Monday, July 31, 2023

July 2023 Reads

That's it this month, that's the whole post. Short and sweet as I'm leaving for vacation tomorrow and am working against a million clocks.  This is not a big reading vacation and it's a long one so I don't anticipate a ton of reading in August!


What have you been reading?

snippets of the weekend 7.31.2023

Friday my brain was toast. I started work early, then hit the beach for two hours in the afternoon. We did some errands on foot Friday night and then ate at Angelo's. 

Saturday I worked in the morning. Rental turnover was a fire drill and we were running around like chickens with our heads cut off. MFD back and forth to the laundromat, me to four different stores. Skidded to a finish just in time. Authentic chaos scramble. I also packed two weeks worth of house items up for Melissa who is going to do turnover for me the two weekends I'm gone. So grateful! We did the beach for a few hours in the afternoon and had Playa Bowls. I drove home with the animals in my bathing suit LOL. My dad and Carol had gotten me Chinese food so I showered and ate that and fell out.
Sunday I did final itinerary work and assembled what needed to be printed. I sent that to Staples, did my final packing, returned 402348048 accumulated Amazon returns, went to see the fam at Mom & Rich's and had a quick bite, came home and did some work. 
I couldn't fall asleep last night so today should be interesting.

weekending reels on Instagram - current favorite weekend look back mode.

Frank usually does a Friday Five for his birthday but he is on vacation and I am hurtling towards and also blogging with extreme irregularity in general so maybe we'll catch that post on the flip side

Two days of work before off for 12 days in a row, let's go

Thursday, July 27, 2023

snippets of the weekend 7.24.2023

As many of you know, we had to put Mae down on Wednesday so I went into this weekend not exactly right. We are not talking about that at length at this time LOL. Too much loss lately, too early in the grand scheme of things, with Aunt Carrie and a long time friend. Lots of loss and grief for folks around us dealing with things too. The world needs a hug, a bandaid, and several road trips with the windows down and the music so loud we can all sing along at the top of our lungs to stimulate the vagus nerve and calm our central nervous systems. And to cry when we're moved to. Love to everyone dealing with shit out there. 

We had dinner with Swan and Nicole at Tako on Friday night in a big room. It was a riot, we got a lot of laughs out of it. Thanks for the invite and taking our minds off Mae a bit! A nice crescent moon topper greeted us when we got home.

Saturday we drove to the shore early to do turnover. The two weekers I got very bad vibes from were leaving and I fucking pegged it - they left me religious texts, removed a sign from my wall that said "Make people feel loved today" and was colorful but not rainbow, and removed a fucking colored page from my fridge from a kid coloring book with a baby elephant flying and a rainbow. If you are threatened by rainbows, I advise you to seek help. If you are trying to impose the will of your religion on others, I advise you to seek help. If you believe reading religious texts makes you smugly better than other people, I invite you to think about who Jesus was, what he did for others and who he walked, lived, and loved among while on this earth and vibrate in that direction. I also invite you to worry about your own fucking self, refrain from breaking three of the measly five house rules in a vacation rental like an entitled person, and be a good human instead of judging others. Thank you, good day. The text they left, the sign they removed from my wall and hid, and the coloring they removed from the refrigerator and threw out I assume (bottom, they left the top). If you are threatened and fearful of a fucking rainbow or anything that has any colors that might be in it, I am sincerely at a loss for words. But if that's you, do shit like this in your own house, not in mine.
I cleansed my energy in the ocean, made daily shower spray, finished out at the house, and we battled traffic back to Philly. Sometime during the day - after we had already been out in public together - we realized we were wearing the same shirt. LOL forever
MFD went one way and me another, but we eventually both ended up at the annual Sannelli BBQ. I was not fit for public consumption but laughing with old friends is always a balm for the soul. I took my exhausted ass home by 10. Absolutely thrilled to see Fronk's corduroy football jacket brought out and tried on. 
Every time a dog dies we get a new area rug, so that's three since September 2017. We'll hold with this one for a few years if the universe doesn't mind. 
I was restless and needed to return a bunch of shit so I designated Sunday a silent errands day. I went out solo and only said thank you or excuse me. I was a personal shopper for MFD since he needed new luggage. I grief shopped a bit in the HomeGoods aisles of HomeGoods proper and TJMaxx for some shore upgrades. Tried to read at home but had to abandon the book. I did some property management stuff including contracts and responding to inquiries for next summer and checking out how rentals are done elsewhere like here: You can't get new ideas looking in the same places. And that's that on that. 

weekending reels on Instagram - current favorite weekend look back mode.

