Home for my rants, raves and general sharing of 'insytes'. Some of you will enjoy this gathering of text - others will wonder how I tricked them into giving me a Blogger's license...

Friday, July 28, 2006

Sing it with me Sammy....

Driveeeeee . . . 55iiiiiiiiiiivvvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeee!


Driving home from Oregon recently, I got caught speeding.

As I watched the officer walk up to my car, I found myself getting really pissed off that he had stopped me. I was speeding. I was wrong. I deserved getting a ticket. But my initial reaction was anger. Did he not know I had places to be? Had he not seen the blue truck who had gone sailing past me not but 10 minutes ago? Didn’t he have anything better to do than to harass me? I was so close to home. Damn.

Then it struck me. I needed to take a chill pill. This was not the end of the world. What I was getting was a simple little speeding ticket. He is only doing his job (*cough* speed trap). I can’t fault him for that (I'll see you in court). My actions got me into this position (more like my lead foot), and I quickly realized I jumped to anger when there was no reason to do so (I am supposed to get away with everything).

Yes it sucks, but then I think about all the other times I had sped and did not get caught, and started counting myself lucky. Very very lucky.

Technorati tags: speeding speedingticket policia highwaypatrol chp gotcaught

Thursday, July 27, 2006

BrainJams: A Conversation on Technology

The National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation is hosting BrainJams!: A Conversation on Technology presented by Chris Heuer, founder of BrainJams Workshops and Beth Kanter, Nonprofit Technology Consultant on Thursday, August 3rd at the Parc 55 Hotel in San Francisco.

This all-day exploration of online technology and how it can be used by practitioners of dialogue & deliberation to enhance their work, offers an opportunity to learn directly from technologists who will join us for a day of demonstrations and conversations. These technologists, leaders in the cutting edge online technology often referred to as Web 2.0, will offer their expertise on a wide array of networking and collaboration tools (including Wikis, Blogs, Podcasts, Online Workspaces and Social Networks) through BrainJam’s signature "12 Five Minute Meetings" as well as a broader conversation using the World Café.

The BrainJams event will be held from 9am to 5pm at the Renaissance Parc 55 in downtown San Francisco and more information about the 2006 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation can be found at http://thataway.org/conference/.

Technorati tags: brainjams brainjams03august2006 ncdd

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Pimms Cup, a tasty treat

When Chris and I were in New Orleans this past May, we stumbled upon the Napoleon House located in the heart of the French Quarter, and quickly latched onto frosty glasses carrying their speciality drink - the Pimms Cup.


The Pimms Cup is one of those drinks you can drink all day. Of course, I don't know if you would be able to walk very straight if you did - but it a light refreshing drink, perfect for a hot summers day, and really is just the right blend of alcohol and non-alcohol ensuring all you tasted was goodness. (I guess now is the right time for a disclaimer - I tasted a lot of goodness that trip - HA!). Anyway - Mario over at the Napoleon House makes a mean Pimm's Cup, and I have been dreaming of it every since we got back.

Fast forward two months later.

My girlfriend Amanda and I were playing in North Beach this past weekend and somehow the topic of the Pimm's Cup came up. I was telling how good they were, and how I wish she could try them, but I was having a hard time finding Pimm's anywhere in the Bay Area so I guess she never will unless she goes to New Orleans. She suggests we try this local liquor store saying if anyone would have it - they would. And you know what? They did have it.

So I grab up two bottles and Amanda and I rush to my house to try our luck at replicating the receipe. And experiment we did. I was trying to make them from memory and my first batch turned out way too strong. Bummer. Hard to cut that. Realizing half of the bottle was gone in my little mishap, Chris decided to take over as bartender - and he nailed it. Just like that. Almost like he had been practicing this moment for the last two months awaiting the bottle to make its way into our house.

And then we lost lost the rest of our day - floating on a Pimm's Cup high...

Gosh those are good.

If you would like to make you own, I found the original receipe on the Napoleon House website (see below). So, clear your calendar and enjoy the rest of your day on a Pimm's Cup high!

