Join Bill and Brian on this day after Thanksgiving, where they discuss the ongoing National Geographic saga taking place at Brian’s house. Hint: The film crew just left hours ago. You’ll find out why they had to send the Bridezillas film crew to Brian’s house.
They also discussed the Wal-Mart employee strike as well as made some shopping suggestions for Christmas. Probably one of our more unusual shows as Brian hasn’t slept in days and Bill has a house full of crazy grandkids who want to know the real meaning of Thanksgiving.
Off The Grid Radio
Release Date November 23, 2012
Bill: Welcome to a post-Thanksgiving, very special radio Off The Grid News episode. I’m Bill Heid and Brian Brawdy is with me today. Brian, are you there?
Brian: I am Bill.
Bill: Brian, are you there?
Brian: I am. I’m knocking on the door at Wal-Mart.
Bill: Brian, Brian, Brian. Are you there?
Brian: I keep jumping up and down in front of a Wal-Mart. I’m doing calisthenics, which is good for me at my age. I need all the exercise I can get. But these sliding front entrance doors aren’t working all that well this morning. What’s going on here?
Bill: Yeah, it’s some difficulty, isn’t it? Well, how the heck are you?
Brian: I’m doing great, my friend. It’s nice to have you back in the states, even though we’re not in the same studio and now I’m on the road. But it’s nice to hear your voice and I’m glad that you and your son Nick made it over to England and then made it back safe and sound and most certainly in time for Thanksgiving, to be with your family so that’s very cool.
Bill: You all sound so funny over here, Brian—you Americans all sound so funny.
Brian: People even told me, it’s…
Bill: Do you know what I mean? Do you know what I mean? That’s what they would say to me all the time and I really… We had a great time and I mentioned from the studio, it was just a blast hanging out over there. But it really is a different world. And you know, can I say something else? They really have accepted sort of a socialist system but interestingly enough I think it really almost has to do more with the monarchy. In other words, it’s… You sort of take what you’re given and it could be the king giving you a bit that you don’t want, right? Like you have to go to this church or whatever. Of course that’s the story of the Pilgrims, the Reformation and so forth—just forcing…
But then… But it’s almost just like you’re a happy recipient because you want continuity. There is this need for continuity there and I can see why. People like continuity. That’s why they like their kings and their queens and all that and it’s all very cool in some sense. But the American spirit is so different and maybe we’ve kind of pushed off too far the other way once in a while but yeah, it just… It’s great to be back and it’s great to be talking with you again. And I wanted to chat a little bit about just what’s going on with you now. You had the… It’s the continuing saga, isn’t it?
Brian: The continuing saga.
Bill: Of the National Geographic—Nat Geo Doomsday Preppers thing—they sent another crew back. Why would they send another crew after they had something in the can?
Brian: I think the producer lost his driver’s license so they figured well, they’re going to come and look on the ten acres that I have here so it’d be easier just to film stuff while I helped him look for his passport or whatever.
Bill: Did they find anything?
Brian: Let’s hope they got everything they needed, Bill.
Bill: So they just left, right? I mean what is it? It’s early morning as we’re talking and it’s the day before Thanksgiving. Well, we don’t want to give that away because it’s not a live show and we’re going to be spending time with our families the day after Thanksgiving so we’re recording it Wednesday. But the Nat Geo team really just left did they not?
Brian: Yeah, they left… Good golly, that’s just four hours ago now. Yeah, they left at 3:00 this morning and so… You know what I learned from it, Bill? Because I don’t like to necessarily say bad things about folks, let me just say this. And I know you probably knew this in advance and just forgot to tell me and I’m sure all of our listeners—they’re smarter than I am—I’m sure they know. There is no reality in reality TV. And they want the viewer to think, “Oh, this is reality.” But the way the photographers and directors and everyone else are set to go at each other, the way they try to antagonize you, the way they get you to say things that you wouldn’t normally say or do things you wouldn’t normally do and they turn the little red light off on the camera—because in a lot of these cameras you have that function where you can turn the red light off so you can’t tell you’re being recorded—but there is no reality in reality TV. And I don’t care what National Geographic… I don’t care what any of them say. It’s more staged than anything that you worked on in England over the last two weeks.
