Monday, January 28, 2008

Why me...

As Watkins Independent Associates and members of The Summit Group we have access to an exclusive weekly conference call. This past Thursday the call dealt with “Why I Joined Watkins” and it made me think a bit.

According to The Summit Group web site (article 100310) the three main reasons people join Watkins are…

• To get high-quality Watkins products for yourself at a significant discount.
• To earn extra money by sharing catalogues or retailing products to friends, relatives, and coworkers.
• To build a large organization that provides the total time, flexibility and financial freedom enjoyed by successful Watkins leaders.

So, why did I join…?

First of all I remembered the Watkins Man coming around to my grandmother’s house when I was just barely old enough to climb on a chair and look out a window. He, along with the Fuller-Brush Man and the Raleigh Man were regulars along with others such as the chimney-sweeps and occasionally the Electrolux man. My grandmother always tried to buy from the Watkins Man as she said he had “the best” and looked forward to his visits especially when she was running low on vanilla or some other spice. Being a great cook she went through a lot of these things and I wish we had bugged her to write down more of her recipes for us. She was an old time "a bit of this and a dash of that and maybe some of those" types who, just like her mother before her kept it all in her head and not in a book on the shelf. I also remember when my grandfather had an accident down at the local Union Screen Plate factory and broke a rib or two. Guess what they would rub on to make his aches feel better? Yup, Watkins Red Liniment. Anyway, that was reason one.

Another was that yes, I’m looking to earn some extra money as both Gloria and I are hoping to retire in the next 2 or 3 years and I suppose like most we’re wondering if the reduced pension cheques will be enough to get us by into our old age. A little extra income wouldn’t hurt right?

The third reason sort of intrigued me but since at that time I didn’t understand much about it there wasn’t a solid reason for buying in. Network marketing was a hope, but not a reason. Now that we have been in for over a year I can really see the value in the creation of a personal downline but especially in helping the downline create a downline. There is a LOT of money to be made in this side of the business, not to mention the free travel and other perks. No, for anyone thinking the word out there, this is NOT a pyramid scheme and any bonus payments we receive have to be earned and comes directly from the Watkins advertising budget and not from any individual. Every single Independent Associate out there keeps every single dollar they earn and none of it is held back to line the pockets of anyone above them in the group.

This brings me to a question for you…

Why would YOU become one of our associates? If you are just interested in getting award winning products for yourself at a discount, wonderful! If you want to make a little bit of money on the side, great! If you are interested in earning a great full time income for putting in a few part time hours that you decide on yourself, fantastic!

If any of this interests you and there is anything I can do to help you reach any of your goals please let me know. I don’t have all the answers but I know where to get most of them so feel free to get in touch if anything is bothering or puzzling you and we’ll try to work it out.

In the meantime I’m really getting a kick out of being The Watkins Man! How about you?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ouch, ouch, ouch...

I find myself getting very lazy over the past few weeks. I’ve been off work since late last October and it’s going to be very hard to hit the trail again shortly. I know I shouldn’t complain because I’m still collecting full pay (plus vacation pay!) while lounging around the house but the fact that the powers that be still keep sending me that cheque makes me feel a little guilty. I’m not the kind of guy who will easily take a handout and that’s what it feels like to me. I know, I know, they can still contact me at any time and I will be on that plane for them tomorrow but after a couple weeks this waiting sort of wears you down. The day I retire I will do so without feeling guilty but for now I’m just plain lazy.

This ties in the feelings about my gout, or pseudogout as it’s now been diagnosed. Someone asked me today if I could go on disability but that would be going a bit too far at this point. It may come to it someday but as long as I can still function adequately in some position or other then that’s what I’ll keep on doing. I regretfully admit that it’s a lot harder to unload the trucks and aircraft than is was 30 years ago and with my thumbs slowing locking up it’s getting harder and harder to count money but I can still do the job better than a lot of the young whippersnappers out there. My point is that I think too many people use any excuse they can to NOT work and it’s not fair to the rest of the population that these fakes are sitting back laughing on our tax dollars. If they can’t work then fine, I have no problem with that but as long as they can function somewhere, somehow they have a responsibility to not mooch off the rest of us. When the day comes when I legitimately can’t work myself then I’ll just have to accept it, but it won’t be easy.

