Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Learn Something New in the New Year - Davidson Staffing "Tips and Tricks" and Webinars

Whether you're looking for a new job, or just want to be better in your current position, Davidson Staffing has something for you.

Check out the list of Webinars and "Tips and Tricks" Seminars they offer:


More Training = More Opportunities

Thursday, December 24, 2009

No Wonder They Call Her "Wonder Bev"

Holiday Music you'll want to play all year 'round.

The new CD by Beverly Johnson, "A Few Of My Favorite Songs."

Classic music from a classy lady and an amazing talent.

This is what music is meant to be. . .it's hard to pick a favorite.

Included are favorites like, "Oh Holy Night," "The Christmas Song," and "The First Noel."

Perfect for getting or giving. Find out more, by copying and pasting the link below in your browser:


Beverly Johnson is available for weddings and other special occasions.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Barkley's Court Reporters Have Taken the Phrase "Going Green" to New Heights ;0

If you walked out of Harrington's Pub this afternoon and thought you had "one too many," you didn't. . .or maybe you did. But, at any rate, that really was an alpaca with Ana Costa.

Does this mean that Barkley's is making sweaters for all their clients this year?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Kiss Is Just A Kiss. . .Except When It's In A Handmade Bowl!

My sister bought me this really cool bowl for Christmas - except she couldn't wait to give it to me!

It's handmade in Vietnam and here's the scoop from the website:


Founded in 2006 by four college graduates, Mai Vietnamese Handicrafts exports unique coiled newspaper products to the global market. Now employing 20 artisans from the rural Tuy Hoa Province where employment is scarce, they empower a growing group of marginalized women by providing fair wages, skills training, and the freedom to work from home. Thus, artisans from poor families can gain pride and confidence in their work.

The theme is called "Spread the News" and it's made from recycled magazines. How cool is that? So it's not only colorful, it's also green!

Check out their website for other neat items.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sprinkles Coming to San Francisco - Justin Hermann Plaza, Noon to 5 p.m.

December 3, 2009, SAN FRANCISCO.... When Charles and Candace Nelson left San Francisco in 2003, they probably had no idea they would be returning to the Bay Area in a cupcake truck! Yet, on December 14th, just one day before National Cupcake Day, the owners of Sprinkles Cupcakes will drive the "Sprinklesmobile" 400 miles, from their headquarters in Beverly Hills, to sell cupcakes to benefit the San Francisco Food Bank.
From 11am-5pm, in conjunction with KGO-TV's, San Francisco Food Bank Drive, the "Sprinklesmobile" will be selling freshly baked cupcakes in an assortment of flavors, including their most popular, red velvet. And, 100% of the proceeds from each cupcake will be donated to the San Francisco Food Bank.*
"Given my history in San Francisco, I felt that the San Francisco Food Bank was the perfect place for me to give back this holiday season. My pastry chef instructor from Tante Marie’s, Janet Rikala, is involved with the Food Bank and I’ve always been amazed by the work this organization does." said Candace, the unassuming pastry chief of this operation.
Often seen on the streets of Los Angeles – from the Santa Monica beach to the Walk of Fame – and the more exclusive Entourage set and film studio lots, this will be the Sprinklesmobile's maiden voyage to the Bay Area. Having successfully employed multiple forms of social media to grow its dedicated fan base, natural stops along the way will include the new Twitter offices, Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto and the Googleplex in Mountain View.
The shiny, chocolate brown, Mercedes Sprinter, custom-designed vehicle was created to bring Sprinkles’ sweet treats to the streets, often in support of cause-related events.
Charles Nelson adds: "It is our pleasure to give back to the community. Each night, all left-over cupcakes go to local food banks in each of our markets, so we are thrilled to continue this tradition with this promotion for the San Francisco Food Bank.”
Sprinkles Cupcakes currently has five locations, the closest being in the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, CA.
For more information please visit the Sprinkles website at www.sprinkles.com.

*The San Francisco Food Bank donates nine dollars of food for every dollar donation. Currently, they feed 147,000 people per year.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Turn Up The Heat at Work this Winter

I suspect the expression “cuddling up to a hot little number” evokes different reactions from all us. . .but at work, it means VORNADO’s Personal Vortex Heater.

Place it on your desk or on the floor and you're good to go!

VORNADO has really created comfort in the right size with this sleek maneuverable thing of beauty.

It is quiet and with two heat levels and with the capability of a "fan only" operation it can leave you pleased whatever state of flux your body temperature may be in.

Do yourself a favor and bring a small pleasure to your workstation (or give one as a gift this holiday season).

