Category Archives: biz

Just Call Me Judge LA Blogger Gal!

Okay, Judge Judy I am not.

judge judy

But I have been invited to be a judge for the 2009 .INFO Awards.

The .INFO Awards program was first launched two years ago and focused primarily on Germany. With the 2009 program, they’ve expanded the awards and are allowing .INFO sites from all over the world to submit for consideration.

If you’d like to submit your .INFO site, you have until Friday October 23, 2009. Judging will be open to the public starting at 9am November 2, 2009 and will close on Friday, November 6th. The top 3 winners will be announced on Monday, November 9th.


First place: US$7500
Second place: US $5000
Third place: US$3000

The .INFO sites will be scored on 5 criteria: presentation of content, functionality of the website, design, usability and originality. The full list of rules is available here.

This will be a first for me, but something I’m very excited about. With all the time I spend on the Internet, I’ve got to be a good judge of websites. 😉

You can follow along on Facebook or you can follow @Afilias on Twitter.

You Are NOT On Sale

I posted this over on my business blog, but it’s so appropriate for many of us, that I thought I’d share it here as well.

I stumbled on this when reading the Women Earning blog.  They in turn, accredited it to Cristina Adams, editor over at the Daily Worth blog.

Either way, it’s some good stuff and I agree that you should write this on a 3×5 card and post it to your mirror all over the house and car!

You’re Not on Sale
You are not Filene’s Basement.
Nor are you a 60% off end-of-season sale.
So don’t offer your skills and services at bargain-basement prices.
Do the research and find out what you’re really worth.
Then ask …

It’s Official, It’s Been a Helluva Week

I was trying to recall just why it is I didn’t seem to get around to posting in any of my blogs. I managed to start a couple of posts in each, but never got around to finishing them.

Then I remembered the week – keep in mind, in between all this, I was working on various projects…

Friday: drive down to Temecula for a pre-dinner meeting

Saturday: biz meeting in Fallbrook, drive back home

Sunday: different biz meeting in LA

Monday: 2-3 hour doctor appointment

Tuesday: business lunch and evening networking event

Wednesday: only day with nothing planned and dinner at home – worked on finalizing ’08 taxes

Thursday: LWL event

Friday: date night with hubs (still talked business)

Saturday: avoiding the intense Valley heatwave and headed out for two movies &  dinner with a friend

Today: relaxing day at home, in the AC avoiding all the smoke and ash from the nearby fires

La Canada Fires

La Canada Fires

This week, I’m happy to say, is much more low key and I’m really looking forward to it.  Now if we can only get the cooler temperatures we had a couple weeks back and get rid of those nasty fires then all would be good.

So This is What Cows Smell Like


So today we’re hanging out in Fresno for a business meeting.  Or I should say, the pups and I are hanging out at the local hotel and the hubs is having a business meeting.  Sadly, I didn’t do all too much research into this hotel.  Let me just say, I never thought anyone would ever put a hotel quite so close to a cow factory farm.  Luckily, the windows are all sealed up and all is good

I used to see clients out in Tulare, you’d think I’d remember what cows smell like. And well, let me just say, it’s not the most pleasant aroma around.  And it’s even worse still when you add in the crazy heat of the Central Valley.  Cow farm scent + 100+ degrees heat and yowza!  I have to say, I do get a kick out of the dog perking up his lazy, little head at every farm we passed along the way.

So now I’m sitting her in my room service-less room waiting on my dinner delivery.  You’d think with this being a college town and the 10 or so fast food restaurants right outside, I’d have more choices for  delivery.  Nope.  If I didn’t have the pupster with me, I wouldn’t worry and would just walk to something.  But I can’t leave him alone in the room and I don’t want to walk him out there.  So here I wait for my delivery while watching bad, Friday TV.

Lucky for me, I was smart enough to pack some bubbles for a bath later and some Smirnoff cooler thingies.  Might not be such a bad trip…I mean, we have nice, chilly AC.  And that alone is an improvement over staying back in the LA area.

It makes me wonder…do you travel for business?  What do you do or bring with you, to make your hotel stay more enjoyable?

I Won a Trip to London!!


British Airways is doing this new promotion with a couple entrepreneurial organizations.  Their goal is to promote international travel as a way to build your business.  Totally cool, right?

I mean, check out what I won:

  • Flight to London
  • Welcome and introductory events in the US and London
  • Meet and mingle on board with other winners
  • A networking forum with top business leaders
  • Presentations and discussions on how to do business in the UK and abroad
  • A one-night stopover at the Sofitel London Heathrow Hotel
  • Complimentary Heathrow Express tickets if you need to go into central London

And then after the actual event, I can fly on to ANY destination that British Airways flies..for as long as I want…and then they’ll fly me back home to LA.  That’s AWESOME!

But…um…I won’t be going.

First off, I can’t really take the time off teaching.  I mean, when you’re a teacher, you pretty much know your schedule in advance. And to take an extended time off, in the middle of the semester, is just well, bad form. It’s even worse form considering I’m the lead teacher this year.  And well, I’d really like to keep this job.

On top of that, this trip would cost me a pretty British pound.  While the flight and conference is covered, you’ll notice that there’s no food covered and they only have one night at the hotel.  So if I stay any longer – or take advantage of the flight to the destination of my choice – that’s all going to cost extra.  And by extra…I mean British extra.  We all know how just stepping into London automatically doubles the price of anything you’d buy in US.

So as cool and exciting as a business trip to London just might be…I won’t be going at this time.  Some other lucky winner will be going in my place (since the prize was non-transferable).  And knowing that everything happens for a reason, I’m sure something truly A.MA.ZING. will be right around the corner.  Can’t wait!


