Monthly Archives: March 2013


My “Doodle” for Today….

Question mark

Ask “open-ended” questions to start a conversation.  Avoid questions that elicit  a “yes” or “no” answer.  Ask a lot of “why” or “why not” questions to start lively discussions.

My name is Tom Burns.  I sell things essential to life as we know it….  Ask me about it!    What questions have you asked lately that started a great discussion?

Connect with me at


Business Lessons From Arts & Crafts

Are you “creative” at work?  For an artist or craftsman, the act of making something new motivates every aspect of the work day, and although arts and crafts are very different, they are definitely related.

Art taps into our creative mind.  It leads us to follow a new pathway and try new things.  Craftsmanship is goal oriented and structured.  It leads us down the path of step-by-step procedures to complete a task with a clearly defined goal.

Art forces us to use our imagination, to focus on feelings, and perhaps to really enjoy our work.  Art is passion!  Art begs to be shared!  People talk about art!

Craftsmanship is about problem solving.  It requires knowledge and skill and precision.

Arts and crafts together can teach us about critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and good judgement.

Here is today’s “call-to-action”:  Think like an artist….work like an entrepreneur….succeed in business!

Today’s shared thought by Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it…..  Contact information at

A “Cool” Kitchen

When you think of your kitchen, what is your first thought?  (That’s a rhetorical question….)

The point I’m making is that your first thought is probably not about the ventilation…..but it should be!

Over 75 years ago, someone did think about it, and invented the range hood that is commonly used today.  That company was Vent-A-Hood.

Corporate History

“Vent-A-Hood® Limited is a shining example of the entrepreneurial spirit. In 1937, Carr P. Collins, Sr., a Dallas financier and founder of Fidelity Union Life Insurance Company, financed this family-owned company. Miles Woodall, Jr., nephew of Collins, was recruited in 1938 to manage the company. Today, his son, Miles Woodall III, is CEO of the company. The company moved to Richardson in 1961.

Vent-A-Hood® was the first manufacturer of home cooking ventilation and range hoods. The first range hoods were manufactured in a house with a dirt floor in Dallas, and then sold door-to-door. The owners would literally go out and make a sale, then return to the shop to make the hood for the customer. The primary ingredient in the success of kitchen exhaust hoods is Vent-A-Hood®’s uniquely designed, fire safe, “Magic Lung®” blower system. Throughout the years, hoods have been improved, but the original concept is central to the design and remains unequalled in the field of ventilation.

Vent-A-Hood® has developed an excellent reputation throughout the ventilation industry by offering a top quality “in stock” range hood, as well as handmade craftsmanship in their “custom” hood series. Each ventilation system manufactured by Vent-A-Hood® is individually engineered for performance in addition to style. Company longevity and product quality have given the name Vent-A-Hood® instant product recognition.

Currently housed in a modern manufacturing facility, Vent-A-Hood® employs a highly skilled workforce to achieve quality craftsmanship. A national as well as an international marketing program includes an impressive roster of distributors, many of which are second generation. Vent-A-Hood® products are sold in all fifty states, as well as Canada.

Vent-A-Hood® has experienced steady and consistent growth throughout its history and continues to have excellent growth potential. In 2005 it enlarged its manufacturing space 50% to keep up with range hood demand. The company looks forward to a bright future.”

Excerpted from Historic Richardson: An Illustrated History,
Historical Publishing Network, 2001:

So, when I talk about a “cool” kitchen, I’m thinking about the practical and the designer aspects of the range hood.  From a practical standpoint, it is important to exhaust heat, odor, and grease from the kitchen.  From a designer standpoint, the hood can be a dramatic focal point for the entire kitchen.
Take a look at the Vent-A-Hood website for some examples of amazing hoods!
To learn more, and to see some examples in person, visit the A-1 Appliance showroom in Nashville, TN.  We can help you make one of the most important decisions for your new kitchen.phone1 (1)Seller of things essential to life as we know it…..  For social media links, visit

Do the Work….Appreciate the Workers!

In yesterday’s post, I talked about being a consumer.  But today I want to focus on the other side of the coin…..the worker.  We are all one coin with two sides.  We all work, and we all consume.  How sad that we can’t see both sides of the coin at the same time!

I had a great opportunity today to visit the manufacturing facility of a solid surface countertop fabricator,

The process of cutting, shaping and polishing these huge slabs of granite and quartz is wet, noisy, and dirty.  But the finished product shines like the sun reflected on the water, and is as smooth as glass!  Notice that the craftsmen are wearing raincoats and boots.  Water is constantly sprayed on the slab as it is polished and shaped.  Bare hands constantly rub the surface feeling for rough edges that must be polished.  It sure looks great in the kitchen, but do you think of the workers who mined and shipped the material, and the hands that shaped it with pride?  countertop mfg.

