Friday, January 20, 2012


You know how people (like me) complain that when they take socks out of the dryer that sometimes one is missing, not to be found (if ever) until you no longer need it? I have that problem with dinner forks!

Being single, I fix my own food, if you call microwaving frozen dinners fixing food. Generally these things require a fork. At one time, I had so many forks that to put them into the utensils draw and make them fit, along with spoons, knives, and those savagely cutting beasts--steak knives (not for steak but for everything else such as cutting open those infernal packages that cereal comes in!) I needed a wooden mallet to wedge them in.

Somehow I lose forks. This morning as I was filling the sink with hot dishwater, I see maybe, if I am lucky, 4 forks! Where are the rest of them. It's getting worse. I must've started with about a dozen. Are there fork thieves?

Because my daughter knows I am capable of this, through some incredible mystery to me, last year for Christmas she got me dinnerware settings of plates, and utensils, all the good stuff. I haven't opened them yet, but the day is approaching! I haven't opened them yet for fear of losing forks from that very nice set--the way I have misplaced the current collection of odds and ends.

Sometimes I do that with books too. Few people have seen my home office and those who do find that there are few if any extra chairs to sit on--on purpose--they take up space better allocated for something else, like books.

Last night, shortly after midnight, I issued Used Book List #3, the Janus Issue (Janus was the Roman god who looked fore and aft and therefore missed very little; I should have his sculpted bust ass here at my house to locate stuff for me!). 10 pages of #3 but which also include the first two catalogs (if you didn't get one, just request one, need your name and email address you want it sent to--will get it out right away).

This morning, very first item sold, Alekhine's Games by Skinner and Verhoeven, a monstrously large and great work, $75, no giveaway. No can find! So I printed the list out, couldn't find it on the list. Started over again--very first ITEM! So I went back to the shelf where I put the titles for list #3. There it was, the first one, the very first one, just like on the list! But the color of the cover (a maroon) was similar to the dark cherrywood of the bookcase, and it was in a shadowed corner (that should teach me, but will it?). It's a big book and I have to find a big box to pack it in. I will.

What was lost is usually found... my main point. My secondary point is--GET IT WHILE I HAVE IT. Let's say you have fond reminiscences of a book you once had, but for whatever reason, it is no longer in your possession (yeah, the poor old dog, eats everything). Make 2012 be YOUR YEAR. I have been selling some older chess sets which have not been photographed and put into a catalog because they were on display elsewhere. I am even going to ask the local museum curator if she wants to have an exhibit of chess sets. Who knows how much interest this might create, but, by doing nothing there won't be any created interest. So, look through this list, poke around, dawdle mentally, and think, "Wouldn't that be fun to have that Old Friend again?"

One Last BIG Thing--A Benefit for YOU and Me!
In a couple months a Super Conference will be held in Dallas, Texas, on Marketing. It all started in 1998 when I got a phone call from a guy whose name I can't recollect. He didn't identify himself at first but he said, "Do you know Dan Kennedy?" I said, "No, who is that?"

His response: "Amazing, you market just like he does!" I said, "How do I do that?" He replied, "Tell it like it is, no B.S., won't deal with sissies and crybabies, etc." Jeez, is that my persona? (Okay, so I know the answer.)

Over time I have mellowed, perhaps, 10%...haha. Dan has a marketing business called the "No B.S. Marketing Newsletter." I get it every month. 20 pages, a CD, and a specialty package of how to employ some marketing tactics or other. Almost $500/year. (Dan has personally helped over 100 people become millionaires--and he doesn't take on EASY DOES IT PEOPLE or whiners or crybabies.) There are some great ideas in his stuff, especially with the growth of online business (which I was into in 1997 before Dan even cared). But his main approach is DR, direct response, or mailings, which I was doing with Rita back in the 90s! However, he has methods and ways to fine tune, sharpen, and bulldoze (as a matter of hyperbole). Here's the latest thing: His Super Conference in Dallas will be western-theme based! As some of you know who have been reading my stuff on To The Point, mine is too! The Gary Cooper High Noon style image, the sheriff's star, gunsmoke, etc! Is this too much of a coincidence? I don't put much stock into coincidences.

The Super Conference is a 3-day fest of daylong, wall-to-wall, marketing information, exhibitor booths, and a chance to talk with the High Sheriff, Dan Kennedy, if I can win a video contest explaining how I use the Dan Kennedy marketing principles I have invested in since 2007! A FREE ticket. Someone has already offered to put me up for the week in Dallas! But, I am a dyed-in-the-wool Eagle Scout and I believe in Being Prepared (Plan B). I've also felt that 2012 is my year, God willing (speaking of God, my best ideas come from nowhere!--so that tells me where they really come from!) January has been my best January, ever, and I am getting old bills paid. What's in the water? I haven't even gotten started, but relish the idea.

