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BusinessI am the creator of Civil Eyewear a company that combats Luxottica AMA!

Feb 12th 2017 by Imbeefy • 57 Questions • 399 Points

A recent post I made garnered a lot of attention and interest, so I figured I would open this up and shed some light on an often overlooked critical profession. Barring patient personal details, feel free to ask me absolutely anything.

Proof: http://i.imgur.com/pygAHVI.jpg

Q:

Do you have designers that design your frames or are you buying "catalog" styles from China?

A:

You should take a few minutes and explore r/personalfinance. You'll encounter countless young Americans who are clearly ill-equipped for life beyond school. Most do not understand basic budgeting, let alone tax code. Many run into financial distress before they turn 30. How does your local school district teach our tax code and budgeting to students? What sort of programs are available to the students that prepare them for managing debt and their personal finance?


Q:

Hey Gordon,

Big fan of you and your series, but I'd like to know if we'll ever see another Gordon's great escape? I really loved the insight into different cooking cultures and how you got to go along with them and learn from it.

A:

Congrats!

How did you navigate the process of taking a game from design to reality (production, art, freight, fulfillment, etc...)?


Q:

Every medic has their own strange NOPE type of injury or call. Mine was anything with fingers or toes. What's yours???

A:

The parts have been made in China, the same basic ways Apple is made and sold. I am just here to give people a good deal on some eyewear.


Q:

Financial Literacy is actually an integral part of the curriculum in our schools. In fact, Menchville and Woodside high schools were named 2015-2016 W!SE blue Star Schools for their students' performance on the W!SE Financial Literacy Certification Test. The national certification test is given to high school students upon completion of the personal finance course. To earn the Blue Star designation, students attending the school must achieve a 75% pass rate on the test with either a majority of students at a given grade level taking the test or an average score of 80% or higher by students who take the test.

A:

From Southeast Asia to India, and spending time in the Jungle. I was like a pig in shit, one of the happiest times of my cooking career. I've got maybe the next call for me, in terms of excitement, has to be South America. So I'm thinking of planning that next great escape across South America. Off the beaten track. No landmark, touristy, bullshitty, stadiums, just an inside to the culture that I'm trying to learn. Great escape is definitely coming back. Maybe Spring or Summer 2018


Q:

The board game community was really helpful in pointing us in good directions.

We found an illustrator through a university's job board, did the graphic design using Illustrator and Photoshop, used a company in China called Panda Games to manufacture the games, and were connected to some good freight and fulfillment companies. Lots of pieces that come together!

A:

Yea, of all the shit i've seen fingernail avulsions make my skin crawl. haha


Q:

Why do brick and mortars get so pissy about you just wanting your measurements done? They insist on an entire exam or getting frames from them.

A:

As a 2008 grad of York High I can say, the financial and tax education then was garbage. We had one guest speaker come into our homeroom and give us a 30min lecture and that's it.


Q:

What pisses you off more than anything in the world? Doesn't have to be related to cooking.

A:

Did you have any difficulties getting used to the business side of making your own board games (e.g. accounting, procurement, insurance, shipping, etc.)?


Q:

What is the worst thing that someone "accidentally" got stuck in their butt?

A:

Walmart here does it for a small fee of $10-20 here, cause it's not their establishment's (they just want to overcharge you for the frames). I used to use other websites and take the frames there and save loads. It's all about the money to them.


Q:

Very sorry to hear that your experience was poor. In Newport News we've built up strategic partnerships with the banking community to make real-world financial experiences for our kids. For example, we have student-run credit unions at many of our schools. I hope this builds a better experience for your children.

A:

Shortcuts. Just people taking shortcuts to undermine the value of doing it properly in any profession. It really pisses me off. There's nothing worse than coming across a young chef that wants to take shortcuts to get the job done quicker. If you have the job done quicker, you're removing the essence and the true passion to why you're a chef in the first place. But just in general, whether it's a plumber, an electrician, or even a police officer, taking shortcuts and getting it done quickly for the sake of it is not the smartest idea. Do it properly or don't do it at all.


Q:

It was definitely a trial by fire - but jumping into it has been really educational. I was also a business major in college, so spreadsheets and business decisions and budgets didn't scare me too bad.

A:

One of those battery operated toothbrushes?

Gets properly securable items for your butt play, people.


Q:

Seems like you created a company just like Zenni Optical. Why should I , a consumer, purchase from you rather than Zenni Optical?

A:

What is your response to the confirmation of Betsy Devos as Education Secretary?


Q:

Which do you prefer, waffles or pancakes?

A:

Would you attribute your business major for a reason for your success?

While I'm kicking around the idea of games, it's the actual production and procurement is the most daunting to me.


Q:

So the brush part was all the way in? Was it in brush side up? How deep did it go?

A:

We have similar options, but more variety. We are also cheaper and have free international shipping. As well, we have more sunglasses, HD reading type glasses and gamer glasses. Thanks for the great question!


Q:

Secretary Devos wants the Federal Government to establish Charter Schools, which I think violates the 10th amendment US Constitution. The constitution of Virginia gives local school boards the authority to establish Charter schools. I think that authority should remain with a local body so that Charter schools can be customized to the localities they serve. In Newport News we have a great charter school because the school board worked with the community to establish a winning model. Devos is advocating an over reach by the Federal government. So I'm not excited about the new Devos administration.

A:

Waffles on Saturday, pancakes on Sunday.


Q:

I would give more credit to my exposure to start-ups and entrepreneurial minds. That atmosphere really builds some boldness.

Reach out to Panda Games for a quote on pieces you'll need for your game ideas. It's a good step in the right direction.

A:

Brush side down and it had apparently worked it way up past finger reach. I didn't go hunting for it. :)


Q:

Why did you attempt to censor your adblock icon in your browser?

A:

But you sound like you support state level education, which is the direction Devos is going.


Q:

Hi Gordon,

I'm planning to grow a home garden for the first time this summer. If you had to pick five essentials to grow in a garden that you could incorporate into most meals, what would you recommend?

A:

Can you make The Cones of Dunshire a reality?


Q:

how many crazy/stupid drivers do you have to avoid? have you, yourself, almost been in an accident with your siren on?

A:

I didn't want to advertise them to anyone. You have a right to not see their adblocking ad. So I blocked adblock.


Q:

I support accountability at the local level. I think that it's great that citizens can stop me in the grocery store and ask me a policy question about the school board. Being locally accessible makes me directly accountable for decisions I make.

For example, both of my children attend the school division where I am a school board member. I have to live with every decision that I make both in the community and in my house. I think its great.

I think that local control of schools is essential to innovation, responsiveness, customized learning, and ultimately success. I don't like it when the Federal government, and State government create regulations that make it difficult for public schools to innovate and respond to the community.

I don't like interference from Washington DC or Richmond, VA.

A:

Tomatoes, first off. Whether it's going in salads, whether you're roasting them to make soup, definitely tomatoes. And there are some great root vegetables. Parsnips. Parsnips are amazing through autumn and fall. Not just roasted, but in incredible soups. From parsnips to carrots. Again, carrots, mmm, amazing. They grow easily and it's a sort of dream vegetable. Again, great for pickling, great for salads, but incredible roasted and even better in soups. From there, brussel sprouts. Brussels sprouts, again through fall, through winter. An easy vegetable to grow, packed with flavor. Finally, the ultimate would be a great cabbage. I had a cabbage last night in a great restaurant in L.A. called "Charcoal" and it was Citrin’s restaurant and everything was cooked in charcoal. So, he blasted cabbage for like three minutes in stock, wrapped it up in foil, and then baked it inside this charcoal and the flavor was incredible. So, there would be my top five choices of vegetables.


Q:

Haha, not a bad idea. It's funny - that is completely me. My office is full of random game pieces that I'll combine in fits of madness during game creation. Also, looks like someone beat me to it: https://www.thisiswhyimbroke.com/cones-of-dunshire-board-game/

A:

In my experience it's actually safer for us to drive with the siren and lights off. People go straight stupid when they see the lights. I've seen people pull into oncoming traffic to get out of the way.

Remember: Slow down/stop and pull to the right.


Q:

I need Rx safety glasses. Got those?

A:

OMG! YOU FASCIST! HAHAHA What is this Education Accountability thing of which you speak? Every once in a loooong while, some local politician (Southern California) tries to introduce a bill holding schools and teachers accountable for the students achievements (or lack thereof). Their political careers are usually very short lived after the CTA (California Teachers Association, which is one of the most powerful unions in America) gets done funding every one of their opponents.


Q:

What is a good dish that a single guy (who can't cook) should make to impress a first date?

A:

Besides money from kickstarter how much have you made selling your games, if any?


Q:

What do you do during rush hour?

A:

Actually I have thought about those, but have to go through more safety inspections. I will certainly look back into getting some on the site! Thanks for the question!


Q:

Education Accountability is the concept of evaluating school performance based on student performance and outcomes. The concepts origin is credited to the Reagan administration of the 1980s. The most famous implementation of educational accountability is the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2002. The Virginia Standards of Learning were the state's response to mandate of NCLB. Since 2002, every student has had to pass an exam to satisfy accreditation requirements for public schools.

Local control refers to the authority granted to me by Article VIII of the Constitution of Virginia to run the public schools in my locality. The Constitution guarantees that school boards have autonomy to lead the school division and answer only to the people of my community. When I say that I favor local control that means I think public schools run better when they are directly accountable at the local level.

EDIT: One more comment that I think will surprise people reading this AMA. I am now entering the last year of my term(4 years) as a school board member. It has been my experience that the legend of the all-powerful teacher's union is an urban myth. If one thing has surprised me it is that no one from the teacher's union has ever approached me to discuss a policy, demand a raise, threaten a strike, or anything. In fact, I have met with just about every community group like the Kiwanis club, PTA, Rotary, Realtors, etc... but never with the teacher's union.

A:

Pasta is a great way to show some great flair, in a way that, whether it's dry spaghetti or even fresh made Tagliatelle pasta. I would start off with a sort of roasted shallot, garlic, chili, fresh lime juice, with flaked crab meat over it. Once you've mastered the basics and so simply done like that, using pasta as a starch is with an amazing protein. So is it a beautiful caramelized breast of chicken on that pasta, is that amazing marinated slice of tuna. So start off with pasta, and that's really exciting to show off some great skills mastering pasta. If you really want to be the ultimate single guy, looking for the most extreme date, crank a little pasta machine, sit her down, serve her the most amazing glass of champagne, and just tell her to sit and watch for five minutes while I roll the pasta. Now rolling that pasta through the machine and cranking it down into those thin layers and all of a sudden you've got this tiny bowl of pasta, 5 minutes later you've got this 10 meter incredible rivered table of pasta. I swear to god, 50 shades, shadier, trust me, this will be 50 sheets of pasta in you duvet!


