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EmberOS Asset Pack: thousands of clipart images, songs, articles, books, textbooks, fonts, textures, and sound effects, all under 2GB, mostly public domain.

2020.09.20 07:02 EternityForest EmberOS Asset Pack: thousands of clipart images, songs, articles, books, textbooks, fonts, textures, and sound effects, all under 2GB, mostly public domain.

This is the asset pack used to generate the next version of EmberOS, my offline-first Raspbian replacement. Everything is, so far as I know, freely licensed, except a few archived old memes/faxlore images that seem to be unknown/abandonware/already shared everywhere.
The vast majority of the data is public domain or CC0, and has been curated partially manually, and partially with various heuristics. Largely things have just been downloaded over the course of a few months when I randomly come across something freely licensed that seemed cool enough to add.
Some things are ShareAlike or similar, but there's no pirated software and books, and most things are marked with source URLs.
To keep with the goal of fitting the whole OS in 8GB with room to spare, audio is compressed with the Opus codec, images have been converted to WebP, clipart has been run through automated optimizers, the largest few files have been omitted from some collections, and things have just been generally squashed to fit.
I think it meets the intended purpose of having enough content to prototype whatever project you're working on, if you lose web access for a bit. Back in the 90s, there were CDs of similar collections, but they were proprietary.
The full EmberOS build that this goes to will be available later, and actually automatically acts as a web, dlna, and samba server for the included content and whatever else you add, so it should be a decent piratebox replacement.
Torrent magnet link: magnet:?xt=urn:btih:E4F794DF36861A2BE7AE5D7E5C0D8CB57657B029&dn=EmberOS%20Resource%20Pack%202020Sep19&tr=udp://tracker.coppersurfer.tk:6969/announce&tr=udp://tracker.opentrackr.org:1337/announce
submitted by EternityForest to DataHoarder [link] [comments]


2020.09.15 17:02 MarkDMill Great deals for 9/15, including AirPods Pro, MacBook Airs & Pro, TapACall, Snap Markup, & more

Today I searched over 300 deals and curated just the best 11 for your enjoyment. I saved you from seeing 280+ junk deals--if you appreciate that, would you support this site via Patreon or Buy Me a Coffee? Patreon is ongoing with perks for you; Buy Me a Coffee is one-time; both are awesome and super appreciated.
Amazon Tech Deals for 09/15 - Today's Amazon tech deals include:
submitted by MarkDMill to MDMDeals [link] [comments]


2020.08.09 18:37 ControversialCorner Some really useful links

Hey guys here is the list of 57 websites that you might find useful in your day to day works .
  1. screenr.com - Record movies of your desktop and send them straight to YouTube.
  2. bounceapp.com - For capturing full length screenshots of web pages.
  3. Goo. gl - Shorten long URLs and convert URLs into QR codes.
  4. untiny.me - Find the original URLs that’s hiding behind a short URLs.
  5. localti.me - Know more than just the local time of a city 6.copypastecharacter.com - Copy-paste special characters that aren’t on your keyboard.
  6. topsy.com -A better search engine for twitter.
  7. fb.me/AppStore -Search iOS apps without launching iTunes.
  8. iconfinder.com -The best place to find icons of all sizes.
  9. office.com -Download templates, clipart and images for your Office documents.
  10. woorank.com -everything you wanted to know about a website.
  11. virustotal.com -Scan any suspicious file or email attachment for viruses.
  12. wolframalpha.com- Gets answers directly without searching . 14.printwhatyoulike.com- Print web pages without the clutter.
  13. joliprint.com -Reformats news articles and blog content as a newspaper.
  14. isnsfw.com- When you wish to share a NSFW page but with a warning.
  15. eggtimer.com- A simple online timer for your daily needs.
  16. coralcdn.org -If a site is down due to heavy traffic, try accessing it through coral CDN.
  17. random.org- Pick random numbers, flip coins, and more.
  18. mywot.com -Check the trust level of any website .
  19. viewer.zoho.com -Preview PDFs and Presentations directly in the browser.
  20. tubemogul.com -Simultaneously upload videos to YouTube and other video sites.
  21. truveo.com- The best place for searching web videos.
  22. scr.im - Share your email address online without worrying about spam.
  23. spypig.com - Now get read receipts for your email.
  24. sizeasy.com -Visualize and compare the size of any product.
  25. whatfontis.com -quickly determine the font name from an image.
  26. fontsquirrel.com -A good collection of fonts free for personal and commercial use.
  27. regex.info -Find data hidden in your photographs .
  28. tineye.com -This is like an online version of Google Googles.
  29. iwantmyname.com - Helps you search domains across allTLDs.
  30. tabbloid.com -Your favorite blogs delivered as PDFs.
  31. join. me - Share your screen with anyone over the web.
  32. onlineocr.net -Recognize text from scanned PDFs and images – see other OCR tools.
  33. flightstats.com -Track flight status at airports worldwide.
  34. wetransfer.com -For sharing really big files online.
  35. pastebin.com -A temporary onlineclipboard for your text and code snippets. 38.polishmywriting.com -Check your writing for spelling or grammatical errors. 39.awesomehighlighter.com - Easily highlight the important parts of a web page.
  36. typewith.me -Work on the same document with multiple people. 41.whichdateworks.com-Planning an event? Find a date that works for all.
  37. everytimezone.com -A less confusing view of the world time zones.
  38. warrick.cs.odu.edu -You'll need this when your bookmarked web pages are deleted.
  39. gtmetrix.com -The perfect tool for measuring your site performance online.
  40. imo.im -Chat with your buddies on Skype,Facebook, GoogleTalk, etc from one place. 46.translate.google.com - Translate web pages,PDFs and Office documents.
  41. youtube.com/leanback - Sit back and enjoy YouTube videos in full-screen mode.
  42. similarsites.com -Discover new sites that are similar to what you like already.
  43. wordle.net -Quicksummarize long pieces of text with tag clouds.
  44. bubbl.us -Create mind-maps, brainstorm ideas in the browser.
  45. kuler.adobe.com -Get color ideas, also extract colors @globalkosreborn
  46. followupthen.com -Setup quick reminders via email itself.
  47. lmgtfy.com -When your friends are too lazy to use Google on their own.
  48. tempalias.com -Generate temporary email aliases, better than disposable email.
  49. pdfescape.com -Lets you can quickly edit PDFs in the browser itself.
  50. faxzero.com -Send an online fax for free– see more fax services.
  51. feedmyinbox.com -Get RSS feeds.
submitted by ControversialCorner to copypasta [link] [comments]


2020.07.31 23:16 ducksareoppressed Some design suggestions

Hey there, I've been using Fildo for years and I have a few suggestions to the design.
  1. Orange and black can make the app look a bit unofficial. Black and white go together better.
  2. The font makes the app kinda look like a scam. I recommend using fonts that Google uses (Roboto, Helvetica)
  3. Ads should be placed better. Banners are in spots where people would accidentally click. I reccomend removing the banner under the music player and placing it in between music results.
  4. Using an image as the background can be distractijg to the contents of the app
  5. Implement instant results to search. Sometimes you have to search things 2 times for them to show up.
  6. For the genres I think making different solid colours with text would be more appealing than stock images. I can help you with that for free if you want that.
  7. The "more" section should be cleaned up. Login should be changed to Login / Sign up and it should be in Settings, Last 100 playlists should be removed or rephrased because I don't think I can see anyone using that. About - Changes should be changed to "About". There are only a few settings so they could be bigger too.
  8. Don't know if this is about design but app should be quicker. Maybe use less plugins
  9. There should be a tutorial somewhere. Not an automatic one but somewhere easy to find.
  10. The icon is a darker-sided orange, which doesn't stand out like any other apps. The icon looks similar to an old Google logo. I recommend a cleaner logo, one with more curves and maybe even a lighter colour. Orange is unappealing to some so if you're up for it, maybe even changing it will do something. Also from the icon it doesn't really look like a bunny which I assume that's what you were going for, maybe smooth those points at the sides and maybe add those freckles where bunnies get their whiskers (?) on.
  11. Remove select background in settings, most people come for downloading music. I do recommend making a light and a dark mode though.
  12. "If local version of song exists, play that instead" doesn't make sense
  13. Offline mode shouldn't be an option but it should automatically happen when Wi-Fi or mobile data is inaccessible.
  14. Cute bunnies when there are no search results, but I feel like if a newcomer saw a crying bunny they wouldn't know what it means. A good error message would be "No results. Make sure your search query doesn't have any spelling mistakes." It's easy to tell that the bunnies are clipart too
  15. Smiley faces are friendly but not professional, it's not a problem though.
Other than that I think you've done a fantastic job on this app :) it's the only good music downloading app I've come across! All I want to do is improve it so please don't take any offense because this app is amazing. Thanks!!!
submitted by ducksareoppressed to Fildo [link] [comments]


2020.06.28 00:21 SakiSanobashiOP My Rebuttal to The Recent “Debunking of my post" by u/SteliosRotas

