HBO’s True Detective opening credits

by Steve Douglas on February 25, 2014


Fave Tee Vee show at the moment has to be HBO’s True Detective, a great film noir series now unspooling every Sunday night. Not going to get into the show’s masterful use of alternate timelines, symbology and references to obscure horror novels – those subjects are being discussed, at great length, on many forums, blogs and newsgroups on the web. The opening credits are stunning though, and worthy of a blog post of their own. So here you go.

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When Ms. Fraud comes knocking

by Steve Douglas on January 5, 2014

employee thief graphic

A 4000 word, $70,000+ case study in devastating employee fraud. How it happens. How it affects. And how to avoid it.

Let’s begin at the beginning. A really nice woman, we’ll call her N., had been my admin for years. I thought of her as my friend. Still do. She handled my accounts payable and receivable as well as most of the administrative duties of my business. I trusted her implicitly. As I had trusted her predecessor. And her predecessor too. And so on, back as far as the mid-90′s. Other than a few hiccups, I’d always managed to hire just the right person for this critical position. I also had a part-time bookkeeper, someone who had been with me since early 2000, and someone who, after committing such an act of absolute honesty, I’d safely trust with, well, pretty much anything I hold near and dear. We’ll call her S. for continuity. My little outfit was, for all intents and purposes, a well-oiled machine. Decent pay. Health benefits. Bills always up to date and taxes submitted on time. It was a wonderful setup.

Moving On.

Then came the time when N. got married and with her new husband, moved to another town, quite far away from my office. While she told me that she didn’t mind the lengthy commute, or the constant traffic, I knew N. would be leaving soon. I certainly would have. As predicted, she handed in her notice a month or so later. Though on the bonus side, N. promised to train her replacement. I appreciated that. Then, my bookkeeper told me she was looking for permanent work. A full time position. Her small stable of clients – including my company – was cool and all, but after a few had gone out of business, she wanted job security. Having been self-employed for the better part of twenty years, can’t say I blamed her. I was glad to give a glowing reference to the company that would later bring her on board. I don’t think they realize how lucky they are.

The New Hire.

Trying to overlap the placements so that the machine plodded on, I started the hiring process for an admin. And a bookkeeper. Let me tell ya, reading over resumes is arduous and in today’s climate, you get hundreds, sometimes thousands, for any job advertisement. I settled on some prospective new hires and began bringing them in for interviews. For the time being, I hired a commercial bookkeeping firm to do the books and they came in every two weeks, reconciling bank statements and the like. Meanwhile, I interviewed and eventually hired the woman we’ll call E. Looking back, the odds of hiring her were a couple of hundred to one. Lucky me. Though in my defense, her resume was solid. Years of experience. Good references. Quite personable, if not a little nervous during our initial interview. She claimed to have all the required skills for the position, and more. As N. had agreed to stay a while and train her, and at the same time assess her qualifications, I had no doubt that it would all work out, one way, or the other. After a few weeks, E. had quite impressed N. with her abilities, and N. gave a hearty thumbs up before tearfully leaving our premises for the last time. E. settled into her duties, and the bookkeepers continued to show up every two weeks. Despite losing two key personnel in the space of a month, things seemed to have gone surprisingly smoothly. I settled back into the ebb and flow of professional life. Blogging. Designing and animating. Launching websites. Dealing with clients. I hadn’t the smallest notion of what was headed my way. While reading on, keep in mind that most of what follows was only discovered after some pretty exhaustive rummaging through MYOB and Quickbooks files, bank statements, checks recovered from the bank and whatever cancelled checks E. neglected to destroy. Yeah. I think you know where this is headed.

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The Logo Mechanics

by Steve Douglas on November 6, 2011

Logo mechanics home page

New site launch

After much midnight oil burning, hand wringing and gnashing of teeth, Funkenhammer and I just launched a new site this weekend and I figured here’s as good a place as any to announce it. The Logo Mechanics is a ‘love child’ site of The Logo Factory dealing with logo repair (as opposed to full-blown logo design) and is a domain that was in desperate need of TLC. Actually, the site is more of a relaunch – The Logo Mechanics is a concept (and domain) that’s been kicking around for over ten years, as has, more importantly, the logo (below)
logo mechanics logo

Which brings us to today’s sad tale of internet plagiarism. See, our original Logo Mechanics logo was designed way back in 2000. We used it on the original version of the Logo Mechanics site in 2001 (check out the Way Back Machine archive to see how the site looked on September 29, 2001). That’s 2001 folks. Someone took it upon themselves to vectorize the logo and upload it to the Brands of the World website in 2004 (Brands of the World is a repository of vector-based versions of logos and is one of the premier destinations for logo plagiarists) which is probably where the following problem originated.

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Personal branding

November 6, 2011

Is personal branding a worthwhile endeavor, or an embarrassing exercise in ego gratification? A look at personal branding in the age of social media. As Creative Director of The Logo Factory, my ‘brand’ is inextricably linked to that of my company. Has been since day one. I live and breath the work we do at [...]

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Changes

May 14, 2011
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Motorcycle trip

May 14, 2011

A little motorcycle trip around the Forks of the Credit. Filmed this using a Go Pro HD Hero camera affixed to my helmet. I must have looked like a tool, but the results are pretty sweet.

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The Fallout Club: Wonderlust

October 2, 2010

Awesome track from 1981. The Fallout Club was formed by Irish singer Trevor Herion, the experimental drummer Paul Simon, a young Thomas Dolby on keyboards and bassist Matthew Seligman. Herion and Simon formed the band shortly after the demise of their previous group, The Civilians,. Dolby was formerly in The Camera Club.

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John Foxx: Underpass. Long & sinister mix

October 2, 2010

One of the classic 80s tracks – John Foxx‘s Underpass done up in a remix by Mark Reeders. Some serious Gary Numan influence going on here too.

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Video: Logopalooza 2

October 1, 2010

Just finished this little puppy at my day gig.

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Some tests

August 27, 2009

Just testing some stuff. Don’t bother reading. I mean it. Stop now. Okay, now you’ve gone too far. There’s no turning back. Might as well read to the end. And here it is.

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