I have decided to do a complete overhaul of this personal portfolio website and with eventually closing the chapter in my life that is my current job with Ultrasun, I thought it best to list everything that is important to me or that I am highly proud of that I created and accomplished with Ultrasun. So I will be adding and updating the entire portfolio, photo/video galleries and everything else.
My wife and I spent our honeymoon in St. Lucia at the Sandals La Toc (Regency) location at the end of April and the first week of May 2012. We got married on April 28th and headed out the 29th to stay the night in Atlanta and boarded the plane for St. Lucia on April 30th to which we arrived while it was raining. We came in and got off the plane welcomed by rain and then walked into the customs/arrival area. Once we finally filled out the paperwork properly because they didn’t explain anything on the plane we got our luggage and went through customs to which is where I found out that my camo cargo shorts were not allowed, so fair warning that they may not be super friendly if you are wearing anything resembling camouflage.
We decided previously to pay for the Luxury Transfer instead of riding a bus which was nice, my wife gets motion sickness so before hand she had taken dramamine which is highly recommended mainly because the roads are not at all straight. The Luxury car we had was a 7 series BMW that for all practical purposes was nice, the roofs cloth was peeling away from the ceiling probably cause of humidity but otherwise it was smooth and everything. The driver was very hard to understand and when he was driving and trying to talk to us it was even harder cause he was speaking forward and we were in the back. Oddly enough we decided the night before we left to get luxury transfer on the way back and we had the same driver. It may be because when I tipped him I didn’t have anything smaller than a $50… which is something I learned after the fact to get some change. I seen where people were complaining about the roads being in horrible shape and everything and part of that is due to the terrible hurricanes that had I think back in 2010 but they are being repaired and we really didn’t find any of the roads to be in what we would consider terrible or unsafe abandonment.
On the travel to the hotel since it was about an hour, the rain did in fact stop and the sun came out. This is something you will notice and not truly understand till you are there. Storms/Rain come and go, they come in and go just about as quick so if you are trying to plan your week and you find that the forecast shows rain, don’t be overly alarmed.
When we got to the hotel, we were taken up to the Butlers Lounge which is the upper part near the bluff. It took a few minutes of waiting around for them to finally have one of our butlers take us to our room but it was not uncomfortable and they had food and drinks there for us.
Our Butlers were Shermynn (CJ) and Roger, and Shermynn who’s name I cannot exactly remember the spelling off hand was the main butler who brought us to our room and explained everything to us. Both of these butlers were top notch, we didn’t really take full advantage of the butler service other than my wife wanting nacho’s or room service all the time, which was fine and they happily obliged. Now we didn’t know it ahead of time but it didn’t matter with our scheduled week but the butlers had taken care of reserving space for us by the pool every day and had already setup some dinners for us at the restaurants, I think they had some setup that had to be canceled because of our already planned week. The butlers were on call every day from 7am to 10pm and would sometimes call you in the morning or throughout the day with a cell phone they provide you (to contact each other) if you have planned events or just to check to see if you needed anything. They were awesome, however because we didn’t utilize them all that much just cause we were not use to it, I don’t know if I would get a butler next time but I would recommend it as an option but will say if you do spend the extra money make sure you plan to use them or otherwise it may be more money spent out than necessary.
We stayed in the Romeo & Juliet Suite that was up on the bluff (Room #880), the room to me didn’t look remodeled but was not in bad shape for the most part. The only thing we found to be bad but we didn’t complain was the bed, when I went to try to run an extension cord from the dresser under the bed for my electronics I found that the middle beam of the bed was snapped in half. Later finding out that my wife and I rolled towards each other every night and that was a nuisance overall. The view we had from our balcony honestly kept me from complaining, yes if they had newly remodeled rooms with new this and that, it may have been nice or a room with a better bed, but honestly the view was great and I didn’t want to chance it.
Once we got settled in and everything we went to Armando’s which is the Italian Restaurant about 100ft from our room. The food was good but honestly my wife and I are not the type that have expensive tastes in food or care about the presentation as much as if the food is good. I am a very picky eater and looking at all of the menu’s this trip was a pain in the rear to find something I may like, even though I did like everything I chose. They have bottled wines and other drinks you can purchase but we stuck with the house wines which to us were just fine.
The Bluff’s pool is amazing, day and night which is usually very quiet which was great for us. We went for a swim a few nights and during the day a couple of times and none of the time was it over crowded in the pool or by the pool. The views from there are also amazing and all of the staff in or around that area are always friendly. We did go to the main pool a couple of times as well since we had planned events we ended up hanging out around there waiting for our bus transfers and they were overly busy but it really depends on your lifestyle. If you like socializing and meeting friendly other honeymooners then it may be more your style, if you are all about seclusion and enjoying yourself with your new wife/husband than the bluff may be more your style.
