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10/4/04

I don't intend to blog too much about the vending business arm of the pirates, unless of course there is an experience worth noting. Today we took a call from the owner of the local Laundromat where we have one of our machines. He said the machine had been broken into in the back where the money goes. I headed over and sure enough someone had pried the back open. Luckily we cleaned the unit out of money the day before so surely they couldn't of gotten more then $1. However, it was really annoying and makes me want to poke the vandals eyes out with my hook while I cut their tongue out with my sword. We do intend to take another machine back to that location after we come up with some plan to further prevent vandalism - perhaps a security camera? Or perhaps we just need to set a bit of a "rat trap" for the vandal by putting anthrax in the back compartment - once the vandals are dead we can setup a real machine. No, just kidding of course, I wouldn't want to see any punishment more than an I'm sorry and a few floggings. Vandals Beware!

10/2/04

Yes, its sad but true. We haven't been out on the transporter for almost a month. It was a short 1.5 hour jaunt through the best locations today. We went to a local park where we had heard there were soccer games taking place. As we approached the park all of the kids on the field seemed to forget, for a moment, that they were playing soccer as they all turned to look at us. Unfortunately, our timing was off and we showed up in the middle of the game. We only sold two bars to spectators before continuing on our way. Perhaps our favorite sale of the day was to a retired couple who were out working in their yard. The gentleman waved his arms up and down obviously having a great time until we pulled up in front of their house. He and his wife placed their orders for two firecrackers and shared with us the stories of the ice cream man when they were younger. "Do you know how much Ice Cream cost back then" was the woman's unanswered question. They thanked us for our stop and wished us well. We hope to head out again next week if it's still warm enough, but we'll see. We still have tons of face bars (power puff, bugs bunny, Yu-Gi-Oh, etc.) and other ice cream favorites - if you want to bulk buy any of it for super cheap let us know!

9/10/04

Sarah's Birthday! Sarah was having an Egyptian themed party and the pirates were invited to come share their goods with the kids. On the way out to sea some villagers saw the bus cruising by. They jumped and screamed with glee waving their arms wildly in order to cause us to change our direction and visit them. We couldn't help but turn around and deliver them some delicious treats before continuing on our way. On the way past the local gas station the bus stuttered and died. We didn't have any spare fuel with us, but luckily we only had to push about 100 feet with the help of some locals to the pump. The locals took their spoils in the form of chocolate and vanilla and went away merrily. A few minutes behind schedule the pirates had the honor of passing out Kim Possibles and Power Puff Girls to the likes of Cleopatra, and King Tut, along with some normal looking school girls. Some teenage boys hopped in on the fun and one of them - Quin - got the first "Lucky Stick" of the pirates career. A "Lucky Stick" has "Lucky Stick" printed on the stick and entitles the holder to one free Ice Cream from the Pirates. He found it in a Fairly Odd Parents and Traded it for a Yu-Gi-Oh. It was special.

9/6/04 - Labor Day

It's September now and we still have a freezer full of Ice Cream so we headed out on Labor Day hoping to unload some of it. We didn't get out until 1.30 and we had to call it quits at 5.30 so we didn't have much time, but we had TONS of success. It was our second most successful day of the year overall. In the neighborhood near where we were driving there is a lot of new development. To get attention to visit some of the model homes Centex Homes had a big man in the median of the street waving a sign with an arrow on it. It was a hot day and we thought he was a cool guy because we waved at us a couple of times the day before. We decided to take him a Big Stick. We approached him from behind and pulled up right next to him before he noticed us. He was a big black man with a big deep voice and I said "it's too hot to be working out in the sun - here's a big stick." To which he gave a deep ha ha - and said "you have a good day sir" and we drove off watching him in the rearview tearing into that popsicle. It was a real feel good time in the ice cream truck.

