-->

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Friday, September 28, 2018

Friends Friday - Entrepreneurs



CenteRRail LLC Core Group
I belong to several business groups.  The Palm Beach Business Group has the purpose of connecting inventors and entrepreneurs with venture capital specialist. Think “Shark Tank”. There is more to the group in that we have a monthly breakfasts with guest speakers whose subjects range from business to politics to sharing non-profit (NGO) worldwide efforts. We also have a monthly cocktail reception where we meet/mix then have an open round table discussion on a variety of subjects - A fun intellectual group.

I have been a member/attendee for the past 6 years and enjoy the group very much. Accepted, appreciated, and comfortable. There I have met interesting entrepreneurs and business leaders. One had an invention to generate electricity using the wind in a 20 story round structure. Capturing the wind from all directions and generating electric power in a pleasant looking building befitting an urban surrounding. This never went anywhere due to inventor issues. 

As one of my venture capital friends states, "In business, you bet on the jockey - not the horse." 

Palm Beach Business Group
Another involved a sports franchise featuring teams riding Jet-Skies in a game similar to Lacrosse - Played in a floating, portable stadium. This would be super fun to play and watch. All the details were final, patents approved, rules/ procedures written, and a sports network interested. However, no investors.  

This week’s presentation is one of the most promising I have seen in a few years. It involves leasing the unused space between the rails of the railroad tracks and installing unique/patented solar-electric panels to generate electricity. Space is leased from the railroads; we install the panels and the electricity is sold to the grid or directly to the railroad. A win for the railroads,; utilizing the unused space; the yield is about 47,000 kWhr per mile per month. In dollars at wholesale electric rates, $4,500 per month or $54,000 per mile annually. There are already letters of intent for a 6-mile prototype installation and written interest from the Florida East Coast Railroad (FEC) which has 351 miles of track. The company will be a manufacturing company, producing revenue from selling/installing solar panels. We are a leasing partner with the railroads. Website 

As they always ask on Shark Tank – “What is needed and what are you willing to give up?“ Available is a 20% stake in CenteRRail LLC for $500,0000 (or fraction thereof). A 20% position should return about $490,000 the first year with that doubling each consecutive year thereafter. 

I helped write the business plan and put together the financials. Already on board is obviously the inventor (a friend), a long-term railroad attorney/consultant and the founder of the Palm Beach Business Group. If we are able to secure funding, I will be the interim COO. I am not soliciting investors although if anyone is curious I will share the business plan. This is a risky venture as are all start-ups


__________________

What I am encouraging is meaningful “Escapes”. Push the envelope - Meet interesting people. Make connections.  Make your time “out” meaningful, interesting, and fun. You never know what careers/friends/fun might occur.   

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Feminine Differential - To Compliment




I wrote a while back about the beautiful color teal. Teal is a variation of green and with my grey hair, I believe it to be a flattering color. Green also works well with red hair and when I wore a wig, my color of choice was a dark auburn. So I am no stranger to teal. 

The fun of shopping or pulling an outfit from our closet is making everything work together. The resulting confidence is an ego boost and I love the way other women compliment each other. When ever I see another woman, "all put together" I always compliment and hope you do as well. 


Compliments given cost nothing and their value is priceless. 



  





  

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Homophobic Religion


Several day ago on a very hot morning, two over-dressed preachers knocked on my door claiming to be "Sharing Good News". Many people know Jehovah's Witnesses (JW) for their benign magazine stands in airports and shopping centers. In reality their "Good News" is a slick recruitment pitch. They first offer a free bible study then hook you into a cult you cannot leave without having remaining family and friends shun you. 

Once baptized as a Jehovah's Witness, it is impossible for a person to leave the organization with dignity for any reason. Individuals who leave or who are expelled are publicly ostracized, labeled "apostates" (traitor), and cut off from their friends and family. Jehovah's Witnesses claim that "all are welcome" at their Kingdom Halls (churches). Absolutely not true.  

On a much sinister level, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that any day now, their god is going to personally bring about the end of the world, and when this happens he will kill every single man, woman and child who is not one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  A world doom or "Armegeddon" they incorrectly predicted to occur in 1878, 1881, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1938, *1975, 1984...
     


A Memorial to a False Prophecy - Left- Magazine cover from 1984
The right side shows that they have all "passed away".

