Saturday, November 27, 2010

"My love's bigger than a Cadillac........."

For when your gears need re-shifting...............

In C Remixed

Saving money with Dan Pink......

The Four Word MBA:

Talk Less.  Listen More.

Refresher course found here.


Keith Richards autobiography reviewed by the Head Butler- here.

Fun excerpt here:

"School: 'I hated it. I'd spend the whole day wondering how to
get home without taking a beating.'  By his teens, he'd figured
the system out: 'There's bigger bullies than just bullies.
There's them, the authorities.'  He adopts 'a criminal mind,
anything to fuck them up.'  His school record reflects this:
'He has maintained a low standard' was the six-word summary
of my 1959 school report, suggesting, correctly, that I had put
 some effort into the enterprise."

"The rest of the book? Keith Richards and a guitar --- and
what a love story:

'Music was a far bigger drug than smack. I could kick smack;
I couldn't quit music. One note leads to another, and you never
know what's going to come next, and you don't want to. It's
like walking on a beautiful tightrope.' "

The generation that created "political correctness".....................

................was weaned on television like this.   Think there is a

For what it is worth, Buffalo Bob Smith was born this day in 1917.

Friday, November 26, 2010

One of the greatest live shows.............

I understand there is a football game this weekend...........

Speaking of "Script Ohio"............Go Bucks!

"Time is not money. Time is life."

Friend Jim is buying a house and planning to settle in at The
Villages in Florida.  He is looking forward to joining as many of the
1,400 some odd clubs they have there as he can.  On his list is the
"Precision Golf  Cart Drill Team".  Looks like fun, but  I would be
even more impressed if they drove "Script Ohio".

The cost of doing business........................

Of course, its not really accurate for us to blame the government
for all this "red tape".    One step at a time, one petition at a time,
one "special interest pleading" at a time, we have brought
this on ourselves.  As friend Pogo opines:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving.................

Could hardly pass this up.............

The Presurfer posted about the "monikers" of ten cities- here
The picture from his post is another street scape sculpture from
Philadelphia, "The City of Brotherly Love".

Framed in the distance by the base of the sculpture is the
Philadelphia Art Museum.  Classic picture.

Promises, promises....................

The Trend Czar has a few things on his

1.   Pension problems are looming, with not easy answers.

         "I expect that over the next decade, state and local
          governments will pare back pensions for all retirees
          over the strenuous objections of unions—that’s the
          only way to solve the severe underfunding."

2.   Investing in real estate means holding real estate, not
      trading in real estate.
          "Essentially real estate is an income plus investment—
          registering annualized returns in the high single digits.
          It’s better to buy-and-hold prime properties, managing
          to keep occupancies high, than to engage in opportun-
          istic trading strategies, which can distort market pricing
          and eventually hit a brick wall of significant losses."

3.   Institutional investing in real estate cannot provide high
      enough yields to close the short-fall between pension assets
      and pension obligations.

            "Desperate to close yawning funding gaps for
             increasing numbers of beneficiaries, these institutional
             investors are back scrounging for higher yields—yields
             that by the way real estate just can’t and won’t deliver
             on an ongoing basis.

A hard learned lesson.........

Thanks Jessica

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Depending on who you ask..........

Scott Joplin was born this day in 1868.  The "King of Ragtime"
was a pianist and a composer of note.  In 1899 he published
Maple Leaf Rag, a major hit and commercial success.

"Its syncopation and rhythmic drive gave it a vitality and
freshness attractive to young urban audiences indifferent to
Victorian proprieties... Joplin's ragtime expressed the intensity
and energy of a modern urban America."

Highest Education.................

Back in August there was a post about the University of Bate,
THE educational alternative.

Sir Nicholas just released the curriculum for next semester, here.

Enroll today!

As good a reason as any.........

Phil Frye, "the real estate guy", sent this tweet yesterday:

  Phil Frye  It's sunny. Buy a house.
  (@ Century 21 Frank Frye)  
   about an hour ago via Twitter
                        ·Like  Unlike · Comment ·
                        @REALTORPHILFRYE on Twitt

Real estate people will always tell you that "now is a good time to
buy."   Well, it just might be true this time.  I suspect that five
years or so from now we will look back on 2010 and 2011 and
think,  "I wish we had bought a few more houses back then."

This train of thought will be continued in the next post.

Two interesting charts............

Sometimes charts are useful to put things in perspective.  Doom
and gloom has been the order of the day for all things real estate
for the past several years.  The first handy chart tells us that the
sales volume for single family homes in the past twelve months is
down from the bubble years of 2004-2006, but the annual
sales volume is now greater than or equal to the annual sales
between 1994 and 1998. 

If we stop comparing things to the "bubble years", it is not all
that bad out there.  Houses are selling.
Existing Home Sales

The second handy chart is Exhibit A for the argument that now
is a great time to invest in real estate. The excess inventory is
starting to drop. Granted there is plenty of inventory on its way
to market, and most of it from Sellers who were never home-
owners, so there will still be some downward pressure on home

Successfully timing the bottom of the market would mostly be a
matter of luck, although we should not expect anything close to
buyer/seller equilibrium for several more years.  "Buyer/Seller
equilibrium" is code for rising prices.

Interest rates are currently at unsustainably low levels.  The
existing inventory of  homes provides a myriad of choices. 
Owners under pressure means there are bargains to be had. 
All told, today's prudent investor in a single family house
should  be patting themselves on the back in five years.

Year-over-year Inventory

Me too...............

Dear Everyone

Thanks Leah

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A little magic at the piano.........

The very talented Bruce Hornsby turns 56 today.  His Hot House 
CD is one of my favorites.  Enjoy his energy and personality here:

Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation Establishing Thanksgiving Day.......

