A Peculiar guy named Geremy

CategoryEscapades

My Tesla Model X Named Judith

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In March 2016 I found out that Tesla came out with their Model X car and my local showroom had one. I saw it and liked it, but left it alone because it wasn’t the right time for me.

Twenty months later, I had a few minutes to spare before my appointment at the Apple store, so I stopped into the Tesla store with hopes of quickly test driving a Model X. Instead of quickly driving the car, they said “do you want to take the Model X for a few days?” I thought that the employee was joking, so I stared at him for a few moments. He stared back. He was serious. So I was serious. “Sure!!” And just like that, I found myself driving around in a super-bright red Tesla Model X.

I couldn’t get the car out of my mind, so when my sister asked me for my Christmas list the following week, it had one item on it: The Tesla Model X. Did I expect her to buy me a car? Not really, but you miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take. I didn’t get the car for Christmas, but I kept hope alive!

Then in February I made the bold claim that I was going to get a Tesla Model X by the end of the year. At that moment, I had no idea how I would get it, but I knew that it costs nothing to dream and everything not to. Then one day I found myself in a snow storm where my car was stuck on the highway. The thought crossed my mind that “if I had a Model X, I could probably drive through all of this snow with no problem.” Somehow it made sense in my mind to take out my laptop, tether to my phone’s internet connection, go on the Tesla website, and reserve a Model X online while stuck on the highway in the snow. I didn’t have all of the details figured out, but I didn’t want to get trapped in “analysis paralysis” and cause overthinking to make me miss a potential blessing.

A few weeks later, my Model X was delivered, I named her Judith and I immediately planned a makeover for her. Now it has been five months of owning Judy and I’m still in disbelief that everything came together this quickly and smoothly. From dreaming about a car in January to owning my favorite car in my favorite color with my favorite wheels in August, I’m amazed and elated.

Welcome to the family, Judith!!

Here is a video of each of the moments described above:

The Five Dollar Challenge

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Can you turn $5 into $100 in two weeks?? Well, I know some people who can, and they’re my kids! Well, not kids that I own, but kids that I teach.

At the beginning of the Summer most teenagers look for a job, but I wanted my kiddies to think like business-owners instead of employees. So, I created a challenge where they had to start and grow a business in two weeks. In order to keep things fair, I had a few rules:

  1. I will provide the initial $5 investment to start. No outside angel investors, seed capital, piggy-bank cash or any other kind of money is allowed.
  2. Everything must be legal and ethical. Don’t get locked up trying to start a small-scale drug cartel or gambling ring.
  3. Do not spend any of the money on yourself. The initial $5 is an investment, not a gift, so don’t spend it on a Wendy’s 4-for-4.
  4. Every penny spent or earned must be accounted for on an accounting spreadsheet.

So the challenge was simple: Use $5 to start and grow a business within two weeks. The business owner that earns the most profit gets to keep all of their money, as well as half of everyone else’s money. Also, if anyone chooses to continue their business after the challenge is over, I agreed to be the first investor to add additional capital in the business.

Participation was optional, but four people stepped up to the challenge. I’ve never done this challenge before, so I didn’t know what to expect, but I figured that the big winner would earn $40 at the most.

Two weeks later, the four new business owners presented their results:

Business # 1: Personal Assistant and Home Cleaning Service
In this business, she helped others do tasks that they didn’t want to do on their own. From cleaning pet cages, to painting toenails, she did it all and she did a stellar job. She cleaned houses, helped family members, and was eager to be of assistance for two weeks. Her prices were “pay me what you feel it was worth” and she chose not to spend any money at all to make sure that she earned a profit from day 1. Total profit $94.

Business # 2: Car Wash
This person used the $5 to buy car wash supplies from Dollar Tree. Then she recruited some of her friends, borrowed a hose and went door to door within her housing development to ask her neighbors if they would like a car wash. She washed 9 cars in one day and also received money from tips. No wages were paid to the friends, which probably creates a labor law issue, but I’ll leave it up to them to sort out. Total profit: $56.90.

