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The Reindeer Revue

“Here Comes Santa Claus, Here Comes Santa Claus!” 

Yes, December is here and the storage staff and storage customers here at The Storage Inn Self Storage in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, are getting into the Christmas spirit!

Earlier today, one of our storage space tenants, Derek, stopped into the storage rental office to retrieve holiday decorations and pick up storage supplies including cardboard boxes and tape.

We got to chatting and it turns out that both of our granddaughters go to the same school, and they’re playing reindeer in the same holiday play! My granddaughter Madison is Vixen, and Derek’s grandaughter is Rudolph. We joked about how his granddaughter had the more famous part and agreed to see each other there.

Our conversation made me wonder, “why reindeer?” –  “why not horses?”, so I decided to check it out…

Reindeer are a well-known part of Christmas lore, but you might not be aware that their part of the Christmas tradition is less than 200 years old. Here are some fun facts about reindeer and their role in Christmas legend!

Reindeer Fun Facts

In North America, reindeer are known as caribou.

Reindeer live in the northernmost parts of the world like the Arctic, Northern Europe and Siberia. This explains why reindeer lead Santa’s sleigh – he needed animals that could live at the North Pole!

The name “Reindeer” comes from the Norse word “hreinn,” meaning deer.

Both male and female reindeer grow antlers; there’s no way to be sure, but that could mean that Santa’s reindeer were in fact female.

Reindeer are good at surviving in harsh and cold environments. Their noses actually warm the air before they breathe it in, so that their lungs don’t freeze.

Santa’s Reindeer

Santa’s reindeer made their first official appearance in 1823 in Clement C. Moore’s poem “The Night Before Christmas,” where he introduced the “eight tiny reindeer” that lead Santa’s sleigh through the night.

The original reindeer were Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder, and Blixen (later known as Donner and Blitzen). The names Dunder and Blixen translate from German as thunder and lightning.

 

Some people leave carrots for Santa’s reindeer as a special treat on Christmas Eve, but you might want to think about leaving moss instead – that’s a real reindeers favorite food!

Originally, Santa only had 8 reindeer until…..

Rudolph is a newbie!

Rudolph wasn’t an original member of Santa’s reindeer team – The little red-nosed reindeer didn’t make an appearance in popular culture until 1939, when department store Montgomery Ward hired writer Robert L. May to write a book starring a brand new Christmas character.

In 1949, Rudolph’s story was adapted into the famous song, originally recorded by singing cowboy, Gene Autry.

The beloved, stop-motion movie version of Rudolph’s story first aired on December 6, 1964, and has aired countless times each year since then!

To celebrate his 75th birthday, the United States Postal Service issued a set of Rudolph stamps in November 2014.

Reindeer clearly have a lot of significance in Christmas legend. It’s amazing to think how important Rudolph is to the modern North American concept of Christmas, considering that he’s only 76 years old!

As for me, all of this talk about Santa and his Reindeer has made me hungry for some warm Christmas cookies and a nice glass of milk!
Happy Holidays from The Storage Inn!

 

Santa’s Little Secret

Santa’s Little Secret

Santa's Secret Hiding Place Revealed

Santa’s Secret Hiding Place Revealed

Well, here it is December, and the holiday season is upon us at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey. One of our recent storage customers, Mr. Robertson, came in today for a van rental. “ You just moved into your storage space last month –  you’re not leaving us already, are you?” I asked. “ No, just doing some Christmas shopping”, he replied.  It turns out that Mr. Robertson  has three sons, ages 13 through 18, and he was on his way to shop for a bicycle, a surfboard, and a big screen TV!  “Pretty hard to hide gifts like that around the house” he said. “I would ask a friend to hide them for me, but the only people that I know that would have space, and don’t have kids in the home, are my parents, and they live in the next state.”

So we completed the van rental, and off went Mr. Robertson. What a great idea, I thought to myself. What better place to hide gifts, then under lock and key, in a totally secure, weatherproof storage space, that only you have the passcode to?  “That’s one smart Santa” I thought to myself.