Bill: Sure. Sure.
Bill: But the team… I think you had mentioned to me this morning when we talked before the show, what team did they send? What was the new team?
Brian: Oh no, that’s right—the…
Bill: Didn’t they send the Bridezillas team to film you?
Brian: You watch, Bill. This will be the whole content of the show. This won’t surprise Jeremy at all but the first producer that they sent to work with me in the field, it was contentious enough between us to where he… Let’s say he’s… He’s no longer working at this particular company. So they had a new photographer—kind of like a new producer—come and do it because the old producer, apparently I had…
Bill: You rattled the cage.
Brian: [inaudible 0:05:13.7] enough that he didn’t get all the footage he needed. So they had to send a crew back to get more footage.
Bill: Okay. But they sent the Bridezillas crew this time, is that correct?
Brian: I… Yeah, and…
Bill: Does that…? Well, but does that tell you anything that they had to really sort of gird themselves up for you and so they looked around…? If I’m running National Geographic I say, “Well, who can I send to Brian’s place? Who is used to sort of maybe some contentious stuff?” And I say, “What are the Bridezillas team…? What are they doing right now? Send them out there.”
Brian: Yeah, send them out. And I’ll say this because you know it’s… As you know Bill, it’s a separate production company that’s hired and they produce everything and then they sell it to National Geographic. So when we make these comments, I’m not saying anything about National Geographic as a company or anything else. I watch their TV all the time, when I watch TV I suspect. But it’s the production company so I hope they got what they wanted. I hope that I was a blend of… I mean they loved the 1800. They loved… Wait until you see the hot water rocket, which is… I’ll tell you, Bill. Even—it’s a little late in the season now and the sun wasn’t as high up in the sky—but that thing is… You’ve got to watch when you open that thing up. You can burn yourself the water gets so hot in that. So it was pretty good. I hope that some of the information that makes it out of the interview people will go, “Yeah, you know what? I would like to be in a position to where I can fall back and live to fight another day.” So that’s kind of where I am with that. You know what I mean?
Bill: Well, I’m glad it worked out. I mean I’m glad there is finally a sense of resolution to the whole thing because when they left the last time it was kind of a little bit… It was up in the air.
Brian: Yeah, I wasn’t going to do anything more with them and then I found out that the producer that had given me such a hard time is—and I hope he’s doing great in his new career, his new job wherever that is—but I was told he went on to find greater challenges, which I kind of chuckled because there can’t be a—ask Jeremy—there can’t be a greater challenge than having to work with me on and off camera in this thing.
Bill: Yeah, where is he going to go from there, Brian? What’s he…? How is he going to…?
Brian: I think he’s shoveling sand out of subways in lower Queens. I don’t know.
Brian: I think part of the Hurricane Sandy clean up crew. I don’t know.
Bill: Well, at least he’s working, which is another segue because the Wal-Mart team, the Wal-Mart employees—folks that are going to be listening to this today—are supposed to be striking, right? Is that your understanding of this? This isn’t big news.
Brian: It is. Well, you know…
Bill: That our largest retailer and they’re going to be saying, “We’re not coming in today.”
Brian: Yeah, you know and I was away from any kind of news for the last 24 hours just on this shoot but yeah, that’s what I’m hearing and I’ve seen now that the National Labor Relations Board is saying, “Hey, slow your roll. We’re not necessarily going to side with Wal-Mart here in terms of keeping their employees from going on strike.” So I’m like, “Okay, that’s interesting.” But Bill, as you and I have said, what’s cool about this—what’s cool about this, at least in my book—is that this isn’t a public union, right?
Brian: You and I aren’t anti-union. We’re just saying—or I shouldn’t put words in your mouth—this is a good bit different than union leaders sitting down with the same politicians who later sit in judgment of what their salaries and benefits packages are going to be. So it will be interesting to see how the National Labor Relations Board handles all this.
