*NOTCOT in food+drink -

The Griffin - Las Vegas

griffin1.jpg On more gorgeous neon signage ~ somehow ended up at The Griffin in downtown vegas ~ although we later realized there is The Griffin in Los Feliz too, pictures made it look like this vegas one has the prettier neon/fonts for sure! And they even have Griffin tiles in the bathrooms! Take a peek at their adorable branding and beautifully simple brick arched ceilings and interiors, lush red leather booths to sink into, awesome 360 fire… its like walking into that classic den… only slightly more hipster than retro… lots of pics on the next page!

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*NOTCOT in food+drink -

Alien Fresh Jerky

alien1.jpg This has been a strange strange trip ~ in a nutshell, its been the least CES-y ces trip ever ~ and to be honest, we never made it to the main show floor (just ran around the sands part for an hour or two) ~ but with the extensive coverage just about EVERYWHERE online right now (yes, we too are lusting after the Palm Pre), i feel like we’ve been seeing the best of’s all over! Instead we ended up indulging in some exploring of vegas, meetings/dinners/etc… so to everyone i never got a chance to meet back up with at the main show floor ~ apologies! Next time, perhaps?

So back to the random adventures around Vegas ~ i’ve seen the highway signs for Alien Fresh Jerky for years… so we went on the way back to LA! It is like a highway stop Alien 7-11 filled with jerky, alien paraphernalia, honey, nuts, hot sauce, you name it… there was a ufo crashing into it, and a family of aliens parked in the parking lot… and clearly they’ve been having a LOT of fun with their packaging/branding! So see the pics on the next page… and you can even order online for the next time you need some Alien stocking stuffers…

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*NOTCOT in design - 01.08.09 -

CES Innovations Chalk Boards

pwnagemain.jpg So on silly things that cracked me up wandering the show floor ~ in the special “best of show” like section - the “CES Innovations Design and Engineering Awards” section, their displays were all matte black with colored sketchy images of the categories… and on the ends they had colored chalk out with messages scrawled on them encouraging people to “draw your innovation” or “draw new ideas”… of course this leads to much random doodling, “____ was here”, and silly ideas… so on the next page here’s a look at what was scrawled so far! Think of it as CES initiated UGC Graffiti… but super old school chalkiness, paired with the latest most impressive design/engineering products being shown!

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*NOTCOT in tech -

ioSafe Solo ~ flaming HDs at CES

iosafe0.jpg Here’s what i love about vegas ~ you just never know what or where you’ll end up ~ tonight led us on an adventure into the vegas off-strip suburbs where we ended up tossing the latest ioSafe Solo external hard drive into the color changing rock fountain pool… pulled it out by a cord… then set it on fire! Only to cool it (with clouds of steam) with a hose… and take it all apart to show off the pristine hard drive contained with in… and of course we also cooked a standard hard drive as well, which didn’t fare quite as nicely…

Beyond the obvious fascination and amusement from the demo itself ~ it all lent it self perfectly for some fun photographing and video too! Luckily dan came with ~ so we have full video of all the excitement for you to see on the next page, and i’ve summarized the whole scene in a gallery of pics as usual! Fire in the dark is SO fun with the my new 5D ~ and as for the ioSafe Solo external hard drive, i think i’m sold. In this line of “work” i can’t imagine losing all my files… lifetime of photos… design work… the websites!… you name it! Granted its one of those problems you hope you never have to worry about, but if there *were* to be a flood or fire, i’d certainly feel better knowing my data would most likely survive it! While ioSafe is primarily known for their enterprise level products (massive, hefty “disaster proof hardware”) ~ this is their first introduction into the consumer space, and the pricing is impressive ~ the 500GB ioSafe Solo external hard drive is only $149, and the 1TB is $199 and 1.5TB is $299!

Go see the pics and videos as well as more details on how they work on the next page! (The first video shows the destruction of it… the second one shows you how to get the hard drive out of it after!)

