Saturday, June 19, 2010

If I were a better negotiator......

I would always remember that win/win means mutual
gain, not equal gain.

I would always remember that the pie we are trying to
divide can be enlarged first. Elements can be added to
a negotiation.

I would always remember to ask clarifying questions
when presented with a "non-negotiable" item or issue.

I would always remember that "tunnel vision leads to
head-on collisions" (thanks Jack). If I open my eyes
and broaden my perspective, it becomes clear that
there is more than one way to reach an objective.

I would remember that the only dumb question is the
one I fail to ask, but should have.

Different way of thinking about 'Smooth'......

We will all celebrate when the trend line starts moving upward......

Statistics can be made to do many things. Sometimes they
simply paint a clear historical picture. Like here.

New construction permits in Licking County (located in
central Ohio with a population of just under 150,000 nice
folks) for the past seven years looks like this:

2003: 683
2004: 957
2005: 921
2006: 611
2007: 383
2008: 199
2009: 98

I'm willing to wager $5.00 that the number of 2010 new
construction permits will be closer to 2008's number
than 2009's.

I'm also willing to say that 2004 and 2005 were just as
much an aberration as 2009.

It will truly be good news when the new construction
permit numbers reach 500. I'm thinking 2011.

Such optimism just comes naturally.

The world according to gapingvoid.....

Friday, June 18, 2010

If I were a better negotiator.................

I would always keep my emotions positive.

I would always be prepared for the negotiation.

I would always remember that the first negotiation is one of

I would remember that people do things for their reasons,
not mine.

I would listen to learn, not listen to talk.

Happy Birthday Sir Paul......

Paul McCartney turns 68 today. Still fabulous.

It is hard to imagine, but freshman year we actually spent
hours debating whether "Paul is Dead". Mania's are
interesting. Glad that one was a hoax.

The pendulum continues to swing..........

I am not going to pretend to be an expert on the residential
real estate market, but it would appear the current "buyer's
market" will be continuing. Story here.

The Bard weighs in...........

"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows
himself to be a fool."
-As You Like It

"This above all, to thine own self be true, and it must follow,
as the night the day, thou canst then be false to any man."

"Go to your bosom: knock there, and ask your heart what
it doth know."
-Measure for Measure

"Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none."
-All's Well That Ends Well

"My crown is in my heart, not on my head;
Not decked with diamonds and Indian stones,
Nor to be seen: my crown is called content:
A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy."
-Henry VI

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Picking up where Kurt left off...........


Cultural Offering makes a plea for clear communication here.

One of my teachers recently said, "Never negotiate via
e-mail. It is a good way to share facts, but a miserable way
to communicate."

He went on to say, "ask yourself three questions before
hitting the send button:

'what would you think if you received this e-mail?'

'what would you feel if you received this e-mail?'

'what would you do if you received this e-mail?' "

E-mails have a life of their own. The only time we truly
control them is after we've typed them and before we hit
the send button. Be careful out there.

Always a good idea.......

Looking before leaping. Discussion here.

Interesting quote from panel member Bruce Stern about his
four rules for investing in real estate, "don’t lose money,
don’t lose money, don’t lose money and make money."

Very few were the followers of those rules 2003-2006.

If I were a better negotiator................

I would ask the most questions.

I would ask questions to gain understanding and clarity.

My questions would be more "what?" oriented, rather than
"why?" oriented.

I would never argue.

I would listen the most.

I would slow down.

Why are people so unhappy when everything is so amazing?

What Would Dad Say opened this door. Enjoy this video

Richie Havens......... a favorite.....

I thought some of his best work was covering the Beatles song
book, until I heard this classic Dylan tune....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Newark loses another Great one........

Mathew Trombetta

As managing director, he brought enthusiasm and passion
to the Weathervane Playhouse.

To our community, he brought a vision of a better place.

Weathervane has benefited mightily from his leadership.

Our community benefited from his love for us all.

While the 'show will go on', it won't be the same without him.


"Courage doesn't
always roar.
Sometimes courage
is the quiet voice at
the end of the day
saying, 'I will try
again tomorrow'."

Good news for the long haul..........

A sense of discipline re-enters the investment real estate
world. One page essay from Ron Pressman here.

If you have followed this blog at all, you know that investing
in real estate is nothing like investing in stocks and bonds,
even though that point got fogged over during the recent easy-
money mania. Pressman says, "There is a growing under-
standing in the industry that many financial players simply
do not have the knowledge and experience to proactively
manage properties with their myriad needs." Well said.

Pressman is CEO of GE Capital Real Estate, a big player. I
suspect he is a finance guy at heart. Only finance guys
would say ".....with the goal of avoiding negative absorption"
when what they are really talking about is keeping their
rental real estate occupied by paying tenants.

Still, it is nice to see the big players acknowledge the
difference between real estate and other investment

Real estate development, circa 2006.............

Thanks Tom

"Where Are the Customers Yachts?"....... a fun and off-beat look at Wall Street. Written in 1940 by
Fred Schwed, Jr., it should be on the required reading list of
any investor- serious or not. Several excerpts have been
posted previously. Here is another one, offering investing,
or retirement, advice (remember to adjust the numbers for
inflation, depending on who you ask $1 in 1940 would have
the buying power of $15 today):

"For those wealthy people who have not yet found in these
pages an investment program which appeals to them, here is
another plan which at least has a certain originality. It was out-
lined to me by a bond trader one afternoon. We had been
discussing the broad history of investment bonds- a depressing
subject. This man has spent the last thirty years trading with
other people's money. His own money he had always
carefully spent.

