Archive for May, 2011

What is the main ingredient of WD-40?

Monday, May 30th, 2011

What is the main ingredient of WD-40?
Before you read to the end, does anybody know what the main ingredient of WD-40 is? Don’t lie and don’t cheat.WD-40. Who knew; I had a neighbor who bought a new pickup. I got up very early one Sunday morning and saw that someone had spray painted red all around the sides of this beige truck. I went over, woke him up, and told him the bad news. He was very upset and was trying to figure out what to do. “Probably nothing until Monday morning, since nothing was open.” Another neighbor came out and told him to get his WD-40 and clean it off. It removed the unwanted paint beautifully and did not harm his paint job. I’m impressed!

WD-40 who knew? ‘Water Displacement #40’. The product began from a search for a rust preventative solvent and degreaser to protect missile parts. WD-40 was created in 1953 by three technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company. Its name comes from the project that was to find a ‘water displacement’ compound. They were successful with the fortieth formulation, thus WD-40. The Convair Company bought it in bulk to protect their atlas missile parts. Ken East (one of the original founders) says there is nothing in WD-40 that would hurt you…

When you read the ‘shower door’ part, try it. It’s the first thing that has ever cleaned that spotty shower door. If yours is plastic, it works just as well as glass. It’s a miracle! Then try it on your stovetop … Viola! It’s now shinier than it’s ever been. You’ll be amazed. ANONYMOUS

WD-40 uses:
1. Protects silver from tarnishing.
2. Removes road tar and grime from cars.
3. Cleans and lubricates guitar strings.
4. Gives floors that ‘just-waxed’ sheen without making them slippery.
5. Keeps flies off cows.
6. Restores and cleans chalkboards.
7. Removes lipstick stains.
8. Loosens stubborn zippers.
9. Untangles jewelry chains.
10. Removes stains from stainless steel sinks.
11. Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill.
12. Keeps ceramic/terra cotta garden pots from oxidizing.
13. Removes tomato stains from clothing.
14. Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots.
15. Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors.
16. Keeps scissors working smoothly.
17. Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes.
18. It removes black scuffmarks from the kitchen floor! Use WD-40 for those nasty tar and scuff marks on flooring. It doesn’t seem to harm the finish and you won’t have to scrub nearly as hard to get them off. Just remember to open some windows if you have a lot of marks.
19. Bug guts will eat away the finish on your car if not removed quickly! Use WD-40!
20. Gives a children’s playground gym slide a shine for a super fast slide.
21. Lubricates gearshift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers…
22. Rids kids’ rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises.
23. Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open.
24. Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.
25. Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl bumpers.
26. Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.
27. Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans.
28. Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles for easy handling.
29. Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly.
30. Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools.
31. Removes splattered grease on stove.
32. Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.
33. Lubricates prosthetic limbs.

X34. Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).
35. Removes all traces of duct tape.
36. Folks even spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve arthritis pain.
37. Florida’s favorite use is ‘cleans and removes love bugs from grills and bumpers.’
38. The favorite use in the state of New York, WD-40 protects the Statue of Liberty from the elements.
39. WD-40 attracts fish. Spray a little on live bait or lures and you will be catching the big one in no time. Also, it’s a lot cheaper than the chemical attractants that are made for just that purpose. Keep in mind though, using some chemical laced baits or lures for fishing are not allowed in some states.
40. Use it for fire ant bites. It takes the sting away immediately and stops the itch.
41. WD-40 is great for removing crayon from walls. Spray on the mark and wipe with a clean rag.
42. Also, if you’ve discovered that your teenage daughter has washed and dried a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the lipstick spots with WD-40 and rewash. Presto! The lipstick is gone!
43. If you sprayed WD-40 on the distributor cap, it would displace the moisture and allow the car to start.

44. Remove the glue under labels on jars.

P.S. The basic ingredient is FISH OIL.

Connecting with employees builds loyalty and trust

Monday, May 30th, 2011

What Your Employees Should Know About You

Connecting with employees builds loyalty and trust.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Marlin Fludd

What should your employees know about you as a manager? Read on for tips on how to share the right things to motivate and retain your staff.

