Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Businesses and websites

This is something that drives me crazy. In this day and age, why do so many businesses not have a webpage? Even a static page with basic information seems to be an essential part of doing business these days. Yet so many companies don't bother.

Putting your own information out means you have control over it. For example, Applacres doesn't have a webpage, but you can find some basic info on other sites about apple picking locations. That doesn't mean the info (hours, produce, etc) is up to date.

Putting a webpage up can help bring in business. When I am looking for a service or product, I am more likely to do a web search (yes, usually Google) rather than pick up a phone book. Also, by searching online, I can get more wide-ranging results. I can also find information late at night when I have time. If I'm limited to calling and asking for information, it's not necessarily going to happen, because I can't always make a call between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Listing basic information, even if details require a phone call, can help weed out options. A real example here is the lack of online information about preschools in Bloomington. Moms either have to look through a phone book and call each one or give up. That page of basic info could tell me, before wasting my time and the school personnel's, whether it is a good fit. If it's too expensive, has bad hours, has a religious program or not, etc. I lucked out, but I know so many moms who are frustrated at not being able to do basic research before picking up the phone.

I'm sure there are lots of other good points. One final thought is to keep the information updated. Tonight I went looking for a local farm that participates in CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) where we could buy a share of local, seasonal produce. One that pops up on search is Musgrave Orchard.... but the data dates to the 2006 growing season. Does this mean they just haven't updated or that they no longer do it? Either way, they really should update their page. (I sent an email but got a garbage auto-reply, so unless I get another response later, I'll assume they don't do it anymore.)

Friday, December 11, 2009


We went to see Cirque Dreams Illumination tonight. Wow! Great show. Highlights included:

  • a slack wire walker who was awesome
  • cube aerialists, 4 contortionists from Mongolia who did a routine in spinning cubes above the stage (Chris says Mongolian contortionists are always good)
  • popper Robert Muraine (from "So You Think You Can Dance")
  • a vaudevillian director who took 4 audience members and 'directed' a scene without saying a word
  • foot manipulator brothers (also called icarian games)
  • a percussion juggler who played a drum set by juggling balls
  • the contortionists along with the popper, which was a neat juxtaposition of old and new styles of a similar art
  • a paint can stacker, who stacked rollers between paint cans then stood on top on a balance board (our thought - "that's never a good idea" - when he had paint can/roller/paint can/roller at 90/paint can/balance board, all on top of scaffolding, then stood on top)
  • a strap flyer, paired with a dancer - wow! very erotic routine
  • perch balancer/aerialist pair, which is an old-time art that is rarely seen these days
We are so glad we went to the show. Next time we need closer seats, but it was a packed house. 


This is the 100th post on this blog, so I thought I would try to post 100 things to smile about.

