Saturday, December 31, 2005

Help Select The 2005 BGP Photo Contest Winner

Hurry!!! Get all your bathroom graffiti photo entries in tonight by midnight EST in order to enter the 2005 BGP Photo Contest. And don't forget to vote for your favorite images over the next two weeks. The BGP Photo Contest Judges will select three contest winners from the pool of the top 50 highest ranked images that YOU the viewers rate. So help us pick the finalists between now and January 15th, when we name the top 3 bathroom graffiti images of 2005.

The BGP Judging Panel will be selecting winners based on several criteria but image quality, graffiti quality, and creativity all count. We'll also be looking at how well the image represents the Bathroom Graffiti Project philosophy as described in the BGP Manifesto and the artistic quality of the photograph.

If you miss the 2005 Photo Contest, don't fret. 2006 is nearly here, and we will be announcing several brand new contests for 2006 with lots of prizes and interesting themes. Contact Us if you have a cool photo contest idea...until then submit your bathroom graffiti images, join our Sniper Team and vote often!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Happy Holiday Message From Unity Stoakes

this is an audio post - click to play

Wishing you a very happy holiday season...stay warm and enjoy the new year!

Testing The Fairly New AudioBlogger Service

this is an audio post - click to play

Once I get this handy audio tool figured out, visit often to get On The Road wht Unity Stoakes audio updates. I am in the process of wading through all of the various podcasting services and tools out there now. Unfortuantely, they none of them are very good unless you simply want to post an audio file. No one is offering subscribtion management tools yet which seems crazy to me. Afterall, we don't all want to include advertising in our podcasts and some of us may want to still make money off of our premium content. If you come across any great podcasting services let me know.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


 Posted by Picasa

Finally Something Funny From SNL

For anyone was ever a fan of the Beasties, pays attention to music culture, or just wants a good laugh you should check this video out:

Initially, this mock Narnia rap video caught me off guard. My first thought was, here's antoher lame sketch from Saturday Night Live. But after about 20 seconds I couldn't stop laughing.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Cauliflower Is The New Black

This may sound ridiculous, but in my estimation cauliflower is the new black. My bet is that soon trendy restaurants everywhere will start offering this often forgotten vegi. Why? I'm not sure exactly, but I just feel it.

Yes, I know, most give this bland and often tasteless vegetable short shrift. Many don't even know what it is. Others call it the poor man's broccoli.

Not in my kitchen!

Here's a little recipe that I promise will power charge any cauliflower no matter how bland and change your mind about this incredibly underrated vegetable.

1 head cauliflower
healthy dose of salted butter
fresh garlic
fresh cracked pepper
soy sauce
Parmesan cheese
Tabasco sauce

Cast iron skillet
Sharp knife

Heat pan and season with a few dabs of salted butter. Toss in bite-sized chunks of cauliflower and saute to coat each piece with butter. Throw in diced garlic and cover everything with cracked pepper, a few splashes of soy sauce, and a healthy dose of Tabasco. Cover skillet and stir every few minutes to brown cauliflower (about 15 minutes). Two minutes before serving, coat each piece with cheese and melt to a crusted finish.

This is the perfect side dish for steak, pork chops, or as a tapas style snack. For added kick, experiment by adding fresh jalepeno peppers, curry or your other favorite spices. And be liberal with the Tobasco too.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Read This Book!

If you are at all interested in marketing communications or better understanding modern day politics then I highly recommend you pick up a copy of "Don't think of an Elephant" by George Lakoff. His elegant package of essays is the best explanation I have read yet about the differences between modern day Republicans and Democrats. More importantly, he explains the how and why both parties are positioned the way they are presently, and he outlines a clear plan to enable progressives to frame the debate and communicate their values in a way that ordinary people can actually understand.

