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Quote: Jason Fried on Conflict

July 13th, 2010

“When people dig in and defend their positions, a deeper understanding of a problem is possible. As long as people are defending a genuine idea and not just their pride, much can be learned.”

(from his Inc Magazine article, “Managing Conflict“)

The Image Distillery is Moving to Downtown Green Bay!

July 8th, 2010

The Image Distillery is moving!  The suite in the historic Bellin Building is going to be renovated over the next few weeks… here is a before shot:

The renovation to-do list includes:

  • Tear up carpet
  • Remove vinyl trim
  • Remove cheap built-in shelving
  • Replace doors with frosted-glass originals (if they can be found…)
  • Sand & refinish the underlying (original!) hardwood floors
  • Build & install new hardwood shelving
  • Finish & install hardwood base & door trim
  • Patch dings for a consistent plaster coat
  • Fresh paint throughout

It’s an ambitious schedule for the next few weeks (move-in is slated for August 1st), but the hands-on work will be a welcome change of pace (my tools from my carpenter days have been collecting the wrong kind of dust for far too long).

Also welcome will be an activity-filled downtown environment.  Downtown Green Bay Inc. (who, coincidentally, also moved their offices to the Belling Building a few weeks ago) have been doing a great job of keeping the area bustling with concerts, dining, art displays and general human friendliness.

Being just an elevator ride away from The Daily Buzz will be a constant temptation, but the occasional latte run never hurt anyone, right?!

I look forward to getting to know all my new neighbors, and to the shortened home-to-work commute (just a quick jaunt from one end of the City Deck to the other).

The new address will be 130 E. Walnut Street, Suite 415. If you find yourself in the area, do stop by and say “Hi!”


View Larger Map

Quote: Walt Disney on Purpose

June 12th, 2010

“We don’t make movies to make money. We make money to make more movies.”

Am I Crazy for Loving Downtown Green Bay?

May 28th, 2010

I feel like this is the opposite of what comes to mind for most people when they think of Green Bay, WI:

My family and I have been living in Downtown Green Bay, WI for the past 7-8 months (pictures and video are from my balcony), and the riverside development has changed dramatically over that short time.

When we first moved in, this City Deck project was just getting started, and the riverside was largely a mess of construction mud and chain-link fences. Now it’s a beautiful pedestrian way / entertainment venue.

The lineup of summer activities put together by organizations like Downtown Green Bay, Inc. and On Broadway Inc. should do wonders for the riverside district of Downtown Green Bay.

The Farmers’ Market starts next week, and that will be held on Broadway, just on the other side of the river. Almost every Friday evening this summer features a different performer on City Deck. The Tall Ships Festival is even returning this year, and that’s typically held in Leicht Memorial Park, just north of the Main Street Bridge.

As a young entrepreneur with a budding family, I’m excited to see how how this downtown area continues to develop, both architecturally and socially!

Video: Dan Meyer on Teaching Real-World Problem Solving

May 15th, 2010

“What problem have you solved, ever–that was worth solving–where you knew all of the given information in advance? Where you didn’t have a surplus of information and you had to filter it out; or you didn’t have insufficient information and you had to go find some.”

Green Bay Shipping, Bridges & City Deck

May 14th, 2010

I’ve loved the location of our apartment since we moved to downtown Green Bay in October for two reasons:

  1. I’ve had the opportunity to watch Green Bay’s new City Deck develop from a rough patch of industrial shoreline to its current state as a community-friendly boardwalk / bike path.
  2. Living just south of the Main Street Bridge gives my kids and me the chance to watch (with equal enthusiasm) large ocean-liners cross under these draw bridges and down the relatively narrow navigable stretch of the Fox River.

I snapped a few quick pictures with my point-and-shoot as one such ship passed by with the bridges lit up for a Friday night (click thumbnail for larger image):

Green Bay's Main Street Bridge

Ship Crossing Under Green Bay's Main Street Drawbridge

Ocean Liner Navigates Fox River in Green Bay
Green Bay's Main Street Bridge and City Deck Lit Up At Night

All told, the pass-by took about 15 minutes (much to the chagrin of the cars stuck waiting at the drawbridge), and the ship seemed to span about 2/3 of the distance between the Main and Walnut Street bridges (2 city blocks).

