Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Movin' on over

Time to change out all your links.

I'm moving this blog to here.

Wordpress seems to have a lot more features than blogger and at the still-reasonable price on free.

Plus I'm consolidating this blog and my other one so it's all in one place and it's one less thing I have to keep up with.

Hope you'll make the move with me.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Apple TV

I've been kicking this around in my head and thought I'd get some opinions. We currently pay about $65 per month for satelite service. Because of our Netflix subscription (and newly formed Guitar Hero 2 habit) we don't watch the TV a lot.

What I'm thinking of is buying an Apple TV. I've made a list of shows we try to keep up with. We could afford to buy those shows off of iTunes and still spend less than a satelite on a yearly basis. So, for less money, we would own the shows and could watch them anytime. Plus, it would allow us to keep up with the shows. We don't have DVR and so right now, we are missing a ton of our favorite shows because they don't come on at convenient times. This way, they would automatically download for us and we could watch them at our convenience.

But, then the HD-factor comes into play. The Apple TV currently supports up to 720p. We spent a good chunk of change to have a 1080p set so I'd like a box that supports the full resolution of the TV. The other thing is, I don't really want to spend money to buy these shows at DVD quality when I'd like to have them at HD quality. HD isn't currently available through iTunes. I'm thinking of waiting until they flip the HD switch to make this change. As much as we don't use the satelite now, we do have the HD package which is really nice.

At the end of the day, it probably isn't worth even the effort I put into this post, but hey, one has to think on the heavy topics of life.

Power drain

Does anyone know how much power computers suck? I'm trying an experiment. When I'm not using my main computer I'm shutting it down completely.

It's a Mac which means I can leave it on for weeks on end (which I usually do), but I'm giving this a shot. It's a PowerMac G5 Quad hooked up to a 20" screen and a 30" screen so I figure it has to be using a decent amount of power.

Here's hoping it cuts down dramatically on the electric bill.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

For the kidnapper on the go

The Ransom Note Generator for anyone too busy for such details.

Via Coudal Partners.

Guitar Hero 2

Guitar Hero 2 has invaded our house. A quick review: If you have the money, go buy it now. If you don't have the money, sell a kidney.

Also, if you have a spouse, invest in a second guitar controller. We are trying to track one down right now because we're tired of taking turns playing. Rebecca is addicted to it.

For the record, I knew she would be no matter how many times she told me it "sounds stupid."

Monday, April 02, 2007

Online apps

Over the weekend, I've switched a good chunk of my organization to the web. I'm using three 37signals apps including Basecamp for project organization, Highrise for contact management and Backpack for an online calendar and general notes.

I've also moved most of my RSS feeds from Safari's built in reader to Google Reader. I really like how Safari handles my RSS needs, but I work on two different computers and keeping them in sync was a pain. It often involved looking through tons of articles I'd already read.

That really turned out to be my motivation to moving everything I can online. I'm often not in the office and I like to have access to it anywhere. This came up this weekend when we were at my parents house for Colton's birthday and I wanted to check my reading but really didn't want to fire up the laptop for fear of work sucking me in. Now with Google Reader, I can check for new articles anywhere. So far I'm pretty happy with it. It posts new articles a little slow for my tastes. I still have the RSS feeds in Safari for now so I can see when one pops up there. It may be an hour or more before the same article shows up in Google.

The other great side effect of this is that I was able to pair down my RSS subscriptions. I had about 95 different feeds. Some didn't update often and some I found I just didn't have time to keep up with anymore. Now I'm down to just 28 and it's cut down tremendously on the time it takes me to get through it all. If I ever went away for the weekend, I might have 300+ articles waiting on me, most of which went unread. This has helped a lot.

Between 37signals and Google, I'm really enjoying this idea of using apps online. So what great web apps am I missing?

Friday, March 30, 2007


I absolutely love it when it rains. I'm sitting here with Snow Patrol coming out of the iTunes and my office door open to hear the heavy rain and thunder.

I like writing on days like this.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Ironically, I've seen a sudden spike in traffic to this blog. That's really funny to me considering I have been way to busy to post this month.

So what are you telling me? If I shut up, you'll show up?

I do keep this blog updated much more frequently. Starting this week I should be back to updating here regularly. It's been a crazy month.

One thing I want to write in-depth about is 37signals' new product Highrise. I'm in love with it and it's taken my organizational skills to a whole new level.

Another reason to love Netflix

This is another reason why I love Netflix. Not only do they offer a great service at a good price, turns out they treat their employees great as well.

I love this idea that you aren't ranked on the time spent in the office but for the quality of the work.

I need to add Netflix to the list of "People we like" on our new site.

Via AdPulp.

Monday, March 05, 2007


This is shaping up to be one great year. On top of the great things happening at church (you can read more about that here), our largest client, Bruner Motors, has purchased two dealerships in Brownwood, Texas. We've officially begun work for the new stores so this should have a huge impact on the future of the business. I'm also still handling the creative direction on The Business Journal, our other large client which is beginning to grow. In between that, we have a steady flow of smaller design work coming in.

Between these new things and the massive things going on at church, there is a lot brewing for this year.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Video game history

This is a complete history of console video games. It's interesting reading some of the behind-the-scenes stuff I was never aware of as a kid.

It's in the details

I can't really do this justice with words. It's artwork created by statistics. Pretty interesting experiement.

Via Coudal Partners.


Here's a collection of the typography from the vintage Batman fight scenes. This will take you back if you grew up watching the 60's Batman TV show.

Note: Yeah, I wasn't alive in the 60's. However, around 1989 when Tim Burton's Batman flick bowed, they began to rerun the original show on TV. My brother and I loved watching it every week.

Via HOW.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Why I hate coupons

So, I'm in line at Wal-Mart, which is probably my least favorite place to be. I've just spent 20 minutes shopping, and another 10 in line is not my idea of fun.

The couple in front of me has just finished checking out $200 worth of groceries. That takes a while.

Just as I see a light at the end of the tunnel, the woman whips out a stack of coupons as thick as the last Harry Potter book. And, of course, as the cashier begins to scan them (after picking her chin up off the floor) most of them have some sort of issue which requires her to punch an elaborate code into the machine. This adds a solid five minutes to the process. I really wish I was kidding.

