Monday, February 22, 2010

iPod Touch Camera Adaption

Let me be the first to say that this will not be designed or built by me. The iphone and the ipod mini both have video cameras but the ipod touch is left out. This bothered me to some extent, meh, not much because I don't own any Apple products. But, I do read a lot about them and technology in general and it seems that cameras can be made and placed anywhere. For reasons of profit, and mentioned earlier, the ipod touch does not have a camera. My idea would be a device that fits into the base of the ipod touch and snaps onto the top, where the camera would be placed. I'd put it on a swivel so pictures could be taken at all angles. Add in video and the ipod touch would be very similar to an iphone. I sorta stole the idea from an old archos portable media player that had a side camera attachment. But that didn't have wifi nor any of the applications that Apple has. Eh, it's a thought.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Holy Sh%*!

I've pretty much come to terms with the fact that I'll be living the artist life until I die. I've tried regular jobs, the 9-6 routine and so forth and I couldn't help escape the feeling that I was succumbing to defeat rather than beating back the currents. I have sacrificed job security and peace of mind for a flexible life with no deadlines or commitments. But, it's my choice. It is both scary and very freeing and the complete opposite of my brother Jay. My brother is 2 years older than me, with a wife, a house, a software sales job and now a baby on the way. I'll be an uncle! I get to be the crazy uncle! I may never have kids, but I'll be able to help raise one through my brother and his wife in their home in San Francisco. What's this post about? I don't know, just frustrated and venting. On a good note, I'll be heading to Austin soon to do a musical, my one-man show, play music and see some great people. I guess it's not all bad.


Friday, February 19, 2010


This post might need to be updated in the future.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Paid Volunteer?

At this point in my life, I'm in a very interesting position. I've never been so creative artistically and yet unhappy personally. My mind races with ideas, phrases, and concepts but I have sort of shut myself down a little when it comes to my personal life. It doesn't bring me happiness so I choose to ignore it at the cost of further alienating myself from friends and potential friends. Had I been working some office job my personal life might be a little more exciting because of the forced contact with employees. I don't cater nearly enough to make great friends with any there. But, I'm trying something new. For the last few years, when I can, I go to children's hospitals and play with the kids who have to stay there and who need check ups. It's a great experience and the time goes by so quickly. I can tell they appreciate me being there and it gets me out of the house. We play arts and crafts and drawing games and improv games. It's a great way for me to try and reconnect with someone. Making connections, that's what it's all about. I've lost so many in my life that I try to make up for them here. The concept here would be, you volunteer and then the city does a raffle for prizes and the more you volunteer, the more chances you have to win. Sign me up!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Melrose Garage Gallery

So, I've expanded the idea of my earlier post. I realized I have some resources in the art/internet/media world as well as friends who distribute premium beverages of all stripes in Los Angeles. The idea would be to open up my garage to art and open the backyard to crafts from local designers. Make it a late day event that turns into a backyard bbq. The idea being to help local designers get seen, see some different art, have some drinks, maybe some food and hopefully make art that people will enjoy taking home. I'm going to be away from Los Angeles for most of March and April so I'm thinking of really working on it when I get back and putting it up, maybe once a month starting in June when it gets really hot. Last night I got some more wood outside of Urban Outfitters that I can use to bolster my walls to make it easier to hang art from. Plus, there's an extra fridge in the garage from a roommate and plenty of tables and chairs to boot. It's all coming together!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Urban Artfitters?

