Creativity is just connecting things.
— Steve Jobs

Tag Archives: Matt

50 Things About Me

This blog, founded on June 1, 2004, is written and produced by Matt Binkowski.

Matt and baby Elise

1. I have been happily married for 14 years to my best friend, partner in crime, and all around love of my life.

2. My daughter Elise is perfectly cute, funny and smart as a whip. My baby boy Miles crashed the party on November 29, 2008.

3. I collect old Apple hardware:
– 1 Apple Pippin (Developer’s Edition)
– 1 Emate
– 2 Newtons (130 and 2100)
– 1 Interactive TV Prototype.

4. I started playing guitar when I was age 15.

5. My hollow-body aluminum strat was hand-built by a gifter luthier, Tom Murray.

6. I’ve driven a Wrangler over log piles, shale beaches, large boulders, through flooded trails, on the Rubicon Trail and the Chrysler Proving Grounds.

7. I like to think I’m a good painter and draftsman.

8. My dog lives on a 20 acre ranch in California and I miss him every day.

9. I lost my home, job, friends and savings thanks to the financial collapse in 2009 but somehow we were rescued and my family is okay.

10. I need to be challenged wherever I work.

11. If I’m watching a band is playing at a bar, I get nervous because I’ll feel like I’m up next.

12. My favorite color was blue and now it’s red.

13. I am an Eagle Scout and once won the Summer Camp-wide Archery competition.

14. I think Flash is the least usable application a designer has to deal with.

15. I used to live in California during the big internet boom and I miss that optimistic culture.

16. I rarely use my iPod Newton.

17. I love my iPod iPhone.

18. I find my Newton iPhone more useful than my iPod Newton.

19. I once fell from the roof of my Mom and Dad’s house and I didn’t get hurt.

20. I’ve never broken or sprained anything.

21. I once camped outside for 24 hours while it was 10 degrees below 0.

22. I once played in a band described by the Metro Times as “Detroit’s most offensive hardcore band.”

23. I took that as a compliment.

24. I loved playing in that band because our live shows were so crazy.

25. I painted three life-size oil portraits of my friends for my senior thesis in art school.

26. My college band performed a show in front of AC/DC’s lead singer and 800 high school kids. (it was so odd to see Brian Johnson just 30 feet away from me watching us play.)

27. There’s something comforting to me about a buddy list that makes me think I’m able to keep up with friends.

28. I take other people’s old Macintosh computers when they mention throwing them out because in some weird way it feels wrong.

29. I am determined to create my own OS X iPhone app.

30. I bought a Jeep so I could learn how to take it apart.

31. I hate being bored.

32. I have a good way of being calm in hairy situations.

33. I can’t cook anything except Crazy Pancakes.

34. Even those don’t turn out very well every time.

35. I wish Google Maps was able to send info to my Newton.

36. I’m somewhat addicted to the news, especially during election years.

37. I can’t watch CNN for very long before it stresses me out.

38. I once hiked over 100 miles in 1 week in New Mexico while carrying a backpack that weighed over 40 pounds.

39. I only drive the speed limit when I drive with my family.

40. I can draw Dora the Explorer.

41. I really can’t stand Dora the Explorer. I’m really learning to like Dora now that my daughter is so caught up in the Disney princesses who need to be married in order to “be complete.”

42. I can do all of the Winnie the Pooh voices.

43. I drink too much coffee and not enough water. Too personal? Maybe…

44. My first guitar teacher taught me Puff the Magic Dragon. Then I quit and learned how to play by listening to the radio.

45. The first record I ever bought was Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger.

46. The last record I ever bought was Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger.

47. My favorite movie is Better Off Dead.

48. I have a bad habit of rejecting bands the first time I hear them…and then reject them again a few months later…eventually listening to them religiously about a year down the road.

49. I’ve taken over 8,000 photos and 300 movie clips of my family.

50. I am amazed you made it all the way to the end of this list.


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Defining Your Self Image

Microsoft’s Zune player is getting all the press lately since it’s release and it just made the rounds on the Today Show. The video has a section when after Matt Lauer and Al Roker make mention of how they’re “iPod guys”, Matt asks Al about what’s on his iPod right now (keep in mind, this is supposed to be about the Zune).

Al makes a quick comment about 1) how the Zune’s store is a little more “unwieldy” than the iTunes Store 2) he’s aware of the iPod rumors regarding larger screens and then 3) replies with some kids show music that he plays “for the kids in the car” and says something to the effect of how it’s what his kids listen to. Then he said something that really caught my ear. He said, “Hey, I drive a minivan. Cool was long ago left behind for me.”

Some people will say, “Come on Matt, it’s Al Roker. What do you expect?” But I still think it’s shocking that a person who went out and bought an iPod, downloads music from the iTunes store and actually continues to use his iPod even in the car defines his level of “coolness” by the car he drives. I wonder if Apple has done any research into consumer’s self image post-iPod sale.


Project Greenlight

Lately, 10pm is the family bedtime but for some reason, I stayed up until midnight watching the premiere of Project Greenlight on Bravo. I am very interested in filmmaking and kinda considering going for my masters in film somewhere, so I thought it might be cool to watch this show from the start since I missed it the last 2 seasons.

This year, the studio (Dimension Films) is having a big hand in choosing which film PG will eventually produce. Mainly because they agreed to finance it. Since Dimension has had alot of success with horror films (Scream, etc.), they wanted to go in a horror direction. After a lengthy script and director entry review period, the main players were able to reduce it to 3 finalists each.

The more interesting parts were during the internal conversations leading up to which film and director would be chosen for the project. What really caught me off guard was the completely ineffective arguing made by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. I assumed they knew how to talk the talk with studio execs. They had no clue. Ben did mention how studio people like to think of films in terms of how they can market them and which will bring in the best ROI.

Unfortunately, Matt didn’t get it. He kept arguing for the “best” director and script, and in Hollywood, that doesn’t mean biggest ROI.

Directing legend Wes Craven, acting as support for the chosen director, tried to argue in terms of technical feasibility and how long it would take and how bad the result would look considering the meager budget.

This was mildly effective although I could tell that the studio execs only saw those as creative limitations that the team would simply have to deal with.

I felt bad for Matt Damon because he is passionate about his work and made that clear, but didn’t provide any kind of alternative to the studio execs in terms of marketing strategy.

The execs wanted to know what the poster would look like, not the final film. Matt had it the other way around.

Matt also made a comment about it is unfortunate that now the “worst” script had to be paired up with the best director, and he was right.

What he didn’t forsee was all the re-writes that were coming up in the next episode. DOH!

I’m Too Sexy for My Name

I knew my name drove the women wild. ROFLMAO! This article from CNN PROVES IT! “Scientists say the right name can make you sexier. Linguist Amy Perfors of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology posted photos of men and women on the U.S. Web site “Hot or Not,” which lets viewers rate pictures according to how attractive they find them.

When she posted the same pictures with different names, she found that the attractiveness scores went up and down depending on the vowels, the London-based magazine New Scientist reported.

Men with “front vowels” in their names — sounds formed at the front of the mouth like the “a” in Matt — were considered sexier than men with “back vowel” sounds like the “au” in Paul, she concluded.”

Full Article