Bill: Well, and I think too if you want—if your employees and you—want to unionize, I mean go ahead and unionize but if the employer says, “That’s too much money. I can’t afford to pay you that,” then I think there needs to be some freedom to say, “Well, I’m not going to hire you now” and I know that sounds jaded but that’s just reality. We complain about shifting jobs offshore but the reason people shift jobs offshore is because they can make money doing it and you don’t really want to give them incentive so… I mean it’s really kind of just—speaking of contention—its’ just really a constant tension between those two forces. And as long as there is freedom, I think it all works. As long as the employees are free and as long as the employers are free to make decisions about… If I’m Wal-Mart, I just put a big ad in the paper and say, “Who wants to work?” and…
Brian: Well, look how it worked out for Twinkie—what was that—Hostess, I think, while you were gone. And again, I’ve been away from civilization for the last 24 hours but didn’t they have a labor dispute and then all of a sudden they said, “Look, we’re not going to be able to make it work” and now there is a run on Twinkies and Little Debbies or King Dongs or whatever they are?
Bill: 18,000 workers are going to lose their jobs. Is that correct? And then of course 18,000 workers are going to find work in Mexico because of this so we’re helping another country and we’re helping labor somewhere but boy, it just doesn’t seem like it ends up being… I mean what’s going to happen to those 18,000 people? Most of them won’t find jobs. Most of them will go on unemployment for however long you can go on unemployment and then they are in trouble, right? And at some point they are in trouble. So man, it’s a tough one to figure, Brian. But you know what? We’re going to be open on Friday—at least on the internet.
Brian: Good. Right.
Bill: None of our employees, other than Jeremy and Tom, are going to strike. They’ve got their signs made and…
Brian: I believe it.
Bill: Yeah, I’ve seen them. They didn’t expect me to just pop in and open the door and I saw their strike signs. They’re going to be walking out in front of the building. But I don’t think that’s going to keep anybody…
Brian: Did they spell “strike” right?
Bill: Well, I think…
Brian: Just want to make sure.
Bill: They spelled it the same way that their bowling team spells it.
Brian: All right. Well, oddly enough that’s okay in my book. And they know the rules of the picket line. They know all that, right? So they’re set.
Bill: Yeah, and we’re going to take them coffee and stuff because we’re really not against them that much. We’re kind of…
Brian: That’s so you, Bill—to take coffee…
Bill: Yeah, we’re supporting the people that are striking against us. And that’s not really… This is not really happening—to our listeners. But it’s just a figment of my imagination. But we’re going to have some… You’ve been—while I was gone—you’ve been working on some specials and we don’t want to make this a long show today. We know people are busy enjoying their family and maybe trying to stand in long lines at the mall. You remember that one year you and Jeremy did that film where you were out at the mall? And we wanted to kind of show people—“Look, do you really want to go out in all of this?” And so you guys went out there and it was worse than we even thought about contemplating how bad it was. You couldn’t even get in the parking lot and there were people… And the one thing I love is people angry during the holidays. People can’t get in and shop so they get mad at everybody and you even had some people chase you out so man, I mean it really is the time of year where the malls and shopping areas get really congested.
Brian: Oh, and it’s unbelievable to me because you just look at the number of people. I mean you try to get to a Best Buy now. You try to get anywhere… And I hear all the time—“Well, the economy is really bad” and I go, “Well, not in the lines of the restaurants I eat at.” You know? Try to go to a mall on Friday. So I think when people say the economy is bad, what they… Overall, I think what they’re referencing is that the underlying foundation of the economy… But you look at a lot of these people running around and everything is full speed ahead.
Bill: I agree. That’s the way it is here, even if you go down to the quad cities on a weekend. It’s just… There are a lot of people. London—we were at one of the largest shopping centers in all of Europe and just jammed with people—jammed. And so you wonder, as you say, where… When is all of this going to sort of connect? When are you going to see some retail fallout? Now there are some shops—if you go look close enough—there are some shops that haven’t made it and so there are some empty spots in places in malls that you probably didn’t see a while back. But that’s probably the only sign that I can see, at least in the mall so…
Brian: But then how was it, Bill—how was it in England, if I could interrupt and ask real quick?
Brian: Do you think they have that same sense or no?
