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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Interesting article about the negative side of Facebook

12 Dec

Facebook Is ‘Ripping Apart’ Society, Former Executive Warns – http://fortune.com/2017/12/12/chamath-palihapitiya-facebook-society/

And people that have known me a long time know that I have never used Facebook for personal reasons and never will.

I call it foresight. You can call it what you want.

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I’m not happy…

10 Dec

There will be a certain company who will not get a referral to my friends after this is over with.

I’m learning a lesson here – I decided to do business with a company that was offering me a good deal. Even though for years, I’ve done business with large banks. And they could have come close to this deal but not quite as good.

They have one employee who has gotten absolutely everything wrong and seems to be just screwing everything up. She hasn’t accurately described a phone conversation yet and she’s questioning stupid things in which they should know what they are looking.

I cannot believe that I had to explain to them how to read a bank statement with a POD. They have never heard of a POD.

The POD is not an account holder, it’s Payable on Death. I went to business school, I think this part of my basic into finance course. I knew what it was before I was ever out of college. It’s not unusual to list a POD on an account.

These people are single handedly making my life miserable because they don’t know basic things in interpreting financial data. They questioned the utility company (the cable company) in New Orleans last summer that pulled a credit report. That’s their standard policy for everyone who’s a customer. Lots of utility companies pull credit reports. I’ve had that happen to me several times in my life. How can you work in banking and not know this stuff?

I am feeling some serious remorse for not having chosen a bigger, more experienced partner. Sometimes a good deal isn’t worth the aggravation but I’m too far into it now to change. You know what I mean.

I asked them today – “Please don’t screw this stuff up because there’s no reason to screw this up.”

I just want this to be over with without them wrecking my entire life in the process. You know what I mean?

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It was a very productive day…

10 Dec

I picked out the new flooring I want. I choose the countertops, what the kitchen cabinets will look like, the new stove I want, countertops and sinks for the bathrooms.

I got a lot done today. I’m very happy with the choices I came up. This is the one time when I get to pick everything according to my taste.

This is a very ambitious timeline, but I am hoping to be done with everything by the end of January.

I think it will be beautiful when it’s done.

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What a busy, busy week

08 Dec

I had been working on orders for the largest professional golf tournaments in the U.S. I am also working on integrating computer systems. We do the most prestigious golf clubs in the U.S. Virtually everyone is in our book and we’re growing really fast. I hope to eventually streamline this company into better systems and processes. I just did the design work for the embroideries that will be on the shirts at the tournament. That’s my creativee side balancing with my computer science side…

What I mean by embroidery is I look at their logo in a file called a DST. I translate the threads into colors of threads that we use or I redrawn or clean up their logo. Then I have it embroidered. It’s easy compared to the complicated graphics work I’ve done in my lifetime.

My career has covered brands like Hard Rock, GE, Lily Pulitzer, Linda Hartough (the official artist of the PGA). And now of course, Arnold Palmer and all the brands that the name attracts. And I’ve done work for small but prestigious projects like Porsche PCA, the Hilton Head Chamber of Commerce for the RBC Heritage. There’s a list but a pattern of great work.

For those that have followed by career, you know that some of the world’s biggest and most expensive brands, have trusted their identity to me. My business was built off of style.

It’s a job that calls for my “jack-of-all-trades” skills.

Then I’ve had all the logistics to buying a piece of real estate to content with…busy, busy, busy,

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Yes, I know it’s possibly the sadest thing you’ve ever heard me say…

07 Dec

It all kind of started when someone asked why I was buying the new condo. I hope that my mother will come to visit more often.

My stepfather of 38 years died in May. He had Leukemia and although I was his daughter – I wasn’t his “real daughter.” I was more like the Velveteen Rabbit. I wanted to be real but in the end I was just a stuffed bunny. And I couldn’t save him as a real daughter might have been able to do.

I may be a little worn and well loved, but I wasn’t a real rabbit.

And so he died. So it’s left my mother all alone and I am hoping that she will be as excited as I am about the condo, and the renovations and I am hoping that she will visit more often.

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Just a little pressure…

06 Dec

Several years ago, I talked to my neck doctor about whether I would ever be able to golf again at the end of all the stuff we were doing to my neck to improve the siutation.

