Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Quick Post, just a few details

1 - October has seemed very slow to us, to the point that we have been concerned. I just checked total numbers for the month and it is actually a record month for us! We already broke the record with 3104 customer for the month, and we still have tomorrow to add to that new record. We are currently sitting at $13,766 for the month, and we have tomorrow's sales to add to that total. Our previous records are 3052 customers and $13822 in a month. We have not had any standout, record setting days, and our total sales have seemed low in comparison to the last month or two. Apparently, our sales have been following the slow and steady method of the Tortoise, instead of the speedy jump around method of the Hare...

2 - We are still in conversations with the owners of the drive through coffee shop one block east of us. We are scheduling a walk-through with the Health Department to insure they will allow us to operate on a tank system, as opposed to installing hard plumbing.

3 - Tracy's grandfather died yesterday, just a week or so short of his 90th birthday. We will be heading up to Denver on Saturday for a wake, instead of a birthday party for him, as was planned... Please keep Tracy's family in your prayers. Harold Bowman was his name, and he has done some very wonderful things for our family, as well as for other people. In fact, $30k of our start up capital for Nemo's Coffee was from him, and he set up college trust funds for all three of our kids (as well as their cousins). He was a very caring and generous man and he will be missed.

4 - My photography group that meets here in the studio is up to 111 members! We have been collecting framed artwork from them for the last two weeks or so and we are having a gallery hanging party on Friday. We have some very talented photographers in the group, and I am thrilled to be showing their work during the months of November and December.

5 - My Photoshop group that I started several weeks ago is up to 35 members. It has been very successful so far, and I look forward to this growing and becoming a foundation for Photoshop learning in Colorado Springs. We have members from Denver, Pueblo, Canyon City, Commerce City, etc... It is rare to find a solid Photoshop program and word is getting out about mine.

6 - Tracy is hosting a craft fair on December 7. If you are local and want to be involved, please contact the shop at 719-635-2745. There is no cost to display, and we are not collecting a commission on sales. This event is to support local artists, not to be a profit thing for Nemo's.

Gotta run,

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A few photos...

I haven't had any time to dedicate to photography lately. I am hosting a "Night Photography" contest at the shop on friday in conjunction with my Photography and Photoshop groups. I figured I'd better have a photo to enter. I went down to St. Mary's Cathedral after closing the shop tonight. I set up on a tripod and did a series of photos of the church, as well as some of the details. Exposures varied from 1/20 second all the way up to 30 seconds. Here are a couple of the results:

It is almost midnight, so I'd better go to bed. 5:30 doesn't seem to wait around for anyone, especially me...


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Couple of Quick Items

1. Jeff Caylor will be playing live on December 7th!
2. Brad Ewing and 'Unseen' will be playing live on November 9.
3. Mark Phillips will be playing live on November 29th
4. I am teaching Photoshop lessons here on site (in the studio). Find out more at www.meetup.com (search for Photoshop in Colorado Springs)
5. We will go over $70,000 in total sales tomorrow!
6. We have sold 30, 801 items since we have been open!

Please pray for Heidi. She is a five year old girl who has been battling brain cancer since she was two. She really needs all of our prayers...

Gotta run...
Take care,

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good -
We met with the current owners of the drive through coffee location that is pre-existing one block to the east of us on Pikes Peak Ave. The current owner is very motivated to sell, and is willing to owner-carry financing.

The location has high visibility from Pikes Peak, and easy access. US Bank recently commissioned a traffic study for Pikes Peak and there are 80,000 cars a day during typical business hours.

It is fairly spacious (more room than I expected).

The current owner is willing to upgrade the electrical from 110v to 220v to support a commercial espresso machine at his cost.

We could use this location to market/promote our walk-in location one block west (our current shop) with:
Lunch, free wi-fi internet, 500 sq ft private meeting room, live music events, etc. I believe operating the drive through would help us to build business at the main shop.

The Bad -
The facility has electrical power and phone, but no water or waste water. We would have to operate with fresh water tanks, wastewater tank, and pumps. This is not optimal, but they make equipment for this purpose for espresso carts and kiosks. It is readily available and not expensive ($750 for pump, water purification/softener, and tanks).

