Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Monocle is a great new magazine. New being Feb 2007, new to me being this month. Insightful articles and great diagrams. Topics ranging from the arms industry to design. Content size ranges from quick reads to more leisurely. Many glossy ads of meaningless crap that you don't need but you really, really want. Its like a balancing act between the important and the frivolous done right...ish.

I only pay for ID magazine now. I might add this.


So my regular doctor said that the ER doctor was wrong. He said that L4 nerves are highly unlikely to get pinched. L5 and S1 are where the sciatica nerves get pinched. That makes physical sense. I was wondering when looking at the L4 lines going up when the ER doctor showed me the diagram.

So I just killed the ends of my nerves. The good news is nerve endings grow back.

'You are just getting old'

Sunday, December 16, 2007

stroke or not?

So my regular doctor didnt have an oncall backup. Makes me want to look for a new doctor. It also happens that in the US there aren't any independent 3rd party services that you can call up if you have never been their patient before. In Canada there are numbers that you just call up and get an oncall, but I guess doctors here care more about money than helping...and those that care about helping are held back by law suits.

Anyhow, both my toes were numb...for a whole day. Heating and stretching didn't change them. After a call to the insurance company nurse I ended up going to the emergency room to make sure it wasn't some kind of stroke. The doctor diagnosed me very quickly. She had taken kickboxing before and recognized the symptoms.
"have you injured yourself in the legs?"
"no, this bruise is from kicking the bag, but i've done that a million times"
"how do you kick?"
*i show slow roundhouse*
" have you taken time off from training?"
" yeah, i was on a cruise and there was no bag to hit"
*doc whips out a nerve chart* "ok, look at this and follow the lines....tell me what you think happened"
"numbness in L4....goes up to the pelvis/hips"
"yup, common injury in martial arts if you have taken a break.....did you slip?"
"well I was on top of jujitsu mats for the first time and they shifted"
"ok, that strained your joint even more...you have a pinched nerve. it isnt a stroke...where was the cruise?"
"ok, so on top of that you took a long flight which strained it more"

3 for 3. WOW!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cozmo Cards.....buyer's remorse

So last year I bought a friend the Cozmo cards. As with most gift cards, they arent redeemed. Usually because of apathy, but this time it was different. I got a spam on tablehopper and decided to ask my friend how she liked the cards, her response to my question 'did you ever use them':
"nope; some of them weren't as high end as I would like. It was more of a 2nd tier list -- good, but not ones that I was crazy excited about."

Wow, I guess its the thought that counts. This year everyone is getting eTrees from me obviously.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

HomeDepot ran out of astroturf

It is out of season so they consolidate the stuff to specific stores.

New plan: stain or lacquer the wood in my bed. Right now it is just raw beech ply.

Friday, November 2, 2007

crop circles ideation

Photoshop: crop circles as the sole imprint of a giant running shoe. two different scales: human and ant.
Doormat: astroturf doormat with crop circles (not my idea)
Carpet: shag carpet with crop circles

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

wanted to do project, but

OK, I decided to build my own denatured alcohol burning fireplace...but buying ($155 + shipping) is cheaper than building. At first I thought it would be cheaper because most are priced around $1,000+ for modern looking ones.

I was going to take a course in concrete casting $560 and plasma cutting $40. So for $600 I can learn something and be able to say I made my own. I still wanted to do it, but concrete class will be in the spring...when I don't need a burner.

Plank yoga mat. Buyer's remorse

So I decided that if I buy this cool, overpriced yoga mat, i will be forced to use it and attend class more often. How I got into yoga is another story. By overpriced I mean for that nice photorealistic stuff I paid 5x what a yoga mat normally costs.

I finally get it and I unroll it. The mat was discolored except for about 9 inches on one end that had a nice deep contrast. If you spend almost $100 on a yoga mat it better be damn good. I called up the retailer (not the mfg) and they said that I should return it and that they will compare it to the replacement before they send replacement to ensure that it doesn't have the fading.

