Saturday, August 20, 2011

Backstage Pass!

Behind-the-scenes. Finally!

I returned to my native Charleston in '93 and discovered the MUSIC FARM about 3-4 owners ago.

Have attended shows there for years and years.

Working at the paper, I really had no reason - or justification - to request a Media Pass.

I retired 7 years ago and started writing this blog a few years later.

I enjoy a local trio THE DEFILERS and their Punkabilly/country sound.

Arleigh Hertzler, guitar & lead vocals, was great playing at The Mill but I can't take all the cigarette smoke there.

He said "Chuck, we're playing The Music Farm in August."

I put it on my calendar.

Arleigh arranged for me to come up the stairs and enter the Green Room where many of my favorite players hung out.

I looked out the window, down at the stage. Just as Robert Randolph and Jimbo Mathus had done.And Little Feat and Acoustic Syndicate.

I passed on through (it really IS painted green) and quietly went down the backstage stairs.

Stickers were plastered all around of other bands who had played Charleston.

Painted arrows pointed the way back to the Green Room or out to the stage. Often this area is darkened and lighted only by a stagehand with a small flashlight, directing performers.

I peeked around the corner and stuck out my camera.

Awesome view.

It certainly was worth the wait. Thanks Arleigh.

Play well.

(Click on the photos for more detail. Welcome to the Backstage Tour.)Listen responsibly (ear protectors!)Thanks for humming along. Come back soon.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Good news and bad news...

Well, the oil change thing turned out good.

The fine people at TIRE KINGDOM in Mt. Pleasant looked at my coupon, good for a $17.99 service and said "Hey, we have a coupon online that will save you even more."

And they did. And it did.

In addition to changing the oil, adding tax and disposal fees, topping off all the car's fluids, rotating the tires and totally checking out the car, the total was $18.05. Wow.

Not only that, they have a hallway from their waiting room right into a Starbucks. Sweet.

So, riding high from this exchange, now I find I'm battling TWO banks.

Circle the wagons, Pilgrim, we're surrounded by people who want to mess with us.

Each month, one bank routinely ignores the password I use. Same password every month. Gets bounced.

Today it also did not recognize my computer. Same computer for almost two years.

Then, of course, it shut me out because I had tried too often.

I have a call in to my "personal banker."

The other bank pays good interest on MY money but it decides the hoops and hurdles I have to overcome to earn it.

So many transactions in a certain amount of days. BUT, they keep track of the "allowable" days that are credited.

Oops, we disagreed on one of the days. They say I was a day short. They kept the interest.

I have a call in for that "personal" banker too.

(Click on the pictures to see gigantic enlargements!) When clipping coupons, don't forget to check online too. Stuffing your money into a mattress gives you a comfortable feeling no banker ever has.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Not Exactly Chump Change....

My 5-year old car needs some attention.

Well, they aren't even making my Saturn Ion anymore!

It was under an extended 5-year warranty (the pay-extra-to-extend-total-coverage) until the first of the year. Of course, the day that ended I expected trouble to start.

Not at all. It's been a fine car.

It was my first NEW car since I pushed a 1973 VW Super Beetle out of the new car showroom.

The mileage is low since I'm retired but it still needs to have the oil changed.

Notice the sign suggests I ask for details. That hint is in much smaller letters.

Had not really shopped around yet so I drove in and was told it would be "about 45 minutes wait for an oil change.

I had a novel with me so no problem there. "So it'll be $17.99, right?" I asked for details.

"Yes. IF you pay with our company credit card, otherwise, the regular rate applies."

Counting a $3 charge for oil disposal (Isn't THAT what they do?) and taxes, it actually would cost about $34.95

I did not have their credit card nor did I want one.

I drove home to start some comparison shopping.

Apparently the LARGE price is not the best way to sort out who is going to change your oil.

You know the dealer would charge more - well, if I still HAD a dealer.

Reading the tiny, tiny small print I see some offer 5 quarts of oil and others will give you 6. Disposal fees are $2.50 or $3.00.

Oh, you want REAL oil, not synthetic? Sure, but that good stuff runs a couple of dollars more. (Does OPEC know we can make fake oil?)

