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Created by broox on Dec 1, 2010
Last updated: 02/27/11 at 10:17 PM
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This is one of the best, most condescending emails that's ever been written about me. Back in my corporate days (circa 2007), a director sent this to all of information management.
Subject: Sorry to have to write this...
Folks, I'm confident that it's no one in our group - given your maturity and professionalism, but you can help me by spreading the word that the reoccurring stupid and immature prank of taking, or tearing, a "bite" from Friday donuts (and other food) and putting the remainder back into the box is a thing of the past, starting now. If you see anyone doing this in the future, please politely ask them to take the whole thing and not replace the remnant. Please also politely inform them that if I ever see someone biting, or tearing food to resemble a bite, and replacing the remainder, it will be a very bad day for that person. Again, sorry for the note and thanks for your help.
So a couple weeks ago I put together a timeline of my 2010 with plans of writing a year end blog... so now that you've forgotten about everyone else's 2010 retrospectives, here's 1 more.Every time I write these I start out thinking, "man, I didn't really do a whole lot last year," but after looking back through photos, blogs, and tweets... I'm quite happy with last year. I traveled a lot, saw a lot, became a bit healthier, and progressed professionally. All awesome things.So 2010 in a nutshell...Work...
At the start of the year, I began doing some contract work at Dipity, a San Francisco based timeline tool startup. After about 5 months of contracting, I decided I really liked working with the folks at Dipity so I left Red 5 and went full time. Since then, I've been working from home and travelling to San Francisco quarterly. It's an awesome gig - I'm really happy with everything I've learned so far and am excited for the next phase of Dipity.Travel...
Iowa City to bring in 2010 with friends
Minnesota for Bock Fest, Snowboarding with Tara, and Josh's 30th birthday.
Marion for Jeff's Birthday, Father's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas
Milwaukee to watch Ando sing at the Bucks game
KC for Nick's Bachelor Party
Omaha for Big Omaha
San Francisco three times for work (and play)
Quad Cities for Father's Day, Richie's 30th, getting an antique locker, and Christmas
Chicago for Father's Day and Lollapalooza
Lake Panorama for Jeff's Bachelor Party
Ireland for Kari and I's 5 year anniversary
Mount Vernon for Cornell Homecoming
I tried to think about my health a bit more in 2010. Just seeing a doctor is a big step for me... so I'm pretty happy with the steps I took toward becoming more healthy.I got glasses (after I decided to stop wearing them 5 years prior), tended to a couple skin problems (that I've had since High School), started walking the dog with Kari, stopped sitting down while working, stopped eating out for lunch every day, and lost weight.Shows...
Elton John, 80/35, Lollapalooza, PhoenixWeddings
Trent and Crystal, Nick and Nicole, Robyn and Joe, Anthony and Anna, Jeff and IuliaOther Events...
Finished my bee tattoo, Launched my first Android App, Adopted Garth Brooks, Leeperland shower, Bought Kari a new car, Tattooed my Shoulder, Featured in Juice Magazine, Holiday DinnerSo that was 2010... now onto continuing 2011.I'm not into the whole new years resolution thing, well aside from that resolution I made to wear a lot more tie dye tighty whities (and I can honestly say that I've worn tie dye tighty whities more in 2011 than any other year of my life). So rather than make a bad resolution, I guess I'm just going to continue trying to be better at everything I do - and there is definitely room for improvement. I'd like to continue working on becoming healthier, smarter, more efficient, better at conversation, etc.And with all that said, I'll leave you with a timeline that I built using the software I... built.Derek Brooks' 2010 on Dipity.Tags: none
And now for a story about Josh and I geolocating a random YouTube video - and how I'm amazed by how easy it was.So, this all starts with a conversation with my dad over the recent snowfall we've been having... He tells me about this Toro Power Shovel thing, which sorta looks like a vacuum sized, cheap snowblower. My dad said that he was super skeptical of this power shovel, but he tried it out and wound up being thoroughly impressed.Soon after, I passed this info onto my buddy, Josh. He's gotten around 3 feet of snowfall this winter, so he was immediately interested. We discussed how dumb the power shovel looks but started reading reviews and looking for videos of it in action (such as this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkJ8L19i6Tw).After a bit of research, we found out that people find this thing pretty handy and easy to store, so Josh ordered one.2 days later, I get an IM...Josh: I think those people in that Toro Power Shovel video that you sent to me are Nathan's neighbors
Derek: why's that
Josh: Polk County license plates
