Oki Knows Giving

Oki-Foundation“The word `philanthropy’ wasn’t a word that I grew up with,” says Seattle’s Scott Oki. Now he and his wife Laurie give it true meaning every day.

YOU CERTAINLY COULDN’T TELL FROM HIS OFFICE, A well-struck-kickball’s distance from the Toys ‘R’ Us store in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, Washington. The Oki Foundation resides in a former church on Main Street, which, by its modest size and appearance, presumably served a small congregation in the long-ago days when this area was covered in strawberry fields. Upon entering the no-longer-sanctified building, you are directed downstairs, where you’re greeted by the sight of Scott Oki sitting at the desk of a small, inside office (and not even the corner one at that), its door open and welcoming. He’s surrounded by wood-veneer office furniture, nearly every surface of which is covered by photos …

Steve Perlman: Icon

Steve-PerlmanSPEND AN HOUR WITH STEVE PERLMAN AND YOU’LL understand why more than 600 friends turned out earlier this year for the unveiling of his new loft in downtown San Francisco. He’s a computer honcho who doesn’t twitch, rock or fall into stony trances; he can talk about technology in ways that make even the Bic-ballpoint generation relax. Funny and extremely self-possessed, the Connecticut-raised, Columbia-educated Perlman, 39, looks like your average post-teenager in a leather jacket,jeans shredding a bit around the knees. But get him started on where technology is going in the years to come, and you’ll find that he has an almost evangelical ability to get you to embrace his ideas. WebTV Networks, one of his biggest, lured venture capital from Paul Allen’s Vulcan Ventures, Hollywood mogul Marvin Davis and Bill Gates himself before being acquired outright by Microsoft …

Recovering RAID Servers Is Not As Easy As You Might Think

RAID-ServersSometimes our computers don’t do what we want them to. You may find yourself muttering “Go home computer, you’re drunk” at your devices far more often than not. There are a lot of reasons why computer can fail us: incorrect updates, software bugs, server collapses, viruses and others. We want to be productive, or at least look like we are, when we’re at work. This can be hard to do when our technology doesn’t cooperate. More and more jobs are being done while connected to a company server regardless of the physical location of the worker.

Telecommuting is becoming far more common in recent years with people being able to work from home for a company on the other side of the continent or even world.

However, there are drawbacks to that. What happens if the company server fails and …

Will My Skin Tag Keep Growing?

Skin-Tag-Keep-GrowingDiscovering that you have a skin tag, or tags, can be an embarrassing thing. They like to grow in the folds of skin like the armpits and the neck and are commonly found on newborns, the obese and the elderly. They are harmless lumps of soft flesh that look worse than they are. They are often extremely small, growing no larger than 3mm in diameter. Some people question if their skin tag will keep growing if left alone. Sometimes they can grow a bit long and they are more noticeable when moving this way as it feels like they are swaying as we walk.

Rest assured though, that if left alone your skin tag is not going to grow long enough for you to make a necklace out of it.

While they do indeed grow their growth is limited. They start growing under the skin and to bit that sticks out that we all see is mostly dead. The skin is soft, but that does not mean there are cells inside that are constantly multiplying for the tag to get longer. This is why they are mostly short or stick out less then 5mm.

It is incorrect to say that they don’t grow. Of course they do. That’s how we see them. But it is correct to say that they will not grow for eternity. You do not need to ‘trim’ them down to keep them manageable. A lot of people may feel that their skin tag keeps growing because even after you remove them, no matter the method, there is the possibility that they will grow back. Some will even grow in the same spot. That is just how the skin works. Think of your cuticles. You cut them off on a possibly regular basis. That doesn’t mean they will never grow back. Our skin is always growing and replacing itself or recovering from wounds. Skin tags are still a part of that system and will grow back.

There are some methods of removal that are slightly more effective than others. Using a liquid nitrogen-based product to freeze and kill the nerves at the base of the skin tag can sometimes damage surrounding skin. This will reduce the likelihood of another skin tag growing in the same spot, even if you manage to keep the surrounding area safe.

Using herbal creams and oils can sometimes be more effective as well because it works on the tag from the inside out. By attacking the cells at the root you have a better chance of the tags not growing back. But that might just mean they have moved on to a different area.

It is impossible to stop skin tags from growing completely. If you are prone to skin tags this may just need to be something you come to terms with. If you are overly concerned about the amount or the frequency of growth it is in your best interests to meet with your doctor and possibly a dermatologist. It is possible that you have a different skin condition that needs to be addressed in a different manner. Otherwise, you are free to remove the skin tags on your own using methods like those at Safe Skin Tag Removal.org.

