Onoway Christmas Shopping Extravaganza

Title: Onoway Christmas Shopping Extravaganza
Location: Onoway, AB
Description: Your One Stop Christmas Shop

JavaFit Functional Coffee
Verve Energy Drink

Princess Florence Handbags
Epicure Selections
Party Lite
Only Green
Stella & Dot
Discovery Toys
Squeaker Sneakers
Karen’s Candy Wrap
Stampin’ Up
Princess House
YJ Juice
Usborne Books
Pampered Chef
The Babba Shop

Start Time: 10:00
Date: 2009-11-07
End Time: 14:00

The Power of a Dedicated Heart

The video below was sent out to our team by my partner, Beau Armstrong of Texas.

My favorite quote from it is, “Effective people make quick calculated decisions and change their mind slowly.  Ineffective people make slow decisions based on little and change their minds quickly.”  from the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

This video made my Tuesday morning.  I hope it makes yours.


My wife and I are regular vendors at a local Farmers’ Market.  We also enjoy working trade shows and similar events.  Since we sell food products, we often have samples available.  A recent guest interaction has prompted me to change my plan regarding sampling.

Recently at the local Farmers’ Market I am approached by a young lady who seemed interested in Verve, a healthy energy drink, that is on my table.  She is unsure and asks if she may have a sample of the sugar-free version.  I wasn’t set up for sampling that day but since I had the sample containers with me I obliged.  She had a sip of what I had to offer and that was it.  No purchase.

I felt ripped off as I realized this lady had no intentions of actually buying anything.  She was curious as to what the product tasted like and that was it.  Now I was left with an open can of product that eventually got tossed and out the cost of a can of Verve.

Later on I was discussing this with a buddy who I have partnered with to promote functional gourmet coffee.  Beau sends out samples all the time but not necessarily to anyone who asks.  He tells me that it is his gut feeling that decides.  Beau knows a fellow who never sends out samples and, if asked, will tell you that if you want to try his product you can buy a box.

While contemplating this blog post I decided to consult my favorite book on working trade shows, Guerrilla Trade Show Selling (by Jay Conrad Levinson, Mark S. A. Smith, and Orvel Ray Wilson).  On Page 120 is a blurb that describes sampling and exactly what happened at the Market.

If your product is edible, you obviously want people to sample your wares.  But keep in mind that classic trade show sales story:

Simple Simon met a pieman going to the fair.

Said Simple Simon to the pimean, “Let me taste your wares.”

Said the pieman to Simple Simon, “Let me see your penny.”

Said Simple Simon to the pieman, “I fear I haven’t any.”

Before offering a sample, the pieman qualified his prospect, checking for economic buying power.  Applying this idea to your samples, always ask for something in exchange for giving your sample.  Get information.

Bottom line is I had not qualified the lady at the market who wanted a sample.  Going forward, some options I am considering are:

  • Shoot videos of people sampling my product.  Those less interested may back away.  Those that are interested are helping me with promotional material.  (Yes, I will post a video even if the person is not pleased with the taste.  The occasional grimace on video lends more credibility and is funny too!)
  • When asked for a sample, respond, “If you want to try the product, it is $4.95 per can.”
  • Money back guarantee.  Tell the person asking for the sample that if they buy a can, drink it, and are not completely satisfied that I will refund their money.

I look forward to your comments.

Problems with Intense Debate Plug-in

Today I discovered some glitches with the Intense Debate Plug-In I was using on this site to help moderate comments.  As a result I have had to remove Intense Debate.  Your comments have been retained though the posting date may be changed as I had to manually re-enter them.  If I have missed a comment you posted, please accept my apologies; you will have to re-post.

Hidden Sources of MSG

Recently I discovered I am sensitive to monosodium glutamate (MSG).  The discovery came as the result of doing some research on the artificial sweetener known as aspartame.  Aspartame and mononsodium glutamate (MSG) are both excitotoxins.  Excitotoxins are chemicals that trick our brain into thinking something tastes good.  These chemicals are ultimately poison.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is found in more foods than I would have imagined.  The part that bothers me most is that by law in Canada and the United States, food manufacturers do not have to directly reveal the presence of MSG on labeling.  Unlike aspartame, monosodium glutamate (MSG) does not have to be labeled as  clearly.

Food Additives that ALWAYS contain MSG

  • monosodium glutamate
  • hydrolyzed protein
  • plant protein extract
  • sodium caseinate
  • calcium caseinate
  • yeast extract
  • textured protein (including TVP)
  • autolyzed yeast
  • hydrolyzed oat flour
  • corn oil

Food Additives that FREQUENTLY contain MSG

  • malt extract
  • malt flavoring
  • bouillon
  • broth
  • stock
  • flavoring
  • natural flavors / flavoring
  • seasoning
  • spices

Food Additives that MAY contain MSG

  • carrageenan
  • enzymes
  • soy protein concentrate
  • soy protein isolate
  • whey protein concentrate

Today marks Day #7 without knowingly consuming MSG.  My symptoms, which were mainly diarrhea and and difficulties with focus, have been cleared up since Day #3.  I am planning a future post that contains a list of common grocery items that contain MSG.


Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills by Russell L. Blaylock

Migraine-Free Cooking!

My wife occasionally suffers from migraine headaches.  Doctors usually recommend certain medications which deal with the symptoms.  The problem with medications is drugs only mask symptoms.  Drugs do not cure disease or deal with the root cause of the problem.

Recently I discovered a web site called “Migraine-Free Cooking!” written by Heidi Gunderson.  Heidi is focused on dealing with migraine headaches by being careful about what we eat and drink.  For a long time I have believed that 80% or more of our health is based on what we eat, drink, and breathe.

