Posted on: May 8th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t notice you reading there. I am seriously sleep deprived. I think I’ve touched on this topic before but I have a son. His name is Bobby and he has a crepuscular eating disorder. This means that he enjoys eating copious amounts of food at dawn and twilight. Occasionally he’ll nibble throughout the day, but he gets up before his parents. A typical night will consist of me being out for the count rolled up with my body pillow sometime around 11:30pm midnight if I’m lucky. By 5:00am, he swats me across the face a couple of times knocking my sleeping mask off to wake me and then stares. Just stares… You see, Bobby is a cat. And what a cat. He’s an adorable little loverboy. There isn’t a single violent bone on the cats’ body and he’s soft as a pillow. However, he is not the cleanest eater.
After stumbling my way half awake to the fridge to get him some wet food pre-dawn, I usually kick the dish on accident, spill some water, and on my worst mornings, step right ON his food from the day before… This is unacceptable according to my girlfriend, so it has been decide for me to make the investment in a pet placemat, as if we don’t have enough pet products already. That way if I spill more of the cats food (again, ME not the cat because that would be too far fetched), we can rest easy knowing that it’s not on the carpet. The really very nice carpet that the cat grinds its claws on anyway. We may as well invest in some nice indoor kitchen mats and olefin carpet for him to destroy while we’re at it.
Cats are jerks but… gotta love em.
Posted on: April 30th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Spring time comes to town and allergies all around. I can already feel the sunshine on my face, the happiness, the overwhelming sense of joy at little critters being born and coming out of their cubby holes to eat one another. Also, delicious pollen and allergens floating in the air all ready to make us break out in hives, get sever sinus headaches, and all around very moody.
But not me… no sir. I’ve got a plan. That plan in copious amounts of indoor time. That’s right. What better way to enjoy the rites of Spring then staying indoors with your comfort products watching nature shows. It’s like all the fun of the outdoors without the dangers of a foreboding urban landscape and even worse: nature! I’ll be turning on my stories (read: PS3) and exercising (read: rotting) my under stimulated mind with epic interactive action stories! However, I have a cramped space and currently lack a ‘man cave’ of sorts. I always thought it was funny that a ‘mans cave’ has so many ‘kids products‘. Anyway, my current living situation does not permit me to truly veg out in true Spring fashion. That’s where our kids bean bag chairs come in. Not only are they small enough to serve as comfy rockers for my bum, but because kids furniture is technically compact for my size, they actually force me to sit up straight much better! It’s the perfect solution to keep me indoors, safe, and judging by how ridiculous this all sounds, possibly abstinent! Nice sports rugs would be cool too! Happy Spring everybody!
Posted on: April 17th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Luckily for our customers, we do our best to navigate them through the various pros and cons of anything from 3/16″ PVC yoga mat vs the 3/16″ natural rubber yoga mat or 1-3/8″ thick crosslink vs 2″ thick. This,
however, can’t guarantee against the guiles of a stubborn customers who despite their best intentions and frugality do come into play in our daily routine.
Our SoftWood flooring is one of our most popular items and one of the ones surrounded by this exact kind of issue. A soft EVA foam with a nice laminate top emulating various wood tones like cherry, walnut, and two shades of oak are a perfect additions as kids playroom flooring, a family room in the basement, or most commonly, display booths at trade shows. This is where it gets ‘controversial’. While these tiles are very durable, a trade show has higher than normal amounts of actual foot traffic. A good portion of this foot traffic can be women’s (or men’s… we don’t discriminate) heels. While it depends on the type of heel and the person walking on it, we stress that THEY CAN but won’t necessarily leave an imprint or permanent indentation. In the worst case scenarios (happens less than 1/100 times!), a tile might even get punctured. It’s stressing these kinds of points to our customers and having an honest dialogue, as opposed to just driving a sale, that really makes a customer feel comfortable making a decision to purchase something online from a person across the country they can’t even see.
One of our recent customers, Allan from Picaboo Yearbook, just sent me this today:
“Hi there, Love the [trade show flooring] floor, it is a great compliment to our booth. I think I may have sold 2 more floors for you to other exhibitors. I gave them your company name. Thanks for your help!”
