Saturday, September 24, 2011

Contributing Writer

The Leader and Kalkaskian

MANCELONA, MI — DTX International has grown from two employees to 10 at its headquarters in Mancelona during the past few years and is thriving in an otherwise slow economy.

“We’re busy,” said David Tucker, DTX customer service manager. “Demand has grown and we’ve seen an increase in sales.”
The company, located on U.S.-131 south of downtown Mancelona, sells a wide range of products all over the world, from popcorn machines and tools to photography equipment. They have a storefront in Mancelona where they sell goods, but also via their website and on other websites like Home Depot, Walmart, Sears, KOHL’s, eBay and Amazon.

“If you go to one of those websites and search for popcorn, our machine will pop up,” Tucker said. “If you order one of our products from, it comes from this warehouse. It’s a big part of our business.”

Tucker’s wife, Tracey, met Brian Foster, one of the DTX partners, when she was working at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Mancelona.

“They were talking about his plans to move here from downstate,” Tucker said. “She introduced us and the next thing you know, I’m working with him.”

Foster and his partner, Tom Gerard of Rochester Hills, planned to locate their facility downstate.

“Brian had property in the area and was moving here,” Tucker said. “They found this building and decided to make it their headquarters.”

DTX is the official manufacturer of their goods, as everything is made to their specifications, but nothing is built from scratch in the Mancelona facility.

“Our products are imported here and disbursed to our customers and vendors,” Tucker said. A semi truck full of product typically leaves the Mancelona facility every day and, because DTX is involved in the shipping business, items sometimes get damaged.

“We have an employee designated to repair and refurbish damaged goods,” Tucker said. “We sell those at a discounted rate.”

A passing train recently hit the popcorn machine on display in front of the business, which stood there for more than three years.

“It somehow got a little too close to the tracks,” Tucker said.

The company welcomes walk-ins at their headquarters and sells brand-new merchandise off their shelves.

The business is open, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 1-800-665-0728 or visit


Friday, June 3, 2011

Microsoft officially unveils Windows 8

From Microsoft has officially unveiled some key new features of its forthcoming operating system. The next-generation OS, which may or may not be called “Windows 8” (its “internal code-name”), delivers a completely re-imagined user interface, with a heavy emphasis on touch-based functionality that takes a hefty helping of inspiration from the Windows Phone UI.

One of the first major design changes from previous Windows versions is the completely overhauled Windows Start menu, which has been replaced with a colorful tiled design that evokes the Exposé screen of Firefox, or other similar quick-screen-navigation features found in most new web browsers. Rather than web pages, however, the new Start screen shows both static program icons and widgets, called “live tiles,” which provide constant notifications and updates. Windows 8 also allows users to access all the files on their computer in the same visualized way that programs are accessed, which helps make the OS easy to navigate with touch alone.

Since Windows 8 is obviously designed with tablets in mind (but can be used with a standard mouse and keyboard), users switch from application to application by swiping left and right in a similar fashion to mobile phone OSs, like Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android. Apps included with the OS, like a weather app, a stock ticker app, and a built-in news app, all take advantage of the entire screen. Fortunately, Windows 8 still allows for multitasking, and multiple apps can be viewed simultaneously on the same screen simply by dragging and dropping the app window onto the main screen.

Windows 8 also takes advantage of current web standards, like HTML 5 and JavaScript, and is optimized to work with Microsoft’s upcoming web browser, Internet Explorer 10.

Overall, Windows 8 looks like a step in the right direction for Microsoft, as it tries to compete with the touchscreen powerhouse of Apple’s iPad line and its iOS software. Windows 8 is still far from complete, however, and it is not yet clear when the software will be publicly available, though some guess a fall 2012 time frame. Check back with Digital Trends soon for the latest Windows 8 news.

See the Video on YouTube.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Are You Preparing To Win, or Preparing to Fail?

Time and time again I hear it: "We don't have time for a website," or "We don't have enough business to warrant a website."

So many businesses today seem to be going into action with the idea that it's only temporary, and that they will fail in the long run anyway. This mindset can only lead to failure. It is almost like businesses today are afraid to succeed because it might be too much work.

Success is a state of mind. Napoleon Hill wrote in his book Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude, "Anything the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve." But the key is that you MUST believe it first. If you don't believe it, then you are just wasting your time.

Because today more people search Google than the Yellow Pages, a website can be the first, easiest step to achieving success in business. Affordable Website Design can get you on the Internet "map" and delivering potential customers your way.

A website doesn't need to be fancy or complex to be effective. It doesn't need to have a shopping cart or searchable database, which can lead to increased expenses in the website design. A website needs to get people to the information you want them to have, and peak their interest enough to pick up the phone or send an eMail.

Internet hosting and website design can cost far less than any print or broadcast advertising you can find today, and is far more permanent, instantly updatable, and upgradable at any time.

Are you ready to succeed? Or are you planning on failing?


Friday, August 13, 2010

Chrysler's Gun-Toting Pickup Truck

From Fox News.

Chrysler's Ram truck division is taking direct aim at hunters with a unique feature on its new line of Outdoorsman pickup trucks - a gun closet.

