December 19, 2008

My Top Bookmarks of 2008

These are some of my favorite things on the web. What are yours?

Top Fun Blogs that Make My Day
FailBlog - Pics & Video of stupid people messing things up. What could be funnier than laughing at other people's misfortune and/or moronic behavior? (Quick tutorial: "Fail" = poor execution; "Win" = good execution or unintentional fortune; "Owned" or "Pwned" = completely dominated)
BoingBoing - News from the outer margins of popular culture and tech sub-cultures. Admittedly, this blog flies over my head half the time, but it's always good for at least one laugh and/or WTF moment.
XKCD - Hilariously ironic webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language. TIP: Don't forget to hover over the comic graphic for additional insight from the artist (avail: Mon/Wed/Fri)
PhotoShop Disasters - Instances of poorly executed PhotoShop manipulation that have somehow made it past the art director's desk and into public consumption. This blog does often nitpick too much but it's still entertaining to see what's wrong with each image.
You Suck At PhotoShop - A hysterical web video series by Donnie, a fictional, elitist PhotoShop expert who attempts to alleviate his failed marriage by giving PhotoShop tutorials and insulting his audience. While this is intended as a comedic saga, there actually is a lot of valid PhotoShop advice in here. So it's a double win.

Top Shopping/Commerce Sites
Woot - One tech deal a day with BRILLIANT copy-writing.
TramDock - One ski deal at a time, by
SteepAndCheap - One outdoor deal at a time, by
UnCrate - An insightful product blog form men. Great design too.
The Goat - An entertaining outdoor gear blog, by

Top Time-Sucking Social Media Platforms
Facebook - After stomping my feet in extreme distaste for social networking sites, I was asked to use Facebook for work-related research and somehow became addicted to this stupid thing.
Twitter - Ditto. I started out just trying to understand WHY anyone would want to "tweet" to friends and strangers, but now I'm up to 10 tweets a day.
Delicious - I thought I had no use for social bookmarking. But it's actually kinda cool to be able to share links. There's always something new to look at when you're bored or need a study break.
Flickr - Simply the best and most beautiful photo storage/sharing site out there. Plus the API makes it more accessible every day.
CraigsList - Combination online yard-sale, therapist, career counselor and nightclub. Plus with the new firefox plugin "Craigslist Image Preview" you can quickly browse all the images posted to listings without clicking the ad, which is even more addictive.

Top Media/Entertainment Sites
The Big Picture - An unbelievably powerful photo-blog that compiles the top professional imagery on a given topic, while displaying them at a dramatic 990 pixels wide!
Hulu - The new standard in online video. If you're sick of watching people's cats fall off things on YouTube, you can catch up on news and entertainment from TV here.
New York Times - Simply the best news site around. In an age of increasing anti-intellectualism, the Times maintains THE professional standard for journalism and sophisticated delivery. It has also re-set the bar for content-rich interface with its no-frills, text-as-text approach.
B-Net - A gorgeous site for business types. I don't always have a use for it's content but It's a case where design enhances the experience.
TED - Wanna know what the next big thing is? Watch some presentations from big-brained, industry-leading, techno-weenies and prepare to have your mind blown.

Top Design-Nerd Sites
A List Apart - Happy Cog's design and web standards blog offers insight into all aspects of interactive design. I think I have a little design crush on them.
Authentic Boredom - Salt Lake-based designer and lecturer, Cameron Moll expounds on design, type, and the industry. Perhaps a little ego-centric, but still interesting.
Jon Tangerine - A brilliant designer and student of typography, Jon Tan's blog is full of great insights and obsessive detail.
CSS Beauty - Some good inspiration for aspiring CSS designers like myself. Great sites to look at and a vast resource. I just wish it was updated more often.
Smashing Magazine - A great combination of eye-candy and how-to. Lots of great tips on here for designers but also just plain fun to look at.

December 9, 2008

Opening Weekend

Despite a lack of natural snow and fickle temperatures making it hard to make snow, The Canyons and Deer Valley Resort were both able to open this weekend. On Friday, I took a few hours off from work to enjoy some early runs at The Canyons. I rode up the gondola, over the brown landscape and exited at Red Pine Lodge into a wonderland of man-made snow. I have to admit that I was surprised. I was impressed at the coverage, but also the quality of snow The Canyons was able to produce despite the less than ideal conditions.

Saturday and Sunday we were treated to VIP passes at Deer Valley's Annual Celebrity Skifest to benefit the US Ski Team and Bobby Kennedy's Water Keeper Alliance. We had a nice dinner friday night at the Silver Lake Lodge and tent access throughout the weekend at the finish line of the Celebrity race course. The food was excellent and yes, there was free beer thanks to the primary sponsors, CBS. The race will air on CBS, Sunday 12.21.08 at 5pm eastern before the Rose Bowl. If you watch closely you'll see us in the background of the finish-line interviews. I have a beard and red goggles. Sarah's in black sunglasses.

Celebrity sightings from the weekend include: Gwen Stefani, Gavin Rossdale, Picaboo Street, Joe Pantaliono, Larry David, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Matthew Modine, Tommy Moe, The Maher Brothers, and a bunch more. We opted not to take very many pictures of them because we didn't want to lose our free beer priveledges. But a good time was had by all.