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Product Images

I’ve been doing a lot of these lately. They’re made using container photos I’ve shot, combined with label pdfs.

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Baby Grand

It took about nine days of hard work (rebuilding a deck) and a 1400 mile round trip, now Breda has a beautiful piano.

Piano in Living Room

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00005 IN Box Zero

I heard the term “IN Box Zero” on a Freakonomics podcast. Is it a goal worth achieving or a waste of time?  There are too many in mine – 303 right now. 33 from today alone – yeow. Then again, a close friend has several thousand.

How many emails in your IN Box?

Stephen Dubner has produced several great Freakonomics podcasts recently, this one was titled How to Be More Productive.

 

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0004 The Empty IN Box

Its been months, took three hours to sort, delete and file – and this morning I visited an empty IN BOX! It had reached nearly 800 emails and was driving me crazy.

TODAY, I’ll unsubscribe to a dozen retail marketers. I don’t know why some of them think that daily, even multiple daily emails won’t eventually drive customers away. If I find a way to automate this email blitz, I’ll post it here.

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0002 Ugly No Name Beer Store

This voyage of discovery is tougher than I’d imagined. If you’ve just joined me – I’m trying to visit one new place a day. Yesterday I went to Huron Meadows Metropark.

I should explain. Last week, Bree and I had a delicious Italian meal at Ciao Amici’s, a charming little Italian Restaurant in Brighton. We chose to be seated outside, along the sidewalk. It was delightful and it occurred to me – I had never eaten at an authentic Italian Restaurant until this year! (Both times in Brighton).

It’s embarrassing that the only NEW destination I could think of was the ugly ass beer store on Dixie Highway over by Waterford Hill. Waterford is FLAT! Ironically, Waterford Hill is in Clarkston. We don’t even have OUR OWN hill! But, we have a hell of a lot of beer and liquor stores!

LIQUOR FINE WINE

This particular store, painted rhodamine red, has a sandwich-board sign boasting “Largest CRAFT BEER Selection”, which sounds interesting, I like beer. They have lots of beer, okay prices, lots of booze. I chose a six pack of Singapore IPA by Saugatuck Brewing Company, bought an instant lottery ticket. The guy at the counter was relatively friendly. I didn’t count the beers and can’t confirm or deny the Largest Selection thing. There’s a fitness center next door and you might sit in your car, drink your beer and watch the endomorphic women jog up and down the sidewalk, high-fiving each other.

I thought I’d do some research and find nice things to say about my town, which led me to city-data.com. The opening image. Asphalt.

Dixie Highway

Perhaps tomorrow I’ll break into a neighbor’s house (considering I’ve never been to the Waterford Jail). It took some hunting, but the ugly beer store does have a name: Reserve Spirits Fine Wine and Cigars.

I will try harder. There are bright spots nearby. Sorry for the lame post – just fyi, the lottery ticket was a $10 winner.

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0001 Huron Meadows Metropark

1920px-Huron_River_Michigan_map

We wanted to take a short hike and Huron Meadows Metropark turned out to be a real surprise. This 1500 acre park is just a couple miles south of Brighton. Interesting that you could throw a kayak or canoe in the Huron River and in a week or so paddle onto Lake Erie. News to me – the Huron River begins at Indian Springs Metropark (a few miles from my house) and 130 miles later, you’d be at the Lake Erie Metropark in Brownstown.

It was a nearly perfect, cool, sunny day and Bree and I hiked along wide cross country ski trails, then along a narrow foot trail through oak, hickory and beech woods, then made out on the edge of the Huron River. It’s good to be middle aged and in love. We saw only six or seven people the whole time and I wonder why people aren’t flocking to such a lovely park?

Now… I’m thinking – I could put in at Indian Springs, pick up Bree in Brighton and paddle to Lake Erie. In a month we’d go over Niagara Falls and make Manhattan by December.

I was inspired by the discovery and now wonder – would it be possible to visit a new place every day? I’ll ponder that question further in the future. Being an optimist, I’ve titled this entry 0001. My first consecutive day of discovery!

Map Image: “Huron River Michigan map” by Tim Kiser

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Navigating by cell phone…

I’d like to know – does anyone else out there ENJOY getting lost on a road trip? Does anyone else get a kick out of driving without a navigation system, seeing towns and cities without a planned route?

I turned off my phone while driving from Sandusky back to Waterford and took in the sights. It added a few hours but I saw people, houses, farms and industry.

Try it. Get off the interstate. Get lost and you might find yourself.

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Oh! Hello again… Ready for an epic, public failure. Again.

There’s a reason that this journal is called at least 27 things, its actually an understatement. I often feel I’ve got a hundred irons in the fire.

A year has passed since I left my steady job at the printing company and so much has changed. You’ll find me a much happier, relaxed and optimistic person. Having control of your day to day life is generally invigorating. There is no one to stop you from working in the garden all day – except yourself. I manage to stay focused about 90% of the time – mostly because I’m determined to do this for 10 – 15 years. I’ve had my hands on nearly 600 packaging projects and the gardens look better.

I’d like to make writing a habit, a daily activity that I enjoy – so here goes – I’ll have a one day streak when this is posted! My problem, which is common, is that I’d like to do everything PERFECTLY- or not at all. That’s a terrible character flaw. Anything worth doing is worth failing miserably, repeatedly, publicly. 

My aspirations for year two of Bennett & Bennett involve handling more of the production aspects of product packaging and expanding my photographic capabilities, i.e. buying a high end digital camera and lens. I’m starting tomorrow by visiting a digital label printing facility in Sandusky, OH and paying for the cool, carbon graphite, camera tripod I found on sale.

That’s three RISKS in one day.  A lot has changed in a year and taking these risks assures that much will change in the year ahead. So… Welcome back! Stayed tuned. I’ll  ignore my fears and be back tomorrow.

  

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It’s official – I am self employed!

Work is easy when you like and care about the clients. Thanks to Paul – my first client – a great friend and inspiration.

First Dollar 091114

 

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Adventures in Drawing 2×4 Furniture

I always start with a sketch, in this case a nice colorful sketch! I’d picked up some new art markers and wanted to give them a try.

My sketches are generally functional, with joinery details and a few measurements.

Sawhorse Sketch