Kapsul Kickstarter catastrophe: owning mistakes

Curiosity has won

Going back to 2009, I have backed 31 Kickstarter projects, 27 which got funded. Of those, 15 came out what I would liberally describe as “on time”; i.e., within three months of the originally stated release date.

This means that there are a dozen that were late, some quite so. One from February 2014, I’m STILL waiting on, though the creators have explained the series of delays.

Another generated this recent mea culpa:

“We know you expected to have your unit by now. It’s getting warmer and you may find yourself gazing out windows that you will once again have to fill with ugly old a/c units instead of the beautiful Kapsul you hoped for. That can’t be a good feeling. For that, we owe you an official apology.

“In April of 2016, we asked for your support and told you that we would reward that support with the delivery of our air conditioner which we estimated to arrive in March of 2017. As you well know by now, we didn’t deliver as promised. Now we can’t deliver until April 2019. For a company trying to reinvent the air conditioner, not cool…Learn more about space heater repair solutions from Landmark to find out the best professionals for cleaning and repairing services.

“We got our timeline really wrong and we’re sorry that the burden of that fell to you, our backers. We messed up a few different ways. Two big ones:

“1. We greatly underestimated the challenges we faced in meeting our energy requirements and bringing our highly-customized product through manufacturing.

“2. We failed to adequately communicate about those challenges as they arose.”

#1 is definitely true, but #2, in many ways more so. And they got in what seemed to me to be avoidable difficulty when they came up with a name that, for trademark infringement reasons, they had to abandon. They can’t mention the name, so I won’t. 14-15-18-9-1. By way of apology:

“As an early and dedicated supporter of Kapsul, you will receive:
1 Year Extended Warranty (3-years total)
40% off your next full-price Kapsul purchase via a one-time use code. You’ll receive one code for every unit originally pledged for when we have units in stock.
Equity in our company. Every backer will be entitled to claim 10 shares of our company at no cost to you, details to be announced next month!”

Now of course I have no idea if the machine really WILL come out, or if its stock will ever have any value. But there is a point for me at which curiosity has won and I plan to wait it out.

If you’re ever in the situation of considering doing a Kickstarter, drop me a line. I’m not sure I’m good at telling someone what actions to take. But I’m pretty expert at warning folks what NOT to do.

September rambling #2: R.I.P. Herschell Gordon Lewis

Why Marvel movie music is so forgettable

libraries-because

Climate change illo is so perfect, it’s undeniable

Dying to be me! Anita Moorjani at TEDx BayArea

It’s Time To Call Out ‘Nice Racists’ And Their White Fragility

Self Care For People of Color After Psychological Trauma

No touching. No human contact. The hidden toll on jail inmates who spend months or years alone in a 7×9 foot cell

The Smithsonian’s African American museum – a monument to respectability politics; hmm, I am a charter member

Forehead Tittaes / Marion Cotillard and Pinksourcing With Kristen Bell

Homeless, Looking for Work

Childhood lost: Schooling a workforce and Naviance not so transparent- and cooking up data starting in kindergarten?

Now I Know: Charles Bernard’s Unexpected Vacation and Avast, Ye Groceries! and The Secret, Broken Language of Fire Hydrants and The Dangerous-Sounding Threat of DHMO and A Fishy Story

Is Inbreeding Really That Bad?

It occurs to me that I ALWAYS knew who Arnold Palmer was. From watching him and his army of fans on TV in my grandfather’s apartment, just upstairs from mine, to the epic golf battles between him and Jack Nicklaus, to an iced tea with lemonade drink named for him, to ads for prescription drugs. Arnold Palmer was 87. Here’s Olin and Palmer Team Remembered in Silver; Spencer Olin is a distant cousin of my wife’s

R.I.P. Herschell Gordon Lewis, the “Godfather of Gore”, Has Passed Away at 87; Our business library had a business book of his, called Big Profits from Small Budget Advertising, from 1992, and when we deaccessioned the tome, I scooped it up. So it’s now in the same office at home as my copy of FantaCo Enterprises’ The Amazing Herschell Gordon Lewis and His World of Exploitation Films, autographed by HGL “to my friend Roger,” also signed by coauthors Daniel Krogh and John McCarty at FantaCon 1983

The Miami Marlins’ Jose Fernandez, one of Major League Baseball’s top pitchers, was killed in a boating accident; he was 24 and had a great backstory