With a name like VORNADO, you know it will get the job done.

39.99 at Kohl's and other retailers.

You can also call Vornado at 1-800-234-0604 or check out their website for this and other cool (or hot) products :)


Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Simple Pretzel Recipe for Your Office Holiday Parties

Thanks to Connie and Whitney in Texas for sharing!

12 oz. Orville Redenbacher’s Popping & Topping oil

1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix

1 T. garlic salt

1 T. dill weed

2 16 oz. packages of pretzels

Combine first 4 ingredients, mixing well. Pour over pretzels (I put mine in my large Tupperware cake carrier top) and stir to coat. Leave in container, stirring frequently over a period of a few hours.

'Tis The Season

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Perfect Holiday Gift for Your Office Coffee Connoisseur (hint-hint)

Weaver's Coffee

If you can't find it, give them a call at 800-328-1178. They'll be glad to help.


Sold at gourmet stores everywhere.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holiday Gift Suggestion Number One: Capresso Burr Grinder

Dear Attorneys and Office Administrators:

Your staff has been working very hard this year. The economy is tough. Many firms no longer give holiday bonuses, but what better way to "perk" up morale than freshly ground coffee! (And you get to enjoy it too).

This model is not for the big firm but perfect for the solo practice or small firm.

Capresso has many other models available, but if you have a small office this will do the trick.

Capresso's Stainless Steel Burr Grinder is just 59.99 (retail value).

This particular model offers:

* 17 position grind selector delivers the correct fineness for espresso, drip, French Press and percolators

* Removable upper burr for easy cleaning
* Separate On/Off button
* Electronic timer

Remember, a happy team is a productive team!

Capresso - (800)767-3554 or visit their website at:


They also make fabulous coffeemakers.

Stay tuned for more great office gift ideas :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

"The Cake Mix Doctor" is Back!

Anne Byrn, yes, the one and only "Cake Mix Doctor" is back with more recipes guaranteed to impress your family and friends and save you time.

If you work in a law firm, you don't have much time to make cakes - but you love to bake, right?

Here's the answer -- "The Cake Mix Doctor Returns!"

Here's one of my favorite "Cake Mix Doctor" recipes from the original book:

Pumpkin Spice Cake *

Vegetable Oil spray for misting the pan
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain spice cake mix
1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup pumpkin, canned or mashed fresh
1/2 cup vegetable oil, such as canola, corn, safflower, soybean, or sunflower
1/2 cup water
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup pecans, walnuts or almonds, toasted

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a 13 by 9 inch baking pan with vegetable oil spray. Set the pan aside.

2. Place the cake mix, pudding mix, pumpkin, oil, water, eggs, cinnamon and ginger in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes more. The batter should look thick and well blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pan in the oven.

3. Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 32 to 35 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Frost with either of the suggested frostings, if desired*. If frosting, sprinkle with the toasted nuts. Slice into squares and serve.

(*The Cake Mix Doctor suggests her Buttercream Frosting or her Fresh Orange Cream Cheese Frosting)

To order your copy, copy and paste the link below in your browser to order directly from the publisher:


or go to:


Let Them Eat Cake!

* Reprinted with permission of publisher.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Cops: Woman makes threat to help boss make flight

Monday, November 30, 2009

(11-30) 13:25 PST MIAMI (AP) --

A South Florida woman has been charged with calling in a bomb threat to keep her boss from missing a flight. An arrest report said a 31-year-old woman was charged Thursday with making a false report of planting a bomb. Miami International Airport officials received a call and an e-mail Wednesday claiming that a bomb was on an American Airlines plane. Police searched the specified aircraft but didn't find a bomb.

Investigators tracked the e-mail to the woman's computer.

During questioning, the woman reportedly told police that her boss had been booked on the flight to Honduras, but she had caused him to be late for the flight. She thought the bomb threat would give her boss time to make it.

The woman was being held on $7,500 bail.

How To Nail The Interview

I read an interesting article in DiversityInc. last week entitled, "What Do Your Interview Clothes Say About You?"

The article was authored by Lizz Carroll* and thought I would pass it along.

Please copy and paste the link below in your browser:


(*Link posted with permission from Diversityinc)


Sunday, November 29, 2009

These Hands Weren't Just Made for Typing

Went to Neiman Marcus and got myself a diamond ring - sort of :)

These cute little "Pink Elephant" gloves might just make me look forward to doing the dishes.

On second thought, probably not.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Meet Madison. . .

One of the newest members of the San Francisco legal scene.

Mom, Melissa Lyon, Account Manager for San Francisco Legal returned to work this week.

