Wednesday, February 26, 2014

We Might Actually Be Retired...

After a year of trying (unsuccessfully) to sell our business, we had finally given up and figured we would just close it down and sell all the equipment. But last month another sign company here in town approached us about selling our assets and our name. So we worked out a nice deal and sold him the equipment, supplies, files, phone number, name, and website.

Then he realized that our facility was set up pretty nicely, so he made us an offer on the property too, which we accepted. They moved their digital printing department over here and we've been working together for the last two weeks to make the changeover.

We will stay on a while to help with customer relations and training, but I think we might actually be retired! I almost can't believe it. I've been in the sign industry for 40 years! It's been a good ride, but I don't think I'll miss it that much.

I think I'll go home and have a grapefruit martini.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Tool Locker

When we bought Thistle, everyone was quick to point out the hanging locker that had been converted into a special tool storage locker. Someone had built a set of drawers and slipped them into the existing locker. I said, "Oooo, cool" but secretly I couldn't wait to recapture all that wasted storage space.

Firstly, the stack of drawers had to be narrow enough to slide into the door opening. Right there you lose 3" on either side. Then the drawer sides and hardware waste another 2" on each side. And finally, the drawer bottoms and rails waste 2" off the top and bottom each drawer. So when we emptied all the drawers we had a pathetic little pile of stuff. Here's one of the drawers with a few spare parts.

First we set Malcolm's tool box on the floor of the locker and opened the lid. Then we added a shelf above that. We wanted to make sure we could open the lid and access the tools in the drawers without removing anything. And when open, the drawers just fit between the door opening.

Next we put the wrench and socket box on that shelf and added another shelf above that.
Then we bought storage boxes that would fit in the leftover space, labeled everything, and started packing it in. It's amazing how many large tools and spare parts we put in there. 
Behind the tool box alone, there is a full Makita box, a Sawzall, a sander, an offset cordless drill, two battery chargers for the Makitas, extra batteries, and a battery powered circular saw.

On the shelves we have boxes for electrical, plumbing, soldering, nuts and bolts, sail repair, misc hardware, engine spares, and more. And it's not even full. Now we just have to secure everything so it can't shift. We plan to use fiddle rails and velcro, but whatever we use it's got to be super strong because tools are heavy and that flimsy door can't be relied on to contain them.

We are quite pleased with our new tool storage locker and don't miss the "custom drawers" at all.

Another kerosene lamp

We found this little kerosene lamp at Blue Pelican in Alameda recently. It was affordable and all the parts were there, but it was tarnished. So we brought it home, stripped off the varnish and polished it up. It even had a wick poked down inside, so we cleaned that up too, re-assembled the whole thing, filled it with kerosene, and mounted it at the nav station.

And here it is looking pretty cute and ready to provide a comforting glow during a night watch.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Business Cards

I am happy delighted ecstatic to report that WE SOLD OUR BUSINESS and it's time for new business cards! That's right folks, we are retiring and our new cards say nothing about work. (You cruisers will know that just owning a boat is a job in itself, but I digress.) 

As I was cleaning out my desk I found lots of old cards and I just threw them away without a second thought. And it felt really good.....but not nearly as good as getting these new cards.