A boost to my ego

Portfolio of Paul Burd

My ego got a nice little boost this morning when I discovered my portfolio site was featured on Design Melt Down. :)

“… This set of designs are really sharp, and their usage of ornamental backgrounds shows just how terrific the style can look. And the best thing is that it doesn’t feel forced or like an after thought. The ornamental designs have been carefully crafted to fit into the design for a unified result.”

My thanks go out to Patrick McNeil, the designer behind Design Melt Down.

I’ve ditched .Mac

If you have an email address for me that ends with mac.com, you should delete it. I’ve finally ditched my .Mac account. If I didn’t send you my new address, you can use my contact page to get ahold of me.

I’ve had a mac.com address since the day they introduced them, back when the service was called iTools, and it was free. Like many others, I’ve been debating (for years) on if I should continue to renew my account. Every year I asked myself, is this service really worth $99/yr.? The answer is no, at least for me. I actually should have cancelled it years ago.

For many people, the biggest feature of .Mac is the media publishing. I don’t really need that service, so it wasn’t a big draw for me. The best things I liked about .Mac are syncing of email accounts, calendars, bookmarks, etc… between multiple computers, access to Apple’s Backup application, and the best webmail client I’ve ever used. Some of those things will become obsolete when Leopard comes out.

I’ve decided that with my next upgrade (when Leopard comes out), I’ll be switching to a Macbook Pro only, instead of having a laptop and a desktop. So, I won’t really need the syncing feature. Leopard’s Time Machine will handle my daily backups, so I don’t really need Backup.app. That just leaves webmail, which I don’t really use that often, so it’s hard to justify that $99 per year.

Ba-bye .Mac.

We are out of here!

I’m way behind on blogging, and email, but you know what… I don’t care. We’re leaving for a well deserved vacation. We’re off to Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois for about a week. It has been a struggle (to say the least) wrapping up work before tomorrow, but I did it.

I may be posting from the road if I get a chance, but I’m not sure what kind of access I’ll have.

If I owe you an email… be patient. I will get back to you.

Where have I been?

So, why haven’t I posted anything here in a month? Well, there are actually a few reasons. But before I get into it, let me say thanks to all those who commented or emailed asking if I was OK. There’s no need to worry, I’m fine.

Several months ago I noticed that the frequency of my posts were starting to slow down. For whatever reason I just didn’t feel as compelled to post as much as I use to. This actually seems to be a relatively common occurrence amongst bloggers right around the three year mark. At least, I’ve noticed it with several blogs that I’ve watched over the years.

I can’t say exactly why I wasn’t as interested in blogging… maybe I was just feeling a little burnt out. But, the result was blogging became more of a chore than a pleasure. I wasn’t really enjoying it as much as I use to.

Another factor in nothing new being posted here was my little incident with the pit-bull back in March. I was already posting relatively few entries, but during that time I got totally out of the habit of blogging. Even though I’m fine now, I never really seemed to get back into blogging mode after that.

The final reason would be Photography. I’ve gotten heavily into it again… almost to the point of obsession. All I think about is shooting, and I’ve been spending quite a bit of time re-doing my photoblog (still in-progress). I’ve been spending enough time in photography-related activities that it hasn’t left time for much else. In fact, I’ve recently noticed that in addition to my blogging habits, my reading habits have changed as well. It use to be that most of the print magazines, websites, and rss feeds that I read were primarily Mac related. Now, I’ve found that they’ve gradually shifted over to photography related sources. Now, I don’t want to give anyone the idea that I have lost interest in Apple, because that is definitely NOT the case. I think it’s a combination of my new enthusiasm for photography, and a relative lul in anything exciting going on in the Mac world recently. The Mac is still a big part of my life, and I image the two interests will equalize at some point.

So, what does all this mean for the future of One Digital Life? Don’t worry… it’s not going away. I actually have some plans for it, if I can ever find the time to do them. I’ll write more about that later. In the mean time, my posting will probably continue to be somewhat erratic, but I will be trying to do more than I have been lately. I can tell you one thing now… anything photography related will now be posted on my photblog, Highly Subjective, instead of here. Right now it’s pretty much just my photographs in that site, but my plan is to add more general photography-related content as well. So, if you like any of the photography-related content that I post here, you may want to start keeping an eye on that site too.

