Archive for June, 2012
Cherish the Long Weekends!!! Thank Gawd it’s a long weekend, only because the exhaustion of dealing with everything else lately has come to a breaking point.
Brooklyn is sporting her Brand New New Era Pink Blue Jays Toddler hat! And why is she so excited? Because we’re going to the Blue Jays game today!
Being the long weekend, we decided to start crib training Amerie. Yes, I know, she’s not even 6 months yet, but it has to get started some time!
She wasn’t doing too badly with the crib training after Friday night and Saturday night, but Sunday night was a whole other ball game. More on that later.
So… a lot of people ask me, “how the heck do you get such good seats for the Jays games?” Well, the answer is simple… know a lot of good people in good places, and good things will follow. If you want to know who’s parking space this is, just ask me.
So here we are! Row 2 right behind home plate! Pretty awesome seats, right?
Damn, I’m going to miss these times that I get to spoil Brooklyn so badly.
Amerie on the other hand had no idea what was going on, and was simply not having any fun at all in the sun and with all the noise. After the Jays hit a home run, she was tapped out from all the commotion!
So Brooklyn inherited her very own seat for the rest of the game!
Of course, everyone around her started up with the “She’s SOOOO CUTE!” Why yes, yes she is…
Hopefully she’ll remember these times when she grows up. I highly doubt it, but there is hope.
The Jays ended up winning 11-2 against the Anaheim Angels and it was a great time for everyone. Brooklyn even got a free ice cream cone!
And how do you top off a great dinner from a great baseball game? Why, The Stockyards of course!! We tried the Fried Chicken Dinner (tried and true) along with the BAT sandwich (Bacon, Arugula, Tomato!). What a great way to end a lovely evening!
Brooklyn was pretty much wiped out from all the sun and excitement!
Oh, and we had to finish off with Dutch Dreams Ice Cream!! Man, I’m going to miss our neighborhood.
Song of the Day: Mama I’m Coming Home – Ozzy Osbourne
As you can tell, a lot has been on my mind lately.
I’ve thought in depth about this decision. This is what I’ve come up with so far….
Pros of moving back to Vancouver:
– Family. First. Foremost. Always.
– Closer to San Fran. Orange County. Seattle. Monterey.
– Closer to Nordstroms, South Coast Plaza. Still the highest grossing $/SqrFt Nordstroms in the country.
– Closer to the Grove. Still one of the best outdoor malls ever.
– Closer to Pier 69, the Wharf, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and of course my beloved San Francisco Giants.
– The true Wine Country.
– I would get to golf more often. Way More Often.
– Closer to Disneyland.
– Ocean. Mountains. Trees. All in one breath.
– DIM SUM.
– Home Turf Advantage. I was only gone for 10 years, but it’s still and always was home.
– Strawberry picking, Apple picking, Peaches, Raspberries, Blueberries.
– Won’t ever be missing birthdays, Easters, Thanksgivings, Christmases, Celebrate and visits for the sake of visitings.
– Seattle Seahawks Season’s Tickets. Oh and Garlic Fries.
– 3 Hour Time Advantage on everything sports related. NFL Sunday games start at 10am! Monday Night Football starts at 5pm!
– BC Greenery
– Xmas vacation will now only be a drive instead of a 7-10 day booking, plus flights, plus time spent, plus rental car, plus chaos.
– Sushi. Right out of the water. Seafood. Right out of the water.
– Relaxing, calming the blood pressure, slower pace of life. Control.
– Canucks Playoff Hockey.
– 3am girls are 11pm girls.
Cons of Leaving Toronto:
– Shows. Musicals. Tours. Concerts. Sports.
– I’m gonna miss JJ12 winning his third Grey Cup and second in a row!
– Jay-Z shows. Whether in Toronto or NY, I’ve already been to 4 in 10 years (with 50 Cent, Heart of the City Tour, Blueprint 3 Tour, Watch the Throne Tour (twice)).
– Music in general, new music, up and coming music.
– YYZ – NYC in a hop, skip, and a jump.