Josh: Looks like his neighborhoodSo I rewatched the video (if you haven't watched it, watch it now) and disagreed that it was his neighborhood. But being the geo-geeks that we are, we both wanted to find this house - so we made a game out of it. Could we (and how quickly could we) find this house?First we blew it up to full screen and looked for a house number (808) while taking mental note of what the house and its surroundings look like. Then, we listened for names in the video (Susan Appleget Hurst and "Jerry").Next, we searched online county records for houses with the number 808 (there are 135 of them) and tried to narrow it down by name. Unfortunately none of the county records matched their names, so we decided that Josh would start from the bottom of the list and I'd start from the top. All we did was look at the county's house photos and compared the ones that looked close to Google Street View.In less than a half hour from Josh mentioning the house being in Nathan's neighborhood, we found it (15.2 miles away from Nathan's house) at 808 52nd Place.It's amazing to me that given nothing other than that shaky video, we're able to (easily) find its exact location with a couple online tools.Is this a good thing? bad? I think it rules... but I'm sure many disagree. Either way... geolocation tools are becoming easier to use, more mainstream, and definitely aren't going away anytime soon. I am (still) super excited about them.Also, please don't steal Jerry's Power Shovel. He likely doesn't even live at this house since the name on the county record doesn't match. Plus, Power Shovels are only $100... and I'm sure most other garages around Polk County have full blown snowblowers that would be much more handy to steal!Tags: Tech, Web
A short highlight video from the wedding of Derek Brooks and Kari Reynolds - October 22, 2005.Cast: Derek Brooks
So I guess I should blog about Kari and I's amazing 5 year anniversary trip to Ireland...Starting off with travel... the flights weren't that bad at all. I mean, they were 6-7 hours, but having my ipad and an exit row seat made everything much nicer. If you're ever going on a flight this long, try to get an exit row seat (but beware - exit row window seats do not recline all the way). Another quick international travel trip: bring a 3G iPad, buy prepaid 3G SIM cards wherever you go. This kept us connected without roaming and saved us a countless number of times with google maps, etc.Day 1 - Kari's birthday
We landed in Dublin around 8:30am, caught a bus to Dublin city centre, found our hotel, checked in, and went to explore the town. The first order of business was to find an iPad SIM card then tour Guinness... both of which were accomplished.The Guinness tour was kinda... meh. You don't actually tour the brewery, you basically go through this massive museum style building that explains everything about Guinness, how it's made, etc. If you know anything about brewing beer, this was for the most part - boring. The advertisement and history stuff was the most interesting part for me. Plus, learning how to pour a perfect Guinness, eating lunch, and having a pint in their gravity bar was super awesome... food and beer consumption on Guinness grounds was definitely the best part.After Guinness we napped for a bit then I took Kari out for some fancy birthday dinner at a place called Fire. Afterwards we got a drink at Cafe en Seine, which was a beautiful place containing both trendy music and trendy people.Day 2
Grabbed lunch at this nice little organic joint called The Farm, and spent the day walking around Dublin. First, we hit up Trinity College, which is Ireland's oldest University (and puts Cornell's campus to shame). Here we spent quite a bit of time in Trinity's Library. I'm not really a library kind of dude, but it really is ridiculous. Firstly, it has the book of Kells inside (the 4 gospels of the new testament in super ornate print) from 800A.D. and secondly, it houses "the long room" which is a giant, open room containing the university's oldest books. It's the entire top 2 floors of this photo. Unfortunately, photos aren't allowed of either, so here's a panoramic of the library. After Trinity, I took Kari birthday shopping around Grafton street, had a pint in a random pub, and walked around Stephen's green park.That night we hit up the Temple bar area which is a pretty touristy part of town with some old cobbled streets and traditional pubs. It was quite fun.Day 3 - from Dublin to Kilkenny
The day started out with Kari stressing about our upcoming foreign driving adventure. With that in mind, we made sure we were well nourished and had plenty of caffeine, then walked to Thrifty to rent our Hyundai i10. Driving started off pretty bad, haha. The streets in Dublin are horribly marked, and most buildings don't even have legit street addresses. Combine this with driving on the wrong side of the street (and car) and roads that wind all over the place... it took us 3 times as long to get out of town than it should have.Once we got out of Dublin, things were smooth sailing all the way to the Abbeylodge Bed and Breakfast in Kilkenny. The hostess, Rosie was great. She pointed us to a nice cafe for lunch, great Indian for dinner, and an old witches house-turned pub for music. In between, we skyped, walked around town, and checked out the Kilkenny castle (again, no photos inside).Day 4 - Kilkenny to Killarney
After breakfast we checked out St Canice's cathedral, which was quite pretty then headed toward Killarney. On the way to Killarney we were able to check out the Rock of Cashel and Cahir castle, which were both great spots. The size of the Rock of Cashel was out of control. This was definitely one of my favorite castles.The drive to Killarney was great. The roads were all super fun and curvy, I loved it. In fact, I think that driving was my favorite part of the whole vacation. The roads we drive on in America are straight up boring compared to the awesomeness in Ireland.Once we got to Killarney we checked into the Chelmsford House, grabbed some food, then listened to traditional irish music at a great little pub called Sheehans.Day 5 - Killarney
