It looks like this warmer weather may stick around for a few more days. Still time to get out and do some chores. I have to prune the Apple trees now that they are dormant for the winter. I do that every year, but I’ve yet to hit the jackpot with the Apple crop. This year, however, was better than last, so I’ll be encouraging the trees again!
Thank you for reading this issue of Kibbles & Bytes. We all realize it is you, our customers, that ultimately pay our wages and we appreciate the support and the fun. Happy Friday the 13th!
Your Kibbles & Bytes Team,
_Don, Kali & Ed_

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For the next week, we’re offering a coupon for 15% off any case for an iPod or iPhone, except those cases that are already on sale. The coupon code is *blogcase*.
To use the code, simply add the case of your choice to your shopping cart and then enter code *blogcase* to the coupon field.
*See all iPhone cases* “by clicking here.”:http://bit.ly/3spATy
*See all iPod cases* “by clicking here.”:http://bit.ly/3tK758
Enjoy!

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Every Friday the 13th, we tend to start thinking about phobias and superstitions. For example, I came into the office today with half-dried hair, so I joked that I had a phobia of hair dryers (maybe a combination of “Electrophobia”:http://www.phobia-fear-release.com/electrophobia.html and “Thermophobia?”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermophobia). Ed just got a haircut, so it seems he could have a phobia of either long hair (an extension __(no pun intended)__ of “Trichopathophobia,”:http://www.answers.com/topic/trichopathophobia perhaps?) or a phobia of scissors (“Metallophobia?”:http://www.panphobia.com/things/metallophobia.htm) that he was able to get over?
I thought it was pretty interesting to research some superstitions, though. I think most of us do at least __something__ superstitious to an extent to be feel “lucky”; how many cross their fingers or make a wish on a fallen eyelash?
And regarding the idea of Friday the 13th being unlucky? Check out some thoughts:
bq. “Fear of Friday the 13th is rooted in ancient, separate bad-luck associations with the number 13 and the day Friday. The two unlucky entities combine to make one super unlucky day.”
bq. “There is a Norse myth about 12 gods having a dinner party at Valhalla, their heaven. In walked the uninvited 13th guest, the mischievous Loki. Once there, Loki arranged for Hoder, the blind god of darkness, to shoot Balder the Beautiful, the god of joy and gladness, with a mistletoe-tipped arrow. Balder died and the Earth got dark. The whole Earth mourned.”
bq. “There is a Biblical reference to the unlucky number 13. Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th guest to the Last Supper.”
bq. “A particularly bad Friday the 13th occurred in the middle ages. On a Friday the 13th in 1306, King Philip of France arrested the revered Knights Templar and began torturing them, marking the occasion as a day of evil.”
bq. “In ancient Rome, witches reportedly gathered in groups of 12. The 13th was believed to be the devil.”
bq. “Both Friday and the number 13 were once closely associated with capital punishment. In British tradition, Friday was the conventional day for public hangings, and there were supposedly 13 steps leading up to the noose.”
bq. “It is traditionally believed that Eve tempted Adam with the apple on a Friday. Tradition also has it that the Flood in the Bible, the confusion at the Tower of Babel, and the death of Jesus Christ all took place on Friday.”
bq. “Numerologists consider 12 a “complete” number. There are 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, and 12 apostles of Jesus. In exceeding 12 by 1, 13’s association with bad luck has to do with just being a little beyond completeness.”
And how does this fear manifest?
* More than 80 percent of high-rises lack a 13th floor.
* Many airports skip the 13th gate.
* Airplanes have no 13th aisle.
* Hospitals and hotels regularly have no room number 13.
* Italians omit the number 13 from their national lottery.
* On streets in Florence, Italy, the house between number 12 and 14 is addressed as 12 and a half.
* Many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue
* In France, socialites known as the quatorziens (fourteeners) once made themselves available as 14th guests to keep a dinner party from an unlucky fate.
* Many triskaidekaphobes, as those who fear the unlucky integer are known, point to the ill-fated mission to the moon, Apollo 13.
* If you have 13 letters in your name, you will have the devil’s luck . Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo all have 13 letters in their names.
“Find more at the source here.”:http://www.corsinet.com/trivia/scary.html
Happy Friday the 13th–stay safe and sane!