– Farther from the FAO Schwartz flagship store (but we will be taking the girls there one day).
– Farther from the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Heights.
– Would miss Dutch Dreams.
– Would miss the creature comforts that have served us incredibly well over the last 10 years.
– Opportunities, Buzz, Busy-ness of Toronto. Commerce, Trade, Hullabulloo.
– Opportunities tied into Headquarters that are all here. Well, most of them.
– Caribana. Salsa On St Clair, Taste of Danforth, Winterlicious, The Harbourfront.
– 3am girls.
– The Multiculturalism, Food, Peoples, Immigrants, Different backgrounds, different stories.
– Great Friends, True Friends, People I would forever go to war for if ever needed. There are no borders on those.
And with this, I leave a Legacy. The Imprint I left on Retail, the Retail Community, the Inner Circle, the Outer Circle, the Old Boy’s Club, the Garmentos, they all know me.
Nothing has yet been signed or decided, but it is still what keeps me up at night.
Song of the Day: Mama I Made It – Jay-Z
By SCOTT SIMPSON, Vancouver Sun
Vancouver ecommerce company BuildDirect’s plan to disrupt the retail building products sector just got a lot more focused.
The company on Monday received a $16-million infusion of cash from OMERS Ventures, the venture-capital investment wing of the Ontario municipal employees’ pension fund, to accelerate its growth in a North American market that appears vulnerable to online competition.
The money will go toward hiring additional staff and to expand the BuildDirect product line to make it even more competitive with retail outlets.
It’s one of the biggest venture-capital financings this year to a Canadian ecommerce company. In March, OMERS announced a $20-million investment in Vancouver digital darling HootSuite.
According to recent research from sources in the United States, the flooring market in the U.S. alone is worth $17 billion a year, and the broader building market almost $500 billion.
BuildDirect is a sort of amalgam of Home Depot and Amazon.com, working exclusively online to cost-effectively deliver heavy and bulky finished construction products — notably flooring, tile and brick — through its own supply chain. Shippers bid in real time to give customers what BuildDirect describes as “the lowest possible” freight costs.
By playing the role of sole middleman between a manufacturer and an end customer, BuildDirect claims it can reduce the cost of goods by as much as 80 per cent — with manufacturers making up in volume what they may lose on markup.
President, CEO and co-founder Jeff Booth was working as a contractor in 1999 when he got fed up with the absence of a reliable conduit to get flooring products into the hands of builders and retail buyers.
“I was building a home and the flooring didn’t arrive on time,” Booth recalled in an interview. “I had to put the people up in a hotel. I was infuriated at that problem.”
When he tracked the supply chain, he discovered a lengthy series of middlemen who simply didn’t know how long it would take to get product to its end user.
“I thought, if I’m in this business every day and I can’t figure it out, the end buyer doesn’t have a chance.”
The company offers manufacturers two advantages: one is an efficient network of independent carriers to deliver products on time; the other is a set of metrics that BuildDirect has developed to determine which products will be in the most demand — taking the guesswork out of a manufacturing run of a given product.
OMERS Ventures managing director Derek Smyth said the firm has been evaluating the ecommerce market in North America for the better part of the last year.
“We were looking for a company that had developed some vertical expertise in a market that was still in its infancy in terms of percentage of transactions being done in ecommerce. BuildDirect tended to be at the top of the list,” Smyth said.
“Delivery is a big part of the value proposition, and the expertise they’ve developed to do that for big and bulky things — currently being flooring — they are going to be able to apply to other categories as well.”
I remember my first trip back to Vancouver after I had left ten years ago.
It was great. The family all came out. The fellas all tried to make it out also. We were chasing everyone down left and right, just to share stories and see what was what. I was only away for 8 months, but it felt like forever. Mom even made sure that we went out to eat at the Banana Leaf, and Dim Sum, and all my favorite spots before we left.
Soon, after the years passed and went, less and less people came out, and it became less of a chase and stress and more “meet me here”, because circles were overlapping, unfortunately geographies didn’t.
