What happens in this nook stays in this nook

Behold my favorite little space in the entire city of Las Vegas. The contrast with the chaos that surrounds it is so great that at first I thought it must have been placed there by a space-time distortion.



Having a quick and easy way to share songs I like with my friends is a great idea. Apple's Ping feature in iTunes attempts to do so. Unfortunately it completely fails in that I cannot Ping a song that is not for sale on the iTunes store. I blame every human who has ever existed for this, individually and personally. If it were a more important issue like freedom then I would try to do something about it, but it isn't so I will just whine about it here and move on.


So long Meowme

Yesterday we signed the papers saying that we would give up the Meowme name. Thus ending our noble, yet underfunded fight. I am not sure who let Del Monte register every name containing the word MEOW, but I would not be interested in being their friend.

We will now be known simply as Sleepypod. This will create a little confusion with the Sleepypod product versus Sleepypod the company, but not a much as if we chose a completely new name. Of course officially we are known as LaunchLab, Inc.; so all this is just trivia.


Smooth Criminal

I started writing this after having left the United States and ventured briefly across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe and am now finally finishing it up more than a year later.

It was great to step out of my local world and into a slightly different one. I find that the United States has become a Totalitarian death trap. Not that anywhere else is much better, but Switzerland and Germany were different enough to make me see the reality that I live in with some added clarity.
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin
Since the trip was bracketed with air travel, I will start there. Airport security procedures are insanely stupid and useless. There is no way any of it makes anyone safer, ever. The term "Homeland Security" gives me chills. The only tasks that a real Department of Homeland Security should have is protecting ancient burial grounds and the remains of ancient villages. The only good kind of airport security is good engineering, maintenance and training for the pilots and crew so we can get from place to place without crashing. The idea that there should be "security dance" we all have to do to prove we are all docile passengers makes we die inside every time I fly.

In my utopian vision of life a person would never be required to sign for anything or prove their own existence. Just being a being is good enough, the rest is just unnecessary bureaucracy. Of course we should respect the right of bureaucrats to do what then enjoy, but as with all things they should not be allowed to force their personal perversions on others.

Basically I am completely against anything that draws an artificial line between people. The idea of borders is a sad and painfully lingering remnant of the undead monarchies of the past. When the US-Mexico Border Fence became the hot topic I saw it as a sure sign that something is wrong and whoever is in charge needs a hug.
"That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn." - Talmud, Shabbat 31a, the "Great Principle"
I cannot believe that any individual can be truly evil and at the same time that any group of people can be truly good. The worst form of evil is acting towards others as if they are in one group and you are in another and therefore you don't have to act towards them as if they are not the same as you.

The scariest extension of that problem is the idea, that should be fought at all costs, that the laws do not apply to the law makers or enforcers. If you have to break a law to enforce a law then something is fundamentally wrong with the law and the enforcement policies. Example of a minor thing: police speeding to catch a speeder. Example of a major thing: killing someone because they killed someone.

When looking back across human history I see lots of violence and I just don't understand how we could have been like that. But looking at how we are today I can see that little has changed. Here's hoping that we all can say:
"Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better" ~ Émile Coué de Châtaigneraie


Who fights for the little guys?

After months of legal back and forth with Del Monte, we received a letter last week that said they were interested in reaching an amicable agreement. We just received a letter that details what they want and it is laughable. They will not pursue fighting us if we merely give up our trademark registration, drop our domain name and sell off our stock of Meowme labeled products by Jan 1, 2009. Their arrogance is beyond pity. I hope their grandmothers know what they are doing for a living. I think that they need a good tickling.

The saddest part is that we have to seriously consider caving in. The cost to fight them will be far more money that I have ever seen. The cost of giving in is merely my soul.


The Empress Rose by Chris Eastvedt

After months of work, painful failures, mild successes, bizarre mis-steps, I have finished my part of the production of chriseastvedt.com where Chris will be documenting her struggle to get her first literary fiction novel The Empress Rose published. The Empress rose deals with living in a rural community and hydroponics and more. Chris is planning on writing a series of books using the major Tarot cards to inspire the themes and/or characters of the stories. To entertain visitors who care to follow along for the journey there are several fun features: Storytime with Chris where she reads some of her stories for you, Book Reviews so you can get an idea of what she thinks of other writer's works and short animations in every section.

My duties included web designer, illustrator, 3D modeler, storyboard artist, audio engineer, talent wrangler and photographer.



The brief and as of yet unfinished tale of my cracked iPhone screen is publicized here: iPhone Savior.


Air O'Plane

An associate of mine flew from San Jose to Burbank a few weeks ago and upon arriving at my studio found he had made it through security with a 6" Japanese foam carving knife. What TSA will let through is almost as amazing as what they won't.

What would Del Monte do?

I am a part of a little company which has a brand, meowme, that sells a pet bed and carrier which we call the Sleepypod. We recently received our notice that the our name was ready to go from meowmeTM to meowme®, meaning that our trademark registration has passed all the tests that the USPTO had to offer. But then we get a nice letter from our dear friends at Del Monte, owners of the brand Meow Mix saying that they own anything that starts with Meow under their Meow Mix registration. We never even though of them when we came up with the name. They make pet food, we make pet beds. I understand that they have some legal obligation to defend their trademark but this seems like they are pushing a little too hard. For them it is nothing to have a few of privates in their army of lawyers spend a hour or two writing up a letter, but we don't have a team of lawyers on hand; so we have had to pay a lawyer to respond. Hopefully they will see the error of their ways and not fight us. It could cost us tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend our trademark. This is not an easy thing for a company that is just getting started.

Well I am not happy with any of this and so I am boycotting all Del Monte products...time to clean my kitchen cupboard. Here is the official list of their brands for those who care enough to care:

Del Monte
S & W
College Inn
Gravy Train
Kibbles ‘n Bits
Meow Mix
Nature‘s Recipe
Canine Carry Outs
Jerky Treats
Meaty Bone

2008-03-02 Update:
The legal costs are staggering and we are still negotiating. There is hope that a reasonable arrangement can be agreed to.

Now if I could just fit that in my pocket.

I will take one of Richard Mille little toys. Too bad they are so ugly. I guess I had better get some work done on my tellurium design. Found via watchismo.


Cheese Bots!

Why muenster they fight? Can't brie all get along? Y-Bros-K has made a great collection of Cheese Bots.


Too bad the ModBook is only a MacBook. If it was a MacBook Pro then I would be so very tempted to get one.


How can we fit in all that fame?

"In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes." - Andy Warhol

I thought to myself, "Is it possible for everyone to see everyone else's fifteen minutes of fame?" The answer is clearly no. There are only 35 063 fifteen minute intervals in a year (on average). To see everyone (all 6 528 051 823 of us) currently on Earth's fifteen minute would take almost 186 181 years. Even limiting your fame to just the USA (300 921 905) still takes 8 582 years. With the life expectancy of 75 plus years the most fame that you could possibly witness is 2 670 225. Once you take into account working, eating, sleeping, daydreaming and duplicate fame viewings, I have to conclude that the audience for all these fifteen minutes of fame is going to be rather small. A realistic number of fame views per person per day would be about 4. That adds up to 102 267 fame viewings in a lifetime, which puts the average audience for each fame viewing world wide at 63 833 and 2 942 in just the USA.