Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Easthampton Eats for JJ's Memorial
Wednesday July 30
10% of sales at participating restaurants will be donated to JJ's Memorial.
The family and fiends of JJ Dushane have a goal to raise $72,500 by the end of the year. The money is to be used to complete construction of a Memorial and new basketball courts over by Nonotuck Park. This group has been working hard to raise money to honor their son and friend. I hope you'll stop in to one of the following businesses to lend your support. I'm sure you can drop them a ten spot directly or pick up a wristband for a fin if you're not hungry tomorrow. They've also got a golf tournament coming up that sounds like another good way to support the cause and help create something good out of a terrible tragedy.
Mt. Tom's Ice Cream
Pizza Wings n Things
Ralphine's Cafe & Deli
Treydon's Bar & Grill
Friday, July 25, 2008
By now, you've probably heard of Randy Pausch and his powerful 'Last Lecture. I've been meaning to post a blog entry about him, his courageous battle with pancreatic cancer, and his amazingly optimistic and positive message about how to live a happy life. Although he outlived his 1-2 month to live prognosis by over a year, he passed today. If you've never taken the time to watch his 'Last Lecture' or read the book version, I highly recommend it.
Although I haven't made time (ironic) to watch his 'Time Management' lecture, also posted on his website, that looks really good too. You may have some trouble getting through to his website today, but I'm sure it will be easier in a few days.
There are countless great quotes from the talk, so I'll just leave you with a few...
Find the best in everybody…. Wait long enough, and people will surprise and impress you. It might even take years, but people will show you their good side. Just keep waiting.
- Decide if you’re a Tigger or an Eyeore. I’m a Tigger.
- It is not about achieving your dreams but living your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself, the dreams will come to you.
- Never underestimate the importance of having fun. I’m dying and I’m having fun. And I’m going to keep having fun every day, because there’s no other way to play it….Having fun for me is like a fish talking about the importance of water. I don’t know how it is like not to have fun…
- Never lose the child-like wonder. It’s just too important. It’s what drives us. Help others.
- To be cliché, death is a part of life and it’s going to happen to all of us. I have the blessing of getting a little bit of advance notice and I am able to optimize my use of time down the home stretch.
May we all be so fearless in the face of our own mortality.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I was often told 'employees will be your biggest headache', and I'd be lying if I didn't admit they have been cause for the ocassional headbanger over the years, but I've generally been careful (and lucky) enough to hire conscientious, hardworking kids. You hear the 'kids these days' comment thrown around a lot, and admittedly there seems to be a wide range of 'motivation levels' in today's youth, but I believe there are more than plenty of great kids out there, eager to work hard and make money for college, that first car, a new I-phone...
And let's face it, the quality of your crew is directly proportional to the quality of your life. For me, a responsible and reliable crew means not only a better, more successful biz, but it translates directly into my ability to leave the shop to the crew while I drop the kayak in the water or go for a jog around the block.
Being able to employee teenagers has been an unexpected perk of being a small biz owner. It's definitely a lot of work to hire, train, maintain, do all the paperwork, manage, and schedule the crew, but just being able to provide jobs to college-bound teens is pretty satisfying. For most, it's their first job, save a few babysitting gigs and paper routes. This can complicate the training aspect, but it also presents the opportunity to offer a young person a chance to (hopefully) get their professional lives off on the right foot, or forearm, if you will.
When I first started my engineering career, I had the opportunity to do a one year rotation as a shop supervisor on a production line. It was a challenging job, especially as a twenty-two year old engineer and working world neophite thrown into a feasting pool of well-seasoned union workers, some three times my age and a hundred times my experience. I was tested early and often. It was definitely one of the most challenging jobs I've had, but also one of the most rewarding. It was in those silicon trenches where I learned a few key rules about managing people that have served me well through my tech career and now as crew chief to an ever-changing group of young men and woman. Here's my short list, if you'll indulge me.
1. Treat people with respect.
2. Value their efforts and tell them whenever you can.
3. Encourage fun (as long as the jobs get done).
4. Empower them.
5. And most importantly, be consistent. Treat everyone the same way. Make your list of rules and consequences and stick to them. Discipline is never fun for anyone involved, but I've learned if you let it slide for one person, pretty soon others will start breaking the same rule, and before you know it, you're a lame duck waving an ice cream scoop around like a crazy person.