Click the headline above to read more about the book.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Major Progress On The Stoakes Farm -- Finally

The Stoakes Hughes Farm is finally making progress during what has been a -- no kidding -- 20 year renovation job. The good news is that over the last year, major progress has been made. It's moving along so quickly now, I don't even recongize some of the rooms. Here is a picture from over a year ago where you can see the old structure of the 125 year old farm house. Click the link below to see new pictures and how the house project has progressed over the years:


I don't know're making it pretty tempting to come home for Christmas this year...Is my old bedroom still around? Or has it been turned into something like a big bathroom. Doh!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Sticker Design Help

I am looking for a designer to help me design a 2 x 4 inch sticker for my site Check out the site and if you know someone who would like to help on the project have them email me at

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Customer Service Cheat Sheet

Tired of waiting on hold or getting caught in phone loop hell? Check out this incredibly useful cheat sheet that helps you find the easiest way to reach a human when calling customer service line:

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving Day Pumpkin Pie

Isn't this time of year the best? Hot cider, comfort food, cozy fires...And perhaps best of all: Pumpkin Pie!

Here's a Unity Stoakes secret: Pumpkin pie is much easier than you think to make. If you've ever made it before than you know what I'm talking about. Here's my super-fast, super-easy, super-duper Pumpkin Pie recipe.

First, the ingredients:

1 pre-made pie shell
1 can pumpkin
1 can evaporated milk (4% is best)
2/3 cub sugar
2 fresh eggs
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnemon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of All-spice
Pinch of ground nutmeg

All you have to do is mix everything in a bowel really well. Pour it into the pie shell. Place in a pre-heated oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes; turn temperature down to 350 degrees and bake for another 45-50 minutes. You know pie is done when it firms up and you can stick a knife in the center and it comes out clean.

I usually place on a rack to cool and then toss into the fridge for an hour or so to really harden. Get out the whipped cream and it's pie time.

Enjoy! And Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Coney Island Cyclone

Sadly, this park and this ride will soon be turned into a Disney-style tourist zone. Get to Coney Island as soon as you can. The Cyclone is closed for the season, but the bumper cars are still going! Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 11, 2005

My Referral Link

Happy Birthday Orny!

Happy 35th B-day...Have a great set in Tahoe. Talk to you when you
get back to LA.

Looking For Camera Recommendations

I am in the market for a new digital camera. I've read all the
reviews on Amazon, DPReview, etc., but haven't found a clear winner
for the best DIGITAL point and shoot on the market now. If you have
any suggestions please post...

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Farm House Renovation

For what seems like 15 years...oh, wait it has been 15 years, my family has been renovating and remodeling our 125 year old farm house in Iowa. This is an areal view of our property. For a partial, but extensive photo historyof the project, check out this ongoing photo essay here:

The good news is that in the last few months, extensive progress has been made and we should have a new kitchen and bathroom by Christmas. Mom will be happy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Lightning Field

Do yourself a favor. Check out Walter De Maria's Lightning Field Web site. Get out your calendar. Plan a trip to Southwestern New Mexico and spend a few days in awe. Just don't tell too many other people about this special place. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Bathroom Graffiti Project

Who thinks the face drawn here is Woody or God? Take a look at the BETA launch of The Bathroom Graffiti Project and tell your friends to do the same! Go to for all the fun...

Other ways, you can help:

1) Submit your pictures of Bathroom Graffiti
2) Email your friends about the project
3) Join the BGP Sniper Team

Find out more at


Friday, September 09, 2005

33 Legends

In my mind, these are the greats. My 25 favorite (famous) legends. Although I only know these iconic figures through their work, their writings, film footage, and images of them, these are the characters who make me dream, the thinkers who make me think, and the names that immediately come to mind when I hear the word legend:

(This list is not in order...)

F. Scott Fitzgerald
Jack Kerouac
Bob Dylan
Steve McQueen
Chief Seattle
Mark Twain
JD Salinger
Federico Fellini
Noam Chomsky
Winston Churchill
The Marx Brothers (especially Harpo and Groucho)
Stanley Kubrick
Thomas Edison
Johnny Cash
Sun Tzu
Albert Einstein
Andy Warhol
Henry Cartier Bresson
Frank Lloyd Wright
Helmut Newton
Frank Gehry
Charles and Ray Eames
Charles Bukowski
Phillip Johnson
Martin Luther King Jr.
George Orwell
Ayn Rand and her character Howard Roark

Who are your favorites? Post here...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Delta Queen

Just a few week's ago, I had planned to post a recommendation note about the Delta Queen Steamboat Co. and its Mississippi cruises that run up and down the river every week. These beautiful ships are the only remaining traditional paddleboats that still run from New Orleans to St. Paul through America's Heartland. They are grand old ships and offer the perfect way to discover small-town America in style. Although I have not yet had the good fortune to take one of their river cruises, I have dreamed of doing so ever since reading Huck Finn. So after a recent dinner discussion about the river trips with my friend and world traveler Prof. Gerry Powers, I figured by posting it on my own blog, it would remind me to actually book a trip into my schedule.