It saved them a grand total of five dollars. Now, I realize five dollars is a lot of money to some people. In fact, to me it's generally a lot of money. However, at that point I was tempted to offer her five dollars just to leave right then.

There has got to be a better way for stores to handle coupons. It's a pain for the employees, and it's a pain for every customer except the one saving the money.

No computers? Seriously?

March 24th has been declared Shutdown Day. The idea is to shut down everything you have that uses a computer and go 24 hours without it. Seriously? It might be possible, since it's a Saturday, but still, nothing with a computer?

I'm looking around my desk right now. I'd have to do without the following (all of which I use every day): Treo cell phone, Powerbook, PowerMac, regular phone, fire department pager, Xbox 360, camera, and my TV. My beloved TV. That may be going too far.

I may actually give it a shot. It'll be easier if the weather is nice. We can get out with the kids and have some non-technological fun.

If you can still call that fun.

Send the bill to Gucci

This is a great story about a man who designed an ad (featuring himself) and sent it to a Swiss newspaper as a two-page full-color spread. A spread to be billed at $50,000 to Gucci. This is what advertising gets for being such a last-minute business. It makes it possible for things like this to take place.

Via AdFreak.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Fox problems

Fox seems to be having problems with their satelite signal tonight. Because of that, I've missed half of 24. I hope it was a good one.

Kick 'em while they're down

Sony and it's much maligned PS3 seem to be having tons of public relation problems these days. Now everyday folks are even going to a lot of effort to add to their misery. This video is pretty funny.

As promised

Here is the new blog I'll maintain for all the church-related happenings.

Movin' on up

Yesterday at church we had a special service where myself and my friend James Fesser were appointed as associate pastors. This is a big step for each of us and the church. We are the first associate pastors in the short history of the church and I think we each bring things to the table to help the church grow.

I'll be in charge of all children, youth, and college ministries as well as all creative direction and advertising/marketing.

I'll be starting a new blog very soon for all church-related material (I'm expected there to be a lot of it).


Below is the new Apple commercial for the iPhone. It is absolutely one of the best commercials they could have made. It ran during last night's Oscars broadcast. Perfect ad for the audience they were showing it to.

"She thinks she's a chip!"

Last night we were enjoying some of my wife's great hamburgers off the grill. Our family dinners, as is usually the case, degenerate into the boys making goofy faces while we all eat.

Suddenly, our cat Jinxy got a wild hair and jumped on the cabinet and up into the chip cabinet.

"She thinks she's a chip!" Conner screamed.

Maybe you had to be there, but it was really funny at the time.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

"That's what she said."

The Office was great tonight. Just so you know.

Monday, February 19, 2007

"Seven billion dollars?"

This ad agency spoof video is shockingly close to reality. Pretty funny stuff.

Courtesy of Cliff Freeman & Partners.


We made it back from Snyder about eight 'o clock last night and I'm still tired. I've got a lot of thoughts on small-town living and going home that I'll post later.

This week we've got a Business Journal issue to finish up and several other deadlines, along with the release of Crackdown, so posting may be kind of slow.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Going home

This weekend, we'll be traveling to Snyder, Texas. I spent the first decade of my life in Snyder so I'm really excited to go back and see my childhood home. We'll be visiting my aunt and uncle's place for the last time. I thought I'd take the opportunity to take my boys back and show them where I grew up.

It will probably be kind of sad. I'd previously written about it here. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Jack Bauer's alarm clock

This has to be what Jack Bauer uses for an alarm clock.

I might just be ordering one of these.


I had to take a muscle relaxer today for the nerve flairing up in my shoulder. I'm pretty much done with the medicine thing. I never take drugs, so the few times I do, they knock me on my butt. It's like I'm walking around in a fog, fighting to stay awake.

I even found a few things to write about today, but can't muster the will to do so.

Oh well, no drugs tomorrow.

Monday, February 12, 2007

37Signals at it again

37Signals is set to introduce a new product known as Highrise.

As a user of their Basecamp and Backpack software, I can't wait to see what they've been up to.

Valentines for the undead

Via the How Magazine blog.

Wil Wheaton on ST:TNG

TV Squad is publishing reviews of Star Trek: The Next Generation by series actor Wil Wheaton. He played the much-hated, Wesley Crusher.

What's really great about this is seeing the thoughts of someone who was involved in the making of the series. He doesn't pull any punches either. The reviews are especially fun to read when they are bad episodes. Luckily, they are starting with season one which was pretty much bad with a few moments of goodness sprinkled here and there.

You can read his latest review here, and keep up with his blog here.

His book, Just a Geek, is an incredible look at a rising star, that didn't keep rising so much as it just faded from Hollywood's radar. I'd recommend the audiobook version. It's worth every bit of the purchase price.

Taking it easy

Apparently, I'll be taking it easy today. I somehow pinched a nerve in my shoulder which basically means I have trouble moving or walking without extreme pain. So now, I've taken some Vicoden and muscle relaxers. The thing is, I never take medicine. When I do, it takes me out.

Plus, my nose is producing more snot than I thought humanly possible. Apparantly my body didn't read about what a great week it's going to be.

So here I am, just catching up on some writing and web work. If I don't answer my phone it's because slurred speech isn't very business-like.

The Fame Game

I'm not sure what The Fame Game is, and honestly my shoulder hurts too bad right now to care. However, the guy in the video here is really great.

"It's worth noting at this point that some people like to put fish in the recipe at this stage. Sometimes canned salmon. Sometimes tuna. Don't do it."

Via AdverBox.

Jack Bauergrams

When your kid has a birthday, you can sign up (for I think about $3) and have Dora the Explorer, or any number of other cartoon characters call your child on the phone. It's a prerecorded message, but they love it anyway.

Becca suggested they should do the same thing for grown men, but have a recording of Jack Bauer. I'd call them Jack Bauergrams.

I'm copyrighting that right now Fox. You hear me? I want some cash if you ever do that. Lots of it.

Good week

I'm declaring right now, it's going to be a good week. Wednesday, we should work out a deal for a semi-new account, which should be good for business.

We may also have something big to announce at church. It won't be for a couple of more weeks, but it should be great.

Plus, we'll probably be taking a trip this weekend.

Oh yeah, and my wife tells me I'm going to LOVE Valentine's day.

