A Poem for the Heroes
This is a poem my 12-year-old son wrote on the bus home from 6th grade. I think it's quite appropriate for this weekend's celebrations.
by Nathanial Groves
A sharp gunshot rang out,
And silence there was,
The bullet hit to my right,
And suddenly I was in a firefight.
Gunshots heard from miles away,
The agony of war set in.
Fire in the street,
Buildings fallen and broke,
This is war's token.
Half the platoon is dead,
And my heart feels like lead,
But still we go on,
Not living or dead,
We all retreat.
In war there's no treat,
But recognition for a feat,
Either dead or dying,
We make our final stand.
This is the moment,
The glorious moment,
When none come home.
The wives and the children,
Waiting so patiently,
Waiting so patiently for one who won't come.
May the dead be honored,
Let the living celebrate,
May the survivors be at peace,
And may the families who have lost a member,
Thanks for reading.
p.s. Thank you to all who are serving, or have served, their country. I tip my hat, and my heart to you.
Giraffes and Overcoming Fear
Whether it’s fear of the unknown, fear of standing out, fear of failure, or fear of success, you cannot move forward—up and out of a rut—if you are immobilized by fear. If you think about it, immobilized by fear is just a heartbeat away from death.
Unless you enjoy the feeling of being afraid, don’t latch onto it. Like acknowledging a cloud passing overhead, identify the existence of your fear. Then like the cloud, let it drift on its way, while you go about your (now merrier) way.
Be glad you’re not a giraffe. They have a rough start to life. They’re born while their mothers are standing up. The first experience they have in life is falling six feet onto their heads! (Think about that!)
From this moment on, they are terrified of falling, unwilling to take any chance they might fall. They won’t walk down an incline of any kind. While giraffes are physically capable of navigating inclines, they’re emotionally crippled with the fear of falling. For this reason, zoos can enclose the giraffe area with a six-foot-deep dry moat. They’re called psychological moats.
For years I was uncomfortable doing just design work. I was more comfortable doing print production since there’s only one way to do it right: so it prints correctly. It started right after college, when I worked designing t-shirts. I would spend weeks on one design, until I thought it was just perfect. I would show my boss who would say smugly, “That’s a start—just keep working on it.” I hated this! In my mind the work was done, the shirt was awesome, and I was ready to move on. I started designing for what I thought he’d want to see and not what I knew to be good design. For months this went on until I realized my boss knew very little about design, and this was his standard canned answer. For years after this, fear of not designing good enough was a psychological moat for me.
Where are your psychological moats? Where have you fallen on your head—failed so miserably—that you are now unwilling to go there again?
Let me ask you: What’s the worst thing that can happen if you try again? You can fall on your head. Well, you already know what that feels like. Not only that—you have gotten up at least once already and kept on going. You’ve already succeeded! No need to fear the worst; carry on fearlessly!
Thanks for reading!
p.s. Your good juju today: Acknowledge the fear, identify the moat, and no longer be paralyzed by it. Move forward on your merry way!
The Humbling Cilantro
When I first had the idea that I wanted to start giving talks, I decided to tell a few of my stories to some new acquaintances I met during dinner at the HOW Design Conference in Austin, Texas, to see how well they would go over. To my delight, my stories went over well. The group of us went to conference party after dinner, then later, out to a bar. I talked-up everyone I ran into, testing out my stories all night. I didn’t make it back to my hotel room until almost midnight. Standing in the bathroom, ready to brush my teeth, I thought to myself, Well, that went better than I expected—I must be cooler than I thought. I can do this! and smiled, full of new-found confidence.
Only then did I see the large, bright green piece of cilantro stuck in my teeth. I dug the offending greenery out into the sink in disbelief. I was mortified to think it had been there for over SIX HOURS!! How dare I get a big head! I couldn't possibly be as cool as I thought—of course not. Reality just slapped me in the mouth. Then I started laughing at myself. That'll teach me to get full of myself! I had the brilliant idea to take a mug shot of that damned piece of cilantro for posterity, and to share with you. I still giggle when I think of it.
Thanks for reading; catch ya later.
p.s. Your good juju today: Whenever you get too full of yourself, life may dish out a lovely little reminder for you to STAY HUMBLE. It would be less humiliating to just remind yourself, yes?
p.p.s. Be the person who would let me know I have cilantro in my teeth, would ya? Please?
Adobe CS6/Creative Cloud Launch Party
Last night I attended the Adobe CS6/Creative Cloud Launch Party hosted by KC Design Core in conjunction with the D2W Conference here in Kansas City, Missouri, at the Berg Event Space.
Here's my report back from last night. The Adobe rep's name is Aaron Houston, who is the Community Manager, Adobe User Groups North America. You can contact him through twitter: @thisishouston1 (recommended) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. He said he gets over 300 emails a day, and to save time, he googles the question, and copies & pastes the answer. In other words, google the question first before you email him.
1. On what OS will CS6/CC operate?
"Really, you could have just googled this." You will need 10.6.8 or above to utilize the Creative Cloud.
2. Can you download onto both Mac and PC?
You can install the apps available in Creative Cloud on your primary computer and one backup computer, as long as they are not running at the same time. You will have access to both the Mac OS and Windows versions, so if you have a Mac at home and a PC at work, for example, you can install your applications on both.