As I was driving to the factory, I noticed men and women on various street corners selling The Contributor, a newspaper published and sold by the homeless, working in the heat and cold to support themselves.  They always wave and smile…..but it’s hard work!  There is no shelter from the  hot sun or the cold wind, but they do the work.

Whatever your place in life, you are both worker and consumer.  As you go through your day, I hope you will think of the other side of the coin, and appreciate the other side,  as you yourself flip from one side to the other.

My name is Tom Burns.  I am a worker and a consumer.  I am a seller of things essential to life as we know it…. Find out more at

Links you might find useful:


It all boils down to the recipe!

I’m not a food blogger….I sell kitchen appliances, so in a round about way, recipes are very important to me!  As I was thinking about the common definition of “recipe,” it occurred to me that everything ultimately boils down to the recipe (no pun intended, but the analogy is awesome isn’t it?)

Every product or service is built with step by step instructions (ingredients).  The raw materials have to be mixed or added at the appropriate time to achieve the desired outcome (dish).  If the ingredients are good, the final product, or service, is good.   A famous chef (CEO, Manager, Designer, Inventor) produces a much sought-after product.

Let’s talk about the ingredients from our pantry (factory).  Again, we are back to raw materials, often harvested from many sources.  The great chef has a well trained staff to purchase the raw materials in the correct quantities and at the right time, so that other members of the team can cook (build), and serve (deliver) to the consumer….(there you go…another food analogy–we “consume” food, but we are consumers of products and services too).  As consumers, we don’t want meals (products or services) with poor ingredients made with a badly written recipe!

So, let’s travel down the food chain and look closely at the recipe.  If you visit the showroom of A-1 Appliance in Nashville, TN you will see The Living Kitchen, featuring Sub-Zero and Wolf Appliances.logo-subzero-onlogo-wolf-on  This “recipe” originated in Madison, Wisconsin at the Sub-Zero and Wolf factories.  They follow a precise recipe with the finest ingredients, tasted throughout production to be sure it is perfect for consumption, and finally displayed with care in fine showrooms such as ours at A-1 Appliance.a1logo(1)

So, if you are looking for the perfect recipe for your kitchen, I personally invite you to visit our kitchen.  We will help you mix the perfect ingredients to amaze and delight your family!

A-1 Appliance has an awesome kitchen staff…..a well-educated sales staff preparing daily for your visit, supported by an awesome team of delivery, installation, and service technicians to meet your every need.

From our kitchen to yours…a perfect meal every time! (don’t you love the analogy?)

Today’s recipe by Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….  more information at

WHITE! The New Choice for Kitchen Appliances!

A New trend is emerging in kitchen appliances…WHITE IS BACK!!!  Check out the newest product launch from Miele:forever_better_miele

The color white is pure and serene by nature. Blending in to reflect the aura of its surroundings. White has been used throughout the ages to speak of new beginnings. White harkens calm and influential architecture, supreme in design – whether contemporary, classic, rustic or urbane.

The use of white can provide a clean canvas to showcase other relevant elements – creating a functional, enchanting and inviting space.

Introducing the Brilliant White Plus Series by Miele… puristic design for the kitchen.

Product Pages

30″ Convection Oven
H 4886 BP BRWS+
60 CM Speed Oven
H 4086 BM BRWS+
60 CM Steam Oven
DG 4086 BRWS+
60 CM Whole Bean
Coffee Sytem
CVA 4062 BRWS+
60 CM Plate and
Cup Warmer
ESW 4086-14 BRWS+
Download the Launch
Brochure Today!

Stop by A-1 Appliance in Nashville to find out more about the amazing Miele cooking equipment—user friendly re-defined!



My name is Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….  I can’t wait to show you the amazing sights at A-1 Appliance!  Learn more at (1)

How do you know your dishes are “sanitized”?

Are you worried about food safety?  Is your kitchen sanitary?  Is your dishwasher killing the bacteria on your utensils and dishes?  Here are some interesting statistics from the CDC:

CDC estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.

What can consumers do to protect themselves from food borne illness?