Monday, July 17, 2023

snippets of the weekend 7.17.2023

Summer scummer bum around weekend, second in a row
Waited for our plumber to come and fix the outdoor shower leaks then got the fuck out of the shore Friday at noon because the vibe from the two week renters who had been in for a week was totally off. MFD stayed to fish. At home I puttered around, made spaghetti with veggie meat sauce I had in the freezer, watched the Wham! documentary on Netflix, and then The Outlaws. Passable to zone out to but not an award winner. Wham! was great. I listened to them all weekend, including through the ill-fated attempt to assemble an IKEA Billy bookcase that was literally crumbling before assembly. I got grocery delivery through Weiss via Amazon and it was awful - do not do it, local friends. All produce was turned or about to and the half and half was expired. 
Saturday and Sunday cat visits at Aubrey & Stephen's. I found a new to me pedicure place right up the street from my house. Painted my nails at home. Got flowers from Produce Junction. Made wings in the air fryer. Read two books. Hung with my dogs - Ben in his replacement bed that is way too large because I am not gifted in eyeballing things especially when ordering online LOL

weekending reels on Instagram - current favorite weekend look back mode.

Monday, July 10, 2023

how to protect your business against chargebacks

Pexels. CCO Licensed.

Chargebacks allow customers to dispute purchases made using a credit card or debit card so that they can get their money back. When filing a chargeback, customers typically go through their bank or card provider, who then decides whether to reverse the transaction based on any evidence provided. 

Chargebacks can protect customers from things like stolen card purchases or unauthorised charges from companies that are otherwise hard to approach. Unfortunately, many customers don’t use them for these noble causes, instead abusing them to get refunds on items without having to contact the seller directly. In some cases, they may even be used fraudulently to get refunds on a product that may claim didn’t arrive (even though it actually did arrive).

For many companies, chargebacks can be a major headache. On top of having to pay back the customer, additional chargeback fees often have to be paid to the card provider, which can make them more expensive than a regular refund. If too many chargebacks are filed against your company, you may even have your account shut down. This is why any company that accepts card payments needs to protect themselves against chargebacks. Below are just a few key ways to do this. 

Carefully consider your return and cancellation policy

If a return or cancellation process is too complicated, customers may find it easier to simply resort to a chargeback. While you don’t want to make it too easy for customers to return products or cancel purchases, you should be fair when deciding terms and conditions such as giving customers enough time to return and cancel, and possibly paying for delivery of the returned product. Any return or cancellation forms should meanwhile not be too lengthy, and should be easy to find on your website.

Use a clear billing descriptor

When customers look at their bank statement, they should be able to easily identify each purchase. If the billing descriptor is an old company name or an abbreviation of your company, customers may not recognise it and may file a chargeback claim. Therefore, you should make sure that the billing descriptor is clear as to not cause any confusion.

Choose the right merchant account

Most regular accounts have a low chargeback threshold - meaning that they will shut down if they receive a handful of chargeback claims in a short period. Unfortunately, some industries naturally receive a higher amount of chargebacks such as the gambling industry and the adult industry. If you are running a company within one of these high risk sectors, it is important that you choose a specialist payment processor such as an adult industry payment processor. You will have to pay higher fees on any customer card payments, however you will also be given a high risk merchant account which has a higher chargeback threshold. Such payment processors may also be more willing to contest chargeback claims on your behalf, reducing the amount of successful chargebacks.

Record proof of product receival

Some customers order products online and then deliberately lie about not receiving them in order to get money back through chargebacks. This of course is illegal, but many customers are successful at doing it because there is no hard proof that they received the delivery. Asking couriers to take a photo of products when they are delivered or asking for a signature can provide proof that a product was received, which can help you to fight back against fraudulent chargeback claims.

Provide a high quality product/service

Customers will also file chargeback claims if they are unhappy with a product or service. The best way to prevent these types of chargebacks is to go above and beyond to make each customer satisfied. Don’t settle for a low quality product or poor customer service - not only are you more likely to get negative reviews, but it will leave you open to chargeback claims.

