Category Archives: Work

Last Shoot

This weekend marks a milestone…

About ten years ago some friends of ours saw how much I was enjoying photography with my first little point ‘n click camera and gifted us with an SLR camera we never could have dreamt of purchasing ourselves. Just a few weeks later we were approached to do our first wedding shoot. Wifey Dagmar and I were sooo happy our friend Barb helped us for our first few weddings as we gradually learned the ropes.

Since then we’ve gone through cameras and lenses and lighting systems and props, constantly upgrading our equipment best we could over the years – Dagmar was “the bossy one” who would organize the shots and get everyone organized, I was the quiet one behind the lens pushing buttons like a madman, spending weeks or months afterwards editing each shoot. Every year we did a few more wedding shoots, sprinkling in high school senior photo shoots and family photos in our schedule whenever we could. We kept quite busy, and had a good time!

But things change… It gradually became apparent that my Beloved Alpine Wifey was struggling physically to get through a wedding (a wedding shoot often lasts ten, twelve, fourteen hours – with the photographers on their feet nearly the entire time). I don’t know if our customers could tell or not (I doubt it), but I could tell. She wasn’t able to hold or carry a camera for long, and she’d need to sit and rest quite often. She quit helping me with smaller shoots altogether, and we had a wedding where it was apparent that she just couldn’t do it any longer. At one point she was so exhausted and distracted by the pain that she kept reverting to her native German.

“Maybe you should call Sara,” she said the next day. “I didn’t do vell yesterday. Sara could maybe help you with the next vedding?”

“Sara? Sara who?” I asked.

“Sara, you know, the happy little twinkletoes with the little blonde girl?”

“Wait, Sara’s a photographer?” I blinked a few times. “Really?”

“Really. You should creep people’s Facebook pages more often. Her pictures are good. Call her and see if she’ll help you. Vait, I know you. I’ll call her, you suck at phones.”

We’d done work for Sara Krause on several occasions. Had she TOLD me she was a photographer, I would have panicked and spent a zillion hours second-guessing every edit I made to one of her photos… And Dagmar was right – not only was she a photographer, but a very good one! She quickly became my Number One Ace Photography Assistant (I hate to call her an “assistant,” she could easily run her own photography studio, but “associate” sounds odd to me).

The next few years HippieBoy Design expended our photography quite a bit, Sara and I both learning new photography techniques, updating editing software, and doing various shoots every week. We quickly got to the point where we couldn’t keep up with the editing. Each hour of shooting often equals between four and six hours of editing; an average wedding shoot means about eighty man-hours of work in post-production. In the winter and early spring of 2015 we decided to add a few more folks to the HippieBoy Design team to help out – Matti Smith, Stacy Harpeneau, and Lexi Millikan. Things were looking up! We were busy, had a ton of stuff booked, and were expanding. Yay!

But then Wifey’s health issues really began to overwhelm us a bit. In April she was no longer able to work, and shortly afterwards she started having seizures – with the added bonus that she’d sometimes quit breathing or have an asthma attack during the episode. It was very clear that it wasn’t feasible for me to be away from home very often or very long as we needed someone to come and watch Wifey whilst I was gone. It didn’t take me long to come to the conclusion that we couldn’t book any more photography. “We’ll honor our commitments and do the shoots we already have booked,” I said. “I’ll keep all the archives and my website and whatnot so our customers can still get in touch with me if they need to. But I’m going to quit booking new shoots.” I felt bad – I was hoping to have more work for the HippieChicks as we’d just got everyone trained and had our workflow hammered out, but they understood.

Last summer we were still very busy with wedding shoots as well as just a few smaller shoots that had been booked in advance. Both Sara and I felt a sense of relief when we finished the season last fall. We both truly enjoy photography, but I was trying to adjust to my new role as Wifey’s caretaker, and Sara was a bit overworked and needed a bit of a break. I e-mailed her this spring, “We just have two weddings this summer that were booked in 2016. It’ll be fun to do those – I’m looking forward to them! It will be odd, though, when we’re done… We’ve been doing this so long it’s hard to imagine not having a shoot on the calendar.”

We did one wedding shoot about six weeks ago. This weekend is our last shoot.

