Hired Goon


I guess there’s been some changes ’round these parts over the last couple weeks. I’ve been busy with those so I’ve kinda been neglecting some things, small things like this blog and personal hygiene and common decency.

When I got back from Walla Walla last Sunday someone had been kind enough to leave me a dead bird on the sidewalk to my house. The next morning the bird was gone, replaced by little feathered turds. That afternoon I came home to find a dismembered wing on my front step, and the turds were missing.

So there was that.

Also, I’ve been busy raising a beard again. It’s hard work and it takes a lot of time and effort, especially for the few of us who do not have Chuck Norris in our ancestry. There’s so few of us.

So very few.

But yes, a beard. By the looks of things this is the winter of the Sketchy Facial Hair, and I wanted to throw in my lot. I would also like to have a beard for SXSW, along with a mohawk, if I can muster the guts to do that again. Yeah, a beard and a mohawk, so I can appear to be consistent with my Flickr and Facebook and Upcoming.org profile photos. We call this “branding.”

This “alcoholic energy drink meets malt beverage” tastes like an atrocity.

That’s branding, too.

Hey, Kate took me to the Walla Walla Wal-Wal-Mart when I was back over there, and it is vastly superior to the Hood River Wal-Mart, and we actually went there twice, once to buy a potted plant and frozen chilies and again to buy windshield wipers and twelve mason jars, and both times the same clerk helped us. The same clerk! At checkout lanes that were at complete opposite ends of the store! And there’s a tram that runs every seven minutes to take you from one opposite end of the store to the other!

He was a really cool clerk, too. We wondered why he was working at Wal-Mart, being as cool as that. I thought he was probably writing a book about his experience, or at least blogging it.

Twelve mason jars is a lot more mason jars than I thought I needed, so I’ve been spending my time finding things to fill them up with, things like basmati rice and cashews and yerba mate. Yerba mate has a very strong organic, earthy taste to it, which is a nice way of saying it tastes like dirt. It’s dirt jam-packed with caffeine, though, so I’m not about to criticize. My bombilla fell apart way before the Web 2.0 boom so I need to find a new one before I can drink my mate again. Taragui, it was. The mate, that is. You can buy it by the kilo, like other things you can buy.

There was something else.

Oh yeah.

Tomorrow I start my new job at my windsurfing and kiteboarding shop. Even though job titles are kinda ridiculous and we really have no use for them, I shall be working as the Director of Web Marketing for Big Winds, a position which is known internally as “Hey, we have our own computer geek!”

I have worked for Big Winds a couple of times in the past, once in 2003 and again in 2005, and I hearts them lots and lots. I love the people who work there, I love the store and the products, and I love their business ethos. Needless to say, I’m stoked as hell to work for these guys, to be surrounded by people again, to be active in the community, and to know that this summer I will kiteboard so much I won’t even be able to piss straight.

The upshot of all this is that I’m taking on Big Winds as a full-time job, and I’m going to have very little time to run Brainside Out. I’m still kinda stunned by the whole bit, shocked and nervous and excited and somewhat nauseous, but I think there’s a tremendous opportunity to do some kick-ass stuff here. I’ve told my clients about the change, and they have all been extremely supportive and enthusiastic. Like, bummed I won’t be able to rock stuff for them anymore, but amped for me nonetheless.

Still, I’m freaked out by the fact that I’ll actually need to wake up in the morning. I suppose it’s a small price to pay to be able to interact with real people, though.

Brainside Out will continue to exist, perchance as a shadow of its formal self, but dammit if it’s not going anywhere. I’ve been running that dealy-deal for 1 1/2 years, have gotten to build some great websites for some absolutely ripshitkickass clients, and I take a huge amount of satisfaction in knowing that I’m fully capable of running my own show. With the ridiculous degree of autonomy that I’ve been enjoying in running Brainside Out, the shop may have gotten more than they bargained for. I mean, I build good shit, but I’m used to doing it on my own terms.

That said, I did work for them in-house on two separate occasions, for half a year on both counts. In 2003 I shared an office with the head manager for a couple weeks, until he realized that I talked and cursed to myself so much that I needed to be quarantined to my own office. Big Winds was also the first client that Brainside Out ever had, and thus precipitated my move to indie status.

Nah, they know what they’re gettin’. And I’m stoked.

Geez, did I mention I’m stoked?