Posted by & filed under Traveling, The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

blog-1

 

by Liz James (Customer Service)

Like many other people, I’ve gotten caught up in Pokemon Go fever.  In case you didn’t know, Pokemon Go is the latest app to catch on in the world, and allows you to fulfill your childhood dream of collecting Pokemon in the real world!  You don’t have to have any childhood memories of Pokemon to have fun with this app, though…  I know several people who are just now discovering the joy of finding Pokemon and the agony of missing a Pokemon catch.

 

Part of the game involves going outside and catching Pokemon, as well as taking some long walks to hatch Pokemon eggs.  In recent days, portable chargers have become quite the hot commodity, as the app does tend to be a battery hog.  And you mustn’t forget some water for the longer walks!  To do some of that, though, you might need a bag to carry that portable charger and/or your water bottle.

 

Luckily, I’ve got a few suggestions as to what bags an aspiring Pokemon Master might want!

 

1: For the minimalist Master – The Book Bag

 

You’ve got all your Pokeballs and Potions in your app, so no need to carry around a big bag!  You really just need a good bag to carry your small ID wallet, keys, and that portable battery charger.  You may be walking around indoors, taking advantage of the AC and the nearby Pokestops and Gyms at your nearby mall, so water isn’t necessarily your priority  You can get that from the water fountains.  But that portable battery charger that you have is, because catching Pokemon on an empty battery is impossible.

 

2: For the iPad Master – The Tablet Bag

 

A puny phone screen isn’t enough for you… You have to catch your Pokemon on the big screen.  Only your tablet will do to catch ‘em all. That front pocket is good enough for a portable battery charger and your keys, and you can clip on a water bottle if you really need one.  But most likely, you’ll be out of the heat, since holding your tablet for that long is a hassle and you’d rather be indoors or in the passenger seat of your friend’s car to catch your Pokemon.

 

3: For the lady Master – The Rawhide Crossbody Bag

 

Sure, you’re going to go out catching Pokemon, but you also want to look good.  So take it from an experienced Pokemon trainer… this Rawhide Crossbody will suit your needs.  There’s enough room in there for your portable battery and a Long Trifold Wallet, plus your keys and sunglasses.  A water bottle can be clipped onto the side, or if you want to go with a smaller wallet, a regular plastic bottle can fit inside.  And you can wear this crossbody easily for those longer treks!

 

4: For the everyday Master – The Leather Satchel

 

You’ve figured out by now that there are certain spots in your city where you can sit and spin a few Poke-stops at once.  And since you may want to surf the internet every five minutes on your smaller laptop, you want a bag that can hold that, your portable battery charger, and two regular water bottles. So the Large Satchel is your best bet.  Plus, if you have a larger reusable water bottle, it can be clipped on to one of those D-rings easily.  And if you need to walk a few kilometers to hatch that egg, the Satchel can go into Backpack form easily.

 

5:  For the long-haul Master – The Front Pocket Backpack

 

Sure, you could go for the Simple Backpack, and that would do just as well.  But if you find yourself needing space for two bigger water bottles, that Front Pocket will come in handy to hold your portable charger.  Inside the main compartment, you can easily stuff snacks, first aid kits, compasses, anything an aspiring Pokemon master would want when they’re going to be out and about for long periods of time.  I mean, you never know when you’ll see a rare Pokemon nearby.  Just don’t forget the sunscreen and your stuffed Pikachu as you race out the door to catch ‘em all!

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

 

by Nick Bridwell, infographic by Brian Griffith

 

bagsofmen-sm

If you are a man of some style and substance, odds are you probably need to cart around more than what will fit in your pockets. It’s okay, men have been sporting bags for thousands of years.

No matter the variety of bag you choose, you will no doubt encounter opposition. This most often comes in the form of sarcastic statements like “What’s up with your murse?” or “Hey, Sally, where’d you get your man purse?” I’ve heard many varieties.

Let’s face it, those unsolicited comments come from the folks who generally wouldn’t know style or function if it hit them in the junk. And you can spot them from a mile away. You know what, I’ll accept my bag as a “man purse” if they will accept being spotted for these alternative ways to carry their things:

 

The Zoot Suiter- You can spot a Zoot Suiter, because his pockets are filled to the brim and this makes his pants puff out like a 1940s gangster. It’s amazing what a grown man can fit in his pockets. Tablet, cell phone, chainsaw, the cast of the Sopranos. This is the same dude who gives you a hard time for using a Satchel, all the while he’s sporting blue jeans that have suddenly turned into parachute pants. Your comeback: “Where’d you get those pants, Al Capone’s estate sale?”

