The Lake County (of California) Historical Society was actually a legacy client that was brought into Boldly Going Enterprises, LLC entity when we formed our business at the beginning of this year (2007). I had originally taken on this non profit project at extremely generous rates solely due to my desire to help the organization to get its online presence back in order. Their previous site had been up since 2003 and still had “latest events” from the middle of that year! But these things happen when an organization has a volunteer or member that has some or a lot of skills to use in aiding the group, and then at a later time finds they need to focus their personal time and energies on other things. Unfortunately, for the group, they find themselves at the mercy of the member and can only hope to find a way to extricate themselves as soon as possible.
When approached by the society, I initially considered just volunteering my time and serving resources. I realized, however that two things were likely to happen if I had chosen that route. One) I could get busy with BGE work, and the organizations site and online missions would suffer. Two) if LCHS didn’t have some monetary “skin in the game”, they might not appreciate what they were getting and take for granted me and the services I was donating. In the end, I opted to make a proposal to them that would be “very, very” fair to them, and even allowed them the opportunity to pay for the work over a period of time, thus lowering the impact on their non profit budget.
The most unique aspects to take away from this site is that we’ve set them up with some simple, yet effective e-commerce capabilities using PayPal‘s web developer knowledge so they can sell online the inventory of books which is a staple of the groups income. Also, their membership can sign up and pay or renew online now. Prior to this, renewals were all done offline, with repeated notices at meetings and using snail mail. Now, most members with email are notified and they are able to automatically pay for their memberships online.
The next phase for LCHS is to take their huge number of historical photos online. We’re talking about something in the nature of 10,000+ photos that have been in a digitization mode for a number of years now. After exhaustive research, I was able to find Smug Mug and even able to get them a free “pro”-level account due to the fact that the great folks at SM will give accounts away to certified 501c(3), non profit organizations.
We are in the process of working out how to best utilize the Smug Mug system to enable LCHS the opportunity to offer those images up to the public for sale. The amount of time I have spent in the SM system thus far allows me to highly recommend SM to any individual, organization, or anyone that might want to profit from the sales of images they own or control copyrights to. While we’ve yet to set up the linking from the LCHS site into their SM account, you can get a great sense of some of SM’s capabilities by checking out the LCHS Smug Mug page. Enjoy!
Archives for 2007
Posting this under Are You Healthy because they say laughter is the best medicine!
The guy really does need to calm down!
My Suburban was ready to start getting packed. I had retrieved my 6’x12′ open box trailer from the welder (where repairs to the tongue had been made). As I was backing, backing and rebacking the trailer down my steep front drive towards my garage, I suddenly heard something different sound-wise coming from under the hood.
Now you have to understand that while I’m no rocket scientist, most of the operations of a motor vehicle are pretty straight forward from a common sense, mechanical point of view. Complications do arise with computer interactions and what not, but the “mechanical” aspects of how motors operate have essentially stayed the same since Ford started the wheels a rollin.
Anyways, after popping the hood I discover that all of my power steering fluid is coating the interior of my engine space (and subsequently dripping down the driveway of the house I am trying to move out of and sell :'(
So, being the “save a buck” and “do it yourself, like real men do” kind of guy that I am, I went to Kragen’s (my favorite autoparts store). They are usually very helpful, and the individuals I usually consult with were not in that day so I went it alone. Purchasing what I figured were adequate parts, I went home to make the repair. What I hadn’t accounted for was the 1500 to 2000 psi of pressure that is exerted through the power steering hose and how that would simply blow through the rubber repair patch that I had painstakingly applied.
Well, at this point my options were to buy a kit for $10 or so that calls for cutting the high pressure hose, inserting a male:male fitting into the two cut ends of the hose and clamping it down on both sides, or I could go to the local mechanic that I trust, by the way, and see what it would take to get the right part installed.
As fate would have it all it “took” was $69.90 parts and labor and about an hour and a half of my time. I value my time pretty highly, so let’s just say that the entire “job” cost me in the neighborhood of $250. But that $69.90 cash out of my pocket is so incredibly worth the piece of mind that I won’t have to think about it as I make the 1,000 mile trip from NorCal to AZ late next week (pulling a trailer, no less!)
Have you had auto repair scenarios like the above? I often repair my own vehicles and do most of the maintenance work on them as well. Makes me feel more connected and in touch with the mechanical aspects of how they are running at any given moment. But I have more stories like the above, as I bet you do as well. I’d love to hear some of your stories of how you discovered that spending just a few dollars was so much more effective than doing it yourself. Please share!