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Archive for July 2012

Business Lessons From…Coffee

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Coffee leads by example

Yes, business lessons from Coffee.   Stay with me, I will explain and I am sure it will make sense when I am through.  Coffee has many attributes.  It is bold, robust and can be enjoyed whether hot or cold.  Let’s take a closer look at those attributes and see what is revealed.

Coffee is bold.   That is an attribute that all business owners need to have.  Just taking the step to start a business is a bold step and thus it can be easily said that all businesses owners are bold… or were at ONE time.  Don’t lose the ability to strike when the time is right.  Stay nimble and be willing to take a calculated risk.  Those traits are important.  No one got rich taking the easy way out.  The easy way out is to collect a paycheck and make someone else rich.  Business owners are not going to be happy with that answer. Getting rich is not always the end game, of course, many business owners wanted to be the boss.  They want the satisfaction of running the show by doing things their way. 

Coffee is robust.  What exactly does robust mean?  Some synonyms are: healthy, vigorous, stout and hearty.   That certainly sounds like a trait to which we should aspire.  Business owners need to keep their businesses healthy and thriving.  Being robust could be equated with continuous improvement initiatives.  Now that is some fancy business jargon that you hear quite often these days.  Hmm… coffee might be on to something.

Coffee can be enjoyed hot or cold.  This is perhaps one of the most important attributes of coffee.  It also must be an attribute you have with your business.  Can you enjoy the day-to-day activities of your business in good times and bad?  Can you bring your “A” game when you are not in the mood?  You better, because more often than not you are the face of your organization and your tone permeates down to the most entry-level person at your company.  You are your brand so you better represent yourself well.  Read about building your brand here.

I hope you see my point now.  Have a great week displaying the attributes of coffee.

Written by pacelinebiz

July 30, 2012 at 10:04 am

NFL 2012 Is Here!

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NFL 2012 Is Upon Us

We are just past the half way mark of summer and today begins the NFL season with the opening of training camp for returning veterans by the Arizona Cardinals.  The preseason begins on August 5th at 8 PM with the kickoff of the Hall of Fame game featuring the Cardinals and the Saints.  Despite almost no starters participating in most preseason games you can still expect to pay full price for the tickets.  The regular football season kicks off on Wednesday September 5th with the Giants playing against the Cowboys in New York.  See the first week schedule here.

I don’t know about you, but I am not ready to think about football until the weather gets a little cooler and the leaves turn brown.  I am too interested in the baseball division races and the World Series after that.    I will get mildly interested in watching the games in November, until then I am not too excited.  I am in the minority though as the NFL is the most popular sport in the United States.  That is fine by me, I prefer to enjoy my baseball without regard to what the “in crowd” is doing.   For those of you that are in the majority, you may want to know that the Super Bowl will be played on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans.  Get your party plans in high gear, it will be here sooner than you can imagine. 

To make your party a hit, you need to have some good food to go with the blocking and tackling.  Have no fear, I have a good recipe for you –  Chipotle Pork Tacos:

I got this about 4 years go from my sister and I served it at my 2009 Super Bowl party and it went over well.  I suggest you try it out this fall and tweak it as you see fit and then roll it out for the 2013 Super Bowl.  She suggests to serve it with queso blanco crumbled cheese, shredded lettuce and sour cream and that works for me.

INGREDIENTS

  •             6 cups water
  •             2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut in 2-inch pieces
  •             1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  •             ¼ cup cider vinegar, divided
  •             1 teaspoon salt
  •             1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  •             1 cup finely chopped onion
  •             4 cloves garlic, minced
  •             1 -(8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  •             3 chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped and mashed with a fork 
  •             ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  •             12-16 soft corn tortillas
  •             2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  •             Salt to taste

Preparation:

  1. Place 6 cups water in Dutch oven and bring to a boil over high heat. Add pork, the sliced onion, 3 tablespoons of the vinegar and salt. Return to a boil, reduce heat, cover partially and simmer 1-1/2 hours. Remove pork with slotted spoon and cool slightly; reserve 1 cup cooking water. Shred pork with 2 forks and set aside.
  2. Place a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until hot, add oil and chopped onion and cook 3 minutes; add garlic and cook 15 seconds. Add tomato sauce, chipotles, cumin, remaining 1 tablespoon of the vinegar. shredded pork and 1 cup cooking water. Cook 1 to 2 minutes to heat thoroughly. Remove from heat, cover and let stand 10 minutes to absorb flavors. Place about 1/4 cup pork mixture inside a tortilla and enjoy.

