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My face is an open book

Tasting food of the god(s) spelled backwards


I am trying not to act my age. I know there's a whole online community out there that I would love to move into, but I'm resisting.

I've come a long way, however, since Salon.com first broke news on the Internet more than a decade ago. I remember at the time being confused that anyone would want to get their political news from a magazine about hair styling.

I couldn't live without the Internet, of course. It's made researching stories so much easier. Years ago when I worked for a newspaper, I'd have to visit the morgue for my research. Now I deal with interactive news clips rather than dead paper ones.

And while I am a huge fan of e-mail, I refuse to text message. Refuse is perhaps too strong a word - "can't" is probably more fitting. I keep telling my husband that if I had a cute iPhone or Blackberry I would learn to text and organize my life. He reminds me about my failed iPod Touch experiment. I don't know which bugged me more, the fact that it refused to stay charged, or all the fingerprints that constantly mucked it up. My inability to adapt to this new pain was my younger daughter's gain.

A few months ago when I interviewed Kathleen Matthews of Marriott about how the hotel chain uses social media, I joined Facebook so I could ask her to be my friend. Once accepted, I didn't really think about it again.

And then a glorious thing happened. I started getting invitations to be friends with colleagues, acquaintances and even my old college roommate.

I'm still not sure, however, how I can make money from being on Facebook. The one time I tried to use it for business, only one person responded with the information (Thank you, Lonnie Helgerson from eMed-ID, I'll be in touch.)

I see the danger in being a Facebook member. I'm already addicted to e-mail, and if someone will play with me on it for awhile, I'll waste time trying to be witty and urbane.

I check my e-mail on the weekends, on the road and late at night. Since my spam filter was upgraded, there really aren't that many surprises in my e-mail, but hope springs eternal.

Recently, however, I've discovered a problem with Facebook membership. My husband Ed joined.

When he posted that he was married to "Nancy Weingartner," I received an e-mail from the Facebook Team asking me to verify that information. When I did, it was posted on my page as if we had just gotten married, which prompted my 30-year-old son to write, "We've been living a lie all these years!? Thanks, Facebook, you've ruined my life."

That's nothing to what my husband is doing to my ego.

In the good old days - before photos were digital - I was able to ensure I was the one who picked up the prints from the drugstore, so I could go through all the photos and pull out the ones that were unflattering shots of me. The kids learned early in life to look good in every picture, because if I liked the way I looked, that was the picture going in the frame, even if they had their finger up their nose.

With digital pictures, I no longer have that first right of refusal, which means Ed can post pictures of me on his Facebook page and they show up on mine. Isn't my face on Facebook my intellectual property? And if so, why do these pictures make me look so dumb?

I totally understand how franchisors feel when they have a rogue franchisee.

I only wish I had taken a page from their book and had a technology clause written into my prenups.

Cookie, cookie, cookie, you're good enough for me

While I was at the IFA convention in February, I met with Scott Ragan, the new owner of Three Dog Bakery. I'm always grateful when concepts I want to write about become franchises. (I've been waiting with baited breath for the nail salons that use live fish to eat the dead skin off your feet during a pedicure to franchise. However, I just read that flesh-eating fish have been banned from pedicure duty. Bummer.)

I used to be a regular customer at the Three Dog Bakery on Royal Street in New Orleans. I lived in Denver at the time, but after watching my daughter play soccer at Southeastern Louisiana University, we'd head over to the French Quarter, where my first stop would be the bakery.

I bought pawlines for my dogs, and then purchased pralines at Aunt Sally's for myself. (The best part of Christmas is that Rupert Barkoff, a former resident of New Orleans, sends friends of the law firm sugared pecans, which taste like a healthier version of pralines.) One year I considered buying the dogs a purple King cake for Mardi Gras until I saw the price - they were just fine with a couple of pupcakes.


Nancy Weingartner, Executive Editor

Nancy can be reached at 612-767-3200 or at nancyw@franchisetimes.com

The treats are all made with "human-quality" ingredients, Scott told me. In fact, he continued, during staff meetings they'll occasionally pull a box of sandwich cookies off the shelf to accompany a fresh brewed pot of coffee.

I was fascinated. As a child, I used to trade the dog my cookies for his, according to my mother. I can't imagine doing that today, although I know my terrible terrier Hank would approve. He thinks he owns everything in the house, including what's on my plate.

So when the box of All Natural Lick 'n Crunch carob and peanut butter cookies, arrived, I was curious. They look just like faded Oreos.

I was tempted to toss the box in the trash and put the cookies out in the break room to see what people thought. But I knew once my coworkers discovered they were eating canine fare, I'd be in the dog house. So I ate one. Except for being a little dry, they're not bad. I also tried the cheddar cheese sticks, which were flavorful, but too hard and dry for my taste.

I still have the box of cookies on my desk. If there are any left by the end of the week, I'll take them home for the dogs.

The biggest difference I discovered about the dog cookies and people cookies is that the dog version didn't list the number of calories. I'm guessing dogs aren't as calorie conscious as people. Seeing protein listed as "crude," was a bit of an appetite killer, however.

Scott also sent "wet" pet food - casserole-style chicken, carrots, green beans and rice. I think I'll save those in case the current economic times take a bigger dive or for retirement. I've never been a big fan of cat food.

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