The goal for day 5 was just to drive the ring of Kerry, which is a 100 mile circular route around a peninsula in southwestern Ireland. Unfortunately it was super foggy, but there was still plenty of beautiful landscape to take in. Plus, the roads were once again super curvy and a blast to drive on. It was an excellent way to spend the day.After the ring of Kerry we decided to take a break from the stout and Irish food to just have pizza and water in our room.Day 6 - Killarney to Doolin
After breakfast we drove and ferried toward Doolin, a tiny tiny town with nothing more than a few pubs, a couple shops, and some bed and breakfasts. On the way to Doolin we were able to stop by the Cliffs of Moher which are a group of 700 foot tall cliffs along the Atlantic ocean. It was seriously amazing. And was quite awesome to talk Kari into breaking the rules to explore a bit. For some reason we also decided to take 100 photos of ourselves while here.After the Cliffs of Moher we continued onto Doolin and checked into the Churchfield B&B (which had another excellent hostess named Maeve). Then, we spent the evening hanging out in the Doolin pubs where we had dinner and tried to drink like the Irish do... it was hard.Day 7 - Doolin to Galway
Woke up and had an excellent Irish breakfast from Maeve, shopped, then made our way toward Galway. On the way to Galway we stopped by the Poulnabrone Dolmen, a tomb built some time around 3,500 B.C. It was pretty neat and in the middle of an area called The Burren, which is this huge rocky landscape area that sorta looks like you're on the moon.After exploring the Burren a bit, we went to Galway where we checked into the Marless house and then explored the city. Galway was a pretty big college town, so it didn't feel quite as Irish as the small towns... but it was definitely a nice place that I could see myself living in. In Galway we basically just walked around, shopped, snacked, and had an amazing dinner at a place called Nimmos.Day 8 - Galway to Boyne Valley
After breakfast we made our way toward the Boyne Valley. This was one of the longest drives of the trip, so we weren't able to accomplish a whole lot, but we did get to check out a ridiculous tomb called Newgrange. This was another massive tomb built around 3000 B.C. The engineering of Newgrange was pretty crazy... The rocks that made up the tomb were all brought in from 50-100km away (even the big ones), and was designed in a way that the interior tomb is flooded with light every year on the winter solstice... There are plenty more details that I won't bore you with.After newgrange we checked into a fancy little B&B called Athlumney Manor, got some Italian food, then had our last pint of the trip at a local pub.Day 9
Woke up, drove to the airport, sampled a couple kinds of Jameson, and began the long flight home.All-in-all the trip was amazing. I think that my favorite parts were driving, the cliffs of moher, the Irish countryside, the whole pub experience, and of course being able to do all of that with my amazing wife, Kari. I'd definitely go back... but I'm packing Mountain Dew next time.
The rest of my photos from the trip are here.Tags: Travel
After editing the 2006 20/30 Road Rally Video, I was hired to both shoot and edit the 2007 Road Rally.
If you don't know anything about Road Rallies. It's basically a timed event that is not a speed event. You have several check points that you have to get to in a specific amount of time. However, you don't know what that time is, and you don't know where your destination is. Once you depart, you're given directions that are missing details like, "go x miles" and "end up here." They just have directions such as "turn right on 5th avenue - go an average of 35.67 mph."
So, this video is a basic summary of the entire day. It's all in chronological order and contains video from every "leg" and every checkpoint. We went all over central Iowa on an 8 leg, 300 mile course.
The video was shot by Zach Larson and I and edited by myself.Cast: Derek Brooks
Soooo, Lollapalooza is starting to make some really nice changes.First of all, the space. They expanded the fest grounds across Columbus (adding 4 city blocks of space) and moved some of the small stages over there. It definitely, definitely opened things up and made the entire weekend much more comfortable. Everyone was gushing over the new grounds.Secondly the water. They made a big effort this year to conserve bottles - so there was no more $3 smart water or wedging your water bottle into the crappy fountains. You could buy a little cardboard water bottle thing (or bring your own bottle) and get it filled for free at all these Event Water stations. We loved it.And most importantly, the shows..Friday
Devo - The dudes are like 60, but they still rocked it so hard - great visuals, outfit changes, ripping sleeves off shirts, etc. They were definitely one of my favorite acts this year.
The Black Keys - I've seen the keys before, so this was nothing too exciting. They don't put on much of a show, but they definitely sound amazing live.
Chromeo - Awesome. Just an all around good, fun, danceable show. Plus, the Robert Palmer backup singers were awesome.
Lady Gaga - This was definitely the best show at Lollapalooza this year. Lady Gaga is batshit crazy and it's awesome. Her show was a giant storyline with a mixture of pop, a hint of metal, a ton of outfit changes, and a few awkward moments. It was definitely a performance.
Against Me! - Meh. They sounded good, wore a lot of black, and were rocking pretty hard but I just wasn't feeling it.
Gogol Bordello - Great! I didn't really know anything about them, but definitely loved the show. They sounded good, were having a good time, and the lead singer was drinking a bottle of wine on stage. Gypsy punk!
AFI - The lead singer rules. I totally wasn't ready for how good they were gonna be live - they sounded amazing.
Social Distortion - Sounded good and played some good songs but it was a pretty blah show. Still, I'm glad I saw them.
