Blogging – Direct Freelance
For about a year in 2010 and 2011 I was the blogger for StickerGiant’s Blog of Stickers. StickerGiant boss John Fischer would pick out stickers that he liked and his team would plop ’em into related photos or stock photography and stick ’em on Flickr. I had to take a sticker a day, find out why it was made and what it represented, and turn that into a fun blog post. It was usually a good laugh and well-appreciated PR for interesting StickerGiant customers.
The thing is, looking back at these selections from a year’s worth of posts, you’ll find out a lot about me as well, which I suppose is part of the blogging form. As in, reading these posts might just give you the best idea of my professional copywriting voice in its most free-spirited state. My most authentic voice, if you will, if authenticity is your bag this week. There’s also some unexpected music criticism in there.
Each post here is linked back to StickerGiant’s Blog of Stickers. They did some kind of migration, though, so my bylines are gone, replaced by John Fischer’s, but he will tell you himself that I wrote this stuff. Seriously, he will; he’s one of my references.
Say you have a great idea for an Internet property without enough vowels in the name. Like, for example, Boxr, a fictional Internet startup that provides box-related services and social networking, with a twist: it targets people that actually live in boxes. So, you’re the president and CEO of Boxr and now that you’ve had this great idea, you need a website that actually does what you say it’s supposed to do. That’s when you need Pivotal Labs.
We build industrial strength code from Day One, which is why the biggest names in the web world have sought our expertise. Working together, we develop applications and institute development practices that enable them to scale their businesses to meet rapidly increasing consumer demand. We bring that same level of expertise and joint development to every project we work on, and we can bring it to your product as well.
Pivotal Labs does software for startups as well as multi-billion dollar enterprises. They’re the makers of Pivotal Tracker, an award-winning agile project management tool. So, trust them. They’re also smart enough to be StickerGiant customers, what with the cool custom sticker and all.
Boxr. That hasn’t been done yet, right? Right?
Ryan Peter Miller. He’s a painter. He’s unconventional. Like the above painting, from an exhibition titled “Excavation”, made by layering acrylic paint deeply on a surface and then gouging through the bulk of the paint to reveal the colors underneath. That’s what you call interrogation of the medium, I think. Here’s Ryan Peter himself, from his artist’s statement:
The ideas that define the discipline of painting are as malleable as the material of paint. My body of work revels in the expansive breadth of paint. It is an ontological investigation, a deconstruction of the discipline of painting into essential signifiers and historical structures needed to make the phenomena of paint function within our contemporary visual culture. The material has been pushed in exaggerated and absurd directions. Process has been separated from the material, removed, re-imagined, and reapplied. The structure is stripped away from the paint and the paint is unapplied to the structure. Paint is the material and the subject. This body of work is the story of painting as told by acrylic paint, a plastic, non-linear story. It is the Democratic ground on which hundreds of years of painting progress now strive for parity.
Yes indeed. He seems fascinated by the sculptural forms that acrylic paint can take – one statue in his oeuvre is called “I Am Paint” and it’s a guy made out of cast acrylic paint. It’s hard to be that literal in a figurative medium, y’know? Check out his portfolio – there’s lots of fascinating stuff.
I tried to learn to snowboard recently, up in Wausau, Wisconsin. Snowboarding is rubbish! How do those guys even stand up, let alone fly down the mountain and do tricks with those heavy boots and that huge board strapped to their feet? Seriously, I didn’t even realize the board was gonna be so big. My poor instructor was very patient but dammit, after falling on my ass ten times in a row just trying to get vertical, and not like vertical-in-the-air but vertical-on-my-feet, I just gave up. I didn’t even feel like drinking at the chalet.
Now I’m not saying these Shred Soles would have helped. They’re special insoles for snowboarding, canted at a 4 degree angle to realign your ankles and feet and knees and stuff. You can heat mold ’em to fit your feet exactly and trim them to fit snugly into your boots of choice. The testimonials they have on their site are all really positive, so I guess Shred Soles are probably pretty awesome. They just can’t help you if you have the coordination and grace of an ox.
Well it’s no mystery what Greenwerkz does. It’s right there on the bumper sticker.
Greenwerkz is a Colorado business made up of caregivers to provide services and products in Colorado. We currently provide or give referrals to the following services at our locations:
- Cannabis counseling/sales
- Tinctures and edibles
- Nutraceuticals and wellness products
- Acupuncture, massage and chiropractic service by appointment.
