Thursday, April 19, 2007


After I wrote the other day about my income tax filing debacle, I got an email from H&R Block's local product manager. He said that someone had forwarded my blog entry to him, and he apologized for the bad experience I had had, and said that they had already processed a refund of my filing fees back to my credit card.

It was quite a surprise! I hadn't really decided whether I was even going to pursue a refund. I just wasn't sure whether it was worth the hassle. To have it already be accomplished without my having to contact anyone directly was very welcome, and very surprising. And certainly great customer service.

I know that people read what I write, but I consciously try not to write specifically with that in mind, because if I start thinking about it too much, I become too self-conscious. I've been doing this so long that it's ingrained in me not to write personal things about other people, but I sometimes go too far, I think, when I'm talking about something "faceless," like a company that produces a product that I may not be fond of, or that doesn't work for me.

It's a good reminder that we don't write in a vacuum, particularly now, when blogs are so prevalent. I'm sure that companies search all the time for mentions of their names, and just like newspaper-clipping services, there are companies that provide that service for them.

It's worth remembering that even when we don't realize it, our words have power, and we should be mindful of it.

On a separate note, I gave Barbara Bretton permission to publish my creation myth, "Knitting the World," on Romancing the Yarn, but I forgot to go look and see if she had. She had -- a couple of weeks ago -- so I thought I'd link to it here.

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In the comments the other day, Maggie asked how the cell phone charms attach to a cell phone. Most (but not all) cell phones have a little loop somewhere for a strap, usually on the top, where a cord can be threaded through. These photos show how mine looks. The cord of the lanyard is slipped through the loop on the phone, then you slip the charm through the lanyard loop and pull it tight.

And yes, I'll ship anywhere. :)

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I was looking at my photos in iPhoto last night, clearing out the ones that I didn't want to keep, and ran across this one that I'd forgotten. I took it a couple of weeks ago on Saturday, when I was getting ready to take Dinah to the vet. The only way I can get her in the carrier is to put it up on the kitchen counter, where she doesn't have any place to get traction (except on me, unfortunately). It still isn't easy corralling all the legs and shoving her in there, but it's the most efficient way that I've found.

I don't know whether Pyewacket was keeping her company or taunting her, but I thought it was funny to see her sitting there on the floor while Dinah was up in the carrier on the counter.

Pyewacket has a bad habit of intimidating Dinah by staring at her -- if I'm home alone in the evenings, or if Bob has shut himself up in the office, both cats tend to want my lap. If Dinah's on my lap, Pyewacket will come and stand and stare at Dinah until she gets uncomfortable and jumps off, then Pyewacket will take her place (if I let her--sometimes if she's done that, I'll refuse to hold her).

If we notice Pyewacket doing it, we'll shove her away, or if I can't reach her, sometimes I'll try to shield Dinah's eyes so she can't see her. It's funny trying to explain it, but it's really annoying. And it brings up that old childhood taunt of staring: "Mom! She's staring at me!" "I am NOT." "Yes, you are!" Children.

I've jumped on the Moo bandwagon. I've seen them various places on the web--they apparently had a free trial for awhile to get interest, but I missed that, unfortunately. I'd been planning on buying some once I figured out what pictures I wanted on them--I'd been keeping a folder on Flickr--but then I had an idea to make some to send out along with my jewelry.

When someone buys a piece, I put it into a little organza drawstring bag, then write a note on one of my business cards, and wrap them both up in colored tissue paper, which I then seal with a sticker. My business cards are nice, but they're my web design ones, so not really completely appropriate.

I had the thought that the Moo cards would be cool--they wouldn't have to be just photographs, you can put anything you want on them. So I took the banner that I'd made for my store, and resized it and played around with it, and turned it into a Moo card. 100 cards for $19.99, which I didn't think was bad at all, and they're great quality, very nice, heavy stock. You can have any text you want printed on the back, too, so mine have the business name, my name, email, phone, and URL ( on them.

They're about half the size of a normal business card, and I think they'll fit into the little bags. I also thought I might punch a hole in one end and tie a narrow ribbon or cord or something through it.

Then I started thinking about other paper products, and created some custom return address labels and round stickers at Colorful Images. I got the address labels last night, and they turned out nice, too. I haven't gotten the labels yet, but they'll probably come tonight. I think the labels and stickers were eight or nine dollars per set, so getting the whole set of three pieces for under $40 is a pretty good deal, I think.

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