Posted on: April 15th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
I got some news recently… My girlfriend-wife (I call her that because she doesn’t know that I’m going to marry her yet and she can’t run forever!) has two beautiful nieces whom we just found out this week might suffer from cerebral palsy. She was very alarmed and scared. I, however, happened to know a very accomplished young man with cerebral palsy (it’s not a death sentence by any means!!). I tried to assure her that we get many calls from parents with special needs children all the time and one of the most common ones I can think of is cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy is not terribly uncommon (1 in 400 live births) and there are many routes to treatment as well as programs that facilitate child development with such conditions. It reminded me of a call we got from a customer with a 4 year old boy that has cerebral palsy looking for soft flooring. For those not familiar: cerebral palsy it is a condition that affects motor skills. Generally speech and movement are affected at various degrees as a result of low birth weights. This makes it difficult to walk and speak and in many cases, children might be only able to move around with the help of walkers or wheelchairs.
After conversing with said customer about these specifics, he was surprised at my relative understanding of what he might need. His son had just been diagnosed with a milder form of cerebral palsy that mainly affected his ability to walk but nevertheless is VERY active. However, because he is so mobile and still needs to develop more coordination, he is prone to hurt himself since he tries to run and move faster than his feet can keep up.
Obviously, as sales people on the phone, there is really nothing we can do when we hear a proud yet exasperated parent looking to pad a room but give him good advice on the best interlocking floor mats and wall padding. Luckily, he was just getting information so didn’t have to get all sales-pitchy on him. We do happen to actually encounter this often. We offered him samples of these materials and eventually got some wall paneling and soft tiles to keep the floor and wall padded and safe.
A personal friend of mine also was born with cerebral palsy. His case happened to be a bit more severe and he is bound to a wheelchair. Nevertheless, with the proper treatment, diagnosis, and a great support system of friends and family, he is on his way to getting his masters in law. If anyone happens to be interested in more information, this site is a great resource! -
Posted on: March 22nd, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
I was at the gym standing on the soft rubber flooring and I found myself thinking of horses after speaking to a customer recently. He’s a horse breeder and was pretty into it. His first questions after learning I’m from Los Angeles was “You ever been riding before?” I explained
that I grew up in close proximity before moving to L.A. from Mexico. Also, my girlfriend has been bugging me to take her horseback riding as she’s never been.
It’s a very glorious feeling indeed, there are certain details that elude those who might romanticize horse-back riding. Not only are they monstrously expensive to maintain and upkeep, but they can also be very dangerous. Remember Superman? The movies? A horse took him out. A HORSE!
As one of the earliest domesticated animals (6,000 years and counting), horses have been one of the unfortunate dwellers of the pre-civilized world that now largely does our bidding. For better or worse, these creatures are a mainstay of our human society. As our cultures collectively evolve slowly towards a (hopefully) more prudent and ecologically sound direction, many things that were once common knowledge are being turned upside their heads. For example, up until fairly recently, horses were considered relatively unintelligent animals. However, research shows that they do, in fact, exhibit great capacities for problem solving and cognitive learning outside of the herd mentality. Sadly though, they still can’t talk. Nah!
In any case, it was brought to my attention that our horse stall mats are polymerized rubber as opposed to vulcanized. The main difference with other rolled rubber flooring mats is that vulcanized rubber has a tendency to contain sulfur which can be harmful to the health of the horse if they are standing on this material, sleeping on it, or being transported on it. Sulfur generally has a bad odor, however, horses actually have a really bad sense of smell. Also, they can’t talk. Sigh… Since our horse stall mats are made from a different process altogether. Our rubber is polymerized rubber is made from an environmentally safe polyurethane bonding agent which is good for the horse, good for the planet, good as dog floor mats and good for the human race (hopefully.)
Posted on: March 14th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
THIS IS AWFUL… I know… all I’ve thought about the past month has been moving… and now that we moved (earlier than expected as a result of misunderstandings with our landlord), it seems the worst of it is over. Now the sun seems to be coming up figuratively and literally, it’s warming up! Finally… all this 50 degree weather was beginning to be an icicle in my… well, you know… life. I guess, now, it’s okay to get off that zafu pillow and bust out my outdoor yoga mat.
