Monthly Archives: November 2013

Ornamental sweet potato vine: the morning glory’s cousin

Cuttings from fall.


The ornamental sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas) has been one of the most popular additions to the container garden over the last few years. It has impressive lime-green, heart shaped leaves or dark-wine, cut-leaf foliage. This relative of the morning glory, just like the familiar moon flower, adorns our window boxes and cement urns with thick wondering stems that produce fast growing, bold and beautiful cascading foliage that spills over planters and weaves around its neighboring plants. Its vine-like stems resemble that of the philodendron plant. Gardeners plant these ornamental beauties in planters along with geraniums, impatiens, and a host of other colorful annuals; but it can also make a splash planted all by itself. It can also be used as a groundcover because it spreads quickly.

The ornamental sweet potato vine is the actual sweet potato, or root vegetable, that we eat; but growers have initiated this species for their bright and fancy leaves. Although it’s grown for its ornamental foliage; it is a sweet potato and it is edible. Some say it doesn’t have much taste, some say it’s bitter, and others think they taste just like the common sweet potato. The very small purple bloom looks like a tiny version of the morning glory, if you even notice them at all. There are four main varieties of the sweet potato vine; Blackie, with large dark purple to black cut-leaf foliage, and the first ornamental sweet potato on the scene; Margarita, with large lime green heart-shaped leaves; and Tri-color, boasting bright green, pink and white leaves. There are fairly new and exciting varieties such as Sweet Caroline red, with red, green, and bronze colored leaves; Blackheart, almost pitch black, and Sweet Caroline bewitched purple which is an incredible powdery purple. There are also new variegated varieties showing up in the garden center with pink, cream, green, purple, and maroon splashes that look as though the leaves have been splashed with paint.

This vine fast growing Ipomoea vine originates in the tropics such as Central America and the Pacific. It’s hardy in zones 9-11, but it’s grown as an annual in our zone 6. They love summer heat and full sun; but they’ll wilt if they get too dry, so keep them moist. If they’re in a planter in full sun, they must be watered almost everyday. If they wilt, don’t worry; once you water they will perk right up. They also do well in partial shade. Slugs love this garden delight; so if you can keep them off the ground, the slugs won’t get to them.

Soon, if not already, gardeners will be pulling out their worn out annuals from their planters. The weather will soon be too cold for sweet potato vine to survive outdoors. But wait, don’t just pull them out of the planters and throw them away! The tubers can be lifted from the pots to overwinter for next year. Pull them gently out of the ground and you’ll find the tuber; it’s the sweet potato that grows a sweet potato. Store tubers for the winter, and in spring, instead of buying new vines, you can plant the tubers right along with your annuals in the planters and watch them grow together. You can also grow a sweet potato vine indoors that will last all winter long in your window; and again, take them outside to plant in spring. And finally, you can also grow them indoors by taking cuttings from the vine now before frost arrives. Whether indoors or outdoors; If the sweet potato vine gets too long, cut it back a few inches to force the vine to grow fuller; then take the pieces of vine that you cut off and root it in water or moist soil. Ornamental sweet potatoe vines like a bright and sunny window and need the same basic care as the houseplant ivy.

You can have fun growing ornamental sweet potato vine right now and throughout the fall and winter by either using a sweet potato from the market, take cuttings from an existing vine in your planter and root it, or by harvesting the tubers to start growing now, or store for next spring.

Package Delivery

Worth reposting from 11/29/2012:

Please, please if you are having packages delivered ask a trusted friend or neighbor to secure the package for you or even have the package sent to a trusted friend or neighbor’s house instead that is typically home during delivery time to take the package for you.

Just a couple of pointers and options if you have home package delivery.

• When ordering from a company add a comment to the special comments field or special delivery box stating to “hide package from street view”.
• Most companies now provide a tracking number to track your order. Monitor this closely so you will know what day your package is to be delivered and on the day of delivery to know what time it was delivered.
• When you know the day of delivery ask your neighbor or have a friend to watch for the delivery of the package to pickup and secure once delivered.
• Another option is to have your package delivered to your place of employment or to another residential location where a person is always home.
• Once you have tracked that the package has been delivered, ask a neighbor or friend to pick up your package.
• If you find that your package is scheduled for delivery and you have not made any accommodations for the secure pick up of the package upon your absence, post a sign on your door stating that you will pick up the package at their facility.

