December 31, 2011

Quick Trip's Competitive Advantage

Alabama River from the Edmund Pettus Bridge
Every morning I drink several diet cokes to get the day going. I never drank coffee because I was happy with a morning coke, so I didn't need to acquire a taste for coffee. I like my diet coke in a can very cold. From time to time I am out at home. Over the years I have tried different things to make a "hot" diet coke cold. The freezer for 20 minutes works okay.
But recently, I discovered that QT (Quick Trip) gas stations have cold 12 packs of diet coke. The other day when I purchased four with their buy 3 get 1 free promotion I told the clerk that they only had one more cold. He said, "Everything you see is stored in the back in a refrigerator. So there is always another cold drink." I have thought about this a lot. What all is in that store?

Now I have two reasons to go to QT. They usually have the best price for gas and I know they have a cold diet coke waiting for me.

What is your competitive advantage?

December 18, 2011

Tradition -- What Are Yours?

One of my favorite musicals is Fiddler on the Roof. It all looked like such fun to me as a child. I thought of the song "Tradition" as I wrote the word above because Tevye says it with such conviction. We need that!

Now, I am working really hard on our family traditions.  In part because I believe children grow up way too fast these days. It's important as our Montessori teacher preached, "To let them have their childhood."
Along these lines, we made both cranberry bread and banana bread for Thanksgiving. Yesterday I made Peppermint bark. It's delicious candy and enjoyable and fast to make. It's one of the few sweets we can really eat out of the bowl before it's ready because there aren't any eggs in it. So, some of our family traditions are around foods and cooking together. What are yours?

Peppermint Bark
Line a 13" x 9" pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
Crush 1/2 C of peppermint candy canes.
Melt 11 oz of white chocolate chips in the microwave 30 seconds at a time stirring in between. Stir in the peppermint. Spread in a thin layer in the pan. Refrigerate for 15 minutes until set. Break into pieces and store in the refrigerator in a large bag.

December 17, 2011

It's a Great Time to Photograph Christmas Lights

One of the best times of day to photograph lights is just as the sun is setting. You will capture the beautiful light from the day and be able to see the twinkling lights from the Christmas decorations.

Here is a photograph of the East Cobb Park's Christmas Tree. Another neat place to view Christmas lights is Southern Poly Tech in Marietta, Georgia. I will try to make it there for photographs.

H A P P Y  H O L I D A Y S !

December 07, 2011

I Saw a Kingfisher Today

Little events can bring lots of hope and inspiration. But I was ready. The bird looked somewhat like a blue jay but different. It was alone hunting on the river. I decided it was a kingfisher. And, for once, the dog was waiting for me instead of me waiting for the dog.

Kingfisher I captured in DeLand, Florida in 2010
 Kingfishers have a large territory they claim as their own. Many miles in fact. They are much less common than blue jays and blue birds. So, the sighting made me think. What can I do that is special? Unusual? Before the bird... I am thinking about new products. A conversation I started after the Atlanta Celebrates Photography Portfolio review in October. Now I am also researching one idea on Etsy for existing products and possible competition. When you search on Etsy for flower photographs there are 17,000 items. There are 4,053 floral photographs. But if you search for flower photography there are 69,049. Lots of competition. A search with just photography yields 406,442 images. I'd rather be the kingfisher.

What are you thinking about doing? And where are you researching the competition?

I have a learning curve on my new product. Once I solve that I will be ready to share. Meanwhile, my anticipated release date is in January 2012. You'll find out here and on Facebook all about my new art. So, go ahead and subscribe. Here's to us being kingfishers!