Monday, December 10, 2018

Thanksgiving 911

Twas the day of Thanksgiving and all through the house, the smell of turkey was wafting through the ...... Well not quite this year.

For the past few years, my family has cooked the turkey in a roaster. If thawed, it takes less time then in the oven and we also put one of those cooking bags around the turkey to keep it moist. No basting required.


This year we tried something different to help with clean up and to catch those delicious turkey drippings for the gravy. We placed an over sized aluminum pan underneath the turkey.

I arrived at my dad's place around 11:15 am, for dinner and to bake some rolls. Meal time was set to start at 12:30 pm But in Thanksgiving Day time, 12:30 equates usually to around 1:15 pm. I am also the official turkey carver, So I must investigate what am I getting myself into this year. Plot, plan and diagram how to carve the perfect turkey slices. The right size for the kids and for the adults.

I glanced over to assess the turkey situation and noticed that the lid was raised above the roaster a little. The cooking bag had been expanded with hot air. (No, I did NOT blow into the cooking bag. Your so funny. Ha...Ha...)  I thought the lid being elevated wasn't quite doing the trick keeping the roaster warm enough inside. To correct this hot air situation, I had to get special permission from the Chef, my sister. She runs the kitchen like Chef Ramsey, make one unapproved move in the kitchen and you here about it. Okay, not with all the cussing. So with special permission I pierced the bag which allowed the hot air escape and the lid fit better. However, I did notice the aluminum drippings catcher was making it difficult to keep the lid down. You could push it down but it would come back up a little. The turkey was looking very pale like a patient on an operating table. But Hey, I'm just the carver not the chef. The master chef must know what she is doing, right?

The next step to my day was to begin the indulgence of the vineyard kind of beverage. Mmmm, what a wonderful bouquet, (I have no idea what that means, I heard it on a TV show once) I was thirsty.

While waiting the family chit chats and preps for this masterful meal of magnificence. We kept checking in on the bird. Still pale and now it's 11:45. 11:55, 12:10, 12:15. Crap the little pop up gauge hasn't popped yet and the bird is still looking pale. All the other menu items were almost ready. I was waiting with anticipation to put my rolls in the oven and bake them to the perfect golden brown. Is it time yet? . . . Is it time yet?

My sister-in-law & I are now on our 2nd glass of vino. (Hey, I told you. I....was.....thirsty! I guess she was too.) So my sister-in-law decided to cut open the bag and the turkey to see what was going on with it. (WITHOUT permission!! How does she rate.)

The one big slice my sister-in-law cuts the turkey open and.......It's......still......COLD! Holy Crap!! Now what? Emergency mode kicked in like an old episode of ER.

My sister-in-law started calling orders, "You, look up your smart phone how long does it take to cook turkey breast in the oven. STAT!", "You, get me a pan to put the turkey into.", "You, get my a sharp knife for me to slice this thing up." She sliced the turkey like a seasoned surgeon. "Hey, how long to cook the turkey breast?! I need that info NOW!! Don't freeze up on me now!" As she talks to the turkey, "Come on, baby! You can make it!"

It was fortunate, the oven was already on awaiting other items to be placed inside, so we didn't have to pre-heat  it.

Phew! The bird of deliciousness was placed in the oven. By 2:00 pm, we were seated down praying thanking the Lord for our meal. It was a Thanksgiving Miracle. And we only started an 1.5 hours after the scheduled time. That's pretty good for Thanksgiving Day time. I didn't get to do the carving but it was all good.
There were a few other things going on in the background that was pretty humorous but I will save that for another day. Like the hockey puck rolls.

I hope and your family had a wonderful and peaceful Thanksgiving.

Once again,. thank you for taking the time to read my blog today.

Well, shoot. I didn't tie this to purchasing anything. Ok, buy bonds.
Wait no, that's not right. Buy from Gun's E-Z Own, Furniture, Appliances & Electronics. That 's better.

Gun's E-Z Own
816 main Street
Red Wing, MN 55066

Have a wonderful day.



Thursday, October 25, 2018

Bundling up

I remember back in my youth that when we bundled up, you would feel like a over stuffed toy. Ten layers of clothes and  using wonder bread plastic bags over your feet to keep the wet of out. You felt like you were like a starfish, arms sticking out unable to put them down by your side and legs unable to bend. But mom said go outside and have fun.

You surely didn't want to fall down onto your back, stuck there like turtle on their back, until someone came along and tipped you back over.


