Bonding with Transformers

My son, Mike, is obsessed with Transformers. Sometimes he calls me at work to ask me Transformer questions. “Hi Daddy. Hey, can Fortress Maximus beat up Optimus Prime?” We’ve been pulling out my collection and playing with them a few nights each week and Mike is amassing a little collection of his own. He’s watched the movies (both the cartoon and live action offerings) more times than me. All of this delights me.

Recently I decided it was time to start drawing with him. Now, I’m not some kind of super artist or anything, but I think a person should have some basic art skills. I bought us some markers (I recommend Prismacolor  markers- excellent in every way) and we decided to draw some Transformers. Mike picked Bumblebee for our first effort. I tried to teach him about seeing basic shapes in objects. I showed him how to pencil the design, ink and then color. I was thrilled that his little bumble bee drawing had shapes with volume and weren’t just little sticks! I helped him with the outline of his car, but he did all his wheels and windows and his own inking and coloring. We still have a ways to go, but I’m going to do this with him a couple of times a month and save everything in a book for him. I’m sure he’ll get better than me pretty quick.

Shedding the Clutter


This little shed is exciting to me for three reasons.

First: We can finally move the yard and garden equipment out of the garage. It was getting really cluttered and we didn’t have room for the important stuff like manly car tools and testosterone powered wood cutting machines. I’ve had my eye on some nice metal cabinets I want to put in the garage on “my” side that can hold my tools… that I plan to buy… when the cabinets go in… cabinets for the tools…  It’s a cyclical thing. Anyway, less stuff in the garage means more room… to put in more stuff… huh.

Second: We bought this shed at Costco last year. It sat unassembled on the side of our house for about 6 months. It’s really neat to have it sitting by the side of our house in an assembled state. Yep. All done.  Now it’s not a chore looming at some unforeseen point in the future “when I have time.” Moving on.

Third: I came home one afternoon and found Fran putting it together. I rolled up my shelves and took it apart. Then I put it back together the right way. Fran likes it when I do “husband stuff.” Plus I love to do these kinds of things for her when I get the chance to show off my mad skills (I can be hard to mobilize, I confess).

Anyway- now we’ve got a little space to stick our unsightly yard equipment. One day we might get a real shed (I like Andrew’s), but this will do for now. Plus it was only a two hour venture.

Work, Unwork and Rework


The new store has been an emotional journey in some ways. I spent a good part of the last night pulling out the shelves from the old storefront… the same shelves I spend over 3 months working on. I keep telling myself that they served their purpose and it’s time to move on. I still find the whole ordeal of undoing what took so long to initially do very depressing. Kudos to Steve for a good design though- it’s impressive to see the amount of work that went into the initial design and build as I disassemble things. Hopefully I’ll get the removal done in the next couple of days. We’ll use the room as a receiving area for our shipments and a photo studio and posting area for our pictures.


I take some comfort in the fact that the new store is coming along pretty well. Most of the wall shelving is finished and the BladeHQ stock is almost all moved over with plenty of room to spare. At least our space crunch has been alleviated. Now, if only there was a way to stop time.  We still need to finish all the counters (you can see a cute little mock-up in the picture on the right), but we’re still undecided about how to proceed. We removed $7,000 worth of glass from the old store and we’d like to find some way to use it.


And the silver lining of the expansion was that I finally got an office (it’s in the back of the new store).  It’s just right for me and Fran- I put in two corner desks, a shelf, a filing cabinet and a huge fake tree I found at Costco (the fake plants stay the urge to blow up my store).  Very cozy. Sadly Fran is only putting in about 6 hours a week right now so I don’t see as much of hr as I’d like. But I do get the office mostly to myself!

Retail Store Chore, Lore and More

Here’s a bit more on the retail front. I’ve posted a project status page on my retail website- you  can see it if you click HERE.  It’s a bit behind though- we’re well into the shelving stage now and have moved over most of our inventory. I’ll get some exclusive (wow!) pictures up in the next couple days. I just don’t have any free time right now.