Sunday, January 11, 2015

Where is the Phoenix Real Estate Market Headed in 2015?

Here is an article that I wrote on my Phoenix real estate website about where the Phoenix real estate market is headed in 2015.

Of course no one really knows, but that's what blogs are for, right? :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012


  1. Things don't always go as planned.
  2. Don't dwell on the past.
  3. Learn from the past, plan for the future, but live in the present.
  4. Don't dwell on the past.
  5. Be here now.
  6. I can only move forward.
  7. What is the best way forward from this exact point in my life?
  8. What are my assets?
  9. What are my liabilities?
  10. How can I best leverage my assets and overcome my liabilities?
  11. How can I do the most good?
  12. What good cause should I be anxiously engaged in?
  13. What is my highest potential?
  14. What is my vision of success?
  15. How can I get there?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Yes it's true I did some actual real work for once

The people that know me in the real estate business know that I never lift a hammer on my remodels. I just write the checks. So they would be shocked, SHOCKED, to hear that this morning I actually did some roof repairs on my own house ALL BY MYSELF!!

I had a few shingles blow off the roof in one of the recent haboobs, and I thought it might be fun to try fixing them myself. I know, that doesn't sound like me, but maybe I'm turning over a new leaf or something, who knows. Before starting, I did watch this quick tutorial on removing and putting back roof shingles.

I thought I'd better provide some photo documentation as proof of this once in a lifetime event.

I was thinking of taking a video, but since I was working by myself I couldn't really capture the actual action. I did get a little video of the materials and tools:

Here are some of the damaged shingles:

The brown stuff on the one above was some stuff called Tanglefoot that we put down for pigeons. Originally it went on clear, but after 6 months it turned brown for some reason. I'll get that cleaned off one of these days.

Here's an owl that we put on to scare pigeons away. (Not related to shingle repair.)

Here's a shot of my oddly shaped roof:


Here's a new shingle that I added. I had it lined up perfectly but then after pounding the nails in I noticed it was about 1/4 inch too low. Oh well, still works:

On this one I didn't want to install the whole new shingle because I would have had to remove the ridge cap shingles (the ones on the peak), so I cut the shingle about 2 inches above the visible portion, and then removed 3 nails from the ridge cap shingles, slid the new shingles underneath, and then put in new nails. I made kind of a mess with the tar but it still works:

Conclusion: It was kind of fun and satisfying to do, but SO hot and sweaty.  And that was only for a few shingles. I'm very glad I'm not a roofer.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Know Any Easy Magic Tricks?

When I was home teaching last month I did a magic trick for the kids, who are 2, 5, 7, and 15.  It was the standard magic trick from the mission days where you make a coin disappear by rubbing it into your arm. They loved it. And it sort of even tied in to the lesson about tithing.

Then for this month I figured I had to follow it up with something, so I hopped on youtube and found this one:

My replica quarter wasn't the best. I thought the kids would be able to tell there was something wrong with the quarter, but they actually didn't notice anything wrong, and they couldn't figure out where the quarter disappeared to. Last week I made the coin appear in one of their ears but this time I didn't have anything to make reappear. (I guess I could have used a second quarter for that.)

But now I'm going to keep having to come up with new material, so if you know of any easy magic tricks that will impress kids, especially involving coins, please let me know.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Five Guys versus In-N-Out Burger


I have been an In-N-Out Burger aficionado for many years, and I've recently heard vague rumblings about different competitors such as Shake Shack and Five Guys Burgers and Fries popping up. I just tried out Five Guys for the first time, at Reagan National Airport in DC. Here is my head to head review:

Burger: Five Guys was actually a little better than In-N-Out! I liked the thicker patty, and loved that they offer additional toppings such as green peppers.

Fries: Five Guys' fries were better as well. Their fries are thicker and pretty good, while In-N-Out's are just average, even though they are "freshly cut"... (who cares?)

Price: Five Guys was WAY overpriced! $6 for a cheeseburger and $5 for a large fries? Seriously? But it was at the airport, where everything is overpriced. So it may be priced more reasonably at non-airport locations.

Other Factors:
  • Five Guys gives you a TON of fries. That might be nice if you have someone to share them with, but since I was flying solo, it wasn't that helpful.  And I can't really reward bonus points for contributing to the obesity epidemic.
  • Five Guys is not available in Arizona, which is a big minus since I don't want to have to fly to DC for a burger, no matter how good.
  • Five Guys took a really long time to get the order up. (Could be another airport only issue.) But In-N-Out isn't really very speedy either.
Conclusion: If Five Guys was/were available in AZ, it/they would have probably pulled off the upset victory. However, since they're overpriced, slow, and unavailable without a flight involved, In-N-Out still gets the nod for now.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Holocaust Museum

Matthew and I went to the Holocaust Museum at the Smithsonian, mainly because we'd been to the other museums before. We ended up spending quite a bit of time there on the tour. I most enjoyed the stories of the heroic individuals who risked their lives to save others, such as the White Rose group. However, the thing that struck me the most, and that I still have trouble grasping, is how most of the people of Germany, as well as Austria and some other countries, just went along with Hitler's plans. I may be off on this, but it seems like when Hitler said "OK, new plan, we're going to systematically discriminate against Jews", about 99% of Germans (and later Austrians and other countries) said "Sure, sounds good to me." How is that possible? And it's one thing to go along with discrimination, but then later, Hitler literally said things like, "We're going to go into Poland and kill every man, woman and child without mercy." And everyone was STILL ok going along with his plans. I know there was a lot of brainwashing and propaganda going on, and of course there was a point when it was too late to openly oppose anything, but I just can't comprehend how the large majority of normal citizens and/or soldiers were seemingly ok with Hitler's systematic discrimination, hate, murder, and genocide.