When the Old Self-Proclaimed Experts Won’t Let Go

Once in a while a comic will crack me up. In the web industry I’ve dealt with this since having a company of my own in my early 20’s. Old guys with silver hair and pony tails have puffed their chest at me for years talking about their years of experience. Now I’m all but a handful of years away from having my own gray hair but this Dilbert comic made me laugh… Just so true.

Dilbert.com

I honestly think that most of this is going away though with the new generation coming into play. Most, not all, are staying up on new trends and practicing it while implementing it. I do that – I use almost everything that comes out, including web and mobile apps, and even games. They’re all trends and whether it’s a new framework or coding language or the newest game showcasing the latest in gaming-mechanics I need to know what’s going on and so do you. I don’t want to turn into that old guy that touts his expertise but no longer has any relevant information.

Do you see the industry making that change to evolve with the net? Or do you still see most people being stagnant experts?

Leave your thoughts in the comments.

photo of moon on lunar eclipse

Lunar Eclipse like None Other in Our Lives

I’ve always been an astronomy geek and with this last week came about the Winter Solstice for us here on the North side of Earth. That’s when the Earth is tilted furthest away from the Sun and provides us with the shortest day of the year.

The cool thing about this time around is we had a Lunar Eclipse happen on the same night. THAT is rare – last time it happened was in 1638 (yes the year), 372 years ago. The next one is estimated to be in 2094 – I know I’m not going to still be kickin then so this was a once-in-a-lifetime event for sure.

Little visual explanation of what a Lunar Eclipse is below but it’s when the Sun, Earth and Moon all line up and the Earth is in-between the two and blocks the suns light when the moon crosses the umbra.
Geometry of a Lunar Eclipse

Anyways, enough of the astronomy lesson but I was really stoked to see this all go down but it was really cloudy here in the Phoenix Metro so I couldn’t see much of anything. So I found this time-lapse video of the event taken from Florida where he had a really clear shot throughout the whole thing… Cool stuff. My grade school and college instructors would be proud that I stayed out all night to watch this. But no aliens this time.

Changes Underway at UpChuck – Standby

Not many people know of this blog and if you do it was for the food blog of Chuck… I’m repurposing the domain and pulling in a handful of loose ends and therefore aggregating that information into one site of general thoughts and information I share and find. I’m making this the one place for my non-industry blogging. I have some ideas for it (as I usually do) but I’m well aware of my lack of post repetition and my utter lack of time to work on personal projects but this is all meant to help with that. I have too many little things out there that are untouched and underutilized and UpChuck is now going to be the centralized location for all of that.

It’s taking me a bit to pull it all in and figure out how to specifically organize it on one site but that’s kind of the randomness that is me, and it’s just something I need to do after some thought. Does this mean I’m closing down the posterous site? Well, kind of. I’m going to leave all that data up there and untouched as most of it ranks fairly well (unintentionally mind you) but I’m more likely than not going to pull some of the more popular posts over here to reindex and ‘own’ them more-so than I do being hosted at posterous. (Posterous is dead as of April 2013).

I’ve also been moving hosting around and better grouping my stuff so I’m no longer paying for 4 different servers and dealing with the headaches that accompany that. Currently working on pulling all my stuff into this newly built WordPress Multisite install on one mega hosting platform and pushing domains to dedicated IP’s and all sorts of fun stuff. Need to move a lot more but going from four servers to one is going to be so awesome. Currently hosting with Digital Ocean and using Github for distribution.

As usually I’ll be working through the Holidays. Have a happy season and I’ll see you on the other side…

Horrible Logos does Rynoweb

I found out about this cool little deal that for five of your hard earned dollars you can get a guy to randomly sketch a ‘Horrible Logo‘ for you or your brand. I saw a few funny ones come out for my friends at Forty agency so I wanted to play too.  Here’s what he came up with:

Typical to get a rhino for ‘rynoweb’ but at least there was no web involved lol…

Get your Horrible Logo at horriblelogos.com – he also does horriblejingles.com too – some funny ones there too (like the one he did for Gangplank). Enjoy.

Custom Xterra MTB Mount

I’ve wanted a better way to transport my mountain bike in my xterra and have so forth been using a quilt to wrap it up so it doesn’t get scratched and so I can have a second bike in there; Sloppy but it worked.  I decided to take some measurements and build a mounted system to where I could stand the bikes up and have room for a toolbox and riding gear etc.  I’ve seen one out in the wild from Thule I think but it was like $400 and I’m not into that horse-hockey.   So below is what I built and it works exceptionally well.  I can get both bikes standing with the front wheels off and I have plenty of room in there (my dog Jinx as the stand-in model there).