Simple suggestions indeed but the reality is we cannot just “hope” that a package will be there when we get home. I believe kids just love an opportunity to steal a package from a door or porch just for the thrill of knowing what could be in it. Also with the recent news exposure of people following behind delivery trucks just for the opportunity to steal that just delivered package!


Our Education in a nutshell

Whatever happened to educating our youth with a basic skill foundation to be a success but yet encouraging them to develop their unique skills or gifts? We move more and more to an assembly line society and that now includes educating our youth to be drones so that they can best fit in our more and more homogenized society devoid of uniqueness, creativity, and thinking outside of the box. wpid-0qjboqwqg_c-2013-11-19-14-36.pngfeeling sad.


National Debt Group – BBB (Media)

Stanley Thornburgh
Columbus. OH 43204
Daytime Phone: 614-xxx-xxxx

Name: National Debt Group (NDG)
Address: 538 W 21st St. #56676
City: Houston
State: TX
Zip/Postal Code: 77008

Complaint Type: Advertising Issues
Description of Complaint:

I do not appreciate receiving unsolicited invitations to settle my debt when I am not looking to do so. I have good credit and pay my bills. Additionally I am tired of being told that “our previous attempts to contact you have been unsuccessful.” When you call the company to be removed from mailing list they state that they must have reference number on letter. Since I do not trust the company I do not want to provide that as it will imply authorization to pull my credit report further. I am on a do not mail list and state that upfront. My biggest concern is that these companies (apparently they frequently change their name) somehow are pulling consumers credit reports to make these solicitations. I am listed by each of the three credit reporting bureaus to not have such activity pulled from my account. I believe this is fraudulent activity and is an attempt to prey on otherwise unknowledgeable consumers in this matter. These companies operate under different names throughout the. I want this company and all companies that do business in this matter to not mail or call me for any of their supposed claims of settling consumer debt. I want this company to issue me a formal apology either thru the BBB or on one of my social media blogs.

Desired Settlement:
Desired Outcome Description:

I want this company and all companies that do business in this matter to not mail or call me for any of their supposed claims of settling consumer debt. I want this company to issue me a formal apology either thru the BBB or on one of my social media blogs.

Product/Service Purchased:
Solicitation for a service from a non-reputable co[many]

Your complaint has been submitted

Thank you for submitting your complaint to us.

The BBB that will process your complaint is:

BBB of Greater Houston and South Texas
1333 West Loop South, Suite1200
Houston, TX 77027
Phone: (713)868-9500
Fax: (713)867-4947
Email Address:



The Way I Work

Pay attention to the vital few and ignore the trivial many.” – John Paul Dejoria. Interesting read from INC, June 2013

When John Paul DeJoria and Paul Mitchell launched John Paul Mitchell Systems in 1980, they went door to door pitching their shampoos and conditioners to Los Angeles salons. Mitchell died in 1989, leaving DeJoriahead of the company, which now sells more than 100 products in salons in 87 countries.

But DeJoria, 69, does way more than hair care. In 1989, he and Martin Crowley co-founded Patrón Spirits, which sells more than two million cases of tequila a year. DeJoria also owns many other companies, including pet care line John Paul Pet and jeweler DeJoria Diamonds. Though DeJoria’s empire has grown, he still values door-to-door visits. He spends a lot of his time meeting with the salon owners and distributors. But these days, he uses a private jet to get there. As told by Liz Welch. Photographs by Jeff Wilson. 

I work at home in Austin, but I spend a lot of my time traveling–about two weeks out of every month. I visit Paul Mitchell’s headquarters in Los Angeles once a month, and I go to Patrón’s headquarters in Zurich four to five times a year. I also travel a lot to meet with distributors and salon owners, to do press interviews, and to attend openings of Paul Mitchell schools.