Over the past few years we had people ask if there was a discount for purchasing many items. Then we saw all the Bundle and Save advertising and we thought, hey what a good idea. So we adopted the Bundle and Save for our floor items.



Bundle 01
Throughout the store you will find many signs that look like this to the left for a Bundle like the one pictured above.

Both New and Previously Owned items are bundled up. Every Bundle is slightly different. Some with lamps, some without. Some are for the Living Room some are for the Bedroom.

The most down payments are less than the 10% we typically require, You can save anywhere from $50 up to $200 depending on the Bundle.

So it's just like when you were a kid. You get many layers with our Bundles, BUT you can bend your knees and elbows. That is if you want to. 😉 And the only time you will be on your back is if you were taking a nap on the sofa.

Do you have to get the whole bundle? No, You can pick and choose. You won't get the disounted price, but if you only need a sofa, I wouldn't want you get stuff you didn't want.

If you would like to see more Bundles, visit our Specials page.

So there you have it, Bundle Up at Gun's E-Z Own for savings on regular retail prices on furniture.

Also, winter is around the corner, so bundle up there too. I think our clothing is a lot warmer with a lot less layers then in the past.

Thank you for reading, Have an awesome day.

Friday, August 25, 2017

What a month for a business owner

Boy, what a month we have gone through here at Gun's E-Z Own. Adn it hasn't been all fun and games.

Ah, yes accounting. I know people who just love it.
We started off with an audit from the MN Department of Commerce. We have gone through these type of audit before. We understand what they are looking for and they understand how we operate. I think I have gone through over a dozen of these audits. Severely as Regional Manager and now four as owner. The DOC tries to do an audit every 3 years per license holder.

Since I am a veteran of these audits there were no worries about the outcome. We pride ourselves on running a tight ship when it comes to bookkeeping. It just the process of collecting all the information they are looking for and getting it to them. That takes some time. We passed the audit.

Next we had a Fire Safety Audit. Did you know that you can't store old, non-up-to date inspected fire extinguishers in your building, just as spares. Well I didn't. He said just to take them home. Well then.

The Fire Marshall then wanted us to get rid of all extension cords and daisy chaining of our surge protectors. No problem there. Kind of expected the extension cords. I think we only had three extension cords to get rid of.

But then he had said to add an emergency light in our back room area, which we never had to have one before. (I've been in this building since 2002.) So there is an unexpected expense.

Then he asked us to fix our front door emergency exit sign. He preferred that we have one with emergency lights. Sure no problem. Didn't want to spend the money for a new sign, but the old sign had light bulbs and we ordered the newer fancy LED lighting. The light bulbs looked burnt out anyway.
Our new front door exit sign

Electricity is one of my things. I helped my cousin wire a house in my youth. Then I worked on electrical systems for tanks while in the Army.

So, I switched out the front sign. It was like replacing a light switch. No problem. Turn off that circuit breaker, replace the sign, turn the circuit breaker back on. Simple Right? Hold on there young buckaroo.

I turned the electricity back on and nothing. (DOH!!) My first thought was that the wiring was not hooked up correctly. Sure enough I get into the ceiling, find the conduit and .... it leads to nowhere. There is three feet of conduit just laying there. (flippin', flippity, flippin, flip!!!) So as of this blog, we are still waiting for the electrician to fix the conduit to nowhere.

Then we had to go through a Sales Tax Audit from the MN Department of Revenue. Now that one got me a little stressed. I hadn't been through one of these audits before. Not sure what information and paperwork they would need.

We pulled out our boxes from previous years and he did his accounting thing. Turns out that more cities and counties have sales tax then I had realized. And if we deliver the product to there home, we need to charge that sales tax. Which we hadn't been doing. Here is an example. One of my very good customers from Rochester comes to Red Wing to purchase via a loan, a sofa & Love seat and need delivery. MN sales tax is 6.875%, then Olmsted County as a .50% sales tax and then Rochester needs to have their .75% sales tax. So rather than charging the customer just 6.875% for the purchase I need to charge a total of 8.125% sales tax because I will be delivering to them and per the State of Minnesota, the place the customer acquires the product is the place sales tax needs to be charged for. There is your civil lesson for the day. Several other counties have there own sales tax too.

Now our accounting system is not programmed to handle this division of sales tax. Fortunately there were not that many sales that required extra sales tax.

