La Sambre Delivers a Unique Experience

While I have spent a lifetime reading a wide variety of books, I am always on the lookout for something new, mysterious and intriguing.  I have gone from being satisfied with fantasy stories (think Dungeons and Dragons and that kind of thing) to looking for literature that stimulates my mind and makes me think.

That isn’t too much to ask, right?

So you can imagine how intrigued I was when a good friend of mine suggested that I check out the new book by Kuro Yamamato, La Sambre.  She has similar literary tastes as I do, so I knew that it had to be something special.

I headed over to their website and I learned about this new book which promised to be unconventional compared to most literary works of our day.  As I dug deeper into the site, I felt like I was being sucked down a rabbit hole, and after a few minutes, I had more questions than answers.

But I was hooked.

As I rushed to find the “buy button”, I discovered that this book wasn’t even being distributed in the traditional sense – there was no way to buy it either.

I was shocked.

Thankfully there was a way to get a copy of the book – by it being gifted.  I filled out the contact form and made a request for this book.  While I don’t know if that will happen, I do know one thing – this has been a unique experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. 

Hopefully I will have the opportunity to hold the book in my hands some day.

Marketing to Local Music-Lovers through Social Media

For the better part of the last two years I have performed in a band here in my hometown.  I suppose that it was inevitable – music is and has been such a large part of my life and is really the only time that my soul is truly happy.  I’m not trying to be melodramatic by any means, but music would definitely be considered my passion and my “dream job” that I have had since I was a child.

The trouble is that I have never taken the leap to head down this path in life.  I have always played it safe and logical, and for me, that has taken away some of my happiness.

We recently were invited to play at a local venue here in town after their band canceled on them, and the four of us decided to take our shot.  This venue is going to be a lot larger than any place that we have played before, and though we have our own small fan base, it is really the opportunity for us to take things up a notch.

With such short notice of the gig (it will be tonight), we decided to reach out through social media marketing with the help of AdmonMedia, an online marketing agency based in Melbourne Australia.  They specialize in helping businesses and bands like ours reach a larger audience through social channels. 

Now that we have the marketing taken care of, we can focus on the show.  We have just a little less than five hours to come up with a complete set.

I’m hoping that tonight marks the first step on a rewarding music career.

Found Some Mold in our Basement

I don’t know if I have ever been so afraid as I was when I discovered mold in our basement.  All at once I felt fear, anger and concern about the place that I have called my home for what seems like years.  I couldn’t help but wonder if it was even safe for me to be in my home anymore and that is truly a scary feeling.

You are supposed to be safe in your home.

But seeing mold there on some of the walls turned everything upside down.  I didn’t dare touch it, but I knew that I had to get someone in to give me an opinion as to what could be done to resolve the issue.  Leaving it alone was about the worst thing I could do, and I would rather deal with it right away.

So, that is exactly what I did.

I contacted a company that specialized in mold abatement and they were out in about half an hour to examine the problem.  They were able to assess the situation and provide a way to solve it.

Which is exactly what I needed to hear.

They will be out again later this week to get the work done and I feel better already knowing that soon my mold problem will be history.

Finding New Windows for the Shop

As a business owner I am always trying to make incremental improvements to our storefront.  This can include everything from a fresh coat of paint to a complete renovation to the customer service desk.  From the rickety old store that we started from until today there have been countless improvements done to our building.

But we are not done yet.

In fact, I have been looking at making some changes that will both help the energy efficiency of the building as well as make a good impression.  You see, we still have the original windows and front door that came with the building when we bought it years ago and they have needed to be replaced for a long time.  While a simple paint job used to cover up their age, it is to the point where we can’t hide it anymore: they are just too old now.

So I have been browsing store front commercial windows and doors in Los Angeles to try and create that perfect first impression when the customers pull-up to our building.  I really wanted a modern and clean look that would allow them to see into the store whether we are open or not.  I have always been a big believer that window shopping can convert a looker into a customer, and that is exactly the goal with this renovation.

I have narrowed my selection down to a couple of styles, but I am going to sleep on it for a few days before making my decision.  Our store is going to look the same for the next decade or so, so I have to make sure to pick out the right ones.

I can’t wait to see what the storefront looks like when we are done.

Perfect Birthday Gift for Grandma

What do you get for a lady that is turning the young age of 92?  My grandmother will be having her birthday in just a few days more than a week and I have been agonizing as to what I should get her for her gift.  She has seen more than I have at my age, and if she needs something she would just buy it on her own.  But being the good grandson that I am, I vowed that I would find her the perfect gift this year.

It was a lot harder than I would have thought.

I searched through store after store trying to find her a gift, but I didn’t have much luck.  When you have no real idea as to what someone her age could use, it makes finding a gift difficult.

Really difficult.

I was just about going to give up when I recalled a conversation that we had just a couple of weeks ago.  We had been talking about baking and how she didn’t have any aprons.