Bill: Oh, you know I think that the… It’s very similar to here because what you see, read in the media, what politicians say is one thing and then there is an underlying current that’s going on and I think the average person… Now I didn’t tell you this the other day when I was on but the… But in England, they think the Tea Party is extremist and terrorist. Then when I talked to them and say, “Well, what would an extremist do? He would get up and he would get his coffee probably and then what would be the next thing he’d…? What would he do? What would his day be like?” and no one really could say too much to me about that. But it’s interesting because all they know is what they’re fed by the media and so they really think the Tea Party is just a bunch of crazy, crazy people.
And I had a great… It provided a great format for me to have some good conversations with people about—“Oh, what do you think of Constitutional law?” and so forth and by the time we were done talking to most people that originally thought the Tea Party was crazy they said, “Well, gee. I guess that’s what I believe.” And so there are a lot of folks in England that resent a lot of immigration—illegal immigration—you’ve got the same thing here. And they resent big spending, which you see that here. There are some people against the war, which you see that here. I mean how many more people need to die in Afghanistan was a theme. And what was really interesting Brian, is we had just gotten done doing this thing on GA Henty when we were over there—and it’s so very exciting—and one person from the Henty Society brought me some Henty writings about what Henty had to say about Afghanistan—during the Victorian period. And do you know what he said?
Bill: You’d find this fascinating. “Don’t do it.” Here’s a guy that was in the Crimean War. He knew Florence Nightingale. He had been a war correspondent a good part of his life. And he just said, “There is no stinking way England should get involved in Afghanistan under any conditions.” And that was during the Victorian period when they were sort of “Tally-ho and off we go. We can take… The sun never sets and…” He said, “Hey listen, here is one place the sun should set on the British Empire and it should set in Afghanistan and only a fool would go prosecute a war in that area.” So I found that really Henty was prophetic in his writings during the Victorian period so…
Brian: Well, he probably knew the terrain. He knew the temperament of the people. He knew the tribes there that have been fighting for thousands and thousands of years. So I didn’t realize he was that astute when it came to a military strategist but look at the place, right? It’s an uphill battle for sure, which makes me think Bill, as you know, my son’s birthday is coming up and he wants to go see the movie Red Dawn.
Bill: The new one. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Brian: The new one. Yeah, it’s out in theaters, I think today. So we’re going to run and see that. But yeah, he wants to go see the Red Dawn, which might very well be the people in Afghanistan going, “Man, I love that movie,” you know? Think about it.
Bill: Oh yeah, yeah. If you transplant that story, they’re probably thinking the same thing. “Here’s a bunch of people invading our country and how can the people in the hills and the mountains fight back?” I wouldn’t give the Taliban the same credence that I would give Patrick Swayze. Interesting analogy. But…
Brian: Yeah, but if they had done Dirty Dancing…
Bill: Well, I think when we get together Brian let’s work on a musical that takes place in Afghanistan.
Bill: Where I think the Taliban—it could be about the Taliban—and it could be just a crazy, fun kind of a happy—like Cats or something.
Brian: Oh great. Maybe we could have Salman Rushdie.
Bill: It will be a lot of fun. You’ll have a fatwa on you so it will actually make your head spin.
Brian: Yeah, I was just thinking of him. Yeah, that will be great. I’m in. As you know, I’m in. I’m in.
Bill: You could take the lead role and… Well, anyway. I’ll write this up. People don’t want to hear about our ramblings.
Brian: O’Brian something—O’Brian Bin-somebody?
Bill: Brian Bin Laden.
Brian: Brian Bin Laden. Oh great. We’ll do a reality show about that. Ugh.
Bill: Oy vey.
Brian: Oy vey. Exactly. All right. So what else is going on? I mean I’m sure you’re glad to be back. I’m interested that you say people from the Henty Society brought transcripts over. Given all the effort and the passion that you put into that, it must have been pretty cool to have some of his writings right there in the studio while you were doing what you were doing.
Bill: Well, we had not only just a lot of Henty books but we had an original copy of Under Drake’s Flag brought in and that was really cool to see. It was an original copy. And then we had all the cast members sign it and so I have that at home now, which was really…
Brian: Oh, that’s cool.
Bill: Really very cool. And yeah, it was just a lot of fun and there was just such passion for the project and great passion on behalf of the Henty Society. They were very excited to see what we’re doing so…
Brian: Very cool.