8/14/04 - 8/20/04

SPEEDWEEK! Speedweek was a blast. Manon and I headed out on Friday evening as early as we could in an attempt to catch the folks who were setting up before they locked down the salt flats for the night.  On our way out of town we had a bit of a mishap.  At about 65 MPH the loud speaker we had mounted on top of the bus couldn't stand up to the wind anymore and came flying off.  I heard a rumble on the roof and looked out of my rear view to see it coming down behind me in rush hour traffic.  Cars were swerving as parts went flying everywhere.  There was nothing for us to do but to drive on and hope that Wendover would have a RadioShack were we could find another loud speaker.  Halfway through our journey we stopped at a rest stop and ran into a fellow speedweeker in his hot rod. We chatted a bit, but he really didn't care about anything but himself and his hot rod so the conversation was a bit one sided.  We said our farewells and headed off to the salt.  When we came upon the majestic Utah Tree we couldn't help but stop for a photo op.  So off the freeway we drove onto the dirt path around the Utah Tree and we took a bunch of photos.  As we were snapping off shots highway travelers honked their horns and waved at us undoubtedly pleased at the sight of an Ice Cream Man out admiring the Utah Tree.  Another 50 miles and we had arrived at the Salt Flats. We were greeted by a gentleman who was manning his post as the night guard to the gate of the salt flats. Undoubtedly paid only in beer with no official title he wasn't much help. All he knew was the flats were closed now and if we were a vendor we'd be allowed on the flats before the racers who were allowed on at 6.00 A.M. HOWEVER, he warned, there is going to be a big $%^% line at 6.00 A.M. so we'd better be there early. We took his advice and headed on our way into Wendover to have some fun. The first matter of business was finding a speaker and some dry ice. We were out of luck on the speaker (no Radio Shack within 100 miles) but fortunately Smiths did have some dry ice. Although it took quite a bit of explaining to get it. Dry ice was a new concept for the bagger we worked with but he learned that it wasn't crushed ice, it wasn't block ice, it wasn't cube ice, it was that smokey ice that you have to wear gloves to get. After the ice incident We toured the classic car show that some of the Speedweekers had thrown together, we lost $2 to the neon lights, we ate a few Double Cheeseburgers and Spicey McChickens, and we said hello to Mama and Papa Smith who came for the evening to give us some support. When it was time to call it a night we decided we'd park at the rest stop just 5 miles away from the salt flats and sleep in the bus. we headed out East on I-80 and 10 miles after we had past the rest stop on the other side of the freeway we quickly began to realize that there wasn't going to be a place to head back west until we went another 50 miles to Delle, Utah. So we had no choice but to break the law and turn around in the median. We soon arrived at the rest stop and took the lane that said "Trucks and Busses Only" and turned in for the night. Our Queen air mattress filled the back seat and we had quite a nice bed for one. After some rearranging and some walk about we made it through the night with a few hours of sleep each. Then at 5.30 A.M. we left for the flats hoping to avoid the HUGE line we were sure to face. When we got to the flats a woman greeted us and told us to head out on the flats. Driving on the Salt Flats is a lot like driving a boat, no lines, no lights, etc. So when we headed out in the pitch black we had no idea where to go. There was a light blinking about 7 miles away in the darkness. Just a little tiny flicker so we headed in that direction. Along the way we came across a motor home and stopped to see if anyone could give us direction. But alas no one was home and so we continued to the blinking light. A woman pointed us to a spot on the salt where we should setup and we headed that way. We were setup and ready to vend by 6.30 and there was no line for entrance and no one even on the salt. From 6.30 until 11.30 we napped, and read, and played games, all by our selves on the salt until finally we had some customers. The day was hot, but there wasn't a huge crowd.  Mama and Papa Smith stopped by to encourage us and brought us a terrific prize.  Unbeknown to us, while they were in Wendover they went looking for a loud speaker for us so that we would be able to cruise the 7 mile strip of spectators and peddle our cream.  They asked a friendly officer "William" if he knew of a place where they might be able to find a loudspeaker.  He said that they should try a shop in town and so they headed there. The shop in town didn't have anything suitable, but while they were there the officer came in looking for them and told them to wait for a few minutes while he went and got something. When he came back he had his personal loudspeaker, identical to the one in his patrol car, that he had pulled from his truck. He gave it to them with his phone number and simply asked that we return it when we were done with it. The loudspeaker was a lifesaver. At about 4.00 P.M. we drove down the 7 mile strip of spectators and sold at least a third of what we had sold all day sitting in the vending section of the raceway.  We decided that we had done well enough to warrant coming back the following week and headed for home at about 6.00 once everyone was leaving. On our way off the salt we stopped for some photos of the bus. Aside from the enjoyment of Ice Cream sales the event was pretty cool. There were motorcycles, rocket cars, semi trucks, muscle cars and more all competing for world race records and it was crazy to see some of them. My personal favorite was the 68 Beetle with a modified bus engine in it which I was told had some handling problems at 130 MPH before they fixed it. Monday morning I headed back on the road with Dan and his friend Quintin for a couple more days of fun on the salt. We left a little late after running by RadioShack, the Ice Cream Warehouse, and stopping to make sure we had Halo and all the proper Xbox equipment.  