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Mr. Robertson returned late that afternoon, and stopped in the office. “ How did you make out?” I asked.  “Great!” he replied. “I even found some really good sales on TVs and bicycles – My wife will be so happy”. So after purchasing some boxes, tape, and bubble wrap for the additional gifts that he had bought, Mr. Robertson went back to his self storage unit to unload.

So if you’re a secret Santa in need of a great place  to hide your holiday gifts from prying eyes, stop into your local self-storage facility, The Storage Inn for a convenient solution. No matter what the size, or how many gifts you have to hide, I’m sure we can find the perfect storage space for you. Well, I’ve got to go now – just heard about a place that’s having a great sale on big screen TVs! Happy holidays!

Thanksgiving Football Fun Facts

It’s the third week of November, and our customers here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, are gearing up for Thanksgiving.

Yesterday, while I was doing the inventory on our packing supplies, I heard the front door swing open, and felt the cold wind blow through the rental office. I looked up to see one of our storage tenants, Mr. Allman, bundled up in his puffy winter coat, gloves, and wool hat. “Hey Mr Allman!” I called out – “You all ready for Thanksgiving?” “Sure am” – he replied. “Ready for the four F’s – Family, Friends, Food and most importantly, FOOTBALL!”

As Mr. Allman made a truck rental reservation, we agreed on the 4F’s and discussed our favorite Thanksgiving football games. This conversation made me wonder – when did all this football on Thanksgiving Day tradition begin?

Below are a few fun facts about the Thanksgiving football tradition!

Where it all Started

Thanksgiving football started on the college level in the late 19th century. Yale and Princeton began holding regular Thanksgiving games starting in 1876. By the time the NFL was founded in 1920, Thanksgiving football was already a tradition.

We Love Thanksgiving Football!
Based on TV viewing and retail statistics, Americans will actually spend more time watching football over the Thanksgiving Day Holiday then they will spend shopping!

Which NFL Team Has Played The Most?
The Detroit Lions have played the most Thanksgiving games. They have hosted Thanksgiving games since 1934 and only took a break during WWII.

Which NFL Team Has The Most Thanksgiving Wins/Losses?
Having played the most games, The Detroit Lions claim both of these records. Their combined Thanksgiving Day record is 37-38-2.

Which NFL Team Has Been The Second Most Successful?
The Dallas Cowboys trail the Detroit Lions in all facets of Thanksgiving. They’ve hosted the second-most number of games and have a combined Turkey Day record of 30-18-1.

Which Team Has The Second Most Losses?
The Green Bay Packers have a total of 20 Thanksgiving losses.

Are There Any NFL Teams That Have Never Played A Thanksgiving Game?
The Jacksonville Jaguars are the only NFL franchise to not be featured in a Thanksgiving game.

What Was The Biggest Thanksgiving Day Blowout?
The largest point differential came in 1980 when the Dallas Cowboys beat the Seattle Seahawks 51-7. The Lions had a blowout game in 1983 against the Pittsburgh Steelers—they won by 42 points.

Was There Ever A Time When Thanksgiving Day Games Were Not Played?
Yes. There were no Thanksgiving games played from 1941-1944 due to WWII.

Best Winning Percentage
The Minnesota Vikings are 5-1 in Thanksgiving games.

Most Rushing Yards
OJ Simpson has the record for most rushing yards in a Thanksgiving game. He put up 273 yards v. the Lions in 1976.

Most Receiving Yards
This record goes all the way back to the 1940s with Cleveland’s Jim Benton putting up 303 receiving yards.

Most Passing Yards
Troy Aikman threw for 455 passing yards against the Minnesota Vikings in 1998.

Most Touchdowns
Ernie Nevers scored 6 touchdowns in a 1929 Thanksgiving game for the now defunct Chicago Cardinals.

So, now that we’re all caught up on our Thanksgiving Day football history, it’s time to get down to the business of eating until we have to unbuckle our pants, sink into our favorite lounger, and turning on the game – Hopefully we’ll wake up in time to catch the second half!

Happy Thanksgiving from The Storage Inn !

