Why A Good Logo is a 3-digit Budget

I happened upon this gem of design blogs when doing a search for how much should be considered feasible for a logo design. Reading through it, it makes a ton of sense. My fellow designers, have a glance at the blog linked below and for those seeking a logo design from a designer it’s a great resource to explain the pricing of the digital goods.

10 Reasons Why A Logo Should Never Cost Less than $200

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New to Mac – Drag and Drop Installer

Most programs you encounter on the Mac will be a simple drag and drop procedure. I really like this method of installing a lot better since it’s literally copying a program file from a disk image (better known on the Mac as a .dmg) and then into your Applications folder. Drag and drop simply means to click the  mouse button on an icon and hold it while you drag the icon to a new location. You drop the icon when you let go of the mouse button.

The first thing you need when you go to install a new program is the disk image. You can acquire these from virtually anywhere. WordPress has their own desktop publishing app which installs via a drag and drop installer. Once you tell Safari (or your web browser of choice) to download the file, it will download to your Downloads folder automatically.

downloads folder

On El Capitan (Mac OS X 10.11), the Downloads folder can be configured to look like a grid as I have it, or it can be shown as a fanned out strip of folders. The fanned strip is the default setting (more on changing this later!). Click on the .dmg you just downloaded and the Finder will mount the disk it contains.

open dmg

Inside this disk are two icons: your program (WordPress.com) and an alias or shortcut to your Applications folder. Most mounted disks will tell you how to install the program it contains. For instance, this one tells you to drag the icon to the Applications folder and drop it.

drag install

When you hold the program’s icon over the folder shortcut, a green + icon appears beside your mouse. This indicates the program is being copied to the Applications folder. When this green + bubble appears, it is OK to let go of the mouse button and drop it. The Finder will automatically begin the copying process and a bing noise will sound to indicate the process was completed successfully.

Navigate to your Applications folder and marvel at the new program you’ve just installed! Keep in mind that some programs, such as Microsoft Office, still use a traditional installer package. It’s the same kind of double-click to install proceedure you would see on a Windows computer. This tutorial only covers this simple drag and drop proceedure.

Workplace Harassment

We all know what it’s like to be bullied. It’s happened to us all at one point in our lives or another. Most of us experienced it in school and it has molded us into the people we are now. But at what point do you expect to not face bullying? Do bullies really just stay on the playground or do they follow us well into adulthood?

Personally, I’d like to think bullies are just a thing of the past. That they cease to exist as soon as you graduate high school and enter this thing called “Adulthood.” The hard reality is that I’m naive and a dreamer. Bullies exist even where we work whether we want to admit it or not. Even if we don’t know someone’s a bully at our workplace, there is undoubtedly one person who talks about you behind your back in a less than favorable way.

I’ve seen it recently over the Halloween weekend at the office in which I work. While the few who spoke to me about my dragon wings, tail and bandanna spoke to me about it with joy and amusement, I caught whispers of those who turned it into an opportunity to speak mockingly of how I acquired the items. In most cases, I would probably have confronted them very vehemently with acid on my tongue, but being at work I had to just let it go and chose to ignore it.

But this was a mild case and one that’s easy to dismiss. My husband has become the laughing stock at his current job assignment. Like myself, he’s working the odd contract job with a temp agency so that we can make ends meet. He has informed me today that he is not only being farted at – a mild form of assault but harassment nonetheless – and now ridiculed for going to the rest room.

Excuse me….what? Laughed at for going to the bathroom? Farted at and even the supervisor finding it hilarious? No. This is not OK. This is a group of people we assume to be adults since they are working in an adult environment and making things like adults do. They are not in a high school or at an elementary school playground. They are not wearing diapers and asking Mommy to feed them. They are adults. Tax paying adults.

Or maybe they’re not and I’m just making assumptions. Because this kind of behavior is ill suited for an adult and his workplace. Harassment, in my opinion, starts the very second someone starts taking pot shots at someone else. It doesn’t even matter if it offends the person. If it’s a pot shot at their expense, it’s harassment.

And it is of my opinion that harassment becomes a serious problem the second it is no longer funny to the person being harassed. So what do you do in this kind of situation? Obviously, retaliation is out of the question as it will undoubtedly lead to you getting fired. But if you’re a temp worker and the boss already doesn’t like you, what then? Clearly my husband’s supervisor is OK with this behavior as he has joined in on it. The only other option he has is to seek advice from his agency contact to find out what can be done.

