Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Need a graphic designer?

Check out Stephanie Greewald at Greenwald Designs. If/when I update all my marketing materials, I'll definitely use her services. FANTASTIC work. A sample:

Department of "Labor?"

Just took a load to the Department of Labor. Lots of guys just sitting around at the loading dock. Lol.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Here's an odd one...

I enter an elevator--with a couch--and an old miner follows me in. No, he probably wasn't actually a miner, but he looked like someone named "Cooky" and he's adamant there's gold in them thar hills.

Anyway, completely un-prompted, he tells the story of his buddy who works at the Smithsonian who has a pine cone that looks just like, in his words, "a turd." With great gusto, he recounted how his friend would put the pine cone in his pants while on his rounds, and then, in a crowd of people, grunt and shudder until the pine cone fell out of his pant leg.

Cooky thought this story was hilarious. My customer and I looked at each other as though the elevator opened to Wonderland, and I could tell he was also holding his breath. Whiskey fumes, I think it was, filled the elevator.

When the door opened we went our separate ways.

I don't think I'm going to the Smithsonian for awhile...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Wow

I've done 37 moves this month. 37. Thirty-seven.

That's a lot of moves.

In other news, I've lost 20 pounds since December.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sweet irony

So, yesterday I had to return the pants my buddy left in my truck.

Hmm...that came out wrong. Let me explain...

One of my TRUCK BUDDIES who HELPS ME WITH LARGER PROJECTS left his CHANGE OF CLOTHES in my truck. I'm referring to Stu, whose picture and bio you may now view on the MyTruckBuddy.com staff page. Stu works for the organization I worked for until recently. Despite his traitorous allegiance to said organization, from which I was laid off with about a dozen others, I still value him as a trusted partner and buddy.

Anyway, he left his work clothes in my truck, so I kindly offered to bring them by the old office.

The receptionist let me in without much more than a glance. (So much for security--I'm, as Limbaugh says, a harmless, lovable little fuzzball. But I am a former employee who was laid off with no more than five minutes of notice). I ran up there, met Stu in his office, and dropped off his clothes. We "duded it up" for a minute, as my wife says, and I headed back toward the front door. That's when I heard the voice of the organization's president.

I paused. This guy is like many men who've built an organization up from nothing--in his case, with just a rented closet of an office and a rented computer and VCR. Now it's a $12 million dollar organization. He's brusque, intimidating, no-nonsense, and the object of scorn for quite a few people in Washington on the other side of the political fence. In other words, a kind of guy I can respect, but one who it's no fun to work for. While in his employ I was a writer. Not a particularly good writer, but not particularly bad, either. But this man is a relation to one of Washington's celebrated literati, a man known and respected for his mastery of the English language. In fact, my former boss studied under that giant. Once, my boss called me into his office to rip something I wrote to shreds. He did, however, leave one paragraph which he said was "quite good."

Anyway, I heard this man's voice and I paused. But then I caught myself and thought "What the hell am I nervous about? What's he going to do now...fire me?"

So, I just walked around the corner into his view, said "Howdy," and started down the stairs. He and a vice president were joking around, and as I passed by he yelled down the stairwell, "Anybody who gets me a bailout gets a bonus!"

To the man I could barely ever muster a few feeble words while looking at my feet, I said, "I don't think the government gives bailouts to organizations like this!" (That would have been funnier if I could elaborate on the character of the organization).

He was somewhat confused about how or why I was in the building, but I don't think he recognized me. "I'll give you a bonus if you get me a bailout!"

Funny. "I'd rather have a salary, if it's all the same to you," I said.

He snickered and I went down the stairs.

Hey, I thought it was funny.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Some pics from Lucketts Store

I said I'd add some pics from Lucketts Store, and here they are. This is all I got, though. I felt weird bringing my camera in there like I was some kind of photojournalist, so, I took these pics with my phone's camera. All the rest were crap. But, you can see some of the inventory they have:






That hutch is only $425 or so, by the way. Me and TJ, one of MTB's main moving dudes, both thought it was a really good deal for such a nice piece.

Perhaps I should mention that I don't often go "antiquing" with my guy friends. Or by myself. Or with "girlfriends." We had to go to Lucketts Store for very manly reasons--the lifting and delivering of two GIGANTIC bookcases to McLean. It involved heavy lifting and grunting and smashed fingers WITH BLOOD. So what if we were excited about lovely home furnishings. You got a problem with that?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Marketing ideas...

The other day we had one of those "snow storms" that shuts down the city. I didn't have any moves scheduled that day, so I figured the conditions would be perfect to try out a marketing idea I had.

It was really simple--I'd just show up somewhere with some cookies and hot chocolate, give them out for free, and hand out some cards.

Well, I picked the big hill at the Masonic temple for the location. In retrospect, I should have realized it might not have been optimal. Yes, I did hand out some cards, and that was good, but the vast majority of the cookies and hot chocolate I gave out went to kids. And, as we all know, kids are notoriously bad tippers--if they have any money to pay for goods and services in the first place.