On our way out we stopped at a rest stop to let the bus cool down a bit.  There we ran into an ice cream mans dream.  A huge tour bus full of senior citizens had been broken down at the rest stop for two hours in the hot sun.  I struck up a conversation with one of the gentleman and let him know what we were up to.  "Do you actually have Ice Cream in there right now?" he asked.  "We sure do." I said.  To which he said he'd let his friends know and see if they wanted any. Before we knew it everyone was pouring out of the broken bus and forming a line next to our bus.  We ended up selling 30 ice cream bars in a 10 minute flury and we were on our way. When we got to the flats we were stopped by the salt guards who demanded free ice cream before allowing us onto the salt.  After paying up we cruised over to our location and setup shop.  The weather was getting a bit windy and very overcast, but we made some cash before the day was over.  In the evening we headed to McDonalds and then on to Smiths Food and Drug in search of a universal remote for our TV so that we could play X-Box all evening long. We were in luck! We found a universal remote and headed to the Golden Nugget. Dan had won a quarter from a bet earlier in the day and in a hope that he could turn that quarter into many he had me throw it away for him in the first progressive quarter slot I could find. We walked away a quarter less. We then spent the next half hour trying to program the universal remote which warned we may have to attempt the process 300 times before finding the proper code for our TV. The vision of X-box in the dessert was too tempting to give up. At about 250 attempts we hit the magic code and the TV responded to the commands we gave it. In our excitement we failed to finish the programming and the code was lost. And so we were forced to go through the process another 250 times until we were able to program the remote and switch the TV to GAME mode. We headed to the flats and found a spot just outside the park line where some other RV's had parked. We started up the generator, reorganized the bus, and went to work blowing each other up in Halo. Quin was the overall leader with Dan pulling a close second and I was a sitting duck, but had a lot of fun. After Halo it was time for Totalled - the demolition derby thriller. We hit the hay a little after midnight once I grew too worried that our generator would keep our neighbors up all night. Dan and I shared three quarters of a queen air mattress in the back quarter of the bus which left us both cramped. Without much blanket coverage we were also victims to some vicious salt mosquitos. Quin suffered through the night on the floor of the bus with our feet dangling in his face. He swatted our feet as we swatted the mosquitos and at about 6.30 A.M. I just couldn't take it anymore and we packed up and headed for Wendover again. First we hit McDonalds, but they were out of Egg McMuffins at 7.30 A.M. so we packed it over to the Red Garter to enjoy their 99 cent breakfast. The 99 cent breakfast included hashbrowns, toast, fruit, bacon, and eggs. We were seated, ordered, waited, and waited, and waited, and waited, and about an hour later we got our food. It was pretty good for a buck. Entrance to the salt flats required once again that we pay off the gate lady and her chronies which really erked me since we had to pay 13% of our sales to them anyway, but we had to get in so we forked out the fudgesicles. We setup shop and braced for a sales packed day. Quin was salesman of the trip using a terrific go getter approach to sales by loading up the small cooler, strapping it on the back of the bike, and "peddling" his goods to the locals. We agreed with the Red Flame Catering group earlier in the day to trade services - free ice cream for free meals. So at 12.00 we loaded up on free dogs and burgers. we then cruised the strip of cars hoping for some sales. First we drove in the pit area and had no success. To encourage sales I put the flashing light up on the bus and we started cruising down the spectator strip. While we were stopped with one sale a "Official" stuck his head in the window and said "This isn't the place for you to be selling ice cream - people could confuse you with an emergency vehicle and it could disrupt the racers - you'll have to head back to the vendor area to sell your ice cream" We were bummed and took his advice with a grain of salt. We did take off the flashing light and instead of driving in front of the spectators we drove behind them, but we didn't head right back to the vendor area - there was just too much money to be made while driving. Although, when you get a strong reprimand like that it is hard not to let it affect your mood. We drove for another 20 minutes and parked it again for the day in the vendor area. At about 3.00 the weather started turning really bad and we had sold very little for the day. I made a tough decision and called Manon and Jennifer and told them to scrap their plans for coming out that evening to spend the next day on the salt. We gave out a few ice cream bars to the Red Flame and had another burger and a dog and packed it up for the day. We headed off the salt happy to have come and happy to be leaving with the bad weather coming in. When it rains on the salt flats the salt gets mooshy fast so you have to get off fast to avoid leaving rut marks and to avoid getting stuck. Overall it was a great event and we hope to be able to return to the salt next year.

