Welcome to My Mobile Notary Blogspot where you'll find notary and local information, consumer alerts and great deals, and more. You are welcome to post. If you find something helpful or have suggestions, please let me know about it. Enjoy!

If you are needing notary public or fast 24 hour apostille service in Thousand Oaks or the surrounding areas of Westlake, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Newbury Park, Agoura, Calabasas or beyond, call 805.444.7064

Thursday, November 29, 2007


OK....so this is random, and I did not intend to get into parenting issues as part of this site. Doesn't fit. BUT, this is a great idea :-)

For those having problems getting a response from their household younglings, this is a nifty way to get their attention. It's bright and colorful, constantly moves, electronic - it seems to match many of the other gadgets that so gets the younger imagination. And heck, it could even improve reading skills.

In this age of electronic gadgets, video games, iphones, ipods, etc., it appears our kids are slipping into an unconscious state. I have found it necessary to repeat requests much more than should be necessary. Around here we have taken steps to limit inattention and frustration, and yes some of this has involved gadgets such as phone intercoms to keep voices at a reasonable level.

But this new idea is just the aces! For those parents that are just too tired of saying "clean your room" while looking at the same aging heap, here is a new-age approach to an age-old problem.......... This is a 37 inch LED display. It has a 30 inch message board and comes with 26 preprogrammed messages such as "Happy Birthday", "Job Well Done", etc. It also has a keyboard on the back for creating unique messages - such as "Clean your room".

On a positive note, it can be used at the front window to welcome home a wrestling champion, straight A student, birthday person. On the other hand though, just think of the attention this electronic device would get for peaceful reminders such as clean your room! Placed across the dresser top, it could work wonders. This model is available on ebay.com for $69.99.

Can't find the dresser top? No problem. There are wall models available. Check Alpha LED. Their sales tag claims these to "communicate, inform, educate, and inspire". I like it!

What a fun way to keep the peace around town.

Have fun this holiday season. :-)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Skating at The Lakes - Thousand Oaks

Holiday Ice Skating is open at The Lakes on Thousand Oaks Boulevard. Daily hours are 11:30 am till 9:30 pm until December 6th, 2007.
Beginning December 7th, hours will be 10:00 am till 11:00 daily until January 6, 2008.
Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I Have Been Tagged....So I'm Going Along With This Kicking and Screaming

This morning I was tagged by Lisa from LifeOnTheMoon to write 7 weird facts about myself and then tag 7 more bloggers to do the same. Oh my.....

Here are the rules:
Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

7 Random/weird things about me:

  • Like a little kid, when I get something I really like, I sleep with it. I've played piano since I was 5 years old. When I got older, I didn't have a piano for many years. When I was finally able to purchase one with the money my father left me, I slept underneath it. I also did this with a new pair of cowboy boots that felt great.
  • I have been known to play the piano for up to 8 hours.
  • I am a dmoz editor and I love geeky techno stuff.
  • I am a politics and world history fanatic.
  • I love castles and have explored many in Ireland and Italy.
  • I love working on the pottery wheel when not playing the piano.
  • My dog Jake loves giving me kisses.

O.K., it's over......

I have tagged:

LaShon - Mobile Notary Review

Jim and Emma - Go Smell The Flowers

Devon - Aardvark Mobile Notary

Christine - Catnip Corner

Keith - Part Time Blogger

Martin - Mumblings of Madman

Robert - The Path to Financial Freedom

Hope nobody kills me for this...... have fun.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Ventura County Holiday Lights Displays and Events

Ventura County has Holiday Events for the Whole Family. There are neighborhoods filled with lights, street and harbor festivals. Here are a few of the happenings:

This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

  • Dec 2, 2007: Holiday Street Festival, Ventura. Downtown Ventura Holiday Street Festival with over 400 artisans, food vendors and entertainers, downtown Ventura. (805)654-7830 or 648-2075. 10 till 4 pm.
  • Ventura County has two different holiday boat parades for the season.
  • Dec 8, 2008: Channel Islands Parade of Lights beginning at 7 pm in the harbor, Oxnard. For further information (805)385-7545
  • Dec 14 & 15, 2007: Ventura Harbor Parade of Lights (2 days). For further information, call (805)477-0470 or 648-2075.

