*NOTCOT in travel - 02.01.17 - 0 Notes

Bernardus Lodge & Spa - Carmel, CA

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Just back from a quick trip up the coast to meet friends and try out the new Villas & Suites at Bernardus Lodge & Spa in Carmel Valley! Between the various (much needed) rain storms, we got a lovely sunny weekend to drive up California, explore Carmel/Big Sur, and most importantly, relax, catch up, and indulge in delicious wine, spa pampering, and silly leisurely activities like bocce and croquet! Also - between the 3 fire places in each suite and fire pits to curl up by throughout the property, even the chilliest nights were cozy. Tucked into Carmel Valley between vineyards and golf courses, you’re about 20 minutes into the adorable Carmel By The Sea. I’ve been torn trying to decide what to share with you, but overall, there were so many lovely details (the bathroom! the fireplaces! the views! the stars!) - here’s a look at my favorite parts. As for whether i’d recommend the Bernardus Lodge & Spa - i’m not sure, we did have a bunch of strange moments that stuck in my head, but fill you in on a few of those later. For now - take in the sights on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in tech - 01.26.17 - 0 Notes

2017 Corvette Grand Sport

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It all started with Shawn telling me about how we “could” drop Chevrolet LT1 E-ROD crate engine into our ‘96 Land Cruiser for our next step in our NOTFZJ80 Project… of course my first question was, “What does it feel like?” which prompted him to tell me it’s in the Corvette Grand Sport! So, when Chevy offered one to us for a week, it was the perfect way to kick off 2017 and try the LT1!

First impressions of the 2017 Corvette Grand Sport? So fun to drive, and it turns (surprising) heads everywhere you go. There’s something about styling (much like the original stingrays) that just makes people stare, grin, and wave… from little boys to old ladies, to everything in between. It was hard to stop in anywhere and NOT get asked about it. For lack of a better phrase, it definitely had a more all-American-all-ages vibe from the crowd it drew, compared to some higher end luxury sports cars. Even non car folks were excited by it. But to be honest, it is SO fun to drive, that the only time you notice all the grins and stares are while being a passenger. That sport mode on S curves is fantastic. And the touring mode was surprisingly comfortable for such a low car with a stiff suspension! While we can’t give you a ride, we can show you all the details that we love… so take a peek on the next page!

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Sponsors

*NOTCOT in roundup - 01.24.17 - 0 Notes

NOTCOT.org Roundup

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Roundup of awesomeness from NOTCOT.org! Click squares to find out more…

*NOTCOT in food+drink - 01.20.17 - 1 Notes

Cannabis Packaging + Branding Design

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We’ve been finding so many interesting Cannabis products with great packaging/branding lately! So instead of hunting for them each time, or flooding NOTCOT.org with the links… here’s one big post of them!

It’s no surprise that the cannabis market is booming and growing at record speeds, and will likely continue to do so. After many recurring conversations about the design emerging around the cannabis space - i finally started rounding up some of the more intriguing packaging/branding design of cannabis products. This doesn’t even begin to look at the branding of dispensaries, architecture/interior design of dispensaries, or paraphernalia. And while cannabis product packaging is much like packaging for water, alcohol, anything you can add sugar to, etc. - when looking for inspiration to design packaging and branding for a cannabis brand, you can really find inspiration from ANYTHING. The products have enough range that you could probably have an equivalent cannabis product for nearly anything in a supermarket or drugstore. But, that being said, i was still curious what’s new in the cannabis specific space with regards to eye catching packaging… so here’s my current (and probably growing) list! Let me know if you find others i should check out!

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*NOTCOT in roundup - 01.16.17 - 0 Notes

NOTCOT.org Roundup

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A grid of inspiration from NOTCOT.org! Click a square to find out more.

Sponsors

*NOTCOT in tech - 0 Notes

Linksys Velop Unboxing

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Full disclosure - Daniel Frysinger works on the Linksys Velop, and he also founded NOTCOT with me and we’ve been friends for nearly 20 years! Weirdly enough, that means instead of being positively biased, we’ve been even MORE critical of the product (what else would you expect from designers?), and have let him use our home and studio space as testing areas, and turn us into UX guinea pigs while working through the design process! So when it finally made it to store shelves, we had to share unboxing it with you!

So that being said - i’m totally in awe of how good my internet connection finally is in the garage workshop and the pergola/deck… and every corner of the yard/driveway… even the furthest bedrooms are solid now! Mesh networks are definitely a hot trend/evolution in the home wifi router space, and they all seem to advertises how many nodes you need based on the size of your home to properly reach ALL the spots we hang out - both inside and out! With 4-5 Linksys Velop Nodes we cover ~13,000 sqft inside and out amazingly well, and it’s nice that you just need a power cord and close enough proximity to another node to expand coverage. Each node has 2 ethernet ports, so you can easily hook up an ethernet drive or other hard wired accessories where needed. Also, all nodes are equal - no master/slave situation, so they are completely versatile. In other words, if you move and find you need less nodes, you can always share them with a friend, or use them for better wifi at your vacation home.

