Archives for March 2010

Lead on, Misty!

We’ve been dog-sitting this week.  I love having a dog around the house again.  Misty is a very sweet dog.  She is calm and rarely barks, though I’m try to get her to say “hello” when people visit.  The best part of her visit is her nightly walk.  Since there is no snow to shovel, it gives me (and Eliz) a little exercise.  We don’t walk too far, just a little over a mile around our development.  It gives Misty a chance to get out and do her business.  If it is still light out when we go for a walk, I’ll even run with her for a little bit.

Tonight was not a pleasant evening for a walk.  We waited until about 8:30pm to head out hoping the rain would be finished.  It wasn’t.  It wasn’t pouring, but it wasn’t a drizzle either.  It was also pretty chilly.  The wind chills were probably at or below freezing.  The worst part was the glare off the rain soaked street and sidewalk.  There were several times I had no idea where I was.  I was concentrating on the next step or two and not my surroundings.  At one point, early on, I was kind of worried.  We were just about passed a house and I heard dogs barking inside.  I thought we had already past the Norris’ house and there is no way that could be Sally or their other dog.  When I looked around to get my bearings, I had no idea where I was.  I knew I was still on our street, but it seemed so different.  The corner, where there is a street light, seemed so far away.  Misty stopped to sniff around and I was able to figure that we were about two-thirds of the way past the next house.  The street light still seemed far down the street, though it was only just past one more house.

Fortunately, Misty sticks pretty much to the sidewalk.  Since it was raining and a bit later, there weren’t any dogs out or wild life to distract her.  After we turned the corner, the street light’s glow faded behind us.  Again, all the houses looked the same.  It was from the glare of their front lights, I figured.  Once we crossed to the other side of the development, it was a little easier for me to see.  We didn’t stay over there long.  The rain and wind picked up and we (Eliz and I) decided to cut our walk short, to Misty’s disappointment.

On the way back, I tried to pay more attention to our location.  Once we got to our street, I felt more comfortable.  I even walked to the correct house (it is easy to spot, since one of our garage lights are out and our house is the only house on our side of the street where you see the garage before you pass the house.)  Once we got back inside, I noticed my vision seemed worse than when we left.  Maybe I strained them while out in the dark, rainy night.  Who knows, ’cause I don’t.  I’m kind of tired of it.  In a little more than two weeks, maybe things will get better.

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Trade Show Update

As you can see, I haven’t posted in awhile.  Eliz and I went to a trade show this past weekend up at the Sheraton Meadowlands.  We missed last years show because we were both sick, so I was looking forward to going this year.  I always enjoy listening to the sales pitches on why we should be carrying the company’s product or line of products.  I was especially looking forward to speaking to companies about getting their products on ForYourSalon.com – Professional Beauty Supplies and Salon Equipment For Your Salon.

Many of the companies we met with are ones that we’ve done business with in the past and have  currently on ForYourSalon.com, like Zotos, Marianna, and Satin.  For them, we just needed to order their new products and get artwork so that we can put the new stuff on the site.  Other companies we met with were those that we have some inventory, but haven’t gotten the products up on the site.  China Glaze, Fromm, and Mona Lisa Hair Accessories come to mind.  Then there are companies like Wm. Marvy Company.  We may have sold some of their items in the past, but we don’t have an inventory, but they have a product line that they will drop ship for us.  I love companies like that.  Their product line that I’m adding to ForYourSalon.com is barber poles.  It is a quality product that I don’t have to inventory.

It is nice talking business with manufacturers reps and other distributors, most of whom have been in the beauty biz for a substantial amount of time.  I always seem to learn something from these people.  Even the gung-ho, there-is-no-escaping-our-booth-without-learning-about-our-products sales peeps have tidbits of very useful information.  My favorite booth is always the Mona Lisa Clips booth.  The sales guy, who’s name I can’t recall at the moment, should be doing infomercials.  This year, he shared some ideas on selling his products and other similar products online.  He talked of calling the category Hair Management.  Hmmm, I thought.  HairManagement.com is just way too long, but HairMgmt.com isn’t.  It was a lightbulb moment.

