Making a Good First Impression

When you consider that most people make their first impression by their photo on their profile on their social media accounts, you know that having a good photo is important.  Sure, there is a place for fun pictures from time to time, but if you are a busy professional, or looking to get further ahead in life, these pictures that you use on your profiles must be of professional quality.  Much like an actor would use a professional headshot to get a role in a film, people like myself in business depend on our headshots to open doors and opportunities.

But finding someone here locally that could take professional shots was next to impossible.  There isn’t a photography studio in town, and anyone that was a photographer was just too busy to sit down with me.

So, when I was on my travels last week in Las Vegas, I decided to see if I could find somewhere that I could get pictures done.  Thankfully, it was easy to find someone that did Las Vegas headshots by doing a quick search on my phone.  I gave them a call, and I was in the studio that day.

The photos that they took were perfect.

I have uploaded the images to my social profiles, and now I know that any time someone checks me out online, they will see a professional quality photo.  I have a feeling that these headshots are going to open some big doors for me.

Taking Advantage of Uber Discount Codes

Leaving town to travel on business incurs a whole host of expenses.  From the airfare, to transport, lodging and meals, the dollars really add up quickly for our company.  Since I care about the bottom line, I try to make choices that help keep costs down or even eliminate them altogether.

Last year I made a point of getting better deals on lodging and meals.  This was done in conjunction with the administrator of our firm and we were able to see big savings each and every night out on the road.  Most of the discounts came from booking early, using discount codes and prepaying for the rooms.  As for the meals, we chose restaurants that fit within our meal budget and really focused on keeping our spending in control.

But the one area that we really missed the mark on last year was transportation.  Since we didn’t rent a car in every city, we depended on taxi and Uber drivers to get us from point A to point B.  Management knew there had to be a way to save in this area: we just had to figure it out.

After a bit of research, we discovered that there was an Uber discount code 2016 that we could use to save money off of our fares, and in some cases get our ride for free.  Not only was this going to be exactly what we were looking for, but it was going to give us the opportunity to keep some of the money that we have been spending in our pockets.

It feels great that Uber not only saves us time, but money as well.

Learning How to Program Arm Based Chipsets

Programming has always been a passion of mine.  I love that with a few lines of code that you can make things happen.  The thought of creating something out of thin air really speaks to me, and over the years I have learned and worked with many different programming languages.  Most of my programming work has been using desktop computers, but lately I have felt like I should expand my horizons.

So, I decided that I was going to try my hand programming on ARM-based chipsets.

When it came down to the hardware platform that I was going to use, I had a lot of choices.  The most obvious one was to use my mobile phone and program on it, but after some consideration, I didn’t want to do anything that would jeopardize my ability to use it for business.  I counted on it each and every day, and without it, I wouldn’t be able to do my job.

I had to find a dedicated hardware solution that I could use as my sandbox for programming.

After a bit of research, I found myself in a bit of a debate as to which hardware platform to use.  On one hand, there was C.H.I.P. which used the newer ARMv7 architecture and had some other platform specific features which made it attractive right out of the box.  On the other hand, I was intrigued and encouraged by the resources available for the Raspberry Pi Zero.  I would also have a bit of a support network for programming on the Pi as many of my friends had first-hand experience with it.

It was quite the conundrum.

I decided to sleep on my decision and when I woke up, I ordered both hardware platforms.  I figured giving myself great breadth in terms of programming skills right out of the gate made the most sense – it is important to me to be a well-rounded coder.

Learning About Living with HIV and AIDS

There has been a lot of chatter in our community about a new film, Growing Up Positive, which features two HIV activists, Hydeia Broadbent and Abigail Harrigan, that really open up and speak about HIV.  Produced by Yasmin Shiraz, this film really digs deep and looks at people who have grown up HIV positive and how that has affected their lives.

It was about time that someone produced a film like this.

I know that personally the only education or exposure to HIV and AIDS was in the classroom as a child which is very unfortunate considering the severity and impact of the disease.  I know that there are parents here in the local high school that are advocating to place more of an emphasis on education when it comes to HIV and AIDS so that students can have a better understanding of the condition and how people cope with it.

The key here is education and understanding as so many of our opinions on these conditions are based on fear and not on facts.  Hopefully Growing Up Positive will be the first of many movies that help change our beliefs and attitudes towards people that live with HIV and AIDS.

Finalizing Our Album

For years I have been the lead guitarist in a local band.  While it originally started out as a hobby, it has really blossomed into a passion for the five members of our group.  For years we had been only doing covers of other bands, and while this was great for the gigs that we had at weddings, we wanted to do something a little more.

One member of the group, Kevin, had a knack for composing music and coming up with the perfect lyrics to go with them.  Over the course of the last few years, we had showcased some of the songs he had written, and the response from the crowds that played in front of just loved them.

So, we decided that it was time that we release an album.

But putting together an album requires a lot of work and money to get off the ground.  Instead of letting that stop us, we looked for cost effective solutions to make everything work out.

Perhaps the smartest thing we did was to hire an online mixing studio to finalize the tracks for the album.  They have done impeccable work making the music sound “just right” and they did everything in less than a week and a lot less than our studio was going to charge us.

