Sunday, December 14, 2008

EG 2008

Snapshots from the EG self portrait photo booth: Tan Le and Marvin Minsky, Olivia-Eric-Gus-Shelly, Richard Saul Wurman, Teller, Kev and Coley, Michael Hawley, Mr. and Mrs. Wozniak, Mr. and Mrs. Lovins.

Conference highlights: Woods Hole footage, Miru Kim, Joshua Bell, David Pogue, Marc Patcher, David Binder, Emotiv Systems.

Details to follow. Brains are processing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Budcozy Holiday Gift Specials!

Order by Dec 10 on
• Buy 3, get 1 free
• Free shipping on orders over $30

Why give Budcozy?

It's a unique and affordable gift:
A great stocking stuffer or gift for hard-to-buy-for friends,
family, guys, and work pals. Only $15 each.

It solves an everyday problem:
Keeps your earbuds from tangling without all the winding.

Made from sustainable fabrics:
Bamboo, hemp, organic cotton and upcycled fabrics are
better for the environment.

Handmade in San Francisco:
Buying handmade and local is good for everyone. Avoid
chain stores. Support indie crafters and small biz.

Please help spread the word, pass this special along!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Office of the President-Elect:

Photo by David Katz/Obama for America, flickr

What a week. I'm still stunned, relieved, grateful, proud. Yay, Obama!

Of the many things on the agenda, the new site lists:

The Obama-Biden comprehensive New Energy for America plan will:

  • Provide short-term relief to American families facing pain at the pump
  • Help create five million new jobs by strategically investing $150 billion over the next ten years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future.
  • Within 10 years save more oil than we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela combined.
  • Put 1 million Plug-In Hybrid cars -- cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon -- on the road by 2015, cars that we will work to make sure are built here in America.
  • Ensure 10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025.
  • Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.
Please visit! It's a comprehensive and thoughtful site about news, events, and annoucements during this Presidential Transition Project.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Eco Gift for Guys

I came across this poster yesterday and it reminded me of a good eco-friendly gadgety guy gift, the energy usage meter "Kill-A-Watt".

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cozy Bird-Dictator Palaces

Mussolini’s Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana

“Super Kingdom is an art installation with a difference: each of the pieces on show in King’s Wood, near Ashford in Kent, is a fully-functioning animal house. They just happen to be based on a selection of infamous dictators’ palaces…” read more at

Looks like the knitted art from a previous post! - Tree Cozy.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Budcozy Retail Location!

I'm trying a new venue for Budcozy... Ceiba Records and Fashion on Haight Street in San Francisco. Ceiba is an eclectic boutique of independent designers with styles that range from steam punk to wood nymph, and whatever falls in between. I have a hard time walking out empty handed.

Ceiba Records
1364 Haight St
(between Central Ave & Masonic Ave)

Yelp Reviews: Ceiba
Yelp Reviews: Budcozy

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Green Gifts

Holidays are near. Starting my search for some unique green gifts.

Botanical Paperworks
Paper gifts that have seeds embeded, you can plant and grow.

Sigg Water bottles
SIGG bottles exceed FDA requirements and have been thoroughly tested to ensure 0.0% leaching – so they are 100% safe.

Cowgirl Creamery
Organic cheese in Point Reyes Station, CA.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Earbud Art

Very fun! Done by Saatchi & Saatchi for Walkman.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The 1000 True Fan Theory

Since my mom is my one True Fan and my dog doesn't have a credit card, I've only got 999 fans to go. Gotta figure out my plan. If any independent merchants are reading... what's your plan?

Kevin Kelly explains his 1000 True Fan’ theory:

The long tail is famously good news for two classes of people; a few lucky aggregators, such as Amazon and Netflix, and 6 billion consumers. Of those two, I think consumers earn the greater reward from the wealth hidden in infinite niches.

But the long tail is a decidedly mixed blessing for creators. Individual artists, producers, inventors and makers are overlooked in the equation. The long tail does not raise the sales of creators much, but it does add massive competition and endless downward pressure on prices. Unless artists become a large aggregator of other artist's works, the long tail offers no path out of the quiet doldrums of minuscule sales.

Other than aim for a blockbuster hit, what can an artist do to escape the long tail?

One solution is to find 1,000 True Fans. While some artists have discovered this path without calling it that, I think it is worth trying to formalize. The gist of 1,000 True Fans can be stated simply:

A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author - in other words, anyone producing works of art - needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living ...

