Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bloomy’s Bloopers Exposed

This week’s blog is short and sweet. No, the Rhino & I do not have the fundraising video done yet (in our defense - editing takes a really really infinity long time). However, we do have our better and more important Blooper reel ready for your viewing pleasure. Keep in mind, this footage was filmed over a period of 16 hours. Although it was edited to a mere 2 minutes, 33 seconds (this is how much we blow at movie making), we can make no guarantees as to the quality of sound or lighting. We also discovered that we are much better at saying “CUT!” and making odd arm gestures than getting our lines right.

Before we send you on your merry way to view our Bloopers, we must give a major intense kudos-style shout out to Ms. Jamie D. for her awesomesauce creative expertise and many hours of super assistance. Her work on the Bloomy’s Blooper reel resulted in an instant promotion (from “friend of Bloomy’s” to “Bloomy’s Creative Director”). As we do not have any actual dollars with which to pay Jamie D., she has graciously accepted our offer to compensate her with unlimited mac & cheese. What a lady! Thanks to Jamie D., our new Creative Director!

Now, we must get back to working on our actual video and dreaming about the day when we can sell our monster size Bloomy’s roast beef sandwiches at the great Minnesota state fair.

You can access our Blooper reel here:
Bloomy's Blooper Reel - You Tube
See you next week!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dollar Begging Video, Take One

The Rhino and I had a great plan this week to launch our official dollar begging initiative. I was incredibly excited about this project seeing as it would require a video, and I have always wanted to indulge my secret fantasy of becoming the next Steven Spielberg (never minding the fact that I have never touched a video camera before in my life nor have I really done anything related to movie making besides working at a movie theater as a popcorn popper and going to lots of movies, obvi*.). In any case, I prepared myself by doing the following:

*obvi: abbreviation of obviously. I love Bloomy’s roast beef sandwiches, obvi.

Official Pre-Shoot Research To-Do List:
(1) Watch all videos other like-minded food truckers have created to raise money via
(2) Gather good ideas and use to create script outline
(3) Research fancy script lingo on moving-making websites and For example: “INT. Bloomy’s Test Kitchen. Day” (which is script lingo for – “we are taping inside in the Bloomy’s test kitchen during the day”).
(4) Write script over lunch.
(5) Spend free time thinking about how sweet and awesome this video is going to be.
(6) Get special camcorder from the Rhino’s mom.

I completed each and every task on this to-do list and felt very accomplished. Trust me. We were prepared... Until the actual day of shooting arrived that is.

Day of Shooting – Saturday
7:45am: My car doctor place called with an update on my car’s sickness. I had dropped off my beloved vehicle (‘99 Honda Accord - that I affectionately refer to as “Frederick” - complete with numerous door dings and cruise control that only sometimes works) the night before for some TLC as it had been acting rather peculiar lately. The guy on the phone told me two things needed to be done to which I replied with something that I can’t recall seeing as I had just been woken up from a dead sleep.

7:48am: The Rhino asks who it was on the phone. Great. Now we’re both awake.

8:00am: The Rhino and I can’t fall back asleep so decide to get up and start the shoot. Mind you, this is the earliest we have ever been up on a Saturday except for when we have plans to be somewhere.

8:15am: The Rhino begins making breakfast and I decide to shoot some action shots. I get out the special camcorder (the first time I have ever laid my hands on one! Yessss! Movie making will come so naturally!). I figure out how to turn it on after like 5 minutes and some assistance from the Rhino. He goes back to making breakfast, and I get in his grill with the camera. Several minutes later, I realize it’s not in focus. I figure out where the auto focus is after another 5 minutes and some additional assistance from the Rhino. Good, great. Ready to go!

8:30am: I have taken some fantastic footage and sit down to a hearty breakfast. Afterwards, the Rhino and I attempt to hook the camcorder up to his laptop so we can see my Hollywood professional level handiwork. We soon see that the laptop isn’t noticing the camera and realize we need a disc to install some ridiculous software to get the video to transfer. This disc may or may not be at his mom’s house … an hour away. I yelled.

10:00am:  The Rhino discovers a smart workaround after over 1.5 hours of Internet research.