I live next to an Urban Outfitters. That large clothing/lifestyle chain store that mass produces clothes and trinkets to make them look un-mass produced. Hey, I'm not criticizing it, just pointed that out. I have purchased books there and bottle openers and record cover frames from time to time. I don't buy clothes there because I don't want to look like I buy clothes from Urban Outfitters. You know the type: worn flannel shirts, 80's nostalgia t-shirt underneath with slim black jeans. Maybe they're rockin' a fedora or a scarf around their neck in the middle of August. Sorry, this is not the point of this post. Urban Outfitters (UO) uses lots of wood and textiles to display their clothes and they put it right next to my garage. Lately, I've been carrying the wood into my garage and repainting them and adding my own elements to them. Here are 2 pieces of blank wood that I painted and stained. One red and one black. I can't decide if I want to show them separately or as one piece. What do you think? I've got some great pre-cut boards and old UO displays that I just can't wait to work on and display. When I have enough, I'm going to open my garage on a busy weekend and hang them up there so people can see them. I'm calling it my Garage Gallery. Also, the paint and brushes were left in my garage from the last tenant so I didn't even have to spend a dime on making all this art. Really looking forward to posting some and seeing the response.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Gung ho fat choy!

I missed posting yesterday because I was in the Chinatown district of downtown Los Angeles eating at the New Dragon Restaurant and looking at art on Chung King Road with my friends. After that we went to Hank's, the first bar in Los Angeles and then to the Blue Whale, a jazz club in Little Tokyo. So, I'm due a post from Saturday but today is Valentine's Day so I thought I'd opine on that. I say 'boo' to Feb. 14th. I'm not some shut-in hermit who despises love and thinks it's some cruel joke. To the contrary, I believe in it. I just don't believe in it for me. Well, not anymore anyways. I've been to my fair share of friends weddings these last few years and I've noticed that many occurred out of necessity or cause. I believe love was there, but there was also a real impetus to convince these people that it would be in their best interests to combine assets, belongings, etc to form a 'partnership'. I'm not salty on the day or the feeling or the specialness of it all. I just think it has seen better days. So, what I propose is that there be no new marriages. You can live together, share finances, have the same friends, but there needs to be a disconncet to bring oneself back into oneself. Does that make sense? I see many friends who are married or in relationships, just lose their identity and sense of self. It's swallowed them into the other person and becomes this blob of actions and impulses. Often times, people stop becoming the person that made the other person fall in love with them. They get lazy, complacent, and they cease to challenge themselves to become a better person because they've already achieved what they've set out to accomplish: the attainment of a person to go thru life with. In a sense, it becomes a shared misery when both cease to challenge themselves in a relationship. Patterns set in and a break from a routine is cause for alarm. Man, I must sound like some half-wit. I'll stop now and make up for my lack of Feb. 13 post another time.

Friday, February 12, 2010

New Recession Artist

I painted my coffee table today. I have to add more to this but I can't find the right words. I did however come up with a term for someone in my state. Someone who is not working full-time but has turned to art as a result of being unemployed. Less a direct product of the recession, however all of my art is made from discarded materials or things that I have found in my neighborhood. Needless to say, I would not have found the time to do this art had I been employed in a full-time job. Pictures to be posted later. The term I had for artists like me is New Recession Artist. Not too keen on the New part but think it's necessary to separate from the old recession from the 30's. So, New Recession Artist. There's many more like me. Many, many more.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I spent the better part of the day cleaning out my garage. Among the things I found: rollerskates, plywood, AVID editing software and lemon scented pillowcases. I gave some of those things to my repair man and I kept the rest. What I kept was the plywood that I found behind the Urban Outfitters near where I live. The wood was already nailed and fashioned into rectangles and shapes suitable for hanging. I was about to stain the wood with a clear coat but had the odd thought to staple tea bags to the top of the wood and pour hot water on them and have the tea run down the wood, thereby 'staining' it in a natural way. Now, this is just a thought, what I need to do is find the right kind of tea to use to get a great finish. I'm thinking of a dark tea as well as a rooibos tea to add some earthy reds. Give me a few days to find the right tea, stain the wood, take a picture and post it back. It could either look pretty cool or pretty embarrassing.

I tried!!! 15min off!!

