Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New PayPal Fees - What Next?????

PayPal Adds Fees, Sneakily

By Jared Newman

Aug 7, 2009 12:22 pm

When it comes my personal finances, I like to stay informed, so imagine my dismay when PayPal quietly tacked on fees for a service I'd previously enjoyed for free.

As a writer, a significant chunk of my earnings come through PayPal. For all parties involved, it's faster and more convenient than sending a check. I hold a personal account, rather than a premium one, which means I previously didn't have to pay any fees as long as the money was transferred directly from another PayPal user's account balance.

But when money started rolling in last month, I noticed that a fraction of it (2.9 percent, plus 30 cents) wasn't making the jump from my employers' accounts to my own. In June, PayPal had started charging for payments classified as "Goods" or "Services," even if you have a personal account. It's possible to send money for free as a personal transfer, but this is only intended for friends and family.

As I explained to Charlotte Hill, PayPal's PR manager, the fees themselves don't really bother me. PayPal can run its business as it pleases, and I have every right to take my business elsewhere. What's really infuriating is that there was no warning about the new fees, and no notification once they were instated.

Hill protested. An e-mail did go out, she said, and there were news articles and a post on PayPal's official blog.

Well, not really. Coinciding with the new fees, PayPal started allowing people with premium accounts to make personal transfers for free. That's great for users who do a lot of business on eBay, for instance, because they no longer have to pay for transfers to friends and family. Thing is, that's all PayPal talked about when the changes took place. The news articles Hill cites make no mention of new fees.

I did get an e-mail along the lines of what Hill showed me, but it says nothing about changes to the fee structure for the sale of goods and services. If you want real confirmation that the fees changed in early June, you'll have to look for grumblings on random Internet forums. (Of course, this is nothing compared to some of the previous controversies PayPal has stirred up among customers.)

"We didn't want to make a huge formal communication out of this pricing change, because we weren't really adding any fees, and we were hoping it would be a more useful experience for people," Hill said.

Maybe, but in any situation where you're taking more money from customers - even if it's a small amount - a formal communication is what they deserve. Otherwise, you're just being underhanded

Thursday, August 20, 2009

EBay's New Photo "Theft" Policy - Good Grief

Here is an article I read - verbatim. Here is the link if you would rather look at it directly:


Starting on August 31st, eBay is going to institute a new policy where photos you upload to any listing are put into a "catalog" of online images that any eBay user can then use for their own listings. The default setting for this is opt-in, which is a problem if you, like me, consider your photographs your property and want to control how they are used and by whom. A copyright notice is posted with a link to your user profile, but no additional information is given, and the link is quite small.

Since the default setting is opt-in, and eBay has not sent messages out about this, a lot of people are going to be caught flat-footed by this new policy.

Again, the default for this setting is YES, you have opted in. Meaning "Yes, I will allow eBay to make my photos available for anyone to use."

If you do not want eBay to make the photos you upload to all of your future auctions available to other users in a sort of catalog process, you need to go change your settings now, before August 31st. If you opt out after then, any photos you upload between the 31st and when you opt out will still be eligible for inclusion in their "catalog."

In order to opt out of this so-not-okay process, do the following. I've broken it down exhaustively. Hopefully your eBay pages look like mine.

1) Go to your eBay summary page ("My eBay").

2) On the left-hand side, there are three tabs that say "Activity," "Messages," and "Account." Hover over the "Account" tab.

3) A drop-down list will appear. Move your mouse down to "Site Preferences" and click.

4) You will be taken to a page with a list of site options for selling, shipping, and listing. About the sixth from the top is "Share your Photos." Click on the word "show" on the right hand side next to this option.

5) The box will expand, and if you are opted in, "yes" will appear. If you are opted out, "no" will appear. A small "edit" link will appear below the "show" link. If you want to change the settings, click "edit."