They make every effort to appear main stream although the cult's beliefs are deeply fundamentalist; creation not evolution (creationism), literal interpenetration of the bible, discouragement of higher education and misogynist rules (women cannot hold leadership roles or teaching positions). Plus the Jehovah’s Witness religion has long been known for its vocal and harsh disapproval of the LGBT community. As Lloyd Evens at the site JWSurvey.org states: 


On a doctrinal level it teaches that any practicing homosexuals are sinful and deserve to die, and that very soon God will kill any such person at the upcoming battle of Armageddon.

One example of this escalation in rhetoric is the new Watchtower produced video drama, “Remember the Wife of Lot.” Below is a video that highlights the Witnesses'  strong anti-LGBT statements.    Stick with it or fast forward to see the horrible and scary ending scene.      






Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Comfortable As Female - An Interesting Concept


Do you feel more comfortable when wearing men's clothes or women's clothes?



This was an interesting question I found on Quora a few days ago.  Here is the opening narrative:


Although I grew up wearing men’s clothing, to be honest, I was never especially comfortable wearing them. For the most part, I felt invisible in public.
I had a standard male “uniform” that I typically wore every day - jeans and a gray t-shirt with white tennis shoes. I dressed this way for school, shopping, walking in the park, and meeting with friends. On date nights, I’d wear something nicer but otherwise, it was just plain old jeans and a t-shirt.

I didn’t put much thought into what I was wearing in my younger days. I kept a dozen pairs of Lee jeans, Wranglers, and Levi’s - and a dozen gray t-shirts with a couple in navy blue. The only difference between one pair of jeans in my closet and another was the logo sewn onto the waistband. Other than that, the size and fit were all the same.

… Until I discovered what it felt like to wear women’s clothing.

That hit a nerve. Is it the dressing in women's clothing or is it being female? I find that I am more outgoing, comfortable, and have been told, more likable as female. And you all know how much I love fashion. 

The overall difference is presentation vs permission to be the person that you really are. "Fully embodied" comes to mind. 


'18 - Dinner in Palm Beach

Female clothing in general is not more physically comfortable. Many of the items are meant to be stylish/attractive rather than designed for comfort.  E.g. high heels. I have a sweater with a drape back that takes advance engineering skills to put on correctly and always requires extra time. Functionality was not part of its design. Despite the complexity and physical discomfort, I feel more at ease in women’s clothes. Why? Because it makes me feel like I’m being myself.

My birth gender caused me to carry along the burden of societal expectations of what a man should be. I do believe I was a good father, entrepreneur, successful business man and friend. However, always in the back of my mind was the looming question, "Am I living up to manly standards?" In that area I am not sure I succeeded.

It is not like something was wrong, but I always felt there were expectations that I could never quite meet. So I would retreat rather than confront; my typical modus operandi. As female I am liberated and complete.

So a question - is your transgender nature about the internal physique or is it about the clothing? I love the term transgender because it encompasses both aspects and allows us to have a common standing. My personal world is evolving and is not just about the clothing. It is much more complex.              

In the narrative above the writer went on to state that he "... fully transition from men’s to women’s garments". The post made no mention of being transgender.  Interesting question and outcome.   


 

   

Monday, September 24, 2018

Lady Di's Sense Of Style

Let the people’s princess inspire your fall 2018 transition wardrobe.


Style & Beauty
By Julia Brucculieri


Before the Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Sussex became royal style icons, Princess Diana was serving up some seriously effortless looks.

The people’s princess was a master of casual-cool style, but she appeared no less comfortable in dresses and gowns, even when they came with a 25-foot train. She loved supporting British designers and wasn’t afraid to take a few risks with her style, often stepping out in bright colors and bold prints. As Vogue once noted, Diana “wasn’t one to follow trends, and her style choices were in keeping with royal protocol while still seeming personal.”

If we could, we’d emulate every piece of Princess Di’s wardrobe.  (So true)


____________________



I have put together one of the article's classic looks and listed my sources.  Do check out the article to find the other two.  









Saturday, September 22, 2018

Fall Is In The Air


Although South Florida has a month or more before it receives a cool night, that does not keep a girl from dreaming or shopping. I have always loved the fall fashions; sweaters, the colors and the change of season. Most of the items above are Ralph Lauren purchased recently at their summer close-out prices.    

For those of you that have the trees changing color, enjoy. For those of us in Florida, it means many of you (snow-birds) will be heading south in November. See you soon.     


