Friday, November 28, 2008

Knight Rider GPS

The Knight Rider GPS! You can now experience turn-by-turn directions featuring the original voice of K.I.T.T., from Knight Rider. The device’s integrated randomized greetings and 300 custom names will welcome you to your navigation experience. What excites me the most is the aesthetics. There’s an active LED voice synthesizer display so the lights move in sync with the voice, similar to Michael Knight’s dashboard. On the GPS screen there’s a Trans-Am to represent your car. You can even upload your favorite music via the SD/MMC Memory Expansion slot. There’s a built in speaker and rechargeable battery. MSRP for the Knight Rider GPS is $269.95 U.S.

It’s available online at:
• RadioShack
• Best Buy

Friday, November 21, 2008

Funky Bottoms

Wow! It's Friday already?! Sorry for the delay, here's this week's Okiya Cinema Group presentation: Kung Faux episode (?) entitled: Funky Bottoms! Enjoy!

Kung Faux: Funky Bottoms Part 1.

Kung Faux: Funky Bottoms Part 2.

Kung Faux: Funky Bottoms Part 3.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Advanced Technique

After much thought and consideration, I've decided to share a bit of what I've learned over the years. From this, I hope you will come to appreciate what I now call 'The advanced technique'.

1. Dealing with clients

When dealing with clients, especially in the fields I am accustomed to working in (Programming, Design, etc.) I have three simple rules that are of the utmost importance to uphold (for me anyway).

A. ALWAYS have a signed contract with EVERY SINGLE DETAIL (services to be rendered, payment down to the dollar/euro, etc., etc.) CLEARLY spelled out, AND a 25-50% payment before writing a single line of code.

B. Never let the client talk you out of the contract or into changing it once it's signed.

C. Always have a contingency plan in the event that anything goes south later on down the road.

Let me go ahead and explain reasoning behind the preceding rules. The first one is a protection for both me and the client. Especially the down payment. I've noticed that clients are A LOT less likely to stiff you on a bill if they've already paid at least something. Also, clarity is an absolute necessity because many people like to exploit 'shades of gray'. The second one is especially applicable when dealing with clients that are known personally. Many times friends or personal associates unknowingly breach the wall of professionalism by attempting such a ploy. This can be devastating to not only my wallet, but also my reputation. I'll admit there are times when friends will get a little discount based on my own discretion, but this friendly reduction in price should be decided upon BEFORE the written agreement is made and is to be reflected accordingly IN THE CONTRACT. The damage done to the reputation is simple: once word gets out that so and so has gotten a 'deal' in spite of a contract, then the binding authority of it is diminished. Now we come to the third 'rule': the contingency plan. This is needed at all times because one never knows when the arrangement can go south. This can happen even if a contract is signed. I'll go ahead and relate an example that occurred quite recently in fact with me. I was contracted to do some work for a client that I worked with previously for a little over a year or so. After completing what I was contracted to do (setting up a database, a simple 'coming soon' page, creating email addresses and configuring them with both outlook and entourage, and some financial consulting), he decided not to pay the final installment of the previously agreed upon compensation. I made several attempts to contact this client but was faced with phone call screening (i.e. 'caller-i.d.-ing') and no responses to voicemails, emails, or text communication. After four days of this I enacted my 'contingency plan', which was to undo everything I had done for the client. This involved deleting the database, the email addresses, and the coming soon page. This is just one example of a contingency plan that I have been forced to use over the years. That being said, I hope my logic has become a bit clearer.

2. Dealing with friends

Ah yes, the one thing that can be closer than a sibling. I must say, I have made a ton of friends over the years. I also have to admit that I've discontinued my association with many as well. I think the way you need to deal with friends is a bit different than how you deal with clients or even family. There are decisions that have to be made on how and even when to interact with them. I've noticed over the years that a few key elements have to be in a friendship. Some of these are as follows:

1. Honesty.
I say this because I've suffered a few too many times from the betrayal of a dishonest friend. This can be absolutely infuriating to discover that someone within your 'inner circle' is not who they appear to be.

2. Trustworthiness.
This actually ties in with the honesty point but goes a bit further. I mean, how can you truly be friends with a person if they aren't trustworthy? I actually have had a so-called 'friend' steal from me (I'm actually trying to track this ape down to this day). It is still amazing to me how a person can have a close association with another and then all of a sudden take advantage of him/her. Well, I believe that the offender was never really of strong moral fiber at all. That it was simply a matter of masking their true selves for as long as possible. However, a tiger never changes his stripes.

3. Trust.
This may be an academic matter but I believe trust is essential for a friendship to be a close one. When one has a close friend, he/she can be confided in with delicate and profound matters of discussion and thought. There is no need to repeatedly say 'this is just between you and me'. One knows that if he/she pays for dinner, coffee or whatever the other person will respond in kind eventually. I look at it this way: for my friends (when it comes to money), 'if I have it, you have it'. That means, if I have the means to assist financially then I will without hesitation. It also means that if I need assistance, I do not have to worry about whether or not my close friend will provide it. Nor do I have to be concerned with backstabbing talk behind the back.
Like I said, these are just a few requirements of a close friendship, the list is nearly limitless. As long as no shadiness of any kind is present, the friendship (I've found)will be truly enjoyable and lasting. I suppose there are a few things that can destroy a friendship...for example:

1. Juvenile behavior.
Playing with one's food in a restaurant makes me want to get violent with the person. Eating crayons in public garners a slap as well. Dancing in the middle of Michigan avenue in Chicago is a capital offense. The list goes on and on.

