Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas to me

I stopped at the CVS by my house on the way home from work today. It's the only place around here that sells Hagen Daz chocolate/dark chocolate ice cream bars, and I buy them all the time. I mean, ALL the time.

The manager was ringing me out, and I said to her "You've been out of those for a couple of weeks. You got them just in time for Christmas for me." And she tells me they aren't going to carry them any more! They got a new ice cream distributor, and this is just an old box that she found in the back freezer so she put it out.

As I'm digesting that shocking news, she runs my ice cream thru the scanner and says "You aren't going to believe this."

What, the price went up to $5.00 or something?

She tells me it scanned at 57 cents!! And if I want more, run back and get them now before the price is corrected. WOW, Merry Christmas!

So, I got a whole box of them. Now I just have to put a note on them in the freezer before somebody else eats them.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

That figures...

I had a jillion errands to run and doctor's appointments today. I had scheduled everything for one day so that I could have Tara take a day off from her job to work in the store and I could get everything done.

Believe it or not, the electricity went out in the mall at 10:00 am because of the storm we had today, and they closed the mall and sent everyone home. (Oh, yeah, did I mention that I ran around all day in the pouring rain and got soaked every time I got in or out of the car?) If I had scheduled everything for any other day, I would have actually had a real "day off" today!!!!

Why can't stuff like that happen when I'm there?

And......speaking of doctors....

In one day, today, I spent $400 on co-pays for doctor appointments and prescriptions. And that's not including the $325 check I mailed yesterday for my monthly insurance premium. 2 days, $725! Can you imagine if I didn't have insurance?


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I'm still alive, barely

I know it's been a long time, eons even, since I've updated The Cat's Meow. I just want to let you all know that I have not:

  • Died
  • Fallen off the face of the earth
  • Been captured by aliens
  • Been committed to a mental hospital
  • Been eaten by a large animal
  • Or otherwise removed from this planet

I have, however, been extremely remiss in writing in my blog. If any of you are still checking this page for updates, I promise to make a much better effort beginning today. Scout's honor.


Friday, October 06, 2006

Company Loyalty

Now this is what I call dedicated to your job. She didn't even take time off to give birth!

Read it here.


Monday, September 18, 2006

¡Va que va!

Well, guess what? Can you believe it?

Someone actually reads my blog!! I mean, a real person! And I met him! (well, I guess it would be ´he met me´, right?)

How cool is that?


Thursday, August 31, 2006

What an idiot!

As Hurricane John lashes out as a category 3 against Mexico's Pacific coast, there are still some stupid American tourists in Puerta Vallarta who don't think they need to take any precautions.

"We have tornados in Iowa. This can't be worse than that," said Hal Nissen, 75, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as he walked along the oceanfront with his wife, Bonnie, 73.

I don't even know if I can say anything that illustrates what an idiot he is better than he already did.


Monday, August 28, 2006

And the panic begins...

Already, the lines at the gas station are 10 deep, and the shelves at the grocery stores have been emptied of water, beer, and anything you can eat without cooking it. Forget about buying batteries.

The tourists have been sent packing, and the Florida Keys have been evacuated.

Yes, Florida is in a full-fledged panic over hurricane/tropical storm Ernesto.

I'm blaming it all on Tara. I think it's been three years now that we have spent her birthday sitting in the dark eating tuna sandwiches, and maneuvering our way around the patio furniture in the living room.

Oh, well, Ernesto, bring it on. At least I'll find out if my new roof leaks.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

How much is your blog worth?

Well, I could have predicted that outcome. I have no idea what the value is based on, but whatever it is, I guess I have none.

But then again...

my other blog fared pretty well with the calculator...

My blog is worth $47,421.36.
How much is your blog worth?

Test your blog today! hehe


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Color Quiz

ColorQuiz.comCathi took the free personality test!

"Wishes to find her stimulation in a voluptuous atm..."

Click here to read the rest of the results.


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Hurricane blahs

OK, time for a rant, or whine, or whatever you want to call it.

Now that hurricane season has officially started, I'm even more pissed off than I was last year.

Why, you ask? Well, because last year's damage isn't even fixed yet, and you can't even get anyone to come out and give estimates. Because our insurance rates have skyrocketed to quadruple what they were last year. Because our economy in Florida has taken a very serious hit ...and nobody even knows!!!