Pimm's Cup:
  • Fill a tall 12 oz glass with ice and add 1 1/4 oz. Pimm's #1 and 3 oz lemonade
  • Then top off with 7up (we used ginger ale - both work
  • Garnish with cucumber

Photo credit: Chris Heuer

Technorati tags: pimmscup pimms napoleonhouse neworleans favoritedrink

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Turn on the hose - I need to water the money tree out back...

Crap. How did our wedding budget triple in less than a week? Oh I know. I could not find a nice beachy destination spot for our wedding, so Chris and I are now back to looking locally (San Francisco).

Local means big money to get the look and feel we want. Local means no toes in the sand when I say 'I do' as July in San Francisco is just too sketchy. Local means spending way more money than I ever thought we would or could spend on our wedding.

Local means we now have to rip through our guest list to get the party goers down from 125 to around 40 - and this is not an easy thing to do. Have you ever tried to rate your friends? Not fun, and definitely not something I want to have to do again. Talk about a process that could easily drive a person to drink. In fact, I think I need to grab a beer now (yes, at 8am in the morning) just to get through this post.

So back to rating your friends - crap, what a sucky way to spend your evening. Basically it goes like this...
  • You build the 'wish list' guest list - add anyone you would like to share your day with you
  • Count that up, multiply by $200/head and there is your catering bill
  • Pick yourself up off the floor and look at the list closely...must cut some bodies.
  • Who are the people that must be there? (you never ever envisioned getting married w/o them)
  • Place an 'A' next to their name
  • Count the number of 'A's and multiply by $200/head for the revised catering bill
  • Ok, grab another beer and look at the list again. We must cut more.
  • Who would understand the financial thing? Place a 'B' by their name. *
  • Honestly, who are you not as close too anymore? Fine. They get a 'B' too.
  • You look at the list again. You are close. Only talking a few more 'B's and you should be ok. Hmmm...must rethink strategy. Of course, we could opt to go a lot more casual which means our wedding budget can be stretched farther and more people could come - but casual is not what we want for our big day and I am sorry - but we will be a little selfish here.
  • Who did you just meet last week? I know you hit it off instantly and you plan to have them be in your life forever, but we are talking serious dollars here. They get a 'B'. Sorry.
  • Ok, you count again and now have an 'A' list that once calculated against your $200/head budget - you can manage.
Now you can focus back to finding that damn wedding venue...

* The trick though - is not to let your friends know you placed them on a 'A' or a 'B' list, which I stupidly let happen. A friend of mine was over the other day and needed to use the computer for a minute. I had the A/B worksheet open and of course she saw it. And she saw 'B' next to her name. She didn't say anything, but I know it must have smarted to see it. And the sad thing - she is an 'A' in my book. She is someone who I expect to be sipping margaritas with and sharing good stories when we are old and gray. But I had to make sacrifices. And unfortunately, she had to be one of them. Doesn't mean I love her any less... but I should not have allowed that to happen.

** I realize this has turned into a wedding blog. For that, I am truly sorry. I don't really know what this blog was before Chris proposed, but the last thing I ever imagined was for me to spend my time feeling sorry for myself as I spew my emotional drama over the lack of a friggin wedding location. I know I need to snap out of it!

Photo credit: Real Mac

Technorati tags: wedding weddingplanning weddingbudget

Friday, July 21, 2006

New Media Release Podcast #2

This week finds Tom Foremski, Todd Defren, Shel Holtz, and Chris Heuer discussing the naming of the ('New') Media Release and continuing their discussions on how the standard old tired press release could do with an upgrade.

You can hear the podcast here.

If you would like to sign up for the RSS feed, you can do that as well (of course I think you should, as there are sure to be lots of little nuggets coming out of these conversations).

I would also encourage you to join the Google group and share your thoughts with the world.

Technorati tags: newmediarelease socialmediarelease mediarelease pressrelease nmrcast

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I believe in karma.

  • I believe if you help others, good things will come back to you three fold.
  • I believe if you let go of a little, you will gain a lot.
  • I believe karma prevails in all situations.


