Some more photos:
Some more photos:
I've worked with virtual teams for over 10 years. I like the people I work with. Maybe someday I'll meet them in person. :-)
I've read and heard many benefits and advantages of working with a virtual team. However, I think there are some disadvantages that we should all be aware of.
The biggest challenge for any virtual team would be the complexity of communication. The virtual team would mainly rely on email exchanges or phone coversations. It is not as easy to convey the message or carry discussions via email, phone or online chat, without the visual cues of body language and facial expressions. Moreover, with the groups being dispersed across the world, there may be language difficulties and cultural differences which result in communication barriers. We are all used to building trust in a face-to-face interaction. It is possible to trust a person whom one has never met in person, but it definitely takes longer to develop that trust. The culture differences and the physical distances could slow down the team’s development and trust is a major factor in team success. Trying to have engaing communication can become even more difficult with any occactional technology issues, such as a slow internet connection, poor phone connection, or any software/hardware failure.
Maintaining an effective virtual team takes effort from everyone. It is not easy to maintain a long distance relationship with your loved ones and the same situation applies to the virtual team. The most common problem for the virtual team is that everyone thinks he/she works the hardest because one doesn’t get to see the challenges the other members encounter. One often just sees the result and doesn’t see the journey the other member took to complete the tasks. That leads to mistrust, misunderstanding, and even doubt in the competence of remote team members. It takes great effort from evey team member to keep everyone in the loop and continue to nurture the team’s dynamic relationship.
While the company could gain from the “almost 24/7” productivity, the team members will have to work shifts with some overlap of the different time zones to allow real-time communication. It can be a challenge trying to find a time for everyone to communicate – someone has to work the night shift. Without immediate access to your team members, it can be difficult to gain consensus. Then, we cannot have quick responses and we cannot carry out changes as easily.
These disavantages create obstacles for the virtual project team. However, we have just identified the challenges. With the proper tools and strategies, we can build a winning team!
Here's the Highlights of 2011:
Hmmm... I just realized that I won't need to do this (recall the highlights) again in 2012 since Facebook will have Timeline feature and you'd be able to see everything if you are connected with me there.
I want to try new things. I will work harder and challenge myself even more. I will, of course, pamper myself with occassional indulgence as encouragement.
It's been a long time since my last blog post. I decided to do a very short one about how to get things done.
#1 - Be Picky! Choose the right ideas to work on and be okay about the things you are not working on! That's so Zen! ;-) Well, the truth is that it helps you stay focused on the high-return projects. Always jump on the high return on investment type of projects first!
Found this cute "Tea Duckie" to play with.
I got this camera insert & bag organizer from Adorama.com It turns many of my bags into stylish camera bags! I ♥ it!
Note: it only comes with one insert/divider. I added an additional insert in the photos.
The Roma fits inside Balenciaga City bag.
The Roma fits inside Tokidoki for LESPORTSAC - Gioco Duffle Bag Pirata.
The Roma's Dimensions: 10.5"L X 7"H X 4"D. It has snap closure flap and five exterior organizer pockets. There's one insert to divide the extra lense from the the main camera gear. You can put a DSLR body with lense and an extra lens in there.
I've been wanting to try the Micro Four Thirds system for travel photography. After much research, I decided to get Panasonic Lumix GF2 with 20mm (for portraits and food shots) and 14-42mm (for the general all-purpose walk-around photos).
To spice things up a little, I got the camera body in the special edition PINK! I'd guess not as many guys would want to borrow my camera in this case. ;-)
When I got the ring, I wanted to scream "I do!" to Danielle, the saleslady, as she handed it to me because I was so happy! I totally didn't pay attention to whatever Danielle and Chris were saying after I got the ring on my finger. "Precious, precious, precious!" I cried. "My Precious! O my Precious!" LOL!
After 13 years of marriage, we finally found the ring that's totally ME! Well, we didn't just find it; we created this unique ring from scratch!
It took a long time because we wanted a natural colour diamond and not many stores have natural brown diamond rings and even if they do, the colour and quality of the brown diamond is not what we desired. So, we had to get the diamonds specially imported for review.