6) You will be taken to a new page with the following text: If you'd like to opt-out of this program, please do so by checking this box and clicking the "submit" button below.(If you opt-out before August 31, 2009, none of your photos will be considered for inclusion in this program unless you opt back in at a later time. If you opt-out after August 31, 2009, any photos we select for inclusion in this program prior to your opt-out may continue to be used in the catalog)

7) If you want to opt out of the program, check the ticky box on the left-hand side next to the text, then go down and click the "submit" button.

8) You will go back to the settings screen you were just on, and there will be a green checkmark and a confirmation message. Go down to the "Share your Photos" option again and click "show." Your setting should now appear as "no."

I am sure that this will be a useful feature for some people, for some items, but the automatic opt-in is not okay with me at all, as I don't want my photographs used to illustrate someone else's auction for a different item, not for any reason whatsoever.

I thought you should all be warned. Please spread the word. This is a slimy, underhanded thing to do, and I hope it bites them in the ass.

ETA: It appears that this might not be affecting everyone, but I urge you to go check your settings anyway. Mine was defaulted to "yes." Maybe it's a browser thing, I don't know, but y'all should probably go make sure.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

New Fiesta Accessory Item - Tumblers


Newell, W.Va.—(July 1, 2009)—The Homer Laughlin China Company™ announces an exclusive licensing agreement between its brand of FIESTA® Dinnerware and Tervis Tumbler; FIESTA insulated tumblers will make their debut in Tervis’ booth at the Gourmet Housewares Show in San Francisco, August 8 – 10, 2009, booth #3355.

“We are pleased to announce the addition of Tervis Tumbler to the FIESTA family of licensed products,” says Rich Brinkman, FIESTA Dinnerware. “Like the dinnerware brand, Tervis enjoys a strong customer following. The partnership is a natural extension of our quality line of licensed products, which now includes everything from cutlery, to glassware, linens, flatware, and more. The insulated tumblers truly round out the brand.”

Sharing a similar long-term history of American-made products, Tervis Tumbler, headquartered in North Venice, Florida, has been producing insulated tumblers since 1946; FIESTA Dinnerware has produced its colorful dishes since 1936 (and Homer Laughlin has been in business since 1870).

“We expect the partnership between us to be an overwhelming success,” says Laura Spencer, CEO, Tervis Tumbler. “FIESTA is a well-respected brand name that represents the American-made tradition that we too pride ourselves on. This, in addition to a shared expectation of exceptional quality, will bring an exciting product to new and existing customers alike.”
Known for the company’s stylish designs that are full of personality, Tervis’ line for FIESTA will feature the signature ‘dancing lady’. Additional items will be available in various multi-colored ‘wrap’ styles that envelope the inner lining of the insulated tumblers.

FIESTA insulated tumblers will be sold in the following five sizes: 12 oz. (the size of a double old fashioned glass), 10 oz. JR-T® (which is slender and tall), 16 oz. (the most popular size), 17 oz. mug, and 24 oz. Big-T® (cleverly designed to fit into a standard sized drink holder).
Tervis Tumblers are virtually indestructible and guaranteed for life. They are microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe.

Double-walled insulation keeps hot drinks hotter or cold drinks colder; longer than traditional drinkware. The tumblers are constructed of a material that resists scratching and discoloration, won’t retain odors like most plastics and offers the clarity and brilliance of glass, yet is safe and practically indestructible.

Look for FIESTA tumblers and ice buckets in stores and online as early as Fall 2009 and online at www.homerlaughlin.com and www.tervis.com. Retail price is as follows: tumblers range from $15 to $24; Ice Bucket $50.

About Fiesta® DinnerwareDesigned by Frederick Hurten Rhead in 1936, FIESTA® Dinnerware is now the most collected china in the United States and among the most collected china in the world. It has been featured on many popular TV programs, including ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover and the Today Show. The product was discontinued in 1973 and reissued in 1986 with new contemporary colors to mark its 50th anniversary. Its unique Art Deco style has landed FIESTA® Dinnerware in the collections of numerous museums from the Smithsonian Institution to the Andy Warhol Museum.