Want to know who is testing karma tonight? Folks sharing bits of what they know at the Rent an Expert event being held at CNET’s offices in San Francisco. That’s who. These lovely people are donating their time and their expertise because they know good things come back around to those who help others succeed.

As of this morning, our ‘experts’ have signed up to cover the following topics:

  • Setting up a Word Press Blog - Chris Heuer, BrainJams
  • Search Engine Optimization - Lawrence Coburn, RateItAll
  • The Basics of Creating a Videoblog - Eddie Codel, GETV
  • Smack’ ‘em (Community Building) - Jonas M Luster, Your Intarweb Going Commando
  • The Secret to Kick-Ass BBQ - Eugene Eric Kim, Blue Oxen Associates
  • Innovate to be great! - Cathryn Hrudicka, Creative Sage
  • Publishing Globally to the Web - Arthur Law, Ion Global
  • MindMapping with MindJet – Tom Blossom, MindJet
  • Celestial videos/pictures for blogs, websites and sharing | A handy personal organizer - Rod Seddigh

Have something else you would like to share? Sign up as an expert.

Now, is there something you are dying to learn? Let us know. We believe it doesn’t matter how many people are in the room - the odds are good someone has the information you need (or at least knows how to get it). Add your request to the list and we will do our best to find an expert for you.

The event starts tonight at 5:30pm and will be at CNET’s headquarters (235 Second Street - between Howard and Folsom). Thanks to our sponsors* - there will be drinks and snacks so even if you already know it all, or prefer to keep your knowledge tucked away inside your own nogin, join us and at least mingle a bit. It will do you good.

Want to know more? General info can be found at http://rentanexpert.pbwiki.com/.

All I ask - is if you ARE coming, we would like you to register at http://rentanexpert.pbwiki.com/RegisterOnWiki to make sure we have a good headcount.
See you tonight!

* Event sponsors: CNET, RateItAll, MindJet, Stormhoek, and BrainJams. Thank you all for your support!

Technorati tags: brainjams brainjams:expert1 brainjams:rentanexpert rentanexpert

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

They say you shouldn't keep things bottled up inside...

I want to be married to this man. I do. I do. I do.

But, three months of search and Chris and I still have not secured a spot for our 'big day'. Three months! What the hell is going on?

Why is it so difficult for us to agree on a location? We both know no place will be perfect especially since we don't have the Hollywood budget needed to ensure it looks exactly the way we would like. But that is ok. We will be together. Our friends and family will be there. It should be lovely no matter where it is.

But, if that is really true...why does the location still haunt me to this day? Why can't I just pick any old place and be done with it?

Because deep down inside...I really do want somewhere fabulous. I want it so bad, it pains me so. I want a place that is comfortable and casual one minute and black tie the next. I want a nice destination spot for our friends. I want the places that we can't afford. Or I should say...I am unwilling to ask our friends to spend just to share our day. I want what I can't have, and it sucks. I am sure I can deal in the long run, but it doesn't lessen the suck part any.

I have searched and searched to no avail. Of course, there have been a couple of places we found that might work (Florida, Hawaii and Tahoe), but by the time we put the call into them they were either (1) already booked, or (2) wanted a premium for the honor of having our wedding there. I am sorry - but just because you can - doesn't mean you should triple your rates when you think you have a desperate bride on your hands. That is mean, and karma will come around to bite you in the ass one day.

So what about changing the date you say?
Let me just say - no, no, no. We know we were silly to think we could pick the most popular day in 2007, take our time to plan and still have the pick of the lot, so I will deal with it. I might need to vent on occasion, but I will deal with it as the date is important for so many reasons I don't want to change it. I will keep searching until I am blue in the face as something in me believes the right spot is out there.

I just can't believe it is this hard. BLECH!

Technorati tags: wedding weddingplanning gettingmarried destinationwedding bridezilla

Monday, July 17, 2006

New Media Release Podcast #1

Chris Heuer and Shel Holtz introduce the weekly New Media Release Podcast (‘NMRCast’) and explain the NMR working group; discussion of microformats and their role in the NMR; where we plan to go from here.