My Veteran’s Day Visitor

It’s been a cold and blustery start to November in South Jersey, but things at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, are as busy as ever. Yesterday our rental office was buzzing with new customers securing storage units or buying packing supplies, as well as current self storage customers just stopping in to check grab items from their units.

In the middle of all the hustle and bustle in strolled a young man in uniform. I recognized him instantly! It was my nephew, Ryan, on his way home and on leave from the Army, just in time for Veterans Day weekend.

I came around the counter and gave him a big handshake and hug! “You here to store the Army’s arsenal of equipment at The Storage Inn?” I asked laughing.

He just grinned and said,”You would need a lot more space than you’ve got here!”. We had a nice conversation after which we both laughed and promised to visit again before he returned to base.

That got me thinking, I wonder just how much equipment the US military would actually have to store? I did some research…

Manpower

The U.S. Military has over 2,000,000 personnel including active and reserve! (We won’t be storing personnel)



Airpower

Total Aircraft Strength – 13,362. Including over 4,000 fighter and attack aircraft and nearly 6,000 helicopters!

Land

5,884 Combat tanks
38,882 Armored fighting vehicles
950 self-propelled artillery vehicles
795 pieces of Towed Artillery
1,197 Rocket Projectors

Naval

20 Aircraft Carriers
65 Destroyers
10 Frigates
66 Submarines
13 Patrol vessels
11 Minesweepers

So there you have it, the latest published inventory of our United States armed forces equipment.

I saw my nephew Ryan at a family gathering last night and showed him my research, very proud of my facts and figures. He stared at it for a moment, looked up at me and grinned and said “Uncle Jerry, this is just the stuff that you’re allowed to know about”. We laughed as I thanked him for his service, and gave him a big hug before heading home.

Well, my research has certainly taught me one thing… Even though The Storage Inn is the largest self storage facility in the EHT area, we would need a pretty significant major expansion to store all of the military’s items. Happy Veterans Day!

 

Self Storage in Atlantic City | Atlantic County Storage Units

A True Self Storage Pioneer

It’s easy to jump into a business venture when you know there’s a market and money to be made – but to have the “intestinal fortitude” to dip your toes into the water before a concept has been proven makes one a true pioneer. Rudy Meckel is a pioneer in the self storage industry. When he opened The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, NJ in 1979, storage space rentals were unknown to the area.

The Storage Inn started out on four acres with four buildings, designed so they could be converted to a flea market should the new business venture fail. Instead, Meckel’s business prospered. The business offered an especially good fit, as it enabled Meckel to keep his road construction employees working during the off-season.

He even had the foresight to construct his buildings with extra high ceilings to offer 20% more storage space per unit than the industry standard, and with 45 different sizes to choose from, this is definitely not a “one size fits all” operation.

The Storage Inn has 900 units with a total of over 100,000 square feet of storage space. It also has automobile, boat and RV storage spaces. Recent upgrades to the facility include newly paved aisles and parking, state of the art security gate, and an upgraded rental office/ packing supply store. The Storage Inn has even gone “green” by adding solar power to their Egg Harbor Township facility. Also considered a gentleman farmer, Meckel has always adorned his grounds with a blue and yellow horse carriage or sleigh.

In 1997, Meckel added another location by opening The Storage Inn II in Ocean City, NJ. He converted the former Stainton’s Department Store Annex in Ocean City, into three floors of indoor and climate controlled self storage and retail units.

Currently, Rudy Meckel’s son, Greg and his family, run the businesses with him. The family views the storage business as an opportunity to help people. They serve people who find themselves in life’s transitions and those with long-term storage needs. A great resource for small and big businesses alike to expand and organize. They continue to ensure that the facilities offer customers the best in self storage. In addition to low rental prices, both locations offer free move-in truck rental, free porter service (assistance unloading) and climate control. The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township even has a resident security manager. The Ocean City the facility offers drive-in bays and indoor units, just blocks from the beach!

Meckel’s future plans include continuing to offer new services, along with a customer service experience that always exceeds expectations.
Stay tuned – who knows what this business pioneer will come up with next!

