Eddie wanted to date the hot girl, but she had a boyfriend…

475861_22336987Eddie got so desperate that he approached her and said, “I will give you $1000 if you let me have my way with you.” Shocked, the girl looked at him and said, “No way!” He said, “I’ll be real quick; I’ll throw the money on the floor, you bend over to get it, and I’ll be finished by the time you’ve picked it up!”
She thought for a moment and told him that she had to ask her boyfriend. Her boyfriend says, “Ask the guy for $2000. Pick up the money really really fast, and he won’t even have time to get his zipper down.”
2 hours pass and the boyfriend is waiting. Finally he calls and asks, “What happened?!”
Heavily panting, she replied, “It’s all in quarters!”

–Thanks to our friends at Reddit

Texting @ the wheel is worse than driving drunk

Facts About Cell Phone Driving

It’s deadly, and just plain stupid.  You are not a better driver, you cannot be more careful and you can’t ‘handle it’. If you do it, you’re an idiot and potential murderer. Do I have your attention now? Don’t do it.

Research on distracted driving reveals some surprising facts:

  • Using a cell phone use while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (Source: University of Utah) Hello, that means it’s like drunk driving. You wouldn’t drive while hammered, would you? Put the phone down or pull over. I am on the road with you and don’t want to be dead just yet.
  • Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent. (Source: Carnegie Mellon) Your brain is no different. 10 seconds less reaction means the difference between a close call and someone on a ventilator or worse.
  • 80 percent of all crashes and 65 percent of near crashes involve some type of distraction. (Source: Virginia Tech 100-car study for NHTSA) Get the dog off your lap, too, grandpa.
  • Nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver, and more than half a million were injured. (NHTSA)
  • The worst offenders are the youngest and least-experienced drivers: men and women under 20 years of age. (NHTSA) And who texts the most? Don’t bother with the warning, just enact a zero-tolerance policy now, and yank their phone or the keys, or both, if they don’t do it.
  • Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) That is twice as dangerous as driving drunk. Do you need to see pictures of grieving families? Get over yourself and be safe. This is a 100% preventable problem.

via distraction.gov

There is no such thing as multitasking at the wheel. That way you are merely a 1500 lb. death machine pilot. What if you were driving a train? Yes, that already happened when a train crashed while the driver was texting in Los Angeles.

Posted via web from gaird’s posterous

Good For the Ladies

We’re not talking about the bird and the bees… yet.

My 8 year old son asked me about facial hair. Bedtime hugs can be a scratchy business. So I was explaining how when he gets older he will have a beard like Daddy, and he will learn how to shave. I also told him he will get hair on his legs, maybe on his chest, and his arms.

He showed me his arm and told me he already had hair. I said that his arms had peachfuzz for now, but in time he would have real hair. He nodded,  smiled and said, “Good for the ladies.”

California Kids: $125,000 to incarcerate, $8,000 to educate.

Where we spend tells a lot about what we value.

California prison spending for juveniles is reportedly over $370 million a year. That works out to anywhere from $125,000 a year to over $200,000, depending on where you get your report. Spending on education hovers just under $8000 per student. Which is 45th lowest in the nation. Even if the estimates on prison spending are way off, that is still an awful multiple: we spend 10 times as much to lock them up as we do to teach them.

What is that overspending buying? Not much. The California prison system is in such bad shape it is in danger of a Federal takeover. The inmates are treated badly, not rehabilitated, and learn the wrong skills, which leads to 75% recitivism rate. A life of crime. California now spends more on prisons than on the entire university system.

Schools themselves are a gateway to prison. Some have their own police. Misbehaviors that used to get a student in trouble have become punishable offenses. Not quite the conditions for success. Schools in poorer communities fare worse. Parents do not have the extra money or time to donate to their schools, depriving their kids even further. The class divide begins early.

This is what we get from feckless politicians that don’t want to appear ‘soft on crime.’

Flaming Toilets, Batman! It’s a… flaming toilet.

My 8 yr old son is getting into cars. He is learning how to spot Mustangs, Camaros and Porches. His old toilet seat broke, and it was time to get him into early Guy-hood with a spiffy new number that will last for a few years of Cool. I probably could have painted it myself, but like all the other things on my list, it would have taken a couple years to get done.

He thought it was great. As if a man needs any more reason to be in the bathroom.


Who stole my tunes? …iPhone Lint!

Anyone who has followed my iPhone exploits knows that I have become a repair guy in my spare time. I have dried out water damage, replaced my LCD (check out my trés popular YouTube video), heck I have even repaired my daughter’s Nintendo DS.