The next paragraph of this post is just a quick little introduction and explanation about this post and why it’s just a little late, you can skip to the paragraph after it, if you just want to see my rebuttal to u/SteliosRotas’ accusations. All that I ask is that you please keep an open mind and read my entire rebuttal, before you pick any sides or make any decisions.
Hello, everyone, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted or commented anything on this account. For starters, I want everyone to please keep an open-mind and read my defense to SteliosRotas’ accusations, before picking any sides, as I’ve already had quite a few people DM me insulting me and shaming me for supposedly having faked all of this (I've also gotten 2 DMs from respectful and nice people, so not all of them were bad, but most of them were.) Although it came very late, I suppose that this is the hate that I had been trying to avoid when I made an alt specifically for the purpose of making my original post. As you can imagine, I’m not very active on this account or SakiSanobashi at all, and it’s only because I happened to check this account today (I try to log-in at least once every 2 weeks or so, only to check my notifications, as I sometimes get DMs from people who want to ask or tell me something about my original post) that I even learned about the existence of SteliosRotas’ alleged “debunking” so I’d like to apologize that this reply is 3 days late. Like I said in my original post, I don’t have any concrete evidence of being the OP of Saki, (If anyone has any ideas for proof that I can provide, please DM me and I’ll be more than happy to provide it if possible) so I’m not trying to make anyone believe me, all I can do is provide you with the facts and evidence that I do have and let you make your own conclusions from there.
Anyways, when we finished the interview, I lost hopes. Then, I noticed something weird. When I asked him if he could provide any more evidence, he said that he didn't have any more evidence than the Dies Irae scream. In case you didn't know, original OP shared a scream in Vocaroo where he said that that's what one of the girls sounded like. That recording was from The Shining OST called 'Dies Irae". Original OP high pitched one part of it where there was a scream and said that what's how the girl sounded like. I was looking for that scream for months because I wanted to hear it. When you click on the Vocaroo link original OP provided, the recording was deleted. No one had the recording. So, when I heard that SakiSanobashiOP had the actual recording as evidence, I was excited because I wanted to hear it. Plus, when he said that, I believed him more. I downloaded the recording and immediately noticed that something was wrong. Here's the recording in case you haven't heard it: https://voca.ro/iZsaxqmTuS1 Also here's the recording in Google drive in case it gets deleted: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=1M9hxJx1spTAPxTQRT1nAa94rAPxFnoY6. If you heard it you will realize something shocking. The recording is not high pitched. Original OP said he high pitched it. When I said that to the Discord, people said that it was high pitched. Someaverageguy24 found this video: https://youtu.be/uH8y6v9WSX4. He also found that the timestamp of the recording SakiSanobashiOP gave was in 2:20. So, I took Audacity and compared the two sound files with a spectrogram: Here's the comparison: https://imgur.com/gallery/PKu9X2V. As you can see, they are identical. So, SakiSanobashiOP didn't change the pitch like the original post.
I’m going to be completely honest, it’s very possible that SteliosRotas is correct here, the only audio editing that I’ve ever done was for my original post, so it’s very possible that I messed up the editing of the sound and didn’t end up actually changing anything, or changed something else by mistake, Sloop234 (who I think is the same person as SteliosRotas, as Stelios says that he’s the leader of the Discord, and Sloop is the leader of the Discord) actually asked me about this, I’m assuming that this is the reason why Sloop asked me if I had any experience editing music, but if that was the reason that he asked, then why wouldn’t SteliosRotas include it in his post? I don’t want to throw around accusations, but I’m pretty sure that he neglected to include said information, because it would help defend me, which is quite scummy, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he just made a mistake. I’m also not going to pretend like I know how to read a spectrogram, but the two images that SteliosRotas included have quite a few differences, that don’t seem to be able to be explained away as a quality difference, I would assume that a quality difference would simply result in the details getting fuzzier and the colors maybe blending together a bit, or something along those lines, but like I said before, I don’t know how to read spectrograms, so I can’t really confirm that this is an actual change that I made, though it does seem to me like I at least changed something. Here is my comparison between the 2 images.
Someaverageguy24 insisted that the recording of SakiSanobashiOP was different and there was a pretty small difference. There was only a quality difference, but that was it. So, I tried comparing the file with a video that was made in 2017: https://youtu.be/H9lB3JZfnSA. That video features the music from the actual movie. But, when I searched for the timestamp to compare it, there wasn't any identical time of the song that featured that recording. When we compared the 2016 video Someaverageguy24 gave me and the 2017 video which was from the actual OST, we noticed that they were completely different tracks. When Someaverageguy24 checked on the description, he noticed that the 2016 video he gave was a cover of the Dies Irae soundtrack. It was a cover by a Brazilian group named Amazarak and it was from an album called "Commando Blasfemia". Here's the whole album: https://youtu.be/ZyOGgFn6FHE. The first song of the album is named "Intro" and it's a cover of the "Dies Irae" soundtrack. So, yeah, SakiSanobashiOP didn't use the Dies Irae scream from the original soundtrack of the film.
Now, you will say that original OP might had mistaken it as the original. But, no. The song "Intro" might have been made in 2005, but it wasn't uploaded online until 2017. So, in order to get it, you had to buy it with money. The "Intro" song was first associated with "Dies Irae" in February 22nd 2015, when it was uploaded: https://youtu.be/g_nsZ8yt1KA. The problem with this video is that it was uploaded one day after the original post, so original OP couldn't use that version of the soundtrack.
First of all, SteliosRotas completely contradicts himself here, he first says that “"Intro" might have been made in 2005, but it wasn't uploaded online until 2017.” And he immediately after provides a link to a video that shows that it had been uploaded in 2015, Sloop actually showed me the video that SteliosRotas links here during our interview and I stated that it wasn’t the same video, so the difference in the upload date is irrelevant, as I never claimed that this was the video that I used.
You might say that there was an online version of it, but it was deleted. That statement is false. Around that time, I discovered a Spanish blog which talked about the Dies Irae Vocaroo recording. When you clicked on the sources of that blog, you would get to links: https://www.reddit.com/tipofmytongue/comments/3ah3fk/tomtanime_nine_girls_get_stuck_in_a_large/?utm_source=amp&utm_medium=&utm_content=post_body&cid=112ar6kwcid*Q00tbkU1MGpXUEk5RDBOeGpyakhZaGJGOEM2MUJsUC14eXNJdTBnaGJMQTNfUlptT2Y5aWdfSDFGR1FjVU80RQ.. https://www.reddit.com/lostmedia/comments/ahk64c/searching_for_go_for_a_punch_an_horrifying_anime/?utm_source=amp&utm_medium=&utm_content=post_body&cid=1m4d45vcid*MDZlQWN4Y3kwMnZaUG02a3plTHpqY1VjbXJIZGFibk5HX0NoMzV0bExWck9JOUJ3Z2dnVkRGb3RNYXBhMnVsaQ.
The first link transfers you to a Reddit post in 2015 on the Tip of my tongue subreddit. Back then, the recording wasn't deleted. So, people had access to it. The post says that the recording was from the actual OST of the Shining. Not from a Brazilian band. The second link transfers you to a post made in 2019 and said that the original Dies Irae recording was from the actual OST soundtrack. He said that it original OP made the recording from this video: https://youtu.be/D76vyuiMgg0. Which was posted in 2013, but he used the 2017 video for better quality. And the most important thing of all, at first he said that the timestamp of the recording was in 2:05, but then he corrected it to 2:42 from the original soundtrack. That was the timestamp of the original original recording original OP made. When you compare them, they sound nothing alike.
A lot of things here are false, or misrepresented. For starters, if you follow the second link, you’ll see that the Vocaroo post had indeed been deleted at the time of the Reddit post, as the OP says:
-First hieroglyph 先 can be read as "saki". I'm guessing OP misremembered the title. Are there any synonymous phrases that start with that 'saki'? -In response, he got- OP, is there any chance that it was actually 先延(さき)のばし(saki no bashi)?- I'm willing to bet that the person who called it Saki Sanobashi was either lying or misremembered. Remember that this wasn't the same guy who saw the anime, just some random anon on /a/. It's a good placeholder name, but I would recommend sticking to "Go for a punch" if you want to find the correct title He also went into detail describing some characters and even how they sounded like, which he actually did post in a vocaroo file a recreation of how one of the girl's screams sounded like. The file is not around anymore but i remember hearing it -those audio files are not available right now, If someone has it, I would appreciate it being published-
As a result of this, we know that OP didn’t listen to the recording himself, this is later developed in more detail here:
Sorry to make this post such a long thing, but we have an update to do. First of all, the new thread is this one. We started to dig deep into the name Saki Sanobashi. It is not what we should do, but incredibly the what was found was very particular.
Let's take a moment to talk about the soundtrack, a few threads before we had some Vocaroo files to listen. It was apparently just a fragment of the track 'Dies Irae' from The Shining's OST, but it was pitched up to make it sound like a girl's voice, used in order to ejemplificate how sounded part of the original footage. Here's the link. Listen it starting from 2:42.
Op mentioned that English wasn’t his native language later in the post, which explains his weird wording, but it sounds like he’s trying to say that someone on the (now deleted) 4Chan thread that he linked said that the Vocaroo recording was from 2:42 in the official soundtrack of the movie, so, to summarize, SteliosRotas’ evidence for where the recording was “actually from” is someone who says that someone on 4Chan who claimed to have listened to the recording before it was deleted claimed that it was from the OST at 2:05, and later changed his story to say that it was actually at 2:42, also, the video that he linked isn’t even the OST, it’s a clip from the movie, so his timestamps most likely wouldn’t even be correct if we were to go to them on the actual OST. It’s equally possible that the 4Chan user who claimed to have heard the Vocaroo, actually just looked up the OST (which would be my fault, for saying that I got the clip from the OST, rather than from a cover, my bad, but I’ve never watched The Shining and I’m pretty sure that the video that I watched claimed to be from the OST) and assumed that the first scream that he heard was the sound from the Vocaroo clip, and then corrected himself to say that it was at 2:42, since that scream sounded better, I don’t see how he could have confused 2:05 and 2:42 otherwise, as they sound completely different.
Well, we posted all of this research in the general channel. Anyone can just say they are interested and have access to the general channel. So everyone could access it and see our research. I even gave SakiSanobashiOP an invite, so he already had one. When the second small interview happened, we asked him about the Dies Irae scream. His response was this: What he actually said https://imgur.com/gallery/q5D7TrL. In other words, he said he recently saw The Shining and read the book and he said that he didn't like it. He said that when he heard it, he thought that the music that plays in the beginning (the Dies Irae soundtrack) wasn't the same as the one he heard 5 years ago. He even said that the track he chose could have been a cover. This is nonsense.
I remember listening to both songs in the same day and I couldn't see a difference. It took me and Someaverageguy24 a while to figure out that they were different versions. And SakiSanobashiOP listened to something 5 years ago and he remembered that it was a different version he heard while he was seeing a movie. If he has that supernatural memory, why didn't he tell us what the exact search terms he used to find the song. He said he searched for "songs with screams" or something like that, as he said. So, he did remember a 2 minute music he listened to 5 years ago, but he didn't remember a search term he did, or a creepypasta that he read? I don't know if you see my point, but everyone knew he used an alt account on the Discord server. Even people who believed him said that he was spying on us.
Saying that I need to have “supernatural memory” in order to notice this is a reach, and trying to pretend like it’s definitive proof that I’m lying is an even bigger reach, here’s the version of the song that I used for my original post, or at least a very similar version, and here’s the version from the movie, if you listen to them, it’s very obvious that they’re different versions of the song, I highly doubt that it took him and Someaverageguy24 more than 5 minutes to find out that they weren’t the same version, unless both of them are deaf.
So, he did remember a 2 minute music he listened to 5 years ago, but he didn't remember a search term he did, or a creepypasta that he read? I quoted this section again, because I want to focus on it in particular, I didn’t remember the whole song exactly, but I did remember the general feel and sound of it, I’m sure that many of you can also remember at least a few superficial details of songs that you listened to a long time ago, but most importantly, what really gave away the fact that the versions were different, is the fact that the excerpt from the song in the Vocaroo recording (which I had last listened to much more recently, in last December, when I uploaded it for my post on this Subreddit) doesn’t appear at all in the actual movie. When I watched the movie, I did keep an ear out for the scream that I used for my original post, out of some random curiosity for where the scream was actually from, when I didn’t hear it anywhere in the movie, I listened to the Vocaroo clip again to confirm that I hadn’t just missed it due to misremembering the scream, but I didn’t remember hearing it in the movie at all (even with a pitch difference, the scream still would have been at least recognizable) this led me to believe that the version of the song that I took the scream from May have been an alt version or a cover or something my wording is much different than SteliosRotas’ summary of what I said, in which me makes it sound like I told him plainly that it was definitely a cover. Also, I did remember quite a few details about the Creepypasta (and told them to Sloop, as seen here) that I read, I just didn’t remember the title, and just because I remembered the general sound of a song and the basic plot of a Creepypasta that I read a few years ago, (I’m sure many of you also remember basic information about stories, movies or games that you’ve seen years ago) doesn’t mean that I’ll remember a random Google search that I made 5 years ago word for word.
As for the completely baseless accusation that I used an alt account on his Discord, I’m not very active on this account, or on my SakiSanobashiOP Discord account, which I’m sure that SteliosRotas and other members of the Discord can testify to, as my replies to their messages often came a few days late, as it took a while for me to see them, do you really think that I would have created an alt account in order to spy on them and know the questions that they were going to ask me ahead of time? Also, if I had managed to convince them to let my alt account into the Discord and now had access to all of their behind-the-scenes work, why would I then delete my alt account, wouldn’t it make more sense for me to keep the account in the server, so that I could continue to spy on them?
And finally, he talked with no grammar or spelling, which is the opposite of SakiSanobashiOP. Plenty of people talk/text without correcting their grammar or spelling, I could probably find hundreds of them in any random Discord server, am I all of those people too? This is barely even passable as supporting evidence, much less as your only evidence.
He said that the video he got the scream had an axe in the middle with the title of the movie above and the background was black. The post he made https://imgur.com/gallery/MvWVvjx There isn't any similar poster of the Shining that we could find. Usually, YouTube users who upload songs, usually put the poster of the movie in the background. Why would someone go out of their way to make a brand new poster.
Plenty of people also create fanmade images for their videos, I made the image that I provided by googling “Axe clipart” “The Shining title” and mashing them together on a black background in like 5 minutes, anyone could do it. Maybe they made it because they wanted their video to be unique, or because they thought that it would look cool, or maybe they didn’t want to use an official poster out of fear of having their video taken down for copyright infringement.
Something that doesn't make sense is that he uses an Android instead of an iOS as seen in his screenshots. If you look his data on Discord, you will find that he uses Discord with a Samsung as seen in this screenshot: https://imgur.com/gallery/rNLH5g5. When you look at his "evidence" is that he uses an iOS. His gallery is 100% on an iPhone. We still don't know why would he fake his phone, but we still have theories. This part is very easy to disprove, for starters, the “screenshot” that Stelios cites is the same screenshot that he used for the alleged “alt account.” So he has absolutely no evidence to support this random claim, maybe he can respond with the correct screenshot after seeing this post, but I don’t even know how he would get evidence about the device that I’m using, and why that “evidence” would suggest that I’m on a Samsung, as I am on an iPhone X, and can prove it, here are some photos of it, with a paper that has my username written on it.
Now, this part is also confusing, so stay with me. u/SisterToSleep suggested that SakiSanobashiOP would upload the image data of the Batman screenshot. SakiSanobashiOP shared this screenshot which tells the image data of the screenshot: https://m.imgur.com/a/fiNtWtk. In that image, I noticed 3 weird things. First is the filename. Whenever I try to download the Batman screenshot, I download the file: 1424552517071.jpeg. While, in SakiSanobashiOP's data, it shows "I typed the first thing that popped up in my mind.png". This happens, because when you upload something on 4chan, the image converts to JPEG. It converts to JPEG because JPEG is known for compressing images into a smaller size, so 4chan decided to upload those photos in JPEG (and also change their name to the post number). Many people thought that the screenshot with the data that SakiSanobashiOP provided was true, since it was the full name of the actual image, as seen here: https://imgur.com/gallery/0TTwtMp, and it was PNG. This is stupid. I don't know if people know this, but there is a little button where you can download the actual image the exact name and the exact filesize as the original from OP's computer. So everyone can access it. Now, the thing that caught my attention really hard was the filesize of the image data SakiSanobashiOP provided. If you look closely on the image data https://imgur.com/gallery/XcX7C1E, you can see that the filesize of the image is 416 KB. When you look at the 4chan post, you will see that the filesize of the image is 485 KB https://imgur.com/gallery/aANT1o7. But, just as I said before, because 4chan uses JPEG to save memory, that 485 KB isn't the original filesize of the image original OP uploaded. So, when you download the image via the button, you will see that the image will be in PNG and the filesize would be 496 KB https://imgur.com/gallery/TanQJtt. So, original OP made a screenshot of the Bing player with the name "I typed the first thing that popped up in my mind" and had the filesize of 496 KB. So, if the original picture was 496 KB, then why is SakiSanobashiOP's image 416 KB? If it was 416 KB, then (because it was in PNG) 4chan would compress the file into a smaller size, not a bigger one. Not to mention that SakiSanobashiOP used Windows 7, which is one of the easiest ways to modify EXIF data.
What SteliosRotas describes here is strange, and confuses even myself, though I think I may have an explanation for what is happening here. For starters, the archive of my original post can be found here if you scroll down far enough to find when I posted this image, you can indeed download it from 4Chan, I’ve done some testing and have found that there are 3 ways to download images from 4Chan, the first, and worst method, is to right click on the thumbnail of the image and select “Save image as” this will result in you saving the thumbnail of the image, which will be very small and low quality, when I did this, it resulted in an image size of 1.53KB, the second method of downloading images is to click on the thumbnail, this should open the image in a new tab, allowing you to right-click it and download the image as you normally would, this will result in the image having a file-size of 484.6KB, the third method to downloading an image is to simply press this button doing so should automatically install the image to your device, doing this will also result in an image with a file size of 484.6KB. I have tried every method of installing an image to my PC and have checked for all ways to see its size, when downloaded correctly, the size of the image downloaded from 4Chan will always be 484.6KB (1.53KB if downloaded incorrectly) not 416KB or 496KB. So, if this is the case, then why was the image that SteliosRotas downloaded 496KB? Well, as you can see in the screenshot that he provides he appears to be on a mobile device, because of the simplicity of mobile devices, I believe that SteliosRotas’ device is displaying the size that the image is taking up on his device, rather than the size of the actual image itself, these sizes can be different as a result of more data being added to the image when it is downloaded, or by the device itself, for example, here are the properties of the images that I downloaded from 4Chan, they all take up more space on my PC than the images’ actual sizes, I believe that the “image size” that you see in SteliosRotas’ screenshot is actually just the space that it takes up on his device. This leaves us with just one last question, why is the image on my laptop smaller than the image in 4Chan? Well, to be completely honest with you, I’m not entirely sure myself, but this doesn’t really provide evidence against me, as even if I had faked the screenshot and downloaded the image from 4Chan, the image size would have been 484.6KB, not 416KB I have two possible explanations for why the size of the image on my laptop is smaller than the image on 4Chan. My first explanation is that 4Chan added more information to the image when I uploaded it, or perhaps small details of the image were corrupted during the upload, resulting in small imperfections (such as slightly shifted colors, or some pixels slightly changing” that could increase the size of the image, this is made somewhat more likely by the fact that the “4Chan post” that is available now, and that I linked isn’t actually the original 4Chan post that I made in 2015, but rather an archive, which introduces more possibilities for small details of the image to have been changed. The second explanation is similar to the first, for context, my laptop is quite ancient, I bought it around 2012, and it wasn’t even the newest model when I bought it, it’s so ancient, in-fact, that I haven’t really used it for some years now (the last time I used it was when I had to grab the Bing Video Player screenshot for my original post) I’ve been using a Desktop PC (which, unlike my laptop, is on Windows 10) for the past 2 or 3 years, because of the age of my laptop, I’ve had to replace the hard-drive twice (once before my original post, as the laptop had far too little storage space, and a second time after my post, because the HDD was starting to die on me and had started to decrease in size pretty quickly) and have had to restore it from a back-up (via an external hard-drive) once, due to the laptop breaking and having to be repaired (which included a complete wipe of all data) although .PNG files are supposed to be lossless, that only refers to the quality of the image, and only applies when saving, uploading and opening the image, it’s still possible for .PNG files to lose some quality through small imperfections when being transferred, or when they’re left to sit in an old and dying HDD, it’s even more likely for them to be compressed (thus reducing in size, with little to no quality loss) during transfers or saves, which would result in the image size somewhat decreasing.
Hopefully, this post can help clear my name from the allegations that SteliosRotas has brought up against me. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that the evidence that I use to support the fact that I’m the OP isn’t very solid either, but as always, if anyone can come up with any idea that I can use to provide more evidence that I’m the OP, I would be more than happy to provide it (if possible.)
Now, I have things that I have to do, so I probably won’t be able to respond to all of your comments right away, but I will try to respond to as many as I can eventually.
submitted by SakiSanobashiOP to SakiSanobashi [link] [comments]


2020.06.24 18:43 FrancescoAmic1 Zodiac's Halloween riddle. The clue is "Q"

Zodiac's Halloween riddle. The clue is
Propositions
The main clue alluded by Zodiac on the cover of the Halloween card which should lead to his real name is the letter Q*.
Zodiac could speak Italian and have Italian ancestry. His signature may be “by water” and contain the word "water" in Italian, ACQUA. If this is true, the most probable Zodiac’s last name would currently be BEVILACQUA. Zodiac probably reads Western comics.
Edited on September 8, 2020. Notes (\) are at the bottom of the post.*
https://preview.redd.it/pv051mp8c3a51.png?width=1318&format=png&auto=webp&s=7619ed1f9997ff7d5ddbf6e95a6bfe9ccaf61714
How the riddle has been solved
The main solution to the Zodiac’s Halloween riddle is reached through an assonance between the letter Q and the syllables of the word CUCÙ derived from “The cuckoo’s game”, Il gioco del cucù, the Italian version of Peek-A-boo. CUCÙ has the same pronunciation of QQ in Italian and is the correct translation of BOO from English to Italian in this context.
Context
The 13 symbols row composed by Zodiac in his letter postmarked April 20, 1970, hadn't been yet deciphered when, six months later, the mass murder sent an Halloween card to San Francisco Chronicle reporter Paul Avery that reads: «I feel it in my bones, you ache to know my name, and so I’ll clue in…» (FBI specimens on the Halloween card – source).
Envelope
Zodiac:
- wrote «sorry no cipher»;
- put together with a Z a new symbol, a kind of VF with four dots, in the sender area;
- spelled the recipient's name Paul Averly instead of Avery and underlined the letters «LAV»;
- used for the second time a stamp of the Apollo 8 mission which reads «In the beginning God... » (he did it also on October 5, image – the whole list of stamps is here on zodiacciphers.com).
Riddle
The main questions based solely on what Zodiac wrote in the card are:
  1. What is the clue that he wanted to provide to his reader on page 1?
  2. What is the game he talked about on pages 2 and 3?
  3. What does his new symbol on the envelope and on page 3 mean?
  4. What do the words «By fire, by gun, by knife, by rope» on page 4 mean?
Western comics
The way to go to find the answer to question 4 has already been discovered by Tahoe27 here. The four sentences with “by” on the back of the Halloween card appeared to have been copied from a “Death Wheel” depicted on the cover of Tim Holt No. 30, which was entitled «Lady Doom and the Death Wheel» (here’s the comic book). Zodiac copied all the deaths from the cover** except one, partially hidden by Red Mask’s head, «by water».
Two confirmations of Tahoe27’s discovery can be found on pages 2 and 3:
- the “bird” says: «you are doomed»;
- the skeleton is depicted with a red mask (although around the eyes).
Question 4 should be replaced with:
  1. Why did Zodiac transcribe the deaths on the cover of Tim Holt #30 to his Halloween card, apart from "by water"?
VF Symbol
Many Zodiac researchers are convinced the VF symbol drawn by the mass murder on the envelope and on page 3 of the card is a cattle brand “owned” by another Western hero of comics, Red Ryder. A very similar symbol (without dots) was depicted on the cover of Red Ryder #15***.
This clue is mentioned by Robert Graysmith in “Zodiac Unmasked” on page 128 (link).
Zodiac researcher Morf13 has explained here that the real owner of the cattle brand was Fred Harman III, Red Ryder’s inventor son (here’s the same symbol in the Colorado Brand Book 1948, page 508, n. 29 – source).
Braille
The four dots in the cattle brand translate the letters “I” and “E” in Braille**** (source: Braille Authority). «Ie», acronym of the Latin words "id est", is used as a synonym for “in other words”, “that is” (source: Wiktionary).
Zodiac emphasized the number 14 in his postcard focused on an “eyes” theme. The alphabet for blind people seems to be the right reference, because the Red Ryder comic book #14 story was centered on the main character’s temporary blindness (here’s the whole story).
https://preview.redd.it/uzjeauv5jh751.png?width=1944&format=png&auto=webp&s=8cc422bf46def426f2b7a3b7dd82322a0f40ab63
A possible confirmation of this finding may be contained on page 4 of the comic book which reads: «Blinded in a fight with Ace Hanlon, Red is alone, save for Little Beaver, at Painted Valley Ranch when Hanlon appears with his pal, One-Eye». The skeleton with a red pupil on the front of the Halloween card should be Hanlon’s pale One-Eye.
https://preview.redd.it/p5mks2u8jh751.png?width=989&format=png&auto=webp&s=3fdee69a5cc9710ebcb380c5dea3441886c3726d
Reversed P
The Braille characters should be touched with fingers to be read (source). If you hold in your hand the Halloween card, putting your forefinger on the dots and thumb on the other side, or vice versa, your finger on the back will point the area in which the P of ROPE is.
Aberrations
Zodiac pointed out the line where is the flipped N of «By knife» (an aberration) writing this «By» vertically instead of horizontally like the other ones (another aberration). The flipped N is in the same horizontal row where P is.
If you reverse the P, as you should reverse the N, you’ll have a q.
The meaning of this part of the riddle is «ie q» which means «In other words, Q».
Below, the references with links to the Halloween card aligned for printing and checking the exact position of the four dots in the VF symbol
Front and back
Inside pages
Pages 3 and 4 together (with the FBI's copy too)
https://preview.redd.it/kg8ai33kjh751.png?width=1084&format=png&auto=webp&s=7e16df8f96417d35d2446f214590725adbba6fa9
The cuckoo’s game
«But then, why spoil the game!» Zodiac wrote on pages 2 and 3. The answer to this riddle is just Peek-A-Boo, a universal child game known by different names*****.
In Italy, Peek-A-Boo is called "The cuckoo's game", "Il gioco del cucù" (here’s the related page on Wikipedia). The Italian pronunciation of “cu” is the same as “Q” (source: Collins Dictionary, image). The big "Boo!" in the Zodiac's Halloween card should be translated "Cucù!" which has the same sound as "Q-Q" in Italian. This could explain why Zodiac twisted around an eye the Q-shaped sentence «Peek-A-boo you are doomed», drawing an A like it was a beak.
Solution
The clue given to the reader by Zodiac to reach his name is the letter Q. This could mean that Q is one of the 13 symbols he had encrypted in the “My name is – cipher”.
This solution turns out the killer possibly spoke Italian, which could be also the reason why he underlined “LAV” on the envelope.