I’ve had folks we did wedding photos for call us years later to take photos of their children, we’ve done senior photos for awkward 17-year-olds who called us years later as confident adults to do their wedding photos… We’ve had the opportunity to travel a bit, doing shoots in Des Moines, up north of Sioux Falls, at the lakes. It means a lot to me that I’ve remained friends with quite a few of my customers through Facebook and other channels – I like the thought that we’re not just hired photographers, but friends. I have absolutely no idea how many photo shoots we’ve done in the past decade, but it’s a lot. And whenever I trip over old photos on my computer it brings back so many good memories of the shoot, meeting the people, all the goofy things that happened during the shoot (and there are always goofy things happening), it all comes back in a flash.

So, tomorrow I’ll charge up my batteries, pack all my cameras and lenses up, load the lights in the car, set out my suit ‘n tie out one last time… And on Sunday I’ll unpack it all and put it away. I have a space ready in the basement where I can set up my lights and do macro and hobby photography and store the rest of my gear. But it will be strange not to have three cameras and two tripods in my office, memory cards scattered on my desk, battery chargers filling every spare outlet in the room, invoices and contracts filling my little filing cabinet, six external hard drives full of photos whirring away on my desk.

I’ll miss it.


I positively, absolutely HATE “ambush-ware,” (a term I just made up).

Okay, I’m working on a project for a friend. He needs some video clips converted to a certain format, and a DVD made. A few years ago I’d take a day or two and use Adobe’s neato software to put together a custom animated DVD menu in After Effects, process the audio in Audition, put everything together in Premiere Pro, then author the final DVD in Encore. Except Adobe quit supporting Encore, the software that actually creates the files necessary for a DVD – they say. “The trend in the video and broadcast industry is moving away from physical media distribution. The future is in cloud and streaming content. Therefore we are focusing more on products that deliver to streaming services. For example, Adobe Media Encoder and Adobe Premiere Pro CC include a new feature allowing users to create iPad-ready video with QuickTime chapter markers.”

Okay, I can go back and download an older version of Encore that may or may not work properly, but I don’t really have time for that. So I turn to my old standby, iDVD. I know Apple stopped providing iDVD a few years ago for the same reasons Adobe stopped selling Encore – people tend to look at video online now rather than on DVDs, but I managed to keep an old copy, and it works fine… Except, well poop. Okay, it WORKED fine, now it doesn’t. And Apple doesn’t support the software any more.

Okay, I just need to find a way to author my friend’s DVD. I work with video every single day, but it’s all online stuff. I’ve not burned a “you need to put this disk in a DVD player” kind of DVD in years.

A quick search online gave me a lead to some free software that looks like an iDVD clone of sorts. Swell, I don’t have much time, I’ll just download that quick, burn the disk and be on my way. It’s free, so I expected it to be ad-supported – but I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the software to find that it wasn’t all cluttered with ads and it worked just fine. It’s a very simple program, I figured the company released it to showcase their more advanced stuff. I was reasonably impressed. It took me an hour to get everything all figured out and ready to go, and within another half an hour it had rendered the files and burned a disk. I was giddy with glee. Giddy.

Until I looked at the final product.

There’s a watermark. Not just a little logo in the corner, but a HUGE watermark across the entire screen that makes the entire disk unusable. Turns out that you need to pay $50 for the “pro” level of the software to get rid of the watermark.

Supercrud. This has happened to me before, and I should have seen it coming. Ambush-ware. “Okay, you’ve spent a considerable amount of time downloading the software, learning how to use it, getting your project to look exactly right – NOW we’re going to hold you hostage for money. If you don’t pay us, all that time has been wasted.” Back to their website. Yep, the software is clearly labeled “FREE.” Now I’m getting angry. No, I shall not pay fifty bucks for your software, dammit. I’ll find another way to do this…

Pushy, sneaky sales tactics will make me walk away every time. Every. Time.

An Interesting Sort of Day

It’s been an interesting day.

So far, in addition to my regular work, I’ve fixed my chainsaw, repaired the dog’s invisible fence (still gotta bury about 450 feet of wire in a month or so when the ground thaws), and got my updated version of QuickBooks up and running. (I’m all excited – someone buy something from me quick! I want to send out an invoice RIGHT NOW. New software makes me all tingly.)

Hooray for gettin’ stuff done!

Now I gotta go stake down parts of the fence and get some brush cleared before sundown. (The guy who farms the land adjoining our acreage commented that he was going to swing by sometime with a chainsaw and take care of the branches that were hanging over the fence into his field. I almost wept. I puffy-heart trees! I hug them! So I’m running out there whenever I can to trim the trees the way I want them trimmed in hopes that he’ll kinda leave them alone…) Then we’re back to our regularly scheduled program!