For Holiday Lights, check out:

  • Oxnard's Christmas Tree Lane. Located in the Oxnard Historical District, which runs on "F" and "G" Streets, from 5th to First Streets.
  • Channel Islands Harbor Ride aboard the Channel Islands Harbor Water Taxi to view the bright lights and holiday decorations of the residents in Channel Islands Harbor. 805-385-7545
  • Holiday Lights On The Water Tuesdays-Thursdays, 6 and 7:30pm. Channel Islands Harbor puts a creative spin on the traditional Christmas Tree Lane by offering it along the water’s edge. Residents and visitors are invited to come and experience one of the most unique light displays on the California coast throughout the month of December. Visitors can view these sparkling bright lights and holiday decorations from the water through the Channel Islands Harbor and Mandalay Bay aboard the Channel Islands Harbor Water Taxi. One-hour tour offered every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights at 6 and 7:30pm. $10. 985-5828, ext. 102.
  • Island Packers Holiday Carrolling Cruise: Every Tuesday, Thursday in December, departing 6pm. Enjoy the harbor lights and the decorated boats, while group caroling is an option for those who want to sing with the onboard karaoke system aboard the 64’ Catamaran. Snacks, hot cocoa and cider. $20 adults, $17 seniors, $12 children. Departs from 1691 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura Harbor. www.islandpackers.com. 642-1393.
  • Sea Sleigh Rides: Through December 23, then December 26-30, departing 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Hop onboard the good ship Dreamer for a holiday sleigh ride – California style! Sail the waters of the Ventura Keys and Ventura Harbor, enjoy the sparkling Christmas lights adorning shoreline homes! Each cruise offers a full bar, sodas and seasonal concoctions such as “reindeer milk” and hot chocolate. $20 adults, $10 children 2-12. www.venturaboatrentals. 642-7753........only in California :-)

Other Events:

  • North Pole Express: Wednesdays-Sundays, Dec. 7-23, 6 and 7:30pm. The Fillmore & Western Railway presents a fun new tradition for the whole family! Ride the train to the North Pole to pick up Santa. Sit back and relax with a carton of chocolate milk and a cookie while you listen to the story The Polar Express, plus sing-a-longs, so be ready to have a lot of fun! Kids encouraged to wear their pajamas and bring favorite stuffed animal. $22 adults, $12 youth 4-12, $6 infant-3. 524-2546.
Happy Holidays!

California Notary Law Changes January 1, 2008

As an update to previous posts concerning the California Notary law changes for 2008, I am providing further information. This is due to the widespread confusion that appears to be occuring in the notary community.

Although the secretary of state's website clearly shows the changes to the new laws, it appears that many notary supply vendors are capitalizing on the changes and offering workshops, etc., effectively making simple changes into rocket science which creates a new market for their wares. Not necessary.

In a phone call to the secretary of state's office, the clerks were giggling over the phone calls and frenzy created by certain notary associations making this into rocket science in order to market to notaries. We can remain calm. The secretary of state's office indicated that they will post acknowledgment and jurat forms on their website mid December for notaries that would like to use them.

11-29-07 Update: In an email response from the Secretary of State's Office (Marcia Murphey), the following was received:
"As to your question about crossing out "personal knowledge" on the form, the law states that 'Any certificate of acknowledgment taken within this state shall be in the following form' (Civil Code section 1189). It would be in your best interest to use the form as set forth in the law. Additionally, effective January 1, 2008, the certificate of acknowledgment must include the language "I certify under PENALTY OF PERJURY under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing paragraph is true and correct." The new laws affecting notaries public do not take effect until January 1, 2008. Continue to use the current Certificate of Acknowledgment and Jurat forms through December 31, 2007. Our office will post the new forms on January 1, 2008. We also expect to have the 2008 Notary Public Handbook available on our website in January. A hard-copy version will also be available upon request at no charge. Please check our website periodically for any new information. "

The words "Penalty of Perjury" must be on the form. Her response about personal knowledge on the form still appears unclear to me.

In the meantime, I have found notaryclasses.com has posted wonderful pdf's of forms that are probably acceptable. Bless their hearts. Thanks much to NotaryClasses.com.

My Mobile Notary

Holiday Lights Displays in Los Angeles

OK....here we go. The holiday lights are up and ready to twinkle for the 2007 holiday season. This is a great way to have a wonderful night out with your loved ones. We are working on a Current list of holiday light displays for your convenience in the Los Angeles and Ventura County areas.

This posting with be updated as new information arrives.