About The Homer Laughlin China Company™The Homer Laughlin China Company™, headquartered in Newell, West Virginia, is the largest domestic producer of china dinnerware in the United States. The company’s distinctive FIESTA® brand is featured on dining tables across the country and coveted by a large, enthusiastic group of collectors. For additional information, please visit the Homer Laughlin™ Web site at www.hlchina.com.

About Tervis TumblerTervis Tumbler prides itself on its high quality and durability and stands behind their products with a comprehensive lifetime guarantee – if anything should happen to the tumblers, they may be returned to Tervis for replacement at no charge. The company strives to uphold the same high standards of quality craftsmanship and customer relations today as it has for decades. Tervis tumblers are available in over 6,000 retail locations throughout the country, at four company-owned stores in Florida and on www.tervis.com. For further information, contact Customer Service at 866.TUMBLER or visit www.tervis.com.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

History of Fiesta®

More interesting information about Fiesta®. . .

FIESTA®, America’s favorite dinnerware, was introduced by The Homer Laughlin China Company with great fanfare at the Pittsburgh China & Glass Show in January, 1936.

FIESTA® was the creation of Frederick Hurten Rhead, a second generation Stoke-on-Trent potter who had become Homer Laughlin’s design director in 1927.

FIESTA® was an immediate hit with the public and, by it’s second year of production, more than one million pieces were produced.

The original five colors were Red, Yellow, Cobalt Blue, Green and Ivory. Turquoise was added early in 1937. The shapes of FIESTA® were created in an Art Deco style with concentric circles highlighting the bright colors.

The first six colors were produced through the 1930’s and 40’s until a change in fashion direction dictated a change to a softer palette of pastel colors at the beginning of the 1950’s. Color trends moved back to brighter colors in the early 1960’s and FIESTA® moved with the trend. By the late 60’s earthtones were in vogue and the dinnerware industry turned in that direction. Popularity of these colors proved to be short-lived and sales began to fall. At the end of 1972, FIESTA® was retired after 37 years of production.

The retired dinnerware line soon became popular with collectors, especially those who had childhood memories of this brightly colored dinnerware. As years passed, the value of the original FIESTA® colors and pieces grew as more people became avid collectors.

In 1985, officials of Bloomingdale’s, the prestigious retailer in New York City approached Homer Laughlin about reproducing a dinnerware line from the past. Soon the two companies agreed that FIESTA® had the greatest chance for commercial success.

In early 1986, Bloomingdale’s introduced a new line of FIESTA® with a new color palette and with improvements to the body and glaze. Homer Laughlin was the country’s leading producer of restaurant china and it was determined that the new FIESTA® should be made of the same durable, restaurant- quality china body as the company’s other products. The ceramic glaze would be lead-free, a comparatively new innovation in the china industry. This new version of FIESTA® was an instant success and a new generation of consumers became converts to FIESTA’s popularity.

Over the next twenty years, new colors have been introduced and FIESTA® has become a trendsetter of color for the housewares industry. In the seventy years since FIESTA® was first produced, there have been a total of 38 colors in the line. Today, Homer Laughlin introduces one new color each year and FIESTA® has become the leading dinnerware brand in casual tabletop, as well as a consistent leader in bridal registries across America. All the while, collectors have continued to add to the dinnerware to which they were first introduced by their mothers and grandmothers.

Today, FIESTA® dinnerware is the most collected dinnerware in the history of the tabletop industry with well over one half billion pieces produced.

Friday, May 29, 2009

New fiesta Colors

Here is something else I found of interest. This was published in Home Furnishing News on 5/11/09:


1. Scarlet
2. Sunflower
3. Ivory
4. Cobalt
5. Tangerine

Consumers like their Fiestaware bright and bold, as in Scarlet, the brand’s best-selling dinnerware color for several years straight. Ivory, which was only introduced last June, made it to number three in six months’ time, replacing Evergreen. Fiesta’s newest color is Lemongrass, and its newest shape is square (which will be available in eight colors

Thursday, May 14, 2009

HLC History

Something else I found that was of interest to me. An interesting historical perspective, but a little self-serving - typical of HLC.

