The bulk of my dinosaur education (outside of Dinosaur Train on PBS) came in the 1980s. I learned the five primary dinosaurs: Brontosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus Rex, and Terodactyl (which is correctly spelled Pterodactyl with a silent P). There were other dinosaurs, I guess, but none that stuck with me.
Recently in the 2000s (the time-period formerly known as the future) I’ve come to understand there are hundreds of dinosaurs. Furthermore, the brontosaurus isn’t real. You know, the brontosaurus (aka The Thunder Lizard) that plodding giant of yore.
The bronto, it turns out, was a paleontological bone matching mix-up – back in the late 1800s the Western US saw a race to dig up new dino fossils. It was really tense. Explosive even. In scientific haste, fossils from different dinos were falsely paired together. The mistake stuck for a long time.
Even longer for some like me. It was tough, in my mid-thirties, hearing that the brontosaurus wasn’t real. A child told me this none-the-less. I quickly stopped him before he shattered any of my remaining youthful innocence
Given some time, though, I’ve come to embrace this dinosaur making-up of names and such. Pretty much stick a couple syllables before “oSaurus” and you have a name. Let’s give a whirl:
The real fun though is in the Sideshow, carnival barking, stroll down the Midway, also known as names. Like Thunder Lizard (our fictional bronto friend) or Tyrant Lizard (t-rex), even Roof Lizard (stegosaurus). Sure, roof lizard is a bit lame, but you get the idea. Just stick a word or two before Lizard and you’re in business:
Can’t you just hear the showman put his lips to the megaphone, calling out to the cotton-candy eating townies:
“Here it is folks, the show you’ve heard so much about. The show your neighbors talk about, the show your relatives write you about. It’s all here and it’s free folks. Free for the wee ones, free for the tall ones, and free for all those in between.
“Step up close now and get a view of the real excitement. We have the Thunder Lizard, car-crushing, earth rumbling, fear inducing beast from the dawn of time.
“Children, Parents, and Grand Folks. Friends and strangers. Come close, gather round here. Take a look at the Tyrant Lizard! King of the ancient lords. With jaws of steel, bones of iron, and they say folks . . . they say,” as his voice drops to a whisper, “he can even breathe fire.
“Inside this very tent. Right here today only see these terrible beasts of old. Thunder Lizard! Emperor Lizard! The Three Horned Brute! Scaled Monsters! Starting in just minutes. Buy your tickets now folks.”
There’s a number of new products and new show furniture to display them on.
A new easier on the back sign
The anniversary show went off well – increased sales from a year ago, loads of business cards handed out, and bunches of conversations. A tiring day, but fun. Phew.
The clouds are clearing, the ice is melting, and the flowers are poking out of the soil. That means it’s time to leave the shop and take the Bungalow to the masses. Last year was our first year in business and the first year doing arts / crafts shows. See pictures from the first show here. We’ve learned a lot and we’re working to put together two show packages – small for local one day shows and big for multi-day shows (an effort to spread out the back breaking).
The first show of the year was a one-day local show so it was a good time to test out some the small show package. First up is loading everything into the truck. Boy, has this step greatly improved! It’s quick and organized. Also new this year is a checklist – no more forgetting signs.
For the first show last year I built wood tables, but they’re heavy and take a some time to set up. This year I’m trying out plastic tables with table cloths. Much quicker to set up, but I need fitted table covers. The standard “sheet” type don’t look 100% professional.
You can see the new small show sign as well. The other sign is too big to find a spot on the small tables. I only had an 8 foot x 6 foot space to work with – so there’s just enough room for me, none for a big sign.
For the next show I’m going to work on putting more height into the tables. I want to step the products to give them more space and visibility.
The Bungalow’s shop is back up and running at full speed. The last few months of 2011 were a blur. Not only was the business just getting its feet under it, but it was also a big shopping season. Phew. It was hectic at times. You might say I couldn’t see the forest for the trees ( ha! see below). After several planning sessions with my strategic consulting team (my wife), a list of new products was developed. Here are some of the first off the finishing rack.
Magic wands! Already a huge hit with my coming-on-four-year-old daughter. Together we’re working on a book of spells to include with each wand. Incidentally, I learned you can make a symmetrical 5-point star by folding a piece of paper and making one lone cut.
Dinosaurs live! Again, my daughter is super excited. I only knew five dinosaurs as a kid, but she knows two dozen. Kids are smart these days.