7/30/04

Fridays corporate event was a blast.  We used our newly created awning and had tons of fun with more than 100 customers.  Everyone was given a ticket to be redeemed for an Ice Cream of their choice during our hour long feeding frenzy.  Choco Tacos, Oreo Bars, Shots, and Sponge Bob were all hits at this anything goes event.  Here are a few great shots of us setting up courtesy of the corporate photographer.

7/24/04

What I thought would be a blockbuster day turned out to be our slowest day ever.  We went out for three and a half hours in the early evening and had very little business.  We did see the LDS Missionaries and gave them a few free otter pops to support the cause.  Mike spent the day with us and made the trip much more entertaining.  By the end of the day Manon said I dragged her and Mike out for TOOOO long and it was time to call it quits.  Before heading home we pulled through a park and had our best success of the day.  I'm looking forward to next weekend when we have our first corporate event!

7/23/04

After a long break from pillaging we hit the streets again on Friday night.  We had a very slow night selling just a few bars in the 2 and a half hours we were out.  Many people are probably gone on vacation for the 24th.

7/5/04

Monday morning greeted us with good weather so after a trip to the gas station and past a friends, who was stashing some of our booty temporarily, we hit the streets about noon.  Some friendly folks we talked to said there was to be a block party at the end of their street at around 6.00 P.M. and said that we should really come back around then.  Unfortunately we already had evening plans and knew we wouldn't be able to go, but we appreciated the kind gesture.  We cruised until a little past 5.00 with a short lunch break in the middle and had three great experiences.  The first was a house we drove by with a boy guarding the home from the likes of us pirates.  He had a card board box with a fierce face drawn on it over his head, was wearing a cape, and was holding a plastic sword in the air as if to say don't come near here.  The boy stood ready to defend until we drove out of sight.  Later in the day we were attacked by a boy with a water balloon who had the courtesy to ask if he could throw the balloon first.  I said "you can throw it at me if you can hit me" and he made an excellent throw.  It came through the drivers side window, bounced off my shoulder and my seat and then went flying out of the side vending window and exploded in the street.  We were lucky and drove away with a boy smiling behind.  A few blocks away we approached a house when a man jumped out a car in the driveway and ran in the house.  A few seconds later the man was seen sending his two boys outside with money in hand to buy some ice cream.  They were about 7 years old and wearing nothing but briefs.  It was a sight to behold as the boys, much too old to be running around in their underwear, were encouraged by their dad to "have fun" and get an ice cream.  They were visibly uncomfortable one of them crouched down and tried to cover himself as well as possible until we drove away.  After our local pillaging we headed out to show off the transporter to out of town family and made a few passes down some of our favorite streets.  And called it a day.  It was our best selling day to date.

7/3/04

Saturday morning began with the traditional flag raising ceremony at 6.30 at Riverton City Park and then it was off to Murray for the Murray City Parade.  We were riding with the SCAC and not entered as just the pirates so our intent was to just take it easy, throw out a couple of otter pops and enjoy the show.  We were joined by about a dozen bugs, a couple of buses, and a couple of things including one with a young spider man impersonator.  The parade was fun and long, and in the end we got one free popsicle for riding which I ate.  Dan and Jen came along for the fun and we cruised home after a quick stop at the Riverton City Park where we saw an F-16 fly by.  Saturday we joined in the 4th of July festivities and didn't go a pillaging the rest of the day.

