Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ethical Economics...

First, let me wish each of you a Happy Festivus, Belated Joyous Yule (Ves Heil!) and Belated Happy Solstice (the light is waxing!) to each of you.

As many of you are blissfully unaware, I have some uniquely ethical business philosophies I'm very proud to say that my friend and business partner in USBuyBid shares. I don't meet many entrepreneurs who share my mindset -- so far, outside of my own bloodline, I've met a grand total of one... the aforementioned friend and biz partner, Samuel.

Aside from working almost round the clock on developing USBuyBid with Samuel, I also have my own little semi-backburnered project, designing for products such as t-shirts, greeting cards, bumper stickers, etc. which I sell through shops on various Print on Demand fullfillment services.

I have at least one design available, in at least one shop, on each of 7 such services -- CafePress (my primary shop,) Printfection (my secondary shop and Evil shop) Zazzle (ties & keychains,) ArtsNow (supplemental shop for TONS of products per design,) E-shirt (just a handful of test designs,) Greeting Card Universe (just a couple of test designs) and Skreened (the inspiration for this post.)

As I went about the traditional preparations for my annual December gift-giving Holiday - sorting the gift bags and boxes I re-use, each year, by whose tag is on them -- a win-win-win tradition that saves trees, money AND landfill space -- my mind wandered to what I'd most like to have in a POD fulfillment service.

My wish list was as follows:

Tie-dye base apparel
Magnetic Bumper Stickers
More "Made in America" products
Sweat-free apparel
Hemp products
"made from recycled..." products
More "Organic" cotton apparel

Not expecting to find any of them, I went searching for the first two things I listed -- magnetic bumper stickers and Tie-dye base apparel. I did't find them, of course. But, I found a number of POD services I was previously unaware existed, including one,, which I was most surprised and thrilled to find because they're an American owned, American operated business, located in Ohio, that offers two of the things on my list, exclusively: a small assortment of sweat-free shirts all made in the USA, in a variety of colors.

I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming! I wasn't -- they're real and some more digging turned up their blog, which includes some indications that they share some of my own business philosophies. I couldn't sign up fast enough! This is a service I can feel REALLY good about each and every thing I sell through them... or buy through them.

It's a little late in the Fred (sometimes referred to as "Christmas") Shopping season to suggest that you check them out for December Holiday gifts you can feel particularly good about giving, but there are lots of good designs to choose from and I highly recommend checking them out and bookmarking them for the next time you're shopping for yourself or a loved one -- help keep American workers employed and earning a living wage, by buying sweat-free American made:
or, if you just want to check in on my slow progress in building a presence there, Click Here

(Those who are interested can find most of my other shops by punching "Melhi" and the name of the service into a search engine.)

Oh and it's a couple of days early, but... Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Io Saturnalia - 2007

It's probably not pre-printed on your commercially produced calendar, but Dec. 17 kicks off the week long Saturnalia. Of the ancient December holidays and its modern variants, Saturnalia is my personal favorite and many of the trappings of a modern Christmas -- whether secular, religious or a mix of both, were taken from the traditional trappings of the Saturnalia celebration.

Amidst all the ruckus, in recent years, about the imaginary war on Christmas, there have been calls for a move away from the traditional greetings of my secular December holiday and a simultaneous return to even older, more traditional December holiday greetings.

Life is a series of choices and each of us gets to choose how to react to the world going on around us. As such, I can either allow the joy to be sucked out of my holiday by being incensed that anyone would have the audacity to ask me to give up traditions I hold dear and that trace back through several generations of my family while, at the same time, accusing me of waging war on their traditions simply by having and practicing my own or I can acknowledge that while the war is imaginary, the pain is real and make peace with those who've mistaken me for their enemy by taking this suggestion to heart and at face value. I've chosen to do the latter.

So, it is in the spirit of forging a lasting holiday peace, celebrating kinship, friendship, vitality & life and sharing my seasonal joy with those whose treasured company and presence on this Earth makes my own time on this orbiting rock seem to pass far too quickly, that I extend to you and yours a most joyous and heartfelt, ancient and traditional Saturnalia greeting....

Io Saturnalia!! Cast off your toga!!!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Mitts Off My Country, Romney!

Mitt Romney wanted to make 3 things very clear tonight.

1. His religion shouldn't matter to any voter. (I'll agree with that. Render unto God what is God's, unto Caesar what is Caesars... Pray not in the streets.... )

2. If he's elected President, he won't be representing just ONE religion. (Could have been worded better... the President isn't supposed to represent ANY religion, but the President is supposed to represent ALL Americans... and that means people of many different religions or even no religion... )

3. Our religion or lack there of DOES matter to Mitt -- because if he's elected President, he absolutely will NOT be representing the secular humanist scourge that has infested America. (WTF?!?!)

Mission Accomplished Mr. Romney. Message received loud and clear!!!

You have no intention of representing me. I'm not American enough for you. I'm everything that's wrong with everything everywhere. You're better than me and better than several generations of my secularist American forebears. *cough* You also suffer from delusions of grandeur, you bigoted f**Ktard. *cough*

Actually it's good that Romney doesn't want to represent me -- doesn't look like he's going to get the chance to represent anyone, anyway... and that gives him less to be disappointed about.

I hope low-budget "who the Heckabee" wipes the floor with Mitt Romney in Iowa.