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Category Archives: Need a good laugh?

Scary Cat

There’s a new networking group in town called CNY Connects, started by Sue Wallace, formerly of the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce. Our thanks to Sue for forming the organization, and to her “trusty sidekick” (my term!)  Amy Kaschel of AK Consulting, who is helping keep all of us in line —  growing the chapters to 9 within a few short months.

We meet, share referrals, laugh, and generally give each other a hard time whenever possible throughout the otherwise productive business meetings at Earthtones Coffee House in Cicero.  Our chapter, CNY Connects II, is a bit crazy, (in a really good way!) with Steve Roberts of Syracuse Business Services at the helm as President.

In order to get to know each other on days we didn’t have a referral to pass, we were encouraged to give our thoughts to the group on any subject we wanted to share. Today I will be sharing a story told by Mike Chapman of Closer Look Home Inspections at one of our first meetings. Mike was encouraged by another member to tell what Mike fondly refers to as his “scary cat” story.

There were a few chuckles in the room from those who already knew what was coming.

Seems that one summer day in the not too distant past, Mike was hired to do an inspection for a client. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary when Mike walked up to the front door. The client wasn’t home, but Mike had been given permission to enter the property. Tacked to the door was a note that said, “Do Not Let Cat Out.”

Okay, simple enough instruction. No big deal.

Being summertime, Mike — we were learning — apparently likes to dress in shorts when it’s warm, as we all sometimes do.

Now, it must be mentioned here that Mike is a tall, manly guy, and not someone you would think could be scared very easily.

So into the house Mike went. As he entered the living room and began his inspection, he spied the cat. Sitting there. On the floor. Just looking at him.

This next section is open to interpretation, but it would be safe to say this particular cat did not like strangers in its house, even those given permission to enter.

But Mike, not being particularly concerned about the cat 6 feet down on the floor, didn’t give it a second thought … until the cat lunged at him, and attached itself to securely to one of his bare legs.

To say he was somewhat startled would be the understatement of the year. Reacting to the immediate pain at the needle-like claws around his calf, Mike fell backwards, along with the cat, directly onto the owner’s glass coffee table.

The cat must have also been appropriately startled from the unexpected commotion, since it released Mike’s leg, and took off out of the room.

Luckily Mike was not injured — although the coffee table was history — but now he was faced with the dilemma of not knowing where the cat was, and having to go through the house to finish the inspection. All those rooms. All those places the cat could be. Lurking.

But, we learned, as an inspector, he apparently carries with him a long, prod-type tool that helps in poking walls to determine if there is moisture damage.

Suffice it to say that Mike carried that prod with him closely throughout the rest of the inspection as we all laughed at the vision of this tall man being scared of a little ole’ cat.

Now, unlike Mike, I like cats. In fact, the Valentine’s Day card I created for my daughter Melanie pictured her kitties, and their Rottweiler on the front (yes they all get along!). The inside, large picture of my kitty, Pebbles, does personify the look we get from our feline friends, which is obviously something Mike will be aware of from now on:

“Don’t even think of messing with me or my crib.”

catsfrontandflap

melanievdayinside

And yes, that is a heating pad Pebbles is laying on. Well, she might be cold.

The other picture is of all my “babies” napping together on the bed. It’s what they do best.

Now while this card has absolutely nothing to do with Mike the inspector — other than the cat theme — our group now takes every opportunity possible to inject cat references, cat stories, cat pictures, and even a cat “meowing” (as the business card box we have at our meeting is opened by anyone near Mike.) Anything to give Mike a hard time about his now paralyzing fear of our furry feline companions.

And, you can bet the next time I send Mike a card … there will be a crazy cat of some sort pictured inside!

Want to send a fun card to someone? Send one on me! Even if you don’t have a picture of a scary cat to include, you’re sure to find a card that will make someone smile from the 15,000 to choose from on the SendOutCards site!

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Posted by on March 14, 2011 in Need a good laugh?

 

The Coat Rack Challenge

On Thursday February 10, the Liverpool and Baldwinsville, New York Chambers of Commerce came together for a joint luncheon at a local facility, Mohegan Manor. The presidents of both Chambers spoke, and then it was on to the main speaker, Brian Sampson, Executive Director of Unshackle Upstate – www.UnshackleUpstate.com.

While the topic Brian spoke about is of importance to all of us in Upstate New York (who doesn’t want to pay less taxes of ANY sort?), when our group gets together, one of the main things we do is network, build relationships and enjoy the company of those around us.

On either side of me at our table this particular day were Alexandra Gorski from M&T Bank and Steve Herwood of WCNY.

Before the meeting started, and as we introduced ourselves to those we didn’t know, Alex and I (former strangers who – we now realize – share a common bond in being somewhat short) started talking about the coat rack that Mohegan Manor had installed in the hallway temporarily for the event … and what the heck was UP with that – literally!?

While we appreciated it was there, it had to have been placed by a rather tall individual, to say the least, who wasn’t thinking of those who are “height challenged” – like Alex and I, for instance.

Steve, a friend for years, has a unique talent in making comments and delivering amusing barbs in most any situation. And so began the humorous discussion on the height of the coat rack pole, and what the heck were they thinking?

