Dragon's Lair

Via “Firewheel Design”:http://www.firewheeldesign.com/ comes the complete Dragon’s Lair”:http://youtube.com/watch?v=3-PIrE2yJ6A&search=dragon%27s%20lair. I think I spent a hundred bucks on this when I was 12, and never made is past the plummeting elevator thing about 30 seconds in…

The king is dead. Long live the king.

I just wrote a post over at “The Blog Studio”:http://www.theblogstudio.com that says, in short, that the world just changed. I use the launch of our most recent project “Hot Air”:http://www.hotair.com as the line in the sand. Pre Hot Air, the world was X. And now, it is Y.

I don’t mean to infer that I changed the world. Rather, for me, the launch of Hot Air both fulfills and expands on the promise of blogs and blog related technology. Hot Air isn’t a web site. It’s a news channel. Complete with daily video newscasts, continual updates and special reporting features. It’s also a community. It’s existed for all of 48 hours, and there are already thoughtful discussions taking place in the comments and trackbacks. And it was built for a fraction of what this would have cost only 12 months ago.

The point here is that the ability to create and distribute top end content has just been dropped within almost everyone’s reach.

Another example: “Lynchland”:http://www.liamlynch.net/podcast.php. The musician/director/artist/crazy genius Liam Lynch has re-invented himself as a tv producer. Only, there’s no tv involved. Lynch creates simply amazing stream-of-consciousness videos featuring his music, sketches, animation and art that he distributes via podcasts. He uses the podcasts to drive traffic to his online store, where he sells his cds, dvds, tshirts, and other merchandise. He has over 90,000 subscribers to his podcast. Revenue stream? Uh, yeah. And he does it all himself.

You know all that talk about mainstream media being dead? It’s happened. Hot Air and Lynchland the future. And they’re here now.

Khoi's new links

“Khoi Vihn”:http://www.subtraction.com has added a new footer to his home page containing his version of a blogroll. “There”:http://www.infosthetics.com/ “are”:http://absenter.org/ “some”:http://www.mediabistro.com/unbeige/ “great”:http://xplane.com/xblog/ “sites”:http://www.v-2.org/ “included”:http://www.graphpaper.com/. Many of which are new to me.

I’m experiencing a newfound swelling of my bloglines account. In particular in my *design* and *design inspiration* folders. That last folder is a new one for me. I’m collecting non-web design blogs. Currently in the folder:

* “BibliOdyssey”:http://bibliodyssey.blogspot.com/
* “Design*Sponge”:http://designsponge.blogspot.com/
* “InkFinger”:http://inkfinger.typepad.com/my_weblog/
* “Jalopy Junktown”:http://jalopyjunktown.com/
* “Karin’s Style Blog”:http://www.karineriksson.se/blog/
* “Oh Joy”:http://ohjoy.blogs.com/my_weblog/
* “The Scandinavian Design Mouse”:http://designmouse.blogspot.com/

There’s a real arts’n’crafts bend to the mix. While the _primary_ reason for this will become clear in the coming weeks, I’ve found the crafters creative energy and joyful ebullience to be incredibly contagious. Hell, I’ve even started painting again.

What about you? Do you have any inspirational sites on your list? Have one of your own?

The Mindfulness Sandwich

I’m about six months in to my practice of taking 20 minutes in the morning and evening to meditate. I’m loving it, and can’t imagine stopping. The _act_ of meditating is incredibly enjoyable, and its benefits were immediately apparent. I’m calmer, better equipped to handle stress, and I laugh a lot more.

That being said, I find that while I’m getting better at being mindful of my motivations and feelings during my non-working life, I’m still acting from instinct during the day.

My instincts are generally pretty good, having been honed on the brutal wheel experience. But instincts are _reactive_ – that is, they don’t anticipate new or better methods of dealing with a given situation. Instincts can only repeat an existing behavior. So by relying on instinct, one is “doomed” to a cycle of trial and error.

Now if I could bring a mindful approach to my working day, I imagine I’d be able to slow down my reactive responses enough to more clearly assess the situation. What am I thinking? What am I feeling? What is my motivation? What is my desired outcome?

I’m discovering that the more over committed I am, the more difficulty I have being conscious of my moment to moment decision making. I’m making an effort to reduce the number of commitments I have by

* reducing the number of times I say yes
* keeping my inbox clean (thanks to “Merlin”:http://www.43folders.com)
* trusting my partners and colleagues (this is hard!)
* outsourcing work I like to do (this is really hard too!)

Trying to do all of this in the context of a busy busy business is both challenging and vital. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Update to sparkthrower

I’ve been playing with my isight and Illustrator CS2’s autotrace feature. Worlds of fun await. Check out a couple of new jpgs on “sparkthrower”:http://www.sparkthrower.com