A Little Late Than Never

What a week this was! But first, how was YOUR week? Seriously, I want to know. Come on, I tell you about mine, you tell me about yours. Isn’t that the way this is supposed to go? No? Well, think about it. You don’t have to come up with 1200 words, but 200-300 words would be just fine.

This has been one of “those” weeks. You know those weeks. They either drag on forever or shoot across the space/time continuum faster than you realize. For me, it was the latter. How Monday morning turned into Friday evening is beyond me. But, I’m still alive, my loved one’s are still alive, so things could be worse. Right?

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The Julia Barnes Interview?

I’ve had a few people suggest that it would be “a good thing” for me to answer some of the burning questions I get over and over, and I think I will.  Maybe a Q&A in the form of a faux-Interview would do the trick. You see, if you subscribe to the Spinfuel Newsletter (subscribe here) you get to ask me anything you want. No, wait, that’s not right. Anyone, anywhere and ask me a question by emailing it to newsletter AT spinfuel DOT com. I pick between 6-8 questions, on any topic, ANY topic, and answer them in the Newsletter. So in a way, the only place to see if I answered your question is to subscribe. SO SUBSCRIBE ALREADY. If I decide to do an interview I’ll publish it in the Newsletter. It could be fun, maybe give you guys an idea of what’s its like behind the scene of the fastest growing, #1 vaping eMagazine in the world.

Secret Travel

So, what’s going on? Lemme see…. Oh, Oh, Oh… My Stock Photos!

I had an old client contact me last Sunday night. He had a desperate need for some special stock photos for a huge project and he asked if I would help him locate what he needed. Since I am a stock photographer by trade I agreed and we spent most of Monday on FaceTime on our iPads (one of the best tools a photographer can have) and using our computers we searched for the stock photos he needed at some of the high-end stock houses. Nothing seemed to work for him. After several hours of a fruitless search he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

So I took off Tuesday morning, laptop in hand, and flew back to Boston where my studio is located. Well, it was “my” studio almost 10 years, now it’s mine along with 3 other owners. Spending so much time in Florida meant I couldn’t cover all the expenses anymore and I was loaning it out all the time anyway, so why not take on a couple of partners that could cover the cost of running and have someone there all the time to watch out for it. I arrived Tuesday afternoon, caught a nap and met my friend for dinner.

By Wednesday morning we had made a photo list, a comprehensive list of all the possible shots that he would need. He told me that he would meet me at the studio later in the day with everything we might need to create the photos. Instead of going the stock photo route this was going to be a custom job so he hired me. This is my first custom stock job in more than 5 years.

John told me that if I could spend the week up there and no one suspected that I wasn’t in the Florida office then I could take the project on, as long as it didn’t cause any conflict with my job with Spinfuel. He agreed to let me stay on in Boston for a month or so. I told him that would be great but I don’t think I could keep it quiet that long. He said I could mention it in this week’s “Vaping…” column, as long as no one suspected I was already here. Well, here I am. Surprised?

It looks like the next few weeks or so I will be working out of the Boston area and submitting everything for Spinfuel through the Internet. This is going to be a very interesting period in my life and I think I’m going to have fun writing about it every week. I’ll recap my adventures in Boston and New Hampshire every Friday when I write this column.

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Already in the first week there were a couple of hiccups in the new arrangement though. Dealing with a couple of our clients John and I messed up our communication so it looked like we didn’t know what the other had just said to the clients. Even a couple of staffers got confused there for a minute when I relayed some information that was already obsolete. But I suspect this will get ironed out by Monday morning.

The eLiquid Reviews

Some eLiquid brands that we “had” on our schedule seems to have gone by the by. Others, like Alice in Vapeland was supposed to be assembling a new batch of flavors, including flavors we hadn’t reviewed previously, but I haven’t heard a peep from them. The Plume Room, an awesome eLiquid premium vendor was also supposed to get involved in a “sequel” review are suffering from too much growth too quickly and have actually shut down their business for several weeks. Andrea is an amazing eLiquid Artist and as soon as we did our review in Spinfuel, when her company was just a few weeks old, we knew The Plume Room was going to be huge. Godspeed Andrea! I can’t wait to reorder our usual flavors!

