I Offer You A Dead Mouse, Master

One of my cats decided to leave a trophy on my front porch today. A dead mouse. He was sitting right next to it, waiting for me to step outside. As I did step out, he proudly puffed out his chest, as if to say, “Here is a token of my love for you, master, now you can have a delicious meal tonight. Just pop the sod on the grill and slather on a heaping helping of your favorite barbecue sauce on it.”

I walked to the shovel, found a patch of dirt, dug a hole, put the mouse on the shovel, and buried the poor critter. When I came back to the porch, the cat who killed it and offered it as a trophy huffed indignantly. So I grabbed the pizza box with leftover pizzas in it, and ate it in front of him.

Hopefully he got the message, and will attack the pizza delivery guy next time, and I could get a free meal proper for a 26-year old master.

SotW – The Laws Have Changed

I’ve been in an 80’s music frame of mood this week, so it’s appropriate that this song of the week’s selection has a bit of an 80’s/new wave feel to it. The New Pornographers’ song, The Laws Have Changed, comes from their Electric Version album. I discovered this song from the fantastic selection of free music from Amazon.com.

For some reason, hearing the song reminds me of The Turtles’s song, Happy Together. Even though I haven’t heard the song since I first saw Making Mr. Right, starring John Malkovich, back in 1987.

Hear the new song of the week.

Why I Hate Designing Websites

Don’t get me wrong, I love designing websites, but providing the service to random strangers is what I hate. While talking to Erik (kartooner.com) about why we do what we do, and building standards-compliant designs, I realized a few things about my attitude about designing websites for pay.

I killed Designtopia, my site offering my web design skills as a service, because I got sick of people telling me to use marquee or blink text which are a usability nightmare for any website design, or to do anything outside what I know is the right thing to do with designs. I got sick of people emailing me and telling me to use a bright green font on a white background, which as you probably know, is very, very difficult to read.

I’m very picky, and I don’t want to make non-standards compliant or unusable website just because they pay me to. My goal is to make the web a friendlier place, not continue to facilitate 1995-like conventions that hurts the web, more than anything else.

Too many people think that because they paid you to do a design, gives them the right to email you everyday and make you do small changes on the site that you don’t like, that’s not what I do as a web designer.

You don’t tell a plumber who comes in how to fix a toilet, and you don’t tell a cabinet maker how to do his job either, so why do these people feel they can tell you what to do with their site? They don’t know better, they don’t know about usability, typography, whitespace, etc. As web designers, we’re trained in what works for a website the best, what will produce the best results, and what will help companies the most for their business. We employ tricks and semantically-correct conventions to ensure search engines like Google understands the content and gives a thumbs-up, thereby giving the site a better ranking and more exposure.

This is why I hate designing websites for random people. I’m lucky in that the past couple of projects I’ve worked on with Erik were with people that understood our talents and let us do what we do best. That’s why I figure as long as I stay amongst people who love standards-compliant designs, and work with people that want us to do our best, I’ll love designing websites.

SoTW – When The Night Feels My Song

Sorry about missing last week for the song of the week, so here’s a special one from Bedouin Soundclash, fusing rock and reggae with When The Night Feels My Song. It’s the perfect song when you’re smashed on some booze, and are looking for a nice fail-safe groove that feels good. Here’s the bio on this 3-man band with fantastic talent:

Bedouin Soundclash has emerged in the past two years as a young group refusing to be classified, while blurring the lines of reggae and rock. Jay Malinowski’s soulful wail and rasp rests on Eon Sinclair’s deep dubbing bass while Pat Pengelly drives a heavy rhythm, blazing their own path in the musical landscape.

When done checking out this song, head to their official site and grab the other two songs they make available for free.