I finally said, 'What a hopeless game! Tell me, Mac, and what
would you do if you had, today, $250,000 of your own?'

He answered with such promptness that I could see he had
given a good deal of thought to this improbability.

'I would put it into 25 envelopes, in cash, of $10,000 each. I
would put the envelopes into a safe-deposit box. I have been
told you can get a small one, such as I would need, for only $6
a year. At the beginning of each year I would take out an
envelope and I would risk not living more than 25 years longer.
That would give me $200 a week. But since a man has to be
doing something and I like gambling, I would live on $100 a
week and with the other hundred I would play the horse races.
That would give me a real interest in life. Most weeks I'd live
at the rate of a hundred- but occasionally at the rate of a
thousand. And for added pleasure, I could laugh at the tax

'But the percentage against you on the horses is certainly as
bad as in the market,' I reminded him.

'Worse,' he said cheerfully, 'but playing the horses is at least
fun.' "

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The secret powers of time........

If you can spare ten minutes, watch this. It's a fascinating look
at our sense of time, and why it matters.

Many years ago, my kids and I lost the "family dinner"
habit. Actually, we never fully developed the habit, although
it was one that my parents mastered and modeled for me.
A trade off was made. Something of value that requires work
and planning was given up for convenience, television and
down time. Reading Kurt's post, I suspect it wasn't the best
trade off. Wonder if it is too late........

Thanks BoingBoing

Learned something new today..........

Was looking through Simon Winchester's book the Map That
Changed the World again and came across this line:

"Although the nation's farmers certainly produced a lot -
being armed with such weapons as the crop sowing inventions
of Jethro Tull........"

Jethro Tull......... I never knew he was a real person. Turns
out that Jethro Tull (1674-1741) was an agronomist before
there was such a thing. He invented the seed drill and the
horse-drawn hoe, plus he improved plough designs. All of
which, over time, improved England's capacity to grow crops.

I refreshed my memory about something else today. I had
forgotten how special Ian Anderson is. Enjoy!

Waylon would be 73 today...........

He's got himself a pretty fair back-up band here.

Happy birthday to an American classic.

The Magna Carta was signed on this date in 1251

King John signed, essentially at sword point, a negotiated
document granting certain rights to the local noblemen. I
thought I had learned that this document was the first blow
to end the "divine right of kings" and the first step on the
path to our Constitution.

Maybe I learned wrongly. It can happen. A brief essay here.

John Quincy Adams noted on the Fourth of July, 1821:

"The people of Britain, through long ages of civil war, had
extorted from their tyrants not acknowledgements, but
grants, of right. With this concession they had been content to
stop in the progress of human improvement. They received
their freedom as a donation from their sovereigns; they
appealed for their privileges to a sign manual and a seal; they
held their title to liberty, like their title to lands, from the
bounty of a man; and in their moral and political chronology,
the great charter of Runny Mead was the beginning of the
world . . . the fabric of their institutions . . . had been founded
in conquest; it had been cemented in servitude . . . instead of
solving civil society into its first elements in search of their
rights, they looked back only to conquest as the origin of their
liberties, and claimed their rights but as donations from their

Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy Flag Day.......

Growing up in Philadelphia, I often got to tag along when my
parents showed visiting friends the historical sites in the old
City. One of the regular stops was Betsy Ross's house.
History tells us the Betsy Ross was commissioned by the
Continental Congress to create our first flag. One version
of the story is here.

The house of Betsy Ross in
historic Philadelphia.

A little bit of Stan Getz..........

A poem for Monday....................

Sweet Darkness

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

-David Whyte

Gone, but not forgotten........ Gene Barry (6/14/1919- 12/9/2009), starring here
in Burke's Law, a classic 1963-65 TV show. (For what it is
worth YouTube has two seasons of Gene Barry as Bat
Masterson available. Also a great show.)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Don Gunnerson is a most generous man and........

...a very fine artist and watercolorist.

My sweetie and I went to Ovation, the Midland Theatre's
annual charity dinner/auction on Friday evening. Always a
nice event.

A number of non-profit organizations in our community hold
annual charity dinners/auctions. As this blog has noted, our
community is an exceedingly generous place. The highlight
of many of these events is the auctioning off of a watercolor
painted and donated by Don Gunnerson. One can generally
tell how successful the fundraiser is by the price the
Gunnerson painting brings.

Friday night, this Gunnerson watercolor of Newark's
County Courthouse sold for $9,000. Ovation was a
successful fund raiser.

Don, thanks for your generosity (and talent).

Sunday's Verse...................

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time
for every event under heaven-

2. A time to give birth, and a time to die; A time to plant, and
a time to uproot what is planted.

3. A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a
time to build up.

4. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a
time to dance.

5. A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; A time
to embrace, and a time to shun embracing.

6. A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; A time to
keep, and a time to throw away.

7. A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; A time to
be silent, and a time to speak.

8. A time to love, and a time to hate; A time for war, and a time
for peace.

9. What profit is there to the worker from that in which he

10. I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men
with which to occupy themselves.

11. He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also
set eternity in their hearts, yet so that man will not find out the
work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.

12. I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice
and to do good in one's lifetime;

13. moreover, that every man who eats and drinks and sees
good in all his labor- it is the gift of God.

The Open Bible, Ecclesiastes, 3: 1-13

Music for Sunday.....Randy Travis