New Milestone: 50 Subscribers

Written by Verne on January 25th, 2008

After teeter-tottering in the 40′s for the past weeks, I’ve finally hit 50 RSS subscribers today! I always feel a bit silly celebrating a new high on my RSS count because chances are tomorrow it will have dropped by half. But in any case, thanks to all those who have contributed to this number and those who will stick around and help me hit the next big milestone.

…I’d also like to thank my parents, my brother, my girlfriend, everyone at the agency, and of course, the big guy upstairs (the landlord) for giving me the opportunity to do what I love to do…

Cue the Oscars music.

Geeking out with designer tees

Written by Verne on January 23rd, 2008

Okay, I’m a design geek. I use photoshop shortcuts everywhere and make jokes with fellow designers about wearing capes and fighting crime against bad typography. And what better way to geek out like a true designer than to be decked out in gear that display quirky jokes that only designers understand? (Yea, you thought I meant designer tees…)

Here are two awesome sites I’ve come across that offer top-notch and really geeky design-themed merch:

Veer

Veer

They’ve got a whole line of items that your friends won’t ever understand! And what’s more, they won’t have to - because they look pretty damn good anyway. Everything from bags, to lamps, to watches, and of course, t-shirts! Plus they’re having a sale right now – go clear ‘em out to show your geekdom.

Bad Designer Threads

Bad Designer Threads

A much smaller collection, but equally hilarious. There are only 3 tshirt designs on sale at the moment, but each one is golden. My favorite is the Designer “Word” one. Brilliant.

Don’t judge me.

YouTube: The Movie

Written by Verne on January 19th, 2008

So they finally made a movie based on the YouTube phenomenon that triggers the voyeuristic individuals inside most of us that enjoy watching seemingly real and uncut footage of, well, just about anything.

And they called it Cloverfield.

Our move

Written by Verne on January 16th, 2008

BlackBerry 8320I just picked up my new used BlackBerry 8320 Curve yesterday – my first handheld complete with WiFi functionality. Naturally I spent most of the afternoon and evening toying around with it, and in the few hours that I was able to experience the supposed greatness of the mobile browser it occured to me how far behind the mobile surfing experience is from the one we’re used to on a computer.

Granted, the 8320 is not the iPhone (I’m sure there are many of you who will be ready to pounce on that tidbit). But recognize also that the majority of the mobile users are not iPhone users either (not sure how this demographic will change in the next few years though). Plus, while the iPhone’s Safari browser is a few leaps ahead of the rest of the market, it’s still far from delivering a flawless surfing experience.

It’s certainly a give and take situation – web designers need to make their sites more mobile-ready while mobile software developers need to up the firing power behind the mobile browsers. But somebody should be the bigger man, and in my eyes, I think it’s the web designers’ move next.

What happened to the .mobi movement? If web designers start building sites that are more compatible for mobile browsing, the customers and end-users will have more incentive to demand better technology on their handsets. Users don’t buy fancy handsets to see crappy websites.

On a lighter note, my 8320 is probably the one single environment where Windows Live trumps Google. That made me smile… and then cry.

The after shots

Written by Verne on January 10th, 2008

Once upon a time in July, I had the ambitious dream to convert the room that I had lived in for more than 10 years and had never renovated into a legendary home office (yes, legendary). It took a whole 3 months to get off my ass and make my way down to IKEA to pick out some furniture. Then it took another 2 months (that’s 5 months in total now) to actually start the renovation process and build that furniture. See kids, reach for the stars and you’ll eventually get there – half a year later.

But don’t let the sarcasm fool you – I’m stoked. My room is awesome (by my standards). On the legendary scale, we’ve long passed the le, zipped by the gen, and are excitedly partying in the da. Yes, I’m missing a few things still that will thrust my room into ry, thereby completing the legendary home office I had always dreamed of. One step at a time.

Let me give you the tour.

The before-after 360 tour

Italics represents furniture or supplies purchased for the remodelling of the home office

pho_before_closet.jpg

Before, the closet

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After, still the closet (L to R):

  • No mirror (but still self-absorbed): the blank space where the old vertical mirror used to be, and where a new mirror will soon be.
  • A reminder of before – discolored closet doors that, when asked about, I say match the off-white of my new drawers. But they don’t.
  • A sideview of my new drawers.