- Nutritional Therapy and counseling
- Delivery services and in-house caregiving services for patients unable to make it to our stores.
They’ve got three locations in the Denver area:
Capitol Hill 907 E. Colfax Ave. Denver, CO
Edgewater 5840 W 25th Ave. Edgewater, CO
Glenwood Springs 2922 S Glen Ave. Glenwood Springs, CO
The most interesting thing they do: free-range organic cannabis.
Greenwerkz Free Range Organic is a proprietary soil based organic method of growing that enables plants to grow indoors the way nature intended. No force feeding of minerals no pesticides 100% natural. Our broad range of strains, created in our microstrainery, contain no chloride or fluoride going the extra step for our patients. Our product is grown in a state of the art facility in a zone 5 indoor environment year round. Our focus is on quality and consistency every harvest. The customer can expect the cleanest, tastiest product on the market.
Now, I think that “free range” is a little silly when it comes to describing how a plant is grown – it’s the animals that range free after all – but the idea of organic, locally-produced no-pesticide cannabis is a sound one. Localvore. Is there a word for “smoke local?”
Fifteen minutes could get you a custom sticker! Yes, it’s that GEICO, the auto insurance company, and they chose StickerGiant to print these custom stickers with their awesome/super creepy money-with-eyes mascot. Not the gecko, he’s too big-time I guess, but the money, their number 2 man. That thing’s been everywhere – all over TV for sure, and here in Chicago, on taxis, on buses, even on a banner attached to an airplane flying back and forth above Wrigley Field. You cannot escape his staring eyes. I’m not sure GEICO is promising a pirate’s stash like our picture seems to though. But I’m pretty sure those coins are chocolate – maybe Hanukkah geld! Where did we get Hannakuh geld? I’m confused.
Hmm. I wonder what those rockets are supposed to mean.
Why use Die Hard Spray?
30 million men last less than 2 minutes; 60 million men, less than 7. Women, on average, need at least 16 minutes.* Is it about you or her? Use Die Hard, and share the experience. Who doesn’t want to last longer?
*Journal of Sexual Medicine – Volume 4, Issue 3, Pages 762 – 770.
Oh, I get it. It’s a sex thing. Well, frankly, I’m shocked, and a little titillated. I assume you kind of spray it into the air and run through the cloud, right? And it does something to your nerve endings. Or maybe you spray it in your eye. Could be. Or all over your arms and legs like bug repellant. However you’re supposed to use it, it says it makes you last longer, so how in any way could it be bad? Johnny Two-Minutes, look for this sticker and see where Die Hard Spray is sold.
What does this attitudinal Asian youngster have to do with AllGeniusMaterial.com? He’s probably the target market for their hip line of clothing, that’s what. Not that you couldn’t continue to buy their T-shirts and stickers well into your 20’s or 30’s, but you’d be a poser then, wouldn’t you? “Cali Made Me” is AllGeniusMaterial.com’s slogan. I can’t really relate to that; I’d need a shirt that said “Chicago Made Me Desperate” or something like that. But anyway, they’ve got T-shirts and some really lovely custom stickers from StickerGiants, so check ’em out.
You live in Washington State. Your challenge: find a ski mountain that skiers of all skill levels can enjoy. And it must be between Twisp and Okanogan on Highway 20, near the ski playground of the Methow Valley. I think you will find the only place that meets the criteria is the Loup Loup Pass.
OUR MOUNTAIN: 1,240 vertical feet with 10 cut runs on Little Buck Mountain (about 300 acres). 23k of groomed track set Nordic trails on Bear Mountain & a tube slide area.
OUR LIFTS: 1 fixed grip quad chair, 1 platter surface tow and a rope tow.
OUR FACILITIES: A rustic day lodge with food & beverage, a modern administration building with meeting room & restrooms, an equipment rental shop, a first aid room and facilities for our fantastic patrol & instructors.
Ski season: Friday December 17th on. Fare thee well, brave Washingtonian.
Another StickerGiant-sponsored event! BarCamp Portland takes place October 22nd and 23rd at the Eliot Center, at SW 12th and Salmon Street. It’s an unconference, so it should be pretty free-wheeling. We donated these great full-color custom stickers as part of our sponsorship. Show up and you could go home with one.