Why is it that Katrina and the people of New Orleans have received so much media coverage and help, but no-one outside the state of Florida even knows that Wilma was a very serious storm? Because we were not standing on our rooftops waiting to be rescued? We had no rooftops to stand on! Most of them blew off!

Look at an aerial picture of South Florida today. You will see many of the homes still with blue tarps on the roof from Wilma. And these homes are supposed to withstand another storm? There are still road signs missing or damaged, trailer parks that look like ghost towns, and piles of debris laying around. You can see remnants of Wilma everywhere. There are people to this day living in condemned homes, hoping they don't get caught, because they have noplace else to go.

Every insurance company has cancelled our policies and pulled out of the state, leaving the government to insure us, at whatever rate they want (and they want a lot!), because there is no competition.

We have had layoff after layoff, as our economy depends on tourism, and there was nothing here to attract tourists last season. And the people who live here don't have any money to keep the economy going. We've spent it all on shoddy repairs done by companies who came to Florida after Wilma, and then left when their repairs started falling apart.

Am I bitter when I hear stories about the people of New Orleans squandering their FEMA money on prostitutes and booze, while I remember standing in a FEMA line for hours, then being told there were no funds available? Not even a hot meal? You bet I am! I went home from the FEMA station to sit in a dark house with no electricity and with water rolling down the walls, while the people of New Orleans lived in hotel rooms and bought food (or whatever) with FEMA vouchers. And everyone I talk with here in Florida tells the same story.

I pray that we do not have another serious storm this year. We are not prepared for it, economically or physically. And not mentally, definitely not mentally.

But we do know one thing. If that storm does come, we will have to take care of ourselves. We learned that lesson very well last year.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

this 'n that

Just a few small things today...

Some customer service stories

I had the worst customer service experience with YAHOO! today. Read about it on my bizcradle blog.

Tara had to call Transunion yesterday to correct some (a lot of!) incorrect entries on her credit bureau report. The rep, based in a location that he "isn't allowed to tell people", said she would have to call the "managerment" department. She tried to tell him there was no R in the word, but he couldn't understand what she was talking about. Outsourcing.....isn't it great?

This joke is on me. Of course, I blame the cell phone reception, my hearing is just fine. One of the yahoo reps was giving me her email address, which I heard as I thought it was kind of long, but since she was a call-center rep, I figured it was the address they used for reps "on the floor". I felt like an idiot when I realized it was yahoo_mail_support....the word was underscore, not onthefloor. LOL

Dancing Cactus update
As some of you know, I moved my retail store to another location in the mall. Well, I'm still not making a killing, but I've had sales every day since I moved! I really like my new location and think I will do much better there.

And in the news

Talk about "going to the dogs"..... at least this time it isn't a Floridian.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Mindless fun

Here's a cute little game I found, in case you're really having a boring day at work. If you want the code to put it on your website, go to Home Business Today.

Meanwhile, have fun!!!

The Red Button Game! Thanks to Aaron for keeping it alive!


Monday, May 08, 2006

¿Quién habla?

Now that I've gotten over my fear of speaking spanish on the phone, it's becoming kind of fun.

I was reading a whole discourse recently on one of the message boards about Mexican phone ettiquette, and how some folks who have moved there perceive people as being impolite. That's because when someone calls your house, or even your business, they don't ask "May I speak with Cathi?", like we do here in the USA. They ask "¿Quién habla?" ("who is speaking?") right off the bat of whoever answers the phone.

The board (bored?) people were discussing how they get offended, refuse to give their name, and have a stupid never-ending conversation when someone calls them.

¿Quién habla?
Yo hablo. ¿Quién habla?
José, ¿con quién habla?
Usted me llamó.
Sí, ¿quién habla?
and on and on.....

in english----> (not a literal translation)
Who's this?
It's me. Who is this?
It's José, who is this?
You called me.
Right, who is this?

I mean, what's the point? They aren't going to change society, so if you live in Mexico, why not just go with the flow? I never really thought about it being impolite, I just always accepted that's the way it is. When someone calls, they ask who you are when you pick up the phone. And you answer the question. As the saying goes, when in Rome....