Read the full article here.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Online Marketing & Selling Tips

I've been keeping my eye out for online resources about marketing that can help someone like myself (a small independent online merchant). I've been blogging here about my product and the things that interest me as a small business and artist/crafter. I've got a Budcozy Yelp page, Twitter, Facebook, Etsy and my Budcozy store. I will be launching my Cartfly store in the fall (disclaimer: I work for Cartfly). There is a ton of buzz going around about what is next for ecommerce... and as soon as I can, I'll be writing about what Cartfly has cooking under the lid.

Here's The Viral Garden's Top 5 Marketing & Social Media Blogs:

1 - Seth's Blog
2 - CopyBlogger
3 - Chris Brogan
4 - Search Engine Guide
5 - Logic + Emotion

Go to The Viral Garden for the whole list of 25...

Friday, August 1, 2008

I want to be in green gift guides!

Would love to get Budcozy in upcoming gift guides. Green gift guides would be especially great. Any advice, leads, contacts or suggestion would be appreciated!

I've had my eye on these and am eager for contacts:

Yahoo! Green Holiday Gift Guide

Treehugger: Buy Green

Etsy: Gift Guides: Environmentally Friendly


Design*Sponge: gift guide: eco-friendly

iLounge: All things iPod, iPhone, iTunes

Mighty Goods: Shopping Blog

Branch: Sustainable Design Living

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Green Tips for Small Business, Part 2

To wrap up last weeks Green Tips Part 1.... today is Part 2 with Green flair.

“Greening your office can also mean saving some cash. Part 2 of Being A Green Small Business: Your Office and Supplies.”

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

Green Tips for Small Business

Photo by Pete Ashton

One of my goals with launching Budcozy has been to establish some eco-friendly business practices early on. My day job also involves managing and writing a blog geared towards independant merchants and small businesses. Check out my post on The Cartfly Blog:

“Branching out on your own and starting a small business can be an opportunity to establish some green business practices. Online info is endless and can be overwhelming to sort through but Cartfly is here to help! Part 1 is about your shipping resources and marketing materials.

Whether you work from your kitchen table on the weekends or have a dedicated office space with a staff, here are some tips to get you started.”

read full post here

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Back Up Plan

Both my sewing machines are down. Not good. I went to Stitch Lounge over the weekend to get further along with 2 limited edition Budcozys for the SF Indie Mart this coming Sunday. First off, Stitch is great. Friendly, helpful, mellow. Plus they pointed me to Apparel City to get my machines serviced. So, my tips for the week:

1) Stitch Lounge
• Hourly machine rental on site (call ahead)
• A variety of newbie sewing classes
• Nice mellow crowd

2) Apparel City
• Open early at 8:30am
• New machines for sale
• Machine servicing, at $55/hr

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Palm Frond Sculpture Bus Stop, artist unknown, 2008.

This is a little story about 3 random neighbors in Noe Valley that don't know really each other. Neighbor #1 is a woman who has lived in her Noe Valley home for forever. Let's just say 40 years. The first time Blizz (neighbor #2) met her, she was trying to drag a gigantic palm frond that had landed in her driveway to the gutter. He noticed a tiny frail woman struggling with a giant heavy thing, so he helped. He's cute that way. She was very grateful and chatty. She hated that Palm tree, always dropping it's gigantic fronds in her way. She cursed an ex-husband who had sold that property out from under her, which resulted in new owners planting that tree. After their chat, he dragged it home and used the table saw to cut it down to fit in the bin. Last week Blizz found another frond blocking the sidewalk near Neighbor #1's house so he pulled it aside and out of the way. It was smaller but he still didn't want to drag it all the way home. Today, while on a dog walk I came across the results of unknown Neighbor #3.

Friday, July 11, 2008

My Fellow Cozys

Thought I'd take a look-see for other cozys out there.

Cozy Dog Drive In

The Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois is the home of the one and only Cozy Dog. The Cozy Dog is a delicious hot dog on a stick that is found nation-wide at many county and state fairs.

Cozy Cruiser

Cozy Cruiser is an RV manufacturer specializing in fun and comfort for the adventurous and outdoor-loving person. Our camping “teardrop” trailers are the perfect solution for the weekend mountaineer, camper, hiker, hunter, or fisherman.

Cozy Beehive Blog
Cross pollinating velo buzz and served a little chilled

Cozy // Comfort Music Radio

Tree Cozy by Carol Hummel

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Budcozy on Etsy

Taking Etsy for spin this morning. Curious if I can get any traction in their busy marketplace. The Geekery Category isn't as saturated as others, so I'm hoping this works in my advantage.