You can download the podcast, or sign up for the RSS feed to get it and future shows automatically. (For automatic synchronization with your iPod or other digital player, you’ll also need a
podcatcher such as Juice, DopplerRadio, iTunes or Yahoo! Podcasts, or an RSS aggregator that supports podcasts such as FeedDemon).

If you would like to participate in the New Media Release conversations, please join the Google group.

Thank you Shel for your support!

Technorati tags: newmediarelease sociamediaclub nmrcast pressrelease chrisheuer shelholtz forimmediaterelease

Aloha. And aloha.

Just when I thought we had it dialed in...POOF. The wedding location of our dreams (well, close enough to I should say) dissipates before our eyes and it seems Maui is no longer an option for us.

The owner of the house we thought we had locked in realized this is not only a special date (07/07/07), but the weekend is close enough to the Fourth of July so now he has decided he won't rent the house to us for less than seven days as it is now considered 'holiday rates'. At $6,000 per night - we simply can't afford it. Well, we can. But I refuse to spend that kind of money.


I know, I know. Harsh language. But we had a deal. I was ready to sign the papers. I had lined up the caterer. My friends were already checking flights (obviously, you should stop shopping for tickets now).

It was the one place that Chris and I bought felt was 'right' and now I can't believe I am back to the search again. ARRRGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!

Sure there are other places on Maui that are lovely, but this house seemed to be everything I had hoped our day would be - modern, simple, elegant, homey, luxurious, comfortable. I have spent the last couple of days searching for a replacement and nothing else seems to be able to stand up to it, and honestly, if we are going to spend the kind of money we are talking about spending - I want it to be scrumptuous.

It just sucks.

Photo credit: Fabulous-Homes.com

Technorati tags: maui mauiwedding wedding weddinglocation fabuloushomes

Wonder what a wiki is? Want to know how to set up a blog?

Well then come on over to CNET's headquarters this Wednesday, July 19th and join us for the Rent an Expert event hosted by BrainJams, CNET, Mindjet, RateItAll, and Stormhoek.

The event will run from 5:30pm to about 8:30pm and is open to everyone (aka: meaning it is FREE to attend).

Yes, that's right. It is free to walk through the front door. Mingle, drink our beer, eat our snacks.

All we ask is if you wish to pick the brains of those who have signed up as experts that you give a few dollars to the cause* (ranging between $1 - $5 per session). Seems like a good deal, right?

We have a diverse list of experts that have signed up so far, and I love seeing not all of it is technically based. Do you have a burning desire to learn how to:
  • Jumpstart your organization with solid business practices?
  • Set up a Wordpress blog?
  • Utilize Search Engine Optimization ('SEO')?
  • Videoblog?
  • Build a community and garner awareness?
  • Expand services with software/website development?
  • Ensure you have a kick ass BBQ?
Have mad skills that are not yet represented here? Sign up as an expert and share them with the world. Well, at least a select few in San Francisco (smile).

We could use a few more folks signing up to LEARN something, otherwise Seth Mazow and I will be running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to fill in the spots. :) NOTE: It does not have to match what is on the 'offering' list right now. It can be ANYTHING, as you never know who in the room knows what.

So, if you are coming, I would like to encourage you to first register, then let us know what you are offering or seeking (or both). We are just trying to get a general sense of the topics before the event starts to help expedite the setup process.

Hope to see you there!

* The cause will be the charity that receives the most votes during a survey at the event. It will not be BrainJams - unless you guys vote on it as you would like to see more of these events happen. :)

Technorati tags: brainjams:expert1 brainjams:rentanexpert1 rentanexpert brainjamsbrainjams19july2006
networking sharing learning buildingcommunity

Friday, July 14, 2006

I love when a band surprises me

I love the Foo Fighters. I mean, really love the Foo Fighters.

