CanvasOnDemand.com takes photos & transforms them into amazing canvas works of art. LogoSportswear.com empowers groups, teams, schools, and organizations to Design and Buy custom sportswear.
InvitationBox.com provides a vast collection of personalized invitations, announcements and stationery to help celebrate life's most important milestones. GreatBigCanvas.com is the premium provider of canvas wall art and panoramic canvas photos.
Yikes. Here we are on the verge of 2010, and I’m still dating my checks with the year 2008 (although people seem to cash them anyway … with alarming frequency). But somehow, someway, 2009 seems to have slipped away from me. Hmmm, I must have been busy or something? Or perhaps it was a leap year (no, that would make it longer).
Anyway, although I’m no historian, I think 2009 will remembered as an “odd duck” year. Without looking online for talking points – if memory serves me correct – 2009 pretty much started out with the Barack Obama inauguration and ended with our economic sorta-kinda-keep-your-fingers-crosssed recovery. In between, lots of other memorable stuff happened too. I know this for a fact, because lots of people made CafePress T-shirt designs about things (everything from Joe Wilson to the Appalachian Trail to New Moon), and watching the T-shirts roll in is the most interesting way to get the news around here.
Something tells me my 2010 calendar will be a lot fuller and richer, with lots of wonderful happenings (fingers crossed).
Whew! Needless to say, the CafePress design studio in Louisville, Kentucky is buzzing with activity during the holiday season. To produce all those great gifts, there’s quite a bit of man/woman power (and a little bit of magic) that goes into everything we do! And yes, our friendly CafePress elves work around-the-clock to make sure we’re creating unique, high-quality products for you (or that special someone on your holiday list!).
This blogging elf happens to be from our San Mateo, California office. I had the pleasure of working along-side hundreds of Kentucky employees who create our products on a daily/nightly basis. And I must admit, their job isn’t easy!
I’m amazed at the sheer volume of products we create, and the amount of detail that goes into what we do. Before it’s shipped, every item goes through a variety of “cells” (where employees focus on their specific duty, such as printing).
I guess Santa isn’t the only one that checks his work twice!
During the hectic blur of Christmas activity, a few lucky CafePressers got to take a break and play Santa for a day. The team spent an afternoon wrapping presents to help distribute to more than 50,000 low income children. The gifts were then given out through the Family Giving Tree’s Holiday Wish Drive. Needless to say, 50,000 gifts is a lot to wrap (think carpel tunnel syndrome) — and the Family Giving Tree needed all the help it could get!
And what a better way to get the job done than to involve companies in a friendly competition? With over 50 teams of 4-6 wrappers, the goal was to “shop” the warehouse for the gifts, then wrap and organize the packages to be delivered. CafePress took 5th place in the contest. Not bad considering the great companies we were competing against.
Press rewind. It’s once again the time of year that’s so very special to real men’s men (Read: Guys who were cut from their high school football team on the first day of practice). Yes, it’s when fathers, brothers, sons and uncles (and the occasional Neanderthal) disappear into their “man cave” for endless hours of unadulterated college football bowl games. Oh, and beer. They drag in lots of beer. And salty snacks.
This year’s bowl line up includes a handful of undefeated universities scrawling out the X’s and O’s of why they should be crowned the National Champion. Of course, winning the National Championship (or even getting invited to a major bowl game) can mean millions of dollars for a school and its conference. Heck, just look at how corporate sponsorships have overtaken bowl naming strategies to see what a huge business it has become: The FedEx Orange Bowl, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl, etc.
Around the office, we thought about sponsoring our own inaugural bowl game (to complement our line-up of football-themed gear): the CafePress Punch Bowl. But we doubted that any college football teams would take our invitation seriously, and also wondered whether any major TV network would agree to televise it. Then the guys from marketing spiked the Punch Bowl we had in the lobby, and … well, enough said. It ain’t gonna happen this year.
The Viewers’ Choice award is based on voting, so if you have a spare moment please do head on over and give Jolene your vote. We had the pleasure of an exclusive, world-premiere in-depth interview with Jolene recently. Here it is:
CP: What is your all-time favorite recipe?
