Monday, May 7, 2018

2018/05/07 - Pie Business

It all started when Val lost her job as an architect in downtown Denver a couple of months ago. She was starting to hate her job.  It seemed like in every job she’s had in Denver, there’s always one or two racist bitches that make her life miserable. She was ready to try something new.

We have always talked about starting a small business, and this was the perfect time for her. During this time, she had made a delicious Brazilian meat pie for me, and started dreaming of selling Brazilian meat pies.

Knowing a little something about selling food, I didn’t latch on to her dream right away. But like a little girl, she kept pleading and bugging until I finally said yes. I was more impressed by her enthusiasm, then her idea. Ultimately that’s the kind of business partner I want. 

We decided that I should handle the administrative side of the business, whereas she would handle the product. 

I chose the name “A Taste of Brazil”, and registered it as an LLC with the Colorado Secretary of State. I got a Federal Tax ID. I opened up a business bank account. I purchased a URL. I registered with the Colorado Department of Revenue for taxes. I listened to podcasts and read everything I could find on starting a business in the food industry. 

We were on a roll!

Then one morning, in the middle of my bike ride, while I was dreaming the dream, Val call to say she got a job offer that she couldn’t refuse. I was hugely disappointed, but I didn’t let on. What disappointed me most was how quickly she dropped the dream, and went on to something better. But I knew she was doing the right thing, as this could easily turn out to be another of Steve’s follies, and it really was an offer she couldn’t refuse. 

It took me about a week to recover. I can always find the silver lining in every cloud, but this took a lot of searching. Finally I decided to move forward alone. Val would still be a partner in the LLC, but now I would have almost complete control. There would be no more arguments over the color of the packaging, the size of the pies, etc. She would no longer have time for these little decisions. I could be decisive and move forward quickly. 

I knew I couldn’t move into production alone, but I figured I could get the business ready to produce product whenever we were ready. It was not like we were counting on making money from the business yet. 

At this point we have an appointment with a commissary in Arvada next Saturday, and I need to get the necessary business insurance, and licenses. I also need to start paying quarterly sales tax returns, even if we don’t collect any sales tax. And of course there’s the final product, packaging, and distribution. 

It’s funny how the more I learned about the food business, the more our product has changed. We started out making delicious 5” beef and chicken pot pies. I didn’t like the size. I personally felt that it was too much for the average person as a single serving. I can easily see someone overeating them and getting tired of them quickly, and never having another one. I know I’ve done this with foods I once thought were delicious, for example pan cakes. As a boy I got sick from eating too many pan cakes smothered with syrup and butter. I haven’t had one since. 

I learned that I have to use a commissary (an approved commercial kitchen) to cook, package, and store my product, the economics started to change. Then I found out that I could not cook meat products if I planned to sell to restaurants and grocery stores. 

All of a sudden, we switched from meat pies to organic vegetarian pies. So we had to change our recipe, and to be honest we haven’t come up with anything as good as the meat pies. 

Regardless, we have plenary of time to come up with the ultimate organic vegetarian pie. In the meantime, I’ve been testing my competition, eating at least one every day. The bar is low…

Sunday, April 8, 2018

04/08/2018 - Way too long

It’s really been way too long since I’ve written in this blog. I’ve probably driven everyone away except Jeff, he has a new post alert set up. Good idea, but I think you may have to join something to get these alerts. 
Anyway lot’s going on, almost too much to know where to begin. 
Wow... I’m already getting tired of writing, so I’ll just mention one thing, our new business, “A Taste of Brazil LLC”, with 2 members, Val and myself.
We are at the very beginning. So far we have a registered business name, a Federal tax ID, a business account, a URL, and the beginnings of a product, mini Brazilian meat pies. We still have a very long way to go, but it gives me something to do while I’m caregiver/prisoner in my own house. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

2018/03/11 - Who’s back?

I think I’m back, but I’m really not sure.

I’ve been wanting to share my latest audio books, but I keep forgetting.

Tangent time: “I keep forgetting” by the Doobie Brothers.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Norm Macdonald. Oh my god, he’s the funniest guy! Who else can take a super sensitive subject like rape and having you laughing out loud?

You really need to get his book “Based on a True Story”.

2018/03/11 - The meaning of life

I’ve spent my entire life trying to figure it all out. You know, the meaning of our lives. Where did we come from, where are we going, and all that shit. 

I’ve never been too good at religion, but I did give it a good try. Hopefully, if I’m wrong,  I’ll get some credit for trying. 

But I think I finally figured it out!!! And it was was right in front of my face all the time! 

We are a Netflix original series in the future!!! 

Let me explain... Have you watched Sienfield? Almost every episode was created around a real life story that happened to Larry David. In fact, part of the reason for him to leave the show midway was because he felt he was running out of his stories.

Ok... so real life stories (according to Larry and Jerry) are the funniest. 

Did I go off on a tangent here? Excuse me, I’ve had a few glasses of wine. 

Ok let’s get back... 

Your life is a story about nothing, just like Seinfeld was a show about nothing. 

Some of our lives are interesting, some are BORING! (But let’s just let the future audience rate us)

Ok sorry, we are human, but we are really stories about nothing. 

And the good ones are being watched as entertainment in the future as a Netflix originals series. 

Philosophy? No way, not me!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

2018/02/19 - Steve at 19

This picture was taken in Aspen after hitchhiking fom NYC in 1970:

What? Me worry?

Thursday, February 8, 2018

2018/02/08 - “Lucky’s”

“Lucky’s” was the last liquor store to close at night in Queens, NYC. 

There was one night, I think it was my engagement party, that at 11:15 PM, I discovered we we running out of booze, and realized that the only liquor store still open was... Lucky’s. 

It was also no coincidence that Lucky’s was located in the absolute most dangerous part of the Queens at the tome, South Jamacia. 

We broke all speed limits to get there before midnight, closing time, and in fact just made it before the iron curtain went down, closing the door for the night. 

Unfortunately while we were inside buying many bottles of boose thru a 1-inch plexiglass window, a crowd of latecomers, many of whom were already severely intoxicated, were litterly hanging on the iron curtain pleeding for a chance to come inside. 

Now we weren’t exactly stupid and we anticipated the scene, so Joey (my best man) was right outside the door in his suped-up  Oldsmobile 442 with the engine running, and both passenger side doors open, waiting for me and Tommy to run in. 

As you can imagine, when Tommy and I came out of the store with liquor bottles, we had a lot of new friends who became more and more aggressive as we approached the car. 

This was a dangerous moment, but the thrill was intoxicating, which will explain Part Two. 

By the time Tommy and I were able to get inside the car and close the doors, the drunken zombies were all ove the car and holding on as we sped away, leaving many skidding on pavement. 

Coming back to my party, bottles in hand, I was a hero. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

2018/01/11 - Comedians in Cars getting Coffee

Have you seen any of the short online episodes of “Comedians in Cars getting Coffee“? I haven’t seen any in a while, but just found out yesterday that Netflix released 20 re-edited episodes. 

Each episode is now about 25 minutes long, and contains a lot of funny dialog that was edited out for the shorter online versions.

This is now the second TV series that I’ve binge-watched. I finished all 20 episodes in a 24 hour period. Yo Netflix!

I like the way Netflix automatically plays the next episode within the next 12 seconds, unless you stop. It really facilitates binge-watching.