PlasmaCar Race Day

Every year the day before Thanksgiving we have a little tradition. We invite friends and family over to the Schipul office and we eat food and hang out… but more importantly…. WE RACE!

Watch this year’s recap video and…


Disclosure:   we are also honored to have the PlasmaCar Company as a client too – check out their site and buy some cars for your own rooftop racing adventures!

Don’t Knock It Until You’ve Tried It

Sadly a lot of people will say they don’t like something even though they’ve never tried it.

People will say “I don’t like that…” whether it’s a sport, traveling, a new beer, or even a whole country of people they’ve never met. I can honestly say that I used to be this way too. I have found that by being close minded to new and possibly better things, you miss out on a whole lot of awesome.

Growing up, I used to eat my steaks Well Done because that is how my parents would order them and really, I didn’t know any better. If in early high school and you were to present me with a steak that was Medium or God forbid, Medium-Rare I would of rejected it. It wasn’t until I was in a situation where I had to be polite when offered a Medium-Rare steak that I found what I had been missing for so long. I then took the mindset of “Don’t Knock It Until You’ve Tried It” and applied that to food in general. I have come to find and love many more culinary delights since then and I can trace my culinary “open-mindedness” back to that one experience. Heck, if it turns out that you don’t like something… you never have to eat it again.

Medium Rare Steak
Photo by:

This same concept can be applied to your views on people that are different from you. Whether it’s  their  religion, ethnicity, sexual preference, financial bracket, political preference or whatever else one can  conjure  up to divide us. If you don’t know someone who is White, Brown, Black, Green, Purple, Straight, Gay, Muslim, Christian, Canadian, American, Protestant, Catholic or whatever else, then it doesn’t seem fair to come to a conclusion when in fact you don’t know.

Don’t be afraid of the “Medium-Rare” because you might just like it.

Friday Fun Post: Brewmasters International Beer Festival

It’s the day before Labor Day Weekend and you still don’t have plans? Why not go down to Galveston, Texas for the Brewmasters International Beer Festival? Heck, you could even go for the whole weekend if you want.

“The Lone Star State’s Premiere Beer event Is finally here!”

Labor Day Weekend  |  September 3-6, 2010

Beer lovers rejoice at this four-day extravaganza with an unimaginable variety of hundreds of beers, musical entertainment, scrumptious culinary selections, educational seminars from Beer 101, all the way to how to brew your own. There will also be BrewLicious featuring fine food & beer pairings, and many more events for the beer lovers delight.

Let your taste buds get carried away with specialty beers from around the world. Utilizing the beautiful bayside oasis of the Moody Garden grounds & conference center, beer enthusiasts gather to grab a mug, take a chug, and enjoy the ultimate beer sampling experience.

What a perfect excuse to go to the Beach with fellow Beer Lovers to  eat Brats & Burgers while have a Brew!

Check out some of the other awesome things that will be happening at the event this weekend:

For other news about Beer in Texas, check out  Ronnie Crocker  Beer, Tx Blog over on the

You can also read about some of the Schipulite’s favorite Beers on an oldie but goodie blog post “Thirty Days of Thanks – Beer” by David Stagg.

Don’t Drink and Drive.

Photographic Memory

As I mentioned in my recent post  Pack Your Sketchbook, I enjoy bringing home personal, visual  souvenirs  from my travels. I prefer a souvenir that isn’t the cookie cutter tourist-y items that the (insert your destination city here) locals sell you. However, the  souvenirs  I enjoy are something you can create that will last much longer than the standard I Love NY tee.

That being said, bring your CAMERA. Take pictures, shoot video, capture memories and remember the good times because unlike the title of this post, most of us do no have a “Photographic Memory.” I try to capture as many photos as I can without compromising the trip itself. On my recent trip to New York City, New York I brought along two cameras. The first being a Canon 5D (Thanks Ed) and the second was my good ol’ Canon G10. If you want some good pointers about what to pack in your camera bag… read Ed’s post. If you don’t have a fancy DSLR or a high end point and shoot, use what you have. The quality of the photo doesn’t matter as much as actually capturing the memories.

I could go on and on about the benefits of packing your camera. Instead, I’m going to let some photos from my recent trip to The Big Apple do the talking:

NYC Hustle and Bustle

Warhol Soup Observers

Taxi in Times Square Sailboat at Sunset
Empire State Building Street Scene
St. Paul's Church Interior

Pack Your Sketchbook

I know, I know, this is supposed to be about some new fandangled tech toy that you should probably take along with you on your good ol’ summer vacation. I should probably be writing about an iPad, iPod, iPhone, Sega GameGear or Amazon Kindle but I’m not. Instead I’m offering up an alternative to the “traditional” geeky gadgets that you should equip yourself with the next time you decide to venture into the sunlight and away from your computer.