We looked at a few brown diamond stones but this one was our "love at first sight." It's just perfect - the colour is even and it's natural fancy dark orangey brown - not too yellow, not too green, not too dark, not too pale. It has a subtle rich chocolate glow with the light reflection. The quality of the diamond is amazing and it's in the most romantic cushion cut! The size is not too small and not too big - it was "just right" for my finger. It was magical!
After we decided on this chocolate diamond, we had it sent to GIA for inspection and certification. Meanwhile, we were looking for the ideal ring setting for the perfect chocolate diamond. It was a challenge! There are thousands of designs out there! Danielle at the Alberta Diamond Exchange helped us narrow down the ideas. We decided to get a custom setting that has many clear diamonds that form a halo on the top and an elegant arch design from the sides. This glamourous setting makes the chocolate brown diamond stand out even more!
Look at it! My totally unique and the most precious - chocolate diamond ring. It's a chocoholic's dream come true! I totally believe in "Happily Ever After" :-D
A tip for the natural colour diamond buyers:
If you are interested in getting a natural coloured diamonds, you should always see the stone in person before you buy it. The text describes the general idea of the stone but the exact shade of the colour cannot be accurately seen on a computer monitor or imagined based on the text description. If the store asks for a refundable deposit to import the coloured diamond for your review, that's fine. But, you should confirm if the deposit is refundable or not first!
Notes from the GIA Library:
“Chocolate” is another name for brown. “Chocolate” is a marketing term and we do not use marketing terms on our reports. We do issue reports for brown diamonds.
Brown diamonds can fall either into the D-to-Z category or may be considered a fancy color. Until we examine your diamond, we cannot tell you which category your diamond falls into.
For colored diamonds, there are nine color grade terms: Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Dark, Fancy Deep, Fancy Intense and Fancy Vivid. We do apply these terms to brown diamonds.
If the diamond is brown, starting with the letter K, we will add a colored diamond term.
D, E, F, G, H, I, J: the diamond is assigned a letter grade only. Within these higher color grades, we will not state whether the diamond is picking up more yellow or more brown.
K, L, M: letter grade is assigned plus the term “Faint Brown”
N, O-P, Q-R: the letter grade plus the term “Very Light Brown”
S-T, U-V, W-X, Y-Z: letter grade plus the term “Light Brown”
If the color is more saturated than “Z”, it will no longer be assigned a letter grade but will now get one of the other color grade terms as noted above.
If the brown diamond falls into the D-to-Z category, there are two different grading reports that can be issued: the GIA Diamond Grading Report (also referred to as a full report) and the GIA Diamond Dossier. If you choose a Diamond Dossier report, laser inscription of the lab report number onto the girdle is included in the fee. The Dossier does not include plot diagrams of where the inclusions or blemishes are located on your diamond. The full report includes the plot diagrams but laser inscription is an additional fee. To see what these reports look like, please go to the following link:http://retailer.gia.edu/rm/laboratory-services/anatomy-of-a-diamond-grading-report.htm
Dossiers can be requested for diamonds .15 to 1.99 ct. Full reports can be requested for any size diamond.
If a diamond falls into the colored diamond range (beyond Z), the lab issues two different colored diamond reports: 1) the GIA Colored Diamond Grading Report and 2) the GIA Colored Diamond Identification and Origin Report (CDIOR).
1) If a colored diamond is submitted for a grading report, it must be unmounted. The following information is included on the GIA Colored Diamond Grading Report: laser inscription registry if applicable; shape and cutting style; measurements; carat weight; color origin (natural vs. treated), color grade (example: fancy yellow), color distribution (example: even); clarity grade; polish; symmetry; fluorescence. This report also includes a plot diagram and the GIA Colored Diamond Scale.
2) For the GIA Colored Diamond Identification and Origin Report, the diamond can be mounted or unmounted. If the diamond is unmounted, the report gives a bit more information. The following information is included for an unmounted fancy colored diamond: shape and cutting style; measurements; carat weight; color origin (natural vs. treated), color grade (example: fancy yellow), color distribution (example: even).