I see some will rotate your tires. For free.

Better ask for details.

(Click the images to see more detail. The small print still will be small though.) I once saw a sign that offered to change your radio push buttons for $1. Each?
Thanks for stopping by. Check your brakes.

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Good Shot(s)!

A new restaurant bar named HoM has opened on upper King Street - in the 500 block - near Cannon Street.

One thing that sets it apart from all the has two professional ping-pong tables in the back.

Not pool tables, but Forrest Gump-style paddle and little white ball set ups.

These are not the spindly legged shaky tables we all have seen in basements and rec centers.

The real deal. Sturdy. And there are LARGE graphics hanging on the wall.

At this particular table, you hear "Good shot" said aloud often.

On the way there, I had passed a quiet softly-lighted fire station on Cannon Street.

I had grown up on Society Street a block from the similar-looking station on Meeting at Wentworth Street.

After I left the Ping-Pong Bar, I was walking back to my car, aware that it was a nice slightly warm evening in a quiet neighborhood.

But, when all the red lights started flashing, I knew these firefighters were headed out on a possible emergency.

Unfortunately, they often have to make house calls.

I snapped a quick shot and wished them a safe evening.

(Click on pix for details.) Whoever chose that graphic above the table had a sense of humor.

Daunting. Dirty Harry-ish.

Play responsibly and stop by again.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Back in the day...

I have worked with - and for - advertising agencies.

There, I'm not ashamed to admit I tried to convince people they needed to buy something.

Actually I had a client even BEFORE I joined an agency in Florida.

A wealthy local businessman wanted to be a professional race car driver and somehow he hired me to find him a sponsor. Or several if possible. Racing is 'spensive.

First step was create a brochure that explained what we were selling, what the benefits of being his sponsor were and, finally, what it cost.

This is the cover of the folder I developed to combine racing and business.

Unfortunately, he was a better business owner than driver. He NEVER finished a race so a sponsor would not see his name on the car at the front of the pack.

That's a tough sell but he was a nice guy.

After I did join a small agency, one of my clients was the North County Fair and they challenged me - the new guy - to come up with something different.

Well, sure.

Rides, animals, 4-H, cotton candy, family, balloons, wholesome fun.

Mix all that together and you come up with a vivid colorful piece of cross stitch (needlepoint?) art.

Wish I had taken a better shot of the huge billboard. Looked sweet!

I have seen my share of advertising ideas and unusual promotions.

One memento I treasure is a Life Time Membership card I was awarded when I retired from the newspaper.

It was an ad man's ideal dream. A value that continues to generate goodwill.

Something you show your friends.

This is so great THEY want one.

The clerk taking the card is impressed.

People nearby watch in awe as the card is run through the machine.

You hear a little murmur of envy from the crowd.

What a concept!

A friend - a customer - for LIFE!

What could go wrong?!


(Click on these old photos and they MIGHT get larger. But, probably not. That was old technology.) Read ads, clip coupons and go shopping. Don't buy groceries when you're hungry. Thanks for stopping by.

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Saturday, August 06, 2011

Let There Be Light(s)....(a "sample" ad)

Do you need an 8-foot long light for your shop or garage? I found four very old ones and they're $10 each. As is.

I've cleaned them up a bit but you probably will want to spray a coat of white paint on before you wire them up.

The two 75watt bulbs are NOT included.

Hey...$10 each to light up your life.

My dad probably brought these back to his shop in the 1970s when he was remodeling and retro-fitting drug stores. He installed a string of them to light his own workspace.

These four he stashed in a corner, out of sight, behind something. I just spotted them, stacked neatly.

Somebody called and asked if they had reflectors (no), if they were wired with a plug-in (no)and were they ready to use (no).

I reminded him these things sell for $80 or $90 online at Tru-Value and And the bulbs are not included there either.

Another guy said a friend had told him about these. Wanted to know if the red, green and yellow still worked??

Seems he was looking for STOP lights.

(Click on the images to see more detail). This is a typical ad I compose to help sell items I find in my Dad's old workshop or around the house. Click on the link to see others. A picture in an ad makes it much more effective! Thought I would just show how my blog helps me sell things. Thanks. Shop responsibly.

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