I had a pleasant walk today in Vancouver on Granville street, looking at the Taiwanese festival. There was lots of exotic food, costumes, crafts, and people in general.

Flower Arrangements


Traditional Costumes

This reminded me of a Taiwanese friend / roommate I used to have. She lived with me during my university years in the same house.

web traffic 5 success inspiration What is it that makes someone want mentorship for their personal life, work life, business life? I would like to share some tips from my personal life when I felt like I was in need of mentorship. Let’s just say it wasn’t easy to find. I turned to many sources, sometimes random, and surprisingly actually did end up finding people who helped me shape my life the way it is today.

Maybe you have an engineering degree and your job satisfaction is not quite there, maybe you wish you’d have a business background and looking for someone with life’s wisdom to share some tips, or is your already successful high tech firm going through some realignment right now? Are you not sure of what you want to do?

A time of change can be an interesting and introspective time for entrepreneurs and not only. Change can also be a scary thing. Our brain biologically is programmed to fear it.

A friend of mine once told me that I am struggling to lay out a plan for your whole life. Yes, he was right, I was (and sometimes am) trying to plan out my whole life.  I don’t know if that’s normal, but when someone asks me where I see myself in 10 years, I had no idea really at that point.

But guess what…. Things change so we have to get use to it…. if you are prepared for and welcome changes then things go easier.

This is not to say that we should not make plans and set goals for ourselves but we should keep our eyes open to what is around us and watch for opportunities and better or more interesting aspects of things as they come along and not be so rigid that we cannot adapt. My mantra is that the universe has greater plans for us than we can imagine ourselves.

If you want to think about what you were meant to do, think about your passions. Do you or have you ever been doing something and lost all track of time? That is a sure indication that you were doing something that you love to do. If you do something you love it’s not really work.

It’s been like this since grade 10 for me that I was confused about what kind of career I wanted to pursue, so I decided to finally accept that I’ve got a problem here and I can’t solve it on my own. Mentors helped me to gain clarity. An engineer that I got to speak to told me that since he can remember, he was building things.  Now he has his 2 engineering companies. So as you see, sometimes it is from our childhood that we learn about what it is that we were meant to do.
So, what is it that I was doing when I was little?  Several things: drawing, obsession with animals, playing with numbers in my head.  Now, when I told my parents that I want to be an artist, a veterinarian, or a math professor, I ended up with some kind of an instruction not to do that because it wouldn’t be a good thing to do.  So, being an obedient child, I’d put a big X on those things right there. I understand now that those were the passions that I really was actually supposed to pursue.
I realize that I’ve done a very rough mistake as well since my school years.  I equated hard work and challenge with value.  As a result, things that came naturally to me and easily (even though majority of people would struggle with it), I didn’t see as valuable.
I know though for sure what I don’t like. It’s any type of frames and limits, for example a 9 – 5 job with a 3 wk vacation. I can work very hard, but I find it hard to give up my freedom. Perhaps from this point I realized that my future was to be an entrepreneur, not a clerk at a desk or a programmer in a cubicle. The most liberating option I see is to start my own business.
Also, I know that I want to give back to society and involve myself in some type of charity work (for example, helping 3rd world countries).  But in order to be efficient in actually breaking up the cycle, I realize that I will need very strong finances. There is another good reason to pursue entrepreneurship for me, as it may lead to more money.

This morning my friend told me that there is someone asking her for product, but she has no clue what the person wants from her. However, he already told her that he wants to pay by Visa or Mastercard. Isn’t he getting a little bit ahead of himself?

I put that text in the search engine, but I guess it was paraphrased well enough that nothing came up. However, after a few keyword searches I realized that there is a scam going around similar to the “wholesale scam” from the Ivory Coast – more details here.

This scam will tell you that they have their own courier that costs a lot of money. This is how they make their cash because you give real money to the courier, but they pay you with a stolen credit card. In one case they actually gave the shipping company called Long Way Shipping Company and changed the address to Ghana.

Here are some sample scam letters:

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blue stocking nerdThis is a plug in for WordPress by Gokhan Muharremoglu that is supposed to block robotic visits. However, I used it and I was very disappointed. It blocked me, not the bots! Not only me actually, my customers too.