Bill: Very, very much fun.
Brian: Well, I’m excited to hear it too in its finished form and to see what we can do to kind of help spread that message.
Bill: People are going to like it. This is a huge production. It will have original music in it. Composer John Campbell is going to… is working on the music and so it’s original scores—just like a movie.
Brian: Good for you. Good, good, good. Well, I’m looking forward to listening to it, for sure.
Bill: Yeah, yeah. So today’s Black… It’s been called Black Friday and as we said, the Wal-Mart workers ain’t working and the internet’s working fine. Our internet is working fine and so you and Jeremy—while I was gone—you were working on some specials and before we close out here with this sort of a shortened version of the day after Thanksgiving—our favorite holiday, Brian…
Bill: You bet. And so let’s talk a little bit about some of the specials that we’ve got for Black Friday.
Brian: Okay. Well, you know…
Bill: What did you guys work on while I was gone?
Brian: I’m sorry Bill. Go ahead.
Bill: What did you guys work on while I was gone?
Brian: Golly. Oh, we had…
Bill: They said you had a can of Monster or Red Bull or something.
Brian: Oh, the… Yeah, this is not a commercial for Monster, folks. But I love that drink.
Bill: They said you were really excited and fired up and that even sort of exacerbated the fire. Someone poured gasoline on the fire.
Brian: Oh, that is Brian’s mind. Yeah, I love Monster drinks. I… As a matter of fact, I have one right here with me—the Monster Absolutely Zero—because it just… You know, after a long… getting up early in the morning, as I do every day, and the long drive out to Corporate in Thomson, it’s always good to kind of just wake up a little bit. But we have some really cool things. But Bill, I’ve got to tell you—and this is just me personally; may not be your thing—we’ve got some really great gear that’s going to help people in emergency situations and planning their gardens and their menus for next spring and we’ve got some really cool stuff like that.
But we’ve got some great little things and I have found my new favorite gift idea. Because everyone’s—for Christmas, Bill—people are saying, “Oh, what would be the most unique gift idea?” and you’re thinking, “Oh Brian, one of our cool gift baskets would be nice.” We have this great special where if you buy one of our Solutions From Science gift cards you get the other one of matching value absolutely free so it’s like a two-for-one. We’ve got some great DVDs and books and all kinds of really cool gear. But I have to tell you my favorite is the camouflage line.
Bill: Camo Christmas.
Brian: Camo Christmas. I think there are so many cool gifts there that if you’re saying, “Hey, I want someone to be able to open up a gift Christmas morning and have absolutely no idea what they’re going to unwrap,” boy do we have a couple of great ideas for you all.
Bill: Well, and you had a lot of fun doing some of that. What’s the website, Jeremy? Is it CamoChristmas.com? Or CamoChristmas2012? CamoChristmas2012 and lots of stuff… We’ve camo’d everything that we could find. Some unusual items Brian, including a toilet seat, believe it or not and that is one of our better selling gift items and I think people are looking… Everyone’s got everything now and so… But who…? Can I just ask you a personal and private question?
Bill: Do you have a camouflaged toilet seat now at your house?
Brian: No, because when I get in there I barely leave as it is [inaudible 0:22:12.4] newspaper so… But here’s what I think. It’s the perfect gift for a man cave or a woman cave. You know what I mean? If there is a… If you have a special woman in your life that has her own little area and she’s in the outdoor adventures and pursuits. Can you think Bill…? Let me ask you a personal question. Can you think of a cooler gift for someone to unwrap Christmas morning? People will have no clue. “Yeah, okay. Great. Thank you for the gift card for my downloadable music. Thank you for this. Thank you for that.” But imagine opening your very own camo toilet seat. I mean lid—everything—the whole nomenclature is camouflaged.
Bill: Well, do you think the camo…? It’s camouflaged very well and it’s a good thing that it’s not out in a forest or you’d have a hard time finding it. Fortunately, as it shows up in bathrooms across America, it does show up very, very well so it’s not like you’re going to miss it or not be able to find it. I think that was the big warning and we almost were concerned that we needed to have a little bit of a caution or warning associated with camouflaged items.
