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Webconsuls 2009 Winter Newsletter


Thursday December 24, 2009

Reading Time: 13 minutes

Webconsuls Newsletter, Winter 2009, 4th Quarter

With the holidays upon us, we wanted to take a few minutes to wish all of our clients a happy and healthy New Year. This newsletter will take you down memory lane as Webconsuls turns 10 years old, spotlighting those clients who have been with us for those 10 years, welcoming new clients and sharing some milestones.

Webconsuls turns 10!

Dick and Dennis actually met at an ARCO Business Seminar in June 1981; however, their careers took them on different paths. It was not until October 1999 when Dick and Dennis met again and decided to form Webconsuls.

Dennis likes to recall how Webconsuls came to be…he was recently interviewed by http://www.arcoalumni.com/ and here is their article:

ARCO Alumni Dennis Helfand and Dick Fay built entirely new careers post ARCO. Their focus is to help commercial clients “generate new and/or additional revenues through web presence marketing.” Says Helfand, “We transitioned from a ‘hobby’ to a serious business enterprise very quickly. Webconsuls currently has about 90 clients across the US and a few based in Asia and Europe”.

Having been Director of Public Affairs and Field Operations, at ARCO, Helfand took the 1985 Early Retirement Package at ARCO Alaska, “my wife and I bought a 120-bed country inn resort in New Hampshire’s White Mountains National Forest area, which we operated from 1986 until 1997. In the mid 1990’s, while at the inn, I became interested in learning about marketing the property via the Internet and pursued this activity with great interest. When we sold the inn, we were already realizing quite a bit of revenue from internet-generated leads.”

After relocating to Newport Beach, CA, a number of my former NH-based competitors (friends nonetheless) contacted me to market their facilities over the internet. This became a sort of hobby, earning a few dollars here and there in the process. Then two serendipitous events occurred.

  1. An inn owner and close friend had been trying to sell his property through Realtors. There were very few prospects and not a single serious buyer. I suggested selling his property over the Internet for a “marketing fee.” This was in 1998 and I believe it may have been one of the first commercial property sales via the Internet. Best of all, my web marketing fee amounted to just about one percent of the total sales price!

2.  The second fortuitous event was meeting my former Crude Supply Manager for lunch in 1998. I asked him about Dick Fay (W. Richard Fay) from ARCO Transportation Company. He said Dick recently retired and was looking to do something new and interesting.

The rest is history. Webconsuls.com was established in 1999. We formed an LLC and got serious very quickly. On-Line courses and technical publications gave us new skill sets and we gradually acquired outside specialists to assist us as our business grew. My wife Judy, a business analyst in the information technology field joined Webconsuls in November 2006.

We have seen our business thrive and look forward to continued growth and new experiences.

Clients come and go…
Over the past 10 years Webconsuls’ team has had the privilege to work with over 300 clients in a variety of industries. Each client is unique and that is what makes web design, SEO and SMO so interesting and vital. Judy recently looked back to see which clients started with Webconsuls in the Fall of 1999 and of those which ones are still our clients. Interestingly enough, there are four! They are New Hampshire Campground Association, Motorcars East, Newport Channel Inn and Edna Deeb Law.

Here are some interesting facts from Webconsuls first business quarter: 22 clients, nine California clients, nine New Hampshire clients, four Connecticut clients, 31 invoices!

New Clients round out our base…
We are happy to introduce you to our newest clients and we invite you to check out their websites.

Celebrate a New Life **

Creative Care

Green Clean OC **

Hardline 830 **

Law Office of Carilyn Ibsen **

Promises Foundation

Rockport Inn & Suites

Snap Out of It Now

Surfing Heritage Foundation **

We are also working on either new sites or redesigns for

Savoir Faire Language Institute

Forrest General Healthcare Foundation

Executive Maintenance

Wallace Physical Therapy

Law Office of Salvatore Ciulla

The Internet Grows and Evolves

Dick Fay remembers how when they first started in 2000 Webconsuls could make some small changes to a site and viola! the site would be on the first page of Alta Vista. The number of competitors to most sites was measured in the hundreds, pay per click was in its infancy with something called Overture, Google was an upstart, and no one had heard of Social Marketing. Potential clients were trying to decide if they “needed” a web site. Websites themselves were usually static and straightforward.

