What if you had 72 Hours to Transform your City?

I read a blog post entitled “What if you had 72 Hours to Transform your City?” Does that inspire you? I began to get ideas about re-routing buses, moving bars out of the downtown area and putting in something to attract families to the beach (which is also downtown here).

If you could change your town or city in any way and in many ways, what would you do?

72 Hour Urban Action

A hundred designers, 10 urban challenges, very little money, and no sleep. That’s the recipe for 72 Hour Urban Action, a three-day marathon for designers to improve their city. Founder Kerem Halbrecht first debuted the concept at the Bat-Yam Biennale of Landscape Urbanism in Israel in September, where 120 participants working in 10 teams got three days and three nights to solve problems in public spaces.

If You’re so Smart, Why are you Pissing Off your Readers?

These are things that REALLY bug me about blogs I go to read for the first (and likely only) time. The irony is, these are polished and professional looking blogs by people who want to give me advice about how to blog. Maybe they should rethink that!

Video posts – I don’t want to wait for them to load. I don’t want to listen to someone talk when I could read about it and take my time to understand what they are saying. Also, since I changed from Windows to Linux I have no sound on my computer. Someday I will fix that. But, I like a silent computer so I’m hardly in any rush. I’m not the only one who can’t see or hear your video for various reasons that may have nothing to do with a disability, being deaf or blind. Some people may be at work, others may be at home with small children napping, there are all kinds of reasons your video posts may be an unfortunate means of expression.

Comment Moderation – Any type of comment moderation that requires me to do anything beyond typing in my name and email (blog link is my choice) bugs me. The more I have to do the more annoyed and angry I get. I DO NOT want to sign up or register for ANYTHING. I won’t give out my email address to any comment service just so I can leave a comment on a blog I am not likely to visit again.

Comment Moderation (Word Verification and CAPTCHAs) – There should be a special place in hell for people who use this nonsense. It is outdated! Spambots have figured out work around and can leave comments on your blog. The only real comment moderation is to do it yourself. Choose the comments you will post and delete the rest. It’s that simple AND I don’t have to try reading some distorted text in order to comment on your blog.

Pop Ups – I know many of you were not around for the war against pop ups years ago. So, I try to take that into consideration. However, I really do get impatient and sometimes quite annoyed when I come to a blog for the first time and I am bombarded with a pop up telling me to subscribe to your blog, buy your ebook, etc BEFORE I have even read a single post on your blog. Back off! Do you really need to look this desperate? Let me find out who you are and what you have to say. How else will I know if I want to hear more?

Flash and other bloated scripts – People who use this must want to drive away readers. Are you assuming everyone buys a new computer each year or that we all want to sit here 10 minutes doing nothing or are you just an evil minion sent here to cause my computer to freeze up? Either way, piss off (to be perfectly blunt).

Doing any one or a combination of these things does not make you look very smart to me.

I do not write this to be nasty but at the time of writing this I am really pissed off with a blog that broke three of these reasons/ rules and caused me to sit here with my computer frozen for 15 minutes while I waited for the script in her pop up window to let me kill her damned video post which opened automatically when I came to her site.

Home Staging as a Career

Home staging also known as home redesigning and real estate enhancement is about setting up a home to appeal to real estate buyers. The home staging service can be used by home builders, real estate agents or the individual home owner. Home staging is like public relations for the home selling market.

Home staging plays up the good features, adds some overall polish, curb appeal and downplays the less appealing or unattractive features. Unlike interior decorating, the home stager wants to make the house appeal to new buyers with all sorts of styles and preferences. Part of that is making the home neutral, removing signs of the current owner so that a new owner feels they could just step into the home and belong there right away.

Staging a home involves knowing current design styles and elements, organizing, decluttering, cleaning and repairs. Then you get into staging each room by rearranging furniture, adding accessories like paintings, flowers or throw pillows. Overall, the staging gives the home an ambience, including smell and other details people will take for granted or only notice when they are not done well. Before the job is done, the outside needs to be considered, the landscaping and the first impression the house gives before anyone even gets inside. The idea isn’t to go out and buy new furniture or begin a home renovation, instead home staging takes what is already there and makes it work.

The ups and downs of the real estate market are an important issue to anyone working in the housing industry, including those in home staging. Are homes selling? If sales are quick and easy a home stager will have to work harder to find clients or find those who really need the service. If home sales slow down there will be a demand for home staging, landscaping, renovating and other such services. If home sales trickle down there may be a bigger need for home staging services but the problem will be finding homes which are likely to sell and give the home stager credit for a job well done. In bad times home staging may not be the best career. Especially, if the home stager (trying to win a job or just be helpful) agrees to take payment when the house sells rather than when the job is done.

Resources:
The International Association of Home Staging Professionals
Professional Stagers Network Association
Canadian Certified Staging Professionals

Canoe.ca: Home Stagers Set the Scene

Home staging guru Barb Schwarz coined the term “home staging” from her background in theatre. The house, she reasons, is a stage upon which an ASP arranges the right props — furniture, artwork, sounds and scents — to engage an audience. The critics are the real estate agents and the audience is the buyers.

FabJob: Become a Home Stager
Entrepreneur: Start a Home Redesign Business
About.com: Home Buying/Selling: Home Staging and Staging a House
Househunting.ca: Home Staging Mistakes

It’s Time to Think of your Foundation Garments

Some of us plan our underwear, some of us even think of it as panties rather than undies. Some of us buy them in sets with matching bras. I, am a boring pantie person, as it turns out. I wear undies that could be compared to the stereotypically challenged Granny panties. But I wear them well and I like them! They fit, they come in cotton and the odd colour other than white.

Yes I would like to be swept off my feet for a romantic interlude which would include sexy lingerie, a weekend at a fancy hotel downtown and maybe something exotic (more exotic than pink champagne – which I’d also like). I’m thinking exotic like a trip to the adult store. I’d wear a disguise.

How would your perfect adult weekend go? Write about it. Include all the romantic and not so romantic details. Then send it to your lover (if you have one). If not, you could post it online with an anonymous/ secret email address and just see what happens, a little experiment. It could be fun!

The Ultimate Pantie Survey from A Slip of a Girl (for inspiration).

The Story Behind your Profile Picture?

Creepy Query Girl wants to know: What’s the story behind your profile pic and what kind of background would you get for your author’s portrait?

I know most of you through the smiling faces of your profile pictures. Some of them look professionally done. Others look they were taken in a natural setting when you just happened to be smiling. And others might be a cartoon or movie character or some significant piece of art or a label that you feel represents who you are here in the blogosphere.

I was thinking the other day about what kind of picture I’d want on the back of a book I wrote. Most authors go out and get professional photo shoots just for the occasion. Would I want a woodsy background? Or would I go with some kind of solid color? Or what about a sandy beach!…ooh…with sparkling turquoise water and white sands…and dolphins!?