Business # 3: Hydration
At first, he sold snacks around the neighborhood, but sales weren’t going as quickly as he wanted, so he switched his strategy. He bought a case of 40 bottles of water at Costco for $2.50, refrigerated the bottles, and went to the basketball court every day to sell the bottles for 50 cents each. Total profit: $21

Business # 4: Graphic Design
He started a graphic design business where he created digital art for people online. This included creating logos, photoshopping graphics and creating vector graphics. He got a customer who agreed to pay upwards of $100, but the money didn’t come through on time and he was left with the $5 that he started with. Total profit: $5…kinda

The winner was business # 1 who went home with a total prize of $135.45. But the strangest part of the entire thing was that no one cared about the money at all. The winner didn’t care about how much money she earned and no one else seemed to mind that they didn’t earn any money. They enjoyed the experience and were so proud of what they created in two weeks that the money wasn’t important.

I am very proud of each of them! Within a matter of days, they came up with a business idea, a marketing strategy, and they ran the bookkeeping and operations of a company that they created themselves. They were very driven and they didn’t try to sabotage each other. At first, some of them were discouraged since the sales weren’t coming as quickly as expected, but in the end, they all made something amazing that they could be proud of.

So let that be a lesson to parents— if your kid ever says that they want a summer job, just hand them $5 and tell them, “you have two weeks…start something!!” If they don’t come back with at least $50, feel free to lock the refrigerator and charge them rent until they start bringing home the bacon. That’s free parenting advice from Geremy.

I Made a Song!

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In my head, I’m a rapper/producer. I don’t have a rap name, but if I did, it would be “MetalGearLiquid” or “Ampersand&.” But even though I’ve only officially made one song as a fake rapper/producer (which was 23 seconds long and made as a joke), I decided to accept the challenge of creating another song…a real one this time!

I was involved in a theater production as a co-director and part of the script required a dance performance to a song. The only problem was that the song didn’t exist and everyone who accepted the job of creating it backed out at the last minute. I thought “it can’t possibly be that hard,” so I accepted the task.

I called one of the most talented rappers I know and we formed two-man team. I was the producer and he was the rapper. After giving him a summary of the song and a script of the play, we went to work. He wrote a few versions of the song and we tweaked the lyrics via email and text messages for a few days. During the same time, I worked on refining the beat into something that would work well in the play. About a week later, we set-up a makeshift studio and spent about 5 hours recording.

When we were finished, we both listened to the final product and it sounded decent. Just as we were packing up, I played him another beat that I was going to use on a different project and he immediately said, “WE NEED THAT BEAT ON THIS SONG!!!” He was right.

We immediately went back to work—he reworked the lyrics and I refined the beat. Within 45 minutes, we had a finished product and the song was done. This time around, we were much more excited about the outcome.

The song was then sent to two dancers who choreographed a dance performance and a few weeks later, I watched as the song that we made come to life on stage in front of ~500 people.

Here is the song called, “I love His Name,” which is based on the book and play “The Day I Died But Now Live.


Direct Link to song

Professional Graduation Attendee!

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Is there any such thing as a professional graduation ceremony attendee?  If so, then I think that I’ve got enough experience for the position!

In addition to my own three graduations, my sister is a doctor so I attended all 49 of her graduations (discussed here, here, and here), I attended numerous friends’ graduations, and now the latest addition to my graduation résumé is my brother’s high school graduation!

The same kid who was was just 3 years old the other day and holding his breath underwater for “15 minutes” is now a high school graduate and I was there to witness it!  Now he’s off to college and adulthood.  Life comes at you fast!

Congratulations, Jordan!

A Solo Retreat to the Happiest Place

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I went on a retreat. By myself. To Disney World. Weirdest “retreat” ever? Indeed!

Retreats are amazing…well, at least my definition of a retreat. The Geremy™ definition of a retreat is when someone travels to an unfamiliar place with the purpose of recharging, getting new ideas, and coming up with new strategies for the future. Early May was the perfect time to get away, so I spontaneously booked my trip to the happiest place on earth…Orlando.

Ok, it’s not the happiest place on earth, but it was the perfect place for my retreat for three reasons: 1) Disney, 2) Hotels and 3) SpaceX

Let me explain…

Disney World

Walt Disney fascinates me because he was a guy with a huge vision that he pursued all his life. Each time he created something, he would immediately make his vision larger and work to make the newer, bigger vision a reality. For example, when he opened Disneyland in 1955, he immediately started planning the bigger, more significant Disney World project the same year. This reminds me of when my parents gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in 1983 and immediately after her birth, they started planning a bigger, newer, more improved baby named Geremy who would entered the world in 1985.