JS: Corn Chip Pie. You can’t go wrong with ground beef, a bag of corn chips and spices! When I teach my live cooking classes, regardless of if the class is about desserts, people request I fix Corn Chip Pie. It’s a hearty casserole that uses a snack chip! It’s something I fix for myself all the time. It has so many variations and can be as spicy as you want it! It’s great with toppings, such as Sour Cream, chopped onion, or great just being basic.
CP: If you were in a kitchen and had only : a can of maraschino cherries, canned peanuts, marshmallows, and cheezits in the pantry but were allowed to add 2-3 ingredients, what would you make?
JS: I’d definitely need some Chicken, some Orange Gelatin and some Whipped Topping. I’d create a Cheezit encrusted baked chicken, and serve that with a Orange Gelatin Salad with Marischino Cherries, Peanuts and Whipped Topping.
CP: Why did you start your CafePress shop, and how has it changed your life?
JS: I started my CafePress store almost when CafePress started! Back in 1999-2000 I knew I had to make changes to the way I produced products. Handling orders and then producing orders from screen printing was a lengthy process. Not to mention there’s only so many items you can produce on your own. CafePress stayed on the cusp of technology and printing methods. They also handled all the back end for me, so I could continue being creative and produce the products I wanted to produce, without having to spend my time on the “Business” side. I know my customers are taken well care of, and if there is a problem, CafePress will work for a solution. As an Entertainer, my store’s income supports things like my Health Care, my Travel and other Business Expenses. It’s not cheap to produce your own show, I’m always breaking lights and equipment! My main goal has always been to produce quality products featuring my themes and images without hassle and with CafePress I can do just that!
CP: What’s mightier: tuna noodle casserole or jello mold fruit cocktail salad?
JS: Everyone usually has a can of Tuna, and there are many variations of Tuna Casserole. However, Gelatin Molds are a lost art! Many of the molds can be found at local yard sales and thrift shops. There are so many variations, and they can really please all tastes. They are artistic and pretty as well as a conversation piece. People may be scared to try the vegetable based ones, but they are sure great on a cracker, definitely a taste change from the normal onion dip. I think people would be more attracted to a glistening jewel colored dish at a buffet table, more than a tuna casserole. With the Tuna, in a casserole it’s hard to tell what’s under a Potato Chip Crust (well that’s the point of that too).
CP: If you could put a T-shirt on any person, living or dead, what would the T-shirt say, and who would be wearing it?
JS: I wrestled with this question, for some reason, the first thing that came to mind was… Baby Jessica….. a T-Shirt that said “Keep Away From Wells…” Because really, I am still traumatized years later for that poor little girl that fell down a well. That whole event gripped the Nation. If only she was wearing a shirt that warned people to keep her away from wells or steep places!
Susan Lucci! I’d give her a t-shirt that says “Pick Me!”.. Well, the 18 times she wasn’t picked for the Award! I’m out to Win my nomination for the Tasty Awards for Best Comedy Series! Hopefully I don’t end up being the Susan Lucci of the Foodie World! (although 18 times is quite an accomplishment.) At the Tasty Awards, the power to vote is given to the Audience, not a voting board! That’s why I’m out asking for Votes, everyone can vote! Won’t you help the Trailer Park walk the Red carpet? (I might wear that t-shirt myself!)
We had the delicious pleasure with cooking with Jolene in the CafePress kitchen, making both microwave peanut brittle and egg sandwiches. So if you’re hungry and at work, and have a ready supply of coffee mugs…
The U.S. government’s $593 trillion North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Santa Tracker has just spotted Santa Claus and his reindeer over Louisville, Kentucky.
Although technically, the $593 trillion NORAD Santa Tracker is temporarily shut down (they’re waiting for a $627 million extension cord to reach the power outlet). But the government has been surfing several Louisville-area websites that have $9 webcams installed. And they’re now confirming that Santa has officially been sighted in Kentucky.
This is great news for gift-happy folks across America.
But it also means that Santa has now made his annual, humongous pick-up at the CafePress design studio in Louisville. Our exhausted (but ever-so-cheery) elves have just loaded up the last of all those great gifts for people who have been nice (and a few for people who have been naughty). And the holiday gift-giving season is winding down.
