Finding body wash made in the USA

So I’m sure you’ve seen some of my post related to products made in the USA.  It’s something I think we need to be conscious of when we’re out there shopping.  People say they don’t have time for this.  How much time does it take to flip over a package and see Made in …

This week I bought a couple different things which I can proudly Made in the USA.  Some research was required but again it didn’t take that much time.  I do sometimes get a little obsessed about it just because of curiosity.  I’m curious to see how many different items are Made in the USA.

So this week I need body wash.  So I went to Amazon and started searching for body wash products that were Made in the USA.  Surprisingly you can find a number of body wash products that are still made in the USA.

While I was at it I had a couple other things I needed to get also.  So I know that Amazon is hurting local retail sales but it sure is convenient. You can shop for what you need and you don’t have to drive around town.  In some areas that’s kind of funny because driving around isn’t difficult.  Here in San Francisco lets just say it can be a challenge.

How did I support American workers this week?  I bought these things to start

  1. Body Wash Products
    1. Ivory – body wash
    2. Every Man Jack – body wash
    3. Wash for Men – body wash
    4. Jane Products – hand and body soap
  2. Lodge Manufacturing’s – enamel dutch oven
  3. Gonesh Sticks – incense
  4. Clos du Bois – wine

So this week I supported multiple local restaurants and several American business.  Did you support a local or American business?  The wealthy get wealthier from sending jobs overseas.  Manufacturing has been minimized here in the US.

The only way we can change that is to change our busying habits.  I know not everyone can do that because some people are just scraping to get by.  If you can though instead of buying the cheapest product, buy something you know will help create jobs and employee someone here in the US. That will help the economy in so many ways that you would truly shock you.

Turn over the package and look.  That’s all it takes.

Blue Sky May Be On The Way

So today I’m feeling better and I have to say that it makes a huge difference in life.  I keep trying to focus on the positive and that helps.  I read an article By Jae Song & Tina Su talking about Jae’s experience with a problem just like I had mentioned.  She talks about how she moved on and 13 steps that helped her get to a better place.  I’ve done a couple of the steps and I have to say I see how it helps.  If you’re in a gray place or feel like a black cloud is following you’re not alone.  Check out 13 Tips to Building Self Esteem.

The one that I like the most I think is, Start Small.  Small task that you can complete are huge benefits to our psyche.  You feel like you can do more and it helps push out doubt and negative thoughts.  This last week I’ve been pulling back and keeping focus on the small and close things.  It’s helped and I stopped beating myself up.  That’s hard to do but it’s almost a mantra.  You just keep saying it till you believe it.

Yesterday I cleaned my apartment.  I especially focused on my bedroom which is a source of embarrassment for me.  I’m not a person who lives in their bedroom.  I don’t have a TV in their nor do sit I read.  I sleep in my bedroom.  That’s it.  My desk is in my bedroom though.  I am sitting there now.  So the desk is the center of a LOT of clutter.  I”m not a neat freak by any means of the imagination but it seems like a disaster and I equated that to my life in general.  Do you have a space like your desk that is about productivity and you can’t keep it under control?  Well that was causing some doubt for me because I couldn’t get it under control.  So I took EVERYTHING off the desk and gave it a proper cleaning.  I threw things away or put them away.  I still have a lot on it but I can see the majority of the desk top which makes me feel good.  Oh and here’s no layer of desk now either.

So the next step is to Create a Compelling Vision.  That’s going to be a little more difficult for me.  It almost ranks up there with “What do you want to be when you Grow up?”  Create an image of the person you want to be.  I’ve always been a fan of superheroes   I think my imagination gets the better of me sometimes.  So now the challenge is to find a realistic image of the person I want to be.  I’m thinking that the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) method is the best.  So now to make the goal reasonable and attainable.

So as an example of my movement forward is writing this blog.  I know it’s small and I can do it.  There may be misspelled words or bad grammar but I did it.  I wrote this and I’m going to publish it.  That’s part of my goal actually.  To write here on my blog expelling doubt and negative feelings will be a way for me to not hold all this in and feed on it.  I welcome any comments and feedback.  It’s nice to know that others out there deal with the same feelings.

I’ll boil down the 13 points but you should go read, 13 Tips to Building Self Esteem.

