Design is a Job


Design is a Job by Mike Monteiro is hands down the most useful thing I’ve read in the past month. Truthfully, “read” might be the wrong verb as I really devoured this book in one morning. For many creative types the world of accounting, contracts, revenue generation and account management is scary. This book helps to assuage those fears by providing strategies and best practices for dealing with the money-side of the creative services industry. While it may sound like this book is only useful for freelancers or people working within an agency, I’d recommend it to anyone who ever has to hire outside creative help, or really anyone running a small business. It’s that good.

Design is a Job is part of the “A Book Apart” series and is available in both ebook ($9) and paperback ($18).

AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker


I’ll admit that when my friend first sent me a link to the AeroPress Coffee Maker I was a bit skeptical. I thought he was maybe trying to clown me by getting me to post something odd and space-aged to the site. Then I remembered that my friends typically aren’t assholes. I also realized that we tend to value a solid cup of coffee.  I have yet to try making a mug of coffee with the AeroPress, but my friend claims that is “the best coffee. period.” Similarly, almost every review I’ve read online echoes that sentiment. You can buy the AeroPress online at Amazon for about $26 (it’s available for Amazon Prime too).

If you’re curious to see how the AeroPress works, check out this video:

Zero Dark Thirty


I was finally able to watch Zero Dark Thirty yesterday after it was released to buy and rent this week. It’s a truly excellent film, heavy on narrative and intrigue and not reliant on violence and dull action. It’s available to rent or own on Amazon, iTunes, etc.

Minnetonka Driving Mocs


There’s a great scene in HBO’s The Pacific where Robert Leckie – a marine who has spent the last couple of weeks getting the shit kicked out of him on Guadal Canal – breaks into the personal storage crate of a Army captain and steals two things: cigars and a pair of Moccasins. Others marines around him stole food, but the the moccasin choice has always made complete sense to me.

I’ve had the same pair of Minnetonka driving mocs for 5 years. They’re great for spring and fall, running errands, and silently sneaking up on people. Prices range, but you can get a pair for about $60 on Amazon.

Go do a Tough Mudder


Do you see the look of utter horror on participant 91118’s face? That’s because he just ran a mile and then jumped into a dumpster full of pink and purple ice water. It wasn’t enough to just jump in though, no he had to submerge, swim under a barrier, and then steady himself enough to pull himself out. This is the first of 25 like-minded obstacles strung across a 12 mile course. This is a Tough Mudder. It will likely take you months to train for for a Tough Mudder. You’ll be subject to electric shocks, fully submerged in mud, freezing cold, and likely bleeding, but you’ll still emerge; like those at Agincourt bloody but unbowed.

There are no official winners (in fact, you have to help everyone running complete the course). Finishing a Tough Mudder is the reward. You also get a slick head band and a beer. There is also the additional satisfaction of someone in casual conversation saying, “Oh, I’ve done a mud run too!” Just smile and nod.

Offerman Woodshop’s Big Sticks and Kindlin’


Nick Offerman, best known for being the actor who plays Ron Swanson, is also an accomplished woodworker. Earlier today I found out that his woodshop has an online store. Bigger items like desks and tables are called “Big Sticks” on the online store, and smaller items like the moustache comb shown above are called “Kindlin’.” Apparently there’s more kindlin to look forward to; in a recent AMA on Reddit, Offerman said that they’re trying to produce and sell a bunch of “Hobbit Pipes.”

Woodwear Sun Glasses


I have one pair of sun glasses that I wear irregularly, so when someone I know sings the praises of a sweet new pair of shades, I listen. The other day my friend was showing off a pair of Woodwear Sun Glasses and I thought that they looked very fresh. The designs aren’t groundbreaking (but that’s a good thing), the real differentiators are that the frames are made from sustainable Bamboo and the lenses are polarized.

You can check out various pairs of Woodwear Sun Glasses on their website, prices range from $85 – $120.