10:30am: Video footage transfers! Yes! Here we go! We watched it together and… well, the Rhino didn’t say anything, bless his heart, but I can tell you that the footage was fairly horrendous. You would think I had no clue how to make a movie! We also realized that the USB cable resulted in a really shoddy video complete with line jiggles. It looked awful. I yelled.

12:00pm: The Rhino and I returned home after a trip to Microcenter to get a new (better) cable and some Mountain Dew, the grocery (to get a roast beef for the video footage of course) and picking up Frederick from the doctor’s office.

1:00pm: Let’s try this again. The Rhino digs out his professional tripod that he just happened to have lying about in the garage (I wasn’t surprised either) and sets it up very Hollywood-style (see below picture for proof as well as proof of the Rhino in video-editing mode). He gets to work on the roast beef and I take some (hopefully better) footage of his efforts.

Rhino & the Hollywood style tripod.

6:00pm: 5 hours of trial and error later, we have approximately 10 seconds of video completed. We decide to switch gears and start working on our lines and taping ourselves begging for dollars.

11:00pm: I have fallen asleep on the couch until the Rhino yells at me to wake up. We have had approximately 11 fights and 3 dagger-eye-death-stare-downs in the last 4 hours. However, the roast is done and the Rhino needs me to take more footage. I press ‘record’ on the camera and refuse to answer any of his questions seeing as I was again woken up out of a dead sleep, haven’t eaten since 8:30am, am furious at my lack of movie making skills and at am super furious at the Rhino for telling me that I need to be “more enthusiastic!” on camera. He is in a similar furious state and gives me another dagger-eye-death-stare (bringing the day’s total to 4). I respond by saying “I NEED MORE ENTHUSIASM!”

12:00pm: We eat the juicy delicious roast beef, slamazing mashed potatoes & gravy, and green beans (a.k.a. Bloomy’s Platter) but are too tired and mad to even look at each other. Then we promptly pass out on the couch. We have taped exactly 37 minutes of usable footage (1 hr, 37 min of actual footage.) Good job!

Day of Repairing & Licking our Wounds - Sunday:
9:30am: We wake up and I, for one, am still angry about our super lame Saturday. The Rhino seems to be doing okay, so I remind him about our epic failed efforts and try to get him to be in a bad mood with me. It doesn’t work.

11:00am: THANK GOD WE SCHEDULED A MASSAGE FOR TODAY! We head to Massage Envy to get amazing massages from our faves – Denise (who I refer to as Debra) and Artem (who I refer to as Anton). An hour later, my bad mood has dissolved along with like 1,000 muscle knots. We walk out feeling like new people.

12:00pm: I sit down to begin editing our 37 minutes of usable footage and realize that the quality of the video on my computer looks like crap. I yell. A lot. I may have also yelled “F**K!!!!!!” at the top of my lungs after pounding the table and stomping into the bedroom, where I promptly burst into tears (a.k.a. yes, I unfortunately had another whack attack). The Rhino, bless his heart still, follows me in there after prying the door open (I slammed it) and tells me it’s time to put the video project aside for the day (I think in his head he meant forever). I respond by slobbering all over him and saying in a muffled slobbery voice: “I’mjustsofrustratedandIcan’tgetanythingtogorightandIdon’twanttogotoworktomorrow. Boooo hoooo!!!!”  Then I got mascara on the pillowcase. 

4:00pm: After a late lunch of Longhorn sandwiches (YUM) and Bloomy’s mac & cheese (we already know how I feel about the mac & cheese) AND relaxing via a 1.5 hour long super-hot bath (me) and playing Call of Duty (the Rhino), we were in love again. Awww…

8:00pm: Harry Potter marathon has officially ended, except we only had one movie so it wasn’t much of a marathon. We decide to make some nachos using the jalapenos from our garden. I volunteer to cut up the jalapenos like a proper sous chef.

Rhino: “Make sure you don’t rub your eyes.”
Me: “Right on.”

>> 9 minutes later <<

I rubbed my eyes.

>> 2 seconds later <<

I started on fire.

