Saturday, April 24, 2010

Reasons why I like living in Newark and Licking County

Reason #12: Dawes Arboretum






Dawes
Lake









There is something very special in our midst. A crown
jewel.

What started out as a 250 acre gift to nature and our
community by Beman and Bertie Dawes in 1929, has
matured into one of the finest arboretums in the
Country.

Patiently and deliberately growing over the years, The
Dawes now contains 1,789 acres. On that acreage are over
15,000 plants, an historic home/museum, a visitors/
education center, eleven miles of walking trails, and four
miles of paved roadways. Happily, the Arboretum shows
no signs of just resting on its laurels.








Part of the
Crab Apple
Collection


The Arboretum's mission is Trees, History, and Nature.
With 6,000 different varieties, they have the trees part
covered pretty well. The history part is covered nicely as
well. The Daweswood House Museum displays 19th and
20th century antiques and memorabilia from four of the
Dawes Family's five homes. Since 1927 there have been
102 tree dedications. While some are dedicated to (or by)
famous Ohioans like John Glenn, Jessie Owens, Orville
Wright, and Jack Hanna, most are dedicated to various
military men and military units. An impressive world
history lesson is available by merely reading the plaques
marking the tree dedications.







A view
toward the
Island in the
Japanese
Garden




While education isn't listed in their motto, the words "for the
education of youth" appears in the deed of trust (as well as
"for the pleasure of the public") . 16,000 people attended
education programs last year. Of that group, over 12,000
were school aged.









The
Cypress
Swamp





The Dawes Arboretum has an annual budget approaching
$3,800,000. While income is generated via memberships,
plant sales, facility rentals, and corporate sponsorships,
the lion's share of the funding comes from the endowment.
Originally endowed with a $200,000 Dawes contribution,
it has grown to its current size and strength by intelligent and
aggressive investing by the Trustees.

Dawes family members still serve on the Board of Trustees.







Dawes Lake

When the State of Ohio finally began construction of the
new State Route 161 there were some wetlands in the
way. Mitigation was called for. Creatively, Dawes
Arboretum approached ODOT, and joining forces with
them, created a new 21 acre wetland along Dutch
Fork on a recently acquired tract of land.

This fully functional wetland not only improves the quality
of water that flows from Dutch Fork to the Licking River,
it also serves as a flourishing habitat for fauna and flora,
and a point of education for the community.

It is this type of leadership and creativity that has
vaulted Dawes to the top ranks of arboretums around
the Country.


It is a great place to visit, to learn about nature- or just
enjoy its wonder. It is a great place to wander around,
holding hands with your sweetie. It is a great place to
seek and find calm and peace.


We are truly blessed by this great, great Arboretum.

Some wisdom from Tim Ferriss

"Pure hell forces action, but anything less can be endured
with enough clever rationalization."

"The opposite of love is indifference, and the opposite of
happiness is -here's the clincher- boredom."

"'What do you want?' is too imprecise to produce a meaning-
ful and actionable answer. Forget about it....The question
you should be asking isn't, 'What do I want?' or What are
my goals?', but 'What would excite me?'"

"Effectiveness is doing the things that get you closer to
your goals. Efficiency is performing a given task (whether
important or not) in the most economical manner possible.
Being efficient without regard to effectiveness is the
default mode of the universe."

"Problems, as a rule, solve themselves or disappear if you
remove yourself as an information bottleneck and
empower others."

The above quotes were taken from The 4-Hour
Workweek. I'm reading it in hopes of catching up
to my partner.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Congratulations are in order......

Andrew Guanciale received several well deserved honors
last night. The Licking County Board of Realtors named
Andrew "The Realtor of the Year" and also presented
him with their "Community Service Award".

Besides serving his clients well enough to be in the
$10,000,000 club, Andrew is past president of Big
Brothers and Big Sisters of Licking County, on
the Midland Theatre Board of Directors, a long serving
Board member for the LCBR, and on the Campaign
Cabinet for the United Way. Plus he is an all around
good guy.

It is a fun thing when organizations you like honor people
you know deserve being honored.

Andrew is 30. Makes this old guy feel good that there
is great young talent in the pipeline.














Andrew Guanciale receiving the "Community
Service Award" from Evie Via.

100% of communication.....

Words...............................................7%

Tone of Voice.................................38%

Body language...............................55%


Well, that explains a few things.


Thanks Jack.

Speaking of communication........

