Monday, January 30, 2012

The Business LA Friday Feb 10th 2012: Kinane & Katz!

Sup LA? How you been, girl? See you missed us real bad. Well, dry those eyes Shygirl because The Business LA is back Friday February 10th at 8pm! We're starting this year off right: a month and ten days after it started! Helping us usher in this year of Dragons and Mezo-Apocalyptic Mysteries is none other than Kyle Kinane and Louis Katz!

Tickets are $10 at the door BUT...
They are only $8 online with NO SERVICE FEE!


The show is at 8pm at Meldown Comic's Nerdist Theater in Hollywood.

As you may remember, we had a rendezvous with Kyle Kinane way back in of 2011, but he caught the Demon Flu and disappeared into a fever dream of Dorrito farts. But we're cashing in our rain-check (Kinane-check, if you will) and using hand sanitizer to ensure he'll come give you the laughfluenza (ok, I'll stop). You should know take the time to know Kinnae if you don't but here is a starting point: Last year he was named one of Paste Magazine’s 10 Best Comedians of 2011 & he took a limo full of Coors Light to a Bob Seger show. Now go Google the rest.

Louis Katz joins us from New York to talk dirty flavor in your ear. Louis triumphantly returns to SoCal, the place of his dirty birth, to make everyone laugh at animal farts and show off his pointy shoes. He has a new album out on Comedy Central records and can't be stopped. He is also a cast member of the web series Elevator To: Space, and his evening will mark his reunion with other cast members Alex, Chris and Sean. One small step backwards for mankind.

What are you waiting for? GET IT GIRL!

The Business February 1st 2012, "Sheng Wang Time!" Edition

Surprise! Sheng Wang is on The Business this week. Fresh off a weekend of dominant performances at Sketchfest, Sheng Wang returns to The Business this week. You may have seen him at the Punch Line, at Kevin Allison's RISK! storytelling show, or in line at Arinell's Pizza. Mr. Wang is a native of Houston, Texas, but came of comedy age in the Bay. His Comedy Central half-hour special premiered last year, and he's also appeared on Live At Gotham and toured with the Comedians of Comedy. He's a frequent guest to the Business, where he has also exhibited his photography. Is there anything this dude can't do?

We've also got Chris Garcia, Caitlin Gill, Sean Keane, and Bucky Sinister rounding out the lineup. Admission is still five dollars, and you can bring in your own burrito if you like - I'm pretty sure Sheng will be bringing in his.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Words That Really Matter

Romans 5:1-2 
 1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Revamped Dresser

Time for the reveal! Here is the "after" shot of the dresser I made over for E's room.
Remember the "before"? A tad different, isn't it?
 I found this dresser at the thrift store two weekends ago for $15...yep, that's right! They were having a 50% off sale on all furniture. I almost had a heart attack thinking someone else would try to swipe my pet fur, mouse poo & dust infested dresser before I had the chance...but luckily, no one else was interested:o)
So I started by deconstructing the whole piece. That was the easy part:o)
 The tough part was making the MDF box to go in the center of the dresser. This was my first attempt at using a table saw, and let me just say that there was a lot of heavy praying going on while using it. On three different occasions, MDF literally shot off of the table saw..thankfully I wasn't on the receiving end!
 Since we currently are no longer in possession of a miter saw, I had to use a miter box to cut the trim pieces, which was A-O.K. with me after the frightening experience with the table saw! I used 1 1/4 inch trim to frame out the box, and base board trim for the base.
 I filled in the gaps with some wood putty, and got it ready for paint.
 It now resides in E's room with new hardware. 
 He is extremely excited to have it in his room now....
 So much so, that he thought it was a great place to climb on top of and leap to his bed...BAD IDEA!
Mommy worked waaaaay too hard on this for little grubby feet to be climbing on this puppy:o)
So anyway, that's that!
To see where I got my inspiration, check out 

Participating here:

