Friday, December 30, 2011


I did a lot of things over Christmas 'break', but you'll have to excuse me for reporting on them all out of order. One of the more exciting and frightening things was taking a llama for a walk, and I'm going to blog on that one first.

For the week between Christmas and New Year's, most of my dad's side of the family goes 'up north' to Tomahawk, WI. Formerly the family cabin, my Aunt Andy and Uncle Paul remodeled and have lived there for many years. They get the distinct honor and pain in the neck of hosting us all at least once a year. Well as it turns out, my aunt knows a woman, Rachel, who owns llamas. One of the family outings was to her farm, to take her llamas for a walk.

Llama Farm

So what's it like to walk a llama? It's pretty much like leading a horse, if horses could spit and were incredibly willful. Llamas are strange and therefore unpredictable to the general populace, which I happen to be a part of in this matter.

My charming girl, who had recently fallen on a slippery floor onto a pile of poo, was very hard to read. Every minute or so, Prairie Flower would balk, and it was up to me to gently pull but not tug, coax but not demand, that she please keep continuing forward if it would please her thank you. As the walk went on, she started 'humming', which sounds like what I would imagine a sasquatch to sound like. Like Chewey, but not so dramatic. I tried scratching behind her ears to reassure her that we would be turning back and heading for home shortly, but she only drew back and looked at me in distrust.

Prairie Flower, Unamused

And distaste.

Prairie Flower, Annoyed

Everyone had a different experience on the walk, with very different llamas. Edie had a fairly easy time with her llama, Morning Glory.

Edie and Morning Glory

Edie and Morning Glory

Steve got the matron of the herd. She was not totally keen on walking but plugged away at the back of our procession for most of the walk. Her number of years was in direct correlation with the snaggleness of her teeth.

Rachel the owner and the oldest llama, with snaggleteeth.

Steve and ol' Snaggle Tooth

Ruben had what might have been the easiest time with the gelding of the herd, which actually seemed to enjoy the outing. It led the way and was amiable and possibly even affectionate.

Ruben and Coco

Sue's llama just seemed to be rubbing it in our faces. While most of us were anxiously trying to read our charges and figure out just how far back the ears would go before spitting commenced, Sue got fuzzy little kisses and all sorts of affection.

Sue and Her Amiable Llama

What a showoff.

Sue and Her Amiable Llama

However, one only had to look at Travis to know that one had it good. Travis spent the entire 20 minutes or so with a llama that seemed to hate him and everything he stood for, which in this case was only a simple walk in the woods. Twenty minutes spent at the end of a lead, avoiding the drops of spit when his llama sprayed the air in frustration (or apparently some dispute over hierarchy).

Llama Walk

Travis tries to avoid spit.

At last we arrived back at their pasture and set them free. You don't have to know much about llamas at all to sense that Travis' llama did not enjoy the outing or our company.

Travis' Llama Hates Us

Overall, it was fun and actually kind of an adventure. It's not often you get to participate in something like this.

Llama Walk

Llama Walk

Monday, December 19, 2011

Team Stampede Submission

The color isn't accurate (the purple should be a little more reddish, and less eye-hurty), but this is my submission for Team Stampede's kit. If they know what's good for them, they'll go with the purplest of all the kits.

Team Stampede Proposal

Team Stampede's page:
(For some reason the link option isn't showing up on the blog template...)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Merry Christmas / Prosperous New Year / Hey, thanks!

Holiday cards for many kinds of salutations. We got lucky at work and managed to beg the help of a couple of guys at the downtown Milwaukee agency Cramer-Krasselt, who took some great photos for us.

Hayes Components Chinese New Year

Hayes Components Holiday Thank You

Hayes Components Santa Upgrades

I made a few different versions- One for the Chinese New Year, for our guys in Taiwan, a simple Thank You with no 'cute' quips for our European customers, and a classic Santa/Christmas card for the heck of it. I think I might have missed the mark with the typography on the Christmas card, but overall I'm pretty pleased with the day's effort.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Cruel Mistress

I'm beginning to realize I use the term 'cruel mistress' quite a bit... in this case I'm referring to Graphic Design. My job at Hayes is drawing to a close, and I'm on the hunt for other design jobs in the cycling/outdoors/sports realm, because it interests me and because I'm efficient, proficient and elicit great sales in the cycling industry. (WOO HOO alliteration!) Recently I found what looked to be a pretty cool job that unfortunately pays a pittance. It gave a range that started at $20,000. And their ad got 60+ applicants in three days. I was talking to Robb about this job and just kind of hashing things out. It went something like this:

Robb: ...Yeah, but that salary at the high end is like working at Target.
Me: But they said they got 60+ applicants, and they even had a guy lined up to start in that salary range.
Robb: What happened to him, why didn't that go through?
Me: The person mentioned it but I don't remember.... I think maybe he starved to death.
Robb: Hah.
Me: Or it might have been some combination of exposure to the elements and starvation...

Point being, I'm not good at quitting while I'm ahead on jokes, and that times are tough, people! Boo Hoo for me, right? I swing between optimism: "Surely the universe will provide! Things will be ok after this little rough patch! Keep at it!" and despair: "There's nothing out there! And there are hungry designers dying of exposure who will surely take any job at any salary at any cost! Oh, the humanity!"

If you would like to help the universe provide, let me know if you know of anything.

This is my most excellent recent catalog that I use to lure potential employers in. Feel free to pass it on.


To the friends who've already alerted me to opportunities (you know who you are) thank you very much. It stocks the optimism that's in short supply.

Job Hunt 2012 continues....