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Welcome to the blog of John Hurlbut. Here I'm going to post some recent ramblings, etc. I'll divide the blog into categories, General, Exercise, and Food. The Exercise and Food portions are simply somewhere for me to keep track of these items. No need to explore here. But read on and drop me a line sometime.

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People of Seattle . . . Revolt!

So I just got done watching the movie 50/50 with Joseph Gordon Levitt and Seth Rogan. Now I don't want to take anything away from this movie because I really enjoyed it. I laughed, I cried, I thought it was a great movie.

However, as a person who lives very near Seattle, I'm getting pretty tired of movies set in Seattle being filmed in Vancouver. I mean seriously would the movie lose so much if we just said "Hey this time it's in Vancouver." Really? Would it? To the rest of the world Seattle isn't even in the United States, let alone Washington anyway, so what would be the big flippin' deal if for once a movie took place in Vancouver British Colombia? And to my friends in Canada, you should be equally as pissed.

Within the first 3 minutes of the film, Joseph Gordon Levitt defies the laws of nature and is seen running around Stanley Park with Vancouver clearly in the background. Then cut to the next scene and he's standing on 4th and Pike in downtown Seattle finishing his run with the Space Needle in the background. I mean really? Does it have to be that obvious? And the killer in this film is when JGL is having his breakdown IN STANLEY PARK and cries "I've never even been to Canada!"

And to top it all off, the piece de la resistance . . . the end credits are set to Pearl Jam's "Yellow Ledbetter" . . . . We get it . . . it's really in Seattle.

I'm sure it's cheaper, etc. to film in Vancouver than Seattle. Lots of stuff has been in Vancouver. I'm just tired of the whole "Let's pass it off as Seattle" thing. For 99% of the world they didn't even notice. But for me it was a distraction to an otherwise great and touching movie. Maybe it's just me.

I'm not killing as many trees...

Iphone Badge
When I got my new iPad and Apple announced the upcoming Newsstand application, I made a conscious decision to not buy any more paper magazines. The reading experience on the iPad is fantastic. (For ME . . . calm down Kindle owners, yes, reading an iPad in the bright sunlight sucks. But I live in Western Washington. This is NOT an issue.) I was subscribing to I think at the time 6 or 7 magazines. Runner's world, Triathlete, Bicycling, Wired, Handy, Realtor, etc. etc. And every month, I'd end up with a stack of magazines next to the bath tub. (I read in the bath tub, it's where I go to unwind. Don't hate.) Sometimes 2 and 3 months worth would pile up there without hardly a dog ear. Eventually the guilt of spending so much money on that stack of magazines would get to me and I would take a 3 or 4 hour long bath (no I'm not kidding) just to get through them all. Mind you I wouldn't read every word of every magazine, but I'd read enough that I could justify throwing it in the recycle bin.

Now that I get most of my magazines on iPad (Realtor doesn't come in electronic version yet and I have a lifetime subscription to Handy) I still read in the bath tub. Yes, I'm sure there will come a day when I fall asleep reading with my iPad in my hand and I'll fry it. But with the iPad, the magazines don't stack up. Instead the Newsstand application pops up a little "1" or "2" in the corner to let you know you have new issues. (Hmmm too bad my therapist didn't have notification center). Now instead of the magazines piling up on the tub, the notifications keep piling up on my icon. I HAVE been better about reading my magazines. They don't get much past a month without being read or at the very least downloaded so I have them when I want to read them. And the money guilt is slowly going away because like everything else in the world, my magazines will just auto-renew through my iTunes account. Another $19 bucks here and another $21.99 there. As Pink Floyd says "Just a little pinprick. There'll be no more aahhhh! But you may feel a little sick."

And I guess that'll be another blog post for me to rant about, our subscription based society. I remember when you could buy things and actually OWN them. Not just rent them for awhile.

At least I'm not killing as many trees...

Convertibles....

