I Took the iPod Leap


I bought an iPod mini back when they first came out in 2004. I left it unopened and eventually returned it to the store after about a month. I think I was the only person to return one… ever. But I recently picked up one of the new iPod Nanos. I even opened the package this time.

I got the 8 gig version which will be plenty for me. So far I’ve got 22 songs (this is meant to be sarcastic- obviously it’s not something to brag about).  The new Nanos can store and play video, but I doubt I will take advantage of that. What’s more appealing to me is that the new generation of iPods can be used as external storage devices- this will come in handy for transferring files from work to home and vice vera.  The screen on the Nano is impressive- it’s super bright and very crisp. The navigation is also excellent. It’s been a long time since I’ve used anything Apple related, but I’ve got to hand it to them: they know how to make a good looking product in all respects.

I was pretty sure that the included headphones wouldn’t be up to snuff so I also purchased a pair of Bose on ear headphones (never shop at company retail stores!). I can honestly say these are the best sounding earphones I’ve ever used. In addition to being incredibly comfortable they are crystal clear while still proving very rich base. The Nano has no trouble powering them and battery life is still excellent.

Also of note is the iTunes software. Once again, I think Apple has done a great job. The interface is very clean and, for the most part, intuitive.

So there it is… my iPod adventure has begun. I may load another album onto the Nano tonight. The excitement never stops over here!

The Plum Card… Plum Crazy.


What should have been an incredible business aid and financial tool has turned into a bit of a joke for us. So far we have put about $6000 on the card and have begun the process of updating our vendors, and payees with the new card information.

I went to Costco to buy an iPod and the card was declined. Thinking it was a Costco issue I headed over to Best Buy. Again the card was declined (it had worked the day before). This was disappointing but I assumed there was some kind of misunderstanding that I could get resolved the following day. I had my wife call American Express and they told her that I would have to call back myself. “Why did we spend an hour on the phone with you two days ago setting me up as another primary card member?” Despite the fact that she was listed as such they would not talk to her.

Today was my turn. I got in touch with a rep at American Express and was informed that I had unofficially reached my limit. “My limit?” I asked in surprise. The rep then told me that she had to go through my purchase history and authorize some of the charges that were pending. Our conversation went something like this:

“There is a charge from Apple Computer. What was that for?”
“A Laptop.”
“Okay, I can authorize that.” (“What the hell is this?” I thought)
“And there was charge from Best Buy. What is that?”
“Computer software?”
“Okay, we’ll let that go through.”
“And there is a charge from Moteng. What is Moteng?”
“It’s a company we get products from.”
“What products are those?”
“Items to resell. Knives. We buy them to resell them.”
“Okay, we can authorize that. Well, things look okay, but if you want to put anything else on your card you’ll have to go through our credit department to have each additional purchase approved.”
“Ah… well…” I was somewhat perplexed at this point and very perturbed. “We can just pay off the balance and then keep using the card, right?”
“No sir, I’m sorry. You can only pay off the balance at the end of a billing cycle.”
“So there’s no way to pay it off now?”
“I’m sorry, but we have to keep you limited since we have no buying history available from you. Again, if you need an increase you can petition the credit department of American Express.”

 I’m not sure what kind of retail business has a cash flow of $6000 a month, but it’s certainly not mine. Perhaps I’ve misunderstood something somewhere, or perhaps the representative I talked to was misinformed. I was under the impression that the Plum Card could help our company but with restrictions and conditions like those mentioned above I may need to look elsewhere.

The American Express Plum Card


How cool is this? The new American Express Plum card gives users 2% back (credit applied to your card) if you pay your bill in full each month. This is perfect for our business. With the plum card we can put everything thing onto one card (no limit!) and pay it off at the end of the billing cycle  (which we always do) and we’ll literally save thousands of dollars a month!

They are starting out with 10,000 cards (you can apply at www.plumcard.com). We just got ours in the mail today. I can’t wait to try it out!

The New BHQ and Minivan too!

We redesigned our website- I just get that bug once in awhile…


Greg did the template work and I sat next to him and shouted “More colors! More space! Less space! There is more than before! Now make less! Over, over! More green blue blue!” The old site was just kind of clunky, angular and outdated (you can compare the old version and the new version. We even overhauled the logo (very dangerous- but who cares!?). Once we get a few of the bugs out the new site should be better than the old one in every way. Want to drop me a line to tell me what you think? Stifle that urge. Hold it… hold it… there you go.

And in other news, we’ve done it. Successfully rotated our entire vehicle selection in less than six months. How extravagantly delicious! We traded the Acura toward…


… a 2003 Honda Odyssey. I honestly didn’t want to be the guy who drove a sports car and made his wife drive a minivan. And I’m not! She chose this. We had looked at the Honda Pilot first (you know, trying to maintain our hip image with an SUV), but the Odyssey really won us over. When you can automatically open your car doors from the Keyfob you have a winner.  Fran wanted the red color because it reminds her of a berry on Reunion Island called the Goyavier. We have now achieved Utahsimilation.

Grass and Halloween


This is a post that should have gone up last week, but I just haven’t had the time. Usually I rob myself of sleep and sacrifice exercise and time with my family to do this stuff, but I did all that and there still wasn’t a free moment. Talk about a rough week.

Anyhoo… each October the Sabins throw a wicked Halloween party. This year was particularly exciting because it was in their house and they did an incredible job of decorating.  Fran was a Kangaroo with a miniroo (Gabe) tucked into a pocket. Claire was a lady bug and Michael was Raphael (not the painter- the turtle). If you want pictures of them you need to visit the other blog. I was feeling lazy so I just dressed my thumb up. The scar from my cut made a great mouth. It’s really too bad that I already had the stitches out.

Before the party I had been at Andrew’s house helping out with sod. I put a picture of some grass above to fill in space. It’s not Andrew’s. It’s not mine. I have no idea who’s it is. You can see Andrew’s real lawn here.