Pseudogout by the way has all the same symptoms of actual gout but has a different cause. This one is a progressive build-up of calcium in the joints while regular gout is a build-up of uric acid crystals. Apparently there is no cure for the pseudo version so I’ll just have to get used to the occasional flare-ups, days of limping and nights of no sleep… (groan). If you read the web sites they will tell you that gout has been compared to the pain of childbirth or even a bullet wound and I guess that means I could stand being shot a few times over. I’m sure the women out there would debate the childbirth comment though. I just know it hurts, OK?

The good news is that I’ve discovered a new miracle drug, Indomethacin, which has taken me back 10 years as it reduces most of the inflammation in my joints. Gloria says there is a huge difference in the way I’m moving around the house but all I know is that I’m sleeping better, shoveling faster, have greater flexibility and generally feel like I’m back in my 40’s again, if not my 30’s. Normally I have to be on my death bed before I’ll see a doctor as I’m sure they have better things to do than pamper an old guy like me. Their time should be taken up setting bones or removing all kinds of nasty things from nice people who deserve better rather than humor old farts like me and I always feel guilty about taking them away from the hurts that really matter in the world.

Anyway, here’s to Indomethacin and if I’m lucky this prescription will last me a couple months and then I’ll have to feel guilty all over again about taking up someone’s time to pat my red, swollen, throbbing toe and say there, there, take a pill and you’ll feel all better soon. 

Monday, January 21, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Dead Silence...

Up before dawn, waiting for the first birds to come into the feeder, smelling the coffee dripping, no stars today, too cloudy at the moment, cleaning the dusting of snow from the deck and driveway, not a sound but for an occasional tinkle of ice moving on the lake. There’s the first bird call now, and a partridge pecking at buds and branches, the glint of sun waking over the lake horizon, first coffee with cinnamon toast, maybe a little Nessum Dorma to start the brain juices flowing…

It’s going to be a great day, don’t you think?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Weather confusions...

This weather has everyone confused I guess. There have been Mourning Doves around for the past 3 or 4 days just cleaning up seed dropped out of the feeder by the Chickadees and Nuthatches. I don’t recall ever seeing one in the winter before, you?

Photo borrowed under a Creative Commons license (my camera batteries are dead) from “tattinstar2 THANKS!

Thursday, January 10, 2008


"Recent studies have shown that just 1/4 tsp of cinnamon every day may help to lower blood sugar, fats and cholesterol by up to 30 percent! Researchers suggest it may also stave off the onset of type 2 diabetes in those at risk.

Watkins Purest Ground Cinnamon contains a high amount of essential oils for optimum flavor, aroma and health benefits! Try some every day on cereal, oatmeal, toast, apples and savory dishes. Place in coffee grounds before brewing for rich flavor and aroma." (taken from the detailed product description on the Watkins web site)

Personally I like it on my toast or oatmeal and here’s a fun fact… If you stacked all the containers of Cinnamon Watkins has sold since 1895, it would be 15,766 times taller than the Eiffel Tower.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Another bleary day...

Can anyone tell me why I spent all that time shoveling snow recently when it all would have melted by today anyway? The front lawn is mostly grass today, the driveway is completely clear of ice and is in its summer gravel mode and I can hear the ice patches on the lake crunching up along the shore in the light breeze.

Maybe it’s already time to start searching for that patch of field to plant a garden in this summer. I’ve never had a garden unless you count that patch of back yard I dug up in Eastmain years ago. I planted 10lbs of potatoes and got back about 80lb which tasted a lot better than the ones we planted so I guess it was a victory. The soil there wasn’t much for growing but it’s better than what we have here. Our present back yard is muddy gravel and the front yard is dry gravel, neither of which is much fun to work with or grow things in. Hence the search for some nice quiet place to start a little growth on and I’ve even considered buying a nice little lot in Manitowaning that would serve as a garden plot for now and maybe a nice little house or office in the future. The soil looks good and it is just down the hill from the fellow that currently sells all kinds of vegetables now so the area can’t be that bad for planting. We’ll see.

In the meantime if anyone has a “back forty” or some other little area that they’re not using…

HEY! Heard something outside that I haven’t noticed around here since last summer... the very distinctive sound of a Pileated Woodpecker. Yup, there he was pounding away on a stump. I wonder if his mate is out there somewhere or could this be one of the young they had just popping back to check out the old neighborhood. We’ll keep you posted.