Here’s what he told me – “If you swing like you’re suppose to, you’re not going to have a problem. Because your body is what turns, not the neck. The body turns with the club. If you screw up that swing, you’re going to hurt like hell the next day. Just be sure to get it right.”

No pressure there, eh?

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I’m excited but here’s why I told myself…

05 Dec

Here’s what I told myself – to get to what I really want. Here’s the list in the order they need to occur.

1) Renovations take priority over golf, tennis and swimming. I am a much better golfer than a tennis player so I am hiring a tennis pro. That way I will also have someone to play tennis. My mother likes to golf so initially, she will be my golf partner. i can’t tell you how much I look forward to walking out my front door, across the street and onto the golf course. And then I am looking forward to lunch at the club…But first, all the contractors and timelines have to be lined up.

2) In terms of renovations – the electrical and the AC need to be done the first week. Then the plumbing. Then the cosmetics like flooring, paint and new kitchen.

3) Then I’ve got to “redesign” the furniture that will go into my new home.

3) Number 3 actually happens the first week. I have to weed all that furniture out – what I bought from the estate, my furniture and my furniture that has been in storage. I have some antiques – but I haven’t wanted to decorate with antiques since I lived in Ohio years ago. But there’s something in me that was slightly sentimental so I paid to store that crap for years that I didn’t want in my home. I need to get rid of those or use them. That was my taste 30 years ago but not now. So I think those need to go. I started weeding through this stuff last spring but I didn’t finish the job. So it’s on my list to finish by Spring 2018.

I’m going to busy for a while. No doubt.

But I’m like a tornado when I get ahold of these things. The ball of energy just gets bigger and stronger…I thrive on this stuff.

I finally get to make myself a client! The best designs are the ones you love…

This brings back the good old days for me. As a very little kid, I grew up golfing and swimming all summer in a country club. For the people who think I should apologize for that – NEVER. My dad was an electrical engineer. Smart people who work hard deserve good things. My stepfather could afford to live in a country club because he had a PH.D. I was a computer science and design professor (dual role) as well as a being a department head. I was also a business owner as a woman. I busted my ass in my career. I started in marketing at 19 for a GE company. I graduated from grad school on a full scholarship with a 4.0. I’ve worked hard in my life. I deserve some golf. And a nice dinner at the club.

I lived at Legends in Myrtle Beach for a year. When I lived in Ohio, I golfed in guys and gals every Friday night. I loved it.

Women in computer science with business and marketing backgrounds should get everything they want in life and more. That’s my opinion.

When I went to college – I studied design, business, computer science, telecommunications, communications – I took it all on. And I played 17 sports in high school. That’s just my nature and I’ve learned in life, you have to do the things that make you happy. Not what makes someone else happy. And not what other people think you “should” do.

It’s my life. I make the rules.

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Making my list…

03 Dec

I am making my mental list of everything I want to renovate in this new property and the order in which things will need to occur.

Aside from the renovation items, I’ve got some decisions to make about furniture because this was an estate, I bought everything in it. Obviously I have furniture so now I need to decide which pieces to keep from the estate and which pieces need to go to make room for what I own.

It is going to be fun to apply my design skills to some of the pieces.

I’ve got some projects that need to be tackled right – a new AC, some electrical and plumbing work.

One of the things I am going to be doing is putting in a new kitchen. I am a big fan of “light and bright” so that tells you something about the finishes I want.

Other cosmetics on the list are to repaint and lay new flooring. It had carpeting and I am doing away with all of it so I can have one continuous floor through out the main living space.

It will be beautiful by the time I am done with it. I get to make this space “my own” and that’s always fun.

I can’t wait for that day…

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Ready to see the awesome view?

02 Dec

I had to be over at the property I am purchasing this morning.

I took a few shots of the view. It’s in country club on a golf course. I have a nice pool as well. There are tennis courts, driving range and if I walk out my front door, go to the end of the building, and cross the street, I am at the clubhouse with the restaurant that operates 7 days a week. I can’t wait. All the golf course views are the view from my windows. My views are of the lake and the golf course.


