Friday, May 21, 2010

Going green with Greenie

A year ago in November, my bicycle (Greenie, in case you were curious about its name) was in an accident that scratched its paint job, ripped a small hole in its seat, and disconnected its front brake line. I was content to leave the cosmetic damage as-is (though, now that I think about it, I should probably cover up the holes in the paint before they rust...), and, not being a hardcore biker, I was also content to let the front brake line flap in the breeze. The back brakes worked fine, and I just never could work up the motivation to take it to a shop!

Then everything changed! I joined this biking promotion thingy which I'll tell you about in a minute, and then I received a coupon for 20% off any REI product, and I thought, "Now is the time to take advantage of this coupon to buy a new brake cable, so I can ride my bike more and better to make the best use of my biking promotion thingy!"

So today I grabbed my REI card and my purse and a pair of pliers, and pulled Greenie out of the shed so that I could take off the old, broken brake cable to bring to REI as a guide for buying a new one. Upon some examination, I realized the brake cable wasn't actually broken at all--part of it had just slipped out of its notch. It took me 10 seconds to put it back together.

Oops. I spent a year and a half riding a bike with no front brake when I could have fixed it in 10 seconds. Well, the good thing is my coupon for 20% ended up saving me 100%! What a bargain!

Now, are you curious about this mysterious biking promotion thingy?

Consider this. 40% of urban travel is within 2 miles, and 90% of those trips are by car! 25% of the US carbon dioxide emissions come from motor vehicles! I had no clue about these statistics until I lifted them from the promotion thingy website – and I will probably forget them tomorrow, since numbers go in one of my eyes and out the other – but I can comprehend this little equation:
happy planet earth 
More bike travel + less car travel = happier planet!  See? -->

So how do we achieve this end? By riding our bikes instead of driving on our day-to-day travels? You betcha! And there's a certain biking promotion thingy that will make it easy and fun and will not only make the earth smile, but will also support your favorite bike-related nonprofit!

It's the Clif 2-Mile Challenge! If you have a bike, I encourage you to register and join a team (I'm on the Gold Team)! If you don't have a bike, they even have a tool that will help you custom-make one of your own! Get cracking now! It will encourage me not to get distracted by other things. Later on, when I don't have a vacation to get ready for (and assuming I don't get distracted with other things), I might even send you a challenge.

It will be fun!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Yep. Still Famous.

I am proud to announce that I have found more of my clip art floating around on the Internet. Like the question mark stock photo that appeared on a Russian site on international driver's licenses and the graphic of bottles and cans a retail/food service website used on a page that no longer seems to be working, I not so long ago found my trusty "bottle pile" image (seen below) on someone else's website (you have to click on "give away" or "find" recyclables and then pick a state before you can see the image in use).

It's kind of an awesome website, by the way—it connects people who have recyclable materials to get rid of with people who collect recyclable materials. If you ever hoped to get a little money for your massive collection of old newspapers (annoying housemate, I'm talking to you!), I recommend visiting this site – – and trying it out!

Woohoo! My graphics are being used to such a noble end!

plastic bottle pile

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Well, the great Procrastination Project is finally finished (I do not recommend trying to do in two weeks what you should have been doing the entire semester), but I have to say that in spite of all the agony that it's caused me, I like the way my portfolio came out. My professor even complimented me on it when I brought in my display board--ooh, I could have just melted--such a welcome change from the days when I was always being told my work needed to be more "polished!"

But hey! Relentless cheeriness is no fun! Let's take a look at some of the lowlights of my creative process.
  • January 27: Delighted to learn that I could do a digital portfolio (getting designs to print right is my constant Waterloo). Promptly proceeded to suffer creative block.
  • March 3: Was told I was behind in my work and I needed to start designing things (excuse me! I was setting up the perfect architectural framework! Function before form!)
  • March 10: Had to nix glorious plans for interchangeable layouts (à la CSS Zen Garden) when I learned that my digital portfolio and all printed collateral (résumé, business card, etc.) had to have a consistent "identity."
  • March 11-April 26: Worked at a leisurely pace and took frequent breaks for computer games and shopping.
  • April 27: Suddenly realized that I had a week left before the project was due, and I still needed to build 4 web pages; write and design and print a resume, cover letter, business card, and CD cover; update all the descriptions in my database, move the site from my local machine to my Web host, purchase a new domain, set up the new domain, take screenshots of the website and put them on a CD, mount the resume, cover letter, business card, and CD cover on mat board, come up with a catchy catchphrase, repair all my broken JavaScripts, and other things that I have blocked from my memory.
  • April 28: Became very crabby.
  • May 2: Finally finished with printed collateral; took printed collateral files to Fedex Office and had printed. Got home and realized I needed 2 copies each of resume and cover letter and I had only printed one. Also realized I had not printed the text on the business card.
  • May 3: Took files to Fedex Office again and had printed. Received parking ticket. Went home and learned that documents were full of typos and needed to be printed again.
  • May 4: Took subway to DC to purchase mat board. Walked half mile in search of Fedex Office but never found. Walked another half mile to Staples. Was obliged to purchase a 10-pack of black folders even though I only needed 2. While paying for excessive quantity of folders, learned that I had left my debit card at ATM on the previous evening. Walked to art store and then back 3 blocks to bank to cancel debit card. Got blister on foot. Put on band-aid which promptly fell off. Returned home. Prepared documents for taking back to Fedex Office again, then tried printing on home printer. Finally, a highlight! They printed without the ugly lines that I had previously believed my printer put on everything! Cut out business cards, realized text was positioned wrong. Printed again. Mounted everything on mat board, then realized I needed to mount the CD cover as well. Rearranged everything on mat board, leaving glue marks in inappropriate places. I think this ends my litany of lowlights.
  • May 5: Delivered portfolio collateral to University. Received compliment. Rejoiced.
    Returned home. Ate ice cream. Obsessively recounted everything I had done, waiting for another lowlight to present itself. It didn't.
And your reward for reading through that protracted tale of portfolio? Behold!

If you find a typo, please break it to me gently.