Madison Bella Lyon was born on July 12, 2009 at 8:33 a.m. (after 22 hours of labor)! Definitely worth the effort.

Welcome back, Melissa and pleased to meet you Madison. It must be hard to go to work in the morning and leave that cute little face - but hey, diapers ain't cheap!! :)

Congratulations, Melissa - you done good.

Monday, November 23, 2009

"Effective Use of Focus Group Results to Break the Negotiation and Mediation Stalemate" - Free Recorded Webinar from Merrill Corporation

Link published with permission of Merrill Corporation.

"Effective Use of Focus Group Results to Break the Negotiation and Mediation Stalemate"

Recording date: Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Moderator: David Perry, Merrill Corporation
Jury Consultant: Richard P. Matthews, Juryology
Jury Consultant: Tara Trask, Tara Trask & Associates
Consulting Attorney: Thomas Scarvie, Esq., Tara Trask & Associates
Consulting Attorney: James Ruh, Esq., Innovative Dispute Resolutions, LLC
Graphic Artist and Video Editor: Daniel Martin, Merrill Corporation
Duration: 1 hour 5 minutes

Description: Top litigators know that by integrating compelling and powerful discovery with focus group multi-media content, they can change a stale debate into a serious, persuasive and well-founded forecast of how jurors will likely view a case and ultimately render a verdict. In this powerful presentation our distinguished panel of experts will reveal how to leverage focus group results to break the mediation and negotiation stalemate.




Saturday, November 21, 2009

Beauty Tip of the Day - Because, Unfortunately, Being Smart Just Isn't Enough

Do you ever feel as though experience isn't the only thing employers are looking for?

That's because people place a lot of importance on appearance. And employers are people too.

I want to share a new find with you. A while back, I told you about Dr. Hauschka's Hand Cream.

Remember how excited I was because my hands were always so dry?

Well. . .I thought my hands were bad until I took that extra look in the mirror this morning.

Bundled up with hat, coat, scarf and gloves (to avoid further cracking and wind damage), I trekked to my local pharmacist. Pharmacies don't just carry medicine these days.

Prescription for "holistic face care" = Dr. Hauschka Moisturizing Day Cream.

Because while our experience shows in our work product, it also shows on our face.

Enjoy the weekend!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009


This new Aladdin Essential Tea Infuser Mug is - well, it's essential! Especially if you work in a law firm. You know you could use a "tea-time" every day, but you don't have time to go out for tea. You barely have time for bathroom breaks.

Well, you can do this right at your desk. (Won't your boss be happy that you're not leaving the building?)

Anyway, here's how it works:

Remove the lid. Put tea or coffee in the infusion basket. Add hot water all the way up to the fill line. Replace the lid and lower the basket with the lever. When the tea reaches your favorite shade, raise the basket. Flip open the lid and enjoy!



p.s. - works with COARSE ground coffee too!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Emergency Preparedness Kit for Legal Secretaries

Stapler - check

Staples - check

Post-Its - check

Paper Clips - check

Tape - check

Thanks, Esquire Solutions!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Join Boudin Frequent Buyer Program - Save Some Dough and Get Free Bread!

I got mine - have you gotten yours?

Join the Boudin Bakery (original Sour Dough Kings) Frequent Buyer Rewards Program.

For more information, check out:


to learn more about the beneifts of Boudin Frequent Buyer's Program.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Working In A Law Firm Can, At Times, Be Stressful

Thanks to Greta for forwarding the following which appeared
in the Embarcadero Center Weekly Marketing Update this week,
under Helen's Fact of the Week:

"Under extreme stress, some octopusses will eat their own arms."

Yup, It's a Four Barrel Monday

Four Barrel Coffee
375 Valencia
San Francisco, CA 94103

Monday - Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Get Your "Look Good" On, While Doing Something for Others

Thanks to Suzanne of Santa Cruz for passing along the information about a wonderful organization called "Beads for Life."

According to their website:

"BeadforLife eradicates extreme poverty by creating bridges of
understanding between impoverished Africans and concerned world citizens.

Ugandan women turn colorful recycled paper into beautiful beads, and people who care open their hearts,homes and communities to buy and sell the beads. The beads thus become income, food, medicine, school fees and hope.

It is a small miracle that enriches us all."

For more information, copy and paste the link below in your browser.


Just in time for your holiday shopping!

(Model: Stephanie of San Francisco)

Time Flies. . .

I don't know about you, but I'm already calendaring dates for 2010. Every legal secretary knows that timing is everything.

