Of my part in this band, the Flagpole generously said, "Meanwhile, unassuming frontman Nick [Splendorr] boasts the sort of virtuosic classic rock pipes a sad, fat, modern-day Axl Rose might even give up jelly doughnuts for."
For three years, I was the Property Manager for 57 apartments in Athens, GA. I worked directly with the owner to learn about the market, and make dramatic changes to policies and conditions at the apartments. Our guiding principle was to always make the best decision for the residents now, and for the 25+ year long-term.
Short List Of Tasks and Accomplishments
- Increased total yearly revenue for the company over 30%.
- Won an ApartmentRatings.com "Top Rated" award in 2012.
- Improved leasing. In the 3 years of my tenure, only one apartment was empty for longer than a month. Most were leased months in advance; by March 2013, we were pre-leased through July 2014.
- Designed and built two iterations of the website at GreenAthens.net. The first version actually got me the job in the first place.
- Converted the entire operation from paper file-folders to an efficient Mac-based computer filing system.
- Implemented applications and scripts to automate and smooth business processes across the board.
- Designed logos, letterhead, forms, etc.
- Photographed the properties for marketing purposes.
- Re-designed all marketing materials numerous times, refining to improve effectiveness.
- Proofed, edited, and compacted the lease for greater clarity, better alignment with actual procedures, and firm legal grounding.
At Don's I did just about everything. I worked directly with customers, laid out and design plaques and other engravables, prepared art and positives for silkscreening, and assembled all manner of merchandise. Completely overhauled the computer systems and networking when I began the job.
Unfortunately, all design work I did for this job is unavailable, except these few samples.
Provided research assistance and art preparation for Coleman Barks’ “The Big Red Book,” a collection of translations of poems by Rumi, published by HarperCollins in 2010.
Brought the manuscript for Herbert Barks’s “The Magic Bridge: Crossing Over From Achievement to Surrender” from unformatted Word documents to print-ready formats. Created the layout for the book in Adobe InDesign, designed the cover using provided photographs, and orchestrated additional proofreading. Worked closely with the author and publisher to ensure their vision for the book was achieved. Delivered finished materials to Thomson-Shore for printing, and communicated with them over the course of several weeks to get final details worked out. The book was released in the first part of 2010.
This was a major formative work environment. Under the direction of the great Joe Windish, I grew from a fairly lost-feeling college freshman into a capable and constant presence in the university's main student computer lab. A significant portion of my education and maturation happened in the GCSU computer lab.
A short list of the different roles I served:
- Oversaw upkeep, imaging, and regular installation of software for the lab
- Taught or assisted with classes on various software tasks
- Helped with production of dozens of student media projects
- Sound editor on major student documentary
- Helped develop systems for checking out equipment
- Night shift cleaning and upkeep
- General student software and project consultation
- Administrative assistant
Job responsibilities, briefly summarized:Server configuration and administration; Creation/distribution of computer images several times a year with
NetRestore, etc.; Mac Specialist; Media specialist; Constant implementation of new technologies; Lab development;
Student interactions and education.
- Joe Windish
Lead Technical Specialist
for Instructional Support
The Peacock's Feet is Georgia College & State University's student literary magazine, founded by Flannery O'Connor.
I was given one week to take a Word document and a stack of images and create a book to specifications. This is what I made, using InDesign and Photoshop. Printing was handled by Thomson Shore, with whom I spent a couple of weeks discussing print parameters and working through minor tweaks.
I also have a couple of pieces featured in the book under the name Nicholas Simmons. These pieces were submitted and chosen by a separate staff, before I was assigned to design the book.
"The Alternate" was a short-run, blatantly-designated publication created to present an underrepresented group of voices on the GCSU campus. I was one of the founders, and oversaw its creation from the middle distance until the last week before each print run. At that point I would take the roughly hewn block of text and shape it into a fine specimen of student reportage. I obsessed over the details, including margins, on which word a line should end, and how many picas of breathing room each character received. I then led a group through the hand feeding, cooling, sorting and stapling of each issue.
Alas, no copies of the 3 issues are in my possession.
My friend Alex Wharton and I spent a week together, recording improvised piano duets and ranging around Milledgeville, GA. We rescued a pack of wild dogs from the woods around a ruby quarry. We also made this album.
I took the photographs in an apple orchard in Charlottesville, VA.
The album was recorded, mixed and mastered in Reason.
The following are some of the places and topics I have studied, usually under my own initiative, with no expectation of financial return or bloody-minded careerism.
Sunset University, Roderick-Mann Campus
Constancy of Motion, with an emphasis in Path-Clearing, Civics, Government, Philosophy, Music History, World History, Ecology, Transportation, Etc.
2011 – 2020 (expected)
Ongoing study with acknowledged luminaries Merlin Mann and John Roderick. Long walks, drives, and journeys accompanied by vibrant discourse and deprogramming.
Curriculum found at http://www.merlinmann.com/roderick/
2009 – 2019 (expected)
Have completed advanced studies into books by Jacques Derrida, including Writing & Difference, Of Grammatology, Positions, and assorted tangential works. Currently engaging Dissemination.
Most days, I have breakfast with Derrida.
Game Design, Journalism, Criticism, and Humanity
2011 – Present (Ongoing)
Careful study of hundreds of thousands of words of the site's unique take on the history and criticism of culture, through the lens of "video games."
The Collected Works of Mark Z. Danielewski, Inside & Out
2003 – ∞ (expected)
[A rather lengthy explanation of Nick's involvement with these texts was supposed to arrive last week. As soon as it is available, it will be added here. - The Editors]
Apple, As A Lens
2006 – Present (ongoing)
Studying Apple's history and the bigger picture in the mobile/computing industries, through hundreds of hours of listening and reading, via Horace Dediu (Asymco.com, "The Critical Path" podcast), John Gruber (DaringFireball.net, "The Talk Show" podcast), Marco Arment (Marco.org, "Build & Analyze" and "Accidental Tech Podcast"), John Siracusa ("Hypercritical"), and many other sources. Learned about software development, analysis, how to think about the larger context, and business structure & strategies within the local, global, and historical context.
Giving Away The Show
2007 – Present (Ongoing)
Studying the works of Alan Watts, including several books and dozens of hours of recorded lectures, as well as referenced works, including the Bhagavad Gita, various Zen and Buddhist texts, and other works on the history of myth, religion, world culture, and narrative context for human self-understanding.
The Universal Traveler
Synectics & Process
2006 – 2013
Completed several studies of Don Koberg and Jim Bagnall's design and process guidebook.
Hundreds of Books, Thousands of Articles, Millions of Words
Reading, Fiction, Fact, and Textual Presentation
Following early instruction by my parents, I have been an independent and voracious reader since I was about 4 years old. While there is no consistent record of exactly how many books I have read, it has been estimated in the thousands. An early emphasis on rapidly consuming fiction of an overwrought or whimsical nature has broadened into a diverse spread of more active, notational reading in all areas, including poetry, history, economics, hermeneutics, philosophy, as well as a continued interest in fiction about spaceships.
I prefer paper books over electronic, because I write inside books as I read them. But I've also read hundreds of thousands of words on-screen in various formats.
Georgia College and State University
2005 – 2009