Brian: Here’s the only warning I would attach to that. Get it now. Maybe give it to some folks in advance of the Christmas holiday because here’s my word—if you put that in to the washroom that people use, like when you invite them over for a Christmas party Bill, right? And they go to this main washroom in the house, I promise you—I guarantee you—the look on the people’s faces when they come out of your washroom during your holiday party, having first seen the camo toilet seat—it will spark conversations and laughter unlike any other gift you could ever give yourself or someone else. This thing is a conversation piece, Bill. It’s an absolute brilliant idea and it will give you hours and hours of comedic enjoyment—not to mention… I mean it’s a great toilet seat so it’s functional but it is downright funny.
Bill: And not to mention, I think, some of our family members—I know it’s certainly the case in my family—some of our family members aren’t really sort of verbose or have linguistic talents and so I think here is a way to get everybody involved and is it not a way to get the whole family involved?
Brian: Oh my golly. Yes.
Bill: Oh by gosh, by golly. Anyway. “Any who,” as we say…
Brian: They should at least go… And Bill, what did you say? It’s CamoChristmas2012?
Brian: 2012. Just go and look at the website, folks. When you see this…
Bill: There are a lot of other things too, Brian there—not just the one—but there are a lot of other…
Brian: Not just the one. There is all kinds of cool stuff—light covers, sunglasses—we’ve got all kinds of cool things there. But then in all seriousness Bill, when you look at what’s going on in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy… You know I was using my Power Source 1800 last evening, which you can also—oddly enough—you can get a camo one of those this Christmas season. But for me, the rest of the gear that we have so that in an emergency situation—and I’m hoping… Once again, you know Bill how I got started in this industry and people go, “Well, why did you leave being a television reporter?” and I said, “Well, I left because of the Hurricane Katrina.” Well now Bill, it’s really bad. It’s still bad in some areas of New York and New Jersey so I could have said, “Yeah, I left because of Hurricane Sandy.”
In this day, in this age—folks please—if you think… And it’s notwithstanding. I’ve got great friends Bill, at FEMA—lifelong friends that work and they’re passionate about helping people. But there are just too many of us. If your emergency plan is to dial 911, it’s not going to work out well for you. I’d rather you dial us now, get the gear you’re going to need before—heaven forbid—before the emergency situation presents itself and then you can stay up and running, you’re prepared—whether it’s any of the great gear that we have—you really have the opportunity this Christmas season to give peace of mind. Right Bill?
Bill: That’s it. Peace of mind. And one of the new things, I think—and this could have been a great item to have if you were like a lot of the folks in Sandy—and you had mentioned the hot water rocket, which we really hadn’t introduced that product yet and perhaps we can get the website up so people can go to it but it’s just a way to have hot water if you don’t have any power. And…
Brian: And it’s amazing Bill.
Bill: It really works. We heated water yesterday and it was… It wasn’t really warm and wasn’t really cold but it works even on a cloudy day. It will heat water up… I don’t think it boils it but it gets it up to where it looks like a hot cup of coffee so…
Brian: Oh, well when I took the lid off, some of it spilled on me and it hurt. I mean it gets it hot enough to rehydrate food, to make a great cup of coffee, to make some great—I don’t drink coffee, obviously—but to make some great tea, have warm water to clean up. I mean it’s really, really, really something else—a cool piece of gear for sure. Very cutting edge gear too.
Bill: Yeah, and it’s something new that we’ve never… No one knows about that yet so that website is HotWaterRocket.com because it looks like a rocket.
Brian: It does.
Bill: It really looks like a rocket and the Nat Geo people, they kind of… They thought that was cool too, didn’t they?
Brian: Yeah. Oh yeah, absolutely. When I first saw that Bill, I thought it was something that Dave… It looks like a missile silo. You’ve just got to go to the website and check it out folks because in an emergency situation, if you don’t have power but you have a windowpane, if you don’t have power but you have a place in your side yard, your back yard, your front yard that will get direct sunlight—this is the ticket. This is the way to get hot water. No other fuel other than the natural and most days ubiquitous energy of the sun. So you’ll want to check that out for sure.