Your goals – Do you have goals? Have you set yourself up for success?  What are the goals for the organization? What do you expect from yourself?

As leaders, it should be first nature to set goals for the organization, ourselves and our employees; outlining our long and short term goals. Once we have established goals for ourselves, have we shared our goals with our staff? Sharing goals opens up the lines of communication and opportunities; enabling us to gain more knowledge because we’re not thinking alone on the mission, and we’re receiving the greatest feedback – our own personnel in direct contact with our clientele. It also empowers your staff to be an active part of the “Big Picture.”

What good are our goals if we keep them to ourselves? While our goals may be well thought-out and planned, and we may be directing our employees in the right direction, they will be confused if they are not aware of our mission. If you’ve ever been subject to a surprise party, you know the feeling. Out of the blue you’ve been asked, by someone you know and trust, to meet you at a specific location for an unknown reason. You somewhat know the purpose, but still not sure of what the outcome will be, therefore creating confusion along the journey. In this scenario, our employees only know that they’re being led in a direction, not knowing the outcome. In turn, they feel bossed!

What you expect of them – When we hire, it’s usually because there is a need to fulfill a certain position. Once that position is filled and the employee is trained and happy; we feel we’ve done our job. Yet we often set our employees up for failure by not helping them to grow and develop. We give our employees a broad overview of their role – filing papers, answering phones, checking in guests – but we fail to provide the full details of what we want them to accomplish with each of those tasks: A GOAL! Often, not expressing what is expected leads to the “blind leading the blind,” the collapse in the organization and sometimes the dismissal of a quality employee. Is it fair to enforce disciplinary action when things don’t go as planned in our organizations simply because the leaders omitted sharing what is expected? Don’t let potentially great employees fail because of your own accomplished successes.

That they can trust you – Do you have an open door policy? Do your employees know that they can come to you for ANYTHING, whether it is to discuss personal or job related matters, or simply to vent from the pressures of life? Do you have your employees’ best interest at heart? Did you handle your employees request in a timely manner? It can’t be one-sided because you’re the boss. Can they trust that you will not expose their business to other employees or make fun of their thoughts?

You’ll be surprised at the effort and determination you can get out of your employees, simply based on trust and loyalty. Some of our employees complete the bare minimum requirements for survival because of the lack of trust and loyalty they have in their superiors – they have no interest in going above and beyond, and are simply working for the paycheck. Then you have those employees that will go the extra mile because they know their work will be noticed, appreciated and rewarded. Creating an atmosphere where the theme is “WE” vs. “I” is more conducive to the success to the organization.

Marlin Fludd is a speaker, motivator and mentor. Learn more at www.marlinfludd.com.

Inspiring others to consider booking their first bed & breakfast reservation

Monday, May 30th, 2011

 

A Note from Mary White

Do you remember your first B&B stay? Do you remember your favorite one? Recently I have been hearing a lot about peoples’ bed & breakfast experiences. Whenever I’m discussing our partnership with the Civil War Trust, people can’t wait to share their memories. I’m excited about the partnership, you can read more about it below, because I believe preserving history is very important. A side benefit is that the promotion is already conjuring up pleasant reminiscences of previous B&B stays for some guests and inspiring others to consider booking their first bed & breakfast reservation.

The promotion with the Civil War Trust started as a desire to help raise money for an important cause, but has turned into so much more. Many a friend has happily recounted the wonderful experience they had at a B&B on a historical vacation, when I told them about this promotion; I think it will benefit our inns and the industry by again bringing B&Bs into the conversation. 2011 is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, so there could not be a better time to begin this partnership.

History buffs are frequently B&B guests so why not have the Civil War Trust telling their 55,000 history buff members about B&Bs? That audience outreach, along with BnBFinder’s extensive guest database, not to mention the support of a good cause, will hopefully be a genuine incentive for you to participate (see “Tie in to History: Attract New Guests and B&B Loyalists” below for instructions). A little support goes a long way and this promotion is open to inns worldwide. Guests who want to support the cause and travel internationally will want to choose inns that pledge to make this small (just $5 per reservation) donation to the trust; meaning publicity for you, support for a good cause, and a happy new guest – a win-win-win.

