Category Archives: Business

The Move to “The Round House” is This Week!

Round House Building

Round House BuildingThis week is “Moving Week” for my work office. It’s actually the official move of several into the new co-work space in downtown Opelika called The Round House.  Several of the group are talented people I have known from the Opelika area for years, others will be new faces with a variety of skills.  My move will probably be later in the week as I wait for a new desk to arrive. Instead of a work station, I’m thinking of it as a new “Productivity Station”. It will be my first ever stand up desk. Having tracked my activity over the past 18 months with a Jawbone bracelet, I know that sitting at a desk just kills my movement and activity each day. It should be fairly easy to see the difference within the first few weeks. My online research tells me that I’ll benefit from a standing desk in many ways from productivity to better health. I’ll have some analytics for you at the end of January.   I’ve included an outside picture of this old warehouse next to the renovated depot in downtown. That first large door is the entrance. Inside, I’d say is an old industrial look. Windows that open from several small offices into a common area are from old since demolished buildings. The One GIG” internet is powered by the City of Opelika fiber service. More later as the Adventure and Social Experiment continue!

Opelika’s Irish Bred Pub Closes

Pub ClosesToday marks the end of Sunday business for the Irish Bred Pub in Opelika. It becomes a six days a week restaurant and bar when it opens on Monday. They posted this announcement on their Facebook page.

“In order to provide our employees a day to rest, relax and worship as they please, the Irish Bred Pub will be closed on Sundays beginning January 4th, 2015.”

Several downtown Opelika Restaurants remain open to server locals including The Breezeway, Jimmy’s, Jefferson’s and Niffer’s On The Tracks! The latter three with full bars as well.

Three Things You Might Like Too


Apparently, I am in the mood to create list.  I always find myself in front of the computer for personal reasons this time of year. So I was wondering what Top 3 Things I was a part of that you might be interested in. These are things I use almost daily. And after seeing the, you’ll see they are all different.

Amazon_PrimeAmazon Prime: I’ve been a Prime fan for several years, since when the annual fee was $79, which is now $99. Don’t tell Amazon, but I’d probably pay more. Now if you never purchase from Amazon, then it’s not for you, but if you do as few as five purchases a year, then get Prime. So you get free shipping on your items if you take the two day option.  Heck, next day is only $3 if you really have to have it. If you select slow shipping, you can get a $1 Credit to your Digital account for movies and music or e-books. Speaking of the Digital account, there are tons of videos (TV & Movies), music and reading selections available for free with your Prime Membership. One other find this year for me as Amazon Smile. A small percentage of your purchase goes to a charity of your choice. Now I know it’s a small amount, but if you do enough shopping it adds up. Mine goes to the Food Bank of East Alabama.   PS: Amazon does Sunday delivery now via the US Postal Service. There always seems to be something that I wish I knew how to do better. Enter with an incredible selection of lessons covering most anything you can think of. Well, I haven’t checked it all, but everything I’ve needed has been there. Nice thing is you get a course completion certification which may be handy in your current or future job. On a recent performance evaluation I learned that the folks I work for like the fact that I’m always out there learning stuff. You can get the first month free and check out what’s there, then it goes to an auto renewing $25 per month. Currently I am working thru several courses on Google Ad Words and some tricks with Microsoft Excel that I didn’t know about.

LinkedInDotComLinkedIn: Are you on LinkedIn yet? LinkedIn isn’t just for when you are looking for a job, but it’s a great way to learn about others you may work with along the way.  Now maybe you are in a job and think you’ll never need this, but the ability to connect with other professionals and build credibility among your peers isn’t a bad thing at all. Plus, if you do go job hunting, you’ve got your resume built over time.  I use a companion app on my iPhone called “Connected” that checks my LinkedIn connections and alerts me of job anniversaries, birthdays and other things.

Co-Working – What Is It?

The last several weeks I’ve posted a few things about my planned move to a new working environment. The New Business Incubator in Downtown Opelika, The Round House, offers a place for talented people to work in the same space and share knowledge to learn from each other. I hope to gain some new insights in to various topics  and maybe share some things in Social Media I’ve picked up the past few years.  I’m sure I’ll have more to write in cmoing week on this Social Experiment of mine, but I found this short little video that explains why people make a move like the one I make this month.