Google Street View image

It’s the little things…

Earlier this week I traveled to Des Moines for a photo shoot, a happy 230 mile trip. As is normal, I chose to stop at Missouri Valley, Iowa – a natural “halfway” point – for gas. I pulled in the Phillips 66 station just off the Interstate and pulled up to the nearest pump. It was about ten degrees that day with a nasty wind. I hopped out of the car, cursed the weather, opened my gas tank, grabbed the nozzle, and saw, “Prepay Only” on the screen.

If you own a gas station, please keep in mind that “Prepay Only” means two things.

  1. You’re standing in a high crime area.
  2. We don’t trust you.

Neither of those things makes me very eager to spend my money at your store.

Regardless I trotted inside, shivering, to prepay. The 12-year-old kid behind the counter was busy ringing up the customers in front of me, so I looked at the time and started getting antsy – waiting is NOT my forté. When it was my turn at the register, the kid behind the counter completely ignored me for about thirty seconds, long enough for me to stare holes in his head as he gawked at his phone (or whatever he was doing). Just as I was turning to leave, he said, “Oh, did you need something?” (No, I just drove to a gas station a hundred miles from home so I could come in here and gaze at your magnificence.)

“Yeah, I’d like to fill up, but the pump says ‘Prepay Only.’ How does that work?”

“Just tell me how many gallons you want,” replied the kid.

“I have no idea – I’d like to fill the tank.”

“Just tell me how much gas you want,” he repeated.

“How do I know how much it will take to fill it up?” I asked, getting edgy.

“Haven’t you ever filled up your car before?” Okay, now you’re getting snotty.

“No. It’s a rental,” I lied. “I’ll just go to the station across the street,” I truthed. “Thanks.”

I’ll probably never stop at a Phillips station again. I hate those kinds of confrontations. “Prepay Only” may be a common thing in cities, but hereabouts it’s an insult. I choose to pay at the pump because I don’t like interacting with strangers. I don’t know if I’m just shy, or if I’m introverted, but I’ll go to ridiculous lengths to avoid talking to folks on the phone or going into stores where I have to talk to people. So the whole thing lefty me angry and upset.

Quick Hits

It’s Money Day

Today is Send Statements To Folks Who Owe Me Money day. Hurray! If you happen to have used HippieBoy Design’s services and haven’t yet sent me all the happy monies you owe, expect a cheerful note in the mail from the fine folks in HippieBoy Design’s billing department (which is me).

Something to keep in mind as a consumer – if you choose to blow off a bill for one reason or another, it costs the company even more time and money in bookkeeping, postage sending out late notices, etc. And if a company has to send a person to collections, that means the company only gets a percentage of the total bill – the collections agency gets a VERY hefty chunk. No matter how things shake out, you’re going to pay the bill. Would you rather have it go to the Ma and Pop store that depends on every nickel for survival, or would you rather have your money go to a huge collections agency in Chicago?

Small businesses truly depend on every dollar that comes in the door. Our profit margin is so small even a loss of a small payment means our little family has to make big choices (food or medicine).

Please pay your bills.

Falling Behind Sucks

I’m feeling very low at the moment. I missed a deadline for paying my state sales tax and have to pay a penalty. Stupid mistake. I hate that my stupidity cost my family much-needed money.

I was hoping to have a small procedure done on my nose (I can’t breathe through the silly thing at all – the doc said he could try a simple procedure to fix it) by the end of the year since we’ve met our insurance deductible. Last week he said he could get me in by the end of December with no problems, but I waited until today to actually make the appointment – and now they can’t get me in.

It really pays to keep on top of things – and I know that! But between Beloved Wifey’s lengthy illness and a prolonged stretch of working a zillion hours a day I simply lost track of a few details.

Quit Scaring Me!

I don’t normally play the lottery or anything like that, but I couldn’t get that Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes entry in fast enough this year. But why do they have to make the process so damned spooky? “If you dare miss one little detail in this big huge mess of worthless paper, you’ll lose out on MILLIONS!”

I don’t need to win millions of dollars, but we could sure use a little extra right now.

Photo by HippieBoy Design

The Day’s Ruminations

There Are Good Things…

The past few days have been pretty good, all things considered. Beloved Wifey is still ill and is having a lot of trouble getting around, but we truly feel there may be an end in sight. The thought of having a healthy Dagmar next spring makes me all happy!