With that said, I propose packing your sketchbook the next time you travel. Taking a sketchbook, moleskin, drawing pad (or whatever else you want to call it) along with you when you travel will give you a way to create something unique to remember the trip by. Whether you are waiting for your flight, sitting on the plane, riding a subway or just relaxing in the park, doodling in your sketchbook will help you create lasting memories of the places you visit.

Instead of purchasing a post card or snapping a photo, sit down and really soak in the surroundings. Observe the tiny details and enjoy the less obvious things.

A few items that I have on or near me at all times are: a sketchbook, sharpies and pencils. You can pack an eraser if you really want to. I don’t have a  preference  as to what type of sketchbook to use but here are a few places that you could take a peep at if you are interested: and My favorite drawing mediums can be found here:

So here’s to happy sketching and making it a part of your next vacation!

Thirty Days of Thanks – Late 80’s and Early 90’s

I would like to express my gratitude for the Late 1980’s and Early 90’s for molding and shaping me into the person I am today. I would like to explain a few aspects of my life that would be plain vanilla without the cultural influence that came from the 80’s and 90’s.

Without the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I wouldn’t have the insatiable urge to eat cold pizza for breakfast while shouting “Cowabunga” from the rooftops. They also taught me that Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael weren’t just artists from the Renaissance period but they were also turtles. Turtles that had been genetically altered and mutated into muscular fighting teenagers who were trained in martial arts and on top of that given weapons.

Mr RogersWithout Mr. Rogers I wouldn’t have the understanding that if you encounter older men with puppets that you don’t necessarily need to call Chris Hansen from Dateline. However this is not the case with Pee Wee’s Playhouse as we later found out. Pee Wee’s Playhouse probably did more harm than good. Either way, both of these shows taught me that creativity is the key that would unlock doors for me in the future. So thank you Mr. Rogers with your trip to the crayon factory and Pee Wee with your giant underwear and talking chair.


Without the Ghostbusters I wouldn’t know that marshmallows can explode when you cross the steams of your proton pack. Also now I know the answer to the following question: “If there’s somethin’ strange in your neighborhood, Who ya gonna call?” Also up until actually seeing this movie I thought all ghosts were bad ghosts, even Casper, so thanks Slimer.


Without Sesame Street I would have a greater acceptance for the homeless population since the show taught me that the majority are Grouches who live in trash cans and cuss at people. I can also walk away from Sesame Street with the understanding that Snuffaluffagus was basically a junkie who just following Big Bird around all day asking him for favors. Makes you wonder what those writers and directors were doing for recreation behind the scenes.

My list of thanks and appreciation could go on and on, I just wanted to share the biggest contributors out of the bunch with you. I draw inspiration from my experiences of yesteryear and do my best to apply what I’ve learned to all that I do today.

Thanks Late 80’s and Early 90’s!

– Ben

Welcome the Newest Schipulite: Ben


My name is Ben Gillin, I am what they would call one of the “Schipul New Guys”.

To be called “Schipul New Guy” is to be something that is desired by many but only obtained by few. In essence “New Guy” is a status symbol in itself. This is best compared to wearing a custom diamond encrusted grill handcrafted at Sharpstown Mall, not everyone has one but everyone wants one. You get the point. Since becoming a Schipulite (Schipul vernacular for being one with the tribe) I have learned that Ed loves Click Pens and LolCats and that everyone at Schipul goes out of their way to nurture his love for these two guilty pleasures.

Enough about those people. Who is this Ben Gillin Character?

Some might say that I am Awesome, that I like the Ninja Turtles or that I listen to gangster rap and while all of those things are true, they barely scrape the surface of who I am as a human. A few characteristics that people describe me as would be as follows; Handsome, Bearded, Childlike, Manly, Funny, Married, Entertaining, Talented and some would venture to say Huggable.

Ben Gillin's First Day
Ben Gillin's First Day

On a serious note I am a new graphic designer at Schipul and am really excited to be here. As of November 1, 2009 I celebrated my one-monthary as a Schipulite and look forward to a few more of those, at least a couple hundred of them. I thoroughly enjoy all things creative and try to dabble in as many activities as I can get my hands into. My most recent creative outlet is a little project called Twetches, where Twitter meets Sketching you should go check it out and hopefully get a chuckle out of it. I love shooting photos, design, sketching and the occasional video project. I also like to give my two cents worth about a world of randomness on Twitter and occasionally on my blog. You can also be my friend on Facebook if that would float your boat.

To wrap up this stream of consciousness, I just want to give a big shout out to Schipul and say THANKS FOR HAVING ME!