_________________

I do have a trip coming up the last weekend of October, (26-28) to Cleveland. It is for a good friend's birthday bash. A weekend of fun and a cool weather break.  



Friday, September 21, 2018

Friend's Friday - Advice Request


Rhonda has many social interactions and does get about. I try and live my advice and "ESCAPE" whenever the opportunity avails itself.  I love music (classical and contemporary), dinner parties and social/business groups. There are several LGBT groups where there is no question as to my perceived presentation and I am never trying to deceive. My attitude, "be the best I can be" and let the observations fall where they may.    

I also belong to several networking business and women's groups. Recently I attended a large woman's business forum,  my local Chamber of Commerce, and seemed to be able to blend easily. I requested information on joining the Chamber and received an invitation plus information packet. 

I have worked in both small and large offices as female (8 years) and every day interacted with both office mates, clients and donors. There I planned small and large events and spoke/traveled representing my employer.    
  
The Palm Beach Woman's Forum '18
Recently, I have been working with an associate from another woman's group and yesterday we did a sales presentation to the CEO of a local non-profit. We proposed being consultants for their charity event, providing donor software utilization, and offering diversity training. There was a 45 minute meeting and an hour and a half lunch. The opportunity is still pending and looks promising. 
  
I am not full-time as a female and am not transitioning, although I do present and interact much of the time as female. In any case the assumption is female and I seldom correct or contradict. 

My question; When you know someone well or there is a business relationship (partnership) developing, how do you discuss/present being transgender? 

Clients need not be given an opportunity to discriminate so have no need to be informed and for employment purposes, only the HR department need be informed. However, developing relationships such as business partners or recurring social interactions do need to be aware. Withholding what will become the the obvious would only lead to future mistrust. "If she did not tell me that, then what else..."   

Several time I have used the "I have not always been female" as above.  So I am looking for advice. I know I have asked this before and again would welcome your comments or a guest post. Thanking you in advance. 









    


Thursday, September 20, 2018

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Stunningly Beautiful Alex Wetter (Male Model)



Video – The stunning androgynous Alex Wetter in « XXY » by Nicolas Lancien



Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Be Careful What You Wish

Note: This is A FOX Poll

The Trump administration may be on the verge of implosion. Strong indicators - This past month’s court cases, movement in the Robert Mueller investigation, anonymous op-eds and multiple friends cutting their loses to avoid long prison terms. According to The New Yorker, Mueller has obtained the indictments of thirty-two individuals and three corporations, as well as five guilty pleas.  All Trump related. Though unnamed, Trump is an "unindicted co-conspirator" in one of the cases.  Not exactly a "witch hunt" as Trump claims.   

From the beginning, many have known that the Trump Administration would be problematic, but few of us knew the depth of corruption, incompetence and outright lying that would occur.

Trump in his 2016 convention acceptance speech promised to “protect the LGBTQ community”. Once in office did the exact opposite.  

If Trump decides he has endured enough and opts to go quietly, Nixon style (unlikely) or action occurs in the House and Senate, America will still be in jeopardy. 

Mike Pence, the heir apparent to Trump, although political savvy, lacks the intelligence to undo the damage perpetrated by Trump. We will get more of the same prejudices; now with religious justifications.  

Mike Pence also has a problem with science. Here is one of many examples: In 2000 Pence made an issue of the pending agreement to settle government lawsuits against tobacco companies for lying for decades about the dangers of their addictive products. He stated “Time for a quick reality check. Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn't kill.” 

This was blatantly false based on all scientific evidence. Why you ask would he make such an asinine statement?  Pence's motivation may have been connected to his family's ownership stake in a chain of convenience stores called Tobacco Road, which sold cigarettes alongside soft drinks and chips.  Also, top White House figures – including the vice-president and health secretary – have deep ties to an industry whose donations began pouring in on day one. 

According to Richard North Patterson of the Huff Post:  On LGBT rights - As a congressman, he opposed federal funding to treat HIV/AIDS unless the government also funded programs to discourage same-sex relationships. A nasty side effect of his policies in Indiana ― closing Planned Parenthood clinics and stalling needle exchanges. Notoriously, he spearheaded a “religious freedom” law to protect businesses that refuse service to LGBTQ Americans. 


Let us not underestimate Pence’s influence up to today. Pence seeded the administration with right-wing swamp dwellers including former EPA director Scott Pruitt, White House counsel Don McGahn, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, CIA Director Mike Pompeo (who now serves as secretary of state) and HHS Secretary Tom Price (who was forced to resign in disgrace).

