Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Cloud USB - Democratic Design by Proxy!

When not online tooling around, I'm a product designer in my spare time... So it hit me like lightning! Since we usually make the products first and get opinions too late to change anything, why not ask the opinions first, then make something that we ALL will like!

Working in the room at The Whitcomb Hotel in San Francisco
Democratically design and manufacture a USB drive that takes all our opinions in a blender to arrive at what WE, the people want! A USB Shake! (so to speak... a USB shake would taste horrible...)

So, here are the basic components of a USB... 
1. It has a brain/guts that does most of the work...
2, There is an outer body that protects the guts - This is where you all can help!

Please see image below for a typical USB... 

At this point, I would love to receive opinions and suggestions on what a USB should be...

-Waterproof!?! We all spill beer, I mean water on our computers/phones etc, so why not make it waterproof?

-Ruggedized?!? How many of us drop things? Multiple times in a day? 

-Metal!?! Do we need it to be metal, like toy cars used to be?

- Smells?!? Should we impregnate the plastic with fragrance like some of the scratch and sniff stickers/objects we all grew up with...? 

Ok, so now that I've made a few suggestions myself, tell me what you think!

-First of all, we get comments, suggestions, and opinions piled together.
-Second, I will create sketches from these ideas and post them online to be commented and voted on.
-Thirdly, I will revise and we shall vote again on the final designs!
-Fourth-most, I will CAD this up and finalize any details, products official name, etc...
-Fifth of all, I will make a prototype, and throw this up on Kickstarter.com for liberty and justice for all!

*For those that aren't familiar with Kickstarter.com, it is a funding platform for projects that allows projects to get KICKstarted! www.kickstarter.com

At this juncture, manufacturing is next... With the funds from the Kickstarter campaign, I can tool up and begin producing these USBs up so they can ship out in time for Thanksgiving or the the Holidays! Tooling generally costs anywhere from 5-10K plus inventory, so it will take a bit of hustling the kickstarter here... My wish is that we get them into every stocking, laptop bag, cornucopia, or keychain, knowing full well that we all had a part in its success!

This could be the product coming down the green assembly line!
Why not? I make things EVERYDAY, and not everything that gets designed makes it to the stores. It is sad to see so many good ideas end up on the cutting room floor because bean counters kill projects before you guys can see them. So, I want to give you all a chance to participate; see what it is that I do, and be able to say, 'Not only did I help to bring this USB to market, but I helped make that product BETTER!'

I dub this term 'Democratic Design' TM!
So, let's get our ideas flowing and fingers typing... I look forward to working with you all!!! 
Besides, how many times have we all said, 'I could have done that better...'
Well, here's your chance!

Now! Because we all have fun things to do instead of chores. Tell me what you think, brainstorm a bit, and let's get this thing MADE! If you set a tray of cookies in the oven, email, facebook, or instagram me info, your cookies will be done baking and ready to eat... You'll feel as right as rain! 

The beauty of the internet is that ALL can participate from right where you are ruminating! Just type in some idears, and better yet, post a sketch or scribble! Instagram it! Just get it to me, and let me know... I'm all ears! 

Before I send you guys on your way to think about what you want in a USB, I want to thank you in advance for reading and participating.

Please, feel free to SHARE with your friends and have them send me info too! This project is for EVERYONE!

All the best, looking forward to what we create!

Ben LaBelle
email- ben@freshtoe.com
Facebook - freshtoe
instagram - #freshtoe

I.D.E.A. = Inventor-Designer-Engineer-Artist

I want to re-iterate for those that missed the AMAZING new platform...

*For those that aren't familiar with Kickstarter.com, its a funding platform for projects.
We all contribute to the end goal, so we can produce this product.

p.s. If for some reason, you all choose something horrible, I'm over it and will do what I want! jk! Have fun and give me some REAL input! We are all important, special, and deserve a voice! VOTE!

p.p.s. I apologize to my 7th grade English Teacher, Mrs. McCrae for my spelling, grammar, diction, and syntax... cuz I know better! ;)

DISCLAIMER: anyone that feels like copying my idea, email me first. It's a good idea, but I thought of it first. Be polite and let's chat... THANKS! Happy in business = everyone gets what they want and deserve! ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2012. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

OLLO Sapiens - Parkour Shoe, Kickstarter.com

Normally I have been using this blog to post my journey to health, but for the moment, I want to share with you all my brother-in-law's new shoe... its a shoe that was designed specifically for Parkour with over 2 years of work. For those that don't know what Parkour is, its the ability to move quickly in and around obstacles as quickly and gracefully as possible. Well, at least that's my definition... Wikipedia defines Parkour as a physical discipline and non-competitive activity which focuses on efficient movement around obstacles. 

