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smAlbany Small Business Day 2010

[tweetmeme] I started my day remembering a blog I’d read the night prior.  Tea Contains Less Caffeine Than Coffee on the Broken Secrets blog.  I couldn’t get my caffeine soon enough!  I rarely drink coffee, but when I do I get the caffeine kick I need.  Since I knew I’d be talking to people though – I did them all a favor and DIDN’T drink coffee.  Coffee breath stays with me all day — so I opted for Mountain Dew Typhoon instead.  (I needed something caffeinated to help me function on 2 hours sleep!)

College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering

Once Michael and I checked in at the registration desk and mingled some, we settled in to the auditorium at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering building (For those that don’t know it’s the big glass building at the corner of Fuller Road and Washington Avenue Ext. in Albany)

Below are some notes about the forums that were offered.
I found as I started writing this that it was VERY difficult to keep up with all the information the panels were presenting.  Many of the following sections will appear more as “notes” vs. a “narrative.”

Times Union:  Tools for Small Business Success

Speaker: Tena Tyler – News and Information Services Senior Editor 518.454.5324

To have your business information printed in the Times Union you need to understand your audience.  You need to know how to speak their language.  She stressed that a business needs to know when to call an editor.  If you’ve sent in a press release and two weeks have passed and it hasn’t been published, make sure you call in.  Tena stated that one of the biggest problems with small businesses in the region is that they don’t accept that online is a form of publication.  Many businesses are turning to Facebook and Twitter to market their businesses, but small businesses seem to be slower to use the online medium for marketing.

The TU wants to help small businesses in the region
If you have a story about your business: TUBusiness@timesunion.com
If you have a business event and would like it added to our business calendar: TUCalendar@timesunion.com
If you want your event to be in the print version – please contact them 3 weeks in advance
Eric Anderson – Business editor 453-5323

Speaker: Craig Eustace – Retail Advertising Manager 518.454.5529
Craig spoke about the paid marketing that the Times Union offers.
The Times Union now has Niche publications.
Life @Home – geared towards your home – design ideas, DIY projects, etc.
Healthy Life – geared towards women’s issues and things women would like to read about.
Explore – Where to go what to do – travel/tourism
In Motion – Automotive magazine
Vow – Brand New – Wedding magazine (Just launched Tuesday!)

You can advertise your small business in these publications to get your ad in front of a targeted audience.
Pay per click is also offered.  You will know how many people clicked on your ad.  It is track-able so you will know what your return on investment is.

They offer direct mail marketing.  They can provide demographic lists.  For example – If you’re a roofer – they can get you a list of all houses in the readership area that are 25 years or older.  You can target them and send your ad to those target customers.

Tim Cronin & Lisbeth Calandrino

Keynote Speaker:  Lisbeth Calandrino – Make It Happen
Lisbeth CalandrinoOwner of Lisbeth Calandrino Business Consulting, speaker, trainer, business coach and author of Red Hot Customer Service.

We have huge growth in the technology market in the capital region.

2 out of 3 jobs are created by small businesses

Earlier this month Sam’s Club did a survey of their small business customers.
“What is it that you need in order to stay in business?” was the main question.
The answer: MONEY!  Sam’s Club partnered with the National Business Association and the Small Business Administration to figure out how to get small business loans for the small business community.  If the small businesses don’t have money to maintain their businesses, it will directly effect Sam’s Club’s bottom line.  This act alone shows that Sam’s Club partners with their customers.

What do small businesses need around Albany?
Many have good business but it isn’t steady.
Figure out how to get your customer out to shop.
Consumers are afraid to shop.  Afraid to spend – need to save their money.
If you want to make it as a small business, you need to be a partner with your customer
It’s your job to be friends with you customers.

She quoted 212 – The Extra Degree by Sam Parker & Mac Anderson
“At 211 degrees, water is hot.
At 212 degrees, it boils.
And with boiling water, comes steam.
And steam can power a locomotive.”

Meet the Media Who Cover The Local Business News
Moderated by Lydia Kulbida from WTEN and Times Union Blogger

The Panelists
Larry Rulison
Lauren Rose
Mary Darcy
Mike Hendricks

Read your tweets and messages out loud.  Would you want to buy whatever your pitching?
Engage with your audience – have a fun personality.
Friend every reporter out there to get your name out in many forms of media.
Comment on the blogs, Facebook, Twitter….
Interact with your customers on Twitter & Facebook with personal tweets and comments.