Me (running frantically to the bathroom): “CAN YOU GET ME THE EYE DROPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

He then brings me a glass of milk that I repeatedly splashed onto my actual eyeballs. I don’t even care at this point that I am rubbing a dairy product in my face… or that Rhino has seen me at my official low point. I respond with the following:


>> 4 minutes later <<
Me: “Ugh, I still have jalapeno juice all over my hands, can’t you smell it?”
Rhino: “Um, all I can smell right now is sour milk.”
And this, my friends, concludes our wonderful weekend of movie making. A weekend that has completely crushed my dreams of EVER being like Steven Spielberg. At least we learned some very valuable lessons, such as:

(1)  ALWAYS wear gloves whilst chopping jalapenos.

Well, at least we didn’t kill each other. Stay tuned for more, as next week we will have some slamazing footage of our movie making experience. Until then…

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mac & Cheese Coma

Well folks, Bloomy’s has been moving and grooving this week. So much so that I’m nearly 100% positive I’ve finally burned off the calories I consumed via Bloomy’s latest macaroni and cheese taste testing episode. Did I really have to eat the entire creamy delicious bucket? Mmm… probably not. But it certainly was fabulous, and I have the pre-dig in picture to prove it (see picture below for proof). And, can I just say how grateful I am that stretchy leggings are in style right now? Expandable waistlines and I are super bros during Bloomy’s taste testings.

(Gooey mac & cheese goodness!)

Anyway, we’ve also showcased some photos of the Rhino and the Bloomy’s test kitchen so you can see exactly what the test kitchen looks like (on a good day), and fully understand how it is that I spend approximately 25% of my life cleaning this test kitchen and doing more dishes than I thought existed on the face of the planet. Good thing the Rhino lets me eat all the goods!

(The handsome Chef Rhino complete with identifying chef hat!)

(Bloomy’s official test kitchen)

Now that we have our mac & cheese recipe primed and perfected, there’s only one recipe left to go – Coleslaw! Now, I know the Rhino has been putting this one off until dead last because he despises coleslaw, but too bad so sad! We have hungry folks who seriously love their coleslaw (yours truly included) and we’re currently on the hunt for the most perfect of perfect base coleslaw recipes. I am also stubbornly determined to try my roast beef sammy topped with a scoop of coleslaw and, if it’s halfway dece*, am totally forcing it onto the Bloomy’s menu even though we’re nearly out of space. Anyway, if anyone has a slamazing coleslaw recipe, please send it to me at

Oh wait, did I forget to tell you guys? We have our own e-mail address! Not a fake free gmail or hotmail one either! And it looks so nice on our very own website: Check it out and drool over our menu like I do every day at work when I’m trying to figure out where to go for lunch (out of the three lunch options I have at my disposal in rockin’ Chanhassen – Jimmy John’s, Subway, or the never-gets-old Life Time Fitness Café where I have already eaten lunch approximately 624 times and no, I certainly do not count the Taco Depot as a lunch option). In any case, do us a solid and “like” our new website! It took several (many) hours (weeks) of work to put together and included a devastating break-up with one big-name website developer because they pretty much sucked and had weird glitchy tendencies that I couldn’t handle. Anyway, I started seeing this new website developer site ( and it’s going well so far (albeit early stages).

We’ve also made the tough decision to take some time apart from our first bank because they pretty much wanted us to sign away our organs (even the good ones), all of our hard-earned dough, and our not-even-born-yet children. I said to this bank: “Um…. I don’t THINK SO!” and we decided to go on a blind phone date with another bank. After a slight miscommunication with our new bank dude (Gosh I hate when that happens!), we’ve gotten our application paperwork settled and ready to submit this coming week.

However, we have realized the intense need to come up with about $10K in additional dough. We’ve already gotten approval to formally raise money via Kickstarter and are just getting ready to shoot our first-ever short motion picture episode for world premier on the Bloomy’s fundraising website (this is secretly the pinnacle moment when my life’s dream to become the next Steven Spielberg will FINALLY be realized…it’s about time already!). In addition, we will most likely start begging each of you for dollars starting next blog. However – I do have to note one caveat – we have really wicked sweet rewards for those who donate including FREE MEALS FOR LIFE! But you will just have to wait and learn more when we officially launch our dollar-begging initiative next week.