Should be a good week.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Good as new

Literally, good as new. The Gifford's repairman came out yesterday afternoon (I'm sorry I don't remember his name). Not only did he replace the bulb (under warranty), he calibrated my settings for me. This TV has never looked better, and saved me a lot more than the $200 I thought it was going to be.

It's a good thing too. I refused to tell Becca how much it was going to cost and she asked "Does this mean we'll be having pizza for Valentine's day?"

"And an all-you-can-smooch buffet," I answered.

She didn't think it was very funny then. She'll probably think it's even less funny written here.

So, thank you Gifford's, you restored my TV to life (and made it better than new), and saved our Valentine's day.

If you are in the market for a TV and live in the Stephenville area, give Gifford's a shot. People are always tempted to buy from the big-box stores because of huge sales. They are not going to come close to matching the service of a small locally-owned shop like Gifford's.

Our TV in the bedroom is acting funny, so we'll be in the market for a new one soon (and I'm of the opinion I need one in the office too). Will I be taking my money to Wal-Mart or Best Buy? Nope, Gifford's has earned my business as long as I live here. They've always taken great care of us.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Please, God, no

Dear Lord,

I thank you for finally bringing CHiPs to DVD. It's been much needed and perhaps it will set a few criminals on the straight and narrow.

But now, God, comes news that they may be making a direct-to-DVD version of Jaws 5.

You know I own every Jaws made. I think the first is the greatest film ever. The second is so-so. The third and fourth range from lame to really bad. Do we really need a fifth Jaws film? The answer to that is a very firm no.

So God, I try not to ask for much, but this is important. Really important. Please shut down any ideas related to another Jaws film.


Yes, please

According to The Digital Bits, CHiPS will soon arrive on DVD.

Growing up, this was my absolute favorite show. I think there is a picture somehwere of me riding my tricycle, while wearing my CHiPS helmet and carrying my gun. If I can find it, I'll scan it and put it up here. My mom tell me CHiPs is how I learned to tell time. I never looked at a clock, but I instinctively knew when it was coming on. She said I'd come running into the house screaming "CHiPs is coming on! CHiPs is coming on!" right on time every day.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

We've got a man down!

Just over a year ago:

"Now, this 62" DLP HDTV has a bulb powering it that will eventually burn out. This isn't all bad, though because once you replace it, the TV will look just as good as it did the first time it was turned on," the salesman explained.

"What did he say?" I thought. "Something about a bulb I think. I don't know. I sorta spaced out after I heard the words 62" DLP."

"The bulb will be around $200 to replace," he continued.

"$200! After what I'm about to pay for this thing?"

"Oh well," I comforted myself, "that's somewhere in the future. Yeah, a long way away. Today I get 62 inches of widescreen high-definition glory."

Fast forward to today:

I sit down in my comfortable chair. Time for a quick game to relax after a long day's work.

The TV goes black.

"Dang kids," I think to myself, "They're always hitting the remote."

I look around. Nope, no kids in the room.

"Hey, what's that red light on the front of the TV?"

"Aw crap, it's the one labeled 'bulb'. That's not good."

"We've got a man down!" I scream.

Man I hope Gifford's can fix this quick.

We're screwed

It's my love of the movie Jaws that inspires my abject terror when it comes to sharks.

Hundreds of sharks spotted off Florida coast.

I'm pretty sure they're going to eat us all.

The Office tonight

Don't forget The Office comes on tonight at 7:30. You can watch a two-minute replay of last week's at the site.

Robert Goulet strikes again

"Robert Goulet put gum in my hair"

As a companion to the great Super Bowl commercial for Emerald Nuts, they have more Robert Goulet sightings at

You can view the spot "from that big football game." Don't you think paying millions of dollars for the spot would qualify them to use the term Super Boal without fear of linebacker-sized lawyers descending on them?

You can also view a funny video titled "Victims Speak."

Mr. Goulet even has an official title: Goulet, enemy of natural energy.

Funny stuff via Adfreak.

Geeking out about The Noble

Doing some research this morning I noticed I had a link from

This reminded me I haven't really written much of anything about Perry or Newspring Church. They are located in Anderson, SC and man, do they have it going on. The church has exploded in the past year and just about doubled in size. God's hand is all over their ministry and they, along with a few others, have inspired me to think bigger. We are planning some new things for our church, but it seems like I'm constantly hitting walls of doubtful people. Watching the success of others has helped me get past these doubts and continue to look at what God can do, not what we can do.

On the off chance Perry happened to be the visitor from, I just wanted to say thanks for all you do. I know your mission is to reach the people in your surrounding area, but God is using you to inspire people a long way away to reach our areas too.

And by the way, anyone who's man enough to name his son Boaz is good in my book.

Interview with Lee McDerment

Here is a great interview with Lee McDerment, worship pastor at Newspring Church in Anderson, SC.

Lee has some great thoughts on dealing with the team, changes, staying grounded in the word, and his musical influences.

I'll soon be starting the proccess of searching for members for a worship team, so this is great advice.

Via Tony Morgan Live.

Nerds with swords

This is probably not the safest idea ever conceived.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Onion on Vista

The Onion reveals the major features of Windows Vista.

If you can't say something nice ...

Speaking of "ruining the $50 controller", Cody (who is only 17 months old and unfortunately, too young for the death penalty) threw one of my Xbox 360 controllers into the back yard.

There Indiana, our blood hound, proceeded to chew the top off the left stick. I guess this is what I get for wishing harm on other people's controllers.

Slip of the tongue

During a client meeting today, something vulgar was said. It was a slip of the tongue, and not what was intended.

I'm not saying who it was, or what was said, but it was the funniest thing I'd heard all day.

I promised to write about it, so here you go.

"Cancel or allow?"

This is one of the best and funniest new "Get a Mac" ads to come from Apple.

"You are coming to a sad realization. Cancel or allow?"


A $100 reward for a bag with 31 diamond rings?

This guy deserves a heck of a lot more than that. It's good to see some people still do the right thing.

Too bad the cheapskate who lost the bag didn't.

Red Snapper

The aptly named Tasty Apps makes a great little program called Red Snapper. It's just about the best utility I've seen for taking screenshots if you use Safari. It adds a simple button to the toolbar. With one click, you can take a snapshot of the entire page and save it in any number of formats. This is incredibly handy if you have to take screenshots very often. Well worth the $8.

