Monthly Archives: October 2007

Halloween – The Fun and Fright is Over

 all of us  Homeboy Skeleton  ladybug

Ah, another evening of spooky fun with the kids. We had a fun time trick-or-treating with friends and the kids are now off the sugar high and have their teeth well brushed and are sound asleep after an evening of walking, having fun and getting oodles of candy.  Last year we ran out of treat bags after sixty kids…. so while I planned for 70 we probably only had around forty this year. But the yard was filled with some decorations and spooky music, so the kids that did go around door-to-door on our street — I’m sure they enjoyed it.

Haley lucked out with being able to wear the purple ladybug costume for preschool (its a spider but she insists only ladybugs have spots) and her pumpkin costume for trick-or-treating. Brennan came up with his own ensemble, a homie zombie of sorts.  I dressed as a witch again this year to take the kids out, and again this year I forgot to glob a layer of cream under the green paint. Needless to say I’ll have a sickly glow about me for the next couple days. But ’tis all for making the evening special for the kids — so green I am for a little bit.  We hooked up with our zombie and kitty cat neighbors to go out. Quite the group!

pumpkin Brennan carving Group Spooks 

Outdoors Shot face My favorite Decoration

Happy Halloween!

FedEx Fee Hikes in ’08, AuctionPal’s New Plan, and ChannelAdvisor Upgrades

The tools & trend bit of eBay Watch has been published over on EcommerceGuide. This week in third-party news, here’s what’s grabbing headlines that will be of interest to eBayers.

  • ChannelAdvisor Offers New Support and Amazon Promotion
  • AuctionPAL Announces Selling Services
  • The Grinch Who Raised Rates

Rate Rage: FedEx Fee Hikes Coming in 2008
October 31, 2007, by Vangie Beal

eBay Watch: Griff’s Five Tips for Selling Gifts

This week I had the opportunity to speak with Jim “Griff” Griffith about holiday selling on eBay. Certainly no stranger to eBay buyers and sellers, Jim Griffith, known affectionately in the eBay universe as “Griff,” is dean of eBay education, the lead instructor for eBay University, and is also the author of “The Official eBay Bible” and host of eBay Radio.

Holiday Selling Tip #1: Keep Shipping Competitive
Jim “Griff” Griffith said part-time, full-time and even first-time sellers need to keep their competition in mind when joining the ranks of eBay sellers. “Shipping is a point of competition. You need to know what other sellers are charging for shipping similar items of similar size and either match that shipping price, or even beat it if you can.”

eBay Watch: Griff’s Five Tips for Selling Gifts
By Vangie Beal, October 31, 2007

IM Watch: Vendors Line Up to Support UC

The latest IM Watch has been published over on Making headlines this week is more than 50 partners who have announce products and services for Microsoft Unified Communications, Jabber’s MomentIM 5.2.1 supports multiple IM clients, Skype adds its voice to MySpaceIM, Akonix unveils L7 Enterprise v6.2 and much more.

“‘Jabber recently announced availability of Jabber MomentIM 5.2.1, an AOL certified client providing interoperability with AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), Google Talk, and other instant messaging clients. New features introduced in Jabber MomentIM 5.2.1 utilize Jabber MomentIM’s flexible COM-based plug-in architecture and include advanced file transfer that enables file transfer between Jabber MomentIM and Jabber Messenger, new branding enhancements, support for Microsoft Vista in addition to Windows XP, and also X.509 certificate-based authentication that requires no additional end-user credentials.’

“‘MySpace and Skype announced they will partner in a move that’s designed to incorporate Skype’s voice engine as a part of the social networking site’s instant messaging service. The service is called MySpaceIM with Skype and is expected to be released next month. By embedding the Skype voice engine into MySpace’s proprietary instant messaging client, MySpace users get free voice messaging across both MySpace and Skype, and also provide MySpace users with access to Skype’s other calling services.'”

IM Watch: Vendors Line Up to Support UC
By Vangie Beal – Published October 23, 2007

Microsoft Windows Home Server (WHS) First Look Preview

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to check out Windows Home Server on the home LAN, and my initial thoughts and first look review of WHS has been published over on PracticallyNetworked. Those looking for an easy way to share, backup, and  access files on your home network might want to have a read.

“‘For the most part, Microsoft has gotten better about PC backup options with each new version of the Windows operating system. Vista’s Backup and Restore Center provides Vista users with a wide variety of options, but it’s concentrated only on a single PC. What Windows Home Server brings to the table is the capability to easily and quickly backup all the PCs on your home network without needing to do much more than select a couple preferences in the Home Server Console.’

“‘If you’re a novice, you really don’t even have to set options. Home Server, it will work as-is at optimum performance with its default settings. This includes full backups being scheduled to run in the early morning hours.”

Microsoft Windows Home Server
By Vangie Beal, 10/17/2007

Contests For Canadians

I’ve updated the new Canada Contests – Daily Entry blog with some new contests for Canadian residents. All the newly listed contests have great prizes – some are instant win and you can bookmark the contest pages and enter once per day for the contest period. Newly added contests include: NESQUIK – Create a Stir (Instant Win), TENDERFLAKE – Year At The Spa, UNI-BALL Secure Your Signature , NESTLE – GO PLAY (Instant Win), E.D. SMITH – $25,000 Mortgage Vacation, – What You Missed, and DURACELL – Copper Stoppers.

Good luck!

eBay Watch: Auctions in the ‘Hood

Another Friday means another weekly edition of eBay Watch over on This week I take a look at the new eBay neighborhoods, pending changes to the Detailed Seller ratings (DSR), PayPal’s Payment review process, and the latest version of GarageBuy and other eBay tools. Plus get some tips on great eBay Halloween buys.

“‘This week PayPal plans to roll out a new security feature called Payment Review that assists sellers in fighting fraudulent buyers. Payment Review is an automatic system that sends sellers alerts when the system spots a ‘high-risk’ payment. When tagged by the system, the payment will be moved to a pending status while PayPal investigates. If PayPal determines that the payment is most likely fraudulent, the payment will be automatically canceled.’

“‘Payment Review is being used for a small number of transactions to test the system, however PayPal says it expects the program to include an increasing number of transactions in the U.S. and Canada over the next few months.'”