  • Candy Cane Lane (Lubao Ave. & Oxnard Street) in Woodland Hills.
  • Wakefield Court off Copper Hill Drive in Saugus.
  • St. Albans Rd. (go north past Huntington Dr. in San Marino. From Upper Hastings Ranch, take Michillinda South to Huntington drive and continue to St. Albans Road, turn right.
  • Upper Hastings Ranch off Michillinda Blvd. in Pasadena. Each block of the area competes, creating displays with a common theme. Upper Hastings Ranch is bordered by Michillinda Avenue to the East, Sierra Madre Blvd. to the South and Riveria Drive to the West. From the 210 Freeway, take Michillinda Blvd. North to the lights.
  • DWP Light Festival Walking Only Nights: Nov 21 through Nov 25 from 5 to 10 pm. No cars allowed on these nights. Parking is available at the LA Zoo or the south side of the festival route near the Merry-Go-Round and Los Feliz. Shuttles will help transport guests to the walking festival entrance. Nov 26 through Dec 30, the festival will be open to vehicular traffice one-way on Crystal Spring Drive and walkers will be able to experience the festival on the walking path. Vehicles enter from Los Feliz. Shuttles will be available on Nov 30, Dec 1,2,7,8,9, and then Dec 14-30. Shuttle riders can park at the LA Zoo. (213-485-8743).
  • Santa Rosa Ave. trees from Woodbury Ave. to Altadena Dr. in Altadena. (Begins Dec 1, 2007). An 80 year tradition displays a grove of nearly 150 imported Italian Deodar cedars. Planted by John Woodbury in the 19th century, the trees were donated to the town in 1920. Since the '50s, the Christmas Tree Association has arranged the festive display every December. Exit Fair Oaks off the 124 Freeway and head north to Woodbury. Turn right on Woodbury and then left on Santa Rosa Avenue. Weeknights are recommended due to traffic along the route.
  • Balian House on Mendocino in Altadena. This display includes 10,000 colored lights and numerous holiday depictions all over the front and side lawns of the 3 1/2 acre property. To reach the Balian house from Christmas Tree Lane, turn right on Altadena Drive and travel to Allen Avenue. Make a right turn on Allen and a left on Mendocino.
  • Sleepy Hollow neighborhood off Pacific Coast Hwy (Anza & Calle Mayor area) in Torrance.
  • Town Center Park (near South Coast Plaza) in Costa Mesa.
  • The Crystal Cathedral has always been a popular spot during the holidays. It is made entirely of glass. From Nov 23 through Jan 5, 2008, they will be performing The Glory of Christmas. Today it draws visitors from around the world to witness its unique pageantry. Through the creative blend of Christmas carols, pageantry of live animals, flying angels and special effects, the nativity unfolds with colorful wonder.
  • Marina Del Rey Boat Parade will be held Dec 8, 2007. There are nine public lots all within a few blocks of each other in the Marina loop. The fees are $.75 for every half hour; $6 maximum. Dress warm and bring binoculars.

More to come....

Extended Warranties

Here is an article from Smart Money that is helpful when considering Extended Warranties:
JUST WEEKS BEFORE THE birth of David Bieler's daughter, his digital camera went kaput. No worries, thought the 36-year-old from Poughkeepsie, N.Y. That's what the $100 extended warranty he'd purchased was for. He quickly shipped off the camera along with an urgent-sounding note that he'd need the camera back right away.
Little Jocelyn was nearly three months old by the time the camera was returned to him. He had long since purchased a new one.
Extended warranties on appliances and electronic devices are a huge business. They're offered by retailers and third-party providers on everything from washing machines to Apple (AAPL: 168.46, -0.39, -0.23%) iPods. But what sounds like a great idea when you're in the store, experts and burned consumers warn, might not be worth the added cost. Consumer Reports has concluded that extended warranties are often a waste of money simply because many products tend not to break down during the first few years of service. And even when something does go wrong, you might have a tough time getting it fixed thanks to the small print on your contract or, in Bieler's case, the hassle factor.
Since extended warranties are claimed so rarely, the profit margins on them run as high as 40% to 80%, says Marlys Harris, finance editor for Consumer Reports. That can pad a company's bottom line nicely. During 2004, in fact, nearly 100% of Circuit City Stores' (CC: 5.45, -0.32, -5.54%) and 50% of Best Buy's (BBY: 47.60, +0.24, +0.50%) operating income came from extended warranties, say analysts. Is it any wonder that the big box retailers aggressively push these contracts?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Holiday Sales - Electronics

Please see Holiday Rip Offs and Extended Warranties.

