Wednesday, January 28, 2009

To Whom It May Concern:

the new Harley Iron 883

Hello Harley and Davidson,

While I do agree with most people that the nightster 1200 is the best looking production bike you have made, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE consult with me before you release another new model that has a similar flavor.  While I do LOVE the all black engine, there are many places that you have yet again gone wrong with.  Don't go All Black and then leave the pipes silver.  Don't say there are 'drag type' bars that really aren't drag bars, just put drag bars on there.  

Also, just go ahead a make a production rigid frame.  Figure out your way around the safety standards get over the perceived comfort factor.  At least put a solo seat pan on there....gimme something here.  Your average customer is now dying and you need to try a little bit harder if you're planning on sticking it out through this economic hardship we are going to be seeing soon.

OR don't.  Keep doing what you do, because you keep tons of brands that I love in business that create the aftermarket parts that put your junk to shame.  NOT to say its all junk.  you've got some great engines and gas tanks.....really, you do.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

perfect design

I love good product design.  Even if sometimes the product isn't sexy.  The combination of form and function is what I live for.  I've been sick, super sick, since my trip to Italy.  My sinuses are backed up and my ears feel like they are never gonna clear out.  I received multiple suggestions to try the Neti Pot in order to help clear out my nasal passages and I had no idea what this was.

So with a little research I found that my local Longs Drugs has them and picked one out.  Then I watched this little youtube video to show how it works and sat down wondering IF I could really do this.  Well, I'll tell ya what, it took a bit to get it going, but I'm a believer.  This thing works to clear out the old schnozzer up in the sinus zones.  I think the Neti Pot in its simple form really does what it needs to, albeit without any flashy gimmicks.

I'm sure you can imagine it not going quite as smoothly and my facial expressions are way better than the model in the video's.

But yeah, it would be cool if someone could come along and make a rad Neti Pot, even though I like the OG.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

italy is sick

literally and so am I.  It seems like the flu bug that i've heard is going around california is in Europe as well.  3 Days into my trip here and i wake up with a stuffy nose...NO, no no no no, YEP.  Of course throughout the day it gets EVEN BETTER, sneeze attack, slight cough, hard to breathe, runny nose, sinus headache, can't hear, etc.

driving towards Bassano Del Grappa

Driving into Bassano

its Ray!  nah, but Euro cyclists are crazy.  it was 20 american degrees out

Lunch at the office.  IN THE OFFICE CAFETERIA, craze.

confusing toilet sitch in a restaurant.  i thought this was china only.

So here I am, stuck in meetings for 2 more full days in an office where people smoke indoors and love to meet.  meet meet meet.  It's actually important that we are doing these meetings to figure out how our global product and sourcing teams will work halfway around the world from eachother, but when you are sick, all you want to do is 'nothing'.

We could have a meeting about how everyone is getting company Lambos and I'd be all "oh....cool....wha?....don't talk to me right now.....you need an answer from me?....ummmm".

Monday, January 19, 2009

europe = bad internet

what's the deal with that?  its as if Nobody uses the internet here......which is probably the case for most older gentlemen working at hotels, but still.......ugh.

i should be able to get a post in tomorrow.  second dose of jet lag is kicking in.  why???????

Friday, January 16, 2009

perfect timing

so I'm finally adjusted to the time, able to stay up till a normal time at night and sleep till a normal time in the morning.  Just in time for me to leave at midnight for Italy!  


So I forced myself to get up, get out of the hotel to my nearest Salvation Point, fire up the laptop there and get a Grande Americano to start the day.

Its been busy in HK.  Met up with Dustin and Brock for some great meals and a visit to the copy mall in China which is always a blast.  I actually picked up a copy watch for myself this time around.....feels pretty weird being that I used to be in the watch biz, but knowing what I know about how much it costs to make a watch, the quality of the parts upon inspecting them and that its just not a smart time to drop $10,000 on a Breitling, I dropped in.

I mean this is the dream B for me, the Montbrillant Datora.  its gorgeous, but lets see, WHO THE FUCK drops that kind of coin for a watch IN THIS ECONOMY?  nobody.   So I found a nice modest Navitimer World with the White Dial and Stainless Steel band and it tells time and I love it.  Its nice to have a new automatic watch now and then.

I still have the Bell and Ross BR01 on my lifelong wish list and with the release of the new limited edition Instrument Pro Titanium, it has re-upped my desire for one of these bad boys.  With that being said, I will get one eventually.  I look forward to walking into Tourneau and pointing to it and saying, "thank you, sir, I'll take it"....I looked hard and furiously for the right B&R, but I just couldn't do it.  Even found an amazing Tourbillon version and for a great price, but it was sooooo fake it was crazy.  I mean it looked real, but the power reserve meters were just spinning hands....have I lost you yet?  I am a nerd and I love watches....sorry.

