I know why Walt did it

Posted on 9:33 PM, under

Last week the Bunk clan rolled through the happiest place on earth.

Maddy’s 4th birthday would be spent celebrating at the house the mouse built.

Of course, high on the checklist of to-dos was getting our picture taken with Minnie and her boyfriend Mickey.

Pretty quickly, we headed back to ToonTown and got to queuing.

Maddy was excited, her brother was sleeping (what a dud) and Wifey and I were ready to digitally capture all of our little girl’s giddiness to relive over and over (most likely after she moves out and we just cry for our lost youth).

We were brought into “the meeting room” where we waited behind a few other people for our turn.

That’s when it happened. As we were spinning to get the cameras ready, pushing the stroller in, asking Maddy how excited she was… I noticed the group who was meeting with Mickey and Minnie in front of us.

It was two parents there with someone who was obviously their son. They were probably in their late 60’s if not 70’s. Their son was a middle-aged man who clearly had some type of mental handicap.

What hit me like a frying pan was the smile on his face. Just beaming. Just pure happy. His parents… so happy. Then click, click, click… picture, picture, picture… and they were out the door.

I, a total stranger, stood their sharing their moment.

I started to cry.

I know why Walt did it. Why he built this whole place. Why he created characters and dreamed the way he did. Because everyone deserves to smile. Everyone deserves to forget about their sometimes trying situation and just be happy.

Certain people work harder to facilitate those happy moments for others.

Walt might have worked the hardest.

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Posted on 1:56 PM, under

It’s ingrained in us.

“No is the hardest thing to say.”

They say…

Don’t be afraid to tell your kids no.

You’re busy, don’t be afraid to say no to things.

Think about your stress levels.

Think about all you already are doing.

But, I think we’ve created a culture of no.

Strike that.

I know I’ve created a culture of no.

But it’s not negativism

It’s not actual cynicism.

It’s disguised lethargy…or maybe fear.

No means no commitment.

No means no exhaustion.

No also means no great reward.

Yes is a risk.

Yes is an investment.

Yes might just be your next big thing.

Here’s to making yes the new no.

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Carlsbad Surf Report

Posted on 1:31 PM, under

These waves are calling our names. The countdown has begun. We'll have to settle for 4 footers.

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Creativity isn't...

Posted on 9:48 PM, under

Sometimes I confuse creativity with productivity.
Sometimes I confuse creativity with craziness.
Sometimes I confuse creativity with originality.
Sometimes I confuse creativity with obscurity.
Sometimes I confuse creativity with restlessness.
Sometimes I confuse creativity with artistry.
Sometimes I confuse creativity with fervor.
Sometimes I confuse creativity with expertise.
Sometimes I confuse creativity with faculty.
Sometimes I confuse creativity with magic.
Sometimes I confuse creativity with inspiration.
Sometimes I confuse creativity with perspiration.
Sometimes I confuse creativity with decisiveness.
Sometimes I confuse creativity with contrarianism.
Sometimes I confuse creativity with resolution.
Sometimes I confuse creativity with clarity.
Sometimes I confuse creativity with disruption.
Sometimes I confuse creativity with angst.
Sometimes I confuse creativity with perfection.
Sometimes I confuse creativity with elitism.
Sometimes I confuse creativity with wisdom.
Sometimes I confuse creativity with godliness.
Sometimes I confuse creativity with integrity.

Then I remember creativity is all of those things and none of those things and just a little bit more.

Then I get back to work.

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The difference 3 minutes can make.

Posted on 10:29 PM, under

Today sucked.

That's just honesty.

Discouragement was in the driver's seat and took me for a ride.

I don't know why. Frankly, most people would look at my day today and say it was fine if not moderately above average.

But for me it was rough.

Gray clouds and more gray clouds.

And then it happened.

I got home at 10 and there she was hiding in a closet waiting to surprise me.

The next 3 minutes were magic.

It was nothing more than putting her to bed. Praying a little prayer. A kiss. A hug. And then whispering the same 6 words into her ear that I whisper every night (sorry, those 6 words are our secret.)

I don't know what I would do without those 3 minutes with my 3-year-old girl who doesn't believe in gray days.

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Eight in 09.

Posted on 4:46 PM, under

I somehow managed to finish eight books this year. Some were great. Some were good. Some were just for kicks. But eight. For me with everything I've got on the fire, that's a good number. Now, if I don't put down a challenge for '10 I won't be motivated. So nine is the number. I actually started number one today Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (even though it's not the new year yet.) But I'm still counting it.

What was the best book you read last year?

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Albums of my year (2009 edition)

Posted on 8:37 PM, under

Well, it's that time again. Time to get opinionated and share my picks for the best albums of the past year. To be honest, I thought overall this year was little dry. I still find myself listening to a lot of stuff from last year with a few exceptions. Then again, maybe I was just more distracted and listening less. Either way, these first 4 albums are hands down GREAT and I've chosen to list them in order of enjoyment. After those I put a few albums that received quite of bit of playtime and were enjoyable in an honorable mention sort of way. Let me know if I missed any stellar works from 2009.




