Day -35 – What does the FOX Say?

What does the FOX say?  Haley’s home!  She got back from Japan a couple of weeks ago and found a way to see her old mom this week.  In fact, she rode the Greyhound to Vegas to see us.  It is SEMA week here in Vegas, a huge undertaking, the largest automotive after-market trade show in the world.  SEMA brings together anyone that has to do with cars; for us, that includes anyone that has to do with off-road vehicles as well.

We spend the week talking to people, cruising the aisles, setting up for 2014.  There are competitors there that we want to talk about the schedule with; there are partners there that we want to talk about the events with; there are media folks there that we want to know who we are.  Our drivers had cars in booths, our partners had booths…it was awesome.

Haley is an easy person to have around, she smiles a lot, stays fairly quiet and unobtrusive…at least when she needs to be.  But throw her an opportunity to tell a story and she will keep everyone enthralled.  I noticed that Tuesday night at an afterhours event when I looked up at the group I had just introduced her to and they were all paying attention to a story she was telling about the trains in Japan.  I was proud of her.  Everytime we cruised by the Fox Shocks booth, I couldn’t help but ask…What does the Fox say? And Haley would sing for me. 

Haley is also one of the luckiest girls I know, we were standing in the aisles of the show and she found a gaming chip; we looked around, not a soul to be seen.  Turns out it was real, she went home with a few dollars in her pocket, a few hundred dollars even.  Since she had extra, she treated her mom to a trip to the Stratosphere.  We rode the Big Shot on Friday night, there was a moment that I thought, “Holy F***”, but it only lasted a moment.  It was something new for me, happy to check it off my list!

Day 337 – I thought November was a sleepy month

It seems every one of my friends started something new today to celebrate November.  Three people (all women) on my FB began a Thank you campaign – celebrating Thanksgiving with 30 days of gratefulness.  A couple of men I know started Movember clean shaven.  “Movember is all about bringing back the moustache, having fun and doing it for a serious cause; men’s health, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives. Mo Bros commit to growing a moustache for the 30 days of Movember, and in doing so become walking and talking billboards for the cause. The moustache is our ribbon, the symbol by which we generate conversations, awareness and raise funds for men’s health.” (from the Movember website)  Having just completed the pink ribbon campaign for breast cancer, Movember is the perfect followup.

Then there are thousands of us who began NaNoWriMo, an international campaign to write 50,000 words in 30 days, the size of a small novel and also NaBloPoMo – National Blog Posting Month, it’s a way to publicize your blog and get more people to read it, as well as prompting you to write more.  Apparently the writing community wants you to be prolific this month.

The NaBloPoMo event is right up my alley, I’ve been trying to write daily as it is to share my 50th year.  Read “What’s it All About” for details, but essentially, I’m celebrating the journey to my 50th birthday right now, and it’s going famously.  Already I’ve started meeting goals – I figured I’d take stock of those on the 4th, a month in to make sure I’m on track.

NaNoWriMo – or National Novel Writing Month is my second attempt.  Last year I stopped on the 15th with 15,892 words – I was already 9,113 words behind by then and didn’t know where the book was going.  This year I’m off to a good start, at least for the first day, but I really haven’t thought through the whole book yet, so I may run in to the same problems I had last year.  We’ll see, I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, life goes on, the SEMA show is happening here in Las Vegas right now, we will be headed to Baja soon for the SCORE 1000, and I’ll have to figure out how to keep my blog going south of the border.  It’s not so much the technology challenge as the mental challenge of wanting to meet goals when the Sol (both beer and sun) are flowing.  Ahhh, Baja, I can’t wait!

Day 338 – Spooky, Spooky

One of my friends posted on FB, “It’s so funny…years ago all my friends posts would have been about their Halloween costumes, but all night has been all about their kids…too funny & I’m enjoying it too much! Really, we’re not getting old…lol”   He couldn’t have been talking about us could he?

Big and I are in Vegas this week for the SEMA show.  SEMA is the largest automotive show out there, it’s huge.  Up to 37 miles of show floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center, an incredible experience that is intended for those in the “industry.”  Our industry even has their own Off-road Hall.  We’ve spent the last three days talking to people who make our industry work, we’ve walked miles of halls and seen some awesome vehicles and parts.  Yesterday I even ran in to a woman I hadn’t seen in 25 years among the tens of thousands of people here, Big thought that was crazy, I recognized her as someone I knew, I just didn’t know from where, turns out she was the nurse for my OB/GYN back when Kayla was delivered…so long ago.

Last year we went out to the Strip on Halloween, we saw all kinds of incredible costumes, most of them were not very tasteful, some were way out there.  Personally, I haven’t dressed up for Halloween in years, and I hope to keep it that way. Last night we didn’t go near the Strip, it was a great night for staying in.

I like to see little kids dressed up, they have some awesome costumes, but most importantly, they love it.  Last year, my grandsons were dinosaurs, one in Idaho and one in Alaska, I’m still waiting to see pictures from this year.  My FB was flooded with princesses and superheroes, bumblebees and pirates, and my personal favorite, a sushi roll.  Great job Rose on Jimmy’s costume!

Sushi

Day 339 – Vote Main Street, not Wall Street

It’s funny how just a couple of years in this really small industry we call off-roading can make you immune to celebrity.  I’ve never been one to fawn over a big star, but we see them so often now, it’s kind of blasé.

On the set of Overhaulin’ at SEMA

Most of the people we see are drivers or TV people, today we were on the set of Overhaulin’ with Chip Foose.  Our friend Jessi Combs is a co-host with him.  Jessi came bounding over from the set while we visited with the Slide ‘em guys, gave us hugs and we talked about all the cool things she has going on.  Jessi is as genuine as they come, she is a welder, fabricator and spokesperson.  We see her a lot at the various events that we attend.  If you are a Jessi fan, check out the following:  JessiCombs.com; facebook/com/jessicombsofficial; or twitter@thejessicombs – that way you can follow her on Overhaulin’ , All Girls Garage or The List.

Other people we saw today were Juan Pablo Montoya, Guy Fieri, Bucky Lasek, Tanner Foust, the dude from Pawn Stars that does the car work with the bandanna, and, of course, Chip Foose.  Some of these folks have talent, others have great publicists. It’s tough to get too excited about these people, they put their pants on the same as us.  Personally I’m more impressed by the entrepreneurs that have built their companies from the ground up and are here trying to make a living, just like us.

People like Joe at DJ Safety, Susie at Lazerstar, Kolby at TurnKey.  These are people who have sweat blood to build their businesses.  People like our own, Charlene Bower, who works harder than almost everyone in the industry to get the word out about what we all do.  I see Charlene a lot, I support her brands and love to tell people how awesome she is.  Check out Race Team Store and Bower Media to see what she’s up to.

So, I guess my point is, look around you, look at your Main Street businesses, these are the people who are building America.  Every day the time and effort put in by everyone who is self-employed is twice as much as those working for a paycheck.  The ones who are self-employed are the ones who support your community centers, your little league teams, your schools.  These folks live down the street from you, they carpool the kids, they have dinner in your restaurants.  Main Street, not Wall Street will bring America out of its’ slump.  How do you support your Main Street?