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To my followers:

As you know, I usually do a post a day.  We are experiencing bad weather, and not only are we having trouble with our phone line, but with our internet connection as well.  As I am able to get this to you now, I thought that I would put this out now while I can.

If you do not hear from me for a day or two, I will be back!  I am dependent on the connections that I am having issues with.  Please stay tuned!

Barb

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The Side Step


Yeah, it is Friday! This is the year where once again here in the U.S. we have not only the Presidential Election but, depending on where you live, Senator, and Legislators. The ads have ramped up in the last week. Every other commercial on TV for weeks now and for the next 4 weeks will be political ads, whether they be for or against a State proposition, or the candidates. And, I decided that today, we needed to have some fun with this!

This brought to mind a segment from a movie, in which the actor was actually nominated for an Oscar for his performance. The movie: “Best Little Whore House in Texas.” The performer: Charles Durning. The song: “The Side Step.”

And now, here is Charles Durning performing “The Side Step. Be sure to listen to the questions being asked of the politician. Let me know if this reminds you of the politico today!”

Charles Durning performing “The Side Step

Remember to go out and vote! And, remember the words to this song when you do!

Now go and have a great Friday!

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We recently took a hike into the woods to see our hermit friend that has made the forest his home. While sitting there enjoying a cup of tea with him, we started talking about life. He gave us some words of wisdom which I thought that I would share with you!

* Cruel words cannot be unsaid.

* Every path, no matter what path it is, always has a few puddles.

* The best sermons are not the ones heard in church, they are the ones that are lived.

* It is best to keep your distance from skunks and bankers.

* You don’t have to be a big person to carry a grudge.

* If it isn’t bothering you, don’t mess with it.

* Everyone has the same family, they just look different.

* When you find yourself in a hole, stop the digging.

* Know that the biggest troublemaker you will ever meet is the one that looks back at you in the mirror every day.

* Drink upstream from the deer.

* Good judgement comes from the experience of a lot of bad judgement.

* Speak kindly, love generously, live simply and care deeply. Leave the rest to the Universal Spirit.

I hope that you find his words full of wisdom, and I wish you a fantastic weekend!

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We have been billed for this tax and are planning to appeal. There is quite an uproar about this here in the Sierra Foothills!

WrantAndWrave

We all know that the great State of California has been having money troubles for years. It is struggling to find new ways to raise money, either by spending cuts, or collection of fees, which is just a euphemism for tax. Cuts in spending include cuts to our fire departments throughout the State. This brings me to the topic I wanted to discuss which is the CAL-Fire California Fire Prevention Fee, for which I received a notice in the mail marked urgent. This is what the notice said:

“According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), you own property in one of the designated areas and must pay the new California Fire Prevention Fee. The Board of Equalization is required by law to collect this fee.

As the owner of property within this area, you will soon receive a bill requiring you to pay up to…

View original post 794 more words

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My friend Barb and I went to lunch yesterday, after which we took a trip to El Dorado Hills to wander through the town center. We came across a lovely store that is a foodies dream: Mia Sorella! The gold? Extra Virgin Olive Oils from around the world!

What was unique about this shop was the tasting bar! On the bar are over 20 different kinds of flavored extra virgin olive oils, and an equal assortment of flavored balsamic vinegars! And not only can you try them all, but you can mix and match the oils with the vinegars to come up with your favorite blend of the two.

Tasting Bar

The varieties of oils come from a number of places. Here you can try olive oils from not only California, but from Australia, Italy, Spain, Chile, France and Tunisia. The varieties range from Sweet Barnea, Manzillo, Picholine (the Queen of olives), Nocellara, Picual, Arbequina, Fratoio and Cerasuola.

The oils are naturally flavored. I fell in love with the Meyer Lemon flavored olive. The flavor of the oil was perfectly blended with that of the Meyer Lemon, and both flavors come through equally. This, and the Blood Orange Oil, and the Persian Lime fused oils are made by crushing the whole fruit together with the olives. The thought came to mind how wonderful this lemon olive oil would work with a roasted chicken or a baked fish. I also fell in love with two of the infused olive oils: The Mushroom/Sage and the Tuscan Herb. Stay tuned for the dinner I prepared using the Mushroom/Sage oil with pasta!