We partook in the Treetop Canopy Adventure, or more so Zip Lining on our second day on the island which was for the most part fun, didn’t really get to see much of the rainforest but the staff and zip lining portions were fun. I will say as a recommendation if you are partaking in any adventures be aware that it is very humid there so pack heavy on the underwear or other clothing cause you may change cloths more than you think.
We also had a candlelight dinner by the beach to which was nice, the beach is a the main part of the La Toc resort and sadly you will not see a good sunset from that point because the sun actually sets over the bluff so it gets blocked at a given point, at least it did for us in April/May but regardless of that it was a great romantic dinner. We even made a new friend we called “Milo” who was a curious cat that would not turn down food if you fed him, but the staff may not at all be pleased with you doing so. They do feed all of the cats I think twice a day and they are all very friendly and will only approach you if you want them too otherwise they seem to keep their distance.
We did the Snuba Adventure on the 3rd day we were there and I will say I love to swim. I don’t however loved to be tethered to a raft with 3 other people who may not be able to swim. My wife is not a good swimmer and it was not as enjoyable for her which because of the 20ft lines I kept being held back by her and the others that were with us. The experience was nice even though it seemed like we were only in the water for 20 minutes after an hour drive there and back it didn’t seem like enough time to enjoy the underwater life. I did take my Nikon AW100 and got some decent photos for the water not being super clear, I think due to the rain we kept getting or because we were not far from the beach.
We ate at the Kimonos for dinner on the 3rd night and met some nice couples and that place is awesome. Our chef and staff sang and made jokes with us and it may being in pants more pleasant. Oh yeah, I am not one to feel that if you go to a tropical island you should EVER have to bring pants or nice cloths it should be sandals, shorts and swimming trunks if you ask me but I sucked it up for two evening and ate dinner at Kimonos and the La Toc restaurant.
We spent a little time by the beach and did some kayaking and rode a jet ski while there. My wife got a massage that she loved and I was going to play golf till I found out that you really don’t see the ocean or anything so I decided not to spend the money considering I can get about the same views back home without spending the extra money for a caddy or renting clubs.
We enjoyed some lunches at Neptunes and dinners at the Cricketer as well and probably just because of the simplistic menu and what I like to eat the Cricketer or Neptunes was more my style overall.
On saturday night the last night in St. Lucia we did the sunset cruise which if you at all get the idea it is going to be a small romantic sunset cruise I will correct your thinking for you. It is more of a booze cruise, we had about 25+ couples and staff on a large boat. It was nice but wasn’t what I expected of it and we didn’t even get to see a sunset, the boat went into a cove about the same time the sunset was happening but we met some nice people on the cruise.
When we got back to our room and I was going to start packing up to leave the next day, our TV’s didn’t work at all. I don’t know if they were having issues with their already crappy television service or if they decided to just shut off our service since we were about to leave but other way we didn’t have anything for background noise saturday night or the entire time we were there sunday till we left. It is not at all a big deal you are there to relax and not sit at home watching tv like normal but it would have been nice to have it as background noise. I did however bring my iPad so I just turned on some music on it.
Also they do have wifi nearly the entire resort is blanketed with wifi and repeaters to keep you having somewhat a signal anywhere. It is however not very fast or reliable, so enjoy you’re honeymoon or vacation and don’t work or plan on working. I did however get the wifi to work enough to call back to my parents a couple of times using my Google Talk number and an app on my iPhone so it was free calling. It wasn’t super great but wasn’t as bad as Skype has been before. You can check your emails if need be and do other small things but don’t expect to be able to do large data transfers which again you shouldn’t be worrying about that on your honeymoon.
All and all La Toc and the island of St. Lucia are a wondrous place to visit with great people, good foods and a lot to experience. I was asked by family if I would go back there and honestly probably not, but not because of anything being horrible… no mainly because there is a large world out there that I have yet to explore and why keep myself limited to one great place. I will however venture outside the comfort zone of a Sandals package and see if I can save some money and have about the same wonderful experience that I had at Sandals.
The Sandals structure and resorts are great, they really are and they are perfect for a large amount of the couples that go to them or may go to them but for someone like myself who has had to travel all over the world for business, I may spend a little extra time or waste it and find something a little off the beaten path or off some other list.
After all of this I will say this, we booked through Beach Bum Vacations (www.beachbumvacation.com) and Hayley Whorrall (Hayley@BeachBumVacation) was wonderful in helping us plan this honeymoon and was over the top helpful in working out all of the details and hiccups in our Sandals Registry with us. If and when I book another vacation I will be getting in contact with her for her suggestions based on whatever criteria I give her.
I will be writing a blog entry about this with photos that I captured while on the vacation and anyone is welcome to come to the blog or the website to see what else I had to say or whatever I included in the write up. It may also help you see that I am a normal guy who didn’t come here to bad mouth or praise any given company or was paid or endorsed to do so. (www.bradleyclampitt.com/blog).
Beach Bum Hayley <Hayley@BeachBumVacation.com>
– do not wear camo shorts, pants and/or related.