Thanks to TUAW for the link.

Publishing experiment

Nick Mamatas is releasing his first novel for free. He has his reasons which you can read on the site, but the most interesting fact is that the book is already in print. The hope is that you will enjoy the book enough to purchase it later. I'd be very interested to see how this effects the sales of his book. I haven't read it yet, but how can you not when he's willing to step out like this?

These new forms of publishing are really exciting to me.

Via Whatever.

Almost "14 Days in a Civic"

A funny spoof of the "7 Days in a Sentra" campaign Nissan put on last year.

Via AdFreak.

Bad idea of the day

For anyone who has ever played on Xbox Live, you know it is filled with 14-year-old boys who's language would make a sailor blush. It's hugely annoying. Well, now their inane taunts can be premeditated thanks to the Trash Talk.

Basically, you prerecord your trash talk and then, at the magic push of a button, your probably less-than-intelligent speech is spewed across the internet to fellow players. This brings laziness down to new low thought previously unattainable. If there is any justice in the world, each of these devices will burst into flames permanently ruining the $50 controller it's attached to (and maybe even injuring, though not too severely, the player who saw fit to purchase it).

The best suggestion I've seen is for Microsoft to create an "Ignore All Tards" feature that automatically detects this device and doesn't allow you to hear anything they say.

Via Xbox 360 Fanboy.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Man, I need an editor

After looking back on a few posts, I've found I make one or two mistakes in each post. Usually simple stuff that I don't notice as I'm writing. It's too bad Blogger's spell check feature never seems to work.

I've gotta start working on that.

Look, Up in the Sky!

Look up in the Sky!, the Amazing Story of Superman is a great documentary about the history of Superman. From his first appearance to the latest film, Superman Returns.

Some highlights:

A Superman musical that was probably the biggest train wreck I've ever seen.

An early commercial for Sugar Smacks starring Clark Kent (George Reeves) and Jimmy Olsen. The funny part is that Lois Lane was not to be found in the commercial. At the time, it was considered inappropriate for Lois to be at the breakfast table with Clark. As the documentary points out, Jimmy and Clark waking up together didn't raise any eyebrows however.

The documentary pauses toward the end to discuss 9/11's effect on our country's views towards heroes. I find it interesting how often 9/11 is mentioned if fairly unrelated topics. It's so ingrained itself into our collective psyche.

"Run in slow motion!"

A really creepy tribute to Michael Bay.

Via Ain't It Cool News.

You need it when?

Scott Smith has a good story up about the Super Bowl spot he just directed. The entire thing was started the Monday before the big game and finished just in time.

Advertising has always been a last minute business. It's part of what drives me nuts, but also part of what drives me to try new things. It seems like it's always when you are tired and just about done that you come up with that one last "wouldn't it be cool" ideas. When you take the time to implement those, you usually come out with something great.

These last minute creative marathons are some of the most fun, and yet most draining things you'll ever do.

Three hours

It's always amazing to me the difference three hours can make. We have some good friends that live in Longview, Texas and we visit them a few times a year. From one of these past visits I still have a weather widget set up on my OSX dashboard that gives me updates on Longview's current conditions. Here in Stephenville it will be a sunny 70 degrees today. Three hours away, Longview will be covered in snow and shivering with a high of 16 degrees.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Being a kid

Wil Wheaton has a great post today about the joys of building forts with your kids.

If you have kids, when was the last time you built a fort, or played ball or built Legos with them?

SB highlights

Below are some of the spots I enjoyed from last night.

A pretty good spot for Doritos. I was impressed with the way they equated Dorito flavors with life.

And now a Doritos spot that is totally creepy and wrong, but has some good acting.

Emerald Nuts
There's just enough quirkiness to make this one work. Plus you can't beat watching Robert Goulet eat paper.

This spot has been out a while, but is sheer magic. It even works on people (like my mother-in-law) who had never heard to Grand Theft Auto.
They managed to be great this year ... and without using animals at all.

The love the way this spot is shot.

Another good one for E*Trade. "Save Holland."

Fed EX
"Well said, Mr. Turkeyneck."

Nationwide Insurance
I can't stand the music, but you have to admit this is funny. The best part, though, is the store manager. He was the perfect actor for that two-line role.

Bud LIght
This was one of my favorites. "And a chainsaw!"

One of the few good spots featuring animals.

Bad news for Studio 60

It looks like Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip may soon be canceled.

That's really a shame. It seemed to really be hitting it's stride, and was the only show I looked forward to watching every week outside of 24 and The Office.

One of Sorkin's previous efforts, Sports Night, which was also canceled early is probably my favorite TV show of all time.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Talking animals

So far, the SB commercials have been pretty uninteresting. The theme so far seems to be talking animals. While none of these spots are truly great, I am a fan of the Taco Bell spot below.

Mostly because it's funny to hear a lion say Ricardo Montalban.

Friday, February 02, 2007

"We're manly, manly men!"

Dial has a great new site to promote Dial for Men.

It's amost on par with these spots from Old Spice. I like all this new manly man marketing.

Some of the highlights of the site include:

The theme song. "Dial for men. We're manly, manly men. I'm a man, yes I am." (Repeat ... forever). All this backed by a tuba.

The Official Unofficial Rulebook for Man. "Hugs are allowed for old friends. But they must be of the handshake/back-punch variety.

And something I've advocated for a long time: Die Hard is, in fact, the greatest Christmas movie ever made.

Via American Copywriter.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Office

I've been a fan of the original BBC version of The Office since I picked up the complete collection on DVD.

The American version has always been great, but never quite hit the level of the original. I think it finally has. Tonight's episode was incredibly funny. If you're not already watching it, you should be.

Windows Vista review

This is probably the best review of Windows Vista I've read.

Turns out he was right

You know Colton's instinct on not killing the killer fish. Turns out he was right. Becca took the fish back to the store only to find out it was pregnant. This is what turned the normally docile fish into a killing machine.

The interesting thing is we didn't have another kind of that fish (molly) in the tank. In the absence of another molly, it turns out they can mate with a similar type of fish, but this is incredibly rare.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The things we do

I have (had) an orange fish in my tank that has been eating the tails off the others. We gave him every chance, but today the decision came down from the governer that he would receive no pardon.