I love how creative they get in their videos. I love the lyrics to their songs. I love how crazy they can get on the stage (the boys can really rock out). I love watching Dave Grohl interact with the crowd during concerts. I love how everytime I see them - I find myself dreaming about what it would be like to sit around a camp fire sucking back beers and shooting the shit with them. I know, I know. I am a goofball. :)

And I love how one time I see them they are hard core rockers bouncing all over the stage - and the next time they are sitting on the stage with a mini orchestra, playing the same music - acoustically. And the acoustic is good people. Really good. Especially when Dave belted out my favorite song, Everlong. Wow. He really blew me away. And I will admit, I was a tad bit surprised just how good the acoustic set was. But I am now a believer.

Both concerts left me wanting more. Both made me realize I need to see them EVERY time they roll into town. Rocking. Acoustic. Whatever. I am a Foo lover forever.

Photo Credit: Chris Heuer

Technorati tags: foofighters concert acousticconcert foofightersfanclub foofightersfan

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Squidlist gets a face lift

I love the Squid list as it keeps me up to date with some really fun, though sometimes quirky, events around the Bay Area. Sure I still use Upcoming.org, but Upcoming to me is more for business events and concert information. The Squid list allows me to see into the cultural side of the Bay Area.

The one thing I never liked about the Squid list was the 50+ emails I would get weekly as each event carried it own notice. But Scott has answered my prayers (albeit silent ones) and restructured the way he communicates the email announcements to combine all listings into one daily synopsis. This is fabulous! I can scan the list easily and I don't have to sift through 50 emails to find what I want. Oh happy day! Talk about a major improvement. Thank you!

And in case you were curious what the new list looks like, here is the update I received today:

Upcoming Events on the Squid List
Airplane! The Movie - A Burning Man Theme Camp Fundraiser - 07/15/2006
BrainJams - Rent an Expert - 07/19/2006 (our little event - make sure you sign up!)
Burning Man Desert Art Preview - 07/12/2006
Godfellas-The San Francisco Mime Troupe - 07/15/2006
Jazz Singer Miss Henry Wig with Michael Parsons Trio - 07/15/2006
John Rendon at The Long Now - 07/14/2006
N.O.I.C. Night of Irreverent Cinema - 07/12/2006
NextArts Presents: 'The Sock It To Me Concert' - 07/15/2006
Screenprint Poster Art: New Work from the SF Print Collective - 07/15/2006
YBCA's Opening Night Party for Cosmic Wonder and Sampling Oakland - 07/14/2006

Upcoming Multiple Date Events (Click to View All Dates):
Crucible's 6th Annual Fire Arts Festival
Shakespeare in the Park: The Tempest

You can browse all 50 upcoming events or sign up to receive automatic announcements at

Congrats again Scott. It really is a wonderful enhancement.

Technorati tags: laughingsquid squidlist events eventlistings

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

BrainJams partners with the NCDD

Talking. Listening. Sharing. Teaching. Learning. Collaborating.

I love when organizations get together to serve the greater good. Gets me all gooey inside.

I am pleased as punch to announce a special BrainJams event co-presented by Chris Heuer and Beth Kanter that will take place on Thursday, August 3rd at the Parc 55 hotel on Cyril Magnin Street in San Francisco.

This event is being held in partnership with the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation ('NCDD') and will cover how the dialogue & deliberation field can benefit from open source, Internet and Web 2.0 technology. Specifically designed for beginners and seasoned internet users alike, this event will offer an opportunity to learn directly from technologists who will join us for a day of demonstrations and conversations.

Registration is now open (there is a $25 fee for this BrainJams - I have a couple of free passes if you get to me quickly).

Also, if open dialogue and collaboration excites you, I would plan to join us at the NCDD's 2006 National Conference taking place at the Parc55 hotel on August 4th - 6th.

Technorati tags: brainjams brainjams03August2006 brainjams:sanfrancisco ncdd unconference networking collaborating

I am just meant to have short hair

I love looking at photo albums and seeing the various hairstyles I have had over the last 20 years. They really do run the gamut - short and choppy, medium length bob, long and curly.

The funny thing is, over all this time, I have never found a style that feels good to me. I have found some I like a lot, but nothing that makes me think this is 'the one'. What usually happens is:
  • It gets long - I cut it short.
  • It is short, I get the itch to grow it long.
  • I use extensions to get me through the growing out phase.
  • I cut it short again as I realize long hair doesn't look good on me.