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Before, desk 1

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After, the drawers (L to R):

  • IKEA Malm Chest of 6 drawers ($149)
  • A row of reference books and interesting reads (behind)
  • My 2 greatest achievements framed: Co-op Student of the Year Award and my girlfriend. Haha.
  • Things that make me smell pretty

pho_before_desk2.jpg

Before, desk 2

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After, the bed (L to R):

  • The Blue Wall: smothered in my agency’s brand color, it screams “See, I can be interesting too!”
  • New window blinds (nothing interesting, just the fact that they’re new and match everything else)
  • The new bed that looks surprisingly like my old bed (free!)
  • Bed sheets and cover that no longer match anything in the room.

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Before, the shelf with lots of stuff

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After, the corner with lots of nothing (L to R):

  •  The beautiful marriage of blue and white on my walls that screams “Okay, I get boring from herein.”

pho_before_bed.jpg

Before, the bed

pho_after_desk.JPG

After, the desk (L to R):

  • IKEA Vika Amon Table Top + 4 Vika Curry Legs ($79.99)
  • IKEA Global Work Lamp ($39.54)
  • Sony XD200 Headphones that I bought myself for Christmas
  • New Comstar 500GB hard drive that I will use to back my entire life up into
  • 21.6″ LG LCD, now mounted on a wicked Ergotron Neo-Flex monitor arm ($112.99)
  • IKEA Goliat Drawer Unit (underneath) ($45.19)
  • Mesh Office Chair ($79.07)
  • The new desk that I can actually work and be productive on (priceless)

pho_before_door.jpg

Before, the door

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After, the door (L to R):

  • Bare walls = empty canvas
  • Active hat and jacket roster, including my new too-gangster-for-my-own-good American Eagle Alpine Bomber Jacket (most left)
  • Tuff & Tidy over the door coat hooks ($5.40) means no more jackets slung over the chair (I had a bad habit of doing that before)

Ta-da! As you can see from the before-after 360 tour, the room is actually a lot emptier than it was before. The walls, for one thing, have yet to be touched, but overall everything in the room actually has an active purpose now.

Here’s a closer look at a few cool features I’ve added to my room:

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Probably the coolest new addition to my room is the aforementioned Ergotron Neo-Flex monitor arm. Here’s a better look.

pho_after_monarm.JPG

Here’s a better view of it from behind – 5 pivot joints!

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Best of all, here’s the view from my bed that the pivoting action lets me have while I’m kicking back and watching episodes of How I Met Your Mother (a show that shares the same legendary features as my new home office).

pho_after_secretary.JPG

I even splurged to get me my own secretary to answer my phone calls (okay, Manga Spawn is just a cool action figure that needed a home).

The Bill

When I set out on this project, I actually didn’t define a budget. In fact, as I write this out, I’m calculating the sum of my expenses for the very first time. This should be fun.

  • Paint… free (it’s great to have family in the renovation business)
  • New Bed… free (handed down from my brother who used the bed for a mere 4 months during his brief move downtown)
  • IKEA Malm Chest of 6 drawers… $149.00
  • IKEA Vika Amon Table Top + 4 Vika Curry Legs… $79.99
  • IKEA Global Work Lamp… $39.54
  • Ergotron Neo-Flex monitor arm… $112.99
  • IKEA Goliat Drawer Unit… $45.19
  • Mesh Office Chair… $79.07
  • Tuff & Tidy over the door coat hooks… $5.40

Grand total: $511.18

Not too shabby considering no piece of furniture from the old room remains!

To-do’s

  • Shelves! There’s still too many things lingering on my desk (like my action figures) that need to be on a shelf somewhere. The plan is to have a headboard shelf installed above my bed, and two rows of shelves above the desk.
  • Pictures, certificates, and a giant whiteboard: I have a few things that I want to hang and display and there’s a really cool giant whiteboard waiting to be put up.

But one step at a time. It may take me another 5 months to get the above 2 items up, but even then, it’ll be a pretty damn good 5 months!

Hope you enjoyed the tour!