The coffee 'hut' is in minor disrepair. It could use some TLC, but the current owner is willing to do some of this work prior to the sale.

No on-site bathroom. Whoever is working would have to be given breaks to come to our shop one block west to use the bathroom. I was on submarines in the Navy, and I know how to pee in a bottle, so this would not be a big issue for me. Girls might have a problem with that, as might the Health Department.

Health Department typically requires a hot water heater and three compartment sink. Once again, these are manufactured for kiosks and carts and are readily available. I would rather talk them into letting us collect dirty dishes and take them to our current shop at the end of the day for washing. We will not have any 'for here' dishes, so it would be limited to steaming pitchers, spoons, blender pitchers, etc...

The Ugly -
The cart has the beginnings of an awning that a previous operator had started, but not finished. We would have to pay about $2500 for a professional awning/signage.

The current owner threw out a starting ballpark figure of $25,000 for a sale price, to include a big pile of garbage equipment already there. We indicated to him that 95% of the existing equipment is not usable (didn't feel like telling him it was total crap). I told him that $25,000 is unreasonable considering:
1. Not a fancy place, just kind of plain and in disrepair
2. No plumbing
3. Equipment package deal is worthless
4. I told him we are NOT buying a business, just a location for us to start a business. There is no existing clientele, as the place has not been in operation for 1 1/2 years.

More of the GOOD:
Owner agreed that it is just a location and not a business. Said he would significantly discount the equipment, or not utilize it altogether. Said he was motivated to sale and is willing to negotiate on price, as well as owner carry financing. He is going to schedule a meeting with the Health Department and determine what needs to be done to get their blessing, and we will proceed from there.

I believe we can purchase the location for $10,000 to $12,000 without equipment. I intend to propose $5000 cash down, and owner carry another $5000 to $7000 on two year payoff terms. It would cost us $5800 to outfit the place for operation. Based upon being open 8 hours a day, we would have to get 58 customers a day to break even. Averaging 15 customers an hour (feasible with 80,000 going by) our monthly gross sales would be $11,700 with net profits of $4000 (Gross sales less product cost, labor, operating costs).

So there it is in a nutshell, Nemo's Coffee 2!
I'll keep you posted on what we find out from the Health Department. I am hoping they would allow us to operate as is (after being fixed up/repaired). Hard plumbing and wastewater would cost around $10,000, so we do not want to go that route...

gotta get some sleep...
Take care,

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Major Events...

I heard back from the owner of the second location we are considering today. I was concerned that they were not interested because so much time had gone by with no responses to my inquiries. He has been in Nova Scotia for two weeks and just returned yesterday!

We are meeting at the location tomorrow to discuss a potential deal. The 'facility' is ready to go, and is fully stocked with equipment (refrigeration, coffee brewers, grinders, espresso machines, microwaves, shelves, cash register, etc). Basically, the previous manager turned off the lights and left everything in there. We won't want to use the two espresso machines (crummy super automatics), but everything else should work for us, provided it is in working condition.

The current owners have had other people run the business for them, and they have never gotten a good manager. They had poor quality products, inconsistent hours (some days they were open, some days they weren't... just depended on if they were hung over that day). As a result of having several failed attempts at getting it up and running, the current owners do not have an appreciation for the value of the location and the equipment. They are very discouraged and want to sell it. I think we can do well with the high quality products that we sell, and with solid staff to run it.

Another issue that I took a look at yesterday was how my departing the shop has affected our budget. We hired Robert full time as an assistant manager to fill my hours and responsibilities. The increase in labor budget has pushed us back onto the wrong side of the break even point. We will have to do a little more growth based upon current trends to get back to the break even point. I know that the increased labor would have an impact, but I didn't know how big. We'll see how things go...

