Saturday, February 5, 2011

Couldn't have been more appropriate..........

Jack O'Neill was honored by the Licking County Chamber of
Commerce for his dedication and service to our community.

As the above picture (borrowed from the Newark Advocate)
suggests, the John Alford Award was presented to Jack at last
Friday's Chamber of Commerce Groundhog Breakfast.

If you believe that jobs and opportunity matter, Jack O'Neill
has to be your hero.  For the last fifty years, no one in our
community has done more to advance economic development
and job creation in Licking County  than Jack.

A previous post -here- details some of his accomplishments.

His impromptu acceptance speech was an inspiration.

Thanks Jack. 

On why he is a role model for so many.............

Excellence occurs on purpose, here

A clear eye on Passion............

Tom Asacker says of salespeople , "I've finally come to under-
stand and appreciate the one trait that separates the
successful and confident ones from the also-rans"

Full post here.  Excerpts here:

"No, it's not superior brainpower, discipline, or a mega-
memory. And no, it's not the all-consuming desire for riches
or for trips to tropical island resorts. It's not even brilliant
copy, a killer USP, or the lowest prices.

It's passion. Passion for their people, products, and services.
Passion for their customers, for their experiences, concerns,
 and dreams. A passionate belief in their view of the world
and their unique place in it. A passion to really matter, to
make a difference."

"Successful people....... focus all of their energy on
continuously improving their offerings and on adding value
to the lives of each person they touch. They're passionate in
their role as experts, problem solvers, confidants, and friends.
And because they know that the best they can do is to
genuinely care, try their hardest, and reach out to everyone
that could benefit from their help, they have boundless
energy and a genuine sense of accomplishment.

The virtue of actually talking and listening.............

Thanks Jessica

Make mine a hot tea, two sugars, please...........

"Chance favors the connected mind."

Steven Johnson says, "Many of history's great innovators
managed to build a cross-disciplinary coffeehouse environ-
ment within their own private work routines."

Excerpts from Where Good Ideas Come From

The story of a conversion............

Dave Leonhardt tells of his change of heart vis-a-vis renting or
buying a house, here.  While the column is several years old,
I suspect today he would say, "even more so" given the state
of the current housing market.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Released this day in 1938.............Snow White

"Walt Disney’s decision to make Snow White, which was the
first animated feature to be produced in English and in T
echnicolor, flew in the face of the popular wisdom at the time.
Naysayers, including his wife Lillian, warned him that
audiences, especially adults, wouldn’t sit through a feature-
length cartoon fantasy about dwarfs. But Disney put his
future on the line, borrowing most of the $1.5 million that he
used to make the film. Snow White premiered in Hollywood on
December 21, 1937, earning a standing ovation from the star-
studded crowd. When it was released to the public the
following February, the film quickly grossed $8 million, a
staggering sum during the Great Depression and the most
made by any film up to that time.

"The movie’s innovative use of story, color, animation, sound,
direction and background, among other elements, later
inspired directors like Federico Fellini and Orson Welles."

Full article here, more history here

The Trendczar talks showdown.............

Jonathan Miller, who blogs at Globe Street dot Com, discusses
hard choices in the coming tug of war between service delivery
versus income versus expenses for state and local governments.

Miller, who if I remember correctly blogged in favor of ending
the Bush Tax Cuts, correctly points out the much of the Stimulus
money coming out of Washington in 2008 went directly into the
States' coffers, enabling many of them to defer the hard choices.

That party is now over.  Surprising me, Miller writes:
"Where the whole local-state government-tax-spend train
has gone off the tracks is funding public worker pensions
and benefits - as an example one third of New York City's
budget goes to funding pension plans.  Public employees
need to accept what GM workers an millions of other private
sector employees have experienced in recent decades - the
replacement of defined benefit pensions for 401Ks and the
requirement to make hefty contributions to medical plans.
And like private sector workers, public employees will
realize the choice - it's having a job with a lesser pension
or having neither."

Full post here.  His conclusion, here:
"The country needs a resourceful and healthy government for
all it provides, but taxpayers cannot afford to pay unsustain-
able benefits packages, crafted years ago by politicians and
union leaders who knew the bill would never come due
during their lives......Well now it has."


We don't let babies quit trying to walk just because they fall
down.  Why do we, as adults, let ourselves quit just because
we fell down?  

"Fall down seven times, stand up eight."

You mean I actually have to make the phone calls..........

The Friendly Anarchist, joining league with Sean and Nicholas,
tells me to quit fooling around and.......

"Buying new anti-distraction tools and decluttering our
workspaces and setting up new productivity systems won’t
get our work done. Sitting down and doing stuff will."

Now............That's entertainment!

From the 1943 musical Stormy Weather, Cab Calloway
and the Nicholas Brothers.  A great show!