Should Steve (a strapping young boy of over 6 feet), offer to stand and hang coats for the newly arriving height-challenged members? Should he charge a fee? Could it be a second business? Could he counsel restaurants on this important topic and make a name for himself as a Coat Rack Expert?

Or should he offer the opinion to management that a step-stool be provided at future events for the little people, like Alex and I?

I, of course, saw a funny card in all of this! So out came the trusty CoolPix camera – always in my purse for just such occasions – and pictures were taken.

When I spoke with Brian after the meeting and took his picture, his comment to me was: “Please send me the picture. That way I can prove I was REALLY here!”  Little did he know what I would be sending would be a little more than just a picture.

More fun fodder for the developing card – and the thought bubbles that were going to accompany some of the pictures I was taking.

Not that any of this had anything at all to do with anything important, and certainly no reflection on the importance of the topic that day. It was just fun.

Once created a few days later, the card was sent to not only Brian, but also to Bill Pastella, President of the Liverpool Chamber, Tony Saraceni, President of the Baldwinsville Chamber, Lucretia Hudzinski, Executive Director of the Liverpool Chamber, as well as Alex and Steve.

And when these cards are received by those they were sent to – no matter what the situation is they are dealing with at the moment they open the envelopes – they will all smile. Guaranteed. It will take them away from their current reality for those few moments; they’ll smile, laugh, and show people around them. Then get back to the tasks at hand, maybe still grinning just a little bit.

In my world, this is one fun piece of the networking process. Making impressions. Building relationships. Sending cool stuff in the mail. And let’s not forget – having fun!

And of course, here’s the card:


Who takes the time to do something this unique like this these days with instant communication, instant messaging, and instant soup? (Notice the coat rack pictured with Alex, in its own moment of glory?)

Would it surprise you to know this took very little time to do … and that I did it completely online? I never touched a piece of paper, printer or envelope, yet these folks are receiving real paper cards in the mail, complete with a stamp.

Might just set you apart if you did the same thing, mightn’t it?

Want to try it yourself? Who comes to mind as you read this? There is the recipient of your card. Go onto my site, pick a card, pull up a picture inside that you know will make someone laugh, and send it to them. On me.

Make their day, and yours!

The Coat Rack Challenge

On Thursday February 10, the Liverpool and Baldwinsville, New York Chambers of Commerce came together for a joint luncheon at a local facility, Mohegan Manor. The presidents of both Chambers spoke, and then it was on to the main speaker, Brian Sampson, Executive Director of Unshackle Upstate – www.UnshackleUpstate.com.

While the topic Brian spoke about is of importance to all of us in Upstate New York (who doesn’t want to pay less taxes of ANY sort?), when our group gets together, one of the main things we do is network, build relationships and enjoy the company of those around us.

On either side of me at our table this particular day were Alexandra Gorski from M&T Bank and Steve Herwood of WCNY.

Before the meeting started, and as we introduced ourselves to those we didn’t know, Alex and I (former strangers who – we now realize – share a common bond in being somewhat short) started talking about the coat rack that Mohegan Manor had installed in the hallway temporarily for the event … and what the heck was UP with that – literally!?

While we appreciated it was there, it had to have been placed by a rather tall individual, to say the least, who wasn’t thinking of those who are “height challenged” – like Alex and I, for instance.

Steve, a friend for years, has a unique talent in making comments and delivering amusing barbs in most any situation. And so began the humorous discussion on the height of the coat rack pole, and what the heck were they thinking?

Should Steve (a strapping young boy of over 6 feet), offer to stand and hang coats for the newly arriving height-challenged members? Should he charge a fee? Could it be a second business? Could he counsel restaurants on this important topic and make a name for himself as a Coat Rack Expert?

Or should he offer the opinion to management that a step-stool be provided at future events for the little people, like Alex and I?

I, of course, saw a funny card in all of this! So out came the trusty CoolPix camera – always in my purse for just such occasions – and pictures were taken.

When I spoke with Brian after the meeting and took his picture, his comment to me was: “Please send me the picture. That way I can prove I was REALLY here!”  Little did he know what I would be sending would be a little more than just a picture.

More fun fodder for the developing card – and the thought bubbles that were going to accompany some of the pictures I was taking.

Not that any of this had anything at all to do with anything important, and certainly no reflection on the importance of the topic that day. It was just fun.

Once created a few days later, the card was sent to not only Brian, but also to Bill Pastella, President of the Liverpool Chamber, Tony Saraceni, President of the Baldwinsville Chamber, Lucretia Hudzinski, Executive Director of the Liverpool Chamber, as well as Alex and Steve.

And when these cards are received by those they were sent to – no matter what the situation is they are dealing with at the moment they open the envelopes – they will all smile. Guaranteed. It will take them away from their current reality for those few moments; they’ll smile, laugh, and show people around them. Then get back to the tasks at hand, maybe still grinning just a little bit.

In my world, this is one fun piece of the networking process. Making impressions. Building relationships. Sending cool stuff in the mail. And let’s not forget – having fun!