But, I want to do better, help you and by my attendance at the Super Conference, one way or another, I hope to do that. So my PLAN B, that is, a plan for what happens should I not win the video contest, is to sell a lot of books, dvds, and services... to YOU... and especially those who love to read my stuff but from whom I otherwise never hear even one iota from! This conference will cost a couple thou and that means I have to dig deep, sell a bunch, and make it happen. I don't know whether I will make it there or not, but I am going to try. I suspect if I make it, I will come back, fully armed, to the teeth, to show you how this really should be done. One way is through partnerships. So much of the nonsense on the web about getting leads, etc. is just that: nonsense and annoying people to no end. This calls for IN THE TRENCHES action. G&L CHESS gets no favors from the USCF, Amazon, or anyone else... we are the OASIS in the desert chessland!

So what can I sell? Maybe chess sets, rare books and magazines (such as in list 3). When speaking of chess sets I recently wrote up some copy while running a tournament and the games were going. I was studying the Catalan Opening for white by using Nigel Davies' book on the subject, Play the Catalan. I was using this one set which was on display, made of gorgeous ebony and boxwood and the Knight seemed to "melt" to fit my fingers. The weighting heft couldn't have been more perfect if I was able to sit there with the woodcarver and tell him exactly what I wanted. I wrote some copy and had Steve Lamansky read it! He loved it except he said the weighting was even more beautiful than I had described! Steve's wife buys him nice Staunton sets. I think even he would admit he would like to own this baby! On top of all that, the wooden box it came in was worth at least $100 with the fine laser engraving on the top of the walnut lid. I don't know the name of this set, and only know vaguely where I got it, from one of two sources. It is Staunton supreme and I've wanted to advertise it, but I only have one! It would be a great start for stockpiling cash to go to the conference in Dallas, and I really hate to let it go... but that conference could change everything in the way I have been doing business and make it even better for you (wheeling and dealing, tremendous offers, new sources of contact and supply). All the speakers are first rate (Larry Winget is one), and like any gathering of 1,200 people (huh????--chess events such as the World Open don't have that many for the fee this thing costs to get into) there will be vendors there to SELL more fantastic marketing stuff on the side... and it's the perfect time for perfect discernment.

I will sell this chess set, eventually, and hope to get something written up and pictured over the weekend for those who must have something really great, once in their life time. Screw sticking it in the den, use it at home to study with. I did. I almost felt it was making me be a better player and YOU know I don't believe in that stuff! Don't take it with you to a tournament, only ignorant people do that. I am sorry if I have stepped on some toes, but it IS the truth. When the set is lost, stolen, or damaged, you WILL then believe me, even if you only lose ONE piece or pawn! Listen to me! I'll lose this argument at your peril.

The set, with a money back guarantee of terrific satisfaction, is $795 + $25 for shipping and packing, in the US of A. I will take credit cards, but if you send a check or money order, I will knock $20 off the price.

You can order it sight unseen or wait until I get the picture taken, the copy written, and so on. I wouldn't blame you, but like I said, I back this puppy 100%. I am so sure you wouldn't want to send it back for any reason I am willing to sell it sight unseen. And to answer one other question--"No, it is not some dipshit looking Staunton design." It's the real deal, in spades. It doesn't come with a letter of authentication (Staunton is DEAD!). It doesn't come with a few hair follicles from Staunton's scalp, and it doesn't come from Alabama (apologies to anyone reading this who is from Alabama).

If picking up the Knight and examining it is the first thing you always do, you will have to change your shorts when you look at this one! It is not a Craftsman set, that is the only one I would really put up against this, and it would cost you a whole ton more. I can't say it is a Jaques because I have no proof, even if it seriously reminds me of one... all I can say is that the WOW factor is off the frigging charts!

I hope you don't have to sell your first born, but, hey, at least consider it. How many extra cars do you own? Sell one. I am sitting here crying! I don't want to sell this even for $795 but I have to start somewhere. And I certainly don't want to display it in the Davenport Figge Museum (designed by a world famous architect).

If someone wants it right away, I will still take your name and put you on a list in the unlikely instance of it being returned. I only have UNO, and then, there will be none. It looks a lot like the set used in the Fischer-Spassky match of 1972, but as I said, I can't confirm its origins. You might, however, be interested in knowing I sold an ACTUAL set, one of 5, used in that very match for 7 times the cost of this one (but in all fairness, it also included a carrying "casket" (that's what they call them) which was worth almost $1000 itself!

If I can find it, I may have one other very valuable set available, which looks nothing like this one, also Staunton in design, but for which only ONE was made, and that was for the editor of CHESS, B.H. Wood. It's cost is a bit stratospheric, but I will look around and see if I have it before going hogwild. As you can tell, I really do want to go to this Super Conference. It's my FIRM belief that after this, you will see a completely different, and hugely improved, business model from what I have now.

1 comment:

  1. Someone once told me that missing socks go into an alternate universe where they are converted into wire hangers, which proliferate.