The next chapter in my iPhone saga was headset problems. I was not being heard on calls. I tested the phone without the headset and it worked fine. So I replaced the headset. Then this week my car stereo cable hookup went funky. Hearing Ain’t That a Shame with guitar only and no vocals is fine for karaoke, but I was concerned. I had thought it was the headset, but if my stereo cable was now having issues, then it was probably the phone. I hoped it was not, but now I was certain I would be hitting Amazon for more iPhone parts and opening the thing up once again.

Today I was playing High School Musical for my daughter for the 8 millionth time, and the sound was funky again. So I jiggled the plug in the receptacle and was able to get the sound working. I began to wonder, was the receptacle loose from over use? Was it a curse for playing too much HSM 3? I did the jiggling and twisting, but it would slip as soon as the phone moved. As I pressed down firmly to seat the thing, the sound worked. Let off, and it did not. I was able to reproduce this every time I tried.

Using my heightened powers of iPhone Repair Man reasoning, I looked closely at the jack (note: not a safe thing to do while driving). It did not seem to be all the way in. The sound worked when I pushed it down, but when I let off it would not. Could something be stuck in there? I do a lot of laundry, and I clean the lint screen in the dryer. I find lint in my pocket all the time – where I keep my phone. Was pocket lint stuck in there?

I got my shop lite and a looked down into the receptacle. Hard to tell, but it looked like something soft and fuzzy. A few seconds later with a needle, and voila – not one, but two little fur balls way down inside of it. I looked back inside and I saw the shiny bottom once again. Now all is well with Cheap Trick and, unfortunately, High School Musical 3.

Low tech problem, low tech solution.
Low tech problem, low tech solution.

5 Tips to Choosing a Web Design Client

I have been doing web development for over 12 years, and have learned many valuable (and hard) lessons. This post was inspired by a comment I made on a Smashing Magazine article.

There is plenty of advice on how to interact with clients. How to estimate projects, deal with problems, and so on. But how do you decide whether to take on a client in the first place? Your relationship with a client must be a good fit.

Your chances of success are set the moment you choose to work with a client, so choose wisely.

If you think the client chooses you, think again. Even if you are bidding with other hopefuls and your bid wins, it is you who are picking your clients, not the other way around.

Before you consider a new project, it is vital to assess the fit between your agency (or you as independent) and the client. A business relationship is a human interaction. There must be chemistry and understanding for success. I have learned from experience, that if it does not feel right from the start, no amount of rationalization will change that. Trust me on this one.

The top 5 tips for determining good fit:

1. Client resources. Do they have staff with time to devote to the project? At minimum you need them to show up for review and approval of your work. Even better if they can do some of the work, like planning. The less resources on the client side, the more work you will have to do managing the project, and the longer it will take to get done. Remember, you get blamed when the project is late.

2. Client experience. Specifically with buying creative and/or programming services. If they are inexperienced, be cautious. If they are aware of their ignorance and willing to learn, maybe.

3. Client’s expectations. Related to #2. Does the client know if what they want is feasible? Have they done projects like this before?

4. Budget. Clients either have an idea of budget or they don’t. If they have a budget in mind, then the question is if the expectations in #3 will fit into that budget. If not, then cut scope. The cut items can be future phases that are paid separately, or just leave them out. Do not cut price. Once you set that precedent, expect clients to continually ask for price concessions. If you don’t value your own time, why should your client?

If they do not have an idea of budget and want to know the cost to do it right, consider offering a paid specification phase. This is a small project, which would normally happen as a first phase of the full effort. If the client does not have experienced staff (see #1), this can be straight-ahead consulting, and a value-add on your part. The result will be a document with clear scope and costs. It can even be used as an RFP to let out for bid.

If the client declines a spec phase, we’ll offer an executive overview. A one page summary with a ballpark estimate. We stipulate that this number is preliminary, and a good faith estimate based on limited information, and subject to refinement if the project is approved. If the number is in an acceptable range (get client signature on that), then you have set clear expectations and can proceed with a detailed estimate and statement of work. If not, then you have saved time for you both, and you can move on to other jobs.

5. Only accept work that is portfolio-worthy. This is an ironclad rule – do not break it. While it is tempting to take work for the paycheck, even in a bad economy, don’t do it. Your portfolio is an investment. You will not get better clients if you can’t show past work. Our business improved once we had the courage to say No. Honestly and professionally, of course. Ways to say no include, “This is not a good fit for our firm,” “Your needs would be better served by another firm,” or simply “We respectfully decline.” Getting respect starts with respecting yourself.

I am the Interactive Director at HitchCreative