Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sonos for Distributed Audio

I know just enough about residential audio/visual (a/v) systems to be dangerous. Just how dangerous, I guess the next few months will tell. Our project involves the renovation to our living room where we now have a CD player and a pile of CD's. Both this device (the CD player) and this media source (CDs) are about to be history.

Over the past years, I've migrated all of our audio sources so they are now on our in home server which most notably manages all our e-mail, serves up the prayworks ( webpage and is where all our business files live. So, I have our music on the server and it is about to be managed by Sonos. So, I can play music in our living room and access any of the music we own, play different music in our new library and different music while cleaning up in our bath room.

Nice...we'll see how it goes, but the order has been placed and the bundle is on the way, so I'll be setting up the system soon. Too, you can control the Sonos system with one's iPhone. It seems to be easy enough to set up. We'll see...stay tuned.

Of interest...I'm on Twitter and I made a post that I had bought the Sonos system. Within minutes, I was being followed by Sono's marketing and I following they supplied hints and helpful links. Wild.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Tenant on Floor Three-209 Capitol

I am pleased to announce a substantial portion of the third floor at 209 Capitol Street has been leased by the law firm Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP . The firm is headquartered in Los Angeles, California and employs about 600 lawyers.

Thanks are in order to Melanie at Real Estate Resources who surfaced this client as well as Kent George and his team (Chuck Saffer) at Robinson and McElwee who worked with me through the lease negotiations.

They will begin moving in this weekend.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Think we're in a recession?

A good friend of mine for the last 30 or so years works and lives around Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He works for a high end millwork fabricator and has traditionally had a large 4-6 months worth...and a job like ours...well it would never really even be considered.

I called him yesterday and had 2 return calls today. We talked and hell yes he'd like to price this job. Now..mind you, I've got what amounts to seven pieces to build, finish and ship....not a big deal...but he was all over it. Business sucks for them.'s a buyer's market, which is good for this project and others I'm working on. And, it's good to have a large network to tap into.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

And the new BLOG is......

OK…..I’m not quite THAT big of an egotist. Or maybe. I’ve decided to morph this BLOG over to a BLOG that mostly has to do with upcoming renovations to our house. We'll still have some stuff on 209, but for the next few months, it's about substantial renovations to our house.

And here is the slant on this new project.

I have always theorized that a residential construction project would really proceed with a much higher probability of success if (1) virtually all of the design decisions were made prior to proceeding with construction and (2) and this is the big point…that most of the “stuff” was already sitting in town in a warehouse prior to construction proceeding; carpet; woodwork; custom casework; hardware; light fixtures; windows; door hardware; tile etc.

So…that’s what we plan on doing….getting incredibly well organized BEFORE firing the starting pistol and then smoke this job.

And the outcomes from this might be:

A project constructed for less $$.
Fewer distractions throughout the construction process.
A faster installation.
Higher Quality.

That’s a lot of good outcomes and I’ll write more about this in the future.

Stay tuned.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Photo Worth Sharing

The boat is called Change Order and the Dingy is Original Contract. Not really relevant to this project but I thought it was worth sharing.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Reflections on Facebook

Last June. I received an invitation to join Facebook from a friend I knew through an organization I have done a lot of work for and with. I really knew nothing about Facebook but pulled the trigger and signed up on July 21. (No…I did not have that date committed to memory…you have a history of all of your updates…click on Profile…scroll to the end of the page and continue to click on show me more updates…the first one will be the date you joined. This is likely an exercise worth performing…not so much to remind you of the date you joined but for you to understand what the “record” reveals about you and for you to understand the picture that you are painting about yourself).

So….I gradually and in spurts added friends which were an interesting group of family, folks I would introduce to you as a friend, and then acquaintances who I really did not know but heck….they asked me to be their friend…how could I say no?

So…..I’m 50 plus years old and my peer group thinks I’m quite tech savvy. I suppose what that means is I know almost as much as the AVERAGE middle class 14 year old, although that might be too strong. They likely know more. So, when I asked my real, lifelong friends to join, they trusted my judgment and signed up. This post is for them.

Facebook is a social networking site. So, when you log onto Facebook, you are in a virtual room with all of your “friends”. Now…you can lurk around and watch and listen. Quite a few folks do this. And why is this their chosen response? (1) Facebook can take a lot of time, particularly if you don’t keep it in its place. So….no time for yet another distraction….makes some sense. (2) Just like the real analog world, people are individuals…some are introverted and some are extroverted. Some are good listeners and some just can’t wait to talk….and you see that reflected in Facebook. (3) Some folks are more conscious than others about “the record”. I have a lot of friends that are lawyers…they…understandably…have a heightened sense of how the “record” can be used. It seems to me like to get the most out of Facebook, you likely want to do some participation….i.e. make a status update entry with some regularity…….and that can be once a week. If you want to paint a more complete picture, perhaps more often is warranted….but I do think some participation only makes sense…..sort of along the line of give what you want to receive…..but be mindful of the “record”.

Most of my immediate family does not live in Charleston… I know my nephew is in Puerto Rico, my son is studying some sort of math I don’t have any clue about, and I see my granddaughter on her new bike.

Some of my friends make a habit of posting great articles about national/international events or WVU sports. I read most of them….you get a sense after a while about friends whose perspective you might find interesting or even occasionally compelling……even if you don’t agree with the perspective.

You are building your network in a reasonably cheap manner. This might be good for business or in some way satisfy your need to be connected.

Here’s an interesting link for beginners.

There’s way more about all of this I could reflect upon but I think BLOG entries need to be quick reads. I have thoughts about mobile devices and Facebook, Twitter, the topic of “unfriending”, (I think this might become a legitimate verb), the topic of not having your friend request acknowledged but for right now, I think I need to clean up the house…that’s today’s status update.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What the hell has happened with Pray’s BLOG?

Fundamentally, the renovation of 209 Capitol is complete. There are still a few issues going on…..the art work piece is still in design….we are about to aggressively begin leasing the third floor…the part 3 submission to the Department of Interior needs to be submitted…there’s probably a few more reflections I can dig around for….but the bottom line is the topic of this BLOG is winding down.

So….I’m all over starting the new one and would be interested if there is any energy around the following topics that have been rolling around……

1) I am preparing to execute a significant renovation at my house. I get tons of questions every year from folks anticipating or in the middle of (or maybe involved in a law suit over)residential work… I thought I’d tell it all in a BLOG about my residential renovation project? Daily or multiple daily entries.

2) Mid Life Transition. This is a little different concept. 10 years ago I began on a life adventure….a real shaking up the deck if you will….and decided to sell my company. There’s a lot going on with that topic in my life particularly as I begin to explore other uses for my time beyond the traditional type time applications of what constructive development psychologists would call “meaning making systems”. Change Baby! BLOG it???

3) Getting Super Fit. A few years ago, I won the 50 and over State Road Race Championship….several years and several accidents later, I’m 10 pounds heavier and in way worse shape. This is a way too self centered BLOG (but aren’t they all), but I thought I’d throw that out there.

I’m leaning towards # 1 but thinking # 2 would be more of an adventure.

Let me know......

Happy New Year!