Quote: Will Smith on Preparedness

May 11th, 2010

“If you stay ready, you ain’t gotta get ready.”

Quote: David Whyte on The Antidote to Exhaustion

May 5th, 2010

“You know that the antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily rest [...] the antidote to exhaustion is wholeheartedness.”

“Busy Work” Exercise

April 15th, 2010

I don’t like it, and I don’t do it.  Even if it just feels like busy work (i.e. treadmill-style exercise) I can’t bring myself to devote time to it.  Why spend all that time and energy to accomplish (effectively) nothing?!  As you can imagine, this has left my physicality in slow but steady decline since colllege.

Why college?  Because when I wasn’t walking up to 1.5 miles across the UW Madison campus to get to class a few times a day, I worked summers as a residential construction carpenter, and physical exertion (especially in the framing stages) was par for the course.  I was in the best shape of my life, and I never even looked at a gym or an elliptical machine.

And now I’m a designer/programmer.  I work inside, at a desk, typing and clicking.  I exercise my mind like crazy (which is why I continue to be challenged by and enjoy my work), but that doesn’t do much for the love handles.

Green Bay to De Pere Bike Route

So I changed the game on myself.  Instead of driving or getting a ride into work, I ride my bike (either 4.25 or 9 miles, depending on route chosen).  There’s no motivational question of “Why am I doing this?” once you get started; you need to get to work, and this is the means of transportation available.

Also nice is the fact that I live on the eastern shore of the Fox River, and I work a few miles upstream on the west side.  Once you start on the trek and decide your path for the day (see map image), there are NO shortcuts… you just keep your head down, keep pedaling, and you work toward the bridge that’ll get you across to where you need to be.

It offers all the “mental looseness” of free time, while still using that time to accomplish something (both getting to work and “working out”).  It’s work and it’s busy, but it’s not busy work… and that makes all the difference.

Quote: H.G. Wells on Bicycling

April 5th, 2010

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.

Limit Options, Make Decisions, Maintain Sanity (an anecdote)

March 17th, 2010

Living in the information age, our access to options is effectively limitless.  If I want to subscribe to a design blog, for example, there are far more options available to me than I could possibly hope to read even once, let alone read repeatedly to make an informed “subscription” decision.

Given that, my practice (and what I recommend you practice) is to establish limits for myself when it comes to web consumption.  In the case of blog subscriptions, I keep the number at or below the number I can squeeze into my browser’s bookmarks toolbar (usually between 10 and 15, depending on how succinctly I can label them).

My Bookmarks Toolbar

The most important commodity in my day (and, I assume, in anyone else’s) is time.  Browsing hundreds of blog subscriptions every couple of days would cost me a LOT of time, with very little return (how many blog posts actually affect decisions you make in life).

Limiting the time spent browsing by capping the number of entry points into the blog world (knowing, as Frost said, “how way leads onto way”) gives me a view into what’s going on in the areas I care about, without the constant lingering anxiety of having unread items in my feed reader.

When you’re reading a good post, there will be references to other interesting sites and blogs which that author found valuable (it’s the nature of the web).  What’s important from a bang-for-your-buck standpoint is that you don’t hesitate to axe one of the subscriptions in favor of a better subscription.  The evolution of your bookmarks toolbar should be constant, ensuring that you’re getting the best value for the time invested (while the list might not change, it should at least be put to decision).

Deciding whether an up-and-comer is worthy of a spot in the 10-item lineup is much less anxiety-inducing than deciding which of a hundred new feed entries is worth your time.  And focusing on the quality of what you read instead of drifting through filler-post after filler-post will get you more valuable (and usable) insight per unit of time spent.

In the end, indecision is itself a decision, and a statement (in this case) of how we value our time and attention.  Setting limits forces us to focus on value and prioritize the spending of resources (time, attention, space) over which we have some control.

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What is tID?

The Image Distillery is a clarity-focused creative shop which specializes in website design and consulting for small businesses.

We've operated out of Green Bay, Wisconsin since 2006, crafting and maintaining websites for small businesses, typically those with 50 or fewer employees.

Favorite Entries

Reining in the Web, Loosing the Local

Kaizen

Limit Options, Make Decisions, Maintain Sanity (an anecdote)

The Importance of Asking "Why?"