So, when I called Gerardo today, (to find out where my long-lost shipment is, but that's a blog for another day) the first thing I said when they picked up the phone was ¿Quién habla? I felt very Mexican. And anyway, my mom always told me never to begin the conversation that way when I called someone, so I also get to feel a little rebellious and enjoy being able to say that when I call people. (hey, I have to get my kicks wherever I can, right? haha)


Monday, May 01, 2006

The geek inside me

Maybe I've always had a hidden geek inside and I just didn't know it. Or maybe I just created a geek with all my work on the website lately.

Whichever, while burning the midnight oil many a night getting my website working (which still isn't ready, but almost), I found that I really enjoy working with this computer stuff.

Now this is going to sound really geeky, but I actually find it fun to write some programming code and then go to the website and see the program working. I've discovered myself wondering what the underlying code is as I'm looking at various sites while surfing the internet.

Although I'll never learn to like that hollow, sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I change something and then go to my website and see only a blank white page with an error message (the first lesson in programming...backup, backup, BACKUP!), I'd really like to learn more about the magic you can do with a few simple lines of text.

So, I bought a book and I'm studying programming. As if I didn't have enough on my plate already, LOL. Well, if nothing else, it will be a marketable skill if I'm able to get the hang of it.


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Only in Florida

I heard this story on the news this morning....

A Fort Lauderdale man was arrested after going door-to-door posing as a doctor and offering to do breast exams. One woman called police after becoming suspicious that he might not be a real doctor because he was not wearing gloves during the "exam".

Oh, yeah? What was her first clue?


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Wednesday, Wednesday

It's kind of a strange day. I'm excited, getting ready to open the store on Saturday, and busy, doing stuff. I'm also a little overwhelmed, it could be a very long while before I have a day off or vacation again. I'm a bit scared, to take this big step, but I'm anxious to get going, and see what lies ahead.

And I'm also feeling a little bit weepy and sentimental today. Who knows why? It's turning into a grey day outside. I watched a love-story/romance movie on TV this morning about two people who were very much in love and then suddenly drifted (can you "suddenly drift"?) out of each other's lives, neither really knowing the reason why. Of course they found each other, in the end. It reminded me of something, and then that got me to thinking about something else, and, well, now I'm in a strange kind of mood.

Ah, Wednesday. At least grey Wednesdays are good days for thinking, wouldn't you agree?


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Writing pays!

I didn't post for three weeks, and now you get three in one day. It's either all or nothing.

I got an "author's" check in the mail yesterday for my writing on my other blog at Know More Media. For $142.50!

I write about the ups and downs of starting a small business, and other business-related topics. It's fun, I've come to know some nice people, and I get paid! What could be better?

So, now you know why I haven't been posting a lot. Between posting there, getting the business going, and working on my web-design skills (I've become obsessed with it), I've been pretty busy.

Plus, they pay me to write. You don't.


Dancing Cactus news

I finally received the first shipment of my folkart from Mexico. I can't believe how long the stuff takes to get here! I'm going to have to make a restocking order before I even open the store, at this rate.

Everything was packed perfectly, though. Not one item broke.

And I sold two already! I was showing some of the items to my doctor (of all people!), who has been asking me for months if she can see them. She bought two pieces right on the spot, and said she'll definitely be coming to the shop to buy some more. Hopefully I'll have it open by April 1st.

I haven't even advertised my website yet, and it's getting traffic already. I need to finish getting it set up properly. I have someone coming over this weekend to help me with the final bits that I'm stuck on.

I can't wait for everything to be done so I can get started! The waiting is killing me.

Dallas. the movie

I might be giving away my age here, but I remember when Dallas was my favorite TV show. I don't even think I had a VCR back then, so I had to stay home glued to the television every Friday night.

I don't know if a movie can do the original justice, but I read that they're making one. John Travolta as JR? It's going to be tough living up to Larry Hagman's portrayal of the slick oil baron.


Friday, February 24, 2006

Cruel Intentions

Three teenagers (two age 18, one age 17) were arraigned for assault and murder in South Florida this week for cruelly beating three homeless people with baseball bats, so mercilessly that one 45-year-old man was killed. The entire incident was captured on film by a security camera.