https://preview.redd.it/6bqr1mdojh751.png?width=2784&format=png&auto=webp&s=868a84eaf1cd87c76c7e8e28ef6fc628c05876d4
Wash - Lav...
In the Collins Italian College Dictionary 1991, the Italian words starting with “lav” are mainly associated with the verb “to wash” (lavare) and its compounds: 19 on 27 Italian words that begin with “LAV” are derived from “lavare” and 13 of them contain the word “wash” in English (image). The same word, “wash”, is alluded or mentioned by Zodiac a few times in autumn 1969
  1. Washing line ( link), September 27, 1969 (evidence);
  2. Car wash (link), September 27, 1969 (phone booth location);
  3. Washington Street, October 11, 1969 (crime scene);
  4. «Washington street», October 13, 1969 (letter);
  5. «I just washed my pen», November 8, 1969 (greeting card).
What could “wash” mean for the killer?
https://preview.redd.it/sb1fe1wgzw851.png?width=1522&format=png&auto=webp&s=2a45f80101271373c9c2108518860af49c9b1a48
By water
A very reoccurring element in Zodiac's crimes is water, Robert Graysmith has written in his books a few times since 1986 (an excerpt from his first one, "Zodiac"). The only death the killer did not copy and paste from the cover of Tim Holt #30, as others have noticed (thread), is just: “By water” (it's one of the deaths to which Red Mask is condemned - you can read it here on page 8 of the comic).
The answer to question 4 is that Zodiac copied the four deaths in the wheel on the cover of the comic because he wanted to allude to the only one he left out, «by water», that is a possible signature.
Zodiac's last official signature (the only one explicit) is indeed a "death by water" taken from "The Mikado" by William S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan (letter’s here - FBI Laboratory, specimen Qc63).
https://preview.redd.it/92ye8d0wkh751.jpg?width=1476&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=853be5d3ba794f25dd596ded8aafe35d64207611
List of Zodiac’s references to the water
  1. Riverside, October 30, 1966 (the city where the murder was committed);
  2. Zodiac watches, possibly the Sea Wolf, 1967 (advertisement);
  3. Lake Herman Road, December 20, 1968 (crime location);
  4. Blue Rock Springs, July 4, 1969 (crime location);
  5. Springs Road, July 5, 1969 (phone booth location);
  6. «Water hose», August 4, 1969 (letter);
  7. Lake Berryessa, September 27, 1969 (crime location);
  8. «I am drownding», December 20, 1969 (letter);
  9. «Blue meannies», yellow submarine) (movie on The Beatles), April 20, 1970 (letter);
  10. «I was swamped out by the rain», April 20, 1970 (letter);
  11. «I shall listen to their pleass for water», July 26, 1970 (letter);
  12. «I am crack (instead of water) proof», October 5, 1970 (postcard);
  13. «By fire, by gun, by knife, by rope (on the cover he copied there was also “by water” which here is omitted)», October 27, 1970, Halloween card, (based on the cover of Tim Holt No. 30, discovery by Tahoe27 here);
  14. «I am crack (instead of water) proof», March 13, 1971 (letter);
  15. «Blue meannies», yellow submarine), March 13, 1971 (letter);
  16. «He plunged himself into the billowy wave and an echo arose from the suicides grave» (a “death by water”, excerpt from the Mikado by William S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan), January 29, 1974 (last signature).
Acqua
Zodiac could be an Italian American and his last name may contain not only a Q but «acqua», the Italian word for "water".
The most popular last name with the word “acqua” in 13 on 20 Italian Region capitals (estimate) is “Bevilacqua”, drink-the-water (source and first results for each Region). Bevilacqua is also the most common last name with the word “acqua” in the USA (source: 2010 US census - the list is in the file B at the bottom of the linked page) with 2667 occurrences, followed by Passalacqua (1410), Bevacqua (928) and Acquaviva (837). About half of them should be female and not all males were already adults in 1969.

https://preview.redd.it/vopg7ttryp751.png?width=417&format=png&auto=webp&s=611069a52533fe9621b74f5cd22c308a43a47776
A cheater
Red Ryder comics in Italian were published by Edizioni Mondiali, Albi Urrà!, in 1947 (link). Below, the cover of issue 9 featuring the casino’s owner Joe Hayes, who appeared on newspapers in the USA for the first time in 1944 (comparison of the first strips). The title translates: «Joe the cheater».

https://preview.redd.it/yrqcbf57lh751.png?width=924&format=png&auto=webp&s=eb0d709fee8568be91f56256005777598accd3ac
* I had already posted on Reddit a few parts of this solution two years ago.
** The Death Wheel in the inside pages of Tim Holt No. 30 mentioned also other deaths, but Zodiac copied just the ones that were also on the cover (a part from "by water").
*** The VF symbol might have been a composition of the Phoenician letters Giml and Yod backward or been copied from other cattle brands, but it appears to be less probable than the connection to another western comic book that the reader could identify in the same way as Tim Holt No. 30. I have not found a solution more plausible in the possible choice of the Phoenician alphabet and none regarding the other cattle brands.
**** When preceded by number sign the four dots translate the numbers “9” and “5” (here).
***** kschappert (see comments) has reminded me Private detective Willam V. Pennington's "Peek-a-boo" advertisements might be another possible source of this card (references). Investigator Pennington was tagged "peek-a-boo" because of his job as a private “eye”. In the 40s, he had an office at 210 Post Street in San Francisco, close to the point where Zodiac possibly got into the taxi driven by Paul Stine at Mason and Geary streets. However, Pennington wasn’t still a detective in San Francisco since the early 60s (here's an article from the San Francisco Examiner, April 28, 1966). This possible reference isn’t in contradiction with the solution, but it might be just a resemblance or plagiarism.
submitted by FrancescoAmic1 to ZodiacKiller [link] [comments]


2020.06.16 23:39 ghostwilliz can you post to an array within a property on a json-server?

So I want new user data to get posted to this page, just as a mock up, how do I post to the property "profiles"? I can not seem to find a url that will allow me to view only the value of "profiles".
the URL of the following is:
http://localhost:3002/personal/profile
is there a URL I can type in to see this?


{ "post_id": 1, "id": "profile", "profiles": [ { "username": "Ghosty", "password": "123", "profilePic": "https://www.clipartkey.com/mpngs/m/91-913012_free-clipart-ghosts-19-ghost-image-royalty-free.png", "about": { "general": "Ghost man who eats trash", "hobbies": "Farris wheel fighting", "work": "React.js Man" }, "contact": { "phone": "333-333-3333", "email": "[email protected]", "website": "website.com" } }, { "username": "Norm All", "password": "123", "profilePic": "https://miro.medium.com/max/2388/1*4sfxttMRO2-KtpwWI9QKHg.png", "about": { "general": "I am a weird fish man", "hobbies": "Goblins", "work": "Stable Man" }, "contact": { "phone": "333-333-3335", "email": "[email protected]", "website": "website.com" } }, { "username": "Weird Guy", "password": "123", "profilePic": "https://i.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/facebook/000/016/546/hidethepainharold.jpg", "about": { "general": "I am not weird, that is just my god given name", "hobbies": "eat fish", "work": "Burger Boy" }, "contact": { "phone": "333-333-3334", "email": "[email protected]", "website": "website.com" } } ] } 
submitted by ghostwilliz to reactjs [link] [comments]


2020.02.27 21:41 MrBirdyFlee Lobsters are going to take over the world

In the first teaser of the most recent update, the lobster animal is notably shown as being able to grab a ray, and to be living in the reef without taking temperature damage from being out of the arctic.
In the actual game, however, it has been adjusted, as lobster is supposedly now the designated tier 6 for the arctic. It is also weaker, to accommodate for it's lower tier.
I suspect that this is because Fede was contacted by a cult of lobsters at the time of making the teaser, who are looking for small game developers to program propaganda games to infect childrens' impressionable minds with. These lobsters also were going to pay Fede a lot, nearing $4,000 and an invitation to a secret Discord server.
Fede was on board with this, until FlllllSH made a balance proposal to nerf the lobster. Initially, Fede was not going to implement the lobster part of it, but was willing to implement everything else, until FlllllSH revealed to Fede that he was actually extremely rich. FlllllSH was willing to pay much more than the lobsters, around $7,500 and an invitation to an even cooler Discord server to make plans with the government to stop the lobsters.
I propose the thought that the reason Fede has been more active on Discord is because he agreed to work with FlllllSH and the government, and the reason Pathos is making less art is because he is actually programming the game for Fede and is a part of said Discord server as well.
From this, I have inferred that Fede is trying to save us from evil lobsters who wish to take over Earth from humans. We must help Fede by telling him to get a Patreon, so we can give him money directly.

Proof:

Captain No Claws, leader of the cult
A high-tech robot that the government will help Fede with
This image of a real lobster features it in a warm environment, contrary to Deeeep's lobster.
Edit 2020: It seems the image of Captain No Claws is no longer working for me, which means the lobster cult has censored it due to it being made known about here. This occasion only proves my point in the post further.
At the time of writing this edit the information about the lobster in the game from this post is still correct, and has not changed.
submitted by MrBirdyFlee to deeeepioconspiracy [link] [comments]


2020.01.19 18:55 D3LTA-X Mega city Cop, Officer Pierce

(Refer here for any character related updates)
(I plan to make a few. This'll be the guy to engage in encounters that i feel probably falls outside Delta's "storyline universe", or just bcs. One should utilize all the good characters they make)
Full list of characters within my "universe"
submitted by D3LTA-X to BossfightUniverse [link] [comments]


2019.12.31 14:04 Kimberlyi75Media F#@d Has Nothing To Do With It!

F#@d Has Nothing To Do With It!
By Kimberly Robyn
December 26, 2019
F#@d Has Nothing To Do With It!
Till recently, I'd been unaware that I've personally been using food to calm, avoid, destress, zone out and eat as a type of crazy security blanket to get through my daily living and my chronic pain.
In 2003 Health Canada released "Canadian Guidelines for Body Weight Classification in Adults" this is an update of the weight classification system that had been in use in our Country since 1988. According to the updated version, I'm over the norm. In reality, though, due to the amount I've been consuming since returning to College in 2016. I should weigh about five hundred pounds, and thankfully I do not.
📷However, surprisingly, and while not batting an eye, I'd been snacking and munching down on anything convenient. Yes, my student lifestyle, along with the "no cooking necessary" foods chosen, it's unfathomable how often I've used food as a crutch in my daily life.
https://preview.redd.it/ws7tgf29ty741.png?width=400&format=png&auto=webp&s=cad10cb1febd8f9781b2454c11b8ae0e63b74901
I should have clued in sooner. Even not realizing sooner makes me shake my head, mainly because my worst fear in life is; "trying not to look ignorant." Nevertheless, starting today, moving forward, 'comfort food' & 'emotional eating' will not be a part of my positive new outlook future.
I'm a big believer in trying to understand why things happen? Honestly, I want insight on why food is so often used to console? Does it provide a form of "self-comfort?" With researching documented literature, I discovered that "Comfort Foods" tend to be used when someone is under emotional turmoil or stress, negative moreover than positive emotions and the food choices are high in calories and fat. Really?
Researching further, I thought I would be overwhelmed by the amount of information available on this very subject. Still, there's nowhere near as much recent documented research as I had hoped. First, over the years, there have been studies, but no findings solve the why issue that I expected to get answered.
One of the formal study abstracts found on sciencedirect.com has listed the concept of comfort food as being varied and one that envelops many different aspects that are difficult to define. On that note, a March 2019 Study entitled, "Towards a Situational Taxonomy of Comfort Foods: A Retrospective Analysis." They used a web-based survey of 322 lay people that proposed a conditional scheme that may offer new viewpoints and current definitions for comfort foods. On the foundation of this study analyses, I found that this study proposes, as the title begins; A "Situational" meaning the situation or circumstances related to the consuming of Comfort Food that still includes eight (8) scenarios involving either positive or negative emotions. The situations include; celebration, reward, illness, remembrance, stress, lonely, break-up, and culture.
Again, this does not answer the why question.
Now, in a decade-old research study from a Southeastern State University entitled; "Comfort Foods: An Exploratory Journey Into The Social and Emotional Significance of Food." This work looks at using representational intermingling and physical perspectives to research the social construction of different comfort foods. This paper features how the cultural studies of food should make allowance for its social and physiological components. There is a cost to download this first-hand research, but let me explain the results;
Different comfort foods fed to a class of two hundred and sixty-four (264) undergraduate students, which illustrated how certain foods become linked with the relief of hardships and confirm how foods can transform emotional states or feelings.
The analysis I find of interest is "the practical implications of this report expands the starring title role (Comfort Food) shows moods play a considerable part in the food choices." These findings extend to the use of "comfort foods" under specific situations."
Wow, does this sound familiar? Yes, but what's important here is the breaking "Comfort Food" into four specific categories;
Nostalgic foods; the most popular kind of comfort food; An example offers a homesick or sentimental value to someone and usually has a high caloric level.
My personal example, Christmas time, when I turn to Nanaimo treat bars or shortbread; even just the taste brings back memories of times shared with my grandmother.
Indulgence foods (2 Types); First is the alternative of ready-made foods that reflects a desire for heavy meals. Some Males tend to be in this category because they are inclined to indulge in the eating of massive, hot meals (meat potato, etc.) that usually includes one or two desserts.
Secondly, indulgence foods also include foods that are forbidden or considered off-limits. This secret indulging provides personal relief because they place a person's emotional desires at the very core center of oneself, despite the "bad for you" foods chosen.
Convenience Comfort Food; Mostly eaten because they are convenient. Handy treats, many ready-mades, snack foods, pop, ice cream, chocolate etc.
Convenience foods found in almost every aisle in a grocery store and at the end of hallways in hotel/motels. The downside of handy food, there is not much in the way of healthy choices. Mostly eaten because they are convenient, handy treats, many ready-mades, snack foods, pop, ice cream and chocolate etc.
Physical Comfort foods; are a type of comfort food that works a couple of different ways and in different parts of the world — the kind of food chosen when persons are stressed or anxious while attending different special occasions.
These foodstuffs are considered a product of where you come from, where your parents come from, as our palates become more worldwide. They even consist of far-away places, and this may also include where your friends might come from too.
We need to recognize whether we are eating for comfort or just eating for eating sake, perhaps out of boredom, or to swallow emotions? If any of these are the reason, then healthy changes are needed. I decided to start by acknowledging my emotional eating. The next step, making a list of goals and significantly squash the constant using of food to calm my emotions. Go ahead and ask yourself if even one of these signs has a "yes" answer. Then sadly, I'm not alone.
https://preview.redd.it/0gwa81nmty741.png?width=414&format=png&auto=webp&s=38bc7adb2050c7ee5da002dfae3af6d9bf7e0178
Closing the 2019 year, it's cliché to say begin in January One, but let's start today. Here are some first-step suggestions which may help get us on our way to improved habits without turning to junk food. It's imperative to choose other outlets for our emotions then turning and walking into the kitchen, opening the refrigerator or using a stool to get up in the cupboard where we all know the Grandma keeps the cookies.
Strategies?
1. Get yourself a notebook, write your feelings about the personal growth that you want to achieve.
📷It's well known that once you write down your thoughts, they become more real in your mind. With journaling, you are more likely to achieve those potential but important changes. Although this only works if you believe in what you are doing and want to accomplish change.
https://preview.redd.it/tntg6u7zty741.png?width=224&format=png&auto=webp&s=52776c555aca743dd23d561248002383ead8ceef
2. Using your notebook, write no more than five goals; If you need help, consider using 'SMART GOALS' format for assistance. You will find a pdf link to Smart Goals Worksheet in the reference section. Make your list of goals/strategies that you feel will help improve both, your mental and physical wellbeing.
Take your time and think about switching your actions from food to other relaxing activities. Here are suggestions; If you think of others please add them to the comment section.
Choose calming activities;

  • Think about dressing warm and going for a walk. Walk for about 20-30 minutes; if you are still feeling hungry, then it may be time to replenish with a meal.
  • I am also one who believes in self-talk. If you're feeling down on yourself, look in your mirror and smile at yourself. We want to change negative thoughts to positive ones, always.
Self Talk
  • Give your hair some new colour. For myself, pink is my go-to colour, but I have switched it up. Hair color works for all ages and all sexes.
  • There are great hobbies to help keep your hands busy. Think about these Adult coloring, needlepoint, model building, and wood carving. These activities will calm emotional eating and, at the same time, keep your mind focused on what you're doing. Keeping busy is an excellent antidote.
3. Although we're starting a couple of days before January one, when writing your list of different approaches in soothing, yourself, consider adding an allotted time frame. Consider a due date for each strategy that you've put down on paper. With having individual due-dates; This allows you not to get stressed out and become overwhelmed with everything, especially if all activities end on the same day.
"Sometimes, the smallest step in the right direction
ends up being the biggest step of your life.
Tip-toe if you must but go ahead
and take that first step."
Ann Roth
4. Now, I'm thinking for personal investigative measures, putting a blank notebook (not the goal notebook) in my kitchen, may help give some individual insight. Yes, notebook next to refrigerator (Completed – let the food/emotional intake begin)
📷Example: Starting today, every time I head to the kitchen for a snack (including regular mealtimes), I'll start with the date, time and ask myself: what feelings I'm having and what am I thinking at that exact moment? Then, instantly write it down before taking away any food. Especially the late-night eating!
Putting an end date for the above food journaling experiment of emotions is essential. So, I decided the end-date will be March 23rd, 2020. This time-frame should contain a sufficient amount of data to lead to some conclusions and further help me, stop, rethink and identify why this unhealthy habit has become such a presence in my life?
Finally, my main question , does comfort food comfort? Well, I'm not sure about that. However, if you think it does, I would offer -- try to line yourself up with some healthy choices, with fewer calories and less fat content may just work wonders on your wellbeing. Best of luck to you in 2020!
Kimberly :)



