Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ah, Craisins

I love raisins, "nature's candy."

But over the last few years, and partly due to the volume based discounts available at Sam's Club, I've become partial to Craisins.  Cranberries are from my region of the country; Maine/NH/Mass(holes).  Craisins are the cranberry equivalent to raisins.  Dried cranberries?  Dried grapes?  Not much competition, honestly.

If you've never been to Fresno, California, go.  My first (and only, now that I think about it) trip to Fresno was on business.  My flight took me from Denver (where I used to live, and might someday live again.   Oh, Denver pulls at me every few months) into Fresno.  I turned to the person next to me on my flight (gosh, this must have been 2003/2004) and remarked at the incredible sights as we were getting close to landing.  "Oh, you mean Yosemite?"  ..pregnant pause...dope-slap... "oh.  of course."*     I had dinner in a local restaurant that had once been a Chili's.  (How do Chilis franchises go out of business?  Well, in 2004 I can't comprehend it.  Of late, though, I wonder how they stay in business).  A mother in the booth next to me was loudly on her cell phone, talking to her divorce lawyer, with her teenage daughter and friend in-booth with her.

It's funny what you hold on to from business travel.

The next morning I traveled south for an hour through raisin country.  Sun-maid signs here and there along the highway.  If it had been corn, I would have thought I was in Ohio.But the smell of drying grapes was raisins.

But I was in northern California for, of all things, a sales call.

If you don't know me, I am and am not a sales-person.  I'm a pre-sales engineer.  I'm the techie guy in the technology sales process.  I know what the product does; the sales-guy sells it.  The customer asks, "Can it do it?"; the sales-guy says, "Sure!  Dennis (that's me), show him, and I say, (to myself) "What?" and then to the customer, "Yes, of course, watch this," and proceed to demonstrate my product.

Anyway, the customer made prescription cattle-feed.  I had a product configuration tool.  For a whopping $20k transaction, my product helped them cost-effectively and time effectively (instantaneously, as opposed to 3 days) quote, manufacture, and deliver prescription cattle-feed for individual dairy cows.  Yes, that's right, I helped cost-optimize the construction of dairy cattle feed.  What of it?  From happy cows comes happy milk, or cheese, or whatever California dairy-product you desire.  If there weren't so many regulations, the industry wouldn't have hand to find a new way to compete.  Economics, my friends, economics.  Anyway, that was my meeting, and that was my trip to Fresno.  I'm guessing.  I hope to return some day.

Oh yeah.  Craisins.

I challenge you.  Have a box of raisins.  Then have a handful of craisins. You won't be able to go back.  Craisins are to raisins what Audi is to VW, what photography is to a cartoon, what a gin martini is to vodka.  Another class.

Try some.

Especially with your RiceChex breakfast cereal. When you're celiac, this is q quick breakfast.

*I remind myself of a woman who sat next to me flying into Boston. See this post: travel

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