The Reds aren’t the only game in town

I’m super excited that my son will be starting kid-pitch baseball this year!!! I played softball for nine years, and am ready for the more competitive games from here on out!!! The boys have already started batting cage, pitching and catching practices. This is the first year we’ve used an actual Catcher also! I can’t wait for opening day at Tealtown Ballpark with the parade of players and everything!!! COME ON SPRING!!!!

New Product Alert!

For our Berlin Gardens poly-furniture fans, they have a couple of really neat new items. First is a folding Adirondack chair that is comfortable as all get out! Comfo Back Folding Adirondacks Lifestyle 200wideWith a slightly smaller frame than their traditional Adirondack, Comfo Back FoldedAdirondacks200it is easy to carry and folds to a moderately compact position. If you want to be the envy of all your friends, bring one to your kid’s softball, baseball, or soccer game. And to accompany it, Berlin Gardens has also created a folding footstool and a folding table that is a perfect place to put your drink and camera.

They’re on display here at the store so stop and check them out. –Max

Tales From The Tub…Hot Tub That Is

I am just finishing my second winter of spa ownership, and it occurs to me that I have learned a few life lessons over the past 2 winters. Some lessons were good, and some were not so good.

The good ones:

  • 1. It sure is easier to go to the fitness and run after warming up and loosening up the old body 1st in the spa. While I am no marathon runner, I run better after some hot tub time.
  • 2. It sure is relaxing and peaceful sitting in the spa and watching as the darkness of night becomes the light of day. I heartily recommend a mug of coffee or tea and then let Mother Nature and your spa take it from there.
  • 3. As much as I really don’t like driving in snow or shoveling it anymore, I sure do enjoy sitting in the spa and watching the snow. Sure, my hair gets wet as the snow melts, but the peacefulness of the snow, the warmth of the water, and the feel of the jets makes for a wonderful experience.
  • 4. Thanks to the power of on demand television, any evening can be a great time to sit in the spa with my wife and actually talk. Catch up with a loved one first and at a later date catch up on your favorite show!

Now a couple of not so good lessons:

  • 1. Shoes, slippers or flip-flops. I need to start remembering to wear them when I go outside to use the spa. While my spa isn’t all that far from the sliding glass doors, it is amazing how cold the pave stones are! Throw a little snow and ice into the equation, and the bottom of the feet sure starts to show its displeasure with my lack of foot ware as I am removing the spa cover or putting it back on.
  • 2. Why did I wait so long? Seriously, now that I have had a spa for 2-years I kick myself for not getting one sooner. It makes me feel physically better, mentally better, and I take more time to just talk with my wife while we soak away for 20 minutes or so. I truly have loved spa ownership and wish I had gotten one sooner.

Happy hot tubbing!

School. School. School.

I’m sooooo sick of being a student. I have about 6 more months of college to go before I can officially say I’m done with school!!! I. Can’t. Wait!!! My externship starts in April and I’m super nervous yet very excited!!! I need the motivation to finish strong though; I’m starting to get Senioritis- and am just ready to be done!

I’m no Clive Cussler But…

I enjoy writing. One of my responsibilities here at Eastgate Pools is to write various scripts…on-hold, TV and radio ads, and promotional letters.

But I have also written a novel. Okay…consider this a poorly disguised, gratuitous sales pitch for you to jump on Amazon and order it. The title is Tayasal and it was published back in 2000. I call it an archaeological Tayasaladventure novel. It has slowly reached a point just short of being a million-seller. Your purchase would help me reach the 999,000 additional sales I still need. It is also available as an e-book but I get a better royalty with the printed copy. I started a sequel several years ago but got to a writer’s block moment. So the book set idle for several years until I recently re-read what I had written so far. Awful. Garbage. So…back to the drawing board.

Recently, I decided to resume writing and have new idea for a novel. I have an outline and a prologue written and as long as I don’t get another one of those block moments, it’s off to the races!

In the meantime, if you would like to read some of my other works, jump on the Ultimate Air Shuttle web site. I write for Ultimate Magazine, their in-air flight magazine. I’m always up for critique but only if the words are kind.

See you at the library. –Max

Tales From The Tub…Hot Tub That Is

What is a good morning to me? A good morning is a morning where I have a little extra time to spend 20 minutes or so enjoying the spa. On this ideal morning, it is just starting to get light out, I have a mug of fresh brewed coffee, and I am seated in my favorite seat in the spa. Life is good, I am relaxed, and I can start to think about my day. On really lucky or ideal mornings, some of my favorite birds will be feeding at the bird feeders, which were strategically placed so that I can view them from my favorite seat. I know everyone has their own ideas on a good morning, but for me, a morning like the above helps me to at least start the day relaxed and in a good mood. And, should the day not go as planned, I can always press the “relax reset” button that night by returning to the spa for another soak.

Happy hot tubbing!

Cinderella Slippers!

I’m not a big basketball fan, but this time of year it’s easy to become one. It also seems that every year it is a foregone conclusion going into the tournament that there is one team that cannot be beaten and will win it all. With that said though it normally seems that there are teams that is determined to upset the apple cart. Other times the team of destiny has it’s luck cut short by injury, remember Kenyon Martin? Long story short there are not many times of year where sport gets more interesting than in the end of March.