For some people, tomatoes are a trigger.  As are onions.  What about sugar, salt, and milk?  Click here and find out; scroll to the bottom of the page.

Heidi is working on a cookbook, also titled Migraine-Free Cooking! dedicated to sharing recipes for those who suffer from migraine headaches.  I look forward to writing a review.

Two good ways to make me leave your site

Some Internet marketers get it.  Some do not.  Today I wish to tell you about two tactics that, if used on me, will absolutely guarantee I will never visit your site again.

Tactic #1: Let me start reading what looks like quality information then display a pop-up that demands my contact information or displays an ad.  This is extremely annoying.  If you want a capture page, put the opt-in box beside or below the information I am reading.  If what I see is quality and I like it, chances are I will opt in.  Be in my face and chances are I will click the X, close the window or tab and never be back.

Tactic #2: Have some JavaScript set up so that when I click the X to close the window or tab I get a pop-up that asks if I REALLY REALLY want to close.  This is the equivalent of a car salesperson running after me after I have already told him I am not interested.  Chances are if I have clicked the X, I want to leave the site.  Hound me like a desperate car salesperson and I will never return.  This one is even more of a nuisance when used with Tactic #1.

New Plugin: Intense Debate

We recently installed and are experimenting with a Plugin called Intense Debate.  This Plugin allows reader comments to behave more like a discussion forum.  We look forward to your feedback.

Common Products that Contain Aspartame

Recently I blogged about a video from Fox News on the synthetic sweetener, Aspartame.  As a follow-up, this post is dedicated to products that contain the poison (Aspartame) that are not so obvious.  The original Fox News video can be found here.

It is my intent to update this list on a regular basis.  Your submissions are welcome.

Flintstone Vitamins

Certain Flintstone Vitamin products contain Aspartame.  According to the manufacturer, Bayer, Aspartame is used to mask the bitter taste of  calcium.  Flintstone Vitamins are synthetic so they are of little use to the body anyway.  Bayer is a leading pharmaceutical company.  Probably best known as makers of Aspirin.


NeoCitran is promoted as a remedy to relieve cold and flu symptoms.  This product used to be one of my favorite remedies and I was extremely disappointed when I discovered certain NeoCitran products contain Aspartame.  I find this especiallyinteresting considering NeoCitran isn’t recommended for diabetics in the first place and has no connection with weight loss.  NeoCitran is made by the pharmaceutical company, Novartis.

Last update:  October 10, 2010

Promoting Amazon with Your Blog


Recently I added a widget to my blog for Amazon that displays a Top Twelve list of health and business resources that have been most useful to me.  Most of the items on the list are in my personal collection.  This blog post is the result of my good friend, Liz Kilpatrick, asking me how I did this.  Here’s how to join Amazon as an affiliate and have a widget or link in your blog.

Create an Associate Account

  1. Go http://www.amazon.ca/ if you are in Canada or http://www.amazon.com/ if you are not in Canada.  Amazon dot com is mainly geared to the United States.  If you are not in the USA, you will have an option to pick your country.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the Amazon page.  Click the Join Associates link.  Create an account.  Follow the prompts.
  3. Approval may take a day or three.  You can still add links and widgets to your blog while your approval is pending.

Add a Widget to your Blog

  1. Go to https://associates.amazon.ca/ (Canada) or https://associates.amazon.com/ (USA) and log in using the account you created above.
  2. Click the Widgets tab.
  3. The widget you see to the right of this post is My Favorites.  This is the one I will use for demonstrating in this article; go ahead and click on it.
  4. Next we do a search for items of interest for our Favorites.  For this demo I did a search for Scrabble, my favorite word game.

    Amazon Widget Search Screen
    Amazon Widget Search Screen
  5. Click the add product button for as many products as you desire.  When you are finished adding, click Next step.
  6. We now may customize the appearance of our widget.  Don’t worry about getting it right the first time.  One of the coolest features is once the widget is installed on our blog, we can change it by logging into our Amazon Associates account.  When you have something you like, click Add to my Web page.

    Add to my Web page
    Add to my Web page
  7. There are links for various blog platforms.  For my self-hosted WordPress blog, I simply clicked the Copy button.  This puts a copy the code on the clipboard.
  8. Open a new tab or window and log into your blog.  The following instructions are for self-hosted WordPress.  Other platforms are similar.
  9. From your WordPress Dashbord, go to the Appearance section along the left side and click Widgets.  Click the Text widget.  This is a generic widget that lets you enter a title and either HTML or text.
  10. For my own blog, I left the title blank and pasted the code from Step #7 into the bottom area.

Here is the Scrabble demo widget I created above.  My regular Amazon recommendations appear on the right.

<A HREF=”http://ws.amazon.ca/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&MarketPlace=CA&ID=V20070822%2FCA%2Fgarcamheahomb-20%2F8001%2F24b9ab5a-9692-4359-bb17-cc929cd21f6d&Operation=NoScript” mce_HREF=”http://ws.amazon.ca/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&MarketPlace=CA&ID=V20070822%2FCA%2Fgarcamheahomb-20%2F8001%2F24b9ab5a-9692-4359-bb17-cc929cd21f6d&Operation=NoScript”>Amazon.ca Widgets</A>

Modify Existing Widgets

  1. Navigate to https://widgets.amazon.ca/ or https://widgets.amazon.com/ and log in.
  2. Under the Widgets heading, click My Widgets.
  3. Changes made here will automatically be reflected on your blog.


As usual, I trust you found this helpful and look forward to your feedback.