That was three weeks ago.

Makes one realize just how quickly things change. And how big things impact little things. Only a few weeks later, the company, their employees and the waterway they call home were hit hard by Hurricane Katrina. Sadly, the boats are docked and all future trips have been cancelled at least through this year.

Like the communities along the gulf, the Mississippi is strong. The Delta Queen will be back. I look forward to supporting the great Delta Queen just as soon as it is up and running again.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Beautiful Hands

My good friend Dr. Nitin Mathur married the lovely Dr. Binita Mandal last weekend. This is an image of the bride's hands painted in henna for the ceremony. Good luck to you both!
Copyright Unity

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The "Everyone in Oxford, Iowa" Project (1984)

This image was shot by Peter Feldstein in 1984 as part of his "Everyone in Oxford, Iowa" project. My younger brother, Cayenne, was one of the few people who had a mohawk in Iowa at the time. This was the era of Mr. T and the A-Team...if you check out the other images, you will soon understand how pervasive the Iowa Haweye symbol was (and still is) in Iowa.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Prediction: The Small Town America Real Estate Boom

We've already seen the trends of Suburban Sprawl and Big City Gentrification. At the same time we have seen the near extinction of Small Town America as more and more people left the countryside in search of greater opportunity.

My prediction for the near future is quite different: the mass exodus away from smaller communities around America has peaked and over the next 10 years we will see an amazing real estate boom occur in thousands of "ghost-towns" across the USA.

Three significant changes in our society have made this possible:

1) Technology innovation: the ubiquitous availability and affordability of new Internet technologies (Web, Blogs, Email, IM, VOIP, Virtual Conferencing, E-Commerce, etc.) are making it possible for more and more knowledge and service workers to be able to work virtually from anywhere.

2) New distribution models:
a new distribution system makes it possible to easily move products anywhere, anytime. In addition to the Wal-Marts and Home Depots that have popped up to bring stuff to rural America, companies like FedEx, and Ebay have made it possible for the average American to have access to an efficient and cost-effective means to send, receive, and market goods from anywhere.

3) Space:
quite simply, rural America has the most space left. Big cities are expensive and cramped, and the burbs (which are already reaching into the countryside everywhere) are simply boring and bland.

While technology, distribution and space make this new shift possible, there are several trends that I believe will make it likely that a new boom occurs in the countryside near you:

1) The economy: it is way more expensive to live in or near a major metropolitan center or big city and consumers are demanding more for their shrinking incomes.

2) Corporate incentives: more and more companies are seeing that they can reduce operational expenses and increase productivity by having more of their employees work from home.

3) Family values: more families will want to move back near home to take care of their aging parents, or they will want to live in an environment more conducive to spending time raising children (just think – no commuting).

4) Education: depending on the particular community, many rural areas have stellar educational systems and can provide parents with a greater voice because there are simply less students.

5) Crime: there is less crime in rural America compared to major cities and suburbs.

So that’s my prediction. I’m already looking for buildings and land back near the farm where I grew up. You should too while the getting’s good…

Looking for wearable art? Buy a T-shirt...

Who would have thunk that something once as mundane as the T-shirt would become one of the most innovative and creative forms of fashion this millennium...?

The T-shirt market has been booming as its own category of fashion for a few years now. Trendy stores that sell nothing but T-shirts have been popping up everywhere including the American Apparel franchise which sells blank shirts, often to artists who slap their own designs on the shirts for resale. And according to an article this week in the Wall Street Journal ("By Accident or design, selling Tshirts ont he Web is big business"), many Web sites are generating hefty profits from selling T-shirts emblazoned with logos and humorous one-liners.