The people from whom I have learned the most in this lifetime
have all believed, and taught, that a genuine sense of gratitude is
the bedrock of  happiness, joy and a successful life.

We have- I have- so much to be grateful for.  Just in case we
need a reminder, there is more to this week than extra football
games, turkey, and pumpkin pie. 

While the idea of having a day of thanksgiving has had many
expressions, few have said it as well as Abraham Lincoln.

..."set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next,
as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father
who dwelleth in the Heavens."

His full proclamation is here:

October 3, 1863

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with
the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these
bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to
forget the source from which they come, others have been
added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they can-
not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habit-
ually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty
God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and
severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to
invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been pre-
served with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws
have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed
everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while
that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing
armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth
and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the
national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or
the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements,
and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious
metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore.
Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste
that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field;
and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented
strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of
years, with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand
worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of
the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for
our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be
solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one
heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore
invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States,
and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in
foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of
November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our
beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I
recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions
justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings,
they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverse-
ness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those
who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in
the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably
engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the
Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to
restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine
purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony,
tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and
caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in
the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-
three, and of the independence of the United States the

A. Lincoln

Talking about Gratitude.............

When eating bamboo shoots, remember the man who
planted them.
-Chinese Proverb

A thankful heart is the parent of all virtues.

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark
from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep
gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.
-Albert Schweitzer

The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Gratitude is the heart's memory.
-French Proverb

No duty is more urgent that that of returning thanks.
-Saint Ambrose

Whatever hour God has blessed you with, take it with a
grateful hand.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have
into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos
to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast,
a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
-Melody Beattie

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought,
and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
-Gilbert K. Chesterton

Beware the methane................

Yahoo posted a story about the thawing permafrost releasing
vast quanities of methane.  Here.  Not sure that anyone can truly
and accurately say what it means, but this comment to the post
made it worth the time invested in wading through the article:

Ralph    21 minutes ago         Report Abuse
Nature will do what it does and repair what we do. Climate
change has been a fact for millions of years and will continue
to be a fact long after we are gone and only roaches and Dick
Clark are left.  Only recently have we become arrogant enough
to assume we can keep the planet from changing because some
millionaire is worried that rising sea levels will mess up their
beach house.


What we saw last weekend..........

Took an early Thanksgiving break to visit Mom in Philadelphia.
Saturday afternoon, my Sweetie and I walked around downtown.
While we were there, we stopped to see Zenos Frudakis's
amazing sculpture, Freedom, located at Vine and 16th Streets
in front of the GSK building.  Philadelphia has some sort of
requirement that a tiny percentage of  the construction cost of
a downtown office building has to be spent on art.  As a
result, there are some fabulous street scape sculptures in the City.
This is but one example:

Then we walked around the near-by Chinatown.  Lots of people
out and about.  Lots of commerce going on.  The big surprise was
the number of vegetarian Chinese restaurants.

We had our horizons expanded when we saw fresh brussels
sprouts still on the stalk.  Mom loves brussels sprouts.  Me, not so
much.  Having avoided them most of my life, I never gave much
thought to how they were grown.  Still, this was a surprise

Did I tell you we drove to Philadelphia?

Thanks Michael

Monday, November 22, 2010

"atoms with consciousness; matter with curiosity...."

An Untitled Poem for Monday

There are the rushing waves
mountains of molecules
each stupidly minding its own business
trillions apart
yet forming white surf in unison.

Ages on ages
before any eyes could see
year after year
thunderously pounding the shore as now.
For whom, for what?
On a dead planet
with no life to entertain.

Never at rest
tortured by energy
wasted prodigiously by the sun
poured into space.
A mite makes the sea roar.

Deep in the sea
all molecules repeat
the patterns of one another
till complex new ones are formed.
They make others like themselves
and a new dance starts.

Growing in size and complexity
living things
masses of atoms
DNA, protein
dancing a pattern ever more intricate.

Out of the cradle
onto dry land
here it is
atoms with consciousness;
matter with curiosity.

Stands at the sea,
wonders at wondering: I
a universe of atoms
an atom in the universe.

-taken from "What Do You Care What Other People Think"
by Richard P. Feynman

Time to check that business model..........

Mathew Ferrara suggests its time for the real estate industry
to re-invent its business model- here.

Excerpts here:

"Nearly half of all agents in the industry did zero
transactions last year."

"Second, agents have made the 12-month listing agreement
the “norm” in their market, keeping alive the malpractice
of  overpricing which kills margins. Holding inventory for
a year would kill Infiniti, Dell or Wal-Mart. No wonder it’s
killing REALTORS, who earned less than $35,000 on
average last year.

The World according to gapingvoid...........

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A bit of fun at the piano...............

I suspect that Jason D. Williams is worth the price of admission.


...raise my hands, bow my head.........

A Verse for Sunday

14.   And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage
        the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men.

15.   See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always
        seek after that which is good for one another and for all men.

16.   Rejoice always;

17.   pray without ceasing;

18.   In everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in
        Christ Jesus.

19.   Do not quench the Spirit;

20.   do not despise prophetic utterances.

21.   But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is

22.   abstain from every form of evil.

23.   Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely;
        and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved
        complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus

1 Thessalonians   5:14-23
The Open Bible

This is only sort of silly.......

Not ranking mind you, just listing my favorite guitar players.
Before you yell at me, I know Hendrix is not on the list.  Plus,
none of these guys are particularly young.  My Ohio State
sophomore's list would be vastly different.  As it should be.

I am not a musical scholar, but I know what I like. 

In no particular order:

Carlos Santana
Eric Clapton
Mark Knopfler
Brad Paisley
B. B. King
Jimmy Page
Dave Mason
Pat Metheny
Duane Allman
The Edge
John Fogerty
Dicky Betts
Russ Freeman