Either way, we have a shoe here that is specifically designed for running on the wall and jumping up and over buildings... literally... So, if you wear shoes, and have a foot or pair of feet, check them out! 

Now, if you don't think you're going to be running all over the place, that's ok, cause they work just as well as normal shoes... The important part here is to support the American dream... we are helping bring to the market, a product that was designed from the ground up to be exactly what it is... an amazing shoe for amazing people. 

So, be amazing, and please check out the link, tell everyone about it, and get a pair! You'll be supporting grassroots design, an entrepreneurial endeavor, and lastly, you'll have a great pair of shoes!

click on the link below! check it out!


I will need to update this blog more often as more has happened in life... such as san diego, babies, and work... anyhow... more soon! thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Progress Report - Day 324

So, its been awhile... and I've been going to the gym consistently, practically 5 days a week. I think I've only had a day off or two... anyhow, so I'm still trying to reach my goal by January 28th, 2012, but I think it might be closer to hitting my goal weight by my birthday in April. No worries, since this is a lifestyle change, and not just to 'lose weight' kinda thing...

So, here is progress...

Here is my comparison shot... pretty amazing... even I'm impressed with myself!

I think I'm going to switch up my work out schedule to have a 4 day schedule for a month or so... I might be hitting some plateaus due to muscle gaining while simultaneously losing fat... but either way, I don't want to overtrain, so we're trying this out.

The good part so far is that I am still on track during this holiday season. So far I've drank too much egg nog, and a ton of White Russians. So, its a good think I have plenty of salads and treadmill time to offset the bad foods I've been indulging in this season.

I'll try and keep updates to once a month, for documentation's sake...

Happy Holidays, and don't forget to work out  while you enjoy the treats of the season!



Monday, August 29, 2011

Progress Report - Day 212

Ahem... so, its been awhile. And for good reason! I've been recovering from my heart surgery in April. Its funny when someone says they feel as though they have a 'heavy heart'... well, I know what that't like now...

Ok, so since the surgery, I rested up on the soft gaining about 6-9 lbs of water and cheeseburger weight. Then we went camping and on a few other small vacations before Laura went back to work, and since then I've been working out to get back into pre-surgery shape.

Now that I am back, and ready to peel off the layers, I had to show another progress pic. Doesn't look very different, I know, but its the subtle changes you only notice in your own body... Plus you can see the hair on my head is growing too. perhaps I'll grow it out again... anyhow, picture time!

I put the arrows in to show you places where I'm noticing the most changes.

One of the most amazing feelings to get in the world is when your body tells you... turn it up!

Sometimes, I'm on the treadmill for my warm up, and at about 6 minutes, I get antsy and want to bump the speed and start running... I love it!
So I bump it up to a sprint for about a minute... and then I pull it back a bit because its just a warm up...

I love that feeling...

Check it out... man-meat-boobs!

Ok, for those of you who have read this far, here is the dessert... 

I took in this pic in low lighting, and I think it shows my progress better than with the flash. With my crappy bathroom lighting, I'm losing out. I think its time to set up the lighting better for these pics. I have a newfound respect for photographers... I need to take more pics like this! 

Thanks for checking out by blog and supporting my progress! I hope you join me too as I whittle my body like I'm in a fight club! Remember, you are what you eat, so don't be a couch tater!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Update - Progress Report - Heart Surgery - day

I have not been keeping up with the blog very well, but I'm glad to be updating today, of all days, on Easter. Happy Easter!

So, I've been in a holding pattern since my last progress report because I wanted to be prepared for my heart surgery on tuesday, in about 2 days. This is probably the first time that many of you are hearing about this, but as anyone who might have been close to me over the years, I've had a heart arrhythmia for the past 2 decades. Generally, my heart beat will double for no reason for anywhere from 5-30 minutes at a time. This can happen once a month, or every day. They say its harmless, but it doesn't feel very good in general. Its mild discomfort coupled with a little bit of sweating... not fun when you're trying to work, play, or just live your life.