Our National Debt explained................. terms your basic football fan will understand..

If one had the cash to pay off the national would be
able to buy 1,700,000,000,000  stadium priced beers, or one
could buy 1,015 foam #1 fingers for every man, woman, and
child on the planet.

Click on the picture for readability.  Thanks Michael

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Turning up the heat..........

This is insanity....................

No offense meant to the author, who is clearly a very bright and
very successful real estate entrepreneur, but cap rates below 6%?
Crazy.  Bench marking cap rates to Ten Year Treasuries? Crazy.

Full post here.  Excerpt here:

"It seems the CRE asset pricing is being driven by the Fed's
accommodative strategies that have pushed a lot of money
into the system, so far without setting off inflation. Even
though the 10 year Treasuries have risen dramatically in the
last several months and may rise another 50 to 75 BP's
before the year is out, there should be enough slack in the
spread between the 10 year T and core cap rates to restrain
cap rates for most of the year. Accordingly, we do not expect
core cap rates to move up from 4.0% - 5.5% until the 10
year T increases by 50 - 75 BP's.

This blog has bemoaned benchmarking Cap Rates for real
estate investments to paper investments before, and we will be
doing it again. 

If you have a $200,000 net income stream and capitalize it
at 5%, the income stream has a value of  $4,000,000.

If you have a $200,000 net income stream and capitalize it
at 8%, the income stream has a value of $2,500,000.

If you are a buyer wanting to acquire a property with a net
income stream of $200,000, would you rather pay $2,500,000
or $4,000,000?

This is not a piece of paper we are buying.  It is real estate.  A
long term investment. It has risk.  Location risk- neighborhoods
change.  Tenant risk- sometimes they default and our income
diminishes.  Roof risk- sometimes they leak and need to be
 replaced.  Parking lot risk- they deteriorate and asphalt sure has
gotten expensive lately.  Financing risk- real estate investing is
usually a long term play and rates may eventually move upward,
pinching cash flow for those of us who have mortgages.

We don't live in the Big City.  Us simple country folk may not
understand how the real world works, but it sure seems foolish to
buy investment real estate at any cap rate below 7% or 8%. 
This business is already difficult, putting the return of your
investment at risk makes it doubly so. 

Sometimes, the best real estate investments are the ones you
don't make.

Later in his post, the author says, "Money never sleeps and it
needs to eat. It will search out risk adjusted yield. As its
tolerance for risk grows so will its need for yield."

Maybe so, but if you ask me, investing in real estate at a 5%
cap rate already indicates an extraordinary tolerance for risk.
Good luck getting your money back.

The happiness of being responsible.........Part 2

"We are disturbed not by what happens to us, but by our
thoughts about what happens."

"There is only one cause of unhappiness; the false beliefs
you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly
held, that it never occurs to you to question them."
-Anthony de Mello

"The mind in its own place, and in itself can make a heaven
of Hell, and a hell of Heaven."
-John Milton

"Appreciation and gratitude are a must if you choose to
become the architect of increased happiness and your
own fulfillment."
-Doc Childre

"What a wonderful life I've had!  I only wish I'd
realized it sooner."

"The winds of grace are always blowing, but you have to
raise the sail."
-Sri Ramakrishna

"There are two ways to live your life.  One is as though
nothing is a miracle.  The other is as though everything
is a miracle."
-Albert Einstein

"If you let go a little, you will have a little peace.  If
you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.  If you let go
completely, you will have complete peace."
-Ajahn Chah

"It is only possible to live happily ever after on a
day-to-day basis."
-Margeret Bonnano

All quotes were lifted, again, from Marci Shimoff's book,
Happy For No Reason.

My favorite economic futurist is optimistic.......

From Jeff Thredgold's newsletter:

"Good news! The U.S. economy is now showing more signs
of self-sustaining growth. Such growth is opposed to the
somewhat artificial growth during late 2009 and in early
2010 tied in part to massive government stimulus."

Full post, including his riff on rising expectations, here

On a broader scale..........

"On a broader scale, a capitalist society is one in which the
creative destruction of the market is always reshaping basic
institutions.  We are always saying goodbye to something
we love, always leaving our fathers' homes for an unknown
future.  This is true of individual entrepreneurs who must
risk losing the wealth they currently have in the quest for
more; it is more broadly true through a changing society.
Semper eadem was the motto of the feudal world: always
the same.  The church, the state, the law, the dynasty: every
institution derived its authority from its antiquity.  Semper
reformanda is the motto of capitalism: everything needs to
be remade over and over again. 

Excerpted from God and Gold, by Walter Russell Mead

Yet at the same time..............

