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Day 3 of dev…

24 Jul

I just added the second major piece of animation and interaction to http://VerveThemePark.com. It’s looking better. With enough time and energy, I’ll get it to where I want it to be.

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Today’s Fortune…

02 Jul

I had to laugh at my fortune today. I thought, “I hope so because everyone I’ve worked with lately is investing in my creativity.” And I’m about to turn up the volume on it when I arrive in New Orleans.

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Heading over to Bethesda today…

09 Jun

I am going to Bethesda for tests today. We need these in order to make the “fix” plan.

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An Open Letter to GoDaddy

12 May

I am learning what the word “scum bucket” really means.

I knew when I had to take a few days off to say goodbye to my Dad and watch him die, that paybacks would be hell when I came back to the office.

Remember, I’ve worked a year with no vacation and no sick time.

As you know, we had a serious incident today – where one of contractors updated the plugins (I did not ask for that) and when we tried to restore backups we discovered that the security consultant two weeks ago (David) recommended that we remove FTP from the server for security reasons. We did but none of thought about the off site backups (Amazon S3 buckets) requiring FTP for backups.

You did a fabulous job of working with me to restore the site and offering to grab the files manually. In all my years of working with your team – you have never let me down and you didn’t today. As always we functioned as a team.

Well – J.B. – Jason Bibi sought fit to fire me from the project and blame Godaddy for the problem – which I clearly know was not the case and I had nothing to do with the problem – but as usual it was Godaddy and I solving a problem.

So if you read the blog and know everything that just happened with my Dad, I came back to this kind of unjustified cruelty because someone without a tech background and a lack of personal character is trying to do something they are just not cut out to do. He’s a scum bucket. I asked for a full apology because who of course spent hours today fixing the situation – Me and Godaddy. It’s all recorded in the ticket logs and has been for weeks.

I am sorry guys that you will probably lose the Staffing Online account after this – not my doing. I want to thank you for all things you done for me above and beyond the call of duty. You have been loyal, dedicated and your managed team is the best in the business.

From the bottom of my heart – thank you.

And to add to the unfairness of life – he wants to hand the consultant who created the problem – the acccount. I told him that would be a horrible mistake.

Paul P. thank you so much for listening to me today.

———–

And yes, Godaddy managed to restore the site even though NONE of this was their fault. We worked together to find a solution.

Let’s face it – the guy has no redeemable personal character whatsoever – he’s fired every single employee in the past year (I think we were close to 30) and he’s been through 3 secretaries in one year.

———–

The off site backups were with Amazon – AWS S3 buckets. Godaddy logged in and added the SFTP to solve the problem.

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So excited, let’s trade our “baseball cards…”

21 Apr

So excited to have a new consulting firm join Staffing Online. Really impressed with one partner’s knowledge of Linux. We talked about fixing all the things I haven’t had time to think about…One of the partners, whom I haven’t met, yet it turns out in this web company is a pilot and owns a drone company.

“Fabulous!” I said. “Let’s trade “baseball cards”.” Here’s mine: This is me with the Twin Commanche (this year is a really rare aircraft because of it’s counter rotating engines). This is also the plane with the right engine trouble (mainly two failures mid air). Then this is one of my huds from my work with the Gulfstream Aircraft. So glad to meet developers who are like me – just have to know how it works….

I told them, “I’ve been demoted to the toy isle of Best Buy for the drone wanna be’s.”

There is a good reason why the animation on Florida Web Development and Carolina Web Development is devoted to antique aviation.

For those of us who like to work hard and play hard.

———

How fast does that plane go – 160 MPH. Yes, the top speed on the Porsche is little faster than the plane. But 160 on a plane is actually fast for that class of aircraft.

The Gulfstream 450 can go 650 MPH.

The Gulfstream 550 goes 585 MPH.

The Gulfstream 650 can go 610 MPH.

Obviously I like that little 450.

But the interior of the 650 really rocks.

————

I always feel like it’’s my duty to push a machine to the limit.

It’s why I’ve burned up a graveyard of computers and yes, I burned up the engine in the Porsche – expensive lesson but I do know the car’s limit. I think I also knew the Comanche’s limit. Some of my computer hardware I’ve burned up even had temperature gauges….

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He asked for the list…

20 Mar

I will say this – someone really wants to date you when they ask you for the list of places that you want to go. “Where are your favorites and where do you want to go this year? Make me a list and I’ll take you there.”

“Do you really want the list?”

“Yes, I do.”

Well then this is the list (not necessarily in the order of favorites) -

1) Palm Beach Boat Show. This one I’ve done before and had a great time.
2) The ballet. (I haven’t been to the one down here)
3) Barrett Jackson’s car auction (I’ve done this one). I love cars.
4) The Opera (I haven’t been and I’ve heard the one is Palm Beach should be on my bucket list)
5) The Breakers. (We knocked that off our bucket list twice already and I was a regular there before that). My favorite is a Channel No. 6.
6) A weekend in Miami at one of the fun hotels. My roots are in that city. I lived here from 1990-1996 and was very much a Miami girl with a love for the hot spots and fine dining. We aren’t ready for this yet though… A little over a year ago I went down for a weekend and stayed at Yves across from Bayside. Even though I was traveling alone, I had a blast.
7) A tour of the Miami Art galleries. I used to do this with friends and loved it.

Aside from the list I like:
1) Trips to the beach – the water and the air are relaxing
2) I am doing flying time with flight lessons (I don’t expect the person I go out with to enjoy that but it’s something I like).
3) Shopping. I am a just a woman after all….
4) Visits to a spa. My personal favorite is The Westin on Hilton Head but since I have been spending all of my time in Palm Beach, I’ve got to find a replacement for that one. I am so overbooked with work that I don’t get vacation time right now so traveling is a problem at the moment.
5) Walking and working out

Overall, I like to enjoy a nice life and I am into “living.” I’ve had a really interesting life because of it.