I could not do what I do without a private jet. I travel to at least 20 states a year, sometimes leaving in the morning and returning at night. I save so much time not having to deal with checking in and customs. Plus, I haven’t had a cold in 20 years.

I don’t use e-mail or a computer. I would be so inundated that I wouldn’t be able to get any work done. Instead, I do everything in person or on the phone. I have a phone book that’s 15 years old and filled with whiteout and rewrites. I carry that everywhere.

I chose to live in Austin because Eloise, my wife, is from Texas, and it was a great place to raise my youngest son, John Anthony, who is now 16. Plus, I can get to South America or the East Coast two hours faster from Austin than from Los Angeles.

I usually get up between 7 and 8 a.m. Whether I’m home in Austin or I’m in another part of the world, I like to spend the first five minutes of the day lying in bed and–I just am. I just try to be here and now. I find it helps me be more peaceful.

After a light breakfast, I head to my home office, which is separate from the house. There I have a desk, an exercise ball that I use as a chair, a phone, and a fax machine. The headquarters for Paul Mitchell and Patrón each have a fax machine for one purpose: communicating with me.

I don’t use e-mail or a computer. I would be so inundated that I wouldn’t be able to get any work done. Instead, I do everything in person or on the phone. I have a phone book that’s 15 years old and filled with whiteout and rewrites. I carry that everywhere.

I have three assistants. Kelly Sellers is my executive assistant, and she works out of our home. She’s amazing. She went to high school with my wife and has been with us for 12 years. I also have an assistant at Paul Mitchell and one at Patrón.

Every morning, Kelly gives me a list of all the calls I need to make that day. There are about 10 companies that require my time. Paul Mitchell takes the most time. I talk to someone there at least once a day. And talk to someone at Patrón several times a week. I also own several water companies and a brewery in Germany that I touch base with regularly. My presidents are much smarter than I am. That’s a prerequisite.

I could go insane if I obsessed over every little detail of all of my companies. My management philosophy is to pay attention to the vital few and ignore the trivial many. For instance, with Paul Mitchell, I want to know how the schools are doing, how the manufacturing is going, how sales are doing, what new products we’re launching, what our main advertising campaign is, and if my people are happy. The other little details are just trivia.

I don’t micromanage, but I do care deeply about every product we make. Every one goes through me, and I try most of our products before they go to market, including our John Paul Pet flea and tick shampoo. If I don’t like it, it’s not coming out.

I have a personal chef who makes lunch for me when I’m in Austin. It’s a luxury, but eating well keeps me healthy. Everyone who works at Paul Mitchell and Patrón gets free lunches. I believe that you have to treat your people well. Eating good food is part of that.

When I travel, Kelly coordinates all of my plans and meetings with my other assistants. I like to make the most of every trip, so if I go somewhere for a board meeting, I want to also schedule meetings with my Paul Mitchell distributors and my Patrón sales team.

I meet regularly with my distributors, the independent companies that buy our Paul Mitchell products and sell them to the salons. I like to check in and ask, “What more can I do for you?” I frequently meet with salon owners, too. The hair industry is the only reason we made it. They believed in us, and I want them to know we believe in them. If I happen to be near a salon that carries Paul Mitchell products, whether I’m in New York or Seoul, I stop the car and go inside, thank them for using Paul Mitchell, get back in the car, and go.

I go to New York at least once a month, to meet with distributors and talk to the press. A big part of my job is to be the face of my companies. I’ll usually arrive in the late afternoon and do a television interview that night. And then the next day, I’m booked solid. Sometimes, I’ll start at 5:30 a.m. on CNBC’s morning show and then end at night on Erin Burnett’s show on CNN.

The interviewers usually want me to talk about the economy–beauty salons are a great indicator of how we’re doing. People still go to a salon when times are tough, but instead of every six weeks, they go every two or three months. When the economy’s coming back, more people go on a regular basis, which is what we are seeing lately.