I've had my Etsy MissJenny shop since 2006 when I was painting. Dusted it off today with Budcozy. The site has evolved so much in the last 2 years. The user experience for adding products and store information is really tight. Really nice to use a tool that is really usable. Definitely lots to learn from their progress.

Found their Etsy Mini, but not finding it very useful. I definitely have my own thoughts on what they should do here ;)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Hands Free California with Budcozy

The day is arriving (tomorrow) that California drivers need to use their cell phones hands free. In comes my shameless plug, those of us with iPhones and earbud headsets can keep those pesky wires tangle free and ready for hands free action with... Budcozy. Seriously folks, it’s a great little accessory that solves an every day problem. Last thing we need is a bunch of drivers distracted by tangled earbud headsets. Sure there are other options available, but budcozy is stylish and cute. Case in point, overheard at an office: guy #1 “Why are you wearing that in here?” guy #2 “it’s my bluetooth headset, duh” guy#1 “dude, take that ridiculous shit off. please.”

More info on this law here at the SF Examiner: Put your cell phone down and drive — or face the penalties.

And reference back to a previous post that our nations top brain surgeons don’t put their cell phones up to their ears and use wire headsets instead...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Budcozy at Mission Indie-Mart, July 27

I'm very excited for budcozy’s first craft fair, the Mission Indie-Mart.

“The Mission Indie-Mart is a bi-monthly marketplace that has quickly grown from an underground backyard shopping party into a popular monthly event featuring a tantalizing combination of shopping, music, and food. This event showcases truly independent local designers, offering everything from one of a kind fashions and reconstructed vintage to offbeat crafts, handmade jewelry and fun antiques. Enjoy cheap beer, hot plates, local DJs and the cream of the crop of SF’s indie designer scene.”
It’s a big step for me. Lots to figure out in the next few weeks. Success today at Daniel’s Display on Market. Miranda gave me the scoop on Daniel’s when I asked about her hat display. Each step along the way with this new business is such a learning experience. Paula also threw me a great tip on a new local production company. Will definitely be checking them out, if the fair goes well. At the very least it will be a fun day with bbq, drinks and djs.

Will post more deets when it gets closer to July 27.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Effects of Composting

image from

We shifted our garbage-ing habits a few months back, and the effects have been really surprising. D noticed a blurb in some newsletter or newspaper that SF is encouraging folks to take advantage of the green bin for kitchen scraps and some food soiled packaging. We took their cue on a couple tips and combined with recycling, our regular garbage bag has been reduced to barely anything. SF now has an abundance of new dirt and has started a dirt program where everyone can get get a bucket of new dirt for their yards. It makes me feel like I’m back in little San Carlos circa 1975. It’s a nice feeling that a big city like SF can have small a town vibe.

The best tip I have to share is regarding storing your scraps. Use milk cartons, cereal boxes, and take out boxes to store your kitchen scraps. There is no need to buy composting bags. You’ll find you have plenty of containers on hand. And it makes perfect sense, don’t go buy more stuff just to hold your scraps that eventually goes into a bin anyway. That’s backwards. Just use what you have. We’ve got a pile of boxes under the sink waiting for their big moment.

At some point I’d like to take this even further. This personal composting bin handles pet waste. With Lucy and Depot we have plenty of that. For now we’re using biodegradable bags for both dog walks and cat box. I can't believe I used to mummify all that crap, literally, in regular plastic bags. What was I thinking?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

SF Heatwave Strategy: 7 Steps

1) Ride Bikes
Avoid your car, it's evil. Get an early start and get your lazy-ass on your bike and slow the pace down. Buy a cold drink and sit on some steps. Look at the cracks. Talk about how your drink doesn't have high fructose corn syrup and how that's nice. Take a picture.

2) Look At Stuff
Pay 5 bucks to meander along exotic plants and butterflies. Talk to the gardener who is plucking slugs and snails. Bliz: I see you have some friends there. Gardner: Mmm, lunch.

3) Sit On The Edge
Just keep riding until you've reached the edge of the continent. Climb onto the wall and observe Ocean Beach as if it's really a summer beach with people, coolers, kites and dogs. Eat a cookie.

Don't take any more pictures for the rest of the day, leave phone alone.

4) Have A Mission
Need smoothie, must find. Arrive at Fillmore and Lower Haight to complete mission. Be excited that cup is made from biodegradable cornstarch. Remember to visit that Green Cafe Network website, that one we saw on that show. They're cool.

