Jan 30, 2008

With Your Back Or With Your Brains

Many times in my life I have come to realize one consistent truth. I don't know what I'm doing. I had another one of those moments about a week ago...

You see, my Dad would always tell me "There's two ways to earn a living in this world. With your back or with your brains". Simple truth. One thing my father has always been good at teaching. Often he may hide it within a riddle like some ancient Chinese parable. But, always the simple truth.

Well, so far I've chosen the hard route. It always felt like an honest living. You know earning your living by the sweat of your brow sorta thing. Man, have I been stupid. I kinda stumbled into this web design deal. Mostly out of necessity. But, I've found that I really enjoy it. In fact I enjoy it so much I want to do it for a living.

I've reached a point where I know enough to know that I don't know enough. If that makes any sense. I can't feasibly think I can take my little graphics company any further without first furthering my education. I've been poking around online at local schools that have web design programs. And as of right now I have an appointment with ITT Tech scheduled for Monday morning. I say "as of right now" because I'm considering canceling it.After talking with my friend Chris today, I think I should be looking at a better school. ITT Tech isn't regionally accredited. So, if further down the road I wanted to pursue a Masters somewhere else. I'd be screwed. Chris works in the field and has been a great friend of mine for years. He made a few other points that has made me reconsider that I won't go into right now. But, I think he's right.

I need to do something. We want more children someday soon. At least one more. And I need to be able to support my family. I need to be able to afford a college education for my children. So, they don't make the same mistakes I made. So, they don't have to earn their living by the sweat of their brow(s). I'm not going to last much longer working like this. I think about that every day I'm at work. What would we do if I slipped off this ladder and broke my leg? Or something worse. We live paycheck to paycheck. Taking a three day weekend involves three weeks worth of budgeting sometimes.

I'm still looking into schools right now. I have no idea where to start looking for grants and loans. I know there's got to be at least a few government grants I would qualify for. Cost is a really big issue. So, I need all the grants and free money I can find. The less student loans that need payed back the better.

Jan 12, 2008

Spammers, Porn Stars And Old Friends

I had two dear friends from High School find me on MySpace this week. I know it's become almost obligatory to have one of these things nowadays. And when I first set mine up, I was more impressed by the bands and famous people that accepted me as a friend. I thought "How cool is that for these people to reach out to the fans this way." HA! What a newbie!

Then, I thought what a cool way to promote my own band. Or my own business. I've heard it said that more bands have been discovered due to MySpace than ever before. Well, that makes sense. There's like a gazillion people with a MySpace. Everyone from Preachers to porn stars. But, really. Aside from making some great friends. THRIVE I'm looking at you. No, real breakthrough event for sure.

Then when I start feeling like swimming through the spam infested, gaudy, pink sparkle heart wilderness isn't worth the tedious task of signing in. Not, one but two people that I hadn't even thought about in years sent me messages.

In life we have so very few, true blue, friends. It's nice to reminisce about the glory days when gas was under a buck fitty and school just let out. When hanging out with friends meant 20 or so of us would find the nearest pool table. We'd laugh till our cheeks hurt and hustle the truckers that periodically floated through...

Man, those were the days.

Now playing: Frank Zappa - Dirty Love
via FoxyTunes

Jan 10, 2008

Camptown Races

I'm starting the first of two website designs for Custom Insulation today. The one thing that is very relaxing about this project is the creative freedom. I have been given full reign to do whatever I think will best represent their company.

I usually go for the rich colors and bold statements found in most "rock" type layouts. Being used to working with bands. So, this is a little different than my norm. But, I'm always up for a good challenge. I think I'm going to go with that "All American" lokk and feel. Their logo is a red bar with "Custom Insulation" written in it in white. Below that written in blue is "Residential * Commercial * Light Industrial" Red, white and blue.

The real challenge is going to be making it classy. I think it's a common practice (when one uses this theme) to be a bit gaudy. Or at the very least ill conceived. I have a couple of weeks before the official start of this project. Time they needed to get all the information together. So, I'm using it to get my concept down and the images and basic HTML structure completed.

I always feel a bit behind the bubble when it comes to web design. As I stated before, people go to school for this kind of thing. I'm sure it is a bit aggravating to those who have for me to even be attempting this. But, something has to give somewhere. This was a really crappy year for us. The end of the season fizzled out two months before it usually does. Leaving the Mrs. and I in a place that is barely above the poverty line. I can't afford to get a job and risk losing the minuscule pay the government (unemployment benefits) has deemed acceptable. I really miss my comics. This project may not afford me my comic bliss. But, it will keep the internet and cable on this winter!

Now playing: Red Hot Chili Peppers - Higher Ground
via FoxyTunes

Jan 9, 2008

Waiting For The Pitter Patter

Last night the Missus and I put up our toddlers "big boy" bed. A moment that was a little bit emotional for Bridget. He's growing up so fast. I for one have been waiting for this time in his life. It's finally ole Dad's turn to be cool! He loves it when we wrestle and my cheeks always hurt when we are done from smiling so much.So, last night went off with out a hitch. I'm not entirely sure he knows he can get out of bed yet. Right now is nap time and so far so good.

Xander truly has been an angle to raise. He never cries unless there is a good reason for it. He listens (for the most part) And I swear he must have swallowed a parakeet. The things that come from his little mouth.... I'm always like "Who taught him that word?" But, he just turned two and has his moments for sure. But, I know some parents who had it a lot worse too.

Jan 7, 2008

The Maiden Voyage

Hello. This is my first blog. Ever.

The over all plan is to use this space to clear some of the clutter. No rhyme or reason. Just random thoughts, maybe at times something worth reading.

Today was simply beautiful! Just great weather for January. Soggy, yes. But, none the less beautiful. I had a meeting with a new client today. By new I mean first. An insulation company here in Indy with the need for an updated website. I'm no professional by no means. I just got a wild hair last year and decided to try my hand at this whole "intranet" thing.

I started a graphics company of sorts called Steel Toe Studios I design MySpace layouts and fliers and such for local bands. I designed this really cool Press Kit for the band THRIVE Well, it landed in the hands of this insulation guy. As it turns out he also owns a concrete company and a record label. We agreed upon a price and and what was to be done. I'm doing two redesigns for him and the possibility of more work to come!

This makes me think I need to get schooled. I wonder if I would qualify for any grants...

Well, my fellow blogiphiles... Thats enough for today. I still need to work on moms website.