Some good reads…..

I have been a reader all my life. There are always at least one but as many as 3 or 4 books on my night stand and I can be actively reading all of them. If I travel I take books with me. Fiction is what inspired me to write. Telling a story in a way that mesmerizes, draws the reader in and creates a desire to get to know the characters, places and be in on the events that happen is a true art in my opinion. Of the 3 books currently on my nightstand I wanted to recommend two, one fiction and the other non-fiction/research.

Fiction first. “The Martini Shot” by George Pelecanos is a great read by a great write. Pelecanos wrote for my all time favorite HBO series, “The Wire” set in Baltimore (Bodymore). If you haven’t seen that series you should. His style is clean, crisp and gritty. This particular work is a collection of short stories and a novella that is the title piece. I highly recommend it.

Okay, next… get ready to have your eyes opened regarding all of “heart healthy” whole grains you are eating. “Wheat Belly” is a research piece by Dr. William Davis. His style is filled with deep research but presented in a very readable way (for the most part). At times the technical content can be a bit thick but stay with it as it holds the results together well. This book opened my eyes to the impact of wheat on the human diet in a big way. When you learn what has happened to wheat over the last 50+ years and how it is affecting the human body with respect to insulin and fat storage you may want to join me if getting off the wheat. Don’t be surprised if it is hard to do (I am in week 3 and rolling off the hardest part into actually feeling better). Even if you decide that you want to keep eating wheat, you should know how it is affecting you.

I will occasionally add more book reviews as time goes on. If you like that please let me know.


I F’in Hate Pickles…

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Embrace the Ick.”

And I am seriously passionate about that hate. It’s the one thing I have yet to give up hating in a life where hate is something I just don’t have room for anymore. The hate goes deep my friends… I won’t elaborate on the disturbing things that have lead me to it. It’s not pickling in general, just pickles. Those dark, bumpy, stinking logs that used to be beautiful cucumbers. I like cucumbers. Have you ever had sliced cucumber ice water? Awesome! Cucumbers on salad are crisp and refreshing. Even added to a green drink to bring a cool flavor to your emulsified kale or spinach. I like picked jalapenos, pickled carrots, any number of other pickled items including peppers. It’s the smell of pickles in the fridge when the jar is left open, the pickle juice that taints my fries on the burger plate, the bizarre looks I get when I tell a waiter “no pickles on my plate please”. WTF, why is there an attitude when I don’t want pickles? I say leave the cucumbers be. Free the cucumbers from the torment of pickling! I know I am supposed to be embracing the glowing merits of pickles for this prompt but I just can’t. Too much hate. Leave me and my pickle hatred to work itself out in therapy.

A day in the life 2015 – #2

Woke up, cleaned up, headed for the office about 7:45 with a banana for breakfast. Reviewed the Blogging101 lesson from January 26th, spent some time reviewing the past lessons I haven’t finished yet. Connected with some Google friends and past/current clients to find help for the CUSD STEAM initiative, caught up on market values for lunch meeting, lunch with good friends and past/current clients, CAR webinar on new contract forms, booked lunch with another past client, completed disclosure continuing education exam on disclosures (nailed it!), added some widgets to my blog, studied a hedge craps strategy while waiting for new client meeting scheduled for 6:30pm. Should get home about 8-8:30 to eat, read then sleep.

Hello dream reader….

Okay, maybe it’s an obvious title. Yes, I am running with the WordPress herd. This whole thing is new and I am learning just how easy it is to get off track. Or, if you are a glass half empty kind of thinker, just how hard it is to make blogging a part of your DNA. So, for all of you who are honest and find that life can be hard to take a day at a time, this is for you.

I made a commitment to complete the Blogging 101 exercise with y’all. Without burdening you too much, after a fun start and some good feedback, life was still happening (divorce, flu, etc…) and all of a sudden a week and half had gone by and guess what? That’s right, I failed.

To some that can sound harsh…I failed. But to me, failure is just another part of life. If I am not failing then I am not reaching, trying to do something I have never done, committing to Ingwaz or the actualization of my potential.

