Posted on: February 4th, 2014 by Ben Gonzalez
It felt nearly impossible to come up with something to write about this week as personal turmoil has reduced me to a state of late teenage angst. The plus side of that, is that I’ve been going through some of my old music collection and found some interesting stuff. It was weird, I don’t remember even owning this CD by Swedish Gothic Industrial Emo-Core heavyweights ‘Black Rubber Mats‘… one song caught my attention and I think brief part by part analysis is on order:
‘Solid Black’ (I think the name of the song alludes to being depressed)
Amongst thousands of rubber granules
I am occasional colored fleck.
(Talking about being Mexican in a mostly homogenous Umea, Sweden)
My heart easily trimmed if necessary
(Referring the author’s personal malleability)
Aesthetically pleasing, Multi-purpose
I may be, but I’m still just underlayment to you.
(Our vocalist is very complex… he feels that he has many talents, but still bares this weight that is yet unrevealed)
Factory sheared edges
(Yeah… this guys’ deep and clearly tortured. I mean, he doesn’t want to follow the mold but be his own person!)
Designed to provide
Excellent traction… even when wet!
Designed to provide
Excellent traction… even when wet!
(Man! This is the part of the song that really got me going! Just heavy searing guitars and synths with insanely pulsating drums while this guys is just SCREAMING at the fact that despite his angst and longing, he is just another manufactured good! Society has molded him to be just that!)
When he sings this, it’s very emotive. I think he is talking about the coldness of being isolated and being the only one that feels a certain way in an otherwise homogenous social condition. I tried to look them up online, but there’s only one picture I found. I’ve posted it for your information.
Posted on: January 29th, 2014 by Ben Gonzalez
Another year has come and gone. It has left us with many great human achievements as a species, and I hope, as individuals as well. I can only speak for myself but, Christmas and New Years bear a special significance for me as they are the holidays which literally make me sick. I’m not talking about ideals, my gripes with materialism or the exchange of human culture for that of consumption. No. I’m talking about literally getting sick. Like the flu. Three years in a row now, I’ve been sick dead-smack on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I had to resort to copious amounts of symptom suppressors, lotion infused tissues, and Netflix. Lots and lots of Netflix.
During the course of these, I subjected myself to martial arts hits like Sidekicks, American Ninja, and other B-grade karate-chop fests. But one can never get too far from their work I guess. During the competition scene in Sidekicks (starring RIP teen heart-throb Jonathan Brandis and Chuck F-ing Norris) I saw them… crosslink foam mats, competition style flooring all strewn over the entire gymnasium. Beautifully colored and textured as if almost taunting me to think about the office.
At this point, I realized that the medication and symptom suppressors were starting to really take their toll on my coherence. It was like a bad acid trip where as the dull plot of this flick turned into a slow psychological interrogation where I revealed Freudian archetypes to a non-existent shrink. These, however, were not your typical “mother issues” anymore (I have none) but instead mutated into vague whispers of “1-3/8″ crosslink foam, 18oz vinyl… yes… very durable… competition style wrestling mats too..”
Needless to say, I drank a lot more NyQuil than I should have. Vick’s might owe me a check. For the plug on our widely read blog and for the near death experience I had on their “medicine”.
Posted on: January 9th, 2014 by Ben Gonzalez
It’s no secret that as we get older we get wiser. We also get brittle. Slowly but surely, our cells start braking down and what was once a pleasurable activity playing on the ground and getting your hands and knees dirty is now replaced by changing your oil on the garage concrete. And your reward (if you don’t know what you’re doing and spend too much time through awkward positions under your Ford-rrari Escort) is sore knees. Yes, sore knees. Now this could be just my fragile artistic genetics, and while we do have knee saver kneeling pads for such tasks, something a little more rugged and al encompassing might work better. A little more universal. Something that can allow me to roll the car into the garage yet not get completely eaten by the weight my car but STILL retain the softer and forgiving properties of foam. Hmmm… I was thinking perhaps something along the lines of rubber. Like a tuff-and-easy interlocking rubber tile but with the forgiving shock absorption of EVA foam tiles.? Does such a thing even exist?? I can’t keep making hard concrete floors my friend when all they want to do is hurt me! THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY!