 

The Cat’s Cradler – This is the dude you see walking around constantly with a handful of wires, clothes, papers, computer cords, all tucked in and out of his arms like he’s playing the childhood game Cat’s Cradle. From far away, if you squint, the Cat’s Cradler sort of looks like Pig-Pen from the Peanuts cartoon strip, because there’s this weird tangle of junk all around him. The Cat’s Cradler can often be spotted ogling leather briefcases and saying, “I bought my wife one of those.” He didn’t and he want yours. Your comeback is classy and charitable. Just look at his pile of junk and say:  “I’m sorry, can I help you with that?”

 

The Be-Right-Backer: The BRB-er is a little more savvy than the Zoot Suiter or the Cat’s Cradler.  He doesn’t want to be seen burdened with all of his necessities. Therefore, he just keeps his stuff at his desk or in his truck. So, the BRB-er will most likely tell you. “I don’t know why all of you guys need to carry around man purses. I get by fine.” Then, he’ll disappear for ten minutes into the 112-degree summer to fetch a notebook he left in his 145-degree truck. Your comeback: “Man, what took you so long? I had a beer in my bag for you, but I got bored and drank it.”

 

These are just a few of the natural opponents of the awesome leather bags we make here at Saddleback Leather. Next time they call you out, check and see if they are a Zoot Suiter, a Cat’s Cradler, or a BRBer. Sometimes, you even get a combo.

Oh, and be sure to point out that men have been carrying bags for thousands of years and show them this sick infographic.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

In this thirty-sixth episode of the Not Dead Yet Show:

I’ve been working on the Hard Briefcase for seven years. It’s been really hard but I think we finally got it. I also show how we tan and finish our leather.

 

 

 

 

Come see the rest of the Not Dead Yet Series

Subscribe to the Not Dead Yet Show newsletter right now or else be prepared to face the consequences of missing the greatest show ever produced about the Munsons living in tents.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

header-B

 

 

By Nick Bridwell

 

Things are getting heated here at Saddleback HQ. Just like the rest of the country, we are utterly divided over our votes for President. Half of Team Saddleback is passionate about a certain boisterous blonde who can’t help standing out in every single conference room. The other half is certain that the best candidate is the practical one that offers experience, function, and compartmentalization.

 

Of course, we’re talking about candidates for The Saddleback President of Bags, 2016.

 

In the Red Corner:

 

Classic

 

Weighing in at 8lbs, at 18″ Wide, 13” High, and 9″ Deep, the XL Saddleback Leather Classic Briefcase is built to hold more BS than a Washington politician. This guy is a noise maker. Walk into the room with one of these and you’re going to meet with either applause from everyone in the room or you’re going to offend someone with your obvious disregard for what so many people colloquially refer to as “the norm”.  The Classic can pack a pistol, a pipe, and a pin hammer and still have room for a 17’’ laptop and a notebook. The bag evokes another time that the Classic’s campaign manager calls “better”. Vote Team Classic and “Make America Classic Again.”

 

In the Blue Corner:

 

vote-front

 

Weighing in at 7.5lbs, at 17” Wide, 12” High, and 7” Deep, the Large Front Pocket Briefcase is for the philosopher and the multitasker. This one gets things accomplished with a little bit of something for everyone. Those exterior pockets make the Front Pocket capable of keeping life highly organized and therefore highly effective. “If you’re looking for a President of Bags who can make your life easier,” says the Front Pocket’s campaign manager, “you’re going to want to go with the only candidate who has actual experience organizing different things in different pockets.” Vote Front Pocket and “The Future is in your Pocket.”

 

Whether you’re an “everything-but-the-kitchen-sink” sort of fellow who says what he thinks and does what he wants regardless what everyone thinks and is subsequently adored for this behavior, or an “I better stayed organized if I want to take on the world” sort of person who prefers to calculate, curate, and ameliorate, there’s a candidate you can count on here at Saddleback Leather. Wouldn’t that be something to see other places?

 

 

choice-B

 

 

Vote here for your choice of Saddleback Leather President of Bags 2016:

 

 

 

Who should be the Saddleback Leather President of Bags 2016

 

May the best bag win…
Nick Bridwell is the author of The Ties That Bind: https://amzn.com/B00O1CCC90 and a regular contributor to Saddleback’s Blog and Plano Magazine.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Posted by & filed under Quality.

Please join us in congratulating our Summer 2016 Photo Contest winners.

Aviran-Benjamin

Best Overall: Aviran Benjamin “prickled” our attention with this shot of his Classic Briefcase in Tobacco taken in Tel Aviv, Israel. He’s our Overall Winner and gets a $500 Gift Certificate.

