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What Didn’t Happen

March 25, 2011

Exchange between a reporter and UNC basketball coach Roy Williams about two end-of-game situations involving sophmore John Henson:

Coach, I’m curious, after the Washington game I’m curious what you said following some of the mental lapses in the final seconds. And also if you think it may help going forward in avoiding some similar situations?

“You know, I don’t really know what mental lapse you are talking about. John Henson dropped the ball.”

He could have let the ball go out of bounds in that situation and potential goaltending.

“If the ball is being thrown to you, if you look at the play, he starts to try to catch it and it is going through his process, his brain as well. And some don’t make decisions in one half of a second. That didn’t bother me. I said, why didn’t you just catch the ball? And somebody else said, why don’t you just let it go? There were three choices and hell, he chose the wrong one.” (emphasis mine)

“But he’s 18, 19—no, I think he just turned 20 recently. You have got to understand that part. But the mental lapse, he thought the ball would be completely short. If you look at it on tape, it could have easily, if a referee throughout of goaltending, they could say it had no chance to go in, which it didn’t.”

“But you also talk about mental lapses, he was also so sharp that he immediately, without the help of replay, said well, Coach, it was a two-pointer. I said, are you sure? He said, yeah, I saw where his feet were. So that is a guy that is thinking quite a bit. I said this before, you have a 20-year-old guy that acts like an 11-year-old and I love that part of him.”

On one level you have a coach defending his player. Then you have a coach teaching a lesson about choices: sometimes they’re made quickly and sometimes you choose the wrong one.

But it’s about what didn’t happen, not what could have.

Color App Isn’t the Problem

March 24, 2011

It’s just part of it. The real problem is the increased public sharing of photos online. I don’t mean the photos I willingly share of my daughter on Twitter, Flickr or Facebook. I’m talking about the photos of people at public (or private) events plastered all over social networks without their permission.

This year I didn’t attend SXSW but instead observed it from the outside through Twitter, Flickr and Facebook. I was struck by how many personal moments were recorded and shared on social sites. How many of those people in the photos knew that was going to happen?

Sit down.

March 23, 2011

Every office, whether in the home or in a boring office park with glaring flourencent light, should have a second chair that isn’t behind a desk. A sofa is best (because naps are important) but any chair would do. Even a bean bag chair on the floor.

If I’m stuck on a tough problem it doesn’t get solved staring at my computer screen. It gets solved sitting away from my desk and staring out the window or at the wall.

The Drive-by Technorati

March 14, 2011

Seth’s Blog: Bring me stuff that’s dead, please

The drive-by technorati are well-informed, curious and always probing. They’re also hiding… hiding from the real work of creating work that matters, connections with impact and art that lasts. I love to hear about the next big thing, but I’m far more interested in what you’re doing with the old big thing.

Example: look at how local businesses are marketing and innovating on some of the oldest trades.

I recently had a company come clean and regrout our master bath shower. They weren’t a general flooring company that did new floors, contract with builders and other similar work; they only did restoration of existing tiled installations. Marketing themselves as an alternative to ripping out the tiles and starting over, their pitch was: “Pay us to save you money.” Their marketing is brilliantly focused on that idea.

Cameron Moll: Things Just Take Time

February 03, 2011

Cameron Moll posted his thoughts on “non-startups” (those without significant funding to quickly add resources) In my own business I’ve regularly run into the problem of everything taking much longer than I’d like.  I find solace in Cameron’s conclusion:

Accordingly, I’m growing convinced that, unless one works late nights and weekends like a Bay Area startup, it’s difficult for an independent team of two or three to move much faster than a corporate team of twenty.

Of course, I already work many nights and weekends (because I also have a full-time position at Happy Cog) and still find it hard to move quickly on projects.

The advantage of being slower is that I think I can create better products and be more deliberate and thoughtful with my business moves. My customers and my goals drive the business, not a Series A round of funding burning a hole in my business account.


January 25, 2011


The daughters start melting your heart pretty damn early, I tell ya.

Mac Colors Washed Out

January 25, 2011

I’ve ran into this before but I couldn’t remember the fix. Today I noticed that the colors on my cinema display were washed out. Text looked pixelated and everything else a bit off. After recalibrating color profiles and googling around, I stumbled on this solution in the Apple support forums:

In “Seeing” tab of “Universal Access” system preference, make sure the “Enhance contrast” slider is all the way to the left ("Normal").

And that was exactly the fix. The shortcut to decrease the contrast is ^⌥⌘, and to increase it you use ^⌥⌘. I must have fat fingered a keyboard combo today and triggered the Universal Access contrast settings.