OK, time to practice -

Electronic Store Salesperson: "Would you like an extended warranty for this laptop? It will give you complete coverage for all repair resulting from........, I highly recommend it!"

Customer, Me, You, Relative, Good Friend: "No, thank you."

A new laptop can be purchased for as little as $200. If you have a serious problem with your laptop, get a new one. If you don't have a problem with your laptop, you saved $200 or more.

Electronic Retailers make a bulk of their profits from extended warranties and then provide extremely poor, rude, or no service. The internett is full of horror stories about these scams.

If you absolutely can't resist getting an extended warranty, do check out Toshiba and get the warranty from them on their product. Our interviews with local computer repair facilities indicates that Toshiba is the Most Responsive of all manufacturers. Additionally, Toshiba has repaired, at no cost, a laptop of ours long after the warranty was expired and after Circuit City would not honor their own City Advantage Plan warranty on the laptop. We have also had good experience with Dell Laptops for our business.
Best Buy's Toshiba Laptop and Canon Printer Offer for $299: But by running Windows Vista, this machine will need a memory upgrade to 2 G to work effectively. Vista is a memory hog! As long as you know this up front, you're good to go.

Happy Holidays!

Global Warming and Holiday Present for the Earth

Working on your Holiday shopping? Would you consider joining a movement to give the Earth a holiday present?

Al Gore is asking us to send a message to the administration to take stronger steps to curb CO2 emissions. There is an international treaty that we can encourage the administration to sign. Take a look at the web postcard and please think about adding your name.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Holiday Sales - Rip Off Warnings

The holidays are coming and gas prices have been projected as a major impact on shoppers' holiday budgets.

*For those thinking of electronics, extended warranties are Not Recommended. For your information and buying decisions, check the internet for what is said about these retail warranty rip-offs:

Circuit City consumeraffairs, Circuit City's Advantage Plan ripoff report, Business Week article Warranty Windfall, Smart Money's Extended Warranty Rip Off. Retailers make up to 80% of their profit from these sales. The internet is full of consumers' complaints telling of their horror stories of no service and aggrevation. Circuit City's City Advantage Plan can cost up to $500 for a laptop warranty, the price you could pay for a new laptop on sale. It is possible to purchase a laptop for as little as $200.

Another current rip off is the recent attempt to sell consumers "recovery disks". Basically, you don't need to purchase them for the outrageous price retailers are selling them for. From Clark Howard's website, here is the information:

"Oct 12, 2007 -- Extended warranties, recovery disc rip-offs in action
It's great to have the opportunity to see rip-offs that Clark has warned people about being pushed on you and have the chance to say no upfront. Christa recently was buying a computer at a retailer and was being given the hard sell on two things that Clark just spoke about a few weeks back. One item was the Windows recovery discs, which were being pushed for $40. You can make one yourself for practically free or a get lower price from the manufacturer. The other was the extended warranty pitch. On a related note, Clark recently got a call from a distant relative of his who was in a store buying a TV. When the relative said he listened to Clark Howard and knew all about the cons of extended warranties, the salesperson took a very creative and unethical approach: He told the relative that Clark bought four TVs at that store and got extended warranties on every one of them. Clark is now thinking about doing a hidden camera sting where he exposes known retailers who try this tactic to make a sale on an extended warranty or service plan. Once again, for the record, Clark wants to emphasize that he doesn't buy extended warranties. That may change in the future, of course. But for now just say no when they're pushed on you. "

Finally, for your protection, review some identity theft tips before going out on your holiday shopping.

*For my international readers who have asked, "Black Friday" is the first day after the Thanksgiving National Holiday. It is officially the first day of shopping for the holiday season. On this day, retailers drastically cut their prices to entice maximum sales. In the USA, folks go out in mass, frequently at 2 or 3 am to stand in lines waiting for stores to open to grab the best deals. Sounds like fun eh?

Happy Holiday!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sale at Dell Computers for a LIMITED TIME ONLY

I just received word from Dell this morning, that they are offering, for only 5 days, incredible savings on two different computers and one monitor for the holidays.

I have included the links over to the right of this post. I will also include the links below. If you are looking for a great Holiday Gift, this may be it. We use Dell Computers for our business and have had wonderful experiences with them and their service.

**Very Limited Time Offer 11-15-07 Through 11-20-07**
Save $360! Get the Dell Vostro 200 ST for only $449!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tips for Avoiding Identity Theft

Identity theft is on the rise and it may be difficult to avoid being a victim in some circumstances. Identity theft can take months to years to clear up. There are many nightmare stories, as it appears everyone knows someone that has been impacted by this crime.