What is it about the allure of a convertible? I've owned a motorcycle or two. OK exactly two. And you can't get much more open air than that, so is it the open air that I crave? I guess I should back up. For about the last year or so I've been craving a toy. And more often than not that craving leads me to the convertible ads on the Cars.com app on my iPhone. I thought about getting another motorcycle, and maybe someday I will. But for now my focus has been on a convertible. Something sporty, something sleek. Fast would be nice. Although at 42 I'm probably more concerned about my insurance than I should be. But the sound of something with four wheels going from 0-60 in four point something seconds or having three hundred and some horse power brings up a Tim the Tool Man Taylor grunt.

I figured when I was looking at motorcycles, I'd probably spend somewhere between 7 and 10 thousand dollars on something that I wanted. I was leaning towards something in the sport touring category after such a lovely time with my ZZR-1200 that would do zero to sixty in three point something seconds and I can't ever remember having it over about one hundred and sixty six miles per hour . . . or there about. Getting off track again . . . SQUIRREL! . . . so something in the sport touring category. Like a Yamaha FJR-1300, a Kawasaki Concours 14, something in that category. I wouldn't mind a BMW, but really, who has that much money to spend on a motorcycle? But one night looking around at motorcycles and not really being inspired by anything, I switched to cages. (That's biker talk for cars, I'm bad @$$ right? Anyone?)

It turns out you can get some pretty decent convertibles for around $10K. BMW Z3's and Z4's . . . Porsche Boxters . . . Nissan 350ZX . . . all kinds of luxury brands and imports can be had for $10K or listed just over. Now most of them have an ungodly amount of miles and the few of them that I looked at needed some serious detailing work, but hey for a "Sunday driver" I almost feel like you can't go wrong. Even if they have a ton of miles now, they would be a second car for me and maybe get driven once a week on average.

Of course, I also did find a nice used Audi R8 Spyder for $159,000, a bargain considering new they're almost $200K. And don't miss the Lambo's and Ferraris that approach $300K . . . I did find a nice used Ferrari 360 Spyder today for $60K that would look really sweet in the garage.

But really what is it that is drawing me to toys? Bikes, Cars, fancy things. Is this the proverbial mid-life crisis? I jokingly refer to my hair as my mid-life crisis hair, but really maybe that's what it is.

If anyone has a nice convertible they want to sell or loan to me for awhile, let me know. I'm sure this mid-life crisis thing won't last long.

Loner

I've pretty much always been a loner. I don't think it's something I chose, I just think through happenstance, I am a loner. I could get all psychotherapist on you, but it wouldn't do much good. But I did have an odd upbringing in that I spent every (and I mean every) weekend with my grandparents and every summer with them in South Tacoma. From as early as I can remember until I was at least 14 when my grandfather passed away. On Saturday mornings my mom would drop me off at my grandmother's or my grandfather's home and on Sunday afternoon my grandfather would take me home. We lived in University Place, my grandparents lived in South Tacoma. I really don't fully understand why this was protocol, but near as I can figure, my parents had an active social life and my grandparents were the built in Johnny sitters.

Don't get me wrong, I loved my grandparents and my parents. I just think I had an odd childhood. In the Summer, I literally spent every day with my grandparents. My mom worked at JC Penney at the Tacoma Mall part time. So during the summer, she would drop me at my grandfather's on the way to work and pick me up on the way home. Then it was back there for the weekend.

So I think when most kids are forming deep lasting relationships with childhood friends, I was playing solitaire or cribbage with my grandpa. Or mowing my aunt's lawn. Or going to Fred Meyer with my grandma. I have some very dear childhood friends. But they are very few and far between. I don't make friends easily now. I think mostly because I'm comfortable alone.

When I got laid off from Adobe in 2002, I went on a 12 day long road trip from here to Houston and back. I never got bored. I saw things I'd never seen before, the Grand Canyon, The Blue Man Group, the painted desert, Joshua Tree National Park, Roswell, the Johnson Space Center, etc. I connected with a couple people here and there but mostly for those whole 12 days I was alone. I could have gone to Florida to watch a space shuttle launch (now regret that I didn't) but Thanksgiving was coming and I was expected back for that. But I would have been perfectly happy spending another week or two on the road, just exploring. Alone.