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*NOTCOT in design - 01.07.09 -

Shag’s Vice Tester

vices0.jpg So for some background ~ i’ve been in love with the work of Shag since i was a kid (early high school perhaps?) ~ and to stumble into Frankie’s Tiki Room upon the suggestion of Hugh at Unica Home, and then to see not only all the amazing art/interiors, and the exclusive mugs… and in the corner there is this playful “VICE TESTER” machine calling out to me… and as i get closer, the whole thing is covered in Shag’s illustrations! Every single side of it and all the options too! It’s only getting in to the hotel and hooked up to some wonky internet that i got caught up on all things Frankie’s Tiki Room, including the little snippet on their site that says “And the ‘Vice Tester’ carnival game, designed and built by Shag, must be seen to be believed.” It’s no joke, you really must see it… and since i can’t show it to you in person, on the next page you will see a bunch of pictures of every side of it as well as a little *sideways* video (sorry, we did what we could between the very dark bar and the very strong drinks)…

I popped a quarter in, grabbed the handle as instructed, and apparently my vice at that moment was “drugs”… and i love that lincoln quote on the side “It has been my experience that those who have no vices have very few virtues”… so anyhow, go see the pics and vid on the next page!!!

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*NOTCOT in design -

Frankie’s Tiki Room Mugs

tikiglass1.jpg The 8 exclusive ceramic tiki mugs of Frankie’s Tiki Room are exquisite by any tiki loving standards. I showed you the space here, and the mugs and stirrers deserved a post of their own! So here are some close ups in the hotel room, and on the next page you have to check out their backs, close ups of the stirrer, images of all of the mug designs, and the adorable menu illustrations of them too!

p.s.
The exclusive tiki mugs are purchasable online for $15 each! And really they are so so awesome we might have to buy more. But if you go in you can get them for $20 with a drink (drinks normally $8)

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*NOTCOT in food+drink -

Frankie’s Tiki Room Las Vegas

frankies1.jpg From Unica Home we made our way to Frankie’s Tiki Room… and WOW. Seriously. While in Vegas, wtf are you doing on the strip? Go to Frankie’s! It is dripping with tiki bar lore, and art works from many of our favorite contemporary tiki loving artists (so much SHAG-aliciousness!)… and even an exclusive set of custom Tiki Souvenir Mugs! Not to mention the awesome old school neon signage on the front of this 24 hour joint that just opened last month! Soooooo, there will be three posts on Frankie’s since there was too much to show you in just one!

First up ~ photographic look at Frankie’s and my very strong drinks and giddy view of the tiki wonders… so go see the pics on the next page, and i’ll slip more info in there, but you really need to see more first!

TO PAGE 2 of "Frankie’s Tiki Room Las Vegas"! ----->

*NOTCOT in design - 01.06.09 -

Unica Home, Las Vegas

unicamain.jpg First stop into vegas… UNICA HOME! The showroom/shop! Stepping into their new 3 month old 12,000 sq ft space felt like going to design heaven ~ so many things i’ve written about… beautifully laid out for hours of oooooohs and ahhhhhhs followed by debating and purchasing… i’m currently debating the Artimide Melampo Lamps! Unica Home in person manages to strike a delicate balance between being incredibly accessible and touchable, while still feeling as if you’re in the presence of a museum like space versus a store, as silly as it sounds, you can feel the care that is taken in showcasing the products with the utmost respect. When you meet founders Bonnie & Hugh, you’ll quickly grasp their passion for each and every object in the store, and their excitement over what is yet to come is infectious! And really, 12,000 sq feet is HUGE! They have one of their two warehouses in the back of the store, so don’t hesitate to ask if there’s something you’ve been eying online that you’re curious to see in person… The Detroit natives have been running Unica Home for 10 years, and have surprising backgrounds ranging from molecular biology, advertising/marketing, and antique sales as well as serving on the board of the legendary Neon Museum… and Hugh pointed us towards some off the Strip spots to check out… you’ll see more about Frankie’s Tiki Room when i get the next post ready… but first ~ click on to the next page to see a tour of the incredible Unica Home, there are over 30 pictures!!! There was just far too much to show you! This is definitely a MUST SEE when you’re in vegas!

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*NOTCOT in gratis -

NOTCOT Giveaway: Steelcase Leap

giveawayleap.jpg UPDATE!!!: CONGRATS to Lisa in Clifton, Colorado who won the Steelcase Leap Chair!!! And huge thanks to everyone that participated!

CES time! And since i’m off to vegas in the morning, i wanted to leave you with this fun giveaway! Maybe if dan takes over and does some driving, i’ll even have time to approve some comments on the googlephone on the road!