And there have been other little blessings. Pops came over with his tractor and helped get some of the junk metal out of my grove, and I was able to get out there with the chainsaw and clear some deadwood out (it’s a never-ending project, that). My back isn’t nearly as hurty as it was last week. I’m very nearly finished with my last large photo project of the season. Things are good.

So THIS is why statistics are important…

Random SEO Cogitations

I often get asked about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – the technique behind getting your web site boosted higher in the search engine rankings. Here’s what I told a friend of mine earlier today: 

Here are two articles that explain SEO fairly well. The first one is very detailed and explains how it all works, what you can do, and what you can expect.

The second article explains why you don’t need to do any of it.

In my experience, there are just a few things you can do to increase traffic, but websites like ours will never be getting 3,000 hits a day – it’s just not going to happen. There’s not a market that large for big numbers. (I remember back in the beginning of time when “hit counters” first started coming out. People were amazed that their sites were getting 10,000 hits a day – fantastic! The problem is that those weren’t real people – they were getting five hits a day. Four from themselves looking at the silly hit counter and giggling in glee, one from their mom, and 9,995 hits from search engine robots.)

The best ways, in my opinion, to get good results are pretty simple.

Have a good, solid site with engaging content. That gives a visitor impetus to remember your site and come back again.

Make sure your “keywords” are in your site somewhere. If you don’t say “I do graphic design in Sioux City, Iowa,” in the text somewhere, Google won’t have any way of knowing that you do graphic design in Sioux City. That sounds simple, but it’s the one thing most people forget.

The third thing is to give it time. The search engines all send out little “spiders” that crawl the web, looking for new sites, categorizing, indexing, and combing through the text. It sometimes takes a month for Yahoo or Bing to trip over your brand-new site. And when it does, the search engine won’t give the new site a whole lot of credence – the longer a site is up and active the higher your ranking will be. (Active is a key word there – you need to update the site occasionally or the search engines assume the site is dead and it will start to drop in the rankings again.)

It also helps if you can build links. The more people who link to your site, the more important the search engines will think your site must be. Mention your site in a blog, or on FaceBook. That helps.

But the best way to get people to your site is to market the heck out of it – make sure it’s on your business cards, start a business page on Facebook and G+, make sure you tell prospective customers to check out your site. I still get most of my customers from the phone book. “I saw your name in the Yellow Pages, checked out your website, and I’d like to hire you to take our family photos…”

If you’re interested in getting a website designed, please check out HippieBoy Design – it’s what I do! 


Big Sillies


Seriously? They said what? Aw c’mon now…

I’m happily self-employed (HippieBoy Design for all your Graphic Design, Web Design, and Photographic Needs!), which means my taxes aren’t being automagically taken out of my paycheck, and I never know exactly how much I’ll need to pay in for taxes when they come due each year. It’s always a bit of a surprise. We try to balance it out by taking extra taxes out of Beloved Wifey’s paychecks throughout the year. It works, sort of.

Last year it turned out that we miscalculated, and I had to pay in a considerable chunk of change – much more than we’d anticipated. So we set up a payment plan with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and started making monthly payments. We’re happy to pay our fair share – I enjoy having roads, clean water, safe food… It’s all good.

Take My Money!

Hello, IRS? Yes, here’s my retirement fund…

Worried that we may accidentally forget to make a payment (they didn’t send us a “payment book” or anything), Beloved Wifey called the IRS to set up automatic withdrawals so the monthly payment would come directly out of  our account. Won’t that be convenient! She was on the phone for over an hour and a half making the arrangements – something that takes, literally, two minutes to do when do it online through a private company. (Have you ever seen the “Bill Me Monthly” checkbox on your phone bill? That’s all we wanted to do.) An hour and a half! That was in April.

The IRS people said it would take a “month or two” for the automatic payments to start coming out of our account. “The payments are due on the fifteenth of each month,” the lady told Beloved Wifey, “if the payment is late you’ll be held responsible and there will be a penalty. You’ll need to send payments in until we start the automatic withdrawals. Once we start the automatic withdrawals you’ll see it come out of your bank account on the fifteenth of each month until your bill is paid.”

My wife interrupted, “Wait, I don’t understand. We won’t know when the automatic payments start? We have to wait until midnight on the fifteenth to see if you’ve taken the payment out of our account before we can send a check? But if you didn’t take the automatic payment out, we’ll be penalized for a late payment?”