Phoenix - I was completely torn between seeing Phoenix and Green Day, but since Phoenix was going to be in Des Moines the next Tuesday, I skipped this show and saw them in Des Moines. ;) They are ridiculous good live - this is another lead singer that sounds just as good live as he does on his albums.
Green Day - Super good. They were totally just up there rocking and having a blast - it was awesome. They Invited a ton fans on stage, talked kids into stage diving, gave away guitars - totally catered to the crowd. They even let one kid sing Longview (all the way through) for them.
Nervo (DJ set) - These girls are not really good DJs, haha. They played some good house and dance music, but they weren't really doing a whole lot - aside from looking cute of course.
Chiddy Bang - The vocals were kinda messed up, but it was still a great show. Chiddy can freestyle for sure! At one point he was even able to work "inflatable penis" into one of his rhymes, ha.
Erykah Badu - Showed up 20 minutes late, which was pretty annoying, but once she finally got on stage, she sounded amazing. What a voice!
MGMT - Sounded like shit, seriously. I was not impressed with this at all. They just sat there (no performance, no interaction), and the dude really can't sing. I was really excited for this show and was definitely let down. I'll just stick to listening their studio recorded albums.
Cypress Hill - Duh. This was a really good set full of great tracks (mostly weed inspired of course). B-real is awesome and so was the crowd.
Soundgarden - They sounded great, but they're just not really my thing. I was pretty sad when no one played the spoons on spoonman.
The partying wasn't quite as crazy as previous years, but it was still fun. Friday we laid low cause Harper and Tag (mostly Harper) were horrible at communicating.Saturday night: had a glass of scotch with Rico at the hotel then met up with Harper at this sweet little rooftop house party. It had a great view of downtown - and was DJ'd entirely by our cell phones, haha. After that, we of course went to Debonair where we danced, got photo bombed by David Arquette, watched Har Mar Superstar, and were generally rowdy. When we left the club we saw some craziness - in short: a dude ran over another dude's foot, then got out and started punching the hurt foot dude - all right in front of cops. It was awesome.Sunday night: went out for some dinner n beer with Jon and Liz then we all went to Debonair again with Harper. Sunday night ruled. Shots, redbull, good music, rocking - just an all around good end to the weekend.So yea - that was Lollapalooza 2010. I can't wait to bring in my 30th birthday at Lollapalooza next year. August 5-7 - you all better start planning for it. ;)
Here are the rest of my photosTags: Lollapalooza, Lollapalooza 2010, Shows
So a couple months ago I took a job that allowed me to work from home, and I wanted to share my experience so far.There are plenty of great articles and blogs out there like Goodbye To The Office, Your Office Chair is Killing You, Top 10 Home Office Hacks, Jeff Atwood on Working Remotely, and many, many others. Just google working remotely or telecommuting tips and you'll see what I mean.So after doing a bit of reading and making a few small changes in both my work flow and my home office, here are my suggestions...
Make your home office shine
or better yet - make your home office make you shine. Having a comfortable and versatile work environment is huge. Not only are you working at home, but you're also living at home... you better like it there.I find that versatility is huge for productivity. Being able to change up my work position and location is great. I've set my office up so that I can work while sitting at a desk, on a couch, or even standing. and of those three, I completely endorse standing and working - I've been standing 95% of the time for over 2 months.Stand up for yourself
I'm not the most in-shape dude in the world, but making the switch to stand-up working has been amazing. It was a bit straining on my neck and hamstrings for the first week, but since then - I've felt great. I find that I'm WAY more productive and can stay WAY more focused while standing. If for some reason I do get fatigued, I switch to sitting for a bit.Standing is also great because at the end of the work day - I actually feel like I worked. I want to sit down and relax for a minute. I never had that with my previous office jobs... I like it.If you want to give stand-up working a try (and I hope that you do)
Get an anti-fatigue mat, seriously. It's your new office chair and helps a TON.
Try not to use a laptop, or at least get an external monitor for it so that you can look straight ahead as opposed to down. This is just better posture and helps with the neck pain quite a bit.
Check out the Geek Desk. I just got mine and it rules! I can switch from standing to sitting on my yoga ball with the flip of a switch.
The next huge (and probably obvious) way to stay productive at home is communication. When you're not working together in an office, everyone has to make a real effort to communicate. In my situation, our whole team sends short update emails daily - basically just a list of what you did yesterday and what you will do today. We're also on IM all day, use Basecamp extensively, and have weekly video chat meetings. I highly recommend all of these things.Get in the zone
GET. IN. THE. ZOOONE. sorry... but seriously, find a way to get in the zone somehow. For me it's blaring music and dancing around while I'm stand-up working. This is much easier to do at home than it is in the office. ;)Visit the office
Even though today's technology makes working remotely way easier, there's still something to be said for in-person face-time. I'm 1800 miles from my office... So in my situation, I fly in to spend a week with the team quarterly. It's great for our relationships and great for being able to focus on the product together.