One final people managing observation... Although arguably the most important aspect of the staffing process is hiring the right person for the job, I believe everyone has a strength or a skill. Or as I like to say, 'everyone gets a little something.' The key is to identify what that something is and, for lack of a better word, exploit it. The 'cleaner' becomes the go-to cleaner. The artsy one becomes the cake decorator. The chatty one becomes the shop quality team leader...
Ok, I'll stop lecturing now. Hey, what else is there to do on a rainy day like this...
Enjoy the rain, and stop in soon for a cone and a hello to the summer crew.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
A few shots from a recent morning 'u-pick'. Another heat wave is here, must go make ice cream. Come on down. The Blackberry Merlot Sorbet is going fast.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
It's simple, really. As our t-shirts like to say,
Eat Ice Cream.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
But one can only hope...
Easthampton awaits state ruling on pond cleanup
Friday, July 11, 2008
The artist is Carol Lew, and she paints dogs in fancy clothes. The show includes both prints and original oils, all in handsome frames. Definitely worth dropping by for a look. And while you're here, may I suggest the strawberry cheesecake ice cream. Or perhaps the peach mango or blackberry merlot sorbet?
And while you're strolling around Cottage Street, don't forget to check out the Nashawannuck Gallery's 'Oz show', held over for another month. Rumor has it, that Red Shoe'd girl will be making an appearance.
ArtWalk goes from 5-8pm Saturday night. Here's a map for you.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
If you're not a big chocolate ice cream person, here's what else is cookin' on the specials board this week... Rum Raisin, Black Licorice, Banana, Mocha Chip, Heath Bar Crunch, Cake Batter Chip, Blueberry Pie, Peach, Strawberry Cheesecake, and Watermelon Sherbet.
On deck... Blackberry Merlot Sorbet, Peach Mango Sorbet, Swiss Chocolate Almond, Ginger, burnt sugar
And another interesting development... Made my first batch of Soy gelato this week. It's a French Vanilla, and I've been told by a few non-dairy types that 'it's really good'. It seems to be selling pretty well, so perhaps Soy Gelato could be that nice non-dairy alternative to sorbet. Stay tuned.
Moving along to the consumption portion of the show, here's a shot of the Day Care Express, fully loaded with kiddos enjoying some cool refreshment.
And in the spirit of National Ice Cream month, I feel oblidged to pass along some ice cream trivia...
- Based on ice cream consumption figures, the top five individual flavors in terms of share of segment in the United States are: vanilla (30%), chocolate (10%), butter pecan (4%), strawberry (3.7%) and chocolate chip mint (3.2%). Source: The NPD Group's National Eating Trends Services
- Ice cream and related frozen desserts are consumed by more than 90% of households in the United States. Source: Mintel
- More ice cream is sold on Sunday than any other day of the week.
- Top 10 Ice Cream Consuming Countries in the World
1) United States 2) New Zealand 3) Denmark 4) Austrailia 5) Belgium/Luxembourg 6) Sweden 7) Canada 8) Norway 9) Ireland 10) Switzerland
Too hot for ice cream (like that's even possible)? Can I tempt with the latest confectionary temptation here...
Ok, so maybe a marshmallow ant farm isn't exactly what you woke up hankerin' for this morning. How about this one? Chocolate-covered pretzels with Jimmies.
Stay cool, and if you can't stay cool, stay sugared up at least.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
"You have to believe in yourself when no one else does. That's what makes you a winner."
- Venus Williams
An interesting article on happiness.... Happiness, Is it as easy as a Smile?
And a few intriguing variations of recent Mt. Tom's shoots, ala Photoshop...
Prints (in the form of photo cards) will be available for purchase soon at the soda fountain counter in the shop. Hey, gotta support my photography compulsion somehow...
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
It does show the 'pre-facelift' color scheme of the shop, but it's still pretty darn cool. I had to sell a few extra cones last month to pay for it, but I think it'll look great on a wall in that retirement cabin on a lake thirty years or so from now...
Nicely done John. Thanks for choosing my shop to paint.