Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Graff Toyz: Bring Graffiti Home With You

The following is from: written by Caro

How many times have you said to yourself “I had that idea years ago!” or “Why didn’t I invent that?” I mean, really with the success of the pet rocks, sea monkey aquariums, shake weights and pajama jeans plenty of us should be retired, sipping on drinks in the Caribbean with little umbrellas in them. Jay Bellichi had plenty of ideas, he grew up in Boston scheming and dreaming of art and how he could make it his livelihood. Jay was known in the graffiti circuit as “Remote” and hoped to keep his passion for graff alive. But hoping and dreaming just aren’t enough.

That’s where friend and Maine native Josh Hughes comes in, the man with the plan. Jay and Josh met at the Art Institute in South Florida. The greatest asset your education can give you is the contacts you’ll make with the kids sitting right next to you. Josh supported Jay in his dream and helped him make it a reality, mostly reeling in the dreamer from Cloud 9. Every great innovator has someone with a ruler in hand ready to regulate should they get off course. Mark Hughes, Josh’s dad, also pushed the pair to pursue their plan and promised to ultimately invest; so in 2000 Graff Toyz began its journey.

With Jay at the helm of creativity, the CEO, and Josh shining the light of organization, the COO, the pair began building prototypes of the many ideas swirling about Jay’s head. With the rising popularity of art toys and limited edition products the industry was aching for more competition. With the birth of Jay’s first son the fire was ignited to produce toys he could passionately share with his son. By 2004 their first prototypes were ready to be shopped around to investors. Mark put the guys under his wing and coached them through the business aspect of their endeavors. While at a gallery showing in CocoWalk where Jay had his art on display under his fine art name, 5IFTYTHR3, the money man stayed true to his word. The line officially launched in February 2010 and began selling in shops like 004Connec (Miami), (Boston) , Adjust Gallery (Wynwood), HazyDayz (Ft. Lauderdale) and Neon Forest (Orlando).

Graff Toyz made a splash during Art Basel when they were asked to be a part of the Graffiti Gone Global merchandise store at the GGG exhibit. Their foot in the door came from Books Bischof, who came to be instrumental in their success being that he has a design house in South Florida where many Graff Toyz products were produced. Book is a founding member of Primary Flight, a group responsible for some of Miami’s most famous street art and murals.

As the innovators, originators and supporters of hip-hop culture continue to grow and evolve into adulthood they’ll inevitably be passing down their knowledge and love for the culture onto their children. Where our parents may think of our music as noise and our art as scribbles we see it for it is- amazing. Therein lies the beauty of what Graff Toyz is doing. They’re bringing together the elements we love and appreciate of graffiti to something tangible we can bring into our homes.

During Art Basel, you may have noticed the “Graff Erase Board” for sale. A plexi-board with a chalk marker to write on in various styles (fun side note: the chalk marker will only erase with water, take that dry-erase!)

Keep an eye on these guys, they have plenty more ideas to share. With all the baby bumps going around (there must be something in the water) Graff Toyz will fall into good hands around the 305.

Jeof Christnagel, a tradesman from Detroit, recently joined the Graff Toyz team and is finalizing molds for their next line of toys to be released soon. Be on the lookout for “graff” typeface magnets, puzzles and kids safe/approved items. Support local art, support local business… These guys make everything locally and often times in limited edition (i.e. YNOT puzzle) so get your hands on some Graff Toyz ASAP. To thank you all for being loyal readers we’re raffling one “Graff Erase Board” to a lucky Steezer.

written by: Caro at



Sunday, September 5, 2010

Is dad ok?

The hardest thing to hear is my children asking my wife, “is dad ok”? How do I explain. Where do I start. I could spit it like an Eminem sorta a way, “Hi kids, do you like Primus, do you wanna see me stick 9 inch nails through each one of my eye lids”? So it could go like this, "Hey kids, do you love freedom, you wanna see me stick Military Grade Vaccines through both of my biceps". My oldest Ashen would understand and question me further. Consiquence and cause he would say.

I hoped not to be defined by disabilities but at the end of the day I have no choice. I was able to shine at any employer since day 1. Always moved to the top. Unfortunatly lately I am limited to 8 hours a week. Even that is to much. Chronic pain fighting and cognitive disfunction are a full time job. Not to mention light sensitivity, rashes and fatigue as overtime.

So I wake every morning to see the inspiration from Andrea, support of Kelly and Mary, help from Jim and David, likes from Rita and Samantha, posts from WSJ, FDA, NIH and CDC, GWI/CFS, while listening to old webinars from scientist and counting on the our leaders. Searching for the answer so my kids don’t have to ask that question, “is dad ok”?

Our family bond is strong as we laugh at Wife Swap or Nanny 911 and cry at AFV's montages. Hockey defines our religion as we are touched by ghosts pasts. Example: Upon awaking from a coma in Oakwood Hospital a tv was brought in. The same thing was on every channel. It was a huge funeral. It was Maurice Richard. A great left when I woke. That September my son was born and named Mason and not Maurice as we planned earlier before his death and my illness. Mason's first birthday was on Sept 11th as we forgot to mention it to him because of the news. Hell, the lottery numbers were 666 at his birth as the city was under water a year prior.

Funnier things have happen. I am a real Forest Gump.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Florida Panthers Warming Up

After 9 long years of missed opportunities, you have to wonder what's next? Has Karma caught up, has she left? That is the question of many players and fans of the Florida Panthers.

This 2010-2011 pre-season has to feel a little different for the Florida Panthers. The BUZZ in South Florida is on fire with Sport, Music and Media heading the headlines around the world. "Miami is that city to be in" said Lebron James during a recent interview. So how to keep it hot? "Play your game" he said.

Florida Panthers open the season on the west coast with Edmonton / Vancouver / Calgary and return to Florida to face Tampa Bay to wrap the first week. Advantage to Florida; playing 3 west coast games could put the team at better odds of winning FRESH and avoiding a slow start. Last years 2009-2010 netted 1 win over Chicago and giving up 4 in a row to a slow start to a season of catch up. Starting with momentum and never backing off the throttle would be the best scenario.

Could that happen? With the addition to size on D should change the game in the neutral ice and open up more opportunities to the Florida Panthers.

GM Dave Tallon has been playing his game by bringing in history to the family with the addition of Brian Skrudaland and Gord Murphy both played in the 1996 Stanley Cup with Florida Panthers. The addition of former players to operations staff shows long term commitment on part of Dave Tallon as GM. Also with a bigger, newer rooster Florida is in the position to be a contender in the East
Fans are already buzzing the net to what’s next? Rookie Camp followed by Training camp in September.

Countdown clocks at 80 some days and counting until the puck drops.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

SuperHab to take his talents to South Beach and Super Fan the Florida Panthers

Even before LeBron James officially announced he was "going to take my talents to South Beach," the Florida Panthers were trying to appeal to fans' excitement about the prospect of James joining the Heat.

The team announced a "Seats Fit For A King" ticket promotion -- a limited offer of lower bowl Panthers season tickets at BankAtlantic Center for $23 a game -- for James' original NBA jersey number -- and upper level ones for $6 a game -- for James' most recent jersey number. The promotion available by calling 954-835-PUCK runs until 5 p.m. Monday.

“Based on the hype surrounding rumors of a new King headed to South Florida, we wanted to remind our fans that we want them to feel like royalty,” Panthers President Michael Yormark said in a statement. “Certainly, it’s an exciting time to be part of the South Florida sports industry and we’d like our fans and our staff to embrace it.” SARA TALALY

Jeof Christnagel
Well it worked. After months of thought, many emails, disses and goalie drama; I have "LeBroned" the Montreal Canadiens and I am now rallying with the Florida Panthers and currently restructuring my fanship code of ethics for the next season.

October will bring new perspective on the game for me and my children. Open practices and special invites from the organization. I am a Florida resident and have had my license reissued twice, this time in Miami*. Seeing the game with clear view will be the reward for me. Montreal has made me strong as I did them as a fan.

Thank you to so many friends, ANNAKIN, NICK, GARY, AMANDA, LOUIE, KEVIN, KEVIN, KEVIN, ROBBIE, MIKEY, OSKY, BILLIE, NICK, CJLO, CJAD, TEAM990, The Franchise, and thousands more in the Twitter Seats I sat at in so many game listening to CJAD and refreshing my phone. Thank you.

SuperHab July 2008 - July 2010

A clip of the Love from The Franchise!

