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Ready to play? Here’s the compromise…

08 Sep

There was a giant split in the readership. About half want to play the Zodiac Card- True or Not True Game. And then about half were like, “Hey, I read your blog so I know what you’re doing and thinking. If you play the game where’s the blog?” It can be hard sometimes because people read this blog for very different reasons.

So here’s the compromise.

I will randomly pull a card. You read it and determine if you think it is “True” or “Not True.”  Then if I have any insights or personal experiences with someone of that sign, I’ll make a comment. And yes, I will go ahead and make my usual kind of post as well beneath the card.

How’s that for a compromise?

I will link each card to the site where it came from.

Here’s today’s card. What do you think? True or Not True?

(Sorry this one’s a little hard to read.)

What sign am I? For years I filled everyone’s databases with a fake birthday (January 1, 1970). But then my real birthday got out so now I just own up to it and lock everything. My birthday is July 16th. My sign is Cancer. I’m not necessarily a typical Cancer.

I don’t know if I will have time to make a post tomorrow. If I have time I’ll make one. I’ve got to do a favor for someone I work with in the afternoon and then I have plans to go out with a friend in the evening.

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Having fun building this birthstone/zodiac sign board…

06 Sep

I started this project a few weeks ago for the jewelry store. I’ve been building a birthstone and zodiac board on Pinterest. Some of the Zodiac sign pins are really funny that people have posted. Some of them I can’t repin for obvious reasons for that client. Some are true and some are way off.

Maybe we’ll play a game on this blog where I repost one and say, “True or Not True?”

I could pick a different sign each time.

Whatchathink??????

If you vote yes, then visit this page at least twice and I’ll see it reflected in the overall stat count. I’ll give this 24 hours to see if anyone wants to play the game.

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And now for some good news…

06 Sep

I hit 120 lbs. on the scale.

Goal achieved.

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I hate to be the one to break this news…

05 Sep

Unfortunately I received some correspondence this evening where the individual wanted a meeting with a former client.

So I had to tell them, Jonathan Cherol was murdered a few years ago. He is not available for a meeting. The business (Pepper’s Old Town) has been shut down.

They sent the request to me because they weren’t getting an answer from him.

After I responded to the request I thought about the whole incident. I was one of the last people to text him before he was murdered. He was a current client when he was murdered.

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If I’m a “girl from Ohio” what does she get to be?

04 Sep

Here she comes….Miss Pumpkin Patch 1985!

Sorry I can’t stop laughing over that one. She knows I only kid her because we all love her.

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Progress and the storm…

03 Sep

The storm over South Florida is ruining Labor Day Weekend.

I got up this morning and I thought, “What am I going to do with the day now?”

So I decided it was time to check progress. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while then you know I went on a major self improvement plan that started late May beginning of June.

Well I can tell you this, I don’t look like the photos from late spring, early summer at all. But I want to finish the plan before I have new ones taken.

On weight, I thought ok probably the lowest I’m going to be able to go is 120 lbs. max. I got on the scales this morning – 121 lbs. In my early 20s I weighed 115.

In June, we also started moving my teeth back to where they should be. Friends said, “Oh they’re only a little off…” Actually, that’s what most people couldn’t see. They had shifted in a lot. I have 2 more months to go before they are perfect again. They have now moved quite a bit. We were using those clear aligners. On the inside of my mouth I can feel how much larger it is since we started this process. I’m sure my mother looks forward to hearing I have a bigger mouth :) JK. I can not wait to be done with this part. It reeked havoc on my life for a while.

You might also remember that I put a lot of work back into my skin and perfected the eye region. I am totally happy with those results. I put the work into my hair – I’m happy with that too.

Basically, the whole plan is coming together.

I am one of these people that makes lists of what I need to do and I love crossing the items off a list. Basically, the whole plan has come together.

So in 2 more months I can have the new photos taken.

So I say, “Since it’s raining and I am one pound off from my original rock bottom weight – maybe I should just go to the gym today and let’s know the last pound off…”

I have a friend who’s a model, who’s been cheering me on and reading the updates and we share stories. Her nickname for me is “Brilliant Barbie.”

I’m working on it Jules. It’s the sprint to the finish line now….

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The link to the Instagram & Pinterest accounts…

02 Sep

What’s the link to the account where you can see my recent photography work?

It’s https://www.instagram.com/kaufmanndesuisse/

There’s a really good shot that will appear before the end of September. It’s in the que.

On Pinterest, there’s a jewelry showcase https://www.pinterest.com/kaufmandesuisse/jewelry-showcase/featured-jewelry/

And I just started a board recently on Luxury https://www.pinterest.com/kaufmandesuisse/luxury-the-worlds-best/

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I went and looked at it…

02 Sep

I drove all the way to Hollywood to look at the boat and sure enough it wasn’t anything I could recommend. I don’t know why I went except for curiosity.