We fished (no pun intended) him out of the tank and headed for the bathroom. On the way, Becca thought the cats might like a treat. Turns out, they don't eat live fish. During this process, Colton caught wind of the fact that the little fish was not long for this world. He was upset and wanted to know if we would take the fish back to the store so he could find a new home.

I laughed and we said yes, figuring we would just go throw him in the woods (the fish, not Colton).

Nope. Becca is on the way to the store right now, to give the fish a second chance. We could buy and sell that stupid fish 100 times over for what it will cost in gas to take him back. The things we do for our kids.

Jack Astor's Bar & Grill

I would kill (no pun intended) for a client like this. I love this creative.

Click for a larger version.

Via AdverBox.

Debt and excuses

Joseph Sangle put up a great post about excuses when it comes to getting out of debt. His philosophy is it doesn't matter whether you are making $25,000 or $200,000, there is no excuse for the mountains of debt we carry.

He's mad and he's not going to take it anymore. Joseph has a great blog dedicated to helping people get out of debt. He is, I believe, the pastor in charge of such things at Newspring Church in Anderson, NC.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Parham's fire

I'm having problems updating so I'm going to keep the photos updated here until I can get it fixed.

These where from a fire at Parham's Garage today at noon.

Is it contagious?

According to this story, Clemson may be having the same problem Tarleton is still dealing with.

43 vs. 57

I noticed this morning that I was coming up on post number 100 (which this is) and thought I'd look at the totals. In all of last year I wrote 57 entries. In January of this year, I've written 43 so far. I'm actually proud of myself for keeping up with my writing like I want to.

"Are you high?"

Really funny Mac vs. PC commercial parody. I've seen a lot of these, but this one is actually pretty good. You can view more of them here.

Best wife ever

I just wanted to let everyone out there looking for a wife to know the best one is taken.

I came home from a fire today to discover that Becca had rearranged a good chunk of my office. It looks great. Plus, she managed to fit my fooseball table in here. What design firm doesn't have a fooseball table in the office?

She's learned not to tell me ahead of time about her interior decorating ideas. I usually tell her no, partly because I think I know best (which I usually don't) and partly because I don't like moving furniture. I never fails, though, that her ideas are great and I end up loving it.

PDF magazines

This link on refreshed an idea I've been wanting to research for a while. That is the creation and distribution of .pdf magazines. How much of a market is there for these things? It really allows you to create anything you want and distribute it for a fraction of the cost of a traditional print publication. Do any of you regularly read anything in .pdf format?

Shuffle now in Technicolor

Earlier today, Apple released new iPod shuffles in a rainbow of colors. Maybe it's just the bitterness of being an early adopter, but I still like my silver shuffle I bought in November better than the colors. It just looks classier.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Kia K2500

Some great ads from Kia for their new K2500. I really like looking for the new ways people are using traditional media spaces. This execution, using the bottom strip of the front page is creative and very interesting. People tend to either love or hate these executions because of their intrusion on the editorial space. I personally like them, but I spend more time in the advertising camp than the editorial one.

Via AdverBox.

Tech gremlins

For some reason if it can go wrong, it has gone wrong lately. First we had still unexplained e-mail issues for about two weeks. Then this weekend my Airport Express decided to take a one day vacation leaving us without wireless internet, but mysteriously worked fine the next day. Then, Saturday, one of the hard drives in my PowerMac decided to start acting up.

Today I have to spend the better part of the morning reinstalling OS X on a new hard drive and reinstalling every program I have. I've never had to do something this extensive, so please pray for me. I use Apple computers because they almost never have problems. Because of the usual lack of issue, I have no patience for tech problems.

UPDATE #1: OS X has been installed on the new hard drive and we're now updating all programs. I'll give one thing to Apple, they make reinstalling all this stuff fairly simple. I've never actually done any of this before, but it's going smoothly.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sour cream and onion

I’m always amazed at the power of our senses to transport us to a different time and place.

On a recent grocery run, I grabbed a bag of Ruffles Sour Cream & Onion chips. I haven’t bought them in years. Nowhere on the bag did it indicate they had recently added memories to the recipe.

It was just a normal afternoon. There was nothing remarkable about it, and that’s usually when something extraordinary happens. A few chips sounded like a great mid-day snack. As that first chip hit my tongue, I was gone.

Suddenly, I was six years old, sitting at a light brown card table in my Grandma’s living room. I was munching on a few chips while Granny, as I call her, was in the kitchen making a bowl of bean dip. The Rangers were playing a Saturday afternoon game on the TV. A game of Yahtzee was spread out on the table in front of me.

Granny walks in with the bowl of bean dip and a small plate with sliced cheese. She always spoiled me. My favorite meal at her house was chips, bean dip and cheese. Real healthy.

That one little taste of a chip brought back memories I hadn’t experienced in years. Even as I write this, I still marvel at the wonderful memories, while still being sad they will never happen again.

My brother and I would rotate spending the night with her on Fridays. She lived in a small mobile home just outside Snyder, in West Texas.

I am reminded of how much fun we used to have, but especially the little details. I remember the sound of the heater in the winter. Being a mobile home, the heat came through vents in the floor. I used to love laying by those vents, soaking up the heat. I remember watching ball games with her while she introduced me to games like Wahoo and dominoes. Always on the rickety little card table.

The porch outside was surrounded by black metal railing that seemed a little to wobbly to actually stop someone from falling off. Down the cold concrete stairs was the large circular driveway with small dips in it. When it rained, the dips would fill up and become vast oceans for my G.I. Joes to fight around.

Then, there was my first bb gun. Granny would take me to shoot cans out near the woods. I became the first grandson to shoot her when one rogue bb ricocheted off a can and hit her in the shin. She never let me forget that.

I remember her small blue car, I think it was a Chevrolet, and the trips to town we would go on. On one of those trips to the local K-Mart, she bought me a small Hot Wheels car. It was an army vehicle with moving missles and everything. I felt so special because she spent all her “silver money” on it. I think it was a grand total of seventy five cents, but I felt like royalty because she had given everything she had in her coin purse.

In the grand scheme of things, a very small part of my life was spent at Granny’s, but it continues to influence me even today.