For the GIA Colored Diamond Identification and Origin Report, if the diamond is mounted the lab/lab report cannot provide as much detail. The following information is included for a mounted fancy colored diamond: a description of the stone (for example: one (1) transparent blue cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant measuring approximately 6.71 x 4.32 x 2.70 mm set in a white metal ring) and a conclusion (example: diamond, fancy light to fancy blue, natural color).
With every new project, it can be tempting to envision everything going right. However, an optimal outcome is usually only possible as the result of some really hard work. Not everyone has mastered this pathway to success. In fact, there are plenty of project managers who seem to be on the fast track to failure. Here are some common attitudes and actions that lead to disaster:
Scope-less is Hopeless
An issue has come up in your project but you simply don’t have time to investigate it in detail and create a plan for resolution. Can’t you just throw some money at it and make the problem go away?
That doesn’t work too well when the government does it – and you won’t have any better luck. Putting in the time to delve into the true scope of a project or problem means you can save both money and time over the long term.
Your company is operating on some really tight margins. It’s essential to focus on time and cost. Quality can take a back seat. Your team needs to get this done yesterday. You’ve also got to watch your employees like a hawk to make sure they aren’t spending money (or wasting valuable time double-checking anything).
Quality control should be built in to every project from the start. If your company’s financial future is on the line, this is more important, not less important. Can you really afford a spectacular failure right now?
Know It All
You’re the project manager because by golly you are the only one with the brains to get the job done! You always know the right thing to do. Fortunately, this means you don’t need to analyze problems or listen to “experts”. And don’t even get started on trying to find out what the customer thinks – what do they know?
Ignoring advice and suggestions from others is a waste of an invaluable resource. Even worse, your peers will eventually be so alienated that they will stand back and cheer when you fall flat on your face. Clients will take their projects elsewhere when you demonstrate that you don’t care about their feedback. Actively seek out the opinions of others to ensure you aren’t overlooking ways to make your project easier and more successful.
Crack the Whip
You don’t expect to be patted on the head for doing your job. Why should you be expected to show gratitude to your team for their efforts? They’re getting paid to do the work and just need to be pushed harder to meet their targets. Plus, they keep taking up your time with all their inane questions. They are professionals who should know what to do without being told – and they need to get it done NOW or there will be consequences.
Being a workplace tyrant, failing to communicate thoroughly/often, and treating your team members with contempt will always backfire. When employees become disengaged from their work, you can expect to see more mistakes, delays, and inefficiencies. Learn to give honest feedback that focuses on what people are doing right to encourage continued improvements in performance.
Constant Crisis Mode
You never seem to get anything done because there’s always some disaster you have to deal with instead of focusing on your project goals. It’s not your fault that all your projects fail. If you weren’t constantly on guard to put out fires, the whole company would collapse. You simply don’t have time to spend on seeing a project through to the finish.
If this situation describes you, your first project should be figuring out why you are functioning in a constant state of crisis. This is NOT normal and indicates underlying issues with the way your company operates. Or, you may simply be blowing little things out of proportion when you should be delegating. Get your house in order so you can turn your attention to meeting your project objectives without interruption.
I'm free! I got out of the rehab! The replacement card has just arrived!
I wonder how many online shopaholics are out there. Hmm... I should start a Secret Society of Shopaholics! Would you join me? Let's talk! ;-)
I had a major breakthrough last night. I finally admitted that I'm an online shopaholic! At the same time, I got forced checking into "online shopaholic rehab"!
I know there are people out there (probably all my family and friends) knew that I'm a shopaholic before I knew. They always said that I keep the world economy going. I spend money online almost every day... sometimes multiple times per day. Even on a sick day in bed (really in bed, drowsy, reading e-magazines on my iPad, I still managed to click on links from the magazines and made $200 purchase, in between my snoozes...) I love great deals and I love finding them. Well, I'm in the field of online marketing so that certainly helps reinforcing my habit.
How did I get forced into rehab?