It was a newer boat, barely any hours on it. You can see where Viking has learned their lessons over time about design. It used to be that the hallway was always done the center of the boat, and lead to bad layouts. Now the hallway is on the right side of the boat and the kitchen has a real layout and the master is a size and position it should be. But the problem is they screwed up all the colors and finishes and to rip all of it out would be too much money for anyone.

The other major downside is the size of the boat. 70 feet is a big boat. Unless you are a very, very, experienced captain, you better have a budget big enough to pay for the dock as you learn how to park it.

Vikings are very well built boats. That tends to be why people overlook their lack of good interior design choices. I noticed they are using more modern, cleaner engines as opposed to the old Detroit Diesels that they used to put in the boats. Detroits had a lot of power but they are dirty engines.

I’m not so much of fan as to when they enclose the flybridge. I know they do it because of the tournaments. But if what you want to do is cruise up and down the blue water line, you’ve lost your relaxation component with the elements.

Those were my thoughts on the design.

I drove back and changed and went to gym and did a work out.

You ever just have things on your mind and you find you can’t shake it even though that’s what you’re trying to do?

That’s kind of how my day turned out.

——————–

M. bought a small yacht recently. I had to school her on questions to ask and things to look for – like how to evaluate the engines, the service, and all the important aspects of the boat once you get past the look and cosmetics.

I think she did ok with her purchase. It’s her first yacht.

The first time she had to captain it, I think it scared her but she did it.

I think you definitely could say it’s a friendship where we’ve rubbed off onto each other and each one of us has learned some things.

Her boyfriend is terrified of the boat. I kid him, “What’s the matter? You don’t want to be Sir Docks-a-Lot?” M. is the one that drives and docks the boat.

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Yacht hop?

01 Sep

I am contemplating the invitation to a Yacht Hop that arrived in my mail today.

I would like to see the interiors and they have a couple of models that I have actually driven and lived on before. I redesigned a previously owned one of that manufacturer as well.  It was a Viking.

It was a busy day on the Internet today and I’m looking forward to a 3 day weekend.

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Breakfast meeting at The Breakers…

30 Aug

I’ve always loved Chamber of Commerce circuits and I love being part of The Palm Beach Chamber now. I was previously a long term member of the Hilton Head Chamber of Commerce and did one year at the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce. Hilton Head was my favorite.

Breakfast at The Breakers hotel was fantastic as always. The warm air off the ocean with the breeze is enchanting.

I had many great conversations and networking opportunities with colleagues. Everyone loved the dress and the jewelry. One business even talked to me about hosting a “Style Workshop” for them where we could talk about jewelry and what fashions to pair it with. I also got to chat with an executive from the one of the local newspapers. I enjoy the networking and I seem to be good at it after years of practice.

The speaker was a bit of a surprise, but not after I thought about it. Half of the speaking session was a panel discussion on Active Shooters and What to do…In light of the recent events in Jacksonville, this was now our topic of discussion at The Palm Beach Chamber.

I picked up a copy of one of my favorite magazines while I was at the hotel. I love the networking because it’s a chance for me to step away from the computer for a while and make some one on one business leads.

And I was right, by picking a bold color that was against my grain for August, I stood out. I can tell you that you won’t see me in red very often. That’s the first time I’ve worn the color in about 10 years. On Hilton Head, I always wore my signature color to the Chamber events and people got to know me as, “You know Laura Kerbyson, she’s the one in aqua. She always wears that color.” Color leaves a memorable impression.

You need to remember that my tagline for my advertising agencies and design companies was, “I Create Memorable Experiences with Style.” I specialize in luxury brands and how I present them as well as the merchandise or products that I create.

And again, I got to hear the Mayor of Palm Beach speak today which is always enjoyable. She’s an impressive woman.

and look here we are in the magazine….

And as you know the HMF club at The Breakers is my absolute favorite…

—————

In case you missed the update earlier this year – Kaufmann de Suisse Jewelers on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach became the current project after I finished Arnold Palmer Apparel and a home redesign. These have been the projects over the past six months.

At Kaufmann de Suisse, I am doing the new web site, servers, print advertising, online advertising, software kiosk that I put together, packaging, photography of the merchandise and models, model photo shoots,  security, some of the operations, public relations, marketing functions and other design related items.

It’s been a busy first half of the year…

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I’m doing something I never do…

30 Aug

I never wear red. But I am wearing red this morning to my breakfast at The Breakers for the Palm Beach Chamber.

The jewelry I am wearing this morning from Kaufmann de Suisse is The Palm Beach Lariat in Grey and White Pearls with a Baroque Drop.