What makes him so dangerous? The belief that his seamiest actions and most self-serving calculations are part of God’s plan. Pence is more ready than ever to achieve the dream he believes God wants him to fulfill. 

Omarosa Manigault Newman:

We would be begging for the days of Trump if Pence became president. He’s extreme.


Source: TheAlantic
God’s Plan for Mike Pence

Monday, September 17, 2018

"Anything" - Movie Review


I want to mention the movie "Anything" again.  I finally got to see it Saturday evening, streaming it through my Amazon Prime subscription account. It is a beautiful, sweet love story. Let me highlight the plot:


Early Landry (played by actor John Carroll Lynch) is a Mississippi widower reeling from the recent death of his wife. After a suicide attempt, he relocates to Los Angeles to be closer to his overprotective but well-intention sister, Laurette (Maura Tierney), and her family. He soon moves into an apartment of his own. In time, he is both equally intimidated and charmed by his Hollywood neighbors, especially Freda Von Rhenburg (Matt Bomer), a transgender sex worker. Before long, Early and Freda bond over their shared loneliness and past traumas, sparking a friendship and, eventually, a tentative romance. 


Cast:John Carroll Lynch, Matt Bomer and Maura Tierney

The Film's producer is Mark Ruffalo and according to IndieWire, "The film’s first trailer plays up an overriding message of love and acceptance, the same one echoed by associate producer Kylene K. Steele, herself a transgender woman who helped guide the production."

Steel's comment:  “It’s about being human. It’s not about being trans, it’s not about being straight, it’s not about being gay. I think if people come to the film, they’ll see it is just love, it is compassion, I hope they see it’s a human thing, seeing beauty in everything, [and] what love can do.”

_______________


My note: The transgender character is played well by Matt Bomer. He is not playing an over the top drag character and has a shared trauma with Early. The two bond beautifully, do help each other and find solace; their own definition of love. No part of the story is portrayed in a crude or clumsy manner. You will love the ending of "Anything".

Well worth watching, even in mixed (non-transgender) company.   








Sunday, September 16, 2018

Political Cartoons 9-16

Der Trump-en-bunker - Thanks Velma for sending along this one.











____________________________




The Sunday Crazy Bonus

Why do supposedly intelligent news anchors allow themselves to be used like this?





 With few exceptions, there's no news value gained by putting broadcasters in gale force winds and tidal floods. It just adds drama to see their safety imperiled. TheAtlantic






Saturday, September 15, 2018

To Our Neighbors



Stay safe, be patient, recover!


Friday, September 14, 2018

Friend's Friday - Southern Comfort '18 (Saturday)



The photos above are from my second day (Saturday) at the Southern Comfort Transgender Conference (SCTC); SCC as it was formally known. Had it continued, this would have been the 27th year. I have written about its relevance and continuing demise in previous post so will leave that as written. I understand that there were many discussions and meetings debating its survival and that continued at my Saturday evening table. Time will tell as to what will happen with next year's conference and SCTC's possible re-invention and/or survival.   



Gina Gunn

My Saturday involved hosting the morning breakfast sponsored by Dr. Mardirossian. Next, I introduced Dr. Mardirossian for his morning FFS presentation. After lunch I had a presentation on blogging, which was somewhat supported, not by a large group, but by a group that was interested in the subject. A great discussion. Thank you all for attending. 

Also the Saturday morning guest speaker was Gina Gunn, Official Cast Member of Rupaul's Drag Race Season 6. 

Saturday evening, I stayed for the dinner which was well attended. 

Two take-aways: It appeared that a good number registered and did not come. This is sad if they took advantage of the limited number of free registration and then did not come. Others could have availed themselves to this generous gift.    

Second, the city of Fort Laudrdale is making efforts to be an inclusive city. It is  openly advertising to the LGBT+ community, "Hello Sunny - Come and Visit". Their support and sponsorship for SCTC is much appreciated. However, please know that the "T" part of "LGBT" is not necessarily "drag queens". 





     






Thursday, September 13, 2018

Role Reversal - Karen Kane



This is from the Karen Kane Fall, 2018 catalog.  You cannot fully appreciate the irony until you see the dress on page four of the in-print catalog.  I scanned only the top part to highlight the written part.  The "Euro Knit" dress can be seen here.  "Role Reversal?"  I don't think so.   