It is your body Read the rest of this entry »

Parents Never Stop

Parents-Never-StopLIVING AND WORKING in Beverly Hills, I’ve become all too accustomed to fashionably clad twentysomethings styling down Rodeo Drive, cell phones pressed firmly to their ears. Arranging a business meeting? Perhaps. Arranging another “loan” from Mom and Dad? More likely. Not to disparage today’s young people, but too many have come to expect their parents’ unequivocal support, financial and otherwise. Blanket approval and a blank check.

As an investment adviser, I hear parents’ incessant lament: “When will my kids start pulling their own weight? When will they stop coming to me with their hands out?” The answer is as simple as it is difficult to employ. Kids do what we teach them to do; when we start saying no, they’ll learn to take no for an answer–perhaps not immediately, but eventually. The temptation, of course, is to continue supporting …

Service Animals Make Our Lives So Much Easier

Service-AnimalsWE’VE ALL ENCOUNTERED SERVICE ANIMALS–THE DOGS, CATS AND horses trained to help those with disabilities accomplish the myriad tasks of daily life. Certainly we know the all-stars: the handsome Seeing Eye dog, its skill and dedication shining through as it guides its master or mistress along a busy city street, stopping at traffic lights, negotiating sidewalks, curbs and crowds of people.

Most of us are also aware of the dog’s less famous service brethren–the hearing dogs who alert hearing-impaired people to telephone rings, smoke alarms or babies’ cries; the specially trained dogs, cats, birds and rabbits that visit people in long-term care homes and help alleviate their loneliness and depression; even the horses that help disabled children and adults gain vital strength and coordination as well as new confidence through therapeutic riding programs across the country. According to the Delta …

Sintra Is A Jewel Of Portugal

Jewel-Of-PortugalWHEN I STARTED PHONING FRIENDS to ask about Sintra, in Portugal, I kept hearing the same refrain from those who had actually been there. “Sintra? It started out as a day trip from Lisbon, and we ended up staying a week.” “Sintra? We planned to stay a long weekend and left two weeks later.” It seemed that the spell cast by Sintra was strong indeed, and as I packed for a five-day stay, I couldn’t help but wonder if I’d ever be coming back.

Sintra is one of those places that everyone has heard about but few have visited. All the better, since Sintra, despite the fame of its fantastic palaces, remains a flawless oasis. Carolina Zapf, a New York-based fashion designer, was so captivated by Sintra’s charms that she chose to be married there in the summer of 1999, …

Traveling Alaska Takes Guts

Traveling-AlaskaWHERE THE PERIL STRAIT MEETS the Chatham Strait, by the soaring forests of Chichagof and Baranof islands, seven humpback whales milled and spouted. From the foredeck of the M/V Liseron, our jaunty wood-hulled charter boat, we saw them flex their backs, raise their tails and slide down into the icy water. Minutes passed, then the huge creatures burst to the surface together. The Liseron’s captain had slowed the boat to a near idle to accommodate the curiosity of his sixteen passengers. The humpbacks, he said, were feeding cooperatively by herding their prey (herring, most likely) inside a net of bubbles, then rushing up at them from below and scooping them into their enormous maws. My wife Risa and I had observed whales elsewhere over the years, but the sight of bubble-net feeding, as this was called, was new to us, …

Collecting Antiques Starts With A Good Era

Collecting-Antiques“I WAS GRABBING THINGS FROM MY cradle,” says Mitchell (Micky) Wolfson Jr., his way of acknowledging that the urge to collect came first, the rationale behind his astounding collection second. The result of this half-century of grabbing–and an $84 million inheritance–is the stunning Wolfsonian museum in Miami Beach, which houses most of the 100,000 items Wolfson has combed the globe to acquire and which has been welcomed enthusiastically by the art and museum worlds. “It’s an incredibly rich resource,” says Derek Ostergard of the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts in Manhattan. And Dodge Thompson, the National Gallery’s longtime chief of exhibitions, calls it “a valuable and cutting-edge museum.”

What makes Wolfson’s collection unique is his singular taste and interests. He has never coveted the name-brand paintings and sculptures that often adorn the homes of collectors of …

Discovering CC Wang

CC-WangC.C.WANG PLANTS HIMSELF AT precisely the same spot in relation to each Chinese scroll painting we view. Adopting precisely the same physical posture every time, he seems almost to be listening as well as looking. It’s the brushwork that, in each instance, he asks us to absorb. He has repeated this lesson countless times over many decades: the Western tradition may focus on color or composition, but the Chinese tradition looks beneath such externals to the underlying “brushvoice,” as Wang calls it. He knows exactly how to approach the canvas to catch its nuances. This must be, one thinks, the connoisseur’s equivalent of the perfect golfing stance. This man has perfected the art of looking.

C.C. Wang (pronounced Wong), who is 93 this year, is said to have seen more classical Chinese landscape paintings than anyone in history. He’s also …