That said, a big old "thank you" to Simone Robinson, Los Angeles Legal Assistant Extraordinaire for the 2010 Court Calendar. What a wonderful Veteran's Day Gift :)

If you don't have a 2010 Court Calendar yet, call your favorite court reporter, they usually have these nice, big laminated ones that last the whole year long (and they're free!).

Because - it's later than you think.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"I Tink I Taw A Puddy Cat. . ." - I Did, I Did!

Even though we're only in the first week of November, it's starting to look a lot like holiday time - or holiday shopping time - well, that's great for those people who can still afford to shop.

I was strolling through the Embarcadero Center today and noticed that the building management was already decorating the trees for the holidays.

I swear it seems like only 2 weeks ago that they were growing herbs in those tree pots. Actually, I think it was 2 weeks ago. . .

Oh, well, it's never to early for retailers, right?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Community Service Opportunity In San Francisco

Thanks to Linda S. for forwarding this information

"I have just repeated my new-found holiday tradition, by volunteering to prepare food for The Glide Foundation's Holiday Meals for the Homeless. In the last few years, I have participated with my daughter, and it has become a wonderful part of our holiday celebrations. Especially in these hard economic times, it is good to feel that you are doing something so necessary and so useful to help others less fortunate than yourselves. Please take a moment to consider taking a few hours out of your family celebrations to help create a better holiday for someone else."

For details, copy and paste the link below in your browser:


'Tis The Season

Friday, October 30, 2009

THE Best Law Firm For Working Mothers - Hands Down!

Any firm which would allow you to bring your children - ALL your children to work with you, must be one family-friendly place!

OH, wait - that's right, it's Halloween. Well, that explains Heather Scott and Monica Key from Jackson Walker L.L.P. in Houston.

Seriously, these ladies certainly deserved the prize they won for "Best Costume."

Although, I don't know that Nadya Suleman would find this funny. ;0

But hey, all publicity is good publicity, right?

Trick or Treat!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Maybe I Shouldn't Have Said That. . ." - Watch What You Say At Work

Curbing that quick tongue at work
By Marie McIntyre, Ph.D, Your Office Coach


My problem is my mouth. I tend to say whatever is on my mind without thinking about the consequences.

For example, I recently met with one of our top executives. When he asked my opinion of him, I replied, “At first I thought you were a snob, but now you seem OK.” That was not a good answer. I also said too much in a meeting with my boss’s boss. After describing a problem with one co-worker, I went on to say that all the other women on my team have become less friendly and sometimes talk about me behind my back. I could tell that this was not well-received. Now I feel as though these managers are uncomfortable with me whenever I’m around them. How can I stop myself from saying too much?” — Motormouth

Marie’s Answer:

Your problem seems to go beyond simply speaking your mind. Try to view the situation objectively and consider the following points:

• Several of your comments reflect an extreme concern with what others might be thinking about you. In reality, however, most people are probably preoccupied with their own affairs and not focused on you at all.

• This hypersensitivity can easily lead to faulty assumptions. For example, you seem inclined to give a negative interpretation to others’ behavior, believing that they feel superior or don’t like you.

• When you combine hypersensitivity with a quick tongue, damaged relationships often result. To create a filter between your brain and your mouth, practice pausing before you speak. This will allow you to consciously choose your words.

*Reprinted with Permission of:

Business Management Daily

7600A Leesburg Pike, West Bldg., Suite 300
Falls Church, VA 22048
(800) 543-2055

Marie G. McIntyre, Ph.D.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Calling, Dr. Hauschka - My Hands Need You!!

I owe, I owe, so off to work I go. . .and type and file and open mail and type and file and open mail and type and file - oh, did I mention opening the mail?

Every busy secretary has busy hands. Busy hands get dry and chapped. Cold weather makes it worse. Flu Season calls for even more washing of those busy hands than usual.

I have tried nearly every hand cream on the market. And yet, my hands look and feel like Lizzy Lizard's.

Dr. Hauschka products have been around since 1967. I don't know why it's taken me so long to discover them, but I'm sure glad I did.

The first product I tried was the Lemon Bath. . .now that's what I call "Lemon AID." A must have for a woman (or man) of a "certain age."

But, my pharmacist, yes my pharmacist, turned me on to the Hand Cream.

Now after a day of typing and filing and opening mail, I might be able to find someone to hold my hand :)

Check out the full line of products at:


Here's to beautiful hands!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

And To Keep You Up, While You're Working On Those Motions. . .

You really ought to consider brewing a pot of Community Coffee.

Community is a great alternative to the other guys (who shall remain nameless). I was lucky enough to score a bag of the Carnivale Cake Blend, which won't be available for purchase until December.

