How My Company’s Office Building is Falling Apart

Vanderberg PaintingSometimes, things go wrong in homes all at once. The same goes for the workplace, specifically the building where you work.

And this is the case with mine. First, one of the toilets flooded water to the point where some of it seeped into our office. Therefore, certain items needed to be rearranged including desks, printers and computers. That was fun, especially since some of it resulted in an impromptu fall cleaning.

Then came the need to refinish the wooden doors, which stunk up the office to the point where the door & windows had to be open to get air.

Next, came Vanderberg Painting. And of course they didn’t paint. They replaced the wallpaper (which I assume got damaged by the flood) with other wallpaper, but somehow the new wallpaper looks EVEN OLDER than its predecessor. My office building feels like it’s from the 1960s.

Note that the man from Vanderberg Painting was quite nice and chummy when I saw him on the way to the bathroom and didn’t get in the way at all.

But I digress. Nothing says “your building is falling apart” like the police showing up. Apparently, the sprinklers went on at 2:30 in the morning on the night while it was snowing outside and caused not only the sidewalk to become slick, but the road as well! Police officers came and asked for the owner of the building, so hopefully that’s resolved.

And when you drag net neutrality into the equation, that’s even stranger. Apparently, the Internet went out right after the net neutrality appeal was announced. Coincidence or consequence? Well, the answer came after checking the fuse box, which needed to be switched in order for the Internet to work. So our office was at a standstill for 20 minutes while this issue got resolved.

I’m glad I’m going on vacation, so I won’t be there when the building burns down, the ceiling caves in or floats away like a hot air balloon.

Business Card Count: 36,756

A Fun and Romantic Sunday Afternoon in Princeton NJ

Verhune Orchards Princeton NJSunday is the Catholic day of rest. However, Sundays for me could be a great time to spend some quality time with the people you love. That was the case for this past Sunday when me and my significant other decided to take a trip to Princeton, New Jersey.

Princeton is known to have a quaint feel with nice shops and restaurants, along with the look of a village in a larger city. I found an event online that offered a wine tasting at Terhune Orchards.

This was well worth the price of free since we tried 5 different wines including the Heritage Chardonnay, Chambourcin & Apple Wine. The ones that I liked the most (and bought a bottle of) were the Cold Soil White, a semi-sweet wine that goes well with spicy foods, and Just Peachy, an apple & peach wine that goes well with desserts and cheeses.

Or they go well by themselves since we drank the entire bottles within 5 days of buying them. But speaking of cheeses…

Olssons Princeton NJOlsson’s Fine Foods

As an avid cheese fan, I saw this cheese shop and wanted to enter. And we were not disappointed by Olsson’s Fine Foods.

We tried a few cheeses in the store including the Piave Vecchio, which is a very flavorful cheese that’s aged almost a year. Ultimately, we decided to pick the Melkbus 149, which is a gouda cheese that contains truffles inside.

Olsson’s Melkbus 149 was so good that some of it got eaten on the street as we walked out of the store and the rest didn’t last through the night.

Carter Cavero Princeton NJCarter & Cavero

Our next stop was Carter & Cavero Old World Olive Oil Company. I couldn’t imagine that there would be a storefront dedicated to just olive oil, but there certainly is. They actually have one called the Rincon de la Subbetica that won gold medal awards and it certainly shows since it was divine.

Other flavored olive oils we tried included bacon, garlic, basil, roasted onion, chipotle and Persian lime. Each of these tasted amazing in their own way, except for the Persian lime which did not work.

I placed these in the order from my favorite to my least favorite based on sampling each on a piece of soft bread.

Kitchen Kapers Princeton NJKitchen Kapers

The next stop we went to was Kitchen Kapers. They sell unique things for the kitchen from appliances and bakeware to accessories and glasses. I’d definitely shop here if I was in the market for something.

