Back when I was a kid, those four lads from Rockford were Kiss to me. Times ten. I could not get enough of them and, to this day, remember the most trivial factoid as if it were tattooed on my eyeballs. One such nugget was that when the band wanted to test out new material to a smaller audience, they'd hit some club as the Randy Men.

If only that knowledge came in handy on Trivia Night.

So, I says to myself, I says "You know what band you haven't done yet?"

"Boston? Uriah Heep? Gorky's Zogotic Minci?" I responded.

"Yes, yes, and yes, but what OTHER band haven't you done?"

"Ohhhhhhhhh."

Gotta love paint fumes!



Anyhoo, my first stab at this new design is now available as hangable art, but only as long as it takes me to complete the second design and turn 'em both into a playable set of boards, so if you're of the "hangable art" crowd, bust a move.

BUY BUY BUY


It doesn't take Siskel or Ebert to smell a dud when the mistake is this obvious. In the previews for "Central Intelligence", the one thing that we all take away from the movie is that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is playing the cut-up and Kevin Hart is playing the nerdy, anal-retentive sidekick.

It's yet another "duck-out-of-water" flick (you know, when a mild-mannered everyman or everywoman is thrown into an unexpected situation and has to either sink or swim) that suffers from one huge, glaring and ultimately fatal flaw: Hart and The Rock are in the wrong roles.

By that, I mean Kevin Hart has made a name for himself on the comedy stage and in numerous films as the crazy, unfiltered cut-up while The Rock has shown true range in "duck out of water" flicks like "The Game Plan" and "Tooth Fairy".

Yet you just know that both actors' agents have urged them to take different roles so as not to get pigeonholed, but, let's face it, either one of those guys should be so lucky. I mean, Kevin Hart is a stand-up comedian. Therefore, the last thing anybody wants to pay to see is Kevin Hart play the straight man in a comedy film.

By the same token, The Rock is an action figure come to life. If you're making a gladiator film or some period piece where the hero has never worn a shirt in his life, Dwayne Johnson is your guy. Also, as stated above, he really shines in certain comedy roles.

Channeling my inner Hollywood executive, it would have been so much funnier to see Kevin Hart playing the crazy, rules-be-damned CIA agent while The Rock played the nerdy accountant he recruits for an action-packed mission.

The Rock in black frame glasses and wearing a pocket protector with a business shirt that can barely contain his hulking muscles. That would have been comedy gold!

Come on, Hollywood, you're better than this. I mean, you're not, but you could be.

Why do I occasionally complain about the tedious and time-consuming aspects of doing business?

Because, more times than we realize, these chores can actually prevent us from doing something that we might otherwise enjoy. If the by-product of being a successful artist means spending large periods of time on payroll or shipping duties, what have you really accomplished? I mean, if you set out to be the next Salvador Dali and wind up being a full-time shipping clerk who merely dabbles in art, was that really what you had in mind?

I am constantly reminded of the great songwriter and musician Andy Partridge, who, on the cusp of international success with his band XTC, suddenly chose to stop touring.

Nevermind that XTC had proven themselves to be a formidable live act and that Partridge showed few signs of the battle he was waging within.

See, he'd been suffering from stage fright for years and finally had to put his foot down, even though doing so was a huge blow to the band's forward momentum. Thankfully, MTV provided the band an avenue to promote their music and they would go on to have hits such as "Dear God". "Mayor Of Simpleton" and "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead", but if Partridge had forced himself to continue touring, he might have completely burned out and walked away from music altogether, a la Syd Barrett.

There are people whose lives are nothing but thankless tasks and they wonder why they have ulcers, nervous breakdowns and mid-life crises. You think the cavemen were miserable because they weren't standing on an assembly line or spending an hour in traffic every day?

There is no good reason to subject yourself to any more annoyances than we already get from just trying to enjoy a movie without someone kicking our chair or taking a phone call in the middle of a suspenseful scene,

The reason I bring this up is because I honestly believe that if we all did away with as many of the soul-sucking chores that stand between us and our passions, life would be a whole lot more FUN!

Is that so wrong?

After chats with fellow artisans about which online storefront is the most feature-heavy and budget-friendly, I hopped over from Shopify to Etsy this winter and, now that spring has finally sprung, I'll be adding more boards and whatnot.

Thing is, another one of those things that makes me hate my job is spending too much time shipping things.so I have priced sets of boards accordingly. I will say that it may save you money to just drive on over to my place and pick up a set of boards rather than go through all the trouble of having FedEx or UPS drop-kick the crap out of them and the merchant (me) losing time and money on the deal.