We’re home

Maggie at Fort Funston

Well, we finally made it home. We’ve actually been home for a week now. Last Friday (3/30) Anne Marie flew to Phoenix, in order to drive home with me over the weekend. We left Saturday afternoon and made it as far as Barstow, CA. We finished the drive on Sunday. My hand held up OK, but it was a little stiff after the drive.

It’s so nice to be home. I appreciated being able to spend some extra time with my friends, but after a month away, I really missed Anne Marie and was more than ready to be home.

Yesterday we were able to give Maggie her first day back at Fort Funston (her favorite place). She hasn’t had any real exercise in a month. She was so happy to be running in the surf, and digging holes. She usually comes home pretty filthy. We were glad to see that she didn’t show any sign of being fearful of other dogs. It looks like the incident in Phoenix didn’t have any lasting impact on her.

I actually found that I missed the ocean far more than I expected. We usually take Maggie to the beach every weekend. After a month of not going, I think I needed it as much as she did. I’ve spent most of my life not living by the ocean, but I don’t think I could ever go back now.

My hand is healing fairly well. I’ve continued physical therapy here in San Francisco. It’s still in a splint, but it’s much smaller than the previous versions, and I can take it off when I’m just sitting at my desk. I guess I don’t really have much of an excuse not to blog anymore. It’s just been hard getting back into the habit.

I’m So Screwed… literally

First, I want to thank everyone for their kind comments on the previous post. They really helped lift my spirits. You guys are great!

I had my followup with the surgeon on Monday (3/19). For the first time I was able to see the screws that he put into my hand. They aren’t at all what I imagined them to be. Fortunately, he said I wouldn’t beep at the airport.

He also removed that mega-bandage, in favor of a much smaller and lighter splint. It’s so nice having that thing off. I had to keep my hand elevated above my heart during the week that I wore it, and it seemed to get heavier (and stinkier) as the week went on. I have to wear the splint continuously for a week, and then partial days for another 4-6 weeks. I’m not sure how many hours a day.

A quick tip about wearing big bandages or casts. If you find yourself in that position, buy yourself an electric air-pump (like the ones used to inflate air mattresses). They come in extremely handy when the part of your body covered by the bandage starts to sweat. Several times a day I essentially hooked my arm up to the pump and blew air into the bandage. It sounds funny (and looked funny too), but it offered quite a bit of relief.

I have a followup with the surgeon this coming Monday (3/26) to get my stitches out, and discuss the next step. He’s already said he would prefer I stay in Phoenix at least another week, and begin physical therapy. I’m debating on what to do. I want to go home.

Maggie is healing nicely. She had the staples in her neck removed on Monday. That wound is pretty much healed now. She still has staples in her leg, but those may come out as early as tomorrow. I imagine her foot is going to be pretty tender for a while though.

Hopefully neither of us will hit any bumps on the road to recovery.

Call Me Lefty

me and maggie after dog attack

Well, you may have noticed that there hasn’t been much activity around here lately. I’m not just being lazy. There is a reason for my absence, and the picture above will give you a little hint.

Maggie (our dog) and I were attacked by a Pit Bull while visiting Phoenix. We’ll both be OK, but we’re going to be recovering for a while.

I’m not sure where to begin, so I’ll just start from the top. Maggie and I drove to Phoenix on March 1st. We came down to attend the Ninth Annual Los Dos Molinos Hike, on Saturday, March 3rd. We hike from a friend’s house, over South Mountain, and end at a mexican food restaurant called, Los Dos Molinos (home of the world’s greatest margaritas). I planned to stay for a few extra days for a friend’s birthday, and drive home on Wednesday, March 7th.

On the morning we were supposed to leave, I had the car mostly packed, and I was going to take Maggie out for one last walk before hitting the road. At the same time, my friend’s neighbor, from across the street, was coming out of her house with her three big dogs (two German Shepherds and a Pit Bull). Maggie and I had just walked out of the house, and were in my friend’s front yard, when the neighbor’s dogs spotted us… broke away from the woman… ran across the street… and attacked Maggie. It all happened very suddenly, without any warning at all.

Fortunately for us, the two Shepherds didn’t really participate once the attack started, it was just the Pit Bull. If all three had attacked, I don’t think I would be here to tell the story. I won’t go into the graphic details of the attack, but I will say that it was one of the most intense (and terrifying) experiences I have ever gone through. While it was happening, I thought there was a good chance that we weren’t going to survive.

