Where Does It Hurt?

Donn James

I know it remains foremost in the minds of many Americans so I’ll not keep you in suspense…curling is still going on. Even more shocking to those of us who don’t receive news bulletins coming out of…Wisconsin, the U.S. men are in the gold medal match tonight. Apparently, bending your elbow to get that piece of cheese and pint of beer to your mouth is the best exercise for curling so those cheeseheads are much better than those of us down south because all we do is try and wrangle a piece of sushi in between sipping a giant margarita through a straw. So we should all wish the U.S. team well tonight since 99% of the people who support the sport in America will be drunk in a bar in Green Bay or Oshkosh.
I was actually watching the curling earlier this week (I really wasn’t but it makes the story sound better) when I had to stop and take my dogs to the vet to get their nails done. I take the dogs to the vet and have a tech clip their nails because they hate the sound of a grinder. I don’t know why unless their brains flash to a meat grinder and they think they’re being shipped to Korea to be part of the buffet. While I was waiting I found myself questioning why people became veterinarians as opposed to people doctors and the truth was painful. I can certainly get my dogs in to see the vet in a fraction of the time it takes to get an appointment with one of my doctors. My vet can see the dogs this afternoon but I can’t get a colonoscopy until Armistice Day. Blood tests, X-rays and other tests are done in-house while any test I have done by my doctor results in bills from all over the southland because my chart passed on front of someone’s eyes. I think over the years we’ve slowly taken the humanity out of human medicine. My vets are there scratching my dogs’ ears and throat and I have several doctors now who just come in with an iPad, don’t look at me…and never scratch my ears.
I think animals are more grateful and quite frankly, they are way more worth saving than most humans. Granted, they can’t tell the vet what hurts but that’s probably easier for the vet to handle than when I go to the doctor and say, “My knee hurts…I think it’s cancer.” I’m not saying that vets are just doctors who got tired of listening to us but it’s certainly a theory worth exploring. I think they just like the silence and are willing to suffer a missing chunk of their arm for it. Actually, when one of my doctors pokes a place that hurts, I’d gladly pay another deductible to take a piece out of him. People doctors only know people problems and most of them only one section of the body while vets are schooled to aid multiple species. My cats and dogs go to the same vet but if I tell my knee doctor about my chest pains, I get a blank stare like I’m looking at a cow…which a vet can help. I do have vet friends who specialize in horses and that brings with it another set of problems. I’m told horses are like models…very beautiful because that’s all they worked on and they’re not exactly card-carrying Mensa members.
What is mildly odd is that my dogs act much like humans at the vet’s. Cooper, my smallest dog is pissing himself as we walk to the door so I spend much of the time mopping the floor while he’s getting his nails done. Lucy, my medium dog is female so she’s no trouble as she loves car rides and pedicures. My XL dog, Duke, is 112 pounds and is happy to go anywhere that might lead to a treat but he’s a little high maintenance so I recommend they muzzle him unless they want to start picking up fingers off the floor.
IMC has in excess of 2200 promotional products that will help you serve your client and we are adding new brand partners and products from our collections and our established retail brand partners. We believe IMC products speak for themselves and we can also show you ways to use and market them to your clients. Our products with decoration will have your customer coming back time and time again. Since introducing Waterford® Writing Instruments and MoMA years ago, IMC has presented more than 60 retail brands from global suppliers to enhance the selections you can offer your clients. We invite you to browse any of our 2,200+ products on the BRAND NEW IMC website to see items suitable for any occasion or event and pieces you can use to personalize your relationship with your clients. You can register as a distributor, track orders, upload art for virtual samples and even create your own flyers and catalogs of our products. The 2018 IMC catalog is available by request from the IMC website and is posted on the online services. We’ll continue to treat our clients professionally and get your orders to you…on time and on budget. You can also request our 2018 catalog using the catalog page of our website or download the PDF. We have products for every event and if your client has invented a holiday or celebration, we can also custom-make almost anything you can dream to make your client’s event all it can be. Take a look at our YouTube channel to see some videos showcasing popular products for some ideas on how to use them. We take our business relationship seriously and we want you to enjoy, give and receive our products and be able to use them every day. We look forward to working with you and we always have ideas to make our products work for your clients. The 2018 IMC catalog is also live and available virtually at Zoomcatalog.com and on our website if you’re tired of fighting paper catalogs and it can be viewed nicely with your laptop, iPad, tablet or phone. IMC is the recognized leader in the introduction of new retail brands to the promotional product industry and has multiple design awards from both ASI and PPAI. We have promotional products for every event, show, convention, corporate store and company program that will keep your client looking to you for new ideas. What do you say…is curling over yet?

