Saturday, December 19, 2009

Oh, sort of frazzled. You?

Christmas is in less than a week. I'm not ready. That's why I'm posting a photo of the swings at Washington Park instead of the Christmas tree at City Hall or the decorations at Christmas Tree Lane or the Balian Mansion in Altadena.

I'm notorious for this, but at least I'll have gifts in the mail to my family before New Year's this time.

Are you ready?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Women's City Club Business Boot Camp

Standing: Lori Webster, Jennifer Hamilton, Diana Manchester, Jane Neff Rollins, Author Nada Jones, Susan Kitchens, Anne Louise Bannon. Sitting: Donna Chaney, Elke, Margit Holakoui, Randi Burton. The women model scarves hand-made by Burton.

I've been going to Business Boot Camp where the barracks are swell, the mess hall ain't half bad and I never have to say "Sir, yes sir!"

When the Pasadena Women's City Club "Women in Business" Committee was looking for something more active than a speaker lunch, member Donna Chaney of Chaney Financial Services was considering a business planning workshop. She came across a book called Sixteen Weeks to your Dream Business: A Weekly Planner for Entrepreneurial Women by Nada Jones and Michelle Briody. Donna says, "My interest met [the committee's] and bootcamp was born."

Donna couldn't have known what a huge project she was getting herself into. But she did know she'd need a partner and she asked Lilli Cloud of Blue Feet to help. Both business-savvy women lead a large group of women at varying levels of savvy as we've devoured the book, embellishing with input from experts within the group and without. We're learning about budgeting, web design, branding, marketing, business plans, you name it. And at last week's meeting Nada Jones, one of the book's authors, surprised us with a visit. (She's even in the photo, which I took long after the meeting when most people were already gone. My apologies to those who missed posing. We'll do it again.)

Among the many things we've learned is the difference between PR and advertising. For example, if I post about a business, that's PR and I get to say what I want to say. If someone buys an ad on the blog, that's--well, that's an ad. I've made a proposal to the group: if a member chooses, I'll post about her business here on PDP. Once I've had my say, if she's still brave enough to advertise on PDP, maybe she will. See how I'm grokking this? (Hey, I'm blogging with integrity here.)

A new session of Business Builders Boot Camp will start in April, 2010, with further information coming out in February. But if you're interested, you don't have to wait. Contact Donna Chaney at 626-768-0080 or donna (at) You don't have to be a member of the Women's City Club to join.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Recently I went to a weekend seminar at the Crowell Public Library in San Marino and the seminar leader didn't show up. I had scheduled time on a Saturday, driven all the way down (my god, it must be five whole miles!) and even brought along pen and paper. Guess I should have called first.

In such situations there's always a choice: get angry about my time being wasted or look for the hidden opportunity.

Either choice can make sense depending on the circumstances and I'd be lying if I said I'd never chosen the former. But this situation was loaded with possibilities: a library, pen and paper for starters. And I always have at least one camera with me.

I ended up going for the hidden opportunity. The Crowell Library has its share of photo ops but since it was Saturday I chose to skulk around nearby Henry Huntington Middle School. Something about an empty school takes me back to my own school years. I wandered and dreamed. It was time well spent.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

iSmax of Santa

At Seattle Daily Photo, Kim does a regular "iPhone Wednesday" feature. I keep meaning to give it a try. (Hey, she said I could, so it's not stealing.) But except for my pseudo-Monets I haven't knocked my own iPhone socks off yet.

But John has. I love his reverse Santas. He photographed them with his iPhone inside and out of La Galette, a delectable pastry shop in Sherman Oaks.

I decided they're acceptable for Pasadena Daily Photo because John's from Pasadena and because the shots are so great. Then I begged him to let me post them.

John calls them "Recession Xmas" and "Smax Noissecer."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Worth the Lack of Effort

I'm peeking out from behind the door at Merit Dry Cleaners toward the sidewalk rack outside Ritzy Rags resale shop. Though I love resale shops I haven't been in Ritzy Rags yet. From the Yelp reviews it sounds like the kind of place where you have to dig. I don't mind digging, that's part of the experience. A bit of effort usually brings results.

Merit Cleaners I can vouch for. We became customers when we lived in Altadena in 2001/03. Moved away to Van Nuys (V'Ennui) for exactly two years. (Came back to the Dena as fast as we could. We were smitten). I tried two dry cleaners near my Pasadena home and each of them wrecked a beloved item of clothing, so I figure Merit is worth the short drive up the hill. (Effort, results. See?)

Plus I get to be in Altadena. I always find something there to charm me. (That part's effortless.)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Zen Monday: #76

Zen Monday is the day you experience the photo and give us your thoughts rather than me telling you what I think the photo's about. There's no right or wrong. It means what you think it means, or what you want it to mean.

I look for a photo worth contemplating or, failing that, something odd or silly. And I
stay out of the comments box for most of the day to avoid influencing the intellectual path of the discussion.

As I post each new Zen Monday photo I add a label to last week's to identify it if necessary--if I know what it is.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

There is No Joy in Pooville

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The dogs are running somewhere, and somewhere cats don't bite,
And somewhere it's not raining, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Pooville -- Boz refuses to go out.

My apologies to Ernest Thayer.