– keep change or smaller bills on you for arrival and leaving.
– if you sleep with a fan or keep electronics next to you in bed, it may be wise to bring a good extension cord incase there is no 110v outlet next to the bed.
St. Lucia, Saint Lucia, Sandals, Sandals La Toc
Since I started with Ultrasun back in 2002, I have been wanting to move our company into a more advanced, and easier method of communicating and in general… working. We have been a fairly small company where everyone in the company multi-tasks several jobs under one title. It has taken several years to get us to where we are today and we have several more years to get where I want us to be (overall).
In 2010, we started slowly changing out equipment that stopped working, or had major malfunction issues. We started with the camera system; our Ademco RapidEye system finally decided it could not longer keep up the good fight for us. While I didn’t get the exact model I wanted, I got a Speco system nonetheless. I wanted a system that I could use on my Mac’s as well as on windows PC’s which is what I got; even though I wanted one that would work on my iPhone as well but that is not the model I ended up getting. I am just hoping for an update that makes it compatible with the iPhone.
Here in 2011 it has been a rough year for our office equipment, in that our mail server and phone system both were on there last leg. I am going to partially blame not having battery backup units on all of the equipment or at least not proper ones.
We started off the year with shutting down our mail server and reducing our server machines to one main server computer instead of two. We switched to Google Apps for our small company instead of spending the money to update and maintain our current Microsoft Exchange server. This decision took some time to finally decide on because we would be giving up some control in the server and flexibility in adding users if and when we wanted too. I researched google apps for awhile and everything I seen or found seem to be positive so we decided to go through with it. So far it was the best decision we could make because of the overall costs and the features that were offered. It took me a few days to fully setup everyone and get things back to normal and on some of the administrative pieces I am still finalizing. I now can check my mail more easily on my macs as well with outlook either through windows or on the Mac and we don’t have to worry about server or Internet outages.
More recently as in the month of April our Intertel phone system that I swear is older than I am finally crapped out on us and instead of spending a lot of money on trying to get it fixed we decided to go another route. The route we chose was the open source route of Asterisk, so we made the decision to go with a company here in Indianapolis by the name of Gamma Code and inlist the assistance of it’s owner Mike Dawson. Mike came in and assisted in gathering the information and getting the equipment we need to install freePBX. We ended up using one of my old Windows computers to use as our Asterisk Server and so far… so good. I am in love with the flexibility and feature set that this open source system has and all of it’s future potential abilities.
This is a no photo post until I go back and gather some of my photos from setup to post to this article, I am currently typing this out as I await my trip to Ottawa, Canada.
Till next entry..
This year and last year have gone by in a blur. I have several blog posts that I have started to write and got side tracked, so I have several posts that have never seen the light of day.
Oddly enough the day I created my last post on here was April 28th, 2011 and I was heading up to Canada to work on a couple of tanning beds that had issues after the customer installed them.
Now we can fast forward to this end of this month which will be April 28th, 2012 a year from the last post. Also a year from the day I left for Canada and that same day is significant, or not just a normal day at the office. On this 28th day of April I will be getting married to the love of my life. It is crazy how a year, two, three can pass in such a hurry. It was the first trip that I took that Adriene would be back at the house without me, but at least it was mainly just an overnight trip I left and quickly returned the next night and barely got any sleep in between since I was up working all night trying to figure out the issues that lay in front of me and knowing that my plane ticket was set to leave the following morning.
Now we fast forward, on June 25th, 2011 I proposed to Adriene and she said yes and we have been working diligently on planning out the wedding since then.
So here in less than 3 weeks I will be getting hitched and also taking my first real vacation in the last 10 years. I am taking my camera gear and will be working on trying to get some good photos of the trip, honeymoon and the island we are going too. We will be staying at the Sandals Resort in St. Lucia in the tropics which is awesome. I wish I could swim with the sharks and dance with monkey’s but you cannot swim with sharks where we are going (only in Mexico…) and monkey’s we shall see… if I can find a small quiet one I may trying to bring it back in my luggage. 😉
Someday, I will get around to finishing some of the posts I have been working on. Their content ranges from Programming, Photography, Life Experiences and many other things.
till next time….
This list is about 2+ years old as of now and was put together while Marc and I were single. Oddly enough we were sober in the making of this list and mainly made it up through life experiences or when bored we would think of things. Please do not take any of this list to heart, it is more a humor/funny thing than anything.
Rules for Dibs
If you call more than 10 dibs in a single venue in one night you become obligated to talk to at least one of your dibs. If you leave and come back to the same venue on the same night they still count.
If one or more of your dibs calls is later found to be smoker and you don’t like smokers it can be an annulment of the dib by your choice. This is a selected choice of your own after you are aware of this.
No MASS dibs, 1 or 2 max at a time and you have to see them to call dibs on them. You cannot call dibs on a large group of gals and weed out your best choices.
