Got hit by a van yesterday…

So about 400 of us gathered together at BarCamp Miami 2012 at Miami Dade College in downtown Miami on Sunday.

For those of you who don’t know what BarCamps are, they are nicknamed “un-conferences” where anyone can speak about anything they want. Mostly social media and techie types attend and many came from all over the state for this one.

The great thing about BarCamps is that nothing is planned. Especially getting hit by a van. Some people had presentations prepared. And some people didn’t. Guess which category I fell into.

I decided that I would speak about Instagram and made up a quick title: Instagram: The most social of the social networks. So right after lunch break, as I was walking back to give my presentation, I spotted a homeless man who wouldn’t tell me his name but as you’ll see let me take a few pictures. We spent about 5 minutes together. I gave him a few bucks and he blessed me for the money and promised he would use it for food but I didn’t have time to enforce it. I asked if I could snap a couple of pictures but he said under one condition: that he could tell me where to stand so I could take the best pictures. And I listened to him.

I was so taken by our brief time spent together that I just couldn’t wait to look at the pictures that I had just captured. So I’m walking back looking at them on my phone. And as I was crossing the street, SCREECH! And bam, a van loaded with shoppers headed for Bayfront Park clipped me. The mirror hit my arm and spun me around real quick before the back tire could run over my foot. Everyone on the van screamed. The driver stopped and screamed, ” Are you OK? Are you OK? I tried to stop! I tried to stop!” It really happened so fast.

I asked him if he would stand for a picture and he agreed even though it was difficult for him.  The only thing he wouldn’t let me photograph up close was his socks. Why? Because that’s where he told me he kept his private and valuable stuff.

I have spoken with Jeff Zelaya many times about public speaking and I was lucky that I got to spend much of the day with him at BarCamp. I’ve always said that one of the keys to public speaking was having a great opening. Well, I had one. I just got popped by a van for the love of Instagram.

Maybe I’ll think of something a little safer next time.

Have a great short week everyone.



Orchid rescue project. So far so good

I’ve been taking in stray orchids for about a year now. The one’s that people usually toss away after the flowers die (yeah you).

They aren’t the pretty kind like you’d buy in the store or boutique but to me that’s what makes them even more beautiful.

I’ve spent at least a year many of these and I love giving them as gifts although I admit I can get a bit attached. Like the one below. This one was so mangled when I got it, the best I could manage was to replant it sideways. And now the leaves are growing completely upside down. Now she’s a double spike, super healthy and is certain to put on a real nice show in about a month.

How about this crispy critter? The previous owner was certain it would die. But orchids are tough as nails and would rather be neglected than killed with kindness.

Here’s the full view of the same plant. Note the side branching. This one’s going to be a beauty.

The previous owner of the one below thought it was toast and it was just sitting in the planter looking like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

So I scooped it up and before doing a wholesale cutting, I noticed that it was starting to put out a second growth. So I gave it a little trim, replanted it and I’ll get about a two month display out of the gorgeous white one above.

But what kind of beauty? Maybe that’s the beauty in all this. Truth is I have no idea. They could be any color or any pattern. I don’t keep track of the phylum, genus and species, but all those pictured here are Phalenopsis. Very common here in South Florida. I gave the one above away today to a friend, my first giveaway from this batch. Sad to see her go but happy knowing about the upcoming show this one will throw off.

Here’s a happy camper. In one year, the roots are going every which way which is a real good sign. Truth is growing orchids is as easy as making ice.  Once you know some of the of the basics.

I’m running long so I’ll wrap this up.

I love aging the pots when I can. It gives them so much more character.

Here’s another double spike with some nice gashes on the leaves.

Here’s where I grow them mostly, right on the patio. And some I regrew in an Eastward facing window at Beber Silverstein. Not too complex it is? The wood and bricks set me back about 10 bucks. Looks like a lot of work, but it’s not. I spend about 10 minutes a week on them.

And here’s the set I made for this post.

All of these pics were taken and edited on my iPhone 4G. If you have orchid questions, fire away. I’ll do my best even though I’m not a pro.