Saturday, January 30, 2010

Walk The Talk

This could be the best thing you do this week.

Click here: from

Thank you NFD Capt. Jim Lewis for sending me this information.

Friday, January 29, 2010


One of my pet-peeves is the length of time it takes to listen to a person's voice mail, then you have to push 1,2 or whatever to leave a message. Verizon's problem is the six rings until it goes to voice mail, which can not be solved.
Came across the following tips the other day, I am planning on using:
Receive & Leave Voicemail Faster With These Cellphone Shortcuts Save money, save time, & be courteous

A short voice mail greeting is a good way to courteously save people time when they miss your call. But even if you keep a short greeting, they may still have to wait while the phone carrier "explains" how to leave a voice mail. You know the drill: "If you'd like to leave a call-back number, press 1. If you'd like to page the person, press 2," etc. You can probably repeat this in your sleep!

Did you know you can skip these automatic carrier instructions and get right to the beep? It's true. Depending on which carrier you're calling, you simply press a key to pass by the instructions.

To save people even more time, you should tell callers on your greeting they can leave a voice mail immediately by pressing the appropriate key for your carrier. For example, if your carrier is Verizon, the number to skip the instructions is the star key (*). On your voice mail greeting, say:

"Hi, you've reached [YOUR NAME]'s voice mail. Please leave a message by pressing the star button now."

Here are the shortcut keys for four popular companies:
Verizon = star key (*)
Sprint = number 1 (1)
T-Mobile = pound key (#)
AT&T = pound key (#)
Also, if you're calling someone and know the carrier of the person you're calling, you can hit the appropriate key the moment their voice mail introduction begins and go straight to leaving your message

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I imagine this Licking Memorial Hospital's police officer has in his job description the typical "other duties in order to satisfy the customer" clause or wording to this manner.
The photo was taken this past weekend while I waited in LMH's Lobby for a friend visiting his wife. The officer and the Seeing Guide Dog walked through the lobby to exit the building. I must admit, it grabbed my attention.
As they came back through I asked if it was possible for me to take a picture, then I had to ask about the dog. He explained there was patient in the hospital with her Seeing Guide Dog and the dog had to make a restroom run outdoors before bed time. The officer acted like it was all in an average day's work.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Homeownership programs
Ready to open the door to a home of your own? The Ohio Housing Finance Agency’s (OHFA) homeownership loan programs can help. Whether you are a first-time buyer or a buyer in a target area, OHFA and our lending partners have a program that’s right for you.

Ohio Heroes Program
Ohioans working in critical professions can take advantage of a special first-time homebuyer program with a lower interest rate.
Learn more about the Ohio Heroes Program.

First-Time Homebuyer Program
Qualifying first-time homebuyers can choose from our competitive conventional and government-insured loans, all with 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. Learn more about the First-Time Homebuyer Program.

Target Area Loan Program
Any qualified buyer purchasing a home in a federally-designated target area can benefit from this competitive loan program. Learn more about the Target Area Loan Program.

Down Payment Assistance Grant
Eligible buyers can combine OHFA's Down Payment Assistance Grant with our homeownership loan programs to help pay for down payments, closing costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses associated with buying a home. Learn more about the Down Payment Assistance Grant.

Grants for Grads Program
Recent college graduates, including those earning a postgraduate degree, may be eligible to receive 2.5% of their home's purchase price to help pay for down payment and closing costs when you apply within 18 months of earning your degree. Learn more about the Grants for Grads Program.

Homebuyer Advantage Program
Get a loan of up to 3% of your home purchase price to help with down payment and closing costs when you use our homeownership programs. Learn more about the Homebuyer Advantage Program.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Truth About the Health Care Bills

Michael Connelly, Ret. Constitutional Attorney:

"The law does provide for rationing of health care, particularly where senior citizens and other classes of citizens are involved, free health care for illegal immigrants, free abortion services, and probably forced participation in abortions by members of the medical profession. The Bill will also eventually force private insurance companies out of business, and put everyone into a government run system..........Instead it is a convenient cover for the most massive transfer of power to the Executive Branch of government that has ever occurred, or even been contemplated If this law or a similar one is adopted, major portions of the Constitution of the United States will effectively have been destroyed."

Click here to read Mr. Connelly's remarks after reading the entire Proposed Health Bill 3200.
He finds serious conflict between the proposed bill and our constitutional rights.

