Loving Vienna

Although a 1st District address is plum, the neighbouring districts, such as 4th, 7th and 8th, are still convenient and the hotels often better value. Viennese hotels are, almost without exception, well-run and pristine (even the most modest pension has good quality linen), but many are decorated in an oppressive Biedermeier style. We have tried...

Creativity At Work

What sounds more fun? Filling in spreadsheets with data for eight hours or coming up with new and exciting ideas? I’ll go ahead and assume you went with option two. The opportunity to innovate is something most of us want more of in our daily work lives. Yet often, we feel we can’t be more...

Find Inspiration

Whenever you see something from the big wide world that captures your attention, put it on display. It can be any discovery: an awesome ad in a magazine, an unusually arranged menu, or even a well-written email that made you laugh. The more provocative, the better! If you have space on a wall near you,...

Bring It To Life

Stop talking and start building! Put your thoughts into words, your words into pictures, and your pictures into prototypes. When people can see your idea, they’re less likely to forget it and much more likely to take it seriously and become involved in its development and bullet-proofing. Even a bad drawing is better than no...

Fuel Up on Creativity

For too many of us, checking our phone is the first thing we do each day. Feed your mind with creativity instead of diving into the email deluge (that can wait). Pick your favorite song, podcast, or blog to kick-start the morning. Whatever it is, make sure it fuels your imagination. You’ll be amazed how...

Life On The Road

Artist and writer William Morris once said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” I whispered these words to myself one warm May morning as I hauled boxes of my belongings into my uncle’s basement. He had generously offered to store 95 percent of...

Before Heading West

Before heading west, we did a 10-day mini trip through Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine in order to evaluate our supplies. As we learned to operate in our new mini home, we were forced to ask, “What could we do without? What could serve multiple uses?” The first thing that needed to go was the...

In The Middle Of A Rainforest

Camping out under a starry sky, in the middle of a tropical lowland rainforest is a great way to enjoy the nature. It is a unique opportunity to experience the mystery, comradeship, and adventure of an expedition into a primeval tropical environment. It is an invitation to the unexpected, a chance to accomplish something very...

Is Santa Clara One of the Least Affordable Housing Markets in the U.S?

I noticed an article this morning titled “5 Least Affordable Housing Markets in America.” I love reading about my home town, so I clicked. Would Santa Clara and San Francisco Counties be 1 and 2, or would they be further down the list? How do they determine the least affordable housing markets? The article looks...

Will Conforming Loan Limits Decrease? (An Update)

A couple of weeks ago I wrote that Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac conforming loan limits were likely to be reduced (for the first time in history) by the end of this year as a means to reduce the market share that Fannie / Freddie currently have of mortgage originations nationwide.  The problem, as I...