5) Commandeer Best SF Bench With A View
No sunny day should pass without a visit to Dolores Park. Be shocked to find that top-primo bench open. Check out cool haircuts.

6) Suffer The Uphill Ride Home
This basically sucks. Lay on the couch afterwards.

7) Realize Dinner Opportunities
It's early and everyone is still drinking at the beaches and parks. No one is thinking about dinner. Get yourself to that not-so-secret sushi spot that is always too busy, to find it not busy. Sit. Eat. Discuss day.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Reverse Graffiti

Following Laughing Squid on twitter provides a lot of quick access to cool-stuff-right-now. This one in particular is really neato. An eco-friendly cleaning product company teamed up with a graffiti artist to create public murals by cleaning away dirt, instead of using paint. I love this because it gets me to look at the world in a different way, what else can be flipped around like this?

Reverse Graffiti Project
San Francisco’s Broadway tunnel is a highly traveled thoroughfare in the heart of the city. Over 20,000 cars, trucks, and motorized vehicles pass through it per day. Its walls are caked with dirt and soot, and lined with patches of paint covered graffiti from days gone by. It set the perfect canvas to create a beautiful work of art showcasing the talents of reverse graffiti artist “Moose”, and the power of Green Works plant based cleaner.”

Monday, June 9, 2008

Fort Funston: AKA Lucy’s fave

This photos shows my favorite part of last weekend: laying in the sand watching the hand gliders. Lucy, Bliz and I are perched on top of the cliff, overlooking the beach. The hand gliders make their u-turn here. We had PB&J, too.

eCommerce Widget

This falls under dual research for both budcozy and my day job. Lemonade is a widget that lets you select products to embed in your blog or social network. It's like a navigable ad. There are a variety of brands including Apple and the Gap and a bunch of categories like electronics, kitchen, apparel, books, movies and more. I found a few products that I have, and can recommend. I'm pretty sure the solar panel is the one my sister took to Uganda with her, and will be leaving several behind with the school she's visiting.

It was a good learning experience to see what they do well with the user experience, and what falls short. Food for thought.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Save Mirador Basin: The Cradle of Maya Civilization

Photo by Susana Alvarado from the Facebook group Save Mirador Basin

Josephine writes, “This project is not just about saving a rainforest. It is about saving one of the most important ecosystems in the world. It is protecting a way station for millions of migratory birds that inhabit the eastern United States. It is rescuing the habitat for countless species, including jaguars, tapirs, toucans, and howler monkeys. It is supporting the largest privately funded archeological project in the world. It is assisting and educating the indigenous people, and teaching them to respect their environment. It is creating a sustainable future for the Mirador Basin so that its riches can be enjoyed forever.”

My friend Josephine Thompson works with Dr. Richard Hansen and over 340 archeologists and tradesperson who are dedicated to permanently preserving the Mirador Basin. Dr. Hansen has made it his life's work and has been at it for 30 years.

Josie started a Facebook group to raise awareness and hopefully come to some collective decisions about how to create a truly sustainable model for energy, communications and tourism.

In particular, Josie is seeking advice on the following:
1) How are we going to change this from an archaeology camp of 340 workers, using 5 generators, to a sustainable energy project?

2) Our satellite dish does not use a fast uplink/downlink and everyone who is stuck in the jungle for 5+ months cannot use video conferencing, IM or Skype. How can we get more bandwidth and add a communication network to a region that is completely off the grid now?

3) Please send links to examples of the best ecolodges in the world and express your opinion.

If you are a member of Facebook, please VISIT and JOIN the group to learn more and to offer advice and support. If you are not a member of Facebook but would like to be involved you can contact me directly.

As an aside, Bliz and I visited Josie in Guatemala earlier this year and took a trip to Tikal (we're planning another trip with Josie to visit Mirador) and did the Tikal sunrise tour. We hiked for an hour in near pitch black to the main temple to watch the sun rise over the jungle. During our hike we could hear the howler monkeys. They sounded more like dinosaurs. Here's an example I found:

I came across this article about one person's experience hiking to Mirador. This is definitely a trip I have to psyc myself up for. 3 day hike in the jungle with heat, humidity, spiders, deadly snakes, ticks, jaguars, poisonous plants, oh my. Josie, are you sure I can handle it?