I hear too often the cliches that surround success and failure. Flash news break…. LIFE IS NOT A CLICHE! Embrace your experiences, use them to feel what happens and how it affects the way you think and act. If I will become that which I want to become, I must do things that are uncomfortable, that scare me and that may result in failing.

I know there are some who will say this is arrogant. You know what? It is. My life is too important and I have important work to do that will impact the world as others see and live within it, to not move forward even if I am scared. I spent a large part of my life living in quiet desperation and the result didn’t change anything for anyone. I’m done living in the background. I will have an impact.

To all my fellow Bloggin101’ers, don’t count me out. I have stumbled but have risen from my knees to start moving forward again. Thanks for being there.

If you want to see an example of committing and then potentially failing badly but experiencing something close to bliss if succeeding watch the video.

How blogging leads to reminiscing

I left a comment on a cool blog today and I was struck by just how much I have forgotten. I grew up the the Silicon Valley before there was Silicon. There was more open space and orchards then. Walnuts, prunes, plums just to name a few. I grew up in The Orchard City, Campbell, CA and remain in the area today. I used to walk to school in Kindergarten, at least a half mile away, and there was never a second thought about it. I walked with friends and kids of all primary school age did the same.

A child of the 70’s I discovered skateboarding and my infatuation soon turned to bruises, scabs and broken bones. I loved it but started to realize that falling on concrete really hurt. That is when I found surfing. My first true love in life. Nothing else mattered. I got good, I traveled and surfed up and down the state, Mexico, Hawaii. Never made it off the continent though and wish I had. I was convinced I would be dead by 30 as a result of big wave surfing somewhere in the world. Then life began to happen. Falling in love with a girl, getting married, having a child, getting crushed in the race to make a life and career work…. Surfing never ended, it just sort of de-materialized from my life.

I remember, now, selling my last surfboard at a garage sale. The guy who bought it was super stoked. It was a Bruce Jones  8′ 6″ semi-longboard that had nice hard rails and clean rocker. It worked in any conditions. I vaguely remember thinking “well, that’s the end of that”.

Today I was taken back. Leaving that comment opened my memory banks. I must admit it makes me a bit misty. But you know what? It makes me feel good, I had great experiences. Even better, my life isn’t over and I will be back in the ocean.

Take a trip down memory lane, it does a heart good.

What’s on your mind…?

So I have been making some changes recently. Actually over the last about 2 years. Mostly my changes have been targeted at my health, both physically and mentally. A few weeks ago I started walking every day (well, almost every day, I have missed a few but it really is almost daily), walking hard for at least 2-3 miles.

Monday I got some bad news and I elevated my intensity on the walk. I strapped on my camelbak pack usually reserved for bike rides and added a 10lb hand weight as well. Instead of shorts and a tee shirt (don’t you love winter in California?) I put on sweats, an extra shirt and a thick hoodie. I was pissed and I wanted to sweat.

I got through the day and went to work Tuesday somewhat more settled but still felt off. Had a good meeting with a Campbell Union School District rep on work I am doing to find partners for their STEAM initiative, picked up a new client referral, booked two lunches with referral sources and potential clients and then it was time to walk again.

So, I jammed home, changed into my gear (Camelbak with weights, sweats, extra shirt and hoodie) and headed off to the Los Gatos Creek Trail.Got there, parked, strapped on the pack and got my Pandora up and running on my phone and ear buds. I always listen to music when I walk, when I work, pretty much all the time. It helps me identify my mood.

Twenty minutes later as I am grinding my walk away, thoughts about what I didn’t do today, how I am going to manage if the conditions of my marital support change after they have been set for two years, where is my next piece of business coming from, should I start camping to get some solitude, I didn’t get a blog out today, how am I going to meet a great girl….BOOM, I am jerked back when I hear a sweet instrumental from the just post WWII swing era. Man, I needed to hear that, I love that era of music. Suddenly, I am present. I am walking, it feels good to get my heart rate up. I am enjoying this piece of music, in this moment, right now. I see the couple with the yellow lab enjoying some time together, the local geese are honking and flying overhead. It’s sunset and I am here, now.