My visa card and master card are both compromised within a 15-day period! Visa was the first because that's the main card I use for everything everyday. While my new Visa card is in the mail, I started using my MasterCard and somehow it also got compromised yesterday! I searched hard for any sign of virus or some sort on my work and home computer but nothing turned up.
It's a very strange feeling without any credit card in my wallet. I can still shop with cash but it's just... different. It's inconvenient! The upside of this incident is that I'll save some money during the "rehab"
Calgary Stampede 2010 is over. It was fun and educational! :-)
Six Things I Learned At Calgary Stampede 2010:
1. It takes 12 hours after hatching for baby chicks' feathers to dry - did you know that? These were born earlier the day I visited!
2. How to pet an unborn baby calf...
Note: No cows were harmed in the making of this photo. It's a fake cow. I will never know if it feels real or not because I'll never do that to a real cow!
3. Milking is hard work!
I ordered some bouboulettes (shortbread-like cookies) from Un Petit Morceau’s web site. They shipped it from Corrales, New Mexico (not from Deep Space 9 even though Nana Visitor, Major Kira from Deep Space 9, is responsible for the creation of these yummy bouboulettes) to Canada via USPS. I waited patiently for 7 business days. It was worth the wait!
The bouboulettes were well packaged with bubble wraps and cooling ice packs inside the cardboard box. So, the cookies arrived safely. Take a look at these delicious short-bread-like cookies:
Collection of bouboulettes:
We had these bouboulettes before dinner tonight. It was such a sophisticated cookie experience. :-)
Have you ever noticed that the more stuff we have, the more time we seem to spend managing it? This is particularly true with high tech gadgets.
Got a home computer? Great, now it’s time to get a laptop, then a Blackberry, then an iPhone, and so it goes. If you have a business, you do the same thing (only with more expensive equipment like servers and computer networks). This is simply what it takes to stay connected and have access to all our information instantly at home, at work, and on the go.
Now that you have all these devices, how do you share information between them? Manually reentering your contacts from your computer into your phone is time consuming and frustrating. Backing up files and transferring them from your laptop to your desktop and vice versa can be done with a flash drive, but doing this every day is a bore. Setting up and maintaining a computer network is challenging and expensive. It can also pose a security risk for your data if you aren’t tech savvy.
Pulling It All Together
What if you could have access to everything you need without all these extra steps? That’s possible with a cloud computing infrastructure. At its most basic level, cloud computing works kind of like a water utility company. Instead of everyone having a well in their backyard, we’re all hooked up to a central reservoir. We can go anywhere there is a faucet and turn it on to get fresh, clean water. With cloud computing solutions, you have access to all of your applications and data from any internet capable device.
Here’s just a sampling of the kind of activities you can enjoy when you enter the cloud:
Plenty of business tools are available in the cloud as well. These include applications such as Google Docs, Google Talk, Salesforce, Web TimeSheet, and Engage B2B.
Keeping It Simple - and Cheap
Cloud computing is about more than just convenience. It’s also cost effective. You don’t have to pay a tech to set it up (or learn how yourself). There is no investment in network hardware or expensive bandwidth. Upgrades are handled automatically behind the scenes. Security isn’t your problem either (just pick a vendor who already has a good handle on this and you’ll be fine). You only pay for what you use; so you can scale up or back whenever you need to. Best of all, getting started is almost as easy as...turning on that water faucet.
So, now that you know how much cushier life can be in the cloud, why not come up here and join me? :-)
Feb. 14 - lots of sugar that day... donut breakfast outside Mr. Donut with my parents and their pups, chocolate cake looks like a Maltese dog, went to see another Chinese movie (14 blades - think Chinese ninjas) with my parents
Feb. 15 - hotpot dinner with more junior high friends - mini reunion
Feb. 16 - more food photos since we had dinner with some other friends who just got back to Taipei and missed the hotpot dinner from the previous night
Feb. 17 - sushi dinner before leaving Taipei - saw rescued dogs at TPE - they were moving to Vancouver!