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Kevin O’Leary owned the Learning Company. I had no idea that’s who brand we built…

01 Dec

I had no idea.

Here’s the story.

Back in the 1990s I went to work for a company owned by Jan and Bob Davidson – The owned Davidson and Associates and Educational Resources.

I was hired to be one of six Trainers to travel the U.S. to teach 250 software titles. A few months into the job, my boss became Linda Sharp – from The Learning Company.

We loved Reader Rabbit and all the rest of their titles. So every day when we entered a new school system as “The Trainer”, they always went with our recommendation.

We sold oddles and oddles of software and training to schools all over the U.S. and there was only 6 of us doing it.

I was so successful at learning new titles and teaching it that Jan Davidson sent me on an all expenses paid trip to Maui, one to Snowmass, Colorado and one to San Diego where I sat next to Terry Bradshaw on an airplane.

This was in the days when software companies were making lots and lots of money.

I heard Kevin talk about The Learning Company on the Shark Tank tonight and how he couldn’t keep up with the demand for the product.

Sorry we did that to you, but the six trainers were really good at what we did….

My job back in 1995 was to be on a different airplane, every day, to a different school to teach whatever software you desired.

We sold a lot of Broderbun too.

I loved the Living Books series.

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Do I mind doing customer service?

01 Dec

Are you kidding? No. It’s essential to running a business.

The customer is an important part- the only thing that really matters to a business.

Do I mind being a web developer, running operations or interacting with the customer and putting them first -

No, I do not mind in any way, shape or form.

In order to run any business, I need to understand the customer. Without the customer, we don’t exist.

I want to make sure that any customer has the best possible experience with a brand. If that means I do it personally, then that’s what it takes.

Any really good entrepreneur is not afraid to do any function of a company whatsoever.

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I’ve been so busy, there’s almost no words…

01 Dec

It’s just been a whirlwind of activity.

I have been so, so busy – there’s almost no words to describe it.

And it’s going to be particularly crazy the next two months.

But it will be so worth it.

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YES! I won!

29 Nov

This property is going to be my new home.

Remember yesterday how I said if I got it for a great price I would feel Smart? If I paid more, then I move to the Satisfied category. And if if the bidding got too high and I paid it, then I would just be Stupid.

I got it in the Smart category for the smartest price possible. I got it for the best possible deal because of the terms I offered.

Because this was an estate property – I bought the property and all the furnishings in it. I’ll be redesigning some of those furnishings as well.

Remember the first property I really wanted and the people would not come down on the price? And then I found this one? They are the exact same comps in the same neighborhood. I’m paying $45,000 less than if I would have bought the first property. I am so glad I walked away from that deal. The condo I am purchasing is worth every penny of what I’m paying for it.

I cannot tell how how thrilled I am about this property. It’s a first floor large condo, corner unit on a private golf course in a country club with view of the water and the golf course. So the property has 2 golf courses, tennis and pool right at the end of my building. The golf course is rated 4.5 of 5 stars by Golf Magazine. I love that it’s a corner unit because I get twice as many windows in the bedrooms and it’s light and bright. If you know me then you know I love condos after owning three houses and being a slave to the house. A condo allows me to enjoy my life. And the property that was $45,000 more wasn’t even a corner unit.

And here’s the very best part – the terms of the property did not require me to pay for the golf membership. i can golf on the second course any time I want and the fees are very, very reasonable for golf. And it will be that way, the rest of my life. I looked at nearby properties where it’s very standard for a golf membership to run you $30,000 a year just to live in the communities. In Palm Beach county, there is always a required membership to live in a country club.

For me, this was a fabulous, fabulous deal. I’ll be renovating the unit. Just remember – you can change everything but the view and thank goodness it has one incredible view.

Since my mother and I have had a very hard year, she’s going to come to Florida for a while to help me renovate it. I’ll use contractors but she can supervise. This will keep her busy for a while. She can also be my golf partner because she loves to golf. And we can go have dinner at the Country Club. Cheers to 2018 being a better year.

This certainly starts the year on a high note. There’s a lot to do.

This makes me so happy. I feel like I’m getting a steal of deal and I so appreciate it. I will enjoy this for many years to come. And now there is a guest bedroom for when my mother visits.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to the Probate Judge and the real estate professionals who helped me get this property.