Now some clients face thousands or millions of competitors for key terms, Google has about 70% of the search engine marketplace, pay per click is huge and requires expert management to be successful. Clients are deciding when to redesign their web site to keep it up to date with the available technology. Facebook, Twitter, blogs and video are staples of many successful businesses whose owners work hand in hand with Webconsuls to grow their business.

Webconsuls Grows and Evolves

Webconsuls has also grown and evolved over the last 10 years. We have added a third partner, Judy Helfand. The entire team keeps up with the latest in Search Engine Optimization. We have added specialists in web design, pay per click, social media, and link building. We have redesigned our web site several times to reflect our growing business. We have added a blog and links to news feeds on Search Engine Marketing and Social Media. Check them out:

Search Engine Optimization

Social Media Optimization

You can also follow us on Twitter

Let us know if you have a twitter account and would like us to follow you.

Webconsuls’ Team News…

As most of you know Malik Moosa-Soomar, our web development specialist and designer, was married to Zaheen Allibhoy on April 11, 2009. Dennis, Judy, Dick and Fran were happy to attend their wedding celebration in Austin, TX. Speaking of weddings, Dick and Fran were married February 20, 2009. Keith Hansen, our pay-per-click specialist, and his wife, Diana, welcomed a baby boy, Layne, on April 26, 2009.

We are happy to welcome Alycia Kaczuwka as our new Social Media expert. Alycia is working with our clients focusing on brand-building using tools like blogs/RSS, Facebook, Twitter and social bookmarking. She brings her extensive background in audience development and website design to social tools to keep the SMO process in focus as an integrated part of a web-based marketing plan. In addition, Alycia has a comprehensive background in web analytics using Google Analytics and Omniture to measure campaign performance and return on investment.

Happy Holidays

This year rather than send a small gift to our clients we are making donations to the following:

Olive Crest Homes and Services for Abused Children
Since 1973, Olive Crest has transformed the lives of over 50,000 abused, neglected, and at-risk children and their families.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Midcoast Maine
The vision of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Midcoast Maine is successful mentoring relationships for youth in Knox, Lincoln and Waldo Counties, contributing to better schools, stronger communities and brighter future.

The Promises Foundation Miriam’s House
The Promises Foundation is committed to restoring hope for families by creating a safe environment for mothers and their children to grow and develop the tools they require to live meaningful and self-sufficient lives.

Sincerely,

Dick, Dennis and Judy

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This is Mother’s Day weekend…my mom, Marie Julia Lynch Eagen, passed away three years ago next month. But today I thought I would share with you how I remember Mom. Below is the eulogy I wrote for my mother’s funeral on June 23, 2006.

“It is not easy to capture the essence of our mother. She came into this world with her twin sister on March 23, 1918. Born to Irish immigrants Humphrey and Margaret McCarthy Lynch in Butte, Montana, they were named Julia Marie and Josephine Agnes Lynch. They were, we are told, born at home and premature, so small that they were each placed gently in a shoe box and set near the oven to keep warm. They were not expected to survive. But today we gather to honor her 88 years as a woman, a faithful sister, a loving wife, a nurturing mother, a caring grandmother and great-grandmother, a kind aunt, a good citizen, and to all of us a loyal friend.

If I had to use one word to describe our mother it would be “principled”. She selected certain principles to live by and believed strongly in passing those principles to each of us. If you knew her for just a short time or for most of her adult life, you know the principles that I am referring to…faith, education, discipline, music, work ethic, and dedication to husband, family, friends, community, volunteerism, and her church. From the time she was very young she was legally blind in one eye. She wore glasses at a very young age and suffered from scarlet fever. When she was 18 she moved to Great Falls, MT and enrolled in nursing college. She was determined to be educated and self-sufficient. In 1938 she graduated as a registered nurse and proudly practiced and kept her license in force until past the age of 80.

