Thursday, November 20, 2008

Old journalists don't fade away, they become bloggers

If you've been following Doonesbury, you know veteran journalist Rick Redfern was laid off from the Washington Post and has taken up blogging.

If you've been following me, you know I "retired" from the Boulder County Business Report a year ago to launch my brilliant new career as a PR professional and entrepreneur.

And if you've been reading this blog, you know what a struggle that entreprenurial part has been. We've been on the phone and occasionally on the road trying to get 3D Radio in front of the right people to put the greatest radio innovation since the transistor (hyperbole alert -- but what to do you expect from a reborn flack?) onto store shelves.

All that to say when the request went out for folks to blog about the Angel Capital Summit, I could not resist. Like the fictional Redfern, once a newshound always a newshound.

So here's the quick and dirty about the event:
Who: Rockies Venture Club and EKS&H, hosts
What: Angel Capital Summit
When: Friday, Nov. 21, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Where: Marriott City Center, 1701 California St., Denver, Colo.
Why: Forty entrepreneurs will present their businesses to hundreds of investors. Not just any entrepreneur is allowed to strut their stuff; they are screened, hand-picked and coached prior to making their pitch.
How much: $159; members of ACS Investor and association partners $129; VIP registration $189; Town Hall only $25.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Across the universe

Sometimes the universe knows more about you than you do.

I don't mean that you have no privacy. That goes without saying when Google tracks everything you do online.

I mean often the universe gives you hints about yourself that you don't yet know on a conscious level.

Let me explain.

During the time I've been out here promoting 3D Radio I've also been indulging in a creative pastime. I make pots.

A longtime collector of unique handmade pottery, I took up the craft a couple of years ago as an antidote to my desk job. I've studied with Boulder potter Willi Eggerman and taken classes at the Boulder Potters' Guild and our municipal pottery lab.

For a long time I wasn't very proud of my handiwork, but friends and family always appreciated my misshapen, oddly glazed cups and bowls as I gave them away.
Gradually my pots got more stable and my confidence grew. I knew if I had the opportunity to work on them more -- if I wasn't limited to class and lab time -- they would get even better. So I decided to put together a home studio.

I began to search for used equipment on craigslist, and that's when the universe started to tell me I was on the right path.

The slab roller came from a former potter whose daughter told her it was time to get rid of all that stuff gathering dust in the garage. She threw in all her slump molds, stamps and boxes of chemicals and glazes I'm still trying to figure out what to do with.

The extruder had been a Christmas gift from a husband to his wife, a potter who had everything. She used it once, then it languished in the basement. The price was terrific, but I didn't really want to schlep the 60 or so miles to her home. Not to worry, she said. She needed to move her son into his Boulder apartment for the next semester at the University of Colorado. So it came to me.

Obtaining the kiln was the most challenging part of the process, but it too was a gift from the universe. $800 for a never-been-used electric kiln in nearby Estes Park sounded too good to be true, so I immediately called the guy listing it.

His first question was "Where are you located?"

"Right down the road in Boulder."

"Oh good. So far I've only heard from people in California." He then proceeded to tell me a tale of love and fate.

In 1995 a man bought his wife a state-of-the-art kiln. She had no use for it and it remained in boxes in the basement for eight years.

In 2003 the couple divorced. They owed the Estes Park potter money, but he accepted the kiln in lieu of payment.

He never made the time to hook it up, and it sat in boxes in his basement for five years.

Then medical bills began to pile up and he needed cash, so one Saturday onto craigslist went the kiln. For a reason he couldn't explain, it was listed in Ventura, Calif. All weekend he took calls from people too far away to economically ship it to. Monday he finally figured out the problem and reposted the ad. I called, we made a deal, and on Tuesday he delivered the boxes "because I need a road trip into Boulder anyway," he explained.

My pots have been piling up, and I've been thinking of venues to sell them. On a whim I called a holiday craft fair. "Oh, we've heard of you," said the organizer. Sounded odd to me, but she asked for a dozen coffee cups, four woven bowls, and assorted cruets and pump bottles.

During today's appointment at a local gourmet shop, Oliv You & Me, the owner bought a couple of cruets and one of my signature woven bowls.

The universe is telling me I'm on a roll, or at least a slab roller.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Yesterday my friend Michelle and I went to hear Gloria Steinem speak at the Borders in Longmont. At 74 the longtime political activist looked more fit, exuded more spunk, and had more beautiful hands, than anyone in the SRO audience.

Steinem is in Colorado not exactly stumping for Barack Obama, but more so she and her entourage can educate Colorado locals about the plethora of ballot initiatives.

By the time she showed up in Longmont, however, the extensive ballot had already been pondered by her listeners; when she asked for a show of hands of those who had voted early, close to 100 percent of less-than-perfectly manicured right hands fluttered in the air.

This two-year campaign season has seemed like a too-long engagement. You keep on thinking once your wedding day arrives the waiting will finally end, and you'll live happily ever after. But as you calmly accept the gifts as they arrive, thank your friends and family for their good wishes, and shop for your dress and new appliances, you know deep inside the wedding just signals the beginning of a long, and hopefully fruitful, marriage.

I keep on thinking once someone -- anyone -- is elected, the waiting will finally end. The Dow will calm down, the economy will recover, the Iraq war will draw to a close, the foreclosures will stop, and we'll all live happily ever after. I voted last week, and I'm calmly not watching the commercials or the polls. But I know in my gut Election Day won't signal smooth sailing ahead. It will just mean the beginning of a new, and hopefully peaceful and prosperous, administration.