B&Bs are in the news for more than just their Civil War connection. The momentum to dispel the myths about B&Bs is gaining traction. The Better Way to Stay campaign is off to a strong start and a quick read through our media pickup below demonstrates the quality media coverage our inns and BnBFinder have received this past month.

We’re all working hard to keep the industry growing and, of course, bring guests to your inn. It’s a privilege and a pleasure to promote your inn and as always I value your feedback.

 

P.S. – Don’t forget to read “Mobile to Mobile” and link up your mobile site to BnBFinder-Mobile.

Del Ray Dish By Rebecca Underly | Email the author | May 22, 2011 Opinion Sunday Brunch Huevos rancheros, a south of the border brunch to feed my bunch 0 Comments View full size Add your photos & videos Share Tweet Email Print Start Following Submit a tip Tell Your Neighbors About Patch Breakfast is a big deal in my family. We take this meal very seriously and on the weekends we indulge. One favorite dish in my house is huevos rancheros. I personally love making and eating this dish. My kids eat the eggs scrambled, but my husband and I like the eggs runny, fried or poached. Like many Latin American dishes, huevos rancheros blend old and new world cuisine. When the Spaniards came to the Western Hemisphere in the 16th century, chickens were introduced to the Mexicans. Soon after the love affair with the egg began. This ranch-style egg dish was traditionally served at second breakfast in the mid-morning. Huevos rancheros consists of a fried egg served on top of a fried corn tortilla and topped with a spicy, chili-tomato sauce, refried beans and avocado. But as this dish’s popularity has grown, so have the variations of the recipe. Some differences are whole wheat flour tortillas, different types of cheeses, sour cream, fresh tomatoes, various meats like bacon and sausage, lettuce, black beans and grilled onions. With so many variations, there’s certainly one recipe just right for you. Happy eating! Huevos Rancheros Underly-Style Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Total time: 25 minutes Ingredients: 4 poached eggs 4 slices thick cut bacon 2 chorizo sausages, cut into 1/4-inch slices and browned 1/4 cup canola oil 4 thick corn tortillas 1/2 cup fresh pico de gallo (see recipe) 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro 1/4 cup smoky red pepper sauce (see recipe) Method: Bring the poaching liquid to a boil and then reduce to a simmer before adding the eggs (bubbles should not break the surface). Break one egg at a time into the simmering water. Let the eggs flow out. Immediately cover with a lid and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on firmness desired. The yolks should be runny. Remove from water with a slotted spoon. Lift each perfectly poached egg from the water with a slotted spoon, and set on a paper towel. While the eggs are poaching, in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon. Set aside and drain the bacon grease. In the same skillet, add the sliced chorizo sausage and fry until warmed. Set aside. Wipe out the pan and heat. Add oil and fry each tortilla until light golden brown on each side. Set on a paper towel to drain. In the middle of a plate, place the tortillas. Add a few slices of chorizo sausage, a slice of bacon, crumbled goat cheese and a poached egg. Top with pico de gallo and garnish with chopped cilantro and red pepper sauce. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Opinion Huevos rancheros, a south of the border brunch to feed my bunch

Breakfast is a big deal in my family. We take this meal very seriously and on the weekends we indulge. One favorite dish in my house is huevos rancheros. I personally love making and eating this dish. My kids eat the eggs scrambled, but my husband and I like the eggs runny, fried or poached.

Like many Latin American dishes, huevos rancheros blend old and new world cuisine. When the Spaniards came to the Western Hemisphere in the 16th century, chickens were introduced to the Mexicans. Soon after the love affair with the egg began. This ranch-style egg dish was traditionally served at second breakfast in the mid-morning.

Huevos rancheros consists of a fried egg served on top of a fried corn tortilla and topped with a spicy, chili-tomato sauce, refried beans and avocado. But as this dish’s popularity has grown, so have the variations of the recipe. Some differences are whole wheat flour tortillas, different types of cheeses, sour cream, fresh tomatoes, various meats like bacon and sausage, lettuce, black beans and grilled onions.

