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Service Project – Fillacart.org
April 10, 2009

A cool story about one of our service projects is posted up at fillacart.org

ClassB FillACart.org Team Page!

Two people took an afternoon and filled a cart full of much needed items for a local charity. They got a lot out of it and enjoyed the experience very much. They also got a T-shirt out of the deal too!

We got this T-shirt for participating on fillacart

We got this T-shirt for participating on fillacart

Founders Day Parade
March 19, 2009

March 14th was our small town’s big parade. Its called Founders Day and we are lucky to have a front row seat. Our building is in the downtown historical district, right next to the park where the parade and activities are centered around. Our building has a decorative fenced raised area in front of it that we let various local groups use during events like this. This year we had the Girl Scouts selling cookies. My favorite of all time is the Apple Cinnamons cookie, but they did not have it this year :(
Best cookie ever

Best cookie ever

We also had a local Boy Scout Troop selling some Duct Tape Wallets they made. The wallets were very cool, I wish I had taken a picture of one. The scouts were very creative. Who knew you could do so much with duct tape? The Scouts also were the color guard for the parade.
Zephyrhills Founders Day Parade

Zephyrhills Founders Day Parade

The day before the parade, some of the girls in the store put together a impromptu Scouting recruiting display. We put it out in front of the Building on the porch area and had quite a few people look at it and some scout age boys express interest. We will probably upgrade it for next time. We plan on leaving it in our lobby all the time, since we often get people asking about scouting.
Impromptu Recruiting Display

Impromptu Recruiting Display

Swatch Cards
March 17, 2009

We started making swatch cards while back. Why? Many people want a true representation of the color of the t-shirt. Everyone knows what Red is, but not many can tell the color of Avocado. This is especially an isue for packs with Navy and Royal and Troops with the various shades of khaki: Prairie dust, tan, and sand.

So we came up with a clever way of showing the color of the shirt. We take business cards with the product info and attach little tiny t-shirt cut outs of the color. We originally were going to print the info on the tiny shirt shaped pieces, but any tiny crookedness or twist looked horrible. We did have lots of fun with trying how to print the small T-shirts. Can you spot one thats not crooked?

<Swatch Printed T-shirts

Its hard to find one that is not crooked. Well we ended up with sticking it on a business card.

<Swatch Card

To get them, you register on the site and then you can get up to 4 swatches. Why not more? The little things cost a lot to make and the cost for a full set of all colors is around $31 – ouch! So we figure we can give them away for free, as long as we keep the total amount we send out reasonable.

We think these will help people who are unsure which color to pick or are trying to match an existing color. A computer image or photo of shirt fabric just does not do the same thing.

Judging the Pinewood Derby
March 9, 2009

Cory and I

Cory and I

Recently, Cory and I had the pleasure of being judges for Gulf Ridge Council Allohak Districtʼs Pinewood Derby. It was at the Mazda of Wesley Chapel, just a few minutes from ClassB. I must say I had a wonderful time. We arrived shortly after 10 A.M. to a sea of blue, gold, and khaki uniforms and the roar of excitement over the event. There was popcorn, hotdogs, drinks and laughter. Being that this was my first time at a Pine Wood Derby, I was looking forward to seeing how the races where conducted.

I figured the Cub Scouts would line up one-by-one and launch their own cars down the track. Instead, a wooden ramp was erected with 3 lanes. The Cubmaster placed the cars on the ramp and announced which 3 would be racing. Gravity, not the Scouts, would push the cars down to the finish line. It was very organized and the way the track was set up every Scout had a great view of the action.

What a view!

What a view!



The scouts and their supporters were huddled around the race track, nervous with anticipation to see if their car would be the one to take home the gold. There was so much tension in the air as the Cubmaster released the cars down the ramp. I found myself so involved I forgot I had a job to do (not that I considered this work).

Cory and I judged the cars for creativity; the scouts didn’t make this easy. We saw a large variety of cars. There were stock cars, trucks, and even Hummers! There were also Bat-mobiles, and one Scout even made a Wii game system controller. My personal favorite was the Indiana Jones car, complete with a Lego Indiana Jones figure cleverly placed in the driver’s seat. I took my responsibility seriously. As one of the graphic artists for ClassB, I can certainly appreciate the imagination and craftsmanship put into each entry.