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As the Name Implies

Donn James

My grandmother used to say, “The world is going to hell in a hand basket” but she was a few sandwiches short of a picnic and I rarely listened to her since she was usually railing about something like Elvis and his hips so you can assume it was a kinder and gentler time. The worst thing I had to do for her was get up and change the channel and I was out of the house before she needed diapers and forgot who I was. The biggest thing in the world at the time was the Cold War so many people went out and bought a DIY bomb shelter as if it would save you when your skin started melting. Later we had the Cuban missile crisis which, after one botched invasion, was little more than a shouting match between Kennedy and Khrushchev and two women fighting over the last shopping cart at Target gets more air time these days.
These days things are a little tenser around the nation and world and I’m even starting to worry about being deported…and I was born in Spokane. The horror about being sent back there is keeping me up at night but I fill the time by planning escape routes to Arizona…where I can blend in with other old people.
In times like these we all have questions and I have the same question that is being asked all across America and that is, “When the hell is curling going to be over?” Today is technically the midway point of the Olympics and it’s still on. It’s on every day and I just looked at the schedule and it will be on every day until the Olympics end. C’mon, I already know how to use a broom. You can tell me all about the math and calculations involved and I know there is more to the sport because…there just has to be. That said, Einstein spent a lot of time thinking about mass and relativity but nobody was sitting at home with a bowl of popcorn waiting to watch him on TV. I realize I might be stepping on some toes here but they are likely Canadian toes and until they stop coming down here and screwing up our soda machines with their quarters, my voice will be heard. If I’m being honest with myself, which I rarely am, I’m probably more mad at myself for being so drawn into something I’ll forget even exists for the next 3 years and 11 months until NBC blasts me with it again in 2022. Even knowing that spinning the rock causes it to curl (hence the name) is taking up a valuable spot in my brain bothers me to the point that I started thinking about the names of some of the other sports in the Winter Olympics. We have the Luge and Skeleton but we don’t know why those names popped up. I think luge means help in Reindeerian as you fly down the course feet first in a wetsuit while skeleton was named thusly because that’s what is left of you when you hit the wall. We should call both of these just what they are…professional sledding. The Olympic sport which has changed most over the years is Figure Skating and I don’t even know why they still call it that. Nowadays it just wouldn’t work on TV. Watching skaters try and make a figure eight at about the speed of a sloth taking a nap wouldn’t hold anyone’s interest…it would be too much like curling. Back in the day you actually had to do figure eights, circles, parallelograms and it was as boring as watching the ice melt. This was like in the 1700s when the ever-annoying Dick Button won the gold because he was the only guy who could skate forward, backward and smile.