He couldn’t get over how independent I am. I told him, “Oh you don’t know the half of it. I’m not afraid to do anything by myself. I’ve always been that way.”

He said to me, “You’re a fabulous looking woman and that’s the first thing I noticed about you. But it’s your mind that makes you unforgettable.”

I had to be honest with him and say that I’ve heard that so many times I begin to wonder if it’s a line. He assured me it was not.

————-

On the work side today – I’m not getting much opportunity to stretch my “creative legs” these days. Everything has been pretty technical. Tomorrow, I’ll get a chance to get strategic and make some industry phone calls to ask questions and pick brains.

Almost all of my time is booked out with this one client. I did a few other sites since the winter but mostly it’s all focused on getting Staffing Online going.

With the real estate – I did pick colors, giving flooring advice and was asked “how would I revamp this furniture?” I love any kind of design – it doesn’t matter to me if it’s merchandise, real estate, boats, web sites, software – you name it and I thrive on it.

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Had a fabulous day yesterday…

19 Mar

We had a fabulous day yesterday but it wasn’t the day we thought we were going to have.

It turns out the boat show left their old web site up from last year. So the dates for the show were from last year, not 2017. So the show is next weekend.

So we had lunch in West Palm Beach, shopping at City Place and went to a movie. We also walked the city for exercise.

We had a fabulous time.

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It’s been very cool weather this week…

17 Mar

I have to change my plans for outfits for the Palm Beach boat show tomorrow. It’s been much cooler than I expected this week.

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Weekend…

25 Feb

I have some home office work and a social calendar to attend to this weekend.

It will be a nice, welcome change of pace.

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Sad News

22 Feb

Aunt Robin died unexpectedly in her sleep. I think she died of a broken heart because it was a little under two years ago that Jan had died and she loved him so very, very much. We all did. They spent their whole adult lives together.

I’m feeling guilty because our last text conversation was Feb. 12th.

At Christmas I went to pick her up and brought her back to my place and cooked a huge dinner. We had the very, very best time that went on for 12 hours. I never thought it would be her last because she was only 65. Jan was about 16 years older than she was. He had died last February and I didn’t want her to be alone at Christmas.

They were two people that I was close with growing up and I will miss them both. But at least we know that they are together. I just never thought that she would go so young.

They were so lucky to have each other. I have never found that forever person in my life and I always wanted the kind of relationship that the two of them shared. It was a very special bond.

Rest in peace Jan & Robin.

————

I know Jan’s friends at Newsday will want to know that she has passed away so I am writing this post. They lived on Long Island for many years before coming to South Florida. Robin was my only family member that lived in South Florida.
———

The one thing I can that I did right was every time I talked to her I told her how much I loved her.
———–

If you go back through my blog posts or are a regular reader, you will see what I wrote at Christmas. I told her on Christmas Eve right as it turned midnight, the music box on my nightstand chimed three times. I hadn’t turn it on in years. I told her on Christmas Day, in my deep down gut, I thought it was Jan. “Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.” And so it was.

And so it turned out to be true.

———
I didn’t volunteer for it, but I have had that special kind of connection with the after life when I died after surgery in 1997 and came back. It’s been like that ever since. I let people know when I feel like it’s appropriate and only when I feel sure of the sign.

We laughed about it. “I said you know it’s the not the kind of thing you tell people about on a regular basis or they will think you’re fucking nuts.”

But I know I’m not and I know what’s it’s from and why I am the messenger.

Christmas dinner was in part to tell her what I knew and that everything is going to be ok and how much I love her and Jan loved her so very much. We laughed, we drank and we partied like rock stars on Christmas. It was one of the best Christmas’s I’ve ever had.

What I learned in 1997 about when you die is that it is the people you were closet too who have already passed on are the people who greet you on the other side. For me that was my great-grandmother and Jan’s parents – Claude and Glady. I only saw them briefly but I will never forget it.

———
Here’s the Christmas Post: http://laurakerbyson.com/about/?p=7171

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I am home from the hospital

19 Jan

The surgery went great. I can’t see well because of the stitches  but they are being removed tomorrow.

Aside from that when I’m laying down with cold compresses, I don’t even feel like I had surgery. I feel great. Everything went as planned.

Now I have four days to rest and listen to the TV.

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Restart Engine – YeeHaw Button

29 Dec

Should the engine crash, we now have a button that will restart the engine without restarting the server.

Unofficially, we shall refer to the button as the “YeeHaw Button.”

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Happy Holidays

24 Dec

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas.

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Remember the lesson is…

19 Dec

The next time you want to have a really fun night out, just pick up a family of tourists from Wisconsin. The more people look like middle of the road America, the wilder they are.

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YES! SOLVED IT!

03 Nov

I can’t believe it. I had my doubts that I was going to be able to come up with the answers. I solved it. We have our own search engine. And it kicks ass.

Here was the problem – I was challenged with writing a search that is as intelligent as Google without using Google. The search needed to be elastic and stemmable. The most difficult part was – it needs to run inside of a Wordpress installation. Wordpress is straight SQL. Wordpress doesn’t do stemmable, elastic search. SQL is an exact match search. And believe it or not I had already built this Wordpress installation to handle over 100,000 concurrent users. It is possible to scale that application over multiple servers and to harden it.

I needed to build systems with a brain – that are intelligent. That are SMART. If you searched for a job as “Secretary” I needed it to be able to return results of administrative assistant that had no mention of the word Secretary.

The search algorithm is so complicated but it’s running and it works and now I know that I can put in any field or variable and I can make it work with the search.

The system now has working artificial intelligence. This is huge. Huge. Huge. SMART can now be SMART. It’s going to take a while to refine it but I can do it now. I started on this project in May and I essentially had to learn how to make a YouTube and how to make Google. I had my moments where I wondered if one person could solve it.