Bill: And I think it’s under $50.00 so it’s one of those gifts… It’s like a perfect Christmas gift. No one is going to have this because we’ve just brought it… made it available in the country so it’s new to the country and no one’s got it and it’s an affordable gift. So then I think Brian too, we’ve got some other amazing… Watch your inbox because we’ve got a lot of great specials on the seed bank. We’ve got a tomato lover’s special. Last year the tomato lover’s special just went nuts. That’s coming out the 28th so—tomato lover’s Christmas—and that was a big deal last year so watch your email. We’ve got a great—for people that love tomatoes and having a great tomato garden—there is a huge assortment of tomatoes for not very much money and we’ve kind of… A lot of this stuff we’re almost giving away. So just really cool stuff coming through Christmas and really excited about the season, Brian.
Brian: And you know Bill, if I can real quick—Reuters is reporting—their headline this morning is “Organic Farmers Condemn US Report, Claim it Favors GMO” and I’ll just give you the top tagline. “Organic growers and food safety advocates on Tuesday condemned an advisory report to the agricultural department claiming its recommendation would be costly for farmers who want”—and then I’ll let the paragraph finish. But farmers that want to go their own way, farmers that want to protect their conventional crops, farmers that want to have non-hybrid seeds and the like and they said that… The report absolutely favors the GMOs.
Bill: Well, and that’s understandable because the people that have all the money are the GMO guys and they hire the report writers for the most part so…
Brian: There you go. So there is another perfect example of taking responsibility for your own garden. You know what I mean? And whether it’s with the Miracle Grow… We’ve got specials Bill, not only on survival seed bank but the herb bank. We’ve got some really cool stuff and Jeremy, correct me if I’m wrong—don’t we have like a starter sprout that comes in its own Ball jar and everything else? Which is a really… One of the favorite things in my book Bill that we do is the survival sprout bank.
Bill: Oh, that’s very popular. Yeah, yeah. People… Because it’s instant. If you have a Sandy situation—we’ll call it—you can have food in literally 24 hours so sprouting goes pretty quick. It depends on which seed you’re sprouting but that’s another great gift idea and it’s also kind of a lot of fun. It’s a great way to… If you’re looking for an educational tool for your kids it’s a lot of fun from that end. And so it covers it from a couple different angles there.
Brian: Oh absolutely. And Bill, let me just say this because you’ll never brag about it so let me do it. I was out while you were gone and I was shooting a video with Nick Huizinga and if people could see the amount of detail—attention to detail—that you have put in to making sure once we get, whether it’s the sees, whether it’s the beans, whether it’s the sprouts—these non-hybrid seeds—that you’ve traveled over to find the best—if they could see the amount of detail that goes into keeping the room at the right temperature, the right humidity… Jeremy, help me out. What’s the name of that huge machine out back that I have shot the video next to?
Jeremy: The Munters unit.
Brian: The Munters unit. Bill—God love you—I was absolutely blown away when Nick gave me the tour and that’s got to… Just its size and complexity—that had to set you back a couple bucks.
Bill: Oh, it’s a $30,000 dehumidifier is what that is but you know what, Brian? The thing is there are so many people that have copied our survival seed bank and so you’ve got all these different banks that they’ve copied. In some cases they’ve copied our website material and we’ve had to sue them and stupid stuff like that but one of the things that people don’t really realize—you can get into this business in a sense but if you just… If you don’t buy your seeds properly or if you don’t procure them from the right farmers, if you don’t do your due diligence, that’s a problem but that once you get them, if you’re selling these out of your doublewide, which a lot of our competitors are, how are you controlling the humidity? Because that has everything to do with how the customers’ results are going to be the following spring. If you don’t control the temperature and humidity, you’re going to have poor germination rates. And so a lot of these companies just… They wouldn’t know what you’re talking about if you mentioned that because the Munters unit probably costs more than the place where they are selling these out of and if you can come here… Another nice thing about this is you can come here and talk to us. You can look around.
Bill: You can ask for a tour. You can walk in and as you said…
Brian: It reminds me of my dentist’s office Bill, whenever I come. It’s so clinical and clean.
