Year: 2012

A Message to My 11 Year Old Self

I was thinking the other night about being 11 years old, and being afraid of my place in the world.  I was kind of awkward, super skinny, a little too smart for my own good, and yet not really committed to anything because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.  I felt like I was in a holding pattern, and one thing that really makes me antsy is being stuck in a state of limbo.  I’m not the kind of person who just “enjoys the down time” of routine.  I need things to change.

I thought about what I would say to 11 year old me.  How could I help him become the best me that I could be?  What advice could I give him that I wish had been given to me back then?  What could I say to him to reassure him that in the future, things are pretty kick-ass?

I think it would go something like this: Continue Reading

Best Comics of 2012

Adventure TimThis was the year that I went entirely digital.  It was also the year that my kids got more comics than me*

*physical comics from All new Comics only…I still get a lot of comics from Comixology.

Looking back at the end of the year, it was a pretty spectacular year for comics.  There was a bunch of awesome new stuff, some existing series got a shot in the arm, and the big two put out some really good stuff.

What surprises me the most about 2012 is how many comics I read regularly that aren’t from Marvel or DC.  More than half of my entire list now is comprised of stuff from Image or Boom! Studios. Continue Reading

Awesome FREE comics for your new iPad, Android or Surface

Saga

A splash page from Saga

So you just got a shiny new tablet for Christmas, well now it’s time to load that sucker up.

Luckily, ComiXology is available on all of the major platforms, and it’s the best way to read comics on a tablet.

Even better news is that Image has been putting out some of the best comics on the stands (digital or otherwise) for the last several years…and a ton of them are available for free on Comixology.

Continue Reading

I Live in the Future

For most of my professional life the saying has been “Five years from now”, as in:

  • “Five years from now bandwidth will be fast enough we’ll be able to stream HD video.”
  • “Five years from now computers will be fast enough to render video in real time.”
  • “We need another five years until a small hand held computer is actually a useful thing”
  • “We’re still five years out from having a computer that can go all day on a battery charge.”
  • We’re about five years away from not needing all of these wires.
  • In five years I’ll be able to take a credit card from anywhere.

I don’t know when it happened, but five years from now is here.

I watch HD YouTube streams on my 55″ TV all the time, I beam my desktop from my Mac to that same HDTV without the need of wires.  My wireless internet connection is as fast as I need it all the time.  I carry around the equivalent computing power to my desktop computer from 1999…in my pocket!  I regularly use a tablet that can do 90% of the things I need to do in a day, and which yields me about 8 hours of battery life easily.  My laptop gets me a good 5-7 hours of battery life most days.  I don’t worry about my data anymore because it’s all around me in the ubiquitous “cloud”.  I still carry a USB key on my keychain, but I barely ever use it.  I have an elaborate backup system at home, that failed me recently…and which “the cloud” saved me from without me ever knowing that I was in peril.

I get comics, magazines and books digitally, and when I want to read something, I can do so without ever leaving my chair.  We don’t have video stores anymore, if you want to watch a movie you rent and download it (either through a device like AppleTV, or your cable box), but more often than not I stream it from a streaming service like Netflix, where for about the cost of a couple rentals a month, I get a firehose of content.

That’s the thing about the future, it kind of sneaks up on you.

This week’s Best of List:

My DIG London experience

I had my first ever speaking gig last week, when I spoke at the Digital Interactive Gaming conference on the subject of inspiring teams through innovation.  I was incredibly well prepared, well practiced, had kick assed slides, and had what I thought was a pretty killer interactive idea.

My talk, called “Innovation Days for Small Teams”,  was really about fostering autonomy, mastery, and purpose in software development teams.  It’s something that I’m passionate about, and I believe that Innovation Days are one of the key things that changed the IT Department at Info-Tech. Continue Reading

My brother-in-law Chris

This has been a trying week for my family.  On Monday my sister Annette’s husband Chris went in for an aortic valve replacement.  He had a congenital defect which was causing his heart to pump less blood than his body needed, and it was making him weak as a kitten.  Chris is a mechanic, so he was pretty happy to hear about a new minimally invasive technique called the “keyhole” technique, which is performed here in London by Dr. Kiaii, the chief of cardiology at London Health Sciences.  He’s got an amazing rating on Rate My Dr, and there are tons of great articles on what he does.

Unfortunately the surgery didn’t go exactly as planned.  In order to perform the surgery the doctors have to deflate the lung, and when they went to re-inflate the lung after the surgery, it didn’t respond.  The doctors say he had an “inflammatory reaction”, and he has been in intensive care ever since.