I really feel like I’m getting a piece of Palm Beach paradise.

The condos building is surrounded by expensive single family homes. Which means that my walks through the neighborhood will have great views. The country club has had zero crime in the past year. It will be a great place to walk.

————–
Why was 2017 so bad?

My stepfather of 38 years died. When I took off 2 days to help my mother deal with his death and I lost a year long major web contract because the client was a complete jerk about my being gone for 2 days to deal with a death in the family. There’s just no way of saying it nicely when that was the reason I lost the contract.

My grandmother died. My nicest Aunt, died. My mother had major surgery and they couldn’t wake her up so for 24 hours we had to wonder if she would be brain dead. I had to have emergency surgery and was supposed to take 3 weeks off work – I only took off 2. It was huge challenge.

2017 was just plain hard. I think 2018 will be a much better year. I kind of feel like I am past all that now.

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I put in the formal offer…

28 Nov

And I was immediately told that there would be multiple offers.

So basically, I’ve set three levels in my mind:

1) Price X is a great deal
2) Price X is you’re paying more and you really want the property
3) If bidding goes to price X, don’t cross that line because then you’re being stupid and the property isn’t worth that price.

So in the next few days, we’ll find out where my bidding gets me and which of those level do I fall under. Smart. Satisfied. Or Stupid.

Hey, we are officially off to the races at this point…

They told me if I have the winning bid, they have to fly a drone over the property to inspect the roof.

What? You don’t want me to buzz the property with a plane? Oh, where’s the fun in that?

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M.J. died last night…

26 Nov

My only living grandmother, my mother’s mother – M.J. died last night.

My poor mother has had a year has she not.

She is coming down for Christmas to see me. Today, I am going to dig out that riduclous, but adorable “Palm Beach tree.” You have to laugh when you see this thing.

————-
My mother just reminded me about when Al (Alan) died in May. I couldn’t get off work and we knew he was going to die. So asked him if he thought he could hang in there one more week until I got there. He said, “Yes.” And he did. I got there the next weekend and said my goodbyes and he died.

It is the type of thing that you never forget – that someone would hang on for one more week just to say goodbye.

—————
What did M. J. stand for – Martha Jane. She went by Martha but we called her M.J.

When I die, I will be buried in a plot next to M.J., my grandfather, Al, my mother and then me. The mother and I are the only two surviving out of the before mentioned names. My mother put my name on the plot last year because it was she and Al’s wish that I be buried there with them. And so that’s the way it will be.

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What prompted the property search…

25 Nov

My stepfather died in May after a four year battle with Leukemia. He and my mother were married for 38 years.

In the last four years of his life, they really couldn’t travel because he was so sick. So during those four years, I either lived in South Carolina or traveled to South Carolina frequently.

So when I moved to Florida, I didn’t really need to initially worry about a guest bedroom for visits from Mom. I moved to Florida during the time when we thought that his bone marrow transplant would be a cure and that would be the end of the disease. The bone marrow transplant ended up killing him.

Now things have changed. My mother can and does travel and I think she enjoys coming to see me. She certainly understands my love for Palm Beach county.

So the property that I have put in an offer on to buy it out of probate would give me that guest bed and bathroom.

I wanted to live on a golf course but I also wanted a water view. This property has both a great golf course and lake view. The property is on a private course but there is also a semi-private course in the community where you can pay to golf whenever you like. The property also has tennis, pool and 2 restaurants. There are 2000 people that live in the community. It has it’s own town hall, fire station, police and security.

I love it. I am hoping to win this one. I’m motivated to win.

Renovations are a lot of work but this property has great potential and it’s exactly what I am looking for at this stage of my life. And I’m sure when it’s all finished, my mother will love to come and visit. Get your golf clubs ready…

I should know after they talk to the judge this week.

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I ended up saying, “No deal”, and then a great possibility opened up

24 Nov

They wanted too much money and it wasn’t worth it. They were unrealistic about the value of the property.

And another identical property with the same comps became available just a few days ago. And the price is a lot cheaper than the first one. I was planning on renovating either of these properties, so I like the one with the price that’s much lower. And they are in the exact same neighborhood.