Gotta run,

Monday, October 15, 2007

Nemo’s News 10-15-2007

Well, last week never did shape up and have a strong day. We rounded out the week at about $500-600 lower than our recent typical averages (for the whole week). We have found that holiday weeks really are strange. I’m hoping to see things rebound this week. The last time I said it was time to start doing some advertising or marketing, we jumped up in sales and had a good growth spurt. I’m hoping the same thing will happen, but who knows…

Tracy and I visited some other coffee shops recently.
We went to Sorrano’s yesterday, both their Colorado Springs location on North Academy and their Monument, CO location (which is their original location). The coffee was very good, as we have heard. They utilize La Marzocco semi-automatic espresso machines, as do we. The owners roast their own coffee, and I have to admit is one of the best local products I have tried. The best goes to Kaladi Brothers in Denver, Sorranos is probably second best, followed by a tie with Crowfoot Valley in Castle Rock and CCM (Colorado Coffee Merchants) here in the Springs.
As for Sorranos, the Academy location is new, and is very corporate looking. They have lots of woodwork, but it is the ‘corporate installed’ looking stuff. They have a gas fireplace, and a large retail wall. We had Josh, Jonah, and Ethan with us and the clients already in the store decided the place was a library, not a coffee shop. I don’t blame them for being confused, because it was incredibly quiet. We got lots of angry or irritated looks from several people. Overall impression – The coffee was very good (brewed coffee for Tracy, vanilla Americano for me). The décor was very nice, but too corporate feeling, and to sterile. There was no warmth, except for the massive inferno in the gas fireplace (I had to get up and move farther away). The existing clients were not nice or friendly, although the staff was. Their Monument store was a little older, and had a better feel to it. It was basically the same concept, but not as fancy. The staff was friendly, but the décor and atmosphere were more inviting. I bought a pound of decaf espresso (we are almost out and might run out before our coffee order arrives). They weighed, measured, and packaged it as regular espresso. They labeled the bag as espresso, so I asked if it was decaf. They said ‘oops’ and started over.

I have stopped into It’s A Grind coffee shop near Intel several times in the last couple of weeks. The store is very corporate, and matches the franchise theme you see on their website. The point of sale is way in the back and to the left, and the décor back there is all dark (black ceilings, too). It feels like going into a cave to order coffee. The quality of the coffee is absolutely horrible. I had really bad coffee one day, so I tried an Americano the next. It was by far the worst Americano I’ve ever had. They do have an orange scone that is very good. The flavor of the icing reminds me of the Orange flavored cinnamon rolls my Dad used to make for Shellie and me when we were kids. They have no prices marked on anything, so after buying two scones there, I still have no idea how much they are or if it is a good value or not. The staff is the sickeningly sweet, over the top, kind of friendly. They have that “it is company policy” to be friendly feel to it, rather than a genuine friendliness. Every single customer gets the same robotic greeting of “What can we make for you today?” with a big cheesy smile. I’m sure the people there are friendly enough, but they come across as plastic and not genuine. Based upon my experience there over a period of two weeks, I would say they are in trouble. I saw very few people coming in to get coffee on the way to work, and I was there during what should be the morning rush. They do have quite a few people (who appear to be retired) hanging out in the café drinking coffee and reading papers, talking, etc.

We have not received any response to the voicemails I have left for the current owners of the second location we are interested in. I am going to mail letters (certified mail) to the current owner’s home address (for the life of me, I don’t know why it is publicly available… I found his name on the county assessor’s website, then did a people search) and to the address listed for the business address. If we don’t get a response from that effort, I’ll look for a commercial real estate broker that specializes in business properties.