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On the scales again…

29 Aug

I am down 2 more lbs. I was stuck at 124 lbs for weeks. Now it’s 122 lbs. It will be interesting to see if it goes any further.

Tomorrow’s schedule won’t help. I am scheduled for breakfast at The Breakers for a Palm Beach Chamber meeting.

It’s very hard to resist temptation there. I absolutely love their Cappuccino.

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Was it terrifying?

28 Aug

If you read yesterday’s post then you know what that question was in reference.

I would say there was some really serious fear running through my veins. I would put the experience right up there with the time we were flying the airplane in South Carolina and had a right engine failure. And it was the second time there had been a right engine failure on that plane even though it kept being passed out of annual inspection.

For those that are not pilots when you have two engines on a small plane and one fails then you can flip the plane if the engine won’t start again.

You’re in a situation that causes real fear but you know you have to stay calm and focus on what you need to do. Fear means that you need to focus.

Both both experiences are things that I’m never going to forget.

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Violence & Video Games and Yesterday’s News

28 Aug

Yes, I had to personally answer for this in my career and it wasn’t fun.

Many years back, I was a college professor for 9 years. Originally, I taught 5 years in Ohio. I was a computer science and design professor. One day, I was told by the president of the college that I was going to develop a program in game design. I have a very serious work ethic and I’m a very bright woman so I talked to, called and met with some very big experts in the field at that time. We actually ended up becoming friends.

Back then with Google, everyone saw the same home page for news. I remember the day when I opened Google and there was a story that my college program was opening the game design degree and program. We were on the front page of Google.

I became the chair person of a technology conference. My opening speaker was from Lucas Arts. Our other presenters, were very well known in game design. After working my tail off for years at learning all this I was awarded the Outstanding Educator Advancing Information Technology in Ohio.

And then when I left to do Hard Rock Park, they handed my program to a completely unqualified, non-disciplined professional who took everything I built and ruined it. I have such bad feelings about the school that I won’t even list it on my resume. Five years of seriously hard work went down the drain for nothing.

After Hard Rock Park, when the economy had collapsed everyone was going back to college,  I talked to a competing school about would they like to employ me. Without hesitation, they created a position. I would teach design courses, web development, computer science, software engineering and advise the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Computer Science focus.

So again, we made plans to develop courses, offer a track and a degree in game design. In my Intro to Game Design class, I did what I had done before which was to choose to use the Unreal Engine. For those not familiar with game design – it’s a game engine that was developed years ago for Epic Games Unreal Tournament game and then went on to be used by many, many commercial games.

In Ohio, I offered multiple degree programs – one for design and web only, one for graphic design and one for game design. I did the same at the new school. And within a semester of teaching there my classes went completely full because of my reputation for being a good professor.

So I had a full class for Intro to Game Design. There’s a law called a FERPA law that says that you can not discriminate against students with disabilities. That law extends to students with mental illness issues. The law states that you can not talk to anyone about the student’s issue unless there is a signed consent form from the student. I had a signed consent form because the father had already come to see me with the form in hand. But I was prohibited from taking any kind of action until the student would do something that would cause his removal from the classroom. That’s the law and there was nothing I could do about it. I was also the department head for two campuses and I was well advised on the FERPA law.

I arrived at my office one morning to find a group of students waiting for me because he had sent threatening letters threatening to kill me and my students. He had sent the correspondence to one student to let him in on his “plan.” I immediately asked, “Where is he?”

Unfortunately, I was told that he was up in the classroom and most of the class was already seated. I ran up the stairs. And when I entered the classroom, they were in fact already seated and he was there with backpack. And I realized looking at the position of the exit doors and where he was sitting that I could not get the students safely out of the room. I also realized that perhaps he didn’t know that I knew. There was nothing in the letter to say that the plan would be executed on that day. So I made a decision that I had to make. I excused myself for moment telling the class, “I just got a call that I need to answer for a moment, I’ll be right back and then we’ll start class.”

I stepped outside and started the Threat Assessment Process and told them exactly what was going on and that I intended to teach the class in order to buy them enough time to get the professionals there. At the end of class, I would ask him to stay. That would give the other students time to leave the classroom and then when I walked out the door with the student, they could grab him. It was a huge gamble. But there wasn’t a good way to get these students out of the classroom. And I’m not saying that I would advocate handling every situation this way. My gut just told me that he has no idea that I know.

So that’s exactly what I did. I taught the class. I taught the class for most of the class by casually sitting on his table in case I needed to move to grab him. From his perspective, he thought that I was camping out to engage him more in the classroom discussion of the day – which I did. The students left at the end and when he and I walked out the door, the state police apprehended him. He was immediately evaluated and committed to a mental institution upon their findings.

