Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Monday, January 28, 2008

God must have spent a little more time...

So I lurk on a site called FFFFOUND a lot. Like more than Facebook. This post made my day. It's not the shirt, if you're wondering.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hatfield Be Thy Name

Who’s the real force behind Nike? Jordan? Woods? None of the above. Unless you’re a sneaker fanatic, you’ve probably never heard of Nike’s design Jedi, Tinker Hatfield.

Hatfield grew up in rural Oregon. “You either worked on the farms or participated in sports,” He says. “My dad was a coach. My mom was a coach. My sister married a coach and my brother was a coach. Sports were the center of our lives.” Although Hatfield excelled in Football and Basketball, it was his track spikes that earned Hatfield a scholarship to the University of Oregon.

Two years into the track program, Hatfield suffered a terrible leg injury. And For the first time, he faced the stark reality of not being a full-time athlete. Hatfield gave up track and immersed himself in the architecture program.

“I was already studying architecture but wasn't really passionate about it until I realized I was not going to be a professional athlete,” he says. “So I made the choice to explore design on a deeper, more committed level. I dug in.”

When Hatfield Graduated in 1981, Nike hired him as a corporate architect. He mostly designed Nike stores, office remodels and Nike’s extensive campus.

“I see architecture as a great combination of art and science and cultural experience,” Hatfield says. “I saw the spot at Nike as a way to get into an environment that offered options. It didn't hurt that my track coach at the University of Oregon, Bill Bowerman, was also one of the Nike's founders.”

But Hatfield’s stint as an architect didn’t last long. Figuring Hatfield could draw, Nike’s marketing director asked Hatfield to design shoes. “I jumped at the chance,” he says. “Designing shoes was where the real action was.”

Hatfield’s first major assignment was on the Air Max 1; and his inspiration for the shoe came from an unexpected place: the Pompidou Center in Paris. He was intrigued by the building’s exposure of pipes, air ducts and walkways.

“It was amazing to see this building, spilling its guts out into the world.” Hatfield says. “It really inspired me, because it really shook the world of architecture.” From this experience, Hatfield suggested Nike expose the air system in the Air Max. This design allowed for a larger air system, which increased stability and comfort. Hatfield’s design did not go over well.

Nike insiders scoffed at the original design of the shoe, stating it was far too vulnerable to punctures. “We can’t sell a shoe with a hole in it. I doesn’t even look like a running shoe,” Nike’s head of Running told Hatfield. Hatfield faced an uphill battle.

But Hatfield stuck to his guns. He even pushed a radical vibrant inspired by the Popidou Center. Eventually, Nike signed off on the Air Max. The exposed air system design became Nike’s trademark. The company has grown from selling track shoes out of a van, to a global force to be reckoned with. Nike raked in 4.34 billion dollars in 2007—a lot of shoes.

Hatfield went on to design the coveted Air Jordan line. Hatfield designed the shoe with direct input from MJ. The designer watched Jordan’s playing style, noting the superstar’s movements and style.

“He moved like a cat,” says Hatfield. “He was lanky, but when he wanted to he had power and could just launch. So here at Nike we talked about him being like a black panther. That drove the shoe's design. It had a paw-like sole, black leather and ticking on the side that looked like a cat's fur.”

Hatfield encourages designers and others to expand their education and knowledge.
“The larger point here is to broaden your experiences,” he says. “If you're in design, take some business courses. If you're in business take a design course. Before you go to law school, travel around the world for a year. Take music lessons. Get on a bus or rent an RV.”

Hatfield now serves as a mentor and advisor to younger designers at Nike. He now understands the importance of helping others. "There's something pretty cool about getting to that point," Hatfield says. "We used to have a sign in my work group that said, 'Make yourself useful.'"

Hatfield's done pretty well at that.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fly on the Wall at Dragon D's

Why do people insist on making complete asses of themselves in public? This stems from a literal scene I witnessed today.

I ducked out to grab a bit of Chinese after an arduous day in class. I'm enjoying some Hot & Sour soup, and in walks this couple. Dragon D's isn't the largest eating establishment, so I heard every syllable the lady uttered. I had my trusty notepad too. I took dictation on the exchange.

"Do y'all have honey chik'n? No? MMMkay... Can we get fried rice? And add egg to that. And no peas, or carrots. Make that two."

