The dog ate my chocolate – A learning opportunity.

January 2, 2008

Growing up I’ve always been taught that if a dog eats chocolate, he’ll die. That’s the extent of my veterinary knowledge.
So…what do you do when you come home late at night and find that your dog’s eaten 3 chocolate Santa Snickers bars and a plastic candy-cane tube filled with M&M’s while your wife and kids are out of town?

  1. Freak out
  2. Try desperately to come up with an excuse that absolves you of any blame for the family pet dying
  3. Call every vet in town to find out what you already knew, they’re all closed
  4. Freak out
  5. Hatch a plan to find a duplicate 2 year old boxer/lab mix at 12:30 on a Friday night
  6. Freak out

After you get those first six steps out of the way, settle down and call the emergency 24-hour vet hotline. Here in Grand Rapids you’ll be calling the Emergency Animal Clinic (Map and contact info here).

The nice lady will tell you that no, your dog won’t die from eating a chocolate chip that fell on the floor. In fact, your dog will need to eat a 1/2 oz. of chocolate for every pound of body weight for it to have a severe toxic reaction and a 1/4 oz. per pound for a mild toxic reaction.

From what I could scrape together from the mangled wrappers it turned out that our dog had only eaten about 4-5 oz. Not enough to kill her, not enough to freak out about, but enough that the vet had me feed her 4 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide to make her yack out everything she ate. “Just pour it down her throat” she said. And 10 minutes later, out came the chocolate.

In the end, the dog lives, I spend the night cleaning up dog puke. Good times.

More info on dogs and chocolate here.


Nice find

November 19, 2006

Adobe Systems links. It’s a goldmine in there.

Found while browsing through the Adobe blogs.

File Bloopers

November 15, 2006

I’ve always thought there was a big gap in communication within the designer/printer relationship. You hand off a disc, you get back a proof, you approve it then your job goes to print. You never hear anything about the process in between. I know better than to think that everything just rolls along perfectly.

Here’s a quick article about the things we designers never hear about.

We can’t fix the problems if we don’t know about them, Mr. Printer person. Don’t be afraid to inform us.

The Six Universal Attributes Of a Great Mark

August 31, 2006

This is something I needed while hurting my brain trying to come up with identity options for these guys. From Identity consultant Tony Spaeth’s site

If we weren’t in the room when the decisions were made, if we don’t know what the CEO’s intentions were, how can we say one logo is “better” than another?

As in ice skating, technical merit can be judged independently of communications content, and we can all see the skater fall. The first five things that distinguish great marks from ordinary ones are technical; the last one addresses content. Great marks are always:

  1. Distinctive.
    The design idea need not be unique in the world, just distinctive enough so you can “own” it in your particular marketplace.
  2. Practical.
    Can be printed small, in ink or pixels; works in black on white as well as in colors; works in reverse too, white on black. (Faces, human or animal, usually flunk this last test; the eyes turn white.)
  3. Graphic.
    Communicates purely in visual terms, to the right brain hemisphere; doesn’t depend on verbal, intellectual interpretation. (Example: Tenneco seriously considered and rejected a “10ECO” logo design. Clever, but it’s not a mark, it’s a pun.) If a wordmark, it can be recognized by form alone (you don’t have to “read” Coca-Cola’s logo more than once or twice).
  4. Simple in form.
    Contains only one graphic idea, one gimmick, one dingbat. Thus if there’s a symbol, the accompanying name is plain and unadorned. And if it is a wordmark, one idea or device makes it special–like IBM’s stripes. (The more unique the name, the simpler the graphics can be.)
  5. One message.
    In content too, great designs try to express no more than one attribute (such as stature or speed or dynamism) and support a single aspect of positioning.
  6. Appropriate.
    In the end, of course, the content’s got to be right. An otherwise-great mark fails if the reputation, positioning, and personality expressed are at odds with management intentions.

That totally sucked

August 11, 2006

I had to take that half-assed CSS template down so I could figure it out offline. It was too hideous. Plus I’m slow.

Seems I can edit this template’s CSS too, not just sandbox. That should make things a little easier.

Crash course

August 5, 2006

So, this is sandbox. wordpress’ first template to offer customizable CSS. I’ve started with a basic template, now I have to figure out what’s what. I have no idea what I’m doing, so hold on while I do a little learnin’.

Messed around with color tonight. Lot’s of trial and error, little understanding.