And then I was called before the administration to personally answer for this. And here’s what the dean’s position was – that because there were weapons in the library of the Unreal Engine and there were weapons in all of Epic Game’s maps at that time that this had caused the problem and it was bad judgement on part to use the engine for game design.

This was ludicrous and I couldn’t believe I was hearing this out of the mouth of a person with a Ph.D. I made her completely aware that this kid had problems before he ever set foot in my classroom and I had a copy of a signed release from his father from the meeting we had.

To which her answer was, “Yes, but he was attracted to your kind of class for a reason and your class caused the problem.”

I could not believe I was hearing this because the logic was so poor. And she was adamant that we not use the engine again. She was eliminating all my plans for the new courses that used their development tools.

Of course the police investigated the whole incident. And what they found really bothered me. They found that this kid had been expelled from his public high school for calling in a bomb threat. But yet there was no system, no measures, no safeguards to keep this kid from entering a public university.

Upon hearing this, I did tell the university, “This kid had major issues, long before he ever heard about my game design class. Your logic does not hold up in the situation.”

So when yesterday’s events transpired in Jacksonville, of course it brings to mind my own personal experience and the whole, “Which came first the chicken or the egg?” debate.

I stay out of politics and I refrain from comments on public events. But this time I think I’m willing to say what I really think.

The problem is the access that we allow people to have to real weapons, not the games. When some people get angry, they can not hold their tempers and if they have access to a weapon, then they use it. If they have an undiagnosed mental issue, we don’t know about it until they’ve gone too far.

What we should really be questioning is the access to the real weapon. The use of real guns is what has become out of control in this country. Mental issues can be very difficult things to diagnose and too many people are given access to things that they shouldn’t be allowed access. And the only way to curb the problem is with some type of gun control.

When they wrote the constitution and the first amendment, people were not as aware or educated about mental illness. If they were, would they have made the same decision about a “right to bear arms?” In the days when the law was fashioned, there was a different need for the right to bear arms.

Times change and sometimes laws need to change with the times.

That’s what I really think.

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The location of the Jacksonville shooting…

26 Aug

The shooting today that happened at Jacksonville Landing is right across the street from the Chamber’s offices. I used to belong to the Jacksonville Chamber before I moved the business to Palm Beach County.

I had a couple of business meetings at The Landings.

I definitely know that location.

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Men..what you can and can’t say…

25 Aug

Julie called me from New York this week.

In part we’ve become very good friends because we are both highly successful women who are both single and looking for the right guy and we both own newly renovated real estate in Palm Beach county.

So the conversation turned to “what you can’t say on the first date…”

“Look Jules, you can’t tell them you were Miss USA or first runner-up for Miss Universe on the first date anymore than I can say, ‘I own a couple of companies,  I’m a pilot, I’ve designed theme parks, real estate, and redesigned a couple of Yachts, a Porsche, I work for the most prestigious and expensive jeweler in the world, I started my career at GE, and my client list is a who’s who in luxury…”

My stock answer is, “I’m a web developer and designer. I’m just a girl from Ohio.”

And she laughed her ass off at me. But she knows I’m right. No one, but no one would ask us out if they knew right off the bat. And 95-99% of the guys were going to meet have never been to The Breakers.

It would be nice to find a guy who’s my equal, but that’s a challenge and I know it is for Jules as well. That’s why they call it, “Lonely at the top…”

I also told her, “And make sure your cat isn’t showing in any of your profile photos…”

I’m allergic to them so I don’t have that issue.

She wants the two of us to co-write a book on funny dating stories, because we’ve had many.

I said, “Oh you could write a chapter and then I’ll write one…”

She said her first chapter would be called, “101 Reasons to Get a Cat..”

Very funny Jules.

That’s as funny as my no kids, no pets, no motorcycles list for guys. There went 99.5% of the eligible bachelors….

But I know a guys list starts with, “No crazy cat ladies…”

And then we laughed and said, “This will make a funny blog post…”

I know, I know – I am forever going to be known as the friend that put your cat in the closet.

And now that I think about it, “Give me that crown. Let the cat in the closet wear it. And no #worldpeace for a while.”

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Some days are just not sexy…

25 Aug

There are a lot of glamorous aspects of my life but days like today, are not one of them.

The glamor side is when I get to shoot the models and dress them up in the world’s finest jewels and then we get to go out to The Breakers in the evening after we’ve had our fun in the sun. I’ve always managed to make my living off of style, in every type of design you can imagine.

