Horsemeat found in Ikea retail foods

BBC News – Horsemeat found in Ikea meatballs in Czech Republic.

Ikea has withdrawn meatballs from sale in 14 European countries after tests in the Czech Republic found traces of horsemeat in a batch made in Sweden.

This statement really sent me thinking:

Europe’s food retailers depend on a complex network of brokers, cold stores and meat-cutting plants around the continent from which to source the ingredients wherever they are cheapest, says the BBC’s Christian Fraser, in Paris.

Horse meat is considered a delicacy in some countries but this is against all rules of labeling, industry control and so much more.

At least a dozen countries are involved in the horsemeat affair, which implicates some of the biggest meat processors and food producers.



Hasn’t China Proved Itself Yet?

In an article at CBS this morning, the headline:  Auto Dealers, Big 3 Wait For More Details On Counterfeit Air Bags, drew my attention.  So did this statement:  “”Government investigators believe many of the bags come from China,” an industry official said.”

An additional note:  “The counterfeit air bags were manufactured by purchasing genuine auto air bags that were torn down and used to make molds to produce the counterfeit bags. Trademark emblems were purchased through Honda, Toyota, Audi, BMW and other dealerships located in China and affixed to the counterfeit air bags.”

So once again, be wary of cheaper auto parts.  Read the article and better safe than sorry.  Anytime I can buy American, I do.  How about you?

Hunger Pangs At the Motor City Casino

The coins simply weren’t dropping at the Motor City Casino last Sunday.  We decided to have dinner at the Motor Casino Assembly Line (buffet) where they have this awesome buffet.  While standing in line, we were entertained by a gentleman that obviously spent a lot of time there.  He mentioned that the slots weren’t paying out lately so he dines at the MC Assembly Line buffet and heads back over to the MGM to do his business.

Last year, the husband and I ate at the Assembly Line buffet and this year we compared our likes and dislikes between the two visits, and we gotta say that last year was much better.  If you love oysters, it’s the place to go.  The prime rib was to die for.  We can’t really complain about the food or the service.  Our dis-like was centered around the lack of options.  Now, if you’re talking about desserts… there were more than plenty and this was the 2nd time I said that I could spend my time just having desserts and screw the meal.  Tip:  if you love a good cannoli… don’t eat them here.  The more you leave for me, the merrier I’ll be.  Be warned however, they are not as creamy as you might hope for; a little more ricotta in the recipe does the trick.

Onward…. we walked through the casino and I could not believe my ears.  I spent a lot of time in Tahoe and Reno casinos and vowed not to spend a lot of time in the Detroit casinos for a long while (at least until the casinos recouped enough to repay some of their start up debts).  I don’t understand the attraction to sitting in front of a slot machine for hours in an environment that is so quiet you can hear a single quarter drop.  I’d be outta there so fast the wheels would spin on their own.  Even the non-smokers room of slots was quiet.  What about that?  Non-smoking slot machine room but no blackjack or card tables.  I have to admit it was a breath of fresh air regardless.  On a day like last Sunday, I’d vote for the cards and craps before I’d promote a slot machine.  No, we didn’t lay our money down.  Instead, we took a walk through with a full tummy and hit the road before the night life kicked in.

So that said, an interesting article popped up today, written on May 21. “Wings Reportedly Move Forward On New Arena.”

If you’re not familiar, the Motor City Casino is owned by Olympia Entertainment, a company owned by Mrs. Ilitch; part of the Ilitch Holdings conglomerate including the Joe Louis arena and the Red Wings.  😉

Do the math and if you want to support the build out of the new Joe, go to the Motor City Casino; choose a slot machine to feed, and play until your heart is content.  Preferably in the non-smoking room.  Personally, I’ll wait and pay to see a game at the new Joe.  Less of a risk getting the biggest bang for my buck.


Distractions on the Job

When thinking about “on the job distractions,” I reflect back to a couple of companies I worked with where email was heavily relied upon to communicate with other co-workers and especially the boss.  There’s nothing quite so stressful as having numerous conversations taking place within email and having to make the decision to ignore it for awhile to get back to the “real work” at hand.  I’m not suggesting that email isn’t “real work.”  However, if it isn’t making the company money and I have more demanding project deadlines at hand, my email can wait.

In my personal opinion, there are simply some positions that do not require you to focus on emails or make them a priority as part of your daily routine.  Yes, checking email is important.  Do it during a break, in between projects, first thing in the morning and 1/2 hour before leaving for the day.  Structure the time you spend on email to suit your needs and time, and the rest of the work will get done.  If it’s something so important that demands an immediate answer, a co-worker or boss can call you or step into your office to deal with the issue at hand and you can do the same.

The expectation that all your communications in the workplace take place via email is an unrealistic one of yourself and of your employer.  Take control, set your boundaries and structure the time you spend on email, and don’t hesitate to let them know.  Put an auto-responder in place that lets people know you’ve received their email, when you will reply and how to reach you if it’s an urgent matter needing immediate direction.

If you have a position where email is in whole or part of your work, then this might not apply to you.  I’m writing mainly to those with positions where a company’s income is not reliant on whether an email is answered immediately, and have the ability to structure it into a daily routine as opposed to allowing it to become so overwhelming that prioritized projects suffer delays, more time is spent on email and less on day to day projects, and stress sets in.

If you are ADHD, there’s an excellent article on how to “Diminish Digital Distractions to Maintain Attention.”

188 Members Urging President to Confront China on Auto Parts

Senator Stabenow Leads 188 Members Urging President to Confront China on Auto Parts Debbie Stabenow | Senator for Michigan.

“In a letter to President Obama, Members of both the House and Senate urged the Administration to use the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center President Obama recently established to address China’s predatory policies in auto parts.”

A Photographer’s Groan

I think you could say the same about photography/ers.  The sentiments across the professional photogs are  mutual.  All you have to do is research and read a number of photography forums to hear the groans.

I work to put a roof over my head and food on my table.  If you are doing it for the fun of it:  let your clientele know upfront so they can expect what they pay (or don’t pay) for.  This way, it doesn’t interfere with the professional price tag that comes with the professional photographer that offers a professional and quality product and service; and you aren’t contributing to a world-wide demise of pro photography as a career, especially for those that have been in the industry for a long time.  This teaches prospective clients that no matter how big or small, we all work for our bread and butter and we are worth our fees.

While I’m on the topic of groans.  If you plan to shoot weddings and have not done so yet, please do not post pictures on your website of weddings that you shot as a guest at one.  Maybe your website visitors don’t recognize the difference but it’s obvious to other photographers and it’s not right for a couple of reasons I can think of off the top of my head.  When I was starting out in wedding photography, I simply advertised it WHEN I had my first wedding under my belt and images I could display as my own project portfolio.  Getting in the way of a PAID photographer while they are shooting a wedding, so that you can steal a few posed pics to post on your website and mislead your visitors is just plain WRONG in so many ways.