It’s going to be a long road ahead, and right now they are looking for the smallest signs of improvement as steps down the road.  Chris is a great guy, he’s awesome to my sister, and treats my parents like gold, so it really sucks to see him like this.  Hopefully this is just a slight speed bump, and he’ll recover quickly.

Get better soon brother.

Update – November 17, 2012

Chris is out of the woods now, he’s getting his breathing tube out, and is making great progress.

Update – November 20, 2012

Chris is out of intensive care, and up in a regular room.  He’s got quite a bit of therapy to get his strength back up, but every day he’s getting better.

The More Things Change

I had the opportunity to go to Toronto to visit my old buddies John and Charles at 70 Main Street.  The boys from 70 Main Street did the redesign of TSN.ca back when we merged the TSNMax content back into TSN, and it was a sight to behold, still one of my favourite designs.  I got to talk to the guys about doing some major changes to Info-Tech, and bringing in an outside view (as well as getting an extra couple of pairs of arms working with me).

It was awesome.  Probably my favourite part of the day was the fact that because of FaceBook, we didn’t have the awkward “So what have you been doing for the last 10 years?”, conversation, which it would turn out was a crap ton of stuff.  Because the three of us are FaceBook friends, I know we’re all married, John has two boys around the same age as Kaylin and Maks, while Charles has a daughter just slightly younger than Maks.

Continue Reading

Digital vs Physical comic shops

I came to a realization this week.  We may have hit the time where there are more people with iPads than there are people with access to comic shops.  I did a little math, and based it off London Ontario (where I live).  We have 350,000 people in London.  Adding in the places within 30 minutes outside of London with no comic shop in their home town, we get to about 425,000 people.

London has 4 full time comic shops.  425000/4 = 106,250 potential customers per shop.  Multiply that by about 3000 Diamond Accounts, which means that approximately 318 million people have access to a comic shop.  Considering though that the best selling comic of 2012 sold 318,000 copies (for Walking Dead #100), we can probably assume that 5% of the general population is an agressive number…but for fun, let’s make that 10%, which means 31.8 million potential comic fans have access to a comic shop.
Continue Reading

The Digital Comics List – October 2012

ComicXology

My ComiXology list October 2012

I’m mostly off physical comics, with the only notable exceptions being stuff for the kids, and archived collections for myself.  By and large, just like with magazines, I’ve switched entirely to digital.

With Digital, I also find I’m sampling stuff I never would have before, simply because I don’t have to deal with physically storing them, and it is easier than ever before to buy something on an impulse.  If I read a review of something that looks interesting, in less than a minute I can start reading that comic.

This is something I’m going to try to keep up with every few months.

What I’m trying – this is new titles I’m trying (stuff I didn’t buy last month):

  • Batman – Death of the Family part 1
  • Cyberforce – Freebie from Image
  • Happy – a new Grant Morrison series
  • Revival – a new “rural horror” series
  • Uncanny Avengers – reading 1 month behind

What I’m reading regularly:

  • America’s Got Powers
  • Animal Man – reading 1 month behind
  • Batman and Robin
  • Earth 2
  • Glory – reading 1 month behind
  • Green Lantern
  • Justice League – reading 1 month behind
  • Lookouts
  • Manhattan Projects – reading 1 month behind
  • Saga
  • Swamp Thing – reading 1 month behind
  • Teen Titans  – reading 1 month behind
  • The Walking Dead
  • Wolverine and the X-Men – reading 1 month behind

 

52 Posts in 52 weeks

I don’t blog anymore.  I micro-blog a LOT (Twitter, Facebook, etc), but I went months without a post this year, and the worst part was a gross picture of my innards was the highlight of my blog.  That ain’t right.

I used to do at least one blog post a week, it was a summary of cool stuff I found, and what I was doing.  Looking back on those blog posts now is a cool look at who I was.  I want that back.

There’s no reason why I can’t get out 52 posts in 52 weeks, so this is the start of that.  Every Monday Morning you can expect a new blog post for the next 52 weeks.

Starting this week, I’m going to post the same thing, once a week, with the same format.  A little paragraph blurb, followed by the same stuff in the same format:

  • Album of the Week: (What I’m listening to)
  • Comic of the Week: (Best comic I read that week)
  • Book of the Week: (What I’m reading)
  • Podcast of the Week: (What I listen to on my way to work)
  • TV Show of the Week: (Best moment from TV that week)
  • Movie of the Week: (What movie did I see that week)
  • Website of the Week: (Best site I went to that week)

If I don’t have something in a category, I won’t add it.

Here’s a “for instance”, for this week, here’s how that looks.