This is cool . . . I'm sure some of you know about this already, but as far as I know, Google hasn't released this to the general population yet. Here's what you do:
Go to google.com
Search for something, say "Real Estate"
You'll get your tons of google responses.
Now in the upper left corner, click on Images
Now you have a ton of Real Estate images
Now append this string to the end of your search: &imgtype=face
Now, assuming you did it correctly, you should just see images containing faces . . .
Sweet . . . I searched for me, but I didn't find me . . . but I found a lot of "John Hurlbut's" though . . .
It's a girl, girl, girl, girl, girl, girl, girl, boy and a boy!
Teri and I are so excited! Our baby was born earlier this week and we finally have some pictures to show you! We should be able to bring her home in late August after our trip to California! Her mother Scarlett is doing just dandy! Oh, you didn't think . . . . no of course you didn't. We would have told you if we were . . . . I hesitate to mention the "p" word. We'll be heading up to Canada to see her next month and meet her parents. We're very excited . . . can't wait can't wait . . . wheee!
So without further ado . . . here is a photo for you . . .
Proud Scarlett Smiling for the Camera!
Whew! Nine Puppies is a Lof of Work! Time for A Nap!
Title: Our Iceberg is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under any Conditions Author(s): John Kotter, Holger Rathgeber Format: Hardback 160pages ISBN: 031236198 Link to Barnes & Noble Verdict: Recommend
When I originally saw this book, I would have sworn it was by Spencer Johnson. The size of the book is about the same as "Who Moved My Cheese" the font is similar, the book just LOOKED like it should be a Spencer Johnson book. While it's not BY Spencer Johnson, it reads like it. The premise is similar to that of "Who Moved My Cheese", but this time we have penguins on an iceberg and not rats in a maze. It's told in fable format, the font is big and there are a lot of pictures. So reading this in two sittings wasn't much of a challenge. Overall I enjoyed it.
The story starts out by showcasing a colony of penguins on an iceberg. Fat, dumb and happy penguins. There is one penguin however, Fred, who begins to notice something strange is afoot on their iceberg. After careful examination of said iceberg, Fred determines that at some point, their iceberg will break apart and melt. Fred is wondering if he should say anything because earlier another penguin was of the same opinion and was ostrascized for his beliefs. So Fred researches the problem further and only after his is absolutely convinced, does he take his issue up with a member of the Penguin council, Alice. Fred shows Alice what he is concerned about to convince her and together they go before the whole penguin council to present their ideas and findings.
The book gradually takes you through the 8 stages of managing change. It shows how to deal with people that just won't ever be comfortable with the change and how to council and guide people through the change. It was a good read and overall I'd recommend it. I did like "Who moved my cheese better" but again, it had a bit of a different bent to it.
So my buddy Steve had recommended a book to me "The 4 hour work week" and after it showed up on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, I figured it must be a sign, so I decided last night to get the book. I decided at 9:15 however and Borders and Barnes & Noble both close at 10. So I decided to wait until today to get the book. After dinner Teri and I headed to the Barnes & Noble in Lakewood. I love going to that store. There is just something about a book store, you never know what you're going to discover. The one thing I DON'T like about Barnes & Noble is they don't have kiosks where you can look up titles to figure out where they would be. So I asked and was pointed in the right direction of "The 4 hour work week" by Timothy Ferriss.
It was amongst a shelf of "Business Bests". This is what I hate about Amazon and sometimes what I LOVE about Amazon. Despite Amazon's best efforts with their "Search Inside" feature, I can't just go to a shelf of related books and pick up and hold each one. Thumb through it. Read the jacket. Feel the binding. I know, this sounds weird, but I love books. The texture. The way the type is set. The font. The leading, the kerning. It all adds to the whole experience of BUYING a book. OK, if I'm buying a programming book, or something that technical in nature, I'll head over to Amazon, throw it in the cart and it arrives a few days later. But tonight, I was presented with a whole slew of business books. Not just business books, but "Business Bests". Jim Collins "Good to Great" was there. As was Spencer Johnson's "Who Moved my Cheese". I've not read the former, but it's on my list. I have read the latter and it is a GREAT book.
So with the "4 hour work week" in hand, I started exploring other books. Well needless to say, I can't walk out of Barnes & Noble with just one book when I'm in these moods. That's why occasionally I love Amazon, because it doesn't tempt me to buy more and more and more . . . So I got:
Title: The E-Myth Revisited Author: Michael Gerber Format: Paperback - 288 pages ISBN: 0887307280 Link to Amazon Verdict: HIGHLY Recommend!
OK, I pretty much devoured this book in about 2 days. Well I did have a small distraction in that Teri bought me "Blaze" by Stephen King the day after I bought this book. So I had a 200 page departure in between, but really in about 2 days, I consumed this book.