  1. Start Small
  2. Create a Compelling Vision
  3. Socialize
  4. Do Something that Scares You
  5. Do Something You Are Good At
  6. Set Goals
  7. Help Others Feel Good About Themselves
  8. Get Clarity on Life Areas
  9. Create a Plan
  10. Get Motivated
  11. Get External Compliments
  12. Affirmations & Introspection
  13. No More Comparisons

Have a good Sunday and get out in the sun if you can.  I’m here in San Francisco and the weather is nice.  The point is, get out and do something that makes you happy or content.  It doesn’t matter what that is, it’s just important that you DO IT.


Unemployment, the new form of torture

English: 1923 unemployment insurance stamp.
1923 Unemployment Insurance Stamp

So it’s been two weeks since my contract ended.  I’ve been looking for a job and I’ve had a couple interviews.  One of the interviews is promising and the company would be great to work.  I met 5 people from the company and I liked everyone I met.  From what I hear they all liked me.  The waiting to find out if they  offer me the job is torture.  One can only hope that everything works out.

So over the weekend I’ve been keeping myself busy.  Friday night I went to go see TAO: The Art of the Drum and it was amazing show.  The presentation was great.  The music was amazing.  Saturday I went to the Chinese New Year parade.  Today (Sunday) I went to the Russian Festival to add a little more culture to my weekend.

Tomorrow, we’ll see what I can get involved in during the day.  My ultimate hope is that I’ll hear from this company.  Maybe I’ll take myself out for a nice lunch.  I would say I might buy myself something pretty but I know I won’t do that.  I don’t have any plans this next weekend.  I might take a little road trip next weekend.  Just  to get myself out of town and clear my head.

2011 in review

2011 In Review

So I was thinking the other day that I hadn’t posted anything here in a long time.  Which is a real shame. I had hoped that this would be something more for me to work on my writing skills and creativity.

So lets talk about what happened this year.  It started with me turning in my resignation at work.  That’s pretty major for most people.  Then four days later on January 6th I had a minor stroke. That was something and really threw life in a tail spin.  Afterwards I picked up and move forward.  I went to the doctor and found that I just need to be on Coumadin or Warfarin and have my blood tested.  Coumadin is a blood thinner so if I had to much of it in my system I could bleed to death if I cut myself.

So in March I noticed that there really wasn’t anything special going on with my treatment.  So I talked with my friends about the move to California that I had been planning to do in January.  They encouraged me to make the move because either way I was going to be unemployed.  I agreed and made the decision to move at the beginning of April.  My friend Ray booked a flight to Columbus and we made our plans to drive across the US with what would fit in my car.

That’s right I got rid of almost all of my belongings.  I only kept what would fit in my Scion xB.  That mostly comprised of my Tuba, artwork, and clothes.  Needless to say it was pretty full.  It’s a good thing that the back seats laid down so that we could use all the space.

So April came and Ray arrived in Columbus. I was ready for the most part but of course in typical procrastination style I had stuff I need to get done before I could leave.  The day after Ray arrived we got in my car about 9 AM and we started the drive across the US.  Since it was April I decided we would take a southern route.  I did that because I didn’t want to be caught in a snow storm driving across Kansas, Nebraska or any other state.

So after arriving in San Francisco I knew I need to find a job or some kind of work.  So I began searching for a job in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay area.  It was a little discouraging but I kept plugging away at searching the internet and sending out my resume.  I started getting interviews and there were several jobs that sounded good but as you might guess I didn’t get any of those jobs.

Lucky for me I have my music to fall back on.  I had already spoke with someone in the San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Freedom Band.   So on my second day in San Francisco I started going to rehearsals.  That really helped make me feel like I was part of something more then the unemployed.  I played a concert with them and of course the event to top all events was rapidly approaching.  That’s right my first San Francisco Pride.  I of course volunteered to march in the parade because I have been doing it for years.  It was amazing and overwhelming but most of all I felt like I belonged there.  I didn’t feel like I was out of place or in over my head.

With all that there was something else happening with the band.  Like I always have previously I volunteered to help in ways that I could.  After Pride I became the Assistant Direct for the San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Freedom Band.  That was something that I was proud of but I also wanted to be modest about what I was getting myself into at that point.  No one likes a pushy smart ass and I certainly didn’t want to be labeled as such.