A few simple precautions can reduce the risk of food borne diseases:

  • CLEANExternal Web Site Icon: Wash your hands with soap and water before preparing food. Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils (including knives), and counter tops with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item and before going on to the next food. Wash produce. Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables in running tap water to remove visible dirt and grime. Remove and discard the outermost leaves of a head of lettuce or cabbage. Because bacteria can grow well on the cut surface of fruit or vegetable, be careful not to contaminate these foods while slicing them up on the cutting board, and avoid leaving cut produce at room temperature for many hours. Don’t be a source of food borne illness yourself. Avoid preparing food for others if you yourself have a diarrheal illness. Changing a baby’s diaper while preparing food is a bad idea that can easily spread illness.
  • SEPARATEExternal Web Site Icon: Don’t cross-contaminate one food with another. Avoid cross-contaminating foods by washing hands, utensils, and cutting boards after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry and before they touch another food. Put cooked meat on a clean platter, rather back on one that held the raw meat.
  • COOKExternal Web Site Icon: meat, poultry and eggs thoroughly. Using a thermometer to measure the internal temperature of meat is a good way to be sure that it is cooked sufficiently to kill bacteria. For example, ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160o F. Eggs should be cooked until the yolk is firm.
  • CHILLExternal Web Site Icon: Refrigerate leftovers promptly. Bacteria can grow quickly at room temperature, so refrigerate leftover foods if they are not going to be eaten within 4 hours. Large volumes of food will cool more quickly if they are divided into several shallow containers for refrigeration.
  • REPORT: Report suspected food borne illnesses to your local health department. The local public health department is an important part of the food safety system. Often calls from concerned citizens are how outbreaks are first detected. If a public health official contacts you to find out more about an illness you had, your cooperation is important. In public health investigations, it can be as important to talk to healthy people as to ill people. Your cooperation may be needed even if you are not ill.

For more information on preventing food borne illnesses, please visit FoodSafety.govExternal Web Site Icon, the federal gateway for food safety information.

I would like to focus on the first point made in this article:  CLEAN
For example, many dishwashers have a “sanitize” cycle.  Do you use it?  What does it mean when the manufacturer states that the “sanitize” cycle is NSF certified?

Benefits of NSF Certification for Consumers

No other independent testing programs require companies to comply with the strict standards imposed by NSF and its product certification programs. From extensive product testing and material analyses to unannounced plant inspections, NSF is the only third-party testing organization to undertake a complete evaluation of every aspect of a product’s development before it can earn our certification.

Most importantly for you, NSF Certification is not a one-time activity. We do not just test a single model of a product and give it our okay. Our certification programs require regular on-site inspections of the manufacturing facilities. In addition, certified products are periodically re-tested against the requirements of the most current version of the applicable national standard. If for any reason a product fails to meet one or more of our certification criteria, we will take whatever enforcement actions we deem necessary to protect the public, including product recall, public notification, or de-certification.

Please note that NSF does not rate or compare the products we certify. We understand that each consumer has unique needs, so we developed our programs to verify that each product we certify meets the requirements of the applicable national standard. In addition, if a performance claim is being made for a product, such as a water treatment device, we ensure that the product actually is able to meet that claim.

Credibility is what NSF Certification is all about.

NSF uses the terms “certified” or “listed” in connection with a product, good, component, system, material, compound or ingredient (“Product”). A Product that is certified or listed means that NSF: (1) reviewed the Product, most often through a sampling of the Product; (2) determined at the time of the review that the Product complies with the relevant NSF consensus standard and/or protocol (“Standard”); and (3) conducted or will conduct (as more specifically set forth in the Standard) periodic audits to review whether the Product continues to comply with the Standard. After NSF certifies or lists the Product, NSF authorizes the manufacturer of the Product to use the NSF Mark on or in connection with the sale, use or distribution of that Product. The NSF Mark conveys that an independent, third-party organization (NSF) has determined that the Product complies with the relevant Standard.

For example, Bosch dishwashers have a “sanitize” cycle.  What does that mean?

Sanitize Option

By operating at a higher temperature, the sanitize option meets National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) standards of cleanliness, eliminating 99.9% of bacteria, and enhances your drying results as well.

A-1 Appliance sells Bosch dishwashers!  Contact me at the links below or stop by the showroom and I’ll show you the NSF label.  We have a large selection of dishwashers with the features you need to protect your family from food-borne illness.  It’s all about CLEAN!a1logo(1)

Information  you can use today,  from Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it…..  Contact information can be found at (1)

Is your laundry “sanitized?”

If you have shopped recently for a new washer/dryer, you may have noticed that many machines are now featuring a “sanitize cycle.”  If you have wondered about the benefits of such a cycle, here is some information from e-how:

“What Is the Sanitize Cycle on My Washing Machine?

By April Sanders, eHow Contributor
What Is the Sanitize Cycle on My Washing Machine? thumbnail

Clean doesn’t always mean sanitized.

The sanitize cycle on your washing machine is designed to get rid of, or at least reduce, the amount of microorganisms — such as germs and bacteria — on clothing. This cycle prevents these microorganisms from contaminating subsequent loads of laundry. Although not everyone needs their laundry sanitized, there are some circumstances in which the sanitizing cycle can be very important. Does this Spark an idea?