With so many variations, there’s certainly one recipe just right for you. Happy eating!

Huevos Rancheros Underly-Style

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

4 poached eggs
4 slices thick cut bacon
2 chorizo sausages, cut into 1/4-inch slices and browned
1/4 cup canola oil
4 thick corn tortillas
1/2 cup fresh pico de gallo (see recipe)
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup smoky red pepper sauce (see recipe)

Method:

  1. Bring the poaching liquid to a boil and then reduce to a simmer before adding the eggs (bubbles should not break the surface). Break one egg at a time into the simmering water. Let the eggs flow out. Immediately cover with a lid and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on firmness desired. The yolks should be runny.
  2. Remove from water with a slotted spoon. Lift each perfectly poached egg from the water with a slotted spoon, and set on a paper towel.
  3. While the eggs are poaching, in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon. Set aside and drain the bacon grease. In the same skillet, add the sliced chorizo sausage and fry until warmed. Set aside.
  4. Wipe out the pan and heat. Add oil and fry each tortilla until light golden brown on each side. Set on a paper towel to drain.
  5. In the middle of a plate, place the tortillas. Add a few slices of chorizo sausage, a slice of bacon, crumbled goat cheese and a poached egg. Top with pico de gallo and garnish with chopped cilantro and red pepper sauce. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

5 tips on repeat business marketing for SMEs

Monday, May 30th, 2011

5 tips on repeat business marketing for SMEs

David Mercer, Site Prebuilder | May 18, 2011, 5:06 PM

Traditional small business generally has to rely on word of mouth to grow the customer base, but the rules have changed thanks to the Internet and Internet marketing. If you aren’t already generating revenue via your web presence, it’s time you adapted to take advantage.

The following tips and techniques are aimed at doing two things:

  • Build a community of customers and potential customers
  • Engage and lock customers into your company

By keeping everyone and anyone who has shown interest in your products or services within your reach, you drastically increase your ability to spread ideas and communicate – market. The Internet is vast, and all you have to do is grow a tiny fraction of that into your business following and you’re going to make big money.

Here are five powerful internet marketing tips that will help drive growth and profits for your small business through repeat business.

1. Integrate your traditional products & services with a website

Add an internet or online component to all your products and services – even if it is something as simple as support. Whatever it takes to get customers who have bought something to sign up to your website.

2. Add SEO enhanced, high quality content to your site on a regular basis

I know that writing content is a distraction from an already hard and full day’s work. However, online content is an investment in your business’ present and future marketing, and something that will start working for you as your online presence grows.

3. Offer incentives for customer to sign up to a newsletter

If you think that adding a newsletter is more trouble than it’s worth, ask yourself this:

If you could email every customer who has ever bought (or even thought about buying) something from you, whenever you had some exciting new product, deal, special or so on, how much would that be worth?

Offering a newsletter with interesting content and information is a great way to expose people to more products and services.

4. Offer an online forum, group or chat for registered users

Give your customers a place to vent, criticize or praise and engage with them through your website. This not only provides valuable market research and feedback for you, but also serves to build trust.

5. Integrate social networking facilities

Encourage customers to like and share your content. Get them to follow you on twitter. Get them to join your FaceBook group or connect with you on LinkedIn. In other words, keep them in orbit around your business.

In the current economic climate, when many small businesses are struggling to make ends meet, it is more important than ever to hold on to new and existing customers with both hands. If you look back over your accounts for the past year or so and find that a significant number of customers only completed a single transaction, then it is time to use these 5 internet marketing techniques to drive revenue and repeat business like never before.

Navigating the 21st Century Guest Experience

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Navigating the 21st Century Guest Experience

Renaissance Hotels program keeps guests in the know about local attractions.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Amy Carniol
(6 of 6)

How can a chocolate-loving traveler find the best sweet treats in an unfamiliar city? Where can a tourist go to avoid massive mainstream crowds and shop like the locals do? For guests of Renaissance Hotels’ 150 properties around the world, the answer to such questions is simple: Navigator.