Q:

We make several thousand each month from sales online and in game stores.

A:

I'm not in that big of a city, but just lay on the siren and wait, basically.


Q:

Thanks for the AMA, always curious about online retail. And full disclosure, I know nothing about sunglasses whatsoever.

  • How long have you been running the business for? Any unexpected challenges?

  • Where do you source your glasses from? Is the cost per product the same as luxury brands just without the markup, or is there something else?

  • How are you different from other online affordable glasses stores? (eg. quick google search gives me a few websites here, here and here)

A:

Constructive criticism here. My time in Virginia schools in Chesapeake (Grassfield) 2007-2011 was inundated by SOL's that rarely challenged the knowledge base of students and frequently were laughed at as jokes of the system. They were a complete downplay of how intelligent the students were and shaped classrooms to be less effective than previous years. I hope that now the bar has been set higher. Plenty of students coasted because the bar had been set so low.


Q:

WHERE IS THE LAMB SAUCE????

A:

Gross or profit?


Q:

I work in a big city, we just shut down the sirens and sit with our lights on until the traffic starts to move. No sense in sitting on your horn and siren while sitting behind cars with no where to go. Plus I've seen cars jump on the sidewalk before and crash into each other trying to make space where there was none.

A:

I've been running this for about 6 months now. There are so many hiccups that come along the way, but working on this and trying to get it going has been a fun challenge! I didn't realize how many things went into starting a business, the most hectic was trying to get orders out on time. I always stress seeing them pile up and have to ask my friends for help.

We source the parts from China, but what isn't really from China these days anyways. The $400 + pairs sometimes have a bit of difference in material used (mostly marketing), but durability isn't always apart of the markup (i.e. diamonds/gold).

We differ by having free international shipping and offering different types that they don't (gamer glasses, hd reading glasses)


Q:

New testing standards passed by the General Assembly in 2010 were created to make the tests harder just as you describe.

2011: Va Dept of Ed released new Social Studies SOLs 2.2 million SOL tests were being taken online. The General Assembly then mandated that all SOL tests be administered online by spring 2013, except in cases where a student’s disability necessitated a paper-and-pencil test. The new online assessments included technology-enhanced items that required students to apply their content knowledge and employ problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.

2012: Va Dept of Ed released new Mathematics SOLs

2013: Va Dept of Ed released new Reading, Writing, and Science SOLs

2014: 77% Virginia’s public schools were rated as fully accredited for 2013-2014, compared with 93% for 2012-2013. The number of partially accredited schools goes up from 128 in 2013 to 395 in 2014. Partially accredited means that the schools did not pass the tests.

2015: The number of partially accredited schools rose again from 395 to 545.

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/reports/annual_reports/2013_appendix_a_sol_history.pdf

A:

I promise by the last program I will find the LAMB FUCKING SAUCE


Q:

Profit

A:

The way people respond is unbelievable!


Q:

Do you guys do prescription lenses?

A:

What are your views on Common Core?


Q:

Hey chef, as someone working in kitchens for the last 20 years starting as dishwasher, moved through prep and ending up in NYC as a two star Michelin fish roast I have some questions I hope you can shed some light on. Here in the city in some of the most prestigious places I made what worked out to be around $3 an hour. On paper it was 10-12 but a lot of work was required of me off the clock in order to pull my weight and really give my entire life to these places. As a mid 20's cook with stars in my eyes this wasn't anything to complain about and because I could afford it I actually wore it as a badge of honor. All this changed when my daughter came into the world 2 years ago, I've since left food entirely for a stay at home dad role which is very rewarding. My first question to you is how do you manage to have such seemingly well adjusted kids having obviously sacrificed so much quality time with them in exchange for success?
Personally having never made more than 30k a year cooking I couldn't even consider hiring a nanny at the 50k/year they want and be able to sleep at night knowing I missed so much time in my kids life and lost money doing it. Now I'm faced with the daunting realization that I'll reenter the culinary scene at 39 as a line cook when my son (who is due to be born this summer) turns 5 years old and is able to be in school. My second question is do you think at some point cooks in the highest tier of food will ever be compensated for their work like people in traditional jobs? Also how do you think the new minimum wage laws will effect restauranteurs? Based on what I've seen many places just barely scrape by paying their cooks $10/hour here due to astronomical rent, do you think someone in my position will be more valuable due to decreased demand for cooks or should I consider a new career path. I know this post comes off like I only care about being paid, if it were up to me I'd still be working and losing money to be where I belong but I'm part of a family I love and respect and they come before my aspirations. I've followed your career for a long time and you are a true inspiration to myself and I'm sure many other cooks, I've adopted your compassionate yet no nonsense approach when in sous positions and I attribute 100% of my success to you. Thank you for every thing you have done for the industry.

A:

How did you get that many people to see your kickstarter?

It's one thing having a great product, but it's another thing getting people to your kickstart page.


Q:

I've seen one accident. It had two kids under 16 ejected, two kids under 12 pinned, and the mother walking around. The ejected kids looked to have really bad head and neck injuries possibly paralysis, one pinned kid lost all their teeth and I think a broken back, and one was stuck under the dash somehow, and I know nothing of their injuries. The mom had a broken arm.

The mother, and maybe the kid under the dash were the only people wearing a seatbelt. They left in ambulances, everyone else left by Life Flight.

A:

Unfortunately we do not, Walmart and most other stores will charge you a fee of about $10-20 for not using their frames, but it will save you loads from not buying their frames!


Q:

Common Core is about creating a single standard for the entire nation. Defenders of common core often cite a need to have consistent learning standards across all of the states. What the defenders often fail to acknowledge is that we already have national standards in multiple areas. For example, the SAT, ASVAB, and a host of other standardized tests already measure proficiency for the entire country. Why do we need another set of tests for students to take?

Further, I think Common Core undermines the natural competition that we need to spur on innovation and growth in Education. According to the US Dept of Ed, Viriginia is ranked 12th in the nation for education. Should Virginia now adopt the learning standards for North Carolina, ranked 37th in the nation?

I ultimately believe its better for North Carolina to copy Virginia's standards today. Then tomorrow if North Carolina surpasses Virginia then Virginia should copy North Carolina. In this manner, innovation continues in the national education system. On the other hand, if we adopted Common Core and find ourselves failing then whose standards would we adopt? And how do we know that the standards of a foreign power fit our children and our culture?

Of course, this is just my opinion as the decision to adopt Common Core rests in the hands of the Virginia General Assembly. Local school boards do not presently have the authority to set learning standards.

A:

That's a personal question. I've never had any problems answering that. I've never been at home seven night a week cooking for the kids. What I've instilled in the kids, from day one, is a work ethic. So, the time we spend together is limited, but it's quality. But, I made a conscious decision eighteen years ago when I opened the restaurant Gordon Ramsay, to strive to earn my third Michelin Star, I never wanted to open it weekends, so we closed Saturday and Sunday. So, they wouldn't see me eighteen hours a day Monday through Friday and they'd see me absolutely fucked on Saturday morning. But, we got to spend the quality time together. How does that resonate today? I only took them there for the first time two years ago. Because there was no way on earth that I was ever going to introduce to them that level of food and be served by twenty waiters and waited hand and foot on because it was their daddy's restaurant. I need to protect them and respect the restaurant and team in my restaurant. I made them as normal as possible, like I said, from the beginning they had a work ethic. They've all got jobs, they've all taken care of animals, they've all got housework. There's a rotor. They get pocket money, but they have to earn that pocket money. The well-respected Megan is at Oxford Brookes studying, she's doing a degree in Philosophy. Jack wants to be a marine. Holly was to go into fashion. And Tilly, Matilda, is the chef of the family. She has her own show on CBVCs on the BBC in the UK. They're all hard-working, passionate individuals that have respect for others and respect for life. And, more importantly, understand that if you want something in life, it's not passed over, a hand-me-down. They got to work for it. That's really important for me.

Listen, I was there. At his age at 39 and 29 and 19 behind the line. You have to make sacrifices. There's no fast-track to becoming successful. Yes, you can make it. 39 is not old and more importantly, be selective on what restaurant you're going to work in. If you're gonna go and spend eight to ten to twelve hours in a restaurant as a line cook then make sure it's a fucking great restaurant. Make sure they deserve your time and make sure every six months, you're climbing the ladder. Because if you're not then you're not working correctly and you're not playing to your strengths. Set aside that fact that your son is only five and don't look at the current situation and dictate that for the rest of your life. Climb the ladder, but make sure you're in a great restaurant. Don't try to climb the ladder in an average restaurant because you're not going anywhere. So, get yourself into a good restaurant.

Very kind. Thank you. But there's one thing I learned as a young chef growing up and working my ass off in these restaurants. The sacrifice I was making was coming back tenfold in experience. There's nothing wrong with being behind the line, but being behind the line in a great place because at the end of that shift or that service, you're going back a much better person than you started the day with and that's what cooking is all about. And you've got to instill that, so make sure you don't waste time in the wrong restaurants.


Q:

I would argue that a really great product has a way of getting found, especially on Kickstarter. Kickstarter users tend to browse the site pretty thoroughly, and if people like the product then they'll put money towards it, and then it starts to float up at the top of the Kickstarter page.

But we definitely did some of our own marketing as well - emailing our company subscribers, emailing backers of our first game, social media posts and ads, reaching out to websites to publish stories about us, etc.

A:

I've certainly witnessed it being the deciding factor in life or death.


Q:

I find glasses that "pinch" the sides of the nose (either with pads or as part of the frame itself) to be very uncomfortable, and very much desire glasses that sit on the front of the nose. For example, these. (The term for these seems to be "saddle bridge", but some people use that term to refer to when the pads are part of the frame.) These are very difficult to find.

Do you make any glasses with this kind of construction? Do you have any thoughts as to why it's so uncommon?

A:

Hello Mr Brown, I'm a resident of Norfolk with kids in the public schools here. If a voucher program were to be put in place like Mrs. Devos favors, how do you think it would affect the public schools in our area?