Today Granny lives in an assisted living center in Weatherford. Her health seems to get worse week by week, and we’re not sure how long she will remain with us. When I see her now, she often mistakes me for my Dad. She doesn’t remember much, but one thing she always tells me is about the fact that Cody and I always stayed with her and “never forgot who’s turn it was to spend the night.”

They say within three generations no one will remember you. As I think of my Granny, that makes me very sad that if I don’t do something, my kids and their kids after them will know nothing of this great woman and the influence she had on my life. It’s our job to make sure no one forgets the great ones. And Granny truly is one of the great ones.

All that from a stupid little chip.

Note: I had to take a break half-way through writing this. During that break we visited my parents who informed me that my aunt and uncle are selling their land. That land was where Granny’s house was, and where I have so many memories. I’m going to take my boys and visit it one last time before it leaves the family. It’s funny how all this comes back at once, but I feel sad that a piece of my childhood will only exist in my memories.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Tarleton MLK again

The Tarleton incident I wrote about yesterday is still in the headlines today with another story at Fox News. It has also been picked up by the Associated Press.

My question is, now what?

We've all heard the story and read the details. Some of us have expressed our views on the party and the people involved. Now what? What should we expect from this? Punishments, lessons? What does everyone involved expect to happen next?

Obviously nothing can be done to "fix it," but can something be done to head in that direction?

Such a geek

My wife is incredibly cool. In fact, if you combine her coolness with her hotness (yes, coolness and hotness are words), it's quite obvious I married up. Occasionally, though, her geeky side shows through.

Of course, today wasn't one of those days.

I heard the printer on my desk hum to life. "Becca must be printing something," I thought.

The page slowly came out, one swipe at a time. It read "One Free Month." "Cool," I thought.

I walked from my office into the living room. "Hey, we get a free month," I said. "Score."

She smiled as she took the paper from my hands.

"Woot!" I yelled.

She looked at me with that "what a geek" expression.

"You know, like the website, Woot," I explained.

"Oh, I got it," she said, while sounding like she really wished she didn't.

At this point I should have taken my butt back into my office and gone back to work. But no.

"Woot means 'wow, loot'," I said sheepishly.

She just stares at me as I leave the room in geeky shame.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Tarleton makes headlines with MLK party

Tarleton State University made headlines yesterday in the Stephenville Empire Tribune with a racially offensive Martin Luther King Day party. Students came dressed in gang apparal, and served 40 ounce bottles of malt liquor in brown paper bags. The "I love chicken" shirt was probably just icing on the cake. One even appeared as advertising icon Aunt Jemimah. (See, there is advertising involved, that's why I'm writing about it.)

Today, the story has been picked up by Fox News.

Way to go morons. Now the nation is looking at Stephenville and probably thinking "look at that racist hick town in Texas."

And please don't try to defend this in any way whatsoever. It may have been the funniest thing you'd ever thought of at the time. Well, you know what, it wasn't. You'll learn, once you move into the real world, that you have to excercise restraint. Now you are sitting in the national lime-light looking like a racist fool. Please don't trot out your black friends, as you did in the ET article, to defend you. Just stand up, be a man, and say "this was the stupidest thing we've ever done, and we're sorry." Whether you've created problems on the campus, or just exposed them, this was a bad, bad idea.

You just can't do things like that. It's ok for white people to make fun of our stereotypes, just as it's ok for black people to make fun of their stereotypes. (See Undercover Brother for a great example of this.) However, there is a line there that just shouldn't be crossed, and you jumped over it head first.

Can't we all just watch Undercover Brother and get along?

Military introduces ray gun and robots that intone "Danger! Danger!"

Well, maybe not the robot part, but they did make the ray gun.

Turns out this weapon of the future will be deployed in 2010. Guess the future isn't as far away as we thought.

Via Fox News

Headline of the day

Naked Man on a Boat Sparks Big, Pointless Rescue Effort

It turns out the man was not, in fact, naked. Because of that, I'm not sure the headline, while funny, is very accurate.

But, the man's name turned out to be Peg Leg, which is deserving of a headline by itself.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Someone noticed

We've officially had over 500 unique visitors this month to Erath on Fire.

I know, considering the enormity of the internet, 500 people is not that many. However, for Stephenville, that's a lot. Especially considering the only thing I've done is tell a few firemen about it.

We haven't had many calls lately (and even less that I could make it to), but with the Business Journal almost done, I should be back to responding to calls as they happen.

Start the presses

Have you ever noticed that when you're very tired, writing is a hard thing to do?

We just sent the initial layout of the Business Journal February issue off to the printer. This process involves 2 to 3 days of very intense design work. It always wipes me out. Just one final proofing meeting and about two hours worth of changes and we’ll be completely done with this issue.

A big part of the issue (and what made this one difficult) was a story we decided on last Friday. Normally we assign stories 30-60 days in advance. Starting one less than a week from going to press is never easy, but this one turned out great.

Lainey Emoto and I spent about two hours Monday with a rodeo legend named Harry Tompkins. Mr. Tompkins lives just outside Dublin, and was probably one of the greatest interviews I’ve been involved in. We went in expecting to write a short sidebar and get a few pictures. We walked out with enough great material for a full story and then some. The photos turned out great as well. Mr. Tompkins and his wife Melba where very kind to open there home to us and give us so much time. The issue with the story should be out by next Friday. I've got another future project in mind involving Mr. Tompkins if I can ever find the time.

One odd problem we had this issue was an over abundance of material. From stories to art, we had more than we needed, which is very weird considering several stories dropped at the last minute. Because of this wealth of material, my blogging article was pushed back to next issue. I guess you’ll have to wait to find out why I do this every day.

I’m off to get a little much-needed rest before starting again bright and early tomorrow. Just two more days and we have an entire weekend of relaxation planned. I don’t even have to teach Sunday so we get a break there too.

Wow, turns out writing isn’t that hard when you're tired. The key is to just start rambling.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Quote of the Day

I have no idea where this came from or who said it, but I found it in some old notes I had. It made me laugh.

"When the only tool you've got is a shotgun, all your problems start looking a lot like zombies."

If anyone knows who wrote this, please let me know.

Human Touch vaguely creepy

The above spot from Toyota is great in concept, but the execution is somewhat creepy for my tastes. Maybe it goes over better in Japan. What do you think?