"To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are
all different in the way we perceive the world and use this
understanding as a guide to our communication with
others."
-Tony Robbins

"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
-Stephen Covey and St. Francis

"The newest computer can merely compound, at speed,
the oldest problem in the relations between human
beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted
with the old problem of what to say and how to say it."
-Edward R. Morrow

"When people talk, listen completely. Most people never
listen."
-Ernest Hemingway

"The more elaborate our means of communication, the less
we communicate."
-Joseph Priestly

"Speak when you are angry- and you'll give the best speech
you'll ever regret."
-Laurence J. Peter

"The Internet is the most important single development in
the history of human communication since the invention of
call waiting."
-Dave Barry

"The single biggest problem in communication is the
illusion that it happened."
-George Bernard Shaw

"Communication is the real work of leadership."
-Nitin Nohria

"To listen well is the as powerful a means of
communication and influence as to talk well."
-John Marshall

Rose colored glasses are becoming fashionable...

The National Real Estate Investor magazine thinks we
are headed for a rebound. Full story here, excerpts and
comments below:

"A new survey finds that most commercial real estate
investors perceive the U.S. market as at or near the
bottom, according to Colliers International’s 2010 Global
Investor Sentiment Survey. The majority of respondents
to the survey, which was released last week, pegged the
recovery at 6 o’clock on the 'global property clock'.

The 'global property clock' equates market cycles to
specific times, with 12 o’clock representing the top of the
market and six o’clock representing the bottom. Each six-
hour period in between designates rising (after 6:00 to
12:00) or declining (after 12:00 to 6:00) cycles.

Real estate investors worldwide are painting a more
optimistic picture of the market, with many convinced
that the next up cycle will begin in the year ahead. That
optimism is reflected by two out of three respondents
who expressed a desire to expand their portfolios over
the next 12 months."


Why do I suspect that many of these folks are looking
for a return to 2002-2007? The "clock" analogy only
makes sense if they think that there will be an orderly
progression of the market from 6:00 through 7:00, 8:00,
and so forth, all the way to 12:00. Doesn't feel like the
market works that way. The "clock" might be an
interesting way to look back at historic market conditions,
but using it to gauge and predict a current market......??


Readers of this blog will remember Guideline #3: 'You make
your money when you buy' and Guideline #26: 'Hold it'.

There are some really good investment opportunities
available in the market place today. Whether we are now at
the bottom of the market, or not, is a judgment that will be
made in three to five years. For a real estate investor
wanting to expand their holdings, with some diligence,
patience, and view toward the long term, 2010 should be a
very good year.

See, I've got my rose colored glasses on too.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

If asked to name my favorite historical American...



..that was not a "Founding Father",
I am pretty sure it would be
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain.




First read about him in Michael Shaara's Civil War classic,
Killer Angels. Bowdoin College Professor becomes a Colonel
in the newly minted 2oth Maine, becomes a Medal of
Honor winner for valor at Gettysburg, becomes the
Brigadier General who accepted Robert E. Lee's surrender
at Appomattox. Later he is elected to four one year terms
as Governor of Maine, and then becomes the President of
Bowdoin College. Quite a story.

I'm currently re-reading Alice Rains Trulock's biography
of Chamberlain, In the Hands of Providence: Joshua L.
Chamberlain & the American Civil War. Great book.

To describe the crucial battle at Gettysburg's Little
Round Top, Trulock quotes Chamberlain's Blood and Fire
at Gettysburg:

"The two lines met and broke and mingled in the shock. The
crush of musketry gave way to cuts and thrusts, grapplings
and wrestlings. The edge of the conflict swayed to and fro,
with wild whirlpools and eddies. At times I saw around me
more of the enemy than of my own men; gaps opening,
swallowing, closing again with sharp convulsive energy;
squads of stalwart men who had cut their way through us,
disappearing as if translated. All around, strange mingled
roar- shouts of defiance, rally and desperation; and under-
neath, murmured entreaty and stifled moans; gasping
prayers, snatches of Sabbath song, whispers of loved names;
everywhere men torn and broken, staggering, creeping,
quivering on the earth, and dead faces with strangely fixed
eyes staring stark into the sky. Things which cannot be told-
nor dreamed. How men held on, each one knows, -not I.
But manhood commands attention."

I read that and had to put the book down.

If I remember the taste of Ivory soap correctly....

..it was't horrible, but it was bad enough that I made sure
I did not have to taste it twice.




















Maybe the biggest difference between the "greatest
generation" and my generation (I am a middle-of-
the-pack baby boomer) was that they had lots of
self discipline and the willingness (strength of
character?) to impose it on their children.