I guess I broke my own test. Submit an idea everyday for a year and I missed today the 10th by 15min. Let this be a lesson, never try to start a 5 year old deal with hard drive problems and expect it to boot up like a macbook pro. I was sooo close to posting under the deadline too. I had the idea as I was running back from El Carmen on 3rd St. I had just went to a fashion show/bachelor auction at Em and Co also on 3rd St. and I met the organizers and some bachelors and some all around good people. I tell you, I was not dressed for fashion in my old jeans, gray hat and gray sweater, carrying a backpack full of avocados from a friends yard. But, they took me in and with the vodka/cranberry drinks flowing like fast moving lava, I was in my element. So, met some great people and tried to run home and just got here too late so Feb 11 get two submissions. Here's my first one. A reality competition show for amateur and professional photographers. If it's not being worked on it should because everything else has a damn reality show. Hairstylists, fashion, cakes, drinks, security guards. Hell, why not have a great reality show a la Top Chef that pits the worlds greatest photographers together and challenges them in ways they never thought possible. No photoshop, b/w, only one roll, no lighting, only reflective surfaces. Must make inanimate objects look lifelike. Think how fun and crazy this show would be. We would get an inside view into the minds of the worlds best photogs. They'd have to be papparazzi's and run around, have to shoot weddings, kids parties, high school prom photos. Heck, the list is endless. But, who could be the judges? Liebowitz? Jim Marshall, Arbus, Avedon, Mapplethorpe, Newton. I know a lot of them are dead, but we could find some great ones to judge the challengers. Oooh, it'd be good. I just know it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

iphone App Idea: Microphone

I don't have an iphone. Heck, I barely have a regular cellphone and need a new one but I have the hardest time making a decision. I have been waffling back and forth with the iphone because I found it hard to type on and well, I have a mild addiction to the internet, and having it right in my pocket may make me even less productive. Plus, and maybe this is just living in Los Angeles, but all I notice when I go out is people typing and looking at their phone in public. Even at a table full of people, 90% of the time, they stare at their screens instead of talking to the person right in front of them. I find that disheartening and I refuse to be one of those people. I understand how useful the iphone is but I think it can be a distraction to those who abuse it. With that said, I had an idea for a fun and handy iphone app. I'd create an attachment that connects to the base of the iphone and turns the iphone into a microphone that can project through a nearby speaker that is set to the frequency of the attachment. The uses for this kind of invention are near endless. Imagine giving lectures or speeches with your iphone. Participating in Q and A forums where microphones are bandied about, wasting time and slowing down the discussion. Great for street musicians who don't need a whole mic set up. Great for karaoke or house parties. Can you think of any other places a mobile microphone would come in handy? I did a quick search and found only microphone iphone attachments that record audio to the iphone. This would turn the iphone inot a projection device. Who knows, maybe at the next Super Bowl, the singer will be using their iphone to belt out the Star-Spangled Banner!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Video Games: Reverse Scoring

I'm not one for video games save the occasional round of Rock Band or Guitar Hero at a party. I used to play all the time, in arcades and at home when I was a teenager, but over the years I grew out of them. There are some great games and some really bad ones but one thing that they all share is that the scoring usually starts at zero and you have to earn points and the person with the most amount of points wins. I thought about reversing that and the game was to see how many points you can lose. The least amount lost wins. One would ask, well, is it possible to 'earn' so many points to the point where you go all the way down to zero? I say no, because you reduce points by doing good but you can just as easily add points by doing bad things. Now, what is this game you ask? I was thinking of a role-playing game, say, you start off as a billionaire and through trades, marriages, divorces, natural disasters, you start to lose the things you had in the first place. The trick is to minimize the damage and test your problem solving skills. Say in the game, you get a divorce and your spouse wants half your earnings, you can 'hire' a lawyer to help reduce alimony, thereby only having to give up a smaller portion and thus, not losing as many points. Make sense? Sound silly? I think it'd be much more interesting to play a game as someone who has it all and has to fight tooth and nail keep it, rather than someone who has nothing and has to struggle for it.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Intellectual Property Rights: Too long?