IMC has in excess of 2200 promotional products that will help you serve your client and we are adding new brand partners and products from our collections and our established retail brand partners. We believe IMC products speak for themselves and we can also show you ways to use and market them to your clients. Our products with decoration will have your customer coming back time and time again. Since introducing Waterford® Writing Instruments and MoMA years ago, IMC has presented more than 60 retail brands from global suppliers to enhance the selections you can offer your clients. We invite you to browse any of our 2,200+ products on the BRAND NEW IMC website to see items suitable for any occasion or event and pieces you can use to personalize your relationship with your clients. You can register as a distributor, track orders, upload art for virtual samples and even create your own flyers and catalogs of our products. The 2018 IMC catalog is available by request from the IMC website and is posted on the online services. We hope we had a chance to meet in Las Vegas and you had a chance to meet some of our wonderful retail partners from MoMA, Areaware, Blunt, Kikkerland, Magisso, HydAway and Dynomighty. We’ll continue to treat our clients professionally and get your orders to you…on time and on budget. You can also request our 2018 catalog using the catalog page of our website or download the PDF. We have products for every event and if your client has invented a holiday or celebration, we can also custom-make almost anything you can dream to make your client’s event all it can be. Take a look at our YouTube channel to see some videos showcasing popular products for some ideas on how to use them. We take our business relationship seriously and we want you to enjoy, give and receive our products and be able to use them every day. We look forward to working with you and we always have ideas to make our products work for your clients. The 2018 IMC catalog is also live and available virtually at Zoomcatalog.com and on our website if you’re tired of fighting paper catalogs and it can be viewed nicely with your laptop, iPad, tablet or phone. IMC is the recognized leader in the introduction of new retail brands to the promotional product industry and has multiple design awards from both ASI and PPAI. We have promotional products for every event, show, convention, corporate store and company program that will keep your client looking to you for new ideas. What do you say…who has the stones?

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Where’s My Parade?

Donn James

The problem is that I think I’m getting too comfortable sliding down this rabbit hole we’re in these days and it’s starting to feel like nothing fazes me anymore. When I listen to the news, I learn there’s about 43 countries with missiles pointed at my bedroom window, which makes me believe Canadians are doing more than drinking beer. People that nice are always up to something. The Dow is falling like a skydiver saying “uh, oh” while the government stills writes checks as if it had any money and now, somebody wants a parade. In the midst of all this, the biggest story right now is the curling controversy at the Olympics so it’s nice to know we’ve got our priorities straight.
It’s curling people so let’s relax. Although what is on now is mixed doubles curling so I guess they added this to bring a sexual element into the sport but since they’re both dressed like the Michelin man, it’s hard to get too excited. It’s just shuffleboard on ice. If you are new to curling, don’t be depressed because you’re not alone. The rest of the world is right there with you since it’s right up there with Irish dancing in terms of popularity. Curling is where people dressed as if they’re going out to count penguins slide a giant doorstop either into a target or try to knock another country’s doorstop out of the target. It’s the same game old people play on cruise ships to try and win a drink ticket at the martini bar except at the Olympics, it’s a lot colder and you are trying to win a medal. Most people reading this would rather have the drink ticket but it’s safe to say that neither group is going to find their faces on a box of Wheaties. Other than the ice and the prizes there’s little difference since both groups wear tennis shoes with Velcro straps.
In a move that can only be classified as corporate greed, TV continues to show curling as if watching a doorstop slide on ice at about the speed of smell could be exciting. Truth be told, both versions of this game could be more exciting and on many of the cruises I’ve taken, I’d be happy if the losers were thrown overboard. In the Olympics, losers would have to stay in…Korea.
I just remembered the other big difference…brooms. In the icier version of shuffleboard they use brooms to decrease the friction and guide the doorstop while on a cruise ship people just hope for a rogue wave. For the dedicated curling aficionado this adds a level of excitement to the “sport” that can cause a weaker heart to malfunction. What happens is one person starts the doorstop and then 1-3 people, depending on the contest, start sweeping the ice like a crew of Merry Maids under the influence of too many Red Bulls. Seriously, these people are broom-slapping the ice like it owes them money and they somehow guide the doorstop where it needs to go, which is good since nobody in the stadium or watching on TV has any idea what they’re doing.
This just in as I write…the US just got mercy-ruled by the world champion Swiss in mixed doubles curling. Apparently the chocolate factories closed down so they could come and they scored a very rare six-ender for the win. How rare you ask? So rare that only 3 people in the world know what this means and none of them are you. I’m aware of the mercy rule because they have it in youth sports so teams don’t get beat so bad they run to Mama crying. If you’re not familiar with the definition of a mercy rule I will enlighten you. It means that even an Act of God and a plague on the other team couldn’t help you to win this game so go home.
So I hope tonight you all watch the Olympic opening ceremonies because this is the only parade we need as most men will watch to see which country has the prettier women and most women will be on hand to say, “Who picked that outfit?”

