Business blog postings
|Earliest: March 17, 2003||Latest: May 20, 2018||Total: 128|
|July 2, 2016|
Propane tanks Expiration Date
Did you know that Propane tanks expire?
Federal law requires tank re-certification after 12 years from the original manufacture date. A coded date is stamped into the carrying handle of the tank. The tank expires at the end of the month of the date stamped. Propane dealers are required by law to refuse to re-fill an expired tank.
Check out the date stamp in one of my propane tanks:
The first 2 digits represent the month. In this example 06 is June. The last 2 digits represent the year of manufacture. In this example 2002. This tank expires the end of April 2014. I can no longer refill this tank.
Propane tank Rental Alert
If your using any Propane tank exchange, such as Blue Rino or AmeriGas, make sure to check the date on the propane tank. Don't get stuck with an almost expired tank. You may experience issues when you try to return it or if you want to refill it at a propane dealer.
Framingham residents can recycle their expired tanks at the Recycle Center for $5. Additionally, you can recycle the containers at Monnick Supply Company for $5.
|June 27, 2016|
Code Slush is when QA test the stability of a release during a longer than normal QA cycle. QA uses this period to test the stability of the stable branch to make sure that there are no issues.
I created the following graphics to help QA leads if they want to alert the team if there's an upcoming Code Slush.
|June 11, 2016|
Just two type Pages....
This is a look back at one of the "strange" books that I have in my collection.
Just Two Typed Pages Brought $2,000 a Week ? and that was only the beginning
by Samuel Lee
If you looked at the Weekly World News or Small Business Magazines in the 1990s, you would have seen some ads with the headline: "Just Two Typed Pages Brought $2,000 a Week ? and that was only the beginning." It was very clever marketing to get to you buy the book and then join their reseller program.
I am confused as the correct author as someone on Amazon.com is selling the exact same book but written by Sam Pitts. They are currently selling the book for $46. I?ll save you the time and money and let you know that it isn?t worth the price.
I purchased this book from a magazine advertisement sometime in the late 1990s. I have never read the entire book. The core part of the book is about how to use direct marketing to sell a product. If you don't have something to sell, they has some products that you can resell. (This sounds very similar to what Don Lapree was doing.)
Inside the Book
This is the first couple of paragraphs in the book:
As you may already know from ordering my book, my name is Sam Lee. I?m 36 years old - still a young fellow. I have custody of my three children and life has not been easy, by any means. No doubt, every person who has ever lived has a story to tell. Almost everyone has been through the school of hard knocks and many of us have created our own problems. Many other times we have been victims of situations beyond our control. Whatever types of problems we have, they?re usually notes to deal with. I guess I?ve been blessed with one of those attitudes - you roll with the punches and you try to make the best of everything.
One thought I?ve had about life is you?re either rocking the boat or rowing the boat. Needless to say, if you want to get to the other side of the shore you need to be able to row the boat. But enough for the philosophy.
A new and fresh motivating approach to making money - starting with almost nothing and making as much as $2,000 a week. Why work for someone else when you can have your very own business and make as much money as you want, whenever you want? I waited for ten years before I made the move to successful mail order business. I hope this book motivates you to start today.
That's all he Wrote
The book is no longer available. Apparently the publisher, National Publishers, has disappeared too. When I checked out the address, its now an abandoned warehouse in Osark Al. Oh and reading parts of the book I learn that the publisher is part of the same enterprise that the book is selling.
Most of the book content is not relevant in the Internet age.
I am unable to find out what ever became of Samuel Lee. Twenty years later is he still typing two pages? Did you end up getting this book? Did it work for you?
|May 28, 2016|
Chromebook vs MacBook
This past week Matt Novak posted an article on Gizmodo on, "Why I bought a Chromebook Instead of a Mac." Apparently Matt was a long time Macintosh user that switch to Chromebook because it was cheaper than getting a new MacBook.
Couple of quotes from the article:
"When all was said and done, even the cheapest Mac laptop was going to set me back about $1,300 after taxes and AppleCare. And the siren song of a computer under $200 was calling my name."
Later on he writes...
"I rarely have to edit video and my photo manipulation needs are minimal. So when I walk down to the coffee shop to work, what the hell do I need doing that can't be done on a Chromebook? Nothing is the answer."
Why even bother with a Chromebook? He should have just gotten a Kindle and a Bluetooth keyboard for a lot less than the $200.
Should Apple be Worried?
Apple isn't a bit worried about the "cheaper" laptop trends. Steve Jobs actually address this issue back in 2003 at the closing statements at MacWorld:
These are very challenging times across the whole economy - particularly in our industry.
Our competitors are laying off thousands of people and there is certainly a cause for despair if you believe that the personal computer is basically something that you spreadsheets and word processes on and HTML terminal for the internet
if that all you think it is then there is cause for despair.
That not what we think.