The fall season always seem to feature a "Menswear" look. Other than the pattern of the fabric I am not seeing the "menswear" or the "role reversal" taking place here. Unless dresses are becoming menswear; be still my heart. 

Maybe the premise is that women are moving into the more powerful arena with men's inspired fabric/items. So to wear something feminine, what doses that do?   (less powerful - weak) I am not sure I like the analogy.  

One positive take-a-way in the catalog and online store is larger size models and a stylish collection of "Plus" sizes. Also of note on the model above; 6 feet tall. 


  


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Not Your Father's Barbie


I loved playing with dolls as a child.  My dolls predated Barbie and as I look at the dolls above I could have only dreamed of having such a collection. Makes me want to go back to play with the dolls. Anyone else play with dolls? 


I found these in a Flickr Photo Stream and there are more - Enjoy! 








Tuesday, September 11, 2018

World Trade Center- A Day To Remember


Source: 62 Rare Photos


Pictured here are the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center soon after completion back in October of 1975. New York City was on the verge of bankruptcy around this time and the World Trade Center sat largely vacant, as you can see two homeless men are squatting on the lot.

The Twin Towers became the centerpieces of the World Trade Center complex. Standing at a majestic 110 stories each, they provided 10-million-square feet of office space. But the twin towers were more than just office buildings. Because they were built at a time when the city's future was uncertain, these towers renewed hope, housed businesses, they gave the people confidence and stopped lower Manhattan's rapid decline.




Monday, September 10, 2018

Hey Guys


The Problem With ‘Hey Guys’



A broad coalition of English speakers — teachers, retail workers, ice-cream scoopers, and plenty of others—are grasping for a more inclusive greeting.


___

Several week ago I was out with several friends and what could be an uncomfortable situations landed in my lap. These were male friends that I have know for years and I was in total guy (male) mode; OK, the best I can do at this stage.  

Most of the time when out with my female friends, regardless of how I present I get, "ladies how can I help you?"  Typically it is the correct greeting or I just laugh it off with the comment "I have been called worse."  My girlfriends and even family accept me.  No harm; no foul.     

As I saw the server coming I cringed - "Gentlemen and lady" would embarrass my friends more than me and the last thing I wanted was to draw more attention to my more-or-less feminine features, hair, stature and androgynous appearance.  As she arrived we got the:


"What can I get you GUYS?"  I was safe!

__

According to The Atlantic, There are, of course, plenty of people—including many women—who have no problem being addressed as “guys,” think the word has evolved to be entirely gender-neutral, and don't see a reason to change their usage. But others aren’t so sure. “I think there's a really serious and welcome reconception of gender lines and relationships between sex and gender going on,” says John McWhorter, who teaches linguistics at Columbia University and has written several books about language. He says “something has crested in particular over about the past 10 years”—something that has people examining their everyday communications.    

In my reporting I heard from several people who said that the word is particularly troubling for trans and gender-nonconforming people. “As a transgender woman, I consciously began trying to stop using guys some years ago,” says Brad Ward, a college counselor at a high school in Atherton, California. She added, “When I’m included with a group that is called guys, there’s some pain, since it takes me back to my male days in a way that I’d rather not go.”


The article concludes with this: Even if guys is widely regarded as gender-neutral, there will still be a sizable contingent of conscientious objectors. They argue, not incorrectly, that dropping guys takes very little effort, and any awkwardness that comes with the odd folks or friends or y’all seems far preferable to making a listener feel ignored. (Personally, I’ve come to favor you all, which carries some of the perks of y’all without being tied to any particular region.)


Read the whole interesting article by Joe Pinsker here - TheAlantic.



___


How do you feel about being mis-gendered.  Does "Guys"  bother you?  Do you consider that being mis-gendered and is there a safe greeting for a mixed group?   

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Southern Comfort '18 - Day 1

Rhonda and Lori - SCTC - Day 1

Today (Saturday) Dr. Mardirossian is sponsoring breakfast again and has a full two hour FFS presentation. Time to get all of your question answered and see many before-and-after photos. The rest of the day he will be offering private complementary consultations.

Also right after lunch, I am presenting a seminar on"Blogging". If you are are attending or are in the area Saturday, please drop by. I would love to meet and discuss the blog with you. Stay tuned for photos - Maybe your photo could be in next week's "Friend's Friday".  I will post a group photo from the seminar.