Then there were some questions I didn't have the answer to right away. But looking things up, speaking to my CPA and the previous owner I found the answers.

The auditor looked at this as an educational audit and there were no penalties. (YAY!) But on the other side, we are going to have to pay up to $1,500 in updates to our software to comply with the State of Minnesota and for my store the State of Wisconsin.

Now that things have settled somewhat, I can take time and write this blog.

So when a customer complains about prices, now you know why business price the way we do. Because we must follow a ton of government regulations along with all the other expenses involved with owning a business.

Phew!!!

Monday, July 3, 2017

How to figure out your interest at Gun's E-Z Own?

This just isn't Gun's E-Z Own math. It is just how the finance industry calculates interest.

Over the years we have had customers try to figure out how we come up with the interest calculations. Well, we use a computer. No, really we do.

But years ago we had to manually figure the interest. Using pencil, paper and a calculator and a couple of fingers.

We have helped many people over the years with the manual math. the equations we use. Once you know the math or how to get to the math, it is pretty simple.

So here we go.


The equation is balance x number of days x co-efficient = interest.

First off, What was your balance after your last payment was applied to the loan Let's say $550.00.

Then how many days from your last payment on April 11, 2017.  Let's say today is May 13, 2017. That is 32 days.

Your final number? You need to know what your interest rate is, 12%, 18%?

Let's use 18% for this example. There is a calculation within this calculation you will need to do here. There is something called a co-efficient you need to figure out. How do I get the co-efficient?

Take your interest rate divided by 365. Why 365? That is how many days in a year.

So 0.18 ÷ 365 = .00049315. That is your co-efficient. .00049315.

Now your equation is 550 x 32 x .00049315 = 8.68.

Now if you make a $100 payment $91.32 will go towards your principle and $8.68 will be applied to interest. Your new balance in this example would be $458.68.

Go ahead, give it a try.

458.68 x 30 x .00049315 = _________

There are spreadsheets out there you can use to help you out. But I just wanted to let you know how to do the calculation manually without a computer. You never now, there might be a computer uprising and they might refuse to work. Sometimes the computers don't need an uprising not to work. The are such a love-hate thing.

Happy calculating.

Thank you for reading and have a great day.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Should I get an Extended Warranty on my product at Gun's E-Z Own?

Should I get an Extended Warranty? That is a good question.

Gun's E-Z Own offers you extended warranties from NSI on items like, washers, Dryer, laptops, TV's, Blu-Ray players, stereo equipment, refrigerators and much more.

The first question is how much warranty does your new item have? 90 days, 1 year, 2 years?

Laptops typically carry a one year manufacturers warranty. That covers parts and labor. But after that you are on your own. With NSI you can add 2 more years. The cost? For most of the laptops we sell, it's only $100. Break it down into days, that only cost you 9 cents per day to keep your laptop going.

Now this does not include software issues. Only hardware problems. Nobody covers software issues for a laptop or computer.

For the LG washers we sell, they have a 24 month warranty. Now is depends on the retail price of the washer. The last extended warranty I sold on a washer was only $180 for FIVE years.
What a great deal!!

When you purchase an extended warranty for Gun's E-Z Own, you will get a little folder to place your documents in, a pamphlet with what the warranty covers and does not cover and a print out as proof of your extended warranty purchase. If you lose any of those items, we keep a back up here at the store.

Now unfortunately NSI does not cover "damage or failure caused by riot, nuclear radiation, war or hostile action, radioactive contamination, etc." Quoted directly from the pamphlet.

If there is nuclear radiation, I think the last thing I will be worried about is if my extended warranty is good. I think the "etc." also covers the Zombie Apocalypse.

So if you are expecting a zombie apocalypse in the next 3-5 years, then no, you shouldn't get the extended warranty. For all others, YES, it is a very good deal for the small amount you pay.

Once again, thank you for reading my blog. And may your day be filled with joy.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Bundle & Save and U-haul at Gun's

WOW, has it been that long since I have written a blog. Time does fly by. Especially when you are busy.

April 2017 we weren't too busy, but in May we were hustling. We had our Super Spring Specials. We had marked the price down on many items and the inventory was flying out the door.

Now this June & July, we have BUNDLED Living Room sets, Bedroom Sets and even some Home Entertainment. There are plenty of big savings in the store.  BUNDLE & SAVE.