“Yes. And the penalty will go on your record.”

That was April. Our last payment is in December. It’s now November – they STILL haven’t started the automatic payments! Each month we have to wait with bated breath on the fifteenth to see if they’ve taken their money, then have to scramble to get on the phone with them to make a payment over the phone to avoid a penalty.

Seriously – we WANT to pay our fair share of taxes, we really do. But it seems like the IRS is actively trying to make it as difficult as possible for us to do so.

Random Happiness


Happiness and Joy

I saw a TED Talk yesterday that’s still bouncing around in my head a bit.

The clip points out that we have put happiness on the far side of success, that we believe that if we work harder, longer, faster we will be successful – and THEN we’ll be happy. But our definition of “success” changes as soon as we get near it (“I will be successful when I earn twenty thousand dollars a year,” lasts precisely until two days after you hit that goal, at which point you change your definition of success – “I will be successful when I earn THIRTY thousand dollars a year,”) which means we never achieve “happy” – it’s on the far side of success. What we need to do is find “happy” now and let success follow.

The presenter gave some concrete methods of how to rewire our brains a bit to achieve a happier state – including writing down three things you’re grateful for each day, journaling about one positive experience each day, and committing random acts of kindness. While I’m not a miserable wretch of gloominess, I very much tend to live in the Dark Side – and I’d like to change that a bit. So, throughout the day – and hopefully every day – I’ll list a few things I’m grateful for and will scribe a paragraph or three about happy happy things.

But first, here’s a link to the TED Talk itself:

I’m Grateful For…

…having a relatively stress-free relationship with my wife. While we sometimes disagree and have occasional spats (about once a year we need a good, old-fashioned, stomping off into the night kind of fight), we’re both strive to be as supportive and understanding as possible. I know without a doubt she has my back, and I hope she knows I’ve got hers. We’re on the same team.

…having a job that allows me to be home to help Beloved Wifey through her illnesses.

…having a warm, snug house for my family.

And off we go!

I have much more to say today, but it’s time to run Beloved Wifey to a doctor’s appointment. Sadly, she’s not doing real well lately

Self-Employed Slacker

3:17 a.m.

It’s not the work that kills me, it’s the hours. If I were independently wealthy (hello Publisher’s Clearing House, did you get my address wrong AGAIN?) I’d still do most of what I do now. Just not quite as much of it… I love doing photography, and I do truly enjoy doing design work. But I’m not sure I’d be getting up at 3 or 4 in the morning to do it day after day. My customers’ deadlines are important to me, though, so I’ll do whatever I can to get the job done on time!

Now, where’s that coffee. I need another refill. It’s my day off today – I gotta get this stuff done so I can go slack off for an hour or three.

5:10 a.m.

Exporting some photos. It always ties my computer up for a few minutes.

I’m worried about Beloved Wifey. After the pneumonia last fall her health (which has always been precarious at best) took a turn for the worse. (Worser?) After months of illness, doctors, etc., our primary physician (who’s great!) and the Mayo finally got a handle on what’s been going on. Five or six weeks into her new meds, Wifey was doing better – well enough to go back to work. But yesterday she called me, “I think I’m coming down with something again.” And sure enough, this morning she’s as sick as ever again. Things move sooo quickly with her – yesterday morning she was fine, this morning she’s miserably ill.

Something ain’t right. I worry.

5:42 a.m.

I swear I’ve airbrushed the same “Exit” sign out of at least 30 photos this morning. In a dimly-lit reception hall those things glow like you wouldn’t believe. In the background of every “first dance” photo, there’s that silly Exit sign, merrily glowing away… Bah.

6:34 a.m.

This seems an awkward time for my computer to want to back things up, but whatevs.

Today is Halloween, my least favorite holiday. I don’t like the blood and gore, and I’ve never been a fan of spooky stuff. If society would be content with cute cartoons of pumpkins and children wearing sheets over their heads I’d be fine. But there’s all the icky stuff that goes along with the holiday – zombies, corpses, chainsaw massacres for “fun.” I guess I’m just not a fan of violence, or the ramifications thereof.

My favorite Halloween was about ten years ago (everything in my past was either “yesterday,” “a few months ago,” or “ten years ago” – I’m not into specifics). I was playing in a happy band and had a gig that night. I showed up to find that the singer had dressed as me. I laughed for quite a while, and to be honest it made me feel good that a friend thought enough of me to do that. That’s really my only fond Halloween memory.