Thank you to JGR for passing this blog post along.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ohio Department of Education's mistake

My post earlier today about the growing graduation rate for Newark Schools was lowered to 76%, still an increase of 10%. From what I understand, the Ohio Department of Education issued the wrong information about the number published by the media during the past two days. We are still ahead of the game and getting better!

Read the Newark Advocate article here about the mistake.

Newark School's Graduation Rate Soars

"How could we have asked for any better improvement from the district and from the kids?" Board President Molly Ingold asked.
Read today's Newark Advocate article on the the district's overall graduation rate, which reached 84.4 percent in the 2008-09 school year by clicking here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Skinniest house' sells for $2.1 million

A property dubbed New York City's skinniest house sold recently for $2.1 million.

The two-story Greenwich Village property is 9.5 feet wide and 42 feet long and has two bedrooms and two baths.

The townhouse was listed last August for $2.7 million by Alex Nicholas, senior vice president of the Corcoran Group. It last sold in 2000 for $1.6 million. It is now for rent for $10,000 per month.

Source: The Associated Press

Saturday, January 16, 2010


My sister, Tina T. sent this information to me this week. Thought it should be passed along as a way to save money during 2010:
If, like many, you don’t think about renewing your vehicle registration or driver’s license until the day they expire, you might be hit with some new fees.

Last year the Ohio House passed the 2010-2011 Transportation Bill, HB 2. This bill created a number of new fees and processes some of which will be sure to impact those who are late in renewing their driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations.

Effective Oct. 1, 2009, if you renew your vehicle registration or driver’s license more than 7 calendar days after the expiration date, you will be charged a $20 late fee. This change is due to the passage of HB 2 and affects renewing any vehicle registrations whether completed online, over the phone, in person or through the mail.

Another change will involve personalized license plates. If you have a personalized or initial license plate and your expiration is Oct. 1, 2009 or after you will see a fee increase of $15. Initial plates will be $25 per year and personalized plates will be $50 per year.
Renew your license plates by going to

Friday, January 15, 2010

Khaki Ribbon: Too-Long Pants Awareness

The Khaki Ribbon For
Too-Long Pants Awareness

The battle against too-long pants begins with you. Join the fight against ankle puddling and trouser horizontally with this attractive and powerful ribbon.
Click here to view The Too-Long Pants Scourge
Check out other great posts at Put This On

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Filling Up by Cultural Offering

Posted today by Cultural Offering:

Filling up
We can run dry every once in a while. If we do, we just come to a stop. Not a physical stop but a stop nonetheless. I've observed it in others and felt it myself. Years ago my boss told me it was like shifting gears. I remember that I felt overwhelmed by my responsibilities and unloaded my concerns on her. "You'll be okay," she told me. "You can do it, you are just shifting gears." I think there was some psychology at work during that session but it worked. I told myself that I was shifting gears. It helped me fill up.

Since then I have come to recognize the feeling as running dry. My family makes it happen less frequently. Friends are a great prevention too. Feeling a little low on energy? Have lunch with some old friends. Eat dinner with your family. Don't have a family? Try mine.

A long solitary car trip works wonders. Good music. A great book. A long walk with Henry.

I return to routines when I need some filling up. Like rebooting a computer, the comfort of a refreshed routine sometimes does the trick.

I used to visit my father. I didn't tell him what I was doing but I was filling up. I would talk. He would listen and maybe say something wise. Today, I don't tell Henry what we are doing when we tromp through the woods. We are hiking. Looking for birds. Someday, I think he will know that we were filling up.

Thank you Cultural Offering, this was a good post with lots of thought!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010



Sunday, January 10, 2010


The entry way to the Warner Library and Student Center at OSU-Newark is very welcoming. Just like the entire OSU-Newark/COTC campus, it is hard to beleive you are in Newark, Ohio. This campus host almost 5,000 students and has been a large asset to Licking County.
Once in a while, when lunch is required for business purposes, I lead or meet my quest to the Warner Center. Most are surprised due to the lavished coffee bar and wide variety from wraps & salads, the grill and the old "Blue Plate Special" of the Day.
This is one way I have been trying to promote Licking County, especially to Licking Countians who have never set foot on the campus. Community Capitalism did work, it is the main reason why I have tried to steer people to the center just to see what we have to offer for higher education.

Saturday, January 9, 2010



"He also wore, as everybody seemed to know, a remarkably convincing black hairpiece, one of sixty that he owns, most of them under the care of an inconspicuous little grey-haired lady who, holding his hair in a tiny satchel, follows him around whenever he performs. She earns $400 a week."