Here is one Bundle: If you purchased each of these items separately you would spend $1,799.95. But when you BUNDLE this Nina Coffee Sofa & Love Seat, the 3 pc Table Set, 2 lamps and a Floor Lamp we have it marked down to $1,399.99. Need financing? That's $140 down payment and 16 monthly payments of about $122 per month.* That is a $400 saving off the retail price.

Because of advertising regulations I must put the obligatory Sample disclosure. You can find it at the bottom of this blog.

What else is new? We are now an authorized U-Haul dealer. So when you need to rent a vehicle for the weekend or for moving out of town, you can stop by Gun's E-Z Own.

Just as reminder that we also do short term furniture rentals. So if grandma & grandpa are in town for a week and you need to rent a mattress set, We do that. You just had surgery and need a lift chair. We do that to. Or you are in town for an Xcel plant shut down and need furniture for 3-6 months, one more thing we do. Click on this RENTAL link to find out more.

We end this blog with the sample disclosure I mentioned earlier. Have a great day everyone.

*Sample Disclosure: $1,000 purchase, $100 down, 16 monthly payments of  $79.59, APR 32.53%

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A trip to Urgent Care

It's been a month since I had been diagnosed with influenza. And the side effects keep lingering such as being tired, being cold and breathing isn't as easy.

Well, I had an interesting thing happen recently.

As I had mentioned last time, I have a history of bronchitis. Well, Last week just before closing, I called our local clinic to make an appointment to see a doctor. I got the appointment desk and she asked why I had called.

I told her that I just had influenza and now I am having pain in my left side in my what I thought to be my lower lung and pain under my left shoulder blade. The pain had increased throughout the day and was worried about bronchitis or pneumonia.

She said that she would send me to the nurse help line on the phone. (You know, dial an 800 number and a nurse helps you out in case it is something minor.) I told the help line nurse the reason for the call and she had me breath in deep and breathe out. Does it hurt more? Yes. I am driving home by this time and have the ear bud in so I can have both hands on the wheel. She  asked a number of questions because she needed too to make sure.

After a number of questions, she said I should go to Urgent Care. She also said that maybe applying a hot water bottle there for a bit would help. I had asked, can't I just wait until tomorrow and make an appointment. She said no.

Now, I have never had pneumonia so I am thinking that maybe this is in worse shape than I had thought. So almost home, I make a "B" line to Urgent care.

I had to wait about 5 minutes for the person in front of me to get settled in with the nurse at the registration desk. I walked up to the window and explained why I was there. I could see in her face she was starting to get anxious. Her eyes where getting bigger and her body language was going into emergency mode. She was trying very hard to speak calmly. She said that she was going to put me in a room and have me checked out immediately.

Well, in comes the EKG machine. (Nope, Hadn't ever been hooked up to one before.) They thought I was having a heart attack. That was the first thing they did. and was only hooked up to it for maybe two minutes total. The results were negative. And that nurse at the desk was trying to get the EKG tech to hurry up.

Then comes in another nurse to take my blood presser, heart rate and oxygen level. Everything looks good. Heart rate was under 60 beats per minute.

Then the Doctor comes in. I told the doctor all I needed was someone to listen to my lungs to make sure I didn't have bronchitis or pneumonia. She said, "Well, I am going to do that now." So she listened to my breathing then sent me to get an x-ray. Turns out that I did have bronchitis.

So now instead of having a bill for an office visit, I have extra ER/EKG/Xray fees. grrr. I guess it is better to be safe and check for a heart attack rather than not.

Now what is the point of this story? I am getting there.

The Doctor gave me a perscription for anti-biotics and an inhaler. Things seem to clear up.

I told this story to my chiropractor. And here is the helpful hint you have been waiting for.

He said that if you are having a trouble breathing from a cold or bronchitis, lie down face down and have someone pat your back rapidly and that is to help loosen and work that nasty mucus out of the lungs.

And also, if you have congestion problems, eat some onion and garlic soup. They have properties that help boost your immunity. You put onion, garlic, carrots, celery, lettuce or any other greens into water and boil it. DO NOT have sugar or milk while sick. It sets the body's immune system back.

He told of a story were one of his clients whom had a cold for 9 weeks and tried the soup and the cold cleared up within two days. Another gentleman who was into a healthy life style and had a cold for two weeks ate the soup and he was also cleared up within two days.

Thank you for reading. I hope that you all stay healthy the rest of this cold season. Have a wonderful and blessed day.