But what I fail to understand is how this is ever OK in a civilized and modern society where bullying is typically outlawed under company laws. Did these people not sign and agree to the exact same “no bullshit” rules that my husband undoubtedly had to agree to? I’m powerless to help despite me wanting to go over and knock the crap out of the morons doing this. There is simply zero excuse for this kind of behavior. I hope they all lose their jobs over this bullshit. Because that’s what it is: playground bullshit.

Oh, the tablet wars

Oh, the tablet wars. They’re almost as prominent as the OS wars that have been raging for years on end. Though, really, it’s not much of a war when you think about it. It’s just a choice of three systems:

  1. Apple’s iOS
  2. Google’s Android
  3. Microsoft’s Windows 8 RT/Windows 8…uh….normal?
I’m sure each tablet brand and OS brand has its benefits over the other, as well as its downsides compared to the others. All I know is, iOS is a little bit more new-user friendly than the Win 8 OS. In the spirit of fairness, the Win 8 tablets are great little machines for productivity. I actually prefer typing on my Surface RT instead of my iPad. They keyboard for the Surface is far nicer and easier to type with than the cheap keyboard I got for my iPad. But the iPad has a lot more apps that appeal to me in the entertainment aspect than the ones on the Surface. And that’s just scratching the….uh….Surface.
In this post, I’ll describe what I like about both the iPad and Surface, and what I hate about each of them. All in the spirit of fairness. 🙂 And plus I’m bored and want an excuse to hear the popcorn sound when I type on the Surface.
Pros – iPad
  1. compact
  2. nice screen size for reading, game playing, drawing, and movies
  3. syncs beautifully with my iCloud on my Mac
  4. easy to accessorize
  5. lots of choices of bag and cover styles
  6. simple, streamlined OS interface
  7. tons of interesting apps. if you can think it, there’s an app for that
  8. it’s Apple. instant win.
  9. instant access to iTunes account
  10. durable aluminum casing
  11. very customizable home screen. hold the icons till they wiggle and arrange them as desired
  12. familiar OS out of the box
  13. gestures are included for ease of use and to help move stuff out of the way
Cons – iPad
  1. no Flash support. biggest downside to this platform for my needs
  2. relatively small HD compared to newer tablets
  3. somewhat more expensive due to he smaller hard drive
  4. keyboards are hit or miss depending on the brand
  5. keyboards must be Bluetooth and don’t snap in and work right away
  6. charging cord is cumbersome to plug in and unplug
  7. aluminum backing scratches and discolors with the Smart Cover
  8. only comes in one OS version – an app-based OS so you can’t install your desktop programs on it
  9. feels like much more of the same in Apple’s OS designs, leaving it feeling tired and dated
  10. slightly heavier than the Surface, though not by much
  11. no MS Office to continue working on documents away from home (it’s untested as of this writing whether the Web app version of MS Office will run on the iOS. i’ll have to try that out sometime soonish)
  12. no built-in stand. you need to buy one separately
Pros – Surface
  1. RT comes pre-installed with MS Office and SkyDrive so you can access your documents anywhere
  2. USB port on the side of the screen for extra storage options and document transfers
  3. keyboard is easy to type on and snaps to the bottom of the device
  4. IF you have MS Office 2013 on your computer, it’s the same interface on the Surface, so no learning curve to continue working with your documents
  5. lightweight
  6. widescreen format makes it feel more like a computer and less like a mobile device
  7. Skype comes preinstalled, so go nuts
  8. IE comes in 2 flavors: app version on the start screen and desktop version on the desktop
  9. highly customizable home screen. you can even change the size of some icons to show more or less info by making them smaller or turning off live tiles
  10. charger cord is a similar magsafe tech as what Apple uses on their MacBook laptops
  11. the keyboard acts as a cover and can be reversed if you want the slightly fuzzy side to sit on the table instead of the keys when you don’t need the keyboard
  12. comes in 2 flavors: RT (app based) and Pro (can install your normal desktop programs on it)
  13. built-in kickstand
Cons – Surface
  1. Windows 8. enuff said
  2. big learning curve due to the newfangled fai–attempt to be different OS
  3. RT models are limited in what they can do because of being limited to whatever apps are available on the Microsoft Store. yes, that means no Steam on the Surface RT
  4. Skype needs to be merged with your Microsoft account if you plan to even think about using it on the Surface
  5. few apps that I personally care about. ie: no Steam because Valve decided to boycott the failure that is Win 8
  6. can’t customize when updates apply. they’re always on automatic download and install
  7. flash is updated only when the system updates. you can’t update it on your own
  8. the RT can’t be used with the fancy stylus that works with the Pro model. don’t know why, but I find it silly
  9. the keyboard that comes with the RT (if you bought that version) is touch-sensitive rather than actual mechanical keys. this tends to make me misspell words now and again or flat out miss a letter or two. there is a keyboard with mechanical buttons, but I don’t want to shell out $130 for a keyboard to go with a tablet that already has one
  10. extra apps are hidden within pointless gestures. this goes with the learning curve of the OS, but there should at least be a button in plan site for ease of access to all the apps on the machine and not just the couple dozen that come default on the start screen.
  11. gestures are required to learn to get the full functionality out of the touchscreen OS. unlike with the iOS, gestures are required to learn on Win 8 as some important features are hidden behind them.
Well, that’s just my sleep-deprived lists of what I like and hate about both tablets. Maybe at some point I’ll revisit this list again when I come up with more likes/hates about the two machines. Overall, though, I like them both pretty equally. The iPad is and always will be a larger version of the Kindle. It was designed to be an ereader with games and some web browsing, and for that purpose, it excels incredibly well. The Surface, on the other hand, was designed with productivity in mind. That has always been Microsoft’s focus, and they bring their Windows OS to the tablet world incredibly well. I can’t vouch for Android, as that OS holds no interest to me whatsoever. I do challenge you to come up with a list of likes and hates for it if you do use it. You’ll surprise yourself with the knowledge of how you really use your tablet.

