security

There are all forms of security and what makes one person feel safe may not have any bearings on how another person feels. I’ve have felt completely safe in my house and my backyard because I’ve put up fences and gates that are locked and honestly thought between the ivy and rose bushes growing on one side and that locked gates that no one would attempt to get through the barriers. I felt completely safe leaving my back doors open while I took a shower or being in my backyard in general. I also have a kitty door in one of the gates and little dogs sometimes wander through as well, I’m a good neighbor, I’ll catch your little dog and bring it back to you.

But recently, one of my neighbors kids scaled the fence, rosebushes and all to come get their little dog that wandered off. These weren’t little kids, the youngest looked alot older than his 10 years and the older one looked like a full-grown man, they didn’t announced themselves, they slying came into my backyard and walked right into my house to get their little dog. Scared the crap out of me, two men in my backyard while I was standing there naked getting dressed. I didn’t know who they were, I had no defense. I was visibily shaken and when I went to tell my neighbor that her kids were in my backyard and in my house while I was naked, she smiled and said “oh, I told them to go back there and get the dog”  – no real apology for scaring me.  What if I had a gun? How come they didn’t announce themselves? How come they thought it was ok to come into my house? Who taught them their manners?

The gates are locked for a reason. If I don’t answer the door, maybe I’m out back or in the shower but either way that does not give a neighbor the right to violate my privacy or my security.

Now I can’t do anything illegal like putting wire or broken glass on the fences that would hurt anyone coming over because apparently my privacy rights aren’t legal if I hurt someone in their attempt to violate my rights. But I can put harmless fence spikes on top of the fences that won’t damage you but will hurt like hell. I wouldn’t want to hurt the animals anyways and I’m pretty sure the animals will just go through the kitty door. 

I’ve also learned a valuable lesson, my gates and fences are quite as secure as I thought they were and I need to bolt the gates from inside and also make the gate doors a little stronger. And my cell phone should always be within reach.

Maybe my neighbor didn’t mean anything by it but why didn’t her kids say something when they were in the yard, why be all sneaky?

name change

Changing our name to elements write – words ignite, haven’t quite decided how this is going to work, sexymagick is still up and running but its time to move to a new phase in this blogs life, become a little more sophiscated. I think sexymagick will slowly be archived –  closing that chapter of the blogs life, slim it down and start concentrating more on functional pieces of writing art and eventually converted to a new blog for elementswrite. Its a work in progress, don’t expect changes overnight, I don’t have time to ferret out 10 years worth of posts and figure out what can be closed and what shall remain. In the meantime, elementswrite.com is forwarded here as well as words-ignite.com, our twitter feed has been changed.

word of mouth advertising

I’m a big fan of word of mouth advertising, its how I got most of my business. I’m kind of laid back, so I don’t go out there hustling people for business – well, I’ve actually tried that and it seems to have backfired, maybe because I was too honest – you’re website sucks probably wasn’t the best approach..lol but that’s not my point here. Word of mouth advertising is great, if someone thinks my services are spectular or great, they’re going to tell someone and then someone else.

I have to admit, sometimes I’m horrible about following up especially if you catch me off-guard and give me a phone number to call – kind of reminds of when I was an IT person and everyone would stop me in the hall to tell me their problem, at some point, you kind of start to tune them out or sometimes between me writing down a phone number and remembering where I put it or what piece of paper I wrote it on, I forget to do it and then I feel weird about calling someone I probably should have called 3 weeks ago (by now that person has found an accountant)
        – emailing me is the best way to contact me hands down, its there in print and I’ve got it, texting would probably work too, calling me, not so much.

But there is also negative word of mouth which just rubs me the wrong way, when you push the concept of selling yourself on people. I’ve said it before: making your clients work for you to get you work  and constantly selling yourself must be exhausting and its a real buzz-kill. Would you want a slimy salesman harrassing you all the time? And if perhaps, that getting your customers to tell their friends by ramming it down their throats on a constant basis is your idea of advertising, what do I get out of telling my friends?

For example, isn’t it great that you can come in anytime and get wellness care, tell your friends about us. Lets see I pay to come and get help anytime, I’m pretty sure you don’t see me for free and yes its great but stop being a car salesman, its kind of slimy. 

Another example if the form letters requesting you recommend at least 3 people that might benefit for your wonderful experience by sending the person requesting it their information. Kind of slimy in my opinion, I’m not giving out my friends and family’s personal information. If they’re interested in whatever I’ve been doing, they can read about it here and call themselves. I don’t give out personal information.

