TAG, you’re it.

Yesterday was kind of a big deal, celebrated quietly inside my own heart. It was the 10th anniversary of the day I completed a labor of love that changed my life for so much the better.

Show up. Do your best.

This is the best advice I’ve ever received. It’s so good and I am so grateful, it is the only advice I ever offer. Not surprisingly, it’s transmitted directly and indirectly by some of the greatest characters in fiction. I offer it to my 5-year-old each day when I drop him at school. He answers…

Blending : Building A New World Family : Part II

This is the second time I’ve written about this (first was back in March) and, since then, we’ve taken huge leaps forward together, and each on our own, as our little family continues to evolve. On August 12, 2016, we (all of us!) officially marked our marriage and new family during a festive celebration at…

Living With Dementia

Mom passed away three years ago today. After initially being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, it was a few months later, at the University of Iowa Hospitals, when she was diagnosed with vascular dementia. As her world (and ours) fell apart, I realized that Mom’s behavior suddenly made perfect sense. I also became startlingly aware that,…

I didn’t go to university. I learned from Linux instead. 

TOUGH CHOICES When I chose to forego college, preferring instead to join the working world confident that doors would open, there were a lot of the kinds of reactions one might expect. Most asked things like: “what are you thinking?” “why would you do such a thing?” “what are you planning to do instead?” My…

The unswerving punctuality of chance (Part II)

There are some things that happen, happy accidents, that could not have been planned. Like stumbling on the carpet, catching yourself on the the edge of a shelf where, looking behind a small picture frame there, you find a key you lost seemingly years ago that unlocks that bike lock you have lived without all…

Does empathy bridge art + engineering?

It takes a special something, a combination of unique experience and compatible disposition, to effectively temper hard sciences with soft ones in practice. Everything may very well come back to user experience, not only in the product (the outcome) but also in the process (the story). Empathy is arguably a key component of both hard…

URL

I learned one of the most important lessons from URL, who was about 3 when I first met him. Known mostly for peeing all over the place whenever he first saw you, URL always got too excited to see people he knew or any people, actually, who were willing to give him attention. URL would…

Telling stories

We can’t throw a rock across the Web without hitting one of the many articles, posts, books, podcasts or interviews focused on the use of storytelling in business. Arguably kicking the magic out of the hat, most of them address the way stories are used in marketing goods and services (yawn). We need to think…

Memorial

Right before you got very ill, Mom, you had already made up your mind. You wanted no funeral. No wake. No trace left behind but the memories you built yourself with each of us. You wrote letters to us to be read after you were gone. You made every consideration to make sure we knew…

“Wock, papa?”

Lately, right after dinner time, the little boy will stand there, look up at me and say, “wock, papa?”. Now, this word, ‘wock’ is a thoughtful piece of communication. Your first impression may be that it is simply a two-year-old’s version of the word “walk” or perhaps the word “rock” – but the truth behind…

The unseen upside to donating our bodies to science

“Donating your body to science” is a well-known but poorly understood concept, at least, according to my own experience in helping my own Mom accomplish her last wish. It is important to know there are a lot of options out there for donating but there is little, if anything, written about the process and true…

Perception, Context, Empathy, and the Art of Communication

Perceptions sure are funny things. Everything depends on them. Especially outcomes. This is one for the memory banks. Here is some context: last weekend, my little boy and I had just gotten home. We were unloading our bikes from the day’s festivities (it was Memorial Day Weekend), carrying stuff back into the house: he his…

Race, Socio-Economics, and being cool with each other

What do I know about diversity? I thought I knew something about race, gender, socio-economics, and my own identity in relationship to something larger than myself. Turns out I knew very little. I learned more from this past year than I ever imagined I did not know and am keeping my eyes and ears open…

Grief, Redemption, and calling the Unknown Home

The sound was deafening. I heard it, felt it the way winds can howl like banshees and blow open weak doors. With a shudder, the stillness broke like a bomb going off in a prayer. The dream of falling startled me awake in the strangeness of that place, on the edge of the bed. So…

revisited : pixelier

Many months ago, I set some time aside to paint with acrylics. It had been almost a year since I had last used the medium and was interested to do so for two primary reasons. First, I was working with a group of students to help illustrate for them the value of transmediation between digital…

The Top Ten List of Things That Do Not Get Any Easier With Practice Number Two: Moving

I recently moved again. It was actually fun this time. Everything about it was invigorating and welcome. I moved from one urban neighborhood in Chicago to another: from the shopping-oriented Andersonville neighborhood, to Bucktown, primarily residential, with a mix of older single family homes, new builds with edgy architecture, and converted industrial loft spaces. Andersonville,…

Dropped is in

This 10-minute short film is made up of clips found on YouTube by Chris Beckman, who collected clips of people dropping their video cameras and edited them together into this artful masterpiece: