Last year I attended the Phoenix Forum and learned a lot. Some of which I put into play this last year, and some are still ongoing projects. Trying to keep a PHP programmer seems to keep slowing me down though. This year Ransom will be my “date” for the event.
Ransom spends most mornings working here helping out. My main assistant has been very sick the last month, hence not much activity on Twitter or the Blog as I have been in Emergency Mode most of January/February. Lots of trips to the hospital! He is fine, but Ransom continues to try to help out where he does most of the legwork.
Last year, Ransom really expressed an interest in learning more about the biz, so this year he is coming to see what it is all about. It is kind of an Industry event, but a few gay sites will bring their team of guys and put on some shows. I am not sure why they do, since it is mostly industry people. At times, the cynical part of me feels like they are showing-off how much money they have, but then I am kind of glad they do, ‘cuz even I like to see how other teams work from other sites.
The conference is March 29th to April 1st, so if you want to attend or live in the Phoenix area, stop on by. Send me an email (email@example.com) and we can try to meet up.
It will be interesting traveling with Ransom. He and I….uhhh…spend a lot of time together, so it will be cool to hang with him outside of the work environment. 😉
And if you don’t get that hint, then I guess you will have to wait till I do updates from the event!
Bill and I “splurged” and ate at a fairly nice restaurant called MonkeyPod. It is over by the Four Seasons andother fancy hotels, so we were expecting really high prices. All things considered, even with dessert, it was about 25 bucks a piece. Somehow we timed it right, and just like the Oasis in Texas, we got a gorgeous sunset, with the air temperature perfect.OurI waiter was HOT too. That always helps!
We decided to take some pics. We only pulled out the camera on the first day, and basically since we did the same thing every day- Wake up at 3am, work, make breakfast at 8:30, work, then at 11am, hit the local convenience store DAILY for more sunscreen. We each went through a bottle each day. Still got pretty dark. Then to the beach for 4-5 hours. Then a half hour shower to remove sand encrusted in waterproof sunscreen, then dinner…and more work.
But what would a vacation be without the’ arm length self portrait.’
Tomorrow is Sunday and our flight leaves at 4pm and it is an all-nighter, arriving in Austin at 8:30am. I kind of like these flights since they are easy to sleep through.
Have to clean the condo, and maaaaybe walk down to the beach outside the condo for some last minute sunbake. It is right on Kiehei Rd which is non-stop traffic. It’s a battle between peaceful waves and the sound of non-stop engines. But it will do.
The last three days were pretty relaxing. I don’t know if I am completely energized to dive back into working so hard. Maybe the hormone/adrenal thing will get me back into full-energy mode.
I still have a fairly light shooting schedule for the rest of August…or at least i am trying to keep it that way. But man, September, all the models that didn’t work this month, and all the scouts that didn’t get new models in, they will really be aggressively trying to get scheduled. Not sure how to get them all in. And they all want to come ASAP.
Been thinking of a second site, but I cant find anyone to do the updates on this site. If you know of any gay or gay friendly PHP/SQL programmers that can actually work and complete a project, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I got a laundry list of all kinds of updates that need to be done.
I will try to take more Behind the Scenes shots. Or tell some BTS stories. Most of it is drama, and I dunno, I think it just takes the fun and fantasy out of the porn. I think hearing about how two models in one week missed their flights, forcing me to start shooting at midnight in order to make sure they get their video filmed and them paid will become tiresome after a while (yep, true story–didnt finish filming until 5am).
So it is back to the grind. And if it kills me, I hope it is soon ‘cuz everyone loves a tan corpse!
Well, it’s been over 3 years since I took a vacation. The trip to the Phoenix Forum turned out to be work for 9am to 2am each day. We even backtracked and realized that I have never taken a single day off that entire time. 18 hour days, 7 days a week.
I do get to to the gym, though I dunno if that counts as “me” time as I try to stay in decent shape for the site and even interacting with the models.
As I write this it is is 3am in Maui. Because it is 8am in Austin, my brain is telling me I have slept in. The 8 hour flight from Dallas was brutal. My friend Bill and I flew American this time and I was hoping their planes would have some more seating space, but not so…unless you fly first class. There you practically get a LazyBoy recliner. I know many of you think I must be rolling in money, but some models actually make more than I do a month. Like most business owners, I pay myself last.
Even the steerage class that we were in was a $1000 bucks. the first time I went to Maui is was under $400. It is about $3000 a piece to fly First Class. So economy it was.
Ransom and Teo are staying at the studio. Ransom is working on re-doing rooms. We have two more rooms to do. After two years, it was time to change things up. I wish I could vary the sexual positions the guys do as well, but the straight guys really are not very creative and if we veer too far from standard positions, they go limp. So refreshing the rooms has been an ongoing project, that Ransom and Bill have been working on it.
Let’s see what else.
Oh yeah, my kidney’s failed last week… adrenal failure or something. Lack of testosterone that were critically low. Yes! I get to get testosterone pellets put in under my skin! (TestoPel) It was taking my insurance company forever to decide if they would pay for the Testopel treatment, in the interim my kidneys shut down. So I got a bottle of Test and took one injection and my symptoms decreased dramatically.
My doctor was not happy about my stress load, and for the first time I actually have high blood pressure. Sigh…getting close to 50 so parts are giving out. My kidneys still hurt a bit, and I am tired of drinking cranberry juice, but everything is working within acceptable parameters. I am looking forward to balancing the hormones out without a shot.
The trip to Maui just started being a stress reliever. Scouts were panicking that they weren’t getting guys in for commissions. Models of course are even more upset as many rely on a gig each month to cover their expenses. But my body and mind were literally giving out. After 3 days of being here I had to tell the scouts to ease up on me. I was still working 8 hour days- coordinating schedules, filling orders remotely, setting up STD testing, booking flights and hotels, handling tech supports, and of course updating the site. Hardly relaxing.
Oh yeah, I had to bail a model out of jail just before I left. That was a first. Never again. Ransom helped by picking him up and getting him squared away. That helped a lot. Ransom is really trying to help me out as much as possible. He is becoming an indispensable part of my little team. It is weird to finally have other people help with the work load.
My friend/assistant Bill got rear-ended in the Jeep a week or so ago. It was totaled and thankfully no one was hurt other than a few scrapes and stiffness. I lost a couple days trying to find and purchase the right car as he often runs the models to the hotel or airport. I still pick them up and make sure they are fed. I got the Ugly On the Outside, but Really Nice on the Inside, Ford Flex. Very boxy, but geez it sure is sweet on the inside. And Bill likes it better than the Jeep, so he is happy. I’m just not happy having more car payments, or doing the insurance dance. I do have to say Traveller’s Insurance was extremely efficient and totally on the ball. Farmers Insurance, the guy that hit Bill, had not done much, so Traveller’s just took over made sure we were taken care of.
Central Texas has been hit particularly hard with the drought, and I am on well water. It has been running out of water. So I guess I willl have to get water tanks. I can’t run my business without showers. It sounds bad, but I hope a string of Cat 2-3 Hurricanes take aim at Houston. It is the only way we will get some water going. I believe Lake Travis is down about 50 feet, and fires are breaking out everywhere. A fire broke out a couple miles from my place and everything was covered in ash. Very scary.
In summary, the weeks before this vacation were not fun.
I have 2 more days here of the five day vacation (not including the two days of travel back and forth) and I finally have some time to do something fun. Going to Little Beach is always fun, but there is only so long you can sit on the beach before being awarded the George Hamilton Tan Award (I think I am in the lead in the Leathery Skin category!)
So writing this entry was actually quite nice. Yeah, I know, it sounds like I am bitching when I likely don’t have much room to. And I can hardly illicit sympathy while sitting in Maui or “having” to buy a new car, but I do enjoy writing, no matter how poor my grammar and spelling is, so this was actually fun.
I fly back this Sunday and Monday morning it is back to the grind. Hopefully the testosterone therapy will get me some more energy to keep the pace up. We’ll see.
It is getting late on Sunday night. Just got back from Phoenix via a pit stop in El Paso.
Today was a cluster fuck of travel for most people, but I lucked out. Only had to stand in line to check in at the Southwest counter for an hour to check bags. None of my flights today were cancelled due to the emergency inspections after a SWA plane can-opened the the previous day.
VERY full flights as everyone was taking all kinds of routes to make their flights happen, but for me, it was likely the most relaxing part of the trip.
We got a lot accomplished. I talked to several key people that I wanted to do business with, and am hoping to soon bring those ideas to fruition.
Lots to be done.
Steven at Red Apple keeps telling me to hire someone to help with mundane things. I think it is about to be time, because I really want to amp things up.
The above picture is Chris, me, and Remik from Red Apple the morning after day 1. I am not saying that these guys consumed a lot of liquor, but most of the drinks were free, and everyone actually kept it together pretty good.
Even by day 3 everyone was holding up, though the event got tiring going from 9am to 2am each day. By the third day I think everyone was very mellow, and the enthusiasm for all the cool things we wanted to try were beginning to sink in as a lot of dang work.
This is Peter from Porn Guardian. I have been working with him and another anti-pirate company for quite some time. He was extra nice, brought me my favorite snacks (rice krispee treats!) and I got to see all their improvements at keeping sharing of my files at bay. Their product has matured quickly.
As a member, you are very valued. You all know how small my operation is. I can’t absorb the ton of downloaded videos that are pirated. Some members even point them out (thank you) knowing that if its out there for free, I simply can’t make more.
So I dunno. There were some lawyers there, and it’s pretty easy to track down the pirates and PornGuardian has a lot of solid evidence. I don’t necessarily want a huge legal battle, but I think it is time to put my foot down.
This picture was from the last event put on by NextDoorMale. They had a ton of their exclusives and put on a great show. My hat off to them, cuz honestly they must have spent a shit ton of money on the party and event, and I just can’t imagine making money back from all that or even having the money to pull it off. I have to admit, their guys are smoking hot, and they have built quite a team of Exclusives! Green with Envy!
I am likely doing an Austin event for Splash April 30 -May 1, and need to get my models lined up and get some promo work so anyone in the area will come see them.
So far I think I have Micah, Tobin (maybe, he is very shy) Sidney, Ransom, Taylor, Kent, and another model that has yet to make an appearance that I know you will fall in love with. Vander has finals, and Kristopher will be out of the country.
I believe we will be at Charlie’s on Saturday night (the 30th) and then at Hippie Hollow doing a party barge (I may not attend that as I get very green on a boat just bobbing up and down!)
So likely the next couple entries will be about gearing up for that and making it happen!
As I mentioned to one of the commentators of my last post, I quickly realized if I attend this event like I did yesterday, I will literally be gone from my hotel from 9am till 2am. No need to be fussy about the hotlel as I am clearly not going to be spending a lot of time in it.
I attended two seminars that were both informative and frustrating, as panelist don’t have the same opinions about how to best run a website or handle pressing issues. TOTAL VALUE in this, but it does make me think about what to do to make ChaosMen a better value for members, best way to protect my content that I spend night and day on, and new offerings and technology to make the ChaosMen experience smoother all-the-way-around.
I said “Hi!” to Frank at Epoch and Gary at CCBill and few other people I have only emailed or spoke on the phone with. So it was nice to put a face to the words/voice. Need to spend more time with them today. I have an agenda!
I spent most of my time hanging with my webhosting team Steven, Remik, and one of the Buzz West owners, as well as the two guys who built the Silverlight interface. They are both straight and though the conference is mixed, it was a pretty gay day. Straight companies didn’t seem to make a presence until late in the evening. It didn’t matter to them at all. I thought they would be bored by some of the seminars, but if anything, the two are totally energized in finding ways to get content out to my members in new and novel ways, and to take advantage of emerging technologies.
So that means I have some programmers eager to make ChaosMen even better. That alone was worth the price of the flight and hotel!
And on top of all that, both guys are hysterical and crazy fun to be around.
As usual these events are also about the parties and making socially lubricated (tipsy) contacts, rather than just sitting in a dry or feisty discussion group. I tend to think this is when a lot of discussion about formulating game plans happen. Now, if they will remember it the next day will have to be determined!
All these boys can drink, and were trying to pace themselves as I guess the parties ramp up. They were doing a fine job getting a buzz, and not getting sloppy, but they were drunk and funny.
As straight guys, AND having looked at my site over the years, they had the same, “These guys aren’t straight” attitude, but I asked them both some basic info , and they totally “got” how straight guys would find doing gay work easier than they initially thought.
So it was fun to hang with them, tease them about things they never thought about, and then watch them, for some reason, get more and more excited about amping up ChaosMen.
Like I said, we’ll have to see if it was just alcohol talking, but somehow I think these two are totally behind Team Chaos.
I of course, have never really drank, so as usual the drinkers are fascinated by that, and try to get me drunk. Why that has been a challenge for 30 years when going to clubs is bit beyond me. The only thing I can think is no one wants to be a drunken mess alone! (No one was a drunken mess, but they def. were loooooose!)
I suspect today will be a bit more somber as there might be some hangover action. I have only one seminar today that I want to attend, so the rest I guess will be networking and watching everyone get their drink on again, which I have to say, is a lot more fun now that everyone is mature. Less messy!
Since they gave me a hard time about not drinking, I had a blast hanging with them and giving them a hard time about just how straight were they. It was fun. Not sure they could take two more nights of that without alienating them, so perhaps tonight I will mingle out of my safety zone and meet some new people.
I arrived in Phoenix and finally found my hotel up in Scottsdale last night.
Love the city. Everything is new and sparkly. The roadways are awesome.
Got to meet with Steven and Remik (my webhosts) and the guys from Buzz West. They have a nice place here in the Phoenix area, and it was fun trading porn site owner stories.
Nothing was open after 10pm in this sleepy town. So went without dinner. Not a Wendy’s drive through in a 25 square mile radius. Don’t really care for this hotel and its dated furnishings and popcorn ceilings.