I had a meeting with our equipment vendor and had productive results. My effort was to resolve the issues, get what we need, and still maintain the relationship. You never know when an espresso machine boiler element might go out, requiring quick service. I think I could do most repairs to the equipment myself, provided I can get the parts. In any case, I did not want to sever ties with the only company in town that services espresso/coffee equipment, regardless of how bad an experience we’ve had so far.
The results of the meeting are as follows:
1 – They are going to repair our espresso machine. Specifically, they are going to replace the bushing on the steam wands that are leaking, check the touchpad for brew head #1, and troubleshoot the inconsistent performance between group 1 and groups 2&3. They are also going to install a two cartridge purification/softener system at my request. I will be paying for parts and they are going to install without charging labor $$.
2. They are going to repair the Bunn G1 bulk grinder. We have already replaced this piece of equipment at a cost of approx $800. We can use it at a second location, keep it as a backup, or sell it on EBay for about $300.
3. They are going to swap out the La Marzocco Swift grinder for a new espresso grinder of our choice (Mazzer). We have already bought two Mazzer grinders for our shop, but we can use the new one at a second location, or keep as a back up.
4. They are going to try billing the electrical contractor for the $800 repair bill, and will not be invoicing us for that, as agreed in the beginning.
5. They are adjusting the small wares invoice to remove four items that we were unhappy with and returned to them. Once adjusted, we will pay that bill.

These guys are actually nice guys and I personally like both of them. They put some equipment in our shop that we were not satisfied with, and they are making good on the deal we originally agreed upon. I wish things hadn’t gotten so ugly in the last couple of weeks, but we are definitely on the right path to resolve these issues and maintain a business working relationship.

I have had a photography group meeting at the shop since June. If you are local and would like to check it out, here is the link:

We teach photography lessons, have studio photo sessions, photography field trips to surrounding areas, have photography contests with prizes, participate in local charity events providing photography services for their websites, etc…
It has been a huge success, and I’ve met some great local photographers through the group. I enjoy being a participant, but I have determined that I’m not really interested in teaching photography. I have spent nearly 25 years learning photography by trial and error. I enjoy the skills I have developed, but it isn’t that much fun to me to teach them to others. Now, Photoshop is a completely different story!! I have been using Photoshop since about 1995 and I have gotten pretty good with it. I recently started a Meetup group for Photoshop and we had our first meeting/lesson on Friday night. That was a blast, and I really loved doing it. We started with a meet & greet, followed by setting up some goals for the group, then reviewed some of my Photoshop work, and the work of two other members. We followed all of that up with a lesson in black and white conversions. I covered, the basic desaturate command in Photoshop, converting an R, G, or B channel to a BW layer, the Channel Mixer option in monochrome, and the holy grail of BW conversion, CALCULATONS! The night was a success and I think everyone enjoyed the discussions and lessons. We will be splitting the group into a Beginners group and an Advanced group. I need to schedule the next lessons individually.
I took several photos and uploaded them to the group Pbase site and gave the assignment for everyone to practice BW conversions on them. I have also posted several Photoshop tutorials at the Meetup site for everyone to take a look at and to try. If you are interested in learning Photoshop, check it out here:

Tracy and I took the boys to the Pioneer’s Museum on Saturday afternoon. They have a current exhibit of fine woodworking and quilting projects. They are not antiques, but are current work of various local artists. I have been inspired! My grandmother made me a quilt, and it is one of my favorite possessions. I am finding that the older I get, the more I appreciate things that someone else has made for me. Josh, Jonah, and Ethan all love that quilt, and have all used it at one time or another. It has gotten thread bare in one spot, and I need to take it and hang it up somewhere, rather than continue to use it as a blanket. In any case, I have set a goal for myself to make each of the boys a quilt for Christmas! You can call me crazy, but I really think I can do it. I designed a pattern yesterday, and I made one quilt panel for practice and it came out great. Basically, I just need to make 20 quilt panels, sew them all together, sew a border around it, layer it with a solid backing with quilt stuffing inside, and sew that… and wa-la, you have a quilt. After giving it much thought, I have pretty much decided that it requires much sewing to make a quilt. I’ll leave my pneumatic nail guns out of this project!

Well, I need to run…
Thanks for taking a look into our lives with regard to the shop, and, well, some things not related to the shop!
Take care everybody…

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Nemo's Update 10-8-2007

Well, what is going on around here???

We had a strong week last week, but we started this week with Columbus Day. Much of the surrounding buildings are Government or City agencies, and we do very poorly when there is a holiday. Yesterday's sales were weak, and today was weak, although not as bad.

We are hoping to see things go back to normal for the remainder of the week.