Called the The Mopar RamBox Holster, its a rack that can hold two rifles or shotguns inside one of the lockable, watertight compartments located on either side of the pickup bed.

A $205 option - on top of the $1895 price of the RamBox feature itself - the rack can be rotated to hold six fishing poles for those who prefer quieter trips into the great outdoors.

The Outdoorsman starts at $28,350 and includes standard features like scratch-resistant bumpers, puncture-resistant tires, and a towing package. Buyers can order the trimline on most Ram models, including heavy duty and long wheelbase versions.


Friday, April 3, 2009

AMA urges action on bipartisan letters to the Consumer Product Safety Commission

AMA urges action on bipartisan letters to the Consumer Product Safety Commission Congressional Letters Being Circulated to End Youth OHV Ban.

Contact your Senators and Representative to have them sign-on!

In the battle to maintain access to youth motorcycles and ATVs, both the US Senate and House of Representatives are circulating letters to the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) asking that these vehicles be excluded from Section 101 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). The Act effectively banned the sale of youth off-highway vehicles (OHVs) earlier this year due to the presence of lead in certain functional parts. The American Motorcyclist Association is encouraging all AMA members, motorized recreation enthusiasts and rights activists to contact their Senators and Representative and ask them to sign-on to the letters.

The bipartisan letters, led by Senators Stabenow (D-MI), Tester (D-MI) and Brownback (R-KS) in the Senate and Representatives Rehberg (R-MT) and Herseth Sandlin (D-SD) in the House, are signals from Congress that they support the continued availability of youth OHVs and recognize the importance of these vehicles to family recreation and motorsports. The letters also seek to bring together all concerned elected officials, respective of their chamber, under one united bipartisan demonstration of support.

Under the law, which is administered by the CPSC, manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers are barred from making, importing, distributing or selling any product intended for children 12 and under that contains more than 600 parts per million of lead in any accessible part. Members of Congress agree that the lead content in OHVs represents no tangible threat to young riders and that the vehicles do not belong on the ban list.

The fastest way to reach your Members of Congress is to call them. You can find contact information for all of your elected officials by entering your zip code on, clicking on "Rights," then "Issues and Legislation." Additionally, a prewritten email is available for you to send to your Members of Congress immediately.

It is imperative that the youth OHV market be restored immediately for the health of family recreation, the survival of the sport and the prosperity of an industry already suffering in a downturned economy. Please contact your Senators and Representative right away and ask them to sign-on to the youth OHV exclusion request letters today.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Alleydude Website Design

The Alleydude approach to graphic design is simplicity. Sites with flash and a lot of JavaScript script tend not only perform poorly in the search engines, but also put off the visitors due to slow load times and clunky interface. Graphic design should not only look good, but should allow your visitors to get the information they are looking for with minimal wait time and as few clicks as necessary. The sites that I have designed in the past have performed well in the search engines and look appealing to the eye.

Graphic design is not just an artistic process, but is a marketing process that must not only present the company in an appealing and inviting way, but must also bring the customers to the site in the first place. Flash animations and fancy java scripts do not do this, and in fact work against you. Search engines like text and simple, tight code, which is what I specialize in. My graphic designs and web designs will bring customers to your door and get them to the information or products they are looking for. Whether it's a completely new site, or a basic face lift for your website, I know what you need and have the means to make it happen at a reasonable price.

...and just a side note: The graphics you see on this page and not flash or Java, they are animated .gif files that are alt-able and title-able, making them search engine friendly, and if done correctly require minimal load time.

I am located in Kingsley, Michigan, near Traverse City, MI. If you are looking for someone to do your Graphic Design work in Kingsley, Mi, or you need some web design in Traverse City, Michigan, I would love to take on your project. Thank you for stopping by, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Kingsley Michigan Web Design. Small town business ethics, small town prices. If you are looking for Michigan Web Design, contact the Alleydude.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Affordable SEO

How much do you have in your budget to spend on SEO? $10,000? $100,000? Though these figures seem high, the truth is that you could easily spend this with other SEO companies. Many will try to sell you on Pay-Per-Click (PPC), and other will try to trick you into spending big bucks with them just to get you to rank on some silly, unrelated keywords that do you no good what-so-ever. It's these people you need to avoid like the plague. They are not out to help you, just take your money.

Looking for affordable seo? The SEO Brigade is all about affordable search engine optimization. The fact of the matter is that you can NOT afford not to have your site professionally optimized for Natural Search. So how much is SEO worth to you? If you have it in your budget to advertise, then you have money better spent on organic SEO. (See What Is SEO.) Consider Affordable SEO. A newspaper ad can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars, and only offer a one time exposure. TV ads cost even more and are only good for as long as the ad campaign lasts. Magazine ads are only good for as long as the reader is looking at your ad. SEO lasts years, maybe for as long as you own your website. Affordable SEO by the SEO Brigade is the best bang for the buck that your money can buy when it comes to marketing your product or service. People search Google more than they do the Yellow pages these days. How can anyone overlook the potential of the Internet? You can not overlook affordable SEO.

The SOE Brigade offers Affordable SEO. Contact me and find out how affordable professional organic search engine optimization can be.