(in no particular order)
Paper Route - Absence
Metric - Fantasies
Derek Webb - Stockholm Syndrome
Jesus Culture - Consumed
Eisley - Fire Kite EP
Switchfoot - Hello Hurricane
Phil Wickham - Heaven & Earth
Waterdeep - Pink & Blue
Bethel Live - Here is Love

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Stumbling Along

Posted on 1:45 PM, under

"He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles."

--C.S. Lewis
The Screwtape Letters

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5 Years ago tomorrow.

Posted on 10:52 PM, under

On the eve of our 5th anniversary, I wanted to share 5 things that still amaze me about my beautiful bride.

1. The feel of her hand in mine.
2. The fact that my day is usually pretty gray until she calls just to see how it's going.
3. That she loves to sing...a lot (but only her favorite songs and just for me and the kids).
4. That her favorite verb in the world just might be cuddling.
5. That smile. Trust me. If you've ever met her, you know what I'm talking about.

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There is a show you’ve never heard of…that airs on a day you don’t know…on a cable channel you probably can’t find…that’s about some people you couldn’t care less about…that has almost certainly effected your daily life in a way you’ve noticed, but not correctly attributed to its influence.

The channel…AMC
The night…Sunday
The show…Mad Men

Its viewer ship is paltry, roughly 1.6 million weekly. That may seem like a lot but keep in mind iCarly can pull 7.9 million viewers. Heck, even a terrible reality show on during primetime on a major network will get over 3 million before it’s canceled. 1.6 is barely scraping by.

And yet it has become this lexical ziggurat of pop culture influence; by not kowtowing to the masses but by delivering a program so rich with minutia it can only be appreciated by a select few.

The rub…the select few who watch Mad Men with keen intensity, the few it does dazzle and woo on a weekly basis, are the precious minority who decide what the rest of us will consume, purchase, and crave.

How so?

An example.

You may want to purchase a new pair of pants. Sure you have the power to decide where you will buy those pants from, what size you will buy them in, and even their ultimate color. What you don’t have control over is what pants the store will offer for you to purchase. But guess who does?

The guy parked on his Eames lounge on Sunday night who happens to love the way Donald Draper’s 1960 suit pant is cut.

Who else is tuned in?

The guy who designs the car you drive.

The girl who decides what hairstyles every model will have and thusly you will desire.

And the other 1.6 million designers, artists, influencers, decision makers, and cool cats who create everything from the products you’ll find at your favorite neighborhood Target to the horn-rimmed glasses you slip over you ears to get a crisper view of America’s Got Talented Dancing Singing Stars (coming soon to ABC).

I’m not trying to make us as consumers seem like mindless slaves to the elitist whims of Nova watching art snobs, but the reality is, we only have so many options. Most of us lack the time (and know how) to create the things (like clothes) that will determine whether we lead the pack or gently blend in.

So just get comfortable with the fact that, yes, you can pick out your own pair of pants. But your choice was really made by a guy or gal watching a show you’ve never heard of…that airs on a day you don’t know…on a cable channel you probably can’t find…that’s about some people you couldn’t care less about.

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I've heard this story several times over the years. Seen this father and son featured on quite a few news shows. And yet their story still tears my guts out every time I see it. I just watched this video at Panera and I wept like a baby in the corner. There are so many quotes in it that make me feel like such a whiner in life. What a jolt of reality. If this doesn't have an effect on you, you may not be human.

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Advice for any young creative

Posted on 8:09 AM, under

I found this on my computer this morning. A coworker asked a bunch of us to write some advice for a friend of hers who was graduating and going into the creative/advertising business. This is what I wrote to her, but stumbling across it this morning, it was actually affirming to read it to myself.


You are already a creative person.

You already have the ability to create. The skill that you are going to learn to hone is the ability to recognize which ideas are your best ideas earlier in the creative process.

You are already a creative person.

I knew I was getting better at my job when I realized I wasn’t chasing dead end ideas any more. I didn’t have to sit and develop out every aspect of a script or ad before I realized it wasn’t going to work. That is when I learned that the creative process is actually that – a process.

You are already a creative person.

I don’t think I ever got exponentially better at having ideas. The ideas would always come. When I grew the most is when I could look objectively at my own work and not get emotionally attached to something I created. When I wasn’t afraid to throw something away just because I had spent time on it. Your best tool may become your eraser and that’s not a bad thing.

You are already a creative person.

Think of yourself as a dull pencil. Yeah…you can write and you can draw with a dull pencil, but over time, if you sharpen that pencil more and more, your lines will get crisper, your drawings will become clearer. Your creations will have more detail and ultimately connect on a deeper level. The good news is…

You are already a creative person.