Examine that statement. A custom order of fried rice. This customer wanted to nix those little cubic carrots and wilted frozen peas. Lady had no qualms about vocalizing her requests.

I'm going to propose some ground rules. If you're paying less than 10 bucks for food, you probably should take what you get, unless you're hankering for some special sauce. Chill out with the loud, condescending orders at restaurants. Stop acting like a dickhead when you're out in public. Save it for the confines of your residence.

Same goes with ordering coffee or your white chocolate steamer at Starbucks. The length of your custom order is directly proportionate to your asshole quotient.

SOD is:

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Album of the Week: Quatro

I finally got a chance to see There Will Be Blood last weekend. It's one of the better films I've seen in a long time. Daniel Day Lewis's performance is solid. If there's one thing that makes the movie more compelling, it's the music. Jonny Greenwood, of Radiohead, scored the film. It's amazing. It's haunting. Check it out if you get a chance.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Fun with TextEdit

I hate TextEdit... But tonight I had a spark of genius. I cut and pasted some hip-hop lyrics from Leo's Lyrics into text edit-- Busta Rhymes Dangerous.

Then I used the speech tool to make it talk. If you've ever wondered what it would sound like to hear Stephen Hawking dropping a verse, this is about as close as you're gonna get. Let the comedy ensue.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Album of the Week: 3.0

Wowzers. Do you have a tough time keeping track of all your music? Like it gets pushed to the outer realms of your library only to be rediscovered weeks or months later? That happened to me today. I sat down to do a little writing, and shuffled through my music to get in the groove. Luckily I stumbled across a one of those forgotten gems. I'm talking about Caribou's Andorra. This album kinda sounds like the Byrds got in a street fight with Jose Gonzalez and no one could figure out who the front man would be (in a really good way). This album ranges from psychedelic, poppy tunes that seem reminiscent of a 60's love fest (Melody Day) to dreamy, almost melancholy, Radioheadesque electronica beats (Niobe). Definitely check it out from your local bittorrent, use some of your monthly eMusic downloads, or do whatever you do to get your music.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Hindsight is 20/20

Ok. I made some pretty harsh comments about 07. And I'm going to go on record about it. I was wrong. 07 was rad. I'm sorry, 2007, for dismissing you as a marginal year. A lot of really exciting stuff went down under your jurisdiction. A lot of good times with a lot of good people. You people know who you are. A lot of miles on the road to the West Coast, and Alamosa. Who could forget those masterfully crafted playlists that kept our sanity intact through those tedious miles between Vegas and L.A.? Hell, 2007, you even gave me a new top five favorite movie (No Country For Old Men). We even got a really good western out of ya. And a Tarantino/Rodriguez flick. I failed to see the greatness of the year without a solid look. 2007, you were great. I hope your cousin, 2008, is at least half as good as you were. Here's a few more best of 2007:

"The beauty is in the subtlety of the arrangement." The best quote of 07? Perhaps.

And the Album of 07? Was it the Louis Vuitton Don's Graduation? Nay. It was Radiohead's In Rainbows. I just ran across an amazing video on YouTube. It reaffirmed Radiohead's numero uno ranking on my favorite bands list. Scope it out. Watch the Scotch Mist in its entirety when you get bored at work on Mondee.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The year that was: 2007

It's in the books, folks. This post came about from a convo with a couple of good friends. We started wrapping up the year over some burgers and fries. Here's some of the best that 2007 had to offer:

Best Movie: No Country for Old Men.
Best Concert: Rock The Bells.
Best Album: Kanye West's Graduation. Radiohead's In Rainbows was up there too.
Best Restaurant: SLC's Red Iguana. (some of the best mole`, and one of the cutest hipster hostesses around).
Best purchase: It was a toss-up between my Jordan Vs and my OZ wheels. (The wheels edged the Jordans out by a few RCH).
Biggest Regret: Sitting around on my ass too much- not enough cardio (too much blogging).
Favorite word: Again it was a virtual tie between two perennial cuss words queef, and F--K.
Best Web Site: Hands down, unequivocally PANDORA.
Best Book: Chuck Klosterman's Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs.
Best Magazine: Vice. Check em out online
Fashion Must-Haves:
American Apparel plain T's and, of course, sneakers.

Let's be honest, 2007 was marginal. It wasn't a banner year for a lot of stuff. I'm not saying it was a bad year, but it wasn't one to write home about. Let's just say it was worth a few bullet points on some kid's blog.