Thursday, December 24, 2009

Congratulations Derick and Emily!

My close friend Derick proposed to his girlfriend, Emily, last night. I am thrilled for them as Derick and I have had many great conversations about relationships and specifically even her before they actually started dating. He was attracted to her from the beginning and to see that work out into a marriage about 2 years later is amazing.

I was blessed with the opportunity to help him with his project on how he was going to pop the question. Derick is a professional movie maker (editor, animator, and more) who works for a company called Centerline locally here in Raleigh making, amongst other things, videos for what I work on at IBM. Since he is a production guy, everyone expected something big out of him and he delivered. He and some of his friends including myself spent two late nights filming light writing out of the 18th floor of the Clairon Hotel in Downtown Raleigh from 6 PM to 6 AM last Thursday and Friday nights. Fortunately these were some of the darkest days of the year, meaning two all nighters would be all that was needed since it took almost the whole 24 hours. Then Derick edited for about 4 days estimated guess.

Light writing is the idea that you leave a camera lense open (exposed) and capture all the light that comes in. In doing that, you capture certain intentional light which eventually when merged with another photo (or 500) can spell a word, phrase, or sentence. There is more info on it here on wikipedia. For this project, Derick chose to do it in downtown Raleigh which meant going over the natural terrain of the city. Some of these letters are partially up walls (the WILL, The M, A, and Y in Marry, and the M in Me), through bushes/brush (Emily's whole name), and across busy streets.

Please check out the video he made of the proposal and rate it 5 stars...he deserves it!

Light Writing Proposal from Derick Childress on Vimeo.

Most importantly, congrats to Derick and Emily! Heather and I couldn't be happier that you two will be together and look forward to your friendship for many years to come.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Before you make that purchase...

Heather and I have come up with a system that has really started working to jointly control any compulsive spending and I thought I would share it. It started off with the first two questions but we have expanded it to 3 questions we ask one anothee in order to better think our purchases out. I added just some of the sub questions which have come up in my mind when thinking out the answers recently.

1) How often would you really use it?
-- Is it worth buying another item for how often it will be used?
-- Do you need it or just want it?
-- Can you borrow or try it out before committing to spending the money?
-- Is there something that you can sell or get rid of first to offset the cost? We do this with cars all the time, but not other things we buy.
2) Are their cheaper alternatives?
-- Does this purchase have reoccurring costs such as supplies being more expensive than alternatives?
-- What are the tradeoffs to the cheaper alternatives?
-- How long will the cheaper alternatives be good enough?
3) Can the money be better used elsewhere?
-- If you used the money to pay down debt would you end up being able to afford something better in the long run?
-- If you aren't going to use it often, would it be better to support a charity or a friend in need?
-- Would letting the money grow in a savings or an investment account be better while you think it out?

Try it and let me know if you come up with other short questions to add to the list