Friday, June 6, 2008

iPhone Earbud Review by Derek

While I don't know Derek personally, we run in similar circles here in SF and I've been enjoying his blog for years. Today he posted a review of iPhone earbuds. He hasn’t found the perfect pair yet, but I may have to try his current recommendation to see if they work well with budcozy. Another friend also sent me a thorough review of his experience trying budcozy with the Sony EX71s. In his opinion it wasn't an ideal match due to the exceptionally long 2-3 feet of wire and a right-angle connector. He got it to work by disconnecting the middle coupler and feeding it through “backwards”. A bit unintuitive, which is good to know and something I will add to product information in the store.

Debate Over Cellphones and Cancer

I'm a bit hesitant to post about this NYT article because there really aren't hard facts yet on this topic. But to be honest this controversy is partly why I use my earbud headset with my phone and why I originally got frustrated with the tangled wires and came up with budcozy in the first place.

Plus, Dr. Keith Black is someone I saw speak once and he blew me away. He presented his research work on brain tumors and how he developed a sort of vaccine using a patients own cancer cells. Or something like that. I tried finding the video of his talk to link to but I think that was before the conference offered the presentations online.

Of note in this article:
“Last week, three prominent neurosurgeons told the CNN interviewer Larry King that they did not hold cellphones next to their ears. “I think the safe practice,” said Dr. Keith Black, a surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, “is to use an earpiece so you keep the microwave antenna away from your brain.”

“For people who are concerned about any possible risk, a simple solution is to use a headset. Of course, that option isn’t always convenient, and some critics have raised worries about wireless devices like the Bluetooth that essentially place a transmitter in the ear.”

“We cannot say with any certainty that cellphones are either safe or not safe,” Dr. Black said on CNN. “My concern is that with the widespread use of cellphones, the worst scenario would be that we get the definitive study 10 years from now, and we find out there is a correlation.”

Experts Revive Debate Over Cellphone and Cancer

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Eco Friendly Envelopes

Wow, now that's an exciting blog title. I figured that while I patiently wait for the Life Box to be available I could look around for other options available now. Tons of recycled post consumer waste envelopes, which is good and what I'll continue to order. But ideally I'd like find something more than that.

Ideal for mailing things like bills that include the need to send a reply payment. Made from a minimum of 30% post consumer waste (PCW) content and use soy and water-based inks and bio cell window films. Nice blog. And a nice logo, too.

Brown Bag Envelopes
100% recycled using post consumer waste. I started off mailing budcozy with a batch of similar brown bag envelopes, but the glue was horrible and didn't seal properly. But I'd be open to trying another brand like this one.

Paperboard Mailer
These look interesting. Made from 100 percent hand-sorted, recycled fiberboard (containing 95 percent post-consumer paper). This is a more sturdy almost cardboard looking mailer. Especially good for sending more than one budcozy at a time.

I found these envelopes all accounted for on ActionEnvelope. In the short time I searched, they look to be the online resource for eco-friendly envelopes. Plus they practice what they preach.

Paul Stamets's Life Box Packaging

Life Box video stills from TED|Talks.

I've been wanting to package budcozy with eco-friendly materials that go beyond it's first purpose. Paul Stamets's Life Box is exactly it. When will this be available? Anything else on the market like this?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Capsule Design Festival

I'm considering branching out and selling budcozy at the Capsule Design Festival here in SF. It presents a big challenge of how to display budcozy and get a booth together. Luckily I have a couple friends who have been doing this for years, so I'm hoping to get some valuable guidance. On another level, it's a bit scary. What if I'm that booth that no one stops by, that vacant booth that repels everyone, that booth worker staring eagerly at everyone who passes by? DailyCandy was a big boost for the confidence. But I really need to have thick skin to brave the potential less rosey side. I suppose it's good to know sooner rather than later. And there is nothing like face to face feedback to find out. I've been pretty comfortable being a designer behind my computer. This is very different.

Searching online for booth ideas isn't coming up with much. I took some photos at the Union Street Festival last weekend, but that was a bit underwhelming. Devin had a great idea to pin up budcozys on cork boards. I've also seen cute stands made out of tree twigs, sort of like sling shots standing in an upright "Y". Or maybe wooden clothing pins, or contrasting the tangle-free life with budcozys with tangled yarn, or birds nests. If anyone is reading this, feel free to shoot me any vendor booth ideas.

Hello? Oh boy, the nerves are already getting the best of me.


Milan, Galleria Corso Vittorio Emmanuele, 2003

Ari Salomon makes good pictures. This one hangs on my wall.

Please, Understand.

A certain someone needs some Understanding smacked into her, with a capital U. I only know of one person who wields an influence over the over achieving and sometimes self obsessed. I've been working at his conferences for the last 8 or 9 years, and have seen his "work" first hand. Can we please arrange for a little Come-to-Jesus chit chat?