I bought 4 tickets to the Seahawks game on Thursday for a birthday present to myself. But the funny thing is I don't know who to take beyond Teri. Teri has suggested a few people. But they're really Teri's friends. Not mine. So I probably have two extra tickets to the Seahawks game Thursday if anyone wants to come along.

I'm super comfortable alone. The odd dichotomy though is that I sell Real Estate for a living. That is not a loner job. I'm always required to be social. I don't know how I ended up here. I love my job and I'm good at it. It just seems weird for such a loner to be in such a social career.

My grandpa lived alone. He and my grandma had divorced before I was born. But they lived a block apart. I suspect I have a lot of his traits. Kind, gentle, good hearted. But in the end, he was a loner too. And? Seemingly OK with it. Well, we had each other I guess. Just two loners and a deck of cards. I do miss my grandpa. It's amazing to think at this point I've lived without him in my life twice as long as I lived with him in it. I still ask him for advice. I wonder if he's proud of his loner grandson.

Boundaries

8:45PM - Will you bid 145 for me on that house?
8:00PM - Will you confirm when that bid is placed?
9:32PM - Are you placing a bid? If not just tell me so I can move on to something else.

I need to learn how to set boundaries. These three texts tonight confirmed that. I've been working with this person for about a year now. They've seen maybe 7 homes with me. In a year. I'm patient. I don't need someone to buy a home until they're comfortable. Today I had appointments from 4:30 to 8:30. This person e-mailed me about this particular listing at 3:30 today wondering when we could see it. I let them know that I had appointments until 8:30 this evening but would be happy to show them the home at 8:30 or even in the morning. Yes, it's a HUD home open for daily bidding, so there is the possibility it won't be available tomorrow. But I don't think it's reasonable to expect me to cancel a builder meeting, or a listing appointment, or another buyer appointment to show a home because now you want to see home number 8. (Sorry, venting) But I squeezed you in between my 4:30 and 6:00. I flew across the hill to get you into the home so I could fly back across the hill to arrive at my 6:00 at 6:02. I told you to text me by 8:30 if you were interested and I'd write the offer. I got home at 8:30, no text, so I had dinner. At 8:30. I relaxed. I watched some TV. (Million dollar listing, even my relaxation has a Real Estate theme) Now at 10:45 I realized that in the span of 47 minutes you're ready to move on to something else. Perfect.

What other profession do you deem it OK to call, text, whatever at 8:45 at night? I suppose if my doctor picked up his phone at 8:45 or my lawyer answered that text at 8:45 that might set a precedence. I've set that precedence. So tonight, I realize I need boundaries. I should be able to come home and relax. I shouldn't need to check my e-mail every 15 minutes to make sure I'm not missing something important. My voice mail even proudly proclaims "If you've reached this recording after 5PM, you can expect a phone call back tomorrow." But no one ever really expects that. Because I call them back at 6:05. I'm actually really looking to the new "Do Not Disturb" feature coming out in iOS 6 next month. Will I actually have the juevos to use it? We'll see.

I have an insatiable desire to please. I'm not sure where that comes from, but I pride myself on being 100% accessible to my clients. On vacation? No problem, I'll send that addendum right over to you. Out to dinner with friends, no problem, let me just grab that call. Boundaries. I need to set boundaries. There was an agent in our office when I started, Nancy Koth (Now Larsen), that never answered her phone after 5 or 6 in the evening. And never answered her phone on Sunday. And she was super successful. I never understood how she could do that. I never understood the boundaries that she set. I, now, TOTALLY get why she had them, I just never understood how she got away with them. I mean shouldn't real estate agents be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Maybe not.

Nancy is no longer an agent, she's long since moved on to other things. I know how to get in touch with her however and maybe it's time for lunch. I know she'll precisely define the time and place for that meeting, so I won't have to think about much, just show up. She'll have perfectly defined the boundaries. I will however be all ears. And there on time. Even if it's after 5 or on Sunday. Because? I have no boundaries.

This too shall change.

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