Merry Christmas!

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=baby+jesus&iid=5280489″ src=”e/8/8/b/A_Nativity_Scene_a1b5.jpg?adImageId=8572583&imageId=5280489″ width=”234″ height=”302″ /]

happy holidays

season’s greetings

Merry Christmas!

Cardinals & Dogers–Plus a New Web Site

[picapp src=”7/b/7/8/Cardinals_Albert_Pujols_fafd.JPG?adImageId=4756101&imageId=6514180″ width=”234″ height=”171″ /]

This has nothing whatsoever to do with small business or mining the store, but hey, it’s free so once in a while I get to post something off-topic. The Cardinals and the Dodgers are getting ready to play fall baseball. They play 162 games just to get to this point so congratulations to both teams.

Plus, I’m trying out a new site called PicApp which gives bloggers access to thousands of royalty-free photos. Some of the search results can be a little strange. For instance, a search for “vacuum cleaners” returned what you might expect except for a handful of pix of the Hoover Dam. Somehow the logic goes from vacuum to hoover to Hoover Dam. But other searches, like the one I made for Albert Pujols returned the pic above and dozens of others.

If you click on the picture of Albert, you’ll be taken to the original on the PicApp site along with the all the other photo results of my “Pujols” search.  Pretty cool.

If you’re doing any kind of online work, you might want to check it out.

Tour of Missouri–Stupid Is as Stupid Does

tour breakaway
tour pelaton

I had planned to write today about the Tour of Missouri, the world-class bicycle race that began in Saint Louis yesterday and ends in Kansas City next Sunday. The 600 + mile race is developing into one of the top cycling events not just in the USA, but in the world. Several major riders passed on a race in Spain this week to participate here in the midwest.

I was going to write about persistance and determination and planning and how important they are in racing and in business. Sadly, something else happened that marred the day and made me rethink the direction of today’s post.

Downtown Saint Louis is really quite beautiful. The city has done an amazing job in beatifying the area in preparation for this year’s Major League Baseball All Star game. There is a new public park in the heart of the business district with flowers, sculptures, and pools. In the median of Market Street, downtown’s major east-west thoroughfare, they’ve planted beautiful flowers and shrubs.

plaza flowers 2

Alas, there’s the problem. To get a better view of the race a few dozen pinheads decided that it was alright to stand on the flowers. In spite of requests from the race announcers to respect the plantings and not risk the city’s support of the race in the future, these geniuses must have thought they meant some other flowers as they failed to move and were joined by others.


You would think that bicycle people would be more respectful of nature seeing as how we spend so much time outdoors.

It’s been said that no one ever went broke underestimating the American people. Sad, but true.

Note to visitors:  These people are not representative of the typical Missourian.  Most of us are pretty nice people.  If you’re within reasonable driving distance, the Tour is something that you should experience, either this year or next.

End of Summer?

This has nothing to do with small business, but sometimes you just have to go on a rant.  Sorry for getting so far off topic, but things will be back to normal next week.

Maybe it’s just me, but summer seems to be getting shorter every year.  I seem to remember that when I was a lad, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, we got out of school right after Memorial Day and went back on the day after Labor Day.

Not being particularly fond of academia (I cried the day my mom first took me to kindergarten and it was all downhill from there.) I relished every day of those wonderful  months of June, July, and August.

Now I’m hearing that some schools are already back in session and many more start next week.  What’s the deal?  There are more than two weeks left in August and a full twenty-four days until Labor Day.

Who’s responsible for this outrage?  Is it the government?  Or is there some super-secret organization of parents who’ve somehow gotten to the school boards around the country and convinced them to take the little darlings back nearly a month ahead of time.

It would be different if our kids were getting smarter as a result of the longer school year, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.  If anything, we’re losing ground in the global competition to raise better-educated offspring.

Like I said, maybe it’s just me.  Maybe the total number of days of school per year hasn’t changed at all.  It’s just that I love summer and somehow when I see those big yellow buses running around, that seems to mark a change in the seasons, and not a change for the better.

At least in my mind, school means fall, fall means Halloween and then Thanksgiving and the next thing you know the snow is flying.  Yikes!  I still haven’t taken the snow scraper out of the trunk of my car and it’s almost time to start using it again.

Anyway, I apologize for going off on such a tangent, but sometimes you just have to vent.

Meanwhile, enjoy the nice summer while you can and have a great weekend!

Memorial Day 2009

Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Memorial Day, 2008 flickr photo by Hjelle

Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Memorial Day, 2008 flickr photo by Hjelle

I feel very fortunate, my church backs up to the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.  Every time I go to church, and believe me, I’m a frequent visitor, I’m reminded of the brave men and women who have fought and died so that I can go to my church, or write this blog.

This morning my wife and I along with one of our sons and his wife drive through the cemetery.  There was a line of traffic to get in.  I wonder where all these people are the other 364 days of the year, but still it’s gratifying to see that there are people who equate Memorial Day with something other than  a long weekend.

Yesterday local Boy Scouts carried out an annual tradition that was begun here in Saint Louis and has spread around the country.  The Scouts parade into the cemetery, take part in a ceremony around the big flag pole and then place flags on each of the 170,000 + graves.  It’s  something to see the entire cemetery sporting red, white, and blue in an operation that takes about five minutes.  More than 4,000 young men can do the job amazingly quickly.  Doing the math, it’s about 42 flags per kid.

As a business blogger there are a lot of lessons that I could draw from this; lessons about leadership, planning, motivation, etc.  But today I’m going to take off my business hat.  In fact, I”m going to place my hat over my heart and just say “thank you” to all the men and women  who have served, and who are currently serving in the Armed Forces of the United States of America.  May God bless you for your service.  If not for you, who knows where we would be?  There are a lot of issues with our government and our society that need to be fixed.  But even on our worst day the USA is still one country  in the world where illegal immigration is such a major problem.