Bill Nunn, Who Played Radio Raheem in ‘Do the Right Thing,’ Dies at 63, which is my age; Love – Hate: Do the Right Thing

Edward Albee, three-time Pulitzer-winning playwright and ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ author, dies at 88

The three “tireds”
Friday

‘Rock star’ Baltimore librarian makes history at Library of Congress

See Amazing Images of American Sikhs

5 Rules for Hosting a Crappy Dinner Party (and Seeing Your Friends More Often)

There’s a movement afoot to name an intersection in Los Angeles for the late Forrest J Ackerman

Tom Hanks Has Made a Fortune Bringing Your Travel Nightmares to Life

Vin Scully is a voice for the ages and The national pastime continues to endure and Ken Levine’s tribute; we’re talkin’ baseball.

History of the Volkswagen and especially its groundbreaking advertising

48 Hour Film Project 2016 – SUPr, featuring Rebecca Jade (niece #1)

THE TRUST BOOK ONE: SILENT SCREAM Kickstarter. Goal met, stretch goal sought. Dennis Webster, Bill Anderson, Gabriel Rearte and Laurie E. Smith bring you the Roaring Twenties like you’ve never seen them before

Essay on lettering in comic books

Dominoes, and I don’t mean the bad pizza

Music!

Jolene by Dolly Parton and PTX

Gilbert, Sullivan, Spinners

The surprising reason music for Marvel movies is so forgettable; the tyranny of the temp track

Memorable tracks that never got above #58 on the Billboard charts

Fred Armisen & Bill Hader’s Test Pattern Parody Talking Heads On Seth Meyers

Stanley Dural a/k/a Buckwheat Zydeco died at the age of 68. Here’s Beast of Burden.

Alan Vega, artist and punk musician – obituary (HT to Shooting Parrots)

November Rambling: Eddie, the Renaissance Geek, turns 50; Jaquandor’s book now available for purchase

The official video for Cuts Like a Winter by Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact

christmas savings

John Oliver’s Complicated Fun Connects for HBO. Perhaps John Oliver Is Outdoing The Daily Show and Colbert. In any case, Yet Another Study Shows US Satire Programs Do A Better Job Informing Viewers Than Actual News Outlets.

The Motion Picture Academy chose to bestow a special award to Harry Belafonte, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. “Belafonte’s remarks offer both a pointed and powerful rebuke of Hollywood’s past and a stirring inducement to continue the industry’s more recent progress on human rights issues.”

Re the Ferguson protests, which I saw described as “mind-bogglingly incomprehensible”: It’s Incredibly Rare For A Grand Jury To Do What Ferguson’s Just Did, as even Antonin Scalia could tell you. So Mark Evanier’s thoughts largely echo mine. Related: video showing the moments leading up to the fatal shooting by police of a 22-year-old Saratoga Springs, Utah man, Darrien Hunt.

6 Things You Might Not Think Are Harassment But Definitely Are (BECAUSE APPARENTLY WE NEED TO CLEAR A FEW THINGS UP).

Eddie, the Renaissance Geek turns 50 this month and deals with melanoma on his birthday AND a disappointing Election Day with amazing good humor. No brain cancer, but there is cancer in the liver. Here’s a piece about the Purple Power Port. Insight into how Eddie’s brain works.

Why your brain loves rewards and how playing an instrument benefits your brain.

Jaquandor’s book STARDANCER is available for purchase. Now he’s off working on the next one. Please note, the book will NOT be available in all of these formats!

The Unbelievable Skepticism of the Amazing Randi, Uri Geller’s archrival.

I thought the Grimm fairy tales I own were rather grim, but the Grimm brothers’ fairytales have blood and horror restored in new translation. Also, fairy tale truths revealed.

Rise of the “Dones” at church.

Dustbury notes Kickstarter duds and password rules.

8 things you should never feed to cats and dogs. Such as chocolate, which we’re running out of, anyway.

Stamping Out Danger and a spy needed a perfect passport — down to the staples.

On Veterans Day, Marvel Comics saluted Jack Kirby… for his military service.

New Bill Watterson comic because we can’t have enough Bill Watterson.

Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins

Someone was doing a search for sources of vinyl records and discovered this image. “Damn, if Sonny Rollins doesn’t have a doppelganger right here at Corporate Woods.”

The Science Behind Why Some People Can Sing And Others Can’t.

Nice piece about Grace, who sings in my church choir.