Limited time dibs, properly called with a reasonable view or within 10 seconds of seeing them. Your decision is based on first impressions and is not to be impacted by personality or any other reasoning that delays you from the limited time allowed.
No dismissal or annulment of a dibs without the reason stated in Rule #2.
If the said dibs turns out to be a “gender changer” and you made a hastily dibs call; you will forever be banned from the game of dibs for giving it a bad name.
You can trade dibs if both parties agree on the trade, otherwise you have to stick to your dibs unless Rule #2 applies.
It is recommended to carry a brown paper-bag or have one on hand that fits over your head in case a mishap on Rule #5 in which it turns out to be a bad call. But generally this will only come into play if you are man enough to talk to your dibs call and she becomes interested in you… so good luck.
If someone calls dibs on you, it becomes one of your dibs, but only counts towards your 10 if you are approached by him/her because otherwise you may never know she called dibs on you.
If you exchange numbers or someone steals your phone number out of your phone, that person therefore is calling dibs on you and becomes one of your dibs no matter what due to being able to contact that person at all times.
** (happened to one of my friends, therefore it became a rule.)
Any rules in question can be judged and validated by the group playing; allowing or disallowing questionable incidents as seen necessary by means of a majority rule or unanimous decision.
Dibs can not be called for you in almost all cases. The only exception is when the group majority chooses a dibs call for you; as determined by a group ruling. This ruling can also be overturned the same ways as a dib of your calling, or yet another group ruling.
In the event of a ‘hairy buffalo emergency’ all game players are required to take appropriate action to protect the player in question. These actions include interference, bill payment and exit strategy. If a dibs (initial interaction) is in progress but has not been closed in this event, you are allowed to pursue but must keep on mind your ‘hairy buffalo’ responsibilities.
Just because you are interested in someone for purely sexual reasons; it doesn’t make it a dibs call.
*Hairy Buffalo* = Psycho Ex-Girlfriend, Stalkers, Stage 5 Clingers, etc. (Girlfriends and Wifes are not apart of this ruling or emergency references).
** This listed has been modified by Bradley to be more clean and appropriate while maintaining it’s original rules.
Last night I lay there awake thinking about our time together and some What if’s crawled into my ear and infected my brain:
What if life had taken another turn?
What if we never met, would I ever find you, my soulmate?
What if fate didn’t step in and guide us toward each other?
What if we never gave our love a chance?
What if you didn’t already capture a large piece of my heart?
What if we never had a chance to dance?
What if we never got to kiss?
What if we never got to watch our children grow into adults together?
What if we never had a chance to say I love you just one more time?
What if we never had a chance to see each other?
What if we never had a chance to laugh together?
What if we never had a chance to talk again?
What if you gave up waiting for me as I will never do for you?
What if you found someone else, and he treated you badly?
What if I were to die tomorrow, without saying good bye?
What if you lose your trust in me, for something that is false?
What if your afraid to move forward, life is about taking chances.
What if we never gave each other a second chance?
In searching in life for someone you can be yourself with and trust your secrets and feelings with you stumble across a lot of those you think are the one but who never turn out to be who they say they are. I would like to say I am who I say I am and will do everything I can to be everything for you and treat you as you should be treated. What if I was never given that chance, what a sad day that would be for fate, for the fortunes who led us to meeting.
What If….. I could never forget you and all we have shared.
Hello again everyone, I thought I would write some off topic somewhat work related blog entries. I typed several up on my flight out to San Diego and on my way back to Indianapolis and this is one of them. This one is about trade shows, which I have been to many and planned for many more.
I have been doing trade shows since 2001 but in 2002 was my first ever show I went too, which was the ITA World Expo that took place every year in Nashville, TN at the Opryland Hotel (still is, just not always by the ITA). Being my first trade show, it was the first time I traveled out of state alone. As I hurried down to the show (was told last minute to go) to display and show off a camera system that I had compiled and made up for tanning salons to use (properly… not for voyeurism reasons for you dirty minded individuals). Eight years later I can now drive to Nashville without even worrying about getting lost even if they mess up the roads and there are effed up detours. I have been all over Nashville, lost a few times and now don’t worry about it, which is a benefit of driving there every year.
For those who are curious, we only showed it that year and we kind of abandoned the idea of the camera system just because of things that happened in the company. Which had me switching to the operations manager position and have a lot more responsibilities and giving up on this entirely. But despite us giving up on it, the next year we went there and some other company took up the idea and is still selling the camera systems at the shows currently. I won’t say I started the concept and they stole it cause who knows but I do know we were the first to display it, which is always the case in some realms. I still know a lot about camera systems and have recently revamped our current office system (yes it took me 8 years to do so, no sense changing our current one till it was no longer usable).
