Posts from May 2006

'Voss' a designer water that also tastes good

About a month ago, I had a 5:00 pm water tasting offering side by side Hackensack (tap) water, San Pellegrino and Voss. Sparkling_small_2 With the heat upon us in the past few days in the northeast it would be even better now. In any case Voss won the contest, it is refreshing yet subtle on the palate. Its designer bottles inspire people to take them for a second use, be it infused oils or vodka, storing dry goods, holding a lamp shade or reinvented as a flower vase.

Putting 'Crowdsourcing' to work: Offer Vegetarian Ideas to Meat loving Chef

I recently had a discussion with a chef we will call Ken (no Barbie involved) on the use of vegetable stocks versus meat stocks. I have to say that he is basically a meat loving guy and does not feel that you can get as much flavor in a dish with a vegetarian base. After reading Jeff Howe's piece on The Rise of Crowdsourcing in Wired magazine, I thought calling on all the vegetarians to make suggestions to this red meat lover would be a good way to test the theory of Crowdsourcing. Just post your 'constructive' suggestions in the comments. Thank you.

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'Lala' CD Exchange: Trade your Gathering dust Music for some you really Want

As time goes by, there is always music that we have that just sits on our shelves or in boxes gathering dust. Bill Nguyen and his team seem to have come up with a winning idea in LALA. The process goes like this: pick CDs you want, list CDs you have and want to trade, trade CDs with other members of LALA. Once you sign up, after your first CD is ready to be shipped, you will receive shipping enveloppes similar to those used by DVD by mail services. The service is now being tested (available to early adopters) and will be fully available on July 4th. I personally use Rhapsody for Online Music but some music that I am interested in is not available on it. For that type of CDs, I will give LALA a try.

"Heal your Body through your Clothes" tells us Dimi Gaidatzi in today's FT week-end

Would you believe that you can get healthier by wearing clothing made with new type of fabrics that blend textiles and fragrances and more? Dimi Gaidatzi in her article "The age of cosmetotextiles" in today's Financial Times, tells us how?

Here is how the New York SCC describes Cosmetotextiles: "Cosmetotextiles: The largest area of human skin is in constant contact with textile fabrics. Much energy is invested by the textile industry to improve the comfort of wearing clothes and minimise contact irritation by mechanical attrition or chemical reaction with the skin. One step further would be (and is already in practice) to produce fabrics that release minute amounts of skin benefit agents such as fragrances, antimicrobials, moisturisers, slimming or anti-ageing ingredients in general. This is achievable with follow microporous fibres or with microcapsules physically or chemically bound to the fibre surface. The biggest technical challenge still is the wash-resistance of such active fabrics (49)."

Amongst the clothing brands mentioned are Lytess offering tops with Aloe Vera and more. Some new scents created by IFF are used by companies such as Nike for peppermint infused T-Shirts.

The future is already here

'Honesty' is the best Sales Tool says Richard Courtney

In his book 'Buyers Are Liars & Sellers Are Too', Richard Courtney uses his long experience as a Nashville realtor to look at all the pitfalls that mark the process of home buying. Buyers His main advice, honesty ( on both sides) is the best way to experience a satisfying sales process.

In all my time in sales and service, this is an idea I try to stick too.

A cheap service might not end up being cheaper. An expensive one might just be hype. I try to give people my honest opinion and ultimately they have to choose. I refused assignments quite a few times because I did not feel comfortable doing the job the way I was asked to. I thought taking them would have been a receipe for failure.

I discovered the book on 'In Bubble Wrap'.

In and around Seattle, with Redfin find, buy, sell homes online

If you already leave there or plan to move in the Seattle area and are also house hunting Redfin lets you find, buy, sell property online. Their website explains the process very clearly and uses online maps to showcase properties. Their blog seems to offer an honest assesment of the 'right' price of properties according to their neighborhoods.
With this service you do not have to visit a ton of realtors. It allows for a more focused process.

Wine Tasting at Tribeca Grill yesterday: Italian and French wines

Just a quick note to mention that I was lucky to be invited by Jeff of Michael Skurnik wines to their Vinitaly ( Italian Wine)tasting which this year was combined with Daniel Johnnes selections from France. The tasting took place at Tribeca Grill at midday yesterday. I did not see Robert de Niro waiting, just noticed his paintings hanging on the walls.
Two producers who especially got my attention were Domaine Saint Prefert (Chateuneuf-du-Pape) and Santa Lucia (Puglia) which besides the wines also offer eco-tourism.
I will get into more details over this event in the coming days.

'Cheese: A Connoisseur's guide' won a James Beard Book Award earlier this month

I would not have a meal without cheese. Cheese A Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Best Cheese_1 by Max McCalman, Maitre Fromager at famed New York City restaurant Picholine was one of the books that won an award from the James Beard Foundation earlier this month. At 'Picholine' he picked one of the widest and best selection of cheeses a US restaurant could offer. In his book he offers 200 selections and also cheese and wine pairing suggestions.

Since living in the United States, my main issue with some restaurants with a cheese selection is that they refrigerate them right until they are served. This prevents cheese from offering all its flavors in the same way that a white wine overly chilled will not be fully appreciated.

My grandparents used to have a cheese cabinet which contained what would be eaten that day.

Are good manners out of style?

Reading a review of The Suit a guide for men on how to dress well by Nicholas Antongiavanni, brought to mind a few things that rile me in the customer service field. Maybe it is because of my european upbringing but I am not fond of hearing people adressing women as 'mam', I would rather they use the old fashioned 'ladies'. I do not care either about 'how are you guys doin'. In most cases the person approching a client and using these words is a total stranger not their best buddy. I believe sometimes old fashioned manners add a touch of polish, they reflect better on the person approaching you. It does not mean being a stiff and not being friendly by the way.

Frederica Cere Kussin highlights basic manners at, nothing highbrow just common sense.

Find your Personality Type thanks to Myers & Briggs Foundation

Instead of checking your horoscope why not head instead to the Myers & Briggs Foundation website. Find out (if you do not know it yet) your personality type by using the MBTI, in plain english Myers-Briggs type indicator. It can help you put your career and who you are in synch and in your personal life improve your relationships.
Thanks to Charlene LI who considers herself an ENFP (seeing life as full of possibilities amongst other things) for making me aware of this site.
I still have to put myself to the test. Today my priority was to send ( Global Priority Mail) a Mother's Day card to my Mom.
In France Mother's day is (usually) the last Sunday of May.