Saturday, 22 July 2017

#RalphSays - "Old's Cool"

#RalphSays - "Old's Cool"

So hopefully you read the first post, the Birth of #RalphSays here, but if not, then please do, or you won't know what we're trying to do here...

So slowly this week, it's about social media and websites. There is now a new (renamed) #RalphSays Twitter profile here...and a Facebook page which was recently unveiled. Was trying to build it up a bit before promoting it. Always best to have some content there so people don't land on an empty page. There is now an Instagram profile with the same name - Ralph Says Things.

In addition to these social media channels, there was an attempt to create some CafePress shop designs - solely to sell some #RalphSays merch. It was all going pretty well there for a while, but with an erroneous click of a button, (after hours of work yesterday), whoosh the whole store disappeared. Damn it.

So yeah, it was necessary to abandon that, temporarily (it's live now though) and then head out to an event in town and begin anew somewhere else today....

Cue: Red Bubble. 

#RalphSays "Old's Cool" on RedBubble

Lots of research has been conducted to find somewhere to sells some goodies and RedBubble was a name that kept coming up. So now there is the birth of an actual #RalphSays store on RedBubble. Not sure it will work at all but it's there, and there are all kinds of "Old's Cool" items - not just shirts. We'll just have to see if ole Ralph gets any traction. Check out how it looks at the moment. Looks legit, don't ya think?

He's old and he's cool - so the first ever #RalphSays design is fitting on many levels (pun intended). 

By the way if you're more of a "Yoga Lover", then you might prefer to check out the yoga-inspired goodies...

Remember all royalties from all sales are going toward ole Ralph to help keep living in his own place.

Your purchases will make a difference to him! Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

#RalphSays - The Birth of Ralph Says Things

The Birth of "Ralph Says"

Welcome to the first blog post, The Birth of Ralph Says (#RalphSays)...I'm Ralph. Well, OK, I am not Ralph, I'm actually Thea, but on behalf of Ralph, because, frankly, as an 80+, reluctantly-retired Air Force veteran, Ralph doesn't actually know what a blog is, nor can he type very well,..

But this is all fully sanctioned. He is 100% on board with the whole "Ralph Says" Merch concept which is perfect as he has an opinion on just about everything.

NOTE: That up there is a picture of Ralph talking a "selfie"....only he didn't actually know he was taking a selfie. He's not quite gotten to grips on how to work his SmartPhone yet (in spite of many tutorials on it).

Why "Ralph Says"?

In a spirit of transparency - and complete honesty - Ralph is a cautionary tale

Around three years ago, he sold the security business that he had spent the better part of 30 years building up. 

The money from the sale came to him in monthly installments and have now run out as of now - July 2017. 

He doesn't have any savings, investments, pensions etc. He only has his monthly social security payment - which doesn't even cover his monthly rent.

By the way his rent has just gone up and is close to $2000 for a two-bedroom apartment.

You might be thinking, "why don't you just move him to a one bedroom or studio?"

They are actually more expensive than what he's paying now.

Many places where we would like to get him into currently have a minimum of a 1-3 year waiting list, so we're now forced to find ways to help him generate some income to keep his head above water.

He is on one waiting list in Santa Cruz but he's miles down it...

Honestly, there are not a lot of low-income senior housing options in his area. (If you know or have one do let us know.)

Next you may be wanting to ask him "why did you not plan for your future and retirement?"

I know, I asked him that too, and his response was, "I didn't think I would live this long?" (To be honest neither did I, yet here we are.)

Would Work if Possible

Ralph has worked hard his entire life.

First he started off in the Air Force, then getting an Engineering degree after that, and then moving out to the San Francisco Bay Area - where he's been for over fifty years now. (ED NOTE: He actually wound up in the Bay Area as a result of a practical joke. That story will be shared later on this blog if you're interested. It's a good tale.)

But in the end, (or nearing it) all that hard work, and he has little to show for it, financially.

Having had a stroke, broken both hips and now an inability to drive himself anywhere, we decided to find another way to activate his mind and have something positive to focus on - instead of worrying about how he will pay his rent...

Hence the birth of Ralph Says.

What do you think?

While you're here, you might enjoy the video that I made for him several years ago as a Christmas present...

Ode to my Dad from Thea Newcomb on Vimeo.

How Ralph Lives

Ralph still lives alone in the South Bay (near San Jose, CA). As of this year, Ralph now gets support from the Veterans Affairs which - we are so grateful for. (He may even be able to get some more financial support too. We're working on that.)

Each week, he gets food delivered from Meals on Wheels. Bless them and the great work they're doing. (Hope they can continue to do it).

He also has fabulous carers, nurses, as well as social and recreational therapists and so forth - coming to him on a regular basis.

This is a great relief to his daughters - Wendy & I (Thea).

For years now, Wendy has been helping out by visiting weekly, taking him out to eat, doing his laundry and paying some of his bills, but now she is undergoing treatment for Cancer and needs to focus on her own health and well being.

Based in Scotland, I take a month out each summer and again in winter to spend time with my father. Some months I am able to help him financially, no problem, but others not.

Honestly, there is nothing I'd like more than to be able to support my father financially 100% at this late stage in his life. I'm just not there yet, hence this project.

The #RalphSays Hashtag

The actual birth of his #RalphSays hashtag dates back to a post I did on Facebook Jan 9, 2015 (I hadn't even realised that)...

Anyway, to make a little bit of money, we have decided we will make some Ralph Says (#RalphSays) t-shirts and merch - only we don't know exactly what to put on them.

We have a few ideas.

We're open to suggestions.

Maybe we can find a way to collaborate with cool graphic designers who will make a Ralph Says design for FREE, and then share the revenue of their t-shirt design?

Or maybe we'll just figure something else out.

Again we are open to suggestions.

Hopefully by next week, we'll have our first t-shirt online to buy....but in the meantime...

Other Ways to Help Ralph Now

Shop for Younique Makeup like these 3D Fiber Lashes Plus!

If you'd like to help Ralph now, all commissions via Thea's side businesses - Cards, Cosmetics and Candles will go toward the shortfall of Ralph's rent.
Our goal is only $1000-$2000 a month. With that sum, he could pay some basic bills and of course his rent.

A blog will be posted here around once a week to let people know how we're doing on that goal.

Thanks for reading and sharing.

Love, the Newcombs xo

Find Ralph Says Things T-shirts on Amazon

Ralph Says Things T-shirts - Sold on Amazon  Delighted to report that the first Ralph Says Things t-shirt is available on Amazon. It ...