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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Oh What a Month! Full Sails!

Without any idea of where to begin, I have so much to say.  This past month has been a blessed ride.  Mind you, a ride which I(& We) are still on.  There's an island involved, and lots and lots of change.  I've opened a business.  It's called "Full Sails _________  _________, and has nothing to do with sailing.  The connection lies within me.  Passions united, in an effort to provide.  The blanks that precede can be filled with "Bartending" & "Services".  That's it, Full Sails Bartending Services.  I won't go into great detail right here, in regards to "what it is", but will share how it became.  Then, and only then, will we discuss the island.

Let's begin.  I began bartending in 2010, on a whim, as I was disinterested in dealing cards at casinos anymore.  I was offered an opportunity and seized it.  A man, who has become a great friend for life, asked me if I'd ever thought about being a bartender.  His name is Calvin Murphy.  My response was accurate when I said, "Yes".  But the deeper truth was that the thought had crossed my mind once with me giving it no validation.  Never thought it was something I would actually do.

My grandfather was a bartender.  He was also a bar owner.  Victory Tap, in Beloit, WI.  My sister, Danielle, and I grew up hanging out on Friday nights at Pulaski's Lounge(formerly Victory Tap).  Friday night was fish night.  Grandma June would drive us down there in the evening before Grandpa would finish his shift behind the bar.  He continued working at the bar in the winters, a night or two a week, even after he sold Victory Tap to Jim & Judy Pulaski.  I'm not sure if he did this because He & Grandma raised Danielle and I in their retirement, or if it was just because he enjoyed it.  Either way, it was a wonderful childhood, full of many great memories.  Thanks in large part to our grandparents.  That said, I never saw myself doing what Grandpa Carl did.

Once my friend, Calvin, said he'd bring me on as a bartender at the EDM nightclub he would soon be opening, as General Manager(and the brains behind Gruv), I jumped on my horse.  First, how was I going to just learn how to tend bar?!  The Bartending Academy of Tacoma could solve that, and did.  It took me one week to take their two week course.  I had to find a job, so I didn't have two weeks to give.  Once I graduated, I immediately went to every bar I could come up with in and around Olympia.  I was persistent for about a month, returning to each place systematically.  Eventually, I got offered a trial position at The PlayPen, in Lacey.  This place no longer exists.  But, when I got my chance, I ran with it.  In the 7 months I worked there, I went from early day opening shifts, to the premo, high money shifts, and felt very comfortable in doing so.  I worked there up until the night before Gruv Lounge & Nightclub opened for business on 6th Avenue in Tacoma.  I felt validated at that point, as a legitimate Mixologist.

Fast forward to a year later.  Thats 5 months after Calvin and I both walked away from Gruv, as the owner was a complete moron(Jason Rim).  I'm now unemployed.  One day I ran across an ad online for wedding bartending.  A company called MixxItUp! Bartending Services.  I called the number and spoke to yet another person who has become a really good friend in life.  Tawny.  Tawny brought me on and had me working weddings at Red Barn Studios, in Chehalis, WA.  I don't know how many weddings I've worked for her over the past several years but that's because I lost count.  About three months ago, Tawny called me to tell me she is going through some life changes and cannot maintain her business anymore.  She asked if I'd be willing to take on her current clients.  Obviously, "YES!"  Time legitimize!

Little did I know, at that time, what "legitimizing" even meant.  I'll tell you, there is A LOT asked of business owners, and even more of those with employees.  I had no idea.  First and foremost, re-branding was in order.  At the time Tawny called me, I just happened to be in a class for military veterans that focused on building business plans.  I was 2 weeks into the four week course.  Thus, I already had business planning on my mind.  I was working on my plan for a charter/sailing business, with an emphasis on taking Wounded Warriors and ill children out on the water.  I wish to give them an experience that they may otherwise not have access to.

With no time to build two businesses from scratch, simultaneously, I had to shift my focus to the new business.  What would I call it??  Where would I even get the inspiration for a name.  Well, none other than my passion.  Sailing.  Almost immediately, "Full Sails Bartending Services" came to mind.  Cards were ordered(and then re-ordered, as I initially ordered them as "Full Sail", which is already taken by a brewery), business license acquired, website built, insurance acquired, employees hired, and so on.

Here I sit now, in June, with three employees and nearly 30 contracts for the summer, including weddings, military promotions, and company parties.  I couldn't be more thrilled with the direction we are going.  The wind is at our back and the sails are full!

Stay tuned for the "island" story.

:-) cwf


"Proppy", The Pacific White Sided Dolphin

On a recent business trip to Tacoma, my friend Casey and I had the extreme pleasure of encountering this Pacific White Sided Dolphin.  "Proppy", as we call him, is a lost soul.  The Pacific white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens) is a very active dolphin found in the cool to temperate waters of the North Pacific Ocean.

We were just off of Point Defiance, with sails up, when Casey hollered "Harbor Porpoise!"  Of course, having spent quite a bit of time on the Puget Sound, my reply was, "Whatever.  I see them all the time."  Then, all of a sudden, the creature came right up next to the starboard side of The Tigon.  That's when we realized that this was a dolphin, in Puget Sound.  Not unheard of, just not common.  This particular dolphin has been filmed a couple of times, but never like this.  Sit back, enjoy, watch over and over, and please feel free to share!  Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you "Proppy"!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

VIDEO: Kelp Crabs & Moon Jellies at Boston Harbor Marina

Dylan, Zana, and I went out to the marina today with the intent of fixing the rudder.  That didn't happen.  But, this did.  Just a short video of some Kelp Crabs(commonly called Spider Crabs) and a couple of Moon Jellies ;-)  Enjoy!