So creature of habit, most of you I have been trying to grow it out again.

Now, I don't know what the actual turning point was, but today it finally sunk in that I am not meant to have long, glamourous hair. Just not in my genes (thanks mom). My hair is super fine. Girls with super fine hair need to keep shorter styles. Ok, ok. I get it. Enough fighting what mother nature cursed me with (oops, I mean gave me) and off to the salon I go.

And then it happens - the hair cut I was meant to have. Just like that. With a stylist you have never met before too. It is a funny feeling. You are sitting in the chair chatting away on nothing in particular and then you look up. The perfect hair cut. The one you have been searching for all your life. Staring back at you in the mirror. Wow.

Floating on Cloud 9, you skip all the way home, excited to share your new look with your loved one.

You walk up the stairs grinning ear to ear and when your loved one sees you - he smiles - then he tells you he doesn't like it. Fuck. Oh well. Can't blame him for being honest. He is the type of boy who likes long hair. He, unfortunately for him, loves a girl with super fine hair.

So he will deal with it as I am keeping my style. I love it...and that is all that matters in the long run.

NOTE: Blogger is acting up again and won't add my photos. Will post if I can get it to work. Otherwise you will just have to wait to see me in person. :)

Technorati tags: haircut perfecthaircut newlook hairstyles

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Did I mention he was the most amazing man in the whole wide world?

I have been so frustrated lately in trying to find the 'perfect' location for our wedding, that I lost site of the most important piece...

It is not where it is, but the fact that Chris and I be standing at the alter together - hand in hand - committed - loving each other with every fiber in our being. Plain and simple.

Thank you muffin. Your 15 words rocked my world. I am such a lucky girl to have you by my side and I cannot wait to celebrate our big day - no matter where it is.

I love you.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Happy PRE-Anniversary muffin

Wow. One year from today I will be slipping a ring onto my consort's finger and he will 'officially' become my husband.

I say 'officially', as in my eyes, Chris is already my husband / partner / life mate. He is the one who holds my heart, and the man I wish to spend the rest of my life with, so I don't need a silly piece of paper to tell me this. But it will make mom happy, so I guess we will suck it up and be 'traditional'...just this once. :)

I love you baby. Happy PRE-Anniversary.

Technorati tags: anniversary wedding gettingmarried preanniversary

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Advice if you are filing for Unemployment Insurance

'Unemployment is of vital importance, particularly to the unemployed'. Wise words from Edward Heath.

So one of the benefits of being laid off is you can
file for unemployment insurance (if you quit - you don't get it) which can be helpful in ensuring bills (well, some at least) get paid and we don't have to eat Top Ramen every day.

Of course there are other benefits to being laid off - such as not having to get up before 8am or needing to shower before 11am, but I won't be covering those in this post. No, this one is all about the
Employment Development Department ('EDD'), and some pieces of advice I feel important to share to make sure others who need to file a claim have a smooth transaction.

The things I like about the EDD, is they have a system in place that if you follow their rules exactly - checks will show up on your doorstep weekly - and getting paid weekly rocks! Of course, I'd like to get paid MORE weekly, but I guess that means I need to get my butt back to work...

The thing I don't like about the EDD, is if you deviate even one little teeny tiny bit from their 'rules' - all hell breaks loose, and the system comes to a complete halt. Seriously. They are not prepared, and do not have the resources available, to handle deviations to their program. It totally sends them into a tailspin that is extremely hard to recover from.

So what was my little deviation you ask? (as you know I speak from experience)...

...missing my Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment ('REA') appointment. Seems if you miss this (which happens within the third week of filing a claim), your file is closed and checks stop - immediately. Of course you don't realize it at the time. You notice the check didn't come one week, but figure something happened at the post office. Stupidly you do nothing as you think it will simply show up in a couple of days. Wrong.