"Yet at the same time, there must be room for nostalgia
and a resistance to change.  There must be religious voices
denouncing the godless secularism and calling mankind
back to eternal principles - even as they denounce one
another for heresy.  Human society must be torn between
strongly felt ideals because no one ideal can hold all the
answers.  Open society must be secular and religious,
dogmatic and free.  Doxies of all kinds must find a place
there and be cherished, and the conflict and catfights
between them can never end."

Also excerpted from God and Gold, by Walter Russell Mead

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Looking out the window and daydreaming.......

A classic.......................

From Maggie's Farm

Oh no! Not another two feet of snow!

The happiness of being responsible.............


"If you don't like something, change it.  If you can't change
it, change your attitude.  Don't complain."
-Maya Angelou

"The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide
your problems are your own.  You do not blame them on
your mother, the ecology, or the president.  You realize
that you control your own destiny."
-Albert Ellis

"Most of the shadows of life are caused by standing in
one's own sunshine."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

"We first make our habits, and then our habits make us."
-John Dryden

"Who is rich?  He who is happy with his lot."
-The Talmud

"Things do not change; we change."
-Henry David Thoreau

"Happiness for any reason is just another form of misery."
-The Upanishads

"We can never obtain peace in the outer world until
we make peace with ourselves."
-Dalai Lama

"This joy I have - the world didn't give it, the world
can't take it away."
-Shirley Caesar

all quotes lifted from Happy For No Reason by
Marci Shimoff

Linky goodness

Brave New Kitty:   This too shall pass-   here
 "I began to see that at the core of every sadness there is joy,
  just as at the core of every joy, there is sadness. They are as
  inseparable as darkness and light, and just as essential to
  each other if one is to have a full human experience.

Chris Brogan:    On the Owner's Mind-   here
  "Do you think I work for raises? I never did in the old days,
  either. Sure, I needed money. We all do. But there’s no way
  an extra $4 an hour is going to change the universe.
  Owners seek something more. They want access. They want
  responsibility. They want the chance to do big things."

George Orwell:     A Nice Cup of Tea-    here
  "When I look through my own recipe for the perfect cup of
  tea, I find no fewer than eleven outstanding points. On
  perhaps two of them there would be pretty general agree-
  ment, but at least four others are acutely controversial.
  Here are my own eleven rules, every one of which I regard
  as golden:......."
(thanks ckck for pointing the way.  Makes me re-think Orwell. 
A confession:  I'm a regular hot tea drinker.  I violate all 11of his
golden rules.  What would he think of  microwaving?  Truth be
told, for me tea is a comforting sugar delivery system.)

The (M)others Official Blog:   The beatitudes updated-   here
  "HELPED are those who are content to be themselves;
  they will never lack mystery in their lives and the joys of
  self-discovery will be constant."

A Happy Birthday wish for Tom Smothers............

Born this day in 1937, the yo-yo man still know how to be funny.

Not sure what "homeownership" has to do with...........

........"social justice", or why he tagged his post that way, but
Professor Green has written an interesting few paragraphs on
the intersection of control and choices and owning real estate.

The United States of Awesome........

Wow.  Ohio has the "highest library usage."  It is gratifying to
realize that I am contributing to something Ohio does well.......

Click here to see from whence it came.  Thanks Gerard.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Summertime blues........................

Watching Keith Moon is worth the price of admission................

"If the only prayer you said in your life was 'Thank You',
that would suffice."
-Meister Eckhart
Thanks Scott

Screw that...................!!

"Amateur homebuilders take note! This handy chart will
have you asking for bolts, bits and screws with confidence.
Of course, what you do with them after that is where
things might get a bit hairy."

Thanks Gizmodo

On peace of mind............

"When peace is more valued than the entertainment
of the insatiable ego, it will be discovered to be ever
present and available."
-David R. Hawkins

Take the first step............

Thanks to the Idea-Sandbox

Bordering on obsession........

It has come to my attention that a few of you did not click on
yesterday's video celebrating COTC's 40th Year.  The music
from the video, In the Hall of the Mountain King,  has been
coursing through my head for the past 48 hours.  Just thought I
should share it with you again.

Volume up!

Am I the only one who thinks this sort of behavior is criminal............?

From MarketWatch, an icon goes rogue..................story here.

Excerpts here:
"As the financial crisis was about to explode, Merrill Lynch
kept secret from analysts and investors that it had $30.4
billion in mortgage-related securities on its books -- an
amount that “startled” the firm’s CEO Stanley O’Neal,
according to documents and interviews released by a fact-
finding panel."

"The failure in risk management eventually led to Merrill
Lynch surprising investors on Oct. 24, 2007, when it
announced that third-quarter earnings would include a $6.9
billion loss on CDOs and $1 billion loss on subprime
mortgages, $7.9 billion in total, the largest Wall Street write-
down to that point and almost twice the $4.5 billion in losses
the company had warned investors to expect three weeks

"O’Neal resigned from Merrill on Oct. 30, 2007. According
to the report, O’Neal left with a severance package worth
$161.5 million, on top of the $91.4 million in pay he received
in 2006 when Merrill Lynch was still expanding its mortgage
banking operations."