The song Boy in the Bubble irritates me. More correctly, the fact that the 12″ version [LISTEN] hasn’t appeared on any Paul Simon album that I’m aware of bugs me. The only version I have I copied onto a cassette from a friend’s 12″.

The official video for Cuts Like a Winter by Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact. Also, Bang Bang (Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj) cover by Siren’s Crush, featuring Rebecca Jade (the first niece).

Music by Jayne Mansfield, backed by Jimi Hendrix.

When some network news program comes back from the break playing some old song, there’s a good chance the artist has died. Such was the case for Jimmy Ruffin.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Dolly Parton has long been an icon to the gay community.

You know it’s All About That Baste and All About That Base (No Acid). This has become a cottage industry!

Elvis Costello goes grocery shopping, 1978.

Elvis Presley is dead, but how did he die?

Fans of music who like to flatly say U2 is no longer relevant need to define what they mean by that.

The Crosby, Stills and Nash cover photo. As opposed to Famous Album Cover Photos Uncropped to Reveal ‘The Bigger Picture’.

Remembering the pugilistic power of Rod Serling on the Twilight Zone.

A story about Welcome Back, Kotter’s John Sylvester-White who played the cranky school principal, Mr. Woodman.

Noel Neill is 95. Here are pictures from an earlier time.

It’s a floor wax AND a credit card.

Muppet galore: Quongo and Roosevelt Franklin (who I LOVED) and Frazzle and Gonzo’s enlightenment and Cookie Monster and John Oliver and clap, clap, clap. Also, “Sesame Street has a series online called Welcome to the Furchester Hotel, which is British but also features Elmo and Cookie Monster. It’s cute, and there’s a new 11-minute episode each Friday.”

Unlock the Secrets of your Poop.

GOOGLE ALERT (me)

A whale of a tale. Hat tip to Mr. Frog.

GOOGLE ALERT (not me)

Hanceville to seek a $160K grant for firefighter equipment. “Fire Chief Roger Green asked the council to approve applying for $159,547.76 through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. The Cullman County Economic Development agency will write the grant for the fire department, Green said.” This is in Alabama, BTW.

The FantaCo/Smilin’ Ed Kickstarter; the Wells Fargo refund

FantaCo owner/publisher/co-creator of Smilin’ Ed, Tom Skulan,, is organizing a Kickstarter to create The Complete Smilin’ Ed Comics. He’s trying to raise $7500 by Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 1:12 AM EST.

FantaCo_sign
Those of you who lived or worked in Albany from 1978 to 1998 might remember this sign, created by the late Raoul Vezina in the window of FantaCo Enterprises, the comic book store/mail order house/publisher/convention organizer at 21 Central Avenue; the sign has been digitally enhanced from the original by artist Bill Anderson. Raoul drew the logo rat for the store, the character eventually dubbed Smilin’ Ed Smiley.

A few years later, Smilin’ Ed became the star of some comic books published by FantaCo, as well as in strips in Albany’s Metroland magazine and the Comics Buyers Guide. Unfortunately, Raoul died in 1983 – of an asthma attack.

Now, FantaCo owner/publisher/co-creator of Smilin’ Ed, Tom Skulan,, is organizing a Kickstarter to create The Complete Smilin’ Ed Comics. He’s trying to raise $7500 by Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 1:12 AM EST.

As I have mentioned in the past, I worked at FantaCo, running the mail order, editing a handful of magazines, and various other tasks, from May 1980 through November 1988. I had a hand in scripting one of the stories. I played interlocutor for a couple of parties involved in this project and found a few pieces that are included in the book. I wrote one of the text pieces contained therein. Oh, and I took the picture of Raoul that appears on the Kickstarter page.

Thus, I do have an emotional investment in seeing this project succeed. Raoul’s sister Maria has also been heavily involved with the project, and it’s very important to her. One of the pieces in the book will be the script and some art pages to a never-published Ed story.
***
I got this envelope in the mail this month. It appeared to be junk mail, but in fact, it contained a check for $214.85, and not one of those phony “use this check as a down payment on a car from us,” but a real cashier’s check.

Dear ROGER O GREEN:

Our records show you previously purchased, then cancelled an identity theft protection plan. During your enrollment the credit monitoring benefit may not have been activated.

We recommend reviewing your credit history, and are providing a free Experian credit report. Please call… and provide this code…

We are reimbursing yoy for fees paid during a period of time when your your credit monitoring benefit may not have been activated.Cashing the check will not reactivate your plan. For other questions please call Wells Fargo…

Thank you. we appreciate your business.