3. If you stop paying the monthly fee, will you be blocked from using the software you've downloaded?
Yep. No pay, no software. And you will have a limited time to access your files on the Cloud if your subscription expires. Google this, because there's loads more info on this than would fit here.
4. If blocked, can I use my earlier version of CS software?
Yes, but make sure you have registered your username and email with Adobe—this will be your saving grace. They stressed the importance of this username and email bit repeatedly as the only way you can be saved in ANY licensing/installation/activation scenario.
5. Can you save to earlier versions of CS?
Yes. The rep told me to google this; there are loads of answers on their FAQ. I think he was getting tired of answering by this point. Here's the Adobe FAQs link: http://forums.adobe.com/index.jspa
6. How often can Adobe change the pricing?
They're committed to this pricing for a year. After that, who knows?
7. When will hardware/OS updating become mandatory?
See question #1.
8. Are there just two downloads per subscription?
See question #2. Although, you can deactivate/activate computers as needed, as long as Adobe has your username & email connected with your serial number.
9. How do you expire a previous workstation/computer?
Check the Adobe FAQs. http://forums.adobe.com/index.jspa
10. Does the cloud have to authenticate each time you use the software?
No. But you do need to be connected to the internet at least once a month (every 20-25 days is recommended) to maintain your subscription.
11. About plug-ins… If I go with the cloud service, when CS7 comes out, will I have use of CS6 while my plug-ins catch up?
Just like software like iTunes, you can choose not to accept the update when the notice pops up.
12. Is CS6 going to include upgrades across the board?
From what they demoed last night, there are some major and some minor updates. Hard to say how much of each since there were so many demos, they were very brief.
13. Is there any way to get a CD instead of software downloads (bandwidth limitations)?
Yes. You can request a "replacement disk" for about $15. It will be subject to the lockout if your subscription expires.
14. Will you have to upgrade to CS6 to get CS7 when it comes out?
You have until August 31 of this year to upgrade from CS3 and newer to CS6 for the discounted price.
15. If you subscribe to CC, and the per-month cost become prohibitive for CS7, would I still be eligible for the upgrade cost for my legacy issue of CS5 or would I have to buy CS7 outright?
See question #14.
16. Are they bringing back anything like CS Review?
"I have no answer to that."
Thanks for reading; catch ya later.
p.s. Your good juju today: Happy Friday Eve!
Off Adventuring Today (if mildly)
Today I'm off adventuring. Kind of. APWA is sending me and a bunch of coworkers to several local public works facilities, so we will know more about public works. Makes sense. I'm thinking a water treatment plant, perhaps a fleet facility, and solid waste? But I'm guessing.
Thanks for reading; catch ya next time.
p.s. Your good juju today: Experience something new today. Fresh input = fresh output, right? Right. Carry on!
What's Good Juju?
My goal here is to spread good juju. What's this juju you keep mentioning, Cami? Close your eyes and remember sharing an inside joke that made you get unstoppable giggles. Or stopping to listen to birdsong during a picture-perfect sunset. Or think about your first kiss with your special someone. I call that feeling “good juju.” Whatever you call it—that pinnacle of feeling awesome—it’s some seriously amazing stuff. The more you can exist in that mindset, the better you feel, the more good juju you spread, the more you get back (the healthier you are, too!), the easier it gets. What a wonderful circle! When immersed in good juju, problems are diminished and become surmountable, solvable. Then, you start to attract others who spread good juju, and it just keeps snowballing!
I believe we're only here and now to either learn or to have a good time. If you're not doing either, you're wasting your time. Since our time here is finite, why not use the time wisely—suck the proverbial marrow—and do both every day?
Thanks for reading; catch ya next time.
p.s. Your good juju today: Enjoying yourself, or at least learning something, every day
This past Friday, I had the privilege of chatting with Simon T. Bailey on the phone. Simon is an extraordinary speaker, and possesses a huge amount of good juju, which he's willing to spread. (Kudos, Simon, and thank you!)
The company I design for during the day, the American Public Works Association, booked Simon to be the closing keynote speaker for the big annual conference in August. I checked him out online, was seriously jonesing to see him; he's an impressive speaker! Then I got my HOW Design Conference booklet in the mail and, lo and behold, look who's the closing keynote speaker! It's Simon!
Serendipitous, no? The circles of public works and graphic design don't cross often, if ever. I pay very close attention to "coincidences" like this. After nosing around on Simon's website, and seeing he's out there doing the speaking gigs on his own (sans agent), I wanted to contact him and ask him for two cents worth of advice for me to do the same.
For those of you who don't know, like Simon, I am also a motivational speaker. The talk I gave at HOW Design last year (which was the largest of several talks I gave) was SO fun! I realized THAT's what I want to do when I grow up—not that I actually ever want to grow up, but you get the point. I don't have (want?) an agent, but I do want to get the word out to give more talks. Therein lies the dilemma.
To help me in my endeavor, Simon gave me some deliciously terrifying goals. One of these goals is to start a blog. So here goes! Wheeeee!!!!!
Thanks for reading, catch ya next time.
p.s. Your good juju today: If your goals don't scare you at least a little, they're not juicy enough for you. Aim higher!
Good juju-spreader, speaker, graphic designer. I'd love to hear from you!