Micro ethics

mail-sticker-art

As I was walking along the streets of downtown Chicago, I came across this sticker-converted-to-art. That raised the question that I pose for you below. I’m very curious what you think. Feel free to comment, as well. (I’ll give my opinion in a few days.)

[polldaddy poll=“1620245”]

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It’s worth another look

heading

This is an actual newspaper clipping I found when we lived in Nairobi. For the main newspaper for a city of about 3 million people, I consider that to be unacceptable.

Lest I be too quick to judge, I must remind myself that I have made mistakes too.

A small takeaway for you — I have found it worth hitting the “Preview” button before I publish a post on this website. I have caught several mistakes I would have otherwise missed!

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Design is where you find it

kid-gym

Not long ago, I went to a band concert at Ben’s middle school. Like most middles schools here, the gymnasium is also the concert hall. So I looked at the wall, and “The Three D’s” logo was there. (What’s “The Three D’s? I don’t know, but if they contact me, I can hook them up with their logo.)

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My problems in worship

problem-worship

This is for those of you who go to Christian churches. (Everyone else, you can check out now.)

Problem: repetition of choruses.

Two times is enough. As soon as the third time starts, my brain is gone. I’m off somewhere else. Maybe trying to roam the wheat fields of Kansas. My problem is that I have a brain. It’s not the finest brain around, but it does work, most of the time. And singing the same thing over and over is not only boring to me — the tedium can be painful.

For what it’s worth — those of you who make choices in these things, give us a little more variety. Twice as many songs in the same amount of time isn’t a bad thing.

Problem two: I also have a problem with the same songs being repeated each week. I get tired of that kind of repetition too! I’m just broken. (This goes back to high school. I discovered that I didn’t like popular radio because the same songs were played over and over. I got quickly bored — again, to the point of tedium.)

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Life is now complete

orange

(Or it would be, if I lived in Kenya…)

Orange, one of the two biggest celphone service providers there, has this ad running now: “…get yourself the plan which will make your life complete”.

Shoot — I wish I had learned a long time ago that a mobile phone plan was all it would take to make my life complete. I may not have gone to college, had I known that. Or I could have skipped any number of other expensive and time-consuming things I’ve done.

(Special thanks to Josh, who sent me the ad.)

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What I learned from community

sobcon-table

Over the weekend of May 1st, I attended SOBCon, a social media conference in Chicago. The highlight by far was “mastermind sessions” with the group at my table.

Becky, NEENZ, Sheila and Jon (not shown) were amazing people to bounce ideas off of and learn from.

One presentation covered our image and how important that is in our personal and organizational lives. We came to the concensus that it is important that others help you with any changes you need to make in that area. So we’re holding each other accountable — by Twitter!

NEENZ shared that in her native Hawaii, the attitude is so laid back that it’s hard to change. People accept you so much that they often prevent you from making any positive change. (“Awww — you don’t need to change! You’re fine!”) We agreed that true friends (and true community) tell each other tough things — as well as affirming things… “Speak the truth in love,” is what it says in Ephesians 4:15 (from the Bible).

A special thanks to Robert, who I also met at the conference, for this wonderful post idea.

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A bad, bad idea

pizza-pretzel

Auntie Annie’s came out with a new product — pepperoni pretzels. I dunno about you, but that totally does not look appetizing to me.

This is another case of some marketing people saying, “How can we sell more product?” and “Maybe if we create this new thing, it will be a huge hit and expand people into luxury [expensive] pretzel consumption like never before!”

My take? Wrong.

This is not a product review — I have not tried them. Given the chance, I’d deny myself that thrill.

Yes, the picture came from our Sunday newspaper’s coupon section.

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Chicago is a real city

real-city

I grew up in the suburbs of Washington DC and Boston. Whenever we traveled into the city, it was an adventure. As an adult, I’ve lived in the suburbs of Dallas and Denver. Everything except their clusters of skyscrapers seem like just more suburbia.

Chicago, on the other hand, is much more cosmopolitan. I encountered a different accent every time I asked for directions (which was very often, since I have a bad sense of direction). The commuter trains make a huge clatter as they zoom over your head. The high ratio of taxis to regular cars is second only to New York City.

And Chicago’s infrastructure is crumbling under the weight of sheer humanity, which reminded me a little of Nairobi.

My friend Becky, has a premise that “you can live anywhere.” She lives in Alva, Oklahoma, a town of around 25 people. So she does know about living “anywhere”! Becky unwittingly nudged me to think that my family and I could live in an exciting place like NYC or Chicago. But the educational options get more complicated in the heart of a real city.

Alas, we’ll stay in Denver’s suburbs.

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Of pens, pencils and social media

pencils-pen

I’ve always loved pens.

I just met Phil. He gave me a pen. (How cool is that?) He told me about the Levenger Store at Macy’s — a few blocks from the conference I attended over the weekend. Normally Levenger will assemble a small notebook for you to try out their pens on. Sadly, they were out of the paper, so I couldn’t get one. I did test drive a few of their pens. Nice. My budget wouldn’t quite stretch for the one I liked, but I did buy some pencils! My buddy Jon is analogue enough that he likes pencils, so I shared my pack with him.

One of the reasons I enjoy the social media community is that they’re very open-handed and friendly, as evidenced by Phil and Jon. Even though Chris has more than 66,000 followers on Twitter, he greeted me like a long-lost friend. (That was our first time to meet in person, though we have known each other through blogging for almost four years.) Jon, Becky, Sheila, NEENZ and I were good buddies by the end of the conference.

The social media community is a huge contrast to the graphic design community. When I finished college, I started work in Dallas. I went to several professional designers’ meetings. They seemed to be centered around achievement and ego. I never fit in. But the social media community celebrates those with disabilities that some may look down on. How refreshing!

And the pencils and pen are nice.

Takeaway: what are some ways you can be open-handed today?

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Grimace mode

grimace

I had to laugh when I saw this little ad. Sony’s new camera has the ability to automatically detect a grimace and then take a photo without any action on your part.

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