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Terry Tolleson

Christopher Locke

Computers and design

Terry has a degree in Communication Design, with a focus on Branding and Identity Something-Or-Other.  He's a former Senior Art Director and Graphic Designer for a tech company in Austin's computer nerd zone.  It's mostly gibberish to me, but I'm pretty sure I know what he's getting at. Terry is not only superbly capable with computers, but with art and design as well.  He's a real character.  His chinbeard makes my chinbeard look like peach fuzz.  He wears a tie every day to work, even though he really doesn't need to.  And everywhere he goes, he carries a leather sleeve with his personal notebook/sketchpad and his mechanical pencil.  I wonder sometimes what he keeps in the pad.  It could be hastily-scrawled to-do lists, passwords, important dates, and reminders.  But knowing Terry, it could just as easily be a plan to take over the world, sprinkled with caricatures of his coworkers' heads mounted on robot bodies.

Let's see what he's got to say for himself.

SPLOTCH!:  What did you have for breakfast?

TERRY:   Cheerios and an apple....

So... I like- I like the crunch of Cheerios, and when it's been sitting in the milk a little bit, it you know, it gives you that- It's not like super super dry, but it still really retains the crunch and I just like the flavor of Cheerios.  Which is a little odd, because back when I was a kid, Cheerios was the worst cereal you could get! [laughs] Like when your mom would say "You want some cereal?" you'd be like all excited "Oh Sugar Smacks" or "Fruit Loops" or something like that and then Cheerios would come out, and you'd be like "are you kidding me with this?  This is terrible!  Why would you do this to me?"  But now, man...  Some like- Some like blackberries... and Cheerios and stuff?  Phew.  That's just...  That's the winning combination.

And then I tried to eat uh, two apples a day.  Y'know...  I know that whole thing with like an apple a day... Keeps the doctor away and stuff.  But it actually has a lot of cool benefits and stuff.  And I like apples...  So... [laughs]

SPLOTCH!:  Where was your last vacation?

TERRY:  Oh that's a good question.  We did go somewhere recently... Um...  Well, I say recently.  It was...  [long pause]  Not to say that it wasn't memorable, but we've been- We've done a couple of road trips because of the fact that we've had this you know, Destination Imagination which is sort of a project-based thing that my girl belongs to- A club that my girl belongs to, um...  And then we also went up to... uh...

But then I'm trying to think when was our last vacation vacation...  I know it was in the last like year and a half...  Boston?  I think it was Boston.  It was the last like, true vacation, go out, go somewhere that's not like...  That we really had planned for a long time and stuff.  Boston was great!  Oh my god it was great.  My son loves it, always wants to go back.  He's five years old now, I think he was four when we went.  And uh...  He got boots specifically for the trip, just these hiking boots style, Timberland-type boots.  He calls them his "Boston Boots."  And anytime we start talking about "what are we going to do this summer?"  "I wanna go to Boston."  Y'know "where do you wanna go tonight for dinner?"  "Can we go to Boston?"  You know, so...

Boston is just so rich in history, and so...  I don't want to say "old" but there was just something about it that was all like "this city is here, forever, and it's beautiful, and it caters to people that walk to work."  And y'know, the mass transit was the first time I had experienced that kind of mass transit before, never been on a subway like that before...  All that was just...  Everything was.

And the big main park.  I can't remember the name of the big main park.  Boston Common or- No.  Yeah.  Yeah, it's the huge huge park right in front of the State Building and all that other stuff.  Underneath it are these enormous parking garages!  And we didn't go down in there because you have to have a ticket to even get through the door.  But when I found out, I was like "Oh, this is awesome!" And I saw these little houses- Just these little bitty like boxes that were about I dunno, maybe 500-square-foot houses.  And I thought they were like greenhouses, or maybe some kind of like cover-up for a power station...  And we walked in there and I found out it was the staircase!  That basically the entrance and exit to get down to this huge subterranean multilevel parking garage underneath this park that has been there since the 1700s!  Not the parking garage, but the park itself.  So they built all this stuff up underneath it, keeping- and I was just like [surprised look]


But yeah, so I think Boston was the last major vacation that we had that I would consider as definite vacation.

SPLOTCH!:  What's the most amazing thing that's ever happened in your life?

TERRY:  [sighs]  Most amazing thing.  I'm gonna have to go with the birth of my daughter.  Because a lot of stuff changed.  For me.  Just my outlook on life, altogether.  I didn't matter anymore.  Doesn't matter.  I mean, whatever I do or anything like that, as long as, as long as it doesn't adversely affect Serif, I'm fine with it.  And, I started becoming less arachnophobic after she was born.  I'm still pretty arachnophobic but not as severe as it used to be.  Um.  And you know they always say that if you have a second child, it always gets left behind, middle child, you know all that other stuff, but I'm still enamored, and enjoy my son, who came five years later, but the most significant and almost really truly miraculous thing was just when my daughter was born.  It completely shifted every thought concept I had for- for life in general and especially about myself and my wife and my family and all that.

SPLOTCH!:  Flip-Flops: Yes or no?

TERRY:   That's a "depends" question.  Um...  So around my house, I only typically wear flip-flops to go in and out of the house for something like right in the front yard or backyard or something like that.  I don't really wear- I wear sandals outside.  But the flip-flops are mostly just a around-the-house kind of thing.  I mean, I'm looking at- there's nothing wrong with flip-flops, they're an easy shoe to get in and out of.  They really work well for- Like when I'm going to check on the plants I've got in the backyard, or something in the backyard, and it's a little wet or something...  Slip 'em on, come back in side, slip 'em off.  You know...  It's just a thing to protect my foot from stepping on a sticker or some errant twig or something.

SPLOTCH!:  What do you laugh at?

TERRY:  I laugh at stupid things...  My favorite joke is there's-  And I think I've told you this before.  There's two muffins in an oven...  One muffin looks to the other and says "Phew, is it hot in here?"  The other one looks over and goes "OH MY GOD A TALKING MUFFIN!"

And I think it's just the absurdity of that- that joke that makes it really funny and lasting for me.  But yeah, I laugh at a lot of stupid things.  Not- not like slapstick stuff, or like uh...  um Three Stooges style stuff or whatever... Um.  But like, things that- that are like that, that have these underlying stories that they didn't tell you.  That you can imply or whatever, I guess.  So...  And like- like your duck comics [referring to Post-it Notes I pass him on occasion.]   There's a lot that's not said, and I think that's what makes them hilarious.  Like this one right here, with the "_UCK" wheel-of-fortune thing.  And it's his eyes are like- You know what he's thinking but you're like "you're a duck!  Use your name-what are you? It's DUCK!"    And so that's- and it's a silly thing, you know?

Bender actually pooping a brick when [laughs] So that's the kind of stuff that I find funny, is stuff where...  it's- it's simple and they don't go into a whole lot of detail, and YOU get to infer a lot of stuff.  But it's easy for you to infer it.  


Terry loves to talk, as you can see.  His wife asserts that he would turn a "knock knock" joke into a half-hour discussion.  I believe it.  But he's a happy guy, and that's contagious.  So if you meet him, just ask him about being accused of arson, or about a spider bite on his eyeball, and sit back.  It'll be a good time.