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Archive for September 2012

Food And Wine Favorites

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Food And Wine, try some today

When I was thinking of what to write today I was hungry so I started thinking about what to eat and decided I would use that as my inspiration.   As I was mentally grazing on a feast, I prepared a quick list of some of my favorites – at least for now.  Along with my meals I figured I better include some of my favorite wines to wash it down.  Enjoy my list.

  • Pizza
  • Pasta with sausage and peppers
  • Stuffed cabbage/peppers
  • Grilled steak
  • Grilled natural casing Hot dog with Cole slaw, chili sauce, sweet relish and mustard toppings
  • Beef brisket barbecue
  • Roasted chicken and mashed potatoes
  • Beer battered Fish and chips

As you can tell from my list, it is very basic – far from haute cuisine.  It is comfort food but I like to go to what works for me.  It took me about 45 years to try fish!  I also listed some wines that I enjoy although the two lists are not necessarily meant to go together.

Red wines:

  • Cote Du Rhone – I like the Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre blend that is typical of this region.
  • Syrah- France has my taste in this Grape.  I generally dislike the fruity rendition popularized in Australia.
  • Zinfandel – As long as they are not too overboard on the alcohol and fruitiness I like most of this from California.
  • Chianti – Sangiovese and other grapes are blended to make this a great wine with red sauces. 
  • Barbera – I prefer the Hanna-Barbera but most people won’t understand.
  • Pinot Noir – This is one grape that I prefer the New World (California) style to the European style.  This is most well-known from the Burgundy region of France.  Very acidic so it pairs well with most any food.  The California style I like is fruitier and less acidic.  I never had nor could I afford good Burgundy from France.
  • Grenache – At my price level this is mostly a simple wine with some spicy notes.  I had a very interesting bottle from the Gigondas region in France but most of what I enjoy is low-end stuff from Spain.
  • Pinotage – An odd tasting wine usually from South Africa.  To me it has a minty note in the finish that is intriguing.
  • Petite Sirah – This is a wine I enjoy when I want a big, jammy glass of refreshment, a guilty pleasure.

White Wines:

  • Sauvignon Blanc – New Zealand has an interesting take on this grape
  • Riesling – some good ones come from the Finger Lakes region in New York state
  • Bordeaux – even modest ones can be very pleasing and food friendly
  • Chardonnay – yes, Chardonnay
  • Moscato – must be from Italy
  • Gewurztraminer – hard to pronounce but a good one is very interesting
  • Chenin Blanc from Vouvray region – this grape is very sensitive to the climate so unless you are up on the vintages you might be disappointed.  This is one reason to have a reliable wine shop as the owner can point you in the right direction and get your best bang for the buck.

I hope you were able to read without getting too hungry.  Have a good week feasting on your favorite dish.

Written by pacelinebiz

September 24, 2012 at 9:16 am

Business Lessons From… A Five Year Old

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Let Me Tell You Something Old Timer

I recently had an experience with a youngster that reminded me how to sell my services the smart way.  I was at an Apple store while my wife was looking to upgrade to a newer version of the iPad.  As I patiently waited, I saw a young child of about 5 years of age in the store.  He was using an iPad and I asked him if he liked the iPad because he could go to the internet and play games and listen to his music.  He replied in 5 year old speak “I like my iPad because I can see my mommy on Skype when I miss her!”   When I first heard this, I thought how cute and how tech savvy kids are these days.  After letting that set in a few days it hit me that the kid must be a sales genius without knowing it.  He stated what the benefits of having a new iPad were so convincingly.  He didn’t tell me about the features – you can play games and music on it, he told me in a very emotionally charged way he can see his mommy when he misses her with this product.  What approach makes YOU want to buy and iPad?  Incidentally, I think he must have had the iPad 2 or the newest iPad since the original iPad does not have a camera.

I assume the reason this lesson “bubbled up” after a few days is because I have been working on my marketing efforts and reviewed my profile of services offering to a group that serves as my informal board of directors and was told to go back and try again.  They did not say that in as many words but they were reminding me to focus my message in a way that would most likely engage a customer.   I was using phrases like CFO services.  They asked me what are CFO services and I realized if they had to ask I am not doing my job of communicating my messageIdentifying and interpreting trends as opportunities or threats sounds more descriptive and is a benefit my services offer not a feature.  

What can you learn from this?  Hopefully you can take some time and reshape the message you are sending so you can maximize your marketing efforts and increase your conversion rate.  To put it a better way, sell the benefits of your product or service now and see your bank account grow later as you check your balance on-line from a cruise ship. 

What is a more compelling case for you to use a pest service?

  1. My product lasts 90 days and is environmentally safe
  2. Your 5 year old won’t wake up with bugs in their bed with XYZ Company.  We help you sleep peacefully knowing the only unwanted visitors you get are the in-laws.

Have a great week, modifying your message.  I need to start making changes to my web site.

Written by pacelinebiz

September 17, 2012 at 9:11 am

September 10th In History

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Yummy

Every once in a while I need help with a blog topic.  One of the ways I solve that problem is by looking at this date in history.  Today is one of those days.  Perhaps someday in this day in history it will say I wrote a blog about this day in history.   I have listed a few items below but you can see the complete list here.