Mushroom/Sage Olive Oil from Mia Sorella

This store also features a variety of wonderful balsamic vinegars. The vinegars come from Modena, Italy. And what a variety of flavors there are too! Not only do they have the traditional style balsamic vinegar that is aged up to 18 years, but they also offer Tradizionale Acete Balsamico of Modena/Reggio Emilia Italy which is aged between 12 to over 25 years. The flavors range from fig, to strawberry, pomegranate to dark chocolate, and more!

I was happy to find this gold in our Foothills, and will be going back for more! They fill the bottles right there for you and if you bring your cleaned bottle back you get money off on your next purchase! The location is just east of Sacramento in the El Dorado Hills Town Center, and if you find yourself in the area do make a trip there to taste and wander through this lovely gold mine of flavors!

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Break for a Day


This is just a quick note to let you know that I am taking a break for the day in posting. We had an ant invasion this morning that was quite nasty and has made me late in getting to work.

Until tomorrow, I bid you a wonderful Thursday!
Barb

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If you have not read my article on a recent experience with software giant Intuit, Inc., and I urge you to do so. Here is the link to the article I wrote relating what I experienced with this company:

Intuit, the Software Company

In recent times we have all seen customer service take a nose dive, and it certainly has at Intuit. I was to receive a follow up call from a supervisor to assist me with finding out what the final bill would be for the company that I work for. The call was to come in within 24-48 hours.

Did I receive the call from the supervisor? The answer is a big fat “NO!” How hard is it to call back a customer? What giants like Intuit forget, and I may be just a drop in the bucket, is that I am still their bread and butter! Companies like this seem to forget that it is all of those little drops in the bucket that have helped their companies grow to become what they are today. They are the ones who made it possible for the corporate officers all the way down to the customer service person be able to butter their bread!

When all that matters is the almighty dollar, not those who buy the products that give them the almighty dollar, it is no wonder that groups form like the “Occupy Wall Street” group! Enough ranting!

Enjoy your weekend!

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I just had to write this post because I am still scratching my head, wondering and in disbelief. Today I had an interaction with customer service at Intuit, Inc. I want to share with you what I experienced.

This company is the creator of the QuickBooks software. Have you heard of it? It is accounting software program that is geared towards small business. It does have its drawbacks. But for a down and dirty software, you can get by.

My issue that I dealt with today was the renewal of the licensing for the business where I work. You see, yesterday I received a notification from them by email that our contract was terminated. Before this termination, I received a phone call on June 29th indicating that our service contract and the licensing was due on July 9th. Having worked on Sunday July 1st, I returned the call that day to our account representative.

I worked Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and did I get a return call? No. The account representative waited to call back on Friday. Now granted she is not aware of my work schedule, but one would think that a call back within 24 hours after receiving a personal message would be returned. Is customer service lacking? In my mind the answer is yes.

Now let me tell you that Intuit will hold on to a credit card number and use it repeatedly without contacting you. I saw this 7 years ago when I started working for my employer, and being an accountant this is unacceptable.

Yesterday, once again getting the voice mail of the company’s account representative, I called back to get to someone I could speak to. I was connected to someone who could help me, I thought. I was told that their systems were down and no one would be able to help me with the renewal until the following day. I did receive a call back from the account rep too telling me something I was already aware of. So the question here would be if I was an investor in this company, why do they not keep records of what a customer has been told, and why are they wasting my money by having the other person call back?

So, I go off to work this morning, and around the beginning of my day the account rep calls me to tell me of the new enhancements to the upcoming release of the latest version of the software. Did I hear about any of this? No. All she wanted to get to was Intuit getting their money. I let her know how upset I was in getting the termination notice, and even more so that this could have been avoided had she had the courtesy to call me back before our service and licensing agreement terminated.

So rather than telling me about what we will be getting for our hard earned money, she goes right to collecting the money, by EFT check. And, she tells me the total amount that we will be dinged from the bank account. I had to ask for a breakdown of the costs, wanting to know the sales tax as Intuit does not take into account whether or not you are in the limits of a county that is incorporated or not. Yes the tax rates are different, and we are in an area where the tax rate is 1/2 of a percent less than the city proper.

Now due to Intuit running up charges on the company credit card, without providing you with the necessary documentation required for accounting records, I put a stop to their use of a credit card and I have been paying by check for the last 6 years. I was told today that Intuit has changed their policy regarding paper checks and they will no longer accept paper checks. What? It is money. They are turning down money? What is up with that?

