Poplar Beach HalfMoon Bay

Just 5 minutes south of downtown Half Moon Bay is Poplar Beach. It's a long stretch of beach that feels quite private, more private than Lindamar if you're looking to get away from the crowd. There is plenty of parking, and dogs are allowed on a leash. I noticed a few artifacts left behind by man built fires along the walls, sheltered from the coastal winds. I'm assuming bonfires are ok here. If you're on a motorcycle I bet you can set up camp unoticed.

The view from the cliff before the climb down is a sight to take in, light brisk wind and salty air makes for good meditation. If you make a trip out here be sure to take a photo with that beached turquoise ship. I wonder if it still floats. 

The surf doesn't look so good, but I'll have to check on a bigger day, today the waves were mostly flat all along the coast anyway. From what I can tell, it's a beach break.

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Black Diamond Mine Preserve

Here's a gem if you're looking for lush green rolling hills that extend further than the eyes can see, free roaming cows, eagles and vultures preying on agile field gophers, an occasional snake, and best of all abandon mines. Then check out Black Diamond Preserve just north of Mt. Diablo in the eastbay. I wonder if this place stays green all year round, I'd have to check back in the future. 

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Mavic Over Heels

Dude, I finally got my hands on one. Hands down. it's way better than the Phantom I had. Although the camera is smaller, hence lower image quality. Portability trumps all! So excited to fly soon. 

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MY KINDA DRINK

Happy Friday. Besides work I haven't been very creative on the side in awhile. I'm going to make it a habit to add more design to the blog, and to my photos. A couple post down. I started a series called "Places We Go" This collection will be called "My Kinda Drink." 

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ON INSTANT GRATIFICATION IN DESIGN

 This is not, like, a coy thing to say, "oh I don't believe I'm talented." This is real, like being absolutely painfully aware of how you're not good enough to do something on command.

 -- Christoph Niemann

SF MOMA

 “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr

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CREATIVITY IS CAPTURING SOULS

While listening to the Valentine episode on Planet Money the host's are shouting out their Valentines. What I thought was a peculiar shout out, turned out quite insightful. Ann Wroe the obituary writer for The Economist was one of the admirers. Sometimes she writes about a famous person, sometimes its not. When asked about her process. She explain's she only has 36 hours to turn around a project. She likes to look for autobiographies. She's not interested in what others have to say about the deceased. She only wants to hear what the person she's profiling has to say about themselves. She say's "I'm trying to get the human soul. I really believe in the soul. Therefore what I'm doing is capturing souls." The host  says  "I think that's the reason why she's so memorable when she writes. Because when she writes, she's actually becoming someone else." 

The irony is awesome.  An obituary writer capturing souls. So funny.  

Creativity is capturing souls. Creativity is empathy. To empathize with someone or something is to understand. It is when we fully understand and immersed we can become better, we build greater. 

PLACES WE GO

I started archiving photos from trips I took this past years. I'm a bit reluctant to share them, because this means I'd be over sharing. I've already shared versions of them before. Likes Sweets, they're best consumed in small dosage. Makes for a meaningful experience. I share the same sentiment with photos. Show the right amount of curated photos. No more, No Less. So what should I do with the rest? I'm using them as inspiration for fun iOS wallpapers. I'm gonna call this series "PLACES WE GO" -- let's collaborate on this. Hit me at Hoang@hobo.life

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BEFORE DESIGN. THERE ARE PRINCIPLES

I was gifted "Let my people go surfing" by Yvon Chouinard recently. I was unaware the book existed but happy to have a copy. With all books we take what we need in that particular moment. This book is insightful for my fascination with principles and philosophies that help guide brands, and product development. I knew about the Yvon and Patagonia but not intimately. After watching "180 south" I've been an admirer of his business ideas and passion for adventure. This book was written to be a philosophical manual for employees of Patagonia, but carries an autobiographical vibe. His lifestyle inevitably informs products made by Patagonia. It's been translated into ten different languages and debated on in high schools, colleges and large corporations.

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Lately I've been thinking deeply about my craft. As a principal designer, my role in design has drastically change in the past years. I went from being exceedingly hands-on in my work to being hands-off and brains on. I now realized how vital a good lead is to the process. They are there to inject direction, design principles, and brand ideas. Allowing juniors and seniors to have the foundation to work upon. That way they can focus on improving their technical and execution skills. As I've gone through the same path, I'm sadden to be less physical and more methodical in the design process. But before a beautiful and, tangible product is made. I now recognize there needs to be clear and concise guiding principles that are defined.

Twenty-one pages in I spot a gem. It resonates with me deeply in this moment. Yvon relies on this principle leading his company on a rough but successful place. I'll share it with you here:

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What did you take from that? I perceive good craft and design begins with strong, clear, and precise guiding principles. Here Yvon is inspired by principles from the French aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery.  Antoine says "perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when their is no longer anything to take away..." In ways it's similar to Dieter Rams "10 Principle of Design."  He states "Good design is as little design as Possible." Less, but better-- because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with the non-essentials. In the book Yvon applies this thinking in building his products. Think of good principles as a moral compass. What are your principles in design? or career?