Bronson-Silva

Best Pet: Bronson K Silva’s pal Miki almost steals the spotlight from the Classic Briefcase. Hopefully he didn’t get too much drool on your Briefcase 😜

justus

Runner Up: Justus Dirkus’ well-aged leather pile earned him a Runner Up prize. Fantastic shot, Justus!

Tabitha-Twietmeyer

Runner Up: Tabitha Twietmeyer’s “family” catches a sunset on the beach.

Alain-Baburam2

Runner Up: “It’s behind me isn’t it?” Alain Baburam is one of our three Runners Up.

 

Congratulations to our winners! Go here for more info on the Photo Contest and how to enter.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

blog

By Liz James (Customer Service)

 

It’s way past Mother’s Day, I know.  But then, I think brilliant mothers should be celebrated every day.  At least that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it!

So, as you’ve probably gathered, my Mom is brilliant.  And I’m not just talking about her going for her Doctorate at the very young age of 35 (may or may not be her actual, physical age).  It’s not just because she seems to know everything and helped me correct my papers in school.  While she is all these things, I’m the most proud of her showing the world how badly she’s kicking breast cancer’s butt.

This isn’t the first time, either.  Back in 2006, Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I was just getting out of high school at the time, so things… I don’t think they really clicked for me.  Cancer was scary, yes, but I was never really overly concerned.  Plus, as far as cancers went, her type was pretty mild.  Her initial treatment was done in about six weeks or so, and then it was done.  Yup, a little surgery, a bit of radiation, and bam, cancer went away.
When cancer goes away, it’s not supposed to come back.  I mean, my paternal grandfather fought cancer several times before it took him away, but he was an exception.  Lightning isn’t supposed to strike twice.   But then Mom called me one Saturday in late January.   She had her yearly mammogram, and then a biopsy, and the news was that she had breast cancer.  Again.  I was fine on the phone with her, but later that night as I was telling some of my church friends, it became real when I spoke the words out loud.

This cancer was worse, and therefore the fight was, too.  Starting in March, Mom went to MD Anderson for Chemo every three weeks.  Chemo was a new experience, since her first bout with cancer didn’t require it.  But we quickly realized that it, in a word, sucked.  Mom’s hair fell out pretty quickly, and nausea and fatigue became usual feelings for her.  Chemo changed her taste buds, so her usual drinks of water and tea are now unpalatable to her. It’s great she now likes Dr Pepper, since it’s one of the few drinks that don’t taste funny to her but it’s still weird to see her drinking it somewhat voluntarily.  And since we never know what she’ll feel like eating, takeout has become the norm rather than the exception.

She’s fought cancer these past few months with dignity and a perseverance that astounds me and many others.  Mom is on so many prayer lists, and we have felt those prayers every step of the way!  And she’s going to have another fight as surgeons perform a mastectomy and she learns how to live with that.  I know she’s going to do amazing, though.

Back when I first found out about the diagnosis, I wrote my Mom a poem and surprised her with it.  And now, with her permission, I’d like to share it with you.  Maybe you have someone fighting cancer, or you yourself are.  I hope you take heart in knowing that you are not alone, and that “victim” is not your name!

 

For Lucy

 

By Liz James

 

A breast that once helped give me life

Is now poisonous to my Mom.

Now whether it stays or goes,

The decision is not fun.

 

But ‘tis not the boob that gave me breath,

Nor taught me to love a book.

It wasn’t the tit that helped me write,

Or fed me what she could cook

 

It was not her chest that comforted me,

When I was overwrought with fears

Nor did it hold me quite as close

When she wiped away my tears.

 

Cancer, you treacherous beast,

You think that you have won,

Ten long years you’ve waited for this,

Thinking this battle done.

 

You seek to defeat my Mom,

Say she’ll never be the same,

But though she’s been called many things,

“Victim” is not her name.

 

Try “Strong” or “Mighty” or “Beautiful”

And “Victorious” will work as well!

But you, cancer, you vile thing,

You can go straight to hell!

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Posted by & filed under Film, NDYS.

In this thirty-fifth episode of the Not Dead Yet Show:

Get a sneak peek of some upcoming copper designs and hear how Suzette killed a copperhead.

 

 

Come see the rest of the Not Dead Yet Series

Subscribe to the Not Dead Yet Show newsletter right now or else be prepared to face the consequences of missing the greatest show ever produced about the Munsons living in tents.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

poke-2

Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

poke-2


By Nick Bridwell

For those of you who were visiting another planet in the late 90s, Pokemon are Japanese “pocket monsters”; amalgamations of different creatures both fantastical and historical. The original video games spawned a TV show, multiple movies, action figures, beach towels, toilet plungers and toothbrushes. This month, Nintendo (the geniuses behind Mario Brothers) released Pokemon Go, a brand new game for mobile phones. And the world will never be the same.

