'm pretty psyched about this new rig. A stand-up desk I can move anywhere in the house and enjoy the same freedom that laptop users have known for years. "Why not just get a laptop?" Well, I have one, but it's more for the road. I prefer a "station," as I've said recently. "Won't you get tired of standing all day?" It could happen, I'm sure, but I just tested the wireless keyboard and mouse for range and I can pull this thing up to any couch or chair and operate those peripherals from a sitting position if the need arises. The stand-up desk movement is catching on. So far, I think I prefer it.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Saturated Street Scenes: Cialis Edition

The trouble with trying to duplicate the Cialis commercials is you need two bathtubs and you have to change the water regularly. Someone is halfway there in this latest Saturated Street Scene from Whalsay, Shetland Islands, Scotland, overlooking the North Sea. The entire series is here.

(Much bigger when clicked.)

Crossposted to all sorts of places.

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There's a Sucker Clicking a Link Every Minute

Got a DM on Twitter last night from someone I follow (and fairly trust) that said, "Hey! Did you really say this?" followed by a link. Now, since I say a lot of things out here, I thought, "Hmmmm, wonder what I said?" And then guess what I did? Yes, I clicked that link and I found myself at an odd and suspect site and quickly backed out. Too late. Awoke this morning to the shame of a bunch of DMs and @s informing me of my idiocy.

So, rest assured my password has been changed, (which sucks - I liked that password) and hopefully I am not on too many lists marked "dimwitted assholes never to be trusted again."

And just yesterday I was snarkily and smugly mocking spammers and the like, never having been the dumb one to fall for there stupidly transparent schemes. I thought I was better than that. Well, I have been duped, (and don't say "karma" - karma doesn't work for spammers and hackers) but rather than blame a bottle of Clos Du Bois 2006 Cabernet for my error, I will blame my own vain curiosity for wanting to know what I had said somewhere that seemingly offended someone out there on this great big stupid Internet.

Never click a link in a DM
Don't care what people think.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

They're Back and The Credenza Boys are London Bound

London's calling, and the return of the Credenza Boys finds NASA test pilot Major Mike Adams (aka "Futureman") training the boys for their trip to 2011. (Click.)

This is the 33rd Credenza Boys comic. The rest have been archived over here.

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Spammy Banners Will Get Us Out of This Mess

A quick scan of my spam folder this morning and I find some fun subject lines:

"Nothing beats a huge stick"
"See your organ increase right before your eyes"
"The lady will love your monster snake pants."
"Donation from Mrs Sarah Dandr"

You probably don't know Sarah Dandr. She's from "Serbian." and has a "longtime cancer of the breast." Long, sad story. but she's a widow now with a ton of money and she needs my help. As soon as I finish this blog post, I'm sending her my bank account information. And I believe her, too, as she signed her letter to me "Yours in Christ."

And today I was checking this here blog, looking at some of the banners I have allowed to appear. I note I'm starting to get some big name sponsors like Netflix and Progressive Insurance. It's an awesome program, Google's ad thing, and since I started allowing ads on here, I've made $100, which over the life of this blog, averages out to about a nickel a day.

But when you're creating ads, do you think you might employ a proofreader; one who speaks English? My readers expect better than this ad to your left. I feel like I'm being approached by a fast talking, shady dude on the streets of Tijuana with this ad. Maybe I'm supposed to read that headline and think, "Wow, exotic. Love how she phrased that. I can hear her hot accent already."

I've always said the Internet is the Wild West, the new Frontier, where it's wide open to everyone, from Sarah in Serbia to Latin Beauties, every man and woman for him/herself. Everyone hoping to make a dollar, a euro, a peso or pound. I guess there's room for headlines like "Seeking For Latin Beauty?" Actually, I should expect more of them and welcome them. It gives the blog an international feel. We're all in this together, Sarah, this chick above, you, me. So click those banners people; shop and travel. The world economy ain't gonna fix itself.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

My New Telecommuting Basics

Now that I'm out of CubeWorldTM and embarking again on my favorite way to work, from home, I'm going to implement some new practices that I hope will make me better at this.