Now on the other hand, sending out a word of mouth advertising email campaign is great, it gets all the people on your list (the key word here is “your list” of contacts) to know about something you’ve done or if you have a new merchandise etc. There are also other forms of word of mouth advertising beyond just service, its that special touch you do for a client, like come help them with their bills every month or an interesting slogan or name of a company, its about architectural, kinetic, generous means of advertising.  Twitter is definetly a form of word of mouth advertising, get yourself on there and talk about something related to your business, get other people to follow you by being unique (and no, I don’t have a unique approach yet – working on it). A much better way to encourage your clients to spread the word is to have them write testitmonals for you, share their opinions on facebook or yelp.

Do something extraordinary, give away things, you can always make up for it in your pricing structure, for example, every once in awhile, I have freebie Mondays (more or less, that means I probably forgot to write down how long I did something for you and you got that for advice or discussion for free). Write a thank you note to a client, tell them how wonderful they are just because, be geniune, treat your clients and vendors like you want to be treated.

Poof, he never existed

My chiropractor up and disappeared, ok so maybe I should qualify that, my main chiropractor, Dr. Stephanie  is still there and considering its her practice, I doubt she’s closing up shop anytime soon but the second doctor working at the office up and disappeared – Dr John, he didn’t even say goodbye which kind of makes one wonder of the circumstances for him leaving. They said that his girlfriend got a job offer in Oregon and he moved with her but he couldn’t said goodbye to his patients? And it makes one wonder, is that just a cover story, is he really somewhere in town and they don’t want people leaving to go where he is?

What I really like about him and apparently a few other people feel the same way because they were talking in the waiting area was that he always had time to talk to you about any new issues or concerns, he wasn’t running from patient to patient and he didn’t always try to upsell you on services. He actually seem to care. I looked forward to my visits with him and it didn’t hurt that he was good-looking, had a geninue smile for everyone. I felt like I had gotten to know him a little, what his favorite band was, what his sense of humor was, what he liked to do in his spare time, the typing with one hand and eating doughnuts was an interesting fact about him (i know quirky but I like quirky and smart) …. and he really did seem to care, he always ask me how long it had been – trying to get me to quit smoking, how long since my last cigarette, or that he would love me no matter what, if I quit or not. I was actually looking forward to telling him I was on my way to quitting, going longer and longer without smoking, he said he would keep bugging me until I quit and now, he’s gone, so what does it matter really, who’s going to bug me and care that much? Maybe he was just my doctor but how often do you feel like your doctor actually cares and you’re not just a number or money to them? He always had time and treated you  like you were the only person that matter at that moment he was doing the adjustment, not the 5 other people waiting for their turns. And he listened, if I said I was having a problem with a specific area, he checked it.

I think Dr Stephanie cares about you but the upselling, seriously give it a break, can you just talk to me once without selling me your business model. I do not have any friends that would be interested, 90% of my friend have no idea where the hell Concord is nor do they live in the area, they’re not interested, stop trying to upsell your product. I know how great is it but I’m starting to wonder why all your assistant doctors leave, what is it about you, that makes them leave your practice?  You had a great one before Dr. John but she left too. You start to feel a connection with someone and then poof, they are just gone with no goodbyes, like they never existed. And the newest one, he might be a great guy but I doubt I’ll let myself open up to him, he’ll be gone sooner or later.

There’s a review on yelp that I actually agree with the car salesman pitch, sometimes it seems like its all about the money, the more patient you initially bring in, the more money you make, its not the wellness clients that bring in money, its the ones that need immediate care and can afford it. The wellness clients means you are doing something right and have gotten us out of pain but we don’t bring in the big bucks.

I’m a small business just like you and I completely believe in word of mouth advertising but I don’t force it on my clients, if they think I’m spectacular, they will refer me. If they don’t, I suppose they wont and they won’t continue to see me either.  Word of mouth is great but making your clients work for you to get you work – something seems a little odd about that, you’re not doing something right. Maybe you’re too busy to see that you have a great bunch of clients that keep coming back. Constantly selling yourself must be exhausting and its a real buzz-kill.

So poof, he’s gone like he never existed. When I mentioned he had been helping me with my wrist issue, she ignored my comment about him and tried to upsell me on the wellness care and I should tell my friends, really? seriously?

It almost makes one think, that he really didn’t care about anyone, how callous can someone be not saying goodbye, was it all an act? Which I don’t believe for a second but maybe he wasn’t allowed to say goodbye, which also makes me wonder why he left.

I’m very sad, it sucks that he’s gone, you get to know someone for two years and then they’re gone (which honestly in my opinion, makes it hard to trust people and get to know them, if they just leave all the time)

Poof, he never existed, all traces of him have just disappeared.