After the arraignment, Micheal Gottlieb, the 17-year-old defendant's attorney, had this to say:

"It's gut-wrenching. He's a baby."
"He's being judged for one day in his life. It's really a tragedy for one day and one decision in your life to affect the rest of your life."
Did this attorney grow up in some different world than I did? A 17-year-old is not a baby, especially under these circumstances. He's dangerous. He certainly understands that beating a man to death for sport is wrong, both legally and morally.

And this 17-year-old gave no thought as to how this "one day and one decision" affected the rest of Mr. Norris Gaynor's life. It ended it.

Yes, it is a tragedy. But that tragedy was caused by this teenager, and he should be judged and held responsible for it.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Out of the mouths of babes

Well, they aren't "babes", they're twenty-somethings, but I really can't believe the asinine things that come out of my daughters' mouths sometimes.

Stacy: Serena is giving me a kitten for my birthday.
David: You know your mom is going to be angry when she gets home from Mexico and sees it. She isn't going to let you have it.
Stacy: Why not? She let Tara have a baby.

I guess it would be pointless to try and explain the difference to her....


Friday, February 17, 2006

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

It's been an awfully long time since I updated. Sorry about that. I've been off gallavanting in Mexico again.

Finishing up my trip this week, in one 24-hour period I traveled on every type of public transportation imaginable. No, that's not entirely true. I didn't travel anywhere by boat.

For sheer comfort, the 6 hour bus ride on ADO from Mexico City to Oaxaca was the best. Roomy seats that reclined so far back I was almost laying down.

Inconvenience? American Airlines/Mexicana top the list. Since my trip ended, unplanned, in Mexico City and I had a ticket from Oaxaca-Mexico City-Miami, I called the airline to see if I could just board the plane in Mexico City. Sure, for a $200 change fee. And if I just didn't get on in Oaxaca? Well, then, they'd show me! They wouldn't let me on the connecting flight in Mexico City if I didn't use the first part of my ticket. Therefore, I got to take the comfy bus ride, only to fly back to where I started.

The most exciting ride was in the taxi during rush hour in Mexico City, through one of the busiest intersections in town, while the traffic lights were not working, and the intersection just turned into a free-for-all. That was hair-raising terror that no Disney ride could equal!

And as for scheduling, the TriRail train in Florida was so determined to be exactly on time, they only allowed 30 seconds per stop for passengers to board and unboard the train. I made sure I was close to the exit a stop ahead of time so that I could jump off before the doors closed.

I had a good, and I believe successful, business trip. Now I'm home to a foot-high stack of mail, an inbox full of saved messages that I need to attack, and a business that needs the finishing touches put on it so that I'm ready to get to work as soon as my merchandise arrives.

Have a good holiday weekend everyone!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Moving along

Things are moving at a fast clip here. I've got the business all set up, on paper anyway, and I'm leaving for Mexico on Thursday to buy my start-up inventory.

I hope it all goes well, and that I do all the Customs paperwork correctly. I've gone over and over everything, but I am just a big worrywart, and keep thinking of all the things that could come up.

Oh, well, the trip is scheduled, plane tickets are bought, so we'll just have to see what happens, right?


Monday, January 09, 2006

I'm a company!

Well, things are rolling right along here! I picked up all my corporation papers today.

I have stock! You've heard of penny stocks, right? Well, here's a picture of one.. It's worth one penny per share, says so right on the certificate. ;-)

And I have a thingy to make an imprint of my corporate seal on documents, so they'll be nice and official. I even used it at the bank today.

I'm working on my logo and talking to some exporters in Mexico. I've bought my domain name, but I don't have anything on my website for you to look at yet. (not even a note that says coming soon, I'm waiting for the CD to design the page with) I'll link it as soon as it's made. I'm trying to decide which credit card processing company to use, and which accounting software is the best. My head is spinning!

Like I said, things are moving...


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone's New Year was safe and fun! Mine was quiet - spent the night babysitting Ava, and didn't even watch the ball drop or Dick Clark's comeback.

I sure hope 2006 is full of good things for all of us; no new storms, fires, or flooding.

And now it's really time to put my nose to the grindstone and get my business up and going. Wish me luck and success.

Good luck to everyone in your ventures. Here's to health and happiness in the year ahead.