BarCamp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from participants. You never quite know what to expect at BarCamp. When you arrive on Friday, there will be an agenda framework (times / rooms), but the content for the sessions will be decided by the participants.
What would you do a presentation about at a BarCamp? I’d present my theory about the major monotheistic religions as a record of alien intervention in human affairs – those nefarious aliens! And I’d prove that Mesoamerican cultures never developed the wheel because they had levitation technology from the Sky People. For starters!
SNIFF out spots to dine, shop, & enjoy with your dog,DIG it – Let other pooches know this place is great!
REVIEW dog-friendly places and services.
That last one kinda busts the parallelism for me. I would’ve preferred “butt-sniff.” Like “Here’s my butt-sniff of the new Soundgarden collection Telephantasm: spend your bucks on the original albums instead. They kinda sucked before Badmotorfinger and you probably already have that and Superunknown so just get the “Black Rain” single and Down On the Upside and you’ll be fine.” Butt-sniff: let’a make this meme happen, people!
Beer and a slice, beer and a slice
Is anything nicer than beer and a slice?
Remember that song? No? That’s because I just made it up. But I sure remember my college days at Shakespeare’s Pizza Columbia, MO. The beer-and-a-slice tradition lives on in the East Bay thanks to Lanesplitter Pub & Pizza’s three hip locations, in Temescal, Emeryville and Oakland. You can get Neapolitan (thin crust, NY style) or Sicilian (thick crust) and back it up with a slew of beers, one of which is sure to make you happy. They’ve also got salads, calzones and bread sticks for your delectation. And for vegans they even have their own trademark (literally) Notta Ricotta® cheese substitute. The Yelp reviews are mixed, but the people who love it really love it.
In the East Bay? Tell us what you think of Lanesplitter. Is anything nicer?
See that bumper sticker on the truck? It says “Mountain Man.” This pic was sent in by proud StickerGiant customer Otto Ota (at least, that’s the name he claims. It could be his wilderness name – we may never know.) Otto says:
Thanks for the great Mountain Man sticker, it looks good on my truck!
Indeed it does, Otto.
Here is the sticker with me and some fellow mountain men.
I think I’m detecting a Revolutionary-War-era frontiersman vibe here, what with the tricorner hat on the one guy and the beret-cap thing on the other. And Otto’s buckskin pants! Makes the truck kind of an anachronism, not to mention the durable vinyl sticker, but saluting the past doesn’t require reproducing it exactly. And the truck is probably cheaper and faster than a bunch of horses, right? And if they had horses, where would they put the sticker? That’s irrefutable logic right there.
Mmmmm, crunchy delicious popcorn.
good people popcorn is a family-owned gourmet popcorn shop located in Bricktown, a historic district in Downtown Detroit, Michigan.
good people popcorn keeps its product line simple to ensure quality. We offer butter, caramel, cheese, and seasonal flavors. Our popcorn is made fresh daily. We also offer a variety of beverages including fresh-squeezed lemonade and hot apple cider.
When I was a kid we’d always get these it seemed enormous canisters of popcorn near Christmas. I thought that butter, caramel and cheese popcorn each represented one of the Three Kings. Nom nom nom, Balthasar! Crunch crunch, Melchior! Yum yum Caspar! Happy baby Jesus day!
Man, I wanna make some popcorn now.
Let’s start the day with a selection from blues legend Bessie Smith that I just made up:
Short-Tongue Man Blues
I woke up this mornin’, had me the Short-Tongue Man Blues
Yeah I woke up this mornin’, had them Short-Tongue Man Blues
Oh his tongue is just a nubbin, don’t know what I’m a’gonna do
Thank you, Bessie. Now, what was that all about? The blues! “The Colorado Blues Society is dedicated to increasing awareness of and appreciation for the Blues as an indigenous American art form, and the wellspring from which all contemporary popular American music originated.” They do educational outreach as well as booths at Colorado’s numerous blues festivals. Plus they keep a very handy Google Calendar of all the blues going on in the state, every day. Love the blues but not from Colorado? Visit the Blues Foundation and find your local society.
First of all: the what? Salish Sea? What’s that? Well, it’s a recent term for the inland waters near Seattle and Vancouver, consisting of the Strait of Georgia, Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Scientists have adopted it to give a single identity to these connected waters. Hence the name Salish Sea Expeditions for today’s subject – they cover the whole area, so they might as well use a name for the whole area. Salish is the name for a Native American culture indigenous to the region and the name for their language. And Salish Sea Expeditions is scientific too – in fact their mission is to provide students a chance to conduct real science on Puget Sound and surrounding waters on a 61′ sail boat.
