Update!

Have I really not updated my blog in almost a year? Apparently so. The blog quietly turned 13 years old while I’ve been doing other things, namely writing a book which is in the editing stage and should be out this Fall.

Back in NYC

I’m back in New York after two fantastic weeks on holiday in Europe. If you’ve written, I hope to get through all my emails this week.

One observation I made moving through Ireland, France, and Germany was how little the Internet really assists in everyday life. Although hotels appear to be more likely to provide email access (even small hotels had a free computer in public areas) — and this proved useful to a significant percentage of those I saw — otherwise the media and tools we use are still mostly non-computer based. This isn’t necessarily a difference between the U.S. and Europe, just something I was able to see with fresh eyes as I myself abondoned the computer and mobile for two weeks.

Awesomeness

I was hanging out with my peeps last week and a couple times Paul used the word awesome, as when we were talking about building tools for customers and he said, “The tools should make them feel capable of awesomeness.

Making people feel capable of awesomeness. That in itself is awesome. So this is my new mantra. Let’s make it awesome, and if it’s not, why the fuck isn’t it? Life is too short not to be awesome.

Wynton Marsalis, photo credit Clay McBride

Talking vs. Doing and My New Project

If there’s still anyone out there who follows this blog I’m sure you’re wondering why the post frequency has dropped off and why it consists mostly of quoting the New York Times. I’ve been busy slowly creating my latest passion, a school of continuing education called Smart Experience. I could write a lot about it, but hopefully the website explains what’s going on.

One fun part about building a business again is the opportunity to design a business as a deep dive, rather than on a project basis as a consultant. While I have a lot of new thoughts about how that happens (and doesn’t happen), mostly I’m trying to write less and do more, so I’ll skip that for now.

Four Things

I usually don’t participate is such folly, but I’m feeling frivolous…

Four jobs I’ve had:

  1. painting playgrounds
  2. building houses
  3. administering computer networks
  4. writing about music

Four movies albums I can watch listen to over and over:

  1. Steely Dan’s Aja
  2. Death Cab For Cutie’s We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes
  3. Mahler’s Tenth Symphony
  4. Led Zepplin II

Four places I’ve lived:

  1. West 23rd, between Ninth and Tenth
  2. West 25th and Seventh and Eighth
  3. West 87th between Central Park West and Columbus
  4. 28th St between Ditmars and Twenty-Third, Astoria

Four TV shows I love:

  1. M*A*S*H
  2. The West Wing
  3. The Newsroom
  4. Connections

Four places I’ve vacationed:

  1. Charleston
  2. Sienna
  3. Berlin
  4. Dublin

Four of my favorite dishes:

  1. koenigsberger klops
  2. fish tacos
  3. pasta fagioli
  4. anything from Ben & Jerry’s

Four sites I visit daily:

  1. New York Times
  2. ?
  3. ?
  4. ? …besides scanning RSS Feeds, it’s interesting that the sources I look to on a daily basis — books, the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal — are still more satisfying offline, though I’d rather have them online.

Four places I would rather be right now:

  1. the bathtub
  2. a sidewalk cafe
  3. cycling through the countryside
  4. with friends

Away to Montreal

I’m off to Montreal for the information architecture summit and traveling incommunicado, or at least sans powerbook. If you need me, ring.

Victor

They say the fish will be the last animal to discover water. Walking down the street the other day I wondered about the meaning of my own name. Victor means winner, but in my case I was simply named after my maternal grandfather. And Lombardi, especially when I was born in 1969, was synonymous with winning because of the coach by that name (people still occasionally slip and call me Vince). This pairing never occurred to me, and now it suddenly strikes me as quite odd. I wonder if this occurred to my parents at the time, but they were probably too busy with the other four kids to give it that much thought. I’ll have to ask my father at Christmas.

A foray into paper publishing

An essay I wrote in 1991, Music and Censorship, will be included in an upcoming Pearson textbook, Music and Culture. Even more surprising is my company, the likes of (beware shameless name dropping) Copland, Paglia, Quindlen, and Bloom. It is some of my better writing: though the argument is weak in sections my style hasn’t been as sharp as when the university had me pumping out an essay a week. Mostly the piece has the distinction of being rare; apparently there aren’t many rigorous looks at music censorship, at least not on the internet where this continues to get a fair amount of page views.

InfoDesign interview

Peter J. Bogaards was kind enough to chat with me for the InfoDesign Profile series. One question I didn’t have an answer for was, Who is your role model? It’d be great to have one, but it feels like the world is changing too fast for anyone else to consistenty interpret the world in a way I strive for.