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Apple frequently releases free software updates for all of applications along with OS X. The Software Update feature in Mac OS X makes it very easy to determine and get what you need. There are a few tips that make keeping your Mac up-to-date especially convenient and easy, including setting an update schedule.
Apple has posted a Support article detailing the procedure. I think it’s worth reading. For example, I didn’t know that it was possible to “hide select updates”:http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2357, if you don’t want to install them.
“Click here to read the entire support article!”:http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1338?viewlocale=en_US

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Along with the 10.6.2 update, Apple released a Security Update for 10.5. This Update is recommended for all users and improves the security of Mac OS X. Previous security updates have been incorporated into this security update, so if you’ve skipped some updates, this one will catch you up quickly.
If you have 10.5, you can download the update by running Software Update, which is found under the Apple button in the upper left corner of your screen (this is the recommended method). You can manually install the update by “clicking here.”:http://support.apple.com/kb/DL963

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Earlier this week, Apple released the second update for Snow Leopard, bringing it to OS X 10.6.2. This update features a security update, as well as a substantial list of bug fixes for Safari, Mail, MobileMe, network file systems, graphics, fonts, Front Row, and much more.
The 10.6.2 Update is recommended for all users running Mac OS X Snow Leopard. Read more “by clicking here.”:http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222 Read about the security aspect of the update “by clicking here.”:”http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3874
You can download the update by running *Software Update*, which is found under the Apple button in the upper left corner of your screen (this is the recommended method). You can manually install the update “by clicking here.”:http://support.apple.com/downloads/#macosx106
Of note, this update removes support for Intel Intel Atom processors, disabling “hacked” non-Apple netbooks running OS X. The update fixes a critical issue with guest accounts and the accidental erasure of entire home directories.

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A friend recently asked if it was possible to change the default color of highlighted text in OS X. He is working on a research project, and frequently needs to highlight text, especially in Safari. The standard basic grey color of highlighted text in OS X made it difficult to find highlighted text on the screen.
Fortunately, it is very easy to change the default color of highlighted text. Simply open System Preferences (found by clicking on the Apple icon in the upper left corner of the screen), then click on the *Appearance* button. In the Appearance pane, you will see a drop-down menu for *Highlight Color*. You can choose from several options, or create your own color.

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_Dear Friends,_
We are in the midst of Indian summer here in the Green Mountains with sunny skies and warm days, setting a few record warm temperatures and definitely extending the motorcycle season a bit. I know we are going to pay for this. I met with my new plow man yesterday to talk about the upcoming winter. I found a new plow guy because the young man doing it for the past couple of years is not a morning person, and sometimes we would not be plowed out until the afternoon. Real plow guys get excited when it snows and are up at 3AM to make sure their customers are happy and able to get to work!
Customer satisfaction is the key to any successful business, snow plowing or Apple-selling. I often tell my employees that customer service doesn’t cost–it pays. We take customer satisfaction very seriously; in fact, much of our incentive compensation is based upon our customer satisfaction scores as measured by NPS (Net Promoter Score). If you want to learn more about this means of measuring customer satisfaction, “click here.”:http://www.netpromoter.com/np/index.jsp
We do not pay commissions at Small Dog Electronics because we feel that the person that packs the box or sweeps the floors is just as important as the person that happens to take the order. We provide incentives to our employees based upon certain key performance indicators for the company, each department and the individual. In each case, a very large percentage of this incentive compensation is based upon customer satisfaction.
We track our NPS scores like someone monitoring their temperature when they have the flu. When we see a decline, I can walk around the company and overhear comments about how to get he score back up. It is just that important to our company. The other thing that Hapy and I have done from the very start is to empower our employees to directly deal with customer service issues. Hapy is much better than I am at deflecting requests for customer service decisions back to the employee with the question, “what do you think we should do for this customer?” Ultimately, we want our employees to make these decisions.
We will be having a special customer appreciation pre-holiday sale at our retail stores here in Vermont next weekend that will help some to beat the holiday rush. We are offering our local customers some special deals that will make you wish you lived in Vermont!
I had the pleasure of awarding the Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility Legislator of the Year award to Speaker of the House, Shap Smith. During lunch with the Speaker, he talked about the huge challenges of the upcoming legislative session with a lame duck governor, many leaders running for governor and a big fiscal budget crisis for the state in addition to the lingering problems of health care reform, sustainable energy and transportation.
It was a lot of work on his plate, but then he told me that he felt privileged to be in his position to roll up his sleeves and tackle the heavy-lifting. It was very inspirational and I was very honored to present the award to him. “See a photo here!”:http://blog.smalldog.com/images/1433.jpg

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