Drum Cooker

Pit Barrel Cooker Co.

From:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/suziedundas/2019/01/31/after-29-prototypes-this-company-thinks-theyve-made-the-ultimate-bbq/#7ff1017964d7

Is this the ultimate BBQ?….certainly a simple concept….after all the main component is a 55 gal steel drum.

With 2018 sales of $5.5 million, the company is a respectable small business.

Key points:

“They ceased their Amazon sales in early 2018 after he says he came to two realizations: first, that Amazon ultimately required businesses to compete on price, and second, that selling through Amazon made it hard to create connections with customers and provide high-quality customer service.”

“Because there’s been such interest in the cookers on the road, they’re introducing in February the Pit Barrel Junior, a more compact cooker that’ll be even easier to transport.”

Like any successful business….understanding the market and developing new products will create a sustainable business.



“Montisa” Lateral File Cabinet

One of the early manufactures of the lateral file cabinets was The Browne-Morse Company.

The Browne-Morse plant was situated on Broadway Ave. in Muskegon Hts, along with all the other factories….Shaw Box Crane….Norge….CWC….Bennett Pumps. Almost eveyone walked to work in the late 40s, 50s, early 60s.

While not a high profile company….it none-the-less deserves a place in the history of Muskegon manufacturing. At least for the innovation of the lateral file cabinet.


Hand Built Automobiles

Morgan Motors (UK)

Morgan Motors since 1909 has been building these unique automobiles. 


What also makes the Morgan unusual is that wood is used in the construction of the body frame. With around 200 employees….Morgan Motors continues to manufacture a classic automobile for those that appreciate superior craftsmanship.

Certainly a different car maker.


Good Tools

Chapman Manufacturing

Good tools are good investments

Made in Durham, CT 

“Chapman tools and parts are American made and assembled from American made materials. Everything from the gear inside our famous midget ratchet, to our steel and paper brochures are made in America, the way it has been since 1936.”

A small company that makes a good product. That is fundamental to a strong economy….and business success.



Vizio TV

Our LG 32″ TV broke. It was less than five years old. Of course a new one was required.

The immediate choice….a Vizio 32″ LED 1080p Smart TV for $175 at Costco.

Will it be a better television? The LG was $239 in 2014 and only 720p. So the Vizio is $60 less expensive and has a sharper picture.

A good choice….time will tell.

Full Service


From WRAL:  https://www.wral.com/full-service-at-station-not-relic-of-past-in-north-carolina/18163184/

There are few full service stations left….except there is one in Nashville, NC….east of Raleigh.

While the full service option is a good business model for Taylor’s Exxon….the following is the most important:

“Taylor summed up how he and his father have been able to succeed in the business by saying one must treat people right.”

“That’s the main thing,” he said. “We don’t try to sell people stuff they don’t need. A lot of people trust us – and trust is the main thing that keeps bringing people back.”


Lost Sales

During the week of January 29 / 30 2019, A massive winter storm hovered over the midwest, blizzard conditions.

The above photo shows conditions on Western Ave, Muskegon 1978….snow drifts….cars buried in three feet of snow. Of course, business came to a complete halt.

Customers were absolutely not thinking of buying home furnishings. It took a week to return to normal.

Our only option – shovel out and move forward.