Fast forward to five weeks and 15+ phone calls later, I finally find out they closed my claim as I missed my REA appointment and I need to talk to a manager to plead my case and get them to reopen my claim. Sure. Seems simple enough. But just try getting them on the phone. The EDD phone system has a limit as to how many people can be waiting in queue at a time, so most of the time they are swamped and the phone hangs up on you. No ability to leave a message. No option to keep holding. It simply hangs up on you. There are 1000's of people with nothing else to do but call them, so getting a live person on the phone can take hours - sometimes days.

Thankfully today, I finally had the opportunity to speak with a manager and supposedly my claim has been reopened and five weeks worth of checks will be cut this week. I am told it was good I called in as it seems there are so many claims going through the office on a daily basis, there isn't enough staff to handle it quickly. If you don't call, you have to wait until they can 'get around to it' which could have meant I would have been waiting another five weeks for resolution and payment...

Now all I have to do is wait for the postman.

I honestly feel sorry for the folks at the EDD. An insider told me most of them work for $15/hour and their day is filled with calls from irrate people looking for their checks. That cannot be easy. I have thick skin and I can't imagine doing that day in and day out. Add to this the EDD has been understaffed for well over three years which has only compounded the problem. They just don't have the resources to handle the flow of claims they get on a monthly basis. This is horrible. How can we expect anything to ever get done in this environment?

So they tell me to write a letter to our governor. You know what? I will. Yes, Arnold is going to hear from Kiki. Goingto get an earful actually. Holding checks for five weeks because you don't have the staff needed to review the claims is inexcusable. What is happening to our state? I know this is not the only department suffering...where are all our tax dollars going? What if I was living paycheck to paycheck? What if I couldn't pay my rent or put food on my table? I don't care you are understaffed. I am trying to correct a problem and you are making it extremely difficult to do so.

I guess I should stop with my rant.

Things seem to be getting back on track for me, so I thought I would share a few suggestions to those getting ready to file a claim as I wish to prevent what happened to me:

(1) Read the 'welcome' pack front to back. There will be an appointment request buried in there (think mine was eight to nine pages back) that you MUST attend. You miss this appointment - you might as well come on over and hang out with me as we wait for our claims to be reopened. Nothing is as important as this appointment. Remember this.

(2) Complete each weekly report fully and remember to sign the form. Your claim payment will be delayed if you forget to sign. Make sure you do not return the form before the week you are reporting on is over. (i.e. week ends on Sunday 7/9/06 - do not mail the form before Monday 7/10/06 or they may stop your check).

(3) If you don't receive a check within 10 days, something is wrong. Call them. Their phone system will tell you when the last check was issued, so if it was more than a week ago - get a live body on the phone to tell you what is going on. Don't wait two-three weeks like I did as that then turns into five-six weeks and you will find yourself wondering 'chicken Top Ramen tonight or beef'?

I hope this helps. I have so much more I wish to say on this matter, but will refrain as I don't want them to stop my checks again.

07/07/06 UPDATE: I called the system today and it tells me a check was cut this morning for all missing weeks (5). Should be up to date as of early next week. Yahoo!

07/10/06 UPDATE: Checks arrived today and I am now current. Now, let this be a lesson...follow the rules. Well, the EDD's rules anyway.

Technorati tags: edd unemployment unemploymentinsurance unemploymentoffice reappt

Monday, July 03, 2006

Passionate about media and communications?

What happens when you get a couple of fellas in the room who are passionate about media, user experience and easy dissimiliation of data? You get the New Media Release project, the first undertaking for the Social Media Club, and a perfect way for us to launch the new organization.

We will be working on the standard press release (considering the name of 'hRelease' as we will be using Microformats to ensure standardization). Working to not only integrate podcasts and vlogs, but to set best practices on the text, tags and labels used for the company information so interested parties can retrieve the data quickly and easily.

Tom has asked Chris to coordinate the conversations around this topic, and anyone who wishes to be involved in developing industry standards and setting best practices with regards to media and communications can sign up on the Google group to offer their insights, comments and samples of work.

To read more on the New Media Release project, check out the blogs for Chris and Tom and the New Media Release discussion board.

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