And now, there is!
However embarrassing it may be that a customer had to point out the obvious for me: interlocking soft rubber tiles are actually the best option for garage floor mats
that will have multiple applications. A fully installed rubber top interlocking an all around solution for kids that want to play dirty (on the floor that is) with their action figures and imagine whole worlds where GI Joe and Spider-Man team up to fight Gumby and his hordes of green, plastic soldier minions. Or play with their ipads while sitting on the floor… I mean, that would work too if they don’t have any imagination… or action figures. Geez… I’m old… I miss G.I. Joes.. and Ninja Turtles…
It’s also great as exercise flooring
for equipment like treadmills that get used or just look pretty in the garage. Dropped 50 pound dumbells at total failure from that last rep? No prob, Rob! These suckers come in 3/8″ and 5/8″ interlocking versions so you can rep away and not crack your floor! How about a drunken brawl with your friends? Not a broken bone will be had* if you just take it to the garage, boys. Need to be on your knees for a prolonged period of time…? You know… perhaps you are assembling some sort of complex Swedish furniture without reading the instructions and need that meditative period in front of all those pieces to figure out what the hell goes where. Say no more for comfort AND practicality will be yours. And finally, maybe you feel fresh out of ideas for writing your mandatory blog and you just need some quiet time away from your cat and your pre-wife (you can’t afford a ring and your too old to be calling her your “girlfriend”) to really sort out your ideas. Then throw some headphones on, turn your avant-garde classical playlist to ten, and stretch yourself out on your new tough, durable, rubber topped garage floor and let the ideas flow through you because you just pissed off pre-wifey. Keywords and context will soon flow through you like water. You’ll thank yourself later.
Posted on: December 19th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
In the past few weeks, I’ve been working a sort of county fair at the local junior college. Pumpkin patches, children, and haunted mazes. Fun. As stage and technical director, it was my job to ensure that the stage was clean, the audio rig was hooked up properly, lighting, and when it was all set up, mixing sound for performers, bands, and dancers. Being an outdoor wooden stage at a farm center, there was dust galore. The majority of performers on the weekends were young dancers. Toddlers to teenagers dancing to Rhianna’s “Cake” (I won’t get into what is slightly perturbing about seeing stage moms rooting for their six year olds lip syncing all the words to such hits as “Cake”, “It’s all about me”, and mouthing things like “Don’t you want it?” while suggestively “dancing”. But… I am not a parent and maybe don’t understand what it’s like to say “no” to an aspiring young dancer wanting to get up on stage to do such things.
In any case, I got to see first hand how our Matlay Dance Floor works and does its thing. Every Saturday and Sunday for six weeks, I unrolled 6′x4″ rolls of Matlay, use vinyl dance tape to adhere them together, and let the little ones dance to their little hearts content. After having my ears perforated for 3-6 hours, I’d clean up shop and roll the Matlay Flooring
back up and do the same thing all over again the next day.
On the last three Sundays, interestingly enough, we had a local martial arts studio come and give us a demonstration. After doing some impressive choreography and sparring, they rolled out their Deluxe Bi-Layered Martial Arts Mats
to do some acrobatics of sorts. Backflips, somersaults, and eventually, my favorite, brick breaking. Brick breaking with their foreheads! Tough sons of mothers, these guys were.
Posted on: December 11th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
For those not aware, green is the new black. Businesses of all types are looking to cash in on the various state and federal perks of being certified “green” by using (relatively more) sustainable building materials, products, and infrastructure. As of late, we’ve been getting a lot of inquiries regarding LEED. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The program encourages and accelerates the adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria.
The LEED rating system is comprised of ratings for different types of projects like new construction, existing buildings, core and shell, etc. However, as there are no products that are “LEED certified”, the use of various products can increase or decrease points needed for particular projects to gain certification. MatsMatsMats.com has been a big player in offering “green” products to our customers for a while now. We removed the heavy metals from our PVC yoga mat, we were one of the first online retailers push hard on our all natural rubber yoga mat as well. However, our biggest and best performing line for LEED certification is our recycled rubber products. Due to the use of regional recycled materials and other helpful parameters, our interlocking zip tiles, rolled rubber goods, and roof walkway pads can rack up anywhere from 4 points as underlayment and up to 8 points as flooring! This is a big help for contractors and architects alike looking to start on the right foot on any new construction projects which require LEED certification. For additional information, contact any of our product specialist or sales reps anytime!