  1. The earth is still rotating around the sun.
  2. Babies are cute.
  3. Babies grow up.
  4. Cold weather kills bugs: notice mosquitos the size of dinner plates and malaria don't exist in Indiana.
  5. Snow is beautiful (until you have to drive in it.)
  6. Bloomington is a beautiful town.
  7. Netflix.
  8. Good friends who help us when we need it.
  9. There are garbage men who collect our trash.
  10. Polka bots, argyle and plaid, just not together.
  11. Steak 'n' Shake - steakburgers and shakes.
  12. Washable markers.
  13. Sidewalk chalk.
  14. Groundhogs in the backyard.
  15. The end of the semester.
  16. Hot chocolate.
  17. Elvis. 
  18. The Beatles.
  19. ABBA.
  20. Queen.
  21. Skype, email, Facebook to stay in touch.
  22. "Phineas and Ferb".
  23. Kittens.
  24. Puppies.
  25. Babysitters.
  26. Spending the day in pajamas just because.
  27. Pizza. Especially really good pizza.
  28. Old friends.
  29. New friends.
  30. Having no plans for the weekend.
  31. Going  to the zoo.
  32. Watching a child open a present.
  33. Tahiti.
  34. A cruise.
  35. Taking the long way home.
  36. Driving in the country.
  37. The mountains.
  38. Christmas morning.
  39. Making a snow man.
  40. "A Charlie Brown Christmas".
  41. The first warm day after a long winter.
  42. A perfect sunny Saturday.
  43. Finding $20 in your pocket.
  44. A massage.
  45. Hearing a child giggle.
  46. Wookies.
  47. Muppets.
  48. "Daddy fix."
  49. The students leave for break next week.
  50. Pixar.
  51. Indoor plumbing.
  52. Electricity.
  53. Cookies. 
  54. Ice cream., especially on a hot day.
  55. Homemade lasagna.
  56. Good neighbors.
  57. Families that get along.
  58. Curly hair.
  59. Not having to make dinner.
  60. Going to bed early.
  61. A good book.
  62. A cat purring on your lap.
  63. Luke is Leia's brother.
  64. Orion disappearing from the night sky.
  65. "The Philadelphia Story".
  66. "MythBusters".
  67. Sleeping in.
  68. A beautiful sunrise or sunset.
  69. Hearing a joyful "Mommy!" when picking up Wil from school.
  70. Getting the kids in bed early.
  71. Having the car in the garage on a cold, snowy day.
  72. Heated seats.
  73. Roasting marshmallows.
  74. Both kids napping at the same time.
  75. "I love you Mommy."
  76. Fitting into my skinny jeans.
  77. Date night!
  78. Finding Sam's blanket and bink.
  79. British comedies.
  80. Reruns of old shows on cable or the net.
  81. Listening to the boys play.
  82. Little kid voices.
  83. J. D. Robb books.
  84. A balanced checkbook.
  85. Old fashioned block parties.
  86. Game night.
  87. Chris coming home early.
  88. "10 Things I Hate About You".
  89. Christmas specials.
  90. Sunny evenings in summer.
  91. Chocolate.
  92. Going down a slide.
  93. Having kids is a great excuse to play.
  94. Great sci-fi shows.
  95. Harry Potter.
  96. A cozy roof over our heads.
  97. Snuggling in bed on a cold morning.
  98. Holidays with family.
  99. Taking a long walk.
  100. Chris.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Buy her jewelry? That's love?

Along with the holidays, the jewelry store commercials have gone into overdrive. They drive me nuts!

Every jewelry store advertises that the gift she wants is jewelry. And she won't love him unless he finds the perfect, expensive piece. Because jewelry equals love.

Argh! Is this offensive to anyone else?

I'm not a jewelry girl, but still, here goes:

Jewelry is cold.
Jewelry is usually impersonal.
Jewelry is not thoughtful - it's a cop-out.

I'd rather have something that took thought. Even if it's just a book I'd enjoy or something that reminded Chris of me. Things that are practical are ok - I'm a practical person and stuff that makes my life easier is thoughtful to me.

It's all about knowing the woman and finding what makes her happy. But the jewelry stores aren't going to say that. They want to sell... jewelry! Not much of a rant, but I'm too tired to expound on why these commercials bug me so much.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas memories

'Tis the season, so I've been thinking about Christmas. There are 23 days until the big day, and a lot to do in between. I'm almost done shopping. I used to finish before Thanksgiving, but that's a dream these days. I have a cookie exchange coming up, plus baking cookies to give to neighbors and friends. And I still need to do most of my decorating, including the tree.

The best Christmas present I ever received was when Wil was a month old.  I asked for a night of sleep and my mom came through. She got up at night with him, giving him a bottle, so I could get 8 hours of sleep. Talk about proof that the best gifts don't need to cost a lot, or even anything.

We're pretty lucky. Our families don't pressure us about the holidays. My parents celebrate with us and my sister's family the weekend after Christmas. That makes it easy for us to spend the actual day with Chris's family and my sister to see her in-laws. My parents usually spend the day with my mom's brothers in Chicago. My mom chose to do things this way specifically so there was no arguing and we can put it on the calendar each year. We always know what our plans will be! Thanksgiving is often with both families since they get along so well. This year was no exception. It really helps to have parents who like each other and don't see holiday time as a competition.

Barring illness, which kept us home last year, this should be a really fun year for Christmas. The boys are both old enough to enjoy opening presents. Wil is somewhat aware and Sam just likes presents.