Design Dazzle

Furniture Feature Fridays


The Stuff of Success

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My New Bedding & a Sneak Peak

I got some new bedding...and I love it!
I feel like I have a completely different room:o)
I decided one day to stop by Pottery Barn to see what they had..not really expecting much in the sale department...and low and behold I found this duvet cover for $31...a steal, I know.
I needed to accessorize this new awesomely cheap bedding...
So I went into Mission-Pillow-Hunt at Stein Mart. They had one pillow sham that matched the duvet perfectly...but only one. Ahhh! Panic mode had set in. I called all of the surrounding Stein Marts including some in Tennessee. I only needed two more people!!  Apparently this is a popular pillow because all of the stores except for one (just outside of Nashville) were sold out...and that one had only two. Talk about
 luck! Thankfully my mother happened to be in the area the next day and was able to pick them up for me...such a sweet little momma:o) 
Aren't they pretty?

Did you happen to notice the ruffly pillow? Wanna know what it was BEFORE it was a pillow? A table runner! I found this table runner at T.J. Maxx for $12.99. They had a few colors to choose from, but this color suited my room the best.

 It just so happened that my shabby, well-slept-on king size pillow was the perfect size to slip inside.
 So I ripped the seams at one end.
 Slid the well-slept-on pillow inside, and stitched it back up.
Are you loving it? I know I am:o) Next on the "to buy" list is a new bed skirt. I want a fru-fru bedskirt that is really full and girly:o)
 And this is a sneak peak "before shot" of the dresser I am working on for E. I have changed it up a bit and finished painting it today. I'm hoping to share the end results with you all either Thursday or Friday.
You won't believe what I paid for it...any guessers? 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Fraud and the Road to Abilene

Over the weekend, an (anonymized) interview was published in a Dutch national newspaper with the three “whistle blowers” who exposed the enormous fraud of Professor Diederik Stapel. Stapel had gained stardom status in the field of social psychology but, simply speaking, had been making up all his data all the time. There are two things that struck me:

First, in a previous post I wrote about the fraud, based on a flurry of newspaper articles and the interim report that a committee examining the fraud has put together, I wrote that it eventually was his clumsiness faking the data that got him caught. Although that general picture certainly remained – he wasn’t very good at faking data; I think I could have easily done a better job (although I have never even tried anything like that, honest!) – but it wasn’t as clumsy as the newspapers sometimes made it out to be.

Specifically, I wrote “eventually, he did not even bother anymore to really make up newly faked data. He used the same (fake) numbers for different experiments, gave those to his various PhD students to analyze, who then in disbelief slaving away in their adjacent cubicles discovered that their very different experiments led to exactly the same statistical values (a near impossibility). When they compared their databases, there was substantial overlap”. Now, it now seems the “substantial overlap” was merely a part of one column of data. Plus, there were various other things that got him caught.

I don’t beat myself too hard over the head with my keyboard about repeating this misrepresentation by the newspapers (although I have given myself a small slap on the wrist – after having received a verbal one from one of the whistlers) because my piece focused on the “why did he do it?” rather than the “how did he get caught”, but it does show that we have to give the three whistle blowers (quite) a bit more credit than I – and others – originally thought.

The second point that caught my attention is that, since the fraught was exposed, various people have come out admitting that they had “had suspicions all the time”. You could say “yeah right” but there do appear to be quite a few signs that various people indeed had been having their doubts for a longer time. For instance, I have read an interview with a former colleague of Stapel at Tilburg University credibly admitting to this, I have directly spoken to people who said there had been rumors for longer, and the article with the whistle blowers suggests even Stapel’s faculty dean might not have been entirely dumbfounded that it had all been too good to be true after all... All the people who admit to having doubts in private state that they did not feel comfortable raising the issue while everyone just seemed to applaud Stapel and his Science publications.

