VIDEO: You hafta be a Geek for this

I normally try to keep my content fairly "down the middle" and come with stuff that's not necessarily tied to one audience.

Unfortunately, I'm a geek.

And like all geeks, I consume web media voraciously. And yep, I'm susceptible to more geekish content out there. So yeah, your blog post today may be a little outside your natural demo, but let's give it a shot. Stretch a little and reach out to your Buddies of the Byte. Enjoy some web content from the wired guys.

Transformers Cosplay

Now, Transformers you know. Cosplay is literally a mash-up of "costume" and "play." Let's be clear: these costumes are cool. But these guys, well, let's hope there's more to them than meets the eye.

NOTE: You're gonna want to turn down your volume for this one, unless you love the 80's rock stylings of the original Transformers theme cranked up to 11.

New Math

Generally, geeks are good at math. I'm okay at it, but I'd be TERRIBLE if I had to do the New Math!

Time-Lapse Video of 40+ Hours in Adobe Illustrator

There's a special kind of geek that does Art. And when these guys do art, it's pixel-wrangling at its finest.

Science Machine from Chad Pugh on Vimeo.

Making Chocolat Moose with the Swedish Chef

Geeks love their retro Saturday TV fodder, and the Muppets are right up there in that category. Besides, how can you NOT love the Swedish Chef??


What Do You DO, Anyway?

I've been getting a lot of questions like this, since announcing that I'd become a full-time Interactive Project Manager, and when I get that blank stare I've always had this great quote from Sports Night running through my head (emphasis mine):

You guys know who Philo Farnsworth was? He invented television. I don't mean he invented television like Uncle Milty, I mean he invented the television. In a little house in Provo, Utah. At a time when the idea of transmitting moving pictures through the air would be like me saying I've figured out a way to beam us aboard the Starship Enterprise. He was a visionary and he died broke and without fanfare. The guy I really like though was his brother-in-law, Cliff Gardner. He said to Philo, "I know everyone thinks you're crazy, but I want to be a part of this. I don't have your head for science, so I'm not gonna be much help with the design and mechanics of the invention. But it sounds like, you're gonna need glass tubes. See Philo was inventing the cathode receptor, and even though Cliff didn't know what that meant or how it worked, he'd seen Philo's drawing and he knew he was gonna need glass tubes. And since television hadn't been invented yet, it's not like you could get 'em at the local TV repair shop."I want to be a part of this", Cliff said, "and I don't have your head for science. How would it be if I taught myself to be a glassblower? And I could set up a little shop in the backyard. And I could make all the tubes you'll need for testing." There oughta be Congressional medals for people like that. I've looked over the notes you've been giving over the last year or so, and I have to say that they exhibit an almost total lack of understanding of how to get the best from talented people. You said before that for whatever reason, I seem to be able to exert authority around here. I assure you, it's not 'cause they like me. It's because they knew two minutes after I walked in the door that I'm somebody who knows how to do something. I can help. I can make glass tubes. That's what they need.

By the way, if you've never seen Sports Night you oughta get that on your Netflix list right now. William H. Macy delivers that line, and boy does he sell it.


VIDEO: Holy CARP they can do that with a Wiimote??

I know, I know - two posts in one day. This one was just so cool and amazing that I couldn't wait to get it up.

Ever seen a Wii? Played one? Own one? Well, little did you know that your humble Wiimote can be used to create a whiteboard, virtual WACOM tablet, or even a 3-d room!

VIDEO: We all need a feel-good moment

I originally titled this one "stuff I can't believe I love", and I may still come back to that with music. (I mean, after all, I favorited a track by BRATZ.)  But lately, I've found a lot of things that are genuinely lovable on the Interwebs - stuff that gets a little cloying and sugary-sweet, but lovable nonetheless.

Best Little League Game Ever

This little gem comes to us from Improv Everywhere, a fascinating group that's a collision of "Who's Line Is It Anyway?" and "Candid Camera." For this event, they descended upon a Little League baseball game with the goal of making it as close to a real Major League game as possible - complete with fans, announcers, JumboTron and the Goodyear Blimp.

The Last Lecture

Randy Pausch is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, and he has pancreatic cancer. He reprises his "Last Lecture" here on Oprah. (Man, I can't believe I like something from Oprah!)

How MC Hammer got his grooves

WARNING: Early 90's hair, miniskirts, and club dancing are present in this video. And no, that's not supposed to be the feel-good part of it.

I just chuckle inside whenever I see the "Running Man." Especially done by more than one person.