Looking Back at Memorial Day Weekend in Opelika

Cottonseed_052314Typically, post on this blog should be advance of events to let you know they are coming, but unfortunately, I miss some along the way.  But better than a weather forecast before the weekend, I can tell you exactly what happened in the weather from the weekend now.  That being said, I had some thoughts about several events from the past few days worthy of comment.

First, the Rail City Criterion, an event for bike enthusiast that circled thru a small part of downtown on Saturday afternoon.  Anytime you go blocking off streets to traffic and parking, someone is probably going to complain. However, this past weekend was the perfect time for the event. I’m not sure another weekend all year would work as good. It was Memorial Day weekend and as the restaurants downtown can probably tell you, there were a lot of downtown regulars that were at the Lake or the Beach!  The event brought some new faces to Opelika, that will probably come back to enjoy what downtown has to offer in coming weeks and months. The after party for the race took place in the warehouses by the depot, recently purchased by Richard Patton and Friends.  I had never been inside, so checked out the venue that will be perfect for inside concerts long into the future.  Nice acquisition for the group and I look forward to future developments there.  First on their agenda is finding a suitable name for the venue.

Monday’s Memorial Day service at the City Hall location of the Veteran’s Memorial was well attended. Retired General Ron Burgess brought up an interesting fact about the flag on this day that honors those lost in service of their country. We all knew (me and most of my friends) that the flag flew at Half Mast for the day, but tradition calls for it to fly from the top of the flagpole beginning at noon. A fact that was missed by most others that flew Old Glory on Monday!  And General Burgess, Thanks for your service!

And about that flag fact. Did you know about that? Do I just live in a vacuum? Think more will bo on board with this next year? Leave a comment below folks!

Opelika’s Fiber to the House “I Like It!”

OpelikaPowerLogoI’ve been making lots of changes in my life the past few months. There’s the weight loss plan, which is more of a life style change than some plan to just lose weight, but more on that in another post. Three weeks ago, I Cut the Cable!  After review of my home television habits and phone usage, I dropped both of them and opted to just have high speed internet.  After all, I spend all day on the computer for work and it is essential.

Now I’m not one of those “Charter Communications Haters”, but I did make the move to the City of Opelika’s Fiber Network. Opelika Power Services offers all three, phone, internet and cable in a bundle with competitive pricing, but again for now, I just need the internet. For me the move was largely based on technology.  The Geek in me always wants to be on the leading edge and the City entrance to this landscape makes sense.  Opelika joins some pretty big named cities with fiber. The project should make Opelika a better choice for some business based on this fast communications portal.  I chose the “Lite Choice” plan with download/upload speeds of 30/15 MB. Not a part of the bundle, the price of about $45 a month is fair. Now, although I dropped cable TV, I didn’t trash my Big Screen. Using a Chromecast on my new fiber network, I can stream Netflix or movies from my computer. I’ve been consuming more content that way, as are a lot of folks.  I’ll probably write about the Chromecast over the holidays, as it has some pros and cons about it, but for now its fine for me.

TheBoxI waited to write this for my first bill to arrive, which did today. It’s plain and simple to understand and did not include any installation charges for the work done to get me up and running. And about that, it was pretty pleasant too. On Iron Bowl Saturday, someone from OPS stopped by to run the fiber from the pole across street to the house and setup the “Box”. On the following Monday, the installer came to setup the internet which included a battery backup system.  Both individuals were profession in both look and work completed.  After the installation, I launched my gadgets and found instant connection with our company network in Canada. In the past, I’ve always had issues when changing an ISP provider. But not this time.

In coming weeks the city will announce business pricing. I suspect it will be comparable to similar systems, but again, if you want the latest in technology, you should consider the city system.  I should probably mention that according to some that have the television offering, the picture quality is the best they have ever seen!

Jefferson’s On The Radio


A couple of the Jefferson’s locations got together on this commercial for fans heading to watch the game here or at home.

Downtown Opelika Holiday Open House

I personally never got the whole “Shopping Early” thing, but apparently there are a lot of you that do, so Opelika Main Street presents the Holiday Open House downtown this Sunday from Noon until 5PM. Have Fun! ~ Jerry Katz


Ah Finally – A Downtown Distilling Company

JohnEmeraldWell, this isn’t really new if you follow city council or keep up with downtown happenings, but I’ve not posted here so I thought I’d wander their Facebook page and grab some facts for you. The John Emerald Distilling Company will be in operation in early 2014 with a location in the old Penn Montgomery Cotton Warehouses.  From the pictures, it looks to be where Richard Patton has hosted several music shows in past month.  I’ve not had a chance to chat with the owner, but look forward to getting more of the story.