There are steps that you can take to lessen the chance that you will fall victim to criminals wanting to use your good name to initiate credit, purchase items, and empty your bank account. The following information can be reviewed at PrivacyRights.org, a non profit consumer information and advocacy organization.

  • Reduce the number of credit and debit cards you carry with you. Although the use of debit cards is not recommended, if you do use these cards, use your online banking to monitor charges posted to your account.

  • When using credit or debit cards at stores and restaurants, pay attention to the clerk swiping the card. Dishonest employees have been known to use small hand held devices, called skimmers, to quickly swipe the card and later download the account number onto a personal computer. This data can be used for online shopping or the creation of counterfeit credit cards.

  • Do not use credit cards when online shopping. Credit cards offer better protection in the case of fraud.

  • Keep a list or photocopy of all of your credit cards, bank accounts, investments. Include the numbers, expiration dates, customer service numbers, and fraud departments. This will provide easy access if you fall victim to theft.

  • Never provide your credit card, social security number, account information to anyone over the phone unless you have initiated the call.

  • Check your credit report at least once a year to insure the results are accurate. Federal law provides that you have free access to the three credit bureaus at least once per year. You can stagger your requests through out the year to maintain knowledge of what is in your report. You can obtain your credit report from here http://www.annualcreditreport.com/

  • Beginning in November 2007, you will be able to "freeze" your credit report. You can prevent credit issuers from accessing your report unless they have your permission. As an aside, this may also help stop junk mail from mortgage brokers looking to cold call potential clients. At this time, many congressmen are deciding what measures need to be taken in terms of citizens' privacy. Consumer's Union has prepared a letter which you can send to your representatives so that they can hear your voice.

  • Do not print your driver's license or social security number on your checks.

  • Install a firewall on your computer.

  • When disposing of your computer, either erase the hard drive completely, or use a "strong wipe" utility program to remove all personal data.

  • Never respond to or click on links in "phishing" emails.

  • Install and update antivirus software that can prevent trojans or worms from sending out vital information to other computers.

  • File sharing and swapping exposes your computer to hackers Don't do it.

I hope these ideas will assist you in protecting your identity. We are in the holiday season, it is important to remember to protect your identity and finances while out shopping for your loved ones.

Great Restaurant Gift Certificates

Restaurant.com is offering a deal again for November. Click on their link, put in your zip code and find restaurants that appeal to you in your location. You will see a charge to purchase the gift certificate if you click on the coupon for that particular restaurant. At checkout, input the words "WISHBONE" in capital letters. This will give you 50% off the cost of the gift certificate. Um...um, good. Looks like it's fish and chips tonight!

OK, just got back from Lighthouse Fish & Chips on Madera Road in Simi Valley. Great food and service. Highly recommended. Plus, with the link above, you can get a $10 gift certificate for $1.50. Malt Vinegar anyone?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter

This is an interesting find for those interested in tracking mortgage lenders' performance during these difficult economic times. The blog is called the Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter. It tracks the success or lack of success of mortgage lenders, and lists those that have gone under since 2006. It is frightening to see the brand name lenders that are no longer in existence or offering mortgages. You can view Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter to see what is happening to the big names.

According to their site, 182 lenders have imploded since 2006. Some of the names include:
Ameriquest, New Century Financial Corp, Edgewater Lending Group, and Aegis Home Equity. On the ailing list, mortgage giant Countrywide Full Spectrum Lending is going though tough times, exiting the sub prime market and returning to traditional loans to survive these times.

Countrywide's difficulties have significantly impacted the loan signing business. Many notaries are looking for work outside the industry or falling prey to sales marketing sites that offer the promise of exclusive signings through specific lending companies. Notaries beware.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Jake The Notary Navigator

Some of my clients may recognize this guy as waiting from the explorer's center console while his boss is working. This is Jake. He is the official notary navigator and explorer guardian. He loves his job. He also loves to frequent Office Depot, Home Depot, Best Buy, patio restaurants, and the city and beaches of Carmel.

His special talents include pushing chairs to get to places normally out of reach, saying "hubba hubba", stealing entire steaks within a nano second, finding an open Guinness within 500 ft, herding other animals, monitoring all household activity, scaring the gas man and DHL driver (not the Fedex and UPS drivers - they are too professional for any nonsense), and the usual give paw, sit up, play dead, roll over, etc.