The Hummer

The Hummer



The categories were Space, Historic, Cub Scouts, Military, Sports and Movies with winners in the Webelos, Tiger Cubs, and Cub Scouts age groups. Cory and I examined every car carefully and made sure the contest rules were followed. After several minutes of arguing back and forth, we came to agreement on the winners. We stayed for a short time after the races taking pictures, mingling and in my case, checking out how many of the t-shirts worn to the event were ClassBʼs designs! (I’m happy to report a great many of them were!)

I truly look forward to my next Scouting event and I plan on volunteering for many more. Special thanks to Allohak District and Gulf Ridge Council for allowing us to experience the full throttle fun of Pinewood Derby!

Do you see the Wii remote and Indiana Jones?

Do you see the Wii remote and Indiana Jones?

Vote on next Retail T-shirt Design!
February 25, 2009

We have some new designs we are considering adding to the Trading post. Please help us decide which ones to print, vote for the ones you like and also tell us the ones you do not like. You can vote by replying to this post, thank you! When we print the batch they will be sold in the trading post. You can vote for more than one design.
B70000B70000
B70001B70001
B70003B70003
B70007B70007
B70008B70008
B70009B70009
B70010B70010
B70011B70011
B70015B70015
B70016B70016
B70017B70017
UPDATE: Clarified you can vote for more than one design.

New Retail Shirt Designs
February 19, 2009

We will be posting some new T-shirt designs on the trading post for sale in the next few days. Here is a preview of the upcoming designs: Be Prepared T-shirt Boot Prints T-shirt BSA Vintage Design Cub Scout Track Design

We will hopefully be also selling these thru the online scout store, Trailstop.com UPDATE: Updated links to point to Trailstop trading post pages

Power savings
February 19, 2009

While we were working on the Eco-T program, we came across a cool gadget for measuring power consumption. A thought came to mind as the breaker tripped for the 100th time, how much power do the computers actually use? I bought one of these:

Kill-a-watt

Its a Kill-a-watt, an energy use measuring tool. We plugged it into some of our computers and measured how much energy they use. We made some interesting discoveries that have led to some very significant changes in our energy consumption.

We have a variety of computers here, some older G5 Power Macs, many Mac Minis and the newest computers are intel iMacs and Mac Pros. The average power consumption at very low load of an older G5 Powermac tower, both sans monitor was 6x the power usage of a Mac mini! As far as power cost goes, that a yearly $165 vs $29. One of the G5 Powermacs was a quad processor, a water cooled monster that was our old server. It has a $389 yearly cost to operate! The iMacs with monitors come in at $115 per year. LCD Monitors cost $60-110 to operate per year depending on size and make.

Our computers have to be on all the time, so sleep was not an option since the connection to the server would be severed in a bad way. So we looked into having the server connections sleep before the computers sleep. We installed a script that achieved this and set the majority of the stores computers to sleep when the store is closed. This should shave off 60-70% of our energy consumption. The difference between a G5 Powermac and a intel Mac Mini was so dramatic that we decided to retire 4 of the older towers and replace them. We sold them on eBay for even out dollars for the minis but will cut power usage to 18% of the original usage!

We have one PC in the store that we measured, an Alienware. OMG, it was just as bad as the Quad G5, $345 a year. We will stick with mac minis whenever possible.

Mac Mini apple

I love these little computers, they are the best! I cannot wait for the next revision, we are going to replace 5 of our older PowerMacs.

We have about 30 Macs at the office and the overall savings in power usage is huge, all of this just by taking a little time and looking at how we can reduce our impact. We saved money and electricity! By the way, the mac minis are faster than the G5 Powermac towers, a total win, no matter how you look at it. Now that we know how much a computer can use in power over its lifetime, we will take that into consideration when choosing our upgrades.

If you’re thinking about buying a Kill-a-watt, there’s a small design flaw we noticed. It needs a small extension cord to be able to twist and see the readout. We picked some up at Target and they worked great.

Eco-T Program
February 19, 2009

Hello!

We have just posted a new section on ClassB.com; our Eco-T program.

We spent the past year working on it. It’s been very challenging since halfway through many factors changed. We became aware of the CPSIA 2008 rules in early summer and this info changed some of our approach. We decided to include enviromental impact and health and safety into one all encompassing program. This made the Eco-T program a bit too large to handle so we have launched Eco-T as a work in progress. Which is appropriate since we will never stop trying to do better.

Please take a moment and fill out the survey to help us decide where to focus our energies. :)

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