The warm weather is encouraging my girlfriend, me, and well, it seems everyone, to get up and go outside. Put away those video games, young padawans, it is time to venture into the outside world! Sun, trees, grass, and beautiful bodies (of water) await your curious eyes!
If you’re like me, I bet you can “bearly” stand eating alone. So “bear” down, find your Mexican blankets, pack a picnic, bring a friend, bring the whole family, and even the dog because in Southern California sunny weather means sunny disposition. That is unless, of course, you are allergic to grass. Or pollen… or the sun… or people.
Hmmm… didn’t think that one through now did we. Not a problem though! I’m sure we can improvise some use from our gigantic warehouse full of mats and goodies to work for us. A towel is not only tacky and soooooo 90’s to lie down on grass at the park, it’s also not entirely comfortable. Try a multi purpose mat like our tote-n-mat instead. What if you’re sun bathing? Well you can certainly use a folding exercise mat. Comfortable enough for the home or the park, these UV treated vinyl mats will suffice for outdoor use for you and your loved ones to lay around and bask in glorious, nurturing sunlight!
Posted on: March 8th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Remember rubbing your feet on the carpet then poking one of your siblings for a satisfying “ouch” from them? That little spark that goes from your finger to their face is the result of static electricity. I’m sure many of us did this constantly as we imagined ourselves a super hero or villain. Elecro-Boy, El Shocko, Electric Cedric… whatever. That tiny spark of electricity is the result of static charge and build up. Without getting into the science of it all, it goes something like this. Your body conducts electricity and has a particular amount of charge, when you rub your feet wearing just socks you are building up electric charge on your body. That electric charge needs somewhere to go and the favorite places for electricity to go is other ‘conductors’ of electricity. Generally, other people (fun!) or metals.
In high end tech industries, be it “I.T.” with it’s hallways o server racks, power plants with low voltage operating panels, or say even your computer at home, static charges can be a death sentence if enough of it is built up and you happen to touch the wrong part of the equipment! It actually happens rarely in my experience but when it does, it’s VERY costly. This is why more power plants have floor mats known as switchboard matting to protect employees from being shocked by high voltage equipment. Info-servers and just about anywhere with sensitive equipment requires some form of static dissipative flooring where the operators stand. This helps to take the charge out of the body, before it can make contact with any of the equipment. Many employers have anti fatigue mats for their employees who stand on their feet for long periods of time as well.
Recently, I acquired a pair of VERY expensive, VERY loud, and VERY discontinued speakers. They are made with a particular type of Beryllium drivers which makes them a) illegal to manufacture now but b) gives them an extremely detailed and rich sonic character. Basically, right after new years, I set these puppies up after having been in storage for about 2 years. After all the wiring was finished, I fired them up for a test run. Big, rich, beautiful sound. I was in Nirvana. Then, like an ass, I decided I wanted to literally TOUCH the metal grille of the tweeter when I see a tiny spark, POP, and suddenly, the right speaker sounds muffled and dark… I blew out the tweeter. For those of you not privy to audio, the tweeter is the smallest speaker which handles all the high end. With it blown and discontinued, I decided to get a grounding from MatsMatsMats.com to put from a metal frame on my desk to ground. Now before I touch ANYTHING in my room that is plugged into a wall, I make sure to touch the desk first to dissipate the static charge.
On a side note, I still feel like a super hero every time I shock someone.
Posted on: March 5th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
A quick look in the mirror today reminded me that I’ve been schlepping off on my workouts. I was in a pretty bad car accident mid November of last year which immobilized me considerably and effectively kept me away from the gym for the last 3 months or so. When you’re on a tight schedule and your gym is not at home, getting to and from work with a gym in between becomes damn near impossible. Yes I’ve seen athletes pull it off, but I’m no athlete.
Looking at my pasty self in front of that mylar mirror made me think of Black Swan and all those skinny dancers. Not because I bear a striking resemblance to Natalie Portman,I do, but because of how damn skinny I am! Which leads to me to this rant: Dancers. HOLY CRAP! Have you seen a male dancer? In full get-up and all?? They are INSANELY fit! I guess you’d expect that from anyone that has to balance their body on their toes while gracing across the matlay dance flooring. Flexing and holding impossibly painful, yet strangely beautiful, poses in front of glassless mirrors. Arousing many a curious patron with their grace and flexibility while practicing on their ballet bar.