Last year, Renaissance Hotels launched Navigator, an program that provides travelers with a unique way to experience a city’s hidden gems, fitting for a brand that dubs its guests “discoverers” and its associates “ambassadors.” The Navigator program is built around a carefully maintained database of city-specific information, specially trained concierges (also called Navigators), a website, and an app for mobile devices. Navigator goes beyond the traditional hotel concierge service to provide indigenous recommendations based on each guest’s specific interests and requests.

“The Renaissance brand is all about being indigenous and independent,” says Tina Edmundson, senior vice president lifestyle brands for Marriott. “Our research told us that…our guests are looking to explore the cities they visit, regardless of whether they are there for business or pleasure. We wanted to create a program that catered to their passion points, designing tools that make local discovery effortless.”

In the hotel, on-site Navigators are often available to help create the best possible local experiences for guests. By spending a few minutes speaking with guests, these specialists can put together customized itineraries. “Navigators are experts in asking questions,” explains Geoffrey Holloway, Chief Navigator at Manhattan’s Hotel 57. “We ask what kind of mood [guests] want to create, what music they want to hear, and what they want to taste. We ask in-depth questions so that we can see what kind of lifestyle they want while they’re in the city.”

Hotel guests can also pick up copies of “In The Know,” a property-specific pamphlet of recommendations, updated weekly by that site’s Navigator.

“The goal is for guests to have the experience a local would have,” says Holloway. “I recommend places that are off the beaten path, things that the guests are not necessarily going to choose for themselves.”

Online, guests and locals can get weekly picks from hotels in their chosen cities and neighborhoods. The site-specific websites also display a photo and bio of each property’s Chief Navigator, helping to establish a personal connection even before the guest arrives. On an iPad, iPhone or Android, an app is available, and as the technology advances, Navigator’s growth possibilities are endless.

“Our ultimate goal would be that the program evolves into one of the industry’s most robust and comprehensive local area knowledge programs,” says Edmundson.

Adds Holloway: “The Navigator program is just at its beginning. We have so much more we can show people.”

How to Stage a Small-Business Comeback

Monday, May 30th, 2011

How to Stage a Small-Business Comeback

Three turnaround strategies to survive, and thrive, beyond the recession.

By Jane Porter |   May 16, 2011

Small Business Comebacks

When sales are down and cash-flow problems are up, small-business owners can become desperate for a turnaround. But rather than shooting from the hip, experts say it’s crucial to strategically plan your way back to the top.

“Entrepreneurs sometimes lose that innovation interest that initially got them into the business,” says Mark Faust, author of Growth or Bust: Proven Turnaround Strategies to Grow Your Business (Career Press, 2011).

But how can small-business owners get back in the game to stage a comeback? Here, three experts share their turnaround tips.

1. Look outside your company for help.
Frequently, small-business owners don’t look outside their office walls enough for guidance. Faust suggests making a list of your top 20 existing customers and reaching out to them for feedback. “Too often in business we become too insular,” says Faust, also a growth consultant and coach based in Cincinnati. “Innovation is listening to your customer so intently you create solutions to improve their situation.”

When Faust began working with Hagie Manufacturing Co., an Iowa-based agricultural equipment company, 18 months ago, he assigned each of the top eight executives a task: Visit eight different customers in a year. The visits were not meant to sell their product but rather to listen to what was lacking in the company and find out what clients thought of the competition. Those meetings resulted not only in a sales spike, but also ideas for new products, better financing and more effective selling, according to Faust.

While listening to customers is critical in making a business comeback, other outsiders can help, too. Faust says “connectors” — such as lawyers, accountants, or association members — can provide referrals and shed light on how to improve your business. Making a list of the top 20 connectors who help your business will also allow you to expand your customer base and get a better handle on the market. “They know your customers,” Faust says. “They can give you insights on your customers and friends of your customers.”

