There’s always something to howl about

Author Archive

Happy Birthday, Greg!

Enjoy your next trip around the sun!


The Proprietor Is Celebrating Another Spin Around the Sun

Happy Birthday, Greg!




God Bless America

A few years ago I sold a very small condo to an Albanian family who came here having won the immigration visa lottery. They showed up in Texas with suitcases and two daughters. Both the father and the mother worked to provide for the family. The mother worked in the housekeeping department at a large Hilton Hotel. The father worked in the Deli department at Wal-Mart. The two girls enrolled in public school and started studying. The first thing the girls needed to do was learn to speak English as there are no Albanian bi-lingual programs at the Houston Independent School District. The oldest daughter started her American schooling as a 9th grader not speaking English in a very tough high school.

I met the family when this daughter was a rising Senior. She was in the top 10% of her class.

US Flag image:

About a month ago, I received an email from this daughter, now married and with child on the way.

Long story short- Inspections for the oldest daughter and her husband’s home are next Saturday.

I love a job where you can serve your heroes. Happy Independence Day.


ZestiBerry: Zillow available for your BlackBerry

If you are a Blackberry user, you can now access your Zestifarm on the go.
Thank you, Zillow! Blackberries are industrial strength communicators. They have the best keyboards and battery life in the business. Another reason I like them is that they have insurance available for the time when you drop it and it doesn’t dent the concrete. And one more thing… you can take a call and look something up on your phone without hanging up. That seems to be a big deal these days. Now you can see Zillow on a Blackberry as well. Are there any other happy blackberristas out there?


The Lones Group in Bellingham Washington Commits Hari Kari

Warning : This post is purely REALTOR inside baseball

Around here, we live, eat and breathe marketing. Online reputation management and online publicity is what we do to get our clients houses sold and  to find buyers who trust us enough to allow us  to assist them in their home search.  As a student of this stuff, I am flabbergasted by the news that a self anointed expert who in her own words, “started the Real Estate marketing revolution… and we are darn proud of it!” would attempt to extract money from a practicing REALTOR over 2,000 miles away who happens to use the same mascot, a Zebra. Now I understand that hard earned and promoted brands must be protected, but I really cannot see how Daniel Rothamel’s zebra mascot in Virginia, promoting Daniel’s real estate brokerage activity could in anyway damage The Lones Group in Bellingham Washington which uses a rainbow zebra on their website.

The Lones Group in Bellingham, WA and it’s owner, Denise Lones do not even perform real estate brokerage-they sell advice to those who do perform real estate brokerage.  I am not sure I see how Daniel Rothamel, the Real Estate Zebra is damaging The Lones Group and their photoshopped rainbow zebra.  I took a peak at the Lones Group website to see if perhaps they did business in Virginia and that was why they were picking on Daniel Rothamel, The Real Estate Zebra.  Upon glancing at their testimonial page of happy customers, I only found clients in the Pacific Time zone, most of their clients were Washington REALTORS.  I did note something peculiar about the Lones Group’s happy customers, as listed on their testimonials page. There are 28 testimonials displayed. Six of their happy clients had no website link.  Six more happy customers of the Lones Group had links to… wait for it…dead websites.   Now we find that the company that started the Real Estate marketing revolution has 25% of their happy clients who love the Lones Group’s work are not even linked to this powerhouse marketing firm and are hidden from potential clients.  I may be wrong, but if I were selling the real estate marketing revolution that I started, I would make darn sure that my happiest, bestest clients could be found from my website on the off chance that a potential customer would take a peek at the revolutionary work I had done.  Well, this potential customer found 25% of the happy customers were missing in action in this revolution. Why are they missing? Were they litigated into oblivion? Inquiring minds want to know.

Exploring The Lones Group in Bellingham, Washington calendar posted in their website (just Google The Lones Group, Bellingham Washington) I find that the Lones group calendar is full of events in the State of Washington for REALTORS of that state. I did not find any events announced for the State of Virginia.  I really have to wonder what this lawsuit is all about.  Daniel Rothamel does not compete with Denise Lones in any way shape or form. He just happens to use a sketch of a black and white zebra to promote his business. Denise Lones uses a rainbow colored zebra. Denise Lones should put her attack attorneys on these companies as well, since she paid for the boilerplate:

Lones’ attorneys might even find more satisfaction from any of the above companies.  Daniel Rothamel is a sole practioner REALTOR in Virginia, not a real estate marketing consultant, and has no more to do with the Lones Group’s practice than any of the above Zebra themed companies.