I think I mentioned before that the copy of our software on the main domain of Staffing Online is the copy we abandoned because it wouldn’t be intelligent enough. I started building something completely different and that installation is now a truly Smart system.

Probably the only people who are really going to appreciate the magnitude of the accomplishment are the technical ones.

So of course I went to dinner and celebrated. It’s been a lot of stress. This was my fortune. Flattery will get you everywhere with me…

My greatest virtue is that I refused to quit even when I didn’t know the answers and company after company couldn’t solve it. In house programmer after in house programmer couldn’t solve it.

I finally did. Now I can breathe a little. And I have it working with the Zip Recruiter feed, Indeed feed and our jobs feed.

OMG Frankenstein has a brain. We can’t call it Frankenstein anymore.

Staffing Online, the last job search tool you’ll ever need…Better search. Better results. Find your perfect match.
——-

Now I am laughing to myself because we used a theme to build the installation and I wonder how many people are going to look at it and say, “Ohh I want that theme” not realizing that the functionality is not in the theme…

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I went from so happy to sad in just a few minutes

07 Aug

When I picked up my mail this evening, I was so excited. One of my clients from Hilton Head Island, Denny Fraser has written a book about his life.

He asked me to read the book and write a review.

I know Denny and I know it is going to be good. The Frasers are some of my favorite people. I immediately opened up the book and was so touched at the inscription from my client and my friend. I then dove into reading the first chapter and I busted out laughing. It was hysterical. This is true Denny – brilliant and funny. I can’t wait to read the whole book and write a review.

And then I paused because I miss them and my other friends from Hilton Head so very, very much. I started Carolina Web Development there four years ago.

I ended up in the Hilton Head area because one of my parents (stepfather) was diagnosed with Leukemia. It didn’t look good from day one so I moved to be closer to them.

So I took money I had saved and I opened up my first company. I joined the Hilton Head Rotary Club. I joined the Hilton Head Chamber of Commerce and became a really active member. I joined Young Professionals. And through those years I made some really nice friends and business associates. Love grows for the people that you see day in and day out.

When I work with clients, I get attached because I am helping them to pursue their dreams and it’s so rewarding.

And I realized as I was holding Denny’s book that the last book a client gave me was “Bluffton” from Jonathan Cherol, one of my long time clients. Shortly after he gave me the book, Jonathan was murdered at the age of 33. I met Jonathan when he and Tyler and Roberts Vaux were opening their restaurant, Peppers Fine Dining in Bluffton. Tyler and I had become friends through Young Professionals. Roberts Vaux was another local attorney and a partner in the business. I made the web site for the business.

I was one of the last people to text Jonathan. My text arrived two hours after he was dead. I had no idea what had happened.

We now know who killed Jon but what we don’t know is who paid them to do it. I know that Jon owed a lot of money because of the business. The 3 partners were on track to build a successful business until one of the partners lost his day job that was paying some of the bills and then one thing lead to another and suddenly the business was in trouble financially. They tried to do some business partnerships that didn’t work out when some of the shares of the business had to be sold.

But the restaurant and the bar became a place where our friends would meet. I would take clients to lunch there. Friendships and business ran deep for me in Bluffton and Hilton Head. All of these people important to me.

And I thought to myself today, how did this all go so wrong? Here’s the rest of what happened:

I dated a local businessman (G.) for four years. Have you ever loved someone that you know you shouldn’t love? I needed him to change the way he treated me and after four years it was obvious that I couldn’t make that happen. In the end, I just wanted someone to have a normal life with – someone to spend holidays with me. Someone who would remember my birthday and someone who supported my career ambitions. I wanted someone to respect me. And when long-term relationships end, sometimes you just feel like getting out of town. I decided to launch Florida Web Development and used that as an excuse.

My stepfather had a bone marrow transplant. We thought when that happened that the ordeal was over. After all, the doctors said there was no cancer in his blood. So I felt like it was meant to be for me to leave. My work was done. I had put my life on hold for so many years for so many other people. I needed to get my life back. Then came the bad news. His body doesn’t like the donor’s bone marrow. His body is attacking him for it. So he’s been in a Charleston, SC hospital for over 2 months now. He hasn’t been able to eat food for 2 months. They feed him through IV. My mother has been living in hotels in Charleston for two months. Sometimes her friends look up my business on the Internet and call to get an update. There isn’t anything that can be done right now. Just pray. There isn’t anything that anyone can do but wait to see if the tide will turn.

Two of my closest friends, Travis and Alison moved to North Carolina. I miss them too. We had some really good times together. One of our favorites was going to the Chamber ball and the after parties. I helped both of them start their businesses as well.

I had the painful experience of once I left Hilton Head, I had a member of the Hilton Head Chamber contact me via email. I explained what I was doing in Florida and how Florida Web Development was hired to create a company that would be the next major job board site to compete with Monster, Career Builder, Zip Recruiter and Indeed. We are about a month away from launch. I was asked to take a seat in the company as the Vice President. So in my response email I said, “I miss you. How are you doing? What’s new your way?” And when she didn’t reply, I figured out that she wasn’t really my friend, only interested in my business. That made me sad because with all my clients, I care about them and they know it. It’s never about just collecting the money and delivering the product. I really want for them to succeed and be happy.

So much ran through my head when I looked at Denny’s book. Mostly how much I miss everyone I knew from the Chamber, my friends and my clients and my family for the way it used to be a long time ago.

And I somehow think that my friend will inspire me to write my own story. And I know he’s damn sure going to make me laugh.

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It’s Revolutionary. Really.

29 May

As many of you know by now my company was hired by a company to create a company.