From hipsters and skate punks, to mall rats and college kids, today's Youth are crazy for T-shirts. We've all seen the shirts that chains like Urban Outfitters continue to pump out. But what are more fascinating to me are the artists and designers who are using T-shirts as an entirely new medium to display their work. Once confined by painting, photography or other more traditional media, more and more artists are creating Wearable Art. And more and more fashion designers are creating nothing but shirts. Legends such as Shepard Fairey (Obey Giant) have been doing this for years, and thousands of newcomers are now making a living selling their art via T-shirt distribution. Just this week I met the co-founder of Thank Theory who has an amazing line viewable at And yesterday I met David La Cross of Yes Laboratories in Brooklyn who is fusing currency, various patchwork and print silk-screens onto pre-washed T-shirts ready to wear. These guys are just an example of what's going on out there.

Do yourself a favor and check out what these innovators are up to and support your local artist: buy a T-shirt!

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Luna's Last Shows

Here's the set list from Luna's second to last show at Bowery Ballroom on February 27th. Their last shows were moving, fun, and melancholy all at the same time. Thank you Luna for thirteen years of great music and shows. I look forward to Dean and Britta. Visit for the next Act...
Copyright Unity

Central Park Gates

One of my images of The Gates in Central Park. February 24, 2005.
Copyright Unity

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

In Memory of My Beautiful Grandmother

My Grandmother passed away this morning at 8:30 AM central time. My mom was sitting by her side as Grandma let herself flow to another land, off to reconnect with the love of her life (Grandpa Stoakes) who passed away nearly 30 years ago.

Charlotte Stoakes, who would be 94 this August, lived a rich life. Like most things of quality and substance and style, she was paradoxically complex and simple at the same time. Born and raised in the center of Iowa, Grandma was a farmer, a homemaker, and best of all a Great Mother and Grandmother. As a farmer she dedicated her life to producing more than she used. As a homemaker, she baked fresh apple pie, tended to her geese and chickens, and sewed quilts for me and my brothers. As a mother and grandmother, she taught by example and shared her love and smiles and hugs to all around.

I have no way to prove it, and it doesn't really matter, except that it represents her character well, but it is very likely that Grandma never uttered a single swear word in her 93 years. There was no need - even when times got tough. Grandma was all about Gee Whiz, and For Heaven’s Sake. She was good to the core.

No stranger to adversity and challenge (like many from the “Greatest Generation”) she lived through many tough times: the depression, World War 1 and 2, Vietnam, and The Gulf War, etc. And back at home, deep in rural America, she even let a pack of fun-loving hippies (my mother being at the center of the group) create the Sunshine Farm on her land which should tell you something about her depth of tolerance, stamina, and experience.

My Grandma memories are endless. But mostly they all tell the same story: she was a good woman who sparkled with soul. To me, Grandma represents all that is good about America, about people, and about family. She was about honest hard work, the golden rule, the land, her community and her family. Simply put she was a giver, a faucet, a warm breathe of fresh air in any room.

The photo above is representative of her - always interested and eager to help, always smiling, always there, always glowing. Here you see her proudly watching mom make her Holiday Gravy recipe at my parents Oxford farm in 2001. Thankfully we will have her wonderful recipes and memories to share forever.

We miss you Grandma and thank you for all of the joy and life you have shared over the years.
Copyright Unity

Grandma Charlotte Stoakes shares her beautiful smile.
Copyright Unity

This Years' Basset Hound Litter Has Arrived

Click here to see more pictures and view details about this years' new litter of Basset Hound pups from the Stoakes-Hughes clan.
Copyright Unity

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Vonage Rocks!

Just got Vonage hooked up and it is absolutely amazing. As my old Professor Powers says: technology's great when it works! (Of course, he always says this in jest when something goes wrong as a result of technology).

Anyway, in case you've been curious about the service, I'm another fan. And if you've been thinking about making the switch to VOIP, let me know and I will shoot you a referral coupon so you can get a FREE month.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Seeing Further!

Take a peek at a new project underway by good friends James and Witzy. Read their blog at and watch their journey unfold as they build a new beach hotel in Buzios. See you soon guys!
Copyright Unity

Happy New Years!

Since I have been lame about sending out Holiday cards this year, I wanted to wish you a prosperous and Happy New Year.
Copyright Unity