Interesting. I no longer remember how much the service cost, maybe $5.95 a month, maybe more. But even at $9.95 a month, and it wasn’t that much, that’s over 21 months where the right hand knoweth not what the left hand doeth. I haven’t had a Wells Fargo credit card in years, and seldom used it when I did.

Of course, I DID make use of the Experian report. Surprisingly, they did not try to buy their OWN service; thank you, very much.

August Rambling II: Smart is sexy and stupid is not

A reference to my piece about David Cassidy made it into the print version of the paper because “it was a good post, and filled with what we like: short, timely and to the point :)”


The New York Times’ prophetic 1983 warning about the NSA, which naturally leads to Glenn Greenwald killed the internet.

My Feelings About the Harriet Tubman Sex Tape in 10 GIFs.

Invisible Disabilities Day is October 24. I have this friend with rather a constant neck pain, but she doesn’t LOOK sick, and therefore feels diminished by those who actually don’t believe her. Conversely, The Complexities of Giving: People with Disabilities as Help Objects.

Photos of the worldly goods of inmates at the Willard Asylum. I backed the Kickstarter for this and wrote about it a couple years ago.

“Each week, TIME Magazine designs covers for four markets: the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific.” Often, America’s cover is quite, well – different. I had noticed this before. I don’t know that it’s “stunning,” but it IS telling.

The Peanuts gang meets The Smiths, in which This Charming Charlie masterfully blends Charles Schulz’s comics with lyrics by The Smiths.

Mark Evanier’s Tales of My Father, featuring Tony Orlando. Also, Tales of My Cat.

A friend’s letter from his brother. (Can one read this sans Facebook?)

Yes, smart is sexy and stupidity is not.

Eddie, the Renaissance Geek is cancer-free!

So I have survived my first grown-up move. Moving as an adult, it turns out, is radically different from moving as a student.

John Scalzi: To The Dudebro Who Thinks He’s Insulting Me by Calling Me a Feminist.

Air New Zealand celebrates marriage equality.

Lake Edge United Church of Christ in Madison, WI: “Worship at the Edge” PRIDE Sunday.

My old buddy Matt Haller has a new blog and writes about lies my shampoo bottle tells me about dating.

Arthur challenges his own snap assumptions.

SamuraiFrog writes about the list of best movies that EW had on the list in 1999, but which had fallen off the list by 2013 and also other great films. Re: a comment he made: that will require a blog post from me. He’s been musing on the early Marvel comics, which have all been interesting, and I was glad to play a small part in his understanding of Thor.

21 Jokes Only History Nerds Will Understand​.

German, not Swiss, Orson Welles.

Marian McPartland, ‘Piano Jazz’ Host, Has Died. I loved how she way she not only performed but, probably, more importantly, INFORMED about music.

The late Elmore Leonard’ TEN RULES FOR WRITING. His New York Times obit.

David Janower has passed away. He was the choral director of the fine Albany Pro Musica, and I knew and liked him personally, so I am sad. He had surgery a few months back and suffered a stroke from which he never really recovered.

A worthy neologism found by Dustbury.

The God of SNL will see you now.

Dolly Parton’s original recording of “Jolene” slowed down by 25% is surprisingly awesome.

Paul McCartney “In Spite Of All The Danger” & “20 Flight Rock” (Live), the former a cover of first Beatles record. Also, the Beatles’ final photo session, August 22, 1969.

Chuck Miller has posted every day for four years, over 2,000 blog posts on the Times Union site.

Dueling banjos: Steve Martin, Kermit the Frog. Sesame Street does Old Spice parody with Grover.

No ukuleles were harmed in the making of this video.

What did I write about in my Times Union blog this month? That annoying JEOPARDY! Kids Week story and Should ‘citizen initiative and referendum’ come to New York? and The prescient David Cassidy song. Cassidy got arrested locally for felony DWI, and a reference to my piece made it into the print version of the paper because “it was a good post, and filled with what we like: short, timely and to the point :),” FWIW.

If you are an NYS homeowner, read Tax Department Launches Statewide STAR Registration. The Data Detective blog has some other interesting stuff – if I do say so myself – such as On being ‘right’ in science.

Jaquandor answers my questions about the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team and unfriending.

Spontaneous​s goat manure fire.