References
  1. Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion. Canadian guidelines for body weight classification in adults. Ottawa: Health Canada; 2003. Available: www.hc-sc.gc.c
  2. (PDF) Health Canada's new guidelines for body weight classification in adults: Challenges and concerns. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/8168986_Health_Canada's_new_guidelines_for_body_weight_classification_in_adults_Challenges_and_concerns [accessed Dec 5, 2019].
  3. https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/hc-sc/migration/hc-sc/fn-an/alt_formats/hpfb-dgpsa/pdf/nutrition/cg_quick_ref-ldc_rapide_ref-eng.pdf
  4. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/food/the-plate/2015/10/26/comfort-food-nostalgia-in-a-bowl/
  5. https://consciousmindbody.com/top-10-ways-calm-prevent-emotional-eating/
  6. “Nation Turning to Comfort Food.” Associated Press (November 7, 2001). Available from; http://www.msnbc.com/news/653684.asp [Google Scholar]
  7. I Keep Eating gif https://www.quotemaster.org/emotional+eating#&gid=1&pid=8
  8. Nestle, M., Wing, R., Birch, L., DiSogra, L., Drewnowski, A., Middleton, S., Sigman-Grant, M., Sobal, J., Winston, M. and Economos, C. 1988. “Behavioral and Social Influences on Food Choice”. Nutrition Reviews, 56: S50–S74. [Google Scholar]
  9. Wansink, B. and Sangerman, C. 2000. “The Taste of Comfort: Food for Thought on How Americans Eat to Feel Better”. American Demographics, 22(7): 66–67. [Google Scholar]
  10. Smart Goals Clipart Photo https://www.clipart.email/clipart/smart-goals-clipart-73243.html
  11. Wunsch, K. 1999. “Food and Memory.”. Saveur, 37: 39–40. [Google Scholar]
  12. Meagan T. Soffin, W. Robert Batsell. (2019) Towards a situational taxonomy of comfort foods: A retrospective analysis. Appetite 137, pages 152-162.
  13. Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up .... https://tinybuddha.com/wisdom-quotes/sometimes-smallest-step-right-direction-ends-biggest-step-life-tiptoe-must-take-step/
  14. Signs You May Be Emotional Eating – Kimberly Robyn http://kimberlyi75.com
  15. Smart Goals Worksheet (pdf format) Download here: https://www.mcckc.edu/counseling/goal-setting/docs/SMARTGoalWorksheet.pdf
submitted by Kimberlyi75Media to u/Kimberlyi75Media [link] [comments]


2019.12.16 20:15 rockisnotdead Office web apps just started failing

We have had Sharepoint 2016 installed for about 3 years now using Office Online Server on a separate server and it was working for viewing and editing documents without any issue and has been very actively used since.
Today, any document you try to view you get this message; Sorry, there was a problem and we can't open this document. If this happens again, try opening the document in Microsoft Word.
or,
We couldn't find the file you wanted. It's possible the file was renamed, moved or deleted.
Our Exchange 2016 servers are also connected to this server and have no issues viewing or editing any documents.
On the OOS, here is what we see in the event viewer logs; Could not establish trust relationship for the SSL/TLS secure channel with authority 'office.internal.mydomain.com'.
Which I don;t understand because the command GET-SPWOPIBinding reports that office.mydomain.com is being used for all file types, not office.internal.mydomain.com
I have recreated this connection a few times with no change.
Here is the output from Get-OfficeWebAppsFarm on the OOS
FarmOU : InternalURL : https://office.mydomain.com/ ExternalURL : https://office.mydomain.com/ AllowHTTP : False AllowOutboundHttp : False SSLOffloaded : False CertificateName : office.mydomain.com S2SCertificateName : EditingEnabled : True LogLocation : C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\OfficeWebApps\Data\Logs\ULS LogRetentionInDays : 7 LogVerbosity : Proxy : CacheLocation : C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\OfficeWebApps\Working\d MaxMemoryCacheSizeInMB : 75 DocumentInfoCacheSize : 5000 CacheSizeInGB : 15 ClipartEnabled : False OnlinePictureEnabled : False OnlineVideoEnabled : False TranslationEnabled : False MaxTranslationCharacterCount : 125000 TranslationServiceAppId : TranslationServiceAddress : RenderingLocalCacheLocation : C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\OfficeWebApps\Working\waccache RecycleActiveProcessCount : 5 AllowCEIP : False OfficeAddinEnabled : False ExcelRequestDurationMax : 300 ExcelSessionTimeout : 450 ExcelWorkbookSizeMax : 10 ExcelPrivateBytesMax : -1 ExcelConnectionLifetime : 1800 ExcelExternalDataCacheLifetime : 300 ExcelAllowExternalData : True ExcelUseEffectiveUserName : False ExcelWarnOnDataRefresh : True ExcelUdfsAllowed : False ExcelMemoryCacheThreshold : 90 ExcelUnusedObjectAgeMax : -1 ExcelCachingUnusedFiles : True ExcelAbortOnRefreshOnOpenFail : True ExcelAutomaticVolatileFunctionCacheLifeTime : 300 ExcelConcurrentDataRequestsPerSessionMax : 5 ExcelDefaultWorkbookCalcMode : File ExcelRestExternalDataEnabled : True ExcelChartAndImageSizeMax : 1 OpenFromUrlEnabled : False OpenFromUncEnabled : True OpenFromUrlThrottlingEnabled : True PicturePasteDisabled : True RemovePersonalInformationFromLogs : False AllowHttpSecureStoreConnections : False PptDesignerEnabled : False Machines : {OFFICE}
Oh, and get-officewebappsmachine does list the OOS as Unhealthy. MasterMachineName MachineName Roles HealthStatus
OFFICE OFFICE {All} Unhealthy
Any help would be appreciated, this is very odd and I cannot think of any action that might have taken place on the server to cause this suddenly, I have spent the last 3 hours trying to resolve but still am at a loss.
submitted by rockisnotdead to sharepoint [link] [comments]


2019.06.11 16:11 cyber_dildonics Reposting the work I did a month ago since this sub is a thing now

Original
Edit: Since this is stickied, I'll be updating this list with new discoveries (in bold) so everything's in once place and crediting discoveries in italics where applicable. If I'm missing something/someone please let me know.
Page Symbol Or Letters
empty Could be the Sun God Shamash or the Star of IshtaVenus.. or just an embellished compass. Given the Cheerokee, it could also be the Native American symbol for hope. There also appears to be a coptic cross or ankh. 1838 in pencil; the year the Trail of Tears started (towmissle78)
49 Letters from the Masonic/Rosicrucian alphabets. There are a ton of cipher variations for this system, and very few with sources. Here are some of the different results depending on the cipher used. :: Method One Cipher=NAYPYASDABA :: Method two Cipher=TAMUMAJOANA :: PigPen Cipher=PAUQUASKABA :: Civil War Cipher=TALULAJOANA :: Note: The words TALULA and JOANA are found elsewhere in the book.
69 Cherokee :: ᎤᏕᎵᏓ :: u-de-li-da :: "Secret". The added lines match the degrees found on a standard compass.
113 Cherokee ::ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎤᏪᏥᎠᏘ :: u-gv-wi-yu-u-we-tsi-a-t :: "Princess"
153 There are a few possible meanings for the symbol, but given the Cherokee language.. In Native American symbology, this sign represents the four ages of life: infancy, youth, middle, and elderly. Cherokee :: ᎠᏂᏌᎰᏂ : a-ni-sa-ho-ni :: "Blue Clan" or Blue Holly Clan". This is one of 7 remaining Cherokee clans. They got their name from utilizing a medicinal blue plant.
185 Sketch looks like a some kind of map. There is a symbol for Aquarius which is also almost universally symbolic of water so could mark a lake/river etc but could also mean mountains. Given its use elsewhere in the book, the circle and line may mark a point of interest, destination, or act as a directional marker. It could also potentially be a Mason Mark (see Arab Tribe 109)
237 Lower symbol, possibly Mars or Sagittarius. The drawing on the upper right seems to be a deliberate sigil that changes slightly throughout the book, but I haven't been able to place it. Because the line always appears to be oriented to the East, and in some hobo symbolism systems a line with a bend means "go this way" (or if you really want it to be a treasure map, "hidden money" though this is from a French Hobo system) I believe it is a directional marker, though it could potentially be a combination of Mason Marks.
268 Sketch of the Torch of Friendship in San Antonio, TX, built in 2002. (Vitruvious)
289 Small sign on the bottom could be a Hobo symbol meaning "dogs or mean residents". The coordinates given for the Magnolia Cemetery here do house graves for at least one person with the last name Mongin. Upon first look, the long line under "BILTMORE" intersecting with the crease in the page (along with the circled "Swan Street") reminded me of a map. About 3 miles North of the coordinates given on page 237 for Asheville, NC are the roads Biltmore Plaza and Swan St. I have no idea what, if any, significance this has.. just thought it was interesting.
321 Sketch depicts an overhead view of a pool and parking lot in Asheville, NC. (curster) See this post for more info.
362-363 Drawing of a lightning bolt crossing a torch overlaid with a key is similar to an insignia for the US Army Intelligence and Security Command though the key is upside down. **(MoonchildBackroads) ** Likewise the drawing of a lightning bolt crossing a feather is a mirror image for the emblem of the US Army Public Affairs without the sword. There is a possible arrowhead or Masonic spade in the upper right. Of note: lightning bolts, feathers and arrowheads are common in Native American symbolism as well. Addition of a "3" to page number 363. "3633 Wheeler Road is an address in Augusta for a building called The Atrium which has been the home of a lot of military and Intelligence Community contractors." (user R.C.C on the Scienceblog thread. R.C.C's numerous credits will be unlinked from now on to save on character space)
366 Chosatonga, written in pencil (upper right) is a campground in Transylvania County, North Carolina (R.C.C) An added "2" to page #366. Following R.C.C.'s previous example, a google search reveals 3662 Parkway Rd, Rosman, NC as the address for Chosatonga campsite.
369 Bottom right sign could be a Crux Serpentines or perhaps a Caduceus.
373 Circled: 50(x2), south(x2), church, Indian, allied. 50 Church St, Franklin, NC is the address of Masonic Lodge 145. Perhaps this lodge is allied with Native tribes in the region
387 Given the context of the rest of the book, I narrowed my search of the New York Times' archives to mentions of American Indians on the dates given. There is no guarantee that the dates written refer to these articles, but it's my best guess. On November 15th 1936, the NYT ran the article, "An Indian Art Banished From Its Pre-historic Manhattan Site" and on September 09, 1987, the article, "Indian Museum Belongs on Mall in Washington".
422 SmokeMont, pencil, lower left. Smokemont is a campground in Cherokee, NC. (R.C.C)
424 Hard-to-see pencil addition to the list of NYC sites: "80 Broadway" matches the address for a Masonic temple in Asheville, NC (R.C.C)
449 A set square is drawn in the bottom right. Squares are a frequent Mason symbol.
450 "411" written on a page covering Pennsylvania. 411 Pennsylvania Rd, Asheville, NC intersects with Allen St and State street and a community center is on the corner.
462 Cherokee :: ᎬᏍᎦᎸ :: gv-s-ga-lv :: "hidden"
502 Circled are the Nantahala, Pisgah, and Cherokee National Forests along with a symbol very similar to that used for a teepee topped with a dotted triangle which is used to mark mountains on older maps, though it could also be a combination of the teepee with a Masonic Eye to denote the person's own lodge. There is a Cherokee reservation directly in this area surrounded by 8 Masonic Lodges and a Masonic Monument.
503 The symbol with circles and dashes is very similar to a Native American sign which represents a given number of days and nights (days are empty circles while nights are filled in). If so, this would mean 3 nights and 4 days. However, given the uneven filling and this symbol's reappearance on page 514, it could definitely be something else.
514 Drawings of what appear to be a gavel and spade which are Masonic symbols
518-519 3-4-5 Square aka "The 47th Problem of Euclid" a principle of Masonry.
582 NOWARE -> NOLAND "might refer to the “Road to Nowhere” which connects to the Noland Trail, near Bryson City, NC."SPEARFINGER" is the name of a Cherokee legend (R.C.C)
609 "Pack" pointing to the top of an obelisk. A similar obelisk called "Vance Memorial” is located in Pack Square, Asheville, NC. (R.C.C)
688 Sketch of the Tower of the America's in San Antonio, TX. (AMWChicago)
695 Cherokee :: ᏓᎶᏂᎨ :: da-lo-ni-ge :: "yellow"
766 and Final Page ᏔᎷᎳ :: ta-lu-la :: there was actually no word translation for this on the site I was using, but a search for "talula georgia" came back with both Tallula River which begins in North Carolina near Standing Indian Mountain and flows into Georgia and Tallula Falls (a small town in Georgia). The letters TALULA are also in a word block on page 636
submitted by cyber_dildonics to SoJoanaBook [link] [comments]


2019.06.09 23:38 MayDayMonkey The Atrium, 3633 Wheeler Road, Augusta, GA (Page 363) and cryptology community connection.

Pages 362-363 have many unique features on it that makes it stand out from most of the other pages. A poster named R.C.C. seems to have cracked one of the meanings of the page in this post:
One thing that jumped out at me is page 363 (hey thats sort of like 636): he wrote another 3 after the page number and ‘WHEELER’
3633 Wheeler Road is an address in Augusta for a building called The Atrium which has been the home of a lot of military and Intelligence Community contractors. Given the fact that the symbols on the preceding page deal with military intelligence and crypto that cant be a coincidence. Companies like Booz Allen Hamilton have offices there (Edward Snowden answered directly to someone who worked in the Augusta office at that building.) Saxby Chambliss maintained an office in the building during his time as the ranking member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
The Atrium is a building that houses many businesses in Augusta, GA.
Given the other references to Augusta, GA, this isn't a stretch at all. Couple this with the interpretation of the symbols on the pages:
Drawing of a lightning bolt crossing a torch overlaid with a key is similar to an insignia for the US Army Intelligence and Security Command though the key is upside down. Likewise the drawing of a lightning bolt crossing a feather is a mirror image for the emblem of the US Army Public Affairs without the sword. There is a possible arrowhead or Masonic spade in the upper right. Of note: lightning bolts, feathers and arrowheads are common in Native American symbolism as well.
On the page are other words which are circled: Alameda, Bernardo, Hipico, Santiago, Grace and Railroad. I'm not sure what the connection between any of those words are. But as we've seen elsewhere in the book, they might refer to places or things not associated with the place the page actually refers to (Chile). But I do have an idea about a couple of the words.
The coordinates on Page 69 point to a location in downtown Augusta, GA. SenJunkieEinstein has a detailed post about this location:
A few things struck me about the streetview view of Augusta, GA, The small fenced off park with the pine cones. There are banners on the fence for that park which reference Augusta University. One of the other coordinates, the ones on page 638, point directly to a location in Augusta University. Across the street to the south-east is a church, as you mentioned, but to the south-west is another park with a very strange and large sculpture that looks like a flame.
The church is Springfield Baptist Church: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Springfield_Baptist_Church_(Augusta,_Georgia))
Springfield Baptist Church in Augusta, Georgia was founded in 1787 by Rev. Jesse Peters Saint John Methodist Church donated a wooden structure for them to worship in brought to its current location on logs. The present brick structure was built in 1812 by the churches congregation under the leadership of Rev. G.H. Dwellers. It is the oldest church building extant in Augusta and claimed to be the oldest congregation in the state of Georgia. It was built in the style of a New England meetinghouse, rare in Georgia. In 1844, the Methodists built a new brick church at 736 Greene St. This old meeting house was rolled on logs to the corner of 12th St and Reynolds to be given to the Springfield Baptist congregation, one of the oldest black Baptist congregations in the nation. During the antebellum years, it had 1,000 members and was the largest congregation of any in the Georgia Baptist Association. In 1897, the congregation built a new church on the site, in the Late Victorian Gothic style. The former building was moved to face Reynolds St, and they continue to maintain it and use it for special events.
The park across the street is called Springfield Village Park: https://www.exploregeorgia.org/augusta/outdoors-nature/parks/springfield-village-park
The sculpture is one of a pair of sculptures in the park by Richard Hunt, they are called “Tower of Aspirations” and “And They Went Down Both into the Water” https://news.uga.edu/sculptor-richard-hunt/
There is a website address on the banner on the fence of the pinecone gate park for augusta.edu/future which forwards to http://cyber.augusta.edu/georgia/ and there is a video playing in the background at the top of the page which shows us walking through the pinecone gate and flying up over the circle in the middle of the park.
So apparently this location is actually part of Augusta University, it's a new part of the university thats going to be called the Georgia Cyber Center. Here's a map of what the complex will look like: https://augustauniversity.photoshelter.com/galleries/C0000gnQoHiVWI8g/G0000VmgZzUW9amI/I0000_v3p6FsmOUY/Line
You can see the park in the lower left corner.
Digging a little deeper it appears the buildings have been built. Here's a news report from last year about the grand opening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYXrIlcAxXk
This video of the dedication of the parking garage pans around the entire area: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK7pkCX6KYE
Well this is an interesting rabbit hole to fall down. I've been mostly focusing on the Cherokee connection in North Georgia. But there are a cluster of locations in the Augusta, GA area that need to be figured out.
---
I found this shot taken by a drone that shows the area from above and it looks like the pinecone gate park is gone.
Aparently the park is part of what used to be the Georgia Golf Hall and Fame, which closed in 2007:
http://metrospirit.com/is-the-curse-of-the-georgia-golf-hall-of-fame-finally-ove
For a long time the property sat unused and un-maintained. It strikes me that this would be an ample period of time to go into the property and leave clues, but now it looks like the property is being razed to expand the Georgia Cyber Center.
Now, when I looked up the "Georgia Cyber Center" I immediately noticed the address it is located at:
100 Grace Hopper Lane, Augusta, GA 30901
And one of the words circled on Page 363. Grace Hopper was a high ranking Admiral in the U.S. Navy who was a computer programmer who contributed a lot to the field of cryptography.
The Navy connection made me think of The old Alameda Naval Air Base (Alameda is one of the circled words).
One more thing I noticed about page 69. The compass rose on that page has eight marks, those marks seem to line up with the circular path in the park in downtown Augusta. This park no longer exists as was pointed out in the other post.
The compass rose is repeated in other maps in the travel book, and some other compass roses are on pages which have been marked.
The compass rose is also reminiscent of the 16 pointed star drawing on the inside cover of the book.
Most importantly the coordinates on page 638 point to directly to a paved are at Augusta University that looks exactly like the compass rose found in the book! I'm going to make a separate post just about the compass roses because I think there is a mystery about the degrees written on some of them that have yet to be cracked.
Another side-note: There is a second building in Augusta called the Atrium, it's the Dining Hall at Augusta University.
Questions I have't yet explored:
What other entities have addresses at The Atrium building at 3633 Wheeler Rd. and how might they connect to all of this?
submitted by MayDayMonkey to SoJoanaBook [link] [comments]


2019.05.19 04:42 SeaSpur Which software fits my skillset and goals?