Harry & Stella went to a small dog meetup today. They mingled with their furry friends and they are so tired now. :-)
This video clip was recorded using iVideo Camera on my iPhone 3G. iVideo Camera allows you to record a short video on any iPhone (3G or even 2G with iPhone OS 3.1) just like you could do on iPhone 3GS.
A friend has been shopping for a diamond ring lately. She reminded me the 4 C's which are four variables that are used to calculate the value of a diamond - Clarity, Color, Cut, and Carat. Then, I thought... project management also has 4 C's which are Complexity, Communication, Collaboration and Coordination!
To tackle a project's complexity, we need the other 3 C's:
Once you've gotten rid of complexity, you can be sure it will try to find its way back in. Open and regular communication will allow you to identify it before it takes hold.
Silos are the enemy of simplicity. Work across the organization to identify where the complexity is and together improve the way business is done.
Smooth coordination is critical to finding simple solutions to the problems you're trying to solve.
As a manager, you know that a team project takes a lot more work than meets the eye. Keeping everything running smoothly requires ongoing effort from everyone involved.
Focus on these “behind the scenes” areas to improve your project execution:
1. Support a Team Spirit
At the outset of your project, match team members up in pairs so everyone has someone to turn to when they face an obstacle. Ideally, when any issue comes up, they will work as a team to come up with proposed solutions instead of just bringing all their problems to you to solve. This will give them a greater sense of accomplishment and build team cohesion.
2. Work Step By Step
Create checklists that include small action items that may otherwise be overlooked. The checklists can be used as a template and updated for the next similar project. They help the team accurately perform routine project tasks - pilots and surgeons use checklists to reduce mistakes!
3. Crosscheck All the Way
Assign team members to review each other’s output (using established metrics whenever possible) to ensure that each task is executed properly. That way, you can perform spot checks but won’t have to spend all your time doing quality control.
4. Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Start each group meeting with a recap of your overall project goals. Then, you can more readily see if a suggested course of action will bring you closer to these objectives or take you off on a tangent.
5. Have a Backup Plan
Identify the most likely project disruptions in advance and plan for how to deal with these. Also, remain flexible enough to handle the unforeseen. Add contingency resources (e.g. time and expenses for re-work) to your estimate of how long and how much a project will take to complete.
6. Don’t Become Overwhelmed
Task saturation occurs when your team members don’t have the time or the resources to get their jobs done. Combat this by frequent communication. That way, you can identify people who are overwhelmed before they simply start shutting down. Use project management or time tracking tools to evaluate performance and identify areas where you need to get more involved.
This post was inspired by an AfterBurner Flawless Execution workshop I attended. Fighter pilots who had served in the Royal Canadian Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps taught me how to use their techniques in my business!
The term ‘social networking’ brings to mind sites like FaceBook where people engage in casual chatter about their everyday lives. However, there are also a number of hugely popular Web 2.0 platforms you can use to bridge the gap between professional and personal interaction.
Focus on What’s Important
Before you set up your first network, you need to understand what these tools can and can’t do for you. Companies that approach social networking with a traditional advertising mindset are often disappointed with the results. If your goal is to develop a motivated employee base that will create a buzz about your company, you are much more likely to achieve your objectives. Social networking is a powerful way to:
· Increase employee engagement and morale
· Improve real two-way communication with your workforce
· Express your core vision with every interaction
· Differentiate yourself from other employers/companies (branding!)
· Explore new ways to improve your business model
· Attract top talent to fill open positions
Clarify Your Expectations
Implementing a social networking program without a clear policy for how it should be used is a disastrous mistake. However, filling 5 or 6 pages with fine print about every type of unacceptable behavior (and the resulting disciplinary action) will ensure that no employees have any interest in participating.
Create a one page guideline that encourages positive interaction and accountability without squelching creativity. Let your workers know that you trust them to be professional and take responsibility for the way they represent themselves and your company. Set the example you expect others to follow. Have a protocol in place for addressing any negative behavior on the part of the occasional “problem employee”.