This was my first trade show as stated, first time out of state alone and as well first time at the Opryland Hotel. I was merely 22 years of age and my eyes were opened to a whole new world of partying and related that is at these shows. Being my first show and being that I was very shy and backward kid from a small town in the country it was really outside my element and comfort zone. The one thing these trade shows did was bring me nearly all the way out of my shyness, even if it took a couple of trade shows for this to happen. I give credit to the great fellow workers, distributors, customers and tanning friends I have made over the years. Back in 2002 at the ITA Trade Show, it was probably one of the best shows I have been to for parties, my old co-worker John Peek and I ventured out to every single party that was available and some that were not but we got in anyways.
The lovely lady with me in the photo above is a great and dear friend of mine who’s beauty is only shadowed by her kindness and general awesomeness. When she is around you cannot help but smile and want to talk to her, there is no way you can resist Denaye, pretty sure she wouldn’t allow you to anyways. I have enjoyed having her and Rachel as friends from Fiji (which is no longer around). They have introduced me to many new people over the past couple of years and that along with those who I meet by just in general being around has been a wonderful treat to me.
So back to my first year at the trade show in Nashville, after getting settled in to the suite (meeting room) where I had a pull down bed where I had to clean up after myself and put all my stuff away in the closet for when we had a suite party and guests in for meetings (pretty much a drifter). I got myself acclimated with the hotel which is VERY large and you can get lost very easily your first time going (my mom still does). The experience of the show was great, in the first couple days of the show I learned a lot about daily maintenance that goes into the show before the show starts as for clean up, prepping brochure and information to give out and etc. It was also my first experience in doing a tear down or dis-assembly of a show to bring the equipment back to our office. After the first year of trade shows, I have become a major contributor into trade show planning and everything, even if I didn’t go to a couple of the shows cause I had to stay back and make sure the office functioned while everyone at the show.
Every since my first show, I laugh at those who say “Oh your lucky your going to a trade show that is like a vacation”, because yes it is getting out of the office but it means longer and harder hours than just sitting around doing your normal job at the office. The first couple of days away is usually setup in which you spent more than 8 hrs (for 2-3 days) setting up your equipment and making it all presentable to have the best presence you can for the show. Now sometimes the sales staff for the show (well most of the time) doesn’t show up till the show starts, but me starting as the Parts guy, then the Operations Manager and then now the General Manager I have always been there for the start of setup and left when tear down was complete. So after you do the setup and make everything look good, you still get there several hours before the show starts each day to put our brochures and clean up things where rudely guests have checked over your equipment or swiped information, food, drinks or whatever else was easily able to be taken from your booth.
These days of standing on concrete talking to customers and hoping to drum up future business and customers are usually long and end with a nice dinner with either customers, distributors or with fellow employees which is always a welcomed end to a long day. Tear down is the final stage of the trade show and by this point no one really wants to do it and rather just go home but it is a necessary step if you want your equipment back and usually only get one day to disassemble everything and ship it back to your office. You literally get 3x times the amount of time to setup than tearing it all down but you would be surprised how this actually works just fine. It may be a long day of dis-assembly but always ends up just being one day that is needed especially if you have convinced more staff or distributors to stick around to help before they had home themselves.
I have been to several shows in Nashville, TN, been to a show in Cologne, Germany, a couple in San Diego and San Fransisco, CA and a few other places like Las Vegas. In all these places, I enjoy the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN but there is a limited selection of places to eat or things to entertain customers with, without going to get a cab and going downtown. The show we just recently went to (March 2010) was in San Diego, California and took place at the San Diego Convention Center which is located near downtown San Diego. This place is absolutely breath taking, the people for the most part are a pleasure to deal with and talk too. The price of staying there and eating there is a little over priced coming from someone who is use to cheaper cost of living and etc here in Indiana but we all know that going into it and going to the show there or anywhere.
Germany was a great experience with a lot of great friends and colleagues, and the Ultrasun booth was massive and very well designed. The Europeans do a lot of different things than us Americans and most of them are great to be able to experience. Ultrasun International had myself and several of our distributors and large customers over to experience the Solaria Show which was a great treat. I got to spend a lot of time with my distributors and customers and fellow European colleagues. The experience and that time spent with them cannot be valued and I cannot be any happier than being given that opportunity to experience that whole trip. While I had to come back to the office to get back to my desk, a lot of the distributors made the trip to the factory after the show to see the Ultrasun Headquarters which is a great experience in itself that I have been welcomed to twice thus far.
The welcome party or general show party that was thrown by Ultrasun and Megasun did me in by the end of the show because I was not use to that kind of partying with all of those great new friends. The photo below of me in my suit is after a very rough night which in itself has it’s own story that since no one was there besides a hand full of friends I am not going to go into. Will just say that my shyness was GONE by the end of the night and apparently I can and like to dance?!
