Monday, December 23, 2013

Akooma



....because sometimes it's just fun to scare people.

I received the latest in the prototypes of one of my design concept shirts.  This one features a Japanese Demon with the Pungentees logo on the front and the back.  The logo on the back is far too large, but I wanted to test this vendors printing process more than the actual shirt.  As I'm continuing to use an American Apparel 2001 T-Shirt, I expect the fit and material to be consistent with other prototypes I received from an outfit in Texas.  They, however, took too long in production and shipping.  The new vendor took exactly ten days to get me a shirt after order, including an email exchange confirming exactly what I wanted design wise.

Everything looks to be on schedule for a Christmas Day launch with three unique designs. The image below is dubbed Akooma.  The prototype has a large image pattern on the front with a large logo on the back.  The actual front image will be scaled down by 50% with the company logo being reduced by 66%.  The image I have in my head is something relatively discrete, requiring the viewer to take a closer look to see the manufacturer.
























Is that really what the back of my head looks like?!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Pebble in the gearworks...



Watches.  An important part of any gentleman's arsenal of accoutrements.  They allow us to track the time we spend as currency throughout the day.  They afford us the ability to meet our responsibilities at the mark that we intend.  ...and they provide a great accessory to each one of our sordid crimes.

Time..is always of the essence.  Were it not so, then we could easily languish throughout the day...floating along in the sea of life.  ...but still, the timepiece has evolved from the most basic of function.  It no longer only displays the time of day.  The average watch now incorporates the ability to track the day of the month, the sweep of seconds and even sometimes the hand of father time in locations thousands of miles from the current.  The intelligence of man has allowed us to make our every day tools even more so.

For the Smart Man should be a Smart Watch.  This day and age has brought us a number of offerings from a number of Smart Companies.  Sony and Samsung bring us products that wield as much, if not more, power than than some Smart Phones, though their price points ($250+) leave much to be desired.  A number of smaller companies make less expensive offerings, but a fear of the unknown wins out against them.

Then, one day...you stumble upon review upon review for a little upstart.  You read about how their Kickstarter campaign has drawn much attention....generating far greater capital than requested by it's proprietors.You think about how limited the functionality of their product is at the moment, providing just SMS, Caller ID and Email. ...and yet, is that not enough? 

I suppose there are those that need something more....well....more.   Perhaps a watch that takes pictures.  Perhaps one that can talk to them or send messages on their behalf.  Or perhaps one that sings them lullabies as they meander through the different levels of the heaven we know as sleep. 

Perhaps.  Perhaps.  ...but not I.  I need a simple IDD (Information Delivery Device).  Let me know when I receive a text message (kudos for actually showing me the body of the message) or an email...or when my wife decides to change her drink order in the midst of a Backstreet Boys concert while I'm on line looking for anything to numb my auditory nerves enough to survive a night of screaming teenage girls  (they are ALL "teenage girls" around the BSBs).

I digress... 

Enter the Pebble Smart Watch















I've had mine for a few months.  Paired it via bluetooth to both my former iPhone 5 and my current Galaxy Note 2.  It's saved me from impending doom numerous times and helped me stay abreast of my SMS messages and incoming calls with aplomb.  That it costs only $150 makes it ever more alluring when compared to the Big Brand offerings.  The standard capabilities are as mentioned, but the watches ecosystem is ever growing.  New apps are available to relay sports scores or weather information and maybe...maybe... time.   Yes....time.  That unforgiving foe.  The stalwart warrior dragging us down into the muck and mire from whence we came.   We fight on yet...against our frigid enemy.

I digress, yet again.


The PSW comes in a multitude of colors and from an expanding number of retailers.  Best Buy now carries it and it's freely available on Amazon (for $120 as of this writing).   Any standard 22mm watchband can be switched out to replace the OEM rubber.  Skins and Screen Protectors available to customize and defend to the hearts content. While I could continue to opine on it's virtues, I suggest a simple Google search to find further reviews and banter.  Far more has been said by a few than the few words that I can continue to spew.


Revel in these pictures of my Pebble Smart Watch after some recent modifications:

























Needless to say.. the Pebble Smart Watch gets Two Wings Up!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Monday, December 9, 2013

.. sampling-shampling.


Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.. Humpty Dumpty had a big fall....sounds to me like Humpty Dumpty should have worn one of these shirts to soften his landing. 

I've received the first of a series of samples for Pungentees.com.  These are more "prototype" than "final product", but their purpose for existence was to show me accurate sizing, material and finish quality.  I immediately see problems with two of my designs, but I am happy with the American Apparel shirts used for manufacture.  There are many more changes to the designs going froward, but I am encouraged.

A few more teaser shots:








....blah blah blah..blahh... KitKat!



WARNING: TECHNOBABBLE AHEAD!!