Pick the Right Platform
Here are 4 popular Web 2.0 tools along with ideas for how to use them and ways to encourage employee participation:
A company blog can replace many traditional communication mediums. Use your company blog to:
· Address current issues
· Answer questions
· Cover policy updates
· Talk about new ideas/innovations
· Share business tips
· Recognize areas that need improvement
· Brainstorm creative solutions
Giving employees an immediate voice in these discussions increases engagement. One person can be responsible for moderating comments on the blog, but every department should contribute content.
Add tags to categorize the entries so employees can easily find data on any topic. Eventually, your blog should become a comprehensive repository of information. Then, you can direct workers to the appropriate entry whenever they have a question.
Your corporate blog should also have an external component where you post information for customers. Invite one employee per week to write a guest post or answer customer questions. This is an opportunity for them to showcase their knowledge about a specific topic that is relevant to your company.
LinkedIn is a professional network for connecting with potential job candidates. Demonstrating a cohesive presence via a corporate LinkedIn group sets you apart from other employers. When you create your own group, use the summary and description sections to express your brand - not just to give a bland description of what your company sells.
Encourage your existing employees to participate by holding a free 20-30 minute workshop. The focus of this workshop should be to assist them in updating their online profiles. Help them highlight their skills, experience, and expertise. This improves their career potential and your company image at the same time. When employees join your group, your logo is displayed in their profiles. This increases your brand visibility in every interaction they have with other professionals.
If you have the budget to create short, simple videos, a YouTube channel is the way to go. This is the perfect medium for distributing messages that improve morale and engagement. Provide creative, entertaining clips about workplace safety, health & wellness, training tutorials, company events, and new products/services.
Everyone loves to be a star, so ask workers to participate in script writing and acting. Use YouTube to distribute a personal message from the CEO once a month. This helps each employee feel personally connected with top management - especially if the CEO drops by to add a comment now and then.
The key to successful tweeting is variety, relevance and giving as much as you get. Understand your employee and client demographics and what catches their interest. Tweet about topics that mesh with your larger corporate vision. This can include eco-friendly tips, work/life balance resources, money saving advice, and more.
Position yourself consistently as a source of free, helpful information. This will get your employees in the habit of passing on pertinent tweets to others. Then, it will be a natural progression for them to re-tweet info about your latest product release or job openings as simply another benefit you offer to their extended network.
What's your experience in social media marketing? Let me know what worked or didn't work for you in the comments!
Friday night, Chris was not in the house when I came home from a facial appointment. Our dogs were loose in the living room and the front door was not locked. It was very strange. It turned out that he got summoned to be tech support for the old Chinese ladies next door - setting up their laptop on the Internet. Our neighbour was on the phone with tech support, but she didn't know enough about computers to understand what he was telling her to do... so she told the tech support guy that she'd get her neighbour to help... and came over. She had a sense of urgency, so he went straight over. Once Chris was on the phone with tech support, the guy said he was looking at Google Street View to see how far away this neighbour was while he waited. :-)
Our neighbour came over again this afternoon asking for help with her computer/Internet. She said "You have time now? Come." It was kind of funny - because I was still in my pj's. She didn't remember how to log in to her new laptop - she typed in the user name and password but didn't know what to do next. I pretty much just pressed the "Enter" key for her and I was a hero! Then, she thought since I was there, I could show her how to log into her Gmail account and how to reply to e-mail messages. Her home page was Google and she'd enter Gmail.com in the search box, but she didn't know how to click the link. I changed her home page to Gmail. After 30 minutes or so, I think she got it. She was taking notes, so I hope her notes will help later. She's also taking a class.