Next time--a better, more adult location. Not to mention that it's probably never a good idea to park your vehicle where kids congregate to hand out treats.

Oy.

Anyway, here are some pics of that frigid day.


Introducing the MTB Total Body Stimulus Plan!

This morning a regular customer of mine (she runs a European linens business) looked me up and down and said, "You've lost weight."

Hmm...

Yes, I suppose I have. None of my pants seem to fit anymore, and when I cinch up my belt, it scrunches them up so as to look like a denim bag wrapped around my waist. On the plus side, I've got pretty good biceps and pecs for a naturally small guy. I may not look like much, muscle-wise, but I assure you, there's something there. If you doubt it, I'll crush your head with my pecs of destruction.

Anyway, that got me thinking. I probably have 2-3 entrepreneurial ideas every day, but I never have the time to act on them. THIS one is actionable right now, though.

Here it is--it's very simple.

Want to lose weight? Come work for me. I'll put you on a weight-loss regimen that'll burn fat, build muscle, and tone you. Best of all, it's ALL NATURAL. Exercises include:

The armoire lift.
The sleeper sofa shuffle.
The entertainment center heft.
And many more...

Want to burn fat? I'll get you to do the "long haul." This basically means carrying an item 100 yards or more. Some movers charge extra for this, it's so effective.

Looking for a full body workout? I'll put you on the advanced program--The armoire lift, down stairs, and walk it 50 yards or more.

I guarantee that at the end of my program, you'll look great, feel great, and will no longer have to put up with meaty jocks kicking sand in your face at the beach, as is my understanding of such things.

You get all this for the low-low price of $40 per hour. You show up to the job site and we'll get you started right away.

Hurry up and call. Space in the MTB Total Body Stimulus Plan is limited!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Still here...

Actually, no, I'm not still here. I've been out on the road so much lately (thank you very much, DC area customers) that I barely have time to shower and change my pants, much less blog. Seriously, yesterday was the third straight day I wore the same pair of cargo shorts. Thankfully I'm getting so strong that I don't actually sweat.

Heh, well, sort of.

Anyway, I've been hearing rumors that people actually READ this blog. (Hello, you in Colorado! I've always loved your state. I saw the pope there about twenty years ago. On a less holy trip, I went to the Springs and got a little bit wrecked. Yeah, just a little...) So, I'll be sure to offer some interesting content. If you read it, I owe it to you to write it. It's our special relationship.

Speaking of interesting content, I'm headed to Luckett's Store today. I'm more excited than a grown MAN should be about an antique store, but what can I say? I was raised by my artsy mom and grandma the first three years of my life. You don't get out of THAT without at least a little touch of artistic appreciation. Hell, I was going to Michaels craft store for years to get supplies for faux column painting and...

Never mind.

Pictures later!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Unemployment over 8 percent

The new jobs report just came out, and unemployment is now up over eight percent. This is the worst it's been in two decades, according to ABC.

I'm not sure what to think about this. Being unemployed (if you look at it one way), I don't have a lot of time to reflect on this crappy state of the union. Heh.

I choose to look at it another way, though. Getting laid off right before Christmas was one of the best things that could have happened to me. As long as I had a great health care plan and regular paychecks, I probably could have gone on forever as a happy consumer managing "just enough" credit card debt. But when you're thrust out into the snow without much more than the shirt on your back, you have to get creative. Especially if you have a family to provide for.

All my life, I told myself that I couldn't do this or that. Being laid off has shown me that I can do almost anything. And if I can do it, anyone can.

So, chin up, my unemployed brethren and sisteren! Don't get down. Turn off the TV and roll up your sleeves (assuming you still have a shirt with sleeves). Time to reconnect with that long-eschewed "can-do" American ingenuity.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Go to Lucketts Store

I'm really late in blogging this, but I found a real gem of an antique store just outside of Leesburg, VA. It's called Lucketts Store, and from the outside it doesn't look like much. But inside you'll find all kinds of cool stuff. It's definitely worth the trip. Check out the link if you want old/modern/useful furniture, etc. They call it "vintage hip," and that's spot on. They have some kind of design show the first weekend of every month.

Like I said, check it out. Their Website is pretty cool, too.

Lol @ "Survival Jobs"

I just heard a news item talking about "survival jobs." It was short, but I got the point--lots of people are taking jobs to survive. Laid-off executives are holding their chins high and getting their hands dirty for the first time in years. They're "proud of the work they do," and probably feel close to the "common man."

All I can say is "welcome to the club." Here's a Budweiser for you. None of that light crap. And I'm sorry, but we don't serve Manhattans here. Lol

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Happy Birthday, son!

Already one year old today. Wow.

I'm posting this here because he is, after all, the impetus behind MTB.com. When we found out Joe was in the stork mail, that's what woke us from our comfortable consumer slumber. We went from being merely paycheck-livers to entrepreneurs.

So, thanks, Joe. I'll put a little something extra in your allowance when you finally get one in 15 years or so. Of course, by then, that'll have to be chickens because American currency will be useless, but still--chickens.