What’s Your Big Idea?

Photography today is amazing. When I got married a thousand years ago, one of our first major purchases at the time was a Canon AE1 35mm camera. Film of course. Over the years, that camera recorded numerous milestones, triumphs, and simple family pleasures.

Now, years later, photography has advanced well in to the digital age and buying a good quality camera no longer requires the expense it once did. Not to mention, you don’t have to pay for developing film. Which means guys like me can carry a camera all the time and record whatever strikes us at the moment with no thought of cost.

I’m always on the lookout for design ideas, potential customers, interesting logos, or things that make me laugh. The other day I was heading over to Subway to grab a sandwich and as I headed towards the office door I passed my digital SLR camera sitting on the counter. Should I take it? Geez, the local Subway was just 2 minutes away. Why bother? Ah, what the heck. I grabbed the strap of the camera and headed out.

As I pulled in to the parking lot at the sandwich shop, I saw a pretty well worn van parked out front. I smiled when I saw this bumper sticker.

I thought, now that would make a great t-shirt! What about you? Have you got an idea for a t-shirt. If you’re in Grand Rapids, you should stop by the shop. If not, feel free to call or email Ad-America. It just might be less than you think to put a smile on someone else!

Can I Take A Picture of That?

As I mentioned in the previous post, I enjoy woodworking.  The consequence can sometimes be a wood screw in a tire.  Well, I noticed one of the Michelins was low this past weekend, took a look and sure enough.  A very well worn phillips head was looking back at me from the center of the tire.

No problem.  I figured I’d swing by the tire store where I bought them, work on my ‘do-list’ while they worked on the tire, and catch up on a few favorite podcasts.
It wasn’t long before I had the legal pad filled with projects and a young man named Earl came in to the waiting room…”Kelly?”  “Yes, that’s me.”  “Sir, your vehicle is all set.  We pulled the screw out, plugged that hole, and then rotated your tires.  Your vehicle is running and ready to go.”

As I took the papers, he asked me, “Do you mind if I use my phone to take a picture of that paper taped to your dash?”

“Sure, go ahead,” I told him.  He dashed outside, ran around the front of our yellow Ad-America Xterra, leaned in over the driver seat and snapped his picture.  As I walked up to the truck, he said, “It turned out great!  Thank you!”

“Well, Earl” I said, “Good luck and good success!”  He smiled and we shook hands again.  As I climbed in to the truck to head back to the office, I looked down at that piece of paper to remind myself of what I needed to work on.

What message was so important a tire mechanic would want to capture it on his cell phone camera?

“The successful person has developed the habitof doing things failures don’t like to do.”

I suspect Earl will be branching out.

Are You In A Vortex?

This past weekend I bought a nice little contraption to go on top of a 5-gallon bucket to suck up wood shavings.  Let me explain.  I enjoy woodworking from time to time in the garage, and one thing woodworkers do is generate sawdust and wood shavings.  Sometimes, a lot of sawdust and shavings.

There are some pretty nice cyclonic vacuum units with a price tag to match to suck up all this mess.  You’ve probably seen huge cyclonic units on the outside of buildings.  They look like a big funnel with a chute at the bottom where the debris drops.

The way they work is amazingly simple.  There’s a tube at the top of the funnel hooked to a powerful vacuum.  So, this tube creates a vacuum inside the funnel.  There’s another tube connected at an angle to the side of the funnel near the top.  This tube is connected to the hose lines that are used to suck up the debris.  Are you following me?

What happens is this.  The top tube creates the vacuum in the funnel. The debris gets sucked up by the tube on the side of the funnel, near the top.  The debris gets sucked into the funnel and goes round and round, hence the name, ‘cyclone’ and ultimately the heavier particles, like wood shavings fall to the bottom of the funnel where they fall in to a waste bin.

The little plastic contraption I bought?  Well, it snaps on to a 5 gallon bucket, and my portable shop-vacuum to basically do the same thing for about $20.00

My question is this.  As the first quarter has closed, and all those resolutions are forgotten, do you sometimes feel like your life is getting sucked up with all the debris and minutiae  going round and round, until finally, it all settles in to a box.

Maybe now would be a good time to think about what you’re doing and why.  Seek out the joy we can all bring to each other in our jobs and try not to sweat the small.  After all, in the end, it’s all small stuff.