Technology and the Internet bring people closer for sure - we had hardly ever talked to them in the past 10 years or so. We usually just wave hi/bye when we see each other as we leave/enter the garage. Now, we are sure that we are their favourite neighbours on this block! ;-)
We had a big Thanksgiving dinner last night! Chris spent Saturday night and Sunday cooking - he cooked a juicy 16 lb. turkey, garlic mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, fresh cranberry sauce, and crème brûlée with vanilla beans! 6 of us couldn't finish the food. Where was I when Chris was cooking? I was watching Vampire Diaries on the PVR. I still prefer Twilight. :-)
After sparkling wine and Bailey's Irish Cream (mint chocolate flavour Bailey's on the rocks with chocolate shavings on top), somehow, we ended up looking up addresses on Google Street View (hooked my laptop to the big screen TV). Hahaha... strange, eh? ;-) It guess it was because Calgary just went on Street View in the middle of last week. When we looked at our guests' house, it looked like there was somebody in their front window! We were trying to figure out who it was. Too bad we don't have CSI-type photo enhancement capabilities. The party ended past 1 a.m. today.
We had some fun this afternoon. The Traveling Woofburys - Stella (American/vocal) & Harry (British/guitarist/vocal) - totally rocked the house!
Adobe’s Photoshop app for the iPhone (Photoshop.com Mobile) launched today and I downloaded it right away!
It's very easy to use.
Collection of editing tools and effects:
This is definately one of my new favorites. Have you had a chance to play with PS Mobile yet? What are your thoughts? Are there other worthwhile or better alternatives out there for iPhone image editing?
We were out in the backyard, enjoying the last bit of nice weather on Sunday. Harry & Stella had a lot of fun chasing each other.
One side features Harry's happy face and the other side shows my pretty puppies sitting nicely side by side. I love this bag!
We finally met Shelley & Bob in person today after about 10+ years of friendship over internet! They visited Harry at the show and then came to our house to meet Stella. We had a good time! :-) I totally forgot to take photos!!!
Ellen took us to South Coast Plaza - Orange County's largest shopping mall. It's a good mall to visit. :-)
We saw lots of rich kids and good looking people on the road with their fancy cars.
Ellen and Justyn took us to visit puppies this morning. This is the first time we met Stella and her siblings.
In the afternoon, we had a mini high school reunion at Ellen's with Melody, Rebecca, Amy and her three kids. Everyone looks the same - even prettier! We think Amy is slimmer than before she has kids! Rebecca's hubby CAN COOK! Yummy food! Amy's kids had so much fun that they decided to sleep over at Ellen's tonight.
Today is way too hot to be outside! It feels like 45c or so outside. The wind is like coming from a giant blow dryer! I don't know how people sun tan by the pool in this kind of temperature! I felt like I was melting when we crossed the street from Paris to Bellagio. So, we had risotto & mojito at at Trevi and spent most of the day in the Bellagio's conservatory & botanical garden and visiting the forum shops at Caesars.
We went to see The Beatles LOVE after dinner. Cirque du Soleil's performed with the music recorded by The Beatles. It's a good show but O is still my favourite Cirque du Soleil show!
We arrived in Vegas late in the evening (July 15, 2009). After we checked in, we had dinner at Le Provençal in Paris Las Vegas. I love Bouillabaisse and the creamy Lobster Bisque at Le Provençal.
Some pictures of the view from our room and the dinner:
Rally-O people are so nice and supportive. With all the encouragement, Harry and I gave Rally-O another try this weekend. This is our second time in the ring. We were on at 8:30am on both Saturday and Sunday at the Evelyn Kenny Kennel and Obedience Club's show in Springbank Park for All Seasons.
To qualify in Rally-O, a dog and handler team must receive a minimum score of 70 points out of a possible perfect score of 100. We got qualifying score for both days! One more time with a different judge then Harry will get his RN title. He's the smallest dog in the ring by quite a bit! :-)
I need to get better at this... I got more points deducted than Harry did on both days. It's like a driving test, I need to know all the signs by heart. It's so much fun! I think more dogs, especially small dogs should give it a try!
Saturday: Rally-O Novice First Leg
Sunday: Rally-O Novice Second Leg
Tiffany, Roy, Chris and I went down to the stampede ground this afternoon. We saw rodeo, Super Dogs and we had chicken fingers, corn dogs, pizza on a stick, deep fried jelly beans and kettle corn - of course! :-)
Some snapshots from Roy's camera:
Jag and I had a relaxing day today. :-)