Product Code 2111 = Bad Peanut Butter

Thanks to one of the blogs we read, we’ve just discovered that we own 3 jars of recalled Peter Pan peanut butter. It seems that they may be contaminated with salmonella. Peter Pan & Great Value are the only brands being recalled and the affected jars begin with the product code “2111” stamped on top of the lid.

With all the other junk that hits my email box, I’m not sure why this kind of news never gets to me! You can read more about the recall at the FDA website.
 

Getting Noticed

Since the site redesign last month, I’ve been making a few efforts to boost the web visibility of 2Dolphins.   Surely, you’ve noticed the design improvements but I’ve also made quite a number of behind-the-scenes changes to increase the SEO — that is, to make our pages more Google-friendly.   There are many great SEO resource sites but just a few worth mentioning are:

  • Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger
  • Daily Blog Tips
  • Google Webmaster Central
  • Yahoo! Site Explorer
  • SEOmoz
  • Evrsoft Developer Network
  • Pearsonified
  • Dosh Dosh
  • I’ve also joined several blogging communities like bloggerforum and directories like Technorati, Big Blog Directory, Connected Internet Directory, & Blog Top Sites to "up" our exposure.

    Blog Top Sites  Connected Internet Directory

    Are any of these efforts helping?   It’s a little too soon to tell to what degree this is making a lasting difference, but our monthly site visit stats definitely are on the rise!
     

    A Cure for Starbucks Stagefright

    Starbucks logoYou know how it is… You’re waiting in line at Starbucks and the self-appointed “guru of the ground roast” in front of you is rattling off the order for his signature morning java fix, “Double-tall, non-fat, half-caf, sugar-free vanilla, extra-dry cappuccino with caramel drizzle.”

    What?!!

    Not only do you not have a clue what half of what he just said even means, but most of the terminology defies conventional use of these words in the English language. Oh sure, Starbucks has little information booklets on the counter to help newbies learn how to order, but you don’t want to be the doofus standing around reading while everyone else is already enjoying their awesome drink, do ya?

    RTFM? No way!

    Your turn at the counter comes up, the ultra-hip barista eager to take your order, but you just freeze. Yup, you’ve got Starbucks Stagefright.

    If you often find yourself stumped at the Starbucks counter, jonesin’ for some awesome, self-indulgent beverage (cuz, after all, Starbucks is freakin’ delicious!), but clueless because you don’t know the secret code or have a decoder ring, there’s hope for you yet… wikiHow’s How to Order at Starbucks guide will educate you on all the proper lingo so you’ll be able to order drinks just like the cool kids.

    As for me, I’ll take a “Grande, 2-Splenda, Sugar-free Vanilla Breve latte, extra hot!”

    Hacks Awe

    Years ago, the term "hacker" carried a connotation of a malicious meddler who attempts to gain unauthorized access to sensitive computer systems to steal, change, or destroy information as a form of cyber-terrorism.

    But today, it’s come to mean something entirely different and much more flattering. Now a "hacker" is someone who enjoys the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming or circumventing limitations — someone who makes things work beyond perceived limits through unconventional means or skills. And there’s a whole new social culture of hacking that’s emerged as a result of information-sharing via Internet-based communities.

    Some of our favorite websites to visit are hack sites, where off-beat, sometimes-radical thinking folks put forth creative ideas to make everyday things work just a little bit better, easier, and/or cheaper. Here are just a few:

    Lifehacker logo banner

    Lifehacker makes getting things done easy & fun with simple tricks for managing your information & time. If you don’t already have this site bookmarked, well, do it now!

    lifehack.org logo banner

    Danny O’Brien’s lifehack.org is a frequently-updated blog built around the theme of hacks, tips, & tricks that get things done quickly by automating, increasing productivity, & organizing.

    Parents Hacks logo banner

    Asha Dornfest’s Parent Hacks is a collaborative weblog that collects useful parenting tips, recommendations, workarounds, & other bits of wisdom. It’s the stuff that would’ve been left out of the instruction manual — if there were one to begin with.

    ikea hacker logo banner

    ikea hacker is a a nifty site that offers simple tips on repurposing, tweaking, & otherwise improving the cool stuff from Dede’s favorite store, IKEA.
     

    Windows Past and Present

    With the release of Windows Vista not quite 2 weeks ago, Microsoft’s operating system takes its next progressive step forward. I’m still of the mind that Vista is little more than Windows XP with loads of eye candy & fluff — and Vista’s The "Wow" starts now! slogan does little to dissuade me.

    But then again, the same could’ve been said for XP — internally it’s known as "v5.1," whereas Windows 2000 was "v5.0" — but I’ll readily concede that Windows XP is superior to 2000. So I’m sure that, in due time, I’ll come to love Vista too… in spite of the tremendous horsepower (don’t you dare believe the meager minimum system requirements touted by Microsoft) needed to do practically the same things that XP already does, but with less flair.

    Clems & I were talking about all of this earlier this week and neither of us understand the harsh criticism that XP gets. We’re all the time reading hateful rants about how unstable and buggy the OS is, yet we just don’t see it. In fact, having used every prior version of Windows made, I think XP is, well, da bomb! Anyone who has serious complaints about XP should be relegated to working with Windows 3.1 in a networked environment for a week. That’d shut ’em up!

    And in case you don’t recall just how far Bill & the Redmond gang have come with this stuff, Steve Wiseman over at IntelliAdmin has a brief writeup on The Many Faces of Windows.

    For reference sake, here’s a glimpse of Windows v1.0 in 1985:

    Windows 1.0 screenshot

    …and the gorgeous Windows Vista now:

    Windows Vista screenshot

    Survivors Ready?

    Survivor: Fiji logo

    The 14th season of Survivor, Survivor Fiji, starts tomorrow night. As usual we have drawn for our survivors at work and this time I have Stacy Kimball and Rob has Rita Verreos.

    They’re a survivor short this season, with only 19 instead of the usual 20 contestants, because the 20th person dropped out a day before filming started. The twist for this season is that one tribe will live in luxury while the other tribe has virtually nothing — the Ravu orange buff tribe are the "Have Nots" and the Moto green buff tribe are the "Haves." Exile island is back again this season with clues to two immunity idols, one hidden at each camp.