September 29, 2014
XL Motivational Meme Week
For my birthday back in July, which I styled "Demosthenes XL" using the Super Bowl/WrestleMania/World War numbering method, I decided to do something different. Because that's what I do. Something different.
I've always said that on my birthday, my gift to you is a reason to celebrate. You now have another holiday between Independence Day and Labor Day to roast up a couple of hot doggies and toss back some cold ones. And this year, for my big Four-Oh, I offered up some extra words of motivation and inspiration to help you celebrate and posted them on the ubiquitous interweb medium (aka Facebook).
I've decided to re-post them here because: A) Facebook likes to hide things now; and B) I figured this would allow me to expand upon the ideas behind each one. Who knows, maybe it will add to the motivation these hastily-made... I mean, well-crafted memes convey.
Broke and Broken
The sentiment behind this meme was that no matter how bad I may have it going, as long as each day starts with my two ladies, it's a great day. Really, the idea was to remind people that you may feel alone, but you really aren't. You've got family and friends, and because of them, you're still in the game.
But amazingly, it also showed me what kind of true friends I have, because they focused on the "I may be broken" line and desperately tried to reach me to find out what was wrong. At the time, I was falling apart and feeling pretty low (nothing a little duct tape, gym, and sudoku can't patch together), but again, I had the Space Cowboy and the Danger Diva with me, so it wasn't that bad at all. Bottom line: there is always a silver lining, a ray of hope to be found.
To be honest, this wasn't made for Motivational Meme Week. I had made it months prior in a fit of creativity, but didn't know where or when I should unleash it. I was toying with different cameras and settings and angle, and the idea of "Choose Love" sprung forth. With the world always like 12 minutes away from going to hell in a handbasket, it dawned on me that we shouldn't focus on the negative, and we shouldn't perpetuate the outrage.
What if the world chose love? Love is the most powerful thing in the universe, especially when you remove any fear or reservations. This obviously showcases my idealist side, but the sentiment is still powerful, and I bet many are fearful to even try (walls up, don't to seem vulnerable). But I challenge you: Choose Love.
If you're Canadian, or a fan of Public Broadcasting, you are familiar with The Red Green Show. I'm not even really sure I could explain it and do it justice. But in one of the recurring segments where Red address the guys in the audience over 40, he always ends with "Remember, I'm pulling for you. We're all in this together." I felt this was a nice follow-up to the Choose Love meme, but with a clear nod to the show (the suspenders, naturally).
On my iPad, I have various art apps tucked away for inspiration when I need it. Case in point, in my Louvre HD app, I stumbled across the painting of Joachim Murat, King of Naples, Marshall of France, on Horseback by Antoine-Jean Gros. My line of thinking went something like this, "Poor horse, foaming at the mouth... wait, is that a tiger skin saddle?" And inspiration struck.
Obviously, you're got to be pretty damn pimp to pull off a tiger skin saddle. Nonetheless, I knew I could use it to highlight a message of personal courage and create something for Motivational Meme Week. In this meme, the message is simple. Be you, and be proud. And if *that* is what you're rocking, then ROCK IT.
And that was the Demosthenes XL Motivational Meme Week (yes, only four. I didn't do one on the actual birthday). Memes don't always have to be humorous, and judging by the response I got from them, people seem to like these. I may not be famous, but if I can be the whisper in your ear to push you to greatness, we're all winners.
I'll leave you with this: the three things I say to Zoe every evening when I kiss her good night. Be smart; be strong; be brave.
Good night, friends. See you in the morning.
July 2, 2014
Every once in a while, I get hit with an idea, and I'm surprised no one else has thought of it yet. And then I usually let it sit and then someone else gets the idea and does it. But this time, I've answered the call to action. A fresh idea, made real. Stand back, people.
You have to be living in a cave not to know of the Disney animated motion picture, Frozen. Truckload of parodies have filtered through the interwebs, but one thing has been missing... until now. The one item that I'm surprised is not in the marketplace: FROZEN BURRITOS.
Everyone loves a frozen burrito. Throw them in the microwave, and you have a tasty treat. But where were the Disney Frozen Burritos? Friends, there are HERE!
Enjoy these burritos...
Frozen Burrito: Let It Queso
The Elsa-inspired burrito is a fresh take on a cheesy classic. It's packed full of cheese, but luckily, the cheese never bothered her anyway.
