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Friday, May 30

I'd Rather Be Lucky Than Skilled.

For the past couple of days, I have been trying to teach myself how to create Scanner Darkly effects (for those of you not familiar with the movie, you've probably seen the Charles Schwab commercials with the painted/cartoon effect over real people). I found a few tutorials, but was having little success creating the effect on my own.

Then with the help of Stumble Upon and a little luck I found Be Funky (, and realized the hours I spent were wasted because within a few short minutes I can achieve the effect with little to no effort on my part, and besides Sandbox Threads, is my new favorite website. Just check it out. How very cool? Have fun playing with this program. Goodness knows, I'm having fun.

Thursday, May 29

Breaking News--Spam and Monty Python

I saw this story earlier today, and thought I'd share this important breaking news---Spam sales are on the rise.

I have to admit that I have never tried Spam, and really, I don't have any plans to do so in the near future. I do, though, find the Monty Python Spam clip below very amusing. As an added bonus, Sandbox Threads sells a Monty Python design. How ironic? Spam, spam, spam, spam.

Sunday, May 25

Weekend in DC...and Strawberry Crimes

With Sandbox Threads' Baby Two just weeks away, the SBT family took a quick weekend trip to DC. One of our stops was a local farmer's market and Ben, dressed in our newest design, Counting My Blessings on our new grass green shirts, decided to give the "five finger discount" a try.

He seemed to believe "free & fresh strawberries" should be one of his blessings. While the actual strawberry lifting was missed, you can see him scouting out the berries in the above photo, and then, BANG, he's munching away--quick like a fox.

The good news is that no charges were filed, and the SBT family purchased a pint of strawberries (a few berries short). Happy Memorial Day!

Friday, May 16

Sandbox Threads' First YouTube Video

We have finally decided to give the whole "viral video" thing a try. I have resisted uploading this video because of "safety concerns" but both the mom and grandparents of Sandbox Threads have encouraged me to do so.

Enjoy, and if you really like it, we'd love for you to add a comment on YouTube or forward the video to others. And if you have a blog of your own, feel free to embed the video there.

The Dad of Sandbox Threads

Thursday, May 15

Here's One of the Many Reasons I Love Jon Stewart

I'm a political junkie, but even I have grown weary of the Obama vs. Clinton feud. But do not fear, Jon Stewart to the rescue. This clip is from the Daily Show after the West Virginia primary. Thank you Jon for putting it all in perspective.

And why not show Jon you love him by getting your very own Jon Stewart onesie from Sandbox Threads.

Wednesday, May 14

Want Proof Time Passes TOO Quickly?

Ten years ago today, Seinfeld went off the air. TEN YEARS!!! This fact makes my head spin. Off the top of my head, just look at this list of common phrases that are still around and used everyday. All of these have origins from Seinfeld. Amazing. Here's just a few:

* It's not you, it's me
* Festivus
* Not that there's anything wrong with that
* Re-gifter
* Double Dipping
* The Coffee Table Book about Coffee Tables
* Yada Yada Yada
* No Soup for You
* Shrinkage...and of course...
* Master of Your Domain

Here's a YouTube video with these and more.

TEN YEARS!!!! I'm old.

Tuesday, May 13

My Love/Hate Relationship with Google

When I started Sandbox Threads last year, I did so with little experience building websites and no experience with getting found by search engines. Boy, has that changed.

Now let me be clear, without Google most of you would have never found Sandbox Threads, and for that, I am thankful at how efficiently Google indexes site. At least 70% of our traffic comes from Google searches & Google Ads.

But over the past year, I'd learned a whole bunch about what is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The most simplistic explanation of SEO is building your site so Google likes you and ranks you high. There are many, many factors, but for this post, I'm focusing on keywords, and in SEO the more keywords on your page, the better (but not too many, Google is finicky and will penalize you for TOO many).

Strangely this sort of optimization goes against basic marketing & name-branding principles. Look at the above image with the top ranking sites in Google for "cool baby clothes." Look at all those "keywords" stuffed in the title, but where's the business name? Look at the description, again, where's the business name? It's not there. Only when you get to the web address do you see the business name.

Now what happens if Google changes the search criteria, and these business lose ranking. Will anyone remember what the business was called that had those great shirts? I say no, not with the aggressive SEO they are using.

Are these sites doing anything wrong? Nope! They are just using SEO to rank high, and with one exception, I have a working relationship with each of the sites at the top of the Google rankings, and like them.

Sandbox Threads has just decided to take a little different approach. Do we rank as high? Most times no. For "cool baby clothes," we rank somewhere around 25. Does that cost us money? Probably, but I'm just not willing to sacrifice establishing our name for the sake of SEO.

Below is how SBT shows up in search results. We stuff keywords in the results too, but first and foremost, we're Sandbox Threads.

Whether folks will remember us or not because they see our name in search results is hard to know, but we do get quite a few visitors searching for Sandbox shirts, so maybe so.

One other quick note, one of my favorite kid shirts site, Fooey, has not fully given over to SEO either. I remembered their name because, guess what, it was in the search results. I like that, and the SBT title is modeled after them. Ben has a couple of shirts purchased at Fooey, and we love them. (One other SEO aspect is having other site link to you, so here's some unsolicited link love to the cool baby clothes at Fooey).

Saturday, May 10

New Shirt Color for Spring

We've decided to add a little color at Sandbox Threads. And we could think of no better color for spring and summer than "grass" green.

The new "grass" onesies come in sizes 3-6 month & 6-12 month. While the "grass" tees come in 2T, 4T, & 6T. These shirts are a bit thinner, a bit longer, but the sleeves are a bit shorter than the rest of the SBT stock. While this wasn't intentional, that seems like a good combination for summer (you might be wondering, why would longer be better? Well, more shirt to wipe the dew off your brow, of course. It's hot outside.).

Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to check Sandbox Threads often for cool new baby clothes in hip new colors.

Thursday, May 8

The Dad of Sandbox Threads and my tonsil problem

I really love running Sandbox Threads, and I obviously have greater "ownership" in Sandbox Threads than any other job I have held. The one drawback of being a small business owner, though, is that you can't really call in sick (I'd just be calling myself).

This past Saturday, Elizabeth, the mom of SBT, left to attend a conference leaving Ben and I to fend for ourselves. All was going well until Monday afternoon when my throat started hurting a bit. By Tuesday morning, I could barely get out of bed, and after going to the doctor yesterday, I learned that I have a pretty severe tonsil problem that may require some form of surgery.

Ben has been a real trooper during this whole ordeal. He's been very content playing alone while I was curled up on the couch. And we are very grateful to have Elizabeth back home.

The main reason I decided to share this story is for those of you who have ordered from Sandbox Threads. Your order may take a day or two longer to get processed and shipped. I'm caught up as of Thursday morning, but I also go to the doctor at noon to find out my fate.

Wish me luck, and also be sure to check out the new designs we just introduced last night at Sandbox Threads.

No surgery necessary. It's just severe tonsillitis. And on top of my antibiotics, they gave me some hydrocodone for the pain, so now...all is good.