I had to put the photos of the horse in the swimming pool in here I thought it was so cool. I'm seriously going to look at using some animal models in my photography this summer I think. I mean click on that close up of the horses face above, what a kisser you know?
Anyways I finally heard from my former girlfriend who moved to California yesterday and I have to say it was nice. It sounds like she is doing ok out there having job interviews and settling in pretty well. I had thought about moving there myself but the main reason I would have focused on Cali would have been her. I'm thinking at this point she just wants to lead her life and probably doesn't want me showing up on her doorstep and so forth so I'm going to look at other options as well (I'd probably look more at San Diego than L.A.). It's a funny thing, sometimes you'll drop everything and give up a lot of things for love including relocating. I'd love to get out of Minnesota of course but I'll likely review other options as well and not rush it. Washington and Oregon hold appeal for me and a friend of mine from work named Sarah just moved to Oregon to get married (if my former girlie friend reads this she was the nurse who called you that one time on your cell right before we went to the ER when that doctor was a major dick at 2am lol). I'm going to do some planning and lighten up my load of things I'd have to move and basically get in a position where I feel I'm well prepared. I don't have a reason to hurry at this point, the weather is actually pretty nice here in Minnesota at the moment particularly now that I have two ACs running.
We'll see, I plan to take time this weekend to review options. It's one of the nice things at my age I guess, I have more options now than when I was younger. I was originally going to the Winnipeg Folk Festival this coming weekend to make someone's dream come true but she had another dream come true so I'm going to use the time off to update my resume and resume related website. Plus I have the largest set of auctions I've ever run on eBay starting this weekend and I have lots of stuff to list there. It's at about 350 sales right now and that's before I run the 100+ DVDs that came in the mail and an assortment of hardcover books. The media sales are my favorites really but I am also selling things like stonewear crocks, Milwaukee power tools, reel to reel recorders, Barbie Dolls, and whatever else comes up. I've been running a special on the consignments while I get my methodology established but it's getting about time where I'll move it to the full rate which will vary but range up to 30%. Of course I've studied how the competition works including some corporate affairs (that's right multi-million dollar corps formed around selling on eBay) and I'll borrow the best of their ideas on that. It's one of the options I'm going to review, quitting my day job and opening a sales and shipping service where I skip the $100,000 franchise fee (which I actually have) and form my own model. I've always been interested in using my political skills learned from the Wellstone people (I've attended three of the Camp Wellstone seminars and met both his sons and his campaign manager and others many times, although I actually only met Paul once when he was alive). I'm going to go through the process of putting together an actual business plan for it but one of the key items is that I am going to set up a model with minimal overhead in terms of inventory. In addition I have now developed a model for mass production of the ads used the sales 17 of which are going live this afternoon at 3:30 pm PDT and which incorporate up to 19 or more photographs. If I do it I'm going to use other elements and create a model with "synergy" that is a business model that allows for branching into related or compatible areas to create additional revenue streams. Where I will likely buy into franchises are things I can use computer automation to drive the business such as mortgage refinancing, travel services, background checks, and other things. Having a storefront I would likely look at being a drop site for UPS, USPS, DHL, and FedEx as well. I'm going to go over and do some intelligence gathering on my way out of town to Rochester this afternoon at one of the local $100,000 eBay specialized franchises that recently opened. There is more than one around actually including a small mom and pop one around the corner but the one down on 74th street in Edina is a model similar to the "Store In A Box" franchise model you'd see at something like the Mall of America.
I have to say though that I'm happy my former girlfriend is settling in so well in California. I do think she deserves it as she has not had the easiest life and she deserves some happiness. I think what she really deserves is a nice house on the beach where she can go and sit by the ocean every day. Not one of those you always see sliding down the hill in a mudslide into the ocean though but one right by the ocean. Apparently she has even taken up golfing which I think is a good thing because it might help keep her joints limber when her medical issues act up. It's something I've always had a lot of empathy for because I actually have a form of arthritis myself that acts up periodically that makes it so I can hardly sit upright in a chair much less walk (although actually I think her issues are probably worse). I still need to find out from her if she is going to be interested in doing a pay site like Hannah's with me though. If so I actually already have the domain which uses one of her user names from Live Journal. We can actually find a web service provider that would allow her journal to be automatically incorporated into the website I believe allowing her to write poetry, fiction, and whatever else she likes to personalize it. I'd probably recommend that she work with photographers in California periodically to update it, I suppose having a paying project might make it easier to get the good photographers to work with you perhaps. This assumes the websites are a success of course and it's one of those things where you only know if you try.