IMC has in excess of 2200 promotional products that will help you serve your client and we are adding new brand partners and products from our collections and our established retail brand partners. We believe IMC products speak for themselves and we can also show you ways to use and market them to your clients. Our products with decoration will have your customer coming back time and time again. Since introducing Waterford® Writing Instruments and MoMA years ago, IMC has presented more than 60 retail brands from global suppliers to enhance the selections you can offer your clients. We invite you to browse any of our 2,200+ products on the BRAND NEW IMC website to see items suitable for any occasion or event and pieces you can use to personalize your relationship with your clients. You can register as a distributor, track orders, upload art for virtual samples and even create your own flyers and catalogs of our products. The 2018 IMC catalog is available by request from the IMC website and is posted on the online services. We hope we had a chance to meet in Las Vegas and you had a chance to meet some of our wonderful retail partners from MoMA, Areaware, Blunt, Kikkerland, Magisso, HydAway and Dynomighty. We’ll continue to treat our clients professionally and get your orders to you…on time and on budget. You can also request our 2018 catalog using the catalog page of our website or download the PDF. We have products for every event and if your client has invented a holiday or celebration, we can also custom-make almost anything you can dream to make your client’s event all it can be. Take a look at our YouTube channel to see some videos showcasing popular products for some ideas on how to use them. We take our business relationship seriously and we want you to enjoy, give and receive our products and be able to use them every day. We look forward to working with you and we always have ideas to make our products work for your clients. The 2018 IMC catalog is also live and available virtually at Zoomcatalog.com and on our website if you’re tired of fighting paper catalogs and it can be viewed nicely with your laptop, iPad, tablet or phone. IMC is the recognized leader in the introduction of new retail brands to the promotional product industry and has multiple design awards from both ASI and PPAI. We have promotional products for every event, show, convention, corporate store and company program that will keep your client looking to you for new ideas. What do you say…when’s the parade?

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The Shadow Knows

Donn James

Happy Groundhog’s Day! I have some questions so I thought I’d throw them out there on the web…because, you know, everyone is always so calm, cordial and rational in the comments sections online. Asking questions of people on the internet is just about as smart as asking an overgrown rat if it’s safe to plant pansies because you always get some comment from a guy living in his parents’ basement. I could ask about fence repair and surely enough there would be a comment from someone I don’t know, probably wouldn’t like and who has definitely let his Mensa membership lapse saying, “I personally don’t have a fence but several years ago our neighbor repaired his fence and he used this stuff called barbed wire.” Not exactly what I need to block the neighbor’s view of me skinny-dipping in the hot tub in California. But nothing much has happened this week and I haven’t been cut off in traffic in the last 20 minutes, so I had some random thoughts which quickly translated into questions in this addled brain so I’d like to share.
I was skimming channels the other day and I paused on ESPN just in case there was something on besides basketball but this time of year we’re down to the cricket finals in New Zealand or college basketball, two sports that rank right below snail racing for me. One of the teams playing was Northern Tennessee and it got me thinking about what qualifies as north back there. This is our only state shaped like a really thin trapezoid and it’s so thin that people walk their dogs from north to south to teach them not to stray into Kentucky or Alabama. It just seems to me you should be a certain height to have college named north in your state…unless your name is Oliver North and you want your own college. Geez, you have to be 4’ tall to get on rides at Disneyland for a reason so if Northern Tennessee is sharing college buildings with Southern Kentucky, there are going to be problems.
I had to go to the grocery store the other day and I used a divider to keep my groceries separate from whatever bozo was behind me. You know those plastic things with a picture of some hapless real estate agent melted into them and I wondered how that started. Did some farmer in the 1800s just get tired of telling the storekeeper that, “Them bushels of corn are mine but da pigs are Billy Bobs” because he only had enough beaver pelts for the corn? Around here, without the dividers you could get stuck paying for someone’s kale. Also, I don’t need the judgmental look from the guy behind me just because I’m buying quinoa, bacon, skittles and Eskimo pies.
When did we start coughing and sneezing into our elbows? Did I miss another memo? As I aged we politely turned our heads and softly coughed or sneezed into our fists but now I see people who dive into the crook of their elbow like they’re jumping on a live grenade. It’s like they’re practicing some sort of fake WWE choke hold on themselves, as if their sneeze or cough was mustard gas in 1919. In any case, if your sneeze sounds like a washing machine breaking down, you shouldn’t even be allowed indoors.
I was at a business lunch yesterday and while everyone at the table has some years on them, the oldest guy in the room was talking about a car he’d seen and it was an amphicar. For some reason, like he was talking to a 3rd grade class in the Saharan Desert, he felt it necessary to explain that meant it could go on land or water…because he didn’t think that whole “amphi” thing was enough of a clue.