I'm all for intellectual rights and rewarding those who come up with ideas that revolutionize the world. Water purification systems, solar panels, the human genome. These are just some of the things that originated in the mind of an individual and were engineered and refined over the years. Providing life, energy and understanding to the history of man. But at what point does that person or company get to hold onto the patent right of that creation? At what point does the intellectual property belong to all of mankind and shared freely among the rich and poor? Well, I say 10 years. In that time, the product or idea will be able to reach a large amount of people and the intellectual property owner will be able to earn more money than he can spend. I guess that's the problem I have with patent rights in general. The owner gets to keep the rights for a long long time. Case in point is with Disney. They've managed to extend ownership of Mickey Mouse for over 70 years by hiring lobbyists to keep changing the laws. Same goes for the pharmaceutical industry. They've managed to keep patents by changing the pill from a tablet to a caplet and with a straight face, say that it is a completely different product. These drugs should have gone generic a long time ago, thereby making them more affordable and accessible to many. Eh, maybe I'm a little sour because I keep coming up with ideas for things but don't have the know-how to actually create them. I'd be happy if someone took one of my ideas, created the product and then gave some of the credit to me. I don't need a lot of money or fame. In fact, I don't want fame, a nice house and economic freedom is all I want.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Travel Show: Comedy

I love to travel. But when I can't, I indulge myself by watching tv shows about traveling. There's regular travel shows of the Rick Steves kind but there's also travel shows about food, travel shows about drinking and travel shows about the weird and eclectic. They're all great and I find myself learning more about a culture or a continent by watching them. But what has always intrigued me, is what makes people laugh. We all laugh, by some estimates, we laugh in some form or another every day about 30 times. In fact, I just laughed watching an old snippet of Dick van Dyke playing the piano and trying to scratch an itch. But I wonder if someone from Okinawa would've laughed at that, and if not, what makes them laugh? In short, that's the idea for my travel show, what do people all around the world laugh at? I know we live in an ever connected world, but that doesn't mean people in Ireland understand the references of The Simpsons or Seinfeld. Conversely, I'd bet money that they laugh at stuff I'd find downright odd. That's exactly what the show would be about. Me traveling around the world and finding out what all the cultures of the world laugh at. Is it slapstick? Satire? Fairy tales? I know from living in Prague in the Czech Republic that theater during the communist occupation was allegorical because any blatant criticism of the regime would've been met with death. To this day the Czechs still laugh at it because it is so deeply rooted in history and is a part of their identity. Do Norwegians participate in stand-up comedy? Are Samoans into sketch? Is there an improv troupe in Bulgaria? What I would hope to achieve through this would be to foster some goodwill and help cultures understand each other better. We're all on the same earth. Might as well laugh together about it.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Test for Emails, drunk dials etc...

I've never done it, but it's been done to me. It comes in many forms: emails, texts, voicemails, usually by electronic means, although there has been the stray note taped to a door or scribbled messageleft on a car windshield. What I'm talking about is a relative phenomenon or, I'm assuming it's new to this generation. It's the habit or tendency, when drunk or under the influence to send forlorn messages to exes, often late at night, right before bed. Most are sent hoping for a response from the receiver and many are regretted in the clear-thinking light of day once the influence of alcohol or drugs has worn off. Here's my plan to curtail embarrassment for millions. Right before sending a message after a certain time of the night, say after the bars close, you would have to complete some math formulas. This would give the person time to think long and hard if they really want to send that embarrassing message and give them time to sober up as well. Hey, people are free to do whatever they want, if they want to try and reconnect with a long lost love, who am I to stand in their way? They are usually lost and gone for a reason, yours or theirs, it doesn't matter, either way it's over. I guess people do it to try and get back what they had in the past rather than trying to live in the present and make that time important. Eh, what am I saying? I've done it too.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hello My Name Is