But then I take the photos back to the office and edit them and then on a day like today, I put them into the que for the schedule for social media, which I took over recently for the jewelry store on top of my other assignments. So now I have Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google My Business, The Blog and updating The Palm Beach Chamber web site each day in addition to the new web site for the Kaufmann de Suisse, the kiosk, the print advertising, the new inventory management system and it’s software modifications, the photography and design work, displays for trade shows, opening and closing the office, the servers, some operational duties, dealing with the security systems and companies and representing the business in the Palm Beach Chamber and other public events. I am also going to be organizing and hosting a party in the fall as well as start a schedule of events and parties. I’ve also handled writing many of the first drafts of the legal documents for large deals. I write it and then we give it to an attorney to revise. Sometimes I handle the correspondence in the deal.  My days are busy, but I’ve always liked that – I hate to be bored. It’s fun to work with beautiful products. I’ve always specialized in luxury brands.

So today, I prescheduled my strategy for content for the entire next month. That’s 175 posts. So it’s repetitive but necessary for me to do it because I develop the strategy. I still have to schedule the content I have assembled for October, November, December and January. We have lots of assets because I’m fast at what I do. Now we have to get the assets out into the public.

Ia the strategy working? Yes.

Today’s work is not sexy work, but it’s very necessary work. It was one of those days.

I am waiting on thousands of items of inventory that are being entered into inventory management. Then I’ll tie it to the web and the online store will be much larger. Then we get it into social, the software kiosks, print advertising, etc.

This was a business that was never computerized and hopefully at the end, I will have put some things into place that will revolutionize this business.

After I feel like we have a good structure in place, then we’ll put a computerized system for 3D design of the jewelry into the showroom. Everything has been done by hand since 1954. I want to find a way to transfer the wax molds into 3D files as well as use a system to design custom pieces for customers.

I think all this will ultimately be very good for the business as well as the customer.

As you probably have figured out by now, what started off as a client very quickly took over my life. It’s not uncommon once people get to know me and the depth of my knowledge that they give me more and more items. It’s to be expected.

If you’ve read this blog for very many years you know that I am a “builder.” I like to “build” and design things – companies, merchandise, web sites, advertising, kiosks, boats, cars, theme parks, real estate – you name it. Building and creating things makes me happy.

And that was my day.

Hopefully, this weekend, it will be time to have some fun.

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It exploded last night…

23 Aug

…the strategy that I am using on a client’s work that is. When you say something exploded on the Internet that’s a good thing. It’s been a lot of work to lay this kind of strategy but it’s gratifying to see it begin to take off. I think we’re still in the early stages.

I’ve been holding back on posting a shot that is a “break the Internet” kind of shot. I’ll be disappointed if we don’t see record numbers from it. I’ve got it scheduled to run in a few weeks.

Now the strategy is working, it’s time to put the throttles into it.

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You know the rule…

22 Aug

If you’ve been a reader that has followed me through the years, then you know this rule – when I can’t talk about something, I talk about shoes.

So why is it so easy to come home with a pair of these? There’s been some interesting shoes posted through the years…

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Sorry no post…

21 Aug

I’m sorry there’s no post tonight. Some days are just confidential.

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It means a lot to receive this kind of compliment…

19 Aug

I get compliments on my work but it means far more when it comes from a very talented expert in the field.

Today I saw the comment pop up on my phone in response to an Instagram post for Kaufmann de Suisse that was a shot I did of Julie Hayek wearing our jewelry.

The comment was,

“Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is.”

The writer of the comment was Italian born, LA based celebrity and fashion photographer Valentia Socci.

Her work is so rich, diverse and striking. She’s very talented.

I’m obviously a person that values words. And so to have someone like that comment on my work, it really does mean a lot.

The image that she left the comment on really is one of my favorites. Julie and I became good friends after the shoot but this was the day I met her (for work and not social). Julie was Miss USA and first runner up for Miss Universe.

Thank you for taking the time to comment on my work.

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As promised, progress photos…

19 Aug

Bear with me here…I have friends in other states who when they come to visit want to know how the progress on the diet, fitness and beauty plan is coming along.

Ok, so some of you saw me a couple of months ago. These are not great shots. These are untouched, iphone shots. I just took these a few minutes ago.

Here’s the progress:


And I hate when you can’t keep the glare off your glasses in a shot….

Hey where’s MY photographer????? :)

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Today was a beauty day…

18 Aug

I slept in the morning.

I went to get my nails done, my toes done and sit in the massage chair for a couple of hours. The manicurist gave me a good tip. She said to put Coconut Oil on my hands at bedtime. That keeps your cuticles from drying out. The hand lotion I was using at night had Coconut Oil and Manuka Honey in it. She tells me the straight oil will work better.

Time to do some work on my hair as well.

I’m waiting for the sun to go down and then I’m going to get in my pool for a while.

It’s just kind of been a nice decompression day.