Q:

For the american version of the F-word, are you going to continue the style and format that made it so well received? I know a big problem a lot of younger Americans like myself and many other redditors have is the barrage of sound effects and over-the-top music that detracts from so much of the TV we consume over here.

A:

Is that the same kind of marketing you did for your first game?


Q:

You or the willow moving that fast?

A:

I'll start off by saying that is a really good question! We do not currently have any of these. I really like the design, but I could see with the nose being a naturally oily part of your face it could slip quite easily. I'll have a sit down with my team and see if we can incorporate that into our site, thanks for the great suggestion!


Q:

Kids that go to school on vouchers do better than their counterparts. But that's not the point. The real question is how do vouchers affect all of the children? The answer to that question is that they hurt communities and localities where they've been employed.

In Norfolk your elite private school is Norfolk Academy which holds about 1200 students. There are ~31,000 students in Norfolk Public Schools. So if we hand 31,000 vouchers to families where will all of these kids go? The research has demonstrated that first, the best private schools will pick the best students from your population for admission. This is why the research shows that students getting vouchers do better than their peers. But what happens to the remaining students? The remaining students are stuck but what's worse is now their public school has been weakened. Due to the loss of students teachers have been laid off; test scores are lower; and the best teachers will not want to risk their career to work at a "failing school." As a result, the best teachers will leave to another locality with a reputation for accredited schools. So I do think vouchers hurt children.

A:

The 'F' Word, for me, is quite frankly one of the biggest shows I'll ever launch. We’re live. So, we've got some really exciting things in the pipeline. I think it's going to be bigger and better than what we did in the UK. Why? There's a couple of stunts in there. In terms of we've got some really exciting VIPs. We have families that are competing against each other to find the best family across America. We have an amazing restaurant that you'll come to live in the middle of service and then there's some secret challenges that I'm up against to put myself into jeopardy. I love pressure, so this is not about me standing in a suit on a stage presenting, all that bullshit's gone and I've never been into that. So, this is something quite unique in a way that high octane, fun, we are gonna go up and gonna go down, and more importantly, live. My big question is are Fox mad to give me a live, 60-minute show?

I've come up with great alternatives to cursing words. So, as opposed to saying "shit", I'm going to go "shiiit-ake mushrooms". As opposed to saying the word "fuck", I'm going to go "fffruuuctose".


Q:

Yes, very similar.

A:

Damn thing came outta no where! You shoulda seen it!


Q:

I spent 7 years selling sunglasses part time. Some companies, looking at Oakley and Raybans, are complete rip offs for the money. Maui Jim is pure fucking quality, but super expensive.

As far as quality goes, so you owe any polarized models? Anti reflective coating, etc? Guessing they're all plastic lenses?

Regardless, $18 for a pair of sunglasses is awesome. Keep up the good work man.

A:

Thank you, I really appreciate your reply.

I've been very concerned with how this will affect my children's future education so have been researching and have some additional questions if you don't mind.

  • Advocates for voucher programs claim that the government funds lost due to shrinking enrollment are offset by reduced institutional costs for those students. In fact they claim a net gain. In your experience how accurate is this?

  • Advocates also claim that increased competition spurs improvement for the schools losing out to the private schools. I find it troubling that they think educational institutions can behave and react like a marketplace. You touched on this a little bit already about the negative impacts these schools would have. Unfortunately, if this happens the public schools will have to react to them. What steps do you think the schools would be able to take to "compete?"

Again thank you for taking the time to do this.


Q:

Hi Chef, just want to thank you for all the hard work you out into your shows, it's inspiring to see someone after so many years so passionate about what they do. I notice you use wusthof knives when you cook, what knife would you recommend specifically for people to use? Looking and buying one and who better to get advice from then you. (I'm sure this will be covered in your live class but would like to get it sooner).

A:

Any advice for marketing your first game? I am still debating if I should crowdfund myself or pitch to an existing game company.


Q:

Has anyone died because you couldn't get to them fast enough because of bad traffic? I think about that on my ride home, that if I had a heart attack at 5pm in the heaviest parts, I'd die because an ambulance couldn't get near me.

A:

We have many acrylic lens, a few plastic, poly-carbonate, and TAC types of lenses! Most of the "high end brands" are actually owned by a company called Luxottica and they've monopolized the sunglasses industry driving up the price of eyewear in general! They are actually the reason I started this venture, trying to topple their monopoly (I doubt I will do anything, but it's worth a shot!) Many of the medium priced (around $10) are polarized and a few of the $8.95 pair. Thanks so much for the great question! :)


Q:

All public schools in Virginia have the same funding model. Funding is based largely on the number of students enrolled in the school division.

I am going to use round numbers to make this example straightforward. Let's say the cost of educating a child is $10K per year. For public schools in Virginia $1K comes from the Federal government, $4K comes from Virginia, and $5K comes from the county or city. Again these are rough numbers just for this example.

The $1K from the Federal Government covers special initiatives like Title 1, Title 2, etc. It varies and usually has lots of strings attached. For example, Title 3 only goes to children who speak English as a second language.

The $4K from the State of Virginia works like this: Take the total budget for education and divide it by all of the students enrolled in public schools.

The $5K from the city or county works like this: The city council or board of supervisors has agreed to appropriate $5K per child in large part because the neighboring locality is appropriating say $4K per child. The idea is to remain competitive with other localities.

Here is how the voucher system will work in Virginia according to voucher bills proposed by the General Assembly. An example bill is, HB 2042. The $4K in funding from the state will be sent to the child. Wherever the child enrolls that is the school that receives this funding. Recall that the city or county is also funding based on enrollment. In response to decreased enrollment, the locality will reduce the budget for the school by $5K to account for the lost student.

Finally, the Federal Government is also funding based on enrollment. In response to decreased enrollment, the federal government will reduce the budget for the school by $1K. There is no net gain. The public school just loses its funding. The loss of funding forces the school division to lay off its teachers, principals, etc.

A:

I think one of the most practical knives I've been working with throughout is Henckles knives. Henckles knives, incredible. I'll tell you why. The secret of a great knife is in the handle. Because if you've got a firm grip and you feel comfortable and secure with the handle, you chop, you slice, much better. So, Henckles knives, for me, are one of the most versatile and definitely one of the most rounded, but the elaborate handle makes for such a more comfortable chop, slice. It's like driving a car. A steering wheel. It's like putting a pair of gloves on. You need to feel tight and smooth and in control of it. So, it's all about the handle and Henckles knives, by far, are one of the most practical.


Q:

For our Kickstarters we do several things for marketing: ads on boardgamegeek.com, social posts, facebook ads, instagram ads, reaching out to sites to write about us, etc. However, most traffic and sales comes from internal traffic on Kickstarter itself. Focus on making a great product and a lot of the marketing will take care of itself when people share your project!

A:

Oh yea. More often than I think anyone realizes.

I don't think people realize that the call they are blocking us from getting to could be someone they love.


Q:

On a more personal level, what are some of your favorite films?

A:

How do you feel about school year round?


Q:

Where is your go to place to eat in San Francisco?

A:

Are you hiring people without 6-10 years of experience?


Q:

My sister has numerous deathly allergies, gets hospitalized at least once a year unfortunately. People comment on how I move over and get the heck out of the way so quickly, I tell them "that could be my sister in there, I want them to get where they're going."

A:

Any Marvel movie (besides Spiderman 3). On an even more personal level, what about you?


Q:

Year-round schools do not improve student achievement. The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission did an exhaustive study of year-round schools in Virginia back in 2012. The study concluded, " Consequently, it does not appear that a year-round calendar is associated with higher test scores for all students."

Here's the problem with the year-round model. Year-round schools take the same curriculum that a child would learn during a regular school year and stretch it out over twelve months. Therefore, kids attending year-round schools are not learning any more than their counterparts. They are just learning at a slower pace.

Now interestingly enough the study does show that year-round school reduces the achievement gap between economically disadvantaged students and the general population. Therefore, additional learning time does help children learn more.

My solution and an issue I've been championing for multiple years is automatic summer school enrollment. I want to use summer school to create a year-round calendar. The difference in my plan though is that summer school would be used for both remediation and advancement. The enrollment is automatic but families can choose to opt-out of summer school. So for example, students would be able to take Algebra for the second time or enroll in AP Calculus for the first time. By having kids accelerate their learning during the summer in grades 1-12 they can finish all of their graduation requirements early; start our early college program where they can finish high school with an Associates degree; learn a trade; or do an apprenticeship program.

A:

This country's spoiled. From East Coast to West Coast to Central to Seattle to San Fran. I took a bunch of mates on my 50th birthday last November, and I was up to my eyeballs in pressure. Launching a new restaurant in Vegas, Master Chef Junior taped at the same time. But on my actual 50th birthday, I share the same day as my daughter, Matilda, so it's her 15th. I took a plane out of Van Nuys. Flew half a dozen of my friends over, my best mates. I finished work at lunchtime, flew to San Francisco, had a table of ten booked at Saison, had the most exceptional ten-course dinner finished and then flew back to LA and started work the next day. And that for me has been one of the best dinners I've ever experienced. And that was my second time there. In order to confirm how good a restaurant is, first time experience is important, but to confirm how good it really is, is to go back and check it out again. And it was even better the second time round. That's quite rare.


Q:

We're not hiring people right now. I've found that there are enough resources out there to hire contractors for design, marketing, video-making, etc that it makes much more sense to not bring on employees.

Plus, when you don't have employees your overhead is super low and profit is much quicker to come by.

A:

For sure. People are incredibly selfish though.


Q:

I took a quick look (on mobile site) and didn't see info on sizing. I have a fairly large noggin, how do I find the larger frames?

A:

I will be visiting the VA Beach Aquarium this weekend, what is your favorite animal to see there?


Q:

Hello Gordon! I am so excited to be taking your Masterclass and learn from someone who is so passionate about cooking. What was your favorite thing about creating this class?

A:

Employees are the #1 overhead in a business.


Q:

If I'm by myself at home and I break my wrist, is calling 911 appropriate? Or is that a "get your friend to drive you to the emergency room" kinda thing....

I've just always been curious about things that are kind of an emergency but not really

A:

The sizing quite standard, but my father (a slightly larger man) find the aviators quite comfortable and not a problem! Also, thanks for the suggestion! I had been looking into putting different variations of sizes on our website, it seems like I will have to talk with my team and get on this!


Q:

River Otters for sure.