She married daddy in 1942, they were 24 and she was the consummate naval officer’s wife, never complaining, living in less than perfect conditions during the remainder of World War II and caring for three small daughters alone throughout the Korean War, making a home in National City. Around 1952 daddy was transferred to Fort Campbell, KY, and we all traveled by train to live on an Army base. Sadly, daddy’s military career ended when he suffered a series of heart attacks and was forced to retire. In 1954 we returned to National City, back to our little two bedroom home on east 17th street. Daddy retired and mom returned to full time nursing, supporting a family of five. In 1955, at the age of 37 she became pregnant with Michael and we all giggled with joy. Daddy bought a Gulf Service Station and we moved to new neighborhood to await the birth of Michael. On a rainy December 8, 1960, we moved to our last family home on “N” Avenue. The move had to be stopped so that daddy could make sure we all went to mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a holy day of obligation, and our mother would not accept us not being in attendance. It was the principle! For 42 years that was our home.

I have never understood how she and daddy afforded to educate all of us in parochial schools, each with eight years at St. Mary’s, their three daughters at Cathedral Girl’s High School and Michael at St. Augustine’s, but they did and we learned the value of a good education and with their help we all went to college. To complement this education she insisted, sometimes against daddy’s resistance, that we all learn to play a musical instrument and be able to perform in public. For hours upon hours the girls would take turns at the piano and when Michael was old enough, he learned to play the trumpet. I believe it was more about the experience and the desire that we be well rounded that drove this principle or could it have been those recitals every year that would result from the early hours of diligent practice?

She taught us to sew our own clothes, she taught us the importance of buying good shoes, she taxied us to the orthodontist for more than twelve years to insure that we each had perfect “occlusion” and to guarantee those Irish smiles. At her insistence we all learned to type and homework was an evening ritual that she made sure we completed on our own. If we didn’t know how to spell a word, she would very simply say, “Look it up!” and hand us the dictionary. Maybe this is why we all play scrabble and dabble at crossword puzzles.

Over the years, she celebrated our accomplishments, she danced at our weddings, cradled our babies, and found a way to regularly visit each of us, no matter how far away our careers or marriages took us. She proved to be the best mother-in-law one could ask for, always supportive but never intruding or offering advice(or almost never), perhaps truly living her principle “if you don’t have something good to say, don’t say anything at all!”

Daddy died March 27, 1979. Mom was alone, but she found interesting ways to fill her life. She continued her membership in the EAGLES’ Women’s Auxiliary, became active as a RED CROSS volunteer, worked a part time job as a school nurse, served as a precinct worker for San Diego County, dedicated herself to her friends, always willing to offer an hand to one in need of her services, and remained involved with the St. Mary’s Parish.

Today, we are here in St. Mary’s where two of her children were baptized, all celebrated their first communion, all were confirmed, three were married and daddy’s funeral mass was celebrated. Mom came into this parish as a young married woman with two small children and for more than 50 years she came back to this chapel at least once a week and practiced her principle of faith. She leaves us today, with her extended family now numbering 28.

We will not say good-bye today, but simply good-night to Marie, mommy, mom, mother, grandma, ommy, auntie, and friend. Forever a part of each of us, we will remember her winning smile, her blue eyes, and her innate ability to size up a situation and stand on her principles. She will join our daddy, her brothers, and her parents. Today, June 23rd, is the 89th anniversary of her parents’ wedding. She will be home in time to celebrate with them and to once again be held in the loving arms of her Joe.”

The photo above is of my mother and my oldest sister, Joann. It was taken in Butte, MT, in 1944,the year my mom became a Mom. 65 years ago!!

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I missed my blog post last week because of wedding celebrations in Austin, TX. It was last Saturday on April 11th, 2009, when Zaheen and I had our wedding reception. The wedding went great and it was probably the first in our culture that everything went on time! Usually food is not served until 11pm or even 12am but at our reception it was served before 9pm.

We had guests fly in from all over including Dick, his spouse Francene, Dennis, and Judy from our Webconsuls team. It meant a lot to me that they came and experienced two out of the five days of an Indian/Pakistani wedding. From Zaheen’s side we had family from India and Canada fly in. Friends from Oklahoma drove and others from California, Arizona, and Atlanta had flown in to join us in celebrating our journey in a new life together.

