Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Friday, 30 April 2010

Fellow Blogger

I say 'fellow blogger' only in a self-serving way so that I can greedily associate myself with Anka and her blog about a Canadian learning and living in Florence.
She has a great conversational style, offers insight into the sometimes trying but always interesting day-to-day events of coping in a new culture, and for those challenged with poor reading skills she posts lots of pics!
And she just so happens to be our newest staff member Brittania's mom (the cute one on the left in the pic above).

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

To Celebrate the Removal of the U.S. Dollar Surcharge...

... and the pending U.S. Dollar rebate, we've brought in a bunch of stuff from OOCSGS just for you.
We've got these...

... and these...

... and even some of these...

Monday, 26 April 2010

Surcharge News

Just got an email from our OOCSGS. They have just announced the removal of their U.S. dollar surcharge.
We've been critical and suspect of the rationale behind this 'surcharge' but as it has been in place for a well over a year and adjusted almost weekly, we are excited by the prospect of being in a rebate position soon.
Using previous surcharges as a guide, a few weeks ago our dollar was at 99 cents and the surcharge was 5.1% (actual dollar value difference is 1/2 of 1%). This means that if the dollar hits $1.01, we can look forward to a rebate of 5%.
Time to celebrate!

Canadian Dollar- Fact or Fiction?

Canadian dollar worth more than American dollar ($1.001)
OOCSGS still charging a 1.9% surcharge...

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Mikey In the First Person Needs to Chat

Just back from a quick little vacation, I find myself all mellowed out, relaxed and eager to get back to glass work. All seems right in the world, heck I even stopped kicking the cat, and an even bigger indication of my relative calmness- I no longer feel obsessed to pick on Gary Brown... until I reviewed the status of supplies and purchasing with the staff while I was away.
Gary Brown comes later...

Before I start, I'm compulsed to offer a diversion, a nugget if you will, of some quirky yet interesting human behaviour, something that might one day aid the youth of today to help prompt some provocative conversation at the local cougar bar. Nevertheless, said story offers the perfect analogy to the situation I found myself returning to on April 16. It offers a strangeness that cannot be explained, an aberrance just as we find in the 2% American Dollar surcharge still being imposed upon you and me by our OOCSGS, an analogy so accurate and on target- one that might sometimes just make no sense at all.

We begin;
In the Bernese Oberland, the heartland of Switzerland, at the mouth of the Simmental Valley, a mere hour from Gstaad, I found myself meandering along a winding Alpine valley road last week, only to come across what you see below.
That's right.
You would be correct if you thought it to be a Swiss military firing range...

Being somewhat surprised by this seemingly random military outcrop, I reconsider the amount of Kirsch that my host must have put in the cheese fondue last night (the trick is to dip your bread into a glass filled with Kirsch first), only to suddenly turn my head in the direction of gunshots. Yes, that's right, the picture below is of the targets the Swiss military are shooting at.

Of course, as you weren't there, but safely in your Snuggie Blanket with Sleeves, watching the latest episode of Modern Family, you might not have noticed that the highway I was actually driving on happened to bisect the two. Picture still a little blurry? That meant that target practice happens over the heads of those who might traverse said highway. That's right folks, your humble servant literally had to duck gunfire to return home to you.
Of course the fact that this actually happens and is regarded as normal to the Swiss, to us makes no sense at all. Sort of like the hockey playoffs running into June, or imposing a U.S. surcharge on goods when the Canadian dollar is higher.
But it happens- here's the proof;
When I came back to Toronto on April 15, I was given the news that our OOCSGS still is charging a 2% (actually 1.9%) surcharge on a Canadian dollar while our dollar has in fact been worth more the the American dollar.
And from whence doth such knowledge of the Canadian dollars superior value come from you might ask?
Well, direct from Canada Customs Clearance my gentle folk, as that's strangely where I found myself that very next day.
You see, having been suitably offended and felt taken advantage of like some sheep herder's maiden, I took to my steed and drove down to the U.S. (actually I'd run out of Aleeve and bourbin- you can't get bourbin in the Swiss Alps) and found, after placing a U.S. order and doing the Customs Clearance myself, the exchange rates for the week prior as copied off the Canada Customs office whiteboard (pictures not allowed) to be as follows-

As you can see, if anything, our OOCSGS should be offering a rebate due to the Canadian dollars higher value, not the inverse.

