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Archive for May, 2005

Sun Safety

Friday, May 27th, 2005

Contrary to current advice that sun exposure is bad for you, scientists now believe that going out in the midday sun without sunscreen for 10-15 minutes is actually good for you.

Latest research shows that a short burst of sunshine on unprotected skin at noon can maximize vitamin D production, which is essential for healthy teeth and bones.

Furthermore, researchers have suggested that Vitamin D can protect against some forms of Cancer.

How ironic.
Sun can both cause and protect against Cancer.

However, no matter what research says, I’m going to protect my skin and get my Vitamin D supplements elsewhere.

Injustice & Helplessness

Tuesday, May 24th, 2005

There is nothing worse than knowing that you are a victim of injustice and being powerless to do anything about it.

Further to my post on May 16 about the incompetence of Qwest, here is another example of Qwest’s failing customer service and inherenet incompetency.

Why does everything have to be a scam these days? Where’s the honesty? Where is trust hiding?

When you are researching different telephone and Internet services companies and call different companies to price them out, you expect the pricing information you are given to be accurate, especially if you confirm the rate on more than one occasion.

Therefore, imagine my surprise when my first Qwest bill arrived and the amount due was considerably more than I had been expecting. No, it wasn’t a case of concealed charges; no, I hadn’t made a lot of long distance calls. The discrepancy was between the amount I had been quoted for my television package and the amount I was now being charged, a difference of $12 per month, $144 per year.

Qwest’s response? Denial, of course.
Qwest claimed that they had never offered the package at the price I had been quoted.

DDL West Addresses Declining CA Packaging Standards

Thursday, May 19th, 2005

Helps Manufacturers Maintain Package Integrity & Contain Costs Costa Mesa, CA, May 19, 2005 http://www.testedandproven.com – DDL West, a CA-based package, product and material testing laboratory is addressing declining packaging standards in California by helping manufacturers maintain package integrity and contain costs.California-based medical device manufacturers are increasingly struggling to maintain the integrity of their packaging while staying within budget.“Many CA-based manufacturers are cutting down on the amount of testing they do in order to save money,” said Michael Foster, DDL West Package Engineer. “Instead of testing 30 package samples, they may only test 10, which results in a much lower confidence level.”Packaging is not only failing integrity testing due to cost cutting, but also because many manufacturers are choosing the wrong type of packaging for their product. Since the majority of medical devices have sharp edges or points, it is vital to choose packaging that cannot be perforated.“DDL West is educating clientele via its growing suite of complimentary PackServices,” said Foster. “DDL West offers comprehensive consultation to identify manufacturers’ individual package testing requirements and to determine the best value for their testing dollars.”DDL West is helping medical device manufacturers maintain the integrity of their packaging with advice on how to:- Choose the right materials for their packaging- Submit the correct number of package samples for a 90-95% confidence level- Maximize on their package testing investment- Eliminate costs of re-testingFor expert advice on maintaining cost effective package integrity, visit http://www.testedandproven.com or call Mike Foster at (714) 979-1712 ext. 16.About DDL West:DDL West offers expert package testing, product testing and material testing services including Shock testing, vibration testing, tensile testing, leak testing and validation. DDL package testing clients find value through its zero-cost package testing consulting service, Pack-Advice.# # #

Watermark Learning New COO Drives National Growth

Thursday, May 19th, 2005

Phoenix, AZ, May 19, 2005 http://www.watermarklearning.com – Watermark Learning, a project management and business requirements analysis training company, has recruited Susan Woelfel as its new COO to develop its corporate business strategy and further penetrate national markets.Woelfel joins Watermark Learning with almost twenty years of experience in high tech business, having occupied executive positions in Sales, Marketing, Operations, and Professional Services.“Watermark Learning is delighted to welcome Susan Woelfel onboard,” said Richard Larson, Watermark Learning Principal. “We are excited to have an experienced professional such as Susan to help us broaden our position in the growing skills development market.”Prior to joining Watermark Learning, Woelfel was the President of Profit Solutions Inc. (PSI), a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) company. Following PSI’s acquisition by Frontstep, a business enterprise software solutions provider, Woelfel continued as an Executive Vice President working to develop eBusiness applications & services strategy and international business operations.“I believe that Watermark Learning is well positioned to expand its world class products into the national and global markets,” said Woelfel. “Watermark Learning has all the right ingredients with a rich product offering, exceptional customer base and dedicated employees to rapidly expand its market presence.”Woelfel is currently launching national awareness of Watermark Learning’s Project Management and Business Analysis Masters Certificates, which are being offered in conjunction with Auburn University. The program is one of the few in the country that offers professionals the opportunity to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for their training.For more information on Watermark Learning’s Project Management and Business Analysis Masters Certificates, visit http://www.watermarklearning.comTo find a course in the Phoenix area, visit http://www.watermarklearning.com/Public_Classes.htmlWatermark LearningWatermark Learning is a leading project management and requirements analysis training and skill development company. It offers training and mentoring on Project Management, Business Requirements Analysis, Leadership, and Software Development including UML training. Clients include professionals from Wells Fargo Bank, 3M, GMAC/RFC, Minnesota Life, ING/Reliastar, MetLife, State of Minnesota, and other Fortune 500 and smaller organizations. Watermark Learning maintains training facilities in both Minnesota and Arizona. For more information, visit http://www.watermarklearning.com or contact them at 800.646.9362.# # #