I think the theme for this week should be beauty and hydration. There’s several things I need to make a point to do in the next seven days.

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What am I doing on this Friday evening?

18 Aug

Though the years, this blog has brought me many interesting things. I guess people appreciate the honesty that or they find me interesting in some way.

Sometimes, people contact me for business, sometimes for technical help, sometimes for friendship and sometimes for personal reasons.

I’ve been spending my evening reading through a collection of letters that we were recently sent to me by someone in the United States.

And that’s what I’m doing this evening.

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A BEAST Attack…

17 Aug

In the migration of servers, when there was a catastrophic hardware failure and subsequent backup system failure, that resulted into my having to rebuild a server by hand, it was time to test, debug and close some loop holes. On one of the routine scanning tools a message came up – Server could be prone to BEAST attack because TLS 1.2 is not enabled.

Alas but it was. You can’t believe everything you read. Some of the tools in the industry just don’t accurately read a server’s settings. But I understand from conference with my security experts that TLS 1.3 will be our next step. One of the team didn’t know that MD5 could be hacked. “Yes, it most definitely can by the right professional. But if the data that’s encrypted is not particularly sensitive (like an email address), it may be ridiculous expensive to change the encryption.”

Basically, you want to set traps that leave traces for anyone brazen enough to try. That way, you know when an attempt is made.

It’s always something, isn’t it. Every time you strengthen something there is someone out there trying to find a way to break into it.

On the design side, I am continuing to edit the photos of the models with jewelry and schedule them into the social media que for distribution. I am gaining ground for this client with the strategy. They are expensive assets to produce. The client has to pay for models, hair, makeup, the time for me to shoot, edit, put on social, in magazines and into the new web site. But because it’s a luxury product and I go the extra mile with the end result, it’s why those photos and pieces stand out. The analytics analysis tells me it’s working. It’s luxury with a luxury strategy. If anyone could afford to do it, they would.

And that was my day…

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Indisposed this evening…

16 Aug

I stumbled upon a show on Netflix called “Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond.”

Given that I was born a Fleming from a very long line, I had to start watching it. I had no idea how much he was really like his character James Bond.

I guess there is just something in the genetics that makes us bold, audacious, somewhat creative and a taste for a little adventure.

After 15 years of writing this blog, if your an avid reader you know some of which I am referring.

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Design Wonderlust…

14 Aug

It was a normal kind of day where I have to start driving traffic to a web site. It’s a numbers game. So you start implementing the next phase of the strategy. I analyze the numbers for how much ground did I cover recently, where do I need to make adjustments.

You know I love the design side and lately it’s been a lot of coding, numbers and analyzing. Which I’m good at but it’s like a procedure. The technical side is just easy and old hat for me. I know what to do, when to do it and how to do it.

The good news is that we’ll need a new a photo shoot for the high end luxury items and then I can design the spread for Rolls Royce Magazine. I’m looking forward to that…And true there are new pages to design and I’ve been waiting on the inventory to get into the system but I’m just going to have to jump the gun and start adding the big diamonds…

People are searching for diamonds and I need to give it to them.

My passion for design is feeling a little neglected these days because of my other assignments. I need a piece of merchandise, a piece of real estate, a yacht – I don’t know something to design. The Rolls Royce piece will at least something.

Call it Design Wonderlust…you know it’s like when you have a craving for something sweet and delicious.

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How’s the diet and the self “improvement” going?

13 Aug

I’ve been at 124 lbs for weeks now. That seems to be where it wants to stop. I’m 5′4″ so 124 is not a bad weight for that height. A lot of people think I’m taller but that’s just an illusion because I have really long legs.

All I really had to do was start behaving myself for my age.

But I’ll be glad when the self improvement plan concludes in Late December/Early January.

Why January? Because that’s when I’ll be done with the clear aligners that are moving my teeth back to where they shifted from. I had no idea what I was getting myself in for when I started doing this. You can’t see the aligners when I have them in. But when we started moving my teeth, it screwed up my inner ear.

I’ve never in my entire life ever had a problem with motion sickness. I could fly upside in a roller coaster, a flight sim, do gymastics, boats, yachts, cruise ships – you name it I’ve done it. No problem. I played 17 sports growing up. I used to be cheerleader who could fly through the air backwards. People that have motion sickness problems cannot do that kind of stuff. The only reason I quit was because I played basketball for 11 years as the point guard and the schools got to the point where they wouldn’t let me be both a cheerleader and basketball player because I wouldn’t be available to cheer for the girls. So I chose basketball. My flexibility and speed is in part what made me a good player.

But when we started moving my teeth, I threw up all over my car. I threw up when I got to the office. I had the worst headache. I was motion sick.

