Monday, October 27, 2008

Blind Testing

Something just happened to me and I have to share it. I was on my bike in downtown Honolulu, biking along S. King street toward KITV. I was still in the heart of downtown at Alakea and S. King. I pulled up to a stop light (on the road) just as it turned red. The pedestrians began crossing in front of me. There was one pedestrian left behind and immediately it is obvious that he is blind. He has a long white cane and was wearing very unusual blacked out goggles that covered his eyes and forehead. (It was gi-normous, with an acrylic-like face!)

One of the first pedestrians arriving from the other side let him know it's OK to cross, so he started out, sweeping his cane in a really wide arc as people scattered wildly in front of him realizing his condition themselves. He passed me just fine, but then began to drift out of the crosswalk and was heading over to the middle of a stopped bus! His cane was going to sweep under the bus and he wouldn't know it was there until he hit it!

I called over and then rode over to him telling him to come towards my voice. He stopped just in the nick of time and turned and was now walking toward me, parallel to the bus. "This is good" I thought until I saw his head heading for the massive rear-view mirror on that side of the bus. I called out frantically, trying to warn him, but he didn't respond and I cringed fearing the worst....whoosh it just missed his head! As he passed the front of the bus he turned toward the curb and found it and got up on the sidewalk, successfully having crossed the street.

The light had already turned green by this point but everyone was cool and when he was safe, traffic began to flow again. He never spoke once.

I find myself analyzing this experience over and over. Was he really blind?

I've seen blind people before and I've never seen them swing their cane in such a wild, wide arc. It was almost as if he was trying to scatter the people. He never asked for help or said thank you, (not that that is important for me, but I would think communication is key to safety in a situation like that). Despite me calling out, he took several steps until he stopped just shy of the bus. I also don't remember telling him to turn toward the curb after he had passed the front of the bus. He seemed to do that on his own. How did he know?

Here are the possibilities:
1. He is really blind. If so, I feel terrible for doubting it, and I would be concerned for his safety. He is not ready for being solo in an urban environment.

2. He is newly blind. Perhaps this was the first day he mustered up enough courage to leave the apartment and go to the corner market himself. If so, good on him!

3. His giant black-out goggles are a training tool. He may be training to work with the blind and as a training exercise he has to "walk a day in their shoes".

4. This is a TV show or social experiment to see what happens. Perhaps he could see dimly through the goggles and was fabricating situations to record and evaluate the reactions of others. There were plenty of places to record that scene from if it were so.  It would sort of explain the near misses and other behavior.

Fortunately, no matter which is true, my actions should still be the same. Help to guide the gentleman across the street. 

After he was safe and I left, I wished I had stayed with the guy and guided him all the way to his destination. Perhaps then I would have known better his condition and the truth of the situation. I guess I will never know. If anyone ever sees a TV show with that kind of set up situation, let me know.

Peace Love and Character Testing,


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Badger Me at Your Own Risk!

Today's Dilbert had me in tears I was laughing so hard. It probably won't be as funny for you, but I was dying! I had to share it.

Mahalo and "props" to

UPDATE:  Added after great recommendation by twitterer RossB (Courtesy

Peace Love and Patience,

(often badgered KITV artist)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A "Wrench-ing" Journey

My first experiment with Animoto, creating a slideshow celebrating my mechanical victory.

It's Alive!

After many weeks and cautious slow progress, I got my truck running again! You can be there too by watching the video:

Free Videos by Ustream.TV

I'm not done with everything I want to do on the truck, but I can drive it again! Woo Hoo!

Peace, Love and Purring Engines,


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Top 5 Creativity Killers

How do you get your creative juices flowing?

I get that question a lot from fellow freelancers, and unfortunately there’s no perfect answer because we’re all different and we all have a different working style.

But for those of you who have asked, here are my top 5 creativity killers and how I manage to stay focused, productive and creative.

#1 — Multi-Tasking And Distractions
I know some people have mastered the art of multi-tasking and working on tons of things at once. I tried and it’s not for me. There is no way I can focus on a project while trying to reply to emails, talk on the phone and chat on Skype. In order to get my creative juices flowing I absolutely need to focus all my attention and energy on one thing: work on that project.

Multi-tasking is not for me, but I can get just as much done in a day as someone who multi-tasks. It’s actually really easy and it’s nothing new, all you need is a schedule and you have to stick to it. When I need to work on a project and I find that I’m not inspired (say it’s a design for a client) I simply turn off my phone, close my emails get rid of all distractions and then get back to work. It works every single time.

I find I get much more done in 2 hours when I’m focussed than I do in 8 hours multi-tasking.

#2 — Lack Of Sleep
One of the cool things about freelancing is that you can work your own hours. That’s great! But for many of us it also means working evenings and week-ends and sometimes not sleeping much! There is always work that needs to be done, and clients that need our attention.

Lack of sleep can be a real creativity killer! How can you focus on something and be inspired when you’re dead tired? Work is still gonna be there tomorrow! Get a good night sleep and come back the next day with new ideas and a fresh perspective!

On a side note, our very own Dave Navarro has a program called ‘Becoming An Early Riser‘ and I have to say it helped me a lot in getting up earlier and getting more stuff done in a day. Try it and see if it works for you!

#3 — Fear Of Rejection
I’m sure it happened to all of us at some point, the fear of rejection. It’s not fun and it can definitely kill your creativity. There is no way you can please everyone and it’ll happen you will present something to a client and it’ll get rejected. It happens.

By all means, do not take it personally! Instead, try to use that (sometimes negative) energy and use it in a productive and creative way. Learn from that experience and go back to that drawing board and kick some ass. Always remember that if you got hired to do some work it’s because that person thinks you’re talented and remember that you’re probably not the first freelancer this person contacted for the project.