Everyone always asks what kind of dog he is. Well......he was acquired from the local dog shelter so it's all a guess. But the vets that have seen him are guessing part bassett hound and part english bull dog. He is certainly eye catching. He has big light brown eyes and can use them quite well when there is food involved in the transaction.

Another interesting tidbit about Jake is his cost. Although adopted from the shelter, Jake is quite an expensive dog. His health is insured to 100% with an initial deductible of $50. This was a good move, as Jake frequently gets himself in trouble. On one occasion, he got into the pantry and ate an entire bag of Ghirradelli's Chocolate Brownie Mix. This was quite an emergency when it was discovered and almost cost Jake his life. He was rushed to the vet to have his stomach pumped and other delightful interventions. The cost of that adventure was well over $1000, however he is here today to tell about it. There have been other such adventures which have left us so grateful for the day we decided to insure his health. Actually in comparing our health policy to Jake's. It appears he has the better coverage. In fact the insurance company that insures Jake, no longer offers 100% coverage, and I suspect it has something to do with Jake. Since his policy was grandfathered in, you could say he's locked and loaded for all future adventures. He's kind of the Evil Knieval of dogs. What a guy..

This post is categorized under "Notary". I guess you could say he is an employee. He has daily hours and duties and health benefits. Which makes me wonder if he is a possible tax deduction for my corporation. I'll have to check in with the accountant.

Aardvark Mobile Notary

Aardvark Mobile Notary

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Find the Best Gas Prices

I can't believe the price of gas is again creeping up to $3.25 a gallon in my area. I wish the current government would begin to take a more rigorous approach to finding alternate fuel sources and develop legislation that demands automobiles run on other substances besides ongoing oil dependency for the, not so distant, future. But I imagine that is hard for them to do considering current leading government officials make money through their oil business.

What can we do..... Well driving less or participating in a car pool are certainly options. Ride a bike, walk...that's great exercise.

However, if you need to get to work and there is no mass transit, as is the case in Southern California, then taking a more strategic approach to filling your tank is an absolute necessity.

I have a navigator in my car that has the MSN Direct service. It is supposed to allow the user to search for gas prices whenever the user is on the road. The service is free for the first year. However, I find the gas prices it provides are often three days old. I would find no reason to renew the MSN Direct feature after my one year is up.

Alternatively, there are many websites that provide what is supposed to be current gas price information that is searchable in a database. In checking one of the sites, gasprices.mapquest.com, I see that the cheapest gas is currently located in Las Vegas Nevada. There a gallon of gas can be had at the SpeeDee Mart. How can this be? Are they getting their gas from right under their gas station? Alternatively, the highest priced gas in the USA is currently at $4.00 a gallon. How can such a disparity exist?

OK, life's not fair.

I want to pass on these websites that I found that track current gas prices and allow you to search their database. Most of them tell you the time frame that the price was found. As I mentioned the MSN Direct feature in my car reports prices that are three days old. But I think it is worth investigating this resources for our specific areas to see if there is a way to save some money.

Here they are:

GasBuddy This site does show the day and time the price was found.

Gas Price Watch This site provides information from motorists informers. It let you know if the price is less than 12 hours old, less than 24 hours, or more than 24 hours.

In my area Coscto has consistently had the best prices around. The only glitch is that it is not so convenient to always get there. I have had to get better with planning my gas trips and when choosing between two local Costcos for shopping, I always go to the one that also has gas.
If anyone has any other ideas on beating this costly situation, please let us know.

Happy Hunting

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Chocolate Covered Fruit from The Fruit Company

OK....it's 10:30 pm and I'm sitting here thinking about chocolate covered fruit. Why am I torturing myself! Doesn't this stuff look great!
Good night all......

Funny Animals

Enough serious stuff, let's have some fun. This reminds me of a time my mom took me to the zoo. She was showing me the llamas without realizing that the coat she was wearing was made from llama hair. While we were standing at the fencing, a llama reached over and started chewing on her coat. Lucille Ball stuff always seemed to happen to my mom.

Those are some teeth there fella. :-)

Salvador Dalí Exhibit at Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Los Angeles County Museum of Art is currently hosting an interesting Dali' exhibit. The exhibit is called Dali': Painting and Film. The focus of the exhibit is to illustrate the cinematic influences and elements that are present in Dalí's work as well as the contribution he made to cinema. It includes painting, film, photography, sculpture, and texts.

Dali' collaborated with such movie icons as Walt Disney and Alfred Hitchcock. His works were also influenced but Cecil B. De Mille and the Marx Brothers.