I took it down after I had a customer telling me that he tried to make a purchase, but was blocked by the anti flood module. However, based on the access log, the bot traffic was still the same.

The most effective way to fight a DDOS attack was to actually change the htaccess file. In my case there was bot traffic on the images, so I blocked that option and things got back to normal at least for now.

Even underwear, hosiery, socks, and other small items should be carefully inspected before wearing.

Factories make thousands of pairs per day, and some of them, strangely, even with so called quality control on every single pair, end up with defects. Here the stitch from the panty is attached to the leg by accident.

This defective pair of pantyhose was successfully fixed by undoing the stitches without harming the yarn.

The seam in the control top is merged with the fabric from the leg. I guess I’ll have to undo the stitches. I just got these tights, they are not even worn. This is why you should inspect everything before wearing, as many retailers will not refund the purchase if the item has been worn.


airline Westjet

I got a call from 604 564 4463 and told me that I won a $999 credit because of my recent flight with the airline. Yes, in fact I just returned from a vacation. So I asked what was my destination and they told me they don’t know and then hung up.

Is it random or not? Many people online are wondering if WestJet database got hacked or if there is a privacy breach and their information was given away to a third party.

Yes, random! Considering that our information is available in phone books and Canada only has 2 airlines – WestJet and Air Canada, these scammers assume that probability of any Canadian resident booking with WestJet is almost certain. It’s just a numbers game.

“This phone scam and other, similar versions continue to be a source of great frustration for our guests as well as for us,” said Richard Bartrem, WestJet Vice-President

One thing that you may notice right away is that whoever talks to you speaks with an accent and asks you if you are over 30 and have a credit card. If it would be really WestJet, they would probably only care that you are 18+ and would be able to offer you flexible payment methods.

Maria Komissarova in Spain with Alexey Chaadaev

Maria Komissarova came to Russia in order to extend her visa to Spain. Now she is undergoing rehabilitation course in Spain. Maria told about rehabilitation course.
“To be honest, the process is very slow and difficult. But I felt positive changes. The main thing is that there is at least a minimal positive trend. It takes time and continuous trainings. The doctor said I need about two thousand hours of daily trainings. This is six hours per day during per year. Seven days per week. Today I spent in Spain about 80 days and trained about 400 hours. There is the special equipment in Spain. Training method is directed to the development of the internal muscles and sheets. At the same time you have to work hard. If to compare the loads with the loads during my sports career, physically it is much harder now. On top of that I need to be under control of the doctor constantly. He believes in me! It is hard psychologically, but I have no other choice. This is the only option”.
The cost of one-year course of rehabilitation in the clinic of Dr. Blum is 27 million rubles. At the present moment there is an active fundraising on a specially created website “maria-komissarova.com” in order to help Maria. They have already raised nearly 9 million rubles.
“Yes, it was possible to stay in Moscow and to have rehabilitation course free of charge. But if they say that there is no chance for recovery, what’s the point to stay there? And I want to walk again!”.
Maria also visited the Russian Federation of freestyle skiing. Here she signed the documents which will allow her to receive material financial assistance from the Supporting Fund of Russian Olympians.
Every month Maria will receive on her credit card one hundred of rubles during ten years.
“To allocate money to Maria we decided immediately after it became clear about the severity of the injury and long-term process of recovery”, explained the Executive Director of the Supporting Fund Alexander Katushev.

According to the information from the Russian Federation of freestyle Maria feels like herself, as far as it is possible after getting such injury. However, it is early to talk about appreciable progress. Maria needs years of rehabilitation in order to have a chance to get out of the wheelchair. They hope in the Fund that the financial assistance will help Maria to return to active life. It is not necessary to worry that the money can’t be enough.

The supervisory board consists of such serious people like Roman Abramovich, Vitaly Mutko, Vladislav Tretiak and many Russian oligarchs. The Charity Fund is headed by Dmitry Medvedev. So, Maria Komissarova will receive money for sure.

If you want to help, go to www.maria-komissarova.com