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Showing posts from September, 2014

Wine Review: Apothic Red Wine 2012

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You have been invited to a dinner party and need to pick up a quality wine for supper. No need to walk up and down the aisle to find the right wine that meets both the quality and cost criteria you had in your head when you first stepped into the store. Apothic Red 2012 is a blend of Syrah, Zinfandel, and Merlot that balances the different wines for a high quality outcome. It contains mostly sweet flavors that include raspberry, cherry, vanilla, mocha and some boysenberry. It is a smooth wine with a hardy body and a pleasant aftertaste. This would be the type of wine you would pick up for just about any social affair. Most drinkers will be satisfied with the quality, taste, and consistency of their product. Apothic Red Wine Maker’s Blend is a winter wine by style and complements a variety of winter related foods. Meat dishes, heavy soups, and wild game regularly pair with a heavier red wine. Room temperature wine also complements hot dish foods more commonly in the cool

Does Improvements in Consumer Sentiment and GNP Indicate Future U.S. Growth?

The University of Michigan recently announced improvements in consumer sentiment from 80 in March to 84.6 in September ( 1 ).   Consumers who have been frugal with their pay checks over the past may now be willing to open their wallets. Increased consumer spending matched with improvements in Gross National Product (GNP) could be a good sign for the economy.  Consumer sentiment and sales are two different things but certainly positive impressions today can lead to increased sales tomorrow.   According to Gelper, et. al. (2007) positive consumer sentiment is followed by increased purchases of products and services in the trailing 4-5 months. They argue that consumer sentiment maintains some predictive power over consumer spending.  Another complementary announcement by the Commerce Department posted a rise in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 4.6% ( 2 ).   Positive GNP numbers were realized from personal consumption expenditures, exports, private inventory investment, state a

Moving Beyond Service-Dominant Logic to Include Change

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Service related add-ons can raise the value of products while encouraging higher levels of customer satisfaction. A paper by Lusche & Spohrer discusses the service-dominant (S-D) logic as a science that encourages systems-level thinking and provides greater value propositions. The development of service related products alleviates many human-oriented problems in business and government entities.   Thinking about service requires moving beyond the obvious to incorporate difficult to account for complexity. Improvement comes with a level of chaos as we learn that we are interconnected and influenced by a complex system of people, events, and actors. S-D logic helps us understand how the underlying principles that foster growth and creation are not readily apparent. They are part of the fabric of our environment but when taken together create the totality of our economic system.   Innovation changes the environment in a way that can encourage higher levels of functioning

Healthy Living: Lentil Soup as a Body Scrubber

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Lentils are considered a super food that does more for the body than most other food types combined. As a legume, lentils are one of the easiest beans to prepare and can go a long way in keeping your body fully stocked with energy producing fiber.   Cooking lentil soup allows the intake of natural nutrients along with a great way to satisfy hunger throughout the day.  Lentils lower cholesterol and improve heart health ( 1 ).   The higher volumes of soluble fiber lower cholesterol and reduce risks of heart disease and stroke by scrubbing arteries. The soluble fiber develops a gel-like substance in the digestive tract and collects bile that contains cholesterol and pushes it out of the body ( 2 ).  We know that protein is important for encouraging muscle strength. Lentils not only provide protein (18g per cup) but also stabilize blood sugar levels helping keep insulin from bouncing around ( 3 ). The slow release of nutrients and fuel acts as a buffer against quick shots of