The Church Sign Problem: An extended metaphor for many things in business and life.

    An established church in a small town has a simple sign by the side of the road. The town is growing and the road in front of the church is getting much busier. A new church down the road installs a large sign. Not wanting to fall behind the times, the established church installs a new sign, too. This sign allows the church to add custom messages to the sign by manually arranging letters.

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    Honda shows off EV concepts – and two new logos

    A new look and branding for Honda EVs Honda showed off two new EV concepts under the new Honda Zero brand at CES — the Saloon and the Space-Hub. Most of the coverage is focused on the futuristic looks of the concept cars. As someone who grew up going to the Chicago Auto Show and seeing the cars of the future, I’d temper any expectations that the final designs will be this radical.

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    Reset, Continued: 2024

    I adopt a theme each year and last year, the theme was Reset. That theme included focusing on physical and mental health, writing more, getting organized and rediscovering creative endeavors. I made progress with three out of four goals. I wrote more, getting my first journal article published and I have several others in the works. I’ve written more here on Micro.Blog in 2023. So mission accomplished. I did a good job getting organized, but I need to stay organized.

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    2023 Favorite Eight

    I always pull together my favorite eight shots of the year (as a contrast to those algorithmically generated “Best Nine” posts). I love that it gives me an excuse to go back over all of my images from the last year and relive a lot of great memories. Our oldest decided to attend the University of South Carolina and had a great first semester. Liz and I are notably bad a selfies, but this outtake was better than the actual selfie and I love it.

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    Milestone: My first published research paper is now online

    I’ve reached a big milestone in my academic career: my first published research paper. Brand new: How visual context shapes initial response to logos and corporate visual identity systems has bene published in the Journal of Product and Brand Management. It’s available now online and will eventually be assigned to an issue. If you have access to journal articles through a university or public library, you can access the article.

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    Absurd Ahsoka Finale Speculation

    Tomorrow night, the Ahsoka finale airs on Disney+. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve enjoyed the show. It’s not perfect, but I love Star Wars Rebels and it’s great to see a continuation of the story line. I’ve got a few absurd ideas about the finale that I figured I’d share. Our heroes are on Peridea, in another galaxy. Thrawn is ready to come back to the core galaxy, partnered with the Nightsisters, to restore the Empire.

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    Streaming killed the TV clip show

    Recently, we started rewatching Alias, the 2000s ABC spy thriller by J.J. Abrams.1 All five seasons are on Disney+ and we started from the beginning. Season 1 has 22 episodes, which was once considered a “full season.” Now, a streaming show rarely has more than 8 or 10 episodes a season. Alias became a hit and attracted new viewers over the first season. But in the broadcast TV era, there wasn’t an easy way for people to go back and watch the episodes they’d missed.

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    Sharing Apple News Links

    I get Apple News+ with my Apple One bundle and I actually use it frequently on my Mac. My local newspaper, The State, in included in News+ and I can read articles that are normally behind a paywall. Once I’m there, I tend to find other things to read and share. But sharing Apple News story links on social media isn’t always helpful since it obscures the real URL behind a redirect.

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    You are currently being recorded.

    Our neighbors installed a new security system a couple of weeks ago. When you walk anywhere near it – and that radius includes our driveway – a recording plays: “You are currently being recorded.” We have great neighbors, but when I first heard it, I was a little annoyed. My wife was irritated, too. Every time we walked to our cars… “You are currently being recorded.” A few days after this started, I was walking out to the car with my kids and the alarm system informed us that we were being recorded… and my 15-year-old daughter waived in the general direction of the camera, yelled “Hello camera” and got in the car.

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    The rush to hype

    Not everything is going to change the world tomorrow I’m not sure when the “hot take” era started. It predates the internet1, but social media really seems to have kicked it into the stratosphere. There’s a rush to hype everything as the next disruptive invention. Wearable devices. Foldable displays. Ride sharing and self-driving cars. Blockchain and cryptocurrency. Artificial intelligence and machine learning. AR and VR. Federated social media. While social media drives the hype train, it’s powered by money.