The other fascinating wifi router trend is an industrial design one! They are finally getting prettier and more interesting as designers help consumers display (instead of hide) their routers. It makes perfect sense, the more exposed and centrally located they are, the better signal you get! Yet somehow, many of us have had them stashed in closets and behind objects on shelves and more. So while the Linksys Velop Nodes aren’t the tiniest, they are filled with thoughtful design details. (Also, when it comes to my wifi, i’ll take slightly larger router with WAY better signal any day.) While most press photos show you the plain, solid, white side with a logo, my favorite view is actually the back at an angle. There’s something almost sculptural with the perforated white square/squircle (?) tower with the cut out corner!

On to the unboxing and up close with the design details! To the next page!

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*NOTCOT in food+drink - 01.13.17 - 1 Notes

SPYTAIL Ginger Rum

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SPYTAIL Ginger Rum!!! The most stunning press kit just arrived from our friends at Biggar & Leith - you know, the folks behind the delicious and beautiful Malfy Gin we tried last March. Well SPYTAIL Ginger Rum taps right into all my childhood loves of Captain Nemo’s Nautilus, Tintin’s Shark Submarine, Bathyspheres and undersea adventuring (and the amazing gear that goes with it)… It blew my mind to open up a box and see a porthole staring back at me! Of course with a stunning bulbous bottle of rum staring out from within.

Sipping it straight while i work on this post, it’s deliciously warming, with quite the gingery punch. As for the story ~ “SPYTAIL Black Ginger Rum - Caribbean Rum blended and bottled in Cognac, France. SPYTAIL is based on a 19th Century traditional recipe of aging fresh ginger root and spices in barrels of Rum - resulting in a rich, spicy and complex spirit. SPYTAIL is named after a legendary submarine - plans for which were discovered by our distillers. The first mechanical submarines in the world were invented in France - and tested on the Charente River which flows nearby our distillery. These were the submarines which Jules Vernes used as the inspiration for his famous novel - 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” From a packaging standpoint, the bottle is so beautiful, even those who don’t love ginger might want it on their bar!

But on to the press kit ~ through the porthole ~ and into all the packaging details on the next page.

p.s. On amazing little details - hidden within the bottle porthole are the co-ordinates of the final resting place of Jules Vernes.

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*NOTCOT in playful - 01.10.17 - 0 Notes

Art of Play Curiosity Box 2016

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The Art of Play Curiosity Box 2016 is a magical and wondrous thing that promises “unique & clever amusements” - just what you need to help kick off your 2017! Especially the 3D Card Star of laser cut magicalness designed by mathematician George W. Hart (father of one of my favorite youtubers - Vi Hart)! There’s nothing like a good puzzle to get me out of a funk - though of course all the good ones drive you a bit more mad and frustrated to make solving them THAT much more satisfying. Also the Curiosity Box has delectable dark chocolate - that is ALSO a puzzle (though one that doesn’t last long.) Oh and the spring! So elegant, so pretty… then i handed it to Shawn and he solved it in seconds - reminding me the puzzle is basically a problem he’d accidentally run into when working on cars…

2016 was a funny kind of year, and while 2017 is full of uncertainty thus far - i’m feeling hopeful. And silly, fun amusements like these definitely help - so thank you, Art of Play for the surprise box of hopeful happiness! Ready to dive into the unboxing and details? To the next page!

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Sponsors

*NOTCOT in roundup - 01.01.17 - 0 Notes

NOTCOT.org 10x10 of 2016

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HAPPY 2017!!! I tried to resist looking back too much at 2016 this year, because i’ve been beyond ready for 2017! But i got toooooo curious to see what soared on NOTCOT.org - and once i saw, it seemed too fun not to share! So here are the most popular 100 posts of 2016… click the tiny squares to learn more!

