Cleaning your work space

Usually on the weekend is when a lot of people get stuff done. Today is was a cleaning day! I cleaned up around my office some and set up my new swag from lootcrate. Its still a mess, but it feels like I’ve got a lot of stuff accomplished.

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I watched the entire 2nd season of Comic Book Men on netflix today. It reminded me of that brief summer when I bought comic books while I was on vacation. To pass the time on the lake, we went to the local book store and literally got stacks of comic books. As I was watching the show, I realized how awesome it was to just be around that lifestyle.

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What I learned today:
Comics are a lot more than when I bought some as a kid. I used to get comics for $1 – $1.99, now they’re $3.99.

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Lootcrate!

Have you ever just been really excited to get stuff in the mail? Well I subscribe to lootcrate which is an awesome monthly service that send a box full of geeky goodies based on a theme to your doorstep every month. This was my favorite lootcrate so far!

This months them was heroes! I got an exclusive glow in the dark Groot Bobble head, a kidrobot glow in the dark TMNT Donatello, TMNT sunglasses, Sonic Air Freshener, Shwings… for your shoes, A magnet and a set of downloads for a free Defense grid game from steam, free stuff for the iOS Doctor Who game and items for Gauntlet on Steam. and the lootcrate monthly button which has, captain america, thor, batman, mega man and rocket raccoon on it.

I feel like a big kid every time I get lootcrate in the mail. It helps build up a supply of small and awesome toys to put up around your desk. Want to join in on the fun? Here’s my referral link! http://mbsy.co/lootcrate/3118505

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What I learned today:
To have fun is the key to a happy creative life.

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Toothache and sick days?

I find the most road block, halting and dead stops that can happen to a creative mind is sickness. I’ve been battling a toothache the past few days hoping it’ll go away and my mind is just in wander mode. I’m not really focusing on anything but the pain! It’s those small times as a contractor, where I wish I had health insurance for myself! It’s a pricey thing, but if you’re in as much pain as I’m in right now, I’d rather have some debt then some pain.

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What I learned today:
You can use photoshops new smart object abilities to change the color once for everything. There’s some kooky masking involved, but just skimming an article it seemed possible. It felt more of a hassle, but who knows.

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Working in Zurb Foundation

Late in the day I got to meet up with my friend and talk business! We talked about marketing plans and what the best strategy would be to go forward. Some other mentions were seeing what fits us best in terms of invoicing and working together. We’ve decided on the foundation as a framework! I mockup up a potential wireframe to use for our main website and the next step is to just lay it all out using foundation. It should be a fun exercise! We’re just going to be using the basic foundation of foundation which is the HTML and CSS of the grids. No fancy javascript here or SASS just yet.

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What I learned today:
There are scripts to help with back-linking.

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Sitting back and enjoy it with friends.

Today felt like a slow day. I couldn’t fall asleep and I woke up with a headache and couldn’t breath well. Getting sick maybe? Anyways, I was able to get some really cool stuff done at work. Big things are changing, but that’s my little secret.

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I got to meetup with a friend today that I met back at a Vitamin T meetup a while back. He’s a cool guy and he’s going through some very exciting life changes. Coding and UX seem to be the primary and I think he’s got a bright future ahead of him. It’s always a big combo when you see a designer with decades of experience dive into code!

It was good to catch up with him and just talk back and forth about our design lives, present past and future. Note to self, I need to do this more often. Just sitting back with someone and shooting the shit about everything.

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What I learned today:
You have to restart Bit Server on your tablet, because it somehow doesn’t recognize WordPress sites as local. I’ve had this issue before, it seems confirmed now.

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Dress Code?

I was reading an article on linkedin about Dress Code and it made me think. Does it make sense to dress a notch above everybody at work? I personally do not think so. Agreed, this is something to do for an interview, duh. However, what makes someone dress better than the typical dress code? I find that in the tech industry, the more comfortable you feel, them more you produce. I wear shorts and a t-shirt to work, a button up more so than not, but still I wouldn’t fit any dress code the typical corporate world would expect. Why does my company feel that its ok to dress how you feel? Because they know people work their best when they’re comfortable. If I have to dress a certain way then I’m already uncomfortable. If I had to wear a tie, then I’d spend half the day adjusting it and counting down the hours to when I can take it off.

Some of you are probably thinking, “You’d be fired in my company, that’s just not how the world works”. Fired? No, I would never be fired from that kind of company because that’s a requirement of mine I ask in the interview process. If I can’t wear shorts or jeans and be myself, then I really have no need to work for you. Hire someone with mediocre skills that’ll listen to your thinking. Think he’s an excellent creative? Of course! He’s the best creative you could find that was willing to wear a tie to work everyday. For someone in my industry, the top notch people won’t be found wearing ties. They wont’ be found dressing up in their day to day. Is that to say they never dress up? No, of course not. The creatives still know when its time to meet clients, the clients sort of expect them to be just as corporate to an extent.