Generally I am disappointed in the mfg because I think this may be related to their packaging methods and materials. They should walk the plank.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Design Idea: 101 uses for Fake Cameras

I came across this while looking at FlyingCart that got covered for its cross-selling feature between stores.

My ideas:
1) Coat hanger
2) strap a few together to make a chandelier, LEDs on the back
3) fridge magnetize this
4) hook for soap sponge rope
5) paper weight
6) doorknob
7) toilet scrubber handle
8) hood ornament (carbon fiber optional)
9) faucet handles
10) ....

Market Opportunity: PinkWater

So I came across this article in Details saying there are about 65,000 of gays/lesbian/etc in the military and that it is tolerated, but not supported. The GLBT are still getting kicked out, but in smaller number. The military could kill[pun] two birds (and a birdcage) if the glbt all went private contractor. Then along comes the Blackwater fiasco creating a void in suppl. Well why not take the 65,000 and create a private-contractor/mercenary corp called PinkWater? They could double up on the don't ask don't tell. PinkOps. They just have to hope the enemy doesn't have gaydar.

Clarification: I am not encouraging shady ops. I am not gay. I am not going to comment on the invasion/war/conflict because this is a post about market opportunity.

Monday, October 22, 2007


A friend of mine just joined AskJeeves...he asked me what I thought about Ask. I said I haven't visited it and haven't been given a reason to visit it. You can take that as a reflection of their PR or promotions group. I don't watch TV so I missed all the ads he spoke about. I've always liked the concept of AskJeeves. Natural language queries instead of assuming that the world can be inarticulate with just a few words and solved with popularity based solutions.

Back on the topic, he asked me what I think Ask should do. I started on the NL rant, but he redirected my nicely by asking "well what do you think of Ask using Google for search ads?". My initial reaction was 'why give money to your competitor?'. The natural answer was better monetization via query coverage (ie: size of advertisers base). Well then beat them at it because they don't have 100% query coverage AND their matching isn't all that great. Random ass idea: if queries are perishable then you might as well give away some query ads for free just to get advertisers in the door. That wouldn't be a loss because you weren't making bank on it anyways. Scared of loosing G-dollars? Then do A/B or just do backfill with free ads. They will obviously have to validate the advertisers (ie: credit card check) to avoid abuse and crappy targeting. They should reward based on relevance.

Of course the other camp would say, focus on what you are good at: user interface. Well is Ask UI so ass-kickingly good that they are taking search share?

For him it is just a place to ear a paycheck but not a place to stay.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

high end graffiti

high end graffiti
Originally uploaded by Pics By Hansel
this is some random street art i came across. it looks like a granite or marble tile. on it is a photo overlap of some sort. it was in this little corner. my imagination runs...maybe we could start an urban myth about some kid that gets stuck inside a tile after harassing the wrong homeless guy.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

design freak universality

Definately design freak, not intellectual.
Ok, so I'm just your regular design freak. Other people also organize their books by color and size.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Movie Review: War (2007)

Review on Sept 25th??? I've got sources.

So Jet Li supposedly did his last action movie with Fearless (kinda sucked) ....then along come War. WTF?!

Some good moves by the old boy, but age has taken its toll. Even a slow Jet Li is great to watch. Jason Statham does great action, but is just naturally slow so you don't expect more from him.

Surprisingly the story is good. The action is great. Worth watching especially if you paid less than regular ticket price (hint).

Sunday, September 23, 2007

elitist bullshit...literally

Check out this elitist bullshit. So let met get this straight they claim that :
"Ranchers really have a unique role in society and this little institute is trying to ratchet that up" yet "The class size is kept small to ensure the institute remains elite".

I just love how they compare it to an MBA...more elitist bullshit

Thursday, September 20, 2007

carbon fiber..mmmmm

Today I made two carbon fiber key chains.