(above picture provided only as a public service so you all can see our federal dollars at work, or how I felt like Arlo Guthrie in Alice's Restaurant, sitting on the bench at the government office)

I wonder if OOCSGS understands that while 2% might seem insignificant and easily buried into the price of goods, it is the lack of sense of fair play that is what truly offends. And this therefore encourages us to search elsewhere for supplies, not just for the savings, but on principle, as no one wants to feel that they're being taken advantage of unjustly.

We too import goods. We too know exactly what the cost of goods are. We know that Kokomo came in on April 14 when the dollar was $1.0028 and was going to come to us four days later meaning it would be cheaper, but regardless our OOCSGS felt it still needed to add their 2% surcharge without basis.

On April 23, 2010, the dollar was virtually at par...

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Have a Look Around Our Store

Here's a 360 degree pan around the store's main floor...

More Controversy to Come- A Reminder in the Interim

1. for this week ( April 19 - 23) Introduction to Fusing Seminar
Sat April 24: 10 - 4 PM
$160.00 ....

2. for the Fusing Club -
start date Thursday May 6 ( for 5 consecutive weeks)
7-10 PM with Pam
(go here for more info on both)
have a nice day

Sunday, 18 April 2010

The finished window, done.

The window's now done, and has been cemented for added stiffness and weatherproofing. Squid, our official cementer does a dark and highly polished finish on the leads which you can see here.
All that's left now is to see the customer's reaction when they come in to pick up Tina's hard and skilled work.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Some surface detail of the leading...

Tina's boyfriend has gone back to work.
Tina is having a very productive day...

Friday, 16 April 2010

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Starting to lead up.
Also another shot of those gorgeous hands...

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Oops, nothing happening. Tina's boyfriend must be in town today ...

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Starting to lay out the old and new glass on the pattern

Monday, 12 April 2010

some detail of Tina's soft, gentle and feminine hands...
... and of course, a textbook example of the proper use of masking tape...

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Tina now starts to remove the old leads and take stock of what needs replacing. Larger broken pieces are often used to replace smaller pieces to assure a good match.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

The rubbing is tidied up and laid out for releading.
As for the staff, they're still recuperating...

Friday, 9 April 2010

Tina pins a piece of kraft paper over the window and with some balled up carbon paper makes a rubbing of the design to help in assembly. She then begins to chase the staff all over the store, thinking they too need to be rubbed...

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

The Beginning

a virtual basket case, barely holding together...
after taking some notes, and marking the window, Tina removes the window from the frame.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Another Project From Tina's Lab

here's the start of a photo pictorial of a window restoration that came into us this past month, ably being dealt with by our capable staff in the FigLab

New Product Exclusive to FIG

Monday, 5 April 2010

Literally Walking Out the Door

Just doing a final check on some emails, while almost walking out the door for a quick vacation (store will still be ably run of course), and I got some news- one disturbing, the other almost as disturbing.
Firstly, to Gary Brown, someone that gets picked on and teased mercilessly in this blog- not out of meanness, but out of my affection for him and Dot (how she puts up with him, I'll never understand)(do a quick search on Gary Brown, or any derivative of that name and see the onslaught of entries referencing him and you'll see what we mean). Over the weekend, his family were the victims of an unfortunate and devastating household mishap, that will affect them for months to come. We all sympathize.
Secondly, our One and Only Glass Supplier sent me wonderful news! They've reduced their U.S. surcharge down to just under 2% (actually 1.9%).
Hmmm. let's check the dollar...
at the exact moment their email came in, our dollar was 0.3 cents away from parity, at 99.7 cents.
Yup, makes total sense...

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