• A Trip Down Memory Lane

    I was stalking myself through Facebook and came across some old photos of the early days, you know, back when I had an iPhone 3G.  I came across an old pic from 2008 of my setup during the holidays. Check out how sparse everything was.  No sense of cohesion.

    And now...

    We've come a long way since 2008 with the help of awesome folks like Jeff Ball and Keith Lane.

    In the four years since that pic was taken (8 years since the start of the company) we've moved the operation out of my parents two car garage, made Jeff a full time employee, expanded the reach of the operation (DC, NY, and numerous traveling shows around the country), and opened up a much larger full manufacturing facility in Washington, DC.  Tell me, when was the last time you heard of something being made in Washington, DC?  Now you know we make awesome products in our Nation's capitol.

  • Rechargeable Batteries

    It's easy to forget now and again that we all have rechargeable batteries.  Sure, we get older and loose a little capacity over time, but we can take on a lot of living as long as we remember to live.

    A week ago I got a text from my best friend's wife inviting me to come out to Seattle as a surprise.  It would be a big surprise because I don't travel for much other than business.

    Normally I hem and haw, thinking about all the dozens of things I would like to get done for my clothing company, and convince myself I don't have time.

    But this time was different.  Life was beginning to well up and I could feel the tears brewing behind my eyes, trying to claw their way out.  It was clear I needed the recharge.  Funny that all it took was to see good friends, sit down to a meal instead of eating on the go, and share the happenings of our lives.  The simple stuff is often the most profound.

    I wish I took more photos, but I was too busy enjoying the company.

    I got to see my best friends Jacob and Mindy and their new baby James.  He's a super happy kid and I was actually excited to hold him.  I still think puppies are better than babies, but James is converting me.

    My other best friends Brian and Ericka.  It was Ericka that flew me out to surprise my best buddy, Brian.  Seen here prepping the July 4th roast.

    We also saw the Sedro Woolley 4th of July parade.  Sedro Woolley was an old logging town on the outskirts of Seattle at the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.

    And being a logging town of course they have a log carving competition.

    I liked this one because it reminds me of our Howl T-shirt.

    And then there were Shiners.

    Now I'm back on my game, recharged for the next set of challenges to come.  Owning a business ain't easy, but I love it.  I just need to remember that it's the small things that make the big things run, like just checking in with your friends and the simple pleasures of asking about their days.

  • NEW Zombie Belt Preview

    The latest installment in the Zombie belt series is almost here... Zombies Under the Sea.  It is the epic tale of the Atlantian's last stand against the toxic waste infused Zombie horde.   The surface world has been overrun and this is earth's last bastion of civilization.  Will we prevail?  It has Zombie Mermaids in it!

  • Lil' Buddy Visitor in the Workshop

    We had a little buddy in the workshop yesterday.  His name is Humphrey and he is adorable.  As you can see he was a big help in the workshop, making sure the belts didn't go anywhere.

  • New Cheese, Not Old Cheese

    I am so excited about the new 'Three Mouse Cheese-Moon' T-shirt.  It's an homage to the classic 'Three Wolf Moon T-shirt' except our t-shirt deals with inner city wildlife... mice.

    Look at their cute little faces.  They can't help but howl at the wheel of cheese that mysteriously found it's way to their alleyway home.  They are at the footsteps of mouse-heaven.

  • New 'Classy' Lifestyle Photos

    I am so friggin' excited to have the new lifestyle shots up.  It was a long-time-coming personal project of mine.  My goal was to make the photos looks as cheesy as possible; subpar photoshoping, overexposed images, slightly awkward model poses.  If I was transported back to the 80's or 90's I could have made it big as a second story photo studio... you know, above the dry cleaners.  The models really got into it and hammed it up just right.

    A lot of the time was spent recreating the brandy snifter and laser background.  Save them to your desktop and make your own elegant images.  Just do me a favor and tag me in them so I can track the inevitable viral trend that will ensue.

  • Gettin' Classy

    Saturday Night Live was comic gold as a kid.  There wasn't a lot of television diversity in the early 90's, back when they had the Cable Ace awards because no one was taking cable programming seriously.  For a little kid the 11:30pm start time was at the edge of my ability to think rational thoughts.  I was hyper as all get-up but as it approached midnight, with still an hour to go, my eyes would start to burn of tired.  Oh, I laughed so hard!  SNL most definitely had a hand in my early mental development.  In the year 2000 I was still in college, having kept up my tradition of watching SNL as much as I could.  One Saturday night that year Alec Baldwin ended the show with a sketch called "Lasting Impressions" about a New Jersey-esque photo studio specializing in classing up your photos by super imposing them on brandy snifters.   Now I get to class things up a little around here.  I spent a few nights setting up this brandy snifter shot so I cold super impose my own elegance!  These are just a sneak peak.  Keep a lookout for the finals on the homepage very soon!