I will have pictures to post in next month’s blog once I get them from the photographer but I do have portraits that we took at Zilker Botanical Garden. My brother-in-law, Nooruddin Gheewala, took it for us at no charge and did an EXCELLENT job with his Nikon D-60 D-SLR.

Everyone told us that the wedding week will end very fast and you will think to yourself, “I can’t believe I spent that much time and money in executing the events when each is all over in few hours”. I am proud to say Zaheen and I don’t feel that way at all. Instead of greeting the guests the entire night and sitting up on a stage to take photos with the family and friends we danced the night away. We made it our night to remember and had the time of our lives.

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There is an old joke (and kind of sick joke) that defines a recession as when your neighbor loses his job and a depression as when you lose your job.

In my area of Southern California housing prices are down but certainly not as steep as in other areas of the region. Many people that I talk to say that there business is off but that they are holding it together. Some see a small upturn recently.

Last weekend we were in Austin, Texas for Malik and Zaheen’s wedding. There is considerable construction in downtown Austin and much of it seemed to be apartment buildings. A local businessman that we met said his March 2009 was better than his March 2008. Austin is home to the University of Texas and is the state capital. One would expect that large university towns and seats of government are less impacted by economic cycles (good and bad) than areas with a strictly industrial base. Austin, of course, also has some industry and considerable high tech, the home of Dell for example.

What is it like where you live? Is there a recession or a depression in your area? Do you see an economy that is really down or one that is just somewhat off? Any signs of recovery in your area?

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On February 26, 2009, our team member, Malik Moosa-Soomar, wrote about the traditions of an Indian / Pakistani wedding. Well, this is the big week for Malik and Zaheen. Their April Wedding in Austin!

Yesterday April 10, 2009, Dick and Francene Fay and Dennis and I were honored to be invited to day two of Malik and Zaheen’s wedding celebration. Day two is the Pithi and Sangeet event.

Enjoy the photo of Malik and Zaheen taken last evening.

I would write more today, but I am having computer problems. Tonight we will be attending the day three of the celebration wedding dinner and reception.

“There is no long distance about love, it always finds a way to bring hearts together no matter how many miles there are between them.”

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Growing up in the states you see that every little girl dreams of her wedding of how it will be and all the details in her head as she grows up. In India or Pakistan, traditionally, the parents would plan their children’s weddings and back in the days arranged marriages were more common. Today, majority of the weddings are love marriages where the bride and groom find each other (the normal way).

A wedding from my culture is a bit more of a headache that will push you to go for a drive-thru wedding in Vegas. Our weddings last for several days. After reading Dick’s post on the cost break-down of his and Fran’s wedding, I almost felt like crying realizing the difference in his wedding and my traditional wedding. Let me give you the breakdown of what how I have come to see a semi-traditional wedding in my culture.

Mehndi (Henna Tattoo)

Day 1 – Mehndi. The Mehndi (known as Henna) is a temporary tattoo that the bride, family, and friends put on their hands and some on their feet on special occasions (particularly at weddings). I personally hate the smell of it, some people actually like it.

Day 2 – Pithi. The Pithi ceremony is the day before the wedding. It involves rubbing a paste made of chickpea flour, turmeric, or rose water on the bride and groom. This is great for the skin and evens out the skin tone the day before the wedding. The family takes turns in putting some of it on and over the years this tradition has evolved to friends coming together towards the end and egging the groom and messing him up with all sorts of different grocery items such as eggs, flour, syrup, ketchup, mustard, etc… Sad to say only the groom goes through this un-eventful process =/. After all this mess is done, we dance away and in some weddings play Dandiya which is done so with two sticks hitting each other (sounds ridiculous but is quite fun).

Day 3a – Nikah (Nikkah). The Nikah ceremony is simply a contract between the bride and groom in the Muslim religion. I find it to be equivalent to the marriage license from a judge or justice of peace. This ceremony is only for those within the religion and close family and takes place before the reception itself.

Day 3b – Reception. This is similar to how white weddings (traditional western wedding) are celebrated with dinner and dance party. We have the cake cutting ceremony followed by the first dance and a traditional father daughter dance (taken from the American culture) leading to a night to remember (so they say).