A few comments about the list.  Bud Selig is still the commissioner of baseball, I dislike the Yankees and it appears Swanson created the first “TV dinner” in plenty of time for enjoying the long run Gunsmoke had on CBS. 

1997  Discovery buys Travel Channel for $20 million 

1997  Mark McGwire joins Babe as the only two players to hit 50 home runs in 2 consecutive years 

1995  115th U.S. Men’s Tennis: Pete Sampras beats Andre Agassi (6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5) 

1992  Bud Selig becomes interim commissioner of baseball 

1990  19 year old Pete Sampras beats Andre Agassi to win U.S. Open 

1990  1st time in New York Yankee history they are completely swept season series, Oakland A’s beat them 12 games to 0 

1989  East Germans begin their flight to west (via Hungary and Czechoslovakia) 

1984  Discovery returns to Kennedy Space Center via Altus AFB, Oklahoma 

1977  Blue Jays beat Yankees 19-3 with 20 hits 

1972  20th Olympic games close at Munich, West Germany 

1967  Gibraltar votes 12,138 to 44 to remain British and not Spanish 

1961  U.S.S.R. performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya U.S.S.R. 

1956  WSYE (now WETM) TV channel 18 in Elmira-Corning, New York (NBC) 1st broadcast 

1955  “Gunsmoke” premieres on CBS TV 

1953  Swanson sells it’s 1st “TV dinner” 

1939  Canada declares war on Germany 

1926  Germany joins League of Nations 

1919  Indian’s Ray Caldwell no-hits Yankees 3-0 

1913  Lincoln Highway opens as 1st paved coast-to-coast highway 

1910  Great Idaho Fire destroys 3 million acres of timber 

1899  2nd quake in 7 days (8.6) hits Yakutat Bay Alaska 

1872  Karl Marx speaks in Amsterdam 

1847  1st theater opens in Hawaii 

1845  King Willem II opens Amsterdam Stock exchange 

1823  Simon Bolivar named president of Peru 

1785  Prussia signs trade agreement with US 

1776  George Washington asks for a spy volunteer, Nathan Hale volunteers 

1608  John Smith elected president of Jamestown colony council, Virginia 

1547  Battle at Pinkie, Midlothian: English beat the Scots 

Have a great week and if you are too busy to cook you can always heat up a “TV dinner” in the oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.  If you don’t have that much time, you can put a lean cuisine in the microwave for 4 minutes and enjoy.

Written by pacelinebiz

September 10, 2012 at 9:09 am

Four Years Later, What Is Holding Us Back?

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Where are we headed?

I started this blog in September 2009 and back then the economy was on everyone’s mind and still is today.     In September 2009 we were about 1 year removed from the financial crisis and had recovered significantly in the stock market from the lows on the DOW of about 6,600 to about 9,600.  As I begin year 4 of this blog, I want to briefly reflect on how things are going now compared to 2009 and offer two reasons we are still stuck going nowhere.

We were in fragile times back in September 2009 and the stock markets were skittish worrying about the next big event to happen.  Since 2009, we have muddled through and have made strides in stabilizing the economy but have not made strides in turning the economic engine back on.  The recovery has been anemic considering how hard and fast we fell.  The typical post-recession “snap back” we were expecting has not come and there are two factors I believe that have contributed to this. 

They are:

1)  This recession was not a normal one but one involving the banking sector. 

We were close to having a collapse of our banking system.  How close?  I can’t say and probably no one really can for certain but that is not important.   The banking system was as close as it has ever been to collapse since 1929.  When the credit markets seized up; individuals, businesses and governments worldwide had to reduce their massive debt loads.  This is still going on today.  National governments in Europe are continuing to deal with it now and state, county and local governments in the US have been dealing with it and some are still dealing with it.  Foreclosures are still an issue in many areas but it appears we may be finally getting close to seeing an uptick in real estate values that will become a long term trend.  Fairly new existing homes selling at significantly less than replacement cost can’t continue forever.

2)  Stifling government regulation is choking business expansion.

The EPA, the Department of Labor, The Dodd-Frank Banking regulation and the Affordable Care Act (Obama care) have all contributed to putting the brakes on expansion.  One thing that could be a stimulus without affecting tax rates, printing money, going further into debt and risking inflation is cutting back on regulations that do nothing but make busy work for business owners and achieve no results.  This knee jerk reaction of the government to fix things has done little to help.  What the government can do is get out of the way.  I am not saying all regulation is bad by any means but laws that are written that have over 2000 pages in them are ridiculous.  The Sarbanes-Oxley act that was passed in 2002 in reaction to the Enron and WorldCom accounting scandals was considered bad law and ineffective.  10 years later it has had mixed reviews.  That bill was 66 pages long.  The Dodd-Frank bill is 2,319 pages long!  That is staggering to think about.  It is over 200 pages longer than the Affordable Care Act (Obama care).  We need to enforce laws that we have before writing more.  If you want to read about what the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) thinks about regulatory conditions click here to read more.

Have a great week guiding your business to recovery.