It’s Been a Few Weeks, Not Much New

I haven’t posted an update for about three weeks.  In that time, my vision still sucks and I’m wondering if I made the right choice to have the surgery.  I visited the retina specialist on Tuesday and was told that there isn’t much difference on the macular edema from the last visit about a month ago (and that was only slightly different from earlier this year.)  Seems a bit odd since during my appointment in May, he was able to point out the differences with my OCT scan then and the one earlier this year.  I was also told that I had a bit of swelling in my cornea (cornea edema.)  I don’t recall if that was an issue at my last cornea doc visit, but I’m scheduled to visit him this coming Tuesday (22 June,) so I’ll ask.  At this point, my vision seems to fluctuate between slightly better than before the surgery to worse than before the surgery.

It is so frustrating to me that nothing can be done to get me back to where I was just days after the surgery.  For about 10 days from 18 April, my vision was the best it had been in years.  Seems now like that was a cruel tease.  I’m getting tired of running to the doctors multiple times per month and not making progress.

In other news, Jacob is in Japan with a group of students from Westtown.  The last few days they’ve stayed in Kyoto and taken day trips by rail to other cities and sites (Hiroshima, Miyagima-guchi, Miyagima, Kinkaku-ji.)  Sunday, they move on to Tokyo where they meet their host families and prepare for a week at Tamagawa, Westtown’s sister school in Japan.  The family Jake is staying with has a boy a year or two younger than Jake and seems to live a bit of distance away from the school.  Eliz and I hope Jake can manage the train transfers…

Jane is looking forward to meeting her favorite band All Time Low on Sunday at meet and greet during The Bamboozle Roadshow.  Monday, she heads to softball camp at Villanova for a week.  She is also doing two weeks at an overnight camp at Bryn Mawr College in July and going to the Outer Banks in August with Margaret, Meghan, and Chris.  Did I mention she spent yesterday (Thursday) in New York with her friend Rachel?

Since Eliz and Jane won’t be here on Sunday, I’m planning a day of football…  Well, at least the last two games (Azzurri/All Whites and Brazil/Ivory Coast (sorry Slovakia/Paraguay, I’m not rolling out of bed at 7.30am.)  So, if you want to watch some footie, come on over!

Finally, I’ve lost another pound, which I am trying not to do.  I’m trying to maintain 163 pounds, but have been between 161 and 162 the last couple of days.  I’ve bumped to 1800 calories per day (from 1700) to try not to lose any additional weight.  It’s been tough this week, because we’ve eaten out four times and I’ve had to estimate my calories once and calculate my calories after the fact another time.  By the time I added ’em up, I was short by 200 calories (ate 1600 calories) and it was too late to have anything else if I wanted to go to sleep by 2.00am.  At 161, I’m down 73 pounds since I started on 10 December 2009.

More next week, after my cornea doc appointment.

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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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My First Post of the New Year!

Okay, so you knew that title was coming.  The last two weeks or so have been a blur (even more so than normal for me.)  We have put in so much time packing our inventory, shelving, equipment, and everything else and moving it to our much smaller warehouse and even our house.  It hasn’t helped that Eliz has had to it without much use of her left arm (she broke it on 23 Dec when she slipped off the final step of a step stool.)  She has managed to do a great job, especially backing our truck into the loading dock.

We wouldn’t have been able to get everything out as quickly as we did without a ton of help from Eliz’s sister Margaret and her husband Chris, along with Frankie, Michael, and Frank.  It is hard trying to pack stuff up and move it while also trying to help customers and ship orders placed online.  It will take us another week or two to get everything out of boxes and onto shelving units.  It is kind of tough right now when get orders.  Eliz was able to find all the products for the nine orders we shipped yesterday.  We received a couple of orders late today that will be a challenge tomorrow.

It is nice working from home though.  It will be nicer once everything is setup.  I was able to hook up the credit card machine today so we could deliver a couple of phone orders to local salons.  Bring your credit cards over and I’ll show you how it works…

We went to moldy premises today to get the final few things we had there out and to let Peco in to get a final meter reading.  While there, waiting for Peco, a customer called my mobile.  She has been in many times over the past month or two and wanted to come in to buy a few things before we exited the used salon furniture business.  She was surprised that today was it for that even though we told her in the past not to wait too long and had showed her the mold and mushrooms.  The customer was there for about five minutes when the woman from Peco showed up.  The woman from Peco told me they were going to shut the power off.  Not a problem for me.  Then she killed the power.  I was in the warehouse and realized our truck was still inside.  She wasn’t happy about it, but the woman from Peco turned the power back on long enough to get the huge door opened, the truck out, and the door closed.  I thanked her and gave her three cases of Disani water that hadn’t sold.

Meanwhile, the customer continued to look at things we had for sale using a flashlight.  She ended up buy about $55 worth of stuff, most of which we were going to put in the dumpster.  It was simply incredible.  I’m sorry we didn’t have more junk there for her to buy.

The customer took so long that we were late picking up an order of perms and developer from one of our buying partners.  Being late for that pushed everything else back; orders that should have been shipped out today will go tomorrow (we received the orders today, so it isn’t that bad that they’ll take an extra day,) the local deliveries were made later than we like (though the salons were still open when we got to them between 6:30 and 7:00,) and dinner was not eaten until about 8:00, which is too late for the kids, in my opinion.  We did all this running around with our perm and developer order in the back of the car (okay, it’s an SUV — a 2010 Pilot.)  We had about 34 boxes of stuff in the car, plus a bin with the phone system in it.  Many of the developer and shampoo boxes contained gallons of product (four gallons per box.)  After dinner, I enjoyed carrying the boxes inside so they wouldn’t freeze overnight.  I figured that would burn enough calories so that I could have a small snack afterwards (I’ve been eating about 1500 calories per day since 10 December and have lost about 15 pounds.)

I’m looking forward to this new year.  We’re out of the mold and trying something different (going to customers more, instead of waiting for them to come to us.)  The beginning of the year is always hectic but fun.  Jane’s birthday is 2 Jan, Jacob’s is 7 Jan, as is my dad’s — he’ll be 92 on Thursday.  Once again, I’d like to wish all of you a happy and healthy year.

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