Here are some bonus memes for you (click to get the bigger version)
Frozen Burrito: Carne Anna-sada
For the first time in forever, you'll have a satisfying lunch with the Anna-inspired burrito featuring marinated carne asada. Love is an open grill.
Frozen Burrito: Spicy Hans-banero
From the flavors of the Southern Isles come the Hans-inspired burrito. It's tasty. It's delicious. It's dreamy. And it might actually try to kill you in the last act. Spicy going in; spicy going out.
Frozen Burrito: Chilly Verde
The iceman cometh in this Kristoff-inspired burrito. It's a little rough around the edges, but at its heart is something that'll bring you back for more. Don't forget the carrots.
Frozen Burrito: Jalapen-Olaf
This Olaf-inspired burrito is for those that love warm hugs and spicy food. Don't hesitate - enjoy this treat in summer... or any time of year.
Frozen Burrito: Lutefisk
What's the best way to describe this Wandering Oaken-inspired burrito? Lutefisk + Burrito = Three word: Big. Summer. BLOWOUT.
Seriously? Why don't these exist? To Jose Ole, or any other frozen burrito maker... you're welcome. Now go, and make me a Frozen Burrito!
June 7, 2014
Top 10 Minor League Team Names
Minor League Baseball is undergoing a renaissance of sorts, as every mid-market city that doesn't have baseball wants a team, and those that do, want to stand out. Few are the farm teams that are named after their big league parent (i.e. the Triple-A Iowa Cubs). Most have taken on their own identity to either better reflect their community or to simply be memorable.
As a designer and a baseball fan, I have compiled what I think are the ten best team names in all of minor league baseball. Enjoy!
Honorable Mention: Las Vegas 51's
Pacific Coast League (Triple-A)
2014 Affiliate: New York Mets
Formally the Las Vegas Stars, changed their name in 2000 to the 51s, as an homage to nearby Area 51 (alleged home to various downed alien ships and bodies). Love the regional tie-in, but it doesn't make the top 10, because I'm not a fan of numbers as a team name. And the baseball-headed alien creeps me out a little bit.
10) Lansing Lugnuts
Midwest League (Single-A)
2014 Affiliate: Toronto Blue Jays
Came into existence in 1996 and was one of the first minor league teams to go with a "oddball" name and logo. Lugnuts, obviously, being a reference to the automotive industry in Michigan.
9) Cedar Rapids Kernels
Midwest League (Single-A)
2014 Affiliate: Minnesota Twins
What do they have a lot of in Iowa? Corn. This logo, that they got in 2007, really spruces up the imagery.
8) Casper Ghosts
Pioneer League (Rookie)
2014 Affiliate: Colorado Rockies
Regrettably, the Casper Ghosts only existed from 2008 through 2011, before moving from Casper, Wyoming, to Grand Junction, Colorado, to become to infinitely less-exciting Grand Junction Rockies. Kudos for actually going with Ghosts, and for also being the first minor league team with glow-in-the-dark logos on their baseball caps.
7) Hillsboro Hops
Northwest League (Short-Season A)
2014 Affiliate: Arizona Diamondbacks
Formally, the Yakima Bears, before moving from Washington to Oregon, the team name is a reference to: A) the plant used in beer brewing, as Oregon is the second-largest hop-producing US state by volume, and a hub of the microbrew and craft-beer movement; and B) various baseball terms such as the short hop, bad hop, etc. No previous professional or collegiate sports team has ever been called the "Hops" The Hops' mascot is Barley.
6) Brevard County Manatees
Florida State League (Single-A Advanced)
2014 Affiliate: Milwaukee Brewers
While not the most fearsome animal mascot, it's a nice nod to the sea cows common in Florida waters. Their mascot is known as Manny the Manatee. though I preferred the name used during the 90's, Hugh. I hoped that we he came onto the field, the PA announcer would yell, "Oh, the Hugh Manatee!"