So what else? I found a nice Nikon 500mm lens for $170 yesterday that's a plus. It'll be a nice artistic lens because on my D70 it translates into a 750mm which is at the super end of the super telephoto range. Some of these lenses don't meter currently because the newer cameras require a special chip but I have found a place where I can get the chips added for $35.
The Adderol continues to be a success story for me. I think partly thanks to it the number of auctions I have on eBay and all the development work I've been completing have increased dramatically. I use the D70 tethered to my PC by a USB 2.0 cord which allows me to actually remotely operate the camera on my 30" LCD screen. The camera itself is now situated on top of a steel utility cart on a tripod right next to my office chair. On the steel utility cart is a drawing easel with clips on one end holding a large piece of solid grey background material (my preferred background color because the camera meters accurately on it producing pretty good color compared to other variants). I can actually set all of the camera controls from this screen remotely which is very nice, the D70 has a mode I particularly like called "Vivid". So I have the whole thing within reach and do multiple photos of each DVD, Book, or whatever one right after the other. From there I switch to Photoshop CS where I have written a collection of macros to automatically crop and adjust the images. This setup has created well over 1000 product images in the past week. The first thing I do before taking the images though is enter the tracking info in the Access database I'm still developing. Title and author, ISBN, source, and price paid are initial values entered. From there you click a button and it shows up on a list of items ready for listing. Then I switch it to a custom Photobucket account I created just for this now where all my eBay photos will be in the future (my current one will be used for other things like these horsie photos). Using the ftp program I merge the title and author info from the database and create a directory for each title on the movies and DVDs, (and eventually music CDs no doubt) and then enter the individual product photos in their own respective repositories. Then with the ISBN number I go into eBay and enter them one after the other rapidly. The code for the photographs and their thumbnails is being automatically generated on one program and the code for the sale conditions and layout comes from a template I've written in Frontpage. Books and DVDs go especially fast but it also works pretty well with other items, although I take the tripod off the steel cart and shoot those manually without using the remote control software on the computer. The strength of the system is in it's automation and efficiency. Then of course there is the shipping angle for that I do it all online now as well both UPS and USPS. My turn around from point of sale to shipping is generally less than 12 hours. I've added additional shelving in the hallway outside the main production area where I'm storing shipping supplies.
So now I actually just need to find more things to sell basically as I'm going to be completely inventoried and listed before long. I'm researching various thrift stores and the like and keep an eye out for yard sales. Another option is library sales and estate sales. If I develop it much further and do open a storefront somewhere I'll actually need to recruit buyers who will work on a commission basis. I would suspect there are any number of people who with a few guidelines would have fun doing the shopping part and then having a company do a bang up job on listing, shipping, and all the back office matters. If a buying agent model works one could potentially then open additional centers in various areas. I'll have to work with various agents to ensure they are cooperating more than competing if we get there and explain to them that it will be a bit like being the person who selects the fashions you see in department stores and boutiques. That is done by professional "buyers" and their success and continued employment is contingent on sales. So it shall be in this model. It would be a nice way for many people to supplement income and have fun at auctions, yard sales, estate sales, talking to friends, or whatever other venues they can come up with. The current franchises out there rely on someone walking through your front door which is where my grassroots organizing comes into play. My model goes out and gets in your face and recruits people to participate. I think in some ways this new medication has led directly to the rapid development of this new conceptual approach and my imagining something different from what the others have been doing. Who knows I might have thought of it anyways but it definitely is making it possible for me to stay more focused on things. It's also an appetite suppressant so in addition I'm drinking more H2O, eating less, exercising more, and consequently loosing weight and leaning up.
We'll see, if I do this I'm also going to transfer my grad credits from Mankato up here and go ahead and finish a degree because I'll be able to take evening classes around here. I'll probably switch majors though. I like history and have learned a great deal about analysis and research in that field but at this point I'll likely look at doing an MBA or MA in Management. It's largely about the cash I admit. Either way I think the additional degree is important and is something I'm going to do. My mother has suggested I let her help me concentrate on doing that and that I either cut back to part time at Fairview or quit altogether. Her argument is persuasive in the matter. With the ADD effectively under control and treated I'll probably do pretty well in school as my GPA was 3.7 or so to begin with and that was with a fair amount of procrastination.
Check out the big assed cat fish they caught!