Friday, November 28, 2008

Of course Portland would not be the nice easy getaway that I was hoping for. On Wednesday, RO found a hutch at an antique mall that he said was too great of a deal to pass up. However, we took the train to Portland, so we couldn't take the hutch with us. However the mall needed the space and was unwilling to let it sit for a week.

We ended up renting a one-way from U-Haul and skipping the train ride back.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mathew and I had dinner together. I wanted to see if I could help Sandy and he smooth things over. I'm not sure they have any relationship left to smooth over. They both have issues that affect the other and neither cares enough to make amends.

Essentially, relationships only work because you put the work into them. If you don't do that, then you have nothing.

RO and I are heading down to Portland for a few days. Taking the train and staying at a nice hotel.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Last night RO and I went to see a musical put on by a local high school. K, one of the store's employee's, here daughter is in the musical.

Well... they certainly don't make high schools like they used. This school auditorium had very comfy seats and a great sound and lighting system.

A few of the songs were very well done. The co-ordination was also strong as at least one hundred students were on stage at times, singing, dancing, performing.

But, there were weak spots.

At intermission, when K asked DR what she thought, DR responded "This is the work thing I've had to sit though in my life! It's so irritating." She went on much longer than that.

There were microphone glitches. A wireless mic on one of the lead singers kept making loud popping noises and cutting out.

Several of the leads just sang poorly.

At there was too much transtion and it was too long-- three hours long.

Oh well.

Monday, November 17, 2008

For the first time in a long time RO and I took a full day off. We went to the Cougar Mountain Zoo. It's a small zoo, but very none-the-less, very nice.

We also walked through Gillman Village-- a little shopping center in Issaquah. Gillman Village was depressing. Many shops were closed for good.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Last night we filmed our first TV commercial for the store. A suprizing number of our customers wanted to be in it as a result, the commerical has 15 extras.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

And things get better.

So far in November, sales at our store are just as good as they were in November 2007. I hope it's not a fluke. But, the new president seams to have calmed our customers nerves.

I am very thankful for this. October was very bad. Sales were down 60%. If things hadn't picked up then we would have needed to lay people off at the worst possible time-- just before Christmas when we need them most.

All is not perfect however. The money we lost in October meant that we couldn't buy an important shipment of inventory.

But still. We will surivive 2008.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I am happy with the election-- especially with Congress and the House. Republicans retained enough seats that they can filibuster. The Democrats may have swept the elections, but 46% of the population still voted Republican. The ability to filibuster should ensure that their voice is heard.

I like checks and balances. Especially against people who want to govern me.

As for Obama himself-- we'll see. In some ways he has been handed a stacked deck. Due to the timing of the market crash, any improvement to the economy will be attributed to him. O's bar for success is low-- make the economy suck less. Compare that to W. who was handed peace, soaring markets and a strong economy. W's bar for success was "Make the worlds best country even better." A very tall order for anyone.

My biggest beef with W-- he was too reactive. Yes a lot of shit happened on his watch; shit that he had no control over-- 9/11. the market crash of 2002, Katrina, terrorism, but he didn't handle these situations in a way that inspired confidence.

He's also made it very hard for any new president to control the debt. When you use over a trillion dollars in debt to finance the war on terrorism and another $700 billion for a bank bail out, you create the impression that you can solve any problem by throwing money at it. That is not responsible. It ignores the future-- the inevitable inflation that too much money creates and the interest that must be paid on the debt, forcing taxes to rise in the long run.

It will now be impossible to fix Social Security by cutting costs or boosting revenues. After you use $700 billion in debt for a bank bail out, refusing to go in debt for an additional $500 billion to fix social security would get you booted out at the next election.

Thanks to this charge-it mentality, there will now be no debate on fixing Social Security. We will silently add its costs to the national debt.

So, I'm not expecting Obama to return to the smaller government, fiscally conservative polices of the 90's . His hands are tied.

In any event, I still have to run my business like no one cares for it but me. I don't get to generate debt on demand. Every month we survive it's because we earned enough to pay the bills. That's the most regretable part of this election and of politics right now. We may be in historic times, but I can't waiste time thinging about it, dwelling on it. Keeping the store open and running it profitably is the thing that matters most to me.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

One of the quirks of sending out 5000 postcards is that many will be returned to you; usually because the address is wrong.

This time we are getting post cards back for a new reason-- "Return to Sender. Address is Vacant. Unable to Forward."

It's sad and scary.
We went out for Halloween. A friend of our invited us over to watch a scary movie and then to hit a local club.

We'll, it turned out he had made costumes for all of us. Little Bo Peep. Three Sheep. Little Red Riding Hood and a Wolf.

RO was the Wolf. I was a sheep.

It was fun and crazy.

We won second place at the club's costume contest. $250.00! Not each, but for the group.
For the first time in a long time, the store is having a busy day. It's a combination of many little things.

We are advertising much more-- post cards to all our customers and local TV ads on HGTV.

I moved one of our big store signs today. Construction next door had cut off it's view from the road. I moved it to another side of the building where it has a good view of a different road. Or, rather, the road has a good view of it.

I think the shock of the market collapse and the bank bailout is over. People are now a little more comfortable spending some spare cash without worrying that their bank would collapse.

Finally, it's started raining regularly. People from Seattle don't like to stay indoors when it's sunny. When the rainy season hits, at first they will stay at home. After a few weeks, they start to venture again.

This Christmas can't come too soon.