It's like dessert for breakfast - not too sweet - just a hint of flavor - not at all overbearing. I am not usually one for flavored coffees, but this is really good. I didn't even need to add cream or sugar.

But, you don't have to wait until December to experience the taste of Louisiana Cajun Coffee. Community Coffee has a load of other blends for your brewing pleasure.

Visit their website at:


Remember, it's almost Friday. . .we can do this!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"I'll Second That Motion!" - Examplemotion.com - when you need that brief today!

If you thought 1-800-Flowers was useful when you forgot your mom's birthday, what would you think of a company that allowed you to get that motion filed before the last court day? I'll bet you'd think it was pretty neat.

You may want to send flowers to Dan O'Shea and Valerio Romano after you hear about their new company. Here's what their website says:

ExampleMotion provides quick access to sample pleadings, motions, and other legal documents at a nominal cost, and also provides attorneys with free online storage for their legal documents. Use the search box to find documents, then narrow down results based on jurisdiction, type of law, and other criteria. ExampleMotion is also a marketplace to share your documents for profit, or request documents not found in our library.

Browse their website at:


Find out what all the latest briefs are wearing.

ExampleMotion, Inc.
P.O. Box 591544
San Francisco, CA 94159
(415) 286-2797

Email: contact@examplemotion.com

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Slow Economy = A Great Time to Sharpen Your Litigation Skills

"He or She Who Has The Best Skills Set Wins!"

There is no greater investment than investing in your own education. Davidson Staffing is offering a great opportunity for legal support staff to step up their litigation game.

October 27, 28 and 29 in San Francisco!

Davidson Legal Staffing is proud to present Litigation Instruction and Training for Legal Support Staff, taught by Karyn Beyer and offered in Los Angeles and San Francisco. This 3 day seminar introduces legal secretaries and support staff to the complex world of civil litigation, including:

Federal and California State Court structure
Commencing a legal action
Discovery procedures
Motion practice
Complexities of calendaring
Alternative Dispute Resolution
E-filing in California Federal Civil and Bankruptcy Courts
Close up on legal calendaring

Attendees of the seminar will be eligible to purchase the Litigation By The Numbers -Fourth Edition Combo Pak at $10.00 off the regular price. For information about Litigation By The Numbers - Fourth Edition, and to view excerpts and testimonials, go to www.litigationbythenumbers.com.

2009 Upcoming Litigation Training Classes in San Francisco
San Francisco Location - NEW Location!
Golden Gate University, Room 4200
536 Mission Street, San Francisco, California 94105

For further details, visit Davidson Staffing's Website at:


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

On A Day Like Today. . .

all I want to do is curl up in bed. Just like my friend, Maxwell.

Jerri, thanks for sharing.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sometimes You Need Just A Little Something to Make It Until The End of The Day

I went to the Ferry Building at lunch, and sampled all of the delicious fruits. There were bosc pears, pluots, plums, oranges and apples.

And after my little tour through the farmer's market, I went inside and somehow ran right into this adorable little cupcake.

The perfect compliment to my free sample of Starbucks Via Instant Coffee!

Visit their website at:


Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Good Flick - "The Informant" Starring Matt Damon

I went to see the movie, "The Informant," this past weekend. The movie is based on a true story and it stars Matt Damon.

It's dark humor, reminiscent of "Fargo," and not only is it incredibly funny, it also touches on more serious issues - including whistle-blowing,bipolar disorder and other mental health issues.

This movie kept me interested, but tended to slow down toward the last twenty minutes.

To see a trailer of the movie, copy and paste this link in your browser:


I would give it four stars out of five. . .****

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Are You Ready?"

I was pleasantly surprised this morning when my barista offered me a sample packet of Starbucks Via Ready Brew Columbia to go with my Greek Yogurt and Honey Parfait.

Even though this product will not be available until September 29, it's already created quite a "buzz" (pardon the pun).

This is my second sample - the first was an Italian Roast (rich, bold, excellent) and the Columbia is milder but still surprisingly good for "instant coffee."

This is what Starbucks says about their new product:

This is not instant coffee as you know it. This is rich, flavorful Starbucks® coffee in an instant.
Starbucks has found a way to offer a truly great cup of coffee that you can prepare by just adding water. Other instant coffees taste flat and lifeless. Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew is different – it’s full-bodied and flavorful, just like the Starbucks® coffee you know and love.

It’s made with the highest-quality, ethically sourced 100% arabica beans. The magic is in a proprietary, all-natural process that we spent years perfecting. We microgrind the coffee in a way that preserves all of their essential oils and
flavor. No other coffee company takes this step, and it makes all the difference.



Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ana Costa of Barkley Court Reporters Featured In ANG Newspapers

Barkley's own, Ana Costa, was recently featured in the Contra Costa Times and their various news outlets regarding the 25th birthday of her son, Alex, (aka "The Peace Baby").

Please copy and paste the link below to read the details of her and her former husband's amazing journey to the Soviet Union to give birth to their first son - all in the name of Love.


Happy Belated Birthday, Alex!!

Beautiful Music - "Ave Maria" as Sung by Beverly Johnson

Many of you know, Beverly Johnson, former legal recruiter for Pathways and Landmark Personnel.

Bev has embarked on a full-time career as a vocalist. She's quite amazing.

Copy and paste the link below to your browser to listen to her rendition of "Ave Maria," on youtube


Monday, September 14, 2009

Mary's Tomatoes

She swears these are better than the "Early Girls." I say, that we all want a sample to judge for ourselves :)

You Say Tomato, I say "Early Girl Tomato"

Everything you wanted to know about Early Girl tomatoes but were afraid to ask!

Okay, thanks to Lorraine and Jerri, I no longer am ambivalent about tomatoes. In fact, I think I'm now obsessed with tomatoes. But not just any tomato. The "Early Girl" Tomato. So much so, that I now find myself in search of not only Early Girls*, but "DRY FARMED Early Girls." This I learned the hard way.

I trekked to the Marin County Farmer's Market on yesterday in search of some Early Girls. Forget about the rising cost of gasoline and bridge toll, life is short - I get my thrills where I can.

I was amazed at how many people knew what "early girls" were. All I said to one vendor selling cheese was, "Do you know where the Early Girl Tomatoes are?" And four people responded, "OH, they're three rows over. There's a bunch of people selling them." After scouting out the different booths which were selling Early Girls, I settled upon on with a nice woman vendor who was not only happy to let me sample the Early Girls, she let me sample the Pineapple Tomatoes - another story - another blog.

So, I buy a sack of early girls, bring them home, wash them, slice them and pour on my favorite Stone House Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar. Very good. However, there was something missing and I couldn't quite put my finger on it.

So, I call Lorraine this morning and I say, "Hey, those early girls are really good. Thanks for turning me on to them." And then Lorraine further explains that not just any old early girls will do - they must be dry farmed. . .and they can be found at the Ferry Building Farmers Market on Thursdays.

Here's what Wikipedia says about these little red rubies:

*The Early Girl tomato is a medium globe type F1 hybrid popular with home gardeners because of its early fruit ripening. Early Girl is an indeterminate variety. It is tall growing and needs support as the plant grows. Fruit maturity claims range from 50 to 62 days from transplanting, which appeals to growers in climates with shorter frost-free seasons. (However, the plants of this variety are not particularly cold-tolerant.) Plants are reliable and prolific.

The ripe fruit is about the size and shape of a tennis ball -- very much a standard tomato -- and weighs 4 to 8 ounces (~130g). It has a bright color and good flavor, but is usually replaced at the table by later-producing varieties which are considered better tasting. Open-pollinated alternatives that take roughly the same amount of time as Early Girl include Matina, Sasha's Altai, Silvery Fir Tree, and Stupice.

The Early Girl VF hybrid is verticillium and fusarium wilt (strain I) resistant. The VFF hybrid is resistant to fusarium wilt strains I & II. The patent holder of the Early Girl variety is Monsanto Corporation following its 2005 acquisition of vegetable and fruit seed company Seminis, Inc[1][2][3]. An open-pollinated version has also been bred, although it is not widely available.


And here is what the CENTER FOR AGROECOLOGY AND SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMS says about "Dry Farming:

“Dry farmed” means the plants that produced your tomatoes
have not been watered since May 2, when they were transplanted
into the field. Their roots grew deeper to follow the
moisture as the soil dried down. The idea behind dry farming is
to produce a tomato with more concentrated flavor, and save
water to boot.

So. . .tip of the day - Early Girls. . .Dry Farmed.

Bonjour!! :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Do's and Don'ts For Job Interviews by Marie G. McIntyre, Ph.D.

Do's and Don'ts for Job Interviews

Marie G. McIntyre, Ph.D.

(All material on yourofficecoach.com is copyrighted to Marie G. McIntyre. All rights reserved.)