"Many of the people I speak with are really serving other Gods: the God of Beauty, the God of Style... the God of Money, Success, Fame, Fortune, and yet there is only one God that I serve and that is the God of Understanding. If you serve that God, all the others will be taken care of."
- Richard Saul Wurman, InfoDesign Jan '04

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Recycling Jeans

The Jesse budcozy, coming soon...

I'm looking forward to finding some time to finish up the next limited edition budcozy. These will be made from a bunch of jeans and some vintage-style red buttons. Thinking her name will be Jesse. The jeans shown here are Miss Sixty's. I've also got some Paper Demin Cloth and Sevens ready to go. Might also do a second button option for a more gender neutral look, something along the lines of a metal rivet.

Recycling tshirts, dresses and jeans has been a good way to keep this project interesting. I've been looking at my wardrobe in a whole new way. MJ has been a loyal scissor ninja, keeping me motivated, and supplying her friends with budcozys. One of them even sent me something from their closet to try. I can see this becoming a really fun aspect. If only I had clones of myself and didn't enjoy sleeping so much. Plus, the new-ish day job has been really interesting and keeps me plenty busy by itself.

Monday, June 2, 2008

On Foot

A really nice thing about not being in a car and being on foot is all the stuff you'll see. Bliz and I started the day off on bus to the Union Street Fair, and over to Cupcake Camp. On our way back from Camp we took a quick detour to the Water Garden with Kinetic Sculpture and Bamboo Grove. Forgot to note the name of this place, anyone know?

View Larger Map

Cupcake Camp 2008

Cupcake mayhem. Bubblegum cupcake showed strong. More photos here.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sci-Fi Time Traveler Golden Era Superhero Helmut

The Mercury Helmet by Jasmin Zorlu.

This. This, I want.

I tried it on and it was amazing. It is made from fish skin suede and lined in organza. Placing this on my head made me feel like I had magical powers. I could summon Godzilla from the depths. I could cut through any dust storm. Light would shine upon me in a flattering diffused vignette. I could communicate telepathically with the whales.

I am saving up.

Mars Lander is Twittering

Photo from NASA.

I've been following NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander Mission unfold via Twitter. This is really really cool on so many levels.

First, I'm getting news as it literally happens first hand from the source.

Second, these twitters give the Phoenix Probe a personality and a voice like it's ALIVE. I really care about that thing up there so far away. I hope he'll be ok, really. I found out that he has to survive the Mars winter in total ice and then try to thaw out later. He says things like "I'm going to sleep now, more tomorrow" or "I'm going to try to move my arm today, it's been in storage for 10 months" or "More pictures! Check them out".

Third, this twitter account has not really be publicized all that much, yet it already has over 9,000 followers. This continues to grow each day. One mention worth noting: Phoenix Space Probe More Popular Than Punk Rock.

Fourth, I'm frakking learning something about space in a way that really engages me. This is big.

: MarsPhoenix
Location: North polar region of MARS!
Bio: I dig Mars!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Possum O' Possum

I love it when friends send me things in the mail. It's like being stranded on an island and finding a message in a bottle. Today was especially exciting. The mailman kerplunked our mail through the slot and it had an extra bang-plop to it. So I immediately went over to see what had been delivered. This package was on the floor with this hint on the back, "A registered possum is a better possum and that is a fact!" and "...and if you can accept that then you can accept just about anything... - Basil Clark". A few weeks back our friend Greg had given us a DVD of a film he made and the disc was scratched so we weren't able to watch the entire movie. I sent him a Facebook message asking if he had another. And a week later, presto! Hello, Possum O' Possum.

And as an extra bonus, also included in the package was one sterile adhesive bandage and one eraser. Things that just might come in handy. Thanks Greg.

Ultimate Memetastic

Weezer's latest video, "Pork and Beans", showing a lovely array of Internet Memes has over 3.8 million YouTube views since Friday. The director says "...this is like a web CliffsNotes to getting into internet culture." (Via Wired)

Maker Faire Poster

Poster by eboy.