We did the coffee service for the American Diabetes Association Walk-a-thon last weekend at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. I also did candid photos, and formal group photos for the ADA website. It was a lot of fun...

Tracy and I are researching a second location for Nemo's Coffee! We did not plan to consider a second location until sometime in the undetermined future, but a situation has arisen that makes good business sense for us to proceed. The location we are considering is currently not in operation, and there are no signs, phone numbers, etc listed. I looked up the address in the El Paso County Assessor's records and identified three co-owners. I then researched them and came up with six phone numbers. The first five I tried were disconnected (Assessor data is from 2003). The final number was a good number, but I got voicemail. I left a message and I am hoping to hear from the current owner. I will keep pursuing this and keep you posted!

Things at Intel have been very interesting. I love doing the lab work, and this scope is something I enjoy doing. They still have several positions to fill, and I gave them contact information for my friend Kevin. He interviewed last week and started work yesterday. If you are in the Springs area (or are willing to move here) and have a technical background, give me a call if you are interested in working here. Please keep in mind it is a temp position which will end when Intel finalizes chip production at this facility (in other words, local is better than moving here).

We have had some problems with one of our equipment vendors. We paid for refurbished equipment, and they delivered the equipment WITHOUT refurbishing it. Once piece of equipment had tin foil jammed in the fuse block, creating electrocution and fire hazards. We have spent over $2400 replacing faulty equipment, and still have other concerns that need to be addressed. In the meantime, we have withheld $250 payment for a small wares order we did with the same supplier. It isn't much in comparison to the issues we are having, but I have chosen to withhold that payment until our equipment concerns are resolved. This company put an attorney on retainer, and sent the issue to collections in the last couple of weeks. I reached him by phone and set up a meeting for Saturday October 13 and he agreed to resolve our equipment concerns, rather than us counter suing him for far more than the $$ he is seeking. After agreeing to this meeting, we have continued to receive calls from his attorney, as well as letters from a collection agency. I am assuming these are events he set in motion and has failed to discontinue yet, considering that he is wanting to resolve the issues on Saturday.

In the meantime, I sent this notice to him since we are not clear on where he is headed with this (names have been xxxxxx'd out):

Mr. XXXXXXXXXXX (equipment vendor owner),
Per our previous discussion, you and I are meeting this Saturday to discuss several issues regarding financial transactions between XXXXXXXXXXX (equipment vendor) and Nemo's Coffee. Specific issues are:

1. XXXXXXXXXXX (equipment vendor) is seeking payment of approximately $250 for small wares.
2. Nemo's Coffee is seeking resolution of unsatisfactory equipment condition. An equipment package price of $7000 was to include refurbished equipment as follows:
La Marzocco Linea 3 Group Espresso Machine
La Marzocco Swift Grinder
Bunn Twin Brewwise coffee brewer
Bunn G1 bulk grinder
Fetco brew grinder

The equipment was delivered without being refurbished. Nemo's Coffee has spent $2400 replacing grinders (decaf and regular espresso grinders and a new Bunn G1 grinder) in order to operate their business. Furthermore, the Swift grinder was found to be jury rigged, with tin foil stuffed in the fuse block. This condition presents an electrocution hazard, as well as a fire hazard. Not only was this equipment not refurbished and not in good working condition, it was a serious safety hazard. The La Marzocco Linea has leaking steam wands (both), inconsistent performance from one group to another (probably flow meter issues), and has a group keypad that is defective. The Fetco grinder has no known issues. The Bunn G1 grinder grinds all coffee extra fine, regardless of the setting and is unusable. We have lost several whole bean coffee customers as a result of this grinder not functioning properly.

3. The Bunn coffee brewer was damaged by our electricians, and a meeting was held with XXXXXXXXXXX (equipment vendor), Nemo's Coffee, XXXXXXXXXXX (electric company), and XXXXXXXXXXX (my general contractor). It was agreed that XXXXXXXXXXX (electric company) was responsible for the damage to the brewer. It was also agreed that XXXXXXXXXXX (equipment vendor) would repair the unit and XXXXXXXXXXX (electric company) would be fully responsible for the repair cost. Nemo's was in no way involved in this transaction. XXXXXXXXXXX (equipment vendor) recently billed Nemo's Coffee for approximately $800 for the brewer repair. Per our most recent discussion, you agreed that we are not responsible for this repair cost, but you sent us an invoice anyway since you have been unable to obtain payment from XXXXXXXXXXX (electric company).