Best known for the classic and timeless Fiesta®, The Homer Laughlin China Company manufactures china products in shapes, designs and patterns that continue to delight and satisfy customers. Visitors to The Homer Laughlin China Company and Retail Outlet can expect to find unsurpassed craftmanship, state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques and the timeless quality of enduring products.

The Homer Laughlin China Company owes its origin to a two kiln pottery on the banks of the Ohio River in East Liverpool, Ohio. Built in 1871 by Homer Laughlin and his brother Shakespeare, the Laughlin Brothers Pottery was one of the first whiteware plants in the country.

In 1897, Mr. Laughlin sold his interest in the pottery to William Edwin Wells and Louis I. Aaron. Since then, successive generations of the two families have continued to manage the company. In 1907, the headquarters and a new 30 kiln plant were built across the Ohio River in Newell, WV, the present manufacturing and headquarters location.

The turning point in the artistic focus of the company came in 1927 with the addition of noted ceramist Frederick Hurton Rhead. His design vision would culminate in the 1936 introduction of Fiesta®, Homer Laughlin's best selling line, and today one of the most collected china products in the world.

With the introduction of fully vitrified china in 1959, Homer Laughlin was able to participate in the restaurant/hotel markets. Homer Laughlin concentrated its efforts on the food service market and continued to add new shapes, patterns and decorating techniques throughout the 60's and 70's. The reintroduction of Fiesta® in 1986 as a high-fire, fully vitrified, lead free product redefined the standard for both food service and retail china products.

The Homer Laughlin China Company has produced an estimated 25,000 china patterns throughout its 133 year history. A heritage rich in American tradition and innovation has given Homer Laughlin China the fortitude to look to the next century with anticipation of meeting greater challenges

Saturday, April 11, 2009

FIESTA® Color Timeline

I found this timeline and thought it would be of interest - it was to me:

1936 - 1943 & 1959 - 1972

Blue (Cobalt)
1936 - 1951

Green (Light)
1936 - 1951

1936 - 1969

Old Ivory
1936 - 1951

1937 - 1969

Forest Green
1951 - 1959

1951 - 1959

1951 - 1959

1951 - 1959

Medium Green
1959 - 1969

Antique Gold
1969 - 1972

Turf Green
1969 - 1972

No Fiesta® Production
1972 - 1985

1986 -

1986 -

1986 - 1998

1986 - 2005

Cobalt Blue
1986 -

1987 - 2002

1988 -

Periwinkle Blue
1989 - 2006

Sea Mist Green
1991 - 2005

Lilac (Limited 2-year run)
1993 - 1995

1995 - 2008

Sapphire (Limited to a few Months)
1996 - 1997

Chartreuse (limited 2 year run)
1997 - 1999

Pearl Gray
1999 - 2001

1999 - 2001

2000 -

2001 -

2002 -

2002 -

2003 -

2004 -

2005 -

2006 - 2009

2007 -

2008 -

2008 -

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lemongrass Comparison

The latest pictures I have seen show a comparison between the new Fiesta Lemongrass, Post '86 Chartreuse and Vintage Chartreuse. The new Lemongrass, appears to have alot more yellow in it than the Chartreuse versions (the Post '86 has the most green, then the Vintage Chartreuse, then the Lemongrass). In my opinion, it is a color that has the most potential to be a hit in the most recently released regular production colors.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lemongrass Update

Our sources tell us that the initial run of Lemongrass will include the following items: 4pc & 5pc place settings, dinner plate, salad plate, soup/cereal bowl, cereal bowl, mug, fruit dish, luncheon plate, mini disc pitcher, large disc pitcher, salt & pepper (small), java mug, large oval platter, gusto bowl, serving bowl, individual oval platter, companion set and ramekin. The balance of the Lemongrass items are scheduled for release in the fall. The initial pieces will be shipping on approximately July 1, 2009.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


In anticipation of the 75th Anniversary of Fiesta® Dinnerware in 2011, last year Homer Laughlin unveiled the first of three collections --the baking bowl set -- in a limited anniversary year color, Marigold.