I've worked a lot of odd jobs in my day. In fact, I still do. Everything from washing jets for the Air Force to being a gardener at an international school in Eastern Europe. At some of those jobs I've had to wear name tags. I still have jobs where I have to wear name tags and it got me thinking about peoples names, what they do and where they might have to wear name tags. Most are for jobs, but one can also wear them for job interviews, class reunions and community parties. I've seen a few funny and humorous ones in my day and I thought it might be nice to collect the best ones and put them on a website. People could take photos of funny name tags that they see and upload them to the site themselves. For example, at one of my jobs my name tag has my name and then my favorite movie from a certain studio in Hollywood underneath. So, it says Joshua and then underneath it says, The Jerk. Now, if someone is just reading this quickly it would seem to say Joshua the Jerk. Come on, that's funny. That's just one example. Have you ever seen funny name tags or badges? Send them to me and I'll post them.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Flowers by subterfuge

The other day I went to the Dollar Store to purchase some cat litter. At regular grocery stores it's three times as much. Don't worry, this entry isn't all about cat litter and its variable pricing structure. While I was at the Dollar Store I walked past a large display of seeds for flowers, fruits and vegetables. I could get 5 packets of my choosing for a dollar. But, I don't have the room for all those flowers and edibles. Where is there ample space? A-ha! Sidewalk planters, medians, and just plain strips of public grass all around my neighborhood. So, I purchased a few flower packets and on my walk home I put some in the patch of dirt and grass by my bus stop, along a sidewalk and in planter boxes that have soil, just nothing in them. These are all in areas next to sprinklers, so they will never go dry, and with the abundant sunshine in Los Angeles, these puppies are sure to flourish. I'll update this with pics as they grow. But that got me thinking. What if we all did this in the vacant spaces around where we live? We could beautify our neighborhood for pennies on the dollar and minimal effort. Who knows, we could even plant more than flowers. Small patches of blackberries, baby tomatoes, and arugula could sprout up right next to our community softball field. Wouldn't that be great to see and be a part of?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oscar Night Outfits

The nominations for the Academy Awards came out today, otherwise known as the Oscars. The field for Best Picture nominees was extended from 5 to 10. Some would say in order to bring attention to some over looked and well-deserved films. I say, to help the film industry sell more dvds and recoup some of their losses from bit torrent and the wild west of the internet and bootlegs. Putting that aside, I had an interesting idea about the night of the Oscar ceremony. It's usually a fancy, stuffy affair with women wearing expensive gowns and even more expensive jewelry. While the guys wear tuxedos and play arm candy to the women. Well, I had an idea that would turn that notion on its head. How about if the Best Actor, Actress and Supporting categories had to wear the costumes they wore for the film with which they are being nominated from. Think about it. Wouldn't it be cool if Jeremy Renner wore his bomb detecting outfit from the Hurt Locker? Or Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart. Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side? This would add a fun dimension to an otherwise bland and studied affair and remind the fans of the characters that these people portrayed and why they enjoyed them so much. Will it ever happen? Probably not bloody likely. Would it be cool to see actors in their costumes instead of in tuxedos and gowns? Absolutely!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cat carrier/Cat litter box

I am a man with two cats. One more and I would be a verifiable crazy cat man. Luckily, I don't have to travel with my cats much and when I do I put them in separate bags and crates. Today, as I was cleaning out their boxes I came up with an idea that would combine a travel bag with a portable litter box for when cats have to travel and you don't want to carry a large litter box. The bag would be modeled after the popular Sherpa cloth bag with mesh sides. The top would be pretty much the same but underneath it all would be a hard plastic bottom with rounded sides about 2-3inches high. The litter would be placed in there and the carrier on top with a cloth and plastic base. The litter box would be zippered to the base and when you were ready to let the cat out, just unzip the litter box and the two are separated. The litter would be sealed so as not to allow the odor to leak and the cat would be none the wiser. All in all the litter box would add just a few pounds to the overall carrier and in return you are freed the hassle of carrying an open litter box that could potentially spill. I also just had the idea that if one didn't want to carry litter, they could use the extra space to store food, leashes, collars, toys, or any number of other pet items. I would also try to make sure this new design would comply with FAA rules for size allowance of an onboard pet carrier. How does that sound? Any readers out there with pets who would care to comment? Any non-pet owners inclined to throw in their thoughts?