#4 — Financial Insecurity
It’s not easy to focus on a project when all you think about is your car payment, your credit cards and the mortgage. I used to always worry about money when I quit my day job a couple years ago because I was so used to the security of a paycheck every two weeks! The first year was very difficult and I was never sure I’d be able to make that car payment and then I realized I could just raise my prices a bit and I would then be able to put some money aside and voila!

I’m a web-designer and I have no idea what the average per hour rate is in Canada, nor do I care. There will always be someone willing to do the job for cheaper than me. And I’m fine with that! At the end of the day it all comes down to how much time you’re willing to trade for a certain amount of money. I prefer charging slightly more, focus on less projects and and have more time for other things like personal projects (which will bring me money in the long run).

#5 — Pressure And Deadlines
Some clients have very high expectations, and it’s understandable. Remember, they pay your bills! But can you really be creative when you’re under heavy pressure? Some people have no problem with stress but for those of us who do it’s fairly easy to make sure you’re never under pressure and still always deliver!

Always under-promise. Say you have a design gig and you know it’ll take you 3 weeks to complete it, well simply tell your client it’ll take 4 weeks! Works wonder, no stress and happy clients every time!

Jon Phillips


About the author: Jon is a full-time freelancer, blogger and designer, he loves WordPress and plays guitar in a heavy act. he can also be found on Twitter.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The day I almost drowned.

Bryan is heading to Maui tomorrow for a class trip.  This won't be the first time he's been away either.  I can't remember my first trip away from home, away from Mom and Dad.  

Let's see, it was probably a church camp at Camp Olomana.  I slept in a bunk bed, stayed up too late talking, was terrified of taking a shower, and (the most vivid memory),... I almost drowned.

There was a pool full of kids and inner-tubes.  It was packed, and loud and chaotic.  I remember jumping off the diving board and landing in the water, I swam toward the surface and bumped someone's butt.  I laughed underwater.  

This turned out to be a big problem.  I exhaled a lot of air laughing and lost most of my air reserve and my buoyancy.  I scootched over a bit and swam upward again, this time blocked by an inner-tube.  I started sinking and began to have that panicky feeling.  I was still in the deep end of the pool, so I couldn't push off the bottom.  It was a long way down.  

I struggled and kicked upward again and came up where 5 or 6 inner-tubes were rafted together, each with a kid sitting on them, oblivious to me below.  I tried to tip one over so I could break through and catch a gulp of air, but I had no leverage.  Every attempt to push an inner-tube merely sent me toward the bottom, but not far enough down that I could jump upward with any speed.

I knew I was in trouble then and my lungs were screaming for air.  I made one last upward attempt and this time missed all the inner-tubes and broke the surface of the water and breathed in deeply.  My lungs filled with cool air and my ears filled with the sound of laughing and splashing and "Marco?, Polo!"  No one had any idea I had almost died (or so I felt).  I got out of the pool, and honestly, quickly forgot about how close I had come to inhaling water.  The most vivid parts of the memory were the panic, and the sounds of kids laughing from underwater.

As I type this, Bryan is trying on a new pair of swim shorts.  I guess he'll be swimming on Maui.  I know it is irrational for me to be upset, but I'm saying a special prayer of protection over him for this trip.  Tomorrow I get up at 4am to drive him to the airport.  I'm sure he will have a great time there.  Just a tip, stay away from the inner-tubes Bryan!

Peace Love and Access to Air,


Friday, October 10, 2008

Creativity, Where Are You?

Lately I feel as though I've lost my creative side. Is it smothered? Is it dead? Did I grow out of it? Or is of that I'm just tired? It is affecting my work, ministry and even my 'play'..

When I was a kid, I used to play role playing games a lot. Massive amounts of imagination were required. The more colorful and detailed the better. Even today I still run an occasional game with my old buddies, but lately, just haven't felt the spark.

I play guitar. That should be a creative outlet, but again, I feel like I'm just playing the same songs over and over, and yet I'm not improving or growing. I have no new influences to challenge me or share with.

I've been working at KITV 17 years (thereabouts), the last 10 or so in graphics. The same projects come up year after year. The technology improves, but not finding much creative excitement there lately.

Video editing for my church used to be a huge satisfaction. I loved creating testimonies and baptism videos for our church. Not so much anymore. Now I think mostly of the massive amount of work and time needed to pull off a project and I feel overwhelmed by it. It wasn't like that before.

I think this is why some fields, especially repetitive ones, have sabbaticals. An extended period of time to pull out, refocus, retrain, reequip, and recharge. The picture in my head is of an empty water gun. With every pull of the trigger it has strong streams of water flowing from a full reservoir, but eventually it begins to spatter and sputter and eventually only a moist mist comes out, yet many kids keep pulling the trigger. Sometimes you need to take the time and run back to the faucet and refill the tank to have an effective tool again.

I don't know where my faucet is, or how to refill my tank, but definitely feel like I'm running on empty. Hopefully, this upcoming vacation will be the beginning of a recharge, but how full can the tank get in only a week? It's like throwing a cellphone on the charger for 5 minutes before heading back out the door. Almost insignificant.

Don't know what the answer is. 

I signed up for a fun group challenge in November called National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to write a 175 page (50,000 word) novel I'm 30 days. It is unashamedly an exercise in throughput, not quality. That may be so, but several NaNoWriMo novels have been published and 1 was even on the a New York Times Best Seller! Mine won't be I'm sure, but perhaps is will stir up some latent creativity and give me the boost I need. I have no idea if I can write that much, but we'll see.

Peace, Love and Creativity,


Posted with LifeCast