Designing Compassion, Part 2: Legos, Locks and Land Mines

Painting: K-16, by Peter Engelmann

I just finished a text conversation with my business partner regarding the Apple music player, which for some reason won’t allow songs on her playlists to play in sequence, like a jukebox, and instead repeats the same song. Yes, there’s a solution to this, but one shouldn’t have to do any detective work to find the solution for this simple feature.

The main headline font for one of my WordPress sites all of a sudden changed from a sans serif font to a disco-looking typeface, simply because I updated the theme, because WordPress recommended that I do. Of course there’s a hack to fix this, and I did, but I shouldn’t have had to. read more

Designing Compassion, Part 1: How Are You?

Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.

The lead mechanic for one of my clients died from a heart attack last week. My client owns a manufacturing shop selling refurbished but very expensive machinery, and has a dozen orders that need to be finished before any new money will come in. Two months before, his nephew, head of sales, had a stroke, and is still in the hospital.

Throughout these setbacks, my client has had to do the job of four other people (his admin assistant also took an unexpected leave of absence the week before), working twelve-hour days, at least six days a week, except when his wife forces him to spend a Sunday with her. He exhausted his six-figure emergency savings to keep the company running, to pay his employees, who also have families to feed and bills to pay. read more

Methodology Exercise – Selling Collectible Magazines on eBay

A mylar bag, backing board, 5 sheets of chip board, and a 9″ x 12″ envelope costs roughly 60 cents, to protect a magazine for mailing. The whole package weighs 12 ounces. Using First Class Mail, it’ll cost $4.11 to mail. Since this is a magazine, it qualifies for Media Mail rates, which will cost $2.63. Since the buyer pays for postage, I just saved him $1.48.

If I sell a magazine for $10, and eBay takes 10% of that, plus PayPal’s 3%, that’s $1.30, which means I keep $8.70. Subtract the cost of the mailing material, and that’s $8.10. read more

Why YouTube?

This article originally appeared in

A client just asked me if it’s possible to keep their company videos within their own website, running it off their own web servers, instead of posting it on YouTube. He didn’t want to involve YouTube but was open to Vimeo.

I told him that anything is possible with enough resources, but I highly recommend we go with YouTube. Keep in mind that this is MY opinion, and I do my best to know as much as I can but I don’t know everything, so take it with a grain of salt. My reasons: read more

Ask Me (Almost) Anything

This post also appears on my Airgun Diaries page:

A geek friend posed these questions to me, here are my answers:

What’s your favorite series/franchise?
Right now it’s Marvel Studios, because the Netflix shows have put them past Star Wars for me. But the bottom line is it’s all about Disney right now–they’re killing it on all fronts.

What’s the most underrated film/comic/book/whatever in your opinion?
Comic book: The Question, although I haven’t read it in a long time. It was the first non-generic superhero comic series I ever got hooked on, plus Bill Sienkiewicz did a bunch of the art. Movie: Joe Versus The Volcano–it reminds me of a Coen Brothers movie and has countless allegories wrapped up in a goofy comedy. read more

LOGAN Movie Review

LOGAN Movie Written Review (Spoilers!)

This review also appears on my Letterboxd page:

Logan: “Everybody that I care about dies.”
Laura: “Then I should be fine.”

I’d been trying to figure out why I think Logan is a brilliant movie and for a few days I couldn’t put my finger on it, until now.

Answer: it doesn’t have cheese.

The movie treats itself not as a movie made up of people with “amazing” superpowers, but more as a straightforward western-style thriller, with characters that regular people like us can relate to. There aren’t any tongue-in-cheek moments, or blatant fan-service easter eggs that would make you roll your eyes upon recognition. There are no snappy puns, one-liners, or cliches. The fourth wall is never broken. There’s no mcguffin, and nature or luck or coincidence never steps in to save the day. There’s no wasted dialogue of the heroes and villains telling each other what they’re going to do to each other before they actually start fighting. It’s continually self-reflecting but never self-aggrandizing. There’s no posturing. read more