..and so it goes...fording through the winter of my discontent.  I picked up my old iPhone 5 for the last time a few days ago in an effort to wipe it's databanks of my personal information and clean it up for sale to a friend of mine.  During the process, though...I thought to myself, "Self...are you truly being a friend by selling this phone to your buddy, knowing full well that Apple is the Bane to your Batman?".   Let me explain.

Approximately two weeks ago, my wife's iPhone 5 died.  Well...not truly.  It's not actually dead.  It lives...somewhere...in that ethereal plane between life and death.  Not quite in the darkness, but certainly not any longer in the light.  Existing only in the grey.  Of which there are not fifty shades..just one cold, dreary...grey.

Yes..grey.  As in ....a grey, nonfunctional, totally devoid of function WiFi/Bluetooth control toggle.  At the same time..the iPhone got hot.  Very hot.  Such an odd phenomenon?!  Actually...not odd at all.

Over the last four months I've known no less than FOUR people that had this same thing happen to their iDevices.The Wifi intermittently drops it's connection to a good strong connection with ever increasing frequency.  Then one day, it magically heats up resulting in a total loss of Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity.  Going into the Settings menu show the toggle for both functions to be normal and in the On position.  Restarting the phone or turning the Wifi Off results in the toggle turning into the aforementioned grey...cold, dreary grey.

What say you????  Coincidence?  Two new models join the fray and all of a sudden a perfectly good, barely a year old iPhone 5 dies?  That a Google search indicates that this happens rather frequently with iDevices should not be cause for concern?  This problem seems to have intensified with the release of iOS6 and now even more so with the updates to iOS7.

I have a theory for the cause, though.  With each iteration of the Operating system, Apple (like most manufacturers) touts greater compatibility, aesthetics and performance.  It is this last "improvement" that i believe leads to the issues I'm discussing.  As most will know, one way to increase a wireless chipset's performance (or any other chipset's for that matter) is by increasing the amount of power it receives.  I can "imagine" that with the last two iterations, the voltage to said chipsets was increased, if even just barely.  That the internals of the iPhone, along with every other smartphone, value slim components, I can easily believe that said increases of voltage would push the internal electronics to the upper margins (or over, even) of there operating range and thus expedite the failure rate. I suppose it's one way to help plan obsolescence. 

That this seems to be happening more frequently and without adequate acknowledgement by Apple themselves, gives credence to my hypothesis.  ...but I digress. The point had not been originally to express my displeasure with support from Apple (though I still think of the iDevices to be excellent products) for something that seems to have been created by there own zeal.


For shame, Apple....for shame!

Yet still...out of the darkness rises the light. My displeasure with Apple lead me back to the Android ecosystem. I'd had dalliances with a couple of Android phones in the past..a Droid Eris and the venerable Droid Incredible (which I just reacquired from my brother for testing purposes), but had moved on to the iPhone (with a Windows Mobile phone in between).. they say that happens to everyone once they move to California.  You just convince yourself that being unique entails being just like everyone else. 

This condition has brought me back to Android, however.  I prefer the openness of the platform (though it is not completely without Google's guiding hand).  One can install any number of custom versions of the Operating System (ROMs) with each incorporating unique abilities and visual themes.  Each manufacturer employs it's own skinned version of Android in an effort to provide a unique experience to the enduser and should one choose too, you could install a myriad of themes, icon packs and custom launchers to make your phone...well ...yours.   The ambitious mind, can even take the open source goodies that Father Google provides and make a version of the OS solely for your own use.  Add and subtract as you like.  You answer to no one.

A few examples of how my phone has appeared in the recent past..both with some of my original artwork and with some from various wallpaper apps from Google's Play Store:



























Reply back with some of what you use to express yourself on your phone.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

... jumpin' Jehoshaphat! Did he really say that??!

Well folks.  I've decided to make an official go at a clothing line (of sorts),  beginning with a series of six T-shirts with some original artwork.  

Soon, you'll see a change in the blogs design as well as information and pictures of the latest offshoot of the 'Pungent Chicken' brand of offerings.  There will be an online store opening to the public shortly and I will be updating  everyone on a regular basis about it' s offerings.   I'm very excited about the shirts and have a few samples on the way from the printer.   I will follow that up with a further lineup of more comical offerings as well as some unique products....but more on that later. 

What I'm hoping to get...from you...yes...you there, sitting there with your lamb kebab... Is some feedback.  
For the moment,  I'd love some guidance about best practices for advertising and marketing.   My initial inclination is to "plug the brand" in the usual Social Media outlets,  but I don't want to seem desperate in doing so.  Later, feedback (and suggestions)  about the products themselves would come in handy, as I do want everything I sell to be of high quality and workmanship.  

Over the last few months I've been spreading my wings and clucking up a storm, but all that energy has lead up to this point. 

Let's work together in helping Pungentees.com take flight (Yes... I know.. Chickens can't fly! ).