Times Union – Panel on Social Media, Blogging and Your Customers
Moderated by Mike Huber – Interactive Audience Manager at the Times Union

The Panelists
Sonja Stark

Merci Miglino
Lissa D’Aquanni
Rev. Alan Rudnick
Vic Christopher

Questions that you should ask yourself prior to blogging are:
“Why should people read your blog?  Why should they care?
People blog for different reasons.  Some blog to market their business, others blog to build a sense of community.
“Careful what you put out there.  Count to 10 before you hit publish.”
“What degree do ethics play in a community?”
Rev. Alan Rudnick spoke about people who “hide behind the veil” AKA – Anonymous bloggers.
Merci reminded us that “Blogging is a knee jerk – reactive media.”
“If you don’t believe in your product, in yourself, and that you can cheer yourself out of a corner – you shouldn’t start a blog.”
“Be a follower OR have a following.”  Your choice.
They spoke about the recent “Ding Dong Ditch” incident that happened locally last week.  Why did it become such a firestorm?  It was a story that contained emotion.  It could happen to any home owner.    Social Media helped that story spread like wild-fire.  So much so that CNN picked up the story.

An audience member Karen McGowan spoke that she hadn’t considered a blog for her business until today.  The panel encouraged her to start blogging about her business Capital Interior Scapes an interior plant scape business.  By blogging she would humanize her business and she would appear as an expert in her industry.  She could post customer recommendations, pictures of plant-scapes she’d designed, lists of plants that people could consider and so many other things.

Going Mobile – The Mobile Revolution in Social Media
Presented by Rhea Drysdale of Outspoken Media and Verizon Wireless

Why is  mobile taking over everyone’s lives?
It makes our lives easier.

What is social media?
“Social media are media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques…  They support the democratization of knowledge and information and transform people from content consumers to content producers.”

Benefits of social media
New customer acquisition
Current customer outreach
Loyalty rewards
Corporate branding
Personal branding
Brand monitoring and management

They spoke about using Facebook, Twitter, Ning, Yelp, FourSquare GetListed and Know Em to market your business.  Go to these sites and fill out your business profile.  They stressed to fill in EVERY blank and as many keywords as are relevant to help your business come up in internet search engine results.

54% of the phone users in the local market use Verizon service.
30-40% of them are smart phones.
52% of the phones sold last week in his store were smartphones – ie. Droids, Blackberries, etc.

Top 10 Things Your Small Biz Website Needs in 2010
Presented by: Miriam Paska – Creative Strategist from Intellisites

She didn’t present them as a “Top 10” but some of the key points were:

Have a unique Design
You need to know who you’re competing against and what their web presence and marketing strategies are.
Keep your important information “above the fold”
You want the viewer of your site to see the important information without having to scroll down the page.
Use keyword phrases in your blog and on your website so you will organically show up on Web search results.
She also spoke about using Google Alerts to monitor the online activity of your company name.

Using Social Media For Your Job Hunt
Presented by: Alexis Grant

Use social media to:
Tap into your existing network
Expand your network s to include contacts at the companies where you want to work.

Facebook
Biggest online community – most bang for your buck – IT’S FREE!
People know you, like you, and WANT to help you
Great excuse to keep in touch with people who could help you

She stressed the importance of making small-talk first.  Don’t friend request someone and immediately ask them if their company is hiring.  Make some small talk and as the conversation evolves, your job search will be mentioned.

Alexis spoke about using your Facebook privacy settings to control what potential employers could see on your profile.    You want to be personal, yet still professional.

LinkedIn
Connect with professionals you might not want to see your personal life on Facebook
Your resume will appear on Google, showing potential employers what you want them to see.
LinkedIn has job boards as well as groups you can join based on your alma mater and industry.
You can find out background information about potential employers
There is an introductions feature that you can use to meet someone who a mutual friend knows.