Watermark Learning Recruits Technology Veteran

Thursday, May 19th, 2005

Minneapolis, MN, May 19, 2005 http://www.watermarklearning.com – Watermark Learning, a MN-based project management and business requirements analysis training company, has recruited Susan Woelfel as its new COO to develop its corporate business strategy and further penetrate national markets.Woelfel joins Watermark Learning with almost twenty years of experience in high tech business, having occupied executive positions in Sales, Marketing, Operations, and Professional Services.“Watermark Learning is delighted to welcome Susan Woelfel onboard,” said Richard Larson, Watermark Learning Principal. “We are excited to have an experienced professional such as Susan to help us broaden our position in the growing skills development market.”Prior to joining Watermark Learning, Woelfel was the President of Profit Solutions Inc. (PSI), a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) company. Following PSI’s acquisition by Frontstep, a business enterprise software solutions provider, Woelfel continued as an Executive Vice President working to develop eBusiness applications & services strategy and international business operations.“I believe that Watermark Learning is well positioned to expand its world class products into the national and global markets,” said Woelfel. “Watermark Learning has all the right ingredients with a rich product offering, exceptional customer base and dedicated employees to rapidly expand its market presence.”Woelfel is currently launching national awareness of Watermark Learning’s Project Management and Business Analysis Masters Certificates, which are being offered in conjunction with Auburn University. The program is one of the few in the country that offers professionals the opportunity to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for their training.For more information on Watermark Learning’s Project Management and Business Analysis Masters Certificates, visit http://www.watermarklearning.comWatermark LearningWatermark Learning is a leading project management and requirements analysis training and skill development company. It offers training and mentoring on Project Management, Business Requirements Analysis, Leadership, and Software Development including UML training. Clients include professionals from Wells Fargo Bank, 3M, GMAC/RFC, Minnesota Life, ING/Reliastar, MetLife, State of Minnesota, and other Fortune 500 and smaller organizations. Watermark Learning maintains training facilities in both Minnesota and Arizona. For more information, visit http://www.watermarklearning.com or contact them at 800.646.9362.# # #

Subliminal Advertising

Wednesday, May 18th, 2005

Further to my recent post about advertising sneaking into T.V. shows, yet another example came to my attention yesterday while watching prime time T.V. show “24”.

We have all seen the AllState advertisements featuring “President Palmer” from the previous series of “24”. Not only are these ads aired in every commercial break during “24”, but yesterday, the promotion was taken even further.

It would seem that AllState’s motto “are you in good hands?” was carefully integrated into the script. Commenting on the sudden arrival of ex-President Palmer at the White House as the new President’s advisor, one politician couldn’t help but add, “I’m glad we’re in good hands.”

If ever there was an example of subliminal advertising, this is it.

Commercial Real Estate Investment Bank Pacific Security Capital Announces Strategic Partnership with Swinerton

Tuesday, May 17th, 2005

Portland, OR, May 17, 2005Pacific Security Capital, a leading providing commercial real estate loans, structured finance, investment sales and advisory services announced today that it has formed a strategic partnership with Swinerton, the 5th largest general contracting firm in the country. Specific terms of the partnership were not disclosed. A formal launch of the partnership was kicked-off at Swinerton’s annual conference held at the Hyatt in Lake Tahoe earlier this month.The partnership provides Swinerton the ability to offer a capital markets solution to its client base and in turn allows Pacific Security Capital to offer value added construction services to its clients further extending the brand reach and competitive separation of both entities. “The ability to align ourselves with the 5th largest contractor in the nation gives us the ability to bring a much needed service from a best in class provider to our clients,” said Mike Myatt, Executive Managing Director of Pacific Security Capital.The partnership between Swinerton and Pacific Security Capital underscores both companies dedication to diversifying and expanding their shared business strategy of deepening client relationships by leveraging strategic partnerships that add value to the client experience. “Pacific Security Capital has become one of the fastest growing commercial real estate investment banks in the country by continually looking to respond to the needs of our clients in ways that clearly separate us from the competition,” said Myatt.To learn more about Pacific Security Capital or PacificEliteTM please visit www.PacificSecurityCapital.com or call 1-800-844-6085About Pacific Security Capital Pacific Security Capital is a leading commercial real estate investment banking firm providing , structured finance and advisory services. The combination of direct lending, investment advisory, intermediary, corporate and professional services, syndication and acquisition services consistently allow PSC to rank among the leaders in the industry. PSC is headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon with other offices in major markets in the United States and the European Community. More information about the company can be found at www.PacificSecurityCapital.com.About SwinertonThe Swinerton family of Companies began in 1888 and today represents a fully integrated construction services firm headquartered in San Francisco operating more than 20 offices producing more than $2 Billion in construction annually. More information about the company can be found at www.Swinerton.com http://www.pacificsecuritycapital.com # # #