    This is Humphrey (dog) and my friend Patrick.  Humphrey is modeling one of our FredFred flame pattern leather dog collars.

    Some more "no-joke elegance" of Humphrey wearing his awesome FredFred flames leather dog collar.

  • I Might Need a Shower

    After the Holidays I took a little break.  From November to December I lived in my workshop, catching less than 4 hours of sleep a night, with a small break for lunch and a show on Netflix of Hulu to put me to sleep.  The Holidays are intense, and so when they are over I hibernate.  Most of January I spent in bed, watching multiple TV series on netflix and dozens of movies, and perfecting Chocolate Chip Cookies.

    When I couldn't get any lazier I begin the new year with a project: build a new mobile store for traveling.  Jeff (my second in command) and I sat for days in the workshop cutting out foam models and arguing various design element.  There were so many factors to consider, each of them conflicting with the other.

    With most of the brain work done I sequestered myself in my bedroom to model the displays, with the occasional distraction of the "Wolverine and the X-Men" cartoon and "The Last Airbender" cartoon (the movie version was crap).  I also ate a lot of hot pockets.

    Today I sent the drawings off to the carpenter.  Check out the work below.  I'll explain more in a future post, but know that these are the ultimate belt workbench units.  They transform, display, store, and pack away.

    Tomorrow I take a shower and shave.  Being a mad-scientist is fun sometimes, but then I need to see the sun!

  • The Bestest Chocolate Chip Cookies

    I've been working on a Pirate Chef Cookbook; a little side project that may actually hit the shelves one day.  Until then I plan on posting some awesome recipes from me and my friends.

    Today's Excerpt: Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I highly suggest the Heath® alternative.


    These cookies are rich.  I mean, if you are anything like me you will squirrel three cookies up to your bedroom with a tall glass of milk, anxiously waiting to play the next Justice League cartoon.  By the time the title sequence is over you will have eaten two cookies, instantly realizing that the third cookie was presumptuous.  Your belly will be poking out.  Needless to say you force the third cookie down anyway.  The mental anguish of the third decadent cookie is more troubling than it’s digestive consequence and so you push on.  The third cookie is down, but no more, oh lord, no more... at least not until breakfast.

    Pilfer the following:

    2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
    ½ cup Instant Oats
    ¾ cup granulated sugar
    1 ½ tsp salt
    1 tsp baking soda

    2 tbl whole mike
    2 sticks (1 cup) of salted butter, room temperature.
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    2 eggs
    ¾ cup packed brown sugar

    1 ¾ chocolate chip (approx ¾ of an 8oz bag)

    Step 1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees

    Step 2. Grease two baking sheets.  If you have your butter wrappers still around use those to grease the baking sheets.

    Step 3. Combine flour, oats, granulated sugar, salt and baking soda in one bowl. Mix up with a spoon

    Step 4. In a second large bowl combine milk, butter, vanilla extract, eggs, and brown sugar.  Using an electric beater mix these ingredients together, but don’t over mix.  Stop when the butter is evenly distributed but still in small clumps.

    Step 5. Slowly mix in your flour mixture from Step 2 into your larger bowl of sugary buttery goodness from Step 3.

    Step 6. Mix in your chocolate chips.  See below for a extra yummy alternative with Heath ® bar chunks.

    Step 7. Spoon our 1 ½ diameter balls of dough onto your cookie sheets.

    Step 8. Bake for 11 minutes for chocolate chips cookies only.  12 minutes if using the Heath® alternative.

    Alternative 1: instead of 1 ¾ cup of chocolate chips use 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup Heath® chocolate chip and caramel package.  If you can’t find the pre-chopped Heath® bars just buy a few bars and smash them up yourself.  It’s not rocket science, you were a kid once.  You should remember how to smash things.

    Alternative 2: consider sprinkling sea salt on the top of your cookies immediately after taking them out of the oven.

    Alternative 3: Combine Alternative 1 and Alternative 2.  WHAT?  That’s crazy business you say.  Darn right it is, but crazy good!

    Tips:  When you are chomping at the bit to make cookies you don’t have time to wait for your butter to get to room temperature.  Put both sticks in the microwave and zap it for 20 seconds.

  • Coming Soon: 3 Mouse Moon T-shirt

    It's nearly complete.  I'm so excited to launch the new '3 Mouse Moon' t-shirt.  Between this and the new 'Howl' t-shirt I'm sensing a theme.

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