Archive for February, 2008

Early Sunday Morning Dream

February 26th, 2008

So the other night I had a pretty good dream. It started out on a small boat and we were heading up river (we meaning me and a bunch of faceless people). Anyway we head up river and get to a tunnel or bridge that we go under (very Willy Wonka). On the other side is where the boat docks and as I disembarked I find myself wondering the streets of New York City, but not the New York of today it was New York 1950s style.


Continuing, somehow I ended up meeting a classy lady (think Catherine Hepburn and her men shirts and pants). Here’s where the dream turns good—as I start talking to this woman I discover that she’s actually a Graphic Designer and she takes me to her design studio in this great warehouse loft space. The studio was a small operation on the brink of ruin, but after a brief interview and the stunning views from the studio I decide to stay and help their business boon. So armed with a MacBook Air I somehow had tucked away in my bag and using Helvetica I become/ became a design legend with my namesake making it into Meggs’ History of Graphic Design.

It’s pretty obvious what the influences of the dream were. Going to the Apple store over the weekend, watching Rambo go up river in Rambo 4, reading Meggs book, and using Helvetica excessively…. Anyway, it was a fun dream and worth sharing for anyone who loves graphic design or strange dreams that involve Catherine Hepburn look a likes.

FlashVars and Getting Them to Work in AS3

February 18th, 2008

As I’ve been making the transition to Flash Actionscript 3 (AS3) I’ve discovered that there are somethings that used to be so easy in Actionscript (AS2) that have become a major choir to figure out in AS3. So in an effort to help anyone else who might be making the transition from AS2 to AS3 here’s another group of source files that detail how to get FlashVars working in AS3.

A basic understanding of FlashVars is it was a simple way to import values into a flash movie. For example I often would create a flash movie and set up some variables that changed via the FlashVars (like a movie clip color, url, or text). To make a change to the project rather than opening the flash file, editing the file, then re-export the code, I could simply update a short line of flashvars in the html code and the changes were reflected the next time the flash movie was run. Actionscript 3 seems to have done away with FlashVars, but this doesn’t mean you can’t store your variables elsewhere and import them.

My example that I’ve linked to at the bottom of this post is a classic example. The main movie (text_file_variables.fla) contains three buttons each linking to a website. The convenient part is the website urls are defined in the text file (variables.txt). Change the text file and the buttons redirect you to the newly changed url. The flash file is pretty well documented with what’s been done. I hope it saves someone time trying to figure it out.

Download the source files.


Spending a couple days in flash you learn a ton. I figured out a way to create the same file without having to have more than one frame in the timeline. Basically everything that was on frame 2 (anything that was determined by the variables in the text file) is inside the function that gets triggered after the text file is loaded (after addEventListener(Event.COMPLETE, dataOK)). I’ve updated the file below to reflect the one frame code version.

Download the UPDATED source files here.

Our Winter Escape

February 16th, 2008




With all the snow Gem rarely gets to play much outside. These shots were from a week or two ago when the snow would not quit and while mom was in Hawaii. I’m starting to really miss greener days.

Four Great Images

February 16th, 2008





These are a few pictures of life lately. It’s been a good time by all.