March 29, 2011

happy place

Sunday in the aftermath of being excited about my alma mater VCU's unexpected win into the Final Four, I was suddenly in a mood to celebrate. In the tweets about the excitement, I ended up with a volunteer from my friend Andrew to drive in nearly from the Valley to come hang at my favorite place around: Simmzy's. It's is a small comfortable but well-designed joint that changed the scene in Manhattan Beach. It was one of the first gastropubs in the area and has never lost popularity. Simmzy's has 24 taps of rotating good microbrews and imported beers (sorry, no Miller Lite, Stella or Blue Moon here) and a small menu of twists on comfortable foods that always surpass the flavor expectation. The consistency of their dishes always being great is one of the things that I love best about them. As many times as I have been, its rare for anyone to ever be disappointed. That's no small feat. I shouldn't rave too much, because it will just increase the wait time for a table if even more people start going, but I'm glad to have a place like this within biking distance.

March 25, 2011

rain dates

For the past week, my Aunt Peggy and cousin Mark and his family have been on vacation in Southern California from Oregon - unfortunately, our weather was also on vacation, and it was more like the rainy weather they might have. I met up with them on Wednesday for a bit of one of Joe's baseball games (Joe is Mark's son) - before it got called due to rain. And I ended up meeting up with them again during the latter part of their day at Universal Studios yesterday. It was my first time to Universal and I have to say that if you're planning a visit, it would be hard to recommend - unless you have a big emotional attachment to their movies. It's a perfectly nice park, but its very small with hardly anything there. Given the prices, you'd be better spending the time & money at Disneyland or Six Flags. (I don't mean to sound ungrateful for the chance to go, just saying that as a bit of tourist advice for anyone heading to LA.) Luckily (for me) they had gotten free 'rainout' passes from another family that was there during Sunday's storms. Since I grew up on the other side of the country, my time with this side of the family was pretty limited while growing up, so any time together doing anything is good to me. Their week otherwise was full of Disney, baseball, and rain; hopefully the last ingredient didn't dampen the others too much.

March 24, 2011


I spent the day today at Universal Studios with some family visiting from Oregon; more pics and detail tomorrow, but for now, here's a gallery of some slivers from the day.

March 22, 2011

trending down

Saul Bass is easily one of the great designers in graphic design history, known both for his pioneering film titles as well as for his logo design. I ran across a great blog post today by Christian Annyas showing how companies have changed (to put it probably too politely) some of his work since it was designed. (In the interest of full credit and disclosure, I found the post from a tweet by @trufcreative, which led me to a blog post by @LogoDesignLove, which led me to Christian's post.) I thought these deserved special attention as great examples of how "improvements" to a logo often end up being much weaker design that dilutes the strength of a brand. These "improved" logos fall victim to treatments that date themselves. While you could argue that these type of treatments might be appropriate in packaging or other materials that work with and around a logo, the logo itself should be clean and strong enough to be timeless. Christian's post shows many other Bass logos, and takes another angle on timelessness by noting the lifespan of them, the average of the examples he shows is 34 years. Lets hope the surviving ones live a lot longer without falling victim to shortsighted attempts to be trendy.
  • Christian Annyas: Saul Bass logo design - then & now
  • March 20, 2011

    rain or shine

    LA may be getting drenched by rain showers right now, but I wasn't about to let some rain dampen my excitement for the LA Galaxy home opener today. I decided to make the jump this season into doing games with the Angel City Brigade, one of the Galaxy's supporter groups that fills a section of the stadium and engages in organized chants and songs throughout the match. Considering the rain, I was impressed with the turnout for the pre-game tailgating as well as the game; and watching with the ACB was even more fun than I imagined. I really have to hand it to my pal Alan who was a great sport about standing in the rain for a few hours and putting up with the weather. Hopefully the rest of the season will be a little dryer. I already can't wait for the next game.

    March 19, 2011

    yet another gallery

    The latest chapter of the crazy whacked out climate change weather we've been having the last year is that we're actually having a weekend of normal winter weather this weekend: gray skies with clouds and rain. At this point, normal weather seems pretty unusual. Here's a gallery of some slivers from running errands today...

    March 16, 2011


    A last gallery of the weekend in Dallas; back in California now...

    March 14, 2011

    wind down

    A few more pics from the rodeo and my weekend in Dallas; it turned out to be a whole lot cheaper to fly back on Tuesday than Monday, so my Monday became partially a recovery day (late nights, plus time change, plus daylight savings all had taken their toll) and then roaming around Dallas with my friend Myron to some great hidden gems of places I hadn't been before, even when I lived here. I got to hang with my pal Glenn for a bit at one of our first stops before he drove back home, and in honor of Pi day, we ended the night with some pie. That turned out to take quite some effort to find at 11pm here. (who knew?!) All in all, a great low key wind down from the weekend.

    March 13, 2011

    growing up tiny

    Imagine being 7 years old, but less than half the size of most kids your age. Everything around you can feel like a maze of obstacles, yet at the same time, you're also surrounded by supportive and loving family, friends, teachers and even doctors. The conflicting feeling of being surrounded by so much is the basis of the open and look for "Growing Up Tiny: Kenadie's Next Chapter" created by jonberrydesign for TLC and Authentic Entertainment. The typographic elements represent the endless and somewhat invisible maze of obstacles that ordinary every-day things present for Kenadie, a seven year old girl with a rare condition known as Primordial Dwarfism; while the organic light orbs symbolize the emotions and support that surround her from all directions in her life. These converge with a warm palette of colors and light effects derived from the fall foliage and sunlight of her hometown to complete the graphics package for the show. Check out the complete open and graphics package at or at this link:
  • jonberrydesign: Growing Up Tiny: Kenadie's Next Chapter