My Friend Josh

On the morning of Sunday, August 12, 2012, my old friend from college, Josh Rittenberg, took his own life.

The last time I hung out with Josh was right before Melissa and I moved up to the San Francisco Bay Area a year ago. He and I hung out for quite awhile, got to play cards, talk, and genuinely just got to hear about each other’s lives. We went on a walk to a 7-11 about a mile or two away and he told me about a graduate school program he was applying for and how he hoped he might get back together with his girlfriend whom he had recently broken up with. He seemed hopeful though a bit down, but he was ready to get his life on track – at least it seemed that way to me.

My wife got a job up in Los Altos, CA for the 2011-2012 school year so at the end of the summer of 2011 we very quickly had to move. The day before we moved I saw Josh again for one last goodbye. I didn’t know it would be the last time I’d get to see him, at least in this lifetime. He showed me his brand new motorcycle and told me how excited he was to get to ride along with his younger brother Roy. We talked about him eventually coming up to visit and how much fun it would be to hang out again.

The next day Melissa and I moved and I’m ashamed to say I never even called Josh again. Life filled up, time passed, and I just never got around to it. I may have messaged him here or there on Facebook but I really didn’t give it much thought. The last time of real contact with Josh was the hug I gave him right before he popped his helmet on and rode off on his motorcycle. The hug was extra long and tight, the kind you give a brother you haven’t seen in a long time. He seemed almost mournful at that moment, like he might never get to see me again.

Josh had issues, like any of us, but I had no idea that they would lead to something like this. I barely spoke with him at all in the last year and it breaks my heart that this happened.

Please keep his family and girlfriend in your thoughts and prayers. As devastating as this is for me, I know it must be a hundred times more so for them.

Rest in peace, my friend.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1.800.272.8255

Over A Year

It’s been over a year since I’ve updated this blog, which is really making me look bad to the whole 2 people who ever read this thing. Sorry, guys.

There are several reasons why I haven’t posted in awhile and some of them are legitimate (some, on the other hand, consist of my desire to goof off and procrastinate). The blog has always been a creative outlet or at least an attempt to be one. There’s just one big catch – it didn’t FEEL like one to me very often.

I really do desperately want to be this amazingly talented person who just oozes awesome ideas but most of the time I think my ideas stink. Or I’m far too picky. Or I’m afraid of being scrutinized. So one of my response is often to simply avoid. Hence my avoiding updating the blog.

Shifting Internet Sands

The changes to how I generally use the internet hasn’t helped make me want to update this blog either. It really is quite a lot of work to update this thing regularly (at least for me) and if one of the main motivations is to simply share photos, thoughts, designs, and tidbits I find strewn across the web then I now use Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Dribbble, and Instagram for all those things.

My phone and iPad have usurped my computer as the dominant way I experience the web when I’m not working. Work is still very much rooted on traditional computers but even that has shifted slightly. I take pictures just as much with my phone as I do with my DSLR with the added benefit of immediately being able to share them with all my friends. Sure, the pictures aren’t as nice and I don’t get to edit them in post in the same way to make them pixel perfect but at least I get to share right away. Share-ability seems to have trumped quality lately.

If I find some great video on Youtube, I used to share it on here but now that’s on Facebook and Twitter. Interesting article about web design? Twitter. Fun times with friends and family? Usually Facebook. Random thought or amusing observations (amusing to me at least)? Twitter and Facebook. Want to share a design I’ve been working on? Dribbble.

I’m also not pleased with how this blog looks or functions. It’s not up to par with the quality of work I can produce and it bothers me. I’d like to have a single column responsive design that gives me the option for larger photos and smaller columns for text but I’ve been far too pre-occupied or lazy to do anything about it.

I Miss the Curated

Even though my internet usage has shifted it seems that something has fallen through the cracks and that’s what I’m doing right now – writing. I never get to elaborate on anything anymore. Here’s a picture with a short caption! …And that’s the end of it. I don’t get to go into details about what was going on at the time. No chance to delve into my thoughts or excitement. I can’t recount in detail how the situation affected me. And I miss it.

Maybe I’m just a blow hard with too many words in his head but I want a curated experience, dang it. I still want to be able to explain myself once in awhile. Or show how thoroughly ill-informed I really am to the entire world.

Too Many Options

So what do I do now? Do I restart this blog as something entirely different? Do I pick up, dust off, and carry on as if I was here all along? Is there even an audience for my ramblings?

I’ve considered a lot of options for Taglines. It could evolve into a web comic. Or be more of a journal. Do I just share what I’m already sharing elsewhere but with a bit more explanation? I’ve considered doing journal entries in comic form (drawn on my iPad and then cleaned up on my computer and posted here). Heck, I’ve even considered doing reviews for the random things I use (mobile apps, computer programs, gadgets, video games, and so on). What do you think, wayward reader? If you’ve made it this far in the post then I think it only fair that you get a say on future posts. Tell me what you’d like to see here and I’ll up my game. Let’s do this thing.


Blood On My Name

I recently came across a video on Vimeo that blew me away. It’s called Blood On My Name and was made by Whitestone Motion Pictures. On the Vimeo page for the video it’s described as a “short film musical narrative in the style of americana southern gothic folklore.” I don’t normally care for musicals (it normally feels so weirdly out of place and the music is rarely my taste) but this reminded me more of O Brother Where Art Thou?, both in terms of music and presentation as well as time frame of the film (and I love O Brother Where Art Thou? so that helps).

I think the cinematography of Blood On My Name is fantastic and the concept is fascinating for a short film. Not only that but the main song used in it is great and was immediately added to my music library after watching the film (you can download the full soundtrack here). Check the video out below.

Blood On My Name on Vimeo:
Whitestone Motion Pictures website:
Download the soundtrack directly:


Are You Typical?

Ran across this video while perusing YouTube (yes, I *am* that lame). I like the concept and the execution. Plus the music reminds me of Little Big Planet so that helps put a smile on my face while watching. It’s essentially about the question of what constitutes a “typical” person on the planet. Check it out.


Halloween with Friends

Not much to explain on this group of pictures. There was a Halloween party. Some people wore costumes, others did not. Some pumpkins were carved. Fun was had by all.

Enjoy the pictures!

The look of the night
No dress but still a princess
The costume was the hat... oh wait...
A nice table spread
Casual Russian Boat Enthusiast
Continuing the tradition of mass pumpkin genocide
Cowboys like to hurt pumpkins