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Happy Independence Day everyone!  I hope everyone keeps in mind today (and every day) those who have given us and protected our freedom, and honors our military men and women everywhere.

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So its been a while!   As I mentioned, I have been busy with various facets of the business, as well as life’s normal everyday stuff.  Work, school, gardening, prepping, programming.

One piece of good news is that the Amazon portion of the business took off in the last few days, so I’ve been able to put in another large order to my supplier.  The webstore is going slower, but it’s been active, so that is positive as well.  The new order will also bring 2 new items/SKU’s.  First, some had requested a thicker bag.  To test the need, I will be offering an 8″x8″ bag in 7Mils, which is almost as thick as Mylar comes.  It’s not quite bulletproof, but structurally it is very puncture-resistant.  And for certain foods, such as spices, hard candies, tobacco, coffee, the extra thickness will also retain freshness longer.  It’s also a great size if you are one who doesn’t like to store food in big heaping 5-gallon bags.  The bag will hold a little more than a quart of product, and 8-10 will fit in a standard 5-gallon bucket.  Other applications it will be good for would be storing or shipping electronics, especially those with sharp edges that might bust other bags.  To complement the bag size, I will also be offering 100-packs of 100CC oxygen absorbers, which will help maintain a consistent 1 to 1 Bag/Absorber ratio at the webstore.   I expect to have the new items in-stock by Friday, July 16. 

We are also proud to announce that Advice and Beans is also now a certified reseller of Cold Steel products.  Whether you are looking for a good $20 pocket knife or the adaptable Special Forces Shovel, Cold Steel makes awesome, affordable products.  We’ll be putting together an order in the next week or so and should have some great items in stock by the beginning of August.  If anyone thinks I should carry a particular favorite, let me know and I’ll make sure to order at least a couple!

Using Vistaprint, I was also able to get some marketing pieces done, such as business cards, refrigerator magnets (1 free with every order while supplies last!), a car magnet and a large banner.  The last will be used as we’re going to set up at the Bowling Green Flea Market one weekend after we resupply and see how it goes.  I walked around up there this weekend, and while there was occasionally a vendor with high-quality merchandise, much of it was junk.  I expect to be one of the few with a unique offering of both our food storage and Cold Steel products.  Anyone who visits and buys at the flea market gets 10% off if you mention you read the blog!

I am currently still working on a food storage calcuator for the website; however, learning PHP has been a longer process than I’d expected.  It took 3 weekends just to get my programming and testing environment set up on my home computer.  I hope it will be at least ready for testing by the end of August. 

There are two more long-term projects on the horizon.  One is still the super secret Project Enigma; as I stated initially, I think this will really provide an awesome way to bring together and promote Preparedness and Survivalism on the ‘net.  The timeline is still up in the air, though my expectation is to release it some time in early 2012; official announcements will precede the release by at least 6 or 8 months, so some time in 2011.  One other item I am looking at is a short novel called ‘4000 Cells'; the outline I have currently puts it in the vein of Patriots and One Second After.  I used to have quite the literary gene, but I’m not sure if I still do, as I’ve eliminated most of the drama and drinking from my life (and we know most great authors are all about the drama and drinking!).  Still, I’ve been thinking about this storyline for over a year, and I think it might be suitable to present as a serial on Advice and Beans.  It is a little more hardcore than I expected to be in this space, but as the readership is small I hope a slight pivot in the material presented won’t be overly obnoxious!

Other than that, summer boils onward in Tennessee!  My AC is out in the Jeep, but I refuse to pay the $1100 to fix it.  It has been good practice for Hot Yoga, however, a new pastime my wife and I have taken up.  As I have quite a few wrist/arm problems, it’s been good for me as its low impact.  (Although I miss raquetball immensely!)  Plus, I did promise my preparedness group that I would get fit this year.  I also think I am going to jog the Music City Half-Marathon in 2011, so its a good start on getting my creaky old body working again.

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07 2010

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