Over the years of these shows we have had many sizes of booths, every changing equipment and booth assembly. Last March (2009) I dislocated my arm lifting a tanning bed to put skirting under the bed and over our ugly wooden skids and so one of the things we changed for the next shows was to build metal skid platforms. I had one of my many brain farts or as Marc would say “your need to build something” and we set out to use old rack materials that we have had sitting outside in our yard for about 8+ years and we built very sturdy metal platforms. I came up with the idea of dressing up the metal platforms with an acrylic cover that will make them more appealing to the eye and will give us much customization and ease of use when it comes to shipping and moving the platforms around with the heavy equipment on them. I have a blog about this that I am working on that once I get done I will link to this somehow, but for now that is all I will say about it for the time being.
Also for 2010 we started doing something we had not been either able to do prior too or just never decided to go ahead and do; and that is allow customers to try out the machines. In Nashville at the Smart Tan Show (replaced the ITA show, same time and place generally) we had our latest equipment line purchased (Dr. Muller) and had the Sungate bed allowed to be tested and used by customers of the show. We also our the Ultrasun i8 Stand up available for tanners to try out as well so that they could get a lay down and stand up and feel the difference our beds make as for tan-ability. We continued this in San Diego for the IHRSA Fitness show by having our Ultrasun i8 setup.
This is a very nice thing to be able to do and Brock and my dad made a game out of it to see how many each of them could get customers to test out the equipment. I think dad won by a long shot because well he is older and as my uncle john would say “I am old, fragile and I cannot hurt any body so you can trust me”. Dad has been to more of the trade shows than I have because since I started with the company he has become a big part of Ultrasun and even can help customers by answering some questions at these shows. He is a very valuable asset for the company not just because he is my dad and he keeps me out of trouble. He has become very skilled and proficient at setting up and tearing down our booth and is the only one besides myself (even though he is better) that knows how to assembly and dis-assemble the new metal platforms. Dad and I have done a lot together for the company, built a lot of things, remodeled a lot of our building and in general been the general contractors and labor work for Ultrasun USA, Inc. since 2002.
Since about 2003 I have been the project planner, organizer and in general the go to guy for these shows as for setting up booth design, contacting the organization putting on the show, freeman (the union workers), and piecing it all together. I am slowly relying more on my best friend and operations manager Brock to do more and more as time goes along because I want to become more lazy and fit into a GM role which is to sit back and bark commands and really do no work. It is a goal I know I will never reach but it is a goal damn it. I really do enjoy being in the middle of it and having some control, not that I doubt anyone else can do it, but because after all the planning is done and the setup is done I can stand there looking at our booth and how it all went together perfectly or … as close as possible and think “yeah we did a good job” and know I was apart of it.
For the past couple of years we have somewhat loosely relied on my booth design layouts but have also said on numerous occasions “we have something to go off but may make changes once we do setup”. We say that only because once we get there and see where we are located and how the other booths are going to be assembled or who we are near we may make small alterations to our booth to have a better presentation. I think the toughest part of all of this is figuring out where we are going to have electrical power dropped because unless it is coming from the ceiling (only found at the Opryland Hotel) you have to have your electrical cables ran under the carpet and it is pretty much permanent on where you put it. So if your a half a foot off or more than you have to make adjustments to your booth setup or sometimes revamp everything entirely, and this could be whoever put down the electrical cords fault and not yours as the layout maker. I will gladly take fault if I miss calculated something but probably more than 70% of the time it is not my fault because they forgot to do something or didn’t properly read my markings on the drawings.
Trade Shows are usually always a large expense and for tanning bed manufacturers not always the best marketing/business decision but for the most part it is something you have to do and it is always good to catch up with colleagues and customers who in general don’t get to see you or your product all that often if they don’t already have them or live close by. I have met a lot of life long friends through going to trade shows and some I only get to see once a year at these shows but enjoy every time I get to catch up with them. Life experiences make us who we are and these trade shows for one has made me less of a shy person and more of an outgoing person at times. I still claim the shy person role but others call B.S. on that nearly every day.
Till the next blog entry, stay classy internet.
To everyone I hope you had a wonderful New Years and in general a very happy holidays, whether you were off vacationing or working I hope it was great!
2009 had a lot of ups and downs for me, I met a lot of new people I had some really great times but there were also some things that made 2009 a year that I was glad to put behind me and was really looking forward to midnight and the start of 2010. I rung in 2010 in Chicago with my best friend Brock and his wife Tracey, along with Brock’s sister Brier, Michelle, Chris, Brad and about another 100+ people. One of Tracey’s surgeons at 20/20 institute lives on the 86th floor of the John Hancock building and we were invited to come up and celebrate with them. It was something I have never done, I have always either hosted a party or been around home celebrating the new year so this was a great time to kick start a new year with something totally new and exciting.
2010 comes with new resolutions that I am sure like always I will procrastinate on and some things will just flat out not get done. There are some that however hard they will be I am going to accomplish. Because of my resolutions not being really a secret and I am more than happy to allow others to give me crap and kind of push me along to accomplish my goals I will list them below:
1a. Join the Gym and go at least 3 times a week, if cannot make it then work out at home on the elliptical. (I put if/else clauses in all my stuff just generally not posted).