I ordered a Shapeoko XXL this weekend to dive into the CNC world. I've been a freelance graphic designer for over 15 years and have ran a very successful Etsy shop selling SVG files for about 5 years now. I have a vinyl cutter that I use to make stickers and shirts, but rarely sell since it's such an oversaturated market due to low cost of entry. A lot of my customers on Etsy turn my designs/clipart into signage and decor products. Outside of Etsy, I do a lot of custom design work for businesses (logo packages, mainly). In turn, they go to others for signs. I create in Adobe Illustrator, so very familiar with vector artwork.
In high school (20 years ago), I was very skilled at AutoCAD but didn't get into a lot of 3D. It was more architectural and mechanical drafting, and a lot was done in AutoCAD Release 14 (before it went Windows based).
Anyhow, I am wanting to mainly focus on decor and signage because I think there is an opportunity in my local market. I may also sell on Etsy to grab some of the business I provide to others currently. Examples of what I want to create and sell:
Raised Letter Sign
Carved-Out Sign
Name Cut Out
Geometric Wall Art
Which software should I aim to use that can convert my personally created vector artwork into something that gives me a good mockup and useful data to send to the machine? I don't plan in the near future to do relief-type 3-d carvings, just what I mentioned above.
submitted by SeaSpur to hobbycnc [link] [comments]


2019.05.02 19:00 youngrichntasteless $100k/month selling mustache wax.

Hey - Pat from StarterStory.com here with another interview.
Today's interview is with Doug Geiger of CanYouHandlebar, a brand that sells men's grooming products.
Some stats:

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

I’m Doug Geiger, founder of Can You Handlebar, a men’s grooming product company. We’re one of those low-key-high-quality brands.
We are best known for beard oils and balms, moustache wax and inventing the first application brush for beard products, the Can You Handlebar Beard Oil Brush®. We are carefully and consistently extending our product line and distribution.
In our first three years our production grew from a kitchen countertop with a crockpot I stole from my wife to “making a million bucks” and a 10,000 square foot building with a whole fleet of crockpots. Meanwhile, our retail presence -- which began on the counter of a gracious proprietor of the corner gas station -- has grown to our own network of barbers and salons across the US, international distribution and most visibly, the shelves of every Art of Shaving.

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

Back in the halcyon days of 2010, on a whim, I decided to grow a handlebar moustache. It is hard to imagine now, but there once was a time where there were not too many people selling moustache wax or beard products.
There were no products available locally and most of those available online weren’t transparent about ingredients and felt kind of “homemade” (and not in the good way). My hunch was that well made and well-packaged beard products could do really well as a business. I sat on the idea for at least a year because I was tied up with my day job and a newborn in the home.
In 2011, I turned in my fancy plastic lanyard and left the high rise for the last time. I joined Saddleback Leather and this proved to be the perfect incubator for a fledgling moustache wax startup. First, it provided a consistent paycheck while I ironed out my recipes and business plan. Second, my time at Saddleback provided me with good reflexes when it comes to quality and customer service. Most importantly though, I had the encouragement and mentorship of the owner, Dave Munson and the help of my Saddleback coworkers.
Even though my time had freed up a little working from home, I was still quite broke. My wife and I were married (and each managed to stay sorta employed) during the Great Recession. But even as of 2012, when we launched the website we were still paying off our wedding debt from years prior. Nevertheless, I had a hunch and at this point in my life, frankly I was tired of ignoring all of my hunches.
So, I loaded up a credit card with $400 in supplies and stole my wife’s crockpot. The day before launch, we took our toddler trick or treating, then made our way to the kitchen. I followed the handwritten recipe from my fourteenth experiment and the yield was a couple dozen cans of wax and half that again in spillage. The next morning I logged in and set the site to “public.”
Here’s a shot of our first large order going out in our first “commercial” space.
And here’s a shot of me at The Art of Shaving. The first time I was able to walk into a mall and see my products on the shelf in a retail capacity. It felt really good.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

Our first product was a moustache wax. My research amounted to buying just about every competitor product I could get my hands on to get an idea of what was possible, doing lots of research and tinkering with all manner of ingredients.
The research process involves a lot of research online on the properties of each ingredient and to determine if there are known allergies we can avoid. We also have discussions with our chemist if we are having a hard time achieving some property we want as well as to look over the final formula.
After we believe we have a winner, we have a lot of people try it and give their feedback. Meanwhile, we are working on labels and UPC barcodes and product photography. It gets easier over time to lainch a product but it never gets easy.
After several versions, we landed on a really simple recipe that, with just a couple tweaks, is now sold all over the world.
The first batch was made in a crock pot and was ladled by hand into metal tins with a one ounce scoop I purchased for the occasion. It was a real mess. Learning how to make a can of really good moustache wax takes one sort of research and development. Learning how to make ten thousand of these at a time, takes another sort. One thing we got right was putting as much R&D into our processes as we put into developing new products.
I don’t have any photos of the crockpots in action, but here are our first two beard oil prototypes. We ended up going with the name “Initiative” since the word “Industry” isn’t used to mean “hard work” much these days.
Our first two beard oil prototypes

Describe the process of launching the business.

We’d had some success in smaller circles with direct sales and were building a reputation based on the quality of our moustache wax among the beard and moustache community. Setting up a webstore seemed like the next logical step, along with getting our product on Amazon.
Credit cards were our friends at first and this was definitely more of a “side gig” for the first year or so. Then we found that our Amazon sales picked up, often on the strength of our reviews and finding an aficionado niche with our moustache wax formula. We brought on our Director of Sales Brian Furby and he developed a plan that allowed us to reach out to barbershops and salons to offer wholesale pricing, creating a global network of retail partners. These things became the underpinnings of our success.
Brian’s strategy was two-fold. He started with cold-calling and emailing owners of salons and barbershops, introducing them to our products and offering to send them a package that included full-size products for free, just so they could see the quality of the goods in person. This led to a postcard mailer program to expand our reach.
Finally, we expanded to include visits to industry trade shows, where we were able to meet and interact with retailers face-to-face. They could see the products first-hand and by simply signing up for a Retailer Sample Kit they could get started making money with Can You Handlebar right away, at no cost to them.
These programs were a success in building out our retail program of independent shops and salons. As our product line grew, we altered our offering to include more goods and special incentives (like a branded barber cape), available at a significantly reduced cost. This gives potential retailers a taste of our wholesale pricing and gives them enough product to stock their shelves with our Retailer Starter Kit, all with a very small investment on their end.
We kept an eye toward thoughtful design in our packaging and on continuing to deliver quality goods. That eventually led to our being noticed by The Art of Shaving, who have become our most significant retailer, a relationship that has brought our products into hundreds of retail locations where we continue to be a best-seller.
In terms of lessons learned, one of the things that we might have done differently and something we still struggle with is overthinking things. Aspects of that can be beneficial, and it’s certainly helped us to be careful and a bit cautious. But we have a tendency to get obsessive about the details. Sometimes we’ll talk ourselves into a corner until finally one of us will say “What the hell are we waiting for?” and we’ll get the idea moving again.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Our efforts have always been rooted in quality products and customer service, building relationships with our customers based on delivering exactly what they are looking for. It’s how we got started, and it’s where we distinguish ourselves. That can feel a bit old school, and sure, we’d love to have some viral success that explodes business exponentially, but we have been very happy with a steady and consistent build over time.
We’re just not a flashy brand. We don’t consider beards to be a trend, and we don’t approach our business as though it were. It’s resulted in a lean and focused product line and innovation driven by our core values and extensive R&D. We’re not rushing products to market for a quick buck.
This also means that when a customer has a question or a concern, they’re getting a response from an actual human being. It means a satisfaction guarantee that accounts for the customer’s actual experience with the ultimate goal of finding them a product that works for them. Our social media is organic and conversational. We share what we care about, whether fishing or baking bread, high-end knives or low-end junk food--It’s all just an extension of who we are. No cheap memes or alpha attitudes, no trash-talking competitors.
Social media
Our strategy for social media has always been rooted in genuine interaction. We feature our own content in terms of photos and writing as well as sharing photos from customers and retailers. We decided early on to avoid cheap memes and viral posts. We’d seen other brands do it, and it always felt like it played to the negative, reinforcing stereotypes about bearded guys or beard culture. It’s always been important to us that our customers choose our products because they are right for them, not because some alpha dog told them to, or because it’s the hipster thing to do.
Our earliest notable success on social media was with a program we dubbed The Big Thank You, which we ran for two consecutive years. It was a giveaway contest designed to thank our customers and followers for their interest in our product, and also a way to introduce them to several other small businesses whose work we appreciate. In turn, these small businesses helped us promote on their end, creating a nice ring of cross-promotion across social media. We accepted donations or bought outright products from our partners as part of the giveaway, and it was important to us to choose makers who we knew shared our belief in quality, and who it just made sense to brand with.
Entrants into the contest were asked to upload a picture of themselves showing off their facial hair and all of our followers were asked to vote for their favorite. Engagement was through the roof, as were click-throughs and newsletter sign-ups.
Here’s some stats on the second year:
Social Growth/Engagement (CanYouHandlebar only; doesn’t include any data from sponsors)
Anecdotally, it was a success for our sponsor partners as well, as all reported positive growth. In most cases, all it cost them was their cost of goods and a small amount of time spent promoting on social media.
Ads
We’ve utilized Facebook, Instagram, and Google ads and experimented with other forms of online advertising and we’ve found that overextending ourselves and our budget doesn’t necessarily result in higher sales.
Online advertising is a nut we still haven’t completely cracked. A lot of that feels like it’s connected to what a niche market we are, and within that niche we’ve found our greatest sales success in simply delivering the best products and packaging we can, and letting word of mouth spread.
Amazon
To that end, Amazon is an important part of our success, with customer experience driving strong reviews. There is a true aficionado’s appreciation for what we do. We thrive on returning business.
Though there are a multitude of other options for our customers to consider when purchasing a beard product, we feel that the quality of our goods shines through.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

We are steady and growing moderately on all fronts. We are looking to expand into other retail locations and further international distribution. We are expanding our product line as well. A recent example is the Tattoo Balm we just released. It’s our first unisex grooming product and also one of the first that isn’t directly beard or moustache-related. It’s a whole new market for us and we’re looking forward to finding some inroads there.
Our day-to-day operations have expanded dramatically from where we started. We now operate out of a 10,000 square foot warehouse in the greater Detroit area, we employ anywhere from 10-15 full and part-time positions and have scaled our production abilities up to be able to fill thousands of units a week as needed.
Our sales are currently tiered with retail partners in the lead, Amazon second and website sales third. A massive goal for us over the past few months has been to increase traffic and sales on the website. We’ve undergone a complete design facelift and have focused on targeted social media ads. It took a ton of time, money and effort whipping our site into shape. Thankfully, we are now converting well once people get to the site. We’re now working on strategies to get these initial site views and increasing conversions.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Right after I started to see some success, I hired “experts” who weren’t as serious about our success as we needed them to be. I paid one guy over $40,000 over the course of six months because he was “really connected” and could help my business take off. The only thing that really took off was him--with my money. This taught me a little thing about business and a big thing about me as a person. On the business side, I am now a lot better at defining expectations in contracts. On the personal side, I realized that I was starving to hear that I was “on the right track” and was consequently way more vulnerable to flattery than I thought.
When you’ve toiled for years on a business as random as beard oil without a ton to show for it, it feels really good to finally hear some “real business person” compliment you and tell you that you are about to hit it big, if only you had someone like them who sees the potential and can make a couple calls…I needed validation so much as any brand new entrepreneur, and I spent the cost of a brand new fully loaded family sedan to hear it. Fortunately, I was able to extricate myself having only lost money and pride. It could have been much worse.
You can’t avoid all mistakes. But you can inoculate yourself against a bunch of strains of entrepreneurship diseases by reading content like these on Starter Story and by keeping an eye out for business owners you can chat with every so often to give you this validation. You should not rely exclusively on your SO, personal friends or employees. It isn’t fair for them to be your sole support. Once you are committed to your own business, you immediately need a new category of friend: business owner peers with whom you can freely discuss financials, fears and hopes. If you provide for this support network early on, you will have picked up through conversations a resistance to some of the nonsense that’s out there without having to go through it firsthand.
I can’t go on too much longer without screaming that luck is such a huge part of our success. I was fortunate to be in the vanguard of the “beard trend” by accident and I am certain that getting into the market so early helped. Back then, we were one of only a dozen or so brands doing beard oil, beard balm and moustache wax. Now there are thousands. Had things not gone exactly right, I could very easily be one of the thousands of guys out there now whose company didn’t pan out and who only have a couple dozen bottles of beard oil and a $40 piece of bearded clipart they never got around to using to show for it.
That said, luck is never enough, not long term. You have to work really hard on a lot of chores that the customer will never see or know about. Had we not made the most of our position as one of the early leading brands, we would not be here. I think some of our best decisions over the years include focusing on a quality product in a clean professional manufacturing facility. Our manufacturing crew is presently led by my first employee Andy Pokorski, who has been with me from the crockpot to the factory. He has had a hand (and beard) in nearly everything at Can You Handlebar. Accordingly, he gets unlimited days off for fishing. Each day Andy, Annette, Dylan, Mike and a handful of regular part-time employees operate a production facility they helped build, that makes and distributes some of the best men’s care products in the world.
We also prioritize packaging. This is critical for personal care products. They are applied after the shower or may be carried around in a pocket. A well packaged beard oil for instance, ought to have a water-proof label, ought not shatter when dropped on a tile floor and should never get your clothing oily in a suitcase. We think this way and customers seem to appreciate that. We design for actual everyday and our customers can tell.
As soon as I could afford it, I brought on Brian Griffith as a full-time graphic designer, and Adam Barraclough as our copywriter and the results are staggering. For the first time we could start with a marketing idea and have all of the talent we needed in-house to make our idea a reality. Tim Kramer, a colleague from my Saddleback days, joined us as our social media manager but his role, like everyone else’s, has expanded to include whatever needs to be done. We do most of our photography and videography in-house now. The skills needed to run a modern online business are numerous and are not easy to learn, but having control over our creative has allowed us to get the look and feel we want.
I believe it is the combination of luck, hard work and our lack of pretense that helps us stand out in a crowded field. It’s easy to play up any number of “hipster” or “alpha male” tropes, and those things are rampant in beard culture, but that just isn’t us.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Our online store is powered by Shopify, and we’ve had excellent support and consulting from Kurt Elster over at Ethercycle. We’re not web devs by nature so having a team we can reach out to for assistance with specific requests has been invaluable to us.
Shipping is through ShipStation, YotPo for reviews and WholesaleHero to integrate our retailer pricing directly into the webstore. We keep things fairly simple on this end and these apps meet our needs without overcomplicating things. We really like Klaviyo for email and use a customized template to plug in fresh copy and creative assets, which makes sending out a newsletter a snap.
We use Buffer for social scheduling and rely on Google Analytics and Shopify reporting for stats. As a team, we work remotely and utilize Google Drive and Skype daily in order to keep in touch and share information.
I wish I had a true “killer app” recommendation here, but a lot of what we do comes down to being able to rely on a few basics that can be easily trained, shared and utilized amongst our whole team.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

I’m a huge fan of Kurt Elster’s The Unofficial Shopify Podcast, he often focuses on people in unique industries who are finding success and sharing some of the strategies that led them there. It’s inspiring but also unpretentious and ground-level enough to be relatable.
I loved reading Jim Koch’s Quench Your Own Thirst: Business Lessons Learned Over a Beer or Two about the rise of Boston Brewing and the Sam Adams brand. It was amazing to me how he embraced his failures as readily as his successes and was unafraid to discuss them plainly. This is one of dozens of audiobooks I have listened to on my phone with Audible. I love that site.
I try to run everything by my wife. She’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and if she doesn’t “get” something it’s usually a sure sign that I’ve missed the mark. She’s a great supporter, and that means the world to me, but she’s also not afraid to call bullshit. Having someone like that in your professional life, who’s not afraid to tell you “this sucks” or “I’m not sure this works” is invaluable.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Use your pride against your fear to get out of first gear.
If I have done one brilliant thing in the past six years it was to recognize that I was afraid and needed to kick my own ass. So, I bought a bag of lanolin I could not return with money I did not have knowing I would be mortified to have to explain to my wife why I decided to quit just after investing in a big bag of sheep’s wax.
As I mentioned earlier, I’d had ideas for businesses for a very long time and had never followed through. I was afraid I would fail. Somewhere in there, I was probably afraid I might succeed. Either way I had by this point established a habit of daydreams without action that I needed to break. I had an intuition that I needed to drop myself into a mess and fight my way out. That’s when the idea to buy obscure ingredients hit me. I placed the order and kept plugging away. When it arrived, I placed it prominently next to my computer monitor. I knew that the only way to turn that lanolin back into the money I desperately needed was to make a bunch of moustache wax and sell it. Which I did. If you use this idea, just be careful and don’t overdo it!