It was like a light bulb went off in my head.

I decided to get her some kitchen aprons at one of my favorite clothing shops.  The beauty of buying her this type of gift was that I could pick it out online and have it delivered right to my door.  After all the Christmas shopping that I did at the mall this year, I was so thankful to be able to sit at home with my tablet to do some shopping.

The apron will arrive just before my grandmother’s birthday and I know she will love it.

Continuing Problems at our Rental Properties

It seems like when it rains, it pours. (notice the water joke there?)

The last few weeks have not been great for me as a rental property owner.  We have had a large number of problems at just about every one of our properties and I am getting tired of putting out fires.  In fact, we had a fire, a break-in, a leaky roof and most recently some flooding at one of our units.

Things have really been a mess.

What makes things worse is that our properties are spread out over a few thousand miles which has meant a lot of traveling.

It has been the pits.

Thankfully our most recent issue (the flooding) was one of the easier problems to deal with.  We phoned up a specialist that worked in water damage restoration valencia and were able to get things cleaned up quickly before there were more problems.  They came on short notice and worked through the night to ensure that the tenant was only out of their home for a short period of time.

I really appreciated the customer service.

I am hoping that these problems that we have been having at our rental properties will stop for awhile now – we originally bought them as passive investments so I was hoping that they wouldn’t be as much work as they have been recently.

Picked up Some Last Minute Christmas Gifts

Christmas shopping has been in full-swing here in my household for the last few weeks, but thankfully it is just about over.  I have bought presents for just about everyone I know – from my sister who always needs some more grooming apparel to my aunt that is happy with the latest Leonard Cohen CD.  In fact, most of the people I shop for are pretty easy to handle, so I don’t worry about things too much when doing my Christmas shopping.

But the one challenge I do have every year would be my grandfather.  He is a bit grumpy (I hope he doesn’t read this) and he has always had the attitude that if he wanted something, he would just buy it.  That means that if you figure out something that would work for him for a gift, you dare not mention it to him or else he might buy it before you have a chance too.  It has been endlessly frustrating shopping for him over the years and this year will be no different.

The trouble is that I really don’t have any idea as to what to get him.

Thankfully there is still time before Christmas Day, so hopefully something will jump out at me while I am out shopping.

I’ll feel a lot better once I have all the gifts wrapped under the tree.

Last Minute Present Shopping for Dad

With my father’s birthday coming up in just a few days, I thought that it was “time” for me to go do some shopping.  I am just about the biggest procrastinator that I know, so it should come as no surprise that I would do everything at the last minute.

Is there any other way to shop?

On a more serious note, it has been something that I have been thinking about for some time now.  In fact, I know exactly what I am going to get him, but I am just heading down to the store right now to get pick it up.

You see, he has been asking for some replacement patio doors for some time now, but it seems that no one has been listening.  So, I am going to take advantage of some good deals that I have seen on patio doors Los Angeles and get a good deal on his present.

I really don’t want to spend too much.

The real reason that I am going with the patio doors is that I know that he will actually use them, and I am tired of buying him gifts that just sit on the shelf.

So, it is a win-win type of situation.

I just hope I pick out a style that he will love.

Proud of my Nephew

It has been hard watching my nephews and nieces grow up.  In my mind they are always the little kids that I held at the hospital more than fifteen years ago, but the truth is they are turning into young adults.  It has been a great journey watching them grow and helping them become the people they are today, but at the same time it is hard to believe that their time as kids is just about over.

Am I really getting that old?

The thought of being older really hit home this week when the oldest nephew, David, started his new job working in water damage restoration Malibu.  One of his best friends, Dan, had taken a job working with the same company just a few months earlier, and he was the one that encouraged David to apply.  They paid well, had benefits and Dan suggested that they could learn from the job over the course of a year or so and then start their own business.  That really lit David’s eyes up and they have been scheming ever since as to how they will create their own company to help people recover from water damage.

I am so proud of him – I know that he can do whatever he puts his mind to.

Bought Some Groomer Pants for my Sister

When it comes to buying my baby sister gifts for her birthday or Christmas, I really struggle to find her anything that she would use.  I don’t know the first thing about her likes and dislikes, but at the same time, I don’t want to waste money on something that she doesn’t use.

It makes shopping for her very hard.

But after having coffee with some of my girlfriends, I realized something – it would make a lot more sense to get her something that she would use for work than trying to find her something fun.

So, that is what I decided to do.

Jennifer works in a pet grooming salon and I knew that she was forever buying new pairs of groomers pants each and every month.  I knew that if I bought her some, she would use them and that would make me happy.  It would be a gift that she would use instead of just putting on a shelf somewhere.

I had to speak with my mother to get the size of her clothes and I have placed an order online for her gift.  They will show up in time for her birthday party in four weeks.

I hope she loves my gift!