I have been managing the arrhythmia on my own for quite some time. After the past 2 years, and the reasons for me changing my habits that go back to my wake up call on Jan 28th, 2011, I have decided, with the help of my wife, to go ahead and move forward with Ablation. This surgery is a process whereby the surgeon inserts a catheter and other tools into my femoral artery on the thigh. They go straight up into my heart, and then listen, induce the irregular heartbeat, and locate the 'rogue' nodes that are causing the problems. They then 'zap' the problematic cells, and hopefully, nothing else!

I have not been thinking much about this surgery since I decided on doing it. Mainly, I don't want to get emotionally riled up and cause more anxiety in my life. The important part is that I'm going to have the surgery, and that I've been doing everything in my power to get healthy on my own. I think this is the best possible attitude to have going into something like this. So, I plan on going in, crying, then getting this over with. On my road to recovery, I have to be gentle with myself, so I don't cause any other problems.... and ease back into working out. Then, by laste summer/fall, I will be back on track!

This is the year of changes for me. It can be the year of changes for you too. What are you neglecting in your life right now? what are you avoiding? and why?

I look back on my short life thus far, and realize that I have already lived a lifetime, by history's standards. I have another 2 lives left to live. I don't ever want to look back in regret. EVER. so, get your brain into mediation mode, think about what you want out of life, and take that first step on that million mile journey called YOUR LIFE!

Happy Easter, and I love you all...


todays photos show how large my dress clothes fit. Considering, these clothes were tight 3 months ago! enjoy...

This photo shows a more subtle and 'naturally lit' pose. I even think I'm kinda hot! well, getting there...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Progress Report - March 20th, 2011 - Day 52

Again, sorry for the delay, but we've been a bit busy.  I haven't stopped working out by any means, just couldn't find the motivation to post a blog.

So far these past 2 weeks:

-Tomcat has been suffering from Liver/Bile issues. We've been syringe feeding him for almost 2 weeks now every 3 hours, and we give him shots, and IV bag, and a pill. Consequently, the pill is giving us the most problems. As he gets better and better, he resists us more and more. So, its a fight every 3 hours. The good part is that this schedule gives us a glimpse into the time schedule of a parent. We have been lucky that Laura has been on Spring Break to help nurse our cat back to health.

-We sold the van and had to take care of all the funky DMV paperwork. Man, do I love the line at the DMV. Took the whole day. Then we dropped it off at her new home, and I rode the train back. Sad day.

-One of my clients, Steve Ewing, has passed away in his sleep. For those of you that knew him, his services will be on Saturday the 26th of March, at Laguna Presbyterian Church in downtown Laguna Beach, CA, at 11 AM. He was only 10 years older than me. Apparently, he just got sick, went to sleep, and never woke. He will be missed. Rest in Peace.

There are a few other random things, but mostly, its been a weird couple of weeks....

so, back to what keeps me stable and centered. Working out and eating healthy.

I finally pushed past the 250 mark, and I've been 250 for the past couple of days.
I'm looking forward to being in the 240's, perhaps by the next progress report!





love handles really pulling in!

seeing more muscle. shoulders are uneven though. left has been separated, and the right rotator cuff is healing

I know this is short and sweet, and there is much to say for me, but I gotta get to the gym.

I have been working on a few projects of mine, but today, I want to share with you guys that we are making a jump rope for children and students. Its patent pending, and is revolutionary! I'll keep you guys updated on that... JUMPY is coming soon!

I'm going to head out to the gym... maybe you should too?


p.s. I forgot to mention my weight! I'm down from 276 to 250... that's 26 lbs in 7 weeks!! and I eat dark chocolate! (sometimes too often!)

Progress Report - delayed - from March 13th, 2011 - Day 45

This is from the previous week, so I have the pictures and documentation for this week...

Progress from day 45 on March 13th, 2011.

I was plateau-ing this week, so I was lingering around 250 lbs this week.

Pics follow...





showing more muscle... slowly

Monday, March 7, 2011

PROGRESS REPORTS!!! & "bloggin is exhausting!"

I apologize for the lack of blog posts this week. Its been quite a week of catharsis and random people popping up in our lives. The good part is that most issues solved themselves, so there was little effort on my part except to live through the experience, which was exhausting in itself.

So, for the past week, what I've realized is that even though I'm eating well, I think I might still be eating 'too' well to burn the fat off that's been sitting here.