The New Job

Well, since my wife basically called me out, I should probably get back here and blog about my new job and what's been keeping me so busy. This is a long post, but I want to tell you the whole story of what's gone on here, since there's been a lot of changes and a WHOLE lot of God working in our lives.

So as a lot of you know, I'd been working at Texas Instruments, as a contractor. And for the record, I liked it there! I liked what I was doing (because I'd basically carved out my own role), and I liked who I was working with. There were really only two things wrong with my situation: my salary was below market value, and the benefits package I was getting as a contractor wasn't near what I could get as an actual employee.

Sure, there were a lot of other factors that irked me about being a contractor. Sure, it was hard to be the Project Manager and Get People To Get Stuff Done when they were employees and I was a contractor (blue badges vs. red badges... and don't get me started on those yellow badges!). Sure, they instituted this weird policy where employees could work from home but contractors couldn't - even though we both had the same equipment and were (assumedly) both sets of trustworthy adults. One of my contractor friends and I started calling this the Chinese Water Torture - no one droplet freaks you out, but add these things up and it gets overbearing. I wasn't to that point, but I can't say it didn't factor in.

So I'd been looking, for a while. Job boards, emails, interviews - the whole bit. At one point, I got a pretty serious interview from a company offering WAY more than I was making. Only one catch: the business was right on the edge of my moral standards. A lot of other people might not have felt a moment's regret doing this kind of thing, but I did. I told them that I probably wasn't their ideal candidate. That was one of the first interviews I had in my looking process, and it really colored my experience through every other encounter with a company. Others got serious (and I even got an offer at one point), but they never were in that stratosphere. I was glad to get interviews and offers, but in the back of my mind, I was always wondering if my value was actually way up there, instead of somewhere below.

I prayed a lot about this, and my friends from my church small group know that I wrestled a lot with this. Christians, on the whole, aren't taught a lot about how to deal with Ambition. We're allowed to strive for spiritual perfection, we all know that, but what about the rest? Is it wrong for a Christian to want to succeed in their career because they believe they can? Is it wrong to use money as one of the ways you measure that success? Is it wrong for me to want my family to live more comfortably? This search for the Contentment that isn't Stagnation is still something I'm trying to figure out.

My search seemingly concluded with an offer from the startup internet company GodTube, and I was really pumped about it. After all, it's been one of my passions to investigate this realm where Christianity and Cyberspace collide, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so. I accepted the offer, knowing that the benefits and vacation weren't at all as good as I wanted, but believing that God had led me here and would work that part out.

About halfway into my two-week notice in my job at TI (what one should do during that lame-duck time is probably a blog post in itself), a friend there asked me if I'd be interested in another job opportunity. He had a friend at Rapp Collins, a full-service marketing agency, and they were having a BEAR of a time finding someone to come in as an Interactive Project Manager. The pay range was higher than what I'd accepted at GodTube, and I knew from my previous jobs with Ad/Marketing agencies that their benefits were usually pretty nice, too. So after praying about it, talking about it with my wife, and getting the input of respected friends, I decided to go ahead and interview there. This was a clear example of letting God show you the way he's planned, because I knew there were some hurdles to get over to get me working somewhere else after I'd already accepted another company's offer.

The interivew at Rapp went very well, and they were completely understanding of my situation. After 24 of the more stressful hours I've ever had, they contacted me with an offer. The benefits were there, the hurdles were overcome, and the pay was even back in the range of that first job - the one that had been nagging me ever since. I accepted, and had to inform GodTube that I'd been "made an offer I couldn't refuse."

I've been at the new job for a couple of weeks now, and I'm starting to see what God had in mind when he put me here. There's a lot of chaos, and a lot of work flow processes that have been cobbled together and held by sheer manual human labor because "they've worked so far." My new boss is extremely open to automating and streamlining these things, and has given me the task of doing just that. It's like a blacksmith creating his own hammer and anvil before starting a job - you're in a better position to do a good job because you made the tools. The word is that we've got a job coming in to do a complete redesign of a local corporation's web site, and I'm gonna be the guy Getting Things Done on that.

It's been a long journey, but I'm rejuvenated by my new surroundings. I lost the opportunity to pursue this "God and The Web" passion directly, but I'm going to start a new side project on that soon - keep looking here for details. What's more, I'm getting new leads to do some freelance design work, so I'm still gonna have the chance to get my hands dirty with some code and Photoshop. God's led me a long way to get here, and I praise Him for what He's done. Here's to more blogging from a new work address.