Here are six surefire ways to make a BAD impression in an interview:

1. Show up late. Unless you were run over by a bus on your way to the interview, there is no acceptable reason for arriving late. Tardiness sends the clear signal that you are either a) incapable of planning, b) inconsiderate of others, or c) not very interested in the job. So allow yourself extra time to get there, but if you arrive early, don’t go into the office! Being early is almost as bad as being late, because you will mess up the interviewer’s schedule either way. Sit in your car until the appointed time – or if the weather is too hot or cold, find a nearby McDonald’s. Another tip: if you don’t know where your prospective employer is located, do a dry run and find their offices before the day of your interview, especially if you live in a large city.

2. Wear odd clothing. Keep in mind that one person’s “interesting and unique” can be another person’s “weird and inappropriate”. Unless you’re applying for a position at a clown college, you don’t want your attire to be too memorable. Remember that the way that you dress for an interview says a lot about your common sense and judgment.

3. Wear cologne. A scent you find pleasing can be repellant to someone else. The interviewer will be trapped with you in a room for an hour, so it’s much safer to wear no cologne at all. Otherwise, your interview may be cut short just so the interviewer can escape the smell.

4. Talk non-stop. An interview should be a dialogue, not a monologue. If you are one of those people who has trouble putting the brakes on your mouth, then you need to learn how to stop talking. The interviewer needs time to ask all of his or her questions, so when you have given a complete answer, just stop.

5. Bad-mouth your previous employer. You don’t want to say anything in an interview that would make you seem like a risky hire. If you complain about management or the organizational culture, then the interviewer may conclude that you are a negative person who could be a problem. So even if your previous boss was an idiot and your company was a wreck, don’t say so!

6. Ask too many self-serving questions. If you ask too many questions about pay, benefits, and promotional opportunities, you will give the impression that you are primarily interested in what you can get out of this job, not what you can contribute.

Now, consider these suggestions for doing well in interviews..

1. Know something about the business. Whether this is a large company, government organization, or mom-and-pop firm, learn as much as you can about the business before the interview. With so much information readily available on the Internet, this is usually pretty easy to do. So easy, in fact, that you will seem very unprepared if you haven’t at least checked out their website.

2. Study your own resume. Be sure that you are prepared to talk intelligently about the responsibilities, projects, and accomplishments listed. Look over your resume with the eyes of an interviewer and consider what questions might come to mind. Be prepared to answer them.

3. Practice common questions. The goal of any interview is to determine whether an applicant has the skills, motivation, and “fit” for the job, so interview questions are often quite similar. You should decide in advance how you will answer questions that can easily be anticipated. Trying to “wing it” in an interview is not a good idea! (For a list of sample interview questions, see “Conducting Effective Employment Interviews” under the “Leadership” tab on our home page.)

4. Dress one step up. When deciding what to wear, you need to dress just a little better than the prevailing norms at your prospective employer. If people in this job wear jeans, then show up in business casual. If they wear business casual, then you need slightly more formal attire. But showing up in a three-piece-suit to apply for the jeans job would classify as odd!

5. Watch your self-talk. If you keep mentally telling yourself that you might screw this up, then you’ll come to believe that. And if you define this as a life-or-death situation, vocationally speaking, then you’ll just work yourself into a nervous tizzy. Recognize that this is just a conversation about yourself, and you know more about yourself than anyone else. You’re the expert on your abilities and experiences. So relax.

6. When you meet the interviewer, smile and act friendly. First impressions are extremely important! You need to look like someone people might want to work with.

7. Make the interviewer comfortable. Odd though it may seem, many managers are nervous about conducting interviews. One of your goals should be to do your part to make this a comfortable conversation. If the manager doesn’t seem to know what to ask, it’s fine to say, “Would you like me to tell you something about my experience?”.

8. Tell helpful stories. Interviewers are most likely to remember examples of experiences or accomplishments, so be prepared to describe them in a concise and interesting way. Tell only the stories that will help the interviewer conclude that you could be a good match for the job.

9. Ask questions. Interviewers usually expect applicants to have some questions, so come prepared with a few. The purpose of asking questions is not only to get information, but also to make a positive impression with the type of questions you ask. The best questions will demonstrate your knowledge about the business or interest in the job. As mentioned above, too many self-serving questions will make a negative impression.

10. Make notes afterward. After the interview, make notes on what was discussed, what you learned about the job, and the names of people you met. Especially if you are interviewing at multiple places, this will help you keep everything straight and avoid embarrassing moments if you are called back for a second interview.

Copyright Marie G. McIntyre, www.yourofficecoach.com, all rights reserved. Used with permission

Monday, August 24, 2009

God Ain't Blind - Mary Monroe at Alexander Book Company, Tuesday, 8/25/09

Best-selling author, Mary Monroe, reads from her new book, "God Ain't Blind," on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.