7/2/04

Parade Video Clips - One, Two

Friday night was the excellent Riverton City Parade. The pirate crew met up at our house at 4.30 and we wrapped otter pops with our mini advertisement and headed down to the parade head at 5.15.  We found our place in line and mentally prepared for what was ahead of us.  While we were waiting we were approached by two gruffy men one approached me and said that I was sort of competition for him and after some probing I found out that both of them were ex-Dad's drivers and the younger of the two unloaded some of his stories on me and told me that if I drove in West Valley or Magna he could tell me some of his favorite hot-spots.  He said he doesn't miss a race at the Rocky Mountain Raceway where he races some of his own mini cars and then lit up another cigarette. His worst experience was when a girl "falsely" accused him of stealing 50 bucks from her and he was hauled off to the city jail for a few hours and his boss paid off the girl so when he went to court he already looked guilty and had not choice but to plead guilty to the charges.  He told me he liked to hit up every trailer park he could find and made bank selling to "white white white trash". After the white trash line I looked at Manon and she looked at me and we could hardly keep it together with the pot in front of us, calling the kettle black.  In the end he was a nice enough fellow who bode us good will and entrenched my sterotypical view of Ice Cream Men a bit deeper.  At 6.30 we boarded our vessels and took to the seas with crowds of screaming kids on either side of us. The Transporter was lead by Dan and a date in his bug and followed by Captain Mark and Lady Kristen in my bug.  The transporter held Myself, Mike, Miranda, Manon, Jennifer, and Sarah.  We were prepared with three big bags of dum-dums for the bugs and 1000 otter pops for the Transporter.  We were mobbed by kids for an hour straight and tried to throw them out at a slow steady pace, but in the end 1000 was too few.  Miranda and Myself were both hosed down by crowd members with water guns and I had me hook stolen, but got it back after putting a bounty of otter pops for it's return.  After two minutes it was returned and the otter pops were given as reward.  After the parade the mateys headed back to port and enjoyed a free ice cream before heading to the town days for .25 cent hot dogs and fireworks. 

6/26/04

Captain Mark and Ms. Jennifer joined us today for Manon's first Saturday off.  Manon left her position with the local merchants in pursuit of adventure on the high seas.  We headed out around 1.00 to the anthem of Mario.  Half an hour into our pillaging we met up with Captain Mark and Ms. Jennifer and had some cow and bread.  We then headed out for local pillaging.  Our favorite character of the day was a young boy who stopped us and asked: "do you know where Cedar Hills Drive is?" "No." we replied "But we can follow you" so off he rode on his bike with us following.  At every corner he'd stop and wait for us to catch up or sell ice cream to the local purchasers.  After following the boy for at least half a mile we saw him jump off his bike and run inside.  Out he came running with a real glass piggy bank full of pennies.  We pulled up in front of him and he began to count.  After two minutes or so he'd counted out enough for a delicious Sponge Bob and made his purchase.  He then asked if we could wait so he could buy one for his friend.  We agreed and he proceeded to count the remainder of his pennies.  Five minutes later we heard: 129, 130, 131....... and he stopped.  131 pennies was all he had!!  I told Manon - no matter how much he has get him whatever he wants.  Manon told him the good news, that he was in time for the 1.31 special on whatever he wanted and he handed up pennies handfuls at a time and Manon handed back a Spiderman with a few extra otter pops.  He asked "what are these for" and Manon replied "they're because we think you're cool" and a smirk came across his face.  Then almost consolingly to help Manon with the reality of taking every last penny from the boy for ice cream he said.  "It's no problem I'll get more money for doing my chores" and away he ran.  It was truly a site to behold.  Other highlights of the day included the man who asked if we also sold Mary Jane out of our bus and the guy who complimented us by saying the bus was far too nice to be used for an Ice Cream Truck.  We wrapped up around 4.00 after a very successful day.    

6/25/04

Today was the Herriman City Parade - our first parade!  We arrived a few minutes after five with our mini mateys for the night, Dallin and Jamison.  We found our place in line (#24) and prepared some otter pops for throwing.  We had about 300 frozen otter pops with tags on them inviting folks to request an Ice Cream Pirate drive by from our website.  Then we got the webcam running.  The idea was we would film the parade, but I accidentally forgot to turn it on.  So all you get is the pre-parade test, but you can see how future webcasts will look by clicking here. At 6.00 the parade started with the police heading out first at about 6.10 we were rolling down the streets with otter pops in hand.  Our initial thought was that we'd have Jennifer and Manon each take one of the Mini Matey's and walk along side the bus handing out Pops.  It soon became apparent however that if we allowed them to walk by the bus they'd either be mauled by the crowd or left behind by the bus.  So Manon, Jennifer and the boys hoped aboard and we sailed through the crowds throwing otter pops as we went.  300 frozen pops proved to be far too few.  The parade was filled with people yelling "throw us Ice Cream" and as soon as the pops flew the crowds would rise up in glee and mob the bus.  Unfortunately we had to sparingly throw one at a time over the crowds head to try to get them to run away from the bus to find the lost pops.  The parade lasted about an hour and we burned through all 300 frozen pops and about 150 unfrozen pops.  Afterwards we rewarded our Mini Mateys with some Spongebobs and their parents with Lick-A-Colors.  All in all it was a great lesson in parades.  I hope you all will join us for the Riverton City Parade on July 2nd at 6.00.  Our plan is to have 1000 frozen pops for that parade in order to get closer to demand. 