5) Lehigh Valley IronPigs
International League (Triple-A)
2014 Affiliate: Philadelphia Phillies
The IronPigs name is a reference to pig iron, used in the manufacturing of steel, for which the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania is world-renowned. On December 1, 2007, the IronPigs selected "PorkChop" as the name of their mascot from 7,300 submitted names. The very next day, the name was changed to "Ferrous," derived from the chemical name for iron, because of complaints from the local Puerto Rican population, who alleged that "pork chop" was a racist term, despite the name being submitted by a young girl who lived in the Lehigh Valley area. The current mascots for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs are Ferrous and FeFe. Ferrous wears the number 26, which is the atomic number for iron. FeFe is named after the abbreviation for iron, "Fe"
Kudos for introducing a bacon-themed logo for their caps this year. You can sorta see "IronPigs" in the meat.
4) Fort Wayne TinCaps
Midwest League (Single-A)
2014 Affiliate: San Diego Padres
Formally the Fort Wayne Wizards prior to the 2009 season, the name TinCaps was chosen alluding to John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed. The Tin Cap refers to a fictionalized depiction of John Chapman wearing a cooking pot as a hat in the 1948 Walt Disney movie "Johnny Appleseed," though this depiction has been disputed by historians. John Chapman did spend his final years in Fort Wayne and is buried in the city. The mascot of the TinCaps is Johnny.
3) Richmond Flying Squirrels
Eastern League (Double-A)
2014 Affiliate: San Francisco Giants
The name the Richmond Flying Squirrels was chosen through a Richmond Times-Dispatch readers "name-the-team-contest" in 2009. Other finalists were the Rock Hoppers, Hambones, Rhinos, Flatheads, and Hush Puppies. (The name Hambones was later ruled out of the contest after the city's uproar and the NAACP finding that "the Hambones" could be seen as a derogatory term directed towards the African-American community). The mascot's name is Nutzy, and his sidekick is Zinger the Acorn. I would have gone with Rocky the Squirrel and a moose sidekick, but that's just me.
2) Modesto Nuts
California League (Single-A Advanced)
2014 Affiliate: Colorado Rockies
The Nuts adopted their current name in 2005, after the team's affiliation with the Oakland Athletics ended. Before then, the team was known as the Modesto Athletics (or A's). The new name was chosen to reflect the several types of nuts that are grown in the region. After the name change, the Nuts would become one of the top sellers of merchandise in the Minor Leagues. The Modesto Nuts have two mascots: Al the Almond and Wally the Walnut. They held the #1 spot on my list until this year.
1) Montgomery Biscuits
Southern League (Double-A)
2014 Affiliate: Tampa Bay Rays
The Biscuits' owners, Tom Dickson and Sherrie Myers, selected the team's nickname from an entry in a "name the team" contest, due in part to the potential marketing and pun possibilities, such as yelling "Hey, Butter, Butter, Butter" at opposing players, or naming the team's souvenir store, the "Biscuit Basket." During games, biscuits are shot from an air cannon, into the stands. Literally. It's the South, It's Alabama, biscuits are big there. Their mascots are "Big Mo," an orange beast that loves biscuits, and "Monty", an anthropomorphized buttermilk biscuit.
Yes, Monty's tongue is a pat of butter. Simply awesome... and my #1 minor league baseball team name.
So there you have it. A celebration of original concepts and distinctive thinking, disguised as a top ten list of minor league baseball team names and logos. Hope you enjoyed it. If not, put your own list on your own website and I'll check it out.
Images from Chris Creamer's SportsLogos.net
April 22, 2014
ABC's of the Internet
The internet is a vast and infinite space. You can get lost. You'll need a primer. You need to know the ABC's of the Internet. Luckily, your ol' pal D-mo is on the case.
A = @ Remember growing up and seeing this on the typewriter and thinking, "I'm never using that."
B = Bandwidth. Old way was limited space, unlimited bandwidth. New way is unlimited space, limited bandwidth. Prefer old way.
C = Computer. Your grandparents have one. Your kids will not.
D = Dial-Up. Kids today have no clue. Adults still cringe.
E = E-mail. Now known as spam and chain letters. Electronic communications has been replaced by...
F = Facebook. Now known as God.
G = Google. Both a noun... and a verb. Awaiting adjective.
H = Hulu. Wanted in 12 states for the murder of Cable TV.
I = Instagram. Because we all want to see you steak dinner in sepia tones.
J = Jailbait. That "friend" in Missouri you talk to in that chat room? She's 15.