Posted on: December 5th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
It’s amazing how time flies. I still remember when my sister announced that she was pregnant with her second bundle of stress, er, joy. It’s almost like it was yesterday. I was better looking, considerably more care-free, and I actually believed I would be the first President of the World Federation. Not to mention the best-selling artist of all time. How else would I win the minds and hearts of the people of earth and convinced the modern nation-states to disband, demilitarize, and unify under one common banner of rock? Well, needless to say, things didn’t quite turn out that way, but at least I get my own blog.
While both my nieces are turning out to be beautiful and talented young ladies, it’s the younger one of these, now 11, that’s becoming quite the accomplished gymnast. Those genes are definitely something that have stayed on the women’s side of our family since I am neither flexible nor athletic. The last “athletic”thing I engaged in was loading gear from my project studio to a large recording studio. Before that it was running, and before that, it was roller-blading, which I absolutely loved. However, there is something certain people seem to find creepy about a 6’4”bearded man rollerblading around the neighborhood in short-shorts and shaking that booty to his favorite 90’s workout jams. Lots of Madonna, Janet Jackson, and other top 40 favorites. *Ya’ll remember “Rhythm is a Dancer”or “Good Vibrations”? Marky Mark before he was Mark Wahlberg? If you have, you might be old. But anyway…
I was recently sent a video of her doing her thing with ribbons. She runs and leaps and somersaults on the carpeted crosslink floor and just completely looks at home. It’s really quite remarkable how young some of these gymnasts are too. One her team-mates could not be older than 7, and she is just FLYING on the balance beam. Legs twirling like a helicopter, with the most serious look on her face. Through a series of routines on balance beams, gymnastics mats, and other gym equipment, these girls seems well on their way to their accolades be it regional or with enough dedication, even the Olympics.
Posted on: October 14th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
I’m currently on my way to the high Sierras for a little nature bonding with the boys for my brother-from-another-mother’s bachelor party. We decided the traditional Vegas regrets would be a little to cliche for us, so instead, we’re gonna go on epic hikes and camp lakeside. While I wouldn’t consider myself a regular outdoors man, I certainly have enough appreciation to at least try to get out at least once a year into the open wilderness. As we were loading up everyone’s gear, however, I realized that I would not be enjoying the same comforts as everyone else… You see I overlooked an important detail. An exercise mat…
I actually forgot to bring even a yoga mat. The irony isn’t lost on me either. Every day I’m literally talking about how comfortable and portable our 2′x6′ folding exercise mats are. How they’ve got just the right firmness crosslink foam. How they are comfortable enough to lay on and nap on, but also firm enough to do exercise on.
As I write this I’m overcome with nervous anticipation to what comfort or lack thereof awaits me as I set up camp and eventually retire on bare ground. I can literally see the sample 3/8″ thick foam mats resting on the corner of the office cabinet… just there… waiting. Waiting for me all week to go “Hey, I’ll probably need that!” Instead, I’ll have to brave the cold night on bare ground as the roll of comfortable foam sits at the MatsMatsMats.com office sitting in bitter silence at not having been noticed.
I am not a smart man…
Posted on: October 14th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Time for another delicious blog. Delicious I say, because I have not slept in about 36 hours and for whatever reason, everything looks like food to me right now. Don’t ask, it just happens when I’m under sleep delirium.
“But, Ben! What does food and sleep delirium have to with an exercise mat? Or any of the things you sell for a living from interlocking floor mats to children’s play mats for that matter?”
The answer is simple my friends. Oh, so simple.. nothing. IT has nothing to do with wall padding or exercise equipment or any type of mat. This weeks blog will not be about how Soft Wood tiles make a beautiful addition to a child’s playroom helping it to enhance comfort while preserving the look and feel of that hardwood floor you nearly killed your husband to install when you bought that fixer upper. No siree, bub.