This reminded me of the Abilene Paradox, first described by Professor Jerry Harvey, from the George Washington University. He described a leisure trip which he and his wife and parents made in Texas in July, in his parents’ un-airconditioned old Buick to a town called Abilene. It was a trip they had all agreed to – or at least not disagreed with – but, as it later turned out, none of them had wanted to go on. “Here we were, four reasonably sensible people who, of our own volition, had just taken a 106-mile trip across a godforsaken desert in a furnace-like temperature through a cloud-like dust storm to eat unpalatable food at a hole-in-the-wall cafeteria in Abilene, when none of us had really wanted to go”

The Abilene Paradox describes the situation where everyone goes along with something, mistakenly assuming that others’ people’s silence implies that they agree. And the (erroneous) feeling to be the only one who disagrees makes a person shut up as well, all the way to Abilene.

People had suspicions about Stapel’s “too good to be true” research record and findings but did not dare to speak up while no-one else did.

It seems there are two things that eventually made the three whistle blowers speak up and expose Stapel: Friendship and alcohol.

They had struck up a friendship and one night, fuelled by alcohol, raised their suspicions to one another. And, crucially, decided to do something about it. Perhaps there are some lessons in this for the world of business. For example, Jim Westphal, who has done extensive, thorough research on boards of directors, showed that boards often suffer from the Abilene Paradox, for instance when confronted with their company’s new strategy. Yet, Jim and colleagues also showed that friendship ties within top management teams might not be such a bad thing. We are often suspicious of social ties between boards and top managers, fearful that it might cloud their judgment and make them reluctant to discipline a CEO. But it may be that such friendship ties – whether fuelled by alcohol or not – might also help to lower the barriers to resolving the Abilene Paradox. So perhaps we should make friendships and alcohol mandatory – religion permitting – both during board meetings and academic gatherings. It would undoubtedly help making them more tolerable as well.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Words That Really Matter

Our memory verse this week...have you guys jumped on board yet?

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ideas to Make Life Easier

Here is an email I received today. Thought I would share this tips with you all!


Hull strawberries easily using a straw.

Rubbing a walnut over scratches in your furniture
will disguise dings and scrapes.  Rubbing a walnut
over scratches in your furniture will disguise dings
and scrapes.

Remove crayon masterpieces from your TV or
computer screen with WD40.

Stop cut apples browning in your child’s lunch box
by securing with a rubber band.

Overhaul your linen cupboard, store bed linen sets
inside one of their own pillowcases and there will
be no more hunting through piles for a match.

Pump up the volume by placing your iPhone & iPod
in a bowl.  The concave shape amplifies the music.

Re-use a wet-wipes container to store plastic bags.

Add this item to your beach bag.  Baby powder
gets sand off your skin easily, who knew?!

Attach a Velcro strip to the wall to store soft toys.

Use wire to make a space to store gift wrap rolls
against the ceiling, rather than cluttering up the

Find tiny lost items like earrings by putting a
stocking over the vacuum hose.

Make an instant cupcake carrier by cutting
crosses into a box lid.

For those who can’t stand the scrunching and
bunching: how to perfectly fold a fitted sheet.

Forever losing your bathroom essentials?  Use
magnetic strips to store bobby pins, tweezers
and clippers, behind a vanity door

Store shoes inside shower caps to stop dirty
soles rubbing on your clothes.  And you can
find them in just about every hotel.

A muffin pan becomes a craft caddy.  Magnets
hold the plastic cups down to make them

Bread tags make the perfect cord labels.

Bake cupcakes directly in ice-cream cones, so
much more fun and easier for kids to eat.

Microwave your own popcorn in a plain brown paper
bag.  Much healthier and cheaper than the packet

Install a tension rod to hang your spray bottles.

Turn your muffin pan upside down, bake cookie-dough
over the top and voila, you have cookie bowls for fruit
or ice-cream.

Freeze Aloe Vera in ice-cube trays for soothing
sunburn relief.

Create a window-box veggie patch using guttering.

Use egg cartons to separate and store your
Christmas decorations.

Pretty cool, huh?