National Author Promotion

The local coffeehouse I work for was happy to host a booksigning for acclaimed author Lee Child. There was a ton of information I had to fit into a poster (including debating and deciding to mention the date twice) with only a week until the event to promote it. The booksigning was a huge success.

Photo used with permission.

Photo used with permission.

Library website search function

Our library site needs to work many patrons, searching for many things, many who may have limited knowledge of the web.  The library site features many original articles and information, but is also a jumping off point to other websites and resources. I created this search function to assist patrons in finding what they need.
NOPL-searchOur original search function featured only the catalog (it is still our most popular search, so it’s the default function). This still searches the catalog, as well as library events (an external site), our library site, as well as Google for those who are searching anywhere else (this is especially useful for our library computers for patron use, which is bookmarked to open to our website).

Another Library Website

I was happy to assist the Skaneateles Library in switching over to their new website. I assisted in moving their code successfully from wordpress.com to their own website, as well as making code fixes, and adding new code & design elements (donate button, latest additions section).

SkanLib-Screenshot

 

Design website producing

Complicated here. I helped curate the website of a national design company. They already had a great design, and used Squarespace to set it up. I learned how to use Squarespace’s method of web curation and editing (which were finicky at times) which leaves the user with a clean and professional website. I was mainly involved in adding in the product pages and galleries, minor site adjustments, and making the footer section editable in a single area (instead of on each page). Here’s an example of a product page:

brownlie-screenshot

Coffeehouse Menu

In November of 2012 I used my Photoshop and photography skills to create a Menu for a local coffeehouse I work at. Some of the images used were free stock photos used with permission, some (including the cover) were my own creation. Photoshop is great for designing, but the local coffeeshop only had Microsoft Publisher, so in the Summer of 2013 I went about transferring the whole menu to Publisher so it can be edited by employees in the future.

View the full menu (in pdf form) or view page 4:

creekside_menu_web_Page_3

Library website

I’ve worked at the local library for a year now. Here’s what’s been done on the website so far.

NOPL.org website

NOPL.org website circa May 2013

Some changes since May 2012 include:

  1. Embedded Facebook “like” widget
  2. Improved webpages for LibraryFarm, NOPL Knitters, and more.
  3. Created a “Sign up for events” widget on the right nav, which uses a schedule plug-in to keep users up-to-date on upcoming events with links to sign up.
  4. Shrunk the header to take up 50% of the vertical space it had previously used, allowing more content to move “above the fold.”
  5. Made the “six colorful boxes” into css/html code (they were originally images), improving SEO.
  6. Created separate event pages and home page promotions for the “slider” (slideshow with image).
  7. Improved catalog search function to submit on hitting enter.
  8. Reduced reliance on Flickr by using image gallery plugins available for Word Press CMS webpages.

Presidents Podcast

I have currently produced and edited four podcasts on the American Presidents, a gossipy audio chat between a few non-historians with little accuracy (and sometimes a bit of willful ignorance).  The latest is on James Madison.

http://presidentspodcast.blogspot.com/

I’m in charge of the audio (using two decent mics, as well as a camera microphone for guests, recording and editing through Adobe Audition). Sometimes our dog or our heater messes up some of the audio, but overall a clear listen.

May 2013 Library promotions

Photo used with permission. Had to extend the background out to make it all fit nicely in the frame.

Photo used with permission. Had to extend the background out to make it all fit nicely in the frame.

Photo and M logo used with permission. I love designing movie posters. I created the logo used in the Movie series, as well as the cropping, the text adding, and the moving things around to look good. :-)

Photo and M logo used with permission. I love designing movie posters. I created the logo used in the Movie series, as well as the cropping, the text adding, and the moving things around to look good. 🙂

April 2013 Library promotions

Photo is in the public domain. This promotion is for a slideshow sign. I'm disappointed to add text over the crisp old photo of downtown Syracuse. In my flyer I made I'm allowed more room to feature both the text and the image.

Photo is in the public domain. This promotion is for a slideshow sign. I’m disappointed to add text over the crisp old photo of downtown Syracuse. In my flyer I made I’m allowed more room to feature both the text and the image.

Photo and clip art used with permission. Usually not a fan of clip art, but I had an idea of an atomic soccer ball. I used a soccer ball image, photoshopped to look like clip-art, and added an actual clip-art of a nucleus. Tada.

Photo and clip art used with permission. Usually not a fan of clip art, but I had an idea of an atomic soccer ball. I used a soccer ball image, photoshopped to look like clip-art, and added an actual clip-art of a nucleus. Tada.

March 2013 Library image promotions

Hooray for more clean and simple promotions!

Hooray for more clean and simple promotions!

Photo and logo used with permission. I really like this, other than the logo in the grass... couldn't decide how to deal with it, so I just glowed it to the max.

Photo and logo used with permission. I really like this, other than the logo in the grass… couldn’t decide how to deal with it, so I just glowed it to the max.

Photo used with permission. I created the logo, which was a lot of fun.