Faust also suggests making a list of prospective clients to show to your network of contacts for insights on how to best approach those companies. “Set the goal of showing that to five people a week,” he says. “Before you know it, every person you hand that to is going to have two or three connections for you.”

2. Consider cutting costs while raising some prices.
Too often, when business slows, entrepreneurs have the knee-jerk reaction of laying people off, says Denise O’Berry, a Tampa, Fla.-based small business consultant and author of Small Business Cash Flow: Strategies for Making Your Business a Financial Success (Wiley, 2006). But layoffs can actually end up stifling growth, she says. Ask yourself: “Have you really cut everything else that you can cut before you let people go?” she advises.

Instead of cutting staff, O’Berry suggests taking a closer look at lowering expenses elsewhere within the company. For example, when a small deli she worked with wanted to turn the business around, O’Berry had the owner review the menu offerings more carefully. It turned out that while the deli offered 50 items, customers were buying only 20% of them. By streamlining the menu, the business significantly cut expenses related to ingredients.

As for what you charge for your product or service, O’Berry suggests avoiding discounts and instead possibly raising prices on some products to boost cash flow. “If you have a high-selling product and you raise the price of that product by 50 cents, you can dramatically increase what you bring in the door,” she says. “Most customers aren’t going to notice it if you’ve targeted your market well.”

3. Find a better way to stand out in a crowd.
Differentiating yourself from other businesses is critical, says Victor Cheng, a Bainbridge Island, Washington-based business coach and author of The Recession-Proof Business (Innovation Press, 2009). Cheng advises small-business owners to carve a niche for their company by developing products and services that are tailored to specific markets rather than trying to make everyone a customer.

Take the Healthy Back Institute, for example. Two years ago, when the recession first hit, the Maryland-based back-care company decided to hone its marketing focus. Instead of trying to reach the whole spectrum of customers with back problems — from sports injuries to chronic pain — with Cheng’s help, the company narrowed its focus to work-related back issues. It began selling chairs and other office-related products and marketing with material on work-related back care, a focus that has helped create a niche in the market. The shift in focus to sell higher-priced items, such as chairs, resulted in a sales increase of more than 17% in 2010.

“It’s very hard to beat everybody,” Cheng says. “It’s much easier to pick a small slice of the market.”

Survey: Companies prepared to spend more on business travel

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Survey: Companies prepared to spend more on business travel

By Charisse Jones, USA TODAY

Updated 5/10/2011 12:12 PM |

Companies are prepared to spend more to send people on the road for business, newly released survey findings indicate.

  • Jets at Ronald Reagan International outside of Washington.

By Paul J. Richards, AFP/Getty Images

Jets at Ronald Reagan International outside of Washington.

The GetThere survey of corporate travel managers at top businesses and organizations around the globe finds that 61% of those who responded expect their travel spending to grow from 1% to 10% this year over last. That’s a big bump compared with 2010, when roughly a third of managers reported only a slight increase in their travel budgets over 2009.

The increased budgets reflect both a recognition that travel is necessary to make money, the survey’s sponsors say, and that it’s going to cost more to do it, given the rise in airfares and hotel room rates.

“They do see they have to travel more to grow their business,” says Suzanne Neufang, general manager of GetThere, an online corporate booking tool used by companies around the world that is part of Sabre Travel Network. “But they also see costs are going up — fares and room rates — and so their budgets have to keep up.”

Business travel was one of the first casualties of the recession. Companies slashed budgets and grounded workers to survive the downturn. But GetThere’s findings mirror estimates earlier this year by the Global Business Travel Association that indicated corporate travel has bounced back. In turn, airlines have steadily boosted ticket prices, including the most expensive fares often bought by corporate trekkers who need to fly at the last minute, or want a seat in a premium cabin.

Fares are continuing to rise to keep up with the cost of more expensive fuel. Meanwhile hotels, which also suffered during the deep travel slump sparked by the economic downturn, are trying to boost revenue by increasing room prices.

Still, the days of the limitless expense account appear to be over. “The focus on savings that came as a result of the recession is still there and still very strong,” Neufang says.