IMC has in excess of 2200 promotional products that will help you serve your client and we are adding new brand partners and products from our collections and our established retail brand partners. We believe IMC products speak for themselves and we can also show you ways to use and market them to your clients. Our products with decoration will have your customer coming back time and time again. Since introducing Waterford® Writing Instruments and MoMA years ago, IMC has presented more than 50 retail brands from global suppliers to enhance the selections you can offer your clients. We invite you to browse any of our 2,200+ products on the BRAND NEW IMC website to see items suitable for any occasion or event and pieces you can use to personalize your relationship with your clients. You can register as a distributor, track orders, upload art for virtual samples and even create your own flyers and catalogs of our products. The 2018 IMC catalog is available by request from the IMC website and is posted on the online services. We hope we had a chance to meet in Las Vegas and you had a chance to meet some of our wonderful retail partners from MoMA, Areaware, Blunt, Kikkerland, Magisso, HydAway and Dynomighty. We’ll continue to treat our clients professionally and get your orders to you…on time and on budget. You can also request our 2018 catalog using the catalog page of our website or download the PDF. We have products for every event and if your client has invented a holiday or celebration, we can also custom-make almost anything you can dream to make your client’s event all it can be. Take a look at our YouTube channel to see some videos showcasing popular products for some ideas on how to use them. We take our business relationship seriously and we want you to enjoy, give and receive our products and be able to use them every day. We look forward to working with you and we always have ideas to make our products work for your clients. The 2018 IMC catalog is also live and available virtually at Zoomcatalog.com and on our website if you’re tired of fighting paper catalogs and it can be viewed nicely with your laptop, iPad, tablet or phone. IMC is the recognized leader in the introduction of new retail brands to the promotional product industry and has multiple design awards from both ASI and PPAI. We have promotional products for every event, show, convention, corporate store and company program that will keep your client looking to you for new ideas. What do you say…is that just north of you?

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Is That On Sale?