Photo used with permission. I created the logo, which was a lot of fun.

Image used with permission... very 2001, plus I featured a brain trick in the text, which I'm quite proud of.

Image used with permission… very 2001, plus I featured a brain trick in the text, which I’m quite proud of.

February 2013 Library Promotions

Photo used with permission. Had to move the two subjects apart to fit the text in, they had to angle them to keep the eye-line correct.

Photo used with permission. Had to move the two subjects apart to fit the text in, they had to angle them to keep the eye-line correct.

Photos used with permission. Tons of information and three photos.

Photos used with permission. Tons of information and three photos.

Photos used with permission or fair use.

Photos used with permission or fair use.

Photos used with permission or fair use. A lot of information and images to throw into a single promotion seen on a video screen.

Photos used with permission or fair use. A lot of information and images to throw into a single promotion seen on a video screen.

Photo used with permission. Probably one of my favorite flyers, because of how clean it is.

Photo used with permission. Probably one of my favorite flyers, because of how clean it is.

Photo and font used with permission. Actually had to photoshop it: hued it blue, cropped, and changed the dial from slightly cold to awfully chilly.

Photo and font used with permission. Actually had to photoshop it: hued it blue, cropped, and changed the dial from slightly cold to awfully chilly.

Photos used with permission. Actually three different clip arts, a simple brown bag, an easel and a single paint brush merged into this promo for a kids program.

Photos used with permission. Actually three different clip arts, a simple brown bag, an easel and a single paint brush merged into this promo for a kids program.

Photo used with permission.

Photo used with permission.

December 2012 Library Promotions

Here’s some work for December events. My job, as usual is to crop and add text.

Image used with permission.

Image used with permission.

Image used with permission. Nice images tend to make nice posters but I also like how I set up the date and time.

Image used with permission. Nice images tend to make nice posters but I also like how I set up the date and time.

Image used with permission. Lacey picked this image for herself, all I did is crop and add text.

Image used with permission. Lacey picked this image for herself.

August library promotions

Image used with permission.

Image used with permission.

Bubblemania_signchannel

Image used with permission.

Image used with permission... movie posters are always the easiest images to transfer into a nice flyer. Those Hollywood types know what they're doing.

Image used with permission… movie posters are always the easiest images to transfer into a nice flyer. Those Hollywood types know what they’re doing.

Coffeehouse panorama

Always a nice feeling to be retroactively paid for work you did for fun. The full size of the original file is 97MB. Later featured in promotional material for the bookstore and coffeehouse.

Taken from six different images. Pretty proud of the result, minus one rag I failed to photoshop out successfully. Left in.

Taken from six different images. Pretty proud of the result, minus one rag I failed to photoshop out successfully. Left in.

Library Promotions July 2012

Moreland-Sign-Channel

Image used with permission.

Images used with permission.

Images used with permission.

Herb-Academy-Sign-Channel

Why did I decide to spend time having the text of each herb be overlayed with an image of said herb? It’s called passion, people! 🙂 Image used with permission.

Money-Sign-Channel-August6

NOPL

Began work at a Library Assistant in Public Relations at the Northern Onondaga Public Library. I’ve created flyers, handouts, webpages, video promotions, took photos, wrote articles, and led the web presence (website, facebook, twitter, wordpress).

For just some of my work, visit www.nopl.org

What Child is This

IMG_5082

My first child was born in May of 2012, with the assistance of two doulas (one was in training). While they were busy assisting my wife with a contraction, I went ahead and clicked a few photos.

I’m happy to report one of the photos won the “Capturing the Doula Spirit” photo contest by DONA International, the largest Doula association, and featured in their magazine, International Doula.

388682_10152724476335296_2047830378_n

Doulas of CNY Logo Fix

Here I’m not creating a new logo, but taking their current logo and recreating it vector format for higher resolution use.

Here’s their original logo in the fullest resolution they had available from the designer (295×200). It would show up blurry on business cards.

DulasLogo-old

Here’s my recreation in Adobe Illustrator. I found the correct font, made the background transparent, and turned the drawing into separate vectors:

DulasLogo1

 

Doula website

greenidea

Screengrab of the old Doulas of CNY website.

I assisted the Doulas of CNY with updating their website. The original site was created using tables, and I moved much of it into div tags. I created a photo gallery using embeded Flickr slideshows, resubmitted photos that were high-quality but shrunk to thumbnail size, to increase the speed of the loading time. I updated their homepage, and made occasional event updates. They remade their website for the better in 2013 (without my assistance).

The Buñuel Riots

376_Un-Chien-Andalou131222This article originally appeared in Brush off the Dust on November 22.

I’m a fan of history and film, and with recent riots hitting news (especially stupid riots) I was reminded of the most famous civil unrest at a movie theater, the Buñuel Riots. Rarely does a movie lead people to attack the screen (unless it’s with popcorn), but Lois Buñuel’s did that, twice. Yet, early film history is like all history, full of half truths and half lies. Since we’re all starting off unclear on what exactly happened, I’ll start with what I know so far. Continue reading

Skaneateles, a history of false etymology

I grew up on Skaneateles Lake, one of the cleanest public lakes in the world, Syracuse’s drinking water, and one of two locations where hydrofracking is banned in New York State. Other than the beautiful lake, the beautiful village, and the exemption, Skaneateles-ians have something extra special: a love for the word Skaneateles. It’s a weird love.

