Thursday, May 24, 2012

The greatest beauty is often overlooked. The details that make up the bigger blur are often lost on the casual observer, whether they are looking at the sky, a flower or another human being.

I was talking to a friend just yesterday about the place he works and he was telling me that all of those things that one does that are spectacularly executed, beautifully designed and perfectly received are forgotten, but the one thing that fails, the one project that blows up in your face leaves an indelible stain.

I've commented more than once on how it seems that the memories most accessible are those of negative, not positive events. They are no more powerful than the positives, but seem to be stored for ready access while the pleasant memories must be coaxed to the fore.

This is human nature and as humans, we should try to overcome it. It can be argued, and not without merit, that our instinctual need to hold on to those things that have hurt us in the past to protect us in the future is a basic part of who we are as human beings. I think it worth noting that we are advancing far faster than evolution can adjust. Therefore, it's up to our intellectual selves to retrain our instinctual selves.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Where are you thinking?

What are you thinking is a common question that all of us have been asked on occasion but I would ask a different question, "Where are you thinking?"

As a programmer and a user of more than one Enterprise Resource Management System I am constantly faced with challenges of a cognitive type. I've found after more than a decade solving these problems, one of the best ways to get a fresh perspective is to change my location. I often get up from my desk and go for a cup of coffee (which usually gets cold sitting on my desk) or for a short lap around the office.

These are the times when some of the hardest problems are solved. You can't stare at a computer screen and force it into revealing to you the intricate solutions you desire. The truth is, I can sit happily programming for hours most of the time once I know which direction I'm going in, what techniques I'm going to use to achieve my goals. Getting to that point, however, might take me on a half mile walk around the facility or just down to the break room for a snack. I might even be found making coffee or even cleaning out one of the microwaves in the office. I thought up the idea for my start up while I was washing dishes. Most managers who are worth their salt understand the process. Even those who don't will accept it if the output is where it needs to be

Now, get up and get that cup of coffee or at least find a window to stare out of for a few minutes...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Design Inspiration

The picture I've included is an original I did back in the late 90's when I was first learning how to use Photoshop. I remember how incredible it seemed to be able to create digitally without any limitations, on an infinite canvas. It still amazes me how free we are to create, design, share and judge in less time than it takes to mix paint for a physical creation.

With infinite options, we can often over-think, over-create and over-emphasize. That fact has lead to a scaled down design trend that is stark and has little to no depth. I can only believe that this trend will give way to a resurgence of shadow and gloss in the near future, a continual ebb and flow of contrasting styles with each cycle bringing about subtle enhancements on the historical until we might at some unknown point in the future, reach the Nirvana of design.

Nature has had millions more years to experiment and so has, not suprisingly, handed me a gift this fine evening. The moon is approaching full and normally dominates the sky with a radiance that mimicks day, but this spring, the moon's leading roll has been usurped by an unassuming, simple, but magnificently beautiful product of earth...the dogwood tree. The blooms this year on the white dogwoods posess seemingly magical radiance in the evening, absorbing the moons own light to reprocess it into something more magical before releasing it like a sigh of contentment into the night.

To capture be able to recreate that in design would be mastery...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Long and Winding Road

We are here. Right here, right now, irrevocably traveling through the present. The road we've walked to get here was necessary only in that it got us to this fleeting destination. Technically, now is ever changing, instant by instant, quantum tick after quantum tick, sliding from now to then, but the now I reference is not so finitely defined as that.

The picture I've included is of my very dear friend, Dr. Blues or, as I first new him, Chuck Beattie. He and I traveled wildy different roads to get to this point in time, but either would kill for the other. That is the nature of time...of human existence.

Chuck is a blues man in the truest since. His life, all of his experience, his laughter and his pain, flow freely from him when he performs. Chuck and I first collaborated, not on music, but on technology. Dr. Beattie, you see, is also a programmer, a technology junkie and a true geek in the most flattering since of the word. There is where we first found common ground.

The point I'm meandering around to is that we never know how today will fit into the bigger puzzle that we're working on but it's important to realize that today and everyday that follows has the potential to change our lives. For that reason, I feel like we should pay attention and give each moment the respect it deserves. Otherwise we might just miss out on something grand!