Perks of working at home
Not having to commute to work has saved a ton of money and wear on my car
Not eating out every day has also saved a lot of money. Plus I am eating healthier and have easy access to great snacks.
Having my own, clean bathroom.
Being able catch up on house projects, mow the lawn, run errands, etc. Not having to commute or take lunch breaks near the office gives me about 2 extra hours a day.
Being able to work on the back porch, in the sun, shirtless (cause I be stuntin like my daddy).
Challenges with working at home
Aside from the obvious challenge of staying productive, the biggest challenge for me is probably showering every day, haha. A lot of people say that a good way to stay productive is to start your day like you normally would when going into the office - take a shower, eat breakfast, get dressed, etc. I'm finding this doesn't really help me. I like to roll out of bed, eat, slam a dewski, and start rocking it.But I do find that showers make really nice breaks (as long as I remember to shower).... and I'm way more comfortable wearing gym shorts these days.Keeping your home life separate from your work life can be a bit of a challenge... but it's also sort of a perk. With everything being at home, it's much easier to break for something I need to do in my personal life and spend a bit more time working in the evening.Other suggestions
Take plenty of breaks. Everyone gets burnt out or hits brick walls, even after a couple hours. Take a few minutes to play with the dog, ride your skateboard around the block, weed the garden, take a shower, whatever. I've come back rocking so hard after nearly all my short breaks.
Keep a sigg, nalgene, klean kanteen, or just plain ol glass of water nearby. I'm really bad at this, but always trying to get better. Staying hydrated totally helps.
Keeping your office clean helps you stay focused.
Work without pants on. Trust me.
So yea... aside from all that - I'd say that one of the best parts of working from home is that every single day feels like the most productive Saturday you've ever had.I love that.Tags: none
Some before/after shots of a complete remodel/renovation done on a home in Le Claire, IACast: Derek Brooks
A couple months back, I started seeing things pop up in my Twitter stream about a little conference called Big Omaha. Some tech dudes and entrepreneurs that I follow were speaking, the content seemed interesting, and with Omaha being so close to home, I really had no reason to not attend. Plus, we rarely get baller tech guys speaking in these "fly over" states.So after talking to Nick a bit, we ordered our tickets. I'm so freakin glad we did.I haven't really ever been to any startup/entrepreneur conferences before, so the content just blew me away. So inspirational, so motivational. I'm pretty sure Nick would agree.It's hard to really pick all my favorite speakers, but the ones that REALLY blew me away were Scott Harrison of Charity: Water, Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library, and Tony Hsieh of Zappos.Scott Harrison's amazing/gut wrenching story and solid approach to charity was out of control. He literally had the entire conference choked up... while we were collectively emptying out our wallets. I really hope his presentation goes online so I can make y'all watch it. Totally awesome.Gary Vaynerchuk is the shit, but he's incredibly, incredibly humble about it.... j/k. His confidence and ego are both amazing and hilarious. It's awesome how much he "knows" he's the best in the world. I mean, I like to tell y'all how awesome I am - a lot. But the way this dude does it is amazing, and it is obviously working out very well for him. I also hope this presentation goes online. One of the best talks I've ever heard (...as long as you're comfortable with a million f-bombs).Tony Hsieh of Zappos is also ridiculous... Much more polished, but his values and ideas of how to build and run the best customer service team in the world are amazing. Their unique philosophies, interviewing techniques, and maintenance of employee relationships... Absolutely awesome. Again, I hope this presentation goes online... But if not, check out his book coming out next month.Aside from that, every speaker really had great things to say, even the girl who told everyone to leave their communities and move to San Francisco, New York, or Boulder... but a few of my other favorites were Dan Hauser of Grasshopper, Jason Fried of 37signals, Dennis Crowley of Foursquare, and Matt Mullenweg of WordPress.Anyway, yeah, so glad I went. I'm super excited for the future... Both with my full time job and side projects with Nick. I need to surround myself with much more of this stuff.
So, two and a half years ago I left my cushy corporate job to join a small marketing/web development company called Red Five Interactive. I made that move primarily because corporate politics bothered me... but I also wanted something with a little more freedom that would encourage me to learn new things. Red Five was exactly that.See, when I started at Red Five, I was an anti-mac guy; I hated the Apple fanboys. I had also never seen a line of Ruby code... and Linux sys admin was definitely not one of my strong points. Red Five, on the other hand, was an all Mac shop... that built Ruby on Rails apps... and would force me to become proficient in linux/unix sys admin.If that doesn't give you an idea of how in over my head I was... I couldn't even figure out how to get the OSX DVD into my damn G5 on my first day. Seriously.However, this is also the exact situation that pushed me to learn so much. Working with Rails (and our other engineer, Todd) has made me grow so much. After my time at Red Five, I am writing, building, and thinking better than I ever have - and I love it. Getting in over my head was one of the best things ever.I am absolutely happy with the experience Red Five has given me, and definitely happy to have worked with such a great team. Kristin is one of the hardest workers I know, Kathryn is one of the best web designers I've met, and Todd is one of the best engineers I've ever worked with. Combine that with Bob's obsession of client satisfaction... we had a great team - a team who taught me a ton.I could go on-and-on about projects and stories... but there are just too many. Plus, let's be honest - most of them are well documented on twitter.So yea. Yesterday was my last day... Craziness.Soon, I'll be blogging about starting my next adventure... working remotely for a little San Francisco startup.
