Mark Bult Design: San Francisco, CA, Established 1988

Web design and development for small and large business, e-commerce, b2b, b2c, SAAS, and community websites. User experience design and usability testing.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Holly wrote the book on fundraising

My friend Holly and I haven't really been keeping up very well the past couple years — we don't talk or see each other nearly as often as we used to.

Seems she's been busy though, since I found out she just wrote a book! And has another one coming next year.

I've worked with Holly since 1993 I think, and we've worked on more kinds of projects than I could probably list, from websites to events to newsletters to catalogs to films.

» buy Fear-Free Fundraising at Amazon

Thursday, August 03, 2006

When I'm King

The King shall outlaw the sale of any item encased in one of those incredibly annoying hard plastic, see-through containers. I realize that this invention was a boon for retailers, since it enables the buyer to actually see through the packaging, and it's probably incredibly cheap to put 500,000 razors or flashlights or stapleguns into these plastic menaces, but this dastardly invention often requires the use of scissors, a jackhammer, and an ambulance to get the vile things open. I mean, it's great that they found something harder than diamonds, but do we really have to encase 99% of the things we buy at drugstores in these contraptions? Beside the fact that opening one of these packages requires the strength of Samson, they aren't even remotely recyclable, and I have yet to see a single manufacturer even attempt to advise a consumer about how to dispose of the packaging other than to bury it in a graveyard on a full moon. This form of packaging is clearly the work of the devil, and shall be banned in the Kingdom forevermore.

And that reminds me, the Kingdom shall fine the hell out of those retarded companies that put three or four of those annoying security sticker closures on the edges of DVDs and CDs. Do we really need that after we already had to cut off the incredibly wasteful non-recyclable plastic shrink-wrap? And three of them no less? Seriously!? No, ye shall be beheaded before tea time if you put those abominable stickers on any more DVDs.

Garbage collectors shall heretofore be prohibited from waking everyone up at unbogly hours of the morning by making more noise than a Concorde. What's wrong with you people? Your job is no more important than the restfulness of the Kingdom. And don't even think about arguing that you'll be slowed down and inconvenienced by doing your job at 11am when there are people and cars on the streets. If you sic your unions on me, I shall merely behead their representatives and burn your houses down. You won't be nearly as inconvenienced as the 99.99% of the population that's negatively affected the rest of their workday by getting a terrible night's sleep because of your bogflammin' racket at 5:12am. So, for the good of the Kingdom's economy, and the health and well-being of all the King's subjects, you shall not start your trash-collecting rounds until at least 8:30am. And by the way, you shall be proud to refer to yourselves as "garbage collectors," and drop all pretense that your job is anything more or less than it is by calling yourselves "waste removal technicians" or any other sort of ridiculous moniker. You shall be proud to remove the populace's trash from the streets, and the populace shall be proud to wave to your truck as it rumbles by (in normal daylight hours), saying to any passersby with pride and confidence, "that's my garbage collector!"

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

How a dead author continues to shape my view of the world

This post by Eric Burns contains a lengthy but really good discussion of Robert A. Heinlein's "first" book, which was actually discovered and published only a couple years ago, long after his death. It's not a fantastic book, but Burns' summation of its premonition of Heinlein's later work is masterful.

But more importantly, Burns begins his post by recounting the time in his youth when he first became a Heinlein fan. And it is so prfoundly similar to my own experience that I practically could have written it myself.

"...He shaped my early political and sociological opinions. This meant I went through the Libertarian phase almost every Heinlein fan passes through (and a good number never come out of, and there's nothing wrong with that). It also meant that my concepts of personal honor, of liberty coupled with responsibility, of duty, of sin and of love were shaped in part by Heinlein's writings. As I later entered a moderate and then liberal phase of my thoughts, I still found much of who I was shaped by Heinlein and his own evolving beliefs..."

If you know me at all, you know that this one author had an extremely deep influence on nearly every aspect of my social and political beliefs, from early adulthood through today. If you've never read any Heinlein, or ? like a few of my friends ? you've tried to, Burns' synopsis might give you a glimpse of a few of the reasons why I, like so many other people, find Heinlein's works so compelling.