6/15/04

We had a short break in our escapades due to bad weather and a busy schedule but we got back at it last night and headed over to West Jordan for the first time having just received our license to drive there last week.  Also during the course of the last week we got our new mega-duty power inverter for our freezer.  I installed a parallel battery system and the inverter and it seems to be working great so we are very pleased.  West Jordan greeted us with an Ice Cream drought and we had probably our lowest performing two hours of our short driving career.  We were able to make some folks happy though.  One girl shouted to her brother "hey! they are cheaper than the other guy!" and then she told us about how the other guy that comes around is mean and always tells them to hurry up.  She said that our Bus was "".  Later we ran into an adult couple waiting at the end of the street for us.  The man was waving and motioning for us to head his way.  When we pulled up he said "We're just big kids we've been waiting for you to get to us since you turned down our street!"  Two Reese's bars later they were happy campers.  This morning we also had another adventure.  After calling to make some town day arrangements for the upcoming 4th of July celebrations Manon decided it was time for her to call Dad's Ice Cream and complain about the encounter we had with one of their Ice Cream men on the 5th of June.  After telling her story to the woman who answered the phone she was directed to the owner Don.  Don took Manons call and was very understanding and apologetic to her.  After hearing her story he had the driver come into the room and put Manon on speaker phone so they could talk out the incident.  Manon explained that we have a business license in Herriman City and have every right to drive there.  Don explained that his Ice Cream men can be territorial and he agreed that it should've been handled more professionally.  At the end of the conversation he encouraged us to consider buying our Ice Cream from him in the future.  Overall it was a positive call and we now feel that the situation is resolved.  I am personally impressed with the way Don handled the situation and believe that our next encounter with Barry his driver will be more pleasant.

6/6/04

Took a trip to the warehouse yesterday morning.  Picked up some Yu-Gi-Oh, Snow Cones and a few other ice creams we were out of.  While I was waiting in line to get my Ice Cream a car pulled up next to me with a dude who rolled down his window and said to me "Hey I hate to ask a favor of you but I have $300 worth of Ice Cream back here [motioning to his back seat] and I need to get it home quick.  I took a look at his back seat that had some pile of something with a big blanket over the top of it and said.  "Go Ahead".  He said "thanks a lot brother" and pulled up, then I pulled up next to him.  I hoped out of my car and helped a guy load ice cream into the back of his truck.  All the while the gentleman I'd let go in front of me shook his head in disgust.  After the guy in the truck left my "brother" said "I can't believe that guy taking home ice cream in the back of a hot truck on a day like today.  I wonder how many kids he makes sick a year".  Then he asked "has the season been good to you?".  "Yes" I replied.  The conversation went on with highlights such as him asking "What kind of freezer you runnin'?" and "I been doin' this ever since I got back from NAM!".  Once he got his Ice Cream I offered to help him load, but he told me there was a "method to the madness" and he'd put it in himself.  He wished me well and told me to stick with it and went on his way.  It was really nice to have the well wishings of a war and ice cream veteran and it pumped me up to go out a pillaging again.  Unfortunately I had no helpers during the day on Saturday so I piddled away the day waiting for Manon to get home.  I talked to the Woottons during the day and they agreed to join us in the evening so once Manon got home we all went out a pillaging together.  We had a great time with four in the bus.  We were probably a bit intimidating, but we saw a bunch of the regulars in our hood and sold a bunch of cream.  Mike and Miranda seemed to really have a great time and we were really happy they could come along.

6/5/04

This evening we hurried out around 6.30 to swing by a few baseball diamonds and hit a few neighborhoods.  When we got to the diamonds we found no good way of getting near the people since we would've had to cruise down some private streets and into a parking lot which we didn't feel good about so we decided to hit the surrounding neighborhood.  As we went past a group of people outside I noticed them looking at us funny.  Then I saw it.  It was a common vessel a converted Chevy Van with the usual stickers and a giant rainbow down the side.  A power horn blared his tunes and he crossed our path.  We continued straight ahead and much to our surprise passed him at the next street.  The captain of the renegade ship waved at us wildly as I drove by and Manon said "I think he wants you to pull over."  I charged ahead and he came roaring up beside me and shouted "do you know you have to have a permit to drive here?" "Yes, got one!" I shouted back.  Then I pulled ahead and he came up along me again and said "I have a permit see!" and held up his permit.  "Good for you!" I shouted back and away we went.  He turned right and I turned left and that was the last we saw of him.  He was a skinny gruff man with long straggly hair, unkempt, with anger and bitterness in his eyes.  He reminded me of an old worn out butt rocker who still had something to prove. Honestly he put a bad taste in mouth.  I drove away somewhat feeling like I'd done some wrong, but knowing deep down that he had no greater right than me to be cruising these concrete seas and in fact the parents who I've talked to said that he scares them and they are happy that we are there to provide an alternative to scary ice cream men.  We sold a few more bars before calling it quits for the night with a gloomy feeling in our hearts.  I was angry and sad and discouraged and determined all at the same time.  One positive result of this experience is it gave me some ideas for taglines, and differentiating points to illustrate to customers in order to build our customer base.  Among them "Brining respect back to the American Ice Cream Man" the other "An alternative to Scare Ice Cream Men" and the list goes on. :)