Cats & their diets

One of my cats was recently diagnosed with early stage chronic renal failure and my vet recommended royal canin modified renal diet (its a prescription diet only available at the vet) which is fine, she seems to like it but I don’t for a few reasons (1) its only available at the vet – which makes me think he’s probably getting a kickback for selling it and (2) its only available at the vet – which I can’t ever seem to get over there between the hours of 9-12, 2-5 – its not convenient for me (3) royal canin uses byproducts in its food – yuck – yes, this is the main reason, the byproducts – would you eat a beak or claws? – yuck and (4) its got a lot of things in it to make the cats like the taste – dyes and coloring, which tells me its not good for them.

What I’ve been reading so far and I’m not sure why I have to research this and why my vet can’t get me options to the prescribed diet unless he’s getting a kickback for selling it and doesn’t want to give options which is most likely the case.  Anyways, what the problem is that cats shouldn’t be eating dry food, its not natural and doesn’t provide a high-enough moisture content for cats like a rat would. Cats are carinvores, they eat meat. Another thing is alot of cheap dry food has grain, rice, wheat, corn and fillers which drys out the content and isn’t natural either, when’s the last time you saw a cat bring back grain to you?  Cheap dry food also has by-products – when’s the last time you saw a cat eat the tail or a beak? Usually that’s the part left behind..I know gross, but its true. Why would you want to feed your cat food that has that included?

Now naturally you should start your cat on good wet food and not dry food but if you didn’t know when you first started having cats in your life and your cats have always eaten dry food, then switching them to only wet food mid-life probably won’t work. My cats get a combination of dry and wet food daily which has only been a recent thing in the last couple of years when I was hiding medicine in one’s wet food, the others had to get wet food too and now its a daily thing except the cat with CRF doesn’t really like wet food all that much, we’re in trial and error phase, she likes some but not all of it.

From what I’m reading cats with CRF and all cats in general should be eating grain-free, high-moisture content, no by-products cat food preferably wet food better is human grade wet food and the best option would be a raw diet. 

Now here’s an interesting part, my vet said that all my cats (they range from ages 1-15) can eat the modifed renal low-protein diet and it wouldn’t hurt them. Huh? That doesn’t make any sense. Cats aren’t like people and there seems to be a lot of controvesary surrounding the idea of giving cats a low protein diet especially in the early stages and even more so when they are healthy. A low protein diet will not prevent chronic renal failure or any of the other diseases of advancing age. So there is no medical reason to put your senior cat on a low protein diet. (source: http://www.ehow.com/facts_4896669_low-protein-diet-cats.html)

At no time did my vet suggest that having my cats on a dry food diet only cause some of these problems such as my cat with early stage chronic renal failure or my cat that just had major surgery for kidney problem and crystals or the one that had asthma might have been caused by grains (I thinking maybe its time to find a different vet).

If I could have the reader of this webpage take away just one word from this discussion, it would be “water”.  If your cat is on a properly hydrated diet of 100% canned food – and no dry food – Always keep in mind that water flowing through the urinary tract system is the most important factor in keeping it healthy. Note that I said “water” – not “crystals” or “urine pH” – or any of the expensive prescription diets often recommended by veterinarians. A cat’s normal prey is ~70% water.  Canned food is ~78% water. Dry food is ~5-10% water.  Cats have a low thirst drive and do not make up the deficit at the water bowl.  They are designed to get water with their food. (source http://www.catinfo.org/feline_urinary_tract_health.htm)

Now my cats are used to eating dry food so once again switching them to an all wet food diet probably isn’t a good tactic to do all at once + one kitty just doesn’t like wet food all that much, although she does drink alot of water, she seems to love it, she’ll also sit in the rain. I’ve started becoming one of those strange cat people that reads the labels before I buy their cat food, I’m looking for high-moisture content, no grain and definetly no by-products. I have found that the following products seem to have all the right ratio of carbs, protein and moisture that a cats needs, I choose to site moisture content but cats are designed to eat a high protein (~50% of calories, or more), moderate fat (~40% of calories), and very low carbohydrate (well below 10% of calories) diet (source: http://www.catinfo.org/commercialcannedfoods.htm)

  • Wellness Salmon, Salmon Meal and Deboned Turkey Dry Food has 11% moisture and no rice.
  • Wellness Core dry food is grain-free and has 8% moisture content.
  • Wellness Wet food has between 78% and 82% moisture content and they all seem to like Wellness food.
  •  WeRuVa wet cat food is human grade and they seem to love it, most of them do anyways and it has 85% moisture content
  • BFF (Best Friends Food) wet cat food has a 82% moisture content and again they love this, even my picky one likes some of the flavors

There is alot of information to read about this subject and this site is great it breaks down alot of the information about what cats should be eating and the different types of food: FEEDING YOUR CAT: KNOW THE BASICS OF FELINE NUTRITION

Another thing about some of these prescription diets is that they have BHA/BHT and Ethoxyquin. Ethoxyquin is a pestcide – would you eat it?