 

It’s a “Boo”-tiful day in the Neighborhood!

Happy Halloween from The Storage Inn

It’s almost Halloween here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey (cue spooky music) – Time to stock up on candy for the storage rental office ! The 31st will bring costumed visitors from some of our storage space tenants, as well as some of our neighborhood kids. One thing that I have noticed on my drive home from our self storage facility, is that it seems that more people decorate the exterior of their homes for Halloween than ever – some of those decorations are quite spectacular, and I assume, pretty expensive! This got me wondering just how much time and money is spent on Halloween in this day and age, so I did a little digging. Here is what I found.

A Brief History of Halloween

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Halloween is a holiday that straddles the line between Fall and Winter, plenty and scarcity, and even life and death. The ancient Celts celebrated their New Year on November 1st, making October 31st a sort of New Year’s Eve for them. It was said that on this day, the ghosts of the dead would return to Earth. This is believed to be the origin of celebrating Halloween by dressing as ghosts, witches, and skeletons. Eventually Halloween evolved into the secular, community-based event that we know today, characterized by Halloween parties and trick or treating.

Halloween by the Numbers

$69 Billion – Total that will be spent on Halloween this year!

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$360 Million  – On Halloween greeting cards (Wow – who knew!)

$4 Billion – Will be spent on candy and decorations

158 Million will celebrate Halloween in some fashion

36 Million ages 5 – 13 will go Trick or Treating

51% of families will decorate their yards

20% of families will carve a pumpkin

24% of US households do not celebrate Halloween – Boooooooooooo!

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Costume Ideas

Where do we get our inspiration from?

35% – Halloween/Costume store

32% – Social Media

20% – Print Media

11% – Friends / Word of mouth

OK – so now you have some facts and figures about Halloween that you can spring on your friends while they’re bobbing for apples at the Halloween party! To all our readers of “The Storage Inn blog”, I’ll leave you with a Halloween joke.

What does a ghost use to wash his hair?
Shamboo!

Happy Halloween everyone!


National Cholesterol Awareness Month!

I was sitting in an our storage rental office here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, eating a bacon cheeseburger, when in walked Dr. Ron, one of our long-time self-storage customers. He informed me (as he stared at my bacon cheeseburger) that October has been designated as National Cholesterol Awareness Month and that maybe I should stop by his office where they’re doing free cholesterol screenings as part of the cholesterol awareness program. I told him that I would “try to come by”, as he grabbed some packing tape and boxes, and headed for his car.

Good cholesterol, bad cholesterol? What exactly is cholesterol, and how much is too much? I swung by Dr. Ron’s office on my way home, and picked up a pamphlet on preventing high cholesterol.

Here are some interesting tidbits about cholesterol…

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in all your cells. It can tell you about your future heart health. High cholesterol doubles your risk for heart disease.

A blood test will tell you what your levels of total cholesterol, bad cholesterol, good cholesterol, and triglycerides are.

About 74 million U.S. adults have high cholesterol. Less than half of them are getting treatment.

You can’t live without cholesterol. We’re born with cholesterol in our bodies. Infants get added cholesterol from their mother’s milk. Cholesterol is even added to baby formula.

One out of every three adults has high cholesterol. Everyone over age 20 should get their cholesterol checked every five years. About about 75 percent of people actually do.

High cholesterol can be genetic. Current research says the main influencing factor for high cholesterol is your genes.

Children can have high cholesterol – Especially kids with obesity or a family history of heart attacks.

Sweating can raise your good cholesterol levels. You can raise your good cholesterol levels, which protect against heart disease, by working out. The key is to use interval training by exercising at a medium-intensity, sprinkling in periods of high-intensity.

Supplements may work to lower cholesterol. Supplements need to be taken daily and they don’t work overnight. Diet and exercise should always be your first options.

Cholesterol-lowering medications work quickly. You can take a cholesterol-lowering pill today, and your levels may be down by 3 to 4 percent tomorrow.