Here’s the more challenging part. It’s in an estate that’s in probate and there are multiple buyers interested in the property.

I’m putting in an offer but I won’t know immediately if I won the property. I would really like to have because I really see the potential. And it has a fabulous view and I love a really great view.

I did this before years ago when I bought a 172 year old Victorian that needed everything you can imagine and I turned it into beautiful house.

When I lived on Hilton Head, I dated a real estate broker for four years and I was designer on many, many projects.

Believe me, I do know how to do this. I’m working on a design in my head now, while we wait until next week for an answer.

Let’s hope I win.

The property is in Palm Beach county, where I now lived for several years. I love it here. Of all the places I’ve lived this is my favorite.

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Nothing to report yet…

22 Nov

I’m negotiating.

I have to be smart about this or it’s not worth doing.

I will let you know when we’re done over the next couple of days.

I put an offer in this evening.

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Today’s fortune…

19 Nov

Oh, I am totally down for that…

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I think I decided on the property that I will like to go for…

19 Nov

Now we’ll have to see if I can get it for a price that makes sense.

I selected a property where the previous owners paid too much for the property and the property needs rennovations. That means that I have to really watch the rennovation money or I could easily end up upside down on a property. It’s a fine line.

So I spent all weekend selecting items and costing out 2 new bathrooms, paint flooring, light fixtures and door handles. Now I know what the rennovation work will cost me. I’m paying for the rennovations out of pocket but if I ever wanted to sell, there is a top dollar limit where people might not cross the threshold.

So this week I think I will see if we can make a deal.

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There are few times in my life when I exercise my full power….

18 Nov

Knowledge is power and it’s extraordinarily powerful when mixed with anger.

..but now is going to be one of those times.

Oh some people have made me very, very angry.

Few people in life every tell me “No.” You know why – because I am far smarter and more fully aware of things than probably anyone they’ve ever met.

And when they tell me “No”, the first thing I know is the law.

And the problem is they didn’t just tell me “No.” They told my mother “No.”

And I’ll have your head on legal platter for that one – there is a law regarding this circumstance. And if by chance, you fit through some stupid loophole, I will not quit until the State of Florida closes that loophole. Some people are the scum of the Earth and it’s time for me to exercise that power and knowledge and wipe some scum off the earth and out of your jobs.

You can do a lot of things to me in my life, but don’t screw with my mother or I’m going to come after you and everything you represent.

As busy as I’ve been, I’ll make the time to wipe you out of the face of the business world.

And guess what – if you can be prosecuted in any way, shape or form for your conduct – you will. I will be talking to every federal and state official I can reach out to put a stop to this. I will be as ruthless as it takes for you to realize that you don’t treat a 70 year old woman that way – ever.

In all the years people know me they know that if I get angry, that means I’m not going to lose – the other person is ultimately going to lose.

In all my years, I have never, ever, ever lost a battle in the long term when someone has made me this mad. It doesn’t happen.

And if you don’t know who I am – you better start your research. And the minute you realize it, you better crawl to your corner and personally apologize to my mother.

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I have been so busy…

16 Nov

I’ve been so busy I haven’t had to blog this week.

There’s a lot of things that I have to get to right now.

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It is sad, the state of GE’s stock…

12 Nov

There’s no question in my mind that Jeff Immelt was not good for GE. The damage that he did in running that company will take years to undo.

I’ve always said, (and I really mean it), that I was very, very fortunate to have worked for the company during the years when Jack Welch was CEO. I was in the plastics area. All of Jack’s degrees were in chemical engineering. But what you learned about him was that he was just a really, really brilliant man who had a great head for businesses. I have a lot of respect for that kind of mind and results.

I think the question becomes with the current CEO, after all of the years of working for the company – Can Jack’s instincts be learned? And the answer might be – maybe not. It’s too early to tell if the new CEO can pull GE out of the mess that Immelt created.

I saw Immelt saw off components of the companies that I had personally heard the top executives say, they would never sell those.

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I actually did really, really well…

10 Nov

This week was a challenge, but I do tend to do very, very well in a crisis.

