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Saturday, December 06, 2003

well it’s new england
why the hell are people so surprised?

As of noon on December 6, the snowfall total here in Norwalk was 6.5 inches, at least as reported by Weather Underground. I'd say as of about 1:15, it was about 7 inches, but it's hard to tell for sure because the wind is pretty fierce.

We meant to go buy a snowblower to ward off the snow this winter--but we didn't get around to it. So it's our fault we are being pounded with this snowstorm.

I love storms and I love to watch the wild weather, but from about twelve seconds after it's over, I want the snow gone, before it starts to get filthy and sloppy and the snowplows plow in the driveway. But it's beautiful and exciting now.

Stanley took this picture from our bedroom window yesterday early evening. He says it's an awful picture, but I like it. Bear in mind that the cars are going 40 mph on a 25 mph street despite the appalling road conditions. This is Strawberry Hill Avenue in front of Nathan Hale Middle School.


Ginger and I decided to check out the world around 1:00:


It has gotten much worse than this in the hour or so since I took this shot:


Ginger is listening for the snowplows here--she hates the awful noises they make even more than she hates the snowmobiles that tear up and down Strawberry Hill Avenue at the slightest coating of snow. It looks like fun, but I had my fill of snowmobiles when I had a house in the Catskills. And they're so damned noisy.


This is looking out in the school side of our back yard:


Ginger spotted Stanley through the window, and he was eating a cookie! "Oh please let me in I want a cookie too oh pretty please I won't shake I promise ... "


We're going to wander around outside again in a couple of hours, maybe. Right now, it's just too windy.

Tomorrow we're supposed to go with Helene and Maria to celebrate our birthdays with brunch at a nice restaurant--we do this every year since all four of us have our birthdays within the same three weeks. That's supposing we can dig out in time. We're not sure yet when this will be over since the "blizzard conditions warning" doesn't expire until midnight.
posted by lee on 12/06/03 at 11:01 AM

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Wednesday, December 03, 2003

We launched a new site

floral_blanket.jpgWe launched around 5:00 on December 3. Charlie & Grace LLC is the creation of Ray Thompson and Alicia Breen and sells handmade blankets and burp cloth sets as well as hand-crafted fabric belts--very cool belts--that they design. Up until now, they've been selling their stuff mainly via the craft and trunk show circuit and doing quite well, and decided to expand via the web. It's an amazingly fast leap for them considering they founded charlie & grace (named for their first-born kids) just last May.

The baby blankets and burp cloth sets are different--interesting fabric patterns beyond the usual stuff; well made with good fabric, sophisticated. My favorite pattern is called "Vintage Floral," which is the blanket pictured here. I like all of the belts, one of which is pictured below.

It was fun working on this site--the products are great and we really like Ray w_belt_greenpattern_small.jpgand Alicia. It was nice that they had a pretty clear idea about what they wanted, and integrating their chosen ecommerce gateway/shopping cart software was pretty much a breeze once the initial learning curve was over. We implemented RTWare's RTCart.

Though the site looks fairly simple, there were a LOT of details to track and build in. We wanted to keep the structure fairly simple so that the owners could change things quickly if they had to, such as putting an "out of stock" notice if they run out of inventory on something and we aren't around to do it for them (which only means that it will ship in two weeks instead of two business days.) We also wanted to make the structure such that it will be easy to add or change inventory items -- I think we managed that. There are a few tweaks that remain -- mainly just reshooting a couple of the images that are bugging me and adding some visitor tracking code -- and maybe some more wording changes, or implementing suggestions that people looking at the site might have (we hope).

We still have a few other things to figure out as well, such as the best way to advertise the site (do we try out Google Adwords, or Overture, or both? Which keywords should be used if we do?) Is it worth it to fork over $300 to Yahoo in the hope of getting listed there? Where can we advertise that will give the biggest bang for their scarce bucks? What about an eBay store?

At any rate, check it out. Think about how cool a unique belt or a baby blanket/burp set would be to give someone for Christmas.
posted by lee on 12/03/03 at 10:36 PM

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