Which can mean only one thing: sea monsters. There may not be any old Native American legends of a mighty sea monster terrorizing the inland sea of British Columbia and Washington State, but there should be! A fearsome beast one hundred feet long, with rows of razor-sharp teeth and eyes as wild as the foamy sea herself, the kind of eyes that look right through you before the creature’s hideous head descends upon your unfortunate scow, reducing all to splinters and flotsam. I call upon you, children of the Northwest (and for Canadians, the Southwest) to mount scientific expeditions on the Salish Sea to find this horror that I have just made up! The water sampling, marine life surveys and sediment dredging can wait; the search for the mighty Salish Sea Monster supplants all!
One strategy for fooling burglars while you’re away from home is using timers on the lights to give your house that “currently-being-lived-in” feeling. This post is not about that strategy. Rather, it’s a cruel fantasia, where your house is lit exclusively with high-tech spots, PAR cans and moving-head lights from Blizzard Lighting, like the hottest, crunkest club this side of the ATL, and the poor burglars can’t help but try to sneak in, bless their hearts, because it’s obviously so bangin’ at your crib. It would help if you have “Southernplayalisticadillacmusic” blasting away somewhere inside. Anyway, they try to break in, not so much to steal all of your worldly possessions and those efficient, durable, high-tech Blizzard Lighting fixtures, but just to be down with your whole, y’know, scene.
And what happens to them? They’re stopped cold by your new Dempsey Alarms system! You went for the Fort Knox package, with a digital alarm keypad, 15 protected doors/windows, 1 motion detector or monitored smoke detector and 2 remote controls, all for a $199 install fee and $34.99 monthly monitoring. Suddenly the gangsta-whine synthesizers are replaced by howling sirens as the po-po comes to cart your would-be thieves away. I almost feel sorry for them now. Almost. Dempsey Alarms are available in the San Diego area.
Today’s sticker is like a little public service announcement from the fine folks at boingboing.net. “BE CAREFUL,” it advises. “This machine has no brain. Use your own.” I can see this plastered everywhere: on cars, on punch presses, on ATMs, on the drink fountains at fast-food restaurants, on refrigerators, on gas pumps, on Internet kiosks, and, most of all, on my underwear. Although it’s a very convincing sticker, at least to me, I’m pretty sure it won’t pass OSHA standards, so if you do have a punch press, you might want to opt for something a little more official.
“The year is 1589, and there is so much to celebrate! The long-feared Spanish Armada has just been crushed by the resilient English Navy. England is at the dawn of a Golden Age. And, best of all, the good Shire of Mt. Hope is having its 30th birthday! With so many reasons for revelry, everyone is gearing up to throw the most fantastical party that the Shire has e’er seen!” There will be unicorns and turkey legs for everyone! Crazy old ladies who normally live in the woods and cast spells will instead live in huts and cast spells … for YOU! There will be jousting (obs!) and chain mail and other, perhaps less anachronistic pursuits! It is a Renaissance Faire! Love it!
“The wondrous fantasy unfolds Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day Monday for 12 weekends, 11AM – 8PM, August 14 through October 31. The Faire is set amidst the splendor of the formal gardens of Mount Hope Estate & Winery, Route 72, ½ mile south of PA Turnpike Exit 266, 15 miles north of Lancaster and 14 miles east of Hershey. Visit PaRenFaire.com for complete show details, advance click-to-print discount tickets and helpful tips for a fun-filled Faire day. Information is available through the Faire Box Office by calling (717) 665-7021.”
Now if you didn’t have the quotes, could you tell which parts were real and which parts I wrote? Didn’t think so.
Who doesn’t like a sticker with a flaming skull on it? Nobody that I’d call a friend, that’s who. Flaming skulls are cool. Twin Rivers Polaris‘ logo features not only a flaming skull, but a flaming skull smoking a cigar and wearing a cowboy hat with the North Star on it. That’s like triple-cool.
The shop itself, in Yuba City, California, actually sells Polaris ATV’s and Victory motorcycles. They’re a small operation, just five people, but they’ve got a heart as big as a whale! A whale, on fire, riding an ATV, wearing a cowboy hat, smoking a cigar. Think about that for a while.
