Sunday, March 22, 2009

What does one TRILLION dollars look like?

If you haven't seen this, it's worth a look. I'd happily take the 1 million dollar package (100 packets of $10,000) which looks like this...

...and would still have room in my bag for my laptop.

Isn't it amazing that something that looks so small can mean so many big things?


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Expense reports - The Next Generation. Wow!

I was filling out expense reports this past weekend and tweeted about it:

A short while later, I got a reply tweet:

My first thought was "Oh crap! Twitter spam!" But for some reason, I clicked on the link and ended up at a new site called Expensify.

Maybe because I hate filling out expense reports (particularly the part where I have to tape all my receipts to copy paper) or maybe it's because I was just bored of doing it and thought something new and different would at least be not boring, so I signed up.

Within a few minutes, I had linked up the credit card I use for all my business expenses and imported all the transactions for that card into Expensify. From that list of transactions, I chose the expenses that were from my latest business trip and built a new expense report following the very simple instructions. There were a few expenses that I didn't charge to my card, so I added those manually.

They said I could email a JPG of the receipt to and it would be made available for me to include on my report just like charge card receipts. I tried this and it didn't work. Oh well...I figured it was either user error or perhaps it was the fact that this site is still labeled "beta" and I had just hit a bug that was preventing it from working.

But, for the part that worked, I was very happy. Every expense from my credit card had a certified electronic receipt. What this means is that there is proof of my charge direct from my credit card vendor that the IRS accepts so I don't need to provide the physical receipt for those expenses. In other words, if I charge everything to my card, I have electronic receipts for all those charges and my entire expense report can be handled without me having to deal with one scrap of paper or receipt! Now that is awesome!

I was a bit concerned about the cash receipts JPGs not showing up though so I sent a feedback note (by clicking on the site's Feedback link) saying that I couldn't get the JPG email to show up properly. I figured the feedback would just disappear into a support black hole, but then !bam! I got an email from a real person with a real name with a real email address:

I forwarded him the original email I had sent with the attached JPG as he requested and got this reply:

Wow! Real. Live. Actual. Responsive. Customer. Service. Wow!

I re-sent the email with the attachment and checked my Expensify account and !wah-lah! it was there, pretty as you please.

Wanting to be thankful but seeing something else I was now wondering about, I replied:

And very shortly, I received this note in response:

Again, I say Wow! I got an acknowledgment and a work-around.

I'm seriously impressed with these folks. It reminds me of TripIt and how much easier using it has made organizing my travels. Expensify seems to be to expense reporting what TripIt is to travel. Granted, I think they've still got some maturing to do but I'm highly impressed with what they've got and with their excellent customer service. And, even's free to use!

My customer service experience is so critical to how I view a product or service. If customer service and support is top notch, I think that speaks volumes. And, it didn't take much for the Expensify folks to make me feel well taken care of and heard. I appreciated it so much I've just spent 20 minutes writing this blog post singing their praises!

So, if you hate doing expense reports and want a way to make it easier and faster to do them than you ever thought possible, I highly recommend that you check out Expensify.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


My friend Cheryl tagged me for this a couple of weeks ago and so I'm playing along (better late than never)!

Here's the deal:
1. Go to your My Documents/My Pictures
2. Go to your sixth file
3. Go to your sixth picture
4. Blog about it
5. Tag 6 people

Well, first of all, I'm a Mac user so there's no such thing as My Documents/My Pictures. So, I improvised. I went to iPhoto and chose the 6th Event category (it was entitled "Misc Fun"). Here's what I found:

You know I followed the instructions because why else would I ever choose this humiliating photo of myself to display to the public! Thanks a lot Cheryl!

So, here's the deal. I have a thing for hats. I don't wear them often, but I have several I keep around for things like hiding bed hair when I have to run to the store early in the morning to pick up something we need for breakfast. But mostly, I like to try on different hats and have fun making up stories about what I'd be doing or who I'd be if I was the owner of that hat.

Can you guess who I'd be in the hat pictured? Yep...that's me...the Grand Poobah!

This hat was one of many I tried on at a shop at Universal Studios Florida called the Brown Derby. That day I tried many hats and had many photos taken, but this one was the one I was most tempted to purchase. I could almost imagine the stares I'd get the next time I wore it to cover up bed hair!

I'll admit to ending the tag game at me. I mean really...the Grand Poobah does have the power and authority to change the rules just a bit doesn't she?!?!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


For those of you who Twitter and own an iPhone, you may like this app - Tweetie - if you haven't found it yet.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Don't keep secrets from your doctor

Check out this article from It's a list of 10 'secrets' you shouldn't keep from your doctor. I was amused enough at the list that I thought I'd share it for those who don't want to read the full article.

1. Smoke, drink excessively, do illegal drugs
2. Have peeing or pooping issues
3. Take herbs
4. See a chiropractor or an alternative healer
5. Are having financial troubles
6. Want cheap medicine (i.e. generic drugs vs. brand name)
7. Feel depressed or anxious or stressed out
8. Defied the doctor's orders
9. Don't exercise and eat badly
10. Have a small problem you think is unimportant

I'm not sure why this struck me, in some ways, as funny, but it did. My primary physician is one person I really do tell everything to! After a heart attack two years ago and the realization that I'm getting older and older every day, I figure I'd better keep my doc "in the know".

First of all, I pay her to make my health a priority (for her and for me). Second, some of these things I think she'd know if I tried to lie. For example, defying her orders or not exercising and eating badly will show up in her examinations of me for the most part. If I leave her office and return six months later and have gained 20 pounds I think she'll figure out I've not been a good girl with diet and exercise. Finally, what's the point in keeping secrets? It's kinda funny but mostly sad to think that people would not tell their doctor about things because they were embarrassed or frightened of the reaction they'd get or maybe they just don't want to be told any bad news so they lie to avoid it.

Anyway, if you have a fear of being honest with your doctor, try finding one that you feel comfortable enough with to be completely open. I think you'll be glad in the long run and likely a lot healthier too.