What Happened to…"The Customer Is Always Right"?

Monday, May 16th, 2005

Many companies use their excellent customer service as a unique selling point. However, I am personally finding that the statement “the customer is always right” is quickly becoming extinct.

I feel that we are experiencing an increasing dichotomy of customer service standards. While many businesses go above and beyond (to an annoying level) to serve their clientele, other companies are failing to meet minimum expectations.

For example: The majority of Telephone and Internet service providers have a policy where they will not commit to making appointments for installing telephone and Internet connections. Instead, they provide a window of time in which they “may” arrive.

Last week, I had a frustrating experience with Qwest. When I arranged for the technician to come out, I explained to the customer service rep that it was vital that the technician come as early as possible since I needed to work from home. The rep told me that she would place a special request on my account and that the technicians usually respect these requests. I was, therefore, very annoyed to find that, not only did the technician not come as early as possible, but he didn’t even arrive during the window of time that I had been given. Having expected the technician to arrive at 8 am, I was appalled that I was forced to wait at home until 4 pm.

One Legal Goes Live With Electronic Court Filing Service – Helps Courts&Attorneys Operate More Efficiently

Wednesday, May 11th, 2005

One Legal has announced the launch of its new electronic court filing (eFiling) service.Novato, CA, May 12, 2005 – http://www.onelegal.com – One Legal, a CA-based provider of court filing and process servers, has today announced the launch of its new electronic court filing (eFiling) service.One Legal is one of the first court filing service providers in California to implement eFiling and eService applications that help courts and attorneys streamline their communications.“One Legal has not only identified a growing need for eServices as they relate to litigation,” said Robert DeFilippis, Executive VP and COO of One Legal, “but also for a viable competitor to provide a level playing field in the marketplace.”Within California, One Legal has implemented the California Administration Office of Court 2nd Generation Electronic Filing Specification (2GEFS) which allows multiple vendors to serve the same court. This means individual litigators will soon have a choice as to which Electronic Filing Service Provider (EFSP) is selected to provide the eFiling service.“Not only does One Legal stand in direct competition against LexisNexis in terms of eFiling offerings,” said DeFilippis, “but we are also able to provide traditional court filing services that LexisNexis simply cannot or will not.”Starting June 6, 2005, One Legal will provide eFiling services for complex case types within Contra Costa County, CA. eService is also available to parties to these cases through One Legal.With the recent acquisition of LawPlace, L.L.C., a TN-based eFiling provider, One Legal is looking to help courts and attorneys nationwide make the transition from the traditional paper model to an electronic court filing model.About One LegalOne Legal offers court filing and service of process throughout California. The new electronic court filing (eFiling) service from One Legal helps courts and attorneys streamline their communications and operate more efficiently. For more information on One Legal’s eService offerings, visit http://www.onelegal.com or call 1- 800-938-8815.

Negative PR: Turning It Into Advantage

Monday, May 9th, 2005

Ever heard “any kind of exposure is good exposure”?

Of course to Bill Clinton and Michael Jackson, the uncovering of their various misdemeanors would make them feel to the contrary.

However, elsewhere in the celebrity world, popstars such as Jessica and Ashley Simpson have in fact gained their fame from what we would consider negative PR exposure.

Jessica Simpson did not top the Billboard charts until after her reality show “Newlyweds” had hit T.V. screens. Not only did her record sales increase significantly after she made her infamous “chicken of the sea” comment, but tuna sales also rocketed. Being known as pop’s biggest dummy is not the best kind of exposure for Jessica, but it has certainly helped elevate her to one of the biggest names in pop music.

Jessica Simpson’s sister, Ashley, and American Idol’s Paula Abdul, are finding that ridiculing themselves is the best way to react to negative exposure and use it to their advantage.

Ashley Simpson was only known as a weak interpretation of her sister until she was caught lipsynching on Saturday Night Live. Since appearing in self-depracating comedy sketches, Ashley has not only seen her record sales increase, but she has also been given her own reality show.

 
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