Posted on: June 25th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Vanity. Satan’s favorite sin. Well, at least in Al Pacino’s depiction of the devil. I don’t know why I found myself thinking about this other than the fact that I watched The Devil’s Advocate earlier this week. The movie is a solid 7.5 in my opinion. A perfect touch of Clinton-era cheese while people still had this post 80′s excess fascination with the ‘devil-lawyer’ archetype. Yes, lawyers are evil (no exceptions), but my point is that I came to very particular and nuanced conclusions about something while I was watching this film 16 years after it’s release:
a) Keanu is not a terrible actor.
b) I love Charlize Theron. Like… a lot.
c) I love Al Pacino. (there’s a reason he sits atop my cubicle screaming at me at the horror of seeing his anti-christ son commit suicide instead of serving him).
The real meat and potatoes, though, is that this whole experience left me thinking about another Al Pacino classic, Carlito’s Way! An undeniable classic tale of redemption with a tragic turn for the protagonist. I mean, the movie starts where it ends and you STILL hope and are even made to feel like things might work out. But anyway, the point is that in that movie, there is ONE brief scene where Carlito (Pacino), having just been released from prison, follows his old flame to a dance class. There, for a quick second, BAM, a ballet barre! And it all comes full circle. Maybe a shot of glassless mirrors too. I don’t know. The thing is that the more I thought about it, I thought that maybe my love and affinity for movies has just been a subconscious pre-conditioning to me learning all about dance accessories, commercial/industrial products, and exercise mats. I’ll be scouring my favorite movies looking for all these things I’ve missed before. Luckily with the power of HD Blu-Ray remasters, I might even see a MatsMatsMats.com label somewhere.
Posted on: June 12th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
I wrote about horses once before already, but HOT DANG I had to share my experience this weekend! I took my girlfriend out on a (romantic) expedition to the Morongo Valley and adjacent Joshua Tree desert area. We went to the Cottonwood Canyon Ranch which is basically a ranch that rescues and rehabilitates horses from slaughter auctions, neglectful owners, and other bad situations for the animals.
Because of my height and weight, I lucked out and got a BIG horse. And I’m talking BIG horse. She was driver named Rosie and if you could compare horses to cars, a regular horse is like a solid mid size pick up. My horse was Hummer. Big, comfortable, and all terrain! After an hour and a half ride where we got a tour of the local flora and fauna, we headed back for some pictures and a quick little tour of the ranch.
I resisted sounding too pitchy, but I immediately asked about the stall mats and what they use. It seems that they are currently using common recycled rubber tiles that, unlike ours, they weren’t sure if it was sulfur free. I of course, handed my card and just let them know that if they have any need for stall mats, rubber flooring, or any mats whatsoever, to please call us. Perhaps we’ll be exchanging some horse stall mats for group sessions? One can only hope!
Posted on: May 28th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
I was curious to go watch the new Iron Man movie last night at a midnight showing. I quickly realized I can’t hang with the late night showings anymore. Not at my age, anyway. How sad is that? Lately, between random bouts of insomnia, under-accomplishment blues, and marital woes, it can be extremely difficult to stand being surrounded by rowdy teenagers and all their witty anecdotes during the previews or the pre-show entertainment; a random flurry of local CPA’s, hair stylists, and tax lawyers all mixed in with useless celebrity trivia and Coca-Cola advertisements which, mind you, work like a charm. I got the largest syrupy coke they had to offer.
In my quest for searching for a blog topic, I was literally about to ask the girl at the concession stand what kind of anti fatigue mats they were standing on. Perhaps some Performa or other non-slip drainage mats? I stopped myself. I knew that If I opened my mouth not only would I ooze depression and desperation for some conversation, but this young female worker might assume that I’m hitting on her and I wanted to spare myself and her the embarrassment of having to clarify that I am not awkwardly trying to hit on her, but I actually really do have in interest as to the fatigue mats she is standing on.
After a nice long narrative involving good ol fashioned American exceptionalism (Mandarin in this movie, however, is not Mandarin at all), I found myself pondering in very deep ways the nature of the universe as I often do after a sci-fi action movie. When I got back to my car, instead of driving home, I drove up to a nice dark empty spot just outside the valley. Low light pollution but not quite rural yet. I went to the trunk and pulled out the embossed yoga mat that I had “borrowed” from work. You see, whenever a yoga mat order gets placed with an embossed logo on it, we get a free unit to make sure it is up to par with what the customer received. I got to keep this particular one since it was, unfortunately from an older plate manufacturer we no longer use and was not as nice as the rest of our regular lots. I hastily (I had precious little time to do so as I still had to be at work the next day) unfurled the yoga mat across the hood of my “new” car and watched the stars while sipping on the last of my watered down coca-cola. At that point, I felt small and insignificant enough to suddenly not care about any of my particular woes. The stars just guided me for the next hour and a half.
Posted on: May 24th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
I came down with a nasty flu this week. Not nasty in length, but in severity. 103 degree fever for a solid four plus hours or so. When it finally broke, I felt like I was hallucinating. And I actually was. You see, I thanked my girlfriend for bringing me the glass of water that I didn’t ask for and in reality, wasn’t even there. After stumbling from bed to the kitchen for some refreshment and battling my cat to not trip me as I shuffled my feet in what can only be described as an alien imitation of human bipedalism, I had a revelation. I was sick from the gym! Of course! All the grime, sharing equipment, and that one folding exercise mat
I used… I remember the one. I had a bad feeling about using the common exercise mat
but I went ahead and did it anyway. Four days later, BAM! Sick as dog. Now, I wouldn’t dare suggest that this particular facility does not disinfect its workout mats
regularly, but I have my suspicions.
I always wondered why we sell our mat disinfectant
. That sounds stupid… I know WHY we use them, but I never really thought about it in context. But the sweat, the grunts, the exhausting of ones body to the limits while perspiring sweat and salival grunts, well, let’s just say your gonna be swapping fluids (involuntarily) with a couple of people at your gym. I’d like to think that ALL gyms (and after researching OF COURSE THEY DO) disinfect their daily use common equipment with disinfectants and a mat cleaner
, but if you happen to be extra paranoid like me, take your own aerobic mats with you from here on out.
Posted on: May 8th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Oh, Iâ€™m sorry. I didnâ€™t notice you reading there. I am seriously sleep deprived. I think Iâ€™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 heâ€™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 Iâ€™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. Heâ€™s an adorable little loverboy. There isnâ€™t a single violent bone on the catsâ€™ body and heâ€™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 itâ€™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 weâ€™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. Iâ€™ve got a plan. That plan in copious amounts of indoor time. Thatâ€™s right. What better way to enjoy the rites of Spring then staying indoors with your comfort products watching nature shows. Itâ€™s like all the fun of the outdoors without the dangers of a foreboding urban landscape and even worse: nature! Iâ€™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 â€˜man caveâ€™ of sorts. I always thought it was funny that a ‘mans cave’ has so many ‘kids products‘.Â Anyway, my current living situation does not permit me to truly veg out in true Spring fashion. Thatâ€™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! Itâ€™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!Â 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 doesnâ€™t know that Iâ€™m going to marry her yet and she canâ€™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 (itâ€™s not a death sentence by any means!!).Â 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.Â Luckily, he was just getting information so didnâ€™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 Iâ€™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.Â Now the sun seems to be coming up figuratively and literally, itâ€™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 youâ€™re like me, I bet you can â€œbearlyâ€ stand eating alone.Â So â€œbearâ€ 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… didnâ€™t think that one through now did we. Not a problem though! Â Iâ€™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 90â€™s to lie down on grass at the park, itâ€™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!