This book was recommended to me by my coach and has been on my list of "to reads" for awhile now. Originally when I saw the title, I thought the "E" had something to do with electronic/internet blah blah blah so I passed it over. However, upon closer inspection the real title is: "The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to do About it". Aha! My interest is officially piqued! Being a self employed person, I have felt the struggle of a small business first hand. While my Real Estate business may not be a traditional business in the sense that the book talks about, all of the principles still do apply. I've gone through a tremendous build up in my business over the past 4 years and am now experiencing a slow down and maybe even some burn out. This book has been a great eye opener.
The book starts out by defining the three roles any business person must take on when in business for themselves. The technician, the manager and the entrepreneur. The technician is what most of us are, we feel that we can do THAT job as well as anyone else and so we set off on our own to do THAT job. (THAT job can be anything, butcher, baker, candle stick maker). Once we're ON our own, we end up working IN our job, but not ON our job. Our technician takes over full time doing the job. The E-myth introduces us to the Entrepreneur and the Manager. The Entrepreneur's job is to grow the business while the Manager's job is to well . . . manage the business.
Throughout the book, each chapter is divided into theory and a story. The story portion follows "Sarah" along on her journey to get excited again about her business "All About Pies" and how to put the theories into practice. The main thing I really got out of the book is to REALLY start focusing on my business and to RUN it LIKE a business. I need to put systems into place to be followed EVERY time to be sure that I'm providing top notch service to each and every one of my clients. I've been doing a good job so far, but not a GREAT job. I went into business for myself to stop working for "The man". I realize now that I've got to become "The Man" if I ever hope to expand my business into something great and self sustaining.
If you have a small business, or are thinking about starting one, definitely pick this book up and read it. You won't regret it.
My buddy Randy is one of the best pool players I know . . . but as far as I know, he's never run 4 tables in a row with one shot . . . this guy can . . . amazing. OK, so he has a little help from dominoes, but wow! I'd just hate all the setup time this took!
I know I'm a geek and I understand Technology . . . the whining post
I've been officially out of the tech industry for over 4 years now. Do I keep up on current technology trends? Somewhat. Am I as sharp as I once was? Not even close. Am I flattered when someone asks me my advice on anything Real Estate? Absolutely. I light up like a christmas tree in a cave! I love talking real estate. Buyer? Seller? Investor? Just kickin' the tires to see what they're made of, I don't care, ask me a question. If I don't know the answer, I'll get it.
I'm surrounded by some of the best agents in Pierce County, I dare say the state. Many of them I look up to for advice and counsel. Thankfullly they freely give it. And are happy to. When they call me asking for advice or help with a technology issue, I'm happy to consult, or even dig in and repair a computer or three. But here's where I get miffed . . . . (get ready for the whine).
When an agent in my office calls up to ask my advice about something technology related that normally wouldn't give me the time of day . . . it sets me off. I've even had people from my office call me that I didn't even know. They called up and said "Hi John? This is Dave Smith, from the office?" I say "Hi Dave, what can I do for you?" thinking in my mind they are calling on one of my listings and desperately trying to remember who Dave is or what he looks like or even if I've ever met him before. "Tim told me you were the tech guy in the office and I'm having a problem with my do you have a few minutes to help me?" My favorite question is "I'm having problems with Adobe, can you help me" and when I reply "Adobe what?" I get silence. I say "You're having a problem with Adobe the company? So am I, they laid me off 4 years ago and now here I am left explaining to you that Adobe is a company NOT a fricking product! Adobe makes dozens of products, but you in your infinite wisdom are probably referring to Acrobat Reader not realizing that Adobe also makes Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.etc. No you're too G** D*** ignorant to even ask me the appropriate question!" OK, maybe I don't say that, but I think it and it comes out like "Sure, what's the problem?" And I spend 15 minutes of my day explaining that the "Any" in "Press Any Key to Continue" does not necessarily refer to ANY key. Like pressing the Shift key for example . . . but I digress . . . It would be nice if in return they said "Hey John, I really appreciate the help. Would you like to co-list this $3M mansion on Lake Tapps with me? It's just a bit out of my league and I could sure use your expert market knowledge on this one." But I guess that's just a pipe dream.
So now I get to call an agent back and explain to her why changing the drum in her color laser printer is a lot easier and cheaper solution than buying a whole new laser printer. Or maybe I'll pick up a nice HP all in on color laser printer for the cost of a drum? Who knows? She's lucky she's one of the agents I respect and look up to, or I might just recommend that she buy a Cannon bubble jet for her flyers cause bubbles are the way of the future you know? I mean they're BUBBLES man! How can you not like BUBBLES! Then I'll tell her she needs the new Microsoft Surface for her listing presentations. Just think how impressed your future clients will be when you bring a forklift to your listing presentation and it sets the Surface table down in your living room.
