Thirty Days of Thanks – Karen Pitcock

Astros-KarenYou know those days where you would run and play at recess…well, I would partake in a light skip walk.   I will never tell the story of   how I achieved complete domination in the 5th grade Turkey Trot. Besides, I always seemed to fall terribly ‘ill” around that time. Basically, I was never a runner…until I met the wonderful Karen Pitcock.

It was just an ordinary day at the ol’ Schipul office when I came across one of our clients’ web sites, Team Teen. I perused around for awhile and came across their mission statement:

To help “at-promise” high school students develop greater confidence and self-esteem through training and participation in 5K races and sprint triathlons.

My first thought was where the hell was Team Teen during my Turkey Trot glory days? And my second thought was I must remove Comic Sans from this page…thus, I gave her a ring.

That call became much more than just some simple site updates. You cannot help but want to talk to Karen about EVERYTHING. Bless her heart, I probably told her my entire life story all the way down to my Dallas Cowboy obsession. During one of our many phone calls, she began telling me about the marathons she has ran over the years. This was probably one of those times where I should have just listened…nope, that most definitely did not happen.

“Geez Karen, I have always wanted to run a marathon!” (A distant, I mean very distant goal. 10-20 years at least)

“Courtney, sign-ups are this week for the Houston Half Marathon…you should totally do it!’

Of course sign-ups for the biggest race in Houston were that week…

It has now been 4 months since that conversation and I am 2 months and 11 days away from running the Houston Half Marathon. Karen has not just become my wonderful mentor; she has become my biggest fan. She has the most genuine heart and probably the cutest laugh I have ever heard. I am so proud of everything she has accomplished….like, RUNNING THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON. I swear that woman has super powers.

Thank you Karen for being such an amazing Schipul client. But most of all, thank you for being a wonderful friend.

Thirty Days of Thanks – LOL Cats

thanksgiving hands lolcatIn this month of thanks, I want to shout from the rooftop that I am thankful for LOL cats.

As a self proclaimed crazy cat lady, this subject is near and dear to my heart. I grew up with felines in my house, and I’ve been a proud cat owner myself since last year, when I adopted my cat Victoria Beckham from the Dallas cat rescue group Feral Friends (catch them tweeting as @feralfriends). This year, we doubled our cat residency and adopted a kitten we named Aeris (if you’re super geeky, you might understand the video game reference in her name).

If I could, I would attempt to save all of them. Believe me. But my apartment just isn’t big enough.

Cats are both hilarious and quirky, and somehow have captured the hearts of internet nerds everywhere with the advent of the site If you’re unfamiliar with how it works, here is the basic process:

  1. Start with a ridiculously cute picture of a cat or similarly adorable animal
  2. Add a funny caption (in large obnoxious Impact font, using “LOLspeak” – incorporating obnoxious internet abbreviations)
  3. Still confused? See example above

ICHC gets over 2,000 submissions per day from members using the LOL Builder – and features the best of the best on their homepage… all of which are hilarious.

There are lots of kitty content creators out there – and many of them are very tech savvy, like programmer Kimberly Nixon and her tweeting RFID cat door. I myself ghostwrite on Twitter for my cat (@kittentweet), who embarrassingly enough had way more followers than me until recently. Talk about niche communities online – the tweeting cats community is a tight one who loves to promote each other and share advice on pet care.

Here at Schipul, LOLcats are staples in office emails, they are seen printed out on people’s desks for inspiration, make appearances in contests on the Schipul blog…   I even dressed as one for Halloween.

qcait and the cats

Sure, Ed may say that we are officially a “dog company” (whatever that means), but there are many of us who simply get a kick out of an adorable feline. What about you? Whose side are you on?

Love LOLcats? Spread the love with local Houston animal friends –

Thirty Days of Thanks – Thank Goodness for Good Design!!

Deconstructing Product DesignWe’re a Web Marketing company so of course one of the thirty things we are thankful for is good design!!

And we’re not just talking web design either… we’re talking about the design of all of your everyday things from the mundane to the magnificent.

To celebrate our love of design, we’ve got a super special giveaway for you this month!!

Our very own Search Engine Marketing Team Manager, Jonti Bolles, is a former professor of Architecture and we can testify that this gal loves her design… so much so that she was tapped to offer her expert design commentary in the recently published Deconstructing Product Design book by Will Lidwell and Gerry Manacsa.

Want a copy? Tell us what product you can’t live without and what about it’s design has made it integral to your life.

For inspiration check out my 5 Favorite Product Designs from the book!!

  1. the Motorola Razr V3: I had one of these babies. And yes I agree… the silver version pictured in the book was a step forward for phones, but the Pink Razr (with duct tape accents) that I personally owned was what I’d consider more of a giant leap. Razrs are risiliant little things and last for years!
  2. Aeron Armchair: I sit in a wannabe one of these (from Eurway) all day at work and I would never switch to a different chair. Commenter Carley H. Franklin calls it the “Rock-Star of the Seating World” and I wholeheartedly agree! Even if my chair is merely the pop-star version.
  3. the Chanel No. 5 Flacon: Ladies across the world will unanimously agree that this famed bottle of perfume is one of the iconic   symbols of all things womanly.
  4. POM Juice Bottle: I love pomegranates so by proxy I love this bottle. The design helps too.
  5. Glock G17 Semi-Automatic Pistol: I’m an Army Gal and so weapons of all shapes and sizes interest me. This one is a little smaller than the ones we used to tote around in basic training but I love that they featured it in a design book!!

And if you MUST have some Internet Inspiration, check out the Sew Crafty Houston Site or Gwen Bell’s Beautiful Blog. Both make me smile every time they pop open in my browser. I blame the monsters.

So one more time. How do you win this awesome book??

  1. Leave a comment below
  2. What product can’t you live without and what do you LOVE about its design
  3. We’ll pick a winner using the random integer generator on November 18
  4. Make sure you include a way for us to contact you when you win!!

Thirty Days of Thanks

thankfulWe cannot believe November is already here!! 2009 has really flown for the Schipul crew.

To celebrate this month, we want to thank everyone who has helped us along the way… one post at a time!! We’ll be posting daily thank you notes to the people (and things) that have both supported and inspired us through the years. We’ll be issuing shout outs to everyone from our awesome Schipul friends to our awesome alma maters.

Get ready for some fun!!

To kick off our Thirty Days of Thankful project, we want to thank our amazing clients. They are an eclectic bunch and we would not be who we are without them. We will be featuring some of them in the following weeks but we wanted to start by thanking them as a whole.

We love y’all!!