Friday, August 29, 2008

Introducing Roxy's Best Of...Blogs

As my loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives and Bay Head Blog readers know, I've been hard at work over the past couple of months on the launch of the Roxy's Best Of... WordPress MU Community.

To give you a bit of background on the new site as well as some of the old ones, Roxy is a former disc jockey and advertising copywriter, current investment banker and mother-of-two coming to you from the Roxiticus Valley, New Jersey. You'll find my original PG-rated blog, reporting on the quirks and sexual peccadilloes of the neighboring desperate housewives, or whatever else the milkman may have delivered this morning, at Roxiticus Desperate Housewives.

When we (Roxy, Rex, and our two daughters, London and Maddie) moved out to the Roxiticus Valley in October 2003 from a co-op on the Hudson River in New York City's West Village, we didn't know where to find anything: toddler ballet classes, butchers and prepared foods, local clothing boutiques, and all sorts of personal services, from pediatricians to florists to our now beloved cake lady. As our girls grew up over the past five years, from ages 2.5 and 1.5 to 7.5 and 6.5, we discovered age appropriate opportunities for them, and favorite restaurants for grown-up play dates. So Roxy's Best Of... started out within the Roxiticus Desperate Housewives blog as a directory of our family's point of view on the best of the Roxiticus Valley, including the Best of Mendham, NJ; Best of Bernardsville, NJ; Best of Chester, NJ; Best of Peapack-Gladstone, NJ; Best of Far Hills, NJ; Best of Morris County, NJ; and the Best of Somerset County, NJ.

In addition to our lovely home in the Roxiticus Valley, where our children attend Mendham Township Elementary School, we also own a beach house in Bay Head, New Jersey, where we spend many weekends and vacations during the summer, so Roxy's blogging expanded to include the Best of Bay Head, initially known as the Bay Head Blog.

After our most recent of four annual vacations in Laguna Beach, California, Roxy added a new blog to include our favorite restaurants and art galleries out there. It's a bit hard to keep that content up to date, but we're hopeful that our dear friend Mary Alice, who just moved out there with her family, might contribute as she finds the best restaurants and activities near their new home in Palos Verde.

Recognizing that one Roxy can't do it all, we invite you to write about the local area where you've become an expert. Please use the Roxy's Best Of... contact form to submit your proposal for a new "Roxy Blog." If you're a local restauranteur or service provider in one of our existing Roxy areas, please use the Roxy's Best Of... contact form to learn more about advertising with Roxy.

While I'll probably never give up my Google Blogger/Blogspot sites entirely, I'll slowly be moving the best blogs from this site over to Roxy's Best Of... Other People's Blogs. Hope you'll stop by and check it out.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Manipulating Spreadsheets in Excel, Writing Offering Memoranda in Word, 12 Tabs Open Dropping EntreCards, Commenting on Mariuca, No Blue Death Screen!

My loyal readers here on Roxiticus Best Blogs and over on Roxiticus Desperate Housewives know that I stretch the truth every day: I'm neither desperate nor a housewife...I'm a happily married mom-of-two and the owner of a small investment banking business with my husband, Rex. We have a deal in our household: Rex does all the cooking, and I do all the spreadsheets. While technically (pun intended) I'm the President & Chief Operating Officer of our small firm, Rex and Brent frequently refer to me around the office as "Senior Tech."

On the average night, after I read my girls their bedtime stories, you'll find me in bed with Rex and my HP notebook: manipulating spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel, writing offering memoranda in Microsoft Word, "Getting Wicked" by dropping at least 150 EntreCards with 12 Internet Explorer tabs open (sometimes in my sleep), and trying to leave a comment on one of Mariuca or Lady Java's blogs...On my old high-priced IBM notebook with Windows XP, that would have been asking for the blue screen of death, and even a woman who's allergic to cats doesn't get more than nine lives.

When that IBM notebook bit the dust three days after its three-year extended warranty expired, I seriously considered switching to a Macbook because it seemed like so much more fun...and there were all those commercials that poked fun at Bill Gates. However, while Maddie and London love the huge-screen Mac in our family room (and I've been known to sneak on and drop an EntreCard or fifty before they wake up in the morning), I find that I can't get my "real work" done on a Mac. Blogging yes, investment banking no go no how.

While you've all heard my complaints about my shaky Internet connection since Comcast acquired Patriot Media earlier this year (and you don't want to get me started about e-mail forwarding coming to a screeching halt on August 31st), I do have some happy technology news. Since I bought my new HP Notebook back in April 2007 with Windows Vista Ultimate (the version that combines features designed for both personal and business computing requirements) preloaded, the blue screen of death has made far fewer appearances in my personal and business life. The sleek new look of the Windows Vista desktop, including a widget-friendly sidebar, also makes it easier for me to combine business and pleasure. I've found that most leading small business applications—including software from Adobe, Autodesk, Avanquest, CA, Corel, Intuit, McAfee, Sage, Symantec, and Trend Micro—and thousands of others are compatible with Windows Vista. I have spent the last year and a half calling Brent in the office to access my Sage ACT database because it's still not compatible with the 64-bit version of Vista, but that's my only major gripe.

I've also learned about Windows Vista Small Business Assurance, an offer designed to help small businesses move to Windows Vista, with a responsive customer service team for small business owners like me. Well, small business owners who are perhaps smarter and less cutting edge than I the offer, which will continue through September 30, 2008, is for small business customers who purchase PCs with Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate after July 1, 2008.

When you buy a new PC with Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate like I did, only do it now through September 30th, 2008, you'll receive free support, compatibility assistance, and one-on-one coaching from Microsoft to help ensure a smooth transition. While I may have missed the official shopping window, I think I'll give Windows Small Business Assurance a call next time my computer re-installs Vista Service Pack 2 as I'm trying to shut down and get some sleep. I'll let you know if they're as good with the midnight magic as our blogalicious friend Lady Java....

Sponsored by Windows Vista