So there you have it – A combination of diet, exercise, and possibly medication, can keep your cholesterol in check. As for me, I am cutting back on the bacon cheeseburgers and trying to get more exercise. Maybe I’ll start walking around our storage facility instead of driving the golf cart!

Top 10 Fun Fall Facts

Yes, Fall is officially here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey. The days are getting a little bit cooler, and a few leaves are beginning to fall from the trees around our self storage yard. We’re also beginning to notice our storage customers placing summer storage items back into their rental spaces, and pulling out their Fall /  Halloween decorations. We love Fall here at The Storage Inn – It is a time to meet local students returning for the fall College semester, as well as folks who have put off their moving day until the hot weather chilled out!

Here are ten great facts about this wonderful season that will both inform and entertain you. Shoot, you may even get a chance to sound smart while sippin’ on that pumpkin spice latte.

1. Americans typically refer to this time of year as “Fall,” while the British use the word “Autumn.”
Historically, Fall was originally called “harvest” because of the “harvest moon” that occurs close to the autumn equinox.

2. Fall is caused by the Earth’s tilt, not our distance from the sun.
When the northern hemisphere tilts towards the sun, we get warmer. When it tilts away, we get colder. Fall and spring are the times of transition.

3. Weight gain around this time of year may not be from all the food.
Researchers have found that lack of vitamin D reduces fat breakdown and triggers fat storage. So, the lack of sunlight has more to do with the extra gain than all the pumpkin spice lattes. Well, at least some of it.

4. Pumpkin spice does not contain pumpkin
Pumpkin spice is actually the spice mix used for pumpkin pies. It is made from 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, 1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice and 1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves. You can make it at home or buy it pre-mixed at the grocery store.

5. Fall colors are caused by the amount of sugar in leaves.
The more red in the leaf, the more sugar that leaf is storing. That is why Maple trees are so vibrant. Evergreens don’t change because their leaves have a thick wax covering that protects the chlorophyl (green) in the leaves.

 

6. Fall is for lovers.
More people go from “single” to “in a relationship” or “engaged” in fall than any other season. That may be because both men and women experience a higher level of testosterone in the colder months. We don’t have a great answer as to why that is, but more babies are conceived in cold months than any other time of year.

7. Ancient people wore Halloween costumes to hide from ghosts
The Celtic tradition believed that ghosts roamed the earth on Halloween. Wearing a disguise would help you avoid these spirits.

8. Birds spend most of the fall migrating.
Whether traveling from one state to another, from North America to South America like Swainson’s Hawk (14,000 miles), or from the North Pole to the South Pole like the Arctic Tern (44,000 miles), many birds spend this season traveling to mating grounds or finding food.

9. Fall tourism, aka “leaf peeping,” brings in big money for New England states.
The seasonal change brings around $3 billion in tourism dollars to the small region.

10. Children born in the fall are statistically better students and live longer.
According to the Department of Education and the University of Chicago, Fall is the best time to be born.

So, there ya’ go – some Fun Fall Facts from The Storage Inn. You can take it from me (I was born in the Fall), whether biking, hiking of just sitting around the campfire. Autumn is Awesome – Enjoy!

Back to School Around the World

Back to School Around the World!

September and back to school is upon us! Here at The Storage Inn of Egg Harbor Township, teachers and students are busy retrieving items from their storage units in preparation for the new school year. This week I saw Mrs. Oglesby, loading boxes of art supplies for her classroom. And local college students are in and out picking up stored furniture for their dorm.

Who knew that school and self-storage went together so well?!?

All of this school centered activity made me wonder what back to school is like throughout the rest of the world. Here’s a look at what students in several different countries are doing to prepare for a new year of learning!

First Day of School in Japan

In Japan, children carry all of their school supplies in a hard-sided backpack called a randoseru. It’s filled with books, origami paper and a special pencil case called a fudebako. For students who bring their own lunch to school, the tradition is to bring a lunch of rice with seaweed sauce and quail eggs. This meal is thought to bring good luck. Also, since outdoor shoes are not permitted inside the school, students bring a pair of slippers.