I struggled with this for weeks until I finally went to the doctor and got prescription version of Dramamine. As long as I take the Dramamine, I’m fine. But there’s no way that I am going to attempt to do something like fly a plane or board a cruise ship until this is done. I could fly on a plane but it wouldn’t be wise to be the pilot. It would look really bad if the pilot threw up all over the plane. Let’s not do that.

In June I set out on this plan to fix everything I didn’t like about myself within a reasonable amount of money – hence the self improvement plan. We worked on my teeth, my jaw, my diet, my hair, my waist, my skin…there was a huge list. Over time I done things simply out of a force of habit – like automatically putting my hair up, when I actually had very long pretty hair and I just needed to take it down. You begin to notice these things when you’re in the business of image. I’m one of the world’s greatest spin doctors. It does’s matter if I make a web site, an advertisement, in store display, trade show booth – it’s all about spinning the image and what gets said the right way. The parts of what I do that aren’ spin are when I have to secure or setup the server and fend of hackers. There’s no spin there. But overall, it’s my job to make people, companies, and things look good. I should do the same for myself.

I’ll be really glad when this over. I think I took on too many things all at the same time. For June and July I didn’t feel like I had a handle on my life. Now that we’re into August I feel like I have a handle on it again. It’s gotten easier.

I’ll say this, the teeth are definitely moving and they look better than they did. They were just slightly out of alignment but enough so that you could see in a few years, this would hard to correct. Yes, I wore braces as a kid. But sometimes as you age, they can shift. That’s why the plan for moving them would only take 6 months.

You have to understand that I work with models. They’re all beautiful. So when I look at them through a camera I thought, ‘I should fix this. I have to fix that…” After all, they’re looking at me all day. Fair is fair, right?

I do the same thing if I discover that there’s something I need to learn. “Oh, I don’t know how to do this, let’s fix that.”

That’s just the way I am.

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What did I think about the stolen airliner?

12 Aug

You cannot learn to fly a plane from a video game and expect to survive.

A video game is not an adequate substitution for a flight simulator. Pilots use simulators but then they are required to have so many hours of training behind an actual plane. And just because you know one plane doesn’t mean you know another. A simulator doesn’t give you a good feel for the kinesthetics of the plane or the issues a particular plane may have. Flight training programs tend to use PODS where the cockpit of the plane moves with the controls. That’s the next step after a regular computerized simulator. The majority of pilot training time is spent on what can go wrong but with an aircraft, a lot of things do go wrong. Your survival is based on your problem solving abilities.

When I’m flying a different plane for the 1st time, I always tell the instructor to assume nothing. Tell me everything. Tell me exactly what you want me to do.

I’ve seen grown men get on yachts and think that just because they know the controls of one boat, they will be the same on another. That’s not the case either. Planes can be the same way – very different.

But no one, absolutely no one should think that they know how to fly a plane based on a video game. You know years ago I used to teach game design as a professor, I also did some contract work making pilot training materials and if you follow the blog you know I fly planes. So I feel like I am an appropriate person to tell you that a game is not a substitution for the training that’s required.

And no one should ever think that being a pilot is easy or is simple. That idea is beyond foolish.

Just a few weeks ago there was a helicopter that crashed at the airport right outside my gate. And that was an experienced pilot.

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So how did it come out?

12 Aug

I’ll show you the finished first and then the before.

This is the finished table. This is just a little area of my home where I hand some of the artwork I did previously (piece for Gibson Guitars for the Gibson Store at Hard Rock Park, Jimi Hendrix, Maude & Claude, The Led Zeppelin Coaster and on the table is a recent back cover ad I designed). Then I have the conversation pieces – the cat and dog. They belonged to the previous owner and I ended up with them when I bought the estate out of probate court. I didn’t seem right to get rid of the cat and dog. I’m allergic to cats. I named the dog statue, “Nigel.”

This was the piece before I redid it. The cabinet is actually useful.:

I had already done another piece and this time I was just matching what I had done previously. I will say this – that metallic paint is really, really, hard to work with – any paint would be easier than metallic.  Metallic is good for paint that can be sprayed but even then if it’s not silver, it can be really difficult.

This was the piece I did previously. On that table is the chess set I brought back from San Juan, Puerto Rico. The signed artwork is also from there. I keep some of my design, aviation and yacht magazines below. If you are going to use this kind of paint, you have to have glass tops on the tables.

So how does it fit in the room? Like these photos below. It’s getting ready to storm here that’s why it’s so dark.

I have another room setup to be used as an office, but I never go in there. I tend to park my laptop at the bar. This is the view from that angle.