I am not Wal-Mart, or Starbucks. I'm just an artist attempting to meet customers halfway so we all get something cool out of the deal and begin a relationship that you just wouldn't get from other merchants.

My thoughts on Etsy: I'm not at all digging the generic storefront, but will give it the summer to wow me in other ways. If customers find it to be a pain, then my decision will be made for me. With that in mind, I welcome any input you might like to offer about your browsing/shopping experience>

 EMAIL ME

In the meantime, did you know that Etsy has a patent on online video sales?

In keeping with the unorthodox micro-niche that is Lemmy Cornhole, I will, for my third year, be selling boards in the most old-school of styles: the yard sale. Having gone the major metro retail route in past ventures, with wildly varying degrees of success, it's refreshing as hell to be able to go straight from my bean bag bed (the most comfortable thing I have ever nuzzled up against that wasn't a set of hooters) to the shitter, to the coffee pot, to the garage and start putting my boards out in the yard.

No sign, no Craigslist announcement, no newspaper ad.

In my tour merch business, I was constantly having to pitch my services, knock out quotes, and other stuff I HATE doing. Yes, hate. There are two things I know that I absolutely cannot do, under any circumstances: 1) hunt/kill an animal, and 2) sales. If I'd grown up back when we had to kill our food, I would have been the first militant vegetarian, As for "sales" and "going after customers", I just can't do that to people because, in everyone who walks by and has an expression that says "just looking, don't tackle me please", I see myself and know how much I hate when a sales person's sonar locks on me.

Just as I was building my last business into a success, getting my name and face in Inc. Magazine, The New York Times, and CBS' "The Talk", I realized that I wasn't doing anything that I liked. The lure of big cash had distracted me from doing my own designs, which is why I'd gotten that first t-shirt press.


A perfect storm of self-reflection and circumstances led me to close the business only days later and go on a search for my soul. It was an exhilarating experience starring from absolute scratch.

My only rule: whatever I come with absolutely has to sell itself because I am not a salesman, don't wanna be a salesman, I just wanna keep my nose to the grindstone and make cool shit.

Yes, these boards sell themselves and I have been busier than a one-eyed man at a wet t-shirt contest the past few summers doing everything myself: building the boards, painting the boards, cutting the fabric, sewing & screen printing the bags. It would be easy to capitalize on the cool factor by hiring a bunch of folks to help me churn out the product, but that brings with it many other chores that I dislike almost as much as sales: accounting, payroll, managing a staff. Ugh, please kill me.

I'm not saying any of this to brag, but to begin telling what I hope is an interesting story that inspires others to set fire to their cubicles, so to speak, and chase their passions.

Here's the thing: you can have more than one and sometimes when you combine them, you come up with something awesome: like cornhole boards, street art, and wacky pop culture mash-ups!
R.I.P. Lemmy Kilmister
First off, it's impossible to continue without first expressing my sorrow of the loss of Lemmy Kilmister in late 2015 and David Bowie earlier this month. Both of these artists were one-of-a-kind in their relentless dedication to their craft.  They also taught us the proper way to enjoy the spoils of one's own respective success (i.e., sex, drugs and...). Lemmy and David were two originals who each lived extraordinary lives and we remain in awe of them.

With February less than two days away, we here in The Mitten State are in what you might call semi-suspended animation. We go to work only because we have to and put off whatever errands we can in order to continue binge-watching TV whilst curled up in the fetal position. Those of us lucky enough to have pets achieve a level of warmth that is, in a word, heavenly.

Long story short, the ol' cornhole business in these parts tapers off quite abruptly once the snow starts to fly. The down-time affords us the time to refuel our batteries, do anything but think about Lemmy Cornhole for awhile, and then start planning Summer 2016!

That's why I've shuttered the store that I've been hosting on Shopify. It's only $30 a month to maintain, but I run a tight ship and that money can be put toward something else useful to the cause. In the meantime I'm gonna give Etsy a try, as I discovered that it offers many of the same features that Shopify offers.

THE GOOD: That's $30 a month I save.

THE BAD: Etsy doesn't provide any sort of custom URL, so no directing www.lemmycornhole.com to my Etsy shop (which I'm woefully behind in stocking, forgive me). By directing www.lemmycornhole.com here, my hope is that it'll be easy enough to direct you to my shop from here...I hope.

Ah well, "life...the eternal experiment".