Donn James

Most regular readers of this column have learned over the years how I feel about most salespeople and little has happened over the last 50 years to alter that opinion. After spending a few days in Vegas, which is really the belly of the beast, I have confirmed that I am right. They are tolerable in small doses so if you set fire to a couple of them like kindling because your kids want ‘s’mores you’re probably OK but if you throw a bunch of them on the fire, the stench is not worth the peaceful warmth and glow. Turns out there is a reason Dante’s Third Circle of Hell is called Salesman’s Gulch.
Everyone seems hell-bent on selling me something although some are kind enough to do it via computer or otherwise so I don’t have to light a fire but that doesn’t make them any less confusing. Netflix just suggested I watch Fuller House and I don’t know whether to be embarrassed, insulted or outraged. Amazon is always suggesting books for me to buy based on my buying history so it’s nice not to have them pitch me Green Eggs & Things or Nancy Drew but I’m probably still not interested in a Pictorial Guide to Kabul. And I don’t even listen to Siri anymore because she just wants me to do sweat yoga or learn to macramé caftans for gerbils.
Lately my rage is more directed to the marketing efforts rather than the actual drones who are trying to sell the crap. Advertising these days rivals the lies told by Congress as I’m constantly told things like, “Fruit roll-ups cure baldness” and “kale gives you overdraft protection.” The battery in my remote died last night and before I could change the channel or the battery, I was assaulted by an infomercial for the “world’s best” knife sharpener and for the life of the infomercial they never sharpened a knife. They sharpened credit cards, cardboard and construction paper…but no knives. So I’m set if I ever need to cut a tomato with my American Express card or slice a cucumber with a piece of blue construction paper but I still don’t know if it works on knives so I need to figure out how many slices I’ll get cutting my tri-tip with the edge of a cardboard box before the box turns into a pile of brown paste.
These spotty advertising techniques have even slipped into menus these days as I just read one touting “hand-rolled pizza dough” as if it was better because it included thumbprints.  If I want to see something home-made, I have the cup my daughter made me when she was 5. “I Heart Dad” never gets old and neither does a uniform pizza crust. Another menu item was made with “Peruvian Quinoa” as if that tasteless grain was any better because it had a Spanish accent. The book of great Peruvian chefs is written on a 3×5 card and the last good thing they came up with was throwing an onion and a shrimp into a bucket and drowning them in lime juice to invent ceviche. The restaurant in question also offered a tuna dish that was “Line caught Ahi from the South Pacific” as if it was personally caught by Jimmy Buffett and came out of the water wearing a grass skirt instead of being hauled in by some trawler in a giant fish hammock.

IMC has in excess of 2200 promotional products that will help you serve your client and we are adding new brand partners and products from our collections and our established retail brand partners. We believe IMC products speak for themselves and we can also show you ways to use and market them to your clients. Our products with decoration will have your customer coming back time and time again. Since introducing Waterford® Writing Instruments and MoMA years ago, IMC has presented more than 50 retail brands from global suppliers to enhance the selections you can offer your clients. We invite you to browse any of our 2,200+ products on the BRAND NEW IMC website to see items suitable for any occasion or event and pieces you can use to personalize your relationship with your clients. You can register as a distributor, track orders, upload art for virtual samples and even create your own flyers and catalogs of our products. The 2018 IMC catalog is available by request from the IMC website and is posted on the online services. We hope we had a chance to meet in Las Vegas and you had a chance to meet some of our wonderful retail partners from MoMA, Areaware, Blunt, Kikkerland, Magisso, HydAway and Dynomighty. We’ll continue to treat our clients professionally and get your orders to you…on time and on budget. You can also request our 2018 catalog using the catalog page of our website or download the PDF. We have products for every event and if your client has invented a holiday or celebration, we can also custom-make almost anything you can dream to make your client’s event all it can be. Take a look at our YouTube channel to see some videos showcasing popular products for some ideas on how to use them. We take our business relationship seriously and we want you to enjoy, give and receive our products and be able to use them every day. We look forward to working with you and we always have ideas to make our products work for your clients. The 2018 IMC catalog is also live and available virtually at Zoomcatalog.com and on our website if you’re tired of fighting paper catalogs and it can be viewed nicely with your laptop, iPad, tablet or phone. IMC is the recognized leader in the introduction of new retail brands to the promotional product industry and has multiple design awards from both ASI and PPAI. We have promotional products for every event, show, convention, corporate store and company program that will keep your client looking to you for new ideas. What do you say…how are your sales?

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Scoot Over Here!

Donn James

Not that anyone cares but I am safely back from our annual convention in Las Vegas and, as usual, I couldn’t escape that hell soon enough. Though I rarely feel old even as I’m surrounded by younger people, there is the distinct possibility that I have aged out of Las Vegas because after 45 years of thoughtful contemplation I’ve concluded that Vegas is only great if you have a burning desire to see 2 million people not acting their age. Continue reading

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Vegas, Baby!

Donn James

I’ll be missing part of next week because I’m being dragged kicking and screaming to Las Vegas for our biggest convention of the year. I understand this is not the message the Nevada Tourism Bureau is trying to get out but my company seems willing to overlook my natural aversion to salespeople and is counting on my firm handshake and winning personality to carry the day. Continue reading

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