Bill: Well, that’s very clean. We have to keep it clean back there and it is. But as long as nobody tries to pull any of your teeth without a license, I’ll be…
Brian: There you go. Well, you’ve got to watch Nick. But Bill, let me just say this…
Bill: The laughing gas is certainly free back there.
Brian: Only half of the battle is getting great seeds. The other half of the battle—other than putting them into the ground—but at least at your end, getting the great seeds is only the first part of the battle. The second part is keeping them great until they are shipped out to our friends that want to purchase them. So I just wanted to mention that—because I didn’t know about that machine back there—I just went back there and go, “What’s this?” and that’s when Jeremy was kind of giving me a clinic on it. But we put a lot of effort… You have to be commended and you never like to take a compliment but you have to be commended for all of the effort that goes into just keeping it absolutely perfect for these seeds so that you can—as we’ve said before—you absolutely guarantee that people are getting the best seeds not only that you can find but the best seeds that you could protect until they put them on their shelves.
Bill: And Brian, we’ve got a great catalog that will be coming out soon as well so our 2013 catalog is in the works right now and it’s… We’ve got some new varieties and of course as you said, Nick’s having a lot of fun just with that. So that’s coming soon. We are really upon… Here we are—the latter portion of November. We’re getting ready—December—folks start buying seeds and January certainly we’re well into the seed season as people start to think about gardening for 2013.
Brian: Well, you know what happens to me Bill is that you know people say, “Oh January and February—it’s going to be brutal. It’s going to be cold and it’s going to be this and that” but as you know, December 1st to 21st the sun starts coming back the other way.
Bill: It does. Yeah.
Brian: So it’s like spring’s… It may be March or April before you can run around in your tank top or your bathing suit outside or whatever—hang out at the pool—but summer starts back here in less than a month. So I can see why January, February are huge times to get ready to prepare and what a great gift idea. When… If you have a young one and you want to teach them about nature and not only preparing great meals in the future but if you have a young one that wanted to come up with a class project Bill that talks about nature and the like, our jar—and Jeremy will have to help me out with the term—but our crash course in sprouts would be an absolutely amazing gift to give a little one. Now they’re going to look at you… You’ve got to get them all the stuff with the bells and whistles as well but what a cool little stocking stuffer to be able to do this because it just… It blew my kids away that this stuff starts to grow under their bed. And I have a 12 year old son so you’ll be going, “Brian, getting stuff to grow under their bed—that’s nothing.” But something good growing under their bed.
Bill: Something positive and something with… Yeah, some kind of educational value, I think, is always helpful so… Yeah, I think… Watch your email. Brian, anything else as we kind of close down? We promised sort of a… You and I when we get together, it’s never a short show because there is always so much to talk about but as we kind of wind down, any final thoughts about the year or shopping, offers, whatever?
Brian: Yeah Bill, you know I would say that with Thanksgiving—and I’m sure everyone did it by the time they heard this—but if you can make a list of 100 things that you should be thankful for, you have missed about another 100. I think we get so caught up in everything going on in the world and everything and whether it’s the environment, whether it’s the economy, whether it’s—whatever it is. But I’m hoping that you and your family have the opportunity if you’re listening to really appreciate all those things that you can be thankful for. And because we don’t focus on them all the time but that doesn’t mean they’re not there.
And as a part of that, if there is any of the types of gear that we have, the stuff that Bill—our team—uses when we’re out in the middle of nowhere, not only can you be thankful but there is a great way this time of year to be able to have some peace of mind as well for next year. But we hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving. Most certainly Bill, you and your family—I hope everyone gets to come over—the Heid clan is really something to see when everyone converges there in Thomson. So I wish you the absolute best. As you know, I don’t have very many people that I hang out with. I don’t have very many friends but that you’re on that list is something that always makes me smile.
Bill: Well, thanks Brian and the same thing to you—best wishes to you guys as you guys hang around together and enjoy each other’s fellowship and company during the holiday season. And we’ll be talking to you certainly, probably next week and know your time—as you always say—time is valuable and your time is valuable Brian. I appreciate you hanging out with us and for our listener—again, happy Thanksgiving and we just thank you for spending time with us.