Genesis Electric - Branding

I was asked to create a logo for a good friend's new company, Genesis Electric.  Appears they are taking off rather quickly - good news!

They asked I use blue and green as their colors (though no specific shade/tone).  After several tweeks we arrived at a lightbulb shape that incorporates the 'G' and 'E'.  It can stand alone as a recognizable logo or the full text can be used which has been the case so far in their application (business cards, tshirts).  I also designed the business card.

Stand-alone logo for Genesis Electric

Logo with full business name text

 

Business Card

 

Black and whites


Skycrest Ash Wednesday

Here are some work-ups for invitations and handouts for a drive-thru Ash Wednesday service our church is offering.  On Ash Wed, during a small block of time in the morning, our Pastor will be set up right outside our church doors offering to put ashes on anyone who chooses.

Normally, folks who attend our Ash Wed worship service in the evening get ashes (which they still can), but only get to have it for a short time before going home, so this gives people a chance to wear the ashes all day.

This would be the front side of 4 x 6 inch postcard:

Ash Wednesday is, traditionally, a time when Christians prepare for the celebration of Easter by spending 40 days repenting of their wrongdoings.  It's a solemn time where one reflects on the sacrifice Jesus made.  Often, Christians will give up something in their lives (food, extra-curricular things, etc), and replace those things with prayer.

Magic Eye Music Video - Young Rival "Black Is Good"

Fans of the 90's rejoice.  Unless you never got the hang of the 'magic eye' - the quirky books where you stare at a seemingly random pattern on a page, relax your eyes, and it reveals such amazing images as: dolphin, sailboat, disembodied head.

I consider myself #blessed to have the ability to see these images.  Well some band I've never head of made an entire music video out of the neato science of magic eye technology.  I had to pause the video in the begin to get my eyes to focus properly because the moving 'static' seemed awkward, but once you achieve magic eye vision, you're rewarded with Young Rival's Black is Good music video.

Link to article source, plus alternate videos for those that can't relax their eyes and instead have to cross their eyes.

My Son, Imhotep

Today we're starting and finishing my 8 year old's winter-break homework:  create a costume of an ancient Egyptian architecht.  We chose Imhotep, a famous architect, doctor, physician, chancellor, priest, etc, etc.  One of a few 'civilian' Egyptians to gain God-like status after death.

I'll update this post as we go.

Step 1 is collecting supplies.  Fairly simple - hat, tunic, wesekh (necklace), some gold cuffs, sandals, and a few scrolls.

Doing Something Great For my Mom

My mother is an amazing person.  Selfless, caring, humble.  She's done so much for others that we (her kids) decided to do something for her.  She never would have agreed to it if we told her ahead of time, so we had to start it without her knowledge.  We want her to have a new kitchen.

The current state of her kitchen is awful.  I mean that.  I'm not exaggerating.  Because she tries to do everything herself, projects take a really long time to complete.  Since money is an issue for a single mom, working as a teacher, putting her daughter through college, we are calling on her friend and family to help out.  There are some perks to donating, and on top of that, you'll be helping out a truly deserving woman.  Check out more at our Indie GoGo campaign...

Laurel's Kitchen

The Wedding Tree

 

At their request, I painted this tree for my best friends Mandy & Eric.  It was their wedding guest book.  Folks put their finger prints and sign their name somewhere on the tree.  Mandy and Eric's are on the swing.  This was my first hands on, not digital project, for someone - at least in recent memory.  It was really neat to do this and for something so special.

I'm awful at documenting my progress.  You can see I tried, then gave up about half way through.  So these are the photos we got peeps.

 

Wednesday Night Dinner

You ever start a project, then have problems pop up?  Of course you have.  Isn't it satisfying when you can figure out the problem and move on to finishing the project?  Yes, yes it is.  Don't you just want to reign down fire and lightning from your fingertips, envoking death and destruction at your whim when you're several hours into solving a problem, and the progress bar on the computer says 93% complete, when a freak storm conjurs up right over your place of employment and in a blink of an eye the power in your office flickers and everything shuts down because we decided not to invest in battery back-ups for the computers yet we'll get to that in next years budget it's hours past the time I should have gone home our PETS HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!

...

So what's for dinner.

For those of you who followed along my Twitter last night (@tedrok), I'll be detailing my recipe and thoughts of the meal.

I found a recipe online for some sort of homemade General Tso-style chicken dish.  I had a chicken and my mom was at the store, so I had her pick up a few extras for dinner (fyi, my wife, 2 kids and I live with my mom and sister).

Here's the recipe as I jotted it on my phone:

Coat chick in 1c cornstarch, oil/pan few min, casserole dish, cover w 1/3 hot sauce, 1c brwn sub, 1 tb h2o, 2tsp app cid vin, .5 tsp salt, hour @ 325

So, Food Network, let me know when my new show starts.

I started with a whole Greenwise chicken from Publix (grocer in the south; excellent establishment; @publix).  Greenwise is Publix's all natural and organic products.  The chicken is labeled "Fresh from Florida" but I honestly have not done any research on these chickens, what farm they come from, or how they're treated.  I should as Publix today.

Chickens were on sale last week at $1.99/lb.  But the day I bought them the sale had just ended.  Luckily I'm comfortable wading through a dozen chickens to search for the best one - which I found in the back of the shelf at the sale price (last 2).