Via Advertising/Design Goodness.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Last year was incredibly busy and because of that, I fell very behind on viewing movies as they were released. Netflix is helping me catch up. The latest is Steven Spielberg's 2005 film Munich. Having just finished it, I'm still a little numb, but my early impression is this is one of the best films I've seen in years. It's hard to watch, but it's worth every second. Spielberg is one of my favorite directors anyway, but he really hit this one out of the park. You owe it to yourself to see Munich if you haven't already.

Who knows, I may be the only person left who hasn't seen it.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


Seeing the latest James Bond film, Casino Royale, last year I noticed the lack of the United Artists logo before the film. My fondest memories are watching older Bond films, and most of them had the above logo. I'm sure that isn't the one that appeared in the theater for all of them, it was probably just for the DVD release. This time it was just the MGM and Columbia Pictures logo.

It probably doesn't mean anything to anyone else, but it was just odd seeing a Bond picture without United Artists being trumpeted beforehand. That's right, I am that much of a dork.

Did anyone else notice this?

Take me off the friggin' list

AdPulp ran a snippet from a New York Times article about not responding to spam mail, even if it's to "unsubscribe."

The gist of it is if you respond to spam mail in order to "opt out," you're just creating more problems. At that point, they know they have a live e-mail address and will quickly sell you to what I assume are higher-level spammers (if there is such a hierarchy among snakes).

The Astronaut Farmer?

Follow this link to a trailer for a movie called The Astronaut Farmer. Of course, you have to watch a trailer for a movie with that name. It looks like one of those overly sweet movies, but I'm not sure I can resist.

But, be warned, the trailer pretty well tells you everything that happens in the movie. I hate it when they do that. It's funny to watch the disconnect between filmmakers and the marketing departments at the studios. The director probably doesn't want to tell everyone exactly what's going to happen before they even decide to buy a ticket. I know I wouldn't. It takes all the mystery away and generally ruins the experience. It had better be a truly great film to entertain even knowing what is going to happen.

Friday, January 19, 2007

PS3 problems

For anyone interested in new technology or video games, it's been intriguing to watch the launch of the Playstation 3 and all the ensuing bad press. Sony has been having any number of problems with the much-touted new system. However, you know you have problems selling them when you can walk into the Stephenville Wal-Mart and buy any one of about 20 that were in-stock. This time last month, many people would have given a kidney to get their hands on one. Not so much anymore.

In 2005, the Xbox 360 launched in the same November time frame as the PS3 in 2006. This time last year, you couldn't find a 360 to save your life. I know. I tried. It probably doesn't bode well for the PS3 that is so readily available this early in it's life-cycle. Some retailers are even offering them for $100 off with the trade-in of a PS2.

That's why I bought them in the first place

Noted without comment.

Packaging Disaster

How not to buy wine

Funny article on the proper techniques for purchasing wine.

My favorite part being the winning formula for wine selection:


Via Coudal.

Instead of following any of those, I'd suggest calling the fine people at Bluff Dale Vineyards to help you out. Their "Nexus" wine is fantastic.

Seriously, look at the name

A client just asked me to add a starburst to his ad. I laughed and (somewhat) politely refused. Clearly he hasn't seen this blog.

Branding water

The video above shows a very interesting technique using water to create things like logos. This execution for Jeep ties in with the brand really well. The video gets a little dry (no put intended) when it gets into the technology behind it, but just seeing the water work it's magic is amazing.

Via adfreak

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Wright news

Two of our photos from yesterday's snow appeared on the front page of today's Empire Tribune. Colton and Conner where really excited to see themselves in the news.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Netflix gets better? Not so much.

Let me start by saying we subscribed to Netflix about a month and half ago and absolutely love it. In fact most of our friends and family have heard all about it from us. It seems perfect.

Now, they are making it where you can stream the movies directly to your computer instead of having to wait on the mail. The mail is so last century, after all. The bad part is, it's not open to Mac users. I know you are reading this and thinking "so," because you aren't a Mac user. Well I am, and it pisses me off.

But now that I think about it, streaming anything off the internet sucks. Bad. If I can download it directly to my computer and watch it, that's one thing (though I prefer to watch it on my TV), but streaming is often low-quality, stuttering video. Turns out you can keep your streaming Netflix. I don't want it. Me or my Mac.

I'd have to wonder about the economics of this offer, too. It won't be any extra charge to customers, which means no additional revenue from it (not counting any advertising surrounding the video you watch, which there will be). It surely took a huge investment in infrastructure and technology to make this happen. Does anyone really care enough to take advantage of it? If I can't wait 1 business day to see Weekend at Bernies, I've got issues. Most people savvy enough to take advantage of something like this are probably techy enough to own a very large TV with a nice surround sound system. Would those same people be content to watch a movie in poor quality on a computer screen? I know I wouldn't. With the advent of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray Disc (more on that later) for high definition movies, this seems like a step in the wrong direction. Maybe this will turn out a lot like mobile video.

Via American Copywriter...again.

Snow creatures

It's hard not to have fun on a snowy day. You can click on the photos below for larger versions.

Quote of the day

"And, meanwhile, we're trying to write our software for an unfinished OS, which is like trying to perform an appendectomy on a patient who is awake and actively slapping your hands away."

by Wil Shipley
The Delicious Library Blog

Delicious Library, by the way, is a phenominal program that's made for cataloging collections of DVDs, books and video games. I'd highly recommend it, assuming you are a Mac user (it's Mac only) and you are as OCD as I am about having your collections organized.

Let it snow

Snow! And I don't just mean normal Texas snow. Snow here usually means it snows overnight and by about 9 in the morning it has all melted away and just created a mess. Not this time. We have snow up to my ankles and it continues to fall.

What I absolutely love, though is the stillness that snow brings. It's just quiet outside. No cars running back and forth. No noise at all. I love it. When I went out to take a few pictures today I was struck by the calm that had fallen with the snow.

I'm betting pictures of the boys in the snow are soon to follow.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Finally, nobody else cares either

An interesting story on Ad Age about the fact that no one seems to care about video on their mobile phones. Over the past few years, this was seen as the "next big thing" for both media companies and advertisers. I've always looked at it and wondered what the big deal is. Video is slow to get over a phone and the quality is never great. The screen on my Treo 650 is gargantuan by most cell phone standards, but you still couldn't pay me to watch video on it.