This week thing got a little complicated when I told a new client “no.” And he wouldn’t take no for an answer. He insisted, “You are a designer, a developer and a marketer. I need your skills for a reason.”

I meet with him today. The product he has inventive is absolutely revolutionary.

The immediate applications where I see it are the top tier of the luxury automotive industry, top tier handbag makers, Harley Davidson and many more.

You almost have to see the product and feel it in your hands to believe it. I am sure this will be the first of many blog posts. He’s invented a process whereby you can print a pattern to leather and coat it so that is extremely accurate and very durable. It’s resistant to wear. And you would never know that it wasn’t part of the original leather.

The reason your car seats are in one color is because they can’t make leather with a pattern. The reason that women’s purses in patterns are in vinyl is because they can’t make it a pattern.

What he just invented changes all of that. Maybe tomorrow I will post a sample. And he’s made the process very simple for manufacturers. I immediately looked at it and said; Apple watchband could be in leather and a pattern. And I really think this is a product for a Ferrari or a Lamborghini for customized seats. Luxury yachts? Yes!

So he’s hired me to create a web site and he put an offer on the table to try to lure me away from the project that I am currently working on. I told him, I am not so sure that I will leave running the companies that I am running. But I will try to fit you in on Saturdays because I think this is absolutely brilliant and it fits with your existing product line, which in my opinion has been under marketed.

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I had a friend who asked how I got into Aviation

26 Jun

First, let me say that I’m 45 and I think I am done with Aviation because I don’t have the reflexes I had when I was 30. But I had a friend over who was asking how I got into what I learned about Aviation so here’s the story.

Years ago, I lived 6 years right outside of Miami. There was a guy (who you might have heard of) named Wayne Huizenga. Now, you may know Mr. Huizenga as the man who started Blockbuster Video but I know something different – He put in this prototype theme park next to my house that had an F-16 Simulator. When I mean simulator, I mean the whole deal – multi panel and when you pulled back the stick the whole thing turned. Friends and I used to put in $4 a shot to try and land this plane on an aircraft carrier.

So I went onto to do a little co-piloting on a plane called a Twin Comanche and I made some iPad applications for training pilots on the Gulfstream GS 450 and GS 550 for a company called Flight Safety. So my knowledge of the panels of planes is contained to the Twin Comanche (Piper) and the two Gulfstream models – the GS 450 and 550 (both of which I love). But I know when it’s time to call something quits and I don’t see myself as doing any more flying time behind the actual planes. I do like working with the interfaces but for me I would want to design the whole interface from the ground up and that’s the absolute thing they will never let a designer do. Pilots have to have standard interfaces.

So that’s my aviation experience. That and I studied satellite deployment systems as part of my graduate degree. But there my knowledge is in rocket systems, networks and launch records. Got a bird you want to put in the sky? I used to be able to tell you where to put it.

I did get into a huge argument with an older pilot and I stand by my side, he argued that the systems in a plane couldn’t be hacked. You are kidding yourself if you they think they can’t. Yes, I know it’s difficult but the nature of ANY computer system is that there’s always a way in – don’t ever be stupid enough to believe that there’s not. That’s how mistakes get made. After Homeland Security, Mr. Wayne’s flight simulator would never have been available to people like me. Hopefully, people start to learn the error of theirs ways, not think that they are infallible. We were using the simulator back in the 1990s. They would never have that open to the public now.

That’s just my two cents. Anyways, that was the crap I was into before Computer Science.

——————-

How funny. A bird? What’s a bird? It’s a satellite.

————–

On the F-16 trainer – A good night was when you didn’t have George Washington stuck on your forehead. You have to take the quarters out of your pocket before getting on the trainer because you will fly that plane upside down. A full roll was required to land.

—————–

I met a guy who’s building a trainer at the airport on Hilton Head and I said, “Dude those are the Everquest trees.” He said, do you know how to make this landscape. I said, “Sure, I was  a game design professor a few years back (for nine years). I know how Everquest was made because Hodo and I have been buds a long time.” I didn’t tell him HoDo spent time in Area 51 – which is exactly what the hell is wrong with him and we all know it. Love you Hodo.

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Captain of the Yacht

12 Mar

I did enjoy my time last week driving the 48-foot Viking yacht. For those of you who don’t know about boats, they are very expensive fishing yachts. We had a small number of guests on board and they seemed surprised when my boyfriend went downstairs to fish and I was the one who captained the yacht on our little expedition.

I went out to the aquatic shelf and followed the water line all the way from Palm Beach past Jupiter. The fun part was when I saw something in the water and when I steered the boat over to the area, it was a 150 year old Leatherback Turtle surrounded by six or seven Cobia. Everyone got a great look.

Our biggest navigation hurdle was the fact that I was following the wake of a mega yacht. They can make a lot of waves in their wake.

Here’s my pic from the Captain’s chair with my “Stow Away” on board.

I aim to do it all in life. I have driven the yacht, flown the plane, I can setup your servers and run your company. There is nothing in life that I will not take on as a challenge.

My philosophy is to captain it all.

As for Indie and I we have a deal – you fish and I’ll drive.

He knows I am capable. I saved his life last year when the airplane went in for the annual inspection and the mechanic and he got into the plane started it up after the tuneup and the mechanic said it was ready to pass. “No, it’s not.” I put my foot down and explained about the ricochet that I could see. I was the only one to do the visual on the outside of the plane. When they took the plane apart for the second time, they found the rusted parts.

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South Florida Trip

17 Feb

The Miami Boat Show was a good show as it is every year. Thought I would share some funny boat stories and pics. We also made a shopping trip to National Liquidators which yielded some winners.

From the Laura Kerbyson Winners these won the awards -

Best Hood Ornament. But I would seriously rename the boat “Jack” – because that’s what you’ve got to have to own it.