You just have to start sharpening.

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There's a snake in my boots

Posted on 8:42 PM, under

Last weekend I got to rake out my flowerbeds since the weather decided to cooperate. I’m always amazed how no matter how much you try and clean your yard before winter after the snow melts there always seems to be a mess. (I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere.) As I was reaching to rake under a large, low bush that we have in the backyard, my mind flashed to a time a few years back when I was performing the same task and I lifted the same branch and there it was…a tiny snake. Probably just a gardener snake or whatever we called them as kids, nothing to big, but a snake none the less.

Now, I wouldn’t say I’m exactly deathly afraid of snakes. I don’t get Indiana Jones tremors when I see them. But let’s just say one time while golfing and almost stepping on one while looking for a ball (I know it’s hard to believe I was off the fairway. Must have been an off day.) upon seeing my jumpy reaction my friend Jim made it his personal goal to find another snake and try and throw it on me. So I guess, I’m a little afraid of snakes.

Back to last weekend. As my hand moved toward the branch. I hesitated. Not really stopping; just thinking. “What if there’s another snake?” Of course, there wasn’t. Just leaves. But this little hesitation made me wonder how often we’re afraid to go somewhere, talk to someone, look a person in eye, because of something that happened in the past. It made me think about how gripping fear can be. Fear of little stupid snake. Fear of a person who rejected you. Fear of a past failure at work or with a friend. And sometimes we push through fear. We lift the branch and move on. But it’s that hesitation. Why do we have to hesitate?

The answer of course...is that we don't have to hesitate. A pure heart and clean hands move without hesitation. Remember that the next time you need to lift a branch.

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My Stuff

Posted on 9:49 PM, under

One of my favorite sections of Vanity Fair magazine is a section called "My Stuff," where celebrities or culturally relevant individuals share their personal selections for...well...their stuff. It's kind of the earlier, classier version of all those facebook surveys that get passed around. I figured I'd do one just so you could no way too much about me.

Who inspires you: My daughter. My wife. My son.
Favorite discovery: DVR
Necessary extravagance: Colorful socks
Favorite hotel: Fairmont Chicago
Favorite late-night spot: Bedroom, Casa de Bunk
Favorite place in the world: Southern California

Jeans: Converse One Star
Boxers or Briefs: Depends on the day
Sneakers: Vans, Jack Purcells
Watch: Tag Heuer Monaco
T-shirt: Levis, H&M
Cuff links: Burberry

Shampoo: Whatever Nina buys
Moisturizer: Burberry Touch
Cologne: Caroline Herrera Chic
Razor: Mach 3
Toothpaste: Crest
Soap: Irish Springs
Where do you get your hair cut: Joel Johnson at JJs Barbershop

Where do you live: Sterling Heights, MI
Favorite art: Van Gogh, Chihuly
Sheets: Bed, Bath and Beyond
Coffee-maker: n/a
Stationery: Field Notes
Car: Jeep
Gadget: Nike+
Dessert: Brownie with ice cream
Snack: Nina's oatmeal cookies, Bettermade BBQ chips
Favorite neighborhood restaurant: The Flytrap, Redcoat Tavern
Favorite cocktail: Coke Zero

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Bunk boys are brand loyal

Posted on 7:05 AM, under

My Dad only rides Harleys

My brother only drives Fords

And now my son is taking after his daddy with his love of the finest musical instrument on the planet.

I wonder if Taylor would endorse this kid?

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Another late night

Posted on 9:47 AM, under

I know you're probably getting sick of these stop-motion videos, but when I'm in a room for hours alone, it some how makes it less tedious knowing I'm going to get 40 seconds of video out of it. This video was taken over about 4 hours of an 11 hour proofing job. Enjoy.

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"In the wild, there is no health care. In the wild, health care is, 'Ow, I hurt my leg. I can't run. A lion eats me. I'm dead.' Well, I'm not dead. I'm the lion. You're dead."

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Another post about food

Posted on 10:37 AM, under

Don't visit this site at like 10:30 a.m. You won't make it to lunch. Awesome idea. Scanwiches.

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The future

Posted on 9:58 PM, under

This is the future of advertising. Believe me. This type of thing will be everywhere. It's called augmented reality. I've been seeing it for few months on industry sites, but GE has given everyone a do-it-yourself home version.

You only need a few things. A printer, a web cam, and brain so it can be blown. You can even tell your friends that you found it, so that they think you're cool.

Follow THIS link and follow the directions on the right side of the site.

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Fruit or Cookies?

Posted on 3:29 PM, under

Life is full of tough decisions.

We got these awesome bouquets this week from some people who really love us and since Christopher isn't yet on to solid foods, we've decided to devour them for him. The question is which one first. Hmmm.

Trick question: That cookie bouquet was twice as big. Notice the empty sticks. We tore into that bad boy.

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