Eric Portelance

Planning Lead at Teehan+Lax by day. Pilot, brewer, photographer by night.
I occasionally blog about technology, photography, marketing, ideas, and creativity.
Follow me on: Twitter, Medium, LinkedIn, Instagram, 500px.


Texas Buffalo. Caprock Canyons State Park. 2013.

buffalo ✳ photography ✳ animals ✳ wildlife ✳ texas 


This app looks beautiful. Can’t wait to mess around with it.


iOS app based on Beck’s REWORK tribute to Philip Glass lets you create your own remixes of the iconic composer’s music.

( Open Culture)

(Source: explore-blog)

music ✳ app ✳ ipad ✳ philip glass ✳ remix 


A few photos that I never got around to posting from a photo walk last year.

photography ✳ night ✳ toronto ✳ mario ✳ lights ✳ street 


Great to see a Teehan+Lax Labs project featured on Google’s Creative Sandbox.

12.30.2012 My Favourite Albums of 2012

For the past several years, I’ve been keeping a list of my favourite new albums each year. Here’s my list for 2012.

  1. Beach House – Bloom
  2. Tame Impala – Lonerism
  3. Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits
  4. Joel Plaskett Emergency – Scrappy Happiness
  5. Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls
  6. Chromatics – Kill for Love
  7. Grizzly Bear – Shields
  8. Jack White – Blunderbuss
  9. Hot Chip – In Our Heads
  10. M. Ward – A Wasteland Companion
  11. Matthew E. White – Big Inner

_Edit:_ I somehow overlooked the fact that Jack White’s Blunderbuss was released in 2012. Added to the list.

2012 ✳ best of ✳ year in review ✳ music ✳ albums 


One of my favourite photos I’ve taken in a while.


#75: Stuck, with Byron Bignell

Sean Howard & Eric Portelance

Attention Surplus

Download this song

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Pretty big episode of my podcast Attention Surplus this week. As we’re about to enter our second full year of podcasting (and episode 75), we’re launching a revamped format. Would love your thoughts on this.


This week we discuss being stuck with Byron Bignell. He was “stuck” for over 18 years. Sean sat down with Byron to talk about being “stuck” and how to approach getting “unstuck.”

Download MP3 | Subscribe on iTunes

Note: We ran out of time in our episode and weren’t able to share all of the treatments Byron explored. While connecting with people was the start of his turnaround, he attributes a lot of his recovery to participating in a trial of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. We include this in case any of our listeners are suffering from clinical depression or know someone who is looking for additional therapies to explore.

podcast ✳ attention surplus ✳ stuck ✳ purpose ✳ depression ✳ stories 


A sort of take-away show by Divine Fits in a NYC hotel room.

Divine Fits, Civilian Stripes (by bowerypresents)

9.11.2012 Journalistic Integrity and Internet Dick Wagging

I’ve been watching with great interest this silly little debate about integrity and journalism between Marco Arment, John Gruber, and Joshua Topolsky, and I couldn’t resist the urge to comment.

First, a quick summary of the issue. A number of prominent tech sites, including The Verge and Engadget, wrote articles about the HP Spectre One all-in-one desktop computer, which looks suspiciously like an Apple product ripoff (think Thunderbolt Display bolted on top of a MacBook Air, with the same wireless keyboard and Magic Trackpad as an iMac). Each of these sites neglected to mention the similarities with said Apple products.

And so Marco noticed and alleged this was due to said tech sites being toothless and wanting to remain chummy with OEMs because their business model depends on it. Gruber chimed in and believes that this has more to do with these sites taking an editorial position that more closely aligns their views with those of certain readers who believe these manufacturers are not copying Apple, are entitled to do so, or one of many other similar positions. Topolsky responded with a pretty emotional and heated post. After that, a bunch of Internet ego dick wagging happened on Twitter.

Egos aside, I’m more interested in discussing what I believe to be the core issue with the business model of sites like The Verge that leave the door open for these types of omissions.

I haven’t worked as a journalist, but I have worked on the other side of the fence, in PR. Tech news sites, like any other news sites, are faced with a few fundamental problems: a high volume of news stories, too few resources to adequately cover them in depth, and fighting the clock to get “breaking” news out the door and on the site. These sites primarily make their money through advertising, which either directly or indirectly pays higher returns for greater pageviews. This means there is an incentive to be the first to break a story, to have an exclusive scoop, or take a controversial position on an issue. With so much competition, if you’re too slow in getting to a story, you’re losing out on potential “eyeballs” from referrals and other sources.

On the flip side, companies like HP and their PR agencies spend a lot of time and money trying to craft compelling pitches and use other tactics to get the interest of journalists. The gold standard for PR is that your press release gets published verbatim in whole or in part. Runner up would be that your messaging and spin is intact, even if the words aren’t. Providing the messaging isn’t totally over-the-top, journalists are happy to do this because they are working on deadline, and need to post a high volume of stories in a timely manner. This means there’s no time for editorializing straight news like a first-look piece. This is how the PR business stays alive and stays successful, and news sites keep costs down and revenue up.

What it comes down to, I think, is not a desire to suck up to OEMs, or to pander to Android and PC loving readers, or willful maliciousness by sites like The Verge, as Marco and Gruber seem to believe, but rather a sort of unintentional journalistic laziness that results from the pressures of the job and these publications’ business models.

gruber ✳ topolsky ✳ marco arment ✳ daring fireball ✳ the verge ✳ opinion ✳ journalism ✳ tech ✳ news 

8.24.2012 Home is a Feeling

About a week and a half ago, the relationship I was in came to an end. She and I lived in a small apartment together, so sticking around didn’t seem to make a lot of sense. I’ve been living off my friends’ generosity since then.

I’ve been back to that apartment twice now to pick up some essentials (read: clean clothes) to keep me going for the next little while. My ex wasn’t there. On the second visit, it struck me that both nothing and everything had changed.

On the one hand, it looked as though nobody lived there anymore. The television remote had moved, and her favourite record was now sitting on the turntable. She made the bed for the first time in a long time. But everything else was the same, right down to a few lone beard trimmings around the bathroom sink that always seemed to avoid my attempts at cleaning.

And yet, this isn’t home for me anymore. It doesn’t feel right. It’s no longer the place where I can retreat from the world when I need to switch into Introvert Mode, or simply relax after a long day. That sense of security, familiarity, belonging, love and trust disappeared overnight. It’s just a space like any other. A shell of its former self.

It has never been so powerfully apparent to me that home is a feeling, not a place.

personal ✳ essay ✳ home ✳ feeling ✳ love ✳ relationship