I was supposed to take 3 weeks off of work. I took 2 days off. And I pretty much got caught up by the end of the week. There are some items on the list that didn’t quite make this week.

It’s been a very, very painful week because of the surgery, but working gets my mind off it. But you can definitely tell I’m not feeling well because I dropped 7 pounds this week.

I’m saying something so people get used to the idea – I could end up shedding 15 to 20 pounds by the time this is over. This was not weight loss surgery but that seems to be a side effect of the whole ordeal.

Before I hit 40 years old, I weighed a lot less. I could end up going back to that weight.

I nailed it at work this week so I am taking it easy this weekend. I don’t normally watch television, but that’s why my weekend plans involve.

Overall, I am very pleased that I hit all my objectives for the week.

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Here comes the personal “hurricane”…

02 Nov

Next week my life is going to be like a hurricane. And just like in real life when a hurricane comes, there’s some sick and twisted part of me that gets excited when I see a big storm coming. I always want to see how I will do. What am I made of?

Next week will be a career first for me. Why? It’s my job to run a particular company. This past week we made our first major change of switching accounting software. That’s major change number one.

So Monday and Tuesday I am having surgery, and right after I am out of surgery, I’ll be logging into to do business operations. The next day back at work, we are wiping the server clean and putting PHP 7.0 on it (this is a new version for me), our site will be offline for about 48 hours, then the new web site will appear. We’ve got a brand new Amazon campaign that will begin after that happens.

Then in the fashion customization part, we’ve got all kinds of new orders. I am looking forward to doing one for a major brand of which I’ve always been a fan – now I get to make the stuff. How fun!

But all these elements together form one big powerful hurricane. And so the anticipation builds with, “This is going to be exciting.” This is why I really love business when it gets right down to it.

And just like a storm, there are things that can go wrong. But all of this is a major step in the right direction of where we need to go. So, it’s time to do it and move forward.

And just remember, when I’m in the “eye” – things will be very quiet here for a while.

For all of the “drivers” in life, it’s like when you are driving a Porsche and you make a hard and fast shift between fourth and fifth gear. It’s the acceleration that exciting.

Honestly, my opinion – we have a “Perfect Storm.” Drive. adrenaline. Success.

I live for this stuff.

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Busy, busy, busy…

01 Nov

My work life has become a bit like an air traffic controller. There are so many concurrent things going on and I am always working on the timing of when they “land” and what needs to be out of the way of “who.”

It’s crazy but a good crazy because business is booming.

It hasn’t left me a lot of time to make posts.

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Well yes, I think I’m allowed to say…

01 Nov

The question was, “Who are you working for?” Who’s the assignment you’ve been doing for two months.

We have two companies – one makes sports apparel for most of the major brands. The other is my responsibility – Arnold Palmer Apparel. Yes, we are getting a new web site. Yes we are getting a much larger Amazon presence. Everything that needs to be done will be done in good time. I’m also doing operations, IT, and fashion customizations. If you want Arnold Palmer but you want it customized for your club, company, college, you name it – then it will come to me. We also have other designers that design the clothing.

This is an assignment that draws on my experience as an entrepreneur, designer, web developer, Vice President of Operations, etc. They need everything that I can bring to the table. I always wanted to work in fashion beyond accessories, t-shirts and jackets and this gives me the opportunity to learn. If you know anything about me, it’s that I love to learn, new things and complicated things.

I find the work interesting and it deals with something I like – golf.

So if you wanted to know what I do all day. Now you know.

If you’ve followed my career and my companies, then you know that I’ve represented many of the world’s best luxury brands.

I love the Arnold Palmer brand because the profits go to chairity.

Someone asks, “Who’s your favoriate professional golfer?”

“Why Nick Faldo of course because he wear our shirts. It’s a company policy that Sir Nick can have anything he wants. If we have to take the order personally and ship it we’ll do it.

I believe in personal service. and I believe in good causes.”

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Update…

30 Oct

I am having surgery on Monday. I’ll be out Monday and Tuesday from work. My plan is to go back on Wednesday. There probably won’t be an interesting posts over the weekend or the first part of next week.

In other news in South Florida – it’s freezing down here. Winter is here unfortunately. I am rummaging through my closet and my winter clothes. Most of them are black, which is not my favorite color.