It has nothing to do with how our Soft Carpet Tiles are the industry leader portable tradeshow surfaces. With their durable bonded carpet, these things will go wherever you go and last!
It especially has nothing to do with our Supreme Folding Rest mats. That are just oh so-dang- comfy that this overgrown child can’t help but take a quickie nap in the office when he works his third job once a month every month in the summer.
Hey, are those zzzz’s over there? I better go catch them…
Posted on: September 17th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Can you dance? I sure as hell can’t. But I think I can. This delusion, of course, is largely to the detriment of my loved ones. You’d have to see it to believe it. I get really into it too. From my epileptic hip ‘swinging’ for salsa and samba, the drunken shuffling of my bachata, to the lunatic flailing of arms ode my “modern hip-hop” choreography, no family or friends’ events are safe from the disaster of my overconfidence. It’s better than going to the gym with my exercise mat…for me anyway.
Little would you know, but I am actually a fairly accomplished musician. This, however, does not help me dance in the slightest. Not well at least. Something to do with the stiffness and lack of communication between my limbs. Also, facial expressions… yikes! Luckily, I’ll be taking dance lessons soon.
Before I set foot in one of these places, I was really imagining something along the lines of a nice, rich mahogany floored studio space with a beautiful Spanish instructor teaching me the ways of romantic dance in front of a Mylar mirror . I was excited! Would I finally fulfill my long lived fantasy to be the foremost competitive dancer/lover in the world? No… not at all. I set foot into what seemed like day care. Matlay Dance floor, I thought, but instead… primary colors! PRIMARY COLORS EVERYWHERE! It also didn’t help that I was at least 12 years older than everyone else in that class! The teacher might have actually been younger than me too! I’m not even 30!
After swallowing my pride and getting a little comfortable, a simple waltz was guided by a map of
Poly Pads feet laid out across the floor to guide my (very clumsy) feet. After about an hour of waltzing, I decided never to return to the dance class unless it was required by law since a) I realized that flailing is more fun than being proper and b) I think I broke their toilet just before I left the establishment.
Moral of the story is when it comes to dancing, do YOU!
Posted on: September 17th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
As of late, I’ve grown increasingly aware of the fact that I am getting old. Not old-old, but old like an adult. 3rd floor of life. Where you start reflecting on the fact that you should have been a little more athletic just so your body was conditioned for the hardships of being an American citizen for the next 50 years. Ok, ok, 30 if I’m lucky.
Heavily bombarded with fast food, fast cars, and fast women, it is no wonder our indulgent lifestyle makes it so easy to forget very basic things like regular physical activity. After all, the body wasn’t exactly designed to sit at cubicle trying to think of blogs to write… hmmm…
I’ve become increasingly more interested in keeping my body in shape. Not for looks, but merely for endurance, stamina, and vigor… IN BED! BOOYAH! Seriously, though… life in general. Regular physical activity be it buying a yoga mat and start doing yoga, jogging by myself, getting a few martial arts mats to wrestle with my girlfriend, or just taking the stairs instead of the elevator can substantially improve my metabolism, sleep, and my mood overall. Another big commitment is cutting out ALL sodas. That crap is BAD for you! No more Diet Coke for me! Or Squirt.. or Fanta… or regular Coke. (Beer is NOT soda by the way!)
Take it from someone that has been blessed with a pretty amazing metabolism (I have literally bombarded my body with just about anything you can throw at it for the past 30 years… and I still maintain a happy median weight of 185 lbs at 6’4″), things start to change after the last half of the second decade. If you are feeling the 3rd floor blues, consider taking something up cycling, yoga, martial arts, or cross-fit. One of the very distinct perks of working here has been the employee discounts on a variety things like work-out gloves, yoga equipment, martial arts products, and exercise mats. If you need a bit of a push in the right direction, remember that the body is like a car. Always lease, never buy. Wait, that’s not right… Oh yes, you’re body is like a car and it won’t last forever. But the more regular maintenance you give it, the more mileage you’ll get out of it.