You know, when you’ve been out of the blogging game for as long as I have – You can’t even figure out what you’re going to title your posts.

I’m SO sorry that I have basically dropped off the face of the blogging world but lately I haven’t been able to find anytime to write a half way decent post. (See this one for example). And because I haven’t been able to write anything half way decent, I’ve just kinda…

Stopped writing. (#):(

Why I’m Not Writing
I’ve been thinking about this one a lot and while there are a ton of reasons, I think the biggest one is that I’d like to think that my posts have always been of pretty good quality. (Or so I’d like to believe anyway). I know I’ve said it before, but when I write posts, I tend to have my posts blocked out for the entire week and when I start one I’ll write a draft, revise it sometime later and then finally eventually post it with some pictures when I think it’s pretty good.

With how my time has been lately, I just don’t have the time to do that, and at the beginning I just thought it’d be ok because I’d eventually find the time to post some quality stuff. But I haven’t. And then after that I didn’t want to just occasionally pop on to the blogosphere with a random post here and there I mean, usually I’m writing 5 posts a week. That’s what I’m supposed to do right?

Why is this Blog Here?
The easiest and truest answer is that I like talking to people about my common interests. But in its current form, Bush Mackel exists to discuss technology, video games, blogging etc… Now that doesn’t mean that the “truest answer” and the “current form” of the site are contradictions of each other but somewhere along the way I started blogging with a very professional mindset. Which is GREAT don’t get me wrong, but at the same time I think I started imposing a lot of standards on this place which I tried to adhere too. The problem with it now is that I don’t honestly believe I can still blog regularly and live up to these standards.

So What Do I Do?
I don’t know. I miss blogging. I want to blog. But I don’t know that I have the time TO blog anymore, at least not in the capacity that I was. And a lot of that DOES have to do with my job which is very different than the one I had before it. This job pretty much takes up all of my time and the people here are a lot more friendly than at my last so there’s always someone over my shoulder which means it is a STRUGGLE to try and blog from work.

Plus, it doesn’t help that outside of having to show up and the 45 minute commute on both ends, I really don’t mind my job. It pays very well, the people are good and the projects are interesting. Now if my blog were making enough for me to live on, we obviously wouldn’t be having this conversation but the truth of the matter is that it is not and I don’t know that it would anytime soon w/o me spending a LOT of time on it.

If you’re looking for a conclusion to this, you’ll have to look elsewhere because I don’t have it. I remember when I brought all this up in the past, someone said they understood me taking sometime away from my blog because “work comes first”. That statement stuck with me because if you get to know me, you’d understand that that statement really bothers me. Well, let me say this – Work coming first over my blog wouldn’t bother me. My 9-5 over my blog does. I could go on and on on this point but if you’ve read this blog for a while, you probably understand what I’m saying. Thankfully, even though I haven’t been working on my blog I have been working on my design company and I think it’s coming along nicely. Hopefully soon I’ll have my first client too.

But yeah, I just don’t know what’s going to happen to this blog. I’m sure it will continue but I’m not sure when and I’m not sure how. It’s killing me that I can’t find the time to update it, but I don’t know that I can find the time. I just don’t know.

teddY's Great New Design!

It’s not too often on here that I write posts about art or design, but maybe because of my latest efforts in that field or maybe just because I secretly like this stuff (which is odd for a programmer)…

I felt compelled to shed some light on teddY-risatioN’s new design!

Before he released it today, I really didn’t think that I could like it as much as I did his old theme, but he really surprised me when it was unveiled and it absolutely floored me!

So Many Things To Love!
It’s hard trying to comment on the design because there are so many good things about it (imo) but I’m going to try my best and see what I come with…

  • The Colors – He uses blues very well in this design… And all of them combine very well in the background and in the header and in the teddY-risatioN text. Furthermore, where he uses lots of other colors (in the header nav) and in the sidebar, they go very well there too. In the header the colors on the nav are blended very nicely so they don’t seem out of place, but are still different enough from the background to standout. In the sidebar the colors are a bit more grabby, but it works really well in the white area me thinks.
  • The Top Nav – On most sites, (like this one currently) the top nav is usually just text. But teddY went out of the way to make his special and you see that with the cool Chemistry like symbol buttons. Very fresh and creative plus it certainly draws your attention in because of its uniqueness forcing you to check out areas of the site that would probably otherwise go overlooked.
  • Sidebar – The problem with a lot of sidebars is that they always have to that delicate dance of “how much content” vs “how long” but here it is done quite well and attractively using collapseable areas.
  • Footer – I’m a big fan of having footers on your blog, (even though I haven’t done it here) and putting a lot of good information in it. teddY also does this one well by adding a lot of good information down here that regular readers will love to see, but making sure not to have anything in there that’s WAY too precious (imo).