1b. Lose 70+ pounds, I can still be a big ol’ lovable huggable bear just smaller… like a cub.
2. Learn to play the accoustic guitar (better), along with learn to play the piano (which includes learning to read music properly)
3. Brush up and become fluent in German and Dutch (going to install Rosetta Stone, so may add Italian, French and Spanish to that list eventually.. but one step at a time!)
4. Go get my arm looked at by a doctor. (something I said I would do at the end of last year but didn’t)
5. Learn to use Final Cut Pro
6a. Become a better photography, embrace change and push the elements of my gear to as far as I can.
6b. Learn about Flash, TTL and everything related to lighting. (I usually shoot everything without flash).
7. Be more proactive to doing things I don’t want to do just because I am stubborn.
8. Follow my own advice sometimes and get the EFF out of my own way. (has many meanings)
9. Create deadlines and stick to them.
10. Whether at work or in my home office, if I am working on something I need to FOCUS, turn off distractions and just work.
11. Get a membership at a golf course and walk the course at least 2 times a week.
12. Take two weeks off from work this year and do nothing work related. (photography is different since it is my hobby)
I have a lot more but this is a general list, that is why I say there may be some procrastination in this list. But it is a list, more like a to-do list and I know some will not get done just because my time seems to get consumed with other work and things I just cannot get.
I am going to leave you with a couple of photos I took of Chicago for new years.
This was a great place to take photos because the view was spectacular and if I ever get a chance to go back and visit Mark and his family I will for sure take a tripod to take better photos and probably have a polarizer lens on my camera so that it reduces or eliminates the reflections on the windows.
Work as of late has been keeping me busy working on finalizing projects for the year. I have about 11 blogs that are unfinished, some day I will finish some of them and have some content here 🙂
Probably fill you in on some of the work projects that have been somewhat mentioned in these blogs before and some of the other things we have done.
Also I am looking at purchasing my 2nd home, a larger home with a basement so that is taking some of my time to deal with.
** Edit, currently decided to stay in my house unless a great home comes along at a great price. All of the homes we have seen have been larger homes but over all downgrades or not something I want to fix up. Mind you I want to fix up a home but … looking for the right one that matches my ideas of what I want to do.
Well hello again everyone, this time I was a little bit faster at making a blog than previous times! Shazam!
As I said previously I have been getting into photography a lot more this year than previous. Well that being said I thought I would make a small write up of what photos I have taken and what ones I kind of like. Give you a little explanation of where and what I did to make the photo without boring you with a lot of technical aspects that I am not all that good at anyways.
One of the many photos taken when Marc and I did our walk about downtown one night when he was testing out a new Nikon D3x camera. There are several “like” shots taken that night from him and myself, all from our own perspective or different perspectives. This one is one of my favorites that I took, there is a couple more but this is probably my favorite.
As I got downtown for Marc and I to start our walk about and take photos, I was getting my stuff out of my car while he was still inside the Indianapolis Star building so I pulled out my camera to capture this shot. I have taken a couple of shots of thid dock area this year but this one is one of my favorites because of the amount of color and everything.
Something about this photo I really like, could be the fence and how it just breaks things up a little to give it some depth and distortion. It was one of those things where I was up there and it had this huge fence that I could not get over or around so I just decided to make it apart of the shot, cause if you were there looking through it this is what you would see anyways.
Brier is like a sister and to go along with her natural beauty, she is very photogentic, this shot was one in which I was trying to catch her off guard. I am waiting for her to turn her head and then took the photo. I don’t usually have B/W’s but this one I was playing with the RAW file and this is what came out of it. Almost kept her shirt red in this to give it a little color but decided to go full B/W instead.
So we had a couple photos taken of them together. I chose this one to post in my blog mainly because it was not a posed shot of them smiling or looking at me, which I really enjoy the most. Any photo that is not staged or posed to me shows a true smile or true feeling in any given moment. This was taken at our Clampitt Family gathering, in which we had to wear name tags for those family members who we have not seen for years. Won’t go into what I put on mine, but it wasn’t just my name, because that is not me.
There were several shots taken on this day of boating fun, funny thing is I never got in the water but took over a 1,000 photos. Yes that is correct over one thousand photos in less than 4 hours, and to be honest about 900 of them were in focus and turned out good. Now I only posted a handful of that day because there is only so many unique shots then they all start to look the same.
This photo was taken on the same day as the one above it, just was an action photo which I will have to say was a challenge to me. Much like Marc, I am one who likes photos to be sharp and in focus as much as possible and the challenge to me was trying to do this while not only were they moving in the water but I was on a freakin’ boat moving myself. I was standing up at the front of the boat taking a lot of these shots while hitting others waves causing me to nearly be air lifted from the boat several times. Next time I go out going to make sure my insurance covers my equipment so I can get more daring photos!