These were beauties taken at National Liquidators in Ft. Lauderdale. For non-boat people that where repossed and U.S. Marshall seized boats end up.

AMEN.

Yes you are.

Maybe just a little too much?

Well not exactly considering the boat has a U.S. Marshall’s certificate on it. I bet the Marshall’s laughed their ass off at this boat.

—————

Now let’s get to the serious boats that get a thumbs up from me.

Best Retro – This is hull number one of the Hatteras. The boats name is the “Knit Wits.” I said, “Hey G. I think we just found our boat. That’s us – the Knit Wits!”

(All kidding aside, I am not found of the master bedroom on the vintage Hatteras. I much prefer the big bed.)

And this one because at the end of the day this is what we come home to and I’ve spent enough time on it to get attached to it. It’s a 48 foot Viking with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, big salon, dinette and kitchen. It’s docked at Palm Beach and that’s where we spent Valentine’s Day talking about the airplane, real estate, web development, design and C.I.O. positions. This is actually an old pic. The interior is looking much better with the construction renovations.

Where we also discussed that I am having the “Show me the Jack” conversation with head hunters and looking for a spot in Palm Beach or Miami. I think intially, I will live on the boat for a few months if I get the right offer and the right call.

All in all it was nice Valentine’s Day with massages, roses, dinner, the boat show, a deeper understanding of where I’m coming from and where I don’t want to go.

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Is Fear a Good Thing?

09 Feb

Indie sends me a picture of his computer.

Yaw, I think you’re going to need a new one.

Then he sends me picture telling me to pick out my gear.

He says fear is good and I need to embrace it.

Well that depends on if I’m love or shark bait :)

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Conquering Fear and Learning to Have Confidence

23 Nov

I love innovating and creating things. I love to design anything. It is my passion in life. On the flip side, I hate to be the one selling my work. The words “sales” and “telephone” put fear in my blood that makes it run cold.

I have no qualms about being a CTO running even a large company or promoting someone else’s work. But the minute I have to be the one to promote my inventions, my work on a phone, fear sets in and all I can think is “I have to get over this. You have to find a way to clear this hurdle.” I would so much rather hide behind the computer than the phone.

I had a phone conversation with someone recently when it dawned on me that another company still has not reinvented something I invented over 12 months ago. Yet, I have sat on it and dropped the ball by not finding the right home for that technology. It is the Achilles heel that needs to be addressed is the fear of the telephone.

All women, and I think women, who are computer oriented, seem to suffer from lack of confidence in promoting their work, themselves and having those conversations.

I have to thank a very good looking, intelligent and charming young man for saying something last weekend that made me feel better about having conversations with total strangers. I accidentally bumped into this group of five or so. So after introductions, I was talking about my life’s work when he looked at me straight in the eye and said, “If you ever need a husband, call me.”

I immediately knew that I was too old for him so I confessed my age thinking that would change his mind and he would change the course of the conversation even though I secretly didn’t really want that to happen. I could tell that he was 20-something, drop dead gorgeous off the page of GQ magazine, charming and out going. Instead he floored me when his response to my age was, “I don’t care. You look fabulous.”

Thank you so much for making me feel like a million dollars. I am sorry that I left without your phone number. I can only imagine what you are going to be like in 10 years with all that going for you. And I can only imagine how many women are beating down your door today.

I don’t know if you’re that charming with all the women you meet but that charm is a dangerous thing with all you’ve got going for you. You could own the world, you know that…

But yes, I did wonder the next day, “What if you just made a huge mistake by walking away? In fact, it feels like regret but alas, I left without your number fearing my first instinct and I waited a week to write the post because I know by then you’ll have forgotten my name. We also live in different cities.

I guess we will never know the answer to that question. But I wish I could take the confidence that you gave me and divert it down the rest of the paths in my life. I will at least aim for that one. You are going to be a hard person to forget, I promise you. I’ll have to add it to my challenge list.

If you ever stumble upon my post at least you will discover that the attraction was mutual even though I tried not to show that, and you put a smile on my face for days. It was a pleasure to meet you.

Someday I think you’ll be on that list of CEOs that I need to call.

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Carolina Web Development Announces New Kiosks

28 Oct

From Carolina Web Development – Orders should be placed through Carolina Web Development.

We are now an authorized Zivelo reseller and can finally show the new kiosks. So now our software and their cabinet designs can come together for an unforgettable product.

- The new kiosks feature full touchscreen displays

- Entirely made in the U.S.A. between Zivelo and Carolina Web Development

- Aircraft grade aluminum with a true sense of design

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Dorothy Draper Designs

22 Oct

I was saying I had lunch with a friend who used to run the Greenbrier and she made a comparison to Dorothy Draper. Dorothy Draper was the designer for Greenbrier.

If you’ve never seen some the legendary designer’s work, here’s a few pics. I was using the bright color palettes in architecture before I knew of her work but after I saw it, I was totally in love with it. She and Miss Lilly had similar thoughts to mine about color. It’s really retro, vintage style mixed with great color.

I have to admire my friend for the ability to run such a great hotel. The chandelier on the left reminds me of the one in the Stockyard in Nashville. I just need the right property for someone to let me unleash on…

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Architectural Styles

27 Aug

I’ve owned a lot of different diverse homes and chosen design through the years. I built a two story starter home in Miami on a lake, I remade a Victorian into everyone’s story book fantasy  in Ohio. Remember this one? Yes, the colors and gingerbread remake was my design…

I then owned a former Oil & Gas owner’s house in the woods on a acre and half with expansive deck off the front of the house in a country club neighborhood…I faced a lot of challenges through those properties – the Ohio Victorian I practically  gutted (new electrical, plumbing, moving walls, added bathroom, etc….), the house in the woods was more land that I had time to manage and more time wildlife than I knew what to do with..but it had a killer garage….

