My WordPress 101 Project

WordPress 101 siteI recently had the chance to teach my first introductory class on the wide and wonderful world of WordPress. I decided that to teach them how to get a free blog up and running quickly on, i would build the WordPress 101 site using their hosted service, and walk the class through the available features as we trekked through my site’s content.

Not one to let a nice chunk of work go to waste, i left the site intact and started building on it, adding more content, resources, and blog posts. Ideally, anyone can now come across the site, follow the menu through from Introduction to Resources, and get themselves off the ground with a free, hosted blog shortly thereafter.

I’m learning a ton of stuff along the way, and would like to assemble an ebook containing detailed step by step instructions, from the starter’s gun to the finish line. I’m aware that everyone in the blogosphere is offering their own take on it, but i’d like to offer my two cents as well – maintain the simplicity of the ‘101’ aspect while still touching on all the key components, and offer as many free resources as possible.

Until then, keep an eye out here for general project updates, an eye out over there for specific WordPress 101 posts, and rest assured, this-a-here blog will be undergoing the tune-up it’s well past due for.

Lotta Strands

vault logoWell good goddamn it’s been a while. There’s always something that gets an iron poking back into the fire, and that something was the revelation that i didn’t have a hint of a recent design portfolio up online. Anywhere. Lotta strands in old Duder’s head that needed to be tied together, and a new portfolio page was just the way to do it.

Logo designs and business card setups for the fine local music folk, restauranteurs, and movers comprise the bulk of the items contained within, along with a few CD covers and t-shirt graphics for good measure.

Instead of complexity of form, there should be simplicity of expression. I like to give ol’ Bruce Lee a run for his money on this one, so i adhere to a pretty simple design regimen to keep my mind, you know, limber. Clean lines, solid colours, vivid photographs, natural tones: all pieces used to convey my design philosophy. It’s just that simple.

New Shit Has Come to Light

Apologies for the absence of recent blog posts, and especially installment 2 of the notably popular Nickname Origins (it’s coming, i promise). It’s not for lack of writing and posting. In fact i’ve been doing both, along with creating another online business. Allow me to explain.

As many of you know, i’ve spent the past ten or so years working in the design and print fields, only to finally leave the claustrophobic and stunted environment of my last official job. I figured there was an easier, cheaper, and more convenient way to provide most of the popular retail print services offered (business cards, postcards, brochures, flyers), while utilizing the superior quality of press printing, so i set out to create a website that offers just that.

Full Colour Cards is my latest endeavour, allowing clients to easily upload print-ready files, place an order for full colour, double-sided, offset printing, and have it drop shipped directly to their doorstep. I’ll save you all the gory (read: awesome) details here, but if you (or any of your colleagues) are in need of some high quality printing at some sweet price points, please drop me a line.

As far as writing goes, i have finally joined the weird and wonderful Tumblr universe. I’ve posted samples of existing pieces, along with new, Tumblr-inspired creations, with the intent of assembling a collection for publication, traditional or otherwise. It’s currently entitled Eat, Drink, & Do Mary, and contains much ridiculousness on girls, booze, sex, bars, dreams, quotes, tunes, and flicks. It can get a little slutty. Check it out if you like, and if you’re on Tumblr, maybe consider following along if you don’t deem it total shit.

Good talk. See you out there.

Nickname Origins: Metal Chris to Vaggleupagus in 15 Easy Moves

MetalIt has often been said that to run with our crew, you must be assigned and actively maintain a nickname, or series of names, as the crew sees fit to develop, morph and advance it accordingly. Some stick, and some fade away, but most, as we are about to find out, are permanently forged into the Annals of Nickname Infamy. The Captain, Jackie, El Rosa, Power Fog, JT, Ham Sandwich, Mitch Barker, Slippery, Killer, Gay, Mulligus, and many more are used in conversations and contact lists as if they were given names handed down by god herself. I’ve received wedding invitations and panties addressed to S. Fairmont. JT has his own bobblehead. Mulligus has so many names that no one knows who the fuck we’re talking about.

Over a jug or seven last Sunday, while waiting for some football game to start, a few of the fellas and i took it upon ourselves to attempt to brainstorm on the mother of all nickname owners; friend of the show Chris Sherk. If not for the advent of the book of faces, i’d bet dollars to Dave’s nuts that few of us would even know that. Well, there was that one time back at the Palace when i heard it screamed over and over at top volume, “Chris Sherk! Chris Sherk!!” I think it was followed up with something like, “Take off that fucking toque!” But i digress. Read more

You like the 12″? And i don’t mean the record.

“That shit is the mad notes. Written by God Herself and handed down to the greatest band in the world… the motherfuckin’ Time!” – Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

The Original 7venThat’s right retro party people, the Time is back, except due to some longstanding legal what-have-you’s they are now The Original 7ven, or ‘the band formerly known as the Time’ as they slyly call themselves in reference to the man that still owns the rights to the original name. Apparently, other than that small detail, they are still on good terms with the Purple One.

Condensate, their first album of new material in 21 years, drops today and features all seven original members of the Time – Morris Day, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Jesse Johnson, Jerome Benton, Jellybean Johnson and Monte Moir. Judging from the sound of the first single, #Trendin, the dance-funk grooves that helped put the 80’s Minneapolis R&B music scene (great article on early Prince and the fellas) on the map are alive and well, updated with lyrics pertinent to the signs o’ the times. Some material dates back to the 90s, according to Lewis, but most of the tracks were written over the past 3 years after the group’s live performance at the 2008 Grammy Awards. Rest assured though, the ever-stylish Morris Day still preens into his Jerome-held mirror and delivers trademark cheeky-cheese lines such as ‘you like the 12″? …and i don’t mean the record’, and ‘talkin’ about one of my favourite subjects – me!’, punctuated with his staple bird-like haw-HAW.

My love for the Time can surely be traced back to the depths of my public school gymnasium, where ‘cool’ high school kids would come in and DJ our dances, packing Prince, Michael Jackson, Platinum Blonde and Corey Hart into their vinyl crates of all that was hip and relevant. And of course, girls. Anyone who says they didn’t practice ‘the Time dance’ at home in front of a mirror at least once beforehand is lying to you. While standing up against the gym wall, the lights would dim to the first chorus-soaked guitar chords of Purple Rain reverberating out into the near darkness, signalling that it was time to make your big move, or risk spending the next 8 minutes of your pathetic life alone and staring down at your best sneakers. Read more