Monday, January 31, 2011

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

Reason #20:  COTC: The Central Ohio Technical College

Saturday evening, my Sweetie and I went to the celebration of
COTC's40th birthday.  It is a success story worth celebrating. 
Createdout of thin air in the late 1960's and early 1970's by the
vision, commitment, and determination of some of Newark's
finest, COTC now provides education and training to over 4,500
students annually.  With a full time faculty of 58 and a part time
faculty of 269, teaching in 35 Associate Degree programs,
COTC has an average class size is 17 students.  Over 30% of
the students attending COTC are more than 30 years of age. 
COTC is co-located with the The Ohio State University Newark
on a well thought out 175 acre campus.  With the recent
completion of The Warner Library and Student Center, the
beautiful campus now has six noteworthy educational buildings. 
It truly is one of our community's greatest assets while creating
tremendous economic benefit.  Under its current leadership,
COTC shows no signs of slowing down.  We are very blessed.

Here is a fun video celebrating COTC.  Enjoy!

Monday's Poem

          Riding Lesson

I learned two things
from an early riding teacher.
He held a nervous filly
in one hand and gestured
with the other, saying, "Listen.
Keep one leg on one side,
the other leg on the other side,
and your mind in the middle."

He turned and mounted.
She took two steps, then left
the ground, I thought for good.
But she came down hard, humped
her back, swallowed her neck,
and threw her rider as you'd
throw a rock.  He rose, brushed
his pants and caught his breath,
and said, "See that's the way
to do it.  When you see
they're gonna throw you, get off."

- Henry Taylor

On poetry and parenting................

Bird Dog has a lovely post up on Maggie's

His daughter's poetry professor writes a scathing critique.  A
father responds:

"That's what we are paying them for - tough criticism, high
demands, and a dose of humility. If you could meet their
demands, what would be the point of being there and paying
them money? My best teachers ripped me to shreds. They
want to stretch you to your max and beyond it to find your
limits, and that is good. We can't all be TS Eliots, and few
youths have enough life under their belts to write poems
that are more than pretty strings of words anyway. Don't
worry - you have your friends and family to love you

The post is worth the visit to Maggie's Farm.

A little morning Stardust...................

The beginnings of meditation..............

Do nothing for two

(Helpful hints:  Once you click on the "here", quickly move the
cursor off thescreen and don't touch the mouse again.  While it
says to listen to waves, I had to use my imagination to do so.)

Enjoy the two minutes.

Thanks Zoe

Speaking of meditation............

Nan at the Jade Page Press asks us to consider lighting
a or here.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

" opportunity and a privilege...."

"A person of power embraces the challenges in complete
gratitude.  No matter the situation life may bring, discontent
is never justified, rather all is experienced as an opportunity
and a privilege to adventure and grow."
-James Ray

Going to the office.......or not?, San Diego's Virtual Real Estate Brokerage,
ponders the idea of "why work does not get done at the office."

Full post here.  TED video below.  Excerpts about going to
the office and having productivity problems here:

"....basically trading in their work day for a series of work

"....people need long stretches of uninterrupted time to get
something done.  You cannot ask somebody to be creative
in 15 minutes and really think about a problem.  You might
have quick idea, but to be in deep thought about a problem,
and really consider a problem carefully, you need long
stretches of uninterrupted time........"

"....the real problems are what I like to call the M & M's,
the managers and the meetings......."

The welcome mat is out in Central Ohio............

Mark Perry posts the following:

They are invited to move to Licking County, Ohio.  We have a
talented and trainable work force, available land, available
buildings, sustainable infrastructure,  affordable housing, and a
government that is working hard at getting it right.  On top of
all that -  it is just a nice place to live and raise a family.

Sunday's Verse

16.  The pain which is yet to come may be avoided.

     There are three kinds of karma:  the karma which has already
been created and stored up, so that it will bear fruit in some future
life, the karma created in the past or in some previous life, which is
bearing fruit at the present moment, and the karma which we are
now in the process of creating, by our thoughts and acts.  Of
these, the already existing karmas are beyond our control; we
can only wait until they have worked themselves out, and accept
their fruits with courage and patience.  But the karma which we
are now creating - "the pain which is yet to come" - can be
avoided.  Not by ceasing to act - that would be impossible, even
if it were desirable - but by ceasing to desire the fruits of action
for oneself.  If we dedicate the fruits of action to God, we shall
gradually unwind the wheel of karma and thus avoid its pain.
How to Know God: The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali
Chapter II