So overall, I think I’ll stick with the food I know is better for them, start looking for ones with high-moisture content, maybe we’ll make the transistion to a raw food diet at some point and find another vet.

online multi-choice test disconnection

I can’t find any information about this but I can’t possibly be the only one that has this problem. I can not for the life of me sit down and take a online multi-choice computerized test. If I print out the test and read it, select my answers and then go back to the computerized version of the test and enter the answers – no problem passing it. But using the computer to take the test, forget it, I might be able to pass it but not with the same level of efficiency that I can using pencil and paper. I haven’t been able to complete the Quickbooks Certified test nor the Tigerpaw Software certified test (that was even more horrible, the guy was asking me questions on the phone and asking me to find the info online – somewhere between what he was asking and my brain there was disconnect, I failed miserably, even though I know it backwards and forwards). I don’t know if its because I’m bipolar and my brain just has a funky disconnect between what I’m reading and the possible multi-choice answers or there is some other reason that I just can’t quite take a multi-choice computerized test or a verbal computerized test.

Now on the other hand, I have no problem writing an essay answer to a question on the computer, I do that all the time. That’s easy!

What I’m seriously afraid of is that if I have this weird disconnect when taking online multi-choice test, that I won’t be able to pass the computerized CPA exam…or any other professional-like tests.

Does anyone else have this issue?

radar-rank

I think I fell off the radar somehow, I used to pay more attention to all the social media things out there and all the great blogs like Scoble, ReadWriteWeb (I remember when they first start out), and many others, its been so long, I don’t remember anymore, I barely have time for twitter and facebook but I do check in every once a great while. I get a lead and completely forget to follow up, maybe its the fact I’m in school and I just don’t have time or maybe its the name of the blog – maybe its time for a change but what should sexymagick morph into? That’s the big question – where do I go from here?

should sexymagick morph into chaoticx become a new identity/brand? Should sexymagick rebrand itself or does that lose the value of who I am? What do you think?

next chapter

so I just had my graduation ceremony, wow, that was long affair, way too many people graduating at the same time, doctors, masters, bachelors, associates – it would have been much better if it was broken down into sections. About half way through, half the masters people had to go to the bathroom and never came back. I stayed through the whole 6 hours process. Although it was an experience and I’m glad I did it but it was long day.

Anyways, the next chapter, the options after I’m done with classes (technically I’m not done, I did the graduation ceremony but still have classes until probably August – about 10 more weeks to go). I know that

  1. I’m taking a break after school for at least 3 months
  2. Then taking a CPA Prep Course for a couple of months
  3. Then try to get my CPA license
  4. Then I want to get my doctorate in something, I’m leaning towards a doctorate in Educational Learning and Online Technology but I love to write, hence this blog. I love the idea of technology in the sense of learning new ideas, coming up with technology concepts like fusion nuclear energy or writing about technology but I also want to teach. I have realized I don’t particulary like day-to-day IT stuff or database design all that much which is probably why I outsource that part of my business…interesting maybe I’ll get a dual degree, there is a program for a bachelors in Communication with a Concentration in Communication and Technology which I think would greatly enhance the doctorate in Educational/Online Learning degree…something to think about and figure out how much I’ll be sleep deprived if I take two different degrees 🙂

chase sucks

chase credit cards suck. I just paid off one of my balance and had a high credit limit and just noticed that my APR doubled and my credit limit got lower by 90%, exactly how does that reward people for paying off their credit cards? So unless you keep a high balance on your cards which you can never pay off, chase will just arbitarily drop your credit limit if you’re a good customer and pay off the balance.

Dropping or lowering my limits can hurt my credit ratings, now my debt to ratio looks bad, when in fact it should look better since I’m paying off my debt but my credit card limits have been dropped…chase sucks, oh well, should just close those accounts, don’t like than anyways and I’m sure with inactivity, they will close the accounts..should beat them to the punch.

news and such

I keep finding these interesting articles and if I had time to read them, then I have time to share them

Building nuclear fusion: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/us_and_canada/10385853.stm

Apple to can be hacked: http://bit.ly/cxyrab

I don’t mind being 40 at all but I want to look at startups with the same eager and innocent anticipation that I did when I was 25 http://techcrunch.com/2010/06/27/staying-credulous-on-not-letting-being-40-get-in-the-way/