Exercise before work.
I may check emails, but I'm not going to "start working" until I've taken care of me first. There is a tendency when working from home to simply always be working. You can't do that. I will get coffee, walk, bike or swim, grab breakfast and all the other normal things a person does before "going to work."

Shower and get dressed.
This sounds easy, right? But it's easy to neglect a proper wardrobe when working from home. The people in the office joke, "Dave's working in his pajamas," and they're sort of correct. It's also easy to forget to shower. I used to just put on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and hit the computer with my morning coffee and let the work start slamming me. I'd shower whenever the day allowed. Now I plan on putting on normal, casual work clothes, perhaps even some shoes. After I shower.

Stay in their face.
"Out of sight, out of mind" is all too often how the home office thinks of the person far away. Email and the phone isn't enough. With my new iPhone 4, I'll be Facetiming with my colleagues and Skyping them as soon as I've moved my computer to a better location, one without my bed as the background image.

Get the computer out of the bedroom.
Since I'm an old-school desktop computer guy, never comfortable only using a laptop, I need a desk of sorts. If your bedroom is where you work, then your work is sitting there, reminding you of it when you're supposed to be in bed, relaxing. Likewise, if your bed is there while you work, it will start begging you to take a nap or stretch out and read a book. It's just not that healthy. Make an office. "But I don't have enough room in my place!" Quit your whining and figure something out.

Take a lunch.
Don't just make a lunch and bring it to your desk. Your colleagues are taking an hour, an hour and a half, going off to Chipoltle or that new sushi place. You are allowed an hour. Step away. Recharge. Stretch your neck. Take a swim.

Be comfortable.
Speaking of stretching your neck, mine was starting to hurt after a few months in the Cubes (plus that two-hour round-trip commute) and I finally got on the stand-up desk bandwagon. I mean, really, how healthy is it for us to sit in our cars, or on the subway or train for an hour, and then go sit for eight hours at a desk? I'm pretty sure this is not the best thing for the human form. So I bought one. I'll put it together this weekend. And since it has wheels, I plan on having it outdoors on occasion, once the stifling, summer Hellscape has cooled.

Set a stopping point.
I love how these agencies talk about their long hours, fueled by pizza and foosball (Oh! SIGN ME UP!) and how they sometimes work weekends! You guys go on and do that. I'll be knocking off when the day is done, which is to say about 5:30 in the home office's time zone. Sure, there will be projects that require extra hours and some weekends, but the shop that makes that a habit is a shabbily run shop that will burn its people out.

That's all I can think of right now. I think we're good. I will be doing well if I have the discipline to execute this strategy. If anyone else out there has ideas, toss them into the comments section.

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Monday, August 08, 2011

Worship the Abs

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Thursday, August 04, 2011

In Defense of Desktop Computing

I saw this Dilbert strip on Chris Miller's Google +. (I don't know Chris, so he's in my "Friends I Don't Know" circle, as are quite a few people I've "met" online.)

A few days ago (might've been weeks; time flies online) Someone I follow on Twitter pointed to an article at eMarketer with the tweet: "Mobile will soon enough be primary channel. 91 million will view web on mobile by end of year." I thought, "Hmmmm, this sounds like one of those predictions/stats/forecasts being pushed by someone with a vested interest in mobile marketing." The article opens:
More than 91 million US consumers will use the internet through a mobile device at least monthly by the end of this year, eMarketer estimates, and research shows that the increase in on-the-go web usage goes hand in hand with more search activity for local content.

"At least monthly," is not exactly indicative of widespread adoption. These "at least monthly" users are probably a lot like me. You're driving down the road with your spouse, friend, whatever, and you're talking about that movie with, oh what's her name? Damnit! I can see her in my mind but I can't remember her name! Pull up my Wikipedia app and look up that movie.