  • Installing ExpressionEngine 2 - I put a separate page for Mijingo’s free video on installing ExpressionEngine. Previously it was just a buried link to the video file and that caused confusion with some customers. (-)

Year in Review: What I Shipped in 2010

January 01, 2011

This is like all old school with a blog meme. What I shipped in 2010:

  1. The print version of my ExpressionEngine book.

  2. A new business website for ExpressionEngine training materials along with

  3. a brand new set of training videos for ExpressionEngine.

  4. A 3-day classroom ExpressionEngine training class.

  5. Mijingo’s first PDF ebooklet (more to come this year).

  6. Our daughter, Reese

With Happy Cog, I also shipped numerous projects, including a climate change website, an iPhone app and many more fun client projects.

Learn ExpressionEngine with the EE 2 Screencasts

August 19, 2010

Earlier this week I unveiled a new series of training videos for ExpressionEngine 2. And at the same time pulled back the curtain on a new project: Mijingo.

What is it? Other than a silly name, it’s my attempt at creating and selling awesome tutorials for web designers and developers.

Right now we’re launching with just my first series of screencasts. Later comes some “ebooklets"—short, focused ebooks— on ExpressionEngine-related development. Coming soon are ebooklets on Securing ExpressionEngine 2 and Learning MojoMotor (the new lightweight CMS from EllisLab). Later, however, we’ll cover topics beyond just ExpressionEngine and related products.

A tip of the hat to Joey Pfeifer for working hard on the design, markup and CSS for the site. He sacrificed many evenings and a few weekends getting the site ready on a short deadline. As you can see, he’s damn talented.

With my ExpressionEngine book, the new screencasts and the tutorials and information at EE Insider, I’m hopeful that a new wave of EE users will get inspired to build amazing websites with ExpressionEngine.


July 15, 2010

St. Jürgen Kapelle

Fade in and Fade out with iMovie for iPhone

July 01, 2010

The other day I was editing together a short video on iMovie for iPhone. Everything was a going well (it’s a fun app to use) until I wanted to do a nice fade in from black at the beginning of the video and a fade to black at the end. While iMovie for iPhone includes transitions between video clips, it does not currently allow you to have transitions at the beginning or ending of your video (the audio doesn’t fade out during editing but it seems to be processed to do so during export from iMovie).

So I faked it. Here’s how:

Sit your iPhone 4, main lens down, on a dark surface— I used a Moleskine notebook—and shoot about 5 seconds of video. This creates a black video clip. Drop this clip in the front of the video and trim it to 0.5 second and drop it in again at the end of your video and trim it as you wish. Finally, make sure you have a cross-dissolve set up between the black clip and the first and last video clips. 

Fading in and out with iMovie for iPhone

That’s it. You now have a nice fade in and fade out for your iPhone iMovie.

See it in action:

First Ever iPhone 4 Movie Featuring Driving a Volkswagen Passat with a Bruce Springsteen Song as the Soundtrack from Ryan Irelan on Vimeo.

  • GOOD: Walmart Test Drives Plastic Bag Ban - I can get a week’s worth of groceries in 4 large reusable bags. At a store like Wal-Mart this would probably mean using at least 10 disposable bags. Granted, we buy goods that typically have less packaging (mostly fresh food) but my point is that bringing a few bags with you to the store isn’t a big deal and it ends up meaning less bags to carry from your car to the kitchen. (-)

Cheap and Easy

May 27, 2010

I would also add that saying “I was lucky” is a cheap and easy way to come off as humble amidst accomplishment. There are plenty of better and more fruitful ways to be humble that don’t require empty words.

(via SvN)

Do Stuff

May 26, 2010

From This is not content at the 37signals blog:

What people want is opinions, analysis, techniques, experiences, and insights. The best of all these come as a bi-product from actually doing stuff. The closer you are to the topics, the more natural you’ll be able to extract the goodies.

Do stuff, break stuff, learn stuff and then you have something to say.

Homemade Organic Pizza

May 20, 2010


Last month while making one of my homemade pizzas, I decided to photograph each step with my iPhone. I added some basic instructions to go along with it and put the photos up on Flickr as a photo set: Homemade Organic Pizza

The pizza dough recipe is straight off the internet but the other techniques I learned during college in an illustrious career of pizza slinging.

  • How underdogs can win - A wonderful article by Malcolm Gladwell on how underdogs can exploit the weakness of their competition to win. One of the examples in the article is that of a National Junior Basketball team who presses on every possession instead of conceding 2/3 of the court every time. As a recreational basketball player I know that while this sounds great, it does require a high level of fitness; full-court presses are hard work. (-)


May 19, 2010

This song came out in 1993 (on their album of the same title) and it was later used in the film American Pie. Fun song.