A:

The favorite thing for me about hosting this class was the level of depth and intuition I could go into. Which is very hard to get it done in a restaurant based on literally a fully-booked restaurant, you can't cook like this in a restaurant. So to have the chance to cook like this at home, to give that proper breadth and depth of insight to every ounce of knowledge that I've got in my arsenal was important because it was uninterrupted. Uninterrupted cooking at the highest level. I would finish the day after a twelve, thirteen-hour shoot, I'd go this is incredible. It's very rare on a personal front that I ever get a chance to spend that amount of time doing nothing but just cooking. Coupled with the idea of talking about the journey, from the beginning to where we are now. Then self-processing that incredible life-long journey of getting to where I am today and that's the first time somebody's ever opened up and sort of got that close to me. That took a few days to warm up to the director and understand what he was doing and where he was going. So, that's never happened to me before in my career because I've never had the time to delegate to it. When I got asked to do this, to launch this, you know, it was important to me to do it properly. Without two-hour shoots and then move on to the next thing. I could properly cook, uninterrupted and that was the important part.


Q:

So true. It's nice not having them!

A:

If you feel you can drive yourself or can easily find someone to drive you then it's up to you. You may get some pain medicine, and youll get it splinted, but depending on where you are it's sometimes faster to drive yourself.

When in doubt give us a call. I'd rather someone call us and not need us than need us and not call.


Q:

So how gaming glasses even work?

A:

Hey I was wondering if you were planning on doing anything in particular about the problems of teachers teaching specifically to the SOL's? There is a large problem of kids learning how to prepare for certain tests in classes and that takes away from actual learning.

Source: Members of my family has volunteered in Norfolk Public Schools for about 2 years now.


Q:

Hi Gordon,

I know you must be busy these days, do you have time to cook your own food at home? If you do, do you prefer quick and easy recipes or those that take longer time to prepare but last a couple of days, so you don't have to cook every day?

A:

You shouldn't talk badly about employees, they might see this


Q:

This is your best comment.

A:

It helps reflect light that would otherwise strain your eyes, leaving you to be able to focus on objects more clearly. Personally, I use them while playing league and it does seem to be a bit more clear and crisp!


Q:

I think most of us agree that the phrase teaching to the test has become an offensive term in the education community. Educators want to teach children to be ready for the workforce, ready for post-secondary education, and ready to be responsible citizens in our communities. The question we have to ask ourselves is do the SOLs play a role in youth development? And of course, they do.

SOLs as defined, are a minimum standard of proficiency that students must master in order to be ready for the workforce. That's not to say that the tests are not hard. The SOLs are very challenging and I surmise that many adults who graduated just a decade ago could not pass the SOLs of today.

Yet still, the SOLs are a minimum standard. So there is a broader question we have to demand of our educators. Is teaching to the minimum standard limiting? Should we not raise our expectations?

Here are some actual practices my school board uses to raise expectations beyond the SOLs.

  • We automatically enroll students into Honors classes and AP courses. Instead of only allowing the brightest students to take the courses we challenged every student to learn at a faster pace and go beyond the SOLs.

  • We require every student to take the SAT. Again, the SAT is beyond SOLs and we let all the students know that we expect they should be able to go to college if they choose.

  • We pay the exam cost for all AP exams. In this way there is no barrier for low-income students to reach their highest academic potential.

  • We have partnered with Thomas Nelson Community College to get every student into our Early College program.

  • We kill SOLs before they can harm the child. This is perhaps my proudest achievement as a board member. Killing the SOLs early means that we get every child to complete a high school course requiring an SOLs before they leave middle school. This year we finally broke a threshold in that fight. More than half of all eighth graders in Newport News enter high school having completed at least one SOL course required for their HS diploma.

A:

Great question! That depends on schedule. Let’s take a day in the restaurant for instance, we'll do a tasting where we'll put 6 dishes up to nominate 2 to go forward to go onto the lunch menu. I don't get back and open my fridge start cooking. I clock my day from 8 in the morning to 10 at night with food at my fingertips. So I'm the world's worst person to go back and cook. Because I’ve been eating all day and last thing I do when I get home is literally cooking. If I had to go downstairs now and open my fridge, I'd open up the fridge, you'd find a bottle of Whispering Angel Rose, I'd have a glass of that and maybe nibble on some cheese. So chef's graze like cows, all freaking day, small bits, 10-11 times a day and that does me perfectly.


Q:

Haha, well none of them exist to see it, so I think we'll be fine :)

A:

Well thanks!


Q:

Ohh I see, maybe I should buy a Doritos cap to go along with these MLG glasses!

A:

You write that you want to prepare children for the workforce of tomorrow, but what do you exactly mean by that? I suppose I'm asking what do you think is the point of school and is it different from education?

Also what experience do you have in the field of education other than being a student yourself? I don't think being an ex-educator is the best qualifications for becoming a board member but do you think it could've helped you?

Thanks a lot for this AMA, I'm always willing to talk teaching or education with other people who are passionate about it.


Q:

Chef Ramsay, I want to take your Master Class course but I don't have any nice knives or pans. Will I be able to make everything in the course with just regular cookware?

EDIT: I RECEIVED THE KNIVES TODAY! Goint to post pics tomorrow! :D
EDIT: Here they are! Fair warning, my pictures suck. They are Henckels knives!

THANK YOU SO MUCH /u/_Gordon_Ramsay You are amazing!

A:

How did you go about getting designers? Unless you're the graphical genius.


Q:

My sister had the same job North of Cincinnati. She told me about picking up people OD on heroin and hear a clunking sound. Then she looks down and ice cubes on the ground. She says people believe shoving ice up their butts will save them from an OD.

So any odd "home" remedies you come across?

A:

Why not? Doritos are amazing


Q:

The Brookings Institute reported that the Hampton Roads area has more than 150K STEM jobs. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. It is my vision that kids from Newport News will have the majority of those jobs. That is why I have championed our Engineering Design Challenges, the American Mathematics Competition, Career and Tech certifications for kids, teacher certification in STEM and other initiatives.

Newport News has an airport and at the airport our school division has the Denbigh Aviation Academy. The Academy provides technical training in Aircraft maintenance and Aviation Science. I am working with city council and the airport commission to expand the Denbigh Aviation Academy to be the largest aviation school in the country. I don't want to turn this answer into my laundry list of objectives so I'll stop there.

Obviously my belief is that the responsibility of the school board is to give the children of Newport News a competitive edge in the job market. It is also my job to attract business to Newport News by demonstrating that our kids have unique skills and abilities that will enable companies to thrive. Third it's my job to train kids to be young entrepreneurs as well.

I don't distinguish between school and education. A good school should prepare you to be a competent citizen. Education is the process of creating great citizens.

To your second question, I think leadership is the ability to leverage your experience for the benefit of your constituents. There are school board members who have taught for decades and do a bad job. There are school board members who have never been teachers and do a good job. And vice versa. As to the job I'm doing I'll leave the decision to the voters.

A:

Yes, I mean it's about cooking, there is an equipment segment in there but listen, you know provided you've got a great cropping board, a pot and a pan, a basic knife. You'll still be allowed to to continue and enjoy that course. I meant put it out for your friends and family. Birthday, Christmases, get them to buy you a Le Creuset, a cast iron pan. It starts with putting your whiskers together. The next 18 months put it to your friends start buying you presents to help get that kitchen up to speed.

I want to send you a pack of knives, I’ll message you for your address so I can send them. A first set.


Q:

We found our illustrator from a university's job board. My wife does the graphic design.

A:

I've never seen ice in the butt, but ive had people shoved in ice baths.

The stuff people put on burns... Butter etc... No, no, no.


Q:

Saw the website and the sunglasses look pretty good. But I got to know. do u get UV protection or polarized protection from these at all???

A:

The election of Trump has encouraged more racial and religious tensions in middle and high schools (particularly towards Muslims, Hispanics and Blacks, with some targeting of Jewish centers too). What is the school board prepared to do to deal with something like this?


Q:

I'm a scientist, not a chef, but your work ethic is what I try to aim for. How do you keep a balance between striving for perfection in your work and not letting that drive take over your entire life? I love what I've chosen to do with my life, but I'm not overly fond of the control freak that grad school turned me into.

A:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/travishancock/tortuga-1667-a-pirate-game-of-mutiny-plunder-and-d/

Who does your videos/marketing for you (if you are willing to share over PM)?


Q:

Was there any moment that made you think, ok I quit?

A:

All of our sunglasses have at least 400UV protection, even our promo pairs for $5.95. Most of our glasses are polarized and offer the same protection as the expensive brands. Thanks for the question!


Q:

Racism hurts us all. As an African-American I have experienced racism in my own life and as a politician I try to inspire an inclusive community that respects the experiences of all people. Newport News is a special place. Despite a racist past of segregation, Newport News now has African-Americans on the school board and even has schools named after prominent African-American leaders. I am saying that communities can and do overcome division. Newport News is proof of that fact. The school board will continue to do what it has always done. That means we will promote diversity; include revisions to textbooks that acknowledge the history of all contributors; and educate our children to judge people based on the content of their character.

A:

First of all, pressure is healthy, it only becomes stressful when you can't handle that. How did I find that balance in my life? Honestly, I'd say about 12 years ago, I was struggling under immense pressure and I was finding it very difficult to switch off, so I started running. I ran like a sack of shit for the first 18 months, I was terrible. I remember my first match, someone shouted by the bridge halfway, "Ramsey, where's your sports bra?" So, apart from taking abuse on my first ever match and finishing in the dark, I started running. That gave me more time to myself and I could sort of process the pressure and recharge my battery. It sounded a bit weird because I was in the kitchen since 7:30 in the morning breaking at 2 or 3 in the afternoon, in the gym for an hour, and then back at 5:30 or 6, and stay until around 11 or midnight. That one hour in the gym a day completely distressed me. I couldn't run every day. Every other day, I could run. After marathon, I took up triathalon because that gave me a little bit more time to myself. Weather it was swim in the morning. A long bike ride on the weekends. Triathlons saved my life. That put things in perspective in a way I could claw back, valuable, independent time that took me away from the hustle of running production companies to major networks, to the pressure of the Michelin Guide. I found that balance and that release, and that's really important. The busier I got, the fitter I got. I think it's the same in science, in the way that you need to be disciplined to take that time out, spend 90 minutes every other day processing what you got and what you're doing. I think a lot of the bike, I think a lot on a swim, I think a lot on the run and that's really good important time for me.