I really hope I've gotten myself in over my head once again.
;)Tags: Red 5
So, most of you have probably heard by now that we adopted a new dog, but I still haven't given him a proper introduction to the internets. So here it goes.Kari and I weren't really looking to adopt a dog quite yet, but the situation sorta just fell into our (well, my) hands. See, Kari's mom is friends with a woman named Amy, who's a foster parent for a rescue league. So, one time while Kari was in Cedar Rapids, her and her mom decided to visit Amy for some "puppy therapy." ...sounds like a great idea, right?Shortly after Kari's visit, I got a call saying that she met "the sweetest dog" who "just needs a home" and that she "put in an adoption request." Gah! Was she seriously trying to adopt a dog that I hadn't even met? Oh, but don't worry, I was reassured that "we probably won't get him because another family already put in for an adoption request for him."Yeah... they changed their mind.So a while later, we drove to Cedar Rapids so that I could meet the pup (whose name at the time was Joey). He seemed like a nice, well trained dog - really socially awkward, but definitely a good dog. So we decided to bring him home.Most of you probably don't know this, but Kari has an ex-bf named Joey... and she couldn't possibly be telling our dog Joey how much she loved him. blah, blah, blah... girls. But on top of that, he also didn't really respond to the name Joey because, he'd already had a couple names in his life... so we decided to rename him. Apparently when adopting dogs with a rough past it can be a good thing to start with a fresh name to break any bad associations.So, this dog didn't quite have the strength and stealthiness of an ultimate fighting Ninja. However, his story is definitely country - so we decided to name him Garth... Garth Brooks.As for Garth's backstory - he was a stray dog roaming Keokuk, IA. He was obviously someone's pet at one point, because he'd already been neutered... but once he was found, no one claimed him, which means that he was basically put on death row.Shortly before he was to be euthanized, another rescue league in Cedar Rapids picked him up. Then from there, he went to Amy's foster home for a couple weeks and now here he is, living with us.Garth is a great dog. He's really building his confidence and seems very happy and comfortable. He's loving his new daily walks and is beginning to really like the doggy door. The only thing he really seems to dislike is the kennel... eh - in time.So there's your introduction to Garth Brooks. Now all we gotta do is let the thunder roll, and the lightnin' strike... another love grows cold on a sleepless night.
as the storm blows on - out of control.
deep in her heart, the thunder rolls.Tags: Garth Brooks
So, my buddy Harper is hooked up with all sorts of the right people. Sometimes it makes me a bit jealous, but a lot of the time I get to benefit from his hookups as well. This is a story of another one of those times.Last spring, Harper got hooked up with some G1 dev phones - you know, the very first Android phone. He basically had so many that he didn't know what to do with, so he hooked me up with one... He was sort of like the Google Phone Santa Claus.Fast forward to this February, Harper wound up with a few of the hot new Google phones. Having so few, he couldn't really be as generous with these, so he had a little programming contest with this group of tech dudes we chat with... and this is no lowbrow list of dudes; this is a straight up ill list of amazing developers and such. Whoever wrote the best app would get a free Nexus One.I really wanted to submit an app, however I simply didn't have enough time to learn Android dev and crank out something solid. Plus, I figured with the kind of competition we had, someone was SURE to submit something ridiculous. However, when there was only a week left in the contest Harper sent me an IM saying there was only 1 app submitted, "Mobile Meat." It was a bare minimum effort at the contest, so he told me I should enter something.After a bit of pondering, I decided to write a soundboard based on clips from my voicemail message (which Harper recorded while hacking my phone one night). Within probably 8 hours I had an app finished and available in the Android market. I was quite pleased with the development experience... and even more pleased when I won the contest and got a fancy new phone in the mail.Over the past year, I've switched back and forth between my old G1 and an iPhone. But now that I've used this Nexus One for a little over 24 hours, I have no idea how I put up with that G1 for so long - especially with that cracked screen. ;)The Nexus One is simply amazing. It feels much less like a toy than the G1; it's super light and thin but still feels solid. It's also crazy fast/smooth and Android 2.1 is sooo much more polished than 1.6. I hate to say this, but the Nexus One is right up there with the iPhone... Except with better resolution, a nicer cam with a flash, amazing google integration, facebook integration, google voice, navigation, and what's that other little thing? oh yeah, multi-tasking. Don't get me wrong, I love the iPhone as well. I just feel like I agree with the openness and "googleness" of the Android OS a bit more. If you're in that boat or you have an older Android device that you're frustrated with - do yourself a favor and upgrade to the Nexus One right now. You will fall in love.Now... if I can just keep from cracking my screen this time. ;)Tags: Harper Reed, Phone, Tech
4 years after releasing Tech Deck Dorks... Derek and Zach bring you another tech deck edit.