This segued us into getting food at Teresa Caffe. We didn’t want to eat too much, so we just shared 2 appetizers. The Polpettini (braised beef meatballs, tomato sauce, parsley & a garlic crostini) were enjoyable, as was the Salumi e Formaggi, which is a sampling board of:

  • 2 good cheeses, a harder cheese and a softer brie-type cheese
  • Soppressata & spicy thin-sliced salami
  • Castelvetrano olives, which I didn’t eat because I’m not an olive person
  • Crostini that was plain to complement the other items
  • Spiced whole almonds
  • Preserves & aged balsamic

Bent Spoon Princeton NJThe Bent Spoon

Our last stop was for some hot cocoa. I went to The Bent Spoon when I last went to Princeton and ate at the Witherspoon Grill. I decided to get another cup of the habanero hot cocoa with whipped cream to wrap up the night.

That and seeing Princeton’s Christmas tree that’s photographed above. Overall, I loved walking Princeton and enjoyed the shops, food, wine and company. I’m definitely heading back to Princeton to explore more.

Business Card Count: 36,609

O&M Landscaping Taped Their Business Card to My Mailbox

O and M LandscapingI’m sure you’ve seen many things put in your mailbox in an effort for a company to promote their business like pamphlets, menus and enveloped mail. I recently saw one of the more unique approaches for self promotion: a business card taped to the mailbox.

O&M Landscaping was the culprit. Someone from that company went around house to house to scotch tape their card in an effort to get customers during the summer, presumably that business’s busy season.

Here’s why this is a good idea: this type of self promotion will surely get noticed, as opposed to putting it in the mailbox where it might not get grabbed.

It also cuts down on costs of other print advertising. This business card is well done since it presents the key info: the O&M Landscaping name, phone # and main services performed.

Here’s why this is a bad idea:

  • The tape could deface someone’s mailbox, which could anger someone who might be that particular.
  • The tape is very hard to separate from the card without damage being caused to the card, though this isn’t as bad since they only used a small piece at the top.
  • The card could very well fall off or get damaged due to weather conditions like the rain or high winds.
  • People might not notice if they’re on their phone or distracted with kids while just grabbing the mail. This card was taped to the front of the box and not on the top lid.

I’ve never used or knowingly met anyone from O&M Landscaping, so this is not a reflection of their work. This is just a look at the way they advertised their services.

Business Card Count: 35,969

Finding a Random Business Card at a Rest Stop in South Carolina

Cash Carry Wholesale Grocery North Charleston SCTaking long drives is something I enjoy doing with my free time. It helps me think, relax and end up at a fun destination.

This time, I found (what I feel may just be) my very first business card at a rest stop. I was driving back from Savannah, Georgia with my significant other and we needed a potty break and driver switch. I thought to myself, “wouldn’t it be funny if I found a business card at this rest stop?”

I laughed out loud when I saw the business card for Cash & Carry Wholesale Grocery located in North Charleston, South Carolina attached to a newspaper stand. I was curious as to what the heck a lone Cash & Carry Wholesale Grocery card was doing there.

I would assume it would be something the company may have done to spread the word to motivate road trip takers to stop at that store. But if you look at the map, the store is nowhere near the rest stop I-95.

Fortune BubblePlus, with a name like “wholesale”, it sounds like it’s a Costco-type store, so one might not have room for bulk shopping items when on a road trip. I’d definitely shop there if I was in the area based on the reviews and a unique product I saw promoted on their Facebook: Fortune Bubble.

It appears to be a gum that combines the fun of chewing gum with reading your fortune from a fortune cookie. Hopefully, it’s not fortune cookie-flavored gum… I’ve had a bad experience with rest stop gum when I was a kid getting a gumball that looked and tasted like an ear of corn.

But my favorite part is the mascot. I’d love to have a conversation with a character like that whose love is chewing gum.

I guess the fortune on the cover of the Fortune Bubble was right. “A pleasant surprise is in store for you.” Finding a business card at a rest stop sure was one.

Business Card Count: 35,898

Cool Business Card Concept: OTC Compliance, LLC

OTC Compliance

Sometimes, I get business cards that just tickle me. That’s the case for OTC Compliance, LLC. I would normally think that quality and regulatory compliance would be somewhat dull. But this business card is like a mullet… business in the front and party in the back.