It may have taken a bit to get to the point but here it is. If I have learned anything in the last almost two years, it is work on what you can control, right now. Yesterdays failures or in-completes on the to-do list cannot be undone and all the shit I am worrying about has no foundation. I mean, I may not wake up tomorrow and certainly don’t want to waste my time on worry. I have been told that worry stems from fear and I think that is mostly true. We have all had experiences that we would not want to repeat so I think that plays a role in worry as well. Someone I know well and trust once shared a story with me about his family and the part that has always stuck with me was when his father told him “worry is not preparation”.

So, while I know it is really hard to do at times, take a moment, breath deeply and look around. What’s on your mind? Are you paying attention to now?

Water tower life

So, eventually you need to know not only who I am but what I do. My objective in life is to be a connector. If we have ever been acquainted, know each other socially or have done business together (i’ll get to that) and you have a need of any kind and are not sure how to best manage it, I want to be the first person you think to call. When you call, my response will be one of two possibilities.

First is “I got a guy…” and the second is “Let me make a call or two and I will find you the best person to discuss this”. Ultimately, if I can successfully connect people then my business will grow organically. What is my business? Well, in simple terms I sell real estate. I am a real estate broker. That does not even scratch the surface of what I really do. My real mission is bringing about moves in a persons life that accentuate their goals as relates to their lifestyle and financial success.

Mine is a referral business. I work hard to provide an experience on the tactical aspects of buying or selling real estate assets that is not only expertly handled but is eloquent. This part of the experience is important but it is not what I consider my “whole offer”. Getting to know my clients deeply leads to an understanding of who they are, why they want what they want, how will this particular move affect their long term goals financially and allows me to bring innovative thought and recommendations to the table for serious consideration. I can speak intelligently on investments and retirement planning because I made it a priority to study for, take and pass the Series 65 Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination. While I don’t advise on these topics, the knowledge enables me to work coherently with a clients wealth managers and financial advisers. I can speak the same language, overcome what I call “competing pocket syndrome” and make this particular move turn out from a fiscal perspective.

Let’s take an example. Schools are very important to homeowners. Which district has the best schools? Which school in that district is the best? Are the schools impacted? Most people are not aware that the measurement of school performance is changing. Our old metric, API or Academic Performance Indicator is no longer being used. 2012/2013 is the last year of actual testing results for that metric. New standards called CAASPP or California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress is replacing API. The shift is dramatic in scope. I work closely with the Superintendent of the Campbell Union School District so I can add value to my clients looking for real information about schools. I also work to help the district by volunteering and helping to locate and engage resources for their STEAM effort. Real world learning for students early in their education.

This has become a bit of a tome and that is not my intent. Suffice to say that while I am always working to help someone buy or sell a home, what I am really doing is being meaningfully engaged, intimately involved and striving to make that persons goals and objectives come true. My heart is in Campbell, what I call Water Tower Territory, but I can be found throughout Silicon Valley and on the Peninsula helping people connect and achieve. You can find me online at: orchard city homes (expect a new look and feel soon), Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can find me in the real world at The Pruneyard.


A day in the life 2015 – #1

Okay, I mentioned that this blog will contain tangential subjects and this post is one of them. As I move through the year I’d like to capture what I am working on, feeling, dealing with, etc. and write it down, even if it’s not pen and paper (which I feel guilty about but that’s another tangent). So, I am not a New Year Resolution setter but I do have things I want to change or accomplish. All my life I have been told I write well but have never made a point to sit down and write. My one commitment for the year that is scary and that I will not run away from is… I will write. Don’t know what it will be, how it will come about but there are specific goals which I may discuss at some point. Expect another tangential series that is dedicated to writing. This day in the life thing is to help me capture stream of consciousness as well as explore what I do, when I did it and look back at the end of the year and think about what happened. Today I viewed a presentation on story structure originally presented in 201 at BYU. IT was good. Short and to the point. Now I have one less excuse to not get writing.

I can’t forget that I have to work on my business to generate income so I can pay my bills so I can eat so I can write. I did participate in that today as well. Over time I will share business related topics and information but that, again, will be a separate topic thread.

Don’t judge this blog yet, I mean it’s only the first week of my first blog ever and I am learning. Over time I will make every effort to give you a reason to come back. In the mean time enjoy a funny picture