Paul Mitchell has more than 100 schools for hairdressers, and every time we open a new one, I go to the opening. My feeling is, if you’re going to run one of our schools, which represent us, I should be there helping you open it up. Shaking hands, taking pictures with you. I want people to feel they’re part of the John Paul Mitchell Systems world family.

My motto is, Success unshared is failure. At least once a year, I meet with a group called the Giving Pledge. It’s a group of billionaires–including me, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Ted Turner–who have pledged to give away most of their money to charity. We meet for three days to talk about what we’re doing to help make the planet a better place to live.

About once a week, I meet with Constance Dykhuizen, the executive director of my Peace, Love & Happiness Foundation. I created it in 2010 to invest in charities involved in sustainability, social responsibility, and animal-friendliness. In April, we had our annualmotorcycle ride to raise money for a local children’s shelter and families of police officers and firefighters killed on duty.

When I’m in Austin, I ride my motorcycles whenever I get a chance. I have seven customized, really cool bikes. There’s nothing like jumping on one and going out in the hill country. I’ll usually go with a friend. If the weather’s good, maybe once a week.

About once or twice a year, I try to take a couple days and go on a retreat alone–usually up in the mountains. I think about what I did the past year, who is in my life, what I’m doing, what I want to do. There are no people, no phones, no obligations, no nothing. If I want to cook, I’ll cook. If I want to be vegetarian, I’ll be vegetarian.

I’ll sip a little bit of nice red wine, just think, just feel, and just be. That’s when I get my best ideas. And I write a lot. One of my ideas was to just be for a few minutes every morning. Another idea I had: Don’t think about things so much. Let it happen. Sometimes, people spend too much time thinking. If you just let things happen, the universe works.

Companies owned: Paul Mitchell, Patrón Spirits, John Paul Pet, DeJoria Diamonds, and several others.

Estimated net worth: $4 billion, according to Forbes

What’s in his office: A phone, a fax machine, and an exercise ball he uses as a chair

What’s not: A computer

Assistants: Three

Management philosophy: “Pay attention to the vital few and ignore the trivial many.”

Best company perk: Free lunch for every employee

You can join John Paul DeJoria and other like-minded rider-entrepreneurs for two days of hard hitting highly-interactive business sessions and some of the best motorcycling in the world at the Inc. Riders’ Summit, Nov. 12-15, 2013. Click here for more information.

Legacy of neglect: Slumlords play the system

Legacy of neglect: Slumlords play the system
Slumlords avoid penalties while bringing down neighborhoods; mayor vows reform The Columbus Dispatch By  Mark Ferenchik Jill Riepenhoff  and  Mike Wagner
Sunday November 10, 2013 5:30 AM

I read the above article today in my local newspaper.

This is a strong article and I hope readers will listen and take action. Slumlords are all around us from our neighbors, businesses, public officials, and even our Area Commissions. It’s a tough and disgusting swallow.

First and foremost we all have options and choices when it comes to where we live. I hear time and time again the living conditions that people are faced to live in and that “My grandbabies shouldn’t have to live like this,” but what options or actions have these individuals taken to better there living conditions? Granted we have many slumlords in the City of Columbus that prey on just these individuals as demonstrated by our community blog on Facebook: As citizens “that drive by” and see these conditions we can and do report it to Columbus311 because it is a violation of our community standard but these individuals have to take action as well. Sure they can call Columbus311 and report the violation or put rent money in escrow but 95% of the time the slumlord is indeed going to take advantage of the system and just kick their tenants out and bring in another tenant thankful and gracious that the landlord took them in “no questions asked”.

Slumlord housing is a disease that is spread willingly, knowingly, advantageously and will continue to prevail until the victims of these slumlords fight back, the communities these slumlords do business in fight back, the City of Columbus gets tougher in being actionable in code enforcement violations, and finally the State of Ohio needs to re-vamp it’s antiquated property ownership laws and put tougher enforcement and penalties on slumlords doing business along these lines especially LLC’s.