50-50s, kickflips, 5-0s, giant ollies, wall rides, ninja turtles, etc.Cast: Derek Brooks
About half of my readers are techie enough to share in this enthusiasm. If you're not in that group, just know that something awful is coming to an end. ...Like the end of of a war. The people - the big people, are killing all support of something horrendous. IE6.Check out this wonderful email that I (and probably a lot of us) got.
The Google Apps team
Sweet mother of awesome. Despite Microsoft claiming they're going to support IE6 til like 2014, big sites revolting can only speed along that process. I'm hoping that it will be phased out by the time the POS is a decade old... like XP. As of now, it looks like less than 5% of my site's visitors use IE6 (and only 30% use IE), which is much better than I expected.Phasing out IE6 and harnessing HTML5. Let's see what happens fo Flash after this... The internet is growing up.I haven't been this excited about a browser going away since AOL pulled the plug on Netscape back in 03.Tags: Tech, Web
So last night I dreamt about going somewhere with Kari, who (in my dream) routed our trip on my phone using Google Navigation.So in my sleep, I got my phone out, somehow unlocked it with my magical Android unlock pattern, and was looking at maps. The only thing I really remember is that the brightness of my phone woke Kari up, she wondered wtf was going on, and I couldn't explain it to her. I could not for the life of me figure out the words for google maps, gps, navigation, directions, etc... The only thing I could come up with was "the nightstand alarm map thing."I got pissed about my lack of sleep communication skills... but apparently there was more to the story. Here's an email from Kari this morning:
so last nite i wake up to you getting all excited, rubbing all over me, trying to make out and laughing hysterically...me: "wtf derek? what are you doing?"
you: "oh boy!" rubbing your hands together, and clappingthen i thought you went back to sleep, but a couple minutes later you were laughing, looking at your phone...me: "derek, what are you doing? go to sleep babe. you are dreaming."
you: "well! where is the map?"
me: i am getting hysterical now... "what map? what are you looking for derek?"
you: "well you said you had the map to the nite stand!"
me: "what?! you are dreaming... there is no map for the nite stand!"
you: "you're a liar! the map for the alarm on the nite stand! where is it? you said you had it!"
me: "derek! there is no map, you are dreaming! you aren't even making sense! go back to bed!"
you: "you are lying!"
me: "okay." hysterically laughing! haha!then you just got pissed, and went back to sleep. and when i tried to rub your back, you were real mad at me.. hahaha!
...At least I didn't pee in her closet.Tags: none
This is a video I edited for the 2030 Society of Des Moines. They shot some footage of their 2006 road rally and hired me to do a short edit as a promotional video for the 2007 rally.
The audio used is taken from a drumline that they shot video of during one of the rally's check points.Cast: Derek Brooks
My Cousin, Anthony came over and decided to jump off my deck a lot. Here is a short edit of his jumps...Cast: Derek Brooks
Public Juice is an old idea that Kevin and I had back in college. We filmed 2 previews for what was going to be our big movie.
Well needless to say, the movie never got made... so last spring, 2 years later, we decided to make a 3rd preview. We had it 90% edited and for some reason I just forgot about it. So a year later, I finished it up and here it is - the 3rd preview for our upcoming movie, Public Juice.Cast: Derek Brooks, Kevin Switzer
This is a music video I shot for the hip hop group, Rebels Advocate; it takes place in Maywood, a west side suburb of Chicago.
We had 1 day to shoot the video, no script, bad weather, etc. The whole project was sort of a mess, but it was a lot of fun and the video turned out pretty decent considering our situation. It was everyone's first music video, we had no budget, no equipment, etc. The only thing we had going for us was a common vision and lots of patience, ha. Check it out and please let me know what you think about it in the comments. I need opinions.
There's more info about the group Rebels Advocate at rebelsadvocate.com.Cast: Derek Brooks
I set a webcam up to make a timelapse video while I built my first shed. It's a pretty boring video, but whatever. Here's the end result...Cast: Derek Brooks
This was my first car - a 1963 Chevy II Nova. I bought it shortly after I turned 15 for only $1,500.
My dad and I spent the next 10 months restoring it - it was a ton of fun, we both learned a lot, and the car looked awesome. Then after driving it for about a year, I got slammed into by a woman, which totaled the car.
We have a couple hours of video shot during our restoration process, but it's very unwatchable... so here is a short edit of the work we did. No fancy editing, just video clips over music.
Warning, this will probably be pretty boring to everyone except my dad and I, but here it is anyway.Cast: Derek Brooks, Craig Brooks
This is the sequal to Eternal Apprehension; a story about the longest wait that Kevi ever has to deal with.