The game uses GPS and your phone’s camera to send you on quests around your neighborhood–yes the real world!– to find the 151 original Pokemon and capture them in your phone. After playing the game for two weeks, I am now determined that Nintendo wants to get me fired. So, Here are 3 Tips to Surviving the Workweek While Playing Pokemon Go.

  1. Charge

I went out for coffee earlier in the week so that I could clear my head in a clean workspace. That’s an outright fib. I went so I could catch Pikachu at the bookstore down the street. Anyway, I caught the little bugger. Even if it did take 45 minutes to find him in the shopping center.  But, when it came time for me to dial in to a conference call, my phone was dead as a doornail. If you’re keeping score, that’s: 1 Pikachu Caught; 1 Conference Call Missed. Don’t forget to bring a charger if you wanna catch ‘em all, because Pokemon Go is a battery zapper.

  1. Think Before You Snap

Posting snapshots of your newest Pokemon is fun. I’ve captured a Pincer, Drowzee, and Pidgeot in the nearby park, a Hydra in the pool, and a Bulbasaur near our favorite downtown pub. All of those catches went quite swimmingly. Awesome! You know what’s not awesome? Tracking a Squirtle to a grocery store parking lot and having to awkwardly explaining that you’re taking pictures of small anthropomorphic sea turtle and not taking pictures of a middle-aged stay-at-home-dad while he’s putting his groceries away. Awkward Squirtle. Do yourself a favor and take a look around before you start your new photographic essay on your favorite Pokemon.

  1. Be Evolved

Pokemon Go is an innovative concept. It’s a video game that gets people out into the community. That being said, the environment hasn’t evolved quite at the same pace of video games. In the old school Pokemon games, you would walk to a river’s edge and have to select “Swim” in order to actually go swimming. This is the real world, yo! Look up from your screen or you might literally end up: a.) Backstroking with Blastoise b.) Roadkill with Rattata or, c.) Walking into Walls for a Weedle. Look before you leap!

I’ve got a hot lead on a Charmander, so I’m outta here.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Posted by & filed under NDYS.

In this thirty-fourth episode of the Not Dead Yet Show:

We are amazed and better people with greater vision because of our visit to Chick-fil-A headquarters to give the Monday morning devotions.

 

 

Come see the rest of the Not Dead Yet Series

Subscribe to the Not Dead Yet Show newsletter right now or else be prepared to face the consequences of missing the greatest show ever produced about the Munsons living in tents.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

blog

by Caroline Bengali (Customer Service)

I went to the mall this past weekend, for the first time in years.  I went because I had to, the mall is not my favorite shopping stomping ground.

There were so many people walking around, and now with Pokemon Go, everyone is bumping into each other even more :).  I decided since I had to be here, may as well try and not hate it.

I got a honeydew Bubble tea, (if you’ve never had one, you’re either going to love it or be completely freaked out by the tapioca balls) and sat on an empty bench to wait for my husband.

I feel this push from the side and think it’s just Richard being funny, then I realize some guy is running down the mall with my purse!  I yell for him to stop then realize why would he so I yell for someone to stop him.  I have on my Nike’s and the sugar from the Bubble tea has kicked in.  So, I run after him.  If he has a gun I will deal with that scenario later, or maybe just not get too close.  Now I know this is not a great idea and that somewhere there is a security guard or 2 but at the moment I can’t seem to find any.  Following this guy, who is now walking quickly because I’ve stopped yelling, is my best option, I can point and nod once I find a security guard. The mission is to not lose him.

My phone beeps and it’s a text from Richard asking where I am, I text him back fully hoping auto correct will not fail me because I cannot walk, stalk, spy and text at the same time.

I still have the guy in my line of sight.  Why isn’t he going to an exit? He is literally stopping to look in the Hallmark store.  Why? Is he planning on sending me a ‘sorry I stole your purse’ card? He totally could since he has my wallet and my address.  Ugh.

I decide it’s now or never.  I see a security guard and make the hand gestures to indicate that that man took my purse.  He raises his shoulders.  I try again, he gets it, I think.  But purse robber man sees him and takes off, my gazelle like instincts and my turtle like legs make me spring into another run to get my purse.  I know he is now going to leave the mall.  Behind me I see the security guard talking into his radio but he’s not running!  I end up running into the back of purse snatcher man and knock both of us down on the ground.  He starts yelling that what am I doing and crazy lady (he used another word that rhymes with itch) and he’s trying to crawl away but I manage to pull his leg…. Like I’m pulling yours.  :)

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •