Monday, July 5, 2010

Update—It's been a while!

In the past several months since my last post (which was in January and so much has happened since then!!), I've been trying some new ideas, looking for exciting opportunities, and enjoying the path God is leading me on as a husband, brother, son, teacher, employee, and freelance designer. I also want to brag on my wife, who, in June, graduated from The University of Cincinnati DAAP's Masters of Architecture program!

Below is one of those opportunities. I applied for a job in northern Virginia as a visual information specialist, and it challenged me with some interesting questions. The 1st statement/question is below in BOLD, and my reply is below in ITALICS. I'll be posting the other 4 statement/questions in the coming days. I don't claim to be an excellent writer, but saw this as an opportunity to explore a creative essay. Please read the statement/question and let me know if you think I answered it adequately or if I failed to entice you with a proper message.

Seeks out opportunities to increase knowledge sharing with others within the team or unit

Each person is equipped with the tools of verbal and gestured communication. It is by these that we have the capacity to share the knowledge of and foster an environment in which these ideas and information can be shared openly. It has been my experience in both isolated and open conversations that an innate factor of humanity is to share something enlightening and loving.

Many times I find myself intrigued by the new idea that crosses my path or I hear about from others, hoping that this will be the next thing to push me into a better position in life. I cannot be satisfied with where I am and continue to learn, seeking out fresh content with relevant consequences, that I may grow from the experience and help guide others through similar circumstances. I have heard it put many ways, but the basic idea, that “when one stops learning, he stops living too,” sets a solid principle—one that should be followed with adamant focus. I also recognize that without the help of family and friends, and other external sources, I would not be who I am today. I value friendship and the company of another person, who I can share my experiences with, as well as listen and actively participate in their life experiences. I believe we are more vulnerable when we isolate ourselves, and our knowledge, setting up barriers to expression and freedom for the company we work for and ourselves. However, I believe there is an appropriate way of communication that must be addressed in the workplace, especially if it is classified and/or confidential information. Therefore, when working with a team or unit, I try my best to communicate effectively, efficiently and truthfully. I strive to make it enjoyable and exciting for those around me. This does not mean I just fool around, but it means that I take pride in being an encourager to my coworkers and peers. I recognize what can and cannot be said around certain people, and I also recognize the power of words. What we say and how we say it can have an immense impact on the receiver—whether it’s sharing knowledge about a new gadget or gossiping about a coworker.

As a freelance designer and art director, I have the privilege of communicating new insights that help develop others in their professional lives. Over the past year and a half I have successfully initiated the importance of using updated equipment for the purposes of ministry within the church. Prior to my coming on staff, each staff member had only basic equipment and software on their outdated PCs. I brought in my MacBook and iMac and showed them how to do some amazing things, like the ease of iMovie and GarageBand, along with the simplified navigation and convenient, user-friendly tech support. I worked on Macintosh computers all through elementary and high school, and college, so I had a wealth of knowledge from the IT side. A keen understanding of the keyboard shortcuts, coupled with the education I received in college in Visual Communication Design, and suddenly Adobe didn’t seem so hard to work with either. Thus began the transition over to Apple products, simply by demonstration that they had the better tools to work with. I’m not anti PC, but for the projects and ideas that needed addressed in the creative environment, the outdated PCs were too far behind and logically Apple made sense.

Another part of sharing the knowledge is capturing the moments of bliss for someone to look back on over the years. I’ve had the privilege many times to both photograph and film an event in a way that, once edited to perfection, will instill appreciation and honor for the persons involved for years to come. Sharing knowledge is vital in most forms, and to that end I do my best to preserve those special moments, so that they can inspire new waves of sharing in the future.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

On The Way Out

CDs and DVDs have been something of extraordinary significance in the past decade. Cassette tapes and VHS tapes became almost totally obsolete. In fact, I read somewhere that, even if our parents and grandparents would hope, the latter two types of media really only have about 5-7 years of life to them before they start decaying. Maybe that's why when you tried to watch the video from your childhood you found that the tracking was bad and then, to your dismay, the VCR ate your tape. Or when listening to some oldies (but goodies) in your tape deck, all of a sudden it began making weird noises, like it was digesting your tape instead of reading it back to you.

Yes, Cassettes and VHS tapes are almost gone now and soon CDs and DVDs will join them. This, according to Yahoo! Personal Finance. The article is about what not to buy in 2010. I really think it's okay to buy most of these items, and they'll probably be available for another 5 years, but with software like iTunes, YouTube, and DVRs in your cable package, it just seems more efficient and economical to get something via the web.

"The days of going to a video shop to rent a movie are at an end. In September, Blockbuster (BBI) said it plans to close roughly 22% of its stores by the end of 2010; meanwhile, third-quarter revenue was down 21% from the year-ago period." And, "when was the last time you bought a CD or even walked into a record store? The past decade was one of the worst for the industry. In the beginning, there was Napster. Then came iTunes, which was introduced in 2001 and offered affordable pricing and easy accessibility. Face it, CDs aren't coming back.Record stores are feeling the pinch. Most Virgin Megastores in the U.S. have shut down following declines in sales and revenues. In 2004, Tower Records entered bankruptcy and by 2006 most locations had closed."

There are many options for saving/exporting files. "External hard drives are one option, but an up-and-coming alternative might be simpler and save you another transition down the road. Online backup services, like or, allow users to back up data over the Internet."

As a designer, we must create a lot of files, and be able to store those files. My personal favorite is the external hard drive because it lets you open files and resave them with little to no effort or time. DVDs are a great backup to your ExHDs. But, you can only put 4GB on them and in this age, 4GB isn't much. However, in the event that something happens to your computer or ExHD, having DVD backup is a plus.

Go ahead and read the article and keep in mind who it effects most (it won't be your grandparents). Technology is ever-changing and to keep up is trifling. Innovation is a must as we uncover new ideas and knowledge. Yet, we must persist and perform in order to sustain and live.