It's not a computer . . . it's a big ass table . . .
OK, a few weeks ago, a friend of mine sent me a cool video about a cool new product from Microsoft called "Surface". It is aimed squarely at Apple and it looks REALLY cool. First look at this video to familiarize yourself with surface . . . then go on to the one that follows from Sarcasticgamer.com. Hilarious!
So yesterday I convinced Brandon to drag Liz along for a ride and I'd drag Teri along. I thought we were going to all go together on a nice leisurely ride together . . . maybe 10 - 15 miles. Apparently Brandon had a different idea. So Teri and Liz on their Treks headed south while Brandon and I headed north. We went from the green bridge in Kent on up to Southcenter and back. The way out I was feeling really good and we were constantly above 16 - 17MPH . . . but on the way back we had a serious headwind and our average dropped quite a bit. Oh well, riding 2 days in a row is good. Almost 16 miles on this ride.
I just downloaded the info from my Forerunner GPS and noted that we averaged 15.0 MPH for the ride. The last time we did it it was 14.8 and the time before that it was 14.0. So I am getting faster. I know Brandon, Chuck and Steve are holding back for me, but I feel good that I am getting better on the bike!
Here is the link to Motionbased for the ride details:
Ever have one of those days where you'd just like to go back to bed and start all over? Today started out that way, but it's getting better. So my alarm was set for 6AM this morning. Yep, 6AM on a Saturday. About 5:30, I woke up and had that friggin Gnarls Barkley song "Crazy" in my head. It was driving me . . . well . . . crazy. About 5:40, I got heart burn. Must have been the Thai food at Ayothaya last night. So I said f-it, I'm getting up. I got up and chomped down some Tums to alleviate the heart burn. I then went on a quest for clothes. I was trying to find my long padded spandex biking pants. No luck. So I started looking for my padded spandex biking shorts, no luck there either. So I finally settled on some non-padded spandex shorts. (Don't worry, I wear basketball shorts over them so as not to offend). I was supposed to meet Brandon and Steve at the trail head this morning at 7AM for a 30 mile ride. So I sauntered out into the garage at about 6:05 and got my shoes, gloves, helmet, heart rate monitor and skull cap together and threw them in the car. I got my license, insurance card and health insurance card and threw those along with some AccelGel and Clif Shot blocks into my seat pack on my bike. I grabbed my water bottles out of the fridge and loaded them into their cages. So far so good. I grabbed the white lightning and lubed the chain. I got the tire pump and pumped up my rear tire to 100psi and tightend the nut on the presta valve. I moved to the front tire and got it pumped up as well. As I tightened the nut on the presta valve, I heard a distinct PSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT. Son of a . . . . so I loosened the nut hoping that would stop the leak (hey, it was 6:15 in the morning.) No joy. So after a few good words to start the day, I debated just going back to bed. The I popped my front wheel off and grabbed a couple of flat head screw drivers, deflated the tire the rest of the way and commenced changing the tube. Fortunately my last order from Performance bike included 6 tubes for the ol' steed. Now it's been about 20 years since I've had to replace a tube on a bike, but I guess old habits die hard. So in about 10 minutes, I had the new tube in and the tire seated. I gently tightened the nut around the presta valve and began pumping. I got her up to 100 psi and took the bike off the stand. I loaded the bike onto the bike rack and headed out. About 10 feet into the street I heard a WHUMP! I looked up through the moon roof and the bike was leaning at a 15 degree angle. More fun words. I got out, took the bike back off and adjusted the front wheel holder on-er and reloaded the bike.
I made it to the Meeker trailhead at just about 10 minutes to 7. Brandon, Chuck and Steve were already there. I put on my gear and we headed out. It felt like we were lolly gaggin' out to South Prairie, but when we arrived at the Espresso stand at just about 15 miles, our moving time was only 1:07. Not bad since the way out is all up hill. I wasn't feeling it all the way out there, it was definitely a slog for me, but I kept telling Steve, the only thing that keeps me going out, is knowing that it's all downhill on the way back. So after chugging some water, downing an AccelGel and popping a few clif shot blocks, we were back on the bikes and heading back. I don't know why, but the way back felt like work too. I kept looking at my cycle computer saying to myself "Only 10 more miles . . . only 8 more miles" After we got through downtown Orting, we settled into a nice groove though and our mile splits were in the low 3 minute range. We were averaging about 19 - 21 MPH which was good. I just wanted the thing over today. At about mile 28, I was coming around a corner at 19 or so MPH and didn't want to lose momentum, so I kept pedaling through the corner. Well I guess I went a little too low and my right pedal caught the pavement. I felt my back tire kick out to the left. Fortunately I didn't go down. Blood and a broken ankle would not have made my day much better! I got back to the parking lot at about 1:57:30 moving time. So a couple minutes under two hours. I'm OK with that for not feeling tip top for the ride. I think had I been better hydrated and more awake, I could have shaved another 2 or so minutes off that time. But it was 30 miles and I did make it through and that's all that counts.