Gary Whittaker said it best via (fb): Day 3 without internet at home. Do you remember when reading day old information in a newspaper was considered "current" news?

my thoughts
Yes for 18 years I watched seasons on Box Score in the Detroit News and the rare game on CBC, the best is when I saw the Montreal Canadiens in London when I was an Airman early 90's.

The best is yet to come and I hope to be in the crowd as a fan for my *NEW home town.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The facts:

From here, Moore begins to explore the emotional impact of the plant closings on some of his friends. He interviews an auto worker named Ben Hamper who apparently suffered a nervous breakdown on the assembly line and is currently staying at a mental health facility. From here, to the Beach Boys song "Wouldn't It Be Nice?", we see a montage, created by John Prusak and Jeff Christnagel, of the urban rubble and decay enveloping Flint, interspersed with newspaper headlines about the increasing layoffs, residents moving away, and a news report informing us that the rat population in the city soon outnumbered the human population. He also turns his camera to the middle/upper class residents of the more affluent suburbs such as Grand Blanc, who display rather classist and naïve attitudes when it comes to the economic hardships of the city (at a party they are hosting, Moore takes note when they hire laid off workers to be Human Statues).

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Public and Intergovernmental Affairs

Secretary Shinseki Announces Gulf War Task Force Report

February 27, 2010
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Comprehensive approach to delivering care and benefits to Veterans

Today, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced that the department’s Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses Task Force has nearly completed a comprehensive report that will redefine how VA addresses the pain and suffering of ill Veterans who deployed during the Gulf War in 1990 and 1991.

“At VA, we advocate for Veterans – it is our overarching philosophy and, in time, it will become our culture,” Secretary Shinseki said. “Every day we must challenge our assumptions to serve our Nation’s Veterans.”

The mission of VA’s Gulf War Task Force is to identify gaps in services as well as opportunities to better serve Veterans of the Gulf War. Of the almost 700,000 service members who deployed to Operation Desert Shield in 1990 and Operation Desert Storm in 1991, there have been 300,000 Gulf War Veterans with claims decisions, over 85 percent were granted service connection for at least one condition, and over 14 percent were not granted service connection for any condition.

“We must learn from the past and take the opportunity to anticipate the future needs of our Veterans,” Shinseki said. “This new approach is the first step in a still unfolding comprehensive plan of how VA will treat and compensate Veterans of the Gulf War era.”

The chairman of the Gulf War Task Force is John R. Gingrich, Chief of Staff at Veterans Affairs and retired Army officer who served during the Gulf War. “Reaching out to Gulf War Veterans is not only essential to our transformation of VA, for many of us it is also personal,” Mr. Gingrich said. “Having commanded troops in Gulf War, and then witness some of them fall to mysterious illnesses has been very difficult to watch. With this Task Force, I am hopeful we can provide these men and women a better quality of life.”

VA’s Gulf War Task Force recommendations build on the findings from the 2008 VA Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Illnesses. The Task Force’s recommendations include:

· Improve data sharing with Department of Defense to notify Veterans of potential exposures, monitor their long-term health and inform them about decisions regarding additional follow up.

· Improve the delivery of benefits to Veterans with Gulf War-related disabilities by

a. Reviewing, and if necessary, updating regulations affecting Gulf War Veterans.

b. Expanding training for VBA examiners on how to administer disability claims with multiple known toxin exposure incidents.

· Improve VA healthcare for Veterans through a new model of interdisciplinary health education and training.

· Increase number of long term, Veteran-focused studies of Veterans to enhance the quality of care VA provides.

· Transition from reactive to proactive medical surveillance to help better manage Veterans’ potential hazardous exposures.

· Find new treatments for Gulf War Veterans through new research.

· Enhance outreach to provide information and guidance to Veterans about benefits and services available to them for injuries/illnesses associated with Gulf War service.

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Friday, February 12, 2010


BOMB POWER - - "The president of the United States now for 50 years is followed at all times, 24 hours a day, by a military aide carrying a football that contains the nuclear codes that he would use and be authorized to use in the event of a nuclear attack on the United States. He could launch the kind of devastating attack the world has never seen. He doesn't have to check with anybody. He doesn't have to call the Congress. He doesn't have to check with the courts. He has that authority because of the nature of the world we live in", Dick Cheney put it on Fox News (12-21-2008), interview with George Wallace.