Quick and easy Buffalo Chicken Pizza

I’ll post my favorite quick and easy recipes as I think of them.

I’ve had enough with long winded, 3 dozen ingredient jpbs-I never make them right. Either I’m too lazy or not a very talented cook (probably co-dependent factors there), but I’ve wasted too much time and money on busted meals.

This one is easy as pie and it passes the kid test:

Throw the ingredients on the pie crust to taste (maybe cut the franks with tomato paste or something for something milder), and bake at preheated 425ºf oven for 15-20 minutes.

Notes from sabbatical

Been to the studio twice, have four plates ready to proof. Friday is working out to be the best day in terms of free time, so I should have some stuff ready by end of this week.

Built a bunch of icons in photoshop, just b/w now, will try to export to C4D and see how easy it is to 3dify them.

Got assigned as Nancy’s t-ball coach, don’t know how that happened but it should be fun. Need to get a book on coaching t-ball…

Done with apple

I had planned on picking up a new mini for my kids once the imac g5 loaner goes back, but this puts me over the edge:

http://www.switched.com/2009/03/17/new-ipod-shuffle-only-usable-with-apple-authorized-headphones/

It seems that apple has begun the same downward spiral toward pissing off the customer base that nearly ruined Microsoft. I hope they can turn it around.

Dreamweaver

I cringe whenever I see dreamweaver listed as a requirement for a job posting. Right away, I can tell that whomever is posting the job really doesn’t understand web development, or the people who are good at web development, because if they did they’d know that dreamweaver is fundamentally a useless, pointless, resource-sucking program that continues to try and slap WYSIWYG on the most slippery, amoebic, “un-speccable”  communication technology to date-namely the web. The only real contributions Adobe makes to the web are Flash and Photoshop. Everything else can be done with the most basic of text editors.

Evolving work structures in marketing communications

When it comes to new media, many talented people, top-notch agencies, and renowned print service companies are finding themselves on the outside looking in. Art directors, mechanical artists, pre-press specialists, media buyers, press-operators, etc. are being forced to reckon with the web. Suddenly, they’re being faced with projects that

Clients are demanding it. They aren’t getting more marketing dollars to spend, especially considering the current economic landscape. When reality hits home, that those dollars are better spent online, print-centricity is left twiddling its thumbs.

There is a huge, HUGE opportunity for the dinosaurs, and it all comes down to the solid relationships that have formed over the last few decades. Clients love their agencies. Agencies love their printers. One only has to look at the incredible work produced within the constraints of this relationship to grasp the potential this has once it harnesses new media.

But getting there requires an infrastructure overhaul. Pre-press specialists and mechanical artists need to learn html, css, and cutup. Art directors need to talk wordpress, jquery and ruby. Account executives need to become SEO jedis. Media buyers and copywriters need to get on facebook, twitter, and youtube so they  can understand the mindsets of the new demographic.

And if I owned a printing company, I’d launch an online services department. I’d  go out and hire the best PHP/MySQL web development expert, and the best IT/networking/server master I could find. Pay them well. I’d buy a big, fat reseller account with a top-notch hosting company. I’d promote the heck out of it via, what else, lots of print ads in local magazines and newspapers. Pretty soon, I’d have tons of agency client sites running under my company. I’d be reaping setup and hosting fees. My php dude/tte would be enabling all the crazy web 2.0 stuff that only agencies and clients can dream of. My network dude/tte would be setting things proper on-location. In no time, the new department would be generating revenues far beyond what I’d be getting from print.

It will take lots of time and money, but this is an issue of survival. It’s time for people to dive in.

Thoughts about linux (ubuntu 8.1) from a new user

After my macbook fried and my xp box got infected beyond repair, I decided to start all over with linux. I’ve never used it before, so here are some initial reactions from a long time computer user, both in windows and mac environments, starting fresh:

  1. It’s the most user-friendly environment I’ve tried. It combines the best of windows and mac in one interface. Open folders and files along the bottom (the tray?) is such a natural thing that I always liked about windows. The intrusive dock is something I’ve always disliked about mac. Everything is crisp, the system fonts are legible, and working in it from a gui standpoint is very satisfying.
  2. I love discovering how it works. At first, it’s annoying to deal with package installations and terminal commands, but after a while you get a feel for how and why they work.  There are strange icons nestled into the various static bars on the top and bottom of the screen (menu bar? task bar? Again, I need to learn the lingo), that do cool stuff when you click them.  For instance, in the lower left is an interesting one, that nicle hides everything on your desktop when clicked. I know os x does this and much more with the f9 f10 f11 keys, can’t think of what they call it at the moment. But all I ever really need regarding windows is a quick way to see my desktop. Each time I find something new in it, I feel a sense of accomplishment (wow I am a geek).
  3. It seems no faster or slower than osx or windows at the moment (maybe a little bit faster, I’m using a dell 4600 with 1.5 gb Ram).
  4. I wish the windows were anti-aliased. Probably a memory saver, but I’d turn it on if I knew how.
  5. It came with some interesting apps. So far, I’ve used gimp (graphics), rythmbox (music management), firefox (web browser), picasa (photo manager), and Kino (video editor). Some thoughts:
    • Gimp sucks. Gimp is such a horrible name for software anyway; it connotes a crippled, inferior entity, which Gimp unfortunately seems to be. I need shape layers, I need precision zooming, and I can’t imagine Gimp has Photoshop’s anti-aliasing prowess (see my previous post), so I’ll do my icon work on my old mac for now. If you don’t have an old mac with photoshop 7 on it to use, then I guess gimp is for you.
    • Rythmbox with built in lastfm is cool, and I’d love to get better at it. Unfortunately, my ipod/iphone centric life would need some hardware adjustments.
    • Firefox is fine, although one of my sites looked weird, maybe due to font issues, which I’ll address in a future post.
    • Picasa is really critical. I have every photo I’ve taken in the last 10 years on the second drive of this machine, and it was all managed via picasa running on xp before I wiped the first drive and installed ubuntu. It seems that picasa won’t recognize the 2nd drive. I briefly checked for answers via google and hit the wall (future post). You would think it would be easy for picasa to pick up where it left off, but no luck yet.
    • Kino imported the .mps files from my camcorder, but made them look weird. Need to investigate.
  6. I miss Georgia, more than anything. Nothing reads like that font. Please, Matthew Carter, if you ever read this, get me some Georgia on Linux.
  7. Using Linux makes you feel free, in general. But Inkscape and Gimp just ain’t Illustrator and Photoshop.
  8. FTP is perfect. I don’t know why OS X doesn’t build it in like linux. FTP programs are pointless when you can just mount a remote server like any disk.