It certainly was not love at first pronunciation. It can produce anxiety in those new to the word, and most telemarketers give up without even trying. Those who try are bound to fail. Twice over the last two weeks I’ve heard it pronounced “ska-needles” and “skittles.” I applauded their effort and laughed in their faces. It’s “skan/ee/at/eh/liss” or “skinny-atlas.”

Another reason for our pride and love of “Skaneateles” is its meaning. Everyone agrees Skaneateles is an Iroquois word, and for good reason, it’s the truth. Most people agree that it means “long lake,” and for good reason, it’s the almost the truth (“long water” is more accurate). But my interest does not lie in the truth, but in the lies. The fictional origins of “Skaneateles” are more fun than the truth. Continue reading

Van Buren, the first worst president

van-burenTruman gets a bad rap. He dropped the atomic bombs, he failed to reign in Stalin, and led America into the Korean War. Nevertheless, he led America out of World War II and depression, saved Western Europe from Stalin, and promoted a wise domestic policy. There was little Truman did that FDR would have disapproved of. When Truman left office he had few supporters. Historians and octogenarians agree FDR is one of the greatest presidents. The Truman fan club is much smaller.

The same situation goes for Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren. Van Buren kept many of Jackson’s cabinet and continued most of his policies. Yet, Andrew Jackson is on the ten dollar bill, and the best you can say for Van Buren is he was mentioned on Seinfeld. Has Van Buren’s legacy been as unjustly maligned as Truman?

No. Continue reading

Script Doctor: USA vs. Brazil

On July 10, 2011, USA played Brazil in the Women’s World Cup quarterfinals. After an exciting first 90 minutes (including a few controversial calls), the score was tied 1-1. After scoring within two minutes of overtime by Marta (don’t forget to yell her name loud, reach to the sky and roll the “R”), Brazil holds on until the man-down USA team scores the tying goal with seconds remaining. USA wins in penalty kicks, and celebrations continue today. I must admit, their win still makes me smile.  Continue reading

Spielberg’s Dueling Movies

Steven Spielberg will be releasing two directorial efforts this December. One, “War Horse,” looks like a standard Spielberg drama. The trailer is filled with filled some jaw-dropping images, including a shot of a woman opening a door reflected on a horse’s eye (reminds me of a similar scene from “Citizen Kane” involving a snow globe). The trailer doesn’t say much, in fact, it plays more like a silent film, with only one character giving any dialogue over John Williams’ always-cinematic score.

Five days earlier, Spielberg’s “The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn” will come to theaters. Spielberg’s first animated film, it looks to be a twenty-year labor of love, though we’ll see how he and Janusz Kamiński deal in a new medium.

Two movies in one year (actually one week) might seem like a rare accomplishment, but it is not without precedent for Spielberg. Let’s look at the director’s previous bi-annual-release track-record, and maybe get an idea of how 2011 will fair. Continue reading

Cohan vs. Cohan

In 1904, George M. Cohan wrote the patriotic ” Yankee Doodle Boy.” In 1906 he followed up with ” You’re a Grand Old Flag.” For July 4th, I decided to review the eight-line choruses of each, comparing and contrasting. Continue reading

A to Zeppelin: Encouraging you to buy albums I’ve never heard

I do not own a single Led Zeppelin album, nor have I ever listened to one. All my “get the lead out” knowledge comes from radio. So I decided today to review all nine Led Zeppelin albums. How? Because I taped every song off the radio.

Led Zeppelin defined my 40 minute bus rides during my junior year in high school. This was thanks to a local station’s decision to play their entire catalog, A to Z, one Labor Day. Instead of spending the day at a barbecue or taking a last swim in the lake, I sat in my room with a stereo and five 90-minute cassette tapes. From “Achilles Last Stand” at noon to “Your Time is Gonna Come” at 7pm, I hit record, pause, and sometimes, a quick rewind. By the end of the day I owned hours of hard-rock Tolkien-inspired music. Continue reading

LBJ: First and Last, Anything but Average

Every six years Siena College releases a poll of the Best Presidents of all-time. Usually the race is between Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, but in 2010 Franklin Delano Roosevelt came in first. This might irritate some (like some historian friends of mine), but I want to look beyond the top and focus on the fascinating. Continue reading

Yay Barca, Nay Yanks

I broke my most important sports commandment. The five commandments are as follows:

  1. Always root for Syracuse.
  2. If Syracuse is not involved, root for an Upstate New York Team.
  3. If not Upstate team, root for Team America.
  4. If not any of these, and the teams are evenly matched, root for a good game.
  5. In all other games (99% of them), Always Root for the Underdog.

Then along came Barca. Continue reading