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What I learned today:
That a Surface Pro 3 can run Photoshop. However, the fastest on is 8Gb of RAM…sooo I question it as a workhorse.

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Working for the…uhhh, on the weekend!

I started the day off pretty early at 9ish. I was able to find an old sketchbook which made me pretty happy. My first task was at logo sketching. I came up with a few ideas, however I’m not too happy with them. After all, how good of a logo can you really make in just 3 hours? After that I switched to wireframes using Balsamiq. The downside is that at my home computer I still have the demo which is still kind of good since I can use it, just not save it. The up side is that I can save as a png file so I’m able to do my thing and save out. I’ll just make sure to keep my computer on for now.

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Watched a few lectures of Business Development For Startups and Tech Companies. It’s pretty interesting and I can’t wait to keep on watching. I’ll have to set it up on my tablet so I can chill on the couch and watch it. I’m taking a break from that one and starting to watch the beginning videos from https://www.udemy.com/cold-emailing. Is it a viable option? It never hurts to try!

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What I learned today:
You can still save out as png files in Balsamiq even if your trial is over.

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A Designer with no Sketchbook?

I sat down earlier today to start on some sketches. I planned on doing it hardcore and just jamming out page upon page. The other day I used a college ruled notebook that I found laying around. I used it assuming I had a stack of sketchbooks elsewhere. I looked around and NOPE, nothing. How does a designer not have a backlog of sketchbooks?

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Today was a mental reload day. I started out by watching Guardians of the Galaxy, which was awesome, and then watching the last Lord of the Rings movie. I felt like I just needed a detox day from being creative. I started up my creative thinking just a few hours ago and I’m kicking through it.

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Started doing some work from work. Since I got to work from home on Friday I had my head wrapped up in something and worked extra. Then I find myself today opening up my work laptop for about an hour trying some things out. I had to slap my hand and say NO!

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What I learned today:
Always have a sketchbook handy.

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Write it down!

I had a whole bunch of things to talk about today, but I never wrote them down! I figured that I have a sharp enough memory. It turns out, what I was going to write about that I DID remember wasn’t that exciting, or I indeed forgot what I wanted to write about. The day I don’t write down my actions in my design journal is the day I forget.

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Recruiters! You gotta love them and hate them at the same time. Right now I’m working on a contract through a recruitment company, hoping to get full time. The place is awesome and I love it! But wait, aren’t you working on a web design startup? Yes I am, but who says I can’t do side work? Anywho, it seems like the recruiters from LinkedIn really don’t care about who they ask for anything. They want to connect, they want to throw down job descriptions and before they’re finished they want to see if anybody else would be interested! WHAT? Come on! You’re trying to sell me on a position and instead of waiting for my response you ask if anybody else wants the job?

I get it, I really do. The recruiter is just throwing it all out in hopes of getting something so they can get a commission. I don’t blame them, really I don’t. But have some respect and wait to see if I’m interested! As a rule of them when a recruiter goes to my linked in page for Cliff Nowicki, if they bothered to actually read before connecting they’ll notice one thing. I wrote a few sentences at the end as a way to get you to interact with me:

If you’re looking to seriously contact me then tell me something as a conversation starter, let me know you’re invested in a connection and not a number. I love spending time with my kids and BBQ chicken. What about you?

You see? This means that I want to know something about you in your initial contact. If you attempt to reach out expecting a connection and don’t get one, that is why.

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I got to work from home today, which was awesome. I told myself to wake up early at 7 and get started. I felt more productive working from home, mainly because I work more than I should. Once I get caught up its hard to see people around me leaving and the sun going down. This is because my office is in the basement and I can barely tell where the sun is at any given moment.

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What I learned today:

Get out of your chair after an hour! Setting up a timer otherwise you’ll lose track of the time and lose the rest of the day.

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The one with no title.

It felt like a slow day today. I woke up at 3:30am and never went back to sleep. I did catch up on webdesigner depots August list of “What’s new for designers”. Tons of cool things in there!

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I plan on starting learning Git through lynda.com. I’m very excited to be able to speak more pro about it at work. I feel like such a novice when it comes to it. However, I’ve learned 500% more than I thought I’d learn about Git since I started, so I’m happy.

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What I learned today:
Google’s crawlers fire javascript when crawling to help with possible hidden stuff. It’s not perfect, but it sounds pretty cool

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