K = Kindle. Singlehandedly killed the written word. We're 3 weeks away from our own Fahrenheit 451.
L = Live. Everything happens, right now, in your living room, from all over the world... so you can DVR'ed for later.
M = Meme. Grumpy Cat. 'nuff said.
N = News. Some stories are real. Some are hoaxes. You decide.
O = Open Source. Seriously, no one cares.
P = Photoshop. I kid you not... I had a turkey dinner with the Pope AND Darth Vader. Here's proof.
Q = QVC. You can EasyPay anyway you want.
R = Rickroll. No really. It's just a cat video.
S = Sexting. Where was this when I was growing up?
T = Troll. We all do it. Some are just more prolific at it than others.
U = Unseen. As in some things just can not be... The internet is a dark place.
V = Viral. Some people are demigods with Autotune. Behold their magnificence.
W = Work. As the place most of us go online. Might as well get paid for it.
X = XXX. As in porn, the reason the internet exists.
Y = YouTube. Turning people into attention whores since 2005.
Z = Zynga. Words with Friends, Hanging with Friends, Scramble with Friends... they remove the need to actually MEET with Friends.
March 1, 2014
Long time readers of What's Up know I occasionally reprint my witty comments from Facebook and Twitter here. Figure if it's really funny, I should spread it far and wide.
Today, I reprint, in its entirety the "1816 Project" from my Twitter feed (@DMOunited) During its life (from March 27 - October 21, 2013), I wasn't sure if it was an attempt at comedy, or satirical commentary on commercialism (nah, too deep). But looking back, I'm going to call it "performance art." Why not? I'm an artist.
The whole premise, when viewed on Twitter was: DMOunited ...
Was it funny? Was it entertaining? Was it art? That's the cool thing about creative outbursts like this. It can be whatever you want it to be.
What's Up ...sage words since 1816... er, 2001.
February 15, 2014
The date was November 21, 2001.
It wasn't the first time I blogged on a website, but it was the first "issue" of what would become my new blog, called What's Up.
Admittedly, it's not the freshest or most original name for a blog, but in retrospect, it avoided coming across as too hip or too dated. Plus, in it's life, it had two clear chances to be re-named, but I was dissuaded each time as What's Up had brand recognition, or so I was told by my readers.
What's Up was a combination of:
Regardless of what I wrote, I tried to funny and sometimes, mildly thought-provoking.
But what was the point of it all? What was I saying? What was my message?
Well, time and again, I have showed that, overall, I don't have a message. I'm emptying my brain of the thoughts, asides, tidbits, and odd concepts onto paper in order to clear the slate, while simultaneously entertaining my readers. Does it work? For the normal joe, no. But luckily, I'm far from normal so it sort of worked for me.
Long time readers know that What's Up's last posting was September 17, 2012. And for no other reason other than I had become short on writing time, and *gasp*, short on things to say. Well, truth be told, I was saving the good stuff for the podcast, and I was leary of being redundant, but really, I was actually tapped creatively.
That brings me to the crux of this new incarnation of What's Up; Volume 2, if you will.
Creativity. I'm longing to express it again. To bring it back. And one thing that creative types have constantly said is always write things down. Never just keep it in your head. Let the thoughts live on the page and watch as they take new life, taking you directions you may not have forseen, let alone planned for.
So I am relaunching What's Up, as much for me as for you. A new (again) medium for me to be expressive, to be creative, to be bold, to be daring. And if in the process, I end up being stagnant, old, and boring, so be it. Creativity is never easy or pretty, but it should be always be an adventure into the unknown.
P.S. if you're new to the blog, I have a penchant for grandiose exaggerations. Roll with it, it'll be fun.
What's Up Archive
October 2011 - September 2012
January 2011 - July 2011
July 2010 - November 2010
February 2010 - June 2010
August 2009 - February 2010
April 2009 - August 2009
September 2008 - April 2009
February 2008 - September 2008
August 2007 - December 2007
February 2007 - July 2007
August 2006 - December 2006
March 2006 - July 2006
September 2005 - February 2006
February 2005 - August 2005
September 2004 - January 2005
April 2004 - August 2004
January 2004 - March 2004
August 2003 - December 2003
February 2003 - July 2003
September 2002 - January 2003
April 2002 - August 2002
November 2001 - March 2002