Custom Xterra MTB Mount

Custom Xterra MTB Mount

Custom Xterra MTB Mount

Custom Xterra MTB Mount

Custom Xterra MTB Mount

Custom Xterra MTB Mount

Custom Xterra MTB Mount

Basic information you’d need to know to build one:
– the tracks are 36″ on/center and I made the board 3″ longer on each edge just cause
– the fork mounts were on sale at Performance Bike for $10 but are $20 normally: link: XPORT Universal Bike Mount
– my bike is a large and I have to take off the seatpost. The handle bars clear the top by about 1.5″ and I have a 5″ travel bike

So I consider this done, at least to the point of I’ll improve it when I get more time.  I wanted some hand-tightened things for the main board but didn’t find anything great to solve that so currently going with a 6mm threaded bolt into the stock Xterra track mounts.

Also I’m going to build something to mount the two front tires as well that will also bolt down to the right track but for now I’m just wrapping them with a bungee cord and hanging from the hooks. It doesn’t swing around at all so it works for now.

DVR Paradox

Why is it that when I’m watching shows on the DVR I forget about my ability to fast forward through commercials and yet when I’m watching shows live all I can think of is how I wish I could fast forward through the commercials?

Wolves are Lonely

This print is still my favorite from Hugh MacLeod – to some it doesn’t make sense, but to those wolves (entrepreneurs) out there – you know.

Wolves vs Sheep Illustration

I think people forget just HOW LONELY it is at first, being an entrepreneur, being an artist, being someone trying to do something different or worthwhile. How tempting it is to just follow the herd [of sheep]. But that ol’ bordeom thing is the deal breaker.
Either way, we choose our own path, ultimately. That choice is rarely an easy one. C’est la vie.

To buy it, or to gift it to me (worth a shot right?) visit the GapingVoid Gallery

Video Export Settings

I’ve gotten asked now a few times about how I export my videos after editing.  Let me first say that I am no video expert by any means… But I have a few friends that are, and in talking with them for far too long (and without getting into a ton of way expensive options) I’ve come up with the following process.

Currently I capture with a Flip Ultra HD and a Samsung NV24HD (update: don’t use either of these anymore).  I edit my video using Final Cut Express and when ready I use:
1) File > Export > Quicktime Movie…
– I also make sure the “make movie self-contained” is checked. That saves all the stuff I’ve done to the video and revisions, transitions etc.  This .mov is your source – you can always open that up and make changes later and re-export – so always save this version somewhere safe.
I then drag that file into MPEG Streamclip (free) to drop out a clean version for online. I use the following settings.

2) File > Export to Quicktime…
Settings:
– H.264
– frame rate: current
– every: 30 frames (try auto)
– quality: Best
– data rate: auto

Size:
– HD 1280 x 720 16:9
– De-interlace Source Video

Sound:
– Format: AAC
– Rate: 44.100
– Quality: normal
– Bit Rate: 128kbps

3) Upload to Vimeo and YouTube with good titles, descriptions and tags (yeah I know there are others but I focus on those)

May not be the best process but it has worked well and I get compliments on how good the videos look, however I’m always open to suggestions and love learning from the experts.
Let me know in the comments.

One Way Trip to Mars

NASA has been toying with the idea of sending a crew to Mars, and I don’t think they’ll have trouble finding a team of 4 or so to make the trip. Would I do it? Hell yes. But I feel I must say that if I had a family with kids and stuff I don’t think I would but a part of me would have regretted not going.

Is it a suicide mission? I don’t think so – there’s just currently no guarantee you would be able to come back. You’d lead the way and have your name known forever. And it’s not so say that in a few years NASA couldn’t send a return craft for you to use. Never know. I wouldn’t go with the hope of returning – I’d do it for science and to go somewhere where ‘no man has gone before’ (Star Trek reference). Ever heard of “Neil Armstrong”? Yeah, because he was the first to ever walk on the moon. He’ll live forever because of that.

Question to you is: If you were offered a one way trip to Mars – would you go?

There’s heroes and there’s legends – Heroes get remembered but legends never die

Twitter Isn’t Stupid

So my buddy’s girlfriend thinks Twitter is the “most stupidest thing ever” (loose quote) in the whole world right … What cracks me up about the whole thing is she’s a HUGE subscriber and reader of People and TMZ and all that crap.  What she’s failing to realize is most of those ‘celebs’ in her magazines and drama blogs are all on twitter and actively tweet and interact with their fans online.

You’d think she’d want to get on twitter, and hear the REAL info and real news directly from the celeb’s twitter accounts and have it faster and without bias and have the potential to interact with them as if she had their cell phone number and texted them.

There are also sites that showcase all the tweets and profiles from celebrities that are on twitter and puts the all in one easy place to find them all. CelebrityTweet is one such site. You’d think she’d be all over that too, but I think ignorance blinds some people.

The moral of the story is twitter isn’t really stupid if you know how to use it for you. The way I use Twitter is not the way most people do. I could give a shit what Demi and Ashton are doing but there are people on twitter that do care – so good for them and I’m glad they use it for that.  Much like anything else, people dislike when they don’t understand something – for her it’s an easy way to poke fun of geeks but there are a ton of people using it that you’d probably not consider a geek, and many businesses are utilizing it as a very powerful marketing platform. Twitter is a change in communication and it has already dramatically changed the marketing game – twitter isn’t stupid – don’t “judge a book by its cover”.

Cheers
@chuckreynolds