I get a lot of odd looks when I mention the domain name andsmiled.com, so I thought I would explain.
It’s a reference to quite possibly my favourite hour of TV ever, the season 2 finale of The West Wing titled “Two Cathedrals”. In it, a character notes the mannerisms of a young Jed Bartlett when he’s made particular decisions. “Put your hands in your pockets, looked away, … and smiled”. In the climax, Bartlett takes an important question at a press conference, then puts his hands in his pockets, looks away and smiles, cut to black.
It occurred to me during one of my frequent rewatches, that the final moment, the “and smiled”, would be very satisfying, to have made a decision, to know it’s correct, that the back and forth was over. Not unlike that the moment in design (or any creative process) when you can finally see it all coming together after you’ve made that final key decision.
When I’m struggling in a creative process, often it can help to know that an “and smiled” moment could be just round the corner.
Anybody who has seen The Wire will know what a brilliant piece of work it is, and yet it remains something of a mystery to those who haven’t seen anything of it (There are two groups of people when it comes to The Wire, those that love it, and those who haven’t seen it).
When The Wire comes up in conversation with someone from the second group, I find myself trying to put into words exactly how good it is. One of the ways I’ve previously come up with is “if Shakespeare was alive today and American, he’d have written The Wire”, but I dismissed this approach because while I believe not far from the truth it sounds like hyperbole and rather narrows further conversation as the person looks back quizzically and asks “Really?”. Plus I didn’t enjoy Shakespeare nearly as much as The Wire.
But it appears maybe I really wasn’t that far off the mark, as a great essay that’s been passed round the Internet argues that a much lauded English scribe ain’t got nothing on The Wire. (Okay, it’s talking about Dickens not Shakespeare, but still).
Find it here: http://hoodedutilitarian.com/2011/03/when-its-not-your-turn-the-quintessentially-victorian-vision-of-ogdens-the-wire/ and grab the shotgun cos “Omars comin’”.
Just re-watched “I’m Not There“, love that film, sums up perfectly everything I love about Dylan, the idea of constantly trying to find yourself, figure out who you are, trying to be a better you, whoever that is. That will probably sound like waffle to a lot of people, probably to a lot of Dylan fans as well. Some Dylan fans may even think i’ve completely missed the point of most of Dylan’s music and the film, since they get a completely different message from Dylan’s music, for me the fact that different people hear different messages and take different things away is the point.
After the film I looked at my site and realized something, I’m Not There.
Okay, maybe thats a bit overdramatic, put certainly my site is a snapshot from more than a year ago, my hairs changed since then.
Anyway, partly spurred on by that, and partly at being so relieved that I didn’t accidently junk my whole wordpress theme yesterday (Actually, I did, Site5′s amazing support saved my ass) i’m gonna throw a bit more time into my site and my blog. Slowly but surely i’m incorporating the pages into wordpress, which will make everything easier to update hopefully. Firing up dreamweaver, editing a html file, uploading the new version was an awfully tedious way of making a minor amend to one of the main pages, that’s why the About page is so woefully out of date.
I’ve resolved to start taking my camera out with me more. I’m never gonna be anything more than a amateur photographer snapping away on a half decent compact digital camera, but every so often I get lucky and the more lottery tickets you buy the more chance you’ve got of being lucky.
I leave you with this:-
As ever i’m constantly pondering changes to this site to make it easier to update. WordPress is great at what it does, although often it takes so much effort to shape and mould that i’ve no time left to actually post content. As such i’m wondering if it would be more useful to scrap WordPress run this site using the content management system i’ve been developing at work, so that any effort in actually setting the site up is of benefit in future projects.
So we moved into the new office last week, great space, more creative and professional feeling to it. It does unfortunately feel like a little bit of a novelty at the moment which does hinder productivity slightly.
That will hopefully die away when the phone line gets hooked up, which should be Tuesday. In the meantime we are bootlegging Internet from our neighbours (with their permission) and on our mobile phones to talk with clients.
More space in the office means we have room for a seperate meeting area as well as our desks. The meeting area has a board with all current projects (client and internal) which helps visually plan what work will be done and when.
So the kehorne office has undergone a regeneration, a lot of new exciting characteristics but envitably their are some hold overs from the old office, bad habits you’d hoped you’d left behind. I just need to figure out what they are.
It’s been ages since I posted anything on my blog and in fact anybody who stumbled upon it would think it was simply another place to see my tweets.
The reason for no posts lately is a mix of throwing myself into my job and not really being sure how much I can and should blog about work, and I’m actually still not sure, but I figure as long as I don’t spill any state secrets or break any NDAs I should be okay.
I’ve a pretty long way in the year or so since I got the job, most notably my php has gone from “what does that do?” to being the one my boss comes to when a client wants to know what the options for a project are, how easy they are to achieve and how long it will take.
Ofcourse anyone who knows anything about php will know there’s a lot to learn and a lot of possibilities, so in reality I’ve only gone from ignorant to competant (sp?), so there is still a lot more to learn which excites, scares and frustrates me all at the same time.
Besides an encourgaging growth in skills, I also feel I’m slowly becoming a voice inside the company whose opinion matters. Ofcourse if in a small company your opinion doesn’t matter after after 13 months your doing something wrong, but really that side of things has gone better than I could have hoped.
I would obviously be delighted to continue to add some of my personality into that of the company, although more importantly and more realistic is the hope that I may have a very real inpact on how the company approaches projects, since envitably with a small company, exactly how the company approaches projects is still very much influx.
Right, the twitter page is back looking somewhere close to how it used to, although oddly now I feel like it’s a bit of a cheat to have twitter displaying through wordpress. Also visually jarring to have every section in a different “framework” except the blog and twitter. So i’ll probably look at pulling my tweets directly using the api and displaying them differently to how they are now.
So, i’ve finally gotten round to a few updates on the site, i’ve been rather easily distracted recently into not updating and maintaining the site because of work both Kehorne and a freelance project which has just gone live. But i’ve always known that I should have web designs projects outside of “work” because they can be unfocused where professional projects can’t be.
A new photos section is up, powered by “Gallery“, which is an addition i’ve been meaning to make for a long time, and it holds some of what I kindly call “my photography”, it’s real purpose is to encourage me to take more photos. The more photos I take the more often a good one pops up.
The “Work” section has disappeared temporarily whilst I come up with a format which is more easily updated.
Twitters have now disappeared from the front page of the blog, and are instead viewable from the twitter link in the top menu. Although the upgrade to wordpress 2.8.1 broke the plugin which applied nice neat formatting to my twitters. So that another thing on the list of things to fix.
OBAMA: What would you do?
BARTLET: GET ANGRIER! Call them liars, because that’s what they are. Sarah Palin didn’t say “thanks but no thanks” to the Bridge to Nowhere. She just said “Thanks.” You were raised by a single mother on food stamps — where does a guy with eight houses who was legacied into Annapolis get off calling you an elitist? And by the way, if you do nothing else, take that word back. Elite is a good word, it means well above average. I’d ask them what their problem is with excellence. While you’re at it, I want the word “patriot” back … Mock them mercilessly; they’ve earned it. McCain decried agents of intolerance, then chose a running mate who had to ask if she was allowed to ban books from a public library. … And you’re worried about seeming angry? You could eat their lunch, make them cry and tell their mamas about it and God himself would call it restrained. There are times when you are simply required to be impolite. There are times when condescension is called for!
From an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times a few days ago, stuff like this is why I love the internet. Read the rest here