We think different.
WE believe that the personal computer is undergoing a rapid evolution at the center of our digital lives.
We have never been more excited about this stuff.
We are investing
We are going to innovate through this downturn
like the product you see here today and more coming.
and when this thing turns around, we are going to be in a great place....
Hear him on a recent SoundCloud posting:
In addition, this issue was addressed many years earlier. In 1996, when Network computers were all the rage in Silicon Valley. There was a lot of talk about how some engineers were going to feel about doing their work on the "cheaper computers."
When putting together this post, I was looking for a great quote about it. I can't seem to find it. When I do, I'll be sure to update this post.
The net/net is that the MacBook offers a lot of functionality than the cheaper computers. If your going to depend on the cheaper computers, your not getting the full use of the applications.
|May 15, 2016|
Sam Adams Donation Pickup
Sam Adams Brewery supports the local community. Whenever they encounter a worthwhile charitable organization, they will donate some beer to the organization to be used at their charitable event.
If your in charge of the beer donation pickup, here's some general information that will make pickup easier.
Obviously before you go, make sure to have enough room in the vehicle for the boxes. Each box holds 24 bottles of Sam Adams Beer.
Next to the Sam Adams tour center is a business office, and just outside of the office is a small white sign with the following text:
Looking to pick up a beer donation?
Continue to drive around the building past the main entrance and make three left turns. You will see a big red warehouse. Pull into the parking lot and knock on the door next to the loading dock. Someone will be there to help you! The address for the GPS is: 187 Boylston Street, Jamaica Plain MA 02130.
So set your GPS to 187 Boylston Street, Jamaica Plain MA 02130 and not 30 Germania St, Boston MA 02130. ( A number of streets around Sam Adams are one way, make sure to pay attention to where your going as you get closer to the brewery.)
When you arrive at the big red warehouse, you will need to find a spot to park. Park near the far left. (See the map above)
The sign says, "knock on the door next to the loading dock" - problem is that there's two doors next to the loading dock. You should knock on the door to the right, here's a picture of the door. There is a call box next to the door, I decided it didn't hurt to push the 'ring' button.
When the door opens, the person inside will ask for the organization that you are picking up for.
After they verify your organization, you will have to sign two forms, and you keep one for your organization records.
The person that opened the door will help load the cases in your vehicle. They have a dolly that will bring the cases to your car, so you don't have to park too close to the door.
Thanks Sam Adams!
Thank you Sam Adams for your donation! We appreciate your contribution to the community!
|May 1, 2016|
Do you ever wonder how much a business invests in new tech, to deliver the most sophisticated image to their customers? How many times, as a consumer, have you visited multiple businesses, and can clearly note the differences between newer office spaces that include the top gadgets, and older, less technologically-driven businesses?
If we stop to consider these differences, we should also consider our buying decisions, and influences on our decision to make a purchase. Generally, if the two businesses both offer similar prices, most will decide to conduct business with the organization featuring the latest technology.
Businesses that feature newer monitors, flat screen televisions, and gadgets that are up to date make an overall better first impression on a potential customer. It lets the buyer know that the businesses cares about its image to the public, and wants to make a good first impression on those visiting their office.
Additionally, newer technology can help to retain customer satisfaction levels. When visiting an office, customers want to engage with tech that makes their lives easier. Using touch-enabled screens to present your product to a consumer allows for ease of use, and sophistication. Additionally, using devices like iPads and tablets can help show your customer that you have an overarching appreciation for staying on top of devices that can help make their experience more pleasant. Plus, who doesn't like to use a nifty iPad from time to time?
Technology can also help to show an organization's level of engagement with the customer. As a business, it's important to show your support for a cause, and become involved in your community. Not only does becoming involved with your community help your image as a small business, but it helps others to become passionate about your business and join with you in supporting causes you believe in.
Additionally, supporting various organizations and groups within your town or city can help you to build community links to your website. Though it may be overlooked, building links to your organization's site can greatly affect your presence online, and can boost your profits in the long run.
Technology can also have many long-term benefits that can have an impact on your organization. With cloud storage and easy sharing with others, customer information contained on devices can be easily shared with others down the road. Technology has proven to be a great source for storing information that can be accessed in the future.
Again, technology can also drive potential customers to conduct business with your organization, because of the sophisticated image it helps you to present. As its always known, word of mouth marketing is one of the best ways that a business can grow. By utilizing the latest technology, you will open the doors for newer customers as your businesses image is discussed among others.
What are some of the best technologies utilized by some of the most successful organizations today?
|April 3, 2016|
Balloons at Wegmans
The nearest Wegmans to our house is about 20 minutes away in Westborough, Massachusetts. To put it in perspective, we have to drive by two Stop and Shops just to get to Wegmans. The fact that we are going out of our way to shop at Wegmans should immediately tell you it must be a special place.
