Wow, the last few weeks have been a sleep deprived blur, but it was totally worth it. I got home in the early am Monday and crashed into bed hard.
Today was spent unloading the car, reorganizing, and cleaning up the shop from what looked like a F2 tornado went through it. I wish it was not always a push to get the show stuff ready, but trying to complete up to five customer builds, pack, and get out of Dodge in time is always a struggle for me.
Here are some random thoughts from the last week...
- Almost 4 sleepless nights leading up to departure for the show had me euphoric/flighty/ragged and a bit goofy once I arrived.
- THE highlight of the show for me is meeting folks; seeing builder friends that I only get to converse with the rest of the year, suppliers I deal with regularly but never get to just chill with, and most of all, those of you who read the blog that stopped by...that was cool!
- At times I felt like a "Chatty Cathy" with a pull cord that kept saying the same thing...explaining how some paint is done, why the Luv Handles are designed as they are, etc...
- Chicken and waffles at Maxines...to die for sweet tea and southern food; Drew, Carl and Jeremy, you have no idea what you missed out on just to sleep in ;)
- Darryl getting shut down by 6 Indy beauty contestants at once and his all time classic retort... "I don't need a 10, five 2's would do just fine!"
- Sean being the ever considerate friend and then walking away..."have y'all met my friend Darryl?"
- Henrique wresting the unfinished Ti bars from my grip, resolved in the fact that they were going home with him, just to return the next day..."can you ship these? I don't think we can get through airport security with them" No worries :)
- Joe Bell stopping by the booth and looking over my work. Joe took off the glasses and got his nose right down to the paint, looking over every detail. Joe's been at the top of the paint game for years and is arguably one of the best in the business. I'd be lying if I said it didn't make me a bit nervous. When he straightened up and said "Wow, nice work man. Everything looks good", it felt pretty damn great.
- I had lots of folks who either loved or hated Mikey's rattler frame, not because of the paint, but because of how they feel about snakes. A few women refused to get close and I even had a few kids ask how many snakes I killed to wrap around the tubes.
- Again, disappointment with the "awards" ceremony portion of NAHBS. I feel that the work you bring should be representative of the typical stuff coming from your shop, not items that are pet projects for the year fabricated just to draw attention. To affirm that motivation by choosing to bestow an award upon it propagates a false sense of direction for the industry. Tis a shame.
- Sending Goyo home with his bike was pretty cool as I now how much he's looked forward to it. Can't wait to see him race it this season, bringing attention to his festival and honoring his father.
- Jay picked up his ride from the show and I was a bit bummed. I would have liked to spend more time going over the bike with him and just chatting. I want each customer to feel like they are the focus of my attention and that was just not possible at the show. Add in the fact that I threw too big of a knobby tire on his cross oriented bike due to some hasty ordering, and it was a bit of a downer for me. So Jay, if you are reading this, know that I'm just a call away if you have any further question or just want to chat. Once again, so sorry for the wrong spec on the tires.
- Looking forward to some possible press time...had some good conversations and photo shoots with a few magazines. I'm hopeful they make it to press so the customers can have one of those prideful parent moments..."Look, my baby made the magazine!"
Finally, it's good to be home and back at it.
Tomorrow, the Ti Luvs for February will ship, thanks for everyone's patience and understanding for the delay.
See y'all tomorrow,