Twitter
Network outside your circle of friends
Prove yourself as an expert
Hear about jobs
Keep on top of new trends in your industry
Make connections with companies and employers who may not have otherwise noticed you)

Tips when using social media
Fill out your profile completely
If you’re not going to do it well, don’t do it at all
Rather than being on every network – choose a few and grow quality followings

Thank you to Tim Cronin and Larry Zimbler for the invitation to be a VIP Guest Blogger at the smAlbany Small Business Day 2010.  I look forward to interacting with you in the future.

smAlbany Image from: http://www.smalbany.org
Mountain Dew Image from: http://thishelpdesk.com/mountain-dew-typhoon/
College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Image from: http://todaysfacilitymanager.com/facilityblog/2009/12
Tim Cronin and Lisbeth Calandrino image by Michael T. Henry: http://tcrpmg.wordpress.com
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The Weeklies ~ Week 21

The Weekly Re-cap: This week we talked about a working dog and a tree-climbing rooster.  I told you about a website called Opposites Connect that is launching soon and a bad date I went on.  You got to meet and learn more about my friend Jessica, we talked about loaded questions, bloggers & baseball….  Lastly I told you all about a fundraiser that takes place TONIGHT called Chase For A Cure.  Be there – all the cool kids are going!!

The Weekly Read: Bobby Flay’s – Grill It!

The Weekly Movie: The Rock & Jury Duty

The Weekly Downer: Being out of work 😦

Cast of Romantically Challenged

The Weekly Sad TV Situation: Romantically Challenged was canceled 😦

The Weekly Schadenfreude: New York State Governor Patterson wanted to put New York State workers on a temporary 1 day per week un-paid furlough.  A judge put a temporary restraining order on the furloughs.  So instead Patterson may lay off 10,000+ state workers.  I bet 1 day off isn’t looking so bad now huh?  If you have a job be thankful you’re employed.

The Weekly Tea: We broke out my Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker this week.  We made some Lipton White Tea with Island Mango and Peach Iced Sweet Tea and it was yummy!!

The Weekly Food: We had some leftover pork loin and smashed potatoes from last nights No Destination dinner at The Mill Tavern after the ride for dinner tonight.

The Weekly Amazing Fact: According to OMGFacts on Twitter:  The Statue of Liberty’s feet are 25 ft long, making her a US women’s shoe size 879.

Happy Birthday!

The Weekly Birthdays: David Onufer, Jim Mergenthaler, James Demontozon, Gaston Vega Vallejo, Rita Davenport, Alison Payette-Lovely, and Paul Fred.  I hope you all had a wonderful birthday!!   Leave me a comment here on the blog and tell me what you did for your birthday.

The Weekly Holy Shit Headline: A 13-year-old middle schooler named Raymond Hosier was suspended for wearing rosary beads to school.  The school says their dress code states that beads may not be worn because they’ve been known to be gang symbols.  The young man wears them as a remembrance of his older brother Joey who was killed by car back in 2005 and for his uncle who died of cancer two weeks ago.  The news story is here.  The comments on the story were VERY interesting too!

The Weekly Activity: Job hunting, blogging and networking.

The Weekly Damn It: Key Bank is now giving out an 8GB iPod Touch if you open a new account and do a few things to establish the account.  I’m bummed because I already have an account and I’m not eligible!!  Anyone want to open an account and give it to me??

The Weekly new people I’ve found on Twitter: Sonny’s BBQ (FL), Blue Martini (Tampa), Wet Seal, Funny Spoon, Nerd Approved, Saratoga Winery, Tweetup Saratoga, Hard Rock Cafe, and Mike Keane.

Brianna Chase

The Weekly Charity I’m Pimping: Chase for a Cure is TONIGHT!! Information can be found HERE.  Please come out and show your support for Brianna.

The Weekly Countdowns: Sex In The City 2 (May 27, 2010) 6 more days & The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (June 30, 2010) 40 more days.

The Weekly Hypothetical: If we were all told we needed to evacuate the United States next week and go anywhere else in the world – where would you go?  (And being stubborn and staying here to die is NOT an option)

The Weekly Not-So-Hypothetical: If you’re a wine drinker what are you favorite kinds of wine?

Please comment and subscribe.

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The Weekly Blog Interviews: It was military week here at Dozenroses13’s Blog.  Did you meet Mandy Barcus Westervelt, Jeremy Westervelt, Lisa Bathrick Miller, and Sara Caraway Kowalski ??