Then we moved into Girvan Drive at Legends with it’s more modern appeal and legendary golf courses…like the Miami house this was on a lake…

You tend to choose a property based on what your life is like at the time. When there were kids in the house I choose entirely different things than I would choose now. Now that they are all grown up and there aren’t any kids under my roof, I would next want a high rise penthouse. Floor to ceiling glass windows with a spectacular night view. The science courses I took in college were astronomy so I still have that unbelievable fascination for the Moon and how it appears in the sky.

I saw this online and I really like the style http://www.thepeninsulacondos.com/shop/custom.aspx?recid=2

Check out the image gallery http://www.thepeninsulacondos.com/shop/custom.aspx?recid=36

I have to admit I was shocked that this was in Jacksonville, Florida….and not Manhattan. I love the look. And for somebody who loves to see the night sky and the planets this would be great…

I have to say the thing I hate most about Hilton Head is it’s architecture. I find it very boring and dry.

I’m still drooling over the pictures of the penthouse today….

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Google, think carefully about what you say before you say it…

20 Jun

I am referencing this latest gem from some of the not so smart people at Google who think they have it all figured out.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57590249-71/google-gpas-are-worthless/

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/20/business/in-head-hunting-big-data-may-not-be-such-a-big-deal.html?ref=technology

As someone who spent many years as a college professor, please do not give students an incentive or approval to not do well in school by telling them that GPA doesn’t matter. Can you imagine what would happen to this country if students start believing that their grades have nothing to do with knowledge and won’t be considered in getting a job?

It’s irresponsible for Google to make these kinds of comments and set that example. Very simply put your data is flawed. There is strong statistical evidence to support that students with high GPAs are more responsible and it is an indication of how hard an employee will work for you. I think Google missed that lecture in business school. Wait, they missed business school too?

We have got to quit penalizing high achievers in the U.S. It is part of what is sending us backwards.

Here are a few basics additional basics to consider:

1) Employ people to answer phone calls from your customers. You might learn as much from talking to them as you can from the web numbers.

2) Learn to make things more intuitively. Include more “common sense” in the products you develop. This is your biggest weakness as a company.

3) You are so far out of touch with the East Coast it isn’t funny. Learn to see this country as a whole, and not just California.

4) You are not winning over fans with your PR department these days.

5) Spend more time making search work the way it used to work.

That’s all the free advice for now.

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Hand Driven Computer

02 Jun

Our Position and Your Opportunity

Anyone interested in a hand driven computer kiosk should contact Laura Kerbyson or Laura@CarolinaWebDevelopment.com or Info@CarolinaWebDevelopment.com.

We are interested in talking to companies that would have a use for a hand driven computer or kiosk. Hopefully, one party’s loss will be another company’s gain. This could be someone’s golden opportunity with the right application.

“Although the original hand-driven computer was developed to be used by the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Council we regret that they installed the kiosk at the airport on May 15th with ill intentions,” said Laura Kerbyson, owner of Carolina Web Development.

“They took the computer and the server that we configured and installed a low functioning, poorly designed web site and directed the main interface to the site of unprofessional caliber. Our interface was replaced. Tyson signs also deleted and sabotaged required files from the project we were hired to create. Their technical knowledge is so low that their new stripped down kiosk is actually running on the same server that we created and the computer we configured.

The product we originally designed was a beautiful, well functioning product that advanced information technology and was meant to be the first in a series. It was truly innovative. We now need to protect our brand and our reputation for high-end products by distancing ourselves from the software product that is running on the installed system.

Obviously when people look at the design developed by Carolina Web Development and the product that ended up on the kiosk – there is no comparison between the quality of the two. And for anyone interested in seeing our project, we would be happy to show it in a closed-door demonstration. We’ll even provide you with a link to a photo of how bad their interface looks.

We will continue to use the screenshots in order to find a new buyer and to showcase our work. The decision they made to put the stripped down web site on the kiosk had nothing to do with the quality of our product.

In correspondence from their legal team, a very false accusation was made that we would not make changes to a third and final design over five months after the project was initiated. We have all the documentation and electronic correspondence that clearly shows that we would make their cosmetic changes but that there would be an hourly fee for changes as was spelled out in the initial proposal.

Unfortunately, I think a lot of times people will look at a woman and automatically think, ‘Oh she will work for free’. There really isn’t any other way we can make it clearer than to put in writing up front to clients. Carolina Web Development is a business and our services are not free. Neither MBREC nor Tyson is a charity. Some of the code and algorithms used in the software were started years ago.

We regret that MBREC and Tyson would do something that would make themselves look so bad and would leave us with no choice but to disclose the issue in order to resell or lease the product.

We suspect that they used Carolina Web Development to learn how to make a kiosk since Tyson Sign Company did not make any of the hardware in the touch screen, video screen, computer or server nor did they have any prior experience in developing commercial software. Unfortunately, in our opinion they didn’t learn enough to make a professional software product but they continue to have electronic access to our files.

Unfortunately, Tyson is now trying to market themselves as a kiosk manufacturer. They know how to assemble a cabinet, and we don’t feel that’s really the definition of a kiosk manufacturer.

It has, and will always be, the objective of Carolina Web Development to make decisions that are in the best interest of our clients. We have 25 years of excellent experience in our field. We’ve never had a client that comes close to our experience.

Carolina Web Development did all of the software engineering and they had access to the observation and files of the project. Carolina Web Development was the only party at the table with a software engineering and graphics backgrounds. Computer science professionals are trained on the hardware and software. However, they were granted FTP access to the server.

Unfortunately, quite frankly, and candidly, we feel like they tried to use us instead of fostering economic development and what would have been the first application of some really state-of-the-art design.

We feel it’s necessary to send a loud and clear message about our rights as a software developer and the protection of our intellectual property. As you can imagine, lawyers are now involved to some extent.