*NOTCOT in design - 12.23.16 - 0 Notes

Slow Coffee Style: Sign Paint Mugs

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Currently smitten by the design and packaging of these mugs and cups from Kinto’s Slow Coffee Style Collection. There’s something so lovely about the nostalgic designs made new in this unique mix of sign painter typography on a vintage-esque milky glass mug and embossed colorful glasses for the Sign Paint Mugs and Cold Brew Coffee Tumblers. The mugs can even be stacked for easy storage. Also the sayings are just adorable - (1) Rainy day means coffee time. (2) Find your SLOW COFFEE STYLE. (3) Make time to brew yourself slow coffee. (4) Let your mind wander. (5) Better not think, just slowly drink. Naturally 4 and 5 are pulling me in the most! The glass tumblers remind you of “The richness of going slow” and to “Enjoy cold brew coffee”… take a look at the details on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in roundup - 12.22.16 - 0 Notes

NOTCOT.org Roundup

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We’re inching our way to 2017! Christmas and Hanukkah are around the corner… and NYE is just behind them… and here’s a bit of inspiration helping get us there! Click the squares to find out more.

*NOTCOT in design - 12.09.16 - 0 Notes

2016 Ever Growing NOTCOT Gift List

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Welcome to the 2016 Ever Growing NOTCOT Gift List - it’s ever growing, because instead of making individual gift guides this year, i’ll just keep adding to this post (and bumping it up with each update for your easy viewing pleasure!) WHY? Well, if i were you, i’d much rather have one page i could scroll through for ideas as i shop, rather than trying to hop all over through a litany of links… AND thanks to our fantastic NOTCOT sponsors (Shout outs to David Kind, Distiller, ICON, AutoNation, and AutoDesk Fusion 360 - we love you guys!) we can focus on finding and sharing awesomeness with you! (Versus the old model of ads, that encourages sites to make you open as many pages as possible, as many times as possible, since they’ve got to get those ad views.)

As for what we’re defining “gifts” as this year - fun products that you can wrap your arms around (i.e. no cars, ovens, walk in greenhouses, etc.) that aren’t basic tech items (i.e. computers, speakers, cameras, gaming consoles, kitchen appliances). We’re going to focus on the fun, random, and unexpected… for all that other stuff - there are so many other places to go look! Also, we’re focusing on products you can actually BUY and have under the tree (i.e. no crowdfunding or pre-sales). So it’s kind of a free for all! I’ll show you some stuff that could make for a fun gift (for yourself or others!) and leave it to you to decide who would like what (instead of Gifts for Mom, Gifts for Travelers, Gifts for “insert stereotype that is unlikely to be true here.”) Oooh, also - these are all items our team already has or wants to gift or wouldn’t mind being surprised by.

So - if you’re ready - let’s get our gifting on! To the next page…

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*NOTCOT in roundup - 12.06.16 - 0 Notes

NOTCOT.org Roundup

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We’re SO close to 2017! Really can’t wait to get there - 2016 has been… yea… Anyhow, here’s a dose of 25 inspiring amusements that have been making us happy on NOTCOT.org! Click the squares to find out more.

*NOTCOT in tech - 12.02.16 - 0 Notes

Power Practical Luminoodle

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The Power Practical Luminoodle! Essentially an LED strip that you can power via USB - and before you just buy a basic LED strip and hack it together yourself, they’ve already done the work to make this waterproof with a nice light diffusion, attached adjustable magnets, included straps to attach it to things, and a little white stuff sack that can turn into a lantern. Basically - it’s an awesome stocking stuffer and gift for your campers, road trippers, cyclists, and more. Also, being USB powered, its easy to plug it in to anything from a USB wall or car charger, computer, or even that back up battery you probably carry for your phone… and for those who don’t already have somewhere to plug it in, you can also buy the Luminoodle Plus that includes one. (Ooh and for last minute shoppers, they are available and slightly cheaper with Amazon Prime!

While skeptical at first, i got curious while black friday shopping and impulse bought one… and i’m delightfully impressed with it! Such a simple idea, executed so thoughtfully, they’ve really elevated the LED strip in a lovely, functional way. Also, nice packaging! Take a peek at the details and unboxing on the next page.

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*NOTCOT in design - 12.01.16 - 0 Notes

The Bridge House, San Diego, CA

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I keep finding myself real estate shopping/researching more and more - especially paying attention to unusual design solutions to challenging lots - and today this Bridge House on 8th Street in Hillcrest, San Diego, CA caught my eye. Owners, Rammy and Traci Cortez, and architect, Hector Magnus of Architects Magnus build The Bridge House. Quite the unmissable black and white structure that initially looks like two houses, but is actually a fascinating solution to a 10ft city utility easement running through the center of the property. It is a two-story, 2,700 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths single family home with a grated steel 12-foot bridge, on a mere 4,725 sqft lot. The pictures are a bit confusing to stitch together in my head… until i dove into the 3D Walkintour (pssst - jump to floor 3 to see what’s above the garage, and jump to another floor to get back out.) I wonder what the rules to an easement are - you can build a bridge over it? Or does it have to be see through? Will have to look into that more…

In the mean time - take a peek inside and around the house on the next page!

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