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sidewalks by fnnch

Yello, it's Mark.

I grew up in the rough and tumble southwest. Grandma Phoebe taught me to pull up my bootstraps, work hard and play harder. My colleagues and mentors taught me respect for mashin' up creativity and technology to make something from nothing. I love to get my hands dirty and this site's about how muddy I get. Enjoy!

One of my passions is sound. Dragonbox Studios is where I craft music, characters, commercials and more. Have a listen to our jukebox.

My addiction is to solid design. Dragonsfisher is a design studio where brand, products and experiences are created. Take a look at our portfolio.

Meet my poodle-pekinese dog, Dug. He's a super smart little people puppy. duggles.net is where you can keep-up with the pup's latest adventures.

Feed me!

Tilt Brush love!

Learning how to create 3D art is easier than you think with Tilt Brush by Google. I lost myself for at least an hour the first time I tried it! Watch a friend playing for the first time...

Falling down faster

You have to be “good” at tolerating failures as a coder. No one does perfectly well the first time. Coding is like acting: The computer says, "No" as much as a casting director. You have to be able to throw the work away and do it again.

Perfect is an unattainable ideal anyway; Therefore, plan on failing the first time. What scared me at first is how easy it is to fall on your face. At the end of the day, it's only software. You can't really break the bits and bytes.

Then I thought, “Hey, remember that time you got stung 11 times in the head because Dr. “Cowboy” Gerry the bee wranglin’ scientist was an inconsiderate ass?” I’ve already fallen down so hard and hilariously that it doesn’t bother me at all anymore.

My puffed head deflated eventually. I ran like hell outta his lab, and back to my friendly, cold, stinger-less computer. I learned that squashing software bugs in an air conditioned lab is preferable to so many other ways to fall down in life.

I love chaos because it's error prone. It's like listening to our favorite artists live. They riff and present something that we don't remember from the record. We love them even more for it.

Missing you, Diz E. McNally!

That grin I had on my face the other day was due mostly to an actress from a TV show on Nickelodeon that I watched as a kid: Out of Control with Dave Coulier. I was watching an oldie and goodie episode on YT.

That led me to a second clip of Diz as a person and actress doing her one woman show in Hollywood. It looks like she plays made-up characters from the Wizard of Oz. She says, "My favorite character from the movie is the Wicked Witch of the West because she made an impact. That’s what I want to do..make an impact."

I feel like I want some of the same thing. Diz’s trademark scream is one I’ll remember forever. I used to be able to do it, before my voice cracked :P

Here’s Diz on an episode of Out of Control, the show I used to watch as a kid on Nickelodeon. It's also the reason that I love Dave Coulier. The first bit, which is the end of a show, is all you have to watch to get the feel – worms! Here’s the montage of Diz doing her thing in Hollywood.

R.I.P. T.V.!

It's a mid-life identity crisis

I realized that the ol’ “midlife crisis” is a crisis of identity. My career sucked the self image right outta me. What was left is a shell – a façade that represents what the corporate person looks like.

Then I shed the yoke of corporate identity. I’m not a brand, I’m a multifaceted person with my own image. While perception is usually not reality, I know that crafting my external image is important, at least for me.

This is something that's happening to folks under 40 years of age now and it put a speed bump on my career path. The key I found, is to silence my self-critic and avoid determining my own value for others.

Like buttons should say "Share" instead. No one likes everything. Everyone can share emotional reactions.

Objective: Meet my Meraki

Meraki is Greek for "essence" and it describes the core of who you are and what you put into what you do. For me, this is the core of the typical "objective" statement on my curriculum vitae. It look a long time for me to get to the essence of myself and now I've taken a stand:

At play, I am spontaneous, messy and animated. Invention and innovation come from play. At work, I am focused on the processes and best practices that make inventions real, with plan B in my back pocket. Experience has taught me how to surf the wave of pondering and production to get things done. All I want to do is ride that wave with family on a playful, joyous adventure.

Pickled Rick's family therapy session

I love any cartoon with insightful writing that makes an impact on my life. In season 2, episode 3, Rick the genius scientist is so bored, he turns himself into a pickle – and also to avoid a counseling session.

Here's the family therapist's breakdown of Rick's ego and the family's affected sickness. My inner pickle felt a strangelittle tingle when she broke it down so incredibly well...

Rick:
I didn't want to come here because I don't respect therapy, because I'm a scientist, because I transform, create and destroy worlds for a living. I'm a pickle. When I feel like it. So. You asked...

Therapist:
The only connection between your unquestionable intelligence and the sickness destroying your family is that everyone in your family, you included, use intelligence to justify sickness. You seem to alternate between viewing your own mind as an unstoppable force and as an inescapable curse and I think it's because the only truly unapproachable concept for you is that it's your mind within your control.

You chose to come here, you chose to talk, to belittle my vocation, just as you chose to become a pickle. You are the master of your universe and yet, you are dripping with rat blood and feces, your enormous mind, literally vegetating by your own hand.

I have no doubt that you would be bored senseless by therapy, the same way I'm bored when I brush my teeth and wipe my ass, because the thing about repairing and maintaining and cleaning is, it's not an adventure. There's no way to do it so wrong you might die. It's just work and the bottom line is: Some people are OK going to work and some people... Well, some people would rather die. Each of us gets to choose.

Six axes of freedom times 360 degrees (= 2,160) just amplified the resolution of users' inputs in virtual reality. Wowsers. It's a brave new world, UX designers!

I rent work space in San Francisco for just $8/hr

...served with The best damn ginger scone I've ever had and a whole big bottle of Pellegrino. It's called a coffee shop in the Castro named Hearth ;)

I quit my Skype number.

Great idea as a business product with poor execution. I had to recycle business cards. Ugh. Why did I quit? It was an awesome number and I was sad to let it go. After years of bad service and the inability to show that number on someone else's caller ID, I had to call it quits. This is another case of Microsoft's stick in the mud affecting acquisitions negatively.

Microsoft, I highly recommend the Xbox unit management take over all other business units. Thank goodness it weathered the storm all this time. I hope it lasts...

Cooking for a Cause with La Cocina

Summer 2017

La Cocina helps local small business startup restaurants run by minority women in the San Francisco bay area. I met Elizabeth Faulkner, a Top Chef, all around amazing person and soccer player like me. Unlike the tremendous pressure of the TV show, working the annual fundraising event for La Cocina was a blast. She made a delicious squid ink bernaise sauce to compliment beef tar tar with diced yumminess and crispy potato bits on top. ( That's me on the right ;)

A thinly breaded compliment sandwich gets great work done faster.