We like the food selection and prices are very reasonable. In addition, they have a large well stocked gluten free selection.
My 5 year old daughter likes shopping here because she knows that she gets a special surprise if she is really good while we are at the store.
That's the topic of today's post:
Did you know that you can get a single blow up balloon at Wegmans?
Wegman will actually blow up one balloon any time that you need one. While I am sure other stores offer similar services, the service people at Wegman makes it a pleasant experience. Every time we ask for a balloon they interact with my daughter. They don't grunt or complain about taking time out of their tasks to blow up a single balloon.
Wegmans has a great color selection with matching strings giving my daughter the power to pick a color - kids like having to make their own choices. Sometimes she surprise me and get a pink balloon with a purple string, because that what she felt like doing on that day.
Most times when we go there's nobody at the balloon stand, so we have to push a notification button. Actually, it's my daughter that gets to push the button, she likes to have that responsibility.
Next time you're at Wegmans, ask for the Balloon booth and treat your child with an extra special balloon. Incidental they aren't free, they cost .99 - which is not a bad price to pay for some well behave time.
It gets my daughter to be excited to go shopping and behave herself to get a nice treat.
What works for you?
|December 13, 2015|
Utilitech Digital Timer
There's a trick to get the Digital Timer from Utilitech to work. This trick works for the Model #TM-108, but is probably true if you're using any Utilitech Digital Timer.
Key thing to get the timer to work for the first time is to make sure that the timer start time isn't before the current time. Basically, you want to follow the directions and make sure that the start time is in the future.
If you don't do this, when you set the timer you will have to wait 24 hours to make sure that it works.
When I initially set this up, I expected that the outside lights to be working since the start time have passed. For a moment, I thought that the timer was defective. The next day, I reset the timer to the exact time and waited 20 minutes to see the light went on. That's when I realized what happened.
So just remember to set the timer to go on later than the current time.
|November 20, 2015|
Pot Luck Food Ideas
Every year we have a company pot luck and celebrate the season by sharing some of our favorite foods with our co-workers.
This year Pot Luck was a huge success because organizers decided to assign categories by company departments. Engineering was responsible for sides and main dish, while other teams had deserts and appetizers etc. This ensured that there was plenty of coverage in different areas. (You don't want the case of everyone bringing pies.)
The dish size people prepare or purchase is big enough for a large family gathering. People will take small portions of your offering. Example: For a company with 100 employees, you should make enough as if your serving for 20 people.
If your looking for some ideas of what to bring to a Pot Luck, here is a list of some of foods that people have brought in the various pot lucks that I have attended in the past:
Don't forget to bring any display dishes or utensils. (Bring along extra in case other's forget!) Make a small sign to display in front of your dish with any special information, such as 'Gluten Free' or 'A favorite from Ireland.'
|October 23, 2015|
Children & Elders: Benefits of Relationships
If you have fond memories of frequent visits with your grandparents or even living in the same town as your grandparents, you may one of the lucky few. While many of today's families are multigenerational and live under the same roof, some children don't know their grandparents very well due to long distances or may not have a grandmother or grandfather. Elderly individuals don't need to be biologically related to act as a mentor or a positive influence in a child's life. Many elders act as "honorary" grandparents for children of all ages. If your child doesn't have a close relationship with a grandparent or you want him or her to have more interaction with an older population, contact a nursing home in your local area; many places are more than happy to have visitors of all ages.
Why Intergenerational Relationships Matter
Creating a healthy and strong relationship with someone of a different generation is beneficial for everyone. Some children, who don't have frequent interactions with elders, may be afraid of older individuals. Similarly, elders who don't have regular interaction with younger people may have inaccurate assumptions about younger populations. While intergenerational relationships benefit individuals differently, here are a few benefits based on programs involving youth and elders:
- Increase Understanding of Aging: Interacting with an elderly population helps children understand the aging process (how people slow down or how memories can change).
- Improved Socialization: Children that interact with elders are more likely to have better social skills. Rather than socializing with individuals only within their peer group, they learn how to adapt (such as speaking loud/soft, articulately). They may also exhibit and have a better understanding of manners and overall respect.
- Having Purpose: Both young individuals and the elderly may feel as if they have a purpose as they build their relationship. Children may notice they make an elder smile upon each visit and the elder may see that he or she has made a friend.
- Increasing Wellness: Sadly, in some nursing homes across the country, some elders feel unsafe and are unhappy. Having visitors of all ages can improve moods, which as a result can improve the overall health and wellbeing of a nursing home resident.
What Can You Do?
If you want to participate in creating a healthy relationship with an elder, you don't need to be part of an official organization or class. Consider making holiday cards for elders or plan an activity (such as a game) that could include children and adults. Always call the nursing home ahead of time and communicate with the employees in charge; tell them what activities you have planned. Additionally, once you've created a schedule, stick to the plan as young and old depend on consistency.