The article does sum up nicely, however, what mobile is best suited to: 
The need for local businesses to reach mobile users when they are nearby is clear and growing. With 33% of all mobile users accessing local content, and 87% of that group GPS-capable, location-based targeting and local search opportunities can help marketers reach customers at a moment of need—and convenience. 

Basically, what we're talking about here is restaurants.

Mobile has a place, of course. At my last gig, a number of people always showed up to useless meetings about endless projects with iPads, tapping away notes and pulling up other notes, their fingers poised in that delicate way we have learned to type on laptops and iPads. Others (myself included) wiled away these senseless meetings playing Words with Friends, Wolfenstein, Angry Birds or checking our Twitter and Facebook feeds on our smart phones. But when it came to actual work, like programming, writing, designing, audio and video production, even those iPad users could be found at their big boxes, with a trusty clickity-clack keyboard and a good old mouse all hooked up to obscene amounts of memory wired into a giant pipe of lighting fast connectivity. Let's not forget the screen. No smart phone display or iPad screen will ever give you the freedom of that monster landscape before you. "I'm not at my computer right now," we email the person from our phone, "But as soon as I get back I'll take care of that."

Answer emails? Of course. Log into a server and fix a problem? Sure. Locate a file and get it where it needs to be? Absolutely. But I don't see mobile as "primary" anytime soon. It's a supplement. a tool, a convenience, a toy. By all means, retail businesses should get all Foursquared and Yelped out, but the futurists are a little early on this one. We like a station, a home base, a place where our stuff is and we can sit down and work. (Or stand up, as I just adopted.)

And maybe that's just my generation. The "kids" are quite happy to never see Facebook on a big screen, thumbing away at their tiny keyboards on their phones. Perhaps by the time they're in the workforce, they can edit huge files of video from behind the wheel of their car or seated on a plane. I hope, for their sake, that they aren't connected full-time, where there's never a place they can go where they aren't being asked or feel required to do a task. For their stress and sanity, "I'm not at my computer right now" will be a nice thing to still be able to say.

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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

My Final Assignment in CubeWorld™

They say, "Do what you love." Ha! Wouldn't we all love to be able to follow that trite advice? Whoever said that was one of the rare people already doing what they love. Most of us do well to "do what we can stand." Sorry, kids. this is the way of the world - that is if you want to eat and pay your bills.

But today I'm fairly convinced that this will be the last time I have to "do what you hate." It's awesome when a person is passionate about their work. It's sad when they are the opposite of passionate. That's what this place makes me. (Looking up the opposite of passionate now but can't find the right word.) The problem is the product we sell. Right now I am creating the third and fourth emails in a campaign where the recipients ignored the initial and follow-up emails. In other words, they have no interest in what we are offering, its reputation sullied after years of being oversold and undermaintained, but we will hammer at that list as long as we have names and live emails.

And that lack of belief in what we do here is detrimental not only to me, but to my coworkers and the company. They don't need a malcontent like me writing their emails, their posters, their come-ons and their hurry-don't-wait-time's-running-outs! I'm sure it hasn't slipped through in my writing to the customers and potential customers that I find the offerings undesirable, but it can't go unnoticed around the cubes, where every manner of corporate waste, abuse, backstabbing, politicking, senseless meetings, endless projects and underhanded weaselness is practiced. Not only practiced, but rewarded, as the ones who do those things best rise up in the ranks. These are the sorts of things I enjoy pointing out at every opportunity. Because they are so stupid. And because the people who practice them are so dead to what used to drive them that they don't even see it anymore.

I'm glad to be escaping this tomb of zombies and glad for the opportunities ahead. It's almost lunch time, my stuff is packed. I wrote a Post-it note with the username / password info for this Mac for the next person who sits here. Time to go let the boss know I'm gone. Time to go do something I love.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Saturated Street Scene Bonus - Field Trip

Looking around Bergen, Norway for a new image for my collection, I found what looks like it might be a teacher, or perhaps the father of a large brood, as he points out the Google Car to his charges. The generations don't see eye to eye. Click for the larger.

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