Tag Archives: Texas

A New Office and More


Well folks, in June The MAD House packed up all of its stuff and bid Austin, Texas farewell. We landed in a little slice of paradise on the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast, or as the marketing pieces call it, The Forgotten Coast.  So, our address says Carrabelle, but we’re not actually in Carrabelle. That’s where our PO Box is. Many reasons for the move, mostly personal. Let’s just say it was time and we’re glad to be here.

Cow abunga
Cow abunga

We miss Austin and all of its cool. We miss our friends, Barton Springs, the music, Maudie’s, Bert’s BBQ, Gueros, Gourmands and too many other favorite restaurants, and the crazy-good craft beer scene – all of the things that will make it fun to visit Austin. We don’t miss the trying-too-hard-to-be-hipness, the insane traffic, the overtaxed (literally) and underperforming infrastructure, the 100-plus degree days, and the influx of outworlders – all things that will make it easy to come back home to Florida after visiting Austin.

Life moves a different pace here. Many restaurants in the area are only open Thursday through Sunday when the tourists flock to the area for fishing, beaching, birding, golfing and exploring. I found a few places with craft beer. There’s even a craft brewery (Oyster City Brewing) over in Apalachicola and another in Tallahassee (Proof). Beer festivals are in full swing right now with fests within easy “driving-to” range – though, a hotel in lieu of the “driving-back” is probably a good idea. For a fairly rural area, Florida’s law enforcement agencies give this area of the state plenty of attention. Following the rules of the road makes for a happy trip.


We find that extra planning goes into our travels to nearby bergs. You know, while in Crawfordville (30 miles away) visiting the screen printer, be sure to stop at WalMart for bacon (because name-brand bacon costs twice as much at the local IGA, and I needs my bacon). Or, if I’m heading to Tallahassee (50 miles away) to go to the airport or, say, meet with that beer prospect, better hit Costco for gas, bottled water and K-cups. Then swing by Whole Foods for produce (making sure to take the ice chest so I can keep things cool and fresh until I get home), and grab shrimp at that seafood place in Panacea because the seafood place in Carrabelle is closed today. These little things can have an impact if not carefully planned. Can’t just run over to the HEB for dinner fixings or grab a T-Man from Bert’s for lunch anymore.



Yep, it’s a bit different here. That’s what we fell in love with when we first visited a couple of years ago. Work is still the same for us both. We both are able to work from our home offices like we did in Austin. As long as we have cell coverage and internet, we’re in good shape. The airport’s an hour away when we need to travel. And work, we do. It can be quite consuming. Sometimes, even though we’re in the same house, we don’t see each other the entire day.

And that’s O.K. Because, on a Friday afternoon, we can knock off a little early and head for the beach. In the evening, I can take Mrs. MADHouseLarry to our favorite spot on “the island” for hot shrimp, redneck caviar and cold craft beers while the blazing orange sun sets into the bay. We like this place. It’s a delightful blend of locals and tourists all ready to put the week behind them and slide into island time for the next two days. Everyone is happy. Everyone is friendly. No one is trying-too-hard-to-be-hip.

Sunset following a summer storm over Appalacicola Bay


Next time:  Some new stuff The MAD Freaks have been working on.



News flash: There was an eclipse last week … or was it the week before? Whatever. The lunar eclipse provided an opportunity for more photography abuse. I’ve mentioned before how I really like the idea of photography, how I can see the photo in my twisted brain, and how that vision rarely makes it to final image. So with a new tripod and Old Man Moon putting on a show, it seemed appropriate to try, yet again.

Doing a little research, I saw some HDR composites of eclipses and moonrises and thought I’d give that technique a shot. I wasn’t overly disappointed with the results. Usually, when my name is mentioned in the same sentence with the moon, it’s in a story from high school – where the full moon made numerous unscheduled appearances – from the oddest of locations. Butt that’s another story.

Here are a few results from my more recent moon experience.

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Printing is Dead! Or so they say …

EarthColor’s Jon Landua  chimes in on the state of the printing industry in today’s Professionally Speaking. I’ve know Jon for about five years, since he helped us with our award winning Christian Heretic project. His knowledge, attention to detail and professional demeanor make working with him a pleasure.