I’m getting creative though. I have this new shirt that I got from work – it’s a long sleeve dark charcoal gray mock turtle that is meant for runners. I’m going to put it with black soft corduroy pants, riding boots and an elegant scarf to change the look for daytime. Put a few bangle bracelets with it – and bang – you’ve got a workable outfit for the office.

In terms of clothes we make golf, running, ski, etc, etc. clothing. I do all kinds of things for them – web site, Amazon, operations, customize the golf apparel for special orders. It’s interesting.

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We’ll I’m not necessarily closer to a decision….

29 Oct

I’ve been looking at real estate. This will be my third year in Boynton Beach – which I absolutely love.

I’m trying to figure out what really fits me, what do I want and how do I not repeat any mistakes (buyers regret) that I had with previous real estate.

Everything on the market has something wrong with it. The builders in South Florida were not my cup of tea because they didn’t pay attention to details. Some need new kitchens, some need new bathrooms, some need both, some need carpeting ripped out and floors put in, some have ugly tile and ugly new granite, if it has everything done it is really over priced, on and on and on.

I’m trying to figure out a neighborhood. There’s one I like but it’s a country club and the fees for living in a country club are not cheap.

Then I contemplate buying a condo at the beach. But then I think – there’s no social aspect or golf or tennis and every weekend you have to have somebody towed out of your parking space and if a hurricane comes you have to evacuate.

I ended up where I am now because the whole thing just worked for me. It was a good fit at the time. Now I feel like I want to head into a different phase but I’m not sure what I want long term.

I lived in two country club neighborhoods before and I liked them both. With one house, I bought a house that way too big for one person to maintain and all my time went into the house. The upside of it was, I only weighed 110 pounds back then because I never had time to sit in a chair.

I lived at Legends for a while, and I really enjoyed that – I tend to like a beautiful neighborhood. But country clubs are expensive. And the houses are very, very difficult to sell when you want out of them because the fees are high. But they are beautiful homes even if they need some updating.

I miss having consistent friends from a neighborhood. You don’t get that with condos or condos at the beach. It’s a very different life. The beach is all about peace, serenity and solitude and relaxation.

I have to say that I end up using Boynton Beach more than my pool because it is salt water and salt water is much better for me. You also get the air and the breeze at the ocean that you don’t get with a pool.

So every time I run through this list in my head and I look, I say, “Oh can’t you just put off making a decision for another year?”

I am actually looking forward to going back to work on Monday so I will quit thinking about it. When there’s no perfect solution and this stuff gets on my mine, it interferes with my sleep. I hate that.

Monday, I am starting on more fashion customization work and so far I like it.

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All I’ve done is look at real estate photos…

28 Oct

That’s been my weekend and it’s depressing. Almost every single property is screwed up in some way and would take some serious money to undo design mistakes.

You could get what you want right out of the box if you were willing to spend a million dollars. But even those developments were built in the wrong location.

The problem is that there is a location I want and there is nothing, nothing, nothing that gets me the least bit excited. They all have problems. Problems means money and energy.

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Advice for the bad boy server companies…

26 Oct

This advice is not for the little guy. It’s for the major players who are usually on my pick list.

I ran up against this recently. The client has a no name server company who is cheap. We all know that cheap is costing them business because of what they aren’t getting.

But in order to switch to a bigger server company, for example like a Godaddy dedicated server, I have to outlay the negatives that would be true of any company and any transfer – because of the DNS record change your site will be down 24-36 hours. Your email boxes will be unavailable until I recreate them in the new service, etc. etc.

If you really want to capture that business, in my opinion, you need to offer a night time crew that will do the transfers (email boxes, dns, file transfer, etc.) by 6 a.m. If the server company itself offered this guarantee, This way the corporate staff isn’t screaming at you over, “why isn’t this done?”

If you are not in the big three server companies – don’t follow the advice of this post, it isn’t for you.

But if I’m on your speed dial (and you know who you are), if you could make this happen you could steal a ton of business from your competitors. I know that you can’t change the regulations regarding the time on DNS transfers, but you could transfer the old site and setup the email boxes by 6 a.m.