Day 4 – Satada (Rukhsati) – Just when you thought it was over there is one final day. This day is for close family only where the bride is acknowledged to have left her family to go in to the groom’s side of the family. This day has a lot of crying as the parents of the bride realize her daughter is going away. It’s also viewed as the first lunch/dinner with the two families together and the bride and groom have consummated their marriage.

One day I left out which is the court ceremony. We have decided to do our court ceremony on the same week as our reception so that Zaheen (my fiance) could wear a close to traditional white dress at the court room.

So this sums up my interpretation for a five day wedding. I’ll be going through this process this April and will write about my experience afterwards.

What are some traditions you follow for weddings?

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On February 20th Francene Miyake and I were married. We are very happy, thanks.

Hawaiian Theme Wedding


At this stage of our lives neither needed or wanted a large wedding and major reception. We originally planned just going to see a judge and having a very simple ceremony in his chambers. We later decided on a ceremony at our home. The only guests would be family, the woman who introduced us, and her family – a total of eighteen guests.

We chose a Hawaiian theme. Francene was born in Hawaii and our yard has a look that is somewhat tropical. We also knew of two restaurants that had great Hawaiian food available for take-out.

This type of wedding can be done much less expensively than a more traditional event. And the guests all said they loved it. With a small wedding there is less pressure on everyone. It started on time and was short and sweet. We are just as married as if we had said our vows in front of 200 people and spent a small fortune on the reception. Having the reception at home allowed the teen age boys to play games in the family room, the adults to talk at the table, and the six year old to go back and forth between all generations.

Here are some out of pocket cost breakdowns. You might want to compare them to a wedding you financed.

Item How Done Incremental Cost
Save The Date Mailing EMail $0
Invitation EMail $0
RSVP EMail $0
Bride’s Dress Closet $0
Groom’s Clothes Closet $0
Flower Girl’s Dress Target $15
Flowers 3 Leis $100
Wedding Site Home $0
Judge Friend $0
Reception Site Home $0
Reception Plates, etc Paper with Hawaiian Theme $10
Reception Food Hawaiian Take Out $350
Reception Drink Beer and Wine $150
Photographer and Pictures Groom and Guest’s Digitals $0

So the total was about $625.

Click here for the full size official wedding picture from my camera:

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If you are a regular reader of the Webconsuls’ blog, then perhaps yesterday you saw Keith Hansen’s post about love and marriage. Keith addressed the subject of how to know when you have found “the one” and you are ready for marriage. I am happy to report that love is in the air at Webconsuls. Dick Fay and Francene Miyake were married yesterday, February 20, 2009.

Today, on behalf of the Webconsuls’ team, I would like to congratulate Dick and Fran on the occasion of their wedding. I am dedicating this post to them.

I am not sure when Dick and Fran first met, but I came to know them as a couple about 10 years ago. I actually met Dick in June 1981, when he and Dennis were both attending an ARCO executive training seminar. But it wasn’t until Dennis and I returned to California in 1997 that Dennis and Dick reconnected and eventually formed Webconsuls.

But back to the happy couple…and a wonderfully interesting couple they are. Here is what I can tell you about them:
*Dick and Fran are fiercely loyal to their alma maters, Dick to Villanova and Duke, Fran to University of Southern California (USC). (I try not to call Dick the day after a critical loss!)
*They enjoy attending USC home games.
*Fran is an avid gardener.
*Dick is an avid golfer.
*Dick enjoys photography.
*They are both great with numbers. Dick has a masters in Applied Statistics and Fran, I believe, is a CPA.
*They are inquisitive and love to read.
*They both enjoy traveling to exotic places. (Think “Following the Equator” by Mark Twain,1897)

Today as I was preparing this post I thought about finding a beautiful quotation about marriage. Mark Twain is usually a good source for meaningful observations about life. I learned that Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) married Olivia Langdon 139 years ago this month! On September 8, 1869, Twain sent the following message to Olivia:

“This 4th of February will be the mightiest day in the history of our lives, the holiest, and the most generous toward us both–for it makes of two fractional lives a whole; it gives to two purposeless lives a work, and doubles the strength of each whereby to perform it; it gives to two questioning natures a reason for living, and something to live for; it will give a new gladness to the sunshine, a new fragrance to the flower, a new beauty to the earth, a new mystery to life; and Livy it will give a new revelation to love, a new depth to sorrow, a new impulse to worship. In that day the scales will fall from our eyes and we shall look upon a new world. Speed it!”

