Aluminum Chairs

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yogi
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Aluminum Chairs

Post by yogi »

There is a distinct memory in my brain that brings up images of an aluminum chair. I sat on it, but I can't picture where I was when I did that. I'm thinking it was medical related; you know, something they can hose down with a disinfectant and not damage it. It was an odd chair only because it was all metal. I can't for the life of me imagine anybody turning that kind of thing into a cash cow. But ... maybe there is. :think:

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Kellemora
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Re: Aluminum Chairs

Post by Kellemora »

OK, I'm going back to the '60s here.
I went to High School with a boy who's father owned a manufacturing company that made discount folding lawn chairs.
The kind like you would buy from budget stores and even some grocery stores carried them in season. He had several hardware store accounts also. These were the simple folding lawn chairs that used webbing. They sold well because they were stable, compared to some other brands out there.
Even though the individual profit per unit was low, he was not poor, because their sales volume was high.
Competition and imports did cut into his sales a little, but not all that much.
Right after graduation, we often got together, and I gave him a design for a two seat folding lawn chair he could make using their existing design. He made a few of them and gave me one. I still have it hanging in my garage here, with a broken handle I've never got around to fixing.
His dad did go into production the following year and he sold thousands of them, many more than he expected.
But it was also time for the son to take the helm in a lot of areas of the company.
When he saw how low their profit margin was, he began to take steps to improve it, but his dad wouldn't let him add any other products to their line-up.
It was not until after he was home from the service and his dad died that he started making aluminum medical devices, starting first with canes, and bath benches, added a potty chair, etc.
We had lunch together one afternoon and he said his dad made less than 15 cents per chair on each sale and after expenses it was less than a nickel. But the medical devices he makes, using the same amount of materials and labor, netted them over 10 dollars after expenses, and some as high as 30 dollars over expenses.
Once he got into the tightly closed distribution system for medical equipment, he became a millionaire in only a few short years. He merged with another company that made similar equipment, and the company took their name.
I think we only crossed each others paths one more time after he moved to either Frontenac or Huntleigh Village among the well to do.

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yogi
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Re: Aluminum Chairs

Post by yogi »

The aluminum chair image that is lurking in the shadows of my mind was one solid piece of metal; probably cast. It might have been assembled from several pieces, but I don't recall that much about it. It's the kind of thing you would find in an interrogation room at a police station, but I know I never experienced that pleasure. Pretty sure it was a hospital chair.

I've heard the story many times where the kids take over the family business and run it into the ground. They don't have the same interest or skills as the founders. The success story you depict sounds reasonable. If you can latch into a highly profitable niche market, millions of dollars can easily flow your way. Many of the niches are that way for a reason and your HS buddy was fortunate to lock into the situation he did.

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Kellemora
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Re: Aluminum Chairs

Post by Kellemora »

I know of several kids who took over their parents businesses and ran them into the ground.
Seems this happens more often than those who turn the business around and make it more profitable.
But as usually happens, if they get too big, or perhaps branch out to many stores, they more or less sold their soul to the devil, and usually lose the company. But they don't care, they got rich and that was all that mattered to them.

I don't know if I did my old neighbor across the street a favor or sent him to his doom.
He spent many years building up his siding business. He only hired a single helper, which was most often his ex-wife.
Then when she moved on, he finally hired a permanent helper who became quite good at the job.
He's getting a little older too, crossed the 50's mark only a couple of years ago.
I told him he has a good following of clients now, and a good worker, he needed to find a couple more good workers and let them do most of the work, and you should only be supervising and doing estimates.
He sorta took my advice, and often had four or five workers stopping by his house, then going out to do jobs.
After a couple of advertising campaigns, he hired two more.
The next thing I know he moved out into a new larger home, and leased a commercial building nearby his new house.
The last time we crossed paths, mainly because I needed some trim repaired, I called him.
He said he would be over tomorrow. He didn't come but sent a couple of guys who got the job done in under an hour.
I asked how his business was going, and they said they never see the boss much. He just calls us with an address and leaves a bill of materials we should grab from the warehouse. He's usually out doing estimates, unless he has someone else he hired do it for him.
Sounds like he's either getting lazy or taking a smaller cut for himself, but having more jobs than he could do himself he could be raking in the dough now too. Don't know for sure. But I do know his knees are going bad, and that surgery will be required. It is hard to keep people in that type of business, because they usually move on and start their own companies.