Pasta bowls are a MUST for all homes

So, I’ve recently come to the conclusion of “why didn’t I buy these sooner?” Pasta bowls are great, multi-purpose eating dishes that have become quite the requirement for many of my meal time needs. That and my Crock Pot. Oh, the joy of being able to set dinner to cook before I leave for work and then come home to have a nice, hot, homecooked meal. Even if I don’t go to work, having the Crock Pot do the cooking for me is still an amazing feat for dinner time munchings. It’s funny, because when I was a kid, I’d crinkle my nose any time I saw my mom drag out the Crock Pot. Now? Now I wonder how I lived without one for almost five years.

The worst thing about it, though, is beef tends to like to leave this film on the inside of the stoneware that’s rather unappealing. It’s one of those things, that no matter how much you scrub it, no matter how long you soak it, it just doesn’t come off without help. “But Hata, how’d you get it off” you ask? Bar Keeper’s Friend, my friend. The liquid kind, I might add. I’m not so sure the powder kind is safe for ceramic, but the liquid kind is so long as you don’t put it directly on the enamel. Instead, put the liquid stuff on the sponge and spread it around that way, rinsing immediately afterward. And use it sparingly. There’s an acid in the stuff that allows it to cut through the tough grimey stuff on your stainless steel cookware that could possibly damage the cookware, etc., if left on it for too long. But enough about that. You want to hear about the pasta bowls.

Pasta bowls have kind of a deceptive name to them. Sure, they’re MADE for pasta and serve it beautifully, but they’re also great for other food too. Soups and stews are great to serve in a pasta bowl because they’re not as deep as your cereal or salad bowls may be. Yet they’re deeper than those puny soup bowls, making them a great choice for those hearty soups and stews that you just can’t get enough of. They’re a perfect size to serve that beef stew, because you actually can see the beef and other veggies. Plus, because it’s shallow but wide, you can fill it and not feel like you’ve put too much on your plate. It fills both your eyes and your stomach without overfilling the latter.

But wait! There’s more! Pasta bowls are also great for that tossed salad you planned to serve with your dinner. Again, because of their wide but shallow nature, you can feel free to stuff your bowl full of a nice hearty salad that won’t leave you grabbing your tummy for more…or wishing you ate less. It’s very much the same thing as with the soups. It looks fuller because it’s a shallow plate with high edges, so your mind THINKS you’re stuffing your gob to kingdom come, but your tummy thanks you because you didn’t overfill the gas tank again. But not only that, you can pile on the toppings without losing them in transit. Like a whole Roma tomato sliced on your salad? No problem! The high edges of the pasta bowl will hold them, and its mighty girth will let you spread them out so you can actually eat your salad before eating all the tomatoes. Croutons? No biggie! The high edges and wide diameter also help hold the crunchy bread pieces in place. And don’t worry about dripping dressing! There’s no salad running over the edges, remember?

So far, I haven’t experimented with other ways to use my pasta bowls. I just know I wish I had more than three. Drop me a line on Twitter about how you’ve used your pasta bowls and maybe links to your favorite slow cooker recipes. I wanna know what I can stuff in my gob that tastes good!