Nemo's Coffee has made numerous phone calls to XXXXXXXXXXX (equipment vendor) in attempts to resolve these issues. We have scheduled meetings with you, most recently on September 20, 2007, and you have not showed up, nor have you communicated with Nemo's Coffee to explain why you missed the meeting or to reschedule.

Nemo's Coffee then received a phone call from an attorney, stating that he has been placed on retainer to obtain approximately $1000 from Nemo's Coffee. First of all, that amount is incorrect, as the outstanding balance is approximately $225.

Since that time, you and I spoke and set up a meeting for Saturday October 13 to discuss these issues. You have stated that you are willing to make repairs to our equipment to bring it up to the standard that we agreed to when we set the purchase price. You also agreed that Nemo's Coffee is not responsible for the approximately $800 repair bill for the brewer.

We received yet another call from an attorney on Monday October 8, 2007, and I also received a letter of collections from XXXXXXXXXXX (collection agency) on Tuesday October 9, 2007. The letter from XXXXXXXXXXX (collection agency) stated the following:
"Your inaction has left us no alternative but to recommend to our client that this claim be forwarded to an attorney in your area for civil litigation."

This was the first correspondence we have ever received from XXXXXXXXXXX (collection agency), so the claim that we have not taken action is incorrect. In fact, Nemo's Coffee has made numerous attempts to resolve these issues though communications with XXXXXXXXXXX (equipment vendor), and YOU personally have not returned phone calls or attended scheduled meetings.

I am receiving mixed signals from you with regard to this situation. If you wish to resolve these issues Saturday, then I would like for you to discontinue the calls from the attorney, and the collection efforts. If you wish to proceed in that manner, I will be counter suing in the amount of $50,000 for breach of contract, harassment, false billing, lost revenues due to faulty product, and most importantly, for XXXXXXXXXXX (equipment vendor) knowingly putting my employees and my facility at risk by installing the Swift Grinder with electrocution and fire hazards.

I am assuming these continued phone calls and collection letters are a result of efforts set in motion that you have not yet terminated. Please notify me at your earliest opportunity as to your intentions. I will be placing my attorney on retainer Friday October 12, 2007 if I do not receive a response from you. I will also make another attempt to phone your office tomorrow.

James Dean Anderson II
Owner, Nemo's Coffee

I am hoping this letter will get their attention and put a stop to this garbage. Welcome to the world of business...

I need to run. Take care everybody and keep us in your prayers!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Security System

I received a comment asking what video surveillance system I purchased. Off the top of my head, I don't remember. I will be installing it sometime in the next couple of weeks. I just bought a package that includes four 30 fps cameras, and software. I will be connecting it to my own computer and flat screen monitor. I want to use one computer for an office computer, and to run the video. I might have to purchase a video card that supports dual monitors. Or, I might have to use two different computers. I have the equipment to support that, but I'd rather get one to multi task.

OK, now I really am going to go home and go to bed.

New job at Intel

Well, I got to take a look at my scope of work for Intel today. I thought I would be doing certification testing on Ultra Pure Water systems that support the Fab (clean room manufacturing facility). As it turns out, I will be pulling water samples for every water system on site and performing various tests to analyze for pH, conductivity, turbidity, ppm concentration for chemistry control agents, water hardness, biological micro contamination, etc, etc, etc... We performed so many tests today that I can't even remember what they all were.

So, in other words, I am a mad scientist...

As for Nemo's, we are currently on record pace for sales in a week, as well as most customers in a week. If we finish the week strong, we should be able to set some new records.