There just doesn't seem to be a good fit for video on a cell phone. Do you offer full episodes of TV, or movies? Who wants to watch that on such a small screen. Ok. Then what do you offer? Maybe short videos that tie into larger media (movies, TV). It had better be truly great content to make me want to wrestle with most phone interfaces to get ahold of it.

The thing is they aren't offering anything truly innovative. They just look at the massive cell phone market and want to find a way to tap into it. Understandable, but desire to make money doesn't appear to be enough in this case.

The money quote of the article is this "The only thing holding up the explosion of the mobile phone content and advertising business continues to be the lack of interested viewers, panelists bemoaned at the second annual NATPE Mobile conference here."

AdPulp summed that quote up best with a quote of their own: "That's like saying "The only thing preventing me from getting laid every night continues to be the lack of interested chicks.""

I'm glad I'm not the only one who has never seen the appeal of mobile video.

Water-proof phone?

If they make it, we need it. My wife received a 55 gallon fish tank from her wonderful husband for Christmas. The only problem is one of the doors on the top is broken in half. It sits there fine, but if you put anything on top of it, it can't support it and acts as a trap door into the murky depths of the tank.

Forgetting this, Becca set one of our phones on top of the panel. It looked like one of those things you only see on TV. The phone quickly activated the secret trap door and splashed into the luke-warm waters, surprising the gold fish as it sank. Luckily, her quick reflexes saved it from reaching the pressurized depths at the bottom of the tank.

We still have yet to determine if it will ever call again, but it was funny enough to be worth it.

Blogging? What's that?

FYI, I'll be writing a general overview of blogging (who, what, when, where, why) along with a few tips for the February issue of The Business Journal. Should be out the first or second week of February.

What's that smell?

That’s the smell of Old Spice m’ lady.

Picture this: You are in charge of marketing for a stodgy old deodorant company. Heck, they even have “Old” in the name. Never a good start when you are being overrun by hip new brands that market with sexy girls, and the promise to deliver those sexy girls by simply using their products. How do you combat that?

With true manliness and comedic gold. And who represents manliness better than the ultimate man ... Bruce Campbell? You can watch the spots below and see what I mean. They are smart, funny, and actually update the Old Spice brand without giving in to the “we know you wanna have sex, so we’re going to make it look like you can have more of it by wearing our products, while also making all women look like uncontrollable sluts, but you and I both know if you believe this, you won’t be having more sex, because you are stupid and relying on cologne to make you sexy) mentality. Such as say Tag or Axe. Old Spice doesn’t have quite the “edgy” name of the others, but they make it work.

Old Spice will even make hair grow on your chest. I saw it on TV (or YouTube) so it must be true. Right?

I flat out love these spots.

“They’ll buy you a stick of something that smells like wildflowers and shame.”

Via American Copywriter.

Monday, January 15, 2007

New year in review

It's really funny to watch how people jump back into old projects with the advent of a new year.

Two of my favorite bloggers/podcasters have gotten back into the game after a bit of a hiatus.

Franklin McMahon of Media Artist Secrets, and John and Tug of American Copywriter fame.

I've personally kept up with my resolution to focus more on my writing. Along with everything else I do at Image, I've been writing more and more over the past few years. I enjoy blogging (but never seem to have the time), and this year I'd like to keep up with it. I'm also interested in pursuing other writing opportunities as the year goes on.

However it's the 15th of the month, and I am 0 for 15 as far as getting up earlier to run on the long-dormant treadmill.

Mute ads

For designers of cheesy web ads: SHUT UP!

For webmasters who place loud ads on their sites: STOP IT!

I'm really tired (in case you couldn't tell) of ads on sites that have noise. Whatever noise it is, if you think it's a good idea to put it in the ad, let me tell you, it's not. Whenever I visit a site and the ads around it start talking to me, I make a note to never, ever visit the site again.

Don't. Do. It. Ever. Again.

Cave man heritage

Remember that nice warm fire I talked about earlier. Well, turns out it was not so much warm as sputtering.

You see, we prepared for the ice storm by making sure we (and the dogs, oh yeah, and the kids too) had plenty of food. The one thing we forgot was that magical combination of (what I'm sure are fake) wood chips and chemicals known as a starter log. We used our final starter log last night and, being the man I am, I was forced to get a fire going from scratch. That's right, just me, a small pile of wet logs and about 175 newspapers. Oh yeah, and matches. Lots of matches.

I wanted lighter fluid too, but Becca wouldn't let me.

After wrestling with the monster for about thirty minutes, I walked away, hands black with newsprint and burned in several places. Clothes smelling of burnt paper. And a nice warm fire going.

Truly wireless?

Is it too much to ask for Apple to offer wireless headphones for the iPod? I spent part of the weekend catching up on some audiobooks and podcasts. I spent the other half of the weekend trying to untangle the headphone wires. These things are a nightmare to keep from wrapping around your throat in a threatening manner.

Cut the wires Apple.

However, this is the first significant amount of time I've spent with my iPod shuffle since buying it back in November, and I'm really impressed. Normally it is playing in my car, but this is the first time I've had it on me using the headphones. It's fantastic, and I can't imagine lugging around a full-sized iPod as I was listening around the house.

23 Degrees

It's currently 23 degrees outside in Stephenville and everything is frozen solid. Except for the nice warm fire in our fireplace, however.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Digital enhancement

One thing that really irritates me about movies is when they digitally enhance a photo or video. Usually these are low-resolution shots, but they are magically able to zoom in on a certain section (usually someone's face) and blow it up to full screen size, all the while making it clearer and clearer.

As someone who works with photos for a living, I can tell you this doesn't happen. When you zoom in on something, it looks worse and worse, not better and better. They did it on 24 tonight which reminded me how much I hate it.

Beyond that, though, 24 looks to have kicked off another great season.

EOF in the news

Erath on Fire was featured on the front page of last Friday's Stephenville Empire Tribune. They were shots from the recent fire north of Huckabay. It was a big one. You can see more photos at the EoF site.


It's been a while since I've had time to post here, but I'll try to get cranking on it again soon. The end of '05 and the first few weeks of this year have been incredibly busy.

But the new year officially kicks of tonight. In about 35 minutes actually. Jack Bauer makes his return tonight at 7 on Fox.