Whoops, computer’s done backing up – back to work!

7:04 a.m.

Exporting photos of a wedding shoot. It’s not the self-doubt that bugs me so much as, well, the self-doubt. I’m never satisfied with my photos, but eventually I gotta quit tweaking them and give them to the customer…

Beloved Wifey is sleeping, the dogs are in their kennels whining – it’s almost breakfast time. I smell like old cabbage. I have about an hour to choose the top photos from this shoot and get them off to the developer, get a shower, feed the dogs, and gather my thoughts before the “It’s 8:05 a.m. and I just got the e-mail you sent me last night” rush. With luck Wifey will be able to get in to see the doctor this morning.

7:45 a.m.

As soon as these photos are done uploading I can go take a shower. I stink like nerd and my feet are cold.

8:46 a.m.

The Hippie Has Showered. Dogs are fed and back in their kennels for their morning nap. Wifey is getting ready for her doctor’s appointment. The wedding photos I’ve been working on the past few days are exporting and uploading and doing their various things. Time to make another pot of coffee and get a start on the day. I’m hoping to get some motion design work done, burn the wedding photos to disk if they finish exporting, design a patch for a biker friend, and get started on a website I promised a local church several weeks ago. If I’m lucky I’ll have time to start on another web design that needs done as well. (Sorry, don’t mean to bore you, I’m just sort of talking out loud here, planning my day.) I’m wanting to fix that pesky trim under my deck and fix the leak in the garage room too if I have time. Then I can chill for a bit.

9:01 a.m.

Shoot. I forgot today’s billing day. Everything else is on hold until that’s done. Gotta get the statements in the mail!

10:43 a.m.

Billing is done, just gotta trot the envelopes out to the mail. Wifey is at the doctor – with luck she’ll have some answers soon on what’s causing her current illness. The poor girl’s on so many medications already…

You know, those Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes Forms are TRICKY! I’d forgotten how stressful they make it. Gotta get that in the mail too. As blessed as we are, we could sure use a little cash infusion.

When I was a child, I always thought that the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes was a contest. I imagined they chose the neatest entry, the one where all the stamps were JUST right, perfectly straight and centered exactly in their appointed box. I still do, to be honest. Not that I’m persnickety or anything, but I got out a scissors and a ruler to make sure my stamps had perfectly straight edges.

I’m sure they’ll choose my form this year. I’m sure of it!

11:46 a.m.


The deadline for three motion design ads has been moved up to noon tomorrow and I just took an informal contract for a CD cover design. I finished the photos I was working on this morning, now I just need to burn the DVDs for the customer – yay! The monthly billing has been figured up, printed, collated, enveloped, stamped, and is happily in the mailbox next to some other correspondence and my winning (I’m just positive!) Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes Entry.

12:15 p.m.

I love absolutely EVERYTHING about food. Love love love it. Except, well, choosing it. Or shopping. Or storing it. I’m not actually all that keen on preparing or cooking it, either. And I hate cleaning up afterwards.

12:21 p.m.

The dogs are unhappy about spending so much time in their kennels the past few days. I’m unhappy about muddy pawprints scampering through the house. Maybe I can teach the finicky cat to clean the dog’s paws before they come inside. Hmmm.

4:27 p.m.

I worked on some correspondence with some clients. (My motion design customer called – one of their clients couldn’t upload a file through an FTP server I’d set up for such eventualities. The guy called – it showed up as “Los Angeles Area” on my cell phone, but he assured me it was “Hollywood,” in a very clipped New Zealand accent. Seemed like a nice guy. Couldn’t understand a word he said. I’m looking forward to seeing his work, though. Hollywood has a lot more money and resources to spend on motion design than rural Iowa. Ten to one says that the designers here in the Midwest can hold their own against West Coast designers any day of the week – if we’re provided the same amount of time and given the resources.)

Eventually Beloved Wifey noticed I was still tapping away at the computer and kicked me out. “Here, you,” she said, “take dis beer und go outside und play mit de doggies. You stink like computer geek, und you haven’t seen the sun in veeks.” Und so, thus endeth my narrative for the nonce. I shall go outside und play, then I may come back inside and play my bass guitar (if I can find it) for a bit, then go to bed.

Life is, indeed, good. I’m happy to work hard in order to have a happy Wifey who cares for me. Good good good.