Monday, December 29, 2008

coppola magnum

Coppola Blue Label Merlot, 2005

Turkey Osso Bucco, in a chardonnay mirepoix, with a roasted garlic gremolata

Roasted Butternut Squash Polenta, with Parmigano and Fontina

Italian Brioche with Artichoke Pesto

Pumpkin Tiramisu, made with Starbucks Christmas Blend and Grand Marnier

The menu from the dinner party I threw this weekend.
The theme came from the magnum of Coppola that didn’t fit in the wine racks, and an overwhelming urge to use my new oversized cast iron pot.

I am very amused that both the wine label and the cast iron pot were in a matching shade of blue.

I roasted the butternut squash with olive oil and salt/pepper and it came out delicious. I saved a few crescent shapes for garnishing before I made up the polenta. I trimmed out the turkey legs for presentation and made the gremolata with my new favorite recipe:

Italian parsley - minced
Lemon zest
Lemon juice
Pine nuts
Roasted garlic (roast the night before)

Dinner was yum…. No leftovers (party for 8)… and everyone cleaned their plates. I’ll have to redesign the recipe for leftovers. I can only imagine it’s one of those “even better the next day “dishes.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Flex Terms

Flex Term certificates are just one of those things I have takes for granted over the years prior to working for my current employer. I had set up a tiered based certificate system at my last Credit Union years ago, and since I still bank there it’s not like I have gone without the service.

It still surprises me however how many Credit Unions do not offer flex terms to their members (including my current employer – which I am hoping will resolve themselves to flex terms in a meeting this morning)

A member walks in looking to put away some money for an upcoming event. A wedding, a birthday, holiday or anything with a solid date. Say they’re having a baby and don’t need the money until 9 months from now. If you only offer a 6 month and a 12 month CD are you really offering them what they need? Or are you encouraging them to settle?

It’s not hard to offer Flex Term Certificates. You don’t even have to develop new share types. Just take your existing share types and modify your processes to prompt for the term and calc the maturity date. (In creating a demo for the presentation, I actually completed the coding for this option in our ACS workflow in under 18 minutes!)

So modify your defaults, revise your workflows, change your TISAs and rate sheets, and give your members the options not available to them today. They’ll love you for it!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Security Question

Jim Stickley sends you a link in an email. He “says” it’s safe.

Do you:

a) Click on the link – if it’s from Jim so it HAS to be safe

b) Ignore the email and continue monitoring the Woot-Off in the hopes at snagging a bag o’crap

c) Think about how you’ll look on the today show when Jim does his segment on “how gullible email readers will click any link you send them”.

*** secretly hoping that Woot puts the Shun knife block back up for sale at 90% off again!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

tilted twister

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is a Lego mindstorms kit and the blueprints to this robot.

The blueprints are found here: so that saves you some time. – I just need the legos and a Hitechnic Color Sensor for the scanner arm modification.

I have been good all year. Please reference the snippet from the feature article below, copied from the October company newsletter, for details on just how good I have been.

(*note… the article was written by one of my fans who I think was looking for brownie points… but is still very much appreciated and has totally inflated my Ego)

The article:

Adele recently spoke at the Symitar Educational Conference (SEC) in San Diego, CA, attended by over 800 people from credit unions across the country. The key note speaker was legendary journalist and CBS News Anchor Dan Rather. Adele was a featured guest speaker at the conference, and the only employee of a credit union presenting this year.

Adele's presentation was titled "Rewarding Your Members in Episys", a topic in which she's a recognized expert. The highlight of Adele's session was her solution for automating SACU's rewards checking program, which is now in use by over 23 credit unions. Her presentation also covered promo dividend rate solutions, custom ACS screens, referral solutions, and auto-approvals in ACS.

In this year's "Creative Solutions" session at the SEC, five of Adele's custom Symitar solutions were presented and awarded. She now holds over 30 "Creative Solution" and "Unique Uses" awards given by Symitar at every SEC since 2001. In 2007 alone, Adele won an unprecedented seventeen "Unique Uses" at that year's SEC.

However, Adele does not write her code solutions to win awards; she openly shares these solutions at no-cost to fellow credit unions as Chairman of the Symitar South Central Users Group (SSCUG). SSCUG is the second largest Symitar user group, comprised of IT professionals from over 80 credit unions in 7 states (New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas, and Missouri).

……. *more about me

All Symitar users benefit from her outstanding technical proficiency and is a prime example of the credit union industry's motto, "People Helping People". Adele’s devotion to this mantra was recognized by the credit union community in 2008, as she was the recipient of two coveted SMUG awards. These light-hearted awards are voted on by fellow credit union programmers and professionals, and presented at every SEC by Trace Security. This year, Adele won the trophies for "Most likely to share free code" and "Most participation in users groups".

In addition to speaking, Adele also hosted a dodge ball tournament for the SEC and ran the Symitar Users Groups booth at the vendor expo. At the closing night of the SEC, Symitar hosted a party at the House of Blues. Adele, a vintage guitar collector and avid video game player, took the stage as part of the opening act for the band. She, and other members of the Symitar community, gave a live performance of the video game "Rock Band".

Their set was followed by the headlining act, actor Jim Belushi and his band, the Sacred Hearts. After the party, Symitar thanked Adele for her continued dedication to the Symitar community with a backstage pass to meet Jim Belushi and the band.

Adele's tremendous talent and dedication reflects greatly upon SACU and the credit union community. Her career path exemplifies this publication's name, "Journey of Excellence". Join us in congratulating Adele on all of her current and future successes!

Thanks and I look forward to the surprise underneath my tree this year.