It was then and there that I think I needed to get into classical/ballet and dancing. My slender figure would benefit greatly, as would anyone else’s, from the intense workouts and discipline required of a ballerina. A tutu wouldn’t be half bad either. Now I’m off to get my first piece of dance equipment for home.
Posted on: March 1st, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
I’ll be moving out of my 5 bedroom house soon. It’s a bitter sweet thing because while my girlfriend and I are looking forward to having our own space (we currently share the house with another couple… more on that later) where we can yell at each other in peace, I can’t help but think of all the ways we may have made ourselves a little more tolerable to our room mates and vice versa. This inspired me to come up with a list of potential room mate grievances and solutions that can be ameliorated with a bit of consideration, poise, communication, and as always, a few mats.
Hallway noise – This is a no brainer. On opposite schedules? Say you have to be at the office at 8am. It’s 7am. You’re pacing back and forth in those GORGEOUS 3 inch heels your boyfriend got you. All sounds good on paper but then you realize your roomies are in the service industry. One’s a bartender, the other a server and they’re at this time on what is likely to be their fourth hour of sleep. To them your KLIK- KLAK-KLIK-KLAK back and forth down the hallway probably sounds like a construction crew is hammering out the floor to replace it! That’s when you throw big, beautiful plush olefin carpeted floor mats. Plush, thick, and inexpensive, those kliks and klaks will be minimized and much quieter with good entrance mats. They might make you a pie when you get home out of appreciation.
Tracking leaves – Seriously, fellas. MAJOR peeve of mine. Frequent smoker? Neither am I. As chores are generally divided amongst the individuals living in said residence, there is nothing more astonishingly irritating than the satisfaction of a clean tile floor, a vacuumed carpet, and the smell of cleanliness up in your space. Unless 10 minutes after you’re done, you see the little trails of dry leaves, twigs, and other crap already decoration your living room area rug from the incessant smoke breaks. Throw that piece of crap entry mat out and get yourself clean scrape mats for the outside of the door and a nice brush-and-clean for the inside. The double action scraping will be sure to put the hold on all that debris from your backyard. In-n-out will no longer be a euphemism for the annoyance one experiences from your friends/room mates having to take a smoke break from life every 20 minutes.
Exercise – There’s not a lot one can do when they share a common area. When the common living room area is the largest and most easily accessible to rock that Tae-Bo or whatever other dated exercise fab you’re into, it can be pretty annoying to hear the jumping and pouncing of intense cardio while that roomie sweat and fitness juice drips on to the rug I like to lay on with cats on occasion. Don’t be a jerk and get yourself exercise mats. Be it soft tiles, a folding mat, or even simple easy yoga mats, get something your roomies won’t have to think twice about laying down to watch tv on “that wet-spot’ over there.
Lastly, if it gets really, really, really bad. You can just move. Seriously, though, I’m gonna miss where I live.
Posted on: February 25th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Posture is an often overlooked and easily correctable cause of back and neck pain. Speaking from personal experience, it can also be the difference between a lasting first impression or an awkward and hopefully forgettable moment with a cute stranger of the female variety. Certain people that I have noticed have a bigger tendency to slouch or have this S-shape posture (chest in, gut out, and neck down) are gloomy teenagers, long-haired beat-nicks, and just about ANYONE that sits in an office chair 8 hours a day. I can’t even begin to tell you how much easier it was to stand up straight when I moved boxes in a warehouse.
A simple trick to get you to cock up that chest and drop your shoulders is by literally restricting the exact posture that encourages your muscles to rest at such positions. A yoga bolster
or comfort pillow
can help when used properly. Place the yoga bolster or comfort pillow on the lower backside of your back between the back rest and your back on your office chair. This can help by forcing you to lean back towards your chair and make you drop your shoulders. Also, proper stretching in the morning and the evening can help greatly with the office-workout stress on your muscles with some simple stretches. Using yoga mats
or any type of exercise mats
when stretching makes it much more comfortable.