I think history will show that the baby boomers
never quite mastered the discipline thing.


Thanks Si.

An index card is worth a thousand words........













Thanks Jessica

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A cartoon is better than 250 words.....



Thanks Clay

Another cause of our economic meltdown?

















Faithful readers will know that this blog has tried to
chronicle some of the root causes for the recent turmoil
in the real estate markets. As that turmoil quickly
infected the entire economy, it would be nice if we could
learn some lessons and not have to go through this again
for a long, long time.

As we rebuild, Anna Bernasek's essay on Economic
Integrity: How Wealth is Built on Trust and What That
Means for Our Future reminds us the previous
generations built the foundation of our economy on the
bedrock of trust.


Read her essay here. For those of you who do not want
to do that, here are some excerpts:


"The financial crisis of 2008 was first and foremost a crisis
of integrity. The seeds were sown as great numbers of
people sought their own short-term advantage, knowing
that they were putting others at risk. In short, it happened
like this: Homeowners took out mortgages that they knew
were likely to prove unaffordable later on. Banks lent money
knowing it was unlikely to be repaid. Wall Street operators
bought the junk mortgages and resold them in the guise of
sound investments. Accountants, lawyers, and ratings
agencies collected hefty fees for misleading assurances. And
investors giddily chased outlandish returns, unconcerned by
the all too apparent risks. In the climate of greed, frauds
great and small multiplied and spread like potent germs in
a warm petri dish." The girl can write.

"The whole vast and intricate financial universe, with all
its sober rules and gray-haired regulators, had been
diabolically converted by the nation’s brightest minds into
a casino where gamblers were risking mountainous piles of
other people’s money. Before the chips fell, those gamblers
claimed a lion’s share of false winnings and absconded with
fortunes intact, leaving behind a generation’s worth of toxic
residue for the eventual contemplation of investing clients
and the taxpaying public."

"Once a relationship of trust and integrity exists,
remarkable efficiencies result. Partners in trust are
spared a multitude of worries—whether they’ll get paid,
whether they’ll get what they think they’re paying for.
They are freed to act quickly and with confidence, again
and again. Pervasive integrity is fundamental to our
enormous, fast-moving economy. Integrity isn’t something
that’s nice to have. It’s something we have to have. For
without integrity, the economy would not function. There
would be no trading, no credit, no buying or selling. Our
modern economy would quickly degenerate into a
primitive system, and our wealth would disappear along
with it."

"Yet we take integrity for granted. We learn from infancy to
count on people to tell the truth, keep their promises, and
respect others’ rights. This trusting attitude is ingrained in
American culture, learned from the cradle and accumulated
over centuries."



My hopeful side tells me that while the hi-jinks and
foolishness on Wall Street may have damaged the levee, the
reservoir of trust on Main Street is still intact.

We are still doing "handshake deals". We still believe in our
long term business partners. We think they still believe
in us.

The simple way to increase trust is to behave in a
trustworthy manner, both individually and corporately.

Relationships must matter more that any one deal.
The long term has to supplant the quick strike.

This isn't rocket science, but it does require some
patience, discipline, and the will to invest in the proper
footings and foundation. Not the sexy stuff, just the
most important.

A few quotes from a rebel, a stranger,...

...and another man who died too soon- Albert Camus.



















"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk
behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my
friend."

"I shall tell you a great secret, my friend. Do not wait
for the last judgment, it takes place everyday."

"You will never be happy if you continue to search for
what happiness is. You will never live if you are
looking for the meaning of life."

"But what is happiness except the simple harmony
between a man and the life he leads."

"We only know one duty, and that is to love."

"Real generosity toward the future consists in
giving all to what is present."

"In the midst of winter, I finally learned that
there was in me an invincible summer."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Reasons why I like living in Newark and Licking County......

Reason #60: Concerts at the Carriage House
















Friend Dave invited my sweetie and me to his Carriage
House last Friday night to listen to a genre defying artist,
Joe Crookston. When there is live music in a venue
suited for about forty people, you are not so much
watching as you are participating. Previously we
experienced performances there by Michael Kelsey
(twice) and Randall Williams. Always fun. Always
great music.


















Joe Crookston. Singer, songwriter, foot stomper, story
teller, all around troubadour. A superb guitarist
(breaking strings and all) with a little banjo and ukulele
on the side. A generous and caring spirit with significant
talent.
















I just love the fact that there are people in our
community who can dream up and make real
opportunities like this one.


Thanks Dave

Is it possible that Global Warming....

.....might be caused by this? Just wondering.

A few poems from Rumi...

