Saturday, January 31, 2009

Baby Playing in Time Lapse Video - January 31, 2009

It's a video I saw on Boing Boing, and found it interesting enough to repost here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How to Get Free T-Shirts - January 27, 2009

Back when I first moved out to San Francisco, I had a decent amount of time on my hands before I got swirled up into the land of work. I was also extremely poor. To alleviate the burden of having all this time to kill, and to solve my basic need to get clothing, I devised a plan to get free t-shirts. I didn't want any old t-shirt, I wanted something cool. Hmmm....what should I do. Ding! Write beer companies telling them how much I love their beer, and in return hope that they send me free stuff.

I comprised a list of fifty beer companies in the vicinity, as well as nationwide, and proceeded to generate a letter template that would allow me to plug and play different beer company names, as well as brands of their beer. After several hours of generating these custom letters, I sent them off to their "homes." Within a week I started getting letters back from the beer companies. Some sent me stickers, others sent me invites for personal brewery tours, and some sent me t-shirts!!!! All in all I got 10 free beer branded t-shirts. It was totally sweet.

I'll share my template with you below. Adjust as necessary, and soon you will reap the rewards of your hard work!

Your Name
Your Street Address
Your City and Zip
The Current Date

Dear (name of company), I wanted to take the time to let the (beer company) brewers know how much I love your beer. It is truly one of the most satisfying and delicious beers I have come to love and enjoy. (brand of beer) is genuinely one of the best beers I have ever tasted, and I would have to say it is my number one beer to drink. I love the taste of (brand of beer) on my lips after a long day in the office, or if I’m just kicking it back with a friend or two.

The first time I had (beer) was a few days after my 21st birthday, and almost immediately I knew it was a beer I would savor the rest of my life. I always try to keep a few sixers in the refrigerator. A few of my friends have also become strong advocates of (alternate beer brand), and I’m happy to say I was the first one to introduce them to it.

Hopefully, (beer company) will remain strong and keep producing such fantastic beers. I’m not sure how many different types of beer the company brews, but my personal favorite is (special beer name). If you see the brewer, please tell him or her thank you for the amazing work, and that their keen sense for brewing is much appreciated.

Thanks again for making one of the best beers around!


Your Name

Post Script. Feel free to use this letter as you see fit

Friday, January 23, 2009

Upscale Men’s Hair Salons? – January 23, 2009

Everyday, I walk through a majority of downtown San Francisco to and from work. I used to listen to my iPod, but now I take the time to look around and notice the different little details of the city from long neglected historical plaques to hidden nooks to beautiful architectural elements. Recently, I passed a storefront downtown that simply had two letters on its signage “MR.” I was immediately intrigued, and like a moth bathed in a warm ray of light, I was sucked towards it.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a bone collector’s gallery, oddity store, or even a Kubrick style bar, it was a men’s hair salon. However, this men’s hair salon was immediately different than others, there was a bar, big flat screen TVs, and a bunch of semi-attractive women serving as the staff. I have to admit, I needed to investigate more, but sadly, I was turned off when I began to learn more about MR.

MR. is a “members only” hair salon club, where you are required to fill out an application to become apart of the club. If accepted, you have your choice of monthly plans, from the “mogul” to the “hitter” to the “player.” They actually compare one of their monthly plans to that of a BMW 5-series. If the language alone or the fact you have to “apply” to get a freaking haircut wasn’t enough to turn you off, perhaps the questions on the application are. Please see the most offensive ones below:

If you could have cocktails with any business executive, public figure or entertainer, who would it be? Please be as creative as you would like.

Which statement best describes your desire to become a member of MR?

What is the Current State of your Career?

Really? Really? Really? Really? It’s a damn hair salon, not an exclusive club cloaked in secrecy and history. Although they truly are trying to position themselves as a such a place, and I quote, “MR. is a place for discerning professional men to be men. A place where you can watch the game while getting shaved and talk sports, politics or market strategy with the guy next to you. A place where men's grooming meets the approachable luxury and impeccable service you've come to expect from boutique hotels, trendy restaurants and chic lounges.”

Dear MR., real men don’t want to talk market strategy with other dudes while getting a haircut, or use their delicate little “bar credits” to drink a frosty one while watching the game with a bunch of other dudes in a chic men’s hair salon. Furthermore, real men don’t want to be watched drinking beer and ogling short skirt wearing and make-up clad women through a massive storefront window that actually invites passers-by to look inside the salon.

I’ve heard of a few other men’s stylish salons popping up (info courtesy of my awesome hair stylist), but I think it’s ridiculous. Good luck MR. to staying afloat in the recession!

Enjoy these pictures of the “exclusive” hair salon, courtesy of Yelp:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Performance Piece & Art Parti - January 21, 2009

Every year the massive crew of the Jo-Tel and its "affiliates" gather together to celebrate the top 15 songs of the year picked by music aficionado and critic, Shark (assisted this year by Johnny D). In correlation with the top 15 songs, 15 people are chosen to create an artistic representation of the song. This can be anything, literally anything. In the previous years I've done staple drawings, and frogs embedded in resin. Other people have done paintings and drawings, but this year things had to be taken up a notch. I felt the air grow thick with the feeling of hardened competition.

As I patiently awaited the song to be given to me by Shark, I already began to formulate what I had to do to stun the crowd. Finally, the moment arrived, and I was dumbstruck to find out my song was "Happy House," by The Juan Maclean. I had no idea who the hell these guys were (my ignorance), or what the song even sounded like. Below is the entire song from YouTube (let's hope the don't strip it):

So, what I thought was going to be an incredibly dreary and horse sounding indie song ended up being quite an interesting piece. Actually, it was kinda epic. An epic song needs and epic representation of it, and the only way I thought to truly bring justice to such a fantastically orchestrated piece was via a combination of performance art, sculpture, and audience involvement.