After chatting a few minutes in the parking lot, I had to cruise home and take a shower to get ready to come out to Thornbury to sit site. So here I am. I'm pretty sore after today's ride. But I feel good that I did it. I left my Garmin USB cable and dock at home, so I can't upload my GPS data just yet to see how this compares to other rides, but maybe later tonight. I'll post the map here when I do.
Oh, one cool thing is just about 2 miles into the ride, we came around a corner and startled a young buck deer. He bounded along the trail just in front of us for awhile before cutting over. It was neat to see.
The geek in me is REALLY loving these two new sites I read about last night . . . Jott and Vitalist.
Have you ever been in your car, or at a restaurant and thought of something really cool, but didn't have your pen and a piece of paper to write it down? Or maybe you were able to cobble together a little note on a napkin or something? There is something you most assuredly always have with you . . . your cell phone. Enter Jott. No, I'm not going to tell you that Jott is some cool little program to install on your smart phone that recgonizes your handwriting on the screen as it's name implies. Rather, you put Jott on speed dial. Yep, speed dial. It's a toll free number in the US. When Jott answers, you tell it to whom you want to "Jott", then you tell it WHAT you want to "Jott" them. Jott then transcribes your Jott into text and does a number of things. It can text message the Jottee with your Jott, it can e-mail your Jott to them, OR it can e-mail or text them with a link to your Jott on the server and they can hear your voice. You can also configure groups of people to Jott. So say you're the manager of a business and you have to tell a crew of landscapers for example that today's job is off and you're taking them all fishing. You call up Jott, tell it the group name, and state your message. All your team mates get your message without you having to call them all individually. If you come up with a great idea in the car, you can Jott yourself and have an e-mail when you return to the office to remind yourself to do something.
All of these ideas and tasks are going to add up right? How do you keep them organized and instantly accessible? Welcome to Vitalist. I come to the office every day and create a list of things to do for that day. I generally end up transcribing yesterdays "not done" list onto today's "to do" list. It gets cumbersome and after a week or so of faithfully listing, it bites the dust. Now I've tried using Outlook's Tasks feature, but to no avail. So I don't know that I'll be much more successful at using Vitalist, but it's outward appearance seems a lot cooler. Access to your list anywhere. Through your PDA, or PC. And it has groupings and different ways to track tasks. Some of them can have definite end dates and remind you, or some can just be ideas that you want to research at a later date. It looks very cool.
So I've wanted to add podcasts to my real estate site Hurlbuthomes.com for a long time now. I've finally gotten my podcast "kit" from B&H Photo Video and created my first Podcast. It's entitled: "How to prepare your credit to purchase a home". I think it turned out OK for my first attempt. OK, I think it turned out AWESOME for my first attempt. If you'd like to check it out, you can find it here:
Where you'll find updates on the local and national real estate market as well as timely advice for buyers, sellers and investors.
I'm also busy producing my first Podcast "How to Prepare your credit to purchase a home" it basically outlines the steps involved in finding out your credit score, how to repair your credit and what to expect in terms of loan options depending on what your credit score is. I've got about 1/2 of it produced so far, so in the next day or so, that will go live as well.
If you have any suggestions for topics you'd like to see me cover, shoot them my way!
I got the rest of my podcasting kit today. I'm a bit disappointed with the royalty free music CD. It has 200 tracks, but none of them are over 1 minute in length. Oh well, the hunt continues for some good RFM to use as background music for my video tours. Speaking of video tours, I've complied another one for a new listing I got in Spanaway. I'm still not really happy with how they are turning out. But this is a learning process, so I'll chalk it up to that. On this one, I added a fade in from black at the beginning and added titles to describe what the viewer is seeing. My pans with my tripod were better, but still not great. The downstairs and exterior of the home, I'm happy with. The upstairs, not at all. The bedrooms were hard to shoot as I couldn't find a great place to stand to really capture them. And in one of the bedrooms, you have no point of reference for the ceiling or the floor to get a good sense of how big the room really is. Gotta get that wide angle lens AND a good tripod, and/or monopod.
Anyway, here is the video tour for your viewing pleasure: