Best Mechanic & Auto Repair in Doylestown, PA

I do not know anything about cars.  I know that the tires need to be inflated and I know gas needs to be in the tank.  Other than that, I have no idea how a car works.  This leaves me in a fairly vulnerable situation when its time to have the car serviced.  The mechanic can pretty much tell me anything and I’d have to believe it.  If a mechanic told me that my radiator melted, I’d say, “Damn, that sounds like a lot of money to fix.” 

When choosing a mechanic, I’ve always just gone the route of dealing with the dealer.  There’s usually a long line, long wait time, and everything ends up being expensive.  As you know, I’ve been all about supporting local businesses and there’s a local mechanic I’d like to endorse.  If you’re like me, you need someone you can trust and someone who can fix a problem when they arise.  I’d recommend Smith Wheel on Atkinson Drive in Doylestown.  Its located near the Intelligencer building and Italian Delight.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I will acknowledge that my father-in-law works there and maybe that’s why I get such good treatment, but I’ve seen plenty of other customers benefit from equal care.  They’ve always fixed our cars right away and more importantly, I always trust their assessment.  If you find yourself in a jam and need someone to take a look at your car, I recommend Smith Wheel (215.348.9459).

Here’s a funny story about Winston.  The other day we were at Jaclyn’s parent’s house.  The dog was laying down in the living room and Winston decided to bring it’s water and food bowls into the living room and lay them down in front of the dog.  We all thought it was a friendly gesture and the dog just stared at it blankly.  Winston proceeded to get on his hands and knees, lower his face into the food bowl and start eating the dog food right out of the bowl.  Everyone was alarmed, Jaclyn quickly pulled Winston away, but I think it must have blown the dog’s mind the most.  

What a great episode of Lost!  Ben Linus is an amazing actor, I wonder why learning about Jin made him change his plans so dramatically?  I think Eloise Hawkings may be working on some sinister plan as well, because Ben wasn’t supposed to find her.  Locke has gone through so much hardship, he’s going to me omnipotent during this impending war to balance out his story.  Who’s the good guy, Ben or Widmore?  I love this show!

All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy

It’s done!  After months of wild hours, crazy timelines, and bizarre changes in direction, the campaign is complete and ready to be launched next week.  Next week the ads will start appearing in physician & pharmacist publications so all you respiratory physicians who read this blog should keep your eyes peeled.  I’m not going to mention the name of the product because I don’t want someone from my work to Google the drug and find me.  In addition to the advertising, we’re providing all new selling materials to the sales force and they will be communicating these new core messages all over the United States.  Just think, your primary care doctor is going to be hearing a sales pitch that I helped develop, that almost makes me famous, right?  Okay, maybe it’s not that cool, but it’s been a long and frantic process and I definitely feel a sense of accomplishment for now. 

For those of you who are somewhat interested in this topic, here’s a thirty second background of how we got to this place.  For the first month we do extensive research on our own product and our competition.  We really evaluate what we do well, what differentiates us, what our brand personality is, and what positive traits that we have that our target audience doesn’t know about.  We interview tons of customers, we look at all kinds of prescribing data, there’s a company called IMS Health who tracks all the prescriptions dispensed at pharmacies from around the country to give pharmaceutical companies an idea of how often docs are prescribing your drug.  This data can be useful, but it’s sort of like TV ratings, this data comes from select pharmacies and they use that data to project national figures.  Once we have gotten ourselves into a state of analysis paralysis, we move into the next phase of development, concept testing. 

You can’t just tell your creative team (artists and copywriters) to lock themselves into a room and come up with some cool ad concepts.  You have to boil down all the data you’ve acquired and create a little sheet that sums it all up.  Different ad agencies call this sheet different things, some call it a brand footprint, some call it a brand blueprint, some call it a creative brief, it is basically the foundation of all things you do moving forward, it’s what the creative team uses to develop concepts and it’s what the account team uses to evaluate and critique those concepts.  A tiny bit of our critique is based on if it looks cool or not, but most of our comments are around how well the creative execution delivers the brand footprint.  Once we have about 3 or 4 concepts, we test them with all kinds of physicians and whoever else might be an audience to these ads.  Simultaneously, we think of all claims that we could make about our product and test them with potentially audiences.  Once we figure out the best claims and the best concepts, we start building the actual ads and sales materials.   

The final hurdle is getting these materials reviewed by lawyers, medical specialists, and regulatory people to ensure that this campaign is appropriate and won’t get anyone in trouble.  It’s a good idea to run your ideas by these folks well in advance, otherwise you can do a lot of work and have it all taken away because the lawyer says we cannot say a claim or use an image.  In previous agencies, we’ve had work rejected at this point because the drug was indicated for people over 12 and there was an image of a young Asian girl who was 13, but looked younger, we had to do another photoshoot, which cost us a lot of money.  

For the past couple of weeks I was really focused on production.  I just needed everything printed, sent to the right places, packed in the right quantities, and produced at the right quality.  Yesterday, the day before the meeting finally began, our last shipment arrived.  We cut it very close, but there were a lot of reasons for that, and I don’t want to bore you.

My good friend, Jay, asked me a good question, “What do you do now?” 

For now, we unleash the campaign and see what happens.  We start gathering data, we see how if these new concepts and messages really help physicians understand all the excellent things our product offers.  We also see how our competition is reacting.  Maybe our competition is releasing their own campaigns and making claims against us.  We take it all in and develop a plan on how to respond.  In addition, we didn’t do every conceivable thing on this launch, so we’ll fill in some of those gaps in the upcoming months.  The good news is, it’s not going to be nearly as urgent as it was this time around. 

I just bought season passes to the aquarium.  The Deem family is going to the aquarium a 100 times this year, we’re going to milk these passes for all they’re worth.  If anyone’s every interested in going with us, just let me know. 

Gross’ Gourmet Chicken in Doylestown

Gross’ Gourmet couldn’t be in a more hidden spot in Doylestown.  It’s probably easier to find the island on Lost than to find Gross’ Gourmet, but man is it worth it.  They’ve got fried chicken, rotisserie chicken, roasted chicken, chicken wings, St. Louis style ribs, mac n’ cheese, and all that is good in this world.  It’s near the Kmart, across the street between Thompson Lexus & Thompson Toyota.  It’s takeout, so you’ll have to bring it home, but it’s a nice to add a chicken place into your takeout rotation.

I watched a show on bees today.  I find it really amusing to say bees.  I just want to yell it, BEES!  It makes me laugh.

I don’t feel bad for Alex Rodriguiz, but I can understand the decisions he made.  If I could take a pill that would give me a huge raise and make me a better marketer, I’d probably think about it. 

I would have to say Kate is my least favorite character on Lost.  I’m watching it right now, another solid episode.  Holy cow!  Ben is beaten up badly!  Ok, this episode just got a lot cooler.  This Jill character looks pretty bad ass.  Okay, I’m moving on, I don’t want to do a play by play. 

We received our tax return!  We’re paying off hospital bills, making a sizeable investment into Dalia’s college fund (despite Winston losing approximately 40% of his college fund in the first year and half because of the current stock market crash), and I’m looking to buy a new pair of glasses, maybe some rec specs for softball. 

I’ve been doing squats at the gym to strengthen my knees, but worry that squats may do more harm than good.  Don’t worry, my knees are fine, I just want to keep them that way.  Anyone have some info on this topic?

We have some fun things coming up.  A guys night out in Baltimore next Saturday.  A trip to Ithaca the following weekend.  And once we get some warmer weather, I’m going to try to get back to Jim Thorpe to hike Glen Onoko. 

Wow, what a crazy episode of Lost.  Ben is such a magnificent bastard!

The Hits Keep Coming

I really will start writing more once February is over.  Right now, I’m getting to work early and leaving late.  Last Friday, I was working past 9PM, it’s not a good way to start a weekend.  The campaign is almost launched, just another 2 weeks until the finish line. 

Where can you find my campaign?  Good question.  Most of you will probably never see one of my ads or materials that I’m developing, they’ll all end up in physician trade publications or delivered directly to physicians.  Since it’s medical, it’s really boring advertising anyways.  No talking donkeys or hot babes, just information relevant to the medical industry.  On the bright side, it’s nice to know hot babes and talking donkeys have minimal influence on doctor’s prescribing habits, they want real data.  But one of my favorite quotes ever is this, “Statistics don’t lie, but liars use statistics”, I think that sums up advertising, every product, every brand, can use the same set of data and make their product look the best. 

As I walked out of the bedroom this morning, I looked at the king sized bed with my wife and beautiful baby girl sleeping in it.  Every morning its the same picture, an enormous bed with the two of them smooshed up against each other, Dalia will have it no other way, she wants to be close to mom. 

Winston had to go to the doctors this week.  He was having a marvelous time rolling around in his blankets on the king sized bed, he got too carried away, rolled off the side and whacked his foot/ankle on a wooden chest.  He’s taken a lot worse hits, I’ve seen him fall off tables, jump off jungle gyms, run full speed into my knee, etc.  But something about how he fell and where he hit his foot/ankle really hurt him.  He couldn’t stand back up and his foot started to swell a lot.  After a couple of hours and it was clear that it wasn’t going to get better, we took him to the doctor to get evaluated.  He received xrays and an easily removeable cast, but the bottom line is the doctor expected him to return to full health in a couple days or at the most, a couple weeks.  Sure enough, 3 days later, he’s running around like a mad man, jumping off the bed, going up and down the stairs, and as happy as can be.  I’m pretty sure that I’ll be receiving my second $1,000 deductible bill in as many months.  These kids sure are expensive. 

On a happy note, as I was tucking Winston into bed last night, he either said, “Peek-a-boo” or “I love you”.  Either way, he said it very nicely and made me happy.

Happy Valentine’s Day!  If you’re interested in the history of it, take a look back at my Valentine’s Day entry from 2008.

A Series Of Misfortunate Events – Discover Card Identity Theft

“Cuckoo?  Cuckoo?  Cuckoo!  Cuckoo!  Cuckoo?  Cuuukooooooo!!!   CUUUUUKOOOO!!!!”

I was upstairs finally taking off my business shoes after a 12 hour work day (7AM to 7PM).  Winston had joined me in the room and kept pointing at Jaclyn’s closet repeating, “Cuckoo” over and over again.  After removing my shoes, I picked up my son and carried him over to the closet that he kept pointing at.  Upon opening the door, I looked at the top shelf to see a damaged Cuckoo Clock temporarily out of commission.  

“Cuckoo.  Cuckoo?  Cuckoo!  Cuckoo!!  Cuckoo?  CuuuKooooo!!!!  Cuckooo!!!!!!!

I calmly explained to Winston that it needed to be fixed, but he could not comprehend.  The cuckoo clock is probably his most prized possession, it’s like a girl owning a unicorn, he just loves the cuckoo clock more than anything in the world.  Just imagine, every hour, on the hour, having a moment of pure bliss and joy, that is what he experiences when that little cuckoo bird comes out and chirps.  Winston’s intense appreciation for the cuckoo clock can only be rivaled by the shear devastation of it being broken, he was a wreck. 

Winston is screaming and furious about the cuckoo’s demise.  Winston’s hysteria spreads like wildfire and Dalia is doing her best to top his high pitched screams and match him tear for tear.  I explain to Winston that the cuckoo will be fixed – no avail.  

Later that night after the kids were in bed, I opened up the second hospital bill I had received this week (the first one being for Dalia’s birth (which was $400 and change), this bill was for Dalia’s emergency room visit when she had her cold.  When you have kids, medical bills become the opposite of Ed McMahon and the Publisher’s Clearing House.  This medical bill for our trip to the emergency room was over $1,000 (that’s the deductible for each family member – up to $3,000 total).  I think her trip was in 2008, so it probably resets and we’ll have the opportunity to spend another $1,000 on medical expenses again this year!  I look at it as my opportunity to stimulate the economy.  I think healthcare needs huge reform, unfortunately, I work in the healthcare sector and would probably be adversely impacted by a major reform.  

I don’t want to bore you with all my recent bad luck, but my most recent unfortunate event happened today when I discovered that I was a victim of identity theft.  I was checking a statement for my Discover Card and realized a charge to www.guess.com for over $280.  For a second, I thought it was me, “Maybe I bought something nice for Jaclyn, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.”  I kept thinking about it and I realized that I did not do anything nearly that generous.  “Maybe Jaclyn borrowed my card and bought her something super fancy?”  The more I thought about it, the more I realized she has never spent more than $50 on clothing or an accessory.  It couldn’t be Jaclyn.  I called Guess’ hotline to get to the bottom of it.  They said it was not me who purchased the item and someone had illegally used my Discover Card to purchase these items.  My Discover Card was still in my wallet, so it wasn’t physically stolen.  The woman at Guess explained that there’s been a huge surge in identity theft cases where someone is ordering stuff from their website and having it sent to a fake address in Michigan.  My order was placed 3 days ago and they’re going to try to retrieve the package before it is delivered.  The nice lady at Guess mentioned that all of these identity theft cases are happening with Discover Cards, she provided me with a number to help prevent additional fraud and advised me to contact Discover to shut down the account immediately.  I contacted Discover, they were nice and helpful and it seems like they’ll handle everything, but I’m nervous it will lead into more drama, especially with buying a house on the horizon.  

The cuckoo clock is back on the wall and running smoothly.  Winston is peacefully lying on the floor watching Alvin and the Chipmonks.  Dalia watches Winston’s every move.  Jaclyn is just wonderful, once again she keeps the ship sailing smoothly, no matter what kind of storms we have to sail through.  

Once we get to the last week of February and our new campaign is launched, I’ll be blogging much more.  

Any suggestions on a nice Valentine’s Day Gift for my beautiful wife?