Caution: Mentalist at Work

It sure was nice to take last week off from blogging (outside of the one Michael Jackson/Forrest Lawn photo post).  Better still to have taken the time off on all three blogs (and the contests).  Granted, it wasn’t something that I actually planned to do, but it still felt good.  I refused to let myself feel bad about it either.

I basically spent the week working on my upcoming teleseminars.  After having spent the week before recovering from yet another damn sinus infection, I needed to get focused pretty quickly.  I got a lot done, even if I made some mistakes here or there.  Or more to the point, I discovered some mistakes that I made with some of the stuff I was working on.  Either way, still feels good.

Now I need to just create some time to catch up on some friends’ blogs.  When I finished teaching in mid-June, I thought I’d have so much time to finally catch up with work, with blogs, with life and still have fun.  Well, as I seem to have learned (again and again) those damned sinus infections kick my butt physically and make it so challenging to even think straight.  And they seem to take just as long to recover from.  But trust me, you will see me posting comments on your blogs again!!  I promise.

And speaking of those damnable sinus infections, I finally had my CT scan today.  I think I honestly spent more time talking about the CT scan and researching what to expect, than it actually took to have the actual scan.  I honestly didn’t know that it would be quite so quick and painless.  I look forward to getting the results and figuring out what might be the reason I keep getting such nasty (and painful) infections.

As for now…well, now I think it’s time to get started on dinner.  Cooking in this high-90’s heat is always a challenge – whether I’m feeling 100% or not.  Wish me luck!

I’m Not a Numbers Person…

…but I love what you can learn from website analytical and statistical information.

You not only get the basics like pageviews, but you get the down and dirty specifics….the keywords, the when, the where, the IP addresses, if they’re logged in from work, how long they were on each page, the how someone found your site, the last page they were on before they visited your site, the page they left your site to go to, as well as what’s been copied, cut or downloaded.  We’re talking full disclosure here.

And if you’re a numbers or data geek (I’m so not either), then it can offer up a lot of personal information. Before long, you can’t help but see the patterns.  And well, if you know anything about websites, servers, hosts and the whole package, you could actually track a person down if you wanted.

When you come down to it, no matter how hard you might work at creating that false sense of anonymity, a witty user name, putting everything behind some sort of private access wall, shortening URLs (the whole point of those services is to make the link trackable as well as shorter), or well, just trying to stay anonymous…you just can’t do it.

It always amazes me to think how much time, energy and effort people can put into their false sense of anonymity and the security they think they have.  Many people don’t seem to realize, that unless they’re a hacker and can bounce their IP around from server to server, they can’t remain anonymous.  It can’t happen.

Which of course is why I always suggest that my clients use a good analytical/statistical program.  Quite often, it can give you a glimpse into what your customers are searching for, where they found you and where they are located.  This is very usefull information when you’re in business.  And you never know when you might have to turn some of that personal info over to lawyers for whatever reason (we’ve had to do this a few times already for various sites).  Much like insurance, it’s part of the price of doing business.

How often do you check your stats?  Or do you check them at all?  What’s your favorite feature?

The Love of My Life

Last night we hung out with the in-laws while the uncles held court. It was fun to get together with everyone and catch up. I was out of it for most of it having been dealing with a migraine. But by the time this rolled around I was feeling much better.

Check it out, my darling, moppet of a husband accompanying his eldest niece while she sang for the family. I was bummed that I ran out of space on the card (so be warned it will be cut short), they were sounding pretty good.

Not too bad considering they both *just* learned the song about an hour earlier.

The Thing About Networking…

As I sit here a few minutes early for my pre-networking networking event I wonder, yet again if I’m wearing the right thing. And if not, do I have the right thing to wear at home for tomorrow’s all day event.

Really, I don’t mind the networking at all. In fact, I’ll pretty much talk to anyone. I’m great in bathroom small talk.

The fashion or appropriate attire, no that’s a different story. I’m much more comfortable in jeans, flip flops and a cardigan.

Oh well, tonight I opted for a casual dress that I wore to teach in and a pair of nude gladiatorish sandals. And a cardie – it could get cold. Hopefully I’ll be dressed appropriately.
Now as for tomorrow…I’ll let tonight help make that decision easier. And now, it’s time to network.

Things Don’t Always Go as Planned

You know what they say about best laid plans and all that. Well, actually I don’t recall what they say specifically, but I know they say something about it. And whatever it is, I’m sure it’s not good.

Today I had planned to spend the entire day working on my sponsorship proposals so I could start getting those out.  And I have a sample resume to mock up for our students tomorrow.  I also told my friend that I would help to prep some KLEAN products for the upcoming event this weekend.  While it may not seem like much, it pretty much guaranteed a full day (especially with the sponsorship proposal).

griffin_blanketInstead…I spent the day dealing with the pupster.  He’s been very lethargic and showing signs that he may have hurt his back again.  So I had to schedule an emergency (of sorts) visit to his wonderful vet, Dr. Pilch.  He’s so good, we actually drive all the way out to Van Nuys to see him.  So of course, there’s traffic to deal with around 9:00Am this morning.

They didn’t have an early appointment available, so they asked me to drop him off and pick him up later.  That of course means that the visit takes twice as long.  All is good.  As long as they can see him and get him back on his steroids, I’m fine.  Turns out, because of the lethargy and the nausea and the lack of appetite for anything but grass, he also wanted to run a blood work up.

He’s back home now and finally relaxing.  They gave him a shot of prednisone so he’s feeling no pain (which of course means he thinks he’s fine and can run around and jump up and down on the furniture).  I have to call back tomorrow for the results from the blood test, but the doc feels that it’s just his back.

Needless to say, it’s now 4:30 and I barely managed to get any of my proposal done.  So yeah, those best laid plans and all that.