Okay… in other news: We interviewed our first potential food truck manager and are soooo excited that he is not only normal, but super wicked awesome! And he totally works on a mobile food unit already that sells a weird concoction (this concoction totally plays with your emotions in an – it kinda sounds good, but then you imagine taking a bite and then it sounds totally gross - kind of way) but we like him anyway. Hugs!

Alright, the Rhino just called and is a little traumatized from his weekend fishing getaway where he may or may not have committed birdslaughter, so I need to sign off and be ready to provide some comfort and TLC upon his return. Until next time!!

*Dece (adj; rhymes with peace) verbal abbreviation of decent. Try it. It’s really fun to say. That new Transformers movie was pretty dece!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Rhino’s 2 Cents

Well hello there Bloomy’s Blog followers (official and closet alike!)

I am the Rhino and although Katie does a fantastic and hilarious job of detailing our adventures, it is time for me to voice my 2 cents. 

Some of you know me and some of you may not yet know me. Those of you who know me have an intimate understanding of my tendency to voice what can be a strong opinion at times. It is my hope that those of you who do not know me yet can learn to love and appreciate this filter-less take of my surroundings. 

Rhino’s Take on Banks and the Bank’s Initial Feedback for Bloomy’s Loan
I would like to preface this section by saying that our contact at the bank is a very nice and helpful woman.  Any and all ranting, venting, b*tching or other critical verbiage is not aimed at her but the banking system overall.  

In all fairness I am already bitter against past banking practices that propelled us into this awful recession.  I mean seriously I know someone who got a mortgage for a house before the crash with a utility bill that he doctored to have his name on it.  He had a little insider help at a bank, but that is just plain ridiculous.  What really burns me is Mortgage Insurance.  This insurance does no good for the homeowner, but was supposed to be a fail-safe to protect the bank’s investment.  What the hell happened to that money? I mean this kind of money is supposed to be locked away in some nominal interest bearing savings account right? Hell no! Put that sh*t in the market and gamble with it son! Oops now we need it for the actual purpose that the money was collected for but we lost it all.  Oh well, have the government bail out the banks and then have the banks race to pay the money back to the government because they can’t take advantage of anyone with those pesky government clauses on the borrowed money.  I almost forgot that the last part involves giving the bank execs bonuses for their great work.  Jerks…

So anyways, like I was saying, Katie and I went into the bank with a wonderful appreciation for banks and their lending practices.  Our blood, sweat and tears poured into our 65 page business plan that we were firmly convinced was probably one of the best ever made. :-)

As we expected it took the bank a little over a week to provide some initial feedback.  This was actually some very necessary down time for Katie and I.  I am a laid back guy for the most part and I am a very proficient sleeper so when my left pectoral muscle began twitching and I had several nights that I could not sleep I took it as a pretty good sign that I was stressed to the max. This week was great and via some yoga, gardening, walks, talks, killing fools on COD and several bottles of wine the Bloomy’s management is tick, twitch and sleepless night free (with the exception of a small incident which I describe below.)

Katie and the Cricket-Frog
Katie and I encourage each other to maintain healthy relationships with our friends whether it is a guys’ poker night or her ladies’ book club night.  Either way we end up with a few nights on the calendar each month that are designated for this purpose.  We both have our unique activities that we like to enjoy absent our partner.  I tend to get some items crossed of my self-made honey do list, attend happy hour, watch non-Katie friendly movies or my favorite activity which currently is playing Call of Duty (COD.)  I’m not totally sure what Katie does when I’m gone, but I enjoy visions of her vacuuming in the nude, reading her favorite book in a tub full of bubbles or simply making lists of things that she can do to please me. ;-)