The Waterwheel

Stay together, friends.
Don't scatter and sleep.

Our friendship is made
of being awake.

The waterwheel accepts water
and turns and gives it away,
weeping.

That way is stays in the garden,
whereas another roundness rolls
through a dry riverbed looking
for what it thinks it wants.

Stay here, quivering with each moment
like a drop of mercury.


The Sunrise Ruby

In the early morning hour,
just before dawn, lover and beloved awake
and take a drink of water.

She asks, "Do you love me or yourself more?
Really, tell the absolute truth."

He says, "There's nothing left of me.
I'm like a ruby held up to the sunrise.
Is it still a stone, or a world
made of redness? It has no resistance
to sunlight."

This is how Hallaj said, I am God,
and told the truth!

The ruby and the sunrise are one.
Be courageous and discipline yourself.

Completely becoming hearer and ear,
and wear this sun-ruby as an earring.

Work. Keep digging your well.
Don't think about getting off from work.
Water is there somewhere.

Submit to a daily practice.
Your loyalty to that
is a ring on the door.

Keep knocking, and the joy inside
will eventually open a window
and look to see who's there.




The Servant Who Loved His Prayers

At dawn a certain rich man
wanted to go to the steam baths.
He woke his servant, Sunqur,
"Ho! Get moving! Get the basin
and the towels and the clay for washing
and let's go to the baths.

"Sunqur immediately collected what was needed,
and they set out side by side along the road.

As they passed the mosque, the call to prayer sounded.
Sunqur loved his five-times prayer.
"Please, master,
rest on this bench for a while that I may recite Sura 98,
which begins,
'You who treat your slave with kindness."'

The master sat on the bench outside while Sunqur went in.
When prayers were over, and the priest and all the worshippers
had left, still Sunqur remained inside. The master waited
and waited. Finally he yelled into the mosque,
"Sunqur,
why don't you come out?"
"I can't. This Clever One
won't let me. Have a little more patience.
I hear you out there."
Seven times the master waited,
and then shouted. Sunqur's reply was always the same,
"Not yet. He won't let me come out yet."
"But there's no one
in there but you. Everyone else has left.
Who makes you sit still so long?"

"The One who keeps me in here is the One
who keeps you out there.
The Same who will not let you in will not let me out."

The ocean will not allow its fish out of itself.
Nor does it let land animals in
where the subtle and delicate fish move.

The land creatures lumber along on the ground.
No cleverness can change this. There's only one
opener for the lock of these matters.

Forget your figuring. Forget your self. Listen to your Friend.
When you become totally obedient to That One,
you'll be free.


-translations by Coleman Barks

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Reasons why I like living in Newark and Licking County...

Reason #53: The Hank Smith Invitational Track Meet

Spent most of Saturday watching the 2010 Hank
Smith Invitational at Heath High School. This annual
highlight to the local track season is easily the best
organized and best run meet around.

Hank Smith was an administrator in the Heath School
system, a track official (starter), and a very good man.
He died at way too young an age. Twenty some years ago,
the Heath Invitational was re-named in his memory and
his honor.

Fifteen area schools send both boys and girls teams. Large
schools like Watkins and Newark High. Small schools like
Newark Catholic. County schools like Heath, Licking Valley,
and Granville. Out-of-County schools like Fredericktown,
Coshocton, Crooksville, Big Walnut, Buckeye Valley,
Centennial, Sheridan, Tri-Valley, and Canal Winchester.
Then add Columbus School for Girls to the mix.
Hundreds of athletes participating and competing.

The wind had an chill edge to it, but otherwise it was a fine
day.

My favorite part was the end of the first heat of the
1,600 meter run. The runner from Licking Valley came
in second place, but was overjoyed because for the
first time in his four year career he ran the race in
under 5 minutes. A personal record.

A great reminder, that while winning races might have
some importance, the truest competitions and the
greatest victories are won over ourselves.
Can we do better than what was our best?


















































A Psalm of David...

Psalm 37: Verse 1-11

1 Do not fret because of evildoers
Be not envious toward wrongdoers;

2 For they will wither quickly like the grass
And fade like the green herb.

3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.

4 Delight yourself in the LORD
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the LORD;
Trust in Him and He will do it:

6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your judgment as the noonday.

7 Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.

8 Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret, it leads only to evildoing.

9 For evildoers will be cut off,
But those who hope in the LORD, they will inherit the land.

10 Yet a little while and the wicked will be no more;
And you will look carefully for his place, and he will not
be there.

11 But the humble will inherit the land
And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.