On the front, there’s vital information including the OTC Compliance company logo, their mission statement and the contact info for an employee. The only thing missing is where the company is based out of… my research shows that they’re in Johns Creek, Georgia. Who’s John and why does he have a creek?

Moving on, the party in back looks similar to the back of over-the-counter drugs with some clever use of facts like the Active Ingredient, Uses, Warnings & Directions. It’s always fun to have something unique on your business card to stand out from the pack and I can’t recall seeing any other compliance company being so whimsical. Then again, I can’t recall any compliance company business cards in my collection… though I’m sure I’ve got them.

Business Card Count: 35,599

Hello Again: I Have 2 of Neal Diamond’s Business Cards

Neal Diamond Atlantic Chevy CadillacI have had Neal Diamond’s business cards for a little while. Neal Diamond the car salesman who I’ve never met before, not Neil Diamond the legendary singer who I’ve also never met before.

It’s cool that Atlantic Chevrolet Cadillac gives their salespeople business cards with different Chevy models on them like the Corvette and Tahoe. I guess it’s a psychological thing to give each shopper a different card depending on what they’re looking for.

That or the dealership features different cars at different times. Either way, I’ve never been to Atlantic Chevy Cadillac not have I never met Neal Diamond.

Heck, I’ve never met Neil Diamond either. I honestly don’t know much about the singer, except that he had a cameo in Saving Silverman to help create a happy ending.

I also know his song “Red, Red Wine” was a bigger hit when done by UB40 to the point that he uses their reggae beat when singing the song live. I can rock out to some “Red, Red Wine” once in a while.

I’d never see Neil Diamond in a concert nor would I keep his song on the radio if it was playing through. Unless it’s “Red, Red Wine” sung by UB40… then that’s perfectly acceptable… if I’m in the mood for it… and there’s nothing else better on my SiriusXM satellite radio.

Business Card Count: 35,036

Business Card Redesign: Peter’s Diner in Amityville NY

Peters Diner Amityville NYI’ve seen plenty of diners have business cards that showcases the classic diner look of the building’s outside. That was the case for Peter’s Diner in Amityville, New York (on Long Island, and yes from Amityville Horror).

Key word is was. I don’t recall when I got the original Peter’s Diner business card above, but I just recently got the new one over the holidays. I really like it when business cards stand out and seeing the actual exterior of a restaurant.

That’s why I was a bit miffed that they exchanged the classic look with the old-school font for a generic black business card with a knife, fork and plate. Not even a napkin, unless you count the Peter’s Diner banner across the middle.

Then, I took a look and realized that the addresses and phone numbers were different. I Googled to see if there was a fire in the old location or something, but nothing came up except for inconsistent online citations. I guess that explains the need for a redesign if the diner is now in a different building.

I definitely prefer the first card and would recommend that they take a picture of the new diner exterior and do it up like they used to. Unless the new diner building is uglier… in that case, I guess #2 is a-okay.

Please note I’ve never eaten here. This is strictly about the business card redesign.

Business Card Count: 34,305

I Recently Got Jordan Knight’s Business Card

Jordan Knight Hobbs TavernIt’s time for another edition of celebrity business card psych out! Think of this as a Rick Roll, except slightly less dated than “Never Give You Up”… it’s Jordan Knight!

I highly doubt the pop singer and New Kid on the Block is now an Event Coordinator at Hobbs Tavern up in New Hampshire… hey, it could be! But I wanted to share my opinion of Jordan Knight, the singer & not the West Ossipee area resident.

My first memory of Knight was his later solo work back when I was a wee teenager watching TRL. Yes, even I was like every other “normal” teenager for a brief run until I stopped caring about Say What? Karaoke and those type of shows to watch reruns of Law and Order.

Much better choice. I remember not being into the whole boy band scene just because it wasn’t type of music: I enjoyed the harder rock MTV played. I decided to take a fresh ear and listen to Jordan Knight’s big single Give It To You.