People aren’t trying to sneak out, they’re trying to sneak in.  Keep that in mind on this Memorial Day.

Ho Ho Ho

I heard him exclaim ere he drove out of sight,

Christmas to all

to all a good night.

The Last Weekend

Well, we're almost there.  It's hard to believe it's the last weekend before Christmas.  Depending on who you talk to, it's either been a good 4th quarter or it hasn't.  Dealers I've talked to tell me things are pretty good.  Even in a tight economy, people seem to find a way to spend for Christmas.

There's been some strange weather this month which may have affected things, too.  Here in the heartland, we were scraping windshields last night and this morning it was 50 degrees.  As I write this (at 4:20 PM) it's 38 degrees again.  They're telling us the HIGH Sunday may be in the teens!

Last weekend I was in Branson, MO, the big tourist destination in the Missouri Ozarks.  Traffic on the town's main street is legendary.  In spite of a number of other routes that have put in to relieve the congestion, the traffic on Country Music Boulevard was comparable to any summer weekend.  The outlet malls were full.  It took us an hour to get onto the parking lot of Silver Dollar City, the area's 1880's theme park.  It took another hour to get back out.  Apparently word of te recession hasn't reached the Ozarks yet.

So, as we enter the final weekend of Christmas, 2008, I hope you're finding ways to keep America spending and working. 



This Sunday at sundown begins the Jewish season of Hannukah.  All of us at Tacony Corporation want to wish our Jewish friends a blessed holiday.   Hopefully the rest of 2008 will be a time of peace and harmony among all the world's people.


I guess I have to write about this.  I've put it off about as long as I can.  This is also the last weekend that I'll be your blogmaster.  After twenty-nine years I'm retiring from Tacony Corporation.  Christmas Eve will be my last day on the job, but December 31 is my last official day.  (I'll be on vacation in between.)

Mine Your Own Business will continue with Bill Hinderer, our President and COO as blogmaster general.  I'm leaving you in good hands.

This is post number 679 of MYOB and I appreciate your coming along for the ride.  Frankly, most blogs don't last that long and I can see why.  Sometimes the creative juices flow and other days finding something to write about is like climbing Mt. Everest.  Thank you for taking the bad along with the good.  I'd also like to thank all the great bloggers and other journalists whose work has been the inspiration for so many posts.  I'm not going to try to name them all because I'll forget somebody and then I'll feel bad.  I would like to mention Doug Fleener, though.  Doug has been personally encouraging and his on-going support is much appreciated.  Krisha De and Anna Farmery have also been very encouraging.  Krishna was even nice enough to invite me to speak at Podcamp Ireland.  She's a brave lady.

If you're interested, I will continue on my own blog which you can find here.  But please stay tuned to MYOB because the future is bright and Tacony Corporation is committed to giving you the information you need to work ON your business, not just IN your business.

How Do Sewing Machines Work?

, I can’t explain it, but this post is one of the most popular ones we’ve ever done.  More than one year after it originally appeared it still gets almost daily page views.  In case you missed it, or if you just enjoy something silly that actually teaches something, here it is again.  Enjoy!

I know, MYOB is a blog about business for ALL independent retailers, but you have to see this video, no matter what you sell. 

Here’s how YouTube describes it:

"Junkyard Wars audition tape (successful!). Ever wonder how a sewing machine works? See a larger than life model constructed, and the operation played thru."

Three self-proclaimed "nerds" (New England Rubbish Deconstruction Society) build a larger-than-life sewing machine using themselves as the vital parts (needle, looper, bobbin case, tension, and feed dog).  It’s a hoot and does a pretty good job of explaining how the magic happens.

These guys will actually appear at your school, or trade show, or special event.  The details are on their web site.  (Check our post later today on special events.)

More on St. James and the Tour of Missouri

Just to follow up on last Friday’s post, the Tour of Missouri finished up yesterday here in St. Louis.  The overall winner was Christian Vande Velde from Chicago.  There were a number of other winners who appeared on the podium but there was one winner who wasn’t able to be there.

The City of St. James won the award for the best host city, beating out St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and even Branson, a town known for its hospitality to visitors.  Once again our friends in St. James have proven that their work ethic and dedication to detail is second to none.

Congratulations, St. James, for a job well done.

Memorial Day 2008

As we begin the long Memorial Day weekend, some of us are looking forward to an extra day off work and some of us are looking forward to a big three day selling event.  However you plan to spend the next few days, especially Monday, don’t forget the reason for the commemoration.  (I hate to call it a holiday.)  Last year we posted on the history of Memorial Day.  It started way back during the Civil War and was a day to remember those who have died for our freedom.

I live just a short distance from Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery where nearly 150,000 men and women, military veterans and their spouses, are buried.  It’s an awesome and sobering experience to see row after row of identical white grave markers stretching as far as you can see.  Even more sobering are the fresh graves that have yet to be covered with grass, many with only the small temporary marker waiting for delivery of the permanent stone.  On Sunday morning, local Boy Scouts will place a flag on each grave.

You may not have an opportunity this weekend to visit a cemetery, or attend a Memorial Day event, but hopefully you’ll be able to take some time to remember the brave men and women we memorialize.  In 2000, congress passed the "National Moment of Remembrance"
resolution.  It calls for all Americans to pause for a moment at 3:00
PM (local time) on Monday for a moment of silence.  It’s the least we can do.


Photo by Robert Lawton.