The Weekly Read: The One-Page Proposal I wrote a business proposal for someone I’m hoping will hire me.  She’s got “old school” training like I do and I think we could be very successful as a team.

The Weekly Music: I really miss listening to music.  I haven’t turned on a radio or played a cd in weeks.  What’s happening to me?

The Weekly Party: Last night Michael & I went to the All Over Albany 2nd birthday party at the Midtown Tap & Tea RoomAll Over Albany is a local blog that has many local contributors that has taken off over the past 2 years and has been a great place to keep up on the happenings in the region.

The Weekly Downer: I feel like I’m wrong regardless of what I say or suggest.

The Weekly Worst Piece of Crap on TV: Can you believe I didn’t turn on my TV for a whole day this week???

The Weekly Food: Fettuccine Alfredo and a chuck roast in the crock pot


The Weekly Amazing Fact: Well it’s not really amazing but did you know: The elephant is the only mammal that can’t jump!

The Weekly Birthdays: Matt Zampi, Shannon Lewis, Steve Dousharm, Mike Wizzo, Jeremy Westervelt, Kim Bertram, Joan Marso, Melinda Powers, Patti Nealon, Sara Thompson, Jason Morrison, Mark Chiarieri, and Shannon Sayles Beckwith

Matt's "Other Woman" ~ Sorry Nicole!

The Weekly Birthday Gifts: Matt Zampi got a new Harley Davidson Nightster, and Kim Bertram got a Kindle.

The Weekly Score: The US woman’s ice hockey team was blowing the competition away!!

Did you do anything interesting this week?

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The Weekly Sadness: My friend Shane Anthony Leone died on Tuesday February 2nd.  He was a wonderfully kind, caring and compassionate friend.  I will miss him.  😦

The Weekly Read: The Road by Cormac McCarthy you can read my review of it on the Goodreads page.
My favorite quote was from page 12: “You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget”

The Weekly Music: Behind Blue Eyes – The Who and Calling All Friends – Low Stars

The Weekly Movie: The Wizard, Independence Day, Employee of the Month, Roadtrip, and Jerry McGuire “You had me at hello.”

The Weekly TV Show: The wait is FINALLY over.  LOST is back on for it’s final season.  I’m STILL confused though!!

The Weekly Big Blog Moments: My Please Help!  My friend needs relationship advice blog got almost triple the views of my biggest blog hit day ever!  That’s pretty incredible.  I wish it were for a happier reason though.  What I can’t believe is that over 200 people came to my blog that day and NOT EVEN ONE new person subscribed to my blog.  I’m shocked!

The Weekly Schadenfreude: Sarah Palin’s response to Rahm Emanuel & Rush Limbaugh using the word retard or retarded. The word was used properly.  Retard is defined as: “Sometimes offensive: slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development or academic progress.  The way our government has been lately, I don’t blame him for using the word, because it does seem that many are limited in the intellectual department….  It wasn’t used against her child.  Sarah needs to get over herself, it’s NOT all about Sarah!!  Also, I just now realized that Sarah Palin doesn’t seem to have her own website.  Interesting….

The Weekly Time Waster: The NYS Senate Committee has passed a gallons per mile bill.  Seriously?  NY needs to learn to do math on their own.  Why are you wasting valuable time creating shit like this.  I want to drive 1000 miles my car gets 25 mpg therefore it will take me 40 gallons of gas to get there.  It’s MATH not rocket science.

The Weekly Tea: Garden Aria White Tea

The Weekly Food: Grandpa Pete’s Vodka Sauce Grandpa Pete’s had a booth at the Home Show this past weekend.  They had samples.  OMG their sauces are good!  They’re worth every penny!  (Or should I say Penne?)  LOL!

The Weekly Amazing Fact: Nerve impulses to and from the brain travel as fast as 170 miles per hour. Ever wonder how you can react so fast to things around you or why that stubbed toe hurts right away? It’s due to the super-speedy movement of nerve impulses from your brain to the rest of your body and vice versa, bringing reactions at the speed of a high powered luxury sports car.

The Weekly Birthdays: Darrell Kuhn, Jen Adams, Jay Gruen, Katie “Pampered Chef” McKay, and Joey “The Word” Parola

The Weekly Annoyance: If you list things on eBay, and I buy them, make sure they get to me.  Excuses are annoying.  “I lost your gift certificate.”  “Your game must have been lost in the mail.”  ANNOYED!!