In August I landed a job!  That’s right I got a job.  It isn’t my dream job but I’m not unemployed any longer.  I was grateful for work and the chance to bring some money in after being unemployed for seven months.  It is a contract job that ends January 27th but it is a job.  I’m sure you have heard the old adage also it’s easier to find a job when you have a job.  That’s what I’m counting on in the next couple weeks.

So of course something good happened so something bad has to happen.  Like Newton’s Law what goes up must come down.  So what happened was I was driving downtown on a Friday night when my car was broadsided and totaled.  The other driver admitted to running the light and so I wasn’t at fault.  Progressive insurance was very nice and helpful.  We wrapped everything up an settled on the car. Now I’m just waiting on them to sell the car for scrap so we can close out the claim.

Things were quiet for a month but it was all leading up to another first for me.  My First Dance Along Nutcracker with the San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Freedom Band.  I had never played a show like this before.  It was like being in a pit orchestra which I had never done before.  If you know where Howard, Ohio is you would know that orchestra isn’t something that have there.  The show had a 60’s theme and was fun to perform.  The actors and actresses did a fantastic job.  It was a huge hit with the audience.

Last but not lease I just had my first Christmas in San Francisco.  It was quiet and I spent the day with a great new friend that I was introduced to by some friends back in Ohio.  Funny how many people I’ve met from Ohio and Pennsylvania out here in San Francisco.

Well that wraps it up … I think that’s enough for one year, don’t you?  I hope this finds everyone and anyone who read my blog in good health.

Three months after my move

Out of fog Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge a...
Image via Wikipedia

I’ve now been here in San Francisco a little more than 3 months. Everything is going OK and I have to say I’m getting attention when I send out my résumé. That is one thing that helps me keep my chin up and not be blue about being unemployed.  Today I had a 2nd interview and those kinds of things help keep me sane.

I’m at a point where I’ve had four interviews and everybody says that they love me as a candidate and they want to bring me back in.  Sounds great, right? I kind of figure I’ll have multiple offers all at the same time.  I’m just one of those guys who doesn’t want to lead people on but you never know if someone is going to make you an offer.  Of course I’ll have four offers all at once and it will not be an easy choice.

The other part is that it is major companies that I’m interviewing with for positions I’ve found mostly on  So in a city of start-up companies, it’s the established companies that are contacting me for interviews.  Recruiters are calling of course but those aren’t always very productive.  Recruiting companies have a place in the employment market but there are so many of theme that they are like piano players, a dime a dozen.  The IT job market here in San Francisco is good.  There are always job posted.

I’ve also started doing work for is a web site where people can post task/odd jobs and people (like me) can bid on the work.  It’s funny some of the stuff I’ve seen posted but there are always people posting jobs/task that they need done.  If you’re in San Francisco check it out and see if it’s something you can use.

Well I should go search those job boards and see what I find.  Peace and Love to everyone out there.

California Dreaming

So in a next week I’ll be moving to San Francisco.  I had planned on moving out in January but that was delayed by the ‘incident.’  You can read more about that on my blog.  I had every intention on moving so after finding out a little more about my medical problem I decided I can go ahead and move.

My friends from San Francisco are flying out to Ohio and they are going to ride out with me.  They were worried about me making the drive myself.  As you can tell from my last entry I drove about 1,000 miles to New Orleans.  The road trip should be fun.  I plan on heading south and going across the southern US.  The one stop that I would like to make is in Las Vegas.  I’ll have to see how that figures into the driving plans.


My Tuba
My Tuba

So one of the big things I did was get rid of virtually all my belongings.  I’m only taking what will fit in my car.  Lucky for me I have a Scion xB (toaster on wheels) so it has a lot of room in the back.  My tuba will take up approximately a third of that room.  Imagine if I had a Toyota Corolla! That wouldn’t me much after getting my tuba in the back seat.  As you can see from the picture to the left my horn isn’t exactly small.  Standing on end it’s about three foot tall.  Some people don’t understand musicians but it’s something that I love and I couldn’t imagine not being able to perform now.


So we’re on the count down.  I’ll be blogging during my trip across the US so check out my blog for more.