Happy Halloween to all of you beautiful freaks out there!
Lauren and I carved pumpkins and I think we did a pretty good job.
I bet you can’t guess who carved what.
Dusting off and charging up all of my tiny camera equipment for some a/v experimentation during whatever bits of free time I’m able to squeeze out of my busy schedule. No real grandiose plans for these gadgets… My initial plan was to take a couple of videos of me adding musical accompaniment to some of my favorite music. I guess it would be a remix of sorts. I’m just going to make it up as I go along. I’m mainly doing this so that I can incorporate more audio/visual stuff back into my life. I’ve not had the time to do as many production experiments as I’d have liked to these past few years. My schedule has just been extremely full with the day-to-day operations of starting the coffee shop. However, as I manage to incorporate a bit more regularity and sanity into my life, I am hoping to make more time for little experiments and projects again. Oh, and with any luck, I might create something worth sharing. We’ll see what happens. I’m a bit out of practice.
First of all, I’m both surprised and honored to have been selected as one of Muncie Magazine’s 2016 Twenty Under 40 list. By the looks of things, I’m in good company. I’m proud to be associated with such hardworking members of the Muncie community. That being said, I am but a small piece of a much bigger picture. A single person can only accomplish so much. I make it a point to surround myself with amazing people (the most amazing being my beautiful wife, Lauren). It’s the company I keep that make it possible for me to accomplish anything at all. After all, an idea is nothing more than a thought. It takes people to transform an idea into something tangible that we can all enjoy. The Caffeinery gets its fair share of positive attention and I think it’s well deserved, but not just for me. It should be directed towards everyone that’s contributed to the tireless effort of delivering the best possible experience on a daily basis. It’s a difficult and exhausting job to deliver 110% at all times, but our staff makes it look easy. We wouldn’t be anything without that sort of dedication. Thank you all for this honor. I accept it on behalf of everyone that has helped Lauren and I in any form or capacity. You are all wonderful people.
Some days are more challenging than others. And sometimes it seems like everything that can possibly go wrong, does. When it rains it pours, right? Today was one of those days.
There are few things worse than starting a Friday morning off with a leaking boiler on your coffee shop’s primary espresso machine. That makes for a fun-filled morning of rushing around to put out fires (figurative fires, not literal). As I type this, I’m mildly sore from having to move our secondary 3-Group La Marzocco FB/80 from our storage building to the downtown shop. These things are pretty fucking heavy.
Did I mention that it was raining off and on the entire time?
Despite the horrible weather, we managed to muscle our beloved OG red FB/80 into the shop. Here’s a shot of her after we got her installed back on the bar. This machine will always hold a special place in our hearts. It’s the first machine that Lauren and I ever purchased.
So I decided to come down into the studio office and scope out my digital existence on the internet. It’s been a while since I dusted off some of the ones and zeros that I’ve created over the years. It’s easy to let some of this stuff get away from you. Life has been doing a pretty good job at keeping me busy as of late. Whatever the case may be, I haven’t updated this blog on my personal website in months. Obviously a lot can happen in that span of time. In fact, so much can happen that you might sit down at your computer and then struggle with trying to figure out where you could even start. Yep. That’s the situation. So rather than actually try to go back and recap everything that has transpired since my last post… Let’s just try and keep things more current and update a little bit at a time. That would save my poor fingers the burden of typing so much. You’re welcome, fingers.
First and foremost, I want to state that I think this game is pretty awesome. I mean, it’s encouraging people to get out of their homes and exercise! It’s possible that Pokemon GO will do more for fitness than the whole fitbit movement (maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration… ha!). I have the game on my phone and have been playing loosely since it had come out. I see both positives and negatives. On the plus side, we have increased physical and social activity. On the negative side, we have people walking off of cliffs, getting hit by cars, and trespassing. That being said, this is a relatively new gaming concept and we’re in the process of writing social rules and norms as the game unfolds.
My wife and I own a small coffee shop in downtown Muncie, Indiana. Since the launch of the Pokemon GO game, we have been inundated with flocks of people loitering outside our business. At first, we thought that this would be a good thing because it would bring more people to the downtown area. More people translates into more customers for downtown businesses! Or so that’s what we had initially thought.
It has, in fact, done the opposite for us. Now, I can’t speak for everyone, I’m sure that there are exceptions (there always are). However, we have not seen any surges in business. Players have resorted to driving their cars up to our shop, taking up our parking spaces, and blocking access to our normal paying customers. We have seen sales drop close to 20% on certain occasions based on this new phenomenon. What’s more, we are in a beautiful historic building with large pane windows. Pokemon GO players have taken to leaning on the windows and leaving sweaty back prints in addition to causing these windows to flex (they were not designed to sustain leaning). I want it to be clear that we love the game and think it is a fun new adaption of technology. However, we did not volunteer our space (which was designed to be a coffee shop) for these purposes. After much debate, we have decided that we are going to formally opt our location out of the pokestop index. We are opting out because there is no return of investment on this new traffic to our business. It is not adding any value to our downtown location. Instead, it’s encouraging loitering and has even turned customers away. We are paying rent, taxes, and etc, but we see no income from Pokemon GO and yet the game is costing us money. We have two stops on our corner of Charles Street & Walnut. In all fairness, I would love to see our pokestops moved to Canan Commons so that people will still be able to take advantage of a beautiful public space without hindering our normal flow of business.
So yeah, that’s basically my take on Pokemon GO. It’s a really fun game with a great concept. However, the users of the game need to be more mindful of their gaming ethics. The game boots up and reminds you to be aware of your surroundings. That message goes beyond your own safety, it means you should be mindful of all aspects of your surroundings. Please continue to play, be safe, and game responsibly. Much love!