What has been determined at this point in time is that Carolina Web Development retains the rights to the software and the hand driven interface. We can rebrand and resell the technology.

We really have no other recourse than to explain the situation publically and put the intellectual property up for sale or lease to another buyer. We are in the business of the Internet and that’s how we sell products. We have new relationships with companies who can assemble and design a new cabinet for the next client. There are years of development that it ultimately took to get to the point you see.

Our product really is innovative when you look at what is on the market. ”

Interested parties should contact Carolina Web Development at Info@CarolinaWebDevelopment.com or Laura@CarolinaWebDevelopment.com (843) 368-2637 immediately.

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We Have Got to Start Talking About Women in Computer Science

30 May

There was an interesting article that appeared today http://forwardthinking.pcmag.com/show-reports/311984-d11-sandberg-urges-women-to-lean-in-talks-facebook-privacy The COO of Facebook points out that women in computer science is declining and women leading tech companies is declining. As an industry, we have known that this has been going on for years. She estimates in the article that we are now down to only 20% women.

The New York Times also did an excellent job of highlighting the issue previously http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/16/business/16digi.html?_r=0.

The COO of Facebook also points out, “As women get more successful, she said, they are less liked but when men get more successful, they are more liked.” And I have to say that she is right on the money.

Now let’s look at some staggering numbers http://sheplusplus.stanford.edu/sheStatistics.pdf.  At Stanford, the computer science major is 12 percent female. There are only 19 Fortune 500 companies run by women. 56% of women who do enter technology leave mid career. Females represent only 35 percent of all startups.

Just 9% of all C.I.O.’s are female http://www.forbes.com/sites/meghancasserly/2012/05/14/women-in-tech-are-losing-from-top-to-bottom/. I’ve been in that nine percent.

I feel very qualified to comment on this top since I’ve spent 25 years as a businesswoman, full-time computer science professor (9 years), C.I.O., web developer and designer. I have also been one of the 35% owning a startup company.

We have to start talking about the issues and we have to start giving women some inspiration for entering the field and hope that they can suceed.

I am an unconventional woman who has achieved things that most women have not. And maybe it’s time to start talking about all the experiences that people don’t know about and what my opinions are regarding this issue.

I make no apologies for my career as a Computer Science professor, a former C.I.O., web developer and businesswoman. If I looked at things like every one else, I wouldn’t be Laura Kerbyson. I’m not sorry for my accomplishments. Being able to have a different perspective and to not have a fear of failure is what ultimately lead to my successes. I am sorry that I have to deal with a few people who think women shouldn’t have opinions about technology and management – that is another matter entirely and that needs to be dealt with as well in our society.

I do have to say that I agree with the statement that was made in the article about it tends to be children of engineers who go into computer science because they know they are capable of anything . I can’t disagree with that. My father was an electrical engineer and I always knew that I could do anything. I knew so much more about math and science than other kids and nothing scared me because I could learn anything.

I talked to two acquaintances this evening who both work at magazines and I may actually grant some upcoming interviews and a behind the scenes look, just to talk about women in my field and unconventional women. What I mean by that is being in a small percentage to achieve the things you do and making a career based on being a risk taker with unconventional approaches. If you want a resume that rocks, it takes risk.

I put some comments up on the Twitter feed @CarolinaWebDev.

I think you can expect to hear more from me on this subject.

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Robinson R44

08 May

This is a Robinson R44 helicopter with the doors off. We do have a business who has asked for a photo shoot that would cover Hilton Head island and parts of Georgia. They are waiting until they finish a building before it makes it on the schedule. I have two helicopter pilots I can call on that cover North Carolina to Florida. One of the items on the schedule will be part of a military installation. Private contractors are used to build those as well. I have assembled the addresses for the pilot to file a flight plan.

My honest advice to people is don’t have the usual day at the office. I have spent the better part of 20 years coding and designing, but you can’t experience life, nor can you capture it, from one side of a laptop. And as much as we love Google, the satellites just can give you the sharpness you need in all cases.

This is what they mean by seeing the big picture. They are actually a very smooth ride.

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Goodbye to Lilly Pulitzer

18 Apr

It is sad to say that the design world has lost such as creative and innovative designer with the passing of Lilly Pulitzer.

I attended an event that was a rather nice tribute to her work today. She was a designer who was known for her use of bright colors, patterns and feminine flair and distinctive designs.

Friends who know me know that indeed, one of my favorite wardrobe items is a Lilly Pulitzer skirt.

What I liked about her work was that she took risks and took her designs much further than the status quo. She had a very definitive style. Jackie Kennedy wore one of her designs in the famous Life magazine spread.

She could not have said it better when she said:

“Style isn’t just about what you wear, it’s about how you live,” Pulitzer said in 2004.

“We focus on the best, fun and happy things, and people want that. Being happy never goes out of style,” she said.

How right you were Miss Lilly. Thank you.

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Captain’s Log

22 Dec

Currently, I’m working on an interface with new hardware that could dramatically change the way people interact with a computer. Right now, this is my Mt. Everest. The interface concept really has nothing to do with the end client.

The project is scheduled for completion in 2013 and has changed dramatically.

Throw-out the iPads and game consoles.  Kiss that mouse goodbye. This will be a game changer. This is a project that is meant to push the boundaries of computer science because we should. At some point I think you have to let go of constrains and take a risk.

There are a lot of physics issues to overcome and each day brings a new set of programming problems and some new approaches. There is progress and there are setbacks. There’s progress and there are setbacks.  The cycle moves forward. But as long as it moves forward, I should keep climbing…

I wouldn’t have set the bar so high except that I think it can be attained. I think we need a dramatic shift in our approaches to human computer interaction. The challenge is to get it all out of my head. Right now, I think I’m the only one who can see what it could ultimately be.