When I bought this place, the kitchen was half of this size. Where the drum light above the bar is now is where the dining room used to be. I took out all the walls. Where my dining room is now, used to be a walled off sunroom. I took out that wall and moved the dining room to be next to the view.

Sorry these are bad iphone photos but my professional camera is at the office.

Did I carry the colors into the bedrooms? Yes.

My taste for bedrooms is solid colors that coordinate with the rest of the house. I prefer simple.  For myself I always design everything with ocean colors. This is the master:

The gray floors are continued throughout the house. The counters in in all the bathrooms and kitchen. Certain design elements unify the design.

The guest bedroom linens are a light blue with shell pink pillows.  Matches my Shell Pink Fender Stratocaster…which is pretty much decoration now. The guest bedroom has really modern, shiny white furniture.

What can I say, I still have projects. Who doesn’t?

What are the views like today? The lake looks dark because there are storm clouds above but the sun is trying to peek through right now.

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It was a project day…

11 Aug

I knew it was going to rain this weekend and it did.

So today was a project day for me. You know how I love to create things, remake things, etc. I painted two small tables today. One is a metallic aqua (it matches another piece I did) and one is grey with a marble top for a bathroom.

I’m still working on my project list from when I bought this place in January. All the major stuff is done but now I’m down to cosmetic last few items.

We’ll see how they look tomorrow when they are dry and glass goes back on top and the hardware goes back in place.

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It appears I’m going to have to make a trip to South Carolina…

10 Aug

It;s not that I have time to do this or want to do this -

But I was notified today that they want to depose me in Beaufort County Court in the case where the vehicle broad sided my Porsche. They’ve already decided that it was 100% the other driver’s fault, but her insurance company didn’t cover my medical or finish fixing the Porsche. I ended up eating some money.

At any rate they want to depose me. This accident happened years ago when I had the business on Hilton Head. Beaufort County Court is just this slow that the case is now going to court years later. I don’t know it’s been 4 or 5 years???

I’m thinking that I am going to try to schedule it for a Friday and I’ve leave the office on Worth Ave on Thursday after work and drive there and testify the next day and come back on a Sunday.

The Porsche is no more at this at this point. I had it fixed and then drove it a couple of months before it lost the engine. I fixed it and sold it. But that was the car I redesigned.

I’ll talk to the attorney about it tomorrow.

I had a neck injury before the accident. But let’s put it this way, the accident didn’t help matters any.

Remember this? It was my phone that was inside the door pocket.

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Contemplating my weekend plans…

10 Aug

It doesn’t look like the weather is going to cooperate with anything I normally would like to do.

Therefore, I am contemplating doing 2 small projects in my home that require some of my artistic/design skills. I’d really like to get these done.

When you can’t buy what you want, sometimes you have to make it or remake it. And you know how I like to remake things….designers love to mess with everything.

I don’t know what else the weekend is going to bring at this point. I’m not sure yet.

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More and more concessions…

09 Aug

It seems like every time I turn around I’m being asked to give something else up.

I’ve had a neck injury for 20 years and there’s been a few events in my life that made it worse. It used to be I had to go every 3 months to see the “neck” doctor. It’s been every month for many years now. I’ve lost count on the painful procedure part that it takes so I can function like everyone else.

You see the first thing I had to give up several years ago because it was too hard on my neck. My don’t they look pretty sitting there (the guitars…) At least they are highly collectible…

Then it was the fact that when I want to fly an airplane, I have to have another pilot on board because, they can’t and won’t give me a license to fly by myself because of my neck. So I’ve kind of made a pattern of trying new planes that belong to other people so that way I can tell myself, “You have to have someone on board, you don’t know the plane and you’re here to learn.” But that’s not entirely true.

A few years ago, I was told that I could go back to golfing if I did it correctly. But that was a different doctor than what I have now. Today I saw him and he found out I had swung a club recently and he told me not to do that.

I’m thinking, “Not this again. People are always asking me to give up something and they are always things I enjoy. I don’t want to hear this.”

So the best I could do was say, “I don’t want to think about this today. I’ll think about it another day and decide another day.”

I would really just prefer to live my life without any constraints, but it never seems to work out that way. Over time, I’ve been asked to give up what seems like an endless list of things. I hate it. I don’t want to hear it.

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It was a usual kind of day…

08 Aug

I went to work at 8 am. I got home just before 7 p.m. Did my daily call to mother in the car on the way home.

I changed and went to the gym. My neck is still sore from last weekend’s exercise so I decided to go light on what I did with my arms.

I came home and made dinner.

I answered some email. There’s someone who wants me to take them on as a new client.

I got a notice that I am being deposed.

I talked to a friend for a while.

I got my things out for tomorrow. I have my monthly visit to my neck doctor in the morning and then I’ll head into the office.

Just another normal day.

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