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We’re not actively hiring for any specific positions, but we love to hear from contributors and collaborators who may be interested in sharing creative content. Whether that’s photos or videos, artwork, reviews of our products or other insights, we welcome anyone who is willing to help us spread the word.
We have built a great community of contributors over the years who help us do everything from test drive new products to give us feedback on concepts for campaigns.

Where can we go to learn more?

Find us Online:
Talk to us directly :
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Liked this text interview? Check out the full interview with photos, tools, books, and other data.
Interested in sharing your own story? Send me a PM
submitted by youngrichntasteless to starter_story [link] [comments]


2019.05.02 18:45 youngrichntasteless $100k/month selling mustache wax.

Hey - Pat from StarterStory.com here with another interview.
Today's interview is with Doug Geiger of CanYouHandlebar, a brand that sells men's grooming products.
Some stats:

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

I’m Doug Geiger, founder of Can You Handlebar, a men’s grooming product company. We’re one of those low-key-high-quality brands.
We are best known for beard oils and balms, moustache wax and inventing the first application brush for beard products, the Can You Handlebar Beard Oil Brush®. We are carefully and consistently extending our product line and distribution.
In our first three years our production grew from a kitchen countertop with a crockpot I stole from my wife to “making a million bucks” and a 10,000 square foot building with a whole fleet of crockpots. Meanwhile, our retail presence -- which began on the counter of a gracious proprietor of the corner gas station -- has grown to our own network of barbers and salons across the US, international distribution and most visibly, the shelves of every Art of Shaving.

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

Back in the halcyon days of 2010, on a whim, I decided to grow a handlebar moustache. It is hard to imagine now, but there once was a time where there were not too many people selling moustache wax or beard products.
There were no products available locally and most of those available online weren’t transparent about ingredients and felt kind of “homemade” (and not in the good way). My hunch was that well made and well-packaged beard products could do really well as a business. I sat on the idea for at least a year because I was tied up with my day job and a newborn in the home.
In 2011, I turned in my fancy plastic lanyard and left the high rise for the last time. I joined Saddleback Leather and this proved to be the perfect incubator for a fledgling moustache wax startup. First, it provided a consistent paycheck while I ironed out my recipes and business plan. Second, my time at Saddleback provided me with good reflexes when it comes to quality and customer service. Most importantly though, I had the encouragement and mentorship of the owner, Dave Munson and the help of my Saddleback coworkers.
Even though my time had freed up a little working from home, I was still quite broke. My wife and I were married (and each managed to stay sorta employed) during the Great Recession. But even as of 2012, when we launched the website we were still paying off our wedding debt from years prior. Nevertheless, I had a hunch and at this point in my life, frankly I was tired of ignoring all of my hunches.
So, I loaded up a credit card with $400 in supplies and stole my wife’s crockpot. The day before launch, we took our toddler trick or treating, then made our way to the kitchen. I followed the handwritten recipe from my fourteenth experiment and the yield was a couple dozen cans of wax and half that again in spillage. The next morning I logged in and set the site to “public.”
Here’s a shot of our first large order going out in our first “commercial” space.
And here’s a shot of me at The Art of Shaving. The first time I was able to walk into a mall and see my products on the shelf in a retail capacity. It felt really good.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

Our first product was a moustache wax. My research amounted to buying just about every competitor product I could get my hands on to get an idea of what was possible, doing lots of research and tinkering with all manner of ingredients.
The research process involves a lot of research online on the properties of each ingredient and to determine if there are known allergies we can avoid. We also have discussions with our chemist if we are having a hard time achieving some property we want as well as to look over the final formula.
After we believe we have a winner, we have a lot of people try it and give their feedback. Meanwhile, we are working on labels and UPC barcodes and product photography. It gets easier over time to lainch a product but it never gets easy.
After several versions, we landed on a really simple recipe that, with just a couple tweaks, is now sold all over the world.
The first batch was made in a crock pot and was ladled by hand into metal tins with a one ounce scoop I purchased for the occasion. It was a real mess. Learning how to make a can of really good moustache wax takes one sort of research and development. Learning how to make ten thousand of these at a time, takes another sort. One thing we got right was putting as much R&D into our processes as we put into developing new products.
I don’t have any photos of the crockpots in action, but here are our first two beard oil prototypes. We ended up going with the name “Initiative” since the word “Industry” isn’t used to mean “hard work” much these days.
Our first two beard oil prototypes

Describe the process of launching the business.

We’d had some success in smaller circles with direct sales and were building a reputation based on the quality of our moustache wax among the beard and moustache community. Setting up a webstore seemed like the next logical step, along with getting our product on Amazon.
Credit cards were our friends at first and this was definitely more of a “side gig” for the first year or so. Then we found that our Amazon sales picked up, often on the strength of our reviews and finding an aficionado niche with our moustache wax formula. We brought on our Director of Sales Brian Furby and he developed a plan that allowed us to reach out to barbershops and salons to offer wholesale pricing, creating a global network of retail partners. These things became the underpinnings of our success.
Brian’s strategy was two-fold. He started with cold-calling and emailing owners of salons and barbershops, introducing them to our products and offering to send them a package that included full-size products for free, just so they could see the quality of the goods in person. This led to a postcard mailer program to expand our reach.
Finally, we expanded to include visits to industry trade shows, where we were able to meet and interact with retailers face-to-face. They could see the products first-hand and by simply signing up for a Retailer Sample Kit they could get started making money with Can You Handlebar right away, at no cost to them.
These programs were a success in building out our retail program of independent shops and salons. As our product line grew, we altered our offering to include more goods and special incentives (like a branded barber cape), available at a significantly reduced cost. This gives potential retailers a taste of our wholesale pricing and gives them enough product to stock their shelves with our Retailer Starter Kit, all with a very small investment on their end.
We kept an eye toward thoughtful design in our packaging and on continuing to deliver quality goods. That eventually led to our being noticed by The Art of Shaving, who have become our most significant retailer, a relationship that has brought our products into hundreds of retail locations where we continue to be a best-seller.
In terms of lessons learned, one of the things that we might have done differently and something we still struggle with is overthinking things. Aspects of that can be beneficial, and it’s certainly helped us to be careful and a bit cautious. But we have a tendency to get obsessive about the details. Sometimes we’ll talk ourselves into a corner until finally one of us will say “What the hell are we waiting for?” and we’ll get the idea moving again.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Our efforts have always been rooted in quality products and customer service, building relationships with our customers based on delivering exactly what they are looking for. It’s how we got started, and it’s where we distinguish ourselves. That can feel a bit old school, and sure, we’d love to have some viral success that explodes business exponentially, but we have been very happy with a steady and consistent build over time.
We’re just not a flashy brand. We don’t consider beards to be a trend, and we don’t approach our business as though it were. It’s resulted in a lean and focused product line and innovation driven by our core values and extensive R&D. We’re not rushing products to market for a quick buck.
This also means that when a customer has a question or a concern, they’re getting a response from an actual human being. It means a satisfaction guarantee that accounts for the customer’s actual experience with the ultimate goal of finding them a product that works for them. Our social media is organic and conversational. We share what we care about, whether fishing or baking bread, high-end knives or low-end junk food--It’s all just an extension of who we are. No cheap memes or alpha attitudes, no trash-talking competitors.
Social media
Our strategy for social media has always been rooted in genuine interaction. We feature our own content in terms of photos and writing as well as sharing photos from customers and retailers. We decided early on to avoid cheap memes and viral posts. We’d seen other brands do it, and it always felt like it played to the negative, reinforcing stereotypes about bearded guys or beard culture. It’s always been important to us that our customers choose our products because they are right for them, not because some alpha dog told them to, or because it’s the hipster thing to do.
Our earliest notable success on social media was with a program we dubbed The Big Thank You, which we ran for two consecutive years. It was a giveaway contest designed to thank our customers and followers for their interest in our product, and also a way to introduce them to several other small businesses whose work we appreciate. In turn, these small businesses helped us promote on their end, creating a nice ring of cross-promotion across social media. We accepted donations or bought outright products from our partners as part of the giveaway, and it was important to us to choose makers who we knew shared our belief in quality, and who it just made sense to brand with.
Entrants into the contest were asked to upload a picture of themselves showing off their facial hair and all of our followers were asked to vote for their favorite. Engagement was through the roof, as were click-throughs and newsletter sign-ups.
Here’s some stats on the second year:
Social Growth/Engagement (CanYouHandlebar only; doesn’t include any data from sponsors)
Anecdotally, it was a success for our sponsor partners as well, as all reported positive growth. In most cases, all it cost them was their cost of goods and a small amount of time spent promoting on social media.
Ads
We’ve utilized Facebook, Instagram, and Google ads and experimented with other forms of online advertising and we’ve found that overextending ourselves and our budget doesn’t necessarily result in higher sales.
Online advertising is a nut we still haven’t completely cracked. A lot of that feels like it’s connected to what a niche market we are, and within that niche we’ve found our greatest sales success in simply delivering the best products and packaging we can, and letting word of mouth spread.
Amazon
To that end, Amazon is an important part of our success, with customer experience driving strong reviews. There is a true aficionado’s appreciation for what we do. We thrive on returning business.
Though there are a multitude of other options for our customers to consider when purchasing a beard product, we feel that the quality of our goods shines through.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

We are steady and growing moderately on all fronts. We are looking to expand into other retail locations and further international distribution. We are expanding our product line as well. A recent example is the Tattoo Balm we just released. It’s our first unisex grooming product and also one of the first that isn’t directly beard or moustache-related. It’s a whole new market for us and we’re looking forward to finding some inroads there.
Our day-to-day operations have expanded dramatically from where we started. We now operate out of a 10,000 square foot warehouse in the greater Detroit area, we employ anywhere from 10-15 full and part-time positions and have scaled our production abilities up to be able to fill thousands of units a week as needed.
Our sales are currently tiered with retail partners in the lead, Amazon second and website sales third. A massive goal for us over the past few months has been to increase traffic and sales on the website. We’ve undergone a complete design facelift and have focused on targeted social media ads. It took a ton of time, money and effort whipping our site into shape. Thankfully, we are now converting well once people get to the site. We’re now working on strategies to get these initial site views and increasing conversions.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Right after I started to see some success, I hired “experts” who weren’t as serious about our success as we needed them to be. I paid one guy over $40,000 over the course of six months because he was “really connected” and could help my business take off. The only thing that really took off was him--with my money. This taught me a little thing about business and a big thing about me as a person. On the business side, I am now a lot better at defining expectations in contracts. On the personal side, I realized that I was starving to hear that I was “on the right track” and was consequently way more vulnerable to flattery than I thought.
When you’ve toiled for years on a business as random as beard oil without a ton to show for it, it feels really good to finally hear some “real business person” compliment you and tell you that you are about to hit it big, if only you had someone like them who sees the potential and can make a couple calls…I needed validation so much as any brand new entrepreneur, and I spent the cost of a brand new fully loaded family sedan to hear it. Fortunately, I was able to extricate myself having only lost money and pride. It could have been much worse.
You can’t avoid all mistakes. But you can inoculate yourself against a bunch of strains of entrepreneurship diseases by reading content like these on Starter Story and by keeping an eye out for business owners you can chat with every so often to give you this validation. You should not rely exclusively on your SO, personal friends or employees. It isn’t fair for them to be your sole support. Once you are committed to your own business, you immediately need a new category of friend: business owner peers with whom you can freely discuss financials, fears and hopes. If you provide for this support network early on, you will have picked up through conversations a resistance to some of the nonsense that’s out there without having to go through it firsthand.
I can’t go on too much longer without screaming that luck is such a huge part of our success. I was fortunate to be in the vanguard of the “beard trend” by accident and I am certain that getting into the market so early helped. Back then, we were one of only a dozen or so brands doing beard oil, beard balm and moustache wax. Now there are thousands. Had things not gone exactly right, I could very easily be one of the thousands of guys out there now whose company didn’t pan out and who only have a couple dozen bottles of beard oil and a $40 piece of bearded clipart they never got around to using to show for it.
That said, luck is never enough, not long term. You have to work really hard on a lot of chores that the customer will never see or know about. Had we not made the most of our position as one of the early leading brands, we would not be here. I think some of our best decisions over the years include focusing on a quality product in a clean professional manufacturing facility. Our manufacturing crew is presently led by my first employee Andy Pokorski, who has been with me from the crockpot to the factory. He has had a hand (and beard) in nearly everything at Can You Handlebar. Accordingly, he gets unlimited days off for fishing. Each day Andy, Annette, Dylan, Mike and a handful of regular part-time employees operate a production facility they helped build, that makes and distributes some of the best men’s care products in the world.
We also prioritize packaging. This is critical for personal care products. They are applied after the shower or may be carried around in a pocket. A well packaged beard oil for instance, ought to have a water-proof label, ought not shatter when dropped on a tile floor and should never get your clothing oily in a suitcase. We think this way and customers seem to appreciate that. We design for actual everyday and our customers can tell.
As soon as I could afford it, I brought on Brian Griffith as a full-time graphic designer, and Adam Barraclough as our copywriter and the results are staggering. For the first time we could start with a marketing idea and have all of the talent we needed in-house to make our idea a reality. Tim Kramer, a colleague from my Saddleback days, joined us as our social media manager but his role, like everyone else’s, has expanded to include whatever needs to be done. We do most of our photography and videography in-house now. The skills needed to run a modern online business are numerous and are not easy to learn, but having control over our creative has allowed us to get the look and feel we want.
I believe it is the combination of luck, hard work and our lack of pretense that helps us stand out in a crowded field. It’s easy to play up any number of “hipster” or “alpha male” tropes, and those things are rampant in beard culture, but that just isn’t us.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Our online store is powered by Shopify, and we’ve had excellent support and consulting from Kurt Elster over at Ethercycle. We’re not web devs by nature so having a team we can reach out to for assistance with specific requests has been invaluable to us.
Shipping is through ShipStation, YotPo for reviews and WholesaleHero to integrate our retailer pricing directly into the webstore. We keep things fairly simple on this end and these apps meet our needs without overcomplicating things. We really like Klaviyo for email and use a customized template to plug in fresh copy and creative assets, which makes sending out a newsletter a snap.
We use Buffer for social scheduling and rely on Google Analytics and Shopify reporting for stats. As a team, we work remotely and utilize Google Drive and Skype daily in order to keep in touch and share information.
I wish I had a true “killer app” recommendation here, but a lot of what we do comes down to being able to rely on a few basics that can be easily trained, shared and utilized amongst our whole team.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

I’m a huge fan of Kurt Elster’s The Unofficial Shopify Podcast, he often focuses on people in unique industries who are finding success and sharing some of the strategies that led them there. It’s inspiring but also unpretentious and ground-level enough to be relatable.
I loved reading Jim Koch’s Quench Your Own Thirst: Business Lessons Learned Over a Beer or Two about the rise of Boston Brewing and the Sam Adams brand. It was amazing to me how he embraced his failures as readily as his successes and was unafraid to discuss them plainly. This is one of dozens of audiobooks I have listened to on my phone with Audible. I love that site.
I try to run everything by my wife. She’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and if she doesn’t “get” something it’s usually a sure sign that I’ve missed the mark. She’s a great supporter, and that means the world to me, but she’s also not afraid to call bullshit. Having someone like that in your professional life, who’s not afraid to tell you “this sucks” or “I’m not sure this works” is invaluable.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Use your pride against your fear to get out of first gear.
If I have done one brilliant thing in the past six years it was to recognize that I was afraid and needed to kick my own ass. So, I bought a bag of lanolin I could not return with money I did not have knowing I would be mortified to have to explain to my wife why I decided to quit just after investing in a big bag of sheep’s wax.
As I mentioned earlier, I’d had ideas for businesses for a very long time and had never followed through. I was afraid I would fail. Somewhere in there, I was probably afraid I might succeed. Either way I had by this point established a habit of daydreams without action that I needed to break. I had an intuition that I needed to drop myself into a mess and fight my way out. That’s when the idea to buy obscure ingredients hit me. I placed the order and kept plugging away. When it arrived, I placed it prominently next to my computer monitor. I knew that the only way to turn that lanolin back into the money I desperately needed was to make a bunch of moustache wax and sell it. Which I did. If you use this idea, just be careful and don’t overdo it!

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We’re not actively hiring for any specific positions, but we love to hear from contributors and collaborators who may be interested in sharing creative content. Whether that’s photos or videos, artwork, reviews of our products or other insights, we welcome anyone who is willing to help us spread the word.
We have built a great community of contributors over the years who help us do everything from test drive new products to give us feedback on concepts for campaigns.

Where can we go to learn more?

Find us Online:
Talk to us directly :
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Liked this text interview? Check out the full interview with photos, tools, books, and other data.
Interested in sharing your own story? Send me a PM
submitted by youngrichntasteless to Business_Ideas [link] [comments]


2019.05.02 18:30 youngrichntasteless $100k/month selling mustache wax.