The biggest challenge is that months have been cutoff of the target date and it’s basically a big deadline for me to solve all the problems and create the solutions while living within the constraints of an existing corporate identity. You always want more time to finesse the product. It’s hard to lose months off of a timeline when you are the sole developer.

Part of what pushes me is that you don’t see women in computer science very often let alone one that could break a boundary.

You know how expensive auto manufacturers always have a concept car that is never really released looking as cool as the prototype. I feel the same about my software mockup. The prototype mockups I originally made will always be my concept car.

Here’s to flying the flag on top…

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Portfolio Assessment

24 Sep

In reviewing portfolio pieces, keep in mind that I am not the brand. It’s my job to represent the a brand, not be it.

Other platforms and software experience not showing from the past year – ASP.net and Adobe Business Catalyst.

I am hoping to get a few screens of work from the past year up on the web soon.

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If you must know…

26 Aug

I know I have to get back to business soon. I must admit I’ve been a bit distracted lately.

I went to a Chamber event and the unexpected happened. I start talking to a guy and the best way to describe him is he’s Indian Jones. If there’s an adventure to be had and a place to travel, he’s been there. He has a private plane and for the people who know me they know I hate to fly commercial. I bailed out of the last job as a C.I.O. because I was promised a plane and it never showed up. With my corporate experience before, we had a plane. But what really got my interest was he started talking about guitars. So I said, gee that’s funny I collect guitars.

So I get the invite to the beautiful house with ocean views on both sides of the house and he’s the first guy I’ve met in a long time with more guitars than me.  And they were signed at that. And he’s got my favorite laptop parked on his counter. The only thing missing was the sports car in the driveway so the next time I show up with the sports car and the Hendrix strat flung over my shoulder.

So we’ve been making trips on the boat to the island nearby, drinking a lot of wine and having a good time.

So I’m trying to figure out if I’m more than the just the flavor of month for Indiana Jones.  It’s rare I ever venture into the dating scene, but I’ve stuck my foot back in the water this time.

Now I’m telling him, he doesn’t need that house, or any of the others, just an Airstream on one of those lots on the island we keep visiting. Gee, you think I’ve got a little bit of the Hippie Chick in me…I grew up with an Airsteam in the backyard as my playhouse.

I think it’s going to be an interesting week. I might also get back into consulting for a defense contractor. Mmm, we’ll see.  I get to visit the facility this week. I’ve played this game before. I’m still interested. I always have a lot to offer this business but that’s the first and last word you’ll hear about it. I am thinking about it.

And I’m already vetted.

I need to get back to some new business ventures.

So for the friends who’ve wondered why I’ve been so quiet, I’ve been busy. Now you know why. I’ve been off playing with Indiana Jones. And that may be the first and last you hear about that too.

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To Answer a Few Recent Questions

05 Aug

The Former Hard Rock Park Land

Yes, I am aware that the land that had been allocated for a Hard Rock Hotel next to Hard Rock Park was put on the auction block. I don’t think a lot of people realized that in the original project, there was to be a theme park, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and condos.

But the land all this was to be sitting on is not the location for any of those items. As much as I love the people I worked with and I loved that project, I knew before we opened this wasn’t going to be viable because of the land. It should have been built somewhere else.

The industry trade web sites keep saying, “Oh, just sell the old Led Zeppelin coaster and be done with it.” I hate to be the one to tell you this but I don’t think that’s possible. The signature Led Zeppelin coaster was filled with sand so that riders wouldn’t hear the roar of the coaster and would only experience the on board audio of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” The coaster is completely silent. The individual pieces are so heavy that when they filled them with sand, they sank through the asphalt parking lot. I’m not sure it’s even possible to move those pieces. I’m not saying that there’s not a group of engineers who couldn’t figure out how to do it, but it may be economically unfeasible.

I think the park needs to be dismantled and sold off. Our work was stripped out of it years ago. We opened the park as an upscale attraction with a lot of attention to detail. Myrtle Beach is not the location for upscale products. The same thing happened with the upscale golf community where I lived, Legends. It had to be sold for the same reasons because business was so dismal. These kinds of ventures just do not make it in that market.

I appreciate the people who tried to save it, purchased it and said, “We just couldn’t let it go.” When people saw the original work in person, they appreciated it and I think the 1500 people who worked at the park really appreciated someone saying that. But in all honestly, for everyone’s sake, I think it is time to let it go. I know that may not be a popular thing to say, but it’s an honest thing to say.

Believe me, the day that park comes down will probably be a very dark day for a few of us and no one more so than me. But even I know that it probably needs to happen.

Recent Projects

I have been working on some SEO projects and fixing missing code, necessary code and improving the text and quality of some sites. This is the kind of stuff that is a no brainer for me. It’s amazing how many sites just missed the boat when it came to getting the SEO correct. A lot of web managers without a computer science background spend years trying what they think will work. This isn’t about guessing, there are correct answers. I’ve been doing what I do for a really long time.

I’ve also been working on designing a new HTML 5.0 site for an organization on Hilton Head. It’s really neat to see your site flex from iPhone to iPad to computer. I really love making the graphic pieces for the sliders. I think when people see this kind of site they’ll want one.

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Weak Point on National Security

30 Jul

My biggest concern about national security are the government contractors. It’s our weak point. When I was CIO for a former government contractor, what I found on the inside was downright scary from an IT perspective. There are too many government contractors providing inadequate security for important components. It doesn’t matter if you have the tightest security at the national level if the people supplying the equipment, housing the schematics and fulfilling the contracts are wide open.

It’s a major problem that needs to be addressed.

I think the U.S. government is well aware that if you want to program a piece of equipment to self destruct, you need the schematics. This stuff isn’t being properly secured. Heads up – this needs to be included in your national security plan.

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