2. Being overly 'clingy'.
If we are 'just friends', there should never arise a question of whereabouts. Let me elaborate. This should never be heard: 'where the eff have you been?! I've been waiting all day for you!' when no prior plans or arrangements have been made. This crosses into the boyfriend/girlfriend realm. There are other 'clingy' behaviors but again, the list is limitless.

3. Two-faced actions.
I don't think this really needs an explanation. Basically when one smiles in your face and then talks about you like a dog behind your back. 'Nuff said'.
These are again, just a few examples. Without these undesirable traits 'mucking' things up, the friendship should be just fine.

After these considerations, I leave you with my trademark phrase that is applicable both professionally and personally:

No time for regrets, only success.

This is The Advanced Technique.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ill Master!

Let me start out by apologizing in advance for taking so long for the next installment of the Okiya Cinema Group. It's already been a long week for me (chasing bum clients who don't want to pay etc, etc...) so I've been a bit backed up. But without further ado, I give you Kung Faux Episode (?) Titled 'Ill Master'. It's broken up into 3 parts. Click 'play' to play each segment. Also, all of the entertainment put up here will always be to the right as well. Enjoy!

(Ill Master Part 1)

(Ill Master Part 2)

(Ill Master Part 3)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I've been contemplating the benefit of purchasing a PS3 for some time now, mainly for the Metal Gear Solid title that has been lauded as on of the best in the series. The only factor prohibiting, or rather, slowing my decision to buy one is that ever-annoying little thing called time. Will I ever have time to play it? I have a Nintendo Wii and I must say it's a blast to play but I think my wife and I have actually played it a total of 4 times. Btw, it was purchased back in march (to put it in perspective). After much consideration though, I figure what the heck, might as well go for it. After all, the worst that it could do is just put me one step further to my ultimate goal of acquiring every game system and creating a playable game museum type room in my house...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Yes I did dare to quote Ren & Stimpy for a second there...Anyway, I just ordered a G-shock Gulfman (Tide and Moon edition) watch! It's a nice black with 80's purple-ish accented wording. I think it's pretty fly and unusual due to the color variation. Unfortunately I cheaped out and got the free shipping so it'll be 5-7 days before I get it :( Just click below to see a bigger High-Def image of my soon-to-be new Gulfman!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Perfect for the pool

In my endless search for form and function, I came across a wonderful little tidbit about the g-shock frogman, gulfman, and ana-digi lines of watches: They are VERY water resistant (up to 200Meters). Wtf does that mean? Basically, that means that if you're diving to a depth that doesn't require an oxygen tank, you can wear these watches and not worry about them (i.e. snorkeling and more importantly for me, swimming in a pool, let's say at an LA Fitness...). So it looks like I'll be getting one asap so I can finally start timing my laps! And it sure doesn't hurt that I'll look MAD fly doing it! The example below is the brazilian frogman.

Evisu too

Not to be forgotten are these Evisu Jeans. I just love the kanji on the back!


If I had 'unlimited bank' I'd SO collect Evisu! Example A: This Evisu tee:

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Focus on Fashion

My tastes in fashion coming to you directly! Starting with my coveted G-Shock! Stay tuned for more to come...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Always Evolving and Changing

I couldn’t think of a more prevalent time to post this brief commentary of our journey thus far. Tonight’s historic event made me reflect on the opportunities we have and will have in the future. Being students in the process of growing a business involves innovation, creativity and constant change. I will not say that its been easy or that no risk is involved, but we have been persistent in our efforts. Suffice it to say we have pulled together our resources and continue to execute. We are embarking on a journey & here we will express our thoughts along with some random fun. We hope you join us each step of the way as we discover and develop. I wish all a good nights rest and productive future. I’ll leave this post with a quote from another entrepreneur: “A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer”.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

This upsets me to no end...

This by far is one of the most despicable things I've encountered recently:

As one who has had a love affair with japan for the past 20 out of 22 years, this is yet another reason I will be blowing money on japanese parafonelia. Grrrr...


I don't think it does but everyone else swears this looks like Kevin Garnett. I just drew it from a GQ ad (click image for a larger view)...

Okiya Cinema Group

Konichi-wa! I've decided to start a weekly media series. Each week I'll post an episode (usually broken up into a few parts) of some form of entertainment. Every other month or so I'll post a movie (yes, a FULL LENGTH feature presentation). I don't see much of this being done so why not be a pioneer, right? Enjoy this week's kick-off: Samurai Champloo Episode 18 entitled 'War of the Words' ! PS: Click 'play button' to view (some episodes may take a little while to load).

Oh, and all of these episodes/films are property of their respective studios, etc.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Life is art

Just wanted to share some of my artwork. Inspired by Vanessa Alexander to go ahead and put something up showcasing what I love to do!

North Shore state of mind

North Shore Style is a fresh and trendy organization (‘company’ is such a constrictive term) that aims to reflect the north shore state of mind. North Shore Style embraces fashion, art, music, creativity, inspiration and the styles of different cultures of the world. Our philosophy represents our attitude toward the ongoing process of unending improvement through the use of expression---creating more than a brand; we’re helping to further develop an entire way of life! The message we want the public to take away is to embrace the unique state of mind that is The North Shore.

Here on the North Shore Style Blog it is our intention to provide content & commentary on our experiences as we grow & develop our business. Additionally, as students we aim to have fun while providing entrainment with our own style and perspectives. In short, were all about increasing our young generations’ awareness and entertainment by sharing our thoughts and experiences. We hope to build long-term relationships with others and most of all have fun in the process. We encourage all to express and share.