The Biz of Pacelinebiz

Turning things on end to achieve results!

Archive for June 2015

Three Of A Kind

leave a comment »

 

Three Of A Kind

Three Of A Kind

For today’s blog let’s pretend we are on a game show and you have to guess what the three things listed below have in common.  Some are easy and some are stupid but I promise you this is a waste of time.  Highlight the answer with your mouse to reveal it but have some fun and try to guess before you do.

Q: Tom, Richard and Manny ( you will hate me for this one)

A: Famous Petty’s (Pedi’s)

Q: Skoal, Crackers, Chips

A: Things you dip

Q: Daryl Dragon, Mr. Morgan, Bob Keeshan

A: Captains

Q: Veronica, Michigan, Ricki

A: Lakes

Q: Baseball, Construction, Hunting

A: Seasons

Q: Comet, Cupid, Time

A: Things that fly

Q: Technical, Consumer, Soupy

A: Sales

Q: A Lighter, A Marx, an online shoe shop

A: Zippo, Zeppo and Zappos

Q: Prince Albert, toilet paper, beans

A: Things in a can

Q: St. Andrews, American Pharaoh, The Army

A: A course (golf), a horse and a force

I hope you had some fun playing today all guests leave with nice parting gifts consisting of a brain teaser and a brief interlude out of the real world.  Have a great week.

Advertisements

Written by pacelinebiz

June 29, 2015 at 8:01 am

Observations At A Minor League Baseball Game

leave a comment »

The National Pastime

The National Pastime

I went to a single A minor league baseball game between the Atlanta Braves affiliate and the Miami Marlins affiliate.  The game took place in Rome, Georgia which is about an hour away from my home.  Before I make my observations from the game let me say that Rome, Georgia is a nice town of about 35,000 residents that has several colleges.   Before the game we enjoyed a meal at the local Olive Garden restaurant.

At the game our seats were behind home plate in the second section but were very close to the action as were all the seats.  Fans up the base lines had to keep alert as several foul balls rocketed into the seats allowing for very little reaction time.  Our seats were $10 and if you attend a Sunday game you can get 4 tickets, 4 cokes, 4 bags of popcorn and 4 hot dogs for $40. I recommend you attend a minor league game this summer if you have a ballpark within an hour drive of your home.  It is a fun time and is inexpensive and it is baseball – especially for younger kids who can’t tell the difference.

Now some observations:

  • When the opposing pitcher can’t find home plate when tossing his warm up pitches between innings, you might want to keep your bat on your shoulder until he throws you a strike.  Why get yourself out?
  • Run out all fly balls.   This is the minor league and balls get dropped or lost in the sun, clouds or a pretty girl can cause a distraction.
  • Some people should never, under any circumstance, wear shorts.
  • Park your car as far away from the field as possible.  Foul balls can carry into the parking lot and windshields are expensive.
  • If your wife asks you what the infield fly rule is just make something up since she doesn’t know and explaining it will cause you to miss the next two home team at bats.
  • There is no way for a four-year old to eat cotton candy without everything within 3 feet getting sticky.
  • If a four-year old wants cotton candy do your best to sell them on a bag of peanuts or a blueberry snow cone.  Everyone in your section will thank you.
  • Snow cone means expensive frozen sugar-water in SOME language.

Have a great week and observe a minor league game near you.

Written by pacelinebiz

June 22, 2015 at 8:01 am

Summer Eats

leave a comment »

 

Cool Food For A Hot Day

Cool Food For A Hot Day

Today is day 22 of summer as measured by the unofficial start on Memorial Day and ending on Labor Day.  I thought today I would create a list of summertime meals that are designed to be pleasing in the warmer weather.  In the cooler weather we gravitate towards heavier dishes that are “stick to the ribs good”.  In the summer months we don’t need anything sticking to us since it is already too hot.

Below is my list, I hope you find one idea appetizing:

  • Egg salad sandwich on a croissant is a favorite and one that my dad always requested on hot summer days.
  • Leftover chicken served cold from the refrigerator.  This may sound weird but I always liked this with potato salad or macaroni salad.
  • Cold cuts with lots of crisp lettuce.  The lettuce serves as a thirst quenching “chaser“for the sandwich.
  • A BLT on toasted bread – the juicy tomato is another take on a thirst quenching “chaser” on a hot day.
  • Gazpacho.  This is soup intended to be served cold and originates in Spain and is also popular in Portugal.
  • Grilled vegetables from your garden or local farmers market.  Even I enjoy Zucchini like this with some peppers, mushrooms and pineapple.  When the veggies are prepared like this it is a special treat on a hot day.
  • Rosa Marina fruit salad.  This is something that my wife introduced me to.  I would classify it as a dessert and it has cool whip as a base with orzo pasta, maraschino cherries, mandarin oranges and pineapples.  I have included the recipe below if you want to try this out.
  • Pasta salad or a broccoli salad with shredded carrots and raisins added in for a touch of sweetness
  • Try having sherbet or sorbet instead of ice cream, or if you can find it, Gelato. Gelato has all the taste but none of the guilt.
  • A refreshing rosé wine from Spain is always good to have around in the warmer days of summer.  It is cool and refreshing like a white wine but also has a little more flavor like a red wine since the process of making a rosé wine allows some of the grape skin to briefly “bleed” into the wine making it pink (and flavorful).

I hope you have seen something that you might want to make the next time it gets oppressive in your neck of the woods.  Have a cool week.