Ouch. Don’t know about you, but it’s only the first day of Winter (Happy First Day of Winter, by the way) and already my bones are stiff and sore from the morning chill. And I’m in supposedly-sunny California, so I hate to think how the knees would take to a 6:00 a.m. wake-up call in Green Bay or Buffalo.
Rumor has it it’s going to be a long, cold winter (at least according to Manny, who changes the oil in my car. He was right about Bernie Madoff and Miss USA, so I value his judgment above and beyond 10w40).
Naturally, to combat the cold, my closet is lined with Winter-wear from CafePress. From hoodies and sweatshirts to long-sleeve t-shirts, I have everything needed for the “layered” look (read: I’m too cheap to dish out big bucks for a winter coat I’ll only wear a few times a year).
Fortunately, late last night was the Winter Solstice – which amounts to the shortest amount of daylight in the year. So the pendulum is slowly starting to swing back in the direction of beach weather. Pass the suntan lotion.
Those of us who have been involved in snowball fights know that there’s always That Guy. That Guy is the guy who just has to hit you in the face with the iciest, hardest snowball he can make. That Guy might also be prone to throwing a snowball at the back of your head after you’ve retired from the fun, or throw one at you just after you’ve called a “Game Off!” to retrieve a fallen glove.
And then there’s the guy who takes being That Guy to a whole new level by, you know, pulling a gun. In public. In the middle of a huge snowball fight wherein the other attackers were armed with assuredly non-lethal handfuls of snow.
That Guy is Washington, D.C. off-duty police officer Detective Baylor, who apparently left his Christmas Cheer in his other pants along with his common sense and, sadly, his best snowball-making gloves. Witnesses (and YouTube video – ah, Internet video, the 21st century’s most reliable witness) report that when Baylor’s personal Hummer was struck by a snowball, he got out of his car with his gun and started threatening to send people to jail.
Of course, seeing a guy draw a gun led to snowball-fighters to, somewhat reasonably, fear that That Guy might be taking a snowball fight a bit too seriously. So they called the police, who then showed up in uniform with their own guns. The snowball fight itself had been organized via Twitter and Facebook, so those involved wasted no time in broadcasting the melee into cyberspace.
Sci-fi icon/blogger/fan/geek Wil Wheaton of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” has a new book out about his experience on the show, appropriately titled “Memories of the Future.”
In addition to providing an insider’s view of what it’s like to be on what may be the world’s most syndicated television franchise (it’s said that there’s at least one episode of one of the “Star Trek” series playing somewhere in the world 24/7 – I learned this at the “Star Trek” convention from the Roddenberry camp, along with learning what the heck a Tribble is), Wil Wheaton would also like to provide you with an accompanying mug appropriate for enjoying toasty beverages while listening to his podcast or, of course, reading his book.
As the holiday travel season nears, it’s inevitable that the crappiest weather of the year is hovering off in the horizon. As an experienced (but now wisely retired) holiday-season traveler, I know how difficult it can be getting from point A (Albuquerque?) to point B (Boston?) during the mad Christmas rush. (Tip: pack your carry-on bag for a minimum 24-hour storm-induced layover in point C: Chicago. O’Hare is all-too-often an enforced home-away-from-home for winter-season cross-country travelers. On the upside, there’s a really good pastrami sandwich place with a bar in the main terminal.)
Holiday travel can be especially maddening if you have small children, large packages or middling patience. And if the clouds do part ever-so-briefly, there’s still a 50% chance you’ll reach your destination exposed to swine flu, compliments of the droopy guy coughing in 27D. And let’s not even get started on what organisms are growing inside that chicken burrito waiting for you at the Skyport Souvenir & Snack Shoppe. Yikes. (Remember, unwitting O’Hare residents: pastrami sandwiches, bar, main terminal.)
But oh well, at the end of the day it’s great being back in the hinterlands with friends and family (well, some of them). You just have to arm yourself with a good attitude, a few paperback books and some well-weathered gear to remind you that it’s never going to be a smooth ride back home.
Be sure to share your holiday travel experiences (past & present) with us all. Yes, misery loves company. But just like the rest of the company in town it has to get a hotel room, because my guest room is full and the two fold-out couches are already taken for the duration of the Orange Bowl.