The Weekly Activity: Helping one of my best friends who a HUGE relationship issue. Hopefully he’ll sort it all out soon….  Thank you to everyone who commented and gave advice.

The Weekly new people I’ve found on Twitter:
Angelos Tzelepis – He likes wine, photography and soccer – good combination if you ask me 🙂
Never In Vegas – They’re a great Rock ‘n Roll cover band from Boston, MA
Punxsutawney Phil – I had to add him – I wrote a blog about him 🙂

The Weekly Charitys I’m Pimping: You’re going to get two this week.
Hannah’s Hope Fund – This little girl has Giant Axonal Neuropathy.  She is an adorable 5 year old little girl.  Dorris Buffett’s Sunshine Lady Foundation is providing a matching grant for all funds raised through February 15th, 2010 up to $500,000.
Save Bannerman Castle – I wrote a blog about Bannerman Castle they’re trying to raise money to work on the restoration.

Weekly Cool Stuff: My good friend Janet Reeves has submitted a video for the CBS casting call for Survivor Season 21.  I think she’d be awesome on  the show.  Check it out and leave her a comment.

Weekly Grand Totals:
Time spent on the phone being a sounding board for my friend with relationship issues: 1025 minutes = 17+ hours
Different types of tea I drank: 2

The Weekly Hypothetical: If you were going to be a product reviewer, what companies would you ask for products?

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It’s Friday so you know what that means!  It’s time to recap the week ending January 29th, 2010

The Weekly Read: The Road by: Cormac McCarthy
I like it so far.  It’s weird that it doesn’t have chapters.  It’s about a man and his son who are walking through burned America.  It’s got a kind of “War of the Worlds” kind of feel to it so far without the aliens.  It’s an “Every man for himself” kind of thing.

The Weekly Music: I’ve had a song in my head “I’ve got a feeling, that tonight’s gonna be a good night”  but I don’t know who sings it or what it’s called….

The Weekly Movie: I caught Catch Me If You Can on tv one night.  I really like this movie.  Love the story it’s based on.  I hear there’s an 18 year old kid in the news right now that’s eluding the police like Frank did.

The Weekly Time Waster: Listening to all the applause during the one hour and nine minute State of the Union address….  Every other sentence they clapped.  Let the man speak!  Stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down, up, down, up, down – it was like being in church!! Oh, and while I was searching for the link for the State of the Union I found one for the State of the Union 2010 drinking game….

The Weekly Tea: I’m still drinking my Strawberry Pepper tea from The Whistling Kettle….

The Weekly Food: I made Chicken with Dumplings, Lazy Chicken Soup (which is me using College Inn broth and chopping up celery, carrots, and mushrooms in it and adding noodles), and Michael made chicken wings with Brooks BBQ Wing Sauce for the first time.  All were delicious!!

The Weekly Amazing Fact: Polar bears can eat as many as 86 penguins in a single sitting.  Can we say BURP!

The Weekly Birthdays: Lee Skarshinski, Bert LeCato of InTune Guitar Picks, Catherine Butler, Jen Segala & Tim McCann – Happy Birthday to all of you!!  🙂

The Weekly new people I’ve found on Twitter: Christa Watsonmy friend John Jordan is friends with her and met her last week in Vegas.  He said she’s pretty cool.  Theresa Setzer – I met her at tonight’s Tweetup and she seemed really nice 🙂  Brianne Baggetta I don’t know her really well yet, but according to some close sources she’s cool.  Mary Hibbs AKA The Provident Woman I really like her blog!!

The Weekly Charity I’m Pimping: My friend Donna and her little boy Brendan will be walking in the March of Dimes – March for Babies in April and I’d love to see her reach her $2,000 goal.  Brendan was born pre-mature and is such a strong handsome young boy now 🙂  Please donate to them here.

Weekly Grand Totals:
Tickets Earned at Dave & Busters in NYC:
1,070 (I forgot to put this up last week)
Number of Day’s we’ve eaten chicken this week: 4 (at least)
Number of items out of the library at this time: 30
Number of loads of laundry done: 4
Number of hours slept: Not nearly enough….  (Here come the vampire comments)  😉

The Weekly Hypothetical: If you could have one super power what would it be and why???