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yogi
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Re: Aluminum Chairs

Post by yogi »

It appears as if your neighbor recognized good advice when he got it from you. LOL As usual, it takes more than good advice to be successful. He had to have some business smarts built into his head as well. You might have been the catalyst but he did all the work.

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Kellemora
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Re: Aluminum Chairs

Post by Kellemora »

Well, they were in the aluminum bending business for decades, so that was a head start there.
Plus he was an excellent salesman. He could borrow the shirt off your back, use it while he service his truck engine, then sell it back to you as a filthy rag, and you would swear you are getting a good deal, hi hi.
Breaking into medical equipment sales was probably a stroke of good luck, since it is so tightly knit.

I should have put this under computers.
I needed to put some text on the left side of the page, a single line. In a numerical amount on the right side of the page, and still have it mobile friendly of course.
I looked on-line at hundreds of folks asking how to do the same thing.
You wouldn't believe all the different responses, and none of them were correct.
They might work, but most wouldn't work right.
Some of the convoluted ways folks came up to do this just boggled the mind.

This is one place where using the row element pays off big time.
And makes things work just right, from a desktop to a tiny cell-phone screen.

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yogi
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Re: Aluminum Chairs

Post by yogi »

In general, columns are discouraged in mobile friendly web pages. Keep in mind that people are not using pointing devices on their smartphones. They use their fat fingers instead to hit those tiny links. Plus, a column can have problems sizing itself as well as take away from the visibility of the main content.

I've spent a lot more time in forums for HTML and CSS than I have in Linux - so far. The quality of the information there is about the same as in those Linux forums wherein everybody proclaims they are an expert at what they are doing on their system under specific conditions that never occur in the real world. As with Linux, CSS and HTML in general offer several ways to do the same thing. However, you would be very lucky to find somebody who has code you can simply copy and paste. HTML is not nearly as complicated as a computer program, but it baffles the non-innitiated nonetheless. Almost every coder has their own idea about how things should be done. If you are in the help forums looking for an answer, more than likely you are not clever enough to spot the right answer when you see it. There is a lot more trial and error with CSS and HTML than you will ever see in Bash.

Glad you found a way to accomplish what you need to do. Maybe you should open a thread that is titled [solved] right out of the box. Then explain what you did without asking any questions. It would be informative, but the moderators would likely delete it or reprimand you for not following the forum rules. LOL
Last edited by yogi on 29 Nov 2019, 21:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Kellemora
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Re: Aluminum Chairs

Post by Kellemora »

I won't really know what my website looks like for sure until I upload it and view it on Debi's Schmartz-Fone.
I do use a website that shows me what it looks like on several devices, and it looks good there.
The left image that runs from the top of the page to the bottom on my existing websites, with the little float image, are set to disappear below a certain screen size. So, when I look at my site on Debi's cell phone, you don't see it.

My button bar uses rows and column designations, and if you shrink the screen down, instead of being side by side, the form a second or third row, which is what they are supposed to do.
And all of my text is scaleable, or supposed to be, so if you zoom in to get larger text, it doesn't cut anything off, but word-wraps the text.
So far, I've not seen anything amiss with my websites as viewed on a smart phone.

Trying to cause things to come out in certain places on the screen by using negative line feeds, really does cause problems on the small screen devices.
Even on my desktop computer, viewing some larger companies websites, which should work perfectly on all devices, they are a royal mess in many cases. Text boxes over the container text, images partly covering up the container text, etc. And these are the big companies who should know better, and have the resources to make it right.

A couple of days ago QUORA blocked me again for not using my real name.
They did this once before and I went in and removed the periods and comma so it had only letters.
They approved it. And all was fine for a long time, and they blocked me again for the same reason.
I sent a message to their appeals department and they unlocked my account that same day.
Now they did it again, and this time when they unlocked it, they said they would verify it so it don't happen again.
I had sent them my Ham Radio callsign to look my name up in the Call Book.
My Patent numbers to look me up on the USPTO website.
And a link to my website bio.
We'll see if it holds this time!