6/1/04

Monday was Memorial Day and good weather so we had to capitalize on the day. While dropping Manon off at work we passed another Ice Cream Man and that kicked my motivation into high gear.  Jennifer and I hit the streets at around 11.00 and cruised in the neighborhoods just west of 10th East.  We had a great morning and were about to head home when we decided to take on a few more streets.  We went into a circle and saw a mob of kids and parents with money in hand.  The parent closest to us came to the bus first and said "Do you know you're in Draper City?".  "No" I said, "I thought this was Sandy".  "Well it's Draper" she said "and unless you have a peddlers license you can't drive here".  I explained that we had talked to Draper City and they wouldn't allow Ice Cream men at all in Draper.  She said that we'd have to drive elsewhere and we should look out for the Draper Cops who are out to get anything they can.  We turned around and left her neighborhood with our buses tail between the tires.  It really ticked me off that someone like that could put such a damper on my mood.  We sailed down a few more streets before heading home and sold a few more creams to lighten our spirits, but it really upset me that people can be so up tight about such little things.  Draper City is also  for not allowing Ice Cream Men to cruise their streets at all.  The Ice Cream Man is part of growing up in America.  We may be selling ice cream, but we're brining fun times and good memories to all the kids we see.  I guarantee that any naysayer including those of the Draper City counsel would warm up to the ice cream man if they spent an hour in our bus. It is such a great experience to see a pack of kids running for the bus and running away happy.  It's rare to see someone who doesn't smile at the sight of the Ice Cream Man.  After a short break we headed out near our neighborhood.  We made the rounds and ran into some great people.  One man probably in his upper 30's purchased 5 Sponge Bobs and a Fudgesicle all in quarters.  Another fellow told all of his five kids they could have two of whatever they wanted - thanks dude!  It's guys like him that keep the freezer stocked.  Jennifer was a big help and very generous agreeing to donate her entire memorial day to the pirates.    In the evening Manon and I went on a quick half hour run through the only few streets in our neighborhood we hadn't been down in the previous week.  On one corner a woman shouted from her driveway - "YOU GOT ANY CHOCO TACO'S?" "YES WE DO!" I shouted back.  "I WANT ONE OF THEM!" She responded and out came her daughter for two choco taco's.  Monday was our biggest sale date yet and made us realize how badly we need to get that freezer working.  While everything was still frozen at the end of the day it was warming up and under 100 degree weather we wouldn't be able to go out for as long.  Our current problem I believe is our existing inverter doesn't have enough power to run the freezer.  I've read that when a freezer uses a modified sine wave (like the one the inverter produces) it draws twice as much power which would put it at 1200 Watts the exact capacity of my inverter.  So we're going to try for a 2000 Watt inverter and see if that does the trick.  I have my fingers crossed.