 Have a great week.

Written by pacelinebiz

July 23, 2012 at 9:12 am

Rabbits 1 Flowers 1 Game In Progress…

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When we last saw the devastation playing out on the field of play, the Rabbits took a seemingly insurmountable advantage over the vegetation.  However, it is only a short month later and we see a comeback being mounted by the brutally beaten back flowers.  I am very happy to report that barring another barrage by the bunnies we may have a huge reversal of fortune by the flowers dotting my landscape.  See the photographic evidence at the end of the blog that clearly shows that things are looking up for the faithful followers of the flowers.

In other rabbit related reportage, I can tell you that my garden is also doing quite well despite the late start.  We planted cucumbers and green beans from seeds and they are up and doing quite well and the tomatoes and peppers are thriving despite some brutal heat in the low 100’s.  I am looking forward to harvesting the tomatoes around the end of August as I got a variety that produces in about 50 days.   I will keep you posted on how things go – see the garden’s progress as of July 9th below. 

July 9th progress

Have a great week and learn a lesson from the flowers.  Never give up.  It is not over until it’s over!   Enjoy some photos of progress made below.

Coreposis returning

Coneflower comeback

Written by pacelinebiz

July 16, 2012 at 8:23 am

Summer Olympics Memories

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Going For Gold In London

The summer Olympics open on July 27th this year in London.  This will be the 11th summer games that I can remember beginning with the 1972 games in Munich.  Oddly, the 1972 and 1976 games are the ones I remember most even though they were so long ago.  It is probably because I watched so much of the coverage. In the later years I was working or had better things (in my opinion) to do. 

My memories of the competition from 1972 were mostly Mark Spitz winning all that gold and Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut winning the hearts of the world.  I also remember the US basket ball team losing to the soviets but only from the commentary as I did not watch the game.  I was and still am not a big basketball fan.  Away from the competition the games were marred by a terrorist hostage situation that led to the deaths of 11 Israeli’s. The games were halted as I recall but eventually continued to conclusion.

In 1976 my memories were of Bruce Jenner, Sugar Ray Leonard and much of the boxing team doing very well.  I also recall Nadia Comaneci with her perfect 10 scores in gymnastics.  After the 1976 Olympics we boycotted the 1980 games in Moscow and the Soviets and eastern bloc countries returned the favor when it was held in 1984 in Los Angeles.  Why was it that I lost interest?  In 1984 (and 1988) Roger Kingdom from my Alma Mater, the University of Pittsburgh, won the gold medal in the 110 meter hurdles.  I also have vague memories of Carl Lewis who won gold medals from 1984 to 1996.  I also remember Edwin Moses who won gold in 1976 and 1984 and a bronze in 1988 in the 400 meter hurdles at the ripe old age of 33.  Moses won 107 consecutive finals form 1977-1987 that is dominating your sport if I ever hear of it.  My most recent memories that come to mind are the 2008 Beijing games in which Michael Phelps managed to win 8 gold medals(presumably between hits on a bong).

Despite all the controversy and politics that surround the Olympics I will probably make a point to watch a little bit as long as there are no baseball games for me to watch.  Have a great week and get ready for the London games.

Mr. McGregor And Peter Rabbit

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Evil Rabbit

I am vexed and miffed.  I have been a victim of a wild horde of green-leaf eating rabbits.  I planted a black-eyed Susan, asters, petunias, coreopsis, and a cone flower and all have been decimated and nibbled down to a nub with nothing left.  My roses, daisy’s and verbena are all untouched so far.  I can’t understand what makes my flowers so attractive when there is a forest full of vegetation out of harm’s way next to my property.  I take this as a personal assault on me by these critters.

Jimmy Sad Eyes is not a fan of Rabbits either and growls fiercely at them from inside the house.  I often wonder if they can even hear him as they appear to be quite content to carry on as poor Jimmy rages out of control.

Below are some pictures of the devastation as well as some pictures of before they laid my flower garden to waste.  I have tried some commercial remedies but have not had any luck.  I have been threatening to buy a Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock and go rabbit hunting but I am afraid I would just shoot my eye out.  Does anyone have a good recipe for hasenpfeffer?  Try this one out if you are interested.

Have a great week and try some rabbit stew for your 4th of July festivities.  I highly recommend it.

Rabbit food

Rabbit salad

Written by pacelinebiz

July 2, 2012 at 9:29 am