The State of CA tax rate is 6 1/4%. The tax figure that the gal gave me was 3.5%. Their headquarters in located in CA, and I have to ask where did they get this rate from? Why is it that there this rate is an estimate? I also have to ask, why this software giant does not have a system that calculates the tax for where their customer is? I asked these questions and the wimpy answer that I received was that “the computer generates it and I cannot change it.” Why not? And there is a notation at the bottom of the email that I got that indicates that they will correct the tax rate at a later date. Intuit: Why can you not get it right the first time?

While the account rep is trying to get the billing amount correct, as I am sitting there on hold, I receive an order confirmation. What? We are not finished here and yet I am receiving this notification? What is with that? Did I mention that the billing was to me personally and not to the company who is buying this package? What is with that too?

So that I do not ramble on much more, this gal could not help me and put me through to another rep who told me the same thing that she did. When I asked for a supervisor, after being on the phone already for an hour, I was told that one would call me back within 24 to 48 hours. What? Where is customer service today? He also had to fix the billing and shipping. He indicated that I would receive a survey about his assistance and that he hoped I would be able to give him a good rating. I never got it!

We shall see if I get a call back. If I had my way, we would not be using this software, and I would not recommend them to others for not only what happened today, but for other reasons that I will not go into today due to the length of this post already.

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So much of what is received in email is questionable. So much of the legends we hear about here in the Sierra Foothills are questionable. So much of what is in the news is questionable. Do you believe everything you read and hear? I can’t tell you how many times I have heard from folks that they got an email, or heard a local story, or something in the media, that just has to be true. Because it was in an email, or, on the internet, or told to us by the news media, it just has to be true! Is it time to wake up?

My husband recounted a story for me many times of when he was in the fourth grade. He was told if you do not know something, and want to find out about a topic, go look it up and research it. The difference between today and back then is back then there was no internet. You actually had to go to a library. Today, the internet is loaded with good information and a lot of mis-information. You just have to weed through it to discover what is correct and what isn’t. Googling something is not the end all be all of information, and same with Yahoo.

If you look up Placerville, CA on the internet and go to the Wikipedia website, it states that Placerville is located in the “Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area.” This is not correct. We are located in El Dorado County, which they do have correct. The Arden Arcade area is near the western side of Sacramento, and Roseville is in the northern metropolitan area quite a distance away from Arden Arcade. Placerville is 42 miles from Sacramento, and is not located in Sacramento County where Arden Arcade and Roseville are.

If you read my blog on the Dogwoods, then you have seen a good example of story telling. We were told about the local Indian legend of the snow on the Dogwoods, and guess what? I researched the topic and found that this was something that had to do with people of the olden days watching nature. It had nothing to do with our local Native Americans.

It is great that the site Snopes.com exists, and they are one of the very few websites that actually looks into the validity of what gets passed around the internet. We need more sites like this. Does anyone out there know of another site like Snopes? If you do, please let me know.

So if you are looking for information about fruits and vegetables, go look at an agricultural website. If you want to find something out that is historical, go to the historical archives where the history you are looking for occurred. You get my drift. Don’t believe everything you read or hear. Look it up and verify the information!

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Growing up I was brought up to respect my elders. Were you? I am curious about this because today I witnessed something between two people, one younger, one older, that disturbed me immensely. So much so, that I thought that I would write a blog about this issue.

I learned through my life that there is a certain wisdom that a person achieves as one grows older. As a matter of fact I wrote about this in my blog “The Buffalo Side of Double Nickels.” Knowledge comes with age. However, not everyone gets it.

When I was growing up I thought that I knew it all. My parents were wrong about everything. But as I added on the years, while I was not always given a reason why to do or not to do something by my parents or other elders, I began to discover the way of things in the world. I learned and I learned a lot of lessons the hard way. And I learned a lot from folks older than me, which reinforced why I should respect my elders.

One thing that I have learned living the buffalo side of double nickels, is that one does not denigrate anyone in anyway in front of other people. Doing so just makes you a bully. And we have all read plenty in the news recently about bullying. I learned that if you have something to say to someone, and you are not in agreement, or what you have to say is negative, you do this face to face and not in front of others. Doing so will make you appear to be the small person that you really are.

One thing that I do know is this: Listen to what someone older than you says to you. And, think about why they are saying to you what they are saying to you. Are they trying to help you grow? Are they trying to impart the experience of their years to you? Respect their experience! And respect that they are trying to help you from possibly making mistakes.

What do you think?

I look forward to your answers and comments.  This poll will accumulate data for a period of one week only.

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