HomeDepot - ホームディーポ


As you know, Home Depot, an essential store for our lives in U.S., sells from concrete to light bulbs. Basically, you can find everything you need to build one house from ground up. Do-it-yourself is very popular in this country, and Home Depot was doing fine until last year. Because of this recession, they are currently facing severe economical problems.

The store is very convenient for me to explain variety of materials to my assistants, so every time new person joins my company, I take him or her to the store and walk around. They have to see the actual item before draw in a document.


If you pay attentions, there are many convenient and interesting items.

天井にはめ込むLED(Light-emitting diode -発光ダイオード) のライト。電気代節約が出来、電球の寿命も普通の白熱球より断然長い。
A recessed LED (Light-emitted diode) ceiling light. It helps you save electrical costs, and its light bulb lifetime is extremely longer than typical incandescent bulbs.


The 2 white fixtures are the LED lights. Color of LED tends to be very white, but there are variety of LED bulbs available in other stores.

This is a chalk board spray. It must be very convenient for the families with children and at pre-school and kindergartens.

塗るだけでホワイトボードになるペイントと、夜光塗料。 もう、あの会議室にある格好の悪いホワイトボードは必要ない。壁一面、または、部屋全体の壁をホワイトボードにしてしまえば良い。今度実際にやってみようと思う。
These are whiteboard paint and glow in the dark paint. You don't need an expensive and ugly whiteboard in your conference room anymore. Simply make the whole wall a whiteboard, or even make a whole room a whiteboard! I am planning to suggest to my client in the next project.

If you have found your bathtub stared turning gray, try this. A professional refinisher charges about $500-600 for bathtub and surrounding walls (typically with 5 years warranty). If you are confident and feel like trying to refinish by yourself, this is only $45 (not sure if it is going to last 5 years though). I actually bought this to see how this works.

Either way, you won't be able to use your bathtub for 2-3 days, so be cautious!

A soap dispenser that you can attach on a dishwasher air gap on your sink. I couldn't figure out what that was until I installed a dishwasher in my house by myself.

Installing a new switch on a wall costs you. This allows you to add a switch at outlet without any construction.

最近のお気に入りはこれ。普通のライトの電球の代わりにこれを付けると、そこがコンセントになる。 This is my favorite. You can turn a light fixture into an outlet.

And this is also cool. You screw in a light bulb on this side, and

plug the whole thing in to an outlet! That makes an instant light fixture.

I see a potential in this. But, when I actually tested this in my office, it was pretty dangerous that a glass light bulb sticks out from a lower part of a wall...
I can plan outlets in the ceiling and upper part of walls in a design stage so that this becomes useful to create an interesting atmosphere.

お店や場所の情報紹介用として、Stores and Places というラベル(Label)を作ってまとめてみた。

I have created a new Label called Stores and Places to list their information.



Curiosity3 - 好奇心3~まだ懲りない~

This is the 3rd trial. The resin I poured 2 days ago became a pretty nice rectangle plate.

This time we adjusted a color of the cooking paper (the color was transferred somehow), the thickness of the resin and reflection of the contents.

Since it is pretty thin, it may be harden by tomorrow.
The plastic pieces are exposed more and looks better this way.

When my office lease expires, I will look for a warehouse where I can create a neat design room and a room dedicated to the messy studies we do.


Curiosity2 - 好奇心2

少し前に書いた”Curiosity - 好奇心" http://hirokiuchidadesignlab.blogspot.com/2009/05/curiosity.html 
The second challenge of our experiment following the first one I wrote about before.

The first challenge ended up with a jellyfish....

It is very thin, but pretty durable.

We also experimented a flat object consists of clear plastic pieces.

Based on the lighting effect we want and a little more realistic form we can create with the tools we have, the design was revised.
This time, we brought in a wood box and a role of non-stick cooking paper that you use when you bake cookies.

Place the cooking paper in the box neatly.

Sprinkle the plastic pieces on top.

And, here comes the resin again.


Now, all I can do is wait till it gets hard.


At last, although there are no relations to this experiment, the beautiful sun that I saw a few minutes ago sinking behind Hollywood hill.



American Goods - アメリカン・グッズ

The other day, I was checking out some products (gadgets) in a drug store while I was waiting for my medicines to come out. There may not be so strange to some people, but these looked interesting to me.

一般的なのはこれ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Can_opener
A can opener. There is a magnet at the top if this machine and catches the can. Then the can turns when the switch is turned on, and a blade cuts off the lid. To me, a can opener was always a simple small tool, so I could not figure out what this was for when I came to the U.S. 18 years ago.
A typical can opener is this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Can_opener
I didn't even find this typical one in Japan.

"ご自由にお試しください” って・・・売り物がそのままお試し品。手前の方の中身は後ろの物より絶対少ないはず。
"Try Me Free" but this is not a trial product...I am sure the bottles in font have less contents than the ones in the back.

補聴器。運転中の携帯電話の使用が規制され、携帯電話用のワイアレス・イヤーピース(http://www0.shopping.com/-wireless+earpiece)が普及したアメリカでは、これは良いアイデア。僕の祖母も生前、補聴器をつけると年寄りみたいに見えるから嫌だと言っていたが、これならば ”ナウイね” と言ってつけたかも知れない。
This is a sound amplifier. Hands-free rule for cell phone use during driving made the cell phone ear piece very popular in the U.S., so this is a good idea. When my grand mother was still alive, she resisted to wear an amplifier because she thought it could make her look old. If she was still here now, maybe she would wear this.

A wireless switch. You can attach this on any part of a wall without an electrical construction, or you can keep it in your hand and use it as a remote controller. This is a good idea.

A nail trimmer for pet. It looks a little exaggerated to trim the small nails.
And...it is exaggerated!
Maybe this should have been built in to an armrest of a couch.



La Brea Ave. - ラ・ブレア・アベニュー

There is a street called La Brea 3 minutes east from our office. La Brea means tar in Spanish. There was (is?) a large tap pit underground in this area, and actually I heard that it still comes out from the ground especially in an underground parking lot.

Every time I dive on this street, several unique stores caught my eyes, but had no chance to visit them. Yesterday, I could finally stop by to find a lamp for my client.

The first stop was an American antique store. The price was pretty reasonable.

The color of this tea set was very nice.

Next stop was these orange and black stores. The orange one mainly sells antique lamps, and the black one sells antique hardware. The interior of the both stores are worth to see!

The inside of the orange store...the whole walls were filled with antique lamps.

And, this was the interior of the black store. The best store we visited this time. Even if you are not interested in antiques, you may feel like buying a piece for no reason.


The image is not clear, but you can feel the general atmosphere.

Then, a Moroccan store.

そして、Little Parisというフランスのアンティークの店。
Nest was a french antique store called Little Paris.

This was a pretty cool radio.

At last, this is a store I always wanted to stop by.
A Champagne glass bath tub. This must have been in a honeymoon suite.
An old Coke vending machine.

Left over from the last Christmas.
And, of course, Mr. and Mrs. Simpson.

At the very last, the best of the day!
Does anyone want this in Japan?

この他、American Rag Cie や いつも行列のホットドック屋さん、Pinks La Brea Bakeryなどもあるので、端から端まで歩いて半日は過ごせる。

There are other attractions such as American Rag Cie, Pinks, and La Brea Bakery, so you can easily spend half day on this street.



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