The exhibit continues until January 6, 2008 in the Art of the Americas Building. General admission to the museum does not include the Dali' exhibit. If you are a museum member, you can obtain two free tickets for the exhibit. Otherwise nonmembers can purchase tickets at $17 for adults, $14 for students. Dali' tickets

There is another exhibit there that will run until March 30, 2008 in the Hammer Building. "Southern California Art of the 60's and 70's. This exhibit is included in the regular museum entry fee, unless of course, you are a member. Looks good.

LACMA also has concerts on Sundays at 6:00 pm in the Bing Center. I have attended their Jazz concerts in the atrium in the summer and they have been wonderful. These events are free and are a wonderful way to spend a pleasant evening. This coming Sunday, November 11, they will have "Songs, Serenades, and Brahms' Liebeslieder Waltzes. On the 18th of November, they will have violin, cello, and viola performing Schubert Quintet in C major.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tel. 323-857-6000; 323-857-0098 (TDD). Their hours are:

Monday 12 noon–8 pm
Tuesday 12 noon–8 pm
Wednesday CLOSED
Thursday 12 noon–8 pm
Friday 12 noon–9 pm
Saturday 11 am–8 pm
Sunday 11 am–8 pm
The museum is free after 5:00 pm daily, except on Wednesdays.

California Notary Law Changes January 1, 2008

Notary Public law in the state of California has changed yet again.....The new changes appear reasonable in that they tighten the belt on identifying the signer, include the use of thumb print on power of attorney forms, and increase penalties for notaries that do not follow the law. For the legislation, please see the original text from the California Secretary of State. The latest updates to California Notary Law include:

  • Due to new procedures required of the Department of Justice and Secretary of State in commissioning new notary applicants, the Department of Justice has been granted the right to pass their increased costs to the applicants. ( I guess this will also help cover the cost of their $5.00 meatballs. Joke. I still can't get over the audit of their expense accounts and what tax payers are contributing to.)

  • Notary applicants must now submit a photograph of their person for their commission.

  • Notaries can not use a post office box or commercial mail receiving agency as their principal place of business unless they also provide a physical street address.

  • All notary acts must now demand the signer show proof of identity or two credible witnesses claiming knowledge of their identity. "Personal knowledge" of the signer is no longer acceptable.

  • Any credible witnesses used to identify an individual signer must show proof of their identity. (see above)

  • Notary wording on notarized documents must not contain the words "personally known to me" to comply with the change in identification requirement.

  • All power of attorney notarizations must include a thumb print of the signer in the notary journal.

  • Law enforcement now has the right to seize a notary's journal if there is reasonable suspicion that the journal contains evidence of a crime.

  • Penalties for notaries performing illegal notarizations include higher fines and potential removal of commission.
That about covers the important changes. The changes appear reasonable for this day and age. Using "personal knowledge" of an individual previously has always seemed kind of goofy when you consider the importance of some of the types of documents that require notarization - family trusts, wills, power of attorney, etc.

This is a dry topic, but it is important to stay abreast of legal changes for both the notary and the individual that depends on the notary to do their job flawlessly. This will ensure that the signed document will have its full forth and effect.

I promise the next post will be more fun. In the meantime, if this post has really choked you for dryness, you can scroll down and view the youtube video of John Pinette and laugh yourself back to life again.


Saturday, November 3, 2007

Can't Wait to Get Your Morning Coffee Till After the Shower?

OK....Now I've seen it all for sure. Caffiene can apparantly be absorbed through the skin. This handy bar of soap hits you with 200 milligrams of caffeine while you are in the shower. For comparitive purposes, a diet coke has about 45 milligrams, so this soap will really get your morning off to a speeding frenzy.

This is an all vegatable based glycerine soap made without chemicals and scented with peppermint oil. One bar is $6.99 - 1- for $37.99. But you can enter "7JBB" to get ten bars for $32.99 at Think Geek. Just think of the savings from stopping at Starbucks in the morning! This beats Starbucks $25.00 gift cards for the upcoming holidays.

An interesting companion gift could also include this Caffeine Molecult Necklace. Also available at Think Geek. I guess this could be used to warn those around the caffeine soap lathered individual, that they are fully loaded and to clear the way.

The necklace sells for $84,99 and appears to be a real conversation starter! Think Geek.

Now I'm on a roll....I just found they also have Spazzstick Caffeinated Lip Balm. It sells for $2.99 and comes in your choice of Vanilla Toffee or Cool Mint. They claim is to be the world's only caffeinated lip balm. Pucker up!