I should have researched the hotel better. No gym, no spa…sigh. Not even a wired internet connection as promised on their site.
The back view is stunning, but its like Disneyland. Man made and if you look out the front it’s all shops and busy streets. Hardly the “get away” I as hoping for.
May change hotels cuz I think even a Holiday Inn Express is much more modern and suits my business needs. Perhaps going with a “Resort” hotel they don’t cater to people in need of a wired fast connection. Not even a desk to sit down and setup a mini command and control laptop. Electrical outlets? Bah! I def. have to stop by Walgreens to get a power strip.
Anyway, very hungry so off to find something nutritious (pancakes are nutritious?!) for breakfast then off to the Phoenix Forum.
Today I leave my city for the first time in over 3 years.
Yup, I have been actually working non-stop for…yeeks…3 years.
I know this, because my last vacation was to Hawaii, and the night before my return, I got food poisoning (never eat a chicken-salad sammich from a open-faced cooler at a grocery store) The following day I was done tossing, but for the 8 hour flight, I was quite queasy and green. It was a most memorable travel experience.
Not sure going to the Phoenix Forum counts as a vacation, but hey, I am getting some time away from shooting and editing, and I did book a fancy hotel. Though no spa or work out room….it’s all about Golf there. Snore (sorry golfing fans.). So maybe I will have to find some relaxing massage spa experiences while there. And no, I am not interested in a “happy ending” I pay for those every other day.
The event should be interesting for me. I went to one of these like 6-7 years ago, but people only knew my photography.
I still run into gay people ALL THE TIME that are like, “ChaosMen? Never heard of it.” Which shouldn’t surprise me given membership levels, but it does seem to surprise my fans, who really LOVE the site. I think I have the best fans ever, but since they enjoy the site so much, I don’t think they understand how anyone would NOT know abut ChaosMen.
I am pretty hardcore about not wanting feedback. No time to respond (though I do read!!) and usually it is always followed by another email saying just the opposite, so I can’t run my business based on feedback. I do run it on Sales though. The mighty dollar is the only way I can judge if a model or scene did well.
Anyway, I want to thank the fans of the site. You all seem to help me out soooo much. You help me find Pirated videos, send words of encouragement to keep me going, and act as ambassadors, spreading the word about ChaosMen.com.
You all make me feel like I am chipping away to become a “real” adult site…whatever that is these days.
Despite the huge caution on the Feedback page, I do want fans to know, Member or Non-member, I really appreciate them!
As for the Forum, it will be interesting to see how many people know of my site, or are “Oh ChaosMen? Is this a new site? Do you need a new payment processor?”
I am prepared, as usual, for almost complete anonymity. Thats why I am glad I will have a small posse to hang with.
I am excited to see my web hosting guys, Steven and Remik, as well as the owners of Buzz West as they are all friends of mine. The guy who wrote the Silverlight streaming interface for you to use will be there too. I am anxious to finally meet him. He has been awesome in helping members troubleshoot issues when it first rolled out.
I am sure there will be a party or two to go to, so that might be nice.
Mostly, I imagine I will be on my laptop at the hotel, trying to go over the new version of the site.
I have talked about this for a year. It was 80 percent finished when my programmer disappeared, and have had a tough time finding advanced PHP/SQL guys to work on the site.
I REALLY want to get this finished because it offers some new features. Advanced Searching, .zip files of photosets and camcaps, better login tracking (for those with cookie problems), and a better mobile browser experience.
The changes are subtle and slightly cosmetic, but the biggest change will be the ability to add a second processor – Epoch.
I am all setup and ready to go (you may have noticed Epoch tech support links) but I need to have the site upgrade totally in place before TWO processors are writing to site.
I even have it setup so the Affiliates get credit no matter which processing company members join with. A major concern for Affiliates who do the bulk of the advertising and promotion for the site.
So while on the trip I will be combing through the new version of the site, trying to find layout mistakes and things that just don’t work.
Slightly off topic, I watched this rather dry documentary on Netflix. It scared the shit out of me. Worse than global warming has!
I am now afraid to eat anything, and my mouthful of mercury fillings are likely poisoning me to death.
It really has made me look at what I eat and am tempted to try to eat more organically (and have all my fillings removed..cuz some are 30 years old!)
I bought several of the Gerson books and will be reading it while I travel.
I figure it will keep me out of the Cinnabon store at the airport.
At the very least, if I eat better, I wont have food poisoning on my return flight home!
Anyway, I may or may not have some updates from the event. It’s likely techy boring stuff, but I might upload a few pics.
I appreciate your constructive feedback and suggestions, but I won’t respond or reply to messages about: matching models up, when or if a model will ever return, or “where are they now” type questions. I just can’t confirm future pairings or model appearances. Thank you.
All models are 18 years or older.
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