Hey - Pat from StarterStory.com here with another interview.
Today's interview is with Doug Geiger of CanYouHandlebar, a brand that sells men's grooming products.
Some stats:

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

I’m Doug Geiger, founder of Can You Handlebar, a men’s grooming product company. We’re one of those low-key-high-quality brands.
We are best known for beard oils and balms, moustache wax and inventing the first application brush for beard products, the Can You Handlebar Beard Oil Brush®. We are carefully and consistently extending our product line and distribution.
In our first three years our production grew from a kitchen countertop with a crockpot I stole from my wife to “making a million bucks” and a 10,000 square foot building with a whole fleet of crockpots. Meanwhile, our retail presence -- which began on the counter of a gracious proprietor of the corner gas station -- has grown to our own network of barbers and salons across the US, international distribution and most visibly, the shelves of every Art of Shaving.

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

Back in the halcyon days of 2010, on a whim, I decided to grow a handlebar moustache. It is hard to imagine now, but there once was a time where there were not too many people selling moustache wax or beard products.
There were no products available locally and most of those available online weren’t transparent about ingredients and felt kind of “homemade” (and not in the good way). My hunch was that well made and well-packaged beard products could do really well as a business. I sat on the idea for at least a year because I was tied up with my day job and a newborn in the home.
In 2011, I turned in my fancy plastic lanyard and left the high rise for the last time. I joined Saddleback Leather and this proved to be the perfect incubator for a fledgling moustache wax startup. First, it provided a consistent paycheck while I ironed out my recipes and business plan. Second, my time at Saddleback provided me with good reflexes when it comes to quality and customer service. Most importantly though, I had the encouragement and mentorship of the owner, Dave Munson and the help of my Saddleback coworkers.
Even though my time had freed up a little working from home, I was still quite broke. My wife and I were married (and each managed to stay sorta employed) during the Great Recession. But even as of 2012, when we launched the website we were still paying off our wedding debt from years prior. Nevertheless, I had a hunch and at this point in my life, frankly I was tired of ignoring all of my hunches.
So, I loaded up a credit card with $400 in supplies and stole my wife’s crockpot. The day before launch, we took our toddler trick or treating, then made our way to the kitchen. I followed the handwritten recipe from my fourteenth experiment and the yield was a couple dozen cans of wax and half that again in spillage. The next morning I logged in and set the site to “public.”
Here’s a shot of our first large order going out in our first “commercial” space.
And here’s a shot of me at The Art of Shaving. The first time I was able to walk into a mall and see my products on the shelf in a retail capacity. It felt really good.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

Our first product was a moustache wax. My research amounted to buying just about every competitor product I could get my hands on to get an idea of what was possible, doing lots of research and tinkering with all manner of ingredients.
The research process involves a lot of research online on the properties of each ingredient and to determine if there are known allergies we can avoid. We also have discussions with our chemist if we are having a hard time achieving some property we want as well as to look over the final formula.
After we believe we have a winner, we have a lot of people try it and give their feedback. Meanwhile, we are working on labels and UPC barcodes and product photography. It gets easier over time to lainch a product but it never gets easy.
After several versions, we landed on a really simple recipe that, with just a couple tweaks, is now sold all over the world.
The first batch was made in a crock pot and was ladled by hand into metal tins with a one ounce scoop I purchased for the occasion. It was a real mess. Learning how to make a can of really good moustache wax takes one sort of research and development. Learning how to make ten thousand of these at a time, takes another sort. One thing we got right was putting as much R&D into our processes as we put into developing new products.
I don’t have any photos of the crockpots in action, but here are our first two beard oil prototypes. We ended up going with the name “Initiative” since the word “Industry” isn’t used to mean “hard work” much these days.
Our first two beard oil prototypes

Describe the process of launching the business.

We’d had some success in smaller circles with direct sales and were building a reputation based on the quality of our moustache wax among the beard and moustache community. Setting up a webstore seemed like the next logical step, along with getting our product on Amazon.
Credit cards were our friends at first and this was definitely more of a “side gig” for the first year or so. Then we found that our Amazon sales picked up, often on the strength of our reviews and finding an aficionado niche with our moustache wax formula. We brought on our Director of Sales Brian Furby and he developed a plan that allowed us to reach out to barbershops and salons to offer wholesale pricing, creating a global network of retail partners. These things became the underpinnings of our success.
Brian’s strategy was two-fold. He started with cold-calling and emailing owners of salons and barbershops, introducing them to our products and offering to send them a package that included full-size products for free, just so they could see the quality of the goods in person. This led to a postcard mailer program to expand our reach.
Finally, we expanded to include visits to industry trade shows, where we were able to meet and interact with retailers face-to-face. They could see the products first-hand and by simply signing up for a Retailer Sample Kit they could get started making money with Can You Handlebar right away, at no cost to them.
These programs were a success in building out our retail program of independent shops and salons. As our product line grew, we altered our offering to include more goods and special incentives (like a branded barber cape), available at a significantly reduced cost. This gives potential retailers a taste of our wholesale pricing and gives them enough product to stock their shelves with our Retailer Starter Kit, all with a very small investment on their end.
We kept an eye toward thoughtful design in our packaging and on continuing to deliver quality goods. That eventually led to our being noticed by The Art of Shaving, who have become our most significant retailer, a relationship that has brought our products into hundreds of retail locations where we continue to be a best-seller.
In terms of lessons learned, one of the things that we might have done differently and something we still struggle with is overthinking things. Aspects of that can be beneficial, and it’s certainly helped us to be careful and a bit cautious. But we have a tendency to get obsessive about the details. Sometimes we’ll talk ourselves into a corner until finally one of us will say “What the hell are we waiting for?” and we’ll get the idea moving again.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Our efforts have always been rooted in quality products and customer service, building relationships with our customers based on delivering exactly what they are looking for. It’s how we got started, and it’s where we distinguish ourselves. That can feel a bit old school, and sure, we’d love to have some viral success that explodes business exponentially, but we have been very happy with a steady and consistent build over time.
We’re just not a flashy brand. We don’t consider beards to be a trend, and we don’t approach our business as though it were. It’s resulted in a lean and focused product line and innovation driven by our core values and extensive R&D. We’re not rushing products to market for a quick buck.
This also means that when a customer has a question or a concern, they’re getting a response from an actual human being. It means a satisfaction guarantee that accounts for the customer’s actual experience with the ultimate goal of finding them a product that works for them. Our social media is organic and conversational. We share what we care about, whether fishing or baking bread, high-end knives or low-end junk food--It’s all just an extension of who we are. No cheap memes or alpha attitudes, no trash-talking competitors.
Social media
Our strategy for social media has always been rooted in genuine interaction. We feature our own content in terms of photos and writing as well as sharing photos from customers and retailers. We decided early on to avoid cheap memes and viral posts. We’d seen other brands do it, and it always felt like it played to the negative, reinforcing stereotypes about bearded guys or beard culture. It’s always been important to us that our customers choose our products because they are right for them, not because some alpha dog told them to, or because it’s the hipster thing to do.
Our earliest notable success on social media was with a program we dubbed The Big Thank You, which we ran for two consecutive years. It was a giveaway contest designed to thank our customers and followers for their interest in our product, and also a way to introduce them to several other small businesses whose work we appreciate. In turn, these small businesses helped us promote on their end, creating a nice ring of cross-promotion across social media. We accepted donations or bought outright products from our partners as part of the giveaway, and it was important to us to choose makers who we knew shared our belief in quality, and who it just made sense to brand with.
Entrants into the contest were asked to upload a picture of themselves showing off their facial hair and all of our followers were asked to vote for their favorite. Engagement was through the roof, as were click-throughs and newsletter sign-ups.
Here’s some stats on the second year:
Social Growth/Engagement (CanYouHandlebar only; doesn’t include any data from sponsors)
Anecdotally, it was a success for our sponsor partners as well, as all reported positive growth. In most cases, all it cost them was their cost of goods and a small amount of time spent promoting on social media.
Ads
We’ve utilized Facebook, Instagram, and Google ads and experimented with other forms of online advertising and we’ve found that overextending ourselves and our budget doesn’t necessarily result in higher sales.
Online advertising is a nut we still haven’t completely cracked. A lot of that feels like it’s connected to what a niche market we are, and within that niche we’ve found our greatest sales success in simply delivering the best products and packaging we can, and letting word of mouth spread.
Amazon
To that end, Amazon is an important part of our success, with customer experience driving strong reviews. There is a true aficionado’s appreciation for what we do. We thrive on returning business.
Though there are a multitude of other options for our customers to consider when purchasing a beard product, we feel that the quality of our goods shines through.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

We are steady and growing moderately on all fronts. We are looking to expand into other retail locations and further international distribution. We are expanding our product line as well. A recent example is the Tattoo Balm we just released. It’s our first unisex grooming product and also one of the first that isn’t directly beard or moustache-related. It’s a whole new market for us and we’re looking forward to finding some inroads there.
Our day-to-day operations have expanded dramatically from where we started. We now operate out of a 10,000 square foot warehouse in the greater Detroit area, we employ anywhere from 10-15 full and part-time positions and have scaled our production abilities up to be able to fill thousands of units a week as needed.
Our sales are currently tiered with retail partners in the lead, Amazon second and website sales third. A massive goal for us over the past few months has been to increase traffic and sales on the website. We’ve undergone a complete design facelift and have focused on targeted social media ads. It took a ton of time, money and effort whipping our site into shape. Thankfully, we are now converting well once people get to the site. We’re now working on strategies to get these initial site views and increasing conversions.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Right after I started to see some success, I hired “experts” who weren’t as serious about our success as we needed them to be. I paid one guy over $40,000 over the course of six months because he was “really connected” and could help my business take off. The only thing that really took off was him--with my money. This taught me a little thing about business and a big thing about me as a person. On the business side, I am now a lot better at defining expectations in contracts. On the personal side, I realized that I was starving to hear that I was “on the right track” and was consequently way more vulnerable to flattery than I thought.
When you’ve toiled for years on a business as random as beard oil without a ton to show for it, it feels really good to finally hear some “real business person” compliment you and tell you that you are about to hit it big, if only you had someone like them who sees the potential and can make a couple calls…I needed validation so much as any brand new entrepreneur, and I spent the cost of a brand new fully loaded family sedan to hear it. Fortunately, I was able to extricate myself having only lost money and pride. It could have been much worse.
You can’t avoid all mistakes. But you can inoculate yourself against a bunch of strains of entrepreneurship diseases by reading content like these on Starter Story and by keeping an eye out for business owners you can chat with every so often to give you this validation. You should not rely exclusively on your SO, personal friends or employees. It isn’t fair for them to be your sole support. Once you are committed to your own business, you immediately need a new category of friend: business owner peers with whom you can freely discuss financials, fears and hopes. If you provide for this support network early on, you will have picked up through conversations a resistance to some of the nonsense that’s out there without having to go through it firsthand.
I can’t go on too much longer without screaming that luck is such a huge part of our success. I was fortunate to be in the vanguard of the “beard trend” by accident and I am certain that getting into the market so early helped. Back then, we were one of only a dozen or so brands doing beard oil, beard balm and moustache wax. Now there are thousands. Had things not gone exactly right, I could very easily be one of the thousands of guys out there now whose company didn’t pan out and who only have a couple dozen bottles of beard oil and a $40 piece of bearded clipart they never got around to using to show for it.
That said, luck is never enough, not long term. You have to work really hard on a lot of chores that the customer will never see or know about. Had we not made the most of our position as one of the early leading brands, we would not be here. I think some of our best decisions over the years include focusing on a quality product in a clean professional manufacturing facility. Our manufacturing crew is presently led by my first employee Andy Pokorski, who has been with me from the crockpot to the factory. He has had a hand (and beard) in nearly everything at Can You Handlebar. Accordingly, he gets unlimited days off for fishing. Each day Andy, Annette, Dylan, Mike and a handful of regular part-time employees operate a production facility they helped build, that makes and distributes some of the best men’s care products in the world.
We also prioritize packaging. This is critical for personal care products. They are applied after the shower or may be carried around in a pocket. A well packaged beard oil for instance, ought to have a water-proof label, ought not shatter when dropped on a tile floor and should never get your clothing oily in a suitcase. We think this way and customers seem to appreciate that. We design for actual everyday and our customers can tell.
As soon as I could afford it, I brought on Brian Griffith as a full-time graphic designer, and Adam Barraclough as our copywriter and the results are staggering. For the first time we could start with a marketing idea and have all of the talent we needed in-house to make our idea a reality. Tim Kramer, a colleague from my Saddleback days, joined us as our social media manager but his role, like everyone else’s, has expanded to include whatever needs to be done. We do most of our photography and videography in-house now. The skills needed to run a modern online business are numerous and are not easy to learn, but having control over our creative has allowed us to get the look and feel we want.
I believe it is the combination of luck, hard work and our lack of pretense that helps us stand out in a crowded field. It’s easy to play up any number of “hipster” or “alpha male” tropes, and those things are rampant in beard culture, but that just isn’t us.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Our online store is powered by Shopify, and we’ve had excellent support and consulting from Kurt Elster over at Ethercycle. We’re not web devs by nature so having a team we can reach out to for assistance with specific requests has been invaluable to us.
Shipping is through ShipStation, YotPo for reviews and WholesaleHero to integrate our retailer pricing directly into the webstore. We keep things fairly simple on this end and these apps meet our needs without overcomplicating things. We really like Klaviyo for email and use a customized template to plug in fresh copy and creative assets, which makes sending out a newsletter a snap.
We use Buffer for social scheduling and rely on Google Analytics and Shopify reporting for stats. As a team, we work remotely and utilize Google Drive and Skype daily in order to keep in touch and share information.
I wish I had a true “killer app” recommendation here, but a lot of what we do comes down to being able to rely on a few basics that can be easily trained, shared and utilized amongst our whole team.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

I’m a huge fan of Kurt Elster’s The Unofficial Shopify Podcast, he often focuses on people in unique industries who are finding success and sharing some of the strategies that led them there. It’s inspiring but also unpretentious and ground-level enough to be relatable.
I loved reading Jim Koch’s Quench Your Own Thirst: Business Lessons Learned Over a Beer or Two about the rise of Boston Brewing and the Sam Adams brand. It was amazing to me how he embraced his failures as readily as his successes and was unafraid to discuss them plainly. This is one of dozens of audiobooks I have listened to on my phone with Audible. I love that site.
I try to run everything by my wife. She’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and if she doesn’t “get” something it’s usually a sure sign that I’ve missed the mark. She’s a great supporter, and that means the world to me, but she’s also not afraid to call bullshit. Having someone like that in your professional life, who’s not afraid to tell you “this sucks” or “I’m not sure this works” is invaluable.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Use your pride against your fear to get out of first gear.
If I have done one brilliant thing in the past six years it was to recognize that I was afraid and needed to kick my own ass. So, I bought a bag of lanolin I could not return with money I did not have knowing I would be mortified to have to explain to my wife why I decided to quit just after investing in a big bag of sheep’s wax.
As I mentioned earlier, I’d had ideas for businesses for a very long time and had never followed through. I was afraid I would fail. Somewhere in there, I was probably afraid I might succeed. Either way I had by this point established a habit of daydreams without action that I needed to break. I had an intuition that I needed to drop myself into a mess and fight my way out. That’s when the idea to buy obscure ingredients hit me. I placed the order and kept plugging away. When it arrived, I placed it prominently next to my computer monitor. I knew that the only way to turn that lanolin back into the money I desperately needed was to make a bunch of moustache wax and sell it. Which I did. If you use this idea, just be careful and don’t overdo it!

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We’re not actively hiring for any specific positions, but we love to hear from contributors and collaborators who may be interested in sharing creative content. Whether that’s photos or videos, artwork, reviews of our products or other insights, we welcome anyone who is willing to help us spread the word.
We have built a great community of contributors over the years who help us do everything from test drive new products to give us feedback on concepts for campaigns.

Where can we go to learn more?

Find us Online:
Talk to us directly :
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Liked this text interview? Check out the full interview with photos, tools, books, and other data.
Interested in sharing your own story? Send me a PM
submitted by youngrichntasteless to EntrepreneurRideAlong [link] [comments]


2019.05.02 18:15 youngrichntasteless $100k/month selling mustache wax.

Hey - Pat from StarterStory.com here with another interview.
Today's interview is with Doug Geiger of CanYouHandlebar, a brand that sells men's grooming products.
Some stats:

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

I’m Doug Geiger, founder of Can You Handlebar, a men’s grooming product company. We’re one of those low-key-high-quality brands.
We are best known for beard oils and balms, moustache wax and inventing the first application brush for beard products, the Can You Handlebar Beard Oil Brush®. We are carefully and consistently extending our product line and distribution.
In our first three years our production grew from a kitchen countertop with a crockpot I stole from my wife to “making a million bucks” and a 10,000 square foot building with a whole fleet of crockpots. Meanwhile, our retail presence -- which began on the counter of a gracious proprietor of the corner gas station -- has grown to our own network of barbers and salons across the US, international distribution and most visibly, the shelves of every Art of Shaving.

