Customer Service is Scary

Aug 31, 2007 in Elsewhere

Giving good customer service is tough. It’s easy to get 90% of it right and still leave the customer with a bad taste in their mouth — an unpleasant truth when your business model depends on delighting the customer, as does mine. I was reminded of the delicacy of customer service last weekend, when a major airline lost my bags.

Read on…

Why Isn't There a Place to Find Out About LAPD Chases in Real Time?

Aug 29, 2007 in Will Somebody Please Explain To Me...

OK, let me lead this one off by clarifying. I often joke that I live in the ghetto; at the same time, I’ve never felt unsafe in my neighborhood. Everyone’s nice. That said, there’s either a high-speed chase going right by here or an LAPD chopper hovering over here once a month. And what do I ever hear about it? It’s not in the LA Times (they only have a blog to cover murders, and even that’s a day behind), it’s not on KCAL 9. But, gosh, it seems to be important enough at the moment, given the number of sirens I hear and what I imagine is the cost of keeping a chopper in the air. Read on…

For The Birds

Aug 22, 2007 in Spurts

I suppose it’s no secret that I haven’t followed the Orioles closely in years. And it’s no secret why — they don’t make it to Anaheim often, and Chavez Ravine even less; they’re almost never on TV over here; and, of course too many losses, too little in the way of positive changes. But the O’s1 are my team, and I love them. I love them even though they lost their last game 30-3, becoming the first team to give up 30 runs in 110 years. Actually, I think I love them even more now.
Read on…


Aug 19, 2007 in Various Frailties

If I were wheezing and gasping for breath as I begged for an appointment with my doctor’s receptionist, would you want me to keep it down during said begging? OK, you’d probably want to hear all the drama of my life since you were stuck waiting for your appointment. Being a gossip hound, I know that was exactly how I felt. Read on…

Amazon Got Me Trouble (But My Business Plan Saved Me)

Aug 15, 2007 in Elsewhere

Everyone expects free shipping, thanks to Amazon. Including my company’s customers. I can’t blame them; heck, I expect free shipping myself. But it’s tough when you’re sending 30lb boxes of perishable goods around the country. Shipping costs can be equal to product costs for some East Coast destinations — and this cuts down on my sales. It’s tough, but there is a silver lining. Once again, simply having a business plan has saved me. Well, that and making some phone calls.

Read on…

Noontime Martini

Aug 14, 2007 in Food

Now, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with a gin and tonic on a hot day— nothing a Campari and soda can’t fix, anyway — but sometimes you want something with a little more pizazz, and the champagne drinks are just too hoity-toity.1 Here’s my proposal for a nice brunch or post-brunch sippin’ martini.2 Read on…

Good Morning!

Aug 13, 2007 in Junior

Let the official record show, today Junior said a new word. He said it clearly, loudly, and proudly, and I do think I’ll hear it again! I got out of bed, uncovered his cage, walked out of my bedroom and was called back with a boisterous “good morning!” Read on…


Aug 11, 2007 in Otherwise Uncategorized

For some reason, very few things make a home look bad to me as a fridge whose light has burnt out. To me, it says “I just don’t care about having a pleasant, maintained place to live.” I mean, you go into the fridge several times every day, right? So it’s not like you can avoid noticing it.

Of course, with an attitude like that, my fridge light would burn out. For the last week, I’ve had a nice, ghetto kitchen with a darkened fridge. Très Palms. Read on…

Productivity in a Moment

Aug 8, 2007 in Elsewhere

I always fall down on my planned approaches to productivity when, at that moment, it’s not productive to be productive. I’m sure you know those times — I should do something, it’s actually kind of important, but it’s either inconvenient or impossible and so I don’t do it right then. And then the moment passes and the thought is lost or the task becomes even harder to do. For a while, recording my mileage, keeping up on my credit card purchases, and even capturing ideas on-the-go were all in this category. But, lately, I’ve been doing a lot better — because I made the effort to set myself up to be productive in a moment, any moment.

Read on…

Back in the Saddle

Aug 1, 2007 in Elsewhere

I’m a big fan of Getting Things Done; but I haven’t been very GTD-y lately. With too much on my plate, I fell off the wagon. But the point of GTD is to make it easier to handle the volume of work coming in, right? So why did a more busy, more overwhelming time get me away from GTD?

The answer isn’t in the failure of the GTD approach — it’s in the failure of my implementation. And this answer pointed me to the value of maintaining a strong personal commitment to the work you do — and continually questioning that commitment when you don’t get that work done.

Read on…