Q:

We do it all ourselves. I made the video on my iphone in my apartment :) I got a film minor in school.

A:

Recently I had a string of like 8 bad calls in a week that just completely emotionally wrecked me. I couldn't quit, but it confirmed that I was making the right decision by being in school to move on from this.


Q:

Will you adopt me?

A:

I'm waiting...


Q:

Do you prefer thin or thick crust on your pizza?

A:

What are the common traits of bad board games?


Q:

Mine was the 600 lb patient who had been in the floor for 3 days, completely naked, shitting and pissing on himself with open sores everywhere...good times

A:

Do you have rabies?


Q:

Please ask again. I don't see a question here.

A:

Depends on the topping. So, if I was going for a sort of Italian style sort of salami, pepperoni, hot then thin. If I was going for something a little bit more classic, Mid-West style, I'd go thick, but generally, 75% of them are all thin. Thin thin thin, all the way.


Q:

Here are some that bug me:

-Games with too much luck -Games with zero luck -Games that have lots of "Gotcha!" mechanics - meaning you can just skip someone really easily with a card you happened to draw -Games that are WAY too complex -Games that don't match the theme with the mechanics of the game

A:

Aww, memories...


Q:

Luxottica is the devil. Thank you for doing this. Compared to Ray Bans, what is the quality of your frames like?

A:

Do you ever get a chance to hook up with any of the students?


Q:

Gordan what is your go to vegan dish to impress? i will attempt to create your suggestion whilst watching kitchen nightmares reruns. Could you also please tell me what your favourite meme is whether it involves you or not. Also I'm laying in bed eating salsa from a jar and i know you wouldn't approve.

A:

If I could add to that list it would be games where there is only really one strategy that can be used to win. Monopoly is one of these and pandemic is a little bit too. If there is no depth to the strategy then they have little replay value if I've.paid forty pounds for a game it needs a lot of replay value.


Q:

Do hospital doctors think 911 medics are dumb?

Have you ever applied pressure to an otherwise fatal wound?

Is defibrilation used as often as movies make you think?

How ready is the staff for snake bites?

A:

I would say on par at least, I have a pair of $120 Oakley and they're not even polarized! Most of ours are polarized and even the most expensive not above $18 if that puts it into perspective. Also, thanks for the support! :) I'm glad you understand the severity of them owning too much of the market share!


Q:

My duties as an elected official require me to host events for youth pretty frequently. For example, graduations, community dinners, science fair, etc. Take a look at my facebook page to see some of the events where I engage with students.

A:

First of all, you shouldn't be in fucking bed this time of day. Jesus. It's midday. Secondly, salsa in bed? Jesus Christ. Chocolate dessert maybe, but salsa?

Vegan, that's a really good question. I would do the most amazing minestrone soup in a way that I would use the best vegetables, the best vegetable stock, and then I would finish that with some of the most fragrant herbs ever on the planet. There's a purple basil herb that grows indoors and it's so fragrant and so incredible. Finishing that was extra virgin olive oil. Beautiful.

But, I'm more concerned about salsa in a bed and in this time in the afternoon. We need to get you sorted.


Q:

It's true - you have to provide people with several "non-obvious" decisions or it's just going through the motions. Great point.

A:

It depends on the DR. I have had some Drs have me hold up and go over a head CT of a stroke pt, and I've had some who think i'm a moron when they had no room to judge anyone. Usually though unless it an arrest or incredibly traumatic call we deal strictly with nursing staff in patient transition.

Yea, I had a guy put his arm through a window because he was fighting with his girlfriend. He severed his brachial artery and by the time we got to the er we were both soaked in blood.

I could count on one hand the times I've rolled on scene with a patient already hooked to a AED. I think thats more a cost related thing though.

I've actually never dealt with a snake bite call, though we have some severely venomous ones around here. There is antivenin kept pretty close though. If not in the hospital itself its a short flight away.

**Finally edited out my mistake. I got it people! lol


Q:

If I started following your site and insta, what upcoming products and services would I have to look forward to?

A:

Hi Gordon! What kind of cheese and toppings do you like on a philly cheesesteak?


Q:

Alot of boardgames these days dont hold up with less than 3 players. Any thoughts on how (or plans) to make something equally engaging for a party of 2?

A:

Thanks for the quick answers. Best of wishes.


Q:

We are actually just about to start incorporating numerous new products in every category. I'm most excited about adding some new novelty products. We're going to be getting everything from steampunk to party frames!

A:

Every time I'm in Philly, that's the first thing that I go for. I love an extra mature cheddar on top of my Philly cheese steak, I don't want the steak over sliced, sometimes they slice it so thinly that they take all the goodness out of it, I prefer a chunkier steak inside the sandwich and an extra mature cheddar.


Q:

Our current game goes from 2-9. The 2 player games are really fun because they draw a lot from chess. Each player gets 1 move at a time and has several actions to choose from. You have to think ahead 2-3 steps, etc. So yeah, chess is the most classic game for a reason!

A:

Not a problem. Thanks!


Q:

Chef,

Do you predict any technology based disruptions to the dinning world?

Thanks!

A:

Really impressed that you go as high as 9. I used to have a quite well attended gaming group night and we always struggled for games up to that kind've player count...nice one!


Q:

Why not use a tourniquet? I understand there are ideas that it make cause tissue damage. But it's going to be a lot more effective than holding proximal pressure.

A:

Everything is getting very IT-led. We're having restaurants now that you're going in and ordering off iPads, etc, etc. So, we're missing this sort of personality of what restaurants should stand for. I'm slightly nervous about technical equipment, ya know, stoves, fires, immersion blenders using to cook, if we become over-elaborate with the science and technology of a kitchen then we're missing that human connect. I'm a firm believer in understanding textures and touching and tasting and smelling. So, I've seen a little too much of the sort of iPad scenario in restaurants. And it's just we're missing that element of fun and we can't over computerize the restaurants. Recently, the idea of robot chefs, are you honestly going to fucking tell me a robot has got a palate better than Gordon Ramsay? Fucking do me a favor. The quicker the batteries run down, the better.


Q:

Thanks! Yeah, I had the same issue - which is one reason why we focused on having games with high player counts. There is definitely a need for more games that accommodate so many players but still have good structure to them.

A:

I did eventually, but tourniquet isn't first line in bleeding control. Ended up using a bp cuff to control it.


Q:

Hi Gordon,

Will you be coming back to New Zealand anytime soon, and would you ever consider opening a restaurant here?

p.s. I've just finished watching your masterclass and loved it - I'll never work as a chef (my passion is in finance/business) but I do enjoy trying to 'elevate' my cooking. My favourite part of the class, surprisingly, wasn't to do with cooking but rather the bits where you talked about your journey. I found that extremely motivational, but the most interesting part for me was thinking about how applicable the concepts you talk about are to anything people are passionate about.

A:

With a game of 9 do you have quick pacing for turns or do the other players have to tolerate lots of downtime?

Reason I ask is that we shy away from games higher than 4 or so, even if they go up to something like 7 or 9 because the downtime between turns can be super high, which causes people to lose focus, and become bored. There are exceptions to that, which become the go-to games for times we just can't split up into 3-4 players, so we're always on the look out for that kind of game.

With the assumption that you've carefully worked out that 9 players is not only possible, but also fun, what considerations do you take into account for designing games of that size?


Q:

What's the craziest interior decorating decision you've seen in a patient's home?

A:

First off, New Zealand, I fell in love with. The people remind me very much of the British. Hard working, head down, the projects that are coming out of there. I've had a chance to work with a dozen incredible talented New Zealand chefs in the group and we still have them today. There was a request literally a couple of weeks ago to do with the New Zealand tourist board to go down and spend time with the most amazing purveyors farmers. Unfortunately had to be done before the end of February. I just couldn't get the time in my diary. For the visit to pop down there. I now really missed out because I had dates that I couldn't change. My diary is planned 12-15 months in advance. To do with charitable work, dates in Paris, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, London, South America, my diary is ramped but I got excited to go back to New Zealand but I couldn't change two of the dates in my diary. I was so close to being back in New Zealand in literally 4 weeks time. I just want to say about those key messages, in terms of the passion and discipline required to be successful in life, wasn't about money and status, it was about finding that key that unlocks that passion, that can be applied to any walk of life. That is where you get the most enjoyment. If I don't think that I have a job and I don't think I have a 9-5, I put myself in this position because of the burning desire to enjoy my passion. I think that is what I was trying to put across in master class and I think that resonates in New Zealand.


Q:

In games of 9 people are still very engaged since people often have to choose who to give good cards to and who to kill with bad cards. Lots of politics and persuasion.

People have turns, but everyone stays very engaged.

Just lots of playtesting! If people get bored then we know the game needs work.

A:

I dont know that anything intentional springs to mind. I have seen people with shit stacked up through out the house to where there was only a small path from room to room, and I was in a trailer that had a bunch of holes in the floor where cats were climbing in and out!


Q:

Hello Chef! Thanks for doing this again.

  1. As a young (22) American cook, what is the best way for me to stage in a European kitchen? Is it networking or should I just go kitchen to kitchen pleading with the chef to take me on and hope for the best? (Also, how did you find your job cooking on private yachts in the Caribbean? That seems like an awesome experience.)

  2. What is the best marathon that your have ran so far (in terms of course, atmosphere, etc.)?

PS - My mom got me your masterclass for Christmas! I can't wait to start it!

A:

Got wood for sheep?


Q:

That cat trailer sounds incredible.

A:

That's a really good question. The best way to get a start in any top kitchen in Europe is to knock on the back door because you don't get paid, just go and spend a couple of days, it will open your eyes up tremendously. Once you got in with one chef and you show them that you are that determined and focus, that's all you need to do. Once you've got your foot in the door, ask their help for the 2nd inside and the 2nd job. Once you've done one chef a great favor, by working in their kitchen, use him to get you into the 2nd and the 3rd restaurant. That's the way you look after talent, what we do in our kitchen.

Regarding the job on the boat, I'd recommend any young chef, once they've chocked up some great knowledge and insight, to understand another culture, a different language. The only way I got to work on a boat, in the south of France, I went down there and I was very fortunate, I knew a couple of friends and customers. Go, literally, up to the boats, ask to speak to the captain. The best time in the south of France is March, April right through to September. For the Caribbean it's around November to March. Literally, walk up to the dock, ask to speak to the captain, show them your resume and tell him how hungry you are, in terms of drive and commitment, and that's the best way to get a job.