CLICK HERE to read a great Exquire article about Frank Sinatra

Thank you to The Selvedge Yard

Friday, January 8, 2010


Taking care of the friends who take care of you is a very important aspect of giving back. Above you are viewing Lucy (the Fire Dog) guarding my home office's entry while I was home working with a cold, not to infect everyone in the office. She has a head jerk every time I move.
Below, you will find my first duty with one inch of snow or more. Making Lucy's Ladies Room as accessible as possible. The grass in this area may be a little yellow for a short time during Spring, but there are things you have to do to take of the friends who take care of you.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Italy, Christmas & The Legend of La Befana

“There is no Santa Claus in Italy,” my Nana told me when I was a kid. I had nightmares of how awful Christmas must be for children over there, where Nana was born. Nana said she had to wait until January 6, The Feast of the Epiphany, to get gifts.

The presents came from an old crone with a hairy mole on her chin who rode around on a broom. She was called La Befana. Many years later, I'm at the Piazza Navona in Rome, at the Epiphany Fair. It is two weeks after Christmas, but the celebration is still in full swing. Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers is surrounded by stands with twinkling white lights selling sweets, ornaments, and roasted pork sandwiches.

Nowadays, there is Santa Claus in Italy. They call him Babbo Natale. He's skinnier than our version, and figures of him hang off the booths, side by side with the crone from my nightmares: La Befana. Tonight, January 5, I tell my husband, is La Befana's special night. He looks between Babbo Natale and the crone and says, “If I saw that one coming down my chimney, I'd run the other way!”

La Befana, like my Nana, was famous for spending her days in the kitchen, cooking and sweeping. On the first Christmas, the Magi stopped by her house, asking directions to Bethlehem. She made them dinner and they told her, “We're going to see the Christ child, want to come along?” “Impossible,” she replied. “There's all these dishes to wash and the kitchen to sweep!” So the kings went on their way. Then, as the old woman was sweeping, it hit her: Did those guys say they were going to see Jesus?

She ran out of her cottage with her broom to follow them, but… no kings in sight. She kept running, until her broom lifted her into the air. Ever since, La Befana has flown through the night sky on the Eve of the Epiphany, delivering goodies to children, hoping one of them is the Christ child.

Anticipation is in the air here in the piazza, as kids hurry home to hang stockings and set out a glass of wine for La Befana. She knows no child has been perfect all year, so tomorrow morning they'll find their stockings filled with a mix of treats – coal (actually delicious black rock candy), maybe onions, olive oil… and finally they'll dig to the bottom and find chocolates and caramels.

Who could not adore this ordinary woman, caught in the midst of her ordinary world, suddenly struck by the Epiphany, dropping everything to run and be a part of it?

I think about my friends in Los Angeles, who have already hauled their trees out to the curb and are back at work, feeling guilty about weight they've gained from holiday partying. We don't feel guilty at all. We're in Rome and we do as the Romans do. We slip into our favorite cafĂ©, Tre Scalini, and order tartufo – crunchy chocolate ice cream encrusted in hard chocolate.

The nightmares Nana gave me so long ago are gone. We buy our Los Angeles friends Befanas, wanting to share with them the spirit of this Christmastime bonus; wanting them to believe as Italians believe, as we believe: that La Befana will fly through the sky tonight, sweeping away last year's troubles with her broom, bringing us the hope of a sweeter, brighter new year. Anything is possible.

-- Susan Van Allen

A frequent contributor to Dream of Italy, Susan Van Allen is the author of the new book, 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Highest offer is not always the best offer!

The highest offer may not always be the best offer!

Sellers who get more than one offer should be aware that the highest offer isn’t necessarily the best offer, say experienced practitioners.

In this tough market, going with the buyer who has enough cash to pay a large down payment and who won’t be scared away if the inspection uncovers some needed repairs is often the wise choice.

A Realtor should encourage sellers to review all the terms and conditions of the sales contract. In some areas, the allocation of fees can take a big bite out of the net proceeds. While most contracts are written to reflect that, it isn’t always the case.

Also, the closing date in the offer should be considered carefully. A buyer who can close quickly can save a seller thousands. Offers contingent on the sale of another property are particularly suspect in this market.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


1. Get rid of the cold I woke up with on New Years Day
2. Take a trip of at least seven days
3. Increase customer service by 100%
4. Make sure to have lunch with a friend once per week
5. Do one substantial project to my home
6. Write letters more often
7. Enjoy the time I have away from work
8. Make sure to support organizations that need help
9. Contribute to brick/mortar, not operating budgets
10. Make sure people know the importance of having a strong community.