Here is the proposed label for their single malt and a brief description of the spirit.  John’s Alabama Single Malt Whiskey is named after the company’s name sake. The signature spirit will be a flavorful smoked single malt whiskey in a new Southern style. The barley will be smoked with there own blend of southern pecan and peach wood giving the whiskey an excellent mouth feel with refined and well-rounded smoke notes. John’s Alabama Single Malt will be matured first in new charred white oak barrels then finished with Alabama Norton wine staves to add a slight fruit finish to the spirit. A sip will reveal a slight upfront sweetness developing into vanilla notes from the oak barrel followed by a fruity finish from the wine staves while a backdrop of Alabama smoke favor binds all the favor notes together to make a true southern spirit experience.

“We think the spirit of John Emerald will reside in each and every bottle of John Emerald Single Malt. A spirit like John Emerald that’s smart, adventurous, playful and brings out the best in life.” ~ John Emerald Distilling Company, Opelika, AL

Pardon Our Pub Progress

PubFrontA little work over at the Irish Bred Pub this week, as the front entrance will move back to it’s original location, and the latest edition (the old Red Door June Coffee Shop) will get a facelift and become the meeting or special party room.  Currently the special parties go upstrairs, which should be a welcome change to some. Also doing some back of the house work to fix a few things, that probably could have been better when the place was being constructed a few years ago. (I’m just saying) Old friend Steve Nutter, who took the Pub over a year or so ago is back in the resturant daily after some management changes. Joe, that crazy guy behind the original opening was in town meeting with Steve discussing some of the upcoming changes.  It looks like these will all be for the good. Work should continue all week and be finished before the next Auburn Home Game!

CrossFit Opelika Moves Downtown & Host Open House Saturday

2013-09-04 00.05.14I met Brent Davis and his Dad the other day at Jefferson’s. Brent has been working for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for the past five years. He also is the owner of Crossfit Opelika. I had heard the name before, as a downtown friend Vanessa has been going there for some time. This weekend marks the move of CrossFit Opelika from Geneva Street to North Railroad Avenue, between 7th and 8th Streets in the old Montgomery Cotton warehouses. This Saturday (Sept 7th) is an Open House and chance for a Free Workout Day to see what CrossFit is all about. They will open at 9AM.

Here’s the definition from their website. CrossFit is many things. Primarily, it’s a fitness regimen developed by Coach Greg Glassman over several decades. He was the first person in history to define fitness in a meaningful, measurable way (increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains). CrossFit itself is defined as that which optimizes fitness (constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity). CrossFit is also the community that spontaneously arises when people do these workouts together. In fact, the communal aspect of CrossFit is a key component of why it’s so effective. For more information, check out (Oh yea, nice design on that logo Phillip Darden!

Alabama Public Television Takes Home 5 Emmy Awards

12911474-largeAlabama Public Television won five regional Emmy awards at the annual Southeast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awards ceremony in Atlanta on Saturday.

“The Durrs of Montgomery,” which tells the story of Alabama political and civil rights activists Clifford and Virginia Durr, was the biggest winner, earning three Emmys, including one for outstanding historical documentary.

“We’re excited to see this recognition for the outstanding work being done at Alabama Public Television,” APT executive director Roy Clem said in a press release.

Here is the list of APT’s Emmy winners:

Outstanding Achievement: Documentary – Historical: “The Durrs of Montgomery.” (Andrew Beck Grace, Paul Rogers, Justin Gaar, Christopher E. Holmes).

Outstanding Achievement: Interactivity: “Experiencing Shakespeare.” (Heather Daniels, Mark Fastoso).

Outstanding Achievement: Audio – Post Production: “The Durrs of Montgomery.” (Nick Punch).

Outstanding Achievement: Editor – Program (Non-News): “The Durrs of Montgomery.” (Paul Rogers, Andrew Beck Grace).

Outstanding Achievement: Lighting: “APT Circle.” (Paul Rogers, Christopher E. Holmes, Justin Gaar.) Read the formal release from Alabama Public Television

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