Best marathon I ever did, my 4th of 5th London marathon, I've done 12, but #4 was my best time, at 3:30. My dream was to get under 3:30 but I missed it by 14 seconds. I came running down the strand, running past Buckingham Palace, and they stopped me! The BBC stopped me for an interview! I spent 35 seconds on an interview, knowing full well that I had broken my time, had I done my PB. I was coming down with like 100 meters to go, and I could see the clock turning like 3:29:55, I thought "Oh shit!," "Shiitake!" So, I missed it by 14 seconds. Our eldest daughter, we have a foundation for the Great Ormond Children's Hospital. Megan, who is 18, she's got her first London marathon this April. I’ve ruptured my achilles but I'm going to try and run the last K with her to get her over the line. It's quite a busy household at the moment with everyone training. Especially for Megan.


Q:

Nobody wants your sheep...

A:

The smell was what was really incredible!


Q:

Hi Gordon

What's your favourite meal to cook for guests and why?

A:

Hey, don't you knock sheep. I always usually aim for double sheep and the sheep port and I do alright.

On an unrelated to that side note - my wife does video work and I have a background in project management and marketing - if you need a contractor or two for future projects we'd love to be involved - we're huge board gamers.


Q:

What's one of the nicer things you've had happen on a call?

A:

For me, duh, around my house, everyone's expecting fireworks, for obvious reasons. So, what would I do if I was treating my mate in dinner tonight? Some of the butternut squash currently out there is amazing. So, I'd do a roasted butternut squash risotto, finished with the most amazing sort of brown sage butter and then for my entree, I'd do a braised cabbage with a roasted loin of venison finished with a sort of red wine sauce that's been thickened with a dark, bitter chocolate. And then for dessert, I'd go for something absolutely stunning. I'd go for a classic lemon tart. Something that is very citrusy. Clean and delicious.


Q:

Yeah, it's true. Sheep ports can definitely win games!

Reach out to me again in a couple weeks when things slow down over here and we can chat about collaboration in the future!

A:

After a call, we had a husband of a patient bring us some snacks and thank us for taking care of his wife. It was really nice to be remembered after the fact.


Q:

Hey Gordon, I have a question about this online class: Will you scream at us online like you do in real life? If not, sadly I will not be taking it, as I want an authentic experience. Thanks for the AMA!

A:

What is your take? How much money did you knock down in the past two years for yourself?


Q:

I've been one of those people!!!! If it wasn't for the medic that saved my kid's father, and the heart wrenching story he shared with him in regards to the loss of his own son, my kids wouldnt have a dad nor would he have ever sought rehab. The next day I brought 2 baskets of baked goodies and a case of tea into the station and thanked everyone there that night and thanked the medic for convincing someone to get help when I had tried to convince him for so long. He even shed a little tear cause he was glad to see he stopped one person from going the way his son did. Thanks guys for all that you do!!!

A:

A. This is a fucking serious cooking class

B. It's me! On my own in my kitchen, so there is no reason to scream because I know what the fuck I'm doing. More importantly, I'm trying to get you the viewer up to speed, so sadly, no screaming.


Q:

Roughly half of what we make goes towards manufacturing, freight, shipping, etc. The other half is profit to sustain my family or re-invested into the company to grow and keep building new games.

A:

We really appreciate it! Sometimes it definitely feels like we aren't noticed till we are needed.


Q:

Hi Gordon! Really excited about the new course. I am starting to teach a few basics to my kids (8yo, 2x 5yo and 2yo). We started with bread making.

At what age did you start involving your kids in the kitchen and what did you cook? Any tips on how to get them interested?

A:

As a business owner myself, boardgames have always seemed like a really bad way to make money to me. The cost to advertise, the cut someone like Kickstarter takes, design, art, manufacturing, shipping, fulfillment, taxes, etc. seems like it would eat up most of the money really quickly.

How do the economics work out? I imagine most people see $325k and are amazed but the reality has to be that you're netting a slim percentage of that. I mean, $325k over 2-3 years is still a very small business.

Are you saying that you basically made $50k over the last two years before taxes (half of $100k from the first Kickstarter)? I mean, I know it can be rough, I had one year when I had started my company that my personal income for the year was under the poverty line.

I realize you've got the money from this new Kickstarter that will be coming in soon, but that will probably need to last you another year or two I imagine, when hopefully you have another game that rakes in big money to keep things moving. I know there are a lot of relatively big name designers who still have their day jobs - obviously they aren't doing everything from design to fulfillment.

It just seems like a lot of risk and work for a relatively small payout, even if you're fairly successful in boardgame terms. Is it more a matter of doing something you really enjoy rather than doing it for the money or do you see this as a big moneymaker in the future as things grow?


Q:

Has anyone ever tried to seduce you when you were called out? If you were, what's the story?

Also, have you ever had to go to someone you know?

Edit: /u/wildfire701

A:

About 12 years ago, we started the "The 'F' Word" on channel 4 in the UK and, whilst all their friends at school were getting Xbox's and video games, I bought the kids animals. I started off with turkeys. After turkeys, we progressed to Royal Berkshire pigs. Then I bought them lamb and from there u/Jer-o-nimo, what I taught them to do was a, look after these animals, to respect the actual product when it hits the plate, b, part-time jobs cleaning out the pens, massaging the pigs with baby oil to protect their skin in the sun. And understanding that these turkeys are raised to eat, to celebrate, whether it's Thanksgiving or Christmas. So, I bought them all animals.

Now, I took a lot of criticism for it, but I set up with them going into supermarkets and understanding that food wasn't supposed to be wrapped in plastic wrap and on a shelf. They need to understand where it's from. That's what I did. It got a little bit emotional when they... ya know.. Obviously, they didn't come to the frickin slaughter. I wouldn't do that. We have the two pigs, for instance. They had a pig each. And we fed one of them a cherry beer and we could taste the difference when we came to braze that pork belly. One was, obviously pigs are vegetarian, but we fed one beer and it was just the most amazing experiment. Look at what goes on in Japan, when they're massaging the Wagyu, etc, So, I wanted them to understand the traceability of great product. And they wasted less, they respected it more, and they understood the importance of rearing animals properly and humanely. There is a big lesson. Now Tilly was only 3 when she found herself with this turkey, ya know, 12 weeks out before Christmas. Within 7 days of her landing this turkey in the back garden, 24 hours later I found the bird upstairs in the frickin bedroom.


Q:

One thing that board games do have going for them is that they are very cheap to make. Its true that the retailers/Amazon/Kickstarter take big cuts, but you can still make 40% margins on what you sell if you are smart about it.

We generally profit/re-invest 40-50% of the Kickstarter total. But remember, we also make ongoing monthly sales once Kickstarter ends. We don't make all of our money just during the Kickstarter campaign.

One advantage we have is that because we are a small company (it's just me and my wife), there aren't a lot of mouths to feed or employees to pay. That really contributes bigtime to keeping the margins good.

I love board games, so if I don't become a millionaire from it, that's fine. If I can sustain my family with it, then that's my dream job right there. Make enough to live comfortably and do something I love. Also, with each game we make it creates a new revenue stream since games are very shareable. The more solid games you have out there, the higher your "salary" becomes.

Good questions!

A:

I had a guy invite me back to his place after my shift to "hang out" with his two girls and him. I didn't go... lol


Q:

Hello Chef,

My name is Wolf, nice to meet you! I recently bought your cooking app and, thanks to you, my family now loves my food. They even got me a wok for Xmas!

Question: While making fried cheese sticks in a pan, what must I do to stop the cheese from melting and ending up everywhere, breaking the crust? How do YOU do it?

Thank you very much!

A:

I'm always looking at different businesses and wondering how some of them work financially. I understand my own business, but others I just don't know enough to understand how they really work. I imagine I overestimate the cost of physically making games (printing, assembly, etc).


Q:

Why???

A:

u/WolfCinema, first of all, I'm very happy you got a new wok for Christmas. That's great news. Cheesesticks. I thought that it was going to be a little bit more adventurous.

The best thing to do first is put your cheese into the freezer for five minutes before you put them in the breadcrumbs. Most importantly, make sure that you flour, egg wash, and breadcrumb them totally because you need to seal the cheese to prevent it from leaking. You don't need to cook the cheese. So, the best thing to do is to cook them shallow fried very, very quickly and all you're doing is, literally, turning the breadcrumbs golden brown. But, there's a great way of doing this quickly and that is take your Panko bread crumbs and blend them in a blender, so they become finer and therefore, they cook quicker. Because if you overcook them then obviously the cheese will start melting and it will burst through there. Or you can double coat them. So, flour, egg wash, breadcrumb and then do that again. If you put a second coating on top, slightly thicker, it will protect the cheese. But, the easiest way is to put the cheese in the freezer for fives minutes to get it nice and firm before you flour, egg wash, and breadcrumb.


Q:

Yeah, China can make things really cheap, and board games use wood, plastic, paper, cardboard. That helps keep margins alive and well.

A:

Why didn't I go back?


Q:

Hi Gordon,
I am taking your class right now and enjoying it! Do you plan to do another, more in depth class in the future?
Also, what made you decide to do a Masterclass?
Thank you, and looking forward to office hours! (side note- white truffles are very expensive!)

A:

Can you talk to the Stranger Things people and make a board game out of that please?


Q:

What do you eat during your shifts, specifically after seeing something gross?

A:

That's why you use them in small, ultra thin slices!

The emails and the amount of feedback we've had has been extraordinary. I want to wait a bit, but, yeah. I'm definitely going to do another one and second time round, I'm going to go, this is a life-changing experience, so I wanna start off climbing the ladder together. The next one, I haven't even started planning it, but it will be more in-depth. And the only reason why I use that level of truffle at the end was to show you how you can take a scrambled egg to the absolutely premier league of dishes. A humble scrambled egg. And here's the final sign off, in terms of where are we as a nation for food. Last week, was historic for American cuisine because, for the first time ever, the American team won the Bocuse d’Or. Which is like the culinary Olympics in France. Set in Lyon. It was a game-changer. So, every amateur, every professional chef in this country now, you know, you've set the bar. The French, the Spanish, the Italian, the Swedes, the Scandinavians are all looking at you now as the world champions and you need to remember that. I am going to go off and start putting together a second Master Class based on the demand and the feedback because it's caught me at a stage in my career that I'm giving it to you over a certain amount of hours, days, and weeks, but I've spent decades doing it, so I'm glad you're enjoying it. Thank you for the support.


Q:

Oh my gosh yes!

A:

Yea, at this point I could eat and suction a trach at the same time.


Q:

If you have to choose one for the rest of your life: cast iron or non-stick pans?

A:

I don't even play many board games but I would 100% purchase a Stranger Things themed DND-influenced board game.

One person is trapped in the Upside Down, and the other people have to keep them alive with items and weapons to run/fight the Demogorgon, while trying to open up the 'portal' to bring them home.

I just want to roll for Perception and Dexterity. 'Do I see the monster, and can I react in time to stay safe?'

Aaaaah, I'm already fantasizing about it~ The guys who make that show seem really cool, I bet you could get licensing for it!

EDIT: Oh! Not to mention, the Demogorgon could switch 'sides' of the board, and pursue the 'main group' for a while, under certain circumstances.


Q:

I don't think eating the trach is going to help anyone, but good on you Dr. Lecter.

A:

For the rest of my life, cast iron. The longer you continue cooking in those, the more depth of flavor there is. Non-stick, after a while, at least two and a half, three years, it loses that non-stick. But, listen, the caramelization that takes place in the cast iron pan, whether it's an incredible thigh of chicken or roasting scallops or even making the most amazing caramelized apple tarte tatin. Cast iron pan will last generations. A non-stick pan will last twenty-four months.


Q:

You have me intrigued. I'll reach out to them!


Q:

Hi Gordon! I'm a huge fan. I love food and cooking, but also have a passion for cars. What is your favourite car you own? Also, would you consider owning a Koenigsegg or Pagani in the future? Cheers!

A:

How did you get started? What inspired you to come up with ideas for board games?


Q:

Have you ever felt your life was at risk due to a patient? What's the story?

A:

First of all, I’m a speedfreak, so I love that level of adrenaline. 2 or 3 times a year, I'm very fortunate if I get onto a track and I race. I don't race on the normal roads. So, big car fan.

Last year, I saved up my pennies and got the ultimate car and it was a LaFerrari. They only made 499 of them, so when I got the call from Marinella, the Ferrari factory in Italy, honestly, I've never felt so happy. The happiest I felt last time was either when I received my 3rd Michelin Star or when our eldest daughter born. When I went down to the track at Marinella in Italy to pick up LaFerrari, honestly, you know what, I wouldn't leave the garage. I literally slept by this car for 2 or 3 hours. It was beautiful. It is a gunmetal gray, matte black roof, carbon fiber finish, and just the ultimate experience. Strapped myself in and when I took it for a ride, I was just like wow, this is incredible. Having gone to school in one of the shittiest cars ever imaginable. With more rust on the inside than the outside of my dad's car. I used to ask him to drop me off from school a mile away from the front gate, out of embarrassment for the car. God bless him. So, to be in that Ferrari, it was just insane. It's in storage and I get them delivered to a track to race them purely on the track. Never on the road. I have a collection of them, so every time I win a Michelin Star, I add another Ferrari to the collection.


Q:

I was in Alaska for a summer and was playing the party game of Mafia. My friend and I decided to tweak the game to make it better and eventually turned it into "Harry Potter Mafia." From there I realized that I loved designing games and started on my first project, Salem.

Life inspires my ideas. Movies, phenomenons, culture, history (this is a big one). Everything can be equated to a game, you just have to pull the right parts out of it.

A:

Yeah, Ive been unexpectedly caught in cross fire. I've found myself locked in a back room of a run down house with a self proclaimed white supremacist with a bunch of guns laying around. Several near misses from traffic working on highway. Improperly secured vehicles starting to tip while I'm in them. It a more common occurrence than I think we realize. Most of the time it's not until after the fact you realize how bad a situation was.


Q:

Hi! I've watched your ultimate cookery course and learned a lot. My question is: how is your masterclass different to or better than your ultimate cookery course considering it is shorter in total time and is paid?

A:

oh man, has anyone made a Harry Potter type of Mafia game? I'm generally not a fan of those 'social deduction' games, for lack of a better word; but that one sounds like it could have massive appeal; there's only that little bit of licensing to consider...


Q:

Have you ever had to use your training outside of work?

A:

I've tackled some really key fundamentals across the MasterClass because we'd gone from, sort of, A to zed of cooking. More importantly, we've gone more in-depth in the way that, the Ultimate Cookery was not fast-tracked, but it was a very great series that was, I suppose, for beginners. The MasterClass is that we just finished taping is more in-depth because I've combined the journey because I wasn't up against any pressure from the network to create 30-minute episodes. This was sort of uncut, unedited cooking. Yeah, there's a lot of beautiful shots in there, but it got me opened up right to the very beginning. When I was on my ass in the middle of Paris at the age of 22 without a pot to piss in. I couldn't speak a work of French and it was make-or-break and I had to make it. I had to leave that city with the best knowledge that I've ever had. That's the difference. I think MasterClass is raw. I think it's brutally honest and it's uninterrupted.


Q:

Yeah, the whole licensing thing is the only thing that stopped us from making one :) Maybe I'll reach out to Warner Bros and see what it would take to make it happen.

A:

Yea, I've rolled up on some wrecks in my personal vehicle. It certainly has helped me learn to keep calm in a crisis.


Q:

What's your opinion on high end cannabis infused cooking as a business model?

A:

So you have raised money on kickstarter... How many games have you actually sold? I am starting to see South Park accuracy.


Q:

Brand new baby medic here: any advice? Ive been an emt now for 4 years.

A:

Haha, yea, I mean, the scary thing for me is getting legalized in a different states across the country. I understand the purpose of it for medicinal use, I get that, but I'm slightly nervous that if it's legal without an issue medically, we can have a nation as high as a kite. Food wise, I get high off perfection, I don't need cannabis.


Q:

Our first game, Salem, was released at the end of last year. It has now sold around 10,000 copies.

A:

Start working on your RN? lol

Nah, well yea, but If you love it keep on. The issues with the job pushes all the decent well intentioned people out. Also, lift with your legs!


Q:

Wait, you made Salem? That game is incredible!

A:

What is your favorite feature in the ambulance?


Q:

We did! Thank you!!

A:

The times I get to use a cot that is automatic are good days.


Q:

I love Salem it made my family like board games and not see them as a pointless hobby

A:

What's the promotion potential like for an EMT? Like could you get promoted to Life Flight?


Q:

Oh good!

A:

It isn't a promotion per se. It is just a different company to work for. To work on a helicopter you have to have 3-5 years of experience in 911.

In ems in general there is like 3 steps on the ladder. Field medic > Supervisor > Director. It's a very stagnant field in terms of advancement.


Q:

I'm so glad you didn't end up like Lily's father in How I Met Your Mother! Any plans to make a 'Slap Bet' game?

A:

Have you ever been assaulted or other wise aggressively treated by patients or bystanders? In The Netherlands this problem has garnered some attention, and I was wondering whether we're the only country that deals with this.


Q:

Haha that would be so legit! I'll think about that one :)

A:

The hardest i've ever been hit was by an 80 year old diabetic lady, though that was unintentional. But, yea i've been pushed around. Mostly with overdoses. Bystanders will call and the patient wakes up in the mean time and gets aggressive thinking we are going to get them arrested.


Q:

Out of everything you could be making. Why board games?

A:

Got any good gunshot stories?


Q:

I'm a thinker, and I love coming up with the mechanics that make games fun. There's a lot of testing and thinking and creativity involved. I also love that games can bring people together, and that they can then take those groups away together to the world of the game for a little while. I view games the same way others view music or movies - they provide a really fun escape. For those reasons and more, making board games feels very fulfilling for me.

A:

I had a hooker who's legal name was sparkle get shot in the ass by her pimp.


Q:

Do you think the market for board games is expanding? Do you think you can market board games outside of the usual target market?

A:

IDK if it's too much detail but was it on the cheek or directly into the bum?


Q:

I do, yes. I think with the huge explosion of technology/phones, people find comfort in the simplicity of board games.

I think with games that focus on being aesthetically pleasing and "cool", there is definitely a market outside of the "board game crowd." Our games come in faux books and I'd say about half of our players are people who wouldn't call themselves big board gamers. There's lots of room for innovation in the board game world, and that innovation catches new eyes.

A:

Haha. Couple cheek shots.


Q:

The thing I like best about board games is that they bring us together. When you are all sitting down together and interacting it seems to become less about the game and more about the friendship.

A:

Just wanted to thank you for the work that you do, I ended up getting knocked off my bike by a car yesterday (I'm fine!), and the fact that there was an ambulance with 5-6 people within a few minutes was incredible. I'm happy knowing that there are people like you who are ready to respond to an incident within a moments notice.

My question is, what's the happiest experience you've had with your job?


Q:

It's so true. Can't beat the classic "game night" feeling.

A:

Delivering a happy healthy baby!

So rarely do I get to be on that side of the life.


Q:

It's funny you mention the simplicity of board games. I recently started playing board games again because my girlfriend's cousin has a huge collection and that is his thing. Every time we visit them, we always play a couple of games with their kids and then we play a more "adult" game for us.

I actually find that most video games, be it mobile or on an actual platform are very simple, where as board games tend to be more complex, require a lot more thinking and have way more replay value. One of the things I value about board games is that they aren't that simple to play. Of course, this applies to games like Settlers of Catan and Monopoly, not kid's games.

A:

Did you know that I'm your arch nemesis?


Q:

That's a good point. There's definitely a range of simplicity going on.

I partly mean that games get us "back to the basics" before technology. You don't need a phone or fancy buttons or internet connections to play. You just need tangible pieces and a rulebook to dive in.

A:

Battling stupid every day! lol


Q:

What's your favorite classic boardgame? Have you always had an interest in boardgames?

A:

Do you take your work home with you? If not, how do you block the troubling stuff out?


Q:

Yes, I come from a family of 9 kids and growing up we always had a board game out! I felt a strong affinity for Clue and Monopoly as far as the classics go. Recent classics that I really like are Pandemic, Ticket to Ride, and Settlers of Catan.

A:

The really bad stuff I do. Kids are especially rough for me. I mentioned a call somewhere else in here about having to hold the corpse of a newborn for about an hour drive and it fucked me up for probably the better part of two months.

For the most part though you desensitize yourself to it with a humor callous. I've seen stories of people in EMS getting in trouble for being caught making fun of a patient on a dash cam after a call, but what the public doesn't understand is that it isn't personal and that if we didn't do stuff like that we would all last approximately a year be fore being committed.


Q:

What's your opinion on Agricola?

A:

A similar thing happens in hostile deployed areas. You have to find humor or else you'll go mad. People that don't understand tend to demonize. PC goes out the window. Dark humor ensues. Keep fighting the good fight. You certainly earned my respect. I'd buy you a beer if I could.


Q:

Actually, never played it! On my to-play list.

A:

Exactly. Cheers, mate.


Q:

As a designer of board games, you need to put that at the top of your to-do list.

A:

What presser do you use up there? We have to switch between dopamine, and levophed depending on the mood of the pharmacy packing or drug box that day.


Q:

Righto

A:

Dopamine. Never been a fan of leavemdead. lol


Q:

What board games do you find yourself playing the most when you're not working/playtesting?

A:

Since this will probably be asked eventually, what is the worst thing you've ever seen on the job? And thank you for doing this!


Q:

Honestly, I prefer playing the games I create. Haha :) But I think that's important --- if I don't absolutely LOVE my own games then I wouldn't release them.

But I do occasionally pull out Settlers of Catan, Pandemic, Monopoly Deal, and Rummikub.

A:

It involved holding a dead baby for about an hour drive. We were transporting the mother to another facility and the corpse had to come with us, but I couldn't bear just to lay it somewhere.


Q:

What is your main method when it comes to selling your games? I imagine selling online comes easiest and reaches a much larger number, however every time I'm tempted to buy a board game it's been from seeing the box art and holding the box in person.

A:

Former medic here. I did CPR on a newborn with PEA during a return. (For the laypersons, that's no breathing, no pulse, but an organized heart rhythm. Very low chance of a happy ending in this case, and it yielded the expected outcome.) Definitely not an hour drive, but felt like an eternity.

There aren't many people who want to talk about this stuff. Nice to hear from someone who had a similar experience. That's all.


Q:

We sell most of our games on Amazon. Our only released game so far is played with 4-12 players, so a lot of people play the game with friends who already own the game and are able to enjoy it and see it before buying online.

Our games really focus on looking beautiful though, so we're trying to get into more stores so people can pick up the game like you said.

A:

It's either get it out or go nuts.

The air of machismo when it comes to feelings in the profession really worries me. I'm sure it causes much more problems than it helps.


Q:

If a grilled sandwich with melted cheese has anything other than cheese on it, would you still consider it "grilled cheese," or would you call it a "melt?"

A:

Have you ever gone to a call that has made you question why you still do this?

Thanks for everything you do and everything you will do!


Q:

I definitely wouldn't call it a grilled cheese. I'd probably call it a "sandwich I stuck in the George Foreman"

A:

Do you mean due to the frivolous nature, or because of how traumatic it is on the psyche?


Q:

I missed "the" on my first read. Thought you said "I'd probably call it a sandwich I put in George Foreman." Now that's a board game, try to put things in George Foreman without getting clobbered.

A:

Traumatic.


Q:

Haha there we go.

A:

Yea a MVC i had recently referenced here...

https://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/5t3zaj/everyone_wants_to_be_a_hero_until_its_time_to_do/?utm_content=comments&utm_medium=user&utm_source=reddit&utm_name=frontpage

I was with the patient who was close to my age for the last hour of their life. It weighed really hard on me.


Q:

How did you get pass the fear of failure?

A:

So... Why did you want to get into this profession??

Also, do you put anything extra inside your grilled cheese besides cheese?


Q:

Baby steps into the unknown. Start with some smaller side endeavors and learn the ropes a bit before jumping.

A:

To be honest, I had no idea the profession really existed. I was in college working on my bachelors in biology when my girlfriend got pregnant, so I had to find a job sooner than later. She was looking in the paper one day and saw an ad and said "Hey, how about working on an ambulance?" and the rest is history...


Q:

Do you think you'll ever get ... board?

A:

And the grilled cheese?


Q:

Haha, nice. I don't think so. The possibilities of game mechanics and themes are endless.

A:

Oh right, sorry. I am plain jane with mine.

Though I had a friend make some where he put apple in them. It was ok, but I'm not one to mix sweet and savory.


Q:

Thanks for doing this AMA and for being so responsive to everyone's questions.

A friend and I are trying to do the same thing! In our research though we've discovered a lot of potential pitfalls with going the Kickstarter route. Namely, the "pre-marketing."

Do you have any advice for people who are trying this? Could you give us your top 3 things that made your first Kickstarter successful?

Thanks!

A:

Thank you for doing what you do.

Ninja edit: Whats the longest shift you've worked?


Q:

Good luck with yours!

My main advice: worry less about the pre-marketing and more about the product. With our first game we did zero pre-marketing and the game raised $100K. Make a great game and the people will find you.

Also, here's an article I wrote about my takeaways from last time: http://travhancock.com/2015/06/how-i-raised-100000-on-kickstarter/

A:

When I was a young'n I worked 5 24 hour shifts in a weeks time.

All in a row 70ish hours? Not any more though. Way too old for that.


Q:

First of all congratulations for all these great achievements. Was there ever a time when you wanted to get back to your old job?

A:

Is it true that you drive with a pan of water in the ambulance? To make sure you drive safe enough for the patient in the back or something


Q:

Thanks! And so far, nope. I guess there were a few moments of uncertainty when the risk-free environment sounded nice, but the freedom and flexibility of working for myself just feels awesome.

A:

It isnt mandatory, but it is the way I was taught and subsequently teach newbies. The exponential difference between being in the front and back is rough if you're the one in the back.


Q:

Congrats. The game looks like fun.

How do you find manufacturers for your products that you can trust? Are you working on new games all the time and how many do you have planned?

A:

Whats the rarest condition that you have diagnosed on spot? And how? What was the treatment after that?


Q:

Thanks!

The board game industry is really supportive - we were pointed towards some good manufacturers that are based in the US/Canada but have factories in China. That made it really easy.

Yes, we're always working on new games! So far we have released 2, and we're currently testing the next 3 in line. New game ideas are constantly on my brain!

A:

I had a patient with some insane looking rash that went diagnosed for like a month. Never found out if it was contagious or anything. It's been a while so I guess I am good.


Q:

How much of the $325k went towards income versus expenses related to production of the game?

A:

Hello Fellow Ohioian and person in he medical field. I do home rehab I work with fragile and elderly people. I have my med CPR but...

What can those of us that have to call a squad for our patients due to help you? Besides CPR if our patient is breathing on their own but need your services what can we do or get ready for you


Q:

About 40-50% goes towards profit and re-investment in the company. The rest goes to production, Kickstarter fees, and shipping costs.

A:

First of all, big props. I dunno if i could handle being with some of the bad patients i've had for days upon days.

As far as calling 911... Put up any animals. Clear us a path to get the stretcher in (it seems a lot of older people have a tendency to hoard), and if your patients do not already have one help them get together a paper that has all their pertinents ie. name, birthday, social, allergies, medical history, and medications. Having all that info waiting and ready to go saves so much time. :)


Q:

Did you start to make board games first and quit your job once it took off, or did you have an actual business model and quit your job hoping for the best?

A:

I feel like this should be something everyone keeps in their wallet and most definitely something all geriatricians recommend to their patients.


Q:

I quit my job right after our first game raised $100K on Kickstarter. So I definitely wasn't leaving blind. It was nice to have that safety net to start with!

I also had a few other side ventures that I was working on as well at the time that were bringing in some revenue.

A:

For sure. That and an ICE (In case of emergency) labelled contact in their phones.


Q:

Are your games being sold anywhere other than kickstarter? Will this remain viable when you're not "kickstarting" a new project?

A:

Do you take lots of heroin overdose calls? What % of calls are due to drug abuse these days?


Q:

Yes, we sell our games on our website, on Amazon, and in game stores around the world. They bring in a great monthly income even outside of Kickstarter. Kickstarter is a great way to get the ball rolling on a project and build interest and awareness in a new game.

A:

It comes in waves. You can definitely tell when a bad batch comes into town. I was a part of that, what was it, 45 overdoses in a day spree i'm sure you heard about recently.


Q:

Had a friend OD two weeks ago, a neighbor OD two days later. Everyone sort of shrugged and said there must be a bad batch going around. Like it's a bad storm or the flu. Baltimore. Heroin. Shrug. Stay away from that shit and just shake your head and frown when these things happen.

A:

Check into narcan from the pharmacy for your friend. Obviously kicking the addiction is preferable, but in the mean time...


Q:

What happens when you are called to a scene and person has died prior to arrival? Do you turn around?

Also when you get to a scene and there is a body do you handle the dead at all or does a coroner?

I live in canada and those are rumors i have heard about ehs drivers

A:

We confirm asystole. Note the presence of lividity and rigor to insure it isn't recent and I pronounce them dead. From there law enforcement takes over if its suspicious. If not a funeral home comes and gets them.


Q:

Do you feel like people need to be more educated about what your job entails?

And do you feel people should be more thankful or respectful to first responders?

A:

I think everyone should have to take an, at least abridged, EMT course in highschool. Everyone knowing how to preform cpr and to stop bleeding would be invaluable. Other than that, I think knowing when to or to not call 911 or to visit an ER vs urgent care is something that should be more widely known.

As far as respect goes... You cant force people to respect something. I try to conduct myself in a respectable manner, but there are certainly dicks in this job like in any other that don't deserve an ounce.


Q:

I work as a receptionist at an Urgent Care facility. It is insane when a pt will walk through the door with life threatening conditions and assume that we have the facilities to treat it.... All in an effort to avoid going to the ER. Pt will come in with symptoms of stroke and come here first just to be referred to the ER, wasting precious time. I totally agree with educating people on what kind of situations are an Urgent Care visit vs. an ER visit/when to call 911.

A:

Oh for sure, and I get calls at 3 am for "My mouth tastes funny." haha


Q:

What would you say is the hardest aspect of your job, mentally? And how do you handle it?

Thank you for your service!

A:

Just the repeated struggle of dealing with death and dying. The best way I've learned to explain it is "Imagine the worse moment of your life. Now imagine doing that 5-10 times a day several times a week."

I man up and go to therapy. A lot of alcoholism and broken relationships in the job though. I think last I heard we have one of the highest suicide and divorce rates.


Q:

Craziest story? Like craziesssttt

A:

I picked up a passed out drunk chick in her car on the side of the road. She woke up enough on the way to the hospital to start rubbing one out. haha