Monday, May 28, 2012

happy memorial day 2012

this shot was taken today as we passed through Knoxville, Pa....we could smell this wonderful apparatus from about a mile outside of town.....

thanks to those that have served in our armed forces and to those currently serving.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

think bigger

I was inspired by a design that my wife came across while browsing the net about a year ago. The image below has stuck with me.

It is simple in every way yet it still conveys the message of GO BIG, DREAM BIG and THINK BIGGER so well. It doesn't take overly fancy art/design to feel big or to seem great. The composition is terrific. Using the 3 cats of different values and each having different ideas of what dreams are capable of is handled with care. I love the shadows. I love the odd shaped dream bubbles. I love the negative space.

I am constantly thinking of ways to visually express "TRY HARDER" to my students. If I show them interesting or "cool" pieces of artwork they have been responding with improved effort. If I do the artwork it is even more inspiring for them. My guess is that it appears more real for them. More accessible. Possible. The best way is to not only show them my work but to have them see the work being built. Showing them the process is key to convincing. I usually have two or three pieces of artwork/designs at various stages of completion leaning in my classroom. As I add to it, they get to see the additions and many ask quality questions. If they ask questions, you got 'em!

I have decided that "Think Bigger" should be a theme that the students need to have drummed into them. The design below is my first attempt at having things larger than life presented to them (without the of course). I'm still working out the kinks.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

hole in one...finally

My father will turn 70 this year. He has been playing the game of golf for about 40 years now. It is a rare and often lucky thing to have a hole in one in this game and my pa finally pulled it off.

He told me the shot was a 7 iron from 140 yards. It was the 18th hole a Coral Oaks Golf Course in Cape Coral, Florida. This is the signature hole at Coral Oaks. It is a beautiful par 3 that extends over water (with working fountain) to a rock-faced green. A tough little finishing hole, especially if the pin is set in on the right side of the green. His shot hit pin high, bounced forward and spun back to the right....plunk!

Congratulations Dad!....wish I could have been there to see it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

the art of selling candy bars

My son began Tee Ball this year. With Tee Ball comes money raising obligations to pay for field maintenance, uniforms and whatever else is needed to keep this train running. Matt has been giving it his all playing ball (except when dirt is around...dirt trumps all things related to sports) so I decided that I would give it my all when 30 candy bars needed to be sold.

When selling candy bars, you could go the straight forward route...just sit them out at your workplace and have the money envelope nearby. You could threaten your child into taking them door-to-door. I decided that getting stuck buying them all myself was not an option and I don't want to walk the neighborhood bothering all my neighbors as my son begs them for a buck.

I decided to take them to my school and do some over-the-top advertising.
First, I had Matt stand on the front porch with his arm extended holding an old measuring cup so as to resemble a poor, down n out, orphan. He didn't want to pose for the photo so the sad/upset facial expression was easy to capture.

I used Angry Strongo to justify some word bubbles and add some visual interest in our otherwise bland faculty room. The word bubbles were mostly random and lackluster thoughts about candy and the cost.

The generic bookmarks were a big hit (people actually took them). So, as they ran out, I didn't have time to make full ones which lead to the "massive budget cuts" and the half bookmarks.

I figured since we are and institution of learning that the bookmark idea fit right into this place. I am 5 days into this campaign and I need to sell one or two more bars.

I have never taken a marketing course in all my too many years of higher education, but even this non-rocket scientist knows that a bit of flair can have people talking about and even buying your stuff. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

local font find #8

The last time I was in Watkins Glen I guess I wasn't looking up very often. I would have spent considerable time in the location where this great lettering was visible.

This building is beautiful on its own but when the top of the facade has this great lettering from long ago, is worthy of some mention. To be honest, the lettering is pretty straight forward with a great W and M. The kicker are those accents hovering in the openings of the L's. The dark textured rectangle that encompasses the lettering sure adds a useful contrast to make it all POP!

You can research this old odd fellows fraternal organization to learn more about what might have been occurring 100 years ago in this corner of the Watkins Glen area.

Monday, May 14, 2012

is this the men's room?

We spent mother's day walking the glen up in New York state. It costs you $8 to park in the lot outside the glen's main entrance. I guess the money earned from this goes to fix the disaster in Albany, keep the glen functioning and make sure everyone knows which restroom is the men's room.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

mom's day 2012

thanks mom.....we come into this world with unknown abilities, a wide open future and absolutely no control over our surroundings. My mother made sure that my abilities had a chance to surface and my future WAS wide open. As for having no control over our surroundings (ya can't pick yer parents!), I won the lottery. My mom is one of the great ones. She loved us. She cared for us. She showed us how to act (even if we didn't always pay attention). Education was paramount. Doing the right thing has always been preached and it was even mentioned this morning as we spoke over the phone...thanks mom.

having said all this...when she was a young lass, she very much resembled Little Lulu...take a look:

...thanks mom