Here's an amazing way to look at the copy world, (aka a look into my over-thinking about it head....).  Its a trial period.  You get to wear it, look at it, love it, and see if this is an investment you want to make before actually committing to dropping in.  I can admit that I am a material guy.  I will NEVER deny it.  I do live life simply in terms of having minimal clutter in my house, clean lines to my furniture, and an overall desire to buy used things rather than consuming newly produced items, but I love having toys, they just have to be the RIGHT ones.  SO....Imagine before buying a house, you can live in a modeled version of it, its just that the model's granite countertops are made of dirt.  and instead of Stainless Steel appliances they are cardboard.  And the plumbing doesn't work.  Overall you'll get the feeling of if you like the way it looks, feels and makes you feel and that would help you know if you want to go forward with the purchase....ugh, i'm rambling.

I'll leave this post quickly with a few pictures from one of the bag factories that I visited in China a few days ago:

yesport, yup.  good feeling at a factory you might work with

AWESOME, said it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

2 or 3 days in, and i still can't sleep

Usually, I have no problem with adjusting to the time difference over here, but this trip has been tough on me......sleeping by 9 and awake at 5am every day...

Tons of great stuff going on here though so that's good.  Getting work done is #1 importance here.  you can get more done in 1 day in the factory than a month of talking, meeting, discussing, contemplating, and emailing ideas.

so, with that being said, here's some highlights of my first day in China:

right off the ferry from HK, find my factory peeps, get in the car and BAM, we hit another car in the parking garage....usually, this would result in some Chinese cursing and the driver getting out, spitting on the bumper of the other car and rubbing the paint off.  the same thing YOU would do at home (doot do doo, nothing going on here....la la la, just getting some of MY car's paint off this other car, la dum dee dum).

BUT the security guard saw it happen and his reaction was priceless, AND caught on camera:

"why did I HAVE TO LOOK when this happened"

One thing I am proud of is being American.  Another thing that I love is consistency.  So, when I'm in mainland China and I see those infamous Green Letters, I freaked out.  Of course I immediately checked every cup, souvenir, box of chocolates to see if this was a COPY starbucks, and it wasn't.


no way...

and the last thing I'll leave with today is 'lines'.  you can't avoid them here.  It doesn't matter where you are trying to go, but when you come to Hong Kong and China and Taiwan a lot, you just know what's coming when you leave HK, you wait in a line...then you are in some misto zone for a bit and then you wait in a line to Enter China.  and visa versa.  Non-Stop. that's what happens.

'cue-ing up'

Monday, January 12, 2009

aloft from W Hotels

so, it looks like Startwood is stepping up its game for the future of hotels.  (or stepping down as this new chain is based on the $150/night zone).  It has launched its new divsion of W hotels called aloft.

but it really just looks like a copy of the infamous Casa Camper when you really get down to it.  watch the video here and then watch my dumb youtube video I made when I stayed at the casa camper.  especially the chill zone and free fresh food idea...oh and it feeling like a loft.....

and of course, where will the hotel be opening some new locations?  Brooklyn, Queens, and Harlem.  very hip of them.

I'm not against the idea of this hotel, in fact, I'd like to stay at one and check it out, it just would've been cool if it would've been smaller independently owned places, but what am I saying.....its the hotel industry and only the strong survive!  i get it, i get it.

world tour '09

so i just landed in Hong Kong and got to my usual spot of the Sheraton.

tomorrow will be and early day as I need to catch an 8:45 ferry to Fu Yong (schenzhen airport) and then meet up with some vendors for the next few days.  I'll start to add pictures from the trip tomorrow night as I haven't taken any so far today.

I had a rough flight out though.  Had a middle seat that sucked.  And some whiny neighbors.  Took an ambien to help me sleep, but the combination of ambien and a glass or red wine did not work well for me.  I had to get up in the middle of the flight because i was feeling light headed and barely made it to the bathroom when I fell down....that's right, I actually fell down onto the floor of the airplane outside the bathroom doors.....people crowded around me to make sure I was OK, and I was, I just totally lost my balance and fell.  I didn't even try not too, it was too late.  They helped me up and I laughed, a bit embarrassed and just went into the bathroom to chill for a second.

I didn't get *sick*, no throwing up, just felt ill and then starting sweating for about 5 minutes.  it was crazy.  NOT good and lesson learned.  Red Wine OR Ambien, NOT BOTH.

good think is that I was able to fall back asleep and felt fine for the rest of the flight.  and now here I am.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Daddillac Grilzzzz

I've been blowing it with not doing a post since December 25th...

I realize that I haven't updated this since NYC, but there's tons of stuff that has gone down...

Most importantly for now though, just check this picture of me and my dad in New York.  This was taken just after eating a nice big steak dinner (our family tradition at holiday time).  We posted up in front of his new STS.

there are many things that have changed in my life and my relationship with my dad....from arguing over things that don't matter to learning that we are the same person, BUT there are 2 things that have remained consistent with him as long as I've been alive.

1. he only drives cadillacs
2. he has the MARC L vanity license plate

super tight steez dad!