We had one of these nights this week.  After unboxing our new dehumidifier and connecting the direct drain hose I retired to the couch and to kill some fools on COD.  Katie got home while I was still playing and was tired so she decided to head to bed.  Please keep in mind that Katie is a light sleeper and can be kept awake or woken up by nearly anything that makes even the tiniest sound.    She hadn’t slept well for like 10 days in a row.  After I succeeded in killing dozens more pre-pubescent boys on COD I heard footsteps from down the hall, the junk drawer open and by the time I turned around to look all I could see was the open door to the porch.  I heard some noise (which I found out later was Katie attempting to go out the door with the curtain still down) and the door slide open.  I set the controller down and scampered over to investigate.  What I saw out the sliding glass door was a barefoot Katie with a flashlight in one hand and the other hand in a fist pounding the ground outside our bedroom window yelling, “Die you freaking idiot!”  I was a little confused to say that least, but got her to come inside only to explain to me that for 10 minutes while on the brink of sleep a (what had to be) large Cricket-Frog was croaking outside of her window. Even with her ear plugs in she could hear its lonely croaks and it was driving her to madness.  It was silenced after her violent attack so she was convinced that she had either killed it or mortally wounded the creature.   So just to be sure, like a good man, I took the flashlight from her, gave her a hug and told her to go back to bed and that I would stand watch for this Godzilla-like monstrosity that was keeping her awake.  5 minutes after standing in the doorway listening and watching for the Cricket-Frog and nothing neither made a sound nor stirred in the night.  I went back to bolstering my manly ego by destroying high pitched voice basement dwelling pre-teens and Katie went back to bed.  Just as she was once again on the brink of sleep, the elusive Cricket-Frog croaked once again. A frustrated Katie retired to the quieter guest bedroom to get some sleep (which she also utilized if I snore too loud or toss and turn too much) and I continued to play COD undisturbed.  I did not know that Katie gave up the battle and conceited defeat to the Cricket-Frog nor did I hear the ferocious beast when I retired to bed.  We have yet to hear this undocumented species since that magical night and pray to the heavens that we never do again.

Anyways back to the loan feedback…. The type of loan that Katie and I are applying for is called an SBA loan.  As a wonderful anecdote I have included their mission statement for your reading displeasure:

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. We recognize that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America's future, and to helping the United States compete in today's global marketplace. Although SBA has grown and evolved in the years since it was established in 1953, the bottom line mission remains the same. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.

I don’t know how the Guam division of the SBA program operates but here is the feedback that we got from the SBA:
  • Initial equity from personal sources would be 30% of total loan request.  I believe we talked about the potential for a higher equity portion.  
  • Requirement for 1:1 collateral coverage either through business assets or personal assets
  • Life insurance to the extent each of you contribute to the business that can be assigned to the Bank that covers the loan balance
  • More detailed resume information regarding your food service background and scope.  (What did you do, where, when, etc.)  SBA is looking for your "experience" running or managing this type of business or the various aspects of the business - food prep, cook, etc.  
30%?     30%.   30%!?!?!?!?!?! Shut the front door! Why in the world if we have to provide a 1:1 collateral coverage would we need to contribute 30%? I don’t recall eating any lead paint chips as a child, but I must have somehow severely damaged my frontal lobe because this doesn’t make any sense to me.   Take the liquid assets in which help qualify you for the loan and contribute a significant portion of them for the initial investment.  That way if the business isn’t successful you are left with no money to cover the loan payment and you lose your house and/or other assets.  Silly Bloomy’s! We thought that we could borrow money from the bank and keep our money so ensure that we could make the payments.  Why would we think that? It makes entirely too much sense.

Food service background? If Katie and I both worked at a fast food roast beef place adding water to reconstitute what they refer to as meat would we have enough coin saved up to qualify for a loan? Does the fact that we have to sign a personal guarantee on the loan with our assets and the bank has zero risk mean that they can ask us for our food prep experience? Are they loaning money or interviewing us for a job because I thought that the principle philosophy of lending was to secure the loan? Yes? No? Maybe? Would we not have to be clinically insane to sign over our lives to start a business that we were confident that we could not run?  Could I go on for hours about this? The answer is yes and you can ask my co-workers because after 5PM they hear it all.

Whew! Are you still with me? That rant left me exhausted and frankly very hungry for the heavenly nourishment of a Bloomy’s Smokey beef sandwich. 

Katie and I are still in negotiations with the bank and have a conference call tomorrow with a different bank to see what madness that they have to offer, but that is a tale for another time and another blog.

Stay hungry my friends,
The Rhino