I'm a little tardy for a Maker Fair mention but, I came across this poster today and it's worth mentioning just for the visual graphics alone (one in a long series). And so, my quick review of the faire will be better late than never. Bliz and I went for the second time. We took CalTrain and the faire shuttle bus which worked out 200% better than driving, and we reviewed the schedule in advance to make sure we saw the stuff we wanted but, it was still totally overwhelming. This poster captures it well. The faire seems to have huge momentum and I imagine it'll be even bigger next year. It's really amazing to see a little bit of Burning Man in San Mateo. (As an aside, I grew up in San Mateo County. My parents were both born and raised there. My sisters and I were in 4H and they showed their lambs at the same fair grounds. I spent many summer nights running around the carnival eating sticky sugary foods and trying to win stuffed animals and gold fish. It was so the 1970's.)

A couple highlights:

- My friend Emi works for TCHO, who had chocolate samples you could vote on. It's yummy chocolate from scratch. Always a crowd pleaser. We had them at EG2007.

- My friend Marnia was there with Swarm. It's great to see this Burning Man project still going and now starting to tour year round.

- Mike with BlinkM, of course.

- David with Making Things, of course.

- Steampunk Squid, Robot Girafe, Tesla Coil, Cupcake cars, Never Was House and The Treehouse.

- The Mento-Coke guys did a show. Was fun to see in person.

For a more thorough review, Wired has a great blog write up complete with photos and videos.

How It Works

Came across a great series of How It Works videos. Super clever and super cute. Budcozy needs one of these. The video below explains the difference between regular incandescent light bulbs and CFLs.

More videos about things like Social Networks, Wikis, RSS and Zombies here at Common Craft.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Carnival Zona Verde

Hopped off the bus and started on the parade route at 24th street, then walked over to Harrison for the vendors and food. Huge crowds lined the parade route to watch skimpy sequined girls, traditional costume, fire engines, cable cars, vintage cars, dragons, stilt walkers, candy throwers and all. The food was a big component with everything possible being grilled. We got a grilled corn. Yum.

A new addition to this years Carnival was the Zona Verde. It was contained in a parking lot separate from the other vendors and included solar companies, organic food, eco-travel, clothing, art and gifty stuff. It was a small but strong turn out and hopefully it will grow larger next year. Seems like this is a good trend in general for street fairs because it really allows for the public to see and talk to the people involved in eco-friendly businesses. Some highlights:

• Free Adina organic Iced Mayan Mochas.
• We talked to a solar guy about the interesting practices of PG&E's solar installations regarding panel angle optimization.
• Learned about an eco-preserve just outside of Mexico City that is under threat of development.
• Talked to Urban Edibles, a local gardener who specializes in edible gardens (my basil is so sad)
• Got the Nature in the City Map, A Guide to SF's Natural Heritage. It's a huge map that shows 49 square miles of natural areas in the city: view, hiking, picnic area, bird watching, wildflowers, etc. And it's printed on New Leaf Sakura 100% Recycled Paper. We had to promise we'd make use of it before they'd give it to us.
• Bags and wallets made from recycled bike tires and signage, Green Guru.

A few more photos on Flickr.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Giving a damn

This is to remind me to go spend some time at Good Magazine. I found it via this chart, "Who Owns The Organic Food Companies?", on Cool Infographics.

"Welcome to GOOD, media for people who give a damn.

We see a growing number of people tied together not by age, career, background, or circumstance, but by a shared interest. This revolves around a passion for potential mixed with fierce pragmatism and creative engagement. We sum all this up as the sensibility of giving a damn. But to shorten it, let's call it GOOD. We're here to push this movement and cover its realization.

While so much of today's media is taking up our space, dumbing us down, and impeding our productivity, GOOD exists to add value. Through a print magazine, feature and documentary films, original multimedia content and local events, GOOD is providing a platform for the ideas, people, and businesses that are driving change in the world."

"B" is for Budcozy

Photo by Urbanwide.

Who knew. Wiki has entries for (I think, but I didn't check) each letter. Entries cover topics such as: History, Typography, Usage, Codes for computing, and References.

Crazy Wisdom: Final Show Tonight

We saw Wes Scoop last weekend. Good stuff. Tonight is the last night at the Marsh. You should go.

"The Marsh presents Wes "Scoop" Nisker's "Crazy Wisdom Saves The World Again!" Celebrating the publication of his new book, "Friends!Earthlings! Humans! Who are we, why are we here and how did we get into the mess we're in?" Nisker explores the foolish human condition and the joys and sorrows of living in the modern age. He will reveal the secrets of the Big Bang and anti-matter, explore the issues of war, species extinction and global warming, and expose the true heart of the New Age spiritual movement."