And now here we are ten years later. I was really only supposed to be gone for 24 months. Cot Dam so much has happened. So much has passed. So much has changed.
Then again, things ALWAYS change.
Song of the Day: Homecoming – Kanye West
I’ve always spoken about how good it is to have options.
It’s times like these that when the options start to bubble to the surface, you really have to have your wits about you. Watch what you say, who you say it to, and who overhears it. Don’t get too cocky, don’t get too careless, and certainly don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched.
Sure, there are a few things on the go. There usually always are a few things on the go. This time of year in particular though, retail is being shaken up like a snowglobe. Companies are assessing their talent pools, evaluating their rosters, reviewing their succession plans (if they even have any), and make changes accordingly.
I’ve been blessed with a good network, and a good span of being in the general know. One of the beautiful things about my career, and my inner circle, is that people that expect me to zig, end up watching me zag. And then they think I’m some sort of guru for timing my changes when I do.
Truth is, You have to ge good to be lucky and lucky to be good.
The next move might just be your checkmate.
And don’t forget to count the cards that have already been played to see if someone is still holding the Big Two.
Song of the day: Can We – SWV
I’ve been much more reflective than normal lately and it’s not even my birthday yet!!
In my time thus far, I’ve gotten to travel London, Paris, Philippines, Hong Kong, Japan (ok, it was just a layover), all parts of the UsA and for all sorts of reasons. I’m been able to speak to great people and be included in some great circles. Heck, I’ve even been given the chance to meet some famous people: Jay-z twice, Russell Simmons three times, Sean Combs twice, Mark Ecko, shoot I guess you could count 50 Cent Curtis Jackson (Hey YanMan, remember that time we were in his office like “Hey, what’s up?”, Presidents, CEOs, VPs, it’s all been memorable and been a blast.
I’ve gotten to see some GREAT shows, concerts, Broadway shows, Vegas shows, endless sporting events (A Superbowl XLI, Duke Basketball, Monday Night Football in Dallas, NCAA March Madness Sweet Sixteen and Elite 8 round in Seattle, and on and on and on…).
I’ve had the opportunity to DO things, and luckily, even started Brooklyn along the path of doing those things also.
So….. What’s next? What’s the Master Plan (if any)? Do I pass on the knowledge, the experience, the memories? Heck, I’ve gotten a few more grey hairs already just thinking about it. Do I just live the adventures of these next 2 little kids?
And what about me? Do I stay in retail? Do I take my MBA? Do I hit it big and win the lotto (like I have any power over that)??
Stay Tuned, I’ll take you along for the ride!
(I told you that 2012 is going to be a crazy year.)
Song of the Day: Hold On – En Vogue
The third video single from “Beats, Bars & Hooks”, “The Arrival”…
“The Arrival” – Gee Wunder (Prod. Anonymous Twist) [OFFICIALVIDEO] is the 3rd VIDEO SINGLE off Gee Wunder – “Beats, Bars & Hooks” LP OUT IN-STORES and ONLINE here: http://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/beats-bars-hooks/id499499289 Check out http://thecityto.com
http://geewunder.com for more info on Gee Wunder and his other projects. COP THE ALBUM!!!
Ok by now everyone knows that I love to get mail, especially packages!
And here’s one from my boy Gee Wunder (@GeeWunder)!!!
The very first run Gee Wunder tee shirts! Everyone even back in my retail store days knows that black and red were my colors. From my Air Jordan 11′s in Black and Red to my Jordan Trunner, and my Air Kukinis in Black and Red! And what’s best of all, there’s a surprise hit on the back!
If you follow some of his songs, or at least some of Gee’s slang, “U Zee Me” is one of his best hits! Go check him out at www.GeeWunder.com or you can pick up the tees at http://geewunder.com/store.html
While you’re there, you might as well download some of his tracks, and heck pick up a CD!! Or just buy it from iTunes!!
Thanks a bunch Gee!! Live Motivators roll out!
Song of the Day: U Zee Me – Gee Wunder