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yogi
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Re: Aluminum Chairs

Post by yogi »

Deb's smartphone will give you a good idea about things, but it is not representative of all smartphones that could be out in the wild. I think you are closely following the basics and should not have a problem, but unless you have a dozen or so representative devices on hand you will never know for sure how things look in all cases. Browsers themselves have different rules. For example when you count pixels to determine page size, what are you counting? Do you include the scroll bar and the frame around the browser window? Some do and some don't. It won't mean much unless you have a fixed size container, but the point is that there are subtle differences in how similar things are done across the board. One smartphone I saw advertised recently brags how their screen wraps around the side of the phone. It looks cute, but has got to be one of the many nightmares website developers encounter daily.

I have been moderating forums since forever. The asshats at Quora and I had a disagreement over their rules one day and I've not posted anything there since. I only read anything on that site on rare occasion. I was telling somebody about the merits of CCleaner one day and included a link to where they can download it. The post stayed for a few days but then I got a message from the Quora Police about the link. They took down my post but told me I could appeal. I wrote back something nasty and never appealed. That post is still pending review and they lost a contributor in the process. One of the interesting things about Quora is that they never delete anything. I must have made a couple dozen posts in my time there and received over 30, 000 views to date. That's insane. I'm inactive there and want nothing to do with them but I'm breaking personal records for views every month.

You can construct your name any way you want on this website, by they way. LOL

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Kellemora
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Re: Aluminum Chairs

Post by Kellemora »

I still don't know how I ended up on Quora, and have no idea whatsoever of what my password might be.
I never got an invitation to join. But someone asked me a question in an e-mail, with a link that said something about seeing the rest of the question. I must have clicked on that link to answer him. Ever since I get questions, usually 2 or 3 a day from Quora. I ignore most of them.
People on their ask questions they could look up faster by using a search engine.
Other times, someone will ask a question about a product in ten different ways. So I assume they are selling that product and just getting the name in front of people.
I don't think I've ever asked a question on there myself yet. To easy to look things up in a search engine.
Even so, I do click on a question in my e-mail to get me there, since I don't have them bookmarked.
I think what messes them up is I use my first name and middle initial in the first name box, and my last name and suffix in the last name box. This way my whole name appears with my answers.

I was thinking about changing Kellemora to my real name here. It's been years since I used Kellemora anywhere, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Aluminum Chairs

Post by yogi »

I happen to be looking up "question and answer" sites one day (imagine that) and that is how I believe Quora came to my attention. It didn't take too long to figure it out. They were a Wikipedia wannabe with a Facebook mindset. I made an account and they wanted to know my interests and expertise so that they can send the appropriate people with questions to me. It seemed legit and I was game to contribute what I could. My first act was to make an add on comment to an existing query, and that opened the flood gates. I received numerous e-mail requests from people who supposedly were asking me specifically for an answer to some innocuous question. I knew something was fishy right away given that I had no history yet I had an apparent following.

Two areas of interest received comments from me; one was computers and operating systems and the other was astrology. The idea was for people to ask questions for which they could not find explanations elsewhere, but that's not how it worked in practice. Instead of receiving questions about the practice and application of astrology, for example, I was getting requests for horoscope interpretations. The computer questions were basically the Windows vs Linux argument that has been in existence ever since Linux was invented. However, I did find some useful answers about Linux from people who apparently were around Quara for a longer time than I was. And, by the way, I asked one test question about politics; something to the effect of were Trump supporters suffering from cognitive dissonance. The array of backlash was astounding, but there was one reply from a psychologist which actually applied to what I was asking.

So, even before me and the moderators collided, I had my doubts about the value of Quora. They claim to be a wiki of sorts but run the place with a Facebook mentality. I am no longer amused by them.


I've not looked up the settings lately but I do believe people on this website are allowed to change their profile names without admin intervention. I recall some people getting locked out because they changed their e-mail, but I think login ID and passwords are OK to change. If you do get locked out and I don't notice it right away, just e-mail the administrator at the domain name (me) and I'll fix it all up for you. Gary by any other name will still be Gary to me. :grin:

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Kellemora
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Re: Aluminum Chairs

Post by Kellemora »

Although I do get a couple of e-mails from quora, it is actually a good thing, because I can just click on it to get to their site. I usually don't answer the question but click on the questions for me box to see what is there. Sometimes there is one that nobody answered and I could. But I usually ignore most of them, because I don't devote more than about 5 minutes to such nonsense. I got more important things to do.

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