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

Back in the halcyon days of 2010, on a whim, I decided to grow a handlebar moustache. It is hard to imagine now, but there once was a time where there were not too many people selling moustache wax or beard products.
There were no products available locally and most of those available online weren’t transparent about ingredients and felt kind of “homemade” (and not in the good way). My hunch was that well made and well-packaged beard products could do really well as a business. I sat on the idea for at least a year because I was tied up with my day job and a newborn in the home.
In 2011, I turned in my fancy plastic lanyard and left the high rise for the last time. I joined Saddleback Leather and this proved to be the perfect incubator for a fledgling moustache wax startup. First, it provided a consistent paycheck while I ironed out my recipes and business plan. Second, my time at Saddleback provided me with good reflexes when it comes to quality and customer service. Most importantly though, I had the encouragement and mentorship of the owner, Dave Munson and the help of my Saddleback coworkers.
Even though my time had freed up a little working from home, I was still quite broke. My wife and I were married (and each managed to stay sorta employed) during the Great Recession. But even as of 2012, when we launched the website we were still paying off our wedding debt from years prior. Nevertheless, I had a hunch and at this point in my life, frankly I was tired of ignoring all of my hunches.
So, I loaded up a credit card with $400 in supplies and stole my wife’s crockpot. The day before launch, we took our toddler trick or treating, then made our way to the kitchen. I followed the handwritten recipe from my fourteenth experiment and the yield was a couple dozen cans of wax and half that again in spillage. The next morning I logged in and set the site to “public.”
Here’s a shot of our first large order going out in our first “commercial” space.
And here’s a shot of me at The Art of Shaving. The first time I was able to walk into a mall and see my products on the shelf in a retail capacity. It felt really good.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

Our first product was a moustache wax. My research amounted to buying just about every competitor product I could get my hands on to get an idea of what was possible, doing lots of research and tinkering with all manner of ingredients.
The research process involves a lot of research online on the properties of each ingredient and to determine if there are known allergies we can avoid. We also have discussions with our chemist if we are having a hard time achieving some property we want as well as to look over the final formula.
After we believe we have a winner, we have a lot of people try it and give their feedback. Meanwhile, we are working on labels and UPC barcodes and product photography. It gets easier over time to lainch a product but it never gets easy.
After several versions, we landed on a really simple recipe that, with just a couple tweaks, is now sold all over the world.
The first batch was made in a crock pot and was ladled by hand into metal tins with a one ounce scoop I purchased for the occasion. It was a real mess. Learning how to make a can of really good moustache wax takes one sort of research and development. Learning how to make ten thousand of these at a time, takes another sort. One thing we got right was putting as much R&D into our processes as we put into developing new products.
I don’t have any photos of the crockpots in action, but here are our first two beard oil prototypes. We ended up going with the name “Initiative” since the word “Industry” isn’t used to mean “hard work” much these days.
Our first two beard oil prototypes

Describe the process of launching the business.

We’d had some success in smaller circles with direct sales and were building a reputation based on the quality of our moustache wax among the beard and moustache community. Setting up a webstore seemed like the next logical step, along with getting our product on Amazon.
Credit cards were our friends at first and this was definitely more of a “side gig” for the first year or so. Then we found that our Amazon sales picked up, often on the strength of our reviews and finding an aficionado niche with our moustache wax formula. We brought on our Director of Sales Brian Furby and he developed a plan that allowed us to reach out to barbershops and salons to offer wholesale pricing, creating a global network of retail partners. These things became the underpinnings of our success.
Brian’s strategy was two-fold. He started with cold-calling and emailing owners of salons and barbershops, introducing them to our products and offering to send them a package that included full-size products for free, just so they could see the quality of the goods in person. This led to a postcard mailer program to expand our reach.
Finally, we expanded to include visits to industry trade shows, where we were able to meet and interact with retailers face-to-face. They could see the products first-hand and by simply signing up for a Retailer Sample Kit they could get started making money with Can You Handlebar right away, at no cost to them.
These programs were a success in building out our retail program of independent shops and salons. As our product line grew, we altered our offering to include more goods and special incentives (like a branded barber cape), available at a significantly reduced cost. This gives potential retailers a taste of our wholesale pricing and gives them enough product to stock their shelves with our Retailer Starter Kit, all with a very small investment on their end.
We kept an eye toward thoughtful design in our packaging and on continuing to deliver quality goods. That eventually led to our being noticed by The Art of Shaving, who have become our most significant retailer, a relationship that has brought our products into hundreds of retail locations where we continue to be a best-seller.
In terms of lessons learned, one of the things that we might have done differently and something we still struggle with is overthinking things. Aspects of that can be beneficial, and it’s certainly helped us to be careful and a bit cautious. But we have a tendency to get obsessive about the details. Sometimes we’ll talk ourselves into a corner until finally one of us will say “What the hell are we waiting for?” and we’ll get the idea moving again.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Our efforts have always been rooted in quality products and customer service, building relationships with our customers based on delivering exactly what they are looking for. It’s how we got started, and it’s where we distinguish ourselves. That can feel a bit old school, and sure, we’d love to have some viral success that explodes business exponentially, but we have been very happy with a steady and consistent build over time.
We’re just not a flashy brand. We don’t consider beards to be a trend, and we don’t approach our business as though it were. It’s resulted in a lean and focused product line and innovation driven by our core values and extensive R&D. We’re not rushing products to market for a quick buck.
This also means that when a customer has a question or a concern, they’re getting a response from an actual human being. It means a satisfaction guarantee that accounts for the customer’s actual experience with the ultimate goal of finding them a product that works for them. Our social media is organic and conversational. We share what we care about, whether fishing or baking bread, high-end knives or low-end junk food--It’s all just an extension of who we are. No cheap memes or alpha attitudes, no trash-talking competitors.
Social media
Our strategy for social media has always been rooted in genuine interaction. We feature our own content in terms of photos and writing as well as sharing photos from customers and retailers. We decided early on to avoid cheap memes and viral posts. We’d seen other brands do it, and it always felt like it played to the negative, reinforcing stereotypes about bearded guys or beard culture. It’s always been important to us that our customers choose our products because they are right for them, not because some alpha dog told them to, or because it’s the hipster thing to do.
Our earliest notable success on social media was with a program we dubbed The Big Thank You, which we ran for two consecutive years. It was a giveaway contest designed to thank our customers and followers for their interest in our product, and also a way to introduce them to several other small businesses whose work we appreciate. In turn, these small businesses helped us promote on their end, creating a nice ring of cross-promotion across social media. We accepted donations or bought outright products from our partners as part of the giveaway, and it was important to us to choose makers who we knew shared our belief in quality, and who it just made sense to brand with.
Entrants into the contest were asked to upload a picture of themselves showing off their facial hair and all of our followers were asked to vote for their favorite. Engagement was through the roof, as were click-throughs and newsletter sign-ups.
Here’s some stats on the second year:
Social Growth/Engagement (CanYouHandlebar only; doesn’t include any data from sponsors)
Anecdotally, it was a success for our sponsor partners as well, as all reported positive growth. In most cases, all it cost them was their cost of goods and a small amount of time spent promoting on social media.
Ads
We’ve utilized Facebook, Instagram, and Google ads and experimented with other forms of online advertising and we’ve found that overextending ourselves and our budget doesn’t necessarily result in higher sales.
Online advertising is a nut we still haven’t completely cracked. A lot of that feels like it’s connected to what a niche market we are, and within that niche we’ve found our greatest sales success in simply delivering the best products and packaging we can, and letting word of mouth spread.
Amazon
To that end, Amazon is an important part of our success, with customer experience driving strong reviews. There is a true aficionado’s appreciation for what we do. We thrive on returning business.
Though there are a multitude of other options for our customers to consider when purchasing a beard product, we feel that the quality of our goods shines through.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

We are steady and growing moderately on all fronts. We are looking to expand into other retail locations and further international distribution. We are expanding our product line as well. A recent example is the Tattoo Balm we just released. It’s our first unisex grooming product and also one of the first that isn’t directly beard or moustache-related. It’s a whole new market for us and we’re looking forward to finding some inroads there.
Our day-to-day operations have expanded dramatically from where we started. We now operate out of a 10,000 square foot warehouse in the greater Detroit area, we employ anywhere from 10-15 full and part-time positions and have scaled our production abilities up to be able to fill thousands of units a week as needed.
Our sales are currently tiered with retail partners in the lead, Amazon second and website sales third. A massive goal for us over the past few months has been to increase traffic and sales on the website. We’ve undergone a complete design facelift and have focused on targeted social media ads. It took a ton of time, money and effort whipping our site into shape. Thankfully, we are now converting well once people get to the site. We’re now working on strategies to get these initial site views and increasing conversions.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Right after I started to see some success, I hired “experts” who weren’t as serious about our success as we needed them to be. I paid one guy over $40,000 over the course of six months because he was “really connected” and could help my business take off. The only thing that really took off was him--with my money. This taught me a little thing about business and a big thing about me as a person. On the business side, I am now a lot better at defining expectations in contracts. On the personal side, I realized that I was starving to hear that I was “on the right track” and was consequently way more vulnerable to flattery than I thought.
When you’ve toiled for years on a business as random as beard oil without a ton to show for it, it feels really good to finally hear some “real business person” compliment you and tell you that you are about to hit it big, if only you had someone like them who sees the potential and can make a couple calls…I needed validation so much as any brand new entrepreneur, and I spent the cost of a brand new fully loaded family sedan to hear it. Fortunately, I was able to extricate myself having only lost money and pride. It could have been much worse.
You can’t avoid all mistakes. But you can inoculate yourself against a bunch of strains of entrepreneurship diseases by reading content like these on Starter Story and by keeping an eye out for business owners you can chat with every so often to give you this validation. You should not rely exclusively on your SO, personal friends or employees. It isn’t fair for them to be your sole support. Once you are committed to your own business, you immediately need a new category of friend: business owner peers with whom you can freely discuss financials, fears and hopes. If you provide for this support network early on, you will have picked up through conversations a resistance to some of the nonsense that’s out there without having to go through it firsthand.
I can’t go on too much longer without screaming that luck is such a huge part of our success. I was fortunate to be in the vanguard of the “beard trend” by accident and I am certain that getting into the market so early helped. Back then, we were one of only a dozen or so brands doing beard oil, beard balm and moustache wax. Now there are thousands. Had things not gone exactly right, I could very easily be one of the thousands of guys out there now whose company didn’t pan out and who only have a couple dozen bottles of beard oil and a $40 piece of bearded clipart they never got around to using to show for it.
That said, luck is never enough, not long term. You have to work really hard on a lot of chores that the customer will never see or know about. Had we not made the most of our position as one of the early leading brands, we would not be here. I think some of our best decisions over the years include focusing on a quality product in a clean professional manufacturing facility. Our manufacturing crew is presently led by my first employee Andy Pokorski, who has been with me from the crockpot to the factory. He has had a hand (and beard) in nearly everything at Can You Handlebar. Accordingly, he gets unlimited days off for fishing. Each day Andy, Annette, Dylan, Mike and a handful of regular part-time employees operate a production facility they helped build, that makes and distributes some of the best men’s care products in the world.
We also prioritize packaging. This is critical for personal care products. They are applied after the shower or may be carried around in a pocket. A well packaged beard oil for instance, ought to have a water-proof label, ought not shatter when dropped on a tile floor and should never get your clothing oily in a suitcase. We think this way and customers seem to appreciate that. We design for actual everyday and our customers can tell.
As soon as I could afford it, I brought on Brian Griffith as a full-time graphic designer, and Adam Barraclough as our copywriter and the results are staggering. For the first time we could start with a marketing idea and have all of the talent we needed in-house to make our idea a reality. Tim Kramer, a colleague from my Saddleback days, joined us as our social media manager but his role, like everyone else’s, has expanded to include whatever needs to be done. We do most of our photography and videography in-house now. The skills needed to run a modern online business are numerous and are not easy to learn, but having control over our creative has allowed us to get the look and feel we want.
I believe it is the combination of luck, hard work and our lack of pretense that helps us stand out in a crowded field. It’s easy to play up any number of “hipster” or “alpha male” tropes, and those things are rampant in beard culture, but that just isn’t us.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Our online store is powered by Shopify, and we’ve had excellent support and consulting from Kurt Elster over at Ethercycle. We’re not web devs by nature so having a team we can reach out to for assistance with specific requests has been invaluable to us.
Shipping is through ShipStation, YotPo for reviews and WholesaleHero to integrate our retailer pricing directly into the webstore. We keep things fairly simple on this end and these apps meet our needs without overcomplicating things. We really like Klaviyo for email and use a customized template to plug in fresh copy and creative assets, which makes sending out a newsletter a snap.
We use Buffer for social scheduling and rely on Google Analytics and Shopify reporting for stats. As a team, we work remotely and utilize Google Drive and Skype daily in order to keep in touch and share information.
I wish I had a true “killer app” recommendation here, but a lot of what we do comes down to being able to rely on a few basics that can be easily trained, shared and utilized amongst our whole team.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

I’m a huge fan of Kurt Elster’s The Unofficial Shopify Podcast, he often focuses on people in unique industries who are finding success and sharing some of the strategies that led them there. It’s inspiring but also unpretentious and ground-level enough to be relatable.
I loved reading Jim Koch’s Quench Your Own Thirst: Business Lessons Learned Over a Beer or Two about the rise of Boston Brewing and the Sam Adams brand. It was amazing to me how he embraced his failures as readily as his successes and was unafraid to discuss them plainly. This is one of dozens of audiobooks I have listened to on my phone with Audible. I love that site.
I try to run everything by my wife. She’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and if she doesn’t “get” something it’s usually a sure sign that I’ve missed the mark. She’s a great supporter, and that means the world to me, but she’s also not afraid to call bullshit. Having someone like that in your professional life, who’s not afraid to tell you “this sucks” or “I’m not sure this works” is invaluable.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Use your pride against your fear to get out of first gear.
If I have done one brilliant thing in the past six years it was to recognize that I was afraid and needed to kick my own ass. So, I bought a bag of lanolin I could not return with money I did not have knowing I would be mortified to have to explain to my wife why I decided to quit just after investing in a big bag of sheep’s wax.
As I mentioned earlier, I’d had ideas for businesses for a very long time and had never followed through. I was afraid I would fail. Somewhere in there, I was probably afraid I might succeed. Either way I had by this point established a habit of daydreams without action that I needed to break. I had an intuition that I needed to drop myself into a mess and fight my way out. That’s when the idea to buy obscure ingredients hit me. I placed the order and kept plugging away. When it arrived, I placed it prominently next to my computer monitor. I knew that the only way to turn that lanolin back into the money I desperately needed was to make a bunch of moustache wax and sell it. Which I did. If you use this idea, just be careful and don’t overdo it!

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We’re not actively hiring for any specific positions, but we love to hear from contributors and collaborators who may be interested in sharing creative content. Whether that’s photos or videos, artwork, reviews of our products or other insights, we welcome anyone who is willing to help us spread the word.
We have built a great community of contributors over the years who help us do everything from test drive new products to give us feedback on concepts for campaigns.

Where can we go to learn more?

Find us Online:
Talk to us directly :
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Liked this text interview? Check out the full interview with photos, tools, books, and other data.
Interested in sharing your own story? Send me a PM
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2019.04.14 13:23 MCRV11 Clipart to PSD file save/read issues

Does anyone know how to fix/modify something with Clipart Paint and PS? I seem to have something corrupting my file saves whenever I work with artwork in both PS and Clipart (I usually try to do all work in Clipart but sometimes I open it up in PS for functions that work better in PS) - e.g. it's readable on my computer only but anywhere else, it can't be read.
Frustrating when I try to upload it to websites. Relates to all PSD, Clipart Paint, PNG, JPEG filetypes. Probably the fact that both programs are different so I"m thinking that even if I save a work as a PNG or JPEG, if it was done in one program and finished in the other, the fact that the two programs are very different plays a big part in how the data is written, rendering it unreadable on other places other than my computer. Half the time there is no issue with the file being uploaded to places like Discord or Facebook, but other times the file just won't go through and is unreadable.
Anyone know how to fix or get around this?
submitted by MCRV11 to ClipStudio [link] [comments]


2019.04.02 22:40 radd00 Tattoo Idea/Inspiration

So I'm thinking more and more about getting a tattoo. But don't know yet what it could be. I only know that I'd want it to be black ink and on inside of forearm. Currently thinking about foggy forrest, like this one: http://clipart-library.com/images/ziX5x4MxT.jpg or maybe single Weeping Willow, like that one: https://data.whicdn.com/images/30531537/large.jpg, as there is something mystical about it. Generally something connected to nature. So maybe you could give me some ideas or inspirations as fellow INFPs ;)
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2019.03.22 02:10 DragoneyeCreations [LFA]Akashor Rileth, Priest of the Gentle Flame

Hi, everyone! So I'm joining a RP soon, and it'd be great if someone drew my character Akashor, the Priest of the Gentle Flame.
Akashor is a self-loathing, gentle coward who acts as the healer. While he mainly serves the support role, he can conjure massive pillars of fire and such to turn his foes to cinders.
He has straight long auburn hair with a slender frame. The left half of his face is covered in bandages, with a horn peeking through them.
Robes- they should be primarily dark green with orange highlights and a large hood over his head; a combo of the two references and minus all the armoornate parts
Robe reference 1
Robe reference 2
Hands- they are wrapped in bandages, but the right one should have bloodstains on them (to indicate his self-harm)
Bandage reference
Feet- primarily bare with some wrappings on them
Talisman- he carries a disc-shaped talisman on the end of a beaded cord; on it is an ouroboros encircled around a seven pointed sun
Talisman reference 1
Talisman reference 2
Posing- he sits in a relaxed, yet lowly fashion, reflecting his low self esteem
Pose reference
If anyone's interested, let me know! You artists and folks have a lovely day!
submitted by DragoneyeCreations to characterdrawing [link] [comments]


2019.02.19 11:44 mthomast PDF deleted recovery

This PDF Repair tool is a powerful repair utility for damaged PDF files. With the help of this utility you can repair data from corrupted PDF files even if you have no idea how to repair corrupt PDF files.This utility maintains original formatting, structure, properties, and consistency of the recovered data of PDF file. This PDF Recovery software is capable to repair and recover PDF file safely which was damaged or corrupt while uploading, downloading or using. This utility can effectively recover clipart, word art, charts, shapes, tables and even more. It doesn’t make any small change on your PDF file.

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submitted by mthomast to u/mthomast [link] [comments]


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