  1. Why it’s Important

    • That freshly dried load of laundry you just took out of the dryer may not be as clean as you think. Germs and other unpleasant things — such as fecal matter — can linger in washing machines and on clothing even after you do a load of laundry. Although bleach and hot water can both kill organisms such as E. coli and salmonella, not everyone uses bleach when doing laundry, and many people wash all their clothing in cold water rather than wasting money on hot water. In addition, standard dryers don’t usually reach high enough temperatures to effectively kill these microorganisms.

    How it Works

    • Sanitizing washers use steam or water to kill microorganisms that may be on your clothing or linens. During the cycle, steam or water is heated to a temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit — hot enough to destroy these little pests. Not only does the process kill germs and harmful microorganisms, but it also freshens up the scent of your laundry, because it kills odor-causing bacteria as well.

    NSF Certification

    • NSF International is an independent company that tests consumer products to evaluate their safety and effectiveness for the general public. The company tests washers with a sanitizing cycle to see how effective they are in actually killing the microorganisms. Washers that kill 99.9 percent of the microorganisms are awarded the NSF seal of approval. Whirlpool was the first brand to win this award. If you are shopping for a sanitizing washer, it’s a good idea to look for one with the NSF mark.

    Sanitization Cycle Uses

    • Sanitization of laundry is not of the utmost priority for everyone. It can, however, be very beneficial to people in certain situations. Health care workers, for example, will greatly benefit from being able to sanitize their clothing. Mothers who choose to use washable cloth diapers may also find the cycle useful and time-saving. People who work with animals can use the cycle to reduce odors, and mothers of teenage boys might select that cycle for the same reason when they wash their sons’ socks.”

Read more: What Is the Sanitize Cycle on My Washing Machine? |

Stop by the A-1 Appliance showroom to learn more about the benefits now available from great brands such as Whirlpool, Maytag, GE, Electrolux, Asko, and Bosch.  Find out more at or follow our blog at

Appliance news you can use, by Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it…. More at

Just for fun!

Sometimes we see or hear something that is so funny we just have to share it!  I want to introduce you to LilaBelle the Dog!  Here is her facebook page:LilaBelle the Dog

LilaBelle got into the trash can today….the kind with a swinging lid.  When she backed out, the lid stayed on her until the family came home!  Too funny!

Please visit LilaBelle’s facebook page and “Like” her…it would mean the world to her, and would sure surprise her family to see so many “likes” suddenly appear!

Does your dog have a facebook page?  Share it with us so we can see your best friend too!

Some fun brought to you today by Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….  Connect with me on facebook, and many other sites via

Inertia….or why we procrastinate!

First let’s start with some definitions.    dictionary logo

Definition of INERTIA

“a : a property of matter by which it remains at rest or in uniform motion in the same straight line unless acted upon by some external force.”
( My interpretation:  I would rather live with my old kitchen just like it is, but when the dishwasher leaks on my floor, i.e.,the external  force, I must change my attitude of satisfaction with the way things are, to dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs.)
2. :“indisposition to motion, exertion, or change.”  My interpretation: It’s just easier to do nothing…. or as often said, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
 “indisposition to motion, exertion, or change” is a serious problem.  Inertia stops progress!  Inertia is bad for the economy!  Inertia is bad for healthy relationships!  Inertia prevents us from leading a full, productive, and happy life!   Inertia prevents us from making improvements in our surroundings (….but it’s just easier to leave things as they are)
OK….so here is my call to action:  (disclaimer–I sell kitchen appliances)  You are living with a lousy kitchen…. the dishwasher is noisy and does not clean well; there is not enough counter space; only 2 burners work on the cooktop, and the oven has not worked in months!  HEY, IT’S TIME FOR A KITCHEN MAKE-OVER!phone1 (1)Banish fear…..learn about new energy star appliances that can save you time and money…..visit a showroom where you can experience “Appliance Happiness.” Appliance Happiness

It begins this way with many of our customers.  As you first walk into the A-1 showroom and kitchen gallery you are greeted at the door by a pleasant and experienced appliance professional. Your first impression is that the inventory is vast and the kitchen displays are modern and presented with tasteful style. 
Once our customers realize that we are not high-pressure but instead committed to listening then recommending the best appliance options, a sense of calm and relaxation occurs. It may be the most relaxed feeling you can experience in a retail store.
Close by is an appliance professional that not only guides you to the best choices for your home but also shows you how to save time and money with your purchases. Now you are thinking about how much more you gained just by shopping with A-1. 
It is months later and you are still thrilled when you think about the selection of A-1 appliances that serve you every day in your home. You talked, we listened; we guided, you pondered; you purchased, we delivered and installed; you gained great value, we gained a good friend. And we become a friend that assists you with your appliance needs for life.
Appliance Happiness: improving your home and your life with A-1 Appliance Company’s complete solution of professional sales and service.
I look forward to meeting you!  My name is Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….  Connect with me at  Let’s change direction together and create the kitchen of your dreams!