Off-Season Fun

Over my many years in the pool business, I have answered the question many times as to what I do during the slower fall and winter months. The answer is always the same, and that is I prepare for the next season. Whether ordering product, checking incoming orders, preparing pricing or training with my coworkers to stay up to date with product knowledge, there is always plenty to do. But I must say, this off season has been strange and sometimes very frustrating due to a situation that received very little news coverage, at least very little in comparison to the great affect it had on the USA’s economy.
The “situation” as I referred to it, was the 9-month long battle of wills carried out by west coast dockworkers and the west coast port owners. Production slowdowns, lockouts, and all around animosity seemed to be all the rage. Meanwhile, containers of agricultural products spoiled, ships had to anchor at sea for weeks as they couldn’t be unloaded, and the American economy took a giant hit. I won’t even attempt to point fingers at one side or the other or suggest whether the Federal Government timed their involvement properly, I will just say as a small business person, it sure did stink to get caught in someone else’s fight. Shipments that normally take 4 weeks took two to three times longer, greatly increased freight rates, and very few solid answers from shippers were all regular occurrences this off season. I for one welcome spring not only for the better weather, but also for the end of an off season that felt like I was just along for a ride I could not control. Here’s to the new 5-year contract and hopefully 5 upcoming off seasons without all of these shipping worries!

March Madness is HERE!!!

I know it doesn’t look like it outside, but March Madness is here!! This by far, to me, is the greatest sports month of the year!! The Reds are in spring training, NASCAR has started again, free agent signings for our beloved Bengals!! But the best thing is College basketballnatl-champs-60-61 and the run to the Final Four!! I take off work for the first weekend of the tournament because I don’t want to miss the great shots, great players, buzzer beaters and of course the Cinderella teams that make a run!! I am a HUGE Bearcat fan, and while not much is expected from them in the tourney, nothing would be sweeter than seeing them survive and advance!! For all of the Cincinnati, Xavier, Kentucky fans out there you have to agree with me that this is the best time of the year right?

Home and Garden Show

The first several years I worked for Eastgate Pools & Spas we were always a fixture at the Home and Garden Show here in Cincinnati. While you likely have noticed we haven’t been there in recent years I think it is important to understand why. We decided we could do more for our customers here by working with our manufacturers and not spending the extra money on booth space. It is just that simple. I think if you attend the show and stop in here you’ll see that our focus is clearly on offering the best values in the Cincinnati market across all of our product categories. There are plenty of expensive options out there and there are plenty of low priced options out there, but the key is providing value and I really believe we provide that for our customers more than any other retailer. I encourage you all to do some comparison shopping and I think you’ll agree.

Hard Water Problem?

This water that I’m talking about isn’t coming out of the tap at my house, it’s the hard water that is covering each and every place to fish. Normally by this time of year Lake Isabella has stocked the trout, and my son and I have had the chance to pull one or more Lake Isabellafish out, but not as of yet this year. I know my son is chomping at the bit to get out this season as evidenced by the fact that when I got home last night he had his tackle box in his room going through what he thought would be the best baits to use to catch the previously mentioned trout. I know that soon enough it will be time to wet a line, but that time is not getting here quickly enough.

Spring has sprung

It’s that time EastTentof year again, if you can believe it.  Even now there is still a small amount of snow left to melt, we have started to put up our tents with close out and demo outdoor patio furniture.  Just to name a few vendors under the tents: Telescope Casual, Tropic Garden, Berlin Gardens, and Agio. If it’s a demo that means we only have the one left so these sets will not last forever.

How tubs can be useful for all species

hottubbing_cow_1425746008225_14591782_ver1.0_640_480
Indiana farmer uses hot tub to save baby bovine found in pile of snow

http://www.wcpo.com/news/state/state-indiana/indiana-farmer-uses-hot-tub-to-save-baby-bovine-found-in-pile-of-snow

Safety Covers

Been thinking about a safety cover for the in-ground pool…?

Here’s a good reason to have one. This is a picture of our pool lot. Somewhere under that snow is an in-ground pool. PoolLot Now, imagine this is your home and your backyard. It just looks like a yard covered in snow, eh?

We could stand everyone that works here on top of this pool’s cover and they would be safe. –Max

Like meatloaf? Try this one.

I’ve never been a gourmet griller but when we started carrying the Kamado Joe ceramic grills, I was our first customer. I’ve always liked southern-style barbeque and this was my opportunity to get better on a grill and to satisfy my taste buds at the same time. Not to turn this into an ad for Kamado Joe, but I’ll admit that I am now fully hooked on this grill. I’ve done ribs that rival any of the famous steak houses, 8 lb. briskets, 7 lb. Boston Butt Pork roasts, stews, and of course regular steaks, chops, and chicken breasts. But I found a recipe for meatloaf and upon study I thought I could make it even better. The resulting? Moist, spicy, smoky, and very tasty meatloaf that I will make again. Soon. Don’t have a ceramic grill? We can help on that one too but you can also do this on a regular grill. Here’s the recipe:

Prep time: 20 minutes—tops.
Cooking time—2 hrs or less.20150207_164510

Ingredients:

2.5 lb ground beef
1 lb sausage. Don’t do spicy. You won’t need it.
1 lb. ground veal.
5 TBS finely chopped sweet onion
2 TBS powdered barbeque seasoning.
3 TBS Hein 57
2 eggs.
6 oz. of chunk cheddar cheese, cut into pieces about the size of peas or beans
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 package of thin sliced bacon. And don’t you dare use that turkey stuff!

Mix everything in a large bowl, except for the bacon. Make sure the seasoning is not all clumped together. Form it into two evenly sized loaves, then place in a throw-away tin pan or meatloaf pan. Layer the bacon over the loaves, letting the pieces overlap about 1/3 of the way. One package covers both loaves with no leftover. (The bacon does not go under the loaves.)

Light lump charcoal and when the coals are ready add the heat deflector. Slowly bring the Kamado Joe temperature to 350-375. Remember, it is easier to get it hotter than to try and cool it off.

Cook at 350-375 degrees for about two hours or until you reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Remove and let stand for about 15 minutes then remove from the foil pans.

Eat, enjoy, and repeat. –Max