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Archive for December, 2008

Christmastime 2008 in NYC

I enjoyed the beauty of a white Christmastime in NYC.

Here’s the link to my New York City photo album on Smugmug.


Real Estate Woes – Empty Luxury Apartments

Watch this 60 minutes video.

My personal experiences affirm the general tenor of the piece. As I walked down the streets of New York city this past weekend, I saw a lot of “for sale” and “for rent” signs in NYC. I’ve honestly never seen that before. Quite the contrary — I’d only heard about how impossible it is to find an apartment in NY. My experience is anecdotal for sure, but it seems clear to me that the market for condos (especially luxury condos) around the country has taken a significant hit and is still sliding. Everyday, I see more and more signs in windowsills of Del Mar, La Jolla, and downtown San Diego. LA and Seattle have plenty of vacancies too. The signs all point downhill: “Bank Owned”, “For Sale by Owner”, “For Sale” and “For Rent.”

But I disagree with the “happy ending” that was tacked onto the piece. One guy posits that the stock market has figured out how bad it all is & that we’re in a buying opportunity period. For the average investor (like me) who is uninterested in the very real possibility of short-term losses, I couldn’t disagree more. I’m still holding steady (in a cash position) while the knife continues to fall. I think that there is a significant amount of fraud yet to be uncovered. The recent events with Bernie Madoff seem to confirm my thesis.


Darn it! I caught a cold!

Much to my dismay, the slight sore throat that I woke up with on Saturday has matured into a full-fledged upper respiratory infection. Complete with coughing, sneezing, phlegm, and the general “ugh” feeling that comes with each passing night of mediocre sleep.

And yes, I am going to be one of those terrible human beings that gets on an airplane and passes this annoying rhinovirus on to some other unfortunate human being who is unlucky enough to be sharing the recycled, polluted air of my cabin. I know, I’m awful. Maybe I’ll take a cocktail of various OTC drugs designed to make me dry and groggy so that I don’t actually spread the virus by coughing.

I just really want to go to NYC. Sue me. Or better yet, wear a face mask to the airport tomorrow.


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So… the answer is…

To follow up from last night, I decided to change blouses and shoes between parties 1 and 2. At party 3, they had a hair salon doing ladies’ hair in the middle of the club. Both Olivia and I enjoyed the fun of it. Here’s a photo of us after the hairstyle.

Olivia & Lura

By the way, iPhone cameras kinda suck. They really need to fix that.

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3 Events & 1 Girl’s Dilemma

I have been invited to three events today. I wish I could say that my social calendar was booked with days like today. But it is not. Unfortunately, the rest of the weekend is spotty, at best. Everyone just decided to have their events on the same day. The earliest starts at 1pm and the last one will probably end when the bar closes at 2am.

Now, as you may recall, I’m a girl. So this “starting mid-day and going past mid-night” situation creates a bit of a logistical problem when it comes to attire. Do I wear the sexy club outfit all day & risk looking like a floozie with potential colleagues? Or do I wear something a little less provocative & risk being under-dressed for the nighttime events? Do I change in some bathroom somewhere? Do I try to pull off some layering effect? And what the hell am I going to do about the shoes? Can I wear the same high-heels for 12 hours?

Men do not have to deal with this. The most a guy would have to do is throw a brush and some deodorant in the car.

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Impacting A LOT of people

Today, I formalized a consulting gig with a HUGE MULTINATIONAL CORPORATION, a major retailer. You’ve heard of them. Everyone has heard of them. They are big, the biggest.

I’ll be working as part of a small tiger team. It is a project where we’ll create a strategy for utilizing existing and new technologies to communicate company information with the workforce/associates.

As I reflect on the conference call, I am humbled by the thought of how many people this work will affect. Something I am working on over the next several weeks will impact millions of people. I have not had the opportunity to impact so many people’s lives since I worked in the White House. It is an honor and a privilege to have these opportunities in my life. I just hope that I do a good job.


Dead Elvis = One Trick Pony

Elvis just keeps on giving. Of course, he’s basically a one trick pony — but it’s a good trick. This year, there’s a new Christmas Duets CD. To accompany the CD, there’s a few new green-screen-generated music videos, such as this one with Elvis & Martina McBride singing Blue Christmas — using video from the ’68 Comeback special (my favorite Elvis!)

Elvis Presley Christmas Duets
Elvis Presley Christmas Duets by Elvis Presley


Dan Kaminsky: the Demigod, and a nice guy

Dan Kaminsky went from regular IT Security guru to IT Security demi-god this year. There’s something about internet celebrity. Lots of people get a big head and turn into jerks during their 15 minutes. But not Dan. He really is a nice guy. I have to say that I think Dan Kaminsky deserves all the kudos & press he’s gotten this year. Here’s just a few:

But I have to give a special shout-out & thankyouverymuch to Dan, his girlfriend Crystal, and Johnny for taking care of me at Toorcon SD. They were all extremely kind and generous and gracious to me. Here’s Divide’s photos of Dan, Crystal, and me from earlier in the night. (Go to Divide’s photostream on Flickr and Toorcon specific gallery)

Dan photo by Divide
Crystal - the coolest - photo by Peter
Me at Toorcon SD - photo by Divide

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