I've been reading the Atkins book that is on the shelf for reference, but I mixed up some info, so I had been eating carbs here and there at dinner, and I think that is what has been delaying more results.

doesn't look like change, but I'm smaller overall

flexing the abs really lifts the belly that won't leave!

belly still there but shrinking

belly pulls in when abs are flexed

losing the handles and crease!

So from here on out, my carb intake will be further reduced. fruits too. Its just too many sugars that my body has to process first, to then return to fat burning, so I'm going to have to do my best to eat mostly proteins, and one cup of veggies/carbs per meal. Its going to hurt my will power a bit late at night, but I'll just have to snack on proteins and celery or drink hot water with lemon.

My weight is still around 158-160 depending on the workout. I'm plateauing at 20 lbs, but I know why... its been my carb intake I've been messing around with, but now that I'm confident that its been the problem. So from here on out, my carb intake will be further reduced. fruits too. Its just too many sugars that my body has to process first, to then return to fat burning, so I'm going to have to do my best to eat mostly proteins, and one cup of veggies/carbs per meal. Its going to hurt my will power a bit late at night, but I'll just have to snack on proteins and celery or drink hot water with lemon.

To fill in the information that I'm missing, I think its time that I get the Paleo book...
The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy

Also, here's an example of how eating paleo can rip your body up in weeks!!!

since these aren't my pics to post, and I don't have permission to re-post, please check the link above to see the story on this lady!!

all I can say is WOW! If that's 5 weeks, I think its time for me to step it up!

As for today, just finished up at the DMV, going to drive down to Norwalk to sell the van, and then i'm riding the train back home. Hopefully, i'll get a good work out in before dinner, otherwise, it will be after dinner. Then, I should return to work outs in the morning, after I drop my wife off to work. Its a good system because then I'm guaranteed to make it to the gym by 7:30 AM.

I made some new shirts, so I'll have to post a pic of them soon. 

Hope you all have a great monday, and get out there and...


Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday, Monday...

Work out!
Had a great workout today! How do I know? I drenched my shirt in sweat. Not a dry spot anywhere. I even had to change my shirt in the van before I left because it was just too cold with that shirt on! That tells me that I really did something. And no, I didn't go into a sauna. It was all hard work.

As for my workout, I did my HIIT with a 10 minute warm up an cool down for a total of 37 minutes. I then hopped onto a exercise bike for 30 minutes to continue burning my fat off me.

An hour later, I have a lunch of 3 celery sticks, half a cucumber, a small tomato and a small bowl of diced ham. I also have a Lao spicy chili pepper dip called Jeow Bong. We brought this back from Laos, and it makes all veggies THAT much more delicious. Oh, and I also have some natural honey habanero mustard for the ham. The mustard doesn't have any added chemicals, but I do need to limit myself as there is honey in the mustard. YES, I like it hot! But I do have to be careful that I'm not getting TOO many chili peppers as that can irritate my entire tract, so... go easy on the peppers, that includes me!

I've been thinking about carbs, and I think I'm going to keep them really limited as I am trying to lose weight. Perhaps, I'll offset my circuit training by adding more protein? We'll see how this works this week.

One month anniversary!
So, its been a month to the day, and I'm down 20 lbs. I was hoping for more, but as in life, there was a hiccup, which has now been resolved. I'm back on track and look forward to another 20 this month, but if not... I'm still headed down this new path. I'm going to be slim and belly free this year!

Enjoy the rest of monday, go take a walk, eat more salad, and less processed stuff, just go and...


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 31 - Progress Report Time!

This week has been a whirlwind. From having a weight fluctuation when adding circuit training and my food, to putting my condo up for short sale, I've had quite an eventful week. The best part is that I'm back to my lowest weight again at 257.5 lbs. Here are some pics. At this point, I think its harder to see results as I'm just 'shrinking' inward. I still look similar, but clothes fit me smaller. And I have only 1 more hole on this belt before I have to replace it.

I lost the first few front views. I think they were named the same as other files. Anyhow, I'll have to make sure next week shows more... I apologize for the formatting. Its being a pain...

definitely slimmer

shirt almost fits normal!

side view looking better too

love handles definitely coming in as well as the crease

Today's update was short and sweet, but places me back where I want to be. Hopefully this week, I'll drop 3-5 lbs. We'll have to see how my lower back holds up. Its been bothering me, but I think its because I'm twisting when I sleep. I guess its time to strap me down...

So, have a great week guys, and I'll keep you all updated as the week progresses...