We figured that since the first one was so gay, we'd continue with the gayness.Cast: Derek Brooks, Kevin Switzer
In 1998, Me and Jeremy Ludin (Grub) teamed up with Boone Ebel and started to film the sequal to Supergrub (A High School project). We never finished the movie, probably because it was insanely retarded and basically just a big goof off... but I got out the raw version and edited what we had so far. So check out (what was going to be) the best movie ever. omg.Cast: Derek Brooks
Back in 1997 (my sophomore year of high school), we got an assignment to make a short movie. It had to be a classic story having a bad guy, hero, heroin, etc. The hero had to wear white, his partner had to wear another bright color. The bad guy had to wear black and the bad guy's partner had to wear red. The heroin of course, had to wear pastel. The movie also had to contain a couple camera asides, etc, etc.
One of the dudes in our group was nicknamed Grub, so we basically made him the hero - thus, Super Grub was born.
Super Grub is a pretty awful movie. The original edit was 25 minutes long with a powerpoint presentation as the opening credits and a piece of paper scrolling past the camera as the closing credits. It was pretty hilarious, but over the years, transferring from VHS to VHS, the quality just got super bad.
That said, I recaptured the raw footage and threw it all together again yesterday afternoon... cutting out over 10 minutes of chase scene.
So, here you have our high school project, Super Grub - a movie that is half bad acting, half chase scene.Cast: Derek Brooks, Craig Brooks
This is a story about the longest wait that I ever have to deal with.
We came up with this 'super short' in about 5 minutes (after our first film idea failed miserably).
P.S. - This originally wasn't supposed to be so gay... but during the editing I decided it was just funnier this way.Cast: Derek Brooks, Kevin Switzer
I filmed this "cribs" video for a few reasons. The first was because I wanted to see if I could do it. The second was so that my friends/family at home could see what my apartment is like. And lastly, I filmed it to sort of make fun/have fun with the MTV Cribs episodes.
Filmed by myself, my cousin Anthony Terronez, and KariCast: Derek Brooks
Good Morning America had a Cool Cubicle Challenge. I entered and this is the video I sent in.Cast: Derek Brooks
Derek Brooks and Zach Larson bust out their mad tech deck skills with tricks such as a 50-50, kickflip, 5-0, 360 quadruple kickflip, 50-50 Impossible, 8 stair 5-0, rail transfers, 5-0 to bluntside, etc. There is also a guest apperance by the crocodile hunter, wrestling a live croc!Cast: Derek Brooks
In September 2003 the Soap team setup a Soap Shoes demo in Saint Louis at Washington University. It features: Derek Brooks, Oliver Reed, Chris Komsthoeft, Alexei Tajzler, Zach Larson, Aaron Taraboletti, Jordan Muck and his buddies, Kevin Switzer, and many others. Check it out.Cast: Derek Brooks, Kevin Switzer
Cullen Wurzer, a 15 year old local inline skater tries on some Soap Shoes and busts out after only a few sessions.
This is the video that I put together for him to get sponsored by Soap.Cast: Derek Brooks
The next day after filming my "thug" preview, Kevi decided to film a 2nd preview for Public Juice. This one is pretty much exactly the opposite style - river dancing. (edited by Kevin Switzer)Cast: Derek Brooks, Kevin Switzer
Kevin and I filmed this as a preview for a movie we planned on making but had no idea what it would be about. For this particular preview, we were going to get a video of me acting like a thug, however I kept laughing so I just did a stupid little dance. That stupid little dance became an outtake. That outtake became our preview. (edited by Kevin Switzer)
I am an idiot...Cast: Derek Brooks, Kevin Switzer
This is an old tutorial I put together on how to build a complete skate board setup. It's pretty cheesy, and building a deck is pretty straight forward... but here it is anyway.Cast: Derek Brooks
Some outtakes, mistakes, and conversation about the Small CIA video my cousins and I made.Cast: Derek Brooks
While I was in college, my aunt and uncle asked me if I'd be willing to watch my cousins while they went out of town for a weekend. Since my little cousins basically rule, I accepted.
Beforehand, I was trying to come up with some things to do and thought it'd be a blast to spend the weekend making a short film... so I told my cousins to start thinking of ideas - and they did. Some awesome ideas.
So when I got in town on Friday, we spent the whole evening planning our movie. Then we spent Saturday filming this short video... which I edited in just 3 short sessions.
The film is basically about a CIA agent (myself) who loses a top secret disk. A couple spies (Gabe and Ethan) recover this top secret disk and attempt to decrypt it. So the CIA agent then hires a "Small CIA" agent (Anthony) to retrieve the disk before it's too late and they get our top secret info.
This was a blast to make and is still a blast to watch. Again, my cousins rule.Cast: Derek Brooks
March, 2002 - This is the 4th and last Soap demo that Derek did at Cornell. It features Zach Larson, Derek Brooks, Jordan Muck, Aaron Taraboletti, Tanner Gregory, Jake Runia, John Jakobsen, DJ Johnson, and many others.
Location: Cornell College, Mt Vernon, IA
Music: Beastie Boys - Intergalactic RemixCast: Derek Brooks