5/30/04

Friday did in fact turn out to be bad weather.  Friday afternoon on my lunch hour I ran home to swap the bug for the bus in case we were able to drive at night.  Once back at BioMeridian everyone wanted to check out the bus and Steve McGregor treated everyone to a round of creams.  Thanks Steve! Maryann took a bunch of pictures including the beauties below.  With Friday nights bust we were ready for a rip roaring Saturday.  Unfortunately, Saturday also brought bad weather, but that didn't stop us from going out when it wasn't raining.  In the morning we made a trip to the Ice Cream store to stock up on a few more goodies including crunch bars, more Oreos, and Creamies.  After hitting the ice cream store we stopped by Superior Paint Supply in Murray, UT.  The guy there color matched by eye the green bus paint to make us a paint touch up kit for the bus.  He did an AMAZING job and was very affordable.  Dan is going to go pay him a visit this week to get a touch up kit for his bug and I'm thinking I might do the same for Manon's bug.  After we got back Jennifer and I cruised around for an hour in the morning and Dan and I went out for an hour in the afternoon.  In the afternoon as we were heading to a new neighborhood the CD Player finally gave.  We headed back home and after some troubleshooting decided that the only possible course of action was to get a new stereo.  The time was 5.15 and I had to pickup Manon from work at 6.00 at which time we intended to go selling for a few hours before 8.00 p.m.  It was a race against the clock so Dan kindly raced me to BestBuy and WalMart to compare prices and low and behold BestBuy was cheaper than WalMart on the same deck by $30!  On the way back to BestBuy from WalMart we ran into my sisters Amanda and Jennifer and with a race against the clock I opted to ride with them back to BestBuy and home while my brother picked up his friend and helper extrordinair Quintin Andrizzi.  We arrived home after purchasing the stereo at 5.45 and began installing the stereo as fast as we could.  I stripped wires while Dan crimped them together.  AT 5.58 the stereo was in running wonderfully and I was on my way to get Manon.  After a quick stop at the local McDonalds we were off to our neighborhood for an hour and a half of pillaging.  We found our neighborhood very inviting with the best success we've had so far.  We heard comments from people that there is an ice cream man that goes around in the area, but he is gruff and "scary".  At one point we were stopped for 10 minutes with a mob of kids surrounding us.  I hope that mob of kids is a sign of what's to come during the summer months.  We drove our street as the final street of the night and had a bunch of customers even though it was cold at almost 50 degrees outside and called it another wonderful night.

5/29/04

We've finally begun!  After much work and many hurdles our Ice Cream Dream is finally coming true.  Thursday May 28th was our first night out on the truck.  Manon went and picked up our creams on Wednesday May 27th and "stickered" up the bus to make it worthy to drive.  Wednesday night I frantically installed the speaker without hitch and we were drivable.  Friday was to be our big launch evening, but the forecast looked threatening so at the last minute we decided that Thursday night would be our launch and I hurried home after work to pickup the Transporter.  We cruised up to the Smith's house in Sandy before we went a pillaging and Haley Smith became our first paying customer when she purchased a delicious Oreo Bar.  We headed out from the smiths house and went into the neighborhood just east of Alta High School and turned on the tunes for the first time.  We were really excited and nervous.  For me it almost felt like the first time I went tracting on my mission going up to that first door not really knowing what was going to happen.  The similarity with tracting quickly ended when after 20 or so seconds we had our first flag down.  A woman came running out of her garage with her two kids and gave us a big wave.  That wave shocked us both and Manon yelled "STOP!" as I made a left to head in her direction.  She purchased two bars for her boys and a bar for herself and we were in business!  We cruised back out of that neighborhood and into the neighborhood just west of Alta High School.  As we were driving a boy emerged on a bike from a circle we had passed and rode about 5 feet behind us on the sidewalk obviously trying to get a look at the ice cream stickers plastered on the side of our truck.  As I slowed down he'd slow down.  If I stopped he stopped.  After about 2 minutes of this Manon leaned out the window and asked if he wanted something.  He said he did and came up to the side of the van to order a Push Up.  While we were stopped another boy came and asked if we could wait while he went to get his money.  We agreed and off he ran.  Moments later he came running with a dollar.  From that neighborhood it was on to a trailer park in the neighborhood.  It was there we had our biggest success of the night. The day before after Manon had put the stickers on the bus some kids from that area saw her and talked to her about the bus.  They told her that the Ice Cream Man almost never came to their neighborhood and she promised we'd go visit them.  Once the midi's began playing we saw a sea of kids of all shapes and sizes running home then running back to our bus. While we were driving a woman approached my window and told us of the unfortunate news that one of the children in the neighborhood had been killed that evening in a car accident, but she said we should blare our music and drive our truck as that's what the kids needed right now.  After about an hour outing we had to call it quits for the night and attended Jennifer's seminary graduation which was great.  After the graduation ceremony we took a trip to target to find some quality bins to keep the ice cream in as the organizational system we had in place was pathetic causing us to search for ice creams for a long time.  The girls then spent time organizing the freezer and we headed home for the night.  Day one was a blast and a real pick me up.  The Ice Cream business was just as fun as I thought it would be and Manon seems to have loved it as well.  We both are excited for a summer full of this excitement.

 

Ice Cream Pirates Request a Drive By