I love using the fisheye lens, and since we were in the Centex homes closets to the Verizon Wireless Music Center in Noblesville, IN grilling out because we couldn’t in the parking area for the concert I decided to bring it out to take a couple of oddball shots. This is one I chose to post from that ‘Redneck grillin’ experience but there is others if you click ont he photo. You can see Danielle playing with my iPhone out of photo on the left and Steve laughing as Brier points at me.
It is either Dustin or myself who ends up carrying Brier around at concerts, downtown Indianapolis, or well anywhere when it is needed. There are 3 photos all somewhat the same and different at the same time, this is just one I chose because I really like Brier’s smile in this one. She always has a smile on her face and seems to always like being in front of the camera, unlike me who makes funny faces just cause it is not natural for me to smile all that much (I am getting better). Click on the link to see the other surrounding photos.
Something about this building intrigues me and always has whenever I drive by the place. It has recently came up for sale and if I had the cash I would buy it just so I could say I own it. Marc and I were by his apartment up in Castleton and we took a couple photos of the water and surrounding buildings and this photo is just one of those that I decided to post in this blog.
Now that I have a better tripod and a 10-20mm lens, I think I want to go back and re-take this photo but a couple of them and hopefully will do this once more this summer maybe once in the fall and possibly once in winter to show the seasons. Yes I know I missed spring, but this was somewhat spring ish here in Indiana.
Marc and I just got done taking a couple of others photos at the USS Indianapolis monument and we were looking for another place to shoot, at around 3:30am during the Black Expo weekend, cause we had no where else to be. We met a lot of nice people walking down the canal at this time oddly enough who were all curious to what we were doing with this big camera on a tripod and us just sitting here playing around. Anyways we were walking and I seen this spot and said to Marc that this may be a good photo so this and many others that I took and he took were the outcome. This one is done by me and I really like it, not my favorite of my photos but up there.
Let me introduce you to my cousin’s daughter Skylar Grace, she is adorable and at the point in her little life that she wants to be noisey and venture into everything. While I did keep her out of the major things, her opening up cabinet doors or whatever like that instead of telling her no, I had fun taking photos. Which later got me smacked for not paying better attention to her by her mother, thanks Jenny cause as you can tell I was paying attention, I captured it in photos!
I was on a drive, alone with camera as my side seat driver and I was out to take some random photos. Well I parked in the office side parking lot and just pointed the camera at my mirror as I have done many times before and this was the result. I do believe if I had the aperture set a little higher I would not have had this effect.
Dad and I’s corvette is a 1974 Corvette with an original big block 454 engine, sadly it is an automatic but otherwise a bad ass ride. This photo to me kind of looks like a toy car and that is because of the f-stop (aperture) being set at 1.4, should have probably set it up a little higher but I like the photo. I took several shots of the corvette and the joyride dad and I went on as I played with the camera (yes I was not driving, Dad was).
One of the concerts this summer that I decided to bring my DSLR camera to and capture photos with. After the first concert and everyone going “What the hell is that and why are you using it” they all figured out it took really good photos. I am like the photographer of our group, well besides Marc and well Brier when she steals my camera TO DROP IT MANY TIMES! Brier I know you don’t mean too but you do it, haha.
So I was sitting here at home playing on the internet and I was bored and wanted to play with my camera. So I thought I would try something, this was my first try at long exposures to be honest. I took out my guitar and layed it on the ground, brought out my LED pocket light and then used my wireless remote hit the shutter button then from there painted the guitar and then hit the shutter button again to capture this shot. I have 4 or 5 variations of this shoot cause I tried it with my maglight flashlight and some other ways.
So after playing with the guitar above and a couple of other photos I waited till it got dark and decided to do some light painting. This is one of a couple I did, none of them really good but they were entertaining for me to do and learn from.
This is my cousin’s (Ginny you are truly missed) daughter, Jordynne. She was the flower girl at my cousin Kelly’s wedding and this photo and the one below are two taken of her. She somehow let me get up close to her and take this photo which is not something I am use to, usually I get a couple of swings and punches heading towards my head when I get this close.
Jordynne was bored, this was after the wedding had taken place and we were waiting for them to finish taking photos. I was not there to take photos, thank god I would have fubared it up being I just this camera but I was there to do the video and related and yes mom I know I still need to finish editing the videos. Geeze I know a year plus later, I am just now learning Final Cut Pro, give me time!
We were in the Mike Tyson suite of the Canterbury hotel downtown and I was on the staircase watching KJ put on her ear rings, no I was not stalking, I was there actually to take behind the scene photos (don’t judge me!). KJ was a real trip and a treat to be around for the day, very down to earth and a awesome performer and singer. I have talked about KJ Testin before in my previous blog.
This captured KJ very well as a photo because of her beauty and how she was all day, just kind of going with the flow and laid back.
As you can tell none of these photos are in order as for when they were taken, they were however in order as they are in my Flickr account, and yes I could go through and organize them better but for those of you with OCD you are just going to have to deal with it, I am!