Businesses, for instance, are considering day trips to avoid paying for overnight hotel stays. “For the most part, most companies are back to their travel spending pre-recession. What has changed is they’re trying to get more out of every trip.”

Companies also are picking and choosing which airline fees they’re willing to pay.

The survey finds that while 95% of companies will reimburse workers for their first checked bag, there was a 16% dip in the number of businesses this year that will reimburse the fee for checking a second compared with last year.

By contrast, 20% more companies are reimbursing for use of in-flight Internet, and 13% more businesses will give employees back what they paid for an on-board meal.

“They’re looking to enable travel but still have savings,” Neufang says.

The survey, taken at the end of last year in anticipation of this, received responses from more than 60 companies and organizations, most of them based in North America.

Bed and Breakfast Being Used for Movie Filming

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Bed and Breakfast Being Used for Movie Filming

5-Year Engagement, starring Emily Blunt and Jason Segel, is scheduled for release in 2012.

By Tran Longmoore | Email the author | May 13, 2011

Travelers along Macon Road were slowed Thursday as a crew descended on the Homestead Bed & Breakfast to film Five-Year Engagement.

The film, directed by Nicholas Stoller and written by Jason Segal and Stoller, stars Emily Blunt, Alison Brie and Segal.

Segal and Stoller teamed up for 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which grossed nearly $63 million in the U.S.

The 1851 brick farmhouse was surrounded by big trucks filled with gear. Officers from the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office closed Macon Road down to one lane and directed traffic. Crew walked back and forth between white tents erected in the yard. Security guards ensured that autograph hounds  and star gazers were kept off the property.

A publicist for Universal Studios declined Patch’s request to visit the film set.

“Our cast and film-makers are not available for interviews at this time, but we appreciate your interest,” wrote Peggy Mulloy in an e-mail.

Reached by phone she said that there were more than 100 people working at the site.

“We’ve had a great time working in Saline. It’s a wonderful town,” she said.

Five-Year Engagement is the fourth major production filmed in the Saline area. Drew Barrymore’s Whip it and Rob Reiner’s Flipped were filmed, in part, in Saline. More recently, Cedar Rapids was filmed in Pittsfield Township and Saline. The film included a scene at the Rentschler Farm and a small role for Saline City Council Member David Rhoads.

According to the IMDB.com, 5-Year Engagement is a comedy that charts the ups and downs of an engaged couple’s relationship. It is scheduled for 2012 release.

23 Nebraska wineries and 6 tasting rooms

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

CONTACT: Jason Hayes, Executive Director

Phone: 888/552.3711

Email: Jason@nebraskawines.com

 

(Lincoln, NE) – Richard Hilske, Nebraska Winery and Grape Growers (NWGGA) President announced the kickoff of the association’s 2011 Passport Program. The passport consists of a map of Nebraska showing the locations of Nebraska’s wineries and tasting rooms. Upon purchase of wine or a tasting, the passport is stamped and participants are ready for their next location.

 

“Year four of the program features 23 Nebraska wineries and 6 tasting rooms, where participants can pick up a passport and begin enjoying Nebraska’s wines. Nearly 28,000

passports have been distributed across the state. Our Passport Program is designed to encourage more Nebraskans to visit our award-winning wineries in 2011,” Hilske said. Passports can also be downloaded from the association’s website at www.nebraskawines.com. “The NWGGA Passport Program not only promotes Nebraska wines, but also encourages people to visit communities and buy other products all over the state. It’s a win-win for everyone,” concluded Hilske.

 

In addition, Passport Program participants who visit at least 15 wineries and 4 tasting during the year are automatically entered into a prize drawing. The 2010 NWGGA Passport Grand Prize winner was Shane Marquis of Lincoln, who won a weekend stay in a Nebraska Bed & Breakfast Inn of his choice. First prize, a case of Nebraska wines, was awarded to Karen Bullard of Omaha. Vicki Vonloh of Lincoln won second prize, a From Nebraska Gift Shop $50 Gift Certificate.

 

For more information on the NWGGA 2011 Passport Program, please visit www.nebraskawines.com or call 888/552.3711.



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