This post was written with Life According to Steph readers in mind

snippets of the weekend 7.10.2023

Summer scummer bum around weekend. 
First try at Friday hours shutting down at noon on Friday was a success. Beach with MFD, corned beef from the crockpot with a side of Boyar's potato salad for dinner, a night on the couch. 
Saturday turnover solo after a very nice family left. Beach. Books. Fresh veggies Boyar's hotcase for dinner. Couch. Person checking in not arriving until Sunday.

Sunday beach day. Playa Bowls mango base. Seagulls. Watched belongings of folks who went into the ocean in their full on clothes including socks. A beautiful summer rain on the porch. 

weekending reels on Instagram - current favorite weekend look back mode.

Friday, July 7, 2023

snippets of the weekend 7.5.2023

Friday I had a visit from one of our long-time returning shore guests that I will not see in August due to our travel and they brought me gifts. I peaced out on work at 2 after a very frustrating week and sat my ass on the beach until 6 pm. MFD and I inadvertently matched when we met back up to do the boards for pizza and people watching. 
Saturday MFD left early with the animals. I changed our sheets, did rental turnover which was easy with returning departing guests, ran to the store for batteries for remotes that I did not have, cleaned our apartment, stopped at the library to pick up books on hold, stopped at Home Depot to pay a balance on flooring and pick some shit up for MFD, and stopped at the Moms for Liberty protest at the Marriott in town. Fuck those people and their hatred disguised as concern and their attempt to exert control over other people according to their own religion. 
I made it home around 4. I stunk at that point and got a shower, we ordered from Andale in Feasterville, I painted my nails, and I ran some errands. Haven't the Made in India colorful capiz-ish trays been readily available at Marshalls and HomeGoods and TJMaxx for the past two years and now that I need to replace two of mine there isn't one fucking tray to be found? Man alive. I did spy multiple things I'd buy if I had endless space to fill but I'm trying to have less, not more, so none of these made the cut. 
Sunday morning the dogs and I left before 9 for Lori's. It was an overcast relaxing day of lolling around and reading and Antol's black raspberry soft serve ice cream. Ben had his very own brand new big bone and enjoyed rolling in the grass. He loves it there. 
Monday we were out and about getting breakfast at the VFW, stopping to see Jack and the dogs, hitting the LeRaysville Market and the Dandy, always favorite Cold Creek Gardens where we ran into Homer the Beagle, a 9/11 Memorial built by a mom who lost her son, and attempting to buy homemade chipwiches from Antol's before picking some up at the grocery store. 
We did takeout for dinner and also did a chipwich tasteoff - Chipwich original won but the Big Chipper was serviceable - and these are the books I read over the weekend (only started The Good Ones).
The skies looked different all day, which I love, and based on that I was surprised to let the dogs out for the last time and see the glorious full Buck Moon.
Another all around great and relaxing day.
Tuesday the weather held for our annual trip into town for a 9 am firehouse hotdog on the Fourth. We had a wander around town before heading back home to read, relax, eat, and enjoy the quiet. The people who usually do the fireworks at the lake left Monday so we brought the sparklers out. 
And a glorious shot before I left early on Wednesday morning:

weekending reels on Instagram - current favorite weekend look back mode.

As always, I am lucky to have a Lori and wish everyone had one. On MFD's side, people had an Aunt Carrie. I wish everyone knew someone in their life like her, too. 

Tuesday we got the news that Mike's Aunt Carrie passed. It's hard to put into words what a safe haven and comfort she has been for me as an in-law joining his family, how she listened and loved and laughed and comforted and made me feel seen over the 20+ years we've been together. The beauty of her and one of her greatest gifts as a person is that she provided sun and shade depending on your need at the time for so very many people and made them feel special, valued, and cared for. So many people...her husband, her grandkids, her kids and kids' friends, nieces and nephews, siblings and in-laws, close friends, neighbors, extended family on both sides. It was a glorious thing to be in the presence of someone like her, a person with such strength and generosity of spirit. It left you feeling physically calm, comfortable, and welcome. In a world that is intent on riling up everyone's central nervous system, she was a haven of warmth that will be seriously missed. She was also wryly funny and fiercely protective of those she loved, a powerful advocate for people and causes; had an amazing smile and ability to make things happen, and was plainly a very good time. It was a privilege for many of us to share space with her in this life, and I’m grateful I had a small bit of time with her. A huge loss for so many, especially Uncle Jim and her kids and grandkids who she loved so. All the love and support to those closest to her. 

Lots of loss in MFD’s family the last few years, obviously including both of his parents. Life is short. Make the memories now.

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