I hope you will enjoy today’s photo album. The first photo is of Dick and Fran in Kenya 2004, taken on the equator. Photo two is of Dick and Fran on their trip to the Arctic 2006.

 

You will notice there is nothing technical about this blog, it is Saturday morning and love is in the air. Today is about two really nice people, Dick and Fran. Here’s to our friends, to a new gladness to the sunshine, a new fragrance to the flowers…and a new world together. Speed it, indeed!

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I was talking with a friend this week, who had just had a falling out with a long-time girlfriend and considered the relationship over for good.  In short, the friend was depressed from failed relationships and the notion of settling.  I insisted settling is worse than being alone- or a least that is my argument.

A recent article, from Yahoo’s ‘Dating 101’ series describes these 5 factors that make a man ready for marriage:
1. The Capacity to Love
2. Being Able to Accept Imperfection
3. He Truly Believes in Commitment
4. He’s Sure He Can Be the Man
5. He’s Tired of Playing Around
Again, these aren’t my points, but the argument made is an interesting one.
My take instead, is best paraphrased from the late and great Dr. Randy Pausch regarding knowing if you (male or female) are ready and ‘this is the one’.  Pausch says, you know you have true love when ‘their (your partner’s) happiness is more important to you than your own’.
Truer words were never spoken on the subject in my experience.  Please pass along your own sentiments as advice if you have some.  If it helped you, it could help others in a tough situation.

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Reading Time: 7 minutes

 

pig statue

Every year I take on the “joyous” task of composing a holiday letter and creating a photo greeting card. Why I send holiday greeting cards other than to say I have completed a project, is that it gives me a sense of continuity. I have been responsible for this family missive for at least 30 years; however, due to circumstances beyond my control there have been at least two years that I missed, namely 1999 and 2003.

In 1985 I started the tradition of including a holiday photo of our family. We stood in front of the Eastern Slope Inn in North Conway, NH, Aaron was not quite five and Dan was just a few months shy of two. And so over the years, we have tried to gather for one quick moment to capture the memory of our years together. As time went by, I created funny little messages, as opposed to just saying “Holiday Greetings”. For example…the photo card you see here from 1989 ~ since we were gathered with the menagerie, my greeting said “Hogs and kisses two ewe!”

Our friends and relatives grew accustomed to this tradition and in the two years that I missed sending cards, we received phone calls, letters, and emails inquiring as to whether or not we were “OK”. Even yesterday, when we received a card from some very dear friends, she wrote on the bottom of her card: “We’re looking forward to your holiday news.”

Can you feel the pressure put on me? I hope so.

Steve Hendrix of the Washington Post said it best this week: “To the average mother, the entire social construct hangs on a once-a-year exchange of cardboard with best friends from third grade, long-ago piano teachers and cousins so far out on the family tree that they might be another branch of primates all together. And all the better if the missive includes a recent photo of the offspring (bonus points for one taken at a ski resort) and a whitewashed summary of the year’s family news.”

I received a lot of bonus points over the years as we owned a Country Inn in a ski resort town, so capturing a snowy scene was usually easy, and I have been known for not “whitewashing” the family news.

This yearly event has gotten more expensive, I don’t even want to discuss what it cost this year, with the cost of postage ($.15 per item in 1978 when Dennis and I married, and now $.42, which represents an increase of 180% over 30 years) and photo production rising as well. And I won’t mention the physical hours it takes for this production, I figure at least 15-20 hours for the whole process. It will take me a while to give up on this tradition.

I know we have blogs, email, telephones, text messaging, YouTube videos and Google videos, but there is nothing like waiting for the postman to arrive during the month of December. I look forward to hearing from friends and families. I read their letters, become slightly insulted if the card only contains a signature. I love the photos and, yes, I save the photos. It is fun to look at them and see how everyone has grown up, out, old, gray, etc. Just this week a card came from our dear neighbors from North Conway. And in the beautiful photograph appeared Eric and Matt Phillips all grown up, this year’s photo taken at Matt’s wedding to Molly. We first met Eric and Matt in 1986…and we enjoyed the photo and their mom’s letter.