The nice folks at Steelcase were so excited about the post about the Leap chair that they’ve offered to give one away to a lucky NOTCOT reader, and with generosity like that, how could i say no? This is pretty much the perfect gift/upgrade to kick off 2009 with ~ especially if you’re just getting back to work… this Leap might help make the work weeks go by a little more comfortably (and ergonomically!) While the base model retails at $850 and really its an investment in our bodies when we’re overworking at our computers… here’s your chance to win one!

So for this first giveaway of 2009 ~ i ask 3 little things of you ~ 1) What would you do with the massive box (it’s big, i could totally make a fort with mine!)? 2) What is your New Year’s Resolution? 3) How will the Steelcase Leap improve your life? For question 1, you should definitely check out the pictures on the next page… for a chance to win, you have until the 31st of January to leave a comment!

UPDATE: Some have asked for more details on how you win ~ well if you answer all three questions (yes, actually answer them, no gibberish or skipping some!) ~ you’re in the running!

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*NOTCOT in wearable - 01.05.09 -

Too Late Watches

toolate1.jpg Remember the Too Late watches that surfaced as .org #16568? Well a few were sent over, and the packaging and product itself was pretty interesting…. firstly, i LOVE that they package these little watches in adorable screw top jars! And then, instead of replacing just the battery, you actually purchase a whole new tiny watch mechanism, which is micro-blister-packed! The watches themselves were thicker than i imagined from the website, being just shy of 1 inch wide, and there isn’t much stretch to them, so make sure you get the right size, or else it might be a bit rough on your hand getting it on! Being waterproof ~ i suppose these are perfect for swimming/diving or even working out? I could totally see stretching one to use as a grip on my water bottle! Only issue i had with them is the buttons are pushed and time reset far too easily ~ the slightest bump and they seemed to be flashing and changing modes! They come in quite the range of colors ~ and it seems like they are constantly adding new ones! Apparently these Italian watches are taking off in the younger circles ~ and kids are wearing them in bunches! (Also perfect for the multi-time-zone jetsetter?) Take a peek at the pics on the next page to see closeups of the jar, the watches, and the tiny mechanism running it all!

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*NOTCOT in travel -

Liquid Image ~ ProHD350 Camera/Video Mask

li1.jpg UPDATE!!! Saw these in person (but no pics, b/c they were shutting down the booth) ~ they are incredibly light! (that was the main question i was getting asked when discussing it with some diving buddies)

Heading to vegas tomorrow ~ CES time already! And so far, one of the things i’m most excited about seeing in person is the latest from Liquid Image ~ the ProHD350!!! Seriously, an awesome jet black dive mask that shoots 5.0 megapixel stills and HD video up to 30fps (with audio!)… it even runs on 4 AAA batteries! has 64MB internal, but takes up to a 32GB microSD/SDHC… and has light attachments (both on the sides and/or headlight)!!!

I know, it seems silly, but the more handsfree you can go while scuba diving the better ~ and to take what look like pretty awesome images without too much added hassle sounds ideal! Oooh and best part, the Pro model is good up to 330ft/100m!!! Well i wrote about their original model about a year ago ~ and since then, they are launching a few other models as well ~ ranging from working at depths to 10m/33ft, 5m/15ft and with and without HD video shooting… but really, the ProHD350 is definitely the most appealing! See more pictures and info on the next page!!! It would be awesome if there’s a demo to play with this at CES!

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*NOTCOT in design - 01.02.09 -

Jay Ryan’s Posters

hum0.jpg Wow. OMG Posters just turned me on to the amazingly inspiring and beautiful posters and illustrations of Jay Ryan and The Bird Machine ~ his incredible print shop of Skokie, IL. His latest work is this pair of NYE posters for HUM (and they just went on sale this morning!) ~ and i was so smitten by the gorgeous color palettes and sketchily playful yet serious potrayal of all the creatures (with a paul smith like striped background), i just wandered through his 13+ years of portfolio gallery

I’ve found that his animal works are the most inspiring to me ~ so i’ve rounded up a bunch of my other favorites on the next page for you to browse ~ his 7 poster series for “Our Planet is a Blue Planet” is just beautiful! Also amusing as his animal stacks… from walrus heads to towers of farm creatures…