**Please subscribe in the upper right and comment below**

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Last year I read a blog that mentioned the blogger’s favorite websites.  I figured why hoard them when I can share them with you!  Here’s a compilation of some of my favorites.  Over time I hope to add to it.  I want to know what some of your favorite websites are too!  Comment away!!

Facebook
If you don’t know what Facebook is I’m guessing you live under a rock and don’t have a computer.  If that’s the case, you’re not reading this….   Have I lost it?  I’m talking to an invisible person….
While you’re over there check out the new page I made Rose’s Recipe Group.  Moving on >>>

MySpace
You won’t find me there quite so often, but I still visit on occasion to check out the blogs.  KTPP, Namaste Theorist, The Dish From The Spoon and The Carcass Cadaver are some of my favorites 🙂

Twitter
Now I’ll start explaining the sites better.  Twitter is basically a status update about what you’re up to.  What are you reading, what are you watching, who’s annoying you at work, what you’re making for dinner – basically anything you want to tell your followers.  The catch?  You only have 140 characters to get your point across.
Some of my favorite people to follow are:
Albany-ish: Michael Henry, Kristi Gustafson, Andrew BaderaEllie, Jerry, Dom, Emily, Albany Kelly, Cute Ella, Swilly, John Jordan, Cassie Cramer, Terri Rossi Albany/Saratoga Realtor, Tweet Up Albany This is our local Tweetup Group!!, Marcus Molinaro – NYS Assemblyman I went to high school with, Meg Sharp, Bill Swallow
Non Local Cool Peeps: Lone Pine Photo Great Photographer in GA, St. Simon’s Elopments If you want a beautiful place to get married, contact Miss. Carla, Shit My Dad Says HILARIOUS!!, In Tune Guitar Picks Michael’s cousin & her husband manufacture guitar picks – cool huh?, Chris Cactus – great blogger
Celebrities: Megan Ward Kate from General Hospital, Scott Reeves Steven Webber on General Hospital, Logan Neitzel runner up on Project Runway, Carol Hannah Whitfield runner up on Project Runway, Alyssa Milano from Who’s the Boss?  and Charmed, Katey Segal from Son’s of Anarchy – AKA Peg Bundy from Married with Children, Carolyn Hennesey Diane from General Hospital – Also on CougarTown, Sutter Ink Creator of Son’s of Anarchy, Sarah Joy Brown was Claudia on General Hospital, Nancy Lee Grahn Alexis on General Hospital, Derk Cheetwood Max on General Hospital, Nia Vardalos from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Peter Facinelli Carlisle Cullen from the Twilight series – Also was on Fast Lane

WordPress
Obviously I spend time here everyday.  So read my blog, subscribe to my blog, comment on my blog….  And while you’re over there check out Michael’s blog The World Through My Lens, Courtney’s Blog Cute~Ella is Bold, and Cassie’s Blog No Day But Today.  There is one other blogger that really amuses me.  Check out Rude Cactus.

Goodreads
I like to read, though I don’t do it as much as I’d like.  Once I discovered this site it became a place to keep track of what I’ve read, what I’m reading, and what I want to read.  Check it out.  I enjoying seeing what books my friends like and don’t like.  I won’t waste my time on a book my friends hated….

Paperback Swap
I don’t know about you, but I hate spending so much money on books.  Paperback Swap is an online community book exchange.  You pay to ship people your books, they pay to ship their books to you.  You earn credits for every book you’ve mailed and can use those credits to request other books.  The only criteria I’ve learned to ask on this site is if the book is from a smoke free environment.

Meetup
Meetup is a great site to get to know people with similar interests.  Awesome for someone who has moved to a new city and/or wants to make friends.  You can join groups all over the country.  If you’re in the Capital Region some of my favorite groups are No Destination which is a motorcycle group, The Capital Region Photography Meetup Group which is Michael’s photography group, and Fun, Fearless Females which is a woman’s group.

Pandora Radio
Panora is a great online radio site.  Basically you search for an artist you like and it will play you music from that artist and other artists they think are similar that you may like also.  It’s a nice way to get introduced to new music.

IMDB: Internet Movie Database
This site is great to research movies, or search for movies based on an actor or actress you like.