1) mix epoxy with hardener
2) lay down a sheet of fiber on a mold
3) drip epoxy onto fiber in drops
4) spread it out
5) lay down another layer on top of the first one
6) repeat 3-5
7) put on top of mold
8) put into a press or clamp it down
9) bake
10) pop it out
note: mold must be coated in release chemicals

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Curing crackberry prayer pain

I need to justify keeping the Corbusier lounge chair. New use: I can read my RSS feeds on Google Reader via my HTC Touch all while lounging on my Corbusier.

HTC Touch + Corbusier + WiFi = aggregate justification

Carbon Fiber Fabrication

Heads up: Tomorrow I am taking a class in carbon fiber fabrication. I will try to shoot video for it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Wants, Needs, Good Design

I've been on a crusade to ebay/craigslist/donate everything I don't need. Bookshelf...emptied and craigslisted. Boxes or pack-rat-ness...gone. Old textbooks....gone. HP 48G that was part of a scholarship....ebay'd. Scanner from the days of 3.5"...donated. ThinkPad.....ebay'd. Corbusier.....couldn't make myself sell it.....I am weak....

Then on treehugger I see this:from Normal Design.

Then that links me to Fuji TV's New Design Paradise. Ironic, for the third time I started listening to my Pimsleu Japanese files. Alas, that is all for not. Because it seems Fuji doesn't have English directions pointing to online video. Yeah, thats taking a big assumption that they would put that online. I searched on YouTube, Google Video, etc... Please, someone help me spend money on crap I don't need.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

you know you are a design addict when...

...you have vivid dreams that include choosing between burl wood and birds eye maple for a modern design.

I'm itching for the next design contest.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I feel like Zoolander

I can't turn my head left. Jujitsu neck injury. Been there done that.....AGAIN.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

I don't travel light

I don't travel light
Originally uploaded by Pics By Hansel
Tokyo for 7 days.

Hot humid Tokyo summers. Im not looking forward to wearing suits on this trip.

Friday, August 24, 2007

on product positioning

How much would you pay for this piece of metal? The following is a picture of an award winning product: Scott Christensen's Toro Tissue Ring.
best of category, i.d. magazine student design review 2003

I am a sucker for good design.....or maybe im just a sucker.

ebay sucks

i am in this super-spring-cleaning mode where I am throwing stuff out, selling stuff off and donating (read dumping at the thrift store) stuff. I have accumulated so much stuff over the years of minimal value. Now I don't even pick up the trade show bags of crap. I just take the agenda out and give them the bag back. As part of the clean out I am using ebay and craigslist. CL is good.

ebay used to be good. now every single auction I do on ebay gets at least three Nigerian scammers. the message patterns are pretty consistent. if netflix can hold a contest for innovation in an area of non-deterministic problems, then ebay could easily solve their simple deterministic problem.

i think its time for a competitor to enter with a better service. ebay is not worth my time anymore. even the social capital I have built up there isnt worth staying for.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Jihad Much?

How often do you see homeless people selling a M72 Light Anti-Tank Weapon on the street? Goes well with the Disney stuff.

Crackberry Prayer

Crackberry Prayer: position taken by those using a mobile device in a conference room. Typically haunched over a bit. Device may be just below table height to feign minimal respect for other meeting attendees. Glazed look. The overall position resembles a prayer position.

Since getting the HTC Touch I noticed that I am getting neck stiffness and pain from looking down at the device. I have started to hold the device up at head height. Now on to JuJitsu class to get neck-cranked.

HTC Touch - Review of Basic Features

Here is my review of the HTC Touch's basic features and functions. The software I am using to synch is Missing Sync. $40, some bugs, but good support.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Preview of upcomming content

In consulting there is this saying "tell them what you are going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them". I'm going to start off slow and light on this blog with my coverage of the HTC Touch. I got it a few days ago and have been learning how to use it and sync it with my MacBook.

I will be covering the user interface, input methods, then I will get into the adventure of synchronization. After that I will show you a few applications that came with it and others like Yahoo Go!

My posts may be interspersed with design addict content, random pavement stencils, and things of no significance in the greater scheme of life.


Ironically, while running a blog advertising network for two years, I never blogged outside of the company blog. Today that changes.