Photo: http://today.ucla.edu
Photo: http://today.ucla.edu

Printing is Dead!  Or so they say …

By Jon Landua

“… drupa 2012 is sending out key impulses for the worldwide print and media industry. The most important signal: print has potential and the sector is investing heavily in its future… 314,500 experts from more than 130 countries came to drupa…”

More than a quarter of a million people attended a print show!  This wasn’t the unveiling of the latest iteration of the iPhone or Facebook’s newest application.  It was / is an event that is centered around putting ink on paper.  The printing industry has certainly taken a back seat to “new” media over the last decade, but drupa is proof that it might not be ready to pick out a burial plot.

Roughly 7,700 print companies closed from 2000 – 2011.  That’s a big number, but as a result the market is filled with stronger organizations that are investing in technology and new equipment to gain a competitive edge over what’s now an even more competitive market.

The star of drupa was the announcement of Benny Landa’s Nanographic Printing Press.  “These presses use water-based inks comprised of pigment particles only tens of nanometers in size. These nano-pigments are reportedly extremely light absorbent and the new process used to print with them—Nanography™—boasts high uniformity, high gloss fidelity, and a broad CMYK color gamut. And here’s the hook that’s getting everyone excited: Nanography is a digital printing process with offset speed.”

Landa S10
Landa S10

Digital printing has provided a great lift to the industry since the 90s.  The quality is improving with every new product release.  Targeted communications are used in a myriad of print collateral, which are directly tied into other mediums to help improve response and ROI.  And now the man behind the Indigo has essentially reinvented the wheel.

Landa’s press will require one operator.  The nano dots will provide a much higher digital print quality that what we have today.  Landa’s presses will be more environmentally friendly than a traditional (or even UV) offset press.   And as mentioned previously, these presses will be 40” and print with the speed of a 40” press, but each and every image can be different.  The possibilities are endless and believers include; Heidelberg, Mitsubishi, Komori, and many other major players who have invested over $1 billion (that’s billion with a “B”) in Landa’s new print technology.   Traditional offset printing has certainly changed over the last 100 years.  Digital printing has added to our footprint, but in many ways been considered the great for “some” products, although not good for all.  Landa’s Nano technology stands to revolutionize how we think about printing.  He’s combining the old with the new and making both better at a time where our industry needs an innovative and impactful “something” to change the landscape.  Landa did it first with the Indigo and now he’s back with what many feel is his greatest achievement yet.  Beta testing should begin late 2013 or at the beginning of 2014.

I don’t know if this will stop the industry from contracting, but its certainly building excitement.  Printing is nowhere near dead.  It may be aging and in need of a facelift, but its here to stay, at least as long as we have innovators like Benny Landa around.


LandauPicJon Landua is a National Account Rep for EarthColor.  He has been in the printing industry for the last 10 years, the first 5 of which was spent with RR Donnelley after graduating from Texas A&M University.  He has been with EarthColor for the last 5 years developing long-term relationships and partnering with hundreds of organizations across dozens of industries.  He whole-heatedly believes that the printing industry is here to stay and looks forward to what the future holds.  He lives with his wife Jessa and 19 month old son Preston in Austin, TX.

Established in 1982, EarthColor is one of the largest privately held printers in the U.S.  The company has a reputation of high quality production and superior customer service.  Locations include; 7 manufacturing facilities and a vast array of digital, sheetfed, and web equipment.  But more importantly, EarthColor has been recognized as the “Most Environmentally Conscious Printer” in the country.


Do you have a critical printing project? Let’s talk about it.

The MAD House accepts no liability for the content of this article, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided, unless that information is subsequently confirmed in writing. Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the The MAD House, its staff or its owners. Enjoy!


Went to Dallas recently for a client shoot at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. I took the GoPro Hero along to try and get some fun personal shots. It’s always a toss-up shooting stills with this little camera, mainly because the model I have doesn’t have a viewfinder or view screen. I have to wait to upload to the computer to see what I got. As usual, most of the shots were crap, but I was able to salvage a few from the batch.

Our client, Continental Cut Stone, provided much of the limestone used on and in the building. If you go, do it early to beat the tour buses!


Click on the pics for bigger view.

Strategically placed “fountain” for your party pic pleasure.
Entry courtyard, pre-tour bus cattle call.
Sleepy west side of the building.
These are leaves (and flowers).
Looking up.
The Decider, and his dad.