But Dinner is ALWAYS Ready at 6:30?


THE upstairs all to himself with a full bathroom, a bedroom (aka-my former office) and a makeshift office, Chris only needs comes downstairs three times each day.

Meal times!

Breakfast, usually around 10, is a bacon, egg and cheese on a toasted roll. But only if his mom is around! If she’s not, then it’s back to college-days for Chris: a handful of cereal and a swig of milk to wash it down! Lunch, usually around 2 PM, is a sandwich of his own making. Like many in Stamford both Chris and his mother, my partner in life Gaetana (Guy), call it a sangwich!

And then of course, there’s dinner.

I don’t see Chris’ feedings every day of course, but I’ve seen it enough to know the routine. Especially from my current office: aka the island in the kitchen! But, with an inspection job I have going on, shopping and running other errands, writing and speaking to paint dealers (often from town parks just to get out of the house) it wouldn’t have caught his attention on Thursday at his first two trips down the steps that I was not there. I would have never crossed his mind.

Until he descended for his 6:30 feeding!

By 6:30 PM on Thursday I was already in southern Virginia, about one third of the way on another drive to Florida. With Guy back at work out of the house full-time, the sigh you may have heard was her recognition that she was going to have to shop and cook for the next two-weeks!

But don’t worry, Chris will not go hungry!

Of course the menu is going to switch from pork chops, burgers and anything else I can put on my new bbq or into a cast iron skillet, to chicken cutlets (Guy’s moms are better), meatballs (there are NONE better!) and chicken philly (which is much better when Chris isn’t home because when she makes it for me-it’s got mushrooms!

The drive to Florida was better than expected. With the help of my drone, a white BMW 330i with the paddle shifters and a nephew at a car rental company who got the price down to that of a Chevy, the trip went quickly and easily. Not as easily as getting on a plane and flying down of course! But I try to avoid spending hours inside a steel test tube with wings during a pandemic!

When it was time to leave Florida after my father passed away, my sister and I had already been in the Swampy State for five and three weeks respectively. It was time to go home. So with my mother not quite ready to be alone, she went to spend some time with her favorite grandson Andrew and his fiancée Erica in their home in Orlando, less than three hours from her apartment.

After two-weeks with Andrew, Erica and Tucker, their black lab who has so many pictures taken of him by his family that he should get an agent, mom was well rested, well fed and well-loved!

And ready to get home.

Her time with them was a wonderful gift to the whole family. But mom wanted to be home. My sister, finally, back at home with her husband, had done enough. She had earned the right to stay home for a little while.

And so, I rented a BMW and hit the road. Talking e-commerce all the way!

Job #1 at the moment is to finish and go live with the site of our first paying customer: On Wednesday of this week we “go live” with our first site. Made by a paint dealer. For a paint dealer!

Our first shot, in the War for Independents!

While of course I am excited to see how we look and do at launch, I am already working on the upgrades planned for the fall! These will be dynamic websites designed to help independents grow their market share. This period of time, caused by an unlikely virus outbreak, may be the first true opportunity for independent paint retailers to gain market share in over 30-years!

I plan on trying to help us do exactly that!

In addition to speaking to dealers and returning their emails about our new program, I have also been spending time speaking to manufacturers and distributors in our channel. They will all need to step up and provide the heaps of data that dealers will need to open and maintain these sites.

In the coming days, all the theoretical gets applied. Like the paddle-shifters on my rented Beemer, I am excited to “play” with these new “toys!”

And I'm excited to share with you all how it goes!


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© Mark Lipton 2020