And of course, here’s the card:

Coat Rack FrontCoat Rack Flap

Coat Rack Inside

Who takes the time to do something this unique like this these days with instant communication, instant messaging, and instant soup? (Notice the coat rack pictured with Alex, in its own moment of glory?)

Would it surprise you to know this took very little time to do … and that I did it completely online? I never touched a piece of paper, printer or envelope, yet these folks are receiving real paper cards in the mail, complete with a stamp.

Might just set you apart if you did the same thing, mightn’t it?

Want to try it yourself? Who comes to mind as you read this? There is the recipient of your card. Go onto my site, pick a card, pull up a picture inside that you know will make someone laugh, and send it to them. On me.

Make their day, and yours!

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2011 in Need a good laugh?

 

SendOutCards (and me!) on Bridge Street

Well, it happened!

SendOutCards made it to 9WSYR’s television show Bridge Street – the local show that profiles stories of interest, businesses and products in Upstate New York.

How cool is that for gaining credibility?? Kody Bateman, Founder and CEO of SendOutCards is apparently pretty psyched at gaining more exposure for the company here in Upstate New York where most have never heard of SendOutCards – or the awesome stuff this online site does.

The show aired, live, on September 24th, through the efforts of one of my local SendOutCards team members – Margaret Deleo. Kind of cool to see the TV personalities like Carrie Lazarus, Jim Teskie, Tim Fox – host of the show that day – moving around the actual set we see on TV. All those cameras though … Hmmm …

My nervousness level, when we walked into the studio, was about 20%
.We had a script, approved by SendOutCards compliance, so we were good. A few days earlier we were asked by the station to do a demo and send a card out right during the interview. No problem.

As we stood there, we were told by the IT guy there is no really good internet signal in this particular room, because of wall structure on the set. That’s a challenge.

Stress level then rose to about 60% as I rebooted my laptop a few times to access my own internet connection, luckily stronger than the one in the station. But still … Internet … computers … reliability … sometimes challenging. Live TV. Lots of people watching.

Apparently, from the outside, I still looked calm, so that was good.

There were some card samples we brought to display, including panoramic 3 panel cards with digital pictures inside that are MORE than cool. My laptop was then connected to a large monitor for the audience to view.

Then came the question: “Which one of you is going to do the interview?”

What??! Margaret and I thought we would be doing this together: you know … safety in numbers. Well, it could only be one of us apparently because of spacing issues on the set. So it looked like it was going to be me. No rehearsal.

Stress level: 100%.

As the mic was being place on my shirt, I then heard Carrie, who was  on the air, say: “Coming up is a lady who has been sending me these GREAT cards in the mail, and we’re all going to learn all about it!!”

Taking my spot behind the table, in front of the cameras, Tim then whispers something to the effect that … “I don’t have the questions you gave, but it’ll be okay.” I looked at him with that deer in the headlights look.

Stress level now out of sight.

I then hear someone say something like: “And we’re live.”

Tim then asked me: “Chris, tell us about SendOutCards.” So, I was on, and reverted to the comfortable facts I knew so well, on pure auto-pilot at this point. Time has no real measure at moments like this. Those cameras and thousands of people behind them was all I was thinking about.

Then I found myself sending a card with the system – kind of an out of body experience type of thing. Internet was working. That was good. Pulled up a thank you card from one of the 15,000 cards on the site, to send to the producer, Jim Beebe for helping us make this all happen.

Inserted and spanned a digital picture across the inside of the card. That was also cool. It was a picture of my sister Nancy, her husband Rich, my SigOther Mike and I on vacation at Myrtle Beach the week before. They don’t know yet that they were on TV. Think I’ll let them read about it here and take advantage of the element of surprise.

Too soon, though, (I little white lie), my time in the spotlight was over. A few seconds before the end of the broadcast, I clicked “send” and the card I created was on its way, without a piece of paper, printer or envelope in site!

Didn’t have time to talk about holiday card sending in a flash with SendOutCards, or any of the other stuff Margaret and I planned – because I simply went pretty much blank other than the autopilot stuff already embedded in the ole’ brain.

Want to see the video? Just click on this image:

Or, go to http://www.9wsyr.com. In the top left corner, use the drop down arrow to choose the “Search Video” option. Type in “Send Out Cards” and you’re golden. It’s apparently there for eternity.

And, for those that want to see Margaret talk about holiday card sending, tune in on Monday November 8 at 10:00 when we are coming back! How awesome is that? Margaret will show how anyone can send real paper holiday greeting cards out, complete with pictures, to an entire group of people, like family or friends – in a fraction of the time it normally takes, and with MUCH less hassle and hand-wringing. Even schedule your cards to automatically go out the exact date you want them mailed – and schedule them NOW before the craziness of the holiday season is upon us. You could even add gifts to go along WITH your cards, and not ever have to go out in the snow.

And for me, I’ll be operating the laptop that day for Margaret, while SHE talks and looks into those darned cameras.

Per numerous requests, the next edition of “Take Note” will explain the multiple mailing feature Margaret will be talking about, and how it can be used to take the majority of the pain out of your holiday card sending.

And, as always, send a free card on me!

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2010 in Need a good laugh?