Well, the title of this post was about Hari Kari, implying that the Lones Group is suicidal. Here is my take:  The Lones Group promotes themselves as a marketing consultant to REALTORS.  As such, they, better than anyone else should know that REALTORS as a species bleed empathy,  for their clients and for their colleagues. We are the only industry that cooperatively offers commissions to competitors. We are social critters.  Daniel Rothamel is one of us, and he is being kicked  by a vendor that makes her living from the hard earned commission dollars of REALTORS.

Now, knowing REALTORS as I do, it seem to me that this assault on Daniel Rothamel, The Real Estate Zebra is Hari Kari.   Just sayin’.

Here is the complaint

List of Zebra Companies: h/t Cheryl Johnson


A new year and the looting of the American people continues unabated.

BofA Settles GSE Buyback Requests for Pennies on the Dollar

According to this MND article, Obama appointee, FHFA acting director Edward DeMarco just handed Ally bank, formerly GMAC Bank and Bank of America potentially a total $300 billion windfall. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, wholly owned subsidiaries of the US Treasury Dept. are foregoing the opportunity to put hundreds of billions worth of  mortgage backed securities  back to these banks in return for $3 billion cash which, no doubt came from the TARP and shadow earnings as a result of regulatory forbearance. The mortgage backed securities have a refund clause by which the originator is obligated to repurchase the securities if there were specific deficiencies in the origination of the underlying mortgages. As we saw in “foreclosuregate”, even the chain of title for some of these securities is defective. I think we can safely assume that there is probably more than $3 billion of refunds to be had with aggressive defense of the taxpayers’ interests.  Why does this matter?  Bonuses, baby.  Every dime coughed up by Ally or Bank of America reduces profits which shrinks the bankster bonus pool.  Apparently the Administration cannot stand the idea of those nice banksters riding in last year’s Maybach.  Especially after they made all those generous campaign  donations.

Maybach Laundalet

Wells Fargo, CitiBank and Chase have yet to cut their pennies on the dollar deals with Mr. DeMarco.  As the article points out, there are many purchasers of these same mortgage backed securities such as public and private pension funds and insurance companies who will probably go to the mat for a lot more than a couple pennies on the dollar.  The pension trustees and the insurance companies have a fiduciary duty to recover as much as possible for their beneficiaries.  It is a trillion dollar shame  that the administration doesn’t take its obligation to the taxpayer as seriously.  It will be interesting to see if there will be any Congressional oversight forthcoming in the new Congress regarding the Obama Administration’s magnanimous gift to the banksters.


Lunar Eclipse Winter Solstice 12/21/2010

The last time a lunar eclipse happened on the winter solstice was in 1638. What you you doing then? This just reminded me that we will make a complete orbit around the sun and meet here again next year. See you then. In the meantime,Happy New Year and have a safe and productive transit!

Comments are off for this post

Ascent to Splendor: Want to really see God’s creation? Make water.

This just in. The photography in this film that commemorates the Space Shuttle program is stunning. Here is the standard for photography. Remember, our listings do not move and do not shed a ton and a half of mass per second. Here is a canonical archive of human ingenuity at its zenith. A million moving parts assembled by humans in search of splendor.

As Ronald Reagan said: “We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and “slipped the surly bonds of earth” to “touch the face of God.”

All you have to do is make water with a whole lot of human brain power, courage and a million moving parts.

1 comment

Happy Birthday, Greg!

Happy Birthday, Greg! I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating your next spin around the sun!


SEO in 3 min 22 sec

Everything you need to know about SEO.

Now have a great weekend.


Investors to put toxic loans back on B of A

No wonder B of A is accelerating foreclosures. They will need the cash from the sale of REO’s to repurchase about $47 Billion of bad mortgage bonds that were sold with, shall we say, less than pristine origination paperwork. This is where the robo signing mess matters. If the chain of title can be challenged and your friendly union pension fund can recover part of the loss on the investment, some one will be making up the loss. Any guesses who? Rest assured it will not damage the administration’s bankster contributors’  bonus pool.

Dig deep, taxpaying America.

Enhanced by Zemanta

9/2/2001 and 9/11/2001

How quickly our lives can change in just a short time. May you live in Splendor every minute.


H/T our own Ira Serkes



Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Let’s stay away from the #RTB(tab) crowd as industry lifeguard comparison, shall we?

Have a safe and relaxing weekend.

h/t Phil Martin


A David Gibbons send off dance

Dear David Gibbons: Around here we dance on bridges.
I rejoice that you are seeking splendor!
Someday, please teach us all to Diski Dance on a bridge!


Declaration of Independence

Declaration of Independence

[Adopted in Congress 4 July 1776]

The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence.They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levey war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

I wish each of you and your families a safe and independent Fourth of July.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Next Page »