A couple of other brands have backed out of a review since reading John’s article on eLiquid vendors and how I’m supposed to include photos of the facilities in order to show the audience that the company selling the juice has clean and dedicated facilities to work in. I truly believed that these eLiquid companies would jump at the chance to show that they were not “kitchen” and “bathroom” mixers. Now I don’t know what to think.

In very early January we began assembling the next 4 or 5 eLiquid reviews and had lined up several, including 777 eCigs Shisha eLiquids (but we’re still waiting on the eHookah I think), Gen.X eLiquids, Mister E-Liquid, and a couple of others. Plus there are some special “single flavor features” coming out as well.

The Spinfuel Team has already spent their 72-hour periods with the eLiquids and we’ve already met to discuss them. Yesterday’s Mt Baker Vapor sequel was done this way. The meeting was done on FaceTime Monday night and I turned in the final review Thursday night, I wrote most of it on the plane. Unless something happens that forces me back to Florida early the next couple of eLiquid reviews will be done the same way.  So, you know what that means?

What’s Julia Vaping in Boston??

That’s right. All the review eLiquids have been reviewed. Every flavors vaped, notes taken, discussion meeting taken, notes collected, and everything is either in my laptop bag or on my laptop’s new SSD drive. So I’ve been vaping my personal eLiquids all week, and will next week and the week after, up until I get back to Florida.

I didn’t have a lot of time between committing to go and having a car pick me up and drive me to Palm Beach International, so I packed a few bottles of my favorite eLiquids and if I run out I’ll have to reorder and have it sent here. We’ll see. I might be okay for a while at least.

This week I’ve been vaping FanceeJuice MeeseTracks, an awesome flavor that John vapes every day. He gave me a bottle before I left after he told me that he had already reordered another 3 bottles. In addition to MeeseTracks I have a bottle of White Leaf from Mountain Oak Vapors, Vanilla Sunrise and Vanilla Iced Cupcake from Ginger’s eJuice, and a bottle of Johnson Creek’s Autumn Crisp that I was “saving” for a trip up to New Hampshire, so that turned out well. Let me tell you, allowing a bottle of Autumn Crisp to steep a couple of months will reveal a very smooth, deep and oh-so-heavenly awesome flavor. If you haven’t tried Autumn Crisp yet what are you waiting for?

There are a few vape shops up this way so I might pop in on them and take a look around, spend a little money, snap a few photos… and never mention Spinfuel. Just go in and see the interactions from the eyes of a normal Vaper, not someone in the business. That might make for some interesting subjects to write about.

Kiosk Krap (lol, did I just type that?)

Several months ago John and I took a look at the local eCigarette Kiosk shop at the mall, snapped a few photos and worked out a blistering feature on the place, and all the other Kiosk shops in malls across the country. It is so sad to know that every single day hundreds of people, perhaps thousands are being completely ripped off by these jackasses. Anyway, something happened had forced us to sideline that feature so I figured that while I was up here I would go back to it and see if I could finish it.

I can’t find the photos!  They are here somewhere because everything on my computer, my iPhone and my iPad are backed up remotely to my storage server here in the studio. I just have to find them. I’m hopeful.

Finally, there is this; It’s great to be home again, but it’s really ugly up here right now. All that snow from last week is melting and freezing, melting and freezing, this used to be the period of the year that I liked, the dark days of winter, but now it just looks depressing. If I feel like this in a month I’ve decided that I am going to sell out my share of the studio and move to Florida permanently. I never thought it could happen, but I am actually homesick for Florida and all my co-workers. And I miss my significant other like crazy!

I’m in no hurry to move out of the “community” home we have down there, I love living with the people who create Spinfuel, but who knows. If things stay the way they are in my romantic life it might be time to move into our own little apartment.

So that was my week. Don’t forget to tell me about yours. Oh, one more thing. We are working on some wonderful new giveaways that are going to be historic, as in the same level of our first historic giveaway. So watch for it, it could come at any time!

From 6 stories up in a nondescript townhouse in Boston MA, this is Julia Barnes… see you soon!