Making Stuff From Junk

Worth a trip over to the SF Dump, the artist in residence show is open today. We've been meaning to go to one of these for a long time now and finally got a chance to last night. The show is recycled pedal powered mechanical noise and circus gone wrong contraptions, by Paul Cesewski. It was a great turn out and all the kids were running around going bonkers. Hot dogs and booze too.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Things I'm Searching For. Any Advice?

Professional Snapper
Little did I know that most small sewing shops refuse to install snaps. I tried a local button and pleating company for my recent batch of budcozys but this experience was not ideal. After a series of attempts, they ended up doing an acceptable job but it was too painful to work with them.

Organic Cotton Clothing Tags
Do these even exist? Or possibly in some other sustainable fiber? I'm pretty much out of my tags, and before ordering more I'd like to try to get them in an eco-friendly form. UPDATE: A great idea came in via comments. Wanted to explain a bit about the tag. It's an integral and functional element to help pull budcozy up/down, so while there are other great solutions to branding the budcozy I definitely want to keep the tag. But overall something to figure out ...

New Things

Now that I've expanded into the sewing and eco-business world, there is a whole slew of online resources I've been collecting.

Greener Printer, in Berkeley
Once I'm ready to move on from my ink jet printer I'll be looking for a professional resource. This company is 100% wind powered, certfied green, and use soy and vegetable based inks.

JHB Buttons
Tons and tons of buttons you can order online.

The Button Drawer
More buttons.

1% For the Planet
Another item for my to-do list.

Trademark Information
If you are suffering from insomnia and need a good trick to help yourself fall asleep, then this is the place for you.

Clothing Labels 4 U
Affordable fabric tags in smaller units if you're just starting out.

On Auto-Pilot

For a majority of designers this is a really obvious list of links to mention but, I find myself utilizing most of these (and more I haven't listed) on nearly every one of my projects. They're great design resources that are so basic to me that I probably take them for granted. It got me thinking, what other online resources do other designers rely on? What might I be missing that might help me break out of old habits?

Font ID, search by sight

Free Vector World Maps, just in case you ever need one

Lorem Ipsum, for when you're waiting on content

Silk Icons, free family of 700 tiny icons

Silkscreen, free tiny font

Best Brands of the World, EPS files of most corporate logos

A List Apart, for people who make websites, a great resource for affordable graphics and icons

Frilly Things, a collection by Cameron Moll

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

budcozy <3 u

A couple people out on the internets have seen the light, and believe in a world of tangle-free earbuds. And I heart them.

The Next Hottest Model
Budcozy is the newest accessory that is truly functional, it slides over your ipod cords and keeps them from getting tangled. And what makes Budcozy different is that it is made from natural materials like hemp, bamboo and organic cotton. Retails at 15. You don't have to be the world's top model to know the comfort and convenience that Budcozy offers can actually change and enhance your entire Ipod experience.

Eco Smart Style
Budcozy is a hand crafted accessory that slides over your iPod and iPhone earbud cords to keep them from getting tangled up. Made from all natural fibers like hemp, bamboo and organic cotton when possible, budcozys are manufactured in San Francisco. Cute, stylish and affordable at $15 each, it's a great gift for yourself or that iPod user in your family.

This Next, by hanahula
Every time I go out for a run I somehow manage to dislodge my earbuds from my iPod. Just one of life's little annoyances . . . but one that now has a cute solution: the budcozy. I like the Samantha (made in hemp with pink trim) but you can choose from denim, bamboo and cotton designs too.

Fernanda Zaffari
Rough translation: The Budcozys was an excellent invention to finish with rolled up wires them earphones them MP3, besides being a perfect accessory to load the device. It is alone to place the phones in the Budcozys and to incase wires separating one of the other. Beyond that the Budcozys is fashionable and is seeming an accidental super necktie. Still more with the neutral tones that do not ruin the disguise. The Budcozy is manufactured from organic staple fibers and renewed.

Love these!! So I just bought two of these (Pow! and Slate) and I think they are the coolest thing ever. Why didn't I think of it!


"Sen. Barack Obama was greeted by the largest crowd of his 15-month campaign in Portland Sunday, an estimated 75,000 people, according to Portland Police. "

When Obama Wins (wow)... We'll all find the map to candy mountain.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Weekend Butterfly: Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

I believe I've identified the butterfly that kept appearing this weekend. First on our walk to Twin Peaks, and then later that night on a mural. It's an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

Update: I added this sighting to the North American Butterfly Association website, Butterflies I've Seen archive. I had to enter Twin Peaks as a location (didn't come up as a known location on their site) and I had to search for this butterfly with the State Filter turned off. Good deed done for today.