Friday, September 25, 2009

Something I Don't Get About Google Alerts

Google Alerts is supposed to be a great tool, and I have a really unusual name so it should be easy. The thing is, I get the same page, the same mention of my name, fairly regularly. One of the few other Auriette's in the world is a racehorse. She was racing '96-'98, from what I can tell. These same old articles keep showing up in my Google Alerts. I'm alerted about some of my tweets. Today I got an alert about a comment I made on another person's blog three weeks ago. I don't receive alerts about most of the blog prizes that I win, which are often posted on the giveaway blog. I signed up for Google Alerts to try to help me find out about wins, just in case the sponsor doesn't notify me directly or the e-mail gets lost. Unfortunately, it just doesn't seem to work that well.

New Salad Dressing is Coming

I have this morning off work, so I was at home during business hours, and I called the number on the O'Charley's Honey Mustard again. Now, the name on the bottle is Donelson Foods. I couldn't understand what the phone system said the company's name was, so when I reached a person, I asked if this was also Donelson Foods. She mentioned the O'Charley's Dressing and asked if I wanted HR. I explained I had a bad bottle of the dressing and she transferred me. That person (I didn't make a note of her name) mentioned clearly Choice Food and Diversity Food. I left a detailed message, then I started looking around. Apparently, what the phone system says is Vietti Foods. I guess they still make some foods under that umbrella, but then I found a press release that referenced "Choice Food of America formerly Vietti Foods" and how they were teaming up to form Diversity Food to reach the multicultural market. I was going to follow up with an e-mail to someone, if I could figure out their email address protocol, when the phone rang. The woman apologized, told me the person who handles these things is out of the office until Monday, but there's been another complaint about products with the 13Oct09 date stamp, so they would send me a replacement two-pack next week. She gave me a direct-line phone number to call if I don't receive it in the next couple of weeks.

I knew something had to be wrong with it, and I didn't let it go. I was polite on my message, but I also mentioned that I'd left a message before and never heard anything, and that I really hoped someone would call me back this time. Maybe the message didn't save correctly, or the person I left the message for has been out of town all this time. With voice mail, you never can tell. The person today seemed genuinely apologetic that no one had called me back. It pays to be persistent.

Why do places not return calls?

We bought this O'Charley's Honey Mustard dressing, made by a place called Donelson Foods, and it turned out we still had another bottle (we get them in 2-packs at Sam's Club), so it was sitting around for a while, but the expiration is not until October and the stuff we just finished was good until June according to the label, and it was still fine. So, it looked really dark and separated, the new stuff, and I shook it up and I poured some out, and it was really runny and looked nasty. I keep forgetting to take the bottle to work with me to call, so I called one evening, and they were closed, but they said I could leave a message, so I did. No one called me back and I'm really irritated about that.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

HP is addictive.

HP is giving away a really nice laptop and a mini. And an awesome Timbuk2 bag to carry them in. I have an HP desktop that I love, and you know what? The DV6 Laptop they're giving away in a series of back-to-school blog contests is even more powerful. More RAM. Slightly bigger hard drive. Plus a Blu-ray player, which I don't even own one yet, so that would be a really nice added feature.

The mini is tiny, but it would be perfect to carry in my purse (I'd have to clean it out of course) for comparison shopping while we're on the go. Don't you hate it when you're out and you see something and you wonder if it's really a good deal. What do the other stores have? Are there any sales? Pop into the nearest hotspot and you have your answers.

Head over to Daddy Forever right now for your chance(s) to win. You can enter up to four times using different methods. This blog I'm writing? This is one of my four entries.

There are a few more days in this ongoing HP promotion, and you can find more participating blogs and details about the prizes at HP's Back to School site.

Yes, I know I just blogged that I won an Acer laptop. Am I greedy? Maybe... But hubby's parents don't have a computer at all, so if I win this very sweet HP package, I will choose one of the smaller computers to send up to them so they can have e-mail. I think that if they ever used the email, they would enjoy being able to communicate with family members who don't live close by.

Think about your own reasons to win and start visiting Daddy Forever and the other participating sites for your chance.


I won a laptop! Thanks to Deal Seeking Mom and the fine folks at Acer, I will be receiving an Acer Aspire Timeline. It sounds great! Only 3.5 pounds, about an inch thick, and 8+ hours of battery life. From what I can tell, the processing speed is only moderately slower than our desktop, and the Acer has more RAM. It's got a 13.3" screen, which is a little larger than most netbooks. The 80gb hard drive is small, but external drives are not that expensive if I find I need more space. What I mainly want it for is checking email & entering sweepstakes online and for word processing (will I finally finish that novel?).

I got the notification on Thursday and Deal Seeking Mom confirmed receipt of my shipping and contact information on Friday. I'm hoping Acer will be able to ship next week, so I'll have it in time for my road trip on the 18th. I'm driving my mom to Indiana and flying back. It's going to be incredibly awesome to have a laptop for the trip!

That reminds me, I should start looking for wifi hotspots at the Indianapolis airport!