Original photo caption:
STURGIS, SD – AUGUST 6: A biker rides down Main Street during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally August 6, 2003 in Sturgis, South Dakota. The weeklong rally draws an estimated 500,000 people to this town of 6,400 in the southwestern corner of the state. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Simply Red’s second album is underrated. That’s what I think. I mean, discount “Shine” not because Mick Hucknall wrote it for Diana Ross and when the band did it he didn’t change the pronouns, making him sound gay, which he’s famously not, but because it’s just kind of thin. Men and Women contains three Hucknall-Dozier-Holland numbers, which are solid, soulful tunes, and Simply Red’s version of “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye”, which is beautiful. And “Love Fire” is the best reggae number Hucknall ever came up with, which is not saying that much, because Simply Red doesn’t do reggae that often, but it’s a hell of a tune.
Even their third album holds up remarkably well, despite the switch to technically gifted but irretrievably loungy guitarist Heitor T.P., said switch being a major reason I was turned off on the album and sold it at a used CD shop. Plus the hot pink spotlight cover looked too femme, which was more of a problem with my own teenage sexuality than Mick Hucknall’s. As I said, he loves women. Check out Simply Red’s best-of collection — there’s woman-loving all over it. (Mick’s since gotten too loungy and sleepy for me to defend him much.)
But the other Simply Red is a bistro in Ithaca, New York, or actually a pair of them – one at Sheldrake Point (actually in Ovid, NY) and the other at the La Tourelle Resort. Both serve lunch daily and the lakeside Sheldrake Point location offers a special Southern meal on Monday nights. The food? According to her bio on the website, chef and owner Samantha Izzo “prepares dishes that invoke the spirit of those historic adventurers who traveled the seas in search of new foods and spices.” Sounds ambitious. Don’t miss breakfast or Sunday brunch at the La Tourelle location – some Yelpers apparently think it’s the best in Ithaca.
Now if Mick Hucknall were to have breakfast at Simply Red… perhaps it cause an irreversible dimensional shift, one where Simply Red was as big in the US as they are in Europe. Or alien bug monsters might come swarming out of the sky. Either one.
Songs about New York have a long and storied history. Who hasn’t heard someone murder “My Way” at karaoke? And Jay-Z and Alicia Keys remind us that “these streets will make you feel brand new, these lights will inspire you” in “Empire State Of Mind” (mark my words, a contender for Record of the Year at the next Grammys.) The Strokes got in on the act with “New York City Cops,” which disappeared from the American release of their debut album. And anyone under six knows the Wiggles’ “Central Park New York.” So, in that tradition, this sticker is pretty cool; it’s for The Dirty Pearls’ new single “New York City Is a Drug,” produced by industry heavyweight David Kahne (Fishbone, Sublime, Paul McCartney [not his best work], The Strokes again [the third album, which I liked; sue me] and tons more.) They’re an unsigned band, according to their MySpace page, featuring “big f*ing arena-sized vocal melodies with dirty, blues-based guitars and a machine shop back beat.” You can hear it at any of the places I’ve linked to. My only question is, how did an unsigned band get David Kahne to produce them? That’s crazy.
Hey, buddy — you know what would look good on your shoulder? A panther. Yeah, a panther, in a lush tropical jungle, maybe stalking something, maybe like a gazelle. Or a wood nymph. That would be cool. Or you could get one of those Celtic cross things all over your back, but it’s made of, like, intertwined snakes. Which are robots too. Robot snakes! And since you’re in the New York City area, or out on Long Island, you could go see the guys over at Red Rocket Tattoo about it. Just go look at their galleries — the work is stunning. And I’m pretty sure they’ve already done panthers and snakes and robots (really!) so you’re totally in luck. Hey — why are you walking away? I’m serious! You better not go to Red Rocket with an attitude like that!
(Some people thought I was making fun of Red Rocket. I’m not. I’m making fun of the kind of person the pros at Red Rocket would laugh at. Sheesh.)
I’ve never fired a gun. Or a rifle, for that matter. But it’s hard not to be seduced by the bold, machined lines of Yankee Hill Machine Company’s YHM-15. It’s all military spec and pretty enough for Josh Duhamel to sling around in the next Transformers movie. If you ask me, anyway. He didn’t die in the second one, did he? I never saw it. No, I was too busy shopping for sound suppressors at YHM. For my weekend gig as a sniper! In my mind.