When I read about Disney’s vision that started with animation and has now grown into an empire that includes hotels, TV networks, Venture Capital firms, real estate and cruise lines, I knew that I needed to see these things up-close. Like like Disney, I too have a vision of creating a conglomerate that includes a lot of different areas, including transportation, media, and hotels…except mine will be larger. Watch out, Disney Company!

By the way, I rode on Splash Mountain twice. Easily the best ride I’ve ever been on in my life.

Hotels

Speaking of hotels, I have visions of opening an amazing, world-class hotel one day. But before planning my own hotel, I wanted to visit a world-class hotel that I’ve admired for a while— The Alfond Inn. This hotel has won local and national awards for being a top 10 boutique hotel in the United States, so I wanted to include them on my visit to Florida.

Rather than wandering around the hotel like a nomad, I emailed the General Manager and asked to meet for a tour and to ask questions. To my surprise, he responded quickly and was happy to arrange it. So within hours of landing in Florida, I arrived in Winter Park and was able to tour a hotel that was similar to my vision. In addition, I booked a room at a hotel that opened a week before my visit because I wanted to see what the beginning stages of a brand new hotel looked like. These experiences were very eye-opening and I had a long list of “what not to do’s” from the hotel that I stayed at.


For example, someone almost, kinda burned down the hotel where I stayed. It happened at their make-your-own-waffle station in the breakfast area. Apparently someone made their own waffle and never removed it from the waffle maker, so it continued to cook until it burned to a crisp. All of a sudden, smoke started to pour out of the waffle machine and the restaurant smelled like that one time that I microwaved an egg for a minute just to see what would happen. If the maintenance person didn’t come to the rescue, the hotel might’ve been celebrating a “grand closing” a week after their grand opening. Note to self: Eliminate all make-your-own-waffle stations from your hotel!

SpaceX

I’m a huge “SpaceX” nerd. The only pictures that I’ve got on my wall of my home are pictures of rockets, and I’ve watched livestreams of every single SpaceX rocket launch since their Grasshoper rocket. So since Orlando is near the Kennedy Space Center where SpaceX launches their rockets to outer space, I needed to visit. Seeing the SpaceX rocket on the pad was the Geremy equivalent of your great-grandmother seeing Elvis perform live for the first time. I was starstruck…over a rocket…like a nerd. It was amazing and SpaceX was a big source of inspiration during my retreat since their growth in under 10 years was out of this world…pun clearly intended.

My solo retreat was very much a success and I loved it so much that I am making it an annual (or semi-annual) event! It was also helpful to disconnect from the outside world by limiting my use of technology in order to focus as much as I could. Now I’m making sure to make all of my ideas become reality because that retreat wasn’t cheap and I need something to show for it.

Feel free to hold me accountable! Also feel free to go on retreats of your own and share your experiences with me!

And remember to not overcook your waffles!

Lab 2

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You remember my lab, right? No? Well, let me remind you…

Seven years ago, I converted one of the rooms of my investment property into an office that I called a lab. It was called a lab because a laboratory is a controlled environment where research, experiments and development takes place, and the purpose of the space was to research, experiment and develop in order to create the future.

As time passed by, I began working from Starbucks more frequently and I dismantled the lab, but now that I have a renewed passion to change the world, I need a permanent space to work from. In the second episode of Geremy’s Peculiar Week, I had the idea of developing “Lab 2”, but I let the idea sit for while I worked-out the details. Now, I’m officially working out of lab 2 and slowly developing it into a high-functionality, well-equipped workshop until I outgrow it.

The Lab 2 is five times larger than Lab 1 and when it’s complete, the entire space will be 100% functional and beautiful. Lab 2 is a space that is completely dedicated to researching, experimenting, and developing, so everything in it will serve that cause, down to a granular level.

As of right now, the lab is almost completely empty. In it, there’s a table, two Steelcase Leap Desk chairs, an Ikea Poang Armchair with Ottoman, a bookshelf, a Harmon Kardon Onyx speaker, and a Canon MX922 printer. In the future, I plan on adding a video production area, an audio production area (complete with vocal booth), a workbench with power tools, and a photography area.

The goal for Lab 2 is for something great to come out of it every day that I’m there, and thus far I’m very happy with the results. I can’t publicly reveal all of the developments thus far, but one small product that has come out of Lab 2 is the “Peculiar PPL Stick to It” sticker, and there are many, many more developments to come.

Say hi to Lab 2!

A Peculiar guy named Geremy