Again, well done teddY and I hope next redesign on here I can come up with something half as good as what you have!

Videogame Round Up 4-2-08

It’s been a hot minute since I talked anything video games right?

(Of course that’s probably because I haven’t gotten some regular posts on here in a while, but whatchya gonna do?)

So I thought that I’d just start up a conversation about what I’m playing, what you’re playing, and what we may be missing out on.

Honestly, there are a lot of games that I’m kind of in the middle of right now that I’ve wanted to write some reviews for but those kinds of posts I really need to block out time for, so until then…

Super Smash Bros Brawl
This is the current hotness that I’m rockin’ and the latest reason to dust off your Wii. (In case you were wondering, these reasons seem to come every 6 months or so). So far I’m really enjoying the game and I’m working through the 1 Player mode to unlock all the characters. I’ve yet to play a game against friends yet and I’ve also yet to take it online either because recently I’ve had a hard time getting my Wii connected to my network. But that seems like it could be the result of SOMEONE in my house port fwd’d everything for Starcraft games. *rolling eyes*

Burnout Revenge
No that’s not a typo. Being as how my wife gets downright bitter when I spend ANY amount on games, I bought the cheaper Revenge before I got Paradise even though I had it on XBox. But that’s ok because for one, I’m addicted to achievements and for two, I never got far in the XBox version because I think Prince of Persia distracted me. I’m pretty far in the game right now… If I can find the time this weekend (ha ha) I may actually be able to finish it. Doubtful if I’ll be able to get all those online achievements though. I played a couple races online and just got WAXED.

Rock Band
I finished the Guitar on Expert, now I’m working through Vocals on the same level. And before you ask, I do NOT fancy myself a singer like some of our other bloggers, but I just like trying to 100% games. After this, it’ll be time to hardcore start on the Drumming. (#):) And BTW, that game is awesome and I’m very glad I bought it even if it DID cost $160!

You may have thought that when I beat this game that I was done with it. NO CHANCE. I still have to go back and get 3 straggling achievements. The biggest one on my hit list right now is clearing a stage in 5 seconds. I’ve managed to get 6. ARGH!!!

So that’s what I got. And I know I’m missing some good stuff out there. What’s everyone playing nowadays?

The Design Site is Up

I was so happy when I finally finished the new look of my design site last night.

Obviously this was the main project that prevented me from posting on here (or at least that’s my story) and it has been a monkey on my back for a really long time.

Of course in the grand scheme of things, getting the site up probably isn’t the biggest thing I’m going to have to do. THAT dubious honor would probably fall to attracting clients and getting work.

Bethesda Web Design
As you’re probably already aware, that’s the name of my design site/company. Recently, amongst the 3 or 4 big projects that I’m focusing on for the future I decided to make this one a priority because I thought it would be the quickest avenue for me out of the 9-5 that I could find. Additionally, I’ve had design clients in the past that I’ve had on retainer and it’s really nice to know that your hosting costs will be covered month to month without you having to go out and get people to say…

Buy ads on your site. (#);)

The Design
I’ve said it before but I think it deserves repeating, I don’t fancy myself a designer. I like art, I like design, but coming up with original work in that area is a bit of a struggle. So coming up with a look for the site that I felt good about was a very taxing endeavor. And unfortunately (or fortunately), I had to come up with something good because I couldn’t sell my company knowing that my site was utter trash. Thankfully before I started the site (and my company in earnest), I did what any upstart does and order really flashy and expensive business cards. (#):)

Sure that doesn’t sound like a good thing (buying expensive cards before you have a site or anything), but the company I went to make my cards also did free logo design and consultation. And what they came up with helped me out quite a bit. In fact, what you see on the site as far as the company’s logo is about exactly what you see on my cards. Sure it’s not super over the top, but it definitely works for what I needed.

The Main Content
Outside of the logo is the main content, and I needed to find a way to present everything in a way that was clean but still (pun not intended) flashy. What I came up with was what I think of as very clean (even if a bit too simple) layout, where my main content is presented with animation in a Flash movie and I came up with the message, “Because everyone deserves a unique home on the web”. Recently with my projects, that whole ‘message” thing has become very important for me, and I think that’s what really drove me to overhaul the site into what you see today.

What Do You Think?
I know the readers of this blog (the few of you who are left) are a very talented sort. I’m hoping that you’ll check out the site, and let me know what you think of it. What you like, what you don’t, and what I can do to improve it. Much appreciated and can’t wait to see what you have to say!