 

Rosa Marina Salad, recipe makes 24 servings and I would recommend that you cut it in half unless you have a lot of people to serve

1 (16 ounce) package orzo pasta

2 (15 ounce) cans mandarin oranges, drained and juice reserved

 1 (16 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained with juice reserved

 1 (16 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained and juice reserved

 1 (4 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained and halved

 3/4 cup white sugar

 2 large eggs

 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

 1 (16 ounce) container whipped topping (such as Cool Whip®)

 Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook orzo in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add mandarin oranges, pineapple chunks, crushed pineapple, and maraschino cherries to orzo.
  2. Combine juice from mandarin oranges, juice from pineapple chunks, juice from crushed pineapple, sugar, eggs, and flour in a saucepan over low heat; cook, stirring often, until sauce is thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and cool, about 30 minutes.
  3. Pour cooled sauce over orzo mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate until flavors blend, 8 hours to overnight. Fold whipped topping into orzo mixture before serving.

Written by pacelinebiz

June 15, 2015 at 8:01 am

My New Refrigerator Has An “Air Filter”

with one comment

Old reliable

Old Reliable – no filter

My new refrigerator has an air filter and a water filter.  The water filter is not new our 1998 vintage refrigerator had one.   I find it strange that the manufacturer built-in a water filter for my ice maker/water dispenser – what do they know about my tap water that they aren’t telling me?  Every year I get a water quality report from my water utility that assures me that my water has an acceptable level of arsenic in it.  The phrase; “acceptable level of arsenic” sounds like an oxy-moron, doesn’t it?

Despite what you might be thinking, I am not focusing on refrigerator water filters today.  I am talking about the most recent abomination brought on by the recurring revenue craze – an air filter for your refrigerator.  I am willing to bet that the guy who decided to put an air filter in a refrigerator got a huge raise.  I also bet it was not someone in the R & D department looking for the latest way to better a product.  It was probably a guy like me looking at ways to increase revenues by creating a maintenance item that would need changed every six months.

Before I get into the numbers let me tell you that the air filter for my refrigerator serves no purpose in keeping the refrigerator running properly. It is an odor filter!  How clever.  The manufacturer says that the filter is fifteen times better at odor elimination than a box of baking soda.  For your convenience and to cause even more stress in your life there is a reminder that you need to change your filter that appears on the dash-board of the refrigerator.  This reminder lights up in bright red letters of course.  The reminder is not based on any scientific telemetry from a sensor determining the quality of the filter it is based on the passage of time or another silly metric like the number of times the door is opened. I advocate resetting the reminder when it comes on and changing the odor filter when YOU notice an odor.  Another option is to buy a box of baking soda for 99 cents and forget about your filter.  You can also clean your refrigerator once in a while and you will probably eliminate most of your odor problem.

Now let’s get back to the numbers.  At a big box store the water filter is about $30 and the air filter is about $15.  If you change them every six months like you are instructed to that would cost you $90 every year for the replacement parts. In ten years the filter replacement schedule would cost about as much as the damn refrigerator.  You might say to yourself; “wow the total cost of ownership of that model of refrigerator is ridiculous”.  If a car cost that much to maintain it would be last on the Consumer Reports annual ratings.  In case you are wondering, I looked at the Amazon price and it is about half as much versus the big box stores or buying direct from the manufacturer.

I have found that the water filter does need replaced about every 12-18 months depending on usage and water quality.  I think you can look at it in six months and if it is still not dirty looking you can check again every three months and change it once it is visibly dirty or brown/orange-colored.   I wonder if the orange stuff is the arsenic?

Have a great week if you can after reading about this nonsense.

Turning Good Into Bad

leave a comment »

We Blew It!

We Blew It!

Note: For those who are counting, this is my 300th blog post, I hope you like it.

Today I want to discuss a situation that happened to me recently that can serve as a cautionary tale for business owners.  I went to a car wash with a free coupon and chose to upgrade to the more complete wash for $8 more.  This upgraded car wash would have been a $25 car wash without the coupon and they did a terrible job.  Dust was still clearly evident on the faceplate of the radio as well as the dashboard and no “new car smell” fragrance was present as promised and the windows were streaky.

The place was not very busy so they certainly had time to do a thorough job without causing long delays for other customers.   I did not have very high expectations but such glaring problems were unacceptable.   This only reinforced my belief that their service is overpriced.  If I was unhappy at the job they did for $8 how do they expect me to pay $25? Did this marketing effort to gain new business have the opposite effect?  Yes, it did.  I believe that the staff should have been made aware that I was a coupon customer and to make an extra special effort to do a good job since I was only sampling their services.  Since they did not pass the test how can they expect that I will come back?

The lesson we need to learn is don’t do promotions if it will do harm.  This good opportunity to create a new customer was a good thing that was turned into a bad thing by poor execution of the strategy by the team that washed my car.  Should they be doing a good job washing the cars no matter what – yes. Were they at fault – yes.  Do they need to take the blame for my negative experience – no!  Management should have made certain that my experience was a good one.  They failed for two reasons.  They clearly did not train the team that doing a good job on every car is essential but they also failed to communicate that they were auditioning for a new customer and to take extra care.  If management could have done one of those two things this blog would not have been written because I would have been satisfied with the job that was done.

The next time you decide to do a promotional campaign to increase your customer base, remember this lesson.  Don’t turn what was supposed to be a god thing into a bad thing.  In fact read a story of turning a bad thing into a good thing by clicking here.

Have a great week.