We went back to our room and fired up a PC Margaret lent us and tried to get online.  One minute we were on, the next minute the page wouldn’t load.  We had enough time on to download FireFox, since the only web browser was the dreaded Internet Explorer 6.  It is not friendly to people like me with vision issues.  When we tried to run FireFox, we couldn’t get online at all.  After dinner, we called tech support to try and resolve our problems.  After an hour and a half, they told us there was nothing more they could do.  Turns out, it could have been the weather that night, but I’m not 100% on that.  The hotel refunded our money for the “high-speed” internet connection.  We then tried to use the complimentary computers the hotel has in the lobby.  It was like being back in the mid-80’s and on CompuServe with my 300 baud modem and my 8088 IBM-compatible computer built by Jim Conallen!  Each page load took between two and three minutes.  Eliz got as far as adding the domain to our cart and inputting the GoDaddy coupon code OYH7 to get the domain for $7.67 before the service went down.  (The next morning, I called Margaret — who stayed at our house with Meghan and our kids — and she completed the transaction.)

The only bad part about the show was my sight.  Eliz would tell me what booths we were passing and the items they had (if I didn’t know.)  She would also tell me if a person we knew was coming over to talk to us.  I can’t tell you how many times she had to tell me to shake a person’s hand because I didn’t see it extended.  That was the worst.  A close second was being in the hotel room.  Without a computer I could see (I don’t know why I just don’t say Mac) and the internet, I couldn’t research the items we saw on the show floor.  I couldn’t see what sites sold what products for what price.  It was like flying, uh, blind.  Eliz would go through the brochures and read me some of the things she felt was important.  I was so miserable, I’m surprised she didn’t throw me out of our eighth floor hotel window (with the wind that night, I would have had greater hang time than a Sean Landetta punt across the street at what was Giants Stadium.)

My sight continues to worsen.  By the end of the day, it is so bad I hate to write emails to customers for fear of embarrassing mistakes (forgive any typos here for 24 hours, please.)  I have also hesitated adding products to ForYourSalon.com.  I don’t want to sell one of those new Marvy barber poles for $4.99 instead of $499…  Surgery is only 27 days away, but I wish it was tomorrow.  I’ve always been told to be careful what you wish for, but I’ll take my chances on this one.

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Surgery No. 14 is Set

Over the past 10 days, I’ve been to three different doctors.  I’m starting to feel like my parents.  The most important of the three was two days ago.  My appointment was with Dr. Ayres, the one who did the partial cornea transplant (DSEK) in December 2008.  He thought that the cataract I’ve had in my left eye for sometime could be the culprit in my steadily worsening vision, but he sent me to Dr. Garg, a retina specialist, to rule out a retina issue.  Dr. Ruffini also thought I should consider having the cataract removed.

I was not looking forward to another surgery on my left eye until things started going downhill in July.  The problem was, none of the doctors knew what was causing the problem.  The cataract didn’t seem much worse than a few months earlier, if at all.  After going from one specialist to another, it was determined it wasn’t a glaucoma issue or a retina issue.  Lets just hope it is the cataract that is the issue.

I’m having the cataract removed on 15 April (so I guess I’ll send our taxes in early…)  There is also a possibility that I’ll have another DSEK (endothelial transplant.)  The donor endothelia will be in the OR, just in case.  Evidently, removing the cataract risks damaging my now 70 year old endothelia (along with the other common risks associated with this in most people and specific risks for unique individuals, such as myself, with other eye issues.)

I am disappointed that I have to wait that long for the surgery.  I joked with Dr. Ayres that I was ready to have it yanked on Wednesday.  I’m sure I have been less than pleasant to be around at home.  Tonight, I was home alone while Eliz, the kids, and a few of Jane’s friends went to see Alice in Wonderland — I miss going to the movies.  My frustration level is high and it takes me so long to do many basic things.  I am so ready to get the cataract out, it is hard not to get excited.  I’m trying to temper the excitement, since it only leads to disappointment after the surgery (at least after the last three.)

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