Alexander Book Company | 50 Second Street | San Francisco | CA | 94105
(415) 495-2992

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Kindle You Handle It?

This is what all the Best Sellers will be dressed in this season.

Jerri got the latest generation Kindle (TM) electronic reader for her birthday.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Congratulations to Michael Wu and Gina Tsai - Baby Madison Is On The Scene

Welcome the newest addition to the Esquire Solutions Family!

Little Madison Wu is finally here!! She was born August 7, 2009 at 9:16am weighing in at 6 lbs 15oz and 20 inches.

Mom and baby are doing great - except for a little sleep deprivation on Gina's part :)

Have any parenting tips to share? I'm sure Gina would love to hear from you.

Anybody want to bet that Madison will be the most well-dressed baby in town?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Electronic Transcript Management Made Easy" By Barbara Lynch

(Reprinted with Permission from Atkinson-Baker)

Today’s technology has caused the amount of paper being used in the legal industry to be cut back over the years, but the quantity of paperwork that still is flowing in and out of law offices can be overwhelming for any legal professional working in litigation.

The entire litigation process has been a test in itself for paperwork management: how to organize paperwork, how to pass on paperwork, how to prioritize paperwork, and, all the while, trying to minimize paperwork. This is something they don’t teach law school students or first year associates.

Attorneys and their support staff shuffle through and pass back and forth loads of paperwork daily which, in large part, includes deposition summaries and transcripts. Multiply the amount of deposition hours by the number of cases and one attorney could easily fill a medium-sized closet with nothing but stacks of “active” transcripts at any one time.

But that has changed.

We are now in the time of electronic deposition transcripts. Receiving electronic transcripts not only cuts down on the amount of paper, but also cuts down on the delivery time, helping legal professionals to be much more efficient when handling and using transcripts.

How can electronic transcripts help?

Noelle Toorish, a legal secretary at Thompson Hine LLP in Cleveland, Ohio, has been taking advantage of electronic transcripts for quite some time now and sees how it benefits everyone involved - the attorneys, their support staff and, most importantly, clients.

“Having this information literally ‘at our fingertips’ helps us better manage our workflow in the review process--providing our clients with a better work product, quicker turn-around times and lower fees,” she said.

Eric Anvari, a litigation attorney who heads up his own practice in Woodland Hills, California, has also been a big fan of working with electronic transcripts.

“I have been reducing my paper bulk since 2005 and having electronic deposition transcripts and exhibits fits well with my personal policy of reducing the amount of paper used,” he said. “Besides getting rid of the paper clutter, the electronic version is easier to store, retrieve, and transport.”

You can copy and paste the link below to read the entire article:


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"A Bad, Bad Boy," by Judith Moore

The late Judith Moore was probably one of the best writers of her century. Her writing prowess was only matched by her incredible intelligence and dry wit. For those of us lucky enough to have known her, she left an impression that will never be forgotten.

However, incredible artists never really die – they simply leave this earth, but their art remains forever in our minds, or on the page, or on the canvas, or on the recording. Judith wasn’t finished with her work on this earth when she passed away from colon cancer in 2006. It was the same cancer that claimed the life of another great woman artist, Audrey Hepburn.

Moore was the author of the critically acclaimed 2006 memoir, “Fat Girl.” Now, three years after she departed this life for her new home, the San Diego Reader Press has published Ms. Moore’s biography of San Diego mob boss, Frank “Bomp” Bompensiero (1905 –1977). “A Bad, Bad Boy” is sure not to disappoint. Kudos to Jim Holman for making this happen.

After all, who wouldn’t be engrossed by a cast of characters which include, “Bomp,” “Jimmy (the Weasel) Fratianno,” and “Momo and Marie?” And don’t be surprised if you develop a sudden craving for pasta and peas.

“A Bad, Bad Boy” available at:




Monday, August 10, 2009

"Confessions Of A Shopaholic" - Now on DVD

You don't have to be a "Shopaholic," or even enjoy shopping to enjoy "The Girl In The Green Scarf."

I rented this movie over the weekend and it was just what I needed to forget about the stresses of the week. It's short (90 minutes), so you can even watch it on a work night.

Isla Fisher is just too cute as Rebecca Bloomwood, Hugh Dancy would be adorable as Luke Brandon, even if he didn't have that infectious accent :)

Joan Cusack - well, I just love Joan Cusack and paired with John Goodman, they are the most endearing parents ever.

Worth watching - even for the clothes alone!

"Two snaps and a circle!"