Here you can enjoy my 2008 Holiday Greeting Photo…a few minutes in time.

 

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I’m looking for a wedding band I would like on my finger for the rest of my life. In doing some research online and in B&M stores, I’ve come to realize that Tungsten is quite the trend.

I found the best thing for me was to do a side by side comparison with all the metals.

White Gold:Stronger than platinum, wear better than platinum and gold, scratches easily, and half the price of platinum.

Platinum: Expensive, better finish/color than White Gold, scratches very easily.

Titanium: VERY light weight (light as aluminum), strong (lasts longer than white gold and platinum). Durable and will never lose its color. Hypo allergic (good to know if you are allergic to certain metals such as gold, white gold, or platinum). Cannot be re-sized.

Tungsten: Very heavy metal. 4 to 5 times stronger than Titanium, cannot be re-sized Make sure to purchase a Cobalt Free Tungsten Carbide ring. Cobalt can react to your skin possibly causing your finger to turn green and the ring will form oxidation spots that cannot be removed or polished. Tungsten Carbide rings have a lifetime warranty; They cannot get scratched and will always look new. One way of knowing if it is a Tungsten Carbide is by looking for detailed carvings inside, if it has this then you might not want to buy it.

After having done all the research, I myself am leaning towards a Tungsten primarily because it always maintains a new scratch-free look.

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For years I was a fan of the television show “Everybody Loves Raymond”. Even today if I just want to take a break I might tune in to watch a rerun of this show. One of my favorite episodes was #171 which first aired in 2003. If you are a fan, you might remember “Robert’s Wedding” as a day when Marie Barone (Robert’s mother)interrupts the wedding ceremony as the minister asks if anyone knows of a reason why Robert and Amy should not be married. Later at the reception Raymond is asked to give a toast which was probably one of the most touching scenes of the entire series. Referring to his mother’s interruption of the wedding ceremony, Raymond opens his toast by saying: “I think I know one thing that can make this day all better…editing. When all is said and done we will only remember the good stuff. I think you’re gonna remember about today what you want to remember.”

Editing as defined by Websters means:1 a: to prepare (as literary material) for publication or public presentation b: to assemble (as a moving picture or tape recording) by cutting and rearranging c: to alter, adapt, or refine especially to bring about conformity to a standard or to suit a particular purpose .

Editing as it applies to your website can be critical. Your text, photos, videos, and documents should all be carefully reviewed. This process takes time and almost always requires the efforts of more than one person, as we all know after you look at text long enough your eye doesn’t catch all of the misspellings, grammatical mistakes, etc. The same applies to photo and video editing. Photos and videos are powerful. Original unedited photos or videos can make us laugh out loud or cry. Perhaps that is why Google videos and YouTube are so successful. We can see people at their best and worst, for the most part unedited.

Recently Webconsuls was asked to make some videos of the mariachi performers at La Fuente Restaurant in Tucson, AZ. The stage area is almost completely surrounded by dining tables and walking paths for the waitstaff and guests. Try as I might, everytime I would try to shoot a video people, other than the musicians, would come into the field of view. But I videoed about eight songs and sent them to our SMO specialist to “edit.” Much to my surprise he decided to put up all of the videos on Google videos and one in particular is very comical. The song being performed is Guadalajara. As you watch this “unedited” version you will see patrons and staff cross in front of the stage, then suddenly the parking lot security guard comes into view and stops in front of the performers to “check out” the tip basket. It gets better. Within a few seconds, Dennis, my husband, gets up from his table and proceeds to walk to the tip basket to make a donation! By now I just keep shooting only to see the security guard come back through camera’s angle of view “dancing” to the music.

To appreciate the art of editing, I invite you to preview both videos. Here is a link to the unedited version and here is a link to the edited version of this performance. Editing…only remembering the good stuff. This weekend we will update La Fuente Restaurant’s website to include the “edited” version of Guadalajara. I hope you will visit their site. La Fuente has been in business since 1959 and has a colorful history.

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