The baking bowl set is available in Marigold, as well as seven of Fiesta's standard contemporary colors: Scarlet, Cobalt, Tangerine, Sunflower, Peacock, Shamrock, White and Evergreen.

Availability of the baking bowl set in the anniversary color is limited to 75 weeks -April 1, 2008 thru Sept. 1, 2009. On September 2, 2009, the baking bowls, in Marigold only, will officially retire.

The 3-piece baking bowls, ranging in size from 6-1/2 to 2-1/2 quarts. They created a new back-stamp celebrating the 75th anniversary and has modified retail packaging to acknowledge the company's landmark year and limited availability collections. The bottoms of the baking bowls in the remaining glazes feature the signature Fiesta stamp or embossment.

Dinnerware and accessories in Marigold will follow, to be introduced April 1, 2009 and April 1, 2010, and 75 weeks later, each will officially retire and will no longer be in production.

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Fiesta Color

Yesterday, March 22, 2009, it was announced at the 2009 International Housewares Show that the new Fiesta color is Lemon Grass. It is supposed to be a more yellow shade of Chartreuse and should be available in the Summer of 2009.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fiesta and Harlequin Are My Purpose

Okay, I started this blog to focus on my dishing passion. I am certain I will throw in other topics from time to time, but I do want to try and channel my thoughts to Fiesta. I want this blog to share the knowledge I have gained over the years about my beloved dishes.

Remember, as you read my blog, the statements that are made are just my opinion and those opinions could be right or wrong. If I make any incorrect statements, let me know and I will post a correction.

One of the first thing I learned about Fiesta was that they discontinued items and colors and also retired items and colors. I didn't understand the difference. This is what I discovered:

Difference Between Retired and Discontinued.

We all hear about the various colors that are being retired or discontinued. For example, sapphire, lilac, juniper and chartreuse have been retired, whereas, apricot, yellow, pearl gray, sea mist, rose, periwinkle, persimmon and now heather have been discontinued. If you are to believe HLC, the difference is that the retired colors will never be produced again, they were limited exclusive runs, whereas the discontinued colors may, at HLC’s option be produced again at some point in the future, should they find that those colors are once again popular.

Discontinued colors are “discontinued” because their sales are low (they will pick the lowest sales percentage color for discontinuation). Make sure you understand the terminology because if you are a collector and stock up on a “discontinued” color thinking it will only increase in value, be very careful, because by the time that color actually has been discontinued long enough to become a collectible, HLC will probably begin producing it again and the value of that color will go down. Sellers are very free with their use of the terminology “retired”, when, in fact, the color has not been retired, it has merely been discontinued.

It appears to be a bit simpler as it relates to items that are discontinued (I have yet to hear of an items that has been retired). When a piece is not popular or is difficult to product, the product will be discontinued. I guess it is always possible that a piece might be made again, but chances are good that it will not. Goblets are good example. They were a very difficult product to make and to glaze and obtain a high quality product. . .too many in the seconds room or in the graveyard. They were a popular piece, but I doubt they will ever be made again.

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Post 3/20/2009

I have just set up this blog and am learning how it all works, so if you see mistakes, bear with me. It just seemed appropriate to post my first entry on the First Day of Spring 2009. Spring in the desert southwest is such a beautiful time - with the blooming of all of the regular flowers you see everywhere, like daffodils, pansies, tulips and the like, but also the cactus. There is nothing more beauiful than a cactus in bloom.

The birds are all busy finding the perfect spot to build their nest, unfortunately, a couple of swallows want to build their nest in a spot above our front door. It might be the same ones who built a nest there last year (when we didn't own the house and it was vacant). Mike has done everything he can to thwart their efforts because not only are their housebuilding endeavors messy, you can imagine what it is like when they step outside their home to use the restroom. . .right on our front porch. Plus, last year the babies kept falling out of their nest and everytime we came to inspect the home (we spent over 4 months in negotiation with the bank), we had to put baby birds back in the nest (it was their home, not ours. . .yet).

My next blog will be more on topic, but I do need experiment with my new adventure