I did finally get the Pit Bull off of Maggie, and we retreated through the gate into my friend’s back yard. I had to quickly wrap paper towels around anything that was bleeding (on both of us), and jump in the car to get Maggie to the animal hospital, where she immediately had surgery on her leg and neck.

I initially thought my injuries were limited to scrapes, scratches, and a small bite, but I would later find out that I had a serious break in one of the bones in my right hand, and some tendon damage. I had to have surgery too. They put metal plates and screws in my hand.

So, here we are… still in Phoenix. We’re going to be OK. We just need a little time to recover before we can drive home. My friends have kindly allowed us to stay as long as we need to. Thanks Todd & Steph!

Although my friends have been very gracious, and I am thankful that things aren’t worse, I have to admit that I just want to go home. I miss Anne Marie. She actually came down for the hike too, but she flew because she could only take the weekend off. Unfortunately, she can’t fly down, and drive us home because she can’t drive stick.

I have a followup with the surgeon on Monday. We’ll see how things are doing, and when I might be able to go home.

I haven’t really been feeling up to blogging until now. Partially because of how I’ve been feeling, both physically and emotionally, but also because it takes freakin forever to type anything with my left hand. I may try to catch up now that I’m feeling a little better.

So there you have it… the short version of the story. The long version would be pages and pages, and take me a month to type. I’m sure there will be a couple of common questions that pop up in the comments, so I’ll try to answer those now…

  • The Pit Bull is still alive, and is at home. That is a complicated story that I may go into later.
  • The woman has taken full responsibility and paid for all medical bills. So far they total around $9,000.
  • No, I won’t be suing her for 100 million dollars. Although that is the American way, I personally don’t believe in it. I believe in reasonable compensation (lost wages, medical bills, etc…). This is also complicated, and I’ll wait to discuss it.

Although this has been a terrifying experience, I just try to keep reminding myself that Maggie and I are still alive, and we should make a full recovery. It could have been a lot worse. I’m also thankful to be surrounded by good friends (both near and far) who are helping me get through this.

I’m Back!

Wow, looking at the previous post, I see I’ve been on this break for almost a month. I don’t think I’ve gone that long without blogging since I started this site. It’s been so long that I actually had to remind myself about the steps I take to post (image size, using Marsedit, etc…).

It’s been a good break, and I needed it, but now I’m itching to start blogging again. Oh, and if you sent me any emails while I was away, I’ll try to get to those soon as well. Sorry for the delay.

My original intention was to disconnect myself as much as possible from my computer, but I actually did spend some time redesigning my portfolio site. Primarily because I wanted to switch my motion graphics examples over to Flash video, and add some recent work, but I also just couldn’t stand to look at that site any longer. I originally threw the (old) site together in an evening, over 3 years ago. I needed something up in a hurry, but I’ve been meaning to change it ever since. The new site went semi-live last night. I say semi-live because I’m actually still tweaking it. I was hoping to get it up by the 1st, but I just couldn’t get it done.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a good holiday and new years. Like me, I’m sure you’re now plenty excited about Macworld. I’ll be talking about that in my next post.

I’m taking a break

I’m not going to go into any long winded explanations, but I’ve been feeling a bit burnt out lately. So, I’m officially taking a break. I’m going to unplug myself from this computer, as much as I can, through the end of the year.

I wish you all Happy Holidays, and I’ll see you next year.

Oh, and if you like the image above, you might like this one too.

Rest in Peace, Dave

Dave Ross

Our good friend, Dave Ross, passed away a couple of weeks ago, on November 15th, 2006. This is one of the last pictures I took of him. We’re walking our dog, Maggie Moo, at Fort Funston Beach.

Dave was diagnosed with Cancer about six months ago. He was only in his mid-forties. He went into the hospital for surgery about six weeks ago. He never recovered.

Although Dave’s long term prognosis was uncertain, it never really occurred to us that we would be losing him so soon. We fully expected to be back at this beach with him as soon as he came out of the hospital.

I’ve been putting off writing this post, because I just couldn’t come up with words to describe how I’ve been feeling lately. Things happened so suddenly, and unexpectedly, that there is a lingering air of disbelief about it all.

I still don’t know what to say about all this. I suppose I should try to look at this like one of those life lessons, about appreciating someone while you still can, because they may not be around as long as you think.

Dave was a good person, and a good friend. Although he annoyed the hell out of me almost every time I saw him, he will be missed.

Rest in peace, Dave.