First Day of School in Holland

In Holland, cargo bikes called bakfietsen, are frequently used by parents to take their kids to school.  These bikes have a large box that sits in front of the rider. Bakfietsen owners love that they are eco-friendly and don’’t require a parking spot. The bikes are so popular with parents that nearly all bakfietsen are used to tote around the kids! On the first day back, students are sure to be rolling up to school in one of these smart inventions.

First Day of School in Germany

For over 200 years now, kids in Germany have been given a Schultuete (pronounced shool-too-teh) on the first day of school. A Schultuete, which translates to “school cone,” is a large, decorated paper cone filled with school supplies, small presents and sweet things to eat. Sometimes they’re nearly as large as the child!

First Day of School in Russia

To celebrate the beginning of a brand new year of learning, the first day of school in Russia is called the “Day of Knowledge.” On this day, children traditionally give colorful bouquets of fresh flowers to their teachers and receive balloons in return.

First day of School in India

In India, kids also get special gifts on the first day of school, or Praveshanotshavan.  The first day of school also known as Admission Day, coincides with the beginning of monsoon season, and the gifts often include a brand new umbrella.

So there you have it – you learned something new and didn’t even have to go back to school to do it! Happy Back to School!

 

Baby, It’s Hot Outside!

Happy August everyone! Here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, the temps are soaring along with the humidity. Our storage space customers, however, seem to be immune to this weather as they check in on their storage rental spaces, retrieving various Summer fun time items. Yesterday I noticed one of our storage tenants, Bob, outside his storage rental unit with giant black inner tubes over each shoulder and carrying a large cooler. “What are you up to?” I shouted from my golf cart. “We’re going tubing – If we don’t sweat to death first!” came Bob’s reply. “ Yep – Dog days of summer!” I yelled back.

 

Bob threw the inner tubes and the cooler in the back of his pickup truck and drove away, leading me to wonder if one really could sweat to death, and what the heck does the saying “Dog days of summer” actually mean? I decided to look into this matter and came up with a handful of Summer sayings that needed some clarification.

Dog Days of Summer
I always assumed that this saying referred to the weather being so hot that even the family dog did not want to move out of his resting spot. But, it turns out that the “dog days of summer” are the hot, sultry days of summer that coincide with the heliacal rising of the star Sirius (also known as the dog star) from late July to late August.

It’s hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk
Sure, the sidewalk gets hot, but it’s unlikely to cook the egg much, if at all. If you really want to fry an egg outside on a hot day,
you might have better luck with the hood of a car. Metal conducts heat better and gets much hotter.

Have a hot drink to cool you down?
On a scorching summer day, you’re probably more likely to grab an iced coffee than a steaming cup of joe. But a study has shown that drinking a hot beverage on a hot day actually can cool  you down. Consuming a hot drink does add heat to your body, but that heat actually increases the rate at which you sweat, which can help cool you off. The sweat has to evaporate in order for you to feel cooler, so, if you’re wearing shorts and a t-shirt, hot coffee might actually cool you off more than a glass of ice-cold coffee.

It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity
There’s a reason for the adage: It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. “It’s really the dew point that is the measure of how humans feel outside,” according to Carlie Buccola, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service. When the dew point or humidity is high, that means the air is already saturated with moisture and your sweat has a harder time evaporating. So, it’s really both – heat without humidity can be bearable, as can a cool day with some moisture in the air.

I’m sweating to death!

Is it possible to sweat to death? Literally no. Sort of yes. The cause of death in every single human death is exactly the same. Lack of oxygen to the brain. Sweating is fluid being taken from your blood, and pushed out of your skin to cool you off when your body feels like its core temp is too high. Your body will lose the ability to sweat after your fluid level reaches a certain point, and your kidneys have gone into refiltration mode. (kidneys stop filtering urine down, and hold on to excess fluid in a desperate attempt to save your life) So no – it’s not possible to sweat to death. And even if you could, the cause of death would still be lack of blood to the brain.

So, there you have it, some interesting facts about summer sayings courtesy of The Storage Inn. As for me, I’m going to fix myself a nice big cup of hot coffee before I sweat to death!