Code Enforcement’s job is to enforce code no matter how minor the infraction. It is not our place as citizens to hold off on using the service because we feel that it may burden the system or that it is too minimal to worry about when there our bigger issues. Unfortunately these bigger issues are hindered because the City and the State has no teeth to go after these slumlords, absentee landlords, and abandoned housing. Whether a citizen is a victim or not, we as citizen’s need to continue to report any and all code violations from the most minor to the major. The City of Columbus needs to respond then by taking action on them and hiring more personnel when needed to address this growing disease. Finally, as citizen’s we are responsible as well because we become complacent to these issues and do nothing even though we live right next door to this issue. When countered as to why, one doesn’t do anything, it’s always the same thing, “Well the city won’t do anything anyway so why bother.” Let’s remove that notion and as citizen’s DO SOMETHING. OBSERVE – DOCUMENT – REPORT – FOLLOWUP! As citizens we have these responsibilities when living in an urban setting. Get involved, contact your neighborhood block watch or civic association. Walk the streets in your community, pick up trash, document problem properties and followup. It starts with us first before it can move up the chain.

Credit Card Scam – “Lower Your Interest Rate”


Got my daily “lower your interest rate” call today. The number used today is: 860-822-7440.

As usual I vent my frustrations out using all kinds of gross things that I will do to the person such as cutting out their private parts and chopping off their head and using it as a bowling ball or using the head to see how far up an orifice I can go up on their body. It’s a definitely a kind of therapy especially if I’ve had a bad day or “just because”. I use all kinds of colorful words. I always challenge the person to call the police on me since I threatened them. They never do, mostly they curse me back or if it is a guy we get into dick size conversations.

When the lady that called me today from “Lower your interest rate” I said that I had a butcher knife and that I was going to ram it up her p*… And then I was going to chop off her head. I said how can you work for a company that scams people like that. I told her that she would only last two months. I kept going off on her. I challenged her to call the police on me since I threatened her. She said go ahead, I said no that she needed to do so from her area because I am threatening her. I offered to wait on the phone while she did so. I told her again and again that she should be ashamed of herself for attempting to fraud people. I said that I was recording this conversation and that I post everything on my social blog. I complimented her for not cursing me back. I said normally you folks have a worse curse mouth than I do. She said that she was only a switchboard (Which is not true because she identified herself as lowering interest rates. She finally hung up on me. I know this tactic may not do too much but hopefully these fraud people will stop doing this or if nothing else I will continue to bring awareness to this so unsuspecting people do not get caught up in their scam to get your credit card information so that they can charge your account.

Of course the number is spoofed either google voice or other internet IP phone. The number never goes thru if you call them back.

These are the other numbers that I’ve documented from them (since they call everyday)

Feel free to add to your BLOCK list.

(253) 246-8534
(417) 800-2363
(904) 425-5642
(479) 274-1769
(770) 733-7690
(403) 905-8000
(708) 417-2636
(701) 671-9447
(263) 989-7373
(701) 671-9224
(773) 340-4844
(251) 725-1770
(702) 514-3335
(575) 513-7814
(402) 982-0422
(313) 347-8168
(310) 599-5774
(818) 539-6135
(757) 852-9899
(252) 669-8800
(318) 474-5828
(225) 523-0870
(701) 283-0872
(931) 414-0907
(601) 532-8022
(573) 942-8047
(719) 263-8570
(208) 679-6017
(540) 625-8740
(202) 206-8474
(207) 846-8047
(928) 467-4719
(860) 822-7440
(765) 998-4712
(641) 726-8406
(801) 647-0293
(702) 514-3335
(424) 273-2029
(704) 206-0013
(216) 400-8002
(802) 230-6357
(503) 468-5531
(920) 602-0879
(512) 501-3637
(713) 705-6926
(305) 202-1132
(312) 800-9037
(203) 998-7000
(865) 259-6702
(606) 950-7080
(608) 534-1401
(662) 720-4709
(208) 313-8014
(214) 682-2723
(575) 487-0952
(643) 985-4734
(662) 291-8540
(530) 429-4755
(938) 223-4720
(256) 332-8741
(228) 295-0760