I devised a plan. It would involve frozen brains, a gas mask, skulls, glow sticks, riot style dancing, and minimal amounts of destruction. The only portion of this piece that involved any construction of a physical object were the brains. I had this brain mold, which was perfect to make the brains. I ended up constructing a frozen red brain and blue brain, to represent a multiplicty of things (happy vs. sad, logical vs. "thinkative", fast vs. slow, good vs. evil, etc). For the performance, I dawned a gask mask and a wool skull cap, in addition to a flickering red bike light. It had the appearance of being more than distrubing. Here is the recap of the schedule. I won't go into much detail about the actual performance, because like most "good" art, it's hard to describe to someone.

0:00 - 1:35 > music gets quiet
put on mask & skull cap
walk down to the back stairs to the back yard

1:35 - 2:10 > music quiets down again, then picks back up

2:10 - 3:10 > head into backyard
turn on lights, which are placed on chairs
bring out brains
"demonstrate" brains
place brains on chairs
smash brains one at a time

3:10 - 3:55 > vocals start
began awkward dance

3:55 - 4:00 > turn off lights on chairs

4:00 - 7:50 > run upstairs
turn on black lights
incite dance party

7:50 - 8:13 > head back downstairs when the music cools

8:13 - 8:40 > toss out glowsticks one by one into backyard everytime "space" is sung

8:55 - 11:00> dance with glowsticks

11:00 - 11:30> toss away glowsticks

11:30 - END > lay down

Despite some small mishaps during the performance (lack of music not being loud enough during the dance party & losing my headphones), the piece was very well recieved. I can't imagine what I'll do next year.

I wish I had pictures to share, but alas, I do not.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Need a Barbecue? - January 16, 2009

I was recently in the market for a barbecue, a gas grill to be specific. As a previous resident of Texas, I'm programmed to only grill with charcoal or wood, but living in San Francisco limits how much one can smoke out the neighbors. I knew I wanted a grill, but seriously, where does one go to buy a grill living in a city? My first guess was to try Home Depot, and I was more than pleasantly surprised at how they marketed their grills on In fact, I think it's so good, that more companies should follow their model. I know that online clothing manufacturers have some great ways for people to look at the details on clothes using a virtual magnifying glass, however, home depot took it to a new level.

When shopping for a grill, you get more than just a picture and a description, you get a full on voice recording that quickly describes the grill, and even goes so far as to elaborate why it's the perfect grill for you. Funny enough, the more expensive the grill gets, the better the more sophisticated and intricate the recording becomes. Furthermore, what I really loved about the user interface was that to find your perfect grill you could use a series of selection criteria (e.g. type of fuel, cost, features, brand). All in all, an awesome experience. Can't more shopping sites look like this!!??

I highly recommend you check it out, and all you digital marketers out there, take note.

Monday, January 12, 2009

My Etsy Studio - January 12, 2009

I am in a perpetual state of creation, sometimes making unique and beautiful things, other times, atrocious examples of creativity gone wrong. Failure is an important aspect to making art, however, too much of it can drive one insane. On the other side of the equation, perfecting one's craft can lead to alot of additional material and projects laying around the studio. Living in San Frnacisco doesn't afford me much extra space, as such, I'm opening an Etsy shop to see if the community at large wants to take home a little piece of history ;)

This post is to announce the launch of Pseudoreid's Studio on Esty!!! Right now all I have in my studio are a series of resin skulls I made over the past year. Some are very cool, others, not so much. I'll continue to update the shop as needed. I'm expecting to put in some colorful buddah sculptures shortly. In the meantime, enjoy!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

One of Twitters Useful Applications - January 8, 2009

In case your leg has been trapped underneath a boulder keeping you isolated in the middle of the woods for the past couple years, you might not know about this whole Twitter thing. As always, I must state that I'm not an avid user of Twitter, I do, however, find a few things that I can do to put it to use.

Using Twitter Search, one can make a query to find all the most recent tweets about something. I've been using this for quite sometime, before it was actually Twitter Search (formally Summize). Beyond doing silly queries like, "dancing hotdog" or "web 2.0," one can do queries to find real-time news updates (hell...CNN even has their own Twitter feed). I recently used Twitter to find out information about last night's riots in Oakland. Below is what I got:

Pretty decent information, but it could be better. Moral of this post: There are new ways to gain instant original information about real-time events from the point of a view of bystanders, witnesses, etc.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Ultimate Compliment - January 5, 2009

Hello and welcome to 2009 at 1 Million 1 Shot. Soon to come, a recap of 2008, but for now some new material.

A while ago, I built a rotational casting machine so that I could cast hollow objects. The project ended up being a success, and was a featured project on Instructables. I really had no idea what I was doing when I built the machine, and I was totally uncertain if it would even work. I was glad to see that it eventually turned out to be a positive influence not only on me but the community at large, which brings me to the point of this post.

Because I posted information on the Internet about my project, I was able to influence others that were attempting to do the same thing as myself. As a result, a much more refined and smarter rotational casting machine has been constructed, and posted onto YouTube. I received a personal note from the YouTube user who stated that my video and instructions were tremendously helpful. I think that is the ultimate compliment. As such, I'd like to share their much better video of their roto cast machine.

p.s. On a side note, I learned that when you choose to share helpful information (perhaps things realted to ideas or projects) with others online, it's important to provide good written descriptons, photos, and videos. I found that many of my videos had distracting music in it, or even the dreaded sound of me chewing gum.