Dilemna (I mean DILEMMA!)

We have ivy all over the front of the house, and lots of little birds live in it. They also crap all over our front entranceway. Eli and Nancy like to watch them out the window in my closet; it’s almost totally covered in ivy and you get an up-close view of the birds.

So we are having the house resided, partly because all the ivy has worked its way inside the siding, but it’s also pretty dingy and old. The siding will all be ripped out, including the ivy. The kids are crying and upset about the birds, but I don’t know what we can do about it. They are cute, and make pretty bird noises and flutter/fight around, but there are also bees and wasps living in there too (it’s a jungle). Sometimes the birds fight with the bees! I bet there are fairies living in there who will make all sorts of bad things happen to us.

Anyways, I wonder if there’s anyway to save the birds; E and N were crying so hard Jeanne told them the birds would move to the tree, but that ain’t happening. Oh well.

Comparing the anti-aliasing properties of Illustrator and Photoshop (cs4)

I’ve read (can’t think of where at the moment: UPDATE: Jonathan Hicks pimps fireworks here:http://hicksdesign.co.uk/journal/branding-firefox ) articles applauding the pixel preview functionality of AI, especially when it comes to designing low resolution icons. I investigated this a bit and here’s what I found:

ai_closup
16x16 circle in Illustrator, snapped to 1x1 pixel grid
ps_closeup
16x16 circle in Photoshop, made with a shape, snapped to grid

Compare the above. Both are 16×16 pixel circles, but the Photoshop one is superior. Note how Illustrator adds grey pixels to the left and top of the icon. I’m not sure why it does this, maybe someone can explain, but for now I’m sticking with Photoshop for my icon design. Here they are at actual size:

illustratorphotoshop

Can you guess which one is which (hover over each for the answer). IMHO, the one on the right is better.

Dreams

3 Dreams last night:

1. I was at a church, saying something about having to keep church stuff in mind at your home. I was like preaching this, even though I wasn’t the priest. Everyone was like “yeah”. The we drove up Brookside Ave (back in LI) to a baseball diamond. There was one of Grif’s friends dads up in a tree there, in a white bear costume. But then I saw a real white bear on another tree branch. IT wasn’t a polar bear, it was smaller–weird. So it started creeping toward the dad. I yelled, he dropped out of the tree, and the real bear ddid too, and started chasing him. Then it was chasing me, into the baseball diamond (). It turned out it was another guy in a suit, but he was old and had been living in the woods around the baseball diamond. He was trying to bite me/eat me because he was some kind of rabid zombie. I think he got a bite in on my foot before I woke up.

2. I was in the backyard, and it was swampy. But under the water were like smooth stones, kind of like in the iphone app Koi Pond. The water was shallow, and I was walking around back there. It was very peaceful-winter, grey, but stragely warm. In parts of the yard, the water got deeper. Soon I was up to my knees. A goldfish swam up to me, and it wasn’t scared. Next thing I know, I’m swimming in it. It’s warm, but I wonder if it’s dirty. I go to get out, but there’s these kelp/weeds in the way of the concrete ledge. I heave myself out though, and I’m standing on the ledge. So I jump back in on the other side, and see a hand floating in the kelp. I go “Wow, a dead person!” and I grab the hand. It’s a little hand, my son Eli’s. I push him up out of the water; I’m in too and it’s hard to hold him up. His eyes are open, but his mouth is closed and I wonder how I can get him on the ledge to give him CPR; I’m panicking and grief-stricken, wake up.

3. I drive up to my house in Snyder. It’s a beautiful day, and the sun is out and warm, even though it’s winter. Maybe it’s spring. My dad comes running up to me. He’s much younger; his hair is dark and he has glasses on like me. I hug him and I’m super happy to see him. He’s come for a trip in his pickup truck. In the truck it’s really messy, with a unch of Bud cans lying around, and a sixpack of unopened bud. He wants to drink some with me and my brother Bri who has just shown up. I look around, and the garbage we put out hasn’t been picked up. Lying on the blue bin is an enormous party pizza that has not been touched. My dad wants to eat it, but my brother goes” it’s nasty, there’s little black bits all over it” and he pretends to take a huge bite by sticking his head right on it. There is scaffolding on the front of the house as the workers are residing. I wake up.