Once everything is complete, we are hoping to release our first album sometime in early March to the world.  I know that everyone will love it!

Reclaiming Our Corporate Parking Lot

Custom Parking Permit One of the challenges our organization has faced due to growth is a problem with our parking lot.  Since we are in a prime location, there has been an issue with people that don’t work in our building parking in our lot.  Since these people are using our parking spaces, many of our employees have had to find alternate paid parking.

That is no longer acceptable.

In order to deal with this problem, we have decided to create our own parking permits.  These parking passes will help our security know who belongs in the lot and who is parking illegally so that we can deal with them either through them getting a ticket or towing their vehicle.

In order to create the custom parking permits, we have been working with the folks at AllThingsID.com to create a durable and unique permit.  They specialize in creating everything from identification tags to ID card printers. 

We were recommended by many of the businesses in our area to work with them, and it has been a very pleasant experience.  From concept to final product they have helped us out every step of the way, and the permit design that we have come up with will meet our needs.

Once we have the parking permits, we will work to reclaim our corporate parking lot so that there is room for all of our staff that commute to work.

Using Printed Power Banks to Promote Our Business

Our business uses many different ways to get the word out about our products and services.  We have tried everything from online marketing to traditional print advertising and even billboards.  While some of these methods do work, we have had the most success sponsoring the local tradeshow.

Each year the tradeshow organizers hand out goody bags to the visitors attending the event.  It gives all of the tradeshow participants the opportunity to provide each attendee with something that will make a lasting impression about their business.

Over the last couple of years we have tried using promotional pens and coffee mugs, but they didn’t get us the results that we were hoping for.  What we needed to do was hand out something that people would use on a daily basis and provide us with the opportunity to reach as many eyeballs as possible.  Ideally, we wanted something that a person would show their friends or talk about.

In the end, we decided to hand out custom printed power banks that had our logo and contact information printed on them.  Considering how many people can’t make it through the entire day without having to charge their phone, it seemed like the perfect way to advertise our business.

People will appreciate the value that the power banks provide.

While we have to wait until the weekend to see if we made the right choice, I am confident that the printed power banks will be well received by everyone and drive more business our way.

Quality LGBT Programming from BawnTV

One of the biggest challenges when watching television programming is finding shows that really entertain you and speak to who you are.  Depending on your interests, you might be interested in shows about a certain topic, specific styles of programming or content that is geared towards your community.  For most, traditional television has something for you, but until recently, there has really been a lack of content for the LGBT community.

BawnTv But that has all changed with the launch of BawnTV.com.

Bawn TV provides original content geared towards the LGBT community.  Unlike the limited programming that you would find on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant video, BawnTV provides a broad scope of television and movie offerings created by producers from around the world.  There is never a shortage of new shows to discover.

In fact, if you have ever wanted to create your own television series or movie, you can submit your work to be shown on their streaming service.  By working as their partner, you can reach a worldwide audience and gain support from viewers to continue creating your own series.

Perhaps the best feature of BawnTV is the ability to watch your favorite shows offline.  You can sync your favorite content for offline viewing so you can watch all of your shows whether you have an internet connection or not.

They are definitely doing some great things at BawnTV.com

To learn more about the programming and how you can start your 7-day free trial, visit their site at http://www.bawntv.com/

Digitizing Our Inventory

For years we have been using a paper-based inventory system.  Every item was counted and written down on paper, and that worked well for us.  But as our company grew, it became increasingly difficult to keep track of all the items that we had in the shop.

It was time for a change.

These past few months, we have been working to create a digital record of the inventory that our company carries.  In order to do so, we contracted a company that specialized in cheap sticker printing to help us create inventory tags that we can scan.  The goal was to put a sticker on every piece of inventory in our warehouse.  This allows us to use a handheld scanner to do the inventory count which can be then used with software to have a digital record of everything our company owns.

It will make it easier for management to make decisions having access to fresh data right from their computers.  It will also result in cost savings to our organization as it will allow us to use fewer staff to do the inventory counting and post-processing of the counts.

Digitizing our inventory will be a cost efficient and time-saving move for our business.

Heading to a Wedding in Cambodia this Summer

Weddings are one of the events in life that bring families together from far and wide.  We celebrate the love of two people and I have always found it to be a magical moment.  This summer, my cousin Kyle is marrying his girlfriend, Visal in Cambodia.  I have been invited and I am planning to attend the wedding.  Since I have never been to South East Asia, I thought that it would be a marvelous opportunity to explore that corner of the world.

Since I am not the kind of person that leaves anything to chance, I have decided to do some research as to what places I should visit while I am there.  One of the best resources that I have come across so far has been MythicalAsia.com.  They have some of the most comprehensive advice for anyone visiting the region including what to expect for food, and they look at the top tourist attractions in the area.

On my shortlist for places to see in Cambodia, I have put Preah Vihear (a temple situated on a cliff), Bokor Hill Station, Koh Ker, and Angkor Wat.  I think that I will be able to spend hours at all of these landmarks, and I would have never heard about them if it wasn’t for the coverage at Mythical Asia.

I cannot wait for the wedding and the opportunity to tour around Cambodia for the first time this summer.