Listening back to it today, I can tell why I wasn’t a fan even then. It seems second rate to what groups like the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC were producing and a bit of a step (pun intended) off from what he was doing with New Kids on the Block. Or at least Step by Step since that’s the only NKOTB song that is somewhat tolerable.

I heard a couple more decent songs on my satellite radio, but nothing that wouldn’t prevent me from changing the channel to something better like actual 80s music. Ahhhhhh.

Business Card Count: 34,010

I Just Got Another Elusive X Business Card

Xclusive Auto Body Perth Amboy NJWhen it comes to business cards, not all letters are treated equally. It would be shocking to know that X is the rarest letter to get (meaning companies or people’s names starting with an X). In fact, Xclusive Auto Body is just the 16th X business card that I’ve ever gotten.

I’m not sure if it’s because companies are afraid to use the letter X at the beginning of words or if it’s just a consequence of X not often being a starting letter in the English language.

Here are all of the X business cards I have in my collection:

  • Xanadu at Jackalope Santa FeXanadu at Jackalope in Santa Fe, a southwest-style furniture store and the 17th X business card I received while seeing family for the holidays in 2016
  • X-berg-Tag, an exhibition/tour offered at the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum in Berlin which I got during my visit to the city in 2005
  • Xcalibur Band, a classic rock and blues group based in Middletown NY
  • The aforementioned Xclusive Auto Body in Perth Amboy NJ
  • Laura Xenakis, a Licensed Real Estate Agent at Argyle Realty (the 1st-ever X business card I remember receiving)
  • Xfinity WiFi, which is available for free at the Monmouth Mall in NJ
  • Xincon America, a trade school located in Edison NJ
  • The Xios clothing store location at the South Shore Mall in Bay Shore NY
  • XLab, a special group of exercise classes offered at Work Out World
  • Xplore Scuba of Fort Mill SC is the 18th X business card I’ve received, which I got from my great Uncle Joey in a big pile I got
  • The Xpressions adult store locations in Lindenhurst and Oakdale NY
  • X-Press Mobile, a cell phone store in Montreal
  • X-Treme Limousine Service based in Hauppauge NY
  • Dr. Zuhui Xu, an acupuncture or herbal medicine specialist at Massage on the Run on Long Island
  • Ken Xue, a [INSERT Chinese symbols here] at high-end tourism company CAT International Inc.
  • Vivian Xue, Manager at Gemstones of Africa (located in NYC and LA)
  • XXXV Gentleman’s Club in Sayreville NJ

After taking a look, it’s a combinations words that don’t normally start with an X but now do to stand out, international names and adult-oriented establishments. I think X business cards will be hard to come by for me unless I visit an adult convention or walk around a Chinese (or other Asian culture) neighborhood, neither of which is on my immediate agenda.

For now, the X business card will still be my Holy Grail to add to my collection.

Business Card Count: 33,936

Politics Brings Out the Genuineness & Weirdness in People

Hillary Clinton Donald TrumpPolitics are always a controversial topic that brings out the most opinionated thoughts that people have… along with religion of course. But this year’s Presidential election seems to be the most heavily criticized in my memory because of the qualifications (or lack thereof) of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

I have to say that I don’t vote and it seems like this election more than any shows that my vote really doesn’t matter. Either way, we get a candidate that half the country is unhappy with for reasons that vary and I don’t understand.

In short, politics brings out the weirdness in people and makes them nuts.

Run Against BushLet me use this Run Against Bush business card I found a long time ago as an example. Run Against Bush was started by a group of citizens (like you and I, except they have an interest in politics) who put together runs and other activities to get former president George W. Bush out of office.

I’m not judging the credibility of this coalition or anything, but people will find both creative and not-so-creative ways to air their political views though it seems like the Constitution helped their mission come to fruition. At least Run Against Bush is less annoying than Facebook.

Going to the Run Against Bush website now, it’s doing some pretty shady link building that’s very outdated SEO. I suppose that’s one way of showing your freedom of speech: by linking to shady websites in ways I used to at my internship in 2006.

Business Card Count: 33,709