The projector arrived for the studio/meeting room. I am going to put together an audio/visual cart. The main purpose is to facilitate teaching Photoshop classes beginning on October 12, and to use it for the Photography groups. We offer the studio to everyone for free, but I will be offering the AV equipment for a fee. I still have to work out the details. I just found out that the Phantom Canyon restaurant charges $500 per event to use their room, and another $300 to use their AV equipment. That seems kind of ridiculous to me...

Haven't slept much this last week and a half, so I'm out of here.
Everyone have a great day on Thursday!


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Quick Update...

1. I'm exhausted. I have averaged about 3 hours of sleep per night over the last week or so.

2. We set a new record last week with 809 customers in a week!

3. We set a new record today with 177 customers in one day!

4. We went over 13,000 all time customers yesterday, and we went over $60k in all time sales yesterday!

5. It is nice having Intellitec's automotive vocational college in the same complex as us. My Jeep needed a $600 brake job, and one of our regular customers from Intellitec did it for me for cost of parts ($95 - Intellitec discount from supplier), a few free coffees, and a free portrait session for him and his family!

6. One of our regulars from the Pikes Peak Work Force Center (their web developer) met with me today and we laid out the plan for a Nemo's Coffee website. Once again, a few free coffees are doing wonders, along with a little $$.

7. Unseen and Brad Ewing were incredible Friday night! I can't wait until they come back again in November.

8. I met with a National Geographic photographer who lives here in the Springs. We are going to exhibit his work in December-January!! He is also going to put us on his website and link back to our site, which should bring us some traffic.

9. I went back to work at Intel this week.

10. Did I mention that I am exhausted?

11. Our Point of Sale to Office server network crashed Friday and I could not restore it. I had to rip out the POS computer and bring the Office server out to the bar to ring up customers. I decided to run POS and QBPro off the same computer at the bar instead of having two computers networked. We have had countless crashes over 5 months and I'm tired of dealing with it. The only advantage it gave us was to work on payroll or other financial tasks without interrupting customer service. We'll just do those financial maintenance items when we are not ringing up sales...

I had to remove the original server computer from the bar and reinstall the POS workstation, including the touch screen monitor (boy have we ever missed that!).
I just finished installing QBPro 2007 on the POS computer and importing all of our data from an external hard drive backup(IF YOU ARE READING THIS AND YOU OWN A BUSINESS OR ARE STARTING ONE, THIS IS WHERE YOU GO AND BUY A BACKUP EXTERNAL DRIVE IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ONE YET). I then had to uninstall QBPOS and then reinstall it, and restore our company POS file from the external hard drive backup. I then had to get QBPOS and QBPro to sync together and communicate. That is all finished, and I am now downloading all of the QBPro and QBPOS program updates. That is taking forever...

12. I can't remember if I mentioned this, but we hired a girl named Vanessa and she started training shifts this week. It looks like she is going to be STELLAR!

13. It looks like one of our other employees is going to move to Denver sooner rather than later. She went up there this weekend and submitted job applications and she has an interview scheduled for Friday with EchoStar (satellite company). We interviewed one of our regular customers yesterday and it looks like we are going to hire him to replace Michelle. He has coffee house experience, and he has a great personality. He is currently going to school studying anthropology at UCCS.

14. The kids had their final Landsharks race (cross country) yesterday, and had their end of season party today after school. Tracy and the boys got to the final meet late and Ethan missed his race. He was really upset, and decided to race with the kids who were currently running a race. They were 2nd graders (he is in Kindergarten) and they had started their mile race two minutes earlier (Ethan's age group runs the half mile). He took off and caught up to the group and beat some of the second graders, even though they had a two minute head start!! He is definitely our 'athlete' in the family. At today's party, Josh was voted most determined runner, Jonah got voted best sprinter, and Ethan got voted 'most likely to beat the older kids'!

15. Well, I still have to make burritos and it is 11:30pm. I have to get up at 6:00 to get the kids ready for school, drop them off, head for Intel, leave there at 5:00, go straight to the shop, make another batch of 20 burritos, facilitate our Photography group lesson, and go home tomorrow night at about 10:30pm. Did I mention that I am already really tired??

Gotta run...