Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Things that make you go HmmMMmmMMmm.

Good vs. EvilHello. My name is Travis and I'm a Firefox Tab-a-holic. I first realized I had a problem a few months after my first hit of Firefox. I was young. I thought I was invincible. I could quite anytime because I was only using it to relax. First it was just one or two tabs a day. And I began seeing how much better I thought my life was if I just had a constant stream of two or three. Sometimes it was a crazy day and I ended it with seven or eight open. But each tab was so very important as it contained useful information to me.

Always useful.

But soon, I discovered that I couldn't get enough of them. I was popping them like a mescaline-crazed nerdy Hunter S. Thompson on a crack binge with a typewriter and a bottle of whiskey. I was opening five and six tabs an hour, leaving them open for days and weeks, always going back to reference each page. Bookmarks? Bookmarks are for pussies. You don't ever go back to a page once you've bookmarked it. But an open tab is a constant thorn in your side. A reminder of something you must act upon.

Once it's open, do you keep it? Do you read it it? Do you leave it there until you have more time to come back to it? Maybe you just let it sit there and stew like a half-written poem bubbling and boiling until it erupts with the furor of a mad poo-flinging monkey. It's a hard call when it comes to having to close a tab. They're all like my children now. Could you cut off one of your children? I thought not.

Anyway, tonight I had an epiphany. I have a problem. I just can't let go of my tabs. I had 48 open going back months. Things I popped open intending to "read later". I have a tab open from Sept 2008. Why do I know that? Because it was a blog posting from some random blogger I follow, dated from September.

As I looked through each of these tabs this evening, I remembered why I kept them open. There were bits of paragraphs, little thoughts, and random sentences that leapt out at me for one reason or another. And I've come to the conclusion that if I don't write something about them, they're going to haunt my tabs till kingdom come.

So ...

Over on Positive Space Blog, Dave drops this quote:

Just as important as being able to stand up for your choices when you’re right is an ability to admit when you’re wrong. Maturing as a designer means learning how to tell the difference.

Dave Shea Creative Advent 2008

Two Sides... and it gets me thinking. I'm pretty stubborn about my opinion and it is pretty difficult for me to take a step back and listen to opposing ideas, but once I realize I can do it, it is refreshing to hear what other people have to say about a design or idea. It sort of goes back to what I was talking about in Thievery gets you everywhere, only a slightly different facet of it. If you're not paying attention to the ideas of others you're going to grow stagnant with your own opinions and thoughts.

Over on Seth's blog,

The old adage is that for someone with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. [...] But what if you've decided that in fact, a hammer is exactly the tool that will solve your problem? My advice: hire a guy who only uses a hammer. Odds are, he's pretty good at it.

Seth Godin Look for the guy with a hammer

Yeah, the right tool for the right job. Don't second guess yourself about it.

I don't remember where I saw this quote by Diane Arbus, but I liked it nonetheless.

I never have taken a picture I've intended. They're always better or worse.

Diane Arbus

It's a struggle to come up with an interesting photographic idea. What I've found with following through is that sometimes they work, most often they don't. Some of my favorite photos have come from happy accidents and others are born of an idea that turned out so much better than I could imagine.

Finally, sometimes you just need to try a different path. I'd been in a slight rut lately with my photography. James, a photog buddy of mine, invited me out to the studio Monday night to shoot with Stephanie. He'd wanted to do some white-faced photos of her with makeup on. It was a good evening. We ended up playing with the idea of the makeup, mostly. She was quite animated at times and kept opening her eyes really wide (which would freak James out ... and she'd do it again and again creating a vicious circle). It was fun. Different, but fun.

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