Buying chickens whole and carving them up is the cheapest way to cook chicken for my family.  The breast are usually one meal and the boned-parts are another, often with leftovers.  As mentioned on Twitter, learning to carve a chicken was probably the best piece of education I received during my short time in culinary school.  In about 5 minutes, I can have a whole chicken down to 9 parts (x2 breast, thighs, legs, wings, and the carcass (sometimes saved for stock or soup)).  Ziploc the stuff your not using and you've got dinner half-way done for another day.

Cubed the chicken into little chunks.  Threw a bit of cornstarch into a bowl and coated the chunks (probably would have been easier just to do shake it up in a gallon Ziploc).

At this point I should note that my family had just got home and I realized I got a late start to dinner.  They get cranky when they're hungry.  I shoved whatever light-snack food I could in front of them to keep keep everyone at bay.  It's the same method you would use if being chased by zombies and you throw an over-weight friend at them so you can get away.

My pan is on the burner, oiled, and warming up.  I always forget to preheat the oven soon enough.  It really should be the very first thing you do.  325 degrees for us today.
I had a decision to make here on how I would finish this meal.  The recipe calls for a light cooking of the chicken in the pan, then an hour bake in the oven.  That'd put us almost at bedtime for the kids so I cooked the chicken, almost through, in the pan, and decided to bake for a short time (more on this poor decision later).

As the chicken cooked, I mixed about a 1/3 cup of Sriracha sauce, cup of light brown sugar, bit of water, a couple teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, and a dash of salt in a bowl.
This was my first meal with Sriracha.  I see it all over the place, especially amongst the young, hip cooking gangs.  Never had a reason to buy it until today.
The first dark brown sugar box I pulled out ended up being old and is now a pathway brick in my moms front yard.

So at this point, the oven is preheated and I've already cooked the chicken almost to completion.  But I really wanted this sauce to meld and coat the chicken well, so I put it all in the casserole dish and let it bake.  For too long.  The sugar forms a nice shell on the chicken, but the chicken itself was so overcooked that it was like eating General Tso hard-candy bites.  Uhg.

Oh well.  My wife suggested next time I just cook the chicken, and do the sauce in a pot and mix at the end (like a Chinese food restaurant would do in a wok).

In the meantime I threw together some 5-minute rice.  I also wanted broccoli, but it was going moldy.  Instead I found a handful of mini sweet peppers we had as snacks (good with ranch or hummus.  Yum).  I just threw those in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes to heat them up.  Cut them into little chunks and threw them on top.  This may have been the best part of the meal - it complimented the sweet and spicy sauce just right!

Garnished with a few clippings of chives and the meal was done.  25 minutes before kids bedtime.  No worries though, 1 forced it down, and the other just wanted ice-pops for dinner.  I enjoyed dinner, but it's because I got the largest chicken chunks which were the least overcooked.

So.  My family was partially fed.  No one got dessert.  My mom ended up not wanting any part of the meal.  And everyone went to sleep slightly bitter about Wednesday.  Overall, that gives this dinner a 7.7/10.

I even Tweeted about it the entire time, which is surprisingly more difficult than I thought.  Lots of handwashing between cutting chicken and sugary sauce.  On a separate note, I made my first home-made Gin and tonic.  Success.

Good News

We just got our new pastor at church this month.  I work at a Methodist church in Florida as a Kids Ministry Director.  I like my job, I love these kids, and I'm very happy to be working with the people I work with - especially our new Pastor, Reverend Emily Oliver!

We now have two women at the helm of Skycrest UMC.  That's pretty exciting to me.  I'm lucky enough to have been raised by a family who accepts people - of any color, sexual orientation, or gender - as they are.  I knew/know women can be great leaders, hold positions in careers men do, and vise versa.  I spent a few years as a stay-at-home dad.  I spent time with my kids; raised them, changed them, taught them, and all the while I felt bad for my wife - a bit of a work-a-holic, and, so far, a career student (currently finishing her Masters of Divinity) that she wasn't spending this time with them.  I also know how hard it is to raise kids with a working spouse.  Most days are tiring, stressful, and busy.  I write all that just to say that I feel very lucky to be the person I am - I've never had to deal with gender issues holding me back from anything.  For a time, I worked as a Finance Director of a large Ford dealer.  I took the place of a woman who was demoted.  I'm treated as the most privileged type of person in the world today - a white male from the United States.  I have very little going against me.

So, I'm excited for our new pastor and the leadership of this church.  My wife is the Assistant Minister and Emily is our new pastor (we also have a female preschool director and female modern worship leader).  None of this really surprises me - if you look at the church congregation, most of our attendees are female, so this leadership is actually reflecting our gender breakdown.  But beyond having a correct gender ratio, we've got good leaders.  These two women leading the church aren't just there because they're women.  In fact, I'd lean more towards them being here in spite of being women.  I see our church and the Church heading in a better direction - slow, for sure, but it's moving.  There are plenty of issues to deal with besides gender equality, but I'm really happy to be working for two very smart, passionate, and spiritual leaders.

I want to brag about it so much to other people (especially other churches).  I hope I can be one of those guys that supports women.  I find it difficult, sometimes, to determine whether what I'm saying sounds supportive or not.  I don't want anyone to misinterpret what I say as "Oh, look at these little girls.  They've made it - good for you, honey."

I think that happens way too much - especially in church.  So, I won't say much more - instead I'll show my love, respect, and support by being a good employee, husband, co-worker, father, and man.

I'll finish with a conversation between our previous pastor and my friend, Michael, and an older female member of our church (we'll call her Edna), just before he left and it was announced Emily was coming.

Edna:  What do you think about our church having two female leaders?!

Michael:  Men have been doing that for two thousand years, I think we'll be fine.