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Email marketing has reached a new low…

25 Oct

I just received an email from Jesus. What’s next – Santa Claus?

Have you no shame people?

On the work front, I am going to finally balance the operations and technical with the design. I have new tasks dealing with design this week. I am looking forward to all of it.

I had a great technical discussion today with someone who didn’t know what WHM was – so I explained in Apache the difference between a CPanel and WHM. And if you don’t have extensive experience with Apache, you should stay out of WHM and just ask me some questions.

I know I am the odd bird – someone with extensive business, web developer and graphics background. Usually, people are not all three. The longer someone works with me, they usually appreciate the skillset. It comes from being left and right brain.

WHM controls the entire server. There is no margin for error when using it. CPanel access is set through WHM. If you make the wrong mistake in WHM you can screw up the whole server. I’ve never made the kind of mistake that require a reprovisioning of a server. But I know someone who did and it’s actually very easy to make huge mistakes with that panel. Make sure you know your stuff before you touch it.

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What’s it like to break into a server?

25 Oct

That was a good question that a friend, who’s not in computer science asked me.

It’s actually very, very complicated but here’s the easy analogy -

It’s like a maze. I have to open certain “doors” to get to where I need to go. Click, click, click – unlock. Click, click, unlock. Click, click, click, unlock. You are “visually” listening for clues you need to solve the puzzle. In order to solve the puzzle you have to pull the knowledge out of your head. There are certain types of codes or encryption that need to be cracked in order to unlock the doors.When I say, “click” I don’t mean the click of a mouse. It’s a listen for a “sound” or fit.

That explanation doesn’t really do it justice but it’s a good enough explanation for my friend not in the business.

I’ve been in computer science a long time and recently we had to do it because someone with the logins and passwords died.

If you’ve been following the blog you know that I am learning some Russian because I’ve been hanging out with a group of people I met at the Breakers who are from Russia. We’ve been hanging out on the weekends.

So first you learn some words. As you hear them talk in Russian, you recognize some of the words you’ve been learning and then you need to solve for the words they said that you didn’t know. Right?

It’s a little like that.

Have you ever been a car that has the ignition lock up? And someone tells you, “This is how you are going to get yourself out of this. Five clicks forward with the key. Three turns backward. Five clicks forward. Three turns of the key backwards.” You repeat it however many times in the sequence and then suddenly the ignition unlocks. That particular sequence only works with that model car.

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The dinner party was fun…

23 Oct

The party was fun. The food was fantastic. They served a grilled salmon, mushrooms and salad and I had Russian bread for the first time.

The day at the beach was very relaxing. I always love it there.

I am thinking about moving in December so I had a chance to look at the new place this weekend. I really like it. I hate the thought of moving though so I have to think about it. It is definitely luxurious and as nice as what I have now, it’s nicer. I loved all the bells and whistles. Very nice.

I am just kind of tired of moving after giving up the second place in New Orleans last summer. That was an ordeal.

Today was back to work.

On the new assignment, I am having to deal with a hosting company that is sub-par. They are not an equivalent to my team that I am used to working with at Godaddy. I know they are cheaper (this was not my decision) but the cheapness is costing us at the moment. We couldn’t get access from within our own network to requisition credentials. It’s sad when you have to break into your own stuff, which is what is on my agenda for the evening. They were blocking some of the IPs from our own network. Very poor logic. It was hindering what we were trying to do.

Time to see if that Kick Ass Web Mistress can solve it…

I’ll be back….

———–

Success! I’m in. I’m getting so good at this that it’s hard to tell me from a regular black hat. Except black really isn’t my color – it’s aqua. We’ve got what we need for tomorrow.

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Reorganizing things…

21 Oct

I worked this evening on creating a “reading nook” in the corner of my living room. I moved my Chess set from Puerto Rico that I brought back from a trip to a side table and put some magazines below. It just kind of creates a little space for reading.

I had some pieces left over from New Orleans that I decided to incorporate into my home in Boynton Beach. I put it in the corner with the picture of Hendrix that I drew years ago.

Natasha and I are going to the beach tomorrow to just hang out and relax. Then we are going to a party tomorrow night.

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