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    Star Trek Picard Speculation: Chekhov’s Starship

    What’s in Hanger Bay 12? WARNING: Spoilers and speculation about Star Trek: Picard. In Star Trek Picard season 3, episode 6, The Bounty, the USS Titan jumps to the Starfleet Ship Museum to get help from Commodore Geordi La Forge. The first exterior shot of the museum includes a selection of familiar ships (like the Enterprise A, Voyager and the Defiant) positioned in rings around the exterior of the space dock.

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    First impressions of the Adobe Firefly Beta

    The beta service gives some insight into how Adobe views AI’s role in the creative process. I recently got access to Adobe Firefly, a beta generative AI system. It’s not a surprise at all that Adobe is experimenting with generative creative tools. Adobe is clearly looking at ways AI can integrate with the tools that they already offer. Thankfully, unlike an earlier wave of visual AI tools, Adobe has trained their AI model on properly-licensed images.

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    Easy Category Pages in Navigation on Micro.Blog

    Customize your navigation with filtered categories When I first moved my blogging over to Micro.Blog, I struggled with the perceived rigidity of the navigation. It took me a little time to refine it, but I eventually figured it out. I’ve had a couple of people ask about my solution, so I figured I’d share a quick summary of how I set it up my navigation. It shouldn’t matter what theme you are using, but for my site, I use the Pure plug in, which is a good foundation to build from.

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    Reflecting on my first two months of being healthier

    Solid progress One of my goals for this year is being healthier. Eating better. Moving more. The hope was that by breaking some bad habits I developed during COVID, I could lose some weight and feel better. I wanted to post occasional updates to keep myself accountable. Two months in, things are going great. I feel significantly better — that’s the “metric” I care about most — and I’ve dropped a significant amount of weight.

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    My five favorite new Star Trek characters

    New Star Trek means new characters Star Trek is all about the characters and relationships on the ship. With all the new series on Paramount+, they’ve introduced a bunch of interesting characters that I’ve grown to love. With Season 3 of Star Trek: Picard starting next week, I figured I’d share five new characters1 who I’m glad are part of the Star Wars Universe. WARNING: A HANDFUL OF SPOILERS BELOW FOR DISCOVERY, STRANGE NEW WORLDS, PRODIGY AND LOWER DECKS.

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    Adding a "now" page

    I decided to add a now page to my site. My challenge was deciding what to include on the page. I already had a pretty complete about page. After looking at a collection of now pages, I realized that there isn’t a single formula or approach. So for my first attempt, here’s what I decided to add. What I’m working on Recently written Recent media favorites Active websites and profiles Social media accounts I also moved the status of the fish in the header to this page.

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    Medium length posts

    I feel like I always write things that are either “tweet” length or “long.” I don’t feel like I ever post anything in between. This tendency isn’t new… I’ve always written that way and I’m not sure why. Most of my favorite online writers routinely share posts of various lengths, but I’ve never changed my approach. As I try to get back in the rhythm of writing, I think I need to embrace the middle ground.

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    Moving past commentary-driven media

    Maybe it’s time for something different. For years, I listened to local sports talk radio on my commute home. I live in the middle of SEC country, and — especially during football season — the talk shows were full of callers who were mostly annoying and overly opinionated.1 The host of the show was great and I really enjoyed his commentary, so I kept listening. One day, after a particularly obnoxious sequence of callers, I tweeted something like “I’d love a sports talk show without callers” and tagged him.

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    Reset: 2023

    Trying to find balance I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I ever found my footing after the pandemic shut everything down. I’ve been trucking along keeping everything going, but the last half of 2022 was especially challenging. This rhythm and pace is not sustainable and it’s time to reset the balance between family, work and school. Family is first, as always, but even more so now that my oldest is about to head off to college.

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    Hitting the pause button

    Time to reset the balance “I don’t know how you do it?” I get this question a lot. I balance a full-time job, my family and grad school. I’ve been in grad school part time since I started my Master’s program in 2018 and I’ve become pretty good at carefully planning out and scheduling my time. In 2022, I never really had a chance to achieve a balance. At work, there was a lot of change.

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