For the complete caffeine product line ThinkGeek Caffeine

On a more practical note, I am a cappucino lover. Because of this, I have a commerical espresso - cappucino machine in my home. I figured that if I spend about $4.00 a day for a cappucino, I would have paid for the machine in 8 months. It has been a great investment. The machine I have is a Fiorenzato, which is made in Venice, Italy. It looks cool, but the most important thing is that the espresso and cappucino drinks are far better than most coffee shops. If you like these types of coffee drinks, I highly recommend investing in a machine for the home. At first they seem to be a lot of money, but when you factor in spending money most days of the week at a coffee shop, well the machine is the cheaper way to go. Besides, it's really nice to offer friends a cappucino.

If you have a machine, try putting a small amount of Bailey's Irish Creme in the espresso before adding the frothed milk. It makes a great specialty drink for guests after dinner.

Traveling to Italy without your machine? For a great treat, stop by Pasticceria Buscioni at Via Cento Stelle, 1/R50100 Firenze (FI), Italy telephone number +39 055 602765. He has unbelieveable baked goods and the greatest cappucino. Some of his recipes have won awards in Italy. The shop is small and made mostly for shopping, however there is a small area for seating. They are very friendly folks as well.

I think that's it on the topic of coffee and caffeine.....I seemed to have gotten carried away with the topic....must be the caffeine. :-)


Friday, November 2, 2007

Ventura Art Walk

The Ventura Art Walk is happening tomorrow, November 3, 2007. The event will be continuing late into the evening, with after show entertainment. A schedule and directory to the artists and locations of their wares is here - Ventura Art Walk

Exhibits 1-7 pm; After Party 7-10 pm.

The featured artist is Dave Rivas. This is a photo of his "Rose".

Art Walk will cover about 10 city blocks in the cultural area of downtown Ventura. Entertainment and children events are also planned. This looks to be a pleasant day out in the community.

Crowne Plaza Aqua Bar will be hosting an after event party from 7 till 10 pm.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Tired of the High Cost for Directory Assistance 411?

This is neat! A free directory assistance number 1-800-Free-411, 1-800-373-3411. You have to listen to a fast ad for a moment. But I sure like not paying out $1.00 or more when I need to find a number and I'm not home.

*Update......I did use this service and want to let you know, for some reason when calling from a cell phone, you have to input twice that you are calling from a cell phone. It does work after the second input. The ad you have to listen to is fast and I didn't find it obnoxious. Any feedback from others would be greatly appreciated.

Another free directory service has been launched from, of all companies, Google. This service works only for business listings. Dial 1-800-Goog-411, that's 1-800-466-4411.

Here's an update for the costs associated with directory assistance from the major cell phone providers:

$1.49Verizon Wireless
$1.75Virgin Mobile
$1.79Sprint Nextel
$1.49U.S. Cellular

Long distance land line carriers:


I encourage you to input the above FREE numbers in your phone's memory. This way you will always be ready when needing to get a phone number. Whoa MCI, that's some fee you are charging there!

John Pinette - This guy cracks me up!

If anyone knows when he's performing in Los Angeles or Ventura county. Please let me know. Thanks and enjoy!

Notary Public and Identification Required

When requesting a notary public to notarize a document for you, it is important to understand that you must show proper identification to the notary. Within the state of California, the law is explicit in identification requirements.

Identification must be one of the following:

  • Driver's License of nondriver's ID card issued by a U.S. state.
  • U.S. passport (physical description not required).
  • U.S. Military Identification Card that contains all required elements stated above, (The Common Access Card, CAC, is not acceptable).
  • Driver's License issued in Mexico or Canada.
  • Foreign passport that has been stamped by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • Inmate ID Issued by the California Department of Corrections.

*These identification sources must have be issued within the last 5 years to be acceptable.

Unacceptable forms of Identification include:

  • Matricula Consular Card
  • Social Security Cards
  • Temporary Driver's Licenses
  • Driver's Licenses without photographs

For those without proper identification, as listed above, there is another way to "prove" identification. To do this, you would have to produce two witnesses that can swear to your identity under oath. The two witnesses must have current identification, as outlined above, and sign the notary journal.

In the past, it has been possible for the notary to state "personal knowledge" of the signer as adequate for identification. However, on January 1st of 2008, this will no longer be legal.

If you have any questions about these rules, please contact me for further information.

Notary Public