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*NOTCOT in me - 01.01.09 -

Welcome to 2009!

newyearMAIN.jpgHappy 2009!!! I must say i’m extra giddy about this year starting ~ it feels like a good one! To kick it off we decided to do some of the things we’re hoping to do more of this year! So Dan, Linhchi and i started it off by sleeping in… waaaaaay in… then cooking fluffy delicious waffles, eggs, and veggie sausages that we enjoyed out on the deck… and then off to an adventure wandering on a trail in Topanga for a few hours… with our cameras, random ideas, and not much else… So now as we relax (they are playing Little Big World + i’m posting this!) ~ i think we’re ready to do 2009 right! Basically my resolution is to do more of what i love, and less of what i don’t. What are yours?

And as for adventures ~ check out the massive number of pics to see what we found on our wander ~ amazing sunset and fun crazy darkness pictures playing with our led flashlights… as well as closeups of teeny tiny flowers and moss… and more!

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*NOTCOT in playful -

Nathan Jurevicius Peleda Owls

owl0.jpgOn recent obsessions ~ Nathan Jurevicius’ Peleda Owl Wind Up Blind Box Toys by Toy Tokyo!!!! You saw the original version as .org #17153… and alyssa mentioned that there was a special urban outfitters exclusive edition as well… so while the new Space 1520 in Hollywood, i finally saw them in person and was so taken by the packaging as well as the windups owls themselves! (Mean urbn guy wouldn’t let me trade whatever was in my box for the demo black one that was just sitting out!!!) Sooooooo, as a result i started researching them all and rounded up all the pictures i found of them as well as close up photos of our glowing and magenta ones and they great packaging graphic design! See it all on the next page!

p.s.
Nathan Jurevicius’ may sound familiar because he’s the aussie illustrator behind Scary Girl.

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*NOTCOT in gratis - 12.29.08 -

WIN IT! $4500 of NVIDIA/CS4 Goodies!

contestpost2a.jpg CLICK HERE TO ENTER!… Ok guys, seriously? Even if you don’t want to enter, can someone win this for me? I never even knew i needed/wanted/craved a $2000 Graphics Card… but with promises to make all things CS4 lightning fast, how can any of us resist?!?!?! Even if you don’t have a desktop, having this might be reason enough to get one… mmmm, blazingly fast Adobe Creative Suite ~ super video editing/encoding…. product model renderings in real time! *swoon* So that’s the NVIDIA Quadro CX Graphics Accelerator… on top of that they are throwing in a copy of Adobe CS4 Master Collection (small print: its usable only until CS5 emerges, but that’s still pretty awesome)… Master Suite is the one with EVERYTHING: InDesign CS4, Photoshop CS4 Extended, Illustrator CS4, Acrobat 9 Pro, Flash CS4 Professional, Dreamweaver CS4, Fireworks CS4, Contribute CS4, After Effects CS4, Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, Soundbooth CS4, Adobe OnLocation CS4, Encore CS4, Adobe Bridge CS4, Adobe Device Central CS4, Dynamic Link, and Version Cue CS4. You want. Trust me, even if you already have both of these, you totally want it, or give it to me! =)

This is the NOTCOT prompt this week, so hope you have fun with it! PLAYING WITH SCALE: So you took your shrink way and aimed it at… well, you tell us! Better yet, SHOW us! Share images of videos of unexpected proportions to win!

So what do you have to do? Just SUBMIT an image or video at the contest page! But first, here are a few quirks i’ve found with the NVIDIA gallery that i thought would be helpful (and also show you why it really doesn’t take much on your part to enter!)…
1. Maximum display size of artwork in the gallery: 512px x 387px
… tinier than most NOTCOT post images
2. You lose about 71px off the bottom of that for their pointy bit
3. Title can only be up to 18 characters
… many full names are longer!
4. Description can only be up to 111 characters
…yes, less than an SMS/Tweet
5. Post approval person seems to lag, so don’t worry, they should eventually show up!
6. Pay little attention to the posts showing in the Contests Gallery ~ they are still showing the ones from the first prompt *sigh*

For more info ~ mostly visuals of what entering looks like, more ideas, and some crazy toys attacking a gingerbread house as my example mini photoshoot of messing with scale… check out the next page! or ENTER THE CONTEST!

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