Wikipedia
You can research almost anyone or anything on this website.  It isn’t always 100% accurate because content can be updated and changed by the public.  Usually it’s pretty good though for a fast answer.

LaDorkas – National Multiple Sclerosis Walk
These women are incredible and walking for a good cause.
Please donate whatever you can.  They have a hefty goal.
Every dollar gets them closer to a cure for MS.

Brooks BBQ
If you live in NY, then there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Brooks House of BBQ.  They come to many churches and schools in Upstate, NY for fundraisers.  That’s how we discovered them.  We eventually visited their restaurant in Oneonta, NY and we enjoyed it quite a bit.  On their website at the bottom you can click on BBQ Events to view their catering calendar.

Other sites I enjoy for shopping
:
Adagio Teas – Loose tea and teapots, etc.
Deals Plus+ – coupons and deals to over 15,000 stores you like to shop at – Best Buy, JoAnn’s, Michael’s, etc.
eBay – online auction site
Half – online bookstore – powered by eBay
New York & Co. – Women’s clothing
Pandora Jewelry – Charm Bracelets
Teavana – Loose tea and teapots, etc.

What are some of your favorite websites to visit?
Comment away!

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The Weekly Read: I have read TONS of websites about my new phone.  I still haven’t found the apps that I really want though.  I got an app for Facebook and Twitter, but I don’t really like either of them, so I’m hoping I can find a different app for each.  I’m also searching for a good one for eBay.  So if any of you have the Verizon HTC Touch Pro2

The Weekly Music: While searching for apps I also found a whole pile of ringtones….  The one I settled on for my main ringtone is the Beverly Hills Cop Theme

The Weekly Movie: I went to see NINE and I blogged about it.

The Weekly Time Waster: Nintendo DS Game – Personal Math Trainer

The Weekly Downer: The weather!  Will we get above 30 degrees fahrenheit this week?

The Weekly Worst Piece of Crap on TV: The Bachelor – Why do women agree to go on shows like this?  They usually come out looking like bitches or whores.  I watched about 5 minutes.  Some had pretty dresses.  As soon as I heard one that said “I’ve never even kissed a man other than my ex-husband” I knew I had enough.  Come on, you’ve only been with one man and now you’re going on national television to find a spouse?  Seriously?

The Weekly Schadenfreude: Someone I know left a mutual friend a comment in a public place today.  She basically said if he wanted to see her topless all he had to do was ask.  Why do people use public forums to advertise the fact that they have absolutely no class?  If I ever wondered (which I really didn’t) she erased all doubt….

The Weekly Beverage: LIPTON Sweetened Lemon Iced Tea – the kind made with the powder mix.  I hadn’t bought a tub of it in years.  I forgot how yummy it was 🙂

The Weekly Tea: I ordered some teas from a company called Adagio Teas I mixed their Chocolate Tea with their Raspberry Tea.  It wasn’t a bad combination, but most likely won’t go down in history as one of my favorites.  I bought 6 kinds of tea from them, so I have 4 more to sample over the coming weeks.

The Weekly Food: We went to Boston Market tonight.  After all these years it’s still one of my favorite fast food joints to frequent….

The Weekly Amazing Fact: If you are an average American, in your whole life, you will spend an average of 6 months waiting at red lights.

The Weekly Birthday: 2 of my best friends have birthdays this week.  Kelly’s is the 8th and Eva’s is the 9th.  I love them both TONS!!  Happy Birthday ladies 🙂

The Weekly Activity: This week it was blogging.  Being out of work it’s nice to have a “responsibility” that I try to be consistent with on a daily basis, though I doubt we’ll really blog on the weekends….

The Weekly Shoes: My new boots that Michael got me for Christmas.  Do you know how difficult it is to find a pair of leather boots (none of that synthetic stuff) with a rubber sole or at least some traction on the bottom?  For under $75.  The answer?  Pretty much impossible.  We went all over the place.  I finally caved in and got a “man made upper” but it’s got a rubber sole.  They probably won’t hold up, but at least they were reasonably priced….

Weekly Grand Totals:
Number of days I didn’t leave the house: 4
Number of people who had headaches: 2
(and we think Bella had a sympathy headache along with us)

The Weekly Hypothetical: If you could star in a movie that’s already out there in the theaters or on DVD, which one would you choose?

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